May 162016

The Wretched End-In These Woods, From These Mountains


(Andy Synn reviews the new album by Norway’s The Wretched End.)

So, from one band of Emperor-fixated whippersnappers we move to another group of grizzled veterans masterminded by ex-Emperor guitarist Samoth himself. Sun rise, sun set…

Now I’ve said before that not every band has to innovate to be worth your time. It’s still possible to do something unique, even within the confines of an established sound or style. It’s all about character.

Case in point, you’d be hard-pressed to call what The Wretched End do particularly innovative, but then it doesn’t really need to be… the band have still managed to forge themselves a distinctive identity all their own, firmly rooted in the fertile soil of Death/Thrash and based around the simple ideal of writing kick-ass songs packed full of murderously infectious riffs, humongous drums, and visceral, rib-tickling hooks.

The band’s third album, In These Woods, From These Mountains, does deliver a few surprises of its own, however, the most obvious of which is how much more overtly “blackened” it is than either of its predecessors. It seems you can take the boys out of Black Metal, but you can’t take the Black Metal out of the boys… Continue reading »

Mar 212016

The Wretched End-In These Woods, From These Mountains


Yesterday I had collected a handful of excellent new songs for a “Seen and Heard” post today. And then today began, and our in-box rapidly filled up with notices of still more song premieres from bands I like (along with one that invited me to “Have Fun Tonight With Asian-Grils”). I’ve decided to save my earlier collection for tomorrow — though there’s an equal chance that tomorrow will bring still more new stuff — and devote this post to music that’s a bit more “hot off the presses”.


As all connoisseurs of fine metal should know, The Wretched End is the collaboration between former Emperor and Zyklon guitarist Samoth, Mindgrinder/Windir vocalist/guitarist Cosmo, and Dark Funeral drummer Nils “Dominator” Fjellström. They have a new album coming out on April 22 via Indie Recordings named In These Woods, From These Mountains. Continue reading »

Apr 162012

Sweden’s Avatar are batting 1,000 in the video game. First, there was the video released last December for the title track to their current album, Black Waltz, which included all sorts of grisly tricks performed by circus sideshow freaks Hellzapoppin (check that here). Then there was the live performance video for “Let It Burn”, which we featured in March. And now we have another winner in the band’s new video for the song “Torn Apart”.

Let me see if I can describe this without spoiling it for you: It involves a bar fight, which involves Mexican wrestling masks, pro-wrestling body slams, the gimp from Pulp Fiction, and assorted other strange characters, and the whole thing runs in reverse!

Oh shit. I guess I should have said “Spoiler Alert!!” Well, anyway, if you’ve never seen headbanging and windmilling and loogie-hawking in reverse, now’s your chance. It’s pretty fuckin’ cool. Also, you get to see how Avatar’s face-painted frontman Johannes Eckerström prepares his vocal chords for a shrieking session on stage. Also, “Torn Apart” is a hot song.

Also, the highly anticipated new album by Norway’s The Wretched End started streaming in full today. Details about that after the jump. Continue reading »

Mar 202012

It seems to be the day for new videos — Wretched new videos. First we had the new video from North Carolina’s Wretched. Now we move across the Atlantic for a new video by a Norway-based band called The Wretched End.

This band started in 2008 as a collaboration between Emperor guitarist Samoth and Mindgrinder bassist Cosmo — both of whom played together in Zyklon — joined by Swedish drummer Nils Fjellström of Dark Funeral. Their debut album Ominous made NCS writer Andy Synn’s list of 2010’s greatest albums, and it was one of my personal favorites, too.

Naturally, we’re really looking forward to the April 23 release of the band’s second effort, Inroads, which will be distributed by Nocturnal Art Productions and Candlelight Records. Today we got our first taste of the music with the debut of an official video for the album’s third track, “Death By Nature”.

Ominous was a hell-ripping dose of blackened death-thrash, and “Death By Nature” punctures the same vein, but if anything it’s even darker. The pneumatic riffs in this song will kick your body into movement while the ominous melody thunders like a breaking storm. And when the gang vocals hit the chorus, you WILL want to sing along with an evil snarl. The video is worth seeing, too. Continue reading »

Mar 022012

For a change, I actually remembered on the second day of the new month that that the preceding month had ended; usually takes longer than that. My creditors would be happy, except I think their bills need to age a while longer. But yes, February is history — and that means its time to post our usual monthly round-up of news about forthcoming albums. Today’s list is a little more comprehensive than the half-assed job I did at the end of January, which means it’s about three-quarters assed. One of these days it will be fully assed.

Here’s how this round-up usually works: 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, I cut and paste those announcements and compile them in alphabetical order.

Remember — THIS ISN’T A CUMULATIVE LIST. If I found out about a new forthcoming album earlier than the last 30 days, I probably 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.

Having said all that, please feel free to leave Comments and tell all of us (me and your fellow readers) what I missed when I put this list together, because I’m abso-fucking-lutely certain that I missed all sorts of shit. So let us know about albums on the way that  you’re stoked about, even if you don’t see them here! Continue reading »

Nov 182010

[Just in case we ran short of quality guest contributions to use while I was away, I wrote a few brief pieces before leaving. They’re called “teasers” because they’re just brief tastes of new albums that I’d like to review for NCS when I get back — because they’re really good. Of course, I have the attention span of a gnat, so there’s a chance I’ll never do that, and these teasers will be all I accomplish.]

This is the fourth teaser. The first one was about The Secret. The second was about Blood of Kingu, The third one was about Melechesh. This one is a taste of the new album by:

The Band: The Wretched End

The Band’s Location: Norway

The Album: Ominous

Label: Nocturnal Art Productions, with marketing and distribution worldwide through Candlelight Records

The Band’s MySpace page:

Brief notes:  This band is a collaboration between Samoth (Emperor/ Zyklon) on lead and rhythm guitar, and Cosmo (Mindgrinder) on lead and rhythm guitar plus bass and vocals — those two previously worked together on a deathpunk project called Scum — plus Nils Fjellström (Dark Funeral, In Battle, Aeon) as the drummer. Some very nice death/thrash played by people who know what the fuck they’re doing.

Here’s a track:

The Wretched End: Red Forest Alienation

Sep 302010

Another month has passed. The fall season is approaching — unless you live in Los Angeles, which is pretending that it’s Phoenix in August. Fuck is up with that? It’s like that town has been placed in a cosmic microwave and the user likes his burritos very well done.

On the other hand, we’ve had way too many grey, chilly days in Seattle this September, which is traditionally one of the best months of the year. The weather gods have clearly dropped acid over the last 30 days and forgotten which end is up. But eventually they will get themselves straight, remember which season is approaching, and get ready to just blast the fuck out of our whole country with a vicious winter. Won’t that be fun?

No, it won’t be fun. It will suck like a new-born piglet at dinner time. But one pleasant constant will remain true — there will be new metal, regardless of how foul the weather becomes. And that brings us to another monthly installment of  METAL IN THE FORGE, a forge being the old name for a place where a blacksmith heats metal and works it into the shape of something useful.

And that’s what we’re interested in — new metal that will be useful in scrambling our brains, or uplifting us to a place where it really doesn’t matter what the fucking weather is doing.

What we do in this series of posts is update the list of forthcoming new albums we first posted on January 1. (All the other updates can be found via the “Forthcoming Albums” category link on the right side of our pages.) Below is a list of still more projected new releases we didn’t know about at the time of our previous updates, or updated info about some of the previously noted releases.

Once again, we’ve cobbled together news blurbs from other sites, or from press releases, about bands whose past work we’ve liked, or who look interesting for other reasons. Perhaps needless to say, these are bands that mostly fit the profile of music we cover on this site — the kind that would like to tear your head off.

So, after the jump, in alphabetical order, you’ll find our list of cut-and-pasted items from various sources since our last update about forthcoming new releases. Continue reading »