Oct 122020


On October 23rd Les Acteurs de L’Ombre Productions will release the second album by the French melodic black metal band Griffon. Its title is ὸ θεός ὸ βασιλεύς (o Theos, o Basileus — the god, the king).

As the title suggests, the album thematically addresses the relationship between spiritual and temporal power over the span of millennia, when at times monarchs and religious peoples and institutions fought, cooperated, and sometimes claimed the power of the other as their own. Lyrically, the album begins with the conversion of Saul on the road to Damascus and ends with a different kind of claimed union with the divine — the apotheosis of Roman emperors into godhood by the vote of the Senate.

In between those opening and closing tracks the songs use different languages and musical paths to explore episodes in the album’s historical narrative arc. Today we present one of those tracks, “Les plaies du trône” (the plagues of the throne), a song co-written by Griffon with Tedd from the French band Wyrms. Continue reading »

Apr 212019


As you can see, the game plan for this Sunday is to throw more than one installment of this column at you. I’m sticking my neck out because I haven’t started writing Part 2, and will be racing to get it done before I run out of time. In my head, I actually have a line-up for a Part 3 because I’ve found so much black metal over the last week or two that I’d like to recommend, but the odds of getting that done are really intimidating.

For Part 1 I picked advance tracks from forthcoming albums, and one single that will surprise you. For Part 2 I picked some recent full releases.


We begin with music by a new group composed of known names — Swedish veteran Swartadaupuz of Bekëth Nexëhmü plus Chaos Moon members Alex Poole and Jack and Steven Blackburn, joined by vocalist Glömd. A song from their debut album named “Of Crimson Eyes” debuted in February, and the album’s title track — “Slit Throat Requiem” — surfaced more recently. Continue reading »