May 242022


A dozen years have passed since the release of Thrall‘s debut album, Away From the Haunts of Men. Two more albums and an EP followed in relatively quick succession from this Australian band, but then came a near-seven-year interval that left a gap in new recordings, a gap that’s about to be filled in eye-opening fashion. The pandemic brought doom to millions, but renewed life to Thrall, and now their new album Schisms is ready for release.

The band’s founder Tøm Vøid has been its only steadfast member, with the recording line-up in constant flux from release to release. The new album features a big array of contributors around the founder, including current or former members of Gatecreeper, Noose Rot, Mar Mortuum, Myotragus, Cult of the Night, Ruins, and Dead River Runs Dry.

What has this collective accomplished on Schisms? There have been a couple of early clues via the release of the songs “Tyrant” and “Hollow”, but now’s the day when all will be revealed in full. Continue reading »

May 082022

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you who are mothers, and as a reminder to those of you who were born of mothers (versus those who were the result of asexual reproduction). I intended to compile a roundup of new music yesterday, but was feeling under the weather. I’m feeling less incapacitated today, as you can tell from the volume of music in this week’s Shades of Black.

There’s a method to the way I organized the following songs. Words like “grim”, “depressive”, or “poisonous” may come to mind over the course of the first three tracks, and then things begin to turn more chaotic and violently unhinged, leading to a closing twist that’s more difficult to sum up.

DOEDSVANGR (Norway/Finland)

I’m beginning with a video for the song “As the Rivers Bleed Their Blessings” from Doedsvangr‘s newest album, Serpents ov Old, which was released by Debemur Morti last fall. The video was recorded at the band’s release gig for the album, which took place at Røverstaden (Oslo) on March 26th, 2022 (credit to Carl Eek of Necrolust Productions for filming and editing it). Continue reading »

Feb 132014

Welcome to Part 28 of our list of 2013′s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. To see the selections that preceded the three songs I’m announcing today, click here.

We’re down to the last two days of this series, with three more today and 300 more tomorrow. Just kidding — but I’ll tell you, it’s awfully hard for me to let go of this series. There are so many great songs I’m going to have to omit if it’s ever going to end. As for today’s three, I’m not sure there’s any theme that would justify this grouping. I have simply found all three to be powerful, and powerfully infectious, and I need to have them on this list before it ends.


It took seven long years for this fabled Austrian band to release a new album, but it finally came in 2013: Old Morning’s Dawn. Though I am most definitely a Tolkein nerd, I’m not a Summoning nerd, having only a passing acquaintance with only shards of the band’s previous discography. Therefore, I am incapable of intelligently debating (as many others have) whether Old Morning’s Dawn stands up to so many years of building expectations. I’m also incapable of debating whether those Summoning worshippers in Utah’s Caladan Brood out-performed their masters on 2013’s Echoes of Battle, because I’ve only heard one song from that album (and I’m mentioning that comparison only because I know some of you are going to bring it up). Continue reading »

Dec 282013

Between the time I’ve spent with family and friends over the holidays and pushing out the biggest year-end LISTMANIA series our site has ever published, I’ve been constricted in my ability to listen to new songs and forthcoming releases. But I keep lists. I keep lists like a hoarder of names. Never mind that actually making it through the lists is a frail hope, given that they keep growing, and growing, and growing…

But yesterday, I made a small dent in them and came away with four songs I’m really high on. Two of them are new tracks by bands whose past work I’ve admired, and two of them come from bands who I’d never heard before. Musically, the four songs have very little in common, other than the fact that they are all winners — and they all have darkness in their souls.


Hail Spirit Noir’s first album, Pneuma (reviewed here), was unlike anything else I heard in 2012. It was exceedingly strange and yet brilliant, a splicing together of black metal, 60′s flower-power pop psychedelics, 70′s prog rock, 80′s New Wave dance beats, melodic doom, and even cool jazz. Each song was distinctively different from, though related to, the others, like cousins on a gnarled family tree. Continue reading »