Mar 202017


Photo by Stig Persson

(Andy Synn presents a collection of songs to celebrate the International Day of Happiness, which the UN has established as March 20th — today!)

How are we all doing today? Good?

I only ask because today is apparently International Day of Happiness, so we should all be feeling that little bit brighter and sprightlier as a result.

Today is also the day when the UN releases their annual World Happiness Report and, wouldn’t you know it, but our Norwegian brethren (and lady-brethren) have only gone and dethroned the Danish as the world’s happiest nation!

So, in tribute to this momentous occasion, here are five bands who help make Norway the happiest place on earth.

Dec 202016

mysticum-planet-satan

 

(We welcome back guest writer Lonegoat, the Texas-based necroclassical pianist behind Goatcraft, whose latest album Yersinia Pestis was released earlier this year by I, Voidhanger. In this piece, Lonegoat provides a different kind of review for the latest album by the Norwegian band Mysticum.)

Synopsis: Mysticum goes on a raging binge, warps to Planet Satan, dies.

Slowly and unwillingly, Mysticum recovered consciousness. He lay on his back, eyes tightly closed, trying to postpone the inevitable awakening. But conciousness returned and brought sensation with it. Needles of pain stabbed at his eyeballs, and the base of his skull began to pound like a giant heart. His joints seemed to be on fire, and his stomach was a deep well of nausea. It was no relief for him to realize that he was suffering from the absolute embodiment of all hangovers.

Aug 012016

Neurosis-Fires Within Fires

 

On Friday I mentioned that I would be out in the woods over the weekend and unable to post a Shades of Black installment on Sunday. I said I would get it ready for Saturday instead. That obviously didn’t happen. Rather than wait until next Sunday, I’ve decided to do it now — and to double-down by making this a multi-part post. I’m not saying how many other parts there will be or when the rest of them will appear this week — because I’m desperately trying to remember the lesson that part-time, half-witted metal bloggers should never reveal plans that may fall apart immediately.

In this first part, I’m focusing on six individual songs and videos that have appeared recently. I’ll get to some EPs and full album releases in the next part. But first, a trailer for a highly anticipated new album…

NEUROSIS

This first item is kind of outside the bounds of what Shades of Black usually focuses on, but I got so excited about it that I didn’t want to delay spreading the word until our next Seen and Heard round-up. It’s a video trailer for the new eleventh album by the mighty Neurosis. It’s name is Fires Within Fires and it will be released on September 23 by Neurot Recordings.

Oct 242014

I’m about to bolt for the airport — not because of the fucking day job, for a change, but to visit family in Austin and maybe have time for a bit of the Housecore Horror Film Festival. If the wi-fi works on the airplane, I might turn up again, but otherwise this round-up of new music will be today’s final post. Although this post isn’t a long one, trust me, it’s a good one.

PERDITION TEMPLE

I have BadWolf to thank for the discovery of this first new song. It comes from a band named Perdition Temple. Despite the fact that they have two albums out in the world (Edict of the Antichrist Elect from 2010 and 2014’s Sovereign of the Desolate), I don’t think I’ve previously explored their music.

The band’s line-up, which includes some veteran names, is as follows:

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