(We present Andy Synn’s interview of Keenan Nathan Oakes, vocalist for South Africa’s Wildernessking, whose new album Andy reviewed here.)
Spoiler alert: Mystical Future, the second album by South Africa’s most majestic of Metal exports, Wildernessking, is likely to feature very prominently on either my Critical or Personal lists of favourite albums at the end of the year (if not both). I’ve loved this album since the first time I heard it, and I was lucky enough to hear it far earlier than most.
I’ve also been lucky enough to grab the band’s vocalist Keenan Nathan Oakes for this interview, where we get to go deeper into the motivation and inspirations behind Mystical Future, as well as a bunch of other topics which I’m sure you’ll find most illuminating!
The Montreal black metal band Gevurah made deep and lasting impressions in these quarters with their 2013 debut EP Necheshirion (discussed here) and their 2015 two-song demo Dialogue of Broken Stars (reviewed here). In less than 10 days the band’s stupendous debut album Hallelujah! will be released by Profound Lore Records, and we bring you the chance to hear all of it today.
The album is the creation of multi-instrumentalist/vocalist/songwriter X.T. (who also recorded and mixed the album) and guitarist/bassist A.L. It consists of seven tracks and more than 60 minutes of music. As described by the band, “Hallelujah! is a seven-step spiritual journey of Alchemical transformation, through the death and rebirth of the Self as a pure entity of praise, a vessel for the powers beyond. It is an exhalation of worship, a humbling vow of unwavering devotion to the Lord of unbound Light.”
(In this post Grant Skelton reviews the new EP by Finland’s The Lone Madman — an exception to our “rule”.)
“…Finland has perhaps the most heavy metal bands in the world, per capita…” If President Obama himself is aware of Finland’s contributions to heavy metal, then it would certainly behoove us at No Clean Singing to follow suit (and obviously not for the first time). Children Of Bodom, Ensiferum, Shape Of Despair, Amorphis, Omnium Gatherum, Swallow The Sun, Skepticism, Insomnium. And those are only a scant few!
I must give credit to the stellar blog The Shrieks From Below for my discovery of Helsinki’s The Lone Madman. In recent years, I’ve become quite a doom hoarder. You know what they say. “Listening to doom all day keeps the reaper at bay.” If you’ve enjoyed the recent resurgence in heavy, traditional, and/or epic doom from Crypt Sermon, Below, and Pilgrim, then The Lone Madman are the cushion for your proverbial casket.
Singularity is the new album by the Swiss band Stortregn, and it’s an electrifying adrenaline rush from start to finish. The album will be released by the Dutch label Non Serviam Records on May 27, and today we give you the chance to hear all of it in advance of the release.
This is the band’s third album, and it sets a high-water mark for Stortregn, both in songwriting and in performance, as well as displaying a continued evolution in the band’s musical style.
I had intended to prepare a “Seen and Heard” round-up for today, and may still accomplish that, but I just listened to a new song from Revocation and decided to toss it at you without waiting until later — because it’s loads of fun.
The name of the song is “Communion”, and it comes from the band’s new album Great Is Our Sin, which will be released on July 22 by Metal Blade. Here’s a quote about the song from guitar whiz David Davidson:
“‘Communion‘ is the fastest song we’ve recorded to date and while it’s blistering in terms of speed there are also some proggy elements present to add contrast to the aggression.”
And he’s right. There’s even some funky bass work in this song along with lots of exuberant, head-spinning, technically impressive guitar work mixed into this invigorating thrash romp.
EvnaR was born through the collaboration between two brothers who were members of a Spanish black metal band named Between the Frost, a band whose roots were planted in the early ’90s — guitarist J.M. and vocalist R.M. They began work on EvnaR’s debut album roughly six years ago, eventually enlisting the aid of Slovenian drummer Robert Kovačič, who has performed with such bands as Scaffold, Belphegor, and Nothnegal. Their debut album E.V.N.A.R has now been prepared for joint release by Winter Demons and The Vinyl Division, and today we bring you the album’s opening track, “Blasphemia Manifesta“.
The sounds of a mounting storm begin this track, and then the music unleashes that storm in a torrent of flashing riffs and thundering drums. The music is blazing fast and intense, spurred on by a head-spinning lead-guitar performance and by feral, ferocious vocals. It’s the sound of barely contained chaos, a melding of black and death metal that gets the blood pumping immediately.
(DGR reviews the new album by Sweden’s In Mourning, with a full album stream at the end.)
On May 20th, In Mourning released the fourth album of their career with Afterglow. To lay all of our cards on the table up front, Afterglow is a great disc — but to really understand how and why Afterglow is great, you need to take a deep dive into In Mourning’s history so you can see what led the band to this point, because the album feels like the most natural evolution of their sound yet.
In Mourning are one of those bands for whom each album has sounded different from the others. A few genres have combined over the years to define their sound, and one of those key tenets has been a large swath of Euro-doom. The album that sowed the seeds of that was their first release, 2008’s Shrouded Divine. Shrouded Divine is also the disc where the group’s reputation as something of a critical darling was launched, drawing comparisons to bands such as Opeth — likely due to the occasional clean-sung break the group snuck in and the prevelant melo-death sound that wormed its way throughout Shrouded Divine’s run.
Qliphothic Rites of Death has been seething in the underground for many years, like a vein of radioactive ore covered in deep black earth, waiting to be unearthed so that its arcane energies and spectral light could spread and be experienced. This week that will happen, as Iron Bonehead Productions releases this rarity on 7″ vinyl, and today we premiere both of its songs.
Qliphothic Rites of Death, originally recorded in 2010 and circulated then in small quantities, is the lone release of Seventh Xul, a unique collaboration between two luminaries of the Greek black metal scene — vocalist Acherontas V.Priest of Acherontas (and many other projects) and guitarist/bassist N.E.C.R.O of Burial Hordes, Enshadowed, and other groups — with session drumming by Fotis Benardo (Necromantia, ex-Septicflesh).
In the band’s own words, “The Ayin of Creation and Destruction Forces crowned this effort, and the necromantical vision took form in 2010 only for this release.The band split up immediately, as we felt that this was our only goal from the beginning. A unique release serving that period of wondering & isolation….”
In December 2014 we had the pleasure of premiering a full stream of Hit the Head, the fascinating debut album by the French noisemongers Corbeaux, and today we’re fortunate to deliver a full stream of their full-length follow-up, Kind Words.
But there’s very little about this new album that’s kind. If anything, it’s more bleak, more unsettling, and more cataclysmic than its predecessor. It’s also even more accomplished and self-assured, even if you’ll find almost no solid ground on which to plant your feet or comfort for your addled mind.
(Allen Griffin reviews the new self-titled 7″ EP by Hissing.)
Seattle trio Hissing is one of the latest additions to Southern Lord’s formidable roster and they are poised to release their self-titled 7″ in early June. Consisting of two crushing tracks, a little over eleven minutes of music, their sound can be described as an amalgamation of abyss-trawling blast beats, thick gutter sludge, and oppressive, mysterious atmosphere.
While drawing from a range of influences, Deathspell Omega, Portal, and Autopsy are the most obvious touchstones, and while these are not uncommon influences in the current scene, Hissing succeed where others often fail. There is a certain x-factor bands of this ilk rarely possess, but Hissing seem to have in spades. The material here, inspired by the human psyche trying to survive in hostile urban environments, is utterly convincing in both composition and execution.