Apr 142021
 

 

Although there wasn’t much rhyme or reason to the musical parameters of Part 1 of today’s roundup, Part 2 is a little more coherent since it uniformly leans into black metal. However, to suggest that these four songs follow a consistent pattern would be wrong — each one sounds very different from the rest.

SPECTRAL LORE (Greece)

My first choice is “Φονικό Φως (Murderous Light)“, which surfaced as a digital single on Bandcamp yesterday. It was originally written for and released as part of Art Against Censorship, a compilation of 36 songs from Greek musicians to protest a law that was intended to target and silence radical political artists.

That comp was released in February of this year as a free download (here), and I managed to overlook it. It obviously includes a ton of music, and most of it is from bands whose names I don’t recognize, so one benefit of Spectral Lore‘s single will be to help draw attention to it. (I’m not surprised to see a Yovel song at the close of the comp.) Continue reading »

Apr 142021
 

 

I found time last night to rumble through a lot of new or newly discovered music, and enough time today to stitch together a two-part round-up. There’s not much rhyme or reason as to why I put these first four in Part 1, because the music is kind of all over the map. It would have been even more hard-to-classify if I’d included Mick Jagger‘s new jam with Dave Grohl, which I do like despite the silliness of the lyrics.

THE MONOLITH DEATHCULT (Netherlands)

Having finally listened to “Gone Sour, Doomed” and watched the video that accompanied it when it debuted in February, I’m even more befuddled about why it took me so long to do that. I can’t pretend to hold all the songs of The Monolith Deathcult in my head, despite how memorable many of them are, but I will still say that this new one is among the most exhilarating they’ve ever concocted. And the video is HIGHLY entertaining, and proof that the band’s renowned sense of humor is still alive and well. Continue reading »

Apr 102021
 

 

I made the choices for this large round-up after a long listening session on Wednesday, with the idea of writing it up and posting it the next day. But we had so many other things to post that day and Friday that I deferred. Of course, in the meantime a lot of other worthy new songs and videos surfaced, but I decided to just stick with these selections rather than go back to the drawing board, which would have taxed my already over-taxed brain.

I couldn’t really figure out a good way to organize these songs, though I think I picked most of them because they have a through-line of being unsettling and mind-bending, albeit in different ways. I did include a bit of a curveball at the end.

INFERNO (Czechia)

As I wrote here only a week ago, I was blown away by the first advance track from Inferno’s new album, Paradeigma (Phosphenes of Aphotic Eternity), which will be released by Debemur Morti Productions on May 7th. Given the prodigious power of this band’s previous output (which now encompasses a quarter-century of releases), I can’t say I was surprised, but I was still bowled over. And now it has happened again. Continue reading »

Apr 032021
 

 

I’m on a short vacation. First time away from the small community where I live in nine months. Along with a group of family and friends, we made the trip yesterday to an AirBnB on the water in a place called Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, Washington, in the Puget Sound. The photo above was one of the sunset views last night from the deck of this rental.

I had originally decided not to do any blogging this weekend, but I was awake this morning so much earlier than anyone else in the house that I started listening to a few new songs, and here I am blogging again. It’s just three new songs, so that’s a compromise of sorts.

I’m not sure if I’ll write a SHADES OF BLACK column for tomorrow. We’ll be headed home on Monday morning. Continue reading »

Apr 022021
 

 

No Clean Singing is helping to spread the word about Helsinki Death Fest, which is scheduled to kick off on-line today at 7:00 am PDT, 10:00 am EDT, 3:00 pm in the UK, and 4:00 pm CET. We will have a live stream right here on our site (see below) as soon as the show begins, and you can also find it streaming on Vimeo via this link.

Should you choose to partake (and you certainly should!), what you’ll see will be a combination of live and pre-recorded performances by a strong line-up of Finnish extreme metal bands (and two from other countries). The bands performing live (at Tiivistämö in Helsinki) are as follows:

Galvanizer
https://galvanizer.bandcamp.com/

God Disease
https://goddiseasofficial.bandcamp.com/

Cryptic Hatred
https://cryptichatred.bandcamp.com/releases

Azatoth
https://azatoth.bandcamp.com/releases

And here’s a list of the bands whose pre-recorded shows will be featured at the Fest: Continue reading »

Apr 012021
 

 

This round-up includes seven bands, which is a lot. But except for two, there’s just a single track per band (in the remaining cases there are EPs). I included a curveball at the end.

DORDEDUH (Romania)

Two days ago Dordeduh premiered a beautiful English-subtitled lyric video for “Descânt” (“Disenchantment”), the second single from their new second album Har, which will be released by Prophecy Productions on May 14th. The previously released single is “Desferecat“, which translates to “unchained”. It was accompanied by a fascinating music video of its own. Both songs have a visceral “physicality” but also quicken the imagination as you listen. Here’s what former NCS contributor KevinP wrote me about them: Continue reading »

Mar 272021
 

 

In yesterday’s round-up I burrowed deeply into the underground and surfaced with a collection of six songs that I thought were insane and unnerving in different ways. Today I’m on a different tack, leading off with some bigger names and then tunneling into underground depths again.

In addition, all of the following tracks were recommended to me by NCS colleagues and other friends. They didn’t let me down; hopefully you won’t feel let down either. There’s so much genre-spread here that you ought to find at least something that strikes a chord.

(I should mention that my friends didn’t just send me music. They also made me aware of the news that Meshuggah is recording a new album, and that it will feature the return of Fredrik Thordendal, trading places with Per Nilsson. They also passed along an announcement, accompanied by the photo of Peter Tägtgren above, that Hypocrisy’s new album has been completed.) Continue reading »

Mar 262021
 

 

Way back on the 17th of August, 2020, three NCS writers — (Andy Synn, DGR, and Islander) appeared as guest DJs at GIMME METAL, curating a two-hour on-line radio show in which we spun tracks of our own demented choosing, interspersed with our own pre-recorded banter, and also engaged in live on-line chats with listeners. And then we did it again on on October 28th. And now we’re on the verge of doing it a third time — on next Monday, March 29th, at noon Pacific Time, 3 p.m Eastern Time, and 8 or 9pm in Europe.

Yes, it’s true — the people in charge of lining up guest DJs at Gimme Metal asked us to do it again, once again putting us in the midst of a bunch of stellar musicians who normally handle the guest spots. We apparently haven’t provoked listener boycotts through our previous appearances, and maybe even a few people thought our music choices were cool. But whatever the reason, we’re once again happy as hell to be invited back, because once again we’ve had a ton of fun putting our playlist together and recording our incredibly meaningful and entertaining commentary, and we’re also again looking forward to chatting with people during the show. Continue reading »

Mar 262021
 

 

As you can see, I had enough time to pull together a round-up of new tracks and videos today. It’s the first time I’ve managed to do this during the work-week in ages, usually having to wait until Saturdays before I can pull it off. As I meandered among things I was interested in checking out, the following six items began to cluster together in my head. Other things I enjoyed didn’t fit in this cluster, so I’ll leave them for tomorrow.

What caused these songs to coalesce in my thinking is because all of them seemed made of madness. For sure, they do have their distinctive thrills, but in varying ways they’re almost all a fracturing of sanity in sound.

KHANDRA (Belarus)

The first song I’ve chosen is the first single from a new album by this black metal band from Belarus, whose past music we’ve gratefully premiered and reviewed on two previous occasions. The name of the song gives you fair warning about what’s coming:  “Irrigating Lethal Acres with Blood“. Continue reading »

Mar 202021
 


The last week didn’t work out as well as I’d hoped. The crunch at my day job eased up, but not as much as I wanted, and assorted other nuisances and diversions reared their ugly heads. So, some things I’d hope to accomplish at NCS besides the usual premieres fell by the wayside.

I also managed to fuck up my opportunity to catch up with new music today by (a) drinking heavily last night during a couple of Zoom get-togethers, and (b) sleeping for 10 hours. As a result of (a), (b) didn’t really leave me feeling rested — more like death warmed over instead. Maybe I’ll do more catching up later, but for now wanted to get a few things out there for your eyes and ears without further delay.

INSOMNIUM (Finland)

I confess that nostalgia led me to choose the first two songs and videos in this collection, both by Finnish bands that long ago played a role in leading me toward extreme metal, and along the way became very big names. But don’t worry, we’ll get into more underground sounds before we’re done today. Continue reading »