Sep 012012

In February 2010, when NCS was only three months old, I stumbled across a mind-bending Italian band named Psychofagist and enthusiastically reviewed their second album, II secondo tragico, which had been released in November 2009 by an online record label named Subordinate Recordings. To quote myself (always an enjoyable activity):

“This noise howls and shrieks, stops and turns in sharp angles, screams in the piercing wail of a saxophone being tortured within an inch of its life, and then breaks down into a gloomy, meandering trek through a surreal landscape. . . . The drums and the bass careen unpredictably from wall to wall with power – you feel like ducking lest your head come off. The guitars scream furiously or shudder in desperation or mutter like the muted ravings of the insane. No consistent rhythms here. No headbanging riffage to be found. Just a pummeling but erratic sonic assault that keeps you constantly off-balance. . . . Oh, and did I mention the banjo on ‘Defragmentation Rotunda’? And there’s a flute in the mix somewhere too.”

The music was dramatically variable, dynamically unhinged, and like nothing else I had heard before. But despite how amazing I thought the album was, I lost track of Psychofagist until TheMadIsraeli sent me an e-mail today recommending a Psychofagist song called “Apophtegma Non-Sense”. It turns out that song is one of five that Psychofagist contributed to a January 2012 split with that excellent Polish grind unit, Antigama. The split was also released by Subordinate and its title is 9 Psalms of An Antimusic To Come.

Happily, the Psychofagist tracks are available on Bandcamp. Happily, the music is just as amazingly fucked up as ever. Continue reading »

Feb 182010

Earlier this week we began a 3-part post about some technically proficient bands we’ve discovered in the last few months who’ve pushed the extreme metal envelope by incorporating unusual elements into their music.  They’re not well known in the U.S., but we think they’re worth your time. In Part 1, we wrote about a mind-blowing band from Rome called Carnal Rapture. We devoted Part 2 to a head-turning band from the Phillipines called Bloodshedd. Today we return to Italy for Psychofagist.


Last week we wrote about a Norwegian band called Shining and their latest album called Blackjazz.  We thought that collection of songs was wild in every sense of the word. We thought it would be a long time before we encountered anything quite so inventively insane. Well, we were wrong. It only took a week. During that week, we stumbled on II secondo tragico, the second full-length release by Psychofagist on the Subordinate label.

How to describe this? Imagine that extreme metal is a river all its own, with branching tributaries.  The main current is fast and strong, fed with snow melt or heavy rain and rushing with power beneath overhanging trees that shroud it in darkness most of the time. (continue reading after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Feb 162010

Those of you who’ve been visiting us regularly know that we tend to write more about little known bands than about the household names. By doing that, we hope to turn you on to music you might not otherwise find, which would be one of the few genuinely useful things we could do for you (other than make you smile every now and then).

Some of our recommendations have been more off the beaten path than others. The more we listen to extreme metal, the more we want a taste of something different and innovative. We haven’t let go of the more conventional shit (and in extreme metal, “conventional” is necessarily a relative term). But as time passes, we’re just moving further out into the gnarly frontier where weird beasts roam a surreal landscape, and sometimes our recommendations reflect that.

A few random cases in point: Carnal RaptureBloodshedd, and Psychofagist. These are technically proficient bands we’ve discovered in the last few months who’ve pushed the extreme metal envelope by incorporating some unusual elements into their music.  You might not have heard of them before, but we think they’re worth your consideration. We’ll focus on one band per day for the next three days, and as usual, we’ll stream some cuts so you don’t have to just take our word for it.


This unsigned band from Rome has been around under different names and with different personnel since 1992. The latest output from the latest line-up is an astonishing five-track EP called promo 2008.

Vince Neilstein at Metal Sucks has been carrying the flag for this band in the U.S., writing in December that the 2008 promo EP “still stands as the best demo I’ve heard all year from any independent metal band, anywhere in the world.” In the same month, Chris Catharsis at Spinelanguage also published a truly fascinating interview with the only original member, vocalist/guitarist Emilio Trilló.

Despite this attention, the band is still unsigned, and we still fucking love the music. So it’s only fair that we add our small voice to the chorus. (much more, after the jump . . .) Continue reading »