Feb 262017

 

As ever, I’m up to my eyebrows in new music drawn from a black vein that I want to recommend. For this SHADES OF BLACK episode, I’ve picked two songs from forthcoming releases and five complete new albums and EPs. I have pitifully few words to offer in praise of those complete releases. They deserve more, but I haven’t yet figured out how to stop time or even slow it down, and a few sentences of introduction are all my time allows me at the moment.

Please do try to allocate some of your own time to the music in this large collection. As as is often the case, I made these selections to provide a diversity of styles within the multifaceted genre of black metal.

OFERMOD

Sweden’s Ofermod includes members of such bands as Serpent Noir, Nefandus, Head of the Demon, and Mortuus (among others). The band’s first EP was released in 1998 and their subsequent releases have included two albums (in 2008 and 2012) and a 2014 EP (Serpents Dance). They are now at work on a new album named Sol Nox that will be released by Shadow Records at some point later this year, which will include lyrics written by Dr. Thomas Karlsson, founder of the draconian Order Dragon Rouge. The striking artwork was created by Cold Poison.

Feb 212017

 

Sundays are the days usually reserved for SHADES OF BLACK posts, but by coincidence most of the new songs I discovered yesterday that I thought I’d include in a round-up were in a black vein. So I’ve collected those here, and I’ll defer the others to a SEEN AND HEARD post tomorrow.

I really like the music of all four of these bands and hope you will, too. The first three items below are advance tracks from forthcoming releases and the last one is a new demo the band wrote us about.

FIN

I’ve been following this Chicago band since May of 2013, when I scribbled some enthusiastic thoughts about their 2012 demo, Fated By Will and Iron. In February 2015 I loosed another flood of enthusiastic verbiage about their third album The Furrows of Tradition (along with a track premiere). And then last year I gushed about one of FIN’s songs for a split with the Austrian band Totale Vernichtung — which still hasn’t been released yet.

Feb 192017

 

In this Sunday’s SHADES OF BLACK I’ve collected advance tracks from four albums plus two full recent releases, all of which I hope you’ll find are worth your time.

FALLS OF RAUROS

I’ve been immensely enjoying the new Falls of Rauros album, Vigilance Perennial, though berating myself for not yet collecting my thoughts in a review. With luck, I’ll get that done in the coming week. For now I’ll just offer a few words about the first advance track from the album, “White Granite“, which premiered at DECIBEL on Friday.

Feb 132017

 

This is Part 2 of a post I started yesterday and decided to divide because I kind of went overboard with the volume of music. As I explained yesterday, this 2-parter includes streams of two full albums, three full EPs, two singles (I added one since yesterday), and advance tracks from two forthcoming releases. And lots of my words, of course. In the middle, I’ve spliced one very exciting piece of news… which comes first today.

AORATAS

On Friday, Debemur Morti Productions announced that Naas Alcameth, the mastermind behind Nightbringer and Akhlys, has joined the label with a new project named Aoratas, and an album that will be released later this year.

The announcement included a statement by Naas Alcameth that I’m just going to quote in full. I trust I don’t need to explain why this is newsworthy, but if an explanation is needed, I’d simply point you to the stream of The Dreaming I, which I’ve included below the statement.

Feb 122017

 

I tend to go overboard with the volume of music in these Shades of Black posts, but this one includes even more minutes of listening than usual. In this one you’ll find streams of two full albums, three full EPs, one single, and advance tracks from two forthcoming releases. And lots of my words, of course. In the middle, I’ve also spliced one very exciting piece of news.

Due to the size of this post, I’ve divided it into two parts. Part 2 is almost finished, but because of the volume of music here in Part 1 and in yesterday’s post, I think I’ll wait until first thing tomorrow to unveil it.

HETROERTZEN

Hetroertzen is a Chilean band now based in Sweden. I first discovered them through the music on their last album, 2014’s Ain Soph Aur (which I reviewed at length here). Their new album, Uprising of the Fallen, is now set for release by their new label Listenable Records on February 24.

Jan 302017

 

This is the second part of a Shades of Black post I began yesterday. At the risk of drowning you with such a large torrent of music (but when has that ever stopped us?), I have another compilation, plus three full recent releases, plus advance tracks from two more that are slated for release next month. All of them are recommended, of course.

THORMESIS

Trümmerfarben is the fifth album from Germany’s Thormesis since 2008, but I don’t think I’ve heard anything from the previous ones. The new album has a release date of February 10 via MDD Records, and what you’ll find below is a lyric video (in German) for a song called “Waheelas Fährte”.

Jan 292017

 

I have a large collection of recent releases or advance tracks to recommend, all of them within the ever-widening spectrum of black metal or reflecting to varying degrees the influence of black metal. I’ve divided the collection into two parts. I haven’t written the second one yet, so I’m not sure if I’ll be posting it today or on Monday.

MISÞYRMING

Formed in Reykjavík back in 2013, Misþyrming (Icelandic for “abuse” or “mistreatment“) was originally the solo project of multi-instrumentalist D.G., but eventually expanded into a full band as a result of D.G.’s desire to perform Misþyrming’s music in a live setting. The band shares members with Naðra and Carpe Noctem, and D.G. is also a member of Martröð and Skáphe.

Jan 222017

 

I have a large and broad array of music in this Sunday’s Shades of Black collection. In some instances I’ve stepped outside the usual boundaries of this series, mainly because I didn’t want to wait for an arguably more appropriate way to feature the music. Hopefully, this playlist will prove interesting to you, even if you came hear expecting nothing but black metal.

AUTHOR

Earlier today we premiered a song from a band on the Naturmacht label, and the first music in this collection also comes from Naturmacht. It’s a complete album released on January 8 called Lopun Alku, by the Finnish project Author. The photo that comes next shows a full live band, but on the album one man (J.V.) did almost everything — vocals, lyrics, guitars, bass, keyboards, all music — with session drums performed by J.W.

Jan 152017

 

It’s time to blacken the Sabbath again. As usual, I find myself up to my eyebrows in new advance tracks and new or newly discovered full releases I’d like to write about. I picked this group not only because they’re among the best of what I have on my list but also because they provide an array of different sounds and a mix between higher-profile and more under-the-radar bands.

PILLORIAN

Agalloch is no more, of course, and I would guess that many people who mourn the band’s dissolution blame John Haughm, certainly in part because of a poorly worded and widely lampooned statement he made when the news broke last year. His former Agalloch comrades have joined forces with Aaron John Gregory of Giant Squid to form a new band named Khôrada, who are now busy recording demos — and I’m quite anxious to hear what they’re creating.

Meanwhile, John Haughm founded Pillorian.

Jan 082017

 

I was again torn between writing a “That’s Metal!” post, which I foolishly promised to do on the first Sunday of each month and still haven’t done for December — or January — and compiling another collection of recent music in a blackened vein. You can see how that internal struggle ended.

KJELD and WEDERGANGER

This split by these two distinctive Dutch bands was released on December 16 by Ván Records and is now available on Bandcamp. It includes three tracks by Kjeld and two by Wederganger. I had intended to write about it prior to release, but failed. It’s very good, and deserves more extensive discussion than I’m able to give it now. But with a full stream now available, it can speak quite well for itself.

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