Feb 252018
 

 

I stared at my long list of recent black metal releases that I found appealing. My eyes drifted further down the list to all the releases and advance tracks from weeks past that I had wanted to say something about, but hadn’t. That daunted feeling that crept into my head like a bad old friend, it locked up my brain. To unlock it, I tried to allow instinct to take over, and speared these five names based on the thought that the flow of the music would provide some interesting twists and turns as you move through them.

ONIRISM

Upon encountering this one-man French band’s second EP, Sun, last year, I tried to sum up my reaction in these words: “Onirism isn’t the first band to combine utterly enthralling and transcendently beautiful sounds with the kind of savagery that makes you want to hide under your bed, but holy hell, they do it well.”

Later in the year I revisited Onirism through our premiere of a track from the band’s split with Pure Wrath, and left enthralled again. Continue reading »

Nov 142016
 

misanthropic-rage-gates-no-longer-shut

 

There is nothing wrong with making music that sounds comfortably familiar, as long as it’s done well. In my book, “It’s been done before” isn’t a valid condemnation, standing alone. And let’s face it, trying to break out of well-known and well-loved boxes in ways that don’t leave the artists in a place that resembles a jumbled and ill-conceived mess isn’t easy. Yet having said that, many of us do keep our eyes and ears open for music that’s unexpected, inventive, intriguing, and conceived and executed in a sure-handed way.

Which brings me to Gates No Longer Shut, the new album by the Polish band Misanthropic Rage that we’re helping premiere today. Continue reading »

Jul 242016
 

Windfaerer-Coniuratio Nigrum Atlantika

 

Greetings from Seattle and welcome to another edition of Shades of Black. I wasn’t able to prepare one of these installments last Sunday due to fucking off, so I’ve accumulated an especially large list of recent discoveries that I would like to write about. From that list I’ve selected blackened music from six bands to recommend.

WINDFAERER

The name Windfaerer will likely be a familiar one to our readers. Last year we premiered two songs from the band’s marvelous second album Tenebrosum and named one of those to our list of 2015’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. What a nice surprise it was to discover that two days ago Windfaerer released more new music.

These new songs (three of them) appear on a three-way split by Windfaerer and two other Northeast bands, WolfCloak, and Dumal. The name of the split is Coniuratio Nigrum Atlantika. So far I’ve only listened to Windfaerer’s tracks, but they are predictably excellent. Continue reading »