Jul 252019


You wanna know how many new songs I added to my listening list over just the 48 hours since I posted the last round-up of new music? Of course you don’t, but the number was 45. Don’t even bother trying to guess how many were already on the list from preceding days. There is a reason why the category tag on these posts is “Random Fucking Music”, because there’s not much rhyme or reason to making these selections from such a large universe of choices.

Of course, I haven’t listened to all 45 of those new songs I was curious to check out. Of the ones I did hear, I picked these five, going with my gut, and of course my highly refined sense of good taste. With luck, I’ll collect some more for tomorrow, to bring the week to an end with a BANG.


From their formative years in the early ’90s through today, the Swedish death metal band Sarcasm have had their fair share of obstacles, including personal tragedies, line-up changes, and the other vicissitudes of life that have often led bands of this vintage to sink beneath the waves, never to surface again. But Sarcasm have survived, although their sound has evolved since the earliest years.

Their first album (Burial Dimensions) didn’t surface until 2016, but they followed that quickly with 2017’s Within the Sphere of Ethereal Minds, and now their third album is headed our way via Chaos Records. Entitled Esoteric Tales Of The Unserene, it will be released on October 14th. Continue reading »

Sep 112013

Here are a some things I’d like to recommend from my reading and listening last night.


On Monday night of this week, a new song from Ihsahn premiered on BBC Radio 1’s “Rock Show” with Daniel P. Carter. The song is “Hilber” and it will appear on Ihsahn’s fifth solo album, Das Seelenbrechen, which will be released on October 21 in North America via Candlelight Records. Fortunately, the program will remain available for streaming for the next seven days at BBC.co.uk, and you can use that link to hear it (just skip to the 21:45 mark on the player you’ll find there).

Also, for now at least, it’s been uploaded to YouTube (I’m shocked, I tell you, simply shocked!) and so you can also listen right here, after the jump.

Man, I do like this song. It swirls and it stomps, it echoes and it pounds, the guitar spirals around complex rhythms, a string section takes wing, and Ihsahn claws with his voice (no clean singing on this one, thank you very much). It’s dark, disconcerting, and occasionally dissonant, but it will also stick with you. Imaginative music. You should hear it. Continue reading »

May 142013

We like having you around here, but I’m afraid I’ll have to ask you to leave. That’s because a quartet of new songs debuted yesterday that I’m recommending to you, but you’ll have to go elsewhere to check them out. They’re exclusively streaming at other sites, so I can’t embed them here. Actually, I could, because no page code is safe from me, but I’m being atypically respectful.


Man’s Gin is the brainchild of New York-based Erik Wunder, who is also one-half of another band I like a lot — Cobalt. He’s joined in Man’s Gin by New Yorkers Scott Edward and Josh Lozano. I thought Man’s Gin’s debut album Smiling Dogs (2010) was fascinating, and it seems the same will be true of the second one, Rebellion Hymns. It’s scheduled for release by Profound Lore on June 25. The new song that premiered yesterday is “Deer Head & The Rain”.

This song isn’t our usual fare. The vocals are more clean than unclean and the music is more folk than metal, though it’s not exactly folk music either. There’s a disturbing undercurrent in the music, and from the acoustic-guitar-and-hand-drum intro straight through to the discordant electrified finish, it’s been relentlessly tunneling through my head since yesterday. Continue reading »

May 042012

“Titillating”: pleasantly stimulating or exciting; also: erotic.

That’s the definition of the word provided by the Merriam-Webster online dictionary. It looks like the Spanish translation of the word would be “excitar, estimular placenteramente”. It’s a great word, because it sort of sounds like what it means, at least to me. But that may be because it begins with “tits”, as in “this is the tits”.  Speaking of which, THIS is the tits, and it’s also titillating:

Costa Rica-based metal band Sight of Emptiness have finished recording their third album, to be released later this year, and it features a line-up of guest appearances that will make you look twice. If you’ve been a regular NCS reader, you already know about this talented band because we’ve written about them frequently and even helped them premiere a new song and video. If you don’t know about them yet, check this out.

Now, let’s start with the name-dropping: First, the album was recorded at SoloHits Studios in San José, Costa Rica by Swedish producer Thomas “Plec” Johansson (Scar Symmetry, Watain, Solution .45, Miseration), who traveled all the way to Costa Rica to work with the band for 22 days. Johansson will also handle the mixing and mastering at Panic Room Studios in Skara, Sweden.

Second, here’s the list of guest appearances:

Glen Drover (King Diamond & Megadeth)

Christian Älvestam (Scar Symmetry, Miseration, Solution .45

Whitfield Crane (Ugly Kid Joe, Another Animal

Ralph Santolla (Deicide, Iced Earth, Obituary)

Ole Halvard Sveen (Extol, Mantric, Lengsel)

and last but not least . . . Continue reading »

Jan 242012

We’ve been fortunate to make the long-distance acquaintance of a talented metal band from Costa Rica named Sight of Emptiness, and we’ve been honored to help them spread the word about their new single, “Transition”. In addition to premiering the audio version of the song itself (here), we also premiered the eye-catching animated lyric video for it (here).

Today, we’ve got one more “Transition” premiere to give you — but this one comes with a twist. Today’s feature is a brand new performance video of the band playing “Transition”. Professionally filmed and edited by Andrés Montero and Sebastian Pérez, with lots of cool split-screen shots, it’s fun to watch — and of course the song is still all kinds of badass.

The twist is that this version of the song is purely instrumental — and it still works. In fact, even though only the vocals have been subtracted from the mix, it sounds almost like a new song. I hope that when the band eventually releases the single for purchase it will include both versions.

So go past the jump and watch the NCS premiere of this “Transition” video. Continue reading »

Jan 182012

Lyric videos for metal songs seem to be increasing in popularity, but many of them are disappointing. They often consist of nothing more than images of an album cover or the band, with the words scrolling or fading in and out. And many times you’re better off not knowing the words. Lyrics aren’t critical to the kind of metal we listen to at NCS, because you usually can’t understand what the vocalist is singing, and they often turn out to be a forgettable distraction from the music — or worse — when you see them in print while listening.

Well, the brand new lyric video for the song “Transition” by Costa Rica’s Sight of Emptiness turns out to be a different breed of cat. This is a video well worth seeing, and we’re proud to give it an exclusive premiere.

You should already be familiar with the song — we premiered it here at NO CLEAN SINGING one week ago, and it’s damned cool. The lyric video now enhances the listening experience, creatively interpreting the lyrics through an intriguing (and ominous) animation that ends with the unfolding of the cover art for the “Transition” single, which you can see above.

The eye-catching animation was created by Andrés Montero Conde at B2crea (http://www.b2crea.com/), and it’s a kick to watch. The lyrics themselves tell the story of a rebirth, a transition and transformation of a being . . . but there’s a dark undercurrent to this story. Watch it after the jump (we recommend you take this to full-screen mode if you’re viewing it on a computer). Also after the jump, some exciting recent news about Sight of Emptiness. Continue reading »

Jan 112012

From left to right: Rafa Castro (Lead Guitar), Gabriel Arias (Electronics), Eduardo Chacón (Singer), Rodrigo Chaverri (Drums), Andrés Castro (Lead Guitar), Esteban Monestel (Bass & Backing Vocals)

To really set the stage for this story, we have to turn back the clock two years. In January 2010, we found out about a very impressive melodic death metal band from Costa Rica named Sight of Emptiness. What got us hooked were three songs from the band’s second album, Absolution of Humanity, that were then streaming at MySpace, plus a cool video of the band performing a fourth song — and we wasted no time posting about Sight of Emptiness here.

We wrote about them again in September 2010 on the occasion of the band’s release of a video capturing their performance of the song “Burning Silence” in front of 15,000 people in San Jose, Costa Rica, when they opened for Megadeth. Since then, the band have continued to perform and to build a an international fanbase — and to write new music.

And today we’re stoked to give you the world premiere of a new Sight of Emptiness single — “Transition”. It’s a killer song — one that rolls like a blast-wave of explosive detonation from start to finish, one that hits that sweet spot where the flash of cathertic high-energy intersects with shimmering melodies. It also reflects positive growth and evolution in the band’s sound.

In addition to the song, we’ve also got a short interview with the band and another video — after the jump. Continue reading »

Sep 152010

Man, time really flies. It was January 25 when we wrote a post about an unsigned band we had just discovered called Sight of Emptiness — a melodic death metal band from Costa Rica, of all places. There were then three songs from a forthcoming album streaming on the band’s MySpace page, and we liked what we heard. We also found a video of one song and put it up on our site.

Sight of Emptiness has had an eventful eight months since then. That album (the band’s second) is now out — it’s called Absolution of Humanity, and it was mastered by Jens Bogren, who has worked with the likes of Opeth, Soilwork, Bloodbath, Katatonia, Symphony X, and Amon Amarth.

Also, on May 9, Sight of Emptiness opened for Megadeth at Autodromo La Guacima in San Jose, Costa Rica, playing before 15,000 people. That must have been a huge kick in the ass for these guys, though they have previously been hand-picked by Dark Tranquillity and Amon Amarth to open for them in previous Costa Rica performances.

And in June, Sight of Emptiness won an award for “Best Metal Album” at the ACAM Awards in San Jose (ACAM is the Costa Rica equivalent of ASCAP in the U.S.).

And today they’ve released a professionally filmed and edited video of the band performing a song called “Burning Silence” at that Megadeth concert in May. It’s a cool song, the video is fun to watch, and this is a band that deserves some recognition.  The video is after the jump.  Take a look . . . Continue reading »

Jan 272010

Late last year we wrote about the storm surge of new metal over the last few years. Even if you confine yourselves to bands with labels, it’s enough to swamp the average listener. And if you also consider extreme metal being churned out by unsigned bands, it’s impossible to hear everything that might actually appeal to you, even if you’re devoted to only one or two sub-genres and don’t care about the rest.

Given this state of affairs, one of the most useful things a site like this one can do is help you sift through the floodwaters and try to point out the hidden treasures that might actually change your life (or at least your week). And here at NCS, we try to give equal coverage to extreme metal from other lands.

This week we’ve been on sort of a mini world tour of metal. On Monday, we visited Greece and wrote about Gus Drax. The next day we hopped the Atlantic to visit Costa Rica and Sight of Emptiness. And today we’re jumping back across the ocean to Italy and Vomit the Soul.

The first two bands we visited this week produce metal that’s infused with melody. But if melody is what you’re after, you should continue your web-surfing right now, because you won’t find even a whisper of it in what Vomit the Soul blasts out. But if every now and then you like to have your brains scrambled by a visceral sonic assault that completely removes you from what’s going on around and within you, this is a band you should definitely check out.  (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Jan 252010

Sight of Emptiness plays Gothenburg-style melodic death metal. But they’re not from Sweden, or from anywhere in Europe, or even from the U.S. Sight of Emptiness hails from — of all places — Costa Rica.

Costa Rica isn’t known for its melodic death metal. In fact, until stumbling across Sight of Emptiness, we didn’t know anyone in Costa Rica played any flavor of death metal. And for that reason, we probably wouldn’t have been tempted even to listen to this band’s musical output. But what changed our minds was the news that the band’s second studio album, Absolution of Humanity, which is expected to be released late February/early March, was mastered in Sweden by Jens Bogren, who has done similar duties for the likes of Opeth, Amon Amarth, Soilwork, Bloodbath, Katatonia, and Symphony X.

The band has posted three songs from Absolution of Humanity on its MySpace page, and has released a performance video of a fourth song, “Faceless Dream.” Based on this offering, the band is definitely following the trail blazed by bands such as Dark Tranquillity and At the Gates, but that’s not a bad thing.  As pathfinders go, those bands are peerless. And Sight of Emptiness has both good songwriting skills and solid musical technique, and we particularly liked the impressive vocal range of frontman Eduardo (aka “Filthy”) and the occasional touches of Spanish musical passages added to the mix.

This is some catchy, headbanging fun. The novelty of being an extreme metal band from Costa Rica may be the initial hook for these dudes, but there’s substance here, too. Sight of Emptiness is currently unsigned, but we’re wishing ’em luck in finding a label.

Check out this video of “Faceless Dream” by Sight of Emptiness:

Sight of Emptiness – Faceless Dream from Sight of Emptiness on Vimeo.