Mar 252023

Demonaz – Photo by Leander Djønne

How long did I sleep last night? Hey, thanks for asking, it was 10 1/2 hours. You’d think I’d dug a mile-long ditch by myself before collapsing in exhaustion, but I did little more than sit on my ass and peck at a keyboard all day. It’s probably just a sign of how long I’d sleep every night if I didn’t have some binding commitment to keep early every morning (looking at you, NCS). I like sleeping.

Anyway, late start today, and therefore not as many picks in this roundup as I thought I’d have. I decided to pull in some bigger names, whose songs surfaced fairly early in the week, and then round things out with some hard-scrabble fighters from deeper underground.


Dark northern armies go to battle across the ice under blood-red skies in Immortal‘s blazing and bombastic new song “War Against All“. It’s a hot-blooded scorcher, packed with both brazen and febrile fretwork, berserker screaming, and rumbling thunder in the low end. If you’ve just hibernated for 10 1/2 hours it’s as welcome and as effective as a jolt of pitch-black caffeine. Continue reading »

Apr 242019


I didn’t expect to prepare another new-music round-up so soon, since I posted one of these just yesterday, but I found myself with enough free time — just barely enough — to do it. Without further ado:


Yesterday brought us the debut of a track called “The Hardship of the Scots” from the new album by Darkthrone, Old Star. Unsurprisingly, the news of a new Darkthrone song spread like wildfire, and predictably provoked reflexive praise. The thing is, such reflexes have been conditioned by decades of praiseworthy work by this band, and in this instance (more importantly), it really is a hell of a good song — which I have had serious difficulty getting out of my head so I can focus on other things. Continue reading »

Jun 302017


I began writing this post on Tuesday, intending to finish and publish it the next day. Events conspired against that plan, and I was defeated again yesterday by technical problems ironically created by malfunctioning software installed in our web-host server by the company we pay to armor us against malware.

I’ve resisted the temptation to make this burly collection even bigger by including more new music I’ve spotted in the days since I started it. I also resisted the temptation to just shove this column into its usual place on Sunday, especially because I’ve taken a few liberties with the usual configuration of SHADES OF BLACK. Posting it today will also me to harness different new audio assaults to char the coming Sabbath.


I stay away from metal message boards for fear of losing IQ points, which as you well know are meager enough already. But I could guess that the people who think they are the trve keepers of the holy black flame are gnashing their teeth all over again because Myrkur has released a new song and soon enough will release a new album. Based on experience, I presume that the readers of this site will take the music as it comes and assess it on its own merits, which is what I’ve done — and I do like what I hear. Continue reading »

Oct 012015

Vulture Industries vidclip


Although I never managed to write a complete review of Vulture Industries’ fantastic 2013 album The Tower, I did write about every one of the three songs that premiered before the album’s release and chose the title track for our site’s list of 2013’s “Most Infectious” Songs, so that counts for something. The album is a strange and wondrous creation that sounds like nothing else I heard the year of its release — or since then either — and so I’m delighted that we have the chance to help premiere a new video for yet another song from the album:  “Blood On the Trail“.

Apart from the fact that the song kicks large quantities of ass, the video was made by one of our favorite visual creators, Costin Chioreanu (who leads a damned good band himself [Bloodway]). Here’s what Vulture Industries had to say about the high-energy video: Continue reading »

Mar 232014

To make your Sunday more metal I’ve collected here a handful of recommended songs and videos I discovered yesterday in my tramping through the interhole and a quick skimming of emails we recently received.


I first discovered Achren (from Glasgow, Scotland) in a June 2011 MISCELLANY post and have written about them a couple more times since then. The last time was more than a year ago, when I featured an song from their excellent debut album The Forgotten King in a round-up of metal from Scotland. I’ve now learned that they will soon be releasing a new EP entitled The White Death, and yesterday they began streaming one of its three tracks.

“The Eschatologist” is a memorable song, made all the more compelling by its powerful production quality. It reminded me immediately of the Norwegian black metal band Byfrost, blending a lot of thunder in the low end with a driving, dramatic guitar melody, which at times seems to draw upon the folk traditions of the band’s homeland. It’s a rocking, romping, slashing song that makes me anxious to hear the rest of the EP. Continue reading »

Feb 122014

This is Part 27 of our list of 2013′s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. To see the selections that preceded the three songs I’m announcing today, click here.

We’re getting close to the end of this list, with only two more Parts to go after today. The three songs I’m adding now are an eclectic mix, both as compared to each other and with respect to the individual songs themselves — and that’s the main reason I’m grouping them together.


Although I never managed to write a complete review of this Bergen band’s 2013 album The Tower, I did write about every one of the three songs that premiered before the album’s release, so that counts for something I guess. The album is a strange and wondrous creation that sounds like nothing else I heard last year. The first song to premiere remains my favorite — and it’s the one I’m now adding to this list. Continue reading »

Sep 252013

Within the last day or two, a number of new albums became available for streaming in full. Here are four that I think are worth checking out. In some cases I’ve been able to embed the streams here. In other cases, I’ll have to give you a link to hear it elsewhere. The bands are listed in alphabetical order; as you’ll discover, this selection includes a lot of Exceptions to the Rule around here (you know, the one about singing).


Doomriders, the Boston outfit fronted by Converge bassist Nate Newton, are releasing Grand Blood on October 15 via Deathwish Inc. It’s the follow-up to Darkness Comes Alive. Stream it at Pitchfork Advance here. Continue reading »

Sep 102013

Because of reasons, I haven’t had time to finish any reviews in weeks, but I will have one tomorrow even if it means I have to stop going to the bathroom and begin soiling myself (again). What I have had time to do is browse and listen randomly to new things. Here are a slew of goodies I found today. I promise, they will keep you off-balance.


This is almost becoming embarrassing. Three new songs and/or videos have premiered from the forthcoming album by this Norwegian band and I’ve featured every one of them. That’s saying something, because we don’t do this with every damned thing that emerges on a daily basis. The news and new music we choose to cover as compared to everything happening each day is something like the ratio of a gnat’s ass to an elephant’s ass. Yet I’m strangely attracted to all of the strange new music I’ve heard so far from The Tower.

Today’s new piece of vulturization comes in the form of a music video for “Lost Among Liars”. It starts with a saxophone and ends with the strumming of acoustic guitar, and in the middle Bjørnar Erevik Nilsen’s unusual vocals weave dark spells over a moody guitar melody. At least as attractive as the song is the wonderful animated artwork of  Costin Chioreanu Continue reading »

Aug 202013

As you may have surmised if you read today’s first post, I was immersed in live metal from about 3 p.m. yesterday afternoon until late last night. But before the immersion began, I found some new things while stumbling through the interhole yesterday that I thought were worth some attention, and here they be:


Way back in January, we reported the bombshell news that Tuomas Saukkonen had decided to shut down all of his previous musical projects — Before The Dawn, Black Sun Aeon, Routasielu, Dawn Of Solace, and Final Harvest — and start a completely new one under the name Wolfheart. At the same time, he released a teaser of new Wolfheart music. And yesterday he released another one, along with info about the new Wolfheart album, including the ethereal cover art by Heino Brandt (above).

The album’s name is Winterborn and it includes 9 tracks, except that if you pre-order the album now you’ll get a download code for two bonus tracks that will accompany the CD when it ships. The release date is October 11.  Continue reading »

Jul 182013

Okay, it’s time to confuse people again (at this site we call things like this “Exceptions to the Rule”, but could just as easily classify them as “Seeds of Confusion”).

Vulture Industries are not strangers to these pages, though 18 months have passed since we last featured their music. They dwell in Bergen, Norway, population 270,000, and home to an astonishingly large number of talented metal bands given the city’s modest size. But it’s safe to say that Vulture Industries are unlike any other band from Bergen. In fact, I’m having some trouble thinking of anyone quite like them anywhere else in the world. Today they debuted (via the Pyro site on Norwegian national radio (NRK P3)) a lyric video for the title track to their forthcoming album The Tower, and it proves my point.

The music is a bombastic, theatrical, head-spinning thing. The excellent instrumental part of the music is sort of like a blend of melodic death metal, post-rock, and Broadway show-stopper, spun in an avant-garde centrifuge, and Bjørnar Erevik Nilsen’s mainly clean vocals will take you into the clouds. He sings, “It Soars!”, and his voice soars like you won’t believe. He also assumes a variety of other vocal personae in this allegorical song about the materialism of modern life in the Western world.

As eccentric and borderline-surreal as the song is, I found myself immediately riveted by it — and I do mean immediately, as in, from the first seconds. And the first thing I wanted to do after hearing it was hear it again. Continue reading »