New post with really great music. So, there. Also, don't miss my brand-new interview with Djevel, as part of the (never-ending?) Albums of the Decade series. One of the favorites yet, and one of those conversations I've been wanting to have about black metal for some time now. Hope you like it.

Many thanks to my Patreon supporters, as always. You will be receiving the audio for that interview sometime this week.

As always, check out my various interview projects and other cool shit. And if you'd like to keep abreast of the latest, most pressing developments follow us wherever I may roam (TwitterFacebookInstagramSpotify and now also a tape-per-day series on TIK TOK!), and listen to my, I guess, active (?) 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 habit.


1. TDK / ТДК – "Avtomontyora," from Nemesta (Avant-Garde Metal – Independent). A little over two years ago I wrote that Bulgarian post-hardcore band ТДК was "a band to watch." Boy, was I right. As brilliant and whacky as Успех was this new album is crushing my soul. I'll make it short and sweet: If you're a fan of the weirdness of the Polish avant-garde metal scene (Odraza, Biesy, Gruzja, Licho, Dola, etc) then this is not only a must-listen album for you, but a dark-horse candidate for AOTY. Unbelievable. FFO: Licho, Dola, Biesy.

2. Kold – "Forgabt I Virvar," from Intet Mere Er (Atmospheric Black Metal – Vendetta Records). Kold's debut EP (mentioned here) was basically a perfect dose of perfectly executed atmospheric black metal. Now they released their full-length debut, and guess what? It's a a perfect (and larger) dose of perfectly executed atmospheric black metal. FFO: Friisk, Loth, Afsky.

3. Hellish Form – "Deathless," from Deathless (Doom/Sludge Metal – Independent). I'm a day-one Hellish Form fan, let's just start there, and I'm a firm believer that, from the start, they were and are basically among the best at what has to be one of the most difficult jobs in metal business: making slow, almost unmoving music absolutely riveting. That ability is very much on display in this majestic, crushing debut single from their upcoming second album. So much drama, so much suspense, and oh so much pain with so few moving parts. Just magic, and the added, shall we call them, classic doom atmospherics are a fantastic addition. FFO: Loss, Sunn O))), Lycus.

4. Kostnatění – "Nevolnost je v​š​e, č​í​m jsem (Nausea Is All I Am)," from Úpal (Avant-Garde Black Metal – Willowtip Records). This might be old news for a lot of people, mostly since it was released basically one minute after I posted my previous, ah, post, but the embers have not dwindled since. That might be a horrible metaphor, but so be it. Kostnatění have effectively produced some of the best, most forward-thinking, original black metal every time they released anything at all. Their 2019 debut was perfect, their 2022 EP was inches from being my AOTY despite not really being an album, and just in general they seem unable to do any wrong. And here comes this new single that sounds like the best parts of all of these, mashed into one unnerving whole.

5. Bloody Keep – "シ​ダ​レ​ヤ​ナ​ギ," from 真​の​宗​教​の​亡​霊 (Black Metal – Grime Stone Records). Can't say I've diligently kept up with every Old Nick-related project, which is roundabout way of saying that I haven't, but this new Bloody Keep EP is basically all hits and no misses. Lo-fi, "raw" black metal that hits that magical sweet spot, of which I have written many a time, in which the roughness of it all is in service of making the songs work better as opposed to serving as an obstacle. Does it still sound like it was recorded in cast-iron basement? Yes. But that basement is a projector of mysterious, weird new worlds where people may or may not have horses. Crazy good. FFO: Trhä, Departure Chandelier, Ifernach.

6. Dirge – "Hollow," from Hollow (Sludge/Post-Metal – Immersive Sounds). Mumbai sludge project Dirge released one amazing album in 2018, of which I had written in a "pre-Nine Songs" FB post at the time. And they they disappeared, or at least so I thought. I was, evidently, mistaken. And not only did I commit that error, they returned with what feels like an even better album with Hollow. Well-executed, well-written sludgy post metal that presses all the right buttons and crushes all the right riffs. Incredible vocals, too. FFO: Cult of Luna, ISIS, Mouth of the Architect.

7. Sëht – "Kenvassa Ejarma Enva Valaraa," from kenvassã ejarmä enva valar​​​ã​​​ã (Atmospheric Black Metal – Signal Rex). In an already quite international post we have that rare occurrence of two straight bands from the Indian Subcontinent. I very much enjoyed the Trhä / Sëht split from a few weeks past, and mentioned it two weeks ago. But I was there mostly for the Trhä side, and while I enjoyed Sëht there, it didn't click all the way for me. This EP, however, originally released late last year, is clicked very much. Distant, eerie music from another realm of space and time, with those almost mystical synth touches, and I'm sold. Add this incredible cover art, and this is a must check-out. FFO: Trhä, Murmuüre, Spider God.

8. Akloleh – "Fin Shvartzkayt," from Aybiker Ritual (Atmospheric Black Metal – Off Beat). Call me nuts, but I wasn't expecting a second Yiddish black metal project this year, but here we are. Nor did I expect seeing an Alaskan Yiddish black metal project. But life is funny like that. What isn't funny, however, is just how great this is. Somewhat primitive-feeling, somewhat grand and nasty, and a whole shit ton of Norwegian influences. I like the idea, I like the execution, and basically just like everything about this. FFO: Feminazgul, Trespasser, Abduction.

9. Worship Pain – "Candle," from Starless Endless (Black Metal/Doom –  Bad Moon Rising / SHINSEINEN). One of my favorite unheralded bands of the past decade or so is Tokyo doom project Funeral Sutra, who released one blindingly brilliant EP and one great full-length before dissipating into mist. And while they still reside in that mist, two of FS's members are now in what appears to be an absolutely incredible bundle of black, doom, post-metal, and some death called Worship Pain. They already released two EPs that I apparently missed completely, but I am missing no longer. Because this, as you yourselves can witness, is just fucking fantastic. FFO: Things that are fucking fantastic.


ONE: Panopticon announced a new album and teaser.

TWO: Godfelsh announced a new album too! No teaser.

THREE: Baalzvaat released a new album, which includes "Never to Be Seen Again" from my most recent comp. Brilliant, as always.

FOUR: A lot of balls in the air is kind of my m.o. This week it felt like they were all on the ground.

FIVE: Thantifaxath announced a new album! NO TEASER!

ONE LAST THING, PROMISE: The Fucking Champs have remastered and are reissuing the incredible III. Get it.