May 052019
 

 

Like yesterday’s round-up, this SHADES OF BLACK column originally took shape in my head a week ago, but I wasn’t able to post it then. Over the last week (as usual) a lot of new black metal appeared, but my paying job took me out of town and didn’t allow me enough free time to listen to much of it. The week ahead will be similar (a different destination but not much free time).

In this column I’ve combined the music I would have written about last Sunday with just a few new songs I had time to check out this past week. In case you’re wondering, I am aware that Deathspell Omega has disclosed the existence of a new album and has launched the stream of a track from it, and that a lyric video from Abbath‘s new album also surfaced (here) but those are two of many new things I’ve set aside to listen to later so that it doesn’t distract me from getting this column finished!

LVTHN / HÄXENZIJRKELL

I’ve included the music of the Belgian black metal band LVTHN in numerous previous installments of this column, but not since the release of their 2016 debut album Eradication of Nescience, and therefore failed to mention their 2017 EP, The Spider Goddess. That’s well worth checking out if you haven’t already, but today’s focus concerns something even more recent, a new split by LVTHN and the German band Häxenzijrkell (whose music I’ve also written about before). It was released on April 30th, digitally and on 10″ vinyl by Amor Fati (with cover art by Karmazid). Continue reading »

Mar 162019
 

 

I’ve gotten dramatically busier at my fucking day job over the last week (and unfortunately it’s going to get worse in the weeks ahead). I’m way behind in crawling through the hundreds of e-mails we get each day (no telling how many indie pop masterworks and ED treatments I’ve missed), and have had no time to do the other things I usually do in an effort to discover new music that isn’t being plumped by press releases.

Fortunately, a cadre of faithful allies had left messages for me, which collectively gave me the six songs and videos you’re about to see and hear. And so, I’m grateful (in order of their recommendations which appear below) to Rennie (starkweather), DGR, Andy Synn, eiterorm, Miloš, and Rennie again.

POSSESSED

On May 10th Nuclear Blast will release the first album from Possessed in over three decades.They lined up Peter Tägtgren to mix and master it, and enlisted Zbigniew Bielak to create the cover art. And, as Rennie wrote in his message to me, it sounds like they didn’t miss a beat, 33 years after Beyond the Gates. Continue reading »

Dec 262018
 

 

I found myself with some time alone during the afternoon of Christmas Day, time enough to give myself a gift and watch the official video of Emperor’s live performance at Roadburn 2018, which I’d set aside for just such an occasion. It was tremendous… and while taking a break to re-fill a glass of something amber, I noticed a message from a valued acquaintance with a holiday gift of his own, and it proved to be one I will treasure.

It was a link to an album by a French one-man blackened-death machine named Sheol Blanc that was released in February of this year, with the title Solitaire Dépravé. With some personal time still left to me after Emperor’s set concluded, I moved right into it, and was completely floored by what I heard, so much so that I impulsively started pecking these words before the feeling dimmed at all. Continue reading »