Jun 072020
 

 

I’m not as prone as some writers around here to make exceptions to our rule about singing (I’m looking at you Mr. Synn), but I fell prone before all the singing voices in this selection of songs, and the music that accompanies them. But don’t worry… in the next installment of this post I’m sure I’ll revert to the usual nastiness.

OCEANS OF SLUMBER (U.S.)

I guess most people know by now that Cammie Gilbert has a stunning voice. If you don’t know, you’ll find out through this first song and video. You’ll also find out she has some very talented people behind her, including drummer Dobber Beverly, who plays in a lot more extreme bands than this one and delivers a beautifully nuanced performance. Continue reading »

Feb 222020
 

 

I’m about to drive to Portland with friends to take in a mainly acoustic show by Austin Lunn (Panopticon), Aerial Ruin, and Mike Scheidt of Yob. That means I probably won’t have a SHADES OF BLACK column on Sunday, though I’ve already written a premiere for that day, so we won’t leave you completely lonesome tomorrow. As for today, I’ve resorted to the “Overflowing Streams” format because there are SO MANY new songs and videos I’ve been enjoying that I didn’t want to cut the list back, and don’t have time to write about them.

Almost everything here surfaced over the last 48 hours. Perhaps needless to say, there’s a lot of variety on offer. I don’t expect anyone (but me) to get a kick out of all this, but hopefully you’ll find at least one or two things to like. Continue reading »

Nov 292018
 

 

Last Sunday when I wrote about my imminent two-week vacation I though it was unlikely that I would be able to assemble any new-music round-ups. But for my traveling companions, yesterday was an especially lazy day, and so I found a bit of guilt-free time to explore new music.

Not a lot of time, mind you, and so I didn’t cast a very wide net over everything of interest that had surfaced since the last of these round-ups, nor was I able to choose as many songs as I usually do. But these three struck a strong chord, and I’m happy with the choices.

ROTTING CHRIST

Season of Mist uses the term “anthemic” to describe the new Rotting Christ song it released yesterday, and so it is — in a way that’s distinctively Rotting Christ. If you’re familiar with their music, you would know it’s them even if no one told you. Continue reading »

Oct 252016
 

ragnarok-cover-art

 

(Our long-time supporter and occasional contributor Booker returns to NCS with this review of the new album by Norway’s Wardruna.)

Wardruna are an exception to the rule here. On the one hand, because of the singing, which is not only “clean”, but is often chanted, whispered, or spoken-word, as well as being in a language few of us would understand. And the foreign-ness of it means that the significance of the vocals – the message, or meaning — is simply the rhythm and emotion the vocals produce, rather than the what the words signify – arguably, in that respect, perhaps not too far off a lot of the metal we listen to.

But they’re an exception, too, as you won’t find any distorted guitars here, nor any traditional drum kits, blast beats, breakdowns, or sounds belonging to the mosh pit. But what’s on offer will hopefully move and entice you all the same. Continue reading »

Aug 202016
 

Grand Tetons-Jackson Wyoming-2

 

That stunning vista above these words is what greeted my eyes this morning. I’m on a short vacation in the presence of the Grand Tetons in Wyoming. I’m not telling you that to be a dick, but only because I know how vitally interested you are in my every movement, except perhaps for bowel movements.

I did tear myself away from awestruck gazing at the horizon long enough to listen to four new songs, one of which comes with a video. I thought all four were good enough that they would make a nice collection for this Saturday morning, saving me the agony of trying to sift through all the other good stuff that came out since my last round-up.

The first two songs are exceptions to our oft-violated Rule, and the last two open up the extremity throttle in very different ways. Continue reading »

Jan 132016
 

Skuggsja-A Piece For Mind and Mirror
cover art by Costin Chioreanu

On May 17, 1814, the Norwegian Constituent Assembly at Eidsvoll signed the Constitution of Norway, which remains one of the oldest in the world. Inspired by the 200th anniversary of that event, Ivar Bjørnson of Enslaved and Einar Selvik of Wardruna joined forces to compose and perform a concert piece called Skuggsjá, which means “mirror” or “reflection” in the Norse language. Skuggsjá was first performed at the Eidsivablot festival in Eidsvoll on September 13, 2014, to commemorate the anniversary. But Bjørnson and Selvik decided that the Skuggsjá project should live on and be expanded.

Last fall the duo signed with Season of Mist, taking Skuggsjá as the project’s name. On March 11, 2016, Season of Mist will release their debut album, entitled A Piece For Mind and Mirror. Today we bring you the premiere of a song from the album named “Vitkispá“. Continue reading »