Sep 212021
 

 

Even by my own standards I went a little crazy from Friday through Sunday. By my count, the posts I made on those days about new music and videos (including the Shades of Black column on Sunday) included recordings by 29 bands — more than any reasonable human (other than myself, because I’m unreasonable) could possibly have paid close attention to. Even having done that, I already have a huge list of other discoveries that I could begin launching today — but decided instead to scale things back to a somewhat more manageable size.

And so, this is a smaller handful of recommendations. Of course, it’s still eleven bands and divided into two Parts — I’m not going to change my spots that quickly! — but it could have been bigger. For example, though I’m beginning with what I consider “a big name”, in the hope that it will lure people into testing other music they might otherwise overlook, I did omit a few other big names — but you can find new songs and videos from Carcass, Pig Destroyer (covering a Perturbator song), Insomnium, and Full of Hell by clicking those links I just left you.

Part 2 will come tomorrow.

THE LURKING FEAR (Sweden)

This band of Swedish stalwarts, whose line-up includes well-known members of At the Gates, have a second album on the horizon, led by the first song and video I’ve chosen today. On the one hand, it’s a hard-charging assault of pummeling, chainsawing Swe-death mayhem. On the other hand, when the band shift gears a bit, it sounds spooky, and then blares like sirens. If you need a quick fix of adrenaline, this is your prescription. Continue reading »

Sep 182021
 

 

Well, as you can see, despite injuring myself with an excess of alcohol last night I did manage to make it to the end of my alphabet. To do that, I cut away some (but certainly not all) of the black metal I had planned to include (not just here, but in the preceding segment), because I know I will have SHADES OF BLACK tomorrow.

RUDE (US)

It’s been a long time since we had a new release by this California death metal band. I discovered them by witnessing their fantastic set at the 2016 edition of Famine Fest in Portland, and the year after that they released their second album Remnants…. That same year they participated in a live split recording with Coffins, Skeletal Remains, and Carnation, but there’s been nothing else since then. Finally, we’re going to get a new Rude EP, and a track off of it, which premiered at Grizzly Butts, is the first item in this collection. Continue reading »

Sep 182021
 

 

As promised yesterday, I’m continuing to make my way through the metal alphabet, with another slug of songs and videos that I siphoned out of the ongoing flood during the past week. I thought I’d make it to the end of the alphabet today, but now I’m not so sure. The demon alcohol afflicted me last night, and the affliction both caused me to sleep like a hibernating bear and also to wake up in a state of severe brain fog. I’ll just have to see how things go.

GOAT TORMENT (Belgium)

If you’re not already educated about the kind of music Goat Torment make, one long look at the album art will tell you much of what you need to know. There’s one important piece of imagery missing from the artwork though — massed howitzers and machine-guns firing at will. The song you’re about to hear sounds like a mechanized war zone, one that’s also plagued by frenzied demons, who reach heights of mania in a really stupendous guitar solo. Continue reading »

Sep 172021
 

 

As I explained in the last post, I’ve collected a massive number of new songs and videos that appeared over the last week. I alphabetized them by band name and then divided them into segments. In this installment we pick up with “C” and make it to “G”. More segments tomorrow.

THE CORONA LANTERN (Czech Republic)

It’s always fascinating to learn what The Corona Lantern have gotten up to when they make a new release, and this first song is yet another fascination. Heavy and plundering, it heaves and hammers, with gloom-drenched and narcotic riffs that scrape, claw, and moan in misery, and flickering leads that wail and become a fever of agony. The wide-ranging yet perpetually terrifying vocals will put the hair up on the back of your neck too. Continue reading »

Sep 172021
 

 

In part because the deluge of metal has continued unabated this week, and in part because I had a little more time than usual to keep track of what was coming out, I prepared a truly massive round-up of new songs and videos. To make it possible for me to recommend as much as I can, I’ve again resorted to this stripped-down format, choking down my usual verbosity and not taking time to grab all the artwork.

I’ve again alphabetized my giant list by band name and divided it into segments. I’ll get as far as I can with these segments today, and then pick up the rollout tomorrow. In Part 1 I only made it to “C”.

AEON (Sweden)

We begin with a video, and a sorrowful stroll through a cemetery which becomes a harrowing tale told partially in reverse, a tale that increasingly becomes supernatural and horrifying. The explosive and ferocious music is even more intensely harrowing. Prepare to have all your nerve endings ignited, and to chant: GOD ENDS HERE! Continue reading »

Sep 162021
 

 

Way back on the 17th of August, 2020, three of the slaves who toil at NCS (Andy Synn, DGR, and Islander) appeared as guest DJs at GIMME METAL, curating a two-hour on-line radio show in which we spun tracks of our own demented choosing, interspersed with our own pre-recorded banter, and also engaged in live on-line chats with listeners. Since then we’ve done it three more times, and as you can see we’re about to show up tomorrow for a fifth episode.

The three of us have so much fun doing this that we confess to experiencing a bit of anxiety, a fear that at some point we’ll fuck it up so badly we won’t be invited back. Hasn’t happened yet (hail Satan), and hopefully it won’t happen tomorrow either. We put a lot of effort into concocting playlists that will hook people and introduce them to bands they might not be familiar with, and we’ve done that again for tomorrow’s two-hour show with a mix of very new songs plus some old favorites spread across a variety of extremist sub-genres.

As before, we will also speak, though the best parts probably got left on the cutting room floor. And as before, we’ll be online to chat with listeners while the music is blasting. Continue reading »

Sep 122021
 

 

Due to me frittering away my time with lazy and inconsequential pursuits, Part 2 of this weekend roundup of new songs and videos is like Part 1 — generally bereft of artwork, the usual links, and my own descriptive commentary. Nonetheless, it does reflect the exercise of my own (possibly addled) judgment about what is worth your time, plus a desire to provide variety.

As explained in Part 1, I alphabetized 16 choices by band name before dividing them into two segments. Here we pick up with “M” and make it to “W”.

MASTODON (U.S.)

I’m getting memories of Crack the Skye from this new Mastodon song, which is a very good thing (at least it is to me). The well-made video is mysterious, and ultimately disturbing. The new album is Hushed and Grim, due for release on October 29th by Reprise Records. Continue reading »

Sep 122021
 

 

Yesterday a combination of factors prevented me from posting the usual Saturday round-up of new songs and videos that appeared during the week. I did spend a big block of time surveying the field and making selections, but by the time I finished doing that it was mid-day and I decided to fuck off instead of beginning to write.

It has become clear to me that I can’t do the usual writing today either, if I’m to have any hope of preparing a SHADES OF BLACK post today. So I’m resorting to the format of just throwing all this stuff at you without artwork, or most of the usual links, or my usual commentary, just a few scattered notes.

But trust me, I did exercise some judgment about what I thought was worth sharing. It’s just that I thought A LOT was worth sharing — 16 songs and videos, to be precise. I alphabetized the collection by band name and then divided it into two parts.

ANOMALIE (Austria)

This is a very welcome return after a four-year hiatus between albums. The new full-length features Nornagest of Belgium’s Enthroned on harsh vocals. The new album, Tranceformation, is coming on November 5th from AOP Records. Continue reading »

Sep 102021
 

 

No Clean Singing is again proud to be the principal sponsor for Northwest Terror Fest. The pandemic prevented NWTF from holding the fest in 2020 and 2021, but the fourth edition of the Seattle-based festival has now been announced for June 30 – July 2, 2022.

Early-bird festival passes go on sale today (September 10) at 10AM Pacific Time, 1PM Eastern Time, and to help push those sales NWTF is announcing that the fest will feature an exclusive reunion performance by US black metal legends Ludicra. The band, who disbanded in 2011, made this statement about their performance:

“We are pleased to announce that Ludicra will be returning to the stage at NWTF 2022. All five of us are looking forward to sharing the stage again and we hope to see you there!”

That’s tremendous news, but it’s not the only festival announcement that NWTF has released this week. A few days ago we also announced the first round of confirmed bands for the event next year:

REPULSION, SUFFOCATION, WINDHAND, OBSEQUIAE, MIZMOR, RINGWORM, CLOAK, GRAYCEON, HAUNTER, XIBALBA, VILE CREATURE, EXULANSIS, RACETRAITOR, SQUALUS, CARTILAGE, ORYX, SUCCUMB, FUNERAL CHIC, WORMWITCH, and DISEASE. Continue reading »

Sep 082021
 

 

The usual deluge of new music is already under way this week, but for the most part what I’ve pulled together in this round-up is music that surfaced last week. As I was making my way through a gigantic list of new tracks over the past weekend, I squirreled these away because I thought they’d make a good compilation.

All the music leans hard into death metal, though not without some other ingredients, and the three sensations that come to mind when I think about all of this after the fact are these: Violence, eeriness, and derangement.

THECODONTION (Italy) / VESSEL OF INIQUITY (UK)

To begin I’ve chosen a split released last Friday by Xenoglossy Productions and I, Voidhanger Records. Entitled The Permian​-​Triassic Extinction Event, it includes two tracks by Thecodontion and one long one by Vessel of Iniquity. Thematically, it is based on “the titular Permian-Triassic extinction event (commonly known as ‘The Great Dying’), and life emerging anew afterwards”. To quote further from the introduction on the Bandcamp page: Continue reading »