Feb 052023

I hope this Sunday is treating you well. Or maybe you’re landing here on Monday… or Tuesday… or (heaven forfend) on Hump Day (what a lot of time those people have been wasting).

My Sunday is off to a slow start, thanks for asking. I had a riot of a Saturday night. Splattered on the couch with the cats, binge-watching a fantastic series I don’t need to name (it was Slow Horses) until way late. So I was late to rise and feeling very groggy. But there’s nothing like plunging into a lake of black and black-adjacent metal (sometimes only barely black-adjacent) to kick-start your heart. Here’s what I surfaced with today: Continue reading »

Apr 032022


Making choices for this column is always difficult. This week the choosing process was more difficult than most, in part because I wasn’t able to write one of these last Sunday, causing the possible choices to really stack up.

It’s hard to explain why I chose the music of these six bands and not others. It was more a matter of instinct and impulse than careful ranking. The intensity of all the experiences had more than a little to do with that. The vocals alone, from beginning of this collection to the end, were stunning too, significantly contributing to the rush of emotional intensity.

I’ve started with three individual songs and followed those with three complete releases.

KAMPFAR (Norway)

Kampfar have written a new album and recorded it. As they say: “It was created and partially captured at home, in our little refuge, among the trees, below the mountain tops, right there by the river that is never silent”.

The album includes “six parts, six stories, six conflicts, collected under one banner”, but Kampfar haven’t disclosed the name of the album, and they’ve decided to release each song on its own, one-by-one, before releasing the album as a whole. Continue reading »

Feb 062022


This morning I gazed with bleary eyes at the choices I’d made for this column: 1 new video; 8 individual advance tracks; 4 new albums; 3 new EPs; and 1 new split. I had discovered and listened to all of them just since this time last week. The idea of actually writing about all of them was of course absurd, and even more absurd because I slept much later than usual this morning. What to do?

Well, I cut the group of individual songs (and one video) down to 6, which is what you’re now about to experience. As for the albums and EPs, I’ll have to cut those down into something more manageable for Part 2 of today’s column, though at the moment I haven’t yet figured out how to do that. Stay tuned….


I’ve already said my piece about the tremendous new Krallice album Crystalline Exhaustion. Don’t let another day go by without listening to it if you haven’t already. Be sure to watch this next video too. It shows this uber-talented quartet live-recording the instrumental performances for the song “Archlights“. I found it astonishing. It’s as if we are witnessing a hive mind at work. Continue reading »