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 »

Jul 122010

Norma Jean‘s new album, Meridional, will be released tomorrow on the Razor & Tie label. Before listening to my advance copy, I didn’t plan to write about it. For one thing, purely as a matter of personal taste, I’ve only been a moderate fan of the band’s previous releases. For another thing, it was predictable that the album would be the subject of plenty of critical attention from print and web media, and our focus here at NCS tends to be on bands that mostly fly under the radar screen.

Those preconceptions and plans went by the wayside after I listened to Meridional, after I saw the album art, and after I heard and read the lyrics. As a complete artistic creation, Meridional is nothing short of brilliant.

My personal tastes haven’t changed, and Norma Jean hasn’t suddenly vaulted itself into my personal pantheon of extreme metal divinity, but this album is worth the critical attention it has already been getting, and will continue to receive. And whether you’re already a Norma Jean fan or not, it’s music you should hear. It has certainly impressed the shit out of me.

Meridional is a deep, dark, dense listening experience, and it resists any meaningful attempts to summarize or classify. You’ll find experimental, largely instrumental tracks like “Septentrional”, “Occidental”, and “Oriental” that feature moody, borderline-demented collections of electronic noise. And you’ll find barely controlled mathcore freak-outs and injections of hardcore viciousness guaranteed to stir the mosh pits into mayhem. And you’ll hear punishing, sludgy, down-tempo guitar leads along with convulsive thrash riffs and bruising drum fills.

(more after the jump, including a track to hear, and a montage of eye-popping album art . . .) Continue reading »

May 012010

We’re now a full four months into 2010, and it’s time for our fourth update to the list of forthcoming new albums we posted on January 1. (See the original list here, the first update here, the second update here, and the third update here.) Below is a list of still more projected new releases that we didn’t know about on January 1 or at the time of our last three updates (or that we’ve found updated information about) — and the new sickness is still spreading in epidemic proportions.

Once again, we’ve cobbled together news blurbs about bands whose past work we’ve liked, or who look interesting for other reasons. Needless to say (but we’ll say it anyway), these are bands that mostly fit the profile of music we cover on this site.

So, in alphabetical order, here’s our list of cut-and-pasted blurbs from various sources since our last update about forthcoming new releases. Look for the bands you like and put reminders on your calendar. Or if you’re old school like us, just get em tattooed someplace you can see without a mirror (because reading stuff backwards is hard).

ABIGAIL WILLIAMS: “Abigail Williams have completed recording of individual performances for their still untitled second full-length. Captured at Conquistador Studios in Cleveland, Ohio, eight new songs were laid down with vocalist/guitarist Ken Sorceron and engineer Cole Martinez controlling the audio takes. The songs are currently being mixed by Peter Tagtgren (Dimmu Borgir, Immortal, Celtic Frost) and are expected to be completed later this month.”

ABYSMAL DAWN: “Los Angeles-based metallers ABYSMAL DAWN will enter Trench Studio in Corona, California in May with producer John Haddad (PHOBIA, INTRONAUT, HIRAX) to begin recording their new album for a tentative fall release via Relapse Records. The follow-up to Programmed To Consume will be mixed by Erik Rutan (HATE ETERNAL, VITAL REMAINS, CANNIBAL CORPSE) at his Mana Recording Studios in St. Petersburg, Florida.”  (the list continues after the jump .  .) Continue reading »

Nov 232009

So you all have probably read some things by the author islander, but there’s a new girl in town! I’ll be writing about the music I love and things I’m passionate about. Here is the music I love Continue reading »