Jul 282021


We’ve been following the momentous progress of the New Jersey black/folk metal band Windfaerer since early days, sprinkling our coverage (which began almost exactly nine years ago) with music premieres and increasingly elaborate and enthusiastic reviews of their accomplishments. It was thus a tremendous thrill to discover that Avantgarde Music would be releasing their new album, Breaths of Endless Dawns, and a no-brainer for us to accept the opportunity to premiere the new album’s first single — “Astral Tears“.

The band’s last album, 2018’s Alma, was (as we wrote) “a work of grand ambition and true passion, the band persistently driving themselves to unabashedly tug at the listener’s heartstrings and also to send the heart soaring and the mind spinning toward mythic heights.” The music was multifaceted, richly patterned, emotionally intense, and thoroughly immersive, creating moods that were dark and depressive, wrenchingly anguished, and vibrantly defiant. The songs become almost heart-stopping in their grandeur and explosive power, though every sensation of triumph was still edged with melancholy, as if modulated by the remembrance of loss.

Many of those same qualities are again on display in this new record, but the experience is, if anything, even more rich in its textures and moods, even more enthralling (and wrenching), and perhaps even more immense in its sheer unbridled power. Continue reading »

Aug 312018


Those of you who’ve been visiting our site regularly for more than a year or two will be familiar with the name Windfaerer, because we’ve been following their steady ascent since early days. This New Jersey-based, folk-influenced black metal band was launched by guitarist and frontman M. Gonçalves as (we are told) “an epic black metal paean to his ancestral homeland of the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal)”. From its earliest days, Windfaerer has now evolved into a full band in which Gonçalves is joined by electric violinist B. Karas (aka Valček), guitarist I. Keren, bassist M. Muñoz, and drummer J. Applegate, some of whom contribute vocals in addition to their prodigious instrumental talents.

Since 2009 Windfaerer have released two albums, in addition to a few shorter releases, and their third full-length, Alma, is now rapidly approaching a September release by Fólkvangr Records and Avantgarde Music. It’s their most impressive work to date, as you’re about to discover through our stream of all eight tracks. Continue reading »

Jul 312018


As you can see, I have enough new songs and videos I’d like to recommend that I’ve divided them into two parts. I thought the first three in Part 1 belonged together because they all rock, albeit in very different ways. The first two are explosive, the third one crushes, and although the fourth one blasts instead of rocks, it reconnects with the energy of the first two and rockets it into the clouds.


Our reviewer proclaimed Cobra Speed Venom as the best album by The Crown since the pinnacle of their career (which he identified as Possessed 13), and perhaps their best album, period, with the band “displaying a reckless sense of abandon” while putting “a lot of emphasis on fist-pumping anthemic melody”.

I also loved the album, and the song that’s the subject of the band’s new video is probably might favorite of all the tremendous ones to be found within Cobra Speed Venom. Continue reading »

Jul 242016

Windfaerer-Coniuratio Nigrum Atlantika


Greetings from Seattle and welcome to another edition of Shades of Black. I wasn’t able to prepare one of these installments last Sunday due to fucking off, so I’ve accumulated an especially large list of recent discoveries that I would like to write about. From that list I’ve selected blackened music from six bands to recommend.


The name Windfaerer will likely be a familiar one to our readers. Last year we premiered two songs from the band’s marvelous second album Tenebrosum and named one of those to our list of 2015’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. What a nice surprise it was to discover that two days ago Windfaerer released more new music.

These new songs (three of them) appear on a three-way split by Windfaerer and two other Northeast bands, WolfCloak, and Dumal. The name of the split is Coniuratio Nigrum Atlantika. So far I’ve only listened to Windfaerer’s tracks, but they are predictably excellent. Continue reading »

Feb 122016

Amorphis-Under the Red Cloud


Welcome to the 24th Part of our roll-out of 2015’s Most Infectious Songs, as chosen by me and me alone. I have a constricting feeling around my throat as I bear down on my self-imposed Sunday deadline for finishing this list, when in fact I’m not really close to exhausting all the songs I want to write about. I have some terrible decisions to make this weekend.

The rest of the songs on the list can be inspected via this link.


I don’t suppose Amorphis really needed to make a “comeback” album. They haven’t really gone away, and the massive core of their fan base has never left them. But I still think of Under the Red Cloud as a comeback album. Continue reading »

Jan 042016

M Gonçalves-Windfaerer


(This year we had the pleasure of premiering two songs from the wonderful new album by New Jersey’s Windfaerer, along with a review — all of that can be found here — and now we bring you a diverse year-end list from Windfaerer’s vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Michael Gonçalves.)

This year has been an insane year for metal and I had a hard time catching up with everything. The damn year has flown by so fast that I still think it’s 2014. Here’s to 2015 and all the wonderful releases it has brought us! The following list is in no particular order. Continue reading »

Sep 172015

WIndfaerer-Tenebrosum small


We have an embarrassment of riches. At the end of June we had the pleasure of premiering a song named “Celestial Supremacy” from the wonderful new album by New Jersey’s Windfaerer, and now — less than a week away from the release of Tenebrosum — we get to bring you another new song: “The Everlasting”.

When our old friend Phro provided his imaginative and evocative review of Tenebrosum, he described it as “seven tracks of pure frigid despair that could be summed up with three adjectives: Melancholy, punishing, and fierce.” All three adjectives could apply equally well to “The Everlasting” alone — but that wouldn’t exhaust the sensations inspired by the song. Continue reading »

Sep 092015

WIndfaerer-Tenebrosum small


(Over in the list of Categories on the right side of the page, I’ve kept alive one called “Phro’s Posts“, hoping that one day our old friend would come back to us — and so he has. Here’s Phro’s review of the new album by New Jersey’s Windfaerer.)

Tenebrosum, Windfaerer’s newest album, is seven tracks of pure frigid despair that could be summed up with three adjectives: Melancholy, punishing, and fierce. When you get the album on September 22 (which you absolutely must, whether you think you like black metal or not), wait for a cold, rainy day to listen to it. Tell everyone to leave you alone for an hour and grab your best headphones, preferably a pair with a relatively flat but accurate frequency response. Find an empty room with a single window, turn out all the lights, and sit in the grey light of the afternoon. Then, press play and close your eyes.


The plane rattles with the kind of turbulence you’ve only seen in movies. Smoky clouds whip by the windows and the sobs of terrified passengers fill the cabin. Alarms blare for a moment and then everything disappears…

When you open your eyes, you’re neck deep in snow. The wreckage of your plane writhes a hundred meters away, hungry flames licking at the cabin. The shrieks of someone dying reach your ears before falling silent a moment later when the fire stretches out and engulfs the plane’s skeletal remains. Continue reading »

Jun 302015


Time flies, and sometimes the good things it carries away, it brings back again with renewed pleasure. Almost exactly three years ago I stumbled across (and wrote about) an excellent EP entitled Solar by a New Jersey band named Windfaerer. I had forgotten about the band as the years rolled on, but the memories of that wonderful discovery have now been rekindled — because Windfaerer have finally completed their second full-length, Tenebrosum. Today we’ll give you a glimpse of what it holds in store as we premiere the album’s first track, “Celestial Supremacy“.

Windfaerer’s name signifies one who travels with the wind, and the album’s name — which draws from the archaic term for the Atlantic Ocean (“Mare Tenebrosum”), meaning “sea of darkness” — underscores the conceptual connection of the band’s music to the idea of setting sail upon unknown waters, with both perils and the hope of new discovery lying ahead along the path carved by the wind. Continue reading »

Jul 032012

In this post I’m collecting things I saw and heard yesterday that I thought were worth passing on. As you can see, I’m still trying out titles for these posts. Do you like “Sharing Is Caring”? I think it conveys the kind of love we feel for all of you, and it captures the reason why we do these posts — because we care. In fact, in the immortal words of Faith No More, we care A LOT.

Yeah, you’re right, that title is pretty vomitous. I’ll keep thinking about it. Maybe  I’d be better off lifting the immortal words of Bruce Willis: YIPPI KI YAY, MOTHERFUCKERS! Anyway, in this post I’ve got new songs from Windfaerer (US), Dew-Scented (Germany), Locrian (US), and Robots Pulling Levers (US), plus what has to be a worldwide first: an acoustic version of Cattle Decapitation’s “A Living Breathing Piece of Defecating Meat”.


Yesterday I listened to a song from this three-man New Jersey band (guitarist/bassist/vocalist Michael Gonçalves, violinist Benjamin Karas, and drummer JP Andrade) called “A Glimpse of Light”. It’s the second track from the band’s Solar EP, which will be self-released on July 10. It grabbed me right off the bat.

The bolting rhythm took hold of my head quickly and began slamming it up and down, and never did let go. But my head was happy, too, and not just because I got a good headband going. The swirling tremolo guitar melodies and soulful solo’s were as entrancing as the hammering drums and thrumming bass were galvanizing. The caustic vocals added an extra layer of bleeding passion to the mix. And the song has a brutal, bang-up, bass-heavy finish, too. Continue reading »