Aug 082016
 

Carnifex-Slow Death

(This is Andy Synn’s review of the new album by San Diego’s Carnifex.)

Who’d have thought it, but the modern Deathcore scene is now around 15 years old. And although the dreaded “D-word” is still used as a pejorative in certain circles I find it interesting to observe just how many of the genre’s early scions have gone on to change and (d)evolve over time.

Of course there are still those (both Despised Icon and The Acacia Strain immediately spring to mind) who have stayed relatively “true” to the style’s roots despite the passing of the years, but you don’t have to look far to see that many of the scene’s A-listers have long-since strayed into other arenas (sometimes quite literally).

Heck, Job For A Cowboy pretty much abandoned Deathcore with their very first (and still very Death Metal) album, while Suicide Silence transitioned towards a much more mainstream-friendly Nu-Metal influenced sound almost as rapidly. And I suppose the less said about Whitechapel’s recent decision to jump on the $lipknot train the better…

So with all this chopping and changing going on, where does this leave stalwart misanthropes Carnifex and their sixth album Slow Death? Continue reading »

Jul 232015
 

Kataklysm-Belphegor tour

 

Just a few quick notes in here about three new North American tours that were announced within the last week. Two of the headlining bands — Kataklysm and The Black Dahlia Murder — also premiered new songs yesterday, so I’ve included a stream of them below as well.

KATAKLYSM / BELPHEGOR

This is an interesting mix of co-headliners — Canada’s Kataklysm (whose new album Of Ghosts and Gods was given an initial assessment by Andy Synn for us here) and Austria’s Belphegor (whose most recent album was 2014’s Conjuring the Dead). The complete schedule is below, but first, a video… Continue reading »

Aug 112014
 

 

(Guest writer Ty Lowery has assembled a personal list of favorite metal album covers for 2014 to date, divided into two parts. Please feel free to add your own favorites in the Comments.)

Sometime last year, I had planned to showcase some of my favorite album covers. However, as you might imagine, that didn’t happen. So, a bit over halfway through 2014 already, I’ve decided to give it a go again so I don’t have to worry with trying to find everything last minute and become overwhelmed at year-end. I’ve been looking back at some of my favorite album covers, as well as looking at random covers here and there, and I must say, I’ve found a lot more than I expected- so many that I think it’s be best to break this up into a couple of posts.

I’ve actually happened upon some really cool bands this way, too, which isn’t out of the ordinary but worth noting nonetheless. Had it not been for their album art, I might never have found some of the following bands, one of which I simply can’t get enough of. However, to be clear, I’ve done this exercise for the sole purpose of rounding up the nicest looking album art, according to my own tastes. There are a couple of bands in here whose music I can’t stand, and a couple more I’d never heard of before. So to avoid any confusion, I am not necessarily recommending all of the albums featured below. They all just chose wisely for their album art.

Since I began working on this article, I noticed something peculiar: A good number of the album covers correlated in one sense or another with the music on the album. To make sure that I wasn’t just imagining this, I asked my wife (who’s not very big on metal music as a whole) and a friend of mine (who is) to look at the album art and give me their impressions. Some of them were spot-on, others not so much. Here’s what we came up with for the first nine. (Another note, these are in no particular order. They are just listed as I came upon them.)

BelphegorConjuring the Dead

This might be one of the best “photo realistic” album covers I’ve seen so far this year. It’s got the dark, gritty feel washing over it in shoals. The symbolism on the cover speaks of blasphemy, a great deal of death, and more than a smidge of Satanic interplay. When my wife Heather saw it, she immediately guessed that it was death metal, which is a good part of the album, so I’ll give it to her. My friend Adam said the same thing: “This had better be death metal.” Heather also hit the nail on the head about the dark/demonic themes that run throughout many of the songs. That’s a point for the correlation theory, although an easy one. Continue reading »

Feb 062014
 

(Andy Synn reviews the forthcoming album by California’s Carnifex, with sample songs at the end.)

Deathcore is still a dirty word to a lot of folks. Despite the major strides made in proving it as a “legitimate” form of Death Metal, it’s still associated by some with nothing more than frat-boy misogyny, painfully blunt lyricisms, and a preference for dumbed-down-tuning and artificial bass drops.

Many of these big strides in salvaging the scene’s image can be attributed to three of its biggest and brightest stars. After the release of their first, more ‘core-inclined EP, Job For A Cowboy shifted almost immediately toward an increasingly devastating (and increasingly technical) Death Metal sound – dragging the genre’s expectations and potential along with them. The boys in Whitechapel have steadily worked to perfect the genre’s specific brand of murderous, misanthropic groove, while Carnifex – a prime specimen of Deathcore’s fundamental components and an example of its expanding boundaries – simultaneously worked to bring in new strains of influence from the outside.

After a year of self-imposed exile, the band have returned with their fifth album Die Without Hope, a merciless slab of Death Metal aggression and ‘core-ish misanthropy which, at its very best, brims with terrible potential and predatory promise. Continue reading »

Jan 162014
 

Once upon a time, long ago, when deathcore was a new thing, I was a fan. One of the bands I particularly enjoyed was Carnifex. As has been true of other early deathcore progenitors, their music has slowly evolved more in the direction of straight death metal. But their latest song, which premiered today in a lyric video, is a bit of a return to their roots. Its name is “Dragged Into the Grave” and it comes from their new album Die Without Hope, which will be released on March 4 in North Am and March 7 in Europe by Nuclear Blast. The cover art was created by Godmachine.

The new song will please Carnifex fans, and it will not change the minds of anyone who has written off the band based on previous experience. I’m featuring it here as much for nostalgic reasons as anything else (you can hear it after the jump).

In related news, it was announced yesterday that Carnifex will begin a U.S. Tour next month with support from Betraying the Martyrs, I Declare War, Here Comes the Kraken, and Assassins. Here’s the schedule: Continue reading »

Jul 102013
 

I had the misfortune of being able to spend only an hour total on the internet yesterday between about 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. That made it really difficult to keep up with happenings in the world of metal, especially when so many things happened yesterday (as I later discovered). I mean, hell, even though I did manage to dash off a post about the new Fleshgod Apocalypse song, I couldn’t even listen to it until late last night. I blame my fucking day job.

There’s no realistic way I’m going to catch up, but I’ll at least make a stab at spreading some news I found interesting about some very good bands in the process of cooking up some brand new releases.

KRALLICE AND VJESHITZA

This news item is interesting for a couple of reasons. First, U.S. black metal band Krallice are spending a week in the studio this month recording three songs for a forthcoming split release. According to one of the band’s guitarists, the awesomely talented Colin Marston (also in Gorguts and Dysrhythmia), “all three songs we are recording are shorter than usual for us and perhaps display more diversity. One of the Mick [Barr]-initiated songs is potentially our busiest, ‘progiest’ song yet, whereas his other song is our most restrained and simple piece. My song for this recording is part three of a loose series begun on Diotima—”Litany of Regrets” being part one and “Telluric Rings” being part two. It’s on the dronier, more meditative side, but features very active bass parts. We should end up with a pretty compelling small collection of songs, and then … who knows!?”

Intriguing, no? But the second part of what Colin Marston had to say is equally interesting:

Continue reading »

May 072012
 

(DemiGodRaven checks in with this review of the Sacramento stop of the THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS tour, featuring All Shall Perish, Carnifex, Fleshgod Apocalypse, The Contortionist, and more.)

First off, before I really begin, I need to give a huge shout out to the folks at CapitalChaos and RockHardLive. Whilst at the moment they are both competing with each other at least in one sense, we’re all able to reap the rewards because they both had people out at this show recording it, and as a result we have some decent live videos on both ends. Check out both the Capital Chaos and Rock Hard Live youtube pages, because both of them have been doing more for Sacramento than anyone could imagine. Believe me, if a band has played here recently, there’s a pretty good chance the live footage you see pop up on youtube is because of one of those two groups. They deserve far more credit and love than what they get.

Now then. I arrived at the show late. I actually had it planned where I would get there around 6:30, believing that since the doors opened at 5:30, there would be about an hour delay (as has been standard fare at the other shows at Ace that I’ve been to) so I could get there right as things were kicking off. This provided me an opportunity to enjoy some fine 20-year old hooch that my friend’s Grandfather had made at his Dad’s birthday. Meanwhile, my friend is over in Japan teaching. I am nothing if not an appreciator of weird social situations.

I was looking forward to this show for a few reasons. I’d finally get to see The Contortionist. (Okay, I’ve actually seen them before, but it was at something like 1 am in The Boardwalk. I was so fucking tired I actually found myself dozing off in the corner of the venue. I couldn’t believe it, you could’ve been blasting grindcore in my face and I still would’ve dozed off.) I’d finally get to see All Shall Perish, and as part of a touring cycle for an album I enjoy the hell out of. I’d get to see Conducting From the Grave on a larger stage than The Boardwalk’s.

Oh, and Fleshgod. Did I mention Fleshgod? Because I’d finally get to see Fleshgod Afuckingpocalypse in a live setting. I could’ve listened to two hours of Hare Krishna bullshit as openers if it resulted in me getting the solid forty or so minutes I did of Fleshgod on stage. Continue reading »

Jan 262012
 

(DemiGodRaven helps catch us up on metal news.)

Hey folks, I’ve planted my ass in the underworld for a brief period of time in order to round up all the smaller (and maybe not so small) news stories that may have fallen through the cracks in one way or another. Some of them are simple things like album streams, others are album teasers, there’s some tour news, and hey, occasionally you’ll even get a free song or two, ya hear? Also, if you aren’t reading this in a 50’s news reporters voice after seeing the picture of the hat above YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG. First up is a pretty simple album stream, and then we’ll go on from there.

Lamb of God’s latest album Resolution saw release recently, and so they decided to run a full album stream over at AOL Music to give people a chance to get in a good listen before they decide whether to buy or not. I’ve enjoyed this release much more than Wrath, but it is still largely iterative on the sound that they started building in Sacrament.

It’s a good listen all the way through, but I can imagine it would be pretty dull if you picked a random song instead of the five or six really great ones. In other words, this is not an album built for Ipod shuffle like Amon Amarth’s stuff usually is (for example), so you’ll have to be in a really Lamb of God mood in order to really get into this one.

Also, they used the shotgun blast sample again. The same one they used on Sacrament. I was just waiting for the GOD-DAMN before it. Full review incoming soon. In the meantime, while you wait for me to validate your opinion and tell you how awesome of a metal listener you are, you can stream that fucker over here. Continue reading »

Oct 012011
 

September is behind us. Here in Seattle, it was such a beautiful month that it seemed like nature’s compensation for how late the summer started. Unfortunately, with September’s end, we’re on a short track to the onset of winter, which means about six months of short, cold, grey, ceaselessly wet days. Ain’t that just fuckin’ great?

Well, bitchin’ about the winter ahead won’t change one fucking thing. I prefer to think instead about the deluge of new metal that’s headed our way and try (momentarily) to forget about the deluge of rain on the horizon. 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. As usual, also feel free to tell us about how we fucked up by omitting releases that you’re stoked about. Continue reading »

Sep 232011
 

We’ve been dribbling out new songs and videos today, and I thought we were through, but we’re not — because I just got a press release about a new lyric video from Carnifex. It’s for a song called “Dead But Dreaming”, which will appear on the band’s next album, Until I Feel Nothing, scheduled for release by Victory Records on October 24. I have a couple of quick reactions, and then I’ll let you go watch and listen to the video.

First, the song is a fucken crusher. Massive, groaning chords set the stage, and then the band rip into high gear with pounding riffs, grisly vocals, artillery-style drumming, and well-placed bass drops. Fans of the band’s deathcore roots will welcome the return of brutal breakdowns, and I enjoyed the juxtaposition of almost dream-like ambience here and there in the song.

Second, the lyrics aren’t half-bad, and certainly an improvement over the misogynistic ranting that filled so many of the band’s earliest songs.

I’m guessing we’re going to get more straight death-metal in the new album, continuing through on the transitions that began on Hell Chose Me, but as deathcore goes, this song proves that Carnifex have still got it.  The vid is right after the jump, along with some Carnifex tour info and a link for album pre-orders. Continue reading »