May 102019


Much could be written (and has been written) about Ungoliant, the dark spider queen “from before the world” who played a role in J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Silmarillion and was mentioned in The Lord of the Rings. Also known as Gloomweaver (because she was capable of generating impenetrable darkness), she gave birth to a race of giant spiders, and her own unremitting hunger was so great that she consumed herself.

With that bit of background, it becomes apparent from the music of the Ukrainian symphonic black metal band Ungoliantha why they based their name on that giant dark spider. One might find other clues to the music from the spooky cover art of their new EP, The Howl in the Waste — a collage of black cats, skulls, and Gothic spires. There is indeed an atmosphere of supernatural horror and terrible grandeur that pervades the EP, manifested in different ways across its five tracks — all of which we’re streaming today in this exclusive premiere. Continue reading »

Apr 212019


As you can see, the game plan for this Sunday is to throw more than one installment of this column at you. I’m sticking my neck out because I haven’t started writing Part 2, and will be racing to get it done before I run out of time. In my head, I actually have a line-up for a Part 3 because I’ve found so much black metal over the last week or two that I’d like to recommend, but the odds of getting that done are really intimidating.

For Part 1 I picked advance tracks from forthcoming albums, and one single that will surprise you. For Part 2 I picked some recent full releases.


We begin with music by a new group composed of known names — Swedish veteran Swartadaupuz of Bekëth Nexëhmü plus Chaos Moon members Alex Poole and Jack and Steven Blackburn, joined by vocalist Glömd. A song from their debut album named “Of Crimson Eyes” debuted in February, and the album’s title track — “Slit Throat Requiem” — surfaced more recently. Continue reading »