Jun 112018


We make a valiant effort to write about all or part of as many good new releases as we can each year, but despite our best efforts we’re not able to devote attention to everything we enjoy. Our cadre of regular and irregular writers is small in number, and since NCS is a labor of lust rather than an actual job or business, we must occasionally devote time to distractions such as paying work, loved ones, food, water, trips to the toilet, and sleep. I would say “we’re only human”, but of course you know we’re superhuman, just not yet godlike.

Given the unavoidable constrictions on our time and attention spans, I’ve decided (in my capacity as benevolent dictator in charge of what gets posted at NCS) that we should start sharing what people who toil at other metal forums have to say about releases we’ve neglected. This “Other Voices” series won’t necessarily happen on a regular basis, and perhaps not even weekly, but I do mean to keep it going.

To inaugurate the series I’m turning to a review penned by New Zealand-based writer Craig Hayes, who has enriched NCS with his reviews in the past but whose main outlet is his excellent blog Six Noises, where he recently posted a review of the new album by Bridge Burner, which was released on May 31. To read all of it (as you should), go HERE. What follows are excerpts, along with a stream of the music. Continue reading »

Feb 012018


(We welcome back New Zealand writer Craig Hayes (Six Noises), who brings us this review of the new album by NZ’s Bulletbelt, which was released through Bandcamp just a few days ago.)


Nine Centuries is the latest hard-hitting release from New Zealand black/thrash metallers Bulletbelt. Much like their high-octane pals Midnight, Bulletbelt mine metal’s core aesthetics, and Nine Centuries duly features plenty of battle-vested and spiked-gauntleted oomph. Interestingly, though, the rip-roaring album is also somewhat bittersweet. Because Nine Centuries marks Bulletbelt’s final album with vocalist Jolene Tempest.

Tempest exited Bulletbelt late last year, along with guitarist Seth Jackson, and while singers come and go from bands all the time, Tempest’s leaving is certainly notable because her performance on Nine Centuries is so confident and impassioned. Tempest originally joined Bulletbelt not long before they recorded their second album, 2014’s Rise of the Banshee, and that release showcased the band’s burning ambitions like never before. Continue reading »