Jul 192023

In March of this year Trepanation Recordings, Fiadh Productions, and Vita Detestabilis Records released Satan Death Whale, an experimental three-track album by the two members of the French band Non Serviam working through their side project Hiverlucide. It was recorded in live conditions and was described at the time as “their first attempt at mesmerizing through whale chants”:

“Lacking melody, and (de)generating a profoundly misanthropic atmosphere inhabitable for humans by exploring the tritone, with drone apparitions, unidentifiable organic human and animal sounds, electric guitars, and layers and layers of decadence.”

It was further suggested that fans of Sunn O))) and Tangerine Dream might find it especially appealing.

We described the album (at least in part) as an “immersive experience” but in many ways also an “unnerving one” which created manifold juxtapositions: “something like celestial choirs high above, and an immense undulating drone of subterranean depth; shrill piercing cacophonies redolent of pain and madness, moaning chords, and mutated organ-like tones that seem to ring in lunatic glory beneath the vault of an abandoned gothic cathedral; whirlpools of screaming agony bounded by the crushing of rock and the mangling of iron. A hallucinatory sonic nightmare of destruction and despair, it roils the mind and puts the teeth on edge, and to become lost in it is almost inescapable”.

Hiverlucide did not end their harrowing experiment with Satan Death Whale. They created a follow-up improvisational experience, again creating it under live conditions but this time doing it in front of an audience in their first public performance. They named this 22 1/2 minute sequel “For the Abyss“, and today we present it to you in full along with a video of the performance. Continue reading »

Jan 082023


I didn’t put together the usual Saturday roundup of new songs and videos yesterday. Partly this was because I got a late start on the day, but also because I wanted to spend more time figuring out what to include in the rollout of our 2022 Most Infectious Song list. I made good progress there, with enough choices to fill segments every day during the coming week. I think they’ll provide more reminders of what a great year for metal 2022 was.

But now on to the task at hand. The collection I assembled for today explains why I chose the name “Shades of Black” for this column too many years ago for me to remember, because most of these songs hover just on the outskirts of the black metal soundscape. They wouldn’t sound the way they do without that influence, but they’re built around other significant interests too. However, I’ve balanced those with a pair of songs near the middle that dive deep back into black metal traditions of yesteryear.

This collection is also more like the kind of “Seen and Heard” roundups that I failed to do yesterday, in that all the songs are advance tracks from forthcoming albums rather than complete new releases (even though one of those advance tracks is 20 minutes long). And I think you’ll find all the songs quite infectious — until you get to the closing pair. Continue reading »