May 202021


I managed to grab a few hours of listening time yesterday before they evanesced. I barely scratched the surface of my gargantuan list of things to check out, but it didn’t take long before I found the songs and videos I’ve compiled here, which collectively made a gripping impact. I book-ended the collection with some bigger names and stuffed the interior with some names that need to be bigger.


Hooded Menace have a new album named The Tritonus Bell headed for release in August. Guitarist Lasse Pyykkö commented that the first advance track, “Blood Ornaments“, “comes with some of our most intriguing ingredients yet”. He continued: “There’s a contrast between death/doom misery and head-bangable heavy metal riffs like never heard before in Hooded Menace‘s music, making ‘Blood Ornaments‘ my favourite track from the album”. Continue reading »

Jul 092016



If you’re reading this, it means you survived another week. Congratulations. That seems like good cause for celebration, since about 155,000 people die every day on average.

To help you celebrate, here’s a collection of new music I sifted from the never-ending torrent of new metal over the last 48 hours, presented in alphabetical order by band name.


The Italian death metal band ADE, whom we last mentioned in these pages almost four years ago, have a new album headed our way on July 15 via Spain’s Xtreem Music. Like its predecessors, Carthago Delenda Est again draws upon themes from ancient Roman history, and the title suggests that its focus is on Rome’s efforts to destroy the North African city-state of Carthage in the Punic Wars. The Font of All Human Knowledge tells us: Continue reading »

Apr 112013

(Andy Synn is back with yet another of his five-item lists of favorite things.)

TheMadIsraeli’s review of the newest Killswitch album (which I still haven’t actually gotten around to listening to) got me thinking, mostly about missed chances and wasted potential. As a fan of KsE, even I have to acknowledge that, due to a variety of factors, some beyond their control, some due to their own decision-making, the band may have squandered some of their early potential.

That may sound rather harsh; it’s not meant to be but it may sound it. But I think it’s unfortunately an accurate assessment of things as they stand. Losing Jesse, the stalling of their initial momentum while they recruited Howard, the more simplistic, mainstream leanings that sanitised their most recent work… all these combined with the general state of the music industry and some unfortunate timing, have meant that the band never reached the “megastar” status which was, however fleetingly, hinted at by their early potential.

Now I know what you’re thinking. Killswitch Engage are pretty damn mainstream, at least by metal standards, right? Well that’s kind of my point… we often forget, we proud underground warriors, that for most bands, being part of the metal “mainstream” means fuck all to the “actual” mainstream. Bands with legitimate underground cred who get the merest sniff of wider exposure are immediately attacked for “selling-out” even when they’ve not changed a thing, they just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

But what I’m talking about here are five bands who had the possibility, however slight, of achieving real recognition (mainstream or otherwise), real status, without sacrificing their integrity or identity, but for whom it never quite “happened”. Continue reading »

Feb 192013

(Our UK-based correspondent Sir Andy Synn experienced his first concert by Sweden’s PAIN in Derby, England, on Feb 16, 2013, and files this report, accompanied by his own copious videos of the experience.)

Ah… Pain. One of many projects of the legendary Peter Tägtgren, where he lives out his electro-rock, industrialised-dance-metal fantasies. They’re all about big riffs, pulsing synths, and heavy beats. They’re also a band I’ve never managed to see before, so tonight’s experience was going to be one for the books.

One thing that became almost immediately apparent about the band was how painfully tight (no pun intended) they were as a live unit, producing an intense heavy metal experience that came straight at the audience in a wall of light and sound. The quartet’s live guitar tone was absolutely crushing, only slightly let down by an occasionally muted lead line, while the thrumming bass and slippery, strafing drums locked together into a tight, sexy groove.

Also immediately noticeable was the odd variety of clientele in attendance. The venue was impressively packed, with individuals and groups from all the different metal tribes. There were balding old-school rockers, pierced punks and neophyte nu-metallers, a host of over- (and under-) dressed goth chicks (varying from emaciated to elephantine), and almost every other permutation of metalhead you could think of! Continue reading »

Oct 172012

(UK-based NCS scribe Andy Synn makes an appearance with another five-fold list of “favourite” things.  Such wasteful use of vowels.)

I realise I’ve been off the grid for a bit now (though I am working on some reviews, a 30th edition of The Synn Report, and an awesome interview) so in between balancing all that, work pressures, and 2 bands, I thought I’d drop you another irreverent column on five of my favourite things.



Such an odd choice, but one which works perfectly, taking the darkly gothic atmosphere of the original and replacing its more pop orientation with some heavy metal riffage and a meaty drumming backbone. The vocal interplay is also sublime, the predominant clean croons matched with a bullish, anguished growl from Tuomas Saukkonen. Continue reading »

Apr 182011

Less than two weeks ago, we featured a brand new song called “Dirty Woman” from the new album by Pain — a long-running band fronted by Peter Tägtgren, who’s perhaps best known as the vocalist/guitarist for Hypocrisy. The new album, You Only Live Twice, is due for release on June 3.

The song has gotten under our skin big-time. It’s a dirty piece of Southern-style road-house rock with some catchy-as-ebola metal riffs that will make you wanna bang yo fuckin’ head.

Today, Pain released their official video for the same song, and it’s a hoot and a half to watch. Not surprisingly, given the name, lyrics, and style of the song, the video features some nasty pieces of hotness bumping and grinding and swapping spit. But during the interspersed footage of Pain playing the song, watch what the drummer does to his kit. Wonder what kind of burr got under his saddle?

I’m tellin’ you, if this video don’t put a smile on your face, then you’re one cold motherfucker.  Watch after the jump . . . Continue reading »

Apr 062011

I’m not suggesting you’re asleep. That post title is the message I gave to myself, over and over again, this morning. It’s the middle of the damned week, and somehow I found myself over-doing it with old friends way past my usual bed-time, and I’m moving reeeeeally slowly this morning.

What I needed was a good jolt, a nasty steel-toed kick in the ass, a bucket of cold water over the head, a brisk slap in the face. But I contented myself instead with the music we’ve got for you this morning. It certainly woke me the fuck up.

We’ve got four offerings of jolting, ass-kicking, bracing, face-slapping music, including two new videos and some free download options, from Pain (Sweden), Wormrot (Singapore), Malfeitor (Sweden), and Kataklysm (Canada). Let’s get to it:


Peter Tägtgren is best known for his work as a music producer and as the vocalist and guitarist for long-running Swedish luminaries Hypocrisy. But he’s had many other projects as well, and one of them is an outfit called Pain. That band has been around a long time, too, though I don’t think I’ve ever listened to the music. That’s now changed. Their 7th album is scheduled for release on June 3, and there’s now a new song available for free download.  (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Feb 272011

We’re jumping the gun on this post, since the month doesn’t end until tomorrow. Why? Uh, because this post is ready to go and we don’t have anything else finished for today yet. Work and other shit interfered with our grand plans for a Sunday post.  We might still get another one up later today, but for now, feast your eyes on the barrage of metal headed our direction.

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 27 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. Continue reading »