Jun 142017



The latest edition of Roadburn Festival took place at Tilburg, The Netherlands, on April 20-23, 2017, and L.A.-based photographer extraordinaire Levan TK was there to capture the performances on film.

We are fortunate to bring you some of his amazing photos, divided among the days of the festival, with his photos from the third day in this post. To see the photos from Day One, go here, and the photos from Day Two are here. Photos from the final day of fest will be coming soon.

P.S. Levan was quick to get us these photos. The delay in sharing them is entirely the fault of our half-wit editor. Continue reading »

Jun 082017


Not for the first time, I had a discussion with a few of my NCS comrades at Maryland Deathfest about how much stuff I post most days. I think their feeling was that 4 posts a day at NCS should be considered adequate, and that more tends to result in reader/listener overload. While I think this is good advice for my exercise of editorial discretion, and undoubtedly would help relieve the frenzied stress levels of my daily existence, the sad fact is that I… just… can’t… fucking… help myself! I see or hear something that gets me excited, and I feel an apparently irresistible compulsion to share it.

And so, while today I’ve already posted an album review and plan to post three premieres (one of which is a full album, accompanied by a review), I also decided to compile this round-up. On the bright side, two of the following 10 items(!) only consist of artwork and news — and I could have made this soooo much longer, but I’m saving some new discoveries for this weekend.


I was gob-smacked the first time I saw Eliran Kantor’s artwork for the cover of Incantation’s new album. Even now, seeing the piece with the band’s name and the album title on it, my gob is still smacked. The first single from the album has also proven to be a gob-smacker. But before we get to that, here’s Eliran Kantor’s explanation about the inspiration for his painting on the cover of Profane Existence: Continue reading »

May 312017


That photo up there shows the sight that greeted my eyes on Monday night while waiting for my ferry boat home after returning to Seattle from Maryland Deathfest 2017, but it also accurately represents my glowing impressions of this year’s fest in Baltimore.

Like many, I was disappointed to learn that MDF would be “downscaling” this year, eliminating the Edison Lot venue and having all the shows indoors at Rams Head Live and Soundstage. I also saw some grumbling on the internet (imagine that! grumbling on the internet!) that the line-up wasn’t as strong as in many past years; on top of that, Nightbringer was a last-minute no-show because of an airport outage in the UK.

Despite those misgivings, my own strongly held view is that this edition of the festival was a rousing success. (Part 2 of this post can be found here.) Continue reading »

May 022016



The 2016 edition of the Roadburn festival in Tilburg, The Netherlands, is now in the history books. It was the first edition of the festival to be presented at the newly renovated 013 venue, and it boasted a typically impressive and diverse line-up of bands. While none of the NCS scribes was on hand for this year’s event, we do have photos of many of the performances, thanks to Kris T. Therrian of 17 seconds photography, and beginning today we’ll be providing them for your viewing pleasure.

We’ve divided these photo collections into four parts, one for each day of the festival, and we’ll roll out the remaining three installments over the next three days. Many thanks to Kris for letting us share these memories with you. For more info about her work, visit these links: Continue reading »

Feb 292016

Oranssi Pazuzu-Värähtelijä


(Here’s the second of KevinP’s monthly selection of releases for 2016, naming his Top 5 favorite albums released during February.)

So much for the notion that the beginning and end of the year are slow times for new releases. We have another month stacked with quality through and through. As pleasing as it is to spread the love of great releases to people far and wide, I wouldn’t mind a slight respite during a busy time of the year (I do have other obligations and hobbies). But yeah, #FirstWorldProblem. Continue reading »

Feb 262016

Oranssi Pazuzu-live-praha


(In this new edition of THE SYNN REPORT, Andy Synn has picked a fine day to review the discography-to-date of Finnish marvels Oranssi Pazuzu — including the band’s brand new album that’s due for release today, for which we have a full album stream for you to hear.)

Recommended for fans of: Nachtmystium, (mid-period) Enslaved, Killing Joke

After two more Death Metal leaning editions of The Synn Report, I think it’s time to take things in a… different… direction. And, if there’s one thing that can be said about Oranssi Pazuzu it’s that they’re definitely “different”.

After all, the Finnish quintet have never been your stereotypical Black Metal act and have rarely, if ever, played up to the expectations of their audience. Over the course of the last 9-or-so years the quintet have released three (now four) critically applauded albums fusing the base elements of Black Metal with massive injections of proggy psychedelia and surrealistic sonic experimentation, constantly pushing their sound in ever more unusual, unconventional directions.

With their fourth full-length album Värähtelijä set for release today, now seemed like the perfect time to suit up and take a trip out into the void in the company of these Finnish cosmonauts! Continue reading »

Feb 112016

Oranssi Pazuzu-live-praha


(KevinP brings us another installment in his ongoing series of brief interviews, and today he puts questions to Ontto, the bassist of Finland’s Oranssi Pazuzu, who have a new double-album named Värähtelijä headed our way.)


K:  The first time I listened to Värähtelijä it did not feel nearly as “immediate” when compared to Valonielu.  But after 3-4 full spins of the new album it is much weirder yet more memorable at the same time. 

O:  Yeah, Värähtelijä is a bit more of an introvert album. The idea was to create a  dark and hypnotic fog that you can get lost in, instead of going after instantly catchy riffs. We used lots of polyrhythms on this one, so many times there are two riffs playing simultaneously.  Also, since it’s a double album, I get that it might need a bit more chewing. Didn’t try to make it intentionally weird, though.  Rather I think it’s more “free”.


K:  You and Jun-His started the band in 2007, but you’ve had a stable recording lineup since the first release in 2009.  I find that refreshing since your music is by no means easy to digest.  Normally I think it would be difficult to keep 5 people in that same mindset.

O:  We were friends with the guys already when we started the band, so that helps a lot. The reason why the band sounds like it sounds is that each one of us adds their own thing into the mix. Sometimes that sounds schizophrenic, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing when you’re searching for psychedelic effects. Continue reading »

Jan 182016

Rotting Christ-Rituals


Earlier today when I posted Part One of this Shades of Black feature (here) I mentioned that I would have Part Two ready to go later today or tomorrow. Despite the title of this post, it actually isn’t the Part Two that I had planned. What you’ll find here instead are three very good new songs that I didn’t encounter until today, and I thought I’d help spread the word about them right away. And so the original Part Two will become Part Three, hopefully by tomorrow.


Today another new track from Rotting Christ’s forthcoming album Rituals premiered at 11 music sites around the world (though none are based in North America). The name of the song is “זה נגמר (Ze Nigmar)” (an Aramaic phrase meaning “it’s done”), and because the premiere took the form of a YouTube stream, I’ve taken the liberty of embedding it below. Continue reading »

Oct 172013

(In this post BadWolf reviews the new album by Finland’s Oranssi Pazuzu, which is out now via 20 Buck Spin in the US and Svart Records in Europe.)

In the first seconds of Oranssi Pazuzu’s new album, Valonielu, I knew I was in for something different. “Vino Verso” opens with a swell of synth and guitar, like something out of my favorite 80’s Judas Priest record—but wait, I thought, Isn’t this a black metal album? The dirty guitars kick in, but they work at a slow, syncopated, doom-sludge stomp. Then the synths break back in, reminiscent of Sanford Parker’s blackened-dance accents on Nachtmystium’s Addicts album. It’s was one left turn after another, and then I looked at my iPod—I was only two minutes into the album. What. The. Fuck.

I like weird black metal. Something about the genre lends itself to unexpected twists in the music—perhaps it’s because the basic building blocks of the genre, blastbeats and tremolo picking, are both simple and versatile. And pretty optional. Oranssi Pazuzu seldom do either, which begs the question: Is this black metal, or have we gotten so lazy with genre tags that we just lump any two things with tangental similarity together? There is a downside to resisting new subgenre tags for a band like this. Continue reading »

Dec 192011

(Tamás Kátai is the man behind a Hungarian band called Thy Catafalque, whose fifth album Rengeteg is one of my favorite recordings of the year,  for reasons I’ll be explaining in a forthcoming review. Also, a song from that album will appear soon on our list of the year’s most infectious extreme metal songs. So of course, as part of our Listmania series, I asked Tamás to contribute his list of the year’s best albums — and here we have it.)

10. Baaba KulkaBaaba Kulka

A Polish band with early Iron Maiden covers up to Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son album. Why it’s interesting and worthy of note is that they handle the task with exceptional freedom and taste. My faves are the trip-hopish “Aces High” and the beautifully low-key “Flight Of Icarus”. True Warriors Of Heavy Metal keep out!

Continue reading »