Sep 032014

Amebix, once upon a time…

Yesterday was one of those days. One of those days, which seems to happen about every once every two days in the world of metal, where a big old dump truck of metal backed up to my door and caved it in with a big load of new metal things of varying shapes and sizes, all of which then began to gnaw on my fleshy parts. I won’t try to cover all of it in this one post, but I’ll make a start… with three items that have something in common.


[The following is a revised version of what originally appeared here.)

A (black) rose by any other name…

No, there isn’t an Amebix any more, more’s the pity. Rob “The Baron” Miller announced the dissolution of Amebix in late 2012 following the release of the excellent Sonic Mass, and although he did say at the time that he and Roy Mayorga intended to work on new music “with a view to a new incarnation of the Amebix legacy, flying under a different banner”, it was clear that after the parting of ways by The Baron and his brother Stig, Amebix would not continue.

Although it appears that work between The Baron and Roy has not yet come to fruition, there is something else on the way that’s very exciting, albeit mysterious:  A few days ago the following clip appeared on YouTube and I saw it last night thanks to a friend (thank you KK).

And here it is: Continue reading »

Jan 142012

It seems like many “best of the year” lists include a category of “honorable mentions”. I don’t know how artists feel about being included in an “honorable mention” list. I would guess they feel pretty meh about it, or maybe even worse than that. The list-maker is sort of saying, “this was good, but not as good as the 10 or 20 albums that I thought were the best.” Thanks a fucking lot, you douchebag!

I have an honorable mention list to accompany our list of 2011’s “most infectious” extreme metal songs, which I finally finished rolling out yesterday. But this isn’t the typical “honorable mention” list. These aren’t songs that I omitted because I didn’t think they were quite as good as the ones on my list. They were on my “master list” of candidates, and I omitted them only because I decided I couldn’t honestly say they were “extreme metal songs”. Maybe some of you will think I already violated that rule with other songs on the list and I’m therefore acting inconsistently. Could be.

Anyway, consistent or not, here are four songs from the master candidate list that I thought were mighty infectious and mighty good, but not extreme enough to make the final cut.


This band’s 2011 two-disc album Svartir Sandar has blown up their profile far beyond the shores of that place of ice and fire they call home. In a word, the album is amazing. It’s full of ice and fire, too, but it also includes slow, melancholy, emotionally powerful songs like “Fjara”. Continue reading »

Sep 032011

It’s Labor Day Weekend, August is a thing of the past, and as some people count it, summer is over. School is on the verge of resuming for people still attempting to educate themselves, and a ton of new metal tours are looming on the horizon for the fall. And of course, the fall will be filled with new album releases, too. Which brings us to the latest monthly edition of METAL IN THE FORGE.

You know the drill:  In these posts, we collect news blurbs and press releases we’ve seen over the last month about forthcoming new albums from bands we know and like (including occasional updates about releases we’ve included in previous installments of this series), or from bands that look interesting, even though we don’t know their music yet. In this series, we cut and paste those announcements and compile them in alphabetical order.

Remember — this isn’t a cumulative list. If we found out about a new album before August, we wrote about it in previous installments of this series. So, be sure to check the Category link called “Forthcoming Albums” on the right side of this page to see forecasted releases we reported earlier. This month’s list begins right after the jump. Look for your favorite bands, or get intrigued about some new ones. And feel free to tell us about how we fucked up by omitting releases that you’re stoked about. Continue reading »

Jun 082011

I randomly watched three brand new videos this morning for three very different kinds of songs. If I were a baseball player, I’d say I went three for three at the plate — three chances, three hits. Three good songs, and as for the videos, I’d call them a triple, a double, and a single.

The triple comes from a UK underground band called Amebix, who haven’t released any new material in almost 24 years — until June 3, when they released a new single called “Knights of the Black Sun” on their own label, Amebix Records. The song includes much more clean singing than we usually tolerate around here, but I’ve fallen for it pretty hard. It soars like an anthem, with ringing guitars and passionate vocals and a memorable melody. The video is a dark, mesmerizing animation created by Andy Lefton and Fin McAteer. It’s beautiful to watch.

The double is the video for a new song by Taiwan’s Chthonic called “Takao”. It has been digitally released today (in Finland) as a single and will appear on the band’s next album, Takasago Army, to be released by Spinefarm Records. Stylistically, the song is very much in the vein of Finnish-brand melodic death metal, and naturally, I’m liking it a lot. Not surprisingly, there’s a “B-side” version of this same song on the single, with the choruses sung by members of Finland’s Ensiferum. To fully appreciate the beautifully made video, it helps to understand that the song is about a group of Taiwanese men recruited by the Japanese army from the Takao harbor to fight in the Pacific during World War II. According to Chthonic’s Doris Yeh, “they became the most revered and most feared combat unit in the Japanese Imperial Army.”

The single is a video for the title track to the new album from Florida’s Catalepsy — Bleed. The song is just a fucking crusher. The subject matter of the video isn’t nearly as interesting as the first two featured in this post, but it’s well made. As for the subject matter, let’s just say that you should remind me not to piss off Catalepsy, should I forget. Watch the videos after the jump. I think you’ll be glad you did. Continue reading »