Jul 172022
 

 

As you could already deduce from the previous two posts at this site, in recent days I found more than the usual amount of time I could devote to new music. My day job left me alone, or I ignored it, and I shrugged off household chores too. Baseball presented the only serious competition, because a certain team in the Pacific Northwest is on a historic winning streak (and I hope I didn’t just jinx them by mentioning that).

Focusing on black metal for purposes of this column, I settled on one dazzling album, a collection of quite varied “singles” from forthcoming records, and a new video. You’ll also find poetry.

SCARCITY (U.S.)

Scarcity‘s new album Aveilut (a Hebrew word for mourning) is difficult to describe. In part because it’s a single 45-minute composition, and in part because the trip maneuvers and whipsaws us through a spectacular labyrinth, it defies efforts to explain that “this happens, and then that happens, and then this other thing happens”. How tedious that would be, despite the hope that mapping the album would make it easier to comprehend.

Trying to pick out signal moments as illustrations of the music wouldn’t work very well either, because there are so many, and because they dramatically diverge from each other. Continue reading »

Oct 182020
 

 

Although this column is principally devoted to flavors of black metal, sometimes I branch out and include music that’s outside the genre. Usually that happens when it’s something I don’t want to delay recommending, but it’s also usually music that at least to my ears has a “spiritual” kinship to black metal. And by “spiritual” I don’t mean satanic, but rather a kind of pitch-black mood that makes its placement in the playlist suitable (for want of a better word). I’ve done this today with the first two items.

DARK BUDDHA RISING

To begin, I’ve chosen an astonishing video made by Dehn Sora for the song “Sunyaga” by the Finnish dark underlords of psychedelic drone, Dark Buddha Rising. The song is from the band’s forthcoming seventh album, Mathreyata. Continue reading »

Sep 062020
 

 

The “aggressive” sound of black metal — the blazing tremolo runs, the blasting drums, the shrieking and rasping vocals, the often abrasive levels of distortion — is one of the genre’s hallmarks. But black metal doesn’t always sound angry. Even when the aggressive sound is present and accounted for, the music can also seem dolorous, haunting, hysterical, or mystical (among other sensations). Today’s collection includes many of those other emotional touch-points — as well as fury.

NUBIVAGANT (Italy)

To begin, I’ve chosen two songs from Roaring Eye, the debut album by a one-person Italian project named Nubivagant. The album will draw attention because that one person is both Thorns and Omega, the drummer of Blut Aus Nord, Chaos Invocation, Enepsigos, Darvaza, Fides Inversa, and many other groups). Here, he performs all instruments, and he sings in a tenor voice. That’s right, these songs are exceptions to our rule, but well-earned ones because Omega really can sing. Continue reading »