Jan 112020


The two songs I decided to join together in this 6th installment of the list come from bands who made comebacks last year — and not the kind of comebacks that tend to produce yawns or regrets. Both of the albums were excellent, and I’d go so far as to say that the first of those was one of the best comebacks ever recorded. Obviously, both of them were also home to some very addictive songs as well.


Nocturnus carved their name in the death metal history books with the groundbreaking 1990 album The Key, after which certain members of the band trademarked the name and then fired the band’s founder Mike Browning (who also co-founded Morbid Angel). He carried on with other members of Nocturnus under the name After Death, releasing a handful of demos between 2002 and 2009, and a split with Unaussprechlichen Kulten in 2012. Continue reading »

May 282019


(Todd Manning prepared this review of the new album by Nocturnus AD, which was released late last week by Profound Lore Records.)

There is a small but dedicated group of metalheads who have been waiting a long time for a new record from Floridian Sci-Fi Death Metal powerhouse Nocturnus. Well, the wait is finally over. They have returned, now known as Nocturnus AD, and their new album Paradox dropped on May 24th.

Most fans consider their first album, 1990’s The Key to be their best. Nocturnus’ style was jarring to say the least, and at the time, it certainly triggered strong opinions both positive and negative from Death Metal fans worldwide. The production was cold and the band’s technical Death/Thrash hybrid could be bizarre at times. The most divisive element, though, proved to be their heavy use of keyboards. In the early days of the genre, this amounted to pure heresy. Continue reading »

Mar 242019


Yes, I know it’s Sunday, but I did listen to all the selections in this round-up on Saturday. I just didn’t get this post finished in time to launch it yesterday.

I listened to a lot of other things yesterday, too. Some of that will find its way into the usual SHADES OF BLACK column later today. Other songs and videos were also interesting, but I had to draw the line somewhere. Drawing lines gives me a headache, especially because I know that Monday will begin another week filled with new songs and videos on top of those from last week that I failed to get to, and another week when my day job (again) probably won’t leave me enough time for round-ups.

Doom plays a role in all of the following songs, which factored into my line-drawing, but the sounds of suffering play quite different roles from song to song.


In their 25th year October Tide are releasing a new album, which founding guitarist Fredrik Norrman describes as “a bit more aggressive, a bit more death metal, and with an overall colder feeling than previous records”. His brother, guitarist Mattias, is still in harness, as is vocalist Alexander Högbom, but since the band’s last album they’ve added a new bassist (Johan Jönsegård) and a new drummer (Jonas Sköld), both of whom are also members of Letters From the Colony (who seem to have a lot of Meshuggah in their DNA, at least based on this live video from last summer). Continue reading »