Oct 302021

I know I sound like a broken record, but this past week was a crazy one on all fronts for me, and so I did a piss-poor job keeping up with new metal, largely neglecting the NCS in-box and failing to make the usual list of candidates for round-ups. I did make that list this morning, but it took a ton of time, and I didn’t have much room left to dig very deep into it.

However, I dug deep enough to feel some inspiration about what to include in this compilation. I chose music from two Seattle bands that I happened to see in early live performance by both of them at the same show more than four years ago. I picked two more songs that came with Halloween-themed videos, because of course Halloween is tomorrow. And I chose a curveball to throw at the end.

I had a difficult time figuring out what to use as the opening song for the collection, but eventually settled on the one you’re about to witness, in part because of the video’s setting.

BESNA (Slovakia)

I guess Besna couldn’t find a barren warehouse for their live video for “Fúga“, so they had to make do with the ramparts of an ancient castle called Strečno in northern Slovakia, perched atop a 103-metre-high calcite cliff (it was also the location of a World War II battle between the German army and the Czechoslovak resistance). Continue reading »

Oct 202016

40 Watt Sun-Wider than the Sky


(Grant Skelton reviews the new album by the UK’s 40 Watt Sun.)

On October 14, 40 Watt Sun birthed an album that has proven difficult for me to review. Part of this is because the music on Wider Than The Sky is just about the complete opposite of what we cover here at No Clean Singing, though surely we’ve covered many bands that exclusively employ clean singing, as an exception to our “rule.”

But there are other reasons why reviewing Wider Than The Sky has been an atypical experience for me. In a recent interview with Sarah Kitteringham for Noisey (here), 40 Watt Sun’s Patrick Walker expressed his distaste with the band’s previous record label promoting them as “doom metal”. Continue reading »

Oct 052016



(Grant Skelton steps in for round-up duty today with a trio of features.)


Is it just me, or does every funeral doom band just hang out in cemeteries in the autumn? Their promo photos would lead one to that conclusion. But that’s fine by me, as I enjoy autumn, cemeteries, and funeral doom. And why not partake of all 3 together?

Enter Treurwilg from Tillburg, Netherlands. The band’s name is Dutch for “weeping willow.” Just listen to their new song “As His Final Light Is Fading” and you’ll see just how well that name fits the music. Continue reading »

Jul 262016

40 Watt Sun-Wider than the Sky


Yesterday I loaded up a Seen and Heard round-up with music from 9 bands I had discovered in a single morning, most of them of the more obscure variety. Today I’ve again decided to focus exclusively on things I discovered through a whirlwind tour of our in-box and Facebook this morning, but this time the bands have a higher profile than yesterday’s group. Of course, these things are relative; the odds are that none of the people you encounter today who aren’t already your friends will have heard of any of these bands. And of course that is their loss.


This first item him me like a bolt from the blue. Although I haven’t been regularly searching for news about 40 Watt Sun, I think in the recesses of my mind I just assumed we would never have another album by this particular project of Patrick Walker (ex-Warning) — but indeed we will, in less than three months’ time. Continue reading »

Jan 042012

This is Part 10 of our list of the most infectious extreme metal songs released this year. Each day until the list is finished, I’m posting two songs that made the cut. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the Introduction via this link. To see the selections that preceded this one, click the Category link on the right side of the page called MOST INFECTIOUS SONGS-2011.

The name of this site confuses occasional visitors who come across something we’ve posted about bands who feature nothing (or nearly nothing) but clean singing. This post will confuse such people. It may also cause some of our regular readers to growl angrily. But to be fair, we’ve said from the inception of NCS that there would be Exceptions to the Rule of no clean singing, and today’s two additions to the MOST INFECTIOUS list qualify. Besides, I’m just being honest — these two songs are among the most infectious I heard this year, even if the genres from which they come aren’t my usual bread and butter.


This band’s 2011 album The Inside Room has dominated year-end lists far and wide, including many that we’ve posted at NCS over the last month, including the No. 1 spot on Snagon’s list. Hell, it even showed up on the year-end list from “T” of Dragged Into Sunlight, in company with the likes of Autopsy, Craft, Leviathan, and Lifelover. “T” described it quite aptly in two words: “Beautiful. Isolated.”

I rarely listen to the style of melodic doom that pervades The Inside Room, and I’m not well-informed about stand-out albums in the genre, either this year or ever. On the other hand, I didn’t jump on the 40 Watt Sun bandwagon late in the day. Acting on impulse, I decided to listen to a promo copy of the album last April, although I had previously heard nothing about the band and had no idea who Patrick Walker (ex-Warning) or his bandmates Christian Leitch and William Spong were. Despite the vast distance between the music I heard and the territory of metal where I usually roam, I was overwhelmed by what I heard. Continue reading »

May 032011

This site is called NO CLEAN SINGING for a reason. It’s not just a gimmick. We really do prefer our metal with harsh vocals. In part, that’s because the music of bands who feature unclean vocals tends to be extreme in other ways we like, too. But we’re not completely dogmatic about the “no clean singing” thing — we do like some metal that mixes clean and unclean vocals (see Andy Synn’s review of Scar Symmetry’s latest album yesterday, for example), and on even more rare occasions, we enjoy metal that includes nothing but clean singing. We call that kind of music “Exceptions to the Rule”.

Today, we want to write briefly about two recent albums that fall into that category of exceptions — the debut album from UK doom lords 40 Watt Sun and the unusual (and amazing) second album from a French band called Arkan. We’ll get back to our usual, nasty fare in our next post.


We don’t claim to be experts in the genre of traditional doom metal. We try to provide variety in the music we cover at NCS, but doom is a category that we just don’t listen to very much, and as a result we’re fairly ignorant on the subject. In fact, we’re so ignorant that we knew nothing about this band and listened to a promo copy of their new album without any idea of what the music would sound like. If we’d known more about it in advance, we probably would have skipped over it. Ignorance can sometimes be a good thing, because we’re damned glad we discovered this band’s debut, The Inside Room. (more after the jump, including tracks to hear . . .) Continue reading »