Sep 242020


(DGR finally got around to writing about the second album from fellow Sacramento denizens Wastewalker.)

There is a part of me that worried for a while that I was holding Wastewalker to a much higher standard than I would have for most groups, which may be why this review took so long to hammer out.

Wastewalker are something of a local Sacramento tech-death “supergroup” as far as the term could be stretched, comprising members who have been involved in some of the more interesting projects to come out of that region in the past few years. Born from of the ashes of the “too death metal for the core kids, too core for the death metal kids” Conducting From The Grave, guitarist John Abernathy found himself accompanied by a stellar roster of musicians.

Their drummer Justin has been in a small collective of projects – the highlight of which is the angular madness that is Journal – while bassist Joel Barrera has been holding down the rhythmic fort for a handful of promising death metal groups, the most recent of which (actually written about here) is the newly launched Katholik. Vocalist Cam Rogers comes shrieking in from an impressive first volley on Alterbeast’s first album, and guitarist Nate Graham was involved in a later lineup of that same group, while also recently joining the promising The Odious Construct.

It’s such a promising lineup that you couldn’t help but be excited for them, which is why it was so frustrating that even though it found a foothold here, only half of the group’s debut album Funeral Winds seemed to stick with me. The group’s sophomore disc Lowborn, released in May after a sizeable delay, is proving to be a far different story. Continue reading »

Mar 172020


Back in 2016 we gave a lot of attention to the roll-out of tracks leading toward the release of Wastewalker’s debut album, Funeral Winds, culminating in a review by our own Andy Synn which praised the band for “blending a punishing backbone of deathly heaviness with an esoteric mix of unusual technical twists and fret-sparking leads.” And now this group of Sacramento stalwarts, whose line-up includes current or former members of Conducting From the Grave, Alterbeast, and The Odious Construct, have completed a new album. Entitled Lowborn, it’s set for release on May 12th.

So far, the band have released a lyric video for one song from the new album (“The Moth“), and today we’re presenting a second one — “Vengeance of the Lowborn“. 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 »

Feb 022017


(Andy Synn catches up with three releases from 2016, by Riftwalker, God Syndrome, and Wastewalker.)

You may have noticed, if you’ve been paying sufficient attention that is, that I’ve spent the last month digging my way through a veritable heap of releases from last year – Phantom Winter, Zao, Wolves Carry My Name, Partholón, Deviant Process, The Drowned God – that were otherwise overlooked here at NCS.

And, even though I’ve finally been able to start covering new stuff in the last week or so, there’s still a bunch of albums from last year that I have yet to write about.

So to speed up the process a little bit, I’ve decided to amalgamate a few different entries together. And hopefully, by the end of the week (or, at the latest, by the start of next week) I’ll be pretty much done with 2016, and able to shift my focus fully to 2017. Continue reading »

Sep 132016



(DGR steps forward with a round-up of new songs and videos. We will have a second round-up later today as well.)

Wormrot – Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Grind

If it feels like this summary is a little shorter than usual, it’s because the song itself is kind of like a car crash that you didn’t see coming. One moment, you’re blissfully unaware of anything around — then you blink, you see headlights and hear the crunch of metal, and that is the end. Such is the case with Wormrot’s new blink-and-you’ll-miss-it song.

Yes, the end of last week brought welcome news to the NCS fold in the form of new music from Singapore’s Wormrot. The newly released song, entitled “Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Grind” comes off of the group’s new album Voices — due next month and their followup to 2011’s Dirge. Like many of Wormrot’s songs, “Spotless Grind” clocks in at just over a minute and is punchy as can get, having said all it needs to say in the meantime — which can mostly just be boiled down to “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGHHHHH” over a series of unrelenting grind blasts. Continue reading »

Sep 062016

Khonsu-The Xun Protectorate


(DGR prepared this large roundup of new music streams, with one item added by the editor.)

I’ve been slowly gathering up this veritable feast of heavy metal for this roundup, basically doing my usual duty of being the last line of defense for metal news that often pops up and we didn’t catch right away for a variety of reasons. This time around, I’ve got a huge collection of six [now seven] different items, some of which I’m sure you’ve likely crossed paths with but we didn’t dedicate words to and others because they may not be in the usual NCS coverage wheelhouse. I even managed to include some serious lighter fare this time, to help brighten up the mood musically after the first two full onslaughts [now three] hit your musical listening systems.

So let’s kick this thing off with a real quick one that happened as I was writing this intro, and then dive into the meat of it and romp around in its innards for a while.



This one is going to be quick, mostly because there isn’t a huge block of heavy metal music proper — but it just happened, and I’ll be goddamned if I don’t say that I am immensely excited for this disc. Continue reading »

Mar 222016



This is a collection of new songs and videos, most of which I intended to share yesterday before I discovered a torrent of other hot-off-the-presses debuts that appeared the same day. And of course, as a result of the delay I spotted more new things that appeared since then — including the first and last items in this round-up.


As previously reported a couple of weeks ago, Atlanta’s Withered are primed to release their first new album in more than five years. This one is entitled Grief Relic and it’s coming out on May 27 via Season of Mist. One song named “Husk” got its debut at DECIBEL on March 7, and today Revolver brought us another one named “Feeble Gasp”. Here’s a statement about the song from guitarist/vocalist Mike Thompson: Continue reading »