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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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“Do you know who you are? Part of the solution, or the one that falls?”, sings Atreyu drummer and clean vocalist Brandon Saller on a key track from the band’s return record and perhaps finest hour to date Long Live. The full, melodic and made for singalong voice of Brandon is, to be truthful, the most crucial ingredient for a tune to fully sound like Atreyu to my ears. But the whole band are firing on all cylinders as a team more than ever.

After a semi-lengthy break the band have returned with a refreshed attitude with no room for cynics. Talking to Brandon he seems as gassed up and invested in his band as the early days and insists this was not just a cash grab. He laughs when I ask who he still wants to share a stage with and honestly can’t think of many bands they haven’t played with yet. Nonetheless, the eagerness to get back to the fans and bring them a release they can all rally around is very apparent on  even the first play of Long Live.

Read more BELOW.

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Huntress: Jill Janus on Static, “Flesh” and beating Cancer.

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Tuesday, September 8, 2015 at 9:21 AM (PST)

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In a time when metal and rock fans seem split between compassionate human beings and those who accept trolling and bullying or outright violence (as in the freshly raging Deiphago controversy and the idiots who are anti-Kim Kelly as some “SJW Anti-Christ” types), I am as always inspired by Jill Janus and her band Huntress. From the start the band just came out co-ed and no apologies roaring and while Jill was often not taken seriously enough for her looks or called gross names, she continued to forge ahead and play to bigger and bigger crowds alongside her bandmates.

A blend of classic early 80’s metal and power mad hard rock plus serious astral projection/occult leanings and horror/sci-fi or even power metal themes, this band is just pure heavy metal.

I’ve wanted to communicate with Jill for years now and while I was sad to learn that Huntress had to cancel their September dates because Jill is still resting after BEATING CANCER (see that positivity, young witches and warlocks?!!), it was cool to learn she grew up near Oneonta about an hour from I live. Let’s go to the Iroquois Museum sometime, Jill! It’s really amazing!

Anyway, Huntress have made one of the years best ragers with new album Static. From the assertive vertigo of “Mania” to the strong title track, it is a ruler. You can find out all about it as we discuss crystals, cool hashtags and troll slaying BELOW.

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Acey Slade (Dark Party, Joan Jett, Murderdolls) on new chapter

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Sunday, September 6, 2015 at 3:40 PM (PST)

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Brooklyn’s Acey Slade is a lovable rogue, a people person who somehow seems to know everyone yet has a mystique about him. From Trashlight Vision to fan faves Murderdolls to Dope to recently playing with Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Acey is a real lifer who deserves everything good that comes his way.

Now Acey is getting back to putting out some of his own music and has a Pledge music campaign up and running HERE.

 

“Around the new year of 2015 it occurred to me that it had been a very long time since I had put out any of my own original music. It also occurred to me that if this was going to happen anytime soon I had better start working on it now, as I had a very busy year of tour ahead of me with Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. So I set out to record an EP on my lap top with no real expectations.

Then I met my studio engineer Tom Camuso who had Aerosmith and Lenny Kravitz original Neve recoding console, and he wanted to work on this project. Then Frank Ferrer of Guns and Roses and also Kriz from Dead Star Assembly got involved on drums. Then Christian Martucci of Stone Sour and Dee Dee Ramones band got involved. THEN Kato Khandwala who mixed the last Pretty Reckless and Blondie albums came on board.

You see PEOPLE are what brings music to life.”

Read more BELOW.

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Interview: Akurion – Mike DiSalvo’s fierce new Canadian force

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Saturday, September 5, 2015 at 11:12 AM (PST)
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 No weak minds and hearts need apply their ears here. The time has come. Let the takeover begin…

“Mike DiSalvo is back and I couldn’t be fuckin’ happier” says a fan on the Akurion bandcamp.

The ex-Cryptopsy vocalist is a fan favorite to a certain slice of death metal fans and Akurion is a veritable underground supergroup to those in the DM know. It is not every day someone like DiSalvo, with some influential records under his belt, tells me I asked a question he’s never been asked before.

Let’s all check out the scoop on the moody and brutal genius of Akurion BELOW.

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Interview: Stratovarius – Timo Kotipelto on 16th album, “Eternal”

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Saturday, September 5, 2015 at 8:18 AM (PST)

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Stratovarius are a legacy band who have given so much over the years. They have played a role in many chapters of power metal through their different, yet all talented, line ups. Eternal is their newest and finds the band emitting blazing power metal epic victories as skillfully as ever. Despite it being their 16th album in the history of the band, Eternal can stand on its’ own alongside classics like Polaris or the shining majesty of Destiny.

I included their most recent previous record Nemesis on my top 5 albums of the year when it was released, but while Eternal is not as perhaps aggressive as that recent statement , it nonetheless is a super worthy anthem that many fans of earlier Stratovarius as well as Matias-era fans will rightfully treasure.

Read an interview with Timo (vocals) BELOW.

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I interviewed my favorite Battlecross dude, Don Slater.

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Wednesday, September 2, 2015 at 5:46 PM (PST)

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Rise To Power, mother cluckers.

I finally interviewed Battlecross, one of the fastest rising bands in modern groove/thrash.

Read it BELOW.

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Unleash The Archers are the exact reason why metal will never die. I know, I know…I say that about a lot of bands I blog about because I mostly write about bands I think are fuckin’ cool, but I dare you to hear the high note glory of Brittney Slayes and the classic metal wind up of her aggressive but focused band and not believe their anthems will ring out across the Rainbow Bridge of Asgard for all time.

It was a pleasure to check in with B. Slayes and talk their China trip, The Avengers, the motivation of being a band from a cold place and much more BELOW.

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Weird Kids Table: 5 bands daring to mix genre and get cray

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 9:14 AM (PST)

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Sorry kids, but the buck doesn’t stop at Converge. As much as I am a HUGE fan
of J. Bannon and the gang, it didn’t even completely start there. Any early
Today IS The Day or Starkweather fans out there? Yes, Converge are for many
the go to band for a mix of some of the most extreme metal, hardcore and noise
with DIY heart out there. They have earned their stars as scene generals
through serious drive and are an example of “you reap what you sew” in a GOOD
way!

For me, it is thrilling to find bands who are unafraid to tread a bold path.
Myrkur comes to mind as a total “no fucks given” type who is making really
cool music out of combined aesthetics. I’ll even say I personally think the
latest Liturgy record is totally ingenius and you can call me a hipster while
I ignore you and really enjoy myself. It’s ok, I like Dissection’s records as
well (even as a bi sexual male…God, that was such a fucking shame).
Look, We’re all gonna die someday so make the art you want to. Have you HEARD
how rad the new Tribulation is? Seriously!

You really want all of mom and dad’s cash to go towards you being another mall
emo clone band or strictly “commercial” hard rock radio (in a pretty much post
radio age, lmao) sound? It’s pretty commercial to me that Fear Factory, Cattle
Decapitation and Lamb Of God are posting the best chart numbers of their
careers, even if it is easier to chart high these days by selling a few
thousand records in the day of music entitlement. I’m all for shared
experience and sampling and content trade and mix tape culture but also see
the music being given out on platforms artists never signed up to be on or
used to sell Youtube ads. Don’t pretend all your reasons for wanting free
music are pure. It fuckin’ makes it really hard on working creatives so cut
the shit.

That said, a punk rock non whiny spirit is also important and here are some
bands that don’t get discouraged easily and do their own thing SO FUCKING
WELL.

See the list BELOW.

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Megadeth fans are often torn between thrash leaning purists or those who can enjoy Risk, for example. It’s hard for bands to successfully tow the line between hard rock and more classic heavy metal elements but Archer from the West Coast are a great example of a band who manage to nail it. Great leads and riffs that’d make the snarlier side of Mustaine proud or stuff that could appeal to fans of anything from Accept to borderline Buckcherry with a much more classic heavy metal streak, Archer bring it all to the table. Their new release Culling The Weak is a great addition to the 2015 class of hard rock/metal hit list that already includes great stuff from Wildlights, Kinghitter and Royal Thunder as proof of a pulse in rock n roll leaning metal.

The trio have shared the stage with Hellyeah, Doro and other greats and held their own, as well as tapped legend Mike Clink (Guns N’ Roses, Whitesnake, Joe Cocker, Megadeth, Sammy Hagar, etc.). The result is a lively record of new songs like “World Of One” or “Belief” that could stand up aside some of metal’s most beloved anthems. The title track is at REVOLVER right HERE.

Get Culling The Weak on Amazon HERE!

Dylan Rose stops by Metal Riot to give us the good word on Culling The Weak BELOW.

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12 great post-1990 live albums that aren’t “Alive In Athens”.

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Thursday, August 13, 2015 at 4:30 PM (PST)

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Quality live albums have somewhat, frankly, become a rare breed. Sure you have Iced Earth’s Alive In Athens which was made in 1999 (not THAT long ago) but these days it’s far more common to have a golden live moment caught on Youtube, be it a funny blooper, a raging Black Label Society set or Florence & The Machine filling in for Foo Fighters (no pressure) yet still easing into Glastonbury this year like she (Welch) was reclaiming a mystical throne whilst blowing away the uneven Kanye set. Dax Riggs bootlegs are always reliable for bluesy psych/glam rock from the ex-Acid Bath singer. Tearist released a live debut for a full length and it really shook up the noise/art rock scene and created amazing possibilities anew. There’s standbys like Nirvana or Alice In Chains Unplugged. The new Rotting Christ 2x live bad boy is streaming HERE.

Maybe I’m showing my age here but I’d argue though that I have yet to be knocked on my ass by a live release
from many newer bands (here’s a DVD exception). Most of the ones on this list of mine are still more
established than not. Maybe I’m wrong but it seems to be a hurting art form. Cuz bands fuckin’ fake shit in the studio, hahaha.

Here are twelve true bangers, IMO. Some of these even have accompanying footage! Cuz, y’know…we can do that stuff now!

See which twelve artists made the list BELOW.

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