Aug 312010

This will be short, but sweet. It concerns 7th Nemesis, a French band we found out about for the first time less than two months ago. We sang the praises of their 2008 album, Archetype of Natural Violence, here.

Not long ago, the band started emitting messages to the effect that a new album was on the way. Then last week, they released a really short video teaser for the album, which will be called Deterministic Nonperiodic Flow. Then yesterday, out popped the cover for the album — which would be that nice piece of visual awesomeness up above.

And then today, two new songs from that album magically appeared on the 7th Nemesis MySpace page (which has been completely revamped): “Seeding Devolution” and “Legacy of Supremacy”.

And may we say they are absolutely two killer examples of unpredictable, progressive death metal? Why, yes we may. And you may need to have your head rung like a bell, in which case jumping over to that page will do the trick. By the way, the band has a new vocalist, and that schizophrenic vocal style evident on Archetype has become somewhat less schizophrenic on the new songs but is just as vein-bursting.

No precise word on when the album will become available, but it’s supposed to be “soon”. The band is searching for a label. Hope they find one.

If you want to see that brief video teaser, continue past the jump.

Aug 312010

UK’s Telegraph reports this morning about an article written by the Rev. Rachel Mann, an Anglican priest at St. Nicholas church in Burnage, England, in a publication called Church Times. It’s about metal, and it’s probably not what you would expect from a priest. Granted, our impression is that the Anglican church is somewhat more tolerant and somewhat less judgmental than many institutional forms of religion, but still, Rev Rachel’s article is a refreshing change of pace.

It’s also humorous, in a guileless, probably unintentional way. It’s also a tad condescending. And it doesn’t go far enough.

Nevertheless, we thought it was worth re-printing the Telegraph piece, along with our own running commentary, and of course some musical accompaniment. We also invite you to comment, because we have a feeling this will inspire some thoughts — so don’t keep ‘em to yourselves.

Christians could learn a lot about life from heavy metal, says cleric

By Martin Beckford, Religious Affairs Correspondent
Published: 7:00AM BST 31 Aug 2010

The Rev Rachel Mann claims that the much-maligned form of music demonstrates the “liberative theology of darkness”, allowing its tattooed and pierced fans to be more “relaxed and fun” by acknowledging the worst in human nature. She says that by contrast, churchgoers can appear too sincere and take themselves too seriously.

This is a defense of metal from an unusual quarter — not that we feel metal needs to be defended, by anyone, especially priests. Sure, sometimes it’s frustrating to hear people who don’t know the first thing about metal condemn it, but usually that frustrated feeling passes quickly, because, basically, we don’t give a fuck what non-metalheads think about our music. On the other hand, we’re not sure we agree with Rev Rachel’s defense.  (more of the Rev’s thoughts, and ours, after the jump . . .)

Aug 312010

Another month has passed. Summer is waning. It’s still as hot as the ninth circle of Hell in most parts of our country, but here in the Pacific Northwest, the air is already beginning to feel like fall. And because fall in Seattle lasts about one week, winter is already what we’re thinking about, because winter means getting soaked with rain. In the dark.

Where were we? Oh yeah, another month is over. And here at NCS, that means it’s time for another installment of METAL IN THE FORGE, a forge being the old name for a place where a blacksmith heats metal and works it into the shape of something useful. We thought it sounded literary.

Another name for “forge” is “smithy.” As in, “the blacksmith works in a smithy.” But “smithy” doesn’t sound literary, and METAL IN THE SMITHY just sounds fucked up. METAL IN THE FORGE is a little fucked up, too, the more we think about it, but not as fucked up as METAL IN THE SMITHY.

Where were we? Oh yeah, at the end of every month, we update the list of forthcoming new albums we first posted on January 1. (All the other updates can be found via the “Forthcoming Albums” category link on the right side of our pages.) Below is a list of still more projected new releases we didn’t know about at the time of our previous updates, or updated info about some of the previously noted releases.

Once again, we’ve cobbled together news blurbs about bands whose past work we’ve liked, or who look interesting for other reasons. Perhaps needless to say, these are bands that mostly fit the profile of music we cover on this site — the kind that would like to tear your head off.

So, after the jump, in alphabetical order, you’ll find our list of cut-and-pasted items from various sources since our last update about forthcoming new releases. Look for the bands you like and, if you’re really obsessive like we are, put reminders on your calendar.

Aug 302010

Can you tell that we like alliteration? The last “That’s Metal!” post was subtitled “The Bull, Boobs, and Beer Edition”. Maybe next time we’ll move on to the C’s, or backwards to the A’s. Or not.

Yes, here we are again, having crept forth with trepidation from our comfy informational cocoon to see what might be happening in the outer world — the world inhabited by people who don’t listen to metal and instead blow themselves and others to smithereens, sodomize the planet, debate the wisdom of government regulation as if it were a brand new subject, hang on the every word of vapid celebrities, and so on, ad nauseum. You know the world we’re talking about: the one we live in.

This is why, to the greatest extent possible, we try to get our news only from metal blogs. But every now and then, we have to wade through the festering putridity of “hard news” in order to find those little nuggets of life that make us say, “Fuck! That’s metal!”, even though it’s not music. And life never fails to reward our searching.

Today, we have news items about people who get shot in the head and don’t realize it (for five years), a testicle-cooking contest, and a dog with a cast-iron stomach. Of course, we’re including our typically tasteless commentary, plus musical accompaniment.

Also, it occurred to us that our musical accompaniment should precede the stories, instead of being lumped together at the end, as we’ve been doing.  ’Cause if you listen to music after you’ve finished reading, it’s not really “accompaniment,” is it? This is typical. We usually have these kinds of revelations after the train has left the station. And is long out of sight.  (more after the jump . . .)

Aug 292010

Sunday mornings really aren’t any better than Saturday mornings, but we’ve run that riff already, so no more NCS prescriptions about how to get your ass in gear (at least today). Instead, this is just another installment of MISCELLANY.

We did one of these earlier in the week, but we’re still catching up, so we’re doing another one. May have to do even one more before next weekend, because the list of things to check out has grown to ginormous proportions.

To remind you of the ground rules: I randomly check out music I haven’t heard or videos I haven’t seen, trying to stick with bands I’ve never heard before, and keeping my fingers crossed that it will be worth the time. I make a list during the week of things that come our way and then go exploring without much rhyme or reason.

It would be like throwing darts at the list, except I’m not allowed any sharp implements. So I just imagine I’m throwing darts. In my mind, I’ve only put out someone’s eye once.

What’s fun about this game is that I don’t know what I’m gonna find, or whether it will be worth a shit, except (usually) I know it will be metal. Here’s what I heard or saw, in the order of doing it, for this installment of the series: Mytra (Hungary), A Life Once Lost (U.S.), Vulture Industries (Norway), SiC (Faroe Islands), and Loading Data (France?).

Yes, this is a long list, but it’s fucking Sunday. What else are you gonna do today? You can hear and watch what I heard and saw, after the jump . . .

Aug 282010

One of the many things we like about the comments on this site is that you never know where they’re going. They can start on one subject and finish in an entirely different place. Usually, they stay within the bounds of music, but not always.

Yesterday provided a good example. One string of comments started with Goatwhore and finished with a burger recipe. No shit.

And not just any burger recipe. This one came by way of Dutch metal blogger Niek, and included cheese-onion rolls, fried egg, bacon, gouda cheese, and a pineapple slice. And here’s what Niek’s finished product looked like:

Well, that just looked and sounded so fucking good that I had to try and duplicate it, right down to the Grolsch beer in Niek’s photo. Our results are at the top of this post, and the story is after the jump, along with suitable musical accompaniment.

Aug 282010

Saturday mornings have to be the least memorable mornings of the week. If you remember anything about Saturday mornings, it’s usually just the fallout of whatever you did on Friday night, and the fallout usually isn’t worth remembering. In fact, sometimes all you want to do is forget.

If you’re like me on a Saturday morning, your ass is dragging and your brain feels like it’s swimming through a pool of rapidly cooling tar. All you want is to be left alone until you recover your senses in the fullness of time.

Well, fuck that shit. You may think that’s what you need, but your friends here at NCS are trained medical professionals, and we know better. We have a prescription for what ails you on this Saturday morning. We think what you need is the aural equivalent of a stun gun to the back of the head. Y’know, something that will jolt you into the world of the living.

Of course, if you really outdid yourself partying last night, this prescription could seriously fuck you up. That’s why we’re taking a page from the playbook of the pharmaceutical companies that run those obnoxious TV ads for drugs you don’t need: We’re giving you a warning:

In rare cases, people who listen to the music you’re about to hear on a Saturday morning will bleed from the ears and nose, develop uncontrollable convulsions, experience explosive diarrhea, and/or fall into irreversible comas. If you’re pregnant, listening to this music may lead to spontaneous abortions or cause your child to come into the world with its eyes permanently crossed. Do not listen to this music while driving, or while sitting, standing up, or laying down. If you are in the middle of a vicious hangover, you should induce vomiting now, in the privacy of your own bathroom, instead of risking a spew down the front of your shirt once the music begins.

By clicking past the jump to listen to the music that follows, you and your heirs and assigns agree to irrevocably release and hold harmless NO CLEAN SINGING from all resulting claims of damage, past, present, or future, whether currently known or unknown, anticipated or unanticipated, minor or fatal, and you assume all risk of paralysis, impotence, rectal bleeding, facial boils, hair loss, necrotizing fasciitis, seeping mouth ulcers, and chronic ventricular dysrhythmia.

Aug 272010

Imagine that Dr. Frankenstein woke up after a bender one morning and decided to stitch together pieces of Lamb of God, ExodusAtheistBlack Dahlia Murder, and maybe the pancreas from Hatebreed. Throwing the switch to charge his creation with life-giving power, the good doctor would then stand back in amazement as the powerful creature climbed off the operating table and began to rage. And it would sound something like a Connecticut band called Guerra.

Guerra released its debut album, Transmissions Through Oil and Blood, back in April, but we only discovered it recently. That debut release was preceded by hard years of playing live shows, including opening for some heavyweight names, and working on the songs that have now been collected on that album.

We could have picked a different collection of bands for our Frankenstein metaphor, and to be clear, we’re not saying Guerra is yet in the same league as the bands we mentioned.

What we were trying to convey is this: Guerra succeeds in pulling together a diverse range of metal styles, and doing it in a way that seems natural and unforced, to produce music that’s both engrossing and massively ass-kicking.  Needless to say, we do like it, a lot.  (more after the jump, including Guerra music to hear . . .)

Aug 262010

Because of our trip to Portland last weekend to take in the awesomeness of the SUMMER SLAUGHTER tour (for the second time), I didn’t have time for my usual weekly foray into the interwebs looking for new metal.  I’ve been catching up since then and I’ve made enough headway to warrant another installment of this MISCELLANY series.

For new readers, here’s how this thing works: I randomly follow up on e-mails we get here at NCS, or MySpace “friend” requests, or demos that come in the mail, or tips we get from readers, or blurbs that catch my eye on metal sites like Blabbermouth — and I listen to the music or watch a video. Most of the time, I don’t know in advance what the music will be like, or whether it will be good, bad, or just meh.

And then, in this post, I dutifully write up what I found, without filtering out anything. I’m usually pretty lucky in finding new music that’s worthwhile, but there are no guarantees, for me or for you if you choose to read along.

Today’s grab-bag of listening and watching included offerings from Enos (UK), Nightfall (Greece), Anachronaeon (Sweden), Against the Plagues (multinational), and Shades of Dusk (Canada). It’s kind of a long post, but here’s a top-level hint — the music is divergent in style, but everything I heard was very sweet. No filler, all killer. So stay with me.  (explanations, music to hear, and videos to watch, after the jump . . .)

Aug 252010

If you’re a fan of Opeth (and really, who isn’t?), then you probably know that the band is on the verge of releasing a DVD of their live performance at London’s Royal Albert Hall on April 5, 2010.

What you may not know is that to promote the forthcoming DVD (scheduled for release on September 21), Roadrunner Records is making available a free mp3 download of Opeth’s live performance of “Dirge for November” at that concert. 

Roadrunner says it’s “the full album version” and clocks in at almost 9 minutes, but the copy we downloaded stops short of 5 minutes and omits the acoustic guitar and clean singing at the beginning of the song.  That’s disappointing, but regardless, the song is great.

The price you pay for the download is providing an e-mail address and a name.  You’ve then got to go to the e-mail account you provide in order to get the download link.  If you’re game, click this link.

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