Sep 262017

 

Alcohol poisoning prevented me from writing about everything I wanted to write about in my last SHADES OF BLACK post two days ago. With that demon temporarily in submission, I’m now able to write about seven more musical demons in a blackened vein (and if you’ve been paying attention, I’ve added a couple of bands to this continuation beyond those I forecast on Sunday).

Regrettably, I’ve had to resort to a tactic I’ve used before. There are four albums or EPs included in this group of seven, but because I don’t have the time to write full reviews I’ve only commented on one track from each of those, but provided streams of the complete releases so you can explore further if I you like the tracks I’ve highlighted.

URARV

Aldrahn (Björn Dencker Gjerde) is a name of historical significance in the annals of Norwegian black metal through his work during the ’90s in Dødheimsgard and Zyklon-B, as well as his contributions to Thorns and more recently The Deathtrip. Urarv (“Ancient Heritage”) is his most recent endeavor, originally conceived in 2003 during his stay in a mental institution and now finally flowering in thorns through a debut album named Aurum (released on September 17 by Svart Records), in which Aldrahn is joined by bassist Sturt and drummer Trish (whose work in Asagraum I’ve written about previously).

May 032016

Bosch-christs descent into hell

 

(Our old friend from New Zealand and occasional guest writer Booker brings us a collection of new releases discovered through their cover art, along with some very entertaining words.)

“You should never judge a book by its cover”, or so the saying goes. No doubt most of us try and do the same with our approach to metal. Yet somehow, in amongst all the diversity of music out there, the community of metal musicians seems to self-organize; just like some drops of T-1000 liquid metal coming together to form a greater terrifying machine, different minds and souls from across the world end up uniting in their artistic endeavours and adorning their albums with specific, identifiable, cover themes. For the most part, seeing a cover with a certain “typical genre X” album art style can lead you to a fair idea of what aural treasures lie inside, but sometimes they can come out of left field and surprise you. We shouldn’t judge albums by their cover, but let’s be honest: we might say we don’t, but we all do. Like masturbation.

Once upon a time back in NCS history, Islander ran a series called “Eye Catchers” dedicated to albums that hooked you in with their artwork (and other tasty aspects). As I was perusing Bandcamp for delicious new audio treats, I realised that I too was basing my decisions of what to listen to by inadvertently succumbing to the artwork, like a moth to flame. So I figured, the hell with it, let’s see where this folly-filled exercise leads me…. and after a few surprises, and some fails, here’s a few highlights I’d like to share.

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