Dec 302015

Integrity-Orgasmatron cover


Like a lot of people, I spent most of my music-listening time yesterday with Motörhead. For the hell of it, I also spent time listening to metal bands covering Motörhead songs. A lot of bands have done that. Out of the many covers I listened to,  damned few of them are quite as good as the originals, and at least to my ears, none of them is better.

However, having invested the time hunting for covers that breathed some kind of different life into the classic originals, I decided to put them all here — the good ones and the so-so ones — by these bands: Satyricon, Sepultura, Ringworm (with guest vocals by Barney Greenway), Korpiklaani, Sodom, Machetazo, Avulsed, Overkill, Metallica, Horna, Kvelertak, Warbringer, and Krisiun.

But before I get to those, I’m starting with one that’s definitely a success. It’s a cover  of “Orgasmatron” that Integrity released just yesterday on Bandcamp (here). Continue reading »

Dec 032014


You may not be familiar with the name Shed the Skin, but chances are you’ll recognize the names of some of its members.  This Ohio-based band is new, but the line-up includes drummer Kyle Severn (Incantation), guitarist Matt Sorg (Ringworm), vocalist/guitarist Ash Thomas (Vladimirs, Faithxtractor), bassist Ed Stephens (Ringworm), and Brian Boston (ex-From the Depths) on keyboards. Hells Headbangers will soon be releasing their debut two-song EP and today we’re bringing you a stream of the first track:  “The Skaphe of Christ / Rebirth Through Brimstone”.

Shed the Skin took shape when Sorg and Severn played together in a tribute to Cleveland’s Blood of Christ at a memorial show for their friend Tom Rojack (Blood of Christ’s 1993 promo EP included the song “Shed the Skin”), and then decided to forge ahead by recruiting the rest of the band’s impressive line-up. Continue reading »

May 302014

I’m slowly moving back into what I normally do at this site after more than a week of living in the world of Maryland Deathfest, first by attending it and then by re-living the experience in NCS posts. And part of what I do is attempt to highlight news items of interest. I’m a bit late featuring the three collected here, but I think they’re worth mentioning, even if tardily.


Beginning in September and running into November, Sweden’s Amon Amarth will be touring the US and Canada. Sadly, they will only have the Viking ship on stage at the October 18 New York City (Manhattan)  date, which is a show that’s part of Decibel magazine’s 10th anniversary celebrations. At that show, the UK’s Vallenfyre will also be appearing.  I would give your left arm to see that show.

Except for that New York City event, Skeletonwitch will also be a part of this tour, which makes it doubly enticing. Sabaton will be on the tour as well. However, although Vallenfyre will be playing the Manhattan date in place of Skeletonwitch, Skeletonwitch and Evoken will be playing later that same night at St Vitus Bar in Brooklyn; that show is also part of the Decibel anniversary festivities. I would give your right arm to see that one. Continue reading »

Feb 212014

(Our man BadWolf did this interesting interview with Ringworm’s screamer and lyricist, Human Furnace. We’re also streaming some new Ringworm jams at the end.)

The Human Furnace has a lot going for him: the best stage name in heavy music, a voice to match, and a new album, Hammer of the Witch, coming out on Relapse. For those not in the know, HF fronts Ringworm, a seminal Cleveland band with formal ties to Hatebreed and Terror. For what it’s worth, I like Ringworm’s take on metallic hardcore better than those other bands—it’s more vicious, and less focused on sing-along breakdowns, even though Furnace and company bring the hooks on Hammer of the Witch with songs like “One of Us is Going to Have to Die.”

Furnace is the only consistent member of Ringworm—the band dropped a required listen with 1993’s The Promise, and then split for most of a decade when some of Furnace’s cohorts went on to join the mighty Integrity before the band re-united in the early aughts. Ringworm’s been going strong since, and a lot of that has to do with Furnace’s powerful pipes and tireless work ethic. We chatted about being a ‘head from the Midwest, the blurred lines between metal and hardcore, and how he keeps his voice in tip-top shape (hint: it’s nothing good).

Continue reading »

Aug 202012

When it comes to metal, there’s a time and a place for complexity and nuance, and there’s a time for getting elbowed in the nose, punched in the kidneys, and ruthlessly choked out. You know, the kind of music where you listen to it, and for a couple hours after you’re nervously looking for blood in your piss and feeling around for loose teeth. When you’re in the mood for that kind of sonic thuggery, look no further than the music featured in this post.


This Cleveland hardcore metal band is the real deal, and by “real deal” I mean no bullshit, no pretensions, high intensity, honest vehemence and vitriol. Their vocalist calls himself Human Furnace, and if you’re going to wear that moniker, you sure as shit better be able to walk the walk. James Bullock really walks the walk, and by “walk the walk” I mean gargle with battery acid and spit it out along with esophageal blood.

I’m pretty new to this band, despite the fact that they’ve been around for 20 years (though about half that time they were on hiatus). Their latest album, Scars, was released in July 2011. But what really grabbed my attention recently is a new live album that A389 Recordings plans to release on August 23. It will be a 12″ vinyl entitled Stigmatas In the Flesh. It was recorded in 2010 at A389’s 6th Anniversary Bash. I’ve only listened to a few of the tracks so far, but man, it’s really blistering. And by “blistering”, I mean it will cause your skin to peel for weeks. Continue reading »

Jul 012011

June is behind us, July lies ahead. Here in the U.S., we’re about to start the long weekend leading up to Independence Day, when Americans celebrate the birth of the nation by buying explosive ordinance wherever fine explosive ordinance is sold and lighting up the night sky (in addition to blowing the shit out of objects and sometimes themselves). People will also be exposing unsightly parts of their bodies wherever sun can be found and eating large quantities of health food prepared on outdoor grills. Our Founding Fathers would be proud of what they wrought!

Because the last month has ended, that means it’s time for another installment of METAL IN THE FORGE, in which 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 album during May or preceding months, we wrote about them 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. Look for your favorite bands, or get intrigued about some new ones. And feel free to tell us about how we fucked up by omitting releases that we overlooked. Continue reading »