Mar 182021


Almost four years ago we had the pleasure of premiering the self-titled debut album of Wreche, a now-Oakland-based project with a distinctive approach to black metal, in which John Steven Morgan‘s kaleidoscopic piano performances took the place of guitars. It was an inspirational album that twisted and expanded the genre’s musical antecedents in eye-popping ways, creating music that was adrenaline-triggering, mind-bending, and utterly fascinating.

And thus it was an exciting development to learn that Wreche had completed work on a second full-length, and equally exciting to be invited to premiere its first excerpt, which we’re now about to do. The name of the album is All my dreams came true, and it will be released on May 14th by Handsmade Records. The name of the song we’re presenting today is “Scherzo“. Continue reading »

May 252017


Tomorrow (May 26) Fragile Branch Recordings will release the self-titled album by the black metal duo Wreche, and today we premiere a full stream of the album for you.

This is an album I listed back in early January as one of my own eagerly anticipated 2017 releases. I didn’t expect it to sound like anything else, based on what I knew then about the band’s music, and indeed it doesn’t.

If you’re unfamiliar with Wreche, the lead instrument is the piano, accompanied by voice and drums. And by way of further introduction, I’ll quote this eloquent description of some of the sensations of the music: Continue reading »

May 202017



I’m in Austin, Texas, this weekend. I didn’t think I would have time to do any NCS stuff, but did find myself with some time this morning — though not enough time to do much writing. What I’ve done instead is just collect a bunch of new song streams and videos and some basic info about each one.

I might be able to do the same thing tomorrow, but probably not more than that. Hope you find some things to like in the following eclectic collection. Continue reading »

Jan 152017


It’s time to blacken the Sabbath again. As usual, I find myself up to my eyebrows in new advance tracks and new or newly discovered full releases I’d like to write about. I picked this group not only because they’re among the best of what I have on my list but also because they provide an array of different sounds and a mix between higher-profile and more under-the-radar bands.


Agalloch is no more, of course, and I would guess that many people who mourn the band’s dissolution blame John Haughm, certainly in part because of a poorly worded and widely lampooned statement he made when the news broke last year. His former Agalloch comrades have joined forces with Aaron John Gregory of Giant Squid to form a new band named Khôrada, who are now busy recording demos — and I’m quite anxious to hear what they’re creating.

Meanwhile, John Haughm founded Pillorian. Continue reading »