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Photo by Peter af Kleen
Maybe it is naive to put the burden of “saving rock n roll” entirely on proto metal/glam/garage punks Spiders from Gothenburg, Sweden, but the vibes and power the band bring are so good and so strong that you want to imagine a better world where their new song “Why Don’t You?” speeds to the top of the charts. So, so good.
The band have been around for a number of years at this point (and have shared the stages with the likes of Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats, Graveyard and some new band called Metallica), but I had somehow never heard them until recently. Thank God. Not that I wouldn’t have enjoyed their earlier stuff, far from it…but awareness of the group came along and restored my faith/made me feel good right at a time when I needed a pure rock n roll jolt of lightning. Here is hoping they do the same for you.
It’s a breath of fresh air to have a band cut through the plasticity of pop culture so flawlessly. Shit, “Why Don’t You?” is pretty much a perfect rock song even if they had never done anything else.
John Hoyles checked in for a fun conversation BELOW.Add to My Radar
Jonny McBee had this to say about the signing:
“I am really proud of what THE BROWNING has become. It’s been a long, hard road. Signing with Spinefarm is a big step in the awesome direction this band is going and I cannot wait for the future. Excited for the world to hear this next album!”
The Browning’s last album Hypernova came out in 2013. The follow up (and Spinefarm debut) is due out this summer.
In addition to signing The Browning, Spinefarm has signed Helhorse and Royal Thunder. Read more about those signings here.
Spiders 3 song “Why Don’t You” EP is awesome ear candy married to hard proto-
metal and garage in the best, most Swedish of ways. I swear, Sweden just
churns out amazing bands still to this day from Spiders to Night Viper to
Blues Pills. This came out a few months ago, but better a late review than never!
This little three song gem is a great introduction to Stateside fans who might
not have heard of the group. You’ll def want to catch them when they hit the
States opening for tastemakers Graveyard in early 2016.
Frontwoman Ann-Sofie Hoyles has a no brainer, rich and compelling voice that
reminds me a bit of Sarabeth from Tower’s impressive pipes. A bit lower and
more dusky than some female vocalists, bluesy and full of feeling but not as
raspy as, say, Janis Joplin. The band even beat Ghost at the ABBA cover thing
with a less ironic and quite rockin’ take on “Watch Out”. The opening guitar
tone slices and dices and the snare sound is perfect. And those “ooh lalalas”!
The production on the EP is clear but not overstated, similar to recent
Horisont. Just pure win and to the point songwriting that will make you tap
your foot and get caught singing out loud in public. If this was another decade
“Why Don’t You” would be ruling the charts.
Swedish melo-deathers Amaranthe have released the music video for their song “True”
“True” comes off the EP Breaking Point – B-Sides 2011-2015 released today.
Check out the video for “True” and a full list of North American tour dates here.
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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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
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
“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.Add to My Radar
I just did what gravitates towards my soul, genres and barriers are disconnected from my listening pleasure – Brock Lindow
Music should break you out of your self prescribed mode, peel the veneer off of life’s everyday patterns and expose the nerves. I know some scene purists want to be metaller than thou or write off the new At The Gates (which is superb) because it isnt 20 years old and how dare they write a new album. I personally liked Ultraviolence by Lana Del Rey as an examination of depression and the grey scale of vulnerability and power play of sensuality far more than the majority of heavy revenge fantasy albums that I crossed paths with last year. Music should bring you inside of new ways of thinking, shake the dust or at least make you wonder or relate to the artist.
Alaska’s 36 Crazyfists have made what is possibly their crowning jewel with Time And Trauma (Spinefarm). This is just one of those records that defies critics and is destined to be a classic, much like Deftones Around The Fur or V.O.D.’s Imprint were just other records in a cluttered release year when they came out.
“I’ve seen the devil in many of my days/lately I’ve decorated far too many graves,” belts out singer Brock Lindow on title track “Time And Trauma” with such pain and raw emotion in his trembling but strong as hell vocal performance. You can’t help but be gripped. It’s like in The Art Of Peace by Morihei Ueshiba , true strength is bringing people into your sphere. For years 36CF have been not so quietly winning converts and KEEPING their fans through consistency, belief in the underground and hard touring regardless of trends.
You’d be a fool not to give this album respect.
For an interview with actually unique vocalist Brock see BELOW.Add to My Radar
36 Crazyfists have always been sort of an underdog band, a little bit edgier and a little bit weirder than most of the bigger bands they have spent years opening for. Not that the hard rocking Alaskans can’t pull their own crowds, just that they never reached the status of some of their peers. On the plus side, this has enabled the band to stay rooted to the underground and more post-hardcore influences and not be pigeonholed. Much like the so much more than just “nu” Deftones or Glassjaw (Worship And Tribute forever), 36 Crazyfists show groove, rage, glassy eyed poetic post-gaze and high octane punch in the same songs. It all comes down to how much your audience respects your divergences (the more closed minded Machine Head fans for example seem to only like early stuff or The Blackening, even though Super Charger is better than plenty of albums by other bands, c’mon and get real).
36 Crazy fists don’t even have that silly of a name anymore compared to some of the bands out now! Chunk! No, Captain Chunk!? WTF!!?
Anyway, Time And Trauma is a great album that warrants repeat listen and even has a sort of early Poison The Well/Trustkill looking cover. Like V.O.D. you can enjoy the darker passages or weirder grooving parts in equal measure. Vocalist Brock Lindow still has the weird, fluid Janes Addiction-esque cadences and off kilter kind of scratchy, contorted and nasal approach that appealed to me when I first heard the awesome “Circle The Drain” years ago.
Let’s dig in more! “Sorrow Sings” here is a slower, mid tempo march that shows remarkable range, really exciting tempo control and major guitar attack on the roaring bridge. Seriously a must hear monster song aching for light and life. Very impressed by this one. “Slivers” is a syncopated attack with almost Thrice-like charge and an attention grabbing, adventurous melody from the so real he doesnt have time to be too self concious Lindow. Check out the title track here and try not to get knocked on your ass! Vocal performance of a lifetime on that chorus for Lindow. These are the kind of songs kids flip shit for and really can bond with more than the 800th generic scream, kind of why I am digging Islander so much lately for trying harder than all the clone deathcore bands out there, for example. “I’m still taking this all in”. Well, it might take awhile because there are many highlights and movements. Try starting with “Lightless”, a faster tune that will make you want to jump and somewhere between Foo Fighters “Everlong” meets Quicksand/Deftones big chords and Bad Brains hop. But the melodic vocal prowess is all Crazyfist!
It all wraps up with the melancholic yet warm “Marrow”, a haunting and momentarilly suffocating promise that turns to soaring resolve with gothic flourishes and snaking duet moments. Band cofounder Steve Holt says ,“Overall the idea was to write a rock record with no preconceived notions; just good riffs and good songs,” the guitarist says. “I wanted rock-oriented songs that would let Brock’s vocal melodies take the lead.”
Welcome back, boys. The hibernation was worth the wait. Kudos and thanks to Spinefarm for helping make this awesome album a reality.
English doom metallers Electric Wizard have announced that they will embark on their first U.S. tour in 12 years.
Electric Wizard will be touring in support of their album Time To Die which is out now via Spinefarm Records.
The band will be supported on the tour by Satan’s Satyrs, which features Wizard bassist Clayton Burgess.
The tour will start in Philadelphia on March 31 and will finish up in Los Angeles on April 19.Add to My Radar
Alaskan metalcore mainstays 36 Crazyfists have revealed the cover art for their latest album, Time and Trauma.
Time and Trauma is due out on February 17 via Spinefarm Records. This will be the band’s sixth studio album and their Spinefarm debut.
Check out the album art for Time and Trauma here.Add to My Radar
Listening to my advance promo of the new Krokodil and it sure is a stunner. Chaos and precision, textural variation, distorted guitar to melt your brain and classical moments amidst the more somber sections make this record a beast. Plus, how weird and trippy is the cover art? Fans of Slipknot, Meshuggah, Fair To Midland or screamier bands could dig moments srinkled throughout this here labyrinth of insanity. “Reptilia Familiar” or “Sleep Well, Medusa” could please about any headbanger, towing the line between brainy and just plain violent with a respectable confidence. I suggest you heed the message below.
From the band’s Facebook today:
We have some sweet vinyl to pre-order over at www.krokodilrock.com Don’t miss out!Add to My Radar
Electric Wizard have revealed that their forthcoming studio album, Time To Die, will be released on Sept. 30 via Spinefarm Records; Time To Die is the eighth full-length offering from the masters of aural punishment, and is testament to the fact that Electric Wizard continue to be the most uncompromisingly heavy, genuinely twisted and evil band in the world.
This will be their first album release since signing a worldwide deal with Spinefarm Records.
In addition to this, a brand new video clip for “I am Nothing” has been unleashed via www.ElectricFuckinWizard.com.
EW guitarist/vocalist Jus Oborn has said if the track, which harnesses the dark underground death metal spirit of 1984:
“It was the year I became a metal-head. It was heavy shit for real – there was no way you were ever going to get a decent job. So I became a Satanist, I dug up a grave, I got into tape-trading, I had a one-man noise/black/death metal band called Regurgitated Guts, and there were loads of documentaries on TV warning us not to listen to the devil’s music…”
All official Electric Wizard pre-order bundles are now live on www.ElectricFuckinWizard.com, featuring limited numbers of vinyl, CD, T-shirt, back-patch and pin badge packages.Add to My Radar
You gotta have respect for Artillery. The veteran Danish power thrashers have just released a new video for the song "When The Magic Is Gone", taken off the band's latest album, Penalty By Perception. To watch the video, please visit HERE. Artillery comments: "Our new video 'When The Magic Is Gone' is a song about death and grief, it is a very personal song which shows the more mellow side of Artillery. The video was recorded in Norrebro, Copenhagen by Terkel Christensen (Aggressive Art) who is an old friend of Artillery." On Sept. 23rd, Artillery will start their co-headline tour with Onslaught. Artillery will celebrate the 30th Anniversary of their Terror Squad album on this run, playing 5-6 songs from that album, plus new songs from their latest album Penalty By Perception, as well as some more classics. See HERE for dates.