Oct 242019
 

 

With their self-titled debut EP released in 2014, the French band Mur (whose six-person line-up includes former members of Today is the Day, Glorior Belli, Mass Hysteria, Comity, and Four Question Marks) began feeling their way, searching for an identity for their music and beginning to establish one. When you listen to their new full-length record, Brutalism, which will be released on October 25th by Les Acteurs de l’Ombre Productions, it becomes apparent that they have arrived — at a place where their confidence is strong and their identity (albeit a multi-faceted one) well-defined. It isn’t so much a sea-change in sound compared to the EP as it is a giant, adventurous stride ahead on the path they began five years ago.

The album is a fascinating experience because it is such a dynamic one. It offers constant surprises, but does so without losing the bonds that forge all the experiences together into a whole, and without sacrificing the explosive, searing intensity that’s the main hallmark of the record. Previously we premiered a song from the album (“Third“) and separately reviewed another one (“I See Through Stones”), but today we have for you a stream of the complete album — and a few more impressionistic thoughts about the music (okay, more than a few). Continue reading »

Oct 112019
 

 

With their self-titled debut EP released in 2014, the French band Mur (whose six-person line-up includes former members of Today is the Day, Glorior Belli, Mass Hysteria, Comity, and Four Question Marks) began feeling their way, searching for an identity for their music and beginning to establish one. When you listen to their new full-length record Brutalism, which will be released on October 25th by Les Acteurs de l’Ombre Productions, it becomes apparent that they have arrived, at a place where their confidence is strong and their identity (albeit a multi-faceted one) well-defined. It isn’t so much a sea-change in sound compared to the EP as it is a giant stride ahead on the path they began five years ago.

The album is a fascinating experience because it is such a dynamic one. It offers constant surprises, but does so without losing the bonds that forge all the experiences together into a whole, and without sacrificing the explosive, searing intensity that’s the main hallmark of the record. Today we’re presenting a new song from the album (“Third“) that in itself embodies dramatic change — as well as serving as a blazing example of just how devastatingly powerful Mur’s combination of hardcore and black metal can be. Continue reading »

Jun 302019
 

 

Man, I have so much new black metal to write about this week (like what else is new?), but not enough time to write about all of it (that’s not new either), in part because of the time I spent on a rare Sunday premiere (which you really should go listen to if you haven’t already), though it’s a shade of black too.

Despite the temptations, I know better than to call this post Part 1. We know what the Scottish bard said about best-laid plans. Better to just see what happens, better to be pleasantly surprised than disappointed by another broken promise.

DEADSPACE

When the first song in this collection appeared last week my friend Mr. Synn quipped on FB: “Like Nachtmystium but worried that by doing so you’re in danger of having your canoe stolen and sold for drug money? Well, worry no longer!” Continue reading »

Apr 212015
 

 

If you’re new to our site, “Shades of Black” is the name I put on round-ups of recommended new music when everything I’ve found coincidentally happens to have some connection to black metal. As you’re about to find out, my definition of “connection” covers a big swath of territory.

Some of the songs featured in this post come from albums that are already available for streaming in their entirety. I’m mentioning them now because I’m afraid if I defer writing anything until I can listen to the whole album and prepare a review, there’s a chance I won’t write anything at all.

SWARÞ

The fact that my tastes in metal are so wide-ranging has good and bad consequences. I think it’s good for the site, because without trying very hard I can contribute variety to the music we feature simply by writing about what I like. It’s bad because I don’t have the kind of depth of knowledge that comes from really immersing myself in just one or two sub-genres. Continue reading »