Aug 142022

After three days of cruising along with lots of time to devote to NCS I ran into a wall. The demands of my fucking day job are unpredictable and weekends aren’t any more sacrosanct than they are at this site. So I had to work yesterday and this morning. You just never know when people will urgently need a delivery of toilet paper.

I finally did manage to squeeze in some listening and some writing for this weekly column, just so it wouldn’t completely go missing, but it’s shorter and more hurried than I wanted it to be.

SIGH (Japan)

To begin, we have a video for the song “Satsui” from the forthcoming 12th album by the remarkable (and long-lived) Japanese band Sigh. It’s the kind of song that’s capable of hooking people damned hard and damned fast. Continue reading »

Jun 052022

Photo by Liana Rakijian

I picked the music of six bands for today’s foray into blackened realms, four of them whose previous releases I enjoyed and two of them new discoveries.

The first four selections below are advance tracks from forthcoming releases. The last two are complete streams of records that were released just two days ago. Those latter two sunk their fangs into me, and I decided to feature them here while the venom was fresh even though I haven’t had the time to fashion thorough reviews.


Early last year I had the pleasure of premiering and reviewing Hulder‘s debut album, Godslastering Hymns of a Forlorn Peasantry. Mine were not the only eyes opened wide by that very impressive first strike. It’s fair to say that it launched a wave of attention and popularity that Hulder has been riding ever since, both on-stage and off.

But Hulder‘s solo creator hasn’t been content to just let that wave carry her for as long as it might have. Instead, she has recorded a new EP named The Eternal Fanfare and moved from Iron Bonehead Productions to 20 Buck Spin, which will release it on July 1st. The new EP convincingly shows that Godslastering Hymns… wasn’t a flash in the pan. Continue reading »

Jan 012021

New Year’s Eve, St. Petersburg Russia — but not this year (photo by Dmitri Lovetsky)


Happy New Year to all who may wander by our site today. But we extend that wish with one eye looking over our shoulder. Until we’ve cut the head off of 2020, put a stake through its heart, and burned the remains to ash, we fear it will remain with us, still shambling forward like a stinking zombie or coming back from its grave (which is just a temporary resting place) like a hungry vampire, ready to turn 2021 into something horrid just like itself.

The turn of the calendar means almost nothing of course. Today will be very much like yesterday and very much like tomorrow will be. If there is a meaningful change, it will only be one in our minds, which, however, is not nothing. I saw this poem today by Dana Gioia, named “New Year’s”: Continue reading »