Jan 102019


For the third installment in this year-end list I’ve decided to take a turn into blacker realms, and to move deeper into the underground, too. To check out the previous installments, they’re collected behind this link, and to learn what this series is all about, go here.


Let me say up-front that long-form songs have been a rarity in these Most Infectious Song lists, because while such compositions can be truly wondrous experiences, they’re rarely what most people would consider “catchy” or addictive to the point of commanding frequent re-plays. But I consider “The Virtue of Suffering” by Australia’s Elysian Blaze to be all of those things. It is a truly memorable song, with numerous components that have gotten stuck in my head, and with such a strong appeal that I’ve been drawn back to it regularly — even though it’s nearly 19 minutes long. Continue reading »

May 202018


If you haven’t listened to the new songs by Uada (here) and Gaerea (here), you should go do that. That’s all the attention I’ll give them here, because those tracks got plenty of attention when they debuted last week, and we’ll have some more things to say about the albums soon-ish. Today I’m going to focus on some music that could use more attention.

As you can see, I have enough music (and had enough time) to make two parts of SHADES OF BLACK this Sunday. Most of the music in the next part rips and tears, often at roughly 1000 mph (or 1609.34 kph). The music in this part is harder to sum up. Of course I’ll try, one by one, but not in a single introductory sentence.


The first item I’ve chosen is a four-song demo that has been buried a long time. The band no longer exists. It’s an example of music that in retrospect sounds ahead of its time, and sounds damned fine here in 2018, too. For reasons unknown to me, one of the members finally decided to share it after roughly 7 years. You never know, maybe some seeds are being watered, maybe something new will bloom. Maybe this post will add a few nutrients to aid the growth. But if not, this demo should still bring pleasure to more than a few ears. Continue reading »

Nov 052012

(Today we begin a series of guest posts that we’ve received in response to THIS INVITATION — an invitation that’s still open for anyone who’s interested.  We’ll be running a guest piece every day in the order received, unless the post is especially time-sensitive. We begin with a review by NCS reader (and blogger) BreadGod of the new album by Australia’s Elysian Blaze.)

Written by: BreadGod

This album has quite the history behind it. You know how Valve likes to take its sweet ass time with some of its games (*cough* Episode 3 *cough*)? Yeah, Elysian Blaze is sort of like that. Blood Geometry was completed all the way back in 2007 and was slated for release in 2008, but that was pushed back to 2009. Then 2010. Then 2011. The band’s only member, Mutatiis, is a fussy perfectionist. Just as the album was about to be released, he would see something wrong with it and go change it. He eventually stopped being so fussy and released it in 2012. To quote Gabe Newell, “Hopefully, it will have been worth the wait.”

The first thing that amazed me was the cover art (by Matt R. Martin): An Aztec pyramid sitting atop a frigid mountain under a dark, foreboding sky. Another thing that amazed me was just how massive the album was. It comes on two disks for a combined length of two hours. I start to get bored if an album lasts more than forty minutes. Those two hours better be worth it.

Right from the start, I knew the atmosphere would be top-notch. Elysian Blaze has always been known for creating a thick, dark atmosphere, and I believe it’s better on here than on all the previous albums. Since this album draws a great deal of influence from funeral doom metal, there are long stretches where the music is either played very slowly or is very minimalistic. I’ve never been a fan of funeral doom metal, but I love the solemn, almost completely quiet bits between the black metal. It builds up anticipation for when the hatred begins again. Continue reading »