Oct 082018
 

 

You may have noticed that we had no new posts at the site this past weekend — no Waxing Lyrical interview, no Shades of Black column, and nothing else. But rest easy — we are, in fact, still alive and well.

Mr. Synn played Mammothfest with his band Beyond Grace, and I spent the weekend in southern New Mexico at an annual outing of the business I work for when I’m not doing NCS stuff, and so neither of us had time to handle our usual weekend responsibilities. I guess I should have said something about these plans, in order to avoid the severe anxiety and heartbreak that our absence must have caused among the millions who looked for us and found nothing but the final post from last Friday.

My own activities not only prevented me from writing anything this weekend, they also prevented me from listening to as much new metal as I usually do on the weekends. I’ve got a shitload of catching up to do, which I’m thinking is a practical impossibility since I’m sitting here looking at the schedule of 11 song and album premieres I need to write this week, including the two coming today. But I will at least do this Shades of Black post, even if a day later than expected and even if the reviews are pitifully brief for music of such blazing power. Continue reading »

Jan 082017
 

 

I was again torn between writing a “That’s Metal!” post, which I foolishly promised to do on the first Sunday of each month and still haven’t done for December — or January — and compiling another collection of recent music in a blackened vein. You can see how that internal struggle ended.

KJELD and WEDERGANGER

This split by these two distinctive Dutch bands was released on December 16 by Ván Records and is now available on Bandcamp. It includes three tracks by Kjeld and two by Wederganger. I had intended to write about it prior to release, but failed. It’s very good, and deserves more extensive discussion than I’m able to give it now. But with a full stream now available, it can speak quite well for itself. Continue reading »

Feb 092015
 

 

I’m so glad to be back home after three weeks in the bush, by which I mean Delaware. Finally, to sleep in my own bed, in which I woke up once an hour beginning about 2 a.m. and whined, because the time zone change is fuckin’ with me.  In other words, I slept like a baby. But it really is good to be home — although it appears I’m going to have to do this extended travel thing all over again in three weeks, which blows. But I’ll bitch about that more thoroughly when the time comes. For now, let’s discuss happier subjects….

BELL WITCH AND PAOLO GIRARDI

This first item of news really cheered me right up — the marriage between one of my own most fervently anticipated releases of 2015 and one of my favorite artists. As you can see above (and click that image to enlarge it), maestro Paolo Girardi has created the painted cover art for the new album by Seattle’s Bell WitchFour Phantoms. It is beautiful, and I have no doubt that Four Phantoms will also be beautiful, in the way that the pale, cold skin of a bewitching corpse is beautiful. Continue reading »

Jan 192015
 

 

I was getting bored with those “Seen and Heard” post titles, so I changed  it for today — but that’s still what this is: a collection of new songs that I spotted and heard over the last 24 hours and would like to recommend to you. And since it’s Monday, you know what kind of mood I’m talking about.

P.S. This is a holiday in the U.S., and although I still have to work, we won’t have the usual volume of posts today. Hope you enjoy this one, and the next installment of our “Most Infectious” song list, which will be up a bit later.

PYRAMIDS

When I first saw the album cover (above) for the new album by Texas-based Pyramids, I quipped to some friends: “This is what happens when you let monkeys play with a tape dispenser”. I’m still not sure what the photo signifies, but the music is no joke.

The new album is named A Northern Meadow and it’s set for release by Profound Lore on March 17. And on this album the Pyramids line-up is augmented by some notable guests: Vindsval of Blut Aus Nord; Colin Marston of Gorguts, Dysrhythmia, and Krallice; and composer/musician William Fowler Collins. This will be my first exposure to the band’s music (so far as I can remember), but I’m now very eager to hear the album because the first advance track has now premiered. Continue reading »