Jan 092022

It may seem like a paradox, but the less time I have to devote to preparing these columns the easier it is for me to do them. When I have a greater than usual amount of time, I listen to more music, I find more releases that I want to recommend, and then I struggle to whittle down the choices into a group that I can manage to write about in the time I have left.

That’s the situation I find myself in today. Because my spouse has been out of the house a lot over the last couple of days galavanting around with one of her visiting sisters, I plowed through a lot of new music. The listening sessions were a blast, but then I had to engage in a painful winnowing process. The results may be painful in a different way for you: Even after the winnowing, today’s column provides a lot to take in, and might put added pressure on your bank accounts if you find as much to like as I did.

Speaking of how much music I’ve included today, I narrowed the albums down to three new ones (which is still more than usual for these SOB installments), and then sprinkled in some advance tracks from forthcoming records, plus one new EP. Continue reading »

Dec 252019


“Confrontation is expected, it doesn’t matter if it’s Christmas”. That’s a quote from a 28-year-old restaurant worker in the midst of a crowd exchanging insults with police today in Hong Kong, where protests continue without regard to the holiday. But when I saw that line in an article this morning it seemed a fitting introduction to this column too. We’re not shutting down either, so get ready for a lot of confrontational metal to blacken this holiday (divided into two parts).


This is a rare SHADES OF BLACK in which every band here, in both Parts, is one I’ve written about before. And they’re here again because they’re all damned good. Of them all, Sargeist is the most venerable and venerated. Now 20 years into their career, and still led with venom and vigor by Shatraug, Sargeist gave us a new album last year, but decided to drop a new EP just yesterday. It caught me by surprise, and what a good surprise it is. Continue reading »

Aug 172015

Grave 2015-2


I have many albums I badly want to review, and I had a fair amount of time this weekend to devote to that. So what did I do? I listened to new songs and EPs instead. I just couldn’t stop myself. The more I bounced around the interhole, the more good new stuff I found. I collected some of it yesterday (here), and there’s a lot more in this post — and with any luck, I might manage to write about some of those EPs I found before the day is out. Presented in alphabetical order by band name:


Okay, okay, I realize this first song isn’t exactly hot off the presses, since it debuted on August 5. But gimme a break, it’s by Grave, and anyone who knows anything about my musical tastes knows there’s no way in hell I’m going to miss writing about new Grave music.

The name of the song is “Redeemed Through Hate” and it will appear on the band’s next album, Out of Respect For the Dead, to be released by Century Media in October. It follows the Morbid Ascent EP in 2013, about which Andy Synn wrote a review in haiku: Continue reading »