Mar 082020


For this week’s edition of the column I decided to include five complete releases, four albums and an EP, all but one of them released since late January. But my time is short, and so, with apologies to the bands, the only way I’ve been able to manage this is to pursue a strategy of picking only one song per release to focus on, accompanied by just the most general overview of everything else. With luck, this will be enough to seduce people into exploring each release in greater depth, despite the relative shallowness of my own words.


The Greek black metal band Adaestuo is one of two in today’s feature whose past work I was familiar with, and that past work — a self-titled demo in 2016, the Phase 6 debut album that same year, and the Cult of Human Sacrifices EP in 2018 — has been remarkably impressive. The new release is an album entitled Dominion In Polarity. It came out last September, and I really should have written something about it before now, because it’s tremendous. Continue reading »

Apr 012018


As usual, I had a rough time trying to decide which songs to pick for today’s SHADES OF BLACK column; as usual, there was a lot to choose from. If I’d known when I made the selection that (as announced here) this would be the last NCS post after 8 1/2 years of effort, it would have been a whole lot rougher.


I thought the self-titled debut release by the Portuguese black metal band Gaerea was one of 2016’s best EPs.. We featured music from it repeatedly at our site, both before and after its release (including a post in which we named “Void of Numbness” to our list of the year’s “Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs“, and our premiere of a bonus track that appeared on the vinyl edition).

Not surprisingly in light of all that, I have very high hopes for Gaerea’s follow-on release, a debut full-length named Unsettling Whispers. Based on the first single from the album, it seems likely those hopes will be fulfilled. Continue reading »

Dec 182016



I’ve managed to complete the second part of a two-part post that I began earlier today, though it’s not as complete as I had hoped. This second installment includes five full albums or EPs, all of which deserve more words of praise than I have time to give them, but once the new week begins I’ll have even less time than I do today. And so I’ve decided it’s better to make relatively brief exclamations of excitement than none at all.

In addition to those five full releases, this post includes one new advance track. It’s only barely in the usual blackened vein of this series (if at all), but I like it so much that I’ve bent the rules.


We begin with a new album named LI_E by the one-man Romanian project Gravatus, which was released on November 12. This was my first exposure to the music of Gravatus, but I’ve found myself enthralled by LI_E. Continue reading »