Jun 172018


I’m well aware that a lot of black metal fans out there are hard to please when it comes to new releases. Some of them, yawning or rolling their eyes, find most current black metal bands too slavishly devoted to what has been done before, re-treading riffs and blasts and particular approaches to production rather than attempting or succeeding in creating music that sounds genuinely creative. Others, gnashing their teeth or choking on their own disgust, find a lot of bands unworthy of the name “black metal”, bastardizing the music to the point of fracturing it or acting the part of charlatans without true spirit or devotion.

I, on the other hand, find it very difficult to compile these Sunday posts because every week I have more to like than I have time to write about what I’ve enjoyed. I have this same problem in other genres of metal. Maybe my tastes are too catholic (small “c”), maybe I’m not sufficiently discerning or demanding. At least I can’t legitimately be accused of dishonesty — I truly like the music I recommend to you. And I try to provide variety in these posts because I’m well aware it won’t all appeal to everyone. If you make only one new discovery that you think is worth your time, then it will have been worth my time. And if not, there’s always next week…. Continue reading »

Jun 162018


I’m still grateful to my friend Andy, whose Waxing Lyrical series continues to relieve my compulsion to come up with something new to post here on Saturdays. And as you can see, I’m still not completely free of the compulsion. I’ve also now abandoned the goal of this week-long series of Quick Hits as a vehicle for catching up on new music from the last two weeks. For the third day in a row, I’ve again been diverted by late-breaking releases: Everything collected here appeared yesterday or the day before.


Last fall Germany’s The Spirit self-released an enormously impressive debut album entitled Sounds From the Vortex. In April, Nuclear Blast announced that they had signed the band, and yesterday revealed that they would be re-issuing Sounds From the Vortex on August 10th in CD, LP, and digital editions (with new cover art). To celebrate the occasion, Nuclear Blast released a lyric video for an album track named “The Clouds of Damnation“, which happens to be my favorite track from that record. And so, although many of you are no doubt familiar with the music through that previous self-release, I wanted to start today’s round-up with that new video. Continue reading »

Jun 162018


(Andy Synn brings us another edition of this series devoted to metal lyrics, and his guest this week is Josh Thieler of Pittsburgh-based Slaves BC.)

I hope you’ve all been enjoying this series of columns so far. I certainly have, and it seems like a lot of the writers/vocalists I’ve spoken to have too, and have really appreciated the chance to talk about this particular part of their work.

Today’s edition comes courtesy of Josh Thieler of Slaves BC, who provides us with an insight into his past, his process, and the roles which both faith and suffering have played in his development as a writer (and as a person). Continue reading »

Jun 152018


(Andy Synn offered the following thoughts about his conception of our mission here, plus recommendations of three new albums.)

Why are we here? That’s the big question which has been playing on my mind for a while now.

Not in the philosophical or religious sense though, more the very concrete, very real question of why are WE, the people who make up NoCleanSinging, actually here? What is our purpose? What are we trying to achieve? Continue reading »

Jun 152018


Once again, my plan for this week-long series has failed. Rather than catching up on new music from the last two weeks, I’ve instead been diverted by late-breaking releases. Moreover, rather than two new songs by only two bands, this collection includes music from three groups, beginning with a complete EP.


I discovered this EP yesterday thanks to a recommendation from occasional NCS contributor Conchobar, about a half hour before seeing a Bandcamp alert for the EP from Pest Productions in our e-mail. Conchobar characterized it as “very ‘post-black’ but in a very non-cliched way”. Continue reading »

Jun 152018


What could be more heart-warming than an album devoted to dogs, made by a band named for dogs? After all, canines are man’s best and most devoted friends, aren’t they?

Well, you’d better fucking think again. The hounds summoned by these musical tales aren’t your loyal friends — they’re emblems of death. They range from Cerberus at the gates of Hades to the dog-headed Anubis, lord of the Egyptian underworld, from Conan Doyle’s Hound of the Baskervilles to the baying creature in one of Lovecraft’s first stories in the Cthulhu mythos. If there’s a warm heart in this music, it’s the one these tracks want to tear from your chest, still beating. Continue reading »

Jun 142018


As promised earlier, I’m trying to make up for failing to post one of these Quick Hit features yesterday by posting two today. On the other hand, this second of today’s small round=ups isn’t really accomplishing the goal of catching up on music from the past couple of weeks that I wanted to recommend — because late-breaking developments have intervened.


In last Sunday’s SHADES OF BLACK column I trumpeted the news that Funeral Mist had sprung a surprise by announcing that a new album would be released on June 15th, more than nine years after the last one. I doubted that any music would become available for streaming until the album’s release, given the short time between the revelation of the news and the album’s release, and that proved to be true. But there was one further surprise: The album was released a day earlier than scheduled. In other words, it’s out now. Continue reading »

Jun 142018


In the space of only three songs the Canadian quintet Tyrant provide a skull-cracking, blood-rushing, brain-twisting experience on their new EP, The Existential Reversal. Amalgamating aspects of melodic death metal, thrash, and groove, the band have created tracks that are physically arresting and exotic, both brutish and technically nimble, loaded with juicy riffs and solos, and fueled with furious energy. And to make the results even more impressive, the EP is a DIY production — and one that succeeds in delivering explosive sonic power.

The EP will be released tomorrow (June 15th), but we have a full stream of all three songs from the EP for you to enjoy today. Continue reading »

Jun 142018


As explained previously, I’ve been trying to catch up on a lot of new songs that appeared over the last couple of weeks when I wasn’t able to write about due to an assortment of distractions from my NCS duties. In lieu of the usual longer SEEN AND HEARD round-ups, I’ve been posting shorter two-track collections, with the goal of doing them on a daily basis. Yesterday I missed the mark because I had three premieres to write. To make up for that, I’ll post two of these Quick Hits installments today.


On June 1, Bardo Methodology published an interview with the man behind Finland’s Devouring Star, which began as a solo project but now includes a drummer — who is an eye-popping talent in his own right, as you will hear.

Like almost every interview I’ve encountered through Bardo Methodology, this one is very interesting and informative on subjects that go well beyond the composition and performance of extreme music. Accompanying the interview was the exclusive premiere of a track from Devouring Star’s new album, The Arteries of Heresy, and as of yesterday the song has become available for direct streaming on Bandcamp, which reminded me that I hadn’t yet mentioned the song here. Continue reading »

Jun 132018


We greeted this opportunity to reveal the artwork of Paolo Girardi with open arms, since we’re such slobbering fans of what he does, and the piece you’re now gazing at really is stunning. But when we learned that his creation was paired with music as good as the song you’re about to hear — and the performance of which you’ll see in a music video — it became an even more exciting occasion.

What we have for you today, in addition to that memorable painting, is a video for the title track to Shadow Dies In Morning Light, the forthcoming second album by the doom band RIPIS from Austin, Texas. The album will be independently released on June 22nd — and we’ll also reveal how you can get it on vinyl beginning today. Continue reading »