Feb 282017


Le Brasier des Mondes is the debut album of the French band K.L.L.K. It will be released on March 3 by Caligari Records on both tape and CD, with different artwork for each (the CD art is above, the tape art is below). Today we have for you all the music on the album, presented as a continuous stream without breaks between the tracks, which is undoubtedly the best way to hear it — because it’s a completely immersive, mind-altering, and unsettling experience whose power is at its zenith when heard straight through from beginning to end.

The band’s last release was the 2015 EP Between the First Heliocentric Wind and the Great Devourer of Light, which itself followed a pair of demos and a compilation. Unfortunately I can’t compare the album to those previous works because I haven’t yet heard them. So the following words provide an introduction to Le Brasier des Mondes, standing alone. This is how the band describe the conceptual basis for the album: Continue reading »

Feb 282017


Man, what a rush! The first time I pressed play on the new song you’re about to hear from the Spanish death/grind band Looking For An Answer, I thought I’d detonated a bomb. Or been hit by a semi-truck without warning. I thought about not telling you anything about the song so you would experience the same sense of shock and awe, but I don’t have enough self-control, or possibly any at all.

The track’s name is “Redencion” and it comes from Dios Carne, the first full-length from Looking For An Answer in six years. The album will be released by Willowtip on April 28. Mark that date on your calendar — you have that long to finish your bomb shelter. Continue reading »

Feb 282017


(DGR prepared this detailed review of the new album by Andorra’s Persefone, and we have a full music stream for you at the end.)

If there is one thing that I’ve come to admire in music over the past few years, it is a sense of ambition. As music has become democratized and we’ve found bedroom and studio projects achieving just as much as groups with label backing, I’ve found bands who seem to have decided that since there is no more ‘living within their means’ any more, they can just go for it every time they step up to the plate. Persefone are one of those bands.

Now a handful of albums deep into their career, each disc has seemingly grown in size and scope compared to the last one. They come off as a group that has overdosed on just as many Dream Theater and Symphony X keyboard-laden discs as they have the late ’90s and early 2000s melodeath scene. Continue reading »

Feb 272017


This weekend I did my usual rambling through the bowels of the interhole and our overstuffed in-box in search of things I might write about today. Among the worthy discoveries I made were the new songs I collected in this post, and they seemed to belong together. Although the music is in fact quite varied, they all invoke downcast feelings in different ways and degrees. But before turning to the music, let’s begin with a news item about another band who are quite adept at plumbing the depths of despondency and doom.


Six years after releasing their debut album Despond, Nashville’s Loss have a new one on the way named Horizonless. Over the weekend, Profound Lore announced that it will be released on May 19th and revealed Adam Burke’s killer cover art. Continue reading »

Feb 272017


(Wil Cifer wrote this review of the long-awaited new album by Norway’s Slagmaur.)

This band from Norway have found their own dark path to stomp down with a grandiosity that elevates them over many of their peers.

They often find themselves chugging into more death-metal-like waters while holding the guitar textures with enough darkness to earn them the label of blackened death metal. At the end of the day, sub-genres be damned, it’s clear these songs are crafted with the understanding that no matter how heavy you are, the songs have to come first. Continue reading »

Feb 272017


The powerful debut album of the Australian band Somnium Nox ushers the listener into another world, operating at a depth that seems to affect the subconscious mind like a form of hypnosis, as well as frequently pushing the pulse of the blood to racing levels. It’s an immersive, emotionally compelling experience, by turns spellbinding and abrasive… and in the opening minutes, it includes the haunting tones of a didgeridoo.

“Haunting” may be the single best word to describe the atmospheric black metal of Somnium Nox, as it does seem to emanate from a shadow realm, giving voice to primordial powers and wandering spirits that may be submerged but haven’t disappeared.

The album consists of three long tracks that connect to each other seamlessly, and today we have the premiere of the second one — “The Alnwick Apotheosis” — in advance of the album’s May 15 release by Transcending Obscurity Records. Continue reading »

Feb 272017


(For the 82nd edition of THE SYNN REPORT, Andy reviews the discography of Anomalie, including the new album Visions, which is set for release on March 17 — and from which we will be bringing a very special premiere… soon.)

Recommended for fans of: Harakiri For The Sky, Insomnium, Ghost Brigade

As I’ve mentioned before, there’s a certain clique of bands based in and around the Germany/Austria area who, because they’re influenced by Black Metal but don’t fit neatly into that particular box, are often mislabelled as “Post Black Metal”, either through a misapprehension of what that term actually refers to, or through sheer laziness on the part of the writer/reviewer.

This loose collective of acts, many of whom are frequent touring partners and who often share live members, exists on a spectrum, with the most overtly blackened artists (Der Weg Einer Freiheit, Agrypnie) occupying one end of the scale, while the other end of things is home to acts like Post-Metal/Post-Hardcore types Thränenkind and the sadly underrated Todtgelichter.

In between these two extremes we find bands like shimmering shoegazers Heretoir (whose new album I’ll be reviewing very soon) and NCS-favourites Harakiri For The Sky, along with today’s featured artist, Austria’s own Anomalie, whose mainman Marrock has performed live with several of the artists mentioned above, and whose latest album – scheduled for release on the 17th of March – goes some way towards finally justifying the “Post Black Metal” tag which has dogged the band ever since their first release. Continue reading »

Feb 262017


As ever, I’m up to my eyebrows in new music drawn from a black vein that I want to recommend. For this SHADES OF BLACK episode, I’ve picked two songs from forthcoming releases and five complete new albums and EPs. I have pitifully few words to offer in praise of those complete releases. They deserve more, but I haven’t yet figured out how to stop time or even slow it down, and a few sentences of introduction are all my time allows me at the moment.

Please do try to allocate some of your own time to the music in this large collection. As as is often the case, I made these selections to provide a diversity of styles within the multifaceted genre of black metal.


Sweden’s Ofermod includes members of such bands as Serpent Noir, Nefandus, Head of the Demon, and Mortuus (among others). The band’s first EP was released in 1998 and their subsequent releases have included two albums (in 2008 and 2012) and a 2014 EP (Serpents Dance). They are now at work on a new album named Sol Nox that will be released by Shadow Records at some point later this year, which will include lyrics written by Dr. Thomas Karlsson, founder of the draconian Order Dragon Rouge. The striking artwork was created by Cold Poison. Continue reading »

Feb 262017


The Russian symphonic black/death metal band Arcanorum Astrum has recently completed work on their second album, The Great One, which is projected for release this April or May. Today we bring you a lyric video for the album’s title track, which features a guest solo by none other than Karl Sanders of Nile and makes good use of the impressive cover art by Alex Mayhem (Mayhem Design).

A vibrant classical piano melody begins this new song, and it ripples through the song, reappearing in the midst of the storming and the bombast that “The Great One” delivers. Soaring symphonic music gives the song yet another dimension, a mystical one, which contrasts with the song’s surging power. Continue reading »

Feb 252017


This completes a new-music round-up I started early yesterday with Part 1 and a big Part 2. This concluding installment is pretty big, too.


Al-Namrood is an anti-religious Saudi Arabian black metal band, which has to be a dangerous way for them to spend their time. The first and last time I wrote about them was in 2012 when their third album Kitab Al-Awthan was on the brink of release. Now their sixth album is due for release on CD and vinyl by Shaytan Production on May 16. Its name is Enkar. Continue reading »