Jan 292019


Unlike some people I know, I have zero problem with current bands slavishly devoting themselves to the sounds of black metal from the early-mid ’90s, as long as they’ve got the talent to express their devotion in credibly cold and grippingly hostile fashion.

But it so happens that the black metal songs I’ve added to the list today (which are among my favorites of the last year) aren’t of the slavishly old-school variety, yet no one would accuse any of the bands of being new-school posers either, with merely a trim-picked riff or two as the basis for claims of “blackened” sound. The albums in which these tracks appeared were also uniformly excellent.


Unbound was the creation of an (almost) entirely new incarnation of Sargeist, with only mainman Shatraug remaining from the line-up which gave us such gems as Disciples of the Heinous Path and Let The Devil In, but it too turned out to be brilliant. Given that the new line-up included a guitarist from Nightbringer, a bassist who dwells within the Saturnian Mist, and two members who provide bass and vocals for Desolate Shrine, all of whom (along with Shatraug) stand out in the sharpened production of this record, that should have come as no surprise. Continue reading »

May 112018


If you’re looking for titanically heavy music, the kind that will loosen your teeth and vibrate your spinal fluid, you’ve come to the right place. If you’re looking for music that glimmers and shimmers like the northern lights, you’ve also come to the right place. If you want the sounds of tension and pain, lead-weighted gloom and feverish desperation, mechanized warfare and sunrise grandeur, you’ll find that here as well — plus a steady dose of what makes people compulsively bob their heads.

Even if all you know about Hegemone’s new album, We Disappear, is what you just read, you can already tell that they’re devoted to creating contrasts on multiple levels, sometimes by separating and juxtaposing the differences, and often by layering them together. The music surges and subsides, seems to crack the earth and heat the blood to a feverish boil, and spirits the listener away to heights of of perilous and panoramic wonder. Continue reading »

Mar 282018


There’s such a potent rhythmic drive to this song, like a big powerful engine with pistons hammering, and all that robust torque propelling a heavy machine forward in a way that elevates the pulse rate. We’re the passengers, carried along but also wanting to move our heads like pistons too, locked in to the movements of this gear-shifting juggernaut as it eats up the pavement.

As you’ll discover, that’s only one aspect of the song we’re helping to premiere today, but it’s an aspect with a primal, charismatic attraction. It’s a testament to the imagination of the Polish band Hegemone that what they’ve built around such a muscular musical drivetrain is equally seductive.

The song is “Π“, and it comes from the band’s new album We Disaappear, which will be released on May 11th by Debemur Morti Productions. Continue reading »