Feb 132018
 

 

More than three years ago the Montréal black metal band Basalte released a debut album named Vestige that hit me like a bolt from the blue. It affected me so strongly that I did what I have a tendency to do when experiencing such episodes of euphoria — I launched into a spontaneous spate of metaphors (here):

Vestige consists of three long songs (from 9 minutes to almost 17), ‘Mirage’, ‘Luminaire’, and ‘Obtuse’. They are guitar manifestos, strange journeys across distortion-shrouded alien soundscapes that sometimes seem like the eruption of volcanos on a Saturnian moon and then at other times shine like the Saturnian rings themselves, shimmering with the glint of sunlight on ice crystals. The drumming is just as unpredictable and just as transfixing, like a comet with a mind of its own that moves around and through the cosmic lightshow, heedless of the pull of gravity.”

I didn’t stop there, but the subject of this post isn’t a reminder of Vestige but an introduction to Basalte’s new album Vertige, which is being released today, and which you can stream after the bulwark of paragraphs I’ve written on this occasion. I’m not surprised I’ve become euphoric again; I am surprised that Vertige not only reaches the heights of its predecessor but exceeds them. Continue reading »

Jan 242018
 

 

Because of an event-filled out-of-town trip last weekend I wasn’t able to prepare a SHADES OF BLACK column for Sunday, or anything for Saturday. Fortunately, DGR stepped in with a 3-part SEEN AND HEARD round-up that launched on Saturday and continued through Monday. Now I’m going to do something similar, with this column’s usual focus on black metal. I’ve amassed a substantial collection of new music and a few news items that also interested me. I’ve organized them in alphabetical order and divided the list into three parts, with the goal of posting Parts 2 and 3 tomorrow and Friday.

Of course, in the meantime the odds are that I’ll find something else I’d like to include, which may necessitate screwing up the alphabetized ordering.

ACHERONTAS

I’m beginning Part 1 of this collection with the first of a trio of enticing news items I’ve included here. As announced today by Agonia Records, the Greek occult black metal band Acherontas (whose gear is pictured above) will be releasing a seventh studio album this spring. Yes, it’s true that Acherontas released an album only last year — Amarta अमर्त (Formulas of Reptilian Unification Part II) — but that’s no reason to be any less excited to receive a new one.

As for why this new one is appearing so quickly on the heels of the last one, the press release we received included this statement by the band: Continue reading »

Nov 132014
 

 

This is a prime example of an album that came out of nowhere, one that I easily could have overlooked, but that turns out to be one of the most surprising and enjoyable things I’ve heard in months. The album’s name is Vestige and it’s the debut work of a three-person Montréal black metal band name Basalte.

Vestige consists of three long songs (from 9 minutes to almost 17), “Mirage”, “Luminaire”, and “Obtuse”. They are guitar manifestos, strange journeys across distortion-shrouded alien soundscapes that sometimes seem like the eruption of volcanos on a Saturnian moon and then at other times shine like the Saturnian rings themselves, shimmering with the glint of sunlight on ice crystals. The drumming is just as unpredictable and just as transfixing, like a comet with a mind of its own that moves around and through the cosmic lightshow, heedless of the pull of gravity. Continue reading »