Nov 182013

It’s been an action-packed day here at NCS, with some ass to mouth plus three album reviews and two song premieres — and I had two more reviews ready to go, but I’ve deferred those until tomorrow so that we don’t overdose you with awesomenessness. But at the risk of giving you a manic sugar high, I thought I’d round up some of the best things I saw and heard today. We’ll begin with a couple of announcements and end with a new song and a new video


One week ago I reported about a cryptic announcement by Southern Lord that seemed to suggest a long-rumored collaboration between Sunn O))) and Ulver was about to become a consumable reality. Today we got a more informative announcement, i.e., that these two storied bands have indeed collaborated to create a three-track recording entitled Terrestrials — “a trio of movements which flow like magma beneath the Earth’s crust, sonically uninhibited, unpredictably cosmic, haunting and stirring, yet simultaneously ceremonious and beautiful.”

Southern Lord will be releasing Terrestrials in February 2014, the cover can be seen above, and we are promised that over the course of the next month details shall be dribbled out concerning “the story of how this alliance and recording came to be.” Continue reading »

Apr 012013

My comrades and I at this site write very infrequently about instrumental metal. It’s equally rare for us to reach back in time and review an album that we overlooked when first released; we tend to stay focused on albums that loom ahead on the horizon rather than those which are growing more distant in the rearview mirror. I begin with those observations as a way of emphasizing what a strong impression On the Steps of the Temple has made on me.

It’s an instrumental album and it was released nearly eight months ago by a duo from Phoenix, Arizona, who call themselves Temple. I heard it for the first time yesterday after receiving an e-mail from the band that included words of praise from a healthy list of other sites.

I generally don’t like being the last guy to the party, but I started in on the music anyway, and when I finished listening I did something I can’t remember ever doing before with an instrumental release: I returned immediately to the beginning and listened to the album again, straight through, all 53 minutes of it.

Roughly two hours out of my Sunday, plus the time it took me to peck out the words to this piece, while many other more pressing things were scrabbling for attention. All that time, and every minute well worth it. Continue reading »