Nov 202011

Nah, just kidding. I didn’t really see you naked this weekend. I just wanted to get your attention. And by the way, those of you who felt a little thrill at the idea of me seeing you naked, please don’t send me photos of you in the nude; I’m pretty sure you’re the ones I do NOT want to see naked.

What I did see were new videos that I thought were worth sharing. Still catching up on what I missed while on vacation, I found:

  • A new official video from Chthonic for the song “Quell the Souls in Sing Ling Temple” from the band’s latest album, the excellent Takasago Army (reviewed at NCS here); it was posted to YouTube on November 17 (thanks to TNOTB for this one)
  • A video of Textures performing “Consonant Hemispheres” on Dutch television on November 18; the song is from the band’s 2011 album Dualism (reviewed at NCS here)
  • A video of Vader performing “I Am Who Feasts Upon Your Soul” at a club in Liverpool, England, on November 10; the song is from Vader’s latest album Welcome To the Morbid Reich (reviewed at NCS here)
  • “A new fan-filmed video of Italy’s Hour of Penance performing a scorching new song called “Sedition Through Scorn” (posted on November 15)
  • “A new video for the song “Dagger” from Vildhjarta’s new album Masstaden, which hasn’t yet been reviewed at NCS — but will be soon; I’m putting this one last because the site that’s streaming it hasn’t devoted enough bandwidth to make this thing play reliably

All these videos are available after the jump. Get naked and watch them. Continue reading »

Nov 102011

(In this post, TheMadIsraeli expresses his enthusiasm [which yours truly shares] for Poland’s Vader.)

There is NO ONE out there like Vader.  One of my top three death metal bands, to be sure, next to Suffocation and Dying Fetus. They may even be my favorite death metal band of all time.  Whether it be Piotr Wiwczarek’s mighty hoarse roar, or the fact they had one of THE best drummers in metal of all time in Doc (R.I.P), or the fact that their style of breakneck-speed death metal with a hyper-fast thrash undercurrent has been frequently copied but rarely equaled, the band is stupendous. These are my 5 favorite Vader albums of all time.

Released in 1993, this album was way ahead of its time.  The Ultimate Incantation, as an initial mission statement, was (and is) a highly impressive one.  Yeah, there was a lot of very good death metal being created at this time, with now-classic bands such as Deicide and Cannibal Corpse making their mark, what Vader had going for them was much better songwriting, more distinctive and memorable riffs, and overall a more mature sound that turned out to be quite forward-looking.

While the early music of some other death metal veterans sounds very much like a product of their times, the music on this album STILL sounds completely relevant, as evidenced by Vader’s XXV — a 2008 album in which Vader re-recorded a slew of fan favorites, five of which were from The Ultimate Incantation.  Songs like “Dark Age” or “Vicious Circle” were death metal assaults built for the 2000’s all the way back in the early 90’s. (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Aug 242011

(NCS writer TheMadIsraeli reviews the new album from Vader, but I can’t resist tossing in my two cents at the end, too.)

Vader is a band I hold very dear. They were a band who captured me late in my metal history but have since become an essential staple, and a Top 10 band of all time for me.  By my lights, no one else in death metal plays with such speed and venom, while carrying it off with a sense of imperial might and regal dignity.

I’ve been looking forward to Welcome To The Morbid Reich like you wouldn’t believe. Every time this band drops a new album, they stomp out the competition, and the only members of the death metal elite who can even begin to compete are Dying Fetus, Suffocation, and Immolation. Yes, we now have Fleshgod, yes, we now have Revocation, but neither of them have the cred, the PERFECT 10+ album discography, and the musicianship that Piotr Wiwczarek and whoever he recruits into the line-up lately manage to generate. (He’s a hell of a recruiter, too. I mean, this guy had Krzysztof Raczkowski behind the kit. One of the greatest drummers extreme metal ever saw (R.I.P Doc).)

I’m here to tell you this is probably Vader’s best work since the mighty De Profundis, the thrashier onslaught of The Beast, and the cacophony of brutality that was Impressions In Blood. To sum it up for you…

THIS ALBUM WILL TEAR YOU TO SHREDS! (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Aug 052011

All of you know how very, very stoked we are here at NCS for the release of the new album from Poland’s Vader, Welcome To the Morbid Reich. About a month ago, we got the first song from the album, “Come and See My Sacrifice”, and now we have a second one: “Decapitated Saints”, which appears to be a re-recording of a song that first appeared on the band’s 1989 demo, Necrolust.

I’m so damned excited to share this with you that I’m not even going to waste time trying to describe it to you. Fuck, you’re going to listen to it anyway, right? (If the answer to that question is No, please keep it to yourself.) After the jump, stream “Decapitated Saints”, but first be sure you’ve tied your head down firmly to your neck and shoulders. Continue reading »

Jul 042011

I shit you not. This has to be the mother of all happy coincidences.

Four days ago we featured a video update from Fleshgod Apocalypse in one of our posts as a teaser to their appearance on this year’s edition of the SUMMER SLAUGHTER tour, and included the news that the band intended to play new songs from their next album on the tour.

Then, the next day we featured a new video of Vader performing in Germany on June 25 and included the news that Nuclear Blast planned to begin streaming a new Vader song on July 15.

And now, Nuclear Blast Europe has just made new songs from each band available for free download! And finally, my slow-as-molasses wireless data card decided to speed up enough that I could actually download the two songs without waiting all day for it to finish. Both of them will blow the top of your head right off into the stratosphere.  (more after the jump, including streams of the songs and the download links . . .) Continue reading »

Jul 012011

Today we begin a new month with a long weekend. Though it’s awfully tempting to take a short break from blogging, we’re still OCD enough to continue forging ahead so’s we can keep our record intact (at least one new post every fucking day since we started this site). And we do have some things cooking for the three-day weekend that we hope will be fun.

But to kick off the new month and the long weekend in the right style, go past the jump and enjoy these bits of new metal awesomeness: First, a stage-view video of Poland’s Vader performing “Lead Us” at Death Feast Open Air 2011 in Germany on June 25. The video quality is good, the perspective is fun, and the sound is quality enough to be . . . crushing. Nuclear Blast is preparing to begin streaming the first song from Vader’s next album, Welcome To The Morbid Reich, beginning on July 15. We’ll remind you when that day arrives.

After that, enjoy the first song — “Clawmaster” — to be released from the next album by Finland’s Ghost Brigade. This song does include some clean singing, but it most definitely qualifies as an Exception to the Rule. It achieves a successful marriage of beastly power and sweeping, melancholy beauty. I’m on my sixth listen to the song as I type this. More listens lie ahead. Ghost Brigade’s third album, Until Fear No Longer Defines Us, will hit the streets on August 19 in Europe and on August 23 in NorthAm via Season of Mist.

Last, but not least, watch Dissection performing the song “Night’s Blood” in Stockholm (in 2006, I think). The video quality is excellent, the song is matchless, and the performance . . . to quote one of the comments on YouTube, “it’s so fucking epic, you can’t breathe anymore”. Credit to Andy Synn for this item.

In another hour or so, we’ll have our next edition of MORE 2011 SICKNESS, with a round-up of forthcoming albums projected for release in the months ahead. Until then, watch and listen to Vader, Ghost Brigade, and Dissection  . . . Continue reading »

Jun 222011

I’ve never been entirely sure about the point of metal news releases about music you can’t yet hear, albums you can’t yet buy, and tours for which you can’t yet acquire tickets, but people still seem to be interested in this kind of shit. Not me, of course. I’m so fucking zen-like in my outlook that these kinds of pointless cock-teasers just flow over me like a soft summer breeze, barely ruffling my hair. My pulse rate doesn’t move a beat from its normal, slothlike resting state. I remain as steady and unmoving as a hummingbird.

Wait, that didn’t end right. Okay, well maybe it did. Truth is, I am metal-nerd enough to get excited about this stuff, though I can’t provide any rational reason why. In keeping with our unintentional Finn-centric theme of this week’s posts, several of these items focus on Finnish metal.

So, here’s the top-level summary of news for this post: Announcement of two new European tours — one featuring Gorgoroth and Vader and the other headlined by Machine Head; a progress report on Insomnium‘s new album; word of an all-star album (and the label “all-star” is no bullshit) in the planning stages from Finland’s Spinefarm Records; and perhaps the most glaring example I’ve seen in months of an interviewer failing to ask a follow-up question (in this case, about Opeth‘s new album).

While I’ve got your attention, I might as well also throw in some music you can actually hear right now — high-quality footage of Suicide Silence performing a song from their forthcoming new album.  (all that stuff after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Jun 152011

On Monday night of this week, NCS co-founder Alexis and I visited Studio Seven in Seattle. Our principal reason for going was to see Revocation again (my third time, her fourth), who were appearing in support of of the headline act, Forbidden. We really can’t get enough of these dudes — their live performance is an electrifying experience. The set just whizzed by, and we both remarked afterward how much we looked forward to the day when we could see Revocation at the top of the bill, with more time in which to turn our heads inside-out.

In addition to being tremendously talented musicians — especially guitarist extraordinaire David Davidson — Revocation have been creating music that is genuinely original. Their blend of thrash and death metal just doesn’t sound quite like anything else, and with each new release, they take more steps ahead in establishing their own unique identity. We’re tremendously excited around here for their next album, Chaos of Forms, which is scheduled for an August 12 release on Relapse Records.

On Monday night, Revocation played two new songs from the forthcoming album. One of them, “Cradle Robber”, has been streaming in full recently (here, for example). The second one I’d heard only as an excerpt in this compilation of samples assembled from iTunes. It’s called “Conjuring the Cataclysm”, and it’s my new favorite Revocation song, in part because it’s so different from the band’s usual style. I found a fan-filmed video of the band performing the song on the current tour, and you can see that after the jump.

Also after the jump is a high-quality fan video of Poland’s Vader performing a new song called “Come and See My Sacrifice” on June 12 in The Netherlands. It will appear on Vader’s next album, Welcome to the Morbid Reich, which is projected for release late this year. If you’re a Vader fan (and really, who isn’t?), then you need to see this. Continue reading »

May 022011

What the hell is that big yellow thing up in the sky? It looks vaguely familiar, but it’s appeared so rarely here in The Emerald City over the last six months that we’re having trouble placing the name. Well, maybe the name will come to us. The great wheel of the seasons surely must continue to turn someplace, but in Seattle it seems to have been stuck on Winter since, like, forever. In some parts of the world, April showers bring May flowers, but here, April showers will probably bring . . . May showers.

Okay, enough whining. At least we don’t get tornados dropping from the sky like atom bombs and wiping whole towns off the map. And even though the weather hasn’t been our friend, we have metal to make up for the cold shoulder — and there’s a bunch of new metal headed our way.

What we do with these installments of METAL IN THE FORGE is collect news blurbs and press releases we’ve seen over the last month 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 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. Continue reading »

Apr 292011

(I swear this was a coincidence. I wrote a post that went up earlier today on metal covers based on a single by Anachronaeon we received yesterday, and then our UK contributor Andy Synn delivered this special edition of THE SYNN REPORT about . . . covers. This is the kind of occurrence that sends me back to the dictionary once again to figure out the difference between synchronicity and serenditpity. Or maybe it’s both.)

Covers are a strange breed of song – they’re the equivalent of a parallel universe, an alternate history, a What If? Comic, an adaptation of your favourite book starring an unexpected actor, a Shakespeare play set in an average American high school…

Seriously though, they have a huge amount of potential, both to be intriguingly inventive and woefully horrendous. Their success (or lack thereof) depends on many factors, but mainly on the song-choice itself – is it a natural fit for the band? Do they have the intelligence to re-work it in a distinctive manner? Or is it simply enough to tear through it in their own inimitable style, making few changes, but relying on sheer power to see them through?

I have chosen 15 artists who have produced some of my own personal favourite covers, showcasing a variety of approaches, some fully traditional takes on the original, others totally reworked variations. If there’s one thing that these covers show however, it is the subtle threads that inter-link all different sub-genres of rock and metal, which allow bands to re-work them organically. (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »