Sep 182019


Mahasamadhi is the debut album of Selenite, a project created by Stefan Traunmüller of the ’90s symphonic black metal band Golden Dawn. Here, he wrote and recorded everything, joined by professional opera singer Antonia Gust on two tracks. The music could be thought of as an amalgam of funeral doom, doom/death, and maybe a bit of symphonic black metal, yet the resulting fusion stands apart from all those antecedents, creating an experience that is both terrifically heavy and mesmerizingly mystical.

Clues to the visions captured in the songs can be found in the project’s name, which has two meanings: “Selenites” was the name given by certain sources to imagined inhabitants of the moon during the 19th century (and to extraterritorial civilization of lunar creatures encountered by human explorers in H.G. Wells‘ 1901 novel First Men in the Moon). “Selenite” is also the moonstone, a white gypsum crystal that is thought to calm and soothe the mind and to bring tranquility.

Further clues can be found in the album’s title. We are told that “Mahasamadhi means the intended death of a yogi who has reached unity beyond duality and is free from all karma,” and thus the integration of Sanskrit mantras and Eastern spirituality is part of Selenite’s concept. Continue reading »

Aug 232019


I’m posting this Friday round-up on my way to Sea-Tac airport, where I hope to depart the area for a mini-vacation in Wyoming with a bunch of other miscreants, returning Monday night. I’m not sure how much else I’ll be able to write for NCS between now and then, and I’ve been scurrying even to get this round-up completed before I disappear into the wild blue yonder.

A ton of new music has appeared over the last 24 hours, much of it from bigger names in the metal cosmos. I’ve included some of that here, but not all of it. There is, for example, a video released today for a new Insomnium song called “Valediction” (here) from the album Heart Like A Grave, out on October 4th, that I haven’t included. I assume it’s proving to be a crowd-pleaser. I’ve only listened to it once, and it did get its hooks in my noggin, but I also have some mixed feelings about it. And anyway, I wanted to make room for a couple of more obscure names in addition to the big ones below.


I’m beginning with a video for a new song by Alcest named “Protection“, from their new album Spiritual Instinct. Here’s what vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Neige had to say about it: Continue reading »