Sep 052020
 

 

For me, this past work-week was much like the one before (and the one before that, and the one before that), i.e., I had to devote so much time to the fucking day job that I couldn’t keep up with the usual flood of new metal, much less pull together any new-music round-ups. This morning I spent some time trying to catch up, at least a little, and from that exercise I picked the following nine new songs and videos.

I arranged things in a particular way — beginning with something that’s rousing, then going down into sadness (verging on despair) with a block of songs that happen to include clean singing, then beginning to pull out of that mood with reminders that not not everything is horrible (and with music that’s more extreme), and then concluding with something that ought to perk you up again.

GAVRANOVI (Serbia)

Six months ago my Serbian friend Miloš pointed me to “Pjevanija prva” (“Cry of Yore”), the fantastic first song released by the Serbian band Gavranovi (a word that means “ravens”). I still know very little about the band, though now I know a bit more than I did then.

Gavranovi’s frontman is Nefas, who was the vocalist for the great black metal band The Stone for almost 20 years. A second member, Janković, who seems to be the principal instrumentalist, plays the gusle, a traditional horsehair-string instrument that dates back to the 9th century. And there are three more members, all of whom also perform vocals — Matković (who’s also credited as a guitarist), Sokolović, and Rančić. Continue reading »

Mar 012020
 

 

For this column I originally picked six tracks from forthcoming albums or EPs. I thoroughly enjoyed all these songs, and they have the added benefit of being very different from each other, with highly variable (and sometimes only tenuous) connections to the traditions of black metal (the column is called SHARES OF BLACK for a reason).

At the last minute, however, I also added one new album. I discovered it upon waking up this morning, thanks to a message from Rennie (starkweather). It was an explosive way to wake up, but man, it did wake me the fuck up. So I’m starting this column with it. I also hope I’ll have time to write a few words about some additional full-length releases I want to recommend from the blackened realms. But I have a lot on my plate at the moment, so I’m not daring enough to call this Part 1. Fingers crossed that I’ll get a companion to this column finished at some point during the coming week.

ABYSSFIRE

Yesterday, on Leap Day, the Russian death/black band Abyssfire vomited forth their blasphemous debut album, adorned with hellish artwork by Nether Temple Design. I have listened to it once, so far, and the music is completely in keeping with the album’s title: The Raging Hearts of Hell. Continue reading »