May 162016

Lord Impaler-Demology-The Decade of Obscurity


Here are a couple of quick news items of interest that qualify as updates to recent posts here at our putrid site.


In a Shades of Black post yesterday I included a video of the first live performance by the Greek black metal band Lord Impaler in 16 years, opening for Rotting Christ on May 13 in Kastoria, Greece, and performing a new song from their forthcoming second album In Full Regalia. And today Lord Impaler followed that landmark event in their history with an announcement I thought was worth spreading around — especially because it involves an offer of free music, much of which has been hard to find: Continue reading »

May 152016



I didn’t post anything on our site yesterday, which makes only the sixth or seventh day in more than 6 years when I’ve fallen down on the job. As was true most of those other times, I was suffering from a really late Friday night (which included a visit to the first metal show I’ve seen in more than a month) in which I managed to poison myself with the demon alcohol. I think I needed to blow off some steam, but I paid severely for my fun.

Anyway, I will attempt to make up for letting the site go dark on Saturday with this collection of new songs (plus a new video) that I want to recommend, all of which lurk in various corners of the black realms. There’s a lot of music here, and so I’ve restrained my usual verbosity. Presented in alphabetical order by band name.


The second album of Minnesota’s Ashbringer is named Yūgen. It will be released on June 7 by Avantgarde Music on digipak CD) with vinyl coming later via Vendetta and a cassette edition via Broken Limbs Recordings. The first advance track, “Oceans Apart”, appeared early this month and I finally got around to checking it out. It’s as striking and memorable as the album’s cover art. Continue reading »

Mar 272016

Bestia Arcana art


It’s Easter Sunday, so of course I have a Shades of Black collection to share, with new music in a mainly blackened vein from 9 bands, because we need an extra large round-up of black today. The first two selections are more in the nature of teasers, while the balance of these selections are complete songs, EPs, or albums. There are lots of contrasts in this collection, from the utterly savage to the dreamlike and spellbinding.


Last week Daemon Worship Productions launched a YouTube video which said nothing more than “Bestia Arcana. Holókauston is coming.” After doing further research I was able to find… no more details.

I presume that Holókauston is the name of the new second album by this Colorado black metal band, whose members were last reported to include Naas Alcameth of Akhlys and Nightbringer, K. (formerly of Nightbringer), and drummer Menthor (Nightbringer, Enthroned, Lvcifyre, etc.). And if those names don’t make you sit up and pay attention, then you’re in need of serious remedial posture training. Continue reading »

Feb 222016

Yliaster Photo 2


Welcome to a new edition of Shades of Black. Today I’ve collected five new songs, one new video, and a snippet from the studio for an eagerly anticipated new album. As I sometimes do with these posts, I’ve included some things that aren’t black metal in the strictest sense of the term (or at all).


Although I didn’t know it at the time, I first learned of Marcel Polit through his starring role in an excellent video for the song “Notion” by Poland’s Vesania that we premiered in December — which you can and should watch HERE. It turns out that Polit is a musician, too, and he has recorded a debut album with Dariusz ‘Daray’ Brzozowski (Vesania, Dimmu Borgir, ex-Vader). The name of this project is Yliaster, and the album is Soliloquy. Continue reading »

Nov 242015

Luctus 2015-photo by Luneth Vinonen


I had more than the usual amount of time to explore new music yesterday. As usual, I found a lot to like, so much that I’ve divided the discoveries into two posts. In this one, I’ve collected mostly recent videos from six bands.


In September I reviewed Ryšys, the excellent new album by the Lithuanian black metal band Luctus, along with a full stream of the album. Luctus have now released an official live video for their cover of “He’s turning blue”, originally recorded by Carpathian Forest. It’s not the first time Luctus have covered the song — it appeared on their 2011 album Live at Intro (which is available here on Bandcamp). Continue reading »

Nov 262014


This year the Greek melodic black metal band Lord Impaler are celebrating their 16th year of life. In that long stretch of time they’ve released four demos (the first one in 1999), two split releases, a full-length album, and an EP. I’ve previously reviewed both the album (2011’s Admire the Cosmos Black) and the EP (2013’s Babylon Whore) — both of which are very impressive — but I’ve never heard any of the earlier demo recordings. Now all of us are about to get a taste of them in new form.

On December 7 Lord Impaler will release a special anniversary EP entitled The Serpent Seal – Το Αρχέγονο Σκότοσ Επιςτρέφει, which includes re-recorded versions of four songs from their first three demos, and today we’re premiering one of those tracks: “Final Gates”. Continue reading »

Jul 012013

Man, it’s hard to believe that an entire year has passed since I first heard (and reviewed) Lord Impaler’s debut album, Admire the Cosmos Black. A full year has indeed come and gone, but not without a small anniversary present. Last week Lord Impaler released a digital EP available on Bandcamp by the name of Babylon Whore. It consists of two songs, it comes with a 6-page digital booklet, and it once again delivers some damned potent black metal from this under-recognized group of Greek marauders.

The title track “Babylon Whore” cuts right to the bone, right from the beginning. The music roars, moans, and vibrates with arcane energy, and the tremolo-picked melodies carry an atmosphere of sickness, while Tragon’s vocals are caustic enough to raise welts on your skin.

“The White Dream of Ziz” begins in a similarly blasting and ripping manner, but the assault is divided by a slow, morbid interlude with spoken-word vocals, and there is a kind of melancholy beauty in the song’s rippling guitar melodies.  Continue reading »

Jun 182012

I should probably apologize for using that overworked Homeric phrase in the post title, but those really were the first words that popped into my addled head when I heard the music featured here over the last 24 hours. I listened to songs from both bands back-to-back, and by coincidence they’re both from Greece, and by further coincidence the music from both is really good — though tremendously different from each other.


We’ve written frequently about Tardive Dyskinesia and various side projects of their members after first being grabbed in a bear hug by the fast-paced, infectious barrage of technically sophisticated music captured on their 2009 album, The Sea of See Through Skins. At long last, 2012 will see the release of their follow-up album, Static Apathy in Fast Forward. In late March, they started streaming a rough mix of a new song called “Prehistoric Man” (featured here), and today brings us an animated lyric video for yet another track, “Time Turns Planets”.

Plunging almost immediately into a neck-wrenching groove, the song lurches and punches its way through a cycle of syncopated riffs and off-beat rhythms, but smooths out in a memorable melodic chorus, blending the ethereal and the heavy quite effectively. Fans of Texture’s 2011 album Dualism ought to pay particular attention to this fusion of piston-driven machine complexity and soaring ambience. The video is fun to watch, too (right after the jump). Continue reading »