Apr 192017


Earlier this month I listened to the first advance track from Loyal To the Nightsky, the debut album by a Los Angeles-based black metal band named Highland, in part because this new album features cover art by one of my favorites, Luciana Nedelea. It turned out that the first single, “Abu Sindi“, was strikingly good. And now we have the good fortune to share with you a second song from this very promising album, “Towards the Absolute“, in advance of the album’s release on May 15th.

Highland is a trio of Armenian-Americans — Narek, Gevork, and Michael — who first began performing together in a speed/thrash metal band named Raze. But as time passed they turned their talents in a different direction, building upon the antecedents of Scandinavian black metal from the ’90s, with a self-titled EP in 2013 as their first work in this direction. They’ve performed with the likes of Absu, Vader, Bölzer, and Marduk, but I suspect this new album is going to elevate their profile even more substantially. Continue reading »

Apr 052017


I wrote this post yesterday afternoon. At that point it included two new EPs, two tracks from recently released albums, and one song from a forthcoming release. I picked those items in part because the collection provides diversity of extremity, and also (of course) because I really like all of it.

However, since I finished writing this I discovered more music I thought was worth your time. So there will be a Part 2 tomorrow.


Seattle’s Bréag Naofa (pronounced Bray-G Nay-Fuh) explain that they took their name from an old Irish Gaelic phrase that means “holy lie”, reflecting the members’ shared conviction that “religion still poisons every aspect of the human experience”. They haven’t been prolific, until now releasing only one album (self-titled, in 2012) and two splits (in 2013 and 2014), but they’re in the process of expanding their recorded output significantly. Continue reading »