Nov 102019



Just a few opening notes:

First, all of the following songs are the first advance tracks from forthcoming albums, The opening four in today’s collection are absolutely wild, and the first three of those put me in mind of the kind of full-throttle, all-enveloping extravagance that often forms the closing movement of a classical symphony.

Second, today I’m just launching immediately into thoughts about the songs I picked, and providing the details about the bands and the releases only after that.

Third, I’m so far behind in mentioning recently released full albums from the black realms that I have in mind another one of these columns tomorrow, which won’t include full reviews of those albums but only teasers. Because that won’t take me as much time, there’s a greater likelihood I’ll be able to follow through. Continue reading »

Jun 192019


NCS contributor Karina Noctum, based in Norway, talked to Hans Fyrste (ex-Ragnarok) about his band Svarttjern, which also counts in its ranks Grimmdun (drums), HaaN (guitars), and Malphas (bass), who are currently in Carpathian Forest, and guitarist Fjellnord (Magister Templi). They are on Soulseller Records and currently recording a new album. The conversation revolves around the band’s personal significance, the lyrical themes, and different perspectives when it comes to music and record labels, among other things… All photos accompanying the text are the work of Silje Storm.


How would you describe your sound and how does it stand out from other bands in the scene?

That’s a hard question, but I think that over the years Svarttjern has kept on going with doing what we want to do and I think our thrash influences have grown more and more. At the same time we have gotten more in-depth in Black Metal, which is more of the aggressive nature of the music. I don’t really know how to describe it, but I think we can say it’s dirty music with a touch of elegance. Continue reading »

Jun 032016

MDF Merch1
MDF merch

For those just now joining this series about Maryland Deathfest XIV, I’m in the process of highlighting the bands whose performances were the best of the ones I saw and heard in Baltimore beginning on Wednesday of last week.

I’ve organized those bands into four categories (not rigidly defined, mind you). Yesterday’s feature was about “Swedish (and Dutch) Death Metal Supremacy”, and for today’s collection I’m borrowing the title of one of our long-running series about new music — Shades of Black —  because I’m spotlighting six black metal bands of varying styles whose sets I really enjoyed. I’ve again included photos of each band (most of which are gathered at the end of this post). Continue reading »

Apr 222016

Terra Tenebrosa-The Reverses


Well, this has been another one of those weeks when I was so busy with premieres and assorted personal nuisances that I wasn’t able to compile as many round-ups of new songs as I would have liked. As usual, that means I’m now drowning in things that I think are worth recommending — too many to fit into one post.

So, I’ve done what I usually do in such situations: made the selections on a pretty random basis and tried to restrict my own verbosity and let the music speak for itself. I’ll compile some more discoveries for a post this weekend.

Before getting into the music, I’ll start with one news item that peaked my interest.


Yesterday Debemur Morti Productions announced the projected release of a new album by the unorthodox and fascinating Swedish entity known as Terra Tenebrosa. The new album is named The Reverses and it includes the participation of some impressive guests: Jonas A Holmberg (This Gift Is A Curse), Alex Stjernfeldt (The Moth Gatherer), MkM (Antaeus), and Vindsval (Blut Aus Nord). Continue reading »

Feb 282016



I guess I went overboard with this collection of new metal in a blackened vein. Believe it or not, even though eight bands are featured in this round-up, I made a lot of hard choices, leaving behind many other new releases I also heard over the last week that I thought were good. But eight is still a lot for a single post. Hope you won’t be deterred by its length from giving everything here a listen.

I organized these songs with a quartet of full-throttle assaults at the start, followed by a trio of more ritualistic, strange and/or atmospheric selections, and concluding with one final head-crusher.


Norway’s Svarttjern signed with Soulseller Records for the release of their fourth album Dødsskrik, which our friend eiterorm tell us is Norwegian for “Scream of Death”. The song I have for you is the first advance track from the album, “All Hail Satan”. Continue reading »

Jan 282014

I was going to post this yesterday, but we had so many other things to do yesterday that I ran out of time. But although a day late, the five songs collected here are still fairly new. All of them premiered since last Friday and all of them caught my ears in a vice-like grip and shook my head like a maraca, producing a similar rattling sound with the small object inside my skull. As usual for these collections, the styles of metal are different, but it’s all good. The bands are presented in alphabetical order.


Mantar are a new two-piece band, half German and half Turkish, whose debut album Death By Burning is scheduled for release by Svart Records, on February 7. I hadn’t heard any of their music before, but the strange cover art drew me into CVLT Nation’s debut of a new track named “Spit”.

Interestingly, the only instruments used on the album are guitar and drums (no bass), but “Spit” is still plenty heavy. Comparisons have been drawn to the likes of Melvins, Motorhead, and Darkthrone. “Spit” is a black, hammering rocker with a boatload of fat, distorted riffs and a drum attack that seems bent on dismantling skulls. It’s catchy as fuck, and Mantar’s vocalist has the kind of raw, scarring tone that leaves faces in shreds. Excellent nastiness. Continue reading »

Nov 062011

(Today’s second guest post comes your way from the depths of Trollfiend’s lair, where you can’t walk without tripping on a femur or mashing a skull further into the muck. He’s reviewing the new album by Svarttjern.)

Genres are a good thing. There, I said it.

Okay, I admit that I have zero musical knowledge and only know what a ‘blast beat’ is because I looked it up on Youtube (and I’m still not 100% sure, as the video I watched appeared to be in Swedish).

I could argue endlessly about what constitutes pure blackened crustgrind doomcore and would still not be able to tell the difference between it and blackened doomgrind crustcore, even if it came up and blackenedly doomground the crust right off my own core. But having said that, I still say genres are good. They give us a foundation to build on, they prepare our ears for the particular kind of ass-fucking ears get from the metal we love, and they give us something to argue endlessly about on metal website forums.

So I’m going to go out on a limb and call Svarttjern ‘blackened death’. I have no fucking idea if such a thing exists, and I’m willing to bet my priceless collection of Burger King collectible sippy cups that at least seven people are going to call me a goddamn moron for not knowing that Svarttjern is, in fact, not even close to blackened death and is more like deathified black. Bring it, bitches.(more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Sep 032011

It’s Labor Day Weekend, August is a thing of the past, and as some people count it, summer is over. School is on the verge of resuming for people still attempting to educate themselves, and a ton of new metal tours are looming on the horizon for the fall. And of course, the fall will be filled with new album releases, too. Which brings us to the latest monthly edition of METAL IN THE FORGE.

You know the drill:  In these posts, 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 before August, 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. 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 you’re stoked about. Continue reading »