Only a few months into 2017, METAL CHURCH has already announced a Classic Live album, and has released a new music video for an updated version of their classic “Fake Healer” – originally on their Blessing In Disguise album. This new version is a duet featuring Queensryche singer Todd La Torre, and is already on my list as a potential single of the year. With all this going on with the METAL CHURCH guys, I felt it was the perfect time to dig one of their albums out from the vault. It wasn’t too difficult to pick an album either, and I’ll explain why next.
METAL CHURCH fans tend to immediately go to the Mike Howe or the David Wayne eras, and I love the hell out of both for different reasons, but I need to become the Matrix meme and ask “,What if I told you there was a ten year era that is getting criminally overlooked”?
In 2004, METAL CHURCH returned after a several year absence. The Weight Of The World was their first studio album since 1999, the year that also gave us Limp Bizkit and the great chipmunk fire of Woodstock 99. The Weight Of The World also introduced us to new METAL CHURCH singer Ronny Munroe, who gave us a total of 4 albums for the Church.
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I’m not going to go too crazy with a long ass back story here like I normally would. You guys know why you’re here reading this post! The fact that Metal Riot hasn’t asked me to stop writing about my love for METAL CHURCH yet is nothing short of a miracle, which I believe we should be expecting miracles when the METAL CHURCH is involved. If you want the backstory, you can check back with my review of the phenomenal new album, XI. (editor’s note: We love Metal Church and encourage Drew in his allegiance, though we agree that it is a miracle…that Aberdeen produced both Metal Church AND Kurt Cobain).
This posting will be a tale of a dashing young metalhead (Me), a slew of kick-ass bands, and the return of one of metal’s greatest voices.
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Beloved groove thrashers Byzantine are set to prove the To Release Is To Resolve comeback album was no fluke. An as yet untitled record is due very soon from Metal Blade! This is huge and well deserved for such a seasoned a
Front-man, Chris “OJ” Ojeda had this to say about the band’s recent signing: “For the last few albums, we have operated outside the fringes of the music community by necessity. I had almost lost hope that we would ever have the chance to showcase our music to the world on a bigger stage. With the help of Brian Slagel and Metal Blade Records, we feel like Byzantine has been given a 2nd chance to make our 1st impression. We are absolutely thrilled at the opportunity to share our brand of heavy music with the world on the world’s best metal label!”
In regards to Byzantine signing to Metal Blade Records, Jose Mangin (SiriusXM Liquid Metal) comments: “As the most massive supporter ofByzantine‘s music since day one, we’ve known a secret that the rest of the world will NOW finally be able to realize, thanks to Metal Blade! The strength, raw talent, and absolute ease at which these West Virginians shred is a thing to experience, and it’s just a matter of time before they rise the ranks to become one of Metal’s elite!”Add to My Radar
As they close out their last week of their extensive 8-week-long North American tour, Savannah, GA’s BLACK TUSK have unveiled another music video for their “God’s On Vacation” single from their latest album, Pillars of Ash (January 29, Relapse). Check out this NSFW video, directed by Alixandra Petrovich, now on Vevo and YouTube. “God’s on Vacation” also recently appeared in the Mortal Combat XL trailer and NPR said the song brings the past into the present with its “Slayer-slashed riffs, gut-curdling wah-wah, an unrelenting rhythm section and trashy-as-hell hardcore-punk hooks.”
Since their formation over 10 years ago, Black Tusk have established themselves as one of the hardest working bands in rock. After four full-lengths, numerous splits and EP’s and thousands of shows under their belts, the punk/metal power trio was faced with an immense and unexpected tragedy in late 2014 when founding bassist/vocalist Jonathan Athon passed away after a motorcycle accident in his hometown. Now, as a testament to his profound and lasting legacy on the heavy music scene, the band, which also features guitarist Andrew Fidler and drummer James May with Corey Barhorst (Niche, Kylesa) now on bass, are releasing Pillars of Ash, the culmination of three brothers-in-arms’ blood, sweat and tears, and is Black Tusk’s finest accomplishment to date.
Road dates below.
When asked in an interview with Las Vegas Review-Journal about his most memorable nights he had being in Slayer, guitarist Kerry King shared his memories of Slayer playing “Big 4” shows with Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax, which he calls an important part of his career. He explains:
“Something that was really cool for me — and I didn’t think it was going to be as cool as it was — was when we did the ‘Big Four’ shows. I think that was important. I think it mattered. When I went in, I thought it was going to be cool for the fans, but in the end, it was cool for me, too.”
He added: “The funniest thing in the history of Kerry King and Slayer is us and Metallica, we don’t really run in the same circles. As similar we are, you know, we’ve never been on tour with those guys. To actually play with them on the ‘Big Four’ was really cool for me. I’d go back behind where Lars goes when he gets done with a song — we called that Larsland — we’d go watch the show from there. It was really cool. It was just cool hanging. Kirk would come and hang out, and we’d go do stuff with Lars. It was fun.”
Slayer released Repentless, their first album in six years, last September on Nuclear Blast. It was also their first album with Exodus guitarist Gary Holt as the replacement for the late Jeff Hannemann, and their first with drummer Paul Bostaph in nearly 15 years.Add to My Radar
In an interview with Finland’s Kaaos TV, Exodus drummer Tom Hunting revealed that the band is planning to begin writing new material next month for their follow-up to 2014’s Blood In, Blood Out. He states:
“Gary and I are gonna start sitting down… He’s gonna write some riffs and we’re gonna start jamming in April. We’re not under any hurry or any kind of time constraints to come up with a new record, but we want to. Everybody’s motivated, and we have a little free time in April. ‘Cause we’ve been touring constantly for this album, and Gary’s got commitments to Slayer too, so we’ve gotta work around that. He’s a big part of this thing.”
You can watch the rest of the interview below.Add to My Radar
When I got the initial news that Ronny Munroe was out of METAL CHURCH, I was blown away. “That’s it, the band is done again! How long do I have to wait for them to come back?” I was screaming at my computer screen upon reading the news. The guys had a history of announcing a singer has left and leave us fans “Hanging In The Balance” (see what I did there?) as we waited for them to announce a new singer and come back with a vengeance. After Hanging In The Balance, singer Mike Howe left the band and literally dropped off the face of the earth for years.
6 years later, singer David Wayne had returned to the band to record the Masterpiece album, which was awesome, but then he was out shortly after. David Wayne did release an album shortly after named David Wayne’s Metal Church, which was great, but it didn’t have the same feeling. I would recommend you check it out though. Wayne’s departure meant leaving us without any new tunes from METAL CHURCH for another 5 years until the band came back with new singer Ronny Munroe and they gave us the Weight Of The World album which has been one of my personal favorite metal albums from my teen years. I recall memorizing that album within days of its release and drove some of my bandmates at the time nuts with my constant singing.
The Anthrax listening party for 11th album For All Kings at the excellent Butler, NJ based media and educational facility Architekt Music (Sevendust, Thank You, Scientist) was a real treat. A limited group of lucky fans were treated to lengthy and quite hysterical Q+A, delicious catering (I’d been wondering what the food would consist of due to the interesting varied backgrounds of the band members) and the first real taste of the triumphant latest album from the thrash greats. Truly one of the strongest entries in Anthrax history, For All Kings deserves a place in the collection of every metal fan.
Scott Ian came out and introduced the record joking that we had all gathered to hear the new Megadeth album before seriously thanking everyone and letting the room hear the epic and energized tunes. Huge choruses that showcase Belladonna’s considerable ear for hooks that could stand up with the Black Album but nonetheless still elsewhere pack an earlier thrash glory days reminiscent metal punch, massive riffs from the band ranging from almost Ministry-esque tight syncopation to classic metal leads and Priest influenced barn burners plus some of the craziest Charlie Benante drumming on wax to date add up to one serious contender.
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Slayer are back with as much vitriol as Kimbo Slice and Dada 5000 getting ready to kick the shit out of one another. The “You Against You” teaser features airplane wreckage, some gunfire, Paul Bostaph beating the shit out of his kit and a sort of Krokus post-apocalypse vibe, if thrash. I can dig it.
Even old guy Slayer rip the heads off most younger, stupid metal bands. And especially more prog death core butt rocker bands.
I will always stand by that.
Tom Araya had your back but it’s no use, scene kids.
Tour dates and teaser video below.Add to My Radar
After nearly 5 long years, Philadelphia-based progressive thrashers Vektor are back with their third studio album entitled, Terminal Redux. Both embracing and expanding upon the intricate layers of the preceding albums, Black Future and Outer Isolation, the band deliver the album that we all knew they were capable of.
Never one to take a metal-by-numbers approach to song-writing, Vektor have embraced some unusual audio elements, including the vocal assistance of a group of Philadelphia soul singers, adding further texture to the sound without compromising on the riff-heavy fury. Recorded in part at the band’s home studio, along with Panther Pro-Audio in Philadelphia, Terminal Redux is a fine demonstration of technical precision, a 73+ minute masterclass in complexity, and affirmation that there is still plenty of innovation and intelligence in modern day metal.
EXCLUSIVE TO THE EARACHE WEBSTORE, we have limited edition colour vinyl, with 400 ‘Pterotoptic’ Purple vinyl coming with an exclusive woven patch, and a further 100 including a hand-signed photocard! For those who prefer CDs, you have not been ignored, as we also have 500 CDs with an alternative woven patch and hand-signed photocard. Pre-orders start at 1pm EST, and when you throw in 4 brand new T-shirts and 2 awesome hoodies, and this is one deal you simply don’t want to miss out on!
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From the start it is superior, even though Worship was a solid return to form. Not only do we get to hear what Jonathan Donais can REALLY add, the whole thing just sounds better sonically than pretty much anything the band has done prior. Plus, peep that Alex Ross artwork! Another very memorable and amusing cover!
“You Gotta Believe” is good enough to carry the record by itself, but the rest is no filler. Still, the opening rager (after the build up intro track) is a future classic that finds Belladonna sounding modern and in full command. It is one of Joey’s best performances in a long time and a fair match for the best of John Bush, despite me having a big love for The Sound Of White Noise era. The sense of nostalgia is because we all grew up with these guys but the songs are more than some mere retread of past victory. Melody, fiery battle charged riffs and great unison sections beneath red hot leads…pure Anthrax glory.
“Monster At The End” has a big elbows in the pit stomper riff with some superb leads again over the top. The vocals are crystal clear but gritty and Frank Bello’s bass rumbles like the Running of the Bulls. Pure headbanger’s delight.
Benante also needs to be commended as his solid backbone and well placed accents are perfect. He has his Anthrax team player hat on fully but gets to do some great signature rolls, speed up parts and flat out cuts loose as we all want in other parts.
Big shoes to fill vocally, but this dude seems up for it. Great scream! Skeletonwitch are too important to the scene and epic to be donezo!
Today, the Ohio-based blackened metal quintet SKELETONWITCH – who will join Abbath, High On Fire and Tribulation on this year’s Decibel Magazine Tour, which kicks off March 17 – officially welcomes Adam Clemans (Wolvhammer) as their new vocalist. Last month, the group recorded a new EP, due to be released this summer, with Clemans at Baltimore’s Developing Nations with producer Kevin Bernsten (Magrudergrind, Noisem, Mutilation Rites). A brief teaser of new music can be heard in the below video, in which Clemans discusses how he came to join the band.
“I’m very proud to be a part of the SKELETONWITCH camp, and I’m very excited about how the new EP turned out,” says Clemans. “Working with like-minded musicians is always a pleasure, and I’m confident that the new chapter of this band will carry the SKELETONWITCH banner properly and proudly.”
Adds guitarist Scott Hedrick, “We are extremely excited to announce Adam as the new singer for SKELETONWITCH. He’s a killer vocalist, lyricist, and all-around creative force. Please welcome him to the SKELETONWITCH family as we begin this new chapter. As always, thanks to everyone who has, and continues to, support us.”
Clemans appears alongside Abbath, High On Fire’s Matt Pike and Tribulation’s Johannes Andersson on the cover of the new issue of Decibel Magazine, which hits newsstands on March 2 and is available for pre-order at this location.Add to My Radar
Scott Ian of Anthrax (set to release what is likely the thrash album of the year For All Kings unless Megadeth prevail), is getting better with age like a thrashing metal vintage. Scott has urged Phil Anselmo to follow up on his apology with a donation to a Jewish charity to prove his contrition. Read more HERE.
That said, “Fuck The Middle East” by S.O.D. wasn’t such a great articulation of cultural relations either. Which pains me to type as I actually try to write something nice about Anthrax almost every day. Though obviously a very old song (which was said to be a “Pro-Israel” song) and not as bad as the nazi salute onstage wasted after jamming with a low profile d-lister like Dave Grohl. Oh, and the lyrics of “Speak English Or Die” are horrible, which a friend reminded me of on Facebook. I hope there is a quote somewhere saying that was satire. There must be or I can’t imagine I ever would’ve kept following S.O.D. or Anthrax. I’m just foggy and half baked right now.
The whole world needs more tolerance and love. Maybe it is smart that Ghost covered ABBA.
I hope with the passing of recent beloved musicians or relations (in my case) or even the Paris attacks showcasing fragile eggshells we stand on, that every breath is savored, that imagination and a wish to see and learn about cultures and the world fills everyone, the lust for life. I’m 37 and the desire to experience the world is only sharpened as I look at maps in an old Alan Furst ww2 setting novel, hear cries for unity from the metal community or communicate with new friend Eugene Tymchyk from Odessa’s Septa. we can all wash blood from our hands, embrace, discuss, rock, discover. Time is a resource. Remember that when you are standing around bitching or not accomplishing something you are literally sacrificing that moment forever. Choices.Add to My Radar
Being a life long MEGADETH fan, I admit that I was devastated in 2002 when it was announced that the band was disbanding due to Mustaine’s nerve issues in his arm. Shortly after, issues between the Daves [Mustaine and Ellefson] surfaced, giving me that feeling that the final nail was in the coffin of MEGADETH, and I’d never get to see my favorite band ever again. Sure, their last two albums had been Risk and The World Needs A Hero, both of which I had liked, but weren’t nearly as strong as their prior releases. It seemed like this was truly the end.
You can only imagine the sheer ecstasy I had when I learned that Mustaine had relearned to play, and was coming back with a new MEGADETH album (2004’s excellent The System Has Failed) with a returning Chris Poland [guitarist from Killing Is My Business…And Business Is Good! and the groundbreaking Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying?). Little did I know that album would mark the start of an amazing “Decade Of Deth”. (Yes, I actually air-quoted that as I typed it. What, you wanna fight about it?) The lineup changed a million times over, but the tunes were all killer during that decade.
2004 gave us The System Has Failed, paired up with the incredibly cool Gigantour in the summer of 2005. 2007 gave us United Abominations, with the amazingly good “Washington Is Next” single. Endgame came in 2009, and 2011 gave us a returning David Ellefson and the album Thirteen. (For the record, the song “13” is one of my top favorite recent MEGADETH tracks). The band was on fire, so it can only be expected that 2013’s Supercollider would be fucking incredible. Am I right?
Ok, so Supercollider was anything but “super”. Definitely the most lackluster of any MEGADETH record to date, but seeing as their first album hit in 1985, their track record so far has been pretty good. I mean, the album wasn’t so horrible that half the band felt they needed to quit shortly after its release, was it? (2 side notes here: First off, if you haven’t already heard Supercollider, it is worth a shot. “Kingmaker”, “Dance In The Rain” featuring DISTURBED’s David Draiman, and THIN LIZZY cover “Cold Sweat” are worth listening to. Secondly, Chris Broderick and Shawn Drover both formed ACT OF DEFIANCE after leaving MEGADETH, and their album kicks serious ass. I suggest buying that one now. Well, not “now”. Finish reading my babbling here, and then go purchase it.)
Read more BELOW.
Led by vocalist Jamie Myers (ex-Hammers of Misfortune), Sabbath Assembly anno 2017 features guitarist Kevin Hufnagel (Gorguts, Dysrhythmia), who has been with the band since 2011; original drummer Dave Nuss; bassist Johnny Deblase, who also played on the band's self-titled album; and the new addition of second guitarist Ron Varod (Kayo Dot, Psalm Zero, Zvi). We have been thrilled by the group's endeavors since the early albums, yet not they continue to evolve and excite as a far more progressive and at times heavier beast than when they first arrived, steeped in interpreting the hymnody of the Process Church of the Final Judgment. One of the most consistently good and unique bands in modern rock and metal, Sabbath Assembly are no mere faux-cult or yet another pretend wizard band. The new album Rites Of Passage draws from much deeper wells and is one of their most dynamic releases. The songs on Rites of Passage include stories of losing one's religion (rather than initiation), dissolution of a relationship (rather than marriage), and managing the dementia and physical decline of a loved one (as more profound than a funeral rite).