Dec 262021


Whatever you did with yesterday, I hope it turned out to be a good one. In Friday’s round-up of new songs and videos I surmised that I wouldn’t post anything this weekend. But I got fidgety this morning, not like drug, alcohol, or nicotine withdrawal, but itchy enough that I wanted to scratch it, that itch that comes from having missed a day of posting something for NCS. So here I am.

The morning’s half-gone already, a function of sleeping in and then staring for a while at how the overnight snowfall changed the look of everything where we live (e.g., the photo above), so I’m just foisting a handful of quickly chosen singles at you. After this I’m going to listen to some of the black metal selections that will appear in the final installment of Neill Jameson‘s year-end lists for NCS, an installment he calls “The Top Shelf“. You’ll see that tomorrow if you come back here. Continue reading »

Feb 172019


I still plan to post the usual Sunday Shades of Black column later today (though at this moment I haven’t finished it), but I thought I’d begin the day by sharing some of the music I investigated in the course of figuring out what I’d put in that column. I listened to the following songs and albums at different points in time, but it eventually occurred to me that compiling them here would provide an… exotic… listening experience.

All of these songs draw upon musical traditions that pre-date metal by many centuries, if not millennia. That makes the interweaving of them with metal sound exotic, but of course that’s a relative term. It’s more accurate to say “exotic to Western ears”, i.e., my own, and probably yours.


Tamerlan is the alter ego of musician Timur Iskandarov, whose place of origin is listed on Facebook as Prokopyevsk, Russia (a place in southwestern Siberia sandwiched between Mongolia and Kazakhstan), but who has also spent time in Uzbekistan, Serbia, Turkey, and elsewhere. As Tamerlan, he has released four albums (with a fifth one on the way) since 2006, along with a handful of shorter releases. The forthcoming record, Infinigrammaton, will be jointly released by Casus Belli Musica and Steinklang Industries on March 10 (digitally) and March 15 (CD). Continue reading »