Apr 232018


In 2016 the mysterious Dutch black metal band Elfsgedroch made a very impressive debut with Op de beenderen van onze voorvaderen, and now they have made a truly triumphant return through a new release named Dwalend bij Nacht en Ontij, which has been branded an EP but is 44 minutes long.

The “EP” was inspired by particular places and events, by aspects of the culture and folklore of the northwest coast of the Netherlands. But the music summons emotional experiences that are unlimited by place or time, but are instead fundamental to human existence, and it does so with enthralling power. Continue reading »

Jun 122017


This is the second part of a collection of new black metal recommendations that I began yesterday. There were eight bands whose music I included in Part 1, and originally there were eight more here. Yes, I know, I’ve gone overboard. But since that’s never ever happened before, I know you’ll be in a forgiving mood — especially when I tell you that I’ve siphoned off three of the second group of eight and have put them into a Part 3, coming later today or tomorrow.


The debut album of Elfsgedroch (which is apparently Dutch for “mischief of elves”) was released on tape during the spring of 2016, but was released as a digital download and on vinyl in the spring of this year. The album’s name is Op de beenderen van onze voorvaderen (“on the bones of our ancestors”, if Google Translate is to be believed).

I’ve written twice before about individual tracks from the album as they appeared, and intended to write a proper review of the entire album. But now I’m afraid I may never get around to doing that — which makes me feel guilty because I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this record. Not only is the music exceptional, so is the care with which it has been packaged. Take a look: Continue reading »

Mar 152016



You might think that after posting a round-up on Sunday that included recent music from 39 bands, I would be all out of discoveries to write about. Nope, not even close. From Sunday’s flood of music streams I diverted some to which I wanted to dedicate closer attention, and since then I’ve found even more. All of it happens to be in the orbit of black metal, and so I’ve collected the music in a new edition of Shades of Black.

However, the volume of what I want to write about is so great that I’ve divided this edition into three parts. I will post Parts 2 and 3 tomorrow. Five excellent bands are included in this first installment.


We’ve already written quite a lot about Triangle, the new triple album by the Swiss band Schammasch, and until yesterday we hadn’t yet heard any of the music. But now we all have a song to hear, a long track named “Consensus“. According to the band, this is the first of three tracks that will be revealed prior to the album’s release. Continue reading »

Dec 062015



I’m going to try to spend time today working on a few reviews I’ve been meaning to write for weeks, but of course I must also make time to risk stroke and/or heart failure by watching the Seahawks take on the Vikings in the wasteland of Minnesota. If the site goes dead tomorrow, you’ll know I didn’t survive the game without a trip to intensive care (or at all).  But I do have a few songs I’d like to recommend before indulging in those other activities.

One thing I should mention before I get started: Some of these songs come from entire EPs or albums that have already been released and are deserving of complete reviews, even short ones. But I fear I won’t be able to manage that, so I’m only writing about individual songs and hoping that you’ll dig deeper on your own if you like what you hear.


The first song comes from an album I’ve been enjoying for longer than any other release collected in this round-up — so it comes first. The name of the album is Chronolith and it was released via Bandcamp in August by a South Carolina band named Waft. Waft‘s Bandcamp page includes this comment: “Written over the course of four years. Recorded live over two days”. Continue reading »