Back from a short "trying to throw my 7-year-old a birthday party in the middle of a pandemic" hiatus, and it's been a busy musical couple of weeks. Be that as it may I sill managed to whittle things down to a neat nine songs. Be sure to check out our two recent interviews, both with outstanding Italian black metal projects: Nero di Marte and our premiere of the new Sentiero dei Principi track

Other than that, as always, check out our various interview projects and other cool shit. And if you'd like to keep abreast of the latest, most pressing developments follow us wherever we may roam (TwitterFacebookInstagramSpotify and now also a tape-per-day series on TIK TOK!), and listen to our shitty podcast (YouTubeSpotifyApple), and to check out our amazing compilation albumsYou can support our unholy work here (Patreon), if you feel like it. Early access to our bigger projects, weekly exclusive recommendations and playlists, and that wonderful feeling that you're encouraging a life-consuming band musical habit. Be well!


1. Lunar Ark – "Torch and Spear," from Recurring Nightmare (Sludge/Black Metal – Lunar Seas Records). What a wonderfully pleasant surprise for me as I was perusing the Bandcamp page of this great Spanish label. I thought I was going to get some lo-fi black metal but instead got a doomy, sludgy, blackened cousin of something like a Thou-Indian hybrid. This track might not sound like much off the cuff, but boy does it develop. A gem of an album and a must for fans of sludgy despair. FFO: Thou, Indian, Lord Mantis.

2. Kaldeket – "Arrogant Function," from Vitiate (Black Metal – Big Bovine Industrial Wastes). The debut offering from a new Minnesotan duo comprised of two former False members and a whole lot of swelling riffs and atmospheric keys. This definitely falls within the parameters of the new-school-of-lo-fi-black metal, with one significant twist = whatever black metal chaos is going on here it is well and true steeped in prog and whole lot of it. To me the result is some of the most exhilirating and original in this "tradition" and a must-listen to anyone from Kayo Dot fans to Lamp of Murmuur devotees. FFO: Krallice, Dysrhythmia, Devin Townsend.

3. Lamp Of Murmuur – "Dominatrix's Call," from Submission And Slavery (Black Metal/Goth – Death Prayer Records). I love LoM, and have loved much of their output. Heir Of Ecliptical Romanticism wasn't a highpoint for me, admittedly, mostly because it focused too much on what I felt was generic about the project and not enough on what set it apart. This newest LP (along with the accompanying EP), however, does exactly the opposite, but is still better. And this track is basically all that is special about this entity – magical, gothy, deathrock-geeking, and complex. Beautiful music for people who like music. FFO: Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus, Darkthrone.

4. Kohti Tuhoa – "Väkivaltaa," from Väkivaltaa (Punk/Hardcore – La Vida Es Un Mus Discos). A new EP from this fantastic Helsinki four-piece that basically just fuck your shit up for a minute and a half. If you need further proof that hardcore at its best is just a brilliant song sone in a third of the time, then there you have it. Aggressive and beautiful. FFO: I don't know man, punk shit.

5. Foreign Pain – "Holy Order," from Death of Divinity (Hardcore – Good Fight). And staying on the theme of fucking shit up, here's some more hardcore goodness this time with a more metallic bent. This may not be the reinvention of the metallic hardcore wheel but it's sure as hell is a showcase in how to do that right. Powerful, emotional, some interesting subject matter and overall very cool. FFO: Harm's Way, Integrity, Iron Age.

6. Knees Please – "Queenie Meanie," from It Was Lies to Meet Ya' (Doom/Grunge – Independent). There's something off-time about Knees Please's music, and it's been that way for a while. And what I mean by that is that it feels like it comes from a different era of my life, or perhaps a few, as I have already mentioned in my review of their previous release. On this new album they're probably at their heaviest, which, again, just manages to make me think of other bands and other times – from the grungy doom of bands like Alice in Chains or Soundgarden to later iterations such as Warning or even Thou, and all the way to the Daniel Johnston-esque artwork. A lot of that has to do with the juxtaposition between the thundering music/riffs and Alex Dov's almost poetic, Vedder-meets-Weiland style of singing that undercuts the heaviness. Special band, for all you 90s-crazed people out there. FFO: Alice in Chains, Tad, Mudhoney.



7. portrayal of guilt – "Possession," from CHRISTFUCKER ( A Whole Bunch of Stuff – Run for Cover Records). I used to have a sort of handle on whatever it was PoG was doing. I have since lost that handle, and am reeling through space wondering where the hell I am. At times, like with their most recent LP, I feel like their going down the route of the Deafheaven clone. At times they are screamo masters belting eons of rage. And at other times, like on this fascinating new track, their basically an orgy of every band I've ever liked, regardless of genre, from 1997 onwards. It's slimy death metal, it's noise rock gone wild, it's kinda-sorta black metal, and it's my favorite PoG track since their debut. FFO: White Zombie having sex with Justin Broderick.

8. Vortex of End – "Sovereign Wrath," from Abhorrent Fervor (Black Metal – Osmose Productions). Well, if you were looking for some of that unqualified, unhyphenated black metal then here you god damned go. A new album from this fantastic, uncompromising French project and not only does this rip but it also sports some of the weirdest damn album art in recent memory. But laser-projecting-floating-deathheads aside, this track is just brilliantly done black metal, with just enough atmosphere and tempo changes to keep it fresh and interesting. Cool shit. FFO: Tsjuder, Inferno, Svartidaudi.

9. Vow – "Icarian," from Icanrian (Post-Rock/Post-Black – Surviving Sounds Records). And I'll finish off these packed two weeks of music with this stunning new track from Manchester post-whatever group Vow. Swelling major feelz, crushing black metal moments, and just a wonderfully developing and written piece of music. Wish there was much more, but what are you gonna do, huh? FFO: Agvirre, Deafheaven, Aylwin.

ONE: New Dold Vorde Ens Navn single is out. Prepare for one of the best metal albums of the year.

TWO: The Khanus debut EP is getting a limited reissue, get it here.

THREE: New Carcass is out. Haven't had time to check it out, but I have a feeling I'll get to it next week.

FOUR: Should I still be doing the monthly Spotify thing? Feels like that has run its course. Maybe I should switch to  yearly playlist. Thoughts?

FIVE: Albums celebrating big-ass anniversaries this past week: Wolves in the Throne Room's Celestial Lineage and Cult of Luna's debut. You can read our interviews with both bands (the WIITR is actually about CL here and here).