Jul 232014

Here’s a typically random and diverse collection of recommended new music and metal news that I came across over the last 24 hours. It ranges from highly anticipated black metal to a metal banjo cover, with all sorts of different musical trajectories in between.


The fourth album by Colorado’s Nightbringer is entitled Ego Dominus Tuus (I Am Your Lord), and it’s due for release by Season of Mist on September 20 in NorthAm (September 26 elsewhere). Yesterday, SoM revealed the cover art by David Herrerias (above), which is wonderful. At the same time, the first advance track from the album began streaming at various sites around the globe. Its name is “Et Nox Illuminatio Mea In Deliciis Meis”, which refers to a line from Psalm 139. According to the band:

“The lyrics draw heavily upon this psalm, which we feel, via a perhaps more heretical approach, elucidates symbols relevant to the ‘midnight sun’ and the ‘night of light’. Furthermore we touch upon the Greek melancholia and the sovereignty of Saturn over those of us who are born with his mark and our relation to the former concepts as well as the significance of the ‘black light’ of our Lord. It speaks much of the ecstatic furor one may enter in which wisdom is imparted both from above, below and within, via a state of ‘divine madness’. “

Should you be interested in reading the 139th Psalm, you can do so here (the song’s title refers to the phrase “and night shall be my light in my pleasures”). Whether you do or don’t peruse the psalm, I strongly recommend listening to the song (it’s streaming at Stereogum here). Continue reading »

Jul 082014

This is a collection of news and new music I discovered last night and this morning. When I use the “Shades of Black” title, it doesn’t always mean that everything in the post will be black metal, but it does today. On the other hand, most of the music in this post isn’t likely to conform to any preconceptions that most casual listeners may have about the sound of black metal. If one were to construct a bell curve of the genre, almost everything in here would be out on the edges.


Austria’s Abigor have finished recording their tenth studio album, entitled Leitmotif Luzifer — The 7 Temptations of Man. It will be released by Avantgarde Music on July 11. Despite Abigor’s long history, I’ve never listened to any of their previous releases from start to finish, and I’m not even certain I’ve ever listened to any individual songs. So this new album will be my first proper introduction to the band — and from what I’ve heard so far, it will be a very happy meeting.

Abigor have created a Bandcamp page on which they’ve uploaded two different teaser tracks, each of which contains excerpts from songs on the new album. They emphasize on that page that “no synthetic elements have been used” in the recording of the album — “the guitars are completely free of any effects, neither reverb nor any special effects edit were allowed to touch the string instruments on this album”, and “for vocals only reverb and delay has been used, no pitch or chorus or any other effect stained the purity and directness”.

The teaser clips collectively include nearly 18 minutes of music, though no complete songs. To say the least, the music displayed by these teasers is esoteric and eccentric, but it’s also fascinating and rich in its diversity. Continue reading »

Mar 162014

Hey there. Happy goddamn Sunday to one and all. Most metal blog proprietors take the weekend off, to rest from their work-week labors and to recover from their binge drinking on Friday night. We’re not smart enough to do that. For the last four-plus years we’ve treated Saturdays and Sundays as just two more opportunities to mess with your earholes. Onward to the messing, with four items I filtered from the effluent of the interhole yesterday, presented in alphabetical order:


I came across this Vancouver band via a Facebook post by Vault of Dried Bones, who will be releasing a cassette EP or album (I’m not sure which) by Deathwinds named Endless Wastelands. The only other thing I know about the band is that their three-person line-up (Nocturnal Black, Filth Destroyer, and Desolator) includes members of Chapel and Radioactive Vomit.

Yesterday Vault of Dried Bones began streaming a song named “Black Tombs’ Spirit” on SoundCloud, but after a little poking around I discovered that both “Black Tombs’ Spirit” and another song (“Death Rule”) are up on Bandcamp as pay-what-you-want downloads. I think I can safely say that I love the shit out of them. Continue reading »

May 012013

Life is so chaotic that I have a tendency to seek order in such small ways as finding themes for the collections of music I compile for this site. For this post, the unifying theme is chaos. Go figure.

There’s a lot of music to be streamed in this post, and none of it will leave you any peace.


In celebration of Walpurgisnacht, which was last night, Indiana’s Ptahil released another in their recent series of singles (the last one featured here). In the case of “Puzuzu”, they announced that it was “the completion of a Destruction Ritual dedicated to school & city officials of Steubenville, Ohio for their willing participation and condoning of child molestation/rape & child pornography.” Ptahil didn’t go into details, but it’s not hard to guess what they’re talking about.

Rage flows through “Pazuzu”. It hits like a thousand flails falling on naked flesh in the eye of a vortex. It’s a storm wind of howling guitars and thundering drums with a chorus of the damned and demented roaring and muttering in its midst. Buried within the layers of noise, riveting guitar leads can be heard and rhythms manage to take hold, but in the main, this is pitch-black, take-no-prisoners destructiveness. More killing music from one of my favorite bands. Continue reading »

Nov 042012

It’s been so damned long since I made a MISCELLANY excursion that I had to check the date of the last one: No. 47 was on Sept. 23. Pathetic. Way past time to do it again.

A reminder about the MISCELLANY rules: I pick bands whose music I’ve never heard before (and usually, as in this edition, bands whose names I’ve never heard before); I listen to one or two songs, not knowing what the music is going to sound like; I write some impressions here; and I include the music I heard so you can check it out for yourselves.

With a big list of bands stretching back months that I could pick from, what did I do? I chose four bands who I heard about for the first time during the past week. In fact, three of them I heard about only yesterday. I obviously have poor impulse control.

I nearly called this installment the “Friends Helping Friends” edition because each band was recommended by a friend, each of whom will be identified in due course. These are the bands, and for a change, all four are from the U.S.: NightbringerCyanic, Lorelei, and Nick Millevoi. And here’s a hint about the outcomes of this experiment: My friends know how to pick winners.


Nightbringer came my way via NCS writer BadWolf — no comments from him, simply a link to this band’s Bandcamp page, where I found a variety of music streaming. The most recent release is an April 2012 singles collection called Fight Like Hell, which includes all the songs from two previous short releases plus a couple of new tracks. It’s available at a “pay what you want” price for a download on Bandcamp, and you can order the CD there as well.

This Nightbringer, by the way, is not the black metal band of the same name from Colorado. This Nightbringer is from fuckin’ Motor City. Continue reading »

Jun 292010

Why do people read album reviews? In an extremely rare moment of logical thought, I decided that was a question worth considering when I started writing them myself. Just seemed to me that if I really wanted anyone to give a fuck about what I wrote, it might make sense to figure out what people were looking for. Here are the answers I came up with:

First, some people are looking for advice in deciding whether to spend their time (and maybe their money) on the music.

Second, even if readers already know the band and have their own opinions about the album, they’re curious about how the particular writer has reacted to it, and why — maybe as validation for their own opinions, maybe as a test about whether their own musical taste has finally fallen all the way into the shitter.

And/or third, they want to be entertained by the writing — even if they don’t really give a crap about the album itself.

I read album reviews for all three of those reasons, and I try to keep those reasons in mind when I write my own, even though I know full well that (a) anyone who looks to me for advice is scraping rock-bottom; (b) no one in their right mind would use my opinion as a standard by which to judge their own; and (c) my best shot at being entertaining depends on using words like “shitter,” “crap,” “fuck,” and “anus” as often as possible.

For me, the best reviews are those that satisfy all three of the criteria listed above. But I confess that, more and more, I read reviews for the third reason — to be entertained. I still read reviews to find new music, though the truth is that I already have so much new music to hear that I need more like I need a second anus. And I figured out a long time ago that I like so much of what I hear that testing my opinions against those of respected critics would just make me feel even more retarded than I already feel.

So, realizing that the desire to be entertained is a big part of why I gravitate to particular reviews, I decided to sample for you some of the best lines I found in music reviews over the past week. Why? Because it’s fucking entertaining.  (so, if you want to be fucking entertained, continue reading past the fucking jump . . .) Continue reading »