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Jørgen Munkeby of Shining is a road warrior and so perhaps his range of experiences has allowed him to learn how to see the humor in the following crappy situation you’ll read about in a second. I had hit him up as part of our preliminary year end coverage to see if he had a
“road story” worth sharing that was funny from this year, considering his band has been tearing it up live in support of awesome new hard rock album Animal. Turns out he had plenty to say but it wasn’t anything a band would usually laugh about. This guy has a good attitude, even when complaining, hahaha.

I’m currently midway on a 6-week release headline tour for Shining’s new album
Animal in Europe. All shows have been great, and it’s been absolutely awesome to see
how well the new songs go down with the audience. We usually open our set with the
songs “Animal” and “My Church”, and from right from the start we see more people singing
along than we’ve ever had in our shows before, which is amazing! But the funniest thing that has happened -or maybe craziest is a more correct word? – is what happened after I broke the neck off my guitar in a show in Marseille, France, last week!

All of the instruments I use, except my saxophone, are pretty new and cheap standard
stuff, because I want to be able to get the same stuff quickly from any store or backline
rental company in case it is delayed by an airline or breaks down on tour. My two guitars
on tour has been a Gibson SG Standard and an Edwards SG guitar, which is basically a
cheap but great Japanese copy of the Gibson SG. The neck of the Edwards guitar
actually broke on the last brutal and physical note on a song during a show in
Netherlands two years ago, but was later repaired.

On the last note of our song “The Madness And The Damage Done” during our Marseille
show last week, I felt that I had been a bit controlled during the whole show because of
a bruised rib I got during a show in Paris a week before. I was missing a little bit of action and physicality,so I decided to make the last note of the song a big and aggressive one, and I raised my guitar high before the note and signaled to the band that we were going to play a heavy ending when I brought the guitar down. But during that heavy downward motion my guitar snapped in two pieces just like it had done two years ago.

Read More BELOW.

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Time falls back: Four October recommendations

Posted by longhairedpoet on Sunday, November 4, 2018 at 12:01 PM (PST)

Another month has passed us by. The time has just fallen back, meaning shorter and darker days are upon us. The situations we’re in seem to get darker, too, with each passing day. If you’re here reading this then you, like me, probably turn to music to deal with the shit going on in the world. The sun continues to rise and set, and for those of us who see it rise and see it set, we have an obligation, a duty, to do our best to make the world suck a little fucking less each and every day. Hopefully these four albums can be your soundtrack for that.

Check out the four albums I enjoy the most this month here.

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By the time the thunderous intro to “Shackled To The Burning Earth” from Denver band Glacial Tomb‘s outrageously good self titled debut (Gilead Media) hammers home with a bigger scowl than Kirk Windstein stubbing his toe, listeners are coming into the home stretch feeling exceptionally rewarded. It is so cool that a handful of bands this year (Un and Forn come right to mind on the ‘extreme’ circuit of underground metal) have managed not only to create great works but to shatter limitations so well that you are too busy experiencing their records as powerful works of art and energy to notice they upended some genre lines. For Glacial Tomb, doom flirting sludge and Gorguts loving death blur into one perfect storm with clouds of melodic guitar cutting through these intense moods like pain-charged lightning gathering around a dark mind. This is an outstanding fucking record I already hold in very high esteem. It should be on everyone’s short list for must purchase in 2018.

More BELOW.

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Scotland’s Bitter Lake is doing things right. The one man black metal project is slowly building up buzz, focusing on releasing cool music rather than hype and improving with each passing moment. I like the cold and methodical yet emotional nature of the project, like impending entropy captured in a burst of constrained, conflicted emotions.

This is an exciting time in metal as a lot of bands are shrugging off genre constraints and finding out who they are for themselves. The left wing black metal coming out is exciting and more than overdue to surpass the tired edgelord tropes of the genre that have always ben laughable if they weren’t so harmful.

Let’s get into the interview with Bitter Lake (who is also running a microphone raffle HERE) and talk about new song “Siberia”, Veganism and more BELOW.

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Fall brings the cool embrace of a life worth living

Posted by longhairedpoet on Sunday, September 30, 2018 at 5:46 PM (PST)

Photo Credit: Spinesplitter

In the eleventh hour, I bring you my September wrap-up. Holy fucking shit September was one hell of a month. Fortunately, the new music has been good inside and outside of metal. Whether you’ve been trying to avoid Supreme Court-Senate-Nomination-Bullshit, or you’ve been raising all the hell about it you can, whether you’ve been working with survivors in an emotional time of need, or doing your best to survive on your own, whether you’ve been writing to cope, or just playing your show to get through – September was rough as shit.

I’m glad to come back at the end of every month, especially on months that this is the only post I write for Metal Riot, and share with y’all what I thought was really cool throughout the month.

Check out the four albums I enjoy the most this month here.

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“Not caring sucks; I’m here for bands that want to talk about what matters to them, what causes they care about, what they’re listening to, whatever. Everybody’s going through it, let’s go through it together.” – W.

Redbait from Missouri declared their intentions clearly within the first few pummeling moments of “We Refuse” on their recent Red Tape EP. The band are loud, clearly pissed and pack a potent political message in this timeline of complete mass stupidity. We need bands who are actively trying to make the world a better place and spreading awareness more than ever. The punk and metal scenes used to be a place where you could find out about dissent and activism and it was encouraged, believe it or not, for bands to use their podium for something other than selling merch or drinking beer on stage. “Smoke In Your Eyes” is one of the more powerful songs I have heard from any band in the underground in the last few years and I am thrilled this group is jumping into the trenches at full speed.

It was a pleasure to break through the thick fog of gullible fact resistant mental soup we are indoctrinated with on the daily and speak to a band who are decidedly intent on upending the bigotry, greed and sexism of our American disgrace. In short, this band is exactly what myself and likely many others who love punk and metal need right now in order to feel like they aren’t completely losing their minds. Read more HERE.

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Stormland is the Gundam-centric death metal brain child of my friend Justin Pierrot. One of the most supportive and friendly people I have met in the Twitter metal-verse, Justin has just released his labor of love Songs Of Future Wars to the unsuspecting masses. He is a creative and enthusiastic individual who cares about the experiences of others and has also been very kind to me in moments of depression, so I thought it would be great to find out more about his own experiences and what led to this brutal yet personal and metaphorical album that is dressed up in stories about giant robot suits.

Read more below.

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JULY’S BEJEWELED DAGGERS: 4 Faves Of The Month (Morgan)

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Wednesday, July 25, 2018 at 5:07 PM (PST)

Hi readers. Since 2018 started Jessica and I have been doing monthly recap lists of whatever four records got our attention the most. This could be a matter of personal taste or something about a work that struck a chord or matched a moment well, but it is less a critical rejection of other works not featured than an embrace of albums that proved themselves the most compelling to me during this July. So take it as one of those “staff recommends this cd” sections you used to see at Rhino Records only much cooler, duh. Very happy to say that everything on this list features performers playing their hearts out.

1. Twilight Fauna’s Where Birds Sing My Name takes the top spot for me this month. The latest from Paul Ravenwood and drummer Josh Thieler of mighty Slaves BC is a beautiful and soul baring effort, dynamic and stouthearted. From straight up banjo songs to arrow sharp black metal that feels like blood is flowing through it rather than pretension and cold-pose, this is a fitting companion to The Year the Stars Fell. The Green and yellow splatter vinyl is too dope to comprehend with my mortal mind. We are lucky to have this project in our metal midst to remind people that records handled with personal reverence can still move mountains and bring oxygen to fatigued forms.

2. Berlin’s Maggot Heart are honestly so fucking cool I can’t take it. The new record Dusk To Dusk was almost my number one pick of the month but my heart succumbed to my East Coast loyalty that Twilight Fauna instilled. But yeah, Linnéa Olsson is so talented and chill and her latest record with her post The Oath + Grave Pleasures outfit is perfect anarchic post punk with a low key metallic sting that should make most American rock bands feel fucking hella embarrassed in comparison for the weak crap they are putting out. The songwriting on this is unreal, especially the manic “Medication” and galloping “Blood Envy” coming to mind as just phenomenal tunes. Recorded in Stockholm in 2017, it cements the potent creative bond with drummer Uno Bruniusson (mainly of the much missed In Solitude fame). I can’t recommend enough surrendering to this record and letting the modern world’s stresses seem like they can be relieved and defeated by the spooky and catchy but semi-detached vocals, rolling and thundering but kind of punk drums and absolutely alive guitar and bass performances. I bought this faster than anything that came out all year. Please please please support them cuz I need them to stick around.

3. With all due respect to Ordinary Corrupt Human Love and some of the other moving or ambitious records out this month that did not make my July list, Mutilation Rites going more death metal was a no brainer for me. And I mean no brainer in a zombies ate all the brains but still want more cuz they are in a death metal frenzy type of no brainer. Chasm from Gilead Media and the NYC scuz rebels of Mutilation Rites continues the bands feedback and buzzsaw /slow burn attempt to become Hades’ official house band. “Pierced Larynx” gives me intense feels of glorious dread and death dirge. It has a more punk rooted crusty underbelly amidst the slower Exhumed and blackened talons in your throat vibes. The monumentally metal drums that pound through the intro to “Post Mortem Obsession” that set up the roaring chaos to follow had me in awe. 6 songs but all fairly lengthy and they all slap. Like Hooded Menace or Black Cobra, the band keep the core elements of what makes them work but tweak their approach slightly with each outing just enough to keep it fresh but familiar. It is intense but not to the point of being silly, just vital and brilliant. This was my fave DM album of the month, all very due respect to Coffin Birth .

4. Birds In Row’s We Already Lost The World takes my fourth and final spot on the list for July. I feel like it is an important record people will remember in years to come. It has a post hardcore infused edgy and kinetic insistence that many albums fail to manufacture, cuz you can’t fake that shit. This French band, currently already supporting fucking Neurosis and Converge, have long term potential and most importantly great songs. “Love Is Political” is just a great song name and the song tears at scabs. “We vs. Us” reminds me of some of what I love most about Cave In and Modern Life Is War in one unexpected fell swoop. Personal War made a buzz but this is gonna take them to the next level. I don’t know how to sum up adequately the mixture of transcending pain the music and artwork stirs up, but this is well worth checking out and surrendering to the barely hopeful cacophony of.

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June Wrap-up: My 4 favorite albums this month

Posted by longhairedpoet on Saturday, June 30, 2018 at 2:35 PM (PST)

It’s been sunshine and metal time this June. If you haven’t had a chance to hear the four albums that make my list this month, you’re going to want to go and check them out!

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June wrap up: 4 favorite records of the month (Morgan)

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 at 3:58 PM (PST)

Hey everyone. June has been a completely crazy month but there was a lot of brilliant stuff released. Let’s get right to it and look at my four favorite releases of June 2018 Below.

Gruesome takes top spot for me this month. The cover art for Twisted Prayers is so damn metal and also summarizes the complete disgust I feel for the so called God fearing power hungry fascist monsters trying to turn us into zombies in a new crusades.

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May wrap-up: The 4 best albums of the month (Jessica)

Posted by longhairedpoet on Sunday, June 3, 2018 at 2:55 PM (PST)

How is it already June, folks?! Sorry for the delay, but I am prepared to let y’all know about my four favorite albums from the month of May.

Check them out here.

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May 2018 Round Up: 4 faves of the month (mye)

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 at 6:16 PM (PST)

Midnattsol

2018 is proving that each month has had plenty of cool metal and hardcore punk or extreme experimental music to peruse, thus making a choice of just 4 albums rather difficult. Heck, we got a Burn The Priest covers album featuring Melvins, Bad Brains and Cro-Mags covers this month, for pit’s sake. That is ridiculously rad. I decided to focus on original music releases though for my top choices for May. Remember that this is just what I was grooving along with the most. It doesn’t mean I think the new Dimmu sucks or whatever you want to project.

As I turned friggin’ 40 years old in April, I am more and more enticed to talk more about what music I like in my writing than what I don’t. Bands I am not crazy about get algorithm benefit from being discussed that helps them anyway, so I would rather try and put the word out and focus on what I think is actually good in metal rather than shred apart someone else’s gateway band. Unless a group has done something truly horrible and never changed, I am loathe to spend too much time on them when I could be plugging the new Baptists record, for instance.

I think a lot of the time we are so precious about having a better grasp of what music is “supposed to” be that we really wreck the potential for growth. The mainstream to me is like the Democratic party. I would rather participate and improve it with discourse than throw it out entirely and have a Trump style disaster (to use a metaphor) where all mainstream music is divorced from talent because no one stuck up for any real artists once they got famous. It is still a massive tragedy to me that Chester from Linkin Park had to deal with so much initial hate for making the poppier One More Light album that it maybe led to him choosing death. We really need to be more open minded, y’all. Everything has a place in the great wheel, yo.

That said, my list starts out with a lot of melody and ends up with a lot of Savagery, so you just gotta deal with it.

More BELOW.

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It doesn’t take long into a play-through of the heated and mind bending single“Waste” from NYC buzz band Zeal & Ardor to realize that Manuel Gagneux did not come to play on his creation’s new forthcoming release Stranger Fruit (out in June).

Zeal &Ardor’s Devil Is Fine debut caused a lot of tongues to wag with a mix of gospel, soul and extreme metal elements . The formerly one man band has given way to the project becoming a fully-fledged, internationally-touring group. For Stranger Fruit, Gagneux entered the studio with producer Zebo Adam and mixer Kurt Ballou (Converge, Kvelertak, Nails). The title is timely, reminding that there is still plenty of work to be done but that bridges can still be built.

Read a discussion with Manuel Below.

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April 2018 Roundup: 4 fave albums of month (mye)

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Monday, April 23, 2018 at 3:45 PM (PST)

As April came in like a ram and goes out like a bull, here are my picks for the four most rad albums that I enjoyed this month as we charge into the Spring.

See my picks BELOW.

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There are a lot of bands to be excited about in metal right now, but few have the kinetic electricity and obvious spark that Milwaukee’s metallic hardcore act KNAAVES are bringing to the scene. The group have a concise and fiery approach and a clear drive, the kind of intensity that will likely appeal to fans of Converge, Baptists, Immortal Bird or even Disfear. Their new 2 song release January is a must hear that is poised to make a lot of people take notice.

Amanda Daniels (bass) is one of my most valued friends in the metal scene. I was a big fan of her old band Enabler and believed her and got to know her better around the time that the abuse she suffered in that group became known. She is awesome and it is so great to have her presence and energy back in a group who have a ton of potential and positive energy/momentum. She is really deserving of your support and I am assuming so are the rest of the band – which features Andy Parmann (Vox), Jamie Kerwin (Guitar) and Antonio Ninham (drums).  Their music is a powerful release and we can’t wait to hear more stuff from them.

It was great to get a chance to catch up with Amanda and hear about the new project. She spoke about the recent 2 song, show and video plans, #metoo and more with myself and singer Elizabeth Le Fey (Globelamp).

Read more BELOW.

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