I thought I’d provide a quick update of things I noticed while web-surfing and reading e-mails this afternoon. As always, I’m sharing mainly what interests me, while hoping it interests you as well.
We first reported about this tour on December 2 when its existence became public but before any schedule had been announced. Today, all the dates and places were finally announced. And as a reminder about why this matters, the tour features Finland’s Ensiferum as the headliner, as well as Tyr (Faroe Islands), Heidevolk (The Netherlands), Trollfest (Norway), and Helsott (Los Angeles). Plenty of ass should be kicked by these pagan brethren.
The schedule consists of 21 shows, launching in Denver on March 30 and concluding in New York City on April 21, and it includes Canadian dates, too. Here’s the complete schedule:
This post is about two foreign invasions of North America that are scheduled to occur next year, but these invaders will be welcomed with open arms. I initially thought I’d wait to feature these tours until the schedules were released, but I’m so excited about them that I’m goin’ with it now.
Both tours are being produced by Rock the Nation America, which is the booking agency partnership created about a year ago between Kataklysm/Ex Deo frontman Maurizio Iacono, his agent and Canadian metal promoter Stephan Mellul, and Century Media Records.
PAGANFEST AMERICA IV
The first tour — Paganfest America Part IV — will be headlined by Finland’s Ensiferum and also features Tyr (Faroe Islands), Heidevolk (The Netherlands), Trollfest (Norway), and Helsott (Los Angeles). We’ve prominently featured all of those bands except Helsott, and it sounds like we need to find out more about them because the rest of the line-up kicks ass.
This tour was just announced on Friday and no dates or places have yet been revealed. All I know is that the tour is scheduled to kick off in late March 2013 and will cover both the United States and Canada. I guess I may finally have to break down and get a drinking horn. Maybe a battle ax. Possibly some animal skins. Because I don’t want to be the only person in the audience who doesn’t look awkward.
VOICES FROM THE DARK
News of this tour surfaced several weeks ago, and I’ve been waiting for release of the schedule . . . and am still waiting. The line-up is vicious. Marduk (Sweden) and Moonspell (Portugal) will be the co-headliners, and the tour will also include Inquisition (U.S.), The Foreshadowing (Italy), and Death Wolf (Sweden), which features members of Marduk.
On September 8, 2012, the current North American tour featuring Korpiklaani (Finland), Moonsorrow (Finland), Týr (Faroe Islands), and Metsatöll (Estonia) hit Seattle’s Studio Seven, with local support from Funeral Age and Blood and Thunder, and yours truly was there to bear witness. I again brought my camera, which both thinks for me and defeats my thinking because it speaks a language I don’t understand. I took pics, did the best I could to pretty them up on iPhoto, and have included the most tolerable ones in this post.
We got to the venue in broad daylight, at door-opening time because the guys from Blood and Thunder were starting off the night and we didn’t want to miss them. We headed for the venue’s balcony bar, hoping to grab a couple of the stools up against the balcony’s front railing so I could get an unobstructed view of the stage for pics and so I would have a place to park my lazy ass instead of standing for the next 5-6 hours.
No problem getting to the rail . . . but the stools were nowhere to be seen! I could already feel my ancient back beginning to stiffen up. But I put the anticipation of pain out of my head as soon as Blood and Thunder started to crank it up.
This was the first time I’d seen these dudes since a line-up change that brought on board a new bass player (not sure who he is) and new second guitarist and backing vocalist (Vance Bratcher). I had some question marks about what would happen, particularly because the band’s blackened form of melodic death metal gets intricate and relies in part on dual guitar solo’s and leads. But all was well.
Technically, we should have posted this yesterday, but yesterday was April Fool’s Day, and people might have thought we were making up some of this shit. But it’s all true, and nothing happens on April 2 to plant doubt about truth. Except for what causes doubt to be planted about truth on any other day of the year.
Here we are at the beginning of the second quarter of 2011 — the time when for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, spring is supposed to spring. Where I live, spring has apparently been victimized by a brutal street mugging and is hospitalized at the moment. A few plants have been deluded into thinking it’s spring, but for the rest of our local world, it’s still fucking winter.
Fortunately, the change of the seasons have fuck all to do with the release of metal. What we do with these installments of METAL IN THE FORGE is collect news blurbs and press releases we’ve seen over the last 30 days (or in this case, the last 31 days) about forthcoming new albums from bands we know and like (including updates about releases we’ve included in previous installments of this series), or from bands that look interesting, even though we don’t know them yet. And in this post, we cut and paste the announcements and compile them in alphabetical order.
This isn’t a cumulative list, so be sure to check the Category link called “Forthcoming New Albums” on the right side of this page to see forecasted releases we reported in previous installments. This month’s list begins right after the jump. Look for your favorite bands, or get intrigued about some new ones. There’s some awesome shit on the way. Dive in after the jump.
For those of you who’ve been hoping for a concept album based on the life of Eric the Red, the long wait is over: Thrudvangar has just released their fourth album, Durch Blut und Eis (Through Blood and Ice). Even if you haven’t been waiting for an Eric-the-Red concept album, Durch Blut und Eis is definitely worth checking out anyway.
This seems to be our week for discovering awesome bands that have been around for a while but somehow eluded our notice. Yesterday it was Shining, today it’s Thrudvangar. This band from the former East Germany takes its name from the mythical home of the Norse thunder god Thor, and as you might expect, they play Viking metal — but a heavily blackened form of the genre. In fact, it might be more accurately descriptive to say it’s Viking-ed black metal.
But before we get to the awesomeness of the music, it’s only fair to say a word about Eric the Red. As Viking explorers go, his story is a good one. (more after the jump, including a song to stream . . . .)