Oct 082013

Ævangelist album art by Andrzej Masianis

“Music has charms to soothe a savage breast,” or so wrote William Congreve (not William Shakespeare) in his play The Mourning Bride (1697). This is in fact true of some music, but what charms your humble editor is music that’s savage rather than soothing. I have four recent examples of metal savagery for you, in the order in which I heard them this morning.


The new album by ÆvangelistOmen Ex Simulacra, will be released on November 29 by Debemur Morti. This is a later date than first reported. Based on the band’s previous output and the first two songs released for this album, it will be worth the wait. In July, we featured the first of those two advance tracks (“Abysscape”), and today Debemur Morti began streaming a second one — “Relinquished Destiny”.

This song takes no prisoners. It shoots the wounded in the head and then rips the corpses into small pieces before consuming them. It delivers an atmosphere of alien horror, and the corrosive distortion can’t disguise the experimental-sounding nature of the riffing and drum progressions, which make the song interesting as well as frightening. As icing on this maggot-ridden cake, death/doom descends at the finale. Continue reading »

Jul 312013

By coincidence, I heard new music from three bands last night, right in a row, that had a few things in common: The music is all superb, and it’s all black as hell. I don’t mean to say it’s all black metal, though some of it is. I mean to say that it’s all dark, heavy, and harrowing.


Little more than a week has passed since I reviewed Ævangelist’s lengthy (and brilliant) contribution to a forthcoming split that will be released in the coming months by Aurora Australis Records. I also mentioned that the band had finished recording a new album, Omen Ex Simulacra, that will be released later this year by Debemur Morti. And lo and behold, yesterday Debemur Morti gave us a precise release date — October 11 — and premiered a song from the album named “Abysscape”. [Update: we also now have a preview of the album art by Andrzej Masianis, which you can see above.]  Interestingly, “Abysscape” is the last song on the album, though it’s the first one being released.

It’s another long one, though in the music of Ævangelist, time is an important ally. “Abysscape” is a dense, bottomless, indigo whirlpool of doom, made for immersion. Immense grinding guitars match up with immense, horrific vocals and stunning drumwork. Alien keyboard melodies call out like the cries of homeless souls. The ravaging music alternately storms and drifts. You look into the void, and “Abysscape” is there, looking back at you. Continue reading »

Jul 222013

This past weekend I saw two pieces of news concerning the otherworldly black death entity known as Ævangelist, about whom we have written frequently. First, it appears the band have finished recording a new album, Omen Ex Simulacra, which will be released later this year by Debemur Morti. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Second, I saw that in the coming months an Australian label named Aurora Australis Records will be releasing an Ævangelist split with a Philadelphia black metal band named Esoterica . The artwork for it, created by Ralph Stewart, is displayed at the top of this post. Esoterica will be contributing three songs, including one on which MkM of Antaeus and Aosoth will be making a guest appearance. Ævangelist’s track is called “Omniquity”, and they posted it on YouTube yesterday.

It may only be one track, but that one track is the length of at least an EP: 22 minutes, 21 seconds. It’s a dense, harrowing, atmospheric piece, often violent and always unsettling. Yet for all its destructive power it exerts a strange hypnotic hold on the senses. Continue reading »

Jun 142013

This will be an unusual day for us. My fucking day job is going to keep me away from a computer all day and my comrades who write for the site are also otherwise occupied. So the odds are this post will be the only one we have for you today. Therefore, I’m going with something that will open up your abdomen and leave your guts in a steaming pile at your feet. Because that’s just the kind of friends we are.

Ævangelist’s 2012 debut album De Masticatione Mortuorum in Tumulis was stunning. On the scale of stunning things, it was right up there next to the seven-inch steel bolts fired into the foreheads of corn-fattened cattle who’ve reached optimal slaughter weight in a feedlot. No one knows about the emotional life of penned cattle, but as a normal un-penned human, I found that album both galvanizing and frightening.

I have friends who subject themselves to the risk of death on a weekly basis, but if you live a life less filled with the death wish, as I do, then you hunt for that special feeling of impending extinction in your music. Ævangelist grants your wish. And now they have something that’s both new and old, something that will efficiently turn you into rump roast, flank steak, standing rib, and brisket. Continue reading »

May 092013

I’m getting a late start on the day and didn’t write a post last night that would be ready to start things off this morning. I stopped at my favorite watering hole at the end of the work day and lions got me. I shouldn’t call my friends lions, but once I used the term “watering hole”, images of prey animals being mauled in the savannah immediately came to mind. I felt well and truly mauled by the time I fell into bed late last night.

While I recover from too much drink and smoke, I thought I’d give you something to gaze upon. This is a collection of recent artwork completed by various artists for forthcoming metal albums or merch. We’ve featured the work of most of these artists before, and I follow what they’re up to, because they kick ass, figuratively speaking of course. There will be new music accompanying some of the art, too.

The first piece, above, is by Japanese master Toshihiro Egawa. It’s something he did for a Russian band I’m pretty high on, 7 H.Target. They’ve now finished a second album, Psy Slam Damage, which is coming out May 16 via Coyote Records. But Egawa’s artwork isn’t for that album. It’s an illustration for the next album . . . 0.00 Apocalypse . . . which will feature vocals by Mirus (ex-Katalepsy) and will be released by Sevared Records sometime later this year. Mark Cooper has also created artwork for the album, and this post will include something by him, too. Continue reading »

Jan 312013

Welcome to the 22nd — and final — part of our my list of the year’s most infectious extreme metal songs. In each installment, I’ve been posting at least two songs that made the cut. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. To see the selections that preceded the six I’m announcing today, click here. And in the near future I’ll compile all the songs in a single post.

That’s right — six songs, because 666. Have you figured out yet that I’m really terrible at making choices among things I really like? Do you begin to understand why I don’t compile my own year-list of the best albums? I mean, shit, this thing has grown to 22 installments and the only reason I’m finally stopping is because the month of January is over today and even I realize that it’s getting out of hand.

But we’re going out in a blaze of glory — a blaze of death metal glory, with six songs representing six different flavors of the genre, beginning with who else but . . .


TheMadIsraeli reviewed this legendary band’s latest offering for us (here) and included this summing up: “Torture is the latest crusade in Cannibal Corpse’s tyrannical campaign to rule over everyone and everything with audio carnage so visceral that simply listening creates a serious risk of blood-vomiting convulsions.  But Torture?  Torture is officially the best album of the Corpsegrinder era yet.” Continue reading »

Nov 252012


(Our friend Utmu hath delivered this guest post, introducing us to a some great bands who share the same label.)

Hello all! I’m Utmu and I’m back with my second article for NCS this year—I’m on a roll! Anyway I was on From the Dust Returned recently and I came across Ævangelist; intrigued by the artwork and the band’s name, I decided to look into them. I also saw reviews for the bands Nar Mattaru and The Wakedead Gathering and I came to find out that they are all on the same label, I, Voidhanger Records.

The first part of I, Voidhanger’s manifesto reads, “Born in 2008 as an independent division of the Italian metal label AeternitasTenebrarumMusicaeFundamentum (ATMF), I, Voidhanger Records tolerates musical categorizations, but doesn’t like any kind of boundaries.” It goes on to say in the second part, “We are interested in black metal, death metal, avant-garde metal, progressive metal, doom metal, heavy rock, psychedelia, 70’s dark sounds, dark ambient and drone music, as long as they are the result of an obscure, unique, and uncompromising artistic vision.” That’s pretty accurate when comparing that to the bands they’ve signed. Continue reading »

Nov 212012

NO CLEAN SINGING is three years old today. We opened the doors on November 21, 2009, and we’ve posted something (or several somethings) every damned day since then. Of course, the fact that we’re still here after three years doesn’t mean we’re worth a shit, only that we haven’t given up.

Whether this birthday is a cause for celebration or for mourning, depending on your perspective, it does seem like a good time to do three things: Explain who we are (because we seem to have accumulated a lot of new readers in the last year); take note of some accomplishments; and offer a few words of thanks.


On birthdays it’s always nice to reflect upon your origins. This blog began as a protest against the kind of clean singing that was infiltrating metalcore music at the time (what temporarily happened to Bury Your Dead three years ago was the specific provocative incident). My two co-founders and I weren’t dead set against all metal with clean vocals — we announced from the beginning that there would be Exceptions to the Rule — we just found that the kind of extreme music we preferred usually didn’t include them.

Since then, we’ve expanded our horizons to include a much greater variety of metal, with more clean singing in the mix, though I’ve hung on to the site’s original name despite (or maybe because of) how confusing it may be to newcomers. My original co-founders fell by the wayside long ago, ultimately to be replaced by a cadre of regular writers and many irregular ones. Actually, to be brutally honest, we’re all pretty irregular. So’s the music. So, it’s a good fit. Continue reading »