Jul 262020


For Part 1 of today’s column I picked a handful of individual songs and videos that were loaded with head-moving hooks, but still preserved a feeling of sinister menace. In this part I’ve gone in a different direction… though I’ve gone back in the other direction with the last selection. I’ve started with an advance track from a forthcoming album, and then focused on four complete releases, though a shortage of time has driven me to provide mere sketches instead of more thorough-going reviews.


To begin, I’ve chosen “The Snare of the Fowler“, the second single from the new album by this stand-out Canadian band. Grim are the lyrics, ending with the statement: “There is no redemption arc in the records of eternal truths. Just an endless sequence of cross-currents to the terminus of all paradises lost”. But who with eyes to see could possibly deny that bitter arc, or the sentiments expressed in a preceding lyrical passage: Continue reading »

May 242020


At the risk of overwhelming our visitors (a constant risk around here), I have again found so many new songs I’d like to recommend that I thought it best to divide today’s column into two parts, and will do my best not to become too verbose so that I have time to finish Part 2 in time to post it today — because Monday is going to be loaded with new things too.


I haven’t tried to find out how Enslaved’s new single is being received among fans and the metal press. I, for one, think it’s fantastic, and would rather not spoil the feeling by coming across some grim cur who’s sour about it. Not because I actually think anyone is entitled to be sour about it, but metalheads being metalheads, it’s inevitable. Continue reading »

Apr 162020


I hope all of you are well and staying safe and neither lapsing into stupor nor pulling our your hair due to quarantine-itis. I have chosen a few things to occupy your mind today, since you probably have more unoccupied mind than usual these days. To fill the vacancy I’ve selected a new EP, an assortment of recent advance tracks from forthcoming releases, and a new single. As is often the case, I owe thanks to a couple of trusted advisors for many of these choices.


This is the (untitled) EP mentioned above. It was released on April 12th by a West Virginia-based band whose recording line-up for the EP also included a couple of well-known session performers (at least I assume they aren’t permanent members) — Colin Marston on bass (he also mixed and mastered the record) and drummer Kevin Paradis — in addition to guitarists Eric Gill and Dan Long and vocalist Paul Ozz, all of whom are also members of Aghasura. Continue reading »

Oct 262015



Although we featured quite a lot of music, both new and old, this weekend, we’re far from exhausting our new discoveries. And so we begin the new week with a large collection of recently discovered songs. Most of these are ones that caught my eyes (and ears), and Austin Weber contributes one as well. Coincidentally, every band has a one-word name, which I find pleasing for reasons that make no sense at all.


I’ve been following Sweden’s Kall since mid-2013, initially because I learned that their line-up included members of the late lamented Lifelover, and later because I discovered how good their music is. I was a big fan of last year’s self-titled debut album (reviewed at length here), and I learned this weekend that the band are now working on their second full-length, projected for release before the end of this year via Catatonic State. There’s also a new song from the album available on Bandcamp — and it’s really good. Continue reading »

Feb 162015


In the span of only four albums and about six years of recording, the Swedish band Lifelover made a remarkable impact on the evolution of metal and on the hearts and minds of their fans. After the death of co-founder Jonas “B” Bergqvist in 2011, the remaining members laid Lifelover to rest.

Several years later, however, the survivors of Lifelover formed a new band named Kall, a band we’ve been following and covering since the first news of its existence began to circulate in the underground. Kall’s self-titled debut album (reviewed here) appeared last fall, and another song also appeared even more recently on one of the excellent Elemental Nightmares splits (reviewed here).

Recently Prophecy Productions has announced that in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of Lifelover’s formation, the band will reunite (without “B” of course) to perform a special concert at Prophecy Fest this coming September. And that provided the occasion for me to conduct the following e-mail interview with Lifelover / Kall guitarist “H.” — who talks about the reunion concert, the formation of Kall, and what lies ahead.


Continue reading »

Oct 242014


Today the Elemental Nightmares project released the fourth of the seven vinyl splits in the series, with a fourth segment (above) of what will eventually become one massive piece of artwork for the series as a whole — and as of today it’s also now available for download on Bandcamp.

I’ve been especially looking forward to this split because it features two old favorites of this site — Canopy and Obitus — as well as two new ones, Harasai and Kall.

Last summer we had the pleasure of premiering the tracks by Canopy and Harasai, and I’m going to include the accompanying write-up below, along with thoughts about the Obitus and Kall tracks. In a nutshell, this is a great quartet of pleasingly diverse songs. Continue reading »

Oct 232014


It’s inevitable, given the heritage of Kall’s members, that their debut self-titled album will be compared to and contrasted with the music of their former band, Lifelover. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. To this day, almost four years after that band’s final album, Lifelover has such a devoted following that Kall will benefit from the attention, and I have little doubt that those fans will like Kall a lot.

But if I were in a band, I think I would prefer to have my music considered as it is, rather than described and evaluated in terms of its similarities or dissimilarities to the work of a predecessor group. And so, at least here, this is the last you’ll hear of Lifelover — other than to note that the album’s final song is named “Far väl” (“fare well”).

I’ve been waiting for this album since July of 2013, when I discovered a song from Kall named “Då, nu – Jag och Du” (and wrote about it) that was then planned to appear on a debut EP. A second song and an excerpt from a third one eventually followed, and I wrote about them, too — and then instead of an EP, this album finally appeared. It was worth the wait. Continue reading »

Sep 032014

Amebix, once upon a time…

Yesterday was one of those days. One of those days, which seems to happen about every once every two days in the world of metal, where a big old dump truck of metal backed up to my door and caved it in with a big load of new metal things of varying shapes and sizes, all of which then began to gnaw on my fleshy parts. I won’t try to cover all of it in this one post, but I’ll make a start… with three items that have something in common.


[The following is a revised version of what originally appeared here.)

A (black) rose by any other name…

No, there isn’t an Amebix any more, more’s the pity. Rob “The Baron” Miller announced the dissolution of Amebix in late 2012 following the release of the excellent Sonic Mass, and although he did say at the time that he and Roy Mayorga intended to work on new music “with a view to a new incarnation of the Amebix legacy, flying under a different banner”, it was clear that after the parting of ways by The Baron and his brother Stig, Amebix would not continue.

Although it appears that work between The Baron and Roy has not yet come to fruition, there is something else on the way that’s very exciting, albeit mysterious:  A few days ago the following clip appeared on YouTube and I saw it last night thanks to a friend (thank you KK).

And here it is: Continue reading »

Jan 132014

Since the weekend began I caught up with a flood of hair-raising new songs and found so many worth recommending that I’ve collected them in two posts, this one being the first. I probably should have divided them into 4 or 5 posts, but since the unofficial motto of this site seems to be “long-winded”, why bother? New music from seven bands is gathered here. Shades and phases of black metal diversity… dig in!


This Norwegian band has been an NCS favorite for years. As previously reported, their new album Djevelmakt is due for release on January 21 via Indie Recordings. We previously featured (here) the first advance track from the album — “Mylder” — and now we have a second one, by the name of “Swarm Norvegicus”.

It begins with strings and piano and moves into a slow, massive, glorious, stomping behemoth of a song that builds in intensity. Both malignant and memorably melodic, it’s another very promising signpost on the road to one of our most highly anticipated 2014 albums. Listen next… Continue reading »

Jul 062013

In this post I’m pulling together new music from four bands that I heard yesterday which made quite an impression. All of them are tracks from forthcoming releases, and all of them succeed in building interest for what’s coming. None of them sounds remotely like the others.


Over the space of four albums released from 2006 to 2011, Sweden’s Lifelover built a large and intense following, and many people have credited them with being an important influence in the development of depressive black metal as a recognizable sub-genre. However, 2011’s Sjukdom proved to be the band’s last album. In September 2011, Lifelover’s principal songwriter Jonas “B” Bergqvist died of what was reported to be an overdose of prescription medication, and the remaining members decided to end the band.

However, about a year later, word surfaced that three of Lifelover’s former members — vocalist/guitarist “( )” (Kim Carlsson), guitarist “H” (Henrik Huldtgren), and bassplayer Fix — had decided to start a new band. The band’s name is Kall (Swedish for “cold”), and yesterday I discovered that Kall has released a song from a forthcoming EP. The song’s name is “Då, nu – Jag och Du”, which according to Google Translate means “Then, Now — Me and You”. Continue reading »