Oct 102018


Working alone (or mostly so), Sina began writing and recording black metal in Iran many years ago under the name From the Vastland, indulging his love of old school Scandinavian black metal in a place where the performance of such music was banned by the government. From the beginning, he has made the culture of his homeland a part of his creations, writing lyrical themes that draw upon ancient Persian mythology and history — epic tales of battles between darkness and light, good and evil, gods and devils — and weaving touches of Persian melody into the fabric of his songs.

Life for Sina took an unexpected turn when he was contacted by the Norwegian producer of the black metal documentary Blackhearts (eventually released in 2017) and became a part of that film, which in turn led to the opportunity in 2013 to perform at the Inferno Festival in Oslo, thanks in part to the work of a foundation established by Indie Recordings aimed at supporting bands who had spread their music in defiance of governmental oppression. There he was joined for the performance by a backing band that included such luminaries as bassist Tjalve (Horizon Ablaze, ex-Den Saakaldte, ex-1349), guitarist Destructhor (Myrkskog, Zyklon, ex-Morbid Angel), and drummer Vyl (Keep of Kalessin, Gorgoroth-live). And that in turn led to the opportunity for Sina to move to Norway, which he did in 2014.

From his new home in the cradle of black metal, Sina has continued to record and to perform at both Norwegian events and international festivals. His newest album, Daevayasna, will be jointly released on October 25th by Satanath Records (Russia) and The Eastern Front (Israel) — and today we present one of the new album tracks, entitled “Agas“. Continue reading »

Oct 252016

From the Vastland-Chamrosh


(Norway-based NCS contributor Karina Noctum brings us this interview with Sina, the man behind From the Vastland, whose new album Chamrosh was released last month by Immortal Frost Productions.)

You are from Iran, but moved to Norway, tell us about how did this happen?

Yeah, true. Well, it is a long story, but to make it short I can say I had another band when I was in Iran, and back in 2007 one of my albums was released on vinyl here in Norway, and then I got an email from the producer of the documentary film Blackhearts and he told me about his project and how he discovered my band by that release, and then everything started from that point when I got the chance to come to Norway and play my show at Inferno Festival. Later in 2014 by help of the Safemuse organization I moved to Norway to continue my music works here. Continue reading »

Sep 062016

Khonsu-The Xun Protectorate


(DGR prepared this large roundup of new music streams, with one item added by the editor.)

I’ve been slowly gathering up this veritable feast of heavy metal for this roundup, basically doing my usual duty of being the last line of defense for metal news that often pops up and we didn’t catch right away for a variety of reasons. This time around, I’ve got a huge collection of six [now seven] different items, some of which I’m sure you’ve likely crossed paths with but we didn’t dedicate words to and others because they may not be in the usual NCS coverage wheelhouse. I even managed to include some serious lighter fare this time, to help brighten up the mood musically after the first two full onslaughts [now three] hit your musical listening systems.

So let’s kick this thing off with a real quick one that happened as I was writing this intro, and then dive into the meat of it and romp around in its innards for a while.



This one is going to be quick, mostly because there isn’t a huge block of heavy metal music proper — but it just happened, and I’ll be goddamned if I don’t say that I am immensely excited for this disc. Continue reading »

Feb 222016

Yliaster Photo 2


Welcome to a new edition of Shades of Black. Today I’ve collected five new songs, one new video, and a snippet from the studio for an eagerly anticipated new album. As I sometimes do with these posts, I’ve included some things that aren’t black metal in the strictest sense of the term (or at all).


Although I didn’t know it at the time, I first learned of Marcel Polit through his starring role in an excellent video for the song “Notion” by Poland’s Vesania that we premiered in December — which you can and should watch HERE. It turns out that Polit is a musician, too, and he has recorded a debut album with Dariusz ‘Daray’ Brzozowski (Vesania, Dimmu Borgir, ex-Vader). The name of this project is Yliaster, and the album is Soliloquy. Continue reading »

Sep 252014


(Andy Synn delivers another installment of his irregular series of album reviews in haiku. Two more reviews come after the jump. With music, of course.)

Time for some more of your favourite bastardised poetry, courtesy of another edition of the world-famous Reviews in Haikus!

This time around we’ve got three bands all dressed in various shades of Black (Metal) for you to enjoy…



A huge step forward

Blistered vocals, blazing riffs

Burning black magic

http://www.non-serviam-records.com Continue reading »

Sep 182014

From the Vastland began life as the one-man project of an Iranian multi-instrumentalist known as Sina, following the end of his involvement in the prolific Iranian black metal band Sorg InnkallelseFrom the Vastland’s debut album, Darkness vs Light, The Perpetual Battle, was released in 2011. That was followed by Kamarikan in 2013 (which we reviewed here), and then by a striking live performance that same year at Oslo’s Inferno Festival (reviewed here), where Sina was joined onstage by a such luminaries as Thor Anders “Destruchtor” Myhren (MyrkskogZyklonMorbid Angel) on second guitar, André “Tjalve” Kvebek (Pantheon IDen Saakaldte, Horizon Ablaze) on bass, and Vegard “Vyl” Larsen (Keep Of Kalessin) on drums.

From the Vastland has now recorded a third album — entitled Temple of Daevas — and it’s scheduled for release by Non Serviam Records on October 6, 2014. For the new album Sina again composed all the songs, performed lead vocals, and laid down the guitar tracks. He was joined in the recording by Vyl on drums, Tjalve on bass, and by Terje Olsen (ChtonKhonsu) as a guest vocalist for backing vocals.

Earlier this month we had the pleasure of premiering (here) a stream of one of the new album tracks, “Wrath of Aeshma”, and today we bring you another one: “Kamak”. Continue reading »

Sep 012014


From the Vastland began life as the one-man project of an Iranian multi-instrumentalist known as Sina, following the end of his involvement in the prolific Iranian black metal band Sorg Innkallelse. From the Vastland’s debut album, Darkness vs Light, The Perpetual Battle, was released in 2011. That was followed by Kamarikan in 2013 (which we reviewed here), and then by a striking live performance that same year at Oslo’s Inferno Festival (reviewed here), where Sina was joined onstage by a such luminaries as Thor Anders “Destruchtor” Myhren (Myrkskog, Zyklon, Morbid Angel) on second guitar, André “Tjalve” Kvebek (Pantheon I, Den Saakaldte, Horizon Ablaze) on bass, and Vegard “Vyl” Larsen (Keep Of Kalessin) on drums.

From the Vastland has now recorded a third album that we’ve been eagerly awaiting. Its title is Temple of Daevas and it’s scheduled for release by Non Serviam Records on October 6, 2014. For the new album Sina again composed all the songs, performed lead vocals, and laid down the guitar tracks. He was joined in the recording by Vyl on drums, Tjalve on bass, and by Terje Olsen (Chton, Khonsu) as a guest vocalist for backing vocals.

Today we have the pleasure of premiering a stream of one of the new album tracks: “Wrath of Aeshma”. Continue reading »

Jul 312013

(In this post Andy Synn reviews the second album, released earlier this year, by Iranian one-man project From the Vastland.)

When it comes to writing about albums from further afield – in particular those somewhat removed from the terrifying hegemony of Western imperialism (cue scary music) – there’s an occasional tendency for reviews to offer up the sort of opinions that are ultimately damning with faint praise, in the guise of being positive and supportive.

All too often I’ve seen reviewers focus on the “hardships” or “difficulties” of being a metal band from a country where the political or religious climate is far from conducive to it, to the extent that the actual quality of the musical output is considered only as a secondary factor.

Now I’m not saying that Metal should be a genre confined solely to the privileged few of the First World, but what I am saying is that excusing an album’s lack of quality because of its creators’ circumstances is akin to saying “that was good, for a girl” – condescending and ultimately unhelpful. You shouldn’t write a review if you have to lower your standards to give it a positive appraisal. It does everyone involved a disservice.

Thankfully, there’s no such issue with Kamarikan, which is a nasty little phenomenon in its own right. I just felt it was something to bear in mind for the future. Continue reading »

Apr 022013

(NCS writer Andy Synn has returned from Oslo’s Inferno Festival and brings us a multi-part report of what he saw and heard, beginning with this post. More will follow in the days to come.)

So here’s how Inferno Festival works… though the event itself is a three-day affair situated at Rockefeller/John Dee, there’s an opening day on the Wednesday featuring an array of bands performing at a series of different venues around the city.

For the first time this year I was officially accredited as “Press” for the event, meaning I was invited to the Opening Party at the Rockefeller lounge, which kicked things off just before the various bars and clubs started the evening’s festivities. I have to say that I definitely appreciated the free beer (a rather bitter, but ultimately rather nice, Norwegian brown ale called Nøgne Ø) and free food on offer, as well as the opportunity to mingle with other attendees (hello to Liz and Lewis, if you’re reading this) and stalk various band members.

The party itself also had a couple of presentations explaining and extolling the history of Inferno and its connections with the Oslo metal scene and with the Indian metal scene with which it has steadily been building a relationship. Continue reading »