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Arise Blackguard disciples! Drink beer, cry and mosh!

The absence of Blackguard the last few years as I awaited news of their long delayed STORM album charred my soul. It was the Chinese…nay, Canadian Democracy that would never come. It was worse than waiting on a Tool album. I don’t even give a shit about Tool anymore in the slightest. But awaiting STORM? It made me a bitter person, a shriveled gnome forced to sleep 100 years and subsist on berries and ants in my dreams, believing my day of joy would never come. Eternal darkness. Some people I know even irresponsibly had careers and families in the meantime as I pined beneath a solitary boulder for more Blackguard.

Thankfully today I awoke and felt lifeforce flood my limbs as epic metal triumphantly roared across the skies. The boulder had squished me flat but somehow the metal revived me! I shoved the stone aside and then cowered at news of the awesomeness of the holy grail of lost albums I had anticipated for so long.

Behold, the first Blackguard Storm single “By My Hand” featuring Morgan Lander of Kittie…at last! Firefight was the anthem of all the obnoxious metal alkies in my city and the dry spell was rough. Many of us perished in the meantime of drought. No other metal could compare to quench our lust for battle.

Sez the band:

“This has a been a very long time coming, but we’re all elated to finally share with you our first single from ‘Storm’. We have no shame in saying this album is by far our best/heaviest/fastest/bla bla bla, you’ve heard it all before, but sooner than later everyone is going to know why we feel this way. We’d like to send a huge thank you to Morgan Lander of Kittie for doing an amazing job on the chorus of this song, hopefully, she can make it out to a show or two to perform it with us.”

The band recently broke their long hiatus to announce their first show in four years on March 22nd in Toronto with longtime friends Crimson Shadows and Borealis at Coalition.

STORM will be the band’s first album in 8 years and fourth overall.  The group will release the record independently on a surprise date in the coming weeks.

The album was recorded, mixed and mastered by longtime producer and former BLACKGUARD keyboardist Jonathan Lefrançois-Leduc at Silver Wings Studio in Montreal.

The video for “By My Hand” was created by Chris Kells (The Agonist) of FTB Visuals and Artwork by Rainsong Design.

 

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New Riffs Of Note: Slaves BC, Venom Prison, Tribulation

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Wednesday, February 20, 2019 at 5:27 AM (PST)

Hey kids! If you are like me and have spent most of yesterday mentally exhausted wondering when Bernie bros will stop making excuses for why pandering to the WWC “economic anxiety” myth while punching down on intersectional oppression issues and the marginalized concerned with these issues is wrong, you might just be in the need for some RIFFS! Well, a lot of good stuff has been going on over the last few days.

Let’s start off with the rabble rousers in Slaves BC. This band is by far one of the most important in the underground these days, from their willingness to speak truth to their uncompromising sound and musical fury. The new single “Mihpares” is up at The Fear And The Void HERE and is very exciting stuff with almost a chaos vortex jazz noise metal feel in the bridge that got really unsettling and I LOVED. I did not give these cats enough coverage last year and I nonetheless love them and you should as well.

Next up, Venom Prison! I know this band and track have gotten a lot of hype but they deserve it. This group crushes the skulls of dumbshits so profoundly every time! We stan! If you haven’t experienced the intensely pulverizing and frightening “Uterine Industrialisation” you need to fix that ASAP. Those circle pit worthy parts into crushing slower riffs and chug and yarrrghhhhh!!! This band is so on point with their death metal influences while engaging solidly with important issues of the day. Let’s hope they keep using their platform for awesome stuff and also as their hype grows they pick and choose well what festivals to play if some of the other bands are problematic.

Anyway, I couldn’t be more thrilled with anticipation for their forthcoming effort Samsara and I know I am not alone.

Last up for today, Tribulation. The frightening and aesthetically excellent death brandishers have released a new Live video and their Melancholia EP is available now in numerous vinyl formats HERE. Follow this link to watch their performance in Oberhausen, captured by Dirk Behlau, produced by Beastwoodfilms and mixed & mastered by Linus Björklund of Hi Filer Productions. Their last few records really struck to heart (no vampire staking pun intended) of the band’s ability to evoke a passion for the dark. Few groups are so adept at cultivating a shadowy mystique without being completely absurd or losing sight of songwriting. “Nightbound” isn’t as “new” as the other songs on here but this video is!

Ok, like bats in the daytime…hang in there, brethren.

 

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If you are buzzing from High On Fire’s much deserved Grammy win and recognition despite their steadfast riffiness and bad ass gargled biker warlord ogre vocals, let’s keep the good news coming. It is always a great day when we can announce more forward thinking yet riff-tastic albums that keep evolving the scene and subtly challenging the former status quo while still actually rocking your socks off as well. Inter Arma certainly fit in that category and whether they will ever get recognized by music’s most at times clueless night remains to be scene…but they have certainly already had their share of critical hype at the fringes.

The Richmond band continue to follow their own course and new song “Citadel” below is a serious clobber fest. I always love their ability to bridge death and art metal elements with sludge in a concise way that seems seamless instead of like grasping wildly at straws for relevance. Inter Arma always make sure their songs are good and not just style checklists for whatever is hip, it seems. This new track is incredible and lumbers like a brontosaurus beneath screaming banshee demoness pterodactyls flying through geysers of steaming guitar heat!

Anyway, I love this band and have seen them live a few times now. Eager to again. The new album is called Sulphur English ominously and is out April 12th (day after my bday) on mighty Relapse.

Vocalist Mike Paparo comments:

“The lyrics to “Citadel” were written as a sort of clarion call to myself about overcoming depression and the demons that manifest with it. It, like most of the lyrical content on the record, is deeply personal to me.  

For the band as a whole, Sulphur English is an ill-tempered, unrepentant act of defiance towards stagnation and complacency. We create this music on our own terms and we refuse to compromise our collective vision, for better or worse.”

Sulphur English is due out April 12th on CD/2xLP/Digital. Physical packages are available for pre-order via Relapse.com HERE. Digital Downloads / Streaming Services are available HERE.

 

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So I was half watching Season 4 of The 100 (I still fuck with that show, love the cast) and simultaneously scrolling Instagram absent-mindedly like an overstimulated, over-worked semi-human in 2019. Suddenly some awesome, huge alt-rock guitar and an unmistakable voice reached my ears and made my eyes open wide. Listen HERE.

So I stare at my tiny phone screen and how friggin’ stoked am I to realize it is Chris fuckin’ Traynor of Bush and most importantly one of my all time favorite bands Orange 9MM (who I dropped out of college to open for like an idiot, but he wasn’t in the band at that point. PS. It was still worth it -lol). And yes, he was collaborating in the studio with Grey Daze , a project Chester was involved in throughout his life. In addition to the massive song Chester did with Mark Morton that just came out, this little Grey Daze audio clip gave me huge chills and everything sounds brilliant and emotive. The held out notes over the big guitar sounds so soulful. An older Grey Daze tweet from December makes it sound like much of the tracks are older and finally being completed.

Even cooler, Traynor responded to me on Twitter and IG about it. I’m over the moon!

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“Meet me in outer spaaaace…”

Death metal prog tech current crop (circle?) leaders with otherworldly talent? Of course we are talking about Allegaeon. They rock, yo! Man, those dudes really in hindsight now completely won that Mish Way argument. Hard to have the moral high ground complaining about some death metal band crowdfunding when you are writing “Dad of The Moment” puff pieces about Jordan friggin’ Peterson and calling Ben Shapiro an intellectual, blughhh. I am not linking to that but it is in Penthouse if you must know. Anyway, tangent…Allegaeon have revealed details for their new album Apoptosis! Via Metal Blade:

On April 19th, Allegaeon will release their new album, Apoptosis, via Metal Blade Records. A near-perfect symbiosis of technical, progressive, and melodic death metal, Apoptosis is a record that is as crushingly heavy as it is inventive, lithe and intelligent, and marks a significant leap forward in the band’s songwriting. To watch the video for the first single, “Stellar Tidal Disruption” (directed by Robert Graves // http://www.ashadowbeyond.com/), please visit: http://metalblade.com/allegaeon

I was certain “Stellar Tidal Disruption” is actually a secret rallying cry to Incubus fans who are sadly just not that good at surfing, but I might just be having a flight of fancy. Blame the moon! Seriously though, this song goes hard. That solo section at 3:35, woo boy.

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Deathchant premieres “Pessimist”

Posted by longhairedpoet on Wednesday, December 12, 2018 at 1:45 PM (PST)

L.A. doomers Deathchant have premiered their newest track “Pessimist.”

“Pessimist” comes off the band’s forthcoming self-titled album due out on January 10 via King Volume Records.

The album was captured live over a two-day period at a secluded cabin in Big Bear, California.

Check out “Pessimist” and “Hex” as well as Deathchant tour dates here.

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Jarboe releases “Karuna” single

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Monday, November 26, 2018 at 5:50 PM (PST)

Jarboe releases the first single titled, “Karuna” from her spiritually enlightened new album due out on December 14th, “The Cut Of The Warrior”. “Karuna” is streaming now via PopMatters.

The song, a 7+ minute meditation, includes clanging metal percussion, gongs, chanting, and was recorded inside a meditation dome. “Karuna” was then mixed by Kris Force (Amber Asylum).

“The Cut Of The Warrior” is scheduled for release on December 14th via Translation Loss Records. Pre-order is available now.

Jarboe offers a spiritually enlightened work titled “The Cut of the Warrior”. Four gorgeous compositions that pull inspiration from Jarboe’s kinship to buddhism are meticulously crafted and presented. The album is armed with three alternative mixes/collaborations with Byla (featuring members of Gorguts, Dysrhythmia), End Christian and Kris Force (Amber Asylum) while being housed in a stunning layout by Dehn Sora.

“The Cut of the Warrior refers to the practice of Chöd by illustrating repeated attempts to cut through the ego”, explains Jarboe. “The Chöd practitioner seeks to tap the power of fear through activities such as rituals set in graveyards and visualizations of offering their bodies in a tantric feast in order to put their understanding of emptiness to the ultimate test.”

“The Cut of the Warrior” will be released on December 14, 2018.

Track Listing:
1. Wayfaring Stranger In The Bardo
2. GodGoddess
3. Feast
4. Karuna
5. Karuna (Byla mix)
6. Wayfaring Stranger In The Bardo (End Christian mix)
7. GodGoddess reprise (Kris Force mix)

Album credits:
Written, performed, recorded by Jarboe
Mastered by Kris Force

Album layout by Dehn Sora

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Fractal Cypher premiere “The Grandeur Of It All”

Posted by longhairedpoet on Monday, November 5, 2018 at 12:56 PM (PST)

L – R: Steven Cope (Drums), Tommy Fradette (Bass), Simon Lavoie (Vocals), Ludovick Daoust (Keyboards), Vincent Bruneau (Guitars)
Photo Credits : Eric Sanchez Photography

Canadian progressive metaller’s Fractal Cypher are premiering a new track, “The Grandeur Of It All.”

“The Grandeur Of It All” comes off the band’s “mini-album” Prelude To An Impending Outcome which is due out on November 8.

Prelude To An Impending Outcome was produced by Chris Donaldson (Cryptopsy, The Agonist, Beyond Creation).

Guitarist Vincent Bruneau says this of “The Grandeur Of It All:”

“‘The Grandeur of It All’ is definitely more energetic and straight forward, with back beats on drums, rock n roll riffs on guitars and catchy vocal lines in choruses and verses. There’s a “bluesy” vibe in the song that is quite obvious all the way through, but we keep it progressive in terms of the song structure, dynamics and tempo changes. ‘Let’s have fun!’ is the mood of this song.”

The artwork for Prelude To An Impending Outcome was done by Silent Q Design out of Montreal.

The band adds:

“’Prelude To An Impending Outcome’ is a mini album of 4 songs that are completely different from one to another to create a maximum roller coaster effect and make it non linear and interesting to listen to. The clash of style is more important and more obvious than our previous album, but the songs have gained in maturity in term of songwriting and sound. The vibe of this mini-album is really more intimate, due to the lyrics and the overall ambiance/universe of the songs. The melodic side of the band is still really present, offering catchy vocal lines and outstanding solos all over the songs.”

Check out “The Grandeur Of It All,” the tracklist and the album art for Prelude To An Impending Outcome here.

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Integrity cover Ozzy

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Wednesday, October 31, 2018 at 1:05 PM (PST)

Integrity covering “Bark At The Moon” by Ozzy? Sign us the Hell up! Even if the candy has push pins in it, we are into this by the handful! Happy Halloween, headbangers.

 

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Amulet announce new singer, album

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Wednesday, September 5, 2018 at 7:10 PM (PST)

London heavy metal bruisers Amulet announce the addition of talented new permanent singer Federico “Mace” Mazza and finish writing second album.

Mace joined in early Summer following a successful show supporting Cirith Ungol and Angel Witch at The Underworld in Camden in May 2018. Since that show the new line-up have been working hard with Mace to finish writing their long-gestating second album. The band are excited about the addition of his powerful pipes and confident about the 12 heavy new songs they are preparing. Mace has lived in London for several years and has fronted tasty Italian metal act Asgard since a teenager 15 years ago. He replaces original singer Jamie Elton who moved to Sweden in 2016. Amulet said farewell to Jamie with a German tour in June 2018.

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NYHC kings Sick Of It All are hands down one of the most inspiring bands of all time. Only a knucklehead could overlook the import of the band’s outlook, lyrics, vibe and commitment when it comes to influence on the underground. They are certainly one of, if not the, top hardcore bands of all time and continue to inspire me to keep trudging through the eroding force of modern society with a smile and a helmet on nearly a daily basis.

“Inner Vision” is the dope ass new SOIA lyric video. Let’s try and crank those views up for the boys! I am catching SOIA meets Ignite vibes on this one a little bit, or is that just my half awake ears? This is the first new song from their forthcoming albumWake the Sleeping Dragon, which is slated for a November 2 release via Century Media Records. Sounding killer so far! Hmmm, too bad the album didn’t come out in time for season 2 of Iron Fist with that title! SOIA packs the hardest punch anyway.

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Erosion premiere new song “Black Waves”

Posted by longhairedpoet on Wednesday, August 29, 2018 at 12:19 PM (PST)

Photo by: Ryan Walter Wagner

Vancouver sludge metallers Erosion have premiered their newest song “Black Waves” via Metal Injection.

“Black Waves” comes from the band’s forthcoming album Maximum Suffering which is due out October 19 via Hydra Head.

Maximum Suffering is Erosion’s first full-length album and first release since 2013’s Kill Us All cassette EP. Self-described as a “cathartic audio expulsion of our collective contempt for humanity,” Maximum Suffering combines the reductionist brutalism of early grind outfits, the blazing tempos of classic d-beat hardcore, and the warped stomp-and-crush riffage of modern death metal’s most nefarious troglodytes.

You can also check out the band’s song “Human Error” over at Revolver.

Pre-order Maximum Suffering via Erosion’s Bandcamp.

Erosion, Maximum Suffering Track Listing:
1. Maximum Suffering
2. Everything is F***ed
3. Need for Death
4. Human Error
5. Serpent Lust
6. The Crone
7. Deep In Hell
8. We Have Failed Us
9. Scorched Earth
10. Black Waves
11. Storm of Steel
12. Dusted
13. Consumed

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Warbringer announce new single & European tour

Posted by longhairedpoet on Wednesday, August 15, 2018 at 1:06 PM (PST)

Photo Credit: Alex Solca

California thrashers Warbringer have announced that they are preparing to release a new single, “Power Unsurpassed,” digitally (August 17) and on Vinyl (August 24).

Vocalist John Kevill on “Power Unsurpassed:”

“We are putting out a single, “Power Unsurpassed,” so we have some new material for you all this summer, as we gear up to write and record our 6th record. It’s designed as a total neck-breaker, with hammering riffs and a shredding solo. It is about people who want to take orders from no one, and to make their will reality- at any price. We’ll be playing this when we return to Europe this month, at festivals and alongside Sepultura. It has been a good year since we invaded European shores, and as always we look forward to delivering completely savage live thrash metal to all in attendance. We will play a mix of material from Woe to the Vanquished, the previous 4 albums, as well as the new single “Power Unsurpassed,” which we expect will completely crush in the pit. There’s a mixture of club dates and festival appearances, but as fans know, Warbringer will bring total aggression to any stage, anytime, anywhere. Europe- You’re Next!”

“Power Unsurpassed” was produced by Mike Plottnikoff (In Flames, Fear Factory) and mastered by Howie Weinberg (Slayer, Metallica). With the album artwork by Hugo Juarez.

Check out Warbringer tour dates and “Power Unsurpassed” album art here.

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Crippled Black Phoenix stream new track, “Nebulas”

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Thursday, August 2, 2018 at 12:29 PM (PST)

International dark rock collective CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX are streaming another new track off their forthcoming album, ‘The Great Escape’. The stunning new track, titled “Nebulas”, melds psychedelic soundscapes with moving post rock, and features the evocative, ethereal vocals of Swedish singer Belinda Kordic (SEL DELAN).

Regarding the track, CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX mastermind Justin Greaves comments, “Given the fact that both Belinda and myself are huge animal lovers and animal rights supporters, it has always seemed the right thing to do to make songs about the animals. We did it with our “other” band Se Delan, so when I gave her the demos for Great Escape songs, Belinda got straight back to me with this burning need to write a song for the animals. It completes the song and fits into the thread of the album.” 

Vocalist Belinda Kordic continues, “Often I’m referred to as a “closed book”, which is true I guess, but when it comes to animals and their well-being, I’ll rip my heart out and serve it on a plate. I know we can’t bare the weight of the worlds evil on our shoulders, and we can’t save all of them, the unloved, abused and neglected animals of the world. But I have a tendency to want to do just that and its hard to cope with at times. This song is for them.”

CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX  will release Great Escape, a new full length album on Sept 14. Great Escape sees the band pushing their prodigious talents and creativity to the limit, interweaving influences spanning the sonic landscapes of post rock, experimental music, and heavy prog. Pre-orders for ‘Great Escape’ are available now at the Season of Mist E-Shop.

Track-list
1.You Brought It Upon Yourselves
2. To You I Give (click to stream, also available on Spotify)
3. Uncivil War (Pt. I)
4. Madman
5. Times, They Are A Raging
6. Rain Black, Reign Heavy
7. Slow Motion Breakdown
8. Nebulas
9. Las Diabolicas
10. Great Escape (Pt. I)
11. Great Escape (Pt. II)

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New Single: Foxbat’s “White T(h)rash” takes on privilege

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Thursday, July 19, 2018 at 6:10 PM (PST)

Photo by Mike Thompson.

Hey rockers. Today we have a ripping and rollicking new single called “White T(h)rash” for you from Foxbat. It was awesome to find out the hard hitting hardcore and rock n roll influenced act had a song for us about white privilege being a real problem, since there are enough ignorant types out there in the world who think otherwise and since I am always trying to get people to watch 13th on Netflix. It doesn’t mean white people can’t have had hard lives, rather that they also don’t have to deal with institutional racism on top of it.

Props to the band, who fans of ETID and their ilk will be super stoked on, for confronting this important topic despite the potential to get shit from bigoted edgelord trolls.

Since forming a few years back the Louisville, KY act has shared stages with heavy hitters such as: He is Legend, ’68,  Norma Jean, Islander, and The Devil Wears Prada. Foxbat features ex-members from: SoCal’s Prog-Metal outfit I, Omega (Bullet Tooth) and Louisville’s own Party Rockers Uh Huh Baby Yeah (Revival Recordings). The band are releasing their Rotgut debut album on August 3rd via Louisville, KY’s record label Core Sample Records.

“White T(h)rash is about acknowledging one’s privilege and more specifically, white privilege,” says Clay Nevels (vocals). “White people tend to pretend their privilege doesn’t exist. Or as individuals, they don’t currently contribute to society’s perpetuation because of events that happened before the current generation was born. That’s just not the case. We all are a part of it, regardless of intentions or how you grew up. It exists. My thought is that you should be aware of it and when it’s oppressive to others; as well as, when you could potentially use it as an ally to help someone else’s voice be heard and not stifled.”

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