Sep 162017


(Andy Synn is playing catch-up in a furious torrent, with brief reviews and streams of music from 12 striking 2017 albums.  Open wide… dine like queens and kings.)

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again (and again)… the vast array of music now available at the touch of a button is both a blessing and a curse, depending on how you look at it.

And while I generally celebrate the fact that I’m now able to search out and discover music from all around the world with an ease that’s quite mind-boggling when you think about it, the sheer plethora of albums clamouring for my attention means there’s simply not enough hours in the day to give them all the attention they deserve.

As a consequence of this, my “to do” list has swollen to a frankly rather distressing size over the last 4-5 months, so I’ve made an executive decision to clear my slate a little bit by pulling together twelve albums, which we’ve thus far failed to cover properly here at NCS, into one collective round-up.

So, without further ado, let’s get to it, shall we? Continue reading »

Oct 032013

(Andy Synn delivers another installment of his irregular series of album reviews in haiku. Two more reviews come after the jump. With music.)



Throwing off the chains

Born from deathcore’s murky past

Rise with righteous wrath Continue reading »

Feb 012013

(I’ve always liked Andy Synn. And the following article he wrote reminds me of one of the reasons why. Read it, and then find out more about how to vote for his band in the Bloodstock contest HERE.)

Ok, so, blatant plug time… you know I’m trying to get my band more exposure by applying for both the Bloodstock and Damnation festivals this year, right? Well the former involves bands submitting a live video, and the latter requires a simple vote on a facebook poll (here). The best thing about the Bloodstock angle so far, though, has been looking through the competition and seeing exactly what’s out there, and also the lengths to which people will go in order to make themselves stand out – or appear to be something that they’re not.

So, one evening recently myself and a few buddies/bros/mates got together to have a few beers and trawl through the different entries to the Bloodstock/Hobgoblin competition and see what we could find.

Some of it wasn’t pretty. There’s an awful, awful lot of generic retro-thrash out there, with songs generally just about ‘being metal’… which would seem pretty obvious, considering the music, right? There’s also a heck of a lot of nu-metal still out there, positively brimming with angst (as well as some rather disjointed, occasionally hilarious, pseudo-intellectual imagery).

There’s also quite a lot of metalcore pretending not to be metalcore (6th generation Killswitch riffs and over-processed clean vocals, by any other name, don’t smell any sweeter, I can tell you that). There’s even quite a few bands claiming to be metalcore when their sound is a tad too… light… even for that now-over-saturated genre.

BUT – it’s not all bad. I’ve gone through and picked out a few real stand-outs for you, that (at the risk of damaging our own chances of getting any further exposure or support) I’ve winnowed down to the few after the jump.

Let’s begin… Continue reading »

Jun 022011

Damn, I’m finally able to go outside without shivering and being beaten about the head and shoulders with high winds and rain blowing sideways. That must mean it’s June in Seattle!  And so it is. A largely dismal May is behind us, the Seattle Mariners are astonishingly only a game and a half out of first place in their division (that’s baseball for you outlanders), and the summer lies ahead.

What else lies ahead? A bunch of new metal, of course. And because it’s the beginning of a new month, we’re bringing you another installment of METAL IN THE FORGE, in which we collect news blurbs and press releases we’ve seen over the last month about forthcoming new albums from bands we know and like (including occasional updates about releases we’ve included in previous installments of this series), or from bands that look interesting, even though we don’t know their music yet. In this series, we cut and paste those announcements and compile them in alphabetical order.

Remember — this isn’t a cumulative list. If we found out about a new album during April or preceding months, we wrote about them in previous installments of this series. So, be sure to check the Category link called “Forthcoming Albums” on the right side of this page to see forecasted releases we reported earlier. This month’s list begins right after the jump. Look for your favorite bands, or get intrigued about some new ones. Continue reading »

May 202011

To supplement Andy’s review of the recent show in Leicester by The Faceless, Born of Osiris, Veil of Maya, and Gorod (here), I threw together some breaking news of interest to me (and perhaps you), plus some new music and videos (also of interest to me, and possibly to you, too). The subjects of this post: Bewilderbiest, Nekrogoblikon, Fit For An Autopsy, Adam Gray (Texas in July), and Your Chance To Die.


NCS co-founder IntoTheDarkness doesn’t write for NCS much any more, but at unpredictable times he texts me in bursts of enthusiasm about new music or new developments in the scene. Yesterday was one of those days. So, credit to him for this first piece of intriguing news.

Bewilderbiest is a new band, a “super group”, if you will. Somehow, IntoTheDarkness became aware of the recent, unheralded appearance of this band on Facebook. So far, I haven’t seen any fanfare about this, but it sure does command interest. Check out the line-up of band members:

Sacha Dunable – guitar (Intronaut, Graviton)
Derek Donley – drums (National Sunday Law, Graviton)
Charles Elliott – vocals, guitar (Abysmal Dawn)
Derek Rydquist – bass (The Faceless)

I think this makes the 5,231st band that the super-talented Sacha Dunable is involved in. No music is yet available, but based on some internet sleuthing, I did discover that the band are finishing up work on their debut effort and that the genre focus will be doom. When we have more to report, we’ll clue you in.  That Facebook page is here, though the content is pretty spare at the moment. (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »