Jan 082019
 

 

Well, my fine feathered fiends, here we go again: For the 10th straight year we present our list of the preceding year’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs.

I’m going to dispense with repeating the operative definition of what I think makes a song “infectious”; if you’re encountering this series for the first time, go here to see that. But I will remind you what I do to compile the list, and why I currently have no idea how long it will be or precisely when the rollout will end.

The universe of songs I’ve considered includes a list of candidates that I began at the start of 2018 and continued expanding as the year progressed. It also includes recommendations from my colleague DGR (he’s the only staff writer who makes suggestions each year, bless his pointy long-haired head). And it includes every suggestion made by our readers in response to my invitation, in the comments to this post. When you add it all up, that universe of candidates that’s now sitting in front of me includes nearly 600 songs. 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 »

Dec 132018
 

 

(Andy Synn‘s week-long round-up of metal in 2018 continues with this list of his picks for the year’s ten best albums across a range of metal genres — one of which hasn’t been released yet and is reviewed here.)

It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that any attempt to craft a “Top Ten” list that represents the wide variety and near-infinite density of the modern Extreme Metal scene is doomed to failure. There’s simply too much of it, too many different competing styles and sub-genres, for a mere ten albums to cover.

That doesn’t stop me trying every year though, so what you’re about to read is my latest effort to capture a clean snapshot of the very best of the best from the past twelve months.

Interestingly this list seems to differ significantly from the various other sites and zines I’ve been keeping an eye on, though that’s not by conscious design. It also skews in a surprisingly “progressive” direction overall, which is not something I anticipated when I first began trying to piece it together, with a massive 70% of the albums featured here making use of clean vocals in some form or another.

In demographic terms, this year’s list features two entries from the USA, two entries from Germany, one from Portugal, one from Iceland, and three from the UK – which, again, wasn’t by design – as well as one international collective whose members come from all across Europe.

It also runs the gamut of practically the entire twelve-month period, with the “oldest” album on here having been released all the way back in the first week of January, while the “youngest” entry won’t even be out until the 21st of December! Continue reading »

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.

VENOM PRISON

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.

BEASTWARS

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.

VARATHRON

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?

AZAVATAR

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.

GRUESOME

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 »