Jul 292019
 

 

Did you miss Part 1 of this post, delayed by one day from its usual spot in our schedule? Go here if you did. There were four advance tracks from forthcoming records in that Part. Part 2 may take you longer to get through, since it includes three complete albums (in addition to one more advance track). I hope you’ll find everything worth your time.

GOC (Gnosis Oscuridad Caos)

The first two selections in Part 2 came my way from Rennie of starkweather. The first of them is a just-released debut album by a Colombian band called GOC, which seems to be an acronym for Gnosis Oscuridad Caos, which is also the title of the new album. Continue reading »

Jul 292019
 

 

I couldn’t get this post finished in time to occupy its usual place on Sunday. So, as promised yesterday, I’m posting it now to make your Monday more miserable.

I divided this into two parts, which gives me more time to finish it and might also make all the music easier to digest. There IS a lot to digest here — taking these two Parts together, you’ll find five advance tracks and three full albums.

KEYS OF ORTHANC

I missed this Quebec black metal band’s 2018 debut album, Dush agh Golnauk. Their second one, A Battle in the Dark Lands of the Eye…, will be coming out via Naturmacht Productions on August 31st. The cover art alone — a creation by Canadian artist Ted Nasmith called “The Shadow of Sauron” — is so fantastic that checking out the music was an irresistible choice. (Nasmith’s cover art for this band’s debut album — here — is also fantastic, but I must not have seen it.)

Ted Nasmith is a noted illustrator of Tolkein’s works, and Keys of Orthanc have similarly based their work on Tolkein’s tales; Orthanc itself, for example, is the name of Saruman’s black tower in The Lord of the Rings. Naturmacht describes their new album as one that’s “all about the war of man and orc, between light and darkness in the gloomy lands of Mordor”. Continue reading »

Jul 212019
 

 

I feel like I should apologize. I know that I’ve chosen a mountainous amount of music to recommend this week, more than any of you are likely to make time for today. Maybe (hopefully) you will bookmark  this page and return to it periodically as the week rolls on until you’ve at least sampled everything here. You might find something you’ll remember for months to come, and perhaps longer. And that, of course, is the reason why I stuffed this week’s column full to bursting, because I felt so strongly about all these releases that I couldn’t force myself to leave any of them on the cutting room floor.

I will also just get the credits out of the way in advance, because this is another collection of music I found as a result of recommendations by others. Most of those came from Rennie (starkweather), and one from Miloš; the two of them regularly complicate my choices for these columns, and other round-ups of new music as well. To justify my own existence I did find the first selection below on my own, and the last one (though I had help even there).

FINSTERFORST

I would have been thrilled by the prospect of a new Finsterforst album, but am even more thrilled because of the two song excerpts that are now out in the world. They’re just excerpts, I guess because the full tracks are lengthy. “Fluch des Seins” is 11 minutes long, and “Ecce Homo” is… wait for it… 36 1/2 minutes long. Continue reading »

Jul 162019
 

 

This is a rare mid-week edition of a column that usually appears on Sunday. This didn’t happen by design. I was trying to select some new songs for a SEEN AND HEARD post, and by chance it happened that three of them — these three — were shades of black metal. So I decided to collect them today, and try again tomorrow for a cross-genre round-up under the SEEN AND HEARD banner.

NIGHTFELL

A Sanity Deranged is the third album by Portland’s Nightfell, a duo (Tim Call and Todd Burdette) whose music I’ve enjoyed from the beginning. It will be released on Friday the Thirteenth of September by 20 Buck Spin (who are having another great year of releases), and the first song in today’s selection is from that new album. Continue reading »

Jul 142019
 

 

I’m in the midst of a two-day outdoor event with co-workers and other friends that happens every summer. It tends to leave me very little time for NCS, and that has proven true again this year. I also failed to ask someone else to take over SHADES OF BLACK for this Sunday.

But I didn’t want to have a complete blackout of the site today, which might leave some of our visitors wondering if some disaster had befallen us, or if that Manhattan power outage had decided to leap the continent and send us into a different kind of darkness than what usually descends in these weekly columns. So I have one song to share with you, and unfortunately only one. As it happens, a notice of it arrived in our in-box only this morning. Lacking the time to listen to any other candidates on my list, I took a chance and listened only to this one. If it had not been good, we might have had a total blackout. Continue reading »

Jul 092019
 

 

This is the second Part of the weekly column I began (here) in its usual Sunday slot. I had intended to finish it in time for posting yesterday, but that obviously didn’t work out. Since I ran out of time before I could complete it on Monday, the inevitable happened — it grew larger overnight. On the other hand, Father Time is still being a hoarder of his gifts, so I’m still hurrying, and must try to be sparing with my verbiage.

TENEBRAE IN PERPETUUM

A decade after the last album by Tenebrae In Perpetuum, its sole creator (Atratus) is returning with a new album, aided by drummer Chimsicrin (of Gorrch). Named Anorexia Obscura, it will be released by Debemur Morti on August 30, and the first advance track — “Dissonanze mentali” — is how I’ve decided to begin today’s collection. Continue reading »

Jul 072019
 

 

As you can see, I’ve planned a two-part SOB again. I doubt I’ll finish Part 2 in time to post it today, and even if I do, I think I’ll defer it to Monday anyway. With so many new-music round-ups lately, I’m afraid we’re at risk of overloading people already, especially because this Part 1 includes four full releases in addition to the two advance tracks I’ve placed at the beginning (and there are additional complete releases in what I have in mind for Part 2)..

NOCTEM

We’ve been closely following the progress of the Spanish band Noctem since 2011, when they released their second album, Oblivion. Four of us have written about the band over the years since then, amassing 16 different posts about them (including two interviews). Obviously, we are fans. But we have equally been persistently curious about what they would do next.

Noctem’s music has always been a blend of death and black metal, but the sound hasn’t remained stagnant. It might go too far to say there has been a continuous trajectory over time, but in general it seems like in the earlier years they were more death-metal focused, whereas the last album, 2016’s Haeresis, leaned more toward the black metal elements in their sound. Based on the title track from their new album, The Black Consecration, it sounds like they’re leaning even harder in that direction, and have in other ways made shifts in sound from their last record. Continue reading »

Jun 302019
 

 

Man, I have so much new black metal to write about this week (like what else is new?), but not enough time to write about all of it (that’s not new either), in part because of the time I spent on a rare Sunday premiere (which you really should go listen to if you haven’t already), though it’s a shade of black too.

Despite the temptations, I know better than to call this post Part 1. We know what the Scottish bard said about best-laid plans. Better to just see what happens, better to be pleasantly surprised than disappointed by another broken promise.

DEADSPACE

When the first song in this collection appeared last week my friend Mr. Synn quipped on FB: “Like Nachtmystium but worried that by doing so you’re in danger of having your canoe stolen and sold for drug money? Well, worry no longer!” Continue reading »

Jun 242019
 

 

Here’s the second Part of the SHADES OF BLACK column I started yesterday. I scurried like a hamster on a wheel to get this finished yesterday, but fell off into a pile of sawdust (or whatever people line their hamster cages with).  I think it’s fair to say that the following selections are defined by musical eclecticism — but you be the judge of that.

DAMIM

I’m beginning this second installment with a new discovery (at least for me), a London-based group named Damim, led by vocalist/guitarist Nathanael Underwood (ex-Akercocke). Damim have a new album named A Fine Game of Nil (excellent title) set for release on June 28th by Apocalyptic Witchcraft Recordings and Czar of Crickets Productions, and what you’ll find below is a track from the album called “Rising of the Light“. Continue reading »

Jun 232019
 

 

There’s no hope of catching up. The flood of new metal is unrelenting; the torrent certainly did not pause for me while I spent a week in Iceland and then much of the next week trying to get the rest of my life back in order while paying homage to the Iceland experience (and honoring a bunch of premiere commitments I had made before leaving the country). Although I can’t listen to everything that surfaced during those two weeks, much less what had accumulated in the weeks before those, I’m going to attempt a two-part post today, in an effort to cover more rather than less of what I managed to find over the last 48 hours.

Today’s blackened selections are a mix of advance tracks from forthcoming albums, a couple of complete short releases, and a few excerpts from recently released (or re-released) full-lengths. For both Parts, I decided to end them with performances that diverge from the general wildness of everything else.

ARS VENEFICIUM / ULVDALIR

On June 21st Immortal Frost Productions released In Death’s Cold Embrace, a new 7″ vinyl split by two bands whose previous music we’ve praised at NCS. The split is also deserving of praise — and your close attention. Continue reading »