May 132020
 

 

(We present Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by Paradise Lost, which will be released on May 15th by Nuclear Blast Records.)

Every time a legendary, much-loved band releases a new album there seems to be a race as to who can be the first to declare it “their best album ever”.

Some of these people are, of course, the type of overly ardent fan who’ll take any opportunity to demonstrate their devotion to the band (and to anyone else who’s watching), but others, or so I like to think, are simply blinded by the glare of something shiny and new (which, as we all know, is always alluring).

Case in point, I’ve already seen umpteen write-ups of Obsidian declaring it to be a “masterpiece” – it’s not, though it is very good, which I think people will realise once the hype has died down a little and they’ve had time to reassess – largely, or so it seems, due to the fact that it leans further towards the band’s gothier side (think their Draconian Times/One Second period) than the pure Death/Doom of 2017’s Medusa. Continue reading »

Mar 242020
 

 

For reasons I can’t identify, these days I feel compelled to throw as much music your way as I can. I’ve noticed that, contrary to my expectations, this unnerving shut-in phase that most of us are going through has led to a significant increase in daily visits to our site. Maybe people need music more than usual to get through these dark days. Maybe that’s the source of my greater-than-usual compulsion.

Whatever the reason, it seems like you’ll be seeing more and more of these big compilations (with brevity of words) rather than the more typical SEEN AND HEARD posts. I hope I can do another one tomorrow, because I still have a lot I want to recommend.

AEONIAN SORROW (Finland/Greece)

A beautifully contrasting experience from this multinational funeral doom band, the song juxtaposes graceful and ethereal sounds of mist and mysticism and episodes of ravaging heaviness and splintering sorrow, combining the most harrowing roars and haunting feminine singing, creating moods of stately bereavement and wrenching frenzy. A really beautifully executed new video, too. Continue reading »

Jan 242018
 

 

Welcome to Part 11 of this list. Without further introductory verbiage, let’s proceed with three more tracks.

PARADISE LOST

Medusa was one of those albums that popped up repeatedly in the Top 5 of year-end lists published by print zines and “big platform” web sites that we included in our year-end LISTMANIA extravaganza. Some of the albums in the upper reaches of those rankings were suspect, having the whiff of big-name pandering. But not this one… this one deserved all the honors it got (and of course it appeared on many of our own year-end lists).

To paraphrase something that Andy Synn wrote in his review of the album, it was almost shocking to realise that somehow, almost thirty years on since the release of their debut, Paradise Lost were right back at the very top of their game. As Andy also opined, Medusa is “utterly monstrous” — “one of the darkest, heaviest, and doomiest albums of their career”. Continue reading »

Aug 252017
 

 

(Andy Synn reviews the new album by Paradise Lost, which will be released on September 1 by Nuclear Blast.)

Not that long ago, the idea that Paradise Lost would, twenty years into their existence, be undergoing a well-deserved critical and commercial renaissance, would have been seen as… well, if not outright laughable, then certainly a little far-fetched.

That’s not to say that the band’s foray into the realms of dark, synth-heavy electro-rock was a complete failure (I’ll gladly go to bat for Host any day of the week) but, even so, there was a time when the band’s star seemed very much on the wane, and unlikely to ever ignite in the same way again.

And yet, ever since the release of 2007’s In Requiem the grim Northerners have been on a steady upswing, one which has seen them growing ever darker, ever heavier, and ever doomier over time, ultimately culminating in the utterly monstrous Medusa, one of the darkest, heaviest, and doomiest albums of their career. 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.

INCANTATION

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 022016
 

Roadburn-2016-OfficalArtwork1

 

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 082016
 

Katavasia-Sacrilegious Testament

Welcome to the 20th installment of our list of last year’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. We’ll be finished with the rollout of this list next Sunday. To hear the other songs on the list up until now, click this link.

Today we have three diverse pieces of metal, each of them from albums that were the source of multiple candidates for this list.

KATAVASIA

In the early part of last year we devoted quite a lot of attention to this Greek band’s 2015 album Sacrilegious Testament, and still more attention when year-end-list time rolled around — which is not surprising, given who’s in the band: Continue reading »

Jun 162015
 

 

(In this post Dan Barkasi continues his monthly series recommending music from the previous month.)

Here we go again! With May long behind us, there was a lot of material to sift through, along with a hell of a time at Maryland Deathfest to remember. All good things!

Overall, May wasn’t the best month this year, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t some gems to uncover. Quite a good amount, actually, with the selections coming from a broad spectrum. Hey, that’s why I’m here – to give you the goods from all over! I try to deliver. Maybe not as exciting as the pizza delivery guy bringing carb-loaded goodies, but I do what I can!

Onward! Continue reading »

Jun 102015
 

 

(DGR reviews the new album by Paradise Lost.)

I guess, when it comes to Paradise Lost, the old axe that everything is cyclical rears its ugly head once again. I’ve never been much of a believer in it, but lo and behold, Paradise Lost have released their darkest, doomiest, and arguably heaviest record in some time — a record we were told was never likely, as Nick Holmes was likely never to growl again and instead would forever sing through Paradise Lost’s goth-laden doom, and a record that would never be this heavy despite the fact that the band had gotten heavier since returning to their doom standard a few records ago.

Then again, things change. Continue reading »

May 062015
 


Photo by Ewan Cawood

 

A flood of new music and videos appeared yesterday. I found a dozen of them I’d like to recommend, but I’m squeezed for time at the moment, so I’ve made some hard choices and picked three for this post. Perhaps I’ll be able to collect a few more later today — though it’s likely that as this day wears on even more good new music will appear. Anyone who thinks there’s something wrong with the state of metal in 2015 is just WRONG.

PARADISE LOST

My Facebook news feed blew up with friends posting about the new Paradise Lost video yesterday. Most of the links were accompanied by exclamations of surprise and praise. To those I’ll now add my own.

The song is “Beneath Broken Earth” and it appears on the band’s forthcoming album The Plague Within, due for release on June 1 by Century Media. The video was directed by Ash Pears. Here’s a quote about the song and video by the band’s guitarist Greg Mackintosh (who we hope has recovered from his recent mishap on stage in Seattle with Vallenfyre): Continue reading »