Apr 042023

(Here’s DGR‘s review of the new album by Finland’s Rotten Sound, which is out now on Season of Mist.)

The thing to keep in mind with Rotten Sound‘s newest album Apocalypse – arriving almost five years after the group’s last recorded material in the 2018 EP Suffer To Abuse and almost seven years if you want to stick strictly to full lengths in 2016’s Abuse To Suffer – is that it is the sort of grind album that starts and stops. That makes no sense, you say, every album has a beginning and end, what sort of difference does an album starting and stopping have to do with the descriptor of an album?

To refine it a bit, let’s treat Apocalypse this way: There is no build up to Apocalypse and there is no wind-down in Apocalypse, at any point, at all. You hit ‘play’ on the album’s first song and Rotten Sound are already screaming at a thousand miles an hour and every song after that does the same. The start/stop mechanism is the most perfunctory in existence. It’s a quick blast of feedback and the song is over with not a single song getting close to the two-minute mark. Continue reading »

Feb 152023

I’m very happy about all the music in this mid-week roundup. I’m also very happy about the way it all lines up.

A big part of the fun of doing these collections is not just finding new songs and videos that I think are worth recommending, but also choosing the ones that either flow together well or instead ricochet off each other in unexpected ways. There’s a little bit of both strategies in what I chose for today, but mainly this roundup is designed to quickly elevate your adrenaline and then keep it surging. Lots of good cover art today as well.


I searched out the first time we wrote about Thuldandra at this site. It was in June 2010, when NCS was barely seven months old. The occasion was an extensive review of the band’s 2010 debut album Fallen Angel’s Dominion, in which I included an extensive discussion of the band’s back-story, with notes about the C.S. Lewis space trilogy that was the source of their name. It was evident even then that they held the potential of becoming the truest heirs of Dissection. Continue reading »

Dec 162022

I’ve been reading my friend Andy‘s writing about metal for more than a decade, and even so, what he’s done this week had been mind-boggling. I marveled at how much music he listened to this year and at his ability to make year-end selections, organize them, and write about them distinctively. I mean hell, I marvel at how much time it must have taken him just to put all the embedded links to the streams in his articles this week!

All of which is to say that his week-long series of lists deserves the spotlight, and deserves all the time it would take you to go through them and make your own discoveries. His series ends today, but LISTMANIA will roll on next week as we begin posting year-end lists from other NCS contributors, including the annual five-part list from DGR.

Last weekend I announced that, by design, we wouldn’t have the normal volume of premieres on the calendar this week in order to keep the focus on Andy‘s series (and a few lists I’ve shared from “big platform” sites). I thought I might take advantage of the lull in premieres by compiling more new-music roundups during the week than I can usually manage. I admit that does seem a bit inconsistent with the goal of keeping the focus on year-end lists, but the lure of spreading the word about new music is a powerful one.

I did manage to get a roundup done on Monday, but failed at the next chance on Wednesday because of interference from paying work. Today, as you can see, I was able to follow through. I’ve also got things lined up for the usual Saturday roundup too. Continue reading »

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 »