Jan 142023


No, this isn’t a weather report on what’s happening in California this Saturday. The post title is just a sign that I decided to “go big” with today’s collection of new songs and videos.

The time it takes me to write up each day’s selections for our 2022 Most Infectious Song list (and surely you’ve been looking at those, haven’t you?) has prevented me from doing any “Seen and Heard” round-ups since January 4th, and consequently the pile of new things has grown to mountainous proportions. Hence the temptation to make this roundup a big one, even though what remains still looks like a mountain.

On the other hand, today IS a Saturday, and coming up I have both a work meeting and an NFL football playoff game I need to watch, even though the odds of our local team winning are remote, so to save time I’ve mostly dispensed with album art and order links, and cut back on the usual verbiage. I’ve organized these according to genre and style. Don’t forget I’ll have another column tomorrow, devoted to shades of black metal. Continue reading »

Jan 102019


Here are a few of the songs and videos that brightened and darkened my night. I encountered all of them in a rush of listening at full dark yesterday evening. Most of them appeared within the last 36 hours. If you’re like me, the flow of these songs will take you from a blazing high down into more cold and wretched depths, and then soaring again — and I’ll close with a stream of a new EP that was released by surprise last night.


All three members of the Ukrainian band Windswept, including vocalist/guitarist Roman Sayenko, are also members of Drudkh, Precambrian, and Rattenfänger. Under the Windswept banner they released an excellent debut album in 2017 entitled The Great Cold Steppe (from which we hosted the premiere of a fiery song, “Shrouded In Pale Shining, So Sleeps Infinite Ancient Steppe”). Having been a fan of that album, it took about a nano-second for me to jump on the band’s new EP Visionaire when I discovered its existence last February, and (as explained here) found it to be powerfully moving as well.

Windswept now have a new album for us, which will be released by Season of Mist on February 8th. Its name is The Onlooker, and the first track in today’s collection is one released yesterday with the interesting title “Gustav Meyrink’s Prague“. (If you’d like to learn about Gustav Meyrink and of how his life changed in Prague, check this article.) Continue reading »

Apr 022018


In the far northwestern corner of Portugal in the town of Viana near the Lima river estuary is a 16th-century fortress whose name is Castelo de Santiago da Barra. On the night of March 24th, in a chapel within the old castle, two talented funeral doom bands put on a memorable performance. One was Seattle’s Bell Witch, whose name has become well-known far and wide. The other is a Portuguese duo whose name is just beginning to spread. But what might now be only whispers about the band are likely to rise to an enthusiastic clamoring once more people discover their music.

That Portuguese duo, who have taken the name Oak, are both members of Gaerea, a tremendous black metal band who themselves have a new album on the horizon (you can hear the first single from the album at this location). Not long ago we had the pleasure of premiering a video for a live studio recording of an Oak composition called “Sculptures“, and today we present a professionally shot video of their set on March 24th at Castelo de Santiago da Barra. Continue reading »

Mar 202018


On March 11, 2018, a Portuguese duo who have taken the name Oak entered Stone Sound Studio in Portugal and made a live recording of a composition called “Sculptures“. The performance was filmed, and now we present both the song and the video to the public for the first time.

Our interest in Oak began when we learned that the two men in the project are also members of the Portuguese black metal band Gaerea, whose debut EP was one of the best shorter releases of 2016 (and one we wrote about repeatedly, both before and after its release, including a post in which we named “Void of Numbness” to our list of the year’s “Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs“).

But in Oak, the two participants have turned their talents in the direction of funeral doom/death — and what they’ve accomplished just with this one song is strikingly impressive. Continue reading »

Jun 302014

Here are three videos that caught my eye yesterday. In each case the music is different from what we normally cover here; those of you, for example, who are into the kind of aural terrors I posted in yesterday’s two Shades of Black offerings will probably turn away quickly. I’m normally just like you, though the three songs featured here have grown on me as I’ve watched the videos more than once. Yet the main reason I’m posting them is because I thought the films were very well done and made for interesting and effective interpretations of the music.


I saw this group described as “one of Los Angeles’s premier goth/ darkwave/ synth punk bands”.  Not an enticing description. But then I saw an article on CVLT Nation that called the video “stellar” and the best one the author had seen all month. I admit that I was also intrigued by the still photo from the video (above) that accompanied the CVLT Nation article. Plus, the band’s name is metal.

An Italian visual artist named Francesco Brunotti directed the video. On the one hand, it just shows a woman (contemporary dancer Valentina Jalali) moving to the music in an abandoned building. On the other hand, she looks a lot better in corpse-paint and spikes than this guy:


Continue reading »