Nov 242010

Back in early September, we reviewed Widow Sunday‘s 2010 album, In These Rusted Veins (here). We were mighty impressed with this band’s range of musical flavors, and mighty happy with how much fun we had listening to the album. Here’s one excerpt from our review:

The instrumental work on In These Rusted Veins is tight and capable, the songs are an infectious brew of shuddering verses and melodic choruses, and the production is top-notch, delivering a powerful punch — clear and defined when it needs to be, and a distorted cacophony when the song calls for it. And in the vocal department, Jacob Falconer proves himself to be a human chameleon with an impressive range — moving from hardcore howls to death-metal growls to almost-melodic yowls.

We added one song in our review for you to stream, and introduced it this way: “You want something with start-stop hammering, a la Meshuggah, with a big hooky chorus, a nice bass sweep, off-kilter machine-gunning on the drums, and an industrial vibe — kind of like Fear Factory or Alien-era Strapping Young Lad, but without the clean singing? Try ‘Forever Sleep’.”

Why are we reprising all this today? Well, it’s because Widow Sunday has just released an official music video for that very same “Forever Sleep” song. The song is just as much fun as it was back in September, and the video is sweet, too — shots of the band performing in a club and a little fatalistic story interspersed with the performance footage. Check out the video after the jump. Continue reading »

Nov 232010

We can be mellow. It’s true! After all, I spent a lot of my vacation staring at clouds, and I wasn’t even high. That’s mellow, isn’t it? Plus, we get really mellow when we’re asleep (except when we’re thrashing around in a fever dream because we can’t get the latest Deathspell Omega album out of our heads).

Okay, to be brutally honest, here at NCS we don’t get mellow with our music very often. We prefer music that’s . . . whatever the opposite of “mellow” is. Wait a minute, let me look that up.

Okay, I looked it up, and the dictionary says the antonym of mellow is “harsh”. That’s the kind of music we prefer here at NCS — harsh music. Loud, harsh music — the kind that makes your hair stand straight up and causes the cat to spontaneously evacuate its bowels. Actually, we don’t like it when the cat does that, and I’m sure he doesn’t like it much either, which is why I usually listen to music through my earbuds, but you know what I’m talking about, right? Music that’s not safe for pets. Or small children. That’s what NCS is about, usually.

But every now and then, once in a blue moon, we stumble into mellowness, usually without meaning to. This morning was one of those times. We thought about just enjoying the brief mellowness phase and not sharing it with you, because we know most of you don’t come here to be dosed with mellow. But then we thought, maybe NCS readers get mellow every now and then, too. It could happen. It’s not likely, but it could. So, we’re sharing.

But to clear up any confusion, mellowness is a relative concept, and what we have for you is only relatively mellow — and it does feature the kind of wizardry that Harry Potter only dreams of, in this case, some genuine, no-bullshit, hot-off-the-presses guitar wizardry from Joe Satriani, and something older but very cool from Buckethead.  (after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Nov 232010

While I was away on vacation I didn’t completely neglect what was happening in the world of metal, but I confess I didn’t spend the kind of time I usually spend keeping up on current developments. So over the weekend I did my best to catch up. It was kind of like swimming against a flood tide. It’s amazing how much happens on a daily basis. Of course, I find that a lot of the bulletins, press releases, and blurbs that fill up the likes of Blabbermouth and band pages on Facebook and MySpace are pretty uninteresting.

But even ignoring the boring and utterly useless streams of bullshit that pass for metal news much of the time, I still found all sorts of happenings over the last 12 days that were quite interesting, and even exciting — the kind of occurrences we would have written about on this site if we’d been able to stay on top of our game. The downside of writing about them now is that for many of you, it will be old news. But what the fuck. We’re going to write about some of those items anyway, stale though they may be. Some things still taste pretty good even when they’re beyond their sell-by date. And besides, maybe some of you missed them, just like I did while I was off staring at clouds.

It may take a couple or three posts to catch up, but there’s no time like the present to get started. So today we’ve got a collection of items about Animals As Leaders, From ExileAfter the Burial, and I Declare War. That’s what you’ll find after the jump, along with some music videos . . . Continue reading »

Nov 232010

The next time your grandma asks you, “honey, what does black ‘n roll, NOLA-style, sound like?”, you can tell her it sounds like this:

(and this is Goatwhore, in a high-quality video of the band performing “In the Narrow Confines of Defilement”, live in Denver on November 10; more videos from this show are available here)

Nov 222010

To show you just how discombobulated I am after a little time off, I totally missed the fact that yesterday was the one-year anniversary of NO CLEAN SINGING. It’s true: On November 21, 2009, my two co-founders and I put up our first post on this site. We had 9 visitors. We couldn’t even get all our friends to pay attention.

We’ve learned a lot since then, we’ve met (virtually speaking) people from all over the world, and we’ve had a fucking blast doing this. NCS has evolved into something we never would have predicted — and few things are better than a pleasant surprise.

We never set out to make money by doing this, which is why we don’t run ads, but we did promise ourselves that if we couldn’t generate interest, we’d just shut down and go find some other way to spend our free time — cuz we really had no interest in writing only for ourselves. That’s what diaries are for.

Thankfully, we found an audience for our ravings, and so we’re still here, working on Year Two. This morning we tried to think of some clever way to celebrate our One Year Anniversary, but we must have used up our weekly allotment of cleverness because all we really want to say is this: To all of you who spend part of your precious time visiting NCS, and sometimes even leaving us your comments (which we love getting), thank you for allowing us to continue with NO CLEAN SINGING. You’ve enriched our lives more than we can say. Stay metal!

Nov 222010

Last month in one of our MISCELLANY posts, we wrote about a Danish band called The Burning and their then-forthcoming new album, Hail the Horde. We featured a song from the album called “Bait the Hook”, which we described thusly: “It’s a nasty piece of stripped-down, mid-tempo, power-groove with an absolutely killer, headbangingly-compulsive, main riff; a gritty low end that vibrates in the gut; expressive, throaty vocals; and a nice old-school, grinding breakdown that just churns and churns. . . . If you can stay still while listening to this baby, you may have narcolepsy.”

Well, the album is now out — and the band has just released an official music video for that “Bait the Hook” song.  Holy hell, I do love this song. Take firm hold of your chains and prepare to get your fuckin’ groove on.  (Thanks to the excellent Metality blog for the tip on this video.)

Nov 222010

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Today we have another guest post from our Midwestern correspondent, BadWolf. This one has the potential to ignite some heated commentary, pro or con, so don’t hold back. After all, “ignition” is our middle name (or one of them). So please let us hear from you!]

I feel a great deal of the time bloggers put an excessive premium on the music itself as art.

This makes sense, we are music bloggers, after all. But there’s more to metal than just the song or the album; there is the all-important live experience. Maybe bloggers sometimes ignore the live aspect of metal because it’s more difficult to share via the internet, or maybe because it’s just plain expensive at times.

Regardless, the live arena is where metal was born and what keeps artists afloat. It’s where the musicians we love get the money to make the music we love. And it’s also where metal as a community subculture congregates. Today I want to talk about those two aspects of metal.

But first, let’s talk about hypocrisy for a minute. Not the band, the phenomenon.

Pretty not-metal, right? A professor of mine once told me the first adjective she associated with metal music was honesty. Black metal purists clamor on and on about ‘trve’-ness. We, as a community, put a premium on truth (this has something to do with the endless sub-genre debate, methinks).

So what do live shows, the metal community, and hypocrisy have in common? Straight-edge. That’s what they have in common.  (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Nov 212010

Yesterday was the 21st birthday of NCS co-founder and occasional contributor to this site, IntoTheDarkness. I saw him all-too-briefly last night before he embarked on some first-time-legal-debauchery with his buds and bud-esses (all badass, no doubt). I hope he’s alive today to see this tribute to his legal adulthood.

As you regular readers know, ITD is our resident deathcore maven. Though his tastes run in other directions, too (for example, he’s the one who finally pushed me to listen to Cloudkicker and Dan Dankmeyer), he still dearly loves his deathcore and knows the genre pretty damned well. The day before his birthday, as I was on my way back to Seattle from vacation, I got this text message from him: “I might have a new favorite deathcore band. check out king conquer’s new album. HOLY SHIT.” (As I’ve noted before, ITD doesn’t bother with capitalization except for emphasis.)

So, in honor of ITD’s birthday, I did check out the debut album from King Conquer without delay. It will be officially released on November 23 on Mediaskare Records and it’s called America’s Most Haunted. And . . . well . . . holy shit, indeed.

King Conquer are a howling horde of barbarians on a rampage, swinging downtuned axes and blast-beat mallets straight for your head — but there’s more to their musical attack than the usual blunt instruments. This band is one of the most promising new purveyors of hardcore-influenced death metal we’ve heard this year. (more after the jump, including some King Conquer music . . .) Continue reading »

Nov 202010

Catching up. That’s what I’m doing this weekend. In the place where I spent my vacation, the net connection was too slow for video-watching, so much of my catching up involves watching videos I wanted to see over the last 10 days but couldn’t. A slew of them were featured on a web site called TYWKIWDBI. It’s an absolutely awesome site, even though it’s got nothing to do with metal music. I don’t have the time to browse that site every day, but without fail, whenever I do, I find fascinating shit.

I hadn’t planned on adding any more NCS posts today, but I couldn’t resist sharing with you this collection of items I found on TYWKIWDBI over the last week. All but one of the items are videos — and all of them fit the profile of this NCS series — things that are fucking metal, even though they’re not music.

So, after the jump, we have for you a trailer about a forthcoming movie that looks awesome, a video of a parotta-maker which proves that practice does make perfect, some eye-popping images of an opium factory from 160 years ago, and a final, very eloquent video about you and me and our connection to the cosmos.  (all these rip-offs from TYWKIWDBI, plus some of our own embellishments, after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Nov 202010

I got back to Seattle from my vacation last night. It’s great to be home, and all that. But to be honest, I had a great fucking vacation, and it’s possible I would have led a very happy and fulfilled life if I had never come home. Ever.

My blog obsession subsided from an insistent, incessant shrieking to a dull background roar. One of the reasons I was able to enjoy myself so much was that so many of you stepped up and wrote guest contributions for this site so that we could continue adding new posts every day even though I didn’t write anything myself. I had lots of fun reading those guest posts, and based on the significant uptick in our site visits during the last week, it’s evident that NCS readers enjoyed the change of pace, too. To all those people who contributed to NCS over the last 10 days, thank you!

Plato wrote that necessity is the mother of invention. Of course, sometimes, necessity is just a motherfucker. But in this instance, our felt need to keep this site cranking along gave birth to a change that was all good — so good that we want it to continue. I’m recharged and ready to dive back into writing again, but at the same time, we want to continue running guest posts. We’ve already received some additional contributions, and I’m expecting more to arrive over the coming week from people who wanted to submit something for publication during my vacation but were delayed for one reason or another in getting their posts to me before I left.

We’ll be running those additional guest posts off and on over the next week, but it doesn’t have to stop there. We want to encourage not only the people who wrote for us during my hiatus but anyone else out there who has an interest in what we do at NCS to send us guest submissions whenever the spirits move you to do it. Let’s keep a good thing going!

I have a lot of catching up to do — even in the space of 10 or 11 days, lots of new music and videos were released, and some interesting developments appeared in the news. So, I’m not going to waste time describing “how I spent my vacation” — except to say that I spent a lot of time looking at clouds. And after the jump, I have for you . . . Continue reading »