30 November, 2011

Noctem: The Arrival Of The False Gods – new video



‘The Arrival Of The False Gods’ video, from NOCTEM's album ‘Oblivion, was directed by Henry Menacho Sangama for Kronik Productions. Released in Europe in June 2011 through Rising Records and in North America in October 2011 on Metal Blade, NOCTEM's second full-length is the follow up to the Spanish extreme metal warriors' 2009 release  ‘Divinity’ (Noisehead Records in Europe and Relapse Records in the U.S.). ‘Oblivion’ was produced by Daniel Cardoso and recorded in the Ultrasound Studios 2 in Setubal, Portugal. Cover artwork was created by Brazilian designer Marcelo Vasco. Buy this furious album via the band's website.

NOCTEM was formed in 2001 in Valencia, Spain (or as the band puts it: “cradled by the ideals of violence exaltation, misanthropy and antithesis to the totality of the absurd religions created this most excellent machine of war, which advances by leaps and bounds among the ranks of a putrid and poor social values infested civilization”). After a couple of demos and self-released live record, NOCTEM released their debut album, ‘Divinity’, in 2009, featuring orchestral arrangements by Christos Antoniou (SEPTICFLESH and CHAOS STAR) and guest appearance by Leal (ex-FOREVER SLAVE). Watch the Miguel Angel Font Bisier-directed video ‘Divinity’, off the aforementioned release, below.

NOCTEM features: Beleth – vocals, Exo - lead guitar, Helion- guitar, Ul – bass and Darko – drums

NOCTEM 2011 – courtesy of NOCTEM Official



Rose Funeral: Beyond The Entombed – new video



ROSE FUNERAL chose to make a video for the track ‘Beyond The Entombed’ and director Clay Cook obliged: “The song has a lot of emotion. From the symphonic sounds and the fast-paced drive, I believe the song stands out among most on ‘Gates Of Punishment’,” explained vocalist and guitarist Ryan Gardner to Noisecreep, where this video was first shown. We shouldn’t be surprised that the concept behind the video is all about forced religion and the corruption it brings – that’s something we’ve got quite used to by now. ROSE FUNERAL though are quite proud of the clip's dark and sinister imagery and blasphemous scenes.

‘Beyond The Entombed’ comes from ROSE FUNERAL's back in September 2011-released album ‘Gates Of Punishment’. This Metal Blade release features guest vocal appearances from Cincinnati opera singer Kate Alexander and Steve Tucker (ex-MORBID ANGEL). If unacquainted with ROSE FUNERAL, acquaint yourselves with their dark tunes here and here (Stereokiller; the track ‘Gates Of Punishment’) and then buy ROSE FUNERAL stuff here (Metal Blade).

Cincinnati, Ohio death metal trio ROSE FUNERAL self-recorded and self-released their first demo, ‘Buried Beneath The Blood’, in 2006. ‘Crucify.Kill.Rot’ EP, which quickly followed that same year, caught the attention of Siege Of Amida Records, which re-released it in 2007. ROSE FUNERAL's Metal Blade debut, ‘The Resting Sonata’, was issued in 2009:

ROSE FUNERAL: God Demise – courtesy of Metal Blade Records

“The delightful sounds of agonizing torture - a fitting description of ROSE FUNERAL's 2009 release, ‘The Resting Sonata’. You can run but you can’t hide from this hailstorm of part Cookie Monster/part Wicked Witch vocals and mathematically improbable riffs and blast beats. As with many bands that fit under the “extreme metal” umbrella, there’s not an awful lot of variety here, but by this point, it’s almost become a prerequisite with this metallic style/approach. Prepare to be dominated!” [was definite in his review Greg Prato, AllMusic Guide]

ROSE FUNERAL features: Ryan Gardner – vocals and guitar, Kevin Snook – lead guitar and Julian Kersey – bass

ROSE FUNERAL: Grotesque Indulgence – courtesy of lambgoat


28 November, 2011

Full Album Stream: Kill The Drive: Lady Karma – new album


Israeli punk rockers KILL THE DRIVE are streaming their new album, ‘Lady Karma’, right here and have just released new video, ‘Monsters In My Bed’, available below.

KILL THE DRIVE formed in 2005, released a 7-song EP entitled ‘Short Notice’ in 2006, which was quickly followed by debut self-produced full-length, ‘Road Kill’. The group toured the U.S. in 2007. KILL THE DRIVE's second album, ‘A Postcard From Hell’, was produced by USELESS ID's vocalist and bassist Yotam Ben Horin. In 2009, Japanese record label Radtone Music released KTD sophomore effort in Japan. That same year the group toured England.

KILL THE DRIVE features: Eyal Reiner – vocals and guitar, Or Yaakov - lead Guitar and backing vocals, Jonathan Shkedi – bass and backing vocals and Gideon Berger - drums

  Apocalypse 101 – courtesy of KILL THE DRIVE


27 November, 2011

Seelenmord: And We Will Find Only Solitude - Part I – free EP


Argentinean black metal duo, SEELENMORD, has uploaded the first of several EPs the pair intends to share freely (free of charge) with any and all who enjoy the genre as much as they do. Self-financed and self-produced, do appreciate the effort by downloading ‘And We Will Find Only Solitude – Part I’ here (MegaUpload) or  here (MediaFire). Influenced by bands such as ULVER, GORGOTH, NARGAROTH, TAAKE, ANAAL NATHRAKH, SILENCER and D.W.E.F., SEELENMORD is Enrique's and Daniel's expression of “need to create and record a raw, melodic and direct black metal”. Listen to three out of five tracks off of the just over 28-minutes-long EP below.




Souldrainer: Heaven's Gate – new album


SOULDRAINER's second full-length, ‘Heaven's Gate’, has been released on November 25th, 2011 via ViciSolum Productions. Recorded at Empire Studio in Frösön, Sweden in 2010, the album was produced, mixed and mastered by the band's founder vocalist and guitarist Marcus Edvardsson - with some assistance from Ronnie Björnström. ‘Heaven's Gate’s artwork was created by Mattias Norén. You’ll find two songs off the new release, ‘The Quest’ and ‘Heaven's Gate’, below and if you like what you hear, buy your copy through here (ViciSolum Productions).

“Never imitating, but building upon the bricks laid by bands like HYPOCRISY, PAIN, AMON AMARTH, RAMMSTEIN and SAMAEL, SOULDRAINER is the representation of the next breed of melodic death metal. With thick layered rhythm guitars, atmospheric angel choirs, strings ensembles and ripping vocals, SOULDRAINER creates a distinguished harmonic aggression that hits you harder than a brick-wall-in-your-face,” [explains the press release]

Started in 1999 in Östersund, Sweden, by guitarist Marcus Edvardsson, vocalist Johan Klitkou and drummer Nils Fjellström as a studio project, SOULDRAINER recorded their first demo entitled ‘Everything Ends’ in 2003. With second guitarist Daniel Dlimi and bassist Joakim Wassberg, the group released second demo, ‘First Row In Hell’, in 2005, with it catching the attention of Dutch label Mascot Records. Before issuing their debut self-produced full-length, 2007's ‘Reborn’, SOULDRAINER replaced Fjellström with new drummer, Arttu Malkki. Klitkou would leave shortly after the album's release, thus leaving Marcus Edvardsson the only remaining founding member. ‘Garage Demo 2008’ followed, with Edvardsson also assuming vocal duties besides his guitar playing. Before entering the Empire studio to record their second album, ‘Heaven's Gate’, SOULDRAINER lost guitarist Dlimi and has remained a trio ever since.

SOULDRAINER features: Marcus Edvardsson – vocals and guitar, Joakim Wassberg – bass and Arttu Malkki - drums

  SOULDRAINER: The Quest – courtesy of vicisolum


25 November, 2011

The Man-Eating Tree: Harvest – new album / Armed – new video


Inferno Magazine is hosting the full stream of THE MAN-EATING TREE sophomore album ‘Harvest’ – click here and take a listen. ‘Harvest’, already out in Finland, will be released on Century Media Records on the following dates: Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Norway on November 25th, 2011, the rest of Europe between November 28th – November 30th, 2011 and in Australia and New Zealand on December 2nd, 2011. The album will be available digitally only in North America from November 29th, 2011 on.

“Despite recording their sophomore album during a time when Finland was suffering from the worst heat wave in many years, ‘Harvest’ turned out gloomy as hell,” [reassures the press release]  “It will require you daring to dip your toes into its rocking maelstrom, but it’ll take until about halfway into the album to really hit you. By the time you reach its final track it will have sucked you in. Still, there is always light, even where darkness dwells. Likewise, even though it might not be entirely obvious, the season of autumn also marks the beginning of something new - and there is always lots of hope in starting something new,” [keeps on revealing life's unfathomable secrets the same source:] “You won’t find it too surprising that the title ‘Harvest’ is a reference to the Finnish autumn. Vesa Ranta (drums, formerly SENTENCED) explains: To me autumn is a very creative season and describes the album very well. With the recording of this album we went to the fullest - in a way we are ‘harvesting life’ with it.””

“Of course our Finnish roots are embedded in our music. We Finns are a relatively melancholic nation. This is our and the overall Finnish state of mind that is displayed on the album. The album is very ambient, but it’s the typical Finnish ambience with those dark shades. Still, there is light somewhere far on the horizon,” [clarifies things further Vesa Ranta]

THE MAN-EATING TREE was founded in 2009 by drummer, professional photographer and graphic designer Vesa Ranta (formerly SENTENCED) in order “to overcome his post-SENTENCED battle fatigue and lack of musical motivation”. Incorporating Miika Tenkula, Aaron Rantonen, Janne Markus, Mikko Uusimaa, Tuomas Tuominen and Heidi Määttä in his vision, the first sample of TMET gothic, atmospheric sound was recorded later that year. The group's debut album, ‘Vine’, was released in 2010 on Cobra Records.

THE MAN-EATING TREE features: Tuomas Tuominen – vocals, Janne Markus – guitar, Antti Karhu – guitar, Heidi Määttä – keyboards, Mikko Uusimaa – bass and Vesa Ranta – drums


23 November, 2011

Andromeda: Manifest Tyranny – new album


‘Manifest Tyranny’, fifth album by Swedish progressive metal band  ANDROMEDA, has been released in North America on November 21st, 2011 through Ulterium Records and will become available in Europe on November 25th, 2011 via Inner Wound Recordings. Get your own copy of ANDROMEDA's music via iTunes, Amazon, or through your usual music retailer, or just order the album here. But first open your eyes and your ears (“and you too will transcend into the multifaceted galaxy of ANDROMEDA!”) and check out two tracks off the new album, ‘Preemptive Strike’ and ‘Lies ‘R’ Us’, available below. The video for ‘Preemptive Strike’ was directed and produced by Patrik Ekeblom and Axel Persson (Holy Smoke Production).

ANDROMEDA was formed in 1999 in Malmö, Sweden, by guitarist Johan Reinholdz. Accompanied by keyboardist Martin Hedin, bassist Gert Dunn, and drummer Thomas Lejon, Reinholdz secured a record deal with WAR Music on the strength of a single demo. ANDROMEDA recorded their debut album, 2001's ‘Extension Of A Wish’, with singer Lawrence Mackrory. With permanent singer David Fremberg joining the ranks, the group issued their ambitious second full-length, ‘II = I’, in 2003, the year Fabian Gustavsson replaced Dunn in the bass guitar department. ANDROMEDA's third album, ‘Chimera’, came out in 2006, followed by ‘The Immunity Zone’ in 2008.

ANDROMEDA features: Johan Reinholdz – guitar, David Fremberg – vocals, Martin Hedin – keyboards, Linus Abrahamson – bass and Thomas Lejon – drums



22 November, 2011

Riot: Immortal Soul – new album


Already out in Europe, the new album by the resolute New Yorkers RIOT, ‘Immortal Soul’, has just hit North American stores today, November 22nd, 2011 via SPV/Steamhammer Records. Metal Insider is hosting the full stream of the recording which features the classic lineup behind RIOT's 1988 masterpiece ‘Thundersteel’: vocalist Tony Moore, guitarist Mark Reale, bassist Don Van Stavern, drummer Bobby Jarzombek and guitarist  Mike Flyntz. Buy the album which got the music elders excited via Amazon:

“This is just incredibly good stuff. Fans of old school rock that remember RIOT will not be disappointed with ‘Immortal Soul’. And for the younger fan, discovering your roots and knowing your music history should include RIOT. RIOT deserves to be bigger and not just a cult status. Their die hard fans have kept the band's spirit alive and I predict that they will get their just reward with ‘Immortal Soul’. It should attract newer fans that thrive on old school greatness, and RIOT possesses that trait,” [was About.com's Kelley Simms opinion – more here]

“No matter how skilled the musicians are, without great songs they can’t get anywhere” [was Angry Metal Guy's Steel Druhm's iron-fisted opinion] “ ‘Immortal Soul’ is an enormous triumph because they managed to write eleven great songs (and a cool instrumental). On the very first listen, five of them stood out enough to require immediate replay and by the third listen, all were having the same effect. This is one of the best pure metal albums to come along in years and it tickles me to no end it’s RIOT that pulled it off.” [More here]

Tenacious New York group RIOT was founded in 1975 by guitarist and songwriter Mark Reale. With vocalist Guy Speranza, guitarist L.A. Kouvaris, bassist Jimmy Iommi, and drummer Peter Bitelli, he recorded RIOT's debut album 1977's ‘Rock City’. Slick and powerful hard rock album 1979's ‘Narita’ featured guitarist Rick Ventura who replaced Kouvaris, with bassist Kip Leming and drummer Sandy Slavin filling in for Iommi and Bitelli on RIOT's third album, 1981's ‘Fire Down Under’. Following the tours in support of AC/DC and MOLLY HATCHET, Speranza left and was replaced by singer Rhett Forrester on the group's following two albums; 1982's ‘Restless Breed’ and 1983's ‘Born In America’, the latter being self-financed by RIOT's producer Steve Loeb. Reale disbanded RIOT the following year, eventually re-forming the band in 1986 with vocalist Tony Moore, bassist Don Van Stavern, and drummer Bobby Jarzombek. This lineup recorded 1988's ‘Thundersteel’, which broke onto Billboard 200 at position number 150:

“The disc takes cues from everything that was metal at the time, combining classic European styles reminiscent of JUDAS PRIEST's heavier moments (a premonition for ‘Painkiller’), thrashing guitars and pounding percussion indicative of the then-burgeoning underground thrash movement (it’s got more riffs than ANTHRAX ever had), and undertones of the hair metal that was riding the charts at the time (especially in appearance) into a cohesive moment of refined ferocity. Perhaps it was this diversity that doomed the record to commercial failure at the time of its release, or even the abundance of dexterous musical histrionics that at times overwhelm ‘Thundersteel’ (it was well-received in Japan and other areas where techno-metal always had a sizable audience). Regardless, ‘Thundersteel’ has everything that makes metal great in all its overstated glory, making the disc an unappreciated classic,” [wrote AllMusic's Brian O'Neill – more here]

RIOT released their seventh full-length, ‘The Privilege Of Power’ in 1990. Following the release, second guitarist Mike Flyntz joined the RIOT ranks, as bassist Don Van Stavern would quit them together with vocalist Tony Moore. Both were replaced by Pete Perez and Mike DiMeo respectively, before ‘Nightbreaker’ was issued in 1993. 1995 saw the final collaboration with the band's long-time affiliate Steve Loeb, ‘The Brethren Of The Long House’. ‘Inishmore’ came out in 1998, followed by ‘Sons Of Society’ a year later. Jarzombek left in late 1999 to join HALFORD, and was replaced by veteran drummer Bobby Rondinelli on RIOT's twelfth album, 2002's ‘Through The Storm’. With Frank Gilchriest behind the drum kit, the group recorded 2006's ‘Army Of One’.

RIOT features: Tony Moore – vocals, Mark Reale – guitar, Mike Flyntz – guitar, Don Van Stavern - bass and Bobby Jarzombek - drums

Arch / Matheos: Midnight Serenade – new video



Directed by David Brodsky, ‘Midnight Serenade’ comes from ARCH / MATHEOS' debut album ‘Sympathetic Resonance’, released on Metal Blade Records in September 2011. Visit here (SoundCloud) for more magic that happens when Jim Matheos (FATES WARNING and OSI) and John Arch (ex-vocalist of FATES WARNING) team up; download yourselves a free tune, ‘Stained Glass Sky’, there and buy this magnum opus here. ‘Sympathetic Resonance’ debuted at number 13 on the Billboard New Artist Chart and at number 36 on the Billboard Hard Music Chart and performed well on some European charts, climbing to position number 27 in Germany, 67 in Austria, and 78 in Switzerland.

“I think John and I work really well together,” [Jim Matheos offered his insight on the writing and recording process of ‘Sympathetic Resonance’] “There’s a lot of mutual respect and trust in what we do. But, we’re also both very critical of ourselves, and each other. This can make for a long and, sometimes, tedious process. But ultimately it’s one I enjoy because I think it brings out the best in both of us.” [Added John Arch:] “When I first heard some of the arrangements Jim had written and recorded, it took quite some time before I could wrap my mind around the odd time signatures and guitar work going on here. There are some long compositions, so putting anxiety and apprehension on the back burner it was time to dissect these numbers into digestible bits. After the lengthy process of lyrics and melodies, listening to the songs now, I can’t imagine them any other way.”

Most hard working Steel Druhm (Angry Metal Guy) reviewed ‘Sympathetic Resonance’ thusly:

“Although there are only six songs here, most are quite long and it feels like a dense, full album. All the songs are very good and overflow with technical ability. Despite the ambitious songwriting, all the songs flow organically and don’t feel like disparate pieces glued together (unlike much of the new OPETH opus). No matter how diverse the songs get, Arch's vocals bind everything together into a cohesive whole and keep things accessible and memorable. Its also admirable that this all star line-up never let things drift into pointless instrumental wank-fest territory. While this is an instrumentally rich album, the tech wizardry is in service of the songs themselves rather than anyone's ego.” [Read the rest here]

ARCH / MATHEOS features: John Arch – vocals, Jim Matheos – guitars, Joey Vera – bass (ARMORED SAINT, ANTHRAX, FATES WARNING, SEVEN WITCHES), Bobby Jarzombek – drums (HALFORD, FATES WARNING, SEBASTIAN BACH, RIOT…) and Frank Aresti - additional lead guitar (FATES WARNING)


18 November, 2011

OZ: Burning Leather – new album


The burning leather glove on the cover artwork is apparently symbolic of reunited OZ's enthusiasm; their first album in 10 years, ‘Burning Leather’, is being released today, November 18th, 2011, on AFM Records. ‘Burning Leather’ contains brand new material and re-recorded classic tracks such as OZ hits ‘Turn The Cross Upside Down’ and ‘Fire In The Brain’. The album was recorded at Park Studio in Stockholm, Sweden, with producer Nicke Andersson (also known as guitarist of the Grammy winning rock band THE HELLACOPTERS and former drummer of ENTOMBED).

“We decided to include new tracks and re-recorded old songs on ‘Burning Leather’, because we wanted to show what OZ is about in 2011. This is our first album since 1991 and there are whole new generations of heavy metal fans who do not even know our old songs. And for our old supporters, it’s probably interesting to hear their favorites in new versions,” [explains drummer Mark Ruffneck] “With the clip [available below] we wanted to make clear: OZ is back! Through a friend, we got in contact with Amir Chamdin, a renowned and award-winning video director, who has worked with acts such as THE CARDIGANS, MANDO DIAO and THE HELLACOPTERS. The very same friend also introduced us to [producer] Nicke  Andersson, who helped us with mix and co-production of ‘Burning Leather’. Amir wanted to make a heavy metal video in the '80s-style, and we simply let him implement his ideas,” [Ruffneck leaves the developments of recent times to reminisce]

“Although the group was originally founded in 1977, in the small Finnish burg of Nakkila, around vocalist the Oz (Eero Hämäläinen), its slow rise from utter obscurity to normal everyday obscurity would go largely undocumented until 1982, when a spotty debut album entitled ‘Heavy Metal Heroes’ (really more hard rock than proper heavy metal) was released by Swedish independent Tyfon Grammofon,” [wasn’t mincing his words AllMusic's Eduardo Rivadavia and the official bio somewhat agrees] “In underground circles OZ enjoy an excellent reputation, but the normal metal fan will not necessarily be familiar with this Scandinavian heavy metal force.”

Existing here to put the record straight, it is time for you to become aware of OZ's 1983's masterstroke, ‘Fire In The Brain’:

“Opener ‘Search Lights’ delivers a proto-thrash pounding right up there with other, better-known, pre-thrash Euro-metal classics like ACCEPT's ‘Fast As A Shark’ or KROKUS' ‘Headhunter’; the stunning ‘Black Candles’ boasts the creepiest yet catchiest occult metal dynamics this side of MERCYFUL FATE; while ‘Gambler’ combines the speed, the riffs, the lead pyrotechnics, and the hooks common to the genre's most balanced and tightly arranged efforts. … Heck, not even the pro-wrestler antics of bare-chested lead singer Ape De Martini could undermine the band this time around, gratefully taking a backseat to his otherwise very decent range and performance. Really, only ‘Fire In The Brain’s rather short, 28-minute running time leaves something to be desired, but that still can’t stop OZ from notching what was most assuredly Finland's first meaningful contribution to heavy metal history, by a country mile. Too bad it didn’t last,” [continued Eduardio Rivadavia – more here]

The subsequent albums, recorded following the band's relocation to Stockholm, Sweden, failed to elicit the same enthusiastic response from the critics (“the band totally sold out to cock rock” remarked E. Rivadavia);  namely 1984's ‘III Warning’, 1985's ‘Turn The Cross Upside Down’, ‘1986's ‘Decibel Storm’ and 9991's ‘Roll The Dice’.

OZ features: Ape De Martini (Tapani Hämäläinen) – lead vocals, Jay C. Blade (Jukka Lewis) – bass and vocals, Mark Ruffneck (Pekka Mark) – drums  and Markku Petander – guitar and live members Michel Santunione - guitar and John Berg - guitar

OZ: Seasons In The Darkness - courtesy of AFM Records

OZ: Turn The Cross Upside Down (2011 Version) – courtesy of AFM Records


Iron Savior: The Landing- new album


Still taking listener back to time when SAXON, GRIM REAPER, SAVATAGE and KING DIAMOND reigned supreme, as AllMusic Guide Alex Henderson puts it, the seventh album by Germany's IRON SAVIOR, ‘The Landing’, is being released today, November 18th, 2011, via AFM Records. This chapter of science-fiction power-metal saga was recorded by the multi-instrumentalist and producer Piet Sielck (guitar and vocals) at his own Powerhouse Studio, together with Joachim “Piesel” Küstner (guitar), Jan S.-Eckert (bass) and Thomas Nack (drums). AFM Records has generously uploaded three songs off of ‘The Landing’ for our listening pleasure, therefore enjoy the music while still available:

“ ‘The Landing’ is full of haunting melodies and power; all in the typical SAVIOR sound. Hymns like ‘Heavy Metal Never Dies’ and ‘Hall Of The Heroes’ posses an almost unreal power of persuasion, with ‘Starlight’ melodic speed to perfection is represented, the beautiful half-ballad ‘Before The Pain’ captivates with atmospheric density and straight forward rockers like ‘R.U. Ready’ or ‘No Guts No Glory’ will make it hard for anybody to sit still. With ‘The Landing’ IRON SAVIOR have probably recorded their most versatile album to date, and it is still 100% IRON SAVIOR,” [states the press release]

IRON SAVIOR: Starlight – courtesy of AFM Records

IRON SAVIOR: March Of Doom – courtesy of AFM Records

IRON SAVIOR: Hall Of The Heroes – courtesy of AFM Records

Formed in Hamburg, Germany in 1996 by multi-faceted singer, guitarist, producer, engineer, and keyboardist Piet Sielck, guitarist Kai Hansen (of HELLOWEEN and GAMMA RAY fame) and drummer Thomen Stauch (BLIND GUARDIAN), IRON SAVIOR has released seven studio albums, two EPs, and two singles to date. Since its inception, the group has had its share of lineup changes, with Piet Sielck, the only remaining founding member, continuing to stir the self-aware space vessel called the “Iron Savior” in its relationship to the mythical lost civilization of Atlantis. IRON SAVIOR released the self-tiled debut album in 1997, followed by ‘Unification’ in 1998, ‘Interlude’ in 1999, and ‘Dark Assault’ in 2001. Since the fourth album, 2002's ‘Condition Red’, Sielck remained the last founding bandmember. 2004's ‘Battering Ram’ was commented upon by AllMusic's Alex Henderson thusly:

“In the power metal revival field, the past isn’t just something you admire – it’s something you carefully emulate, which is exactly what IRON SAVIOR do on ‘Battering Ram’. This 2004 release finds the German metalheads continuing to do what they’ve been doing since 1996; they’re still partying like it’s 1982. Totally oblivious to trends in post-'80s alt metal, IRON SAVIOR stubbornly maintain their devotion to the classic power metal of the '70s and '80s. Everything on this CD sounds like it could have been recorded 20 or 25 years earlier, which is just as well, because SAVIOR's members are undeniably good at what they do.” [Read more here]

After five albums released on German label Noise Records, IRON SAVIOR switched to Dockyard 1 on which the group issued 2007's ‘Megatropolis’, before signing with Germany's AFM Records.

16 November, 2011

Haemoth: In Nomine Odium – new album


Still hating humanity, still abhorring religion and still saluting to the bête noire, France's HAEMOTH took some time off to record new album, ‘In Nomine Odium’. Out since November the 11th, 2011 in Europe, the “seven singeing psalms of uncompromising Satanik supplication” will find their evil way into North American stores as well, come January 10th, 2012 – due to agent provocateur, Debemur Morti Productions. HAEMOTH's third full-length was recorded, mixed  and mastered at E.C Antechamber studio, as Haemoth himself blessed us with its artwork. ‘In Nomine Odium’ is available as an 8-panel digipack CD and, of course noble, gatefold 12” LP.

Haemoth started HAEMOTH in 1999 in Vernouillet, Île-de-France, as a solo project. He released quite a few demos and a couple of splits, before he was joined by his partner-in-creative-crime, Syht, in 2002. The blasphemous pair then recorded their debut full-length, ‘Satanik Terrorism’, released in 2003 on Broken Wings Productions, followed by second album, ‘Vice, Suffering And Destruction’ in 2004, issued by Greek label ISO666. An EP, ‘Kontamination’, was commanded upon by the pair in 2005 (Debemur Morti Productions/Southern Lord Recordins), and a compilation of all previously released demos came after in February 2011, entitled ‘Mortuales Delicti (The Demonic Prophecies)’ and issued via Nihilward Productions.

HAEMOTH features: Haemoth - vocals, guitar and bass and Syht - drums

HAEMOTH: Demonik Omniscience – courtesy of Debemur Morti

14 November, 2011

Barn Burner: Scum Of The Earth – new video



Directed by Angela Boatwright, it is said that the video, ‘Scum Of The Earth’, embodies BARN BURNER entirely, being “full of partying, skateboarding, PBR and live footage!” Elaborated vocalist and guitarist Kevin Keegan:

“The video reflects two days of us getting to do the funniest and most ridiculous shit. Angela managed to create an atmosphere that was insanely professional while making it feel like being on way too much acid. I actually think she spiked our drinks with some mind altering substance because I don’t remember doing any of this…”

‘Scum Of The Earth’ is the opening track from the BARN BURNER's latest release and collaboration with producer & engineer Adrian Popovich, ‘Bangers II: Scum Of The Earth’, out since June 2011 on Metal Blade Records. Since they are known for creating a live atmosphere that render an audience incapable of standing still (“Whether it is giving your best friend a well-deserved swill of beer or lovingly smashing the bottle over his head to the sound of a ruthless riff, BARN BURNER will fulfill the demands of its listeners.”) and known, stylistically, for cultivating the principles of partying and the ever lasting might of the riff, make yourselves a favor and buy the album here (Metal Blade) and download the track ‘Keg Stand And Deliver’ for free here.

“They’ve ironed out the cymbal-hiss, butched up the bass, and cranked up the guitars to achieve a far stronger, more solid hit. The wickedly named ‘The Dark Side Of The Barn’ is instant proof of their development as it takes the pace down, issuing a volley of thudding bottom-end, to steer us blithely into a corner where it then flips and beats us into submission. … It doesn’t take a genius to see they’ve been experimenting with twisting their music into evil shapes, taking them ever further away from their debut’s more happy-go-lucky, rock ‘n’ roll roots and burying themselves deeper into chucking out heavy-lidded power chords that make your head pulsate,” [was pleased with ‘Bangers II: Scum Of The Earth’ John Skibeat, The New Review – more here]

Montreal, Canada's BARN BURNER, featuring Kevin Keegan on guitar and vocals, Cameron Noakes on guitar, Nick Ball on bass and Taylor Freund on drums, haven’t been around for long (“but their blend of metal, heavy blues, and alternative rock is quite compelling” writes AllMusic's Phil Freeman). The group signed to Metal Blade Records in 2009 based solely on live shows and demos. BARN BURNER's debut album, ‘Bangers’ was released in 2010:

“In stoner rock (and the closely related style known as doom metal), SABBATH's influence has been impossible to miss - and so many sludge bands wouldn’t sound the way they do were it not for classic SABBATH albums. BARN BURNER are no exception; every riff on ‘Bangers’ worships at the church of BLACK SABBATH to some degree. But instead of simply emulating Ozzy Osbourne-era and sounding like a '70s nostalgia band, BARN BURNER combine that SABBATH worship with an appreciation of grunge and alternative rock,” [AllMusic's Alex Henderson tried his luck allocating BLACK BURNER's sound – more here]

BARN BURNER: Bangers: Holy Smokes – courtesy of Metal Blade Records


Full Album Stream: Slash: Made In Stoke 24/7/11 – new live album & DVD


Listen to the live chronicle of SLASH's return to Stoke-on-Trent, England, the town where he lived until the age of six, right here, courtesy of Rolling Stone. Featuring a mix of GUNS N' ROSES tracks, SLASH'S SNAKEPIT tunes and material from SLASH's eponymous debut solo album, released in March 2010 through EMI, Universal Music, Roadrunner Records and Sony, and on which he has worked with some of rock's greatest singers including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy Kilmister, Iggy Pop and others, the live recording features ALTER BRIDGE's singer Myles Kennedy, rhythm guitarist Bobby Schneck, bassist Todd Kerns and drummer Brent Fitz. At 160-minutes long and accompanied by DVD, ‘Made in Stoke 27/7/11’ will hit stores on November 15th, 2011, via Eagle Rock Entertainment.


Full Album Stream: Memfis: Vertigo – new album


Self-financed, recorded in 2008 in Bohus Sound Studios with producer and engineer Fredrik Reinedahl and mastered by Dragan Tanaskovic - and following a long legal battle with their former label - we can finally listen to and, of course, buy MEMFIS' second full-length ‘Vertigo’. Available via iTunes, Amazon MP3, Spotify etc, take a listen here (MEMFIS official) – also available via player you’ll find below - where you can also download the album for the generous price of your choosing. The music was written by Mattias Engström (but the tune ‘Versus’ which was co-written by Henrik Hedelund) and the lyrics on ‘Vertigo’ were written by Daniel Götstedt (except ‘The Burden’ which was co-written by Engström and Götstedt). The album also features guest appearance by Linus Jägerskog (BURST) and artwork by Claes Josefsson.

MEMFIS: Vertigo (2011) – courtesy of Memfis

With their influences spanning from '70's prog rock, through the alternative rock of the '90's, to contemporary metal as represented by MASTODON, OPETH, BURST, THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN and KING KRIMSON, MEMFIS formed in 2003 in Kristinehamn, Sweden. The group recorded two well-received demos in 2004 and signed with Dental Records for the release of their debut full-length 2006's ‘The Wind-Up’. The record entered the Swedish Albums Chart at number 20, and was praised by many metal publications such as Kerrang! and Metal Hammer:

MEMFIS: The Wind-Up (2006) – courtesy of Memfis

MEMFIS features: Mattias Engström - guitars and vocals, Daniel Götstedt - guitars and vocals, Henrik Hedelund – bass and Carl-Johan Lindblad - drums

11 November, 2011

Esoteric: Paragon Of Dissonance – new album


“Slowly, slowly but steadily a sound rises from the deep. This sound starts up deceptively upon a lighter note, but rapidly turns into a swelling tide of massively droning guitars. Vocals are crushing in like a tidal wave, breaking with a voice as harsh and resonant as a maelstrom of grinding granite. Streams of sonic magma are constantly intertwining, twisting, melting together, then exploding into colors, forming patterns and dissolving into chaos again. Shapes, visions and scenes tumble into the mind, luring the soul out of the flesh only to take it firmly into an unrelenting musical grip and take the imagination down into a seething miasma of melancholy and pain.”

This fair description of ESOTERIC sixth album (or any other ESOTERIC album for that matter), ‘Paragon Of Dissonance’, comes from the band's official bio. Released via Season Of Mist Records in Europe today, November 11th, 2011, ‘Paragon Of Dissonance’ awaits its North American release come November 15th, 2011. Decide for yourselves if the latest recorded offering by England's doom metallers is their finest and most accessible work, by listening to the impressive track, ‘Cipher’, available below and downloadable free of charge here. Unless suffering from depression, buy ‘Paragon Of Dissonance’ here (Season Of Mist).

Formed in 1992 in Birmingham, England, ESOTERIC recorded an 82-minute long demo tape they named ‘Esoteric Emotions – The Death Of Ignorance’ and invented a new musical formula that consists of psychedelic elements mixed with classical doom & death metal along the way, before signing with Aesthetic Death Records on which the group released a double CD titled ‘Epistemological Despondency’ (1994) and second double CD (with a total running time of 115 minutes) ‘The Pernicious Enigma’ (1997). ESOTERIC's third album, ‘Metamorphogenesis’, follwed in 1999:

“Out of England comes the searing ESOTERIC with their epic, crushing style of despair-ridden atmospheric doom metal. … Listening to ESOTERIC is like experiencing an exorcism of the soul. Each of the three long songs makes for a surreal journey through the listener's endless stream of consciousness, where it unmasks hidden fears and insecurities. … ‘Metamorphogenesis’ could serve as the expressionist soundtrack to the apocalypse and its indescribable aftermath,” [made the painful journey through the album Jason Hundey, AllMusic – more here]

ESOTERIC's first on Season Of Mist Records was their 2004's ‘Subconscious Dissolution Into The Continuum’. Listen to the 5-minutes sample of the nearly 16-minutes long opening track ‘Morphia’ here (Season Of Mist):

“Weighing in at three and a half songs in 50 minutes (track four, ‘Arcane Dissolution’, is really no more than a becalmed space rock coda to the 17-minute epic ‘Grey Day’), these lengthy songs feature complex, suite-like structures and artfully composed passages that still manage to rock with maximum heaviosity,” [commented Stewart Mason, AllMusic – more here]

Guitarist and vocalist Greg Chandler and guitarist Gordon Bicknell were joined by new bassist Mark Bodossian, new drummer Joe Fletcher and keyboardist Olivier Goyet, before entering the Priory Recording Studios to record (mix an master) ESOTERIC's critically acclaimed fifth album, 2008's ‘The Maniacal Vale’.

ESOTERIC features: Greg Chandler – vocals and guitar, Gordon Bicknell – guitar, Kris Clayton – guitar, Mark Bodossian – bass, Olivier Goyet – keyboards and Joe Fletcher - drums

Thy Catafalque: Rengeteg – new album


‘Rengeteg’ is the fifth studio album by avant-garde post-black metal project envisioned by Hungarian multi-instrumentalist Tamás Kátai, THY CATAFALQUE. The album was written and recorded by the musician himself and has been just released in Europe (November 11th, 2011) via Season Of Mist Records, while the North Americans will have to wait until January 10th, 2012 to get their hands on the recording. ‘Rengeteg’ features guest vocalists Attila Bakos (WOODLAND CHOIR, TARANIS) and Ágnes Tóth (THE MOON AND THE NIGHTSPIRIT) and cellist Mihály Simkó-Várnagy. Download yourselves the nine-minute long opening track ‘Fekete mezők’ (“black fields”) – also available below – here and buy the album here (Season Of Mist).

“THY CATAFALQUE is taking another huge step in its ever evolving and shape shifting musical development. What started out as a black metal band project formed by multi-instrumentalist and singer Tamás Kátai, aided by guitarist János Juhász, with the debut album ‘Sublunary Tragedies’ (1999) has meanwhile turned into something very different. Although the dark roots of THY CATAFALQUE are occasionally still shining through its forthcoming fifth full-length ‘Rengeteg’, the by now solo project of Tamás Kátai is an eclectic amalgamation of metal, folklore, rock and even some pop. Branded “avant-garde metal” by its mastermind, the songs and sounds drift and swirl between beautifully fragile crystalline structures into harsh and sombre soundscapes. Despite its scope and range Tamás Kátai's mature songwriting keeps the precarious balance between the exciting and the consistent. As on THY CATAFALQUE's previous release ‘Róka Hasa Radio’ (2009) Ágnes Tóth from the neo-folk outfit THE MOON AND THE NIGHTSPIRIT contributes her haunting female vocals. The Hungarian already gained glowing reviews and a growing number of adherents through ‘Microcosmos’ (2001) and even his self-released ‘Tűnő Idő Tárlat’ (2004), but now THY CATAFALQUE is ready to be acknowledged by a worldwide audience. Get enchanted by the magic of ‘Rengeteg’! [affirms the press release]

THY CATAFALQUE: Fekete Mezok – courtesy of Season Of Mist

10 November, 2011

All Shall Perish: Royalty Into Exile – new video



Directed by Tommy Jones for Scion A/V Metal, we are advised to “take a hi-def trip into mosh pit and turn a stage dive into a gnarly backflip” by checking out the new video from Oakland, California deathcore bruisers ALL SHALL PERISH. The clip was filmed live at the DNA Lounge in San Francisco. ‘Royalty Into Exile’ comes from ALL SHALL PERISH fourth studio album, ‘This Is Where It Ends’, released through Nuclear Blast Records in July 2011. The album can be still streamed in its entirety here at MetalSucks. ‘This Is Where It Ends’ was produced and mixed once again by Zach Ohren at Castle Ultimate Studios. Album's artwork was created by the artist Brent Elliott White. Below the text you’ll find video for the track ‘There Is Nothing Left’, directed by David S. Brodsky. Buy ALL SHALL PERISH stuff here (Nuclear Blast Europe) and here (Nuclear Blast USA).

“Merging the unbridled ferocity of death metal with highly technical metalcore, ALL SHALL PERISH create an interesting balance of recklessness and restraint on their fourth album. The band finds an interesting middle ground between the two styles, allowing just enough raw aggression into the music to keep it from feeling too sterile, but not enough that it feels like things are going completely off the rails,” [observed AllMusic's Gregory Heaney – more here]

“Without a doubt,” [was firm in conviction the press release sent out upon the album's release] “the future of metal has arrived and if you aren’t paying attention you might get left by the wayside with your car on bricks. New guitarist Francesco Artusato scorches the fret board with some fresh jazz/fusion tinged lines, that are both melodic and defy the laws of physics at the same time. New drummer Adam Pierce also leaves jaws dropping and eyes a popping with his mind boggling fills and some warp speed tempos. As always, vocalist Eddie Hermida astounds people with his range, impassioned delivery and never ending diversity. But most importantly, the core riff writing team of bassist Mike Tiner and guitarist Ben Orum craft some of the most powerful and exciting riffs in modern metal today.” :

ALL SHALL PERISH: Divine Illusion – courtesy of Nuclear Blast Records

ALL SHALL PERISH: Procession of Ashes – courtesy of Nuclear Blast Records

ALL SHALL PERISH was formed in 2002 by drummer Matt Kuykendall, guitarist Ben Orum, and bassist Mike Tiner. A demo they recorded in 2003 caught the attention of Japanese label Amputated Vein Records which quickly released ALL SHALL PERISH' first full-length album entitled ‘Hate.Malice.Revenge’ (re-released by Nuclear Blast in 2005).

“If there's anything actually helping ALL SHALL PERISH sound more original and unique, it’s the instances when they chuck the aforementioned bands' [SUFFOCATION and IMMOLATION] severely low-tuned and often-times nearly atonal tech-death onslaught, and launch into startlingly musical passages more reminiscent of new wave of American metal stars like LAMB OF GOD and SHADOWS FALL. The effects of this are akin to the exhaling of stale breath, and help the tracks in question (namely ‘Laid to Rest’, the AMON AMARTH-like ‘Sever The Memory’ and ‘Never Ending War’) greatly reinvigorate the album's occasionally flagging momentum,” [commented Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic – more here. The generous group in question has actually uploaded their whole discography for your listening pleasure – hence available below]

Hate. Malice. Revenge. – courtesy of ALL SHALL PERISH

With Craig Betit performing the vocal duties and Caysen Russo on guitar, the group's relentless touring that ensued paid off when they signed a world wide record deal with Nuclear Blast Records in 2004. Better supported now, and with vocalist Hernan “Eddie” Hermida up front, the band's second offering came in form of ‘The Price Of Existence’, released in 2006:

“Their bouts of labyrinthine riffing are as frequently spiced with blue-collar hardcore gang shouts as they are positively eye-popping flights of lead guitar heroics. By comparison, the lonely cowbell that kicks off ‘Wage Slaves’ seems almost comical, but there’s nothing funny about the lurching, tortured riffs that follow, emphasizing the band's harshest and uncompromising qualities; for these, see also the apocalyptic ‘There Is No Business To Be Done On A Dead Planet’, where most any signs of melody and beauty are remorselessly crushed beneath the violent onslaught. The gently sweet ‘Interlude’ helps to heal a few wounds, but just enough so listeners don't have to pay too big of an emotional cost for ‘The Price Of Existence’,” [was rightly impressed AllMusic's Eduardo Rivadavia – more here]

The Price of Existence – courtesy of ALL SHALL PERISH

Third album, 2008's ‘Awaken The Dreamers’, was the band's first to make it on the Billboard 200 chart, where it entered at position 126 and conquered Billboard's Top Heatseakers chart (highlighting the sales by new and developing musical recording artists), selling just under 5,000 copies in its first week of release.

“ALL SHALL PERISH sound like an American band, which they are; technical metalcore is the primary ingredient, but Nordic death metal is a prominent influence. Although ‘Awaken The Dreamers’ has its melodic moments, melody and nuance are really afterthoughts on this 35-minute CD. Ultimately, [the album] is about brute force; nasty, harsh, dense, and unapologetically vicious; ALL SHALL PERISH go for the jugular more often than not,” [tried to gather his senses upon listening to the ‘Awaken The Dreamers’ AllMusic's Alex Henderson – more here]

Awaken the Dreamers – courtesy of ALL SHALL PERISH

During the promotional cycle that followed, lead guitarist Chris Storey left the band along with founding member, drummer Matt Kuykendall. ALL SHALL PERISH found their replacements in excellent Adam Pierce (drums) and equally excellent Francesco Artusato (lead guitar).

ALL SHALL PERISH features: Francesco Artusato – lead guitar, Hernan “Eddie” Hermida – vocals, Ben Orum – rhythm guitar, Adam Pierce – drums and Mike Tiner – bass



09 November, 2011

Night In Gales: Five Scars – new album


Germany's melodic death metallers NIGHT IN GALES have just released new album, ‘Five Scars’, via Lifeforce Records (November 7th, 2011 in Europe and November 8th, 2011 in North America). The album was mixed and mastered by Swedish musician and producer Dan Swanö who didn’t shy away from praising ‘Five Scars’ (and a bit his own self as well):

“Working with NIGHT IN GALES was a pure bliss for me. The material is very strong due to the fact that it’s been around for quite some time now, and it feels almost like a “Best of” album sometimes, because it’s so solid all the way through. Working on this album actually ignited a spark in my own writing and I came up with one of the best Death/A.O.R. songs I have ever written, during the mix of this album!!! Easily one of the best melodic death metal releases of the year!!!”

“The new and fifth album, ‘Five Scars’, successfully combines all of the band's past trademarks within the typically Swedish melodic death metal sound structure, without rejecting new influences and thus making it both the most melodically accessible as well and also the most aggressive effort in the band's history so far, smoothly rounded off with a killer soundmix, courtesy of scene icon Dan Swanö,” [compliments the press release]

Listen to two new songs off the new release, ‘This Neon Grave’ and ‘Days Of The Mute’ below:

NIGHT IN GALES: This Neon Grave – courtesy of Lifeforce Records

NIGHT IN GALES: Days Of The Mute – courtesy of Lifeforce Records

Formed in 1995 in Vorede, Germany, NIGHT IN GALES released two successful demos, ‘Sylphlike’ and a 7” ‘Razor’, before signing to Nuclear Blast Records on which they released their intense blend of raw power and catchy melody in form of debut album, 1997's ‘Towards The Twilight’:

From Ebony Skies – courtesy of NIGHT IN GALES

Tragedians – courtesy of NIGHT IN GALES

Vocalist Bjoern Goosses, guitarist Jens Basten, guitarist Frank Basten, bassist Tobias Bruchmann and drummer Christian Bass released the successor to their debut in 1998. ‘Thunderbeast’ took NIGHT IN GALES on two European tours with IN FLAMES and DISMEMBER and on some mini-tours with HYPOCRISY, DEATH, CRADLE OF FILTH and others and brought about invitations to perform at Wacken Open Air festival, Summer Breeze Open Air festival etc.

Intruder – courtesy of NIGHT IN GALES

Crystalthorns Call – courtesy of NIGHT IN GALES

Their third album, 2000's ‘Nailwork’, mixed by producer Harris Johns, showcased a rather morbid and more progressive side to the group. Another European tour followed, as well as the visit to Japan together with DEFLESHED.

Blades To Laughter – courtesy of NIGHT IN GALES

Later that year the band would split from Nuclear Blast Records, but was quickly picked up by Massacre Records. In 2001, NIGHT IN GALES recorded the album titled ‘Necrodynamic’, after which the group decided it was time to take a break in order to “musically re-orientate”. For a while the bandmembers busied themselves with other projects (such as IN BLACKEST VELVET, BLOODRED BACTERIA and THE RULES): “But even the meanest backstabbing can’t bring NIGHT IN GALES down to zero, and having played about 200 shows since the band was born, the guys were hungry for more,” (states firmly NIG official bio). Nevertheless the time-out after ‘Necrodynamic’ had lasted for almost a decade. In 2005 though, NIG celebrated their 10th anniversary with the release of free EP entitled ‘Ten Years Of Tragedy’. Metal Mind Productions re-released the band's full catalogue following the happy reunion in 2009.

NIGHT IN GALES features: Bjoern Goosses – vocals, Jens Basten – guitar, Frank Basten – guitar, Tobias Bruchmann – bass and Adriano Ricci – drums