Jun 162023


As usual, I have far more new music I want to recommend from this week that’s now ending than I have time to write about today. If I play my cards right, and the creeks don’t rise, I can spread them out over three posts, including another roundup on Saturday and Shades of Black on Sunday. That will help, though I’ll still fall short of being comprehensive. Here’s what I picked to start off:


When you see a song named “Barn Burner” you expect… well… a barn burner. Or in this case, based on the lyrics and the video, it’s more likely a church burner, or a flaming pyre of people who bought and sold deified lies. And yes indeed, the song is a muscle-moving born burner. Continue reading »

Feb 202022


My day job has left me alone this weekend so I decided to make hay while the sun shines. Yesterday’s round-up included the music of eight bands and this one includes the music of nine.

There is indeed quite a lot of music in this week’s black(ish) metal column, but even I haven’t heard all of it. The releases I haven’t heard in their entirety are included in Part 2 below, where I’ve revived the strategy I used in the old Miscellany columns (and if those don’t ring a bell I’ll explain when we get there).


KAMPFAR (Norway)

I’m beginning with “Lausdans Under Stjernene“, a new single released by Indie Recordings on February 16th by a band who are approaching their 30th anniversary but show no signs of slowing down or playing it safe. Continue reading »

Dec 032020


We only made one NCS post yesterday, a consequence of some of our writers working on their year-end lists and myself getting ridden off the road by highwaymen from my day job. I managed to pick some things for a new-music round-up, but getting chased through the woods put an end to the actual writing. But now it’s done, a day later than anticipated. I picked more songs for a Part 2 of this SEEN AND HEARD column, but I have a feeling I’ll be chased again, so I’m making no promises.

I put these particular three songs together for several reasons, but probably the most prominent one is that all three feature powerhouse vocals.


Eighteen months have passed since I spent time talking with Lance Netherlin at the 2019 edition of Northwest Terror Fest in Seattle, before knowing that Locistellar existed or that Neatherlin was the band’s vocalist. I later learned that the band had been founded in London by drummer Didier Almouzni (Razor of Occam, Dragonforce) and guitarist Alexandre Lenormand (Loudblast), who then relocated to Seattle where they brought in other members, including Lance Neatherlin and guitarist Eric Snyder (Second Coming, The Crying Spell). Continue reading »

Dec 292019


Just three days left, including this one, before time consigns 2019 to the history books. Although we’re spending more and more time looking ahead to the records that will be released in 2020, we’re not finished with our reflections about metal in 2019. We will have more year-end lists from NCS writers and guests to share with you throughout the coming week, as well as the launch of our Most Infectious Song list, and at least Mr. Synn and I still plan to review some 2019 releases we haven’t gotten around to yet.

I’m doing some of that in today’s column. I picked three advance tracks to recommend from forthcoming 2020 albums, but the other three items are albums or EPs released this year, one of them as far back as August, which already seems like an eon ago. Hope you like all of it.


I’m a bit late getting to this first track, which debuted 10 days ago. That surprised even me, because I’ve been a fascinated follower of Malokarpatan from the beginning. The song is the first one revealed from this Slovakian band’s third album, Krupinské ohne. Its conceptual nature has been described by guitarist Adam as follows: Continue reading »

Dec 312018


Man, have I got a red-hot New Year’s Eve planned with my wife. Bring in some kind of dangerous take-out food. Watch some re-runs of Law and Order. Maybe have an egg nog with a shot of whiskey (but only one because I don’t need the calories and I’m cutting back on the booze). Asleep by 10:30 at the latest. I’m so fucking excited that I’m hyperventilating.

You think I’m joking, but I’m really not (except about the hyperventilating). After more than a few decades of severe misbehavior, the idea of a quiet night and a New Year’s Day without a cataclysmic hangover has become very appealing. No more day-after’s wondering “is that blood on my shirt mine?”, “whose room is this?”, and “where did I leave my pants?”

These days I tend to get a lot of my thrills from heavy music, and I spent this morning catching up on some new sounds, some of which I’m recommending to you in this round-up. This actually started as what might have been a second SHADES OF BLACK installment yesterday, but I decided to throw in a few other styles of music and finish it up for today.


I was quite impressed by the first demo (Archaic Discipline) released by the hooded Dutch duo Jubal through Clandestine Faith earlier this year, and said so here: “There is foreboding, catastrophe, and grandeur in the sensations of these savage, dramatic songs, along with a panoply of killer riffs and the kind of vocals that summon visions of demons coming for your throat.” I was thus excited to learn that Jubal have a new release headed our way in 2019. Continue reading »