May 242018


(In this post Andy Synn has combined reviews of new albums by a sextet of bands from both sides of the Atlantic.)

Phew, I’ve been trying to get this particular column written for quite a while now, but a cruel convergence of work, illness, and prepping for this year’s MDF meant that I’ve honestly been struggling to find the time to sit down and put finger to keyboard.

On the plus side, however, this has given me a little bit more time to absorb each album, and will hopefully result in a better overall product, so perhaps I/we shouldn’t complain too much.

Anyway, without further ado, here are six albums, all of them Black Metal, yet all subtly different and differentiated, originating from a variety of different locations around the globe (Greece, Germany, Belgium, Canada, and the USA), which I think are well worth your attention. Continue reading »

Dec 282014


Today we bring you Part 5 of our list of 2014′s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. For the other songs we’ve previously named to the list, go here.

Up to now, every song on the list has come from an album that we reviewed at this site. Today’s entries come from two albums we failed to review, though they are both excellent. However, we did write about individual songs from both albums, so we’re not complete failures. And I thought both songs would make for a nice pairing because of certain stylistic similarities in the music — but you be the judge of that.


Wolvhammer is one of those few bands who made a striking start with their debut album (The Obsidian Plains) and then just continued to make strong and steady progress with each successive release. Their third album, 2014’s Clawing Into Black Sun, is not only their high-water mark, it was also one of my favorite albums of this year. Continue reading »

Jun 242014

Two of my most highly anticipated 2014 albums are Crawling Into Black Sun by Wolvhammer (due for release by Profound Lore on July 8) and Transient by Krieg (coming from Candlelight Records in September). And today Broken Limbs Recordings has released a split by both of those bands that just provides more reasons to get stoked for the coming albums.


Wolvhammer’s contribution to the split is “Slaves To the Grime”, an alternate version of a track that will appear on Crawling Into Black Sun.

I’ve heard the album version, which is a standout song — a body-moving bulldozer of concrete-heavy riffs and vocals that are acid enough to etch glass, with other alternating segments that lumber into a sludgy, soul-sucking abyss and gallop like a hell-horse. The version on the split is, if anything, even more thoroughly pulverizing. The production gives it a thoroughly radioactive quality, and it’s shot through with bolts of squealing, squalling lead guitar, like that crazy part of your brain trying to get out of its prison. And man, when it hits those doomed, dragging segments, it falls like granite blocks dropped from a great height.

Truth be told, I like this version even more than the album track (and I’ve been a big fan of that one since the first listen) — completely crushing, but also infectious enough to warrant a call to the Center for Disease Control. Continue reading »

May 132014

Wolvhammer’s new album is named Clawing Into Black Sun. That’s a name you should remember, because I’m betting it’s going to get a lot of very favorable attention both before and after Profound Lore releases it on my birthday. I have many good reasons for this bet, but I’ll give you three of them.

First, the band’s last two albums — Black Marketeers of World War III (which I reviewed in 2010) and 2011’s The Obsidian Plains (which I did not review because I’m a halfwit) — were very good. I even really liked their cover of “Burn” by The Cure that was included on a Record Store Day split with the The Atlas Moth last year (it’s streaming here).

Second, some talented people are in this band: guitarist Jeff Wilson (Abigail Williams, Chrome Wave, Doomsday, ex-Nachtmystium, ex-Krieg), bass player Joe Noel (ex-Samothrace, ex-Altar of Plagues (live)), vocalist Adam Clemens (ex-Iron Thrones), drummer Heath Rave (ex-Across Tundras); and new guitarist Brendan Seven.

And the third reason is “Death Division”. That’s the name of the new song that premiered yesterday at DECIBEL. Hell of a song. Continue reading »

Aug 142013

I’m still catching up on what has happened in the world of metal since yesterday. Here are a few more items worth talking about.


A bit earlier today I wrote about the latest artwork, news, and music concerning the new Skeletonwitch album. If I’d just waited an hour, I could have included the fact that Skeletonwitch are embarking on a North American tour this fall with The Black Dahlia Murder (as the headliner) and Fallujah. And on selected dates, that group of miscreants will be joined by Wolvhammer (who are vicious killers in their own right) or Noisem (also murderous).

This is going to be one very fine evening in the pit of musical hell. Unfortunately, it appears I will have to get in the car to visit hell, because the tour isn’t going to hit Seattle. To see if it will threaten your town, check the schedule after the jump. Continue reading »

Oct 102012

Chicago guitarist Jeff Wilson is a busy dude. In addition to his bands Chrome Waves and Wolvhammer, both of which we’ve praised here at NCS in the past, he’s also a driving force in a new collective called Doomsday. He’s got some heavyweight talent along for the Doomsday ride, too:

Bassist Bob Fouts (The Gates of Slumber, Chrome Waves, Apostle Of Solitude)
Guitarist/vocalist Jon Woodring (Bones)
Drummer Zack Simmons (Goatwhore)
Vocalist Zion Meagher (Anti-Human Thesis).

In some ways this group is like a Nachtmystium alumni reunion, since Wilson, Woodring, Simmons, and Meagher were all previously involved with that band — and Doomsday’s self-titled, six-song EP was engineered by Nachtmystium’s Sanford Parker, along with Carl Byers (Coffinworm). It will be released on November 6 by Wilson’s newly founded label Disorder Recordings, and it features brilliantly occult cover art by Christina Caperson.

Okay, now that I’ve gotten the details out of the way and nearly sunk this review under the weight of all those links, I do have a few words to say about the music: It’s really fuckin’ good. Continue reading »

Dec 042011

Unless I miss my bet (and I would bet a lot on this), the day will come when you will be reading and hearing about this band far and wide, and you can tell your friends that you heard them first at NO CLEAN SINGING. Your friends may then look at you like a slug just crawled out of your nose, but pay them no mind. Who cares if they’ve never heard of NCS? What matters is the music of Chrome Waves.

First, here’s the line-up of this band:

Vocals: Stavros Giannopolous (vocalist and guitarist for The Atlas Moth), whose current album is popping up on “Best of 2011” lists far and wide)

Guitars: Jeff Wilson (guitarist of Wolvhammer, whose 2011 album The Obsidian Plains is superb and is also appearing on lots of year-end best-lists; formerly of Nachtmystium and Bringers of Disease)

Drums and bass: Bob Fouts (bassist for doom-metal band Apostle of Solitude; formerly with The Gates of Slumber)

I saw those names, and that was all the inducement I needed to spend some time with the first track they’ve released — a song that publicly debuted only last night called “”Height of the Rifles”. After the jump, we’ll be streaming it for you, but first, a little more intelligence about Chrome Waves from this interview of Bob Fouts. Continue reading »

Jul 302010

In recent years, people have written books with the intent of dispelling various so-called “myths” about wolves. I haven’t read any of them, but they’re probably trying to tell us that wolves are actually warm, loving creatures who are good parents and self-sacrificng friends.

I haven’t read those books because I’d rather continue to think of wolves as vicious, red-eyed pack animals that would just as soon rip out your jugular as look at you. Life is too civilized as it is without having someone domesticate my mental image of the wolf.

Besides, that would detract from the awesomeness of Wolvhammer as a metal-band name. It would turn it into something like Puppyhammer. Or Puppyhummer. Or something equally tame. And Wolvhammer is anything but tame.

We first heard about Wolvhammer’s debut album, Black Marketeers of World War III,  via a feature in the current issue of DECIBEL magazine, which punched many of our buttons — so much so that we ran out and bought the album fast. And we are so glad we did.  (more after the jump, including a mixtape of music inspired by Wolvhammer . . .) Continue reading »