Aug 222023

A rare day with no premieres on our calendar, which means I had time to whip up a roundup of new songs and videos.

Lots of things to choose from, as usual, and in making those choices I decided to give you a musical carnival ride, one of those things that’s spinning in several directions at once and leaves you stumbling with vertigo by the end.

ALKALOID (Germany)

My comrade DGR alerted us to this first song, which he pithily described as “one of the more batshit songs from Numen,” Numen being the name of Alkaloid‘s new album. Saying that anything on an Alkaloid release is more batshit than others is really saying something, since everything tends to be in the batshit crazy category. But sure enough….

… “Numen (Dyson VII)” is insane… and insanely fascinating….

From the very beginning the music sounds alien, and I’m speaking of space aliens. That vibe is generated by Mellotron-ish quaverings, coupled with piercing and feverishly skittering electronic pulsations, coupled with weirdly wailing guitars.

At first there’s nothing particularly weird about the head-moving rhythm-section work, but of course the drum-and-bass maneuvers eventually become more elastic. The first voice is dreamily singing, but the second one is a nasty snarl, and as they trade off the singing voice rises up and begins to sound demented, just like the music — which follows no straight path and also seems theatrical.

Because the song follows no straight path, it’s kind of pointless for me to attempt to map where it goes in words, but I will say that as it twists and turns like a futuristic kaleidoscope it creates sensations of menace and freakish frolic, of rambunctious mayhem and hallucinatory splendor, and of portals being opened to a dimension where insectile creatures are busy making venomous plans.

As a bonus, the song has been presented through a head-tripping lyric video created by Guilherme Henriques that visually seems perfectly suited to the macabre off-planet adventures of the music.

Numen will be released on on September 15th by Season of Mist.



MOROKH (Russia)

Whereas DGR alerted us to the Alkaloid song, Mr. Synn pointed us to this next song, which also arrived with a lyric video (made by by Artem Still).

This one is not as freakishly insane as the preceding Alkaloid song, though it does have its own full quotient of madness. Rather than berserk, its ambient intro is chilling, and what comes after is coldly destructive — a dense moving wall of viciously eviscerating riffage — and then harrowingly hopeless.

The Russian words come in monstrous roars and wrenching howls, just before the riffing swaggers and then spasms in a high-speed frenzy of violence, the drums battering, the bass in upheaval, the guitars maniacally sizzling and screaming, the voice shrieking with all the hinges off the workings of the mind.

There’s another bit of swaggering, and an even more breathtaking cataclysm, and then the drums vanish and the guitars make chimes like distressing wails.

Sacrifice” is from a new Morokh album named Insomnia. I suspect we will have more to say about it in due course.



MYRKUR (Denmark)

Just a few hours ago Relapse Records released a video for a new song from Myrkur‘s next album, Spine. It is, of course, an exception to our loose rule about singing, and here the singing is ethereal and haunting but also takes flight.

In the low end the music does provide some sounds of growling menace, and the drums and some ragged, chugging riffage provide a nice toe-tapping bounce, but the gossamer vocals carry the main role in the song, sometimes backed by misty and glimmering panoramic synths. The song does furnish a few moments of percussive blasting, which is as close as the song comes to extremity.

I have to be in the right mood for this kind of song, but I was today. Some of you will probably never be in the mood; I did promise a carnival ride, didn’t I?

The song is “Like Humans“, and the album will be out on October 20th.




No surprise, I’m going to follow that Myrkur track with something gnarlier and nastier — though this next one is also an exception to our rule about singing, and one that’s well-earned.

Honestly, I also have to be in the right mood for stoner doom, even when it’s steeped in Satan like this one is. But “Night of the Witch” did grab me. The richly fuzz-bombed, pylon-thick riffs feel like being shoved forward by big ugly hands, keeping pace with the monster’s woozy lurch, with the drums administering a hammer to the neck for extra encouragement.

On the other end of the sonic spectrum, Paweł Mioduchowski‘s vocals go high, and it’s very tempting to cry out along with them when he voices the song’s title (for the sake of your pets, just do that in your head). They provide something of an inflamed antidote for the narcotic effect of the riffs, but eventually the band provide a different antidote when the rhythm section kick up the pace and the guitars start clawing and swirling, paving the way for an ecstatic lycergic-acid solo (man does not live by narcotics alone).

But Dopelord aren’t through switching things up, following that pulse-punching barrage with a truly witchy phase of sound, and then a welcome reprise of burly riffing and sky-high singing, so you can sing along again (in your head, please).

Another song tailor-made for Samhain night.

Night of the Witch” is from a new album named Songs for Satan that will be released on October 6th by Blues Funeral Recordings. It will probably make the Dark Lord happy.




To give today’s carnival ride one last spin I picked a song that stirs up a storm of rage, and it too comes with a lyric video (which premiered earlier this month at Decibel).

The burning quality of the screamed vocals in “Les Allumettières” seems capable of cauterizing open wounds that are spurting blood. The drums administer a vigorous clobbering, interspersed with methodical sledgehammer blows and bouts of athletic tumbling and clattering, and the bass slugs like a heavyweight fighter.

Meanwhile, the guitars assault in dense sounds of blaring distress, writhe like massed reptiles, and seem to cry out in broiling pain. But as grim as the sensations are, those riffs get their hooks in the head too. Near the end, the screams are joined by roars of fury.

The song is from an album named Imperium Mortalia, which is described as a blend of second-wave black metal with crust punk and grind elements. Its themes are summarized this way:

Inspired by the essay Necropolitics by Achille Mbembe, Imperium Mortalia spans eight compositions that reckon with the grim relationship between the individual and the state, the exploitative nature of power, and the reduction of human life to commodity.

The record is set for release by Avantgarde Music on September 29th.


  1. I messaged the Morokh guys a while back to ask how I could support them since all of their music seems to be free Bandcamp downloads. They said there was no good way to get money into Russia so I could just tell people about their music. They seemed really cool, and their music rips so I’m always happy to see new stuff from them getting some good press.

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