Apr 282014

When I picked “NO CLEAN SINGING” as the name for this site, it was a reaction to the pollution of good metal with crappy clean vocals — a reaction produced by some specific events at a specific period of time. But it wasn’t a reaction to the likes of Judas Priest. They’re an exception to our Rule (one of many). And Priest are back with a new album and a new song, and they’re both named “Redeemer of Souls”.

Now don’t get me wrong: I still have a low tolerance for clean singing in metal, and I’m not one of those people who worship at the altar of seminal heavy metal bands like Priest, nor do I care very much for the waves of power metal bands that Priest inspired (it’s my least favorite genre of metal). But there are certain Priest classics that still fire me up (possibly for nostalgic reasons as much as anything else), and I do like the title song of the new album, even though Halford doesn’t hit those astonishing high notes he used to reach. It maketh me to hold the invisible oranges.

Redeemer of Souls is due for release in the US on July 15 and in the UK on July 14. Other release dates can be found here. Here’s the title track: Continue reading »

Apr 282014

(Andy Synn reviews the new album by Italy’s Hour of Penance.)

Allow me get this out of the way right now: Regicide is about as definitively an Hour Of Penance album as you could ask for. Everything’s present and correct  and firing on all cylinders – the uber-intense death riffs, the overwhelming, over-produced drum work, the raging vocal dissent – it’s all there and all utterly destructive. Whether that appeals to you will depend entirely on how much you’ve loved the band’s previous works, particularly Paradogma and Sedition.

Because let’s face it, the Italian extremists definitely subscribe to the philosophy of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Their sixth album packs in the same wealth of punishing riffage, bloody hooks, and concentrated venom that’s been their stock in trade for years now, rejecting any pressure to change or develop beyond their obsession with sheer sonic evisceration. Continue reading »

Apr 272014

Hey there motherfuckers, happy Sunday. I’ll be traveling all day today, which means the odds of me posting anything more than this one thing are slim. There’s a theme to this “playlist”. Can you guess what it is?

All of the songs I’m including here came my way via a message from my NCS comrade DGR. And he announced them this way: “Gross, guttural, disgusting, slamming…. All of these are upcoming 2014 releases except for the last one, which is already out and more brutal death feeling.”


This is the first track off the upcoming Idolatry Of The Unethical album that will be out in Spring 2014 through New Standard Elite (delicious cover art by Marco Hasmann). The band are from The Basque Country that straddles France and Spain. They’ve been around a long time. They’re still here because apparently a few mountain ranges are still standing and a handful of cities haven’t yet been leveled into dust. Continue reading »

Apr 262014

Here are a few things I spied over the last 24 hours that I thought were worth passing along. The last two items aren’t nearly as vicious as what normally tends to attract me, but they’re suiting my mood today.


I’m guilty of inconsistent impulses about metal, in the same way as many other fans of underground music. On the one hand, I get cynical and even pissed off when I see metal being spread around in the mainstream, a feeling that it’s being polluted by rubbing shoulders with the uninitiated. On the other hand, I also get a little thrill when I see metal being used in a way that exposes the music to new listeners in new settings. I can’t explain it.

But anyway, I got that little thrill when I saw the following video this morning. It’s a performance by a woman named Arora Leigh at the 2014 Atlantic Pole Championship competition on April 12 in Washington, DC. As musical accompaniment for her routine, she chose an edited version of the song “Poisoned By Prosperity” by Denver’s Vale of Pnath — a band we’ve repeatedly featured and praised at this site. Continue reading »

Apr 262014

Norway has been home to a very long list of groundbreaking metal bands, many of whom are sadly no longer with us. Arcturus are one of the survivors. Their roots go back to approximately 1990, and although their demise has been rumored more than once, they continue to forge ahead. As they have moved forward, they have evolved, transforming themselves through a persistent desire to experiment with the boundaries of metal, and with black metal in particular.

Their last release at this writing was a critically acclaimed 2006 DVD entitled Shipwrecked In Oslo, which captured the band’s 2005 live performance at the Sonic Solstice Fest in Oslo, Norway. The line-up for the performance consisted of Steinar “Sverd” Johnsen (keyboards), Jan Axel “Hellhammer” Blomberg (drums), Knut Magne Valle (guitar), Hugh “Skoll” Mingay (bass), Simen “ICS Vortex” Hestnæs (vocals), and Tore Moren (guitar).

Now, the Finnish label Blood Music has taken the soundboard recording of the concert and professionally re-edited and remastered the audio for release on CD and vinyl. Continue reading »

Apr 252014

Happy goddamned Friday to one and all. I have a few randomly selected items to share with you, as a way of greasing the skids for your slide into the weekend. Because I wouldn’t want anyone to get ass burn before the fun starts.


Let’s begin with a jet-fueled death/thrash romp.

Late last month I included some release info about the debut album (Consumed) by the UK’s Seprevation in one of these round-ups, despite the fact that I had no music from the album to share with you at that point. I mainly just liked the album cover. But today the band released an official video for a song named “Slave To the Grave”, and guess what? The music is as good as that album cover. Continue reading »

Apr 252014

Earlier this month Andy Synn reviewed the stunning new album by Germany’s Infestus for us (here). In his concluding paragraph, he wrote:

“The beautiful, unforgettable cover art embodies the album so well – this is music from the darkest depths of the human mind, a black, malignant tumour of pain and anguish which spreads its tendrils widely to encompass a host of dark emotions and warped musical influences, creating a truly immersive, unforgettable experience.”

Today we’re pleased to bring you a full album stream of The Reflecting Void, which has just become available via Debemur Morti for both listening and download on Bandcamp. In addition, the album can also now be ordered on CD at this location or on 12″ gatefold vinyl at this one. Continue reading »

Apr 252014

(TheMadIsraeli reviews the new 53-minute hell storm by Beneath from Reykjavik, Iceland.)

Unique Leader has just been hitting it out of the fucking park lately with tech death.  We premiered the first single from Beneath’s sophomore album The Barren Throne — “Chalice” — about a month back, a slab of utter blackness and crushing weight that harkened to bands like Suffocation, Hate, and Hate Eternal.  Now it’s time to review the full album itself, and I’ve come away thoroughly pleased and impressed.

The three names I dropped are pretty accurate suggestions of the sound that Beneath channels.  The riffs are razor-edged, reservedly technical in that Suffocation style of just enough but not too much, with the speed and majesty of Hate, and Hate Eternal’s sense of chaos and dissonance.  In a sense, Beneath deliver the ultimate 90’s-and-onward death metal sound.  It’s perfect in its execution. Continue reading »

Apr 252014

(In this 46th edition of The Synn Report, Andy Synn reviews the discography of Lecherous Nocturne.)

Recommended for fans of: Hour of Penance, Nile, Aborted

Lecherous Nocturne play Technical Death Metal – not Tech-Death. There’s a subtle, but important, difference there. Because this shit is brutal. With a capital B. And possibly a lot of other capital letters too.

The disgustingly violent quintet from South Carolina have three full-length albums under their belt, the last of which was only released last year. That’s three albums of stunningly technical riffage and sheer metallic mayhem, devastating drum work and bleeding-edge bedlam. Utterly merciless and unforgiving.

It’s an appropriate time to be covering the band too, as next month they’re joining Abigail Williams and Panzerfaust on a massive US tour sponsored by NCS. So if you like what you hear (and you will, if you know what’s good for you…) then make sure you catch them live in May/June! [the schedule is here] Continue reading »

Apr 242014

I’m about to leave my computer for the rest of the day, but before I go I thought I’d just paste the following announcement right here — because it’s Slayer.

Last night at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards held at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, SLAYER surprised the capacity crowd with an unannounced performance, kicking off the show with a three-song set that included the global premiere of “Implode,” the band’s first new studio recording in five years.

Recorded earlier this month at Henson Studios in Los Angeles and produced by Terry Date with co-producer Greg Fidelman, “Implode” is now available as a free download as a “thank you” to the band’s fans for their continued support. As SLAYER guitarist Kerry King put it, “You’ve done for us, now we want to do for you.” Registered members of SLAYER’s fan club were the first to receive an e-mail to hear the song before it was made public. “Implode” can now be downloaded by all fans at www.SLAYER.net.

Continue reading »