Dec 152021


Beneath the Sod scrape back the top soil to lay bare all that is repulsive and feculent beneath. Narcotic and eldritch, Beneath the Sod erodes the listener with a writhing tapestry of industrial doom, grinding noise and hallucinatory horror. Punishing and bewildering, with each release Beneath the Sod sinks deeper into their unique and singularly maddening mire”.

Those are the accurately evocative words with which Cursed Monk Records introduces a new self-titled EP by this utterly diabolical Irish band, an EP set for release on December 17th that we’re presenting today in the full bloom of its terrors. We have more detailed commentary of our own, of course, but at least one more way of attempting to sum up the experience might be this:

It is deeply unsettling, even to the point of inducing queasiness in the listener, and brings forward the stuff of nightmares as old as humanity, and yet manages to become bewitching, to transfix attention, maybe in part because it is so fiendishly effective in crushing the soul and unhinging the mind. Continue reading »

Oct 232021


We’re on “bomb cyclone” watch here in the Puget Sound area of Washington. High winds and lots of rain are expected through the weekend, though official forecasters aren’t positive how intense it’s going to be. The power at our house is likely to go out, but I’m mainly wondering about why no metal band has yet picked Bomb Cyclone as a name (a search for it on Metal Archives yields zero results).

Now that I’ve updated you on freaky local weather conditions, let’s get to the music. Today I mostly focused on bands I consider old favorites, but explored a couple of new names (at least new to me) as well, and I’m throwing a curveball at the end.


I’ve wished for a long time that the day will come when I can catch Maze of Terror in a live show. I’m not holding my breath, because they’re in Lima, Peru, and I’m 4,969 miles away from there, as the crow flies. But we can dream, can’t we? Now my dreams are even more ardent, having seen their new video for the song “Starbeast” off their latest album. Continue reading »

Sep 182017


I had a busier than usual weekend that left me little time for NCS, and so I wasn’t able to compile a SHADES OF BLACK post yesterday. I did spend some time here and there exploring new music, and it occurred to me that the collection you’re about to hear would make for an interesting playlist to start the week.

I don’t know whether you will find this as interesting as I did, but I chose these songs and the order in which you’ll hear them in order to juxtapose very different sounds, alternating between extremely heavy, harrowing music and music whose emotional effect is more sublime, or more uplifting. (Thanks to Miloš for links that led to most of these discoveries.)


I chose to lead off with the Vancouver sludge/funeral-doom band Sand Witch, because the first song from their new demo (“The Cushion of Roosevelt’s Wheelchair“) itself provides a dramatic contrast that kind of encapsulates what I tried to do in arranging everything in this post. It moves from a slow, reverberating, elegiac guitar instrumental that’s beautiful and mesmerizing… to a shockingly heavy and abrasive apocalypse of sound, also slow, but soul-shuddering in its brute intensity. Continue reading »