Oct 072021



Time is always fleeting, but I kidnapped enough of it to write some brief reviews and heart-felt recommendations for three very recent short releases that have captivated me (maybe especially because more often than not I’m angry and depressed these days). The SHADES OF BLACK reference in the post title is intended to provide the clue that this is all black metal, but no two of these releases sound alike.


One of the commenters on the Bandcamp page for Sørgelig‘s new EP Slaves of Tomorrow did a very nice job in capturing part of what makes the band, and this EP, so special:

“I love Sorgelig’s utterly ruthless and nihilistic, yet also surprisingly humane and hopeful, take on primal black metal. Yes, we all live ‘in the prison of dead dreams,’ but we *can* dream, we can rage, we can spit in the eyes of our masters and call *them* the slaves. We can burn this blighted hell of a failing so-called civilization to the ground and build something better”. Continue reading »

Jun 022021


(We welcome guest writer Nick Awad, who shares his review of a 2020 black metal split release among Hajduk, Akantha, Nimbifer, and Sørgelig that deserves more attention.)

Though the style of Raw Black Metal is not particularly new, it is currently having a moment. These days, countless bands are emerging from the shadows with ominous promo photos, grainy audio production, and fast-selling physical releases. Depending on who you ask, this is either a golden age or the dumbest thing since the recent OSDM revival. As with most things, there is some validity to either stance. For every worthwhile Raw Black Metal project, there are about a hundred duds. Duds that may check plenty of the grim aesthetic boxes, but offer no real substance. That being said, those aforementioned worthwhile projects are absolute gold. Among those praiseworthy projects is a split released in the late summer of 2020.

Ruins of Humanity is a four-way split full of vicious songwriting and macabre ecstasy. The bands on the release; Hajduk (Bulgaria), Akantha (Greece), Nimbifer (Germany), and Sørgelig (Greece); prove themselves to be an arterial cut above the endless menagerie of aesthetic-obsessed internet vampires. Though the songs on this split do nod to the ideas that precede them, they are far from the soulless riff recitations of a “worship-style” project. They represent a culmination of traditions coupled with modern influence that does not stray from the necessary orthodoxy of the craft of Black Metal. Continue reading »

Mar 292020


After all the listening and writing I’ve done this weekend, honestly I’m out of gas. So let’s just go right to it….


We begin with a track that roams far and wide over its significant length. In the band’s own words, “18 minutes of oppression and mysticism”, but there’s more than that. The music is eerie and crushing, dissonant and disturbed, wailing and delirious, vicious and violent, spectral and sepulchral, swaggering and priapic, bombastic and bruising, grand and glorious — and also home to some head-hooking riffs and spectacular soloing. The vocals are wide-ranging as well, more often than not frighteningly insane, but also spine-tingling when they soar. In its cadences, it stomps, rocks, races, crawls, and drifts away into a rhythm-less ether. Continue reading »

Apr 292019


Last fall we had the opportunity to premiere a song from Devoted To Nothingness, the new EP by the Greek black metal band Sorgelig. The EP was eventually released in January, digitally and in a limited cassette tape edition. I had intended to write more about the EP following our premiere, and now (finally), I will. The delay is not all bad, because we’re now only days away from the release of a 12″ vinyl edition of Devoted To Nothingness by Iron Bonehead Productions (it’s due on May 3rd).

Sørgelig, who share three members with another band we’ve written about before (Isolert), released their first EP in 2017 (Forever Lost) and then an excellent debut album (Apostate) in the spring of last year. This new EP (which includes 8 tracks) represents a few changes. Continue reading »

Nov 192018


The Greek black metal band Sørgelig, who share three members with another band we’ve written about before (Isolert), released their first EP in 2017 (Forever Lost) and then an excellent debut album (Apostate) this past spring. They have chosen to follow the new album with another EP, this one entitled Devoted To Nothingness, but it’s one that represents a few changes.

First, while Sørgelig‘s four-man line-up remains intact, the EP is the creation of only two of those members — vocalist Odious and multi-instrumentalist N.D. On this EP, N.D. performs guitars, drums, vocals, and bass on two tracks (and guest Konstantinos S performs bass on four others, including the one we’re presenting today).

Second, as compared to the music on Apostate (for example), this revised line-up has chosen to channel their hatred and malice toward life through a more raw and lo-fi expression of black metal — though they have not abandoned some of the key ingredients that made their debut album so seductive. Continue reading »