This is another day in which we have felt compelled to throw more new music at your head than any normal person has time to hear. Many abnormal people (other than us) won’t have time to listen to all of it either. I tell myself this is why I should continue writing some words about the streams we recommend, as a way of helping listeners choose what to play and what not to play, given their own tastes. Obviously, I’m choosing to ignore the likelihood that no normal person has time to read all the words either.
On the distant future day of September 16, 2016, Dark Descent Records will release the debut album of a Greek black metal collective known as Nox Formulae. The album’s title is The Hidden Paths to Black Ecstasy. Yesterday I received a Bandcamp e-mail alert that one song from the album had been set up for streaming, a two-part piece named “Hidden Clan NXN – Pt a. Eleven Rays of Sorat, Pt b. Black Magic Assault”, and that’s the first item in this round-up.
(Our long-time New Zealand supporter and occasional guest writer Booker reviews the new album by the Paris-based band Acyl.)
Back in 2012, Islander put out a request for fellow readers to pitch in a review or two while he was otherwise occupied. One of the belated efforts I offered was a review of Acyl’s Algebra album, which I’d been cranking on high rotation since randomly discovering it some months earlier in the nether regions of the internet (it’s amazing what you’ll find back there!). That post was one of my first here at NCS, and just like a bad case of herpes I’ve kept coming back ever since. So long, in fact, that Acyl have had time to tour, hit restart on the writing process, orbit the sun a few times, and record and release a follow-up album: Aftermath, which came out at the start of the month.
(Andy Synn brings us Part 2 of a series spotlighting new recent releases by UK bands.)
Ok, so I may have gotten sidetracked in Germany somewhere along the way, but I promised you a second edition, and here it is.
This time around we’ve got another varied crop, featuring the burgeoning Deathcore delights of From Sorrow to Serenity, the expansive doomery of King Goat, and the indulgent Prog-Death of Luna’s Call.
So, without further ado, let’s get to it!
(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.
Get ready to move. Loosen up your neck muscles and discard any items of tight, confining clothing. Hell, just take everything off. If you feel even a slight urge to go to the bathroom, go ahead and get that out of the way now (I’ll explain why in a minute). All set? Then let’s go…
Here’s a new song named “Big Casino” from Revival, which is the forthcoming third album by Gozu, a group of Boston bruisers whom I’ve only just discovered and whose music has already proven to be powerfully addictive and absolutely, physically, compulsive. The album will arrive on June 10 via Gozu’s new label, Ripple Music.
(Comrade Aleks brings us his interview with Trent Jacobs, guitarist of Portland’s Holy Grove.)
Nowadays there are a lot of doom bands with female vocals and lyrics about all the mystic stuff you ever could imagine. It is harder and harder to sort out anything in this scene besides the big names that are on everyone’s lips. But here we are! Here we are to help you, and that’s why I want you to pay attention to Holy Grove, a really strong doom-quartet from blessed Portland.
They’ve been in the game for nearly four years, but their first self-titled album was released just five weeks ago. Why so long? That’s the question for Trent Jacobs, Holy Grove’s guitarist.
Fifteen years from the beginning until now. That is the measure of Wormfood’s existence, though the band’s composition has been boiled down and risen again during that time, coalescing around the vocalist/guitarist El Worm (Emmanuel Lévy). Posthume was this French band’s last album (in 2011), and the new one is named L’Envers. Some songs from L’Envers have appeared already, and we have another one: “Collectionneur de Poupées“.
The band’s members since about 2010 have also contributed creatively to such groups as Abstrusa Unde, Melted Space, Öxxö Xööx, and Régiment. If you know anything about those bands, or about Emmanuel Lévy’s work in Erdh, you’ll know that Wormfood doesn’t follow a straight path. And on this new album, they’re joined on their unorthodox course by guest artists Paul Bento (ex-Type O Negative, ex-Carnivore, Wrench) and Axel Wursthorn (ex-Carnival In Coal).
By way of explaining why my own output at the site has been sparse over the last week, I’ve mentioned a couple of times that I have a close friend in the ICU at a Seattle hospital whom I’ve been visiting for hours each day. One week ago she was driving to work in downtown Seattle and was hit in an intersection by a big city aid truck responding to an emergency call. She’s still in a coma, with a brain injury, though there are signs that she is approaching wakefulness.
Yesterday being a Saturday, I spent a few hours at home listening to music before returning to the hospital. I listened to some new metal that suited my mood, which I plan to compile in a Shades of Black post later this morning. But in a sequence of unpredictable but serendipitous events I also happened upon all the music collected in this post. There’s a bit of metal in the first and last items, but mostly this music is way off our usual beaten paths, yet these songs also suited my mood. I hope you’ll appreciate them, too.
A Russian friend in Novosibirsk (and a member of Station Dysthymia) recommended this first band, calling the music “hauntingly beautiful” — and so it is. The band’s name is Offret, from Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. I’m not sure if this is a one-man project or a group. What I heard was a self-titled EP released on April 25, 2016, via Bandcamp.
Last Saturday I explained that because of a serious brain injury to a close friend and colleague, I wouldn’t be able to write much for the site this week other than introductions of premieres I had agreed to host, and that has proven true. When not working at my fucking day job, I’ve been with her and her family in the ICU. That’s not likely to change in the coming days. My friend is showing signs of progress, and it seems likely that she will wake up soon, perhaps today or tomorrow. And then we will begin to find out how the injury has affected her mental and physical functioning. I’m optimistic, and terrified.
Though my routine this week hasn’t been anything close to normal, I have discovered a few excellent new songs and videos, thanks to recommendations from friends, and I thought I would collect them here. I’m grateful for the supportive comments I’ve received from readers, and for all the posts I’ve received from our regular writers and guests this week to keep this train rolling on down the line.
Visions of Exalted Lucifer is the name of the new album by the Dutch black metal band Cirith Gorgor, who began worshipping the Devil through their music back in the mid-’90s. This is the band’s sixth studio album and their first since 2011 (in the intervening years, the band’s line-up has changed). It was released by Hammerheart Records in February. Not long ago Hammerheart and the band released a lyric video for the song “A Vision of Exalted Lucifer”.
As you may have discerned by now, I enjoy not only recommending new music in these round-ups but also selecting items for them that don’t all come from the same genres of metal. For this Saturday collection of recent discoveries, however, there’s perhaps more variety than usual because I’ve partially gone outside the realms of metal. This is always a risky maneuver because I so rarely listen to anything that isn’t metal. I don’t know how dependable my metal tastes are, but when I veer off those pathways I’m pretty sure my taste isn’t dependable at all. Self-doubt has never held me back, though, so here we go….
SÓLSTAFIR AND LEGEND
More than two years ago I wrote (here) about a split release by two Icelandic bands, Sólstafir and Legend, in which each of them covered a song originally recorded by the other. In Sólstafir‘s case, they put their stamp on a Legend song called “Runaway Train”.
Yesterday the two bands released a video in which members of both groups joined together last fall for a live performance of that same song from the split (which they had earlier recorded together at Studio Neptunus). The performance occurred in an abandoned industrial factory and was filmed by Brynjar Snær Þrastarson and edited by him and Frosti Jon Rúnólfsson.