Aug 172017
 

 

(In this long post we have not one but two extended reviews by DGR, one focusing on the 2017 album by the Greek band Nightrage and the second dwelling upon the 2017 album by the Dutch storytellers in Carach Angren.)

If there is one thing I’m a big fan of doing throughout the year, it’s the inevitable dive backwards into the earlier part of the year in order to play the increasingly desperate catch-up game, to write about releases I’ve been listening to, but never took the time out to say anything about. I’ve got a handful of those, and now that I have a little bit more free time from the day-job (which will be brief, let me tell you, the holiday season approaches) I can finally talk about two pretty constant spins from 2017 that NCS hasn’t had the chance to cover yet, completely glossing over the fact that I’m the guy at the site who will usually wave the flag for both bands.

The two this time around are melodeath stalwarts Nightrage and their seventh (!) album, The Venomous, and the latest batch of supernatural symphonic shenanigans from Carach Angren and their album Dance And Laugh Amongst The Rotten.

Nightrage – The Venomous

Without descending too much into an image of me in a room with newspaper articles and photos all connected with string in so many ways that I can barely move around inside of it, disheveled with a half-drunk cup of coffee that has somehow managed to turn semi-solid, screaming that “there has to be some sort of connection here!”, I’m starting to think that the melodeath crew of Nightrage have developed a pattern. It’s one I hoped that with the March release of their album The Venomous, the band would manage to break. Continue reading »

Sep 132016
 

Wormrot-Voices

 

(DGR steps forward with a round-up of new songs and videos. We will have a second round-up later today as well.)

Wormrot – Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Grind

If it feels like this summary is a little shorter than usual, it’s because the song itself is kind of like a car crash that you didn’t see coming. One moment, you’re blissfully unaware of anything around — then you blink, you see headlights and hear the crunch of metal, and that is the end. Such is the case with Wormrot’s new blink-and-you’ll-miss-it song.

Yes, the end of last week brought welcome news to the NCS fold in the form of new music from Singapore’s Wormrot. The newly released song, entitled “Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Grind” comes off of the group’s new album Voices — due next month and their followup to 2011’s Dirge. Like many of Wormrot’s songs, “Spotless Grind” clocks in at just over a minute and is punchy as can get, having said all it needs to say in the meantime — which can mostly just be boiled down to “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGHHHHH” over a series of unrelenting grind blasts. Continue reading »

Apr 162015
 

 

(DGR reviews the latest album by the Dutch band Carach Angren., which is out now on Season of Mist.)

One of the things I love about Carach Angren is how divisive they are amongst the staff at this site. For some, they’re “LARP-Friendly black metal” and for others they’re an enjoyable band. When it comes to a genre like symphonic black, I own up to it time and time again that I am, in large part, an idiot.

I scratch the surface of the genre but it has been a huge blind spot for me, as has black metal as a whole; when it comes to the great divide of metal, between the black metal and the death metal guys, I tend to fall on the death metal side of the spectrum. I like my fair share of death metal bands masquerading as black metal groups, but rarely the traditional, ethereal, and anguish-fueled howls or the purposefully roughly-produced walls of sound of the early generations of proper black metal — which roughly translates to me being perfectly OK with Carach Angren and their symphonic horror tomes.

I think a large part of this is how you see the band. For me, Carach Angren are a group of storytellers who happen to really love their camp. They’ve never been the most black metal thing out there, and frankly, their stories have never been the most traditionally black metal out there, having covered a battlefield or two and even doing a nautical-themed disc, though the latter has become a bit more common and has been done increasingly well by other bands. The only thing you can be sure of is that the body count on a Carach Angren disc is probably going to be high and no one is going to escape happily. I’ve never had a thought of , “Well, this oughta end just swell for this character!”, when listening to a Carach Angren album, instead just counting down the minutes until their inevitable end. Continue reading »

Aug 112014
 

Collected in this post you will find news of three U.S. or North American tours. News about the first two is still somewhat incomplete, and I’m a bit late reporting on the third one. All three are enticing.

“IN THE MINDS OF EVIL”

Last month news surfaced about a tour to be headlined by Deicide, named after their most recent album, In the Minds of Evil. Last night Inquisition posted an announcement on their Facebook page about the tour, which was interesting because when the tour was announced last month Marduk was named as one of the support bands, but now it appears that Marduk are out and Inquisition are in. In addition, Abysmal Dawn have been added to the line-up. Here’s the complete list of bands:

DEICIDE
SEPTICFLESH
INQUISITION
ABYSMAL DAWN
CARACH ANGREN

An updated official tour flyer hasn’t been released yet, so I decided to use a photo of an embryo of the short-tailed fruit bat (embryonic stage 19).

Inquisition also included an initial schedule of dates in their FB post, while noting that more dates will be added. Here’s the schedule so far: Continue reading »

Apr 042013
 

(NCS writer Andy Synn has returned from Oslo’s Inferno Festival, held on March 27-30, 2013, and brings us a multi-part report of what he saw and heard, along with photos. Check out the previous installments here and here.)

Day 2 of the festival had fewer bands I was particularly dying to see, so I decided to check out some different acts I’d never seen before, so as to make better use of my time and to fulfil my journalistic pretensions a bit more.

We decided to have a later start to the day, arriving in time to see Aeternus hit the stage and introduce the crowd (if any introduction was needed) to their twisted take on the darker side of the black/death metal aesthetic. Drawing liberally from all the various spheres of the metallic spectrum, the group performed like a well-drilled musical machine, though their focus on slippery shifts between styles meant that their live stage presence was a little more unassuming than most.

Though the band last played here 11 years ago, there was very little rust to be found on them, as they bled their instruments dry of every hypnotic riff and spiralling, dissonant lead they could wring out of them. Continue reading »

Feb 182013
 

Hey, happy fucking Monday to all you brain-dead metal heads. Here’s a big collection of new music and news that I came across at the start of my bleary-eyed morning today.

LOST SOCIETY

I’ve confessed before that straight-up old-school thrash is not among the metal genres that are nearest and dearest to my black heart. In addition, I’ve become even more numb due to the avalanche of re-thrash releases by many new bands who all sound alike to me. But with that said, I’m digging the shit out of a new song clip that premiered today by a Finnish band named Lost Society.

The song title alone hooked me: “Braindead Metal Head”. And then the music Finnish-ed me off. It’s a jet-fueled, out-of-control thrash rocket with multiple warheads. The riffing is catchy as fuck, the vocals are pleasingly drunk on the high energy, and the obligatory guitar solo is a first-class trip to shred city. This is speed metal I can get behind.

The video strings together words of high praise by the likes of Mille Petrozza (Kreator), Schmier (Destruction), Andreas Kisser (Sepultura), Craig Locicero (Forbidden), and Kragen Lum (Heathen), and they might know what they’re talking about. Continue reading »

Feb 072013
 

Here are a duo of new videos I spied yesterday and this morning that I thought were worth sharing. They stood out because the visuals enhanced the music and were actually very entertaining to watch, which I honestly can’t say about most metal videos.

BLUE STAHLI

I discovered Blue Stahli thanks to an interview with him that DGR did for us last year. I’ve been following his social media and music releases since then, and it’s obvious that he’s a clever, creative, slightly unhinged dude, and I like his style, even though the kind of music he makes isn’t my usual kind of thing.

This morning, Bloody Disgusting premiered a music video for the song “ULTRAnumb”, which comes from Blue Stahli’s 2011 self-titled album, which you can acquire here. The song is a catchy piece of work with an industrial beat and harsh vox that remind me of Devin Townsend’s, plus clean crooning that doesn’t make me run for the exits. And the video . . . the video is a complete head trip, most of it funny as hell, and ultimately full of gore, too. Continue reading »

Jun 152012
 

(Four days, four reviews in a row by DemiGodRaven, who is in catch-up mode. Today, we have his take on the new album by Carach Angren.)

Imagine if you and your friends were out on a camping trip and decided to sit around telling ghost stories. As the night goes on, the stories get worse and worse as each of you tries to one-up the others in the horror factor contained within each. Stories of war, suicide, cannibalism, almost everything is fair game. Carach Angren’s latest release, Where The Corpses Sink Forever, is like an audio version of that. Each song contains its own little story, of a person or a group of people and the absolutely awful things that happen to them, with a thin thread connecting all of them.

Carach Angren have a love for drama and the theatrical, and so it seems like a natural fit that they play symphonic black metal, a style that allows them to be as grand as they want and that permits them to indulge the spectacle of getting all decked out. Some of you may remember these gentlemen from the group’s previous release, another story-driven disc by the name of Death Came Through A Phantom Ship. It’s where I jumped aboard (thanks folks! I’ll be here all week! Tip your waitresses and try the veal!) with the band.

Death Came Through A Phantom Ship told the story of a captain of a Dutch East India Company ship who became increasingly corrupted over time by the deeds and atrocities he committed. It culminated in a final act in which he flung the Bible overboard, killed one of his crewmen, and sailed into a maelstrom, where a bolt of lightning eventually struck the ship, impaling him to the wheel of his now-sinking vessel.

And now they’ve written another disc, and what subjects do the band decide to take on for a large part of it? World War I and World War II. Continue reading »

Apr 192012
 

This photo seemed appropriate for this post. (Thanks to Alfonso for sharing it on FB.) It’s a pic of what two fishermen pulled up in their net from Mexico’s Sea of Cortez on Sunday. Fortunately for them, it was already dead. This Great White shark measured almost 20 feet long and weighed an estimate 2,000 pounds. It took 50 people to help pull the carcass ashore. More details can be found here.

And that’s about all the introduction I can afford for this post, except to say that I’ve rounded up a bunch of new flesh-eating music and am throwing it at your head. Here’s what I caught in my net, in no particular order:

New videos from Cryptopsy (Canada), Fester (Norway), Mordbrand (Sweden), and In Mourning (Sweden), plus new songs from Carach Angren (The Netherlands) and Antigama (Poland). That ought to hold you . . . and eat you. (To learn more about each band, click on their names.) 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 »