Jun 092019


My mind is on Iceland today. Soon my body will be too. Ascension Festival looms ahead this week, set to begin on June 13th in Mosfellbær. Anticipating that event, I’ve drawn a few connections with Iceland in today’s SHADES OF BLACK selections. My selections are numerous enough that I’ve divided them into two Parts. Part 1 includes advance tracks from forthcoming albums. What I have in mind for Part 2 are three or four full releases. If I can’t finish writing Part 2 in time to post it today, you’ll see it first thing Monday morning.

However, I’m doubtful you’ll see a SHADES OF BLACK here next Sunday, which will be the day after Ascension concludes. Maybe I’ll be able to scrawl a few words about the just-concluded festival, but probably won’t be able to prepare another one of these columns. For Part 1 of today’s column, the organizing principle is subjective impressions first, objective info second.


Despite the imposing wintriness of the cover art, this first song has the ebullient mood of a thronged carnival in full swing. The reverberating notes sparkle and dance, soar and swirl. The music grows more frenzied, ever-bursting with extravagant drumwork, and darkness creeps into the atmosphere even before the manic exuberance briefly abates, and moodiness descends. Continue reading »