Dec 132020
 

 

I continue to fall far behind in my listening due to a year-end crunch at my fucking day job, which will continue through the coming week. What little free time I have to devote to NCS between now and this time next week will be consumed by premieres and the continuation of our annual LISTMANIA series (later today I’m sharing a couple more lists from “big platform” web sites, and then we’ll have more lists from our writers and guests in the week ahead).

But fortune smiled on me, and it didn’t take me long to find what I decided to share with you in this column. Enjoy!

TEMPESTARII (U.S.)

Deathwards Xibalba” is the long opening track to Chaos at Feast, the new second album by Tempestarii, an Idaho-based black metal band who picked a great name for themselves, because listening to their music is very much like being subsumed in frightening, wholly engulfing tempests — or perhaps, given the dramaturgical trappings of their music, like witnessing firsthand the magical storm of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Continue reading »

Oct 252020
 

 

I got a late start on the day and therefore have had to adjust my plans for this week’s column. Running short on time, I’ve had to postpone brief reviews of some recently released albums that richly deserve attention and instead focus on new singles and advance tracks from forthcoming records. But they richly deserve attention too.

I’ve arranged these tracks in a way that provides a flow that made sense to me, starting off one way, taking a turn in a different direction, and then changing course one more time at the end. Coincidentally, one thing these tracks have in common (and they don’t have a lot in common) is that blast-beats are in short supply.

EXITIUM SUI

The title of the first song, “Eviscerate My Withered Soul“, tells you a lot about the mood of the music. Launched by ritual drums, ominous symphonic swells, and grim, seething chords, it stalks forward in a way that leaves feelings of oppressiveness and despair in its wake. Augmented by bestial growls and withering screams, the music’s intensity mounts, creating tension and tragedy in equal measure. There’s a sense of horrible grandeur in the music, commingled with fever and pain. Continue reading »

Dec 272017
 

 

I’m three days late with this week’s edition of SHADES OF BLACK, and still woefully behind in sharing new music in a blackened vein that I’ve discovered over the last month. I’m bound and determined to do at least one more of these features before 2017 is interred in a moldy grave, as long as I’m sufficiently unbound by other distractions.

This particular collection includes one complete new album, advance tracks from two more, some new live videos, and a new single.

EUCLIDEAN

To begin this selection of music, I want to strongly recommend Quod Erat Faciendum, the debut album of the Swiss band Euclidean, which was released on December 21 and came strongly recommended to me by starkweather and by Miloš. Continue reading »

Aug 242014
 

Black metal today comes in so many shapes and textures that’s it’s almost as diverse as “death metal”, its original thorned orthodoxy having blossomed into a garden of unearthly delights. In this post I’ve collected the diverse music of five black metal bands who I discovered last week. If there’s one thing they do have in common, it’s a skill in crafting melody (of all things).

MISÞYRMING

Misþyrming (“Mis-thyr-ming”) are an Icelandic band whose name came my way in rapid succession from an e-mail by NCS supporter eiterorm and an Eistnaflug-themed article by Kim Kelly. According to Kim’s article, “The Reykjavik-based project started out as a one-man endeavor and expanded when founder D.G. added drummer H.R.H. (also of Carpe Noctem) on drums.” I’ve written admiringly about Carpe Noctem before, so that kind of made three reasons to go exploring.

Misþyrming’s debut album Söngvar elds og óreiðu will be released in a collaborative effort by Fallen Empire and Terratur Possessions, and two of the songs are on Bandcamp now. The music is incendiary — perhaps the most destructive music of the five bands in this post — but when they back down from the flame-spewing they cast mesmerizing riff spells. And they do a damned fine job of flame throwing (with eerie ambience), too.

Don’t forget this band’s name — I’m confident it’s going to spread. Brilliant stuff. Continue reading »