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New album alert! The Agonist are back… faster, harder, and darker than ever. Their new album Orphans is a thesis in evolution: After 5 years, 2 albums and countless international gigs (with the current lineup), the band have gelled into a paragon of extreme music. In this spectacularly dark work of art, The Agonist combine the melodic death you know and love with an array of other elements (including groovy prog metal and metalcore) that will keep you guessing all the way to the end. Each component shines: In addition to Danny Marino’s multilayered guitar parts, expect pulsing bass lines, machine-gun drums, harmonic clean vocals, and even vocalist Vicky Psarakis singing in Greek. This album is sure to please longtime fans as well as pull in new ones.

 

And speaking of Vicky Psarakis, this week we had the opportunity to speak with her about Orphans, The Agonist’s upcoming tour with Jinjer, and more.

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“Whatever you may see. The change resides in me. Fluidly. Any genre any dream sphinges, sibling selves and queens. A rollercoaster for each moment mood or picture frame. Please love me the same.’ from “Observation Deck/Shinges Sibling Selves And Queens”

I identify as multi-gender at this point, after a lot of research and therapy and trans groups and not feeling quite like what other people were discussing wrapped up my experiences similarly in a bow. I know that can be confusing for people. They are like ,”what do you want? It has to be this or that.” Nope. MYE.

This is a lengthy interview conducted in July by Kriegmaster Hatesturm of the great anti fascist agitators Neckbeard Deathcamp, kind enough to inquire into the guest artists, overall album background and the reasons behind prominent multi-gender/non binary themes on my new Walking Bombs album Sphinges, Sibling Selves and Queens. The album is out now via Nefarious Industries HERE.

Read the interview BELOW and thank you.

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Interview: Grogus – An Extension Of Friendship

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Friday, August 9, 2019 at 1:58 PM (PST)

 

In my experience the underground music world doesn’t necessarily reward
being a good person and lifting people up or whatever, but you should still do it
because it’s the right thing to do. -Boone Epstein

Sorry for the light amount of posts this week, metal family. My doggo best pal of 14 years passed away a week ago today. She was basically my fur daughter and I have been a flat out hot mess of sads, so only got up an Angel Witch post this week. Y’all know the new Slipknot is out already so let me assume some of you have already headbanged today and let myself off the hook a little. Regardless, We have a great interview with a rock solid cosmic death metal mutation known as Grogus for you kids to make up for a slow week around here. Because it never hurts to have more metal goodness!

This Minneapolis band of real deal musicians have released a new tape with our friends at Tridroid Records (grab it HERE). Entitled Four Kings, the release is one of the most satisfying excursions into the wonderful weirder side of sludgy experimental death. I love how taken out of a musical context that just sounds like falling into some Gotham lab ooze. Anyhow, let’s check in with Boone Epstein and get the lowdown BELOW.

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Mumbai’s Pacifist released one of the absolute banger EPs of the year in the form of the must-hear Greyscale Dreams.How often do you get to hear a hardcore band that actually makes you still want to be a better person these days? People are so cynical that it takes a lot of spirit to cut through the Godforsaken fog of modern malaise. It will take you about fifteen minutes to finish the entire EP and I hope it will move you as much as it made me feel inspired. “Double Down” at the 2 minute mark from a crazed diagonal sounding edgy hardcore riff suddenly melting into a wash of brief almost shoegaze guitar and careful cymbal work paired with poetic, youthful musings is an exhilarating thing to have reach your ears and stir the blood.

I reached out to the band’s contact and they graciously agreed to an interview about hardcore, India, the EP and their influences and goals.

Read more BELOW.

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Deep Cuts: Chelsea Wolfe (by Renee Ruin)

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Monday, July 8, 2019 at 8:02 AM (PST)

CW photo by Shaina Hedlund

While we wait for Chelsea Wolfe’s 9/13 Birth Of Violence to grace our ears, I thought it would be cool to ask my knowledgeable and fantastic friend Renee Ruin (definitely check out reneeruin.com!) to be a guest blogger and do a Deep Cuts on this multi-faceted and darkly prismatic, ever evolving and brilliant artist. She was super chill and said yes and so here we are with another edition to Metal Riot’s Deep Cuts.

For those who don’t know, this is an on again off again on again column where we dissect three lesser known tunes, covers or performances by an artist we love. Enjoy Renee’s Chelsea choices and be sure to pre-order the new record to support working artists.

Read More BELOW.

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I saw Concrete Dream recently at a show in Poughkeepsie, NY where the New Jersey bred band was faced with the pretty daunting task of warming up a room for veterans Nonpoint and P.O.D., but their blend of crowd rallying alternative metal, rap and metalcore was up to the task. In short order vocalist Jeremiah Mayhem had gotten people to move up to the front of the stage and stop being wallflowers and the group made sure in short order that people would remember their name. That’s the way to not take a limited time stage slot for granted.

Noticing over the few weeks since that the band seem to keep an active social media presence, have a good attitude and care about what they are doing coupled with the fact I was still thinking about the concert, I decided to reach out. Now we have a cool ass interview and you can hear some music you may or may not already know about, homies.

Jeremiah Mayhem stops by Metal Riot today to answer some questions about the up and coming determined hard rock group. Fittingly as I am writing this into our system to publish the article there is a wild lightning storm starting to rage outside, which seems to compliment the energy of this band.

Read more BELOW.

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photo by Rebecca

Redbait‘s pending June 14th release Cages (Pre order HERE) is mandatory listening if you don’t want to miss out on one of the brightest lights of 2019’s underground. The band’s New Age Records debut will make you feel revolution singing in your blood, a powerful second EP from a group with so much promise ahead of them. Listening to their guitars churning like a raging river atop powerful drums backing up intense political vocals, you can’t deny the immediacy or the band’s ability to lay it all on the line. There is nothing worse to me in music than being apathetic about your art or platform and no one would ever accuse Redbait of that.

Today we are thrilled to debut one of my favorite songs from their new release, the thrilling composition “Bred For The Knife”. The production is pitch perfect between remembering energy over pristine while still sounding incredible, well serving the driving and subtly complex song. This one has a few tricks up the sleeve you wouldn’t expect from where it begins, including my favorite bridge of the EP (it kind of sounds like Queensryche meets Bane!). This band knows just where to give more and when to hold back. It’s exceptional. I hope someone whispers in the ears of Rolo Tomassi or Propagandhi to take them on tour immediately.

Says Madeline –

“We wrote “Bred for the Knife” as a commentary on the commodification of animals, specifically in factory farming. The problem of violence against animals isn’t taken seriously and I think that can largely be attributed to the fact that the butchering and processing of animals bodies are discreet and avoided. It isn’t a practice that a lot of people are willing to confront. The lyrics mention animal cruelty, environmental destruction, and worker exploitation as interconnected struggles in this industry. The commodification of animals is a cruel outcome of capitalist society. It’s something that most of us feel very compelled to talk about and inspire conversation through the music we make.”

It really is an important issue. Some pro life dipshit on Twitter was arguing with my girlfriend yesterday and saw no harm in not caring about the environment or animals when she brought up why he ate meat if he was pro-life. He said he doesn’t eat babies, refusing to see her point. Well, bud – you ever have leg of lamb? Congrats. You ate a baby. It’s still a baby. Asshole.

Recorded and mixed by Will Jameson, Cages will be available on 7” vinyl from New Age Records.

Transparent green: 200
Transparent pink: 400
’77 Pressing (transparent pink with green New Age label): 77

Digital version will be available 06-14-19 at https://redbait.bandcamp.com/

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Mario Quintero of NY’s Spotlights is our latest proud addition to Metal Riot’s interviews. The alternative rock influenced band have been making waves for several releases now, but their newest Ipecac opus Love & Decay is next level phenomenal. This is a big scopealbum with numerous standout tracks (the chill slow burn build of closer “The Beauty Of Forgetting” comes to mind right away), but which can easily consume your full attention all the way through. It sparks a deep dive into your imagination and often feels like it could soundtrack a space exploration video of massive bodies floating in the void. Certainly on the short list of best musical releases of 2019 for me thus far, I know I am going to spend a lot of time with this pensive, personal and powerfully moving album probably for many years. It has that special energy in the performances, vibes, melody and songwriting that makes you circle back to it…and did I mention big ass juicy riffs as well?!

Read more BELOW.

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Photo by Nick Haymes

“…the fact that we have these wild parakeets flying around between the palm trees and most normal people don’t even acknowledge them…they are a precious detail that only the wisest of Los Angelinos truly appreciate.” – Actually Huizenga.

Happy Easter weekend, sinners. Or Passover or Pagan Bunny day if that’s what you are doing. Whatever is clever. I’m here to bring you back from the dead in style with a blasphemous article on the most holy musical warrioress of our times, Actually Huizenga. She is a performer, brilliant musician and funny and chill as heck, a multi-faceted director, actress, rager, singer, expert on obscure subjects and also probably will live forever through cult worship ceremonies. She is the force behind Patriarchy (a much better one than “the patriarchy” – you will want to rave about how “Patriarchy” is finally cool).

Yes, cool is a dorky word. But facts are facts. I was scrolling IG one day and saw her Patriarchy page and was like WTF! Some people would maybe think they had stumbled into a Babylonian hellscape but I was like…this is basically utopia!

Now, a little known fact…there is not really a God. Famed-ethnobotanist Terence McKenna was right about the fractal machine elves but something overlooked is that fractal machine elves sometimes tie it on too hard. They also have the big responsibility of determining how much coolness every soul which is born gets pre-birth from their little weird psychic elf factory. One day a particularly handsome elf we will call “Buzz” was kind of asleep on the job and rested his nose too hard on the “coolness lever”. Well, it turns out baby Actually got 30X the concentrated radness usually given to a normal “mortal” and thus is probably going to save or destroy the world. Are we ready for her messages?

All I know is she saved my brain the last few days by offering a much needed alternative to Trump bleating about “No collusion”, a far superior place with chain mail, snakes, decadence and synthy wise-ass glory. I know y’all wanna read about Accursed Spawn and stuff all the time, but sometimes we need to get freakier than that – ok?!

So I wrote to her and the California based artist thankfully agreed to let me interview her. Fuck yeah! She even told me funny stories and humored me while I was telling her about being stuck in a forest and seeing giant hawks that thankfully didn’t eat me alive or this never would have been published. Instead, you have the following conversation to memorize. You should also watch her videos and movies twice as many times as people streamed The Dirt. Jesus says everyone who does gets to go to heaven this weekend for free, no matter what. For real.

In all seriousness though, she is hysterical, beyond talented and really blew my mind when I heard her incredible music. So happy this came together and hope all of you have fun reading it or discovering her world and killer material if you haven’t yet.

Read our chat BELOW.

 

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Interview: FEN – A stirring counterpoint to ‘Winter’.

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Thursday, March 14, 2019 at 12:57 PM (PST)

 

“This is very much a standalone release that has its own atmosphere and really works as one long song.” – The Watcher.

UK Black metal/post-rock hybrid FEN are far too good to really simplify with such limiting descriptors. Regardless if you feel the alleged freedom inherent in “black metal” as a concept (which some people think ought to actually be quite restrictive) covers their sound adequately and wether or not you feel the over-used assumption that all “post-rock” is slow tempo Mogwai aping without the innovation is grossly lacking accuracy when it comes to FEN’s moving dynamics and kinetic emotional resonance, there is just no way to capture the power of what the band does in simple short genre tags. They are a mind blowing experience.

When I first heard this band a few years ago I felt like they had the emotional power to connect that the best Agalloch or Ulver material had but with a much more savage side. Also, the music takes an even greater deep dive into the sort of nature respecting weary yet awed exploration of humanity and the wider Universe in a way that, doesn’t sound much like, but connected with me in a primal way as much as a legacy band like Neurosis. They even cover some of the melodic vocal ground you might hear these days in a more progressive leaning band like Enslaved, while still staying a bit more rooted in the black metal sound than that band has become (no shade, love it all). But yeah…to put it simply, FEN are just really fucking sick musicians who also don’t lose “the feel”.

It was an honor to interview The Watcher about the group’s astounding Eisenwald MLP Stone & Sea. 

Read our philosophical exchange BELOW.

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Psychic Hit will redesign your life for a negotiable fee.

Ariana: ‘I had a secret wish to start a band with Andrea when we started dating. We were busy with other bands at the time. She gave me this amazing mix with Captain Beyond, Hightide, Aphrodite’s Child… That’s how I knew she “got me.” Our brain/lovechild, Psychic Hit, was born when we skipped Folsom Street Fair to stay home and roll on molly.

The searing classic rock and heavy metal infused sounds on Psychic Hit’s crucial and unfuckwithable demo from last year knocked me on my ass and made me more stoked for anything I’d heard with throwback influences since Amulet or maybe even the glammier Spiders. This is a top notch act that I cannot believe are so potent right out of the gate. I sort of stumbled across them online and had my mind completely blown by their songwriting skills and also an unabashed Heart influence here and there, so fucking cool. I feel like they could blast the door off any venue with the fire of their energy, for real.

Honestly I think this band could be very powerful within the scene if they keep their goals focused, make connections, get a good PR person and gig as much as they can. I don’t include write good songs because I am 100 percent confident anything they do is gonna kick ass. THAT’S how impressed I was by them. I would fucking die to somehow see them live with, like, my beloved Blood Ceremony or Earthless or really any band. Along with some amazing acts like Electric Children or the East Coast’s The Advertisers, Psychic Hit have made me feel really stoked about some of the energy percolating in underground rock in 2019 already! I cannot rave about them enough so please just fuckin’ read the interview I had with most of this amazing group (their first EVER interview) BELOW!

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“The fact that oppressive institutions and nations born of colonial hegemony, demonize, profile, police and punish the survivors of ongoing genocide and attempt to dictate where they can and cannot live is morally bankrupt, and yet here we are.” – Misandr

One of the best parts about blogging is I always love the chance to help boost amazing work of all stripes by fascinating, forward thinking people. Be it Spellling’s dope slow come down beats and chill as heck textures plus stunning vocal work on Mazy Fly or the harrowing new cinematic Hether Fortune track “Sister” (which was so powerful live) or the latest ominous yet massive doom-opus from Candlemass , there has been so much good stuff already in 2019 to share. And we need it, cuz it is rough out there right now for a lot of people.

One of the most awe-inspiring things that landed in my promo box this year so far was the much-anticipated Tridroid Records split from somewhat mysterious noise practitioner MISANDR and whitephosphorous, “This Can Not Continue”.  The release just went up for pre-order very recently and is a must hear rejection of bigotry and hatred funneled through the lense of sonic vertigo and alienating physical sound avalanches paired with razor keen current event subtexts. The split title This Can Not Continue is both a perfect and simple fact for the horrors going on in the world as well as an apt summary of how the music and content is so intense that it tests the bounds of human endurance until a flip switches and you somehow are comforted by the harsh swirl of cacophony and distress.

Thanks are to be extended to Misandr who allowed us to interview them via email for a VERY insightful and rewarding exchange. I can’t do it justice summarizing but topics include inverting fascism on itself, ableism, noise as self-catharsis, the project’s past and future, the dangers of xenophobia and so much more. Super thrilled to be publishing this and hope you all will read it and enjoy near drowning in this artist’s emotionally exhausting new single on the Tridroid split as much as I did.

Read more BELOW and hang in there, folks.

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We’ve got a special video premiere for you hard rock fans today! Two Inch Voices from Florida are here to bring you their big melodic guitar groove rock that Deftones , Quicksand and O9mm fans will eat up. I even hear a little bit of stuff in the guitar work that reminds me of Shift or Seaweed or something like that. The music might be a blend of emotionally searching and aggro, but the video looks like it was a lot of fun. Hey, Florida does have a lot of sunshine so we can understand if the band went for a 311 goes to the MTV Beach House kinda vibe, haha. It’s cold as fuck in NY where I am right now and I wish I was moshing and jumping around a big ass pool!

We spoke to Jeff from the band about the creation of this moment.

TIV is = Gary “Dubbz” Ferguson- Bass/Vocals, Sean McCord- Drums, Jeffery Arnold aka J Laveau- Guitar/Vocals 

What was it like to write “Downstroke”?

Jeff: Writing “Downstroke” was a blast! It started with Gary (Bass/Vocals) and I jamming on acoustics, at his house. Gary started playing this melodic staccato, riff, I knew it was something; 1.Because he’s playing it, 2.Because it moved really well. So we jammed on this for a minute or two. (this part will eventually become the verses.) So Gary asks if I had anything for the chorus, and because the drive of the song is so good, I wanted to keep the momentum going; so I chopped the riff and went full strum. This took the song to a whole other level! I love how larger than life it sounds and feels! It’s as if whatever you were feeling just lifts away. Aaaaand if you couldn’t tell the bridge/ breakdown parts are our Metal/Hardcore roots shining through. I mean who doesn’t love a little Metal or Hardcore in their musical diet? Haha. I mean really.

I digress, but yeah by the end of the night, we had the song structured and recorded. We brought the song to our drummer at the time, recorded the song instrumental; I took it home and wrote lyrics. The first thing that came to me lyrically was the chorus, “We shine/we shine like diamonds, above a blackened time!” Once that was in my head, I knew the rest of the song would write itself. The chorus means more than anything else I say in the song, maybe to me. Because we are all diamonds and sometimes the world can be dark, and extremely brutal, that’s when we have to SHINE and SHINE the brightest.

What was it like to make the video?

Jeff: Oh man, making this video was out of this world FUN! It helped that Gary and I knew what we wanted for the theme, when we finished writing the song. Haha. That throwback vibe! So we had somewhere to start, and it took us a while to get our location though. In our part of Florida, you don’t have many two story homes, and this was real important for the look of the video. After a couple months of searching and talking to people, I finally posted a sort of ad on my timeline; “Looking to borrow a 2 story house for 5 hours, to shoot a music video.” Yes this is what it said. Who’s going to respond to this, right? But what else could I do? This video was going to happen! Sure enough, not even 10 mins later, this very cool cat from the band “Things Nocturnal”, offered to help. Unbelievable! It was just like that. He invited the band over to look at his place, and we set a date to shoot right then and there. When you or anyone watches the video, they’ll see why.

The video team was led by my very good friend, (Producer/Director/Editor/The Man) Ryan Sousa of Film Native in Tampa, Fl, in collaboration with M90 Studios. Ryan and I have been friends for a while; he did Two Inch Voices’ first video “Into Oblivion”, in 2010. So when Gary and I were talking about videos for the new single, it only made sense to introduce Gary to Ryan. After that meeting, we began sharing ideas and really working together to make something wonderful. And I believe we’ve done that. We’ve made something wonderful. 

 

Reverbnation.com/TwoInchVoices
Facebook.com/TwoInchVoices
Instagram: @twoinchvoices
Twitter: @TwoInchVoices

Film Company:
Film Native: www.filmnative.com
Instagram: @filmnative

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High Cost

Formerly known as Septic Rot, the formidable NYC 5 piece now known as High Cost blew me away when I heard the advance promo of the up and coming act’s new forthcoming (Nov. 30th, Tridroid Records) Self-Titled release. It is so effin’ awesome to still get that feeling of excitement from a new band sometimes and to remember bygone days when word of mouth, the back of some zine or trusted sources was the main way to find out about extreme music, be it punk, crust or death metal.

Nowadays the internet allows us to almost know about too much and the process of separating the cream from the crap can feel like wading through seas of white noise at times waiting for a pearl of passion, but rest assured the real DIY scene is still thriving and out there. The cassette version of their debut EP contains 7 tracks on Side A and noise remixes and live recordings on side B. Lyrics deal with mental health struggles and are written by lead singer Kiki.

Honestly this almost made my year end list and was in the top twenty five before I had to trim down to fifteen for my final list. This band has huge potential and remind me of how fired up I was when I first heard cool world engaged bands like Landmine Marathon or Disfear or other ragers.

Check out the stomping intro to “Illusion” before it explodes into raw punk and shreds you to bits at lightning speed and then devolves into an awesome Cro-Magnon stomp and by then you will maybe be smooshed flat but hooked and want more.

Let’s meet the gang! Read more below.

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My favorite albums of 2018 (Jessica Fisher)

Posted by longhairedpoet on Monday, November 26, 2018 at 9:27 AM (PST)

What a year! Calendar years for me, since I still live by a U.S. academic calendar, starts and ends on a “break.” This time last year I hadn’t really ever seen any of the Star Wars movies before, and over winter break last year I watched them all. This time last year I was finishing up my first semester of grad school and this year I’m finishing up my fourth. This time last year I didn’t believe in the idea of Georgia as a purple state, after Stacy Abrams performance in the midterm, I’m more intrigued than I’ve ever been before. I’m hoping to graduate with my Master’s in American Studies in May. When I write this piece next year, I could  be writing it as a PhD student (or an adjunct professor). I’ve made a conscious effort to listen to more new music in general, inside and outside of metal, this year, and it’s been a good experience. You can check out some of my finds and favorites over at my Medium.

My album of the year: Catharsis by Machine Head

Catharsis has been a necessary album for getting through this year. From the opening decree of “Volatile,” “Awww, fuck the world!” to the folk-punk inspired “Bastards” to the 8 minute “Heavy Lies The Crown” to the closing track, “Eulogy,” this mix of personal and political helped me process and work through my own anger and angst at the socio-political realities we find ourselves in.

Check out the rest of my list here.

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