Jan 072021


The Armenian pagan metal band Ildaruni made an auspicious debut with their 2018 demo Towards Subterranean Realms (which we reviewed here), revealing both a lyrical focus on ancient Armenian history, drawing upon mythology and aspects of occultism, and a musical blending of folk melody, symphonic sweep, and blood-rushing blackened power. Ildaruni are now building upon that impressive demo with their first full-length, Beyond Unseen Gateways, which will be released by Black Lion Records on March 19th.

Thematically, this debut album continues the band’s focus on ancient myths and arcane forces. It is, in the band’s words, “a hymn to the blazing light, which sank into shadowy shrines, to the wild darkness which covered the debris of Ardini, to the bygone flame which enlightens the sanctum of Haldi”, with each song “an indivisible part of a grand ode which explores the height of the Urartian domain and the esoteric knowledge of pagan mysticism.”

The striking cover art of Mark Erskine captures the album’s essential concept, and so does the music, as you’ll discover through our premiere of a lyric video for “Treading he Path of Cryptic Wisdom“. Continue reading »

Jul 152018


It’s always difficult to choose songs for these Sunday columns, not because the pickings are slim but because of the constant abundance of music from the black realms that catch my fancy every week. This week I thought I might have time to make the choosing a bit easier by making more choices. I haven’t written Part 2 yet, and it’s conceivable that I won’t finish it in time for posting today before I have to turn to other activities. But if not today, then you’ll see it on Monday.


Before we turn to the music of this German duo, let’s have a small lesson about the band’s name and its pronunciation. “Dauþuz” is a Proto-Germanic or Norse word for death. In its spelling it includes a letter (þ) from Old Norse called thorn, which (as The Font of All Human Knowledge tells us) originated from a rune found in Icelandic and Norwegian rune poems. That rune is called Þurs in Old Norse (“Thurs”) or Þurisaz (“Thurisaz”) in its Germanic variant, and it appeared in the old rune poems as a name for giants.

The letter thorn (or þorn ) survives in only one modern language — Icelandic — where it’s pronounced something like th as in the English word thick, but not exactly. And so now, when you tell your friends how amazed you are by this band’s music, you’ll be able to do so without mutilating the pronunciation of their name by sticking an unwelcome “P” sound in the middle of it. But you probably knew that already. Continue reading »