Jan 292021


Welcome to Part 14 of this list, in which I’ve turned again toward black metal, with two songs that made a deep impact the first time I heard them and haven’t loosened their grip over the months that have followed. To explore the songs that preceded them on this list, you’ll find them all behind this link.


“In the midst of a time when it is all too easy to feel desperate and demoralized by forces both human and viral that seem bent on crushing both life and hope, it is worth remembering that humanity has been here before. Remembering such times, and the efforts of valiant people who survived and transcended them, can itself furnish hope. And maybe we can learn something about how this is to be done, as well”.

Those words are how I began a review of Forthcoming Humanity by the Greek band Yovel, which preceded our premiere of a full album stream. In that remarkable album, Yovel devoted themselves to remembrance of such times. A concept album, it is based upon the poems of Tasos Leivaditis, a brilliant poet and a revolutionary, who himself lived through harrowing periods, including the second World War. Born in 1922, he died in 1988. Continue reading »

Jul 102020


We’ve been following the impressive progress of the Swedish black metal band Ov Shadows since its formation in 2016 by former members of Waning, one of whom is also a member of Obitus (a band who’ve also received significant attention at our site over the years). Since that inception Ov Shadows have released a debut EP (Monologues) and a first album (The Darkness Between Stars), both of which demonstrated multi-faceted talents, with music capable of reaching heights of both incendiary violence and heart-swelling grandeur as well as descending into depths of endless suffering.

It has thus been welcome news to learn that Hypnotic Dirge Records will release a second album by these formidable Swedes. The name of the album is I Djävulens Avbild (In the Devil’s Image), with a release date of August 14th. It proves again the power of the band to mount punishing, near-overpowering assaults on the senses while also, true to their name, wrapping the listener in shrouds of darkening shadow. Continue reading »

Feb 212018


In the first part of today’s two-part round-up of recommended new music I selected songs that included clean as well as harsh vocals. In this one, it’s all unmitigated savagery… but the savagery comes in varied exciting forms. I really, really like all six of these tracks, and hope you’ll get just as fired up about them as I have.


The Finnish grind merchants Rotten Sound, who are favorites around our crumbling domain here at NCS, have a new EP named Suffer to Abuse slated for release by Season of Mist on April 13th in Europe, and on May 18th in North America, because the bastard step-children must apparently wait their turn. Fortunately, we were served at the same time as everyone else with the EP’s first single, “Harvester of Boredom“. Continue reading »

May 032017


I’ve done this before, I’m sure I’ll do it again. Sometimes I listen to new music by bands whose music I haven’t heard before, and by complete coincidence it lines up. That’s what happened here — though this particular listening experience also included a revisiting of an EP I’d heard before.

By chance, I listened to all the music in this post back-to-back a couple of nights ago, and it was not only very good from beginning to end, it also seemed to flow in an interesting and connected way despite the dramatic differences in the music of each band. The wind blew with a chill… and that’s the best way I’ve come up with to capture the sensation of the experience.


I love a lot of things about this first song, and the video that accompanies it, but the bagpipess are a huge reason. And now that I’ve mentioned that instrument, I’m sure that some of you will want to run from the song like wolves are on your heels, which I suppose is one reason why some cultures have used them as war instruments. Everyone else, please read on… and listen. Continue reading »

Sep 052016

Ov Shadows-Monologues


In this post I’m combining reviews of two short releases that were recommended by friends whose names may be familiar to long-time readers of our site — the first by .jh (Obitus) and the second by eiterorm. I owe them thanks, because both of these releases are excellent, and they also complement each other very well.


Between 2008 and 2014 the Swedish band Waning released two albums and four shorter works, including a contribution to the Elemental Nightmares series of splits in 2014 that we wrote about incessantly. The song on that 2014 split turns out to be the last of Waning’s output, because at the start of this month they announced that the band had ended. However, members of Waning (one of whom is also in the aforementioned Obitus) and Black Drop Effect have formed a new group named Ov Shadows, and they have recently released a three-track EP called Monologues. Continue reading »