In March of this year we had the pleasure of premiering one of the songs on a two-track single released by Baltimore’s Barbelith, which in turn followed the band’s 2012 debut EP. Today we get to bring you a full stream of the band’s debut album, Mirror Unveiled.
There may be a more explosive start to an album this year than “Beyond the Envelope of Sleep”, the first track on Mirror Unveiled, but if so it’s not coming to mind. The song displays one of Barbelith’s multi-faceted sides in no uncertain terms with a non-stop, jaw-dropping drum performance, a torrent of guitar noise and pulse-pumping tremolo waves, and scathing shrieks that sound like the agonies of a man being burned to the ground.
(Austin Weber introduces our premiere of a new single by Montreal’s Samskaras.)
While song premieres at No Clean Singing are typically introduced with an article discussing the band and dissecting the song, I decided with today’s exclusive premiere of “Red Hill”, by two-man Montreal-based death metal act Samskaras, to do a short interview with band member Eric Burnet instead. Eric writes the music, plays guitar and bass, and performs vocals as the core member of Samskaras, and he is also a member of the well-known and justly praised technical death metal band Derelict (and if you don’t know about Derelict, listen here). In Samskaras he is joined by Unhuman drummer Alexandre Dupras.
What led you to create this project and what do you seek to achieve with it?
My main project for the majority of the last decade has been the tech death band Derelict. Inspiration and energy was running low after several tours and a lot of years of constant activity, so we decided to put it on ice for an indefinite period. This opened me up time-wise to other projects, so I immediately hatched the idea of starting Samskaras with whatever material I was writing. Since Derelict has its own specific sound, I had been writing in that vein for a long time. So with Samskaras my goal is really just to let my ideas flow and see what they become. No need for a pre-determined genre tag.
About 10 days ago two Louisiana bands released a two-song split on Bandcamp which proves again that some of the best music these days is flying under the radar on the wings of short, unheralded releases.
One of the two bands is a new name to me, Withering Light from Hammond, Louisiana. Their song is named “Lantern”, and it’s a shining example of post-black metal done very well.
At the beginning, and returning again at the end, guitar notes ring out like the pealing of alien bells over a heavy, grinding low end. That reverberating melody proves to be very seductive, but so is the rest of the song, which features jabbing, start-stop riffs, acrobatic drumwork, tumbling bass licks, and a very nice dual-guitar harmony, as well as inflamed, scarring vocals.
(Austin Weber reviews the new EP by Indiana’s Primordium.)
Imagine the slithery nature of Spawn Of Possession or Gorod meeting the brutality and heft of Beneath The Massacre, with the end result getting a hefty injection of melody, and you would arrive at the sound of Primordium. Primordium are a new upstart technical death metal group from Indianapolis, Indiana and Aeonian Obsolescence is their very first release as a band.
Islander premiered “The Incursion” not too long ago, and it was a dizzying introduction for those new to the band. While the release of this EP was shifted a few weeks back, it will finally be out this Friday and damn if it isn’t a killer release full of bestial cavernous growls, relentless rampaging hatred, classically influenced orchestral moments and some neo-classical leads, and catchy melodies with the occasional jazzy flamenco snippets hidden within.
Because the installments in this long-running series have become so widely spaced, I’ll begin with a reminder about how the MISCELLANY experiment works:
I pick bands whose music I’ve never heard, usually without much rhyme or reason. I listen to one song, though I sometimes cheat and listen to more. I write my impressions and then I stream the music so you can judge for yourselves. In this latest excursion I sampled the music of five bands from all over the map, both geographically and musically.
As mentioned, I usually pick bands randomly, but in the case of this first selection I followed the recommendation of “B” from the superb Siberian funeral doom band Station Dysthymia.
Metal-Archives tells me that Septic Mind have recorded three albums, the most recent of which is named Раб (Rab) and was released by Solitude Productions earlier this month. The album is available on Bandcamp, and the song I picked for testing was the title track. Given the source of the recommendation and the genre classification on M-A, I was expecting funeral doom.
(Andy Synn reviews the new album by Poland’s Vesania.)
When I spoke to Vesania vocalist/guitarist Orion not long ago (interview here) he said the following about the band’s new album Deus Ex Machina:
“We started working on the album with this thought that we want it to sound very ‘alive’. I didn’t want to record another typical metal album with the kick drum sample straight in your face, edited to the very edge and with super high gain guitars. The idea was to make this music breathe…”
And after listening to the album a number of times now, I think they’ve definitely managed to achieve what they set out to do. Compared to their previous albums there’s definitely a lighter touch involved here – though the album is no less heavy for it. It’s looser, in a way, without being any less tight. Freer, yet in no way any less focused.
It’s an album of contradictions, make no mistake. And all the better for it.
For the second day in a row we step off our usual beaten paths and bring you a song premiere that not only breaches the rule embodied in our site’s name but stands out in large part because of that transgression. And there are other connections between yesterday’s offering from The House of Capricorn and today’s striking debut from Sleep of Monsters.
Apart from the fact that both band’s’ new albums are being released by Finland’s Svart Records, The House of Capricorn pay stylistic homage in their music to Finland’s distinctive Babylon Whores, while Sleep of Monsters features that occult death rock band’s vocalist Ike Vil. In addition to his formidable presence, Sleep of Monsters includes guitarist and main songwriter Sami Hassinen (guitarist for Blake), drummer Pätkä Rantala (who played on HIM’s debut album), keyboardist Janne Immonen (who has toured extensively with Waltari and Ajattara), guitarist Uula Korhonen, and bass-player and backing vocalist Mäihä.
Sleep of Monsters’ debut album is named Produces Reason, and while the record was distributed earlier this year within Finland, it is now finally getting a global release by Svart Records, who also recently reissued the entire Babylon Whores back catalogue on vinyl.
(Austin Weber reviews the new album by Hadal Maw from Australia.)
While I had recently featured Hadal Maw in my latest Recalcitrant Roundup article, it was not as in-depth a write-up on their debut album, Senium, as I would have liked due to time constraints. So, when the band hit me up after my post offering to send me a physical copy all the way from Australia, I gladly agreed and now give it the full review it deserves.
Before sending the album, the band mentioned that it was “meant to be listened to and viewed”. I could not fathom what they meant by that until it arrived — and I was blown away by the packaging. The album is not a typical jewel case. Instead, it folds out from all sides, leading to a stunning array of other art pieces beyond the cover, on both the front and back sides once unfolded. The proper term for this type of packaging is Maltese Cross Digipak. I have never seen anything like it before. It’s truly impressive, and a real reason to invest in the physical version of this album if you like what you hear.
Here’s part two of a round-up post I began earlier today. Collected here are the best of the new songs and videos that I saw and heard over the last 24 hours.
We reported last month that after the passage of four years since Sweden’s The Crown released their comeback album Doomsday King, which Andy Synn praised in one of his earliest posts for our site as “a masterpiece of wild fury and calculated aggression, blurring the lines between razor-sharp thrash and full-speed death metal”, they will be returning in January with their eighth album, Death Is Not Dead.
Century Media has also just released a 7″ vinyl single from the band that includes one of the new songs — “Headhunter” — plus the band’s cover of “Unfit Earth” by Napalm Death. And yesterday the band unveiled a music video for “Headhunter”.
Portland, Oregon’s Bastard Feast (formerly Elitist) released one of my favorite records of 2014 — Osculum Infame, which Season of Mist put forth last July. The band are about to embark on a nationwide tour, and I decided to fire a few questions their way by e-mail, and received these answers (the tour dates can be found at the end of this post — and if you have a chance to catch one of these shows, DO IT!).
I guess the uppermost thing in your minds at the moment is the tour you’re on the verge of starting. And you really didn’t fuck around with this schedule — by my count, 19 dates spanning six weeks and 14 states. Are you sure you’re ready for this?
Actually there’s ten more dates — we just didn’t have them all ready by the time we needed to start promoting the tour. And we’ve been here before touring as Elitist, so this isnt anything new for us at all. This one has come together a little tougher.
Do you have hopes of adding any more dates to the schedule (the last one I saw was in Season of Mist’s Oct 23 press release)?
As above, we have added more dates and more will probably roll in till we leave, not gonna name names but we let a booking agent work for us and he didn’t get it to come together so we had to jump in and salvage 2 weeks of tour with 2 weeks until we left.