Jun 102019
 

 

I wasn’t able to complete the second Part of this week’s SHADES OF BLACK in time to further despoil the Sabbath with it, but as promised, I have at least used it to begin sending the new work-week deep into the void.

Part 1 consisted of advance tracks from forthcoming albums, but for this one I’ve chosen four complete album-length releases that in all but one case arrived last week. As you’ll discover, there are other marked differences between the selections here and those in Part 1, which is another reason I chose this division.

ANDAVALD

As many of you already know, Fallen Empire Records has permanently ceased activity, but its proprietor has not. Instead, he has joined forces with Mystískaos Records, whose previous releases have included music by Chaos Moon, Entheogen, and Vonlaus. The first three releases of this new collaboration include two of the albums in Part 2 of this week’s black metal column. The first of those is Undir skyggðarhaldi, the debut record by the Icelandic band Andavald. Continue reading »

Jan 202019
 

 

I didn’t divide the music in today’s column evenly between the two Parts that I’d originally planned. There was significantly more in the second Part than in the first one, not only because there were two more bands there but also because many of the items were full releases rather than advance tracks from forthcoming records.

I’m using the past tense, because, as you can see, I’ve decided to divide Part 2 into two parts as well, which means there will be a Part 3 of this Sunday’s column. I hope the total magnitude of what I’m spreading before you today won’t deter you from checking out everything, because everything here is well worth the time.

ÆRA

“At speed, the songs embody cold yet chaotic ferocity. In their slower movements, they reach for haunting grandeur and wintry melancholy. Emotionally evocative and immersive music in an icy Norwegian style that’s well-suited by the drifting mists and ancient forests depicted on the cover.” That was my summing up of this pagan black metal duo’s 2017 debut EP, Of Forsaken Vows. It was a very good beginning, and inclined me to pay attention to their new full-length, The Craving Within. Continue reading »