Jun 112020


The Finnish black metal band Väki have defined themselves as “a musical act embodying the profound manifestations of death, impurity and chaos, dedicated to capture the darkests aspects of reality”, examining “aspects of our existence that revolve around suffering, depression, hate and melancholy”. In delving into those dark depths it became evident right from the band’s 2017 debut demo Kirous (reviewed here) that they were capable of taking you to many different places — there was bleak grandeur as well as crushing desolation and blinding ferocity in those compositions, as well as a high level of performance skill.

Redefining Darkness Records was so impressed with that initially self-released demo that they gave it a physical release. And now, in conjunction with Saturnal Records in Europe, the same label will be releasing Väki‘s debut album Kuolleen Maan Omaksi — a record that many of us who were captivated by Kirous have been waiting for eagerly. It will be released on July 17th, and today we’re excited to present for you “Vaisto” (The Instinct), the song that opens the album. Continue reading »

Jan 262018


This is the last installment of a three-part post I began on Wednesday, focusing on new and recently discovered metal in a blackened vein. I packed a lot of music into this tripartite post — including a pair of video premieres today — in part because I failed to get a SHADES OF BLACK column finished in time to post in its usual place last Sunday, but also because I won’t get one done for this coming Sunday either. The weekend is going to be an unusually busy one for me, and if I can manage to get anything done at all for NCS, it will be a continuation of our Most Infectious Song list… because time is rapidly running out on that.

When I started this post two days ago I had a list that I alphabetized by band name before dividing it into thirds. I did say that I might discover something else to add that would screw up the alphabetic ordering, and so I have.


Stormbane (from Melbourne, Australia) have explained that they recorded their debut album Eldritch Devotion in 2014 but only released it on January 1 of this year “due to explosive bowel movements and disagreements”. It also appears to be a posthumous release — Metal Archives now classifies the band as “Split-up”. Too bad. But at least the band decided to discharge this explosive movement before they themselves exploded. Continue reading »

Nov 272017


The year is supposed to be barreling toward the end, with a deep breath and a gasping look backward, but it’s obvious that the life pulse of metal takes no breaks. If you spend too much time reflecting on the last 11 months, you will inevitably miss a lot in the 5 weeks yet to come. I’m going to have to take that break, but not quite yet.

I intended to post this particular collection yesterday in its usual Sunday spot, but couldn’t finish it before departing for some Thanksgiving weekend festivities with friends. Since then it has grown a bit, but could have become much longer.


Yesterday the brilliant Austrian black metal band Abigor announced that their new album, Höllenzwang – Chronicles of Perdition, has been sent off to the pressing plant. They made clear that the release will not be preceded by “any fancy youtube video, tons of merch or other promotion campaigns”. But the band did provide a few insights into the music, as well as a stream of song excerpts, which I’ve included below. Continue reading »