Apr 102023

Today marks the third time we’ve premiered a complete album by the German band Zeit — all three of the band’s full-lengths so far — in addition to lots of other features we’ve done for singles and videos leading up to those premieres. Obviously, we haven’t grown weary of their music. To the contrary, Zeit just keep getting better and better.

Their new album, which will be released on April 14th, is named Ohnmacht. For those of us who don’t speak their native tongue, Zeit explains that this title is a German word that “describes a state of lethargie”, “a powerlessness that results in an accepting behaviour despite the fact of being oppositional to tragic events”. In more detail, they have elaborated on the album’s concept:

A life between the chains of civilization: Stumbling from crisis to crisis, we numbly stare into the nothingness. “What now?” the mind wonders as it dances into the shadows. Frustration, anger and disgust are pushing us to the beat of forced productivity – driven by pandemic, war and climate change. The world struggles with itself and yet does not give up. Because where all is lost, there is hope and freedom. Expect nothing, fear everything. Continue reading »

Mar 242023

Ascended Dead – photo by Scott Kinkade

This is the second brief round-up of new songs and videos I’ve managed to assemble today, having unexpectedly found myself with time I didn’t think I’d have. Once again, as in the first installment, I’ve focused on three things that just surfaced overnight or this morning. With a bit of luck I’ll have a third installment finished before I have to pay attention to paying work. If that fails, there will be another roundup tomorrow.


To lead off this segment I have “Ungodly Death” (is there any other kind?), the maniacal first preview track from this California band’s new album Evenfall of the Apocalypse. Continue reading »

Mar 142021


I think of this week’s column as falling into two parts that I’ve arranged by design. The first part consists of three segments — advance tracks from three forthcoming album. Although I’d be foolish to claim they are completely similar, I think they do share certain ingredients and feelings that tie them together in ways that make for a very good mini-playlist. In the second part I’ve reviewed two albums (though one of them isn’t out yet) which I also think fit together. They are very different from the tracks in the first part.

SPHERE (France)

The first offering here is an 18-minute song named “Invocation” from the forthcoming second album (entitled π) by the French black metal band Sphere. It features a guest performance by Déhà. Continue reading »

Aug 262019


“With frustration in their hearts, green lungs and Sternburg on their lips, ZEIT try to find their way through the great gray – The distress known as city: Inspiration, coercion, freedom and jail. In dark alleys full of delusions, doubtful souls roam, lost in addiction. No hood, no cult – no collective.”

With those words the Leipzig band Zeit introduce their second album, Drangsal (“distress”), which will be released this coming Friday, August 30th. Through a changing amalgam of black metal, sludge, and doom, they’ve created an album that’s relentlessly intense and brutally heavy in more ways than one, delivering music that captures the blighted urban existence described in those introductory words. Continue reading »

Aug 112019


Although you can’t tell from the title of this post, it’s the first part of another two-part installment of this column. I didn’t call this “Part 1” because I dusted off a long-dormant strategy for the second one, which has its own long-dormant Category tag, and I’m using that instead of Part 2. All will become clear when I’m able to finish and post the second segment, hopefully later today but possibly on Monday morning.

Here, I’m beginning with a notable news item and then marching ahead with the music, which includes an EP, a new song and video, and advance tracks from forthcoming releases.


Part of the thrill afforded by a new Blut Aus Nord album is the process of discovery, because BAN has rarely followed a straight and steady path from one record to the next, and predicting how their path might twist and turn requires a crystal ball. In the case of their new album, Hallucinogen, Debemur Morti Productions has announced that it “begins a new era,” “ending the cycle of clandestine industrialised dissonance that culminated with previous transmission Deus Salutis Meae and moving skyward into freshly melodic territories of progressive clarity”. Continue reading »

Jul 182019


I nearly finished this collection in time to post it yesterday before I had to turn to the job that pays me. The delay turned out to be fortuitous, because in the meantime I found something else I was excited to include. As usual, my aim in this selection is to showcase the variety of extreme metal, and to do some extravagant globe-trotting as well.


First up is a track named “Spears of Pestilence” from a new album by Portland’s Sempiternal Dusk, set for release by Dark Descent on September 27th. The album title is Cenotaph of Defectuous Creation, and it features cover art by D. Desecrator. Continue reading »

Apr 192018


I’ve been meaning to do this for about a week, and finally found time. I came across all of the following music in the course of surveying new releases for a SEEN AND HEARD round-up here at our putrid site, and thought it would make sense to package them together for extra catastrophe.

The music ranges from catastrophic funeral doom to catastrophic death metal with a heavy doom component, to something doom-centric but less easily describable at the end. I arranged the music in a way that would provide a bit of back-and-forth flow, so your blood doesn’t completely congeal and your heart doesn’t completely slow to a stopping point.

While I was writing this I thought about Andy Synn telling me that he’d come across a metal forum in which NCS was criticized by one or more idiots people for concentrating on “mainstream” metal. Yeah, right. Mainstream this right up your bungholes:


I’ve written frequently about this German band, who’s usual stock-in-trade is an amalgam of sludge and black metal (and some other ingredients). But for their latest EP, null., they decided to give the funeral-doom treatment to two of their previously released songs, and I’ll be damned, it turns out they’re just as strong in this other genre as they are in their main line. Continue reading »

Oct 222017


Welcome to Part 2 of this Sunday’s SHADES OF BLACK column, which I divided into two parts because of its considerable length (Part 1 can be found here). In this second installment you’ll find a mix of advance tracks from forthcoming albums as well as full releases.


I’ve already written two posts since August about Summoning’s new album and I didn’t even have any music to share, which I suppose is a sign of how hyped I’ve been about the prospect of something new from these Viennese wizards. I guess the third time is the charm, because now there finally is a song I can share. But first, allow me to excerpt a quote from the press announcement by Napalm Records — who will be releasing the album on January 5, 2018: Continue reading »

Aug 232017


Here’s the second part of a column delayed from Sunday. I began it yesterday with a news item and then new music from four bands, and continue it today with new music and a new video from five more. From yesterday through today, these items are organized in alphabetical order by band name.


Kadaverdisciplin is a newish band of Swedish black metal slaughterers whose line-up includes a core trio of musicians from Västervik, Sweden (who include members of Zombified and Blodsrit) plus drummer extraordinaire Fredrik Widigs (Marduk, The Ugly). After a couple of digital singles, they have finished a debut album appropriately named Death Supremacy that will be released by Hammerheart Records on October 20. Continue reading »

Jun 012017


I’m approaching the passage of one full year since discovering the band Zeit from Leipzig, Germany, the encounter occasioned by a video filmed in an abandoned coal power station in East Germany. I thought of the video as a modern equivalent of the ruins made famous by Shelley’s famous sonnet about that long-forgotten “King of Kings”, Ozymandias, and I thought of the song as a grim, intensely foreboding, but also pulse-pounding experience.

The song was “Verloren”, drawn from the band’s 2015 EP Gram. It was an impressive outing in more ways than one, a fashioning of black metal with heavy strands of sound interwoven from other genres (principally sludge and doom). Now Zeit are on the brink of releasing their first album, Konvergenz, and we have the pleasure of streaming it for you today. Continue reading »