Jun 232023

Today the Canadian atmospheric black metal band Wilt and their label Vendetta Records are releasing a new album named Huginn (though some purists may prefer to label it an EP). It comes as something of a surprise, since it wasn’t preceded by a single or advance publicity, but it is a very welcome surprise.

It’s certainly a welcome development here, as anyone would know who has come across our previous writings about Wilt’s music, including our comments about their 2015 debut album Moving Monoliths or our review of their second album Ruin in 2018. To pick out just a few choice words from the latter:

“[T[he masterful blending of dark metallic melody and dreamlike serenity found on Ruin makes a very good case that this undeniably talented (though underwhelmingly named) Canadian quintet deserve serious consideration as potential heirs to Agalloch’s vacant mantle (pun very much intended). Of course it’s not so much that Wilt sound exactly like Haughm, Dekker, and co., it’s more that the group’s sombre, evocative style examines and explores many of the same musical themes and ideas, although never in exactly the same way”.

Five years on from Ruin, and Agalloch have reassembled themselves, but Wilt have returned as well. These haven’t been five good years for the world at large, and all the dire and dreadful experiences they delivered have influenced what you will hear on Huginn. Here is what Wilt have told us about it: 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 212018


In the first part of today’s two-part round-up of recommended new music I selected songs that included clean as well as harsh vocals. In this one, it’s all unmitigated savagery… but the savagery comes in varied exciting forms. I really, really like all six of these tracks, and hope you’ll get just as fired up about them as I have.


The Finnish grind merchants Rotten Sound, who are favorites around our crumbling domain here at NCS, have a new EP named Suffer to Abuse slated for release by Season of Mist on April 13th in Europe, and on May 18th in North America, because the bastard step-children must apparently wait their turn. Fortunately, we were served at the same time as everyone else with the EP’s first single, “Harvester of Boredom“. Continue reading »

Mar 282016

HammerHeart Ostarablot flyer


(Our guest from the Midwest, Ben Smasher, was fortunate enough to attend the Ostarablot festival organized by HammerHeart Brewing Co. (the brewery and tap house located in Lino Lakes, Minnesota, that’s co-owned by Austin Lunn of Panopticon) and hosted on March 18-19, 2016, at the Triple Rock Social Club in Minneapolis. Here’s Ben’s review of the festival, along with some photos and videos the editor has scrounged from the internet.)


Hammerheart Brewing Company and the amazing people that comprise it consistently put themselves second to their intentions.  Austin once said to me, “I want to make beer that brings people together.”  So, as it would turn out, if you bring the world’s best beer and music under one roof, the best people in North America will join in a two-day celebration of the vernal equinox.

Though 2014’s Winterblot was a pretty remarkable event for bringing UK’s Wodensthrone to the US shores alongside some of America’s finest bands, Ostarablot brought artists from even further reaches to Minnesota.  Vemod traversed all the way from Norway and Germany’s Waldgeflüster came a long way as well. Continue reading »

Oct 082015

Wilt-Moving Monoliths


2015 may be the best year yet for releases by Bindrune Recordings. In addition to stellar offerings from PanopticonAldaInfera Bruo, and Nechochwen, on October 30 the label also plans to release the debut full-length by Wilt from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Entitled Moving Monoliths, it will be adorned by gatefold cover art created by the fantastic Nick Keller from New Zealand.

The band previously released a tantalizing teaser of excerpts from the album, but now we bring you more than mere moments of music. We’re very pleased to host the album’s first mammoth track — “Illusion of Hope”. Like all four of the songs on Moving Monoliths, it’s a long piece of music, but it’s a prodigious work in more ways than simply its unusual length. Continue reading »

Jul 282015

Black Breath-Slaves Beyond Death


I’m kind of rushed, so I’ll skip the usual preamble and save the words for these things I saw and heard over the last 24 hours that maybe you’ll get as excited about as I have.


I’m beginning to think the day will come when Paolo Girardi will have created at least one painted album cover for every metal band in the world — though that assumes all metal bands have good taste, and of course they don’t. But Seattle’s Black Breath and Southern Lord do, because as I discovered today, they engaged Mr. Girardi to create the cover for Black Breath’s new third album Slaves Beyond Death.

Interestingly, although I did receive a press release with details about the album and a related Black Breath tour, it didn’t include the artwork. I saw that instead for the first time at the Metal-Archives listing for the album, which a friend linked on Facebook today. Very exciting, because in addition to being an obvious fan of Girardi’s artwork, I’m a big fan of this band, too, and am anxious to hear this new album. Continue reading »