Sep 242014

About a week ago it was revealed that Bloodbath’s new vocalist is none other than Nick Holmes, the vocalist of Paradise Lost. At that time, it was further reported that the new album (Grand Morbid Funeral) “will see the return of the ravenous and cavernous growl that marked Paradise Lost’s debut album, Lost Paradise.”

Well, now you get to test the accuracy of that forecast, because the band have today premiered the first advance track from the new album — “Unite In Pain”.

This is an exclusive song stream, which means I can’t embed it for you. And fuck, I can’t even tell you what it sounds like, because, thanks to my fucking day job, I’m in a place at the moment where I can’t listen. But don’t let that stop you — here’s the link where you can find the song, and then feel free to leave Comments and let us know what you think: Continue reading »

Sep 162014

I’ve arranged the following new video and song premieres in a way that spurs imaginings of you trapped on the upper floor of a building being demolished by jackhammers of an alien design, plummeting toward the ground while shrieking in terror, and then being buried in a drizzling rain. Well, I don’t mean you in particular, I mean listeners and viewers in general. You’ll see.

But first, Sweden’s Bloodbath have finally revealed the identity of their new vocalist — a subject about which I and many others have been speculating since much earlier this year.


Yes, that’s right — just a couple hours ago Metal Hammer officially revealed that Bloodbath’s new vocalist is none other than Nick Holmes, the vocalist of Paradise Lost. He was indeed born in 1971, which was the first clue that Bloodbath offered way back in February. He was not the person I guessed then (I guessed Jörgen Sandström). I didn’t even seriously contemplate Mr. Holmes, given his predominant vocal style — but Metal Hammer reports that the new album (Grand Morbid Funeral) “will see the return of the ravenous and cavernous growl that marked Paradise Lost’s debut album, Lost Paradise.”

Metal Hammer further reports that the album will include guest appearances by Chris Reifert and Eric Cutler of Autopsy.

Surely you have some thoughts about this revelation, so feel free to sound off in the Comments. Continue reading »

Sep 112014


We have three song premieres coming your way on the site today, and I’m busy getting them ready to roll out, but I decided I needed to take a break for this one piece of news (published by Metal Hammer) to which my comrade Andy Synn just alerted me. Because it relates to the new album by Bloodbath.

First, they haven’t yet announced who will be the new vocalist in place of Mikael Åkerfeldt, so don’t bother asking. However, they have announced that the name will be revealed on September 16 via Metal Hammer. I already made my guess back in February (here).

Second, the name of the new album was disclosed today — Grand Morbid Funeral. It sounds like a grand name.

Third, the cover art was revealed — you can glimpse it above.

Fourth, it will be released by Peaceville Records on November 17.

Fifth, the press statement released today includes these titillating comments by guitarist Anders Nystrom: Continue reading »

Mar 212014

Well, yesterday at NCS didn’t go exactly as I had planned. We did have a couple of excellent song premieres and an interesting play-through video, but my old fucking day job prevented me from pulling together a round-up of new developments in the world of metal — of which there have been many in the last 48 hours. So I’m gathering a few in this post even though the reports aren’t as timely as I would have liked. By coincidence, all the items (but one) involve venerable Swedish bands.


Few albums in recent years have generated as much controversial commentary at our site than Opeth’s Heritage. It seems that all we had to do was mention that 2011 album, and conflicting opinions would come out of the woodwork like termites. It has been used as an example of both a band who betrayed their fans and one who felt free to let their artistic impulses dictate their direction rather than commerce. Some thought it was a fine album, others thought it was as dull as dishwater.

Yesterday, we got news about the band’s next album. Via an interview of Opeth’s Mikael Akerfeldt and Fredrik Akesson, Loudwire reported that the 11th studio (not yet titled) has been completed and projected for release in June. Loudwire has heard the album and wrote this: “Opeth’s songwriting is top notch on the album, but once again, the record features no guttural vocals.” Continue reading »

Feb 202014

Are you sitting down?  You should sit down before reading further.  Sweden’s revered Bloodbath added a note on their Facebook page earlier this morning. I’ll share it at the end of this post. In a nutshell, it indicates that Bloodbath have written 10 new songs and will begin the recording process next month. And that should mean we will have a new Bloodbath album in 2014, the first one since 2008’s The Fathomless Mastery.

Based on the note, it’s apparent that there will also be a new vocalist on this album — one who is neither Mikael Åkerfeldt nor Peter Tägtgren. The Facebook note provides clues to the new vocalist’s year of birth by listing a string of deadly disasters, ending with the statement, “The new singer for Bloodbath is born. Oh dear”.

To save you a bit of time, all of the listed disasters occurred in 1971. To save you a further bit of time, I’ve listed after the jump the names of some vocalists born in 1971, identified through my own half-assed research. I will say that the most likely candidate from the names I’ve found is Jörgen Sandström — who is currently the vocalist for my beloved Torture Division and also the vocalist/bassist for The Project Hate MCMXCIX (he also provided vocals, bass, and guitar for Grave on their first three albums and also played bass with Entombed from 1997-2004). Continue reading »

Apr 052012

In a year that has already delivered enough superb tech-death releases to give frenetic-metal addicts a month’s worth of wet dreams, we now have one more from a remote locale: South Africa. But the debut album by Bloodbeast is not the precision music of accelerated, machine-like aliens. It has no avant-garde injections of jazz fusion. It isn’t the musical equivalent of a chalkboard crammed with the formulas of quantum mechanics.

No, Bloodlust is the maniacal fever dream of ghouls, a canvas sprayed with blood splatter, a landscape decimated by a lurching horde of the electrified undead. It’s a technically masterful fusion of death, grind, and thrash that takes no prisoners and wants to drink your spinal fluid. I was fortunate to get an advance listen to the music, but thankfully, the album has now become available for everyone on Bandcamp.

Bloodbeast is a new band, but its members are veterans of the S.A. metal underground. The band’s leader, Van Zyl Alberts (aka Van666), was also the guitarist and co-vocalist of Architecture of Aggression, a long-running progressive death metal band we’ve written about several times at this site (e.g., here). The other members have paid their dues in outfits such as Bile of Man, Fuck the Corpses, and Demented Martyr. Joining together in Bloodbeast, they’ve clearly found a musical vehicle that suits their interests and successfully integrates their talents. Continue reading »

Apr 222011

Bloodbath is fucking sick. To quote Noisecreep, because they called it right: “When you can count vocalist Mikael Åkerfeldt (Opeth), guitarists Anders Nyström and Per Eriksson (Katatonia), bassist Jonas Renkse (Katatonia), and drummer Martin Axenrot (Opeth) in your band’s lineup, you definitely have the right to brag.”

Bloodbath’s three studio albums and two EPs kill shit, and they’re among our favorites here at the NCS Island. Unfortunately, the band doesn’t play live shows very often, but the one they did at the UK’s Bloodstock festival was captured on film and it’s about to be released (on April 25) by Peaceville Records in a DVD called Bloodbath Over Bloodstock. The DVD is also supposed to include a 16-page booklet, bonus footage taken from the PartySan Festival in 2008, and extensive band member interviews.

Today, the aforementioned Noisecreep exclusively premiered an excerpt from the DVD, with Bloodbath playing the song “Eaten”, from the band’s Nightmares Made Flesh album. It’s fucking sick. Watch it here after the jump (and thank you, Noisecreep). Continue reading »

Apr 022011

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. Continue reading »

Jan 022011

Dan Swanö is one of those names I associate with excellence in metal. He fronted the influential Swedish band Edge of Sanity (as well as others, including Nightingale), he’s been a member of other excellent metal bands, including Katatonia, Ribspreader, and Bloodbath, and he’s appeared as a guest vocalist or instrumentalist on albums by many others.

In addition to his creative work as a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, he has for many years run a recording studio in his hometown of Örebro called Unisound, and has been responsible for recording (and/or mixing/mastering) an eye-popping number of albums by the likes of Opeth, Dissection, Marduk, Dark Funeral, Katatonia, and The Project Hate MCMXCIX. Search Blabbermouth using his name for recent news, and you’ll see that he’s scheduled to work on the production of new albums from Asphyx, Coldworker, and November’s Doom, among many others.

Swanö ran Unisound for most of the 1990s, then closed it for several years, and reopened it again in 2005. In 1994, he started a guestbook, where bands with whom he worked would add remarks and Polaroid photos of themselves in the studio. As one guestbook would become filled, he would start another.

Earlier this afternoon we learned that Swanö has arranged for the digitizing of the guestbook for 1996-1997, and he’s made it available on-line, along with his own “liner notes”. It’s fascinating, and after the jump we’ll tell you more about it and give you a link where you can see it for yourselves. Continue reading »

Jul 252010

Time for another installment of this Twitter-ish log in which I presume you’re interested in how I spent my morning, skipping over such vital details as what I ate for breakfast, what I’m wearing, and where my cat is licking himself right now.

Have no fear, this is just a log of the metal I listened to and watched in my latest internet browsing session — following up on press releases, MySpace add requests, and e-mail recommendations, and just some general fucking around. In all cases (with one exception), I had no previous exposure to the bands, and so no real clue whether what I found would be good, bad, or indifferent.

So, here’s what I did, in order of doing it, with no filtering and no guarantees that any of this will be worth your time — though I’m guessing most of what I found will be as new to you as it was to me. The bands I checked out are: Hellish Outcast (Norway); Citi (California); Episode 13 (Turkey); Darkness Dynamite (France); The Forrest Gump Mile High Marathon (Mars); and the one exception mentioned above, Bloodbath (Sweden).


I started off by exploring the music of Hellish Outcast, which is from that historical hot-bed of black metal, Bergen, Norway. We’d received a press release announcing the news that Thebon, frontman for the awesome Keep of Kalessin, would be joining Hellish Outcast as its new vocalist. (Have no fear KOK fans, Thebon hasn’t left that band, he’s just pulling double-duty). And then I found out that one of Hellish Outcast’s founders and its current drummer is Mads Lillevedt, who’s a member of the also-awesome Bergen band Byfrost. (We reviewed the latest albums by KOK and Byfrost here and here.)

That was more than enough incentive to visit the band’s MySpace page (here) and listen to some tunes from their 2008 EP, with the inviting title, Raping – Killing – Murder. And I’ll tell you what I thought — after the jump. Continue reading »