Jun 182021


In the midst of all the metallic extremity that usually froths, blisters, and batters us around here, we have found NONE. It is musical extremity of a different kind, one in which neofolk and ambient ingredients play a more prominent role (along with many other elements, including influences from black metal and industrial), but no less arresting than the more ear-ruining assaults that are our usual bread and butter.

The mastermind behind NONE is the California-based artist Nicholas Mendiola, and on his new album Interdimensional War Poetry (released on June 4) he becomes the host and the voice for the entity that his project is named for — “the deity of his creation and the eternal version of himself”. The lyrics of the songs are evocative but mysterious. Sometimes they seem like a personal journal, tracing a quest through time and space, and often seeming to raise more questions than answers.

The music on the album itself sounds like a quest. It twists and turns in unpredictable directions, and its altering moods and changing sounds make it an easy one to get lost in, even though it’s also the kind of often-frightening experience that will trouble your dreams. We have a very good example of that effect in the song that’s the subject of the video we’re premiering today — “Never Know“. Continue reading »

Mar 262021


As you can see, I had enough time to pull together a round-up of new tracks and videos today. It’s the first time I’ve managed to do this during the work-week in ages, usually having to wait until Saturdays before I can pull it off. As I meandered among things I was interested in checking out, the following six items began to cluster together in my head. Other things I enjoyed didn’t fit in this cluster, so I’ll leave them for tomorrow.

What caused these songs to coalesce in my thinking is because all of them seemed made of madness. For sure, they do have their distinctive thrills, but in varying ways they’re almost all a fracturing of sanity in sound.

KHANDRA (Belarus)

The first song I’ve chosen is the first single from a new album by this black metal band from Belarus, whose past music we’ve gratefully premiered and reviewed on two previous occasions. The name of the song gives you fair warning about what’s coming:  “Irrigating Lethal Acres with Blood“. 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 »

Mar 072018


For those of us who live in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, the damp forests and snow-covered mountains are ever-present. Even when they’re not in the forefront of your mind, they loom in the distance. To be in the midst of them, particularly in the winter when mist and fog blur their hard lines and the cold eats into the skin, is both an awe-inspiring and a haunting experience… and a relief. In the midst of that communion you can think, “at least we haven’t fucked this up yet.”

Many musicians who’ve spent time in the PNW are drawn to capture such sensations, or they draw inspiration from them (though of course many are just as prone to make the kind of forgettable music you can hear on the radio any damned place). Some are more successful than others in channeling the gloom, the grandeur, and the isolation of these ancient places that are heedless of our own fleeting presence yet can lend us their strength, or pronounce their condemnation. The Oregon group NONE do that very, very well. Continue reading »

Feb 192017


In this Sunday’s SHADES OF BLACK I’ve collected advance tracks from four albums plus two full recent releases, all of which I hope you’ll find are worth your time.


I’ve been immensely enjoying the new Falls of Rauros album, Vigilance Perennial, though berating myself for not yet collecting my thoughts in a review. With luck, I’ll get that done in the coming week. For now I’ll just offer a few words about the first advance track from the album, “White Granite“, which premiered at DECIBEL on Friday. Continue reading »