Nov 212019


(Our old friend Professor D. Grover the XIIIth (ex-The Number of the Blog) returns to NCS with a review of the new album by the Minnesota “castle metal” band Obsequiae, which will be released by 20 Buck Spin this coming Friday, November 22nd.)

Joyous greetings and salutations, friends. Evidently, it’s been four years since Obsequiae graced the metal world with Aria Of Vernal Tombs, an album that came more or less out of nowhere to become my favorite album of that year. Following that, rather than wearing out its welcome, Aria instead settled further into my consciousness, cementing its status as my favorite black metal album ever and seizing a likely spot as one of my ten favorite albums ever.

Friends, given the volume of music I listen to on a weekly/monthly/yearly basis, this is no small thing.

Really, though, even as Aria settled around my brain like a comfortable chair around your butt, I found myself craving more, and so when I discovered that they finally had a follow-up album in the works, my excitement was palpable. (Entertainingly enough, there exists a possibility that I may have offered favors of a sexual nature to Islander in exchange for the procurement of a promo copy of the album, although I will neither confirm not deny such rumors. I can admit, however, that once said promo was acquired, it became the only thing I listened to for at least a week.) Continue reading »

May 242019


(Professor D. Grover the XIIIth [ex-The Number of the Blog] returns to our pages with this review of the new album by Odyssey from Spokane, Washington, which is being released today.)

Greetings and salutations, friends. A week ago I promised a full review of the new Odyssey album, The Swarm, and today I return to deliver on that promise.

Now, when you’ve been listening to a band or artist for the majority of their career, often you begin to foster a sense of casual ownership, that feeling of I Knew Them Back When, that helps to deepen your connection to them. You know their albums intimately, to the point that when you somehow manage to go an indeterminate stretch of time without listening to them, everything still feels comfortable and familiar. Continue reading »

May 172019


(How long has it been since Professor D. Grover the XIIIth, he of The Number of the Blog, graced our pages with his presence? I could look it up, but how depressing would that be? Better to simply welcome back our old friend, who provides this introduction to an excellent premiere.)

Greetings and salutations, friends. It takes something special to break me out of me semi-retirement as it pertains to writing, and for the two or three of you who remember my older works, you might recall my love of Odyssey, the instrumental prog-metal trio from Spokane. Guitarist Jerrick Crites, bassist Jordan Hilker, and drummer Lukas Hilker have been going for over ten years now, despite remaining a mostly regional act, but one of the miracles of the internet is that even a smaller local band can reach a wide audience around the world.

I bring this up because, if the title of this article wasn’t already enough of an indicator, Odyssey have a new song, ‘Hive Mind’, to premiere from the forthcoming new album The Swarm. I have a full review of that coming in about a week, so I’ll save my thoughts on how ‘Hive Mind’ fits into the overall flow of the album, but I can still offer my perspective on the song itself. Continue reading »

Jul 252017


(Our old friend Professor D. Grover the XIIIth [ex-Number of the Blog} presents the following review of the new album by Blood of the Prophets, scheduled for release on July 27.)

Greetings and salutations, friends. As promised, I have returned to provide my thoughts in full on The Stars Of The Sky Hid From Me (henceforth to be referred to using the acronym TSOTSHFM), the newest album from Blood Of The Prophets, a technical death metal trio from Toledo, OH.

TSOTSHFM is the band’s first release in seven years, a long absence for any band regardless of how well-known or obscure they may be. Consider your life seven years ago, and how much has changed since then. I could list countless major differences for myself and exhaust the entire space of this review and still leave out many, many things. For a band to return from that kind of absence and then deliver a quality work is impressive. Continue reading »

Jul 042017


(Our old friend Professor D. Grover the XIIIth rejoins us after an extended absence, providing both an excellent song premiere and these words of introduction.)

Greetings and salutations, friends. I return from the forgotten depths to bring forth to you an exclusive listen to a new song by a band called Blood Of The Prophets.

There is, I would estimate, a better-than-average chance that you’ve never heard of this band, being that they have lain dormant for the greater part of seven years, but they are preparing for release their newest work, a concept album entitled The Stars Of The Sky Hid From Me. I will have a full investigation of said album at a date closer to its release, but for now we have a glimpse of that album in the form of “Megalithic“. Continue reading »

Jan 062016

NCS Best of 2015 graphic


(For yet another year, our old friend Professor D. Grover the XIIIth brings us his year-end list of favorite releases, both metal and not — plus some things that aren’t even music.)

Greetings and salutations, friends. I return from the endless void of adult living once more to unleash upon you all my list of my favorite albums from the past year. The list is, mayhap, not quite so extensive as it was in years past, and this is due in no small part to the ever-decreasing amount of listening time that I have. Couple this with the expanding number of albums that draw my interest, and the end result is many albums that I only heard once or twice and then moved on to something that better captured my attention.

Before we move on to the list, here are a few other things from the past year that I greatly enjoyed. Continue reading »

Dec 222014


(The esteemed Professor D. Grover the XIIIth once again provides us with his year-end list of personal favorites, and an eclectic list it is.)

Greetings and salutations, friends. I apologize for my recent silence, but real-life intrusions (growing children, job promotions, that sort of thing) have made it all but impossible for me to write. Still, I listen when I can find the time, and as such, I return to provide you with my annual year-end review. As always, my list has reached an absurd size, with fifty albums and a separate list of fifteen demos and EPs. However, my comments about each album may not be quite so in-depth due to the aforementioned lack of time.

First, we have the EPs, demos, and singles that I enjoyed this year. Sometimes a shorter release can better capture my memory due to its short run-time, because I can listen to it more and really, truly digest it. These fifteen are all excellent releases. Continue reading »

Dec 262013

(Our friend Professor D. Grover the XIIIth, the founder of the late, lamented The Number of the Blog as well as the proprietor of Occulus Infernus, agreed to share with us his list of lists for 2013.)

Greetings and salutations, friends. It’s your Honorable Professor returning to bestow upon you the ever-expansive list of my favorite releases of the year. Due to increased responsibilities from my new employment and my newborn son (the handsome little devil you see pictured), I will be keeping the descriptions of most of these releases brief, briefer than usual, but I will still give my best attempt to justify just why you should listen to them anyway.

Also, and I realize that this list is being published at No Clean Singing, but this list is in no way, shape, or form a list dedicated solely to metal. I listen to a wide variety of music, and to omit everything that’s not metal would be to do myself and all of you a great disservice.


This is everything that wasn’t long enough to be considered an album. In a few circumstances, it’s only a song or two. A number of these are available for free, and I’ve attempted to include links of some sort for each regardless of price. Continue reading »