Nov 142019


My own exposure to the Italian pagan-inspired black metal band Nova came through their second album, 2017’s Soli Contro il Mondo (“alone standing against the world”), which we reviewed and premiered here, and which I proclaimed one of that year’s best and most exciting black metal albums.

It’s thus thrilling to know that these Venetians are returning with another album this year. Its title is Veniamo Dal Cielo (“we come from the sky”), and the same label (ATMF) that released the first two albums will be releasing this third one, too — on Friday the 13th of December. The title track from the album is already out in the world, and today we present a second one — “Noi mai Vinti” (“We, never defeated”). Continue reading »

Jan 282018


My NCS time has been constricted by other activities this weekend, so I won’t have time to prepare the usual Sunday SHADES OF BLACK column, but to (sort of) make up for that I did decide to focus on black metal in this 15th Part of my Most Infectious Song list. And I also decided to pack five songs into this installment rather than the usual smaller number.

Hope you enjoy these choices, especially because it was so tough for me to pick just one song from each of the albums released by these bands last year. I think they make a pretty damned powerful playlist.


I delivered an impulsive though compact review of Kong Vinter very soon after listening to it for the first time, and proclaimed it one of my favorite albums of 2017. My impression now, two months later, is that it was under-appreciated in the froth of year-end lists, perhaps because it came out so late in the year and was preceded by the release of only one single (“Inntrenger”). Continue reading »

Dec 132017


Soli Contro il Mondo (“alone standing against the world”) is the second album by the black metal band Nova from Veneto, Italy. It was preceded by a debut full-length in 2014 named Il ritorno (“the return”). The new album will be released on December 18 by ATMF, but we are privileged to bring you a full stream of the album today.

I first encountered music from Soli Contro il Mondo in mid-November, when two tracks from the album were then available for listening on Bandcamp — the opener “Guerra per il Firmamento” and “Contro il Drago e il Toro“. I was thoroughly captivated by both of them. In both, the drumwork is riveting, the vocals are inflamed by raw passion, and the sweeping, panoramic riffs create a sense of sublime melancholy grandeur. Continue reading »

Nov 192017


I’m approaching this Sunday’s SHADES OF BLACK post in a different way.  As usual, I have a long list of new music I’d like to recommend to you this week, but as I begin writing this morning, I haven’t decided in advance which items from the list I’ll feature here, and that’s not usual.

I’m still in Texas, where I’ve been since Friday, but I’m flying home later today and am meeting up with some friends in advance of that, and I don’t know how far I’ll be able to go with this post before I have to stop. So, I’m going to put together the artwork, the music streams and links, and a few words for each selection before moving to the next one, and when I have to stop, I’ll stop.


In this Swedish band’s last album, 2015’s Rites of Nullification, my colleague Andy Synn saw the flowering of a band whose previous releases hadn’t really stood out to him. He wrote (here): Continue reading »