Feb 022012

(In this post, NCS writer Andy Synn reviews the new album from Louisiana’s Goatwhore.)

The first rule of Project Satan is . . . kill for the master.

If Goatwhore were a car, they’d be the were-car from Futurama, a savage, intelligent military car built from the most evil parts of the most evil cars in all the world. The steering wheel from Hitler’s staff car. The left turn signal from Charles Manson’s VW. The windshield wipers from that car that played Knight Rider . . . either that or the stalking murder-mobile from Stephen King’s Christine. Hot and nasty, definitively deadly.

“Blood For The Master” is a pitch-black muscle-mobile that runs on the blood of virgins, devouring the innocent and spewing out noxious fumes of poison thick enough to blot out the sun for a thousand years. Quite simply, it is the finest record the band have ever produced and a fitting soundtrack to the end of all things, a whiskey bottle in one hand, a straight razor in the other.

The record takes the best aspects from both their most recent breakthrough releases, the razor-sharp blackened savagery of A Haunting Curse and the sludgey death-march bludgeon of Carving Out The Eyes Of God, and mixes them up into something utterly toxic and bad for the environment. The production is utterly stunning, going one step beyond its predecessors’ thick and powerful sound by bringing back some of the bite of the more blackened guitar tone from A Haunting Curse without losing those thick, tangling bass tones and high-octane drum blasts. Continue reading »

Jan 062012

Yesterday, I was whining about the INFERNO Metal Festival in Oslo Norway this April — exciting line-up of bands, too fucking far away for me to see. One of the comments on that post, from Kazz, pretty much summed up my feelings about the matter:  “Sometimes the Atlantic Ocean just pisses me off.” To which I responded, “Damned ocean. If it were only smaller, we could kick the shit out of it.”

But look! Now we have help with the shit-kicking! This morning I saw the announcement about the tour featured in that flyer up there. Now THAT is going to be one skull-fucking abomination of a musical extravaganza. It will be particularly sweet because the tour starts only four days after GOATWHORE releases their new album on February 14, which was recorded by Erik Rutan at his Mana Recording Studio in Florida.

And speaking of Erik Rutan . . . HATE ETERNAL! Hells yeah. No one puts the power drill to your cranium quite like Hate Eternal in a live setting.

Oh, and speaking of boring holes in your skull . . . CEREBRAL BORE, all the way from Scotland! And fucking FALLUJAH on top of that!

I’m not saying this is better than Inferno Fest, I’m not saying that we’ve found the secret to subjugation of the Atlantic Ocean, but it do make me feel a damned sight better than I did when I was whining yesterday — because this death metal juggernaut will be stopping in Seattle, which involves no Atlantic Ocean crossing for me to reach. Maybe it will make a stop somewhere near you, too. The full schedule is after the jump. And because these four bands are now on my mind, I’ve got videos from each of them after the jump, too. Continue reading »

Jan 062012

December and 2011 are both over, and with the end of the last month, it’s time to round up what we saw over the last 30 days about forthcoming albums.

We usually try to post these updates on the first of the month, but the first of this month was New year’s Day, and I was moving kinda slowly that day. Plus, I’ve been focusing on year-end lists from a variety of sources, and, well, I’m late with this. I have more excuses, if you’d like to hear them.  No?  Okay, I understand.  I’ll just shut up and get going with this list.

So, here’s the deal:  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, 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 forthcoming album before December, 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. It includes some real eye-openers. In fact, it’s not too soon to say that 2012 is already looking like yet another royally skull-fucking year for metal. But as usual, this list is half-assed rather than comprehensive. I confess that in December I was even more half-assed than usual in keeping my eyes open for news about new albums. So, feel free to leave Comments and tell all of us what I missed when I put this list together. Let us know about albums on the way that  you’re stoked about, even if you don’t see them here! Continue reading »

Oct 052011

Oh baby, did yesterday bring some titillating musical teasers. Actually, only two of the four teasers featured in this post are actual music. The other two are simply forecasts of music that will become available shortly.

By the way, I’m writing this in a hurry because I’m about to leave for the airport. The old fucking day job is sending me to the East Coast for a couple of days. I’ll tell you, the life of a coke mule isn’t as glamorous as it’s cracked up to be. The prospect of parking my tender, balloon-filled butt in a cramped airplane seat for 5+ hours isn’t appealing. But it comes with the territory, y’know? Anyway, when I ignore all your comments until tonight, it won’t mean I don’t love you.


This talented Hungarian band has already teased us about their new album on Season of Mist, Rengeteg, which won’t actually see the full light of day until November 11 and fucking January 10, 2012 in North America. Yes, last month we got some snippets of music (featured at NCS here) — not even a full song, but certainly enough to stir our loins in anticipation. Now we have a full song, the first to debut from the new album. It’s called “Fekete mezők”, which means “black fields”. And guess what? Season of Mist has made it available for free download HERE. Listen up (right after the jump): Continue reading »

Oct 012011

I spent some time yesterday catching up on metal news over the last week and came across an assortment of videos I thought were worth sharing.

The first one is footage of the almighty Goatwhore playing a club in Fort Walton Beach, Florida on September 16. What makes this video worth sharing is that they’re playing a NEW SONG, called “Beyond the Spell of Discontent”, and it’s a smokin’ hot piece of black ‘n’ roll. The video quality isn’t great, but the sound is pretty good. I’ll have the vid of that song for you after the jump; video of the band’s entire set can be viewed here.

The second video is a clip of Insomnium playing “The Gale” and “The Mortal Share” at the 2010 Summer Breeze Festival. The band linked to this video on their FB page last night, which is how I found it. Again, the video quality isn’t pro-standard, but the sound is decent, and it’s fucking Insomnium, and I’m getting tremendously tumescent in anticipation of their new album, so yeah. (Okay, this video isn’t exactly new, but I’m going with it anyway.)

The third video is a recent official release by a Finnish band called Grendel for the song “Apocalyptic Rain”. I wasn’t familiar with Grendel before seeing the video, but I likey the song — it’s a headbanging blast of melodic death metal. The video, which is organized around a game of Russian Roulette, proves two things: (1) the guys in this band weren’t very lucky that night; and, as if we needed more proof, (2) dudes will do almost anything for a chick with big knockers.

Last, but not least, I have a recently posted MetalInjection video of Revocation performing “Conjuring the Cataclysm” live. I always have a shit-ton of fun at Revocation shows, and I really like this song, so there. Continue reading »

Jul 072011

OK, time to court some (albeit minor) controversy. To compare and contrast with the “Wintermoon Wednesday” piece on post-millennial black metal by Tr00 Nate (unseen at the time of this writing) over at TheNumberOfTheBlog, I’ve decided to list my own picks for the prize.

I’ve left out the obvious choices, so no Satyricon or 1349 – even though the former have transformed themselves post-2000 very successfully, courting both success and controversy in equal measure, while the latter have pushed their hyper-blast style beyond the breaking point, only to discover a new lease on life through their exploration of gnarled, twisted atmospherics.

No Rotting Christ? Or Samael? Nope. I love both of them, but they both had long pre-millennial careers and spent much of the post-2000 stage of their careers exploring less focussed, less black metal sounds — although both have recently released masterful examples of their own focussed and distinctive brands of black metal.

I have left out records which are perhaps less “purely” black metal — records for which a strong case can be put forward that they belong more as “blackened” examples of another genre — so there’s no place for Altar Of Plagues or Withered, both great bands in their own right. No Akercocke either, the sheer weight of their crushing death metal heft disqualifying them for this list.

I have also by choice left out artists/albums I have covered recently. Therefore, no Iskald (though The Sun I Carried Alone IS one of the best black metal albums of the last ten years), or Elite (see HERE for my thoughts) or The Axis Of Perdition (HERE), even though I’d argue that each of them has at least one example under their belt of near perfect post-millennial black metal.

So who have I chosen? Well look upon my choices dear reader, and despair… 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 »

Nov 232010

The next time your grandma asks you, “honey, what does black ‘n roll, NOLA-style, sound like?”, you can tell her it sounds like this:

(and this is Goatwhore, in a high-quality video of the band performing “In the Narrow Confines of Defilement”, live in Denver on November 10; more videos from this show are available here)

Aug 312010

UK’s Telegraph reports this morning about an article written by the Rev. Rachel Mann, an Anglican priest at St. Nicholas church in Burnage, England, in a publication called Church Times. It’s about metal, and it’s probably not what you would expect from a priest. Granted, our impression is that the Anglican church is somewhat more tolerant and somewhat less judgmental than many institutional forms of religion, but still, Rev Rachel’s article is a refreshing change of pace.

It’s also humorous, in a guileless, probably unintentional way. It’s also a tad condescending. And it doesn’t go far enough.

Nevertheless, we thought it was worth re-printing the Telegraph piece, along with our own running commentary, and of course some musical accompaniment. We also invite you to comment, because we have a feeling this will inspire some thoughts — so don’t keep ’em to yourselves.

Christians could learn a lot about life from heavy metal, says cleric

By Martin Beckford, Religious Affairs Correspondent
Published: 7:00AM BST 31 Aug 2010

The Rev Rachel Mann claims that the much-maligned form of music demonstrates the “liberative theology of darkness”, allowing its tattooed and pierced fans to be more “relaxed and fun” by acknowledging the worst in human nature. She says that by contrast, churchgoers can appear too sincere and take themselves too seriously.

This is a defense of metal from an unusual quarter — not that we feel metal needs to be defended, by anyone, especially priests. Sure, sometimes it’s frustrating to hear people who don’t know the first thing about metal condemn it, but usually that frustrated feeling passes quickly, because, basically, we don’t give a fuck what non-metalheads think about our music. On the other hand, we’re not sure we agree with Rev Rachel’s defense.  (more of the Rev’s thoughts, and ours, after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Aug 282010

Saturday mornings have to be the least memorable mornings of the week. If you remember anything about Saturday mornings, it’s usually just the fallout of whatever you did on Friday night, and the fallout usually isn’t worth remembering. In fact, sometimes all you want to do is forget.

If you’re like me on a Saturday morning, your ass is dragging and your brain feels like it’s swimming through a pool of rapidly cooling tar. All you want is to be left alone until you recover your senses in the fullness of time.

Well, fuck that shit. You may think that’s what you need, but your friends here at NCS are trained medical professionals, and we know better. We have a prescription for what ails you on this Saturday morning. We think what you need is the aural equivalent of a stun gun to the back of the head. Y’know, something that will jolt you into the world of the living.

Of course, if you really outdid yourself partying last night, this prescription could seriously fuck you up. That’s why we’re taking a page from the playbook of the pharmaceutical companies that run those obnoxious TV ads for drugs you don’t need: We’re giving you a warning:

In rare cases, people who listen to the music you’re about to hear on a Saturday morning will bleed from the ears and nose, develop uncontrollable convulsions, experience explosive diarrhea, and/or fall into irreversible comas. If you’re pregnant, listening to this music may lead to spontaneous abortions or cause your child to come into the world with its eyes permanently crossed. Do not listen to this music while driving, or while sitting, standing up, or laying down. If you are in the middle of a vicious hangover, you should induce vomiting now, in the privacy of your own bathroom, instead of risking a spew down the front of your shirt once the music begins.

By clicking past the jump to listen to the music that follows, you and your heirs and assigns agree to irrevocably release and hold harmless NO CLEAN SINGING from all resulting claims of damage, past, present, or future, whether currently known or unknown, anticipated or unanticipated, minor or fatal, and you assume all risk of paralysis, impotence, rectal bleeding, facial boils, hair loss, necrotizing fasciitis, seeping mouth ulcers, and chronic ventricular dysrhythmia.

Continue reading »