Feb 102019
 


photo by Jørn Veberg

 

The conditions were correct for frostbitten music yesterday, when the Seattle area received more snow in 24 hours than it usually gets in a year. Granted, it was a laughably small amount by the standards of people who live in truly wintry climes (8 inches at the airport, and greater or lesser amounts around the area), but enough to paralyze the region and knock out the power (and internet service) in the forest where I live from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. We’re obviously not really set up to deal with snow very well.

The absence of power and net access put a crimp in my usual Saturday surveying of new black metal; I spent more time feeding the wood-burning stove to stay warm. I did catch up a bit this morning, but also relied on listening I’d done during last week before the weather turned hostile. There’s enough here to justify dividing the group into two parts. But I’m kind of hurrying through the words since more snow is expected today, and I’ve got to make preparations.

Part 1 consists of advance tracks from three forthcoming albums. Part 2 is devoted to recent full releases.

GAAHLS WYRD

The presence of Gaahl (Kristian Espedal) at the front of this formation will guarantee attention for their debut album, GastiR – Ghosts Invited. But for that recording he had some impressive talent around him, too — Ole Walaunet (The Batallion, God Seed, Grimfist), Frode Kilvik (Krakow, Aeternus), and Kevin Kvåle (Horizon Ablaze). Continue reading »

May 212016
 

Sol Sistere-Unfading Incorporeal Vacuum

 

Over the last week I’ve accumulated a long list of new advance tracks and recent releases that I’d like to recommend. As usual, it’s too much stuff for me to cover completely or in depth. What I’m planning to do is make two collections for this weekend, focusing on black (and blackened) metal, and then compile some additional releases for a Seen and Heard post on Monday. So here’s the first part of a two-part Shades of Black post; the second one will appear tomorrow.

SOL SISTERE

Sol Sistere are a Chilean melodic/atmospheric black metal band composed of veteran members from other groups. Their debut album Unfading Incorporeal Vacuum (which follows a 2014 EP on the Pest Productions label) is set for CD release on June 6 by Hammerheart Records, but a digital version of the album has recently become available for download on the label’s Bandcamp page.

Hammerheart describes the music as a “combination of past elements such as Dissection, Vinterland and Dawn, completed by influences of today” — referring to such bands as Altar of Plagues, Drudkh, and Wodensthrone. These are all worthy reference points, and pretty accurate ones as well (though there’s also a noticeable post-metal ingredient in play as well). This album was intriguing on a first listen and my affections for it have only grown stronger with repeat spins. (The album cover by Misanthropic-Art is also fantastic.) Continue reading »