Apr 152015
 

 

Yes, it’s true, we shove about 100 new songs in your face on a daily basis, but we know your face holds a lot of songs, so we need to keep shoving. Be sure to chew them well and don’t try to talk while you’re doing it, ’cause you could choke to death.

GRUESOME

Surely you know about Gruesome by now, because we’ve certainly written about them enough, and we even premiered a song from their debut album Savage Land. They give new meaning to the phrase Total Death Worship.

As of yesterday, the whole album became available for streaming. I don’t know why you wouldn’t go listen to it, unless you’re in a coma, in which case we wish you a speedy recovery and a pain-free removal of the catheter. Don’t forget to share photos of that for our collection. We’re thinking about turning them into a large-format NCS coffee-table book, The Art of Catheter Removal.

Where was I?  Oh yeah, there’s a stream of Savage Land at Decibel. It’s an exclusive, so you and your catheter will need to go here to listen, and you’ll both be glad you did: Continue reading »

Apr 092015
 

 

We don’t publish negative reviews at this site. It’s a rule: If we hear something we don’t like, we just ignore it. The mission is to spread the word about metal that makes us enthusiastic. But since I’m the dictator who laid down the rule more than five years ago, I can break it, and so I will. Here’s our first negative review.

Unleashed’s new album Dawn of the Nine isn’t very friendly. It’s actually very belligerent, even bellicose. There’s a lot of ranting and raving about blood and the spirit of Viking ancestors and the elite forces of the “Midgard Warriors” hunting down something called the “White Christ” — and it sounds like Unleashed really mean it. This is icy-cold blood lust and ferocious rage given sonic form.

Who would listen to music that frightens small children? Where’s the compassion and the tolerance? Continue reading »

Feb 102015
 

 

Yesterday delivered a bonanza of new metal discoveries, so many that I’m resorting to minimizing my own verbiage in order to roll out everything I found in one post without turning it into War and Peace. I realize this will strike many of you as a tragedy of near-mythic proportions, but I do not wish to dim the reputation of Tolstoy, him being dead and all, and unable to restore competitive balance with a sequel.

UNLEASHED

Yesterday Nuclear Blast announced that this spring it will release the 12th studio album of Sweden’s Unleashed. The title is Dawn of the Nine and it features cover art by the talented Pär Olofsson. There’s a story behind the artwork, as recounted by founding member, bassist, and vocalist Johnny Hedlund:

“The artwork represents the continuation of our previous album, which ended with ‘The Great Battle of Odalheim.’ The battle took place at Uppsala Fields in Sweden, and you can clearly see the king’s grave in the cover art work which also represents the future. You can also see the bombed out church in the far distance, the place of blood in the front, and the rune stone with the runic symbol of courage of the new dawn.” Continue reading »

Sep 072012
 

(Our UK-based writer Andy Synn made the trek to Germany for this year’s edition of the SUMMER BREEZE festival, and provided us with a review of the bands whose performances he witnessed.  We’ve divided the review into two parts. Part 1 was yesterday, covering performances on the first two days of the festival. In this post, Andy covers the festival’s third and final day, and at the end we’ve again collected videos of some of the performances discussed in the review.)

DAY 3

Day 3 saw a late start (which may have had something to do with the amount of alcohol consumed the night before) with Naglfar over on the main stage, kicking out some lethal melodic black metal despite the blazing sunshine and clear blue skies. It’s really only in the live setting you can fully appreciate both the anthemic quality of the group’s material, as well as the technical skill behind it.

Over on the second stage Unleashed wasted little time getting into the swing of things, their brutish, occasionally melodic, Viking-obsessed death metal garnering a surprisingly loud reaction (at least for this early in the day). The only niggling problem is that where Amon Amarth are more obviously self-aware, using these tales of Viking lore to inspire and uplift their fans, Unleashed seem to treat their subject matter as a manifesto, and their uncomfortable “we should all be Vikings!” schtick is both extremely geeky and embarrassingly ill-informed.

Over in the third-stage tent Incantation were unleashing their own brand of filthy, blood-spitting aural horror, dropping some gut-clenching death metal grooves and breakdowns into the whirlwind death metal stew, even throwing in a few Possessed covers for good measure. Slightly breaking the atmosphere though was John McEntee’s use of an uber-gravelly Batman voice for his between-song banter, unintentionally hilarious in its own special way. Continue reading »

Jul 172012
 

In one of yesterday’s posts I compared a song from Sweden’s King of Asgard to Naglfar and Immortal, and I got questioned about that comparison in one of the comments, suggesting that King of Asgard is a Viking metal band. That caused me to consider, certainly not for the first time, what “Viking metal” really means and whether there really is such a thing as a “Viking metal” genre.

These are questions that have been argued in many other places at many other times. For example, our brother Trollfiend devoted a post to the subject at ALSO, WOLVES last fall, insisting that, yes, it’s a genre and it’s defined by the band’s lyrical themes (though he also implied that, musically, it’s a subset of black metal). Other people contend it isn’t a genre at all, or that if it is, it begins and ends with Bathory and early Enslaved and everyone else can go fuck off. And still other people say it’s a pointless question — you either dig the music or you don’t, and who gives a rat’s ass what you call it.

The fact that there seems to be no consensus about how to define “Viking metal” weighs in favor of the argument that it isn’t a genre. That conclusion is bolstered by the significant diversity in the music of bands who different people classify as “Viking metal” (see, e.g., the bands included in the “Viking metal” tag at Last.fm or the Viking metal genre group at Metal Archives). Genre classifications are usually (though not always) defined by widely accepted hallmarks of the musical style, and if no such consensus exists, or if the sound of the music isn’t really the defining characteristic, can we really say that “Viking metal” is a genre?

Is the lyrical content really enough, especially when much of the time you can’t make out the words in the songs when you hear them? Continue reading »

Mar 072012
 

This is going to be really fast (see earlier post today about me being fucked by my fucking day job). Here’s the news:

“Legendary Swedish Viking/death metal masters UNLEASHED and DecibelMagazine.com have made the brand new track “Rise of the Maya Warriors” available for streaming here. The track comes off their upcoming album Odalheim. Bassist/vocalist Johnny Hedlund had this to say about the song:

“After years of struggle and toil against the armies of White Christ, the Midgard Warriors went across the open sea to gather the battalions there, and to build an army big enough to fight in the final stand,” rails lead hornblower Johnny Hedlund. “At the end of the (Vinland) North American journey, the Midgard Warriors and their growing armies traveled through the Sierra Madre and into Central America to meet with the Toltecs, Olmecs, Aztecs and others. It seemed they had all joined forces to build a rebellion against White Christ. They were now known as the Maya Warriors. We joined for Blot and Celebrations to our common task and for life long freindship. We had now grown to be a very respectful army of warriors that set off to the European continent again…”

Now I’m not a well-educated historian, I’ll admit, but this doesn’t sound quite like any history I’ve ever heard about. I mean, I know there’s such a thing as Mixed Martial Arts, but Vikings, Toltecs, Olmecs, and Aztecs teaming up under the “Maya Warrior” banner and venturing to Europe?  That’s some new shit right there! Sounds awesome.

So does this song.  Check it out at DECIBEL or after the jump. Odalheim will be released on April 20 in Europe and April 24 in North Am by Nuclear Blast. Continue reading »

Feb 222012
 

I swear, this was completely coincidental, just a pleasing serendipity (or synchronicity, or both): Yesterday afternoon I got press releases about three bands whose new albums I’m interested in hearing, and the names of all three bands begin with U. So, in this post I’ve collected (i) album art and other details about the next album from Unleashed (Sweden); a new song from Unsane (NYC); and a new video teaser from Ufomammut (Italy). Plus, I’m throwing in some additional music from two of these bands.

By the way, The Used also released a new single yesterday, but U know I ain’t goin’ there.

UNLEASHED

Can you believe that this band is about to release their 11th studio album? Not many extreme metal bands have had careers spanning such a length of time, and fewer still are capable of continuing to generate interest in what they’re doing. Conceptually, the new Unleashed album — Odalheim — will continue to tell the story from Norse mythology about the end of the world (Ragnarök) and what comes next.

The album art, which you can see above, was created by Sebastian Ramstedt. According to Unleashed vocalist/bassist Johnny Hedlund, it depicts the new world (Odalheim) built by the warriors who survived Ragnarök, shown “at the break of dawn at the Birka shores, and just before the attack of White Christ.” Continue reading »

Dec 022011
 

November is done, and the countdown begins to the end of 2011 and he beginning of the New Year. We’ve been so focused this week on the year behind us, since 2011 Listmania is now in full swing, that we almost forgot that there is a future, and it will be filled with metal.

So, here’s the deal:  In these METAL IN THE FORGE posts, we collect news blurbs and press releases we’ve seen over the last month (November) 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 forthcoming album before November, 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. As usual, this list is half-assed rather than comprehensive. So, feel free to leave Comments and tell all of us what we missed when we put this list together. Let us know about albums on the way that  you’re stoked about! Continue reading »

Mar 312010
 

We’re now a full three months into 2010, and it’s time for our third update to the list of forthcoming new albums we posted on January 1.  (See the original list here, the first update here, and the second update here.) Below is a list of still more projected new releases that we didn’t know about on January 1 or at the time of our last two updates — and the new sickness is still spreading in epidemic proportions.

Once again, we’ve cobbled together news blurbs about bands whose past work we’ve liked, or who look interesting for other reasons. Needless to say (but we’ll say it anyway), these are bands that mostly fit the profile of music we cover on this site.

So, in alphabetical order, here’s our list of cut-and-pasted blurbs from various sources since our last update about forthcoming new releases. Look for the bands you like and put reminders on your calendar. Or if you’re old school like us, just get em tattooed someplace you can see without a mirror (because reading stuff backwards is hard).

ANAAL NATHRAKH: “U.K. extreme metallers ANAAL NATHRAKH have commenced work on material for a new album, tentatively due before the end of the year.”

ANNIHILATOR: “Canadian thrash metal veterans ANNIHILATOR will release their 13th, self-titled album in Europe on May 17 via Earache Records, in Japan through Marquee and in Australia via Riot Entertainment.”

ARISE: “A two-minute video trailer for The Reckoning, the fourth album from Swedish death/thrashers ARISE, can be viewed below. Due on March 22 through Regain Records, the CD features guest appearances by Jonas Kjellgren (SCAR SYMMETRY, ex-CARNAL FORGE), Mikael Stanne (DARK TRANQUILLITY) and Jake Fredém (NOSTRADAMEUS).” [NOTE: the album is now scheduled for release on April 6.]

(more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »