Sep 082021
 

 

The usual deluge of new music is already under way this week, but for the most part what I’ve pulled together in this round-up is music that surfaced last week. As I was making my way through a gigantic list of new tracks over the past weekend, I squirreled these away because I thought they’d make a good compilation.

All the music leans hard into death metal, though not without some other ingredients, and the three sensations that come to mind when I think about all of this after the fact are these: Violence, eeriness, and derangement.

THECODONTION (Italy) / VESSEL OF INIQUITY (UK)

To begin I’ve chosen a split released last Friday by Xenoglossy Productions and I, Voidhanger Records. Entitled The Permian​-​Triassic Extinction Event, it includes two tracks by Thecodontion and one long one by Vessel of Iniquity. Thematically, it is based on “the titular Permian-Triassic extinction event (commonly known as ‘The Great Dying’), and life emerging anew afterwards”. To quote further from the introduction on the Bandcamp page: Continue reading »

Jun 142020
 


Gaerea – photo by Catarina Rocha

 

Maybe you know about the “Overflowing Streams” format that we use for especially large collections of new music we want to recommend? The idea is to (regretfully) cut back on words and save the time needed to find, download, and upload cover art, and let the music streams mainly speak for themselves. And that’s the format I’ve resorted to for this week’s Shades of Black column, which is mostly a collection of recently released individual songs from forthcoming records.

GAEREA (Portugal)

The meteoric rise of Gaerea continues. In both its sights and its sounds the new video that begins this collection is extremely powerful. The inner pain they express is mutilating. The music is both crushing and explosive, delirious and despairing, sweeping and scathing. For such intense music, it’s also thoroughly immersive… or perhaps it’s better said that this is an emotional vortex that’s hard to escape. Continue reading »

Apr 282020
 

 

Today we are most fortunate and very pleased to help I, Voidhanger Records and Repose Records announce the debut album by the bass-driven black/death-metal prehistoric beast known as Thecodontion, which these two labels will jointly release on June 26th. That album, Supercontinent, has a fascinating conceptual focus, and the music (which has evolved from this Italian band’s previous releases) is equally fascinating, as you’ll begin to discover through our premiere of a song named “Kenorland“.

Concerning the album’s conceptual focus, it is a voyage through various stages of ancient Earth’s continental drift, from the earliest known supercontinent (“Vaalbara”) to the most recent one (“Pangaea”). We are told that the lyrics are based on extensive research into these formative phases of the world’s current geologic and geographical appearance, but also strive “for a certain vivid imagery, with poetic descriptions of ancient lifeforms populating the planet during the various geological eras, and cataclysmic events leading to the break up and collision of land-masses”. The album further includes four instrumental non-metal songs featuring short poems about “superoceans” — “enormous bodies of water which surrounded these continental assemblies”. Continue reading »

Feb 042018
 

 

I spent a lot of time yesterday listening to new black metal and black/death metal, trying to decide what to write about in this Sunday’s SHADES OF BLACK column. My list of what I wanted to recommend to you included music from 20 bands… and that’s not counting the dozens more from previous listening sessions over the last couple of weeks. As a result, I chose the following five tracks pretty impulsively, consoling myself with the thought that I could pick some more for a further installment of this series early in the coming week. I hope that works out.

As you’ll discover, I bent the rules a bit… some of these tracks lean more on the death metal side of darkness than the black metal side. But it’s all still very black, and all very good.

GRAVE UPHEAVAL

Roughly five years after their untitled debut album, the Australian band Grave Upheaval, whose members are not officially identified but who are rumored to include members of Impetuous Ritual, Portal, and Temple Nightside, have a new album headed our way. Also untitled, and with songs that are identified only by Roman numeral, it will be released by Nuclear War Now! Productions on April 15th. Continue reading »