31 August, 2011

Staind: Staind – new album


Multi-platinum Massachusetts hard rock outfit's STAIND seventh album is set for September 13th, 2011 release via Roadrunner Records and Atlantic Records. ‘Staind’, the album, is the last album to feature original drummer Jon Wysocki, since he departed from the band following the recording. Te album was produced by producer Johnny K. Elaborated on one of two videos released in promotion, the tune ‘Not Again’, the band's songwriter and vocalist Aaron Lewis (via Noisecreep):

“Making this album was hard. I guess you can say ‘Not Again’ is a direct reflection of the events that transpired during the recording process. The video was done by Paul Brown, we shot individually on green screen, we went in ran through the song a few times each and were done. I don’t know why we’ve wasted our time making videos any other way all these years.”

During the sixteen years of writing, recording, and touring together, STAIND sold 15 million albums worldwide, had eight top ten singles across multiple formats with three songs hitting number one, and wrote the most-played rock song of the past decade, ‘It’s Been Awhile’. Three out of their six albums, ‘Break The Cycle’, ‘14 Shades Of Grey’ and ‘Chapter V’, debuted at number 1 on the Billboard Top 200 and 2008's ‘The Illusion Of Progress’ peaked at position number 3.

Follow-up: STAIND eponymous seventh studio album debuted at number 5 on the American chart Billboard 200, selling 47,000 copies during the first week of its release:

“By leaning so heavily on the testosterone, STAIND certainly suggest that they realize just how sleepy and stodgy they were getting on 2008's ‘The Illusion Of Progress’, for they no longer sound like post-grungers marveling at their ever-expanding waistlines: they may not quite sound hungry, but they sound as if they’re intent on proving they can still make some noise,” [observed Stephen Thomas Erlewine, AllMusic – more here]

STAIND features: Aaron Lewis – vocals and guitar, Mike Mushok – guitar and Johnny April – bass and vocals



30 August, 2011

Full Album Stream: Century: Red Giant – new album


Listen to CENTURY's new album here – exclusively at Revolver. ‘Red Giant’ was released via Prosthetic Records today, August 30th, 2011. Produced by the band and mastered by Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound, the album introduces clean singing in the form of guest appearances by CANDLEBOX frontman Kevin Martin, folk-rock anarchist Adam Taylor and former ARMSBENDBACK vocalist Mike Coasey. The album's art was created by Cameron Gray. Buy the album here (Prosthetic Records).

“The latest album, ‘Red Giant’, is an exercise in spontaneity,” [explains the press release] “Every song was written on the spot, with Armellino [Ricky, bass] and Slovak [band's founder and vocalist] handing a guitar back and forth while Pro Tools recorded until songs started to emerge. Lyrically, the album is a massive supernova of spiteful annihilation. Politically-charged sentiment underscores what can only be described as the purest, most concentrated anger put to tape in years.”

CENTURY was originally envisioned as a solo project for singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and graphic designer Carson Slovak in 2005 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. After recording and releasing the project's self-titled debut EP entirely on his own in 2004, Carson was joined by guitarist Mike Giuliano, bassist Joshua Groah and drummer Grant McFarland, with whom he recorded the group's debut full-length 2006's ‘Faith And Failure’ (Tribunal Records). Feedback-saturated, nihilistic concept album ‘Black Ocean’ (and the band's debut for Prosthetic Records) found its way onto many notable “best of” lists, including Revolver Magazine's Top 20 of 2008:

“ ‘Black Ocean’ does not give up its treasures easily; listeners have to put in their due diligence before deciphering the clues that ultimately lead to the X marking the spot,” [was impressed Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic Guide] “[The album's]demanding architecture is eventually justified once its all-encompassing vision finally comes into focus. Unprepared listeners may still require thick glasses to gain clarity into CENTURY's twisted musical universe, but risk-taking fans of INTRONAUT and BURST will quickly recognize this album as their next favorite mystery to unravel.”

CENTURY features: Carson Slovak – vocals, Jason Baker – guitars, Todd Mogle – guitars, Ricky Armellino – bass and Grant McFarland – drums

CENTURY: Lobotomy – courtesy of CenturyPA

CENTURY: Iconoclast – courtesy of Prosthetic Records

29 August, 2011

Full Album Stream: Premonition 13: 13 – new album / La Hechicera de la Jeringa – new video



Legendary Scott “Wino” Weinrich's (also known as “the patron saint of American doom metal”) latest project, PREMONITION 13, came up with the video for ‘La Hechicera de la Jeringa’, tune taken from the project's debut album ‘13’, released in June 2011 through Volkom Entertainment. Fans of Wino's SPIRIT CARAVAN and THE HIDDEN HAND releases take notice, advices the label which offers us two PREMONITION 13 songs for free download here. Buy the album here (Volcom) or here (the band's official store) after you enjoy the album via player available below.

“Scott “Wino” Weinrich has arguably never been busier than at the ripe young age of 50 (more like 80 in drug years), which sees him juggling solo albums, recordings with supergroup SHRINEBUILDER, and even performing reunion shows by '80s doom icons SAINT VITUS,” [commented he who has improved my mood many a morning – Eduardo Rivadavia] “ ‘13’ is dominated and defined by a series of stoned-out, psychedelic doom jams - the nine-minute introduction of ‘B.E.A.U.T.Y.’, the cryptic ‘La Hechicera de la Jeringa’, the dreamy ‘Peyote Road’ etc. - doused in billowing clouds of guitar psychedelics. As such, Wino's latest project may find the most favor among fans orphaned by the dearly defunct SPIRIT CARAVAN, for obvious reasons.” [Read more here (AllMusic Guide)]

PREMONITION 13 features: Scott “Wino” Weinrich – guitar and vocals, Jim Karow – guitar and Matthew Clark - drums

PREMONITION 13: 13 – courtesy of Volcom Entertainment

Premonition 13_13

27 August, 2011

Terror: You’re Caught – new video



TERROR, L.A. based hardcore band will be apparently re-issuing their year ago-released album ‘Keepers Of The Faith’ as CD/DVD – as implied by their label, Century Media Records. ‘Keepers Of The Faith’ was produced by Chad Gilbert of NEW FOUND GLORY at Buzzbomb Studio, engineered by Paul Minor and mixed by Matt Hyde. Back then TERROR's legendary frontman Scott Vogel summed up the album thusly:

“This is the record we put everything we have into, from the music to the lyrics, the layout to the title and to the direct hand to hand street marketing approach, we are putting it all on the line. We took all the rules of what’s going on in the industry today and washed them from our minds. We wanted to capture those early days of hardcore. This is the record we were destined to make. This is TERROR at its best and I’m so excited to get this out and start touring surrounding its energy and passion.”

Click here. It will probably fix your morning (“vogelism” is a term used for - often hilarious - on-stage banter by TERROR's founder Scott Vogel):

“If you are a little dude get a bunch of other little dudes and take the big motherfucker down” [is as sound advise as any, but keep refreshing the page it’ll get even better]

TERROR was formed by vocalist Scott Vogel (formerly lead singer with bands like DESPAIR, SLUDGEFEST and BURIED ALIVE) in 2002. A four-song demo, an EP and a lot of touring later, the band signed with Bridge 9 Records and released a nine-song EP entitled ‘Lowest Of The Low’ in 2003. TERROR spent the rest of that year touring, including a stint in Europe with BIOHAZARD. The group signed with Trustkill Records and issued two albums through that label; 2004's ‘One With The Underdogs’ and 2006's ‘Always The Hard Way’ – the latter reaching number 10 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart. Later on, bassist Carl Swartz and guitarist Frank Novinec left the band to concentrate on FIRST BLOOD and HATEBREED respectively. ‘Rhythm Amongst The Chaos’ EP followed in 2007 (Reaper Records) and the band got included in Century Media's 20 year celebration covers album, 2008's ‘Covering 20 Years Of The Extreme’. ‘The Damned, The Shamed’, TERROR's fourth full-length, was released by Century Media Records that same year. In its review of the album, Metal Underground described TERROR as the LAMB OF GOD of hardcore:

“[The album] is heavy, fast, and has a sing-a-long in every song. The lyrics come from the heart, and that is what it should be all about.”

TERROR features: Scott Vogel – vocals, Nick Jett – drums, Jordan Posner – guitar, Martin Stewart – guitar and David Wood – bass





25 August, 2011

Full Album Stream: Kittie: I’ve Failed You – new album / We Are The Lamb – new video


Stream the new KITTIE album, ‘I’ve Failed You’, in its extremely angry entirety (forged with extreme vulnerability) at this location (Exclaim Magazine). The group's second release on eOne Music was produced by Siegfried “Siggy” Meier at Beach Road Studios in Ontario, Canada. ‘I’ve Failed You’ will be released August 30th, 2011.

“This is a very sad album and it’s a very heavy album, it’s something I had to get out,” [commented frontwoman Morgan Lander] “The last two years between ‘In The Black’ [2009 album] and now have been extremely difficult, and a lot of things have impacted the lyrical content. We’ve pretty much gone through an entire life upheaval and a lot of changes, and these songs tell a story – it’s the downfall of a relationship, coming to terms, and finding the strength to move on.”

KITTIE was formed in 1996 in London, Ontario, Canada by drummer Mercedes Lander, guitarist Fallon Bowman, singer and guitarist Morgan Lander and bassist Talena Atfield. Their debut full-length, entitled ‘Split’ and released in 1999, was eventually certified gold. The 12 tracks, which were reportedly written when the band members were all just 14 years old, were commented thusly by AllMusic's Roxanne Blanford:

“KITTIE bites just as hard as the boys, as evidenced in the steely guitar churn of ‘Brackish’ and the caustic burn of ‘Raven’, wherein Morgan Lander's grating vocals shatter all illusions that women can't spew rock venom with the best of them.”

After the release of the ‘Paperdoll’ EP, Fallon Bowman left the group which in 2001 recorded their following “much, much angrier” album, ‘Oracle’, as a trio. The album debuted at number 57 on American Albums chart Billboard 200. In 2002, Talena Atfield left and was replaced by Jennifer Arroyo and Lisa Marx was added as second guitarist before the release of 2004's Steve Thompson-produced album ‘Until The End’:

“The brutal opener, ‘Look So Pretty’, features singer Morgan Lander doing terrifying things with her throat – it’s somewhere between an emaciated alley cat fighting off the neighborhood skunk and the squelch on a walkie-talkie,” [wasn’t too kind James Christopher Monger in his review of the album for AllMusic Guide]

In 2005, KITTIE parted ways with their label Artemis Records, lost Lisa Marx and Jennifer Arroyo and Lander sisters added guitarist Tara McLeod and bassist Trish Doan to the line-up before releasing 2006's EP ‘Never Again’ (Rock Ridge Music). The band's forth album, ‘Funeral For Yesterday’, produced by Jack Ponti, came out through the band's own label, X Of Infamy Records and was distributed by EMI. AllMusic's James Christopher Monger kept up with his “Canadian metal goddesses”:

“First off, Morgan has ditched her death metal purr for a slicker croon that will likely divide longtime KITTIE fans into warring camps, but the group has lost none of its raucous intensity, rather this new direction suits them in a way that indicates actual growth.”

Fifth album ‘In The Black’, released via eOne Music in 2009, was KITTIE's first to feature new bassist Ivy Vujic:

“ ‘In The Black’ takes more chances, carving serpentine melodies through mountains of double-kick percussion and fat, dual-guitar/bass leads. Guttural, death metal vocals are the great equalizer in metal music, and Morgan Lander can shriek with the best of them (which she does throughout most of the record)” [this time somewhat accepted that fact aforementioned music reviewer]

KITTIE features: Mercedes Lander – drums, vocals and piano, Morgan Lander – lead vocals and guitar, Tara McLeod – guitar and Ivy Vujic - bass guitar



Agnostic Front: My Life My Way – new video



AGNOSTIC FRONT have proudly premiered their Dale Resteghini-directed video for ‘My Life My Way’ over at Punknews.org and described it as “an exciting trip through some of the classic days and the birth of NYHC”. ‘My Life My Way’ is the title track taken from these New York hardcore pioneers' latest effort, released in March 2011 through Nuclear Blast Records. ‘My Life My Way’ was recorded with Erik Rutan (under the watchful eye of producer Freddy Cricien) and mastered by Alan Douches. The cover artwork was created by artist Todd Hubber:

“The concept was to capture the D.I.Y. ethic and crude themed artistry of the early punk flyers, with a nod to the era of crime and pulp comic themes of the early 50's. Society deemed those materials as having no social redeeming values, and as a contributor to youth delinquency. ‘My Life My Way’ is a throwback to the early days, and AGNOSTIC FRONT has proven that what society deems unredeeming, has been, still is, and will continue to be relevant.”

“After all is said and done we are amazed on how great our new record turned out,” [commented the album AGNOSTIC FRONT's legendary singer Roger Miret] “It’s by far our catchiest record to date and it’s going to make everyone want to sing along for sure. Freddy killed it on the production end, just capturing that hardcore vibe that only he can get out of AGNOSTIC FRONT. The boys all put nothing but passion into the songs, and Erik Rutan just dialed it all in to make AGNOSTIC FRONT sound as natural and as organic as ever. This one will definitely be a classic once it's heard worldwide!” [If you somehow managed to miss this release, here is you chance to order it from Nuclear Blast Europe and dutifully buy the album here if you happen to live on that other continent]

In the early 1980's New York City became a melting pot for a flourishing hardcore scene:

“Among the bands at the forefront of this united, seemingly unstoppable army were AGNOSTIC FRONT, whose frantic, minimalist assault and sociopolitical rants came to epitomize the essence of hardcore, New York f*ckin’ City style,” [wrote AllMusic's Eduardo Rivadavia]

Formed by guitarist Vinnie Stigma, AGNOSTIC FRONT went through a few singers before settling with Roger Miret, “a product of refugee parents with firsthand experience in social injustice and opinionated views about politics coursing through his veins”. With bassist Adam Moochie and drummer Ray Beez, AGNOSTIC FRONT developed their unique sound dominated by catchy tunes, thunderous drums and the buck-wild shouting of their singer. 1983's EP ‘United Blood’ was followed by 1984's career-defining album ‘Victim In Pain’ which featured Rob Kabula and Dave Jones, who replaced Adam Moochie and Raymond “Raybeez” Barbieri on bass and drums respectively. For 1986's ‘Cause For Alarm’ the band struggled through the sessions due to constant personnel problems and due to Miret and Stigma's spirited relationship. 1987's ‘Liberty & Justice For...’ featured an entirely new cast of backup musicians. Miret was arrested on drug charges after releasing live album, ‘Live At CBGB’ (1989),  and sentenced to nearly two years in prison while Stigma and the band toured Europe for the first time. Miret spent his time in prison writing new songs for 1992's album ‘One Voice’ but not long after its release, the band decided to call it quits. Their final show was recorded for 1993's ‘Last Warning’ after which Stigma and guitarist Matt Handerson formed MADBALL with Miret's younger brother Freddy Cricien. After meeting at MADBALL concert in 1998, Miret and Stigma began discussing a possible comeback for AGNOSTIC FRONT; after signing with Epitaph Records and recruiting Jimmy Colletti on drums and Rob Kabula on bass, the group released ‘Something's Gotta Give’. 1999's ‘Riot, Riot, Upstart’ featured guest appearances from M.O.D.'s Billy Milano and RANCID's Lars Fredriksen, among others. In 2001 they released the album ‘Dead Yuppies’ with ‘Another Voice’ following in 2005 – band's first for Nuclear Blast Records. For 2007's ‘Warriors’ Eduardo Rivadavia wrote:

“When a band has been this successful at the business of producing classic, crossover hardcore ass-kickings for their loyal consumers, well, outside observers may just want to keep their mouths shut and be thankful that their own jobs cover health insurance - it could come in handy if they cross the wrong person here. Such is life at AGNOSTC FRONT Public Works, Inc.: a not-for-profit organization (get it? the band has never seen a cent for their efforts) devoted to all sorts of social activism, community services, and a few tough love lessons about the code of the street mixed in for good measure (no one likes a goody two shoes).” [Read the rest of his review here]

Below you’ll find AGNOSTIC FRONT's video for ‘A Mi Manera’ (Spanish for “my way”), also directed by Dale Resteghini, featuring special guest, vocalist Freddy “Madball” Cricien, and video for the track ‘That’s Life’ directed by Brian Darwas.

AGNOSTIC FRONT features: Roger Miret – vocals, Vinnie Stigma – guitar, Mike Gallo – bass, Pokey – drums and Joseph James – guitar



AgnosticFront_ MyLifeMyWay

24 August, 2011

Hackneyed: Carnival Cadavre – new album


Germany's HACKNEYED third album was released in Europe on August 22nd, 2011 and awaits its North American release on August 30th, 2011. ‘Carnival Cadavre’ is the group's Lifeforce Records debut. Watch this still young band encounter their third album here, here, here and here (YouTube) - with another episode yet to be released - as witnessed by producers Aaron Brusius, Nicolas Fuchs, Orcun Sakar and Gregor Trunk. Below you’ll find two new HACKNEYED tracks and if you like what you hear buy the album here.

Inspired by the likes of CANNIBAL CORPSE and DECAPITATED, vocalist Philipp Mazal, guitarists Felix Papp and Devin Cox, bassist Alex “iX” Büttner, and drummer Tim Cox formed HACKNEYED in 2006, and quickly became quite possibly the youngest death metal band in history to be given a recording contract, with members averaging between 14 and 16 years of age, and quite certainly the youngest death metal band signed by Nuclear Blast Records. HACKNEYED's debut studio album, Death Prevails’, came out in 2008:

“But even though all of them were either babies or unborn when grindcore bands like CARCASS, CANNIBAL CORPSE and CANCER were in their prime, the German metallers' affection for old-school grindcore is evident on this album,” [acknowledged AllMusic's Alex Henderson] “Musically, ‘Death Prevails’ doesn’t have old-school grindcore's garage-like rawness; their work is more technical, and they offer a lot of tempo changes instead of playing at breakneck speed 100-percent of the time.”

In 2009, HACKNEYED recorded their second full-length, ‘Burn After Reaping’, with new guitarist Juan Sierra, released by Nuclear Blast in Europe and by Koch Records in North America:

“HACKNEYED do literally nothing to reinvent the death metal wheel - creatively or aesthetically - on the sophomore album, but then, neither do 95-percent of active bands twice their age, and there’s enough earnest desire on display here to get the boys extra credit for effort,” [was lenient in his review of “these otherwise precocious German teenagers' ” album AllMusic's Eduardo Rivadavia]

Precious girl called Tini Wuttke replaced Alex Büttner on bass in 2010.

HACKNEYED: Maculate Conception – courtesy of hackneyed

HACKNEYED: Holy Slapstick – courtesy of hackneyed

Alice Cooper: I’ll Bite Your Face Off – new video



Avid golfer and he who inspired us to adorn our necks with a boa constrictor, ALICE COOPER, will be apparently releasing a follow-up to his most memorable solo album 1975's ‘Welcome To My Nightmare’ entitled ‘Welcome 2 My Nightmare’, come September 13th, 2011 via Universal Music Enterprises. The album was recorded with longtime collaborator Bob Ezrin, who produced the original multi-platinum ‘Welcome To My Nightmare’:

“Bob’s still a tyrant in the studio,” [explained Cooper to Rolling Stone] He does it to get the best out of you. He’s also the only person on the planet who knows Alice as well as I do. We’re very conscious of who Alice is and what his attitudes are. It’s fun to write for another character… If you’re a real Alice aficionado it’ll send a chill up your spine because it happens at the right spots.” [Read more here]

“Another nightmare, this one even worse than the last one” features original ALICE COOPER members bassist Denis Dunaway, guitarist Michael Bruce and drummer Neal Smith, Desmond Child and Dick Wagner who co-wrote some of the songs on the album along with film-composer Jeremy Rubolino, and guest appearances by guitarist Tommy Denander, bassist Chuck Garric and pop singer Ke$ha.


21 August, 2011

ICS Vortex: Storm Seeker – new album


Debut album by I.C.S. VORTEX, also known as Simen Hestnæs, also known as the guitarist and singer of LAMENTED SOULS, the bassist and vocalist of BORKNAGAR, vocalist of ARCTURUS and him who used to be the bassist and vocalist of DIMMU BORGIR - and the list of his accomplishments goes on and on - entitled ‘Storm Seeker’ will see its European release tomorrow, August 22nd, 2011, followed by North American release a day later, due to Century Media Records. The album, featuring appearances by Asgeir Mickelson (BORKNAGAR) on drums and Terje “Cyrus” Andersen (SUSPERIA, ex-DIMMU BORGIR) contributing some lead guitars, was recorded at Norwegian Toproom Studio with engineer Børge Finstad, mixed by Børge Finstad, Asgeir Mickelson and I.C.S. Vortex, and mastered by Peter in de Betou at Tailor Maid Studio, Sweden. Below you’ll find the opening track ‘The Blackmobile’ (“This song was written way back when I still felt black metal was dangerous. Now, totally untrue to all that, it’s a tribute to the only beast I ever loved,” commented the man) and its follower ‘Odin's Tree’. Buy the ‘Storm Seeker’ here (Europe) and here (North America).

“Inspiration is usually drawn from the things that are close to me,” [commented the musician]  “I always write in code, it’s often doom related, but never ever whiny. The power of the elements, obscure beauty, religion, death and junk are a few favorites. Knowing I am drawn to the power of the dark side, I decided to include lighter topics into the mix this time to separate ‘Storm Seeker’ from ‘Sideshow Symphonies’ [an album by ARCTURUS]: ‘The Blackmobile’ about Mopar [short for Motor Parts] and ‘Aces’ about gambling are the result. Love songs, really.”

Love seems to be the prevalent theme within the following press release as well:

“The dark waters of ICS VORTEX take you from the abyss to the raging waves and maroons you smiling somewhere in space. ‘Storm Seeker’ is no concept album, but the songs are linked by an “All in!” attitude, mixed with love and respect for the storms in man. The opening track ‘The Blackmobile’ combines the drive of raw black metal riffing with the total absence of grim vocals. When the vocal harmonies hit, you will nevertheless praise the beast… Not the evil-medieval one, but the horned ram on the panzer of a dodge! The ICS VORTEX wave pioneers on, song by song, adding references and styles as the horizon expands. From Shakespearian death to gambling and from cravings to downfall, ‘Storm Seeker’ is a gallows-humored epic tribute to the shabby demons of mankind. Commanding tracks like ‘Skoal!’, ‘Dogsmacked’, ‘Oil In Water’ or ‘Odin's Tree’ are a stylistic brew of tasty pagan ingredients in a dirty metal pot.”

ICS VORTEX features: Simen “ICS Vortex” Hestnæs – vocals, Asgeir Mickelson – drums, Terje “Cyrus” Andersen – guitars, Jens F. Ryland – guitars and Steinar “Azarak” Gundersen - bass

ICS VORTEX: The Blackmobile – courtesy of Century Media Records


Nightbringer: Hierophany Of The Open Grave – new album

SUA 021 CDpromo.indd

Season Of Mist Records commend us to discover “the new American darkness” as its agents, NIGHTBRINGER, present it to us; ‘Hierophany Of The Open Grave’, “contemplations on the mysteries of death as understood in the tradition of the art magical”, has descended upon Europe in its dark glory on August 16th, 2011, and will consume Americans come September 13th, 2011. These “unholy sounds that draw from the blackest sources ranging from the majestic elegance of early EMPEROR to the fierce aggression of MARDUK” were recoded at Flatline Audio Studios.

“Frost glazed hymns burning with bitter buzzing melodies, over which deviously arranged multilayered vocals are spewing throat-grinding blasphemies, mark the band as traditionalists holding up the orthodox canon of second generation Black Metal,” [the press release dares you to buy the album here (Season Of Mist) and invites you to download yourselves an ode to “Trice-great Lucifer” free of charge (well… heh) here or here]

As the legend would have it, Nox Corvus (guitars, percussions, bass and vocals) and Naas Alcameth (guitar, bass, lyrics and vocals) formed NIGHTBRINGER in 1999 in Colorado, USA. A two-track self-released demo emerged from that unholy alliance before Ophis (guitars and lyrics) joined “the circle” in 2001. It took another two years of deep introspection before the trio entered Hellion Studios and recorded two additional lurid tracks. NIGHTBRINGER released a split EP with TEMPLE OF NOT, entitled ‘Rex Ex Ordine Throni’ in 2005 through Full Moon Productions, followed by a split 10” record with SERPENTINAM (Forever Plagued Records) in 2006. The band immersed into the realm of dream and death for another three years before releasing their debut album, entitled ‘Death And The Black Work’ via Full Moon Productions. Feeling quite inspired now, another full-length quickly followed; NIGHTBRINGER's almost 70-minutes long ‘Apocalypse Sun’ was released in 2009 via The Ajna Offensive in North and South America and Avantgarde Music in Europe:

‘Apocalypse Sun’ is an excellent album with fine musicianship, songwriting, and production. The slightly skewed, non-traditional approach to rhythm and melody combined with the musicianship and production results in a serious, atmospheric approach to the genre,” [observed Dave Schalek for About.com]

NIGHTBRINGER features: Naas Alcameth - vocals, lyrics, guitar and bass, Ophis - guitar, bass and lyrics, Nox Corvus - vocals, guitar, bass and percussion, VJS - guitar, drums and backing vocals and Ar-Ra'd al-Iblis – lyrics and vocals

NIGHTBRINGER: Lucifer Trismegistus – courtesy of Season of Mist

19 August, 2011

Ghost Brigade: Until Fear No Longer Defines Us – new album


Visit unexplored territories and allow yourselves to be taken “into a world of deep longing and sweet sorrow” with GHOST BRIGADE by streaming their new album ‘Until The Fear No Longer Defines Us’ at this location (Inferno Magazine). Finns' latest blend of post-rock, metalcore, progressive rock, death & doom metal, recorded at Helsinki's Seawolf Studios with producer Antti Malinen, is being released today, August 19th, 2011 in Europe, and awaits its U.S. release come August 23rd, 2011, due to Season Of Mist Records. Buy the album here (Season Of Mist) and download yourselves a free MP3 (‘Clawmaster’) here or here.

GHOST BRIGADE was formed in 2005 in Jyväskylä, Finland. French label Season Of Mist signed the band (which was “determined to go beyond musical limitations, be it pop or metal or anything in between”) on the strength of just one 4-track demo, released in 2006:

“We try not to over-analyze things,” [explains the band] “When we compose a song, we just kind of go with the flow and see what comes out of it. We know in our hearts if it’s a GHOST BRIGADE song or not. It really is as simple as that. If we get goose bumps from it, then it’s good. And even if we have always tried to avoid locking ourselves in a genre and are incessantly searching for new ways to express ourselves, at the same time, when we make music together it always seems to come out as something dark, oppressive, melodic, dynamic and heavy. Those are adjectives we couldn’t escape even if we wanted to. So there’s definitely a common thread in there that ties all of our songs.”

The band journeyed to the tiny island just outside Helsinki where the appropriately named Seawolf Studio is located for the first time in 2007, to record their debut full-length ‘Guided By Fire’:

“Even though Ikonen's [Manne] extreme vocals add a lot of heaviness and intensity to this album, ‘Guided Bt Fire’ consistently thrives on melodies - dark, gloomy, brooding melodies. Melody is not an afterthought on [this album]; it is a vital, essential part of what GHOST BRIGADE do on their very listenable and respectable debut,” [commented Alex Henderson, AllMusic Guide]

Keyboard player Aleksi Munter (SWALLOW THE SUN, INSOMNIUM) was added to the band's line-up on the heavier and gloomier release that followed, 2009's ‘Isolation Songs’: “Delve down deep into these ‘Isolation Songs’, rejoice and weep,” recommended the press release; and they delved and many rejoiced and some wept, and Metal Hammer Germany awarded the album with “Album Of The Month” title.

Follow-up: GHOST BRIGADE and Season Of Mist Records have (rightly) chosen French artist and musician Fursy Teyssier (LES DISCRETS) for the creation of the ‘Clawmaster’ video released in September 2011. Most respected fellow-blogger's, Angry Metal Guy (who is currently undergoing blogger-identity crises), most trusted contributor, Steel Druhm, reviewed the album most favorably and finished the review off with an advice for his, I suppose, fellow-Scandinavians:

“While GHOST BRIGADE was always solid, they stepped up their game considerably here. If you long for an album with a “dead puppy under the Christmas tree” vibe,  this is it. This thing is glum until the cows come home (to die) but is still mighty catchy, highly enjoyable and quite rockin. Well done guys, now try to smile a little. Yes, I know you’re from Finland, but try!”

GHOST BRIGADE features: Manne Ikonen – vocals, Tommi Kiviniemi – guitar, Wille Naukkarinen – guitar, Veli-Matti Suihkonen – drums and Janne Julin - bass

GHOST BRIGADE: Clawmaster – courtesy of Season of Mist


18 August, 2011

Minushuman: Bloodthrone – new album


MINUSHUMAN, French group which “straddles the boundaries between death metal, thrash and rock and takes us through their unique, oppressive, chaotic universe, highlighting the dire state of the world for anyone willing to listen”, is releasing their second album entitled ‘Bloodthrone’ tomorrow, August 19th, 2011 (August 23rd, 2011 in the USA) via Season Of Mist Records. ‘Bloodthrone’, “a masterpiece that combines relentless drive, sparkling melodies and crunchy aggression into a collection of brilliant songs that reveal high commercial potential without selling out for even a second” (as their label lovingly puts it) can be purchased here (Season Of Mist). Before you buy the album though, download yourselves a free new song, ‘The Architect’, right here or here, and watch MINUSHUMAN new video directed by Batiste Combret and Alain Chasseuil below.

MINUSHUMAN was founded in 2007 by songwriter and lead guitarist Thomas Billerey, vocalist Cédric Moïse, drummer Gaspard Jeanty Ruard, bassist Mickaël Desmarie and rhythm guitarist Lionel Bouyroux in Bergerac:

“…a small town in southern France anchored to the land and the ocean it lies between, where they constructed this peculiar universe of melancholy, rage and positive, inspirational thinking. They’ve spent some years crisscrossing the country under the moniker “Dark Poetry”, sharing the stage with other outstanding groups (GOJIRA, LOUDBLAST, SAMAEL, CREMATORY, ADAGIO…) and building a solid fan base in the underground metal scene through memorable live shows.” [reads the official bio]

The band's debut album, ‘Watch the World Die’ was released in 2008:

“ ‘Watch the World Die’ was a real desperate shout, some kind of picture of the world and its sordid state,” [explained Thomas Billerey in an interview conducted by Metal Underground] “From the day we released it to present day, so many things have made the earth suffer more and more to reach a really alarming state. And I think the way you express something in music is totally correlated to who you are at some point. This time, as a composer, I was really in the will to add some kind of “hey guys, we were shouting, now let’s go fighting” stuff in the music. I guess the new album is, from this point of view, catchier, more positive maybe. We could say it’s a new chapter, but it sucks to say this so I won’t.” [Read the interview here.]

Minushuman – courtesy of MINUSHUMAN


12 August, 2011

Forbidden: Omega Wave – new video


Reactivated Bay Area thrashers FORBIDDEN have a new video for ‘Omega Wave’, the title track off their latest album of the same name, released back in October 2010 through Nuclear Blast Records. ‘Omega Wave’, the video, was created by SchneppZone video director Jon Schnepp of “Metalocalypse” fame.

“FORBIDDEN never got to make a proper video in the past,” commented guitarist, and founding member Craig Locicero. “Sure, we’d made a couple below average ones over our first 10 years of our history, but never anything we were very proud of. When we finally recorded ‘Omega Wave’ after a 14 year break between records, we knew it had to be something special. Jon came up with a wicked story board immediately after he listened to ‘Omega Wave.’ We wanted the lyrics to be represented like a thrash-hammer to the head. Mind control, paranoia, fear, and impending doom surrounding humanity leading into 2012 and all of its prophecy and innuendo needed to be bluntly represented. Those things are very much in this video - along with some of Jon's trademark dark humor put in for good measure.”

FORBIDDEN's fifth album debuted at number 27 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart, at number 83 on the Billboard Top Hard Music Albums chart, and  at number 92 on the Billboard Top Independent Albums chart the week following its release. Observed Eduardo Rivadavia for AllMusic Guide:

“… ‘Forsaken At The Gates’, ‘Hopenosis’, and the raging title track, all of which run a little long in the tooth, but feature stunning guitar work by founding member Craig Locicero and former NEVERMORE guitarist Steve Smyth alike. Notably, singer Russ Anderson's remarkable Halford-esque range also remains intact despite the years of disuse, allowing him to alternate clean notes and forceful screams throughout the likes of ‘Adapt Or Die’, ‘Immortal Wounds’, and ‘Inhuman Race’ (one of several more deliberate, classic metal-flavored cuts found here, along with ‘Swine’ and ‘Dragging My Casket’)”

FORBIDDEN features: Russ Anderson – vocals, Craig Locicero – guitar, Steve Smyth – guitar, Matt Camacho - bass and Mark Hernandez - drums

FORBIDDEN: Dragging My Casket – courtesy of Nuclear Blast Records


Vader: Welcome To The Morbid Reich – new album


Have Polish death metallers VADER postponed their gig in Israel or just plain canceled it, have they done so because of poor ticket sales or due to some other reason… we may never know, heh. We, local fans of extreme music so used to concert cancelations that we wait until the week (or two) before the event takes place before spending our cash on tickets, like VADER anyway. ‘Welcome To The Morbid Reich’, VADER's ninth full-length, comes out in Europe today, August 12th, 2011 (get yourselves the CD here – Nuclear Blast Europe) and is due out in North America on September 13th, 2011 (pre-order here – Nuclear Blast USA). The album was recorded at Hertz Studio in Bialystok, Poland, with Wojtek Wiesławski. The cover artwork was created by Zbigniew Bielak. Below you’ll find two new VADER tracks, ‘Come And See My Sacrifice’ (also available for free download here or via the band's Facebook) and ‘Decapitated Saints’.

VADER was formed in 1983 by guitarists Piotr “Peter” Wiwczare and Zbyszek “Vika” Wroblewski in Olsztyn, Poland. VADER's third demo, 1990s ‘Morbid Reich’, turned out to be quite a success in the metal underground, selling around 4000 copies and getting the band signed by a major label Earache Records, which released VADER's debut full-length 1992s ‘Ultimate Incarnation’. Leaving Earache, the band – its line-up constantly changing – started the year 1994 with the release of EP ‘Sothis’ (Baron Records in Poland / Repulse Records worldwide), which was followed by extensive touring until settling down in 1995 with Impact Records for the release of second album ‘De Profoundis’. Between 1996 and 1998 VADER released three albums, covers album ‘Future Of The Past’, an EP entitled ‘Kingdom’ and full-length ‘Black To The Blind’. The band kept busy by touring with MORBID ANGEL, performing in Japan for the first time and appearing on numerous European festivals. Forth album, ‘Lytany’, followed by an EP, ‘Reign Forever World’, was released by Metal Blade Records in 2000 and 2001, respectively. 2002 was the year in which VADER's next studio offering, ‘Revelations’, came out through Metal Blade, the last to feature the group's long-time drummer “Doc” (Krzysztof Raczkowski), who passed away in 2005. 2004s ‘The Beast’ showcased VESANIA's Dariusz “Daray” Brzozowski on drum kit and guitarist Marcin “Novy” Nowak. In 2005, VADER signed with Swedish label Regain Records through which they released 2006s ‘Impressions In Blood’ and ‘XXV’ “a celebration of the band's 25th anniversary” as they flexibly put it. Eight studio album, Tue Madsden-produced ‘Necropolis’, was released on Nuclear Blast Records in 2009:

“VADER, like MEGADETH,” [wrote AllMusic's Phil Freeman] “is more of a brand name than a band at this point; the only remaining original member is vocalist/guitarist Piotr Wiwczarek. Still, as one of the first death metal bands from Poland, they’re hugely important to the evolution of the music, and this latest album is far from a disappointment… Their music retains its ultra-heavy, thrash-derived feel. The 11 songs on this album are built around crushing riffs of the kind heard throughout the band's catalog, shifting between blastbeats and thunderous downtuned savagery, with plenty of room for high-speed, fretboard-scorching solos… VADER is one of the most singularly pulverizing death metal bands around, and ‘Necropolis’ is a terrific addition to their lengthy catalog.”

VADER features: Peter – guitar & vocals and session members: Pajak – guitar, Hal – bass and Paul - drums

VADER: Come And See My Sacrifice – courtesy of Nuclear Blast Records

VADER: Decapitated Saints – courtesy of Nuclear Blast Records

10 August, 2011

YOB: Atma – new album


Many have much to say about YOB, doom metal band hailing from Eugene, Oregon, and none are partial. Just read H.P. Taskmaster's review of the album here (The Obelisk) or head over to Invisible Oranges for more, or loose yourselves in Lars Gotrich's introduction while listening to the entire YOB's ‘Atma’ at this location (NPR Music).

“Metal is meditation,” [states Gotrich] “Whether you find a living pulse in its massive vibrations or use it to equalize rage, this music soothes the savage heart with savage sounds. To the outsider, this may seem strange, but this is true from SLAYER's ‘Angel Of Death’ to ISIS' ‘In Fiction’. Mike Scheidt [YOB's founder, guitarist and vocalist] seems to understand this.”

This obviously profoundly insightful album is to be released through Profound Lore Records on August 16th, 2011. Enrich your lives with this “magnum opus of doom metal mastery that will go down as one of the great American doom metal albums of our age”, featuring a guest appearance by Scott Kelly of NEUROSIS, here (Profound Lore) or by the way of mighty Amazon. If I gathered my facts correctly, the cover for ‘Atma’ was created by DARK CASTLE's Stevie Floyd.

“Transcending (there’s that word again),” [reads the press release] “the foreboding darkness and oppression that was ‘The Great Cessation’ [YOB's 2009 album], ‘Atma’ sees YOB continue their soul searching cycle of reaching that higher state of being through five crushing spiritually levitating tracks of pure doom metal mastery.  The word “atma” is defined as the existence of the core of the soul and that the highest value of knowledge comes from one’s true self.  In turn, ‘Atma’ is the culmination of YOB's career that has reached a current self-reflective peak in their musical journey.” [Amen.]

YOB features: Mike Scheidt – guitar & vocals, Aaron Reiseberg – bass and Travis Foster - drums

09 August, 2011

Full Album Stream: Goreaphobia: Apocalyptic Necromancy – new album


Stream the new album, ‘Apocalyptic Necromancy’, by American occult-obsessed death metal band GOREAPHOBIA over at Revolver Magazine. In accompanying interview the band's founder, bassist and vocalist Chris Gamble explained the album's title thusly:

Apocalyptic Necromancy is an occult process based on my theory, practice, and belief of what I call “The Nine Stages of Korr Necromancy”, which is something that didn’t come from any book, teaching, or articles. It came from my own emotions and mental energy working on an occult operation through abstinence from everyone else’s influence. The title sums up all of the songs and the best, well-rounded title for the concept musically. Aggressive, raw, pure and to the point.”

Well be as it may, if you like what you hear, buy the album here (Dark Descent Records). ‘Apocalyptic Necromancy’ was recorded, mixed and mastered by drummer Jim Roe and features artwork by Linsey Wasiuta.

GOREAPHOBIA originally formed in 1988 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, its line-up constantly changing, with Chris Gamble (with guitarist Alex Bouks being there for the most part) as the only consistent member. The band has never released a full-length record until after reforming in 2007. Quite a few demo cassettes and a couple of 7” EPs the band had released though, gained GOREAPHOBIA quite a cult following in the genre's underground. The band had parted ways in 1993, reunited in 2007 and released their first proper album in 2009; ‘Mortal Repulsion’ came out though Ibex Moon Records.

GOREAPHOBIA features: Chris Gamble – bass & vocals, Alex Bouks – guitar, Jim Roe – drums and VJS - guitar

Indestructible Noise Command: Heaven Sent… Hellbound – new album / Swallowed – new video


23 years in the making, Connecticut/New York thrashers',  INDESTRUCTIBLE NOISE COMMAND, debut full-length, ‘Heaven Sent… Hellbound’ is finally out, August 9th, 2011 via Candlelight Records USA and Rising Records (Europe). Below the text you’ll find new video for ‘Swallowed’, off I.N.C. Fredrik Nordstrom-produced album, and click here (Revolver Magazine) for the track ‘Fist Of Fascista’. Album's artwork was created by Sam Shearon and the video for ‘God Loves Violence’ was filmed by New York City-based filmmaker Justin Johnson.

“INDESTRUCTIBLE NOISE COMMAND has not forgotten their thrash upbringing,” [reviews the album Metal Underground] “ ‘God Loves Violence’ is vicious in its tempered assault on the ultra-religious, and ‘Bleed The Line’ doesn’t subside on the unhinged tempo generated. ‘Full Metal Jacket’ drops the lame sound byte used on the version released on last year's ‘Bleed The Line’ EP, but keeps the latter-day EXODUS vibe. The guitars are nothing to scoff at, especially from a lead's perspective; the shredding will melt chromium.”

I.N.C. was formed in 1985 by Erik Barath (vocals & bass) and Dennis Gergely (guitar) in Connecticut, USA. The pair enlisted guitarist Anthony Fabrizi and then-drummer Gary Duguay and started playing out anywhere they could be heard. They played with the likes of EXODUS, MEGADETH and KING DIAMOND and less than a year after that (an astonishing six months out of high school) they were signed to Giant Records. The band had released their first full-length, ‘Razorback’, in 1987 and second full-length, ‘The Visitor’, in 1988. (Back then, bands like PANTERA opened for I.N.C.) After almost signing a deal with Epic Records, the band decided it was time for a break. A really long one. It lasted about 20 years:

“What’s a self-respecting, thrash metal band supposed to do once they’re this-close to hitting it big time? Slice and dice any industry son-of-a-bitch who gets within spitting range! But, friends, the boys of I.N.C. (while all man) aren’t nearly that hateful. They decided, instead, to step back and assess the weary, record contract landscape for what it was. Build a life outside the metal arena until they were able to finance their own comeback and then launch into a full-frontal attack and resurrect at just the right time,” [excerpt from I.N.C.'s official bio]



08 August, 2011

End Of Level Boss: Thee Absurd – new video / Eklectric – new album


“Retro-futuristic” heavy metallers END OF LEVEL BOSS have new video out and it’s called ‘Thee Absurd’. The tune comes off the group's third release, ‘Eklectric’, released in May/July 2011 on Exile On Mainstream Records. END OF LEVEL BOSS founder, guitarist and vocalist commented the “making of” this piece of video art: 

“The video was actually made by taping our cell phones to the wall of our jam room while we played.”

‘Eklectric’, featuring a completely new rhythm section, bassist Peter Theobalds, and drummer Neil Grant, was recorded live over “four short winter days” in Earth Terminal Studios in England. According to a press release, “uncovering a mutual need to blend the familiar with the bizarre, ‘Eklecrtic’ is the first EOLB album to be written collectively, through intensive jam sessions, by the entire band.” If you like what you hear buy the album here (EOLB official store) or here (Exile On Mainstream):

As The Earth Forgets Us – courtesy of END OF LEVEL BOSS

Mouth Of Hats – courtesy of END OF LEVEL BOSS

Described by an enthusiastic listener as the missing link between VOIVOD's sense for outstanding use of metal structures and KYUSS' sense for warm and blastin’ riffs, END OF LEVEL BOSS was formed by former HANGNAIL guitarist and vocalist Heck Armstrong with intent to explore the need for off-kilter riffs and mis-shapen timing. Consequently, an EP entitled ‘Experiment’ was recorded in 2003 in a deserted warehouse in Berlin. In 2004, EOLB locked themselves into “one of the last remaining full analogue studios in London” and recorded their debut album ‘Prologue’, released in 2005 through Exile On Mainstream Records:

Prologue – courtesy of END OF LEVEL BOSS

In early 2006 EOLB underwent some lineup changes, replacing drummer Gareth Millsted with Ben Hallett, and guitarist James Ogawa with “doom riff-meister extraordinaire” Roland Scriver (of SLOTH fame). Angrier and dirtier second offering, ‘Inside The Difference Engine’, came out in 2007:

“There’s a more clipped kick to most of the arrangements that lends a nervous energy instead of just flat-out bludgeoning,” [commented Ned Raggett, AllMusic Guide] “small touches often prove to be killer - the gentle, simple melody ringing through the massive trudging on ‘Reticence’, the wind-up-the-tension extended start and conclusion to ‘Words Have No Meaning’.”

Inside the Difference Engine – courtesy of END OF LEVEL BOSS

END OF LEVEL BOSS features: Heck Armstrong - guitar & vocals, Roland Scriver - lead guitars, Neil Grant – drums and Peter Theobalds - bass