Jun 182022
 

 

A Friday night spent carousing followed by a lazy Saturday morning doesn’t make a good predicate for a Saturday music roundup. And yes, I was languid this morning, rather than hungover, after exercising rare restraint on the alcohol last night. But though functional today, I wasn’t feeling motivated. The cool, gray, damp weather outside may have had something to do with that. While the rest of the country seems to be an oven, I was luxuriating in a Pacific Northwest gift.

And then, and then, I still spent an hour and a half flitting through a list of new songs and videos I’d made in as the week went by. Finally, I made these picks.

MANTAR (U.S./Germany)

Mantar have a new look, at least for the video you’re about to see, and new stylistic ingredients in the music too, but they haven’t forsaken their visceral intensity. It pours out through the vocals, which reach shattering zeniths (and also bring Kurt Cobain to mind at times), and through the angst-ridden but soaring riffs and keys, and the booming and battering drums. It’s also damned difficult to get out of the head once you’ve heard it. Continue reading »

Oct 022020
 

 

(This is Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by Germany’s Toadeater, which is being released today.)

When it comes to the ongoing discussion about how/whether to separate the art from the artist I tend to err towards the idea that, ultimately, it really comes down to a matter of personal choice.

Sure, we can do our best to engage, discuss, and inform one another on the (not so rare) occasion it turns out that one of our favourite bands or artists turns out to have some… let’s say “questionable” views (or is just a reprehensible, irredeemable piece of shit), but ultimately it’s up to each of us, individually, where we draw the line.

Your circumstances will also affect how you act/react in response when an artist/band crosses that line – for myself there are bands I’ll still listen to but whom I choose not to use my platform here to promote, for example – but the one argument that doesn’t hold any water, not with me anyway, is that you can’t/won’t stop supporting a band “because there’s no-one else as good out there”.

The truth is there’s never been more great music out there. Sure, there’s a lot of dross. But there’s more opportunities now than ever to discover someone/something new when one of your old bands betrays you.

So if you’ve been struggling for a new Black Metal fix to replace your old one, Toadeater have you covered. Continue reading »

Sep 202019
 


Apparatus

 

(Andy Synn presents an extra-large Friday round-up of highly recommended new releases, from Apparatus, Consummation, Crypt Sermon,  Eternal Storm, Foscor, Haunter, Soheil Al Fard, Toadeater, Weight of Emptiness, and Witch Vomit.)

Inundated and overwhelmed with new releases as we are here at NCS it’s no surprise that a lot of albums this year have gone unpraised and unremarked upon.

And this situation looks likely to only get worse going into the last quarter of the year, as there’s a frankly astounding number of new albums yet to come before 2019 draws to a close.

Heck, today alone sees highly-anticipated new releases from Cult of Luna and White Ward, an unexpectedly killer comeback from Exhorder, as well as some seriously good new records from less well-exposed, but no less deserving, artists like Coffins, Engulfed, Urn, and more.

But, chances are you’re likely to have already read a lot about all those bands, either here or elsewhere.

So, instead, I’m going to take this opportunity to draw your attention to a bunch of albums (some big, some small) that you may have missed over the last few days/weeks/months. Continue reading »