(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.
(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.
For me and many others, The Grim Muse by Poland’s In Twilight’s Embrace was one of 2015’s highlights — a multifaceted and uniformly strong melodic death metal album loaded with fantastic riffs, memorable lead-guitar melodies and solos, powerful performances by the rhythm section, and absolutely ferocious vocals. The band are now following that stand-out album with a new three-song EP entitled Trembling, which will be released by Arachnophobia Records on May 25 (which is also the day set for Arachnophobia’s release of a vinyl edition of The Grim Muse). Today we bring you a full stream of the new EP.
These three new songs were recorded by the band during the same sessions that produced The Grim Muse, but were set aside with the idea of this EP specifically in mind. True to the band’s penchant for creating variations in their core sound, each song is distinctive, no one of them quite like the other two — yet all three are both dark and blistering.
Is this too much? Songs, albums, and EPs from ten bands collected in a single post instead of divided up and spread out over time so you can have recovery periods in between the skull-fracturing? I’m afraid it might be too much, but obviously not afraid enough to change the plan. Mainly, I’m too impatient to share all this fine new metal to worry very much about your cranial integrity.
In fact, you can think of this as a test for the hardness of your skull. If you can make it to the end, you have a Granite-Level Skull and should consider applying for employment as a crash-test dummy. People with Eggshell Skulls might not make it through the first track; R.I.P. Those of you in between are degrees of semi-hard and semi-soft, kind of like cheese.
Three-and-a-half years have passed since I last wrote about this band from Bergen after discovering them through a listening session for a MISCELLANY post. But the opportunity for a rediscovery has arrived, because on June 27 Argonauta Records will release their new album, Ghost Empire.
Tomorrow — May 13 — Seeing Red Records will release Paradise, the debut EP of a Philadelphia band appropriately named HELLS, and today we bring you a full stream of its six head-wrecking tracks.
When you listen to the music, it will quickly become clear that Paradise is an ironic title. At a minimum, it’s a term that must be understood in context, maybe one reflecting a worldview in which being beaten senseless or asphyxiated brings a glorious release from a daily rain of shit.
When a band name themselves Revulsion, it’s a safe bet that they’re not going to play break-up songs, narcotic stoner jams, or ambient drone. Of course, that still leaves a lot of open territory, most likely the kind that resembles a war zone. But as much fun as guessing games can be, we won’t leave you guessing for much longer.
Of course, some people reading this will already know about Revulsion, but the two-track 7″ we’re premiering today was my first exposure to what they do. You can probably guess that I think it’s damned good. The name is Drain / Reject Myself.
Most of the music in this Shades of Black series comes from the realms of black metal, but not all of it. Music can be black for other reasons as well, as demonstrated by the first of the four bands featured here.
This is a collection of songs that have been keeping me company in recent dark days. Until I decided to add the fourth band, I was going to call this Shades of Black — Long-Form Edition, because the songs by the first three bands are indeed much longer than average. They convincingly earn the extra minutes, and I hope you’ll carve out some space for them.
SEA OF BONES
As far as these selfish ears are concerned, far too much time has passed since New Haven’s Sea of Bones released their last album, The Earth Wants Us Dead. At last, we have something new.
On April 29, the New York label Broken Limbs will release a 7″ vinyl split by two stunningly powerful bands — Fister from St. Louis, Missouri, and California’s TEETH — and at the bottom of this post you’ll have a chance to stream all of it.
I wouldn’t blame you if you just skip to the end and start listening, but in case you want some idea about what you’re in for, continue reading.
Wasteland is the name of the debut EP by New York’s False Gods, and it’s a well-chosen title because this massively heavy, staggeringly bleak, and frequently hallucinatory EP seems like a musical survey of life’s wreckage.
The five songs on the EP aren’t all in the same vein musically. You may think you know where they’re going after the first very catchy song (or even two), but as you move ahead you eventually realize you’re on your way into a descent, and there’s a soul-destroying pit of despair at the end of the fall.
So much music, so little time. In this post I’ve collected some recent black (or blackened) metal releases, and a few songs from forthcoming ones, that I’ve been enjoying, plus one other excerpt of a release that isn’t black metal but is pretty fuckin’ black anyway. Hope you find some things to like in here.
I’ll begin with two Icelandic bands I’ve written about frequently, because their music is so exceptional. The first is Naðra, whose debut album Allir vegir til glötunar was released in January of this year (reviewed here) and whose line-up includes members of other notable Icelandic bands, including Carpe Noctem, Ophidian I, and Misþyrming.
Early last week the band released a new two-song EP named Form via Bandcamp. The first track includes guest vocals by Eirikur Hauksson, a well-known vocalist in Iceland in both pop music and heavy metal.