Feb 102019


Part 1 of today’s recommendations of black metal consisted of “singles” from three albums due for release later this year. In this second Part are streams of four full releases that surfaced in the last week. For reasons explained in Part 1, my words will be hurried, but the music here is so good that I hope, in your listening, you won’t be as rushed as I am in my writing.


Sahar, the third album by this Serbian band (whose name roughly translates as “ominous”), and the first since it expanded from the solo project of Agnarion into a full line-up, is an interesting and very effective interweaving of stylistic ingredients, made with a blazing loom. Continue reading »

Aug 062018


Destroy Your Fucking Life. Our Dawn Is the End. There Is No Hope. Supreme Misanthropic Darkness. And now Hail the Coming End.

Those are the titles of the releases so far by the Texas band Endless Disease, the last of which is out today. The titles alone, not to mention the band’s name, proclaim a world-view steeped in bleakness and boiling with disgust. If there is any hope here, it seems to be the hope that the pestilence of human existence will be extinguished sooner rather than later… and not one tear will be shed by this band when that day arrives. And therein lies a paradox about the music — because the music is electrifyingly alive, like a fight that will rage to the bitter end. Continue reading »

May 012017


This is the second part of a large post I began yesterday (here). It reflects why I chose SHADES OF BLACK as the name for this series many years ago, in that all of the music has connections to the traditions of black metal, but those connections vary, sometimes significantly.

Two of the songs in this post come from forthcoming albums, and one is a stand-alone single, but I picked all the rest from recent albums or EPs. Lacking the time to review most of those full releases, I thought it better (with one exception) to confine myself to specific songs rather than neglect the releases altogether. But they’re all good, and you’ll be able to stream them in their entirety if you like what you hear.


The sixth album by the formidable Greek black metal coven Acherontas is named Amarta अमर्त (Formulas of Reptilian Unification Part II), and thereby draws a connection to the band’s last album, 2015’s Ma​-​IoN (Formulas of Reptilian Unification). It includes participation by Naas Alcameth (Nightbringer, Akhlys, Bestia Arcana) (synths) and Indra (Naer Mataron) (additional guitars). The cover art was created by Karl NE/Nachzehrer (Ex-Nastrond/Shibalba), and W.T.C. Productions plans to release it on Walpurgis Night (May 31st). Continue reading »