Jul 202015



(In this post Dan Barkasi continues his monthly series recommending music from the previous month.)

June is long gone, but alas, there’s music that needs some light shed upon it!

Apologies for the delay on this one. Life finds a way – to get in the way of my getting this done faster. Thanks, Dr. Malcolm, for the line!

How good was June? It was loaded like a politician’s rhetoric, but not vomit-inducing. In other words, lots of audible goodies! A lot of styles represented, too, possibly being the month with the most diversity thus far.

Let it begin!


Chaotic as they are potent, Abyssal’s third album displays a band who continue to hone their craft to devastating effect. This sublime combination of black, death, and doom metal is so crushing that it gives a dinosaur a run for its money. There’s also a little bit more melody than the previous two discs, which is used to great effect. Continue reading »

Jul 012015


(Another month is in the history books, and so it’s time for KevinP to name the releases from last month that most impressed him.)

Half the year has come and gone.  Yeah, it’s beyond cliche to say “that was fast”, so I won’t.  But what got me thinking was how people like to compare different years and judge which ones were better for metal releases.  Since 2012 I’ve been doing Best Of lists here at NCS and I’ve been very happy each year with the plethora of releases I’ve been fortunate to hear.  I can’t really say any one year has been “off” or “poor” for metal.   Nor can I say one year was better than the next.  So on that token, here’s 5 more great albums of 2015. Continue reading »

Apr 132015


(KevinP puts five questions to Liam Millward, composer/guitarist/bassist/mandolin-player/backing-vocalist of Theoktony from the UK, whose new album you can stream in full at the end of this post.)

K:  Cliff notes history lesson:  You started as Pulverized in 2001, released one album in 2002, changed the band’s name to Theoktony in 2005, released a debut album in 2008.  It’s now 2015 and you are about to release your sophomore effort, Loss, via Dissected Records.  Tell us about it.

L:  Loss was actually written a couple of years ago, its just taken a while to pull together and record. Musically, I tried to keep with the original modus operandi of Theoktony, to just write and see where it took me. I try not to restrict myself to a genre.  Lyrically, I took inspiration from recent history and tried to stay on point, deal with ‘Loss’ in general, whether that be of faith, sanity, or life.


K:  Who’s responsible for what on this album? (Writing, playing, producing, etc,)

L:  On vocals we have Anthony Jody Myers; drums were played by Anil Carrier; guitars, bass, mandolin and samples were all by myself.  As far as writing is concerned, all music and lyrics were written by myself, with the exception of the drums for the songs “Apostate” and “Eritrea”, which were written by Anil.  I also produced the album, so if you hate it, I guess I’m to blame.  Haha! Continue reading »

Feb 102015


Yesterday delivered a bonanza of new metal discoveries, so many that I’m resorting to minimizing my own verbiage in order to roll out everything I found in one post without turning it into War and Peace. I realize this will strike many of you as a tragedy of near-mythic proportions, but I do not wish to dim the reputation of Tolstoy, him being dead and all, and unable to restore competitive balance with a sequel.


Yesterday Nuclear Blast announced that this spring it will release the 12th studio album of Sweden’s Unleashed. The title is Dawn of the Nine and it features cover art by the talented Pär Olofsson. There’s a story behind the artwork, as recounted by founding member, bassist, and vocalist Johnny Hedlund:

“The artwork represents the continuation of our previous album, which ended with ‘The Great Battle of Odalheim.’ The battle took place at Uppsala Fields in Sweden, and you can clearly see the king’s grave in the cover art work which also represents the future. You can also see the bombed out church in the far distance, the place of blood in the front, and the rune stone with the runic symbol of courage of the new dawn.” Continue reading »

Feb 252010

On the last day of last year we published a post called UK Death Metal in Review, in which we wrote about five UK extreme metal bands whose music we really enjoyed during 2009. This week we discovered good news and bad news about two of those bands — Theoktony and Viatrophy.

It’s a vivid reminder of how fleeting the ups and downs of extreme metal bands can be in this narrow little niche of music we live by, and how lucky we are that so many bands insanely care enough about the music to hang in there when the pressures to give up can become so overwhelming.


We thought Theoktony’s 2008 full-length, “I“, was a real head-turning slab of technical, no-holds-barred, heavily blackened death metal, played with a lot of heart. Vicious death vocals, a very heavy low end with absolutely insane non-stop blast-beat drumming, and grinding riffs — all performed with real technical flair, a healthy dose of groove, and a mournful sense of melody.

When we originally wrote about Theoktony, we were saddened to report that the band had recently split apart. At that time, guitarist Liam Millward wrote that he was continuing to record music, providing all the instrumentals and vocals himself, and was hunting for musicians to fill out the band — and we wished him luck, because what he and his comrades did with Theoktony was awesome. (read on, after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Jan 232010

Earlier this week we added a second installment of our irregular feature on UK Death Metal in Review, and one of the brutal bands we raved about was Detrimentum and their 2008 debut album, Embracing This Deformity. In response to that piece, we got the following message from one of the band’s founding members, guitarist Jon Butlin:

“Hey – thanks a lot for the great write-up! We really appreciate it! Since the album, we’ve undergone a few lineup changes, it’s only [guitarist] Paul [Wilkinson] and myself left from the ‘Embracing‘ lineup – the stresses and strains of the UK underground have taken their toll! Anyway – once we get the lineup sorted out we’re hellbent on recording a new album, hopefully this one won’t take 5 years like the previous one!

The new tracks are more diverse than previous efforts, we’ve thrown more of everything in the mix – hopefully it will be clearer-sounding than the last album, but just as heavy. Our current drummer is Steve [Powell] from Anaal Nathrakh, a man more than capable of insane dynamics, ear-shredding blasts and crushing double-bass – so watch this space! Thanks again for the support – I’ll get round to updating all the friend requests this evening hopefully!

Jon Butlin
There’s no doubt that Steve Powell is one more-than-capable drummer — in addition to playing with the awesome Anaal Nathrakh, he also handled the drum duties on another fantastic UK death metal album produced in 2008 by the band Theoktony (which we wrote about here). Butlin and Wilkinson are also extremely talented, and that threesome forms an essential foundation for what we hope will be a bright future for Detrimentum. We’re definitely looking forward to new music — with any luck, sooner rather than later!
Dec 312009

Alan McFarland (Man Must Die)

As 2009 draws even closer to the end, we’ve continued to think back about albums we really enjoyed this year.  Among them were releases from five UK bands that could loosely be classified as death metal, though they sound almost nothing alike.  Four of them — Man Must Die, Viatrophy, Ignominious Incarceration, and Xerath — turned out killer new albums in 2009, and the fifth — Theoktony — was a prodigiously talented band we only discovered this year, though sadly its future is in doubt.

We don’t pretend that this post is a comprehensive review of the best UK death metal of the year, because we’ve no doubt there are awesome 2009 releases we simply haven’t heard.  The five we’re covering here are simply albums that happened to grab our attention  — and didn’t let go. Continue reading »