Jan 192016



(Wil Cifer reviews the Atlanta stop of the “Chaos Raids Tour”, featuring performances by 1349 and Tombs.)

Cvlt Nation’s “Chaos Raids” tour is the darkest metal line-up on the road so far this year. Featuring two bands I have wanted to see for some time, Tombs and 1349, served as enough of a motivating factor to force me out of the house, since this fell on the day David Bowie died. It served as catharsis, as all good metal shows should.

We got to the Basement in the hipster-infested East Atlanta Village a little late, so we missed the local opener, blackened death metallers Vimur, and Full of Hell, who I had already seen with Mutilation Rites. Continue reading »

Jul 072014

Here are two North American tours announced this morning that are worth mentioning.


In our first post this morning I included a report from Metal Hammer based on an interview with Gojira’s frontman Joe Duplantier that the Gojira would be touring with Mastodon this October. There were no further details then, but there are now.

In addition to the pairing of Mastodon and Gojira, the tour will also include Norway’s Kvelertak and it will include dates in both the U.S. and Canada. A pre-sale for tickets and a limited number of VIP packages will become available this Wednesday, July 9, at 10 a.m. local venue time. General sales will begin on July 11.

Here’s the schedule (sadly for me, they’re skipping Seattle this time): Continue reading »

Jun 112014

The following are some of the best things I saw and heard in my ramblings through the interhole today.


I have idiotically failed to write anything about Savage Gold, the new album by Brooklyn’s Tombs which is out today. But because it’s out today, the entire album is also now streaming on Bandcamp, where it can also be ordered. It defies simple classification, with a mix of elements drawn from black metal, hardcore, death metal, and post-metal, among others. It’s a powerful album as a whole, and one in which each song also has its own potent identity. There is no joy in the music, but there is a lot to enjoy.

I go back and forth as to which song is my favorite, but today it’s “Edge of Darkness” (yesterday it was “Seance”), so if you’ve only got time to sample the music, you might start there. The whole album is after the jump.

https://www.facebook.com/TombsBklyn Continue reading »

Aug 172012

Man oh man, I encountered a flood-tide of post-worthy shit in my morning ramblings through the interhole. So, I’m breaking it up into two posts, this one being the first.


Uh huh, the massive PR ramp-up to this Finnish band’s loooooooong-awaited duo of new albums is beginning. As previously reported, the first of those albms — Time I — is due for release by Nuclear Blast on October 19. Today brought us the unveiling of the cover art for that album, which you can see above. It was created by Cameron Gray, who also created the cover for the Born of Osiris album The Discovery, among others.


I saw that Century Media started streaming the first new track from the next album by Sweden’s Evocation, Illusions of Grandeur. About a week ago, I created a feature about the band that was occasioned by the unveiling of the awesome Xaay cover art for the album (here). I didn’t have any new music to share at that time, so I loaded up the post with videos for previous Evocation songs. But now we’ve got the new album’s title track. It makes me very happy. Continue reading »

Apr 102012

Hey, you don’t have to tell me. I’m well aware that this site is like life-giving oxygen to our readers, and I know the air has been getting thin. You’ve been gasping because our daily output of posts has diminished in recent days. It’s just one of those rare times when all of us who write for NCS have been distracted or diverted by one thing or another, all at the same time.

In my case, the diversion was a happy one: Over the last three days I was distracted by events surrounding a long-time friend’s out-of-town wedding, including getting there and getting back and getting hammered in between.

She is now off on her honeymoon and I am now mostly recovered from the celebration and have been trying to figure out what I missed while I was whooping it up and bearing witness to the joyous union. Among other things, I discovered three new music videos for three not-so-new, but excellent songs. The videos are reminders of how good the songs are (I’ve loved all three since I first heard them), but they also add new dimensions to the songs.

The music and the videos have a few other things in common. The first two were produced with backing from Scion A/V, and the production values are quite high. The first two also involve candles. The third is creatively self-produced, making do with Creative Commons footage, but it shares this element with the other two more ambitious projects: You can drown yourself in the audio-visual experience, because there’s a powerful intensity to all three songs, and the visuals suit them well.

So, after the jump, the new videos for “Your Calm Waters” by The Atlas Moth, “Passageways” by Tombs, and “Shadows” by Embers. Continue reading »

Nov 282011

As the end of 2011 approaches, we are about to be deluged with lists of the year’s best metal. We’re going to be doing again what we’ve done the last two years — publishing (1) lists of the year’s best albums by our regular writers, by guest contributors, and by our readers, and (2) our list of 2011’s most infectious extreme metal songs. As usual, we’re going to invite your participation in this frenzy of listmania at our site. Details about how you can do that will be coming later this week.

Listmania has already started at DECIBEL magazine — the only U.S.-based print metal mag still worth reading, in our humble opinion. The January 2012 issue will include their annual list of the Top 40 best extreme metal albums of the year. We haven’t yet received our copy here at NCS, but this morning we learned that DECIBEL has named Path of Totality by Brooklyn-based Tombs as the “Album of the Year”.

We’ve featured music and videos from Path of Totality several times this year, and it’s definitely one of my own favorite releases of 2011. So, congrats to Tombs for this signal recognition by DECIBEL. After the jump, you can stream the whole album, and if you like what you hear, it’s available on the Tombs Bandcamp page (here). Also after the jump, check out a cool video of Tombs performing live on a Hudson River metal cruise on October 22. We featured this video previously, but one good turn deserves another. Continue reading »

Oct 252011

At approximately 7 p.m. on October 22, 2011, a small cruise boat called the Jewel left the Skyport Marina in New York City. On board were a gaggle of metalheads and four very good metal bands — Kvelertak, Skeletonwitch, Tombs, and Psychic Limb. Also on board was a dude named (((unartig))), armed with A/V recording equipment. He vividly caught portions of all four performances on film. And by “vivid”, I mean that he caught the look, the feel, and the rampant energy of these performances. You feel like you’re right in the middle of the mayhem. Shit, I can almost smell the sweat and the beer just from watching these clips.

I’ve put all the clips after the jump. These are definitely worth the time. Continue reading »

Sep 092011

“Crushing” is a great descriptive word for certain kinds of metal, which is why it’s used so often. It’s a very physical word — it refers to a physical act of destruction, and the obliteration of something solid into pieces, rendering it no longer recognizablle as what it was.

An argument can be made that the word is overused. I don’t pay attention to those arguments, because although I work hard on my vocabulary, there aren’t many other words that convey the meaning of “crushing”. To me, it connotes the decimating effect of massive, irresistable weight brought down hard on something relatively fragile. Like my skull, or yours.

“Crushing” is the dominant word that came to mind when I watched three live videos late yesterday by Tombs. I feel guilty about Tombs, because I’ve been overwhelmed by their June 2011 album Path of Totality, and although I’ve featured songs from that album before (here), I’ve never repaid the favor of this music with a review. I take solace from the fact that I’ve similarly defaulted on my moral obligations to dozens of other bands. In this way, the more you repeat the same mistake, the less consequential the mistake becomes. The human capacity for self-delusion is amazing, and amazingly wonderful.

Where was I? Oh yeah — Tombs. I’ve always had trouble trying to classify their music. It’s part American black metal, part catastrophic doom, part grindcore, part sludge. I can’t fix on a genre label, which I suppose is why I revert to the word “crushing”. (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

May 092011

The next album from Boston’s Revocation has been on our get-without-fail list since about the beginning of the year. We now have a release date from Relapse Records — August 16 — and the pre-order packages are now up for sale.

We also now have the album title (Chaos of Forms) and the album cover, which is awesome. And last, but not least, only a few hours ago Revocation posted a track from the album (the first to see the light of day) called “Cradle Robber” on their Facebook band-page. It’s a helluva song. Once again, Revocation makes thrash come vibrantly alive — the music is not only fast and wild, but in both off-tempo and full-speed passages, David Davidson’s technical guitar pyrotechnics make your head spin. The drumming on this track is insane, too.

Now, flip your mind upside down for this next one.  New York’s Tombs also has a new album on the way, also on Relapse. Titled Path of Totality, it will land on June 7 in North America, and it’s another one we’ve been anticipating eagerly. Two songs from that album have already premiered — “Silent World”, which debuted on NPR, and “Vermillion”, which launched at BrooklynVegan.com. Today, a third one — “To Cross the Land” — premiered on Stereogum.com.  We’ve got more to say about those songs, plus the new Revocation track, after the jump. 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 »