May 022021


Part 1 of today’s column is in the vein of the giant round-up I prepared yesterday — a lot of music and not a lot of words. Though the music is of course “in the vein” of black metal, or at least in spiritual/aesthetic kinship with it (according to my own perceptions), you won’t find any two bands here that sound like they were raised in the same litter.

Part 2, which may appear later today or may appear tomorrow (because I haven’t written it yet), is devoted to four songs from a forthcoming (and long-awaited) four-way split, and a frightening album I meant to include in this column last week before I ran out of time.

ANAPILIN (Lithuania)

Rennie (of starkweather) pointed me to the song and lyric video I’ve chosen to lead with. At that time, it was apparent that an album by these gas-masked Lithuanians was on the way, but neither of us could find a name for it or a release date.

Those mysteries were solved this morning when the album just dropped out of the sky, fully formed. But by the time I awakened and saw Rennie’s message about the full release, I didn’t have time enough to listen to it, so I’m sticking with the original plan of focusing just on the one song and video — but including the full stream as well. Continue reading »

Jan 122016



(This is Part 6 of our Norwegian friend Gorger’s continuing feature on bands we seem to have overlooked at NCS. And be sure to check out Gorger’s Metal.)

Cheers anew, and a headbanging new year. The past has been revisited a bit lately on NSC, a site that typically holds a firm stare into the crystal ball. I have, after hours arguing with myself, decided not to spend days arranging a 2015-favorites list. Thus, at least I can spend some time presenting some infectious releases from the year that kicked the bucket on its own birthday. I hope you’ll find something you’ll pursue and enjoy. Continue reading »

May 072014

Zgard is the one-man project of western Ukrainian musician Yaromisl; the name refers to an amulet in the culture of the Huzuls, an ethno-cultural group who for centuries have inhabited the Carpathian mountains, and Carpathian folklore has been a strong inspiration in the music of Zgard. The band’s fourth album has now been completed under the name Contemplation, and it’s scheduled for release by Svarga Music on June 23, 2014. Today we bring you the premiere of the album’s closing track, “Underworld Bells” [Дзвін потойбіччя].

Contemplation has been my first exposure to the music of Zgard, and “Underworld Bells” exemplifies much of what makes the album as a whole so captivating. Like almost all the tracks, it’s a long song, running almost 11 minutes, and yet I’m betting your interest won’t flag in the least as it pulls you into its epic atmosphere. Continue reading »