May 132014

This is turning into a monster of a day for new song and album streams. Not long ago we posted about the full-album stream from Misery Index, and just since then I spotted four more song and album streams that are worth your attention. Here we go:


Origin have now premiered a new song entitled “Manifest Desolate”, the first advance track from their forthcoming sixth album, Omnipresent. The album is due for release on July 4 in Europe by Agonia Records and June 8 in North America via Nuclear Blast. Pre-order here.

“Manifest Desolate” comes in the form of a video that displays the many formats in which the album will be released. The song itself is a blistering explosion of tech-death fireworks, kind of like jamming your face into a fistful of Roman candles. But my favorite part of the song actually comes when the band down-shift the tempo. Listen next… Continue reading »

May 122014

Mondays are usually big days for metal premieres, and today is no exception. We had one ourselves (but of course you’ve already checked that out, haven’t you?), and I’ve selected a few more that I thought were worth spilling some words over — and worth your ear and eye time, too, of course. I’ve included two of them in this post, along with another recent premiere; all of these are new videos.


I’m sure we could think or more things to write about this band’s new album Splinters, but we’ve written quite a lot already. So I’ll just crib from the last line of our review and leave it at that:  “Splinters is straight-up volcanic desolation at its finest”.

What’s new from Vallenfyre today is an official video for the title track, which premiered at Metal Hammer. It’s an excellent song and the video is a very well-made, very creative interpretation of the music. I quote from the band’s statement about the video: Continue reading »

May 052014

(In this post TheMadIsraeli delivers a review of the new, second album by the UK’s Vallenfyre.)

I’ll admit to it.  I haven’t been writing ’cause of a video game.  Dark Souls 2 in particular.  Now that I’ve had my complete fucking burnout on the game, I felt motivated to get back to metal and metal things.  The new Vallenfyre album was a surprise waiting for me in our Dropbox and it pretty much called me like a siren to listen.  I loved their debut (I bought it after reviewing it) and looked forward to another helping from these death-doom denizens of pestilence.  As things turned out, having played Dark Souls 2 worked completely in my favor because it allowed me to encapsulate Splinters perfectly.

There is a monster in the game called The Rotten, a golem composed entirely of corpses held together only by a consciousness that seeks to give shelter to the thrown-away and unwanted, whether they like it or not.  The helpless victims are butchered and added to The Rotten’s mass, forever prisoners to his sadistic sense of being the shepherd to a flock of sheep.  One of the key aspects of the Dark Souls universe is that humans cannot die; they are merely resurrected in a zombified state while retaining all of their mental faculties, making The Rotten essentially a prison built from living yet decaying, rotting corpses.

Vallenfyre on Splinters pretty much embody that.  They forcefully absorb you into the mass of corrupted defilement they have created, and use your very life force to feed their ability to function.  This results in a sound that is overwhelmingly putrid, filled with Swedish buzz-saw guitar tones, dragging doom, carpet bombs of blast beats, titan-sized riffing, and utter despair. Continue reading »

Apr 292014

(In this post, NCS contributor KevinP interviews Hamish Glencross of Vallenfyre and My Dying Bride and along the way extracts a track-by-track commentary about the new Vallenfyre album — Splinters — which is scheduled for release by Century Media on May 12 in Europe and May 13 in North America.)

K:  Ok, let’s get something clear right from the start.  How close were you to convincing Gregor to change the name of the band to VallenPorn ‘stache??



H:  Heh heh! Well, I wanted to keep the focus off the facial hair as much as possible as I could tell it would be a distraction, so I thought better of it.  I was a little concerned people would think my dad had joined the band!


K:  LOL, fair point.  Papa Glencross.  If I may ask, whats the genesis behind that thing in the first place?

H:  Simply my daughter wanted me to grow a ‘stache.  And if that’s the worst thing she’ll ever ask of me, I’d be doing ok. Continue reading »

Apr 172014

We were early and avid supporters of A Fragile King, the 2011 debut album by the all-star UK group known as Vallenfyre. It was a very personal album for all involved but especially the band’s founder Greg Mackintosh (Paradise Lost), who started the band after the death of his father. It could have been a one-off kind of project, but the reception to A Fragile King was so positive and the experience was obviously pleasurable enough for the band members that they have come roaring back with a second album — Splinters (produced by Kurt Ballou of Converge). Here’s a hint: it’s even better than the debut.

We wrote about the first advance track from the new album (“Scabs”) last month, and today we’re happy as hell to premiere another new song — “Odious Bliss”. After a massively heavy doom-shrouded opening, it begins to rumble and rush like a demon freight train with the throttle wide open, driven by Adrian Erlandsson’s jolting drumwork and a load of skull-splitting riffage. Continue reading »

Mar 292014

Yesterday was a bonanza for me, like Santa got lost on Christmas Eve and wound up in a roadhouse in Amarillo and pulled out of his blackout drunk only yesterday, just long enough to drop these three presents down my non-existant chimney while he puked his guts out all over the reindeer. Or something like that.


I get all tingly in my nether bits thinking about Vallenfyre’s new album, Splinters. A Fragile King (2011) was such an auspicious debut, and it’s such welcome news that this all-star band decided to follow it up with another album, which is now scheduled for release by Century Media on May 12 in Europe and May 13 in North America. Yesterday brought the premiere of the album’s opening track, “Scabs”.

The combination of screeching feedback, massive guitar and bass tone, and crisp, rapid-fire percussion grabs you within the first half-minute — and the song just gets even better from then on. The writhing guitar melody, the truly titanic chugging, the cavernous vocals, the obliterating drumwork — it all combines to exert a powerful, primal appeal, and an atmosphere drenched in bleakness. Fantastic song. Continue reading »

Mar 132014

That album cover up there is one I want on a fuckin’ shirt ASAP. It was unveiled today by Century Media and it will adorn the second album by the mighty Vallenfyre, which is entitled Splinters. The artist is Brian D’Agosto. The album is now scheduled for release on May 12 in Europe and May 13 in North America.

I’m really, really eager for this album. We were early adopters of this band beginning when the first whispers of their existence surfaced back in 2010, and their debut album A Fragile King (2011) fully justified our early optimism. If you are somehow unaware of Vallenfyre, the band consists of Greg Mackintosh (Paradise Lost) on vocals and lead guitars, Hamish Glencross (My Dying Bride) on rhythm and lead guitars, Scoot (Doom, Extinction of Mankind) on bass, and drummer Adrian Erlandsson (At the Gates, Paradise Lost, The Haunted).

Today also brought the first taste of music from the new album. It comes in the form of a studio video that includes a minute and a half of the song “Scabs”. Continue reading »

Jan 212014

I’ve been in a state of Seahawks-inspired delirium since Sunday morning. Apart from my own ridiculous heights of excitement, the city I call home as been completely engulfed in a similar type of out-of-body experience. Everyone wants to talk about Sunday’s win and the impending Super Bowl trip, even the people who are still trying to figure out how many innings it takes to complete a football game. You can’t listen to radio or watch any kind of sports-related TV without being engulfed in Seahawks talk (although much of it has consisted of uninformed yammering about Richard Sherman). Some of you have probably found yourselves in a similar environment in past years, but it hasn’t happened here in Seattle in a long, long time.

One result of all this is that I’m way behind on my usual search for metal news and new metal. This morning I did tear myself away from Seahawks mania long enough to check out a few things and put this post together.


If you haven’t heard the 2013 EP by Finland’s Hanging Garden, stop wasting time and go find it. I don’t want to have to tell you twice. I Was A Soldier (Lifeforce records) is worth your 15 minutes, and all the other minutes you’ll spend with it after the first listen. To give you some evidence of why the EP is so worthwhile, allow me to show you a video that premiered today for its final track, “Will You Share This Ending With Me?” Continue reading »

Dec 022013

I’m still on vacation, and probably should be vacationing instead of spending time on the internet catching up on what’s been happening in the world of metal. Honestly, I expected that nothing would be happening without me there to notice it. You can imagine my shock and dismay in discovering that the world continues to turn even when I don’t pay attention to it. Something is seriously wrong.

Honestly, I didn’t try to dig too deeply into what I’ve been missing, but I did manage to fight through my depression and found a batch of recent things worth mentioning before returning to fucking off.


The last time a band’s merchandising ploy pulled me up short was when Ghost B.C. started selling dildos and butt plugs. But it happened again yesterday when, thanks to a link sent my way by The Autistic Metalhead, I discovered that Italy’s Fleshgod Apocalypse had started selling their own brand of pasta. It’s true. They’ve got four varieties and they’re shipping worldwide. In my case, it would cost 28 Euro, plus 20 Euro for shipping and handling. Continue reading »

Jul 242012

As previously mentioned, we’ve got another doom-oriented post planned for today, as a bookend for the one with which we started, but in the meantime here’s one more interlude.

Vallenfyre and Paradise Lost are two of our favorite bands, united by the common presence of Greg Mackintosh. Both of them have released extremely strong albums over the last eight months — Vallenfyre’s A Fragile King (reviewed at NCS here and here) last November and Tragic Idol by Paradise Lost (reviewed here) earlier this year.

Both of them also seem to be united by the dedication of fans who are not only faithful but also really fuckin’ talented. Witness the two videos featured in this post, which I just saw this morning.

The first one is a stop-action animation for Vallenfyre’s tremendously monstrous song “Ravenous Whore”. It tells the story of theocratic rat people trying to summon a creature through the sacrifice of one of their own, and it’s really well-done. Not only is the animation extremely cool, but the conception and syncing of the visuals to the music are creative and beautifully executed. Credit goes to Jamie Evans from the UK, who is submitting the video to the upcoming Bradford Animation Festival.

The second video is another animation, in the style of a lyric video, for the song “Theories From Another World”, which is probably my favorite track on Tragic Idol. A Russian fan who goes by the name MrHuempolbu created the animation using the Tragic Idol cover artwork created by Jean Emmanuel Simoulin (, and it’s also superb.

Both videos are greatly helped by the fact that the songs kick so much ass, but the creativity and artistic skill shown in both of them deserve a round of applause. Watch them next . . . Continue reading »