31 January, 2012

Full Album Stream: Liberteer: Better To Die On Your Feet Than Live On Your Knees – new album


LIBERTEER, the creation of Matthew Widener (CRETIN and CITIZEN) is “a manifestation of total anarchy, driven by an incendiary lyrical message designed to burn the system down!” Such a lofty statement deserves a bit more elaboration, wouldn’t you say? 

“My thoughts on politics slowly changed over the past six years. In CITIZEN I had a sense of outrage about our government, but because it still supported the idea of state, it doesn’t make much sense to me now. I’ve come to embrace the ideas of anarchy. The old band name, CITIZEN, represents a system of exclusion and nationalism, things I can’t stand now, so I had to rename the band and change a lot of things. I think the good things about the music are still there - the thematic, major-key riffs, the d-beats and blasts - but the message is now pure,” [commented Widener on the formation of the band and band's debut, out today, January 31st, 2012 through Relapse Records. He added:] The album is one long song, with a handful of the coolest riffs reappearing as leitmotifs, like a pissed off opera made of blasts and d-beats. It’s utterly relentless. Plus, there’s a training montage at the halfway point.”

LIBERTEER's debut ‘Better To Die On Your Feet Than Live On Your Knees’ (“the soundtrack to a populace casting off the chains of state, church, and economic oppression, and fighting tooth and nail to recapture personal freedom”) is being currently streamed in its liberating entirety here, at Lambgoat, and below. Once informed about the state of affairs, get further instructions (CD) here (Relapse Records).

[Decibel's Chris D described LIBERTEER's musical activism thusly:] “Amidst uncompromising blasts of anarcho-crust-punk-pissedasfuck whatever (a NAPALM DEATH / DISCHARGE Molotov cocktail birthed in nastiest defiles of Every City, USA), LIBERTEER throws down like it’s 1776. By using/integrating military march music and (perhaps) roots music of the Appalachians [eastern United States], it’s fair to say that Widener's putting the “anti” in American. The gutter-home charge vs. triumphant stroll in recently occupied/now liberated minds is certainly a strange juxtaposition, but it works.” [Read the rest here]

LIBERTEER: Better To Die On Your Feet Than Live On Your Knees – courtesy of lambgoat

30 January, 2012

Azaghal: Nemesis – new album


Tirelessly spreading black metal terror since 1995, AZAGHAL's latest unholy enterprise and ninth full-length, ‘Nemesis’, comes out tomorrow, January 31st, 2012 on Moribund Records. Over 50 minutes long, ‘Nemesis’ is AZAGHAL's longest creation so far; thrash and atmospheric elements (and even some acoustics) notwithstanding, the album abounds those Nordic-style black metal blastbeats you’ve come to expect.

Co-founded by Narqath (Tomi Kalliola) and V-Khaoz in 1995 in Hyvinkää, Finland, AZAGHAL recorded their first demo in 1997, shortly after vocalist Varjoherra joined up. Two more demos followed in 2008, as well as 7” EP ‘Harmagedon’. AZAGHAL's debut album, 1999's ‘Mustamaa’ was originally released as vinyl-only by Melancholy Productions, but was later re-released as CD by ISO666. Second full-length, ‘Helvetin Yhdeksän Piiriä’, followed quickly that same year, with quite a few splits and compilations filling the gap before the band's next full-length was issued, 2002's ‘Of Beasts And Vultures’. Founding member and drummer V-Khaoz was let go by the band after its release, while lead guitarist JL Nokturnal was enlisted just before the album was recorded. The next string of splits would end with the EP ‘Kyy’, issued in 2003, followed by proper album ‘Perkeleen Luoma’ in 2004 (Aftermath Music). AZAGHAL played their first live show in 2004, appearing at the Under The Black Sun Festival in Germany. In 2005, they recorded ‘Codex Antitheus’, which was followed diligently by ‘Luciferin Valo’ in 2006. Chernobog replaced dummer TM Blastbeast after the 2006's issue, as  Niflungr would fill in for Varjoherra on bass and vocals. In keeping with the band's tradition, 2008's album ‘Omega’ (Moribund Records) was succeeded by full-length ‘Teraphim’ a bare year later.

AZAGHAL features: Narqath – guitar, JL Nokturnal – guitar, Chernobog – drums and Niflungr - bass and vocals



28 January, 2012

Full Album Stream: Elysion Fields: New Beginnings – semi-new album


They are young, polite and they know their Greek mythology. They go by affluential name ELYSION FIELDS (where, according to the aforementioned source, those chosen by the gods (the righteous and the heroic) would remain after death, to live a blessed and happy life), yet they like their pizza, BBQ and enjoy their walks on the beach just like the rest of us. They also have a new album out since November 2011, ‘New Beginnings’, which can be listened to and bought here (Bandcamp) or via player available below. ‘New Beginnings’ comes adorned with artwork by Michael Steinheiser (Wake the Dead Clothing):


ELYSION FIELDS: New Beginnings


Influenced by such acts as AS I LAY DYING, THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA and AUGUST BURNS RED, ELYSION FIELDS formed in 2008 in Chicago, Illinois. They released a self-titled six-track EP in 2009 and have since shared stage with the likes of AUGUST BURNS RED, MYCHILDREN MYBRIDE, DARKEST HOUR, MISERY INDEX and many notable others.

ELYSION FIELDS features: Josh – guitar & vocals, Chris – vocals, Jason – drums, Ryan – bass and Scotty – guitar & vocals

27 January, 2012

Terror: The New Blood – new video



Scott Vogel's TERROR keep releasing videos and I keep track (see below). ‘The New Blood’ comes from the L.A.-based hardcore band's latest release ‘Keepers Of The Faith’, which was produced by Chad Gilbert (NEW FOUND GLORY) at Buzzbomb Studio, engineered by Paul Minor, mixed by Matt Hyde and released in 2010 on Century Media Records. Do click here and become wiser; every time they release new video I get to do just that:

“Dude, I loved your band's cover of straightedge revenge. I would’ve sang along but I was at the back buying beers,” [is just one example of by now legendary “vogelism”, a term used for - often hilarious - on-stage banter by TERROR's founder Scott Vogel]

“There’s something liberating about a band that know the tools they have to work with and use them faithfully. TERROR never tries to play over their head or stretch past their capabilities; it’s unabashed hardcore simplicity from beginning to end,” [commented on ‘Keepers Of The Faith’ About.com's Justin M. Norton – more here]

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.

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






26 January, 2012

Swallow The Sun: Emerald Forest And The Blackbird – new album


Inferno Magazine is currently streaming the new album by Finland's doom, gloom & despair masters, SWALLOW THE SUN, titled  ‘Emerald Forest And The Blackbird’ – click here to get there. SWALLOW THE SUN's fifth full-length, set for February 1st, 2012-release on Spinefarm Records, was recorded by Mikko Karmila at Drumforest Studios in Viitasaari and Sonic Pump 2 in Helsinki and by Hannu Honkonen at Noisework Studios, also in Helsinki. The ‘Emerald Forest And The Blackbird’ was mixed by Hiili Hiilesmaa, and mastered by Mika Jussila at Finnvox Studios. The album's artwork was created by Rami Mursula. Besides the recognizable voice of Anette Olzon, Aleah Stanbridge's (TREES OF ETERNITY) vocal contributions can be found on two tracks. Pre-order the album here (Record Shop X).

“I found myself listening to an old Finnish lullaby called “Sininen Uni” over and over again, and suddenly images started pouring into my mind of a dad reading a tale to his dying child, trying to explain where the child is going that night, the tale of ‘Emerald Forest And The Blackbird’,” [does his best to cheer us up Juha Raivio, the band's main songwriter] “Finally this image lead me into a long journey through this night and got me trapped in the limbo between the dusk and the dawn. The place where you face your demons and angels, meet the souls of the ones you loved and lost. Will we walk the night forever, or let the night forgive us and let us say a last goodbye? These are songs from the limbo, notes of sorrow, hate, love, darkness and light. The tale of ‘Emerald Forest And The Blackbird’.”

Check out SWALLOW THE SUN's latest video, ‘Cathedral Walls’, below. Directed by Tage Rönnqvist, the song features the voice of NIGHTWISH' Anette Olzon.

(The “death & doom luminaries”) SWALLOW THE SUN was formed in 2000 by Juha Raivio, in Jyväskylä, Finland. The band signed with Firebox Records on the strength of their first recording, 2003's ‘Out Of This Gloomy Light’ demo. STS' debut studio album, ‘The Morning Never Came’, came out that same year and was received with much critical praise. Their 2005's ‘Ghost Of Loss’ peaked at position 8 on Finnish Top 40 Albums chart, with 2007's ‘Hope’ (Spinefarm Records) climbing their home-country's charts even higher, reaching position number 3. In 2008, SWALLOW THE SUN felt obliged to tell the tale of “an old hermit, deep woods, loneliness and the plague”, and out came their first EP ‘Plague Of Butterflies’, a 35 minutes long song “of crushing gloom, beauty and despair” divided into three parts. It, of course, conquered the Finnish charts. Jens Bogren-produced fourth album ‘New Moon’ was issued on Spinefarm/Svart Records in 2009:

“Imagine the surprise of your average wannabe teenage vampire who erroneously purchases ‘New Moon’ - not the soundtrack album for the popular “Twilight” movie franchise - but the fourth album by doom/death demi-gods SWALLOW THE SUN. Or vice-versa!” [just fixed my morning Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic] “In either case, there’d be little chance of crossover given the Fins' continuing commitment to the harshest elements of their metallic sound - all leviathan riffs and beastly growls and shrieks - even as they progressively experiment with tighter song arrangements, melodic singing, and gothic accents (see ‘Falling World’) amid the ever-present symphonic backdrops that have served them well since the start of their career. … Not unlike KATATONIA before them, SWALLOW THE SUN can’t help but evolve, and it’s ultimately the very gradual rate at which they do so that makes it almost impossible for even the most stubborn of fans to begrudge them that evolution, with the alternative being stagnation. People who think like that may as well go buy that shitty “Twilight” soundtrack.” [Read the rest here]

SWALLOW THE SUN features: Mikko Kotamäki – vocals, Juha Raivio – guitar, Markus Jämsen – guitar, Aleksi Munter – keyboards Matti Honkonen – bass, and Kai Hahto – drums


25 January, 2012

Mastodon: Dry Bone Valley – new video



Those wonderful people who make up MASTODON have just released a new video, Tim Biskup-directed and animated ‘Dry Bone Valley’. The tune comes from the sludge/stoner/alternative metal outfit's latest album, ‘The Hunter’, recorded at Doppler Studios in Atlanta with producer Mike Elizondo, and released via Roadrunner/Reprise Records in September 2011. Below you’ll find MASTODON's video ‘Curl Of The Burl’, directed by Roboshobo (Robert Schober), who also helmed their amazing ‘Divinations’ and ‘Sleeping Giant’ videos. ‘The Hunter’ has reached position number 10 on the Billboard 200 and has sold, to date, over 75,000 copies in the U.S. alone.

“Fueled by Brann Dailor's jazzy, machine-gun drumming, songs like ‘Octopus Has No Friends’, ‘All The Heavy Lifting’, and ‘Bedazzled Fingernails’, despite coming in at under five minutes, are epically arranged, and the surprisingly hummable, bass melody-led swamp monster anthem ‘Creature Lives’ sounds like a SABBATHy, Lovecraftian [H.P., writer] take on JANE'S ADDICTION's ‘Summertime Rolls’. The closest ‘Hunter’ comes to reaching an apex is on the breathless ‘Spectrelight’, a relentless three-minute slab of pure unadulterated fury that will probably clock in at around a minute and half live, but it’s an album that doesn’t really need to peak, as it never promises a thing it can’t back up, boldly and loudly,” [commended James Christopher Monger, AllMusic – more here]

Born out of a mutual admiration for the MELVINS, BLACK SABBATH, NEUROSIS and THIN LIZZY, MASTODON was formed in late 1999 by drummer and vocalist Brann Dailor, guitarist and vocalist Bill Kelliher, bassist and vocalist Troy Sanders and guitarist and vocalist Brent Hinds. On the strength of a four-song demo, the band signed with Relapse Records in 2001. The EP, ‘Lifesblood’, was released that same year and the group's full-length debut, ‘Remission’, which followed in 2002, was received by overwhelmingly positive reviews. 2004's ‘Leviathan’, loosely based on Herman Melville's “Moby Dick”, signaled a turning point in the band's career, appearing on critics' best-of-the-year lists across the musical spectrum:

“Lurking beneath is an expansiveness more massive than anything found on the shores. The sound on ‘Leviathan’ seems bottomless and infinite in the best possible way: it’s not a dip in the pool; it’s a headlong cliff dive into deep waters,” [wrote AllMusic's Wade Kergan  - read the rest of the review here]:

MASTODON: Blood And Thunder – courtesy of mastodonrocks

MASTODON eventually landed a deal with Warner Bros. to release their third album, ‘Blood Mountain’, which debuted at number 32 on the Billboard 200 and received a Grammy nomination in the “Best Metal Performance” category for the song ‘Colony Of Birchmen’:

“What does it add up to?” [asked AllMusic's Thom Jurek out loud]  “Something old and something new, a heavy metal that’s utterly gargantuan to wrestle with because it actually moves the style into brand new territory, an unfamiliar terrain which will accord it much name calling and crying of “sellout” by the unwashed masses who are more conservative about their steely brand of “folk music” than the Newport crowd was about Dylan [Bob] going electric. Yet, for those daring enough to take this in, there are true bloody treasures to behold and receive.” [He concluded - read more here]:

MASTODON: Colony Of Birchmen – courtesy of mastodonrocks

Fourth album, ‘Crack The Skye’, was released in 2009 through Reprise Records; the album debuted at number 11 on American albums chart Billboard 200, selling over 200,000 copies in the U.S. to date, making it one of MASTODON's highest selling albums:

MASTODON: Oblivion – courtesy of mastodonrocks

MASTODON: Divinations – courtesy of mastodonrocks



23 January, 2012

Suidakra: Balor – new video



Celtic metallers from Düsseldorf, SUIDAKRA, have just released new  David Thelen-directed video ‘Balor’, a tune taken from their 2011 AFM Records-released album ‘Book Of Dowth’ (“book of darkness”). The album, which chronicles the mythology of a mysterious race of demonic beings known as the “Fomor”, was recorded at Gernhart Studios with Martin Buchwalter. The album's artwork was created by Belgian artist Kris Verwimp.

“ ‘Book Of Dowth’ is going to be too musical and too melodic for extreme metal purists. At the same time, no one should expect ‘Book Of Dowth’ to sound like an album by CAPERCAILLIE, ALTAN, or any other band that is well known in the Celtic market. No, ‘Book Of Dowth’ is mainly for moshers and headbangers, albeit moshers and headbangers who like their metal on the melodic side and have some appreciation of world music. ‘Book Of Dowth’ demonstrates that SUIDAKRA are still quite capable of excellence after all these years,” [commented the ‘Book Of Dowth’ AllMusic's Alex Henderson – more here]

SUIDAKRA (founding member guitarist and vocalist Arkadius Antonik's first name spelled backwards) formed in 1994 and recorded a couple of demos before self-releasing their debut album ‘Lupine Essence’ in 1997. Their second full-length, 1998's ‘Auld Lang Syne’, was published by German record label Last Episode Productions, as were the consequent albums 1999's ‘Lays From Afar’ and 2000's ‘The Arckanum’. In 2001, SUIDAKRA signed with Century Media and released ‘Emprise To Avalon’ the following year. 2003's release, ‘Signs Of The Fallen’ was followed by the group's seventh album 2005's ‘Command To Charge’ (Armageddon Music):

“Prior to ‘Command To Charge’, SUIDAKRA were German metal's answer to ‘Songs From The Wood’-era Jethro Tull, blending headbanging riffs with gentle, largely acoustic folk tunes. That side of the band isn’t entirely absent from ‘Command To Charge’: the Celtic-influenced ‘A Runic Rhyme’ and the splashy instrumental ‘Dead Man's Reel’ are entirely in keeping with SUIDAKRA's old sound, and there’s even a 30-second interlude played on bagpipes!” [was caught by surprise Stewart Mason, AllMusic – more here]

Those bagpipes were featured even more prominently on SUIDAKRA's next record, 2006's ‘Caledonia’. Feeling inspired, the band introduced a sixteen-member choir, a tin whistle and a banjo next to the traditional bagpipes on 2009's ‘Crógacht’ (SPV Records), the album which re-told the Irish folktale “Aided Óenfhir Aífe”:

“Although ‘Crógacht’s overtly Celtic outlook is something that most of the Nordic folk metal recordings lack, a FINNTROLL or KORPIKLAANI fan should have no problem getting into this excellent 2009 release - and the fact that Scandinavian folk and Celtic folk have a lot of common ground explains why,” [read and learn, courtesy of Alex Henderson, AllMusic] “When Nordic Vikings invaded the British Isles many centuries ago, they left their mark musically; therefore, if one plays traditional folk recordings from Sweden, Norway or Finland alongside traditional folk recordings from Ireland or Scotland, one can hear the similarities. And it stands to reason that if a band is interested in extreme metal and Celtic folk, the results aren’t going to be radically different from the work of Scandinavian bands that are interested in extreme metal and Scandinavian folk,” [find more wisdom here]

SUIDAKRA features: Arkadius Antonik – guitar and vocals, Marcus Riewaldt – bass and Lars Wehner – drums


Sear Bliss: Eternal Recurrence – new album


Accessible Hungarian black metallers (as they are known in some circles), SEAR BLISS, have just released their new, highly accessible yet dramatic and unsettling, dark and painful album, ‘Eternal Recurrence’, today January 23rd, 2012 via Candlelight Records. SEAR BLISS' seventh full-length was recorded by founding members from the classic era of the band with producer Viktor Scheer, and can be bought/accessed through here. Listen to their new track, ‘Ballad Of The Shipwrecked’ below:

“The songs are really outside the norm, no typical schemes are followed. The musical arrangements and song structures are unusual and prove that the Hungarians do not want to repeat themselves and are open to explore new paths while staying true to their roots. ‘Eternal Recurrence’ is a record full of dramatic turns and emotional waves. The album was recorded in an old fashioned way with producer Viktor Scheer which resulted in an extremely powerful and organic sound. This is definitely a new chapter for SEAR BLISS. ‘Eternal Recurrence’ is a unique musical journey to the very depths of the human soul,” [explains the press release]:

SEAR BLISS: Ballad Of The Shipwrecked – courtesy of Candlelight Records

Founded by bassist, vocalist and keyboardist András Nagy in Szombathely, Hungary, in 1993, SEAR BLISS were offered a three–album deal by Mascot/Two Moon Records soon after the band's inception on the strength of their 1995's demo ‘The Pagan Winter’. The debut full-length, featuring their unique brand of black metal which more often than not includes the usage of trombone, trumpet and flute, alongside the usual blastbeats, was released in 1996, followed by the re-issued demo in 1997. The band which seems to be plagued by personnel difficulties throughout its history released their second album, ‘The Haunting’, in 1999. SEAR BLISS's third full-length, ‘Grand Destiny’, came out on Nephillim Records in 2001 and was re-released a year later by American label Red Stream, with whom they signed another three-album deal. 2002 saw the release of the group's fourth album ‘Forsaken Symphony’, followed by ‘Glory And Perdition’ in 2004. SEAR BLISS celebrated their 10th anniversary with the release of live DVD titled ‘A Decade Of Perdition’. The much praised ‘The Arcane Odyssey’ was issued in 2007 on Candlelight Records:

“SEAR BLISS' ‘The Arcane Odyssey’ is a perfect example of a symphonic black metal/folk metal album that could easily appeal to metalheads who appreciate some black metal but haven’t acquired a taste for the more unforgiving bands like GORGOTH and MARDUK. While no one will mistake this Hungarian outfit for easy listening, ‘The Arcane Odyssey’ is a disc that - for all its aggression and intensity - is highly melodic and values nuance, musicality, and craftsmanship. … East European folk is an influence, as are progressive metal and old-school power metal. In symphonic black metal, it isn’t uncommon for bands to favor a rasp vocals/clean vocals contrast; on ‘The Arcane Odyssey’, however, all of András Nagy's vocals are rasp vocals. But Nagy makes a point of being understandable, which is another thing that adds to SEAR BLISS' accessibility and helps them to avoid black metal's limitations,” [wrote abut the record AllMusic's Alex Henderson – more here]

SEAR BLISS features: András Nagy - vocals, bass and keyboards, János Barbarics – guitar, Csaba Csejtei – guitar, Olivér Ziskó - drums and Balázs Bruszel - trumpet

20 January, 2012

Dodecahedron: Dodecahedron – new album


Listen to the Dutch black metal band's, DODECAHEDRON, debut self-titled full-length in its swirling black chaos entirety over at their website. Ready to conquer all that is above and below, DODECAHEDRON will be streaming the album - which has just been released in Europe today, January 20th, 2012 and will see its North American release come January 24th, 2012 via Season Of Mist – for a week, until January 27th, 2012. ‘Dodecahedron’ comes available as a CD digipack and as double gatefold hand-numbered LP with digital download card (limited to 250 copies).

DODECAHEDRON created a buzz in the black metal scene well in advance of the release of their self-titled debut album. Under their previous moniker (“Order Of The Source Below”) the Dutch band already gave a taste of the brilliant dark things to come. DODECAHEDRON execute their atonal and dissonant monstrosities/ultimate technical challenges with a seeming ease that is simply jaw-dropping. Broken and torn structures born out of razor-like guitar riffs coagulate into melodies and patterns that constantly mutate and shape shift. Pure horror lurks in these Lovecraftian dimensions of inverted angles and escaping perspectives. Moments of bizarre aggression glide seamlessly into passages of cold threatening calm. The avant-garde spheres charted by their album ‘Dodecahedron’ have been opened by label mates MAYHEM with their groundbreaking release ‘Ordo Ad Chao’ (2007) and further explored by brothers in spirit like DEATHSPELL OMEGA. DODECAHEDRON now follow their own path through this cosmic dark musical matter with a stellar artistic brilliance that will be hard to match. Get a bitter taste of the apocalypse and dive into ‘Dodecahedron’,” [endorses Season Of Mist]

DODECAHEDRON features: M. Eikenaar – vocals, M. Nienhuis – guitar, J. Bonis – guitar, Y. Terwisscha van Scheltinga – bass and J. Barendregt - drums

DODECAHEDRON: Dodecahedron Debut Album – courtesy of ddchdrn

19 January, 2012

Biohazard: Reborn In Defiance – new album


Update: BIOHAZARD's statement:

“We regret to inform you all that due to circumstances beyond our control, we will not be able to offer our new record, ‘Reborn In Defiance’, [as a free download] in the U.S. at this time. We love all of you who have continued to support us through the years and can’t wait to share with you a record that we are extremely proud of. Thank you so much for your understanding and patience and a special thanks to our partners Revolver, Repudo and Google for their hard work setting this up. All of our touring plans are still solidified and we are excited to see you all out on the road!”

Legendary New York hardcore veterans BIOHAZARD will release their highly (and a long while) anticipated new album, ‘Reborn In Defiance’, to the wide world tomorrow, January 20th, 2012 via Nuclear Blast Records. And while the rest of us get to download their new track, ‘Vengeance Is Mine’, for free here (Nuclear Blast), North Americans will be apparently able to download the entire album free of charge via Revolver Magazine's website and Repudo.com as of tomorrow (the album's North American release date is set for April 16th, 2012). ‘Reborn In Defiance’ was recorded in 2011 by the original BIOHAZARD lineup of Evan Seinfeld on vocals and bass, Billy Graziadei on guitar and vocals, Danny Schuler on drums and Bobby Hambel on guitar, although Brooklyn finest have since parted ways with founding member Seinfeld, who has chosen to concentrate on his adult-films acting career instead. Defiantly, BIOHAZARD recently recruited their former bassist Scott Roberts in his stead. ‘Reborn In Defiance’ can be bought as a CD and either black or white double vinyl here (Nuclear Blast Europe):

“[Explains Danny Schuler:] “Being a huge fan of vinyl records and the amazing sleeve artwork that used to come with them, I really wanted our artwork to be unique. In the spirit of being ‘Reborn In Defiance’, the album cover represents to me an interesting paradox: an embryo, not yet spoiled by the world, but already possessing the heart of a rebel. It all begins in the womb.” [Adds Billy Graziadei:] “The innocence of youth has always been a strong subject for us, with the children playing over a crime scene on the ‘Urban Discipline’ [1992] album cover to the child running with a biological gas mask on the ‘State Of The World Address’ [1994] cover. For ‘Reborn In Defiance’, an unborn child waits to be thrown into a world that will steal the untainted purity of infancy we all start out with.”

Formed in 1987, BIOHAZARD has sold over five million albums worldwide since the release of their internationally successful albums ‘Urban Discipline’ (Roadrunner Records) and ‘State Of The World Address’ (Warner Brothers). Over the years BIOHAZARD came to perfect their fusion of hardcore, heavy metal and hip-hop; after their self-titled debut came out in 1990, BIOHAZARD secured a deal with Roadrunner Records in 1992, the year which saw the release of the original hardcore-metal-rap album ‘Urban Discipline’ (“Loaded with social criticism, [this is] a blue-collar metal record made by rough-shod, tattooed, fighting men,” commented Kieran McCarthy, AllMusic). Hambel left the band after ‘State Of The World Address’ was issued in 1994 and BIOHAZARD released its 1994's companion, ‘Mata Leão’, as a trio. For the ensuing tour the band recruited former HELMET guitarist Rob Echeverria,  with whom they recorded their first live album, 1997's ‘No Holds Barred’. They kept refining their sound and ideas on 1999's ‘New World Disorder’ (Mercury Records) and 2001's ‘Uncivilization’ (Sanctuary Records). Carmine Vincent replaced Leo Curley as BIOHAZARD new guitarist before the release of 2003's ‘Kill Or Be Killed’. The godfathers of hardcore metal engaged the talents of guitarist Scott Roberts and bassists Keith Rooney and Brian Worland on their eight album, 2005's ‘Means To An End’ (SPV/Steamhammer Records), before disbanding soon after its release. BIOHAZARD classic lineup (Seinfeld, Graziadei, Schuler and Hambel) reunited in 2010.

BIOHAZARD: Reborn – courtesy of Nuclear Blast Records

Lacuna Coil: Dark Adrenaline – new album


Listen to the new album ‘Dark Adrenaline’ by Italian six-piece LACUNA COIL before its release (January 23th, 2012 in Europe, January 24th, 2012 in North America and January 27th, 2012 in Australia and New Zealand) via Century Media Records. Produced by the acclaimed Don Gilmore, ‘Dark Adrenaline’ “promises to deliver the melodic, sensual, metallic rush for which the band has come to be known”, so click here (Spin) and give it a spin. (The album is no longer available for free spinning.) The video for the first single from the forthcoming release, ‘Trip The Darkness’ (available below), was directed by Sitcom Soldiers. What is also available below is a whole lot more LACUNA COIL's music, courtesy of the band.

For over a decade, Italy's LACUNA COIL has been blending seductive vocals with a modern, electronica-inspired metal sound. The group has released five full-length albums, two EPs, various singles and a DVD and has to date sold over 800,000 units in the U.S. alone. Besides gracing the covers of countless hard rock and metal publications worldwide for obvious reasons, LACUNA COIL has toured  throughout the world and appeared as featured guests on Ozzfest, as well as on all of the major European festivals. LACUNA COIL's moniker translates to “empty spiral” in English.

LACUNA COIL features: Cristina Scabbia – vocals, Andrea Ferro - vocals, Cristiano Migliore - guitar, Marco Biazzi - guitar, Marco Coti Zelati - bass and Cristiano Mozzati - drums/percussion

LACUNA COIL – courtesy of Lacuna Coil


18 January, 2012

Full Album Stream: Farsot: Insects – new album


Already out in Europe, FARSOT's new album, ‘Insects’, has become available in North America yesterday, January 17th, 2012 via Lupus Lounge, a subdivision of Prophecy Productions. The German cryptic black metal collective's long awaited successor to their acclaimed debut album, ‘IIII’, can be streamed in its entirety here (Prophecy's YouTube channel) as well as below. 

Formed in 1999 in (the Thruingia area of) Germany, FARSOT - influenced by forerunners in the black/atmospheric metal genre such as SATYRICON and KATATONIA - released their debut demo ‘Im Zwielicht’ in 2001, followed by 2004's ‘042103Freitod’. The latter won them a recording contract with Lupus Lounge, though which FARSOT issued their debut full-length ‘III’ in 2007.

“FARSOT choose not to hide behind the obfuscation of corrupted recordings and instead let the skilfulness and subtlety of their work stand for themselves. For example, each trembling note of ‘7’ has its own distinct identity and illumination, like a dust mote in a sunbeam. On ‘Vermillion Trail’, the twisting, coiling nature of the song construction and churning guitars are brought to the forefront, emphasizing the muscular force of the piece while also allowing for the gentler, tremulous instrumental passages to hold their own,” [writes Natalie Zina Walschots for Exclaim!, taking a shot at describing FARSOT's latest effort:]

FARSOT features: 10.XIXt – voices, 3818.w – strings, Pi:1T 5r – strings, v.03/170 – pulse and R 215k – drums









Cipher System: Communicate The Storms – new video



Gothenburg's melodic death metallers, CIPHER SYSTEM, have released new video for the title-track ‘Communicate The Storms’, taken from their September/October 2011 Nuclear Blast release. The video was directed by Patric Ullaeus of Revolver Film Company. The album was recorded at Studio Fredman and came adorned with hunger-inducing art by Seth Siro Anton (SEPTICFLESH) – see below. Buy the CD here (Nuclear Blast Europe), or here (Nuclear Blast USA).

CIPHER SYSTEM was formed in 1996 in Gothenburg, Sweden and they used to be known as “Eternal Grief” back then. They released a promo demo, ‘Eyecon’, in 2001, followed by split CD with fellow Swedish metallers BY NIGHT. CIPHER SYSTEM's debut studio album entitled ‘Central Tunnel Eight’ was released in 2004 by Lifeforce Records.

CIPHER SYSTEM features: Karl Obbel – vocals, Johan Eskilsson - guitar, Andreas Allenmark – guitar, Henric Carlsson – bass, Emil Frisk – drums and Peter Engström – keyboards

CIPHER SYSTEM: Forget To Forgive – courtesy of Nuclear Blast Records


17 January, 2012

Full Album Stream: Abigail Williams: Becoming – new album


Well, well… Listen to the always-evolving ABIGAIL WILLIAMS' third studio album ‘Becoming’ in its beautiful entirety here (BandCamp) or below. Clocking in at 55 minutes in length, the next chapter in the ABIGAIL WILLIAMS' history of sonic transformation comes out January 24th, 2012  on Candlelight Records:

“ ‘Becoming’ ushers in a provocative new chapter for the adventurous band. Truly the band's most expressive and complicated, this album is one unexpected ride for already long-time fans of the band but more so for those that are new to their sonic palette. Let no presumption of past dictate - this is simply a record to be heard. ‘Becoming’ features vocalist and guitarist Sorceron [Ken, also the album's producer], guitarist Ian Jekelis, and studio drummer Zach Gibson (THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER),” [appeals the press release:]




The group which is named after the infamous accuser who set the even more infamous Salem Witch Trials into motion, ABIGAIL WILLIAMS, formed in 2005 in Phoenix, Arizona. Operating from Los Angeles these days, the band's founder Ken Sorceron remains the only original bandmember. In 2006, when metalcore, hardcore, and screamo dominated the United States, ABIGAIL WILLIAMS recorded their Nordic-influenced EP ‘Legend’ and released it via Candlelight Records in 2007:

“ABIGAIL WILLIAMS sound like a Nordic death metal/black metal band that just happens to like metalcore, hardcore, and screamo, and their variety of influences come together in an appealing way,” [thought Alex Henderson, AllMusic] “And while ‘Legend’ doesn’t quite fall into the melodic death metal and symphonic black metal categories, this is a disc that - for all its ferocity and viciousness - is not without nuance or complexity,” [more here]

According to Sorceron, the group went on a “pre-meditated hiatus” in 2007; he was nevertheless joined by Mike Wilson on guitar, Thomas G. Plaguehammer on bass, Ashley Ellyllon on keyboards, Trym Torson, Sam Paulicelli and Zach Gibson on drums (and I’m sure I forgot to mention a couple of important others) when he recorded the group's debut full-length, 2008's ‘In The Shadow Of A Thousand Suns’, with producer James Murphy. The album reached position number 35 on the Billboard's “Top Heatseekers” chart. Slimmed down to three (Sorceron, guitarist Ian Jakelis and drummer Ken Bedene), ABIGAIL WILLIAMS moved further away from the symphonic black metal sound and injected their next release, 2010's album ‘In The Absence Of Light’, with intricate touches of classic and thrash metal:

“Disclaimer: all highly subjective claims accusing ABIGAIL WILLIAMS of being symphonic black metal poseurs will be ignored in the course of this review. Deal with it,” [started off his review of the album my favorite AllMusic reviewer Eduardo Rivadavia] … “Many observers believed this style [referring to the orchestral black metal sound featured on the group's debut full-length] owed way too much to England's widely reviled (and contradictorily wildly successful) CRADLE OF FILTH, whose perceived opportunism (and, yes, frequently crap music) made them black metal's ultimate sellout poster boys, but it’s simply not fair to condemn ABIGAIL WILLIAMS to the very same death sentence so soon - especially in light of the band's much improved second album, 2010's ‘In The Absence Of Light’, which reveals a perfectly competent and oftentimes quite engaging collision of vicious aggression and ambitious songwriting grandeur,” [more here. Listen to the full album here (BandCamp) or below, and buy the thing:]


ABIGAIL WILLIAMS: In The Absence Of Light


ABIGAIL WILLIAMS features: Ken Sorceron – guitar and vocals, Ian Jekelis- guitar and Zach Gibson - drums

Evergrey: A Decade And A Half – greatest hits collection


Progstreaming is streaming the entire greatest hits collection by Swedish dark progressive metallers EVERGREY entitled ‘A Decade And A Half’ here (the stream has since ended). Already out in Europe, EVERGREY's celebration of 15 years of metal comes in form of a two-disc set, which is being released in North America today, January 17th, 2012 via SPV/Steamhammer Records. Watch the band's latest video release, ‘Wrong’, below. The video for the award-winning single which sold over 10,000 copies in Sweden alone and which can be found on EVERGREY's eight album ‘Glorious Collision’ - out since February 2011 - was directed by Patric Ullaeus.

EVERGREY formed in 1995 and released their Andy LaRocque-produced debut album, ‘The Dark Discovery’, in 1998. Cooperation with the producer and guitarist (of KING DIAMOND-fame) continued on the band's 1999 release entitled ‘Soltitude Dominance Tragedy’. An alien abduction-themed album (inspired by Whitley Strieber's book “Communion”), ‘In Search Of Tragedy’, came out in 2001 (“And yes, there is also music. Actually, the music is very strong and powerful progressive metal - think QUEENSRYCHE, IRON MAIDEN, and KING DIAMOND all rolled together,” remarked Gary Hill, AllMusic), with ‘Recreation Day’ following in 2003 (“EVERGREY figure among a rare breed of progressive metal bands capable of balancing their undeniably impressive musicianship and lofty song and lyric-writing ambitions with the commitment to serving a song's best interest, not their own individual instrumental prowess,” commented Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic). Another concept album, this one dealing with the themes of religion, cults and child abuse, ‘The Inner Circle’, and second album to be produced by EVERGREY's vocalist and guitarist Tom S. Englund and then guitarist Henrik Danhage, was issued in 2004, with the band's first live album, ‘A Night To Remember’, following a year later. EVERGREY sixth studio album, ‘Monday Morning Apocalypse’, was released in 2006 and their debut for Steamhammer Records, ‘Torn’, came next in 2008. ‘Torn’ debuted at number 4 on Swedish Albums Chart.

EVERGREY features: Tom S. Englund - vocals & guitar, Marcus Jidell – guitar, Hannes Van Dahl – drums, Rikard Zander – keyboards and Johan Niemann – bass


15 January, 2012

Full EP Stream: This Ending: Systematic Worship – new EP


If I gathered the available facts correctly, Sweden's melodic death metallers THIS ENDING just self-released new, 3-track EP titled ‘Systematic Worship’. Listen and/or download two free tracks off the release, ‘Army Of (N)one’ and ‘No More Silence’,  here (Facebook) or via Soundcloud player available below, as you cheerfully sing along the tune ‘Our Creation’: “Barbed wire mothers milk / Congealing blood for wine / Reality rots away / Cacophony of lamenting souls / Baying the hounds of war / Pestilence for a cure …” ‘Systematic Worship’ was recorded in late 2011 in studio belonging to guitarist Linus Nirbrant:

Systematic Worship EP (2012) – courtesy of THIS ENDING Official

THIS ENDING was formed in 1991 in Stockholm, Sweden by drummer Fredrik Andersson (AMON AMARTH), vocalist Mårten Hansen and guitarist Linus Nirbrant. They called themselves “A Canorous Quintet” back then (once bassist Jesper Löfgren and guitarist Leo Pignon joined in) and as such, the group released an EP entitled ‘As Tears’, in 1994, and two full-lengths, 1996's ‘Silence Of The World Beyond’ and 1998's ‘The Only Pure Hate’. “A Canorous Quintet” disbanded in 1998 as its members began to pursue various other projects. Andresson re-assembled the group in 2005; they recorded a 13-song demo which they sent to Metal Blade Records. Adopting the name THIS ENDING, the band released their full-length, ‘Inside The Machine’, in 2006 through Metal Blade:

Inside The Machine – courtesy of THIS ENDING Official

“Straight-ahead, brutal metal is offered up by the bucketful throughout ‘Dead Harvest’,” is what AllMusic's Greg Prato thought about THIS ENDING's second full-length, released in 2009 (as he managed to label THIS ENDING's brand of music as “brutal he-man metal” as well - read the review here):

Parasites – courtesy of THIS ENDING Official

THIS ENDING features: Mårten Hansen – vocals, Leo Pignon – guitar, Linus Nirbrant – guitar, Jesper Löfgren – bass and Fredrik Andersson - drums

13 January, 2012

Therapy?: Living In The Shadow Of The Terrible Thing – new video



‘Living In The Shadow Of The Terrible Thing’ is the first single from THERAPY?'s forthcoming album, ‘A Brief Crack Of Light’, due for release February 6th, 2012 on Blast Records. The video for the single, which will be released on January 23rd, was directed by Sitcom Soldiers.  ‘A Brief Crack Of Light’ was recorded at Blast Studios in Newcastle, England, and produced by the band and Adam Sinclair. Album's artwork was created by artist Nigel Rolfe.

THERAPY? (“a bridge between METALLICA and NIRVANA”) was formed in Northern Ireland in 1989 by singer, guitarist and songwriter Andy Cairns and drummer Fyfe Ewing. In need of a bass player to complete the line up, they recruited Michael McKeegan, after they’ve recorded their first four-track demo, ‘Thirty Seconds Of Silence’. The trio then recorded their second demo, followed by the ‘Meat Abstract’ single, which they released on their own label Multifuckingnational Records. The single's success took the band on their first UK tour, during which they caught the attention of London-based Wiiija Records, which issued THEPAPHY?'s EPs ‘Baby Teeth’ (1991) and ‘Pleasure Death’ (1992). The successful EPs earned the band a recording contract with A&M Records and THERAPY?'s first proper album, ‘Nurse’, followed soon. 1992's ‘Nurse’ reached number 38 on the UK Top 40 Albums Chart. With the grunge movement in full swing by then, the band recorded their breakthrough EP ‘Shortsharpshock’ in 1993 and continued to conquer UK charts with further singles and an EP (‘Face The Strange’). In 1994, THERAPY? released commercially successful album ‘Troublegum’, which peaked at number 5 on the UK Top 40 and which has since sold over one million copies worldwide. After 1995's album ‘Infernal Love’ came out, Ewing left the band and was replaced by Graham Hopkins and cellist Martin McCarrick was brought in as second guitarist on the band's final release on A&M Records, 1998's ‘Semi-Detached’. THERAPY?'s next effort, 1999's ‘Suicide Pact – You First’, came out on Ark 21 Records, followed by ten-year compilation of their best music. After the release of the Jack Endino-produced sixth full-length, 2001's ‘Shameless’, the band would find itself without a drummer and without a label once again. Neil Cooper recorded the drums on 2003's album ‘High Anxiety’ (Spitfire Records), which turned out to be the last to feature guitarist and cellist Martin McCarrick who departed from the band in 2004. Returning to their musical roots as a three-piece, THERAPY? issued ‘Never Apologise Never Explain’ that same year, followed by ‘One Cure Fits All’ in 2006. Their Andy Gill-produced tenth album, ‘Crooked Timber’, was released on Demolition Records in 2009:

“There was a point when THERAPY? were one of the biggest “buzz bands” in Europe - thanks in part to seemingly nonstop coverage in such publications as Kerrang! and Metal Hammer. But the buzz eventually dissipated, as THERAPY? in the modern age don’t necessarily storm the charts with each new release, but still retain a sizable following. … Ten albums down the line and THERAPY? still play like they mean it, as evidenced by the arrival of ‘Crooked Timber’,” [observed AllMusic's Greg Prato – more here]