Mar 262017

 

I realize I’ve delivered a flood of new music to the site this weekend, so much that I’ve drowned in it, too. Time has run out on my plans to create a gargantuan compilation of new music in a blackened vein, and so I’ve been forced to cut that gargantua into three pieces. Mondays tend to be crazy around here, and so I’m not positive I’ll finish Parts 2 and 3 in time to post them tomorrow, but they will arrive eventually. Let’s begin….

LES CHANTS DU HASARD

Three things drew me into this first song: First, the cover art by Jeff Grimal (above); second, the fact that the album will be released by I, Voidhanger Records (whose selections are always fascinating); and third, this description of the music: “NO GUITARS, NO BASSES, NO DRUMS. ORCHESTRA IS THE NEW BLACK.”

Mar 072017

 

Well, for those of you who actually pay attention to such things, I obviously failed to post Part 2 of this week’s SHADES OF BLACK column, which I began (here) on Sunday and said I would continue on Monday. And in the meantime, of course, more new metal in a blackened vein has appeared, and it happened to be new music that I really like. So I’ve adjusted my plans (i.e., I’m making this up as I go along so what else is new).

Part 1 of this feature included full album streams, and my intent for the original Part 2 was to focus on individual advance tracks I’d picked from forthcoming albums. I still intend to do that, except that has become Part 3. What I’m doing here is focusing on the new tracks that grabbed my attention yesterday.

ENSNARED

I’ve been very curious to hear Dysangelium, which is the debut album of Sweden’s Ensnared. Dysangelium will be jointly released by Invictus Productions and Dark Descent on May 12. The first track, which debuted yesterday, is very promising. Its name is “Apostles of Dismay“.

Mar 052017

 

I’ve divided this Sunday’s collection of music in a black vein into two groups. In Part 1 I’ve collected recent releases, all of which are full albums. In Part 2, which I probably won’t finish and post until tomorrow morning, I’ve gathered advance tracks from forthcoming releases.

I’ve also taken a different approach to the albums included in this post. Instead of trying to sum up each one, I’ve picked one song from each album to write about, and then provided a full stream of the entire album for you to explore further.

CHRONAEXUS

I learned about this first album from my Sacramento-based NCS comrade DGR. Chronaexus is a trio from his stomping grounds, and two of the three — guitarist/vocalist Nick Liuzzi and bassist Bret Tardiff — are also members of the excellent funeral doom band Lycus and the black metal band Minenwerfer, while Liuzzi and drummer Pete Chavez are also participants in the brutal death metal band Slaughterbox.

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.

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