Oct 312014

The Font of All Human Knowledge tells us that Samhain “is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the ‘darker half’ of the year” and is celebrated from sunset on October 31 to sunset on 1 November, about halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice. It is a liminal time when spirits more easily enter our world, a time of divination rituals and the revisiting of souls of the dead.

In celebration of blessed Samhain I’ve harvested a collection of news and new musical offerings, a bounty large enough to warrant two posts, this being the second (this being the first).

PTAHIL

Just in time for Samhain, Indiana’s Ptahil have released an official video for the song “Don’t Drink From the Waters of Lethe” from their 2014 album Born Against, which is available on Bandcamp (here). The song is a fitting choice of this day and a blast to hear, beginning as an ominous processional and then erupting about halfway through into a conflagration of corrosive riffs, frenzied soloing, and pummeling drum beats, as the bestial vocals proclaim a warning.

Oct 312014

 

Urzeit from Portland, Oregon, and Akatharsia from Oakland, California, have united for a split release that recently became available on Bandcamp and will be released on vinyl near the end of November. Though the two bands manifest the shroud of black metal in different ways, they both deliver a caustic, corrosive, and gratifyingly venomous listening experience.

URZEIT

I first came upon Urzeit through a guest review of their impressive first demo posted on this site back in February (they have since released a second one). The band’s three-person lineup reportedly includes two members of Ash Borer and Triumvir Foul, plus the sole member of Mizmor.

Oct 312014

The Font of All Human Knowledge tells us that Samhain “is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the ‘darker half’ of the year” and is celebrated from sunset on October 31 to sunset on 1 November, about halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice. It is a liminal time when spirits more easily enter our world, a time of divination rituals and the revisiting of souls of the dead.

In celebration of blessed Samhain I’ve harvested a collection of news and new music, a bounty large enough to warrant two posts, this being the first.

NAPALM DEATH

Yesterday  brought the announcement that Napalm Death will release their 15th studio album entitled Apex Predator – Easy Meat on January 26th in Europe and January 27th in North America. Frontman Barney Greenway provided this explanation of the album’s title and concept:

Oct 302014

 

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.

Oct 302014

 

(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.

Oct 292014

 

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.

Oct 292014

(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.

Oct 292014

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.

SEPTIC MIND

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.

Oct 292014

 

(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.

Oct 282014

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 RecordsThe 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.

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