Jan 162022


This weekend hasn’t been conducive to my NCS plans. I didn’t have time yesterday morning to post a round-up of new songs and videos, only time enough to share some artwork and news. During Saturday afternoon I plowed through a lot of new tracks and videos that mostly surfaced over the last week, and found a whopping 23 of them that I enjoyed to varying degrees.

Obviously, that’s way too many to post about, even for an OVERFLOWING STREAMS type of round-up. Some sifting was required. But sifting takes time, and for reasons I won’t bore you with it turns out that free time has been in very short supply this weekend. What to do?

Well, what I decided to do was just to say Fuck It and foist all 23 of those songs and videos upon you, with almost no commentary about the music and not even the usual links and artwork, just a small amount of info about the releases that include them. Even with that approach I’m dubious that I’ll get everything ready to go before I have to depart my computer for the rest of the day. So I alphabetized everything by band name and cut the group into two parts.

Part 2 might come tomorrow instead of later today. Sadly, I won’t have time for a SHADES OF BLACK column, though there is some black metal sprinkled through this giant collection, along with music across a big range of other sub-genres. Continue reading »

Aug 012018

Denis Forkas – “Study For Victory”


The Font of All Human Knowledge defines “mysticism” as “the practice of religious ecstasies (religious experiences during alternate states of consciousness), together with whatever ideologies, ethics, rites, myths, legends, and magic may be related to them”. Another source defines it as “belief that union with or absorption into the Deity or the absolute, or the spiritual apprehension of knowledge inaccessible to the intellect, may be attained through contemplation and self-surrender.” Ironically (or perhaps more accurately to some), an earlier version of the same source provides a second definition after the one just quoted: “belief characterized by self-delusion or dreamy confusion of thought, especially when based on the assumption of occult qualities or mysterious agencies”.

Mysticism as a significant source of inspiration is of course not unknown in extreme metal music, but I would say it’s a rarity. The kind of metal spawned by mystical beliefs, and used by its creators either to channel the insights and transformations brought about by mystical study, practice, or feeling, or to become a vehicle itself for the transformation of the self, seems to be found mainly in small and relatively obscure corners of the underground. I don’t mean to suggest that this is any different from what one might find in any other genre of music; it might even be true that mysticism plays a larger role in extreme metal than, for example, in hip-hop or country music — but of course I wouldn’t know, because I have tunnel-vision when it comes to my listening choices. Continue reading »