May 232020


We’re now continuing on with the mega-collection of new songs and videos we began here yesterday, resuming our march through the alphabet beginning with the letter S.

SEROCS (International)

To begin, we’ll throw your brain into a blender set to puree. “Building A Shrine Upon Vanishing Sands” is a brutalizing, electrifying, high-speed carnival ride. The percussive power of the song is punishing, and the vocals (also discharged at high speed) are rabid, while the darting and swirling fretwork is wild and exultant. The guitar soloing is nothing short of spectacular, and propels a song that was already an ecstatic thrill-ride way up into the stratosphere. If the track doesn’t leave you with an ear-to-ear grin, the virus may have mutated and given you facial paralysis. Continue reading »

May 222020


Time for me to resort to this format again in an effort to pack in as many new songs and videos as I can — a format that’s short on words (and cover art) and long on sounds. I’ve alphabetized the selections by band name and then divided this mega-roundup into two Parts. Part 2 isn’t quite finished, so you’ll have to tune in here tomorrow to catch the rest.


We begin with frightening yet enthralling funeral doom that has the gravitational force of a black hole yet also levitates — monstrous groaning and pounding heaviness speared by gleaming shards and surrounded by shimmering effervescence and shuddering feverishness, with a haunting instrumental break and an atmosphere that becomes one of ominous majesty.  The variable vocals (both harsh and clean) are absolutely stunning in their intensity, to the point of being terrifying…. and presented through a video that’s also fascinating. Continue reading »

May 202020


Maybe it’s the mental discombobulation that comes from being basically stuck at home for two and a half months, but I’ve noticed that I’ve started inserting things into these round-ups that don’t fit in with our usual musical interests and that sometimes violate our general (yet historically porous) rule about singing. I don’t want anyone to worry too much about this drift, because extreme underground sounds are always going to be my lodestar, but in today’s collection I’m once again indulging some musical interests that diverge from main lines of NCS.

And yes, there will again be a lot of singing. But just so you don’t get too freaked-out, I’m bookending the collection with some harsher recommendations.


I found out about this first song just this morning, thanks to a timely message from Rennie (starkweather), who wrote: “Guitar tone is almost like early Portal, but, the bass has far more clank and clatter and then there are chord choices that are more informed by conventional black metal and folk melodies… vocalist sounds like a deadite.” Which made me lament the fact that I haven’t been clever enough to compare vocalists to deadites before. Continue reading »

May 182020


Formed in 2017, and making it their mission to create morbid black metal of utmost darkness and depravity, The Rite released a debut EP (The Brocken Fires) the next year, and then a demo (The First Sin) in 2019. Now this international group are fast approaching the release of their debut full-length, Liturgy of the Black, with a June 19 release date set by Iron Bonehead Productions.

On this new album The Rite continue along the path they began charting on those earlier releases, combining hope-extinguishing doom riffs, eruptions of merciless savagery, and saturations of gruesome atmosphere to create music that is laden with dread and fueled by the adrenaline of fear. A couple months ago Iron Bonehead provided a striking demonstration of the new album’s horrifying power through the debut of a track named “The Black Effigy“, and today it’s our fiendish pleasure to provide another as we premiere “Necromancy“. Continue reading »

May 172020


I spent some time yesterday and more time this morning trying to figure out what to include in this week’s SHADES OF BLACK column. It shouldn’t have been an anxious experience, but it has been, because there is so much I wish I could write about and recommend. Though I know no one will live or die based on the choices I have to make, it’s still painful to leave anything good behind.

At one point I took a break from mentally wrestling with myself over black metal and listened to other things. By pure chance I happened to listen to the first three songs in this collection right in a row, and thought they went together beautifully. I added the fourth one as a wake-up call, and as a transition to whatever I wind up including in SOB.


Minnesota’s Amiensus should need no introduction to faithful visitors to our site. We’ve been writing about their music, and occasionally hosting premieres of it, since 2013. Obviously, we are fans, and you should be too. If you happen to be newcomers, you’ll soon have a chance to get on board because Amiensus have a new album named Abreaction that will be released this summer by Transcending Records. Continue reading »

May 162020


I hope your weekend is treating you well. Because I didn’t over-do things during my usual Friday night virtual happy hours, I was able to spend some time catching up with new songs and videos this morning, and I picked these to share with you. It’s an eclectic mix, even by the standards that I usually apply to these round-ups in an effort to ensure variety (and to keep our visitors off-balance). Lots of videos in this particular collection, too.

TRIPTYKON (Switzerland)

To lead off, here’s a video of a live performance by Triptykon of “Rex Irae” from Celtic Frost’s Into the Pandemonium. The song is the first movement in the “Requiem” trilogy, which also includes “Grave” (performed for the first time at the same concert where this video was filmed) and “Winter” (which first appeared on Monotheist).

The performance of all three movements of “Requiem” took place at Roadburn 2019, and Triptykon was accompanied by the Metropole Orkest, by Hannes Grossmann on drums, and by vocalist Safa Heraghi. The orchestration was composed by Alkaloid and Dark Fortress frontman Florian “Morean” Maier, working with Tom G. Warrior. Continue reading »

May 132020


As you can see, it’s time for another gigantic round-up. I took extra time and included artwork for this installment. I’m also very happy with the variety of what I chose, which I’ll forewarn you includes a batch of songs at the end which include singing.


Two tracks off the new album by this death metal band from Santiago De Querétaro, Mexico, are now streaming. They provide vivid reminders of just how good Question are, providing ravaging vocals, unpredictable rhythmic shifts, and equally surprising fretwork that moves the music in eerie and freakish directions while also generating an atmosphere of unearthly menace and unhinged mania. Continue reading »

May 122020


(At the end of February we published a guest edition of our SHADES OF BLACK column [here] which began as an e-mailed group of recommendations by our valued supporter Speelie. It included music from the Québec black metal scene. Just a few days ago Speelie e-mailed additional recommendations that focused entirely on black metal from Québec, and with our encouragement he turned that into the following post.)

The Métal Noir Québécois guys sure like to keep busy. NCS has posted plenty of news and links about the Quebec scene, including some from me previously. But Quebec continues to take a leading place among the flood of 2020 Black Metal releases.

Forteresse were always the standard bearers for the Métal Noir Québécois movement, but I suspect the band is on hold for the moment. The guys are all involved in other projects right now, and these are starting to see the light. There seems to be an unwritten rule that the cooler the old, colonial-era painting that a Quebec band can find, the better the album it is used for. Guitarist Moribond has a new solo project called Serment, with this amazing cover art: Continue reading »

May 102020


As I wrote in Part 1 of today’s column, I have enough new music I’d like to recommend that I could fill out four installments, but that’s not going to happen. So I’ll have to content myself with just two Parts. I’m still thinking of ways to recommend everything else I had in mind, without just tacking a bunch of streams together without links of commentary. Though maybe that’s what I should do?


The first two songs in this collection, “Descend To Madness” and “Helheim“, are included on the self-titled debut album of Ormskrik from the west coast of Norway. Both of them are ripping black/thrashers with a powerhouse sound and absolutely unhinged braying, bellowing, and screaming vocals. Continue reading »

May 082020


I’m hurrying to finish a couple of other NCS posts scheduled for today, but wanted to begin this Friday with something to occupy you while I do that. I’ve picked three new songs that I noticed over the last 12 hours, one of which comes with an intriguing video.


Within the last two hours London-based Tableau Mort (pictured above) released a professionally filmed video for “Ignorance (Tapestry Sewn Pt. II)“, which premiered at Antichrist Magazine. It follows their very impressive 2019 debut album Stigma Book 1: Mark of Delusion (released by Loud Rage Music), which drew symbolic and thematic influences from Romanian Orthodox Christianity, and embroidered their core framework of black metal with other stylistic ingredients, including Orthodox choral chants. Continue reading »