Jun 252014

Belphegor’s new album Conjuring the Dead is set for release by Nuclear Blast on August 5 in North America (August 8 in the EU/Brazil, August 11 in the UK and France). It was recorded at Mana Studios in Florida with Eric Rutan. Within the last hour the band debuted a lyric video for the album’s first track, “Gasmask Terror”.

You can watch it right here… Continue reading »

May 072014

Here’s the second of today’s planned round-ups of new and noteworthy music and informational items that your fiends at NCS have selectively sifted from the slurry of the interhole for your enjoyment and edification.


It seems to be “Seth Siro Anton” day at NCS. First we helped premiere a new song from his band Septicflesh, and now we have the unveiling of his very recognizable artwork for Conjuring the Dead — the forthcoming 10th studio album by Belphegor. The album was recorded at Mana Studios with Hate Eternal’s Eric Rutan. It’s due for release by Nuclear Blast on August 8 in North America and the EU and on August 11 in the UK and France.

More than three years have passed since Blood Magick Necromance, and so we’re pretty damned hungry for some new Belphegor here at NCS. We’re ready to be fed! As soon as we have music to play for you, you can be sure we’ll do that without delay. To keep tabs on Belphegor, their FB page is at this place. Continue reading »

Nov 012013

In the realm of metal, Halloween has become a big day for news and for the premiere of new music and videos. We had more than our average number of posts yesterday in an effort to keep up, but we still didn’t even come close. So to start this post-Halloween Friday, here are five new videos that premiered yesterday.

Because there’s so much to see and hear, I’ll be cutting back on my usual verbose introductions — literally — by largely eliminating the use of verbs. In the next post, we’ll present some new Halloween Day songs that debuted in non-video form.


The music: “In Blood — Devour This Sanctity”, a song inspired by “The Hungarian Dances” by Johannes Brahms. The album: Blood Magick Necromance (2011) (reviewed here). The video: filmed live at “Moskva Hall”, Moscow, October 6, 2013, plus assorted Belphegorian imagery.

Impressions: spine-tingling; heat lightning indoors; holy shit that drumming; satanic imperialism extends its reach; next album due May 2014, bring it! Continue reading »

Mar 232013

I’m making a slow start on the blog today. I was putting the finishing touches on a pocket-sized fusion reactor that runs on spit, produces beer as a by-product, and will supply the power (and beer) needs of an entire neighborhood for a century. I’ve been working on the idea for a few days and figured I’d just go ahead and get er done.

Also, I stayed up late last night partying with my co-workers after completing that month-long day-job project I’ve been whining about, and I got obliterated.

Anyways, here are a few things I saw and heard this morning after finishing the reactor and waiting for those skull trolls in my head to stop hammering on shit with lead mallets. I hate skull trolls.


According to a press release I got, Austria’s Belphegor have finished tracking drums, bass, and guitar for their new album, working with producer Erik Rutan (Hate Eternal). That’s the good news. The bad news is that the release of the new album has been pushed back to early 2014. Frontman Helmuth Lehner,  who nearly died last year as a result of complications from a typhus infection he contracted on tour in Brazil, is scheduled to record vocals in June and July, with mixing and mastering to be done in September. Continue reading »

Sep 212012

Today I spent a little time with Belphegor and Cradle of Filth. Despite the title of this post, I don’t really consider them in competition with each other. They’re really in different leagues, and interleague play hasn’t started yet. I know they’re in different leagues because the uniforms are different. Belphegor are in the helmeted-and-gas-masked division and, as you can see below, Cradle of Filth are in the eyeliner-and-funny-hats division:

Cradle of Filth have a new album — The Manticore and Other Horrors — that will be released on October 29 (EU) via Peaceville Records and October 30 (NA) via Nuclear Blast USA. Today I listened to one of the tracks from the album. Belphegor have a new album due for release in March 2013, and today I watched a video of drum and bass tracks being laid down at Erik Rutan’s Mana Studios in Florida. Continue reading »

Mar 022012

For a change, I actually remembered on the second day of the new month that that the preceding month had ended; usually takes longer than that. My creditors would be happy, except I think their bills need to age a while longer. But yes, February is history — and that means its time to post our usual monthly round-up of news about forthcoming albums. Today’s list is a little more comprehensive than the half-assed job I did at the end of January, which means it’s about three-quarters assed. One of these days it will be fully assed.

Here’s how this round-up usually works: In these METAL IN THE FORGE posts, I collect news blurbs and press releases I’ve seen over the last month about forthcoming new albums from bands we know and like at NCS (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, I cut and paste those announcements and compile them in alphabetical order.

Remember — THIS ISN’T A CUMULATIVE LIST. If I found out about a new forthcoming album earlier than the last 30 days, I probably 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.

Having said all that, please feel free to leave Comments and tell all of us (me and your fellow readers) what I missed when I put this list together, because I’m abso-fucking-lutely certain that I missed all sorts of shit. So let us know about albums on the way that  you’re stoked about, even if you don’t see them here! Continue reading »

Jan 052012

This is Part 11 of our list of the most infectious extreme metal songs released this year. Each day until the list is finished, I’m posting two songs that made the cut. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the Introduction via this link. To see the selections that preceded this one, click the Category link on the right side of the page called MOST INFECTIOUS SONGS-2011.

In yesterday’s Part 10 of this list, we veered off our usual, heavily beaten path with two slow, doomy songs that were as beautiful as they were dark and featured almost entirely clean singing. Today, we’re back on path — straight down the fuckin’ middle of it. This installment of the series could be called the “rip hell” edition, because that’s what both songs do — they’ll rip the bloody hell out of your head, leaving a spurting neck stump — and a smile on what remains of your face.


The 2011 Unique Leader release by this Polish band only made one of the many year-end album lists we’ve posted over the last month — the one from Johan Huldtgren (Obitus), but there would have been a second appearance if I hadn’t been too lazy to create one of my own, because it made a lasting impression. To borrow from my review of Demiurge of the Void in October:

“The music — all of it — is a jet stream of head-whipping fury. . . . [T]he pattern consists of this: Brutally fast, razor-sharp, blood-spattering riffage, blasting with the heat of an acetylene torch, segmented into massive slamming beats that deliver a physical jolt. Tempos that unpredictably stagger a step forward or a step back or just plain stomp on your neck, just to prevent you from getting too comfortable. Drums that follow a near-inhuman pace, a percussive holocaust designed to provoke a non-stop adrenaline rush. Diseased guitar solos that either moan sickeningly in the background of the aural torrent or slither forward out of the chaos, like a serpentine creature trying to escape the maelstrom. Bestial barking vocals that well up from a deep, dark place.” Continue reading »

Dec 162011

(This is the last installment in Andy Synn’s week-long series of posts looking back at albums released this year. Andy previously provided his lists of the year’s Great albumsthe Good ones, and the most Disappointing ones, as well as his list of “The Critical Top 10″. For more explanation of what all this means, plus Andy’s picks for the year’s best EPs, visit this location.)

So here we are, the last list of Andy Synn Week (maybe not the official title, but give me something here guys). Here you will find the ten albums that have made the biggest impact on me personally, the ones which make the most frequent appearance on my playlist. Rarely a day goes by without me listening to at least one of these albums, often several times.

You will note that, in contrast to last year, all my favourite albums this year are drawn from my “Great” list. For once, this is definitely coincidental; it just so happens that as I was paring down my overall list of favourite albums to a mere ten entries, I was left solely with albums that I believe are personally, as well as critically, my absolute favourites. It also covers a whole spectrum of albums, some released right back at the very beginning of the year, reaching all the way up to extremely recent releases, so it also serves as a reasonably comprehensive list in terms of the time-frame it covers!

There’s some minor cross-over with yesterday’s list, as some albums were always bound to be both critically and personally fulfilling, but largely you’ll find here a cross-section of my musical preferences from the year. Each album comes with a short explanation of why I love it; not necessarily why it’s the “Best” album of the year, but just why it clicks with me personally. Continue reading »

Jun 072011

At the risk of swamping you in too much music for a single post, I’m collecting four items here that I discovered this past weekend. The unifying theme for this collection is blackness.

Black, as in Black Dahlia Murder covering “This Mortal Coil” by Carcass, with Jeff Walker on guest vocals. Black, as in a good-quality video of Anaal Nathrakh performing “Do Not Speak” at a club in Paris on May 31. Black, as in news about a tribute album to Enslaved, featuring 20 bands (plus the schedule for a fall North American tour by Enslaved along with Ghost and Alcest). Black, as in another quality performance video — of Belphegor vomiting forth satanic spew in Denver on May 16. Without further ado …


For some reason, I continue to receive my copy of DECIBEL magazine way early. I’m not complaining. Well, maybe I’m complaining a little. I’ve had the July issue for a week now — the one with Trey Azagthoth and David Vincent of Morbid Angel on the cover and a big feature inside about their new album Illud Duvinum Insanus — which has already generated an insanus amount of controversy in the web-world (much of it among people who haven’t even heard the album yet).

Because I received the issue early, that means I’ve had a week to stare at the “flexi disc” inside — the recording on a piece of plastic of Black Dahlia Murder covering “This Mortal Coil” by Carcass. I’ve been staring at it because listening isn’t an option — since I don’t own a fucking turntable. I’ve been waiting semi-patiently for someone to transfer the music to digital and put it up on YouTube, which has now finally happened. The digital transfer didn’t happen seamlessly — you can hear some of the imperfections on the flexi-disc — but the BDM cover is a slayer.  (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Jan 102011

[EDITOR’S NOTE: NCS writer Andy Synn reviews Belphegor’s new album . . .]

Well, the 9th album by the real Austrian death-machine is finally here. Immediate impressions are favourable, I’ll grant you that, but really what does one expect from a band like Belphegor whose past releases have all shared the same blast-frenzy?

For one thing, I’d say the sound is more “blackened” in several ways than either of their previous two releases, the guitar tone a little sharper and less “thick” than previous album Walpurgis Rites, the cutting riffs acting more like a scalpel than a bludgeon this time around. There is also a much more refined use of melody, on almost all of the tracks, that adds a sense of atmosphere.

This approach clearly stems directly from Bondage Goat Zombie and Walpurgis Rites (which could be considered the start of a new chapter for the band), but the overall feeling of the new record is of a far more agile and dangerous beast.

Whilst the “chunkiness” of the previous two records may be mostly absent, the song-writing incorporates far more subtlety and nuance (well, as far as a Blackened-Death metal band with an obsession with Satan and Sado-masochism can be considered subtle and nuanced) and uses many of their own familiar tropes in new and interesting ways. The differences in production and tones also allow a wider emotional palette to be invoked and the whole record feels arguably fresher and more supple.  (continued after the jump . . .) Continue reading »