Jul 142012

Yesterday I started putting up short posts during brief windows of time permitted by my fucking day job, just trying to spread the word, for your entertainment and edification, about new videos, new music, and news that I’d seen yesterday. I got two of those posts up on the site and ran out of time before I could finish the third one. So here it is, a day late but no dollars short.


I saw on the Terrorizer web site that this Norwegian duo have finished recording their next album, the first one since 2010’s Circle the Wagons, and that it’s scheduled for release later this year. You can bet that it will make waves and draw lots of attention, because it’s Darkthrone. What I wouldn’t venture to predict is what it will sound like, except it won’t be black metal, because Fenriz has kind of a “been there, done that” attitude about the band’s musical roots. The Terrorizer report did quote guitarist/vocalist Nocturno Culto, as follows:

“The album will be called The Underground Resistance. I can’t speak for Fenriz, but I think he’s going for more epic lyrics. I can only speak for myself and this time around they are very personal lyrics. It’s the first time I’ve ever tried this and it’s difficult to do it nicely and put it into good words. There was a lot of hate and people trying to ruin your day and I had stuff to say for my sake.”

Of the album, he adds: “Our music now is basically just metal, it will be a step away from the last album as usual.” Yup.

While I’m on the subject of Darkthrone, I’ll mention that the Peaceville label has re-issued the band’s 2001 album Plaguewielder as a special 2-CD set, with the second CD consisting of lengthy track-by-track commentary from Fenriz. It also includes new cover artwork by the amazing Zbigniew M. Bielak, which is right after the jump, big as life. Continue reading »

Mar 302012

This post includes much less news than most news stories at NCS. Usually, if there’s not new music or at least the debut of album art or an album release date, I just wait until there is. Hell, I don’t even have a recent band photo for this thing. But, since the news concerns Darkthrone, I’m posting about it anyway.

For more than 20 years, Darkthrone have been doing things their own way, trends be damned. In fact, if you pay attention to the writings and interviews of Fenriz, you get the impression that very little in the evolution of metal since about 1993 seems to impress him. As the metal genre, writ large, has branched and changed, Darkthrone has seemed bent on diving ever more deeply into metal’s punk/thrash roots.

The band’s last album, Circle the Wagons (2010), for example, was full of references to bands such as Motorhead, English Dogs, Agent Steel, Metallica, Deathside, Puke, Slayer, Omen, and Savage Grace. You could almost say it was a nostalgia trip, except the stripped-down and often quirky songs were so much more original than any mere homage to a by-gone era. The band’s dedication to following their own path, even if the path may be taking you backwards, and their demonstrated skill as songwriters have made the release of new Darkthrone material a never-ending source of fascination.

And that brings me to the news: On March 18, Darkthrone posted this status on their Facebook page: “Right! This weekend was a blast, and we recorded two songs, that now only needs some bass and some mixing. Should be complete next week. Fenriz did a fantastic job on vocal on his song. Some photos should be posted soon.” And then yesterday, they posted this message:

“Ok, the photos did not turn out well. Damn. But I’ll post a couple of them soon anyway. We recorded the two songs “Lesser Men” and “Valkyrie”. They are now fully mixed and it’s a done deal. In July the album will be ready.

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 »

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 »

Jul 302010

In recent years, people have written books with the intent of dispelling various so-called “myths” about wolves. I haven’t read any of them, but they’re probably trying to tell us that wolves are actually warm, loving creatures who are good parents and self-sacrificng friends.

I haven’t read those books because I’d rather continue to think of wolves as vicious, red-eyed pack animals that would just as soon rip out your jugular as look at you. Life is too civilized as it is without having someone domesticate my mental image of the wolf.

Besides, that would detract from the awesomeness of Wolvhammer as a metal-band name. It would turn it into something like Puppyhammer. Or Puppyhummer. Or something equally tame. And Wolvhammer is anything but tame.

We first heard about Wolvhammer’s debut album, Black Marketeers of World War III,  via a feature in the current issue of DECIBEL magazine, which punched many of our buttons — so much so that we ran out and bought the album fast. And we are so glad we did.  (more after the jump, including a mixtape of music inspired by Wolvhammer . . .) Continue reading »

Mar 082010

I’ve been a latecomer to black metal, but it’s been growing on me, sorta like rash that just spreads the more I scratch it. I’ve been trying to further my black-metal education (though still, I haven’t read Hideous Gnosis) while at the same time trying to keep up with interesting new releases across many extreme metal genres — which hasn’t been easy. Only so many hours in the day, unfortunately.

Basically, when it comes to black metal, I feel like a small child. In black diapers. Actually, I gave up the black diapers last week.  Figured it was time.  Because they weren’t black when I started wearing them.

Anyway, I’ve been trying to get educated. One thing I’ve learned is that the term “black metal,” standing alone, really doesn’t tell you very much. Bands that work under that banner can sound remarkably different from each other. I suppose I still associate that genre label with tremolo picking, blast beats, and evil-sounding shrieking in the vocals — but I’m discovering that’s a gross generalization that fails to capture the musical variety of “black metal.”

For example, I’ve listened to three new/forthcoming releases in the last couple weeks that are all classifiable as “black metal” but that sound dramatically different from each other — one from a legendary Norwegian band whose members are pictured above and whose name will be found in every history of the genre that has been or will be written — Darkthrone — and two from bands that are painfully obscure outside their home countries (and maybe even within their home countries) — Nydvind and Bustum.

I really like all three releases, though they sound nothing alike. Collecting some thoughts about each of them in this roundup and allowing you to stream some excerpts is as good a way as any to illustrate the variety in black metal, even as it’s being practiced today. (read on, after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Feb 232010

We’re now almost two months into 2010, and it’s already time for our second update to the list of forthcoming new albums we posted on January 1.  (See the original list here and the first update here.) Below is a list of still more projected new releases that we didn’t know about on January 1 or at the time of our last update about a month ago — and there’s a lot of them.

Once again, we’ve cobbled together news blurbs about 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 mostly fit the profile of music we cover on this site.

So, in alphabetical order, here’s our list of cut-and-pasted blurbs from various sources over the last month about forthcoming new releases:

1349: “Prosthetic Records will release the brand new album from Norwegian black metal legends 1349 in North America via an agreement with Indie Recordings. The new CD, which promises ‘a return to the band’s more traditional, raw-yet-technical black metal sound,’ is due on April 13. In support of the yet-to-be-titled record, 1349 will embark on a North American tour in April and May as the support act for CANNIBAL CORPSE (alongside SKELETONWITCH and LECHEROUS NOCTURNE).”

ABACABB: “ABACABB are currently out on the road headlining the Hot Dice On Black Ice Tour featuring Upon A Burning Body!. The tour just hit Texas and will be in California this weekend. Following the tour ABACABB will enter the studio with producer Will Putney at Machine Shop in New Jersey and will have a new album to be released sometime this summer.”

AEON: “Swedish death metallers AEON have set Path Of Fire as the title of their third album, due later in the year via Metal Blade Records. The CD was recorded in September 2009 at Empire Studio in Östersund, Sweden and was mixed the following month at Mana Recording Studios in St, Petersburg, Florida by Erik Rutan (HATE ETERNAL, MORBID ANGEL, CANNIBAL CORPSE). The mastering was handled by Alan Douches at West West Side Music (CONVERGE, HATEBREED, THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN) in New Windsor, New York.”

AMORPHIS: “AMORPHIS will release its first-ever live DVD, Forging The Land Of Thousand Lakes, in early June via Nuclear Blast, in time for the band’s 20th anniversary. The filming took place on November 20, 2009 at Club Teatria in Oulu, Finland, where AMORPHIS was supported by STRATOVARIUS and BEFORE THE DAWN. In addition to the full-length live show, the anniversary DVD will include plenty of bonus material documenting the band’s impressive career.”   (much more after the jump . . . ) Continue reading »

Dec 242009

Those gun-jumpers at Decibel magazine are at it again. Not content to select their list of the Top 40 albums of 2009 in about October (see our previous post about that), the issue that just hit my mailbox (optimistically dated February 2010) includes a feature called “The Top 25 Most Anticipated Records of 2010.” At least Decibel‘s writers poke fun at themselves in the intro that precedes their many following pages of prognostications:

“Decibel‘s always been about more than more past and present: Our powers of clairvoyance increase exponentially with each new day.  Hell, our grip on the future is such that we’re thinking about covering the coming decade’s 100 best metal albums before summer, just to get them out of the way.  As for the list below, remember this: We’ve heard — and utterly endorse — everything on it . . . including the stuff not yet written.”

To be honest, we were thinking of putting together our own list of bands whose new albums we’re stoked to see in 2010.  Might still do that if holiday laziness doesn’t completely gobsmack us. And we really do enjoy reading Decibel every month. But still, just can’t resist poking a little fun.

And in the poking-fun vein, we also came across Decibel‘s 2010 Media Kit. This is the sales piece that the mag provides advertisers to convince them how much folding green metalheads have to spend (yeah, right) and how all you gotta do to collect it is advertise in Decibel. Lot’s of amusing stuff in there, which you can peruse here. There’s a page of demographic data about Decibel‘s audience that’s especially juicy.

So, after the jump, we’ll show you the bands that Decibel has pegged for the The Top 25 Most Anticipated Releases of 2010. We’ll highlight the ones that prompted us to say “Fuckin’ A!” Our reactions to the rest are some combination of “maybe,” “huh?”, and “Uh, no.” And just for kicks we’ll show you that page from Decibel‘s 2010 Media Kit that provides potential advertisers with demographic data about Decibel‘s readers. Enjoy. Continue reading »