30 August, 2013

Full Album Stream: Gorguts: Colored Sands – new album


And now, ladies and gentlemen, the new GORGUTS album, ‘Colored Sands’. Out today, August 30th, 2013, in Europe on Season Of Mist, the album is expected to hit North American stores precisely on September the 3rd. In the meantime, give it a spin here (BandCamp), or below, from where you are most welcome to buy ‘Colored Sands’ as well I’m sure, or get it from Season Of Mist e-shop here. A fine, if demanding, listen, ‘Colored Sands’ was twelve years in the making, a true labour of love for the re-formed GORGUTS:
“Writing the music for this record has brought back the flame in me to enjoy the process of crafting a death-metal song. Writing the music for this record also brought to me a gift of friendship by working with Colin [Martson from DYSRYTHMIA, BEHOLD THE ARCTOPUS and KRALLICE], Kevin [Hufnagel from DYSRYTHMIA] and John [Longstreth from ORIGIN and DIM MAK]… Dear fans, I can never thank each of you enough for your support with the little messages sent to us through the modern media. Please, grab your headphones, close your eyes… and crank the volume up! Come with us, through the magic of compositions… sound painting, I like to call it… We’ll make a trip to Tibet to witness magnificent beauties… as well as a dramatic fate,” [stated Luc Lemay, GORGUTS founder, vocalist and guitarist:]

One of the “most advanced, experimental, and challenging groups in the entire [death metal] genre” (William York, AllMusic – more here) was formed in 1989 in Quebec, Canada by vocalist Luc Lemay, guitarist Sylvain Marcoux, bassist Eric Giguere and drummer Stephane Provencher. Roadrunner Records signed GORGUTS in 1990 on the strength of their first demo ‘And Then Comes Lividity’ and their 1991 debut full-length, ‘Considered Dead’, featured guest appearances from DEATH guitarist James Murphy and CANNIBAL CORPSE's Chris Barnes. Its successor, 1993's ‘Erosion Of Sanity’, witnessed the band becoming more experimental and technical. A hiatus of five years followed after which Luc Lemay reemerged with a new line-up of guitarist Steeve Hurdle, bassist Steve Cloutier and drummer Patrick Robert. Signed to Olympic Records, this lineup released ‘Obscura’ in 1998, “an uncompromising, hugely ambitious album that met with a mixed reception: some applauded its experimentation, while others found it too far-out and dissonant”. GORGUTS' fourth album, 2001's ‘From Wisdom To Hate’, was the only album to feature guitarist Daniel Mongrain and drummer Steve MacDonald who committed suicide in 2002 which, together with business issues, led to the band's eventual split-up in 2005.

GORGUTS features: Luc Lemay – guitar and vocals, Kevin Hufnagel – guitar, Colin Marston – bass and John Longstreth - drums

Full Album Stream: GOG: Ironworks – new album


Now, visit Pop Matters here (or simply scroll down) and listen to GOG's album ‘Ironworks’ as you read the following explanation provided by that fine French label Season Of Mist:
“GOG started out as a project to dismantle and destroy music. As the project progresses it seems to have taken on the task of rebuilding with the bits and pieces left behind in addition to the destruction. Inspiration is found in the sounds often unheard or sometimes unbearable, they are amplified and dissected and repurposed. A cacophony of noise manipulated can become harmony and the most beautiful of sounds can become ugly. Making something out of what appears to be – on the surface – nothing. Finding the sounds and emotions hidden amongst everyone – possibly right in front of them, amplifying them and making it an intense experience that hopefully no one can ignore.”
[Added GOG mastermind Phoenix, Arizona noise innovator Michael Bjella:] “I started GOG to explore the darker sides of thought and life. I want to create things without restriction and form that can transport people and possibly make them confront their own fears. Things that are truly dark but have contrast. To borrow a line from one of my favorite artists, in case there might be harmony, then it is the harmony of accident, of chaos. I’m not trying to make harmony...”
Recorded in a late 19th century blacksmith shop where several members of Bjella's own family toiled, ‘Ironworks’ is apparently an ode to the death of the American dream (“This is the sound of physical labor, of blood, sweat, and tears. Metal rings on metal, shaping flesh and bone in the eternal pulse of the anvil and the searing flames of the furnace. ‘Ironworks’ gives enslavement through capitalism a sinister soundtrack.”) Released on vinyl in 2012 through Utech Records, its CD version can be now ordered from Season Of Mist here, and its digital version downloaded from iTunes. ‘Ironworks’ is out now in Europe, August 30th, 2013, and is due in North America on September the 3rd:
“You’re not required to agree with the argument Bjella lays out on ‘Ironworks’, but it’s impossible to refute the strength or honesty of the message. The album is a powerful political statement. It examines the idea that we’re progressing as a species, and in doing so, it makes clear that the damage inflicted on those made victims of industrialization is written in pummeling and reverberating form. There’s a lesson to be learnt from ‘Ironworks’. It’s a lesson that harks back to a century ago, right back to Luigi Russolo's “L’Arte dei Rumori” [“The Art Of Noises”, a Futurist manifesto written in 1913],” [wrote Craig Hayes, Pop Matters – more here:]

GOG features: Michael Bjella – everything  /  Visit GOG on BandCamp here and on SoundCloud here for plenty more

Full Album Stream: Saint Vitus: Die Healing – reissue & C.O.D. – reissue

   St.Vitus_DieHealing         St.Vitus_COD

That fine French label, Season Of Mist, has taken up the worthy cause of re-releasing the godfathers' of American doom metal, SAINT VITUS, classics, 1992's ‘C.O.D.’ and 1995's ‘Die Healing’. Remastered and enriched with two previously unreleased bonus tracks, ‘C.O.D.’ features COUNT RAVEN's Christian Linderson on vocals, while ‘Die Healing’ sees original SAINT VITUS singer, Scott Reagers, return to the microphone. The reissues are already available on CD and limited–edition coloured vinyl gatefold LPs in Europe and North America. You’ll find all the available formats here (Season Of Mist e-shop). Enjoy ‘Die Healing’ below and visit BandCamp here for ‘C.O.D.’s title-track. Also, visit SAINT VITUS on BandCamp here:

Formed in 1979 in Los Angeles, California, SAINT VITUS were largely influenced by BLACK SABBATH whose song ‘Saint Vitus Dance’ eventually inspired their moniker. Originally called “Tyrant”, vocalist Scott Reagers, guitarist Dave Chandler, bassist Mark Adams and drummer Armando Acosta, recorded two demos before changing the band's name. The aforementioned lineup released two albums, the 1984's eponymous debut and 1985's ‘Hallow's Victim’ as well as ‘The Walking Dead’ EP, was also issued in 1985 by SST Records. Scott “Wino” Weinrich, who replaced Reagers in 1986, recorded three albums and an EP as SAINT VITUS' vocalist: 1986's ‘Born Too Late’, 1987's ‘Thirsty And Miserable’ EP, 1988's ‘Mournful Cries’ and 1990's ‘V’ (Roman numeral five), which was issued through German label Hellhound Records. ‘Live’, a live recording and a compilation album ‘Heavier Than Though’ were released by SAINT VITUS' labels before Scot Weinrich's departure in 1991. Swedish vocalist Chritus Linderson was invited to perform on the band's next record, 1992's ‘C.O.D.’, and the original singer Scott Reagers returned on 1995's ‘Die Healing’. SAINT VITUS disbanded in 1996 but have reunited several times since. Their eight album and their first since 1995, ‘Lille: F-65’, was issued in April/May 2012 through Season Of Mist Records. The seven tracks which made up ‘Lille: F-65’ featured the patron saint Scott “Wino” Weinrich (also of PREMONITION 13 etc) on vocals, Dave Chandler on guitar, Mark Adams on bass and Henry Vasquez on drums. The album was produced by Tony Reed and reviewed by Eduardo Rivadavia whose inspired writing should be read in full here (AllMusic):
“2012's oddly named ‘Lillie: F-65’ - a concept album about a troubled girl whose title doubles as a veiled reference to one of Chandler's barbiturate downers of choice, back in the day. And despite Acosta's unfortunate absence (he passed away in late 2010, ceding the drum stool to Henry Vasquez), the reconstituted SAINT VITUS have, by and large, efficiently resurrected their vintage sound in all its primal, unassuming, pre-digital age simplicity. Most obvious of all is the fact that this is Chandler's band, and Wino openly acknowledges it, or else he wouldn’t have left both his guitar and prodigious shredding back home, and deferred to Chandler's almost remedial abilities on the instrument - basically the very definition of SAINT VITUS:”

SAINT VITUS features: Scott “Wino” Weinrich – vocals, Dave Chandler – guitar, Mark Adams – bass and Henry Vasquez – drums

27 August, 2013

DevilDriver: Winter Kills – new album


DEVILDRIVER's sixth studio album, ‘Winter Kills’, is out now, August 27th, 2013, on Napalm Records. I personally wouldn’t mind one wintery day to break up this Middle-Eastern heat, but then who am I to argue with the band's legendary frontman Dez Fafara whom the label respectfully addresses:
“DEVILDRIVER overlord Dez Farara will readily acknowledge the basic tenet of heavy metal is to achieve the essence of power and complete freedom. At the most base level, it’s a concept that can manifest itself in the form of a high-speed joyride or defeating one's antagonists, be they Frank Frazetta [an American fantasy and science-fiction artist]-rendered warriors or the guy/girl who was looking at your lover too long at the biker bar and now has a concussion and a collection of broken pool cues. On DEVILDRIVER's sixth release, ‘Winter Kills’, the band certainly didn’t skimp on the riffage, the idling-dragster tempos or the sheer sonic drive that makes them one of heavy music's respected outfits. ‘Winter Kills’ is all about the creation of flashover moments to empower people with hope and affirmation  or at the very least, the inspiration for people to create great work and engineer their own meaningful universes. This ain’t no tired Tony Robbins [I suppose an American life coach and motivational speaker] posi-posturing or Joel Osteen's [Wiki says he is an American preacher and televangelist] cartoony, cash-and-Christ posing. The world got more oppressive, and DEVILDRIVER are stepping up their game to keep hope alive in the most bone-powdering, cochlea-bleeding, neck-snapping way possible.”
‘Winter Kills’, the band's first album to feature new bassist Chris Towning, was recorded with producer Mark Lewis at Audio Hammer Studios in Sanford, Florida. It expects your order here (Napalm Records store), here (DEVILDRIVER store) and on iTunes and Amazon:

DEVILDRIVER was formed in 2002 in Santa Barbara, California when COAL CHAMBER vocalist Dez Fafara hooked up with guitarists Evans Pitts and Jeffery Kendrick, bassist Jon Miller and drummer John Boecklin. The band released their self-titled debut album through Roadrunner Records in 2003 to mixed and even negative response by music critics. Guitarist Mike Spreitzer replaced Evan Pitts on DEVILDRIVER's second effort, 2005's ‘The Fury Of Our Maker's Hand’, which fared much better with the listening public and music critics alike, and which entered the American chart Billboard Top 200 chart at number 117. In 2006, ‘The Fury Of Our Maker's Hand’ was re-released to include three new studio tracks and three live recordings. DEVILDRIVER's third album, ‘The Last Kind Words’, followed in 2007 to debut at number 48 on the Billboard Top 200:
“DEVILDRIVER is a 100 percent metallic beast that has more in common with thrash/extreme metal than all those unbearable “eyeliner metal bands”. There’s not anything all that much different going on here when compared to all the other acts from the current metal crop. Nothing fancy - just an extreme metal roar that hits you right between the eyes, which may have been DEVILDRIVER's goal all along,” [AllMusic's Greg Prato finally admitted – more here]
The band's fourth full-length, 2009's ‘Pray For Villains’,  charted even higher; it peaked at number 35 on the Billboard Top 200, with first week sales U.S. of 14,600 copies. It was depicted as “quality metal that impacts like a billion left hooks to the jaw” by Amy Sciarretto, Ultimate Guitar. In 2011 came DEVILDRIVER's final release on Roadrunner Records and their last album to feature longtime bassist Jon Miller; ‘Beast’ had entered the Billboard Top 200 chart at number 42 (selling over 11,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release) and had even debuted on UK Albums Chart at number 51:
“Although he was once the leader of makeup-wearing nu metallists COAL CHAMBER, singer/screamer Dez Fafara has opted to keep things 100 percent aggro/extreme metal with DEVILDRIVER,” [felt somewhat surprised again Greg Prato, AllMusic]. DEVILDRIVER's roster consists mainly of dudes with long stringy hair, manly-man facial hair, and tattoos - and, unsurprisingly, the group's music goes hand in hand with its look throughout ‘Beast’, as the album is a nonstop barrage of screaming, growling, riffing, and rat-a-tat-tat drumming. … However, for those who like excuse-free metal cranked to ten from beginning to end, DEVILDRIVER have assembled one gnarly ‘Beast’ for you.” [More here:]

DEVILDRIVER features: Dez Fafara – vocals, Mike Spreitzer – guitar, Jeff Kendrick – guitar, John Boecklin – drums and Chris Towning – bass 

Avenged Sevenfold: Hail To The King – new album


Well, surely you don’t need me to remind you AVENGED SEVENFOLD's new album, ‘Hail To The King’, is now available everywhere, August 27, 2013. The long-awaited follow-up to their 2010's ‘Nightmare’ was once again produced by Mike Elizondo and is the band's first album recorded with drummer Arin Ilejay who replaced James “The Rev” Sullivan. AVENGED SEVENFOLD have also released a clip for the title-track, directed by Syndrome, an award-winning design and live-action directing studio, you are invited to enjoy below. So, you know the drill: pester your local music retailer for ‘Hail The King’, or get it from iTunes or Amazon. For the limited edition which includes a treasure box, deluxe CD with a bonus track, exclusive canvas print of the album's art, a photo book as well as “Death Bat Challenge Key” and “Death Bat Skeleton Key”, I point you here (AVENGED SEVENFOLD's official store) - and hurry up because “once they are gone, no more will be made”. ‘Hail The King’ is out on Warner Bros.


Formed in 1999 in Huntington Beach, California when its members were still attending high school, AVENGED SEVENFOLD were quick to make an impression; vocalist M. Shadows, guitarists Zacky Vengeance and Synyster Gates, drummer the Reverend and bassist Johnny Christ issued their debut LP, ‘Sounding The Seventh Trumpet’, in 2001 on Good Life Recordings. With “unflagging aggression and precision (never mind the lyrical ennui or throat-scrape yowling; there's more to this music than generic cliché)” (Robert L. Doerschuk, AllMusic – more here) the band delivered their second full-length album, 2003's ‘Waking The Fallen’, through Hopeless Records. Their major label debut, 2005's ‘City Of Evil’, had entered the Billboard Top 200 chart at number 30, selling over 30,000 copies in its first week of U.S. release. AllMusic's Johnny Loftus rated the record as “totally metal, and refreshingly unmarred by attempts to fit too many jumbled genres in” (more here). The Best New Artist Award at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards followed and on its heels came AVENGED SEVENFOLD's self-titled fourth album which debuted at number 4 on the Billboard Top 200 and which was certified Gold (500,000 units sold) in 2008 in the U.S. In 2009, drummer James Owen Sullivan (“The Rev”) was found dead at his home, aged 28. Released in 2010, ‘Nightmare’ was band's first album without drummer Sullivan yet he was noted as the album's contributor. Former DREAM THEATER, ADRENALINE MOB, THE WINERY DOGS etc. drummer Mark Portnoy recorded drums in his stead. Produced by Mike Elizondo and mixed by Grammy-winning engineer Andy Wallace, ‘Nightmare’ had conquered the American albums chart Billboard Top 200, where it reigned atop for five weeks and was certified Gold by RIAA (500,000 copies sold) in February 2011. The album has also won the band the Revolver Golden God Award “Album Of The Year”:

“Like their previous outings, the group incorporates a New Wave of British Heavy Metal influence throughout ‘Nightmare’ while paying tribute to '80s hair metal with guitar god appeal,” [commented AllMusic's Jason Lymangrover] “but playing retroactive music doesn’t seem to concern them, as long as they play it more skillfully than their forefathers. The group's influences may be worn on their sleeves, (check out the chugging METALLICA ‘One’ breakdown in ‘Buried Alive’, or the QUEENSRYCHE-style power-ballad ‘Victim’), but there is no denying that they have some of the best chops in the metal world.” [Read more here]

AVENGED SEVENFOLD features: M. Shadows – vocals, Synyster Gates - lead guitar, Zacky Vengeance - rhythm guitar, Johnny Christ – bass and Arin Ilejay - drums


Bombus: The Poet And The Parrot – new album



In 2008 in Gothenburg, Sweden, a bunch of friends who happen to be called Matte, Feffe, Jonas and Peter, reportedly got together “with a rough idea”. And as it often happens, especially in Sweden, their idea evolved into playing their own, unique kind of “no bullshit metal and hard rock served with a slice of punkrock energy”. Inspired by the record collections of each band member - which we are safe to assume include some MELVINS' stuff, MOTÖRHEAD, METALLICA and, we are told, POISON IDEA, and, after “six to eight beers and the stereo maxed out”, that of WASP and MASTODON - BOMBUS was born. In Gothenburg underground, they have quickly built themselves a solid fan base as well as reputation of “all killer, no filler” live act. Two years later, in 2010, they released three 7” singles and a full-length which they issued through their own label, Mourningwood Records. And, after extended touring across Europe in support of their self-titled debut and when the band started to record new material in early 2012, Century Media Records became aware of BOMBUS. BOMBUS' debut on Century Media is called, poetically, ‘The Poet And The Parrot’; it is out now in Europe, August 26th, 2013, and is due in North America come September 17th, 2013. ‘The Poet And The Parrot’ was recorded, mixed and mastered at Welfare Sounds Studio in Gothenburg, Sweden with the goal:

“to create a timeless sound and feeling that leaves the listener with the best of both worlds: an album that is contemporary and fresh while at the same time got that distinctive touch of yesterday's heroes! Considering the above it’s obvious that BOMBUS isn’t about re-inventing something that already works, it’s about finding their own sound out of what they love and treasure in each member's record collection. The band is extremely happy with the way the album finally turned out and this definitely marks the next big landmark on BOMBUS way into the hearts of all hard music fans! BOMBUS Dominates!”

‘The Poet And The Parrot’ can be found here (CM Distro Europe), here (CM Distro North America), on iTunes, on Spotify and at EMP's and Amazon's.

BOMBUS features: Matte – guitar and vocals, Feffe – guitar and vocals, Jonas - bass and Peter – drums




26 August, 2013

Call Of The Void: Abomination – new video & Dragged Down A Dead End Path – full album stream

CALL OF THE VOID are to be forgiven for their new video because, we are told, just a couple of years ago they were apparently regarded as a “noisy interruption, a sideshow sanctioned by the bar yet seemingly uninvited by its patrons” by the University of Colorado students present at their concert. A lot has changed for the band since; for one, they have a record out on Relapse Records since March 2013 called ‘Dragged Down A Dead End Path’, and they get high marks for their effort from the likes of Pitchfork's Andy O’Connor who wrote:
“Low end is pronounced, almost to the point where it would be more appropriate to call them a fast sludge band rather than grindcore. This is especially true on the latter half of ‘Theory Of Mind’, where around 0:53 the band unleashes a groovy break that resembles TRAGEDY listening to a lot of PANTERA. A call-to-arms rave-up going into a chunky riff shouldn’t meld, but CALL OF THE VOID's ability to fuse disparate extreme metal influences makes it succeed,” [read the rest here]
So, if in need of being shouted at with violent hate for 25 minutes, then ‘Dragged Down A Dead End Path’, the debut album by Colorado's (“filthy powerviolence-charred”) CALL OF THE VOID, is for you. Recorded in two and a half days at the Boar's Nest in Salt Lake City, Utah with Andy Patterson and mastered by Chris Mcnaughton, with its art created by professional squinter Anthony Lucero, ‘Dragged Down A Dead End Path’ is out since March 2013 and awaits your order, in all available formats, here (Relapse Records store). Bleed your ears here (BandCamp) or below:
“Rarely does a debut record come bursting out of the gates this ferociously angry and, frankly, awesome. Stirring up a pissed off mix of NAPALM DEATH and HIS HERO IS GONE, Colorado's CALL OF THE VOID pound out a furious ten song grand f*ing slam of a record. ‘Dragged Down A Dead End Path’ truly lives up to its name, because this is a record that beats listeners into submission. Blending hardcore, sludge, powerviolence, crust and grind, CALL OF THE VOID are legit rising stars in hardcore and metal. ‘Dragged Down A Dead End Path’s crust and grind elements seamlessly merge to conjure visions of grind godfathers PIG DESTROYER while effortlessly treading the abrasive caustic nature of CONVERGE's hybrid progressive hardcore and MASTODON's technical metal-tinged rock mastery,” [the label tell us:]

CALL OF THE VOID features: Gordon Koch- drums, Patrick Alberts – guitar, Alex Pace – bass and Steve Vanica – vocals 


Chthonic: Set Fire To The Island – new video & Bú-Tik – new album

‘Set Fire To The Island’, directed by Hoiji Huang and Alulu Kuo, comes off the Taiwanese power and symphonic black metal warriors', CHTHONIC, new album ‘Bú-Tik’, issued in June 2013 through Universal Music/Spinefarm Records. Never dull, the characters on CHTHONIC's latest album travel through time and space and through violent scenes in Taiwan's history; the band retells stories about pirates, armed clashes and prisoner riots occurring on the island during the 18th century. The self-defined “oriental metallers” recorded ‘Bú-Tik’ at Sweden's Sweetspot Studio with producer Rickard Bengtson who also worked on the band's 2011's ‘Takasago Army’. Courtesy Spinefarm Records, CHTHONIC's new album can be enjoyed in its entirety below; the band have previously released (at least) two videos in its promotion: Chuang Chi-Wen-directed ‘Defenders Of Bú-Tik Palace’ for which dedicated bandmembers spent a month training, working on their fitness and martial arts (“Whenever we are interviewed overseas, we are always asked if Asians know martial arts and before we would immediately deny it, but afterwards we suddenly thought; why don’t we really shoot such an MV for you guys,” explained bassist Doris Yeh) and Lin Chun-directed ‘Sail Into The Sunset's Fire’ (“[The song] recounts the stories of pirates in East Asia in the Age of Exploration. We’re not encouraging kidnapping ships or robbing money - but the brevity to bid farewell to the old world, sail towards the unknown, and challenge the conventional authority is indeed inspiring,” said Freddy Lim, the lead vocalist). ‘Bú-Tik’ awaits you here (CHTHONIC store) and on iTunes and Amazon.

CHTHONIC, symphonic blackened death metal group whose music employs elements of traditional Taiwanese music and who frequently incorporate their nation's ancient history and mythology into their lyrics, was formed in 1995 in Taipei, Taiwan. They released their first single, ‘Deep Rising’, in 1998, and their first full-length album, ‘Where The Ancestors' Souls Gather’, in 1999. ‘9th Empyrean’ and ‘Relentless Recurrence’ became available to Taiwanese public in 2000 and 2002 respectively, with the latter being revamped in 2007 by SPV Records, English translations included. In 2003, they won the Best Band Award at the Taiwan Golden Melodies award ceremony and became officially undesired in parts of China for their political views: the band advocates Taiwan's independence from PRC and self-determination for the Tibetans and Uighurs. CHTHONIC first album to be released in both English and Chinese-language editions was 2006's ‘Seediq Bale’. ‘Mirror Of Retribution’, produced by Rob Caggiano of ANTHRAX fame, followed in 2009 through Spinefarm Records. AllMusic's Greg Prato described it as CHTHONIC “most fully realized - and strongest - album thus far”:
“As with earlier releases, CHTHONIC don’t shy away from including “messages” in their songs, and this time around the tragic 228 Incident (also known as the 228 Massacre) is supposedly referenced in the album's lyrics - “supposedly” because without the aid of a lyric sheet, good luck trying to decipher what is being screamed,” [he felt compelled to add – more here]
Seeking to expose “the part of Taiwan's history that the government attempts to cover up through the interior conflict on identity of former Taiwanese soldiers” CHTHONIC's sixth album, 2011's ‘Takasago Army’, thematically dealt with Taiwanese volunteer soldiers serving in the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II:
“Aside from a pair of instrumental tracks, ‘Takasago Army’ is a pretty relentless ordeal that assaults metal fans with a nearly endless barrage of thundering double-kick drums and crunching guitar heaviness. Add CHTHONIC's use of traditional Taiwanese instruments on songs like ‘Legacy Of The Seediq’ and you have an album that will satisfy any black metal fan who’s looking for something a little different to add to their rotation,” [wrote Gregory Heaney, AllMusic – more here]
CHTHONIC features: Freddy “Left Face Of Maradou” Lim – vocals and erhu, Doris “Thunder Tears” Yeh – bass and backing vocals, Jesse “The Infernal” Liu – guitar, Dani “Azathothian Hands” Wang – drums and CJ “Dispersed Fingers” – piano and synthesizer


23 August, 2013

Annihilator: Feast – new album


Jeff Waters and his ANNIHILATORs are back with their fourteenth album called ‘Feast’. Released through UDR (“the home of legends”) in Europe today, August 23rd, 2013, the album is due in North America on August the 27th. ‘Feast’ is available as limited-edition eco-book with bonus disc ‘Re-Kill’ - best of ANNIHILATOR re-recorded in 2012, as CD jewel case, as LP gatefold, as digital download and as D2C fan-package. Visit UDR store here to order the ‘Feast’, or search for it on iTunes or Amazon/Amazon MP3. For additional information, do scroll down and check out ANNIHILATOR ‘Feast’ EPK.

By now, all should know that ANNIHILATOR is the lifework of guitarist Jeff Waters, who founded the band in 1984 in his native Vancouver, Canada. ANNIHILATOR's debut album, ‘Alice In Hell’, which Waters wrote, produced, and played guitar and bass on, was released in 1989 through Roadrunner Records to a wild public and critical acclaim. The album was re-released twice, in 1998 with three bonus tracks and again in 2003:

The ever changing lineup, with Waters being the only permanent bandmember, released ‘Never, Neverland’ next. Commented Alex Henderson, AllMusic:
“ ‘Never, Neverland’ is a blistering gem that takes no prisoners either musically or lyrically. In fact, ANNIHILATOR's lyrics could be quite substantial, and the headbangers offer hard-hitting commentary on subjects raging from drunken driving to religious fanaticism to environmental destruction,” [more here:]

On 1993's ‘Set The World On Fire’, ANNIHILATOR adopted a more traditional metal and hard rock sound; the experiment which ended up alienating a big portion of the band's fans resulted in Roadrunner dropping the band after issuing their 1994's ‘Bag Of Tricks’ compilation. Next, ANNIHILATOR signed with Music For Nations and released several albums through the label: 1994's ‘King Of The Kill’, 1996's ‘Refresh The Demon and 1997's ‘Remains’, squeezing live album, ‘In Command’, between the last two: 

On ANNIHILATOR's seventh full-length, 1999's ‘Criteria For A Black Widow’, Waters reunited the ‘Alice In Hell’ line-up excluding bass player Wayne Darley who was replaced by Russ Bergquist. AllMusic's Steve Huey commented as follows: “Waters sounds rejuvenated by the presence of his old band-mates, who turn in exciting performances. There’s a sense of over-the-top fun, which makes it [the album] overall a triumphant return.” (More here) ‘Carnival Diablos’, released in 2001, was the first recording to feature OVERKILL's Joe Comeau on vocals. The band's ninth album, ‘Waking The Fury’, was issued the following year and their tenth, 2004's ‘All For You’, was the album which introduced ANNIHILATOR's current vocalist Dave Padden. 2005's ‘Schizo Deluxe’ and its follower, 2007's ‘Metal’, on which Waters had gathered a whole array of guest musicians, including Angela Gossow (ARCH ENEMY), Corey Beaulieu (TRIVIUM) and Willie Adler (LAMB OF GOD), were received particularly well by critics.  In 2010, ANNIHILATOR released their thirteenth, self-titled album through Earache Records Europe. The label decided to reissue six ANNIHILATOR albums and had offered a free ANNIHILATOR compilation album entitled ‘Total Annihilation’. Sacrifice your email address and you can download it here (Earache Records) free of charge. 

ANNIHILATOR features: Dave Padden – vocals and guitar, Jeff Waters – guitar and vocals, Al Campuzano - bass and Mike Harshaw – drums

Lord Dying: Dreams Of Mercy – new video & Summon The Faithless – full album stream

Since I am older and therefore wiser, do follow my example and watch the new LORD DYING video, ‘Dreams Of Mercy’, first thing in the morning. This educational video was directed by Rob "Whitey" McConnaughy. ‘Dreams Of Mercy’ comes off the new heavyweight champions' of metal debut LP ‘Summon The Faithless’, out since July 2013 on Relapse Records. Streaming in full here (BandCamp) and below, the impressive debut is available in CD, LP and digital formats, all of which Relapse Records will be more than happy to provide you with here (Relapse store). The album is also available on iTunes and Amazon/Amazon MP3. “Loaded with bone-grinding riffage and powerful vocals”, described as “a hellish sludge-fest of an upcoming debut record” by Pittsburgh Music Magazine and as “the apocalyptically awesome collection” by Crave Online, friends of HIGH ON FIRE, and everyone else, should take a good listen:

LORD DYING come from Portland, Oregon, apparently a region where the inhabitants are plagued with nerve and joint damage due to lack of sunlight:
“In a time where everyone is trying to out-sludge or out-doom each other LORD DYING gives something less than a fuck. They are a metal band with members of BLACK ELK, PORTALS, LA FORCE, DAMN YOUR EYES and CREMAINS, who in their short, one year's time as a band have shared the stage with RED FANG, DOWN, YOB, VALIENT THORR, UNSANE, GHOST and many others.”
LORD DYING features: E. Olson –guitar and vocals, D. Capuano – bass, J. Reid- drums and vocals and C. Evans – guitar 


20 August, 2013

Full Album Stream: Born Of Osiris - Tomorrow We Die ∆live – new album & M∆chine – new video



Don’t count American progressive technical death metal act BORN OF OSIRIS among the living dead yet. They are very much alive; in fact, their third full-length album, ‘Tomorrow We Die Alive’, is out now, August 20th, 2013. Released through Sumerian Records, the album was co-produced by Nick Sampson and the band, mixed and mastered by Joey Sturgis and with artwork provided by the amazing Cameron Gray, ‘Tomorrow We Die Alive’ awaits your order on iTunes, Amazon, Amazon MP3 and on Google Play. Courtesy Sumerian Records, you can listen to the album in its delightful entirety here (Sumerian Records' YouTube channel) as well as below.


BORN OF OSIRIS was formed in 2003 in Chicago, Illinois by guitarist Lee McKinney, vocalist Ronnie Canizaro, keyboardist and vocalist Joe Buras, bassist David DaRocha, drummer Cameron Losch, and guitarist Matt Pantelis. The young musicians used to be known as “Rosecrance” back then, and as such they released their debut self-titled EP via Sumerian Records in 2006. Their second EP (and their first as BORN OF OSIRIS), ‘The New Reign’, followed in 2007, after which guitarist Pantelis departed (to join the VEIL OF MAYA). The band's debut full-length, ‘A Higher Place’, was issued in 2009, debuting at number 73 on the Billboard 200:

“ ‘A Higher Place’ lives up to its title by being significantly more psychedelic and melodic, without sacrificing the musical intricacy that made them kings of what some are calling “Sumerian-core” - a blend of tech-death and hardcore played by preternaturally talented youngsters. The production, by Zeuss, makes the band sound huge, easily competing with more mainstream heavy acts like DARKEST HOUR or LAMB OF GOD while maintaining their unique sound,” [didn’t make much sense Phill Freeman, AllMusic who nevertheless defined that elusive genre known to some as “sumeriancore” – more here]

In 2011, BORN OF OSIRIS released their second, this time self-produced, record titled ‘The Discovery’ which debuted at number 87 on the Billboard Top 200 chart, selling over 6,000 copies in its first week of release:

“Those keyboards, which occasionally come to the fore, sometimes make ‘The Discovery’ sound like an album that was recorded in a studio with two rooms at which a progressive rock band was working next door and their music sometimes bled through the wall,” [had a good time reviewing the album William Ruhlmann, AllMusic – more here]

BORN OF OSIRIS features: Ronnie Canizaro – lead vocals, Joe Buras – keyboards, synthesizer, programming and vocals, Lee McKinney – guitar and engineering, David Darocha – bass and Cameron Losch – drums



18 August, 2013

Bring Me The Horizon: Can You Feel My Heart - new video

BRING ME THE HORIZON, a band much loved by our treasured youth, have unleashed yet another new video; right on the heels of ‘Go To Hell, For Heaven's Sake’, shot and edited by Danny Todd, comes 'Can You Feel My Heart'. Both tunes come off the band's celebrated fourth album, ‘Sempiternal’, released through RCA Records/Epitaph Records in April 2013. ‘Sempiternal’ can be streamed in its enjoyable entirety here (YouTube), courtesy Epitaph Records. The first BMTH album recorded with keyboardist Jordan Fish was produced by Terry Date and mixed by David Bendeth. ‘Sempiternal’ has conquered UK Rock & Metal Album Chart and Australian Albums Chart (ARIA) and has debuted at number 11 on the Billboard Top 200 with first week U.S. sales of over 27,500 copies. The album has also performed very well throughout Europe. Buy it here (BMTH store), from Amazon or via iTunes:

 “While many have tried, few bands have merged metalcore with electronic influences quite like BRING ME THE HORIZON, who complete their transition from faceless deathcore band to something altogether more interesting with their fourth album, ‘Sempiternal’. … What makes BRING ME THE HORIZON's evolution so interesting isn’t so much the change in their sound, but how they got there. Rather than adding and subtracting elements wholesale, it feels as though the band has been tinkering little by little, adjusting the ratios to achieve just the right balance of ambience and aggression. Where other bands might have synths slapped on top of their sound, here they feel like they’re part of the foundation of the songs, creating a soundscape for the rest of the elements to drift through instead of around,” [wrote Gregory Heaney, AllMusic – more here]

Formed in 2004 in Sheffield, England, BRING ME THE HORIZON's interesting name was reportedly inspired by the 2003 Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean" (specifically by Captain Jack's final line: “Now, bring me that horizon.”). That same year, the band released their debut EP, ‘This Is What The Edge Of Your Seat Was Made For’, through Australian label Thirty Days Of Night. Reissued in 2005 by Visible Noise, the EP peaked at number 41 on the U.K. Album Charts. Their debut album, ‘Count Your Blessings’, followed in 2006 in United Kingdom through Visible Noise and a year later through Earache Records in the United States. Fronted by easily recognizable Oliver Sykes, Sheffield metalcore merchants recorded their second LP with Swedish record producer Fredrik Nordström; issued in 2008, ‘Suicide Season’ entered the Billboard Top 200 at number 107. Again turning to Nordström, BMTH's third full-length followed in 2010; ‘There Is A Hell, Believe Me I've Seen It. There Is A Heaven, Let's Keep It A Secret’, performed outstandingly well on the charts; it charted at number 1 in Australia and United Kingdom, at number 2 on the U.S. Rock Albums Chart, and debuted at position number 17 on the Billboard Top 200. The album sold 20,000 copies in the United States alone in its first week:
“The twist is that they [BRING ME THE HORIZON] don’t bloat the songs out with breakdown after breakdown, but instead break up the songs with quieter, plaintively atmospheric passages. This helps to combat the “breakdown fatigue” that plagues so many albums, allowing the heaviest parts of the songs to have the proper impact. ‘There Is A Hell…’ finds BRING ME THE HORIZON at the top of their game, and its lack of over indulgent production makes it an album that’ll not only please fans of the band, but may surprise fans of bands like CONVERGE who are interested in seeing what the kids are up to these days,” [wrote Gregory Heaney, AllMusic – more here]

BRING ME THE HORIZON features: Matt Kean − bass, Lee Malia − lead guitar and backing vocals, Matt Nicholls − drums, Oliver Sykes – vocals and Jordan Fish − keyboards




17 August, 2013

Full Album Stream: Rosetta: The Anaesthete – new album


It turns out that on August the 8th, 2013, Philadelphia finest, ROSETTA, have independently released their fourth full-length album ‘The Anaesthete’. Reportedly, their goal was to find out whether an independent publishing and distribution model can be self-sustainable for a small DIY band. Right now they consider the experiment a qualified success. Hosted by BandCamp, ROSETTA “hope that if you like the record enough to download it (pay-what-you-wish option available), you would pay what you’re able to, even if it’s only a couple dollars”. It appears that being given the option of free download, approximately 25% of the people who downloaded the album paid for it. Of those who did pay, the average purchase price was worth about $9.40. Physical copies (CD/vinyl) of ‘The Anaesthete’ will be released by the band as soon as the funds allow and will be distributed by Debemur Morti Productions, Monolith and independently by the band. The album was recorded at Studio G in Brooklyn, New York, produced by Andrew Schneider and ROSETTA, engineered by Andrew Schneider and Francisco Bolero, mixed by Andrew Schneider and mastered by Colin Marston at The Thousand Caves in Queens, New York. Cover photograph was taken by Renee McMahon. Buy ‘The Anaesthete’ here (BandCamp):
[Explained ROSETTA:] “ ‘Anaesthete’ can be understood to mean “someone who can’t appreciate beauty” but also suggests “anaesthetic” or induced numbness. Over the past couple of years we’ve been thinking a lot about if/how music communicates, and about the responsibility that artists may have for how their work affects people. Music can be deeply therapeutic, and seems to be a space where pain and beauty coexist in tension. There’s a paradox in that killing our pain often involves killing our sensitivity to sublime beauty and wonder. Music can be a means by which people confront pain with beauty, or falsehood and injustice with truth. We’ve heard countless stories of people who have found this kind of value in our music – often people who couldn’t be more different from the standard “metal kid” demographic. These people aren’t passive recipients of some kind of artistic charity from us. Rather, the music itself has connected us together in a way that is really hard to understand. Their stories work in us in a similar manner to how our music works in them. We’ve come to understand that music is bigger than musicians, bigger than fans, bigger than entertainment. It has a life of its own, which is mysterious:”

Agents of “metal for astronauts”, ROSETTA, exist since 2003; they operate out of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Through Translation Loss Records they released their debut two-disks album (of interconnected music meant to be played simultaneously on two separate stereos), ‘The Galilean Satellites’ in 2005. They dared to top this daring enterprise with their second opus, 2007's ‘Wake/Lift’, described by Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic as “a series of meticulously constructed trance-metal epics, as rife with futuristic, prog-ambient sophistications as they are with visceral primal sludge - but arguably more fluid and satisfying in their violently alternating mood swings than anything that came before” (more here). ROSETTA embarked on their third interstellar voyage in 2010 via ‘A Determinism Of Morality’:
“Their mission,” [wrote Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic] “to escape the dreaded black hole of trance-metal repetition that has sucked in so many of their peers near the end of the 2000s, put the entire movement's viability into question, and helped convince at least one of its leaders – ISIS - that the time had come to retire. … ‘A Determinism Of Morality’ positions ROSETTA not as clear-cut, groundbreaking post-metal saviors capable of taking the style to another evolutionary place, but as well-seasoned stalwarts able enough to keep things fresh long enough to get there, by other means…hopefully. Quoting from the POLICE: “When the world is running down, you make the best with what’s still around.” ROSETTA are surely among the trance-metal best.” [More here]
ROSETTA features: BJ McMurtrie – drums, Dave Grossman – bass and vocals, Matt Weed - guitar, piano and vocals and Mike Armine – vocals and electronics

Stone Sour: Tired – new video & House Of Gold & Bones Part 2 – full album stream

‘Tired’ comes off STONE SOUR's April 2013-released album ‘House Of Gold & Bones Part 2’, still available in its enjoyable entirety at the band's site here. The second part of STONE SOUR's double concept album ‘House Of Gold And Bones’, issued through Roadrunner Records, sold 31,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release and has landed at position number 7 on The Billboard Top 200 chart. ‘House Of Gold And Bones Part 2’ was recorded simultaneously with its sister record ‘House Of Gold And Bones Part 1’, issued in October 2012, with producer David Botrill at Sound Farm Studios in Iowa. The album's artwork, based upon 28-page short story written by vocalist Corey Taylor, was created by Sean Mosher-Smith, while the first video filmed in album's promotion, ‘Do Me A Favor’, was directed by Phil Mucci. ‘House Of Gold And Bones Part 2’ awaits you here (STONE SOUR's official store) and here (Roadrunner Records) and at Amazon's and on iTunes. Furthermore, check your local comic book store for the “House Of Gold And Bones” comic series, published by Dark Horse Comics:

Formed in 1992 in Iowa, USA by SLIPKNOT's James Root and Corey Taylor as an introspective and melodic outlet for them, STONE SOUR's self-titled debut album, issued in 2002, reached position number 46 on the U.S. Billboard Top 200 chart and went on to receive RIAA Gold certification (for over 500,000 units sold) and two Grammy Award nominations in 2003 and 2004. The group's second release came in 2006; ‘Come What(ever) May’ debuted at number 4 on Billboard Top 200, was certified Gold in USA and Canada, and was nominated for Grammy Award in the “Best Metal Performance” category. STONE SOUR's third album, 2010's ‘Audio Secrecy’, debuted at number 1 on the UK Rock Chart and made it to number 6 on the Billboard Top 200, and has sold 46,000 copies during first week of U.S. sales. 2012's ‘House Of Gold And Bones Part 1’ had conquered Billboard Hard Rock chart, UK Rock Chart and climbed to position number 7 on the Billboard Top 200:
“Following the story of a man who finds himself at a mystical crossroads in his life while on a journey through a kind of self-made perdition, the album follows an arc both thematically and sonically, with the intensity of the songs rising and falling in a way that feels more like a musical than an album of chest-thumping hard rock. … A concept album is always a risky proposition, especially in the world of post-grunge, but it feels as if STONE SOUR have been invigorated by the possibilities open to them after expanding their sound so much on their previous effort, giving them the confidence to make what is easily their most ambitious record to date. That said, this is an album that can easily be enjoyed for the songs alone,” [commented Gregory Heaney, AllMusic – more here:]

STONE SOUR features: Corey Taylor – vocals, James Root – guitar, Josh Rand – guitar, Roy Mayorga – drums and Rachel Bolan – bass 


Buckcherry: Nothing Left But Tears – new video



BUCKCHERRY's new video ‘Nothing Left But Tears’ was directed by Daniel Andres Gomez Bagby. The tune itself comes off the group's sixth studio album ‘Confessions’, issued through Eleven Seven Music and Century Media Records in February 2013. A loose concept album that revolves around the notion of seven deadly sins and is inspired by events in singer's Josh Todd childhood, ‘Confessions’ has debuted at number 20 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart with over 18,500 copies sold in the USA in its first week of release. The disc has also entered both the Billboard Hard Music Album chart and Metal Album chart at number 1, as well as maintaining the number 1 spot on the iTunes Rock Album chart throughout the release week. Produced by the band themselves, BUCKCHERRY's ‘Confessions’ awaits you here (CM Distro), at Amazon and on iTunes:

“BUCKCHERRY have not always given the impression that they have hidden depths. Still firmly tethered to the LA band's trademark blend of grubby rock'n'roll and strutting gutter-punk, ‘Confessions’ seeks to confound received wisdom by exploring the grueling reality of frontman Josh Todd's troubled childhood and wild adolescence. With the seven deadly sins providing a thematic core, there is plenty of room for BUCKCHERRY to please those diehard fans that demand hard-edged party anthems, not least on ‘Wrath’ and their first single, ‘Gluttony’. Much like their obvious forebears AEROSMITH, this band have never been afraid to pen a dewy-eyed ballad, and ‘The Truth’ and ‘ Dreamin' Of You’ are two of their best to date,” [wrote Dom Lawson, The Guardian – read more here]


BUCKCHERRY, Los Angeles hard rockers best known for partying too hard and writing songs about it, formed in 1995 by singer Joshua Todd and guitarist Keith Nelson. After the recruitment of bassist Jonathan Brightman, drummer Devon Glenn and second guitarist Yogi, the band had signed with DreamWorks Records and issued BUCKCHERRY's self-titled debut LP in 1999. Their second album, ‘Time Bomb’, released the following year, was received well by fans but badly by critics. For example, AllMusic's Steven Jacobetz commented:

“… for a second record, it’s surprising how jaded and nihilistic they are already. Singer Josh Todd declares in the chorus of the title track, “life ain’t nothin' but bitches and money”, while the band sounds like an AC/DC clone. If there’s any element of truth in songs like ‘Porno Star’, ‘Slit My Wrists’, and ‘Whiskey In The Morning’, fans should be concerned for the members' safety and hope to not find one of them dead soon.” [More here]

In 2002, vocalist and founding member Joshua Todd unexpectedly quit the group. BUCKCHERRY reunited in 2005; founders Todd and Nelson added drummer Xavier Muriel, bassist Jimmy Ashhurst and guitarist Stevie D to the lineup, and as such the band recorded their third full-length entitled ‘15’ which they released through Eleven Seven Music and Atlantic Records. Eventually turning Platinum, 2006's ‘15’ remained on the American albums charts Billboard 200 for 98 weeks. (“No matter how you like your rock served up, BUCKCHERRY dish it with delight, and you’ll be wolfing it down and demanding more,” commented AllMusic's Jo-Ann Greene – more here.) Continuing on their curving path, BUCKCHERRY's next effort, 2008's ‘Black Butterfly’, got verbally abused by Stephen Thomas Erlewine, AllMusic, who described the band as “self-appointed saviors of sleaze” and their music as “secondhand AEROSMITH ripoff stripped of boogie” and “the sound of a slow slide into the monotony of addiction” (more to be found here). The aforementioned music critic welcomed the band “back from the murky hangover” in 2010, when BUCKCHERRY's fifth studio album was issued: “The swagger has a bit of a snap, the rhythms a little more swing, the guitars snarl a little bit harder - subtleties that are notable when the music is so by the book, as BUCKCHERRY's is. If they can’t quite deliver the songs or hooks - and they can’t - they need to have the attitude, which they do here,” he wrote (more here). 2010's ‘All Night Long’ debuted at number 10 on the Billboard Top 200.

BUCKCHERRY features: Josh Todd – vocals, Keith Nelson – lead guitar, Stevie D. – rhythm guitar, Jimmy Ashhurst – bass and Xavier Muriel – drums