Aug 162023

Hailing from Portland, Maine, the trio who call themselves Lepra tell you right away to expect unconventional music: They call their creations “black velvet metal”, a potentially risky choice, in association with a genre whose usual trappings lean more toward spikes and iron gauntlets.

But the independence from convention goes deeper than that somewhat ambiguous characterization: Lepra don’t use guitars, though it’s pretty clear they could if they wanted to. Instead, they rely on such instruments as a Wurlitzer organ and flutes, along with a vivid bass, equally vivid drumming, and vocals that are both harsh and clean.

And on their debut album Devil’s Blood In Her Tongue, they also include a guest (Caleb Chase of Potion Seller) who performs harp, cello, and melodica on a song.

If you’re unfamiliar with Lepra you might now be jumping to the conclusion that they’re some kind of potentially dreamy folk-metal band, but that would be too conventional as well, as you’re about to learn for yourselves through our premiere of a song off the new album called “Olde Growth“. Continue reading »

Jun 262017


Yesterday, in the first part of this week’s SHADES OF BLACK, I recommended five recently released albums and throttled my tendency to put my own impressions into words. In this concluding part I opened the throttle, sort of. The music of nine bands is included here, ranging from individual advance tracks or singles to full albums or EPs. I know it’s a lot, but you’re men and women of steel, you can handle it… probably.


Most of us here were enormous fans of this German black metal band’s last album from 2015, Stellar. My friend Andy went so far as to call it in his review “a near-perfect snapshot of the genre. Its power and its potential. Both what it is, and what it can be.” And on August 25 we’ll have another album from this band, one entitled Finisterre. Continue reading »