Nov 082012

(I’m actually kind of stunned. We’ve published so many posts about the new album by My Dying Bride — including an interview of guitarist Hamish Glencross — that I thought we had actually reviewed the album, too. But no!  We hadn’t!  Until today.  And now we’re publishing as the next in our series of guest submissions a potentially controversial review of A Map of All Our Failures by a writer who calls himself madchoons.)

This is where I get to yell at the top of my lungs a variety of contemplative pronouncements which will, in all likelihood, polarize people away from or possibly closer to my side of the fence. I’m not fully convinced the latter is a good idea, but on we go…

To start off, as much as it really does hurt me to say this, My Dying Bride have become the epitome of cheese.

This is a term I quite commonly use for bands/music that, although well put together and obviously derived from talented musicians, has the consistency and flavour of that aforementioned dairy product. You may have guessed I am not a fan of cheese. I enjoy it liberally with my pasta and salad, but by itself it is bland, hard to chew, and sits very heavily on my stomach.

In this case, the same can be said for My Dying Bride’s latest maudlin opus A Map Of All Our Failures, and it really does hurt to even think that one of my all-time favourites of the doom/death/goth genre has sunk to the very place I never thought they could end up. Continue reading »

Oct 042012


Look what I found! New song streams! They crash and froth in rapids, they meander slowly through dark canyons, and they explode in white water again. They are new songs by Jeff Loomis (U.S.), My Dying Bride (UK), and Nidingr (Norway).


Have you listened to the new solo release by Jeff Loomis, Plains of Oblivion? Well, it turns out that Jeff Loomis is already writing and recording new songs, and he plans to roll out three of them through online debuts. The first one premiered today on Metal Hammer’s web site, and it may come as a surprise to those who have Plains of Oblivion still ringing in their heads. Loomis recorded “A Liar’s Chain” with his current touring band, and they’ve been performing the song on tour this year. Guitarist Joe Nurre provides the vocals.

The hard-charging song is as extreme as anything on Plains of Oblivion, or more so. The central riff is a hammering, quasi-industrial beast; Nurre’s vocals vary between death-metal growls and paint-stripping screams (with something like a nu-metal styling in some of the vocal rhythms); and Loomis’ inevitable extended solo brings a dose of satisfying spitfire flash. Cool shit. It’s right here: Continue reading »

Oct 012012


NCS reader and occasional guest contributor KevinP was able to snag an opportunity to interview guitarist Hamish Glencross of UK doom legends My Dying Bride (and Vallenfyre), and we’re thrilled to present their discussion here. My Dying Bride’s twelfth studio album, A Map of All Our Failures, is scheduled for release on October 15 by Peaceville Records. It follows the band’s acclaimed 2011 single-song EP, The Barghest o’ Wihtby. We previously featured (here) the first song released from the new album, “Kneel till Doomsday”.


KP: What have you done differently this time around, if anything at all, on this new album?

HG: Things had changed with having done The Barghest EP. We had brought back a level of intensity that had taken us back to using loud valve amps with an inspiring harmonic feedback in our sound, which we pushed to an extreme on the EP.  We wanted to maintain much of that, but to bring it more in line with a grander, epic approach more in keeping with what we would want to do with a full length album.  Andy [Craighan] and I had a very strong vision of what we wanted to do, and had actually started writing the music for this album as far back as two years ago. We had each set up quite considerable home studios, so we had recorded everything in a very advanced demo format before even hitting the studio, so we had done a LOT more preparation for this album,  more than anything we have done before.

We also had the ability to develop ideas much further, and continue to write and re-write right up to recording the actual release.  This is also how we ended up with a lot more songs recorded than we usually would do, allowing us to cherry-pick the most suitable songs for the album. Continue reading »

Aug 252012

October 15 is the appointed date for Peaceville Records’ release of A Map of All Our Failures, the 12th studio album from My Dying Bride, in this, the 22nd year of their existence. I’ve previously quoted guitarist Andrew Craighan’s memorable description of the album as “a controlled demolition of all your hopes”. My hope at the moment is that the album will be demolishing. There is some reason to believe it will be.

Today, via an e-mail from Peaceville, I heard an edited version of the first track on the album, “Kneel till Doomsday”. Not only is Peaceville streaming the song, they’re also making it available as a free download to fans who sign up for the band’s mailing list. There hasn’t been much fanfare about this yet on a Saturday, but I did manage to find an embed code for the player so you can listen to the song after the jump. I also found it on My Dying Bride’s official web site, which you can access via this link.

The demolition of hope, indeed. This edited version of the song is about five minutes long, and even in that abbreviated length it’s a dynamic, riveting piece of music. At the outset it’s ponderous, bleak, and crushing, but it begins to move with increasing speed — without losing the black aura of hopelessness — before fading out following a return to the chain-dragging weight of the beginning. The vocals are both clean and harsh, the riffs infectious, the atmosphere doomed (of course). Have a listen . . . Continue reading »

Aug 202012

Well, this worked out well. Monday’s suck, of course. But Monday is the “M” day of the week, and lo and behold I have news about three M bands.


These legendary doomsters have completed a new album, which will be entitled A Map of all our Failures. It’s scheduled for release by Peaceville on October 15 (October 16 in the US, in recognition of our former colonial status). There will be a double vinyl and special edition CD/DVD in addition to the normal CD format, and bundles that include a shirt, too. And guess what? The pre-orders begin today, at this location.

I haven’t heard any music yet, but I have seen a quote from guitarist Andrew Craighan, who describes the album as “a controlled demolition of all your hopes”. I would expect nothing less.

I also learned that the band will be embarking on a European tour in December in support of the album, as well as an appearance at the UK’s Damnation Festival in November. An initial schedule of tour dates can be found here.


In late July, I posted a bunch of news about this excellent Finnish band, which included the fact that they were finally recording a new album after many long years following the release of 2007′s Liberation = Termination. At that point, I had no details. Now I have a title: …And Death Said Live. I also have an approximate time frame for the release — December 2012 (on AFM Records). And, I have this very nice album cover art: Continue reading »

Oct 012011

September is behind us. Here in Seattle, it was such a beautiful month that it seemed like nature’s compensation for how late the summer started. Unfortunately, with September’s end, we’re on a short track to the onset of winter, which means about six months of short, cold, grey, ceaselessly wet days. Ain’t that just fuckin’ great?

Well, bitchin’ about the winter ahead won’t change one fucking thing. I prefer to think instead about the deluge of new metal that’s headed our way and try (momentarily) to forget about the deluge of rain on the horizon. Which brings us to the latest monthly edition of METAL IN THE FORGE.

You know the drill:  In these posts, 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 before August, 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. Look for your favorite bands, or get intrigued about some new ones. As usual, also feel free to tell us about how we fucked up by omitting releases that you’re stoked about. Continue reading »

May 022011

What the hell is that big yellow thing up in the sky? It looks vaguely familiar, but it’s appeared so rarely here in The Emerald City over the last six months that we’re having trouble placing the name. Well, maybe the name will come to us. The great wheel of the seasons surely must continue to turn someplace, but in Seattle it seems to have been stuck on Winter since, like, forever. In some parts of the world, April showers bring May flowers, but here, April showers will probably bring . . . May showers.

Okay, enough whining. At least we don’t get tornados dropping from the sky like atom bombs and wiping whole towns off the map. And even though the weather hasn’t been our friend, we have metal to make up for the cold shoulder — and there’s a bunch of new metal headed our way.

What we do with these installments of METAL IN THE FORGE is collect news blurbs and press releases we’ve seen over the last month about forthcoming new albums from bands we know and like (including updates about releases we’ve included in previous installments of this series), or from bands that look interesting, even though we don’t know them yet. And in this post, we cut and paste the announcements and compile them in alphabetical order.

This isn’t a cumulative list, so be sure to check the Category link called “Forthcoming Albums” on the right side of this page to see forecasted releases we reported in previous installments. This month’s list begins right after the jump. Look for your favorite bands, or get intrigued about some new ones. Continue reading »