Mar 072022

Photo by Elena Vasilaki, Athens

The Greek artist Ifigeneia Derizioti, who goes by the name IDVex in her occult musical project 1/2 Southern North, has a remarkable voice. Like an aural chameleon, it’s capable of changing colors in dramatic, spine-tingling fashion. It is the most compelling feature of 1/2 Southern North‘s debut album Narrations of a Fallen Soul, and not merely because her expressions are such a rarity in metal and metal-adjacent genres. It would stand out in any genre.

But we hasten to add that her artistry extends beyond those wide-ranging vocal talents. It extends to the conceptual and lyrical narrative that she and her collaborators have created for this first full-length, and to her songcraft, which itself ranges widely in style, texture, and mood.

In terms that would be familiar to metal lovers, she draws upon the influences of black metal, doom metal, and avant-garde music (she calls it the “Black Noise of Doom”), but as you’ll discover through the song we’re premiering today, her creations extend beyond the realms of metal. Continue reading »

Feb 122022

Demonical – Photo by Jens Ryden

For the last three weeks I’ve stayed away from hard liquor because I’d forgotten where the off-switch was. Beer and wine were still on the alcohol menu because, for whatever reason, it was a lot easier to find the off-switch. But last night I hung out at a bar with an old friend. I’d never been to that particular bar and was surprised to see a bottle of Brennivin sitting on the shelf. I couldn’t resist. This morning I’m brutally reminded why I decided to stay away from the hard stuff for a while.

Fortunately, I picked all the music for this round-up after hours of listening that happened before I met my friend. Because I’m getting a late and painful start this morning, I’m going to launch this post without any commentary about the songs. I’ll probably come back and add the commentary later today, not because anyone needs that but because I like doing it; at least I like doing it when my head is functioning.

Part of the fun in making these choices yesterday was discovering that I could present them in short blocks, creating small groups of songs that seemed to work well together. In doing that I divided the music into five Parts. Hopefully you’ll get what I was thinking, but even if you don’t get the connections I hope you’ll still dig the music. I sure as hell did. Continue reading »