May 212023

This Sunday’s tour through the black arts is shorter than usual. Unexpected conflicts have arisen in my day. The confliction in the music was planned.

DUSK CULT (Australia)

Behold, our revelation statement
Bow down, before a dying sun
Yielding, to midnight manifesto
We’ve only just begun

Those words are some of the lyrics to “Black Cloud Worship“, a new song that this Australian band presented two days ago through a dramatic video wherein revelations occur on a rocky, wave-drenched shoreline. I had some idea what to expect from this duo (who are members of Be’lakor and Rainshadow), based on the manifold strengths of their 2021 debut album Embrace the Lunar Age, but the music still left my heart pounding hard.

The song begins with blasting drums, a dense whir of grim and grievous riffing, heavy bass undulations, and goblin screams. An enticing start, but it gets even better. The feeling of distress in the opening gives way to a manifestation of defiance, rendered in compulsive hammering beats, slashing chords, a frenetic lead guitar, and haughty, monstrous roars.

By now the band have set the hooks that will get heads moving, but there are glories still to come. Those slashing chords rise up and tower in power as the rhythm section inflict heavyweight body blows and that lead guitar sizzles in a fiery boil. When the band revisit the opening blast-and-whir, you realize that it had set its own hooks.

Back and forth the band go, digging all those hooks deeper, and the two-tone vocals seem even more possessed. The song builds to an extravagant and explosive finale, as if the band wanted to see just how much faster they could make a listener’s pulse race.

Dusk Cult is Ben Williamson (Guitars, bass, keys & vocals) and Elliott Sansom (Drums & vocals). The song is from an album named Night Sky Revelations, which is set for release on July 1st, but it’s also available now as a digital single that includes an acoustic version of the song “Dammerungskult” that originally appeared on Dusk Cult‘s debut album. I’m eager to discover what other new revelations Dusk Cult have drawn from their night skies.




Based on the one song revealed so far from Black Sorcery‘s debut album Deciphering Torment Through Malediction, I’d say this Rhode Island band picked a good name for it.

Erinyes Slough” is unmistakably hateful, from the caustic lunacy of the shrieked vocals to the gut-plunder inflicted by the bassist and the rude corrosiveness of the brazen and roiling guitars. The snare drum keeps time like a metronome still somehow functioning in a vicious riot.

In addition to being feral and malign, however, a feeling of torment does come through in the riffing, and about halfway through, the drums come unchained and the song transforms into a searing cataclysm that will swallow you up. There’s still something anguished about that electrifying convulsion, but a kind of medieval grandeur emerges as well. In other words, there are more facets to the track than you might guess at first.

The album will be released on July 28th by the Eternal Death label.



GRÅANDE (Sweden)

I’m really going to have to make this quick, not because the music doesn’t deserve more but because I’m rapidly running out of time.

What drew me to this self-titled EP (released two days ago) was the news that the band is a new project consisting of Nachtzeit from Lustre and vocalist/lyricist Nichil. I usually resist copy/pasting descriptive material, but here I need to. This is from the Bandcamp page for Gråande:

“The EP offers two dirges richly textured by droning riffs and dreamlike minimalism. The keyboards and melodies bear all of Nachtzeit’s hallmarks but stake out a path into more ominous territory. Thematically, Gråande explores what it means to lose your connection to nature and give in to darkness and death – both within and without.”

The music does indeed bear the unmistakable hallmarks of Lustre — in the enveloping otherworldly dreaminess and elegance of the synths and the bright pings of the keys. But those sensations morph into signs of suffering and haunting sorrow, particularly in the main phase of the second track “Evighetens Kvarn“, and Nichil‘s harsh vocals are convincing in the extremity of their torment and rage. Moreover, musing bass tones and bursts of hard-driving percussive propulsion add to the songs’ allure.




I know this closing song isn’t anyone’s idea of black metal, despite the screaming cacophonies that periodically intrude upon the demented spoken words and trippy wails that make up the main vocal lines. I just don’t see why I should be the only person around this site who’s left bent and bamboozled by the disturbing yet engrossing oddities of “The Avalanche“.

Back in the day, people might have called this a bad acid trip rendered in sound. It has a woozy groove wrapped in hallucinatory shimmerings, but picks its moments to broil the mind like raw steak under an acetylene torch.

I also wonder if you’ll be left as queasy as I was in watching the video. I don’t know what we’re seeing. I’m pretty sure I don’t really want to know.

I’ll share this comment by vocalist/guitarist Andy Hamm about the song:

“This song is about the beautiful entitled woman whose naive yearning to be rescued is only perpetuated by the people she chooses to surround herself with, and her counterpart, the selfish self-conscious man whose deep insecurities are smothered in arrogance and greed.”

The Avalanche” is from a record named The Inevitable Fork vol. 2, which will be out on June 30th.


  1. Damn that Black Sorcery track – fantastic

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