Jun 132016

Phobocosm - Bringer of Drought


(In this post Todd Manning provides brief reviews of new releases by Dark Descent and Unspeakable Axe.)

Death might just be the overarching theme of 2016, but the tandem of Dark Descent Records and their sub-imprint Unspeakable Axe are certainly spinning this in their favor by releasing a continuous string of remarkable Death Metal albums. While I have already had the opportunity to talk about new albums from the likes of Ripper, Nucleus, and Hemotoxin, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to gush about a few more albums from the label.


First up is the new album from Montreal-based Phobocosm. Bringer of Drought is the follow-up to their impressive debut Deprived and is nothing short of astonishing. Despite the label’s reputation as being at the forefront of the New Wave of Old School Death Metal, none of these bands seems to be unoriginal or regressive in such a way that causes them to lack their own identity. This is perhaps best illustrated by Phobocosm, who seem to marry the epic feel of classic Neurosis to the Death Metal/Doom hybrid of Inverloch and Disembowelment. Continue reading »

May 072016

Denouncement Pyre-Black Sun Unbound


Some people may have noticed that I failed to compile even one round-up of new music all of this past week (unless you count that little Warriors in Forests thing). I’ve still been spending hours every afternoon or evening in a hospital ICU trying to help support my injured friend and her family.

For those of you who have been following my scattered references to this tragedy, my friend came out of her coma yesterday, though she still drifts in and out of consciousness and is now beset with other medical issues in addition to her injury.  It’s too soon to tell exactly how seriously impaired she will be as a result of the injury to her brain.  She can answer some simple yes or no questions by moving her fingers or foot, but she hasn’t attempted to speak and doesn’t move much. I’m trying to remain hopeful, but this is still heart-breaking.

Though I haven’t had time to do much for NCS this week besides write introductions to premieres, I have been keeping a list of new song and album streams and videos that I’ve noticed. As usual, there’s a shitload of them, far too many to write about in one post. I picked a handful to include in this post (and Austin Weber wrote an introduction to one of them as well). I’m also planning to prepare a Shades of Black post for tomorrow to collect others. Continue reading »

Feb 252013

Many of you are already quite familiar with Dark Descent Records. For those who aren’t, it’s a small independent label based in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It specializes in death, black, and doom metal — music that’s dark as night and dangerous as a mine field.

I wish I had time to dive deeply into every one of their releases, because the ones I’ve heard have been dependably lethal.

Dark Descent have had a Bandcamp site for some amount of time, but until recently I’m pretty sure they’ve only used the site to stream music, with actual sales limited to physical media. However, NCS supporter Vonlughlio alerted me to the fact that over the weekend Dark Descent began offering some of their releases for download on Bandcamp — and they’ve been adding new albums to their Bandcamp page, with more to come this week.

Last night Dark Descent also announced the creation of a “sub imprint” named Unspeakable Axe, which will focus on “bands influenced by and existing in the same indefinable territory as some of the founders of extreme metal – bands like Possessed, early Sepultura, and Hellhammer – as well as the ones that deliberately blurred the lines after they were already established, like Messiah, Merciless, Deceased…, Varathron, Mortuary Drape, and others.” Continue reading »