Nov 282014


Here in the U.S. the day after Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season, when people spend money they don’t have buying gifts for other people who don’t need them. It puts retailers in the black and consumers in the red. Ho Ho Ho and Hail Santa! How about some black metal instead?


As previously reported in these pages, Sweden’s Marduk will be releasing Frontschwein, their 13th studio album, via Century Media in January. Yesterday the band revealed the cover art and track listing and began streaming a new song named “Rope of Regret”.

Yesterday a couple of fans took me to task on Facebook for the way I wrote about the two songs we premiered yesterday. One wrote, “I think it’s hilarious when people try to be ‘metal’ and ‘brutal’ by writing about music like this.” Another penned these thoughts:

“I was always wondering who write and whom for they write descriptions of songs. Just never got the point of putting in words what can only be perceived wordless. It’s like describing colors: red is sooooo red. No really, incredibly red, ravaging, warlike red, riveting red tandem. Doesn’t reveal the message at all.”

I briefly considered just killing myself, but then realized that they were right and I should either just shut up and play the music or limit my comments to such things as, “the song includes sounds from a guitar, a bass, and a drumkit, and what may or may not be the vibrations of vocal chords”.

But that resolution didn’t last long.

“Rope of Regret” is a goddamned black metal blitzkrieg, an incinerating, flesh-ripping, bone-smashing sonic assault. Everything flies at warp speed, from the truly jaw-dropping drum blasts to the blazing riffs, and whether he’s roaring or howling or issuing vituperative commands, Mortuus sounds vicious. Electrifying black metal militarism that’s an exciting herald for the new album.









For the second day in a row, I have Kim Kelly to thank for a new discovery. In a piece she wrote for the Bandcamp Blog (here), she gave high praise to an EP named Mansorrow, released last week by a Minneapolis outfit named Mahtowa Death March.

Six songs run roughshod for a total of 13 minutes, and it’s a helluva lotta fun — a heady brew of punk and rock riffs, scything black metal chords, bluesy guitar leads, ripping solos, vicious shrieking, appropriately raucous production, and even a dose of industrial-style drum pneumatics. It’s got hooks, it’s got hammering, it’s got a general air of nastiness, and no two songs sound exactly alike.

I’ve been chanting in a little girl’s sing-song voice, “Birds. Ate. My. Face.” Get with the program:










Yesterday Season of Mist announced that it will be reissuing the entire back catalogue of Seattle-based Inquisition, with new cover art by Paolo Girardi — and it’s the artwork that really grabbed my attention for this announcement.

Above you can see Girardi’s art for Inquisition’s first album, Into The Infernal Regions Of The Ancient Cult, which will be released on January 26, and here is his cover for the second album, Invoking the Majestic Throne of Satan (to be released February 23):



All of Girardi’s covers for the catalogue are part of an “overarching concept” intended to be viewed as a collective work, so it will be interesting to see how the design unfolds.

The albums will include the original artwork as well as the new, and these first two reissues can be pre-ordered in various formats here (the recordings are the original masters, no re-mixing or re-mastering).


  1. Haha, I hadn’t seen those comments. What idiocy. Seems like they’re projecting quite a lot, particularly with the idea that you’re “trying” to be anything in particular, and not just writing and enjoying yourself.

    Oh, and the other one who seems to be saying “I don’t like this, or understand it… therefore you should stop” in reference to the, apparently blasphemous idea, of writing about music.

    Seriously, I am laughing on the inside about that assertion. If he doesn’t understand how language can be used to create and evoke images and sensations… he must live a very poor life.

    • Also, thinking about it… why would you comment on a page dedicated to a site that writes about metal… if you (strangely) think that you CAN’T write about music?

      Reminds me of that douchebag who said that there’s only one acceptable “critic” of metal on the internet, because he’s trained and educated in “criticism”. Sigh.

  2. Fuck guys, we got nailed to the wall on this one. I’m having an existentialist crisis over here.

  3. New Marduk song…Black Friday indeed. Love it! Maybe it’s just the subject matter of the record influencing me, but I’m hoping for an album along the lines of Panzer Division Marduk. This song’s fast and frantic enough that I think maybe I just might get my wish.

    • That’s the album that immediately came to my mind, too, when I heard this new song.

    • Here’s an interesting comment that Marduk posted on their FB page today about the song:

      “Rather dissimilar from the rest of the album, nonetheless a just impression of what is to come…”

      • Yeah, I saw that after I commented…hmm. Maybe they mean that this is one of the slow songs on the album, and the rest of the album will be so goddamn fast it will cause our fragile minds to completely break. Although I’m sure whatever the album sounds like it will be awesome. Because it’s Marduk.

        • Exactly — this was the mid-paced doom track. 🙂

          Like you, I don’t have much doubt that this album will kill, regardless of how the other songs compare to this one.

      • That’s actually got me really excited to hear the rest of the album. Marduk is one of those bands like Immolation or Cannibal Corpse or Anaal Nathrakh for me – they don’t release bad music. I think the closest they’ve ever come to misstep to my ears was “La Grande Danse Macabre” but even that album was still pretty good.

  4. I agree with your description about “Rope of Regret” because is a true stunning black metal imperialistic assault, Mortuus, merciless as always and I have no doubts, probably the new album will be a devastating bomb. Ha ha ha, I’m laughing about the logic about some commenters in the web, seems like: “Hey guys of NCS guess what, there is a song and this song is played by some human beings, sometimes somebody sings, oh, there is also a bass and a guitar and a drummer and the title have three words.”

    Being serious, Andy Synn is right about the way in which we can use the language, one last news, if you check Devouring Star’s facebook page there is a new song, tracklist and the release date for their first full-lenght.

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