Jun 142022


This weekly column is two days removed from its usual Sunday spot. I had picked the music and was all ready to begin writing on Sunday morning, and then remembered I had agreed to do a premiere that day and then go on an excursion with my wife. And then there was a neighborhood picnic I’d also forgotten about, which went on into the night. Monday brought a different set of obstacles. So, we’re two days late.

Anyway, what I’ve picked for this Shades of Black column is a mix of one advance track and three complete records, including an EP that’s 3 1/2 years old but just hit my radar recently (and shorted it out).


Theriomorph is a solo project of P.E. Packain (aka Vainaya), best known for his solo work in the now-defunct Cornigr and as a key instrumental performer and songwriter in Adaestuo. Earlier this year I frothed at the mouth about a preview track from Theriomorph‘s debut album Diabolical Bloodswords, and last Friday it emerged in full bloom (via Terratur Possessions). Continue reading »

Mar 062022


Sometimes I begin these columns with well-known names (only if I think the music is good, of course), in an effort to lure visitors into the music of much less well-known bands. I thought about doing that today with new songs and videos by Dark Funeral and Watain, but decided to just move right into obscurity.

Having chosen new stuff by nine different bands, it was going to be hard enough to write very much about them even without also trying to comment about the new singles by those bigger names (if you haven’t heard those tracks, you’ll find them here and here).

AU-DESSUS (Lithuania)

When I heard the first single (“XI”) from this Lithuanian post-black metal band’s 2017 debut album, End of Chapter, I had a suspicion that we had something very special on our hands.

By the time we ourselves premiered the second one (“XII”), I had a firm conviction that this record would stand well out from the pack and become a highlight of the year. Finally being able to hear the full album provided confirmation. It was a powerful release from beginning to end, and was also home to a track (“VI”) that I included in our list of 2017’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs.

And so it’s exciting news that the band will be releasing a new EP next month through Les Acteurs de l’Ombre Productions. The first single is also exciting. Continue reading »