Jun 132023

In part, this roundup of new songs and videos (plus a recent EP and two complete new albums) is an effort to make up in part for the absence of Shades of Black two days ago, when an unexpected intervention by my fucking day job de-railed my plans. So, there’s blackened metal here, but not exclusively so. I do think that despite the considerable stylistic variation within the collection, it’s all mind-bending in different ways.


The last time I mentioned the news of Blut Aus Nord‘s new album Disharmonium – Nahab I had artwork to share, but no music. Now I have music, but wouldn’t have had it for a Shades of Black column two days ago because the song was just released over the last 24 hours. Continue reading »

Jul 132018


This is obviously a big end-of-week round-up. Today the size of the round-up will be in inverse proportion to the volume of words in my descriptions of the music, because I have three premieres to write and there would have been more except I exercised some rare restraint and started saying No.

What is it about this day that makes it so popular for premieres and releases? Could it be that there is only one other Friday in 2018 like it (and that one occurred three months ago)?

I arranged the music in alphabetical order by band name because I couldn’t think of a more logical way to stitch these sounds together.


This time Bonehunter chose to keep the rampaging bear’s penis less prominent on the magnificent cover of their new album (rendered by Joe Petagno), to the disappointment of some and the relief of others (as long as they don’t look to closely at that tongue). But how does the music on Children of the Atom compare to the tunes on this Finnish band’s more prominently erect last record, Sexual Panic Human Machine? Continue reading »

Jun 022016

Wombbath at MDF-photo by Bryan Zakala

Wombbath at MDF – photo by Bryan Zakala


When I started this recap of Maryland Deathfest XIV a couple of days ago (here), I explained that I didn’t intend to report on the festival day-by-day, as I’ve done in previous years, but instead decided to focus on the best performances I saw, grouped into four loosely defined categories. In that introductory post, I only wrote about one band (Dragged Into Sunlight), because their set was the best one I saw at this year’s edition of MDF.

DIS happens to be in one of those four categories, but I’m going to leave that one for another day. Today I want to focus on one of the others, which I’m labeling Swedish (and Dutch) Death Metal Supremacy.

But first I want to publicly thank these four dudes: Continue reading »

Feb 042016

Gorod-A Maze of Recycled Creeds


Yes, we are now into February and this list isn’t finished yet. I suppose I really ought to give serious thought to wrapping it up, but I have sooo many more attractive candidates still sitting in front of me. Maybe this weekend I can force myself to assemble the final tracks and reach a conclusion next week.  If you have any strength and willpower that I could rent for cheap, let me know.  I promise I’ll give ’em back on Monday.


In his review of Gorod’s latest album, Andy Synn declared that “A Maze of Recycled Creeds is right up there with the best the band have produced… and it brings that memorable weirdness factor back into the band’s music with gusto,” helping “to give the album a brash and bold sense of character that makes it stand out from the crowd.” I certainly concur. I can also see the sense in the words Andy chose when he characterized the song I’ve chosen for this list as a “sexy jazz-prog shimmy” with “nimble, furiously funkified Tech-Death riff work”. Continue reading »

Sep 182015



(Leperkahn reviews the new album by Horrendous.)

Unlike a lot of the metal community, I didn’t come to Anareta as a particularly rabid fan of Horrendous – I had heard plenty of praise for its predecessor, Ecdysis, but I hadn’t gotten around to playing the CD copy I got on sale from 20 Buck Spin earlier this summer. Thus, I came to Anareta with an open mind. And let me say, HOT DIGGITY DAMN, this might be the best thing I’ve heard all year. These guys harken back to the time when death metal was just starting to flex its wings and go in new, progressive, melodic directions, evoking Death’s Human and At the Gates, pre-Slaughter of the Soul.

It starts much as Ecdysis did, with a slow section of doomy guitars that seem very free-form – yet this opening section of “The Nihilist” serves an important purpose, as it’s a welcome palette cleanser, a built-in intro before the band launches into the main riff. That main riff, or rather the sequence of two riffs the band alternate between after the intro, are easily the best opening-song riffs I’ve heard all year – one listen to their one-two punch will convince you that “The Nihilist” was destined to be an opener, and a hell of an opener at that. I can’t help but want to start running around like a methed-out maniac in the middle of my suburban cul-de-sac. Continue reading »

Aug 262015

Aevangelist-Enthrall To The Void Of Bliss


I haven’t been able to pull together a round-up of news and new music in five days, and you know what that means: I’ve got a backlog that’s so big I’ll never catch up. But instead of just uttering a big sigh and looking ahead instead of behind, I decided I should at least pick some of what interested me out of the last five days’ discoveries (in the hope that they will interest you, too).

The entries in this first part of a two-part post are almost all news items — and they include a ton of great cover art — but since this feature is called Seen and HEARD, I’ve tacked on one new song at the end that you can stream right here. Part 2 will be all music.


This interests me greatly: Through 20 Buck Spin, Ævangelist will release their fourth album on October 9 in the U.S. and October 23 in Europe. A vinyl edition is projected for December. The name of the album is Enthrall To the Void of Bliss. I have to find out who created the cover art, because it’s very good. (UPDATE: I’ve learned that the wonderful art was created by Stephen Wilson [FB page here], and more of his work will appear in the digipak of this album.) Continue reading »

Aug 092014

Happy Saturday. I’m still deep in the heart of Texas with a very unpredictable schedule. Yesterday I didn’t have time to do much listening or any writing, and I’m not sure what I’ll be able to accomplish before flying back to Seattle tomorrow night. But at least I had some time this morning to check out a handful of songs I wanted to hear, and I’ve collected three new ones in this post that I’ve really been digging.


One upon a time our guest writer Kaptain Carbon wrote this about The Chills — the 2012 debut album by the East Coast trio known as Horrendous:

Horrendous unceremoniously slide into the above-average tier with a knockout death metal record that presents the style with no additives, preservatives, or frilly flavor. This is raw and completely un-distilled death metal extracted from the amber peaks of death metal mountain. Horrendous is the Icelandic yogurt of death metal. What a goddamn weird metaphor. That shit is so expensive. Why does this taste like grass and goats?”

As good as The Chills was, the band’s new album is even better and more multi-faceted. Its name is Ecdysis and it’s scheduled for an October 14 release by Dark Descent. And wow, is that album art fantastic, or what? It was painted by Brian Smith (whose FB page is here). Yesterday, along with the unveiling of the cover, Decibel premiered a song from the album named “Nepenthe”. It’s fantastic, too. Continue reading »

Mar 172014

(Our long-standing supporter and guest writer Black Shuck turns in this report on the inaugural Blood of the Wolf Fest, which took place in Lexington, Kentucky, on Feb 22, 2014. All photos are by AnnSydney Taylor.)

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of experiencing the dark, mysterious ritual known as the Blood of the Wolf Fest. What’s that, you haven’t heard of it? That’s because this was the first one to ever take place. I’d be very suspicious if you had. (For any reader who had heard about it, take your scrying pool and begone, wizard. We’ll hold no truck with your starry-hatted nonsense here.)

This festival was the brainchild of those Kentuckian warriors of chaos, Tombstalker. Primarily organized by vocalist/guitarist Anton Escobar and bassist Chuck McIntyre, the lineup featured several bands from a group known as the Wolven Brotherhood. The Brotherhood was founded several years ago by Tombstalker and Dawn of Wolves (now Valdrin), when they released their split Cemetery Wolven Ritual (are you sensing a theme here?). The Brotherhood has now expanded to include many other bands from across the country. Presumably their collective subject material has also expanded to cover things that are not wolves, although I hold out hope that I will have a place there once my one-man black metal band, Death to the Three Little Pigs, gets off the ground.

Anyways, on with the fest. Note: All of the excellent photographs that appear here were taken by one AnnSydney Taylor. The festival poster and banner were designed by Lucas Ruggieri. Continue reading »

Nov 162012

(Guest contributor Kaptain Carbon is getting a head start on year-end listmania with a most amusing review of albums he missed earlier in the year. Despite the fact that I laughed out loud on numerous occasions, I haven’t forgotten that the Kaptain owes me a Russian Nesting Doll. Some things you don’t forget.)

Well, I am now a guest in another person’s house. I should take my shoes off and pretend I eat with my pants on. No Clean Singing put out a call for entries and usually I would be hosting board game night in my basement over at Tape Wyrm but now I am here. What a lovely house you have. I really love your collection of Russian Nesting Dolls. Oh dear, I think this one may be broken. I’ll set it down right here.

2012 is almost done and we will soon all be judged before the great cosmic eye. Before our fate is weighed on the gilded scales at an altar of ivory and blood, we all have to go through our end of the year lists. Yes, before the inevitable reckoning, where December is consumed in an omnipresence hellfire, we have to make our top 10s of 2012. Now, we all know it will probably go to the new Marilyn Manson record, but there is also the matter of the stacks of records which now make a castle on your coffee table. Look at this mess. Look at all of this stuff you said you were going to listen to but never did. You are a horrible human. I found this Abigail Williams record in the vegetable crisper.

I recently went through my library and pulled out all of the 2012 records I meant to review but never got around to doing so because I am a terrible metal-hating human being who secretly loves everything which you hate. I just want to make sure I did not miss anything, so I am going to go through this pile of laundry and rifle through its contents before throwing it back on the ground. Sure, things will still be messy, but there was production involved.

It is time to revisit the forgotten, at least by me, and the never-heard of 2012. Sure, No Clean Singing is giving me a wonderful opportunity to share some of my work with you, but let’s be honest, I woke up late and I am doing my homework while running to class. Thank you No Clean Singing for this opportunity and fuck you, you motherfucking stupid cocksucking alarm WHERE ARE MY KEYS? Continue reading »