Dec 182021
 


photo credit: Jelena Jakovljevic Photography

 

We had a very good week here at NCS, with a sharp increase in visitors largely driven by Andy Synn‘s five-part of year-end lists. It has warmed our cold dead hearts to see the positive responses and the gratitude expressed to him for the ton of work he devoted to developing those lists. Maybe we would be better off just stopping there rather than risk drowning our visitors in more lists (or rather, those visitors who weren’t already drowned during the week that just ended), but we have a lot more to share in the next couple of weeks.

Next week we’ll have DGR‘s lists, plus lists from Neill Jameson, Wil Cifer, Professor D. Grover the XIIIth, and Seb Painchaud (of Tumbleweed Dealer), and I’m expecting to receive even more lists from other NCS writers and old friends which we’ll publish before the year expires. And let’s not forget that our big collection of year-end reader lists continues to grow (you can see those, and contribute to them, in the comments to this post).

Meanwhile, I’m beginning to figure out what will go into this year’s list of Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs, and of course I’m continuing to make a (largely unsuccessful) effort to keep abreast of new songs and videos — which continue to emerge every day despite the rapid approach of the holiday season and the expiration of 2021. Which brings me to today’s gigantic collection….

NAPALM DEATH (UK)

I’m probably the last metalhead on Earth to check out the new Napalm Death single, “Narcissus“. I knew it was out there, but kept forgetting to hit it. It’s on a forthcoming ND EP named Resentment Is Always Seismic – A Final Throw Of Throes, which includes previously unreleased material and cover songs. Barney Greenway described the new song thusly: Continue reading »

Oct 202021
 


Obscura and their rides…

 

I picked songs for six bands for this hump-day roundup, and all of them come with videos. I expect moving through this will keep you on your toes, or rock you back on your heels, because the tracks move in unpredictable ways from one to the next. I got thrills of different kinds out of all of them, and hope you will too.

As the post title suggests, I have an idea for a second round-up, which includes some recently released EPs. I haven’t started writing it yet, so I’m unsure whether I’ll have time to finish it for posting today, but if not, you’ll see it first thing tomorrow.

OBSCURA (Germany)

This latest track premiere from Obscura’s new album, which is delivered through a performance video, got my motor running in a big damned hurry. “When Stars Collide” is a turbocharged thrill-ride with glorious bursts of singing by Soilwork’s Björn Strid, the kind of song geared to set arenas on fire with its pyrotechnical fretwork and blistering drum attack, and the dual-guitar soloing is a big ear-worm too. Continue reading »

May 292018
 

 

The 2018 edition of Roadburn Festival is in the history books. From April 19th through April 22nd at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands, metal fans got the chance to choose from among performances by more than 100 bands across four stages and a fascinating array of musical genres. NCS was fortunate to be represented by the fantastic New Orleans-based music photographer Teddie Taylor, who made a visual record of the event for us.

We left it to Teddie to decide which bands to see; no doubt she had a lot of difficult decisions to make — and we had difficult decisions of our own in determining which of her images to share with you (they’re all really damned good!). We’re dividing this collection of pics into four parts, one for each day of Roadburn 2018. You can find her photos from Day 1 here, Day 2 here, and Day 3 here. Continue reading »

May 242018
 

 

(In this post Andy Synn has combined reviews of new albums by a sextet of bands from both sides of the Atlantic.)

Phew, I’ve been trying to get this particular column written for quite a while now, but a cruel convergence of work, illness, and prepping for this year’s MDF meant that I’ve honestly been struggling to find the time to sit down and put finger to keyboard.

On the plus side, however, this has given me a little bit more time to absorb each album, and will hopefully result in a better overall product, so perhaps I/we shouldn’t complain too much.

Anyway, without further ado, here are six albums, all of them Black Metal, yet all subtly different and differentiated, originating from a variety of different locations around the globe (Greece, Germany, Belgium, Canada, and the USA), which I think are well worth your attention. Continue reading »

Feb 182018
 


Wiegedood – photo by Stefaan Temmerman

 

Saturdays and Sunday mornings have become challenging times for me in the thinking I allocate to these SHADES OF BLACK posts. Having listened off and on to a lot of new black metal during the preceding week, I think I’ve figured out by mid-day Saturday what to include, and then, by coincidence or cunning, a whole bunch of new stuff lands in my lap.

Yesterday was a prime example. Having narrowed my choices, they suddenly ballooned again, thanks to late-breaking recommendations from friends and readers, and e-mails from bands and labels. The flood of communications into our chaotic command center usually dwindles dramatically on Saturdays, but those that persist tend to focus on music from the black realms, and I tend to pay attention to them more quickly because everything else has kind of cleared out.

What to do? Well, one thing I did was to expand the volume of music in today’s post. And given my renewed resolution to cut down on the number of premieres I agree to write during the week, another option will be to collect more new music in a blackened vein for a week-day edition of this series.

WIEGEDOOD

I do my best not to read comments about music on the internet (or comments about almost anything else) unless they were written by friends or respected musicians, or unless they appear at NCS. I can guess that if I made an exception to that resolution in the case of Wiegedood’s new song and video, the majority of them would be juvenilia about penises. Continue reading »

May 122017
 

 

(Music journalist Konstantin, who in past years has written for Serbia’s Nocturne Music Magazine, and who brought us a 2-part interview earlier this week, now provides these impressions of the recent performance by Wolves In the Throne Room and Wiegedood in Bologna, Italy, as part of the bands’ Beltrane 2017 European Tour.)

It was more than six years since the last Wolves in the Throne Room concert in Italy when the band announced their long-awaited European tour. The last couple of years saw brothers Nathan and Aaron Weaver focusing on things outside their music and releasing only one instrumental/ambient album, so the return to Europe was highly anticipated.

The tour quickly gained attention, resulting in several dates being sold out, as was the case with the gig in Bologna on the 4th of May. After an outstanding performance at Roadburn Festival, dates around Europe followed, so the concert in Bologna was one of the last on this tour. As was the case with previous concerts, support came from Wiegedood, a Belgian band who share members with  Oathbreaker and AmenRa. Continue reading »

Jan 302017
 

 

(Andy Synn reviews the new album by the Belgian band Wiegedood.)

As everyone knows by now, the best Black Metal these days comes from Iceland.

And France.

Oh, and Germany too.

Ok, fine, yes, and America. And Poland. And obviously Norway is still up there…

Look, what I’m trying to say is that these days it seems like killer Black Metal bands are cropping up all over the map, and Belgium is no exception. Continue reading »

Dec 182016
 

wiegedood-de-doden-hebben-het-goed-ii

 

Last Sunday was bereft of a Shades of Black feature, so today I plan to have two. Yes, I’ve obviously forgotten my oft-learned lesson about not announcing future plans when you’re a part-time, half-witted metal blogger who can’t predict the diversions of life. So the truth is, the second part of this post may or may not arrive today. But at least you’ll have two good advance tracks, two excellent full releases, and one wonderful tribute compilation to keep you company in case I go off the rails.

WIEGEDOOD

Here’s an excerpt from our man Andy Synn’s review of Wiegedood’s last album,

“The Belgian three-piece, whose name is also the Dutch term for ‘Sudden Infant Death Syndrome’ (way to keep it morbid, guys), possess an enviable knack for pumping out a ferocious torrent of rage and fury, whilst maintaining a keen melodic edge that’s neither weak nor overbearing. That may not sound like much, but it’s a hard balance to get just right, and these guys make it look like child’s play. Pun intended.”

Continue reading »

Nov 132015
 

Damnation Festival 2015

 

(Andy Synn provides this report on the 2015 edition of Damnation Festival in the UK.)

It’s been a few years now since I last attended Damnation Festival, the annual celebration of all things dark and metallic hosted (as always) at Leeds University Student’s Union. But this year I knew I simply couldn’t miss it, as not only were a number of my favourite bands playing (hello Sólstafir, hi there Primordial) but also two bands I’ve been a fan of since their very first albums, but whom I’d never actually managed to see live before (The Ocean, Altar of Plagues).

Oh, and some band named At The Gates. Who are apparently pretty famous or something. Continue reading »

Aug 032015
 

Wiegedood cover

 

(Andy Synn reviews the new album by the Belgian band Wiegedood.)

Like an idiot I’ve been putting this review off for over a month now, shuffling it back into the pack again and again whenever something else comes along and jumps to the front of my mental queue. And that’s extremely unfair to the band and, perhaps just as much, unfair to our readers as well, as De Doden Hebben Het Goed is one fine-fettered slab of pitch-black savagery and anguish.

The Belgian three-piece, whose name is also the Dutch term for “Sudden Infant Death Syndrome” (way to keep it morbid, guys), possess an enviable knack for pumping out a ferocious torrent of rage and fury, whilst maintaining a keen melodic edge, that’s neither weak, nor overbearing. That may not sound like much, but it’s a hard balance to get just right, and these guys make it look like child’s play. Pun intended. Continue reading »