Mar 182018


Continuing on from Part 1 of this Sunday’s column, I’ve chosen new music from five black metal bands. One is a recently released EP and the rest of the songs are from albums scheduled for release in the coming months. If you missed Part 1, it’s here.


The Finnish one-man band Cosmic Church has released two albums and many shorter releases since the first demo in 2006, but has now decided to end its life with one final album, entitled Täyttymys. A single called “Armolahja” was digitally released on March 15th as a preview of the album, which will appear on CD and vinyl at some unknown future date via the Finnish black metal label Kuunpalvelus.

Mar 182018


Three weeks have passed since the last of these columns, mainly because of my vacation to Iceland, so I decided to double up today. I’m also still experiencing postpartum depression from the severance of myself from Iceland. To treat the condition, I chose to include some new music from Icelandic black metal bands, one in this Part of the column and another in Part 2. Other parts of the world are also included, before the flood of Icelandic black metal covers them like the deluge of Genesis and reduces the globe to a state of watery chaos.


Mystískaos is a record label (or perhaps more accurately, a creative collective) formed through the collaboration of American musician Alex Poole (Skáphe, Chaos Moon, Entheogen) and Icelandic musician H.V Lyngdal (Wormlust, Ljáin, Martröð). Its list of releases principally consists of the projects of those two creators, but includes participation by other people within their circles, and now also includes a partnership with Fallen Empire.

Feb 252018


I stared at my long list of recent black metal releases that I found appealing. My eyes drifted further down the list to all the releases and advance tracks from weeks past that I had wanted to say something about, but hadn’t. That daunted feeling that crept into my head like a bad old friend, it locked up my brain. To unlock it, I tried to allow instinct to take over, and speared these five names based on the thought that the flow of the music would provide some interesting twists and turns as you move through them.


Upon encountering this one-man French band’s second EP, Sun, last year, I tried to sum up my reaction in these words: “Onirism isn’t the first band to combine utterly enthralling and transcendently beautiful sounds with the kind of savagery that makes you want to hide under your bed, but holy hell, they do it well.”

Later in the year I revisited Onirism through our premiere of a track from the band’s split with Pure Wrath, and left enthralled again.

Feb 182018

Wiegedood – photo by Stefaan Temmerman


Saturdays and Sunday mornings have become challenging times for me in the thinking I allocate to these SHADES OF BLACK posts. Having listened off and on to a lot of new black metal during the preceding week, I think I’ve figured out by mid-day Saturday what to include, and then, by coincidence or cunning, a whole bunch of new stuff lands in my lap.

Yesterday was a prime example. Having narrowed my choices, they suddenly ballooned again, thanks to late-breaking recommendations from friends and readers, and e-mails from bands and labels. The flood of communications into our chaotic command center usually dwindles dramatically on Saturdays, but those that persist tend to focus on music from the black realms, and I tend to pay attention to them more quickly because everything else has kind of cleared out.

What to do? Well, one thing I did was to expand the volume of music in today’s post. And given my renewed resolution to cut down on the number of premieres I agree to write during the week, another option will be to collect more new music in a blackened vein for a week-day edition of this series.


I do my best not to read comments about music on the internet (or comments about almost anything else) unless they were written by friends or respected musicians, or unless they appear at NCS. I can guess that if I made an exception to that resolution in the case of Wiegedood’s new song and video, the majority of them would be juvenilia about penises.

Feb 112018


As I explained in Part 1 of today’s long column, this collection begins with three substantial works of atmospheric black metal largely devoted to “long-form” compositions, and then makes some sharp stylistic turns. The first item in this Part 2 is the third of those opening pieces and becomes a bridge to the veering course in the final trio.


Ecloss is a one-man project based in Paris. The Ecloss debut album, Diluvienne, was released on January 26 and consists of three long songs. The shortest of those, at about 9 minutes, is the opener “Mensonges De Profane“, which is what convinced me (without argument) to plunge into the even more substantial works that follow it.

Feb 112018


Welcome to the regular Sunday edition of this column, which follows the irregular one I posted yesterday after failing to complete it earlier as planned. I’ve divided it into two parts because there’s quite a lot of music in today’s post, with six bands and four complete releases in addition to advance tracks from two others that are on the way.

On top of that, the first three of the complete releases include “long-form” songs. All of them are examples of emotionally powerful atmospheric black metal. But after those three I decided to make a sharp stylistic turn (actually, several sharp turns).

P.S.: I’m rarely cool, calm, and collected when writing about music; I only write about what I like and tend to let the words reflect the excitement… and I really like what you’re about to hear.


Two years ago I reviewed and premiered a wonderful album named Waves of Degradation by the Texas folk-influenced atmospheric black metal band Krigsgrav. It was the band’s fourth album but my first serious exposure to their music, and it was a hell of a discovery.

Krigsgrav are far along in their work on a new album, but their former bassist Wes Radvansky, who seems to have parted ways with the band since the last Krigsgrav album, has his own solo project, the name of which is Midnartiis.

Feb 102018


It will come as no surprise to anyone who has visited us more than once that I enjoy doing premieres of new music. Sometimes, however, I lose my head: For example, over the last two days we did eight of them. I believe in the worth of each one of those, but they shoved everything else out of the way, including this post, which I started writing last Wednesday and couldn’t finish.

Posting this on Saturday runs it right up against the usual spot for this SHADES OF BLACK series on Sunday, but so be it. I’ll still post another one of these installments tomorrow, and then try to figure out how to catch up on Monday with everything else I’ve neglected over the last two days.


In December we premiered a song from a then-forthcoming EP named Pvrvsha by the Spanish black metal band Mystagos. That song alone (“Drowning In the Sea of Unconsciousness”) was enough to land the EP on my own “most anticipated” list for the early months of 2018. And on February 1, Pvrvsha was released by BlackSeed Productions. It’s available now through Bandcamp, and if you haven’t heard it, you really should give it your full attention.

Feb 042018


I spent a lot of time yesterday listening to new black metal and black/death metal, trying to decide what to write about in this Sunday’s SHADES OF BLACK column. My list of what I wanted to recommend to you included music from 20 bands… and that’s not counting the dozens more from previous listening sessions over the last couple of weeks. As a result, I chose the following five tracks pretty impulsively, consoling myself with the thought that I could pick some more for a further installment of this series early in the coming week. I hope that works out.

As you’ll discover, I bent the rules a bit… some of these tracks lean more on the death metal side of darkness than the black metal side. But it’s all still very black, and all very good.


Roughly five years after their untitled debut album, the Australian band Grave Upheaval, whose members are not officially identified but who are rumored to include members of Impetuous Ritual, Portal, and Temple Nightside, have a new album headed our way. Also untitled, and with songs that are identified only by Roman numeral, it will be released by Nuclear War Now! Productions on April 15th.

Jan 262018


This is the last installment of a three-part post I began on Wednesday, focusing on new and recently discovered metal in a blackened vein. I packed a lot of music into this tripartite post — including a pair of video premieres today — in part because I failed to get a SHADES OF BLACK column finished in time to post in its usual place last Sunday, but also because I won’t get one done for this coming Sunday either. The weekend is going to be an unusually busy one for me, and if I can manage to get anything done at all for NCS, it will be a continuation of our Most Infectious Song list… because time is rapidly running out on that.

When I started this post two days ago I had a list that I alphabetized by band name before dividing it into thirds. I did say that I might discover something else to add that would screw up the alphabetic ordering, and so I have.


Stormbane (from Melbourne, Australia) have explained that they recorded their debut album Eldritch Devotion in 2014 but only released it on January 1 of this year “due to explosive bowel movements and disagreements”. It also appears to be a posthumous release — Metal Archives now classifies the band as “Split-up”. Too bad. But at least the band decided to discharge this explosive movement before they themselves exploded.

Jan 252018


Yesterday I posted the first Part of this three-part collection of new or recently discovered black metal. If the rest of my life will cooperate, I should be able to post Part Three tomorrow. As previously explained, I arranged all the music in alphabetical order by band name and then divided the list into thirds. And so tomorrow’s music comes from bands whose names follow the letter N — unless I find something else I want to tack on, or forget how to alphabet.


My comrade DGR pointed me to For I, the Misanthropist, the third album by the Greek band Human Serpent. I don’t think we’ve written about Human Serpent before, although in preparing to write this post I saw that the band’s last release (just a few months ago) was a 20-minute collaboration with Isolert, who I have tried to expose to our readers on a couple of previous occasions. That’s a release I need to listen to (and you can listen to it here as well).

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