Aug 262016

Thy Catafalque-Meta


As I explained yesterday, what you’re reading now was supposed to be Part 2 of a two-part post that we began with a selection of new songs compiled by DGR. Before I could finish this thing, some new tracks by Meshuggah and Asphyx appeared, and I decided to throw those at you right away. (Speaking of big names, a new In Flames song also appeared (here), but it mainly depresses me.)

Before something else happens to cause further delay, let’s get into the following new music and videos from eight bands — five of whom  are old favorites, plus three new discoveries. (Yes, this is what happens when a round-up is delayed — it grows like a bramble of thorns.)


In mid-July we premiered the first advance track from Meta, the new album by Thy Catafalque. It was a heavy beast, maybe even a surprisingly heavy beast for those who may have formed their expectations for this album based on last year’s Sgùrr. The surprises don’t end there. For example, I can now share with you another song that premiered elsewhere yesterday: “10^(-20) Ångström“. Continue reading »

Jul 192016

Thy Catafalque-Meta


How does Thy Catafalque follow up an album as remarkable as 2015’s Sgùrr, especially only one year later? That’s the first question that popped into my head when I learned the surprising news just yesterday that Season of Mist would be releasing a new Thy Catafalque album later this year; the name of the album is Meta, and it’s now set for release on September 16, 2016.

I don’t yet have a complete answer to the question I asked myself, but I do have a partial one because I’ve now heard the first advance track from Meta — and you can too. Today we bring you the premiere of “Mezolit“.

The existence of Meta really did come as a shock. There’s been very little in the way of hints about its existence, or at least none that reached my greedy ears. But when I wondered how Thy Catafalque’s brilliant alter ego Tamás Kátai would choose to follow the music on Sgùrr, it wasn’t because I thought he had reached a pinnacle on the album that he could not surpass, or necessarily a reflection of doubt that he could produce an album of great quality so soon after the release of the last one. It was more a question born of sheer curiosity about what direction he would choose to follow. Continue reading »

Jan 062016

Thy Catafalque-Sgurr


This is the Hungarian installment of our Most Infectious Song list (to see the songs that have preceded these three, go here). If you’re unfamiliar with the albums from which they come, you’ll discover that two of them include mainly clean singing and are thus Exceptions to our Rule. But the vocals are a significant element in the songs’ appeal. Not only is the singing very good, the singing is in Hungarian.

I suppose there are other ways in which some of us hear music in a way that differs from what others hear, but linguistic differences certainly seem to be an inarguable example. And in my case, as a native English speaker, there is something about the texture of the Hungarian language when used in a song that really resonates with me. But even apart from that aspect of the music, all three of these songs are highly infectious.


I lavished attention on Sgùrr, the latest album by Thy Catafalque, with a premiere, a review, an interview, and other features leading up to its release. I did this because I love the album (I’m not the only one around here who feels that way — Professor D. Grover the XIIIth, who first introduced me to the band, put it at No. 3 on his year-end list earlier today). Continue reading »

Oct 072015



Yesterday I compiled a massive round-up featuring new songs and/or videos by seven bands. But that still didn’t exhaust what I had found in the preceding days. And, metal being such an explosively metastasizing tumor, I’ve found still more things to get excited about since I wrote yesterday’s compilation. So, what the hell, I’ve decided to throw caution to the winds and prepare another even more jam-packed post, with good things from eight bands. Once again, I’m choking back my tendency to shower many words over the music… I’ll just scatter a few droplets instead.


I’m going to start by telling you about a full-album stream that came rushing up like a freight train at night with the lights off. Which is a way of saying that although we here at NCS are enormous fans of Vreid, we received no advance copy of their new album Sólverv, and just learned that all the songs have now been officially uploaded to YouTube for streaming. Continue reading »

Oct 012015

Tamás Kátai-1


Sgùrr is the name of the new album by Thy Catafalque, the remarkable solo project of Hungarian musician Tamás Kátai. As an ardent fan of the band, it was one of my most eagerly anticipated albums of this year, and now that I’ve heard it, it is one of my favorites of the year as well.

I was fortunate to hear the album well in advance of its October 16 release by Season of Mist, and even more fortunate to receive a copy of the beautiful digibook version of the album to look at as I listened. And to add still more good fortune, we were given the opportunity to premiere a song from the album named “Jura” — which you can explore here, along with my perhaps over-long review of the album and my photos of the digibook.

After I had spent significant time with the music on Sgùrr, I was left with many questions about it. I prevailed upon Tamás Kátai to satisfy my curiosity in the following interview conducted over the internet. Of course, the music speaks for itself (eloquently and powerfully), but the following discussion provides insights about Sgùrr from Tamás that I think will enhance listeners’ appreciation of this newest of his creations (and I’ve included two songs from the album at the end for those who haven’t yet discovered them). Continue reading »

Sep 222015

Thy Catafalque-Sgurr


We are very fortunate to help premiere a song named “Jura” from Sgùrr, the new album by the remarkable Thy Catafalque. The album has been one of my most-anticipated releases of 2015 — and my expectations were very, very high, given the quality of Thy Catafalque’s most recent albums, 2011’s Rengeteg and 2009’s Róka Hasa Rádió. Yet as lofty as those expectations were, Sgùrr has exceeded them.

I won’t blame you if you now jump to the end of this post and start listening to “Jura”, but there may still be reasons to read the review that precedes the song stream, because no one song on this album tells you what you need to know about the rest of it.

I hasten to add that I’m not sure I can tell you what you need to know either. When you encounter an album as varied and unusual as Sgùrr, the typical genre references and descriptive adjectives go out the window, and that leaves me feeling even more helpless than usual in trying to find the right words. Of course, as mentally hobbled as I am by these limitations, I’m soldiering on anyway. Continue reading »

Aug 202015

Thy Catafalque- Sgùrr

I haven’t had time to compile a round-up of new music since Monday. I enjoy posting premieres and accompanying reviews when I like the music, and we’ve had a lot of those this week (more are coming later today), but they do tend to cut into the time available to search out other new songs worth recommending. When three or four days pass without a round-up, it’s not possible to cover everything I’d like to cover — too much good music comes out every day. So this is just an initial group of things I’d like to recommend for now; with luck I hope to prepare another round-up for tomorrow.


There are few bands whose music I admire as much as Thy Catafalque. Thanks to praise about the band I first read at The Number of the Blog back in early 2011, I discovered the wonders of Thy Catafalque’s discography and began writing about the music, which in turn led me to make the acquaintance of the band’s remarkable mastermind Tamás Kátai. And then later that same year I was simply blown away by the band’s newest album, Rengeteg. I’m terrible at making narrowed lists of things I like, but if I were to attempt to make a list of my 10 favorite metal albums of all time, I know it would be a strong contender. Continue reading »

Apr 122013

(Occasional NCS contributor Mike Yost has kindly allowed us to re-publish this recent piece he wrote about the importance of metal on long road trips.)

Denver, Colorado to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  About 1,638 miles.   That’s 2,882,880 yards of asphalt.  Burning through almost 200 gallons of diesel fuel.  Passing what must have been over 1,000,000,000 fucking construction cones.  The vehicle:  A 22 foot-long Penske moving van with a dolly towing a car.  12 foot, 7 inch height clearance.  Ten tires on the road.  Total weight of about 30,000lbs.

Yes, this was (dare I say) an epic trip.  And an expedition of this magnitude required tunes.  Lots of tunes.   Lots of metal.  With almost 30 hours of drive time, silence for that long would have driven me into a bridge.   Or rather, I would have driven willfully into a bridge, laughing manically while beating my head against the steering wheel.

Combine the claustrophobia of a truck cab, the inability to sleep while occupying such a contraption, the stomach aches from eating shitty gas-station sandwiches made with meat shaved from the hind-end of a decaying maggot-infested human carcass laying out back, the traffic jams in the middle of fucking nowhere due to construction, the congested cities you must fight your way through, and just the general mind-numbing tedium of miles and miles of road rolling out in front of you—endless and without mercy or conscience—then you understand the function and importance of metal to sooth nerves and subdue the urge to suddenly veer into oncoming traffic. Continue reading »

Jun 072012

Really, I swear, this isn’t going to become a regular feature, despite the fact that this is the fourth time I’ve done one of these posts in the last week. And the proof is that I’m not using the same name for this post as I did for the last ones. I’m calling it something different. You can see that.

Anyway, here are some things I saw and heard yesterday and last night, and at the end of the post I’ll have an update on our experiment in paying to promote our Facebook posts. Here’s a disgusting hint: It works.

I saw an announcement by Century Media that Swedish death metal icons Grave (in their leather finery up above) will release their 10th studio album, Endless Procession Of Souls, on August 27th in Europe and on August 28th in North America.  I’m already beginning to get the stench of rotting corpsemeat up inside my nose. I’ll probably stop bathing soon, just to get myself fully attuned to the reek by August. We previously reported that Grave will be touring NorthAm with Dark Funeral (and some band named Morbid Angel) this September and October.

And speaking of grisly old-school Swedish death metal, I received through the ether an electronic copy of a new EP from Mexico’s Zombiefication called Reaper’s Consecration. I’ve only listened to two of the five tracks so far, but it is a fucking brain assassin, and the EP includes this sweet cover art designd by the band’s vocalist Mr. Hitch: Continue reading »

Jan 102012

This is Part 16 of our list of the most infectious extreme metal songs released this year. Each day until the list is finished, I’m posting two songs that made the cut. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the Introduction via this link. To see the selections that preceded this one, click the Category link on the right side of the page called MOST INFECTIOUS SONGS-2011.

Today’s first song was an early and easy pick for this list — hands down, it’s one of my favorite songs of 2011. It’s only emerging as an addition to the list at this late date because I first wanted to finish a review of the album from whence it comes — which I finally accomplished as of today. The second song was also an early favorite, but I’ve had it in my head to pair these songs together, for reasons I’ll try to explain. Here we go:


There’s not much I need to say here about this band’s 2011 album Rengeteg, because earlier today I posted a detailed review of it. In a nutshell, it was one of my favorite albums of 2011 — maybe even my most favorite. It’s an odd feeling to have, because the vast majority of the singing is clean and many of the songs are not what anyone would consider “extreme metal” — but that’s my honest reaction to the music. Continue reading »