Album Review: Lancer – “Mastery”

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 at 6:40 PM (PST)

Lancer are sure to break out bigger in the metal scene with Mastery, their first album since signing to Nuclear Blast. Do these Swedes deserve it? The passion is certainly there as are the serious playing chops needed for power metal, perhaps the sub genre that prides itself on skill more than any other maybe besides prog and tech death. Power metal is basically 80’s metal without the sex and with way more fantasy elements, soaring choruses and often insanely ambitious guitar solos that defy human reason. It satisfies geeks and nerds on an almost subatomic level.

Granted, this means the good bands in the genre are really amazing and the bad ones are almost unfathomably bad. Lancer are quite good. I came to this with a bit of a chip on my shoulder because I am such a Stratovarius fan that I never expect something I haven’t heard to tickle my fancy as much in this genre. When Strato’s Infinite or Polaris and, say, the over the top brilliance of Sabaton’s The Last Stand demand so many replays on their own, why waste time on something else?

Well, if you don’t keep an open ear you will miss out. Lancer have a lot to offer for fans of this genre, though some songs are much better than others. The strongest, from the battle ready and very well composed/confident “Freedom Eaters” to the epic Maiden-indebted but by all means rad “Envy of The Gods” or the album opening heavy metal charge of “Dead Raising Towers” are more than worth the purchase. Classic heavy metal is celebrated with aplomb, the band racing through some very demanding sections. Ewo Solvelius and Fredrik Kelemen on guitars pretty much steal the show on many of these numbers, keeping this a very guitar focused journey. The rhythm section are locked in and capable, keeping up but never tipping their hand, though you also get some awesome surprises from the quite thankfully audible bassist Emil Öberg who makes his mark in a jaw dropping way on the aforementioned “Freedom Eaters”, for instance.

More Below.


Singer and guitarist John Baizley is also responsible for album artwork for several bands including Kylesa, Pig Destroyer, Darkest Hour, Daughters, Skeletonwitch, Torche, Cursed, Black Tusk, Kvelertak, Vitamin X, Flight of the Conchords, The Red Chord, Gillian Welch and his own band Baroness.


Lava Invocator are streaming their new Mörk release (purchase HERE), atmospheric but overall fairly traditional black metal. Def getting a Storm Of The Light’s Bane influence on a lot of the tracks as they alternate between disorienting attack riffs and cryptic, moody dissonance. Really liking the production and tone values, not to crappy but not over done either. A great mix of good sounds but still harsh. The vocals are also especially harsh and guttural at times and other times more of a higher snarl, a cool contrast. The almost 40 minute record is streaming at Metal Underground HERE.

Add Lava Invocator to My Radar   Add to My Radar

Album Review: Isis – “Live VII”

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at 3:12 PM (PST)

Isis continue their stellar run of live post-break up releases with Live VII, a fantastic document of a set focusing mainly on the Wavering Radiant-era. Panopticon favorite “Wills Dissolve” again makes an appearance (as it did on Live III) as do a few other older songs- including a massive set closing version of signature post-metal chug anthem “Celestial” that can’t help but make you feel nostalgically recall just how big this outfit could sound and what a hole they left behind. Still, the majority of the songs here are the lengthy and more progressive and melodic forays found on the band’s final opus. This nine-song set was recorded on Feb. 25, 2010, at The Corner hotel in Melbourne, Australia during the band’s Soundwave Festival appearabce.  Mr. Aaron Harris mixed the album.

Hearing these live documents in the series, which some Lambgoat comments section type trolls who have never done shit with their lives have called unessential, is really awesome for real fans. I personally love that, say, Ian Mackaye did his extensive Fugazi Live series through Dischord, as it allows for cool versions and the development of the band over time to literally be heard in an organic, non studio setting. Some live albums fall flat, but with bands as exciting as Fugazi or Isis, that is not the case. You are always going to be hearing something special each time. Personally, the one time I saw them I was pretty trashed so it is great to have at least a second audio chance, or third or fourth or SEVENTH in this case.

I am in the minority among most post-metal snobs who personally liked Wavering Radiant perhaps even more than some of their earlier classics. Post chumming with Tool in, I think it was 2006 or 2007, the band really started to stretch their material out even more and expand their vocabulary as players. I for one found it exciting, though some people just don’t have the patience for that. It was kind of a precursor to some of the Palms stuff, but there was still a fair measure of harsh vocals as well.

The Wavering Radiant stuff sounds positively alive on this release, the band’s excitement from this era palpable. The watery grandeur of the hypnotic opening to “Ghost Key” is breathtaking and the rhythmic guitar parts really cut through on this version as the song progresses. The brief post-huge crescendo quiet ending of “Threshold Of Transformation” is another stunning section, almost befitting a calm yet cosmic spaghetti western.

All in all this gets very high marks because it is not only so cool to hear more organic versions of “Hall of the Dead” and a fit to exploding “Holy Tears”, but the simple breadth of what the band accomplishes and the ground covered here is far beyond the reach of most groups.

 

XXX

Interview: Gridfailure – Hostile Ambient Takeover

Posted by Metal Riot on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at 2:02 PM (PST)

Gridfailure is one of our favorite current projects out there in the extreme musical weirdo multiverse, the experimental and totally mental brainchild of scene lifer Dave Brenner (ex-Theologian, ex-Heidnik) .  Since May of 2016 Brenner has already released two albums, a split with Never Presence Forever and several collaborative releases with even more on the horizon! There is really no rule book, which makes this one of the more exciting acts to follow currently.

The latest Gridfailure release Hostile Alchemy features guest contributions from a wide cast of allies including Leila Abdul-Rauf (Vastum, Ionophore, Cardinal Wyrm), Mark Deutrom (Bellringer, ex-Melvins), Jeff Wilson (Wolvhammer, Abigail Williams, Chrome Waves), Faith Ciavarella, Pete Tsakiris, Benjamin Levitt (Megalophobe), Christian Molenaar (Those Darn Gnomes), Alexei Korolev (The Company Corvette), and more. Some sections of the album sound like listening to distant jazz while drowning in a swamp, the hallucinations mounting as oxygen is cut off to the brain and you fade to black. Other songs are like the half remembered film score from a two week old nightmare you haven’t been able to shake off. This is probably the music that Morlocks in the X-Men universe screw to by candlelight in the sewers beneath the underbelly of New York City.

“As Gridfailure was spawned from creating horror music, the underlying themes of terror and impending harm are always going to be there,” Brenner says.

Read more below.

Add Gridfailure to My Radar   Add to My Radar

World Gone release “Feed The Machine” video

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at 9:09 AM (PST)

Florida nu/groove metal band World Gone have released a video for “Feed The Machine”, kind of a post-apocalypse bunker broadcast for metalheads. Fans of Mudvayne’s spazzery, early Slipknot or American Head Charge will likely enjoy this rage infused eyeball tincture, a remedy to clear your vision. I like how the band logo kind of reminds me of the Decepticons.

“Feed the Machine” is a story of human enslavement and the struggle to find a way to finally be free. Afraid of death, future loss, injury, and imprisonment, the majority of humans have become easily controlled and dominated by the powerful few. The greatest resource in history has not been gold or oil, it has been the extortion of other humans. You can’t get a hen to lay more eggs by threatening it but you can get a human to give you his eggs by threatening him. Human fear farming has been the most lucrative trade of all time and even now continues to feed the evil plans for domination of the universe by the bloated, power mad, and greedy Human Coercion Machine. – World Gone

Yes, we can all agree the only good human coercion machine is a dildo. Anyway, resist.

 

Add World Gone to My Radar   Add to My Radar

Kylesa to release “Live at Maida Vale” for Record Store Day

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Monday, March 27, 2017 at 9:00 PM (PST)

Savannah’s genre-defying (and much missed) heavy rock group KYLESA will see the release of Live at Maida Vale Studios as part of Record Store Day 2017. ‘Live at Maida Vale…’ captures  KYLESA’s February 2014 BBC Radio 1 Rock Show session in its entirety, and has never been commercially available before. The session was recorded with BBC DJ Daniel P. Carter for the BBC program “Rock Show with Daniel P Carter”.

The track list for ‘Live at Maida Vale…’ is:
1. Quicksand
2. Long Gone
3. Don’t Look Back
4. To Forget

‘Live at Maida Vale…’ is a one time pressing of 1500 12″ LPs, 1000 CDs, and 150 cassettes and will be available on April 22 2017 at independent record stores worldwide. A full list of confirmed Record Store Day special releases and more can be found here.

Maida Vale Studios is a complex of seven BBC sound studios in London.The historic set of studios have seen musical performances dating back from 1946 to the present. Past performances have include music from legendary rock icons such as DAVID BOWIE, LED ZEPPELIN, JIMI HENDRIX and many more.

Add Kylesa to My Radar   Add to My Radar

Album Review: Aborym – “Shifting.negative”

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Monday, March 27, 2017 at 10:48 AM (PST)

Aborym always do something interesting, even if they will never be the type of project that will please everyone. That’s certainly never been the point of the band. That said, some people will never get over that they don’t sound like Fire Walk With Us anymore, an admittedly exceptional moment for the group. Still, Fabban has never been content to let the band become a repetitive copy of itself. Anyone with ears should try and trust that while the direction may shift, it will always be somewhat negative (haha, see what I did there?).

Dirty was more of a nihilistic party record, as shock rock as they have been in some ways. Shifting.negative has an all new line up backing Fabban, a very 90’s industrial type record that has some of the projects most dense textural layering yet. There is a lot to unpack here but the listener will find so much new ground with every listen. It is both organic and very electronic, a garden for the ears.

This is Aborym’s best SOUNDING record by far. Engineered by Emiliano Natali  and Luciano Lamanna,  mixed and mastered by Grammy-award winning Marc Urselli with post-production work from Guido Elmi, this album has some serious juice. Fabban has always had an amazing ear himself and has also gotten an insane array of cool guests for this one, from Ministry’s Sin Quirin to Youko Heidy and many more.

Read more below.

XXX

Death metal fans are raving about the new self-titled Obituary release for excellent reason. From the hysterical video for “Ten Thousand Ways To Die” that picks up where their Inked In Blood “Violence” clip left off and is bound to get a chuckle out of almost anybody, to more rock solid songwriting that builds on one of the most impeccable musical legacies in death metal, Obituary are both writing for themselves and pleasing die hard fans at the same time. The results will have fans crashing down doors like the zombie hordes the Florida greats seem to fear most.

Next year will mark thirty years since the group changed their name from Xecutioner and made metal heavier forever. It seemed about time for a self-titled album under those circumstances, but I spoke with one of the founders, Trevor Peres, to get to the bottom of it all.

More below.

Add Obituary to My Radar   Add to My Radar

Album Review: Evocation – “The Shadow Archetype”

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Sunday, March 26, 2017 at 12:54 AM (PST)

Losing some important members didn’t stop Evocation from keeping their power intact on newest effort The Shadow Archetype. This is exactly the type of record I want from Metal Blade. I’m not saying everything they put out needs to be this subgenre of metal, but the quality level is as firm as steel. The unmistakable earmarks of Swedish metal are displayed proudly, but not to a fault. “Modus Operandi” could argue head to head with recent At The Gates but has a dirtier feel that gives the band their own punch.

Fans of heavier Paradise Lost, Entombed, The Haunted or Unleashed who somehow aren’t hip to Evocation already (which is doubtful), this record will burst your britches. You’ll feel like you just met an old friend but with all new songs full of interesting arrangements that don’t overstay their welcome. The writing is concise but energized, like focused attacks rather than a long drawn out flailing.

“Children Of Stone” is a highlight, Thomas Josefsson commanding vocally over a chugging sonic battlefield of mid tempo fury. It is four tracks in and preceded by strong material, but this is sort of the point in the album where (to use a mosh metaphor) the floor opens up and the show really starts. You’re warmed up and can’t contain yourself anymore.

There is a very cool blend of older, impactful death metal brutality colliding with moments of more technical stuff from Simon Exner. The old school bludgeoning wins out overall, which makes sense for this band. Still, it is cool they are spreading their wings a bit but not jumping the shark to follow trends. “Blind Obediance” features some beautiful classical style playing to break things up and is followed by the barrage of perhaps the most violent song on the album, “Survival of The Sickest.” That song almost reminds me of early Entombed if covered by Hatesphere, a really interesting racket. You almost want the band to take more risks some places but also don’t want to spoil a very good thing.

“The Coroner” also bears mentioning, hard charging melodeth like Wolfheart but with a bit more of a Left Hand Path influence than Slaughter Of The Soul to the low endThe pause at 1:14 is super brief but such a perfect dead stop that it sets up the monster solo and mosh section that follows ideally.

A worthy effort any metal band could be proud of.

Nola punks Classhole to commence West Coast Tour

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Saturday, March 25, 2017 at 1:27 PM (PST)

New Orleans’ grimy punk problem children CLASSHOLE will commence a West Coast tour. Slated to take place from March 27th to April 12th, the sixteen-date journey includes performances alongside Swedish hardcore act DS-13, and Cleveland, Ohio-based hardcore band, Fuck You Pay Me. CLASSHOLE will be joined by drummer Jorge Herrera (Despise You, ACxDC) this run filling in for Paul Webb.

CLASSHOLE features alumni from Eyehategod, Hawg Jaw, Outlaw Order, The Mystick Krewe Of Clearlight, Mountain Of Wizard, Mangina, Tirefire, haarp, and more. The devastatingly real band released their self-titled debut via The Compound Recs in conjunction with the band’s own Terror Cult imprint last year. Already issued in a limited vinyl run via Terror Cult, the CD edition comes as a four-panel digipak featuring an alternate layout and lyric liner, plus bonus video footage of the band performing live in NOLA.

Classhole is out NOW via The Compound Recs. For physical orders point your browser to THIS LOCATION. For digital orders, go HERE.

I have never seen them live but if they are half as amped up as they sound on the recordings, this tour will take one of your eyes and several teeth but most likely it’ll be worth it.

Dates BELOW.

Add Classhole to My Radar   Add to My Radar
 Betraying The Martyrs new record The Resilient  more than proves they are here to stay and should not be underestimated. We spoke a few months back with vocalist Aaron Matts about the Paris, France based Sumerian rockers latest, what goes into songwriting and more.

 

This interview was originally published weeks ago with a different intro but was lost in the malware issue we had that wiped about a year of site content. I had enough of it backed up that I was able to rebuild it for the fans of this young, bright metalcore act and for readers who maybe even missed it the first time.
Check it out BELOW.
Add Betraying The Martyrs to My Radar   Add to My Radar

Sólstafir stream new track, “Bláfjall”

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Saturday, March 25, 2017 at 10:16 AM (PST)

Outlandish and mysterious Icelandic rock band SÓLSTAFIR are streaming the second new track off their new album Berdreyminn. The  album closer titled “Bláfjall” is streaming now both at the indie music outlet Brooklyn Vegan and metal site Invisible Oranges

It seems the Guðmundur Óli Pálmason situation, though certainly stressful for all parties, did not stop the remaining members from creating new, strong art. This latest song is more driving than recent material with am interesting, proggy/classic rock bent. The vocals seem more pained. I can’t stop listening to it, frankly. Very cool.

Regarding the new track, SÓLSTAFIR vocalist/guitarist Aðalbjörn Tryggvason comments on the personal meaning behind the track and its intent: The meaning of ‘Bláfjall’ is blue – as in a black, black mountain, and it revolves around man’s battle against his own mind and those inner demons that often lead to self-destruction and harming one’s loved ones. I have myself struggled with alcoholism and it remains a never-ending battle and continuously walking further up a mountain in foggy darkness. But this is also about hope, because there is a way out, but you have to grab that rope when it comes swinging towards you and hold on to it as tight as you can. Everybody can end up lost on the black mountain, or ‘Bláfjall’ in this case.

Add Solstafir to My Radar   Add to My Radar

Album Review: Sanctuary – “Inception”

Posted by Andrew Johann Datoush on Saturday, March 25, 2017 at 9:47 AM (PST)

I normally have a big story to go into before I get into reviewing the record I’m writing about, but this time, I really don’t have much of an opener. I mean, the band I love that made me wait 23 years in between albums just announced that they were going to be putting out a “prequel” to their 1988 debut. To say that I am stoked to play this album is a bit of an understatement. Hell, the fact that I was shaking trying to put the CD into the player because I was that excited is an understatement to just how truly excited I was. As I said, usually I’m the one opening with the story, but this time the story is all them. Back in 1986, Seattle area thrashers SANCTUARY recorded Inception, and 30 years later, the band is finally releasing it.

Now most of you have probably already heard a good chunk of the songs on the Refuge Denied (1988) album, but these are the original versions, as well as a couple of songs that have never seen the light of day on an official release until now. These recordings have been wonderfully polished up, but still manage to be raw as fuck and filled with an intensity not seen on the Refuge Denied album. Any SANCTUARY fans that have been patiently waiting for this release should be pleasantly surprised, as in my personal opinion, most of these songs outdo the “Refuge Denied” versions we got in 88. Let’s all hope that Lenny Rutledge (guitars) does some more cleaning and find some more tracks for another release in the future, because Inception is the best 80s metal album to ever come out in 2017! Key Tracks 1. Dream Of The Incubus 2. Die For My Sins 3. Battle Angels 4.5 / 5 Stars

Add Sanctuary to My Radar   Add to My Radar

Mike IX Williams to return to Eyehategod’s live show at Berserker Fest

Posted by Metal Riot on Saturday, March 25, 2017 at 9:16 AM (PST)
EYEHATEGOD frontman Mike IX Williams will make his triumphant return to the stage next month following a successful liver transplant this past December. Williams, who hasn’t performed live in a year, will make his stage debut on April 14th at this year’s Berserker Fest in Pontiac, Michigan alongside Off!, Negative Approach, Gwar, Weedeater, The Obsessed, and so many more. From there, the band will hit Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Brooklyn, New York with future live encounters to be announced in the months to come. 

More Below.

Add Eyehategod to My Radar   Add to My Radar

Interview: Paralandra – Hard Rock hopefuls seize the spotlight

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Saturday, March 25, 2017 at 8:33 AM (PST)

When I first heard Paralandra I knew they had a great chance of becoming one of my new favorite hard rock bands. The commercial crossover appeal of Lacuna Coil or Halestorm married to a deeper strain of bluesy hard rock and alternative groove gives this Springfield, Missouri act an edge that has many eyes on them already.

You can catch them on The Alive Tour this April or on a great opportunity slot playing Rocklahoma  alongside many acts including Three Days Grace, The Cult, Taking Back Sunday and more this May.

Drummer Nick Gray fills us in on band dynamics, their sound and work ethic, recording and almost getting to open for Scott Weiland.

Read more about this inspiring bunch of true believers BELOW.

Add Paralandra to My Radar   Add to My Radar
XXX