Mar 162015


(In this post Dan Barkasi continues his monthly series recommending music from the month just ended.)

Here we go for round two of Essential Entries. You guessed it – we’re covering February this time. Yeah, yeah, suspense isn’t this guy’s strong point.

January gave us genius like Desolate Shrine and Agos, which is just what was needed to start things off right. How does February measure up? To quote one of the greatest movie trilogies of all time, “Great Scott!” If you don’t get that, I bestow upon you great shame. But yeah, February did bring the noise (no Public Enemy included). Here’s the proof, in no particular order.

A Forest of StarsBeware the Sword You Cannot See

Self-described as a secret society from Victorian-era 1895, A Forest of Stars compose music that’s as intricate and unique as their theming. Black metal with a lot of psychedelic elements is the most basic description, but really, their music is so much more. It’s a continuing story, and their latest chapter is awe-inspiring. Invest the time, as there’s a lot of layers, with the payoff being oh so worth it. Continue reading »

Feb 162015


Five years after their debut album Messio and three years after their last release of any kind, the Moscow doom band Aethyr have returned with a new full-length entitled Corpus. In advance of its February 19 release by Cimmerian Shade Recordings, we’re pleased to being you a full stream of the album in all of its staggering immensity. But I need to immediately apologize for calling Aethyr a “doom band”, because the music on Corpus is not so easily summed up.

Across the seven tracks and 50 minutes of music that make up Corpus, Aethyr integrate elements of black metal, sludge, and ambient noise into their core framework of titanic doom. The musical landscape changes as the album unfolds, but never leaves the blasted territory of hopelessness and ruination. Continue reading »

Dec 222014


I spent most of my listening time this past weekend delving into shades of black (and also trying to narrow down the candidates for our Most Infectious Song list). But I also did a bit of additional searching for new things to recommend, and here’s what I found — along with a contribution from Grant Skelton who has a recommendation of his own at the end.


I discovered that last Friday Xibalba debuted a song named “Invierno” from their forthcoming LP, Tierra Y Libertad. The album is coming out on January 27 via Southern Lord and sports fantastic cover art by Dan Seagrave.

Based on past experience, I was expecting something crushing and savage, and I wasn’t disappointed. “Invierno” is one big sonic meat tenderizer. Everything about it is immensely heavy and dark, driven by a combination of needling and piledriving riffs, and with a couple of skull-smashing breakdowns. It’s an exclusive stream, so go here to listen: Continue reading »