Apr 222019


For their debut album, The Rise of Norn, the German melodic death metal band Vagrant have constructed a conceptual narrative concerning the path of an ancient warrior, a tale that in part also seems to be a metaphor for broader ruminations on the depths of human volatility and despair, and the ultimate fragility of existence.

The first single from the album, “Blood On A Crow’s Beak“, happened to be its closing track, a tragic narrative in which the dying warrior seems to share his final thoughts as his body is returned to the land of his birth. Musically, it’s an irresistible gallop of heroic riffing and glorious leads, of compulsive rhythms and scorching vocals, accented by acoustic strumming and ominous keyboard layers.

Now we have a second offering from the album, the record’s longest and most intricate song. “Darkness During The Reign Of A Black Sun” portrays a young warrior’s sinister visions and dreams, in which he foresees a big war that eventually will be his last — yet the vision leaves a question about whether the prophecy can be trusted. Continue reading »

Apr 182019


The last time I posted a round-up of new music (here) was 15 days ago. At the time I had 10 new songs I wanted to recommend, and no logical way to arrange them, given the diversity of the sounds, other than in alphabetical order by band name.  I got through five bands in the A-M range, with every intention of posting a second installment of five in the M-Z range by the next day. That didn’t happen, and I didn’t get it done by the end of that week, or the next week either, and now it’s Thursday of this week. My fucking day job has been killing me lately.

Of course, a ton more songs have been released in the last 15 days, but I’ve decided to stick with my original plan and finish that selection of 10 that I started more than two weeks ago, even though the music is no longer “hot off the presses”. I have made one change, because one of the songs I had chosen for the second group of five (by Misotheist) coincidentally wound up in eiterorm’s guest edition of SHADES OF BLACK last Sunday, so I made a substitution. Continue reading »