Feb 182013

Today and the next few days are pretty jammed with the work that pays the bills, but I just took a break long enough to spot the following tidbits I’d like to pass around like a family-sized bag of popcorn.


I saw an announcement that The Dillinger Escape Plan have revealed the title of their next album — One of Us Is the Killer — and a general timeframe for release — May — as well as the album cover (above).

The album will be released by the band’s imprint label Party Smashers Inc. and will be distributed in NorthAm by Sumerian and by BMG everywhere else.

I also saw that DEP has already begun scheduling tour dates in the U.S. and overseas. Many more dates will follow, but you can see the initial list right after the jump. Continue reading »

Dec 262012

Understandably, the last couple of days haven’t brought the usual flood of music debuts and metal news. However, I did spy some items of interest that I thought were worth sharing with you as you recover from all that fuckin’ holiday cheer.


We’ve been tracking the doings of this Mammoth Lakes, California collective quite closely this fall and winter. I first came across (and wrote about) them more than two years ago following release of their excellent second album, Raven God Amongst Us. In September I found out that Valdur had finished writing their new album and were set to begin recording it in November, and I also found out about an excellent two-song EP entitled The Hammer Pit that they self-released this past summer, consisting of “rough version” of two new songs. We featured those songs here and here, and both tracks are now streaming at Bandcamp.

Today I saw that Valdur have released a new single entitled “Blast Beast”, which DECIBEL premiered today. The artwork for the single (which you can see above) is fantastic. The single is available for free (pay-what-you-want) download on Bandcamp, and it’s really good. Continue reading »

Oct 012012

I’ve been missing in action more than usual over the last 4 days, having been kidnapped by work-related travel and activities that were fun, but  cut deeply into blog time. I’m now back home on this Sunday night and have been trying to find out what I missed in the world of metal. Of course, I missed a lot that interested me — too much to capture in a single post — so I’m going to pick out just a few of the items I thought were worth spreading around.


I first came across Portland’s Atriarch through their 20 Buck Spin split release with Oakland’s Alaric — and that whole split release is just chock full of win. If you haven’t heard it, check it out on Bandcamp here.

Atriarch is now on the Profound Lore label and their first PL release will be Ritual of Passing, scheduled to hit the streets on October 30. The cover art up there is by Stevie Floyd (Taurus). I saw that Pitchfork recently premiered the album’s third track “Altars”, and then I saw that PL had put the song up for streaming on SoundCloud as well. And I checked it out. Fuckin’ glad I did, too. Continue reading »

Sep 192012

(DGR reviews the new release by Sybreed.)

Sybreed, the four-piece hailing from our favorite land of neutrality known as Switzerland who manage to combine elements of groove metal, industrial, electronica, and melodeath into one package are back again. Three years removed from the group’s album The Pulse Of Awakening (written about in an incredibly ridiculous manner here), we find ourselves ready to dive headlong into another four-word titled album God Is An Automaton.

If there is one thing that we can gather from Sybreed’s discography so far it is that although the band have some unifying themes, each disc has sounded different. Antares was pretty heavy the whole way through, and Pulse Of Awakening whiplashed back and forth between a catchy pop-oriented sound and some the more violent metal aspects that lay at the heart of Sybreed. God Is An Automaton is a different beast from these two because it is a heavier, more vicious album than what Sybreed have done before. If you’re one of those people who have been aching for the band to get back to beating the hell out of everyone, then God Is An Automaton may just be your cup of tea.

God Is An Automaton actually opens with a fairly familiar version of Sybreed, one that bounces between a hooked chorus and catchy riffs before quickly taking a turn toward the slower-paced songs that make up a large part of this disc. In the three years between albums, Sybreed have attained a sense for a really heavy groove and sound, more machine-like than they have ever been before. Maybe having Seth design your album artwork two times in a row has rubbed off on them, but God Is An Automaton is a much darker album than its predecessors. Continue reading »

Jul 162012

Very sad news to start this round-up: Jon Lord passed away today at the age of 71. He suffered a fatal pulmonary embolism while hospitalized, following a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Though he had a long solo career and played with a variety of bands, he is best known as the keyboardist with Deep Purple and co-writer of many of that band’s most famous songs, including “Smoke On the Water”.

Deep Purple’s music meant a lot to me at a particular point in my life, and I’m sad to see that Jon Lord is no longer in the world. In his memory, here’s “Perfect Strangers”, a song that stands the test of time:

[audio:https://www.nocleansinging.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/02-Perfect-Strangers.mp3|titles=Deep Purple – Perfect Strangers]

In happier news, King of Asgard released a music video for “The Nine Worlds Burn”, a song from their forthcoming album …To North, which is scheduled for release by Metal Blade on July 27 in Europe and July 30 in the U.S. The song should be familiar, since we devoted a post to it when it began streaming as the album’s first single in early June. The song still reminds me of Nalgfar and Immortal, with a dramatic feminine vocal in the interlude. Great song, and the video captures the fire of the song . . . with fire. Watch it next. Continue reading »

Jul 112012

I’m still catching up with developments in metal that I missed while cut off from the web during my recent mini-vacation. And I saw some things yesterday that also perked my interest. In our last post yesterday, I rounded up some of the recent developments I thought were worth sharing. Here are some of the rest. They involve Sybreed (Switzerland), Ancient Ascendant (UK), Khonsu (Norway), Selfhate (France), Beak (U.S.), and Ensiferum (Finland).


The first item is the revealing of the cover art to Sybreed’s next album, God Is An Automaton. It’s by the very busy and very talented Seth Siro Anton, who is also the front man for Septic Flesh, whose headlining North American tour we posted about yesterday. The album will be released by Listenable on Sept 24 in Europe and on October 2 in North America.

Sybreed have been posting excerpts of songs from the new album, and they’re up to five so far. I don’t really find short song excerpts worth mentioning, except I did it yesterday with respect to the forthcoming Napalm/Converge split, so what the hell. The Sybreed excerpts released to date are collected right after the jump, in reverse order of their appearance. Continue reading »

Feb 022012

(Here’s another post from DemiGodRaven . . .)

Sorry folks, I’ve been busy for a bit. Trying to build up the finances to buy some podcast gear and maybe do a radio-style show where I expose the Sacramento music scene to people. It’s all very tentative though and the initial hurdle is about $500 so I had to bury myself in work. ~ DGR

A few weeks ago, I found an article on Io9 that discussed the merits of why we should fear androids, mutants and cyborgs, because they will likely be the ones to kill us all, instead of the plain old robots that we have always feared. Like most Io9 articles, it was interesting but didn’t go into quite enough depth or explore many of the possibilities of how such a scenario could play out.

It’s a common problem for Gawker sites in general, so you can’t really fault Io9 for that. They usually do well with their astronomy articles (which are a personal rabbit hole of mine), and once you get past their habit of creating sensationalist headlines, you can usually get a pretty good read. It’s as if Carl’s Jr (Hardees for you heathens who happen to live west of Utah) started advertising their burgers as the GREATEST FUCKING THING EVER. You know it’s bullshit, but the food is still pretty good.

One of the thoughts that did come to mind, though, was that the left-hand image above, which accompanied that Io9 cyborg article, reminded me a whole hell of a lot of the Swiss industrial/electronica/metal group Sybreed and the cover art for their single Challenger (which is on the right). Maybe it was the whole gas mask/face mask imagery. Consider yourselves blessed that I didn’t go with my original reaction, which was that the image reminded me of the video for Nine Inch Nail’s Pinion off of the Broken release. Although, then I could’ve done a whole article on the merits of bondage and BDSM. Perhaps we should save that for another time… Continue reading »

May 022011

What the hell is that big yellow thing up in the sky? It looks vaguely familiar, but it’s appeared so rarely here in The Emerald City over the last six months that we’re having trouble placing the name. Well, maybe the name will come to us. The great wheel of the seasons surely must continue to turn someplace, but in Seattle it seems to have been stuck on Winter since, like, forever. In some parts of the world, April showers bring May flowers, but here, April showers will probably bring . . . May showers.

Okay, enough whining. At least we don’t get tornados dropping from the sky like atom bombs and wiping whole towns off the map. And even though the weather hasn’t been our friend, we have metal to make up for the cold shoulder — and there’s a bunch of new metal headed our way.

What we do with these installments of METAL IN THE FORGE is collect news blurbs and press releases we’ve seen over the last month 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 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. Continue reading »

Aug 112010

The human brain, if left to its own devices without a lot of external distractions or things to focus on, and if not previously saturated with intoxicants, will jump around from place to place in all sorts of unpredictable ways. That’s kind of what happened to me and my tiny brain last night. Except I was mildly intoxicated. By the end of this post, you may think I’m still intoxicated.

It all started with a fan-filmed video of a U.K./Australian band called Pendulum playing a song called “Self Versus Self” on stage at the U.K. edition of the Sonisphere festival, which took place on July 30 – August 1. I’d never heard of Pendulum. They’re not a metal band. According to the Blabbermouth blurb that featured this video, they’re a drum-and-bass band.

What caught my eye was that, according to the blurb, Anders Fridén of In Flames joined Pendulum on stage for the  performance of that song.

As it happens, all of us here at NCS are big In Flames fans.  We’re still fans despite the slagging the band has suffered from some In Flames purists over the musical direction of their last few albums. So, I decided to watch the video, while at the same time wondering, “What the fuck is Anders Fridén doing on stage with this Pendulum band?”

The quality of the video isn’t that great, but I liked the song. So, after a little research, I found out that the song is on a Pendulum album released earlier this year called Immersion — and it turns out that In Flames recorded the song with Pendulum. Which led to another “what the fuck?” moment.

We’re clearly late to this party, because we discovered that lots of other metal blogs tumbled to this strange collaboration months ago. So we’re not just a little late to the party, we’re the kind of late where you show up and all that’s left is a bunch of people passed out in their own piss. But hey, better late than never, right?  (more unpredictable jumping around, including video and music, after the jump . . .) Continue reading »