Nov 282017

The Great Old Ones


(Greek metal writer and occasional NCS contributor John Sleepwalker attended the 5 Shades of Black show in Antwerp, Belgium, on October 21, 2017, and provides these thoughts about the performances by Saor, The Great Old Ones, Fen, Drawn Into Descent, and Sorrow Plagues. And we are most grateful to Kriss Wolf for kindly giving us permission to use her wonderful photos from the show, which appear throughout this review.)


5 Shades of Black stands as the type of an event that is a rare occasion in the lands of Greece. To the point that it seems more hopeful to dig for water in the desert than to expect names such as these to ever visit the capital city of Athens. Since the brand of old-school names is typically what tends to attract the majority of local interest, the few listeners dedicated to different aesthetics often need to travel to enjoy the related gigs of their choice. Continue reading »

Jul 072017


(Andy Synn brings us a new installment in a series that focuses on recommended new releases from the U.K.)

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – the UK Metal scene is in rude health right now.

Across the board, across a multitude of styles and sub-genres, my British brethren are kicking ass arse and taking names and working hard to remind the world that we have more to offer than just trend-chasing Pop-Metal groups and second (or third) hand copycats of American bands.

That’s not to say that things are perfect of course. There’s still a tendency in some areas to celebrate comforting mediocrity over anything with a more distinctive/challenging/interesting sound, and the occasional dominance of certain cliques still, in my opinion at least, has a slightly deleterious effect on our ability to make a serious impact outside of our own borders.

But, for whatever reason, sifting through the more generic and middle-of-the-road acts to find the ones worth my time seems to come more easily to me these days.

Maybe I’ve just become more discerning/cynical. Or maybe it’s just a sign of the cream rising to the top. Continue reading »

May 222016

Sxuperion-Cosmic Void


I continue my efforts to char your weekend to a crisp with this second part of a two-part post I started yesterday, collecting music in a blackened vein that I’d like to recommend. This collection is heavy on blackened death metal rather than unadulterated black metal, with a couple of other twists and turns thrown in. Yesterday’s offerings were mostly on the melodic side of the extremity scale. We’ll eventually get to something like that today, but not until the end. In the meantime, prepare for some monstrous, apocalyptic experiences.


I discovered Sxuperion only this past January through the band’s split release with a Nebraska black metal band named Verräter (discussed here), although Sxuperion had preceded that split with two full-length albums and an array of shorter releases. For those who might not be familiar with Sxuperion, it’s the solo project of the drummer (Matthew) for two other excellent bands, Valdur and Weverin. Continue reading »

Feb 072016



Once again I’ve collected newly discovered music that could be considered shades and phases of black metal. Unfortunately, on this Sunday I’m pressed for time, and so, with apologies to the bands (who are probably the only people who might actually read my drivel instead of skipping right to the streams), I’m going to have to truncate my review commentary. Somehow, you’ll have to take in the music without me detailing for you what you’re hearing.


I’m not sure how Nordjevel eluded my hawklike gaze. Their self-titled debut album has already been released by Osmose Productions, with several song streams preceding it, yet I only found out about the band and the album a few days ago. Continue reading »