Nov 012018


I didn’t go trick-or-treating last night, or dress up for a costume party, or make any ritual sacrifices of kids in the neighborhood, much as I wanted to. No one came to our door asking for handouts either; the human heads impaled on spikes apparently did a good job protecting the perimeter of the NCS headquarters, though the ungodly screams coming out of the loris compound may have also played a role.

I was left to celebrate Halloween by listening to new metal, and man, there was a shitload of it to catch up with. There might be another day of the year when more metal bands and labels release new music than on Halloween, but I doubt it. Releasing cover songs also seems to be a Halloween thing. I picked just a few tracks to share around today… though I’m beginning with one that didn’t come out yesterday, though last night was when I first got around to hearing it.


In March of 2014 we had the privilege of premiering a full stream of the sixth album by the Parisian band Dirge, and I’m mentioning that because I decided to quote myself as a way of introducing their new seventh album. There are few things I enjoy more than quoting myself. Continue reading »

Sep 302013

I haven’t attempted to compile a round-up of noteworthy findings in several days, so I’ve had to ruthlessly cut what interested me or this post would have been longer than a reticulated python. Even truncated, it’s as long as a boa constrictor. And everything in here is awfully bloodthirsty, right up until the final item.


Is that a fuckin’ brutal album cover up there or what? It’s the latest cover art by Eliran Kantor, who I watch like a hawk because he’s so damned good, and it graces the 11th album by Iced Earth, which is planned for release by Century Media in January 2014. With a grisly cover like that and song titles such as “Democide”, “Cthulhu”, and “Parasite”, in addition to the title track, this could be very interesting.

Speaking of brutal, how ’bout a new Deicide track? Continue reading »

Sep 232013

This morning brought the premiere of two new songs from two forthcoming albums that we’ve been eagerly awaiting. You can and should hear both of them below.


The new Hail of Bullets album is entitled III: The Rommel Chronicles and it will be released in NorthAm by Metal Blade on October 29 (pre-orders available here). The new song is “DG-7”, and it follows the previous premiere of “Pour Le Mérite” (featured here).

The hammerstrikes of doom . . . the writhing melodies of dank death . . . the rampaging riff-tanks . . . soloing that’s both flame-spitting and soulful . . . the hoarse howls of the incomparable Martin van Drunen . . . it’s all here, and it’s all so damned fine: Dutch death metal devastation comes your way next. Continue reading »

Sep 172013

Continuing a round-up that I began yesterday, here are new songs, new videos, and an enticing piece of news that caught my eyes and ears since the last weekend began. They share a certain . . . darkness . . . at their core.


I’ve been waiting with bated breath for Diabolical’s new album Neogenesis since hearing a collection of pre-production excerpts released during the summer of 2012 (featured here). I say that without knowing precisely what bated breath means, but I presume it smells better than baited breath. In any event, Neogenesis is finally on the verge of release (the official date is September 27), and to build anticipation Diabolical have released a music video for a track named “Metamorphosis”.

The song is a wave front of blasting, blackened, death metal. In its most powerfully storming moments, it reminds me of those Polish masters Behemoth and Hate. It has an infernally imperial aura, and the production underscores its crushing might. The video is also very well done, though be aware that it includes nudity (not presented salaciously, I might add). I’m really looking forward to hearing all of Neogenesis. Continue reading »

Nov 042011

(The first two albums by Sweden’s Dissection are among my all-time favorite metal albums. So I was most interested in this guest post by a writer who goes by the name Kazz.  He identifies six bands who faithful Dissection fans should get to know.)

I remember hearing Dissection for the first time right after their debut LP, The Somberlain, dropped. This was back in the day before the internet was the primary tool for discovering metal, and for American fans of European metal the options were limited to blind purchases from import mail-order distros, or if you were lucky enough to live in a city with a good metal record store, you might have been able to get a recommendation from a knowledgeable clerk (remember those?).

The second wave of black metal was in full swing, but I was more tuned into the nascent Gothenburg melodic death metal scene. The NWOBHM-influenced twin lead-guitar harmonies over a death metal framework made these early melodic death releases fresh, rare, and worth import CD prices for anyone who loved both melody and brutality.

Some of those early In Flames and Dark Tranquillity records had a much more blackened vibe in the early days, particularly in their vocal delivery. But it wasn’t until I got my hands on The Somberlain that I really found anyone who very effectively merged melody with a black metal framework. Dissection made their name by infusing their black metal with a layer of melody which ensured that each song was memorable, together with strong musicianship and compelling lyrics and imagery. By keeping most of their NWOBHM-isms in the minor scale, they maintained a sense of darkness and foreboding over the blasting, thrashing framework of technically-proficient black metal. (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Feb 122010

Last December we wrote a post called Black Metal Navel-Gazing, which was some generally disrespectful commentary about a six-hour symposium on black metal held earlier that month at a bar and nigthtclub in Brooklyn. The symposium, called “Hideous Gnosis,” was attended by an odd combination of academics (including two who traveled from England for the event), music critics, and at least one actual black metal musician, Hunter Hunt-Hendrix, the frontman and guitarist from Liturgy.

In response to our sarcastic rant, we got some thoughtful, temperate comments (and some info from the symposium organizers), which prompted us to generate some somewhat less sarcastic follow-up posts here and here.

Having had some fun at the expense of “Hideous Gnosis,” it’s only fair that we do ’em a solid by informing you that the symposium’s contents and related documents (including photos) have now been published in hard-copy form. For details and info about how to buy the book, go here.

But don’t expect to see a book review here at NCS. Our brains are too small to understand this stuff. We’re more suited to listening to black metal than reading about its theoretical underpinnings and implications. In fact, we think we’ll listen to Valkyrja right now.  Join in if the spirit moves you:

Valkyrja: Catharsis (Contaminate the Earth)

Jan 292010

Can you give me 8 minutes of your time? I don’t mean the time it will take you to read this, but 8 minutes I’ll invite you to spend streaming a song afterward.

I don’t ask that lightly. Once upon a time, early in the last century, or even a very few years ago, 8 minutes would have been nothing. But I appreciate that today life moves quickly, our attention spans are limited, and whether we use our time wisely or frivolously, 8 minutes still counts.

But if you’ll consider that request, now imagine this: You are who you are, but you’re not who you are at this moment. Instead, you’re crouching on a sodden plain at the crest of sunrise. You’re wet and cold. Your clothes are thin, and insufficient to repel the chill. The darkness envelopes you, and you are alone.

You’re hungry and shivering, and when the sickly light grows brighter, though not bright enough to fully penetrate the fog and the rain, you will be fighting. Not for yourself alone, but for someone you love – your spouse, your brother or sister, your parents, your soulmate, anyone for whom you imagine you would risk your life – or for something within yourself that’s important.

Those you love are behind you, or what is important to your self is within you, and in front of you is a threat. You may be a man or a woman, but you are alone, and no one else will aid you. Your life may be forfeit, but there is a chance. And if all else fails, you will go down with a scream of defiance on your lips and you will do what damage you can to your foe before the end arrives. (if you’re still indulging this weird post, continue reading after the jump . . .) Continue reading »