Jul 162020
 

 

The nightside musical arts of Ars Magna Umbrae leave the mundane world far behind, inspired by interests and ambitions that seek to explore other worlds beyond the sight of banal souls who creep across the earth in their daily trudges. Not for naught does I, Voidhanger Records describe the band’s new album, Apotheosis, as “an occult black metal journey across the shores of plutonian nights, through starless aeons and oneiric fields, to later plunge them into the depths of boundless devotion and joyous madness”.

The label also describes the album’s music as “a fusion of dream and reality”, and the music is indeed the stuff of waking dreams. It inspires the imagination, spawning visions that are simultaneously wondrous and deeply disturbing. “Immersive” may be a trite descriptive phrase, but it’s nonetheless entirely accurate in describing the effect of Apotheosis. Immersed within its sensorium, your mind may take you to unforeseen places, without any conscious direction.

It’s likely that no two people will experience the same visions, or find themselves in the same mental and emotional states. What follows, therefore, is only what this writer imagined in listening to the song we’re premiering today, “Of Divine Divergence“. Continue reading »

Jul 032020
 


Ars Magna Umbrae

 

This is a great day for metal fans to support bands with their money. It’s a harrowing day for metal bloggers like myself.

It’s a great day because Bandcamp is again waiving its share of revenues from sales on its site, which means more money generated from purchases and donations goes directly to bands and labels, some of whom are in turn donating proceeds to charitable causes.

It’s a harrowing day because bands and labels have been releasing a HUMONGOUS AMOUNT OF MUSIC to take advantage of the occasion. Beginning yesterday and continuing today, my in-box has exploded with Bandcamp alerts and press releases, and that’s on top of the usual flood of other new music appearing earlier in the week. There’s no way I can sample all of it. But I’ve sampled some of it, and you see the results in this post — or at least some of them.

What I’ve done here is to collect individual songs and videos for new releases (and a few older ones), arranged in alphabetical order by band name. Many of those releases, but not all, can be purchased or pre-ordered on Bandcamp to take advantage of the revenue-share waiver. In Part 2 I’ll quickly throw out recommendations for complete new releases that would also be good candidates for your Bandcamp purchases. Continue reading »

Feb 262017
 

 

As ever, I’m up to my eyebrows in new music drawn from a black vein that I want to recommend. For this SHADES OF BLACK episode, I’ve picked two songs from forthcoming releases and five complete new albums and EPs. I have pitifully few words to offer in praise of those complete releases. They deserve more, but I haven’t yet figured out how to stop time or even slow it down, and a few sentences of introduction are all my time allows me at the moment.

Please do try to allocate some of your own time to the music in this large collection. As as is often the case, I made these selections to provide a diversity of styles within the multifaceted genre of black metal.

OFERMOD

Sweden’s Ofermod includes members of such bands as Serpent Noir, Nefandus, Head of the Demon, and Mortuus (among others). The band’s first EP was released in 1998 and their subsequent releases have included two albums (in 2008 and 2012) and a 2014 EP (Serpents Dance). They are now at work on a new album named Sol Nox that will be released by Shadow Records at some point later this year, which will include lyrics written by Dr. Thomas Karlsson, founder of the draconian Order Dragon Rouge. The striking artwork was created by Cold Poison. Continue reading »