Aug 312019
 

 

We have a rare Saturday premiere, for a rare album, with a few words of introduction (okay, more than a few).

Building on the strength of three fine previous releases the Ukrainian atmospheric black metal band Ezkaton has completed a fourth one, a new album named Sheen and Misery. That’s what we’re presenting today through a stream of its 12 songs before the September 2nd release by Ashen Dominion. The title of the album itself reveals a great deal about the music, as does the record’s conceptual premise. Continue reading »

Aug 182019
 

 

Having chosen to devote so much time to posts about new death metal this weekend I haven’t been able to focus as carefully as I’d like on this week’s SHADES OF BLACK column. If the writing seems more hurried than usual, that’s why. But I didn’t make the selections hurriedly. I’m quite convinced they’re worth your time. Whether you’ll be convinced, only time will tell.

By the way, though I doubt very many people actually noticed, last week I promised a second installment of the column, in a format that I haven’t used very often — and then wasn’t able to follow through. I thought about following through today, with the same bands I’d chosen to use in the un-realized second installment of last week’s column, but haven’t done that after all. Maybe later this week. Only one of the releases I’d chosen last week has made it into this post — and it’s the first one:

NOCTURNAL DEPARTURE

Cathartic Black Rituals, released by Les Fleurs du Mal Productions on August 7th, is the debut album by a trio from Winnipeg, Manitoba, who’ve taken the name Nocturnal Departure. The album stream premiered at CVLT Nation, accompanied by a brief but enthusiastic introduction. My own introduction will also be (regrettably) brief, and enthusiastic. Continue reading »

Oct 282018
 

 

I’m in the midst of a 4-day vacation in Las Vegas with my spouse and her sister and sister’s husband. Blogging has not been on the menu of activities. Getting more than about 4 hours of sleep a night hasn’t been on the menu either.

I did manage to extricate myself from one outing this morning, but spent an hour on the phone with internet support trying to get good enough wi-fi in the hotel room to stream music. Long story short: my time alone is now about to run out, and so this edition of SHADES OF BLACK is going to be shorter than usual.

EZKATON

In April of this year I came across a spellbinder of a song from the debut album of this Ukrainian black metal band, and quickly showered it with praise. Later, I discovered that the album as a whole (Plague for the Empires: Time) was also really powerful. And now Ezkaton will soon be releasing a new EP. Continue reading »

Apr 292018
 

 

This being a Sunday, you might have been expecting a SHADES OF BLACK post — and there will be one later today — but I wanted to recommend some other new discoveries first. The music in this collection is more genre-scattered than the format of SOB would allow, but I have included an excellent new black metal track at the end, sort of as a segue from this post to the next one.

By the way, I decided not to include the new tracks that appeared last week from At the Gates, Marduk, Skeletonwitch, and The Agony Scene, despite the urgings of some of my NCS comrades, mainly because I wanted to go more under-the-radar (and also because I had mixed feelings about a couple of those tracks). But if you missed them, the hyperlinks will take you right there.

CONSTRUCT OF LETHE

I would have listened to the new Construct of Lethe song eventually, even without seeing the headline for Toilet Ov Hell’s premiere, because I have very good memories of their 2016 EP, The Grand Machination, for which we ourselves premiered two songs. But I got to the new song faster after seeing this headline, though I did allow enough time to enjoy the entire ToV article first: “CONSTRUCT OF LETHE BRING RIFFS SO THICC THEY’LL CLOT YER DICK“. Continue reading »