Mar 192012

(In this post TheMadIsraeli reviews an album he calls an early favorite for one of the 10 best albums of 2012.)

Ok, so . . . I’ve rewritten this review five times now and I finally decided, fuck it, my only option is to type an essay-length rave.

This album is my first Top 10 of the Year choice.  It is both an unstoppable force and an immovable object. It takes the fusing of various schools of metal to the next level, and sets the bar to a new height for progressivism and for boundary breaking within the genre. Nothing is going to compare to this album, just as nothing really compared much to Outcast’s previous albums. If Outcast continue evolving as they have to date, these guys will become the figurehead of where metal needs to be heading as a whole.

Violent, chaotic, uncompromising, and unpredictable are the names of this game. Outcast’s new album Awaken The Reason is a true tour de force of composition, stylistic diversity, and melding  of styles, tied together by some of the sickest riffs I’ve ever heard.  If I don’t see this album on a multitude of top-album lists by December, I will be seriously dismayed and indeed fearful about how public opinion will shape the future course of metal.

Yes, I believe this album is that important. Continue reading »

Feb 042012

January ended four days ago, so it’s past time for our usual monthly round-up of news about forthcoming albums. I have to confess that this list is even more spotty and sporadically assembled than usual — which is saying something. Various distractions prevented me from keeping a sharp eye out for news about new releases, so I have no doubt this list is incomplete.

Here’s how this round-up usually works: In these METAL IN THE FORGE posts, I collect news blurbs and press releases I’ve seen over the last month about forthcoming new albums from bands we know and like at NCS (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, I 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 earlier than the last 30 days, we probably 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. For example, on this list you won’t see such notable releases as the forthcoming albums from Meshuggah, Enthroned, Unleashed, Psycroptic, Goatwhore, Asphyx, Naglfar, or Autopsy, because we’ve mentioned them elsewhere. Or at least I think we did.

Having said all that, please feel free to leave Comments and tell all of us what I missed when I put this list together. Let us know about albums on the way that  you’re stoked about, even if you don’t see them here! Continue reading »

Dec 022011

On March 4, 2011, we included a song from a French band called Outcast in a post called Diversionary Tactics. The title of the song was “Elements”, and it was very fucking diverting. To quote from the post: “The riffs and time signatures jump around like barefoot children on a hot pavement, the drums rarely repeat the same patterns twice, there’s a freaky-good guitar solo, and the vocals bray in a hot fury (a mix of hardcore howls and death-metal growls). If you’re a fan of bands like TexturesCiLiCe, and Tardive Dyskinesia, do check this shit out.”

The song was taken from Outcast’s third studio album, Awaken the Reason, which hadn’t yet been released — an album mixed by Jochem Jacobs of Textures and mastered by Alan Douches. Well, here we are in December and the album still hasn’t been released. BUT, the latest word is that it will be coming in early 2012 and that specific info about the release date and the label will be coming within days — AND today, the band released another song from the album called “Abysmal”.

The music still puts me in mind of those three bands I mentioned in the March post — its pneumatic rhythms are pummeling and physically convulsive, with lots of funky, math-metally riffing, but it also includes nice melodic choruses and swirling, proggy, clean guitar solos in between the rounds of heavy, djent-style head-bashing. I am definitely looking forward to the album, just as much as I have been since March. Bring it on! You can hear the song after the jump.

The other offering of Gallic goodness for today comes from a band called Hypno5e, who I had the pleasure of seeing on the Art As Metal tour a couple years ago with Revocation and The Binary Code. Yesterday, Lambgoat exclusively premiered the title song from the band’s forthcoming second album, Acid Mist Tomorrow. It’s a helluva song, parts of which are very strongly reminiscent of Gojira (a plus, of course) and parts of which are soft, melodic, beautiful, and experimentally progressive. And you can hear it after the jump, too. The album should be very interesting and absolutely worth hearing. Fair warning: clean singing is involved. Continue reading »

Mar 042011

Are you in the mood for a diversion from whatever else you’re doing or were about to do? Good!  Because we thought we’d share some new music that we heard in the last 24 hours from Pestilence and Outcast, plus a new video clip of Mastodon playing “Crack the Skye”, which will appear on their forthcoming DVD. It’s all ridiculously good. Why else would we want to share? Get ready to be . . . diverted.


Dutch death metal band Pestilence has been cranking out skull-crushers since 1986 — not counting that extended hiatus between 1994 and 2008.  The band count among their alumni the likes of Tony Choy (Atheist, Cynic) and Martin Van Drunen (Hail of Bullets, Asphyx). Their current line-up is also loaded with talent, including fretless bassist Jeroen Paul Thesseling (Obscura) and original or near-original members Patrick Mameli (vox/guitar) and Patrick Uterwijk (guitar).

They’ve got a new album due in late April on Mascot Records called Doctrine, and it’s been on our “highly anticipated” list. Two days ago, Pestilence made the seventh track from the album available for streaming, and we’ve got it here. It’s called, appropriately enough, “Sinister”.

It combines enormous pile-driving riffs with near-experimental, prog-sounding guitar leads/solos, and pummeling double-bass. It’s a head-smasher of a song, but it also engages the non-reptile part of the brain (ie, the part you sometimes think with). For some of you, the throaty vocals may take some getting used to, but trust me, this is a cool song. It’s coming your way right after the jump . . . Continue reading »