Death Angel: UK Shows Announced


San Francisco Bay Area thrash legends Death Angel, who seemingly never slow down, are very pleased to announce that they will be playing four UK headline shows this August. Support to be announced shortly.

Fiery front man Mark Osegueda checked in with the following comment:

“I am extremely proud to announce that Death Angel will finally be returning to the UK for a string of headlining shows in August of 2017.
These will be the first Death Angel shows in the UK since the release of our album The Evil Divide!! And we have been biting at the bit to get back there!
Expect nothing less than a special in your face set that will leave exhausted, and satisfied! Yet! Wanting for more! See you on stage, in the pit, and at the bar”

The Death Angel dates are as follows:

8th August – Wolverhampton, Slade Rooms
9th August – Glasgow, Audio

10th August – Bridgend, Hobos
11th August – London, Underworld

Ghost Bath: New Album, Starmourner

Depressive black metal merchants Ghost Bath, are pleased to announce the release of Starmourner on April 21st via Nuclear Blast Entertainment. The first single, Thrones, is available to view below.

From the band: Starmourner takes previous concepts to a higher level. It explores joy (instead of sorrow), the cosmos (instead of earth), and paradise (instead of purgatory.) But most importantly, it explores ecstasy -instead of tragedy- as its basic human emotion. With over 72 minutes of heavy, melodic, and dramatic black metal, it is Ghost Bath’s most ambitious undertaking yet.

The album takes its listener on a journey in a variety of ways; Each track is accompanied by a beautifully crafted painting as well as a “parable” to read alongside. This allows the listener to explore not only the audio soundscapes, but a visual and imaginative experience as they delve into the album.

“The stories, or parables, look into Jewish angelology and the hierarchy of angels as found in the bible and other religious texts,” says vocalist/mastermind Nameless. “Although the album has a definitive joyful and hopeful feel, it is still drenched in depression and sorry, as any true Ghost Bath record should be.”

Starmourner was recorded, mixed, mastered and produced by Josh Schroeder and features cover artwork Luciana Nedelea.

The Charm The Fury: New Video ‘Echoes’

Amsterdam based metal band The Charm The Fury have teamed up with Alternative Press, to premiere their new song Echoes. The track comes from their sophomore album, The Sick, Dumb and Happy via Nuclear Blast and Arising Empire records.

Alternative Press describes the track as ‘politically charged’, and is a follow up to January release, Down on the Ropes.

From AP:

“We wrote this song as a response to the aftermath of the attacks on Charlie Hebdo in Paris back in 2015,” says drummer Mathijs Tieken. “At the time, there was an emerging debate whether or not we should be able to offend others—religious beliefs in particular—and whether free speech can go too far.

“In our opinion, being able to express criticism freely is the only thing that stands between us and a total degradation of civilized society as we know it. At the end of the day, offense is something that is taken, not given.”

Potentially controversial, but whatever your political leanings, they shouldn’t get in the way of good metal. This song has a touch of Pantera’s Walk at the start, then launches into some surprising clean vocals in the chorus, which are in stark contrast to the growls and roars of the rest of the track. See what you think.

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Suicide Silence and Billboard Debut new Video


Suicide Silence have partnered with Billboard.com to exclusively debut their new conceptual music video for Dying In A Red Room. The track comes from the band’s highly acclaimed, new full-length self-titled offering, which as of today is available everywhere on Nuclear Blast Entertainment.

This track showcases quite a musical shift, with a transition from traditional deathcore to something more akin to Deftones, circa My Own Summer, but less heavy and more introspective.  Typically, reaction from fans is mixed, to the point at which the band live-streamed their own reactions to ‘mean’ comments from listeners who attempted (quite poorly) to pull the earlier single, Doris, to bits.

Speaking to Billboard, vocalist Eddie Hermida explains how they deal with the criticism:

“Honesty. We have always been honest with our music,” he says. “We put 100 percent love and passion into our music and feel the same about all the fans that give us both the fuel and return the love passion we give. I have found that with negative critics online, the best response is ‘thanks.’ I am grateful to even be mentioned in any kind of way by anyone. It means I pressed a button. It means I did my job as an artist. Complacency is death.” (source)

Listen for yourself and make your own mind up.

Absinthe From Society Stream New EP: The Angels Ignored Us

Absinthe From Society are back after a short hiatus, with their latest release, The Angels Ignored Us. Hailing from Edmonton, Alberta, the band hit the metal scene in 2006, although their debut EP, Project Infection, wouldn’t appear for nigh on another six years. After a (slightly) shorter wait this time, fans will be pleased to know they can stream the latest offering via bandcamp.

Comprised of Ian “Saint Absinthe” Harper, the founder of the band (vocals, guitar and keyboard) and Adam “The Caveman” Roberts (drums & percussion) with Lexi “Shitkicker 9000” Graham (bass & vocals), the trio combine an aggressive sound with ethereal texture.
The new EP promises ’emotional themes with a raw, heavy backdrop’. Like it? Love it? Let us know in the comments. Here’s a practice performance vid to whet your appetite.

 

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Immolation: Atonement, Track by Track Trailers

Today, New York death metal outfit Immolation, release their highly anticipated new studio Album Atonement, and unveil the track-by-track trailers on YouTube.

Atonement was recorded at Millbrook Sound Studios in Millbrook, NY with longtime producer Paul Orofino, and mixed and mastered once again by Zack Ohren (All Shall Perish, Decrepit Birth, Suffocation). Cover art was created by renowned artist Pär Olofsson (Immortal, The Faceless, Exodus, Abysmal Dawn), along with additional artwork by the very talented Zbigniew Bielak (Ghost, Enslaved, Paradise Lost, Watain).

Sepultura – Machine Messiah

 

Nuclear Blast

Review by Rick Ossian

 

Belo Horizonte’s Sepultura are back with their 14th studio album, Machine Messiah, and it is every bit as good as I was expecting to be, if not more.  I need to stop worrying about some of these Thrash vocalists, however.  It seems no matter how much I wonder whether or not they are trashing their vocal chords, they always seem to be able to lay open their lungs with the best of them, even when it sounds like they are singing blood.  Derrick Green (vocalist extraordinaire) is a case in point.  You can almost feel him peeling back the layers when he is in full on meltdown mode.  Lord knows you can definitely hear him.  If something’s not splitting in two then we are talking about a modern musical miracle of sorts!

Vocal histrionics aside, Sepultura do themselves proud with this, their latest efforts in the worldwide monster that is Thrash Metal.  To catch up anyone who isn’t up to speed on their current personnel, joining Derrick on their respective axes are Andreas Kisser on guitars, Eloy Casagrande on drums and general percussive madness and Paulo Jr. on bass.  Together they form a very tightly knit unit, evidenced by the incredible stop-on-a-dime arrangements included herein.  Those of you who are still missing brothers Max and Igor Cavalera will just have to bite the bullet.

The title track starts things off with aplomb.  There is a beautiful guitar intro to begin with, followed shortly by doom and gloom, creepy vocals.  About three minutes in we get full-blown growling and screaming by Derrick, accompanied by some heavy riffing.  Four minutes in finds us with wailing guitar leads and vocal FX.  Derrick informs us at the close that we are to “bow down to the Machine Messiah!” Mechanics of the metal mavens, to be sure.

I Am the Enemy is a short, sharp, shocking slam to the system.  Ramones-style in length (2:27), it nonetheless contains no less then two blistering step-on-the-wah solos.  This is some seriously floor-board metal thrash we are hearing here, folks!  No wanna be’s allowed.  Only the REAL deal.  And shit just got VERY real.

Phantom Self rolls out some nice percussive slam on the intro, which I’m told is indicative of a real Sepulturian ass-kicker!  There are some stop-start dynamics here that may remind the casual listener of some prog they might have heard down the road back a ways.  It also might stop your heart if you’re not careful, and maybe even tear your head off!  These sorts of complex arrangements, the kind when they stop on a dime and turn almost completely around – are not unheard of in the Thrash world.  They are more common in, say, perhaps a Metallica or an Anthrax tune, but then we are in good company, aren’t we? About three-and-a-half minutes in we get a good, long melodic shred, which gives way to what sounds like violin strings.  No matter – the two duel it out soon enough, and we all love a good duel now don’t we?  Doom and gloom drums and guitars save the day in the end.  We had fun getting there, right?  I know I did!

Alethea begins life as a quasi-instrumental, and only at 1:15 do we hear a vocal.  It is wrapped in very fast, tight guitar work, and accompanied by a near perfect melodic shred at the 3:35 mark.  This is not necessarily a dud, just a bit shy of where we were before.  No matter – keep listening if you want to hear the really good stuff!

Iceberg Dances IS a complete instrumental.  Not only that, it is a complete jam!  Twenty seconds in, and we’re already hearing some incendiary soloing from the boys.  There are loads and loads of guitars on board here, riffing as well as flights of fancy shredding.  There are also some keyboard noises here, even a short keys solo, if you will – but don’t let it slow you down or fool you.  This is uptempo for most of its entirety.  It is also very percussive, again a very Sepulturian thing for them to do!  There is also some lovely acoustic guitar work in the mix.  One big finish later and we rack up one of the best metal instrumentals I’ve heard in quite some time.

Sworn Oath is absolutely scary.  The main riff is excellent, and aside from the fact that there is a fucking chilling vibe to the whole tune, they still manage to lay down a pretty convincing jam!  There is some really melodic, ripping shredding going on here as well.  Notable points are at 2:44 and 4:30.  There are some super-creepy vocal FX about five minutes in, which gives way to some lovely musical madness shortly afterward.  There is a big finish, almost grandiose.  Still, a lovely jam!

Resistant Parasites may also scare the crap out of you (“infecting to survive, disastrous…suffering”– just a sample of the lyrical content).  There are all sorts of big noise on this track – BIG bass, big vocals, big violin/keyboard sounds on top loads and loads of guitars.  There is another nice instrumental breakdown, right next to a brief vocal interlude, and tons of riffing.  At three minutes in we get another blistering shred-filled solo.  Even what I like to refer to as super sonic shred there for a bit…Great stuff!

Silent Violence is another very intense jam.  It jams from beginning to end, and it sounds as if we’re on our way to Riff City via Heavy as Fuck Avenue!  We get a whammy-bar heavy solo at about a minute in (WOW), then some real weirdness (1:50) that I really can’t explain, butted up next to another instrumental breakdown of sorts…nice but weird, like I said – kind of different.  There are lots of vocal acrobatics here, so naturally I’m wondering if Derrick shredded his vocal chords (again) while the boys were shredding away on their axes.

Vandals Nest is another short, sharp slam, in keeping with the possible Ramones attitude mentioned earlier.  Hit them hard, hit them fast, leave only the strong standing.  You had better hold on to something if you’re going to listen to this number.  That’s right, folks, it’s a breakneck speed alert!  And with good reason, too.  Very fast and very tight.  A heavy melodic slam with a bit of shred (erm, well sort of) at 1:25.  Otherwise, super sonic thrash again!

Cyber God is a very fitting piece for the end.  It is almost a master work, if you want to know the truth.  Is there such a thing in thrash metal?  This one is slower, bigger, louder, then faster and meaner with plenty of stomping, marching vocal FX and guitar smashing melodies with speed.  There are two noteworthy ‘atmospheric’ shreddings in here to hear; one comes at only thirty seconds in, and the second is at about 2:30.  Both may bear repeated listening.  You, dear reader, shall be the judge there.  Oh, and just as a side note – there are some clean vocals on board here – but they sound kind of robotic!  Hence the title, I surmise.  Check these blokes out now before you can’t touch them!

Verdict: 9/10

Were Megadeth Trolled at the Grammys?

 

There was plenty of the weird and wonderful at the Grammys this year, but one of the oddest moments surely has to be this. Megadeth, on their twelfth visit to the Grammys, finally won the coveted Best Metal Performance award. As they made their way to the stage, they were accompanied by the riff from that most famous of Megadeth songs, Master of Puppets. Yep, no, that’s right, it’s a Metallica song.

Now for literally any other band in the universe, it might not have been so crazy, but of course, Dave Mustaine used to be in Metallica, doncha know. He was kicked out in 1983, causing some rather bad blood for many years. Do the organisers of the Grammys not know this? I just can’t get my head around the mindset of whoever chose that particular track, from that particular band. Were they trying to piss Mustaine off?

Megadave actually took the whole thing in very good humour, giving the camera a bit of air guitar as he marched towards the stage. In a follow up tweet (and man, this guy likes to tweet!), he said You can’t blame them for not being able to play Megadeth.‘ OK, but Metallica? I mean, if they needed a generic metal theme but the organisers weren’t comfortable playing the band they were awarding (which is madness, sheer madness) then for goodness’ sake, pick any other band than Metallica.

The good thing is, while fans are super pissed off, the band seem not to be, and Mustaine told Billboard …you’ve just won a Grammy and you’re going to worry about some house band doing a cover song in the background?‘ Good man.

What do you think? Deliberate troll or organisational cock up? Let us know in the comments. Watch the award being presented below.

Metallica gain new member after Grammy Awards?

Is it possible that, in the aftermath of their storming performance of Moth Into Flame at this year’s Grammys, that Lady Gaga will become the fifth member of Metallica?

According to several news sources, including Vulture and Rolling Stone, Lars Ulrich has been gushing about the collaboration between Metallica and pop singer (and dyed-in-the-wool Metalhead) Lady Gaga.  Although there were some technical problems, namely James Hetfield‘s mic apparently not being plugged in, that marred the performance.

If you haven’t seen it, here’s a “fixed” version:

Pretty good, eh?  Seems like we weren’t the only ones to think so.  As they walked offstage, Gaga apparently suggested to the band that “this is just too good to leave“.  An assertion that Lars agreed with, but he says he knew it was going to work from the outset:

“It was totally in her wheelhouse… The only question was at what level it was going to work. We did one run-through. The way her and James’ voices worked, it gelled so well together we all kind of stood there like, “Huh?” It was really fucking next-level.”

That impression was confirmed during their rehearsal time.  Going by what Lars was saying during various interviews, Lady Gaga might well have been invited to join Metallica on a more permanent basis:

“As you spend 72 hours with somebody, and there’s this connection and this intimacy, part of it is that maybe you don’t want it to end.  When these moments work, you always leave them open to re-connection.  Obviously, we’re not sitting in a recording studio today writing songs for a record or anything. I think that our weekend together was so seamless and so authentic and such a natural fit that the idea of revisiting this at some point down the road (is a good one)”.

Quoting from the interview with Rolling Stone:

“[She is the] quintessential perfect fifth member of this band.  Her voice, her attitude, her outlook on everything is so awesome.  [The performance] was so effortless and organic and she just has the spirit of hard rock and metal flowing through her veins.

It comes really easy for her. There’s nothing contrived; she just has this super warm, easy energy.  We already started fast-forwarding to the next chapter when we can do more of this. It’s not one of those “20 lawyers, strategists and managers trying to force two people from two different worlds to figure out how to spend four minutes together on a national telecast”.

Of any of these undertakings, this is about as organic and authentic as there’s ever been one. We’re just getting started.”

It’s certainly interesting.  Personally, I hope they end up in the studio together.  Any collaboration will be much more listenable than Lulu (which many of us have managed to block from our memories!), since Gaga writes decent pop songs and (as mentioned earlier) is a known Metalhead.  OK, the Metal Taliban will HATE even the IDEA that this may well happen.  Then again, they’ve hated Metallica since the early 90s, so neither myself nor the vast majority of the planet really don’t give a flying one about their opinions.

So… is it going to happen, or is the Danish stixman just winding everyone up?  Personally, I hope he isn’t.  She’s certainly got the pipes for it and the musical taste.  Fingers, as far as I’m concerned, are firmly crossed.