Nov 272017


The year is supposed to be barreling toward the end, with a deep breath and a gasping look backward, but it’s obvious that the life pulse of metal takes no breaks. If you spend too much time reflecting on the last 11 months, you will inevitably miss a lot in the 5 weeks yet to come. I’m going to have to take that break, but not quite yet.

I intended to post this particular collection yesterday in its usual Sunday spot, but couldn’t finish it before departing for some Thanksgiving weekend festivities with friends. Since then it has grown a bit, but could have become much longer.


Yesterday the brilliant Austrian black metal band Abigor announced that their new album, Höllenzwang – Chronicles of Perdition, has been sent off to the pressing plant. They made clear that the release will not be preceded by “any fancy youtube video, tons of merch or other promotion campaigns”. But the band did provide a few insights into the music, as well as a stream of song excerpts, which I’ve included below. Continue reading »

Mar 222017


March 24th is the date set for the release of a stupendous album-length split by Pittsburgh’s Taphos Nomos and Urðun from Akureyri, Iceland, and we have a full stream of it today that you definitely need to hear. The name of the split is R.I.P.  — which doesn’t mean what you think it does.

The Taphos Nomos side of the split, which consists of three new songs, bears the title Rarely Investigated Phenomena, while Urðun deliver four new tracks of their own plus a cover of Autopsy’s “Charred Remains” under the title Rigorously Intensified Putrefaction. A few thoughts about each side follow, so you have a bit of advance warning about what you’re getting yourselves into. Continue reading »

May 032015


Over the last week I came across a lot of music I thought was worth sharing that could all loosely be labeled “black metal”, so much music that I’ve divided this collection into two parts. Part of what interested me was the diversity of the sounds. In some cases, the main connection to the label “black metal” is simply the spirit I sense in the songs, and in other instances simply the presence of certain musical elements in combination with others that aren’t typically associated with this increasingly amorphous genre.

And so, what you’re about to hear in this two-parter may be quite different from what you’re expecting — from deathly surf rock to Alcoholic Rural Black Punk Metal to “necroclassical”, and beyond.


So let’s start with the deathly surf rock. I have no idea who is in Coffin Haze or precisely where they’re located (other than somewhere in the UK) — and believe me, I’ve done some looking. The only reason I discovered them at all is because Caligari Records is going to be releasing their debut demo on tape later this year, and I happened to see a post about it on Caligari’s Facebook page. (In fact, I discovered all of the first three bands featured in this post through Caligari’s Facebook page.) Continue reading »