Apr 042021


I explained yesterday that I’m on a weekend vacation. I also wrote that I wasn’t sure if I would prepare this usual Sunday column. Obviously, I have.

But because I’m really trying to make as much room as I can for rest and relaxation (which in my case is like making room for self-mutilation), I’ve limited myself to things I can quickly and impulsively react to — just a scattering of advance tracks and one stand-alone video. It was even easier for me to make these selections because all of them are by bands in whom I already had complete confidence.

I’ve also been listening to some albums this weekend that have also seized my attention. Depending on how the day goes, I might have a second installment devoted to those. Continue reading »

Jan 312020


Ossaert is a new one-person Dutch band, hailing from the river-wreathed city of Zwolle in northeastern Netherlands. The band’s first full-length, which also includes the work of session drummer W., is named Bedehuis, and it will be released on February 14th by Argento Records. The four songs on the album (which total 35 minutes of music despite the small number of tracks) don’t have names, only numbers.

I came across the opener, “I“, on Bandcamp before listening to the album as a whole, and wasted no time writing about it in one of our weekly SHADES OF BLACK columns. The song saturates the senses, delivering full-throttle drumming, rapidly gouging riffs, insanely flickering leads, febrile bass lines, and a rich array of harsh and clean vocals, which collectively become astonishing. Near the middle, a new riff appears which conjoins feelings of bleakness and grandeur, and becomes magnetically attractive.

The song attacks and it soars, and its intensity is unrelenting. I found it tremendously exciting — maybe “breathtaking” is a better word. And so when we were given the opportunity to premiere another track from Bedehuis, that was an easy “Yes!” Continue reading »

Jan 142020


Apologies for not posting a SHADES OF BLACK on Sunday, where it belongs. For reasons related to my day job I had to go to Texas for a long weekend, and spent a big part Sunday getting back to Seattle. While in Texas I had time to pick what I wanted to write about, but not enough time to do the writing. And then Sunday night my home lost power and internet access due to a snowfall, with the problems lasting well into mid-day on Monday, so that trashed my plans to post this yesterday.

In the meantime, of course, a lot more black metal has surfaced, and I decided to include just one of those new songs along with the ones I originally picked for Sunday.


God Knows Why” is the one new song I decided to add. It debuted today along with a fascinating but NSFW video. The song is off the new album by the Polish black metal band Medico Peste, whose music is also fascinating and not safe for work, or for just about anyplace else. Continue reading »