Well, I guess it had to happen someday. Since we put up our first post at NO CLEAN SINGING in November 2009, we’ve had an unbroken record of posting something on the site every day, weekends and holidays included . . . until yesterday.
Yesterday was just a clusterfuck. The long work project I’ve been whining about prevented me from doing anything NCS-related from the time I woke up until late last night. My NCS comrades Andy Synn and DGR made a valiant effort to bail me out by sending in pieces, but unfortunately I couldn’t even check my e-mail until late afternoon, and even then didn’t have time to get them up on the site. You’ll see what they wrote later today.
I suppose I could have quickly put up some pics of monkeys having sex, just to keep the record going, but that seemed like a pretty lame idea. I mean, I’ve posted some pretty stupid shit here in the past, but I’ve always actually put some effort into being stupid.
(all photos by Janica Lönn / STORM Photography 2012)
As bombshell news goes, this is a pretty big detonation: Tuomas Saukkonen announced yesterday that he is shutting down all of his current musical projects — Before The Dawn, Black Sun Aeon, Routasielu, Dawn Of Solace, and Final Harvest — and starting a completely new one under the name Wolfheart. At the same time, he released a teaser of new Wolfheart music.
Saukkonen disclosed his decision and his future plans in an extensive interview published late yesterday by the Finnish Kaaoszine site. Fortunately for non-Finnish speakers, the article includes an English translation. In a nutshell, Saukkonen explained that he had been growing disenchanted with his most popular vehicle, Before the Dawn, for several years, and that even after the release of BTD’s well-received 2012 album Rise of the Phoenix, BTD no longer gave him the artistic freedom to make the kind of music he wanted to make.
Perhaps ironically, the success of Rise of the Phoenix gave him the freedom to finally leave it behind without regrets. Once that decision was made, he explained, “it was logical for me to clean the table at once and start building something from scratch again.” And that led to the demise of his other bands and the birth of Wolfheart.
Saukkonen says that he began writing new music for Wolfheart in the fall of 2012 and at this point he has already finished recording and mixing half of the songs for the band’s as-yet untitled debut album, with plans to complete it in March and then explore label opportunities. His goal is to release the album before the winter of 2013.
It’s so rare that anything connected with heavy metal breaks into the mainstream consciousness that I can’t help but pay attention when it happens. Today it was kind of unavoidable. I was in my car with the radio tuned to a local talk channel just about the time that the CBS national radio news came on, and sure enough, right there at the end, after stories about things like wildfires and drought in the Midwest and Mitt Romney’s latest insistence that, yes, he pays his taxes, was Dave Mustaine’s latest and perhaps most outrageous pronouncement yet. CBS even aired a clip from Mustaine’s August 7 commentary in Singapore. You know, the one where he said this:
“Back in my country, my president … he’s trying to pass a gun ban, so he’s staging all of these murders, like the ‘Fast And Furious’ thing down at the border … Aurora, Colorado, all the people that were killed there … and now the beautiful people at the Sikh temple.”
Later, Mustaine went on to suggest that he may move to Singapore — a state not exactly known for its libertarian values — to escape the terror of “Nazi America.”
Dave, please move. Please, please, please, please, please!! If you move to Singapore, there’s less chance that the people at CBS will hear the next piece of ignorant garbage that spews from your pampered mouth.
It’s true that Dave Mustaine is not the only member of the community of metal with paranoid goofball ideas who insists on sharing them with the world. Unfortunately, the patronage of generations of metalheads have given him a platform from which his blathering gets noticed a lot more than the blathering of other lunatics who play in metal bands. It’s way past time that fans took the platform away from him.
Just a heads up to the NCS faithful that things are going to be quieter than usual around our metallic island today and tomorrow. Today is my birthday (please hold your applause), and to celebrate that glorious event Ms. Islander and I are leaving early this morning for the four-hour drive to Kalaloch on the Pacific coast of Washington, about 35 miles south of Forks (yes, that Forks — where the Twilight movies were filmed). It will be my first visit to Washington’s Pacific coast (which is proof that I don’t get out much). We’ll be driving back Monday night.
The park service cabin where we’re staying has no TV, no phones, and most importantly . . . no internet access. That means no blogging for yours truly, no ability to respond to comments on our posts, no ability to receive or answer e-mails. I’m already experiencing withdrawal symptoms and we haven’t even left yet.
I have a couple of posts in the works. If I can get them finished soon, I’ll schedule one to appear today and one to appear on Monday, so we don’t break our streak of adding at least one post per day on every day since NCS debuted in November 2009. But those two posts are all we’ll have here until Tuesday.
Since I’m thinking about milestones today, here are some statistics from Google Analytics about NO CLEAN SINGING: Since we started NCS, we’ve had 450,640 unique visitors to the site from 201 different countries and territories and a total of 1,328,203 page views. 43% of the total visits to our site have come from people in the U.S., with the rest of our top 10 locations (in order) being the UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, Finland, Sweden, France, The Netherlands, and Italy. Over the last 30 days, we’ve had 37,656 unique visitors and 100,222 page views.
Dethklok, Lamb of God, and GOJIRA GOJIRA GOJIRA will be touring North America this summer. Also, GOJIRA will be part of that tour. Further, the tour will include GOJIRA.
This news, which includes GOJIRA, was officially announced days ago. I must have been in a coma, because I missed it until today. I found out today because I’m on an e-mail list for the venue in Seattle where this tour will be stopped, and I got an announcement of a pre-sale that begins today. After I attempted to get all the sticky stuff out of my pants that appeared there when I realized I would get to see GOJIRA again, I promptly bought tickets.
And yes, the tour, which features GOJIRA, will be stopping in Seattle. In fact, the tour BEGINS in Seattle on August 1. GOJIRA and those other bands will then visit 31 other cities in the U.S. and Canada over the next eight weeks. The whole schedule is after the jump, along with info about how to find tickets — which go on sale tomorrow.
My fucking day job is making me get on an airplane shortly for a long trip. The airplane may have wi-fi, in which case there will be more posts today. However, it may not, in which case I will most likely drink myself into a stupor and have to be removed by federal air marshals in a fireman’s carry.
I just didn’t want you to think I had fallen into the loris compound and been consumed (slowly) by the (patiently) waiting hordes.
In the meantime, I recommend you listen to High On Fire’s new album, De Vermis Mysteriis, which began streaming yesterday at NPR. I’ve not been a huge fan of HOF, but this sounds different and more varied from what I remember on their last album, and it’s good.
Or you could just spend hours pondering the layers of meaning in the photo up above and leave your interpretations of its message in the comments.
Most people are starting to take a break from their usual daily grind this time of year. School is out for most studious types, working stiffs are about to get some days off, and those who are independently wealthy are continuing to do independently wealthy things, but more so. But not your friends at NO CLEAN SINGING. We are not — I repeat, not — fucking off. There will be no breaks, no dead days, no holiday filler at NCS.
To the contrary, we’re drowning in good content at the moment. Here’s a taste of what’s to come between now and the end of the year:
We will have more year-in-review posts, including more best-album lists from musicians you’ve heard of and guest posts from our more avid readers, plus BadWolf’s Best of 2011 list (in two parts) and a continuation of TheMadIsraeli’s reviews (or re-reviews) of the best albums he heard in 2011.
We will have some interesting interviews, including one tomorrow of the mastermind behind that Swedish band who coined That Word, which I’m trying not to over-use becauth it doeth thomething funny to my mouth, and a BadWolf interview coming your way on Thursday of the driving force behind a band whose recent release has been popping up on a shit-ton of Year’s Best lists.
Andy Synn has promised us a special SYNN REPORT to close out 2011 plus (with luck) two more album reviews. We’ll have some opinion pieces that we expect will provoke discussion. We’ll continue to report on new music we find interesting. And beginning next week, I’ll start rolling out my list of 2011′s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs.
And last but not least, we will have an exclusive song premiere that we’re very excited about. In fact, we will be unveiling that particular piece of psychopathic viciousness tomorrow. So, stay tuned. Like your creepy uncle who shows up uninvited for holiday dinners, we’re not going anywhere.
Century Media has released a free Winter music sampler. Like all samplers, it’s a mixed bag. Given individual variances in taste, no label sampler is going to please everyone from the first track through the last. According to my tastes, this one includes some great or good songs by some great or good bands, some songs I’m interested in hearing from albums I haven’t spent time with yet, and some I could care less about, too. But all in all, there’s a high percentage of quality here.
Also, it’s free. You’ll need to give an e-mail address and zip code to get a download code. The download page is at this location.
I decided I couldn’t wait until the next monthly NCS round-up of forthcoming albums. This piece of news deserves its very own separate post. Because it’s Dying Fetus. To begin, I think I need to quote yesterday’s press release in full:
“John Gallagher, guitarist and vocalist of DYING FETUS, has announced that the group has entered the studio to record their new full length album. The band will once again be working with longtime producer Steve Wright (Slipknot, Misery Index) at Wrightway Studios in Baltimore, MD.
Set to be released in mid 2012 through Relapse Records, the album will feature nine tracks and is a “return to roots“ with production focused slightly more on slam than in the band’s last few works. Thematically, the album is set to be a good old-fashioned piece of social and political commentary in the style of DYING FETUS as we have come to know. An official release date and album title will be announced shortly.
“The last album had some groove in it,” stated John, “but [it] was basically a lot of tech; this one is a return to form of older DYING FETUS albums, so to speak- more modern production though, of course.” ”Everything’s tight,” John adds; “…the sound is crushing, the drums are amazing”.
Yesterday, in a post called “Humbled”, I expressed dismay and confusion over the fact that a post I wrote nearly two years ago as a joke — an insignificant piece of news about Elize Ryd, Amaranthe, and Kamelot — has turned out to be the third most popular post we’ve ever run at NCS, measured by page hits on that post, proving that completely lame-ass bullshit sometimes drives traffic.
This prompted some of you to ask which posts hold the No. 1 and No. 2 ranking in popularity at this site since we started the thing. Here’s the answer:
The most popular post — with nearly 11,000 page views, and counting — is Andy Synn’s review of Deconstruction by The Devin Townsend Project. In fact, if you google “devin townsend deconstruction review” today, you’ll see Andy’s post as the No. 6 search result.
A few things about this are interesting. First, this piece only appeared less than seven months ago, so it’s built up quite a following in a relatively short amount of time. Second, it’s one of the longest posts we’ve ever published, but that hasn’t seemed to deter readers from checking it out (though, to be brutally honest, I have no good way of knowing how many people have actually read the whole thing). Third, the hits on Andy’s review continue to roll in. I remember there was a big surge shortly after the review appeared, because Devin Townsend posted about it on his Twitter feed and on Facebook, but even over the last 30 days it ranks No. 20 in terms of page views at NCS. And fourth, this tends to prove that not only does completely lame-ass bullshit drive traffic, quality drives traffic, too.
Ironically, although Deconstruction is one of the year’s best albums in the estimation of nearly all of us who write regularly for NCS, I haven’t yet seen it appear on a single “Best of 2011″ list published by the bigger blogs that cover metal.
Now, on to our second most popular post ever . . .