Mar 262023

Here are the rest of the selections I made for this week’s column devoted to black and blackened metal. And because daylight is burning (or it would be if it weren’t hidden behind grey Pacific Northwest clouds, I’ll just get right to the music.

HYL (Italy/Poland)

To lead off I’ve chosen the video for “Endless Illusions“, the latest single from Hyl‘s debut EP, Where Emptiness Is All. I was drawn to it after reading that the band is a collaboration among vocalist Shadow (from Black Altar and Ofermod), guitarist/bassist Rick Costantino (from Schizo and Krigere Wolf), and drummer Krzysztof Klingbein (ex-Vader, Belphegor live). I was also intrigued by the label’s description of the music as “atmospheric black metal, which should appeal to fans of Ruins of Beverast, Vemod or Mgła“. Continue reading »

Mar 262023

Into Darkness – photo by Nicolette A. Radoi

As I began making my way through my list of new music I might want to recommend for this Sunday’s column I had one mental WOW! after another. Some actual exclamatory sounds might have escaped my mouth, but the headphones were clamped on too tight for me to tell. After realizing that I’d already found more than enough to occupy this installment I had to make myself stop listening, even with lots of things left to check out,

Maybe I didn’t stop soon enough. There’s a lot here — four advance tracks from forthcoming records, two complete EPs, and one complete albums. To make all this a little more accessiblke, I’ve divided the recommendations into two Parts. I hope you’ll find time to delve into all of it instead of feeling overwhelmed, and that you get a few WOW‘s yourself.


After experiencing the weirdness of time seeming to slow down during the depths of pandemic lockdowns, it now seems that it’s speeding ahead faster than ever. That includes the release of new music, which whizzes by so fast that it almost becomes a blur. That makes it easy to overlook things, and I confess that as a result I missed the release of a new Into Darkness EP about 10 days ago. It certainly wasn’t for lack of interest, since I’ve written enthusiastically about every release by this Italian band since their first demo in 2012. Continue reading »

Mar 252023

Demonaz – Photo by Leander Djønne

How long did I sleep last night? Hey, thanks for asking, it was 10 1/2 hours. You’d think I’d dug a mile-long ditch by myself before collapsing in exhaustion, but I did little more than sit on my ass and peck at a keyboard all day. It’s probably just a sign of how long I’d sleep every night if I didn’t have some binding commitment to keep early every morning (looking at you, NCS). I like sleeping.

Anyway, late start today, and therefore not as many picks in this roundup as I thought I’d have. I decided to pull in some bigger names, whose songs surfaced fairly early in the week, and then round things out with some hard-scrabble fighters from deeper underground.


Dark northern armies go to battle across the ice under blood-red skies in Immortal‘s blazing and bombastic new song “War Against All“. It’s a hot-blooded scorcher, packed with both brazen and febrile fretwork, berserker screaming, and rumbling thunder in the low end. If you’ve just hibernated for 10 1/2 hours it’s as welcome and as effective as a jolt of pitch-black caffeine. Continue reading »

Mar 242023

Ascended Dead – photo by Scott Kinkade

This is the second brief round-up of new songs and videos I’ve managed to assemble today, having unexpectedly found myself with time I didn’t think I’d have. Once again, as in the first installment, I’ve focused on three things that just surfaced overnight or this morning. With a bit of luck I’ll have a third installment finished before I have to pay attention to paying work. If that fails, there will be another roundup tomorrow.


To lead off this segment I have “Ungodly Death” (is there any other kind?), the maniacal first preview track from this California band’s new album Evenfall of the Apocalypse. Continue reading »

Mar 242023

Spirit Adrift, photo by Wombat Fire

No NCS premieres today. I had blocked out this day to fly to Texas for the day job, but that got canceled at the 11th hour, so here I am with unexpected time to entertain myself, and hopefully you too.

But wow, what a flood of new songs and videos there have been this week! And I’ve barely scratched the surface in checking them out. Under the circumstances, I’m going to try something new, since I have nothing else in the queue ready to publish today: roll out short round-ups one after the other until I run out of time. This is the first one, which focuses on things that just surfaced today. I’ll also have another roundup to share with you on Saturday, as usual.


I know, I know, what the hell am I am I doing leading off with a new Spirit Adrift song? We typically pay as much attention to trad heavy metal at this site as we do to quantum physics. But I’m not immune to the appeal of a band like this one, witness the fact that I even named a song from Curse of Conception to our list of 2017’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs, and gave a shout-out to their Forge Your Future EP in 2021 too. Continue reading »

Mar 242023

(Comrade Aleks had a very cordial conversation with one of the three Fernández brothers who make up the Epic Doom Metal band Samarithan, and we’re happy to share their discussion with you today.)

During the endless searches for perfect doom I’ve met Samarithan, a trio from the Basque Country consisting of three brothers: Alberto Fernández, Guillermo Fernández, and Carlos Fernández. They started their crusade in the name of epic doom metal not long ago: the trio released four singles one by one from 2020 to 2022 and it culminated with the debut full-length Tales of Doom released one year ago by Demons Records.

The album bears the bliss of Doom Gods and this noble and dedicated endeavour has a lot to offer to dedicated followers of the Doom Cult, even despite some obvious and unavoidable influences. These Tales of Doom are to be told by one of its masters – Carlos Fernández, so heed the call of Samarithan and let the Doom into your hearts. Continue reading »

Mar 232023

A bit more than a year after the release of their debut album Geist und Hexerei, and the release of a 7” EP in September 2022, the Hellvetic black metal duo Ernte are returning with a new album named Albsegen, and it confirms this band’s talents as formidable spellcasters. As forecast by Vendetta Records, which will release the record on April 7th, it “captures real world hate and frustration while calling back to a distant past with an invoking of old energies and spirits”.

This Swiss duo — V. Noir (guitars, bass, drums) and Witch N. (vocals, bass, violin) — have hit upon a formulation of black metal that’s atmospheric and immersive, creating nightside experiences of mysticism and old magic, but they also simultaneously give their songs visceral punch and mind-scarring intensity. Their music can be disorienting, depressive, unsettling, and even deranged, but it’s still very easy to fall prey to the music’s unearthly sorcery.

One song-and-video has already emerged into our consciousness, and today we present a second one, which give us a chance to see the performers doing their thing. Continue reading »

Mar 232023

Maze of Sothoth

(We have DGR to thank for the following trio of reviews, covering two records just released on March 17th and one that’s coming out on March 24th.)

As we draw closer to the end of March we find ourselves with a veritable bounty of music available to us, and while we do a commendable – cue rim shot here – job trying to keep up with the world of heavy metal, sometimes it’s fun to cast off the task of keeping up and just throw yourself into the river of discoveries as they wash over you.

That’s the case with the three groups here, as we travel to opposite coasts of the US after making a journey into Italy. The one big unifier is the constant death metal hammering, but hey, you’re on NoCleanSinging and that is one of our favorites to traffic in. Continue reading »

Mar 232023

(On March 10th Me Saco Un Ojo and Pulverised Records released the excellent debut album of the Costa Rican death metal band Astriferous, and soon afterward Comrade Aleks conducted the following interview with Astriferous members José Pablo Phillips and Felipe Tencio.)

Savage and fearless, Astriferous have spread truly cosmic horror in a form of death metal since 2018. They turned into a trio after minor line-up changes, two demo recordings, and an EP, The Lower Levels of Sentience (2020). Nowadays it consists of two original members, José María Arrea (drums) and Felipe Tencio (guitars, vocals), as well as José Pablo Phillips (bass, vocals), who joined the band later in 2020. One of the founders, Federico Gutiérrez (guitars, vocals), left it around the release of Astriferous’ full-length album Pulsations from the Black Orb.

That album was released little more than a week ago, but I bet that you remember both the album’s artwork and the songs’ insane pressure from an NCS Premiere. These men from Costa Rica know how to play with madness. Continue reading »

Mar 222023

The ever-interesting musical palette (and palate) of I, Voidhanger Records will become even more distinctively varied on April 7th when the label releases Siren To Blight, the debut album from the NY/NJ avant-garde death metal band Asystole.

The band features the talents of guitarist extraordinaire Pat Hawkins (Thaetas, Aberrated, Needlepusher, Kyrios) and bass virtuoso Kyle Linderman, as well as drummer James Applegate (Windfaerer, Replicant) and vocalist John Dunn IV (Abominism, Dark Waters End).

With a line-up like that, and knowing that they’ve drawn upon the disparate influences of such bands as Gorguts, Virus, Krallice, Cryptopsy, and Anata, you might venture a guess that the album is going to have its fair share of technical razzle-dazzle and a kind of head-spinning adventurousness in the song-writing, and that would be a good guess. But some other things you might not guess, and you’ll see what we mean when you listen to “Blanketed In Flies“, the album’s opening track that we’re premiering today. Continue reading »