Jun 112018


A whole three days in a row I’ve now managed to follow through with the plan of posting small two-track collections of new music I want to recommend. I’m finding this much easier to do than the larger SEEN AND HEARD collections I usually succeed in posting only once a week — first, because I don’t agonize as much over the choices, knowing that I can make some more from my list the very next day; and second, because it takes less time to scribble words about two songs rather than five or six.

Maybe this little project is less daunting and more inviting to readers as well since it’s not such a big wall of music to confront? Just a guess.


I was wondering what had happened to this French symphonic black metal band. Actually, I wasn’t. I don’t really lie awake at night going through a mental list of bands who haven’t released any new music for a few years. More accurately, it dawned on me when I saw news about a new album that almost three years have passed since Deathcode Society released their fine debut full-length Eschatonizer (which you should definitely check out HERE if you haven’t already). Continue reading »

Apr 162016

Solstafir-Legend live


As you may have discerned by now, I enjoy not only recommending new music in these round-ups but also selecting items for them that don’t all come from the same genres of metal. For this Saturday collection of recent discoveries, however, there’s perhaps more variety than usual because I’ve partially gone outside the realms of metal. This is always a risky maneuver because I so rarely listen to anything that isn’t metal. I don’t know how dependable my metal tastes are, but when I veer off those pathways I’m pretty sure my taste isn’t dependable at all. Self-doubt has never held me back, though, so here we go….


More than two years ago I wrote (here) about a split release by two Icelandic bands, Sólstafir and Legend, in which each of them covered a song originally recorded by the other. In Sólstafir‘s case, they put their stamp on a Legend song called “Runaway Train”.

Yesterday the two bands released a video in which members of both groups joined together last fall for a live performance of that same song from the split (which they had earlier recorded together at Studio Neptunus). The performance occurred in an abandoned industrial factory and was filmed by Brynjar Snær Þrastarson and edited by him and Frosti Jon Rúnólfsson. Continue reading »

May 272015


This is a collection of music I discovered over the last few days, most of it recently released. Most of it also wells up from the ichor-filled aquifers of black metal, though as usual for this Shades of Black series, no two of the bands sound alike.


Most of the new music included in this collection consists of complete EPs or albums that deserve full reviews, but I’m afraid I may never find the time to write them. Rather than risk saying nothing at all, I at least want to offer some brief descriptions and strong recommendations. This debut by the one-man Chicago band Erraunt falls into that category. Continue reading »

Feb 132014

Okie dokie, time for another round-up of new and noteworthy music that I came across in my most recent stumbling around the interhole and my in-box. On almost a daily basis I’m left dumbfounded by the diversity, the creativity, and the skill of the musicians in our beloved genre of music. Today’s playlist is just one more example.


Oh, if you don’t know about Goatcraft, you are in for a treat. Goatcraft is a one-man band from San Antonio, the man being Lonegoat. I did not know about Goatcraft until December of last year, when I included the third track from Goatcraft’s forthcoming second album — The Blasphemer — in this post. The album will be released this year by I, Voidhanger Records.

According to a previously reported announcement, “The album is divided in four sections, each one with a central theme based on William Blake’s art and theological interpretations.” It includes, for example, a four-part piece named “The Great Red Dragon”. Just days ago, I, Voidhanger delivered a second track for streaming that draws on another of Blake’s works as its inspiration — “Satan In His Original Glory”.
Continue reading »

Nov 282012

A milestone has been reached!  Our 50th installment of the not-so-regular MISCELLANY series! And here are the self-made rules of this self-made game:

I pick bands whose music I’ve never heard using a methodology akin to throwing darts at the wall; I listen to a song or two from each band; I write some brief impressions; I embed the music so you can listen, too. It’s an experiment, because I usually have no idea what the music is going to sound like, and it’s a way to make new discoveries.

In this installment of the series, I checked out the music of Into Darkness (Italy) and Deathcode Society (France).


Why did I pick this band? Well, to be brutally honest, which is the only kind of honest we know how to be at NCS, you’re looking at two of the reasons at the top of this post. That’s right, the one in the middle has cool shades and a cool jacket.

The other reason is that MaxR at Metal Bandcamp strongly recommended them. I guess that’s sort of a cheat on the MISCELLANY rules because even though I hadn’t listened to the music before beginning this excursion, I know Max has good taste. So this wasn’t a complete shot in the dark. Unless of course Max was drinking heavily when he sent me that message. Continue reading »