So, the late 80s were a dark time for much of mainstream metal. Anybody who wanted to stay relevant in terms of record sales indulged in hair metal aesthetics or, at least, in its inescapable androgynous fashion. There’s Judas Priest‘s Turbo, there’s Celtic Frost‘s Cold Lake (a transgression which Tom G Warrior to this day blames on being “too happy” during writing), Pantera was just on the cusp of releasing Power Metal with newly recruited frontman Phil Anselmo and Accept shat out the UDO-less atrocity known as Eat the Heat. In other words, it’s the 80s and we strugglin! Yet, Ozzy’s supposedly most blatant assault of synths, harmonic-happy guitar riffs and gallons of hairspray also constitutes his best record. I say this without an ounce of irony and would like direction the court to the impotent songwriting that occupies every non-single on Blizzard of Oz and No More Tears. The more burdensome implication for the Prince of Darkness, of course, is that despite his iconic voice, he was never the creative force behind Black Sabbath. Please take a leisurely stroll with me through a few tracks as I wait to hear from Sharon Osbourne’s lawyers. Continue reading “TUESDAY TIME MACHINE: OZZY OSBOURNE – THE ULTIMATE SIN (1986)” »
I have been hitting the classic death metal back catalogs hard lately jamming everything from Nocturnus and Edge of Sanity to Cannibal Corpse‘s The Bleeding. I’ve just found that my appreciation for modern death metal was waning and rather than soak myself in contemporary chart-toppers, I figured reminding myself about what made death metal so singular in the first place might be a better approach. I’m just hoping it doesn’t have the opposite effect. The otherworldly chaos of Demilich and Nocturnus are only deepening my disdain for the sterility of modern tech death. Yet, it’s those legendary acts who are now stronger than ever which not only renew my faith in death metal but also in us a subculture and our system of according people musical accolades. Maybe there’s actually some objective legitimacy to it after all. Two of those bands, Napalm Death and Cannibal Corpse, are hitting the road with the equally longstanding Immolation for 2013′s edition of the Decibel Fest. Check out the dates after the jump and try not to poop yourself, if for no other reason than for the honor of your family name. Continue reading “DECIBEL TOUR 2013: CANNIBAL CORPSE, NAPALM DEATH, IMMOLATION” »
How does a free, undreleased Meshuggah song complete with actual guitar leads sound to you? Well, the wonderful people at Scion AV Metal, bringers of such treasures as free EPs from Arsis and Revocation, are making the new Meshuggah EP Pitch Black available free for your broke ass. “Stop projecting your problems on me”. Haha whatever man. Not all riches are silver and gold. For example, a Scion is also a treasure to your average working 20 something on-the-go. Now please turn around politely while I sob to an undignified degree because you hit the nail on the head.
As ya’ll have figured out by now, I’m finally squirming out from under a mountain of tedious, soul-crushing real life responsibilities to be able to post again. A lot of things have happened in the last two weeks, including the complete disgrace of Lance Armstrong who was really good at riding a bike. This is important, so there’s that. Who I’m going to pretend to be during spin class from now on –well, that I don’t know. However, I can drown my sorrows in beer and mosh when Goatwhore and Havok roll through town with crossover punk/thrash legends The Casualties. Their last record was an inseverable bridge between metal and punk so that’s my plan as it stands now. However, I hear weeping and shrieking “WHY LANCE, WHY” is frowned upon in mosh etiquette.
3/27 Houston, TX @ Fitzgerald’s
3/28 Corpus Christi, TX @ Zeros
3/29 San Antonio, TX @ Korova
3/30 Dallas, TX @ Club Dada
4/1 Albuquerque, NM -2H Launchpad
4/2 Tempe, AZ @ Rocky Point
4/3 Santa Ana, CA @ Observatory (also with DR. KNOW)
4/4 W. Hollywood, CA @ House Of Blues
4/6 Oakland, CA @ Oakland Metro
4/7 Reno, NV @ The Alley
4/8 Portland, OR @ Branx
4/9 Seattle, WA @ Studio Seven
The brahs in Soundgarden seem unphased by rumblings that they have reunited primarly for financial reasons and are pressing forward in the aftermath of King’s Animal with a new video directed by Dave “Growl” Grohl. You see that there is an increasingly popular play on his name, crafted to help people reflect on his overwhelming dependence on gruff yelling for his vocal delivery. Despite this degeneration in his taste for vocal aesthetic, the Foo Fighters frontman still has that quirky sense of humor of his. This video has Dave written all over it. Let’s just call it a play on Sons of Anarchy and we’ll let ya’ll make of it what you will. Also, the guy at the end is supposed to be trance DJ Deadmau5, I guess.
It’s pretty tough to follow up a great NWOTHM release without losing momentum in this, the 2013th Year of Our Lord. Despite the music being funner than all hell, these bands do nonetheless play to some small crowds. In one of my favorite concert memories, Cauldron once played to about 20 people, including myself. The immense creative energy that goes into making an album is fueled by the excitement of live audiences and the momentum of successful tours. Considering that these have sometimes been hard to come by –the revival is arguably kept afloat by glory metallers’ penchant for buying merch and vinyl–, it’s not surprising that these bands don’t release their best work come 2nd or 3rd full length. However, I’m happy to report that Enforcer‘s latest is a beast of timeless vocal hooks, twin leads and inexhaustible energy. Death by Fire is every bit worthy of its status as successor to the modern classic that was Diamonds.
The masses of patch covered heavy metal traditionalists, though often less than visible in your local scene, have been covertly driving the New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal for almost half a decade now. On the heels of Cauldron‘s recent record, in the coming weeks we’ll be treated to new releases from Enforcer, Alpha Tiger and, of course, Holy Grail. Though not quite the blur of goofiness and breathtaking musicianship that make Skull Fist so much fun, Holy Grail‘s debut Crisis in Utopia made some waves with just about every demographic. On Ride The Void they continue trying to fuse NOWBHM nostalgia with the contemporary dynamics of thrash. Continue reading “HOLY GRAIL: RIDE THE VOID” »
The rethrash movement might be at a little bit of crisis. Those bands that put out some of the best work in this revival –acts like Exmortus, Vektor, Nylithia, Deathhammer, among others– sit in relative obscurity while major labels throw their weight behind more generic bands. This isn’t a complaint per se, just a coming to terms with the inevitable monitization of musical trends. Here we have another great thrash gem. India’s Mortar (which I think is the name of half a dozen other thrash bands) compbine the eccentric expressiveness of Overkill’s vocals and an impossible sense of tone and riff transition. It’s hard to stress the tone too much as this is so often lost on thrash metal bands of all eras. Their debut EP Ground Zero is due out February 13th on Incanned Productions and even features a cover of Judas Priest‘sHell Bent for Leather. Press the jump button thing and take a listen. Continue reading “LISTEN TO INDIA’S MORTAR IMMEDIATELY” »
About a year after cheating death, Nergal will be take to the silver screen to play Joachim von Ribbentrop. Yes, that Ribbentrop, he of the Molotov-Ribbentrop non-aggression Pact signed by the USSR and Germany after the former was denied an anti-Nazi alliance by Western powers. Blabbermouth reports that the Polish comedy revolves around a modern day Polish couple whose Warsaw house, being the one time the German embassy, transports them back to 1939. “AmbaSSada” (Hi-C what he did there) is directed by established Polish director Juliusz Machulski.
Whereas in Europe they see the Third Reich as an awful, bloody and tragic historic lesson –yet one whose leaders can and should be ridiculed–, America, and the shrill minority of morons that dominate its public discourse, see Hitler as fodder for loud, scary grandstanding. Whenever we need to twist Obama’s Swiss cheese health reform; raise hysteria about his very modest attempts at gun regulation; chastise the murderous policies of George W Bush, or discredit vegetarians, we use history’s most notorious butthurt art student. Bad or imperfect as all these may be, none of them are in the same universe as Hitler bad (who, in any case, actually deregulated firearms). In fact, the unique combination of ruthless militarism and racist, countermodern ideology pretty much guarantees that nothing well ever be as bad as Hitler ever again. We should envy this European habit of being able to laugh at him but, after grappling with the asininity of American public discourse, I just want Adolf to go away forever.
Seeing as my ignorant ass doesn’t speak German or read Polish, I have no idea what’s happening in the clip below but I’m sure it’s funnier than anything by Seth McFarlane and still glad it isn’t airing in any anglophone country where Americans could get hold of it and start voicing their opinions. I’m serious, folks. The legion of underworld-dwelling Sammy Hagar fans that populate the Blabbermouth comments section have already worked themselves into a frenzy and it’s the saddest thing since Sammy Hagar. Take it from me; though you may have the Reich to your opinion, don’t let a movie send you into a Fuhrer.
Some would call this song iconic, I would call it the most tepid song in rock n’ roll history. Either way, performing it as such in front of the delusionally pretentious Zepp themselves, as well as the Prez and 1st Lady, is what I call a challenge. This is probably better than half of the sloppy performances Zepplin subjected their own fans to over the years. That choir!
Finland’ Inferno mag is streaming Rotton Sound’s new EP in its entirety and it’s a killer. As your humble author expands his grindcore consciousness beyond the Nasum and Napalm Death he was born into, this band is slowly entrenching itself into the rotation. Completely ruthless but memorable and infectious.
Damn it sure sounds like sounds like fenriz has been hitting the Manilla Road hard, ya’ll. Here’s a good analogy for you geeks out there; the musical cocktail of modern Darkthrone is much like the sword Excalibur. Fenriz has been on a mission for about the last decade, fighting the commercialization of the black metal he helped forge by returning to heavy metal roots so deep as to break the will of any untrue fan attempting to delve into it. You’ve got love the influences to to dissect such gruff albums and peel back their layers. Everything from punk and crust to proto-bm like Tormentor and Hellhammer or even cult legends like Pagan Altar has a place here. As my homie over at The Metal Advisor stated, “It’s just everything that makes metal awesome”. That sums up the track “Leave No Cross Unturned” (HA!) very nicely. Step back from that ledge my friend and stream it after the jumper.
South Africa’s Crow Black Sky spent so much damn time on this video that I eventually gave up on catching the premiere and missed it by about a month. This may be a bit too hi-fi for some but it conjures killer old school Swedish vibes for me. The witch docter dancing around the fire is a be a bit much but the song is nicely put together, especially towards the end, and the landscapes in the video are great.
Yeah, so, I know I broke my unwritten rule of not covering any records produced after 1999 but this is Choose Day Chime Machine, ok? So, I choose what I want until you chime the fuck in. This is not to be confused with Cruise Day Crime Machine, where we perpetrate and catalog petty crimes loosly based on Tom Cruise movies, nor This is an interactive, even if self-serving, class in metal history. Besides this grandiose debut of Polish death metal mastery is almost 13 years old. I know some of ya’ll got kids this age. Plus, since death metal classics are part of a balanced with Winds of Creation this week and Nocturnus‘ The Key this week, it’s about time we got things rolling with old school death metal. Decapitated is a band that has introduced a lot of djent and metalcore elements since it’s revival. After Vogg was left as the only member following a the band’s tragic bus accident while on tour Belarus, he decided to keep the band active. Though one can’t deny the awesome power of artistic perseverance, the music had simply morphed into something else, commercial or not. Yet, while Black to the Blind and De Profundis dominate Polish classics in my book, Behemoth dominates the headlines and Hate seems to be the most musically mature Polish death metal band in 2013, Winds of Creation shows a band that would have been elite were it not for some ice on the road. Continue reading “TUESDAY TIME MACHINE: DECAPITATED – WINDS OF CREATION (2000)” »
I’ve been hearing rumblings of curmudgeonly butthurtness about Holy Grail’s blend of thrash and traditional heavy metal. Seem some have implied that the band’s blend of thrash metal, a remnant of its members’ previous involvement in Bonded By Blood, are actually brocore tendecies. I’ve listened to Crisis in Utopia more times than I can count and there was nothing of the sort. Though I’m only a couple of songs into the stream of this album, I haven’t heard any of the Fox Racing tendencies of which these self-appointed Paul Revieres have been wailing. In fact, it’s all NWOBHM-infused glory from where I sit. There is the occasional scream but it’s nothing that’ll get them on a no-fly list.
Stream Ride the Void over at Metal Hammer and check it out yourself. We will have a full review shortly. Out on January 22nd on Prosthetic Records.
In this case, it’s really more about the surgical precision of the tune but the video does look like there were a couple of late nights spen working on. Though I personally didn’t find time to review Reign Supreme, it was by all accounts the Dying Fetus album since 2000′s Destroy The Opposition, an album that holds a soft spot in my heart as it was the band’s first real dive into obscure sociopolitical commentary. Though that strain has largely departed and given birth to the brave (and thus relatively less popular) Misery Index, the Fetus has pressed on with a more general theme of depravity. The slams, sweeps and syncopations have only got better however. The video is kinda icky too if you’re into that sorta thing.
Though I often prefer a grittier brand of death metal, my geekery knows know bounds and anything quasi-futuristic is bound to gain traction in my book. If you enjoyed the cybernetic post-apocalypse of Nexus Inferis, this band should be nice addition to your repertoire. Exodromos will be out on March 26th via Willowtip Records.
This Burzum-esque Hungarian band, like many of its kind, draws inspiration from the history of its homeland. Siculicidium is a mass murder perpetrated by the Habsburgs in 1700s against the Székelys, an ethnic subset of Hungarian civilization. Their songs drift and drive a long at a mid-paced with competent distorted riffing. However, at least on the EP we’ll be taking a look at, it’s in the atmospheric clean guitar clearings where the band defines itself, decorating the music with striking spoken word passages that will make you wish you spoke Hungarian, one of Europe’s most unique language. Thought the band released a more seasoned set of works with their 2009 full length Utolsó vágta az Univerzumban, the 2006 EP Lélekösvény is where we’ll head first. Continue reading “BLACK FRIDAY: SICULICIDIUM” »
Åland is an automous Finnish island off the country’s Southern coast. On the shores of Maarianhamina, the island’s largely Swedish-speaking capital, named after Maria Alexandrovna (the Empress consort of reform-minded Russian Tsar Alexander II), is where this gem of a band makes their home. Much like their their native island is a haven from EU duties and customs, so is the music of Vorum a reprieve from the incessant trends of Incantation worship which one would expect them to indulge in based on their album art. Instead their debut full length is delightfully dark interpretation of the legacy left by death metal bands of both the Scandinavian and Floridian strains back in the 90s. Sure, it’s a bit nostalgic but these days you can’t even open your front door without knocking over a patch-covered drummer in the middle of practice. It’s going to be around a while and with albums like this, it’s sure to win over even the most jaded modernist. Poisoned Void is an exemplary debut, ominous and yet brisk in its tempo changes and modest song lengths. It is a model and, with some proper recognition, should propel them to the vanguard of contemporary osdm. Continue reading “VORUM: POISONED VOID” »