Nov 272019
 

 

(We present Todd Manning‘s review of the new album by Indiana-based Tusk, which was released on November 20th.)

Perhaps one of the keys to Doom’s recent proliferation within the Metal world is its ability to assimilate and synthesize adjacent genres and spit the concoction back out as a coherent whole. Some bands soak up Classic Rock vibes and spit out Stoner Doom, others drag Death Metal through the molasses to give us the Death-Doom hybrid. For Indianapolis-based trio Tusk, they take the wintry atmosphere of Black Metal and the meditative qualities of Post-Metal and then drop the tempos down to primordial levels, producing a hypnotic and powerful debut in the form of Eternal Ice.

Consisting of Xander Farrington on drums, Jesse Curtis on guitar and vocals, and David Arthur on bass, Tusk construct a towering work with the most basic of parts. At times, they give the Doom fan just what they came for, like in the album opening riff on “Pale”. The riff lumbers along and crushes glaciers beneath its feet, but when the forlorn vocal comes in, it is apparent that this will be a multi-faceted listening experience. This feeling is further reinforced by the softer clean guitar breaks that add to the somber mood of the song. Continue reading »

Nov 122019
 

 

(On November 22nd Profound Lore will release a new album by Lord Mantis, and today we share with you Todd Manning‘s review.)

It’s the return of the filth, courtesy of Lord Mantis. These people have been absent for five long years, but they are ready to reopen festering wounds with their new full-length, Universal Death Church, out November 22nd on Profound Lore Records.

At one point this entity appeared to be dead, but the group decided to rebuild burnt bridges in order to honor the memory of drummer and founding member Bill Bumgardner. Universal Death Church is an immense statement by the reformed line-up, a sprawling testament to chaos and sadism, done as only Lord Mantis knows how to do. Continue reading »

Oct 302019
 

 

(This is Todd Manning‘s enthusiastic review of the new album by the Texas band Monte Luna, which is out now via Argonauta Records.)

In 2017, Monte Luna dropped their debut full-length on an unsuspecting world, a sonic concoction of crushing sludge and doom mixed with psychedelic tones of weird horror and fantasy. Now they have returned like a lost tribe of barbarians charging across the wasteland. Their follow-up, Drowners’ Wives, was released on October 4th. courtesy of Italian label Argonauta Records.

For those who heard the massive sweep of the duo’s self-titled debut, they will be glad to know that the band have held onto their previous ambition. Yet the path to Doom-ridden bliss is different than before. Where in the past guitarist/vocalist James Clarke pounded out massive Conan-inspired riffage while drummer Phil Hook hammered away at Godflesh-like beats, Drowners’ Wives lets the Melvins influence shine though, primarily through massive vocal hooks. At the same time, there is a thick layer of psychedelia applied liberally over the proceedings that contributes greatly to the overall character of the album. Continue reading »

Aug 262019
 

 

(Todd Manning wrote the following review of the new record by the Chilean thrash band Ripper, which is set for release on September 30th by Unspeakable Axe Records.)

For many, and myself included, Ripper’s 2016 full-length Experiment of Existence was a highlight of that year.  The songwriting on that opus was a deft combination of classic Teutonic Thrash and proto-Death Metal with hints of technical musicianship added in for flavor. Now these Chilean madmen are back with their newest release, Sensory Stagnation, once again with Unspeakable Axe Records. Continue reading »

Aug 132019
 

 

(This is Todd Manning‘s review of the new album by the Michigan-based grindcore band Cloud Rat, which is set for release on September 13th by Artoffact Records.)

It’s funny to watch the cycling of musical sub-genres. It’s not so much that anything goes away nowadays, but when it comes to sonic extremity, certainly flavors tend to move more or less out of focus. Recently, it seems Grindcore is starting to push to the fore with a batch of innovative releases. 2019 has seen not only the return, albeit in slightly altered form, of Discordance Axis, now under the moniker No One Knows What the Dead Think, but also forward-thinking releases from Immortal Bird and now, Cloud Rat.

Cloud Rat are certainly not rookies and their new full-length, Pollinator, is actually their fourth album. Much like Immortal Bird, Cloud Rat seize the innovation of classic Discordance Axis and make it their own. It is not that they are so much aping the sound of that classic trio as taking the torch of innovation and running with it. Continue reading »

Jul 112019
 

 

(This is Todd Manning‘s review of the new album by No One Knows What the Dead Think, which is set for release on September 20 by Willowtip Records.)

All hail the new flesh, the new band that is a merciless reincarnation of the insane and mighty Discordance Axis. No One Knows What The Dead Think contains D.A. alumni Jon Chang on vocals and Rob Marton on guitar, and they are joined by Kyosuke Nakano on drums, and the band make no bones about this being the culmination of the original series of albums by Discordance Axis.

For those not familiar with Discordance Axis, they produced some of the most stunningly original Grindcore albums of the nineties. The sound was utterly unhinged, partially due to Chang’s vicious and wide-eyed vocal approach, but also because of Marton’s almost Godflesh-like riffs being paired with Dave Witte’s blasting drum work. And just like before, the vibe here is suitably Post-Human, a sort of logical conclusion to Cyberpunk, where Earth’s hellscape is primarily populated by swarms of of artificial intelligence. Continue reading »

May 292019
 

 

(Earlier this spring Todd Manning reviewed the new album by the Indianapolis-based sludge/doom quintet Conjurer, and today he introduces our premiere of a video for a track from the album.)

At the beginning of April, Conjurer debuted the track “Across the Void” from their second album Sigils here at NCS, an album released later that same month. The song is immense and suffocating, reveling in the sort of rituals that can tear open the very fabric of the universe.

Today we bring you the premiere of the lyric video for that song. Heed the warnings, or heed the call, this is for those who dare to play with flames that feed on the minds of humanity. Continue reading »

May 282019
 

 

(Todd Manning prepared this review of the new album by Nocturnus AD, which was released late last week by Profound Lore Records.)

There is a small but dedicated group of metalheads who have been waiting a long time for a new record from Floridian Sci-Fi Death Metal powerhouse Nocturnus. Well, the wait is finally over. They have returned, now known as Nocturnus AD, and their new album Paradox dropped on May 24th.

Most fans consider their first album, 1990’s The Key to be their best. Nocturnus’ style was jarring to say the least, and at the time, it certainly triggered strong opinions both positive and negative from Death Metal fans worldwide. The production was cold and the band’s technical Death/Thrash hybrid could be bizarre at times. The most divisive element, though, proved to be their heavy use of keyboards. In the early days of the genre, this amounted to pure heresy. Continue reading »

May 062019
 

 

(This is Todd Manning‘s review of the new album by the Australian band Kollaps, which was released on May 3rd by Cold Spring Records.)

Kollaps are an Australian Post-Industrial trio deep-diving into the depths of sonic extremity on their second album Mechanical Christ, out now on Cold Spring Records. Not unlike their peers in this rather small niche in Extreme music, Kollaps take the listener on a harrowing journey through utter darkness and despondency, a place where guitar riffs are thrown out and replaced by sledgehammer percussion and waves of abrasive distortion.

The term Post-Industrial, used to describe Kollaps, is an interesting choice. Their sound in many ways is a return to the roots of Industrial Music. It is not hard to hear Throbbing Gristle, Test Dept., and Einstürzende Neubauten in the Sturm und Drang on Mechanical Christ, yet also present are more modern elements taken from Noise and Drone, and the effect is remarkably unsettling. Continue reading »

Apr 022019
 

 

(In this post Todd Manning reviews the new album by Indiana’s Conjurer, which will be released on April 5th, and introduces our premiere of a song from the album.)

There is a tendency in the world of Metal to try to overload every available inch of sonic space with brutality. It’s an understandable and often effective approach, but at times, bands who utilize a more stripped-down strategy are equally capable of blowing the listener’s mind and ears. It is this kind of sense of refinement that is evident in spades on the new album Sigils by Indianapolis-based Sludge/Doom quintet Conjurer.

For anyone familiar with their debut, Old World Ritual, their latest is not a radical departure from the sound they established there, but is a logical and powerful step forward. Continue reading »