Sep 082014


(NCS contributor KevinP shares his latest quarterly round-up of albums that he commends to your ears.) 

We’re getting toward the end of the year and the amount of quality releases hasn’t slowed down one bit.  And there are even more to come as well (Wolfheart, At the Gates, Bloodbath to name a few just off the top of my head).  Here’s 5 more albums you should defintely check out.

Majestic Downfall/The Slow Death split

Once this is officially released on September 15th, you should be able to hear all 6 songs (3 by each band), but one listen to the Majestic Downfall track, “The Dark Lullaby”, should give you all you need to know.  The Slow Death is no slouch on this by any means.  Very good and competent funeral-esque doom.  So I don’t blather too much, start listening and see my review here [Editor’s intrusion: I don’t know why I’m letting Kevin link to his own review. I’m going to review this split and it’s the only one you’ll need to read.] Continue reading »

Aug 262014

I haven’t written one of these round-ups since late last week, and much has happened on the metal front since then, so I’m cramming quite a few items into this post that I thought were worth sharing. It’s a jumbo-sized playlist that should appeal to many tastes (and I still didn’t include every good thing I found!).


In late July, the super-talented drummer of Vancouver’s Baptists, Nick Yacyshyn, gave an interview to CVLT Nation in which he mentioned that he had recently spent a week writing, rehearsing, and recording with Aaron Turner (Old Man Gloom, Mamiffer, and Isis [the BAND, ferchrissakes]. He also posted a photo of Aaron Turner’s drum kit on his Facebook page, and he further mentioned that Brian Cook of Russian Circles, These Arms Are Snakes, and Botch was also involved in the project.

This juicy piece of news wasn’t widely reported, but yesterday brought further details via a Facebook announcement by Profound Lore. According to that announcement, the project’s name is Sumac; its core members do indeed consist of Yacyshyn, Turner, and Cook; and Profound Lore will be releasing Sumac’s “monumentally heavy debut album” in early 2015.

I’d call that some hot shit news. Continue reading »

Mar 092014

(In this post our guest Kunal Choksi (Transcending Obscurity) puts the spotlight on three up-and-coming death metal bands from Russia.)

Without delving into the purely “brutal” aspect of things, let’s throw some light on the Death Metal scene in Russia. Sure there have been bands in the past, some good ones too, like Merlin and Barbarity as well as the middling ones, but the newer ones are game-changers.  No longer do you have to contend with giving Russian Death Metal bands “old school” credit, some nostalgic or primitive value. Admittedly, that forms a part of the scene’s sound and that’s fine, as long as it’s not remaining primitive in terms of quality. Three Russian bands lead the scene in my humble opinion and all of them have achieved reasonable success with at least one release under their belts.

ODEM (Daemon Worship Productions)

Odem leads the pack with its unique blackened influences and a blend of aggressive and semi-technical Death Metal, with elements of modern brutality as well. Their sound is innovative in ways that American bands are often loath to do. Continue reading »

Sep 162013

Over the last 36 hours, your humble editor has been preoccupied with matters of both great importance and trivial insignificance, i.e., one being Seahawks football and the other being the demands of my paying job, and of course you know which is which, am I right? While these matters were distracting me from the glorious world of metal, it turns out that a flood of new things swept through the byways of the interhole. At this point, I don’t have time to collect everything of interest that I found, but I thought I’d at least throw two of them your way, selected in order to provide contrast. I’ll round up the rest for a post tomorrow morning.


In June I reviewed (here) a new split by Pyre from St. Petersburg, Russia, and Entrapment from The Netherlands. That was only the second release by Pyre (it followed their 2012 EP, Ravenous Decease), but I was mighty impressed. And now I’m impressed all over again.

Today they released a new 2013 demo track called “We Came To Spill Thy Blood”. So far, I haven’t found that any of my own has been spilled, but the song certainly did accelerate its transit through my veins and arteries. The song reminds me of Wolverine Blues-era Entombed. It has that old school guitar tone, riffs galore, and rhythms that will get your head nodding and your feet moving. The vocals still remind me of LG Petrov. Continue reading »

Jun 232013

Last month the Dutch label/distro Soulseller Records released a 45 rpm black vinyl split featuring two songs each from Pyre (Russia) and Entrapment (The Netherlands). I don’t have the vinyl — yet — but I did discover all four of the songs on Bandcamp, and what a discovery that proved to be. I admit that I have a real weak spot for the style of metal both bands play; more accurately, it’s a G-spot (or at least the male equivalent thereof). But even making allowances for my predisposition toward this kind of music, what both bands have done here is impressive.

The genre to which I’m referring is old school, Swedish-style, metal of fucking death. I hasten to add that Pyre and Entrapment do not sound like clones of each other. Although both bands have obviously plunged their hands up to the elbows in the river of gore that spread out from late-80’s/early 90’s Stockholm, they have very distinctive takes on the tradition, and there are some nods to Autopsy and NYDM in the music, too.


Pyre are based in St. Petersburg, and this is only their second release (the first was a 2012 EP, Ravenous Decease), but man, they already sound like they’ve been at this for a long time. “Destined To Die” is a hard-rocking, punk-fueled rampage that gets the neck snapping immediately. The guitars and bass are stuffed full of HM-2 distortion, the gut-punch drumming is pitch-perfect for this kind of music, and the vocalist sounds a helluva lot like LG Petrov. Very nice screaming guitar solo in this one, too. Continue reading »