Oct 012021


Fans of Chicago’s Vukari will want to pay special attention to the following album premiere on the day of its release. Entitled Próżnia, it’s the debut full-length by the atmospheric black metal band Bialywilk, which is the solo side project of leading Vukari member Marek Cimochowicz. For this album, he’s also aided by an impressive group of session musicians — drummer John Kerr (Marsh Dweller, Noltem, Seidr), bassist Spenser Morris (Vukari), and Adam Harris, who performs synths on “Próżnia I”.

The title of the album is a Polish word that refers to the void — to the vacuum of space. Although Próżnia is not a concept album, the songs do deal with space and celestial realms, as well as mysticism and philosophical subjects. As Marek has explained to us: “So, overall the inspiration is about space and the void, but how vast and humbling it could be to the human experience. We are all part of the universe in a way but our bodies and consciousness are just a blip in the grander scheme, and as bleak as that sounds I find it pretty relieving”.

As you will discover, the music fits the grand and momentous themes of the lyrics, creating panoramas of blazing splendor that channel moods of awe, fear, and loss, coupled with heart-pounding rhythmic propulsion and vocals of harrowing intensity — and a couple of gripping ambient excursions into the void of deep space. Continue reading »

Jun 232021


Lots of good stuff in today’s round-up, with a variety of new black metal, death metal, and thrash, plus a towering exit song. All of the songs are off forthcoming records, with the exception of a just-released EP that I’ve sandwiched in the middle. You’ll see some really good cover art in this collection too.

Even though I and most of the NCS writers are in the U.S., the preponderance of the music we cover (along with half our readers) seems to emanate from outside U.S. borders. Thus it’s unusual that (coincidentally) almost all of the following music comes from U.S. bands.

MODERN RITES (U.S./Switzerland)

The opening song today, “Self Synthesis“, swells in sound, like what you might hear if gradually approaching an industrial metal-mangling machine, and then erupts in a hammering, searing discharge of instrumental and vocal intensity — with eerie, wraith-like tones swirling in sorrow above. It revisits those mangling sensations, which begin to seem apocalyptic…. Continue reading »