May 032021


Part 2 of this week’s Shades of Black isn’t as voluminous as Part 1 was. I had two objectives in making it: First, to give some early attention to a four-way split many of us have been eagerly awaiting for a very long time; and second, to follow through in recommending an album I had originally intended to include in Part 2 of last week’s column, but had to cut because I ran out of time.


The long-awaited split is SamaeLilith: A Conjunction of the Fireborn, and it combines the prodigious talents of four groups we’ve been writing about with admiration for years: Thy Darkened Shade (Greece), Amestigon (Austria), Inconcessus Lux Lucis (UK), and Shaarimoth (Norway). It will be released on June 30th by W.T.C. Productions.

Each band contributed multiple tracks to the split, ranging from three to five, for a total of more than an hour and a half of music spread across 15 songs. Although I’ve been fortunate to recently receive the complete album, this isn’t something I want to rush into just in order to publish one of the first reviews. Just counting the minutes alone, there’s a lot to take in, and if past is prologue, one hurried listen to what these bands have done here won’t do their efforts justice either. Continue reading »

Jan 192018


I can’t say there was really an organizing theme or strategy that motivated my decision to group together these three new additions to our Most Infectious Song list. They simply happened to be close together on my master list of candidates, which is alphabetized by band name. And they also happened to be easy choices for me… though all three tracks had serious competition among others on the albums from which they came.


It was a given. in my mind, that something from Immolation’s new album would be on this list. With Atonement, they proved again (as they have over and over) that they “are one of those untouchable bands”, to quote from TheMadIsraeli’s review of the album. They were pioneers, and they remain inimitable… and they just never give up, never surrendering to the weight of years or the burdens of expectations. Continue reading »

Aug 112017


I’d wager that you haven’t heard a song like “The Crowning Quietus” this week. Or this month. Or this year. Or maybe even since the last record by Inconcessus Lux Lucis back in 2014, the Crux Lupus Corona EP from which we also premiered a song. This new one is an out-and-out romp, such a high-energy bast of distinctively hellish fun that it could wake the dead and get them on their feet and moving.

The Crowning Quietus” is the title track to this British duo’s new album (their second), and it will be jointly released on October 31 by I, Voidhanger Records (CD) and Invictus Productions (vinyl), who are a fine pair of carriers for this untreatable plague of Saturnian Black Magick. Continue reading »

Oct 062014


(Leperkahn once again steps up to the plate during my round-up hiatus with a collection of noteworthy news and new music.)


You can pretty much assume that a new Marduk record will kick ass 100% of the time. Their most recent full-length, Serpent Sermon, is certainly a better testament to that than most of their releases. Luckily for us, January 2015 will give us yet another dose of their feral, maniacal black metal, entitled Front Schwein. I literally don’t know anything else about the record, other than my hypothesis that it’ll be one of the better records January offers. Get psyched.

[Editor’s intrusion: “schwein” is German for pig, and “frontschwein” seems to be an expression for the grunts at the front in wartime.] Continue reading »

Aug 122014

Twenty-five years ago, even twenty years ago, only the clairvoyant could have foreseen that black metal would one day become a laboratory of alchemical experimentation, with its orthodox tropes used as ingredients in the creation of new potions to an extent perhaps unequaled in other metal genres. It’s an evolution filled with irony. Even today, there are legions of hidebound black metal fans who regard themselves as the keepers of the sacred flame; they pounce with bared claws on bands who dare to diverge from the orthodox ferocity of the original templates. Such people will probably turn their noses up at the music of Britain’s Inconcessus Lux Lucis. Their loss.

ILL is a duo consisting of W. Malphas (guitars, drums, vocals) and A. Baal (bass). Their debut album Disintegration: Psalms Of Veneration For The Nefarious Elite was released by Nomos Dei Productions, and they are now working on a second full-length to be released by I, Voidhanger Records in 2015. In the meantime, they have recorded a four-song EP entitled Crux Lupus Corona that I, Voidhanger will be releasing in October, accompanied by a beautiful booklet with artwork created by Bethany White. Today we’re fortunate to bring you the premiere of its second track, a song called “Crux”, as well as the comments of W. Malpas about the band and their music. Continue reading »