Jul 112018
 

 

For the second year in a row, NCS was proud to co-present Northwest Terror Fest, which took place this year on May 31 – June 2 in Seattle, Washington. Several of us in the NCS family helped organize and present the fest, and I guess that makes us a bit biased, but we’re not the only ones who thought it was a fantastic event. The feedback from bands, fans, and the venues has been uniformly very, very positive — so much so that we and our co-conspirators are already at work planning the third installment of NWTF for 2019.

We will of course be bringing you news about next year’s fest when the time is right, but we now want to take one more look back at NWTF 2018. And to do that, we’re fortunate to be able to present some of the amazing photos that New Orleans-based photographer Teddie Taylor took while the festival was in progress. Today we’ve got a selection of pics from the first day — and Teddie managed to shoot every band that performed; that’s one good thing about the rotation of bands between two stages, with no overlap. You can see every minute of every show as long as your energy holds out (and that hasn’t been a problem, given the caliber of the bands who’ve thrown themselves into their NWTF performances).

So, without further ado, here are Teddie Taylor’s photos from Day 1 at NWTF 2018. Continue reading »

Jun 262017
 

 

Yesterday, in the first part of this week’s SHADES OF BLACK, I recommended five recently released albums and throttled my tendency to put my own impressions into words. In this concluding part I opened the throttle, sort of. The music of nine bands is included here, ranging from individual advance tracks or singles to full albums or EPs. I know it’s a lot, but you’re men and women of steel, you can handle it… probably.

DER WEG EINER FREIHEIT

Most of us here were enormous fans of this German black metal band’s last album from 2015, Stellar. My friend Andy went so far as to call it in his review “a near-perfect snapshot of the genre. Its power and its potential. Both what it is, and what it can be.” And on August 25 we’ll have another album from this band, one entitled Finisterre. Continue reading »

Jan 312017
 

 

Welcome to the 21st — and final — installment in our list of 2016’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. Is the list complete? No, it isn’t. I could easily continue doing this for another month or more, and it pains me to leave so many other infectious songs lingering on my giant list of candidates. But it’s time to shift our focus more intently to what’s coming out this year.

After agonizing over the last 24 hours about what songs to select for this final edition in the series, I cut that Gordian knot in a fairly impulsive way — by simply picking the six songs on a playlist I made for myself in December.

I made that six-track list in December mainly, but not exclusively, because I had just been reading through the year-end list from Panopticon’s Austin Lunn that we were going to publish and was reminded of some addictive tracks I hadn’t listened to in a while. I put those on the playlist along with a couple of others that I wanted to hear again and thought might work well in the flow of the music.

As it happens, before today I hadn’t yet included any of these songs on this Most Infectious list, and so today I decided, why the hell not make all of these into the final Part of this series? They really are all damned infectious, and I do damn well like them. Continue reading »

Jul 212016
 

Woman Is the Earth band

 

(In the glorious 75th edition of THE SYNN REPORT, Andy reviews the discography to date of South Dakota’s Woman Is the Earth.)

Recommended for fans of: Agalloch, Wildernessking, Wolves In The Throne Room

Hailing from Black Hills, South Dakota, Woman Is The Earth deal in a brand of Black Metal that’s as heavy in atmosphere as it is in aggression, with songs that meld writhing riffage and rolling drums with passages of acoustic contemplation and ambient meditation, all without falling prey (in my opinion at least) to the more generic tropes and clichés of the over-saturated “Post Black Metal” scene.

They do this by never forgetting that – unlike some of their more populist peers — they’re definitely, even defiantly, a Metal band at heart… and a Black Metal band at that… so their music is never in danger of pandering to the notions of bland accessibility or pretentious artistry which undermine so many other acts of this type.

Having released their latest (and greatest) album earlier this year, and with the recent demise of Agalloch still weighing heavy upon so many of our hearts, now seemed like an opportune time to expose our readers to the band’s particular blend of grim grandeur and metallic majesty! 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.)

DAY 1

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 »

Mar 272016
 

Bestia Arcana art

 

It’s Easter Sunday, so of course I have a Shades of Black collection to share, with new music in a mainly blackened vein from 9 bands, because we need an extra large round-up of black today. The first two selections are more in the nature of teasers, while the balance of these selections are complete songs, EPs, or albums. There are lots of contrasts in this collection, from the utterly savage to the dreamlike and spellbinding.

BESTIA ARCANA

Last week Daemon Worship Productions launched a YouTube video which said nothing more than “Bestia Arcana. Holókauston is coming.” After doing further research I was able to find… no more details.

I presume that Holókauston is the name of the new second album by this Colorado black metal band, whose members were last reported to include Naas Alcameth of Akhlys and Nightbringer, K. (formerly of Nightbringer), and drummer Menthor (Nightbringer, Enthroned, Lvcifyre, etc.). And if those names don’t make you sit up and pay attention, then you’re in need of serious remedial posture training. Continue reading »