May 162014

Here are a couple of North American tours announced this morning that I thought were worth spreading around. The music in the two tours lies on divergent ends of the metal spectrum, but both shows should be excellent.


This death metal blockbuster is co-headlined by Suffocation and Kataklysm, with Suffocation closing the shows on the US dates and Kataklysm playing the final sets in the Canadian shows. Accompanying those two heavyweight acts on this tour will be Jungle Rot, Pyrexia, and Internal Bleeding.

As the poster up there indicates, the tour schedule hasn’t been announced yet.

Now, changing gears…

Jan 142014

(NCS writer TheMadIsraeli would like your assistance in helping him decide what to write about.)

So I’ve been thinking about who to do for the next Higher Criticism series and it’s been rather difficult.  I’ve decided to poll all of you for your opinions, based on the bands I’m considering, since the series seems to be rather well-liked and I’m curious to see what results I get.

The bands in the running for consideration are…

Old Man’s Child

Pain of Salvation



Of course, I also want other suggestions if you can think of any.  If you’re interested in doing that, there are specific criteria I have in mind to make this legitimately interesting.  The requirements for a Higher Criticism series are as follows…

Dec 102013

(photos in this post are by the uber-talented Tim Flach)

I’ve returned from my vacation, which was better than I deserved, and I will soon be doing my part to contribute to the site on a more regular basis again. Given the quality and diversity of the guest posts while I was gone, this will undoubtedly come as a let-down to many readers. And that brings me to the first subject of this post…


That’s a figure of speech, because I have more than one word: I want to send out a huge thank-you to all of the people who sent in guest posts in response to my request for help before leaving on vacation. I have posted every single one that I received — 25 in all, so far – with the final one coming later today. I thoroughly enjoyed reading all of them, and based on the traffic stats for the site, it’s apparent that our readers did, too.

Honestly, I could get used to having other people do my work for me. If any of you guest writers who submitted posts feel like doing more, don’t wait for another invitation. You know how to reach me. And for those of you who may have mused about doing it, but didn’t — muse harder. And then start writing. Check the “Contact” page if you’ve lost my e-mail address.

Oct 112013

You already know what we think of Serpents Unleashed, the new album from Skeletonwitch that’s due for release on October 29 by Prosthetic — and if you don’t, check out BadWolf’s review here.

Now you can hear the title track, because it’s just been released for streaming. Go past the jump, and there it will be, waiting for you, with teeth bared and claws open.

Aug 192013

Sometimes I overthink things. I just watched Revocation’s brand new official video for “Invidious” (from their new self-titled album). I had fun watching it, not only because the song is excellent but also because it captures the energy of the band performing live in front of an enthusiastic stage-diving Boston crowd. I hope we get half as good a crowd during Revocation’s set at the SUMMER SLAUGHTER tour stop in Seattle this afternoon (and tonight), because that’s where I’ll be.

But while I watched the video I was also thinking about how much work it took to make this thing. Like, how did they get all these camera shots with the crowd going nuts everywhere? And how did they edit them together so effectively? And how did they sync the hundreds of video segments so well with the album track?

Somebody did some fuckin’ A-grade work on the video. When I find out who, I’ll stick their names in here. For now, watch this:

Aug 142013

What you’re looking at is a candid photo of your humble editor taken as the sun rose this morning over my current location.  I fell in with a bad crowd last night.  They made me stay up really late and forced all manner of intoxicants into me.  I told them nothing.

Rather than seek hospital care after I escaped my captors, I had to be at a secret location  early this morning where I was expected to engage in the work for which I’m paid.  I am now doing things that resemble work, but actually consist of me writing this brief note to you.

The one thing I’ve been unable to do, either last night or this morning, is write a post for NCS.  Later in the day, I plan to do that.  For now, I must return to the task of appearing to work and moaning softly.  Adios.

Mar 192013

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.

Jan 112013

(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.

Aug 162012

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.

Jul 082012

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.

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