Jan 182016

Rotting Christ-Rituals


Earlier today when I posted Part One of this Shades of Black feature (here) I mentioned that I would have Part Two ready to go later today or tomorrow. Despite the title of this post, it actually isn’t the Part Two that I had planned. What you’ll find here instead are three very good new songs that I didn’t encounter until today, and I thought I’d help spread the word about them right away. And so the original Part Two will become Part Three, hopefully by tomorrow.


Today another new track from Rotting Christ’s forthcoming album Rituals premiered at 11 music sites around the world (though none are based in North America). The name of the song is “זה נגמר (Ze Nigmar)” (an Aramaic phrase meaning “it’s done”), and because the premiere took the form of a YouTube stream, I’ve taken the liberty of embedding it below. Continue reading »

Oct 172013

(In this post BadWolf reviews the new album by Finland’s Oranssi Pazuzu, which is out now via 20 Buck Spin in the US and Svart Records in Europe.)

In the first seconds of Oranssi Pazuzu’s new album, Valonielu, I knew I was in for something different. “Vino Verso” opens with a swell of synth and guitar, like something out of my favorite 80’s Judas Priest record—but wait, I thought, Isn’t this a black metal album? The dirty guitars kick in, but they work at a slow, syncopated, doom-sludge stomp. Then the synths break back in, reminiscent of Sanford Parker’s blackened-dance accents on Nachtmystium’s Addicts album. It’s was one left turn after another, and then I looked at my iPod—I was only two minutes into the album. What. The. Fuck.

I like weird black metal. Something about the genre lends itself to unexpected twists in the music—perhaps it’s because the basic building blocks of the genre, blastbeats and tremolo picking, are both simple and versatile. And pretty optional. Oranssi Pazuzu seldom do either, which begs the question: Is this black metal, or have we gotten so lazy with genre tags that we just lump any two things with tangental similarity together? There is a downside to resisting new subgenre tags for a band like this. Continue reading »

Dec 192011

(Tamás Kátai is the man behind a Hungarian band called Thy Catafalque, whose fifth album Rengeteg is one of my favorite recordings of the year,  for reasons I’ll be explaining in a forthcoming review. Also, a song from that album will appear soon on our list of the year’s most infectious extreme metal songs. So of course, as part of our Listmania series, I asked Tamás to contribute his list of the year’s best albums — and here we have it.)

10. Baaba KulkaBaaba Kulka

A Polish band with early Iron Maiden covers up to Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son album. Why it’s interesting and worthy of note is that they handle the task with exceptional freedom and taste. My faves are the trip-hopish “Aces High” and the beautifully low-key “Flight Of Icarus”. True Warriors Of Heavy Metal keep out!

Continue reading »