Feb 042021


The Canadian band Plague Weaver was formed in 2018 by RM, and through both a self-titled debut EP in 2019 and the 2020 EP Through the Sulphur Eyes, the project displayed an intertwining of traditional black metal and doom-inspired atmospheres. In the summer of last year, new vocalist JC joined this infernal formation, and the duo began work on a debut album that has now reached completion.

Entitled Ascendant Blasphemy, the album reflects an evolution from the preceding EPs and increased diversity in the song-writing. As the band correctly observe, it’s still “a pretty cold journey from start to finish”, but the songs are more riff-driven and vary in their tempos and tones, ranging from savage attacks to more mid-paced excursions and more doom-drenched songs at the end. The album, as the band say, “aims to invigorate and distress the listener.”

Ascendant Blasphemy will be released on February 26th, and today we present a lyric video for a piece of musical diabolism called “Deicidal Usurper“. Continue reading »

Dec 252019


My time is running short, so I’ll dispense with any further introduction beyond what I included in Part 1 earlier today.


The next song in this two-part collection is “Empire of Worms“, off a new album by the Istanbul-based black metal band Zifir. Entitled Demoniac Ethics, the new full-length is accompanied by the artwork of one of my favorite dark-art creators, Vergvoktre, and it will be released by Duplicate Records on January 24th. The track premiered about one week ago at Decibel. One other track from the album (“Chants for Execution“) surfaced around Thanksgiving, and I’ve included that stream as well. Continue reading »

Mar 242019


Yes, I know it’s Sunday, but I did listen to all the selections in this round-up on Saturday. I just didn’t get this post finished in time to launch it yesterday.

I listened to a lot of other things yesterday, too. Some of that will find its way into the usual SHADES OF BLACK column later today. Other songs and videos were also interesting, but I had to draw the line somewhere. Drawing lines gives me a headache, especially because I know that Monday will begin another week filled with new songs and videos on top of those from last week that I failed to get to, and another week when my day job (again) probably won’t leave me enough time for round-ups.

Doom plays a role in all of the following songs, which factored into my line-drawing, but the sounds of suffering play quite different roles from song to song.


In their 25th year October Tide are releasing a new album, which founding guitarist Fredrik Norrman describes as “a bit more aggressive, a bit more death metal, and with an overall colder feeling than previous records”. His brother, guitarist Mattias, is still in harness, as is vocalist Alexander Högbom, but since the band’s last album they’ve added a new bassist (Johan Jönsegård) and a new drummer (Jonas Sköld), both of whom are also members of Letters From the Colony (who seem to have a lot of Meshuggah in their DNA, at least based on this live video from last summer). Continue reading »