Sep 262013

Amoral are a Finnish band who I first heard about almost two years ago through my internet pen pal fireangel of the Night Elves. They released their fifth album, Beneath, in 2011, but they recently announced that they’ve completed a new one entitled Fallen Leaves & Dead Sparrows that will be released next year. Today they began streaming the first advance track from the album, a song called “If Not Here, Where?”

I gather from some info that fireangel sent me in the past that Amoral’s sound began to change following the addition of new vocalist Ari Koivunen before the recording of the fourth album — more melodic songs with big choruses, more clean vocals, a drift toward more “classic” metal, with even some glam overtones. You can probably guess why I didn’t dive right into Beneath. I did post a video for one of the songs from that album (“Wrapped In Barbwire”), because it was such a catchy motherfucker, with groovy riffs and a repeatable chorus — but the vocals still weren’t my kind of thing.

The new song, on the other hand, has hooked me — and not just because the clean vocals are balanced by jagged howls. At more than 9 minutes, it’s an ambitious undertaking, one that begins with an extended, primarily acoustic overture and Koivunen’s power-metal-styled tenor in the spotlight. For some reason, I thought I was about to hear a previously unreleased Journey or Yes song. And then the heavy riffing began, and the song grew progressively more interesting as it grew more  . . .progressive. Continue reading »

Jun 012012

Those of you who don’t have a problem with clean singing in metal will be just fine with this post.  And for those of you who are like me and have a low tolerance for it, well, just bear with me.  In the end, I think you’ll have some fun with this, too.  What I have here are two videos that debuted yesterday, both of which are clever and both of which feature some pretty catchy jams . . . but no growlies.


Djerv is a Norwegian band fronted by Agnete Kjølsrud, whose name I recognize only because she sang along with Dimmu Borgir on three of the songs on Abrahadabra, including “Gateways”. You may recall that she appeared prominently in Dimmu’s video for that song. Djerv released their self-titled debut album on Indie Recordings last year, and of course I haven’t heard it, because . . . well . . . you can guess why.

Yesterday marked the appearance of an official video for one of the songs from that album — “Headstone”. I decided to give it a shot, and I’m glad I did. It features the kind of film-making technique that converts footage of real people (in this case, the members of Djerv) into animated characters. I saw a comment on Djerv’s FB page that described it as Frank Miller meets Night of the Living Dead, and that captures it pretty well. It’s fun to watch, and funny, too. Continue reading »

Nov 032011

October is over, except for Halloween, which continues to go on and on here at the metallic island that NCS calls home. Your humble editor spent the end of the month and the beginning of this new one grinding away at his fucking day job, which explains why this installment of METAL IN THE FORGE is late. It also explains why it’s more than typically incomplete, but more on that later.

Here’s the deal:  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 forthcoming album before September, 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. I fell down on the job of monitoring the interhole and press releases to catch news about new albums that looked potentially cool to me, so I know I missed announcements of new releases that should be included here. So, feel free to leave Comments and tell all of us what I missed. Let us know about albums on the way that  you’re stoked about! Continue reading »