Jan 132019


This weekend has been similar to the last one. I didn’t try to write anything for yesterday, and that left me free to focus on choices for today. With so much time, I found many things to recommend, so many that I’m again dividing this post into two parts (shocking, I know). And it made sense to put these particular selections together int Part 1.


Roughly two years after the release of Guardians, the Caledonian metal band Saor are returning with a new record named Forgotten Paths. Along with another group of session musicians supporting him, Saor’s visionary Andy Marshall is also aided this time by Neige from Alcest (on the album’s title track, which opens the record).

Of the four songs on the new album, three are quite long, including the edited version of the track that debuted in recent days through a beautiful and mysterious music video that includes jaw-dropping vistas of the Scottish highlands (as well as appearances by Mr. Marshall and what seems to be a pair of twin witches). Continue reading »

Dec 282018


CON is a black metal project started by Swedish musician Pontus Norman in 2009. The project’s name consists of the first three letters of the Latin word Conscindo, which means “To tear into pieces”, and we’re told that in this context it is intended as a representation of the command “To tear the earth into pieces”. A demo whose sound was consistent with that edict appeared long ago, but now, almost a decade later, CON’s debut EP In Signo Draconis will soon be released on cassette tape by Clandestine Faith., whose founder Steven Santos has become a member of CON for future recordings, and today we’re helping spread the word through the premiere of a full stream of the EP’s three tracks

For those who may become curious about the evolution of this project and the interests and experiences of the band’s members, we recommend this October 2017 interview, and this more recent one which was published in August 2018. In the earlier interview, Pontus Norman explains that on this new EP, Jimmie Oloausson played the drums and Master of Her Temple performed the vocals. Continue reading »

Dec 182018


If you are new to the sound of the Swedish black metal band WAN, you could make some good inferences about the nature of their music from the titles of their first three albums — Wolves of the North (2010), Enjoy the Filth (2013), and Wan Way To Hell (2017) — not to mention their 2015 split, Necroholic. And if those clues aren’t convincing enough, a list of influences that includes Bathory, Hellhammer, Celtic Frost, Darkthrone, Aura Noir, Nifelheim, Old, and Bestial Mockery should provide further guidance.

But there’s no need to engage in guessing games today, because we have new music from WAN to share with you that emblazons their brand like hot iron on the flesh, in a way that will appeal to the lust of their existing fans and provide a compelling introduction to new ones. What you’re about to hear is WAN’s new EP, Gammal är äldst (“Old is the oldest” in English), which is set for release by Carnal Records on December 21st. Continue reading »

Nov 302018


On December 5h Cyclopean Eye Productions will release the new EP by the Sri Lankan noise terror trio Konflict, and today we present a full stream of all six brain-mangling body-mutilating tracks.

Crafted as “a blood-curdling retaliation against their homeland’s perpetual degeneration,” Trigger Universal Conflict is a dystopian sonic nightmare, a remorseless assault of harsh noise, grindcore, and black/death metal with devastating consequences. It lasts only 18 minutes, but long enough to leave a listeners shivering in fear, with heartbeats hammering and lungs gasping for air. Continue reading »

Nov 162018


Those of you who have been lurking in the dankest, dingiest, and most dangerous recesses of the underground for more than a few years, at least in your listening habits, will guess right away the kind of music you’ll hear from a band named Bestial Warfare, especially when that band have named their debut demo Genocide. And it is indeed an assault of extreme black/death barbarism — tender ears and fragile minds should go elsewhere. But for those with a taste for slaughtering, who yet demand more than mere blasting pandemonium, Genocide should prove to be red meat for your ravenous hunger. Continue reading »

Nov 052018


Both Amiensus and Oak Pantheon are from Minnesota. Both bands are long-time favorites at our putrid site, and we’ve been following both since very early days in their development. And now both of them, today, have released a new split named Gathering II.

As the name suggests, this isn’t their first collaboration. Five years ago to the day, they jointly released another split named Gathering. It included one track by each band, and so does Gathering II, but the new release also includes a third track that’s a true musical collaboration in which both bands participated. Continue reading »

Oct 312018


I can’t quite claim that Svpremacist has provided the bookends for my metal listening in 2018, but it’s close. ‘Twas early February when I encountered this Israeli band’s debut EP, with the smile-inducing title of Black Fuck You Metal, and now on this Samhain day they’ve just discharged a follow-on EP, the news of which I’m happily helping to spread around through this post.

The title of the new one is Book Burner, but have no fear, the band continue to proclaim loudly: “Svpremacist plays Black Fuck You Metal exclusively!” They have dedicated this new release “In honor of South American Metal warriors past and present”. Continue reading »

Oct 282018


I’m in the midst of a 4-day vacation in Las Vegas with my spouse and her sister and sister’s husband. Blogging has not been on the menu of activities. Getting more than about 4 hours of sleep a night hasn’t been on the menu either.

I did manage to extricate myself from one outing this morning, but spent an hour on the phone with internet support trying to get good enough wi-fi in the hotel room to stream music. Long story short: my time alone is now about to run out, and so this edition of SHADES OF BLACK is going to be shorter than usual.


In April of this year I came across a spellbinder of a song from the debut album of this Ukrainian black metal band, and quickly showered it with praise. Later, I discovered that the album as a whole (Plague for the Empires: Time) was also really powerful. And now Ezkaton will soon be releasing a new EP. Continue reading »

Oct 242018


(Andy Synn reviews the new EP by Cryptopsy, which is set to drop this Friday, October 26th.)

So I didn’t intend for this week to be some sort of “Seven Days of Tech Death”-style celebration, but considering that on Saturday I published an interview with James Malone from Arsis, on Monday my reviews of the new Beyond Creation and Gorod albums went up, and I already have a suitably tech-tastic edition of The Synn Report lined up for Friday… well, it looks like things have ended up that way regardless.

So, I thought to myself, why not stick with this trend and pen a few thoughts about the soon-to-be-released new EP from those stalwart sons of Canadian darkness, Cryptopsy? Continue reading »

Oct 192018


Today is the release date (through Solitude Productions) for the debut EP, self-titled, of the German band Voidhaven, whose line-up includes members of Crimson Swan and Ophis — and it proves to be a masterful interweaving of traditional doom metal and doom-death that plumbs depths of hopelessness and misery yet has the capacity to send the heart soaring.

Voidhaven is now available for listening through YouTube and Bandcamp streams that we can share with you. It consists of two songs of approximately nine minutes apiece — long enough to cast powerful and lingering spells, but not too long, never risking a fall into monotony. Continue reading »