Jun 052022

Photo by Liana Rakijian

I picked the music of six bands for today’s foray into blackened realms, four of them whose previous releases I enjoyed and two of them new discoveries.

The first four selections below are advance tracks from forthcoming releases. The last two are complete streams of records that were released just two days ago. Those latter two sunk their fangs into me, and I decided to feature them here while the venom was fresh even though I haven’t had the time to fashion thorough reviews.


Early last year I had the pleasure of premiering and reviewing Hulder‘s debut album, Godslastering Hymns of a Forlorn Peasantry. Mine were not the only eyes opened wide by that very impressive first strike. It’s fair to say that it launched a wave of attention and popularity that Hulder has been riding ever since, both on-stage and off.

But Hulder‘s solo creator hasn’t been content to just let that wave carry her for as long as it might have. Instead, she has recorded a new EP named The Eternal Fanfare and moved from Iron Bonehead Productions to 20 Buck Spin, which will release it on July 1st. The new EP convincingly shows that Godslastering Hymns… wasn’t a flash in the pan. Continue reading »

Jan 202021


Hulder’s debut album Godslastering Hymns of a Forlorn Peasantry is a transportive experience. To be sure, it’s loaded with contagious riffs and head-moving rhythms, but it’s greatest success is in spurring the listener’s imagination, spiriting it away to settings that are far away from the mundane world. Many of those settings are the stuff of nightmares. Others are beguiling and bedazzling, but even then are beset by menace.

In your mind you may walk the halls of ancient castles inhabited by hellish princes and hostile wraiths, or wander through haunting midnight forests under a crescent moon. Your blood may be chilled by the emergence of vampiric creatures from an unsettling gloom, or quickened by the whirl of dancing — witnessing both peasants cavorting ’round a roaring blaze in a freeing moment, and minuets in imperious ballrooms long lost to the ages. But none of it seems real, and almost all of it feels sinister and perilous.

The combination of all these sensations makes the record electrifying, and one there’s no temptation to leave after you get into it. It’s thus with great pleasure that we present a full stream of it in advance of its January 22nd release by Iron Bonehead Productions. Continue reading »