Apr 252019


If performed live in a club, Verwüstung’s new album Gospel Ov Fury would leave most people ringing wet and gasping for air. Their brand of feral black thrashing mayhem is relentlessly propulsive and thoroughly evil, persistently capable of channeling berserker-level chaos and triggering all sorts of fast-twitch muscle fibers, including the ones in your neck (though most people can’t headbang this fast, even they’ll want to).

Gospel Ov Fury will be released by Handful of Hate on May 1st, though there’s way more than a handful of hate in these nine songs. But while viciousness and rage set these songs on fire, these demonic Belarusians also happen to be skilled song-writers and top-shelf technicians. Not content merely to fly like the wind, or even to pack their songs with one virally infectious riff after another, they’ve paid attention to the appeal of dynamism, as you’ll discover for yourselves through our premiere of a complete album stream at the end of this post. Continue reading »

Mar 312019


I had decided to limit this week’s column to advance tracks from forthcoming albums, but then couldn’t resist adding a single-song EP that was released on Friday (by that band in the post title with the mile-long name). I’m hoping to do another SHADES OF BLACK round-up devoted to highlighting a few recent albums, but since it’s only an idea right now, I’m not going to call this post Part 1; Part 2 may remain only an idea, depending on how the next 24-48 hours go.

Obviously, I really like everything you’ll find in this collection. Some of the music is so scorching it might leave you with third-degree burns. Other tracks are more atmospheric. And I think you’ll be surprised by some of what you find here as well. So please do give everything a chance.


On their last album, All Hail the Swinelord (2015), This Gift Is A Curse made music that ruthlessly takes you apart and sends what’s left of your mind into a very dark place. It was stupefyingly heavy, implacably savage, and frighteningly eerie. We premiered one song from the album and a video for another song, but I failed to review the whole thing. I’ll have a second chance to do right by this Stockholm band, because they now have another album on the horizon. Continue reading »