May 062011

This seemed like a good day to check in with some Finnish metal bands. Actually, every day is a good day for that, Finland being the most metal country on the planet, human pound for human pound. We picked two bands to feature in this post. The first one, Magenta Harvest, I’ve been meaning to write about for months. I continue to tell myself that late is better than never, which is true of many things, not including rectal cancer.

The other focus of this post is Norther. We knew their next album was coming out sometime soon, but it still managed to sneak up on us, notwithstanding our ninja-like senses. Last month, Circle Regenerated was released in Finland first and then elsewhere in Europe before April ended. I still haven’t found an official North American release date from Century Media for the CD yet, though it’s now available as an import — and the digital album has been available at Amazon MP3 and iTunes since April 19.

Unfortunately, I only got the album yesterday, so I still haven’t listened to the whole thing, but we’ll have some Norther music to finn-ish off this post anyway.  But first, let’s talk about . . . Continue reading »

Apr 022011

Technically, we should have posted this yesterday, but yesterday was April Fool’s Day, and people might have thought we were making up some of this shit. But it’s all true, and nothing happens on April 2 to plant doubt about truth. Except for what causes doubt to be planted about truth on any other day of the year.

Here we are at the beginning of the second quarter of 2011 — the time when for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, spring is supposed to spring.  Where I live, spring has apparently been victimized by a brutal street mugging and is hospitalized at the moment.  A few plants have been deluded into thinking it’s spring, but for the rest of our local world, it’s still fucking winter.

Fortunately, the change of the seasons have fuck all to do with the release of metal. What we do with these installments of METAL IN THE FORGE is collect news blurbs and press releases we’ve seen over the last 30 days (or in this case, the last 31 days) 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 New 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. There’s some awesome shit on the way. Dive in after the jump. Continue reading »

Mar 212011

This kind of slipped up on me: There are now published release dates for Norther‘s new album, Circle Regenerated, plus the cool cover art has been revealed (chosen through a fan contest), plus pre-order options are now available for those of you who would be consumed by wracking guilt over the thought of an illegal download. Plus, there’s a tracklist which includes three bonus songs that come with the digipack. It includes a cover of a song by a band I’ve never heard of (which of course means absolutely nothing).

As aficionados of Finnish metal already know, this will be the first Norther album that doesn’t feature vocalist/guitarist Petri Lindroos. Instead, we will have former Imperanon frontman Aleksi Sihvonen, as well as Naildown guitarist Daniel Freyburg. Norther purists are undoubtedly still trying to adjust to the change in vocalists. We are not pure in any respect here at NCS, so we have already adjusted and will be looking forward to the album, regardless.

If you haven’t yet caught up to this song, here’s a track from the forthcoming album.  The release dates, track-list, and pre-order links are after the jump.

[soundcloud url=”″] Continue reading »

Dec 132010

There’s no unifying theme to today’s installment in our Finland Tribute Week series — just a line-up of bands that need to be mentioned if we’re to do even half-assed justice to Finnish metal, all three of which are expected to release new albums in 2011. So, without further introductory verbiage, here we go:


Norther, a band often compared (rightly or wrongly) to Children of Bodom, originally started in 1996 as a death-metal band under the name Requiem, then changed their name to Decayed, and then in 2000, after significant line-up changes, to Norther.

From 1996 to 2009, the band was fronted by Petri Lindroos — who has also been the vocalist/guitarist for Ensiferum since 2004. In 2009, he was replaced as Norther’s vocalist by Aleksi Sihvonen — who is also the vocalist for Medicated and former vocalist for the now-defunct Imperanon (whose guitarist Teemu Mäntysaari is now a member of Wintersun). The band also includes bass-player Jukka Koskinen, who is also a member of Wintersun (as is Jari Mäenpää, who used to be a vocalist/guitarist with Ensiferum) and also now plays for Amberian Dawn, as does Norther’s drummer Heikki Saari.

Are you following this? Are we clear? Apparently, the Finns play musical chairs, too.

Norther has produced five albums to date, the last of which was a 2008 release called N. The band has recorded a new album, to be called Circle Regenerated, for an early 2011 release on Century Media Records.  They’ve released a digital single from that album, which features Sihvonen’s vocals and the guitar playing of Daniel Freyberg (Naildown, Source of Demise), who joined the band this year. The single is called “Break Myself Away”, and after the jump we’ll show you how to download it for free, plus we’ll have some older Norther music for you, too. Continue reading »

Nov 192010

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Today we have yet another guest post by ElvisShotJFK — this one being the second installment in a series he created in his last post.]

Don’t you hate it when you hear a good song but don’t know who’s it’s by? Sometimes it’s more frustrating when the song is a cover and you can’t figure out who’s actually playing it. The more obscure the song or band, the harder it is to figure out where to look. Even with the wealth of knowledge to be found online these days, Napster Syndrome is alive and well, making some songs difficult to accurately track down. People still get it wrong, no matter how many times someone who knows what they’re talking about says something.

Like Cradle Of Filth (who I mentioned earlier in Volume 1), Children Of Bodom have recorded several covers over their career, going so far as to release an album’s worth of covers, some of them recorded specifically for the album. Not only that, but they used midgets to help promote the album.

Heavy metal midgets. Awesome.

Where was I? Oh yeah . . . even though they’ve done a fair amount of covers, there are songs that have been credited to them that were actually done by other bands.

Let’s get Blooddrunk and dive right in . . . Continue reading »

Jul 042010

Fair warning: This will be one extended session of spittle-flecked frothing at the mouth, because we haven’t been this blown away since stumbling into a full-fledged Seattle windstorm last winter. So get the safety glasses on and strap on sanitary masks if you got ’em.

The subject of our enthusiasm is Nothnegal. They’re a band from The Republic of the Maldives that now includes two non-Maldivian heavyweights — drummer Kevin Talley from Dååth and keyboardist Marco Sneck from those Finnish swamplords Kalmah. They’ve got a four-song EP to their credit called Antidote of Realism and they’ve just signed with Season of Mist for the release of their debut album early next year.

Oh yeah, they’re also playing with Arch Enemy this month and touring Europe in the fall with the likes of Rotting Christ, Samael, and Finntroll.

And we’d wager that most of you have never heard of them. Until earlier this week, we hadn’t either. But this band shows all the seismic signs of an impending Vesuvius-sized eruption onto the scene — and based on the band’s output to date, it would be well-deserved.

If you like technically immaculate, headbangingly compulsive, Scandinavian-style melodic death metal played at autobahn speed, stay with us after the jump. Among other things, we’ll stream all four tracks from that EP and we’ll show you how to download a cut from Nothnegal’s forthcoming debut album. Continue reading »