Nov 022017


As the seasons change, and the colors of autumn leaves briefly flare like blood and fire, only to be sapped of life and scattered by cold winter winds, it’s not uncommon for our thoughts to turn darker as the days become grayer. Daily tribulations seem magnified, grim memories push back to the surface, reflections on what might have been crowd away hopes of what might be. At such times, some of us search for music that catches these moods, plumbs their depths, and enshrines them in sound with the kind of emotional intensity they require.

And that’s just what Ah Ciliz and Chiral accomplish, each in their own way, on the album-length split we’re premiering today. Named Origins, it will be jointly released on November 6 by two fine labels, Canada’s Hypnotic Dirge Records and Mexico’s Throats Productions. I have some introductory thoughts about each band’s tracks on the split, followed by a stream of all the music. Continue reading »

Oct 242016



Chiral is the solo musical project of a man named Matteo “Teo” Gruppi from the countryside near Piacenza in northern Italy. The project began at the end of 2013, and since then Chiral has recorded two demos, two splits, and two albums — and today we bring you a full stream of the third Chiral album, Gazing Light Eternity, which will be released on October 27.

This new album is about Time — about “the evolution and perception of the perpetual flow of time on men, places and memories”. It’s a musical narrative in four Parts. The flow of the album takes the listener through two long atmospheric black metal tracks (“Part I (The Gazer)” and “Part III (The Crown)”), each of which is followed by a comparatively shorter ambient piece (“Part II (The Haze)” and “Part IV (The Hourglass)”). Continue reading »

Mar 272016

Bestia Arcana art


It’s Easter Sunday, so of course I have a Shades of Black collection to share, with new music in a mainly blackened vein from 9 bands, because we need an extra large round-up of black today. The first two selections are more in the nature of teasers, while the balance of these selections are complete songs, EPs, or albums. There are lots of contrasts in this collection, from the utterly savage to the dreamlike and spellbinding.


Last week Daemon Worship Productions launched a YouTube video which said nothing more than “Bestia Arcana. Holókauston is coming.” After doing further research I was able to find… no more details.

I presume that Holókauston is the name of the new second album by this Colorado black metal band, whose members were last reported to include Naas Alcameth of Akhlys and Nightbringer, K. (formerly of Nightbringer), and drummer Menthor (Nightbringer, Enthroned, Lvcifyre, etc.). And if those names don’t make you sit up and pay attention, then you’re in need of serious remedial posture training. Continue reading »