Mar 202024

It has been a very busy week for the release of new songs and videos, and the week is only half-way through. Some of my fellow NCS slaves have tossed a lot of them my way, and I’ve ferreted out others.

Even though I’ve included quite a lot of them in this roundup, more are still running around the prairies waiting to be corralled. I hope I can lasso a few more before the weekend, assuming my lathered-up pony doesn’t hit a gopher hole and pitch me over its head into a hard landing.


This site sprang to life in November 2009. Just a couple months later we published our first annual list of “Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs“, and Dååth‘s “Wilting on the Vine” was one of the 10 we selected. That’s how long ago we started following this Atlanta-based band, though they had been releasing music for six years before that. But after one more album in 2010, the band fell silent for what turned out to be a very long time. Continue reading »

Oct 012019



(NCS scribe DGR continues to catch up on reviews after a long hiatus with a multi-part collection, of which this is the third of three parts.)

There’s something to be said for comfort food in music and there’s something to be said for the weird looks I receive when I say that tech-death has become something of a comfort food. I recognize fully that I will always be somewhat wowed by the musical equivalent of dangling shiny keys in front of me, but my god is that a lot of keys and boy howdy, they sure are shiny.

The tech-death explosion over the years has led to a large amorphous mass that can often lean a little too heavy in both the technical or the -core direction, often making bands seem like expert musicians that just jammed a massive ton of breakdowns in between, making the musical adventurism and haughtiness feel somewhat unearned. 2019 has of course seen a massive number of additions to the genre as groups push and pull at its boundaries to see what else they can do with it or find ways to stick out in an increasingly crowded field.

Some of those releases came from some now pretty-established names. Such was the case with the following three, where my familiarity with the groups’ extended discographies led me to have them on constant play — even when the latter two hit in the first half of the year and we’re now at the point where as writers we’re panicking to try and get as many of the groups as we’ve listened to out there, so we can start focusing on the craziness that is the year-end release schedule. Of course, none of this pile-up was helped by what was previously alluded to as real life rearing up and kicking yours truly right in the head — much as this music has done over the past few months. Continue reading »

Mar 052018


(This is the second part of DGR’s round-up of selected new songs and videos that appeared over the last couple of weeks. You can find Part 1 here.)


Inferi – Behold The Bearer Of Light

Right now, the hyperspeed tech-death, melodic-death, black-death, everything-kitchen-sink-and-broken-down-freezer-in-the-backyard metal crew of Inferi are out on the road, touring with Aethere, Alterbeast, and Grindmother as part of Alterbeast’s Feast album release tour. It’s been four years since the group’s last incredibly packed album The Path Of Apotheosis, but those moments of silence shall soon wane as the group have an upcoming April 21st release in the form of Revenant. Continue reading »

Aug 122016

Reviews in Haikus


(Andy Synn returns again to his irregular series of album reviews in haiku. Three reviews of three lines each come after the jump. With music, of course.)

It seems like almost everyone and their mothers are off to Migration Fest or Bloodstock this weekend, but I’ve taken it upon myself to ensure that our faithful readership aren’t left wanting. How good am I?

Anyway, we’ve got three new albums this time around, covering Canada, Australia, and the good old US of A (respectively)! Continue reading »

Dec 022015

Vale of Pnath kickstarter


It seems that almost every day brings news of metal bands or other artists associated with metal attempting to raise money for their projects (or their own survival) through crowd-funding campaigns. If we attempted to provide news of such things on a consistent basis, we’d probably never get anything else done around here. But the three items I’ve collected in this post caught my eye for differing reasons, and so I’m making an exception.


(Austin Weber graciously volunteered to write this first blurb, and these are his words.)

Back in 2011, a little-known band from Colorado called Vale Of Pnath dropped a monster of a debut full-length through Willowtip Records named The Prodigal Empire. With the passage of time, The Prodigal Empire has been rightly lauded as top-tier technical death metal music that fans of the genre hold dear. In the years following its release the band has lost and gained various members, which has unfortunately delayed the release of a follow-up from the group. Continue reading »

Apr 262014

Here are a few things I spied over the last 24 hours that I thought were worth passing along. The last two items aren’t nearly as vicious as what normally tends to attract me, but they’re suiting my mood today.


I’m guilty of inconsistent impulses about metal, in the same way as many other fans of underground music. On the one hand, I get cynical and even pissed off when I see metal being spread around in the mainstream, a feeling that it’s being polluted by rubbing shoulders with the uninitiated. On the other hand, I also get a little thrill when I see metal being used in a way that exposes the music to new listeners in new settings. I can’t explain it.

But anyway, I got that little thrill when I saw the following video this morning. It’s a performance by a woman named Arora Leigh at the 2014 Atlantic Pole Championship competition on April 12 in Washington, DC. As musical accompaniment for her routine, she chose an edited version of the song “Poisoned By Prosperity” by Denver’s Vale of Pnath — a band we’ve repeatedly featured and praised at this site. Continue reading »

May 062013

(DGR brings us a couple of new video releases that hit our radar screens since the end of our posts on Friday.)

This weekend brought us a lyric video of the new Children Of Bodom song “Transference”, from their due to be released early next month disc Halo Of Blood. I know, NCS isn’t exactly the biggest bastion of CoB news – nor are we planning to become one; but I felt that because I had spent a news post a little while back musing on whether or not the disc would be any good, then at the very least we needed to do some sort of follow-up so folks could judge for themselves.

As far as I know, this is the first song released from the disc other than the samples of songs that have been covered in their video breakdowns. A good rule of thumb on my end for whether or not I am going to find a disc amazing is whether or not I enjoy the lead-off single, and most of the time I never enjoy the first song released; don’t know if I have some sort of old man knee jerk, “I don’t like change!” reaction, but I have very few albums where I have liked the lead-off single. I knew I was really going to enjoy Omnium Gatherum’s and Soilwork’s latest because I loved everything that came off the pre-release PR wagon. This new song? Not so much.

It’s not a bad song and it has way more bass than Children Of Bodom have had before, but I think I’m really going to need to hear the whole disc before I pass any sort of judgement. Right now, we’re about a month out from the June 11th release date, so I figure we’ll probably start hearing more within the next two weeks and I’ll be ending this odd arc of CoB news on NCS. Continue reading »

Mar 082013

I just took a short break from the work grind, flitted around the interhole and the NCS e-mail inbox like a blowfly in search of a raw wound, and came across three items I wanted to pass along. Two are news items, one is new music.


I saw that a new North American tour has just been announced. It begins May 3 and runs through June 1. It made my already bulging eyes bulge further from their sockets, sort of like what happens to frogs when you inflate them with a bicycle pump.

The headliner is Gorod. I could stop there, but the rest of the line-up is cool, too: Inanimate Existence, Kamikabe, and Vale of Pnath.

But that’s not all.  On selected dates, the tour will also be joined by Fallujah, Pyrexia, Applaud, The Impaler, River of Nihil, The Kennedy Veil, Cognitive, and Archspire. Continue reading »

Jan 192012

A couple days ago TheMadIsraeli sent me a link to DECIBEL’s online site, and what should greet my eyes upon landing there but THAT piece of arresting artwork up. I was so struck by the colors and the imagery that I almost forgot there was supposed to be a song on that page, too.

The song is a new single called “Lairs of the Ascending Masters” by a Nashville band signed to Sumerian called Enfold Darkness. It’s an interesting blackened take on tech metal, with spidery riffing, swarmy soloing, spit-fire drumming, and vocals that vault from growly lows to torture-victim shrieks of pain — all of it rushing along well above the speed limit. If that sounds attractive, hop over to DECIBEL and let “Lairs” give your head a good scouring.

Since I’ve heard the song several times, what I want to do is talk more about the artwork. It was created by Ken Sarafin, who happens to be the vocalist for a Denver-based band named Vale of Pnath. Vale of Pnath released a self-titled EP in 2009 and then a debut album last August on Willowtip Records called The Prodigal Empire. I haven’t heard the whole album, though I’ve seen good things written about the band in comments here at NCS as well as elsewhere, and I was certainly intrigued enough by the artwork of Vale’s vocalist to finally dip a toe in the water. As noted, I also took a deeper dive into Ken Sarafin’s art. Continue reading »