Apr 042012

(DemiGodRaven follows his review of Impending Doom’s new album yesterday with a review of the forthcoming Solid State release by yet another stalwart of Christian metal — Demon Hunter.)

Previously in the Impending Doom review, I mentioned that I was also listening to Demon Hunter’s True Defiance. Demon Hunter are one of the few religi-core bands (I’m still trying out new labels here folks!) that I do happen to enjoy, partly because the references to religion have been relatively subdued (mostly about defiance and perseverance) and partly because the music they put out has been pretty solid. I’ve followed them since Summer Of Darkness, so I’ve had the opportunity to really watch the band change their sound and progress from being a solid metalcore act to something heavier and faster, with an odd contrasting habit of kicking out ballads.

I thought that the group’s last CD, The World Is A Thorn, was a bit of a disappointment (though it continued the tradition of badass album art). It sounded almost exactly like Storm The Gates of Hell again, just a little heavier on the ballad side. There were still some good songs, such as the title track, but it is probably the one Demon Hunter release that I listen to the least.

Two years removed from that disc, and I find myself reunited again with Demon Hunter, this time through True Defiance. It’s an interesting album. The music includes some changes compared to the group’s last release, yet everything remains familiar and easily identifiable as Demon Hunter. From the perspective of someone who has enjoyed quite a lot of Demon Hunter’s music, listening to True Defiance is like being re-united with an old friend after an extended vacation, yet I must also admit that some of what the band have done on the new album isn’t very inspired. 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 »

Mar 052010

We’ve had a weakness for Seattle’s own Demon Hunter since, well, forever. We can hear you saying, “What the fuck? Weren’t these NCS whackjobs gushing about Rotting Christ just a couple days ago? And isn’t this site called NO CLEAN SINGING?”

Yes and yes, guilty as charged. And to pick a few more polar opposites, we’ve also written about how much we like Living Sacrifice and Gaza. When it comes to metal, we don’t have an ideological litmus test. We listen, and we like or we don’t like. And while we mostly can’t stand clean singing, we’ve said from the beginning that we make allowances for Exceptions to the Rule.

We might be guilty of some local prejudice in Demon Hunter’s case (you can barely make out Puget Sound in the background of that photo above). We might also be influenced by the fact that although Demon Hunter almost never tours, they do play in Seattle from time to time and we’ve seen them on stage a couple times — and they know how to put on a kick-ass live show.

Yes, it’s true that on most Demon Hunter songs, vocalist Ryan Clark mixes clean singing along with harsh, hardcore vocals. But DH’s songs are so damned infectious that we can’t help but be seduced by the music despite the clean singing.

Having said that, what’s got us particularly interested in the band’s forthcoming (March 9) release of its new album, The World Is A Thorn, are a few songs from the new album that have been streaming on the band’s MySpace site that are heavy as shit. (more after the jump, including a brand new video of a particularly infectious new Demon Hunter song . . .) 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 102009


Resurrected death/thrash band Living Sacrifice has just released a new single, “Rules of Engagement” in advance of their forthcoming CD, The Infinite Order, due for release on January 26. It’s streaming on the band’s MySpace page, it’s available on iTunes, and it kicks ass.

This Arkansas band originally formed in 1988, broke up in 2002, and reunited in 2008 with a six-week US tour (“Stronger Than Hell”) headlined by Seattle metalcore band Demon Hunter. I had lost sight of the band during their hiatus and had not paid any serious attention to them even before the break-up — frankly, because of preconceptions based on their categorization as Christian metal. But I caught the “Stronger Than Hell” tour when it passed through Seattle, and their performance that night was one of the best I saw that year.  Hell, one of the best in many years. They totally tore up the place, and a worshipful packed crowd at El Corazon went crazy over them. So did I. Continue reading »