Sep 152017


It’s another Friday, and what are people feeling? No one answer, I’m sure. Some people are looking forward to a blow-out Friday night or just a soft weekend to clear the head. Others have jobs that will just keep on surging through the weekend, so no relief in sight (but maybe better-than-average tip hauls). And others, out of work, are just experiencing another day of hard-scrabbling and gloom.

For me, I’m looking ahead at a wedding of one of my wife’s nieces on our property, with the bride wearing a sword, and Samoan blessings before and after the ceremony, and great volumes of Mexican food and tequila, and people playing Magic after the vows have been exchanged. It’s going to be different, but I have a feeling it will be a blast.

Beyond that, I’m feeling like playing you some metal, just skimming the surface of what I’ve collected over the last 48 hours, and maybe continuing the round-up tomorrow if I get going before all the visiting family members crawl out of bed.


On October 19th, 10 years to the day after the release of their debut album, the Russian band Kartikeya will deliver unto us a new album named Samudra via Apathia Records. We are told that the release date is also “27 Ashvina 5119 of Kali Yuga, the holy day of Diwali, on the day of the Victory of Good over Evil, by the fire of the divine light”. And we are further told that it signifies “the decimal foundation of the Hindu universe and the symbolism of Trimurti – the three highest creator-gods, the ternary power of creation, preservation and destruction”. Continue reading »

Nov 012012

Here are some quick notes about a couple of noteworthy tours announced over the last 24 hours.

Nile has announced that it will tour the U.S. next March and April with 28 dates around the country. There are two interesting aspects to this tour. First, the band will be playing two full sets with only a brief intermission, which means fans are going to get a lethal dose of Nile, with time for the band to provide a thorough selection from their discography.

Second, Nile aren’t taking any supporting bands along for this ride. Instead, they’re asking promoters to pick the three best local bands from each locale the tour will visit. As Karl Sanders explained in a press statement:

Supporting local bands in each city is a way for us to give something back to younger bands and the metal scene.  We’ve asked promoters to keep ticket prices low, so that fans of all ages can come and join us for an evening of metal.  In these difficult times of our recessionary economy, an evening of killer metal shouldn’t have to break the bank

This is a cool idea, and of course it provides an opportunity for local bands to get some great exposure. Exclusive pre-sale tickets are available now at I checked the prices, and they range from $10 to $20, depending on the city. The price in Seattle is $18. The schedule is right after the jump. Continue reading »

Apr 162012

It’s late where I am, but not too late to commemorate the sinking of the Titanic. April 15, 1912, that great ship and 1,514 passengers and crew went to their graves in the frigid waters of the North Atlantic. I’ll get to who reminded me of this, at the end of the post.

It seems to be true that as the Titanic sunk, the ship’s eight-member band valiantly played on, until the black water claimed them. Maybe not quite as insane as the bagpipers who led British troops across No Man’s Land in World War I, but still a vivid example of British reserve and fortitude in the face of imminent obliteration.

But I like to think it’s an example of something else, too — people dedicated to their music, realizing they’re fucked no matter what, on a ship with only enough lifeboats to hold half the people on board, deciding to spend their last hours playing, probably for themselves as much as for anyone else.

And on that cheery note, here are a batch of recent music videos that don’t have anything to do with the Titanic but are just as fuckin’ metal as that ship’s band, courtesy of the following performers: Agalloch, The Devastated, Threat Signal, and Alestorm. Continue reading »

Sep 292011

(TheMadIsraeli reviews the new album from Canada’s Threat Signal, calling it “one of the best albums of the year”, and then after the review we’ve got two songs and three videos — including a solo that Threat Signal guitarist Travis Montgomery composed for one of the new songs by . . . Textures.)

Total reinvention.  It’s rare to see a band do this, and it’s even more rare to see a band do this and have the result turn out better than the original product.  Not only did Threat Signal suffer a huge blow to the line-up, vocalist Jon Howard being the only member left from the Under Reprisal crew, but although their sophomore album Vigilance was good, it didn’t do so well in the realm of public opinion.  It killed all the steam generated by their debut — and before Vigilance, they had been in a position to come out, kick ass, and kick ass even harder with material that bested their debut.

So where did this leave Threat Signal?

This band stayed relatively quiet for the longest time until this video cropped up: (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 »

Aug 222011

One week ago, we took note of the release date and album art for the new Nuclear Blast release by Canada’s Threat Signal. We also took note of a statement by the band that the whole new self-titled album would mark a return to the days of Under Reprisal, “but with bigger balls”. Well, as they say, talk is cheap. We welcomed that statement, but were cautiously awaiting the real proof.

Now we have some proof, because not long ago the band posted the first track from the new album on their Facebook page, and they’ve also made it available for free download (though you’ll have to share it on Facebook or Twitter to get the download). It’s called “Fallen Disciples”. Too soon to render a verdict on the whole album based on one song, but I will say this — the song do have some big testes.

The song is built around a pneumatic jackhammer of downtuned riffage working overtime. The vocals sound authentically pissed-off, even when they’re hurling the melody straight at your face. The guitar solo swirls and screams with abandon. It’s a swift kick in your own testes.  Worth checking out I think.

To hear the song for yourself and to download it, the band’s Facebook page can be accessed here. I don’t yet have the ability to embed it, or I’d do that right here. [UPDATE: YES I DO NOW HAVE THE ABILITY TO EMBED IT!] The new album is scheduled for release in physical and digital formats on October 7 in Europe and October 11 in North America. It was produced and mixed by Zeuss at Planet-Z Recordings in Hadley, MA, and that’s usually a good sign — already being borne out by the sound of “Fallen Disciples”.

Go listen to the song after the jump. And hey, will someone get those poor dudes a bunch of towels and a hot toddy? Continue reading »

Aug 142011

Just catching up on news here. But I’ll throw in some new music I heard this morning, too. The bands featured in this post: Thy Catafalque (again), GireThreat Signal, SolaceRedScream, and Deicide.


Just a few days ago, we posted a short feature that included this two-person band named Thy Catalfalque as a result of my first serious effort to get into their music — and man, have I gotten into it. I get more out of it the more I listen, like peeling back the proverbial onion, except without the watering eyes. To my good fortune, this led to a few e-mail exchanges with the band’s principle creative force, Tamás Kátai.

To date, Thy Catafalque have produced four albums and a demo, with a new album to be released in the future by Season of Mist. The last two albums (the ones I’ve been listening to) were released by Epidemie Records and have become a bit hard to find, at least if you want physical copies, though Epidemie will be re-releasing Róka Hasa Rádió on November 30, but this time in a jewel-case edition with an 8-page booklet (versus the original, nearly sold-out digipack version).

Thy Catafalque isn’t Tamás Kátai’s only musical project. He also handles keyboards, programming, lyrics, and more for another long-running Hungarian band called Gire, who have six demos to their credit plus a 2007 self-titled debut album (which features that eye-catching album cover above). The Gire debut album is also hard to find, but Tamás helpfully pointed out that it can be downloaded from this location — so, of course, I did that.

I’ve only just started listening, and I have a feeling that, as on the albums from Thy Catafalque, no one song on this album is going to tell you very much about the rest of them. But of the tracks I’ve heard so far,this is a mixture of eviscerating death metal, catastrophic sludge, industrial red-lining, and meteoric, experimental guitar extravaganza. I’m deadly serious. This is a stupendous head-check. (more after the jump . . . .) Continue reading »

May 312010

On the night of May 28, Dark Tranquillity‘s 2010 WE ARE THE VOID TOUR made its scheduled stop at Studio Seven in Seattle, and two of your NCS collaborators were present to take in all the awesomeness this show had to offer.

This was a must-see event for us, because Dark Tranquillity was one of the bands that first hooked us on extreme metal. And apart from the significance of that, we catch their live act whenever possible because they dependably deliver outstanding performances. Of course, they weren’t alone — Threat Signal, Mutiny Within, and local band Blood and Thunder were also on the bill.

So, here’s our report on the concert, plus we’ve got an unusually large batch of performance photos to show you after the all the verbiage.  (And if you think these photos are amateurish, you should see the hundreds we took that didn’t make the cut!)


We’re not gonna say too much about this band’s performance here  — because we devoted a whole post to them yesterday. In a nutshell, they kicked massive amounts of ass: A great stage presence; technically excellent playing; and one catchy, headbangable song after another. This band churns out modern melodic death metal that deserves a wider audience.  (We do have some photos of the band’s performance that we didn’t put in yesterday’s post — so we’re putting those up at the end of this one.)

(stay with us after the jump for the rest of this review, plus all those photos we promised . . .) Continue reading »