Aug 152018


This is an interview of NKSV, the Australian man behind both Nekrasov and Rebel Wizard, though the latter project was the focus of this discussion. The interview was conducted through a long chain of back-and-forth e-mails that lasted for several weeks, ending only yesterday when I forced myself to stop asking question because we’re only a couple days away from Prosthetic Records’ release of Rebel Wizard‘s new album, Voluptuous Worship of Rapture and Response.

I ought to explain that I swore off doing interviews more than a year ago after I finally accepted the reality that they consume time I don’t have, because I agonize too much in an effort to come up with non-standard questions that won’t bore the shit out of both myself and the person on the other end of the conversation. I made an exception here because, based on previous communications with NKSV, and because I’m such a big fan of Rebel Wizard, I thought it would be fun. And man, it really was.

This interview is also very long. VERY LONG. And sometimes it turned into a meeting of a mutual admiration society, which in retrospect might prove a bit embarrassing to both of us (though I don’t take back anything I said). If for those reasons, or others, you lose patience with this, I don’t need to tell you how to escape, though I do believe that this will prove interesting, insightful, thought-provoking (and fun) to a lot of readers despite its length — because, man, NKSV is an unorthodox wizard of a talker/writer, too. So maybe don’t pull the plug too soon?

One last word of advice before we begin: I think this conversation will make a lot more sense if you listen to Rebel Wizard’s first album (The Triumph of Gloom) and/or the new one (which premiered through a full stream at DECIBEL yesterday) before you begin reading, or while reading, or maybe even afterward. I’d encourage you to listen to those albums whether you read any further or not… and I’ll have some thoughts about the new one tomorrow in case we don’t completely exhaust your reading faculties today (you can get the new record here). Continue reading »

Oct 262017


Most of us search for beauty in life, dream of it, grasp it when we find it, hold onto it as long as we can. But the horrors of existence always intrude, whether in the form of the daily abominations practiced by some people against others or from the incurable fear that nothing we cherish will last and that nothing awaits us at the end of our lives but the yawning void of mere extinction. And in time, all human life will also end in ashes, without a trace, a converging of all striving in death. Against the depths of such terrors, tales of goblins and vampires, ghosts and golems, seem like child’s play.

In every form of art, people have been driven to give some shape to our deepest fears and most paralyzing disillusionments, to express implacable dread or the conviction that humanity itself is a disease that will ultimately eat itself, while also devouring everything around it. And the results of such efforts can be very uncomfortable to witness and experience. Given the nature of the drives that inspire such efforts, how could they not be?

Which brings me to the title track of Nekrasov’s new album, The Mirror Void, which we’re premiering today. Continue reading »

Oct 042017


For various reasons I fell a couple of days behind in scouring the web and our in-box for new music that might be worth hearing. Last night I made an effort to catch up on what I’d missed the last two days. I created a list of links to the song streams that I found, which I thought would be worth checking out. There were more than 30 streams on my list by the time I stopped looking. That’s on top of the dozens that I haven’t yet heard from other recent lists.

This isn’t an uncommon experience. It’s for this very reason that posts like this one are tagged “Random Fucking Music” — because there’s just no methodical or thorough way to keep abreast of everything. And there’s an unavoidable element of randomness in deciding what to check out.

Last night I made my way through about 10 of the tracks on the list, and picked the ones you see here to recommend. That selection, however, isn’t random. I picked these streams because I thought they were very good, and to provide a bit of variety. (I’ve also included one news item near the middle.)


If you’re not already sitting down you probably should before you listen to this first song, because it has the kind of pulverizing punch and drive that can make one wobbly in the knees. Continue reading »

Sep 132017

We’ve arrived at the middle of the work week and I find myself in the mood to round up and share with you a couple of news items and six new songs, two of which are accompanied by videos that are well above average. I’ll cut this introduction short and just dive right in…


Three years ago At the Gates returned with their first new studio album in 19 years. The reception seems to have stoked the fires even further, because they’ve written 11 new songs that they plan to begin recording soon. And according to their announcement from earlier this week, they are feeling “more inspired than perhaps ever before”. They also allege that the new record will be “by far the most comprehensive album of the band to date, and will span all the way across the different elements of the band’s sound”. Continue reading »

Aug 302016

Rebel Wizard-Triumph of Gloom


It may go too far to proclaim that every fanatical lover of metal, regardless of genre, will love Triumph of Gloom, or that the album captures every good and fundamental thing that makes metal worth our passion. But if those claims would go too far, they wouldn’t overreach by much.

On the Bandcamp page where this new album by Rebel Wizard is waiting for your attention like a caged animal that’s just picked the lock, you will see these genre tags: “black metal”, “thrash metal”, “heavy metal”, “nwobhm”. That list definitely isn’t overreaching — the album embraces and fluidly moves among stylistic elements of those genres, and more, without sounding like any one of them. It pulls them together and installs the union on a blazing throne, leaving us to bow down in wonder. Continue reading »

Feb 092016

ten thousand miles of arteries-even seed spilled


(Allen Griffin brings us short reviews of three new Power Electronics releases, from Ten Thousand Miles of Arteries, Whorid, and Nekrasov.)

For all the counter-culture caché one might attribute to their particular niche in some extreme music sub-genre, nothing tends to be as purely off-putting and anti-social as Power Electronics. The bastard offspring of Extreme Metal’s sonic palette and Free Jazz/Improv’s penchant for free-form chaos, Power Electronics attempts to pry open the deepest recesses of humanity’s psyche with waves of pure noise.

Over the course of the genre’s development, the sound has evolved from pure blankets of static and feedback, to a more complex and detailed approach, well illustrated by this trio of recent and upcoming releases. Continue reading »

Nov 272015

Degial-Savage Mutiny


I guess it has become a cliche to feature black metal on Black Friday, even though the two have absolutely nothing to do with each other beyond a shared word. But we have no discounts to offer on the subscription to our site, no merch to sell at half off, and I’m overdue posting a Shades of Black feature anyway. So, black metal it shall be (mostly).

I’ve collected in this post streams of three new songs from forthcoming albums and two new EPs, plus my own garbled words.


Okay, so Sweden’s Degial aren’t exactly a black metal band, but they’re necro to the core. The name of their new, second album is Savage Mutiny and it’s coming out via Sepulchral Voice Records on December 25 (in order to foul the holiday with their blasphemous stench, of course). The title track from the album was delivered unto our greedy ears yesterday, and you shall hear it next. Continue reading »

Sep 042015

The Horn and Nekrasov-Volume 13


This review began as what I thought would be the final installment in a Shades of Black collection of new songs that I will post later today. But by the time I finished, it had become long enough that I thought I should post it separately.

I knew nothing about this album when I started listening to the first song, which is the album’s centerpiece. It will require some dedication to get through it — not because the music is dull or tedious, but because the song (“Spell 1 / Spell 1b”) is almost 20 minutes long. That song is the product of a collaboration between two prolific Australian musicians who call themselves The Horn and Nekrasov. The album on which it appears is named Volume 13, a three-track work inspired by ancient Egyptian funeral texts. It was released via Bandcamp on September 1. Continue reading »