Oct 232020
 

 

(Another work-week is ending, and Gonzo again helps usher it out with a selection of new songs and videos from forthcoming or just-released records.)

It only dawned on me this morning that we’re a week away from November, and given that most of this year has felt like floating in some nebulous void in an endlessly dystopian universe, that was a weird thought.

Even as snow falls just south of my Colorado home as I type this, wildfires continue to burn just north and west of me. It’s a confounding juxtaposition of fire and ice that’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. Just another day in 2020, I suppose. With any luck, the plummeting temperatures and prevailing snowfall will help extinguish the flames that have been turning the sky into an unsettling shade of apocalyptic as of late.

All that being said, here’s a few bangers this Friday to make you forget how fucked up the world is right now. Continue reading »

Jan 042019
 


Photo by Stephansdotter Photography

 

(This is Andy Synn‘s review of the new 11th album by Sweden’s Soilwork, which will be released on January 11 by Nuclear Blast.)

One thing which you may have noticed, if you’ve been visiting NCS consistently for any length of time, is that we sometimes purposefully refrain from covering what you might think of as “the big names” in Metal.

Largely this is because we feel that our time would be better spent focussing on smaller, and less well-exposed artists, but also due to the fact that these “bigger” bands invariably receive so much attention and fawning flattery (in fact I’ve just recently stumbled across a few suspiciously sycophantic reviews which seemed like they’d been half-written before even hearing the album), that any attempt on our part to offer a more nuanced or critical appraisal would likely just get ignored and lost in the flood.

Still, every so often one of us will stumble upon a particular take or angle that they feel compelled to follow up on, which is why you’re about to read my review of the soon-to-be-released eleventh album from those stalwart Swedes known as Soilwork.

Be warned though, if you’re expecting nothing but blind praise based on the band’s name-value alone, then you might want to look elsewhere. If you’re after a more measured appraisal of the album’s pros and cons, however, then please, read on. Continue reading »

Jul 052016
 

Belakor-Vessels

 

(DGR presents this round-up of new music, which completes a two-part post that he began here.)

I joked in the previous collection that I wrote that the flood of music which hit in June was a little hilarious. There’s been so much that it feels like I’ve become a giant net in which news lands and then I dump the whole thing upon this site for users to romp around in, and guess what? The comedic flood of music continues unabated with Round Two of our roundup.

We posted Round One last week, and the dredging of the internet continues as we dig for more music videos/song streams/full album streams to talk about. This time around the collection is actually pretty Europe-heavy, with our one huge divergence being a trip out to Australia — which happens to be our lead-off as well. The collection of bands this time around also features one newer discovery and also a check-in with a band who haven’t had some stuff out in some time.

Be’lakor – Smoke Of Many Fires and Vessels Album Stream

We’ve reviewed Be’lakor’s Vessels already, and I share Andy’s opinion that Vessels is a really good album, but recent weeks have brought even more news — though I can now keep this a little more truncated. One is that the band premiered a lyric video for the song “Smoke Of Many Fires” over at Horror Society, and two, if you prefer your music streams less lyric-video-heavy, Bloody-Disgusting grabbed a whole album stream here. Continue reading »

Feb 052016
 

NCS Best of 2015 graphic

 

(Year-end lists… you just can’t kill em’. But Andy Synn has made a habit of crowning our annual LISTMANIA series with one final offering — his selection of the last year’s top songs — and this year is no different.)

Did you REALLY think I was done with lists? Are you really that naive? Oh, how foolish are those who are most willing to be.. umm… fooled. Or something.

Yes, it’s no secret I enjoy making lists, and as such have a particular fondness for the end-of-year period here at NCS, not just because it lets me indulge my numero-erotic list-making proclivities in full (and in public, no less) but also because I sincerely enjoy reading and debating all the other lists we publish and reference and, in the process, discovering bands I’d otherwise overlooked.

The hardest list to pull together though is the list of my favourite songs of the year. Not because of any hard-fought pretence of objectivity (there’s none of that here), but because there’s simply so many options to choose from, with my initial list coming in at well over 100 entries, each drawn from albums across the length and breadth of my Great/Good/Disappointing lists of last year.

But, finally… finally… I managed to whittle it down to the ten selections you’re about to encounter.

I’m not suggesting these are the definitive “Best” songs of the year by any means, they’re just ten tracks which have burrowed their way under my skin and into my brain the deepest.

So, without further ado… Continue reading »

Sep 162015
 

Behemoth-The-Satanist-Music-Video

 

Yesterday brought a lot of new song and video premieres, from both “big names” in our blessed world of metal and not-so-big names. Since I have so many new things I want to bring to your attention, I decided to split the round-up into two parts. I’m putting the “big names” in this post.

BEHEMOTH

Poland’s Behemoth premiered a new music video yesterday, and this one is for the title track to their last full-length, The Satanist. The video was directed by Andrzej Dragan and it’s unquestionably well-made and engrossing. It also stars an actress whose wide-eyed and slightly skeletal face is perfect for the video’s very lost protagonist.

As for the interpretation of the video, we have the fairly straight-forward description of the director, who conceived of the video based on the music, and the more occult interpretation of its symbolism by Nergal. First, the words of Mr. Dragan: Continue reading »

Aug 102015
 

Soilwork-The Ride Majestic

 

(Andy Synn reviews the new album by Sweden’s Soilwork.)

At one point if you’d asserted that, fifteen years into their career, Swedish shred-masters Soilwork would be undergoing a creative and commercial renaissance I’m pretty sure you’d have been laughed out of whatever building you were in. Or thrown out.

Though the twin-peaks of A Predator’s Portrait and Natural Born Chaos initially positioned the band as a force to be reckoned with, the relative disappointment (creatively, if not necessarily commercially) of Figure Number Five (an album I, personally, absolutely love), Stabbing The Drama, and Sworn to a Great Divide definitely had a lot of people wondering if the band had started on the long, slow slide into mass-marketable mediocrity.

Somehow, surprisingly, 2010’s The Panic Broadcast bucked this trend with gusto, with the returning Peter Wichers clearly bringing a renewed sense of vigour and vitality to the songwriting process, and the decision (consciously or otherwise) to allow uber-drummer extraordinaire Dirk Verbeuren to finally cut-loose paying massive dividends.

This all led to the unexpected and unpredictable success of 2013’s The Living Infinite – a massive double-album undertaking which somehow sustained an impressive 85-90% hit rate across its twenty-song track-listing, re-establishing the band as contenders while simultaneously raising the bar.

And there’s the rub. Because, try as I might, I can’t help but feel like The Ride Majestic falls a little short of the mark the band have set themselves. Continue reading »

Jul 082015
 

Soilwork-The Ride Majestic

 

Sweden’s Soilwork have a new album entitled The Ride Majestic coming out via Nuclear Blast on August 28. Not long ago, the label posted an official lyric video for the title track on YouTube, which enables us to stream it for you in this post.

When you name a song “The Ride Majestic”, you had better make it a ride — and Soilwork have accomplished that. It’s a blood-pumping rush, loaded with galloping riffs, a swirling guitar solo, soaring melody, and the expected mix of harsh and clean vocal dynamics from Speed Strid. And yeah, it’s a damned catchy ride, too. Continue reading »

May 272015
 

 

Did you see what I did there? I actually do have a small round-up of new songs coming a bit later today, but this collection of new discoveries mainly consists of interesting announcements — though there is one new live Soilwork video embedded below.

NILE

Nile are finishing up the mixing work on a new album entitled What Should Not Be Unearthed, which Nuclear Blast plans to release in the late summer of this year. Along with that announcement the label revealed the cover art, which I think is quite good and which was created by Michal “Xaay” Loranc. It includes hieroglyphs taken from The Book of the Dead as well as the protective sign of the winged scarab in the center. The concept seems to posit the existence of an ancient elder civilization that pre-dated and gave rise to the old Egyptian civilization.

Along with the announcement and the artwork came this quote from Karl Sanders, which I found particularly enticing (I bold-faced the words of interest): Continue reading »

Sep 302014
 

 

(Leperkahn’s first two round-up posts today were more in the “metal news” category. In this one, he delivers actual streams of recommended new songs and videos.)

Herein lies the latest of my attempts to fill Islander’s shoes in collecting new music and videos. There was only gonna be a few things, but then I found a bunch more. So there’s a lot in here. Sorry, but I’m also not very sorry, since it’s all good stuff.

FROZEN DAWN

I was entirely unfamiliar with Madrid’s Frozen Dawn before Islander emailed me a link to a new video they released a couple days ago. The video is for “Banished, The Everlasting Confinement”, off their second album Those of the Cursed Light, which is out now via Xtreem Music. Broadly, it’s melodic black metal, but it has dug some serious hooks into my brain. Check it out below, and order the record if you like it via the Bandcamp page below.

https://frozendawn.bandcamp.com/album/those-of-the-cursed-light
https://www.facebook.com/truefrozendawn
http://www.frozendawn.com/
http://www.reverbnation.com/truefrozendawn Continue reading »

Jan 092014
 

Welcome to Part 3 of my list of the year’s most infectious extreme metal songs. Each day (more or less) until the list is finished, I’m posting at least two songs that made the cut. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. To see the selections that preceded the two I’m announcing today, click here.

SOILWORK

When the members of the NCS staff got the chance for an advance listen to Soilwork’s 2013 album The Living Infinite, it was greeted by the sound of bodies falling off chairs and hitting the floor. Before hearing it, I think it’s fair to say that we were all highly skeptical. It was, after all, a double-album from a band whose recent track record had not inspired tremendous confidence in their ability to create two albums’ worth of high-quality music. Man, were we wrong. Continue reading »