Apr 032014

Almost every day we read about new crowdfunding campaigns by metal bands. We don’t try to mention even a small fraction of the ones we see; there’s just not enough time or space. But there are three in this post we wanted to spotlight, in part because all three involve bands we’ve supported in the past — because they’re damned good. And to remind you of that, music is included.


This first appeal for funds was spawned by a tragedy involving two Italian bands. One of them, Nero di Marte, delivered a self-titled 2013 album that our reviewer Andy Synn called “a phenomenal debut” — “an unusual form of technically twisted death metal with a taste for sudden, erratic explosions of extremity, and a progressive streak a mile wide.” (The review is here.) The other, Void of Sleep, are a sludge-rock band whose 2013 album was Tale Between Reality and Madness.

On Sunday, March 23, after playing a show in Rome, both bands were robbed of all their instruments and gear. Here’s their statement of what happened:

In less than 30 minutes someone broke into our van and was able to take everything. It happened in broad daylight near a police station in Rome, despite there being a massive amount of police forces surveilling the area but, alas, no security cameras.

Guitars, amps, pedalboards, drums, merchandise and personal belongings… a total amount of 25.000€ was stolen from both bands. They took everything. A full list can be found here:

The sad reality of this situation is that without any instruments we cannot continue as a band. We can’t play, rehearse, tour, record a new album.

It took us years to buy our gear, and to start from absolutely nothing, without any help, means paralyzing anything we could do for a long time or seriously put ourselves into debt beyond what we can afford.

Continue reading »

Mar 142014

(Andy Synn provides this report on the recently completed UK tour by The Monolith Deathcult, Talanas, and Andy’s band Beyond Grace.)

So I’ve been harangued into putting together a short (relatively) report of the happenings and happenstances of our tour last month. Frankly, I’m not entirely sure where to start as I’m writing this now, other than to say that – despite the inevitable stresses that came about – I wish I was still on tour now. Playing a show every night, to new people, in a new place… well, that 30 mins onstage you get makes all the rest of it worthwhile.


My first piece of advice for any of you going on tour – try to get a good night’s sleep the night before you leave. Definitely don’t stay up late sending out digital promos and organising the launch of your new EP so that you only have time to get in 3 hours before having to go collect the van, drive it back to load your backline, then drive down to London (and then on to Brighton). Yeah, don’t do that. Continue reading »

Jan 142014

(In this post, Andy Synn reviews the forthcoming EP by Talanas, which will be released on February 22 by Eulogy Media.)

It’s always nice when bands throw out an unexpected curve-ball, something designed to both challenge and reward their listeners.

Progressive Death Metal proto-titans Talanas have decided to do just that with their new, about to be released, mini-album Asylum, putting a markedly different spin on their signature sound.

Whereas the band’s usual approach – akin to Akercocke and My Dying Bride copulating in a field of dead flowers and broken dreams – gives the listener the sensation of being choked and pummelled by an iron fist in a velvet glove, they’ve taken a decidedly different turn on Asylum, stripping out the deathly aggression and metallic distortion, accentuating instead the ethereal wonder and decayed glamour of their gothic roots. Continue reading »

Mar 012013

(In this post Andy Synn discusses a forthcoming release by Talanas.)

Much befitting their classy, semi-retro image, Talanas have decided that their next release (available March 1, 2013) is going to be put out on a more traditional format, the 7” vinyl.

Originally developed and released solely on their recent UK/Euro tour with doom legends My Dying Bride, it contains two tracks, both of which will form part of their in-progress second album Daylight. The songs showcase the many varied facets of their gentrified and rarefied death metal sound. Continue reading »

Feb 052013

Allow me to share with you a collection of findings that I happened upon over the last 24 hours, most of it breaking news, some of it new music I think is worth spreading around like life-giving manure, and some of it videographic in nature. News first:


Thanks to a tip from Vonlughlio, I discovered that Gorguts have signed with Season of Mist and will be releasing their extremely long-awaited fifth studio album later this year. Guitarist/vocalist Luc Lemay is quoted in a press release we received as follows:

“Everything from writing these new songs, traveling to NYC for rehearsals, developing a new friendship with John, Kevin and Colin, three of the most talented people I ever jammed with…everything from this project was beyond stimulating artistically.

From this experience was born a new GORGUTS record, a concept record which is going to last over an hour. An hour of epic, ambient, dark music which doesn’t compromise its Death Metal roots. As a composer, by exploring different kind of music, it was always my goal to integrate the same writing tools in Death Metal as if I would be writing a piece of chamber music for instance.

Well, I’m really eager to share this new record with you!” Continue reading »

Jun 042012

I’ve got four recent videos for you from four very good bands that are worth hearing and seeing. Without further ado:


We introduced many of you to Talanas through Andy Synn’s NCS review of their 2011 debut album, The Waspkeeper, which you can (and should) read at this location. To borrow a few of Andy’s words, their “fusion of raging death-metal ferocity and moody, gothic melancholy – sprinkled with moments of blackened despair – echoes the eclectic, experimental sounds of Septic Flesh, the unerring power and passion of Novembers Doom and the gothic grandeur of My Dying Bride . . . .”

However, The Waspkeeper was not Talanas’ first release. In 2010, they produced a three-song EP titled Reason & Abstract. In recent days, the band released their second official music video, and they reached back to that EP for the song – “Diaphora”.

Andy’s shorthand description of The Waspkeeper fairly captures the blend of styles on “Diaphora”, too. It’s definitely loaded with raging death metal ferocity, powered by jolting low-end rhythms, flashy guitar workouts, and Hal Sinden’s voracious growls and roars. But there are contrasting sections that feature Hal’s clean vocals and a dark, brooding melody. You know what I generally think about clean vocals in metal, but this juxtaposition works for Talanas. Watch and listen right after the jump. Continue reading »

Oct 192011

(As we announced HERE, NCS is co-sponsoring a UK tour beginning on October 24, headlined by Becoming the Archetype and including UK metal band Bloodguard, which is fronted by NCS writer Andy Synn. In this post, Andy provides more info about the other bands who will be appearing on the tour and also at a post-tour show that Bloodguard is doing.)

Hello everyone. As part of promoting our little tour coming up I thought I’d do a good deed and get some press out there for each of the bands who are joining us on the dates. Sort of a mass-exposure deal where hopefully there’ll be something for (almost) everyone!

As part of our week long festivities Becoming The Archetype and Bloodguard will be hitting:

Birmingham, The Actress & Bishop – Monday 24th October

Manchester, The Roadhouse – Tuesday 25th October

Nottingham, The Maze – Wednesday 26th October

London, The Purple Turtle – Thursday 27th October

And then, moving on from the dates with Becoming The Archetype, we have a show with Abgott:

Leicester, Lock 42 – Friday 28th October

So what bands are joining us? Well here they are… Continue reading »

Oct 122011

Is that not the most awesomest thing you’ve ever seen? Or at least the most awesomest thing you’ve seen in the last 5 minutes? And unlike the last thing musical event we presented, this one happens to be real, and there are two other real, related events in addition to this one.

Becoming The Archetype have announced an October/November European headlining tour in support of their latest album, Celestial Completion , which was released earlier this summer on Solid State Records and reviewed at NCS here. As part of that BEARDING EUROPE 2011 tour, the band will be playing three four dates in the UK, with support from a stellar line-up of UK metal bands, and we’re doing our part to help spread the word by co-sponsoring this BEARDING THE UK TOUR. The only band playing with BTA on all three dates is Bloodguard, who are fronted by our very own Andy Synn (congrats to Andy and the whole band for scoring these gigs).

On October 24, BTA will play Birmingham at The Actress & Bishop with Bloodguard and Haerken.. Tickets are £4. On October 25, BTA will be playing Manchester’s Roadhouse with Bloodguard and Bisonhammer. Tickets are £7 in advance from http://www.theroadhouselive.co.uk/. On October 26, BTA will be hitting  The Maze in Nottingham, with Bloodguard, Daor, and Incinery; advance tickets on sale HERE. And then on October 27, BTA will wreck Camden’s Purple Turtle with Talanas, Bloodguard, Chapters, and Ruins of Earth. Advance tickets are available for a paltry £7 here: http://www.wegottickets.com/event/137045

And by the way, you can find out more about Talanas by reading Andy’s review of their new album HERE , and you can get an introduction to Chapters via TheMadIsraeli’s write-up HERE. After the jump, check out the other UK tour posters with our humble name appearing on the top and see BTA’s entire European tour schedule, with support from Immortal Souls and Beyond the Dust after leaving the UK. Continue reading »

Jul 272011

(Andy Synn reviews a very impressive new album from the UK’s Talanas.)

Progressive is as progressive does. Arguably many of the more “progressive” bands, those who would consider themselves “prog” first and foremost, stopped actually progressing a long time ago, substituting length and embellishment for actual growth. Yet the true ideals of progressive music have long since bled into other genres, allowing them much more room to expand.

This leads us to the progressive form of death metal performed by the UK’s Talanas. Their immutable fusion of raging death-metal ferocity and moody, gothic melancholy – sprinkled with moments of blackened despair – echoes the eclectic, experimental sounds of Septic Flesh, the unerring power and passion of Novembers Doom and the gothic grandeur of My Dying Bride, yet breaks free of these restrictive comparisons with practiced ease. Their sound covers a wide spectrum of themes and emotions, confident and self-assured enough to explore deep layers of nuance and subtlety without ever losing sight of its ultimate goal or a sense of its own individual identity.

After a teasing intro, opener “Ananta (The Portrait)” leads with a scathing series of up-tempo guitars and aggressive growls, matching discordant splendour with haunting ambience. The vocals of Hal Sinden provide a variety of tones and styles, mid-range, broken-glass screams transforming effortlessly into smooth, mellifluous cleans, before delving into the depths of rumbling, guttural fury. Prominent keyboards and enigmatic clean guitars divert the song down unexpected paths, relying on the propulsive drums to maintain momentum as the song proceeds in a tormented, convoluted manner. (more after the jump, including some music . . .) Continue reading »