Jun 072021


Today’s roundup of new music and videos is a real hodgepodge (or perhaps you would prefer mishmash) of metallic creativity. At least one of the entries is a massive hodgepodge unto itself. A full trip through all of them may leave you shaking your head — hopefully in wonder.


2021 marks the 30th anniversary of this pioneering funeral doom band, remarkably with its original line-up still intact. To celebrate their long survival, they have a new album named Companion that’s ready for release on September 24th by Svart Records. The first single, “Calla“, emerged last week with a beautiful and haunting video made by Tuomas A. Laitinen that perfectly suits the music and the equally haunting words, which incorporate references to pale calla lilies in a story of longing and closure. 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 »