Aug 072023

(Andy Synn catches you up with a bunch of releases from last month you may have overlooked)

Since it’s likely I won’t have chance to write much else this week – we’re filming a new music video, for one thing, and prepping for that is taking up more time than I expected – I’d better make today’s “Things You May Have Missed” column count, hadn’t I?

I don’t think you’ll be disappointed though, not least since this bumper edition contains six, rather than the usual four, albums – several of which I have no doubt will end up making numerous appearances on lots of “Best Of…” lists come the end of the year.

Continue reading »

Jun 032023

This past week has been a recovery week. After the conclusion of Northwest Terror Fest last weekend I was elated by the experience but also badly in need of rest, and got some of that. I also had to catch up on both paying work and stuff on the home front that I had neglected during five days living out of a hotel in Seattle while working on the fest. I also managed to set aside a full afternoon and evening for one last chance to hang out with Andy Synn and DGR before they jetted back to their homes yesterday.

Put all that together, and I had to dial back what I’d be doing at a normal week for NCS. One big thing I dialed back was looking at e-mails that landed in the site’s in-box. I sure as fuck didn’t count them, but just eye-balling the mass, I’d guess that more than 1,500 arrived over the last week. Based on past averages, I’d also guess that if time had allowed, I’d have at least skimmed through those and found dozens of new songs and videos I’d want to check out in whole or in part.

But I didn’t do that. I only tried to look for subject lines which seemed like the messages were specifically intended just for us, and more specifically for messages exploring the idea of future NCS premieres. Everything else I just flew past like a swallow in rutting season.

So what the hell to do for this roundup? I could have spent hours trying to plow through what I missed, but that idea was so dull and daunting that I needed some other answer. Sometimes the best way to deal with a complex problem is to apply a blunt instrument (what Alexander did with the Gordian knot also comes to mind). So I just paid attention to e-mails from the last 24 hours (only 202 of them), and a small collection of other song links that a few friends and acquaintances had sent me. From that, I picked what now follows. Continue reading »

Jun 142020

Gaerea – photo by Catarina Rocha


Maybe you know about the “Overflowing Streams” format that we use for especially large collections of new music we want to recommend? The idea is to (regretfully) cut back on words and save the time needed to find, download, and upload cover art, and let the music streams mainly speak for themselves. And that’s the format I’ve resorted to for this week’s Shades of Black column, which is mostly a collection of recently released individual songs from forthcoming records.

GAEREA (Portugal)

The meteoric rise of Gaerea continues. In both its sights and its sounds the new video that begins this collection is extremely powerful. The inner pain they express is mutilating. The music is both crushing and explosive, delirious and despairing, sweeping and scathing. For such intense music, it’s also thoroughly immersive… or perhaps it’s better said that this is an emotional vortex that’s hard to escape. Continue reading »