Nov 072023

Photo by J Donovan Malley

Given that I’ve lived in the Seattle area for 28 years I tend to have… tender feelings… for Seattle metal bands. Especially the ones whose music makes me feel like I’m a piece of meat that’s being tenderized and then flame-broiled.

I’ve also had especially tender feelings for Rat King ever since being bowled over by a live show they played at Seattle’s Funhouse venue in 2017. That was my first exposure to the audio tornadoes and earthquaking upheavals generated by the Ecuadorian brothers Danny Racines (bass, vocals) and Ricky Racines (guitar, backup vocals) and their Nicaraguan drummer Carlos Delgado.

Since then they’ve moved from strength to greater strength with each release, the most recent of which is their album Psychotic Reality, which was released by the Satanik Royalty label at the end of September. It’s an album you shouldn’t miss, and in case you did we have a vivid reminder to catch up to it via our premiere today of a video for the song “Destroyer Of Us All“–well-timed to coincide with the band’s in-progress tour of the western U.S. Continue reading »

Dec 062021


In April 2017 at Seattle’s tiny Funhouse venue I witnessed one of the earliest live performances by Rat King (along with my first exposure to live performances by Seattle’s Rhine and Arizona’s Lago). I wrote about the show here, At that point Rat King was a complete unknown to me (the two key members, bassist/vocalist Daniel Racines and guitarist Ricardo Racines, had moved to Seattle from Ecuador), but they made an immediate positive impression.

At that point Rat King had a debut album (Garbage Island), an EP, and a split in their discography, and they released a second album (Vicious Inhumanity) in 2020. That second album reflected a change in style, moving toward a fast-paced and vicious blend of death metal and grind, and on their new EP Santa Hipocresía (set for release on December 10th via Within The Mind Records) they mainly stay in the fast and furious lane.

But not everything on the new EP is high-speed savagery, as you’ll discover through our video premiere today of a bludgeoning and sinister track called “Morboso” (“morbid” in English). Continue reading »

Oct 302021

I know I sound like a broken record, but this past week was a crazy one on all fronts for me, and so I did a piss-poor job keeping up with new metal, largely neglecting the NCS in-box and failing to make the usual list of candidates for round-ups. I did make that list this morning, but it took a ton of time, and I didn’t have much room left to dig very deep into it.

However, I dug deep enough to feel some inspiration about what to include in this compilation. I chose music from two Seattle bands that I happened to see in early live performance by both of them at the same show more than four years ago. I picked two more songs that came with Halloween-themed videos, because of course Halloween is tomorrow. And I chose a curveball to throw at the end.

I had a difficult time figuring out what to use as the opening song for the collection, but eventually settled on the one you’re about to witness, in part because of the video’s setting.

BESNA (Slovakia)

I guess Besna couldn’t find a barren warehouse for their live video for “Fúga“, so they had to make do with the ramparts of an ancient castle called Strečno in northern Slovakia, perched atop a 103-metre-high calcite cliff (it was also the location of a World War II battle between the German army and the Czechoslovak resistance). Continue reading »

Dec 272019


Christmas Day and the day after are usually quiet ones in the spheres of activity of which NCS is a part. The typical flood of press releases dwindles to a trickle, most other metal blogs are hibernating, and few bands or labels release new music. Eyes are elsewhere, many of them probably closed altogether.

However, I can’t resist taking advantage of the relative peace to check out odds and ends I’ve been waiting to explore, or have recently noticed for the first time. I guess it’s obvious that I can’t resist, given how much new music I’ve already thrown at you during this holiday week — but here’s more (don’t duck!):


I could have sworn I had written something about Worsen’s 2019 debut album Cursed To Witness Life, but can find no evidence of it. Add that to the list of excellent 2019 releases I’ve shamefully neglected. If you haven’t already sampled what that album has to offer, and you enjoy black metal, you should go here and give it a shot. As a couple of commenters wrote on that Bandcamp page I just linked you to: “Cold as hell, awesome melodies and in your face riffs”; “Haunting, beautiful, dark and utterly mesmerizing.”

What reminded me of Cursed To Witness Life was a new single that Worsen released on December 24th to commemorate the birthday, not of Jesus, but of Lemmy Kilmister, at whose altar many of us pray more often than the other guy’s. It’s a cover of Motörhead’s “Killed By Death”, and it’s fucking great. Continue reading »

May 102015


Yesterday I began a four-part round-up of new songs I discovered over the last 5 days — the first three parts are here, here, and here. Even after I started the project, I found more new tracks I’d like to throw your way. All of those are in the vein of black metal, so I think I’ll save them for a “Shades of Black” round-up that I’ll post tomorrow.

For this final installment of the weekend round-up I’m leading off with three bands in the vein of crust punk or death/crust and finishing with an instrumental project. I hope you’ll enjoy all of it as much as I have.


Last month both Portland, Oregon’s Vastation and Mutilated Veterans from A Coruña in the Galicia region of Spain uploaded to Bandcamp one of their respective contributions to a vinyl split that will be released this summer in extremely limited quantities by Morbid Reality Records. Both songs will kick your ass so hard that you’ll be shitting from between your shoulder blades after you hear them. Continue reading »

May 012015


Life is so unpredictable. Some days, it just rains shit in torrents. Other days, it’s almost magical. I had one of those magical days — actually, a magical night — earlier this week (April 29), when Lago, Rhine, and Rat King played in Seattle.

The show was at the resurrected Funhouse, which has now occupied the lounge at El Corazon. Lago (from Phoenix) have been touring the West Coast, and their Seattle stop was the occasion for this event. I’m a big fan of the band, and have been really impressed with Rhine’s recorded music too, so I was very curious to see what both bands would be like live. In my case, Rat King was a complete unknown.

To start with a summation: All three bands were fantastic. And although this is ostensibly a show review (with photos I snapped using my phone), it’s also intended as an introduction to our readers (or re-introduction) to the music of these bands; I’m including streams of their most recent releases along with my comments about their live sets. Continue reading »