Oct 092019


(We present Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by the Norwegian band Solstorm, released on October 4th.)

There is a pronounced tendency, in art, in literature, in cinema, to treat the apocalypse (and its aftermath) as something dramatic and thrilling. Something equally capable of generating excitement as it is terror.

But the terrible truth is that the end of all things… is just that. An ending. A time for, if nothing else, looking back on what has come before, because there is no tomorrow.

This is something that Solstorm first captured on their debut, self-titled album, way back in 2013, and which they return to here, on the succinctly-titled II. Continue reading »

Jul 272018

Climate Reanalyzer Global Weather Map – July 27, 2018


(Andy Synn has compiled a collection of songs from seven bands suitable for the hell we find ourselves in.)

Depending on where you are right now in the world, there’s a good chance you’re enjoying/enduring (delete as appropriate) the same sweltering heat and blazing sunshine which is currently scorching us here in the UK, and perhaps you find yourself wondering, as the earth around you slowly returns to its molten, primordial state… what albums provide the best soundtrack to my current situation?

After all, while a lot of Stoner Rock/Metal bands have built a career out of an association with lazy, sun-kissed vibes and hazy, weed-fuelled riffs, the majority of the more Extreme/Underground bands we cover here at NCS tend to be more associated with darkness and shadow… heck, about 50% of all the world’s Black Metal bands are obsessed with snow and ice, regardless of where they actually hail from… and there’s a reason we so often use words like “dank” and “cavernous”, “chilling” and “frostbitten, to describe their music – it just fits!

As a result I had to think long and hard about what albums truly capture the sensation of being trapped and tormented by the oppressive weight of the burning sun in all its torrid and terrible glory, before finally settling on the handful of suggestions you’ll find below. Continue reading »

Sep 182013

Collected here are a large handful of items of interest that I came across today and yesterday while crawling through the underground. The last four items consist of pairings that work. You’ll see what I mean.


German black metal band Endstille, they take no prisoners. They have a new album named Kapitulation 2013 that Season of Mist plans to release in NorthAm on November 12 (November 8 worldwide). I remembered their name somewhat fearfully from the last album, which is now on Bandcamp, so I was interested to hear the new song that debuted today — “The Refined Nation”.

I find it very difficult to be very refined in writing about music like this. In my case, the capacity for careful dissection and articulate analysis go up in a mushroom cloud of obliteration, and Endstille don’t strike me as a band who care terribly much about refined criticism anyway. The song is a black metal detonation that fills the air with shrapnel and the screams of the dismembered (or that may be Endstille’s vocalist, it’s hard to be sure). Continue reading »

Apr 032013

(NCS writer Andy Synn has returned from Oslo’s Inferno Festival, held on March 27-30, 2013, and brings us a multi-part report of what he saw and heard, along with photos. Check out his Opening Day report here.)

Kicking off the festival-proper at the early time of 17:30 Horned Almighty were like a veritable boot to the face of the assembled audience. Nasty, brutal, and brimming with feral punk aggression, the group come across as a bad-boy version of the Misfits, raised on black metal nihilism and death metal misanthropy, and kick up a hell of a racket, with a truly demolition-strength guitar tone. Material from across their four albums bulked out the set, with the strongest focus being on Contaminating The Divine and Necro Spirituals.

Frontman S. didn’t let the fact that the band were opening the festival proper intimidate him, spitting necrosadistic venom at the crowd with his spiteful, belligerent snarl, while the aptly-named Carnage on bass was a stalking, twisting revelation of spindly fingers and malevolent contortions. Give these guys a longer set and a bigger stage someone! Continue reading »

Jan 182013

(In April 2011, I wrote briefly about Solstorm, a Norwegian band I’d just discovered.  Today, Andy Synn gives us a review of the same band’s self-titled debut album.)

Let me start this off with a little story…

As some of you know I’m in a couple of bands (Bloodguard, and Twilight’s Embrace). Now both bands have fans who interact with us on a pretty regular basis, liking statuses, commenting, etc. Just generally getting involved. One gentleman who pops up on the Bloodguard page on and off is a fellow named Mads Lilletvedt.

Recognise that name? I didn’t at first, but something about it bugged me enough to check who it was, and lo and behold, Mads Lilletvedt is only the drummer from bleeding Hellish Outcast! But that’s not all. I also found out he’s in a couple of other bands, one of which in particular caught my attention. That band is Solstorm.

Solstorm are the sort of band who put the “post-apocalyptic” into “post-metal”. Clearly coming from the Neurosis school of claustrophobic atmospherics, along with a heavy dose of Cult of Luna-esque bleakness and clarity, this is not the music of Armageddon – the four horsemen have long since passed by now – rather, this is the music of the aftermath. The war drums have fallen silent, the skies are scorched and dead, nothing stirs, nothing lives. Continue reading »

Apr 282011

Man, it’s been more than a month since our last MISCELLANY post. Time has gotten away from me. ‘Course, that’s just a figure of speech, because I never had hold of Time in the first place. I just do my best to run along with it, but it’s been leaving me behind, choking on its dust. I need to make an effort to catch up before it’s too late and I become nothing more than an antiquated relic of the past.

Where was I? Oh yeah, MISCELLANY. Well, it’s been so long that it might be worthwhile to provide a refresher on what these posts are all about: We keep a running NCS list of bands whose music we haven’t heard before but who look interesting for one reason or another. And then, at unpredictable times, I pick a few names randomly off the list and listen to a song or two from each one, not knowing for sure whether the music will be good. And then, I write about what I heard and put the songs in the post so you can form your own opinions.

For today’s MISCELLANY session, I picked Disma (U.S.) and Solstorm (Norway), and I threw in a new Autopsy song for good measure. Not to spoil the suspense, but this turned out to be a fucking great musical expedition: two winners, without doubt. (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »