Mar 292022


I’m sure some of you noticed that I didn’t post anything at NCS last weekend, neither a new-music roundup on Saturday nor a Shades of Black column on Sunday. I was in my hometown of Austin, Texas, which was only my second departure from Washington since the pandemic began (the other one being a trip to Iceland last fall for Ascension Festival).

No reason to go into details about that trip, other than to say that it was packed with activities that led to late nights and hungover mornings, and I had no time to write anything for this site. I did have a little time to myself on Friday afternoon and used that to check out some new songs and videos. From that I assembled a tentative collection for a Saturday roundup, and even though I couldn’t get that done, I decided to stick with the list for today.

I enjoyed the hell out of all these songs when I first heard them — my kind of ear candy. I hope you’ll have fun with them too.

DARKENED (International)

This group of all-stars put out a hell of a debut album in 2020’s Kingdom of Decay, and early signs are that their new record will also be a rousing a success. Continue reading »

Apr 232018


Although black metal has morphed into so many different shapes that its most fervent adherents have continuing cause for disgust that the genre has become too diffuse and watered down, even the most dedicated fanatics will have no cause to question the authenticity (and bloodthirstiness) of Djevelkult’s new album, Når Avgrunnen Åpnes, which follows their 2014 debut record, I Djevelens Tegn. It will arrive on May 25 via Saturnal Records, and today we present the premiere of an album track that could hardly be better-named: “Atomic Holocaust“.

This Norwegian cult devote their devlish energies to the creation of boiling black metal chaos, and “Atomic Holocaust” is a prime example of that. It channels feral, uncaged ferocity in a way that triggers the kind of adrenaline surge which comes from rampant lust, sudden violence, righteous fury, or the simple primal joys of losing your mind in the whirl of disorder. The song also gets its hooks in your head damned fast Continue reading »