Jul 122022


In the dozen years of this site’s existence we’ve had fewer than a dozen days (including weekends and holidays) when we posted nothing new. Yesterday was one of those. I’ll spare you the excuses, which were numerous, but I still felt guilty about it. So I’m trying to make up for that void today.

In gazing upon my long list of songs I wanted to recommend, it occurred to me that most of them were variations of black and blackened metal, so I decided to focus on those and leave other genre variants for another day.

There’s a lot here, all of them tracks from forthcoming releases, and so I’ve truncated the introductions and mostly omitted the usual artwork. I begin with bigger names and then drift into more obscure ones. Continue reading »

Jan 182019


(Here’s Andy Synn’s review of the debut album by North Carolina’s Mo’ynoq, which was released on January 11th.)

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before… but precisely what it is that separates a “Good” album from a truly “Great” one isn’t always clear. Sometimes it’s just a gut feeling, an instinctive response which tells you that this… this is something really worth shouting about.

If you’re been paying attention then you’ll quickly realise that this is exactly the same intro spiel I used for my recent review of the new Barshasketh album, recycled here with good reason.

Because not only have I frequently seen the two records compared, contrasted, and (occasionally) pitted against one another in single combat, but they also happen to quite concisely demonstrate just how razor-thin the line between being a “Good” album and a truly “Great” one really is. Continue reading »

Jan 062019


I got a slow start on the day yesterday, and by the time I got my head in gear it was too late to put together a post of new music. So I decided to focus on what I might recommend today.

I listened a lot to things I’d spotted over the last week or two, focusing mainly on advance tracks from forthcoming releases, and found so much I enjoyed that I’ve had to split this SHADES OF BLACK installment into two parts. Look for the other one later today.


If North Carolina’s Mo’ynoq still aren’t on your radar screen, it’s time you put them there, dead center. Their debut album, Dreaming In A Dead Language, is coming out on January 11th. I premiered a song from it called “The Collector” last month, and now there’s a second one I can share with you, which premiered at Antihero on Friday. Continue reading »

Dec 102018


Early last year I discovered Bardo, the then-forthcoming new EP by a black metal crew from Raleigh, North Carolina, named Mo’ynoq — and it made such a powerful immediate impression that I reached out to them to ask if we could premiere one of the tracks to accompany a review of Bardo (and you can find that here). Now Mo’ynoq have completed work on their debut album — Dreaming In A Dead Language — and once again I asked if we could host a premiere of one of the new songs in advance of its official release on January 11th. Once again, the band agreed.

I hasten to add that we don’t usually ask for the opportunity to host premieres. Almost all the time, the requests come to us. But the new Mo’ynoq album is so damned good, and so damned exciting, that I couldn’t resist. The song chosen by the band is the album’s second track, “The Collector“. Continue reading »

Jan 312017


It’s not often that we reach out to a band and ask for permission to premiere a song, but that’s how this premiere came about. I had the opportunity to listen to the new EP, Bardo, by Mo’ynoq from Raleigh, North Carolina, which is scheduled for release on February 7, and I was tremendously impressed. I was anxious to write a review of Bardo, but we always like to include streams of music with our reviews to give visitors a more immediate sense of the sounds than mere words can convey — and in this case, neither of the tracks from Bardo had become publicly available for listening. So I contacted the band, and here we are.

Bardo includes two songs — “Fell Heir” (which you’re about to hear) and “Celestial Rebirth” — and it’s the band’s second release after their debut EP Anguish and Atonement last June. The new EP’s themes are centered on ideas of intermediate states, as a transition between forms, and the dynamism of the music vibrantly captures an urgent sense of change, though not necessarily for the better. Continue reading »