Dec 042022


The usual Sunday routine, waking up and not preparing for church, like some unfathomable number of people around the world do, but instead knowing that I’ll spend the next couple of hours listening and re-listening to nothing but variants of black metal, including the Satan-worshiping, Christ-hating variants.

It’s a habit I’m quite comfortable with, at least when I get a decent Saturday-night sleep and keep the Saturday-night drinking at a moderate level. The task of picking and choosing from what I’ve heard creates an inner tension I could do without, but it’s the need to choose that drives the listening. I wouldn’t be making choices if I weren’t writing this thing, and if I weren’t writing this thing I doubt I’d be spending Sunday mornings listening to black metal.

But I’d probably just be making other choices, and less pleasurable ones — wash the dishes? do a load of laundry? pay some nagging bills? heat up the leftover pizza or eat it cold? dig deeper into why 1,700 seals have been found dead on Russia’s Caspian coast?

Nah, I don’t want to make those choices. I made these instead: Continue reading »

Apr 152020


Anguishing Reveries“, the song you’re about to hear, is an eye-popping, jaw-dropping surprise — in part because the title may lead you to expect one thing and the music will deliver something astonishingly different. The music is astonishing for other reasons besides the possible mis-direction of the title, but we’ll come to that explanation in a minute.

For now, let’s tell you that the song is the creation of Texas vocalist and multi-instrumentalist David Baxter (drummer of Plutonian Shore, ex-Skrew, ex-Škan) operating under the name Sarpa, a project that he formed in 2018. And the track appears on Sarpa’s debut album Solivagus, which will be released on June 5th of this year. Musically (to borrow from the advance press material), the album is “primarily embedded in the essence of black metal, but Sarpa throws other ingredients such as progressive rock, acoustics, old school death/thrash, and some Afro/Latin rhythms into the pot”.

And now let’s get back to the song you’re about to hear…. Continue reading »