None or Unknown
Couch Slut from NYC are really interesting in that they provoke but don't always define, reflecting the listener. Eschewing preachy interviews and letting the art be interpreted by the projections of the viewer more often than not is novel these days. The controversy over the context of their Handshake Inc. My Life As A Woman almost Raymond Pettibon-esque cover art faded a bit when people realized the band were a co-ed bunch of noise/metal/post-punk ragers with sophisticated aesthetics, but people should notice more how killer the music is. Shows with Insect Ark, Melt Banana and Pyrrhon have helped, as will a June NYC Vitus Northside Fest appearance sure to kick ass! Key track: the psycho, jazz, dirge headfuck of "Carpet Farmer". pic by Justina Villanueva
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January 30th, 2016 will mark the official kick off of the first annual Florida Metal Fest! Organized by brothers John and Donald Tardy of death metal legends, Obituary, and set to take place at The Cuban Club, Ybor City in Tampa, the event looks really awesome. The bands are mainly veterans celebrating Florida’s significant contribution to Death Metal, with some friends from around the scene like legends C.O.C. and Madball thrown in for good measure. There are even 2 battle of the bands winners to be involved, which is really good because we need to grow the newer talent. This reflects well on team Tardy.
Honestly, I do wish they’d gotten Origin, Downfall of Gaia, Black Breath or almost any band besides Malevolent Creation, though. I just can’t hang with the racism that I have heard repeated about them often for many years. While the scene needs to learn some measure of forgiveness and to thus encourage people to evolve attitudes, we also have to discuss and adjust these issues because they are not ok. Sweeping them under the rug is not cool. Like, I’m listening to Jarboe’s “Forbid” from Disburden Disciple right now about forbidden interracial love and it seems at odds with sincere racist jokes.
That said, Trouble and Atheist are fucking playing this and many other kick ass bands I fully love.
Said John Tardy of fest: “My brother and I have been so fortunate and thankful to be part of some the best and biggest music festivals in the world. The amount of people, bands and energy these festivals can bring is just awesome. From the first time we played one, it has always been a dream of ours to put together a music festival that is not only fun for the fans, bands and crews, but one that also brings a closeness to all involved. After years and years of talking about it, we finally decided the time is now. We want to put together a first class festival. From the venue to the PA, from the lights to the lineup we are trying our best to make this as memorable event as possible. No festival, anywhere in the world, even with the best possible lineup, would work if the area does not support it. I think that Tampa, and its surrounding cities, is a great music area and one that is ready to make this event come to life.”
Cannibal Corpse is beginning 2016 with one of the most bludgeoning death metal lineups fans will see all year. Fellow Florida death metal progenitors Obituary will serve as direct support, followed by Canada’s Cryptopsy, and Abysmal Dawn from Los Angeles. The tour, presented by The Noise, will tear across North America beginning on February 12th. The tour runs through March 20th. The dates and cities are listed below. Tickets go on sale this Friday, December 11th, at 10:00am local time through all local and national ticket outlets.
Dates BELOW.Add to My Radar
Hole Below by Vastum (purchase HERE) is one of the most genre affirming death metal records of 2015, an ugly, relentless beast that makes you feel uncomfortable but has a presence- let alone riffs-so heavy you will be throwing your whole back into full body headbangs before you know it.
The West Coast band have yet to make a bad record, mining a certain old school territory but with a darkness all their own. More in the true crime then devil worship vein, the band come off like Grave disciples who just wanted to go a lot grimier. There is no technical wizardry here or studio fakery for the Rings of Saturn types to pee over, rather just true, relentless death metal with evil as hell sounding Morbid Angel esque solos (in very limited doses) . Oh, and a BIG tendency towards the slower-mid tempo inescapable marching style of DM. “In Sickness And In Death” is a standout example here, the band capturing the attention fully with 4:59 of pure murder before the even uglier “Intrusions” opening riff smashes down like a nightmare.
The effected vocals and emphasis on function over form is awesome. Like Autopsy since their blessed return the band just seem intent on cranking out quality releases. The production could be more hi-fi to some listeners most likely, but I personally feel like Vastum strike the perfect balance with their sound a little more dirty and underground than many bands. It adds to the sort of “true crime” feels big time. Death Metal doesn’t need to be clean and squeaky and pitch perfect. The best truly heavy stuff I have heard in recent years like Vastum or, for example, the much weirder Orbweaver, are more worried about having cool tones and making you feel unhinged mentally than if the song might someday get played on the radio.
Manny-O-War at Nine Circles has a great review of the lyrical bent of the band that I’ll link you to here, for first time Vastum listeners or anyone interested in reading more.
I should also mention that the band features the super talented Leila Abdul-Rauf from Hammers of Misfortune, forgoing that bands crazy prog metal for true death here but with the same level of commitment to quality. If you pick up just one death metal record this year, well…you are probably lame. Pick up at least seven! But for real, this Vastum record, Castrator or Morgoth’s kick ass Ungod are all albums you don’t want to pass up owning before the year is out. In my always so humble opinion.
Massachusetts death metallers Revocation have dropped a music video for their song “The Fix”.
“The Fix” comes from Revocation’s 2014 release Deathless.
Empire of the Obscene will be reissued on November 13 via Metal Blade Records.
Dave Davidson on the re-release:
“Back in 2008 we self released our debut record Empire of the Obscene only pressing 1,000 copies at the time, now thanks to the good folks at Metal Blade and the demand of our fans it will be available worldwide! We are very excited to finally give this record a proper release and can’t wait for everyone to hear the newly remixed and remastered tunes courtesy of Pete Rutcho. We’re also including the elusive “Summon The Spawn” demo from 2006 as well as newly revamped cover art to make this release extra special.”
Check out “The Fix” lyric video here.Add to My Radar
Born Of Osiris have really refined what they do, years of touring and proving naysayers wrong evolving them from an initial The New Reign buzz band heralding the metalcore/prog fusion’s new younger wave alongside cohorts Veil of Maya and early Faceless. Then the stupid fake windmill kick hardcore kids started ripping them apart for expanding their sound on (still my nostalgic favorite) A Higher Place.
Since then they have gotten better at their core sound but have also grown. With a few well regarded records under their belts, the band return with perhaps their most ambitious record yet Soul Sphere. This is a big statement from the band and in my opinion nails it where Veil maybe lost the plot a bit. I wasn’t against the new clean vocals in Veil of Maya, but BOO have continued to set their songs apart whereas Veil’s material other than the vocals is starting to blend together.
“Free Fall” on here is a thrill ride of screams, unexpected instrumental flourishes (is that a fucking djent xylophone, cuz that was awesome!) and the band sounding tight as fuck. Unlike a million bands who are doing fourth wave metal core and blowing goats, BOO have the fierce metal core screams without the fucking painfully predictable arrangements and the band sound pissed for a reason. But they aren’t hiding in having to sound angry for anger’s sake. “Free Fall” has literally got a few sections that will find you nodding your head headbanging or grooving despite any resistance, including the token BOO semi hip hop, cool ride out.
“The Louder The Sound, The More We All Believe” opens like a techno/EDM song, but it is one of the coolest tracks on the record and full of a more hyper conviction.
“Illuminate” is the weakest link where they sound the most like metalcore cliche except for the rad back up kid of epic slave rowing grunts and heave ho sounds in the background that could be roman gladiators on an Ex Deo record. But the song feels forced like it is trying to be the most accessible or metalcore accepted of the batch (redeemed by a killer whiplash part around 1:48, though).
Other highlights include “Goddess Of The Dawn”. Eos has always been a favorite greek goddess of mine. And the BOO song is a beast of gnarly tones, psycho drumming and a few Pantera grooves thrown in before things get super techy.
“The Sleeping And The Dead” kicks critics who say the band can’t write a memorable riff and jump around too much in the nuts with a sick opening riff before the band…jumps around a lot, haha. But the song doesn’t suffer and keeps you invested.
“Warlords” opens things with a mercurial piano line that continues to veer in and out beneath the barrage the band drop in like a bag of bricks on top of it.
“Tidebinder” starts with some crackling samples and then manages set an epic feel so well. Born Of Osiris have always had that ambition from awesome artwork to their writing. I liked The Devil Wears Prada’s Space EP, for example, but it could have benefitted from being a full album. BOO seem to know just how long to make their records while still cramming them full of hot, riffy action. If we were still in an age where a kid had just $15 for a cd and dropped it on this, they would have more than enough music and chant alongs stuck in their head, big synth parts and moshable moments to ensure they devastated their bedroom practicing cool faces for the local show.
The man behind the voice that revitalized a band in mourning is reported to be going home.
Eddie will be joining All Shall Perish to record a new album. If they’ll tour together afterwords is yet to be seen.
The full All Shall Perish line up will be:
Eddie Hermida – Vocals
Ben Orum – Guitar
Chris Storey – Guitar
Caysen Russo – Bass
Matt Kuykendall – Drums
Craig Betit – Additional Vocals
There’s nothing to suggest this puts Suicide Silence‘s future into question. The band is currently kicking ass with Korn through the rest of the month, and will be dropping a EP, Sacred Words, which will feature the single of the same name, as well as three live tracks from RockPart 2015 and other unreleased tracks on October 23.
So basically, Eddie may be pulling double-duty, but that means he’s doing us double the favor! Plenty of deathcore naysayers out there, but All Shall Perish and Suicide Silence are fucking titans. I’ll be slamming Sacred Words until the new All Shall Perish music comes out.
Check back here for a Sacred Words review and for all your heavy metal news! \mm/Add to My Radar
Sorry to post this news late (and certainly no disrespect meant to death metal fans mourning everywhere). RIP to Frank Watkins, best known as a classic member of Obituary. He has succumbed to cancer. I didn’t know Frank but my old friend Drew Smerdon who was in Merauder/Unbalanced did and I’ll repost his words here:
I got some very upsetting news today that my friend -manager-mentor- Frank Watkins passed away . It just pisses me off “The higher power” what ever you believe in takes the best from this earth and leaves the shit behind!! Frank was the guy that would give you the shirt off his back tell you straight up what he thought no dickin around.When everyone would walk out of the room on you he would be the person that walked in.My thoughts and prayers go out to Frank’s family and bands he has played with.It was great touring and hanging with you bro.I now youre up there playing with Cliff Burton and the bests. I LOVE AND MISS YOU ALREADY BRO!! R.I.PAdd to My Radar
Revocation are beloved around the world for being one of the hardest touring, funniest yet most insanely capable technical death metal bands in the business. They make it seem cool to be in a metal band again, kicking ass and getting things done whereas most bands are too busy bitching and moaning about what is good enough for them while scarcely leaving the boundaries of their own zip code.
Revocation have never settled and thus have made many impressive albums at this point. Some of their earliest material is now being re-released and you can hear a remixed and remastered version of “Summon The Spawn” at Decibel HERE.Add to My Radar
Cryptopsy‘s The Book of Suffering Tome 1 should put the veteran Canadian’s back to the higher tier they deserve in the death metal world. The first in a series of EPs, it completely kicks your ass and exhausts but leaves you panting for more evil. Pre-order HERE.
These days “technical death metal” means precise widdly widdly and oddball arrangements to some rather than complex, relentless attack ala Cannibal or Aeon. I’d put proper Cryptopsy in the latter category, a band at their best when having fun writing arrangements unselfconciously but still pushing themselves to get as crazy as can be. People give them shit for The Unspoken King because it was a deathcore departure, but what’s funny is how few people notice how much the death metal side of Whitechapel’s This Is Exile, for example, sounded like it really wanted to be Cryptopsy at certain points. I don’t think a band should be punished for expanding their style anyway. Sure, a classic sounding doom album like Crypt Sermon’s latest Out Of The Garden nails a certain style and is above the doom pack this year due to killer performances such as “The Master’s Bouquet”, but if everyone always adhered to only certain forms we would have nothing but genre boundaries and no innovation.
So, The Book of Suffering. Definitely on the more classic Cryptopsy sound-side but full of thrills and some twists anyway.
For some reason the title has me thinking of Hermann Hesse’s “genius of suffering” Steppenwolf (a must read for anyone, let alone metal fans, haha). A treatise on spiritual loneliness and the moral shades of embracing the wolf within, the book often mentions Buddha.
“A man who can understand Buddha and has an intuition of the heaven and hell of humanity ought not to live in a world ruled by “common sense” and democracy and bourgeois standards. It is only from cowardice that he lives in it…and refuses to see that the wolf is as often as not the best part of him.”
Read more BELOW.
On October 30th, Whitechapel will unleash their new feature length video release, The Brotherhood of the Blade, which follows the sextet on tour and at home, and dives deep into the hearts and minds of one of metal’s brightest acts. Featuring an exclusive documentary, The Brotherhood of the Blade stands as a glimpse into the band’s world, into each member’s outlook, and the changes they’ve experienced over the past near-decade on the road. Shot and directed by Mathis Arnell for Naughty Mantis, with live show audio recording, mixing, and mastering by Audiohammer’s Mark Lewis, this CD/DVD set is an audio/visual apex that fans won’t want to miss.
To view the trailer for The Brotherhood of the Blade and to reserve your copy of the CD/DVD, please visit HERE.
More info BELOW.Add to My Radar
Fall is here and October is nigh. Peter Steele’s month of choice, this October will undoubtedly be a rad one for the unrusting genre of metal as we have our Metal Riot Creature Honeymoon comp coming out on Halloween via bandcamp, but there’s more! Hooded Menace‘s Darkness Drips Forth would ensure a kick ass October even if it was the only metal record to come out at all that month! The four song Relapse release is due Oct. 30th and can be pre-ordered at Bandcamp HERE.
This release couldn’t be more worth your while, melodic guitar threaded doom n’ death with a titanic rhythm section that creates a steel framework to prop up the band’s bold and apocalyptic city of sounds. Each song stretches well past the attention span of the average troll, yet you don’t need to muster resolve to keep listening as you’re swept up in the avalanche and carried along. It will take hardy souls to survive the onslaught, but it’s a worthwhile endeavor. From “Ashen With Solemn Decay”, which features writhing, hoarse vocals and complete guitar surrender akin to Baroness jamming with Novembers Doom, to key track “Elysium of Dripping Death” (which you can hear now), you will be left floored and riff whored.Add to My Radar
For the very first time, the Entombed “Monkey Puss – Live In London” show from the London Astoria in 1992 as a part of the Gods Of Grind tour will be released on vinyl. The vinyl will be available on traditional black or a limited edition clear/blue splatter vinyl, including just 100 copies that will be printed on a black and white vinyl sleeve.Add to My Radar