Apr 072023


If I didn’t already know, I could have guessed this was a Bandcamp Friday from the choking flood of Bandcamp alerts, messages, and press releases that hit our in-box overnight and shows no sign of stopping. Real tough to know what to recommend, even based on the far-from-exhaustive and truly random smattering of listening I’ve done earlier this week and this morning. But below is what I came up with.

In an effort to compile a larger shopping list for you in a short amount of time, I made a rare effort to (mostly) choke off my own words down to brief gurgles.

SAMMATH (Netherlands)

I’ve had the good fortune to hear a few of the tracks on this veteran black metal band’s ferocious new album Grebbeberg. Inspired by the resistance of the Dutch army against Nazi invaders in World War II, and more specifically by the experiences of a relative of mainman Jan Kruitwagen who perished in that conflict, the album is a stunning audio rendition of extreme warfare under the most desperate conditions, and sees Sammath reaching what might be the zenith of their long career. Continue reading »

May 022022

(Wil Cifer wrote the following review of a new album-length EP by the Australian extreme doom band Mournful Congregation. The first in a two-part series of EPs, it will be released by 20 Buck Spin (North America) and Osmose Productions (everywhere else) on May 27th.)

When it comes to sub-genres in metal, funeral doom is one of my favorites. It is typically the more depressive of the doom sub-genres, though just playing at a dopamine-draining tempo is not the requirement to excel in this style. With any form of extreme music, the oppressive heaviness might be enough for the first song, then after that it boils down to the question, “But can you write a song ?”

Here is what puts this Australian band at the top of the funeral doom heap. They might even be the best, though Evoken is neck-and-neck with them. In saying that it means my expectations are high. What I hoped for was a new full-length album, since it has been four years since their last release. The reality is this is the first of a two-part series of EPs. We are getting three songs, one of these being a reworking of a song from their 1995 demo tape. Which, considering that was 27 years ago, makes this for all practical purposes a new song. Continue reading »

Mar 062018


(Wil Cifer reviews the new album by Australia’s Mournful Congregation, which will be released on March 23 by 20 Buck Spin (North America) and Osmose Productions (Europe).)

I am noticing a trend in metal this year with bands who are cult icons in their respective sub-genres moving in more streamlined and accessible directions. Perhaps these bands at this place in their careers felt this was needed. This is evident right from the opening melody of this Australian band’s newest release.

This offers a much lighter shade of sonic splendor than what moved Mournful Congregation’s 2011 release The Book of Kings. Their 2011 album is what this album must measure up to for me. The Book Kings caught me up with a more emotional majesty in my initial listen to it. They have offered glimpses of their former glory leading in to this album. Continue reading »

Jan 162018


I had originally planned to get a SHADES OF BLACK post ready for today since I couldn’t do it on Sunday (or yesterday), and I might still finish it before I turn into a pumpkin today. But instead I decided to begin this Tuesday with a collection of other things I spotted over the last 24 hours in the midst of the flood of new metal that’s been rushing out on a daily basis since the first of the year.


More than six years after their last album and almost four years after their last EP, Australia’s Mournful Congregation will release a new album named The Incubus Of Karma through 20 Buck Spin on March 23rd. This morning those details were revealed along with the album art — and the album’s first single, “Scripture of Exaltation and Punishment“. Continue reading »

Aug 182016

Migration Fest poster


This is a recap of the third and final day of the first edition of Migration Fest, organized by 20 Buck Spin and Gilead Media and conducted in Olympia, Washington, on August 12-14, 2016. My recap of the pre-fest show and Day One can be found here, and the Day Two write-up is here.

I’m not as prompt in concluding this review of the festival as I was with the first two parts, but other commitments to our putrid site plus inconsiderate intrusions by the routine of daily life have screwed with my time since I got back to Seattle on Monday. On the other hand, the delay enabled me to upload videos of Day Three performances to YouTube, and I’ve collected those at the end of this post. I still intend to add more videos to the other write-ups as well. Continue reading »

Jun 172014

Lots and lots of excellent new metal has begun streaming on the web over the last 24 hours — too much for me to gather together in a single post. But I’m going to make a start with this round-up of flesh-eating goodness, beginning with news of two full-album streams.


Taman Shud, the forthcoming new album by Vancouver’s Auroch, is already garnering a slew of highly favorable reviews. It will get one more as soon as I can kick myself in the ass hard enough to translate my own feelings into feeble words.

But in the meantime, you can hear the entire album for yourselves, because yesterday Profound Lore launched a full stream on YouTube — and I’ve embedded it after the jump. The album will be released on June 24 and can be pre-ordered here or purchased in digital form at Bandcamp. Continue reading »

Apr 032014

“The return of Mournful Congregation is imminent.” That’s the way an announcement began that I just saw from the 20 Buck Spin label. It perked me right up. Here’s the rest of the announcement, which concerns the first new material from this influential Australian funeral doom band released since 2011’s The Book of Kings.

The band will released a new mini-album titled Concrescence Of The Sophia on June 24th via 20 Buck Spin in North America. The European release will be handled by Osmose Productions.

The release consist of two tracks “Concrescence Of The Sophia” (21:42) and “Silence Of The Passed” (8:57) totaling just over 30 minutes of completely new music from the Gods of Extreme Doom. The vinyl release for North America will be the band’s first domestically available vinyl pressing and will come on black vinyl and two additional color variants. The CD version will be a digipak. A t-shirt design based on the album artwork is also planned.

If all goes well the album will be in the hands of the band on both formats in time for their headlining appearances at Martyrdoom in New York City at the end of June.

Also for those keeping track, our good friend Tim Call (Aldebaran, The Howling Wind, Nightfell, Parasitic Records, etc etc) handles drum duties on this recording.

Continue reading »

Jul 102011

(Surgical Brute — NCS reader, commenter, and reliable source of skull-cleaving musical recommendations — returns with the second part of his preview of the Rites of Darkness 3 festival.)

Okay, after my original post, it quickly came to my attention that some of you reading No Clean Singing were probably unaware of the best festival to happen in the U.S. this year. The organizers of Rites of Darkness 3 have been quietly assembling one of the best line-ups of underground metal that I’ve ever seen. This one is going to be a marathon, with very little opportunity for rest stops.

In my last post I mentioned 5 lesser-known bands I thought people needed to check out. As we slowly get closer to the day of the festival (December 9-11th in San Antonio), I think it’s time to check out a few more bands scheduled to appear at this monster. So here are 5 bands that you absolutely cannot miss.


One of my personal favorites, and probably one of the heaviest bands out there right now.

These guys were playing dirty, old school death metal long before it caught on again in the underground. I got the chance to catch their live set at MDF 2011, and I can vouch for them. Only getting an incredibly short 30 minutes, this band pummeled me harder than anyone else that day. For fans of Incantation and Disma.

(There’s lots more after the jump, including Surgical Brute’s hand-picked sample tracks from each band featured in this preview, beginning with Funebrarum . . .) Continue reading »