Jan 032018


(Here’s Andy Synn’s review of the new album by Watain, which is slated for release on January 5 by Century Media.)


There once was a band named Watain
Whose music and gimmick became
Extremely divisive
They dressed up like bikers
And from it reaped “fortune” and fame

Ok, so the above limerick may not be 100% accurate, but I think it gets the broad strokes right for the most part. But perhaps, for an album as important (and potentially provocative) as this one, some more context is needed? Continue reading »

Nov 012017


As explained in Part 1 of this gigantic mid-week round-up, I’m trying to catch up on the flood of new videos and songs that were released on Halloween and the few days leading up to it (although a few of the items I’ve selected are a bit older than that).

Because there are so many things I want to throw at your eyes and ears, I alphabetized everything by band name, beginning with Apophis in Part 1, continuing through Heart Attack in Part 2, and now ending with Watain in this final part. And because I chose so many songs and videos for this round-up, I resorted to a tactic I’ve used occasionally in the past: Although I have dribbled a few words here and there, I’m mainly presenting everything with just basic release info and no reviews. Onward to Part 3:


This is a French one-man project, and the song below (“Destruction Process“) comes from its debut EP. You can’t accuse this band of false advertising. “Destruction Process” is exactly the process of this song — kill everything, let dog sort ’em out. Continue reading »

Jul 202015

Black Metal Warfare Pt II


I’m just going to put that flyer up there and bow out pretty quickly so I can go back to moping about the fact that the just-announced Black Metal Warfare Pt. II tour is skipping the Pacific Northwest region of these United States. I have sympathy for all Canadians, too. And for people in the other 34 states besides Washington and Oregon whom the tour is passing by. Continue reading »

Feb 272015


(In this post BadWolf reviews the live performances by Mayhem, Watain, and Revenge at El Corazon in Seattle on January 27, 2015, with photos by Madison Lieren.)

For a minute there I was so inundated with European black metal, its tropes, and its lyrical hullabaloo, that I forgot about the genre’s troubled, violent, church-burning past, and in a sense that’s where I wanted to be from the get-go, since unlike some people I actually found the genre’s flirtations with homicide and terrorism to be a turn-off before I actually listened to the music.

Leave it to Norway’s Mayhem, original purveyors of quote-unquote dangerous black metal to drag me back into my discomfort zone by headlining the Black Metal Warfare tour, a nationwide trek wherein the second generation provocateurs, alongside Watain and Revenge, inspired mosh pits, threw blood on the crowd, and peddled tee shirts lionizing “Panic, Terror, Arson, Metal, Chaos.”

“Oh yeah, that’s right,” I thought to myself, looking at the merch rack hobbled in the corner of Seattle’s El Corazon, “I fucking love blowing stuff up. Silly me, where *did* my balls go?” A prescient thought, as the night wound up being a testament to testicular fortitude. Continue reading »

Oct 132014


Today Norway’s Mayhem and Sweden’s Watain announced that they will be mounting a co-headlining North American tour together this winter. Named Black Metal Warfare, the tour will also include support from the Canadian black/death band Revenge.

Mayhem are touring in support of their new album, Esoteric Warfare, while Watain are touring in support of their most recent full-length, The Wild Hunt. I really enjoyed the live performances of both bands the last time they separately ventured to our shores, and I have high hopes for this tour. I’m also very interested to see Revenge.

The full schedule appears right after the jump (it neglects the South and Southwest, among other regions): Continue reading »

Jun 222014

Photo © Metal Chris

You may have noticed that I haven’t written anything for our site for a few days.  I’ve been hanging out with family and friends in Austin, Texas, the hallowed place of my birth.  There has been much eating, drinking, and merriment, but almost no time for metal. I’m thinking I can get back to my normal routine after getting back to Seattle tonight. But although I haven’t been listening to much music, I do have a few things to spread around today.


Today is the last day of HELLFEST in Clisson, France. The French site Arte.tv has been webcasting performances from the festival, and I thought I’d mention that Iceland’s Sólstafir will be performing today. As best I can figure, their set will start at 1:00 pm Pacific Time and 10:00 pm local time in Clisson.

I’ve seen Sólstafir perform live on a grand total of one occasion, but based on that experience I highly recommend you watch this.  I’ve embedded the stream player after the jump, but in case that doesn’t work for you, go HERE.

UPDATE:  Sólstafir’s set has obviously now been completed, but I’ve substituted the archived footage of the show after the jump. Continue reading »

Feb 132014

NCS writer Andy Synn delivers a rant.  Discuss!

Have you ever noticed that some people just have better taste, and better opinions, than you do?

And no, I’m not just talking about the stunningly sexy, intellectually gifted übermensches who write for NCS.

I’m talking about that guy. You know that guy. No matter what you’re saying, or doing, or talking about, he’s always there, ready to jump in and tell you – in no uncertain terms – why your opinion, (cute though it is) is fundamentally wrong.

Now that guy comes in a lot of forms (the sniggering, puerile troll, the condescending “teacher”, the offensively arrogant “comic book guy”), but one thing’s always the same — he knows better than you do, he’s more “real”, and he knows a “sell-out” when he sees one! Continue reading »

Dec 112013

Continuing my effort to catch up on news and new music I missed while on vacation the last two weeks, here are three more items of interest, again presented in alphabetical order.


If I had a dollar for every time I’ve seen the phrase “long-awaited and highly anticipated” in a press release about a new album, I could buy a nice new car, or maybe two. But it’s a phrase that absolutely fits this Swedish band’s second album, Engineering the Void. More than three years have passed since the release of their excellent debut album Deterioration of Minds. Even when the band finally released an exciting teaser of new music last June, there was no release date.

Finally, while I was away, the band announced that the album would be released by Unique Leader Records on February 18, and then just two days ago we got a lyric video for the first full advance track from the album, “Breaking the Great Narcissist”, and goddamn, is it good. Continue reading »

Dec 102013

(Our UK-based writer Andy Synn was present when Watain, Funeral Throne, and Coltsblood played Birmingham, England last weekend, and he delivers this report.)

Is there a better way to spend a Saturday evening than experiencing the metallic musical rituals of Satan’s own special cheer-squad, Watain? Maybe a few, but not many that don’t involve taking off your clothes…

As it stands, myself and my good friend Gary (both fully clothed) jaunted our way over to Birmingham early Saturday evening. Arriving a little earlier than we needed to (despite doors opening at 6:00), we dropped into a pub on the corner, and eventually found ourselves seated at a table right next to the headliners and their entourage.

Obviously we didn’t want to bother them – particularly since the group formed a tight knit and inviolable circle that exuded a certain “keep away from us” vibe – so we just decided to enjoy our beers and catch up. It was, however, interesting to see how far the band have co-opted the biker/gang mentality and look, everyone dutifully wearing their patches and “colours”. It works for them though. Watain (and their associates) have always been a “gang” – now it’s just more visually obvious. Continue reading »

Nov 072013

(Our man BadWolf turned out for the Watain / In Solitude / Tribulation show in Detroit last month and provides these impressions, and some pics.)

A Watain tour always causes a ruckus, in more than one way: For one, the band always puts on a killer live show. For another, their use of live animal blood and much-publicized visa troubles, not to mention blasphemous musical content, have cemented Watain’s reputation as outlaws—and gotten them banned from more than a few venues in the process.

Their fall tour, however, got me especially excited, thanks to the addition of two perfect touring partners. Show openers Tribulation released a powerful black metal album in early 2013, one which blended the black-thrash sound Watain has popularized with psychedelic and film score elements. In Solitude played second fiddle, fresh off a Decibel cover, while supporting the recent release of their third album, Sister, which has already been called album of the year by a few metal journalists, particularly Adrien Begrand [http://social.entertainment.msn.com/music/blogs/post—a-fond-farewell]. I think it’s pretty damn good, despite (or perhaps because of?) only containing clean singing. Continue reading »