Oct 232013
 

Sweden’s Necrophobic trace their roots back to Stockholm in 1989, right in the heart of an explosion of creativity when a uniquely Swedish brand of death metal was beginning to take the world by storm. Yet Necrophobic followed a different path. Along with Dissection (which was also formed in 1989), they began combining elements of death metal and second-wave black metal, helping establish the foundation that would go on to influence a multitude of other bands over the following decades.

Now Season of Mist is on the verge of releasing Necrophobic’s seventh album and their first in four years: Womb of Lilithu. Combining razor-sharp riffs, eerie melodies, progressive lead guitar work, and striking vocal variations, it’s a blend of the vicious and the spellbinding that will stand as one of the band’s strongest works to date.

Today we’re privileged to bring you a full-album stream of Womb of Lilithu. The album is due for release on October 29 in North America and October 25 everywhere else and can be pre-ordered here. Continue reading »

Oct 082013
 

Ævangelist album art by Andrzej Masianis

“Music has charms to soothe a savage breast,” or so wrote William Congreve (not William Shakespeare) in his play The Mourning Bride (1697). This is in fact true of some music, but what charms your humble editor is music that’s savage rather than soothing. I have four recent examples of metal savagery for you, in the order in which I heard them this morning.

ÆVANGELIST

The new album by ÆvangelistOmen Ex Simulacra, will be released on November 29 by Debemur Morti. This is a later date than first reported. Based on the band’s previous output and the first two songs released for this album, it will be worth the wait. In July, we featured the first of those two advance tracks (“Abysscape”), and today Debemur Morti began streaming a second one — “Relinquished Destiny”.

This song takes no prisoners. It shoots the wounded in the head and then rips the corpses into small pieces before consuming them. It delivers an atmosphere of alien horror, and the corrosive distortion can’t disguise the experimental-sounding nature of the riffing and drum progressions, which make the song interesting as well as frightening. As icing on this maggot-ridden cake, death/doom descends at the finale. Continue reading »

Sep 262013
 

Here’s a round-up of noteworthy things seen and heard over the last 24 hours.

MARYLAND DEATHFEST

The organizers of MDF XII have been slowly announcing the names of bands who will appear at next year’s edition of the best metal festival in the US. The most recent announcement came earlier this week with four new names: Cancer, from the UK, who will be making their first US appearance since 1993; Sacrifice from Canada, who will be making their first appearance since 1992; Nocturnus (who for legal reasons must call themselves Nocturnus A.D.), who will be playing the entirety of their debut album The Key; Crowbar; and Death Toll 80K from Finland.

I have several friends who are especially hot over the return of Nocturnus, including NCS writer BadWolf, who reviewed The Key in retrospective back in July 2012 (here). There seems to be some uncertainty about which of the band’s original members will be appearing, other than drummer/vocalist Mike Browning. However, Nocturnus performed songs from The Key live in Mexico City last April. Photos of that show can be found here, and videos are on YouTube, too. I wouldn’t recognize the performers, but presumably it will be the same line-up at MDF.

Here’s one of those videos: Continue reading »

Sep 032013
 

This is a round-up of new songs and videos that debuted over the last 24 hours. There is a unifying theme to what I’ve selected: Although the styles of metal range from rampaging black metal to the sublime weight of doom, darkness pervades the sounds.

NECROPHOBIC

Only yesterday we posted Part 1 of Andy Synn’s review of the recently completed SUMMER BREEZE festival in Germany. It included words of praise for the live performance by Sweden’s Necrophobic. And today brought us the North American premiere of the first single from this influential band’s new album Womb of Lilithu, their seventh studio album and the first one in four years.

The new track is “Splendour Nigri Solis” and it’s now streaming at Spotify (here), though because it debuted in Europe earlier, it has also made its way to YouTube. It’s a thumping, thrashing, swirling whirlwind of black metal vehemence (with imperious, cleanly-sung, off-tempo sections that are as cool as the speedy parts). Continue reading »

Sep 022013
 

(Our roving reporter Andy Synn was fortunate enough to take in the 2013 edition of the Summer Breeze open air festival in Germany last month and has prepared a multi-part review accompanied by videos that he shot during the festival. Today we bring you Part 1 of his write-up.)

Apologies to anyone who might have been waiting for my SB review this year. The trip to Seattle took up 99% of my time since, so I didn’t really have much chance to write things up before now!

Let me tell you though, leaving your house at 1am and driving to Dinkelsbuhl (where the festival is located), arriving at around half 7 in the evening, is a LONG drive. I did the first stretch in one relatively unbroken 10 hour stint, but after that it was a case of frequent stops to rest every time I started feeling my eyes getting heavy. Urgh.

DAY 0

As it was, though, I made it to the festival in time to see Vader… well, some of Vader. Because one minor issue with having the opening night festivities situated in the 3rd stage tent is that you end up trying to pack an entire festival’s worth of people into a venue that, while large in itself, was definitely not designed for that purpose! Thus my Vader viewing experience became a curious mix of long-range appreciation and video-screen voyeurism. Continue reading »

Nov 042011
 

(The first two albums by Sweden’s Dissection are among my all-time favorite metal albums. So I was most interested in this guest post by a writer who goes by the name Kazz.  He identifies six bands who faithful Dissection fans should get to know.)

I remember hearing Dissection for the first time right after their debut LP, The Somberlain, dropped. This was back in the day before the internet was the primary tool for discovering metal, and for American fans of European metal the options were limited to blind purchases from import mail-order distros, or if you were lucky enough to live in a city with a good metal record store, you might have been able to get a recommendation from a knowledgeable clerk (remember those?).

The second wave of black metal was in full swing, but I was more tuned into the nascent Gothenburg melodic death metal scene. The NWOBHM-influenced twin lead-guitar harmonies over a death metal framework made these early melodic death releases fresh, rare, and worth import CD prices for anyone who loved both melody and brutality.

Some of those early In Flames and Dark Tranquillity records had a much more blackened vibe in the early days, particularly in their vocal delivery. But it wasn’t until I got my hands on The Somberlain that I really found anyone who very effectively merged melody with a black metal framework. Dissection made their name by infusing their black metal with a layer of melody which ensured that each song was memorable, together with strong musicianship and compelling lyrics and imagery. By keeping most of their NWOBHM-isms in the minor scale, they maintained a sense of darkness and foreboding over the blasting, thrashing framework of technically-proficient black metal. (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Nov 032011
 

October is over, except for Halloween, which continues to go on and on here at the metallic island that NCS calls home. Your humble editor spent the end of the month and the beginning of this new one grinding away at his fucking day job, which explains why this installment of METAL IN THE FORGE is late. It also explains why it’s more than typically incomplete, but more on that later.

Here’s the deal:  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 forthcoming album before September, 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. I fell down on the job of monitoring the interhole and press releases to catch news about new albums that looked potentially cool to me, so I know I missed announcements of new releases that should be included here. So, feel free to leave Comments and tell all of us what I missed. Let us know about albums on the way that  you’re stoked about! Continue reading »