Jan 272012

When you take a song that’s pretty trippy to begin with and you put it into the hands of a creative director and a capable production company and give them a decent budget to work with, you get a fucking trippy video. That’s the conclusion I reached after watching the Born of Osiris video that debuted at midnight last night, Eastern Time.

The trippy song is “Follow the Signs”, from the band’s 2011 album The Discovery (reviewed at NCS by IntoTheDarkness here). It’s a mash-up of complexity and beauty,  punchy staccato riffing and Outer Limits keyboard effects, hardcore rage and prog-metal ambience. Sometimes when I listen to this song, it just leaves me confused, and sometimes I think its ingenious and convincing. Despite my own ambiguous feelings about it, I’ll say this: it’s definitely not dull.

Nor is the video. The visual effects are of a high order, much better than most metal music videos have to offer. They capture the mind-bending aspects of the song. Like the song sometimes does, the video also leaves me confused about what I’ve just seen, but as a dish of eye-candy, it’s delicious.

“We are the victims, but we are also the crime / And the only one who can judge us is the Earth in time.” So the song says, after its dreamlike opening. The lyrics aren’t dull either. The video bears watching, even if you’re not a big Born of Osiris fan. It’s right after the jump. (Thanks to TheMadISraeli for a late-night e-mail letting me know this thing was out and about.) Continue reading »

May 202011

(NCS writer Andy Synn has been burning up his keyboard this week. Today we’re featuring Andy’s review of live performances by The Faceless, Born of Osiris, Veil of Maya, and Gorod in Leicester, England, on May 17, 2011.)

Leicester’s Sub91 is a nice venue. It was my first time there and I was definitely impressed. The layout is spacious but focussed, with a well-positioned sound-desk, a nice-sized bar at the rear of the venue and a large, open stage which provides a good space for the band as well as a clear viewing area for the audience to watch. A perfect venue for tonight’s tech-tacular spectacular.

First up were French Jazz-Tech-Metallers Gorod, who quickly get down to business with a bruising, thrashy assault of complicated riffs and complex song structures. New singer Julien Deyres supplemented the more traditional death growls with an additional hardcore/thrash bark thrown in for good measure, whilst drummer Samuel Santiago performed as an obscenely tight machine on the drums, potentially the best drummer on the entire bill, handling the multitude of timing and tempo changes with ease, while maintaining an unrelenting pace throughout.

Guitarists Mathieu Pascal and Nicolas Alberny were reasonably static presences throughout, capably delivering impressively technical trade-offs and hook-filled tech-riffs with aplomb, while occasionally dropping down for a good old-fashioned headbang, which only served to reinforce the old-school 80’s thrash vibe of their performance. Think Atheist, Sadus, Martyr, but with a more modern, tech-ed up and souped out extreme metal edge.  (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Mar 172011

Okay, so I know I suck at contributing to this site. I haven’t written anything for NCS in quite some time. But, every so often, a piece of media comes along in some form, whether it be a movie, a TV show, or in this case, a piece of music, that changes your life. It has an effect on you that you can’t quite explain, but you can’t stop listening to it. It grabs you, holds on, and doesn’t let go, making you think and reflect on where you are in your life.

For me, Chicago metal band Born of Osiris‘ new album The Discovery, set to drop on March 22nd, did just that. I’ve now listened to it six times in less than 24 hours and I believe that it is not only the best album of the year, or the past two years, but I am not afraid to say that it is now my favorite album of all time.  (more after the jump, including a song . . .) Continue reading »

Mar 152011

Your three NCS co-founders, plus friends, spent last night at Seattle’s Studio Seven having our eardrums shattered and our brains pulped by an amazingly good set of performances by four very talented bands. I’m not writing this in order to gloat about getting to see the show. You know how sometimes you get so enthusiastic about an experience that the first thing you want to do is call up or text a friend and tell them about it? Well, that’s sort of what I’m doing with this post, but I do want to report a couple of surprises (at least for me) that might be of interest.

I went to the show mainly to see Darkest Hour (despite the fact that I’ve seen them three times before), though I was also curious to see The Human Abstract. It turned out to be an eye-opening night — especially in the case of Born of Osiris and the music they played from their forthcoming third album. All four of these bands have new releases (the one from As Blood Runs Black debuts today), all four played songs from the new albums, and it was all . . . just . . . awesome.

Studio Seven has a simple layout: There’s a big concrete floor and there’s a balcony that includes a bar. The balcony hangs over much of the floor, with the leading edge not more than 30 feet from the front of the stage below. IntoTheDarkness and I got to the venue early and waited in line almost one hour in a cold wind in order to get a perch at the front of the balcony bar area, which gave us (literally) a bird’s eye view of the stage and what turned out to be a packed, roiling mass of humanity directly below us.

Of course, I forgot my fucking camera, but I’m not sure it would have done me any good since the stage was shrouded in smoke effects most of the night. (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Feb 272011

We’re jumping the gun on this post, since the month doesn’t end until tomorrow. Why? Uh, because this post is ready to go and we don’t have anything else finished for today yet. Work and other shit interfered with our grand plans for a Sunday post.  We might still get another one up later today, but for now, feast your eyes on the barrage of metal headed our direction.

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 27 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. Continue reading »

Feb 012011

The first month of the year has come and gone. January brought those of us in Seattle some typically ass-sucking winter weather, though it wasn’t nearly as bad as the brutality dished out by the weather gods on our metal brothers and sisters in the Midwest and Northeast of the U.S. And of course, our readers ins places like Russia, and Finland, and Sweden are probably laughing their asses off reading our complaints about our winter weather. So, we’ll just shut up about that.

Besides, January brought all sorts of great new metal to our tender ears, so who gives a shit about the weather anyway? And you know what else January brought? It brought news of still more metal goodness on the way — great bursts of audio sunshine in our collective futures that will part these winter clouds and leave them whimpering in cloudy tatters.

Okay, maybe we should leave poetry to the poets and just get on with this next monthly installment of METAL IN THE FORGE, where we collect news blurbs and press releases we’ve seen over the last 30 days about forthcoming new albums from bands we know and like, or from bands that look interesting, even though we don’t know them yet. And in this post, we’ve cut and pasted the announcements and compiled them in alphabetical order. Look for your favorite bands, or get intrigued about some new ones:

AJATARRA: “AJATTARA — the Finnish band featuring former AMORPHIS frontman Pasi Koskinen (a.k.a. Itse Ruoja Suruntuoj) — will release its seventh album, Murhat (“Murders”) on February 2 via Osasto-A Records. Murhat is available for streaming in its entirety on the AJATTARA Facebook page.”  (much more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Nov 022010

Another month has passed. Another Halloween has come and gone. Here in Seattle, we are looking forward to what is supposed to be an especially wet, dark, cold, sucktastic winter — which is really saying something, given that all Seattle winters are wet, dark, cold, and sucktastic. If they weren’t, we would have the population of Los Angeles, so there’s a silver lining to that massively dark cloud.

Yes, the seasons come and they go, the great wheel of life rolls forward, and we are all one month closer to our end, whatever it may be. But as time inexorably passes, new things happen. In particular, we find out about new metal gestating in studios around the world, struggling and kicking and yearning to erupt into the air, screaming like a banshee.

And that brings us to another monthly installment of METAL IN THE FORGE, in which we cobble together a list of forthcoming new albums, cribbing like rag-gatherers and lint-pickers from PR releases and metal news sites like Blabbermouth in order to construct a line-up of new music that at least we’re interested in hearing, even if no one else is.

What we do in this series of posts is update the list of forthcoming new albums we first posted on January 1. (All the other updates can be found via the “Forthcoming Albums” category link on the right side of our pages.) After the jump, in alphabetical order, is a list of still more projected new releases we didn’t know about at the time of our previous updates, or new info about some of the previously noted releases. Continue reading »

Jun 072010

We do our best to keep up with news in the world of extreme metal. We read a few web sites every day that collect news items, we get press releases via e-mail, and we get alerts about MySpace and Facebook posts by bands we’re following. Put it all together, and it’s a daily flood of words — almost all of which are just completely forgettable, or worse. Usually, we find items that are either intentionally or (more often) unintentionally funny. Rarely, we find something we think is worth writing about on this site.

We’re kinda behind on putting together reviews of new music we’ve been cranking, and that may have lowered our newsworthiness threshold today, but whatever. Today, we’re just gonna dump a bunch of news on you that we read over the weekend, including one of those funny items and one new video that put us in a party mood. Not a lot of rhyme or reason to our choices, but there’s not much rhyme or reason to anything we do, so what the fuck?

Our topics? They involve Heaven Shall Burn, Hour of Penance, French Bat-Shit Grindcore, All Shall Perish, and The Ghost Inside.


Last Friday, German death metal and hardcore fusionists Heaven Shall Burn announced that their new album Invictus, which has already been released in Europe and will be released in North America tomorrow, landed on the official chart in Germany at position No. 9. According to the announcement, this marks Heaven Shall Burn’s and Century Media Records‘ first-ever Top 10 release in Germany.

The press release included this comment from guitarist Maik Weichert: “Top Ten! This is insane! It is a dream come true and we thank everybody who had something to do with it! Everything will be awesome! However, when the police stopped my car yesterday they were still quite unpleasant to deal with, so I am assuming they hadn’t heard the news yet . . .”  (lots more after the jump — stay with us . . .) Continue reading »

May 262010

If you live in the U.S. and you’re like us, you’ve been keeping your eye out for news about the 2010 North American installment of the THRASH AND BURN TOUR — because previous versions of that tour have been pretty decent.

Well, we’ve got some breaking news. The identity of the bands on the tour have now been announced — and the co-headlining acts are Born of Osiris and Asking Alexandria.  The full line-up comes after the jump, with a few more tidbits of info . . .

[UPDATE: The dates, cities, and venues for this tour have now been released — and we’ve added those after the jump, too . . .] Continue reading »

Dec 242009

Here at NCS, we’re putting a different spin on year-end listmania. Ours isn’t a list of the best metal full-lengths of the year. It’s not even necessarily our list of the best individual extreme metal songs of the year. Ours is a list of the most infectious extreme metal songs we’ve heard this year. We’re talking about songs that produce involuntary physical movement and worm their way into your brain to such an extent you can’t get ’em out (and wouldn’t want to).

We’re not ranking our list from #10 to #1 because that would be too much fucking work (and your co-Authors would still be arguing about it this time next year). So, our list is in no particular order. We’re also dribbling the songs out one at a time because your lazy Authors are still debating what belongs in the remaining slots. (Yes, still.) Our list heretofore:

1. Asphyx: Sorbutics

2. Mastodon: Crack the Skye

3. Amorphis: Silver Bride

4. Goatwhore: Apocalyptic Havoc

5. August Burns Red: Meridian

6. Pelican: Ephemeral

7. Scale the Summit: Age of the Tide

8. Daath:  Wilting On the Vine

And to see our ninth entry on the list, continue reading after the jump. Continue reading »