Mar 222019


I guess this week has been like every other week: It brought a flood of new metal. Unfortunately, it was a week when the job that pays the bills left me no time for round-ups. It was a mad scramble just to get everything else done around the NCS compound. Confronted with a list of way too many new songs to write about, most of which I haven’t even heard yet, I made completely impulsive choices from among those I have heard, three of which are videos.

Not sure how much further catching-up with new music I’ll manage in the posts this weekend, but I’m going to try. We’ll see how that goes…


I had to lead off with this new song from Full of Hell because it’s just such a shrieking, roaring horror. One of those things that makes you sit bolt-upright and prevents you from thinking about anything else, which was a blessing, given my scrambled state of mind when I first heard it. Continue reading »

Jul 262018


Few people would probably notice, but I write very few album reviews unless they’re accompanying our premiere of a full album stream (and occasionally I include brief ones as part of a Sunday SHADES OF BLACK post). It’s not for lack of interest, but for lack of time. But I’ve been inspired by my friend DGR‘s massive catching-up exercise this week, in which he funneled 13 reviews our way in one fell swoop. There’s no way I can catch up to that extent, but I found myself with a little extra time over the last 24 hours, and so I’ve made a small effort to recommend two recent releases by bands near and dear to my black heart — and this is the second of those.


It seems that every time I’ve written about Seattle’s Pound (who used to go by the name Lb.!), I’ve begun by reminiscing about how gob-smacked I’ve been by the hair-raising, head-spinning, ridiculously explosive nature of their live performances, and here I am doing it again. You really have to witness it to fully understand why it’s such a nerve-firing, nerve-rending experience, but while it’s impossible for any recording to do it justice — because you’ll only be able to hear, and not to see — their long-awaited debut album comes as close as one could hope for. Continue reading »

Jun 202018


I’m in a hurry at the moment, with barely enough time to throw these five new songs and videos at you along with some basic background info, but not enough minutes to provide my usual introductory impressions. Enjoy the music — I sure as hell did.


The Seattle duo Pound (who used to go by Lb!) have turned in some of the most electrifying live performances I’ve seen here in the Pacific Northwest. The sights and sounds of guitarist Ryan Schutte delivering a tornado of chaos and groove on a baritone 9-string guitar while David Stickney switches back and forth between two drum kits in riveting displays of percussive vulcanism is the kind of mind-blowing experience I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of. (You’ll get an idea of that experience in the second video below, but without the bowel-liquefying volume that comes in a live Pound performance.) Continue reading »