Nov 012013
 

I’ve been distracted today, more than usual, by my fucking day job (the nerve of them expecting me to work for my pay!), but I didn’t want to let this Friday crawl to a close without one more post. I’ve seen and heard a handful of new things today that are worth spreading around, but time being short, I’ll limit this to two excellent items, and perhaps include the rest tomorrow.

HOODED MENACE

The ultra-crushing, doom-dealing blood drinkers in Finland’s Hooded Menace appear to have been working on a follow-up to their gloriously heartless 2012 album Effigies of Evil. The new work will be released as a 12″ EP by Doomentia entitled Labyrinth of Carrion Breeze. The beautiful cover art (and by “beautiful” I mean loaded with fuckin skulls and ghouls) was unveiled on Halloween, and credit goes to Joshua Brettell (Ilsa’s drummer) and Adam Geyer for the creation (Brettell drew, Geyer did the gorgeous coloring). The front panel is above and the gatefold layout can be viewed after the jump (click for bigger views).

In addition to sharing the cover art, Hooded Menace has also made a part of a song called “Chasm of the Wraith” available for streaming. It’s low, slow . . . and actually beautiful, in a dreadful way. Continue reading »

Sep 282012
 

(Artwork by Sandro of Undead Creep.)

Not long after I posted that new Gojira video earlier today, I found three more new videos that I thought were worth sharing with our readers. The bands are: Hooded Menace (Finland), Down (US-NOLA), and Red Eleven (Finland).

HOODED MENACE

I’ve been writing a lot about this Finnish group’s new album, Effigies Of Evil, which is out now on Relapse. Of course, the one thing I haven’t yet written is a review, though I haven’t given up hope that I’ll find time to explain in more detail why I think this album is so titanic.

The latest from Hooded Menace is a music video premiered today by Metal Injection for “Crumbling Insanity”. The video was directed by Justin Oakley for Burial Offerings (Ulver). It intersperses footage of the band performing with images of such things as crucifixion, impalement, murder, and the collapse of churches. The song well-represents the talent of Hooded Menace for blending necrotic melodies, hard-charging death metal riffs, and the suffocating weight of funereal doom into a potent brew. Here’s the video: Continue reading »

Sep 122012
 

I spent almost all last night writing an album review that isn’t even intended for publication on this site. More about that eventually. But the point for now is that I didn’t have time to finish other projects that were intended for appearance here this morning. Rest assured, they’ll be coming. But for now, I just want to quickly throw you two songs. Figuratively speaking, it’s like throwing you a couple of house-sized granite boulders. Catch!

The first is a lyric video for “Evoken Vulgarity”, which is a song from Effigies of Evil, which is a stupendous album from Finland’s Hooded Menace, which was officially released yesterday, which I’m still hell-bent on reviewing . . . some day. If you wanted to explain to someone how a song could be both horrifying and beautiful, this would be a good example to give them. Though beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder.

And in my eye, not only is the song beautiful, but so is the album cover. Click on the image above to see an even bigger, more awesome picture of the art.

The second song is “Bails (Of Flesh)”. It’s by a two-man Seattle band named Bell Witch, and it’s from their debut album Longing, which Profound Lore will be releasing on November 13. “Bails (Of Flesh)” is over 20 minutes long. Yesterday, Profound Lore began streaming the first 11+ minutes of the song. I don’t know about you, but if I’m ready to hear a song that’s 11 minutes long, and it’s as great as this one is, I’d be ready for all 20 minutes of it. So although I’m grateful to hear half of it, I’m also pissed I don’t get to hear the rest. Okay, “pissed” might be a little strong. More like hungry for more . . .

because the song is both horrifying and beautiful. Wait a minute, I said that already. So I’ll say this: it’s both soul-sucking and soulful. Also, devastating. And the Bell Witch album cover (by Bryan Proteau) is also cool. Continue reading »

Aug 102012
 

Ex Deo — the “other band” of Kataklysm frontman Mauriozio Iacono — has completed a new album entitled CALIGVLA, the thematic focus of which is Rome under the unhinged rule of Emperor Caligula.

You remember Caligula, don’t you? The emperor who demanded that he be worshipped as a living god, threatened to make his horse a consul (and actually did make him a priest), slaughtered innocent people for amusement, prostituted his sisters to other men (and allegedly engaged in incestuous relations with them), and indulged all manner of sexual perversity, turning his palace into a brothel? The first Roman emperor to be assassinated? The subject of an infamous 1979 movie starring Malcolm McDowell and financed by Penthouse?   Yeah, that guy.

The album is scheduled for release by Napalm Records on August 31, and a couple days ago Napalm began streaming the first official video for the album, for a track called “I, Caligvla”. Two things jumped out at me about the song: First, it’s a real headbanger. Second, it includes a lot of bombastic orchestral music in conjunction with the thundering riffage — more so than I remember from Ex Deo’s last release.

As for the video, if you’re getting your hopes up about scenes of bestiality and fisting, I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed. About as deviant as it gets are a few swats at a shapely female butt and some gladiatorial combat for the emperor’s amusement. Still, I thought it was worth sharing. And after that . . . I’ll come to two new songs from Finland’s Hooded Menace. Continue reading »

Jul 242012
 

Among the current practitioners of death-laden doom metal, you’ll be hard-pressed to find two more catastrophic practitioners of the art than Finland’s Hooded Menace and Horse Latitudes. In January 2012, Doomentia Records released a 12″ vinyl split by the two bands, with each one contributing a song. Since January, Doomentia has gone through two limited pressings of 500 copies, and both are sold out, though it appears that copies may still be available through the bands’ online shops — Hooded Menace here and Horse Latitudes here.

Fortunately, you don’t have to scrounge around for one of the remaining copies of the vinyl edition to hear the music, because Doomentia has recently made the split available for streaming and digital download on Bandcamp.

As we previously reported, Hooded Menace also have a new album on the way via Relapse Records by the name of Effigies of Evil. It will be released on September 11 and can be pre-ordered in a variety of formats and bundles here. Today, Noisecreep premiered that album’s title track, which I strongly recommend you check out at this location.

But the main purpose of this post is to review and recommend the Hooded Menace / Horse Latitudes split. Though it consists of only two songs, it’s almost 19 minutes of music, because both songs are long-format offerings. Both songs are also lessons in how to make slow, extended, completely gut-crunching music without sending listeners into a coma. Continue reading »

Jul 112012
 

If you made your way through today’s earlier post about the first direct observation of Dark Matter, then you know we now have an official definition of “fuckload”: It’s a number that’s equal to the number of miles in 18 megaparsecs, which is (yes, I finally did the math1,126,656,000,000,000,000,000. Conveniently, that’s about 1.1 sextillion of whatever you’re counting, which is why it makes so much sense to just call it a fuckload.

And today there was a fuckload of news about forthcoming albums, with album art and release dates and such, plus a press release about a hellacious new tour. I don’t have time to write about the entire fuckload of news items, so I’m just going to pick the four that got the most “fuck yeah’s!” in a random survey I did of myself.

The bands in question are: Hooded Menace, Eyeconoclast, Cryptopsy, and Obituary.  And then at the end, I’ve got a new song from Grave’s next album, because we always have to have the musics.

HOODED MENACE

We’ll start this fucker off with Finland’s Hooded Menace. Today it was announced that their first album for Relapse Records, Effigies of Evil, will be released on September 11 (it can be pre-ordered in a variety of formats and bundles here). David D’Andrea did the album cover, which is cool. Relapse describes the album as “combining the grooving riffs of Black Sabbath and early Cathedral with the fire of classic Autopsy and Asphyx”. Fuck yeah. Continue reading »

May 082012
 

Here’s how this post evolved:

Finland’s subterranean death-doom miscreants Hooded Menace have signed with Relapse Records and have finished recording a new album called Effigies of Evil, which will be released sometime this summer. I’ve been monitoring Hooded Menace’s Facebook page, waiting for enough new info to justify a post. Something, anything . . . the album art . . . a  song . . .something!

I haven’t yet found anything like that, but I did find that the band’s second album Never Cross the Dead (2010) is being released in a limited vinyl pressing by Doomentia Records. So I visited the Doomentia web site, which I haven’t done in way too long. While there, I discovered that Doomentia has recently established a Bandcamp page (here). So I went there.

One of the first things I saw was a stream of a split that Doomentia released on vinyl in April 2012 by Funebrarum and Undergang. I will have difficulty describing the music, because it has impaired my higher brain functions, leaving me in a drooling cretinous state. It makes me feel both obliterated and happy. Though the split consists of only two songs, it is hands-down one of the sickest, heaviest releases of the year. Continue reading »

Feb 042012
 

January ended four days ago, so it’s past time for our usual monthly round-up of news about forthcoming albums. I have to confess that this list is even more spotty and sporadically assembled than usual — which is saying something. Various distractions prevented me from keeping a sharp eye out for news about new releases, so I have no doubt this list is incomplete.

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 we found out about a new forthcoming album earlier than the last 30 days, we 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. For example, on this list you won’t see such notable releases as the forthcoming albums from Meshuggah, Enthroned, Unleashed, Psycroptic, Goatwhore, Asphyx, Naglfar, or Autopsy, because we’ve mentioned them elsewhere. Or at least I think we did.

Having said all that, please 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 »