Feb 012019
 

 

The two songs I’ve added to this list today consist of one that I discovered very late in the year after neglecting the album for many months, and another that’s been stuck in my head since we premiered it in October.

As usual, I’ll be taking a break from the rollout of this list this weekend while I continue trying  to figure out what will come next. Decisions, decisions, and they’re not getting much easier even though 19 installments are now behind me.

SVALBARD

I confess that I didn’t pay close attention to this UK band’s latest album until near the end of the year. Even after reading Andy Synn‘s review of It’s Hard To Have Hope last April, which spoke of the album’s  “unbridled passion and unwavering integrity” and insisted that “Svalbard deserve all the support and attention they can muster going forwards”, I didn’t listen. I meant to, but it must have been one of those especially harried weeks around the NCS compound, and as time passed, so too the album passed me by. Continue reading »

Jan 042019
 

(At last, we reach the fifth and final installment of DGR’s 5-part year-end effort to sink our site beneath an avalanche of words and a deluge of music. It includes his Top 10 albums, plus a list of EPs, and one final non-metal entry.)

Here we go into the final installment. One last grouping of albums and one last collection of thudding riffs, heavy guitars, and enough drumwork to leave one’s head spinning by the time it wraps up.

This final ten is all over the place, in terms of both genre and location. My lists tend to be pretty international always, but the consistent bouncing back and forth that is happening in this part has proven to be entertaining in its own right.

This group also reveals just how much of 2018 turned out to be the year of cathartic release for me. Alongside all the genre-bending, all the experimentation, and all of the well-executed groove, I found that every once in a while this year a disc would hit that would just boil down to a half-hour-plus of yelling, and I would relish every single second of it. I’m sure we could credit that to the wider situation of the world these days but I’ve also always been a sucker for turning music into an instrument of release, and for some reason that approach won me over hard this year.

So let’s begin with the final ten, and then a grouping of EPs I enjoyed this year, my final non-metal (ish) release recommendation, and a small (ish) closing paragraph… because why would I ever stop typing after just finishing the final ten?

That’s for crazy people. Continue reading »

Apr 252018
 

 

(Andy Synn continues his occasional series in which he devotes attention to new releases by UK bands, here presenting a trio of reviews and music streams.)

Despite the fact that these days I exist more on the periphery of what one might loosely describe as “the scene” here in the UK, I’m still very much on a mission to talk/write about some of its best and brightest stars, and hopefully expose them to a whole new audience in the process.

And while each of the following bands has been featured here at NCS before (some more than others), this isn’t so much a case of favouritism as it is an acknowledgement that all three continue to make extremely compelling, attention-grabbing music, and their latest albums are no exception. Continue reading »

Nov 102017
 


Employed To Serve

 

(Andy Synn prepared this review of the performances by Employed To Serve and Svalbard in Nottingham, England, on November 9, 2017.)

I’m not sure whether it’s due to my increasing age, or the regular quantities of alcohol which I consume, but for some reason I was certain – 110% certain – that we’d already covered Employed to Serve and their flabbergastingly good second album, The Warmth of a Dying Sun, here at NCS earlier this year.

So you can imagine my surprise when, as I was gearing up for this show, I discovered that we haven’t written a single word about the band all year!

For shame.

Still, at least I have a chance now to redress the balance somewhat. Continue reading »