Aug 102014

Last weekend (August 2-3) I spent two beautiful days in Denver attending the Denver Black Sky Festival. For someone who had never attended a metal festival of any kind before this year, I’ve had three great experiences in a row — MDF in May, Gilead Fest in July, and now Black Sky in August. I’d like to say I deserved it, but who would I be fooling?

The festival took place at The Gothic Theater and at Moe’s BBQ, both located in the same block on S. Broadway. I made the trip with three compatriots from Seattle, and we met my NCS comrade Badwolf from Toledo in what became an MDF reunion (and an unanticipated turning point for BadWolf’s life). We spent Saturday and Sunday at The Gothic, and missed some bands we ideally would have wanted to see at Moe’s, but had to make some tough choices.

The Gothic is a very cool, spacious, multi-level, vaulted-ceiling venue, with a wrap-around balcony on the second level, a big floor, and a great main stage with good lighting. The festival organizers set up a second stage opposite the main one, just in front of the bar at the rear of the floor. They called it “In the Round”, because its location enabled the audience to stand all around the stage; you could stand behind the second stage as well as in front of it (and you could also look down on it from the balcony above). Continue reading »

Dec 312011

I know that most of you will be like me tonight. You’ll curl up with a romance novel and a box of chocolates and have a quiet, dreamy evening that may or may not last long enough to watch New Year’s Eve fireworks on television before you drift into a restful slumber, awakening cheerful and refreshed on New Year’s Day. For those very few of you who plan to get wrecked, piss yourselves, and wake up bleeding in a pool of your own vomit with a thermonuclear hangover and missing teeth — this post’s for you, motherfuckers!!!!  It’s time to griiiiiiiiiinnnnnndd!!!!!

Today, we’re featuring brand new and recent releases from (respectively) Fuck the Facts and Brutal Truth, but first, what better way to start this special day/night than with a band called


This band is from — where else? — Finland. I first heard their name (and once you’ve heard it, how could you forget?) when doing a little research about the excellent new death metal band Magenta Harvest for this post last May. Magenta Harvest includes a guitarist named Timo Hanhikangas, who was then a member of Total Vomit Experience, too, and that’s how I heard the name. Eventually, I checked out their online sites and found this list of “artists we also like” on TVE’s facebook page:

Carcass, Napalm Death, Rotten Sound, Repulsion, Entombed, Pink Floyd, Frank Zappa, Celtic Frost, Hellhammer, Throbbing Gristle, Fields of the Nephilim, Current 93, Discharge, Extreme Noise Terror, Master, Anticimex, Godflesh, Swans

Now, of course, having good taste in metal doesn’t mean you can make metal that tastes good, even if you have an awe-inspiring band name like Total Vomit Experience. But it turns out that TVE definitely can make the tasty metal. Continue reading »

Sep 172011

(This is a grindcore kind of review (very short, borderline demented) by TheMadIsraeli of a grindcore album by one of the ancestral kings of grindcore, Brutal Truth.)


But no, seriously. Brutal fucking Truth? You bet your ass this album rules. A review of this thing is entirely pointless because I’m pretty sure that in order to dislike Brutal Truth you have to be lacking the metal gene and possess instead the I-listen-to-Design-The-Skyline-and-masturbate-to-tranny-porn gene.

What can I say? Well, it’s a throw-back to the quirky style of grindcore they pioneered on their sophomore release Need To Control. As in, it’s a throw-back to an album FILLED THE FUCK WITH FUCKING AWESOME. I mean, these guys are playing so savagely the music sounds like it’s going to fall apart and turn into total shit any minute, performed with such wild abandon, it’s like being shot at with a mini-gun that shoots nothing but sewing needles straight at you at 1000 rounds per second. Like being bombarded with trebuchets hurling bags of sledgehammers at you. LIKE DESTROYING THE FUCKING PLANET WITH YOUR MOST PRIMAL OF SCREECHES! Oh yeah, Kevin Sharp still has it by the way. (more after the jump . . .) 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 »

May 022011

What the hell is that big yellow thing up in the sky? It looks vaguely familiar, but it’s appeared so rarely here in The Emerald City over the last six months that we’re having trouble placing the name. Well, maybe the name will come to us. The great wheel of the seasons surely must continue to turn someplace, but in Seattle it seems to have been stuck on Winter since, like, forever. In some parts of the world, April showers bring May flowers, but here, April showers will probably bring . . . May showers.

Okay, enough whining. At least we don’t get tornados dropping from the sky like atom bombs and wiping whole towns off the map. And even though the weather hasn’t been our friend, we have metal to make up for the cold shoulder — and there’s a bunch of new metal headed our way.

What we do with these installments of METAL IN THE FORGE is collect news blurbs and press releases we’ve seen over the last month 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 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. Continue reading »

Oct 022010

I had a difficult experience last night. The evening started with tequila shots and continued with margaritas. The excuse to get soaked in the juice of the agave was an annual get-together of all the people I work with, which usually turns into a blow-out. Last night was no exception. The only difference is that this time, I didn’t require hospitalization by the end of the night. This morning is a different story. I’ll be calling 911 as soon as I get this post finished.

Before I reached the point of no return and was still able to carry on a conversation (otherwise known as “authentic frontier gibberish”), I started talking about music with someone I’ve known since the last geologic epoch. He’s never listened to extreme metal, and his mental image of metal appears to have stopped evolving somewhere around the high point of Def Leppard’s career.

I’m not sure he and I have ever talked about music, but in any case, he didn’t know about my addiction to the kind of music we cover on this site. He asked me to name a few bands, and I tried to come up with some of the most popular ones, hoping one would ring a bell (I mentioned Slayer, Lamb of God, and Mastodon), but the names meant nothing to him. He persisted — he was genuinely interested in trying to understand what the music sounds like and why I like it.

Now put yourselves in my shoes and imagine the challenge of trying to answer that question. I assume it’s akin to explaining “blue” to a person who’s been blind from birth, or maybe trying to explain Brutal Truth to a metalhead who doesn’t get the attraction of grind — and attempting to do those things while being about two and a half  sheets to the wind.   (more after the jump, including a new Brutal Truth video . . .) Continue reading »

Mar 182010

No secret that we’re big fans of grind legends Brutal Truth and we’ve also really been getting into spazzed-out, jazz-infused metal too (see. e.g., our write-ups on Shining and Psychofagist). So, our eyes lit up when we saw a press release today from Brutal Truth drummer extraordinaire Rich Hoak announcing the release of an unusual 3-way split by Reproductive Records.

The split includes one song each from three bands:  27 from Cambridge, MA (the song features Dana Colley of Morphine fame on the electric baritone sax); Gardenbox from Athens, Greece (whose music is described as “intense post-post-rock”); and the band that Hoak started after Brutal Truth originally dissolved — Total Fucking Destruction.

You can get a limited edition white vinyl 7″ here, which comes with an intricately folded cover that features the art of Dan McCarthy (see above). Or you can download the split for the meager sum of $2.97 at iTunes. And Rich says that all the proceeds will be donated to Best Friends Animal Society.

So, why are we shilling for this? Well, mainly because it’s got a new track from Total Fucking Destruction — which just destroys. “Welcome to the Fascist Corporate Wastelands of America, Part 2” is exactly what Rich tells us it is — a “jazz noise grind freakout” — a chaotic instrumental swirl of discordant howling, freaked-out guitar and bass riffs, and out-of-control drumming.

The other two songs aren’t quite as much our style, but we certainly aren’t gonna toss em away. The Gardenbox track is a melodic selection of proggery that starts dreamily and ends with a big rush. “Wood Veins” by 27 is what we think of in our uneducated heads as cool jazz, with cool, jazzy, clean female singing courtesy of Maria Christopher.

Putting all three of these very different sounds together makes for an interesting listening experience. See for yourself, and help out doggies and kitties at the same time.

Feb 022010

No, we’re not talking about the swine flu, or the avian flu, or the next animal virus that decides humans would be a nice host environment upgrade. We’re talking about new metal that has the potential to be sick.

On the first day of the New Year, we posted a round-up of new extreme metal albums forecast for release 2010, along with our list of the 21 we most wanted to hear.

One month has now passed, and we’ve discovered some forthcoming releases we didn’t know about on January 1. Seems like a good time for an update! So, we’ve cobbled together news blurbs about forthcoming albums from bands whose past work we’ve liked, or who look interesting for other reasons. Needless to say (but we’ll say it anyway), these are bands that fit the profile of music we cover on this site (with a couple of Exceptions to the Rule).

So, in alphabetical order, here’s our list of cut-and-pasted blurbs from various sources over the last 31 days about forthcoming releases we missed in our January 1 list:

AGALLOCH: “So what can we expect from the band’s long-awaited follow-up to Ashes Against the Grain? According to an interview songwriter John Haughm gave to German TV last May, ‘expect the unexpected.’ Haughm says that the next release will be ‘completely different’ from its predecessors — ‘a bit darker,’ closer to black metal, but with the same kind of dynamics that Agalloch is known for.  As for when we can expect the new album, Haughm said that he hoped it would be out by May 2010.”

APOCALYPTICA:  “Finnish rock cello quartet APOCALYPTICA has entered Sonic Pump studios in Helsinki to begin recording its new album for a spring/summer release.” [This is one of those Exceptions to the Rule.]

APOSTASY: “Four new songs from the Swedish black metal act APOSTASY are available for streaming on the band’s MySpace page. The tracks will appear on the group’s forthcoming third full-length album, Nuclear Messiah, which will be released later in the year.”  (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Jan 062010

We were way late talking about Brutal Truth‘s 2009 album Evolution Through Revolution — their first in nearly a decade — but when we finally did, we noted that Brutal Truth planned to release a second album of the same songs — except performing them live, in one take.

Well, that second album is now out — strictly limited to 2,000 copies worldwide. It’s called Evolution In One Take: For Grindfreaks Only! Volume 2. If nothing else, it’s an interesting experiment to listen to each song on Evolution followed by the same song on Volume 2 — which is what we did.  Our impressions after the jump . . . Continue reading »

Dec 242009

On December 23, in an act of complete randomness, we posted a piece on Brutal Truth and its 2009 release Evolution Through Revolution. It was completely random because the album came out in April, and we were only getting around to saying how much we dug it here in December. But it turns out there was some actual hot-off-the-presses Brutal Truth news we could have used as an excuse to blog about the band — except we didn’t hear about it until today. We’re clearly just a bunch of fucking slackers.

Anyway, the news is this:  on December 22 (the day before our post), Brutal Truth released Evolution In One Take: For Grindfreaks Only! Volume 2Evolution In One Take…is the band playing Evolution Through Revolution from start to finish, in one live take at Mark It Zero studios with engineer Dan O’Hare. Per the band’s label (Relapse),  Evolution In One Take… comes with a limited edition patch and is strictly limited to 2,000 copies worldwide. Additional release details can be found here.

Not sure there’s a point to this — an album that consists of the band playing the same songs released 8 months ago, except in one take instead of with engineering. But we’re so hot for Brutal Truth (in a strictly Platonic way) that we’ll listen to it and let you know. In any event, we’re now up to date. So there.