May 202024

(Below you will find DGR‘s extensive review of the newest album from NZ’s Ulcerate, in advance of its June 14 release by Debemur Morti Productions.)

Weirdly enough, I had to check to see who had penned the last few reviews for Ulcerate’s releases as they’ve crossed our desks in the burnt-out husk that is more colloquially known as the ‘NCS Office’. The situation was one of those, ‘I’m pretty sure it was me, I am not a thousand percent sure it was me’.

You’ll forgive someone, of course, who has been spending a decent block of their heavy metal writing ‘career’ within the distant chasms of the Ulcerate discography for experiencing some sense of disassociation with the self. It turns out, it has in fact been yours truly for the most part, which means we can now add ‘Semi-Expert on Ulcerate’ to the resume, which’ll be only the third or fourth strangest thing on there, placed right up next to ‘balloon animal fluffer’. Continue reading »

Mar 162024

A hell of a party awaits below….

All the “big” names in this Saturday roundup of new songs and videos were suggested by my old friend and fellow NCS slave DGR — “big” in quotation marks because no surface-dwelling listener would remotely consider the music “radio friendly”.

But I still decided to throw in a few more subterranean offerings of my own choosing, all of it presented in alphabetical order by band name. That arrangement turned out to create some big twists and turns in the music.

ABORTED (Belgium)

First up, feast your eyes and ears on the music video for “Condemned To Rot” from Aborted‘s guest-studded new album Vault of Horrors. The guest stud on this one is Francesco Paoli from the NCS house band Fleshgod Apocalypse (does anyone remember when I used to call them that every time I mentioned them?). I’ll crib from my friend Andy‘s review of this album: Continue reading »

Mar 082024

No long-winded introduction today, nor any long-winded impressions of the songs and videos either, because… there are so many of them!

Most of these choices (though not all of them) are from bigger names in the extreme metalverse. Most of them were also suggested by my NCS compatriots, because I didn’t do a great job of keeping up with new releases this week. I do plan to have another roundup on Saturday, as usual, and will dig deeper into obscurities, of my own choosing.

ULCERATE (New Zealand)

This first item is a rarity, just a news item without any music to go along with it. But it’s exciting news, and so I couldn’t resist. Continue reading »

May 232020


We’re now continuing on with the mega-collection of new songs and videos we began here yesterday, resuming our march through the alphabet beginning with the letter S.

SEROCS (International)

To begin, we’ll throw your brain into a blender set to puree. “Building A Shrine Upon Vanishing Sands” is a brutalizing, electrifying, high-speed carnival ride. The percussive power of the song is punishing, and the vocals (also discharged at high speed) are rabid, while the darting and swirling fretwork is wild and exultant. The guitar soloing is nothing short of spectacular, and propels a song that was already an ecstatic thrill-ride way up into the stratosphere. If the track doesn’t leave you with an ear-to-ear grin, the virus may have mutated and given you facial paralysis. Continue reading »

Apr 152020


(In this review Andy Synn lavishes great (and well-deserved) praise on the new album by New Zealand’s Ulcerate, which will be released by Debemur Morti Productions on April 24th.)

Let me ask you a question… what does it take to earn a place in the Death Metal hall of fame?

Obviously seminal acts like Death, Dismember, Morbid Angel and their ilk (to name but a few) all belong there, as without them we wouldn’t even have a Death Metal genre… at least, not in the same way we know it now.

But as things have evolved, as new styles have come into being and splintered off to form their own distinct sub-species, it’s become harder and harder to form a consensus about what bands are big enough, bold enough, bombastic and badass enough, to be considered true hall-of-famers.

But if there was ever any doubt about Ulcerate’s worthiness, the release of Stare Into Death and Be Still should finally, and firmly, put that to rest. Continue reading »

Mar 262020


If you’re okay with this, I’m just going to continue pulling together big batches of new songs, with only brief introductions. Not that I would know one way or the other what you think. But please trust me — I’m not having to bend over backwards to find so many songs and videos to recommend. As it always is, even when I’m including more rather than less, you’re still seeing only a fraction of the new music that fires me up.

I did make one exception to my usual rule of not publishing news if it’s not accompanied by music, because Enslaved is always in a special category. After that, the bands are listed in alphabetical order. There are a couple of exceptions to another rule in here too.


The news is that Enslaved have completed a new album named Utgard, but that they and their label Nuclear Blast have decided to postpone the release until the coming fall. The first single, and an accompanying video (filmed in Iceland), will be released on May 22nd. Continue reading »

Mar 022020


At the risk of overloading our readers with new music in light of what we’ve already sent your way over the weekend and this morning (a risk that obviously means nothing to us), here’s a carefully curated collection of chaos to begin the new week. If death metal is your meat and potatoes, this will explode your gastrointestinal tract.


It didn’t take long for a new Ulcerate song to cause a flurry of comments within our internal NCS group. Not long after the title track to the band’s new album surfaced this morning, my colleagues uttered such exclamations and opinions as “tasty”, “oh shit”, “this is probably the cleanest and least reliant they’ve been on recorded-in-a-cave-next-door style mixing they’ve had yet”, “it’s DEFINITELY more melodic, and the production is warmer, but those are GOOD things”, and “it’s a natural progression from what they were doing on Shrines of Paralysis“. Continue reading »

Jul 272018

Climate Reanalyzer Global Weather Map – July 27, 2018


(Andy Synn has compiled a collection of songs from seven bands suitable for the hell we find ourselves in.)

Depending on where you are right now in the world, there’s a good chance you’re enjoying/enduring (delete as appropriate) the same sweltering heat and blazing sunshine which is currently scorching us here in the UK, and perhaps you find yourself wondering, as the earth around you slowly returns to its molten, primordial state… what albums provide the best soundtrack to my current situation?

After all, while a lot of Stoner Rock/Metal bands have built a career out of an association with lazy, sun-kissed vibes and hazy, weed-fuelled riffs, the majority of the more Extreme/Underground bands we cover here at NCS tend to be more associated with darkness and shadow… heck, about 50% of all the world’s Black Metal bands are obsessed with snow and ice, regardless of where they actually hail from… and there’s a reason we so often use words like “dank” and “cavernous”, “chilling” and “frostbitten, to describe their music – it just fits!

As a result I had to think long and hard about what albums truly capture the sensation of being trapped and tormented by the oppressive weight of the burning sun in all its torrid and terrible glory, before finally settling on the handful of suggestions you’ll find below. Continue reading »

Jan 202018

Dagon (photo credit: Chuck Marshall)


(DGR has stepped into the round-up void left by our editor this past week and has produced a three-part collection of recent songs and videos. Parts 2 and 3 will be presented on Sunday and Monday.)

The first couple weeks of the new year often feel like a machine slowly lurching back to life as people wake up from their respective holiday binges and try their damndest to shake the rust off, kick the tires, and get things back to into gear.

Both the news and the writing fronts often have that same year-opening feeling of machines lurching back into life after a couple weeks of dormancy — in the case of NCS it’s because we buried ourselves in the yearly Listmania event in which numerous lists of albums toppled over each another like the zombie anthills from the World War Z (in name only) film.

Three weeks into January, and judging by the handful of massive Seen and Heard and Overflowing Streams posts we’ve had to put up, you could say that we’ve solved the getting things into gear issue as our beloved musical genre has already offloaded numerous news bits upon us. I, your ever-faithful servant, have been doing my best to go along with my ragged fish net and catch everything that might’ve slipped by us — which in the case of this post dates back to last week and then some. Continue reading »

Nov 222016

Ulcerate-Shrines of Paralysis


(DGR reviews the new album by New Zealand’s Ulcerate.)

There’s a certain sort of apocalyptic reverie one takes on as a state of mind when reviewing an Ulcerate disc. The now long-running New Zealand-based death metal three-piece have made a career out of creating music that sounds tailor-made for the end of the world. When the Earth’s crust is rended asunder and magma comes shooting up into the air, Ulcerate are one of the groups that I am expecting to provide the mood music, like the band playing on the Titanic, on a planetary scale.

Keeping in mind that among the group’s discography are albums with names like Everything Is Fire and The Destroyers Of All, you can see why that description might feel apt. Ulcerate play a deafening form of death metal, one that is largely cavernous and often cataclysmic in its impact. They have grown in popularity over the years and have become a cultural landmark in the death metal scene as a whole. They are able to channel utter destruction in their sound and have done so for quite some time.

Only a few groups out there get to name a song “Weight Of Emptiness” and have it feel like it was built to fit that song, not just because it sounded cool. The same goes for Ulcerate’s newly released album Shrines Of Paralysis, which came out at the tail end of October, three years after the release of their last album Vermis. Shrines continues Ulcerate’s trend of auditory destruction, a slow death march to oblivion, and over the course of an hour it’s hard not to feel like there is some sort of darkness spreading through your veins. Continue reading »