Jul 142011

I’ve never been in a metal band. I fantasize about it sometimes. I’d guess most fans do that at one time or another. But there’s at least one aspect of band life that I think I’d get tired of pretty fast — touring in cramped, dysfunctional vans, sleeping on people’s floors, and eating crap food while on tour. When I was younger, I didn’t think anything about living (and smelling) like an animal. But now that I’m older than dirt, it don’t sound so appetizing any more.

It’s easier to fantasize about being in a band who are successful enough to tour in style, in a big full-comfort bus with a road crew to take care of some of the heavy lifting and assorted other bullshit you’d otherwise have to do for yourself. But even bands like that don’t get to travel in style all the time. Like when the bus breaks down and 15 of you have to get in a van and drive for hours across the flat, featureless landscape of the Canadian prairie. Which is what happened to The Devin Townsend Project and Septic Flesh on the road from Saskatoon to Winnipeg not long ago.

Most hand-made tour videos that I see aren’t all that interesting. Basically, you’ve seen one, you’ve seen ’em all. But Devin Townsend, being the evil creative genius that he is, put together a short video of this cramped van trip that I enjoyed. In terms of what you see, it’s still pretty much in the category of “seen one, seen ’em all”, but the editing and especially the musical soundtrack are cool. Plus, I saw these bands on their current tour (along with Obscura and Children of Bodom), and they were both so tremendous that I couldn’t resist watching this. The video is after the jump.

Also after the jump — news about a newly released 3-song single from 7 Horns 7 Eyes that we recommend highly. Continue reading »

Jul 012011

(NCS writer Israel Flanders bravely sticks his neck out with his list of the best albums released during the second quarter of 2011 — April, May, and June.)

So I’m back. Been out of it for the last week or so and just decided it was time to take some lazy days, but it’s time to get back to the fuckin’ metal and the fuckin’ headbanging action. It’s now the end of the second quarter of 2011 and I figured I would continue my top ten of every quarter series, which I started at The Metal Register. So, just for refreshers sake, let’s take a look at what I picked for Q1. In no particular order I had…

SylosisEdge Of The Earth
EradicationDreams Of Reality
Born Of OsirisThe Discovery
Rotten SoundCursed
Amon AmarthSurtur Rising
CrowbarSever The Wicked Hand
Paul WardinghamAssimilate/Regenerate
Times Of GraceHymn Of A Broken Man
DeicideTo Hell With God

So now we move on to the list for Q2. I know people are going to complain, bitch, moan, and otherwise cry at me through the comments on how often I didn’t pick your favorite tech-death band that sounds like rejected Psycroptic demos, but if I haven’t heard it, I’m not gonna pick it. Now let’s get to the albums shall we?  (after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

May 162011

(NCS writer Andy Synn has many things to say about Deconstruction, one of two forthcoming albums from The Devin Townsend Project. Both albums will be released on June 21 (one day earlier internationally) by InsideOut Music and Century Media. We got very enthusiastic listening to “Sumeria” when it leaked on YouTube, but now that we’ve received our review copy and listened to the whole thing, brevity is the last thing on our minds. )

Settle in people, this is going to be a long one.

And deservedly so, as there’s simply so MUCH to digest here, often TOO much in fact. As an exploration of one man’s psyche, this record is one to immerse oneself in, swimming deep and letting the currents pull one to and fro, absorbing what feels most natural to each listener. Some have already grandly stated that they “got” this release from the off, or that everything makes sense to them – which of course is fine –yet I feel that perhaps this is a record only Devin himself will ever “get” fully, as the record IS him, and he IS the record.

I also question whether or not the record is even designed to make sense; more and more it seems to follow a linear (yet at times disjointed) story arc that speaks of the man finally letting his inner child out to play, finally and fully expressing itself, be it through raging tantrums or wistful, child-like wonder.

My advice to listeners is this: trying to swallow the whole mechanical carnival of musical themes, rapidly swinging moods and sheer gamut of emotions on display is an almost impossible task, liable to overwhelm the individual and leave them feeling over-stuffed and unable to enjoy the delectable morsels offered to them.

Instead. put the record on and allow it to capture your attention naturally, piece by piece. Dive in with your senses open, but don’t stuff yourself trying to grasp everything at once. It’s a record designed to be enjoyed and examined over a long period of time, and is clearly going to fuel endless debate and discussion. You will enjoy it far more if you focus on making calm connections with what bits of the music most suit you, rather than trying to mould yourself to fit a record whose identity is synonymous with its creator and not with its listeners.

A full track-by-track breakdown follows the jump… Continue reading »

May 042011

Devin Townsend will be releasing two albums on June 21 via InsideOut Music, Ghost and Deconstruction. According to DT, Deconstruction will be “brutal in a lot of parts, but pretty glorious in others. It rides the fence of negativity but ultimately ends supremely positive.” As for Ghost, he says it “is the mellowest (by far) and prettiest record I’ve done so far” with a “very wonderful vibe.” So, guess which one we’re more interested in hearing?

Our interest in Deconstruction was piqued today by seeing additional details about the album (which we’re late noticing), and in particular about the guest musicians who participated in recording the songs. Let’s start with the skins: There will be two different drummers — Ryan Van Poederooyen (Terror Syndrome, The Devin Townsend Band) for the “crushing stuff,” and Dirk Verbeuren (Soilwork, Scarve, Aborted) for the “inhuman stuff.”

But that’s just for starters. Check out this list of additional guest musicians who will appear on the album:

Mikael Åkerfeldt (OPETH, BLOODBATH)
Ihsahn (EMPEROR)
Joe Duplantier (GOJIRA)
Oderus Urungus (GWAR)
Paul Masvidal (CYNIC)
Fredrik Thordendal (MESHUGGAH)

That’s a pretty fucking good advertisement for Deconstruction, don’t you think? After the jump, you can see the track list and which songs feature which of these guests. Continue reading »

Apr 122011

I just saw news about a tour scheduled to make its way through the U.S. and Canada this summer, and fluids burst from every orifice. Well, at least my nose started running.

The headliner: Children of Bodom

The supporting bands:  The Devin Townsend Project, Obscura, and Septic Flesh

The dates and places? They include Seattle on June 27, which is really all I need to know. But because I love every single one of you, especially those of you who will be denied the chance to see this tour because I know you will be hurting inside, the rest of the schedule is after the jump, along with the tour flyer. Excuse me now while I wipe my nose. Continue reading »

Apr 022011

Technically, we should have posted this yesterday, but yesterday was April Fool’s Day, and people might have thought we were making up some of this shit. But it’s all true, and nothing happens on April 2 to plant doubt about truth. Except for what causes doubt to be planted about truth on any other day of the year.

Here we are at the beginning of the second quarter of 2011 — the time when for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, spring is supposed to spring.  Where I live, spring has apparently been victimized by a brutal street mugging and is hospitalized at the moment.  A few plants have been deluded into thinking it’s spring, but for the rest of our local world, it’s still fucking winter.

Fortunately, the change of the seasons have fuck all to do with the release of metal. 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 31 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. Dive in after the jump. Continue reading »