Sep 012019


I usually don’t include new songs by the truly “big name” bands in these columns, because anyone who cares about black metal will have already discovered them, and often because there’s better stuff churning deeper in the underground. But I made an exception today, for reasons to be explained, and then moved on from there deeper into subterranean recesses. I’m kind of proud about the way the music flows in this collection. You can decide for yourselves whether, as a playlist, these selections work well together.


The Internet loves “best of” lists, especially in genres of entertainment. If you peruse any of the many web lists of the best black metal of all time it’s inevitable that you will see De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. That release happened 25 years ago, but even if Mayhem had never recorded anything else they probably would have already assured themselves an important place in the history of black metal.

But of course they went on to release four more albums of (it must be said) uneven quality, along with a slew of compilations, live recordings, and other scattered short things, all of which together demonstrate that from humble beginnings Mayhem has mutated into a formidable business enterprise. Continue reading »

Jan 142016

Plateau Sigma-Rituals


It’s been one of those weeks when I haven’t had as much time as I would like to write about newly discovered music. As a result, I find myself with an enormous backlog of new and not-so-new songs, EPs, and albums that I’d really like to mention. In such circumstances, I generally just throw mental darts at my mental to-do lists, and that’s what I’ve done here. However, despite the largely random nature of this selection, the music I’ve chosen to recommend presents some nice genre diversity. Hopefully, you’ll find something below that rings your chimes.


I must thank KevinP for urging me to listen to this first song. The name is “Palladion” and it comes from Rituals, the forthcoming second album by Italy’s Plateau Sigma. Like all the bands whose music I’ve collected in this post, I was unfamiliar with Plateau Sigma before listening to the song, and therefore didn’t know what to expect.

The massive, groaning riffs and beguiling melody grabbed me almost instantly — and then the vocals began. At first I was downcast; I was hoping for some cavernous growls. And then something strange and wondrous happened. Continue reading »