Apr 112019


(DGR reviews, in great depth, the new album by Seattle’s Theories, which will be released by Corpse Flower Records tomorrow — April 12th.)

It’s always a surprise when an album’s art manages to perfectly encapsulate the music within. We’re big fans of awesome album artwork around here, but the times when the art manages to leap past just being an awesome picture and adds to the listening experience are truly special.

I raise this observation in part because the album artwork for Seattle deathgrind group Theories‘ sophomore album Vessel manages to do just that, capturing both the spirit of the album and the production and atmosphere surrounding it.

After a spin of Vessel it’s not hard to imagine that this album was recorded in the same miserable underground dwellings that the album art portrays as the residence of that unfortunate victim. It could also very well be the chaotic soundtrack to what is going on in that individual’s head, as Vessel is a dark and brooding follow-up to its predecessor, 2015’s Regression, and one that finds the band deciding not to go with a straightforward successor in style, but creating an entirely different beast in its own right. Continue reading »

Feb 142019


Happy Valentine’s Day. Here’s a bouquet of black roses for you. Careful with the thorns.

I had originally planned to post this round-up yesterday but ran out of time, so most of the songs and videos I’ve selected have been out in the wild for a couple of days. But you still might have missed them, so I’m forging ahead anyway.

The number of items in this collection is also large enough that normally I would have divided it into a two-part post, but I was so pleased with the stylistic variety represented in what I’d chosen that I decided to keep it all together in one place. Just take a deep breath (or maybe hyperventilate), and try to get through all of it — I bet you’ll find at least one new song you’ll really enjoy.


In not much more than three months from now, NCS will present the third annual edition of Northwest Terror Fest in Seattle. We announced the full three-day line-up on New Year’s Day, but of course, as always seems to happen, since then we’ve had a few bands drop out due to circumstances beyond our own control. One of those was scheduled to headline a night at one of the two main stages, but we got lucky and were able to secure a great replacement — Virginia’s Inter Arma, who happen to have a new album coming our way this spring. Continue reading »

Aug 022016

Theories-Wake-Vermin Womb Fall 2016 tour


During the month of October and continuing into the first week of November, three bands with tremendous firepower at their disposal will threaten the structural integrity of venues up and down western North America, from Tijuana, Mexico, in the south to Vancouver, BC, in the north. The bands are Wake, Theories, and Vermin Womb, and we’re helping spread the word about this tour, basically because we enjoy the spectacle of large-scale demolition jobs — and because this is a completely DIY tour booked by the bands that deserves our support.

If you get out a map and trace the precise route of this tour, it comes uncomfortably close to tracking some major fault lines that run down the West Coast.  Theories play two shows in Nevada and then join Wake and Vermin Womb for performances at the Southwest Terror Fest in Tuscon (headlined by Pig Destroyer and Agoraphobic Nosebleed). After that the tour heads to Tijuana for the bands’ first-ever appearance there and then turns north and rampages right up the coast, through California, Oregon, Washington, and then on across the border into British Columbia. Continue reading »

Jan 302016

Napalm Death-Apex Predator


I hang my head in shame. I let a whole ‘nuther week go by without posting anything new in this 2015 year-end series, and here we are already near at the end of January. I obviously got some catchin’ up to do.

I could call this “The DGR Installment” in the series, because all three of the following songs were recommended by him when I started compiling this list. They are also favorites of mine, and I thought they would make good companion pieces for each other, too. Time to griiiiind….


Apex Predator-Easy Meat hit almost exactly one year ago, and DGR reviewed the album the next month, beginning with a mythic story that had an anti-climactic finish as a shamanic figure uttered after a convulsive trance: “Napalm Death are an important band”. And then he came full circle at the end of that review: Continue reading »

Dec 102015

Rotting Christ-Rituals


The end of the year is fast approaching, but the freight train of metal isn’t slowing down. Here are just a few of the things that caught my eyes and ears over the last 24 hours, sifted from my scanning of the NCS in-box and my daily dive into the interhole.


I’ve probably mentioned somewhere in the dim mists of the past that Rotting Christ were the band whose music first convinced me that I needed to learn more about black metal — my first step along a musical left hand path from which I’ve never turned back. The following announcement, received yesterday, was thus an especially exciting piece of news:

On February 12, Season of Mist will release Rotting Christ’s twelfth studio album, Rituals. In addition, Stereokiller premiered the album’s first advance track, “Elthes Kyrie“, in the U.S. (it also appeared at many other sites around the world). Continue reading »

Jul 282015

Gehenna-theories tour


Tonight came an announcement that caught my eye because of the bands involved: The long-running West Coast “negative hardcore” band Gehenna and Seattle grindcore upstarts Theories will be mounting a two-week tour this fall. And on top of that, Arizona’s Landmine Marathon will be joining them on select dates.

As for exactly what cities will be visited on which dates, we don’t know that yet. It would be nice to find out in enough time to allow evacuation of people in an orderly fashion before the bands get there and convert everything into humongous piles of smoking rubble. Continue reading »

May 042015


(BadWolf reviews the Seattle date of the Decibel Magazine 2015 Tour, accompanied by exclusive photos taken by Madison Leiren, except where noted.)

This is the third of four annual Decibel Magazine tours that I’ve reviewed for No Clean Singing (I missed the third installment, featuring Napalm Death headlining, due to Maryland Deathfest. I’m not sorry). At this point in time, the mechanics of the tour itself — the way it interacts with coverage in the magazine, the way that the lineup is formed over time, and the way it is presented artistically — are becoming apparent to me.

Rather than simply assess the show I saw itself, it’s important to discuss these deeper factors, because Decibel Magazine wields a lot of market power in the United States, and the US remains the biggest music market in the world even though metal remains relatively unpopular here. In that respect, however, the tour is operating in an easy middle ground between what I would call respect for profits and respect for the metal zeitgeist. They do that by locking in headliners that already have clout and draw, but aren’t going to pursue metal as a full-time activity, and slotting openers who intend to make a career out of music. At least that’s how it’s worked for the past two years.

It seems as though 2014 was a prototype and 2015 was the first successful rollout of a set Decibel Tour formula. The recipe is as follows: Continue reading »

Mar 222015


(Austin Weber reviews the debut album by Seattle’s Theories, which will soon be released by Metal Blade Records.)

Of all metal, grind is often the style where one can really do no wrong as long as things are fast, ear-shatteringly loud, and brief in run-time. But naturally, those rare grind bands who write more interesting songs or who choose to reach outside their genre stylings and bring in other dimensions to their music are going to be the most interesting — which is exactly what Seattle-based Theories accomplish so brilliantly on their new full-length album, Regression. I love all grind, but what Theories have done so well on Regression is to produce a record that has a lot more intensity and replay value than most of their peers.

There isn’t a single song under two minutes on Regression, which is certainly a rarity for a grind band. Theories have a more intricate and densely composed sound than the average quick blasts of fury that populate their genre. Theories could be called deathgrind, but I would say their sound is along lines that are similar to Misery Index. Continue reading »

Mar 112015


On March 24 Metal Blade Records will release the debut album of Seattle’s Theories. It’s an event that makes me very happy, in part for reasons that may not mean much to most people who hear the album. For one, I know all of the people in the band, some better than others, and they’re the kind of people who make you happy for their success (getting signed by a label like Metal Blade would certainly qualify as success in most people’s books). For another, I’ve seen the band perform live, everywhere from Seattle to Maryland Deathfest XII to Denver Black Sky II, and they seem to be even more perfectly destructive each time I see them.

So, with that said, you can imagine how fucking delighted I am that we’re premiering the lyric video for a song called “Burnt Concrete” off Theories’ debut album Regression. It’s the opening track and it starts off the festivities with a full-bore blast of grindcore fury. Continue reading »

Feb 262015


As I announced a few days ago, we’ve launched a new series at NCS in which we’re inviting readers to submit pieces for publication with the goal of putting the spotlight on lesser known bands from the towns, cities, and regions you folks call home — whether in the U.S. or elsewhere in the world. For details about this project, go HERE.

Yesterday we posted the inaugural piece in this series by Grant Skelton (who had the idea for the series in the first place). Hot on the heels of that, I received a submission by Seattle resident Eric Bauer (who has his own blog — “High Defamation” — here). As it happens, Eric’s piece puts the spotlight on a Seattle band that’s one of my favorites — and they’re also a group of very cool people on a personal level.

But I thought, in keeping with Grant’s original idea, that a “Local Focus” piece on Seattle ought to include a few more bands, and so with Eric’s permission I’m adding three to this post following his own feature. Continue reading »