Jan 182012

(NCS contributor Rev. Will provides a retrospective on some recent news from Norway.)

Ah, Norway. The land of salmon and black metal. It’s every metal-loving fisherman’s dream destination.

However, it is also home to some of the world’s most extreme black metal bands. Taake, a Norwegian black metal band that recently gained notoriety for anti-Islamic sentiments expressed in their song lyrics, had been nominated for Norway’s top metal prize, the prestigious Spellemann award in the “Metal” category.

This is the equivalent of the American Grammys, except the American Grammys don’t nominate black metal bands in any category. It’s a surprise (or perhaps more of a shock) to many that the essentially one-man black metal project was one of five nominees competing for the award last week (the other four being Insense, Shining, Vreid, and Årabrot; with Årabrot coming in victorious), because one of Taake‘s songs on Noregs Vaapen declares: “To hell with Muhammad and the Muhammadans!” Continue reading »

Dec 152011

This is the fourth and final part of a multi-part post about up-and-coming Norwegian bands. The first part is HERE, the second part is HERE, and Part 3 is HERE.  And below is an abbreviated version of the full explanation, which appears long-form in Part 1. But first, since I’m on the subject of Norwegian metal, here’s a bit of breaking news:

The Spellemann Awards are the Norwegian equivalent of the Grammy’s here in the U.S. The first Spellemannprisen were awarded in 1973 for albums released in 1972, so if my math is correct, we’re approaching the 40th annual awards show, and today the Spellemann nominees were announced. In the category of Best Metal Album, the following bands and albums were nominated (and we’ve featured four of the five nominees here at NCS):


And now, onward to the explanation about the rest of this post: “Pyro” is the name of a radio program on one of the radio channels (P3) operated by NRK, the state-owned Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation. The NRK P3 radio channel is mainly aimed at younger listeners, and Pyro is the program that focuses mainly on metal and hard rock. Continue reading »

Oct 012011

September is behind us. Here in Seattle, it was such a beautiful month that it seemed like nature’s compensation for how late the summer started. Unfortunately, with September’s end, we’re on a short track to the onset of winter, which means about six months of short, cold, grey, ceaselessly wet days. Ain’t that just fuckin’ great?

Well, bitchin’ about the winter ahead won’t change one fucking thing. I prefer to think instead about the deluge of new metal that’s headed our way and try (momentarily) to forget about the deluge of rain on the horizon. 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. As usual, also feel free to tell us about how we fucked up by omitting releases that you’re stoked about. Continue reading »

Sep 272011

Norwegian black metal band Taake will be releasing their fifth full-length album, Noregs Vaapen, on November 1 in the U.S. on Dark Essence Records. It hit the streets in Europe on September 20, and we’re planning a review of it. It includes guest appearances by some signal names of the black metal elite, including Nocturno Culto (Darkthrone), Attila Csihar (Mayhem), Demonaz (Immortal), and Skagg (Gaahlskagg, Deathcult), as well as producer and Vulture Industries frontman Bjørnar E. Nilsen.

To begin whipping the faithful into a froth of anticipation for the album, today Taake premiered a music video for a track from the album called “Nordbundet” on the website of a Norwegian radio station called Pyro. The video is a mix of expertly filmed and edited live concert footage and scenes of the countryside around Taake’s hometown of Bergen filmed by Taake’s frontman Hoest — snow-covered firs and mountains, grey skies, isolated cabins, panoramas both beautiful and harsh.

The song itself is one I’ve had on repeat play this morning. It’s got a head-thumping, rock-style beat reminiscent of some of Darkthrone’s more recent efforts, charged with irresistible riffing. Near the end, it transitions into a blaze of memorable tremolo’d melody. And, of course, Hoest’s vocals are absolutely scalding. Very cool song, very cool video. Watch it after the jump (and prepare to headbang). Continue reading »

Apr 202011

I’m still in guerilla mode (or gorilla mode) here at NCS — short on time and only able to burst through the door, throw randomized pieces of music your way, and then vanish, while relying on our other regular contributors and guests to do the real writing. In this post, I’ve got new songs from three Norwegian bands whose music covers a wide swath of the Norwegian metal landscape: Hellish Outcast66Crusher, and Taake. We’re even making an exception to the normal rule around here with some clean singing. All this music is righteous, so do check it out.


What do you get when you combine Thebon (Keep of Kalessin‘s vocalist), Mads Lillevedt (a/k/a Alkolust, the drummer for Byfrost), bassist Max Morbid (BREED), and guitarist Martin Legreid (66Crusher)? You get Hellish Outcast. We first came across this band for one of our MISCELLANY posts last July (you can read about that here). At that time, Thebon had just joined the band, and they were working on a debut album. Lacking new music, we focused on a 2008 EP called Raping-Killing-Murder, which we liked a lot.

Hellish Outcast has now finished that full-length — Your God Will Bleed — and Terrorizer has just premiered an official video for the song “Face Forced Down”. My reaction? I think someone left the gates of Hell unlocked and these dudes got out. (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Mar 062011

We seem to be stuck on triads. On each of the last two days, we featured the music of three bands. This being the third day, it appealed to our rudimentary desire for symmetry to feature three more. A triad of triads. Today, we’ve got a fairly new video of Fleshgod Apocalypse (Italy), a song from the recent U.S. label debut of Eastern Front (UK), and a not-new video of a not-new song from a not-new band — but one we finally decided to check out — Taake (Norway). Let’s get right to it:


Don’t know how I missed this.  On February 21, a video appeared on YouTube of Fleshgod Apocalypse performing live at The Bonecrusher Fest 2011 in Utrecht, Holland, the night before. If there were such a thing as an official NCS “mascot”, this band would be it. We’ve probably dropped their names in posts and comments more than any other band.

We fantasize about offering them vast sums of money to come live in Seattle and be our official house band, y’know, after one of those stupendous offers of cash from Nigeria or Ghana or Mali or Hong Kong materializes — which we know will happen if we’re patient and continue to lead a clean, godly life and do good works for those less fortunate than ourselves. Can I get a big “Amen!”?

No, no, no, I did not ask for a big “Hail Satan!” Let’s try that again:  Can I get a big “Amen!”?

Well, I can tell that ain’t gonna fuckin work with this crowd, so let’s just go back to FA.  (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 »

Feb 072011

I just took a break from what I usually do during daylight hours to check happenings in the world of metal, and that proved to be quite a long and interesting diversion. It may not be mid-day where you are, but maybe you still need a diversion or two, or three. That’s what we’re here for — to divert you, for better or worse, depending on your alternatives.


Regular NCS visitors know we’ve got a pathological weakness for anything Finnish, so when I saw a come-on for a new video by a Finnish band called Mygrain, of course I had to watch it. Besides, I’ve been meaning to check out this band ever since I read about the release of their self-titled third album on January 12 (via Spineform Records) — especially because it was mixed and mastered by Dan Swanö (Edge of Sanity, Bloodbath, Nightingale).

The video is for a song called “Trapped In An Hourglass”. Very cool music — fast-paced, Finnish-style melodic death that’s both catchy and cathartic, with two admirable guitar solo’s (one of which is a jazzy bit of picking at about the 3:00 mark), some clean vocals that even I like, and evidence that Finnish howlers can even shriek underwater.  (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »