Jun 252017


As everyone who writes for our site has remarked from time to time, we just don’t have enough time to write reviews of every new album, EP, and split that catches our fancy, no matter how fine we think they are. I have no doubt we would still fall short even if we all did this as a full-time occupation instead of a part-time un-paid labor of lust.

I also have no doubt that we could throw more good music at your head if we truncated or eliminated our verbiage and simply installed music streams and yelled, “LISTEN TO THIS MOTHERFUCKERS!” Or maybe, “LISTEN TO THIS PLEASE AND THANK YOU”. But where’s the fun in that? Maybe more fun for you, but less fun for us… and that might lead some of us to spend more time playing with ourselves and less time playing with you.

Nevertheless, I’m admitting defeat to the hands of time in this post. There are a handful of recently released new albums in a blackened vein that I’m simply urging you to hear. Please. And thank you. Motherfuckers.

All but one of these albums are records whose advance tracks I’ve written about in previous editions of SHADES OF BLACK or elsewhere at our site. They’re all very much worth your time, and all are available on Bandcamp.

Later today or tomorrow I plan to post a more conventional edition of SHADES OF BLACK, i.e., one in which I’ll have fun with words in addition to providing the music streams. Until then, dive into the depths of these obsidian gems from Vulpus (Portugal), Kafirun (Canada), Vonnis (Belgium), Time Lurker (France), and Chambre Froid (France).





Previous verbiage from SHADES OF BLACK:

“The thundering, double-bass-driven surges in the song are bone-rattling, the deep riffs are ominous, and the shimmering guitars create an eerie atmosphere. When the vocals turn from savage snarls to lung-bursting cries, the song’s melody bursts into vibrant life… which makes the more somber and subdued passage that follows it all the more affecting. The pulse-pounding drum fills in that less assaulting part of the song are well-crafted, and the bleak yet explosive finale leaves me wanting more. This is a heavy, dark combination of black metal and post-metal that’s emotionally evocative….”











Previous verbiage from SHADES OF BLACK:

“The warped, twisting arpeggio at the outset of the song quickly sinks its serpentine tendrils into the head almost immediately, and from there the band build an even more deeply felt and convincing atmosphere of unearthly peril and claustrophobic gloom. The music twists the tension, while injecting elements of verging delirium that then spill over into bouts of pestilential swarming, as if spreading plague vectors have suddenly converged in a firestorm of disease and death. Eerie and unsettling music that exerts a powerful fascination….”











Previous verbiage from our song premiere:

“The song has its way with the listener’s head in less than a minute, providing an example of Vonnis‘ vicious, blackened stew of powerviolence, noise, and crust. The song expels a blast of hard-slugging riffs, head-battering drum and bass work, and throat-scraping vocal fury with the rasping, abrasive quality of black metal. But what immediately sticks in the head is the strange, high, warbling melody that pulses through that barrage of sound. It’s the sound of something gone wrong… like a dead sun burning over a grey and barren waste.”











Previous verbiage from SHADES OF BLACK:

“‘Whispering From Space‘ builds in intensity from a dark and ominous prelude. Otherworldly interludes and stately processionals segment the dramatic storms of sound, and the overall effect of this void-faring trip is a gripping amalgam of majesty, bestiality, chaos, and cold, alien predation.

“’Ethereal Hands‘ plumbs the depths of deep, hostile space in similar fashion, blending fireball intensity with mesmerizing guitar emanations that become beautiful in their somber, spectral strangeness. It’s a dynamic and completely immersive song, and the vocals are wrenching in their skin-splitting extremity.”











This is the one album in this list of recommendations that I haven’t written about previously at NCS. The band, Chambre Froide, is from Bordeaux, France, and the album was released by Fallen Empire on May 24.

This is raw, rapacious, bestial, and frigid black metal, yet far above most albums that could be so described because the songs are possessed of cold, eerie strands of melody that are as enthralling (and often demonically majestic) as they are blood-chilling, and because the songs twist and turn in surprising directions. The clattering, unpredictable, breathtakingly fast drumwork is also a marvel (check out the mid-paced third track to see what I mean).




  1. Lluvia – Enigma

    A god damn masterpiece of modern black metal that was released recently although to many people’s discontent only listenable by playing the instantly sold out records or tapes. No streams or digital version and it seems their Bandcamp has purposefully been disabled. Maybe that makes it a truly underground gem I’m glad to own!!

    Love that chamber froid too!

  2. Having previously bought the first two Lluvia records, I was quite bummed that I couldn’t get the new one in time and now it looks as if it will be some time until I hear it. Hopefully someone does a quality rip of it at some point.

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