Sep 012021


(DGR prepared the following trio of reviews for 2021 releases that don’t require a lot of your time but make a big impact nonetheless.)

It still feels strange when we get to use the “Short But Sweet” review tag for the purpose it was designed for instead of the usual ‘these reviews will be shorter than usual’ style that I favor, but when you combine the total time of the three releases we’re discussing here you wind up with a little under twenty-five minutes worth of music. Two are short because they’re the usual suspects – grindcore groups smashing out music with reckless abandon – and the other is brief because the whole release consists of only two songs, but serves as a fantastic addendum to an excellent album released earlier this year.

The Amenta – Solipschism EP

Solipschism is the newest release from Australia’s The Amenta, a two-song EP consisting of tracks that were initially part of the run for their earlier-in-the-year return album Revelator – in case the continued portmanteau in the song naming wasn’t enough to tip you off. It serves partially as an addendum to that previous release, unleashing one crushingly heavy almost song recorded during the Revelator sessions that seems to exist solely to ratchet up in intensity while at the same time burying vocalist Cain within an abrasive wall of sound, and one quieter experiment, both of which fall perfectly in line within that album’s current run.

As to specifically where? It’s hard to tell, but they currently do a great job stitching themselves right onto the end of an album that is already difficult to describe at times, given its tendency to murder its own momentum for the sheer fun of it and try to create haunting soundscapes out of the rubble left behind. Continue reading »

Feb 192021


(We present the fourth and final installment from an avalanche of reviews that DGR delivered unto us earlier this week, and today’s edition focuses on the newest album by Australia’s The Amenta, which is being released today by Debemur Morti Productions.)

It’s been a good bit of time since we last heard from the Australian amorphous extreme metal genre-hoppers The Amenta. Their sound has expanded widely over the years, with releases that range from a blackened death metal vein, to industrialized monstrosities, and even some straightforward noise and black metal collisions for fun. I’ve even seen them granted the genre-descriptor of ‘terminator metal’ a few times, given their favoring of distorted electronic backings that can often sound like failing machinery.

By the time of 2013’s Flesh Is Heir the group’s sound was firmly planted in a vast maelstrom of industrial noise and blackened death metal, and it is a release that we have yelled about for a long time – largely my fault – at this here site. The eight years since then, though, have been relatively quiet and have seen The Amenta‘s various musicians spread far and wide. It seemed for a little while that the group would be slowly shadowed out – that is, until the announcement of the group’s newest album Revelator. Continue reading »

Jan 212021


In early December we got a big but very welcome surprise when Debemur Morti Productions announced that they would be releasing a new album by the avant-garde Australian death metal band The Amenta (the band’s first full-length in almost eight years), and sprung upon us a video for the album’s first advance track, “Sere Money“. And now we’re springing upon you a video for the album’s second single, “An Epoch Ellipsis“, along with an interview of the The Amenta’s Timothy Pope which focuses on what you’re about to see and hear.

The name of the new album is Revelator, and Debemur Morti has set February 19th as the release date. As DMP rightly reports, it is “the culmination of nearly 20 years’ collective experimentation in nonconformist, dissonant, dynamic and electronically-lacerated Death Metal”. And although we typically resist just copy/pasting promotional texts written by others, the following passage does a very good job as an introduction to the manifold experiences the album presents: Continue reading »

Dec 062020


Sometimes fortune smiles and these Sunday playlists just fall into place as if directed by some devilish higher lower power. In those times I move through songs I might be interested in, and by serendipity the music just flows in a way that makes sense. That didn’t happen today.

I had sorted out what I wanted to recommend, but had no good idea how to order them. I made an effort, but it’s still a pretty twisty and turny trip, made even more twisted by a last-minute addition prompted by a recommendation from my comrade DGR.

This episode is also different from most, in that it includes no complete releases, only advance tracks from forthcoming records. To spice things up, a few come with videos that will likely make you sit up and pay even closer attention.

ISSOLEI (Norway)

I decided to begin with a song called “King Apophis“, though I have very little information about the band or the release. Issolei apparently come from Trondheim, but beyond that they are a mystery. Terratur Possessions will release a debut Issolei record that includes this song, but hasn’t yet announced the title or a release date. Continue reading »

Oct 252015

Rearview Mirror


(This Sunday, DGR steps forward with our weekly look back at metal from yesteryear.)

I’ve been waffling a bit with the idea of contributing more often to the series of Rearview Mirror posts that we’ve been doing here at NCS. I genuinely love the idea of being able to deep-dive on a song at random, but I’ve also wanted to let other folks share their hidden gems out there without me vomiting my taste all over the site, especially as my own archive of ideas consists pretty much of bands I’ve already taken a healthy opportunity to write about on this lovely page.

However, there is one group that has been haunting me, that I’ve been thinking about a lot as of late, and that is Australia’s The Amenta. If you’ve been following NCS for a while, you’ll know that I’m a pretty unabashed fan of the band. Tim Pope gave me one of my favorite interviews ever, and the group’s 2013 release Flesh Is Heir ranks among my favorite discs — it is a noisy, harsh, and abrasive listen that seemed just slightly ahead of its time, especially as now it seems like more groups from Australia are breaking out into the limelight. Continue reading »

Jan 272014

Here we have Part 12 of our list of the year’s most infectious extreme metal songs. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. To see the selections that preceded the two I’m announcing today, click here.

Today’s installment of the series is brought to you by the NCS Department of Bombastic Brutality, with an assist from the Division of Wretched Excess. Those segments of the NCS bureaucracy are just full of suggestions, but as much as I like bombast and excess, I find that although such forms of metal expression are fun in the moment, they often lack that contagious quality that’s necessary for selection to this particular list. But today’s two songs are both infectious AND capable of causing epileptic seizures.


I’ve been such a slobbery fan of these Italian maestros that I had a running joke in my posts years ago that I would pay them enough to come live with me and serenade me whenever I wanted, just as soon as those Nigerians who were always offering me bags of gold dust and stacks of cash paid up on their promises. Except I wasn’t joking. Continue reading »

Sep 142013

(DGR brings you a collection of goodies from The Amenta (Australia), Death I Am (Japan/US), and Exhale (Sweden).)

THE AMENTASoundtrack To A Hidden Earth

In my mind, The Amenta are one of the most interesting and challenging bands out there right now. They play an industrialized style of black metal and write songs that challenge even the most traditional metal listeners. They’re probably doing the most metal thing you can do by presenting music so unlikeable and abrasive in its sound that even though the music underneath is actually pretty approachable, it still causes people to shy away.

I thought their release earlier this year, Flesh Is Heir, was pretty good, so if you haven’t had the opportunity to check these guys out, this is not the article to do so with, go read that. However, I do find what the band posted earlier this week fascinating, and if you’re looking for stuff that definitely isn’t music and is mostly a collage of distorted sound that would go perfectly in a horror film then continue on – because the band is giving away a (formerly) rare five-song collection from their very early days of writing music known as Soundtrack To A Hidden Earth. The band explain on their Facebook page:

“Soundtrack to a Hidden Earth” was originally released on the initial pressing of “Occasus”, the debut album by The Amenta, released by Listenable Records in 2004. The tracks were hidden in the data encoded on the disc.

The recordings were experiments in sound destruction and contextualization of sounds. These experiments led directly to some of the methods used in the follow up album, “n0n”.

Few people have heard these tracks. Continue reading »

Jun 162013

(DGR provides this round-up of artwork, new music, and new videos.)

Apparently nobody else got the memo that last week was E3 week and, goddamnit, that I was going to be away from the computer, because holy crap did the news updates come fast and furious throughout the week of June 10th. A lot of these bands are going to look very familiar to readers of the site because a lot of them are in fact the same groups featured in my last round-up. However, here at NCS we try to stick with really substantial stuff since a tracklisting usually means dick to the reader unless it has something attached to it.

This week, these bands delivered in spades – some with cover art, most with new songs or videos, one with a whole new release. Regardless, it was a smattering all across the board if you love music and love shit just being heavy as hell. I’ll attach my thoughts along the way, of course…otherwise this article is going to look all sorts of wacky.


That picture you see above is artwork for Mechina’s upcoming Xenon release, which the group stated in this here post would be hitting on 1/1/14. Continue reading »

Jun 072013

At the end of this post are two metal videos. You should watch them and listen to the music.

The first one is for the song “Lesser Men” by Norway’s Darkthrone. It appears on the band’s latest album, The Underground Resistance, which is out now via Peaceville. For my tastes, the song is one of the best that Darkthrone have produced in the last five years. It’s part black metal, part punk, part thrash, and heavy as hell. If you haven’t heard it yet, it’s the kind of song that you’ll have trouble getting unstuck from your head.

The video is damned cool, too. Directed by Lowe Seger, it’s a black-and-white montage of urban images. The film has no story or footage of a band performance, but it somehow suits the music.

The second offering here is a lyric video from The Amenta (Australia). The song is “Sewer” and it appears on the band’s 2013 album Flesh Is Heir. In the words of the band, it “shows off the creepy, dirty side of The Amenta. These lyrics are one of two songs written by vocalist Cain Cressall and describe the use of sex to obliterate the self.” Continue reading »

Apr 092013

(DGR interviews Timothy Pope of Australia’s The Amenta.)

Around the time we posted about The Amenta’s music video for the song “Teeth” and subsequently reviewed their album Flesh Is Heir, we were given the opportunity to sit down with one of the group’s founding members (well, sit down as much as we can through the magic of the internet) and really talk about the group’s latest releases –  as well as get a general overview of the band throughout the years.

Synth/keyboardist/general technology wizard Timothy Pope has been with the band from its foundations and has seen it through various incarnations and sounds. As you can all see below – the man has a thing or two to say about a thing or two and really helps give a picture of what happens when the group sits down to write music, as well as the general philosophy of everything that goes in to the band. He even graced some of my sillier questions with serious responses.

This one is a good, long read so beware that it’s a time investment, but it’s also fascinating to see the inner gears of a machine like this turning, and get a glimpse of what went in to each song. It also functions as a hell of an introduction and tutorial to who these guys are and what they are about. Continue reading »