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 »

Dec 312010

Another day, and two more entries on our list of the year’s most infectious extreme metal songs.  For a full explanation of what we mean by “most infectious”, read this. And to see the songs we’ve named so far, click the Category link over on the right called MOST INFECTIOUS SONGS-2010.

In a nutshell, what we’re doing is listing, in no particular order, the catchiest songs from a wide range of extreme metal sub-genres — not necessarily the best metal of the year (though lots of these songs would qualify for that kind of list), but the ones that most effectively got our heads and other parts of our bodies moving, and then continued to ring in our tiny brains even after they ended.

We ended Part 3 of this series with a band from Finland — Kalmah — and we’re starting Part 4 with another unique Finnish juggernaut: Finntroll. And then, in keeping with the folk-metallish theme of today’s entry, we’re following that up with a song from Switzerland’s Eluveitie.

Times like this, I wish I had really long hair, because these songs make me want to whip it around in a big fucking windmill. On the other hand, with my luck it would be caught in an air intake vent and be torn out by the roots. Or the cat would freak out and leap for my head with claws bared. So, maybe it’s just as well.

Where was I?  Oh yeah. Two more songs!  (read on, and listen, after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Apr 122010

The Twilight of the Thunder God Tour II featuring Amon Amarth, Eluveitie, and Holy Grail, stopped at the Showbox in Seattle last night. All three of your NCS Co-Authors were there, despite the fact that two of us were still a bit bleary-eyed from attending the Dillinger Escape Plan show the night before at El Corazon (you can see our write-up on that show and photos here). On the other hand, it would have taken major bodily injury to keep us away from a chance to see Amon Amarth in person.

We took so many photos of this show that we’re going to split this post into two parts (plus it was another late night and we have day jobs that require our fucking attention very shortly). Today, we’ll say a few words about Holy Grail and Eluveitie, with photos from their sets at the end of the write-up, and then tomorrow — tomorrow will be all about the awesomeness that is Amon Amarth in concert. Don’t miss that!

(continue on after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Feb 152010

We had to look deeply into our official extreme music blog Thesaurus to find the right words for our reaction to the report we just saw about a new tour. “Awesome” was just too trite. “Stupifying” was too understated. And then there were those two words that just perfectly captured our feelings. Yep — HOLY SHIT!

Get your battle axes and fur pelts out of storage, strap on your drinking horns, and send the women, children, and livestock into the hills.  The Norsemen are coming!


The tour dates and places?  See below. But what really counts is they’re stopping in Seattle! (in addition to some other perfectly decent cities)

4/8 Los Angeles, CA @ House Of Blues
4/9 San Francisco, CA @ The Regency Ballroom w/ Fear Factory
4/10 Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theater
4/11 Seattle, WA @ Showbox
4/12 Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw
4/14 Calgary, AB @ MacEwan Hall
4/15 Edmonton, AB @ EEC
4/16 Saskatoon, SK @ The Odeon
4/17 Winnipeg, MB @ The Garrick
4/18 Minneapolis, MD @ Station 4
4/19 Chicago, IL @ Logan Square
4/21 Toronto, ON @ Opera House
4/22 Montreal, QC @ Metropolis
4/23 Quebec City, QC @ Imperial Theatre
4/24 Worcester, MA @ Palladium (New England Metal and Hardcore Festival)
4/25 New York, NY @ Fillmore at Irving Plaza

Jan 032010

I knew this would happen.  On New Year’s Day, we put up a long list of extreme metal bands who reportedly will be releasing new albums in 2009, and then carved from that list the 21 bands we especially want to hear in the New Year.  We tried to be complete in compiling the master list, but of course we’re already hearing about bands we left off.

So far, three overlooked bands, in particular, deserve mention: Kivimetsän Druidi, Portland’s own Agalloch, and Mors Principium Est. These bands may not be as widely known as others that made “forthcoming” lists in various trade publications, but we’re psyched to hear that new releases are in the works.


Kivimetsän Druidi (pictured above) is a Finnish symphonic folk metal band whose name appears to mean “druid of the stone forest.”  The band released their Century Media debut CD “Shadowheart” in late 2008 and followed that with a cool video, shot in Finnish Lappland, for a song sung in Finnish called “Jäässä Varttunut.”  It appears the song title, loosely translated, means “Grown Up Within Ice,” as in, “The white steel that has been grown on ice will clot the blood with its strike.”

I saw the video, was impressed, tracked down the CD, and remained impressed. It’s a fast-paced, dramatic combination of symphonic death metal, celtic folk stylings, savage gutteral vocals from Joni Koskinen, and soaring sopranos from crystal-voiced Leeni-Maria Hovila. Heavier than you might expect, with memorable melodies and plenty of hard-driving riffs.  (more after the jump, including that video. . .) Continue reading »