Chester Bennington dies at age 41

Posted by longhairedpoet on Thursday, July 20, 2017 at 3:04 PM (PST)

Chester Bennington has died at the age of 41. The cause of death is currently being reported as a suicide. This news comes just over two months after news broke that Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell had committed suicide.

Chester was the lead singer of Linkin Park and Dead by Sunrise (and released an EP with Stone Temple Pilots).

I’ve been a Linkin Park fan for a decade. I, like many people my age, started listening to them in middle and high school. By the time I was a freshman in high school my three favorite albums by Linkin Park had already been released. The summer after my sophomore year of high school I listened to “We Made It” incessantly.

Unlike with some other bands and musicians I like and listen to, I don’t know anything about the personal life of Chester or any of the members of Linkin Park, save for what I’ve learned listening to their music. What I do know is that despite the people who mocked me for liking Linkin Park’s music, it helped me at some of the toughest and angstiest moments of my life. First introduced to the band via a mix CD my cousin had, I eventually went out and bought Meteora, Hybrid Theory and Minutes to Midnight.

When I was 14, 15, 16 years old and the world felt like shit, and my life felt like shit, and I lived in the middle of nowhere and it didn’t often feel like I had much more than the hand-me-down 5-CD changer on my dresser, I could put on an album like Hybrid Theory and either turn it up to speaker-busting volumes and just thrash as hard as I could, or turn it down and lay in bed and let Chester’s voice wash over me.

The music that Chester made with Linkin Park was music that made a difference for my mental health. That still does make a difference for my mental health. Listening to songs like “One Step Closer,” “Crawling,” and “A Place For My Head” showed me that it’s okay to struggle, that it’s okay to be frustrated, it’s okay to be unsure of yourself, it’s okay to stumble. I would listen to “A Place For My Head” and wait for Chester to start, real low and quiet, to sing, “You try to take the best of me // Go away” and I would think about the people who had outed me in middle school, I thought about the people who called me a faggot,  I thought about the kids who would ask me on the bus if I was a boy or a girl, and through Chester, I would yell at them to go away, without ever opening my mouth.

There’s always been a lot of fun to be had at the expense of Linkin Park fans, as if the band appealed to some kind of lowest common denominator. The truth is that there is an ignorance around mental health. There is an ignorance around the depression and anxiety that Linkin Park fans attempted to treat with their copies of their  favorite Linkin Park albums. There is an ignorance of the depression that Chester tried to treat with every word he sang or screamed.

Hybrid Theory sold 30 million copies. 30 million people related to the struggles that Chester and co. were expressing on that album and in 17 years our conversations about mental health have been regrettably sparse. Unless someone kills themselves or someone else, we seem content to not talk about mental health. As long as the people around us seem fine when they’re around us, we seem content to not talk  about mental health. As long as it doesn’t affect us, we seem content to not not talk about mental health.

As someone who has lived with a diagnosis of depression for ten years and who also has anxiety and gender dysphoria, I have always tried to speak openly and honestly about my mental health, and I’ve always waited for the communities around me to talk about it.

For us here at Metal Riot, our thoughts are with Chester’s family and friends today. Chester’s impact will not be forgotten, and hopefully we can honor his memory by striving to always be as open and candid as he was in his music.

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Prior to joining Faith No More in 1988, Mike Patton was (still) the singer of the experimental band Mr. Bungle, who had only released a handful of demo tapes. Their self-titled debut album would not be released until 1991, when Patton was still in Faith No More, who had just blasted into the mainstream with their signature song "Epic".


Album Review: For The Win – “Heavy Thoughts”

Posted by Metal Riot on Thursday, July 20, 2017 at 11:41 AM (PST)

“Give me a reason why I should stay.” “This is a song for the beaten and broken”. “You took everything from me.” “I’ll keep pushing on.” None of these are exactly original sentiments for an easycore record. That said, For The Win are good enough at what they do and if you are into this lighter cousin of metalcore you prob are more concerned with the general vibe, singing along and moshing to relatable riffs and themes than having the lyrics be on the Mars Volta end of the spectrum. Still, as the San Diego based band – newly signed to Victory – moves forward through their new record Heavy Thoughts, the moments of passion and clear conviction are pulled down by a lot of cliche. That said, I am sure this will do fine with scene kids. It isn’t on par with Homesick by ADTR but at least while you are listening to it the album is decent. It just doesn’t stick with you afterwards.

Don’t think I am being a hater. There are some very enjoyable melodic threads wound around the heart of these riffs, like a lighter Parkway Drive with more unabashedly giant pop hooks over the verses and breakdowns. “G Series” and the almost Foo Fighters-esque intro to “Nowhere To Run” might not break the mold but you’ll be humming along one way or another. Kyle Christensen is a very capable vocalist who just happens to sound like tons of stuff that has come before and the band throw in too many one note chug breakdowns that are the epitome of lowest common denominator. Like, they make some Bury Your Dead breakdowns look like rocket science.

I was recently watching Phil Anselmo & The Illegals cover “A New Level” with Rex Brown sitting in on bass from Download 2014. The riffs are signature no matter who plays them, and not just because they are from such a gigantic hit metal record. The parts are just memorable! Even when Dickelback covered “Sad But True” you can’t help but sing the main riff afterwards.  Or, say, the intro riff to Dagnasty’s classic “Circles”. It’s just undeniable, one of the best punk songs ever no matter which vocalist. In my opinion too many younger punk scene bands might be having fun but the commercial ambition tends to squash a lot of bands into a similar vein. It’s not bad music but it doesn’t grab with the intensity of risks paying off.

Like Homesick, the album ends with a high school heart strings radio emo ballad. The most telling number though, and also maybe the best song, is the fast kind of Jimmy Eats World sounding “All Or Nothing”, which is basically also what you will take away from this band. You’ll either love it or never care if you hear any of it again. With the country plagued by social horrors and scandal daily, we kind of need the punk of the world to be more like Downtown Boys, Oak and Le Butcherettes right now a lot more than more of this style that has been glutting the arteries of the scene since the early 00’s. Like, we get it.

Portrait  from Sweden release a new record on August 25th, a (cough) fiery set of songs entitled Burn The World. It seems a fitting title for the direction humankind is headed lately from war to global warming to constant political unrest.

Soaring 80’s-esque vocals recalling Queensryche, Priest and Mercyful Fate style wailing pair with a charged up mid tempo arrangement fans of a classic sound and good songwriting will be enthused about. This song really rips.

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Band Spotlight: Forgotten Tomb

Posted by Metal Riot on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at 3:48 PM (PST)

Italian black/doom metallers FORGOTTEN TOMB have finished recording their new album, “We Owe You Nothing”. It will include 6 songs for approx. 40 minutes of music. The album recording-sessions started in December 2016 with drums being tracked at Big Pine Creek studio in Italy, but were abruptly interrupted when singer/guitarist Ferdinando “HM” M. was involved in a life-threatening car accident that left him unable to play for months. Recording-sessions were resumed and completed in May 2017 at SPVN Studio in Italy, while mix and mastering were done in June 2017 at Planet-Z studio (Hadley, Massachussets, USA) by Chris “Zeuss”Harris (Rob ZombieSix Feet UnderCrowbarSoulflyHatebreed, etc.). The album is due in fall 2017 on Agonia Records.

Photos from the recording sessions can be found HERE.

In the words of the band, “The new album is another step into our constant evolution. Our trademark sound is still there but this record is heavier than anything we’ve done before. It’s a varied one and it includes some new solutions that might catch some people off guard. It’s a pissed-off record but also extremely gloomy”. 

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Mighty Asphyx  are treating fans to a celebration of three decades of Netherlands extreme metal.

In addition to the previously announced and sold out anniversary show at the Turock venue in Essen, Germany on Saturday, November 18, 2017, ASPHYX have now announced a second (matinee) show in the same location for the day after, Sunday, November 19, 2017. These two “30 Year Anniversary” concerts will not only be supported by metal comrades Pentacle and Soulburn, but also feature long ASPHYX sets, special merchandise and Meet & Greet opportunities with former band members like Eric Daniels, Bob Bagchus, Wannes Gubbels, Ronnie van der Wey, Roel Sanders or Sander van Hoof.

Tickets go on sale today and will sell out quickly, hurry and reserve yours now here! Further details can also be found directly on the venue’s website: http://www.turock.de.

ASPHYX have checked in with the following message about the anniversary shows:
“Salutations Asphyxians! Due to the unexpected, rapid sell out of our 30 years anniversary show in Turock, Essen, Germany on November 18th, for which our massive gratitude, we decided for those who could not obtain a ticket, to do an extra show the very next day. So, Sunday the 19th of November 2017. Same bill, same set, same goodies, same price. Just a little earlier, doors open at 15.00 hours, so everybody can get back to work on time the next day. Cheerz and see you all in November!”

November 17, 2017 will also mark the long overdue release date for a special and limited anniversary version of ASPHYX’s classic debut album, “The Rack”, as a double-album, containing both the original album as well as a special bonus version of the entire album sequence covered by friends and peers of the group. More details and formats of this project will be unveiled soon, so stay tuned!

ASPHYX‘s most recent effort, “Incoming Death”, was released worldwide last September via the band’s longtime label Century Media Records. It was once again mixed and mastered by Dan Swanö at Unisound Studio and entered the official sales charts in various European countries upon release as follows: Germany: # 30, Switzerland: # 67 and Belgium (Wallonia): # 78.

Take a listen to a few of the singles from “Incoming Death” below:
“Forerunners Of The Apocalypse” (video): https://youtu.be/BFaiGiWcyY8
“Candiru” (video): https://youtu.be/lKTwSzhy0Rc
“Incoming Death”: https://youtu.be/AYNkQh6VDNk

Along with the album’s standard version on CD, Gatefold LP (with poster) and Digital Download, “Incoming Death” is also available as a limited edition 2-Disc Mediabook (with 3 stickers), including two bonus cover versions (“Servants Of The Warsmen” by Winter and “Master” by Master) as well as a DVD. Get your aural weapon of choice from CM Distro:http://smarturl.it/incomingdeathCMD

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Photo by Pascha Marrow

Au De La, released in 2015, was my first exposure to Montreal based dynamic experimental band BIG|BRAVE. It truly blew my mind and I really hope I get to catch them live someday. Simple tags like post-rock and sludge fail miserably at confining or doing justice to the scopious sound of the group,  a massive force fit for the climax or vast overhead landscape shot of any epic film. And yet the band also have a certain dry core that calls to mind some of the paths tread by some of the classic Touch And Go Records bands.

If you want to really experience and digest music and not just have it force fed to you until you think you wanted it, this band is for you.

See a trailer for the new album Ardor below! Super thrilled for this release.

As with their previous release, Ardor was recorded a the Hotel2Tango, this time by Radwan Ghazi Moumneh (of Jerusalem In My Heart). Jessica Moss (Thee Silver Mt Zion Memorial Orchestra), who was a special guest on Au De La, played violin on all of the three new tracks and Thierry Amar (Godspeed You! Black Emperor) played contrabass on two of the tracks.

Look for Ardor to be released on September 15th via Southern Lord. Stand by for additional album and tour news in the weeks ahead.

Ardor Track Listing:
1. Sound
2. Lull
3. Borer

RIYL Boris, King Woman, Worm Ouroboros

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Photo by Jake Cunningham

Wilderness Dream released their most recent effort, Paralysis Rise on July 14 (you can grab a digital copy of it over at Bandcamp for $7). Leading up to the release of the album, I had the opportunity to sit down with Wilderness Dream guitarist and vocalist Ben Murray, who is also the label head of Creator-Destructor Records.

Ben is a cool guy who has been involved in the scene in various bands and through his work with Creator-Destructor Records for over ten years, and with Paralysis Rise and Wilderness Dream, he shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, him and his fellow Wilderness Dream thrashers are dropping the melody for speed and brutality on their latest studio effort.

Check out what Ben had to say about the album, Creator-Destructor and what’s next for Wilderness Dream here.

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Stream HAUNTED HORSES “Come” Right Now.

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Sunday, July 16, 2017 at 7:58 AM (PST)

We are very excited today to get to reveal to you a full stream of West Coast post-punk duo HAUNTED HORSES new EP “Come”. It’s fantastic, driving and persistently ominous in a seductive way. The record is out imminently on Cercle Social (Pre-order HERE).

Recorded by Myke Pelly at Crybaby Studios (Seattle, WA) 
Mixed by Myke Pelly and Blake Bickel 
Mastered by Blake Bickel at Dynamic Sound Service 
Artwork by Myke Pelly

Guitar/Vox: Colin Dawson 
Drums: Myke Pelly

 

 

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Avenged Sevenfold release “Dose”

Posted by Metal Riot on Saturday, July 15, 2017 at 2:30 PM (PST)

First came their cover of Mexican folk song “Malagueña Salerosa,” followed by a reimagining of Mr. Bungle’s “Retrovertigo.” Now Avenged Sevenfold continue the rollout of new tracks with the release of “Dose,” a song originally intended to be part of the track listing on newest album, The Stage.

“Musically, ‘Dose’ was supposed to be a Part 2 to “Roman Sky” and had a very cinematic feel, but we turned it into more of a tripped-out metal song,” says vocalist M. Shadows. “The lyrics were inspired by an unsolved mystery that dates back to the 1950s about an airline traveler who, if you believe the story, supposedly fell into our dimension from another. According to reports, he showed up in a Tokyo airport with a passport from a country that didn’t exist anywhere on a map. He was detained for questioning, but mysteriously vanished from a room guarded by immigration officials, taking with him all evidence of his existence. It ties into the theory that there are infinite possibilities of our lives being played out across space and time. Don’t know if the story is true, but I’m fascinated by that kind of stuff and thought it’d be a fun idea for a song.”

Check out the song, which almost comes off like A7X with a Soundgarden feel, below.

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“The World Is Yours” encourage ARCH ENEMY on new rager

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Friday, July 14, 2017 at 1:25 PM (PST)

ARCH ENEMY have risen once again and are ready to accelerate at full force as they unleash the masterful new single, “The World Is Yours”, taken from their forthcoming album, Will To Power, due out on September 8 via CENTURY MEDIA RECORDS worldwide.

Mastermind Michael Amott comments, “We’ve been hard at work on the new album for a while now and we’re proud to present the first taste of new Arch Enemy music in over three years with our new single and video, ‘The World Is Yours’! This was the first song I wrote for the upcoming ‘Will To Power’ album and Daniel (Erlandsson, drums) helped me arrange and finish it up. One of many songs we co-wrote and co-produced this time around. We had a blast recording together with the full band in the south of Sweden and then mixing with Jens Bogren, who did a superb mix and mastering – in my opinion even surpassing the epic sound on our previous record, ‘War Eternal’. People that have heard this song in particular are saying it’s got the classic anthemic Arch Enemy vibe going on, and I think they might be right about that… Looking forward to playing it live on stage later this summer!”

The massive debut track, which can be heard and seen in their rousing music video HERE , will be offered as an instant download with all digital pre-orders and is also available on all streaming platforms.

Head to http://willtopower.centurymedia.com to find all digital and physical pre-order options.
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Peep the new Shattered Sun video for “Hollow Chains”

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Friday, July 14, 2017 at 1:10 PM (PST)

With a week away from the release of The Evolution Of Anger, their second album for Victory Records, modern metal trailblazers SHATTERED SUN have unveiled the video ‘Hollow Chains.’ Perfectly outlining the demise of cultural and social consciousness, the video also exhibits the ferociousness SHATTERED SUN are known to deliver on stage.

Watch “Hollow Chains.”

“Everyone hides behind a keyboard nowadays, and ‘Hollow Chains’ is a call for individuals to take back their identity,” promptsSHATTERED SUN vocalist Marcos Leal. “Everyone seems to take their arguments to the digital front and fight unnecessary battles between each other every day. All of a sudden any particular event takes away our identities as human beings and replaces it with a close-minded, cold-hearted dismissal of another person that disagrees. It’s fueling the divide by turning us on each other. Take away unity and replace it with the ‘every man for himself’ attitude, and it creates a hollow chain around us all.”

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Don’t miss the Raven Black Hex O’Clock Tour

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Thursday, July 13, 2017 at 10:51 PM (PST)

LA based Alternative Metal Band Raven Black hit the road for their Hex O’Clock Tour. It launched July 8th in Guadalajara, MX, and next the tour winds through the Midwest and up the East Coast before finishing up in Las Vegas, NV. This band is spooky, fun and theatrical.

Dates BELOW.

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Wilderness Dream stream brilliant “Paralysis Rise” album

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Thursday, July 13, 2017 at 1:52 PM (PST)

Longhairedpoet aka TransAnarchist aka Jessica and I have been stoked around these parts on the Wilderness Dream stuff. The band name is very evocative and doesn’t pin them down, they have a pretty unique dark and sludgy sound and the material is full of fire, talent and grit.

Stream their whole new album Paralysis Rise before release HERE now! Along with the new Cormorant, Expulsion and Demon Eye records, it is one of the more “must hear” heavier records of mid Summer. Check the 2:19 section of “Ghosts” and tell me that section alone doesn’t get you rowdy and ready to rage!

 Paralysis Rise will see release on 12″ vinyl and digital platforms tomorrow, Friday, July 14th, via Creator-Destructor Records; find preorders at THIS LOCATION.
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Well, this latest development is absurd

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Thursday, July 13, 2017 at 1:34 PM (PST)

Remember the other day when my sis Cambria finally felt comfortable talking about being erased by Coheed? And then the good folks at Metal Sucks boosted it? The band never responded (of course), but I did start to have a productive and semi-healing conversation with Josh Eppard’s uncle John The Baker – a dude I genuinely like.

Anyway, the band’s proxy former troll leader who used to ramp up fans and PM my supporters to try and convince them I am crazy (that’s not slander, they have the evidence and one is a staff writer at Metal Injection even, hahaha)…this dude Dirty Ern who also performs with Josh in his rap group Weerd Science decided the least completely dismissive response was to try to SELL WEERD SCIENCE albums in the comments section of the FB thread on the Metal Riot post I was boosting about Cambria’s heartfelt interview/conversation with me.

Look, I don’t want to fight them but this completely helps prove my point of how it very much seems like they value profits over people and burying things or trying to save face over real reconciliation. It’s complete bullshit and not punk at all. GTFO w that shit. Do you know how expensive it is and daunting to get trans medicine and surgeries? VERY. Or to be open about depression? And this dude is straight ridiculing everything we said in the interview by asking people to buy their records on the same thread? When the band hasn’t even bothered to respond?

Also not smart when I know how long they kept Mic Todd in the band past when it was healthy for the sake of financial stability to their brand before finally letting him go at his absolute worst and then putting all the blame on him.

I have said many times as a manic depression suffering trans person with bigger issues how I would really like positive closure with them and this is the kind of bullshit they have done for years. Then I get blamed as “crazy” for complaining about it. Eff that shit. I just want them to admit all the things they lied about over the years and to have a constructive healing with me and mutually apologize. Doesn’t that seem like a better lesson for everyone than hero worshiping a dude who would rather throw shade at real people in cartoon songs about murdering girls?

I’ve tried to make peace many times but they won’t hold up their end in full and so hope I just shut up and go away or try to dismiss me. Over that shit.

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Surprise! Amon Amarth have decided to stop singing about Vikings and instead will focus entirely on Strawberry Shortcake from now on! I jest! Of course they have a new video and it is still about Vikings, you feeble peasants! Though the look of the video is actually like an old fashioned fight club/gambling den, oddly. Regardless, it is still another blood drenched winner from Jomsviking! Ahhh, the guitar solo section is so tasty like fine mead!

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