Nov 152020
 

 

I’m not quite sure what got into me when I began focusing on what to cover in today’s edition of this column. Let’s just say that most of it is off the usual beaten paths. It’s also slightly more compact than what I usually manage, but that’s because I put a lot of time into another column today, which itself includes black metal. Check that one out here if you haven’t yet.

BEHERIT

Two days ago Beherit made a surprise album release — at least it came as a surprise to me, the first new music in 8 years. Bardo Exist is a massive thing, a 37-minute first half consisting of 11 songs and a second half that’s the 23-minute title track. I probably shouldn’t be writing anything about it because I’ve only listened to it once, but I know myself: If I don’t jump on something quickly, I get carried away to other things by the flood-tide of new releases. So here are some immediate reactions: Continue reading »

Sep 192018
 

 

When I first encountered the music of the French black metal band Hyrgal through their 2017 album, Serpentine, I was left stunned by its union of stupefying violence and mystical sorcery, shaken by its immensely powerful and dense cyclones of sound, moved by its dark, tormented melodies, and chilled by its haunted moods and apocalyptically grand vistas. And now Hyrgal are returning with new music through a very special split release with two other French bands, Bâ’a and Verfallen, who have proven through this split that they are formidable forces in their own right.

This new album-length split (more than 53 minutes in length) will be released on October 12th by the respected Les Acteurs de L’Ombre Productions. It includes two tracks by each of the three bands, and we present the first of Hyrgal’s two tracks today, a composition called “Césure“. Continue reading »

Oct 012017
 

 

One thing led to another. I knew I wanted to start this SHADES OF BLACK post with the Summoning news, and then as I made my way through my seemingly endless list of new or newly discovered black metal, the thoughts of that band influenced the other choices. I don’t mean to suggest that any of the other four bands in this collection sound quite like Summoning, but they do all create visions in the mind that don’t seem real, invoking either vistas of a distant past or perhaps mythic narratives of a past we wish had existed.

Having gathered these particular songs together, I was left with a bunch of others that didn’t seem to fit the flow I was looking for. And so my aim is to gather those in a second installment. I know it’s dumb of me to forecast something that isn’t finished yet, since Mondays always seem to disrupt my plans (but I never learn)… and for that reason I’m going to try like hell to wrap up Part 2 today.

I found a couple of the items in this collection myself, but for the rest I’m again indebted to my Serbia-based source of underground intelligence, Miloš.

SUMMONING

The last album by the Viennese wizards in Summoning was 2013’s Old Mornings Dawn. In early August Summoning updated their profile picture on Facebook with a new image suggestive of new activity, but without comment or explanation. Their Facebook page has only existed since late June, and there have been few posts since then, but one in mid-August included these words: Continue reading »