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).
Featured StreamsMore MR Interviews
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
The musical brainchild of bassist Tas Danazoglou (Satan’s Wrath, ex-Electric Wizard) Mirror‘s collection of cult crypt-kickers and mighty conjurings bears all the hallmarks of an instant classic. A chance meeting with respected producer (Ghost, Cathedral, Paradise Lost) and accomplished drummer Jaime Gomez Arellano led to the pair hitting on a shared vision of a classically aligned outfit that drew inspiration from the epic amplified landscapes of lore and legend whilst avoiding the lure of mere tribute, rather reinventing the sound and fury they loved anew. They were soon joined by Satan’s Wrath axeman Stamos K, and their fate further sealed by the arrival of the mightily operatic tenor of vocalist Jimmy Mavromatis, before the ouroborus was completed with the arrival of Los Angeles-based guitarist Matt Olivo (Repulsion). Together as Mirror they deliver a thunderously resonant salvo of metal magnificence.
Check the band’s excellent new video for “Galleon” HERE.
This April, Mirror will support Repulsion at select dates in the UK. In regards to these special performances, Tas Danazoglou comments: “We are very excited to play two shows supporting Repulsion. We will deliver pure, relentless heavy metal and hopefully many more shows will follow.”
Mirror tour dates
w/ Repulsion, Dripback
April 12 – Manchester, UK – Sound Control (+ Exxxecutioner)
April 13 – London, UK – Underworld (+ Lunatic Hooker)
Add to My Radar
On February 26th, Los Angeles prog-metal outfit Redemption – featuring Nick van Dyk, Ray Alder (Fates Warning, Engine), Sean Andrews, and Chris Quirarte (as well as guitarist Bernie Versailles, who is presently on an indefinite medical hiatus) – will release their sixth full-length, The Art of Loss, via Metal Blade Records worldwide! In anticipation of its release, the band has launched a video for the album’s title track online (featuring guest guitarist Chris Poland). Directed by Brian Cox / Flarelight Films (http://flarelightfilms.com), “The Art of Loss” video can be viewed here:metalblade.com/redemption
Director Brian Cox comments: “It’s very easy to dwell on the past. To stew in pain, wishing you could get someone or something back that you may have lost. But in the end, you will always have yourself, no matter how much things might change. Nobody can ever take that from you and that’s the message I tried to convey with this video.”
Redemption‘s Nick van Dyk (guitars/keyboards) adds: “We’re very excited to have worked with Brian to bring this song to life in this medium. The story of regret, survival, transcendence and the realization that we have the ability to be authors of our own destiny is brought home with the visuals that Brian has directed. Needless to say, it’s also surreal to perform with the great Chris Poland. This video is a great representation of what Redemption stands for, musically and thematically.”
For another preview of The Art of Loss, please visit metalblade.com/redemption to view the lyric video for the first single, “Damaged” – featuring guest guitarist Marty Friedman – and to pre-order the album in various formats. The second single, “Thirty Silver” – featuring guest guitarists Chris Poland, Marty Friedman, and Chris Broderick – can be heard here: https://soundcloud.com/metalbladerecords/redemption-thirty-silver
Containing over 70 minutes of their unique blend of passion, melody, aggression and complexity, The Art of Loss was produced once again by Tommy Hansen (Helloween, Pagan’s Mind, Pretty Maids, etc.), who worked with the band on 2009’s Snowfall on Judgment Day. The cover artwork was also created by long-time Redemption collaborator Travis Smith (Opeth, Amorphis). Musically, The Art of Loss follows its predecessor (2011’s This Mortal Coil), but their newest work finds composition, musicianship and production taken up another notch, with an array of songs ranging from hard-hitting melodic metal to the 23-minute epic “At Day’s End”– plus, special guest appearances from Chris Broderick, John Bush, Marty Friedman, Simone Mularoni and Chris Poland. See below for the official track-listing!Add to My Radar
The Saint Vitus Bar listening party for the sure to be a hugely victorious new Amon Amarth ear pillager Jomsviking was a great event. The already classic yet still newer venue (in the larger scheme of things) hosted a small gathering of some of the most viking metal faithful writers in the scene and various label and musician types as vocalist Johan Hegg of Amon Amarth held court.
The thunderous music was a delight to behold, the full throttle charge of instant anthem “First Kill” (complete with some awesome descending riffs and Johan’s mighty roar) letting us know this was indeed a full blown Amon Amarth battle cry. One does not simply get to their tenth album of Viking themed melodeath and suddenly put out an album of squishy water in your jelly flip flop pool party tunes, for example.
No. Dudes open their new record with the lyrics ,“The first man I killed was the Earl’s right hand man!” growled like it means everything to Johan. These dudes have the power of At the Gates yet with the intense epic feel of European sagas. Outlaw anthems to melt the heart of Skade, the Ski-goddess.
Johan welcomed the writers and PR people, some of us meeting for the first time as people had flown in from the West Coast for the special, exclusive event. He was very friendly but said he hoped we liked the record and made a funny threatening growl at us. My guitarist Ryan Rios from our band GET OUT. had driven me, as I am pretty nearsighted and shitty in metropolitan areas, and he noted that “Raise Your Horns” in particular reminded him of some of the classic styles that made “Runes To My Memory” from With Odin On Our Side so memorable. “The Way Of The Vikings” stood out to me as one of the most aggressive and anthemic tracks yet from a band known for crushing mead halls beneath their treading boots.
The record sounded absolutely incredible and it was cool to run into some old friends like John from Candiria or meet Frank from Metal Injection in person finally or other assembled Metal Blade homies. Jomsviking is really, really uncompromising and good. The epic feel you love is there and yet the songs seem a bit faster, at least to me. There are still some slower war marches and even an awesome, prickly inside cameo from the legendary Valkyrie, er …warlock (World of Warcraft forums say ladies can be Warlocks too) Doro Pesch that raises the whole record to even further Asgardian heights on penultimate track “A Dream That Cannot Be”.
More below.Add to My Radar
Late March Amon Amarth will unleash their 10th studio album Jomsviking, via Metal Blade Records (North America)/Sony Music (International)! Jomsviking – the band’s first concept record in their storied career – tells a tragic tale of love and revenge, backed by the Swedes’ trademark melodic, anthemic metal, which was produced and mixed once again by Andy Sneap (Megadeth, Testament, Accept) and also features special guest session drummer Tobias Gustafsson (Vomitory).
The epic original story is set in the world of the Jomsvikings, the legendary order of mercenary Vikings. As front-man Johan Hegg explains: “The Jomsvikings were a shadowy and legendary sect of Viking mercenaries, as shrouded in myth now as they were when they fought across Europe and the Middle East. Ruthless and deadly warriors who fought for the highest bidder, their code was simple: Show no fear. Never retreat. Defend your brothers, and when called upon, avenge their deaths. I felt we were finally ready to use their story as the jumping off point for an Amon Amarth album. The Jomsvikings and their world is the background for the story of a young man that is in love with a girl but unfortunately she’s being married off. He accidentally kills a man when this happens and he has to flee – but he swears to have revenge and win her back. He can’t let go of the past. He feels that he’s been wronged and his life has been destroyed. The way the story evolves is not a happy story.”
By far their most ambitious project to date, Jomsviking is available for pre-order in various formats now at amonamarth.com (see below for the official track-listing) – where fans can also view the video for the album’s first single, “First Kill”. Produced by Grupa 13 (http://www.grupa13.com) and directed by Darek Szermanowicz (Behemoth), “First Kill” was filmed in Gohrweide (Germany) and Warsaw (Poland) and features a cinematic depiction of the violent, brutal lyrics, along with powerful live footage of the band performing with their full dragon head and pyro stage-set.
More belowAdd to My Radar
Interview: Brimstone Coven – Upon the Mountain… of rock greatness (with a pocket full of black magic)
Brimstone Coven are our first interview of 2016. We feel they represent the qualities that make metal great, a deep respect for the past with a desire for an individual, modern footprint. Plus killer tunes.
“Journey for knowledge/within the open mind.”
It is lamentable that That Metal Show was cancelled and hopefully it will find another home, yet let us never fail to have in depth discussions on metal’s supreme incredible gifts to the world.
Get their latest Black Magic HERE.
Read the interview BELOW.
Formed only four short years ago in Wheeling, West Virginia, Brimstone Coven self-released Brimstone Coven and its follow-up II in 2013, before Metal Blade inked a deal and packaged both releases as a single set, entitled Brimstone Coven (2014). Inspired by the Appalachian’s darkness and mysticism (such as the Mothman, a winged creature that emerged in the ’60s; Screaming Jenny; and the Phantom of Flatwoods), the quartet’s heavy rock also pushes the atmospheric envelope when the mood fits.
Brimstone Coven explains, “What sets ‘Black Magic’ apart is the genuinely eerie aura it invokes. We strove for a sound that makes you feel like you’re wandering through a shroud of mist, unable to see your own hand in front of your face. We want you to feel equally excited and creeped out, letting your imagination run wild and get the best of you.”Add to My Radar
Pennsylvania death metalheads Rivers of Nihil have parted ways with Alan Balamut.
In Alan’s place Rivers of Nihil have brought Dylan Potts on board.
You can check out a statement from Alan, a drum play-through of “Perpetual Growth Machine” by Dylan and Rivers of Nihil tour dates here.Add to My Radar
After recently completing a North American tour with label-mates Allegaeon, plus some shows with Killswitch Engage right before the new year, Act of Defiance is ready to get back on the road again, for another headlining trek!
Shawn Drover (drums) comments: “After just getting home from a great co-headlining tour with our good friends in Allegaeon, we are super stoked to get right back on the road for round 2, with our 2016 North American tour!!!! There were lots of cities that we were unable to play on our first go around, so this time we wanted to hit as many places as we can to keep promoting ‘Birth And The Burial’ shortly after the holiday season. We really want to tour as much as possible for this record and bring 100% true HEAVY METAL to as many people as possible. See you on the road!!!!”
Following this tour, Act of Defiance will join Hatebreed in June for 7 special shows. See below for all upcoming dates!Add to My Radar
I’m certainly not trying to say that Behemoth are that similar to the recently departed Master of forms David Bowie, but the Polish death metal warlords along with bold tour opener Myrkur do share a similar undeniable boldness when it comes to not giving a flaming peacock in Hell of a fuck what others think.
I think in the year 2016 it is more important than ever to not give in to the impulses that hold back freedom of expression and growth, even when it comes to exploring the transformative power of the dark.
Both groups fly in the face of expectations, from Nergal posting cute holiday photos with his mum one minute to embodying sheer terror in the most boundary negating of masked forms via the “Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel” Behemoth video to Myrkur’s insistence that black metal can evolve to be not only more feminine but choral and melodic (even in the face of rabidly idiotic hate mail from BM conservative fuckwits). In the end, both groups leave listeners feeling like the rain is starting to fall on a charred landscape so new shoots can pop up.
Now the acts are aligned to show dimwits the world over what a commanding and vital metal tour looks like in 2016.
A limited number of premium ticketing packages that include a commemorative laminate, meet and greet with the band, 18″ x 24″ poster set (3 posters), 42″ x 42″ wall flag, and general admission ticket are available now at www.showstubs.com/behemoth. Only 50 fans per show can purchase the package, so reserve yours now! See below for all dates.
In addition to the concert, fans will also have the chance to view “The Congregation” exhibition at each venue. Dubbed “a symbiosis of Behemoth and Toxic Vision”, the display showcases the collaboration between the two parties. Over the years, the artist behind Toxic Vision (Sharon Toxic) has worked closely with the band to create their stage outfits, music videos, stage/photo props and more. “The Congregation” is a new experience and built solely for this tour.
Behemoth front-man Nergal comments: “We’ve always pushed ourselves very hard trying to reach the highest peaks of artistic creativity. This time around we are not only coming back to perform ‘The Satanist’ in its entirety, but are also bringing along a collaboration that’s unheard of! Toxic Vision’s renowned and absolutely brilliant artist and designer from Canada, whom we have worked with on several projects in the past (Behemoth stage gear, video clip costumes…) will be accompanying us on this trek with a unique exhibition called ‘The Congregation’! We are beyond excited to see how these synergies co-exist! Sharon, it’s an honour to welcome you on board!”
Adds Toxic Vision CEO Sharon Toxic: “It is a real honour to work alongside Behemoth and have this opportunity to bring a vision to life! We aim to dazzle and inspire, I am inviting everyone to step into the dark world of ‘The Congregation’ – an exclusive showcase of my work with Behemoth. Nothing like this has been done before, and of course, nothing is really as it seems with Toxic Vision. This is a culmination of craft and magic…once you step inside, you might never find your way out.”
Tour dates BELOW.Add to My Radar
Tennessee deathcore stalwarts Whitechapel just never seem to rest. After releasing the live CD/DVD set The Brotherhood of the Blade in October, the band is releasing the mini-documentary Untold which shows the ‘less talked about aspects of touring’.
Whitechapel is also preparing to enter the studio to record their sixth album.
Check out Untold and comments about recording the sixth album here.Add to My Radar