May 172023

I first encountered the music of UKĆ in March of this year thanks to a prompt from Rennie Resmini in his most recent entry at starkweather’s SubStack. It concerned a single song named “Uchodząc” (“Fading Away”) from a then-forthcoming album and read as follows:

“I’ll be damned if the intro to the new track from Poland’s UkćUchodz​ą​c‘ isn’t distinctly BathoryHammerheart meets Swans – “Will We Survive”. Great track that melds this melodic edge and fierce black metal. Looking forward to how this new album shapes up. This is monumental, epic stuff quickly following on the heels of last year’s Przemijanie.”

I probably didn’t need to say anything more about “Uchodząc“, but of course I did. I wrote then: “In its remarkably varied sounds, you’ll find bone-rattling drumwork and spine-jolting riffage, as well as sensations of harrowing and scintillating grandeur complemented by horn-like and chime-like tones, plus striking vocal intensity (along with gloomy spoken words and some singing) — and a lilting acoustic melody that’s sublime.”

Having listened, I wanted to know about the lyrics.  Because they were in Polish, I resorted to Google Translate, which told me that the song was about a child’s yearning to live, to learn, to love, within a twisted reality that’s “blind, deaf, stupid, indifferent”, and brutally kicks hope in the face. Continue reading »

Mar 192023

Old Forest

I often rely on the recommendations of friends in deciding how to spend my listening time, and then deciding what to recommend to you. I like rooting around myself, like a truffle-sniffing pig, but after pouring a fair amount of time into yesterday’s big roundup I wasn’t left with a lot of sniffing and rooting time, and therefore took my lead from friends for much of what’s coming below. They didn’t let me down, and hopefully I won’t let you down with these choices either.


I had to start today’s collection with a new song by Old Forest because I found it so immediately captivating. I’m not steeped in the band’s extensive discography (seven albums and a bunch of shorter releases going back to 1998), but Neill Jameson is, and he introduced Decibel’s premiere of the song last week with a brief history.

The new track, “Master of Arachnids”, is from a forthcoming album named Sutwyke, which Neill lauded as “easily the band’s best full length since their phantasmagoric re-materialization” in 2008 following a long hiatus: “Taking elements from all eras of their discography (including the clean vocals, though somewhat more subdued) this is also their most jet-black record showing that there is still plenty of (un)life in these bones”.

Well, that was more than enough temptation to dive into “Master of Arachnids”. Continue reading »