Jul 052023

(What we have here is Todd Manning‘s review of Hiraeth, the new album by the duo Nott that’s set for release on August 18th by Silent Pendulum Records.)

It’s probably not helpful to call an album ‘heavy’ on a website such as No Clean Singing, but what I want to get across is that the new release by Nott, Hiraeth, is immensely, cosmically, insanely heavy. This duo, consisting of Julia Geaman on drums and Tyler Campbell on guitar, bass, and vocals, now hail from the Pacific Northwest and play a brand of death-doom that will surely cause California to fall into the ocean.

Starting with the opener “Torn”, Nott unleashes riffs that sound like a boulder being dropped off a skyscraper. They deal in a similar vein of apocalyptic atmosphere as Ulcerate but there exists an additional dimension of darkness here that sets them apart. When the occasional blast beat surfaces, there’s a darkness not unlike early Immolation. Continue reading »

May 242023

(In the article below Todd Manning introduces our premiere of a song from a new album by the band Krigsgrav, which will be released next month through Wise Blood Records.)

We may be entering the summer here in the States, but there’s a bitter chill in the air thanks to the latest from Texas-based black metal outfit Krigsgrav. Fires in the Fall, available June 23rd courtesy of the excellent Wise Blood Records, picks up where 2021’s The Sundering left off as Krigsgrav continue to perfect their particular brand of melodic black metal.

An Everflowing Vessel” kicks off with a masterful melody, possessing an epic grandeur, but it is also unquestionably heavy when paired with the drums. The main vocal line, once introduced, is scathing, but soon clean vocals arrive in the background to reinforce the song’s scale. At first glance, the sound sits somewhere between Dissection and Wolfheart, but ultimately it is difficult to pigeonhole Krigsgrav. Continue reading »

Apr 052023

(West Coast extremists Deathgrave will release a new album on April 14th via the Tankcrimes label, and today we present Todd Manning‘s review.)

To be a dedicated fan of old school death metal often means not seeking out surprises, but rather looking for a vibe. So when one comes across a new band which includes Greg Wilkinson, who has done time with Autopsy along with sludge masters Brainoil and Graves at Sea, one can assume that those vibes will be there in spades. Deathgrave’s latest full-length, It’s Only Midnight, certainly captures that old-school death metal atmosphere, but actually does provide some surprises along the way. Continue reading »

Feb 282023

(On March 3rd Dead Sage Records will release No More Torture, the debut album from Seattle-based Vanishment, and today we’re delighted to premiere the album in its entirety, preceded by the following review written by Todd Manning.)

Retro-thrash can be a dicey affair. Too many bands opt to play an oversimplified version of the genre and forget the nuance and complexity exhibited by many groups as they developed. However, this isn’t the case on No More Torture, the debut full-length from Seattle’s Vanishment.

While No More Torture is the group’s debut, these guys are no rookies. Containing current members of Trial, Himsa, Heiress, and Lair of the Minotaur, their collective experience shines through in both instrumental chops and songwriting acumen. Continue reading »

Jan 202023

(Here’s Todd Manning‘s review of the new album by the UK’s Memoriam, which is set for release by Reaper Entertainment on February 3rd and features stunning cover art by Dan Seagrave.)

Old School Death Metal is more vital than ever, with both old fans and new initiates alike being drawn into the crypts searching for their next fix. While many of the original bands continue to put out new records, other scene veterans form new groups in order to develop the genre’s sound even further.

Such is the case with the British act Memoriam. Formed by Karl Willetts, vocalist of Bolt Thrower, and bassist Frank Healy of Benediction, and joined by guitarist Scott Fairfax and drummer Spikey T. Smith, Memoriam draws on the blueprint of those seminal acts and adds a number of new elements to the sound. Their latest album, Rise to Power, forms the second section of a trilogy that began with 2021’s To the End. Continue reading »

Dec 212022

(NCS writer Todd Manning wades into our year-end LISTMANIA series with his picks for the year’s 15 best albums, plus separate lists for EPs, compilations, and “metal adjacent” records.)

I love year-end lists. I love the thought that goes into making them. And once mine are finished, I will pour over everyone else’s lists with a notebook in hand, searching for all the releases I missed. There’s always more music.

All this is to excuse my overly long article this year. You have a Top 15 albums, a top seven EP and compilation list, and a small metal-adjacent list. Because this is for the nerds like me. I wrote the kind of year-end list I would want to find with tons of bands to possibly follow up on.

And I should also note, that while I am probably biased, I think 2022 has been an absolutely stellar year for my hometown. Four Indianapolis-based bands made my year-end list and I think they deserve to be there regardless of our shared locale. I hope you agree. Continue reading »

Sep 232022

(On October 14th Wise Blood Records will release the debut album of Indianapolis-based Mother of Graves, an album mastered by Dan Swanö and with cover art by Paolo Girardi, and below you’ll find Todd Manning‘s review of this new opus.)

Mother of Graves has picked the perfect time to drop their debut full-length, Where the Shadows Adorn. First of all, anyone who heard their excellent EP, In Somber Dreams, has been dying to get their hands on more material from this great band. In addition, there is something about this particular brand of death/doom that just seems to herald the changing of the seasons. The music feels autumnal, or even winter-ish. Like black metal, this type of forlorn music feels connected to the seasons. Continue reading »

Sep 152022

(This is Todd Manning‘s review of the fourth LP by San Francisco-based death/crust metal act Acephalix, which is set for release by 20 Buck Spin on September 30th.)

Five years is too long to wait for a new Acephalix record but that’s how long it’s been. And what a five years it’s been. Their new record, Theothanatology due out on September 30th via 20 Buck Spin, explores the idea of the death of god, an understandable train of thought where the daily news is nothing more than an autopsy of our dying civilization. The album oozes with all the pent-up anger, frustration, and anxiety of our modern world and channels it into the group’s trademark brand of atavistic, mongrel death metal. Continue reading »

Sep 022022

(Today Wise Blood Records is releasing a kick-ass four-way split whose title says a lot, and Todd Manning says a lot more about it in this review.)

For those paying attention, record label Wise Blood Records has been spitting out pure fire with their releases since their inception less than two years ago. The latest release from the label is called Faster Than the Fucking Devil. It gathers together four blackened thrash acts from around the world, each spitting their own brand of blasphemous madness over the album’s thirty-seven-minute runtime.

Hailing from Northwest Indiana, Wraith kicks things off properly. Their sound draws on the early thrash classics like Exodus’s Bonded by Blood, Dark Angel’s Darkness Descends, and Metallica’s Kill ‘em All, but interjects a good dose of Motörhead as well. With tracks like “Demons of Doubt” and “(Call Me) The Destroyer” we get served the hooks of old-school metal with the rawness of black metal. They close their three songs with “Seven Serpents” which sports an awesome Slayer-inspired bridge. Continue reading »

Jul 262022


(Todd Manning has turned in this extravagant review of an extravagant album by Philadelphia’s Sarattma, which will be out on August 12th.)

It may take years for us to know all the things we missed during the early days of Covid. Apparently, Philadelphia-based duo Sarattma recorded their debut album Escape Velocity in 2019 but it’s just now about to drop, courtesy of Nefarious Industries.

The duo consists of guitarist Matt Hollenberg, best known for his work in various John Zorn projects, along with Cleric and John Frum as well, joined here by Sara Neidorf, who did a stint with Brian Jonestown Massacre and played with doom metal band Aptera and doom-jazz duo Mellowdeath. Both those outfits are vastly underrated and deserve investigation. Sarattma, though, finds Hollenberg and Neidorf at the pinnacle of their instrumental abilities. Continue reading »