Jul 162023

If I’ve said it once I’ve said it 100 times (probably closer to 200): I have another job whose demands are very unpredictable. It interfered with my ability to prepare a roundup yesterday, unexpectedly so for me — because I just fucking forgot about a big online meeting that had been scheduled for months (rude surprises have many causes). It started early and went on for 2 1/2 hours (come on, it takes time to coordinate production of pocket-sized fusion reactors!).

I thought about just pretending that today was Saturday and proceeding with a cross-genre roundup, but then thought again, and decided to stick with the usual plan and focus on the blacker arts today. Still, your creaky wagon won’t get stuck in any ruts – these selections will cause it to careen all over the en-thorned dirt road (or so I hope).


I decided to start with a quintet of songs from forthcoming releases and then turn to just one recent EP. The first of the advance tracks comes from the ninth album by the long-running Spanish band Dantalion (which my addled brain always tries to read as “dandelion”, though there’s nothing about their music that connects with such an image, unless the flower is dead). Continue reading »

Jul 092023

Over the last few days, in between other things, I wandered down an underground musical path that took some very unexpected turns. Rather than focus on names that might be well-known, I focused instead on obscurity. I did recognize two names whose new music I explored (they begin and end today’s collection), but most I had never before.

In each instance, something about the music grabbed me, even when in some instances it initially seemed to pose a rude challenge to my ear drums. I hope you’ll find it an interesting musical odyssey, as I did, straight through to the fascinating surprise that’s waiting at the end. I don’t expect everything will appeal to everyone, but what does?

SZNUR (Poland)

As noted, I’m beginning with a name that already resonated well with me thanks to my discovery of the band’s third album, Dom Człowieka, soon after its release by Godz Ov War Productions about two years ago (which I enthusiastically reviewed here). Now Sznur‘s fourth album Ludzina is on the way from the same Godz Ov War. I haven’t yet heard all of it, but the two tracks currently streaming are high-octane fuel for the reptile brain. Continue reading »

Jul 022023

Here we are again, ready to blacken the Sabbath with some new things you might not have heard, the kind of things that would ruin most people’s days but I hope will turn yours into warming bonfires. Well, maybe not warming, more like incinerating, but still welcome I hope. What’s ahead is a new stand-alone single, a couple of tracks from a forthcoming album, and two just-released full-lengths.


Neill Jameson has made a name for himself as a music writer, often wise-cracking, irreverently cynical, and creatively foul-mouthed but with a finely-honed and widely respected taste that makes lots of people pay attention to his recommendations of underground gems. We’ve benefited from that here ourselves, usually through his year-end lists for our site but also at other times when he’s been moved to send something our way.

But before he made a name for himself in those ways, he and his band Krieg made a name for themselves in the annals of U.S. black metal. Krieg‘s musical output, beginning with their debut album in 1998 (recently reissued by The Devil’s Elixirs Records), ran in a hot, year-after-year torrent through 2018, mostly splits and EPs but with 7 more albums also scattered along the way. Then there was a four-year pause before 2022 brought forth a split with Crucifixion Bell, which demonstrated in electrifying fashion that although Time may have aged Krieg‘s members, it definitely hasn’t dulled their knives or moderated their musical savagery.

And now we’ve got a new Krieg single named “Bone Whip,” which is captured on one of those flexi-discs in the new issue of Decibel magazine (the one with Mizmor on the cover, available for purchase here). As disclosed at Decibel’s site, the song was recorded during the sessions for Krieg‘s next album (the name of which is Ruiner), but won’t be included on that album. Continue reading »

Jun 252023

As forecast in Part 1 of today’s collection of blackened sounds, this Part compiles a small mountain of music — three complete albums and one complete EP. As also forecast, the music is nightmarish in different ways — some of it capable of causing skin to crawl, some of it blistering the flesh, and some of it accomplishing both objectives. But I also think the music is just as fascinating as it is frightening. I hope you’ll feel the same way.

G.N.L.S. (Greece)

Two weeks ago I wrote (here) about an album named Asphyxiating Late Night Sessions, which was a collaboration between Dødsferd‘s mastermind Wrath and m.Sarvok. But it wasn’t the sole result of their working together. Even earlier this year they released another collaborative album under the name G.N.L.S. (Geometric Nictation of Lament’s Space), and it’s a very different experience from the more recent release. Continue reading »

Jun 252023

Yesterday my spouse left me home alone for most of the day (the feline creatures were still there but they mostly left me alone too). That allowed me the time to do some deep diving in a search for music to write about today. Purely by coincidence, much of what I found turned out to be… nightmarish. Some of the songs make the skin crawl, others blister it, some do both, and almost none of it seems connected to what passes for reality in our world.

What I chose adds up to an unsettling but electrifying trip of significant proportions — three individual tracks (two from forthcoming records and one standalone single) and then a plunge into the depths of longer-form madness with three complete new albums and a new EP. Hopefully you won’t find this an endurance test but instead a relentless journey of mind-altering discovery.

To get things started before too much of the day gets away, I’ve divided it into two Parts, launching the individual tracks now so I can then turn back to finishing the much larger second installment, which will come later today Continue reading »

Jun 182023

In yesterday’s round-up of new music I mentioned a risk that might imperil today’s column, and the risk became a reality. It’s a minor miracle that it’s here at all, though it’s shorter than I planned and comes much later in the day. In fact, it’s limited to thoughts about a single new album, which I hope you will find worthwhile.

And by the way, Happy Father’s Day to any fathers who happen to drop in here (it’s a U.S. holiday, but the good wishes extend to good fathers everywhere).

SAMMATH (Netherlands)

Sammath are a true rarity — rare in part merely because they have survived for nearly 30 years as a band. As we all know, life expectancy is low for bands in the metal underground, where no one can make a decent living doing it and even minor obstacles thrown up by life can rapidly derail promising futures. But Sammath are an even greater rarity: They haven’t just survived and persisted for such a long stretch of time, but somehow they’ve just released an album that I dare to say is the finest one of their 30-year career. Continue reading »

Jun 042023

I won’t repeat everything I wrote here yesterday about why I’ve fallen behind in my usual attempts to keep up with newly released music (you’re welcome). Suffice to say, for this column I followed the same blunt-instrument, cutting-the-Gordian-knot strategy as I did yesterday.


At the risk of being accused of clickbaiting, or at least bait-and-switch, I’m starting with a piece of welcome news — but it isn’t accompanied by music.

The news is that on August 25th Debemur Morti Productions will release the second part of Blut Aus Nord‘s Disharmonium album series — Disharmonium – Nahab — accompanied by the chilling cover art of Polish artist Maciej Kamuda. That’s an earlier date than a previously announced calendar spot in September. Continue reading »

May 212023

This Sunday’s tour through the black arts is shorter than usual. Unexpected conflicts have arisen in my day. The confliction in the music was planned.

DUSK CULT (Australia)

Behold, our revelation statement
Bow down, before a dying sun
Yielding, to midnight manifesto
We’ve only just begun

Those words are some of the lyrics to “Black Cloud Worship“, a new song that this Australian band presented two days ago through a dramatic video wherein revelations occur on a rocky, wave-drenched shoreline. I had some idea what to expect from this duo (who are members of Be’lakor and Rainshadow), based on the manifold strengths of their 2021 debut album Embrace the Lunar Age, but the music still left my heart pounding hard. Continue reading »

May 142023

Happy Mother’s Day. I felt the need to say that because a few of you might be mothers and others might have been born of mothers, as opposed to some other form of spawning.

I’m typing this with one hand. The other hand is around my own throat, trying to choke off my tendency to explain why I haven’t accomplished more with this column today. It’s a struggle, so I should get on to the music before my choking hand succumbs to fatigue.


The 2023 debut demo by the German band Kuolevan Rukous quickly became one of my favorite black metal releases of the year. I might never have listened to it if the Spanish label Vita Detestabilis hadn’t asked if we might premiere it — which I eagerly did here after listening to it. If you still haven’t checked it out, I urge you to bookmark this Bandcamp page and make time for it soon. Continue reading »

May 072023

To lay my cards on the table: I slept 4 hours longer than usual last night and then spent more than an hour moving in a dense mental fog. I guess my body and/or mind needed all that extra sleep, gluttonously so. A couple of large Manhattans over dinner Saturday night might have had something to do with it.

So here I am, with noon rapidly approaching and some paying work still ahead of me, so I’ll have to make the number of selections in this column shorter than usual, despite the vast abundance of new blackened metal sitting in front of me.


Like many other people I have a compulsion to quickly check out anything new from Krallice, and not just because the members are so talented but also because they don’t do the same thing twice in a row. I didn’t have time to pounce upon their new album Porous Resonance Abyss on Friday when it was released. Although there might have been some kind of advance notice, it came as a surprise to me. Even today, I’ve only made one trip through it, and it’s not a quick trip. Continue reading »