Nov 202022

My head is clearer today than it was yesterday morning, but this column, although not exactly short, is still shorter than I’d like due to a planned mid-morning rendezvous with friends. Because time is racing away, I’ll cut this introduction off at the knees and just forewarn you that the word of the day is “whiplash”.

AZAGHAL (Finland)

As these blasphemous and terrorizing Fiuns approach the quarter-century mark in their career they’ve readied a new album named Alttarimme on Luista Tehty (“our altar is made of bone”), and the first advance song from it is the one I’ve chosen as a beginning today. It turns out to be a multi-faceted piece of music, and one that passes almost too quickly. Continue reading »

Jul 312020


Vampiric lore, especially in popular culture, has been dichotomous. On the one hand, vampires are depicted as ruthless predators capable of bestial savagery, rending human flesh in feeding frenzies of seemingly insatiable blood lust. On the other hand, there has also been a persistent aspect of dangerous romance in the canon, especially in more modern times — a side of the undead that is magical and seductive (if no less lethal), perhaps a remnant of humanity and perhaps merely a different stratagem for successful predation.

Of course, there are more aspects than these two which are revealed through the many centuries of vampiric legend and art, but these two may come to mind first in listening to the song we’re premiering today from the new third album by the Massachusetts black metal band Unholy Vampyric Slaughter Sect. Continue reading »