Search Results for "Exclusive"

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)

Salome_album_cover

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.

Add to My Radar   Add to My Radar

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)

yRp65bZhdCo

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.

Add to My Radar   Add to My Radar

grave-pleasures

“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.

Add to My Radar   Add to My Radar
XXX

11149294_10153124043631858_4624157447402497739_n

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.

Add to My Radar   Add to My Radar

Three-Dots-and-The-Guilt-Machine1
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.

Add to My Radar   Add to My Radar

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

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

0045bw

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.

 

Add to My Radar   Add to My Radar

ShiningJarle_Hovda_MoeJHM2397

 

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 !

 

Add to My Radar   Add to My Radar
XXX

Yob_2014_8006626

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.

Add to My Radar   Add to My Radar

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.

Add to My Radar   Add to My Radar

Interview: Metatron talks The Wolves Of Avalon’s “Die Hard” 7″

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Wednesday, October 7, 2015 at 10:52 AM (PST)

12004889_819584464806507_42889093530661992_n

The Wolves of Avalon is the embodiment of the ancient British spirit, a reflection of a time past and of an age now demolished by the modern chaos that has erupted between the many religious and political factions that poison the cultures of the Earth. – Metatron

 

The Meads of Asphodel mainman, Metatron, has returned with his pagan black metal project, The Wolves of Avalon, and an all star cover of Venom’s old school classic ‘Die Hard’ featuring Mantas himself, Amebix’s Rob Miller (now of Tau Cross), Primordial’s Alan Averill and Sigh’s Mirai!

To say that I was excited about this is bloody well an understatement. The grit and attack here is nearly unprecedented until you remember the dedication to metal of those involved. Moonlighters go home. This will flat out kill the unfaithful. Die hard!!! Orders for true warriors are available HERE.

 

Read BELOW to find out what is going on with the band in the future and the genesis of this killer 7″.

 

Add to My Radar   Add to My Radar

KILLINGJOKE110313214

I hate this mindset of human beings as human resources. It’s dehumanzing
terminology. Because people are SO important. We believe everybody is born
gifted. The life is the location of your God gift and the selfless execution
of your gift. The idea of personal sovereignty, that each and every one of us
can be King or Queen when we exercise our true will. Spiritually,
biologically, lovingly. – Jaz Coleman of Killing Joke.

I just saw the subversive as fuck Laetitia Sadier of legendary Stereolab
deliver a powerful yet so controlled set at a venue (the wonderful BSP Kingston) in my Upstate, NY city.
Always an activist in her music over the years, demanding and getting as much
attention from an audience or out of a subtle or quiet and poetic song as some
bands do through hollering, it was truly inspiring. One thing Sadier said in
her soft spoken but deep way at the show was how one of her songs “Find Me The
Pulse Of The Universe” was about how despite how small and perhaps immaterial
we may seem compared to the vast universe sometimes, we are all unique. She
brought real conviction to her show, whether discussing wealth disparity, how
it is good to nurture a long distance relationship in healthy ways if you
really love someone or pining for “glimpses of a world of pure thought that
few will ever know.”

Noise rock and post/punk or at times industrial metal legends Killing Joke
embody the idea of the unique personal and musical quest more than many other
bands combined, these same principles of fighting for actual creative and
human value that Sadier was espousing on stage in my town tonight. “New Cold
War” on brand spanking new rager Pylon is as relevant and emblematic of their
drive and style as anything in the group’s storied career (which dates back to
the year I was fucking born, 1978). Yep, Yankees won the world series. Killing
Joke was born and so was I, hahaha. 78′ was a good vintage!

The idea of knowing it is your absolute right to protect and fight for
your art and your right to experience the world through the lens of your own
journey and creations, to not settle for having the passion stomped out of you
by a dull or draconian society, is something I have spoken of at length lately
with some of the most amazing people I value most in my life, from avant garde
noise music/female comet Yasmine Kittles of Tearist via inspired
correspondence that has blown my mind and made me feel like the luckiest
person lately to a series of amazing artists like Brooks Blackhawk from the
very dark Atriarch or my dear, hard working friend (and former DIVEST bandmate) Sean Paul
Pillsworth of pop punkers The Red Owls dishing in a recent piece called Don’t
Break The Oath that we ran on this site about never giving up your vision.

Killing Joke have always stayed at the forefront of relevant political
discourse, cutting edge post-punk squall with hypnotic, throbbing bass and the
madman from the pulpit apocalyptic lyrics and truly unique voice of Jaz
Coleman. They have refined their sound to the essence of potency and it is
very apparent on the swirling, climbing ladder of growing intensity that
weaves through Pylon.

A composer, Permaculture advocate and avid student of philosophy who is
unafraid to chase his own demons where they take him, Coleman is a towering
figure of the underground.

Read more BELOW.

Add to My Radar   Add to My Radar

www.confrontational.net

 

Confrontational is a European darkwave project that is turning heads with ass kicking new record A Dance Of Shadows. The album features mastermind Massimo Usai charting a dark yet infectious as a zombie bite (but much more fun!) course for the dance floor. With cover art from Branca Studios and a sound akin to the best 80’s horror and action cinema soundtracks that never existed but sound like classic cuts, Confrontational is much more interesting than the 800th metalcore band to hit up my email for coverage. In fact, I had to seek this dude out because I was so intrigued by the project.

Turns out we had some similar tastes and a mutual pal or two. That’s the power of the underground!

How did this studio whiz get Monte Pittman from Madonna’s band (and ex-Prong), Darren Travis from fucking Sadus and horror legend John Carpenter’s own son Cody Carpenter on this release? The music is just that fuckin’ cool!

A Dance Of Shadows is out on bandcamp now HERE and you ought to go support it!

Read our full Confrontational interview BELOW.

Add to My Radar   Add to My Radar

BIG_BRAVE_self_portrait

Ken Schalk, well regarded percussionist from Brooklyn’s Candiria once said something to the effect that “heavy” can be as much about feel and  vibe as another distorted guitar cowboy screaming over a mosh part. I often have thought back to that quote and paraphrased it over
the years.

Montreal’s  BIG|BRAVE will likewise seep into your bones and deliver a
listening experience rather than a cheap aggro fix. Whether floating amidst ethereal
drone akin to the wake up chill of a cold wind on a mountaintop or bashing
the listener with tribal beats akin to loops, the trio deliver in full on
Southern Lord release Au De La.

Brian from respected blog Meat Mead Metal even went so far as to say that ,“there’s not another band that possibly could replicate what Big | Brave achieve on this record”. It’s true that some avant garde or truly post-punk bands just have their own sound, be it Killing Joke or Tearist or Swans. Or some films you could sort of describe, such as Lars  von Trier’s Depression Trilogy or, I dunno… the space herpe in Ice Pirates. You could do half assed justice trying to explain, but some things just need to be experienced.

Jessica Moss of Thee Silver Mount Zion Memorial Orchestra lends guest violin to the record, but the beating heart of this band is in the guitar and drums interplay and liberated vocals. The band know the space between the heart beat or down hit on a drum is as important as the moment of explosion, and can say as much.

Robin Wattie, in house banshee, checks in to answer my questions on what else she had to say with this record BELOW.

Add to My Radar   Add to My Radar

Shock VALUE: A disassembling of forms and walls as a road to truth.

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Tuesday, September 22, 2015 at 12:48 PM (PST)
Burroughs by Kate Simon

Burroughs by Kate Simon

It’s funny how the orgasm is a “little death” we all strive for, letting go of our personal walls for a minute (or a few seconds, ha). But we still come back into our bones once the afterglow fades. Pop music is similar. A suspension of disbelief.

Donald Trump wants to build a wall between us and Mexico. Remember when Reagan said “Tear down this wall”? Anybody?

A black comedian I know, Kevin A Smith, recently joked that we need one
between us and Canada because we can’t have any more white people being crazy.
While he was joking, and most Canadians do seem pretty nice, it does
underscore a point that we seem to be really reaching a zenith again of
friction between social constraints imposed by throwback “conservative” minds
so full of contradictions they are even now bickering with The Pope, and those
who are ready for a new eschaton of creativity, fluid social answers and
environmental awareness.

Art and music mirrors society and thus I am going to
pen this essay today on the VALUE of being kicked out of the comfort zone. I
think metal and avant garde or fringe music is the premiere genre for this
besides the less hipster fashionable and more “pure” of intentioned indie
rock. Then again, as Boris proved on Pink, sometimes you can have it both ways
and both parody and surpass the boundaries of rock music.

We can not afford one sided discussions ever again. World history proves this. It’s like  saying the Beatles were always nice people. C’mon!

Read more BELOW.

#nakedlunch #mileycyrus #deathmetal #fearfactory #tearist #nirvana #donaldtrump #racism #taylorswift #burtoncbell #thomaspynchon #yasminekittles #dhg #gravitysrainbow #boris #williamsburroughs #morphine #emo #marilynmanson #GOP #selfbiasresistor #liturgy  #watain #royaltrux #cobain #incesticide #birdcloud #donaldtrumpsucks #convergecult

Add to My Radar   Add to My Radar

10622901_340898429410393_3597442878039740647_n

I spend a lot of time being grumpy at the state of the world and listening to Slayer or Run The Jewels, smoking joints. I especially like the “I’ll tea bag a piranha tank” lyric from RJT2, as it inspires me to bravely go make coffee and face what the day brings. In a world of crime, racism, poverty and where even Bernie Sanders voted yes on the Cyber Security Act that lets whistleblowers get shut down, I know I can at least rely on a handful of artists to create powerful works that will stand the test of time until the world blows up. I want to be optimistic and do indeed preach love and tolerance each day, except when trolled too hard by emo fans.

Finland’s Wolfheart are a band who I can proudly point at and say they will undoubtedly be reliable as heck. Tuomas Saukkonen’s track record as well as the sheer scope of the band’s new record Shadow World are as inspiring as discovering some of the greats like Primordial or Soilwork, bands who have soldiered on year after year. I truly hope all metalheads can embrace Wolfheart’s cause and dare say few will not be moved by the intensity and range of dynamics from guttural screams to pummeling heavy melodeath or piano to stir the soul. It might not win the 2015 weird and spooky award like Locrian or be reinventing the wheel, but Wolfheart have a lot to be proud of.

In a world where time seems scarce and we don’t want ours wasted, metal can trust in this band.

Enter the shadow world BELOW.

Add to My Radar   Add to My Radar
XXX