Oct 172023

Photo Credit: Twan Spierings

(At the end of September Eisenwald released Spiritus Sylvestris, an excellent new album by  the Dutch band Iskandr, and that moved Comrade Aleks to get in touch, leading to the following interview with founder Omar K.)

Iskandr was started by multi-instrumentalist Omar K. in around 2016 as his solo black metal project. The solo-project turned into a duo as the drummer Mink Koops joined Omar, and since then they started to work together.

Primordial and natural, Iskandr’s black metal evolved from Heilig land (2016) to Euprosopon (2018), and then from less blackened Vergezicht (2021) to brand new and ethereal Spiritus Sylvestris, which was released on September 29th.

The chain of metamorphoses leads the project to a new form that combines black metal spirit and a deep, in some ways heathen magical, and almost psychedelic, experience. As Omar, the band’s ideologist, says: “I wanted to write a eulogy to the world we have lost; a funeral dirge for the natural world we have left behind and an omen to the world that is to come”.

We caught Omar in the middle of Iskandr’s tour, but he found time to answer a few questions. Continue reading »

Sep 302018


I struggle with these picks every week, and resolve the struggle in different ways. Sometimes, when I’ve got the time, I double-up the column so I don’t have to leave out quite as many possibilities. I don’t have that kind of time today. And to make the task harder, a lot of the music I wanted to talk about today turns out to be extra time-consuming — full releases, really long songs, many minutes that don’t lend themselves to pithy introductions.

Days like this I’m reminded that the main value of what we do here is “curation” (to use a pretentious term), i.e., the sifting and sorting of music and the selection of what we find appealing and think might be worth the time of people like you. If the writing itself proves to be entertaining, that’s a bonus. Mainly, we just do that to entertain ourselves. Hopefully, the curation alone will carry the day today — my own words are limited to begin with and kind of tail off into tiny dribbles the further you get into this.


My friend eiterorm found Groza’s new album on Friday, said it was obviously inspired by Mgła, and expressed completely certainty that I would like it, judging from our common tastes in metal. “So make sure this one gets top priority. ;-]”, he wrote. So I did, and my friend was right — this is really good. Continue reading »

May 242017

Tau Cross


As I begin typing these words I’m on an airplane just entering the air space of Michigan, and if all goes well will be landing in Baltimore in 1 hour and 52 minutes. Maryland Deathfest awaits.

I spent the first part of the flight scrolling through the NCS in-box, adding to my very long list of music to check out. As you know, that’s a ridiculously long list. I don’t expect to get much blogging done while MDF is in progress, so I impulsively decided to write this thing.

Since the wi-fi on this jet isn’t good enough to permit streaming, I haven’t heard most of what I’m putting in this post, nearly all of which I found during that e-mail reconnaissance. I encourage you to leave a comment with reactions, since I have almost none (so far). Continue reading »