Jul 222017


I started working on this post a month ago, but kept shoving it off to the side due to more urgent commitments. As time passed, I found a few more tracks to include. But still, I haven’t had time to write what I intended to write about each of the releases included here, and I’m not sure when that time would come. So I’ve decided to let the music mainly speak for itself, and I’ve picked out only one song from each release for this playlist, though in most cases you’ll be able to hear the full release if you’re interested.

All of the releases in this compilation are crushers — doom crushers, to be precise. But they’re not all cut from the same cloth. Some are apocalyptic, some are narcotic, some have harsh vocals, some have clean singing, and one has no singing at all. So get ready to travel in the low and slow lane, and if you have an eggshell skull it might be better to strap on a protective helmet.


The first track I’ve chosen comes from the second album by Morbid Evils, a Finnish band that includes vocalist Keijo Niinimaa of Rotten Sound. Entitled Deceases, it examines the subject of death from various perspectives, blending elements of sludge, doom, drone, and black metal. The album will be released on August 25 by Svart Records.

Jul 192017


I had a great weekend, thanks for asking. I devoted it to visits by out-of-town family and a two-day picnic, and NCS took a distant back seat, which is why there was no weekend round-up and no SHADES OF BLACK column. We avoided going dark only though the valiant efforts of Andy Synn and DGR.

Predictably, I now have a big list of new songs and videos to share around, too many for one post. We’ll start with offerings from five bands, and I’ll have at least one and probably two more round-ups this week. Might get one more done today, but maybe not. A meteor strike could decimate my home, the chime on a dryer could alert me that it’s time to get the clothes out, I might feel like chasing a passing car, the lorises might commence war games again. The crystal ball is cloudy.


The new Keres EP (released July 12th) is an exception to the (admittedly porous) rule in our site’s title, but it’s a slam-dunk exception: Justin Helvete’s voice is a truly remarkable instrument. And everything else about these three songs is also remarkable.

Jul 122017


I’m showing rare restraint in this round-up. Rather than try to stuff 8-10 new things into one bulging post, which my gluttonous self has a habit of doing, this time I’ve just picked four new things. Following this new, but probably short-lived, format, my plan is to scatter more of these shorter round-ups over the remaining days of this week, too.


Back in May we had the pleasure of premiering an unusual song named “Cocaine Witches & Lysergic Dreams” off the band’s new EP, Codex Narco, which has now been released. The whole EP is as hard to pin down as the song we premiered, and that’s one of its many attractions — the creative and unexpected splicing together of disparate musical elements, along with the strong emotional force of the songs, is a big part of what makes Codex Narco stand out.

One of the tracks on the EP is a cover song, Godhunter’s take on “Walking With A Ghost“, which was originally recorded by Tegan & Sara. I also mentioned that the song would eventually become the subject of a music video made by Mitch Wells from Thou, and that video was finally released yesterday. It’s the first item in this collection.

Jul 082017


I’ve been recovering from a concussion I suffered last Sunday night. Based on the experience so far, my advice to you is this: Never get a fucking concussion. Between the persistent headache, the nausea, and the general feeling of debilitation that forces me to nap in a dark, quiet room as often as I can, it has put a real dent in my usual scouring of the interhole and our e-mails for new music to recommend. Just in case you were wondering why there were no round-ups this week.

I’ve been feeling (slightly) better over the last 48 hours, so I’ve been looking at what I missed — and damn, did I miss a lot. I’ve picked a trio of things to stream and comment on specifically, and a lot more things to just point you to. I’ve also included two new worthy label samplers. I also plan to write a SEEN AND HEARD post to cover a handful of other new songs and videos.


I haven’t heard the new Paradise Lost album, Medusa, but a couple of trusted friends who write for print zines have heard it, and they have a high opinion of it. The album comes out September 1st on Nuclear Blast. Yesterday brought the debut of the first single from the album, “The Longest Winter“.

Jun 222017


The song you’re about to hear doesn’t follow the path you probably think it’s going to follow from the way it begins, and the variations in its course are one reason it’s so appealing (but not the only reason).

The name of the song is “Almas Vendidas” and it comes from the new fourth album by the Argentinian band Granada. Entitled Sincronizado, it will be released on June 23rd by Satanath Records‘ sub-label Symbol of Domination.

Jun 132017


This is the third and final installment of a SHADES OF BLACK feature that I began two days ago. You’ll be shocked to learn that as long as this post has been, I added music from two more bands on top of what I originally planned for this Part 3 yesterday. If I hadn’t been placed in restraints by orderlies here at the asylum, I would have added more.


The wonderful Swedish band Ereb Altor, who have taken their main cues (but not their only ones) from the mythic Viking metal of Bathory as established in Hammerheart and Twilight of the Gods, have a new album named Ulfven that will arrive on July 21 via Hammerheart Records. Earlier today they revealed a song from the album that’s simply magnificent.

Jun 052017


(Andy Synn reviews the first new album by Eighteen Visions since 2006.)

So here’s the thing… although I count myself among that rare breed of people who has faithfully (if not always happily) followed OC ‘core crew Eighteen Visions through all the ups and downs of their career, even I’m willing to admit that the band’s dissolution in 2007 – at the height of their perceived commercial viability and creative bankruptcy – was probably for the best.

For a band who had, up until that point, been famous as much for their devil-may-care attitude as they were for delivering bone-crushing breakdowns, their increasingly desperate attempts to break into the mainstream (and steady decline towards toothless, alt-rock senility), were a clear sign of a group increasingly unsure of their direction or place in the world and undergoing a painful (and ultimately fatal) mid-life crisis.

But it seems as though the group – whose line-up has been reduced to a three-piece following the sad demise of bassist Mick Morris in 2013, and the inability of guitarist (and founding member) Ken Floyd to participate due to other commitments – must have felt they had unfinished business left to attend to, as now they’re back with a new album, XVIII, which many (quite possibly including the band themselves) must be hoping will retcon their previous, self-titled, album out of existence.

So what’s the verdict?

Jun 022017


(This is Andy Synn’s review of the new album by Novembers Doom, released in April.)


This past weekend in Baltimore I was… well, “harangued” might be too strong a word… by DGR for failing to produce a review of this album, something which I’d apparently promised to do several times over the last couple of months.

So, suitably admonished and abashed, here’s my attempt to fulfil my obligation, starting with a little bit of historical context for those of you who enjoy that sort of thing.

May 222017


Originally formed circa 1972, the California heavy metal band Cirith Ungol released four albums between 1980 and 1991 before disbanding, and in the process amassed an ardent world-wide fan following. The band reunited in 2015 for the Frost and Fire festival, and are continuing to forge ahead with festival appearances — and writing new music as well.

Greek writer John Sleepwalker of Avopolis.gr returns to NCS with this interview of Tim Baker, Greg Lindstrom, Jimmy Barraza, and Rob Garven leading up to Cirith Ungol’s performance at the Up the Hammers Festival in Athens, Greece, on May 27, 2017.


First of all, what made a Cirith Ungol reunion possible after all these years? I think there was quite some interest from Greece too, for quite some time, but the band was very negative until now…

Rob: Jarvis Leatherby from Night Demon lives in our home town and he told me that when they traveled to Europe on tour they would see many fans wearing “Cirith Ungol” shirts, and patches, and many there knew of our band and music. I had sworn a blood oath that I would never play drums again, so I had always told him very politely that I was not interested. Everything changed at the “Frost & Fire” festival in 2015. Oliver Weinsheimer from the very famous and exclusive “Keep It True Festival” had come over for the show. Jarvis and Oliver asked to speak to the band alone.

May 192017


L.A.-based Dylan Furr began making music as a solo artist, releasing two instrumental albums under his own name. For the third album (Juxtaposition) he added his own vocals, but then re-recorded it with new vocalist Elijah Arnold. Because the band is now no longer a completely solo effort, the project has taken on a new name — DFB.

On July 7, Famined Records will release a new DFB EP named Perspective, and what we have for you today is a lyric video for a song from Perspective named “Domino“.

© 2009, 2016 NO CLEAN SINGING Banner design by Dan Dubois, background design by groverXIII. Suffusion WordPress theme by Sayontan Sinha