Feb 232019


I’m going to regret this. Hell, I already regret it, mainly because the critique I’m about to present will drive more clicks to the article I’m criticizing (whose main purpose was obviously to attract clicks in the first place), but also because the full back-story leading to the points I want to make is only slightly shorter than War and Peace; tedium might be the only victor in this exercise.

So why am I writing this despite those regrets? I’ll come back to the reason in due course. But first, the back story, which I’ve slightly condensed in an effort to combat tedium-induced catatonia. Continue reading »

Oct 042017


I’m going to begin this revelation of news by quoting from something that Krieg’s Neill Jameson wrote about Teratism here at our site in April of this year:

“So many new bands are getting smoke blown up their ass because they use a dark occult look, mostly achieved with witch hats and an outfit that sort of looks like the KKK but that’s ok because they sing in Sanskrit. You’d think a band like Teratism, who have been around for quite some time, would be at the top of the heap of popularity but that would mean you’d also believe that most people prefer substance over style.

Teratism are a uniquely dark band, thinking-man’s black metal, who create an encapsulating atmosphere live but one where the visuals, while obviously important, are only a method of adding to the experience.

“Fans of Inquisition and Nightbringer should take note. Hopefully there will be a release of a full-length that has been in the works for a while.”

Well, take a wild guess about the news from Teratism that I’m about to share with you, and everyone else.

This is it: We are authorized to report that Teratism is nearing completion of its fifth studio full-length offering, The Second Death. As you can see, we have obtained the striking cover art, and we have learned these additional details from the band: Continue reading »

Apr 272017


(We welcome Neill Jameson (Krieg) back to our site, who in this post recommends music by some of the more obscure U.S. black metal bands, mainly from the ’90s — some of whom have new releases in the works.)

This past weekend was the Decibel Metal & Beer Fest, and while I was proving to the world I can’t hold my liquor I ran into some people like Austin Lunn who can actually carry on the kind of conversation about black metal that gives me pause, and also the motivation to do something like this. I also ran into a few old friends who were a part of the burgeoning ’90s US black metal scene, members of bands that I find criminally underrated.

Between that and all the talk about what “USBM” should and shouldn’t be, I figured I’d talk a bit about bands that are from a time where Antifa wasn’t throwing smoke bombs into apolitical shows or bands didn’t get name-dropped on Chris Brown’s vest. Continue reading »

Oct 252013

I keep endless lists of music I mean to check out some day based on things I see or messages I receive. Unfortunately, time being in short supply, I never make it through everything. But last night I ticked off about a dozen items on the list and I picked these three with which to launch this Happy Friday. I picked them because in different ways they tend to mess with your brain, and collectively they create a nice stew bubbling inside the cranium.


This black metal band’s last release was an MLP entitled La Bas, which I reviewed here. All of those songs were recorded years ago though they were only officially released this past summer. But Teratism are working on their next album and they’ve recently made two demo tracks available on Bandcamp for a “pay what you want” price, under the title Prelude to the Second Death. While both songs contain eruptions of destructive blasting, they are for the most part slow and freighted with the weight of doom.

“Four Waters” is draped in sheets of radioactive guitar noise and harrowing feedback, which are pulled back in the song’s mid-section to reveal guitar notes that peal like funeral bells, the steady pulse of a bass, and the muffled thump of the drums. “Micturation Into the Tributary of Death” works with a similar funereal atmosphere, lacing it with eerie harmonic arpeggios that transform the music into a slow waltz of death. Both songs are deeply unsettling, and yet they are both almost beautiful in their utter bleakness. Continue reading »

Jun 172013

Mark Riddick’s cover art for Teratism’s new MLP La Bas tells you something of what you need to know about the music: It is, in many respects, far out on the frontier of bestial extremity, dwelling in a poisonous landscape where demonic entities howl for the manifestation of the Adversary. Yet there are depths in this musical inferno, and the more you listen, the more you discover of its otherworldly dimensions.

The vocals are the most challenging aspect of the music, yet they are also a vital ingredient in the occult atmospheres that La Bas generates. In a word, they’re horrifying. V. Wrath delivers a series of distorted incantations, condemnations, and satanic proclamations that range from roars to shrieks to cracked, whispered chants. Often, the vocals are layered, producing harmonies that invoke sensations of bedlam. Whether agonizing, despairing, or furious, the ferocity of his delivery is convincing evidence that Teratism have indeed opened a fearsome channel to hellish realms.

Much of the accompanying music is also ferocious, with distorted, swarming guitars and blasting drums generating a dense cloud of evil noise, perhaps most intense and overpowering in the EP’s relentless third track, “Thy Swill Be Dung”. But La Bas isn’t thrashing black metal; it is instead mainly devoted to the creation of bleak, damned atmospherics. “Shadows Flee the Burning Sons of Light” becomes dirge-like and doomed, a miasma of contagion, soaked in illness, and “Gospel of the Heliophobe” splices its whirlwind of cacophony with moments of crawling malevolence. Continue reading »

Apr 242013

Here are a few things I’ve been listening to recently. They’ve been bouncing around my head, insisting that I say something about them, and so I am. They have no connection to each other and one of them isn’t even metal at all. But for different reasons all three songs have sunk their claws into the mushy gray matter and won’t let go. Let me know what you think.


I latched on to this Minneapolis band because of the artwork you see above. It’s a Mark Riddick creation for the vinyl LP version of the band’s 2010 album Via Negativa (which was their fourth full-length), and it fuckin’ kills — one of my favorite pieces he’s ever done. The vinyl will be released at some point later this year by Behold Barbarity Records, and the album is available for streaming at the Teratism Bandcamp page. Unfortunately, you can’t download it there but CDs are available here.

But the song that’s been wrecking my head recently isn’t from that album (though the album is massively good). Instead, it’s one I found after the Riddick art drew me to the Teratism FB page. It’s called “Shadows Flee the Burning Sons of Light” and it will be included on a forthcoming vinyl 12″ EP named La Bas, which consists of four previously unreleased Teratism tracks (recorded in 2009) and a cover of “Come To the Sabbat” by Black Widow. And that EP also features this vicious Mark Riddick cover art: Continue reading »