Apr 202019
 


Majestic Downfall – great photo by Luis Roa

 

I decided to begin this Saturday round-up with a rare news item (because it involves a band that’s a personal favorite) and then get into a bunch of new music. It’s not nearly enough new music to make up for the fact that I only managed one other round-up over the last three weeks, but it’s the best I can do for today. I siphoned off most of the black metal from my selections, and those will appear in the usual Sunday column, which is already shaping up to be a two-parter. Instead of Shades of Black, today’s picks could be called Shades of Death.

MAJESTIC DOWNFALL

Here’s the news item, which is a rarity because we’re really not set up to share the word about new tour announcements, since that would become a full-time job, and I’d rather spend the time writing about new music. But in this instance I made an exception, because it concerns Majestic Downfall, and in particular an excursion by that fine Mexican band into the provinces of The Great White North. Continue reading »

Jun 092017
 

 

Five years on from the release of Revulsion of Seraphic Grace, the Georgia death metal monstrosity known as Father Befouled returns with its fourth album, Desolate Gods. It will be released by Dark Descent Records on the 23rd of June, and it includes the terrifying new track we’re about to premiere — “Ungodly Rest“.

Prepare yourselves for a deep descent into a nightmarish crypt filled with still-festering corpses and hungering ancient evil, for what you’re about to hear is the kind of staggering doom and seething death that spawns such visions. Continue reading »

May 202017
 


Vallenfyre

 

I’m in Austin, Texas, this weekend. I didn’t think I would have time to do any NCS stuff, but did find myself with some time this morning — though not enough time to do much writing. What I’ve done instead is just collect a bunch of new song streams and videos and some basic info about each one.

I might be able to do the same thing tomorrow, but probably not more than that. Hope you find some things to like in the following eclectic collection. Continue reading »

May 212013
 

What drew my attention to Rituaal were the band’s members: They consist of guitarist/vocalist Justin Stubbs from Father Befouled and Encoffination, drummer Jake Rothlisberger from Nashville’s Mourner, and vocalist/guitarist Mike Meacham from Loss — killer bands, all of them. That trio formed Rituaal a little over a year ago and recorded two songs in September 2012 that will be released as a 7″ vinyl EP by Portland’s Parasitic Records this summer. Recently, Rituaal put up both songs for streaming on Bandcamp — “Ordo Walpurga” and “Datura at the Astral Sabbat”.

Imagine a musical black hole deep in a gravity well that’s inexorably sucking all light and matter down into its powerful vortex, and that will give you some sense of “Ordo Walpurga”. It’s a massive, groaning dirge of distorted chords and ponderous drum and cymbal hits, emanating a morbid melody and echoing with the cavernous roars and disemboweling shrieks of the vocalists.

“Datura at the Astral Sabbat” vibrates with unholy blackened energy. What begins as a ritualized chant of abraded vocals and thumping percussion accelerates into a buzz of tremolo-picked guitars and then slows to a crawl, still shrouded in distortion and breathing with the life of shimmering occult melody. This trade-off between ghastly doom/death and blackened misery continues until this beast gasps its last horrific sound. Continue reading »

May 152013
 

I came across some news today involving three bands I like.  Unfortunately, the news involves releases that we can’t yet hear, but at least the news brings album art that’s pleasing to mine eyes. And then I came across one other piece of eye-catching new artwork that introduced me to a new band and a new song that I’m pretty sure fractured my skull . . . as if I needed any more skull fractures. Here’s what I found:

WATAIN

As we previously reported, this Swedish black metal band have a new album named The Wild Hunt coming on August 19 in Europe and August 20 in the US via Century Media Records. Today I learned that they will first be releasing a two-song single, both digitally and in a variety of physical formats, in late June. One song will be an original album track named “All That May Bleed”, and the B-side will be a cover of “Play With the Devil”, originally recorded by the Swedish black/heavy metal band Taiwaz in 1988; Gottfrid Åhman from In Solitude has contributed a guitar solo to that cover track.

Above, you can see the just-disclosed artwork for the single, which is quite cool and was created by the amazing Zbigniew Bielak II, whose work for Ghost we featured at length here. As for the original song, here’s what Watain had to say about “All That May Bleed”:

“‘All that May Bleed’ shows but one facet of a quite diverse album, but we chose this song as a first glimpse into ‘The Wild Hunt’ because of its bombastic lunacy and white-eyed malevolence which could be said to constitute a main foundation for the album. The lyric is an invitation to sacrificial blood letting, ecstatic zealotry and human sacrifice. The salt of Satan in the wounds of Christ!”

Well then, if this is an invitation to sacrificial blood letting, ecstatic zealotry, and human sacrifice, I accept! Continue reading »

May 022011
 


What the hell is that big yellow thing up in the sky? It looks vaguely familiar, but it’s appeared so rarely here in The Emerald City over the last six months that we’re having trouble placing the name. Well, maybe the name will come to us. The great wheel of the seasons surely must continue to turn someplace, but in Seattle it seems to have been stuck on Winter since, like, forever. In some parts of the world, April showers bring May flowers, but here, April showers will probably bring . . . May showers.

Okay, enough whining. At least we don’t get tornados dropping from the sky like atom bombs and wiping whole towns off the map. And even though the weather hasn’t been our friend, we have metal to make up for the cold shoulder — and there’s a bunch of new metal headed our way.

What we do with these installments of METAL IN THE FORGE is collect news blurbs and press releases we’ve seen over the last month 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 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. Continue reading »

Aug 122010
 

In one of yesterday’s posts, we briefly mentioned a band called Father Befouled. We wrote that we’d have more to say — and so we do.

Relapse Records announced earlier this week that it had signed the band for release of their new album, which is the second full-length, following 2008’s Obscurus Nex Cultus. In between, the band released a couple of EPs and appeared on a couple of splits, and suffered the suicide of their drummer (Antichristus). The new album — Morbid Destitution of Covenant — will be released September 14 on CD, but it’s already available digitally on iTunes (as is the first album) and elsewhere.

The band appears to be composed of people who now live in Chicago and in Georgia. In an interesting interview that pre-dated completion of the album (here), Father Defouled’s guitarist/vocalist Ghoat identified Incantation and Immolation as the band’s principal influences. If you’re familiar with the work of those bands, they will certainly spring to mind if you listen to Morbid Destitution, and seeing those names will give you an idea what the music sounds like.

Let me try to give you a further idea by stringing together a whole bunch of adjectives instead of using them in separate sentences. The music is:

Oppressive, bleak, doomed, ominous, claustrophobic, jagged, intense, hopeless, grinding, serpentine, ponderous, funereal, black, crushing, and ugly.

At times, it’s also: Furious, razor-edged, insectile, shrill, vicious, harrowing, paranoid, and explosive.

(more after the jump, including a track to hear . . .) Continue reading »

Aug 112010
 

The human brain, if left to its own devices without a lot of external distractions or things to focus on, and if not previously saturated with intoxicants, will jump around from place to place in all sorts of unpredictable ways. That’s kind of what happened to me and my tiny brain last night. Except I was mildly intoxicated. By the end of this post, you may think I’m still intoxicated.

It all started with a fan-filmed video of a U.K./Australian band called Pendulum playing a song called “Self Versus Self” on stage at the U.K. edition of the Sonisphere festival, which took place on July 30 – August 1. I’d never heard of Pendulum. They’re not a metal band. According to the Blabbermouth blurb that featured this video, they’re a drum-and-bass band.

What caught my eye was that, according to the blurb, Anders Fridén of In Flames joined Pendulum on stage for the  performance of that song.

As it happens, all of us here at NCS are big In Flames fans.  We’re still fans despite the slagging the band has suffered from some In Flames purists over the musical direction of their last few albums. So, I decided to watch the video, while at the same time wondering, “What the fuck is Anders Fridén doing on stage with this Pendulum band?”

The quality of the video isn’t that great, but I liked the song. So, after a little research, I found out that the song is on a Pendulum album released earlier this year called Immersion — and it turns out that In Flames recorded the song with Pendulum. Which led to another “what the fuck?” moment.

We’re clearly late to this party, because we discovered that lots of other metal blogs tumbled to this strange collaboration months ago. So we’re not just a little late to the party, we’re the kind of late where you show up and all that’s left is a bunch of people passed out in their own piss. But hey, better late than never, right?  (more unpredictable jumping around, including video and music, after the jump . . .) Continue reading »