Apr 122021


The Loire is the longest river in France, rising in the French Massif Central, flowing north through Nevers to Orléans, and then west through Tours and Nantes until it reaches the Bay of Biscay at the Atlantic Ocean, more than 1,000 km (roughly 625 miles) from where it began. The history of human civilization along its course is ancient, still evidenced by the presence of over a thousand châteaux along its shores, ranging in their inception from the early medieval to the late Renaissance periods.

There was a time not so long ago when the Loire was also a major channel of commerce, crowded with merchant vessels, as well as a means of transporting people across the country. Among the commercial vessels were flat-bottomed barges used to move salt and other goods as well as sand dredged from the river itself and used in construction. In time, all the economic activity and transport dwindled and decayed, and today the Loire has largely returned to a wild state, though the surrounding architectures are still reminders of long-gone eras.

In the west, on its way to Nantes, the Loire enters Bretagne (French Brittany), the home of the black metal band Hanternoz and the two people who collaborate in it — Hyvermor (Véhémence, Grylle, Régiment) and Sparda (Créatures, Cataèdes). Their newest work as Hanternoz, an album named Au Fleuve de Loire, is a tribute to the great river, one presented in many ways, “from the natural point of view of endangered species to the many drowned souls it carries, from the Industrial Era and mechanization to the medieval history, from the fishing industry (viewed from the fishes’ point of view!) to the memories of the lyricist’s childhood”.

The album will be released by Antiq Records on May 3rd. Two songs from the album have been previously revealed, and today we present a third one — “Bateliers de Loire“. Continue reading »

Mar 212021


I guess it’s usually true that I try to put a lot of variety into these Sunday columns, but today’s selections seem to be even more divergent than usual. As a result, I had a devil of a time figuring out how to arrange the tracks, and I don’t think I succeeded in creating any kind of rational flow, probably because all the songs resist that. However, I do think I succeeded in creating a whiplash effect at the end, so there’s that.

There’s only one full release to be found here. The rest are either singles or advance tracks from forthcoming records. Enjoy!

夢遊病者 (SLEEPWALKER) (Russia, Japan, U.S.)

I decided to begin with the most head-spinning track of everything you’ll find here. Although my head has been spun around before by the escapades of this multi-national avant-garde collective, they’ve really outdone themselves this time. Continue reading »

Nov 302017


The underground French label Antiq Records has recently released an hour-long concept split about legends of the Alps by three black metal bands from different countries that share that famous range — Tannöd from Germany, Rauhnåcht from Austria, and Hanternoz from France. The title is Spukgeschichten – Anciennes légendes des Alpes.

A few of these ten songs have previously been released for streaming, but today, as the album is being released digitally through Bandcamp, we have the full album stream in its entirety — preceded by a few remarks about the musical contributions of each band.


The five tracks by the Bavarian band Tannöd that begin this new split are the band’s first publicly released output, and they make for an auspicious debut. Continue reading »