Mar 012018


In September of last year I came across a song with the title of  “דִּבּוּק“ from Ritual Miasma, the debut EP of an Israeli duo named Ziggurat. It made an immediate impact, and eventually was chosen for our list of 2017’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. But it was not the only strong point on Ritual Miasma. The entire EP proved to be an enormously compelling experience (it appeared on other year-end lists, including CVLT Nation’s top nine death/doom releases of 2017), and a sign that Ziggurat’s future endeavors would be worth watching very closely.

Ritual Miasma was initially released last October on cassette tape by Caligari Records, but Sweden’s Blood Harvest Records is about to follow that with a release of the EP in a digipack CD edition and on vinyl… and that gives us a reason to sing the praises of Ritual Miasma one more time, and to provide a stream of all five tracks for those of you who may just be discovering the band. Continue reading »

Jan 242018


Welcome to Part 11 of this list. Without further introductory verbiage, let’s proceed with three more tracks.


Medusa was one of those albums that popped up repeatedly in the Top 5 of year-end lists published by print zines and “big platform” web sites that we included in our year-end LISTMANIA extravaganza. Some of the albums in the upper reaches of those rankings were suspect, having the whiff of big-name pandering. But not this one… this one deserved all the honors it got (and of course it appeared on many of our own year-end lists).

To paraphrase something that Andy Synn wrote in his review of the album, it was almost shocking to realise that somehow, almost thirty years on since the release of their debut, Paradise Lost were right back at the very top of their game. As Andy also opined, Medusa is “utterly monstrous” — “one of the darkest, heaviest, and doomiest albums of their career”. Continue reading »

Oct 082017


I’m having to somewhat throttle my usual verbosity in this Sunday’s collection of music I chose from the black realms. Though I know it will break your heart to have slightly fewer of my linguistic contraptions to marvel at, I’m running out of time and am forced to let the music speak (mainly) for itself.

If you’re able to make your way through everything here, you’ll find a lot of stylistic twists and turns, and maybe something that will agreeably seize you by the throat.


We have another new song from Witchery’s new album, I Am Legion, which will be released by Century Media on October 6. Presented with a video, “Of Blackened Wing” begins in a slow, dismal, head-moving fashion, and then Witchery cut loose with a blast of evil, blood-pumping black thrash, laced with eerie melodic accents that amplify its infernal atmosphere. Continue reading »

Sep 102017


As you can see, I have music from 10 bands from the blackened realms in this post. I thought about dividing it into two parts to make it more easily digestible, posting the first 5 as soon as I finished writing about them and then beginning on the second 5. But then I remembered what happened last weekend, when the rest of life intruded and I didn’t finish Part 2 before the typhoon of Monday made landfall. So I forced myself to defer posting this collection until I had completed all of it. Though I guess I could have divided it then. Oh well.

Doesn’t mean you have to consume all of this at once. You can pretend there’s a dividing line after Witchcraft Sadomizer and come back later… just don’t forget, or let the rest of life get in the way.


Finland’s Verge are fascinating on many levels. Wholly apart from the evolution of their music into increasingly distinctive shapes, the lyrics of their songs are also engrossing and thought-provoking, though in their unsettling poetry you must be prepared to experience despair and hopelessness in a search for self-becoming that seems perpetually elusive, always challenged and usually defeated by our own wretched flaws and misunderstandings. Continue reading »