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 »

Mar 262011

I’m still barely awake after a very late night at Seattle’s El Corazon partaking of Rotting Christ‘s current headlining tour of the U.S. I have a very sore neck, in addition to still being half-asleep. If I ever fully wake up, I will put up some photos of that show.

In the meantime, I did perk up when I saw the news that within the last 24 hours, Tombs began streaming a new track from their next album, Path of Totality, which is scheduled for release by Relapse Records on June 7. This is the follow-up to the Brooklyn trio’s February 2009 album, Winter Hours, which I thought was a fucking killer — a virtually non-stop vortex of grim, hateful, teeth-chattering, blackened doom.

The new song is called “Vermillion”. From the beginning, it crashes over you in a surging wave of tremolo guitar and not-quite-what-you-expect drum progressions — and it doesn’t let up. As on Winter Hours, all the hostility is leavened with ringing guitar melodies, but it’s mainly heavy as fuck, and Mike Hill is in prime, roaring, vocal form. My only complaint? This jam could easily have gone on for twice its actual length without losing one whit of interest. Jump past the jump and listen to “Vermillion”. I feel more awake already. Continue reading »

Jan 012011

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  Did you see what we did?  We had to change the logo for this edition of SICKNESS.  Because 2010 is behind us, and the new year lies ahead.

We spent the last 30 days, as we’ve been doing for the last year, collecting news blurbs and press releases about forthcoming new albums from bands we know and like, or from bands that look interesting, even though we don’t know them yet. And in this post, we’ve cut and pasted the announcements and compiled them in alphabetical order.

All of our previous monthly updates can be found via the “Forthcoming Albums” category link on the right side of our pages, and because we’re not keeping a cumulative list, you might want to check the last couple months of these posts if you want to get a full picture of what’s coming. The list that follows, in alphabetical order, are albums we didn’t know about at the time of our last installment when November ended, or updated info about albums we’d previously heard were on the way. And be forewarned: This is a really long list. There’s a massive slag of new metal coming our way, and man, does it look hot.

So, without further ado, let’s get started. See if there’s anything on the list that makes you moist, or tumescent, or just generally slobbery.

ABORTED: “Good news is that we are starting pre-productions for our upcoming record on January 4th. This means we will demo all the songs for the record, make sure everything sounds good and make the necessary adjustments to make sure they are all more lethal than a chainsaw in Mr. Leatherface’s hands. We’re all very excited about the material thus far and can’t wait to get this over with and proceed to the actual recordings later this year. Expect a fall 2011 release through our culprates in mayhem Century Media.”

AGNOSTIC FRONT: “The Godfathers of New York Hardcore, Agnostic Front, have just finished recording their highly anticipated follow up to their 2007 release, Warriors. The yet to be titled album features 13 new powerful and anthemic songs laid down by Erik Rutan (Madball, Goatwhore, Cannibal Corpse) at his Mana Recording Studio in Tampa, FL under the watchful guide of producer Freddy Cricien of Madball. The record was mastered by Alan Douches (Nile, Mastodon) and will be released in Europe of March 4, 2011 and in North America on March 22, 2011.”

(the list continues after the jump . . .)

Continue reading »

Mar 152010

Last week we received the following e-mail:

Hey, No-Cleaners.
We definitely have a whole lot of no clean singing on Flaming Tusk’s new album Old, Blackened Century. For that and many other reasons I think you’re going to love it. The album is available as a pay-what-you-will download (yes, even $0) at http://music.flamingtusk.com.
Enjoy. In a horrifying kind of enjoyment.

Keith [aka Zosimus]
Flaming Tusk

Well, we thought that was one of the most intriguing e-mails from a band we’d received in a while. So, we hopped right over to the linked page, downloaded Old, Blackened Century, made a monetary contribution, and started listening. And then listened again. And again. And it turns out that Flaming Tusk’s stylistic flair doesn’t stop at e-mail messaging and cool album titles.

The music is indeed immensely enjoyable, in a horrifying kind of unclassifiable metal enjoyment. If you like blackened post-hardcore proggy doom sludge noise metal, well you’ve come to the right place. (read on after the jump, and we’ll give you a track to stream, too, plus some musings about band names that Flaming Tusk may have narrowly averted . . .) Continue reading »