Feb 192022


Man, what a week. I couldn’t wait for it to end. One day after another when I got slammed by my fucking day job, a nasty reminder that NCS is a “hobby” for me (and everyone else here). It lives only when the rest of daily life permits it to live.

It didn’t take long before I had to abandon any close review of our in-box or other sources I turn to for new metal. I made no lists of new songs and videos to check out for a possible round-up, and I haven’t tried to catch up this morning. But I wanted to pick at least a few new songs to share at the site today, and wound up picking eight. I’ll tell you how I did that at the end of this post.


I decided to begin with “Grave Emperor“, a new single by this North Carolina death metal band, whose 2020 demo and 2021 EP Psychic Devastation I showered with praise when they came out. In the case of that EP I wrote: “These songs are so eccentric and intricately plotted that I’m tempted to call them ‘avant-garde’, but ‘progressive death metal’ is also certainly suitable (and you might be tempted to stick ‘blackened’ in there as well). Whatever label you might want to attach, it’s an exciting new work from a band that just get more and more worthy of very close attention.” Continue reading »

Apr 012021


This round-up includes seven bands, which is a lot. But except for two, there’s just a single track per band (in the remaining cases there are EPs). I included a curveball at the end.

DORDEDUH (Romania)

Two days ago Dordeduh premiered a beautiful English-subtitled lyric video for “Descânt” (“Disenchantment”), the second single from their new second album Har, which will be released by Prophecy Productions on May 14th. The previously released single is “Desferecat“, which translates to “unchained”. It was accompanied by a fascinating music video of its own. Both songs have a visceral “physicality” but also quicken the imagination as you listen. Here’s what former NCS contributor KevinP wrote me about them: Continue reading »

Mar 292020


At last, I’ve called a halt to my effort to pump so much new music into your ears that your brain drowns in it (though I still have plans for a SHADES OF BLACK column later today, so I guess I’m only pausing rather than stopping). Picking up from Part 2, the alphabetical ordering of bands continues here, R through V.


We begin with four tracks of roaring, howling, mind-warping death/grind courtesy of these North Carolina marauders. Veering between gargantuan roars and shattering screams, the vocals are truly ferocious; there’s a mountainous bass presence; and the riffing shifts from utterly crazed to sickeningly dismal and apocalyptically calamitous. The band inflict truly brutish, skull-flattening punishment; sometimes the distorted fretwork sounds like a giant excavation machine at work in a quarry; and they are equally adept at igniting conflagrations of ravaging chaos. Explosive and electrifying…. Continue reading »