Jan 122023

The Otolith

I don’t need to say this to longer-term readers, but somehow we still pick up new ones, so for their benefit: Despite the name of our site, which has always been somewhat tongue-in-cheek rather than absolutely literal, we do write about metal that includes singing rather than exclusively growling, gagging, and shrieking. Mind you, the exceptions must be earned.

In light of the foregoing, it should not be a huge shock that this Most Infectious Song list includes songs with singing. I’ve added three of them today, and not only with singing but all of them with women singing. I found all three songs to be highly memorable, and the kind that I’ve enjoyed revisiting.

And for those of you who (like me) don’t have a high tolerance for singing in heavy music, the singing is not only very good here, it’s also paired up with more extreme voices in two of the songs. Continue reading »

Apr 022019


I never learn. I have music from 10 bands that got me very excited this past weekend (on top of the 7 I wrote about in SHADES OF BLACK on Sunday). Ten is too many for a single post, which means I’m splitting this up, and the thing I never learn is that my best-laid plans always get dashed on the rocks by other life pressures. In my head, I feel that if I put my back into it, like a shackled oarsman on a Roman galley, I can get the second part done. In my head, I also think the odds are that the vessel will ram some Macedonian pirate vessel and sink like a stone.

The music of these 10 bands is all over the place. I usually have inspirations about how to organize the music in these round-ups so there’s some kind of flow. This time, I came up short. It’s all just so different. So I arranged everything in alphabetical order by band name, for want of a better idea. We have A-M here; maybe we’ll have the rest of the alphabet later. Ramming speed!


I got quickly addicted to this new release by Acritarch, before the archaeological ministry of my memory could excavate the recognition of who was behind it. Fortunately, Rennie of starkweather, whose mind is so much more agile than my own, knew who it was immediately, and told me. No wonder the album is so damned good. Continue reading »

May 122016



(Our Russian correspondent Comrade Aleks, who usually furnishes us with interesting interviews, brings us a combined review and interview today.)

The Italian band Messa first saw the light of day in 2014, and I believe that this quartet will surprise you with their alchemical combination of doom, hard rock, drone, and prog music. The Aural Music label released Messa’s debut record Belfry on May 6, 2016; they promised obscure and evoking doom, “scarlet doom” as they say. Mark Sade (guitar, bass, ambient stuff), Sara (vocals), Mistyr (drums), and Albert (lead guitar) run this coven; all of them have different musical backgrounds and it directly reflects in their music.

The band’s name speaks for itself, and Marco tells why they picked up this one: “Basically we were looking for a name with a few characteristics: Italian, with a female touch and kind of gloomy. Messa in English means Mass and it means a lot for us and especially for our society around us”. Continue reading »