Mar 252018


The second part of this Sunday’s SHADES OF BLACK post, which I began here, includes a lot of music — four complete releases. The last of them isn’t as “hot off the presses” as most of what I choose for these columns. But you’ll understand why I picked it when you get there.


If the name Nightgrave is familiar, it might be because I’ve written some very positive impressions in this column about both Nightgrave’s last album Echo (2017) and the one before that, Futures, (also 2017). Not one to let much grass grow under his feet, Nightgrave’s creator (Sushant Rawat, aka Nium, from New Delhi, India) has already released another album. This one, entitled Nascent, appeared on February 14. Continue reading »

Apr 222016

Trautonist cover


We have for you today a full stream of the self-titled debut album by the German band Trautonist. When I heard the first single from the album back in January — “Distance” — I described it then as flowing like a slow, sinuous stream under cloudy skies, with you the listener floating along with it, a soft breeze on your neck, falling into a meditative trance but still mindful of a knife edge that lingers under your throat.

I was captivated by the song’s drifting atmosphere of regret and longing, and enjoyed the vocal tandem of the band’s two members (Dennis and Katharina), one harsh and shrieking, the other ghostly and pure.

But it turns out that “Distance” (relatively speaking) is the softest and most self-reflective track on an album that, as a whole, is both emotionally intense and more extreme than I might have guessed. On the other hand, the song also turned out to be a reliable sign of the band’s ability to craft bereft but moving melodies. Continue reading »

Jan 312016

LVTHN-Eradication of Nescience


This is a rather super-sized edition of Shades of Black, collecting new and recently discovered music in a blackened vein. But believe me, this could have been much bigger still, because I’m sitting on a ton of other releases I’d like to include. I’ll put them in the fridge so they don’t spoil and defrost them later (though of course they’ll never completely de-frost).


I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all of this Belgian band’s previous releases, and have managed to write about most of them (collected behind this link). And before I get to a brand new LVTHN song, I’ll mention that the band have recently made their 2014 compilation release The Grand Uncreation available for “name your price” download on Bandcamp (here). Continue reading »