Jan 082012

The last couple of days brought new singles from three bands that made an impression on my ear holes, so I’m collecting them here for your ear holes.


I’m new to this band, but warming up to them quickly. The 11th Hour began as a Dutch/Swedish doom-metal collaboration between two dudes who were better known for their work in death metal: Ed Warby, the drummer for Gorefest, Hail of Bullets, and Ayreon/Star One, and Rogga Johansson, the man behind bands such as Paganizer, Ribspreader, The Grotesquery, and Demiurg (another Johansson/Warby collaboration). Their 2009 debut album, Burden of Grief, was a concept album about the last days of a man dying from a lung disease.

The 11th Hour now have a second album due for release by Napalm Records on January 27 (February 7 in the U.S.). It’s called Lacrima Mortis. As with Burden of Grief, Ed Warby played all the instruments on the recording and also provided the soaring clean vocals. Unfortunately, Rogga Johansson had to pull out of the recording work on this album due to a prolonged illness, but the band’s live vocalist Pim Blankenstein stepped in. Rogga is a tough act to replace, but based on what I’ve heard of the album so far, Blankenstein’s roars are fucking bottomless.

A day or two ago, Napalm released a single from Lacrima Mortis called “Bury Me”, and even better, they’ve made it available for free download at this location. It’s a fucken great song (and an Exception to the Rule around here, because it’s a mix of clean and un-clean vocals). Have a listen right after the jump (and thanks to KevinP for the tip on this one). Continue reading »

Jan 062012

December and 2011 are both over, and with the end of the last month, it’s time to round up what we saw over the last 30 days about forthcoming albums.

We usually try to post these updates on the first of the month, but the first of this month was New year’s Day, and I was moving kinda slowly that day. Plus, I’ve been focusing on year-end lists from a variety of sources, and, well, I’m late with this. I have more excuses, if you’d like to hear them.  No?  Okay, I understand.  I’ll just shut up and get going with this list.

So, here’s the deal:  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, 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 December, 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. It includes some real eye-openers. In fact, it’s not too soon to say that 2012 is already looking like yet another royally skull-fucking year for metal. But as usual, this list is half-assed rather than comprehensive. I confess that in December I was even more half-assed than usual in keeping my eyes open for news about new albums. So, 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 »