Feb 182024

Like yesterday, I was able to assemble a big round-up of fairly new music for today. It seemed like a way to welcome myself back to doing what I habitually did before I got thrown way off course by my job. And now I’m wondering, as I habitually used to do, whether I’ve overdone it.

What you’ll find below are singles from three forthcoming records, followed by five complete albums or EPs, all of them released this month. I only stopped at the total of 8 so the cover art would line up neatly in the collage I made.

If you have the patience to move through everything, you’ll find as you go deeper that the doors start coming completely off the hinges, in bizarre and even horrifying ways, but with something profoundly dreamlike at the end. Continue reading »

Dec 022023

Yesterday I managed to crawl through the 300-400 Bandcamp alerts and e-mails that hit our in-box during the 24 hours of Bandcamp Friday, plus social media messages from a few of the people whose recommendations I pay attention to. I even managed to very quickly skim through e-mails from the day before.

Doing that, I saved a shitload of links, and then barely scratched the surface of them in listening. There were some big surprises in that pile, some from bands I knew about and even bigger ones from names I’d never heard of. I picked some to pass along to you today. I’ve saved some others for the Sunday column, which I hope I’ll get to.

I had so many picks for today that I decided to divide them into two parts. The second part includes three bands from the same archipelagic country, all of which fall into the big-surprise category. I haven’t yet written part 2, and because the hour is late, it will probably come tomorrow. Continue reading »

Mar 222020


Maybe it’s because I’ve become a virus shut-in, but I’m finding even more than the usual quantity of new black metal that is appealing, and even a greater desire to spread it around. I’ve consumed a lot of time over the last 24 hours with those two Overflowing Streams round-ups (here and here), and want to at least make a start on today’s SHADES OF BLACK before I have to do something else (and surely there’s something else I have to do besides blog, though I can’t think what it is). So, I’ve divided it into two Parts. Depending on whether I think of something else I should be doing, it may arrive later today or be deferred until Monday.


I first encountered this Italian band in 2017, following he release of their second EP, Unstinted, Delirious, Convulsive Oaths, whose sound I described as the feeling of being pursued by wolves in the dead of night: “Across all the changes in tempo, the atmosphere is pitch-black and ice-cold, and traces of dissonance in the hopeless melodies heighten the sense of frightening peril at your heels and sinister, supernatural forces at work on your mind. And the vocals are as ugly as a sin you’ll never purge”. Continue reading »

Dec 312018


Man, have I got a red-hot New Year’s Eve planned with my wife. Bring in some kind of dangerous take-out food. Watch some re-runs of Law and Order. Maybe have an egg nog with a shot of whiskey (but only one because I don’t need the calories and I’m cutting back on the booze). Asleep by 10:30 at the latest. I’m so fucking excited that I’m hyperventilating.

You think I’m joking, but I’m really not (except about the hyperventilating). After more than a few decades of severe misbehavior, the idea of a quiet night and a New Year’s Day without a cataclysmic hangover has become very appealing. No more day-after’s wondering “is that blood on my shirt mine?”, “whose room is this?”, and “where did I leave my pants?”

These days I tend to get a lot of my thrills from heavy music, and I spent this morning catching up on some new sounds, some of which I’m recommending to you in this round-up. This actually started as what might have been a second SHADES OF BLACK installment yesterday, but I decided to throw in a few other styles of music and finish it up for today.


I was quite impressed by the first demo (Archaic Discipline) released by the hooded Dutch duo Jubal through Clandestine Faith earlier this year, and said so here: “There is foreboding, catastrophe, and grandeur in the sensations of these savage, dramatic songs, along with a panoply of killer riffs and the kind of vocals that summon visions of demons coming for your throat.” I was thus excited to learn that Jubal have a new release headed our way in 2019. Continue reading »