Jan 142022

(After some time away, Grant Skelton returns to NCS with this review of the long-awaited new album by Portland-based Dolven)

Greetings, fellow NCS readers! While it has been some time since I’ve contributed any content to our beloved site, I remain a faithful visitor. I know that the last 2 years have been particularly dreadful for us all. It is my sincere hope that all of you maintain the wellness of mind, body, and spirit. With that in mind, I am pleased to present you with this review of The Tyranny of Time by Dolven. Though the album was released in December, I didn’t want it to get buried in the year-end Listmania morass. Thanks to Dolven guitarist/vocalist Nick Wusz for agreeing to a later review.

I (briefly) covered the first album by these melancholic minstrels all the way back in 2015. I’m an ardent devotee of folk music. And that passion seems to deepen as I grow older. Acoustic instrumentation brings with it an air of remembrance. Even the term “folk” carries connotations of history, mythology, culture, and traditions. Folk music isn’t something that’s performed for you. It isn’t something that you just listen to. Rather, folk music invites you to participate in the formation of a narrative. This is the realm where Dolven dwells. Continue reading »

Jan 032019


(We present a 2018 year-end list by NCS contributor Grant Skelton, which consists of 15 miserable, mutilating, and mesmerizing titles, not all of which are metal.)

Salutations fellow metalheads! My choices this year were a bit more of a mixed bag than in previous years. Per our usual MO here at No Clean Singing, I tried to focus on bands whose albums seemed to slip into the proverbial cracks. I hope you find something you like here, and by all means leave me recommendations in the comments. Continue reading »

Nov 202018


(Grant Skelton reviews the new album, released on Halloween, by the Mexican funeral doom band Abyssal.)

Way back in April, I reviewed a compilation album by the Mexican funeral room band Abyssal. Fernando Ruiz, the band’s vocalist, gave me the privilege of teasing Abyssal’s next release. At the time, the band provided the title Misanthrope, with a tentative release date of late summer. Although delayed until Halloween, Misanthrope has (thankfully) arrived. Continue reading »

Oct 192018


(These are Grant Skelton‘s thoughts about the remarkable new album by the Seattle-based funeral doom band Un, which is out now via Translation Loss Records, along with thoughts by vocalist/guitarist Monte Mccleery.)

In Thus Spake Zarathustra, Friedrich Nietzsche wrote:

“What have we in common with the rose-bud, which trembleth because a drop of dew hath formed upon it?”

A rose is a floral archetype. For centuries it’s been associated with romance, youth, and sensuality. Furthermore, it represents a paradox — a juxtaposition of beauty and pain. A rose is beautiful to behold with the eye, but painful to hold with the hand. In Nietzsche’s metaphor, the rose trembles. It trembles because it has been acted upon by precipitation. By the vicissitudes of nature. By the weight of something it needs to survive. While precipitation is a source of nourishment, an excess of it can be fatal to the rose. Continue reading »

Jul 092018


(Grant Skelton wrote the following review as an introduction to our premiere of the new two song EP by the blackened death metal band Cryptic Hymn from Louisville, Kentucky.)

Kentucky’s Cryptic Hymn have been known to lurk about the shadowed corridors of No Clean Singing. In 2015, I had the pleasure of reviewing their amazing debut EP Gateways. Now, we are pleased to present their latest bastardized offering, The Vast Unknowing.

Cryptic Hymn christen us first with “Wretched Stimulation,” a title which yields a truly revolting visual in my reprobate imagination. This song is a blistered and ashen frolic that should glut any devotee of death metal. While offering plenty of speed, the track shows that Cryptic Hymn are not the least bit afraid of tempo changes. I could say you’ll find the track stuck in your head, but more than likely it will find its way into your veins. Continue reading »

Jun 202018


(Grant Skelton provides this review of a collaborative live recording by the Chicago doom band Disrotted and the Japanese harsh noise artist Guilty C, and introduces our premiere of a full stream of the sounds.)

In 2015, Disrotted contributed a gargantuan grotesquerie of a track for a split with Japanese powerviolence veterans Su19b. The track, entitled “Infernal Torment,” is nearly half an hour of droning, staggering madness. The song is a stroke of subversive genius, further compounded by the fact that Disrotted enlisted the help of Japanese noise artist Guilty C to collaborate on it. Continue reading »

May 042018


(Yesterday we posted Grant Skelton’s very interesting review of the unusual debut album by Death. Void. Terror. (brought forth last month by Iron Bonehead Productions), and today we’re following that with his e-mail interview of this mysterious entity, which is also… interesting.)


How was Death. Void. Terror. conceived? Whether musical or otherwise, what are some of the inspirations behind the music?

Death. Void. Terror. is an entity conceived for a single purpose: to serve as a vessel for the Great Monolith, a true sole true finality that we as practitioners are subservient to. There are no other inspirations, musical or otherwise. When I say we are vessels for the Great Monolith, I mean that we convey what is bestowed upon us by it and express this unconsciously through our recordings. Continue reading »

May 032018


(In this post Grant Skelton reviews the debut album by the mysterious band Death. Void. Terror. And we will soon follow this review with his interview of the band [now posted here].)

I’m finding that my avarice for the bizarre is increasing. This year, I’ve been getting lost in clandestine spaces of the interweb. Browsing through many an arcane reliquary, my nocturnal work schedule has been bolstered by drone, dark ambient, neofolk, and even harsh noise. These kinds of soundscapes fit in with my waking hours. And despite (or perhaps because of) the fact that many artists in such genres make music that is, simply put, unpleasant to hear, I am enthralled and even soothed by it.

One such eccentric release is the debut album from Death. Void. Terror. When Iron Bonehead Productions released a sample of To The Great Monolith I, I was instantly interested. The band’s PR release indicated that the 2 tracks were not songs, yea not even compositions. Continue reading »

Apr 272018


(Our friend Grant Skelton returns to NCS with this vivid review of the debut full-length by Virginia’s Foehammer, released on April 6 by Australopithecus Records. It is the second review of the album we’ve published.)

Foehammer’s self-titled EP, which was released in the spring of 2015, was one of the first ventures I made on my descent into doom metal. Up to that point I’d dabbled, almost exclusively, in extreme bands experimenting with increasing the speed at which they played. After nearly 20 years of such apoplectic throttling, something in my psyche (soul?) began to yearn for auditory victuals from the other end of the speed spectrum.

And I dove head-first into the boggy, bottom-heavy bombardment of “Stormcrow.” This track thumped my brain like a warclub. I couldn’t listen to it enough. So naturally I chomped at the bit to review the EP. It teased proficiency; giving us only a flash of what Foehammer could really do.

I’m glad to say that, three years later, Foehammer’s dormancy has ended! A full-length offering has arrived. It is a cavernous, blunt-skulled, Neanderthal brute entitled Second Sight. Continue reading »

Apr 192018


(Grant Skelton wrote this review of the debut album by the Greek/Finnish melodic doom metal band Aeonian Sorrow, released on March 28th.)


Aeonian Sorrow is the name of a new doom metal band masterminded by vocalist and songwriter Gogo Melone. Thanks to some networking via No Clean Singing’s ally Daniel Neagoe (Eye Of Solitude, Clouds), I had the pleasure of hearing Aeonian Sorrow’s debut, Into The Eternity A Moment We Are, prior to its release. With this album, fans of more melodic strains of doom metal are in for a gem. Also, make a point to behold the stirring wreckage depicted in the album’s art. Melone designed all of the band’s logos, and handled the album layout as well.

Joining Melone’s melancholic menagerie are drummer Saku Moilanen (Red Moon Architect), vocalist Alejandro Lotero (Exgenesis), guitarist Taneli Jämsä (Ghost Voyage, Hukutus), and bassist Pyry Hanski (Mörbid Vomit, Before the Dawn). From this creative collective were sewn seeds that would bring forth an entire orchard of languishing delights. Continue reading »