Dec 072021


(This is DGR‘s review of the new album by Voices, which was released in late November by Church Road Records.)

I don’t think I was prepared for what transpired within the bounds of the hour-plus of the latest Voices album, Breaking The Trauma Bond. Now there will definitely be a few of you who smirk and go, ‘well, Voices being weird is modus operandi for them,’ and there is definite truth to that statement. Voices are a band  I show to people not because I fully enjoy everything they do but because when the band wrap their minds around a concept – especially since 2014’s London – they somehow manage to make some of the most fascinating and equally abrasive music out there.

The band have a core of death metal and black metal running through them but every release since 2013’s From The Human Forest We Create A Fugue Of Imaginary Rain has been so starkly different from the others that they’re a hard band to pin down, especially since they paint themselves as being sophisticated and avant-garde artistes. However, not even the early single release of An Audience Of Mannequins earlier in the year fully covers what happens within Breaking The Trauma Bond, because the two songs on that single may be the only two traditionally ‘heavy’ songs on this release. Even for Voices, Breaking The Trauma Bond is a fuckin’ weird disc. Continue reading »

Jun 192021


As America’s reopening progresses, yesterday my work place re-started the in-office, in-person Friday afternoon happy hour event that had been a weekly mainstay for decades… even though our workplace is still officially closed to the public and employees are not required to be there, but permitted to be there if they’re fully vaccinated. Some people have taken advantage of that permission, for various reasons. But even people who haven’t chosen to do that showed up for the happy hour party late yesterday. We miss each other, and we have missed this alcohol-fueled tradition.

I wasted no time in getting hammered, and didn’t make it back home until close to 11 p.m. I don’t feel terrible this morning, just a bit groggier than usual, but I did sleep in. So I’m late in getting to this roundup, with almost no time to do the usual searching around for new music to recommend. Fortunately, my NCS co-conspirator DGR did that for me. He recommended everything I’ve collected here, except for the first item, which I knew I wanted to feature anyway, and he knew I was already aware of it.

Because I’m so late getting this thing together, I’m again (mostly) dispensing with my usual commentary, links, and artwork. In a couple of instances I’ve included what DGR wrote in recommending the thing, and I did identify for you the record that’s the source of each song, plus the release info. As it happens, all of these selections arrived with videos. Continue reading »

May 112018

Hundred Year Old Man

(Andy Synn delivers another installment in a series focused on recent releases by UK bands.)

There’s not going to be too much preamble for this edition of “The Best of British”, mainly because I’m currently very busy with work for my day job, work for my band(s), and work for a certain other music magazine, all of which are collectively conspiring to monopolise most of my time at the moment.

Be that as it may, however, I’m hoping there’s enough variety contained within these three albums – some of which you might say are a little bit off our regularly beaten path here at NCS – that most of our readers will be able to find something they can engage with and enjoy. Continue reading »

Nov 132015

Damnation Festival 2015


(Andy Synn provides this report on the 2015 edition of Damnation Festival in the UK.)

It’s been a few years now since I last attended Damnation Festival, the annual celebration of all things dark and metallic hosted (as always) at Leeds University Student’s Union. But this year I knew I simply couldn’t miss it, as not only were a number of my favourite bands playing (hello Sólstafir, hi there Primordial) but also two bands I’ve been a fan of since their very first albums, but whom I’d never actually managed to see live before (The Ocean, Altar of Plagues).

Oh, and some band named At The Gates. Who are apparently pretty famous or something. Continue reading »

Jul 142014

Here’s just a short little something something that may make you smile, as it did me.

Akercocke may sadly be no more, but the spirit of the band lives on… in Legos. What you’re about to see is an animated video made by Akercocke fan “LegonardoDaFinci“, using Legos. It stars Darth Vader (aka Blast Vader) in the role of Akercocke’s drummer David Gray in a “drum play-through” of part of the song “Eyes of the Dawn” from Akercocke’s Words That Go Unspoken, Deeds That Go Undone (2005). LegonardoDaFinci did something like this before, in a Lego-ized tribute to Cryptopsy (here).

David Gray, of course, is still alive and well and performing in the UK black metal band Voices along with former Akercocke members Peter Benjamin and Sam Loynes. Their debut album From the Human Forest Create a Fugue of Imaginary Rain was released in March 2013 by Candlelight — and, what the hell, I might as well embed the player for that album right after the video. Continue reading »