Thanks for visiting No Clean Singing. Hope you won’t regret it.
This is a labor of love, sometimes a labor of lust. We could make money if we wanted to, probably enough to buy an extra shot or something oily and caffeinated the next morning, but we don’t advertise and we don’t take money from anyone else for anything. Life is already too cluttered.
We’ve been around since November 2009. When the site began, the name of it was serious. But as time has passed, my own tastes have broadened and other writers have joined us, and they’re even more open-minded than I am. Now, the name just confuses people. But it’s kind of like if you named your kid Rufus. When she grows up, it confuses other people, but she is what she is and it might confuse people even more if you legally changed it.
So, we write about lots of music genres, 99% of it metal, and about 99% of that extreme metal. We call it like we see it, even when we’re cross-eyed. But we only write about music we like and want to recommend. If we don’t like something we just ignore it. If you’re looking for negative reviews, you’ll need to go elsewhere.
And that’s really all you need to know, though you can read a lot more below if you’re bored. Thanks again for visiting.
Here’s a more elaborate (i.e., verbose) explanation of what we’re about, who we are, what we try to do to for you — and what we want you to do for us.
First Principles (What We’re About — Or Used To Be About)
According to the Font of All Human Knowledge, “in philosophy, a first principle is a basic, foundational proposition or assumption that cannot be deduced from any other proposition or assumption.” Here are the “first principles” for this site that we wrote when the site started in 2009 — though as you’ll see, some things have changed around here since then:
- Almost all “popular” music sucks.
- Metal doesn’t suck, unless it’s metal with clean singing, which mostly does suck.
- Some metal with clean singing doesn’t suck, but that’s an exception to the rule.
- Some metal with no clean singing also sucks, but that’s also an exception to the rule.
To elaborate (further): In our evolution as metal fans, the original founders of this site reached the point where we got upset when otherwise promising metal songs with good riffage and crushing drumwork were interrupted by an attack of clean crooning, particularly the breathy, whiny, upper-octave kind of excretions that used to characterize a lot of metalcore but still pops up in even the most unexpected places. If you know what we mean, then you’ve come to the right place.
So, this site is mainly about metal music, but not all metal music. What we mostly love and what we spend most of our time writing about is extreme metal, where harsh vocals tend to go hand in hand with harsh, aggressive, cathartic music. Purely instrumental metal, if done right, fits the NCS bill.
Within the realm of NCS Metal, we likes all kinds of shit. We like brutal, old-school death metal, melodic death metal, tech death, grind, black metal, viking and folk metal, deathcore, progressive metal, djent, doom (even funeral doom is starting to grow on us) – and hundreds of other sub-genres that would be too boring to catalogue at length. (Who thinks up all these genre classifications anyway?) Your Authors have got their own individual preferences, but as a group we pretty much cover the waterfront.
Even from the beginning of this site, however, we’ve also liked some bands who punctuate their metal with clean singing (see First Principle No. 3 above). We can’t just cast out groups like Opeth, Amorphis, and Mastodon (to name just a few), can we?
And we write about topics other than extreme metal, too. More on that below.
Who We Are
The founders of this site — Islander, Alexis, and IntoTheDarkness — are three metalheads who live in the Seattle area. Over time, Alexis and IntoTheDarkness have become scarce as writers for NCS. We still go to shows together, and still swap music, but the writing chores have fallen to a new cadre of scribes.
In addition to Islander, the regular writers are Andy Synn, who happens to be vocalist/lyricist for the UK metal bands Beyond Grace and Twilight’s Embrace and a resident of Nottingham, England;, BadWolf,who lives in Toledo, Ohio and also writes for Invisible Oranges under his real name; TheMadIsraeli, a guitarist and denizen of Tennessee; and DGR, who lives in Sacramento, CA and used to write for The Number of the Blog before it expired. We also feature contributions by a large and ever-changing group of guest writers.
What We Do For You
We do our best to add posts to this site every day, weekends included — and so far we’ve missed only three days since this thing started in November 2009. Some of these posts are regular features – reviews of new music releases and music videos, concert reviews, metal news, and random observations about the scene, among other things. Increasingly, we premiere conga and videos, too.
Every now and then (and with increasing frequency, given the tastes of the authors who replaced two of the founders), we write about Exceptions to the Rule (see First Principle No. 3). We also have regular features about forthcoming new albums and about things that are metal even though they aren’t music.
One of our main objectives is to introduce you to music you might not have heard or even heard about — music that may be flying under the radar or from unsigned bands just getting their start. For example, we’ve got an ongoing series called MISCELLANY that’s dedicated to music we’re hearing for the first time. Compared to other U.S.-based metal blogs, we also spend more than the average amount of time writing about metal from outside the U.S.
Because Islander lives in the Seattle area, some of what’s on this site is geared to what’s happening in the Pacific Northwest, but most of the content isn’t limited in that way.
Here’s one thing that will be Seattle-focused: We’ve created a page called NW Metal Calendar, which will always be linked on the home page. On this page we collect in one place a listing of metal shows scheduled in Seattle, and sometimes elsewhere in the Northwest – bands, dates, and venues – and we update it as we learn about new shows.
Our focus is extreme metal, but we care about other stuff too, and we’ll write (occasionally) about some of our other interests. For example, we have an occasional feature called MOSH PIT which includes random observations about what’s happening in the non-metal world as well as opinions about the metal scene. Sometimes we share our answers to e-mails from people in Africa who are trying to give us money. Very rarely, we talk about movies.
And, as mentioned, we also have a long-running feature about things that we think are metal but aren’t music. Surprisingly, it’s named “THAT’S METAL!” – BUT IT’S NOT MUSIC.
One thing you’ll notice pretty quickly is that we don’t publish negative reviews, and we very rarely publish any other kind of writing that slags bands or their music — though we do make an exception for big-name egomaniacs who can’t keep their mouths shut. Dave Mustaine of Megadeth is a prime example. The reason we don’t publish negative reviews isn’t because we love everything. We just prefer to spend our time on music we can honestly recommend to you. The stuff we hear that we don’t dig we just pass on by without comment. And besides, extreme metal bands have a tough enough time without people like us shitting on them.
So, we try to keep the tone of the site positive — not gooey or stupid, just positive.
What We Want You To Do For Us
One thing that sets metal apart from most other music is the sense of community. Let’s be honest: most people hate extreme metal and can’t begin to understand why anyone likes it. Fuck them. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. The fact that so many people form bands in this genre, record music, tour, and throw themselves body and soul into this scene despite the fact that the fan base is relatively tiny and there’s no money in it still blows our minds. To use a cliché, it’s us against the rest of the deluded, rapacious, ass-sucking world. Really.
We want to bring that sense of community to this site, and to do that we need to hear from you. We want your comments. We want to read what’s on your minds. And if you’ll speak up, we’ll respond. We always have, and we always will.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
There’s a shit-ton of metal blogs and web sites out there. Most of them suck. We may suck, too. I’m sure you’ll tell us if we do.
But when we started NCS, there were two metal sites that definitely didn’t suck: MetalSucks and Reign in Blonde. We use the past tense here because RiB has been defunct for a while now, though of course MetalSucks has grown tremendously in readership and influence. Those two provided our inspiration when we started NCS.
Since we started this site, we’ve become fans of many other metal blogs in addition to the two that provided our initial inspiration. They’re listed with links on the right side of every page, and we encourage you to visit them.
We also need to express our thanks to Professor D. Groverthe XIIIth, the creator of the sadly departed The Number of the Blog and an occasional contributor to this site, who generously created our site logo/header and background skulls just because he’s a good dude — and a guy with more graphic design talent than he will admit.
CONTACT INFO: firstname.lastname@example.org
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No Clean Singing does not intend to violate any copyright laws. If you are a copyright holder of any content we have posted on the site, or you represent such a copyright holder, and you object to our display of content, please email us and we will immediately remove the file in question.