Jan 032016

Rearview Mirror


The first two albums by Sweden’s Dissection are among my all-time favorite metal albums. They proved to be enormously influential, and they have had enormous staying power. It’s about time that we featured them in one of these Sunday look-backs at past releases.

In April of 2011 we published a guest post by “Kazz” in which he identified some other bands that were contenders for the heirs to Dissection’s throne. It’s still a really good read, and I recommend it to you:

https://www.nocleansinging.com/2011/11/04/heirs-to-the-throne-dissection/ Continue reading »

Nov 042011

(The first two albums by Sweden’s Dissection are among my all-time favorite metal albums. So I was most interested in this guest post by a writer who goes by the name Kazz.  He identifies six bands who faithful Dissection fans should get to know.)

I remember hearing Dissection for the first time right after their debut LP, The Somberlain, dropped. This was back in the day before the internet was the primary tool for discovering metal, and for American fans of European metal the options were limited to blind purchases from import mail-order distros, or if you were lucky enough to live in a city with a good metal record store, you might have been able to get a recommendation from a knowledgeable clerk (remember those?).

The second wave of black metal was in full swing, but I was more tuned into the nascent Gothenburg melodic death metal scene. The NWOBHM-influenced twin lead-guitar harmonies over a death metal framework made these early melodic death releases fresh, rare, and worth import CD prices for anyone who loved both melody and brutality.

Some of those early In Flames and Dark Tranquillity records had a much more blackened vibe in the early days, particularly in their vocal delivery. But it wasn’t until I got my hands on The Somberlain that I really found anyone who very effectively merged melody with a black metal framework. Dissection made their name by infusing their black metal with a layer of melody which ensured that each song was memorable, together with strong musicianship and compelling lyrics and imagery. By keeping most of their NWOBHM-isms in the minor scale, they maintained a sense of darkness and foreboding over the blasting, thrashing framework of technically-proficient black metal. (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Jul 012011

Today we begin a new month with a long weekend. Though it’s awfully tempting to take a short break from blogging, we’re still OCD enough to continue forging ahead so’s we can keep our record intact (at least one new post every fucking day since we started this site). And we do have some things cooking for the three-day weekend that we hope will be fun.

But to kick off the new month and the long weekend in the right style, go past the jump and enjoy these bits of new metal awesomeness: First, a stage-view video of Poland’s Vader performing “Lead Us” at Death Feast Open Air 2011 in Germany on June 25. The video quality is good, the perspective is fun, and the sound is quality enough to be . . . crushing. Nuclear Blast is preparing to begin streaming the first song from Vader’s next album, Welcome To The Morbid Reich, beginning on July 15. We’ll remind you when that day arrives.

After that, enjoy the first song — “Clawmaster” — to be released from the next album by Finland’s Ghost Brigade. This song does include some clean singing, but it most definitely qualifies as an Exception to the Rule. It achieves a successful marriage of beastly power and sweeping, melancholy beauty. I’m on my sixth listen to the song as I type this. More listens lie ahead. Ghost Brigade’s third album, Until Fear No Longer Defines Us, will hit the streets on August 19 in Europe and on August 23 in NorthAm via Season of Mist.

Last, but not least, watch Dissection performing the song “Night’s Blood” in Stockholm (in 2006, I think). The video quality is excellent, the song is matchless, and the performance . . . to quote one of the comments on YouTube, “it’s so fucking epic, you can’t breathe anymore”. Credit to Andy Synn for this item.

In another hour or so, we’ll have our next edition of MORE 2011 SICKNESS, with a round-up of forthcoming albums projected for release in the months ahead. Until then, watch and listen to Vader, Ghost Brigade, and Dissection  . . . Continue reading »

Jun 242010

C.S. Lewis was a British scholar and author. He was born in Belfast and died on the day of John F. Kennedy’s assassination at the age of 64. He was a prolific essayist whose most profound works dealt with his Christian faith, though he is probably known most widely as the author of The Chronicles of Narnia.

He was an immensely thoughtful, extremely compassionate, constantly questioning man, and a writer of beautiful prose — and pretty decent fiction, too. If I were still a Christian, he would be one of my role models. But that’s probably because I think the world would be a gentler place if there were more doubt and less certitude in matters of religious faith. That way, we could get more of our fill of brutality from metal and less from the daily news. But what the fuck do I know? I’m just a part-time metal blogger and full-time half-wit.

In addition to The Chronicles of Narnia, Lewis also wrote a sci-fi/fantasy trilogy consisting of books called Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength. In part, they tell the story of human encounters with a race of immortal extraterrestrials called the eldila.

One of those aliens rebelled and was imprisoned on Earth (sound familiar?), which cut it off from the eldila on the other planets in our system. And for that reason, in the language of the eldila, Earth was called Thulcandra — the Silent Planet.

There’ s a point to this laborious background story, and the point concerns a German metal band also called Thulcandra, whose members are also involved with Obscura, Helfahrt, and Dark Fortress. Despite the C.S. Lewis connection,Thulcandra is not a Christian band — in fact, they play the kind of melodic black- and death-metal that calls forth the ghost of Dissection. Their story is an unusual one, and their debut album — Fallen Angel’s Dominion — is fucking awesome.  (more after the jump, including a track from that album . . .) Continue reading »

Nov 242009

[Editor’s Note: NO CLEAN SINGING was originally founded by three metalheads who go by the names of Islander, Alexis, and IntoTheDarkness. In this post, IntoTheDarkness tells you a little bit about himself, and below that, Alexis introduces herself. Islander hasn’t yet written anything about himself, other than what you can read into what he writes on this site — and this photo.]

Why is there such a separation within the metal scene? Why is it that if someone likes more than one distinct type of metal, he or she gets ridiculed? For example, if you’re someone who likes both death metal and deathcore, you are suddenly no longer a true metal fan. Continue reading »