Dec 302018


Here we are, nearing the end of that strange seven-day period that begins with the Christmas holiday and ends with New Year’s Day, when many of us have more lazy free time than usual but also experience something like sensory overload from an onslaught of family, friends, food, drink, commercialized excess everywhere you turn, and the looming dread of a new year beginning with a return to jobs and no more holiday reprieves on the visible horizon. It can be both a joyous time of year and a depressing one, more of the former than the latter if you’re lucky, but with both conditions defined with greater intensity than the plodding progression of a normal week.

Even as odd and disorienting as this annual occurrence usually is, the one we’re in the midst of now has struck me as even more bewildering, even comically so, from my perspective as an obsessive fan of extreme music with a compulsion to share recommendations. On that front at least, things are supposed to slow down, with fewer albums being released (given the likelihood they’ll be overlooked against the background froth of so many other holiday diversions) and something of a pause in the promotional activity around albums slated for release in the new year, including the debut of new songs. And while that has in fact happened to a degree, it’s been a smaller degree than usual, especially in the genres of music that are the focus of this column. Continue reading »

Nov 232018


Deitus proclaim that “it is through suffering that the fruits of salvation shall be found”, and they have named their new album Via Dolorosa — Latin for “the Way of Suffering” or “the Way of Sorrow”. The words may be best known (at least in certain communities) as the name of the road in the Old City of Jerusalem that Jesus walked in agony toward the place of his crucifixion, but it could equally be considered the path of human life in general. As envisioned in the music of Deitus, pain is inevitable, and yet it can lead to illumination.

The song we present today, which is the new album’s title track, is, in a word, stunning. True to this UK band’s statement of principle, it is a powerful expression of suffering, heart-ache, and transcendence. Continue reading »