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 »

Nov 292013

I may have mentioned that I’m on vacation through December 8. In addition to not writing much for NCS, I’ve also largely abandoned my daily routine of reading press releases and roaming the web looking for metal news and video or song premieres to feature on the site. However, today some of my NCS comrades gave me a slew of links that together make a tidy package of extremely diverse new things worth writing about.


First, Andy Synn wrote me as follows: “New Kampfar. Put that in your pipe and smoke it”. I tried to smoke it, but the song smoked me instead. It’s name is “Mylder”, and it will appear on this excellent Norwegian band’s new album Djevelmakt, due for release on January 21 via Indie Recordings.

If I could shriek “Helvete!” like Kampfar’s vocalist, I would, because that’s what I want to do when I listen to “Mylder”. It’s an electrifying, dynamic song — with plenty of reaping, roaring, stomping, and jabbing, but also infiltrated with an ethereal flute melody (among other unexpected elements). It’s a great combination of black metal savagery and memorable songwriting. Djevelmakt can’t come soon enough. Continue reading »

Jan 042013

Herein: an assortment of new music and one new video I discovered over the last 24 hours from a couple of bands previously featured at NCS and a couple of newcomers.  Varied and interesting stuff all the way around.


This band from Phoenix is one of the newcomers. According to Metal Archives, they released a five-song EP (Marianas) via Pale Horse Recordings in 2010, which I haven’t heard yet, and then last month they released a new two-song demo entitled Tyranny. Last night I saw a recommendation of Tyranny from one of my Facebook friends and decided to give it a spin. Sure glad I did.

On Tyranny, Lago deliver something that sounds like a cross between old-school Morbid Angel and late-stage Behemoth, plus interesting elements that you won’t find in the music of either of those bands, such as the noodling bass notes and incredible guitar solo in “The Tyranny of Men”.  Both songs are rhythmically dynamic (and rhythmically compulsive) and expertly played. And the vocals are also deep as ocean trenches and monstrous, in the vein of something like Disma’s Craig Pillard (though some banshee shrieking also makes a brief appearance in the second song).

This is really fuckin’ impressive stuff! Continue reading »

Aug 302012

Riven, the 2011 album by Germany’s Satyros, was one of my favorites from last year. The band self-released it last March, and I posted this review in April. I also included one of its tracks on our list of 2011′s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs (here). It was an ambitious undertaking, a true musical journey consisting of 12 songs and approximately an hour’s worth of diverse music that took years to create, and yet the band released it for free download on Bandcamp — as they have with everything they’ve released to date.

Satyros are now working on their third album, but in the meantime they’ve started a new project, the concept of which is just as interesting as the music. They call it the Open-Anthology-Project, and its first product is an EP named The Dirt of Ages, which Satyros put up on Bandcamp yesterday to celebrate their 7th anniversary as a band. For the EP, the band assembled three songs not included in their previous works — but this is only the beginning.

Satyros intend to use the project as a vehicle for releasing future songs that would not be part of albums. As the band explain, “This allows us even more artistic freedom to experiment with new sounds, styles, and blends of genres than before, apart from our songwriting for upcoming full-length outputs.”

This is a cool idea, and one that I hope catches on with more bands. My sense is that most bands create music that for one reason or another never make it onto an album or EP, maybe because it diverges from the musical style that identifies the band or perhaps because it doesn’t fit within the concept or arrangement of music on a larger release. But if the band is nevertheless satisfied with the music, giving it away on Bandcamp (or some other platform) could benefit fans as well as giving the band an added vehicle for ongoing creative expression.  Continue reading »

Feb 152012

Demonic Resurrection (India) and Satyros (Germany) are two bands we’ve been following for a while at NCS, and they both have some recent news I thought was worth sharing, in part because they’re further examples of how the business of metal is changing.


I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that DR is currently India’s best-known and most popular extreme metal band. They’re been riding a wave of deserved recognition that has been surging since the release of their third album, The Return To Darkness, in 2010.

On February 8, the band announced their goal of making a self-financed music video and soliciting financial help from fans. Other bands have been using the Kickstarter or Pledge Music web sites as vehicles for raising money for projects such as videos, the recording of new albums, transferring releases to vinyl, and even buying vehicles to make touring possible. Those sites weren’t ideal for India-based DR because they collect funds in dollars and require payment by credit cards (which many DR fans don’t have). So, DR partnered with a local music webzine called India Music Revolution to run the project.

They set a goal of raising 100,000 Indian rupees (about $2,000), and offered various reward packages depending on the level of commitment. Just a little more than 48 hours later — 48 hours — DR announced that they had met their funding goal. That speaks pretty loudly about the dedication and support of DR fans. But people can still donate to the project, and DR is now offering further inducements to keep the pledges coming in. Continue reading »

Jan 102012

This is Part 16 of our list of the most infectious extreme metal songs released this year. Each day until the list is finished, I’m posting two songs that made the cut. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the Introduction via this link. To see the selections that preceded this one, click the Category link on the right side of the page called MOST INFECTIOUS SONGS-2011.

Today’s first song was an early and easy pick for this list — hands down, it’s one of my favorite songs of 2011. It’s only emerging as an addition to the list at this late date because I first wanted to finish a review of the album from whence it comes — which I finally accomplished as of today. The second song was also an early favorite, but I’ve had it in my head to pair these songs together, for reasons I’ll try to explain. Here we go:


There’s not much I need to say here about this band’s 2011 album Rengeteg, because earlier today I posted a detailed review of it. In a nutshell, it was one of my favorite albums of 2011 — maybe even my most favorite. It’s an odd feeling to have, because the vast majority of the singing is clean and many of the songs are not what anyone would consider “extreme metal” — but that’s my honest reaction to the music. Continue reading »

Apr 252011

Satyros is a three-piece German band established in 2005. Initially, the focus of their musical endeavors was black metal, the style reflected in their 2007 self-titled debut. However, they made significant changes in their style as they began to write songs for the second full-length, Riven. That album has now been released, and the band has chosen to make it available for free download. In a word, it’s stunning.

More than a few music industry observers have been opining that as consumers increasingly get their music by way of digital downloads (both legit and illegit), CDs will become a thing of the past, and albums will, too. Their forecast is that the current trend of people buying individual songs in digital form will strengthen, and that the recording of full albums will eventually wither away, not being worth the time or the money.

These forecasts may prove to be accurate in the case of many musical genres, and even in the realm of metal, it does seem that more and more bands are releasing EPs in lieu of full-length albums, in part because that enables bands to keep their fans engaged by presenting new music more frequently than if they waited to amass a full album’s worth of new songs. It’s also tough to deny that most albums don’t contain a full album’s worth of great songs. Sometimes bands would better off by releasing an EP-length collection of good material rather than straining to fill a full-length with an uneven compilation of music.

On the other hand, albums like Riven make me hope those industry forecasts turn out to be wrong, at least for metal. Riven is approximately one hour in length, encompassing 12 songs, and every song is strong — all killer and no filler. The album takes the listener on a journey, as good albums should, and this is a journey that’s well worth that hour of your time.  (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »