23 December, 2012

Free music: Courtesy Metal Blade Records & Century Media & See You In 2013











Before I take my, I think, well-deserved break, (since, contrary to popular belief, nobody pays me to do this shit – insert here due thanx to my patient and equally childish husband and our wonderful and talented kids) let me point you to some free music from Metal Blade Records here and from Century Media Records here. Let me also remind you of Season Of Mist's extensive catalogue of albums streamed in full on their BandCamp page here, Candlelight Records' here, Relapse Records' here and Earache Record's here. For additional fine albums, visit Profound Lore Record's BandCamp page here, Debemur Morti Productions' here, Dark Descent Record's here, Willowtip's here and Bindrune Recordings' here. Visit Prophecy Productions' YouTube channel here and Sumerian Records' here and enjoy their releases in full. (Whomever I might have missed can feel free to add to the list by informing me about it.) Also, buy some music if you can, in support of all the hard working musicians out there.

Now, I thank you all for visiting and I wish you all a happy 2013. See you then.

22 December, 2012

Full Album Stream: Maveth: Coils Of The Black Earth – new album


MAVETH's, yes, “מוות” ladies and gentlemen, new album ‘Coils Of The Black Earth’ is being streamed in its old-school death metal entirety here (Imperiumi Magazine's SoundCloud). Out on Dark Descent Records since December 15th, 2012, buy this almost an hour long brutal beast here (Dark Descent store). The artwork for ‘Coils Of The Black Earth’ was created by Chilean illustrator and musician Daniel Desecrator:
“ ‘Coils Of The Black Earth’ [was] released right in middle of Advent, presumably in an attempt to spoil the mood in the run-up to Jesus' birthday; but come on, let’s enter into the spirit of things: it’ll make the ideal Christmas gift for the death-head in your family. It’s available on black or splattered vinyl, and CD. It’s kind of a bummer that it didn’t come out sooner - like INCARNATION's similarly blasphemous and awesome ‘Vanquish In Vengeance’, ‘Coils Of The Black Earth’ runs the risk of missing out on “Album of the Year” lists, etc. when it should be trumpeted from on high as one of the most exciting death metal debuts of this or any other year,” [was excited Jonathan Horsley, Decibel – read the rest here]

In order to conjure some brutal death metal mixed with blasphemous elements of black metal, MAVETH was formed in 2007 in Helsinki (or thereabouts) by founding members drummer Ville Markkanen, guitarists Mikko Karvinen and Mikko Argillander, and bassist and vocalist ChristButcher (from Denver, Colorado, and also known from DETHRONED and EXCOMMUNION). In 2009, Mikko Argillander left, hence ChristButcher took up guitar, and Jani Nupponen was engaged to play bass. In 2010, MAVETH released ‘Of Serpent And Shadow’ EP on vinyl through Swedish label Blood Harvest and on tape via French label Aural Offerings, as well as self-released a limited amount of CDs which included tracks from ‘Of Serpent And Shadow’ EP and ‘Impious Servant’ demo. In 2011, Greek label Nuclear Winter Records released a compilation album titled ‘Breath Of An Abomination’:

MAVETH features: ChristButcher - guitar and vocals, Jani Nupponen - bass, Mikko Karvinen – guitar and Ville Markkanen – drums

Full Album Stream: Desolate Shrine: The Sanctum Of Human Darkness – new album


“… This is everything that I’d expect from the sights and sounds of hell itself, and would fit perfectly well as soundtrack for the suffering damned in the funereal abyss. Uncomfortable acoustics are played on this record, along with melodies that sound like anything other than beautiful. This is the album that one would expect to be listening to in their headphones if the Maya were indeed right and lakes of fire poured forth from the sun, purging all life from this planet. It’s the very soundtrack to our demise and truly belts forth from every orifice, nothing less than a sense of chilling and forlorn evil,” [thusly Tony Shrum, Hails and Horns, described DESOLATE SHRINE's second album ‘The Sanctum Of Human Darkness’ – read the rest here]
‘The Sanctum Of Human Darkness’ is out now, (since December 15th, 2012) on Dark Descent Records and it awaits you here (Dark Descent store) if interested in finishing this year off with nearly 55 minutes of dark, misanthropic death metal. Listen to the full album here (Bandcamp) or below and check out the 8-minute preview of the album, featuring the artwork by DESOLATE SHIRNE's own L.L., below the written word:

Preferring to speak through their music, DESOLATE SHRINE formed in 2010 in Helsinki, Finland. It contains multi-instrumentalist and artist L.L. and two vocalists known only as M.L. and R.S. Their debut album of possessed, blackened death metal, ‘Tenebrous Towers’, was released in 2011 through Hammer Of Hate Records:

21 December, 2012

Savage Messiah: All Seeing I – new video & Plague Of Conscience – free album



SAVAGE MESSIAH's new video, ‘All Seeing I’, was directed by Phil Berridge:

“[Shared SAVAGE MESSIAH's frontman Dave Silver:] Sharing this [video] with our fans is a perfect ending to a great year, which of course started with the release of the ‘Plague Of Conscience’ album, and is ending with us making some cool plans for 2013.  We’re currently working on our next record, so stay tuned for more news on that soon.  Thanks for all the support we’ve had this year - have a very metal Christmas and a drunken and debauched New Year!”

‘All Seeing I’ comes off the new millennium melodic thrashers' third LP ‘Plague Of Conscience’, given away for free by the band and their label, Earache Records, here (Earache Records' site), and sold here (Earache Europe) and here (Earache U.S.) and on iTunes (with bonus track). ‘Plague Of Conscience’ is also available for your listening pleasure in full below, courtesy of conscientious yours truly. The album was recorded at Grindstone Studios in Suffolk, UK with producer Scott Atkins.

“Turns out added pressure was exactly what the members of SAVAGE MESSIAH required to clean up their act, and replace patchy songwriting and inconsistent execution with a finely honed set of melodic modern thrash songs balanced on the knife's edge between aggression and finesse. Yes, eyebrows may rise heavenward every time singer/guitarist Dave Silver unsuccessfully attempts to scale the piercing pitch-heights of Ripper Owens, but his seemingly endless arsenal of blistering leads and sinuous harmonies (played in tandem with second guitarist Tom Draper) salvage many a tune and silence all complaints on particularly strong efforts like the title track, ‘Carnival Of Souls’, and ‘Architects Of Fear’,” [was stern and supportive Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic – more here]


Formed in London, England in 2007 by guitarist and lead vocalist Dave Silver, SAVAGE MESSIAH released their debut album, ‘Spitting Venom’, through SMR Productions within a few months of their inception:

“SAVAGE MASSIAH's 2007 debut release is as indie as indie gets; yet, ironically, their intensely melodic brand of thrash is arguably more imaginative and dynamically versatile than that of many, more experienced, and better funded thrashing contemporaries. More original, too (if such a term can be used in reference to such a retro-inspired style), since there are more than enough SLAYER and EXODUS disciples doing the rounds, but not nearly enough new acts basing their style on TESTAMENT, MEGADETH and, heck, why not say it, METALLICA,” [observed Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic – more here]

The band than signed with Candlelight Records in 2009 and recorded their second full-length, 2009's ‘Insurrection Rising’, with Grammy-nominated producer Chris Tsangarides:

“In the metal world of the 2000s, that '80s nostalgia took the form of countless power metal revival bands, as well as many retro-thrash combos. SAVAGE MESSIAH (formerly “Headless Cross”) emerged in the late 2000s and obviously fall into the retro-thrash category, but as their second full-length album, ‘Insurrection Rising’, demonstrates, they are better at it than much of the competition. One of the things that makes this 2009 release a winner is the fact that these Brits have such a strong sense of melody; for all their high-speed aggression, SAVAGE MESSIAH don’t govern by brute force alone. … No one can accuse lead singer Dave Silver and his colleagues of trying to use volume and heaviness to camouflage a lack of substantial songwriting; if SAVAGE MESSIAH had to unplug and perform this material in an acoustic environment, it would still hold up,” [reviewed the album AllMusic's Alex Henderson – more here:]

SAVAGE MESSIAH: Insurrection Rising – courtesy of Savage Messiah

SAVAGE MESSIAH features: Dave Silver - lead vocals and guitar, Joff Bailey – guitar and backing vocals, Andrea Gorio – drums and Stefano Selvatico – bass












Rival Sons: Until The Sun Comes – new video & Head Down – full album stream

RIVAL SONS' new video, ‘Until The Sun Comes’, was directed by Simon Gesrel, a prominent stop-motion fanatic who is also known for his work with Academy Award-winning French filmmaker Michel Gondry:
“The video took about six weeks to make, two weeks of prep and four weeks of animation, including three weeks of post-production. This clip has references from “Time Rider” to apocalyptic science-fiction, i.e. “Mad Max”, especially Italian B-movies etc. like “Nuovi Barbari” - sometimes just the posters for these films are great inspiration! … We worked with three different sets, so there were effectively three different bikes and the characters. The set with the girl was shot in live action whereas the other travellings were in stop-motion, image by image. We worked with a naked model covered in glycerin, then covered in sand so the sand stuck. It was hard work despite the presence of a naked lady made of sand. I like playing with clichés (I know you've heard it all before...); it allows us to be direct with formats for a short clip - at the same time I look to remain accessible.  The idea is a meeting of inspiration - a spur of the moment thing, that finishes with a sexual rapport, but I wanted it to remain a clip for everyone; people see what their age permits and it remains fun for everyone,” [explained Simon Gesrel]
‘Until The Sun Comes’ comes from the blues-infused hard rockers' new album ‘Head Down’, issued through Earache Records in September 2012. ‘Head Down’ was recorded in Nashville, Tennessee with Grammy-nominated producer Dave Cobb and Grammy-wining engineer Vance Powell. Its artwork was created by Jason Holley. Get your own copy of ‘Head Down’ here (Earache Records Europe) or via iTunes, or pre-order it here (Earache Records USA). The album's physical formats will be released in the USA on January 22nd, 2013. In the meantime, listen to full album below, courtesy the label:
“[Commented guitarist Scott Holiday:] Songs were once again written and recorded on the spot, allowing the listener to really peer in and catch a snapshot of the moment, and our immediate instincts. Most songs were captured in a few takes, not to mention plenty of first-takers. Pretty off the cuff and unadulterated. We have never had a wish to be predictable or sedentary with our music, and this record explores and supports that ethos pretty well. In other words, this record is not ‘Pressure & Time’ [2011], but delves into a bunch of other musical ideas and sounds.”

“California blues-rock quartet RIVAL SONS bemoan the lack of danger in today's rock & roll generation on their Facebook page, a slightly hypocritical viewpoint considering that their third studio album, ‘Head Down’, could have been recorded at any point over the last 40 years. However, their clichéd soundbites aside, there’s much to enjoy on this typically ballsy and no-nonsense follow-up to 2011 breakthrough ‘Pressure & Time’. LED ZEPPELIN fans disappointed by their recent denials of a reunion could do worse than check out the blistering opener ‘Keep On Swinging’ and raucous ‘You Want To’ to get their fix of [Jimmy] Page-inspired classic rock riffs and [Robert] Plant-esque wails,” [is what Jon O’Brian, AllMusic thought – more here:]


Formed in 2008 in Los Angeles, RIVAL SONS self-released digital album ‘Before The Fire’ in 2010, signed with Earache Records in fall of the same year, and, following, digitally released self-titled EP (available in its entirety below) via their new label:
“There was just the right amount of audacity and bending of the rules for us to dig the idea of being on a [traditionally] death metal label,” [explained the miracle guitarist Scott Holiday:]

RIVAL SONS wrote, recorded and mixed their debut album ‘Pressure & Time’ in just 20 days to “ensure a rawness for both the listener and the band” as eloquently explained by the band's frontman, Jay Buchanan:
“In the code of the Samurai, any decision must be made between 3 and 5 breaths…  Writing by that code forces us to act, go with our instincts and really, truly listen to each other.  Creatively, you’re bringing your most immediate instincts.” [Apparently, this method of writing is not new to RIVAL SONS, for guitarist Scott Holiday affirmed:] “This is just the simplest way to not cheat ourselves or the listener.  Rock and roll can’t be over-thought, and if it is, it loses its immediacy and instinct… it needs to be a knife fight, not a knife dance.”
Be as it may, the record was produced by Dave Cobb. Listen to the full album here (BandCamp) or below, courtesy Earache Records:
“RIVAL SONS music might be called early or pre-metal. Simply put, RIVAL SONS are a power trio plus singer in the traditional style, who might have made this album after listening to the first LED ZEPPELIN LP over and over for a day or two. … Of course, the band also calls to mind groups of subsequent generations that built on the hard rock sound of the late '60s, such as THE CULT, THE BLACK CROWS, JET and THE WHITE STRIPES. So, anyone who likes that kind of music should overlook the implications of the record label [heh] and check out RIVAL SONS,” [commented William Ruhlmann, AllMusic – more here:]

RIVAL SONS features: Jay Buchanan - vocals, Scott Holiday - guitar, Robin Everhart – bass and Michael Miley – drums


19 December, 2012

Rammstein: Videos 1995 – 2012 – new DVD & Blu-ray & Mein Herz Brennt – new videos



This holyday season, RAMMSTEIN's numerous European fans can treat themselves, or their loved ones, to a more-or-less-controversial/explicit video collection of RAMMSTEIN videos spanning from the band's very beginnings to their latest single, ‘Mein Herz Brennt’. The 445-minute collection contains 25 videos and 24 “making of” videos, digi pac and 56-page booklet. Order the beast via the band's official store here or, once again, make use of Amazon. ‘Videos 1995 - 2012’ will become available to RAMMSTEIN's North American fans on January 15th, 2013, with release dates set for January 21st, 2012 in Mexico, January 25th, 2012 in Australia and New Zealand, and January 30th, 2012 in Japan. Both videos released for the single ‘Mein Herz Bennt’, directed by Zoran Bihać, are available below.


Tanz metal group RAMMSTEIN was founded in 1989 by presumably an-extensive-collection-of-DEPECHE MODE-and-LAIBACH-works-owner guitarist Richard Z. Kruspe. With former basket-weaver, as well as actor, poet and musician, vocalist Till Lindermann, bassist Oliver Riedel and former pioneering Socialist orchestra trumpeter drummer Christoph Schneider, he entered an amateur bands contest they won in 1994 which enabled them to professionally record a four-track demo and to, consequently, convince guitarist Paul H. Landers and keyboardist Christian “Flake” Lorenz to join the band. RAMMSTEIN's debut LP, recorded with producer Jacob Hellner, was released on Motor Records in 1995. ‘Herzeleid’ peaked at position number 6 on the German Albums Chart. 1997's ‘Sehnsucht’ conquered German and Austrian Albums Charts, entered Swiss Albums Chart at number 3 and debuted on the U.S. Billboard Top 200 chart at number 45. A year latter, RAMMSTEIN performed in Berlin in front of 17,000 fans, with DANZIG and Nina Hagen as supporting acts. After being nominated by MTV Europe for “Best Rock Act” and for “Best Metal Performance” by NARAS, RAMMSTEIN issued a live recording, ‘Live Aus Berlin’, in 1999, which, naturally, shot straight to first place on the German Albums Chart. Their third album, 2001's ‘Mutter’, reached top chart position in the band's home country as well as in Austria and Switzerland:

“With the first RAMMSTEIN album you hear, it’s hard not to be slightly amazed by the sheer chutzpah of it all. The German lyrics, the prog rock tendencies, the classic metal guitars, and the ridiculous basso profundo vocals - you either fall for it, spurn it, or are utterly bemused by the extremeness of it all,” [observed Stephen Thomas Erlewine, AllMusic – more here]

‘Reise, Reise’ came next in 2004, adding additional top chart positions to RAMMSTEIN's many accomplishments. ‘Reise, Reise’, conceptually based on one of the deadliest aircraft disasters in history (Japan Airlines Flight 123), topped the charts in Germany, Austria, Switzerland as well as in Finland, Estonia, Island and Mexico. The group's die-hard fans continued to defy music critics' opinions, again pushing RAMMSTEIN's fifth album, 2005's ‘Rosenrot’, to top chart positions in Germany, Austria and Finland. Their second live album/DVD, 2006's ‘Völkerball’, was certified Gold three times (album) and twice Platinum (DVD) in Germany. It conquered German, Finnish, Mexican and Russian charts. Besides, RAMMSTEIN's most successful album to date was yet to be recorded; ‘Liebe Ist Für Alle Da’ (“love is for everyone”), again produced by the band in cooperation with Jacob Hellner, was issued in 2009. Despite it being censored in Germany, the album was certified Platinum twice in their homeland, once in Austria, Switzerland and Finland (reportedly from pre-release sales), and Gold in Denmark, France and Poland. ‘Liebe Ist Für Alle Da’, described by David Jeffries, AllMusic as “mean monster” and “a grand achievement” (more here) entered the Billboard Top 200 at number 13, thusly becoming RAMMSTEIN's highest-charting album in the United States. The group's “greatest hits” album, their third issued through Universal Music, ‘Made In Germany 1995 – 2011’, followed in 2011.

RAMMSTEIN features: Christoph “Doom” Schneider – drums, Richard Z. Kruspe – guitar, Paul Landers – guitar, Till Lindemann – vocals, Oliver Riedel – bass and Christian “Flake” Lorenz - keyboards



18 December, 2012

Descending: The Energy – new video



Greece's modern death & thrash metallers', DESCENDING, second album is out since October 2011; it is called ‘New Death Celebrity’, it was co-produced by Fredrik Nordström and Henrik Udd at Fredman Studios, with its cover created by SEPTICFLESH's Seth Siro Anton, and was issued on Massacre Records. It can be downloaded here (Massacre Records) for even five Euros. DESCENDING have just released a video in promotion of ‘New Death Celebrity’; it was directed by the band's own vocalist Jon Simvonis and it poses a question:

“Through how many conditions, a human life has to pass, in order to make a full circle?” [It also offers an answer:] A video based on ‘New Death Celebrity’s concept, where the subject becomes a global figure after he passes away, witnessing his life going through the states of freedom, dogma, vanity, fame, loneliness, madness and finally death. A dramatic course of a life, lived in claustrophobia, presented as an allegory.”


DESCENDING was formed in 2007 in Athens, Greece by guitarists Theo and Constantine and vocalist Jon Simvonis, with drummer Nick Vell joining in later on. In 2008, DESCENDING released their debut album called ‘Enter Annihilation’ on Massacre Records in Europe and Spiritual Beast Records in Japan to positive reviews and feedback. Since then, the group has toured their home country many times over, has appeared at some major summer festivals, and has opened for acts such as LAMB OF GOD, TESTAMENT, GOJIRA and others.

DESCENDING features: Jon Simvonis – vocals, Theo – guitar, Constantine – guitar, Noir – bass and Nick Vell – drums





Neurosis: From The Hill – new video



NEUROSIS, who have just recently parted ways with their visual artist of the last twelve years, Josh Graham, and who are about to begin the process of reinventing their live presentation without visual projections that have been part of their live shows over the last twenty years, have also just released a video for the track ‘From The Hill’, taken from NEUROSIS' 2001's album ‘A Sun That Never Sets’ and directed by Josh Graham. ‘A Sun That Never Sets’ is available via Relapse Records.

In related news, in October 2012, NEUROSIS unbound their tenth album, ‘Honor Found In Decay’, via the band's own label Neurot Recordings. Stream the album's opening track ‘We All Rage In Gold’, courtesy VICE Magazine's music channel, below and listen to ‘At The Well’ here (NPR). Since NEUROSIS don’t just record songs but rather forge them, they’ve turned to revered engineer Steve Albini to capture their monolithic sound at Electrical Audio studios in Chicago. The seven tracks were then mastered by John Golden at Golden Mastering in Ventura, California. Since aesthetics have until recently been paramount for NEUROSIS, they, namely Steve Von Till, Scott Kelly, Noah Landis, Jason Roeder and Dave Edwardson, once again sought out Josh Graham to brilliantly evoke NEUROSIS' musical vision. Take an intense look into the new opus, created by Josh Graham and Kenneth Thomas, below. Buy the prodigious album (as well as the rest of NEUROSIS stuff) here (Neurot Recordings):

“The music on ‘Honor Found In Decay’ is both torturous and transcendent,” [wrote an introduction to the album J. Bennett] “It is the ongoing exposition of a vast internal dialogue that seems to carry the weight of eons. With the right kind of ears and eyes, it can seem like the trials and tribulations of mankind are being channeled through five individuals: Steve Von Till, Scott Kelly, Noah Landis, Jason Roeder and Dave Edwardson. And yet? They will be the first ones to tell you that they are just regular people trying to make sense of the world around them. Aided by Josh Graham, their resident visual guru, they transmit their interpretations through multiple sensory planes. The degree to which NEUROSIS allow them to step out of their everyday lives is the distance between one and zero, the distance between thinking and doing, the distance between this minute and the one that may or may not follow. Which is to say: NEUROSIS take them outside of themselves and brings them closer to themselves. Simultaneously.”

“… all NEUROSIS appear willing to divulge about their tenth studio full-length's titular theme is that, as all things in life inevitably decay, one can only try to face the inevitable with honor - in their case, through the language of music, naturally. So let those who hath understanding reckon the deeper meanings behind this particular song cycle, and while they’re at it, why not figure out the secret behind the band's surprisingly fruitful relationship with engineer Steve Albini, which is going on five albums now. … In sum, if there is in fact honor to be found in the planet's unstoppable decay, then NEUROSIS are just the band to soundtrack it, and nothing here indicates they won’t continue to rank among progressive music's leading explorers, well beyond those temporal musical fashions discussed earlier,” [dwelled on those temporal musical fashions less that you might suspect him to Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic – more here]


Formed in Oakland, California in 1985, NEUROSIS put forth their first album in 1987; ‘Pain Of Mind’ reportedly contained “short bursts of hate and attitude” as described by Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic (more here). Their transitional album from hardcore to avant-garde metal followed in 1990 (‘The World As Law’) and 1992's ‘Souls At Zero’ “drew on everything from goth rock drama and medieval folk stylings to a tribal stomp and dub pace to epic howls to the universe”, as put by Ned Raggett, AllMusic (more here). NEUROSIS' “masterpiece of on-the-edge, high-volume rampage that resists easy genre classification” (more here), ‘Enemy Of The Sun’, came next in 1993. Their critically acclaimed 1996's ‘Through Silver In Blood’ was their first for Relapse Records; ‘Times Of Grace’ followed in 1999 and their seventh album, ‘A Sun That Never Sets’, came next in 2001. Blending industrial, heavy metal and alternative rock, 2004's album ‘The Eye Of Every Storm’ was described by AllMusic's Jason MacNeil as “calmness surrounded by gorgeous yet brooding moments” (more here), and, released through their own label Neurot Recordings, ‘Given To The Rising’ appeared in 2007:

“This is a one hell of an album, better than anyone had any right to expect, and one of the high moments in a career filled with them. NEUROSIS have no need of caricatures or “more evil than thou” posturing. They are in a league of their own, and from the sounds of ‘Given To The Rising’, will remain there for some time,” [praised the record Thom Jurek, AllMusic – more here]

NEUROSIS features: Scott Kelly – guitar and vocals, Steve Von Till – guitar and vocals (filters and textures), Dave Edwardson – bass and synthesizer (space), Noah Landis – organ, piano and samples (atmospheres), Jason Roeder – drums





17 December, 2012

Full Album Stream: Dragged Into Sunlight: Widowmaker – new album


DRAGGED INTO SUNLIGHT's  critically acclaimed new album, the three-track, 40-minutes long ‘Widowmaker’, will be available everywhere and in every format by tomorrow, December 18th, 2012, courtesy Prosthetic Records. Listen to the entire album described as “a crushing musical experience easily among the year's best extreme-metal records” by Revolver Magazine, named the “Album of the Month” by Terrorizer, and MSN Entertainment's “Album of the Week” here (BandCamp) or below. ‘Widowmaker’, its art created by Norwegian artist Sindre Foss, can be bought from Prosthetic Records here, or digitally through Amazon MP3 or iTunes.

“[Offered the press release:] The members of DRAGGED INTO SUNLIGHT - whose identities remain hidden by masks, and who perform live with their backs to audiences in near total darkness - have claimed that the concept behind ‘Widowmaker’ is “everything heavier and everything louder than everything else”, and that the album will “leave the listener thinking whether jumping out of a 4th floor window might actually be the best idea they’ve ever had.”
“Like bank robbers on a job or mercenaries on a mission, the British quartet appears uniformly in balaclavas; the holes in the fabric are invitations of intrigue about the minds, lives and pasts of the four anonymous members. And when they play live, the musicians turn their backs on the audience, closing themselves to the house to again invoke wonder about just what they’re doing,” [added Grayson Currin, Pitchfork - more here]
“DRAGGED INTO SUNLIGHT's second album ‘Widowmaker’ is arguably the grimiest 40 minutes recorded this year, and that’s just the starting point in the compliments department. A singular tune split into three distinct, lengthy parts, ‘Widowmaker’ is the answer to the band's solid first effort [2010's] ‘Hatred For Mankind’. Few could have looked at that album and theorized the windfall of emotions that DRAGGED INTO SUNLIGHT goes through on ‘Widowmaker’. The band takes a risk, and in turn, elevates themselves to contenders for album of the year,” [judged Dan Marsciano, About.com – more here:]

Emerging out of Liverpool, England in 2006 and containing extreme metal veterans who conceal their identities (T on vocals, A on guitar, C on bass, and J on drums), DRAGGED INTO SUNLIGHT cite no specific influence other than “depression, isolation, abuse and calculated violence abundant in contemporary society”. In 2008, the band released a “19-minute holocaust masquerading as ‘Terminal Aggressor’ EP” (courtesy Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic) which, eventually sold out, “was never re-pressed”. Following, DRAGGED INTO SUNLIGHT had signed with Prosthetic Records for a worldwide recording contract. The band's first proper album, ‘Hatred For Mankind’, was originally released in 2009 by Mordgrimm Records and re-issued by Prosthetic in 2010. The record, mastered by Billy Anderson and produced by Tom Dring, apparently “summoned an immediate cult following setting the benchmark for what is an ultimately unique and extreme sound”. Even Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic got excited:
“THE BEATLES once proclaimed that “all you need is love” but ask Liverpool, England's DRAGGED INTO SUNLIGHT for their view of the world, and they’d surely assert the exact opposite: that all you need is HATE. After all, misanthropy of the highest order is very much the driving force behind the group's 2011 debut album, ‘Hatred For Mankind’ (see, it says so right there!), which is also presented with an album cover so gratuitously gruesome, one can’t help but wonder if the band is just having a laugh,” [read the rest here:]

Krisiun: The Will To Potency – new video

One of the most impressive South American death metal bands, KRISIUN - the Três Irmãos from Brazil, have unleashed a new, Tommy Jones-directed video ‘The Will To Potency’. The video director commented:
“I had the idea of filming the band out in the middle of the desert because I love that area and always wanted to do a desert shoot. So I convinced the driver to pull over in the middle of nowhere at 9 AM. We filmed for about 2 and a half hours out there, using a laptop as audio playback. We caught the attention of the Mexican Border Patrol who came to check out what we were doing. They sent about 3 SUVs out to check us out. Once they made sure we weren’t doing anything “too illegal” they got a kick out of it and were taking pictures on their iPhones because they said in all their years, they haven’t seen a band set up in the middle of the desert.”
‘The Will To Potency’ comes off KRISIUN's eight studio album ‘The Great Execution’, issued through Century Media Records in October/November 2011.  KRISIUN's trademark high speed death metal violence, “ranging from extreme tempo variations over distinct rhythm patterns to clean guitars and even Flamenco parts!”, was produced by German producer Andy Classen at Stage One Studio and recorded entirely on analogue equipment. ‘The Great Execution’ also features appearance by guest vocalist Joao Gordo (RATOS DE PORAO) and acoustic guitarist Marcello Caminha. Listen to more of “the drums that pound instead of bounce and to guitar tones that sear rather than hiss” below. ‘The Great Execution’ is available here (CM Distro) and on iTunes:
“So while blistering guitar solos and quasi-blast-beat rhythms are never too far off, they tend to serve as brief and distinct passages here - not the be all, end all - of token tracks like ‘Blood Of Lions’, ‘Descending Abomination’ and ‘Shadows Of Betrayal’. Also worthy of note: the standout title cut boasts unusual melodic lyricism in its opening sequence; the ambitious ‘Sword Of Orion’ and ‘Shadows Of Betrayal’ respectively pack acoustic guitar flourishes and a true - gulp! - chorus amid their epic frameworks; and the album's lone breakneck entry, ‘Extinção Em Massa’, of course contains rare Portuguese lyrics, perhaps in tribute to legendary countrymen Vulcano. All told, these qualities produce a fine album that may not sit well with all the KRISUN fans that stood by the band's resistance to change over the years, but will hopefully draw new fans to their cause with its broader ambitions,” [argued Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic – more here]
“Maturity, they say, is not measured in years, but in actions. It is not quantifiable, but one knows it when he/she sees it - or in the case of KRISIUN's ‘The Great Execution’ - when he/she hears it. It is an album that sees the band stepping outside of their comfort zone, producing songs that are unlike any of their previous releases - yet distinctly and immediately their own. The songs are diverse, containing extreme tempo variations, distinct patterns, and even clean guitars on select tracks,” [argued the press release]

Founded by brothers Alex Camargo (bass and vocals), Moyses Kolesne (guitar) and Max Kolesne (drums) in 1990 in the south of Brazil, KRISIUN have recorded a couple of demos before moving to the largest city in the southern hemisphere, São Paulo, where they recorded and self-released an EP and two full-lengths (1995's ‘Black Force Domain’ and 1998's ‘Apocaliptic Revelation’), before signing with Century Media in 1999. “The improved songwriting and production make ‘Conquerors Of Armageddon’ [2000] an especially good introduction to KRISIUN brand of punishing (if admittedly not all that varied) death metal. For those keeping score, this album may not be quite as fast as ‘Black Force Domain’ but it’s still extremely fast,” [wrote William York, AllMusic – more here]. ‘Ageless Venomous’ came out in 2001 with ‘Works Of Carnage’ following in 2003. KRISIUN's sixth album ‘AssassiNation’, released in 2006, was dedicated to the memory of Krzysztof Raczkowski (also known as “Doc”, drummer for Polish death metal band VADER) and PANTERA's Dimebag Darrell:
“ ‘AssassiNation’ constitutes the Brazilian death metal institution's first all-new album in nearly three years - one of the longest gestation periods afforded by their obsessively workaholic habits. And, whether it served to regenerate the band's creative juices, or, more likely, simply give their critics and fans some time to actually start missing them again, this break certainly enhances ‘AssassiNation’s arrival with a palpable feeling of excitement. A good thing, too, since bludgeoning opener ‘Bloodfire’ seems almost stubbornly defiant in its unforgiving, remorseless death metal onslaught; as if KRISIUN are literally staring down all those who in the past accused them of committing extremity for mere extremity's sake, with an insolent: “So what?”, [commented Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic – more here]
KRISIUN paid tribute to their Brazilian brothers in arms with a cover of SEPULTURA's ‘Refuse/Resist’ on their third collaboration with producer Andy Classen, 2008 album ‘Southern Storm’:
“As their works and experience demonstrate, KRISIUN stand toe-to-toe with their death metal peers in ferocity and sheer shred-ability. Having toured the world with the likes of KREATOR, MORBID ANGEL, CANNIBAL CORPSE, NAPALM DEATH etc, in addition to having graced the stages of major metal festivals throughout Europe and beyond, the band has also gained a hard-earned reputation for crushing live shows. One would be hard-pressed to find a metal band today as consistent and stable in terms of quality and conviction as KRISIUN. By successfully ignoring trends and fads, they have emerged as one of the most impressive death metal imports from South America,” [concludes this journey for us in a loving way the band's faithful label]
KRISIUN features: Alex Camargo – vocals and bass, Moyses Kolesne – guitar and Max Kolesne – drums

16 December, 2012

Mors Principium Est: … And Death Said Live – new album



After five long years they have arisen, awoken by the Ten-Commandments-extended-edition-carrying Death itself (see above). Finland's MORS PRINCIPIUM EST new album, ‘…And Death Said Live’, is already out in Japan, Europe and Australia (December 2012) on AFM Records, Marquee/Avalon and Truth Inc Records, and will be released in the U.S. on January 15th, 2012 via AFM Records. ‘…And Death Said Live’, recorded at the Panic Room Studios in Sweden, features guest appearances of BRING ME THE HORIZON's Jona Weinhofen and THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER's Ryan Knight. Get the album here (Europe), here (USA), here (Australia) or via iTunes and Amazon. Listen to the track ‘…And Death Said Live’ here (SoundCloud).


Compared to the likes of AT THE GATES, IN FLAMES and DARK TRANQUILLITY throughout their career which started in 1999 in Pori, Finland, MORS PRINCIPIUM EST's (“death is only the beginning”) demos found their way into Listenable Records offices in 2001. “Treading that nebulous ground between death metal and black metal”, MPE's debut full-length was issued in 2003:

“Incredibly accomplished for a debut release, ‘Inhumanity’ finds this technically proficient sextet surrounding death metal's razor sharp riffs and high-pitched guitar harmonies with the screeched vocal delivery and blast-beat drumming velocity of black metal. Think DARK TRANQUILLITY or AT THE GATES locking arms (or butting heads, as it were) with ROTTING CHRIST or MARDUK and you’ll get the picture. But even more astounding than their instrumental skill is the young group's amazingly mature songwriting chops, which produce instantly distinctive highlights like ‘Another Creation’, the title track, and ‘The Lust Called Knowledge’. It’s quite impossible to find a single weak link here (OK, maybe the rather ho-hum instrumental ‘Oblivion’); just standout after standout,” [wrote Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic – more here]

MPE's follow-up albums, 2005's ‘The Unborn’ and 2007's ‘Liberation=Termination’, were met by similar positive response from the press and fans alike. But in 2007, with personnel problems abound, the group nearly disbanded. Trying out different musicians and combinations over the years that followed, MORS PRINCIPIUM EST salvation finally arrived in 2011, in form of guitarists Andy Gillion from United Kingdom and Andhe Chandler from New Zealand.

MORS PRINCIPIUM EST features: Ville Viljanen – vocals, Mikko Sipola – drums, Teemu Heinola – bass, Andy Gillion – guitar and Andhe Chandler - guitar

Fallstaf: Miller's Crossing – new video & Bastard Sons Of A Pure Breed – full album stream

Montreal, Canada-based brass metallers FALLSTAF have just unleashed a new single, suggestively titled ‘Miller's Crossing’, which they recorded with their new bassist Goyy who replaced Benn; him apparently deciding “to take another road”. The world's probably first brass metallers are currently hard at work on a new 4-song EP they plan to issue in early 2013.

FALLSTAF, an angry brother of former music collective NORTH EAST BISTRO, was formed in order to express the louder and more theatrical sides of NEB bandmembers' personalities. Together with the hitman they’ve hired (who happens to play a trombone and is called “The Hitman”), they have invented a brand new metal genre referred to as brass metal. Blending aggressive trombone with heavy rock, thrash and hardcore influences, FALLSTAF debut recording was their appropriately titled EP ‘The Hitman Plays Trombone’, issued in 2009. In 2011, FALSTAFF self-released their debut album ‘Bastard Sons Of A Pure Breed’. The 11 furious tracks were produced by FALLSTAF and mixed and mastered by Kevin Jardine of Uplift Studios. The album can be enjoyed in its entirety here (BandCamp) – where you are advised to spend your Canadian dollar as well – or below:


FALLSTAF features: Iann - vocals, Goyy - bass, Matt - drums, Simm - guitar and The Hitman – trombone/horns


07 December, 2012

2012 Summary / Hanukkah 5773 Wrap-Up

Guided by the moon as always, this year's Festival Of Lights comes early. Nevertheless, let me add my own highly subjective list of this year's Best Of The Best. Well, 2012 turned out to be quite an extraordinary year:

So, in January soul journeying became a genuinely wonderful affair due to ALCEST, when ABIGAIL WILLIAMS unveiled their true potential. It would be difficult to choose between the two, hence the “Album Of The Month” thing goes to the unstoppable Virginians, LAMB OF GOD, and their resolute frontman Randy Blythe. The rest of the month was filled with music by BIOHAZARD, AVATAR, ABORTED, FARSOT, DODECAHEDRON, AZAGHAL, LIBERTEER, SUICIDAL ANGELS and NOTHNEGAL. Monthly visuals (videos) were provided by MORBID ANGEL, CANNABIS CORPSE, SOLSTAFIR, MASTODON, LACUNA COIL, Norway's SHINING, DEATH WOLF, BORN OF OSIRIS, CITY OF FIRE, BRUTAL TRUTH, CYPHER SYSTEM, SUIDAKRA, TERROR and MISERATION.




In May, MARDUK nearly made some sort of a believer out of me, heh. Next, I listened to HORSEBACK, ROYAL THUNDER and HURT a lot, then to CATTLE DECAPITATION, MUTILATION RITES, SIX FEET UNDER, CARACH ANGREN, GRAND MAGUS and ALLEGAEON. The rest of the month was made up of tunes from FIREWIND, THE FALLEN DIVINE, SHADOWS FALL, and ANGELUS APATRIDA. And finally, May was also the month the word “epic” was redefined by ENGEL. Video clips this time spotlighted NEARA and CHILDREN OF BODOM.

In June, I was so! proud of WHITECHAPEL. I know, at my age I should go for the intelligence of IHSAHN, the meticulousness of FEAR FACTORY, the spirituality of GOJIRA, for the bearing of KREATOR or the tenacity of DYING FETUS but no, an occasional breakdown does it just fine for me, thank you very much. I have also enjoyed music provided by BOSSE-DE-NAGE, AGALLOCH, BLACKLODGE and AHAB, and listened to HELLYEAH, TREPALIUM, MNEMIC, GOTTHARD, PURIFIED IN BLOOD, OLD MAN GLOOMMY RUIN, PUTERAEON, DAWN OF DEMISE, BILOCATE and BE'LAKOR. It should be also pointed out that in June the world celebrated the re-awakening of SETH. Monthly videos came courtesy DJERV, IMPENDING DOOM, IN SOLITUDE, SLAVES ON DOPE, RUINED SOUL and XEROSUN.

Letting us bite our fingernails in anticipation until the last days of the month, NACHTMYSTIUM nevertheless win July. It was between them and BARONESS whom I wish quick and complete recovery from any and all injury sustained in that nasty traffic accident that has befallen them barely a month after the release of their excellent album. In July, I also listened to TESTAMENT, NILE, P.O.D., CHROME WAVES, THE HOWLING WIND, A FORREST FULL OF STARS, EVOKEN, DEW-SCENTED, BURY TOMORROW, TANKARD, KING OF ASGARD, TITANS EVE and SLIPKNOT. I watched videos unleashed by our own THE FADING, SINTAX and HAMMERCULT and those of DARKEST HOUR, THE ROTTED, THIS IS HELLDEMON LUNG and THE INIQUITY DESCENT.

I’ve been away for most of August, enjoying live performances by many of already mentioned bands and those from KORN, MACHINE HEAD, HATEBREED, PAIN, AMON AMARTH, SODOM, SEPTICFLESH, HELL, MADBALL, MILKING THE GOAT MACHINE and HATESPHERE (and many, many others). But when reconnected, with all due respect to KATATONIA, GRAVE, KRALLICE and LOCRIAN, I have enjoyed KHONSU's album most. Additional fun was provided by GYPSYHAWK, IN THIS MOMENT, FOZZY, TEXAS HIPPIE COALITION, ALL HAIL THE YETI, BONAFIDE and SVÖLK. ZATOKREV and OVER YOUR THRESHOLD balanced things out and BATTLECROSS delivered the moving pictures.

September goes wholeheartedly to BLUT AUS NORD, though the “Handsomest Band On The Planet” award must be granted to DOWN, and DEVIN TOWNSEND & Co. must receive the “Most Positive & Romantic Album” prize. ENSLAVED, THE CASUALTIES, VISION OF DISORDER and AS I LAY DYING pulled out their big guns, and we delighted in BEASTWARS', KHORS', RIVAL SONS', ORCHID's, WITCHCRAFT's, KONTINUUM's and GLOWSUN's new albums. In September, you sure liked POSTHUM, as have I, and we were guided toward the light by MURDER CONSTRUCT, BEHEXEN, NETTLE CARRIER, WINTERFYLLETH, SERPENTINE PATH, ILLDISPOSED, UNDERCROFT, BY THE PATIENT and KRYPTOS. In September, REVOCATION felt especially generous, and I discovered a new genre, courtesy BEYOND ALL RECOGNITION. Video clips were released by ABSU, THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, EVILE and ARCH ENEMY.

AnaalNatrakh_VanitasThough I was completely unaware of it at the time, it turned out ANAAL NATHRAKH did it again and better in October, when giant albums were put forth by YAKUZA, CONVERGE, PIG DESTROYER, NEUROSIS, PARKWAY DRIVE and INDESINENCE. Fine albums were released by MY DYING BRIDE, THE SWORD, GRAVEYARD, BISON B.C., BETWEEN THE BURIED AN ME, GOD SEED, RAGNAROK, SYLOSIS, ATRIARCH, STONE SOUR, WINTERSUN, DAWNFALL OF GAIA, WAR FROM A HARLOTS MOUTH, A LIFE ONCE LOST, WEAPON, RAGE NUCLÉAIRE, EARLY GRAVES, ANTROPOMORPHIA and  ZODIAC. Monthly benevolence came courtesy DEAD BEYOND BURIED. Monthly videos were provided by RED FANG, INSOMNIUM and (an especially disgusting one) by RWAKE.

Well, December might yet be filled with wonderful tunes… but November goes to DEFTONES. Quite amazing tones were presented by SOUNDGARDEN, HOW TO DESTROY ANGELS, BELL WITCH and AMENRA as well. In November, this blog celebrated accomplishments by DEATH and DESTRUCTION and was blitzkrieged by AEON, GRAND SUPREME BLOOD COURT, HELL MILITIA and DEVOLVED. Then I listened to ALTERNATIVE 4, HORSEBACK & LOCRIAN, SONNE ADAM, TROUBLED HORSE, MAMMOTH MAMMOTH, FRAGMENTS OF UNBECOMING, DESTINY and eventually to NINE COVENS and NIDINGR. Generosity in November came by way of MEDICATED, and charity via Century Media and Relapse Records.

All in all, 2012 was and still is quite an amazing year, music-wise. Now, you make 2013 an even better one, and I will do my best to spread the word. Yours truly :-)