May 242017
 

 

The latest edition of Roadburn Festival took place at Tilburg, The Netherlands, on April 20-23, 2017, and L.A.-based photographer extraordinaire Levan TK was there to capture the performances on film.

We are fortunate to bring you some of his amazing photos, divided among the days of the festival, with his photos from the first day in this post.

P.S. Levan was quick to get us these photos. The delay in sharing them is entirely the fault of our half-wit editor, who will be flogged in public at a location to be announced. Continue reading »

Jan 312016
 

Kampfar-Profan

 

I’m still trying to catch-up on the rollout of this annual list since I didn’t get even a single new entry up last week. So, in addition to the three songs I added yesterday, I’m adding four today — all of them black metal, and all of them very good songs in addition to being highly memorable. The other songs on the list so far can be accessed through this link.

KAMPFAR

It’s hard to name many bands who are 20 years into their lifespan and still putting out music of the quality that Norway’s Kampfar are releasing. As Andy Synn wrote about last year’s Kampfar full-length (here):

“Much like its predecessors, Profan blends massive, cutting-edge riffage and raucous, almost punkish, energy with a sense of dark majesty and grandeur that’s both firmly rooted in the ancestral traditions of Black Metal, yet not utterly beholden to them. And, much like its predecessors, it continues to set an almost ludicrously high bar for those who follow after.”

Continue reading »

Dec 172015
 

Akhenaten - Incantations Through the Gates of Irkalla

 

(Here’s the last of KevinP’s monthly selections for 2015, naming his Top 5 favorite albums released or scheduled for release during December.)

Since I’ve had plenty of time with this month’s releases to formulate my list, along with the fact that things start to get slow once Xmas week arrives, you’re getting this a little earlier than normal.  Also, my Top 25 Albums and Top 5 EP’s of the Year will be posted the first week of January.  Nothing else profound to say, so let’s get on with it. Continue reading »

Dec 082015
 

Batushka-Litourgiya

 

This is the first part of a two-part collection of recent discoveries I’ve made in the vein of black metal, plus one that isn’t black metal but is still spiritually as black as a corpse charred in a napalm attack. As will become obvious, I’ve chosen this particular group of bands in part because no two of them sound alike.

BATUSHKA

Batushka are a Polish band whose members have not been disclosed, but they are reputed to be from well-known bands. Their debut album Litourgiya was released on December 5 by the Polish label Witching Hour Productions. It makes an astonishing impact from the very first song, and all the way to the end.

The music is dark, heaving, and very heavy — with bombastic outbreaks of wildfire and thunder — and the bleak, majestic melodies are effective at getting under the skin. But what sets the music apart and makes the album especially memorable are the vocals. In addition to the incinerating shrieks that you might expect in a black metal album, you’ll hear reverberating liturgical chants in what I’m told is Church Slavonic — the language used in the Orthodox Church in such places as Poland, Russia, and Ukraine, as well as nations in the Balkan Peninsula. Continue reading »