Mar 312016

Universe 217-Change


(Here’s the third of our friend KevinP’s monthly selection of releases for 2016, naming his Top 5 favorite albums released during March.)

Truth be told, I’ve been knee deep into “comic book research” for the past few months, but especially in March, so my attention has been split between music and yet another hobby to spend way too much money on.  And by research, I mean investigating what new books and series recently came out and what’s on the horizon so I can generate a valid “pull list”.  I was toying with the idea of doing a semi-regular column on comic books.  What do you think of that prospect?  I’m rarely, if ever, gonna discuss a book about men (or chicks) in spandex, it will be all the indie and creator-owned ones (yes, I’m an elitist snob in my other hobbies as well).  Anyways, on with this month’s best of…… Continue reading »

Jan 202015


(KevinP turns in another edition of his new NCS interview series, Get To the Point, and in this installment he talks with Nikos Panagiotopoulos, bass player for the Greek bands Universe217 and Lunatic Medlar.)


K: I was all set with my first question being “hey you had a busy 2014 with the Universe217 Ease EP & Lunatic Medlar’s debut album, Finely Tuned Machine, then I noticed the latter was in 2013. Sooo, I guess, I’ll go with “what are your plans for 2015”?

N: Universe217 will do a 4-way split with some good friends (Agnes vein-Allochiria-Hedvika) and also planning on finishing our next LP (which we have already started recording). And maybe some re-releases from our earlier material.
As for gigs, we are hoping for some European dates. We have almost finished our Greek tour for our EP Ease and our label, Van Records, already booked us for their Acherontic Arts Fest this coming May.


K: The songs for the 4-way split and for the upcoming full-length, can you give us some idea what to expect based on your prior material?

N: It’s more minimal/monolithic and has a colder vibe. We didn’t do it on purpose but I think we have less of that Balkan eastern element of our prior works. We didn’t lose it but you can hear it less. Continue reading »

Dec 182013

Collected in this post are a handful of new songs (and three new videos) that I heard and saw last night. There’s a little bit of everything in here, culled from a lot of other things I found in my rambling through the interhole. Two of the new things are exceptions to our rule, and two involve female vocalists. Hope you like all of this diverse music as much as I did.


Nocturnal (pictured above) are a German band who came to life around 2000 “out of the ashes of Bestial Desecration”, dedicated to churning out teutonic thrash in homage to bands such as Destruction and Sodom. Yesterday they released a new video for a song named “Rising Demons”, which will appear on the band’s forthcoming album Storming Evil — their first in almost four years. It will be released by High Roller Records on February 28, 2014.

The song is a hell of a lot of evil-sounding fun — with whirling dervish riffs, a straightforward but nonetheless compulsive drumbeat, and Tyrannizer’s blackened howling vocals, which sound like a wildcat with esophageal cancer. The DIY video is also fun — B-movie clips interspersed with band performance clips, all in B&W of course. So strap on your bullet belt and spiked gauntlets and check out this thrashing unholiness: Continue reading »

Nov 052011

Universe217 is an experimental doom metal band from Athens, Greece. They’ve released two albums, a self-titled debut in 2007 and Familiar Places in 2011. I found out about this band through a Facebook post by another Greek band, Tardive Dyskinesia, whose music I know and like a lot (I’ve written about them many times at NCS, including this post). So far, I’ve listened to a grand total of two songs by Universe217, and those songs were performed as a single work for purposes of an unusual video.

The video was shot on a mountain outside Athens called Aloula, which is perhaps most famous because it’s the place where much of the marble used to build the Parthenon was quarried. The band and the film crew hiked with all the gear up the mountain for about 20 minutes, then set up and played. The performance was recorded live. Joining Universe217 were a couple of guest musicians — the vocalist from Tardive Dyskinesia (Manthos), who played guitar in this performance, and the drummer for a band called Need (Petros), combining with Universe217’a own drummer for a dual attack.

The video performance combines two songs — “Nothing” from Familiar Places and “66” from the band’s self-titled debut. The music isn’t as extreme as most of the music we cover at NCS, but it has a haunting quality that I found appealing, and I also just think it’s cool that they did this in one take, performing live on a mountain outside Athens. I was also impressed with the vocals of the band’s frontwoman Tania. Most of her singing is clean, though as the song builds in intensity she eventually kicks into some nice harsh crescendos. Check this out after the jump. Continue reading »