Dec 192011

(Tamás Kátai is the man behind a Hungarian band called Thy Catafalque, whose fifth album Rengeteg is one of my favorite recordings of the year,  for reasons I’ll be explaining in a forthcoming review. Also, a song from that album will appear soon on our list of the year’s most infectious extreme metal songs. So of course, as part of our Listmania series, I asked Tamás to contribute his list of the year’s best albums — and here we have it.)

10. Baaba KulkaBaaba Kulka

A Polish band with early Iron Maiden covers up to Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son album. Why it’s interesting and worthy of note is that they handle the task with exceptional freedom and taste. My faves are the trip-hopish “Aces High” and the beautifully low-key “Flight Of Icarus”. True Warriors Of Heavy Metal keep out!

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Jun 302011

While other metal blogs were posting about the release of new songs by Dream Theater and Trivium yesterday, I was listening to new songs released the same day by ICS Vortex and Malefice. Is there something wrong with me? Perhaps I need to be trepanned.

Speaking of trephination, I’m always trying to think of new analogies for skull-coring metal, and this one just came to me out of the blue. Amazing that I’ve never thought of it before, actually. I read about a shipboard trephination in one of Patrick O’Brian‘s stupendous novels (I forget which one), and it’s one of those scenes that you don’t forget. According to The Font of All Human Knowledge:

Trepanning, also known as trephination, trephining or making a burr hole, is a surgical intervention in which a hole is drilled or scraped into the human skull, exposing the dura mater [the outermost layer of the brain membrane] in order to treat health problems related to intracranial diseases.

Perfect analogy, eh? I certainly don’t think of trepanning on those extraordinarily rare occasions when I listen to Trivium or Dream Theater. But the new tracks from ICS Vortex and Malefice? Fucking skull-coring! (more after the jump . . . including the songs) Continue reading »

Jun 022011

Damn, I’m finally able to go outside without shivering and being beaten about the head and shoulders with high winds and rain blowing sideways. That must mean it’s June in Seattle!  And so it is. A largely dismal May is behind us, the Seattle Mariners are astonishingly only a game and a half out of first place in their division (that’s baseball for you outlanders), and the summer lies ahead.

What else lies ahead? A bunch of new metal, of course. And because it’s the beginning of a new month, we’re bringing you another installment of METAL IN THE FORGE, in which we collect news blurbs and press releases we’ve seen over the last month about forthcoming new albums from bands we know and like (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 album during April or preceding months, we wrote about them 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. Look for your favorite bands, or get intrigued about some new ones. Continue reading »