Feb 122018


The flood of outstanding new metal is unceasing. I actually wouldn’t mind a break — not long, mind you, maybe a week or 10 days of absolutely no new music at all. But since that won’t happen, I’ll continue doing my best to tread water and keep my flaring nostrils above the tide.

Here’s a collection of new tracks that I sifted from those that appeared late last week. In genre terms, they’re all over the map.


It has gotten increasingly difficult to predict what Glorior Belli is going to do from album to album, or even from song to song. The one you’ll find below is “Deserters From Eden“, the first single off this French band’s new album, The Apostates. Continue reading »

Jun 182013

(In this post TheMadIsraeli reviews the new album by Kalmah, which is being released today in North America by Spinefarm Records. There’s also a full-album stream after the review.)

Finnish melodic death metal today is a totally different beast than it was back in the day. Back in the 90’s and early 2000’s, music of the kind turned out by bands like Insomnium and Before the Dawn was in the extreme minority. Instead, what you had was a massive movement of bands who relied heavy on neo-classicism, cheesy synths, and a decadent excess of guitar harmonies that would span up to four guitars. Early Children of Bodom, Wintersun, and Kalmah were the defining bands of this particular style. While Children of Bodom in my opinion jumped the shark and went beyond the point of no return a long time ago, Wintersun have proved they still have it in them. However, the truly persistent warrior is Kalmah, who’ve been doing their thing, and doing it well, non-stop since they started.

Seventh Swamphony is another fine addition to Kalmah’s discography and a testament to their consistency. For a band to release their seventh album and still maintain the standard they originally set is a rare and commendable accomplishment. I really think their charm lies in their fun combo of black metal ferocity and vocal bent, folk and neoclassical melodic choices, and their particular (and quite frankly astounding) proficiency in using dual (or more) guitar lines to great effect in their compositions. Continue reading »

May 292013

Today has brought an absolute flood of new streaming metal that’s pleasing to these ears (in addition to our own streams of new music today). And by “pleasing”, I mean music that will jam an icepick in your eardrum, pour nitroglycerine down the hole, and detonate it.  There’s so much to be heard that I’ll attempt to hold my own words to a minimum and let the music speak for itself. So here we go, in alphabetical order:


Autopsy’s new album, The Headless Ritual, comes out June 24 in Europe and July 2 in the U.S. on Peaceville Records. I’m awful hungry for it. Today Lars Gotrich continued with his ongoing mission to infect NPR with metal viruses and filthy-up the place by premiering a song from the album named “Arch Cadaver”. In his words: “‘Arch Cadaver’ is classic Autopsy, but it’s also a bit of a rock ‘n’ roll party. Sandwiched between a minute of deranged doom and a left-right-channel guitar-solo face-off, there’s a whiskey-swigging, Motorhead-pounding rhythm that boogies at an insane pace.”

That about sums it up. Go here to jam that shit. Continue reading »

May 032013

Here’s what I’ve been watching and listening to this morning.


Seventh Swamphony, the next album from Finland’s Kalmah, is set for release by Spinefarm on June 14 in Finland and Europe, June 17 in the UK, and June 18 in the U.S. About a month ago we spread the word about the album’s first single, “Windlake Tale” (here), and today the band released an official video for the album’s title track. The video seems to be a cautionary tale about the perils of burying waste in Finnish swamps, with interspersed film of the swamplords in their element (musically and geographically).

The song is a racing romp of invigorating, Finnish-style melodic death metal, or perhaps I should say “Kalmah style”, because it does sound like the Kalmah of old.

The editing on the video makes the music sound even faster than it is. You’ll see what I mean . . . Continue reading »

Apr 032013

On most days at this site I try to pull together a round-up of new music, album art, and/or news that most interested me over the preceding 24 hours. It’s usually in the range of 3-5 items, packaged together in one long post. Today, just for the hell of it, I’m  spreading what interested me over the course of the whole day, one item at a time.

And so the morning begins Finnish style. I started with Finntroll’s new video and now move on to a new track from Kalmah called “Windlake Tale”. And not just a new track — I’m also happy to share the news that Spinefarm will release a new Kalmah album on June 17 and that its name is Seventh Swamphony.

And no, that isn’t a typo. What else would you call a symphony by a bunch of metal swamp lords?

Man, is this new song hitting me in the sweet spot . . . you know the one I mean . . . the spot that gets engorged when listening to racing, rollicking, Finnish-style melodic death metal with flashing guitar solos, folk-influenced melodies and rhythms, caustic vokills, and a big injection of catchy-as-fuck-ness. You should hear it. You can hear it . . . next: Continue reading »

Mar 022012

For a change, I actually remembered on the second day of the new month that that the preceding month had ended; usually takes longer than that. My creditors would be happy, except I think their bills need to age a while longer. But yes, February is history — and that means its time to post our usual monthly round-up of news about forthcoming albums. Today’s list is a little more comprehensive than the half-assed job I did at the end of January, which means it’s about three-quarters assed. One of these days it will be fully assed.

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 I found out about a new forthcoming album earlier than the last 30 days, I 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.

Having said all that, please feel free to leave Comments and tell all of us (me and your fellow readers) what I missed when I put this list together, because I’m abso-fucking-lutely certain that I missed all sorts of shit. So let us know about albums on the way that  you’re stoked about, even if you don’t see them here! Continue reading »

Dec 302010

Here we have the next two entries on our list of the year’s most infectious extreme metal songs.  For a full explanation of what we mean by “most infectious”, read this.

In a nutshell, we compiled a list, in no particular order, of the catchiest songs from a wide range of extreme metal sub-genres — not necessarily the best metal of the year (though lots of these songs would qualify for that kind of list), but the ones that most effectively got our heads and other parts of our bodies moving, and then continued to ring in our tiny brains even after they ended.

Our fifth and sixth additions to the list are songs from albums we reviewed earlier in the year, one by Canada’s Kataklysm and one by Finland’s Kalmah.


In our review of this band’s 2010 release, we called Heaven’s Venom “an irresistible onslaught of powerful grooves and dark melody, fist-pumping anthems and mosh-pit missiles.” (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Jul 042010

Fair warning: This will be one extended session of spittle-flecked frothing at the mouth, because we haven’t been this blown away since stumbling into a full-fledged Seattle windstorm last winter. So get the safety glasses on and strap on sanitary masks if you got ’em.

The subject of our enthusiasm is Nothnegal. They’re a band from The Republic of the Maldives that now includes two non-Maldivian heavyweights — drummer Kevin Talley from Dååth and keyboardist Marco Sneck from those Finnish swamplords Kalmah. They’ve got a four-song EP to their credit called Antidote of Realism and they’ve just signed with Season of Mist for the release of their debut album early next year.

Oh yeah, they’re also playing with Arch Enemy this month and touring Europe in the fall with the likes of Rotting Christ, Samael, and Finntroll.

And we’d wager that most of you have never heard of them. Until earlier this week, we hadn’t either. But this band shows all the seismic signs of an impending Vesuvius-sized eruption onto the scene — and based on the band’s output to date, it would be well-deserved.

If you like technically immaculate, headbangingly compulsive, Scandinavian-style melodic death metal played at autobahn speed, stay with us after the jump. Among other things, we’ll stream all four tracks from that EP and we’ll show you how to download a cut from Nothnegal’s forthcoming debut album. Continue reading »

Mar 212010

Suomalaista Metallia! About a week ago we stumbled headlong over a band from Finland oddly called The Jasser Arafats, and learned they were sharing the stage with the awesome Kalmah last week in Finland. Apart from the strange band name, the album art by V. Nyström from their forthcoming full-length debut was also arresting, and they had a widget that allowed us to listen to four tracks from the album. So we thought, what the hell, let’s listen to what they’re doing. And we liked what we heard and we wrote a short post about it.

That led to contact with the band, and although we couldn’t worm out of them the story behind the band name (more on that later), they did give us an advance listen to the whole album (Condemnation), which is due for an April 14 release on Violent Journey Records.

Listening to all 12 of the album’s tracks confirmed our reaction to the four teasers, and what we wrote a week ago still holds true:  “Press play and it’s like opening the door to a blast furnace of scorching headbangery. There’s a real talent for riffage here, with grooves galore, ridiculously hard rhythms, and top-notch, full-throated, howling vocals.”

The music on Condemnation isn’t what you might expect from a Finnish extreme metal band. It’s a modern, American-style blend of thrash, death metal, and power grooves. Almost all the songs leap out of the box in a thrash-paced assault, with fast, percussive, down-tuned riffing and aggressive drumming. But there are rhythmic variations within each song, and a few (like “Price”) feature pronounced breakdowns.The guitars have got a thick, fuzzed-out quality, and the band has a talent for producing some relentlessly infectious riffs.  (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Mar 162010

Serendipity (noun): (1) an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident; (2) the fact or occurrence of such discoveries.

Synchronicity (noun): the coincidental occurrence of events that seem related but are not explained by conventional methods of causality.

We always get these words confused, though they’re both cool words. Both came to mind as we thought about the following chain of events:

Two days ago we wrote glowingly about the new melodic death metal opus from those Finnish swamplords, Kalmah. Later the same day, we stumbled across a press blurb about a new Finnish thrash/death metal band called The Jasser Arafats that has a debut album on the way, called Condemnation. The album cover (above) plus the band’s wacky name made us pause and jump over to their MySpace page to check out the music. And there, on the band’s MySpace page, was a notice about their upcoming performance on March 19 at a CD release party in Finland for — Kalmah.

And then, just to round everything off, the music turned out to be sick! So, we guess it was both serendipity and synchronicity. And for the cherry on top of the icing on top of the cake, we found a widget that allows us to give you a stream of four of the 12 tracks from the forthcoming album. (and that, plus a little more info, you’ll find after the jump . . .) Continue reading »