Oct 052021


“Genre-bending” and “genre defying” are overworked phrases, and often misused in ways that exaggerate the extent to which bands bring differing genre ingredients into play. But those phrases are absolutely on-point in considering the wondrous music of the Swedish band Gold Spire.

The tale of the band points the way to the tales of the songs on their self-titled debut album, which will be released by Chaos Records on November 5th. Gold Spire was formed in 2019 in Uppsala by the brothers Erik and Påhl Sundström following the demise of Påhl‘s former band Usurpress. Functioning as co-producer and session drummer for Usurpress, Erik worked closely with Påhl on what came to be that band’s last album, 2018’s Interregnum.

We’re told that the ideas which were created during these sessions, together with the general focus on storytelling rather than genre considerations, formed the basis on which Gold Spire was born. And in keeping with those ideas, the brothers then enlisted musicians outside of the traditional metal spectrum: jazz saxophonist extraordinaire Magnus Kjellstrand and progressive rock bassist Petter Broman. They completed the circle by bringing in veteran death metal vocalist Heval Bozarslan (Sarcasm, Third Storm). Continue reading »

Sep 122021


Yesterday a combination of factors prevented me from posting the usual Saturday round-up of new songs and videos that appeared during the week. I did spend a big block of time surveying the field and making selections, but by the time I finished doing that it was mid-day and I decided to fuck off instead of beginning to write.

It has become clear to me that I can’t do the usual writing today either, if I’m to have any hope of preparing a SHADES OF BLACK post today. So I’m resorting to the format of just throwing all this stuff at you without artwork, or most of the usual links, or my usual commentary, just a few scattered notes.

But trust me, I did exercise some judgment about what I thought was worth sharing. It’s just that I thought A LOT was worth sharing — 16 songs and videos, to be precise. I alphabetized the collection by band name and then divided it into two parts.

ANOMALIE (Austria)

This is a very welcome return after a four-year hiatus between albums. The new full-length features Nornagest of Belgium’s Enthroned on harsh vocals. The new album, Tranceformation, is coming on November 5th from AOP Records. Continue reading »