Dec 282017


Roughly three months we premiered a remarkable debut album named Ho Anthropos Tes Anomias by the Spanish band Mystagos, which was subsequently released by Clandestine Faith. In an accompanying review, I wrote about the way in which spiritual inspiration and distinctive musical talent had come together in an unusually successful way: “The music itself has an otherworldly and occult resonance, channeling the exploration of dark mysteries, the exaltation of sinister forces, and the delirium of madness”.

Given the rare appeal of that album, we were excited to learn that Mystagos has prepared a new collection of songs, an EP entitled Pvrvsha, which is projected for release on February 1, 2018, by BlackSeed Productions., with great cover art by Opposition Artworks. It includes three black metal songs and four dark ambient songs, and today we have the good fortune to bring you the premiere of one of the black metal tracks: “Drowning In the Sea of Unconsciousness“.

Oct 082017


All music is connected to some kind of inspiration, from the most mundane (and even deplorable) to the most sublime. Some songs are the result of nothing more than cynical calculations intended to draw ears like clickbait draws eyes. Others seem like efforts to express (and perhaps exorcise) strongly felt emotions, either positive or negative. And still others can be understood as genuine efforts to channel a spiritual experience, or to create a medium for spiritual experience by others.

Of course, even when the inspiration for music is something commonplace and uninteresting, the music itself can still be appealing. And conversely, even when the inspiration is a blinding revelation, the music can nevertheless be colorless or even unlistenable. There’s no necessary correlation between the two, because songwriting talent and performance skill count for a lot. But when spiritual inspiration and distinctive musical talent come together, the results can be remarkable, as you will soon discover.

Ho Anthropos Tes Anomias is the debut album of Mystagos, and it will be released by the U.S. label Clandestine Faith on October 12. The album becomes available for pre-order today, to coincide with the label’s launch of a new web site, and we’re launching a full stream of the album today as well.

Feb 082017


Those of you impeccably tasteful metal aficionados who follow my Shades of Black posts know that I was too incapacitated to get one done for last Sunday. So I’m doing one now, although none of the songs collected here was included in what I planned to write about for last Sunday. I discovered all of these since then. I do still plan to complete the write-up I had originally conceived, perhaps later this week or at least for this coming Sunday.


Yesterday, I was reminded about a German label named Einheit Produktionen by seeing their release schedule for the spring. I would have discovered these plans sooner if I’d been paying closer attention to our daily e-mail flood.

In April, Einheit will be discharging the self-titled debut album of a German black metal band named Ferndal, whose influences are described by Einheit as “reaching from Darkthrone to Windir, from Beethoven to Arvo Pärt and from baroque grace to romantic melancholy, within a veil of pure black metal aggression”. Is it any wonder I paused in my scurrying to have a listen to the first teaser of music?

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