(DGR reviews the new album by the Greek band Murder Made God.)
There is a part of me that always becomes excited when I feel I’ve somehow gone on an archeological dig and made an incredible world-shifting discovery. Recently, I feel like I’ve found 2016’s brutal death metal common ancestor, or for lack of a better term, that with Murder Made God’s recent April release Enslaved, I have found brutal death metal’s median — the throughline casting its way through the whole genre.
Enslaved marks the Greek brutal death metal horde’s second release of their career, with its predecessor Irreverance having hit in late June of 2013. Enslaved, which is out via Comatose Music, sounds like it took a look at the brutal death genre, saw the various directions in which it has been splitting off recently — from the hyperblasting sect to the gorier subsections — and decided instead to shoot directly down the center.
(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!
Two striking black metal bands separated by the Pacific have joined forces in a new split release coming out tomorrow on 7″ vinyl from Iron Bonehead Productions. The split’s title, Pestilential Hierophanies, is a conjunction of the two track names on the album, with Australia’s Ill Omen contributing “Whited, Pestilent Sepulchre…” and Chile’s Slaughtbbath providing “Inverted Hierophany”.
You can — and should — listen to both tracks below. I have a brief review first, and in a nutshell, this is one of the best splits I’ve come across this year.
The lone artist behind Ill Omen (“IV”) has quite a resume of participation in other groups, including his membership in Temple Nightside and previous work in Austere. Under the Ill Omen banner he has produced many short releases as well as three albums, including this year’s Æ.Thy.Rift.
(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!
(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.
(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.
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.
I continue my efforts to char your weekend to a crisp with this second part of a two-part post I started yesterday, collecting music in a blackened vein that I’d like to recommend. This collection is heavy on blackened death metal rather than unadulterated black metal, with a couple of other twists and turns thrown in. Yesterday’s offerings were mostly on the melodic side of the extremity scale. We’ll eventually get to something like that today, but not until the end. In the meantime, prepare for some monstrous, apocalyptic experiences.
I discovered Sxuperion only this past January through the band’s split release with a Nebraska black metal band named Verräter (discussed here), although Sxuperion had preceded that split with two full-length albums and an array of shorter releases. For those who might not be familiar with Sxuperion, it’s the solo project of the drummer (Matthew) for two other excellent bands, Valdur and Weverin.
Over the last week I’ve accumulated a long list of new advance tracks and recent releases that I’d like to recommend. As usual, it’s too much stuff for me to cover completely or in depth. What I’m planning to do is make two collections for this weekend, focusing on black (and blackened) metal, and then compile some additional releases for a Seen and Heard post on Monday. So here’s the first part of a two-part Shades of Black post; the second one will appear tomorrow.
Sol Sistere are a Chilean melodic/atmospheric black metal band composed of veteran members from other groups. Their debut album Unfading Incorporeal Vacuum (which follows a 2014 EP on the Pest Productions label) is set for CD release on June 6 by Hammerheart Records, but a digital version of the album has recently become available for download on the label’s Bandcamp page.
Hammerheart describes the music as a “combination of past elements such as Dissection, Vinterland and Dawn, completed by influences of today” — referring to such bands as Altar of Plagues, Drudkh, and Wodensthrone. These are all worthy reference points, and pretty accurate ones as well (though there’s also a noticeable post-metal ingredient in play as well). This album was intriguing on a first listen and my affections for it have only grown stronger with repeat spins. (The album cover by Misanthropic-Art is also fantastic.)