Archive for March, 2012

The Wretched End – Inroads

Posted in Review on 31st March 2012 by Pieni

Band: The Wretched End
Album: Inroads
Release date: April 2012
Genre: thrash/death metal
Label: Nocturnal Art Productions

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There’s no doubt that Norway is rich in black metal bands. But once in a while a thrashier sound comes from those cold lands.

Still, when you listen to the very first track, “Tyrant Of The Mountain”, you can feel the influence of what is most well-known in that country. The cranking guitars soon go ballistic in that death-on-the-verge-of-black kind of way. Then there’s this change of pace more or less halfway through the song, which is what I usually call “the headbangers moment”, as the rhythm slows down but the power keeps pumping and you feel that urgent pull to bang your head along.

“Fear Propaganda” has also that “darker-than-thou” feeling to it. However, the general vibe of the whole album is indeed closer to the thrash/death definition, for its mix of obscure melodies and shredding riffs, as found in “Deathtopian Society”, “Death By Nature” or “The Haunting Ground”. By the way, there’s a cool detail in “Deathtopian Society”: a creepy voice in the chorus, as if spoken by some god or unearthly creature. And I really like the solo in “Throne Renowned Of Old”.

Also in this batch we can listen The Wretched End going through a more doomish path with “Blackthorn Winter”, which in my opinion was very well conceived.

Despite being the second album by these guys, I had never heard about them before. I will surely pay them more attention from now, as the quality of “Inroads” is truly worth it.

4/5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

Vuohivasara – Perdition Reigns Supreme

Posted in Review with tags , , , on 31st March 2012 by izaforestspirit

Band: Vuohivasara
Album: Perdition Reigns Supreme
Release date: April 2012
Genre: Black Metal
Label: Inverse Records

‘Perdition Reigns Supreme’ is the third album from the Finnish black metal band Vuohivasara. The band’s name is Finnish for ‘Goathammer’ which, allegedly symbolizes evil and hate.

The opening track ‘Tears of Firmament’ has the ferocity of Dark Funeral characterized by the fast drums and raw black metal vocals mixed in with melodic guitar parts from old Satyricon and to some extent Gorgoroth. The next ‘Luopio’ is more melodic in nature and some of the guitar patterns remind me of Satyricon’s ‘Mother North’.

‘Anno Domini Infernus’ may not have the best intro due to the random ‘vomit simulation’ at the start but the music makes up for this very quickly. The drums and guitar riffs give this track a somewhat progressive feel but luckily it’s just just enough to make it stand-out without becoming overpowering. ‘The Great Aspect Of Desolation Of The God Of Light’ marks a return to brutal, raw black metal with the additional touch in the form of a choir half way through the track.

Other noteworthy songs include ‘Raise The Throne of Hate’ which contains atmospheric elements akin to Ragnarok and the epic black metal ballad ‘Though Shall Not Suffer A Sorceress To Live’.

Overall this is one of the best black metal albums I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing!

4/5

Iza Raittila

Evile Confirmed For Bloodstock

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 30th March 2012 by Nico Davidson

Evile are among the latest groups to be confirmed for this year’s edition of Bloodstock Open Air, a dedicated metal festival held annually in Derbyshire, UK.

The band will be performing on the Sophie Lancaster Stage on Sunday, 12th August, and join a line-up of bands such as Testament, Sepultura, Behemoth, the legendary Alice Cooper, Deicide and many more.

Evile lead guitarist Ol Drake commented: “It was great to wake up to the confirmation of our appearance at the one and only Bloodstock Festival.  With the release of our Five Serpent’s Teeth album, we dedicated the track ‘Centurion’ to the festival, and for them to have us back with a great slot on the Sophie Lancaster stage, it’s bound to be a show to remember.  We may just even have a special, first time live-airing of the previously mentioned track for the BOA masses. Come along for your Evile fix! Long live Bloodstock!”

Get tickets and more information about Bloodstock at http://www.bloodstock.uk.com

See Evile live at the following shows:

Apr. 12 – Madrid, Spain – Sala Ritmo y Compas
Apr. 13 – Gijon, Spain – Sala Acapulco
Apr. 14 – Pamplona, Spain – Sala Totem
Apr. 15 – Barcelona, Spain – Sala Music Hall
Apr. 21 – Haugesund, Norway – Karmoygeddon Festival
May 05-06 – Eastern Sea, Finland – Radio Rock Cruise
May 28 – Belfast, UK – Ulster Hall (w/ MACHINE HEAD)
May 30 – Dublin, Ireland – Olympia Theatre (w/ MACHINE HEAD)
Jun. 03 – Exeter, UK – Real Devon Rocks at Exeter Phoenix
Jul. 20 – Luarca, Spain – Luarca Metal Fest
Aug. 12 – Walton-On-Trent, UK – Bloodstock Open Air Festival
Aug. 24/25 – Wörrstadt, Germany – Neuborn Open Air Festival

In related news, Evile lead guitarist Ol Drake has been nominated for the “Dimebag Darrell Shredder” award at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods.  You can vote for Ol here.

Alice In Thunderland – Hellfire

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , on 27th March 2012 by Nico Davidson

Band: Alice In Thunderland
Album: Hellfire
Release date: 23rd March 2012
Genre: Classic Rock/NWOBHM
Label: Unsigned/Self-Released

Alice In Thunderland have been an active part of the Yorkshire music scene for several years, supporting acts such as NWOBHM legends Blitzkrieg and Tygers Of Pan Tang, as well bands such as Ravenage, Clown Corpse and Cryptic Age. After two years of being recorded and produced by Mikey Bolton at Powerstage Studio, the band’s fourth album Hellfire is finally available.

The album begins with the thundering roar of guitars that kick start Something Is Coming. Frontwoman Kala’s are both powerful and emotive as they echo throughout the song, adding a feeling of melancholy to the music. The bass adds extra punch to the song, whilst the solo injects a very NWOBHM sound. Hey Hey takes on a darker approach with the guitars in the intro, sounding almost like a mix of Black Sabbath and Paradise Lost. Kev’s bass work blends handsomely with Kala’s vocals and Stu’s drumming. The guitars are overwhelmingly raw and meaty, keeping the track sounding strong.

The third track Take To The Limit turns the tempo of the album up several notches, sounding ever so slightly like a faster edition of a Whitesnake track but only heavier and more aggressive. Of course, the track does contain a mellow section that I find to be a quite genius part of the song, due to the emotional and embracing atmosphere of the softer, melodic guitar section that are carried ever so gently by the drums into the first, sagaic-sounding solo of the track, provided by Tony Dixon. The second solo of the track, performed by Tony Dean, has a more classic rock meets thrash metal sound flowing throughout it, adding an admirable contrast to the song.

Control has the previous sounds of Alice In Thunderland’s discography mixed into the guitars with a dash of elephantine riffs. The vocals are as hypnotic as a swinging pendulum, whilst the drums are crisp, like freshly lain snow. The solo, performed by Dixon, has a very behemothic sound which thunders through the speakers like Thor’s chariot racing through the sky. Always Forever is a song I’m delighted to hear on the album, as it’s one of my favourite songs that the band perform at shows. The intro is slow, melodic and soothing before leading the song into its staunch, classic rock sound. Kala’s vocals adapt to the changes in the song, infusing them with the soft and heavy sections. The heavy riffs of Are You Ready are another one of my fond memories of previous Thunderland performances. The guitar and bass sections bounce off each other masterfully, creating that unique AIT sound that the band’s fans are so well accustomed to.

I’m not gonna lie, the second I heard Voices blast through my speakers, a smile slid across my face. The song has always been my favourite track performed by Alice In Thunderland. The guitar riffs, masterfully played by Tony Dean, have a crisp, melodic sound that really bring out the emotion in Kala’s vocals, especially during in the chorus. The song has a certain energy that bursts from the music, enhancing the strength of the song. The one thing really sticks out the most though is the use of a clean guitar section, over the heavier riffs, that leads into the 70s stylised solo. The album comes to one of its last stops, before the end, in the form of Frozen, which despite the name is a spirited but dark track. Kala’s vocals truly reflect the spirited sound whilst the music portrays the dark part of the song. The chorus is one of those that will stick to you like glue, due to it being so memorable. The lyrics are very invoking of emotions, adding to the darkness that the music provides. The solo brings a very modern sound to the album, which is both surprising and pleasant.

No album is ever complete without a title track and so the album finishes on its title track Hellfire. The music differs greatly from the last track, bringing a potent atmosphere and rugged sound to the sound, which in my opinion, works well with what the song deals with lyrically. Mikey Bolton guest stars on this track, providing some very punchy backing vocals that help a dynamic sound to both the song and the album. Kev’s bass work is undeniably well performed and passionate, much like Dean’s playing and Dixon’s solo. Stu’s drumming on this track feels more zealous and alert than I’ve ever known it to be. Kala’s are on top form as well, throughout this track, adding a gentle feel to the rawness of the music.

After hearing the album in its entirety I am left wondering why Alice In Thunderland aren’t playing some of the big festivals or touring with the likes of Iron Maiden, Def Leppard and at a push, Megadeth. The band have managed to incorporate a healthy mix of classic rock and NWOBHM with a dash of modern influences and the production values on the album, thanks to Mikey Bolton, deserve an entire review of their own as the album sounds beyond epic but still retains that raw, untamed sound. Alice In Thunderland really do deserve more recognition for their work and Hellfire is bona fide evidence of that.

5/5

Nico Davidson

Hellfire is available from the band via their Facebook page, which can be found here.

Don’t forget to that Alice In Thunderland are supporting Severed Heaven at The Lamp on April 29th. Tickets are available £3 in advance from the band.

Alice In Thunderland w/Support @ Shades Nightclub

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , on 25th March 2012 by Nico Davidson

Bands: Alice In Thunderland, Lipstick Sunbeam
Location: Shades Nightclub, Bridlington
Date: 23rd March 2012

After two years in the making at Powerstage Studio, Alice In Thunderland’s fourth album Hellfire was ready to be launched and so it was at Shades Nightclub in Bridlington. Opening the night were Driffield-based alternative rock trio Lipstick Sunbeam. This was the second time I had seen them perform – the first time was in Hull at Denim and Leather’s Rock The Ringside. They had improved vastly since I last saw them, mixing up their set with a combination of hard rocking riffs and funky basslines, topped off with some raw, powerful vocals. The early part of their set had a certain flair of early Black Sabbath while the last few songs had a touch of doom metal meets alt. rock to the sound. Lipstick Sunbeam was certainly well received by the crowd and no wonder. They played a very staunch set that masterfully showed the band’s musicianship.

After a short interval, local heroes Alice In Thunderland made their way to the stage. Alice In Thunderland are one of those rare and unique bands that are like a fine wine – they get better with age. Like previous shows I’ve seen them at, their set was dominated with a strong barrage of classic rock styled-riffs and melodic vocals. Their sound has been enhanced with the addition of guitarist Tony Dixon who’s guitar work blends in well with Tony Dean’s riffs and Kevin Truelove’s bass work. It was difficult to see the band play due to a mixture of smoke and the crowd. Hush Now went down a treat with the crowd, as did their blistering cover of Crazy Train.

One of my favourite parts of AIT’s set was the performance of Something Is Coming, a song that contained untamed guitar work and truly showed frontwoman Kayla’s vocal talents. Hey Hey had a very thundering use of bass, provided by Kev, and the intelligent yet destructive drum stylings of Stu Millington. As always, AIT provided a brilliant and charismatic performance and were supported by one hell of a band.

Nico Davidson

Photography by David Ferret Taylor.

Greek Titans Sign To Pitch Black

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 25th March 2012 by Nico Davidson

Pitch Black Records is pleased to announce the addition of three outstanding Greek metal acts into its roster and the release of their albums in May. Each band is unique in its own way and style and their albums will be impossible to go unnoticed.

LITROSIS “I am Death” (symphonic black metal) due for release: May 1st 2012.

Their debut album will be the second release in the ‘Blackest Pitch Series’, a series which always features an eclectic selection of black metal with the first pressing being a unique and collectible packaging limited to 333 numbered copies.

MARAUDER “Elegy of Blood” (classic heavy metal) due for release: May 15th 2012

The Greek metal legends are back with their fifth offering! Superb compositions, a powerful production and an already proven performance make waiting for this album unbearable!

SACRED BLOOD “Alexandros” (epic power metal) due for release: May 29th 2012

Sophomore release for this band that goes beyond epic, fusing metal with folk instruments. A concept album adequately dealing with a mighty certain someone who needs no further introduction… Alexandros, better known as Alexander the Great.

More details about each band and album will be revealed soon.

Velvetcult – Electric Tree

Posted in Uncategorized on 25th March 2012 by izaforestspirit

Band: Velvetcult
Album: Electric Tree
Release date: April 2012 (International)
Genre: Electronic Rock
Label: Secret Entertainment

‘Electric Tree’ is the third full length from the Finnish melancholic, electro-rock band Velvetcult. The band’s frontman, Tomi cites Placebo, Nine Inch Nails and Muse amongst his influences for this particular release.

The opening track ‘Climbing Up The Electronic Tree’ is a perfect match to the band’s description. The sombre and slow intro gives in to Nine Inch Nails -esque industrial rock with guitars laced with samples and synthesizer noise. The next track ‘Pulse of the Earth’ has more of an indie rock feel to it due its radio-friendly guitar riffs and whispery vocals. Comparisons to Muse and newer Katatonia spring to mind though this is not a carbon copy of either.

‘Heroic Symphony’ features an interesting mix of Muse -esque vocals and electronic sounds along with more indie rock style guitar riffs. ‘Heavy To Climb’ (parts I & II) are the closest thing Velvetcult has to a ballad. The whimpering vocals and soft guitars on these tracks give them a very melancholic feel.

One track which stands out from the others is the catchy, guitar-driven ‘Farewell and Goodbye’ which marks a short-lived return to the industrial/electronic sound with vocals that owes more to goth rock or early electronica than Muse. If only the rest of the album sounded like this…

3/5

Iza Raittila

Job For A Cowboy – Demonocracy

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , on 24th March 2012 by colmcasserly

Band: Job For A Cowboy
Album: Demoncracy
Release date: 10 April 2012
Genre: Deathcore
Label: Metal Blade Records

I’m about to eat my words here… In the past I have heard people heap praise on Job For A Cowboy for either being a good Deathcore

band or for their successful transition into a more traditional Death Metal band and I have simply written them off. That has changed since I heard their latest foray. Christ on a stick is it a far cry from what they started as and most surprising for me how satisfying it is to listen to.

Demonacracy the third album by JFAC, and it is fast. Very fast, and heavier than an articulated truck full of elephants. The songs are intense and really pack a punch, Jason Seucof really is becoming a go to guy for great production, and again they take a more traditional approach on Death Metal with a twist of tech thrown in for good measure. It all flows together very well and that flow is at a break neck speed, some very interesting guitar riffing and crazy double bass work drive this album. The lead work and solos are really well written and they never seem to just be there for the sake of it, nothing seems like filler or unnecessary. The vocals just sound huge, I can only imagine the layering and mastering that went into them my only gripe is that they are standard Death Metal vocals, incomprehensible as I don’t have the lyric sheet, and that’s it. But all this would mean nothing if the production wasn’t crisp and clear and sweet zombie Jesus is that the situation here. Every last note, cymbal hit and even the bass work is completely audible. I can’t stress enough how good this album sounds.

This album has forced me to review how I think about JFAC, and that is the best thing any band can hope for when making changes, its epic, punchy and so very satisfying to listen to. I’m probably gonna get beaten for saying this but this is what the last two Deicide albums should have sounded like.

Amon Amarth w/Support @ Vicor Street, Dublin

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 23rd March 2012 by colmcasserly

Bands: Amon Amarth, Grand Magus, In Solitude
Location: Vicar Street

Date:  15th April 2012

Epic night of metal right here and my first assignment for Valkyrian Music so I was very excited about this! The night was  not just anticipated by me but the entire Dublin metal scene as it was Amon Amarth’s first time to bring their stage show with them. I had never heard Grand Magus or In Solitude before the night and I was very surprised by both bands they both had some seriously good tunes and they put on a great show. It was the second night of the tour and the bands seemed very confident on stage as the first date jitters had worn off it seems.

In Solitude were the opening act and they really played a blinder, they’re blend of black and old school metal was really interesting and they set the stage for a really good night. They could come off a little cheesy at times though and the vocals were far too low in the mix and that is one of their selling points I feel cause the style of vocals are very alluring. Also, what was with the dead fox? But quality songs and great stage presence combined made for an awesome set!

Grand Magus were on next and they’re something else! Soaring, powerful vocals with epic sounding songs without even a hint of power metal except some song titles, “Hammer of The North” for one, just good old Heavy Metal! They started a little shakey but pulled it together very quickly and delivered a very entertaining set and they truly looked like they were having the time of their lives! They did get a little samey over the course of the set though.

And the headliners, Amon Amarth, they have made quite a name for themselves over the years so we all really knew what to expect from them. They played the best part of an hour and a half which consisted of old faithfuls (The Pursuit of Vikings) and some newer tracks (Death In Fire) but they never relented and even the slower tunes never dropped the intensity. Any issues with the levels or sound were gone now and it was now crystal clear. I don’t think they made one mistake all night, and it being very close to St Patrick’s day in Dublin any crowd interaction went down really well. They had their stage complete with glowing ruins and the drum riser was massive and they had some pretty epic set pieces on it. A lot of Amon Amarth songs recently have guest guitarists playing solos and here is what annoyed me, they can’t do them live. They give them their best shot but never seem to pull them off convincingly. Other than that minor problem they really gave a 110% and it looked like they really had a blast. Epic gig, epic bands great night!

Opeth Set To Release Reissues Of Iconic Albums

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 21st March 2012 by Nico Davidson

The End Records presents four iconic titles from Swedish metal band Opeth, as part of their acquisition of rights to the Music For Nations catalog. With collective Soundscans of over 300,000 sold, these three albums and one live DVD/CD recording present the very best of Opeth from their black metal era to their progressive rock transformation. The albums, produced by Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree, along with the magnificent live DVD and documentary Lamentations, are necessary reissues for any Opeth enthusiast.

Be sure to catch Opeth on the 2012 North American Heritage Hunter Tour with Mastodon, beginning April 4th.

LAMENTATIONS – Special Edition:
• Live DVD and 2-disc CD live recording (first time ever that the audio and video components will be in one package)
• Includes documentary on the making of sister albums Deliverance & Damnation (available below)

BLACKWATER PARK – Casebound Legacy Edition:
• Blackwater Park package includes bonus DVD, and 28 page full-color casebound booklet / digipak
• The band’s first collaboration with Porcupine Tree frontman Steven Wilson
• First Opeth album ever released in North America

DAMNATION – Reissue:
• Departure from the band’s death metal sound and entrance into progressive rock genre
• Only Opeth album to chart the Billboard 200

DELIVERANCE – Reissue:
• Album won Swedish Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance
• Appeared in the Top 20 on Billboard’s Heatseekers and Top Independent Albums charts
• Considered one of the band’s heaviest albums

US Tour Dates with Mastadon and Ghost

April 4 – State Theater – Portland, ME
April 5 – Orpheum Theater – Boston, MA *
April 6 – Metropolis – Montreal, QC *
April 7 – Sony Centre – Toronto, ON *
April 9 – Electric Factory – Philadelphia, PA
April 10 – The Dome – Wallingford, CT
April 11 – Roseland – New York, NY
April 13 – Riviera Theater – Chicago
April 14 – Intersection – Grand Rapids, MI
April 15 – Stage AE – Pittsburgh, PA
April 16 – TN Theater – Knoxville, TN *
April 18 – Diamond Ballroom  – Oklahoma City, OK
April 19 –Palladium – Dallas, TX *
April 20 – Backstage Live – San Antonio, TX *
April 21 – Concrete Street – Corpus Christi, TX *
April 23 – Fillmore – Denver, CO *
April 25 – House of Blues – Las Vegas, NV
April 26 – Gibson – Hollywood, CA *
April 27 – Fox Theatre – Oakland, CA *
April 28 – Grand Sierra Resort – Reno, NV
April 30 – Paramount Theater – Seattle, WA *
May 1 – Orpheum – Vancouver, BC *
May 3 – Edmonton Events Centre – Edmonton,AB *
May 4 – MacEwan Hall – Calgary, AB
May 5 – The Odeon – Saskatoon, SK
May 6 – Burton Cummings – Winnipeg, MB *
May 9 – The Fillmore – Washington, DC *
May 10 – The Fillmore – Charlotte, NC
May 11 – House of Blues – Myrtle Beach, SC *
May 12 – Masquerade Music Park – Atlanta, GA

*Opeth closes the show

Gorerotted Website Launched

Posted in News with tags , , on 21st March 2012 by Nico Davidson

Founding member and guitarist Tim Carley and long time vocalist Ben McCrow (both now in THE ROTTED) have launched a new website dedicated to the history of UK Gore/Death/Grind legends Gorerotted! The in depth website features tons of photos and information from their own personal collections, as well as contributions from other long term members including bass player Wilson (2001-2008) and guitarist Matt ‘Robin Pants’ Hoban (2002-2007).

Says Tim Carley “I started Gorerotted in the summer of 1997 so that’s 15 years ago this year! When we split up in 2008 I needed some distance from the band, but now after 3 years away from it and sick of the tons of misinformation on the internet, me and Ben have decided it’s time to spill the beans and write the history of the band! The website features tons of old photos (some dating back to the first gigs and photo shoots) and loads of history of the line-ups, the ideas behind it all and the tours we did! With around 15 people passing through the ranks during the 11 years we were active for, it’s cool for us to be able to acknowledge them all and publish some photos that even people who supported us from day one might never have seen!

The site also features links to what all the ex members are up to now!

There is also a Blog section for people to ask questions about the band and send photos, stories, links and whatever else they have!

Check it out here.

Unearth/Malefice UK Tour

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 21st March 2012 by Nico Davidson

Metal Blade heavyweights Unearth and Malefice are joining forces for a UK tour in June. The tour will start in Southampton on 18th June. They will be joined by none other than Malevolent Creation in London.

Sadly there are no Scottish dates.

See them at the following dates:

June 18th SOUTHAMPTON – Joiners
June 19th NOTTINGHAM – Rescue Rooms
June 20th LONDON – Underworld (with Malevolent Creation)
June 21st CARDIFF – The Great Hall

Before Their Eyes Tour Dates Announced

Posted in News with tags , , on 20th March 2012 by Nico Davidson

Before Their Eyes will be headed out on a short run of shows in May called the “Redemption Tour” presented by Silence The City Clothing and Dr. Ricks Denim.  The support bands include Legacy, Belle Histoire, and City Lights. The tour will begin May 4th and will be hitting theMidwest / Northeast throughout the month. The shows are in support of Before Their Eyes new record “Redemption” that will be hitting stores March 26, 2012 and features guest vocals from Breathe Carolina and Landon Tewers of The Plot In You. More Dates will be announced soon.

With Legacy and Belle Histoire

5/4 Painesville, OH@ Score’s FunCenter
5/5 Williamsville, NY @ Pro Music Center
5/6 Albany, NY @ Valentine’s
5/7 Providence, RI @ PVD Social Club
5/8 Smithtown, NY @ Smithtown Masonic Temple
5/9 Geneseo, NY @ Minnehan’s Fun Center
5/10 Boonton, NJ @ The Canvas Clash
5/11 Lemoyne, PA @ The Champ
5/12Columbus,OH @ TBA

Additional Dates with Legacy, City Lights and Strangers To Wolves

5/18 Dayton, OH@ The Attic
5/19 Goshen, IN @ The Note Venue
5/25 TBA
5/26 TBA
6/1 Findlay, OH @ The Lighthouse (Without City Lights)

Reverence- The Asthenic Ascension

Posted in Review on 20th March 2012 by izaforestspirit

Band: Reverence
Album: The Asthenic Ascension
Release date: April 2012
Genre: Industrial Black Metal
Label: Candlelight Records

‘The Asthenic Ascension’ is the fourth album from the French black metal band Reverence.

The symphonic intro to opening track ‘Earth’ reminds me of ‘Midian’ -era Cradle of Filth with hints of early Emperor. ‘Darwin’s Black Hall’ however, is an altogether different beast. Gone are the symphonic melodies and in their place come the harsh, monotone guitar riffs and Vesania-esque vocals.

‘The Descent’ features features a very short, oddly cheerful sounding guitar solo which seems somewhat out of place in what is otherwise a very standard black metal song. The symphonic melodies seem to be making a comeback on here as well. The Gothic horror movie-esque samples in ‘Psalm IV’ create an eerie atmosphere which is maintained by the drone-like music and ill-fitting screams of distress in the background. As if that wasn’t enough, they decided to add a melodic guitar solo which is more befitting for a thrash metal band. Then it’s back to the cries of terror and distress. Strange, very strange indeed…

Similar things can be said about ‘Ghost of Dust’, which, aside from the oddly placed melodic guitar solo, stands out for all the wrong reasons mostly notably due to the rather annoying clear vocals towards the end of the track. Things don’t improve towards the latter part of the album where the sound keeps shifting from progressive guitar riffs, thrash-metal drum sounds, symphonic melodies and hints of death metal to monotone, raw black metal.

The only notable exceptions are the atmospheric instrumental ‘Genesis of Everything’ and the eerie, droning title track which are the only highlights of the album.

2.5/5- confusing at best and downright bizarre at worst

Iza Raittila

Tigers Jaw Stream New Song

Posted in News with tags , , , on 20th March 2012 by Nico Davidson

Run For Cover is now streaming the brand new Tigers Jaw song No Mask from the band’s upcoming split 7″ with Black Clouds. The record comes out April 10th and is now available for pre-order on both white and blue vinyl.

Pre-order it here.

This new song is a pounding indie punk song driven by vocalists Ben Walsh and Brianna Collins’ direct and desperate chorus harmonies.  The split features two other new Tigers Jaw songs as well as Black Clouds‘ first recorded material.

Tigers Jaw‘s other vocalist/guitarist Adam McIllwee also contributed a blog post to the Run For Cover website where he discusses appealing female qualities and new Tigers Jaw material.  The blog will be part of an ongoing series where different people involved in the label and its bands contribute posts. You can rad the blog here.

Exumer Launch New Single

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 20th March 2012 by Nico Davidson

Exumer are ready for the release of their long anticipated comeback album Fire & Damnation, which is to be released April 9th via Metal Blade Records in Europe.

Metal Hammer Germany is now exclusively premiering the second single Vermin Of The Sky here!

Exumer singer Mem V. Stein comments: Vermin of the Sky”, is a perfect example of how we maintained a very 1980s song writing approach, incorporating catchy hooks and a memorable breakdown that is reminiscent of our work from the 80s. I tried to use strong imagery throughout the record and this track is inspired by the consequences of last year´s earthquake and subsequent tsunami that almost caused a complete fall-out at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan. The Vermin of the Sky refers to the radiation and other airborne dangers that we are exposed to, not only in emergency zones, but also in our daily lives.

Make also sure to visit the landing page that includes pre-order links as well as the title track off Fire & Damnation! Surf over here to check it out!

Exumer recorded their first new album in 25 years with renowned producer Waldemar Sorychta (Grip Inc., Therion, Sodom, Moonspell, etc.) at the helm. The 10-track strong, hard-hitting CD Fire & Damnation combines a punishing production with aggressive song writing. Exumer manage to capture the intensity and feel of the 1980s thrash metal gems and yet sound up to date on their latest output.

Fire & Damnation will catapult Exumer back in the forefront of the international music markets and the following live assaults in 2012; will only further cement the band’s cult status among the ranks of classic thrash metal acts in the world!

Tom Angelripper of Sodom loves the album and comments This is how “real” thrash is meant to sound. The production is flawless and crystal clear. I’d dare to say that I like this album even better than their older material and think it’s more innovative, even though I am deeply rooted in the old school. I am really surprised! It reminds me a lot of DESTRUCTION and EXODUS, but they’ve managed to create their own unique style. Thumbs up to you, gents!

OSI Tracks Available For Streaming

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 20th March 2012 by Nico Davidson

Fire Make Thunder marks the fourth undertaking for the collaborative duo known that are OSI. Formed in 2002 by Jim Matheos (Fates Warning, Arch/Matheos) and Kevin Moore (Chroma Key, former Dream Theater keyboardist), OSI is a long distance partnership, both musicians typically writing and recording alone and sending song ideas back and forth for further elaboration. Written and recorded throughout most of 2011, this latest release once again reflects the eclectic influences of both Matheos and Moore.
Today, Prog Archives, the only home for all things Progressive Music, is hosting an exclusive stream of another track from Fire Make Thunder. Get a first listen to Big Chief II here, courtesy of Prog Archives.

Decibel Magazine’s Deciblog is also hosting an exclusive premiere of a track from Fire Make Thunder. Get a first listen to the first track on the album Cold Call here.

OSI has released an exclusive audio medley from Fire Make Thunder, which features audio samples from the upcoming release. The medley as well as pre-order opportunities can be accessed at Metal Blade’s site by clicking here.

Returning as the band’s session drummer is Gavin Harrison of Porcupine Tree, this time co-writing one of the tracks with the band. All other instruments and programming were performed by both Matheos and Moore, while vocals and lyrics were handled exclusively by Moore.

All of the recording for Fire Make Thunder, with the exception of drums, was done by Moore and Matheos at each musician’s respective home studio with drums being recorded at Harrison’s home in London. Final overdubs as well as some additional writing/arranging was completed in July 2011 in Jamaica, Iowa, where the band mixed alongside engineer Matt Sepanic at Sound Farm Studio and Recording Environment. Mastering was handled by renowned engineer Roger Siebel. The record was produced by both Moore and Matheos.

Shai Hulud Exclusive UK Show At Hevy Fest

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 20th March 2012 by Nico Davidson

Shai Hulud have been added to the bill for the Hevy Music Festival along with acts such as Descendents, who are headlining on August 5th, Municipal Waste, Cancer Bats, Rolo Tomassi and more.

Hevy Fest will be taking place at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park, Kent between August 3rd – 6th, 2012 and boasts a wide range of acts. For more info, click here.

Shai Hulud’s Misanthropy Pure is out now on Metal Blade. You can purchase it here.

The Dillinger Escape Plan Debut Album On Vinyl

Posted in News with tags , , , on 19th March 2012 by Nico Davidson

The self-titled debut album from American mathcore band The Dillinger Escape Plan has been reissued and is out now in Europe on CD and, for the first time ever, on vinyl LP.

Originally released in 1997, the album immediately created a stir in both hardcore and metal circles with its intensity and technical approach, and saw the band going on to become one of the most important heavy bands in today’s scene.

The Dillinger Escape Plan is available now on limited edition digipak CD, as well as on ultra-limited coloured vinyl as part of Earache’s “First Time on Vinyl” campaign.  The vinyl version is available in the following quantities and colours:

100 – Yellow & Black Splatter (SOLD OUT)
200 – Clear
300 – White
400 – Black

Get The Dillinger Escape Plan on limited edition CD and coloured vinyl in Europe now by clicking here.

Get more news and information at:

Official site – http://www.dillingerescapeplan.org
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/dillingerescapeplan
MySpace – http://www.myspace.com/dillingerescapeplan

"Moonlight Equilibrium" Video Online

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 19th March 2012 by Nico Davidson

The Black Dahlia Murder‘s long-awaited video for Moonlight Equilibrium is now finally on the web. The video is described as a David Brodsky-directed nod to old-school horror films with a much more graphic approach. The video’s content aptly fits the lycanthropic lyric concept set against a bawdy Victorian back drop. The result: a chilling and entertaining slice of mini-horror that metal fans and horror-enthusiasts will enjoy.

You can watch Moonlight Equilibrium here.

The Black Dahlia Murder will be back in the UK at Bloodstock later in the year.