Jul 042021


Happy Fourth to all of you in the U.S. Hope you have something worth celebrating, even if it’s mainly the chance to safely commingle in the flesh with people you haven’t seen in a while. As usual on a Sunday, I’m celebrating the discovery of new dire, dismal, demented, and demolishing blackened sounds.

In Part 1 of this thing yesterday I focused on a handful of individual tracks. Today, with some help, I’ve selected a group of full releases — most of which pay little homage to ancestral Scandinavian second-wave black metal. Like yesterday I’ve mostly kept my commentary briefer than usual. I’ve got other tasks ahead of me today, though they won’t include cookouts, fireworks, or drowning in beer.

MORAST (Germany)

I’m bookending this collection with recommendations from starkweather‘s Rennie, beginning with Morast’s new 7″ EP, The Palingenesis, which was released on May 21st by Ván Records/Totenmusik. Continue reading »

May 272021


And now we come to the third and final Part of today’s new-music roundup. If you’ve been following along, you know that Part 1 consisted of music from two doom bands and Part 2 corralled songs from two death metal bands. And so perhaps it’s predictable that I’ve got two black metal bands in this final installment.

SORDIDE (France)

I hope Sordide’s new album Les Idées Blanches has been on your radar. I’ve done what I can to help that happen, having previously written in glowing terms about its first advance track, “Je n’ai nul pays”. And now that a second track has emerged, I’d like to continue the drumbeat. Continue reading »

Feb 082017


Those of you impeccably tasteful metal aficionados who follow my Shades of Black posts know that I was too incapacitated to get one done for last Sunday. So I’m doing one now, although none of the songs collected here was included in what I planned to write about for last Sunday. I discovered all of these since then. I do still plan to complete the write-up I had originally conceived, perhaps later this week or at least for this coming Sunday.


Yesterday, I was reminded about a German label named Einheit Produktionen by seeing their release schedule for the spring. I would have discovered these plans sooner if I’d been paying closer attention to our daily e-mail flood.

In April, Einheit will be discharging the self-titled debut album of a German black metal band named Ferndal, whose influences are described by Einheit as “reaching from Darkthrone to Windir, from Beethoven to Arvo Pärt and from baroque grace to romantic melancholy, within a veil of pure black metal aggression”. Is it any wonder I paused in my scurrying to have a listen to the first teaser of music? Continue reading »

Oct 182016



During this past weekend two very good German bands released a split in which each of them covers a song by the almighty Bathory. The bands are Ultha and Morast. The split is available on Bandcmp now and will be released on 7″ vinyl by Vendetta Records (Halo of Flies will have copies for U.S. distro). The songs will also be included in a Bathory Tribute Compilation to be released later this year by CVLT Nation. Here are a few thoughts about the split, plus streams of the songs:


In March of this year I posted (here) an interview of this new German black metal band along with a stream of a song from their debut album Pain Cleanses Every Doubt, which was originally released by a group of European labels last year and then re-released in April 2016 by Translation Loss Records.

And then in August I also reviewed the band’s new EP, Dismal Ruins. Both releases were so very good that I was eager to hear Ultha’s cover song for this new split. Continue reading »