Sep 032021


If you think of the eight tracks on the new album by Australia’s Norse as pieces in a subterranean nightmare museum shrouded in gleaming black cloth, Transcending Obscurity Records has been pulling the shrouds away, one by one, to disclose what lies beneath. Four of these terrifying obsidian sculptures have been revealed so far. Today we’ve been allowed to expose a fifth one.

Well, that metaphor only works to a limited extent, because the eight tracks on Ascetic aren’t fixed in place like sculptures. They move in strange and frightening ways, morphing like a viscous metallic liquid that’s freezing to the touch. The music writhes and contorts, twisting in unexpected but relentlessly frightening ways. Even when the band use ambient and symphonic textures to create mysterious and mesmerizing visions, as they do most prominently in “Fearless Fifth Seeker”, there’s a feeling of alien menace lurking within those sonic astral planes. Continue reading »

Apr 062017


Norse are a two-man black metal band, and they’re named Norse, but their music isn’t a re-tread of second-wave Scandinavian tropes. Without wholly jettisoning the cold ferocity and hatefulness of the genre’s most conventional style, their music is a twisted and dystopian vision, one that spawns nightmarish imaginings of a dark future rather than ancient myths or the occult conjuring of demonic powers.

The band’s new album is The Divine Light Of A New Sun, It’s set for release on May 25 by Transcending Obscurity Records, and today we bring you a song from the album named “Supreme Vertical Ascent“. Continue reading »

Jan 012017

Partied hard, smiling big.


Happy New Year to one and all. I hope you survived whatever you did last night, intact and with only a modicum of blood loss and brain-cell death. I would tell you in detail what I did but I’m not sure you could stand the excitement. Even I was so drained after both putting down the robot uprising and preventing the savagery of the loris horde’s celebration from overflowing their compound, armed with nothing but a few blow darts, that I was asleep by 10:30, stone cold sober and vomit-free.

I’m beginning the new year at NCS the way I ended the old one (here), by assembling a giant batch of the new music I heard in recent days that I thought would be worth your time, plus one older release I came across only recently.

As a trained medical professional (ha!), I’ll warn you that if you did suffer more than a modicum of blood loss or neuronal cell death, you might want to wait another day before exploring what awaits you below. It won’t help your recovery, and it’s no sane person’s idea of a hangover cure. Damned good metal, though.

I’ll also mention that because this post takes the place of my usual Sunday Shades of Black feature, the music is mainly in a blackened vein, though not entirely. Continue reading »

Mar 312015


(Here’s the latest installment of KevinP’s series in which he runs down his list of the best releases from the preceding month.)

The French are weird (but we knew that, so it’s not really weird).  Dark Descent Records just came up a little short. Ever realize the island country of Cyprus had metal bands? Let’s eat some Vegemite and sauerkraut. And the Greeks have returned to the countdown.  Now, let’s get on with it.


5.  Corpo-MenteCorpo-Mente

If you are a fan of Gautier Serre and the thoroughly warped Igorrr, you may have heard of this side project of his.  Featuring the lush operatic vocals of Laure Le Prunenec (Öxxö Xööx, Rïcïnn), it’s much more, shall we say, “tame”.  It’s a classical journey of baroque, trip-hop, and acoustique.  It’s by no means a metal album, but that doesn’t stop it from being one hell of a piece of art. Continue reading »