Jan 162019


(Andy Synn reviews the new album by the Scotland-based band Barshasketh, which was released yesterday by W.T.C. Productions.)

Precisely what it is that separates a “Good” album from a truly “Great” one isn’t always clear. Sometimes it’s just a gut feeling, an instinctive response which tells you that this… this is something really worth shouting about.

Of course your subjective response(s) and reactions will always be the final arbiter of which side of things an album ultimately falls on for you, but to even come close to this line, to be in contention, is something of an impressive achievement in itself.

Which I suppose is a long-winded way of saying that that the new, self-titled, record from Barshasketh could well be the first truly “Great” Black Metal album of 2019. Continue reading »

Dec 122018


Our fascination with Barshasketh began with the discovery of their remarkable 2015 album Ophidian Henosis, which in turn led to the exploration of their two preceding albums, 2013’s Sitra Achra and 2010’s Defying the Bonds of Cosmic Thraldom, and then carried us forward to their 2017 Sein/Zeit split with Poland’s Outre (which we premiered here). It was thus with a mixture of excitement and intrigue that we learned W.T.C. Productions would be releasing a new 54-minute Barshasketh album in January of next year — and that it would be self-titled.

Self-titled albums sometimes have a way of signaling a band’s re-birth, or of reaching a different kind of turning point in their progression. In this case, given the nature of the music on the album, it seems to represent not so much a re-invention of the band as it does a new zenith in what Barshasketh have achieved. Continue reading »

Nov 262017


At this site we don’t often publicize mere announcements of new releases without accompanying music, but a few weeks ago I did because the announcement got me so excited that I couldn’t resist. The subject was a forthcoming split by Barshasketh (formerly based in New Zealand, now located in Edinburgh, Scotland) and the Polish band Outre. Entitled Sein / Zeit, the split is scheduled for released on November 27th by Third Eye Temple and Blut & Eisen Productions.

Both of these bands have released some stunningly good music in the past, and that alone would have been reason enough to cause excitement about this split, but the conceptual focus of the music described in the announcement made the prospect even more intriguing. And now we’ve heard the split — and today you may do the same — and it is every bit as exciting as we thought it might be. Continue reading »

Oct 292017


Once again I find myself with a small mountain of new music and recent announcements I’d like to share from the fecund gardens of musical nightshade. I had 12 items when I started writing yesterday, some of them advance music from forthcoming releases, some of them full albums or EPs, and one of them just an announcement (but a very exciting one).

I put all 12 in alphabetical order by band name and then divided them into three parts. With a little luck, I’ll get the second part finished and posted today. With a little more luck I’ll finish the third one in time to post on Monday morning. I hope you’ll find some things to like.


In January of 2016 we were lucky to premiere a song from the debut EP (Pupil of the Searing Maelstrom) of an Icelandic black metal band named Almyrkvi, which is the solo project of musician Garðar S Jónsson, who is also a member of the Icelandic band Sinmara. We followed that with Andy Synn’s laudatory review of the EP, which he described as a successful effort “to capture the fearsome cold and endless nothingness of the celestial abyss in five impressively atmospheric and morbidly mesmerising tracks”. Continue reading »

Jul 292015



(Another month is in the history books, and so it’s time for KevinP to name the releases from last month that most impressed him.)

As I prepared to write this month’s column, my initial thought was:  the lack of releases in July as compared to the rest of the year.  I quickly realized that I had listened to 30 albums, and what a ridculous notion that was.  If I “only” listened to 30 per month (normally it’s somewhere in the 40+ range), that would equate to 340 per year, which is borderline insane.  Ok, on with the festivities…. Continue reading »