Apr 302017

 

If you scroll down the posts at our site that have appeared since Friday morning, it will be obvious that I’ve lost what was left of my mind. No sane person would test the patience of even the most devoted listener by throwing so many musical recommendations into the void in such a short space of days. I suppose I ought to give you at least a short break for recovery, and so instead of packing this Sunday’s edition of SHADES OF BLACK with everything I intended to recommend, I’m saving half of it for Monday.

The music in this post consists entirely of music that appeared over the last week, beginning with a new album that deserves a full review — which you’ll have to find elsewhere. What you’ll find here is a stream of the album and some pathetically brief but heartfelt praise. It comes from…

HAVUKRUUNU

With their first album, Havulinnaan, Havukruunu proved very quickly that they were something special. Two years later, they have produced Kelle surut soi, which was released by Naturmacht Productions on April 29th (yesterday). Anyone who might have worried about a sophomore slump can perish those thoughts — they’ve managed to surmount a debut that was itself spectacular.

Apr 242017

 

This completes the two-part post I started yesterday, collecting music in a blackened vein that I sifted from my discoveries over the last week. Beginning yesterday and continuing today, the music is organized in alphabetical order by band name.

CORPUS CHRISTII

Delusion is the eighth full-length by the Portuguese black metal band Corpus Christii. It will be released on April 28 by Folter Records. In another one of these SHADES OF BLACK editions, I wrote about the album’s powerful first single, “The Curse Within Time”, and now a second one has appeared, which is yet another sign of this album’s excellence.

Apr 232017

 

I whittled the great limb of blackened music I found over the last week down to a spear, but it was a spear with 10 barbs. I organized the music alphabetically by band name and decided, as I stared at what I’d done, that music from 10 bands was too much for a single post. So, I’ve divided it into two parts, while maintaining the alphabetical ordering. I haven’t finished writing Part 2, so not sure if it will come later today or tomorrow (but probably tomorrow).

ÆRA

Of Forsworn Vows is the debut EP of a two-man project named ÆRA (the creator of all the music seems to be from Chile, the vocalist from Missouri). It was digitally released in February, but it’s now available on tape through Desolated Woods Records, and it appears that Aeternitas Tenebrarum plans to make a CD release (the Bandcamp download has been updated so that the tracks now consist of the CD masters).

Apr 162017

 

Salutations, and welcome to another edition of SHADES OF BLACK. As usual, I have a lot of new music I want to recommend that’s mainly in a blackened vein, perhaps more than usual this time. Below you’ll find brief reviews and streams of three complete albums of significant length, along with individual songs from three other recent or forthcoming releases. No two of these bands sound alike, each of them revealing their own distinctive character.

BESTIA ARCANA

In March of last year, Daemon Worship Productions launched a YouTube video which said nothing more than “Bestia Arcana. Holókauston is coming.” After doing further research I was unable to find more details but reported the event anyway, while commenting that the excerpts of music in the video “sound like the gates of Hell have been forced open, expelling great heaving waves of dark, terrifying, unearthly sound… some of it the sound of arcane ritual, some of it the sound of civilization being put to the torch”.

Apr 092017

 

Greetings again from Seattle, where the sun has chosen to shine on this Sunday. Nevertheless, I will again try to help darken the sabbath with a selection of new black metal that I hope you will find pleasing. All of this has certainly pleased me.

HAVUKRUUNU

I hadn’t been awake for long this morning when I learned (thank you Conor!) that Naturmacht Productions had revealed the first taste of music from the new album by Finland’s Havukruunu — an album I have been very eagerly awaiting.

The song is brilliant, and so at the last minute I’ve added it to this post in a prominent position. I’m now especially anxious to explore the rest of the album, which it seems I now have in my clutches. Something will have to yield to it today… perhaps food, bathroom breaks, interaction with my spouse… one must establish the correct priorities.

Apr 022017

 

I didn’t damage myself too badly last night, only moderately, and so I was able to prepare this selection of music that I thought was worth recommending. I’m beginning with songs from forthcoming albums by four bands and concluding with two recent EPs.

Much of the music in this collection isn’t strictly black metal, but has enough kinship to the genre that I can justify including it. Hope you find some things to like.

WORMWITCH

In another one of these SHADES OF BLACK posts last month I reported that Prosthetic Records would be releasing the debut album Strike Mortal Soil by Vancouver, BC’s Wormwitch on May 12. At that point I didn’t have any music to share with you, but now I do.

Mar 292017

 

This is the second part of a post I began on Sunday, collecting recent music in a blackened vein that I’ve been enjoying. As is often the case, other obligations derailed my plan to post this on Monday, and of course I found a few more things since then that I also want to recommend.

The truth is, I’m drowning in dark new releases that I want to recommend, many of which (unlike what’s in this post) are full albums and EPs. I’m stewing about how to solve that problem, since reviewing all of them is an impossibility. But let’s put that conundrum aside and dive into some very good videos and advance tracks.

SINCARNATE

A few days ago the Romanian band Sincarnate released a lyric video for a song called “Curriculum Mortis” from their new album In Nomine Homini, which will be released on April 1 by Hatework. This is one of those full releases I mentioned above — from what I’ve heard so far, it’s excellent, and I hope to find a way to come back to it in print here at our site. But for now, I’m focused on “Curriculum Mortis”.

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 202017

 

I don’t suppose there’s any need to blacken a Monday, since they’re usually bruised to begin with, but I didn’t have time to finish Part 2 of this post yesterday and so here we are.

Like yesterday’s Part 1, I’m beginning this one with an announcement, ending it with a video, and slotting in a full release (actually, two) along with some advance tracks. As always, everything here is recommended.

WORMWITCH

Prosthetic Records recently announced that they would be releasing the debut album Strike Mortal Soil by Vancouver, BC’s Wormwitch on May 12. Almost exactly one year ago we premiered a video for a single the band released called “Coffin Birth”.

Mar 192017

 

Greetings, earthlings. It’s time once again to blacken the sabbath. As you see from the title, I have too many selections to fit into one post. I’ve nearly finished Part 2, but have other nefarious plans ahead of myself today, so I’ll have to polish it off tonight and post it first thing on Monday.

I configured both parts so that each one begins with an announcement and ends with a video from a band that’s somewhat better known than the others, and each one includes a full recent release as well as advance tracks from forthcoming albums or EPs.

LO-RUHAMAH

I spotted the magnificent artwork by Elijah Gwhedhú Tamu at the top of this post, and quickly pasted it on our Facebook page, a few weeks before I, Voidhanger Records announced that it would adorn a new album by Lo-Ruhamah. But now we know that, and we know a few other things about the release.

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