Nov 272023

If you include yesterday’s Shades of Black column, this makes four days in a row that I’ve been able to pull together a round-up of new songs and videos. That’s a rarity, explained by a confluence of events I won’t bore you by describing.

I’m not sure it’s a welcome rarity, because it may just add to a feeling of being overwhelmed by the volume of music that each week (hell, each day) brings. But that’s not my problem, is it?

Is it? Well it is, because I also feel overwhelmed. Join the club. This pleasant misery needs company.


You don’t really need any preparation, just a listening device, working ears, and a finger putting pressure on a digital arrow. But I have to further justify my existence, so…

Prepare for an extravagantly whipsawing experience, from haunting eeriness and spoken words to momentous booming and dissonantly sceeching guitars, from haughty growls to frenetically screaming fretwork lunacy, from a panoply of scathing, skittering, and contorting riffage to grand groaning tones and haunted-house echoing strings, and at last, to a grand mal instrumental seizure and mad howling.

Or to make it simpler, prepare to be dazzled and bamboozled.

The song is “Lamia Sucuba“, and it’s from Unaussprechlichen Kulten‘s new album Häxan Sabaoth, coming from Iron Bonehead Productions on February 2nd.



LITOSTH (Brazil)

Prepare for… yet another extravagant experience. Prepare for immersive waves of grand but grievous melody roll over the listener, in company with glittering guitar accents, popping drums, and scorching screams, which briefly subside into gloomy spoken words.

From there the riffing rapidly jolts as classical orchestration seizes its place in the heights. The bass also manically throbs and drums blast, in keeping with the unchained viciousness of the vocals, but the music continues flying in the heavens, which are on fire, until they leave the taste of ash in your mouth in a dreary end.

The song is the intriguingly “Whipping Bottles” and it’s from this duo’s third full-length, Cesariana, which will be released by Personal Records on February 2nd.



CHALLENGER DEEP (Belarus -> Lithuania)

Prepare for: gargantuan low-end upheavals, shrill swirling fevers in the high end, and throat-ruining screams. But also prepare for frenzied drilling tones and groaning agonies down below, skull-snapping drum frenzies, and other signs of ruinous cataclysm and emotional distress. And shit, those vocals never leave the bleeding red zone of intensity.

Sacrifice” is the name of this song. It’s the opening track on Challenger Deep‘s third album III. The Path, set for release on December 22nd. We premiered a previous song from the album here, and you’ll also be able to listen to that one if you let the player below keep running.



DROWNED (Germany)

Prepare for: grim and grisly death metal, diseased in the skittering whine of its tremolo’d riffing, traumatic in the thuggery of the drumming, and monstrous in its ragged, roaring vocal delivery, with bursts of soloing delirium and miserably mewling melody in the mix. It’s an unhealthy creature, part beast and part ravening swarm, and it wants to feed on you, or maybe just the corpse of God.

The song here is “Corpse God“, from the album Procul His, to be released with atypical cover art on January 26th by Sepulchral Voice Records. You’ll also find a second song from the album, “Chryseos Vas“, at the Bandcamp page linked below. Thanks to Rennie for linking me to this one.



TVINNA (Germany)

Most of you will have to forgive me for this closing song and video, which is obviously an exception to our rule about singing.

I readily admit I’m a sucker for the sight of two beautiful women singing to each other in an extraordinary setting, and also a sucker for the kind of old Nordic folk traditions in this song, which bring Heilung to mind, though “Louga” is more metal than what Heilung does, thanks to a gravelly bass and more rocking drums — though it does sound like an old bowed instrument and old tribal drums surface here as well.

But it’s the voices that carry the day and get stuck in the head; these two really can sing. One of them (the blonde) is Laura Fella from Tvinna (and also in the pagan folk band Faun), and the other (the redhead) is Tvinna‘s guest (and former Tvinna bandmate) Fabienne Erni from Eluveitie.

The song is from the album Two – Wings Of Ember, which will be out on February 23rd via Norse Music.


  1. Tvinna, they ain’t no Agnete (Madder Mortem)

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