Apr 242015


I know, I said that after two more round-ups today, following three yesterday, that I’d take a break and do something else. But man, I just continue to see an hear things that I feel compelled to foist upon you. So, one more collection… but without the “Seen and Heard” title, because that’s been worked to death over the last 24 hours.


I’ve really been eagerly awaiting the new album by Virginia’s King Giant. We’re all big fans of the band around here and we’ve made no secret of that over the years. And although I haven’t yet heard all of the new album (Black Ocean Waves), the song they just premiered via a lyric video is strong evidence that they’re about to deliver another winner. Continue reading »

Jan 302012

On January 18 we announced a contest to help celebrate the release of Dismal Hollow, the fantastic new album by Virginia’s King Giant (glowingly reviewed at NCS here). Drawing on the sense of violent historical conflict that underpins the first track released from the album — “Appomattox” — we came up with this question for our readers (actually, BadWolf came up with it): Tell us what famous battle in history deserves a metal song immortalizing it and why?

We got quite an impressive list of submissions, most of which you can read in the Comments to this post. We turned all of them over to King Giant and asked them to pick the winner, and they’ve now done that. Here’s the message we received from King Giant’s David Kowalski:

“This was really tough to pick just one winner because the majority of the responses were really good!!  But here it is: #5 – Ørsaeth – The Battle of Cameron.”

Ørsaeth will receive his choice of a CD of Dismal Hollow signed by the band or a signed copy of the colored vinyl LP of the album, plus one of the band’s shirts. After the jump, you can check out Ørsaeth’s winning entry. And if you haven’t yet picked up your own copy of Dismal Hollow, do that shit without delay. The CD is being sold by all the usual retailers, and it’s also available for download at Amazon mp3. We’re not the only people to praise this release — it’s racking up a slew of great reviews, including an 8 out of 10 in the March 2012 issue of Decibel. Continue reading »

Jan 182012

The January 21 official release date for Dismal Hollow, the new album by Virginia’s King Giant is fast-approaching, and we’re teaming up with the band to bring one lucky NCS reader a special prize package: either a CD or the color-vinyl LP of Dismal Hollow (whichever the winner chooses), signed by the band — plus any one of the band shirts to be found at their Big Cartel site as long as the winner’s size is available (and if not, winner’s choice of one of the hats).

We’re thrilled to help promote interest in Dismal Hollow, because this album is so damn good that it knocked us flat — stretched out on the ground, eyes rolled back in our heads, and drool coming out our mouths. To quote BadWolf’s review (posted here), “prepare yourselves for the first excellent album of 2012, a slow cruise through doom country.”

And to quote myself from yesterday’s post on the excellent video for “Appomattox”: “It’s simply one of the new year’s first great albums — a dark, raw, smoke-filled crusher of Southern doom that rocks hard and is also one of the heaviest beasts you’ll hear in 2012. Massive, hook-filled riffs link up with thundering rhythms, head-spinning guitar solo’s, and Dave Hammerly’s incredible vocals to produce one memorable song after another.”

So what do you have to do to put yourself in the running for this prize? Find out after the jump . . . Continue reading »

Jan 182012

(In this post, BadWolf reviews the remarkable new album by Virginia’s King Giant.)

Human beings cannot make music in a vacuum. The land under our feet and histories written by our ancestors, even our neighbors’ ancestors, colors our lives in the present. That may seem elementary, but it’s essential to being a conscientious person … not to mention understanding King Giant’s 2012 album, Dismal Hollow. The Pimmit Hills, VA, quintet infuses their brand of stoner metal with the past, and the experience of being a small-town American in a part of the union that lost the American Civil War. In other worst, this is not merely heavy metal, it is haunted metal.

(more after the jump . . .)

Continue reading »

Jan 172012

We started yesterday with three videos and we’re starting today with three more. Two of today’s offerings are official videos that were released yesterday by King Giant and Cipher System and the third is a Capital Chaos live performance by The Dillinger Escape Plan. All of these bands know how to bring the metal, albeit in very different ways.


On January 21, Northern Virginia’s King Giant will have the CD release show for their new album Dismal Hollow. We’ve heard it, and BadWolf’s review will be up here soon. But in short, it’s simply one of the new year’s first great albums — a dark, raw, smoke-filled crusher of Southern doom that rocks hard and is also one of the heaviest beasts you’ll hear in 2012. Massive, hook-filled riffs link up with thundering rhythms, head-spinning guitar solo’s, and Dave Hammerly’s incredible vocals to produce one memorable song after another.

We first stumbled across King Giant in September 2010 because of the ass-kicking video for a song called “13 to 1” off their 2009 album Southern Darkness, and wrote about that here. A few months later, they released a performance video for another Southern Darkness song called “Solace” — and we had to write about that one, too. Yesterday, the band released the first video for Dismal Hollow. It was produced and directed by Kevin Barker (who also made those previous KG videos) and funded by the band and their fans through Kickstarter (I’m proud to have chipped in for that project myself). It’s fuckin’ great. Continue reading »

Dec 022011

November is done, and the countdown begins to the end of 2011 and he beginning of the New Year. We’ve been so focused this week on the year behind us, since 2011 Listmania is now in full swing, that we almost forgot that there is a future, and it will be filled with metal.

So, here’s the deal:  In these METAL IN THE FORGE posts, we collect news blurbs and press releases we’ve seen over the last month (November) 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 forthcoming album before November, 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. As usual, this list is half-assed rather than comprehensive. So, feel free to leave Comments and tell all of us what we missed when we put this list together. Let us know about albums on the way that  you’re stoked about! Continue reading »

Feb 092011

Down is good, Crowbar is good, Kyuss is good, but Virginia’s King Giant has become my go-to band for nasty, sludgy, whiskey-soaked Southern doom ‘n roll.

Last September, I stumbled across a King Giant video for a song called “13 to 1” from their self-released 2009 album, Southern Darkness and included it in one of our MISCELLANY posts. That song is heavy and dirty and bluesy — slow and nasty, with sourmash-soaked vocals and big, rounded, beautiful guitar tones, not to mention the unusual tinkling of a banjo during the first 45 seconds. Very cool shit, and the video was a kick to watch, too.

Well, King Giant has just released a video for yet another song from Southern Darkness, called “Solace”. It’s a performance-based clip filmed at a Washington, DC joint called the 9:30 Club — a place of significance for this band. And guess what? It’s another cool video for another hot-shit song. (more after the jump, including the video . . .) Continue reading »

Sep 212010

A few days ago we published a post about a Chicago band called Demolisher that unexpectedly led to a wide-ranging discussion in the comments that was far more thoughtful and interesting than the post itself. As often seems to happen at this site, the discussion in the comments veered off in directions that couldn’t have been predicted from the subject of the post. We started off talking about breakdowns and bass drops, and by the end we were talking about banjo music — specifically, metal songs that include the banjo.

One reader (byrd36) referred to the banjo intro in a song by Virginia’s King Giant, which is the subject of a brand new video that we included in one of our MISCELLANY posts two days later. Another reader (Andy Synn) thought of a second metal band that had included the banjo in one of its songs.

That was about all it took to send our impulsive selves off in search of more banjo-infused metal, and today we’re sharing the results of our search. Even though my posts usually tend to run on and on (since “wordy” is one of my middle names), this post will require even more of your time than usual, because we’re including five songs. But we hope you’ll hang with us, because there’s some good shit in here, and it just reaffirms what a few of us thought in that earlier comment discussion: Metal needs more banjo!

After the jump, we’ll repeat that King Giant video (cuz that’s where this all started) and follow it with music from The Absence, an early Zakk Wylde project called Pride and Glory, Maylene and the Sons of Disaster, and Béla Fleck and the Flecktones.

Okay, we cheated there at the end — Béla Fleck’s music isn’t metal, but do keep an open mind, because the music is still stunning. In fact, it may be the most interesting and instrumentally impressive of all the songs we’re featuring today. Continue reading »

Sep 192010

It’s been a few weeks since we did one of these MISCELLANY posts. In case you’ve forgotten, or you’re new to these pages, here’s how it works: I make a random list of new music or new videos from bands I’ve never heard before, but look interesting for some reason, and then I go check ’em out. I don’t know in advance whether the music will be good or bad, and occasionally I get head-faked into listening to music that turns out not to be metal at all.

But whatever happens, I create this log of what I heard and saw, without filtering out anything. Sometimes, it becomes a vehicle for discovering gems. Sometimes, we blunder right into dreck — though most of the time the music has at least been passable.

On this particular venture into the musical unknown, I checked out DyNAbyte (Italy), King Giant (U.S.), and Darkness Rites (Canada).


I saw a blurb about this Italian band on Blabbermouth earlier this week. It said that the band featured a female vocalist named Cadaveria, formerly of the band Opera IX, as well as Necrodeath bassist John (aka “Killer Bob”). Those names “Cadaveria” and “Opera IX” rang a bell in my cobwebbed brain, and eventually it came to me.  (more after the jump, including music and video . . .) Continue reading »