Mar 192016

Ashcloud-Children of the Chainsaw


Last week was another one in which I noticed lots of new songs and videos but didn’t have time to round them up, in part because I was writing about a flood of new songs that we were premiering ourselves. So now I’m doing what I failed to do earlier — but because I waited, the round-up has become jumbo-sized. Consequently, I’ve kept my introductions to the music brief and haven’t taken the time to consistently add album art or links as I usually do. When I did something like this last weekend (except with even fewer words), I said I didn’t intend to make a habit of it. I still don’t.

For those who pay attention to such things, I also failed to post Part 3 of the Shades of Black series I began at the start of the week. But I will do that tomorrow. Now, presented in alphabetical order, here are new songs and videos from 17 bands.


On May 1, Xtreem Music will release the new album by Sweden’s Ashcloud. The album’s title tells you a lot of what you need to know about the music: Children of the Chainsaw. Here’s the title track — smoking, tree-felling, crusty Swedish death metal that’s awfully damned sweet. Continue reading »

Feb 262016



I woke up this morning to find a link to this song waiting for me on Facebook, and this note from DGR: “Obviously the most important thing to happen this week and partially why I’m alive. Grooves harder than your favorite nine string wielding plural name band of the week. Also sings better. Probably raps better too.”

We’ll probably lose a few readers because I’m posting this. But you have to understand that it’s almost obligatory that I do it, since more than one of us here at NCS have been writing about BabyMetal since 2011, back when they were not a lot more than a curiosity, back in the halcyon days when Phro made our site more deranged. Continue reading »

Jan 052015


I collected enough new pieces of music and news items over the last 24 hours to justify a two-part Monday round-up. This is Part 1. I guess everything in here violates the rule of our site, as reflected in its name.


Our Tokyo-based friend and former NCS contributor Phro spotted something new from the Japanese J-pop/metal sensation Babymetal. It’s a three-minute trailer that appeared this morning for a new song named “Road of Resistance” that features some surprise guests. Phro wrote about it for his regular gig at Rocket News 24, and I’m just going to quote a few of his words below (you should read his whole write-up at this location). Like Phro, I happen to be one of those people who have enjoyed what Babymetal are doing to spread the gospel of metal to the uninitiated.

Stop what you’re doing and get ready to lose your… ummm… stuff. Kawaii-meets-coffins idol group BABYMETAL just released a trailer for a new song featuring guitars by Herman Li and Sam Totem, the semi-legendary guitarists from DragonForce. The song is called “Road of Resistance” and our only complaint is that the trailer is too short…despite being over three minutes long.

Put your kitsune up and get ready to headbang…

Continue reading »

Mar 072014

Our fellow blogger Full Metal Attorney published a new post on his site today entitled, in intentional Buzzfeed-speak, “7 Metal Bands That Will Blow Your Mind”. He began it this way:

I’ve been reading about Babymetal since No Clean Singing first covered them two years ago. Now I’m starting to read about them everywhere, and it’s blowing the minds of regular people. Even my six-year-old son–who has grown up completely immersed in pop music and extreme metal–had a “WTF?” look on his face: “Why are those girls there?” You’re right, son, it doesn’t make any sense.

It hadn’t occurred to me that Babymetal would be so interesting to non-metalheads (outside of J-pop fans, anyway). So I started thinking: What else might blow the mind of a normal person? Metalheads, this list isn’t really for you: Share it with your friends.

And he then proceeded to provide a list — a list of bands who in very different ways have combined musical elements with “mainstream appeal” (my words) and elements more familiar to metalheads. The idea struck me as one that might generate some discussion here at NCS.

So, no, this isn’t yet another NCS post about Babymetal (because they’re even getting coverage from the likes of USA Today as well as currently holding down a spot on iTunes Top 10 Rock Albums chart in 7 countries — the US, UK, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Japan and Sweden). Those of you who think Babymetal are the greatest threat to our way of life since the fluoridation of water can relax. Continue reading »

Feb 262014

(Right here, right now, DGR reviews the just-released debut album by Japan’s Babymetal.)

I don’t like Japanese idol music and J-pop. It’s probably one of my least favorite things out there. We often like to sit on our high horses and jaw all day about how all pop music sounds the same, how there are formulas and the artists are becoming so increasingly transparent that you can practically see the marketing department that put them together pulling the strings. Yet, Japan has been doing this for years with their pop music — consistently forming girl groups around gimmicks and novelty, as well as teaming them together in some unholy mish-mash whether they actually get along or not, singing talent aside. They’ve gotten very good at constructing groups and finding formulas and then hammering them into the ground. It’s everything I’ve despised about pop music, cranked up to eleven and made so obvious that you can’t even act like you’re being lied to. You like it because of those reasons. You know what you’re getting into from the get-go most of the time.

So when Babymetal were initially revealed — a combination of pop idol music and heavy metal, like a mad, unholy experiment consisting of throwing darts at a board to come up with another talent group to manage and grind into the ground, as if the girls weren’t human — the eye-roll was tremendous. And when the song “Doki Doki Morning” came out, the groans grew even louder. Yet, over time the group have morphed into something entirely different from the way they began, something that I’m not quite sure the management knows how to handle. Continue reading »

Feb 112014

Culled here from the ever-flowing effluent of the interhole are four new ear- and eye-pleasing treats, with a bit of impressionistic verbiage. The songs have nothing in common, except my liking for them.


Mantar (above) are a new two-piece band, half German and half Turkish, whose debut album Death By Burning is scheduled for North American release by Svart Records on February 25. I previously wrote about one advance song, “Spit”. Today DECIBEL delivered the premiere of a music video for a second one, “White Nights”.

Men at work, wolves at work, strobes in the studio, shadows in the forest (and something else in the forest), amps and pines. The squeal of feedback, the squall of a fuzz-bombed guitar, riffs that open wounds, vocals that cauterize them, drum strikes that will bring you to your knees. Stripped-down and flesh-stripping, obliterating and head-nodding. Continue reading »

Jun 042013

Long-time NCS readers know that we have a weakness (in a totally non-pedophile way) for BABYMETAL, the three-member female group who made a name for themselves by fusing Japanese idol music and metal. This obsession began with former frequent visitor and occasional contributor Phro (who is based in the Tokyo area). Even though Phro is occupied with other pursuits and doesn’t show up around here very often, he still stays in touch, and this morning he fired off an e-mail alerting me to the premiere of a new BABYMETAL song and video: “Megitsune”

In fact, we have Phro’s own introduction to the video (which will be followed by some more Phro words and some of my own):

“Alright you sad sacks, sit down, shut the fuck up, and press play, because Baby Metal have a new song and video. It’s bombastic in all the right ways, slightly cheesy in all the best ways, and just barely cute enough to still be recognizable as Japan’s finest pop metal band.

“I won’t bother explaining it to you, because, seriously, there’s a fucking YouTube video right here. If you can’t press play because you’re at work, I forgive you, but otherwise this should be fucking your eardrums like a giant, zombie tyrannosaurus rex cock hungry for your ear cherry.” Continue reading »

Jan 132013

I sure as fuck didn’t see this coming. But thanks to Phro, I see it now, and so do you. And it turns out to be a nice coincidence, as I’ll explain.

In a nutshell, metal album artist Toshihiro Egawa has created t-shirt artwork for the Japanese Kawai Metal band BabyMetal. It is Phro, of course, who has periodically reminded NCS readers about the existence of BabyMetal ever since we first learned about them in October 2011. For those not in the know, BabyMetal are three cute girls (no pedo!) who play a perversely catchy mash-up of J-Pop/Idol music and metal. Over time, they seem to have been getting darker in their imagery and their outfits. But getting Toshihiro Egawa to create a shirt design is like a really giant leap forward into a death metal abyss.

Egawa is a 40-year old artist from Osaka who has become one of the world’s best known creators of album art and shirt designs for the more brutal end of the death metal and slam spectrum. To see just a partial list of bands for whom he has created artwork, go here. In fact (and here’s that coincidence), he created the thoroughly disgusting, gore-drenched cover for the forthcoming album by Devourment that’s the subject matter of a new lyric video which we featured in a post earlier today.

From Devourment to BabyMetal is what I’d call a very sharp turn on a very slick road. Continue reading »

Dec 312011

It’s nearly 11 p.m. on New Year’s Eve in Japan.

Phro has started drinking.  I can’t tell whether he’s already passed his limit or whether he needs to drink a shitload more.  He sent me these two videos.

You remember Babymetal, don’t you?  How could you forget.  I’ve been trying, but my psychotherapist says I need to work harder at it.  The new video is the same goddamn “Doki Doki Morning” song, but this time the Babymetal teeny boppers are dancing and throwing the goat.

The other video is from the same chick who did that PonPonPon video.  I’m ashamed I even know that. This is all Phro’s fault.

It’s not even 6 a.m. here in Seattle.  I now need to get fucked up fast, but 6 a.m. seems just a tad on the early side.  I’m screwed.

Believe me, there WILL be a palette cleanser soon . . . Continue reading »

Oct 312011

Baby metal: Is it a thing?

A couple days ago, I inflicted on your tender senses a music video from a Japanese JPop/idol/metal band called Babymetal. I’ve since learned that the song is called “Doki Doki Morning”, and that this band is an off-shoot of another Japanese idol band called Sakura Gakuin. The song appears on Sakura Gakuin’s 2010 album debut.

And now we have an official video report from our Japan-based correspondent Phro, providing his honest, thoughtful, critical reaction to Babymetal.

Also, is that a fucking great shirt Phro is wearing, or what?  Video after the jump. Continue reading »