Band Spotlight: Epica

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Sunday, January 15, 2017 at 8:07 AM (PST)

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Even by the lofty standards of ambitious Dutch symphonic metallers Epica, their seventh record The Holographic Principle is something special. From the defiance of “Universal Death Squads” melodic and complicated heart to the new “Beyond The Matrix” video , the band are inspiring you to “be the master of your own energy.” Simone Simons remains a near ideal for this style with her graceful mastery of the genre and powerful range, while even without Mark Jansen in a big role the group soldier on. Not held back by trends, the group reach for the stratosphere with complex but stirring arrangements and have a great track record that ensures new fans will have hours of material to dive into. Rather than just mere escapism, even the weirdest forays into, excuse the term, ‘epic’ magniloquence and showy musical moments reward rather than school the listener with a heavy hand. Surely one of the more confident and important acts out there, Epica have earned deep respect.

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The low budget artwork on Megadeth's Killing is My Business...and Business is Good album cover, consisting of plastic skull with tinfoil was not intended to be the original artwork. Combat records was suppose to have original artwork created from a sketch Dave Mustaine had given them but lost it and made the low budget replacement.


He Whose Ox Is Gored announce tour with Dust Moth

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Friday, January 13, 2017 at 3:04 PM (PST)
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He Whose Ox Is Gored will bring their voluminous avant-garde metal/punk/prog fusion to the stage once again for a brief February tour with the awesome Dust Moth (featuring Ryan Frederiksen of These Arms Are Snakes). We obvs love HWOIG over here and take every opportunity to pimp their weird, cathartic intensity on you folks, so get with the program! ”We are covering songs off all four releases, and may have a few surprises in the set as well,” issues the band of the upcoming dates. “We can’t wait to hit the road with our dear friends in Dust Moth. They are some of the hardest working, best people we know, and we couldn’t be more excited to share the stage with them for four nights.”

Dates Below.

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Venom Prison to open for Darkest Hour on upcoming European dates

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Friday, January 13, 2017 at 2:26 PM (PST)

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Having recently signed with Southern Lord RecordingsOfficial Darkest Hour are returning to UK and Europe with Venom Prison as their main support on the “Godless Prophets & The Migrant Flora” tour. Venom Prison’s Animus was a vicious record and this is an inspired pairing sure to end with some fat lips, high fives  and black eyes. Sound the surrender and immanetize the Eschaton, indeed.

Dates below.

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Liv Sin releases “Let Me Out” debut single for new project

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Friday, January 13, 2017 at 1:14 PM (PST)

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Liv “Sin” Jagrell, former singer of hard rockers Sister Sin, is by far one of the cooler and nicer people I have met in all my years in the rock scene. I’m really glad I got to see her former band rock a small club again in Poughkeepsie before the Swedes called it quits. Liv and the drummer wanted to keep going, but I guess the other dudes backed out. I was just wearing their shirt yesterday!

Anyway, have we got some Friday the 13th fun for you! Liv’s new band is called Liv Sin and the first single can be heard HERE. I would describe it as decidedly more heavy metal than hard rock, but still featuring her powerful vocal presence up front and center. It’s a cool new direction for sure.

Pre-Order the new CD via Despotz Records HERE now!

Abnormality announce short run of East Coast DM shows

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Thursday, January 12, 2017 at 9:31 PM (PST)

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Abnormality, one of the most relevant and punishing current death metal acts, have announced a handful of East Coast February dates (including one with controversial veterans Dying Fetus). Check out the dates BELOW.

Iron Reagan release “Bleed The Fifth” video

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Thursday, January 12, 2017 at 9:54 AM (PST)

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Thrash agitators Iron Reagan, who recently made our list of 10 early 2017 records we are most stoked on for their new baby Crossover Ministry, have a new video out from the record called “Bleed The Fifth”.

Follow the strung-out antics of two rogue cops, played by the stars of Comedy Central’s new show Delco Proper (http://www.cc.com/shows/delco-proper), who stumble into the wrong crowd at the wrong time. Watch the video now at this location.

Pre-Order Crossover Ministry HERE.

 

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Brooklyn-based experimental metal outfit Tombs has entered Mana Recording Studio (http://www.manarecording.com) in St. Petersburg, FL to begin recording their fourth full-length. Produced once again by Erik Rutan (Hate Eternal), this currently untitled album is set for a summer release via Metal Blade Records.

Guitarist/vocalist Mike Hill comments: “I’ve been gearing up for this moment for all of past year. Rutan is a master and I’m intending on us delivering the most punishing Tombs record to-date.”

Upcoming dates for a varied and exciting tour featuring Rivers Of Nihil, Ringworm and Darkest Hour alongside Tombs can be found BELOW.

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Sweden’s NOÊTA release “Beyond Life” video

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 at 4:09 PM (PST)

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Västra Götaland, Sweden’s “black ambient” duo NOÊTA are a compelling act who will release their debut full-length, Beyond Life and Death, on February 17 via Prophecy Productions. As an album, it is conceptually divided into three parts: the “meeting with emotion as the meaning of life”, “a cold resignation and anxiety”, and the “horror-filled respect for a hard nature without bounds”.

It would seem the new music video for “Beyond Life” perhaps falls into the third category, as the disorienting but beautiful nature shots contrast with a very spooky and sort of dark essence near the end. I don’t want to spoil it. It is a very well done and avant-garde clip with a deceptively simple narrative that actually has much deeper levels than “a girl in the woods”.

It sort of reminds me of Bardo Pond meets Scorn through a sort of folky, tribal spectrum . I am eager to delve into their 2015 psychē EP while I wait for the full length.

Pre-order Beyond Life and Death at this location.

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Winter is pretty essential for metal fans. At the same time, as much as some of us love self loathing, it can be hard to get through it sometimes. A lot of metal folks are sensitive to depression, naturally. We also deep down like to rage and have fun. Sometimes though, you need to just acclimate to a brooding or introspective side and embrace the darkness within to get to your personal truths. That is why I compiled a little list today of a few of my favorite songs that capture a certain morose or reflective energy which suits the last few months of Winter. I was listening to the stark sounds of Hypothermia this morning, who aren’t but probably should be on the list for their name alone, and was inspired.

You’d think some of the far right Reddit metal types might really reconsider thinking global warming is just a Soros tax break plot. I know if I was in a black metal band I would strap on my snow shoes, dandy on some corpse paint and skip/stumble to the most Mother Northerly glacier asap, kill some game for Ymir and stare at that shit for a year or two to see for myself. With no cold season, we can still have foresty black metal…but no icy frosty barren empty black metal! I respect that Winterfylleth seem to get that Fylleth by itself is less metal sounding, and so have spoken out before about large corporations.

Anyway, here are a few icy jams I am fond of to get you over the frosty hump before we can all be
twitterpated again in the Spring time and put on some Carnifex death metal shorts.

More BELOW.

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Mastodon announce dates with EODM, Russian Circles

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 at 3:15 PM (PST)
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Mastodon have announced a pretty extensive Spring tour with great support acts as usual. Chances are, if you are in the United States they are coming somewhere near you.

Mastodon says of the tour, “Hey! Good news everybody, we are hitting the road this spring with some great friends of ours Eagles of Death Metal and Russian Circles. We couldn’t be more excited to pour majestic rock sauce all over your town. Come on down and help us celebrate the season of new beginnings where fresh buds bloom, animals awaken, the earth comes to life and there’s a new Mastodon album to melt your face off! See you there!”

 

Dates BELOW.

 

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Poison Idea split up

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Monday, January 9, 2017 at 10:34 AM (PST)

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West Coast punk legends Poison Idea have called it a day after delivering top notch, fun and biting punk for longer than some newbies have been alive. One of the all time great punk bands, for sure. You could rage, party, scream along or whatever you wanted to the band. They were more aggressive than a lot of West Coast punk but still had some great melodic qualities to their riffs and real messages. Thanks for the tunes and helping wake up many from a “Deep Sleep”.

This is an OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT. We’ve told our friends, talked with promoters, announced it at the last show, but I guess we have to do this to make it “official”. POISON IDEA is pulling the plug on the life support system that keeps the band side alive. Ya can’t kill the spirit. But as of Jan. 1, 2017, POISON IDEA is no longer a band. We’re going to keep working with TKO/Cascade to rerelease the old catalog and we have stuff that was never let out of the can, that will probably be released. THANK YOU FOR THE 35(!) YEARS WORTH OF MEMORIES. STAY TRUE, STAY FREE. CHEERS.

Truckfighters, Kings Destroy to kick off North American tour soon

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Friday, January 6, 2017 at 5:24 AM (PST)

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Get ready for some serious rock n roll action as Truck Fighters and Kings Destroy bring their respective talent to bear on North America for a cross country trek of riffing and rollicking. If you don’t know either of these bands for some reason you should watch the below videos I’m including to help you sort your shit out. Don’t feel bad about yourself, it’s all love. But don’t get complacent either!

After you are reformed into a foxy rock being of molten knowledge, pick up tickets HERE.

Eluveitie announce full new lineup

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Thursday, January 5, 2017 at 4:31 PM (PST)

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Extremely popular Folk metal band Eluveitie have completely finalized their new band roster at last. Announcement BELOW.

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Castle announce March 2017 “Still Reaping” US Tour Dates

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Thursday, January 5, 2017 at 2:38 PM (PST)

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March of 2017 sees one of our favorites Castle‘s first batch of touring for the year, a “Still Reaping” jaunt to keep the blood flowing while the band work on new material. This trio of classic heavy metal and doom minded warriors give some of the most bang for your buck you will ever get as a fan live or on wax, so be sure to catch them if you can. Dates and recent cut “Welcome To The Graveyard” BELOW.

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Wacken 2015 footage of three Opeth songs released

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Thursday, January 5, 2017 at 2:18 PM (PST)

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Wacken Open Air have posted footage of Opeth‘s 2015 performance featuring the songs “Heir Apparent”, “The Grand Conjuration” and “Deliverance”. “Heir Apparent” is a particularly good version, very skillfully rendered in front of the huge crowd (not that we would you expect anything less from the masters). It is also fun to point out that the three tunes result in almost 40 minutes of footage. That’s what’s up. Take a break from what you were doing and enjoy this thrilling mini-concert. There is a particularly funny bit of stage banter before “The Grand Conjuration” starts up at 10:30 or so.

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