Sep 132017


Though I’ve grown into quite an intense fan of black metal over the last decade, I’m still constantly discovering bands with significant histories that I’ve never encountered before, and Australia’s Nocturnes Mist is one such late discovery. Their inception dates back to 1997, though their first album, As Flames Burn, didn’t arrive until 2009. Two more albums have followed that one, including last year’s March To Perdition and Diabolical Baptism, which we are premiering today in advance of its September 15th release by Seance Records.

From what I’ve read, the earlier works were a form of symphonic black metal in the style of early Emperor, Satyricon, Abigor, and Nazxul, but the band’s Satanic inspirations (including the creation of a song based on the film score of The Omen trilogy of movies) have led them away from that on this most recent album and turned them more toward the raw, rapacious, and feral energies of early ’90s black metal.

And yet, there is still a symphonic quality in the music despite the deployment of keyboards in only rare instances, and by that I mean there is an inherent drama and enormous power in this music, and a grandiosity that befits the album’s devotion to its titanic and diabolical subject matter. Continue reading »

Jul 232017


Another Sunday, another edition of SHADES OF BLACK, and this time I’ve chosen advance tracks by five bands from forthcoming releases. Two of those releases are reissues of earlier works, but the bands were new to me despite the existence of those earlier efforts, and perhaps they’ll be new to you as well.


In the fall of 2015 the Slovakian band Malokarpatan released their debut album Stridžie dni (“the witching days”), which turned out to be one of the biggest and best surprises of that year, even though I didn’t tumble to it until early 2016. With lyrics written in a local dialect, the album was based on the grotesque myths and folklore of Western Slovakia, based on “rural witchcraft, drunkenness and also national pride.” As I wrote then: Continue reading »