Jul 102022


This edition of our usual Sunday column is long-delayed. The last one was on June 19th. I made choices to write about on June 26th but then didn’t have time to do it that day, after pulling together a gigantic “Overflowing Streams” round-up to make up for the one I didn’t do on the day before. And then the Sunday after that, July 3rd, I was helping with the immediate aftermath of Northwest Terror Fest, including some celebrating with the rest of the festival volunteers.

What to do today? I was tempted to just write about the choices I originally made for June 26th, but I felt the itch of trying to stay focused on the newest of the new, an itch that’s ever-present and immune to treatment. So I kind of split the difference, with a couple of choices from two weeks ago and one more recent pick.


I had the pleasure of seeing Carl Sk performing with Obsequiae at the afore-mentioned Northwest Terror Fest. It was a reminder of what a great band that is, but also a reminder that I had failed to help spread the word about the new album from Carl‘s band Inexorum. That album, Equinox Vigil, was one of my picks for that June 26th installment of this column that never got off the ground, but it would be shameful of me to let any more time go by without urging you to hear it if you haven’t. Continue reading »

May 012020


In making my way through the continuing flood of new music over the last 36 hours I hit a stretch of high-energy, technically impressive music with pronounced melodies, albeit with a lot of different embellishments and stylistic intersections (most involving elements of death and black metal). I decided to put those together here, and then veered way off the rails at the end with a trio of songs that make me smile when I imagine your reactions.

LANTERN (Finland)

To begin, let’s consider “Strange Nebula“. You won’t need a telescope, merely your ears and an open mind. Continue reading »

Jun 122018


This edition of SHADES OF BLACK is brought to you by the letter “I”.

I usually post these columns on Sundays, and didn’t intend to do one for this Tuesday until last night. While listening to candidates for a “Quick Hits” round-up to be posted today, I became enamored of these three new tracks, and since they’re all forms of black metal and coincidentally were created by bands whose names begin with “I”, well, the impulse proved irresistible. With a bit of luck, I may still get that “Quick Hits” post finished today, too.


Exorcize the Sun appears to be the first official release by this two-man band from Spain. It appeared in April and I learned of it through a recent invitation from Incorporea. Consisting of two tracks captured on 7″ vinyl, it’s a seductive offering of atmospheric black metal that has depth and power, and an impressive degree of sophistication. Continue reading »