Jan 162018


We’ve arrived at the fifth installment of this rapidly expanding list of Most Infectious Songs released last year. As I did with yesterday’s edition, I had a kind of organizing theme in deciding to group the following three songs together. And the theme is perhaps better expressed through this famous visual than in words.


We had the good fortune to premiere an eye-popping video created by Chariot of Black Moth for a head-wrecking, bombing-run of a track called “Now” off Antigama’s latest EP, Depressant, along with a review of the EP. Although “Now” isn’t the song I’ve added to the list, I did want to excerpt DGR’s review by way of introducing the track I did choose.

Jan 162018


I first came across Kosmogyr last June when I was bowled over (and said so) by a song called “Quiescent“, which was the first offering from a promised debut album (it also appeared on several compilations — Crushing Intolerance Vol. 5 by Black Metal Alliance as well as We Are Shanghai Vol. 5). Now, the album has a name — Eviternity — and a concrete release date of March 9th. I’ve had the good fortune to listen to the album (which is fantastic), and it led me to do something I almost never do: I asked the band for the opportunity to premiere a song, and they agreed. What you will now hear is the new album’s title track.

By way of background, Kosmogyr is the name of a black metal band consisting of Shanghai native Xander Cheng (The Arcbane) and Ivan Belcic, formerly of Shanghai’s The Machinery of Other Skeletons and Death to Giants. Ivan now lives in Prague, but he and Xander collaborated by long-distance to record the album. And that collaboration has borne amazing fruit.

Jan 162018


I had originally planned to get a SHADES OF BLACK post ready for today since I couldn’t do it on Sunday (or yesterday), and I might still finish it before I turn into a pumpkin today. But instead I decided to begin this Tuesday with a collection of other things I spotted over the last 24 hours in the midst of the flood of new metal that’s been rushing out on a daily basis since the first of the year.


More than six years after their last album and almost four years after their last EP, Australia’s Mournful Congregation will release a new album named The Incubus Of Karma through 20 Buck Spin on March 23rd. This morning those details were revealed along with the album art — and the album’s first single, “Scripture of Exaltation and Punishment“.

Jan 152018


In 1983 the U.S. Congress passed a bill by a veto-proof majority, subsequently signed into law by President Reagan, establishing Martin Luther King Day as an American federal holiday. It’s being observed here today in the U.S., though one wonders whether such a law would have been passed by the current Congress or signed by the current President, what with all the talk about shitholes and such.

Here in our own metallic shithole we’re conducting our own kind of observance, the kind that doesn’t depend on Acts of Congress or presidential largesse, but only on the continuing brain-blasting creativity of metal musicians, which seems never-ending. The torrent of new music since shortly after New Year’s Day has been kind of staggering. I may have to try to do one of these round-ups every day this week in an effort (one doomed to failure) to keep up.


My colleague Andy called Venom Prison’s debut album Animus “nothing less than a neck-wrecking explosion of audio ultra-violence that fans of Dying Fetus, Cryptopsy, and Cattle Decapitation should already be salivating over”. Roughly 18 months after that all-killer, no-filler advent, Prosthetic Records will reissue the album on February 23rd. To pave the way, the band released a new video late last week (via Revolver mag) for a track off the album called “Immanetize Eschaton“.

Jan 152018


Here at our putrid site we’re currently in the midst of rolling out our list of 2017’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal songs, but we’re also now beginning to assemble candidates for a 2018 list… and the song you’re about to hear vaulted onto that candidate list immediately. It succeeds on many levels, but the primal power of the song’s rhythmic drive and the catchiness of its supremely menacing melodies are among its notable achievements.

The song is “The Day of the Lord” and it comes from Poisoned Atonement, the ravaging new album by Italy’s Demonomancy, which will be released by the esteemed Invictus Productions on February 23rd.

Jan 152018


Welcome to the 4th installment of my evolving list of infectious songs from last year. I’m continuing to have fun re-listening to tracks from 2017 on my massive list of candidates, and also having fun deciding which picks to group together.

Today, for example, I decided to group these three tracks together not only because I find the songs to be highly infectious but also because listening to them back-to-back is a very effective way of blowing my brain to smithereens. And who doesn’t enjoy that? In addition, all three of these tracks debuted with videos that are quite entertaining to watch.


Well, we’ve been worshipfully prostrating ourselves to Vallenfyre for years at NCS, from the very beginning straight through to the band’s latest album, Fear Those Who Fear Him, which might be the end (see this interview). And so, it should come as no surprise that I’ve picked another Vallenfyre song for another Most Infectious Song list.

Jan 152018


Norse mythology has been a rich vein of lyrical themes and musical inspiration for heavy metal bands to mine, and not just for groups who were spawned in Scandinavian lands of ice and snow. Last Legion roam the boroughs of New York City rather than the frost-bitten northlands across the Atlantic, but the ancient and timeless tales of Norse paganism fuel the fires in their music, which is a particularly savage brand of melodic death metal.

Last Legion’s new album, Muspelheim, is being released today via Gravel Entertainment, and to commemorate the event we’re premiering an official video for the album’s sixth track, “God Ov Chaos“, which takes the travails of the trickster god Loki as its subject matter.

Jan 152018


(We present Andy Synn’s review of the new album by Norway’s Horizon Ablaze, which will be released on February 17th by Leviatan/Diger.)

Ever since Emperor first semi-reformed for their ongoing series of reunion shows people have been asking them about the possibility of a new album. And while this, in itself, isn’t all that surprising, the band’s forthright comments about how that’s never going to happen have been rather refreshing.

As Ihsahn himself has said multiple times, any new album would have to be a product of both his and Samoth’s different writing styles, and the two of them have since diverged so much – one leaning more and more towards pure Prog, the other delving ever deeper into more deathly waters – that finding some sort of consensus or common ground that still actually represented the Emperor sound, would be almost impossible.

But… if they ever did produce a sequel to Prometheus I would imagine it wouldn’t sound a million miles away from the extravagant, expressive extremity of The Weight of a Thousand Suns.

Jan 152018


(Comrade Aleks brings u this interview of Tim Preston, guitarist/vocalist of the UK band Damnation’s Hammer.)


Damnation’s Hammer is a strange beast. They’re usually tagged as “death doom”, but despite this label this UK project is strongly influenced by the late Celtic Frost sound. As the band’s founder Tim explains, “The vision of the band has always been to create dark, doom-laden metal incorporating surreal atmospherics”.

Tim Preston (guitars, vocals) has been in the underground scene since the early ’90s, so he knows for sure a few things about how to play dark and heavy, and the band’s second album Unseen Planets, Deadly Spheres was recorded with a new, though experienced, lineup.

And yet despite the new blood in the veins of Damnation’s Hammer, the sound of this album is very close to the debut record, Disciples Of The Hex. What new things did Tim and his crew incorporate into the band’s sound? Let’s ask Tim.

Jan 142018


There won’t be a SHADES OF BLACK column today. I’ve had a very busy but fun-filled weekend with Ms. Islander, one of her sisters, and my brother-in-law, whooping it up in Las Vegas. Lacking the time to write any more than one post for this Sunday, I felt it would be better not to miss another day on the rollout of this list. I’ll try to do some catching up on new music tomorrow.

But although there won’t be a SHADES OF BLACK column today, I did decide to focus on black metal for this episode of the Most Infectious Song list.


I’ve been a big fan of “Carried By Lucifer’s Wings” since I listened to it the first time before agreeing to premiere the song last August. If you haven’t heard it yet, it’s one of eight tracks on Potestas Magicum Diaboli, the debut album by Asagraum, a band whose line-up (as of the time of this recording) consisted of Dutch guitarist/vocalist Obscura and drummer T. Kolsvart, who is Canadian but lives in Norway.

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