Nov 122018


Yesterday didn’t work out like I planned. Without going into the gory details, I was out all Saturday night — and I do mean all night. I didn’t go to sleep until about 7 a.m. on Sunday morning. By the time I woke up four hours later, it was too late to make a start on the usual Sunday SHADES OF BLACK column (on top of which I felt like hell).

I’d also planned a two-part post because I’d collected so much black or blackened metal that I wanted to recommend, but with so much else to do for this Monday, that’s not going to happen. This will have to do for now.


After releasing a debut EP in 2014 (Zweifel) the Munich band Kultist turned their attention to work on an album. As they explained on November 2nd, their efforts to find a label willing to back the album failed, leaving them “marrowless” and “cast down”, and thus they released it themselves as a last resort. I can understand their frustrations — because Aurora is very, very good. Continue reading »

Mar 122017


I guess I’ll be surprised if anyone remembers, especially those of you who lost an hour of sleep last night, but a week ago I began what I said would be a two-part SHADES OF BLACK post. Before I could finish Part 2 for Monday I came across a bunch of new songs, and that collection became Part 2. I still want to recommend the songs that I had picked for the original Part 2. They’re all in here, a week later than I had planned, but of course I’ve added a few newer tracks, too. A whopping ten songs in all.

With one exception, all of these tracks are from albums or EPs that haven’t been released yet, and I’ve organized them in alphabetical order by band name. I have a separate collection of recent full releases, and if time permits I’ll try to pull those together before the usual tornado of the work week begins spinning tomorrow.


To begin, I have “Severe Martyrdom“, a severe song from Regnum-Phobos by the Spanish band Cauldron. This is their second album and it will be released by Darkness Within on March 14th. Continue reading »