22 December, 2013

2013 Wrap-Up Part 2

BLACK SABBATH (‘13’) are like gods. The Immortals, the untouchables. But here, on this unimportant blog C R O W N get June with ‘Psychurgy’, and LOCRIAN (‘Return To Annihilation’), and CHILDREN OF BODOM (‘Halo Of Blood’) share third spot. Also, all due credit for THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER's ‘Everblack’, SCALE THE SUMMIT's ‘The Migration’, MAN'S GIN's ‘Rebellion Hymns’, SETH's triumphant comeback ‘The Howling Spirit’, DJEVEL's ‘Besatt Av Maane Og Natt’, NECRONOMICON's ‘Rise Of The Elder Ones’ and AUTOPSY's ‘The Headless Ritual’. Next, I listened to VALIENT THORR ‘Our Own Masters’, to HAVOK's ‘Unnatural Selection’, to AMON AMARTH's ‘Deceiver Of The Gods’, to SCORPION CHILD's self-titled album, to WHITE WIZZARD's ‘The Devil's Cut’, to DARKANE's ‘The Sinister Supremacy’, to ORPHANED LAND's ‘All Is One’, to CHTHONIC's ‘Bú-Tik’, to MY RUIN's ‘The Sacred Mood’, to DEMON LUNG's ‘The Hundredth Name’, to LACRIMAS PROFUNDERE's ‘Antiadore’, to INTO THE FLOOD's ‘Vices’, to FROM THE WASTELAND's ‘Kamarikan’ and to FATALITY's ‘Psychonaut’. Furthermore, any self-respecting black metal disciple's library screams for reissued BEHEXEN ‘Rituale Satanum’.

LORD DYING win July with ‘Summon The Faithless’, followed by HIGH ON FIRE's live double album ‘Spitting Fire Live’, THE WINERY DOGS' self-titled debut, MEGADETH's ‘Super Collider’, MÅNEGARM's ‘Legions Of The North’, UNKIND's ‘Pelon Juuret’, BLACK TUSK's ‘Tend No Wounds’, TRUE WIDOW's ‘Circumambulation’, BATTLECROSS' ‘War Of Will’, PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS' intimidating ‘Walk Through Exits Only’, JAMES LABRIE's ‘Impermanent Resonance’, BARONESS' ‘Live At Maida Vale’, MERCENARY's ‘Through Our Darkest Days’, STORMZONE's ‘Three Kings’, WITHERSCAPE's ‘The Inheritance’, FUELED BY FIRE's ‘Trapped In Perdition’ and PANZERCHRIST's ‘The 7th Offensive’
Also, I would like to thank to monsieurs Gore Verbinski and (everybody's favourite pirate) Johnny Depp for the first big budget black metal movie: “The Lone Ranger”. To Mr. Verbinski for capturing the genre's ridiculousness so perfectly, and to Mr. Depp for wearing the corpse paint with such dignity. They are both welcome to our tribe. Heh.

Honesty is not the best policy but it hopefully still counts as a virtue. WATAIN's ‘The Wild Hunt’ spoke to me in August, with GORGUTS (‘Colored Sands’) and ULVER (‘Messe I.X-VI.X’) getting there second and ROSETTA (‘The Anaesthete’) and AVENGED SEVENFOLD (‘Hail To The King’) thrid. Well – deal with it. Next comes DEVIL DRIVER with ‘Winter Kills’, REVOCATION with thair self-titled album, BOMBUS with ‘The Poet And The Parrot’, NHOR with ‘Within The Darkness Between The Starlight’, GOG with ’Ironworks’, ANNIHILATOR with ‘Feast’, SOIL with ‘Whole’, TURISAS with ‘Turisas2013’, DEBAUCHERY with ‘Kings Of Carnage’, DIAMOND PLATE with ‘Pulse’ and BORN OF OSIRIS with ‘Tomorrow We Die Alive’. Also, I must remind you of the excellent ‘Monolithe I’ by MONOLITHE, reissued in August.

VULTURE INDUSTRIES get September with ‘The Tower’. Of course I like CARCASS' ‘Surgical Steel’, who doesn’t? Also, I enjoyed VISION BLEAK's ‘The Witching Hour’, SATYRICON's self-titled album and WINDHAND's ‘Soma’. Next, I recommend  SOULFLY's ‘Savages’, IN SOLITUDE's ‘Sister’, ONSLAUGHT's ‘VI’, DREAM THEATER's self-titled effort, GWAR's highly entertaining ‘Battle Maximus’, THE SAFETY FIRE's ‘Mouth Of Swords’, THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA's ‘8:18’, VATTNET VISKAR's ‘Sky Swallower’, IRON MAN's ‘South Of The Earth’ and, for the brave among you, ULCERATE's ‘Vermis’. And let us remember the real heavy weights: SAINT VITUS (‘C.O.D. and ‘Die Healing’) and KONGH (‘Counting Heartbeats’) whose albums appeared refurbished.




Necrophobic_WombOfLilithuWell, I don’t know if I’m overstepping boundaries of political correctness here, but NECROPHOBIC get October for ‘Womb Of Lilithu’. MONSTER MAGNET (‘The Last Patrol’) and MOTÖRHEAD (‘Aftershock’) will have to settle for second spot, and RED FANG (‘Whales And Leeches’) and MONOLITHE (‘Monolithe IV’) get third. I truly liked SO HIDEOUS' ‘Last Poem / First Light’, SKELETONWITCH's ‘Serpents Unleashed’ and TOXIC HOLOCAUST's ‘Chemistry Of Consciousness’ as well. Next on the list is  IHSAHN with ‘Das Seelenbrechen’, followed by DEATH ANGEL (‘The Dream Calls For Blood’), SEPULTURA(‘The Mediator Between Head And Hands Must Be The Heart’), KATAKLYSM (‘Waiting For The End To Come’), PROTEST THE HERO (‘Volition’), KILL DIVISION  (‘Destructive Force’), CRAVEN IDOL (‘Towards Eschaton’), RIVERS OF NIHIL (‘The Conscious Seed Of Light’), TRIVIUM (‘Vengeance Falls’), KORN (‘Paradigm Shift’), LOWCITYRAIN (self-titled), HORISONT (‘Time Warriors’), ZODIAC (‘A Hiding Place’), WARBRINGER (‘IV: Empires Collapse’), BLUT AUS NORD (‘What Once Was = Liber III’), EREB ALTOR  (‘Fire Meets Ice’), CASTEVET (‘Obsian’) BETZEFER  (‘The Devil Went Down To The Holy Land’), THE BROWNING (‘Hypernova’), INQUISITION (‘Obscure Verses For The Multiverse’), NOIRE (‘Dark Reverence’) and WINDS OF PLAGUE (‘Resistance’).


Deicide_InTheMindsOfEvilDEICIDE (‘In The Minds Of Evil’) get November. Why? Because. YEAR OF NO LIGHT (‘Tocsin’) and <CODE> (‘Augur Nox’) come second and ARTILLERY (‘Legions’), GENERATION KILL (‘We’re All Gonna Die’), HELL (‘Curse & Chapter’), GLORIOR BELLI (‘Gator Rumble, Chaos Unfurls’) share the third place. Next,  I recommend AVATARIUM's self-titled album, VAURA's ‘The Missing’, FALKENBACH's ‘Asa’, DEMONICAL's ‘Darkness Unbound’, TEMPLE OF BAAL's ‘Verses Of Fire’, CRONIAN's ‘Erathems’, PESTILENCE's ‘Obsideo’, DUNCAN EVANS' ‘Lodestone’, AQUA NEBULA OSCILLATOR's ‘Spiritus Mundi', SATAN'S WRATH's ‘Aeons Of Satan's Reign’, SWITCHBLADE's ‘Heavy Weapons’ and OBLITERATION ‘Black Death Horizon’. And let us not forget SEPTICFLESH's ‘Ophidian Wheel’ and SÓLSTAFIR's ‘Í Blóði Og Anda’ (reissues).

Free album: OBSIDIAN KINGDOM ‘Torn & Burnt’ (a fine album I would fit somewhere between VAURA and FALKENBACH)


In December we mostly watched videos: BEHEMOTH, IN THIS MOMENT

So, this is it from me until 2014. (Once again, click on the band's names to get to their posts on this blog.) In the meantime, have fun, stay happy and stay healthy. L’chaim!
Yours Truly

20 December, 2013

2013 Wrap-Up Part 1

I am slowly wrapping up this year – with Part 2 on its eventual way. This year, the ups were really high and the lows were really low, but music-wise – it was quite amazing. So, this then is my own personal view of 2013 (click on the band's name to get to its post).
Yours Truly

December (2012) goes to the mysterious entity called NINE COVENS. True, their ‘On The Dawning Of Light’ came out in November 2012 in Europe, and in January 2013 in North America, but, listening to it again right now, I think they deserve their month; therefore they get December. Next, I would recommend DRAGGED INTO SUNLIGHT three-track, 40-minutes long ‘Widowmaker’, MORS PRINCIPIUM EST's comeback album ‘…And Death Said Live’, DESOLATE SHRINE's ‘The Sanctum Of Human Darkness’, NIDINGR's ‘Greatest Of Deceivers’ and MAVETH's ‘Coils Of The Black Earth’.
Free albums from: XUL: ‘Malignance’ and DAMNATION DEFACED: ‘Slaughter Race’ EP

As far as I’m concerned, CULT OF LUNA and their album ‘Vertical’ get January. If it was up to me, I would award VOIVOD's ‘Target Earth’ with second place and I would force HATEBREED, HOLY GRAIL, LIGHTNING SWORDS OF DEATH and KOLDBRANN to share the third spot for their respective efforts: ‘The Divinity Of Purpose’, ‘Ride The Void’, ‘Baphometic Chaosium’ and ‘Vertigo’. Next, I recommend NECROWRETCH (‘Putrid Death Sorcery’), NIGHTFALL (‘Casiopea’), ROTTEN SOUND (‘Species At War’), DENOUNCMENT PYRE (‘Almighty Arcanum’), ALPHA TIGER (‘Beneath The Surface’), WALLACHIA (‘Shunya’), DANTE (‘November Red’), MUTINY WITHIN (‘Synchronicity’) and CHARIOTS OF THE GODS (‘Tides Of War’).

In February I went a bit piraty (with ‘Son Of Rouges Gallery’) and then all hell broke loose; but that aside, I finally made my peace with DARKTHRONE on account of their ‘Underground Resistance’. Second place goes to HELEN MONEY for ‘Arriving Angels’ and to EIGHT BELLS for ‘Captain's Daughter’ and not only for their excellent contributions to this otherwise male-dominated sort of music (taking nothing away from their male partners in crime) and of course to the mighty KONGH (‘Sole Creation’), while the bronze spot goes jointly to ANCIENT VVISDOM for ‘Deathlike’, SUFFOCATION for ‘Pinnacle Of Bedlam’, HATE for ‘Alchemy Of Blood’ and SPEKTR for ‘Cypher’. Next, I listened to DEATH WOLF's ‘II: Black Armoured Death’, SHAI HULUD's ‘Reach Beyond The Sun’, BUCKCHERRY's ‘Confessions’, OMNIUM GATHERUM's ‘Beyond’, PORTAL's ‘Vexovoid’, VREID's ‘Welcome Farewell’, MISERY INDEX's live album, AS THEY BURN ‘Will, Love, Life’ and to CNOC AN TURSA's ‘The Giants Of Auld’, to KING CROW's ‘In Crescendo’, to DISPERSE's ‘Living Mirrors’, to ENFORCER's ‘Death By Fire’, to DEVOURMENT's ‘Conceived In Sewage’, to WITHIN THE RUINS' ‘Elite’, to BYZANTINE's self-titled album, and to CROSSFAITH's ‘Zion’. And let us not forget the reissued ‘Desert Northern Hell’ by TSJUDER and ‘In The Streams Of Inferno’ by MYSTICUM.
Free albums: THE GATES OF SLUMBER's ‘Stormcrow’ and SLASHER's ‘Pray For The Dead’

No matter how appealing to my senses HYPOCRISY (‘End Of Disclosure’) mainman's facial hair or his outlandish conspiracy theories is/are, or how in vogue HOW TO DESTROY ANGELS (‘Welcome Oblivion’) and KVELERTAK (‘Meir’) are, or how glad I was to see SUICIDAL TENDENCIES (‘13’) back, or how entertained I was by FINNTROLL (‘Blodsvept’), LOST SOCIETY (‘Fast Loud Death’) or HARDCORE SUPERSTAR (‘C’mon Take On Me’) or THE NEW BLACK (‘III: Cut Loose’), and how awed I was by WARDRUNA's (‘Runaljod – Yggdrasil’), OCTOBER FALLS (‘The Plague Of A Coming Age’), IMPERIUM DEKADENZ (‘Meadows Of Nostalgia’) and SIX FEET UNDER (‘Unborn’) dedication to their respective causes, or how “lifted” I was by INTRONAUT (‘Habitual Levitations (Instilling Words With Tones)’, or how “horrified” I was by MOSS (‘Horrible Night’) – it was really between ROTTING CHRIST's ‘Kata Ton Daimona Eaytoy’ and INTER ARMA's ‘Sky Burial’ for me in March. And on the end, ROTTING CHRIST appealed to the tribalist in me, I guess. Furthermore, I listened to CALL OF THE VOID's  ‘Dragged Down A Dead End Path’, SOILWORK's ‘The Living Infinite’, to KEN MODE's ‘Entrenched’, to JUNGLE ROT's ‘Terror Regime’, to SAXON's ‘Sacrifice’, to NEAERA's ‘Ours Is The Storm’, to NAILS's  ‘Abandon All Life’, to AMENTA's ‘Flesh Is Heir’, to NERO DI MARTE's self-titled album, to TOMBSTONE's ‘Ruralizer’, to ESSENCE's ‘Last Night Of Solace’, to MILKING THE GOATMACHINE's ‘Stallzeit’, to DAMNATION PLAN's ‘The Wakening’ and to PERSEPHONE's ‘Spiritual Migration’. Also, we should all remember THE EYE has risen anew in March (‘Supremacy’).

Well, yes I know, I am predictable. I have fought them long and hard but on the end they’ve won April, GHOST (B.C.) and their ‘Infestissumam’ I mean. April was the month during which we all went a bit native (and a little crazy): VHÖL with their self-titled debut, BEASTWARS with ‘Blood Becomes Fire’, SHINING with ‘One One One’, ALTAR OF PLAGUES with ‘Teethed Glory And Injury’, ORCHID with ‘The Mouth Of Madness’, AMORPHIS with ‘Circle’, AOSOTH with ‘IV: An Arrow In Heart’, THE OCEAN with ‘Pelagial’ and PURSON with ‘The Circle And The Blue Door’. I have really enjoyed BRING ME THE HORIZON's ‘Sempiternal’ too – they’ve grown up some. CATHEDRAL (‘The Last Spire’), KILLSWITCH ENGAGE (‘Disarm The Descent’) and STONE SOUR (‘House Of Gold & Bones Part 2’) are hopefully quite mature as well. Not something GAMA BOMB (‘The Terror Tapes’) worry about. Next, I recommend KADAVAR's ‘Abra Kadavar’, SPIRITUAL BEGGARS' ‘Earth Blues’, FLOTSAM AND JETSAM's ‘Ugly Noise’, SATAN's ‘Life Sentence’, WARBEAST's ‘Destroy’, SODOM's ‘Epitome Of Torture’, PYRITHION's ‘The Burden Of Sorrow’, NEGATOR's ‘Gates To The Pantheon’, WOE's ‘Withdrawal’, HEAVEN SHALL BURN's ‘Veto’,  THE MOTH GATHERER's ‘A Bright Celestial Light’, HOWL's ‘Bloodlines’, THIS MISERY GARDEN's ‘Cornerstone’,  COUGH/WINDHAND's ‘Reflection Of The Negative’, F.K.Ü's ‘4: Rise Of The Mosh Mongers’, ANCIIENTS's ‘Heart Of Oak’,  DROWNING POOL's ‘Resilience’, DARK SERMON's ‘In Tongues’ and EYECONOCLAST's ‘Drones Of The Awakening’. Phew! And let’s not forget ROB ZOMBIE's ‘Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor’.

Booklet 16P
If not for CHAOSTAR's ‘Anomima’, THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN would win May with ‘One Of Us Is The Killer’, SLIDHR with ‘Deluge’, KYLESA with ‘Ultraviolet’, ASG with ‘Blood Drive’, TESSERACT with ‘Altered State’, ARCKANUM with ‘Fenris Kindir’, SADGIQACEA with ‘False Prism’, BLACK STAR RIDERS with ‘All Hell Breaks Loose’, IMMOLATION with ‘Kingdom Of Conspiracy’, EVILE with ‘Skull’, UNCLE ACID & THE DEADBEATS with ‘Mind Control’, ALICE IN CHAINS with ‘The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here’, A PALE HORSE NAMED DEATH with ‘Lay My Soul To Waste’, ANVIL with ‘Hope In Hell’, DARK TRANQUILLITY with ‘Construct’, DEW-SCENTED with ‘Insurgent’, THE QUILL with ‘Tiger Blood’, BLACK SHEEP WALL with ‘It Begins Again’,  ELDKRAFT with ‘Shaman’, CHURCH OF MISERY with ‘Thy Kingdom Scum’, SVARTSYN with ‘Black Testament’, GEVURAH with ‘Necheshirion’, ENTRAILS with ‘Raging Death’, MONOLITH DEATHCULT with ‘Tetragrammaton’ and MORMANT DE SNAGOV with ‘Derisive Philosophy’. Yes, in this particular order as far as I am concerned.

19 December, 2013

Full Album Stream: <Code>: Augur Nox – new album


Since the only way to go is the way forward, I intend to wholeheartedly ignore the fact that I have missed <CODE>'s new album by a whole month (out on Agonia Records since November 19th, 2013). ‘Augur Nox’ is a fine listen and a worthy comeback for the band, featuring the new line up of Aort and Andras on guitars, Syhr on bass, LORDt on drums and, for the first time, Wacian on vocals. Anyhow, <CODE>'s third full length is available for your listening pleasure below, courtesy of Agonia Records who would welcome your visit here (Agonia store) as well. But before you check out the goodies, let me inform you that Terrorizer describes the album as <CODE>'s “most refined and exaggerated yet” and New Noise Magazine accolades it with “one of the best metal records of the year; if not the decade” (more here), while the label prescribes:
“The brand-new material demonstrates the band's fresh personnel in a vivid light, confirming <CODE> position as a radiant gem in the extreme metal world. It displays a multifaceted approach: from stunning wide-ranging vocals, otherworldly clean passages and barbed metallic riffery, all filtered through a refined prism of avant-garde black metal. The album is <CODE>'s most progressive effort to date, yet always captures the band's distinct eerie and arcane vibe:”

The “plotting”, which eventually resulted in progressive black metal entity known as <CODE>, reportedly began under the “rain soaked London skies” in 2002 by guitarist Aort and vocalist Kvohst (from HEXVESSEL, DODHEIMSGARD etc and also known as Mat McNerney), who simply “aimed to deliver their own take on black metal as they wanted to hear it” and who delivered “the elusive” ‘Neurotransmission’ promo CD released that same year which secured the band a deal with Spikefarm Records. ‘Neurotransmission’ also introduced Vicotnik on bass (from VED BUENS ENDE and DODHEIMSGARD) and AiwarikiaR (ex-ULVER) on drums, thus creating an Anglo/Norwegian entity. <CODE> next recorded their debut album 'Nouveau Gloaming’ with Vyttra as second guitarist; “a twisted, eerie augmentation of black metal suggested as being oceanic in its vastness and an underrated cult gem” was released in 2005. Apparently “turmoil and upheaval” which “scarred the following years” translates into Kvohst, Vyttra and AiwarikiaR leaving the band which nevertheless recorded ‘Resplendent Grotesque’, featuring Kvohst back on vocals, Aort on guitar and Viper on bass with Adrian Erlandsson (from AT THE GATES) contributing on drums. Issued through Tabu Recordings in 2009, the album was well received and was nominated for a Spellemann award for best metal album. 

<CODE> features: Aort – guitar, Andras – guitar, LORDt – drums, Syhr - bass and Wacian - vocals

18 December, 2013

Red Fang: Blood Like Cream – new video & Whales And Leeches – full album stream

Brad Pitt and that quiet Israeli girl might have saved the world from zombies over the summer, but RED FANG and Whitey McConnaughy know what is really worth fighting zombies for:
“This song is about the stress of balancing a touring lifestyle with having a family back home, but who wants to see a video about that? Boring! Instead, we have a video featuring lots of blood, beer, and exercise - some of us did more running in this video that we’ve done the whole year to date. Also, Fred Armisen [actor and comedian] is in this one and he really steals the show. I thought I was a bad actor before, but after working with him, I see I cannot even qualify for such a high distinction as “bad” We hope everyone has as much fun watching it as we had making it!”
We most assuredly have. ‘Blood Like Cream’ comes off RED FANG's third album ‘Whales And Leeches’, the band's highest charting album so far (at number 66 on the Billboard Top 200). Issued through Relapse Records in October 2013, the album was produced by Chris Funk and mixed by Vance Powell and features guests such as YOB's Mike Scheidt and Pall Jenkins (THE BLACK HEART PROCESSION). Available in deluxe CD, deluxe double vinyl and deluxe digital editions which will feature two bonus tracks, expanded packaging and a 3-D lenticular moving cover of the stunning artwork, shop RED FANG here (Relapse Records store), on iTunes and Amazon, and download yourselves their new track ‘No Hope’ for free from here (RED FANG website). Furthermore, RED FANG have created a video game (a virtual beer shot-gunning challenge) you will find here; if enough users share the game, they’ll be able to unlock the new RED FANG track ‘Behind The Light’ – therefore play and share:
“Offering up a skuzzier, more thoroughly beer-soaked and shirtless take on early MASTODON, the Portland, Oregon band deliver an album that manages to get psychedelic without abandoning the non-stop riff-fests that made their first two albums such a welcome change of pace… No matter how deep their sound might get, however, it’s clear that RED FANG are a down to earth band who aren’t afraid of getting dirty, so while they may be staring at the stars, they’re still laying in the gutter,” [wrote Gregory Heaney, AllMusic – more here:]

Hailing from Portland, Oregon, RED FANG is an alliance of guitarist and vocalist Bryan Giles, bassist and vocalist Aaron Beam, guitarist and vocalist David Sullivan and drummer John Sherman. Formed in 2005, RED FANG played their first show on the final night of that year “welcoming 2006 with buckets of sweat and splinters of destruction”. Inspired by the likes of BLACK FLAG, BLACK SABBATH, SOUNDGARDEN, SLAYER and the MELVINS, RED FANG's noble goal is to write music that “appeals to both the thinking and the banging head”. Their debut self-titled album was released in 2009 through Sargent House Records:
“The quartet makes guitars the focus of their gimmick-free brand of driving rock & roll, eschewing any prog leanings and putting the emphasis on the riffs. The sound is tied together by a sense of punk urgency which spurs the stoner jams into action and gets the songs moving at a raucous gallop,” [recommended Gregory Heaney, AllMusic – more here:]

Striking up a partnership with DECEMBERISTS' multi-instrumentalist and producer Chris Funk and signing with Relapse Records, RED FANG delivered ‘Murder The Mountains’ LP in 2011 which prompted AllMusic's Greg Prato to write:
“If only there were more bands like RED FANG, who haven’t forgotten what made their BLACK SABBATH records so special in the first place - the sound of real human beings leaving their greasy fingerprints all over heavy riffs, with no desire to “clean things up afterwards. But don’t be misled into thinking that RED FANG are of the “stoner rock” variety, as they don’t put meandering sludge riffing at the top of their priority list. No way.” [More here:]

RED FANG features: Bryan Giles – guitar and vocals, Aaron Beam – bass and vocals, David Sullivan – guitar and John Sherman – drums 


Anvil: Badass Rock N Roll – new video



“Fifteen albums deep into their career, these guys don’t have to prove to people they can play, freeing them to simply write hard-hitting rippers like ‘Bad Ass Rock N Roll’, a song that sets out the band's to desire to rock, pure and simple, and succeeds on all fronts. At the end of the day, ‘Hope In Hell’ is an ANVIL record, so if these guys haven’t somehow already charmed you into liking them, this probably isn’t going to do the trick. That said, if you’re already a fan of the quality work these journeyman metalheads have been putting out for over three decades, you better make some room on your CD shelf,” [wrote Gregory Heaney, AllMusic – more here]

And that CD, ‘Hope In Hell’, is available everywhere including here (The End Records' store) since May 2013 through SPV/Steamhammer. Recorded following an 18-month world tour that took ANVIL around the globe, ‘Hope In Hell’, produced by Bob Marlette at the NRG Recording studios in North Hollywood, California and mastered by Maor Appelbaum, is available in four different formats: as a limited-edition digipak including two bonus tracks, as a jewel case CD, double gatefold colored vinyl LP and as a digital download. ANVIL's fifteenth full-length album is the first recorded with new bassist Sal Italiano:

“What we do is totally timeless,” [confirmed our suspicions ANVIL's frontman Steve “Lips” Kudlow] “We’ve never tried to change our sound or experiment with trends and fashions. We live in our own world and have maintained our individuality and own identity. The album's flair reminds me of the beginnings of classic heavy metal in the most positive sense of the term. I grew up in the seventies, and I still like what I listened to back then. You can always rely on ANVIL, we don’t write our music for the radio and we don’t want to break any records. Some media criticise our uncompromising attitude, but we’re proud of never having betrayed our ideals and having remained faithful to our roots.”


“If goodwill alone careers made, then lovable heavy metal losers, ANVIL, would be topping charts across the globe, headlining stadiums, and rolling joints with $100 bills these days, following the massive acclaim achieved by their profile-reviving documentary, “Anvil! The Story of Anvil”, [wrote Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic –more here]

Look for the roots of ANVIL in Toronto, Canada in 1973, when high school friends Steve Kudlow and Robb Reiner began rehearsing music together. Inspired by the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and taking that sound and style one step further, ANVIL is credited with laying the groundwork for the thrash movement that took over heavy metal's underground in the 1980s. The band, known as “Lips” back then, self-released their debut album ‘Hard ‘n’ Heavy’ in 1981. After signing with Attic Records and changing their name to ANVIL, the band's second and third albums, ‘Metal On Metal’ (1982) and ‘Forhed In Fire’ (1983), made significant waves in the metal community; AllMusic's Steve Huey described ‘Metal On Metal’ as “the missing link between the flagbearers of the NWOBHM and the rise of North American thrash”. He also pointed out that ANVIL's jazz-trained drummer Robb Reiner had set new technical standards for the genre, including pioneering the double bass drum technique that’s become a staple of much extreme metal since (more here). Nevertheless, due to geographic isolation, label and management difficulties, and with musical trends shifting, stardom was not to be ANVIL's. But the band braved on, releasing ‘Backwaxed’ in 1985, signing with Metal Blade Records soon after, through which three albums were issued, including the band's sole charting album (in the U.S.), 1987's ‘Strength Of Steel’ and the last recording to feature the original lineup, 988's ‘Pound For Pound’. Mausoleum Records released the band's only album recorded with guitarist Sebastian Marino (replacing Dave Allison), 1992's ‘Worth The Weight’. With Ivan Hurd on guitar and with bassist Michael Duncan instead of Ian Dickson on bass, out came the group's debut for Massacre Records, 1996's ‘Plugged In Permanent’ (whose title was meant to mock then-current wave of “MTV Unplugged” releases). First release with Glenn Gyorffy on bass followed a year later (‘Absolutely No Alternative’) and ‘Speed For Sound’ came out in 1999.

“Proving that metal old-timers don’t die, they just release very similar records over and over until nobody will have them,” [had mused AllMusic's Jason Anderson in his review of ANVIL's tenth album 2001's ‘Plenty Of Power’] “Although their music might have stopped being fashionable a couple years into their career, the band stayed true to themselves and enjoyed a respectable run because of it. ‘Plenty Of Power’ is illustrative of this musical modesty and self-knowledge,” [he concluded – more here]

For their next effort, 2002's ‘Still Going Strong’, the band returned to Canadian label Attic Records. ‘Back To Basics’, released two years later, marked a stylistic return to the ANVIL of early '80s. The band turned to Grammy-nominated producer Chris Tsangarides, who previously produced their acclaimed album ‘Metal On Metal’, for the self-released album 2007's ‘Thirteen Is Thirteen’. Former ANVIL roadie, screenwriter and filmmaker Sacha Gervasi, filmed a documentary about the band, “Anvil! The Story Of Anvil”, which was released in 2008. Upon its release, the film garnered critical acclaim from many major publications, and has since brought the band renewed recognition.  Album ‘This Is Thirteen’ was finally given proper national distribution on CD and vinyl in September 2009 via VH1 Classic Records. ANVIL's next “mixture of trad, speed, and power metal that the scrappy Canadians have been peddling almost without interruption for 30 years, albeit garnished with one of the best production jobs of their entire career” (Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic – more here), 2011's ‘Juggernaut Of Justice’, was recorded at Dave Grohl's (NIRVANA, FOO FIGHTERS…) Studio 606 in California with producer Bob Marlette. It reportedly sold over 1,600 copies in its first week of release in the USA.

ANVIL features: Steve “Lips” Kudlow – vocals and guitar, Robb “Geza” Reiner - drums and Sal Italiano – bass



17 December, 2013

Suicidal Tendencies: Smash It! – new video



Directed by Jay Schweitzer and Mike McEntire of Powerband Films, the new SUICIDAL TENDENCIES video, ‘Smash It!’, features multiple Metal Mulisha riders including professional FMX riders Larry Linkogle and Jimmy Fitzpatrick, who actually appear as backup singers on the song. Filmed over two days at Larry Linkogle's O.G. Mulisha Compound in Temecula California, “the production features the band showcasing their signature live performance styles, with an onslaught of energetic, musically enraged fans throwing elbows and fists in the pit, and Metal Mulisha team riders throwing down giant heart stopping action the entire time”. Some extras reportedly flew in from as far away as Europe, and some were picked up “down the street” to join in the action. ‘Smash It!’ comes from SUICIDAL TENDENCIES thirteenth album simply called ‘13’ which was released (thirty years after the band's debut self-titled album and thirteen years since their last original material album ‘Free Your Soul And Save My Mind’) in April 2013 through the band's own Suicidal Records. The thirteen “cathartic, thrashy hardcore [tracks] the band is known for”, produced by frontman and SUICIDAL TENDENCIES founder Mike Muir and Grammy-nominated engineer/mixer Paul Northfield, sold approximately 3,200 copies in the USA in its first week of release and debuted at position number 187 on The Billboard Top 200. So, you know, head to your local record store or search for ‘13’ on Amazon, iTunes etc.


Founded in 1981 in Venice, California, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES had managed to get themselves voted as the “Worst Band/Biggest Assholes” by the Los Angeles punk rock fanzine “Flipside” already in 1982, before rising to fame with their 1983 self-titled debut album which produced the single ‘Institutionalized’, these days widely considered to be the song that defines the hardcore punk genre. Controversial from their early beginnings (even rumored to be involved with local gangs), ‘Institutionalized’ brought acclaim to the band, being featured in the 1984 Emilio Estevez film “Repo Man”, in a 1986 episode of the TV show “Miami Vice” (along with an appearance by the band themselves), and in the 2008 film “Iron Man”. Not much was heard from SUICIDAL TENDENCIES until 1987 when their second album, ‘Join The Army’, came out, bringing forth such classics as ‘Possessed To Skate’ and ‘War Inside My Head’ (that led to even greater following among skateboarders). On 1988's ‘How Will I Laugh Tomorrow When I Can’t Even Smile Today’, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES abandoned the punk influences in favour of thrash and speed metal-oriented sound; the album peaked at number 111 on the Billboard Top 200 chart, eleven places lower than its predecessor. Originally released between 1987 and 1989 as two separate vinyl EPs, the band's fourth LP, 1989's ‘Controlled By Hatred/Feel Like Shit... Déjà Vu’, became the band's first release, of three, to be certified Gold. “A disc that no SUICIDAL fan should be without”, ‘Lights... Camera... Revolution!’, followed in 1990, featuring INFECTIOUS GROOVES/METALLICA's Robert Trujillo on bass “whose penchant for funk added a new element to the group's sound” (Greg Prato, AllMusic – more here) resulted in what many considered to be their “experimental” album, 1992's ‘The Art Of Rebellion’, and which debuted at number 52 on the Billboard Top 200 chart. This '90s lineup, consisting of singer Mike Muir, guitarists Rocky George and Mike Clark, bassist Robert Trujillo and drummer R.J. Herrera, re-recorded SUICIDAL TENDENCIES' debut album, issuing it ten years after its original under the name ‘Still Cyco After All These Years’. Next album in SUICIDAL catalogue, 1994's ‘Suicidal For Life’, turned out to be their last issued on Epic Records:

“The label's inability to introduce any of the group's groundbreaking albums to a significantly wider audience certainly didn’t sit well with ST main man Mike Muir, who decided to run through the motions while being as gratuitously offensive as possible on this contractually necessary release,” [commented the split Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic – more here]

The label had fought back though, issuing a greatest hits compilation, ‘Prime Cuts’, in 1997, apparently against the band's will. SUICIDAL TENDENCIES took a prolonged break between 1994 and 1997. Muir and Clark returned in 1999 with ‘Freedumb’ and 2000's ‘Free Your Soul And Save My Mind’, both albums issued through Suicidal Records.

SUICIDAL TENDENCIES features: Mike Muir – vocals, Dean Pleasants - guitar, Mike Clark - guitar, Steve Bruner - bass and Eric Moore – drums




Gama Bomb: Backwards Bible – new video



Have you seen the new GAMA BOMB super-evil video for ‘Backwards Bible’ yet? Now is the time: “Open your eyeballs to evil!” Filmed at Narrow Water Castle in Northern Ireland, directed by Martin Busch and starring Olivia Ramao as Olivia, Christine Kelly as Christine, Barbara Nolan as Barbara, Niall O'Brien as Niall, Neil O'Hagan as The Duc De Bonair and Ronan Byrne as The Groundskeeper, ‘Backwards Bible’ comes off GAMA BOMB April/May 2013 AFM Records release ‘The Terror Tapes’ which, according to a press release, “tears the old speed metal formula a new asshole, and then buys it a pint”. Be as it may, GAMA BOMB have been through a lot since their 2009's ‘Tales From The Grave In Space’; they have changed labels, they have welcomed a new guitarist and they have dealt with injury, therapy and surgery. Their latest offering was recorded in Dublin, Ireland and in Suffolk, UK with the band's longtime partner in crime Scott Atkins and boasts cover art created by Graham Humphreys, best known for classic horror movie posters including”A Nightmare On Elm Street” and “Evil Dead”:

“We grew up in terror of VHS covers painted by Graham,” [admitted vocalist Philly Byrne] The cover shows a man being consumed by a giant, living tape machine. It ties in perfectly with our obsession with old technology and mad horror imagery. It’s the best album cover we've ever had. Everyone else's album art sucks because of this.”

Adhering to self-imposed commandments that prohibit ballads and acoustic intros, ‘The Terror Tapes’ tunes were inspired by “midnight movies, hard touring and a comprehensive knowledge of near-forgotten thrash demos, now tempered by a year of hard struggle for the band”. GAMA BOMB have released the “hooky, furious and absurd in equal parts” single ‘Terrorscope’ for free download here, via Terrorizer:

“We really hope you enjoy this free download and get inspired by it: take it, share it, draw some scary pictures and make up your own words. Drink blood every day!” [Added Byrne:] “It was really important to us to give people some music for nothing. It’s how we get our music and we want people to know we’re cool with them doing that, as long as they support us. Support comes from a lot of different places, not just the front pocket.”

So without further ado, fall for GAMA BOMB's multiple charms and support them here (AFM store) and/or here (AFM MP3 store), or here (GAMA BOMB store) etc.


Formed in 2002 in Newry, Ireland by bassist Joe McGuigan, vocalist Philly Byrne and guitarist Luke Graham, GAMA BOMB honed their sound on a pair of demos before debuting with self-financed and “charmingly rough around the edges” ‘Survival Of The Fastest’ LP in 2006, issued through underground label Witches Brew. As the band embarked on European tours and festivals that saw them “sleeping on the floors of haunted houses and narrowly avoiding death by alcohol poisoning” in support of the album, Earache Records began to take serious interest in them. In 2008, GAMA BOMB released their Earache debut ‘Citizen Brain’ which contained “bludgeoning riff action, superb musicianship, and infectious energy”, according to Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic (more here). In 2009, the band and their label conspired and released ‘Tales From The Grave In Space’ full-length as a free download, making GAMA BOMB the first band ever to release a free album while signed to a record label. The physical version of the album released later, would actually outsell GAMA BOMB's previous album ‘Citizen Brain’:

“Combined with the lovingly rendered packaging and gregarious delivery method (free is free!), it’ll be difficult for even the most cynical trad-thrash curmudgeon to hate on GAMA BOMB during this laugh-a-minute 30-minute thrill ride. Just enjoy it and keep your arms and feet inside the vehicle at all times,” [advised Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic – more here]

GAMA BOMB features: ‪Joe McGuigan - bass and vocals, Philly Byrne – vocals, Domo Dixon - lead guitar, Paul Caffrey – drums and John Roche – guitar





Soulfly: Bloodshed – new video & Savages – full album stream

Besides filming new videos and celebrating yet another successful SOULFLY release, the band's legendary frontman and guitarist Max Cavalera is reportedly currently busy writing and recording the music for ESPN's World Cup 2014 coverage (with producer John Gray and his son, Zyon Cavalera, slamming on the drums) as well. Good for him. ‘Bloodshed’, then, comes off SOULFLY's ninth studio album ‘Savages’, the first to feature Cavalera's son Zyon on drums, was released in September/October 2013 on Nuclear Blast Records. Visit Metal Hammer here and listen to the full record before ordering it from here (Nuclear Blast store), from iTunes or from Amazon. ‘Savages’, produced, engineered and mixed by renowned sound guru Terry Date and covered with art created by Paul Stottler, sold 4,700 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position number 84 on The Billboard Top 200:
“Recording ‘Savages’ was an amazing experience for me. I was so excited to work with Terry Date, whom I consider to be one of the best producers of all time. He has done some great records and we have been in contact for awhile since he mixed three SOULFLY albums in the past. My teammates were awesome. Marc [Rizzo, lead guitar] did some crazy guitar noises and we did a ‘Mars Part Two’ at the end of ‘El Comegente’ – it’s very LED ZEPPELIN influenced and Marc kicked some ass on it. I wrote ‘El Comegente’ with Tony Campos [bass]. It’s in Portuguese and Spanish and it’s about Vargas - a Venezuelan cannibal from the '80s. He is the Hannibal Lecter of the Andes. Crazy shit! I worked for the first time on a full album with my son, Zyon. Before recording the album I first worked closely at home with him in preproduction, and it was great to spend weeks on the songs with Zyon, shaping the sound of the record. Zyon did a great job and he hits really hard just like his uncle Iggor [Cavalera, THE CAVALERA CONSPIRACY]- it was amazing recording with my son. A whole record! A dream come true for a father whose life is dedicated to metal. ‘Savages’ is a celebration of all that,” [explained Max Cavalera]
“[‘Savages’ is] a fitting set of bookends for a collection of songs that Cavalera [Max] describes as being “about the human condition right now”, adding “we have the internet and we’re working on missions to Mars, but we are still decapitating each other and blowing up marathons.” ‘Savages’ is pure, hawkish malevolence through and through… ‘Savages’ is meant to be taken as both a warning and a rebel yell, and Cavalera and company connect on both levels, offering up an audio invoice for our past transgressions and a shot of adrenaline for the war ahead,” [wrote James Christopher Monger, AllMusic – more here]

SOULFLY was formed in 1997 by former SEPULTURA guitarist and frontman Max Cavalera. With Roy Mayorga on drums, Jackson Bandeira on second guitar and Marcello D. Rapp on bass, Cavalera recorded SOULFLY's self-titled album. Released by Roadrunner Records in 1998, the record was produced by Ross Robinson and had featured guest appearances by Chino Moreno (DEFTONES), Christian Olde Wolbers (FEAR FACTORY) and Eric Bobo (CYPRESS HILL). ‘Soulfly’, the album, debuted at number 79 on the Billboard Top 200 and was certified gold in 2005. SOULFLY's second album, ‘Primitive’, followed in 2000, reaching number 32 on the Billboard Top 200, despite much criticism voiced in opposition by Cavalera's fans. In 2002, the group released ‘3’, on which Bradley Torreano, AllMusic, commented: “This is the sound of a brilliant musician trying to find his place in a metal scene that he has jumped so far ahead of that he’s spinning his tires trying to get back with the pack.” A completely new lineup was recruited by Cavalera for the recording of the album ‘Prophecy’ which featured drummer Joe Nunez, guitarist Marc Rizzo formerly and two bassists David Ellefson (MEGADETH) and Bobby Burns. ‘Prophecy’ was released in 2004 and had peaked at number 82 on the Billboard Top 200. SOULFLY's next album entitled ‘Dark Ages’, issued in 2005, was described by AllMusic's Jason Birchmeier as being “damned close to perfection”. Sixth full-length, ‘Conquer’, which followed in 2008, debuted at number 66 on the U.S. albums chart, with 2010's ‘Omen’ nearly matching its predecessors success, landing position 73, while conquering the Greek Albums Chart at number 1:
“ ‘Omen’ is like thrash metal comfort food, showing us that sometimes what we really want is a heaping plate of good, old-fashioned, unbridled aggression. In a world where bands like MASTODON are pushing metal into increasingly esoteric directions, it takes an old pro like Cavalera, someone who’s made a career out of blending experimental grooves with meat-headed brutality, to make something that can be both simple and compelling,” [commented the Greek taste Gregory Heaney, AllMusic – more here]
Recorded in late 2011 in Tallcat Studios in Phoenix, Arizona and produced by Zeuss and Max Cavalera, 2012's ‘Enslaved’ was the first SOULFLY album to feature Tony Campos (ASESINO) on bass alongside drummer David Kinkade (ex-BROKNAGAR). ‘Enslaved’, featuring guest appearances by DEVILDRIVER's Dez Fafara and CATTLE DECAPITATION's Travis Ryan, broke onto U.S. charts at number 82, selling nearly 6,000 copies in its first week of U.S. sales, and  had entered the Canadian Albums Chart at number 83. SOULFLY's eight studio album, issued through Roadrunner Records, was described as “simple, punishing, and brutally effective” by Gregory Heaney, AllMusic (more here:)  

SOULFLY features: Max Cavalera - vocals and rhythm guitar, Marc Rizzo - lead guitar, Tony Campos - bass and Zyon Cavalera – drums