Well, hear we are. The blessed day has arrived. NO CLEAN SINGING is five years old today. We made our first post on November 21, 2009.
As a five year-old, we still poop our pants, scream at the top of our lungs for no good reason, have a growing fascination with what’s between our legs, and throw our food against the wall because, fuck, you only have a brief time when you can get away with shit like that.
Last year at this time I wrote that there’s a word for metal blogs who are still around as long as we’ve been: They’re called “survivors”. “Stubborn” and “too dumb to quit” are still good alternative labels. I can’t promise you we’ll be here this time next year — because no one can count on being around for another year. So we rejoice in the fact that we’re still here, as you should, too — you have also survived another year.
(Comrade Aleks returns to NCS with an interview of Luciano Marchisio, bass player for the Argentinian band Montenegro.)
Montenegro is a psychedelic stoner band from Argentina who mix a bunch of unusual musical and conceptual elements in their songs. Their first full-length album Confusos Recuerdos Después Del Coma has shown the band’s best as of 2013, but a few months ago Montenegro took part in split-album with Russian psychedelic band The Grand Astoria that reaches new heights in their explorations.
Their new epic track “El Matadero” (“Slaughterhouse”) perfectly holds the main motive of this split-release, complementing the musical conception of their Russian mates and evolving their own ideas in new ways. Luciano Marchisio (bass) represents Montenegro today for our readers and tells us the story of four gauchos from Argentina.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The new album by Sweden’s Just Before Dawn is a killer. Its name is The Aftermath and I reviewed it here. It’s out now on Chaos Records and you can order it here. It’s also available on Bandcamp, and there’s a full stream of the whole tasty thing at the end of this post. But first, enjoy KevinP’s Q&A with Just Before Dawn’s main man Anders Biazzi.
1. So, you’re back for round two. Tell us what is different this time around?
This time the album is more well-written, I think. There are more people working on it, around 24 guys laid down their shit for this album. Otherwise there are no changes: war and steamrolling devestation.
2. What was your favorite collaboration and why?
I think it would be “Lightning War”. It’s a really powerful track with great vocals from Dave Ingram and great whammy leads from Rick Rozz. A real steamrolling track, Bolt Thrower style!
I need to whine for a couple of minutes. Yes, even I, with my usually sunny disposition, need to whine every now and then.
First, I’ve been getting so little sleep lately that my eyes are as red as a baboon’s ass. Second, I inflamed a muscle in my arm from curling massive amounts of weight at the gym, the kind of crushing weight that’s comparable to a grocery bag loaded with a single loaf of bread. Third, and most egregious of all, my fucking day job has been making me run the gauntlet the last two days, with no end in sight, leaving me no time for my usual self-appointed NCS duty of scouring the web for news and new music.
I do know about a bunch of song and album premieres that appeared over the last 24 hours, but only because of messages received from my co-writers and some sharp-eyed readers. I’ve collected streams or links to them in this post, but don’t have time to write about them or even provide album art or helpful links. Shit, I haven’t even listened to all of them. How embarrassing.
(Here we have DGR’s review of the highly anticipated new album by Bloodbath.)
There is a knee-jerk reaction provoked by the name Bloodbath, an impulse to instantly want to like what the group are putting forth. At this point, there is a part of me which loves that Bloodbath have as much hype surrounding them as they do, while likewise also recognizing that the group have become something of an institution.
For some people, they were the first real deep introduction to traditional death metal — especially if you were one of those listeners who checked out the band because a bunch of Katatonia and Opeth band members were in the mix. Not only that, but as something of a tribute act, Bloodbath were also stunningly consistent with their sound. They’re experienced professional musicians already, so there’s none of the sense that they have been stumbling into what they’re doing — they know already.
They know how to write it, and because of that, when you’re listening to Bloodbath you’re hearing a group who are really good at throwing us back to the past when death metal was a dark and disgusting monster that people were scared of — the type of music that was a horror movie incarnate.
Musical inspiration comes from a wide array of sources. Taken as a whole, it reflects all life experiences, emotions, and thoughts, from the most mundane to the most mystical. In the case of the Greek black metal band Thy Darkened Shade, the music emanates from a desire to invoke Chaos through the unleashing of Lvciferian energies.
It exists as a spiritual devotional, as a path toward self-realization, as a channeling of dark, liberating powers to listeners enslaved by a materialistic world, with each song — the music and the lyrics — constituting a ritual for the summoning of arcane forces. Thy Darkened Shade is a bringer of Promethean fire, the stunning music a means of achieving transformation.
To be clear, I’m not saying I personally know all of this to be true (though the ritual character of the album, beginning with its brief introductory track, is hard to miss). Instead, I’m trying to summarize what I’ve read in interviews of Semjaza, the man who created all the music on their new album Liber Lvcifer I: Khem Sedjet (with others participating in the vocals and the drums) — one interview we published (here) and an even more involved one here. These explanations manifest the inspiration for this music.
As for the music itself, one need not be as serious a student of the occult as Semjaza (and he is quite serious indeed) to appreciate the remarkable achievement of Liber Lvcifer I. You just need ears to hear, an open mind, and a lot of time — because there’s no way you’ll be satisfied listening to this 78-minute opus just once.
I’ve been raving in recent months about a new two-song EP named Deathless Light by Germany’s Ascension, and as i noted in those write-ups, the band also have a new album on the way entitled The Dead of the World. Today, we’re fortunate top bring you a premiere of one of the new songs — “Black Ember”.
The album will be released by Season of Mist in North America on January 27, 2015, and is now available for pre-order at this location. As you are about to discover from this new song, the music is black metal of a very high order, music that’s savage and occult, dense and disturbing, but never less than fascinating.
It marks the band’s first album in four years, and it’s a welcome return. Check out “Black Ember” below.
Above is the cover of the January 2015 issue of DECIBEL Magazine. It includes DECIBEL’s list of the Top 40 Albums of 2014. I haven’t received my copy yet, and for all I know, it hasn’t been mailed yet. But the Top 40 list has leaked, appearing yesterday on a Reddit thread. When I first saw that thread, I decided not to post about the list until I had received my copy of the magazine, but the list has started spreading around pretty fast, and the closely guarded secret isn’t a secret any more, so…
As is true every year, DECIBEL’s list is an interesting one that’s sure to spark spirited debate. The album in the No. 1 position is Pallbearer’s Foundations of Burden, followed by At the Gates, Horrendous, Tryptikon, and Godflesh in the #2 – #5 positions, in that order. The Top 10 also includes Thou, YOB, Vallenfyre, Panopticon, and Morbus Chron. Though I think all 10 of these albums are excellent, I’m especially happy to see Horrendous, Thou, Vallenfyre, and Panopticon in such high positions because I dearly love those albums and because the bands don’t have quite the high profile of most other bands in the Top 10 — though they deserve to be in that company.
The balance of the list includes many high-profile names I expected to see (e.g., Behemoth, Agalloch, and Mastodon) and others from deeper underground that, like those four I mentioned above, deserve this kind of exposure (e.g., Dead Congregation, Krieg, Cult of Fire, Teitanblood, Trap Them, Cretin, Midnight, Thantifaxath, and Lord Mantis).
(DGR reviews the new album by Italy’s Hideous Divinity, which is out now via Unique Leader.)
The tree of the Italian super-fast death metal scene, as it has currently come into focus, is one that has so many branches that have crossed over with one another that photos of it could be turned into logos for other death metal bands. It is also one that has been intensely vibrant, dropping new seeds and allowing new trees to form underneath it, becoming slight permutations of the initial home from whence they came.
The section that houses bands like Fleshgod Apocalypse and Hour Of Penance is one that has seen groups not only founded off of each other, but also exchanging musicians time and time again. People have left and rejoined and likewise gone off to form their own groups. Despite making conscious efforts to be clear of that musical style, some of the offshoot bands can’t seem to help themselves and go back to the super-fast, intensely brutal branch of death metal from which they sprouted.
(Not long ago Andy Synn reviewed all the full-length albums of The Flight of Sleipnir leading up to their new release — and today he reviews that one.)
If there’s one word that comes to mind when listening to V., the fifth album by blackened bards The Flight of Sleipnir, it’s… refined.
The duo have taken the strongest elements of their previous four albums, filtered them, purified them, and distilled their central essence into fluid, musical form.
The seven songs which make up V. are, on average, longer and more intricate than on previous albums, with a greater sense of light and shade than ever before, their hidden depths and subtle secrets concealed beneath waves of gleaming melody and brilliant metallic clarity.