Nov 162019


It was another one of those weeks when I didn’t have enough time for a round-up of new music. I started working on the one you’re about to read last Tuesday, hoping to post it on Wednesday, which of course I didn’t, and Thursday and Friday were failures, too. Since I began working on it, many other worthy new songs have debuted, but rather than spend time assessing those and revising/expanding this round-up, I’m just leaving it as originally conceived.


The digital version of Enslaved’s most recent album, 2017’s E, included a bonus track, which wasn’t part of the promo we received in advance of the album’s release, or on the vinyl edition. Looks like the bonus song was also included on most of the CD editions of the record. I never heard it until last Tuesday, when it became the subject of a video that Nuclear Blast released as a way of celebrating Enslaved’s re-signing with that label for whatever they do next. Now I can’t get this song out of my head. Continue reading »

Apr 282016

Cirith Gorgor-Visions of Exalted Lucifer


Last Saturday I explained that because of a serious brain injury to a close friend and colleague, I wouldn’t be able to write much for the site this week other than introductions of premieres I had agreed to host, and that has proven true. When not working at my fucking day job, I’ve been with her and her family in the ICU. That’s not likely to change in the coming days. My friend is showing signs of progress, and it seems likely that she will wake up soon, perhaps today or tomorrow. And then we will begin to find out how the injury has affected her mental and physical functioning. I’m optimistic, and terrified.

Though my routine this week hasn’t been anything close to normal, I have discovered a few excellent new songs and videos, thanks to recommendations from friends, and I thought I would collect them here. I’m grateful for the supportive comments I’ve received from readers, and for all the posts I’ve received from our regular writers and guests this week to keep this train rolling on down the line.


Visions of Exalted Lucifer is the name of the new album by the Dutch black metal band Cirith Gorgor, who began worshipping the Devil through their music back in the mid-’90s. This is the band’s sixth studio album and their first since 2011 (in the intervening years, the band’s line-up has changed). It was released by Hammerheart Records in February. Not long ago Hammerheart and the band released a lyric video for the song “A Vision of Exalted Lucifer”. Continue reading »

Apr 192016

Grey Heaven Fall-Black Wisdom


I’m sure no one’s counting (including me), but I don’t manage to write many stand-alone album reviews in a given year. In the time I have available to devote to this site, I spend most of it doing other things. I listen to many forthcoming albums that I like a great deal, and yet never manage to say anything about (many more I never manage to hear at all). And once an album is released, if I haven’t already written about it, I tend to ruefully shake my head at myself and move on down the road to new things looming on the horizon ahead.

This is a very rare occasion when I’m not doing that. Grey Heaven Fall’s Black Wisdom was released last October by the small Russian label Aesthetics of Devastation. I received an advance digital copy, and then in December the label sent me a CD. I thought the album was an amazing accomplishment, one of the best I heard in 2015, yet I still didn’t manage to write about it. And that would have been that, except this label is persistent, and they contacted me again recently. Sometimes that kind of persistence can be aggravating. In this case, it made me think again about what a tremendously creative and powerful album Black Wisdom is, and I convinced myself that even now, almost six months after the release, I owed it to the band to say so.

Trying to describe the multifaceted music or explain its unusual appeal is difficult, especially for someone like me who’s still a rank amateur when it comes to writing about music. But I’m going to try, comforted by the knowledge that at the end of this effort I can embed a full stream of the music and let it speak for itself. Continue reading »

Aug 312014


Yes, I’m feeling much better today, thank you for asking. My day-long hangover yesterday was so catastrophic that I couldn’t bring myself to listen to any metal at all — so you know it was a really bad one.  Having finally recovered overnight, I decided to do some catching up on this Sunday morning. In thinking about what music to package in this post from what I heard, I decided to make it a globe-trotting musical tour of the underground. It’s all death metal until the final two songs.


Sullen are a fairly new band from beautiful Isla Margarita in Venezuela whom I discovered after the band’s guitarist e-mailed us yesterday. They’ve recorded a four-song EP released earlier this month named Parasite In Agony, which includes a creepy intro, two original songs, and a cover of Venom’s “Resurrection”.

It’s a strong offering of tyrannical death metal that’s both thoroughly malignant and quite memorable. The songs are loaded with big, sour, earth-moving riffs, fine (and surprisingly soulful) guitar solos, viciously pugilistic percussion, and pleasingly throaty, blood-gargling vocals. I thoroughly really enjoyed this stomping, jagged-edged, skull-fracturing EP. It’s well-written, well-performed, and well-produced. Listen below. Continue reading »