Oct 272020


(Andy Synn is celebrating his decade of writing for NCS with a collection of 10 reviews, one for each year….)

You know what I discovered this weekend?

I’ve now been writing for NCS for ten years.

I know. Mind = blown.

Over the last decade I’ve had several different jobs, moved house multiple times, and seen various relationships – both good and bad – come and go. But NCS has consistently been one of the few constants in my life which has helped keep me going through thick and thin.

So I want to say thank you. Thank you to all the bands for all the great music over the years. Thank you to all the readers and commenters (the good ones anyway) for all the kind words, “witty” banter, and support. Thank you to the rest of the core NCS crew, for always having my back (even if/when they disagree with what I’ve written, which inevitably makes them wrong and me right).

And thank you most of all to Islander for allowing me to become a part of the site. Hopefully one day you’ll finally understand just how much you’ve helped change my life.

Anyway, in honour of this momentous occasion I’ve picked out ten albums – one from each year I’ve been writing here, including this year – which I overlooked when they first came out. Continue reading »

Feb 272014

I’m still being squeezed by my day job, with a road trip adding to the squeezing, but I do have the following four discoveries from yesterday that I’d like to toss your way.


Ifing is a two-man band consisting of Fritz Petersen and Tim Wicklund. They live in the wilds of Grand Rapids, Michigan. They named their band after the great river in Norse mythology that separates the realms of the gods from the giants. And if you think that may be the beginning of a clue to the music, you may be right.

They have recorded a debut album entitled Against the Weald, and it’s scheduled for release by the excellent Finnish label Blood Music on May 6.  Yesterday Terrorizer premiered a song from the album named “The Stream”. At more than 13 minutes in length, “The Stream” takes up almost half of Against This Weald‘s running time. I still thought it was too short. Continue reading »

Feb 042014

Still catching up on new music I missed over the last couple of days, I’ve compiled this collection of new songs by three European bands that I recommend highly.


I make no secret of the fact that I have a quivering weakness for old-school, reeking-corpse death metal. It’s a genre in which I expect no molds to be broken, but I do want the right spirit and the right flair — faithfulness without tedium. Morbid Flesh from Barcelona, Spain, definitely meet those expectations.

They’ve recorded a new EP under the title Embedded In the Ossuary, which is scheduled for release on March 31 through Germany’s Unholy Prophecies. It caught my eye because of the wonderful cover art (above) by Javi Castaño and because it was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Javi Bastard of Spain’s Graveyard, and he knows a thing or two about old school death metal (Graveyard’s Jordi Gusi is also a member of Morbid Flesh). Recently, Unholy Prophecies began streaming a Morbid Flesh track named “Charnel House”, and I listened to it this morning. Continue reading »

Jan 292014

Due to the demands of my fucking day job, I haven’t had much time to go exploring for new music and news items over the last 24 hours, but on a very quick excursion through the interhole and my NCS in-box I did spy the following three items for your edification and enjoyment.


The last time I mentioned the name Warpstone on NCS was in April 2012, in the context of a feature on the painted art of that great Italian madman, Paolo Girardi. One of the pieces I used in that feature was Girardi’s cover for a then-forthcoming album by Warpstone entitled Daemonic Warpfire. At that time, I could find no music from the band available for streaming and I failed to follow up and check out the album when it was released.

This morning I noticed the painting by Paolo Girardi for Warpstone’s forthcoming second album, Into the Phantasmancer Celestial Castle, and it’s simply stunning. To see a larger view of the cover, click the image above. Fantastic.

Warpstone have also put three songs from the new album on Bandcamp for streaming, and I’m including the player for them below, as well as a YouTube clip for one of the new songs. They are genuinely impressive. Continue reading »

Apr 092012

I first came across Paolo Girardi’s name when writing about the Italian nuclear incinerator known as Blasphemophagher (here). Girardi painted the cover art for Blasphemophagher’s latest album, The III Command of the Absolute Chaos, which you can see above. He has painted many more album covers for metal bands, though it took a link from Rev. Will to one of Girardi’s most recent creations to remind me that I intended to explore his work in depth.

Girardi, who is also from Italy, doesn’t limit himself to album art for metal bands. He also paints landscapes, for example, such as these:

Girardi-Finnish landscape Continue reading »