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Death metal fans are raving about the new self-titled Obituary release for excellent reason. From the hysterical video for “Ten Thousand Ways To Die” that picks up where their Inked In Blood “Violence” clip left off and is bound to get a chuckle out of almost anybody, to more rock solid songwriting that builds on one of the most impeccable musical legacies in death metal, Obituary are both writing for themselves and pleasing die hard fans at the same time. The results will have fans crashing down doors like the zombie hordes the Florida greats seem to fear most.

Next year will mark thirty years since the group changed their name from Xecutioner and made metal heavier forever. It seemed about time for a self-titled album under those circumstances, but I spoke with one of the founders, Trevor Peres, to get to the bottom of it all.

More below.

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 Betraying The Martyrs new record The Resilient  more than proves they are here to stay and should not be underestimated. We spoke a few months back with vocalist Aaron Matts about the Paris, France based Sumerian rockers latest, what goes into songwriting and more.

 

This interview was originally published weeks ago with a different intro but was lost in the malware issue we had that wiped about a year of site content. I had enough of it backed up that I was able to rebuild it for the fans of this young, bright metalcore act and for readers who maybe even missed it the first time.
Check it out BELOW.
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Interview: Paralandra – Hard Rock hopefuls seize the spotlight

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Saturday, March 25, 2017 at 8:33 AM (PST)

When I first heard Paralandra I knew they had a great chance of becoming one of my new favorite hard rock bands. The commercial crossover appeal of Lacuna Coil or Halestorm married to a deeper strain of bluesy hard rock and alternative groove gives this Springfield, Missouri act an edge that has many eyes on them already.

You can catch them on The Alive Tour this April or on a great opportunity slot playing Rocklahoma  alongside many acts including Three Days Grace, The Cult, Taking Back Sunday and more this May.

Drummer Nick Gray fills us in on band dynamics, their sound and work ethic, recording and almost getting to open for Scott Weiland.

Read more about this inspiring bunch of true believers BELOW.

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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.

More below.

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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.

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AC/DC’s ‘High Voltage’ Turns 40!

Posted by longhairedpoet on Friday, April 22, 2016 at 5:45 PM (PST)

AC.DC

High Voltage celebrates the 40th anniversary of its international release on April 30.

These past few years have been rough on the boys in AC/DC – and I know I don’t have to fill you in with all of the details.

All I have to say is as I listen to High Voltage I know that there’s nothing particularly rosey about AC/DC – and there never was.

Check out my full retrospective on this massive album here.

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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.

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‘Yeah, records on vinyl are a big thing here. Frankly, I prefer it the way it was, as an outsider thing with record fairs, hole in the wall record stores and seedy second hand shops crammed with used porno mags and Bonnie Tyler maxi singles. No, wait, maybe I don’t.’ – Benediktator

If you want to have your day or night irrevocably changed, like entering into a magical and demented forest from which you might not return for a hundred years, look no further than the third release from Norway’s saturnine prog force Tusmørke. Fort Bak Lyset is the album in question, a veritable circus of odd riffs, vertiginous chanting, danceable merry making and impishness on a profound scale. Svart Records is lucky to be releasing this insanity on the masses, dangling a truly adventurous musical carrot out there for the brave souls willing to follow the super weird music into the laughing forest.

Enlightened psychedelic progenitors Benediktator, Krizla and the phenomenon Marxo Solinas speak to us today from a realm of imagination so that we might glimpse a slight understanding of the inner workings of this peculiar and splendid group’s latest.

More below.

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“We started off as a government experiment gone right for once. Designed by
naval science officers aboard the “USS who gives a shit” ~Montana (vox/guitar)

Gossip Girl, Megan Fox, Taylor Lautner, Sugar Ray, Jar Jar Binks. What do they
have in common? I’m pretty sure they all were on the cover of Rolling Stone in America before
the fucking Ramones ! Chew on that awhile, lovers of rock n roll.

Maybe it is because, like NYC’s Tournament, the Ramones were a band who arguably make rock critics less of a necessity. Just press play/drop a needle and the music packs so much punch that it tells your body and brain most of what it needs to know. It speaks for itself.

I nerd out a lot, and today at the dentist’s office waiting room I was reading Terry Goodkind’s Phantom. There is a part where the characters are discussing the magical Sword of Truth and someone says ,“It is not the weapon that matters so much as the man who wields the weapon.”

This is also very true of the guitar (with a disclaimer that it doesn’t just have to be a “man”). Proof can be witnessed when Tournament play The Acheron with Ex-Cult on May 28th.

Tournament take Brooklyn radittude to new heights and decimate mere hipster bands with antics, alcohol consumption and fiery live shows that have garnered them a reputation as great rockers and solid songwriters. Along with bands like PMS and the Mood Swings, Tower, Mother Feather and The Compulsions, Tournament prove the Big Apple can still be a place where rock n roll can’t be killed. We support this message and recommend you check out the following interview with Montana (vox/guitar) and Jordan (drums) from the group as well as purchase their The End Records debut Teenage Creature post haste.

Read on BELOW.

Judas Priest’s ‘Turbo’ turns 30!

Posted by longhairedpoet on Saturday, April 9, 2016 at 4:58 PM (PST)

Judas Priest

Turbo turns 30 on April 14! In commemoration of this – a foray by Judas Priest into Glam Metal, I took a look back at the album to see how it holds up after all of these years.

Ten years after Sad Wings of Destiny Judas Priest had really come into their own sound as any owner of a Judas Priest greatest hits collection or any ‘80s metal will understand.

Whereas Sad Wings of Destiny was seen as straight heavy metal, Turbo is seen to have glam metal influences.

Check out the full retrospective on the album here.

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For this generation a lot of self-esteem comes from the phone or a picture like on Instagram. A Facebook comment. Since we didn’t have that when I was a kid we would talk about bands, shows, ideas. So I try to get back to that with my daughter or my circle of friends. – Jamey Jasta.

It’s always a pleasure to interview Hatebreed as one of the most consistently heavy, scowling bands in the world are actually some of the most down to Earth and grateful dudes in the business. Hatebreed are a band whose (cough) perseverance makes me never believe haters or doubters in my own life who say things can’t be
accomplished, the worm-tongue types or divider who will whisper negative mantras or lazy couch warriors who give up too soon for want of trying rather than take a hard
fucking look at why they are such losers.

New album The Concrete Confessional proves this unkillable band never settle for living in the past or resting on their laurels. It is a barrage of meaningful and
impactful tunes that will earn more praise and respect from anyone worth a shit. There are some bad ass pre-order packages up HERE.

Album deets from the press release:

The Concrete Confessional was recorded in Connecticut, produced by long-time collaborator Zeuss (Rob Zombie, Suicide Silence, Whitechapel), and mixed by Josh Wilbur(Lamb of God, Megadeth). Artwork was created by Marcelo Vasco (Slayer). The new music is crushing and heavy with provocative lyrics that touch upon a number of topics that have become front-and-center in today’s New Normal: the rise of terrorism, police brutality, moral decay, greed and betrayal, increased divisiveness, and the fading promise of the American Dream, potently covered on the track “A.D.”

Read more below.

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“We needed a name. We did this surgically in a sense that it was me and Sam. Jello came down for a weekend but otherwise it was two of us hashing out ideas. So it was surgical. The first half of the record was so fast. I did the guitar and bass on it and had stiff little fingers playing meth music to keep up with the kids. And the drums were machines because Sammy did all the programming. So, Surgical Meth Machine. And it is funny because now I am doing more press on this than Ministry, Revco and Lard combined! It’s pretty gross.” -Al Jourgensen.

Surgical Meth Machine is the latest brain boggler from industrial legend Al Jourgensen. It is pretty much down to Al and Keef Richards in the rock n roll unkillable deadpool at this point, but Al shows no signs of releasing anything less than crazy before the apocalypse (or being in a Disney movie). SMM is a rollercoaster of a weird record that has some of his most unhinged, white knuckle/teeth gnashing machine thrash in years but gets increasingly through the looking glass and trippy as the record eggs you on into a black hole.

The album was crafted off-and-on over a period of 12 months, mostly in the
Cuban-American singer and multi-instrumentalist’s Burbank, California studio
with longtime engineer Sam D’Ambruoso.

So, first time I interviewed Al years ago he told me I should make a necklace out of my vas deferens and about how doctors lost his toe once and teaching his dog to be a designated driver.It was awesome to talk AGAIN to Al today and pick his brain about medical marijuana, the algorithms of the apocalypse, politics and this awesome new record from Nuclear Blast.

More Below.

Comic Book Review: Black Canary Vol. 1: Kicking And Screaming

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Saturday, April 2, 2016 at 3:58 PM (PST)

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DC sadly dropped the ball on the bloated BVS so fucking hard (Deadpool and Ant Man both blew it awayyyyy in terms of quality and are both  initially lower profile non team movies from other studios) but one thing that they are currently behind which rocks is the new Black Canary series helmed by Brenden Fletcher. Not since Dazzler’s days of fronting a band in the pages of X-Men has there been such a fun blend of pop art and punk rock in a comic book (unless you count the Brody Dalle inspired lead character of American Dark Age).

Black Canary is now a punk rock/new wave band who sort of sound like The Sounds or White Lung mish mashed with Missing Persons. Yes, I said sound like because in an awesome viral move the band have an EP out on Bandcamp! In a world where we can have Gorillaz, why not? “Fish Out Of Water” is actually a pretty fuckin’ great song! I wonder who the real performers are? Kudos on this great idea, a way better reinvention of a character than making Lex Luthor a sad Riddler rip off wuss.

Is the comic good? Well, the Vol. 1 Kicking and Screaming trade is plenty fun. It is campy but still has some depth, albeit a bit of the male fantasy side that usually happens when super hero blondes front rock bands in comic books. Black Canary’s Dinah Lance in this current incarnation sort of recalls the real band Barb Wire Dolls‘ Isis Queen if she took the time to beat the living crap out of many of her fans or those foolish enough to heckle.

The supporting cast is great, from a mute pre teen band member named Ditto who Dinah protects to Lord Byron, a sort of Gail Ann Dorsey ringer who tries to bring restraint and reason to the chaos and anchors the band. Some things are silly like the band always using a tour bus. Empire also is a pretty absurd depiction of the music industry these days. It just isn’t how things are any more. But this is a comic book and the Black Canary band is supposed to be pretty controversial and popular. The art by Annie Wu, Pia Guerra and Sandy Jarrell recalls what worked best about Jill Thompson’s epic Invisibles issues in the 90’s with perfect bright colors from Lee Loughride really bringing this book to life even more than the more fun than vital writing.

It’s not as life changing as Transmetropolitan or as groundbreaking as the body positive Faith over at Valiant, but Black Canary is certainly a fun ride. If you only know the character from CW’s Arrow, you’re going to be confused as heck, but this is a great book for readers who love rock n roll and want to jump into a newer comic that isn’t as brooding as Batman yet still mixes some real world stuff into a crazy Universe. There is also a good sub plot about rivalry between a former singer of the band and Dinah, the new singer. It kind of underscores well how sucky it is that women more often than not are competing in music rather than helping one another form a united front.

Order the first graphic novel collection HERE.

Deep Cuts: Aerosmith

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Saturday, April 2, 2016 at 9:07 AM (PST)

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Call them the epitome of excess , call them dinosaurs or call
them out for managing to weasel their way into pop culture discussions decade
after decade, there is no denying the eternal power of Aerosmith. Critics and
haters can scoff as they aren’t high brow or dark enough, but at any moment
Aerosmith can still whip out a handful of classics or a bluesy new number and
sound as huge as they ever did. No one gave Judas Priest half as much shit for
being on American Idol as Steven Tyler gets for many of his, admittedly,
ridiculous more “pop” targeted choices of late but check out what he did for
this nice Ontario boy with Down’s Syndrome. Plus, he gave us Liv Tyler.

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Personally, we are in way worse hands nowadays with pop stars who just don’t
have the talent or the larger than life personas (is Bieber anything compared to
Steven Tyler in his glorious prime, really? No fucking way. Stop hugging him, Lady Gaga).

Where are the icons who can last another 40 years? You can blame it on
the record industry and album sales or marketing but at some point it is also
on the bands for not being lifers and for being chicken to stick it out.

For this hard rock centered Deep Cuts I picked three tunes that may not be as
fucking perfect as “Last Child” but which still could burn down any barn.
Aerosmith are amazing when they bring the boogie, stomp and no pity/no
apologies street glam to their stadium ready bar fight rock so I choose to
write about that side of the band rather than, say, “Pink” (lmao).

Listen to NYC’s The Compulsions, Krist Novoselic’s low end groove, Royal Trux’ Neil Hagerty’s
extended hazed out mid period soloing ( the cig smoke reeking “…Horror James” comes to mind), the recent Danzig cover of “Lord Of TheThighs” (by far the coolest tune on Skeletons) or any of the early material by
a little comeback band called Guns N Roses, you know that we still aren’t
worthy.

Let’s hope Steven wraps up the fully unnecessary solo shenanigans soon and gets back in the
saddle.

Read the 3 song picks below.

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It is hard deciding if the best approach to reviewing such an exhaustive and important milestone  for Opeth as The Book Of Opeth, a super rewarding and fans in mind work of art (would you expect anything less?) from one of metal’s most revered bands, with a more exhaustive or impressionistic approach.

Aesthetically, it is as stunning visually as any of the band’s greatest achievements. The moody respect for the essential mystery of nature and the spirit and cerebral leaning craftsmanship with an emphasis on complexity has carried over, albeit instead of actual riffs we have the stories in the book which allow a hand swiped view through the foggy window of awe; a peak into the inner workings of a group who have earned every inch of respect over the past 25 years and change.

Much like the crucial Decibel anointed Choosing Death or Only Death Is Real from Bazillion Points, this Opeth doozy is fun while chock full of enough respect for sociology and the genre to warrant such an endeavor even if the band wasn’t as important as they ARE. You really get a sense of their development over the course of hundreds of killer photos, lush layout page detailing and fantastic reflections from members. Like Sean Yseult’s recent I’m In The Band or even, say, the massive Emperor 24 vinyl box set which the mere thought of makes me weep and shiver, this is a serious fucking beast of merchandise of the highest order and a celebration of accomplishment with a major sense of adventure and wonder for the entire business of it all. More than a labor of vanity or love, this says pay attention, this is about the collective work of amazing lives.

More below.

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