Jul 122020
 

 

Having caught up on a lot of lost sleep overnight, I’m getting a very late start today. Given the lateness of the hour, I’ve made today’s selections from among a short list of things I’ve listened to most recently instead of digging deeper into my ever-burgeoning list of black and blackish releases. A lot of promising new albums are missing from this group (including just-released records by Barghest (Louisiana), Urnscent (Iran), and Moribund Mantras (Germany), to name just a few, because I haven’t had time to completely make my way through them.

KHTHONIIK CERVIIKS

In early May (here) I tried to find the words to describe the first advance track from Æequiizoiikum, the new album by Khthoniik Cerviiks, and ultimately just threw up my hands and called it “a supernova-level musical spectacle, one that’s ingenious in its conception and eye-popping in its technical execution”. Now there’s a second track from the album out in the world, so it’s time to wrestle with words again. Continue reading »

Aug 192018
 

 

This weekend I had the time to double the size of the usual Sunday SHADES OF BLACK column. And while I recognize the risks of recommending more music than you’ll have time to check out, I do hope you’ll explore the excellent selections I included in Part 1, as well as what I’ve picked for Part 2. As in the earlier installment, I’ve again included two full recent releases and advance samples of music from two others that are set for release this fall.

ULTHA

I somehow missed the original 2015 release of the debut album (Pain Cleanses Every Doubt) by this enormously talented German band, but rectified the oversight when the album was reissued by Translation Loss in April 2016, helping to spread the word through an interview of the band and a stream of one of the songs from that fine debut. And since then I’ve been following their activities closely, writing about their 2016 EP, Dismal Ruins; their 2016 split with Morast (a tribute to Bathory); their 2017 live recording, Woe Over Roadburn; their 2017 split with Paramnesia; and their 2018 EP Dismal Ruins Pt II. Meanwhile, Andy Synn reviewed their 2016 album Converging Sins.

In other words, as prolific as Ultha have been, we’ve devoted attention to everything they’ve done so far. Why stop now? Continue reading »

Jul 052018
 

 

Sometimes when you have no plan, the plan makes itself. A guiding hand intervenes, or if you’re not superstitious, you nod your head at the pleasures of serendipity and synchronicity.

I didn’t plan to make this post, but in searching for new music I happened, by a fortunate chance, to listen to the music in this post in the exact same order as I’m presenting it here. And it all seemed to fit together in a way that spawned the title of this post.

PLOUGHSHARE

Literature of Piss was the 2017 debut EP of this band from Canberra, Australia. In Offal, Salvation is the band’s 2018 debut album. “The Urinary Chalice Held Aloft” is the name of one of the tracks on the album. Perhaps you begin to get a sense of the band’s worldview. Continue reading »