Oct 262023

(In July of this year Soulseller Records released Weltende, a new album by the German extreme metal band Porta Nigra. It led Comrade Aleks to contact the band, and the following interview with guitarist/bassist Gilles deRais  was the result.)

German band Porta Nigra is labeled as “avant-garde black metal”, and it seems to be truth. It was founded in 2010 by Gilles deRais (guitars, bass) and O. (drums, vocals), who recorded two full-length albums as a duo. But sometime after, Porta Nigra turned into the full band, and now they’ve returned come with the fourth full-length album Weltende.

This authentic material has a rich cultural background, rooted in both Belle Époque and Fin de Siècle, so don’t expect an ordinary black metal deviltry from this band. We tried to learn more about Porta Nigra and Weltende from Gilles deRais and in some way we succeeded.

(The interview was initially done for the Spanish magazine This Is Metal, and I’m glad to share its full version here.) Continue reading »

Jul 022023

Here we are again, ready to blacken the Sabbath with some new things you might not have heard, the kind of things that would ruin most people’s days but I hope will turn yours into warming bonfires. Well, maybe not warming, more like incinerating, but still welcome I hope. What’s ahead is a new stand-alone single, a couple of tracks from a forthcoming album, and two just-released full-lengths.


Neill Jameson has made a name for himself as a music writer, often wise-cracking, irreverently cynical, and creatively foul-mouthed but with a finely-honed and widely respected taste that makes lots of people pay attention to his recommendations of underground gems. We’ve benefited from that here ourselves, usually through his year-end lists for our site but also at other times when he’s been moved to send something our way.

But before he made a name for himself in those ways, he and his band Krieg made a name for themselves in the annals of U.S. black metal. Krieg‘s musical output, beginning with their debut album in 1998 (recently reissued by The Devil’s Elixirs Records), ran in a hot, year-after-year torrent through 2018, mostly splits and EPs but with 7 more albums also scattered along the way. Then there was a four-year pause before 2022 brought forth a split with Crucifixion Bell, which demonstrated in electrifying fashion that although Time may have aged Krieg‘s members, it definitely hasn’t dulled their knives or moderated their musical savagery.

And now we’ve got a new Krieg single named “Bone Whip,” which is captured on one of those flexi-discs in the new issue of Decibel magazine (the one with Mizmor on the cover, available for purchase here). As disclosed at Decibel’s site, the song was recorded during the sessions for Krieg‘s next album (the name of which is Ruiner), but won’t be included on that album. Continue reading »

Nov 082019


Happy Friday to one and all. Although I continue to be distracted with personal obligations (I’ve become a caregiver to an injured family member, which is something that will persist for at least another month), I found time to do some scattered listening last night and this morning. Even with a lot more listening yet to do, that yielded a cornucopia of good finds, six of which you’ll find below.

The reference to “Part 1” in the post title is more a sign of optimism than a present reality. And if I can get it done at all, it might not arrive until Saturday.


To get your motor running hot and fast before moving into everything else in today’s compilation, I picked a new song and video by Sepultura, which is the one item in this collection that I caught this morning. It sure as fuck got my motor running, and the video is kind of spectacular too. Continue reading »

Apr 062015


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

Welcome, welcome, to the March edition of essential entries. February was a decent month, highlighted by stellar releases by Crypt Sermon, Devouring Star, and Sarpanitum. Overall, it wasn’t as solid as January, and I listened to a ton of music for February. There were plenty of strong albums, but also a lot of “decent, but not great” sort of releases. Everything included here, however, is top-notch, of course!

March, however, was loaded with a metric ton of great albums. As a result, there were a few difficult omissions, but that’s a good problem to have. The following turned this guy’s head the most.

Antagoniste – The Myth of Mankind

Hailing from France – the land of oddball experimental metal – is another entry of this sort by Antagoniste. A one-man avant garde black metal project, this is the debut release, and it’s nothing short of beastly. The vocals vary wildly, with a mix of menacing growls and chants. It’s heavy, a bit out there, quite catchy, and all quality. Continue reading »

Mar 312015


(Here’s the latest installment of KevinP’s series in which he runs down his list of the best releases from the preceding month.)

The French are weird (but we knew that, so it’s not really weird).  Dark Descent Records just came up a little short. Ever realize the island country of Cyprus had metal bands? Let’s eat some Vegemite and sauerkraut. And the Greeks have returned to the countdown.  Now, let’s get on with it.


5.  Corpo-MenteCorpo-Mente

If you are a fan of Gautier Serre and the thoroughly warped Igorrr, you may have heard of this side project of his.  Featuring the lush operatic vocals of Laure Le Prunenec (Öxxö Xööx, Rïcïnn), it’s much more, shall we say, “tame”.  It’s a classical journey of baroque, trip-hop, and acoustique.  It’s by no means a metal album, but that doesn’t stop it from being one hell of a piece of art.

https://blood-music.bandcamp.com/album/corpo-mente Continue reading »

Feb 272015


Exactly one week ago we posted Andy Synn’s extravagant review of Kaiserschnitt, the extravagant new album by Germany’s Porta Nigra, which is being released today by Debemur Morti Productions. As of this moment, you can now download the album or purchase one of the beautiful physical copies — but perhaps most important, you now have a chance to listen to all of it before taking the plunge.

If you haven’t yet discovered the stream that just went live on Bandcamp, all you have to do is skip to the bottom of this post and there you will find it. And if you need any further encouragement to let it into your head, here are a few choice words from Andy’s review, with which I almost whole-heartedly agree: Continue reading »

Feb 202015


(Andy Synn penned this review of the new album by Germany’s Porta Nigra.)

Inspiration is an unpredictable mistress. You can never be sure when, or how, she’s going to strike.

I hadn’t planned on reviewing Kaiserschnitt, not consciously anyway. Even though I still have a lot of sick love for Fin de Siècle, Porta Nigra’s devilish debut, I initially intended to listen to their latest release merely to satisfy my curiosity. After all, I had other, more important things to be focussing on.

Or so I thought.

As I said, inspiration strikes at the oddest times and in the strangest of ways, and from my first listen to the album I found myself making up the disconnected mental notes and disordered comparisons which, ultimately, have come together to make up this review. I couldn’t have predicted it, I certainly hadn’t planned on it, but here we are anyway. Continue reading »

Feb 082015


Thanks to a Facebook post from KevinP, I learned that on Friday Debemur Morti Productions released a new digital single by the German duo known as Porta Nigra. It consists of a new song named “Femme Fatale”, which will appear on the band’s second album Kaiserschnitt (due for release later this year), and a remix of “Megalomaniac” from the band’s excellent debut album Fin de Siècle. The remix was prepared by T.T. of the Austrian black metal band Abigor.

There are some truly hair-raising screams and some jagged growls in “Femme Fatale”, but it’s also an exception to our rule, as you’ll discover. You will also discover a dark, decadent, mid-paced rocker that’s powerfully infectious — the song’s central riff is licensed to kill, and there’s a cool, squalling solo in it, too. Continue reading »

Feb 242014

I’ve been following the progress of the Elemental Nightmares project since before it became public, writing about it for the first time in July 2013. It began as an effort to raise money for a subscription series of 13 splits on 7″ vinyl (with digital download options) featuring one exclusive song each by 26 up-and-coming bands from around the world. As the project evolved, the format has changed:

Last Friday, Elemental Nightmares announced that instead of releasing 13 splits with 2 songs per side, they will release 7 splits on 10″ vinyl, with each split containing four songs instead of two. And, because of the new format, there will be 28 bands instead of 26. In addition, as previously announced, Elemental Nightmares is offering the splits for sale on an individual basis, as well as subscriptions to the series as a whole, and the digital-only option is still available.

But the best news is the announcement that the project will happen. To see the names of the original 26 bands and for more info about purchase options, go here. The two new bands will be announced soon.

And finally, Friday also brought the premiere (by Invisible Oranges) of four songs that will appear on the fourth installment of the series, and it’s a damned strong way to start off: The bands are Porta Nigra (Germany), Membaris (Germany), Ashencult (Philadelphia), and Vuyvr (Switzerland). Continue reading »

Nov 292013

I may have mentioned that I’m on vacation through December 8. In addition to not writing much for NCS, I’ve also largely abandoned my daily routine of reading press releases and roaming the web looking for metal news and video or song premieres to feature on the site. However, today some of my NCS comrades gave me a slew of links that together make a tidy package of extremely diverse new things worth writing about.


First, Andy Synn wrote me as follows: “New Kampfar. Put that in your pipe and smoke it”. I tried to smoke it, but the song smoked me instead. It’s name is “Mylder”, and it will appear on this excellent Norwegian band’s new album Djevelmakt, due for release on January 21 via Indie Recordings.

If I could shriek “Helvete!” like Kampfar’s vocalist, I would, because that’s what I want to do when I listen to “Mylder”. It’s an electrifying, dynamic song — with plenty of reaping, roaring, stomping, and jabbing, but also infiltrated with an ethereal flute melody (among other unexpected elements). It’s a great combination of black metal savagery and memorable songwriting. Djevelmakt can’t come soon enough. Continue reading »