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).
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Today Rolling Stone published a ridiculous 40 Greatest Stoner Albums Ever list. They should have called it “How to not get laid ever, except for The Chronic and one or two others on here.” They had some cool reggae picks but had fucking Beach House (no offense to them) but not Sleep or Cypress Hill? Like, wtf?!!! The list was pure dirt weed for the most part.
You don’t listen to Kraftwerk stoned. I love Kraftwerk but if you did that too blazed it would be like being stuck in an Atari game and not in a fun way. And Darkside Of The Moon is a way better LSD album. And RS, much as I love them, will never help put me in the rock n roll Hall of Fame I am betting (even though I fucking rule), so I am gonna call them out on putting Jimi Hendrix at number one on pretty much every list they ever publish. I LOVE Jimi. The first time I smoked I listened to Jimi w my pal Quil (RIP) and got so high I thought I was a mouse and then prayed to all the hot girls in Jnr. High because I thought I was dying and was sad I would never see their breasts as I was still a virgin (I think?) and then Quil threw water on me and made me play Sega Genesis to maintain my shit. But c’mon…you guys put Jimi number one for everything. You had a 40 greatest guitar players list without Dr Know from Bad Brains on it and no ROIR tape on this pothead list when EVERY SKATER PUNK in the world has blazed and skated to Bad Brains!
Anyway, I fixed the list. Now, I am not gonna say this is “The Greatest EVER” because to each their own high, but I could have had every Kottonmouth Kings release on here and it would be more accurate. Shit, there is an Instagram video of my friend Darla singing “High On The Beach” by Lana that is better than most of the RS choices.
Anyway, here are my top 40 picks that I came up with in a half hour and are better. I did not put Afroman “Because I Got High” on it, but there is a lot of metal. Shit, as my dear friend Laurie Safdie said ,”They should have put the entire Man’s Ruin back releases on it.”
More BELOW and Happy four two oh, yo.Add to My Radar
2013’s Necrocracy was probably my favorite overall death metal album of that year, sort of akin to the Heartwork of Exhumed albums, in my humbly opinionated opinion. Suffice to say, it fuckin’ burns the house down and kills everything in sight still alive. Now Exhumed, arguably one of the top three greatest gore bands ever, are finally doing a proper follow up after having first revisiting and revised their classic Gore Metal with an updated recent re-recording.
Death metal fans are raving about the new self-titled Obituary release for excellent reason. From the hysterical video for “Ten Thousand Ways To Die” that picks up where their Inked In Blood “Violence” clip left off and is bound to get a chuckle out of almost anybody, to more rock solid songwriting that builds on one of the most impeccable musical legacies in death metal, Obituary are both writing for themselves and pleasing die hard fans at the same time. The results will have fans crashing down doors like the zombie hordes the Florida greats seem to fear most.
Next year will mark thirty years since the group changed their name from Xecutioner and made metal heavier forever. It seemed about time for a self-titled album under those circumstances, but I spoke with one of the founders, Trevor Peres, to get to the bottom of it all.
More below.Add to My Radar
With five of their full length life wreckers back on vinyl for the first time since the original pressings (we suggest you start with the still unconditionally pit worthy Stop At Nothing ), it seemed a good time to give Dying Fetus the band spotlight. The death metal legacy of this group has withstood many tests and only come through stronger. Catch them on tour with Hatebreed in Europe this April if you are both lucky and brave.Add to My Radar
As they close out their last week of their extensive 8-week-long North American tour, Savannah, GA’s BLACK TUSK have unveiled another music video for their “God’s On Vacation” single from their latest album, Pillars of Ash (January 29, Relapse). Check out this NSFW video, directed by Alixandra Petrovich, now on Vevo and YouTube. “God’s on Vacation” also recently appeared in the Mortal Combat XL trailer and NPR said the song brings the past into the present with its “Slayer-slashed riffs, gut-curdling wah-wah, an unrelenting rhythm section and trashy-as-hell hardcore-punk hooks.”
Since their formation over 10 years ago, Black Tusk have established themselves as one of the hardest working bands in rock. After four full-lengths, numerous splits and EP’s and thousands of shows under their belts, the punk/metal power trio was faced with an immense and unexpected tragedy in late 2014 when founding bassist/vocalist Jonathan Athon passed away after a motorcycle accident in his hometown. Now, as a testament to his profound and lasting legacy on the heavy music scene, the band, which also features guitarist Andrew Fidler and drummer James May with Corey Barhorst (Niche, Kylesa) now on bass, are releasing Pillars of Ash, the culmination of three brothers-in-arms’ blood, sweat and tears, and is Black Tusk’s finest accomplishment to date.
Road dates below.
Sometimes pacing is everything. While we all have metal favorites that
bludgeon us to death right off the bat (Say, the majority of Kreator albums)
other times entertainment can be even more powerful through a steady, slow
build with sudden shocking moments of adrenaline. South Korean revenge film I Saw
The Devil builds terror and suspense through a rising feeling of dread and an
eventual complete blurring of moral lines, for example.
Boise, Idaho’s Wolvserpent have been refining themselves over the years, the
duo expanding their sound and coming ever close to really manifesting their
classical influences as equally as the “metal” aesthetic. These days the
boundaries are fuzzy anyway, with recent records by The Visit, Insect Ark or
Helen Money all stirring examples of what can be done with a cinematic
imagination and a ton of soul.
Wolvserpent’s new 40 minute single song Aporia:Kāla:Ananta (Pre order HERE) is breathtaking,
haunting and all the overused adjectives you can think of. Brittany
McConnell’s violin will make you cry and the 7:45 minute mark of the song had
my friend enter the room asking what movie I was watching because it sounded
like an epic western. But fear not, there is some real doomy Blake Green vocal
action also akin to some moaned Sunn O))) chanting behind the climbing wall of
sound, breaking at 11:30 and reverting to a mere trickle before we start a
similar process again.
Sweeping vistas of darkness and light interplay with the burdens and triumphs
of the human spirit, and if that sounds pretentious you just really need to
give this a listen. It feels like being vulnerable and brave all at once as
forces swirl around you. It’s very much as high art as anything from the metal
world can get, and that is a good thing. It feels like Wolvserpent are more
worried with creating “life works” than mere albums or time killing metal
jams. At 16:00 in you’ll feel like you watched a two hour movie, in the best
way. And that is scarcely the halfway mark.
This is precisely when things start to get really doomy and the bottom drops
out on the old West (er, North West) feel to reveal a yawning chasm of void beneath the
prairie. Charred black metal orchestration reigns triumphant for well past the
30 minute mark, the song eventually almost sounding like orchestral industrial
noise/feedback drone. The whole second half takes the real constitution of an
experimental music fan, but is equally rewarding and worthwhile.
Wolvserpent have made a true statement that defies casual listening and
becomes a veritable life force, self defining.
Relapse Records is proud to announce the deluxe vinyl reissue of The Dillinger Escape Plan’s classic and highly influential Relapse debut EP Under The Running Board. Originally released in 1998 and unavailable on vinyl for over six years, this special pressing will be the album’s first time ever on 10″ wax, allowing for higher-fidelity. The LP also includes an etching on side B.
The reissue of Under The Running Board is set for worldwide release this coming March 4. Pre-orders are available via Relapse.com AT THIS LOCATION, and the album can be streamed via Bandcamp HERE. A trailer for the reissue can be viewed HERE.Add to My Radar
Relapse Records is extremely proud to announce the re-signing of legendary death metal pioneers INCANTATION! The band, who originally signed to the label in the early 1990s and released some of the most influential extreme metal albums of all time, including Onward to Golgotha (1992), Mortal Throne of Nazarene (1994), Diabolical Conquest (1998), and The Infernal Storm (2000), has come full circle to reunite with Relapse for its forthcoming 10th studio album. INCANTATION, an institution for over 25 years, remains hands-down one of the most important, influential and consistently regarded artists in metal, and the band’s new material is sure to be no exception.INCANTATION’s entire back catalog is now available for streaming via the band’s Bandcamp page AT THIS LOCATION.
INCANTATION members John McEntee and Kyle Severn commented on the re-signing:”2016 is off to a great start for Incantation Death Metal!!! We are extremely excited to announce that we are returning to the Relapse Family. They were there a quarter century ago when Incantation and Relapse were both starting their careers, so to be able to come full circle and release our 10th studio album with them is truly amazing and we are looking forward to the release and touring this record later this year!!!!” -Kyle Severn
“Yes it is true we have returned to Relapse Records. Over the last 8 years we have been working with them on various projects with great results. It’s awesome to start a new chapter of the band going back to our roots and working with the label that believed in us back in 1990 when we were still a demo band. It’s great to work with a label that still believes in us in 2016 and still believes in the perseverance of real death metal.” – John McEntee
Additionally. Relapse Records founder / president Matt Jacobson added:
“Incantation are one of the true pioneers of American death metal and their unwavering dedication, consistency and longevity is unmatched. We are proud to welcome them back to their original home.” – Matt Jacobson
Japanese drone/stoner/experimental veterans BORIS have announced a run of US tour dates this coming April surrounding Gensho, their new collaborative Relapse release with noise legend MERZBOW. The tour will see the band playing eight shows across the American Southwest and West Coast. A full itinerary is available below.
I still maintain that Publicist UK deserved a slot on my 2015 year end list over numerous much heavier bands. The post-punk project favor atmospheric rock soaked in emotional process, laden with a coldness striving to thaw. The band’s quite capable rendering of Tori Amos classic “Precious Things” (for the Decibel Flexi series) into a dark hard rock treatment that still retains a gothy charm with none of the song’s weight lost is impressive. And of course those low crooning Bauhaus-esque vocals are good times.
This kind of message and fluidity is important in the scene right now.
Check it out HERE and jump on the bandwagon, already.
And of course you can compare it to the chilling yet spiritual original.
Renowned Japanese innovators BORIS and MERZBOW have teamed up with Relapse for their new collaborative 2xCD/4xLP Gensho, one of the artists’ most daring works to date. Named after the Japanese word for “phenomenon,” Gensho is a unique release featuring over one-hundred-and-fifty minutes of new music spread across two CDs and four LPs (available as two separate double LP sets or a deluxe 4xLP edition).
RED FANG, who recently celebrated their tenth anniversary with a trio of Northwestern U.S. performances, return to the studio in February, recording the follow-up to Whales & Leeches with famed producer Ross Robinson (Amen, Korn, At The Drive-In).
“I’ve never been more excited about making a record in my life,” said drummer John Sherman. “The writing process for this album has been super fun and full of energy and good vibes. And the opportunity to work with Ross Robinson is so crazy – I’ve got goose bumps just talking about it!!”
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