Aug 062014

(Here’s another installment of Andy Synn’s irregular series devoted to his favorite things that come in fives. As always when he does these things, please feel free to share your own list in the Comments — in this case, your favorite bands you’ve never seen live.)

It’s been a while since I’ve written one of these random little columns. I bet you were beginning to think I’d forgotten about them, hadn’t you?

Well, my strange predilection for numerical lists of my favourite things has reared its ugly head again, and this time we’re dealing with the mournful issue of bands I’ve never (for a variety of reasons) managed to see live!


Let’s start with a big one, shall we? I love Extol. They are one, if not the biggest, of my favourite bands. Their dissolution back in 2007 seemingly put paid to my chance of ever seeing them live, but now they’re back with an amazing new album and are playing a few select live shows… well, let’s just say that there are few things I wouldn’t do for a chance to see and hear them perform! Continue reading »

Nov 072013

Yesterday produced a lot of new excellent video and song premieres, and I also caught up with a few things that I missed when they first came out. In an earlier post today I collected three of the new videos, and in this post are five songs worth hearing.


Solid State Records will be releasing the eighth studio album by Living Sacrifice — Ghost Thief — on November 12, and I’ve been really eager to hear it. The first advance track from the album, “Screwtape”, didn’t grab me by the throat as hard as I hoped it would. But yesterday the title track debuted, and my first thought was, “that’s more like it!”

It was a good sign when the tremolo drilling and drum blasting started, and the jolting rhythms plus Bruce Fitzhugh’s bestial vox sealed the deal. This is neck-wrecking, riff-hammering Living Sacrifice in prime form. Listen next (via Rolling Stone). Continue reading »

Oct 182013

Here’s a collection of items I spotted on a quick dash through the interhole today.


I saw that the gents at Metal Sucks premiered a new Gojira video. It’s a professionally filmed live performance of “The Gift of Guilt”, from last year’s L’Enfant Sauvage, at London’s O2 Brixton Academy. I confess that when the first finger-tapped notes of the melody began, I got chills and a flood of beautiful memories of the live Gojira shows I’ve been lucky enough to attend. The video is also fresh evidence that Mario Duplantier is one of the best drummers in metal today.

To watch the clip, jump over to this location.

On top of that, MS reported that Roadrunner Records has released a live EP that includes three Gojira songs (including “The Gift of Guilt” and three songs by Norway’s Kvelertak, and it can be yours for the price of an e-mail address. To stream and or download it, go here. This is the track list: Continue reading »

Oct 092013

I’m pretty sure that Living Sacrifice are one of those bands that all of us here at NCS agree upon, and so we were excited to learn today that LS have a new album scheduled for release by Solid State Records on November 11. Entitled Ghost Thief, it will include 10 songs, one of which will feature a guest appearance by Demon Hunter’s Ryan Clark and another of which will feature Dave Peters of Throwdown.

We loved the band’s 2010 comeback album The Infinite Order and we have high expectations for this new one. “Ghost Thief  is a reference to the personification of Death,” guitarist/vocalist Bruce Fitzhugh explained via a press release. “Depending on the circumstance, death can be greeted as an enemy or a friend. We have a few songs that deal with the suddenness and finality of death. ‘Ghost Thief’ and ‘Sudden’ both are inspired by people who died suddenly and unexpectedly. Friends of ours or family members that we were close to.”

There’s not much else to report at this point — other than to mention (as you knew we would) that the cover art is fantastic. Unfortunately, we haven’t yet identified the artist, but this post will be updated to include it once we find out.

UPDATE:  As some of us on the NCS staff had guessed, we can now confirm that the killer cover art was created by the renowned Travis Smith, who also created the cover for the band’s 2002 album, Conceived In Fire.

Jan 052013

We’ve picked up a lot of new readers over the last couple of weeks, so for their benefit let me explain what others have already figured out about our news reporting: We make no effort to be comprehensive. We don’t cut and paste every press release we get. Actually, we don’t cut and paste any news releases. We write our own thoughts, and what we write about is filtered through my mind and occasionally the minds of our other writers when they message me about something they think is interesting.

So, for better or worse, what you see here is what we think is interesting, according to our tastes. And here are a few items I saw and heard over the last 24 hours that interested me.


Candlemass and Entombed are two Swedish bands who have reached near-legendary status in distinctly different corners of the metal spectrum, Candlemass in the realms of doom and Entombed in the fields of death metal and death ‘n’ roll (though over time Entombed has plowed other fields as well).

Someone at Sweden Rock Magazine, the country’s top-selling music magazine, had the bright idea of asking each band to cover one of the other band’s songs. The result will be a CD single exclusively included with the magazine’s 100th issue that will be sent to subscribers on January 8. For now at least, it won’t be available elsewhere. But fortunately, as of today both tracks are up on YouTube. Continue reading »

Nov 222011

Earlier this month, we reported plans by German tech-metallers Obscura to self-release a collection of previously undistributed demo tracks and new cover songs. It will be called Illegimitation and will include four songs from the band’s 2003 demo, three pre-production versions of songs recorded in 2006 following a tour with Suffocation (including an early version of “Incarnated”, which ultimately appeared on Cosmogenesis (2009)), and covers of songs by Death, Atheist, and Cynic that the band recorded earlier this year.

The band is raising money for the production of the album in both CD and LP formats as well as associated merch through Kickstarter; pledges starting at $5 will get you a range of stuff from a digital download of the album on up. You can get there via this link.

Today, the band put up two of the 2003 demo tracks on their Facebook bandpage for streaming: “…And All Will Come To An End” and “Crucified”. More about those songs, plus a chance to stream one of them here, after the jump.

Also after the jump: One of our favorite metal bands, Living Sacrifice, will be releasing a DVD during the week of December 9 called In Finite Live. It’s a professionally shot and edited, multi-camera performance by the band in Pomona, California, plus six more songs performed in the band’s hometown of Little Rock, Arkansas. The DVD also includes bonus goodies, and it’s available for pre-order for ten bucks here. After the jump, we’ve got two song-clips from the DVD. Stay with us . . . Continue reading »

Jun 262011

Yesterday I saw three music videos from three bands I like, and I thought they’d make a good combined piece of entertainment for this Sunday. The music all qualifies as extreme, and no, there’s no clean singing in any of them, but there’s still a good variety of styles represented. We’ll start with a recently revealed video of Living Sacrifice performing at the Cornerstone 2008 festival. Then we’ll move to the first official video of a Finnish band called Retaliatory Measures whose most recent EP we reviewed just last week. Last but not least, we’ve got another brand new video, this one from a band we discovered in one of our MISCELLANY expeditions, Doomsday Prophecy.


I became a big fan of this band after seeing them on the 2008 tour that that marked their revival after an extended hiatus. It was one of those sets that gets burned into your memory — a performance by musicians whose maturity showed in the skill and self-assurance of their playing but whose energy level would leave lots of much younger bands in the dust. Yesterday I saw a post on their Facebook page about a video they’d never seen before of a show they did that same year — 2008 — at a festival in Illinois.

The visual quality of the footage is rough — which suits this song — but the sound quality is pretty strong. The whole package shows just how fucking heavy this band is and how much power they generate on stage. It’s a blowtorch performance of  a blowtorch song — coming up right after the jump. Continue reading »

Jan 162011

I had way too much fun last night. This morning, I feel like I’m being punished in a circle of Hell far worse than anything Dante imagined in The Inferno. But despite a hangover of galactic proportions, I’ve got something for you. Two somethings, actually. They served as a reminder that no matter how much I want to kill myself today, there are reasons to Keep . . . Living.

When we rolled out our list of 2010’s most infectious extreme metal songs, Part 2 of the series paired up songs from two of our favorite bands, Keep of Kalessin and Living Sacrifice. By coincidence, yesterday I saw two brand new performance videos that feature both bands, and they’re both good.


Last year, Keep of Kalessin made their debut in the Eurovision contest, riding the song “Dragontower” to a third-place finish in the Norwegian finals.  Even though “Dragontower” was the most accessible song on Reptilian, KoK’s third-place finish in the national contest was further proof that Norway and the U.S. are so different that they might not really be co-existing in the same universe.

But yesterday, there was more proof. KoK made a guest appearance on the nationally televised semifinal round of the 2011 Norwegian Eurovision song contest, performing another song from Reptilian — in a duet with Alexander Rybak. I tried to think of a U.S. parallel, and the first thing that popped into my head was Immolation showing up on American Idol to perform with Justin Bieber.  (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Dec 292010

Today 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.

Yesterday we began the rollout with some old-school death and black/death metal. Today we have two diverse entries that in quite different ways show once again how aggressive metal can light up your life like genital electrodes — except in a good way.


Norway’s Keep of Kalessin made a big mark on 2010 with the release of Reptilian. When we reviewed it in June (here), we noted its stylistic diversity and praised it as an album full of gems, organized in homage to the terrible majesty of the dragon.  (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Dec 012010

November is now in our rear-view mirror. December lies ahead of us: A perfectly good stretch of road marred by the speed bumps of the cataclysm that is Christmas. And on the other side of those speed bumps is the end of the year – the roadkill that is New Year’s Eve. And you know what the run-up to year-end brings — year-end lists. It’s already started, but the coming weeks will bring us a slew of Best of 2010 album lists. We’ll probably do our own Best of 2010 list — not the best albums of the year, but, as we did last year, the most infectious extreme metal songs of the year.

But we’re not quite ready to launch that list. Instead, we’re looking off into the future, not backward at the music that’s rattled our skulls over the past year. Yes, it’s time for another monthly installment of METAL IN THE FORGE, in which we cobble together a list of forthcoming new albums, cribbing like rag-gatherers and lint-pickers from PR releases and metal news sites like Blabbermouth in order to construct a line-up of new music that we’re interested in hearing.

All of our previous monthly updates can be found via the “Forthcoming Albums” category link on the right side of our pages, and because we’re not keeping a cumulative list, you might want to check the last couple months of these posts if you want to get a full picture of what’s coming. The list that follows, in alphabetical order, are albums we didn’t know about at the time of our last installment, or updated info about albums we’d previously heard were on the way. After the jump, of course . . .

Continue reading »