Dec 272022

Lumen Ad Mortem

On THAT HOLIDAY last Sunday I was going to wish everyone good tidings of joy, because joy is so often impoverished in this age, but the burden of laziness weighed me down as I thought it might. I was looking forward to darkening that holiday with un-joyful music via this column. It’s not as satisfying to darken National Fruitcake Day (yes, today is National Fruitcake Day here in the U.S.), but I’ll take what I can get.

As I was making my way through music I thought might make good fodder for this column I unexpectedly severed a certain musical vein, one that spurted its black blood through the first four selections below. You’ll need cotton wads to sop the blood from your lacerated ears, though no sponge will absorb the terrors and torments of these deleterious but captivating anthems to all that is wrong. They seem to exclaim damnation to trends, quite comfortable in their desolate burning castles first built in by-gone ages of black metal, and let’s hoist a chalice of blood to their devotion, shall we?

And do gird your loins, because there is A LOT of music here, straight up through the EP that ends the collection with what might be the maddest songs of all. Continue reading »

Jul 052021


“All good things come to those who wait.” That hopeful proverbial saying is attributed to the English poet Lady Mary Montgomerie Currie (1843-1905), under her pseudonym of Violet Fane. Yet the same poem that’s the source of the saying also includes this stanza: “‘Ah, all things come to those who wait’ / (I say these words to make me glad) / But something answers soft and sad / ‘They come, but often come too late.'”

It has been a long wait for Theurgia Mortem, the debut album of the occult French black metal band Vurvarat. One advance song from the album first surfaced in January 2018, and we premiered a second one in April of that year. At last, it will be released soon by Atavism Records, and thankfully patience is rewarded. It is indeed very good, and comes not too late. Continue reading »

Apr 222018


The French label Atavism Records is devoted to black metal, and its owner has a proven discerning taste for sinister music. Among the label’s releases, we have devoted attention to recordings by Cult of Extinction, Invehertex, St. Barthelemy’s Temple, Funeral Desekrator, and Lvx Hæresis.

While it might be unfair to generalize about the label’s tastes, given the diversity of the music created by the bands listed above, there is annihilating savagery to be found among those releases, as well as unearthly atmosphere, of the kind that reflects an occult spirituality.

One of Atavism’s more recent discoveries is the obscure French project Vurvarat. It is one of those black metal bands that does not disclose the identity of its member (or members), provides no photographs, does not indulge in live performances, and has no social media presence. As the expression of their creative impulses and objectives, the music alone will have to be enough. 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 »