Apr 032019


I remember being left in a state of gleeful astonishment when I first heard the music of The Pogues. There they were, playing raucous punk music with old acoustic instruments, with tin whistle and accordion, with mandolin and hurdy-gurdy, with banjo and bodhrán. They caught the spirit of punk and made it seem like a natural outgrowth of Celtic drinking songs and folk dances.

The music of Grylle leaves me in a similar state of gleeful wonder, translating the spirit (and some of the sounds) of black metal through ancient instrumentation and the enthralling accents of antique melody. The music and the inspirations may have been born within that most “outsider” of extreme metal genres, but Grylle has then stepped outside of even that, while keeping one foot in the black circle. Continue reading »

Mar 112019


There might be one or two people out there who landed on the second part of yesterday’s SHADES OF BLACK column within the first 60 seconds after I posted it, before I realized I’d forgotten to delete links to the music of two more bands I had intended to include in that segment. I ran out of time yesterday before I could write about those other two releases, but I’ve decided to go ahead and do that now, on this Monday morning.

And, because most of you probably don’t live by black metal alone, or at all, I’ve added a couple of other things I’ve been meaning to recommend from other genres. But before we get to all that, I couldn’t resist beginning this round-up with something I discovered at the last minute. Perhaps you’ll understand my impulsiveness once you’ve heard it.


Fans of medieval black metal (of which I’m one) have a lot to be thankful for this year, though we haven’t even reached springtime yet. February brought us Par le Sang Versé by the French band Véhémence, which I described in my review and premiere as “one of the most thoroughly entrancing and gloriously vibrant metal albums I’ve heard in years”, and in May Debemur Morti Productions will release an exceptional new album by Sühnopfer (if you pay attention to us this week, you might get to hear something from it). And in April the same label that released Par le Sang Versé (Antiq Records) will bring us a new album by Grylle. Continue reading »