31 August, 2012

Svölk: Nights Under The Round Table – new album



The innovators of bear metal, SVÖLK, have a new album out as of today, August 31st, 2012; ‘Nights Under The Round Table’ still “protect the weak, defenseless, helpless, and fight for the general welfare of all” under the sponsorship of Napalm Records. Order their services here (Napalm Records) or here (SVÖLK official store) after you convince yourself of their code of chivalry by listening to two new SVÖLK tracks, ‘Living By The Sword’ and ‘Painbringer’, below. For those few unfamiliar with the particular genre known as “bear metal”, it really delivers a riff-heavy mix of stoner rock and metal, as well as a generous dose of Nordic redneck attitude:

“The first sounds of the new longplayer will take the listener by surprise. It shows that the band was able to improve tremendously since the release of the highly acclaimed and fantastic debut album. The Norwegians riff enthusiastically over the entire album without showing any signs of slowing down. It’s quite the opposite, the listener feels the love and the excitement of the musicians in each and every second. SVÖLK's stoner metal can be described as an explosive and dirty mix of stoner rock, metal, DANZIG and IRON MAIDEN,” [convinces the press release:]

SVÖLK: Living By The Sword – courtesy of Napalm Records

Hailing from Oslo, Norway and combining the traditional metal of the '80s with a good dose of old stoner rock, and claiming to punch hard without gloves and with a match weight of about 400 kg, SVÖLK released their first EP, ‘Beast Unleashed’, in 2005. In 2008, they left the crowd at Sweden Rock Festival screaming for more. In 2009, they released history's first bear metal album and they toured with the supergroup HAIL!. Preferring not to rest on their laurels, the band joined ANNIHILATOR on their European tour in 2010, kidnapping the SCORPIONS' hairdresser somewhere along the way. Napalm Records have chosen to re-release SVÖLK's debut album and world's first bear metal album ‘Svölk ‘Em All’ in November  2011 - the masterfully crafted hard rock from the deep forests of Eastern Norway, ‘Svölk ‘Em All’, was received with standing ovations by fans worldwide :

SVÖLK: The anchor – courtesy of Svolk

SVÖLK: Miss Alcohol – courtesy of Svolk

SVÖLK: End of Days – courtesy of Svolk

SVÖLK features: Knut Erik Solhaug – vocals, Jo Inge Hemstad (a.k.a Jengt Castral) – guitar, Martin Østerhaug – guitar, Halstein Røyseland – bass and Jørgen Seger Haave – drums



30 August, 2012

Job For A Cowboy: Tarnished Gluttony – new video


Warning: This video contains offensive imagery. Viewer discretion is advised!




“ ‘Tarnished Gluttony’ originally runs off the idea of blind faith into our government and monetary system. The director [Michael Panduro] ran with the idea and spliced it with a H.P. Lovecraftian twist. The video streams the fascination of religion and the actions people justify in the name of religion, and this video is a spin on the old biblical tale of Abraham and Isaac, however, set in the world of Lovecraftian mythology. The point is, acting blindly in faith to a Christian deity is just as absurd as worshiping squid like monsters from space who live under the sea,” [commented vocalist Jonny Davy. Added Mr. Panduro:] “As a commercial director, I’m a complete failure. The band asked for just one thing and I couldn’t deliver. Indeed, this video has no boobs.”

‘Tarnished Gluttony’ comes from JOB FOR A COWBOY's third full-length ‘Demonocracy’, released in April 2012 through Metal Blade Records. The album was produced by Jason Suecof and mastered by Alan Douchess, while its amazing artwork was created by Brent Elliot White. Molest your ears by listening to another appetizingly-titled track ‘Nourishment Through Bloodshed’ below and buy the beast, described by Gregory Heaney, AllMusic as “incredibly consistent output of thundering sonic violence”, here (Metal Blade) after you’ve read the album's review here:

JOB FOR A COWBOY: Nourishment Through Bloodshed – courtesy of Metal Blade

JOB FOR A COWBOY was formed in Glendale, Arizona in 2003 by at the time 16-years-old vocalist Jonny Davy and 15-years-old guitarists Andrew Arcurio and Ravi Bhadriraju. With bassist Brent Riggs and drummer Elliott Sellers completing the lineup, the quintet begun their sonic assault of their own fusion of death metal and hardcore in 2005, with the release of an EP entitled ‘Doom’. While extensively promoting the EP, the group impressed many, including  Metal Blade Records owner and founder Brian Slagel:

JOB FOR A COWBOY: Entombment Of A Machine – courtesy of Metal Blade Records

Andrew Arcurio left the band and was replaced by guitarist Bobby Thompson in 2006 and Jon Rice took over drumming duties after Sellers decided it was time to complete his studies. JOB FOR A COWBOY's debut full-length, ‘Genesis’, was released in 2007; it reached number 54 on the American albums chart Billboard 200 in its first week of release and had sold nearly 13,000 copies during that same period of time. Cory Spotts-produced album, with Andy Sneap handling the mixing and mastering, would earn the group numerous accolades in music media:

JOB FOR A COWBOY: Embedded – courtesy of Metal Blade Records

2009's ‘Ruination’, second studio album recorded with Jason Suecof and mixed by Fredrik Nordström, also charted well in The States; it debuted at number 42 on the Billboard Top 200. It also caused AllMusic's Phil Freeman to write a favorable review:

“The songs on ‘Ruination’ seem less disjointed than those on 2007's ‘Genesis’, functioning as fully formed compositions rather than mere collections of riffs. Match that to their general concision - seven of the album's ten tracks come in under the four-minute mark - and you’ve got an exhilarating album that’ll make you want to speed down the highway with the windows open and the top down. Not something one usually hears about a death metal record, but as their extensive touring in support of the last album proved, JOB FOR A COWBOY are all about pleasing their audience. Maybe that’s why the screwfaced diehards on death metal message boards hate them so much,” [read the rest here]:

JOB FOR A COWBOY: Unfurling A Darkened Gospel – courtesy of Metal Blade Records

In June 2011, JOB FOR A COWBOY issued an EP entitled ‘Gloom’; a “four new tracks of fine-tuned, visceral death metal featuring the re-invigorated lineup of vocalist Jonny Davy, drummer Jon “Charn” Rice and guitarists Al Glassman and Tony Sannicandro”:

JOB FOR A COWBOY: Misery Reformatory – courtesy of Metal Blade Records

Note: Visit Metal Blade Records SoundCloud here in order to download all the above JOB FOR A COWBOY tracks free of charge.

JOB FOR A COWBOY features: Jonny Davy – vocals, Jon “Charn” Rice – drums, Al Glassman – guitar, Tony Sannicandro – guitar and Nick Schendzielos – bass



29 August, 2012

Full Album Stream: Grave: Endless Procession Of Souls – new album



Out everywhere since yesterday, August 28th, 2012, visit Invisible Oranges here to listen to the entire new GRAVE record titled ‘Endless Procession Of Souls’. You might be asking who or what keeps them going after 24 years (fine Swedish weather maybe, incredible tolerance to alcoholic drinks Scandinavians seem to sport perhaps…), in GRAVE's case the answer is obvious: the band's founder, guitarist and vocalist Ola Lindgren who also engineered, mixed and mastered the band's tenth full-length release. If you prefer your death metal old-school, brutal and dark, get your own copy of ‘Endless Procession Of Souls’ here (Century Media Records). Album's telling artwork was created by Mike Hubrovcak.

GRAVE was started in 1986 in Visby, Sweden by vocalist and guitarist Ola Lindgren. Known as “Corpse” for a couple of years, the band recoded a handful of demos, singles and EPs before 1991, when Century Media released GRAVE's devastating debut ‘Into The Grave’, which was to influence death metal bands for years to come. Next came second longplayer ‘You’ll Never See…’ in 1992, followed by ‘…And Here I Die… Satisfied’ EP and studio album ‘Soulless’ in 1994. By the time GRAVE recorded their fourth album, ‘Hating Life’, in 1996, the band was reduced to Ola Lindgren on vocals, guitar and bass and drummer Jens “Jensa” Paulsson. A temporary yet inevitable break was to follow the release of GRAVE's live album ‘Extremely Rotten Live’ in 1997. As a quartet they returned strong with fittingly titled ‘Back From The Grave’ in 2002. Ola Lindgren, guitarist Jonas Torndal and bassist Fredrik Isaksson remained together for the duration of GRAVE's next two albums, 2004's ‘Fiendish Regression’ and 2006's ‘As Rapture Comes’, on which Pelle Ekegren replaced the band's longtime drummer Jensa Paulsson. With Ronnie Bergerstahl on drums, Lindgren and Isaksson followed up with 2008's ‘Dominion VIII’, having employed drummer Ronnie Bergerståhl's skills on 2010's ‘Burial Ground’. Both albums were issued through Regain Records:

“GRAVE don’t change, [wrote Phil Freeman for AllMusic] They are old-school Swedish death metal; their first album, ‘Into The Grave’, was released in 1991, and though they took a brief hiatus at the end of the 1990s, when they came back, they sounded almost exactly the same: guttural, croaking vocals; downtuned, chainsaw guitars; a deep, almost detuned bass sound; and punk rock drumming with little of the intricacy traditionally identified with death metal,” [read more here]

GRAVE features: Ola Lindgren – guitar and vocals, Ronnie Bergerståhl – drums, Tobias Cristiansson - bass and Mika Lagrén - guitar



28 August, 2012

Full Album Stream: Krallice: Years Past Matter – new album



Since I’m an avid reader of that very important metal portal called MetalSucks, I now know that the disciples of true and real black metal, KRALLICE, have just self-released their fourth album entitled ‘Years Past Matter’ (August 25th, 2012). Listen to the recording in all its wizardly entirety right here (BandCamp) or via player available to you below. Buy the ‘Years Past Matter’ through BandCamp as well, or visit KRALLICE's store here.

“[The album has been reviewed by Adrien Begrand for MSN Entertainment:] The first thing you notice when playing the new record is how comfortable the foursome sounds. Their identity is fully realized, and as a result they’re comfortable simply letting the music flow, and if anything that organic quality is the album's strength. Barr, Marston, McMaster, and Weinstein sound like a true unit, all members on the same page to the point where it seems everyone’s acting on instinct as they play. The opening track shifts directions so many times you could easily call it “progressive”, but nothing feels arbitrary. The rigidity of the rhythmic patterns and the spontaneity of the guitar work on the opening track makes for an intriguing contrast,” [read the rest here]


KRALLICE: Years Past Matter


KRALLICE was formed in 2008 by New York City musicians guitarist and vocalist Mick Barr (OCRILIM and ORTHRELM), guitarist Colin Marston (BEHOLD… THE ARCTOPUS, DYSRHYTHMIA and BYLA) and drummer Lev Weinstein. The trio recorded and released their self-titled debut album in 2008 on Profound Lore Records to high critical praise. Listen to the effort here (BandCamp) or below:


KRALLICE: Krallice


Nick McMaster, who had been featured as an additional vocalist on the album, officially joined the band as bassist shortly after the album's release. KRALLICE's second album, ‘Dimensional Bleedthrough’ followed in 2009 on Profound Lore:

“[The] songs, four out of seven of which pass the ten-minute mark with ease, combine insanely focused, dual-guitar interplay with individual moments of anthemic power, most ably demonstrated on ‘Autochthon’, where the composition repeatedly shifts and splits into parts, either guitarist taking the lead (without ever “soloing” in the traditional sense) and changing the riff, the rhythm section holding it all together,” [wrote Phil Freeman, AllMusic; read the rest of his review here and visit KRALLICE's BandCamp page to listen to and to purchase the album here:]


KRALLICE: Dimensional Bleedthrough


In 2011 came KRALLICE's darkest, most visceral, dense, and heaviest release to date, as well as the masterpiece the band has threatened to deliver upon its inception. The album was produced by musician, producer, 12-string Warr guitarists and one of KRALLICE's founders Colin Marston and released on Profound Lore. ‘Diotima’ was pronounced  the band's “best album to date” by Phil Freeman, AllMusic (read his review here). Listen to ‘Diotima’ here (BandCamp):

“Unrelenting yet defiantly rhapsodic, ‘Diotima’ revels in its many layers,” [wrote Lars Gotrich for NPR] “But, for as many counterpoint riffs and rhythmic pummelings as there are here, the compositions are always razor-sharp. It’s almost alarming when KRALLICE briefly syncs into a subdivided machine-gun ratatat in ‘The Clearing’, which, believe it or not, serves as a moment of levity in the bludgeoning darkness. Bassist Nick McMaster plays a large role on ‘Diotima’, lending his deeply philosophical lyrics and death-metal growl to half of the album. The idea of Platonic love originates from “Diotima”, the female seer in Plato's “Symposium”. Weaving poetry from Friedrich Hölderlin together with McMaster's own, ‘Diotima’ is the most graceful KRALLICE track to date.” [Read the rest of it on NPR]




KRALLICE features: Mick Barr – guitar and vocals, Colin Marston – guitar, Nick McMaster - bass and Lev Weinstein - drums

Full Album Stream: Khonsu: Anomalia – new album & The Malady – new video



Well, sometimes the mask, the music, and the press release will just have to speak for themselves:

“Heavy guitars are slicing and crushing with stunning precision and elegance. Massive and thundering keyboards weave dense textures. Metal and Industrial collide to shape dark forms and structures. The falcon headed Egyptian moon-god KHONSU becomes incarnate. S. Gronbech, the man behind the mask, orchestrates the ancient traveler's return. The last public appearance of the mysterious mastermind was the collaboration with his brother A. “Obsidian C.” Gronbech on KEEP OF KALESSIN's highly acclaimed ‘Reclaim’ EP (2003).”

“Being one of Norway's foremost guitarists himself, Obsidian C. comments: “If you think that I am a good guitarist, wait until you hear my brother.” The renowned string wizard also produced and engineered all electric guitars played by his sibling in his own Morningstar studio. Adding vocals in an amazing range from the clear and gentle to the venomous and growling, Thebon of KEEP OF KALESSIN fame joins S. Gronbech in his dark quest. Under their former name MERAH, KHONSU already performed at this year's edition of the prestigious Inferno Festival in Oslo. Even without an album out the band from Trondheim was invited on the strength of their demo alone. Their musically and visually impressive performance gained the Norwegians excellent reviews. Now KHONSU reveal their true strength with debut album ‘Anomalia’. Let this sinister blend of rock, metal, and electronic elements enchant you with its epic and desolate atmospheres!”


KHONSU: Anomalia


And enchanted as I personally am, I recommend you, most open-minded visitor, to allow yourself to be bewitched by KHONSU's new album you will find streaming in full here (BandCamp) and above, and to delight in the band's new video ‘The Malady’, directed by brother S. Gronbech himself along with Christian Falch and produced by Gammaglimt Videoproduksjoner AS. ‘Anomalia’ is out on Season Of Mist since August 24th, 2012 in Europe, and has been just released in North America today, August 28th. You are most graciously invited to visit Season Of Mist e-shop here to examine all available ‘Anomalia’ formats.

KHONSU features: S. Gronbech - all instruments (studio) and guitar (live), A. O. Gronbech - guitar (live), Thebon – vocals, Shandy Mckay - bass (live) and Kenneth Kapstad - drums (live)


27 August, 2012

Over Your Threshold: Facticity – new album



Germany's progressive death metallers', OVER YOUR THRESHOLD, debut longplayer is out today in Europe, and will be released in North America tomorrow, August 28th, 2012 on Metal Blade Records. ‘Facticity’ was recorded at Woodshed Studio in Landshut, Germany, and was mixed and mastered by TRIPTYCON's V. Santura. The album features guest appearances by OBSCURA's Steffen Kummerer and HORKUM's Jonas Fischer:

“The sound of ‘Facticity’ is not only more blasting but also more technical, interspersed with energetic death metal riffing as well as melodic acoustic guitars. It’s enriched by brute-force blast beats, thrash metal, jazzy harmonics and the distinct tones of smooth, fretless bass,” [explains the press release]

Listen to the track ‘Antic’ below and download it free of charge from Metal Blade here, visit Metal Hammer Germany to hear ‘Contextual Fluctuating’ here, make use of the album's trailer featuring excerpts of all ‘Facticity’s songs available to you below the text and then buy this young band's full-length debut here from Metal Blade:

OVER YOUR THRESHOLD: Antic – courtesy of Metal Blade Records

OVER YOUR THRESHOLD was founded in 2006 in Munich, Germany by guitarists Lukas Spielberger and Leonhard P. Drummer Julian Matejka and bassist Christian Siegmund joined in in 2009. Building up their audience also due to their expressive live performances, OVER YOUR THRESHOLD self-released their somewhat lacking-in-self-belief-titled EP ‘Progress In Disbelief’ in 2008. In 2011, the band recorded ‘Facticity’, and in 2012 they replaced founding member Leonhard P. with guitarist Kilian Lau and vocalist Ludwig Walter.

OVER YOUR THRESHOLD features: Ludwig Walter – vocals, Lukas Spielberger – guitar and vocals, Kilian Lau – guitar, Christian Siegmund - fretless bass and Julian Matejka – drums