31 October, 2013

Full Album Stream: Toxic Holocaust: Chemistry Of Consciousness – new album


You know what they say: each and every record is the band's best yet (and it may as well be in the eyes/ears of the beholder), but this TOXIC HOLOCAUST record, ‘Chemistry Of Consciousness’, truly is their best. Issued on October the 29th, 2013 through TOXIC HOLOCAUST faithful partner in crime, Relapse Records, the eleven high energy punk-metal tunes were recorded by the band themselves and mixed by CONVERGE's Kurt Ballou and mastered by Brad Boatright. “The most outstanding record in TOXIC HOLOCAUST's already near perfect discography”, ‘Chemistry Of Consciousness’ was given away by their label thusly:
“ ‘Chemistry Of Consciousness’ is the sound of DISCHARGE on speed, SLAYER with a punk rock chip on its shoulder, THE EXPLOITED on a METALLICA overdose - the perfect marriage of punk angst and metal guitar licks and hooks. If there’s one thing the punks and the heshers will agree on in 2013, its that TOXIC HOLOCAUST's ‘Chemistry Of Consciousness’ is a rager of a record destined to top any worthwhile best of 2013 list.”
What’s left is to enjoy the album below, and then to order it from Relapse Records here, to buy it on iTunes, from Amazon/Amazon MP3 or from BandCamp:

Joel Grind's punk-inflected death metal band from Portland, Oregon, TOXIC HOLOCAUST, came to be in 1999. Inspired by the likes of BATHORY, VENOM, ENGLISH DOGS, POSSESSED etc, the one-man-band Grind wrote and recorded several demos, mixing classic punk and metal with hard rock and throwing in some blazing riffs and gravel-throated vocals, before TOXIC HOLOCAUST's self-recorded debut full-length, ‘Evil Never Dies’, was released in 2003. AllMusic's Greg Prato commented: “For thrash so vintage-sounding that it could be passed off as an unreleased album teleported directly from the mid '80s, ‘Evil Never Dies’ is one potent metallic weapon:”

Grind's second album, ‘Hell On Earth’, again recorded in his spare bedroom, was released in 2005, featuring cover art by classic metal artist Ed Repka and a guitar solo from Bobby Steele (ex-MISFITS) on the title track. TOXIC HOLOCAUST had toured the U.S., Japan, Australia, Europe, Canada, and Brazil throughout the year that followed, a DIY affair since all tours were self-booked and self-financed:
Finally, Relapse Records took notice of Grind's determination and talent and signed the band in 2008. Teaming up with legendary producer Jack Endino, ‘An Overdose Of Death’ became TOXIC HOLOCAUST's first album to be recorded in a proper studio with Paul “Personality” Barke on guitar and Donny Paycheck on drums:
“Custom-made for the cut-off denim jacket/white high top/mullet-wearing set, loaded with speedy riffs, shouted/growled vocals, and lyrically, all the prerequisite topics for '80s thrash are touched upon (Armageddon, nuclear holocaust, death, etc.). As with all great thrash bands, just pick the most “colorful” song titles, and be prepared to get throttled - ‘Nuke The Cross’, ‘In The Name Of Science’, and ‘Feedback, Blood, And Distortion’ are all rapid-fire screecher-keepers,” [discovered Greg Prato, AllMusic – more here:]

A proper band now, TOXIC HOLOCAUST returned in 2011 with Joel Grind (vocals and guitar), Phil Zeller on bass and Nick Bellmore on drums. Upon the occasion of the release of his fourth full-length effort, ‘Conjure And Command’, Mr. Rivadavia, AllMusic congratulated Mr. Grind on “mixing and matching the old [musical molds] more creatively than most other practitioners of the form”, and expressed hope TOXIC HOLOCAUST's name will stay “safe from limiting subgenre associations”:
“TOXIC HOLOCAUST always had a few more speeds in their gearbox and musical tricks in their arsenal to begin with. Chief among those, perhaps, were Grind's crust-punk and blackened thrash influences, which are pushed to the fore here like never before, also probably in an effort to help divorce TOXIC HOLOCAUST from any of that lingering new millennium thrash stench. Whatever the goal, the ploy certainly works:” [he concluded – more here]

TOXIC HOLOCAUST features: Joel Grind – vocals and guitar, Phil Zeller – bass and vocals and Nick Bellmore – drums

30 October, 2013

Full Album Stream: Inquisition: Obscure Verses For The Multiverse – new album


INQUISITION's Dagon and Incubus appear and sound so serious I won’t even attempt to lighten the atmosphere; INQUISITION's Dagon has even entered the Guinness Book Of World Records for the longest album art explanation which goes as follows:
“The seven headed beast of the cosmic apocalypse spits out multiple universes after destroying the old universe it so deemed unworthy of further expansion; this is the creator and destroyer of the entire astral plane and creator of all reptilian lords, the great beast of all beasts. On the sides, two cloaked humans who represent our current plane of the humanoid’s third dimensional plane from which we project hymns, our music to the astral plane, and our form of connecting with the outer dimension in which our spirit comes from and shall return to. Through music we connect with the occult forces, the hidden or unseen forces the gods have created for us to be in tune with. Why music elevates us into another dimension is no coincidence. In the center is the demon Pazuzu used as a representation of the alien life form that has crossed all dimensions entering our third to create humanoids as the enslaved race of the gods. The reptilian ones behold the secrets of the cosmic mechanics contained in his book, from here science as we know it is an ancient secret the gods have slowly illuminated us with… in this book we find the obscure verses for the multiverse. In the end, all universes and dimensions collide into one mass of destruction leaving a black hole where all light and quantum physics as we know it die and is consumed leading to an entire new cycle once again by creating a new universe for reasons we shall never know.”
For their record label, Season Of Mist, they are simply a revelation. The label also has no doubt that this INQUISITION album, ‘Obscure Verses For The Multiverse’, will mark a turning point in the steady rise of INQUISITION from the murky underground to a major act of the black metal scene. ‘Obscure Verses For The Multiverse’ is out now everywhere (which usually means Europe and North America) since October the 29th, 2013, and awaits your order here (Season Of Mist e-store), on iTunes or on BandCamp. But first enjoy, if you dare, the "harsh but melodic and catchy riffing combined perfectly with blasting outbursts and dark, moody passages strengthened by rasping vocals with a sinister raven-like quality below" and “witness this black beast rising!”:

INQUISITION is the brainchild of guitarist and vocalist Dagon who started the band in 1988 in Cali, Colombia, South America. A thrash metal act at first, INQUISITION evolved into a raw black metal affair by 1994. In 1996, Dagon left Colombia and moved back to the United States where he first sought out a new drummer. He met Incubus who remained steady at Dagon's side ever since. Dagon's monotonous, chant-like voice (that is apparently meant to reflect not that of a human, but rather that of an unseen entity in demonic form) was first heard in 1990 on ‘Anxious Death’ EP, then in 1996 on ‘Incense Of Rest’ EP and finally on INQUISITION's debut LP ‘Into The Infernal Regions Of The Ancient Cult’, issued in 1998. The infernal duo kept releasing records, namely, ‘Invoking The Majestic Throne Of Satan’ in 2002, ‘Magnificent Glorification Of Lucifer’ in 2007, and ‘Nefarious Dismal Orations’ in 2011, through some infernal and controversial label barred from mainstream recognition in parts of Europe. In partnership with Season Of Mist who are “ready to set the record straight and openly meet any given question”, INQUISITION are ready for change.

INQUISITION features: Dagon – guitar and vocals and Incubus - drums

Full Album Stream: Necrophobic: Womb Of Lilithu – new album


NECROPHOBIC have sent me on a search for “Lilithu”; apparently they were either female demons and succubus who would feed upon the life-force of humans whilst they slept (according to Babylonians), or she was a harlot who appeared as a beautiful bird-footed maiden, described as the daughter of Anu (or “the Daughter of Heaven”) and who fed upon the spirits of her lovers (according to ancient Sumerians). Either way, powerful, independent and emancipated women – something all women deserve to be. I read NECROPHOBIC have recently encountered the all too often occurring matter of domestic violence themselves, and while I am not too familiar with the specifics of their case, I understand they have ejected vocalist Tobias Sidegård from their ranks as a consequence. (Their official statement: “Tobias is no longer a member of NECROPHOBIC. The verdict following his trial regrettably left us, the band, with no other choice. As stated before, NECROPHOBIC do not accept or tolerate domestic violence in any way. We will now search for a replacement.”). All that said, NECROPHOBIC have a new album out on Season Of Mist since October the 25th, 2013, in Europe, and since October the 29th in North America. The album is streaming in full here (No Clean Singing) and below, so give it a spin, you are sure to like it, and then get the ‘Womb Of Lilithu’ here (Season Of Mist e-shop), or via iTunes or BandCamp:

NECROPHOBIC was formed in 1989 in Stockholm, Sweden by drummer Joakim Sterner and guitarist David “Blackmoon” Parland who prematurely passed away in March 2013, aged 42. Parland was also co-founder of DARK FUNERAL and INFERNAL. In 1993, the band, now counting bassist Tobias Sidegård and vocalist Anders Strokirk, recorded their debut single, ‘The Call’, followed by debut full-length album ‘The Nocturnal Silence’, and debut EP, 1996's ‘Spawned By Evil’ which introduced Sidegård on vocals as well as on bass. Together with DISSECTION, NECROPHOBIC began to shape a genuine Swedish metal sound which combined elements of death and black metal:

The band's second album, ‘Darkside’, was released in 1997, featuring a guest appearance of the late Jon Nödtveidt from DISSECTION, while NECROPHOBIC third album, 1999's ‘The Third Antichrist’, introduced new guitarists Sebastian Ramstedt and Martin Halfdan. ‘Bloodhymns’, issued in 2002, were described as a “consistently entertaining listen” and NECROPHOBIC brand of metal as “a death metal battlefield strewn with quite memorable razor-sharp riffs and frosty melodies that make the band so obviously... Scandinavian” by John Serba, AllMusic (more here). In 2006, the band celebrated seventeen years of existence with a “vicious, dense, and harsh as it is ominous” (Alex Henderson, AllMusic – more here) album ‘Hrimthursum’, recorded with new guitarist Johan Bergebäck, while they wished ‘Death To All’ in 2009, with it celebrating twenty years of endurance and devotion to the genre:
“This band has rarely wavered from their original path, and before you go citing those peripheral black metal tendencies - satanic lyrics, malicious melodic speed-runs - keep in mind that the line between death and black was very blurry among the pioneering bands of two decades prior. … The band's undiminished passion for their demonic art bursts forth like that of most satanic metal whippersnappers half their age, which should guarantee NECROPHOBIC's ability to keep bringing ‘Death To All’ ages of extreme metal fans for many years to come,” [wrote Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic – more here]
NECROPHOBIC features: Joakim Sterner – drums, Tobias Sidegård – vocals, Alexander Friberg – bass and Fredrik Folkare - guitar

29 October, 2013

Warbringer: IV: Empires Collapse – new album


The “undisputed leaders of the new generation of thrash metal”, WARBRINGER, are back with their fourth studio album entitled ‘IV: Empires Collapse’; the album was issued on October the 28th, 2013 in Europe and is out now, October 29th, in North America on Century Media Records. ‘IV: Empires Collapse’, which introduces former MANTIC RITUAL members Jeff Potts on guitar and Ben Mottsman on bass, was recorded with producer Steve Evetts, mixed by Brett Eliason, and mastered by Alan Douches (West West Side Music). To enjoy the full album, whose cover artwork was designed by Adrienne Rozzi, visit Revolver here, and then order your copy from here (CM Distro Europe), from here (CM Distro North America), from iTunes, or from Amazon/Amazon MP3.

Los Angeles-based WARBRINGER were formed in 2004 by guitarists John Laux and Victor Mikhaltsevich, soon joined by John Kevill, Andy Laux and Adam Carroll. The group was apparently known as “Onslaught” until they discovered that a band with exactly such a name already exists in England (ONSLAUGHT). After they recorded their never-released 4-track demo, Mikhaltsevich left and was replaced with new guitarist Emilio Hoschet. WARBRINGER recorded ‘Born Of The Ruins’ demo in 2005, followed by another demo, 2006's ‘One By One, The Wicked Fall’. Hoschet parted ways with the band in 2007 and Adam Carroll returned as a “temporary guitarist”, alongside newly recruited drummer Ryan Bates. That same year WARBRINGER inked a deal with Century Media; Bill Metoyer-produced and engineered debut full-length, ‘War Without End’, followed in 2008. It was appraised as “exciting and fresh-sounding, a way to celebrate thrash metal's silver anniversary” by Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic (more here). Bates was replaced with yet another new drummer, Nic Ritter, before WARBRINGER would enter the studio to record their second album ‘Walking Into Nightmares’. Produced by EXODUS' Gary Holt and mixed and mastered by Zack Ohren, the 2009's release was reportedly recorded in just twelve days. Bassist Ben Bennet was replaced by Andy Laux who by then finished his sabbatical year, and WARBRINGER was sent off touring with the genre's greats. Carlos Cruz became the group's new drummer in 2011, after the departure of Nic Ritter. In 2011, the band released their third album entitled ‘Worlds Torn Asunder’ which was produced and mixed by the renowned Steve Evetts. 

WARBRINGER features: John Kevill – vocals, John Laux – guitar, Jeff Potts – guitar, Ben Mottsman – bass and Carlos Cruz - drums

Winds Of Plague: Resistance – new album


Johnny Plague and his WINDS OF PLAGUE are extremely proud of their new record ‘Resistance’, out now in the USA and Canada, October 29th, 2013, on Century Media Records and due in its digital format in Europe, Australia and New Zealand on November the 4th, so visit Alternative Press here to get brutally and vigorously assaulted by the PLAGUE team, and then order the album from here (CM Distro North America), from iTunes or from Amazon/Amazon MP3. ‘Resistance’ was recorded already in 2012 with producer Will Putney, but the band decided to wait until late 2013 to release it, “for various reasons, not the least of which was to ensure that we had given enough time to listen to, analyze and absorb the record for ourselves”, they told AP.

Formed in 2002 in Upland, California, WINDS OF PLAGUE were originally known as “Black December” and have, not so originally, suffered through personnel crisis until settling on vocalist Jonathan Cooke, guitarists Nick Eash and Nick Piunno, bassist Andrew Glover and drummer Jeff Tenney. About three years later, they released their debut album, ‘A Cold Day In Hell on Recourse Records’ as WINDS OF PLAGUE. Century Media spotted the band, and WINDS OF PLAGUE proceeded to record ‘Decimate The Weak’, released in 2008, and ‘The Great Stone War, issued in 2009, which would mark the recording debut of drummer Art Cruz and keyboardist Kristen Randall. The album sold 6,300 copies in its first week of release, to debut at number 73 on The Billboard Top 200 chart. ‘Against The World’ followed in 2011, featuring guest appearances from members of HATEBREED, TERROR and FOR TODAY as well as that of former world heavyweight wrestling champion and sports entertainer Ultimate Warrior. The band's fourth longplayer charted at number 60 on the Billboard Top 200:
“WINDS OF PLAGUE are one of the more thuggish deathcore bands around; they’re not quite the knuckle-draggers EMMURE are, but at the same time they lack EMMURE's entertaining lunacy and genuine commitment to fracturing the listener's sternum with downtuned breakdowns and triggered kick drum booms. What they have on their side is chest-beating machismo (despite a rotating cast of female keyboard players) and a moderate talent for thrashy riffs - which, of course, they frequently subvert in favor of one-chord chugga-chugga parts that make hip-hop gear-sporting high-school boys bounce around the mosh pit, joyfully punching each other in their neck tattoos,” [commented Phil Freeman, AllMusic, who judged ‘Against The World’ to be “an exercise in adolescent bluster” – more here]

WINDS OF PLAGUE features: Jonathan “Johnny Plague” Cooke – vocals, Nick Piunno – rhythm guitar, Nick Eash – lead guitar, Andrew Glover – bass, Alana Potocnik – keyboards and Brandon Galindo – drums

28 October, 2013

Full Album Stream: Zodiac: A Hiding Place – new album


German quartet ZODIAC are back with the maiden and her wolves, sitting pretty in ‘A Hiding Place’. Hiding is something I know quite a lot about but Lord knows ZODIAC are better at singing about it than me, so visit Rock Hard here to enjoy ZODIAC's second record of “sweet and soulful blues-soaked classic rock” in full, before you order ‘A Hiding Place’, out on Napalm Records in Europe and about to be released via Prosthetic Records in the USA, October 29th, 2013, here (Napalm store), here (Prosthetic store), on iTunes or via Amazon/Amazon MP3.

Formed in 2010 in Münster, Germany by dummer Janosch Rathmer and guitarist and singer Nick Van Delft, soon joined by guitarist Stephan Gall and bassist Ruben Claro, ZODIAC first poured their passion for rock and blues and their love for LED ZEPPELIN, BLACK SABBATH, THIN LIZZY and IRON MAIDEN on self-released EP in 2011. They next celebrated the spirit of the '70s with ‘A Bit Of Devil’, the group's debut LP released in Europe in May 2012 on Honest Hound Records and in North America in October 2012 on Prosthetic Records. The soulful guitars, energetic drums, bluesy riffs and charismatic vocals that make up the CD were recorded with sound engineer Martin Meinschaefer at the Megaphon Tonstudios:

ZODIAC features: Nick van Delft – vocals and guitar, Stephan Gall – guitar, Ruben Claro – bass and Janosch Rathmer – drums

26 October, 2013

Full Album Stream: Skeletonwitch: Serpents Unleashed – new album


Do listen to 'Serpents Unleashed' because “the bass agility and accessibility on this record propels the ‘Serpents Unleashed’ listening experience well beyond the expected levels of awesome” and because “thrashy, rhythmic [guitar] attacks butt up against adventurous leads and solos, ascending to breathless heights and diving into hellish crevasses befitting the album art that has adorned the last couple records”, but also because “drums match fierce tempos with high-intensity groove workouts, providing all the right emphases and accents”, and especially because “Chance Garnette screams down from the iciest peaks like a corpse-painted Scandinavian snow demon, as if somehow a guy from Ohio in a mostly un-black metal band could ever hate human civilization as completely as all that”. Thus spoke Excretakano (and he had much more to say here). And he should be trusted. Because he writes for MetalSucks. Besides, everybody loves SKELETONWITCH, hence everybody should relish the chance to listen to their fifth full-length before its release on October the 29th, 2013. Issued through Prosthetic Records, ‘Serpents Unleashed’ was recorded at GodCity Studio in Salem, Massachusetts with Kurt Ballou, and its art created by BARONESS' John Baizley. Available as CD, MP3, LP and cassette, get your own ‘Serpents Unleashed’ from here (SKELETONWITCH official store), from Amazon/Amazon MP3, from BandCamp here or via iTunes:

Formed in 2003 in Athens, Ohio, SKELETONWITCH are said to draw inspiration from Bay Area thrash and the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, from death metal and black metal, as well as from Viking metal. Thus richly inspired, they self-released their debut full-length, ‘At One With The Shadows’, in 2004, followed by self-released EP ‘Worship The Witch’ in 2006, which brought about the contract with Prosthetic Records. SKELETONWITCH's debut for the label, 2007's ‘Beyond The Permafrost’, landed on many of 2007's “best of” lists including Revolver's, Decibel's, and Pitchfork's:
“The sheer ferocity and white-knuckled velocity of swords-and-sorcery thrash anthems like ‘Upon Wings Of Black’, ‘Sacrifice For The Slaughtergod’, and ‘Fire From The Sky’ will have those who stick around crying out for Mommy! If not that, then the fearsome vocals of Chance Garnette should do the trick… Make no mistake, however, it’s really twin guitar terrors Nate Garnette and Scott Hedrick who captain SKELETONWITCH's Man o' War, both dominating and defining the band's high-energy assault with positively carnivorous riffs, tightly intertwined with frenzied lead licks,” [was excited Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic – more here:]

But their best was yet to come. In 2009, the five gnarly longhairs showed no mercy and took no prisoners on ‘Breathing The Fire’, which debuted at number 151 on the Billboard Top 200. The album was produced by the legendary producer Jack Endino, and PIG DESTROYER's Scott Hull was enlisted to handle mastering duties:
“ ‘Breathing The Fire’,” [wrote Phil Freeman, AllMusic] “is a drive-around-with-the-windows-down thrash/speed metal album with occasional dips into black metal (but not enough of them to annoy listeners who don’t like that genre) and tons of melodic, anthemic riffs and hooks. All that’s really changed between SKELETONWITCH's debut for the Prosthetic label, 2007's ‘Beyond The Permafrost, and their 2009 follow-up is that they’re - if possible -  even more themselves,” [more here:]

‘Forever Abomination’, unleashed upon this sorry world in 2011, was recorded (or, as put by the band: “given a kick in the ass”) with producer Matt Hyde. The first SKELETONWITCH album to feature drummer Dustin (“Dustin is a fucking animal!”) Boltjes was described as a “musical smash-and-grab that bursts into your place unannounced, tears the place up a bit, and then leaves just as quickly, leaving you bewilderedly wondering where your watch and television ran off to” by Gregory Heaney, AllMusic (more here):
“We live and breathe this shit!” [insisted guitarist Scott “Scunty D.” Hedrick] “We tour as much as humanly possible, and when we’re home we write. There’s technically no such thing as “time off” when you’re in the WITCH:”

SKELETONWITCH features: Chance Garnette – vocals, Nate “N8 Feet Under” Garnette – guitar, Scott “Scunty D.” Hedrick – guitar Evan “Loosh” Linger – bass and Dustin Boltjes – drums

25 October, 2013

Kataklysm: Waiting For The End To Come – new album


Canadian death metal masters', KATAKLYSM, eleventh studio album ‘Waiting For The End To Come’ is out now, October 25th, 2013, in Europe, with UK release date set for October the 28th, and October the 29th in North America. Issued through Nuclear Blast Records, ‘Waiting For The End To Come’ was recorded by guitarist Jean Francois Dagenais and mixed by Zeuss. The artwork by Eliran Kantor, his modern tribute to Gustave Doré's “Death Of Samson” (bee below), is featured on the deluxe digipak and LP versions of the album, while the cover art created by Hungarian artist Peter Sallai (see above) is featured on the standard jewel case and limited edition cassette tape versions of KATAKLYSM's new album. The band has turned once again to Serbian director Ivan Colic from iCode Productions (whom I am for some reason unable to find on the net) to direct the video for ‘Elevate’ awaiting you below, alongside two brand new KATAKLYSM tunes, ‘Like Animals’ and ‘Kill The Elite’. What remains is for you to order/pre-order ‘Waiting For The End To Come’ (KATAKLISM seem to understand Albert Einstein who said: “The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything”) here (Nuclear Blast store Europe & North America), on iTunes or through Amazon/Amazon MP3.

Founded in 1991 with a clear mission statement: “to deliver the most punishing music ever created by combining melody and power into one devastating force”, KATAKLYSM's first official release for Nuclear Blast Records was a 1994 EP entitled ‘The Mystical Gate Of Reincarnation’. Their critically acclaimed debut album, ‘Sorcery’, followed in 1995 and by the time the ‘Temple Of Knowledge’ was released in 1996, KATAKLYSM already gained worldwide praise and recognition. The band of brothers who describe their musical style as “northern hyperblast” has amazingly managed to maintain more or less the same lineup throughout the years: Maurizio Iacono on vocals, Jean-Francois Degenais on guitars, Stephane Barbe on bass and Max Duhamel on drums. KATAKLYSM continued to release top quality records like 1998's ‘Victims Of This Fallen World’ and 2000's ‘The Prophecy’. Feeling adventurous in 2001, KATAKLYSM recorded the ‘Epic: The Poetry Of War’, a mix of technical death metal, grindcore, and more melodic, Scandinavian-tinged black/death metal, which the band managed to combine “in a logical, non-schizophrenic fashion within each song, resulting in a coherent yet also relatively diverse album”, according to AllMusic’s William York (more here). Longtime fans were thrilled when KATAKLYSM returned to sheer brutality on their next effort, 2002's ‘Shadows & Dust’. 2004's ‘Serenity In Fire’ would sent the band on a tour with DANZIG and would eventually win KATAKLYSM the Canadian Indie Music Awards. In 2006, the group released ‘In The Arms Of Devastation’, yet another album to be praised  by critics and listening public alike, and in 2008 they did not fail to deliver with the album ‘Prevail’. In 2010, KATAKLYSM recorded their tenth album entitled ‘Heaven's Venom’ which entered the German charts at number 35:
“Even though ‘Heaven's Venom’ is a brutal pile driver of an album, it isn’t without nuance – and KATAKLYSM achieve some variety but always sound quite focused. ‘Heaven's Venom’ is unlikely to convert those who have resisted KATAKLYSM in the past, but this 46-minute CD demonstrates that after 18 years in the mosh pit, they could still bring the noise with exciting results,” [commented Alex Henderson, AllMusic – more here:]

In 2012, Canadian aces looked back on twenty years of productivity and perseverance with their 20th anniversary DVD/CD package entitled ‘Iron Will: 20 Years Determined’. The package contained a documentary portraying the band's turbulent career directed by Tommy Jones, a recording of the entire show filmed at 2011's Summer Breeze Festival in Dinkelsbühl, Germany, and a “best of” CD featuring KATAKLYSM's songs of the past 20 years and their brand new track ‘Iron Will’: 

KATAKLYSM features: Maurizio Iacono – vocals, Jean-Francois Dagenais – guitar, Stephane Barbe – bass and Oli Beaudoin – drums 



24 October, 2013

Killswitch Engage: Always – new video & Disarm The Descent – full album stream

The new KILLSWITCH ENGAGE video for ‘Always’ was directed by McFarland & Pecci; the tune itself comes from the group's sixth studio album ‘Disarm The Descent’, still streaming in full here, courtesy Roadrunner Records. ‘Disarm The Descent’, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE's first album recorded with original singer Jesse Leach since 2002's genre-defining ‘Alive Or Just Breathing’, sold 48,000 copies in the U.S. in its first week (of April 2013), had debuted at number 7 on the Billboard Top 200, and had peaked at position number 15 in the UK, at position number 17 in New Zealand, at position number 25 in Norway and at position number 48 in Sweden. The album was produced by Adam Dutkiewicz and mixed by Andy Sneap. Its cover was designed by the band's bassist Mike D'Antonio, and McFarland & Pecci stand behind KILLSWITCH ENGAGE's first video released in promotion of their sixth effort, ‘In Due Time’. Get your own copy of ‘Disarm The Descent’ here (KILLSWITCH ENGAGE store), buy it on iTunes or from Amazon (or simply visit your local music store):
“Defining the exact shade of ‘Disarm The Descent’s melodic aggression might be splitting hairs, the most important thing for KILLSWITCH ENGAGE fans is that while the band might be adjusting after a shake-up like losing a singer, they’ve still managed to create another riff-fest that, while not a throwback to their older sound, has them continuing down their current path without much trouble,” [commented Gregory Heaney, AllMusic – more here:]

Formed in Westfield, Massachusetts in 1999 by bassist Mike D'Antonio and guitarist then-drummer Adam Dutkiewicz, along with guitarist Joel Stroetzel and singer Jesse Leach, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE released their self-titled debut album in 2000 through Ferret Music. Its “combination of brutality, sophistication, and breathtaking originality”, apparently captivated people at Roadrunner Records who quickly snapped up the band. Next came the defining moment in metalcore genre history, their 2002's ‘Alive Or Just Breathing’ album:
“Injected into these chaotic hardcore/death metal hybrid songs is an undeniable sense of melody that flawlessly enhances every track, and instead of turning KILLSWITCH ENGAGE's permanent heavy sound weaker, this melodic accompaniment only goes to make you realize how intense and exhilarating the band is when they explode in an inferno of enraged brutality,” [wrote Jason D. Taylor, AllMusic – more here:]

Following the release, Leach left the band citing health and personal issues, and KILLSWITCH ENGAGE engaged vocalist Howard Jones with whom they recorded ‘The End Of Heartache’, the first album to feature Dutkiewicz as the lead guitarist and a new drummer, Justin Foley. Issued in 2004, ‘The End Of Heartache’ jumped to position number 21 on the Billboard Top 200 with first week U.S. sales of 38,000 copies, and its title track earning a nomination for Best Metal Performance at 2005's Grammys. In 2007, the album was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America: 

Next came KILLSWITCH ENGAGE's fourth album ‘As Daylight Dies’, which peaked at number 32 on the Billboard Top 200, selling 60,000 copies within its first week, and which was certified Gold by the RIAA in 2009:
“The songs are dynamite: check the combination of texture, riffs and melody in ‘This Is Absolution’; by the time they get to the chorus, it’s all over; an anthem. The unbridled chaos of ‘Unbroken’ reveals that they haven’t traveled far from their roots; in fact, they’ve dug deeper, if that’s possible, despite becoming better musicians,” [commented Thom Jurek, AllMusic – more here:]

The band's highest charting album to date, 2009's (second) self-titled album, debuted at number 3 on Austrian Albums Chart, at number 7 on the Billboard Top 200, at number 12 in Australia and at number 15 in Finland; ‘Killswitch Engage’ had sold over 58,000 copies in its first week. In 2012, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE announced the departure of vocalist Howard Jones due to medical issues as well as due to a “loss of enthusiasm for writing and touring”. Shortly thereafter, Leach has returned as the band's singer, after a decade-long absence: thereafter: 

KILLSWITCH ENGAGE features: Adam Dutkiewicz – guitar, Joel Stroetzel – guitar, Mike D'Antonio – bass, Jesse Leach - vocals and Justin Foley – drums


Full Album Stream: So Hideous: Last Poem / First Light – new album


They call themselves SO HIDEOUS (surely they can’t be as hideous as some people who visit this blog) and yet they make quite compassionate music – perhaps that’s what it means to be hideous these days. I wouldn’t know. It would be quite interesting to watch those films (that have yet to exist) SO HIDEOUS write soundtracks for; in the meantime we can agree they have successfully encapsulated the grandiose penchant of classical music and post-rock combined with the rawness of hardcore and black metal. Their touching work is called ‘Last Poem / First Light’; it was released on October the 22nd, 2013 and has been described as “rich and cathartic” by Terrorizer and “so furious and so morose” by MetalSucks. ‘Last Poem / First Light’ was recorded and mixed by Dean Baltulonis and mastered by Scott Hull; the orchestral and choral sounds on the album were performed live in the studio by The First Light Orchestra, a New York-based group consisting of ten string players, a tuba, and four vocalists. SO HIDEOUS was formed in New York, United States by composer and guitarist Brandon Cruz. Support the group and buy the album:

SO HIDEOUS features: Brandon – guitar and keyboard, Chris – vocals and bass, Danny – drums and Etienne – guitar

Full Album Stream: Protest The Hero: Volition – new album



Perhaps they should remain “Happy Go Lucky” but they are called PROTEST THE HERO now and their fourth studio album, ‘Volition’, is streaming in full below; due on Razor & Tie on October the 29th, 2013, the album was founded entirely by the band's generous fans, via an Indiegogo campaign. Produced, engineered and mixed chiefly by Cameron McLellan, with Anthony Calabretta, Julius Butty, Jason Dufour, Jack Clow and Riley Bell chipping in when and where necessary, the ‘Volition’ proudly presents LAMB OF GOD's Chris Adler on drums, numerous guest vocalists including Canadian folk musician Jadea Kelly, guest guitarists Ron Jarzombek and Wyatt Schutt, and guest violinist Raha Javanfar. The way I see it, the album comes equipped with three different covers (in a very happy-go-lucky manner, I may add): a before and after vulture affair, as well as Noah ark-inspired painting by Dan Mumford – all available here, on Noise & Stuff, heh. So, enjoy the album and make sure you order it from here (PROTEST THE HERO official store), from iTunes or via Amazon:




“I wouldn’t really call us a family,” explained vocalist Rody Walker, “but we’re definitely more than friends. I’ve slept in a bed next to Luke [Hosnin, guitar] more times than I’ve slept next to my own girlfriend.” PROTEST THE HERO was formed in 1999 in Ontario, Canada, when its members were just fourteen years of age. Originally named “Happy Go Lucky”, the name changed prior to PROTEST THE HERO's release of debut EP, ‘Search For Truth’, in 2002. “Frantically melding metal, punk, hardcore - and a touch of emo” on their 2005's debut album ‘Kezia’, with “less poppy and more technical metal” album entitled ‘Fortress’ following in 2008 – the time was right “to slow down and appreciate how far PROTEST THE HERO [have] come since their debut album,” wrote Katherine Fulton, AllMusic (more here). Canada appreciated PROTEST THE HERO's progress and ‘Fortress’ conquered the band's home country charts. The year the band-mates all turned twenty-five, PROTEST THE HERO recorded their third album ‘Scurrilous’; less successful than its predecessor, the 2011's effort nevertheless peaked at number 8 on the Canadian Albums Chart and at number 81 on the Billboard Top 200. ‘Scurrilous’ was described as “stripped down, punishing, and more aloof than the two previous albums” by James Christopher Monger, AllMusic, but even he couldn’t “argue with its execution and conviction” (more here)

PROTEST THE HERO features: Rody Walker – vocals, Luke Hoskin – guitar, Tim Millar – guitar and Arif Mirabdolbaghi – bass




22 October, 2013

Full Album Stream: Motörhead: Aftershock – new album


“In the history of music, there are few true mavericks on the level of the legendary Lemmy, a man who seems to do his own thing without any concern for what anyone else thinks about it. This level of confidence has made MOTÖRHEAD a timeless institution in the world of rock & roll, and on ‘Aftershock’, the band's 21st album, it’s clear they’re not even close to running out of gas,” [commented Gregory Heaney, AllMusic – more here]
And since Pitchfork says “the majority of the record is a classic ride-or-die MOTÖRHEAD proposition, punctuated with just the right amount of breathing room” (Hank Shteamer – more here) and since this is MOTÖRHEAD after all, and MOTÖRHEAD are not simply a band, they are a genre… I point you here (Telegraph UK) or here (Bild Magazine) for the full ride – just make sure you gear up first. ‘Aftershock’ is out now everywhere, October the 22nd, 2013, on UDR GmbH: “there’s swagger, there’s punch, there’s speed and there’s dirty filthy grooves” - and the fourteen “belting [such] statements” were recorded at NRG Studios in North Hollywood, California with producer Cameron Webb. In case your usual music store runs out of MOTÖRHEAD, get your ‘Aftershock’ here (UDR GmbH store) or on iTunes or on Amazon.

MOTÖRHEAD were around before SEX PISTOLS; their leader, Lemmy Kilmister (born Ian Fraser Kilmister), first began playing rock and roll in 1964, when he joined local Blackpool, England, R&B bands, the RAINMAKERS and the MOTOWN SECT. During the '60s he even briefly worked as a roadie for Jimi Hendrix! before he joined the heavy progressive rock band called HAWKWIND as their bassist. After spending a few days in a Canadian prison for drug possession in 1975, he was kicked out of HAWKWIND and once he returned to England, he set about forming a new band – MOTÖRHEAD (he first thought naming it “Bastard”). Since then, MOTÖRHEAD have released twenty-one studio albums, seven live recordings, five compilation albums and five EPs. They have sold more than 30 million albums worldwide.
Anyhow, the band spent most of 1976 struggling, performing without a contract or manager. By 1977, the group had signed a one-record contract with Chiswick Records, releasing their eponymous debut which peaked at number 43 on the UK charts. Their first album for Bronze Records, ‘Overkill’, was released in 1979; it peaked at number 24 on the UK charts, while its title track became the band's first Top 40 hit. ‘Bomber’ followed a few months later, reaching position number 12 on the UK charts, as 1980's ‘Ace Of Spades’ bettered even that achievement, peaking at number 4 in the UK and reaching Gold status by March 1981. ‘Ace Of Spades’ became MOTÖRHEAD's first American album, yet there they still only registered as a cult act. The group's first live album, 1981's ‘No Sleep ‘till Hammersmith’, had finally conquered their home country charts, and the final album to be recorded by the Lemmy, guitarist “Fast” Eddie Clarke and drummer Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor lineup followed in 1982. ‘Iron Fist’ peaked at number 6 on the UK charts. Brian David “Robbo” Robertson replaced Clarke on guitar on MOTÖRHEAD's sixth album ‘Another Perfect Day’ which was perceived a disappointment, only reaching position number 20 in the UK. While attaching and dismissing guitarists and drummers, Lemmy left Bronze Records which filed an injunction against the band that prevented MOTÖRHEAD from releasing any recordings for two years. The band, featuring Lemmy, Phil “Wizzö” Campbell and Michael “Würzel”  Burston on guitars and Pete Gill on drums, returned in 1986 with ‘Orgasmatron’, issued on GWR, which was immediately followed by ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’ album (1987); although “Monty Python”s Michael Palin appeared on the recording which brought back drummer Phil Taylor, the album is still considered one of MOTÖRHEAD's worst charting releases. The band's ninth LP, ‘1916’, was issued through WTG Records in 1991, followed by ‘March ör Die’ on which Mikkey Dee, Tommy Aldridge and Phil Taylor shared the drum duties. Next, WTG dropped the band which started their own label,  Motörhead. 1993's ‘Bastards’ was succeeded by 1995's ‘Sacrifice’ and 1996's ‘Overnight Sensation’, where the band returned to the three piece lineup made up of Lemmy on bass and vocals, Campbell on guitar and Dee on drums. ‘Snake Bite Love’ came out next in 1998, the band's fifteen album, ‘We Are Motörhead’, followed in 2000 and a couple of compilations preceded 2002's ‘Hammered’ (and on it, as my son just pointed out, you will find ‘The Game’, the song MOTÖRHEAD recorded for WWE's Triple H). Their seventeenth album, ‘Inferno’, was released in 2004, and yet more reissues, compilations and “best ofs” came before 2006's ‘Kiss Of Death’ which became MOTÖRHEAD's highest charting album in Germany, peaking at position number 4. 2008's LP ‘Motörizer’ broke into Top 20 in Germany, Sweden, Norway and Switzerland, into Top 40 in Canada and UK and had reached position number 82 on the Billboard Top 200. MOTÖRHEAD's twentieth longplayer, ‘The Wörld Is Yours’, was issued in 2010 on UDR GmbH which replaced the band's longtime label SPV/Steamhammer:
“The common misconception about MOTÖRHEAD is that they’ve been recording the same album over and over again for 30-plus years, but nothing could be further from the truth. Just ask the band's most discerning, long-serving fans and they’ll eagerly wax poetic about the nuanced distinctions between, say, the amphetamine blues of ‘Overkill’, the blazing Spaghetti Western slugfests of ‘Ace Of Spades’, the bruising metallic crush of ‘Orgasmatron’, or the thrash-fueled onslaught of ‘Sacrifice’. … ‘The Wörld Is Yours’ may eventually be remembered as MOTÖRHEAD's ultimate “rock & roll” album, thanks to a clutch of consistently bluesy, '50s rock-rooted, tunes like ‘Get Back In Line’, ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Music’, and ‘Bye Bye Bitch Bye Bye’. Then again, Lemmy has always stressed that his is a rock & roll band, not a heavy metal band, and he proceeds to press the point home with an unusually large number of speed-averse offerings,” [commented Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic – more here]
MOTÖRHEAD features: Lemmy – bass and vocals, Phil “Wizzö” Campbell – guitar and Mikkey Dee – drums

Full Album Stream: Monolithe: Monolithe IV – new album


And now, ladies and gentlemen, immerse yourselves in a 55-minute long “cosmic trip of perfectly-orchestrated doom, controlled from one edge to another, never interrupted by silence” called ‘Monolithe IV’. Marking the end of an unforgettable journey that began ten years ago for MONOLITHE with their amazing (some say “glorious”) album ‘Monolithe I’ and, I am embarrassed to say, just a couple of months ago for me when I first heard the recording, reissued in August 2013 by Debemur Morti Productions. It was an intense couple of MONOLITH months, though. ‘Monolithe IV’ is a colossal apotheosis, says the label, and MONOLITHE is a band like no other and not only is ‘Monolithe IV’ a great album, it is a true masterpiece. Listening, I am inclined to agree. ‘Monolithe IV’, depicted as “one hell of an album” by its maker, is out now everywhere, October the 22nd, 2013, including North America, and if you want it, get it from Debemur Morti here or via BandCamp:
“French slog-sters MONOLITHE call from a more distant, calculated casket – the type with precise and mathematically significant dimensions.  Without stooping to retell the tale that Clarke and Kubrick cooked up in 1968, Sylvain Bégot and friends reimagine the symbolism of consciousness and metaphysical sentience embedded in the perfect prism, through their own rich metal-infused story,” [wrote Dan Lake, Decibel Magazine – more here:]


Formed in 2001 in Paris, France, MONOLITHE is the creation of guitarist, bassist, keyboardist and programmer Sylvain Bégot. The band's debut album, ‘Monolithe I’, released in 2003, started the series of 50-minute, single-track albums which would become MONOLITHE's trademark. A well-received effort, ‘Monolithe I’ helped the band to establish themselves on the international stage. ‘Monolithe I’ was reissued on August 30th, 2013 as a noble digipack CD with additional liner notes and with complete new artwork by Norwegian artist Robert Høyem. ‘Monolithe I’ was originally recorded, mixed and mastered by bassist Marc Canlers and the project's founder, guitarist Sylvain Bégot:
“MONOLITHE's music needs to be lived more than listened to. Its atmosphere is grandiose and epic. The entire discography is a musical saga that mixes heaviness, mysticism and complex structures tinged with hints of progressive flair. The listener is invited into a world of beauty, horror and nothingness,” [instructed the press release:]

Maintaining consistency in their lyrics and music, ‘Monolithe II’ followed in 2005 through Candlelight Records and Appease Me… In 2007, MONOLITHE put forth an EP called ‘Interlude Premier’, which they seconded by ‘Interlude Second’ five years later. Both recordings have been released via the internet, free of charge. MONOLITH's first album issued through the band's new partner in crime, Debemur Morti Productions, 2012's ‘Monolithe III’, followed the set pattern of one epic song sprawled out over an incredible 52 minutes:
“There the similarities end: ‘Monolithe III’ introduces a bigger, bolder and more sophisticated incarnation of this internationally-acclaimed act, which has forged a solid reputation for itself as a genre-defining entity. Teeming with powerful, crushing, dark-yet-melodic doom metal, ‘Monolithe III’ ushers the listener on a journey through time and space, introducing a plethora of moods and twists along the way. A landmark release for band and label alike, ‘Monolithe III’ soars timelessly, forging a unique link between the prehistoric past and an uncertain future. The quintessential listening experience; live it,” [advised the label:]

Full Album Stream: Blut Aus Nord: What Once Was = Liber III – new EP


In Mondeville, Lower Normandy, France, a place deserving of just three lines-description in the mighty Wikipedia, catamarans are reportedly being build, its residents are heavy on recycling (they know what to do with the candle, the chicken foot plus a couple of moths, for example) and from there, supposedly, operates the only person I know of who can make French language sound majestic and who is mysterious enough for me to want to find out more about him. But luckily for my conscience (being an extremely private person myself), there is nothing to find out about neither BLUT AUS NORD or their enigmatic leader, Vindsval, except their music: BLUT AUS NORD have a new EP out since October the 18th, 2013 on Debemur Morti Productions. Visit the label's store here in order to buy ‘What Once Was = Liber III’ in its physical format or acquire it via BandCamp:

BLUT AUS NORD is the brainchild of singer and guitarist Vindsval, who started his music project under the name of “Vlad” – as in Vlad the Impaler (Dracula) - in Mondeville, France, in 1994. He released two demos before changing the project's name to BLUT AUS NORD and when record labels started showing interest, Vindsval turned his project into an actual band. First full-length, “hypnotic and terrifying” ‘Ultima Thulée’, was released in 1995 on Impure Creation Records and was re-released in 2005 on Candlelight Records.The only BLUT AUS NORD album with released lyrics to date, ‘Memoria Vetusta I: Fathers of the Icy Age’, followed a year later via that same small French label. After their third full-length, 2001's ‘The Mystical Beast Of Rebellion’, came one of the band's most critically revered releases, 2003's ‘The Work Which Transforms God’. Candlelight Records fortified this already impeccable recording with the ‘Thematic Emanation Of Archetypal Mutiplicity’ EP in 2005:
“Sonically, these guys love dissonance; they love thick heavy atmospheres and feedback and they love to mess with tempos stretching out time and sending it into a void… BLUT AUS NORD claim their music as being truly frightening. It’s not. [The album] is a compelling and knotty listen; it squeals, plods, cracks, screeches, whirs and wails in differing shades of black,” [commented AllMusic's Thom Jurek - more here]
‘MoRT’, an album which some hailed as a masterpiece and others dismissed it as a pointless exercise in weirdness for weirdness' sake, came out via Candlelight in 2006. BLUT AUS NORD's sixth studio album, ‘Odinist: The Destruction Of Reason By Illumination’, followed in 2007 “maintaining a dark, moody, somber atmosphere rather than beating and pummeling the listener into submission” according to Alex Henderson, AllMusic (more here). Candlelight Records stuck with the band until their next offering, 2009's ‘Memoria Vetusta II - Dialogue With The Stars’.The until recently vinyl-only release, 2010's ‘What Once Was… Liber I’ EP was BLUNT AUS NORD's first issued through the band's current label, Debemur Morti Productions. The eloquent label described it as “an epitaph for the past; a headstone for the present; and a funeral of the future”, “a turbulent excursion along some crumbling, loathsome highway, where every pale, trembling breath is accompanied by the painful reality of existence: a living daymare”.The crushing first installment of ‘777’ trilogy (a conceptual trilogy furthering the concept of the number 777), ‘777 Sect(s)’ was released in April 2011, and its sister, ‘777 – The Desanctification’ followed in November 2011, finally mesmerizing yours truly, being “a work of terrible, depressive, mournful, and yes, aggressive beauty” as put by Thom Jurek, AllMusic (more here), while the best was yet to come in form of 2012's ‘777 – Cosmosophy’:
“Rhythm, space, texture, dynamic, timbre, color, and tonal subtleties are intricately detailed in both performance and production. They all serve to underscore the fact that this trilogy is a holistic experience in listening. This final volume is its summit and lyrically it paints a night sky of ecstatic anguish, where mortal man confronts the void in the center of the universe and discovers that in true emptiness, everything is inextricably linked, full to the point of bursting at the seams. … Ultimately, ‘Cosmosophy’ is pure vision,” [wrote Thom Jurek, AllMusic:]

BLUT AUS NORD features: Vindsval – vocals and guitar, W.D. Feld - drums, electronics and keyboards and GhÖst – bass

20 October, 2013

Revocation: Fracked – new video & Revocation – full album stream

Unfaltering Massachusetts (“Battlestar Galactica” fans) metallers , REVOCATION, have released a new Madeline Quinn-directed video for ‘Fracked’, off the band's fourth, self-titled album which was released in August 2013 on Relapse Records. Recorded with producer Pete Rutcho at The Brick Hithouse Studio and at Damage Studios in Southbridge, Massachusetts, ‘Revocation’ cracked the Billboard Top 200 chart (a first for the band) at number 158, selling just over 2,600 copies in its first week. The album has also entered the Heatseekers Chart at number 4, the Hard Music Chart at number 15 and the Independent Album Chart (all U.S. charts) at number 42. The first full-length album recorded with new bassist Brett Bamberger, who joined the band in 2012 and was featured on the band's EP ‘Teratogenesis’ (released by Scion AV and given away for free here), is available as a deluxe CD and standard CD, as double LP and digitally here (Relapse Records' online store), on BandCamp, iTunes and Amazon. The album's art was created by Orion Landau:

Formed in 2000 in Boston, Massachusetts by guitarist and vocalist David Davidson, drummer Phil Dubois-Coyne and bassist Anthony Buda, REVOCATION released a couple of demos before they recorded their debut studio album, ‘Sanity's Aberration’, which they released under the moniker “Cryptic Warning”. Unhappy with the band's name, they became REVOCATION and as such, they proceeded to record a three-song demo entitled ‘Summon The Spawn’, followed by self-released full-length in 2008, entitled ‘Empire Of The Obscene’. Bandmembers' incredible dexterity at their chosen instruments as well as their ability to write memorable songs while still maintaining complexity and aggression, would eventually brought about a contract with Relapse Records. REVOCATION's second full-length 2009's (cheerfully named) ‘Existence Is Futile’ was reviewed by Phil Freeman, AllMusic:
“Every few years, a young metal band comes along and, without cutting ties to the genre's storied past, totally rips up the landscape and rebuilds the music in its own image.” [Read the rest here:]

REVOCATION returned in 2011 with their third album, ‘Chaos Of Forms’, which made venerable Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic, wonder if the “next big thing” potential written all over the band was actually helping or harming them:
“Indeed, the Boston outfit's uncanny knack for welding wanton fury to blistering technique was nothing short of dazzling, but then, similar prophecies have been made about bands as diverse as MASTODON and TRIVIUM, and look at the backlash unleashed, for reasons both obvious and mysterious, toward the latter. … ‘Chaos Of Forms’ sees REVOCATION generally moving forward with power and precision, and perhaps a little too much self-awareness, but no fear…no, there’s too much risk involved in creating material like this for fear to be a factor, and that's to be commended.” [More here:]

REVOCATION features: David Davidson - guitars and vocals, Dan Gargiulo – guitar and vocals, Brett Bamberger – bass and vocals and Phil Dubois – drums


Black Sabbath: Loner – new video



BLACK SABBATH, the rulers of the underworld, are back with a new video, shot live in Melbourne, Australia. ‘Loner’ comes off their nineteenth, thirty-five-years-in-the-making album ‘13’, available everywhere since June 2013 through Universal Music and Vertigo/Mercury Records. Featuring the Tony Iommi, the Ozzy Osbourne, the Geezer Butler and RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE drummer Brad Wilk, ‘13’ had conquered both the U.K. and the U.S. charts (as well as Canadian, Danish, German, New Zealand, Norwegian, Swedish and Swiss charts) and had been certified Platinum in Brazil and Gold in Austria, Canada, Germany, Poland and U.K. In the United States, the album sold over 155,000 copies in the first week, becoming the first BLACK SABBATH album to top the Billboard Top 200. ‘13’ was recorded with legendary producer Rick Rubin, engineered by Gary Fidelman (with additional engineering done by Mike Exeter and Dana Nielsen), mixed by Andrew Schepsand, and mastered by Stephen Marcussen and Stewart Whitmore. Be part of history and get your own copy of ‘13’ here (BLACK SABBATH store) or on iTunes, Google Play or Amazon:

“Kicking off with two sludgy tracks, each over eight minutes long, the Rick Rubin-produced ‘13’ takes a few moments to get its legs. Once warmed up, however, each element falls somewhere between studied re-creation of the past and logical progression, be it Tony Iommi's spooky guitar tone, Ozzy's nasal howl, or the panic attack dynamics and sense of nuclear dread that made the moods of [1975's] ‘Sabotage’ and [1972's] ‘Vol. 4’ so thick. … The lyrics, all penned by bassist Geezer Butler, are focused on internal religious and mental conflicts, with final track ‘Dear Father’ tackling living with memories of abuse. The album is heavier, more precise, and more interesting than the past several decades of output from the bandmembers would suggest. Without fully replicating the energy of their untouchable first six records, SABBATH have risen to the unique challenge of not becoming self-caricatures, turning in something new while still reactivating the strengths of their younger days,” [wrote Fred Thomas, AllMusic – more here]


Formed in Aston, Birmingham in 1969 by lead vocalist Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler, and drummer Bill Ward, BLACK SABBATH, pioneers of heavy metal, helped define the genre with releases such as quadruple-Platinum ‘Paranoid’, released in 1970. They were ranked by MTV as the “Greatest Metal Band” of all time, and placed second in VH1's “100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock” list, behind LED ZEPPELIN. They have sold over 15 million records in the United States alone and over 70 million records worldwide. BLACK SABBATH were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006, and were included among Rolling Stone's list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

BLACK SABBATH were signed to Philips Records in 1969; the Philips subsidiary, Fontana, quickly released their debut single, ‘Evil Woman (Don’t Play Your Games with Me)’, followed in a month by BLACK SABBATH's self-titled debut album, released on a different Philips subsidiary, Vertigo, which reached the UK Top Ten chart and broke onto the American charts, where it remained for over a year, selling a million copies. BLACK SABBATH delivered “one of the greatest and most influential heavy metal albums of all time, the album that defined the sound and style of heavy metal more than any other record in rock history” (Steve Huey, AllMusic – more here), ‘Paranoid’, in 1970. A mere six months after the U.S. release of ‘Paranoid’, the band issued ‘Master Of Reality’ which broke onto Top Ten on both sides of the Atlantic; it was certified Gold in less than two months and eventually went double Platinum. Taking their first break in three years following the ‘Master Of Reality’ world tour, BLACK SABBATH returned in 1972 with ‘Vol. 4’, “the point in BLACK SABBATH career where the band's legendary drug consumption really starts to make itself felt”. The album had sold one million copies in the United States where it reached number 13 on the Billboard's pop album chart and number 8 on the UK Albums Chart. Their fifth studio album, ‘Sabbath Bloody Sabbath’, followed in 1973 and the band's first album that did not achieve Platinum status in the U.S., as well as the final release of BLACK SABBATH's legendary “First Six”, ‘Sabotage’, came next in 1975:

“But more than the compositions, the real revelation on ‘Sabotage’ is Ozzy Osbourne, who turns in his finest vocal performance as a member of BLACK SABBATH. Really for the first time, this is the Ozzy we all know, displaying enough range, power, and confidence to foreshadow his hugely successful solo career. Unfortunately, after ‘Sabotage’, the wheels of confusion came off entirely. Yes, there were technically two more albums, but for the non-obsessive, the story of Osbourne-era SABBATH effectively ends here,” [wrote Steve Huey, AllMusic – more here]

After 1976's ‘Technical Ecstasy’ and 1978's ‘Never Say Die’, Ozzy Osbourne's heavy alcohol and drug usage led to him being fired from the band, after which he began a successful solo career, selling over 55 million albums. He was replaced by former RAINBOW vocalist Ronnie James Dio. 1980's ‘Heaven And Hell’ became one of BLACK SABBATH's best-selling albums and their highest-charting album (at number 9 in the UK and at number 28 in the USA). On its worthy successor, 1981's ‘Mob Rules’, Vinny Appice replaced drummer Bill Ward who left the band due to ill health. Yet by the time their first official live album, ‘Live Evil’ appeared, Dio had left BLACK SABBATH, taking Appice with him. BLACK SABBATH endured a revolving lineup in the 1980s and 1990s that included vocalists Ian Gillan, Glen Hughes, Ray Gillen and Tony Martin. In 1992, Iommi and Butler rejoined Dio and drummer Vinny Appice to record BLACK SABBATH sixteenth album ‘Dehumanizer’. In 1997, all four original members released a live album called ‘Reunion’ which went Platinum in the U.S.; the track ‘Iron Man’ won BLACK SABBATH their first Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance. The band would split once more after Osbourne went on recording and touring on his own, while Iommi and Butler reunited with Appice and Ronnie James Dio under the moniker HEAVEN & HELL. The band recorded a live album at Radio City Music Hall in 2007, before releasing a studio effort entitled ‘Devil You Know’ in 2009. That same year Dio was diagnosed with cancer; he had sadly passed away in 2010.

BLACK SABBATH features: Tony Iommi - guitar, Ozzy Osbourne – vocals and Geezer Butler – bass