I guess it has become a cliche to feature black metal on Black Friday, even though the two have absolutely nothing to do with each other beyond a shared word. But we have no discounts to offer on the subscription to our site, no merch to sell at half off, and I’m overdue posting a Shades of Black feature anyway. So, black metal it shall be (mostly).
I’ve collected in this post streams of three new songs from forthcoming albums and two new EPs, plus my own garbled words.
Okay, so Sweden’s Degial aren’t exactly a black metal band, but they’re necro to the core. The name of their new, second album is Savage Mutiny and it’s coming out via Sepulchral Voice Records on December 25 (in order to foul the holiday with their blasphemous stench, of course). The title track from the album was delivered unto our greedy ears yesterday, and you shall hear it next.
It’s a raucous riot of writhing riffs, incendiary soloing, venom-spitting vocals, and bowel-loosening percussion. Other words like filthy, hateful, vile — and electrifying — come to mind.
The album includes guitar solo and guest vocals by Set Teitan (ex-Dissection, Watain (live)), lyric contributions by Pelle Åhman (ex-In Solitude, ex-Invidious), and artwork by Watain’s Erik Danielsson.
The next song is an advance track taken from the forthcoming third full-length, Urere, by the German black metal band Krater. The song’s name is “Hunger of Ropes”. It’s a blazing fury, a storm of diabolically dissonant chords, deranged hornet-swarm lead guitars, highly contagious riffs, and pulverizing grooves.
Also, the vocals belong in an insane asylum, for demons who’ve lost their minds. Also, the small keyboard touches and clean vocals in the song are truly inspired additions. Basically, this whole song is just fantastic.
Urere will be released in early 2016 by Eisenwald. This new song is available for download now on Bandcamp (“name your price”).
Nachtzeit is the name taken by the Swedish man behind the sublime solo project Lustre. Now, Nachtzeit has recorded an album under that same name, entitled Där Föddes En Längtan, and the title track was revealed on Bandcamp in recent days.
You might wonder why this music would be released under the name Nachtzeit rather than Lustre, but that question will be answered quickly as soon as you begin listening to this song. Rather than the dreamlike ambience of Lustre, “Där Föddes En Längtan” offers a stripped-down hailstorm of grim black metal malevolence with acid-bath vocals. It grabs hold of a two-chord whirring riff and rarely lets go of it. The blasting drum rhythm doesn’t change either. But I found the song riveting, obviously in a very different way from the spellcasting of Lustre.
Där Föddes En Längtan is scheduled for release by Nordvis on January 15, 2016.
During a span of years from 2007 through 2011, the Australian one-man band Nekrasov released an album a year, but then seemed to fall silent until participating in the Volume 13 collaboration with The Horn, released earlier this year (and reviewed here). But yesterday Nekrasov released a new five-track EP named There Is No Other Way via Bandcamp, as a prelude to a coming full-length. Describing the sounds on this EP is a challenging enterprise — so is listening to the music.
Howling storms of caustic noise, punctuated by rhythmic scratching sounds and what could pass for the chords of an infernal cathedral organ — that’s the way “Watcher” welcomes you into the EP’s cruel embrace. “Building a prison for yourself” is a fitting title for a song that sounds very much like the hammering of a hyperactive carpenter whose mind is just as furiously tearing itself apart; immense gouts of cataclysmic noise coexist in an unexpectedly fitting union with the voices of a celestial choir.
“Climbed out through them, on them, over them” is driven by the same kind of relentless hammering beat as the preceding track. It rages in a whirlwind of distorted, vibrating riffs and odd disgorging sounds, like the belching of a sulfurous lava flow. The distant shrieking in “With disregard” sounds like the agonies of a man being drawn and quartered, accompanied by a layering of repeating, nerve-abrading riffs and the deep, monstrous sounds of an earthquake experienced at its epicenter.
At the beginning there was a watcher, at the end there is “Watching” — a cacophony of pitch-black noise, at the center of which is the staggering sound of skyscrapers collapsing in a titanic grinding fury, with high wailing voices rising above the apocalypse.
There Is No Other Way is a mercilessly destructive, intensely disturbing torrent of black metal, power electronics, and pestilential noise. Mind-shattering stuff, but as creative and fascinating as it is harrowing.
P.S. When I visited the Nekrasov Bandcamp page, I saw that all seven of the band’s releases are now being offered as a single digital bundle at 50% off what you would pay for each of them individually.
To conclude this Black Friday edition of Shades of Black, I turn to a new demo by the Finnish band Front, released yesterday on Bandcamp by Iron Bonehead Productions (and also available from the label on tape). This seems to be the band’s first release, though the band’s three-man line-up includes members of Sacrilegious Impalement, Evil Angel, and Neutron Hammer.
All three songs on this demo are killer — ugly as sin, bone-mangling in their heaviness, and loaded with galvanizing riffs and spitfire solos. The label describes the music as “punishing and relentless Black/Death Metal chaos with Motörhead-ish edge!” And that’s no fucking lie. This stuff steamrolls like a panzer assault flanked by a corps of flamethrowers and commanded by a blood-gargling tyrant, but man, it’s really catchy music, too.
I bought this before I even finished the second song.