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 »

Dec 032010

Contrary to widely held belief, it is not true that 100% of metal emanating from Finland is awesome. The actual statistic is 95%. We’ve speculated before that this is because of something in the water supply over there that mutates 3 out of every 4 fetuses in the womb into riff-meisters. Or maybe it’s Finland’s proximity to Estonia.

Seriously, the whole damned country has only got a population of 5.4 million souls — a little smaller than the population of Wisconsin. How many awesome metal bands are from Wisconsin? No offense to Wisconsin, but we’re having trouble thinking of even one. Now, how many awesome metal bands are from Finland? The actual count is 2 gazillion. It’s true.

No, seriously — it’s statistically demonstrable (as shown here) that Finland has more metal bands per capita than any other country on Earth — and a high percentage of them are good.

So, it should be no surprise that we write about Finnish metal bands a lot here at NCS. This year, we’ve written long or short reviews of music by Kalmah, Kivimetsän Druidi, The Jasser Arafats, Cyphosis, Cavus, Apocalyptica, Blastanus, Sole Remedy, Sotajumala, Survivors Zero, Man-Eating Tree, Gloria Morti, Amberian Dawn, Radiance, Amorphis, and Before the Dawn, and probably some others we missed in our searches.

But we’re not finn-ished writing about Finns. We’re doing a little impromptu series on Finnish metal. We’re calling it Finland Tribute Week, though we’ve gotten so many intriguing suggestions about Finnish metal bands from our commentators since we announced this series that we may have to re-name it Finland Tribute Month. It started two days ago with a post about Amorphis, and that a-morphed into a post yesterday about Before the Dawn. And today, we’ve got Ghost Brigade.  (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »