Apr 142018


Andy Synn’s creation of the Waxing Lyrical series as a regular Saturday post has freed me from the compulsion to cook up NCS posts for these days, which I think was part of the reason why Andy proposed to make the series a Saturday fixture (there is indeed a soft heart that beats beneath that rough exterior). The problem is that my compulsion continues to gnaw at my brain even under the easiest of circumstances. And so here I am, posting something of my own on Saturday again.

I suppose the only compromise I’ve made with myself in this instance is to somewhat truncate my usual verbosity. My main aim here is to recommend that you to listen to these two releases, which you can easily do in the case of one, and which you’ll be able to do fairly soon in the case of the other. (There was going to be a third EP in this collection, but at the last minute a guest writer volunteered to do the review, and so that one should be coming early next week, and should be interesting to read.)


We were highly appreciative of this Polish band’s 2016 debut album, Black Storm. My colleague TheMadIsraeli described the music in these words: “Of course, coming from Poland, Thunderwar know how to write pretty fucking pristine death metal. They take that trademark imperial might for which the scene has always been known and mix it with the frigid, brittle melodic tendencies of Dissection and the power groove of Kataklysm. The result is a sound that’s difficult to say no to, both in its heft and in its emotive power.” And I had a few things to say about it, too.

The new Thunderwar release, following up on that impressive debut, is an EP named Wolfpack that’s also hugely impressive. It consists of five original tracks and a cover of Darkthrone’s “The Winds They Called the Dungeon Shaker”. Continue reading »

Dec 262016



(In this post TheMadIsraeli reviews the impressive, just-released debut album by the Polish band Thunderwar.)

Alright. One more review for 2016.

Thunderwar are a rookie melodic death metal quartet from Warsaw, Poland, who bring something of a blackened take to the style. It’s unfortunate that their album was released late this month, as it won’t have a fair chance of being recognized on year-end lists. Maybe sometime in Q1 2017 I’ll do a “Top 10 albums in 2016 left in the dust because they were released in December and therefore came in too late for top albums of 2016 lists because these lists need to be published ASAP for clicks instead of waiting ’til 2017 to give a 100% informed account of 2016’s musical landscape” list.

The timing is unfortunate because for me Black Storm is the most impressive debut of 2016 in this style, alongside Betrayal’s Infinite Circles. Continue reading »

Dec 222016



This time of year there are always a few people who ask whether I’m going to post my own list of the year’s best releases. Again, the answer is no, because making the effort would be too paralyzing. I have enough trouble deciding whether to wash my underoos or let them ferment for another week.

On the other hand, I do kind of feel left out of the year-end LISTMANIA frenzy, so I thought I’d put together a Top 10 list, but one that’s a bit easier for my overtaxed brain to process. These are the 10 best songs I heard for the first time yesterday.

Hey, don’t laugh! It wasn’t that easy — I listened to more than 20 new songs yesterday, so I did have to make some decisions. Of course, I couldn’t be bothered to rank these 10 tracks; there’s a limit to how far I’m going with this.


The first song is “Faceless Queen of Bloodstained Dreams”, which is from an album I’ve been anxiously awaiting — the second full-length by Norway’s Shaarimoth, which is arriving more than a decade after the first one. Continue reading »