Sep 042021
 

 

Can’t you read plain English? It says “Labor Day”. It doesn’t say “Holi-Day”. So I’m just following the prescribed agenda, and laboring.

Because I unexpectedly agreed to write a whopping four premieres yesterday, I had no time to begin rounding up a selection of songs and videos that surfaced this past week. Leaving that until today has resulted in another massive collection, again featuring too many bands to name in the post title.

As it happens, the majority of the new music you’ll find below is accompanied by videos. It also happens that almost all of the new songs are high-speed devastators. This isn’t entirely by accident, because many of them were recommended in our NCS group by DGR, who tends to prefer musical riots over other forms of audio entertainment. And once I’d gotten into that kind of groove, I tended to stick with it in choosing from among other possibilities I checked out.

ARCHSPIRE (Canada)

We’ll start with a new lyric video for a frantic new song by Archspire, in which vocalist Oliver Rae Aleron goes faster than a cattle auctioneer and the rest of the band spits a variety of bullets even faster — but then abruptly the song gets dreamy. Continue reading »

Aug 062021
 

 

Over the last few days my NCS comrades (well, mainly DGR) have been shoveling links at me for new songs and videos, in anticipation that I would put together a round-up by today — which is a Bandcamp Friday. Most of those links were for music by bigger-name bands. The thought was that I could also add more obscure names, and that the allure of the bigger names might help introduce the lesser-knowns to more fans.

The problem is that the pile of links has grown to gargantuan proportions, which has made it tougher for me to insert as many other discoveries as I might want and still write up some thoughts about everything. Ah well, there’s always tomorrow. Here’s the A-to-Z deluge I have for today, in alphabetical order.

ARCHSPIRE (Canada)

Prepare for relentless high-speed bludgeoning and crazed fretwork mania as a big rabid mastiff barks in your face at equally high speed. Exhilarating! Continue reading »

Jun 102021
 

 

In between bouts of activity driven by my fucking day job today, I had just enough time to pull together this relatively short round-up of new sounds — two tracks (both with videos) from forthcoming albums, and one recently released EP.

WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM (U.S.)

WITTR’s new album has been officially announced. Entitled Primordial Arcana, it’s set for release on August 20th by Relapse Records. Coincident with that they released a video for the song “Mountain Magick“. The band made the video themselves, and filmed it “in the northern reaches of the Olympic Mountains and the ancient forests that shroud the foothills”. They also recorded, produced, and mixed the album themselves. Continue reading »

Aug 242020
 

 

Before delving deeper into the sounds of Vital Spirit‘s debut EP, In the Faith That Looks Through Death, let’s begin with the band’s own stated list of musical influences: Ennio Morricone, Taake, Earth, Ulver, Marty Robbins, Dissection, Drudkh, Inquisition, and Wovenhand.

And then let’s add to that this list of their lyrical inspirations: Wovoka, Patti Smith, Chilam Balam, Townes Van Zandt, and the corridos of the Mexican Revolution (with subjects that range from Mayan cosmology and history, to Pancho Villa’s role in the Mexican Revolution, and Wovoka’s Ghost Dance movement).

Got that? Well, you probably don’t, because even though you can read all those names, comprehending how such disparate sources of inspiration could all work together in harness under the coaxing (and the whiphand) of this Vancouver duo is probably a challenge. But when you listen to the music, you’ll discover that it all integrates wonderfully well. And the fact that In the Faith That Looks Through Death doesn’t sound quite like anything else becomes a big part of its attraction. Continue reading »

Apr 052019
 


Wormwitch

 

(Here we have a pair of reviews written by Andy Synn, juxtaposing the new albums by Vancouver’s Wormwitch and North Dakota’s Frosthelm.)

Every time that I’ve done this previously – bundling together paired reviews for Marduk/Funeral Mist, Arsis/Revocation, and Gorod/Beyond Creation – the response to the format and structure of the article has been surprisingly positive, hence why I decided to resurrect it for this piece.

The idea, after all, has always been about using comparison and contrast as a way of both critiquing and celebrating the artists involved, not in a way that necessarily invites or invokes competition, but in a way that uses each band as a mirror or a prism through which to view and reflect upon the other.

It’s also a great way of encouraging fans of one band to check out the works of another, similar, artist, if they haven’t already (and does wonders for our google rankings too).

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the latest offerings from Frosthelm and Wormwitch, shall we? Continue reading »

Feb 212019
 

 

After finishing this morning’s previous posts, I just barely had enough time to grab a few new songs for this round-up before having to surrender to my fucking day job. Based on what’s on the slate tomorrow, I think I’ll have time for a few more then.

BLACK ANVIL

Following up on their latest album, 2017’s very good As Was, New York’s Black Anvil have a new EP named Miles headed our way, a release that was written, performed, and recorded as a tribute to late The Devil’s Blood guitarist/vocalist Selim Lemouchi. DECIBEL mag, which premiered the EP’s opening track earlier this week, describes Miles as retaining “the barely-restrained insanity of Black Anvil’s previous releases while also embracing more melody and vulnerable emotion”, and that description is borne out my the song they premiered, “Iron Sharpens Iron“. Continue reading »

Apr 022017
 

 

I didn’t damage myself too badly last night, only moderately, and so I was able to prepare this selection of music that I thought was worth recommending. I’m beginning with songs from forthcoming albums by four bands and concluding with two recent EPs.

Much of the music in this collection isn’t strictly black metal, but has enough kinship to the genre that I can justify including it. Hope you find some things to like.

WORMWITCH

In another one of these SHADES OF BLACK posts last month I reported that Prosthetic Records would be releasing the debut album Strike Mortal Soil by Vancouver, BC’s Wormwitch on May 12. At that point I didn’t have any music to share with you, but now I do. Continue reading »

Mar 202017
 

 

I don’t suppose there’s any need to blacken a Monday, since they’re usually bruised to begin with, but I didn’t have time to finish Part 2 of this post yesterday and so here we are.

Like yesterday’s Part 1, I’m beginning this one with an announcement, ending it with a video, and slotting in a full release (actually, two) along with some advance tracks. As always, everything here is recommended.

WORMWITCH

Prosthetic Records recently announced that they would be releasing the debut album Strike Mortal Soil by Vancouver, BC’s Wormwitch on May 12. Almost exactly one year ago we premiered a video for a single the band released called “Coffin Birth”. Continue reading »

Mar 182016
 

Wormwitch-Coffin Birth

 

Wormwitch are a trio from Vancouver, BC, consisting of vocalist/bassist Robin Harris, guitarist Colby Hink, and drummer Max Vüst — all of them former members of a local hardcore band named Dead Hand who have taken a sharp turn into the realms of European-influenced black metal. Last year they released their first EP, The Long Defeat, and are now at work on a second one. But in the meantime they discharged a stand-alone single in January named “Coffin Birth“, and today we bring you the premiere for an official video for the song.

Lyrically, “Coffin Birth” tells the tale of “nature taking charge and sacrificing and renewing itself, all in an effort to destroy the blight of man”. But the video isn’t one of those that sets the band’s performance in snow-dusted woods, where you wonder how they plugged in their amps. Instead, this video (which is really well-filmed and edited) attempts to confine this explosion of sound in a cramped practice room — and you really feel the band’s energy when watching it. Continue reading »