Archive for April, 2012

Corretja – ‘American Ragnarok’

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , on 30th April 2012 by tobiasgray

Band: Corretja
Album: American Ragnarok
Release date: October 2011
Genre: Metal
Label: Unsigned   –  http://corretja.net

 

 

Melodic death metal, with viking imagery and titles such as ‘A Battle For Lundene’; deathly vocals and blastbeats…this isn’t the new Amon Amarth album, but it’s a worthy addition to the (battle)field.  From Virginia USA, igniting the fires of European pagan metal – electronics included – on their home shores, Corretja have produced an album celebrating both American history and Norse mythology.  The tracks are concise (the longest clocking in at 3.55), and relentless in their energy.

From the American civil war to London’s bloodstained streets, ‘American Ragnarok’ is constantly throwing surprises and new ideas forward.  The opening tracks set the tone with pounding blasts, epic twin leads and atmospheric keyboards, then ‘Bull Run II’ introduces clean, electronically harmonised vocals intermittently – and the sample of a bull!

After 5 tracks of similarly powerful melodic DM (with thrash elements), ‘Throne of Bebbenberg’ appears with a minute long blast of old school, no frills death metal, minus keyboards.  It provides a quick detour from the established sound and nicely sets up the closing numbers ‘Enjoy the Violence’ and ‘Thrashowar’ – a drastically reimagined cover of Depeche Mode’s ‘Photographic’ and a fitting tribute to Manowar’s drummer Scott Columbus respectively.

Corretja have an admirable DIY ethic, and while the programmed drums and prominent keyboards lack the ‘polish’ of major label releases, this does not detract from the charm, energy and aggression of the album.  The songs are well written, the instruments played well and the delivery is consistent.  The band want to pay tribute to metal and they have totally succeeded.

With eight tracks in 20 minutes, there’s no danger of getting bored, the variety of riffs on display and the catchy melodies keep you enthralled until the end.

4.5/5

Tobias Gray.

Interview: Before My Damnation

Posted in Interview with tags , , on 29th April 2012 by Demolithia

Before My Damnation is a 5 piece act, hailing from northern Sweden. Since the band was formed in autumn 2010, they have achieved alot! In 2011 their selfreleased debut EP – Drowning My Daughters was edited, and the band have also performed at several venues – Once as opening act to metal veterans In Flames!

Hereby I present  Before My Damnation to Valkyrian Musics readers:

What would make you participate in a firefight? – If tacos were banned by the government.

What makes you most vicious? – Anti-taco people.

What do you want to convey with your music? – We don’t have a real message with our music. Just fuck shit up!

Dream venue to perform a ritual show at were: – Tingan (a local place where most metal concerts are held in the bands residental town)

Describe a utopian existence.. ( world / society) – A world where mankind has been obliterated.

Most source of inspiration? – The world, everything, nothing.

Most remarkable place you have found yourselves in? – * Järpen

Please share your views on religious fanatics .. – They can do whatever the fuck they want, if they just don’t bug me.

Appetizing plate of death (best death metal album)? – THOSE WHOM THE GODS DETEST.

Undermined bang (worst albums)? – In Waves.

Most Extreme metaldemon is? – Nergal.

The ultimate venom (favorite drink / food): – Booze.

Favourite beast (animal)? – Minotaur.

Vokiller, who would you would like to make a duet with? – Aaron Matts [Betraying the Marytrs].

Drummer, who you would like to challenge in a pounding speed test? – Mario Duplantier.

Guitar/bass strangler, with who, would you feel compelled to duel with in a battle? – Buckethead.

Where do you think Before My Damnations will be in about 10 years? – In space.

Northern icy cold, subterranean heat wave, east or west thunder storm? – The cold, because we are vikings, and space is cold aswell..

Any last word .. – check us out at. www.facebook.com/beforemydamnation !

* Järpen is a village in the county Jämtland in northern Sweden.

EMPTINESS Releases Video For “It And I”

Posted in News on 29th April 2012 by markssonofjorvik

Belgium’s oppressive death metallers, EMPTINESS, featuring members of Enthroned, have released a video for the track “It and I,” taken from their newest full-length Error. The video, which was shot in the band’s own Blackout Studios, can be viewed at this location. Error is now available for order through Dark Descent Records.

EMPTINESS – IT AND I

Brooding and venomous, progressive and blackened, EMPTINESS’ Error is a  journey into descending madness. Forward-thinking black-doom insanity  wrapped in a groove-laden burl of off-kilter rhythms and disharmonic  melody collide with a poisonous tongue; Phorgath’s agonizing spoken rasp  claws at the mind and fuels the nightmare within. Embrace sorrowed  oblivion. Error delivers nine new tracks of killer death/black noise with a layout (done by Brussels-based Blackout Media) featuring a four-panel digipak on upgraded matte finish card stock with an eight page booklet.

“Error is a hungry, lurking beast avid to fill with fear the 40 minutes  descending darkness. This outing is encapsulated within the walls of  extreme sonicity, wrapping up around death metal, black, doom and  ambient in a way other Entombed worshipers do not work.” – Path To Oblivion

 

 

PHORGATH: Bass/Vocals
OLVE j.LW: Guitars / Backing Vocals
PHIL PIETERS SMITH: Guitars
JO SANDERS: Drums

Experimental Black Metal: Svarga Music to release SVYATOGOR’s Doctor Veritas on May 7th

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 29th April 2012 by markssonofjorvik

On May 7th Svarga Music will release Doctor Veritas,  the third album from Ukraine’s SVYATOGOR, an Experimental Death/Black  Metal album, one quite unusual for this style. Along with melodic  fragments and penetrating vocals, the solos smack of classical Heavy  Metal and the saxophone gives the music Jazz and Art-rock tendencies,  all of which is rooted in Black Metal. Lyrics are written in Russian,  Ukrainian, English and French languages and devoted to the problems of  society, preparation of human emotions, reflection on the subject of  contemporary history, structure of the universe, and macrocosm.  SVYATOGOR features Amorth I.M. (ex-DRUDKH, ex-ASTROFAES, UNDERDARK) and  Master Alafern (QUINTESSENCE MYSTICA, TRIGLAV, THUNDERKRAFT). Doctor Veritas is officially distributed by Australis Records (Chile), Casus Belli  Musica (Russia), Dead Shop (Ukraine), Fono (C.I.S.), My Kingdom Music  (Italy), Rock Inc/Bertus (BeNeLux), The End Records (North America) and  Code7/PlasticHead (UK & Worldwide).

An album teaser for Doctor Veritas has been posted at this location 

1.    Памяти мёртвых Героев [In Memory Of Fallen Heroes]
2.    Word hard. Eat. Watch.
3.    Манифест [The Manifesto]
4.    Doctor Veritas
5.    Нi вогню, нi меча… [Nor Fire, Nor Sword…]
6.    AWOKE / INCOMING (Antarctic solitude)
7.    Плюнуть и забыть [Spit And Forget]
8.    Неизбежность [Inevitability]
9.    La concupiscence [Lust]
10.    Реинкарнация дум [Reincarnation Of Thoughts]
The band is currently streaming the track “Work hard. Eat. Watch.” on Svarga Music’s Soundcloud Page.

Praise for SVYATOGOR:

“Svyatogor is a newcomer for which we definitely see a bright future  ahead. Yes, these four thoroughly experienced guys know exactly how to  make an interesting album from start to finish, without a single moment  of monotony.” – Rock Tribune (Belgium) [85/100]
“The truth is that these guys do not have any limits, and they don’t  seem to want do it anytime soon either, which is something that makes  them outstand and also make about them a really unique band. A  surprising album, of a well performed surprise.” – Queens of Steel (Spain) [8.5/10]
“The most amazing track is “La concupiscence” which is performed in French!” – AtmosFear Magazine (Ukraine) [8.5/10]
“It’s  pleasantly surprising. SVYATOGOR have taken two styles which, on their  own, can be suffocating, i.e. boring, and blended them into a  stimulating album well worth the time to listen to.” – Voices from the Darkside (Germany)
“Enjoyable and crushing from start to finish, ‘Doctor Veritas’ is as close to aggressive perfection as you can be!” – Valkyrian Music (UK) [4.5/5]
“An album filled with original and a creative genius because SVYATOGOR  drifts away from all the clichés of the genre and it is difficult to  compare it to any other existing band. Recommend to all who are tired of  hearing the same music again and again, but still remaining in the  Extreme Metal range.” – Metalland (France)
“There is everything, there is harmony, there is fluidity of sound, there is epic magniloquence and evil Black Metal.”- MetalHead Webzine (Italy) [7.5/10]
“It twists and turns all over the place and the musicianship really does impress.” – Ave Noctum (UK) [7/10]
Biography
SVYATOGOR  was founded by Arius (guitar) and Konstantin (vocal) in the autumn of  1999. At the beginning of its existence the songs “Battle beyond the  forest” and”Immediate Vengeance” were created. They later became the  basis of the band`s debut album. In the years 2000-2001 the band was  completed by Odalv (drums), Master Alafern (guitar, THUNDERKRAFT,  TRIGLAV), Paulus (bass) and actively began rehearsal and concert  activities.
In the summer of 2002 the recording of the debut album …With Wolfish Stalk and by Wings of Black… was started in the band`s home studio. Due to force majeure connected  with some faulty equipment the album was lost. And only in the spring of  2004 the band tries again to record the lost album, but now in a well  known Kharkov studio (audioALchemia). The attempt was successful and in  the spring of 2005 the first full-length album …With Wolfish Stalk and by Wings of  Black… (6 tracks, 33 minutes) was finally recorded. The style of the album can be characterized as Pagan Black Metal.
Having  recorded the album Odalv, Paulus and Konstantin leave the band. Arius  takes up vocals, a session drummer Vsesvit joins the band which makes it  possible for the band to continue rehearsals and take part in concerts.  With this team in 2006 the band records its second album
Energy-Freedom: Force is Strong, Power is Imperious (7 tracks, 51 minutes) in audioALchemia and XC-Records studios. The style is Death-Black Metal.
In  the autumn of 2007 the permanent drummer Amorth I.M. (ex-DRUDKH,  ex-ASTROFAES, UNDERDARK) and bass guitarist Duk join the band. During  the years 2006-2011 the band has active concert activities and takes  part in such festivals as Svarogovo Kolo, Navja Noch, Metal Point,  Svarogov Den etc., also supports many different European Death/Black  Metal bands. SVYATOGOR has also been invited to many concerts as a  headliner.
In the summer of 2011 SVYATOGOR completes its studio work on the third album
Doctor Veritas (10 tracks, 52 minutes). This album will be released on 7th of May 2012  by Ukrainian underground label Svarga Music. Currently the band is  working on their 4th album. The recording sessions are planned for  summer 2012.
Band line-up:
Arius – vocal, guitar
Master Alafern – guitar, violin
Duk – bass
Amorth I.M. – drums
Contact:

Warriors Of Metal Fest V Open Air Releases Official Fest Poster

Posted in News on 29th April 2012 by markssonofjorvik
Amelia, Ohio.  April 23, 2012.  Warriors of Metal, Inc. proudly releases this year’s Warriors Of Metal Fest V Open Air festival poster custom designed by Dragonfyre Studios in Defiance, Ohio (http://www.angelfire. com/indie/dragonfyre/home.html) who also designed the 2012 Double CD Fest Compilation released 2 weeks ago.  The original Warriors of Metal Fest logo was conceptualized by Justin Lucas of Chillicothe, Ohio’s Greenman imagery ( http://www.greenmanimagery.deviantart.com)  and made manifest to its full glory by Jean Paul Torres of Florida’s Lord Crusan Design ( http://www.lordcrusan.com).  The Lord Crusan Design logo of the crossed axes and Warriors of Metal banners on Justin Lucas’ stylized W is the official logo of Warriors of Metal, Inc. and the Fest logo has now been further bloodied & Metalized thanks to Dragonfyre Studios!
 Tickets for the festival are on sale at http://www.warriorsofmetalfest.com.  Weekend passes for adults (17 and up) are just $50 and Weekend 4-Packs for adults (groups of 4 people) are only $40 per person. Adult single day tickets are $30 for each day and $25 per person in a 4-Pack for a sigle day ticket. Teenager tickets (11-16) are only $15 for the whole weekend, Friday only or saturday only. Kids under 11 get in for free. Camping is free from Thursday, June 28th to Sunday, July 1st and ticket buyers can also pre-order their Fest t-shirts at the time of their ticket purchase.
For more information visit the Warriors Of Metal Fest’s website at
www.warriorsofmetalfest.com
and for new updates visit the Fest’s Facebook page at
http://www.facebook.com/ warriorsofmetal

UNCANNY’s The Path of Flesh 7″ Now Available Through Dark Descent Records

Posted in News on 29th April 2012 by markssonofjorvik

Formed  in 1990, Sweden’s Uncanny was an early progenitor of the Swedish death  metal scene.  After a couple demos, a split and an oft-overlooked  full-length in 1994, Uncanny faced an untimely and unfortunate demise. Eighteen years after their lone debut, Splenium for Nyktophobia,  Uncanny returns with two brand new tracks featured on this 7″.  This is  not a reformation without merit.   “Creation’s Tomb” and “The Path of  Flesh” are authentic slabs of death metal done the old way.

This 7″ has three editions.  Black vinyl version with matte finish glue  pocket and insert, the green vinyl version which is exclusive to the  UK’s Me Saco Un Ojo Records and the white vinyl version exclusive to  Dark Descent Records.  Cover art was skillfully provided by Rafał  Kruszyk.

“The Path of Flesh.” is now streaming online at this location

UNCANNY 2012:
Jens Törnroos – Vocals
Fredrik Norrman – Guitars
Kennet Englund – Drums
Johan Jansson – Guitars
Mattias Norrman – Bass

UNCANNY released  two demos (1991’s Transportation to the Uncanny and 1992’s Nyktalgia), a split release in 1993 with ANCIENT RITES  and one full-length in 1994 titled Splenium For Nyktophobia. In 2011, Dark Descent Records released all one and a half hours of this classic-era Swedish death  metal together on one double-disc package. Like the limited run 3LP Uncanny box set  released by The Crypt in 2010, this 2CD is titled MCMXCI –  MCMXCIV and features original artwork from Splenium For Nyktophobia as well as artwork from the demo era.

MCMXCI – MCMXCIV is as near a perfect document of Sweden’s legendarily fertile death metal scene as you’re going to get in 2011; an unfuckwithable memorium to one of the country’s best bands who never ‘made it’ to levels of their peers, the mighty Uncanny… Consider this a must-purchase release if your tastes even BEGIN to bend towards the dead heavy, dead evil DEATH METAL. Rating: A (rrrrrrrrrgh) + – Metal Army America

…a must have for collectors. 9.5/10 – Queens Of Steel

…the golden age of Swedish Death Metal. – Heavyhardes.com

  

VORE Signs With Germany’s AFM Records

Posted in News on 29th April 2012 by markssonofjorvik

Death metal veterans VORE is proud to announce that they have just signed with Germany’s AFM Records. The deal will see a re-release of VORE’s most recent album, Gravehammer (which was released by the band in December of last year) on July 20th on CD and vinyl formats. The iron fist of the underground is now poised for world domination!

 
Barely a month after its release, Gravehammer reached the #4 spot on Amazon.com’s death metal downloads chart and received praise from critics around the world. The long-awaited follow up to 2005’s MaleficusGravehammer, sees VORE’s battle-ready brand of death metal taken to a new level of intensity and aggression. 

“Gravehammer unfolds as a storm of swarming, chopping, chainsaw riffs, driven by a volatile rhythmic butchery.– MetalInjection.com

“Gravehammer…is simply amazing and flawless death metal.” -Dead Void Dreams

 

“The production is clear and hefty, and the vocals are bare bones deep growls, but Vore need no window dressing as Gravehammer is all about the riff. Huge, thunderous almost doomy death metal riffs  that lumber and lope like WWII battle tanks and covering machine gun  fire.” – TeethOfTheDivine.com

VORE has been cranking out their unique blend of crushing, doom-laden death metal since 1994. VORE draws upon death, thrash and traditional metal influences to create an onslaught of titanic power and heaviness. VORE‘s  mid-paced rhythmic style is built around strong riffs and songcraft,  rather than all out speed, which sets them apart from current trends in death metal. Over this soundscape, themes of doom, darkness, conquest and sorcery

roar in a savage vocal attack.

VORE consists of guitarist/vocalist Page Townsley, drummer Remy Cameron and  bassist Jeremy Partin. The band has independently released four self  financed cd’s – Dead Kings Eyes in 1997, Lord of Storms in 2001, Maleficus in 2005 and their latest opus, Gravehammer, is being unleashed in late 2011.

VORE has worked hard to promote their metallic wares in the metal  underground and beyond. All of their releases have garnered accolades in  the metal press, and despite remaining independent and unsigned to a  label all these years (many argue criminally so!), they have sold  thousands of cd’s worldwide and charted at metal radio.

VORE is always at their best within the live realm, pummeling audiences with  their thunderous sonic assault and tight energetic performances. Over  the years VORE has performed with bands such as MORBID ANGEL,  CANNIBAL CORPSE, OBITUARY, DEICIDE, SIX FEET UNDER, NILE, IN FLAMES,  MONSTROSITY, MALEVOLENT CREATION, HALFORD, ORIGIN, GOATWHORE, CATTLE  DECAPITATION, MANOWAR, CARCASS and many others. VORE are also veterans of the infamous Milwaukee Metalfest.

Page Townsley – Guitar & vocals Remy Cameron – Drums Jeremy “Skullcrusher” Partin – Bass & vocals

www.vore.org

www.facebook.com/vorefare

www.myspace.com/vorefare

www.youtube.com/vorefare

www.reverbnation.com/vore

 

KRAANIUM To Release Post Mortal Coital Fixation On May 22nd Via Comatose Music

Posted in News on 29th April 2012 by markssonofjorvik

Norse extremists KRAANIUM are set to release their third full-length of gore-drenched and perverse brutal death, Post Mortal Coital Fixation on May 22nd via Comatose Music. The album was recorded by Hannes Nystèn at Sweden’s Vomitation Studios and mastered Colin Davis of Imperial Mastering. The band has posted a teaser video at this location

1. Post Mortal Fixation
2. Stillborn Necrotic Fuck Feast
3. Bursting Rectal Sores
4. Compulsive Mutilation Disorder
5. Slurping the Vaginal Pus
6. Crack Whore Pounding
7. Coprophagial Asphyxiation
8. Slammed Kranial Remains
9. Sculptures of Perverse Suffering
10. Baptized in Boiling Sewage
11. Orgy of Cannibalistic Fornication
12. Entrails Full of Vermin (Abominable Putridity cover)

In support of Post Mortal Coital Fixation, KRAANIUM will join Comatose Music labelmates Atrocious Abnormality and Coathanger Abortion for the ComaTour 2012 this June.

COMATOUR 2012:
06/08/12 Spartanburg, SC @ Ground Zero 06/09/12 Charleston, SC @ Oasis Bar and Grill 06/10/12 Chattanooga, TN @ Ziggy’s 06/11/12 Shreveport, LA @ The Tiki Bar 06/12/12 Dallas, TX @ The Boiler Room 06/13/12 Oklahoma City, OK @ The Black Hole 06/14/12 Albuquerque, NM @ The Launch Pad 06/15/12 Tempe, AZ @ Yucca Tap Room 06/16/12 Las Vegas, NV @ Cheyenne Saloon (Las Vegas Deathfest) 06/18/12 Pueblo, CO @ Phil’s Radiator 06/19/12 Manhattan, KS @ Johnny Kaws 06/20/12 Peoria, IL @ The Brass Rail 06/21/12 Lansing, MI @ Blackened Moon Concert Hall 06/22/12 Ft. Wayne, IN @ The Tiger Room 06/23/12 Milwaukee, WI @ The Blue Pig Bar

Kraanium  is a five piece brutal slamming death metal band hails from the cold  north of Norway, home of the Vikings. Their goal, much like their  ancestors, is total world domination delivered with merciless skull  crushing barbarity that will rape your ears, leave you bleeding on the  ground and left for dead. You have been warned!
Martin Funderud – Voacals Vidar Ermesjø – Guitar Mats Funderud – Guitar Ian Slemming – Bass Mitch Rider – Drums

www.facebook.com/kraaniumslam
www.comatosemusic.com

www.facebook.com/comatosemusiclabel

www.myspace.com/comatosemusiclabel

DEADBORN’s Mayhem Maniac Machine Out Today on Apostasy Records

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 29th April 2012 by markssonofjorvik

On this 20th day of April 2012 Germany’s Apostasy Records have dropped a bomb called Mayhem Maniac Machine from tech-death unit DEADBORN. With a slightly rougher and thicker  production compared to 2007’s acclaimed Stigma Eternal, the nine songs  feature intelligent arrangements that alternate between blast attacks  and driving rhythms, combined with brilliant melodies and groovy  elements. The album was engineered, mixed and mastered with producer  Christoph Brandes at Iguana Studios (Necrophagist, Dead Eyed Sleeper,  etc). The songwriting and production match the best tech-death of the  90s with the modern sounds of today. Put simply, Mayhem Maniac Metal is  DEADBORN’s masterpiece.

DEADBORN  has just been confirmed to take part in the German edition of 2012’s  EXTREMEFEST, which runs July 5th – 7th in Hunxe, Germany. DEADBORN will  appear alongside the likes of CANNIBAL CORPSE, EXODUS, ORIGIN, NASUM,  SUFFOCATION and many more. For details visit www.de.extremefest.eu
“Deadborn has crafted a worthy death metal release that you all should own. They  don’t re-invent the wheel; but instead portray a true understanding of  the genre and knew how to craft their music accordingly. Treat your ears  to some properly crafted technical death metal!” – Axis of Metal
“Head spinning and entertainingly violent.” – From the Dust Returned
“Consisting  of nine muscular deliberately combative tracks the album is a deeply  satisfying varied and abusive tower of steel. Unrelenting with brutality  and direct sonic manipulations Mayhem Maniac Machine hits every one of the senses with an unerring bullseye.” – RingMaster Review
“This band repeatedly blew me away with each song.  I will have this album until I DIE, it is that good.”- Metal Blast (5/5)
“A  varied and sometimes even catchy, yet highly technical and brutal  album, Mayhem Maniac Machine is probably the strongest death metal album  of the year so far.” –  EMP, Germany
Digital promos are available for review, airplay and interview consideration. Get in touch at ClawhammerPR@gmail.com for inquiries.
DEADBORN’s debut EP Decades Of Decapitation (Self-released, 2004 / Sylphony Creations, 2005) pounded relentlessly  on its way through the death metal underground, receiving critical  praise from the press, which led to a steadily growing fan base. Their  first full length Stigma Eternal (2007,  Massacre Records) was hailed by press and fans as well. European tours  with Disbelief and Graveworm in 2007 and with Hate Eternal, and Cephalic  Carnage in 2008, as well a tour with Dying Fetus and several festival  shows and headliner concerts, blasted the band to new heights in the  Death Metal scene.
DEADBORN is:
Vocals: Mario Petrovic
Guitars: Jo Morath
Guitars: Kevin Olasz
Drums: Slavek Foltyn
*Session Bass: Christian Neumann (Jack Slater)

Abhordium – When Depravity Incarnates

Posted in Review on 28th April 2012 by izaforestspirit

Band: Abhordium
Album: When Depravity Incarnates
Release date: June 2011 (Finland), January 2012 (Worldwide)
Genre: Death Metal
Label: Inverse Records

‘When Depravity Incarnates’ is the debut album from the Finnish death metal band Abhordium. It was originally self-released just in Finland back in 2011, now it’s finally available worldwide via Inverse Records.

After the initial slow ambient-style intro, ‘Cursed Phenomenon’ reveals the band’s true nature as a brutal death metal act. From here onwards all the tracks feature the stereotypical growls, Morbid Angel / Deicide / (insert orthodox death metal band name here) -esque drum patterns and guitar riffs. Having said that, it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

In fact the only problem with this album is that there’s not much distinction between the songs. It’s down to the miniscule details such as the semi-progressive death metal intro to ‘Depravity & Withering’ or the drums and random gurgling noise in the intro to ‘Dormant Mind’ which enable you to tell the tracks apart. There’s also the occasional attempt at other vocal styles like the black metal -esque shrieks which pierce their way through tracks such as ‘Chaos Mantra’ and ‘Like The Ruins Betokeneth’.

3/5 – Solid-sounding death metal but nothing groundbreaking.

Iza Raittila

Legendary US-Metallers OMEN with new album “Hammer Damage”, out in June 29

Posted in News on 28th April 2012 by markssonofjorvik

“Hammer Damage” is the title of the new album of  the US-Metal legend OMEN. It will be released via Pure Steel  Records worldwide on 29. june.

The album was supposed be released by the end of april,  but the studio of the band’s mastermind Kenny Powell was damaged by a  tornado
Kenny: “First off I hate to be an excuse maker, but I have had a little  problem with the studio, I have been putting off a new roof on my house until  the record was finished, after several days of heavy rain, the studio was  flooded and the roof collapsed in. It took me several days to patch things up and clean up all of the  equipment, thankfully nothing was damaged.”

EPHEL DUATH announces release dates for new EP

Posted in News on 28th April 2012 by markssonofjorvik

On Death and Cosmos is the title chosen by Avantgarde Metal band EPHEL DUATH for their upcoming EP being released through Agonia Records.

Release dates have been set as June 21 in Europe and August 14th in the United States.

On Death and Cosmos is a 20 minute mini concept EP that develops through three songs: Black Prism, Raqia and Stardust Rain, creating some of the most intense and mournful music EPHEL DUATH has ever offered.

The main lyrics line is about death and abandonment, loss and self- transforming will: a dive into the darkness, that can reveal a new birth in light.

EPHEL DUATH‘s facebook: www.facebook.com/EphelDuathOfficial

EPHEL DUATH‘s blog: www.ephelduath.tumblr.com/

 

ATHEL Signs With Mortal Music For The Release of Open Your Eyes to Society: Tour Dates Announced

Posted in News with tags , , , on 28th April 2012 by markssonofjorvik

Windy City alt-rock trio ATHEL has hooked up with Mortal Music for the release of their full-length debut album, entitled Open Your Eyes to Society. The album, which was mastered by CKY’s Chad Ginsburg, is scheduled for release on May 8th of this year and the band has a string of tour dates booked in support of its release.
For a taste of things to come, ATHEL has posted the track “Radio” online at this location and is putting the finishing touches on a music video for the song “These Are The Times,” which will debut later this Spring. Details on the video and more to come.

ATHEL On Tour:
May 12 @ The Game Emporium – La Porte, IN May 13 @ Al’s Bar 601 – Lexington, KY May 15 @ The Nick – Birmingham, AL May 16 @ The Handlebar – Pensacola, FL May 18 @ Neptunes Lounge – Tarpon Springs, FL May 20 @ The Local 662 – St Petersburg, FL May 23 @ The Money – Rock Hill, SC May 24 @ Live Bar – Simpson, NC May 25 @ Live Bar – Simpson, NC Jun 02 @ Miramar Theater – Milwaukee, WI Jun 07 @ Beale Street Tavern – Austin, TX

The work you put into a band can often outweigh the benefits and rewards of the work itself but when all else fails there are always the few strong bands that pull through and end staying the course. Such is true of Chicago’s power rock trio  Athel. The band continues to meet that standard and raise the bar. The group is comprised of singer and guitarist Justin
King, bass player Comron Fouladi, and drummer Christian Navarro. With the release of two eps, coast to coast self booked tours, sold out hometown crowds, and a work ethic like no other,  Athel continues to show their unmatched level of commitment and poise within this dog eat dog music business.  “In 2011 we stayed on the road for a total of 310 out of 365 days driving from town to town to town and playing for anyone who would listen to us” states bassist Comron. “We lived off McDonalds and sleeping in a car for a year to promote this band.”
Returning to the midwest after this grueling schedule and the release of two EP’s entitled Open Your Eyes and To Society respectively  , Athel soon began rehearsals and recording sessions for their upcoming LP. Their hard work and self promotion caught the eye of industry veteran and SOiL bassist Tim King.  Tim and his label partner Rob Such quickly signed the band to their co-owned label Mortal Music, distributed worldwide by MVD Distribution  “I’ve been in this business a long time” states Tim  “It is very rare to see a band with such passion and self motivated determination. I knew we had to give them a shot and bring them to the next level.”
The band finished recording their debut full length album titled Open Your Eyes to Societyin January 2012 and prepare for its May 8, 2012 worldwide release. Songs like the opening track “Radio” have become a new stamp of the bands sound. The song delves into the uncharted territory of the common person’s mind. It has a strong hook and melody line that begs the question of the afterlife’s mysteries. “I had a dream that I died and went to heaven and the melody I heard in the dream stuck with me until I woke up,” Justin says.  “It was so interesting and had a feeling to it that I hadn’t heard before so what you hear essentially is the song from my dream.”
The group is planning it’s biggest statement to date with the release of Open Your Eyes to Society. It promises to be the strongest piece of music the band has ever written. Having Chad Ginsburg of popular rock band CKY master the tracks was the final finishing touch the record needed. Athel will continue to tour constantly in support of the new album and build upon the strong foundation they have already built  with music consisting of a better message and an inspired tomorrow.

Roadrunner Europe Division Set To Close Its Doors!

Posted in News with tags , on 26th April 2012 by Nico Davidson

Logo of Roadrunner Records

For the past several hours, the internet has been rife with rumours of Roadrunner Records shutting down. Sadly, the rumours are true. We received the confirmation from Roadrunner only moments ago via e-mail and Roadrunner Records publicist , Kirsten Sprinks confirmed via her Twitter account (@hellinhighheels) that Roadrunner Records will be closing its European Offices and unfortunately, all employees of RR’s European offices will be out of a job. This is indeed a sad day for the metal scene.

We will be publishing any further news or information on this. We wish the best for all Europe-based employees of Roadrunner in their future endeavours.

RIP Roadrunner Records Europe.

Prong – Carved In Stone

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on 25th April 2012 by colmcasserly

Woke up this morning, checked my email, it contained a link to Prong Carved In Stone. I didnt even know they were writing a new album! I may or may not have squealed like a schoolgirl…

Carved In Stone’s production is what metal bands would have killed to have in the eighties, its pretty damn good. Really raw but still polished enough to hold up against other modern metal, defined and clear which is always a plus as sounds can blend and bleed to much into a mess and nothing stands out miles in the mix. So its been looked after well and sounds like it. Its a way more punk/hardcore album in design short punchy songs but the music can take on a groove life of their own in the mean time.

Its a real back to the roots album and its cool to hear the hardcore and groove mix cause it really drives and is quite punchy. The thrash elements shine through on the guitar every once in while and this diversity keeps the album sounding fresh. Riffs a plenty here and they are pretty catchy and the tone is drenched in dirt which gives it a pretty raw sound. like it was a guitar straight into an amp, instead of trough a whole host of computers. The rhythm section is as solid as a house, double bass work pushes sections into thrash tempos and feel and the low end provided by the guitars are underlined by the filthiest bass tone you’re likely to hear, you may have to check your speakers for dust.

The vocals have a way surprising you with how spot on the can be pitch wise on the higher register, its melodic at times in the chorus and has the power that could blow speakers, Tommy Victor has really laid it down and shown a lot of vocalists how its done. Carved in Stone is a mix of everything that made Prong awesome and is the best thing they’ve released in a long time. It’s gritty, raw yet sonically fresh, and damn groovy and catchy, check it out.

Epica w/ Support @ Hard Club

Posted in Gig, Live on 25th April 2012 by Pieni

Bands: Epica, Stream Of Passion, Xandria
Location: Hard Club, Porto (PT)
Date: 22nd April 2012

In order to promote “Requiem For The Indifferent”, Epica teamed up with Xandria and Stream Of Passion, so this tour is simply unmissable to any symphonic metal fan. That’s why, unlikely what usually happens around here, Hard Club was already full when the first band, Xandria, got on stage.
With a new album out (“Neverworld’s End”) and only half an hour to play, Xandria were forced to leave many classics behind so they would bring the novelties to the fans – who, considering the way they screamed along the lyrics, were many.
The band chose “Valentine” to make a promo video and that was also the opening track. Four more songs from “Neverworld’s End” followed suit, among them “Forevermore” and “Euphoria” (both with a huge number of views on YouTube) and ended with the only “oldie”, “Ravenheart”.
With Fabio D’Amore (Serenity) temporarily replacing bassist Nils Middelhauve, away from the tour due blood poisoning, Xandria looked really happy with the warm reception by the Portuguese audience. And they deserved it.

www.xandria.de

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Stream Of Passion were intitled to fifteen minutes more and could diverse their setlist. From “Passion” to “Collide”, going through Radiohead‘s cover “Street Spirit”, they visited all three studio albuns of their discography. Marcela Bovio charmed the crowd with her voice, her violin and her pleasant manners, addressing to the audience in Portuguese.
Eric Hazebroek had some problems with his guitar, giving up on solving them on the last song, but that didn’t make the concert lose any of its impact. Especially when bassist Johan van Stratum kept jumping and keyboard player Jeffrey Revet kept smiling.
“This Endless Night” ended a concert that Marcela, on her Facebook profile, described as “LE-GEN-DA-RY!”.

http://www.streamofpassion.com

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The headliners were introduced by what I believe was an extended version of “Karma” – at least to my ears, the intro of “Requiem For The Indifferent” seemed to last longer live than the one minute and a half it lasts in the studio. And, as in the album, it gave way to “Monopoly On Truth”.
For a bit more than ninety minutes, also Epica strode along their 10-year career, where I highlight songs like “Sensorium”, “Serenade Of Self-Destruction”, “Sancta Terra”, “Storm The Sorrow” and “Cry For The Moon” – the latter with Simone Simons pointing the mic to the audience who screamed at the top of their lungs “forever and ever”.
The title-track of “The Phantom Agony” had its moment of amusement, when the synths, more or less in the middle of the song, went on “dance mode” and the whole band jumped and danced to that new remix.
“Requiem For The Indifferent” was written thinking mostly of the world’s financial crisis, so Mark Jansen thanked us for giving Epica the chance of living out of their music. Simone remembered the old Hard Club, “on the other side of the river”. And Coen Janssen said Porto wasn’t just “a good drink but a good audience too”, so he promised Epica would be back.
With a recovered Rob van der Loo, the complete line-up in Epica said goodbye with “Consign To Oblvion” – a title totally opposite to what our memories will do with that concert.

http://www.epica.nl

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Renata “Pieni” Lino
Pictures originally taken for Backstage Music Forum

Cradle of Filth – Midnight in the Labyrinth

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on 24th April 2012 by tobiasgray

Band: Cradle of Filth
Album: Midnight in the Labyrinth
Release date: April 21st 2012
Genre: Orchestral/Soundtrack
Label: Peaceville/Nuclear Blast

One of Britain’s most successful and controversial bands of the last twenty years return with their first full length album since 2010’s Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa.

Never a group to rest on their laurels, Cradle of Filth have meandered through various facets of metal in their long career.  From the early gothic and epic ‘black’ metal, to later thrash and conceptual themes, Cradle have never been afraid to experiment.  This time they have delivered yet another surprise with orchestral reinterpretations of tracks from their first four albums, stripped of guitars, drums, keyboards and the trademark higher register shrieks of the incomparable macabre poet – Dani Filth.

Midnight in the Labyrinth‘ is a two CD collection, with disc one containing 10 tracks, narrated by Dani (in his low, gutteral, spoken voice), and with the welcome return of Cradle of Filth operatic vocal goddess, Sarah Jezebel Deva.  Disc 2 contains the same tracks, sans vocal narration.

Cradle of Filth don’t make it easy on their fans.  Oldtimers reminisce about the earlier raw, yet highly structured works up to and including ‘Cruelty and the Beast‘.  While passionate newer followers, introduced to the band from ‘Midian‘ through to ‘Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa‘ maintain their major label, commercial success.  This bold release unfortunately fails in its ambitions however…

Epic orchestral scores have freedom throughout their creative process.  Themes can be introduced, teased, then unleashed as the music ebbs and flows. Harmonies and counter melodies are woven through the supporting instruments, and important moments can be ‘suspended’ to increase their dramatic impact.  It feels as though Mark Newby-Robson (Mark de Sade) has been constrained with just how much freedom he was allowed to change these classic tracks.  The structures are identical to the originals and so supporting sections, where the vocals should be the focal part, drag into repetitious themes.

The arbitrary ‘narrations’ serve to guide lost listeners as to where in the track they are up to, but drop in sporadically at random intervals.  The recording is excellent and familiar riffs played on strings is interesting to hear, but I was disappointed that more harmonies and counter melodies could not have been introduced, or the song structures edited to provide a more stimulating overall production (ie: ‘Funeral in Carpathia‘ at close to nine minutes!).

That being said, when the experiment works – it works well.  Opener  “A Gothic Romance (Red Roses for the Devil’s Whore)” has the variety to really engage the listener.  Memorable riff after riff is thrown at you and the note perfect accompaniments of Sarah Jezebel Deva raise the music to euphoric heights.  Other classics such as “Summer Dying Fast” and (album highlight), a blistering, energetic rendition of “Cruelty Brought Thee Orchids”  truly demonstrate what this genre is capable of.  The sublime vocal talents of SJD lead me to wonder how these tracks would sound with operatic lead vocals, though a Cradle of Filth album with Mr Filth is arguably not a Cradle of Filth album at all!

‘Midnight in the Labyrinth’ is an album Cradle fans, especially those already familiar with the first four albums, owe it to themselves to listen to.  A vastly different proposal, and more effective as background or ambient music than something that demands your full attention…but if that’s what you wanted – listen to ‘Dusk…And Her Embrace’ instead!

Ambient – 4/5

Metal – 2.5/5

Tobias Gray

Viking Funeral Sign Versus The World

Posted in News on 24th April 2012 by Nico Davidson

On April 24, 2012, Santa Barbara based rock band Versus The World announced their signing to Viking Funeral Records with plans to release their second full-length album, Drink. Sing. Live. Love. on July 17.

Listen to the first new song, She Sang The Blues streaming now here.

Versus The World, now consisting of Mike Davenport (The Ataris), Chris Flippin (Lagwagon), Donald Spence and Bryan Charleson (Crooks and Liars), formed in the back of The Ataris owned record store, Down On Haley, in Santa Barbara and released their debut self-titled album in 2005 on Kung Fu Records.  They spent the next few years touring in support of the release with bands like Suicide Machines, Bouncing Souls, The Lawrence Arms, Social Distortion, No Use For A Name, The Vandals, I Am The Avalanche and the Vans Warped Tour building up a worldwide fan base along the way.

Versus The World reconvened in 2010 and began writing and recording their long awaited follow-up which they wrapped in early 2012.  Soon after, the band inked a deal with Viking Funeral Records, a label imprint started by Ken Seaton of Hardline Entertainment and Pennywise guitarist Fletcher Dragge along with Kevin Zinger of Suburban Noize Records.

Produced by Thom Flowers (The Ataris) at Playback Recording and Orange Whip studios in Santa Barbara, mixed by Ian MacGregor (All American Rejects, Katy Perry) and mastered by Jason Livermore at The Blasting Room in Fort Collins, Drink. Sing. Live. Love. features thirteen fist pumping  tracks that fuse elements of post-hardcore, pop-punk and rock on tracks like “She Sang The Blues”,  “A Fond Farewell” and “Lullabye”.

“I’m really excited for this new record. We’ve spent two years writing and recording it, and it really has been a labor of love,” says singer Donald Spence.  “These are some of my favorite songs that I’ve ever written, and I can’t wait for them to see the light of day.”

Versus The World will head to Europe for a tour in April/May and will announce their U.S. tour in the coming months.  Follow the band on Facebook and Twitter for more information about their new album out this summer!

Evemaster – III

Posted in Review on 23rd April 2012 by izaforestspirit

Band: Evemaster
Album: III
Release date: April 2012 (Worldwide)
Genre: Melodic Metal
Label: Inverse Records

‘III’ is the fourth album from the Finnish melodic metal band Evemaster. Originally released back in 2010 this is the follow-up to ‘MMIV Lacrimae Mundi’.

The opening track ‘Enter’ features a rather bleak and eerie ambient intro. The result is that it’s actually a relief to hear the guitar riffs and vocals ensuring you that this is still a metal album.

The vocal style bears a slight resemblance to their fellow countrymen, Norther, particularly on songs like ‘New Age Dawns’. That is until about half-way through the track when guest vocalist’s Dan Swanö’s clear, epic ballad style vocals enter the frame temporarily, offering a contrast to the harsher sound of the main singer. Another noteworthy track is the symphonic sounding ‘Losing Ground’ which features an excellently compiled blend of melodic keyboards, progressive guitar sounds and harsh vocals.

Then there’s the eerie sounding ‘The Great Unrest’, which definitely lives up to its name and the atmospheric ‘Sweet Poison’ which also contains some subtle synth tunes mixed in with the other instruments. The album also features a handful of faster tracks like ‘Harvester of Souls’ which is the closest Evemaster ever come to an attempt at extreme metal.

3.5/5 – Not an easy album to listen to if you’re not in the right frame of mind.

Iza Raittila

Human Cull – Split Second Extinction

Posted in Review with tags , , , on 22nd April 2012 by markssonofjorvik

Human Cull
Split Second Extinction
Released in 2011
Grindcore
Released via Goatprayer Records

Starting life as Gran Toucher but eventually evolving into HUMAN CULL, these west country Grind merchants have followed up 2011’s ‘Human Cull EP’ with their debut full length release of havoc wreaking ear drum disturbing Grind, entitled ‘Split Second Extinction’. The problem with any good Grind band is also often its main feature, that being that in the time it has taken me to write this introduction to the review I’ve already listened to eight songs, out of eleven. Oh dear, I think I may need to put this one on repeat!

All Grind based jokes and jesting aside though, Human Cull ply their trade with style. The band’s debut opus is ear-splitting from start to finish and will leave unsuspecting listeners with an unfathomable migraine within moments. Yet for those of us that are eager participants in this Grind bands fevered brutality there is a lot on offer, that being eleven tracks of truly ferocious savagery, hell-bent on destruction and all played out at a break neck tempo with the maximum amount of violence and aggression that you’d expect to find within an Italian football crowd.

From the short and sour ‘The Mechanics Of Genocide’ and ripping through tracks equally as direct as ’30 Days Of Ketamine’ and the oh so true ‘Man Is The Problem’ before finishing with the bitter finale of ‘Resentment’, ‘Split Second Extinction’ is eleven tracks of sinister grinding vindictiveness that never loosens its vice like grip on your hearing and never modifies its pace for anyone. Here then is a solid wall of power, aggression and the desire to hurt, dominate and destroy!

3.5/5

Luke Hayhurst