Feb 042019


This is another instance in which I consciously paired songs for this list because I thought they sounded good together. In fact, the second one helped me decide on the track I chose from the first band’s album (a choice that had become an intractable mental struggle).

To check out the previous installments of this still-expanding list, you’ll find them behind this link, and to learn what this series is all about, go here.


This really was a tough call for me. After listening to Wolfheart’s latest album, Constellation of the Black Light, I had no doubt that something from it would be on this list, I just didn’t know which track it would be.  The album came hot on the heels of 2017’s Tyhjyys, but as DGR noted in his review, it nevertheless continued the band’s impressive level of consistent quality, delivering a blend of fast-paced, explosive hammering and brooding, wintry melody with an often epic atmosphere. Continue reading »

Feb 212018


I don’t know if I’ll manage to follow through, but my plan for today is to post two round-ups of new music, this one being the first. As the post title suggests, I carved these songs away from the others and pulled them in here because the vocals in each of them aren’t solely of the kind that would suit the (demonstrably porous) rule in our site’s title. That’s right (gasp), there are some clean-sung melodies in these tracks… combined in each song with harsh ones.

Of course, to my ears the tracks have many other things to recommend them or I wouldn’t have asked you to listen. But the varied voices in these tracks are part of what made them stand out to me.


In April of last year I came across and wrote about a song from a two-track demo by a Bay-area band named Ails, whose line-up included two former members of the sorely missed Ludicra — vocalist Laurie Sue Shanaman and guitarist/vocalist Christy Cather — as well as guitarist Sam Abend (Desolation, Abrubt, Scurvy Dogs), drummer Colby Byrn (One In The Chamber, 2084, Aequorea), and bassist Jason Miller (Apocryphon, Cretaceous, Phantom Limbs). At the time, Ails was in the process of mastering their full-length debut and were seeking label support — and they got it, to no surprise of mine or anyone else who heard that demo. Continue reading »