Apr 282018


(Here’s another edition of Andy Synn’s Saturday interview series in which the subject is metal lyrics.)

Unless you’ve been living under a rock like some quivering, spineless invertebrate (I might pay for that comment later), you’ll doubtless be aware of the great waves caused by the latest Slugdge album, Esoteric Malacology (which I already dubbed “a potential Album of the Year contender”).

Of course if you haven’t done so yet, you should check it out immediately, and then go back and check out the rest of the band’s back-catalogue too.

Once you’ve done that, and you’re suitably prepared in both body and mind, then – and only then – should you return here and delve into the following interview with the band’s vocalist Matt Moss, where he provides some seriously in-depth insight into both the method and the madness which together make up the band’s unique lyrical approach. Continue reading »

Jan 152018


In 1983 the U.S. Congress passed a bill by a veto-proof majority, subsequently signed into law by President Reagan, establishing Martin Luther King Day as an American federal holiday. It’s being observed here today in the U.S., though one wonders whether such a law would have been passed by the current Congress or signed by the current President, what with all the talk about shitholes and such.

Here in our own metallic shithole we’re conducting our own kind of observance, the kind that doesn’t depend on Acts of Congress or presidential largesse, but only on the continuing brain-blasting creativity of metal musicians, which seems never-ending. The torrent of new music since shortly after New Year’s Day has been kind of staggering. I may have to try to do one of these round-ups every day this week in an effort (one doomed to failure) to keep up.


My colleague Andy called Venom Prison’s debut album Animus “nothing less than a neck-wrecking explosion of audio ultra-violence that fans of Dying Fetus, Cryptopsy, and Cattle Decapitation should already be salivating over”. Roughly 18 months after that all-killer, no-filler advent, Prosthetic Records will reissue the album on February 23rd. To pave the way, the band released a new video late last week (via Revolver mag) for a track off the album called “Immanetize Eschaton“. Continue reading »

Feb 052016

Beastwars 2016


This week’s flood of scintillating new metal hasn’t crested yet. The last 24 hours brought even more electrifying new songs. I’ve collected five of them here for your listening pleasure.


I’m afraid I’ve reached a slavish level of devotion to the music of New Zealand’s Beastwars. I couldn’t be happier that 2016 will bring us a new album. The new one is entitled The Death Of All Things, and it’s the last installment in the post-apocalyptic trilogy the band have been constructing through their music. Continue reading »

Sep 232015

Varathron-The Confessional


This is one of those mornings where I’ve accumulated a lot of music over the last couple of days that I’d like to tell you about, but I don’t have enough time to do all the telling. So I’ve picked only three new things, which is what I have time for, and I picked this grouping because they provide variety, which someone said is the spice of life. Because time is short, I will also have to hold my own descriptive verbiage to a minimum.


One item of exciting news that appeared in recent days was the announcement that the Greek black metal titans in Varathron have a new, seven-track EP named The Confessional Of The Black Penitents that will be released by Agonia Records on October 23. Apart from the prospect of new music from this excellent band, I also enjoyed the cover art, since it happens to be a painting by Swiss painter and printmaker Carlos Schwabe (1866-1926) that I’ve used before as one of the daily art posts on the NCS Facebook page.

In addition to the news about the EP, Agonia began streaming a new track named “Sinister Recollections”. It’s one of three new songs on the EP — the other four are previously released songs recorded live in Larisa, Greece, on May 16, 2015. Continue reading »

Apr 242015


I kind of went crazy with the round-ups yesterday — three posts featuring newly discovered music by ten bands in one day — but I’m continuing to come across metal that gets me excited, so yes… here’s another round-up!  In fact, there are two of them today. After that I’ll probably have to make myself stop, at least briefly, so I can do something else. Maybe write a review of an entire EP or album? Eat something or go to the bathroom? Get a life?


I seem to be on an Art of Propaganda kick. Within the last week I’ve written about songs by two bands whose new releases are on that German label — Whiskey Ritual and Thornesbreed — and that’s on top of praise we showered on releases earlier this year by Infesting Swarm and Gloson. Now I have two more AoP bands to recommend, beginning with AZAVATAR. Continue reading »

Apr 152015


Yes, it’s true, we shove about 100 new songs in your face on a daily basis, but we know your face holds a lot of songs, so we need to keep shoving. Be sure to chew them well and don’t try to talk while you’re doing it, ’cause you could choke to death.


Surely you know about Gruesome by now, because we’ve certainly written about them enough, and we even premiered a song from their debut album Savage Land. They give new meaning to the phrase Total Death Worship.

As of yesterday, the whole album became available for streaming. I don’t know why you wouldn’t go listen to it, unless you’re in a coma, in which case we wish you a speedy recovery and a pain-free removal of the catheter. Don’t forget to share photos of that for our collection. We’re thinking about turning them into a large-format NCS coffee-table book, The Art of Catheter Removal.

Where was I?  Oh yeah, there’s a stream of Savage Land at Decibel. It’s an exclusive, so you and your catheter will need to go here to listen, and you’ll both be glad you did: Continue reading »

Oct 052014


The story of my blogging life: As I neared completion of this review, which I’ve been meaning to write since early summer, a friend of mine tossed off the following words on Facebook that put all my tediously crafted prose to shame: “Intergalactic riffing slugs! For the curious, imagine Akercocke, Carcass, and Morbid Angel having a love baby. And it’s a slug. From outer space. And it wants you dead.”


Slugdge is a two-man outfit from Preston, England, consisting of Matt Moss and Kev Pearson. What might first appear to be a typo in the band’s name is simply one of many manifestations of the band’s fixation with slugs: Their 2013 debut album was named Born of Slime, and their 2014 follow-up, Gastronomicon, includes song titles such as “Lettuce Prey”, “The Sound of Mucus”, “Invertehate”, and “Salters of Madness”. The band’s name is pronounced “Slug-j”. They seem to worship an entity named Mollusca.

Wait!  Don’t leave!  I can’t stand slugs either (they grow to the size of bananas around Puget Sound), and I tend to have a predisposed skepticism about the music of bands who prefer pun-filled song titles and generate a surface aura of goofiness. But trust me, you need this album in your life. It’s one of the year’s biggest and best surprises. Continue reading »