Nov 242017
 

 

I saw a meme this morning on Facebook, which read as follows:  “Black Friday: Because only in America, people trample others for sales exactly one day after being thankful for what they already have.” And yes, I suppose it’s so. For some of us, however, the last thing on our minds on this day, a thing to be avoided like the second coming of the black plague, is an excursion to retail outlets of any kind. The stronger impulse is to become even more hermit-like, to hunker down in our bunkers and put the thought of voraciously consuming crowds as far away as possible.

On the other hand, getting trampled is not in itself a bad thing, and can indeed be a very welcome experience, as long as the trampling is inflicted through the earholes, and the resulting visions of turmoil are spawned by the mind rather than observed through the eyes. And so here’s a rare Friday edition of SHADES OF BLACK, probably to be followed by another one in its usual place on Sunday.

TAAKE

Unless I missed something, the release of Taake’s new album, Kong Vinter, was preceded by the release of only one single (“Inntrenger”), and what a fine one it was. But the entire album is now publicly available, having been released yesterday by Dark Essence Records, in physical form and as a Bandcamp download. We failed to prepare a review in advance, and I’m afraid that what I’ve written below may not merit such a word, but I do want to share my enthusiasm, along with the music stream. Continue reading »

Oct 312013
 

We’ve already delivered quite a flood of posts today, at least measured by our modest standards, but since tonight is the most metal holiday of the year, I couldn’t end our posting day without a round-up of newly discovered music suitable to the occasion. This is a big bag of special treats for your ears, the musical equivalent of those apples embedded with razor blades and worms that I like to keep around in case any neighborhood brats come calling. Just think of it as a big playlist of putridity, and feel to skip my words, as long as you don’t mind the thought of me weeping.

BLACK ALTAR

Black Altar are a black metal band from Olsztyn, Poland, with two albums and assorted shorter releases to their credit since 1997. Their latest offering is a five-song EP named Suicidal Salvation that was released on October 25 by Darker Than Black Records (and is being distributed here). I had never heard Black Altar’s music before, and all I knew about this EP was that it includes songs that were intended for a split with Shining that apparently didn’t come to pass.

I found two streaming examples of the EP’s music — a full track named “The Sentence” and a teaser reel of excerpts from all the songs. I’ve embedded both of them below. But I’m so taken with the band’s music that I also found two of the four tracks that they contributed to a 3-way split (Emissaries of the Darkened Call — Three Nails In the Coffin of Humanity) with Thornspawn (Texas) and Varathron (Greece) that came out at the end of 2012. Those songs are “I’m Demon” and “Nighthunter”. Continue reading »