Greetings from Seattle and welcome to another edition of Shades of Black. I wasn’t able to prepare one of these installments last Sunday due to fucking off, so I’ve accumulated an especially large list of recent discoveries that I would like to write about. From that list I’ve selected blackened music from six bands to recommend.
The name Windfaerer will likely be a familiar one to our readers. Last year we premiered two songs from the band’s marvelous second album Tenebrosum and named one of those to our list of 2015’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. What a nice surprise it was to discover that two days ago Windfaerer released more new music.
These new songs (three of them) appear on a three-way split by Windfaerer and two other Northeast bands, WolfCloak, and Dumal. The name of the split is Coniuratio Nigrum Atlantika. So far I’ve only listened to Windfaerer’s tracks, but they are predictably excellent.
As explained yesterday, I intended to take a break from blogging this weekend. I have paused a few times in my eating, drinking, and merry-making long enough to scan what’s happening on Facebook, and I happened to see a status which revealed that Italy’s Argonauta Records just released a free compilation of songs from 16 bands on the Argonauta label, which tends to focus on sludge, doom, post-metal, stoner, and drone. The name of the comp is Devouring the Mountains (Vol. III), and the songs come from Argonauta releases over the last 12 months.
We’ve written previously about half of the bands included in this comp (Hollow Leg, Beneath the Storm, Among Gods, Surya, Wows, Filth In My Garage, Return From the Grave, Eyes Front North), praising them all, and that gives me high hopes for the songs from the other eight bands.
(Austin Weber brings us news about a new free comp that he helped curate.)
While I’m constantly pitching spur-of-the-moment ideas to Islander that relate to growing the scene as a whole, not every vision and concept comes to pass in the end, usually because of an unfortunate lack of time to do everything on my end. Luckily, two other metal music writers and myself decided to join forces and craft a free Bandcamp compilation for the masses called This Doesn’t Djent. Every song/band is worth your time and attention.
Rounding out the swath of bands and songs that I helped curate is content assembled by It Djents head honcho Chris Delano and MetalSucks/Invisible Oranges contributor Mark Ehmahre (bandleader/main composer of Existential Animals, whom I have covered before — and who appear below, too).
I’ll make this quick because I’m busy readying a few more posts for today — but this news doesn’t require a lot of elaboration anyway.
The news is that the excellent Swedish label Nordvis has today made a sampler of music by Nordvis artists available for free download. The sampler includes tracks by 12 bands, nearly all of whom we’ve praised at this site, including Forndom, Murg, Grift, Lustre, Panopticon, Nechochwen, and Stilla.
Here are a couple of quick news items of interest that qualify as updates to recent posts here at our putrid site.
In a Shades of Black post yesterday I included a video of the first live performance by the Greek black metal band Lord Impaler in 16 years, opening for Rotting Christ on May 13 in Kastoria, Greece, and performing a new song from their forthcoming second album In Full Regalia. And today Lord Impaler followed that landmark event in their history with an announcement I thought was worth spreading around — especially because it involves an offer of free music, much of which has been hard to find:
Some people may have noticed that I failed to compile even one round-up of new music all of this past week (unless you count that little Warriors in Forests thing). I’ve still been spending hours every afternoon or evening in a hospital ICU trying to help support my injured friend and her family.
For those of you who have been following my scattered references to this tragedy, my friend came out of her coma yesterday, though she still drifts in and out of consciousness and is now beset with other medical issues in addition to her injury. It’s too soon to tell exactly how seriously impaired she will be as a result of the injury to her brain. She can answer some simple yes or no questions by moving her fingers or foot, but she hasn’t attempted to speak and doesn’t move much. I’m trying to remain hopeful, but this is still heart-breaking.
Though I haven’t had time to do much for NCS this week besides write introductions to premieres, I have been keeping a list of new song and album streams and videos that I’ve noticed. As usual, there’s a shitload of them, far too many to write about in one post. I picked a handful to include in this post (and Austin Weber wrote an introduction to one of them as well). I’m also planning to prepare a Shades of Black post for tomorrow to collect others.
I guess it may seem that I made my point in the headline, but I really only made part of my point. Because “free” doesn’t mean “good”. “Free” takes on real significance only when the gift makes you happy — and this one damn well should.
I’m referring to a new compilation of metal compiled by The Death of A Modernist. Though this is the third of these compilations, it’s the first one that hit my cracked radar screen. And it’s quite a remarkable line-up of fine metal.
On this Saturday morning I’ve been struck by a combination of early slothfulness and (annoyingly) a subsequent need to deal with some internet service problems. I had plans to review two EPs for today, but since it’s already noon out here on the Left Coast and I haven’t written a word, I wondered what the hell I would do to foist music upon you. And then I received a Bandcamp alert in my e-mail and… Voilà!!!
That Bandcamp alert concerned a just-released compilation of sounds from Oslo, Norway’s Duplicate Records entitled An Alignment of Shrines. It includes tracks by 14 bands — four of them from forthcoming releases and the rest from Duplicate releases over the last year or so. I recognized the names of 10 of the bands, and it happens that I’ve enjoyed and we’ve previously written about the music of all 10 of those. Here’s the list of the bands and the names of the releases from which the songs were drawn:
What follows are delayed reviews of three short releases that I’ve enjoyed, two of which are available for free. And by “delayed”, I mean that I started writing this post in November, put it aside, got caught up in other things — and forgot to finish it! Better late than never, I hope.
In the middle of November a Dallas band named Maldevera released a new three-song EP entitled Incarceration Plague via Bandcamp. According to Metal-Archives, this is the fourth demo they’ve released since 2012 — and this one is awesome.
I just took a pause from scribbling some stream-of-consciousness reactions to two premieres we’ll be bringing you later today and while scanning my Facebook feed discovered this: Germany’s Apostasy Records has recently released a digital compilation that includes 24 songs from 19 bands spanning the label’s releases over the years 2012 – 2015. Check out these names:
Alkaloid, Black Abyss, Burial Vault, Corpse Molester Cult, Craving, Crisix, Deadborn, Disparaged, Lay Down Rotten, Lost Soul, Maladie, Nailed to Obscurity, Obscenity, Overtorture, Punish, Sonic Reign, Spheron, The Duskfall, and Von Branden.