Mar 262013

While wandering the interhole last night and this morning I came across many items of interest — too many to pack into a single round-up post. So I’ll subdivide my findings and start here, with two discoveries that should interest thrash heads far and wide.


You’re looking at the first item above. It’s the recently revealed cover art for Skull, the forthcoming fourth album by the UK’s Evile, which is due for release on May 27 by Earache Records and Century Media. The artist is none other than NCS favorite Eliran Kantor. Like all of his art, this piece snags the attention and pulls it into the details of the work — which are mysterious. Evile explain that the artwork embodies a concept that’s connected to the music . . . but what that is we’ll have to learn later as more details trickle out.

As for the music, Evile drummer Ben Carter is quoted as saying, “Our fans can expect this album to be a return to our thrashier roots, as well as exploring new ground in typical EVILE form.”

And now it’s time for some actual music instead of musical forecasts. 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 »

Jan 022012

This is Part 8 of our list of the most infectious extreme metal songs released this year. Each day until the list is finished, I’m posting two songs that made the cut. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the Introduction via this link. To see the selections that preceded this one, click the Category link on the right side of the page called MOST INFECTIOUS SONGS-2011.


Last February some impulse made me stop in my web browsing and watch a music video from a Danish thrash band called Essence. I gritted my teeth before pressing “play” because I tend to get bored by most thrash metal, both old and new. But the song turned out to be different from what I was expecting, and not just different but really good — thrash with some unusual and original ingredients in the mix, including traditional heavy metal influences.

The video was for a song called “Blood Culture” off the band’s debut album, Lost In Violence, which was released on February 25 via Belgium’s Ultimhate Records. As I wrote in an enthusiastic post about the video, what initially stopped me from hitting the “stop” button was the extended bass intro — a very cool piece of lower-register slap-and-tap flash that got my head nodding as it gained and then lost speed. At about 1:25, the song proper starts, and it’s built around some speedy, immensely catchy riffs — two main ones that, standing alone, would have been quite satisfying but when joined together elevated this song to a high level of infectiousness.

The vocals are also great (and thrash vocals are part of what usually turn me off about the genre), but what really seals the deal is what happens beginning at the 4:20 mark. Continue reading »

Feb 072011

The three of us who started this site are not big on thrash, which is probably obvious since we write infrequently about straight thrash-metal bands. It’s not that we judge it to be a lesser form of metal. It’s just a matter of taste. Speaking for myself, I like the energy, the speed, and the riffing style, but I’m not crazy about traditional thrash vocals and I tend to get bored with the sameness of the songs on many thrash albums. I’ve found that I like thrash a lot more live than I do on recordings (for example, I thought Exodus and Death Angel put on two hellaciously good performances in Seattle last year).

Needless to say, the re-thrash movement has held little interest for us. There’s nothing wrong with a band immersing itself in its influences, but when you tend to get bored even with the old masters, you tend to get really bored with rank imitators, even talented ones.

I still try to sample new thrash releases every now and then, hoping for a pleasant surprise. For example, I’ve been listening to the new album by Lazarus A.D. (Black Rivers Flow). I’m not sure I like it as much as the band’s debut (The Onslaught), but a couple of the songs are sticking with me (the title track and “The Strong Prevail”). Still, although I think devotees of thrash will probably enjoy this, on the whole this album isn’t ringing my chimes.

Still, I persevere, and sometimes it pays off. For example, over the weekend I gritted my teeth and started watching a new video from a Danish thrash band called Essence, while preparing to stop it quickly. But the song turned out to be different from what I was expecting, and not just different but really good — thrash with some unusual and original ingredients in the mix.  (more after the jump, including the video . . .) Continue reading »