Jul 312018
 

 

As you can see, I have enough new songs and videos I’d like to recommend that I’ve divided them into two parts. I thought the first three in Part 1 belonged together because they all rock, albeit in very different ways. The first two are explosive, the third one crushes, and although the fourth one blasts instead of rocks, it reconnects with the energy of the first two and rockets it into the clouds.

THE CROWN

Our reviewer proclaimed Cobra Speed Venom as the best album by The Crown since the pinnacle of their career (which he identified as Possessed 13), and perhaps their best album, period, with the band “displaying a reckless sense of abandon” while putting “a lot of emphasis on fist-pumping anthemic melody”.

I also loved the album, and the song that’s the subject of the band’s new video is probably might favorite of all the tremendous ones to be found within Cobra Speed Venom. Continue reading »

Mar 212018
 

 

(This is TheMadIsraeli’s review of the new 10th album by Swedish stalwarts The Crown, which was released by Metal Blade on March 16th.)

Look at that fucking gorgeous cover art….

The Crown is a band that should be a go-to staple for any true hot-blooded metalhead. The band’s iconic blend of thrash, melodic death, death’n’roll, and straight death metal has been distinctive and, in this writer’s opinion, never really equaled. Johan Lindstrand has one of the most unique bestial voices in metal, the very materialization of a priest turned psychopath, preaching sermons of death and sickness. Marko Tervonen’s riffs feel like getting grenades lobbed at you constantly while you sprint for your life.

I’ve also always felt that over a long stretch of years The Crown have managed to release a pretty consistently baller discography. I don’t think you can classify a single album of theirs as mediocre, or even only “pretty good”. They have set a high standard… but have somehow surmounted it with this latest release. Continue reading »

Feb 172018
 


Augury – photo by Mélany Champagne

 

I made a resolution last night: I resolved that henceforth I will post no more than two premieres a day, and only one per day if it’s a full album stream. During the week just ended, I posted 14 premieres, and two of those were full albums.

I might not care about the volume if I could be content to write little more than, “Here — listen to this!”, and then just provide the music stream. But where’s the fun in that? Besides the fun, I feel a compulsion to include reviews with the premieres, even if only the bands or labels might pay attention to what I write. Given that mindset, working on a big flood of premieres tends to constrict my ability to do anything else — such as compile round-ups like this one.

Full disclosure: I’ve made resolutions like this one before, and couldn’t stick to them. Did I mention that we’ll have another premiere tomorrow? It’s really good!

Anyway, as you can see, this is a two-part round-up. I decided to collect some older arrivals in this first part, organized alphabetically. My colleague DGR suggested all of them for a newsy post that would have been timely if I’d been able to get it done when he made the suggestions. Maybe some of these will still be news to a few of you despite the delay. They also involve higher profile bands; I’ve got some lesser-known groups for Part 2. Continue reading »

Jan 082018
 

 

In an effort to catch up with new music that appeared last week (or in some cases that I only discovered last week), I’ve resorted to a two-part OVERFLOWING STREAMS post. And for those who haven’t noticed the format of these posts, they’re a form of personal surrender to the flood of new music. I enjoy writing thoughts about what I want to recommend, but in posts such as this one I just let the music speak for itself because there’s so much to recommend that I don’t have time to blurt out my own reactions.

In Part 1 (here), I collected some newly discovered splits. This one is devoted mainly to new advance tracks, some of which just premiered today, with a few full-album or EP streams in the mix. Continue reading »

Feb 052016
 

NCS Best of 2015 graphic

 

(Year-end lists… you just can’t kill em’. But Andy Synn has made a habit of crowning our annual LISTMANIA series with one final offering — his selection of the last year’s top songs — and this year is no different.)

Did you REALLY think I was done with lists? Are you really that naive? Oh, how foolish are those who are most willing to be.. umm… fooled. Or something.

Yes, it’s no secret I enjoy making lists, and as such have a particular fondness for the end-of-year period here at NCS, not just because it lets me indulge my numero-erotic list-making proclivities in full (and in public, no less) but also because I sincerely enjoy reading and debating all the other lists we publish and reference and, in the process, discovering bands I’d otherwise overlooked.

The hardest list to pull together though is the list of my favourite songs of the year. Not because of any hard-fought pretence of objectivity (there’s none of that here), but because there’s simply so many options to choose from, with my initial list coming in at well over 100 entries, each drawn from albums across the length and breadth of my Great/Good/Disappointing lists of last year.

But, finally… finally… I managed to whittle it down to the ten selections you’re about to encounter.

I’m not suggesting these are the definitive “Best” songs of the year by any means, they’re just ten tracks which have burrowed their way under my skin and into my brain the deepest.

So, without further ado… Continue reading »

Jan 122015
 


The Crown – photo by Patrik Skoglöw

(Karina Noctum rejoins us with the following e-mail interview of Magnus Olsfelt of Sweden’s The Crown, whose new album Death Is Not Dead was reviewed by our Andy Synn here and will be released on January 13 (tomorrow!) in the U.S. by Century Media.)

******

1. Ok, I would like to start with a little update about The Crown…

Ok we have the new album to be released next week and we will have a release party gig here in Gothenburg this saturday. Live drummer Henrik Axelsson will join us, but unfortunately he was rushed to the hospital yesterday with bad fever so let’s hope he can recover by Saturday!

 

2. What can the fans expect from the new album? Would you say that the fact that you guys were actually writing a The Crown album this time influenced the sound?

People can expect us doing a new album that we  have done our best and put a lot of effort into. We think it should be listened to as a whole experience, from beginning to end, to have the full ride, with ups and downs and everything. Continue reading »

Jan 092015
 

 

(Andy Synn reviews the forthcoming eighth studio album by Sweden’s The Crown.)

Don’t call it a comeback! Call it… actually, I don’t know quite what to call it. After all, it’s been quite a while (over four years, in fact) since The Crown released their original “comeback” album, Doomsday King, with new vocalist Jonas Stålhammar at the helm, and now they’re back again, with a new album and yet another shift in the line-up, as original guitarist Marcus Sunesson and original drummer Janne Saarenpää both departed the band before the new album was recorded.

Not only that, but Death Is Not Dead sees original vocalist Johann Lindstrand returning to the fold for the second time… replacing Stålhammar, who replaced him, after he replaced Lindberg, who replaced him originally… (confused yet?)

So, does this make Death Is not Dead the band’s real comeback album? I don’t know. But I do know that it means more of The Crown for me to salivate over. And that’s never a bad thing. Continue reading »

Dec 052014
 

 

I’m still on the east coast of the US working day and night for the old fucking day job and have had almost no time to search out new new music and write about it — until last night, when I did have enough time to round up this big collection of recommended new videos. Some of these you may have seen already since I wasn’t able to pounce on them with my usual alacrity and grace, but I’m willing to bet big money you haven’t seen all of them.

P.S.  The end is near — I’ll be back in Seattle by Sunday, and things should get a little closer to normal around here after that.  (Thank you, please hold your applause so that others may enjoy the videos.)

BEHEMOTH

You’d think the mighty Behemoth would have done a live video before now, but this new one for “Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer” off The Satanist turns out to be their first ever. The video, which was filmed by Grupa 13, is really, really well done. Of course, the song is a blasphemous killer. Continue reading »

Oct 282014
 

Here’s part two of a round-up post I began earlier today. Collected here are the best of the new songs and videos that I saw and heard over the last 24 hours.

THE CROWN

We reported last month that after the passage of four years since Sweden’s The Crown released their comeback album Doomsday King, which Andy Synn praised in one of his earliest posts for our site as “a masterpiece of wild fury and calculated aggression, blurring the lines between razor-sharp thrash and full-speed death metal”, they will be returning in January with their eighth album, Death Is Not Dead.

Century Media has also just released a 7″ vinyl single from the band that includes one of the new songs — “Headhunter” — plus the band’s cover of “Unfit Earth” by Napalm Death. And yesterday the band unveiled a music video for “Headhunter”. Continue reading »

Sep 172014
 

 

I’m a couple of days late with this news, but it’s too exciting to overlook.

Almost exactly four years have passed since Sweden’s The Crown released their comeback album Doomsday King, which Andy Synn praised in one of his earliest posts for our site as “a masterpiece of wild fury and calculated aggression, blurring the lines between razor-sharp thrash and full-speed death metal.” The album made several of our 2010 year-end lists, and I included the song “Blood OD” on our list of the year’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. Needless to say, we’re very stoked about The Crown’s announcement that on January 15, 2015, they will be releasing their eighth album, Death Is Not Dead. Above, you can gaze upon the album’s cover art by Björn Gosses of Killustrations.

The announcement appeared on a new web site that the band have established, which also includes the news that on October 27 the band will be releasing (via Century Media) their first 7″ single, which will include one of the new songs — “Headhunter” — plus the band’s cover of “Unfit Earth” by Napalm Death. Pre-orders for that will begin on September 27. Here’s the cover art for the single, rendered by Giannis Nakos: Continue reading »