Aug 262017

 

I’ve been in this situation more than once, and maybe you have too: I’m hanging out listening to music with people who don’t have much interest in metal and don’t know much about it (though everyone seems to have heard of Metallica), but they’re trying to be polite, so they ask if you’d like to pick something for everyone to listen to, in between whatever they’re playing.

I was in this situation last weekend, which is why I’m thinking about it. It wasn’t the first time, it won’t be the last. I don’t always come up with the same answers. It’s usually whatever pops into my head first. But either consciously or subconsciously, I’m usually thinking about catchy riffs, infectious rhythms, and melodies that people can latch onto fast. It’s usually tempting to steer clear of harsh vocals, but sometimes I just don’t give a fuck about that. Depends on the company I’m keeping and my own mood.

Jul 072014

Collected here are assorted news items and new music that I like to share, beginning with breaking news about… US!

HOLD FAST! GRINDVIOLENCE COMPILATION

A year and a half ago we launched NO CLEAN SINGING’s very own Bandcamp page and released our first compilation of music in cooperation with Grind To Death. The title was The Only Good Tory and it featured 46 tracks  from 46 UK bands on the cutting edge of grind, powerviolence, harsh crust, and fast core. Actually, I don’t know why I’m writing in the past tense because that compilation is STILL available on Bandcamp and it’s still free.

And now, a year and a half later, we’re about to do it again. Once again, the lion’s share of the work has been done by Alex Layzell, the man behind Grind To Death and Kydoimas Records — whose releases can be found here. This new compilation is entitled HOLD FAST! and features artwork by Mark Rennie, which you can gaze upon at the top of this post. It includes 20 tracks by 20 kickass bands.

The compilation will become available for FREE download tomorrow on our Bandcamp page, and it will come with a downloadable zine that in itself is a work of art (more details about that tomorrow). Later, the comp will become available on tape with the zine included in hard-copy form.  Here’s the track list:

Jun 062014

As a general rule, when I put together these “Seen and Heard” collections of new music I write about what I like (of course) and I also try to spotlight music from bands who are often overlooked by other metal sites. This particular collection is a departure from the norm. First of all, In Flames, Mastodon, and Opeth are among the biggest names in metal. Over the last week, each of them has premiered a new song from a forthcoming album, and the odds are high that you’ve already heard the music — because every metal site in creation has been spreading the word about them. Second, I have mixed feelings about the music. So what I’m really doing with this collection is trying to satisfy my own curiosity about what our readers think about this new material — which means I want your comments!

IN FLAMES

The new In Flames album Siren Charms will be released on September 15. The first advance track from the album, “Rusted Nail”, is now available to European Spotify users (here), and it has also started appearing illicitly on YouTube. So of course I listened to it. I ought to repeat that this band were one of my gateways into the more extreme genres of heavy music. For that I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for them. In addition, unlike many hidebound fans who haven’t liked anything In Flames have recorded since Clayman (or even before), I remained enthusiastic all the way through Come Clarity. But even with that said, “Rusted Nail” is failing to make much of a mark.

Apr 122014

This has been one of those weeks where my blog time was severely constricted by both personal and job-related demands. You might have guessed that, based on the complete absence of any “seen and heard” posts since Monday. I didn’t have time to do much more than quickly scan through the interhole each day looking for new song and video premieres and make lists of what I’d like to hear and see when time would permit. This morning, I finally crawled through that list, and found a shitload of new things I really liked.

Because I’m behind, and because I don’t want to fall further behind, I’m taking the wimp’s way out in this post. I’m just going to stitch together a bunch of recommended song and video streams (11 of them) with almost no commentary. It’s a stream dump, and I will bet money you’ll find something to like, almost regardless of your tastes. It’s spring, and metal is in bloom.

Salted within this list are a couple of news items that perked my interest, even though there’s nothing available to hear… yet.

I present this box of chocolates in alphabetical order. There will be another similar collection either later today or tomorrow. Tell me what you like. Leave comments!

Sep 062013

(Here’s the third and final part of Andy Synn’s review of 2013’s edition of the SUMMER BREEZE festival in Germany. Part 1 is here, and Part 2 is here. Once again, Andy provides video that he filmed at the performances.)

The third, and final, day of the festival was a funny one. It seemed (at the time) that this was going to be the day when I only saw a few bands – particularly as I had a long gap planned at one point to do some shopping and eating and such. But, now that I look back on it, I see that I actually watched a good seven full sets, most of them pretty long, five of them from bands I absolutely adore. So, all in all, actually a very, very good day.

 

Oddly enough the first band of the day was to be Portugese goth-metal masters Moonspell, a band I’m not really a fan of, per se, but whose stellar performance at Inferno earlier this year definitely made me want to check them out again.

Consummate showmen, with an enviable brace of infectious songs and killer riffs, the group managed to turn a brightly-lit early afternoon slot into something of a gothic mecca, their passionate performance crafting a clear and well-received connection with the crowd before them.

We were also treated to one of those wonderful “festival moments” when current Tristania singer singer Mariangela Demurtas came out to add her vocals to a fantastic run-through of “Raven Claws” (although her awkwardly sexy dancing and casual clothes felt oddly at odds with the song’s darkly seductive vibe).

May 302013

There are dozens of especially happy In Flames fans out in the world today. The band have just released an official video for their song “Ropes”, which appears on the album Sounds of A Playground Fading, and all parts of it are excerpts from fan-made videos.

In Flames started the project near the beginning of this year with a call for fan videos, whether live footage, home videos, tribute-band performances, playthroughs, or anything else related to In Flames. They apparently received hundreds of clips from all over the globe, and then Erik Engstrand edited all those submissions into the video you’re about to see.

I really enjoyed watching it. It includes a cool reappearing, sepia-toned montage of the fan clips, and then the fan-made excerpts themselves, of course. Watch it after the jump.

Aug 202012

In Flames was my gateway into the more extreme forms of metal, and although they have slowly morphed into a band that straddles the divide between hard rock and metal, they still occupy a special place in my black heart. They were one of the headliners at the ginormous Wacken Open Air festival in Germany earlier this month, and ZDFkultur (the digital TV channel of a public-service German television broadcaster called ZDF) provided a live stream, which I wasn’t able to see.

Fortunately, ZDFkultur has provided a video recording of the In Flames performance online at this location, and I’ve also found a YouTube embed of the same recording. It’s a helluva spectacle, and the stage set for the first song (“Cloud Connected”) is extremely cool. The lighting and other visual effects and the multi-camera angles all through the show are top-flight, too. It includes the following songs, as well as two band interviews.

Jester’s Door (intro)
Cloud Connected
Where the Dead Ships Dwell
Only for the Weak
Reroute To Remain
Delight and Angers
The Quiet Place
Fear Is the Weakness
Alas
The Mirror’s truth
System
Deliver Us
Take This Life

The player at the ZDFkultur site includes an index that allows you to advance quickly to any song in the set. The YouTube embed of the concert is right after the jump.

Jul 272012

I watched some of the opening ceremonies from London. Some of it was cool, like the cascade of lights falling from those big gold rings in the sky. But I gave up not long after Mr. Bean accompanied the orchestra on the theme song from Chariots of Fire.

I decided if I was going to watch spectacle, with big throngs of people, lots of lights, and explosions of sound, I should at least watch something with good fuckin’ music going on. So I watched these instead:
 

Jun 292012

Yes, I’m still trying out titles for these posts in which I collect metal news, new videos, and new music that I’ve seen recently. I mean no disrespect to any of the bands featured in this post. In my lexicon, “riff-raff” is a compliment, plus I really wanted some alliteration; otherwise I probably would have called this “Rounding Up the Motherfuckers”.

Yesterday I saw and heard a lot of things worth passing on, so I’m dividing this collection into two parts, with the second part to follow a little later this morning. In this Part 1 are observations involving new albums from two excellent bands —Results by Murder Construct and Cold of Ages by Ash Borer — plus a recent live performance by In Mourning caught on film, plus a from-the-horse’s-mouth report on a potential Mastodon collaboration with Opeth’s Mikael Åkerfeldt and In Flames’ Björn Gelotte.

MURDER CONSTRUCT

This band is a super-group of sorts, featuring Cattle Decapitation’s Travis Ryan on vocals, Exhumed/Phobia/Impaled’s Leon del Muerte on guitar and vocals, Intronaut/Uphill Battle’s Danny Walker on drums, Bad Acid Trip’s Caleb Schneider on bass, and Fetus Eaters/Watch Me Burn’s Kevin Fetus also on guitar. The name of their game is death-grind, and I fuckin’ loved their 2010 self-titled debut (described here).

May 302012

Phro has obviously been spending way too much fucking time on his own blog or I would have found out about this movie from him instead of having to read about it on Skeletonwitch’s FB page.

Just when you think zombie filmography has become so saturated that there’s nothing new to say about zombies, we get Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead. Leave it to the Japanese to take a tired old cinematic trope and breathe new life into the shit. I mean, don’t get me wrong: I like a crap zombie movie as much as the next dude, but they get kinda boring after a while — even when real life starts imitating art. But there’s a difference between a crap zombie movie and a craptastic movie with shit zombies and hot, gun-toting Japanese chicks wearing schoolgirl uniforms, which seems to be required dress for all hot Japanese chicks.

Zombie Ass, which premiered at a film festival in Austin, Texas (?!?) last fall and had its Japanese premiere in February 2012, was made by renowned Japanese director and legendary ass-fetishist Noboru Iguchi. It seems to involve poop-covered zombies crawling from outhouses, mutant intestinal parasites, and a lot of potent farting. Sounds awesome, no?

The odds of me seeing this movie are zero, but the “international” trailer for the film — complete with garbled English voiceover and titles — is fucking hysterical.  Okay, to be more precise, it’s hysterical if you have a really juvenile, scatalogical sense of humor like I do, and I’m pretty sure you DO have that kind of sense of humor, or why else would you be wasting your time at this site?

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