May 022023

All things rise and fall, both the animate and the inanimate. Mountains heave up from the Earth’s crust, and erode over time. Flora and fauna flourish much more briefly, but all of it is always doomed to perish. Human life in particular strives, grasping for meaning and some measure of “success”, but humanity’s most vaunted achievements are in fact evanescent, and self-destruction seems deeply rooted. In the arc of all things, there are zeniths, and at the bottom of the trajectory is where you’ll find Nadir.

Nadir is the name chosen by a Norwegian blackened hardcore band whose extravagant debut album we’re presenting today in advance of its May 5 release. Its conception is summed up in the title — Extinction Rituals — and becomes even more clear through the band’s elaboration of what that means:

Extinction Rituals is an exercise in the duality of futility and hope. It is a comment upon the ignorance of man and the inventive way we manage to prey upon each other. Musically, Extinction Rituals sets out to match the lyrical content through blending eclectic sources of inspiration and striving for a harsh and aggressive sound.”

Nadir succeeded in their striving. Paradoxically, they’ve made their dark descent into a zenith of their own. Continue reading »

May 012020


In making my way through the continuing flood of new music over the last 36 hours I hit a stretch of high-energy, technically impressive music with pronounced melodies, albeit with a lot of different embellishments and stylistic intersections (most involving elements of death and black metal). I decided to put those together here, and then veered way off the rails at the end with a trio of songs that make me smile when I imagine your reactions.

LANTERN (Finland)

To begin, let’s consider “Strange Nebula“. You won’t need a telescope, merely your ears and an open mind. Continue reading »

Nov 162017


The heavy Hungarian band Nadir’s roots extend back into the mid-90s. Inspired by such groups as Bolt Thrower, Entombed, and Crowbar, they’ve released five albums since 2005, along with a handful of shorter releases. And now their sixth full-length, The Sixth Extinction, is set for release on December 4 by GrimmDistribution (Belarus) and NGC Prod (Hungary). Two singles from the album have previously premiered, and now we bring a third one, in the form of a lyric video: “Fragmented“.

Nadir’s last album, 2015’s Ventum Iam Ad Finem Est, was a concept album, and the new one is as well, and could be considered a continuation of the themes developed in the last one, which itself concluded with a song called “The Sixth Extinction”. The new one addresses “the present massive, human induced wave of extinction of species on Earth”, citing “environmental destruction, pollution, diseases, invasive species and overhunting as its main causes”. Continue reading »