Oct 312020
 


Benighted – photo by Anthony Dubois

 

While slugging coffee this morning I got my daily text-message alert from the county health department reminding me that the safest way to celebrate Halloween is to stay inside my home. As if I needed that fucking reminder, on top of all the other miserable reminders that this Samhain will be like no other in our lifetimes.

I can’t even count the predictable absence of trick-or-treaters as a silver lining to this cloud, because they never came around our place even before the pandemic made that a potentially self-destructive choice. The screaming of the loris horde and the carefully-placed pools of guts might have had something to do with that.

So, most of us will have to celebrate the most metal day of the year stuck inside playing with ourselves our pets and trying to forget that global infections are now setting new records, that the U.S. set its own new record yesterday with more than 99,000 new cases (!), and that Sean Connery died. What a fucking year it’s been, and still two months of fresh hell to go before it ends.

But we can still listen to the devil’s music tonight, and here at NCS we need to do our part to enliven that experience and help you forget. So here’s an extravagantly-sized playlist of mostly brand new songs and videos that I assembled this morning.

BENIGHTED (France)

If you haven’t had enough breeeeee in your diet, we’ll fix that right away. Also included in the food groups within this first dish are cyclotron-speed drumming, incendiary riffage, back-breaking grooves, splendid blaring chords, carnivorous roaring, and a generally rabid approach to life. Continue reading »

Sep 062020
 

 

The “aggressive” sound of black metal — the blazing tremolo runs, the blasting drums, the shrieking and rasping vocals, the often abrasive levels of distortion — is one of the genre’s hallmarks. But black metal doesn’t always sound angry. Even when the aggressive sound is present and accounted for, the music can also seem dolorous, haunting, hysterical, or mystical (among other sensations). Today’s collection includes many of those other emotional touch-points — as well as fury.

NUBIVAGANT (Italy)

To begin, I’ve chosen two songs from Roaring Eye, the debut album by a one-person Italian project named Nubivagant. The album will draw attention because that one person is both Thorns and Omega, the drummer of Blut Aus Nord, Chaos Invocation, Enepsigos, Darvaza, Fides Inversa, and many other groups). Here, he performs all instruments, and he sings in a tenor voice. That’s right, these songs are exceptions to our rule, but well-earned ones because Omega really can sing. Continue reading »