Oct 172023

(Andy Synn catches up with NCS favourites Sulphur Aeon following the release of their fourth album)

I doubt there’ll be many people willing to argue against the statement that Sulphur Aeon have long-since proven themselves to be one of the best bands in Death Metal – hell, in Metal in general – operating today.

After making an impressive impact with their 2012 debut, Swallowed by the Ocean’s Tide, they then blew practically everyone away with the inhuman intensity of 2015’s Gateway to the Antisphere, only to then turn around and knock people’s socks off all over again with the more epic and melodic strains of The Scythe of Cosmic Chaos in 2018.

So to say that the band have set themselves a very high bar would be an understatement, and I want to make it clear that when I tell you that Seven Crowns & Seven Seals isn’t quite the quantum leap that …Scythe… was from Gateway… (or Gateway… was from Swallowed…) that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It simply means that Sulphur Aeon are finally settling into their own strange and sinister skin.

Continue reading »

Oct 092023

(Today we present Comrade Aleks‘ recent interview with members of the German extreme metal band Sulphur Aeon. Their new album Seven Crowns and Seven Seals will be released on October 13th by Ván Records.)

Sulphur Aeon is the one of most productive extreme metal bands among those which spread the ruinous gospel of Lovecraftian cosmic horror and crawling chaos. They’ve treaded their path with absolute dedication, and they’ve provided three quite individual full-length albums since their foundation in 2010.

The band’s new release Seven Crowns and Seven Seals seems to be going off H. P.’s plots, but things aren’t as simple as they seem sometimes, and it’s always interesting to know what lies beneath the surface.

Sulphur Aeon’s members are known mostly just as T. (guitars), M. (vocals), D. (drums), S. (bass), and A. (guitars). So let it be, as the music is what really matters. Though the official release date was set on the 13th of October by Ván Records, we got in touch with Sulphur Aeon almost immediately, and M. along with T. replied. Continue reading »

Aug 082023

The time I have available for NCS activity today is rapidly slipping away, so this roundup will be relatively short — just three new songs — but I wanted to jump on these while they’re still “hot off the presses”.


Krieg haven’t been moribund since the release of their last album of new songs, 2014’s Transient. They’ve filled the intervening years with splits, compilations, and shorter releases, and we got the “Bone Whip” flexi-disc single just last month. But at last there’s a new Krieg album on the October horizon, and yesterday brought the first streaming single, “Solitarily, A Future Renounced”. Continue reading »

Feb 062019


For this latest installment of the list I didn’t have any particular organizing principle that motivated the pairing of these two songs. Stylistically, they’re quite different, and so are the compositional strategies that resulted in each of them becoming so memorable and so personally addictive. I just felt it was time to give both of them the recognition they’re due.


Having already released such exceptional achievements as Swallowed By the Ocean’s Tide (2013) and Gateway To the Antisphere (2015), perhaps it wasn’t much of a risk that Sulphur Aeon‘s third album would be overlooked despite its release so close to the end of last year. Though it might not have been trumpeted through year-end lists prepared a month or two earlier, the band’s reputation had already become so revered as a result of those two previous releases that it didn’t require clairvoyance to know that word of The Scythe of Cosmic Chaos would spread far and wide by other means — especially because it is also a stupendously good album. 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 »

Oct 252018


“It’s death metal” doesn’t really tell you very much, which is why fans of extreme music long ago began inventing an ever-expanding, increasingly-hyphenated roster of sub-genres. I suppose one of those is “ritualistic death metal”, a kind of phrase that’s difficult to define but you sort of know it when you hear it… sort of. However, my use of the label “Death Rituals” for occasional posts like this one isn’t really intended to describe the style of music, it’s just a short-hand preview of the fact that I’ve decided to devote a round-up of new music to different styles of death metal, and that’s what you’ll find below.


I’ll go out on a limb and assert that Sulphur Aeon’s Swallowed By the Ocean’s Tide was one of the most explosive death metal debuts of the last 10 years. It didn’t hurt that the cover art by Ola Larsson was equally attention-grabbing. Together, the art and the music vaulted this German band onto the radar screens of fans and critics across the metal-listening parts of the globe in strikingly impressive fashion, and they cemented their reputation with 2015’s Gateway to the Antisphere. Now Sulphur Aeon and Ola Larsson have joined forces again for the band’s third album, The Scythe of Cosmic Chaos. Continue reading »

Mar 162017

Cthulhu” by François Baranger


(To commemorate the anniversary of H.P. Lovecraft’s death, Andy Synn has assembled a playlist of great tracks inspired by the great man.)


The influence that the work of H. P. Lovecraft has had upon the Metal scene can’t be understated, with everyone from Metallica to Morbid Angel taking lyrical (and musical) inspiration from his work.

Now yesterday just so happened to be the eightieth anniversary of Lovecraft’s death and, in true NCS fashion… we completely failed to acknowledge it.

However, it’s never too late to jump on the bandwagon, and what is dead can never truly die, so here are a bunch of songs/albums which pay tribute to the author’s lasting legacy of eldritch, inhuman horror. Continue reading »

Feb 082016

Katavasia-Sacrilegious Testament

Welcome to the 20th installment of our list of last year’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. We’ll be finished with the rollout of this list next Sunday. To hear the other songs on the list up until now, click this link.

Today we have three diverse pieces of metal, each of them from albums that were the source of multiple candidates for this list.


In the early part of last year we devoted quite a lot of attention to this Greek band’s 2015 album Sacrilegious Testament, and still more attention when year-end-list time rolled around — which is not surprising, given who’s in the band: Continue reading »

Jun 032015


(KevinP brings us this “Get To the Point” interview with “M”, vocalist of Germany’s Sulphur Aeon, whose new album Gateway To the Antisphere has been widely praised as one of the year’s best.)

K:  You kraut eaters have been at this for 5 years now and released 2 monstrous albums.  Do you feel people are finally starting to take notice?

M:  Ah well, I guess people already started to notice when Swallowed… came out. Now, with the release of Gateway…, it kind of got a little over the top… at least if we consider our understanding of “success”. We don’t need much and we don’t aim high, so what we have experienced in the last months may take a while to comprehend entirely. Continue reading »

May 132015

(In this post Dan Barkasi continues his monthly series recommending music from the previous month.)

Welcome back to Essential Entries. April has already passed, and it’s hard to believe. It feels like we – at least those unlucky enough to live in areas that deal with winter – were just freezing ourselves stiff, and now the temperatures are in the 80s. Thank goodness. Winter is awful. Thankfully, good music is the antithesis of such, and we’re loaded this month.

Also, my apologies for getting this up a bit late. Yours truly was out of town for over two weeks, and that resulted in a ton of catch-up listening in order to do this right. No way will this column ever be done half-heartedly!

With that out of the way, let’s get to the tunes.


Abyss – Heretical Anatomy

Gritty Canadian death metal. Abyss proves that it’s not all maple syrup and politeness up there. Equal parts catchy and punishing, this proves to be a great debut full-length. Continue reading »