May 132015

(In this post Dan Barkasi continues his monthly series recommending music from the previous month.)

Welcome back to Essential Entries. April has already passed, and it’s hard to believe. It feels like we – at least those unlucky enough to live in areas that deal with winter – were just freezing ourselves stiff, and now the temperatures are in the 80s. Thank goodness. Winter is awful. Thankfully, good music is the antithesis of such, and we’re loaded this month.

Also, my apologies for getting this up a bit late. Yours truly was out of town for over two weeks, and that resulted in a ton of catch-up listening in order to do this right. No way will this column ever be done half-heartedly!

With that out of the way, let’s get to the tunes.


Abyss – Heretical Anatomy

Gritty Canadian death metal. Abyss proves that it’s not all maple syrup and politeness up there. Equal parts catchy and punishing, this proves to be a great debut full-length. Continue reading »

Apr 102015


Yesterday brought a wealth of new music, and I’ve collected a few of the riches in this post. The first three songs are black metal, and the fourth isn’t — but it’s still obsidian and it still rips.


With only an untitled EP in 2011 and a split with Barghest in 2012 — collectively totaling three songs — the Minneapolis black metal band False have established the kind of underground credibility that makes their debut album one of the year’s most highly anticipated releases. For me, “highly anticipated” became an understatement after I saw them perform at last summer’s Gilead Fest in Wisconsin. In a word, the performance was stunning (reviewed here).

Yesterday, Gilead Media announced pre-orders for the album — which is also untitled — and put up the first advance track for streaming on Bandcamp. Continue reading »

Feb 072015

I’m finally finished with the project for my fucking day job that has kept me on the U.S. east coast for the last three weeks. Tomorrow I return to Seattle and some semblance of normalcy, both for life in general and for NCS.

I still feel like I’ve been put through a goddamn meat-grinder, and it will take some time to get over being exhausted (and to finish posting what other writers sent me over the last week), but I did spend an hour this morning trying to figure out what I missed in the way of new music over the last couple of days. As usual, given the persistent flood of new metal that’s been coming our way since this new year began, I found A LOT. I’m going to include three new videos in this post. I hope I can get another round-up done tomorrow before heading to the airport.


Enslaved’s new album In Times is one of my “most anticipated” 2015 releases, so it’s been frustrating that I haven’t had time to listen to it since our advance copy arrived about a week ago. But this morning I did listen to the first advance track, “Thurisaz Dreaming”, which began streaming as a lyric video at Noisey yesterday along with an excellent interview of Ivar Bjørnson. Continue reading »

Nov 182013

It’s been an action-packed day here at NCS, with some ass to mouth plus three album reviews and two song premieres — and I had two more reviews ready to go, but I’ve deferred those until tomorrow so that we don’t overdose you with awesomenessness. But at the risk of giving you a manic sugar high, I thought I’d round up some of the best things I saw and heard today. We’ll begin with a couple of announcements and end with a new song and a new video


One week ago I reported about a cryptic announcement by Southern Lord that seemed to suggest a long-rumored collaboration between Sunn O))) and Ulver was about to become a consumable reality. Today we got a more informative announcement, i.e., that these two storied bands have indeed collaborated to create a three-track recording entitled Terrestrials — “a trio of movements which flow like magma beneath the Earth’s crust, sonically uninhibited, unpredictably cosmic, haunting and stirring, yet simultaneously ceremonious and beautiful.”

Southern Lord will be releasing Terrestrials in February 2014, the cover can be seen above, and we are promised that over the course of the next month details shall be dribbled out concerning “the story of how this alliance and recording came to be.” Continue reading »

Sep 152013

I took  a rare break from metal for most of yesterday, but not a complete break. I did spend time last night checking out new music and found a handful of savage items that I thought were worth featuring in this post. So here we go:


Dichotomy are a band from Dublin, Ireland, who self-released their debut album Paradigm last month. I haven’t heard it, but I did catch a video they premiered through Terrorizer on Friday for one of the album’s songs. The song’s name is “Of Strife Of Discord”, and according to the band: “The song’s title is a reference to Eris, Greek goddess of chaos, strife and discord. The song is about the destruction of the self and allowing chance to rule one’s course; about becoming the embodiment of chaos.”

The song is a dichotomy, too. On the one hand, it’s a jet-fueled blast of melodic death metal with a lot of flying fretwork and some pleasingly serpentine guitar solos. On the other hand, it delivers a boatload of galvanizing grooves that should get heads banging hard. I had fun listening to it. Continue reading »

Sep 072013

I hate to let a day go by without something new on the site, and although this morning kind of got away from me, I do have three items from yesterday that I thought were worth sharing.


I’ve been following this Swedish death metal band since 2010 and have written about them often since then. Their 2013 album is one I’ve been gleefully anticipating and I finally had the chance to hear it last week. Its name is Darkness Unbound, it’s scheduled for release by Cyclone Empire on September 20, and it’s awfully good.

This, however, is not the time for a review. Instead, I simply want to throw your way a new lyric video for a track named “The Order”. Demonical remain thoroughly wedded to the sound and spirit of evil, throwback, Swedish death metal, and man, do they do it right. Wonderful guitar tone, malicious vocals, an air of festering menace, sharp production values — “The Order” will put a charge into any fan of old-school Swedish butchery. Continue reading »

Jun 012012

I’ve been doing actual paying work all morning. I took a break not long ago and cast my baleful eye around the interhole and my NCS e-mail box to see what there was to see and hear. And these are things I thought worth passing on.

First, that cover you see above is for a tribute album to Emperor called In Honour of Icon E, which will be released on June 25 by Metal Swamp. It’s a very nice piece of art, created by Wolkogniv of Folkingrimm Art.

It also looks like it will be a very nice album, with Emperor covers by the likes of Demonical, Helheim, Horna, Taake, and Setherial. I’ll give you the full tracklist rundown after the jump, but the news for today is that the album has gone up on Amqzon for pre-order, which means you can hear snippets of each song here. Continue reading »

Jun 012012

I don’t usually post live videos on this site unless the video and sound quality are in the good-to-great range — which means either pro-quality official vids or above-average fan-filmed clips. That just reflects my own prejudice: I don’t get much out of watching a live clip if the sound is muddy and the images are blurry or too dark. But sometimes the imperfections unexpectedly enhance the viewing/listening experience. I’ve got two examples of what I mean.


I found out about this Swiss band in April because they’d just been signed by Candlelight Records, and I posted about them then. Zatrokrev is a Slavic name; Metal Archives says it mean “Blood For This”. The band’s lyrics are in Czech and Slovak, as well as English, because vocalist/guitarist Frederyk Rotter is Czech-born. I still really like the name of their third album, which Candlelight will be releasing: The Bat, The Wheel, And A Long Road To Nowhere. It may have lost something in the translation from Czech.

When I wrote about Zatokrev the first time, they had one new song on YouTube called “Feel the Fire Pt. 1”, which I liked a shit ton. Since then, I’ve found another one called “Goddamn Lights”, which coincidentally is exactly what I say on post-bender mornings when my eyes open. It’s a fuckin’ good song, too, and I’ll have it for you after the jump. But, as noted above, the main reason for this post is a live video.

On May 4, Zatokrev performed at a venue called Le Grillen in Colmar, France, and a fan caught a couple of the songs on video.You expect a metal band to headbang while performing, but Zatokrev really headbang. If I headbanged like Fredryk Rotter, my head would fly off my neck like a discharged cannonball and punch bloody holes through unsuspecting moshers in the pit, leaving the rest to slip ‘n’ slide on the intestines when they hit the floor. Continue reading »

Apr 122011

It was the second day of this year. We posted a collection of music organized around the objective of musically detonating a couple canisters of napalm in your head, as a way of clearing out the post-New Year’s Eve/Day cobwebs and preparing everyone to resume their “normal” lives.

We began the napalming process with a video from a Swedish death metal band we had just discovered by the name of Demonical. At that point, Demonical had produced two albums, and the video was for a kick-ass song from the second album called “Baptized in Fire”.

Demonical is now on the verge of debuting their third album, Death Infernal. Released by the awesome Cyclone Empire label, it will see the light of day on April 15. We’ve heard the album, and it’s stupendously good. Demonical continues to channel the undead spirits of Dismember and Entombed, with some updated flourishes of their own; we’ll have more in-depth things to say about this album in the near future.

For now, we have a video that the band released today for a song from the album called “Ravenous”. The song itself is a masterful rendering of remorseless old-school death, with its roots sunk deep in unconsecrated, blood-soaked burial grounds. It’s a grinding engine of down-tuned destruction, augmented by galvanizing beats and a whisper of dark melody. The video itself is also well-executed and fun to watch. Check it out after the jump. Continue reading »

Feb 272011

We’re jumping the gun on this post, since the month doesn’t end until tomorrow. Why? Uh, because this post is ready to go and we don’t have anything else finished for today yet. Work and other shit interfered with our grand plans for a Sunday post.  We might still get another one up later today, but for now, feast your eyes on the barrage of metal headed our direction.

What we do with these installments of METAL IN THE FORGE is collect news blurbs and press releases we’ve seen over the last 30 days (or in this case, the last 27 days) about forthcoming new albums from bands we know and like (including updates about releases we’ve included in previous installments of this series), or from bands that look interesting, even though we don’t know them yet. And in this post, we cut and paste the announcements and compile them in alphabetical order.

This isn’t a cumulative list, so be sure to check the Category link called “Forthcoming New Albums” on the right side of this page to see forecasted releases we reported in previous installments. This month’s list begins right after the jump. Look for your favorite bands, or get intrigued about some new ones. There’s some awesome shit on the way. Continue reading »