Jan 042019

(At last, we reach the fifth and final installment of DGR’s 5-part year-end effort to sink our site beneath an avalanche of words and a deluge of music. It includes his Top 10 albums, plus a list of EPs, and one final non-metal entry.)

Here we go into the final installment. One last grouping of albums and one last collection of thudding riffs, heavy guitars, and enough drumwork to leave one’s head spinning by the time it wraps up.

This final ten is all over the place, in terms of both genre and location. My lists tend to be pretty international always, but the consistent bouncing back and forth that is happening in this part has proven to be entertaining in its own right.

This group also reveals just how much of 2018 turned out to be the year of cathartic release for me. Alongside all the genre-bending, all the experimentation, and all of the well-executed groove, I found that every once in a while this year a disc would hit that would just boil down to a half-hour-plus of yelling, and I would relish every single second of it. I’m sure we could credit that to the wider situation of the world these days but I’ve also always been a sucker for turning music into an instrument of release, and for some reason that approach won me over hard this year.

So let’s begin with the final ten, and then a grouping of EPs I enjoyed this year, my final non-metal (ish) release recommendation, and a small (ish) closing paragraph… because why would I ever stop typing after just finishing the final ten?

That’s for crazy people. Continue reading »

May 212018


(The Finnish grindcrushers in Rotten Sound released a new EP via Season of Mist on May 18th, and DGR gives it a detailed review here.)

Rotten Sound’s 2016 album Abuse To Suffer is one of the better examples of a neatly packaged album of grind out there to date, with the band having seemingly found a near-perfect length for their latest vitriolic blast-beast to unleash upon the world. Like many of their songs, Abuse To Suffer ends almost as suddenly as it begins with an almost perfunctory pop of the snare to finally send things off, neatly tying off the near half-hour you get with the Finnish speaker destroyers. Which means that the group’s latest EP — Suffer To Abuse — makes for an interesting proposition, arriving nearly two years after its predecessor and picking up right where the band left off, as if the Rotten Sound crew just couldn’t let go of that disc just yet and so dished out another eleven minutes (spread across seven songs) of hyper-fast and ultra-precise grindcore, leaning heavily on the circle-pit aspect of the -core sound.

The limited edition EP, which saw a staggered release between Europe and North America (for whatever nightmarish reasons, and not the first group this has happened to this year — Centinex also had a month between continents with their disc Chaos Manifesto), can be neatly summed up as exactly what you want you from the group — another quick expulsion of sound that remains relentless throughout, with just enough sludge around the edges to add a little dirt to the group’s latest sweat-fest. Continue reading »

Feb 212018


In the first part of today’s two-part round-up of recommended new music I selected songs that included clean as well as harsh vocals. In this one, it’s all unmitigated savagery… but the savagery comes in varied exciting forms. I really, really like all six of these tracks, and hope you’ll get just as fired up about them as I have.


The Finnish grind merchants Rotten Sound, who are favorites around our crumbling domain here at NCS, have a new EP named Suffer to Abuse slated for release by Season of Mist on April 13th in Europe, and on May 18th in North America, because the bastard step-children must apparently wait their turn. Fortunately, we were served at the same time as everyone else with the EP’s first single, “Harvester of Boredom“. Continue reading »

May 242017

Tau Cross


As I begin typing these words I’m on an airplane just entering the air space of Michigan, and if all goes well will be landing in Baltimore in 1 hour and 52 minutes. Maryland Deathfest awaits.

I spent the first part of the flight scrolling through the NCS in-box, adding to my very long list of music to check out. As you know, that’s a ridiculously long list. I don’t expect to get much blogging done while MDF is in progress, so I impulsively decided to write this thing.

Since the wi-fi on this jet isn’t good enough to permit streaming, I haven’t heard most of what I’m putting in this post, nearly all of which I found during that e-mail reconnaissance. I encourage you to leave a comment with reactions, since I have almost none (so far). Continue reading »

Mar 082016

Rotten Sound-Abuse To Suffer


The life expectancy of most metal bands is not much more than that of a child born in a gutter as the Black Plague was sweeping Europe. Those that have survived to see their 20s are often crippled, exhausted, and only going through the motions. And then there’s Rotten Sound.

Born in 1993, they’ve now marked the start of their third decade with a new album named Abuse To Suffer, which will be released by Season of Mist on March 25. If we could harness the energy on these 16 tracks, we could kiss fossil fuels good-by and power our cities and gas-guzzlers on nothing but… rotten sound. Countless grindcore bands (and combatants in other genres as well) have been influenced by this one’s combination of incendiary speed and skull-cleaving heaviness. Maybe it’s like being chased by your children (if they were cannibals wielding knives), because Rotten Sound just seem to run faster, harder, and angrier than ever.

What we have for you today is the debut of a full stream of Abuse To Suffer — but that’s not all. We’ve also got a track-by-track commentary below the stream from the members of the band: Keijo Niinimaa (vocals), Mika Aalto (guitar), Sami Latva (drums), and Kristian Toivainen (bass). Read that, so you can find out about the song with a rap influence, the one built on a riff received from Tommy Iommi in a dream, and what kind of music you make after two bottles of Czech Bozkov Tuzemsky Rum. Continue reading »

Sep 042013

(Andy Synn delivers this review of the second day at the recently completed Summer Breeze festival in Germany, and again provides video of the performances. To see his review of the festival’s first day, go here. We’ll have Part 3 of his review tomorrow.)

Day 2 of the festival kicked off (for me at least) with some pure blackened misanthropy courtesy of France’s Merrimack who proceeded to shake the cobwebs out of everyone’s brains with an esoteric take on panzerfaust black metal blasting that recalls Deathspell Omega in places (though considerably more focussed and violent).

The band’s frontman Vestal was a particularly difficult figure to look away from, screeching his savage hymns of depravity whilst physically flagellating himself with both his mic and his bare fists. Combine this with the band’s relentless delivery – all jagged edges and harsh, ecliptic angles, and you get one singularly uncomfortable, yet incredibly compelling, live experience. Continue reading »

Jan 042013

Rotten Sound’s new six-song EP Species At War is scheduled for release by Relapse Records on January 22 in North America. Yesterday TheMadIsraeli and I had the privilege of listening to the EP, and after calmly reflecting upon it, we each had some thoughts about the experience that we wish to share with you.


Some collections of music serve as nothing else but a vessel through which the hand of God himself smites you with a swarm of cannibalistic locusts with teeth soaked in battery acid.  This EP is literally the sonic equivalent of being punished for your sins.

I mean, you think you’re some tough motherfucker right?  You ain’t above punchin’ rats.  You don’t give two fucks.  I’m afraid, however, Rotten Sound begs to differ.  From the opening salvo of “Cause”, which turns itself into weaponized audio, filling the listener full of holes and eventually obliterating you like an AA12 (for those who don’t know, that’s a fucking fully automatic shotgun), Species At War serves more as an epic-length single song by grindcore standards, split into parts, eight minutes in total of total fucking… I don’t even.

First must-own EP of 2013. Get it. We all deserve this kind of beatdown once in awhile. Continue reading »

Dec 122012

Today is a milestone day. It’s really just an unusual alignment of numbers in the Western world’s completely arbitrary way of measuring the passage of time on a calendar, but it’s cool nonetheless: The last 100% repetitive date that most humans now alive will ever see. It’s a long wait until January 1, 2101.

So, how shall we commemorate this arbitrary milestone? In the same way we commemorate the advent of every blessed new day: with some fucken metal. Here are a few things that caught my eyes and ears since last night (and we’ll also have an eviscerating video premiere by Krisiun coming up soon).


We have flogged the name Infant Annihilator mercilessly since discovering their artistic, bunghole-plugging video for “Decapitation Fornication”. And now the day has arrived when the band’s debut album The Palpable Leprosy of Pollution has been vomited forth in a steady stream of incendiary munitions and vocal filth guaranteed to fracture spines and necrotize flesh.

After the jump, press play — and then duck and cover. You can buy the album on Bandcamp via this link. Continue reading »

Feb 012011

The first month of the year has come and gone. January brought those of us in Seattle some typically ass-sucking winter weather, though it wasn’t nearly as bad as the brutality dished out by the weather gods on our metal brothers and sisters in the Midwest and Northeast of the U.S. And of course, our readers ins places like Russia, and Finland, and Sweden are probably laughing their asses off reading our complaints about our winter weather. So, we’ll just shut up about that.

Besides, January brought all sorts of great new metal to our tender ears, so who gives a shit about the weather anyway? And you know what else January brought? It brought news of still more metal goodness on the way — great bursts of audio sunshine in our collective futures that will part these winter clouds and leave them whimpering in cloudy tatters.

Okay, maybe we should leave poetry to the poets and just get on with this next monthly installment of METAL IN THE FORGE, where we collect news blurbs and press releases we’ve seen over the last 30 days about forthcoming new albums from bands we know and like, or from bands that look interesting, even though we don’t know them yet. And in this post, we’ve cut and pasted the announcements and compiled them in alphabetical order. Look for your favorite bands, or get intrigued about some new ones:

AJATARRA: “AJATTARA — the Finnish band featuring former AMORPHIS frontman Pasi Koskinen (a.k.a. Itse Ruoja Suruntuoj) — will release its seventh album, Murhat (“Murders”) on February 2 via Osasto-A Records. Murhat is available for streaming in its entirety on the AJATTARA Facebook page.”  (much more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Jan 202011

This will be quick because my fucking day job calls.

“Heavy” is a word we apply to some forms of metal but not others. Howl is heavy. Very fucking heavy. Up above is video evidence of that fact. It’s high-quality footage of the band playing at SXSW. There are three songs on this video: “Heavenless”, “Oma”, and “Horns of Steel”.  If you’re interested in more info about this band, you can check out our review of their 2010 album Full of Hell here.

UPDATE: The fucking embed code to that Roxwel video doesn’t appear to work. You should still watch the video, though I almost hate to send you to the Roxwel site because they pretend to give you an embed code, but it doesn’t fucking work. But I like HOWL well enough to provide the link anyway. Here it is.

But wait, there’s more. After the jump, we’ve got a just-released song from Finland’s Rotten Sound off their forthcoming new album Cursed. Listen to it and let us know what you think.  Gotta go now. Continue reading »