Jun 162022

(Here’s three albums released last week that Andy Synn thinks you need to hear)

As you may have noticed, we do a fair bit of “retroactive reviewing” here at NCS, mostly because… well, we only write about things that we like and sometimes it takes a while to work out how much we like something and how to express that.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s still cool to be able to offer advance reviews of albums we think you’re going to love (both the new Exocrine and White Ward albums, for example, aren’t out until Friday but have already received glowing write-ups), but when we find something we really like and want to talk about it doesn’t really matter if it’s been out for a while – after all, it’ll be new to someone!

So here’s a triple-header of short-but-sweet reviews for three album released last Friday – some epic Doom from Monasterium, some crusty Death Metal from Neolithic, and some scorching Black Metal from Umbra Conscientia – that definitely deserve some extra love.

Continue reading »

Feb 112020



(In this post Andy Synn combines reviews of three recommended albums that we largely overlooked last year.)

This week is, thankfully, notably less busy in terms of new releases than the last one was.

In fact the only ones which really jump out at me are the new Ihsahn EP, Telemark (which, as a long-time fan of the man’s work, I found to be a big disappointment), the highly-anticipated full-length from Godthrymm (about which I’ll be writing more later in the week), and the debut record from Washington-based Black Metallers Izthmi (which I’ll also be writing about very soon).

So, taking advantage of this temporary lull, I’ve decided now is the perfect time for another look back at last year so as to give some belated attention to three artists/albums which I/we otherwise didn’t get around to covering at the time. Continue reading »

Nov 252019


I did warn you this might be late.

I had a hellish time deciding what to include in this week’s column. Usually I manage to squeeze a few black metal selections into SEEN AND HEARD round-ups during the week, which makes the Sunday winnowing a little bit easier (but only a little), and I did some of that in yesterday’s first post.

But lacking the time to prepare any round-ups last week, the options over which I pondered for this column were enormous in number. I did the best I could, though still downcast by my inability to do more — a feeling counter-balanced by how excited I am over what I did choose.


The Portuguese band Israthoum, who have been based in the Netherlands for roughly 20 years, have produced a distinctive and compelling discography that, for myself and many others, makes their every release a “must listen!” event.

Their newest work, an album named Arrows from Below, is enriched by the amazing artwork of Ubertragic Art that you see above. It will be released on Friday the 13th of December by New Era Productions, and last week DECIBEL premiered the first excerpt, a song called “Laetetur Cor”. Continue reading »