Dec 192023

This isn’t DGR‘s annual year-end list. That might yet come. This is the second Part of a four-Part collection of reviews that we started rolling out yesterday, focusing on 2023 albums we hadn’t managed to review before. You’ll find his full explanation for what he’s doing here at the beginning of Part I. Continue reading »

Sep 102023

I hope this Sunday finds all of you well, and ready to have your heads bounced around like tennis balls in a spinning dryer. Which is a way of saying that the music I picked for today’s collection careens around, not staying in one musical place for very long and ending with a curveball that swerves outside the black(ish) metal strike zone.


We latched on pretty hard to the music of Night Crowned, beginning with our premiere of a song from their 2018 debut EP, Humanity Will Echo Out, continuing through our premiere of a song from their 2019 debut album Impius Viam, and moving on from there with a lot of enthusiastic commentary about their second album Hädanfärd in 2021.

And so we’re already relishing the release of their third album Tales, now set for release by the Noble Demon label on November 10th. Continue reading »

Feb 032022


Even if you didn’t already know, the fact that today’s installment of this list includes seven songs would be a clear sign that I’m about to bring it to an end (really, I am).

Unlike some of the more recent segments, this one focuses on a single but fairly broad sub-genre, which for want of a better term could be called “melodic black metal”. But that still doesn’t mean these songs sound alike, and in fact they’re quite different from each other. The appearance of many of them shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone who hung around our site last year, but this group does include one big surprise; it surprised the hell out of me, that’s for sure.


My compatriot DGR wrote of Necronautical‘s latest album that it’s one “you’ll be buckling up for as wave after wave of black metal buttressed by a healthy dose of keyboard synth washes over you in an attempt to drag you under the tide”. He also wrote that “it’s also easy to understand how they band would make the title track one of the keystone songs of the disc”: Continue reading »

Aug 052021


(This is DGR’s review of the new album by the Swedish band Night Crowned, which is out now on the Noble Demon label.)

It doesn’t seem like it was that long ago that we found ourselves checking in with Night Crowned and their first full-length release, Impius Viam. Granted; a large part of that feeling is attributable to us missing the boat on the late-February release and coming around to it eight months later. Yet even considering that,  you’d have to admit that returning to the stage a year and a half later with a follow-up release is a pretty quick turnaround time.

That prospect can be terrifying, since albums released year-over-year can be pretty hit-or-miss depending on how prolific the musician is, and on top of that last year was just generally a fucking mess.  When given such a massive amount of time to be trapped inside, what else is a musician likely to do other than create, and it seems like that is the path Night Crowned chose.

The group’s second full-length came out via Noble Demon in early July and plays fully into the moodier-sibling aspect that one expects from any growing family. Bearing album art now fully in black and white, lyrics and song titles mostly in Swedish, and a less-packed run time where the only peaceful bit is the title song, Hädanfärd is a ferocious follow-up. It leans much more on the extreme side of things, and save for a few surprising deviations with clean vocal lines, it is the sort of release that never lets up, playing fully into the apocalyptic blastfest one expects from a group veering further into their black-metal inspirations. Continue reading »

Apr 252021


Much like yesterday I got a very late start this morning, having enjoyed a long night of virtual carousing with a big group of co-workers at my fucking day job. Like yesterday I thought I’d just pull together a couple of things for this usual Sunday column so I wouldn’t be too late in posting it — and again reconsidered. Just too much stuff I want to share.

This two-part post thus provides a lot to take in. I’m confident that few people will enjoy everything I’ve chosen — though I’m equally confident you’ll find at least something to enjoy if you at least taste-test everything I’m recommending.

I organized this collection by beginning Part 1 with two singles that I thought were great companions for each other and then following them with a stylistically very different EP. Part 2, which I’ll post tomorrow, will include streams of five complete releases that I will only have time to introduce briefly.

DJEVEL (Norway)

Like the cover art for Djevel’s new album Tanker som rir natten, the second advance track released last week is lunar in its atmosphere, a wintry nightside excursion that’s deeply immersive. In its manifold sensations it’s dreamlike, depressive, menacing, and I’d go so far as to say romantic. But it’s as visceral as it is mesmerizing, thanks to Faust’s gripping drum performance (the vibrant timpani-like booming is an especially nice touch) and the warm companionship of the bass, performed by new member Kvitrim (Vemod, Mare), who also handles the harsh vocals. Continue reading »

Sep 212020


(Here’s DGR’s review of the new album by the Swedish band Night Crowned, which is out now via Noble Demon Records.)

Night Crowned‘s debut album Impius Viam came out in the tail end of February and it has felt like a musical mental roadblock on this end ever since. We were lucky in being able to cover the band’s premieres at this site and even got their drummer to sit down and talk with us for a bit, yet when the full album came out we never fully sat down to dedicate words to it. Yet it’s been in constant rotation here, an ugly sort of beast clawing at the back of the skull.

The group’s hybridizing of a collective of extreme metal genres — with a heavy ratio of melodic black metal dominating the recipe — seems to have spread like an infection, and in between the spinning of newer releases this year, there’s always that haunting voice in the back of the head with its incessant whisper “what if you gave that Night Crowned disc another listen?” Continue reading »

Apr 162020


(In this new installment of Karina Noctum‘s interview series devoted to metal drummers she talked with Janne Jaloma, the drummer of Night Crowned (whose 2020 debut album is out now on the Noble Demon label), Dark Funeral, and Despite.)

In the summer of 2019 I went to a festival called Gamrocken in the middle of nowhere in Sweden. That festival is sadly no more. The 2019 version had an awesome line-up and some unknown bands to me. Out of those bands the one that I liked the most was Night Crowned. I eagerly waited months for their new album Impius Viam to come out, because it’s not like there are lots of bands at that technical level appearing all the time, and the fact they are from Gothenburg was a huge plus, because that scene is just awesome.

I love it when the Swedes play extreme Death Metal. You have acts like The Forsaken, Dimension Zero, Spawn of Possession, Soreption, Hypocrisy, to name a few. So I was really happy to have found Night Crowned to add to that list, and besides, their style is blackened — something that I truly appreciate.

So I had to interview their drummer, Janne Jaloma, who plays in Dark Funeral as well. His drumming is fast, neat, and he doesn’t withhold anything on his latest album. Continue reading »

Dec 062019


Unholy Path“, the song we’re premiering through a lyric video from the debut album of Sweden’s Night Crowned, is a veritable tapestry of sound, and a sumptuous feast for the senses and the imagination. Through its richly embroidered and dynamically changing contours the music is mystical and marauding, sweepingly grand and physically jolting, brooding and bombastic. It summons visions of unearthly magnificence as well as chaotic savagery. It hammers the skull and lunges for the throat with teeth bared, and it’s also spellbinding.

That’s a lot to accomplish in a single song, particularly when all the changes are so well-integrated into a cohesive experience. It’s more than one might expect from a relatively new band, but less surprising when you realize that the members of Night Crowned, combined, have been playing metal for well over 60 years, with over 15 albums in their collective catalogue through participation in such other groups as Dark Funeral, Nightrage, and Cipher System.

This new album, Impius Viam, follows the band’s 2018 debut EP, Humanity Will Echo Out (for which we premiered a great song called “Nocturnal Pulse”), and it will be released on February 28th by a new label founded by ex-Nuclear Blast veterans called Noble Demon. Which makes sense, because “Unholy Path” is a noble demon of a song. Continue reading »

Sep 182018


The night holds unmistakable allure for this Swedish band, whose name is Night Crowned and whose song “Nocturnal Pulse” we’re premiering today. But while feelings of isolation and gloom, and of the chilling presence of hungering shapes shifting in the darkness, come through in this intense new song, the music is also vibrantly and viciously explosive, like the incandescence of meteors (or wraiths) rushing through cold midnight skies.

Nocturnal Pulse” is one of three tracks on Night Crown‘s debut EP, Humanity Will Echo Out, which will be released on November 30 by Black Lion Records. But while Night Crowned may be a new formation, its line-up includes current and previous members of The Crown, Dark Funeral, Nightrage, and Cipher System, with a combined catalogue of more than 20 albums to their credit, and thus this new record is far from a fledgling flight — which will quickly become apparent as you listen. Continue reading »

Aug 262018


The thick blanket of smoke that’s fallen over the part of Wyoming where I’m currently vacationing has diminished the attractiveness of outdoor activity, and that in turn led me to do what I usually do on Saturday afternoons and Sunday mornings — listen to recent offerings of music from the darkest realms.

Strong winds seem to be creating some clearing in the noxious fog from burning forests, so I probably won’t be writing a second part for this column, though I have more than enough new songs and full releases to justify it. I’ll have to content myself with the following five selections.


Last week brought us the second single from the fourth album, Shem Ha Mephorash, by the Swedish band Mephorash. The first single, “777: Third Woe“, was released way back in November of 2017, and it prompted me to marvel at its pitch-black devotion — music that was reverential, grandiose, and fearsome in its conjuring of majestic and sinister power (and also quite memorable). Continue reading »