Thanks for visiting No Clean Singing. Hope you won’t regret it.
This is a labor of love, sometimes a labor of lust. We could make money if we wanted to, probably enough to buy an extra shot or something oily and caffeinated the next morning, but we don’t advertise and we don’t take money from anyone else for anything. Life is already too cluttered.
We’ve been around since November 2009. When the site began, the name of it was serious. But as time has passed, my own tastes have broadened and other writers have joined us, and they’re even more open-minded than I am. Now, the name just confuses people, because sometimes we write about metal that includes actual singing instead of (or in addition to) growling, howling, and shrieking. But it’s kind of like if you named your kid Rufus. When she grows up, it confuses other people, but she is what she is and it might confuse people even more if you legally changed it.
So, we write about lots of music genres, 99% of it metal, and about 99% of that extreme metal. We call it like we see it, even when we’re cross-eyed. But we only write about music we like and want to recommend. If we don’t like something we just ignore it. If you’re looking for negative reviews, you’ll need to go elsewhere.
And that’s really all you need to know, though you can read a lot more below if you’re bored. Thanks again for visiting.
Here’s a more elaborate (i.e., verbose) explanation of what we’re about, who we are, what we try to do to for you — and what we want you to do for us.
First Principles (What We’re About — Or Used To Be About)
According to the Font of All Human Knowledge, “in philosophy, a first principle is a basic, foundational proposition or assumption that cannot be deduced from any other proposition or assumption.” Here are the “first principles” for this site that we wrote when the site started in 2009 — though as you’ll see, some things have changed around here since then:
- Almost all “popular” music sucks.
- Metal doesn’t suck, unless it’s metal with clean singing, which mostly does suck.
- Some metal with clean singing doesn’t suck, but that’s an exception to the rule.
- Some metal with no clean singing also sucks, but we don’t pay attention to that.
To elaborate (further): In our evolution as metal fans, the original founders of this site reached the point where we got upset when otherwise promising metal songs with good riffage and crushing drumwork were interrupted by an attack of clean crooning, particularly the breathy, whiny, upper-octave kind of excretions that used to characterize a lot of metalcore but still pops up in even the most unexpected places. If you know what we mean, then you’ve come to the right place.
So, this site is mainly about metal music, but not all metal music. What we mostly love and what we spend most of our time writing about is extreme metal, where harsh vocals tend to go hand in hand with harsh, aggressive, cathartic music. Purely instrumental metal, if done right, fits the NCS bill.
Within the realm of NCS Metal, we likes all kinds of shit. We like virtually all forms of death metal, black metal, grind, viking and folk metal, progressive metal, doom, deathcore (though less often as time has passed) – and hundreds of other sub-genres that would be too boring to catalogue at length. Your Authors have got their own individual preferences, but as a group we pretty much cover the waterfront of extremity.
Even from the beginning of this site, however, we’ve also liked some bands who punctuate their metal with clean singing (see First Principle No. 3 above). We can’t just cast out groups like Opeth, Amorphis, and Mastodon (to name just a few), can we?
And we write about topics other than extreme metal, too. More on that below.
Who We Are
The founders of this site — Islander, Alexis, and IntoTheDarkness — were three metalheads who live in the Seattle area. Over time, Alexis and IntoTheDarkness hung it up as writers for NCS. We still go to shows together, and still swap music, but the writing chores have fallen to a new cadre of scribes.
In addition to Islander, the regular writers are Andy Synn, who happens to be vocalist/lyricist for the UK metal bands Beyond Grace and Twilight’s Embrace and a resident of Nottingham, England; and DGR, who lives in Sacramento, California; TheMadIsraeli, a guitarist and denizen of Tennessee is one of our other long-standing writers, but isn’t quite as regular in his contributions these days. We also include contributions by a large and ever-changing group of guest writers and semi-regular writers.
What We Do For You
We do our best to add posts to this site every day, weekends and holidays included — and so far we’ve missed only about a dozen days since this thing started in November 2009. Some of these posts are regular features – premieres of songs and albums, round-ups of new songs and videos we want to recommend, reviews of albums, EPs, and splits, concert reviews, interviews, and random opinion pieces about the scene, among other things.
Every now and then (and with increasing frequency, given the tastes of the authors who replaced two of the founders), we write about Exceptions to the Rule (see First Principle No. 3).
One of our main objectives is to introduce you to music you might not have heard or even heard about — music that may be flying under the radar or from unsigned bands just getting their start. Compared to other U.S.-based metal blogs, we also spend more than the average amount of time writing about metal from outside the U.S. (and almost half of our audience is from outside the U.S., principally Canada, the UK, and Europe, but scattered among 100 other countries elsewhere).
Because I (Islander) live in the Seattle area, some of what’s on this site is geared to what’s happening in the Pacific Northwest, but most of the content isn’t limited in that way.
Here’s one thing that will be Seattle-focused: We publish a page called NW Metal Calendar, which will always be linked on the home page. On this page we collect in one place a listing of metal shows scheduled in Seattle, and sometimes elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest – bands, dates, and venues – and we update it as we learn about new shows.
One thing you’ll notice pretty quickly is that we don’t publish negative reviews, and we very rarely publish any other kind of writing that slags bands or their music — though sometimes we do make an exception for big-name egomaniacs who can’t keep their mouths shut. The reason we don’t publish negative reviews isn’t because we love everything. We just prefer to spend our time on music we can honestly recommend to you. The stuff we hear that we don’t dig we just pass on by without comment. And besides, extreme metal bands have a tough enough time without people like us shitting on them.
So, we try to keep the tone of the site positive — not gooey or stupid, just positive. And we expect people who comment here to be respectful of us and of each other — and about 99% of the time, it is. To be clear: Disagreement is to be expected; critical discussion is welcome; good humor is to be hoped for; toxic insults will get you banned.
What We Want You To Do For Us
One thing that sets metal apart from most other music is the sense of community. Let’s be honest: most people hate extreme metal and can’t begin to understand why anyone likes it. Fuck them. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. The fact that so many people form bands in this genre, record music, tour, and throw themselves body and soul into this scene despite the fact that the fan base is relatively tiny and there’s no money in it still blows our minds. To use a cliché, it’s us against the rest of the deluded, rapacious, ass-sucking world. Really.
We want to bring that sense of community to this site, and to do that we need to hear from you. We want your comments. We want to read what’s on your minds. And if you’ll speak up, we’ll respond. We always have, and we always will.
CONTACT INFO: firstname.lastname@example.org
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No Clean Singing does not intend to violate any copyright laws. If you are a copyright holder of any content we have posted on the site, or you represent such a copyright holder, and you object to our display of content, please email us and we will immediately remove the file in question.