Oct 292023

Yesterday’s roundup was a very, very big one. With so much time on my hands this weekend, I planned to make today’s blackened roundup equally large, paying no attention to whether anyone would have the fortitude to go through a dozen entries yesterday and another dozen today.

When I woke up this morning I somewhat came to my senses and decided to cut this back from what I’d initially selected — providing seven recommendations instead of 12 — mainly because I didn’t think I’d have the time to get a dozen ready to go before I have to go. I hope to say something about the others in the near future.


I’m going to begin with a regrettably rare example of a great song presented through a great video, each one complementing the other. Continue reading »

Jan 092022

It may seem like a paradox, but the less time I have to devote to preparing these columns the easier it is for me to do them. When I have a greater than usual amount of time, I listen to more music, I find more releases that I want to recommend, and then I struggle to whittle down the choices into a group that I can manage to write about in the time I have left.

That’s the situation I find myself in today. Because my spouse has been out of the house a lot over the last couple of days galavanting around with one of her visiting sisters, I plowed through a lot of new music. The listening sessions were a blast, but then I had to engage in a painful winnowing process. The results may be painful in a different way for you: Even after the winnowing, today’s column provides a lot to take in, and might put added pressure on your bank accounts if you find as much to like as I did.

Speaking of how much music I’ve included today, I narrowed the albums down to three new ones (which is still more than usual for these SOB installments), and then sprinkled in some advance tracks from forthcoming records, plus one new EP. Continue reading »

Jun 272021


Reporting to you today from the hellish Pacific Northwest heat dome, where the second highest temperature ever recorded in Seattle at any time of the year happened yesterday and new records will be set today and tomorrow, I bring you  Part 2 of today’s expanded column devoted to black-ish metal. I decided to include three new EPs of very different styles, and to bookend them with one advance track from a forthcoming record and one song that opens a recently released album.

ONDFØDT (Finland)

Part 1 of today’s column was entirely devoted to videos, and I thought I’d begin Part 2 with another one. This one is for a song named “Mörkri” from Ondfødt’s new album Norden (their third full-length), which is set for release by Immortal Frost Productions on July 30th.

The heaviness of the bass and the hammering of the drums give the song visceral punch and power, but the mood of the music is severely desolate and distraught, with a haunting feeling of isolation and abandonment that’s matched by the frozen vistas in the video. But the song is a multi-faceted one. A militaristic drum pattern announces a change, with swinging, swaggering, and swirling riffs and scorching blasts of vocal ferocity giving the song a healthy dose of feral, carnal energy — though it becomes cold and cruel before the end. Continue reading »

Apr 232020

The Path of Memory


On we go with today’s three-part mega-roundup, though it’s already late enough in our posting day that Part 3 will slip over into tomorrow.

As explained in Part 1, I alphabetized what I picked by band name, so we’re rolling on into the Ps and Rs in this segment (and in case you’re confused, I’m following the Chicago Manual of Style rules for alphabetization, in which introductory articles such as “a”, “an”, and “the” are disregarded).

THE PATH OF MEMORY (Switzerland)

The shimmering melodies in “Rancid Song” sound despairing, but that effect may also have something to do with the deep gothic vocals and the moody bass notes. The music is also haunting in its atmosphere, but don’t be misled — the slow-rocking, hard-hitting rhythms and that big bass tone will get you moving. A soundtrack for wandering alone, lost in gloomy memories, through vacant city streets lined with tall cold steel…. Continue reading »

Oct 232014


Here’s the second part of a round-up of new things that I began earlier today, collecting some of the news and music I discovered over the last 24 hours that I thought would be worth your time, because they were worth mine.


Where Greater Men Have Fallen is the name of the new Primordial album, due for release by Metal Blade on November 25. The title track premiered previously, and a couple of days ago Stereogum premiered another song, “Come the Flood”.  It’s powerfully heart-wrenching and melancholy in its atmosphere, driven at first by heavy, thumping drumbeats and a flowing curtain wall of guitars, and later by percussion that sounds like gunshots and a vital lead guitar melody. But at the center of the song is its most arresting feature — Nemtheanga’s  high, soul-stirring, dramatic voice. Amazing.

Listen here (Primordial’s FB page is at this location):

http://www.stereogum.com/1713126/primordial-come-the-flood-stereogum-premiere/mp3s/ Continue reading »