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It’s not every day in this world that you get to work with someone who is genuine, honest, and just damn likable. In my time here at Metal Riot I’ve got to know fellow team member Morgan and he’s gotten to know me – and it’s been just absolutely fucking awesome.

When I finally came out to Morgan as a transgender woman, and he told me he was bisexual, we were really able to riff about the way being queer in this scene affects a person. When Morgan’s new hard rock/metal band GET OUT. released their debut album Let Me In  I knew I wanted after the first listen that I had to talk to Morgan more about the album, and all of the meaning behind it. Out of that came this interview – and another great chance for Morgan and myself to keep and build on the momentum we’re bringing to you – the readers – here at Metal Riot! \mm/

Read the interview BELOW.

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Black Sabbath Featuring Tony Iommi’s ‘Seventh Star’ turns 30!

Posted by longhairedpoet on Thursday, January 21, 2016 at 7:19 PM (PST)

Tony Iommi

Thirty years ago, Black Sabbath as a band, an idea, and as a consistent part of heavy metal was all but gone. Starting with Heaven and Hell, the first Black Sabbath album without the original line-up, the band started to go through many odd years. Mob Rules saw the band down to half of the original members. Born Again was most of the band back together, with Ian Gillian on vocals instead of Ozzy or Ronnie.

But by time Seventh Star came out Black Sabbath was down to one original member, Tony Iommi. It stayed that way until Geezer came back in for 1992’s Dehumanizer. The band closed out with 1995’s Forbidden being down to just Iommi, again. Geezer and Iommi in the 18 year gap, played a lot of concerts with Black Sabbath, but no new music was recorded. Then starting in 2007 they worked with Ronnie James Dio and Vinny Appice in Heaven and Hell to record Live from Radio City Music HallThe Devil You Know and Neon Nights: 30 Years of Heaven & Hell.

You can read more of this 30th anniversary retrospect here.

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BC shot by Dez Farnario

BC shot by Dez Farnario

 

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.

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I was going to take the day off from metal writing due to Lemmy’s death, but then I gathered myself and decided the show must go on. Lemmy knew rock n roll was a full time job and he taught us all that every day. We don’t even really take a holiday break around here, just crank the tunes more. This seemed due reason to post my final interview of the year for Metal Riot. And I can think of no better band than Pronostic from Montreal to fit the occasion.

Relentless and yet full of startling highs and growled anguish that defies the lows, the band are much like this past complex year was itself.

This Montreal older school sounding tech death band are monstrously impressive musicians, hovering under the radar but with killer material and lots of shows under thier belts. I do not know the band that well and was approached about them recently to check them out, but right away listening to their latest LP An Atomic Decision I recognize they are adept in walking the realms of metal. You don’t get as good as the music on their title track or or the solo frenzied brilliance of “Useless Wait” by being poseurs. This band sounds like they live for this.

That’s what music ought to be about.

Fans of Allegaeon, Hate Eternal and Neuraxis will quickly cater to aspects of the band’s potent sounds, but especially striking is the melodic power that seeps through the fiery charge of these songs. An Atomic Decision is with only the somewhat garishly nu-metal sounding monicker of an instrumental titled “Menstrumental” (nonetheless a terrific classical/metal showboat reprieve) slightly marring the proceedings.

And I’m sure we can all relate to the cover art.

Metal Riot recommends you dive in and prepare to step into the New Year scarred but unbroken BELOW.

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The Top 6 Albums of 2015 (longhairedpoet)

Posted by longhairedpoet on Saturday, December 26, 2015 at 7:32 PM (PST)

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With news late this year that Eddie Hermida is getting back together with All Shall Perish, with an Ozzy solo album expected in 2016, with talk of another Black Sabbath album and with another Meat Loaf album in the works, there’s a lot to look forward to in the coming years.

2015 was a bad year for me personally, but I wanted to make sure that unlike in 2014, I came and did a ‘best of’ list.

Looking back at the year that was, I tried to be as thorough as I could be. In the end I came up with six brutal fucking albums.

So, without any further ado, here it is – my top 6 albums of 2015.

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I’ve been a fan of Walls of Jericho for years, ever since the old Hellfest 2000 DVD with bands like Brother’s Keeper and Shai Hulud that Mic Todd gave me freakin’ 14 years ago (before we hated each other for a long time). There is one scene where Walls of Jericho’s confident vocalist Candace Kucsulain straight up flips some running dude over her and throws him into the crowd.

I was like ,”Ok, she’s a bad ass.”

I dug The Bound Feed The Gagged debut a lot but in all these years have always missed them live, even
on some bigger package tours. It was worth the wait, a blur of inspired messages and crunching guitar attack.

I have, however, seen Life Of Agony. This was my third time seeing the veteran
band at Starland, vocalist Mina’s professed “favorite venue in America”. They
never fail to impress at this place, even if one of their rowdier anthems is called
“Love To Let You Down.”

No, Mina’s birthday bash found the group and their single opening act both in top form, delivering fired up and relevant sets to a crowd eager for some stress relief but wary of recent events. On Twitter Caputo had written before the show:

2all my #BadSeeds.. let’s keep it fun& exciting 2nite, but keep your eyes open!

Read in full BELOW.

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Top 15 interesting metal and rock albums you may have missed this year

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Saturday, November 14, 2015 at 3:08 PM (PST)

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They say that during troubled times it is often good to find escape or comfort in routine. Some people do well at staying on task. Others find too much friction between their emotional state and the mundane. Sometimes there is relief found unexpectedly though when you can get things done and restore small oasis-like moments of order to a chaotic World.

Others believe in the law of attraction and positive manifestation. I think it is a combination of an energy filled Universe, will, karma, inertia and many other often scarcely tangible movements that create the crescendos and decrescendos that compromise our lives. But sometimes we are hit with a lot at once.

This year was often like that for me and I am going to be less active on the blog front than usual for the next few weeks, determined to sort of coast out the rest of the year being very energy mindful and reflecting on love, life, death…all the big stuff.

As we think on the multifaceted Paris tragedy, I have read many people expressing sorrow at the sacred concert space being violated, that communal place of coming together. I totally agree.

The beauty of extreme music or rock n roll or hardcore or even the bat cave gloom of the industrial scene is that you can sometimes morse code , smoke signal or Instagram your messages out to like minded souls, the “Children of the Night” (to quote Dracula and lead in with a Tribulation tie in to transition to my year end list).

The following are some of the records that I found to be the very best this year. It might not be the same for you. I know Iron Maiden had a great double album and my favorite hard rock band Clutch is not on here, but because I am biased and always write about them. Instead I wanted to focus for my best of list on records I think were made by lesser appreciated bands than Lamb Of God , Megadeth, Motorhead or other giants.

Heck, Between the Buried And Me got a 5 star rating from me this year but their record isn’t on this list.

These records struck me the most, however.

That said, Coal Chamber, Failure, Faith No More reunited this year. None of them are on this list but all put out great records. Across the spectrum of tastes. Rock and metal are still pulsing. We can all make a huge and living racket that says we are here and share in that rush of blood , adrenaline, spirit that can never be silenced.

Read the list BELOW.

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Interview: Krieg’s Neill Jameson talks collaboration with The Body

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Saturday, November 14, 2015 at 9:36 AM (PST)

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Waking up this morning after a late night following all the unified support around the world for the victims of the Paris attacks of 2015 (as they will undoubtedly always be remembered), I am thankful for my life. Thankful, heading into late November, for my dog and my ability to wake up, smoke a bowl and listen to Bog Oak or Nate Hall’s Electric Vacuum Roar. Thankful my dear friends in Paris from Noisemag.net are safe. Thankful for the odd quirk that at least from this tragedy The Eagles Of Death Metal are now certainly a household name.

I was at a bar last night while following the developing story and speaking to my friend James Felice of folk band The Felice Brothers about how most people want peace around the world. I think even the people who would love to point fingers or not let go of anger can agree that, factually, peace is health and war is more akin to death.

It is interesting to me how some of the people who I admire, of whom Krieg‘s guiding force Neill Jameson is a prime example…some of the people who make the harshest or edgiest music also have the sensitivity and awareness to grasp that we all share a certain interconnectivity, whether we like it or not. Jameson was quick on his Facebook to post criticizing people who were saying “who cares” since the Paris attacks didn’t happen at a “real metal” show, just as he has spoken out against misogyny in the rock world and regularly deplored the state of the American record buyer’s mental faculties in his funny Decibel columns.

Now his main project Krieg has teamed up with experi-metal noise pioneers The Body to create one of the great collaborative records in recent memory. Along with the recent Gnaw Their Tongues/Dragged Into Sunlight co-helmed effort, it is cool to see bands doing these Marvel team ups and delivering new directions.

The music is uncompromising and matter of fact as it burns like industrial black sludge that has contacted human skin mercilessly. This is like an ulcer becoming a black hole. But you can’t stop listening and get pulled in deeper. It will be way too intense for some casual metal listeners who are more akin to understand the fun loving Airbournes or the standard thrash metal fan, for example. Nothing against those templates. But this is almost like having someplace to put all that darkness and let it out of the metaphorical rotting and mystery filled burlap sack for a minute, because you can’t keep that shit pent up inside you without causing yourself or others harm.

We need movement and conversation and even, at times, a way to scream things out in a productive way before we can return to sensible, forest quiet.

Read a full conversation about the record BELOW.

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“This time we tried to hold it back and give it a more bleak and depressing thing. Climax was sort of sexy and passionate.
This one we wanted more bleak.”

Let’s just start with the list of band members: Mat “Kvohst” McNerney –
Vocals, Valtteri Arino – Bass, Linnéa Olsson – Guitar, Uno Bruniusson – Drums,
Juho Vanhanen – Guitar (live/studio)

Yes, Grave Pleasures are a cult rock supergroup of sorts for people who follow
post-punk, death rock and underground metal. Formed in the wake of the passing
of not just critical darlings Beastmilk but also The Oath and In Solitude, the
void yawned and out of the chaotic aftermath was birthed the titanic output of
creativity and the right mix of personalities locking together that gives us
this new amazing band, Grave Pleasures.

Dreamcrash is that guilty pill you want to slip yourself, a dark and sensual trip via Sony/Metal Blade through the shadowy Lost Highways of Hell, but much more fun that nightmarish in the end. The band slink, rock, groove and emote down corridor after corridor of pitch perfect post punk guitar dissonance and the unbeatable tribal pounding of Uno Bruniusson’s often tom heavy beats.

The dual guitars and crooning vocals evoke a dalliance with the dark but a
sense of self worth that makes you long for immortality than a thirst
addiction, but the record is addictive as a vampire’s kiss nonetheless.

For a talk with astounding Swedish musician Linnéa Olsson of Grave Pleasures,
proceed BELOW.

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Last night writing the delightfully awesome Bridge Laviazar of Prosthetic’s 2015 standout act InAeona, things were going well until she threatened to kill me if I listed her band as “Goth Metal.”

I was telling her how I wish we had a post-metal category on the drop down menu of this site and was trying to figure out what to categorize her band’s amazing, spacious and heavy, outer space meets a little bit industrial racket. We were going through the categories you can choose from on this site and none seemed to really fit.

“If you put us as Goth Metal I will find you and kill you,” she…joked? I told her there were worse fates than sitting in a coffee shop somewhere and having a blue haired amazon run in and decapitate me. In fact, my friends would think it was pretty fitting and probably just shrug. We finally settled on “no genre”.

However you choose to describe the East Coast trio, which also includes James Dunham and Dave Soucy, they have a massive and awesome sound. Force Rise The Sun is one of the years best records. I wont say where it sits on my year end list yet because the end of the year is still a few weeks away, but let’s just say it is absolutely in the top 5 albums of 2015 for me.

Read my chat with Bridge BELOW.

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Music creates different reactions in different people. Different strokes to rule the world, so to speak. Heavy music is just as divided over sub genres as indie rock or electronic or rap. Some people only like death metal or prog or love or hate metalcore. Don’t even get me started on how many styles of punk people like to bicker over.

Writing is a bit more matter of fact. Stripped of the noise of guitar or screams, words alone can invite in or dissuade anyone. Whether you are a fan of singer Mike Hranica’s very popular band The Devil Wears Prada or not, I’d strongly suggest anyone read his new book Three Dots & The Guilt Machine. Order it HERE.

Mostly poetry or reflections on travel, faces met along the way or the numbing or raw feeling filled clamor of the modern world, the book is really, really good. It is probably my favorite thing Mike has actually had his name attached to, though I am a big fan of his band’s fifth record 8:18.

It was nice to have a very mellow phone chat with Mike about the five year process of making this book, wrestling with incomplete work as well as what to keep personal, the power of memory and some additional discussion of his band’s recent conceptual Space EP. Check it out BELOW.

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Interview: Skindred – Volume, Volume, VOLUME!!!

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Thursday, October 22, 2015 at 4:53 AM (PST)

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I think a lot of people are lazy & happy to sit back. There wasn’t such a
thing as a Laissez-faire attitude when we were cavemen. We have to be more
proactive as a society. – Mikey Demus

Skindred have always had their own thing goin’ on, an unstoppable mash of reggae, punk, metal, dancehall and anarchy. The band slay almost every band I an think of live. You can literally throw them on almost any bill and even if someone wasn’t a fan of the style they would be hard pressed to not admit the band kicked their ass and gave 100%.

Volume is the latest from the hard working group, via Napalm Records, and Mikey Demus (guitars) fills us in on the latest Skindred molotov cocktail lobbed into the ears of the complacent BELOW.

 

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I’ve been really blessed this year, one of the most painful and shitty of my life from deaths to death threats, to do some of the most inspiring interviews of my career over the last few months, from Tearist to a recent chat with Killing Joke to this piece with Norway’s Shining. Jørgen Munkeby has taken the Blackjazz concept to new heights, literally. The fucking band of maniacs have made one of their best records yet with the brazenly fierce International Blackjazz Society but also recently shot a concert on Trolltunga, defying death and rocking out with a performance both historic and literally far above the limits most band are willing to go to.

It was very inspiring and enjoyable to speak with Munkeby on his new record, the evolution of jazz and metal’s uneasy alliance, Trolltunga, keeping warm huddling around burning churches, playing with Ihsahn and Melissa Auf der Mar and why you can’t give up if you have a shitty soundguy.

Read BELOW to ascend to Trolltunga with Shining !

 

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Especially when it is slower music, there has to be a feel there. You can’t
fake it. There’s just not enough notes in there to trick anybody otherwise. –
Mike Scheidt

Yob are heading out on a headliner with Black Cobra in tow as main support but with possibly the sickest batch of city to city support acts…ever?

It was a thrill to talk again with Mike Scheidt for the second time since writing for this site and recap their recent tour with Enslaved/Ecstatic Vision, why it is cooler when bands develop a unique sound and more.

Check out this chat with one of the best sonic artisans in Metal or music in general BELOW.

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Interview: Darkwalker – No sleep till Devar-Toi

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Saturday, October 17, 2015 at 8:08 AM (PST)

DARKWALKER-The Wastelands

L.A.’s Darkwalker are a sun burnt, Gibson slingin’ stoner rock/grungy/doom band who have a chipped away for about ten years finding the right line up and chiseling away at the glorified axe worship on their wailing Basement Records debut The Wastelands. Serving as a crash course in Sabbath fandom with lyrics culled from Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series for inspiration, this band is worth travelling with.

Read an interview with Derek from the band BELOW.

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