After the devastation caused by hurricane “Katrina” in 2005, two New Orleans residents, Keith Sierra Jr. (drummer from RAT IN A BUCKET), and Grant Tom (guitarist from DE CAPA PRETA) got together and decided to start a new band. Vocalist Shaun Emmons (also of RAT IN A BUCKET) and bassist Ryan Pomes (of MILKTOAST) joined the pair to finalize the line-up. The group named itself HAARP and eventually got signed by Housecore Records, owned by another famous Louisiana native, Philip Anselmo (PANTERA/ DOWN), who also produced HAARP's debut album. Album artwork was created by tattoo artist Paul Booth. If you would like to get to know the band batter, click here and here (Vimeo) and watch Metal Underground's interview with vocalist Shaun Emmons and guitarist Grant Tom.
25 November, 2010
New Jersey-based Latin metal sextet, ILL NINO, has released new video for ‘Against The Wall’, a song that comes off group's fifth album ‘Dead New World’. Their latest effort, released late October 2010 via Victory Records, was self-produced (with some help from SEVENDUST guitarist Clint Lowery and musician Sahaj Ticotin) and mixed by Eddie Wohl. Album artwork (see below) was created by Tim Butler of XIII Designs, know for his works for SLIPKNOT, DISTURBED, SLAYER and many notable others. The video, ‘Against The Wall’, was directed by talented Scott Hansen.
ILL NINO formed in 1999 and has since sold more than 800,000 albums over the course of four releases; 2001's ‘Revolution...’, 2003's ‘Confession’, 2005's ‘One Nation Underground’, and 2008's ‘Enigma’. ‘Dead New World’ reportedly sold around 3,000 copies in the U.S. in its first week of release and debuted at number 164 on Billboard 200 albums chart. “With its rapid shifts from soaring to searing, the album has a kind of capricious feeling about it, abusing you with massive, chugging riffs and growling vocals before extending a hand of friendship with a big rock chorus, only to pull it away at the last moment as the verse comes back again and knocks you back to the floor,” AllMusic's Gregory Heaney thusly described ILL NINO latest record.
24 November, 2010
(“Sleep” seems to be the theme on this blog today, heh.) WIDOW SUNDAY named themselves after a medical abomination from the 19th century; “Widow Sunday” was the nickname of Madame Dimanche, a 19th century Parisian woman who grew a 20cm-long bone (approx. 8-inch) horn from the center of her forehead in her late 70's. They hail from central Massachusetts, USA, cite MESHUGGAH, WHITECHAPEL, PANTERA and DEVILDRIVER as their influence, combine elements of hardcore, industrial, and heavy metal in their music and, according to Rat Pak Records, refuse to follow trends and create music infused with honesty and passion. Jacob Falconer (vocals), Michael Todd (lead guitar), Adam Cutler (guitar), Patrick Flaherty (bass guitar) and Darin Moyen (drums) released their debut EP, ‘Embracing The Beast’, in 2009, which was followed by recruitment of new lead-guitarist Sean Duffy and the release of highly successful debut full-length, entitled ‘In These Rusted Veins’ (May 2010, Rat Pak Records). Video for ‘Forever Sleep’ was directed by Anthony Jarvis and produced by Punchdance and Brett McCabe.
Brutally heavy and savagely technical death metal band AS THEY SLEEP, released their second full-length a couple of days ago (November 22nd/23rd, 2010). The album is a concept album, entitled ‘Dynasty’: “ ‘Dynasty’ focuses mainly on the rise and fall of various kingdoms, empires and dynasties throughout history, both factual and mythological. It ties in the reasons for collapse with power and battle-lust, and intertwines it all with modern problems and politics that we are dealing with today. It pretty much outlines popular stories in history regarding false gods, struggle, famine, dictatorship, and why these things didn't work,” explained band's singer Aaron Bridgewater. The album was mixed by audio wizard Jason Suecoff (DEVILDRIVER, ALL THAT REMAINS…) and was released via Solid State Records.
AS THEY SLEEP mission statement is: “to broaden the scope of what is possible in heavy music and introduce as many people as possible to their sound, vision, personal beliefs and the inspirations behind each and every song”. If their lyrics can make you think, and their rhythms make you bang your head, the band believes it has achieved its objective. These young musicians that hail from Michigan, USA, were chosen as “The Next Great Metal Band” in 2009 contest presented by Metal Blade & Metal Hammer.
Follow-up: In February 2011, AS THEY SLEEP released video for ‘Oracle Of The Dead’: “ [The track] itself is a commanding blast against “the human race”,” frontman Aaron Bridgewater told Noisecreep, where the video, directed by Drew Russ, debuted. “The video definitely captures the feeling, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say the meaning," Bridgewater explained. “The song definitely is not about wrestling. It was a zany idea that the director had, but we were all down with it. We just wanted to do something weird and off topic.”
“ ‘Oracle of the Dead’ is a kick to the groin, a visceral assault that takes command and never lets up. The growls are rough, interspersed with painful screams, lacking any appeal to the trendy hipsters that call Hot Topic their home away from home. This is a band angry and out for blood, never relenting from the blistering pace set from the beginning,” wrote Metal Underground reviewer about AS THEY SLEEP's second album. Read the rest of the review here.
AS THEY SLEEP features: Aaron Bridgewater on vocals, Nick Morris on guitar, Barry Gomez on guitar, Derek Kosiba on bass and Tony Lukitsh on drums.
19 November, 2010
With a word of caution, I am informing you that French death/black metallers BLISS OF FLESH who aim to express their hate and disgust through their music, have released a video for ‘Emaciated Deity’. Since the band - that claims to draw inspiration from their weaknesses and miasmas inherent to any human being which “they choose to accept and face” - is fascinated and appalled by religion which, in turn, they view as the biggest weapon of mass destruction and believe it to be “a catalyst for us to reject our own hatred of ourselves”, and whose band members are “filled with such hate before performing live that they avoid talking to each other”, heh, you really shouldn’t be surprised by what you see if you choose to watch the video, dear visitor. According to the band, different scenes in it allude to Dante's purgatory and the seven paths of repentance. ‘Emaciated Deity’ is the title track off BLISS OF FLESH's 2009 debut full-length, released through Twilight Vertrieb Records.
18 November, 2010
RATT, Hollywood's Sunset Strip sound and scene legends that bring back memories of a time when metal ruled the earth and real musicians wore eyeliner like a badge of honor, released video for the song ‘Eat Me Up Alive’, from their back in April 2010-released album ‘Infestation’. ‘Infestation’ was released when most fans and disapprovers alike had given the band up as a hopeless cause; after 11 years of absence from the music world and 8 years after the tragic death of founding guitarist Robbin Crosby. Original members Stephen Pearcy, Warren DeMartini and Bobby Blotzer recruited former QUIET RIOT guitarist Carlos Cavazo and signed a new deal with Roadrunner Records. Bravewords awarded the album with 9 out of 10 and accompanied it with words: “If you’re looking for RATT to write about corporate greed or global warming then this album is not for you. But if you’re looking for sizzling guitars, a driving rhythm section, frivolous (but fun) lyrics and sneering vocals (that only Stephen Pearcy can deliver) than you’ve come to the right place. With this album, RATT have not gambled on trying to figure out what’s “cool” in 2010, but instead have placed all their bets on party rock anthems with loud guitars. Ah, welcome to 1987! You’ll be glad you came.” In Japan, the album charted at number 5 on best-selling albums chart and in the USA, the album debuted at number 30 on Billboard 200 and sold over 13,000 copies in the first week of release.
16 November, 2010
CALM HATCHERY, death metal band from Poland that features past and present members of DEAD INFECTION and TEHACE, has released their second album entitled ‘Sacrilege Of Humanity’ yesterday, November 15th, 2010 (15. 11. 2010) via Polish Selfmadegod Records. Listen to three songs off the new album (‘We Are The Universe’, ‘Messerschmitt’ and ‘Lost In The Sands’) at this location (official MySpace). ‘Sacrilege Of Humanity’ is technical, brutal death metal album, inspired by such genre leaders as NILE, MORBID ANGEL, DECAPITATED and IMMOLATION. The album was recorded and supervised by Wiesławscy Bros (BEHEMOTH/VADER/HATE) at Hertz Studio in Bialystok. Album artwork was created by Mentalporn, known for his works for BEHEMOTH and DEATHSTARS.
CALM HATCHERY features: Huzar – rhythm/solo guitar, Szczepan – vocals, Zombie – rhythm guitar, Hacel – bass and MG 42 – drums.
It’s all very complicated so I’ll just copy-paste the whole thing: “ 11 AS IN ADVERSARIES are here to flip the script and destroy the norm. Existing in a stratosphere where rules no longer apply, 11 AS IN ADVERSARIES features the mastermind of extreme-metal rule-breakers GLORIOR BELLI and fittingly combines dark, moody post-punk with the most avant-garde ends of extreme metal. Utterly twisted yet surprisingly melodic, contorting and slithering like a snake, the band's ‘The Full Intrepid Experience of Light’ seeks its own truth, its own light in the darkness, vast and epic yet brave and unselfconscious.” Press release further on suggests we should “absorb the album and be forever altered”. If so inclined, click here (official MySpace) and live with the consequences, heh. 11 AS IN ADVERSARIES' debut album was released yesterday, November 15th, 2010 (15. 11. 2010) through ATMF (Aeternitas Tenebrarum Music Foundation).
11 AS IN ADVERSARIES is a metal/rock/psyche project that aims to offer an alternative outlet for occasionally limited artists. The band was formed in early 2010 by J. (guitar/bass/vocals) and G. (drums). With some help from Niklas Kvarforth (from Sweden's SHINING), the ADVERSARIES messed around with extreme metal and indie tunes in order to mix-together “a massively demented debut album” – their words not mine. And there is more; the meaning of their name “lies within a numerological context where 11 stands for what is beyond 10”. Heh. Explanation: “Numbers 1 to 10 are representative of the law & order and cosmic completion. 11 is a manifestation of freedom and rebellion for its magic can bring one to defy the limitations imposed by the Demiurge.” (“Demiurge” probably being the originator of evil or perhaps represents the public official, heh.) And since there are eleven letters in the word “adversaries”, we get to call the band “11 AS IN ADVERSARIES”.
11 November, 2010
ANIMALS AS LEADERS, instrumental progressive metal project by guitar virtuoso Tosin Abasi, has released video for the track ‘CAFO’, off band's self-titled debut, released in 2009 via Prosthetic Records. The video was directed by Scott Hansen, whose previous works include videos for THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA and A DAY TO REMEMBER, amongst others. It features animation and visual effects by AFTER .
‘Animals As Leaders’ was recorded in early 2008. Abasi recorded all guitar and bass tracks on the album; drums and various synthesized effects were programmed by Misha Mansoor (PERIPHERY/HAUNTED SHORES). On the album, eight-stringer showcases his formidable mastery of his instrument through a daringly progressive and oftentimes mellow and new agey collection of songs. AllMusic's critic E. Rivadavia said it best: “The album's endless parade of circular scales and sheer barrage of flickered notes (epitomized by the dizzying ‘Behaving Badly’) may prove just a bit tiresome to less adventurous musical tourists, but for those looking for sounds that both awe and challenge their faculties, ‘Animals As Leaders’ delivers quite the cerebral workout.”
ANIMALS AS LEADERS features: Tosin Abasi – guitar, Javier Reyes – guitar, Navene Koperweis – drums and Chebon Littlefield – bass / keyboards.
03 November, 2010
GRENOUER, industrial/progressive metal band from St. Petersburg, Russia, has just released their long-in-the-making video for the track ‘Indecent Loyalty’, off their album ‘Lifelong Days’, released in 2008 via Locomotive Records. The video was created by Postnuclear Noise Register.
GRENOUR formed in 1992 in Perm, Russia and started off a death metal band, and as such released four albums: ‘Border Of Misty Times’ (1996), ‘Gravehead’ (1999), ‘The Order O’Folly’ (2001) and ‘Presence With War’ (2003), none of which was released outside of then USSR. GRENOUER is considered one of the originators of Russian death metal along with MERLIN, MORTEM and GRAVESIDE. In mid 2000's the band relocated to St. Petersburg and recorded an album entitled ‘Try’, which was given worldwide distribution by UK's Casket Music (2007). ‘Try’ was well received by the majority of critics who compared GRENOUR's musical style to that of MESHUGGAH and FEAR FACTORY. In 2008 the group signed a record contract with Locomotive Records.
02 November, 2010
BLACK LABEL SOCIETY has released an absolute gem of a video for the song ‘Overlord’, directed by Master Cylinder. The video finds guitar legend Zakk Wylde and his BLACK LABEL SOCIETY in a satire of 70's Kung Fu movies. Wylde is featured as the Bruce Lee-type action hero in hot pursuit of the Overlord - in this case an old lady who holds the key to a very special prize. ‘Overlord’ comes from BLS's latest album ‘Order Of The Black’, released back in August 2010 via E1 Music. AllMusic critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine reviewed the album with approbation: “BLACK LABEL SOCIETY are as close as you can get to unapologetic heavy guitar rock in the 21st century, holding true to the power of two guitars, bass, drums, and overwhelming amplification. Songs don’t necessarily stick but riffs do, as do Wylde's dexterous solos, which pull off a tricky thing – they’re breakneck but have a bluesy, almost soulful, undertow.” ‘Order Of The Black’ sold around 33,000 copies in the U.S. in its first week of release and entered Billboard 200 chart at number 4.
Zakk Wylde formed BLACK LABEL SOCIETY (BLS) in 1994 as a vehicle for his own artistic vision: “Uncompromising, unfiltered, no bullshit rock'n'roll”. The band released eight successful studio albums which have sold well over a million and a half albums total to date. At only 19 years old, Wylde joined Ozzy Osbourne's band as lead guitarist and co-writer. He performed with Osbourne for nearly twenty years. After falling out with his mentor, Wylde released his debut solo album, a guitar showcase entitled ‘Book Of Shadows’ in 1996. BLS' first album, ‘Sonic Brew’ - “a boozy, balls-to-the-wall metallic hard rock album that is unashamed about being a hard rock album” (by AllMusic) - was initially released in Japan in 1998 and eventually in USA (1999). Drummer Phil Ondrich stuck around for BLS' second album, ‘Stronger Than Death’ (2000, Spitfire Records). Robert Trujillo (now METALLICA), Craig Nunenmacher and Christian Werr joined the six-stinger for ‘1919 Eternal’ (2002, Spitfire Records). Nunenmacher remained for 2003's ‘Blessed Hellride’ which features guest vocals from Ozzy Osbourne on a single ‘Stillborn’. (According to Wikipedia, ‘Stillborn’ tells the story of a man whose girlfriend treats him so poorly and takes so much advantage of him that his love for her dies, leaving him feeling dead as well. Wylde insists that it is not autobiographical and that if any girl were to treat him like that, he would simply break up with her. Heh.) Detroit's Harpos Concert Theatre bar allegedly ran out of alcohol during the recording of the show BLS released as a DVD that same year, entitled ‘Boozed, Broozed, And Broken-Boned’. Fifth album, ‘Hangover Music Vol. VI’, followed a year later (Spitfire Records) and band's most commercially successful release (selling over 250,000 copies in the U.S.) ‘Mafia’ came out in 2005 through now defunct Artemis Records. BLS released their seventh album, ‘Shot To Hell’, in 2006 via Roadrunner Records before issuing a compilation/live album/DVD ‘Scullage’ in 2009 (Armoury/Eagle Rock). In February 2010, drummer Craig "Louisiana Lightning" Nunenmacher had quit BLACK LABEL SOCIETY to be replaced with EVANESENCE's Will Hunt.
BLACK LABEL SOCIETY features: Zakk Wylde – lead vocals/lead guitar/piano, Nick Catanese – rhythm guitar, John DeServio – bass/backing vocals and Will Hunt – drums