Jul 072020


The North Carolina black metal band Worsen began as the solo project of multi-instrumentalist Rick Contes. After a debut EP in 2014 named Blood, five years passed before the release of Worsen‘s debut album Cursed To Witness Life last year. Contes again wrote the music and recorded all instruments and vocals. He has explained the events that led to the album, and the time it took to write it:

“This was a very personal and cathartic record for me that is lyrically focused on the death of my brother as well as dramatic conclusions to hollow friendships and the removal of toxic people and things from my life. It’s something I started alone that I needed to finish alone.”

Although the album was his own personal work, Worsen has now become a full band, with a line-up that has performed live and that is now preparing material for Worsen‘s next release. That full line-up is featured in the video we’re presenting today for “Open Grave“, an especially intense and emotionally wrenching track off of Cursed To Witness Life  — and it follows the band’s announcement that the album will now be released on vinyl by The Hell Command (USA) and Wolves Of Hades (Europe). Continue reading »

Dec 272019


Christmas Day and the day after are usually quiet ones in the spheres of activity of which NCS is a part. The typical flood of press releases dwindles to a trickle, most other metal blogs are hibernating, and few bands or labels release new music. Eyes are elsewhere, many of them probably closed altogether.

However, I can’t resist taking advantage of the relative peace to check out odds and ends I’ve been waiting to explore, or have recently noticed for the first time. I guess it’s obvious that I can’t resist, given how much new music I’ve already thrown at you during this holiday week — but here’s more (don’t duck!):


I could have sworn I had written something about Worsen’s 2019 debut album Cursed To Witness Life, but can find no evidence of it. Add that to the list of excellent 2019 releases I’ve shamefully neglected. If you haven’t already sampled what that album has to offer, and you enjoy black metal, you should go here and give it a shot. As a couple of commenters wrote on that Bandcamp page I just linked you to: “Cold as hell, awesome melodies and in your face riffs”; “Haunting, beautiful, dark and utterly mesmerizing.”

What reminded me of Cursed To Witness Life was a new single that Worsen released on December 24th to commemorate the birthday, not of Jesus, but of Lemmy Kilmister, at whose altar many of us pray more often than the other guy’s. It’s a cover of Motörhead’s “Killed By Death”, and it’s fucking great. Continue reading »