Archive for May, 2013

Behemoth announce the title of new album ‘The Satanist’

Posted in News, Studio Report on 31st May 2013 by izaforestspirit

The legendary Polish blackened death metallers, Behemoth have just announced that the new album will be entitled ‘The Satanist‘. The long awaited follow-up to ‘Evangelion’ will be out in autumn 2013 via Metal Blade Records.

“It took us over two decades to come up with a title that…says it all. While our new songs artistically take surprisingly adventurous directions, our message stands steadfast—Proud and Radical. THE SATANIST stands for undying yearning for liberation and love for freedom in all aspects of life. Considering all our life experiences that often took dramatic curves I couldn’t think of more appropriate and fitting statement of who and where we are now.”
– comments Behemoth front man Nergal.

 photo Behemoth-scaledjpg_zpsd2fe4ef8.jpg

http://www.behemoth.pl/
http://www.metalblade.com/behemoth

DevilDriver announce details for new album and confirm release date

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 31st May 2013 by Nico Davidson

DevilDriver have confirmed that the title of their new album is Winter Kills – Well, I suppose those sounds a lot more metal than something like “Summer Kills”. The album will be released worldwide on August 27th via Napalm Records.

The band recorded the album in Florida at Audio Hammer Studios and vocals in Los Angeles, CA at Dez‘s home studio with Mark Lewis (Black Dahlia Murder, Whitechapel, All That Remains) handling production duties. The artwork for Winter Kills features a photograph by Dean Karr. The layout was done by Ryan Clark/Invisible Creature.

DevilDriver has worked with Lewis previously on Beast and The Last Kind Words and producer Mark Lewis‘s prolific leadership of the new school of metal has yet again helped DevilDriver deliver another epic heavy metal record.  This record melds what the band does best. In your face power as well as the California Groove sound the band pioneered.

DevilDriver has always been a band on a three-pronged mission: Work hard, rock harder, and kick as many asses as possible in the process. The band tours forever and has since its beginnings. Their live performances and circle pits are as legendary as their music. Dez comments on the new album:

This is by far DevilDriver’s most cohesive, powerful, groove laden record to date!

We delivered our signature California Groove sound alongside a Raw and Biting guitar tone, mixed it with massive hooks, added in thunderous drums to rethink, and reshape another different sounding unique piece of Rock-N-Roll! Cutting our own path is something to be proud of. DevilDriver has always and will forever be about thinking outside the box and delivering on something different from record to record, we cannot be assimilated into any scene or even genre of Metal and we will continue to do things our own way with a massive middle finger in the air to the status quo!

The band will be hitting the road worldwide in support of Winter Kills.  Touring as always will be a focal point for the band. The US can expect to see them this fall and winter with Europe and the rest of the globe coming in 2014 and beyond. Additional information on Winter Kills will be made available shortly.

DevilDriver online:

https://www.facebook.com/DevilDriverOfficial1/

Aonia recruit keyboardist after extensive search

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 30th May 2013 by Nico Davidson

After a long search for a new keyboardist, the UK’s goth-opera metal band Aonia have recruited Tim “The Machine” Hall to take on keyboard duties. Tim will be making his début with Aonia tomorrow night at The Hall Cross in Doncaster. Aonia vocalist and founding member Melissa comments on the recent recruitment of Tim:

He’s a really nice and talented guy with spades of experience and is immeasurably professional – he’s going to add a whole new dimension to the music while still keeping it Aonia – and it’s going to be epic! With Slick‘s talent and creativity and Jo‘s angelic voice, the three new members we’ve added in 2013 are going to take us to a whole new level of awesome.

Aonia’s full show schedule for this year is as follows:

31st May – DONCASTER – Hall Cross Pub
29th June – HULL – Metieval Festival
12th July – SHEFFIELD – The Dove and Rainbow
13th July – BRIDLINGTON – Shades Nightclub
27th August – NOTTINGHAM – The Maze
29th August – REDCAR – The Apsire
7th September – BRIDLINGTON – Valk-Fest Fundraiser
2nd November – WHITBY – Whitby Goth Weekend
30th November – BRIDLINGTON – Valkyrian Festival 2013

Aonia online:

http://aonia.co.uk
http://facebook.com/aoniauk

Amon Amarth post first part of mini-documentary: Forging Mjölnir

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 29th May 2013 by Nico Davidson

As previously announced, today Amon Amarth unveil the first of their special three-part mini documentary titled Forging Mjölnir. Filmed and directed by Luke Daley, the up-close-and-personal clip – which includes stunning black and white nature footage and Norse artwork – celebrates the imminent release of the band’s ninth studio offering, Deceiver of the Gods.

The six-and-a-half minute segment; where vocalist Johan Hegg and bassist Ted Lundström elaborate on the mythological themes found within their latest epic; can be found on the band’s microsite at this location. Not many bands can claim their ninth album as the most powerful, dynamic, and plainly aggressive of their career, but then Amon Amarth have consistently upped their game with every successive release. Having exploded onto the Swedish melodic death metal scene with 1998’s Once Sent from the Golden Hall, every album has arrived bursting at the seams with power, melody and immersive storytelling centred around the richness of Norse mythology. Deceiver of the Gods captures the quintet at the peak of their powers. Vocalist Johan states:

Every time we start working on new music we begin with the idea that we’re going to write the best album ever. We knew we wanted a more aggressive, live feeling to this record but there’s no formula behind what we do. We just try to write something that takes us a step further than the last record, and is something that will excite us and our fans. Deceiver Of The Gods is the result.

Sample the album’s fourth track, Shape Shifter now streaming here, at this location.

Deceiver of the Gods was recorded at Backstage Studios in Derbyshire, UK, and produced, mixed and mastered by Andy Sneap (Opeth, Megadeth, Exodus, Arch Enemy, Killswitch Engage). The follow-up to the band’s critically adored 2011 Surtur Rising full-length offers up ten maniacally heavy battle hymns rife with the band’s absorbing harmonies and Hegg‘s commanding Viking roar. Deceiver of the Gods comes adorned with another outstanding Tom Thiel created cover portraying a mythical battle between the Norse figures Loki and Thor. As an added bonus, Messiah Marcolin (Candlemass) makes an appearance as guest vocalist on eighth track, Hel.

For special Deceiver of the Gods pre-order packages as well as a stream of the title track, go to this location. Deceiver of the Gods will be released in North America via Metal Blade in the UK on June 24th.

Amon Amarth Summer 2013 European Festival Tour:

06/01 Forta Rock Festival ˆ Nijmegen, NL
06/06 Sweden Rock Festival ˆ Solvesborg, SE
06/07 Rock Am Ring ˆ Nurburgring, DE
06/08 Sonisphere ˆ Sonisphere, FR
06/09 Rock Im Park ˆ Nurenberg, DE
06/11 MeetFactory ˆ Prauge, CZ
06/12 Eter Club ˆ Wroclaw, PL
06/14 Copenhell ˆ Copenhagen, DK
06/15 Noval Rock ˆ Nickelsdorf, AT
06/16 Download Festival ˆ Donington, UK
06/21 Nummirock ˆ Nummijarvi, FI

Amon Amarth

http://www.amonamarth.com
http://www.facebook.com/OfficialAmonAmarth
http://twitter.com/amonamarthband
http://deceiver.amonamarth.com

Cult of Luna, SSS and Voices added to Damnation 2013, The Sontaran Experiment no longer playing Damnation

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 29th May 2013 by Nico Davidson

Sweden’s masters of post-metal Cult of Luna have promised what they can only describe as a crushing wall of sound and light after being confirmed to headline a stage at Damnation Festival 2013.

They will be joined at the ninth instalment of the UK’s finest day of metal, hosted at Leeds University Union, on Saturday, November 2nd, by Liverpool’s crossover thrashers SSS and London’s black metal quartet Voices.

The trio bolster an eclectic bill which already includes the legendary Carcass, Crippled Black Phoenix and Moss as well as exclusive UK shows by Negura Bunget and Vallenfyre. Cult of Luna said:

Cult of Luna return to the UK after a sell out show at London’s Garage in January. The band will fly in for a standalone performance as they continue promoting the Fritz Lang Metropolis inspired Vertikal, their first album in over 5 years. Expect a heavy, crushing and richly textured wall of sound and light to bring Damnation to a close in spectacular fashion.

SSS front man Foxy is looking forward to taking the Jagermeister Stage for a full thrash assault. He said:

It’s a great honour to be asked back to Damnation Festival. We have a block of new noise to from our forthcoming LP to let loose on the unsuspecting. Take a deep breath… once we start we don’t stop!

And Sam Loynes of Voices added:

We shall be bringing our exhibition of obsession to this year’s Damnation Festival, alongside some truly exceptional bands. We plan to deliver only the most vividly extreme of music for this opportunity we have been offered. It’s an honour to play the UK’s leading extreme music festival.

After announcing their spilt, The Sontaran Experiment will no longer play the festival.

Tickets for Damnation Festival 2013 are on sale now, priced £34, available from: Leeds Tickets , the official Damnation Festival website at this location or the official Damnation Facebook page.

Candlemass premier Under The Oak from Roadburn Festival live album

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , , , on 28th May 2013 by Nico Davidson

Today, doom legends Candlemass premiere the new live track Under the Oak at the Roadburn Festival website. The track hails from Candlemass‘ vinyl-only Epicus Doomicus Metallicus – Live at Roadburn 2011 album, set for international release on June 14th through Svart Records. Candlemass‘ debut album Epicus Doomicus Metallicus is a genre-defining classic if there ever was one – the starting point of modern epic doom metal, even. In 2010 and 2011 Candlemass invited the original Epicus vocalist Johan Längqvist back into the fold for a few select shows celebrating the album’s 25th birthday. This vinyl-only release captures the band performing Epicus Doomicus Metallicus album live at the sold-out Roadburn Festival in Holland, April 2011. Mixed from a professional 32-track recording and mastered vinyl under the supervision of the band’s founder and mainman Leif Edling, this is the ultimate live version of the classic. CandlemassUnder the Oak (live) can be heard in its entirety here, at this location.

The Svart release has the album spread over three sides of vinyl and an etching on side D. The two LPs are wrapped in a gatefold jacket, and the set is available on black or white vinyl. Both versions are limited to 400. Leif Edling comments:

No volcano could stop us this time to perform the Epicus album at the Roadburn festival in Holland. It was a very special day, filled with great music, incredible fans, and a band that had a lot of fun doing this! After 25 years original, Epicus singer Johan Längqvist is onstage with us to perform something that people say is one of the doom metal classics. And I think we did a pretty good job there at Roadburn. We played well, and the show was a total success! So here it is, Candlemass live at the Roadburn festival… As it was, no overdubs… Recorded on 32 channels… A fine slice of legendary doom released on big, fat, double-packed vinyl!

Candlemass online:

http://www.candlemass.se
http://www.facebook.com/candlemass
http://www.twitter.com/candlemass
http://www.myspace.com/candlemass

Dreamshade – The Gift Of Life

Posted in Review on 28th May 2013 by Pieni

Dreamshade
“The Gift Of Life”
Modern Metal
Released on 25th January 2013
Via Spinefarm Records

 photo Dreamshade-The-Gate-Of-Life_zps48fe2044.jpg

Dreamshade started out as melodic death metal and kept it that way until the release of their debut full-length, “What Silence Hides”. Early this year, exactly two years later,“The Gift Of Life” introduces you to a more mature band, in the sense that it has gotten closer to a more modern shape and therefore broken out from the standard melodic death formula.

A major difference lies in the vocal style: new singer Kevin Cali takes full advantage of his sharp variations between harsh and clean tones, in contrast to the ever growling pitch of his predecessor Enrico Castelli. But since Iko left due to “musical differences”, I believe that Kevin was just what the band was looking for to fit their new direction and not the X-factor for that change.

The first track – and also first video – “Photographs” also shows that adding clean vocals isn’t the only measure taken to enhance the melody. All the instrumental structure is more polished, with a diverse and beautiful guitar work, the tempo more restrained and yet full of life. Which can also be said of “Elisabeth”.

“Your Voice”, on the other hand, merges “the old Dreamshade” with the new, meaning it mixes relentless riffs with melodic breaks. The title-track, “Sandcastles” and “Late Confessions” have embedded some synths/keys of before, but gave them a certain twist in order to make them sound natural in these overall more metalcore tracks. As for “Consumed Future”, the second video and my personal favorite, it’s a combination of heaviness, emotional power and spunk, a kind of best-of of all the elements Dreamshade use throughout this album.

And then there’s also “Our Flame”, the soft song that doesn’t sound like anything else in the album, but liking to admit it or not, every metalhead enjoys a ballad once in a while.

Nothing against classic melodic death metal, but this modern touch that Dreamshade imprinted in their sound serves them much better.

4,5 / 5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

 

ReVamp move album release forward plus announce new bassist

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , , , on 28th May 2013 by Nico Davidson

Dutch symphonic powerhouse ReVamp, fronted by Floor Jansen who recently acted as on-tour vocalist for Nightwish, have announced that they are moving the release dates for their currently untitled second album forward. The announcement came via the band’s official Facebook page. The new release dates are:

21st August – Sweden
23rd August – Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Finland, Norway
26th August – UK, France, Benelux, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Poland
27th August – Italy

Release dates for Japan and the US are to be announced.

In recent and related news, ReVamp also announced the addition of their new bassist; Henk Vonk, who is replacing Jaap Melman who left before the recording of the second album. Stream of Passion’s bassist Johan van Stratum filled in bass duties for the second album. Henk Vonk comments on joining ReVamp:

I’m stoked to have been asked to join the ReVamp ranks. I’ve known Jord and Ruben for years and have played with other ReVampers before in other projects. This is a great honour and I look forward to see each and everyone of you on tour!

ReVamp online:

http://revampmusic.com
http://facebook.com/ReVamp
https://twitter.com/ReVampOfficial
http://www.nuclearblast.com/revamp

Legendary UK drummer Shaun Taylor-Steels joins Severed Heaven

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 26th May 2013 by Nico Davidson

Shaun Taylor-Steels, better known by his pseudonym and stage name Winter, has recently replaced Hayley Morgan as drummer for Yorkshire black metal act Severed Heaven. The announcement was made on the band’s official Facebook page. Shaun is best known for his work with Yorkshire doom metal bands Anathema and My Dying Bride, whom he is currently the studio drummer for. Shaun commented on his newly appointed position as Severed Heaven’s drummer:

I’m really happy to be involved with Severed Heaven and I’m looking forward to recording and playing their particular brand of darkness!

Severed Heaven are currently working on the follow-up album to their 2011 album, Incessant Darkness. The band will also be appearing at Khaos Festival in August in Rotherham and Valkyrian Festival in December in Bridlington.

Severed Heaven online:

http://www.severedheaven.com/
https://facebook.com/severedheaven/
http://myspace.com/severedheaven/

Týr announce European tour with Skalmold and Finntroll

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , , , on 25th May 2013 by Nico Davidson

Viking metallers Týr have announced a European tour with Skáldmöld and Finntroll. The announcement was made on the band’s official Facebook page.

Tour dates are as follow:

06.09.13 Fri NO Haugesund Byscenen
07.09.13 Sat tba
08.09.13 Sun DK Aarhus Voxhall
09.09.13 Mon D Hamburg Markthalle
10.09.13 Tue D Nürnberg Hirsch
11.09.13 Wed PL Wroclaw Alibi
12.09.13 Thu PL Krakow Kwadrat
13.09.13 Fri HU Budapest Club 202
14.09.13 Sat RO Brasov Rockstadt
15.09.13 Sun RO Bukarest Silver Church
16.09.13 Mon travel
17.09.13 Tue HRV Zagreb Mochvara
18.09.13 Wed AT Wien Szene
19.09.13 Thu CZ Prag Nova Chmelnice
20.09.13 Fri tba
21.09.13 Sat D Bochum Matrix
22.09.13 Sun D Augsburg Kantine
23.09.13 Mon AT Wörgl Komma
24.09.13 Tue IT Milano R´n´R Arena
25.09.13 Wed CH Pratteln Z7
26.09.13 Thu D Aschaffenburg Colos-Saal
27.09.13 Fri D Speyer Halle 101
28.09.13 Sat D Jena F-Haus
29.09.13 Sun BE Brugge Factor
30.09.13 Mon UK Norwich Waterfront
01.10.13 Tue UK Glasgow Classic Grand
02.10.13 Wed UK Manchester NQ Live
03.10.13 Thu IE Dublin The Pint
04.10.13 Fri UK Bilston Robin 2
05.10.13 Sat UK London The Garage
06.10.13 Sun FR Lille Le Splendid
07.10.13 Mon tba
08.10.13 Tue FR Strasbourg La Laiterie
09.10.13 Wed FR Lyon La Salle Du Kao
10.10.13 Thu CH Geneve L´Usine
11.10.13 Fri FR Istres L´Usine
12.10.13 Sat NO Skien 1001 Watt Festival (Headlining)*
13.10.13 Sun ES Madrid Rockkitchen/Caracol
14.10.13 Mon FR Toulouse Le Bikini

*Finntroll and Skalmold will not be playing.

Týr are also working on their next album, which is currently untitled. The album will feature Leaves’ Eyes vocalist Liv Kristine on the track; The Lay of our Love. The album’s release date is yet to be announced but will be released via Metal Blade Records. The album will also feature legendary metal drummer George Kollibus on drums following the departure of Kari from Týr.

Tyr online:

http://www.tyr.fo/
https://www.facebook.com/tyrband
http://twitter.com/tyrband

 

The Dames of Darkness Festival 2013 – Bilston, UK

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 24th May 2013 by Nico Davidson

Delain, Visions of Atlantis and more
The Robin 2, Bilston, UK
Saturday 11th May 2013

For the first time in five years, The Dames of Darkness was set to return with one hell of a line-up. Featuring Delain as the headliners and Visions of Atlantis as main support, what more could be asked for? Well, how about six more bands from all around the UK and Europe, including Azylya, Ex Libris, Chemikill and more.

Beginning the day were melo-power metallers Incarna. Fronted by the innocent looking Emily, the four piece band stood out from other bands on the bill, dropping the use of keyboards (as is found with so many “female-fronted” bands on the scene) for a sound with more balls, more emotion and more crunchy riffs. Belting out enchanting melodies and a near operatic vocal sound, the 400 plus crowd were clearly mesmerized by Incarna; and who wouldn’t be after such a powerful and emotive performance? [5/5]

Chemikill brought a more thrashy, in-your-face sound with them – sort of what Megadeth would sound like if Mustaine was born a chick. The riffs were gritty and violent, contrasting with the ruthless drumming and the thundering bass and even during in the performance of the more calm track Wych, Chemikill were proving themselves to be a force to be reckoned with. The band’s frontwoman, Natalie, certainly knew how to work the crowd; whipping them into a near-bloody frenzy, with fist pumping and chanting. Natalie’s vocals were definitely one of the most impressive things about Chemikill’s set; incorporating growls and cleans vocals, as well as a more belting style as well. [4/5]

Following Chemikill were the Dutch powerhouse Ex Libris (Latin for “from the books”), fronted by the soprano Dianne, who took to the stage like a Gothic Aphrodite. The band sound was heavier and darker than could have been expected for anyone who wasn’t familiar with their music and it was made more mystifying by the overwhelming vocal range of Dianne, which was demonstrated to its full an extent during in their softer songs. The use of the ethereal keyboard passages and melodic guitar sections helped to emphasise the band’s dark sound that was beautifully portrayed throughout their performance. [4.5/5]

Playing the UK for the first time, Azylya brought with them a heavy Gothic sound mixed with in frontwoman Jamie-Lee’s performance art. Jamie-Lee’s vocals came out a like a siren’s call, luring the crowd into the rocks that was the band’s guitar-driven sound blended with the more death metal-based vocals of Yohann. Disappointingly though, the keyboards that make up the Gothic part of Azylya’s sound were played back, though it still helped to the eerie atmosphere of their performance. [4/5]

Apparition, the host band of The Dames of Darkness, belted out their own distinct brand of darkened rock and metal, with vocals that resembled the likes of Floor Jansen, Amy Lee and Anette Olzen. The cumbersome use of bass differed from the calmer yet aggressive use of guitars, though there were parts during in Apparition’s set that the guitars were barely audible due to technical issues. Barring the tech issues, Apparition still played a blistering set. [4.7/5]

With powerful and refined vocals and stage presence aplenty, Whyzdom went down a treat. The French “philharmonic metal” sextet blasted their way through an aphotic set with staunch symphonic elements and colossal riffs. The male vocals weren’t very inspiring and sounded flat compared to grandiose sound of Whyzdom. Lead vocalist Marie appeared to be in her element as she kept the crowd entranced with her soothing voice, one that added a certain Cimmerian touch to the performance. [4.5/5]

This was the second time that Visions of Atlantis had come to the UK, but the first time that they played a British festival and they were definitely one of the most anticipated bands of the night. Despite the fact that Maxi mistook Bilston for Birmingham, she worked to the crowd to her favour as did co-vocalist, Mario. The symphonic passages had a certain hypnotising and overwhelming effect to them, strengthening the band’s overall sound and making up for a lack of bass. Mario and Maxi proved to be a great duo, vocally; adding a new depth of emotion to VoA’s music though there were some issues with the microphones that Mario was using. The guitar sections were played with razor-sharp precision and energy, working well with the keyboards and drums. [5/5]

And then came Delain, who proved to have a strong live presence as well as a solid live sound, that made their studio work pale in comparison. Playing a set that featured songs from all four of their albums, everything seemed to meld together in perfect harmony. Charlotte sounded to be on top form as the keyboards, courtesy of Martijn, beautifully accompanied Charlotte’s vocals. The guitar and bass passages belted out harder than a leather belt being struck across the face. See Me In The Shadows was definitely one of the best parts of Delain’s performance at Dames of Darkness, though some of their newer material was extremely enjoyable as well. [4.5/5]

The Dames of Darkness Festival certainly had some of the UK’s and Europe’s best “female-fronted metal” bands with a great crowd from beginning to end. Hopefully we won’t have to wait another five years for the next one. And while it might be a bit adventurous to say at the moment, with festival season only around the corner, The Dames of Darkness might go down in the books as the best UK festival of 2013.

Nico Davidson

Carpathian Forest pull out of Maryland Deathfest due to last minute visa setback

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 24th May 2013 by Nico Davidson

Carpathian Forest’s frontman Nattefrost is one more in the long line of Scandinavian Black Metal musicians who have been unable to gain entry into the United States due to the labyrinthine and draconian immigration laws that have so often denied US fans the opportunity to see their favourite European bands.  Despite this setback, Carpathian Forest, whose remaining four members had been granted visas, were still aiming to appear at the Maryland Deathfest in Baltimore on the 26th May as scheduled, but as a four-piece, with guitarist BloodPervertor taking on vocals.  Unfortunately, for reasons unknown, the embassy was not able to return drummer Kobro’s passport in time for the band to leave, and Carpathian Forest has therefore been forced to pull out of the festival completely.  However, three members – guitarists Tchort and BloodPervertor and bassist Vrangsinn will attend and will be available to talk to fans.

It is only under very exceptional circumstances that Carpathian Forest play without Nattefrost, the only other occasion having been when BloodPervertor stepped in to cover vocals on a handful of dates during the No Mercy Tour in 2004 when Nattefrost broke his collar bone.  Commenting on the original decision to go ahead despite the absence of the band’s iconic frontman and then still being forced to cancel, guitarist Tchort  had this to say:

When we decided to make the trip without Nattefrost, we knew that many fans would be disappointed, but at the same time we didn’t want to let down the organisers who have been so supportive throughout the whole visa process, and have done everything they could possibly to do to try and make it happen.  We were also very aware that Carpathian Forest has many fans in the United States who have waited a long, long time to see the band live, and, given the circumstances, there is always the possibility that Nattefrost may never be granted a visa, so this might have been the only opportunity our US fans will have to see us on stage, albeit minus one member.  To then have to pull out completely because of whatever delays occurred even though Kobro’s visa was granted, was a big disappointment for everyone.

Carpathian Forest recently returned to the scene after a period of stasis, and will spend most of 2013 playing a series of one-off shows and festivals while they prepare to record the long-awaited follow up to 2004’s Fuck You All!!!!

Carpathian Forest online:

https://www.facebook.com/carpathianforest
http://www.myspace.com/blackshiningleather

Evile confirmed to support Suicidal Tendencies at London show

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 23rd May 2013 by Nico Davidson

Yorkshire’s young guns of thrash, Evile have confirmed a show in London with legendary crossover thrashers Suicidal Tendencies.

Evile will be supporting Suicidal Tendencies at the Electric Ballroom in the UK’s capital on Sunday, 7th July.  Evile‘s new album, Skull, is due to be released on Monday, 27th May in Europe via Earache Records, and on June 11th in the USA via Century Media/Earache Records. Evile’s bassist Joel Graham comments:

A show with Suicidal Tendencies?  Yes please!  Really looking forward to this one.  We have played a couple of festivals with ST, and watched on as they tear stages apart.  Such a great, influential and groundbreaking band.  We jumped at the chance to play with them at this only UK show.

Tickets for the show are available now from Alt Tickets at this location.

Evile‘s new album, Skull, was recorded with producer Russ Russell (Napalm Death, Dimmu Borgir) at Parlour Studios in Kettering, England.  The artwork for the album was painted by artist Eliran Kantor (Testament, Sodom, Hatebreed).

Skull is available to pre-order now in a huge selection of formats and bundles from the Earache Webstore in Europe at this location and in North America at this location.

Skull is also available on iTunes, including an instant-grat track which you receive as soon as you pre-order the album.  Pre-order Skull now on iTunes here.

See Evile live at the following shows:

Jun. 14 – Wervik, Belgium – SkullFest
Jun. 28 – Lesmahagow, UK – Les Fest
Jul. 07 – London, UK – Electric Ballroom (w/ SUICIDAL TENDENCIES)
Aug. 24 – Werrington, UK – Scar Fest
Sep. 26 – Cardiff, UK – Cardiff University
Sep. 27 – Dublin, Ireland – Button Factory
Sep. 28 – Manchester, UK – Academy 2
Sep. 29 – Glasgow, UK – Audio

Evile online:

http://www.evile.co.uk
http://www.facebook.com/evileuk
http://www.myspace.com/evileuk
http://twitter.com/evileuk
http://evile.tumblr.com

UK metal legends Carcass sign to Nuclear Blast for worldwide deal

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , , , on 23rd May 2013 by Nico Davidson

Disinterred British extreme metal legends Carcass have signed to Nuclear Blast Records for the world – excluding Japan. Surgical Steel, the band’s first studio release since their 1996 LP Swansong, was produced by Colin Richardson (Naplam Death, Bolt Thrower, Gorefest, Cannibal Corpse) and mixed/mastered by Andy Sneap (Megadeth, Accept, Exodus, Testament). Joining guitarist Bill Steer and bassist/vocalist Jeff Walker in the band’s current incarnation are new drummer Dan Wilding (Aborted, Trigger The Bloodshed) and guitarist Ben Ash (Pig Iron, Desolation, Liguefied Skeleton). Expect some guest vocals from original sticksman Ken Owen as well, when Surgical Steel is released world-wide this Autumn.

Carcass has released the following statement regarding their new found partners in medical deviancy:

We are pleased to announce that we have found the perfect home for Surgical Steel, the first Carcass album for, what, eighteen years?! We’ve inked a deal with Nuclear Blast for our new baby.

We have to thank Markus Staiger for his enthusiasm and belief in what he heard, but mostly his ability to take advantage of Jeff with a bad hangover when he visited the office in Stuttgart to let him be the first to hear the rough mixes. Nuclear Blast has managed to secure this release despite interest from all the main players in what remains of the metal ‘music industry’.

We’re also looking forward to working with our pals in the US Office, who have done favours for us behind the scenes over the last few years. On a personal note, Jeff  looks forward to his and label manager Gerardo Martinez‘ friendship to come crashing down in flames and tears in a few months.

As long as we don’t mention ‘The War’ we think we’re going to do just fine with our new Teutonic home!

Nuclear Blast owner and founder Markus Staiger commented:

One of my all-time favourite UK Metal Bands signed recently to Nuclear Blast – it feels like a dream come true. When Jeff Walker let me listen to the new record I knew immediately that Carcass made one of their best albums ever! It is a perfect mixture of Heartwork and Necroticism with a massive production to boot. The album is without a doubt just as perfect and lethal as surgical steel itself, and exactly what both old and new fans have waited for eagerly all of these years!
I am very proud to say, Carcass – welcome to the Nuclear family. It is an honour to work with this legendary metal band.

North American label manager Gerardo Martinez adds:

First of all, apologies to the many that were wondering where that signing statement was the other day. Well, we didn’t anticipate the prenuptial agreement to take this long but here we are, and about to release to the world what many people said would never happen: a new Carcass record!

All joking aside, this is a dream come true. All I can say is that even the biggest critic, Señor Walker himself included, will find this to be one of the best Carcass albums. It already sounds like a classic and I can’t wait for people to hear it. ‘Time to die, die in pain’!!!

Carcass has released several classic albums over the years, including Decibel Magazine “Hall of Fame” inductees Heartwork and Necroticism – Descanting the Insalubrious, and their influence has changed the face of extreme metal with every consecutive release. Whether it was inventing gore-grind (i.e. Reek of Putrefaction, Symphonies of Sickness) or creating the template for melodic death metal (i.e. Heartwork), Carcass has always made records by which bars were set and rules were broken. Upon the band’s dismantling in 1996, fans mourned the loss of the seminal act and longed that the group would return again one day. In 2007, the metal world got its wish as Carcass reformed to play several  sold-out reunion shows around the globe. Once again re-motivated to administer a shot of cynicism and infectious riffs into the arm of a sickly metal scene, founding members Bill Steer and Jeff Walker began writing what would become the latest output of their highly influential career, Surgical Steel. Only the choicest of cuts were made, and blood sweat and tears were shed to bring us a record worthy of the Carcass legacy. In short, Surgical Steel is just what the doctor ordered.

Carcass festival appearances for 2013:
Maryland Deathfest (USA)
Metaltown (Sweden)
Brutal Assault (Czech)
Party San (Germany)
Damnation (UK)

Carcass online:

http://facebook.com/OfficialCarcass

 

Insomnium annoucned as support on Children of Bodom European tour

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 23rd May 2013 by Nico Davidson

After recently coming off tour with Moonspell, Insomnium have just been confirmed as direct support for the upcoming Children Of Bodom tour in Europe. The band is psyched about joining the metal legends on tour:

We’re very proud to announce the final One For Sorrow tour launching this fall. We have been confirmed main support act for the mighty Children Of Bodom on their Halo Of Blood Over Europe tour. This part of the tour will be Finnish only as second support is our friends in Medeia. See you on the roaaaad!

Insomnium supporting Children Of Bodom:
CHILDREN OF BODOM
INSOMNIUM (main support act)
MEDEIA (opening act)
25.09.2013 (S) STOCKHOLM, Tyrol
26.09.2013 (S) GOTHENBURG, Brewhouse
27.09.2013 (N) OSLO, Rockefeller
28.09.2013 (DK) COPENHAGEN, Amager Bio
29.09.201 (D) HAMBURG, Markthalle
01.10.2013 (D) COLOGNE, Live Music Hall
02.10.2013 (D) BERLIN, Postbahnhof
03.10.2013 (D) OSNABRÜCK, Halle Gartlage
04.10.2013 (B) ANTWERP, Trix
05.10.2013 (D) LEIPZIG, Werk 2
07.10.2013 (GB) BOURNEMOUTH, O2 Academy
08.10.2013 (GB) BRISTOL, O2 Academy
10.10.2013 (IRL) DUBLIN, Vicar Street
12.10.2013 (GB) SHEFFIELD, O2 Academy
13.10.2013 (GB) NEWCASTLE, O2 Academy
14.10.2013 (GB) MANCHESTER, Academy
15.10.2013 (GB) LONDON, Shepherd’s Bush Empire
17.10.2013 (D) SAARBRÜCKEN, Garage
18.10.2013 (D) STRAUBING, Metal Invasion
19.10.2013 (D) ALSFELD, Stadthalle
20.10.2013 (NL) TILBURG, O13
21.10.2013 (D) STUTTGART, LKA Longhorn

Insomnium are touring their latest album ‘One For Sorrow’ that was released last year to critical acclaim via Century Media Records.

Insomnium online:

http://www.insomnium.net
http://www.facebook.com/insomniumofficial
http://twitter.com/insomniumband
http://www.myspace.com/insomniumband
http://vf-insomnium.blogspot.com

Sister Sin announce Dance of the Wicked pre-order packages

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 22nd May 2013 by Nico Davidson

International metal powerhouse Sister Sin are taking us back to where it all started with the re-release of their newly re-mastered first studio album Dance Of The Wicked, out June 25th. Experience the roots of their uninhibited musicianship and raw attitude coupled with front woman Liv Jagrell‘s piercing vocals and incredible, larger than life presence. Pre-orders for Dance Of The Wicked include a bonus DVD with 10 official Sister Sin music videos, 3 unreleased demo tracks, in addition to 2 cover songs – The Rolling Stones‘ 1966 single, Paint It Black and Motorhead‘s – Rock ‘N Roll featuring Doro Pesch. That’s not all; the digi-pack will also contain brand new artwork and a sleek, full color fold out poster. Packages are now available for pre-order at VictoryMerch.com.

Sister Sin online:

http://www.sistersin.com
https://www.facebook.com/SisterSin/
http://www.victoryrecords.com/sistersin

 

At The Gates announced as mainstage headliner for Northern Darkness

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 22nd May 2013 by Nico Davidson

Swedish death metal legends At The Gates have been announced as the headliners for this year’s Northern Darkness Festival, marking the band’s first Newcastle show in almost 20 years. Other bands on the bill include, but are not limited to: Dyscarnate, Bloodshot Dawn, Old Corpse Road, Decapitated, Napalm Death and many more.

The festival will take place at the Northumbria University in Newcastle on Sunday 8th December. Tickets are available from this location.

The Northern Darkness Festival online:

http://www.northerndarkness.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/NorthernDarknessFestival

 

Interview with Derek Boyer [Suffocation]

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , , on 21st May 2013 by Contra Mundi

Suffocation are pioneers of extreme metal and are still going strong after 25 years; bringing their fierce brand of metal to generation after generation. We sat down with their Bass player Derek Boyer to talk to him about their new album Pinnacle of Bedlam and how he has become one of the most influential musicians in extreme metal’s history.

Alex: What does the album title Pinnacle of Bedlam mean to you?

Derek: Pinnacle of Bedlam is one of Terrence’s (Hobbs – Guitar) concepts, and you know we all kind of bat the ideas around until one of us really comes up with something solid. And basically you know for Terrence what we had all kind of gathered was bedlam being chaos and a pinnacle being like the highest moment, you know when it’s at its finest little tip and it has nowhere else to go but down. So it’s like the turning point when chaos is going to explode and there’s no escaping it.

Alex: So, what are the main themes of the album ?

Derek: It’s a lot of like transfer of energy. Like when you die, we don’t think that you go to Heaven or Hell; we think that your energy goes into other living entities and stuff like that or creates some new life. So, it’s kind of taken from some of the Tibetan book of the dead stuff to where we believe that life is just about preparing for death. Being that we play Death metal we’re not just going to talk about broken bones and the Devil and all that stuff. So, we wanted to try to do something a little more original and try to be intelligent and try to learn and try to portray something that we learned to the rest of the world.

Alex: Is it difficult to get fresh inspiration for subject matter?

Derek: Yeah, I mean that’s why you kind of have to go to some books and you know, what with the use of the internet now it’s like you would think people would have more knowledge but they’re actually getting stupider because they just want to be on Facebook or something stupid.  So, you know, looking into books and looking back at your own life and trying to take inspiration from yourself and others around you and books and knowledge that we have access to and the internet. If you’re using it for the right reasons it’s great. So yeah, it’s hard, but somehow with all the creative minds we’re very fortunate. If it’s just one guy, he’d run out of steam unless he’s really driven, but with all of us, we like to bounce the ideas and one of us will go ‘whoa, that’s great’ and it inspires us to do something else. So, I think the group effort is one of the biggest inspirations.

Alex: The album is really impressive, with musicianship and everything, it’s very technical. Is it a challenge for you to write and record that sort of material?

Derek: I hate to say it, like at the position in our careers that we’re at, but you just do it.  You know, we’ve worked our abilities up to a certain level and not to say that you should ever get comfortable and plateau with your abilities, but we’re at a point with our abilities so we know that Dave (Culcross – Drums) is going to grind his face off and be comfortable doing it. And we’ve got the same thing of being pretty comfortable under pretty difficult circumstances, but not to say if the wind doesn’t blow, we could all just fall over like real easily too. So it is a challenge, but again having worked as long as we have with our instruments, it’s kind of comfortable in the difficult zone.

Alex: Where do you think the new album ranks in terms of Suffocation’s previous releases?

Derek: In my opinion it’s the best album since the band reformed. We had the five year hiatus from 1998 to 2003, you know the whole industry liked Suffocation and was trying to carry the torch. So when Suffocation reformed, that’s when I joined and every album in my opinion was kind of getting better and it’s definitely at the pinnacle right now of the four that we’ve written. I believe this is my favourite and the best.

Alex: Why do you think Suffocation have lasted so long and become such an influential band to people all over the world?

Derek: I think it’s just perseverance. At the end of the day, you can say, ‘well you know what? We can hang this up any time, we had a really good run, it was fun, blah blah blah, respect and pride.’ but having that perseverance and wanting to continue it and wanting to continue to write good records and to wanting to continue to bring the show to the people, it’s kind of a big deal to us. We get a lot of pride out of it, so it’s just a personal thing I think.

Alex: It does get quite difficult doesn’t it to want to carry on when things are going a bit wrong for you?

Derek: It certainly does, and a lot of the time you just get so undermined. You know, they put you in these clubs and you’re like ‘Wow, twenty years ago I was playing more professional venues than this, what the fuck? And now we’re getting undermined’. And sometimes it’s disheartening, and you go ‘well, fuck it, the people love it. The fucking asshole that put us in this club needs a fucking talking to.’ But, at the same time there’s a lot of kids doing the jobs now, a lot of kid promoters and you can’t really tell them that you want to come and strangle them, but it’s really disrespectful to us to like work your way up and then just some kid goes ‘oh yeah, I can book Suffocation.’ And the next thing you know you’re playing some little fucking closet, I’m sorry, I get upset. I mean the last two shows, I couldn’t believe it, I was like ‘let’s cancel’ and then we can’t though because of the people. We’re kind of caught in the middle like ‘this guy needs to be taught a lesson’, but the bands, they shouldn’t suffer, so we end up eating shit. So it’s a little disheartening, and yeah, it happens, but you know. Certain territories, I guess we have to say ‘wait, we have contracts, we want all the details before we accept these terms.’ Then they’re like ‘Oh yeah, we’ve got everything you need.’ And you get there and half the shit is broken, and you know, enough about that stuff! Sorry.

Alex: No, that’s fair enough. I completely agree with you. It’s unusual for a band to have such a vast spectrum of ages in their fan base. Do you think different generations take different things from your music?

Derek: I think so; the older fans like it for the thrash aspect of it, the newer fans like it for the slam aspect of it. So yeah, definitely. I think every generation is going to look at Suffocation from a different perspective, you know because the old fans were surrounded by thrash metal bands, so they like the thrashy elements of it. The newer kids, I don’t even know what their music is. It’s really complex and it’s really heavy and it’s got a lot of new stuff, so I’m not sure if their fans understand what we’re doing, but there’s definitely some similarities between the new bands and what we’re doing because they took certain elements from Suffocation, but they’re adding new stuff to it and the new fans don’t know that they took their heavy sound. It’s tricky. Definitely all the different generations are viewing it from a different perspective.

Alex:  Most young musicians now are drawn to the guitar or vocals when starting out. Bass is almost seen as an instrument that’s a bit boring, or in the background. What made you pick up a bass and learn to play?

Derek: For that very reason. There were no good bass players and I was like ‘I’m going to fucking do it!’ I want to play really good and you know try to have fun and be an element in the band that’s not just the thing that’s hiding. I always want to be heard and if I ever turn down, that would just be because I was too loud for the most part. I’m always trying to stay in the mix. I’m trying to make a connection between the drummer and the guitar players and create that foundation. Whereas with  a lot of young bands the bass player just ends up being the friend of the band that wasn’t playing drums or guitar: ‘Oh hey! Let’s put him on the bass.’ Unless he really takes inspiration from some of the guys who care about bass, then their career would be short unfortunately and it would be boring. I would be bored too, but you know, they kept telling me to turn down. I didn’t take the pride to learn how to get a good sound and to maintain my instrument and stuff like that. Like a lot of these bass players never change their strings once, you know, I change my strings every night.

Alex: I think bass makes all the difference though. You miss it if it isn’t there.

Derek: Yeah, if it’s not there or it’s just dumdumdum. I’m trying to be a staccato player and have the bottom be felt but also have the connection with the punchy bass drum, you know, the punchy bass guitar. There are two sides to it, you get the bottom of the bass drum and the attack of the bass drum and a lot of bass players are forgetting that they should be the same. If your bass drum just goes ‘poof’ but it doesn’t go ‘snap’, you know, there has to be the combination. So a lot of these bass players they don’t put a lot of the snap into their sound and they get swept into the mix. It’s just a rumble, so you’ve got to have both.

Alex: Is it really hard then to get a sound?

Derek: A lot of years of experimenting with different equipment. You know what electronic s are going to work, what scales and what woods have different tonal qualities and then, there’s so many different amplifier companies out there, and it’s really just a learning experience.

Alex: You never really think there’s so much involved in getting a sound, do you?

Derek: No, there’s a lot going on. You’re supposed to forget about it once you’ve figured it out, you go ‘Oh, ok. That’s just my sound.’ There’s a lot that goes into it and it wasn’t like the first time that you plugged in, you’re like ‘Wow, I have my sound!’ You had to experiment and you learn what works and what doesn’t work and you just get it as close as you can. Then it’s up to you.

Alex: How would you sell the bass guitar to people that are considering learning to play?

Derek: Look at the band. You know, if you’ve got a really good drummer, a good guitar player and a good frontman and all the bass players suck, you know, and you kind of just want to make that band complete. It is a special feeling because there aren’t a lot of good bass players around, so it gives you more opportunity to shine, whereas like every drummer is so good right now, so that’s a hard race. How are you going to outdo these guys? They’re amazing! With the bass player, I don’t know there are only a couple of handfuls of guys that are like ‘Whoa!’ you know? So, there’s a lot of room to get in there and prove yourself. If you’re doing it right, bass can be really fun and challenging and rewarding, but then again if you’re just hiding out as friend of the band, just the low rumble, have fun, but you know, if you really want to go somewhere with it, there’s a lot more room to be the best. I mean, there are a billion good guitar players, and a billion good drummers and there’s only a few good bass players so get out there and add to it! Bass players union!

Alex: Was it difficult to develop a technique for playing your music? I imagine there weren’t many people you could learn from when you were growing up.

Derek: Exactly. My father was a classically trained pianist and he had a metronome and when you’d be working on your chops, this little thing would just be in the background keeping time for you. When I first switched to the bass, I would sit with the metronome and just work out all of the values, you know quarter notes, eighth notes, eighth note triplets, sixteenth notes, sixteenth note triplets and really build the muscle memory and bend on the right knuckles and try to keep a good ergonomic position. If you sit wrong, your wrists and your elbows are going to hate you! But if you can sit in a position, it’s like martial arts you want to have explosive energy with little effort. So if you’re sitting there with your wrists up and everything is like ‘Yikes!’ and there’s a lot of tension, it’s going to be difficult. It’s all about sitting with good form and standing with good form and just building the muscle memory and getting it to where it’s like second nature and then you can start to see the improvement.

Dan: So, who did you look up to when you were learning?

Derek: There weren’t a lot of guys. There was Alex Webster from Cannibal Corpse who was doing it really well and Steve DiGiorgio (Death, Autopsy) is an animal. I mean some of the same guys that we’re talking about today were the ONLY few back then, now there’s a few more, but for the most part it was just a couple of guys. Also, taking inspiration from other instruments and saying ‘Wow! That guy is really effortless and really comfortable on his guitar, piano or drums.’ So using other individuals, not necessarily bass players, but looking and thinking ‘Wow, that guy’s really smooth, or that guy’s really explosive and looks like he’s not putting any effort into it.’ So, it wasn’t necessarily a bass player thing to inspire me as much as musicians. It helped because there weren’t a lot of bass players to be inspired by.

Alex: Do you think metal musicians are given the recognition they deserve for their skills?

Derek: Not really, but what can you say? We’re singing about pretty crazy stuff and so, it’s not very common. If you took the vocals away, I think a lot of industry people might accept it and push it a little bit further, but nowadays tattoos and long hair are more acceptable, so hey, maybe we’re singing about some pretty crazy stuff, but maybe that’s a bit more acceptable these days. Like right now, there are bass playing magazines doing features on me and we don’t talk about the lyrical content, we just talk about techniques and they’re like ‘wow, that’s fun. We didn’t know Death Metal guys actually gave a shit.’ It’s fun to get a little bit of recognition and then you wonder if it’s going to continue, you know, the companies are supporting us; the endorsements, the string companies, the electronic companies, instrument companies and amplifiers. They’re all really on board. Suffocation is a twenty five year operation, and the companies do believe in us individually. We maybe can’t go out and advertise Suffocation because it’s kind of evil, not that we’re an evil band, but it’s not happy love songs.

Alex: It’s more to do with showcasing talent then?

Derek: Exactly, the showcase the individual’s talent more so than the whole thing, which is fine.

Alex: How does it feel having John Gallagher from Dying Fetus doing vocals for Suffocation on tour?

Derek: John is a dear friend of ours. I used to play in Dying Fetus, which was twelve years ago. So, John and I have worked together in the past and he’s just been a really good friend. He knows the deal and he loves Brutal Death Metal. Take his guitar away from him, it’s a little awkward but you know, he’s a good friend and when we said ‘Hey John, do you want to go out and have some fun and would you consider helping us out?’ he was like ‘Fuck yeah!’ So, he came and stayed with me and we did a lot of figuring out, kind of like under-lining the syllable that’s on the downbeat and looking at the lyrics and trying to figure out what the fuck was going on! So, as I wrote a lot of the lyrical stuff that was on the new album it was easy for me to explain to a musician, because he understood down beats and lead-ins and stuff like that. If you’re just a vocalist, you may not understand all the technical talk, but being that John is a guitar player, it was super easy to convey the information to him and a pleasure working with him as far as getting him up to speed. It’s been a pleasure having him onstage. He did a week’s worth of shows in America on our last tour last month and then this one will be thirty shows or whatever. And yeah, he’s doing great and we’re happy to have him and he seems to be having fun too.

Alex: I know a lot of people were really happy that it was him as it made you like a super-group.

Derek: Yeah, well that’s fun too because we’d have people come up to us in the states and they’d go ‘Is Gallagher singing?’ and we’re like ‘No, it’s Frank.’ And they’re disappointed, you know, because it would be fun and something unique for them to see. It would be like your favourite baseball team or football team and this guy was really good from this other team and you saw him with your team. It’s a fun thing. If you like Suffocation, you probably like Dying Fetus, so to see the combination of it is great. We’re fucking with him and calling him Frank Gallagher and John Mullen, which is just funny. We’re having fun with it.

Alex: How has the UK tour gone for you so far?

Derek: So far, it’s on strike two. The venues have just been really poor. This (NQ Live, Manchester) is professional. It’s a little bit low, but at least it’s nice whereas the last two have just been like ‘You’ve got to be kidding me!’ The people are great. The people deserve to see the band and the people react great, but you’ve really got to dig deep to get past the disrespect. If you’re fourteen years old, you would probably be like ‘Wow! This venue is great!’ but you know, being that we’ve done thousands of shows, you think ‘Wow, this guy really just said fuck Suffocation, we’re going to put them in a fucking dungeon!’ And it’s so disrespectful, but what can you do? Do you want to cancel? Well, you’ve still got to pay your crew, still got to pay for your bus, so now, it’s pay out of your pocket all of a sudden, so you don’t want to cancel; primarily for the fans, but also on a financial level. If you pull a show, the whole budget changes, so you just get kicked in the shin and get on with it and hope that the next day is better.

Alex: If you could play anywhere is the world where would it be?

Derek: I don’t know what’s left! I mean, there are some territories I know we haven’t gone to. I feel like everywhere that we’ve wanted to go to we’ve gone to a few times. I guess it would be to do some interesting part of Asia. We’ve done a lot of that, but Asia is such a large continent there are a lot of people we haven’t been able to reach over there. Not that I really want to be there as much as maybe Australia or somewhere really nice to be, but making sure we touch base with all the fans.

Alex: Are there any bands that you’re particularly interested in at the moment?

Derek: There’s a couple of really talented bands out there that I’ve been getting into, like the Spawn of Possession stuff that’s really impressive; Surruption is really impressive also. I love my Decrepit Birth stuff; those guys are really talented as well. There are so many bands. I love the brutal bands like Severe Torture and Disgorge and Archaic. There are so many heavy and up and coming bands, it’s a tough game. It’s hard not to mention the older stuff like Gore Guts and Morbid Angel. A lot of the young kids don’t really think about early Deicide, or Obituary or Malevolent Creation and all the bands that were around back then. You know, some of them are still doing it, but you get a lot of the younger bands like Black Dahlia Murder that are really hitting the pavement hard. It’s a tough game and you know, you like what you like from the old school, but they’re not out actually hitting as hard as the new bands. So I think the fans are sort of losing sight of what we liked, because there’s an influx of so many new bands, so it’s tricky. It’s a hard one. Probably if I got to my CD collection, I could name a lot, but off the top of my head, it’s the Spawn of Possession stuff and Surruption and Decrepit Birth and Archaic. There are so many good ones, it’s so hard.

Alex: It’s interesting what you say that about the new bands not listening to older stuff.

Derek: I think, say like The Black Dahlia Murder scene for example, they definitely know Suffocation but the fans of Black Dahlia Murder that are making their own bands, they look at Black Dahlia Murder as the one that has the inspiration. Black Dahlia Murder took their inspiration from let’s say early Suffocation and this is all awesome, you’re really excited when you see the generations take what they like from a particular band and recycle it, but I think actually if you go a couple of times down the line, they don’t know where the thing came from. Not that we made up heavy music, but I mean without Black Sabbath and without some of those early thrash bands, you know Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and all that stuff, you wouldn’t have even had anything to draw inspiration from. It’s always going down a line.

Alex: Do you have any advice for bands just starting out?

Derek: Definitely the perseverance and making sure that you’re doing it because you love it. A lot of people that we’ve crossed paths with over the years have said ‘how’s the money?’ and we say, if you love what you’re doing, the money is great. If you’re doing it for the money, you’re definitely not making enough money because there’s so many hardships and you’re risking your life travelling all over the world and leaving loved ones behind. Again, if you love it, it’s worth every minute of it. If you’re doing it for the wrong reasons, don’t quit your day job. Keep a level head, do it for fun and have fun doing it because as soon as it’s not fun anymore, it’s not worth it. It’s really not worth it. There’s disrespect and the money won’t always be there; there’ll be a cancellation and it will ruin everything. We’ve seen bands cancel tours because a show or two got cancelled and they couldn’t literally make it to the next show, and it’s so hard and it happens. It’s a tough game, but again if you love it, it’s not that hard.

Alex: Finally, do you have anything to say to your fans?

Derek: We’re really happy that people continue to support Suffocation and we’re really proud of the new record Pinnacle of Bedlam. We want to thank the record label, the management team and all of the booking agencies and the promoters who get involved and believe in Suffocation. Without that belief, we’re just another band stuck in New York. So, yeah, we just want to thank everybody for being involved and people like you who want to promote us as well.

Suffocation’s new album Pinnacle of Bedlam is out now via Nuclear Blast Records. You can order the album at this location.

Suffocation online:

http://www.facebook.com/suffocation
http://www.twitter.com/suffocation
http://www.twitter.com/GMarchais
http://www.youtube.com/suffocation
http://www.myspace.com/suffocation
http://www.mocospace.com/suffocation
http://jsrdirect.com/bands/suffocation

Suffocation w/Support – Manchester, UK

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , on 21st May 2013 by Contra Mundi

Suffocation, Havok, Fallujah & Cephalic Carnage
NQ Live, Manchester
15th May 2013

The night kicked off with Fallujah stampeding on to the stage with their crushing riffs and melodic inter-sections. Their drummer was extremely impressive and with three vocalists with a range of growled and choked vocals, it was difficult not to be taken in and bang your head to their disciplined and experimental brand of death metal. [4/5]

Fallujah were followed by Havok, who sounded like Slayer and Venom mashed together. They brought chuggy riffs with a punk attitude and they really succeeded in loosening up the crowd and getting them fired up. The shrieked vocals and shredding guitar solos embodied 80’s thrash metal, but gave it a new lease of life. In light of Jeff Hanneman’s recent death, they were a welcome and fitting tribute to all that he brought to the metal world. [4/5]

Next up were the mighty Cephalic Carnage who brought a great deal of variety to their set ranging from sludgy stoner doom to the discipline and technicality of early death metal. A surprise was also in store with the guest vocals of Som (ex-Cerebral Bore) for one of their songs. The audience relished the cacophony of pig squeals and chug brandished as if it were a weapon in their faces, and the room was a mess of circle pits and head banging. [5/5]

By now, the crowd were ecstatic for Suffocation. The sound quality of the stage and mixing which had been exceptional all evening did not falter at the might of Suffocation’s pounding guitar sound and the guttural growling of Dying FetusJohn Gallagher. He did the material proud and Suffocation lived up to their reputation and showed off their extensive experience playing live. There was stage diving, a wall of death and a circle pit to Suffocation’s slam beats and down beats, and everyone was thrilled to be a part of it. [5/5]

I personally haven’t been to a gig as enjoyable as this for a long time, and the only disappointing thing I can say about it is that it had to come to an end before 11pm. I would have happily watched Suffocation for longer, but as John Gallagher put so beautifully: ‘It is what it is.’

Overall, NQ live in Manchester is a splendid venue and the sound they came up with for all the bands was outstanding. Even the beer was a reasonable price and definitely worked in favour for this gem of a venue.

Alex Cook

 

Children of Bodom – Halo of Blood

Posted in Review with tags on 21st May 2013 by izaforestspirit

Children of Bodom
Halo of Blood
Released 7th June 2013 (EU), 10th June (UK), 11th June (rest of the world)
Melodic Death/Power Metal
Released via Nuclear Blast

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Finnish melo-death/power metallers Children of Bodom don’t really need much of an introduction. For the benefit of those few who are unfamiliar with the band, here’s some brief background info:
Children of Bodom was originally formed back in 1993. After a handful of demos, the year 1997 saw the release of their debut album ‘Something Wild’. ‘Halo of Blood’ is their latest effort, a long-awaited follow up to their 2011 album ‘Relentless Reckless Forever’.

I’ve been listening to Children of Bodom since my early teens, so needless to say that I have high expectations for this album… Straight from the offset we’re entering familiar territory with the opening track Waste of Skin offering walls of guitar riffage, ultra fast keyboards and Alexi Laiho’s signature melo-death growls. Oh yes, this is a Children of Bodom album alright!!

Transference (also a video track) reminds me of the band’s ‘Follow The Reaper’ -era mostly due to the melodic tones of guitar and the keyboard patterns. As tends to be the case with Children of Bodom, there’s also a fair amount of guitar and keyboard solos providing the backbone to a lot of the songs on here. Not that it’s a bad thing, in fact that’s what makes this band so unique. As per usual, the album also features a Bodom-themed song, Bodom Blue Moon; a skilfully executed, keyboard infused piece of melodic death metal. Another noteworthy track is the slow paced and oddly tranquil-sounding Dead Man’s Hand On You, quite possibly the band’s very first metal ballad.

Overall I can say is that my rating for ‘Halo of Blood’ is based on how it compares to others in the band’s discography. My favorite of theirs is, was and always will be ‘Follow The Reaper’. Rest assured, this album is not a ‘Follow The Reaper part 2’ and luckily (for me at least) it’s not another ‘Blooddrunk’ either.

4/5 – so good to have you back Children of Bodom!

Iza Raittila