Nov 042019


On November 8th Primitive Reaction will release Nocturnal Bloodlust, the debut album of Finland’s Black Beast — which arrives a long 13 years after their last release (a split with Bloodhammer), so long ago that many of you may not be aware of their existence (I was not). But this debut full-length blazes like a meteor in the night sky, and should quickly elevate them from cult obscurity to a more exalted place in the Finnish black metal star-field.

Nocturnal Bloodlust presents a transfixing blend of bestiality, lust, and anthemic grandeur, with great song-craft to go along with the band’s unwavering devotion to rampant flame-spewing demonism. Continue reading »

Aug 182019


Having chosen to devote so much time to posts about new death metal this weekend I haven’t been able to focus as carefully as I’d like on this week’s SHADES OF BLACK column. If the writing seems more hurried than usual, that’s why. But I didn’t make the selections hurriedly. I’m quite convinced they’re worth your time. Whether you’ll be convinced, only time will tell.

By the way, though I doubt very many people actually noticed, last week I promised a second installment of the column, in a format that I haven’t used very often — and then wasn’t able to follow through. I thought about following through today, with the same bands I’d chosen to use in the un-realized second installment of last week’s column, but haven’t done that after all. Maybe later this week. Only one of the releases I’d chosen last week has made it into this post — and it’s the first one:


Cathartic Black Rituals, released by Les Fleurs du Mal Productions on August 7th, is the debut album by a trio from Winnipeg, Manitoba, who’ve taken the name Nocturnal Departure. The album stream premiered at CVLT Nation, accompanied by a brief but enthusiastic introduction. My own introduction will also be (regrettably) brief, and enthusiastic. Continue reading »