May 032018


(In this new interview Comrade Aleks poses questions to Frederyk Rotter, founding vocalist/guitarist of the Swiss band Zatokrev.)

Fourteen years ago Basel-based power-trio Zatokrev recorded their debut self-titled album. Frederyk Rotter (vocals, guitars), Marco Grementieri (bass), and Silvio Spadino (drums) brought forth a tensive, savage, and energetic blend of extreme doom and sludge. Over the years the band went through a series of metamorphoses, developing with each new record and enriching the sound with post- and some avant-garde influences.

Since April 13, a vinyl reissue of Zatokrev has been available for shipment via Plastic Head. It’s a good reason to talk with Frederyk about Zatokrev’s milestones, as he’s the only member left of the original lineup. Continue reading »

Feb 072016

Zatokrev-Silk Spiders Underwater


As I explained at the outset of this list, I didn’t have it finished when I began it. I’ve been making it up as I go along, without any pre-set idea of how long it would be. But since we’re now a week into February of 2016, I’m forcing myself to bring it to an end by this time next week. It hasn’t been easy, but I spent hours yesterday going through my still-massive list of song candidates and I’ve now got things in place in my head — or at least these things.

Beginning today and continuing through next Sunday I’ll post three new songs for the list each day. Except for next Sunday’s installment, I know which three I’ll post each day. And at the end, I’ll still have many more songs I’d like to post. But all good things must come to an end, and so this exercise will, too.

For most of the installments in the series up to now, I’ve grouped the songs according to certain themes, usually some kind of genre similarity in the groupings. But for most of the remaining installments, I’m focusing on variety, and grouping the songs together in ways that I think make for interesting listening, moving from one song to the next. To see the other songs on the list up to this point, click this link.


This band is so damned good. I feel that they haven’t yet gotten the widespread and tumultuous celebration that they deserve. I picked a song from their last album (The Bat The Wheel And The Long Road To Nowhere) for the 2012 edition of this list, and I’ve picked one for 2015 as well, because 2015 brought us another great new Zatokrev album — Silk Spiders Underwater… Continue reading »

May 202015


I’ve accumulated an assortment of fine new songs and videos, some of which have black metal genes in their DNA. But there are other ingredients encoded within the genomes of each band, and the resulting musical expressions display considerable variety. There are enough tracks that I want to recommend that I’ve dividing this post into two parts. The second will come later today.


I suppose few listeners would apply the term “black metal” or even “blackened” to Zatokrev, and Zatokrev actually “refuse the void” in the lyrics of this first song rather than embrace it. But I’m including them in this collection anyway, because they are so damned good and because a heavy darkness emanates from their sound.

The Zatokrev song featured here is “Bleeding Island”. It comes from their new album Silk Spiders Underwater…, which was released on April 13 by Candlelight Records, and it’s the focus of the new music video you’re about to see. Continue reading »

Mar 212015


I’m about to enter the home stretch of the out-of-town project for my paying job that has been severely constricting my blog time. Four or five more days, and I’ll be done. Those remaining days are going to leave me with even less time to blog than I’ve had since the project started three weeks ago, so this morning I decided to carve out some time for one last round-up of new music before running the final gauntlet.


I discovered the Swiss band Zatokrev through their 2012 album The Bat, the Wheel and a Long Road to Nowhere, which turned out to be one of my favorite albums of that year. Their fourth album, Silk Spiders Underwater… is now finished and scheduled for released on April 13 by Candlelight Records. It is reported to be the first of a two-part conception and features artwork by Maks Loriot. Continue reading »

Aug 262014

Sólstafir’s Addi Tryggvason with Skálmöld at Eistnaflug


(Gemma Alexander is a Seattle-based writer and NCS fan who visited Iceland in the fall of 2012 during the Iceland Airwaves festival and was generous enough to send us interviews with such bands as AngistBeneathKontinuumSólstafirGone Postal, and Skálmöld. In July of this year she returned to Iceland for the Eistnaflug metal and rock festival (“Eistnaflug” being Icelandic for “flying testicles”), and we are once again the beneficiary of her writing. Today we present Part 2 of a three-part report on the festival, illustrated with Gemma’s own photos. Visit her own excellent blog here and check out more of her reporting on the festival at KEXP’s web site. Part 1 of her report for us is here.)


The second day of Eistnaflug began at noon with sets from Pink Street Boys and Oni. I, on the other hand, began less ambitiously, arriving at the venue after 2 p.m. I don’t know anything about the first band, but was sorry to have missed the sludgy, Neskaupstaður-based Oni.


The first band I saw on Friday was In the Company of Men. Billed as mathcore, the effect was individuals doing their own thing in the company of others. But they each went to eleven with it, and maybe my math isn’t very good.


I had heard that Morð (“murder” in Icelandic) was divisive in the local black metal community. In the event, I couldn’t really see what was so unorthodox. Was their corpse paint all wrong, or was it a slight tendency to slip into groove? Whether tr00 or transgressive, Morð put on a good show. Continue reading »

Jul 242013

I’m still in catch-up mode on new things I haven’t been able to write about over the last few days. So, despite the fact that I already posted one round-up today, here’s another one, collecting three recommended new videos and one new song. As usual, the music is quite diverse.


On October 27 of last year Devin Townsend put on a tour-de-force live musical retrospective at The Roundhouse in London, which he called “The Retinal Circus”. Our own Andy Synn was there and wrote an evocative review, which we illustrated with photos and video clips. The performance was recorded for later release on both DVD and Blu-ray (via InsideOut Music).

Almost one week ago, DT released a clip from the DVD, the performance of “Grace” that closed the show (but for the encore), but I missed it until this morning. If you’ve seen any of the video clips of the show that previously surfaced, then you know this was a visual extravaganza. But the DVD excerpt of “Grace” is a taste of the pro-shot, multi-cam rendition that the DVD will deliver, and it’s awesome.

I’ve loved this song from the first time I heard it, and I got chills all over again when it transitioned from Anneke Van Giersbergen’s opening vocals into the hevy. I got more chills later. Is it too emo for me to say that? Well fuck it, I’m just being honest. The video is next.

Continue reading »

May 312013

Normally I would have used the “Seen and Heard” label for this round-up of items I found yesterday while rooting through the interhole. But there’s something about these four items that suggested an alternate title . . . .


Poland’s Behemoth have been busy recording their tenth full-length album — which is now projected for release by Metal Blade this coming fall — and yesterday the band announced that they’ve picked a name for it: The Satanist. Despite fame, some degree of fortune, and Nergal having survived multiple trips to court defending against charges brought under Poland’s laws against giving religious offense, Behemoth don’t fuckin’ back off, do they? Here’s a statement from Nergal that accompanied the news about the album title:

“It took us over two decades to come up with a title that…says it all. While our new songs artistically take surprisingly adventurous directions, our message stands steadfast—Proud and Radical. THE SATANIST stands for undying yearning for liberation and love for freedom in all aspects of life. Considering all our life experiences that often took dramatic curves I couldn’t think of more appropriate and fitting statement of who and where we are now.”

There will undoubtedly be a steady drumbeat of album updates from the band and Metal Blade over the summer. Undoubtedly we’ll post most of them here, too. Because, Behemoth! Continue reading »

Jan 062013

This is Part 9 of our list of the year’s most infectious extreme metal songs. Each day until the list is finished, I’m posting two songs that made the cut. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. To see the selections that preceded the two we’re announcing today, click here.

For most people, today’s two songs will come like a bolt out of left field. Though both songs did receive passing mention here, the bands aren’t exactly household names and we haven’t reviewed either of the albums where these songs appeared. One of the albums isn’t even due for release in the U.S. until this coming week. But these songs are among the most infectious I heard in 2012, and it would be just plain wrong not to give them a place on this list.


I first heard about this Swiss band last April when I saw they had been signed by Candlelight Records and became intrigued by the name of their new album (the third in their discography): The Bat The Wheel And The Long Road To Nowhere. In June, the opening track began streaming, and I ate it up. I had a second helping when they released a wonderful video for that same song in July (featured here, with orgasmic praise). Continue reading »

Jul 232012

I find it occasionally amusing and more often annoying to see how often male metal fanboys and even metal bloggers describe their enthusiasm for music by referring in graphic (but presumably figurative) terms to having explosive orgasms. I took a personal vow that I would never resort to anything so stupid and juvenile in my writing for NCS. And then this morning I saw Zatokrev’s official music video for a new song called “Goddamn Lights”.

I came so hard that I punched a gaping hole in the wall with my cum. I splooged so voluminously that I’ll be scrubbing my computer screen with industrial-strength solvent for the rest of the week. Both of my heads exploded with the force of my money shot like the second coming (cumming) of Krakatoa. My shorts are in tatters.

I also took a personal vow that I would try to hold my use of the term “epic” to a bare minimum (having failed in my vow never to use the word at all). But “Goddamn Lights” is just fucking epic — not only to hear, but also to watch. It’s a hybrid of Agalloch-ian melodic black metal and dramatic progressive metal, with undertones of stoner metal and psychedelic rock. It’s a guaranteed headbang trigger. It’s both scarifying and beautiful. It gets this work week off to an awesome start.

And the video is beautifully made (credit to Lionel Weitnauer for the awesomeness), the band drenched in hot colors, with the shadows filled by images of nature. Continue reading »

Jun 012012

I don’t usually post live videos on this site unless the video and sound quality are in the good-to-great range — which means either pro-quality official vids or above-average fan-filmed clips. That just reflects my own prejudice: I don’t get much out of watching a live clip if the sound is muddy and the images are blurry or too dark. But sometimes the imperfections unexpectedly enhance the viewing/listening experience. I’ve got two examples of what I mean.


I found out about this Swiss band in April because they’d just been signed by Candlelight Records, and I posted about them then. Zatrokrev is a Slavic name; Metal Archives says it mean “Blood For This”. The band’s lyrics are in Czech and Slovak, as well as English, because vocalist/guitarist Frederyk Rotter is Czech-born. I still really like the name of their third album, which Candlelight will be releasing: The Bat, The Wheel, And A Long Road To Nowhere. It may have lost something in the translation from Czech.

When I wrote about Zatokrev the first time, they had one new song on YouTube called “Feel the Fire Pt. 1”, which I liked a shit ton. Since then, I’ve found another one called “Goddamn Lights”, which coincidentally is exactly what I say on post-bender mornings when my eyes open. It’s a fuckin’ good song, too, and I’ll have it for you after the jump. But, as noted above, the main reason for this post is a live video.

On May 4, Zatokrev performed at a venue called Le Grillen in Colmar, France, and a fan caught a couple of the songs on video.You expect a metal band to headbang while performing, but Zatokrev really headbang. If I headbanged like Fredryk Rotter, my head would fly off my neck like a discharged cannonball and punch bloody holes through unsuspecting moshers in the pit, leaving the rest to slip ‘n’ slide on the intestines when they hit the floor. Continue reading »