May 032021


Part 2 of this week’s Shades of Black isn’t as voluminous as Part 1 was. I had two objectives in making it: First, to give some early attention to a four-way split many of us have been eagerly awaiting for a very long time; and second, to follow through in recommending an album I had originally intended to include in Part 2 of last week’s column, but had to cut because I ran out of time.


The long-awaited split is SamaeLilith: A Conjunction of the Fireborn, and it combines the prodigious talents of four groups we’ve been writing about with admiration for years: Thy Darkened Shade (Greece), Amestigon (Austria), Inconcessus Lux Lucis (UK), and Shaarimoth (Norway). It will be released on June 30th by W.T.C. Productions.

Each band contributed multiple tracks to the split, ranging from three to five, for a total of more than an hour and a half of music spread across 15 songs. Although I’ve been fortunate to recently receive the complete album, this isn’t something I want to rush into just in order to publish one of the first reviews. Just counting the minutes alone, there’s a lot to take in, and if past is prologue, one hurried listen to what these bands have done here won’t do their efforts justice either. Continue reading »

Jan 112017


Within Temple of the Adversarial Fire, the Norwegian conjurors in Shaarimoth open a Pandora’s box of wicked marvels, delivering such a mind-bending display of esoteric extravagance that the album threatens to eclipse most everything else released in the early months of this new year. It will be disseminated by W.T.C. Productions on January 13, and today we’re privileged to bring you the premiere stream of the whole thing, in all its twisted magnificence.

More than a decade has passed since Shaarimoth’s last emergence, with 2005’s Current 11. In that time, Shaarimoth have not lost the spiritual sources of their musical inspiration; the fires of the Adversary unmistakably fuel the music. Through the course of all 11 tracks, it’s a wild and chaotic interdimensional trip, a fusion of death and black metal with a pronounced experimental bent and an exotic, esoteric atmosphere, and it’s so brazenly and exuberantly creative that it’s likely to leave you wide-eyed and gasping by the time you reach the end. Continue reading »

Dec 222016



This time of year there are always a few people who ask whether I’m going to post my own list of the year’s best releases. Again, the answer is no, because making the effort would be too paralyzing. I have enough trouble deciding whether to wash my underoos or let them ferment for another week.

On the other hand, I do kind of feel left out of the year-end LISTMANIA frenzy, so I thought I’d put together a Top 10 list, but one that’s a bit easier for my overtaxed brain to process. These are the 10 best songs I heard for the first time yesterday.

Hey, don’t laugh! It wasn’t that easy — I listened to more than 20 new songs yesterday, so I did have to make some decisions. Of course, I couldn’t be bothered to rank these 10 tracks; there’s a limit to how far I’m going with this.


The first song is “Faceless Queen of Bloodstained Dreams”, which is from an album I’ve been anxiously awaiting — the second full-length by Norway’s Shaarimoth, which is arriving more than a decade after the first one. Continue reading »