Helsinki heavy metal band Ensiferum may look like they need a little more sun, but that is because Finnish people are usually pretty darn pale and also because the respected band recently entered the Astia studio in Lappeenranta, Finland to begin work on their seventh full-length, produced once again by Anssi Kippo (Children Of Bodom, Impaled Nazarene, Entwine etc.)! Set to be released September 2017 via Metal Blade Records, the quintet has now issued an update about the recording process for the follow up to the bloody excellent One Man Army from in the studio.
Sami Hinkka (bass) comments: “Hi, folks! Greetings from the Astia studio!
For this album, we wanted to catch our live energy on a totally new level with the best possible sound. So every song was played together while recording drums. Most of the bass lines were also taken from those live takes to guarantee the maximum groove. There are songs on the album we recorded without a click so get ready for some serious rocking, people!
Since Anssi Kippo is such a studio wizard, he has synced his legendary Otari MTR-90mk2 2” 24 -tape recording machine (recognizable, for example, from Metallica‘s ‘Nothing Else Matters’ -video) with his computer, so we will record drums, bass, rhythm guitars and lead vocals on tape, and the rest that can’t fit on the tape, we’ll record on computer. Also the mixing will be done the analogue way on tape to make sure that the sound will remain as raw, punchy and as unprocessed as possible.
The second week is almost over and we are perfectly on schedule: drums, bass lines and half of the rhythm guitars are done.
We are doing ~12 hour long days, so unfortunately this time there won’t be ‘beer of the week’ or any fooling around video diaries, but there will be plenty of time for that after the album is done and the touring starts again. 😉
Stay tuned for more news! Cheers!”
Before the album’s release, European fans will be able to catch Ensiferum at various festivals this summer. See below for all dates, with more shows to be announced soon!Add to My Radar
Sweden’s Below are a strong doom band who, like Pilgrim and October Tide off the top of my head, could deserve a bit wider following. The group’s last record Across The Dark River had some really good moments. I especially dug the song “The Whitechapel Murderer” , which almost called to mind if Tony Martin had sung on the doomiest moments of Heaven & Hell’s The Devil You Know instead of RJD. Now the band is back with another sort of out of focus charcoal grave rubbing looking album cover to go with their dark sonic vision.
The new record Upon A Pale Horse will be out via Metal Blade mid May and you can hear first song “1,000 broken bones” (which sounds more like a Cannibal Corpse song name than doom metal, haha) right HERE. All metal genre jokes aside, we really dig this act. Check them out pronto!
Below comments: “With ‘Upon a Pale Horse‘ we feel that we have found our sound. We have grown as songwriters and this album contains our fastest and slowest, shortest and longest, heaviest and most melodic songs to date. Making this album more diverse yet still staying true to the core of heavy riffs and melodies that is Below. We recorded ‘Upon a Pale Horse‘ in Deep Blue Studios, the studio where we recorded our first EP, so in some sense it felt like we were returning to our roots.”Add to My Radar
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 end. The 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.
I don’t know about you, but I just turned 38. Any chance to break out of the
mundane and remember the mysterious or esoteric wonder behind the veil of
everyday life is a welcome release. When it comes in the form of explosive,
ethereal or downright menacing and theatrical metal, even better. Polish dark
legends Behemoth‘s current US tour promoting their most ambitious album to
date, The Satanist, with the much hyped Myrkur in tow on their first really
proper stateside trek certainly falls into the category of awesome excuses to
get out of the house…and it sure was.
Read more and see some killer photos in euphoria BELOW.Add to My Radar
Mother Feather shorthand themselves as ‘pop cock rock’ but that is a far too
insufficient capsule to contain their glam infused explosive energy within.
The Brooklyn based band are theatrical, melodic and hard hitting with an edge
not often seen these days, brimming with enough possessed pizazz to get them
inked to Metal Blade despite being a far cry from the rest of the current
roster like Abornamilty, Sourvein and Criminal.
Listening to their forthcoming full length (order HERE right nowwwww!!!) , arguably the most rock n roll
record that streets in May, you can’t help but feel like the East Coast is
finding a pulse again. It’s been awhile, maybe since The Star Spangles caught
my ear, that I have heard a band who can embody gutter garage meets arena
worthy punch within the same skin so well. Anybody sick of the pretensions of
all the micro blogged sub genres out there today who just wants to get fuckin’
rocked and maybe vanish for awhile in a golden cloud of sweaty club rock with
attitude should eat this shit up fast.
Restaurant personality Chris Santos was impressed with the band and was tweeting about them, bringing them eventually to the attention of Metal Blade owner and rock and metal tastemaker Brian Slagel.
“He kind of pointed Brian in our direction and Brian checked it out and was excited,” says vocalist Ann Courtney. “Our Twitter feed was blowing up with metal guys. We are definitely on one end of the spectrum of the label, which is cool. I think a lot of metal heads think Brian is being subversive or something, but really I think it is just that he is a sincere music fan! He’s said we remind him of the 70’s stuff like KISS and Thin Lizzy that he grew up with.”
It’s pathetic we live in a time where we have to have a show like Vinyl
(admittedly a good program, no slight against it) to remind assholes that rock
n roll even exists. Mother Feather are the real thing, though. Ann Courtney,
Elizabeth Carena, Matt Basile, Chris Foley and Gunnar Olsen are hopefully as
commited as they sound to the cause, but let’s enjoy it while it lasts and
while we have them because this is lightning in a fuckin’ bottle, after all.
Read More BELOW.
Florida Death metallers Six Feet Under are preparing to release their fourth installment in their series of cover albums Graveyard Classics.
Graveyard Classics: The Number of the Priest will be released on May 27 via Metal Blade Records.
Stream “Invader”, check out the tracklist for Graveyard Classics: The Number of the Priest and Six Feet Under tour dates here.Add to My Radar
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
Photo credit: Stephanie Cabral
Lizzy Borden has spent over three decades creating some of the most theatrical metal in existence, releasing classics such as Love You to Pieces (1985) and Master of Disguise (1989), while obliterating audiences worldwide with a stage show that rivals that of Marilyn Manson and Alice Cooper. For his efforts, he has become nothing short of a metal icon. Now, to take the next step in furthering his career, Lizzy Borden has signed a worldwide solo artist deal with Metal Blade Records – the label that helped to launch him to commercial success over 30 years ago. Ready to once again captivate both veteran and adolescent metal fans alike, Lizzy Borden plans to release a new album in 2016 and tour the world in support of it, with a reinvigorated band backing him up.
Lizzy Borden comments:
“I am extremely happy to re-sign with the same label we started with all those years ago (Metal Blade Records). I’m excited to be working with Brian Slagel and all the Metal Blade family again. It’s been my home for all six of our (full-length) studio albums – with the new record being the seventh, and the start of a new series of albums to come.
My focus for the last several years has been performing live and exposing my brand of American metal to countries all over the world. Now I feel is the right time to step back and push the re-start button. Time to get back to the art of creating new music. Touring around the world and having new fans discover Lizzy Borden for the first time has been rejuvenating, and so a new album seems like the perfect way to bridge the past with the future.
I will take this part of my journey and these next series of albums as a solo artist, as I have for some of the past LBrecords and tours. I look forward to working with many different established musicians and friends, as well as some undiscovered talent like we have been lucky enough to unearth in the past. To all of our fans that have followed Lizzy Borden from the beginning and all the new younger fans who have just discovered us, I hope you will come along with me for this next chapter. I am inspired, excited and ready to begin again. @realLizzyborden”
Stay tuned for more news about Lizzy Borden coming soon!Add to My Radar
Yesterday they released the video for their song “At Dawn’s First Light”, off of the upcoming album.
Check out the video for “At Dawn’s First Light” and Amon Amarth tour dates here.Add to My Radar
German blackened-thrashers Desaster have released their newest song “End of Tyranny”.
“End of Tyranny” comes from the band’s upcoming album The Oath of an Iron Ritual which will come out April 8 via Metal Blade Records.
Check out “End of Tyranny” and the first single “Damnatio Ad Bestias” here.Add to My Radar
North Carolina sludge doom veterans Sourvein have released their newest track “Aquanauts”.
Sourvein will release Aquatic Occult via Metal Blade Records on April 8 and will be the band’s debut with Metal Blade.
The album will feature performances by Randy Blythe, Stig Miller and Reed Mullin.
Check out “Aquanauts” here.Add to My Radar
Brimstone Coven, Gehennah, Ketzer, Sourvein, Artillery and Accuser are in the spotlight this spring in “6 Bands in 60 Seconds”.
The project was started in November by Brian Slagel, Metal Blade Records and RED Music.
Winter’s bands included Act of Defiance, Rivers of Nihil, Twitching Tongues, Culture Killer, Visigoth, and Harlott.
Check out both “6 Bands in 60 Seconds” videos here.Add to My Radar
Glorior Belli‘s last album, the devilishly swampy Gators Rumble, Chaos Unfurl, was damn near perfect. Thus it is with psychotic anticipation that we can let you know the French black metal project have a new beast on the way. Out May 6th on Agonia Records, you can bet Sundown (The Flock That Welcomes) is going to punish. Check out the lyric video for the title track below, a blasting ode to darkness which sounds very professional yet rippingly emphasizes the band’s black metal side more prominently once again. Ahhh, so stoked!
Pre order HERE.
Read more about the record including a band quote and tracklisting BELOW.Add to My Radar
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).