Jun 022023

(In the following new interview Comrade Aleks spoke with Garrett Johnson (a/k/a Wandering Mind), guitarist/vocalist of the international band VoidCeremony, whose newest album Threads of Unknowing was released in April of this year by 20 Buck Spin.)

Californian prog-death/black-metal outfit VoidCeremony was formed by Garrett Johnson and Jon Reider in the summer of 2013, and now after a few line-up changes the band consists of Wandering Mind (guitars, vocals), C. Koryn (drums), The Great Righteous Destroyer (bass), and Hyperborean Apparition (guitars, vocals).

There’s nothing impossible now, and thanks to Metal-Archives we can figure out that Wandering Mind is Garrett himself. C. Koryn is Charles Koryn who’s known for his drumming in bands like Ascended Dead, Ghoulgotha, Vrent, and more. The Great Righteous Destroyer is Damon Good himself, the founder of one of the oldest Australian funeral doom bands – Mournful Congregation (as well as Cauldron Black Ram and Stargazer) — and that fact makes VoidCeremony an international project, as well as the residence of Hyperborean Apparition, who’s Philippe Allaire-Tougas, “multi-instrumentalist, producer, recording engineer, and guitar teacher” from Canada. He performs with Chthe’ilist, First Fragment, and more.

As you see, here we have a bunch of prolific and talented musicians performing a different kind of extreme metal, and if you heard VoidCeremony’s debut Entropic Reflections Continuum: Dimensional Unravel (2020), then you know where they can lead. The band’s sophomore album Threads of Unknowing was released on the 14th of April and it won’t disappoint fans of intelligent progressive extreme music.

These deconstructive tunes of primordial (crawling) chaos aren’t something you need to talk about but rather to experience, and yet we tried to discuss the  contrasting sonic canvases of Threads of Unknowing with Garrett. Continue reading »

May 052023


(Another month has passed into the moldy history books, and almost like clockwork Gonzo has arrived to spotlight three albums that made a better April for him, and might make a better May for you.)

April came and went, and here I am, sitting around at 5:39 p.m. on a Thursday, trying to figure out what the hell we’ve already covered during that month so I can avoid redundancy on these pages.

And holy shit – we’re just three weeks away from Northwest Terror Fest in Seattle, where I’ll be joining a significant percentage of the NCS staff for a weekend of work and revelry. If you haven’t scored tickets for that one yet, be sure that you do. The lineup this year looks positively ferocious. I’ll be the guy in the “FUCK THE D.E.A.” shirt periodically drunk on hazy IPAs. Come say hi.

Until then, here’s some new music to keep your eardrums occupied. Continue reading »

Feb 252023


I used to type lists of new songs and videos I wanted to check out, pasting the links below the band names. Now I use a Firefox thingy called Pocket. When I’m on a web page for a song or video, I tap the Pocket icon on the Firefox browser and it automatically saves the link in Pocket.

Much faster than what I used to do, but the downside is that when I go to Pocket I see endless rows of thumbnail images for all the links I’ve saved. I fear my fingers will cramp from the scrolling, down and down and down… and my mind starts to cramp up on me too.

The result is that I tend to focus on stuff at the top (the links I saved most recently), especially when I’m hurrying. That phenomenon explains most of the choices in today’s round-up. Continue reading »

Jan 192022


(Here’s Alex Atkinson‘s review of a new EP by California-based VoidCeremony that was recently fired into the void by 20 Buck Spin.)

California’s tech-death monstrosity VoidCeremony have given us a quaint dose of things to come with their three-track cassette release At the Periphery of Human Realms.  I usually steer away from tech-death, but something about these four members’ ability to navigate a song like a rabid Cujo always pulls me in.  Their all-star crew, pulling from such heavyweights as Incantation, Stargazer, and Atramentus to name a few, should be enough to get even the most annoying dingleberry a-twinkling.

For anyone who lives under a rock and has not heard VoidCeremony’s debut LP Entropic Reflections Continuum:  Dimensional Unravel, check out NCS’s review back in July of 2020 and listen to it as soon as possible.  It is like falling into a waking manic nightmare. Continue reading »

Jul 222020


(This is Todd Manning‘s review of the first full-length album by California’s VoidCeremony, which was released by 20 Buck Spin on June 26th.)

While some Death Metal bands try to streamline their sound to have hooks and conventional song structures, others seek to create obscure and challenging material that summons images of alien horrors and oddball geometries of terror. VoidCeremony certainly fall into the latter camp. Their debut full-length, Entropic Reflections Continuum:Dimensions Unravel marries progressive technicality with unrelenting brutality to create an incredibly powerful statement.

Consisting of Garrett Johnson on vocals, lead and rhythm guitar, Jon Reider on rhythm guitar, and Charlie Koryn on drums and engineering, VoidCeremony is full of powerhouse musicians. While plenty impressive on their own, they also enlisted the criminally underrated Damon Good (Stargazer, Black Cauldron Ram, Mournful Congregation) on bass for this album as well. Continue reading »

May 072020


I know I’m damned lucky to still have a job when so many people have been thrown out of work, but the job has been annoyingly intrusive lately. And by “intrusive”, I mean that it unexpectedly interferes with my grand ideas for NCS posts. This post, for example, is grand and gargantuan, but the job that pays me has delayed its appearance and constricted my time to the point that I’ve had to strip away most of the writing I had in mind. I’m cognizant of the likelihood that depriving you of my complete thoughts will cause widespread weeping.

As the title signifies, I decided to make this round-up death-centric — but there are lots of flavors of death metal represented here and different directions being pursued. I might have figured out a good way to order the flow, but didn’t have time to think about that either. So, just be prepared to bounce around.


“Check this steamroller. Nasum-like grind with choppy tech riffs to break things up. Complete barbarian war vocals. From Tunisia. What the hell, Omination, Ayyur, and now this….” Continue reading »

Nov 112017


You can go long or you can go short. You can pound your musical erogenous zones or you can shrivel up and go dry from something far outside the rim of your bullseye. You can fragment your mind or feel it coalescing in configurations that become receivers of new visions. Every day there are new opportunities.

I’m speaking of metal, of course. I got doses of all those experiences this week, but bit off almost more than I could chew with this week’s flood of premieres, and got squeezed by my fucking day job on top of that, so I failed to compile a round-up until now, and hence it’s a big one.

Catching up is an impossibility, of course, and this time it happens that my choices (all the way up to the last one) are mainly indulgences in a particular mood rather than my usual effort to throw darts all over the metal dartboard. The one thing I haven’t done is incorporate black metal, because I have tomorrow’s SHADES OF BLACK column for that.


We’ve been writing about this Greek band for years, beginning with their first single in 2013 and including their second one in 2015, their debut EP released the same year (and reviewed by DGR here), their amazing single and video from last year, “The Rain”, the first single (“Seeds of Deception”0 from their debut album, The Untamed Wilderness, which will be released by Lifeforce Records on November 24th, and the second one (“Shade of the Sun”). And now there’s a third, accompanied by a video. Continue reading »

Jan 122016



(This is Part 6 of our Norwegian friend Gorger’s continuing feature on bands we seem to have overlooked at NCS. And be sure to check out Gorger’s Metal.)

Cheers anew, and a headbanging new year. The past has been revisited a bit lately on NSC, a site that typically holds a firm stare into the crystal ball. I have, after hours arguing with myself, decided not to spend days arranging a 2015-favorites list. Thus, at least I can spend some time presenting some infectious releases from the year that kicked the bucket on its own birthday. I hope you’ll find something you’ll pursue and enjoy. Continue reading »