Aug 302020
 


Necrophobic

 

I used to joke around here that I made my living as a drug mule, or as a secret adviser to world leaders who were flummoxed about how to solve shattering problems, or as a caretaker for a loris horde that would threaten human survival if I didn’t keep a close watch on their compound near the NCS headquarters. The truth is much more mundane (though I still suspect that covid was hatched in the loris lab). Not that I’m going to advertise the truth, because I still don’t think what I do here would be healthy for me in the world where I collect my paychecks.

Even a few months ago I thought my day job had settled into a long-lasting somnolence, leaving me an abundance of time to spend at NCS. But it has come roaring back. Not a completely shocking development, because the job has always varied among shifting states of intensity, but still a surprise. Last week was particularly demanding, and I fell way behind in paying attention to new metal. Thankfully, I was able to ignore it all day yesterday and spent the hours immersed in music.

Having surfed the tides of metal from near sun-up to sundown, I created the beginnings of half a dozen NCS posts, with four of them devoted to black and “blackened” metal. Most of those will probably remain little more than mind games once the new work week begins, but at least I’ve completed this two-part SHADES OF BLACK, which I hope you’ll enjoy. Continue reading »

Dec 042018
 

 

(Andy Synn wrote this review of the new album by the Trondheim black metal band Whoredom Rife, which was released by Terratur Possessions on November 30th.)

While the prevailing narrative may be that 2018 has been “a Death Metal year” (and not without good reason), to dismiss the plethora of thrilling, chilling, and blistering Black Metal albums released over the last twelve months would be a huge mistake.

I’ll be saying more about these next week, when I’ll be rounding up the multitude of meaty metallic morsels which I’ve had the chance to sink my teeth into this year (and highlighting some of my favourites) but, in the meantime, I thought I might try and bring a little bit of extra attention to Nid: Hymner av hat, the second album by Norwegian duo Whoredom Rife, which was released last week. Continue reading »

Oct 162018
 

 

Happy Tuesday to one and all. This makes the third day in a row when I’ve found time to round up new songs, and the third day in a row when I’ve focused on underground bands as opposed to bigger names. It’s not that I have any kind of reflexive distaste for the music of economically successful bands whose names are a known quantity world-wide (which, like the music of bands who toil in relative obscurity, is simply a familiar mix of excellence and mediocrity). It’s more that they really don’t need one more metal blog giving them a boost. And sometimes (but not always), that feeling steers me toward bands such as those discussed below.

WHOREDOM RIFE

This Norwegian duo from Trondheim (multi-instrumentalist V. Einride and vocalist K.R.) have made a big and favorable impression on discerning consumers of metal extremity in a relatively short time, through their self-titled debut EP in 2016 and their first album last year, the fantastic Dommedagskvad, both of which were released by Terratur Possessions. Now they return with a new album, NID – Hymner Av Hat. Continue reading »

Dec 222017
 

 

After a nearly two-week vacation in which I blogged very little, I returned to Seattle late last week and was promptly slammed by my fucking day job, unforeseen personal obligations, bad weather, and a whole bunch of NCS articles to write or edit, including the continuation of our LISTMANIA series, interviews, reviews, and a bunch of premieres. I can’t really say I need another vacation already… but I kind of do.

Anyway, I haven’t written one of these round-ups in 12 days, and I’m way behind in even listening to all the new songs that have appeared since my vacation began 19 days ago. I started working on this collection early this week but decided to include a couple of songs that have appeared more recently. I hope to do more catch-up round-ups this weekend, including a Sunday SHADES OF BLACK feature, because holidays don’t mean shit around here.

PESTILENCE

Roughly four and a half years after their last album, Pestilence will release a new one via Hammerheart Records named Hadeon, and earlier this week Hammerheart previewed the album with a single called “Multi Dimensional“. It didn’t take long for my NCS comrade TheMadIsraeli to send me an alert about the song, wth a positive message. Continue reading »

Jun 112017
 

 

It’s been three weeks since the last time I compiled music for a Shades of Black post, mainly because I was away from home the last three weekends. To somewhat make up for lost time, I’ve picked recommended new music in a blackened vein from more than a dozen bands and have divided the collection into two parts. Not sure if I’ll get Part 2 posted today or Monday, but most likely the latter.

GRAVEIR / MAR MORTUUM

I decided to start this post with a new split release by the Australian bands Graveir (Brisbane) and Mar Mortuum (Melbourne) so I would have another excuse to prominently feature Jef Whitehead’s artwork for it (I already posted it on our Facebook page yesterday). The music is also very good. Continue reading »

May 082017
 

 

(Our friend Gorger from Norway sings the song of his people in this 22nd installment in his ongoing series reviewing releases we’ve overlooked. To find more of his discoveries, type “Gorger” in our search bar or visit Gorger’s Metal.)

 

☠ True Norwegian Black Metal ☠
 

When realizing I had four pieces of True Norwegian Black Metal to share with you, I obviously decided to pile them together. I’ve sorted them alphabetically, allowing me to finish of with a favored newcomer. All the others are veterans, each with a more or less significant background and history. Continue reading »