Dec 192011

There’s now extensive evidence that hundreds of millions of years ago, all of Earth’s continents were joined together in one “super-continent” that scientists call Pangaea. Over immense periods of time, Pangaea divided into two smaller super-continents called Laurasia and Gondwanaland. Those giant land masses eventually divided into the continents we see today, and they have been drifting apart ever since, through the operation of plate tectonics.

Less than hundreds of millions of years ago, I listened to a shit-ton of melodic metalcore. In fact, it made up a significant majority of the metal I used to crank up on a daily basis. It was like a big land-mass of music where I lived. Over time, I’ve steadily drifted away from it, to the point where I almost never listen to it at all. I’ve moved away from it, or it moved away from me, and there’s now an ocean between us. The genre became saturated, but in my case, the main explanation is that my tastes changed.

It’s not enough to say that melodic metalcore stagnated, though it has. I now listen to genres of metal that haven’t changed much more than metalcore has changed over the same period of time, or even longer (old-school death metal anyone?). My tastes have simply moved in the direction of more extreme music.

One of the melodic metalcore bands whose albums I used to eagerly consume as they came out was Germany’s Caliban. They’ve been putting out albums since 1999, and they still are. The latest (their 8th) is called I Am Nemesis, and it’s scheduled for a North American release by Century Media on Feb. 28, 2012. This morning, the band released an official music video for the first single, “Memorial”. For Caliban, time has stood still. Continue reading »

Dec 022011

November is done, and the countdown begins to the end of 2011 and he beginning of the New Year. We’ve been so focused this week on the year behind us, since 2011 Listmania is now in full swing, that we almost forgot that there is a future, and it will be filled with metal.

So, here’s the deal:  In these METAL IN THE FORGE posts, we collect news blurbs and press releases we’ve seen over the last month (November) 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 November, 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. As usual, this list is half-assed rather than comprehensive. So, feel free to leave Comments and tell all of us what we missed when we put this list together. Let us know about albums on the way that  you’re stoked about! Continue reading »

Dec 192009

wacken10smallVans WarpedYesterday, NCS Co-Author IntoTheDarkness posted a piece on the brutality of German extreme metal bands. In an episode of synchronicity, this morning I saw three news updates about festivals scheduled for 2010 — one in the U.S. and two in Germany. And the comparison speaks volumes. On the one hand, we have the 2010 Vans Warped Tour spreading across the US next summer like a brain-sucking plague. On that tour, you’ll have the opportunity to see such stupifyingly awful bands as Attack! Attack!, Breathe Carolina, and Eyes Set to Kill. There are a few saving graces on the tour — Parkway Drive, Suicide Silence, and Whitechapel. But suffering through the rest of the 67-band lineup for the opportunity to see those dudes would be worse than a garden-hose colonoscopy without anesthesia.

SUMMER_BREEZE_2010On the other hand, next year in Germany we’ll have the latest installments of (a) the Summer Breeze festival scheduled for August 19-21 in Dinkelsbühl; and (b) the Wacken Open Air festival scheduled for August 5-7 in (where else) Wacken, Germany. At Summer Breeze, you could see the likes of Asphyx, Barren Earth, Behemoth, Dark Tranquillity, Despised Icon, Dying Fetus, Hypocrisy, Necrophagist, Obituary, Sepultura, Swallow the Sun, The Crown, and Maroon. And Wacken Open Air will feature bands such as Amorphis, Arch Enemy, Caliban, Immortal, Iron Maiden, and Slayer.

What’s really mind-blowing about the contrast is that those German festivals, each spread over just a few days in a single location, will draw tens of thousands (e.g., 70,000 tickets were sold for the 2009 edition of Wacken Open Air more than 200 days in advance). To get that kind of attendance in the U.S. for metal, you apparently need to have a line-up of largely craptastic bands and a schedule of about 40 dates in 40 cities.

To be fair, the German festivals draw crowds from all over Europe, and the U.S. does have some legitimately extreme festivals that are drawing headbangers in increasing numbers (the Maryland Deathfest, now in its 8th year, comes to mind most prominently). But still, so far, it’s no contest.

For full lists of the bands scheduled to date for these 3 tours, continue reading after the jump.

Continue reading »