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May 2018 Round Up: 4 faves of the month (mye)

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 at 6:16 PM (PST)

Midnattsol

2018 is proving that each month has had plenty of cool metal and hardcore punk or extreme experimental music to peruse, thus making a choice of just 4 albums rather difficult. Heck, we got a Burn The Priest covers album featuring Melvins, Bad Brains and Cro-Mags covers this month, for pit’s sake. That is ridiculously rad. I decided to focus on original music releases though for my top choices for May. Remember that this is just what I was grooving along with the most. It doesn’t mean I think the new Dimmu sucks or whatever you want to project.

As I turned friggin’ 40 years old in April, I am more and more enticed to talk more about what music I like in my writing than what I don’t. Bands I am not crazy about get algorithm benefit from being discussed that helps them anyway, so I would rather try and put the word out and focus on what I think is actually good in metal rather than shred apart someone else’s gateway band. Unless a group has done something truly horrible and never changed, I am loathe to spend too much time on them when I could be plugging the new Baptists record, for instance.

I think a lot of the time we are so precious about having a better grasp of what music is “supposed to” be that we really wreck the potential for growth. The mainstream to me is like the Democratic party. I would rather participate and improve it with discourse than throw it out entirely and have a Trump style disaster (to use a metaphor) where all mainstream music is divorced from talent because no one stuck up for any real artists once they got famous. It is still a massive tragedy to me that Chester from Linkin Park had to deal with so much initial hate for making the poppier One More Light album that it maybe led to him choosing death. We really need to be more open minded, y’all. Everything has a place in the great wheel, yo.

That said, my list starts out with a lot of melody and ends up with a lot of Savagery, so you just gotta deal with it.

More BELOW.

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It doesn’t take long into a play-through of the heated and mind bending single“Waste” from NYC buzz band Zeal & Ardor to realize that Manuel Gagneux did not come to play on his creation’s new forthcoming release Stranger Fruit (out in June).

Zeal &Ardor’s Devil Is Fine debut caused a lot of tongues to wag with a mix of gospel, soul and extreme metal elements . The formerly one man band has given way to the project becoming a fully-fledged, internationally-touring group. For Stranger Fruit, Gagneux entered the studio with producer Zebo Adam and mixer Kurt Ballou (Converge, Kvelertak, Nails). The title is timely, reminding that there is still plenty of work to be done but that bridges can still be built.

Read a discussion with Manuel Below.

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April 2018 Roundup: 4 fave albums of month (mye)

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Monday, April 23, 2018 at 3:45 PM (PST)

As April came in like a ram and goes out like a bull, here are my picks for the four most rad albums that I enjoyed this month as we charge into the Spring.

See my picks BELOW.

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There are a lot of bands to be excited about in metal right now, but few have the kinetic electricity and obvious spark that Milwaukee’s metallic hardcore act KNAAVES are bringing to the scene. The group have a concise and fiery approach and a clear drive, the kind of intensity that will likely appeal to fans of Converge, Baptists, Immortal Bird or even Disfear. Their new 2 song release January is a must hear that is poised to make a lot of people take notice.

Amanda Daniels (bass) is one of my most valued friends in the metal scene. I was a big fan of her old band Enabler and believed her and got to know her better around the time that the abuse she suffered in that group became known. She is awesome and it is so great to have her presence and energy back in a group who have a ton of potential and positive energy/momentum. She is really deserving of your support and I am assuming so are the rest of the band – which features Andy Parmann (Vox), Jamie Kerwin (Guitar) and Antonio Ninham (drums).  Their music is a powerful release and we can’t wait to hear more stuff from them.

It was great to get a chance to catch up with Amanda and hear about the new project. She spoke about the recent 2 song, show and video plans, #metoo and more with myself and singer Elizabeth Le Fey (Globelamp).

Read more BELOW.

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March 2018 Round Up: 4 fave albums of the month (Morgan)

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Saturday, March 24, 2018 at 11:40 AM (PST)

Eagle Twin by Russel Albert Daniels

March For Our Lives is going on today and I am so stoked at the bravery and power of all the voices in unison demanding change. This has been an incredible month of social change and even accountability in metal as well as the world.

Well, it was VERY hard to pick just four albums for this month’s four favorites. There were a dozen records I really LOVED this month. Some flirt with dark stuff but weren’t really metal like my actual fave any genre record of the month – the new one from post-gothers VOWWS called Under The World. Other stuff I want to shout out includes stuff that is absolutely killer like Andrew WK (who had the two most uplifting singles in hard rock by far for the year thus far at a time we really need it), Memoriam, Slaves BC or especially also Rivers Of Nihil’s great prog influenced leap forward or  BESVÄRJELSEN‘s potent Swedish doom brew Vallmo.

These records were and are bad ass af but ultimately edged out to the four records BELOW which I felt were the best four albums associated with the metal genre this month.

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Interview: Mother Harlot

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 at 6:51 PM (PST)

“New Yorkers are a notoriously resilient bunch, so it’s no surprise that the metal scene remains strong as ever, even thriving under the pressure of a changing city. I can’t give enough credit to venues like Saint Vitus and Lucky 13 Saloon, which give developing artists an avenue to grow and show this city what they’re made of.” – Sonia

Imagine if the occult side of Sabbath and the meatier side of Iommi riffs met up with Lacuna Coil harmonies and modern heavier metal production flourish. Check out Brooklyn, NY’s Mother Harlot’s recent self-titled EP. Hear what I am sayin’? The band have bite and style as well as a tendency to converse with several sub genres at once in a cool way.

Vocalist Sonia Goldberg stops by to fill us in on the band’s latest happenings and other matters.

Read more BELOW.

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Scientist killing it live (photo by Josh Dagenais)

Lara Noel McGlynn is the head organizer of Chicago Doomed And Stoned Festival, one of the funnest smaller underground niche extreme musical festivals of the year. We highly recommend you make the trip to Reggie’s in Chicago from June 1st-3rd. From some of the best bands in Chicago to like minded souls from around the country, this festival has a killer grouping of acts from Brume to Whores to The Skull to Scientist to Inter Arma and on and on.

It seems like only yesterday that Lara and I were completely shitfaced watching NIN, Soundgarden and Dillinger but now Dillinger is gone, Chris Cornell is dead and in hindsight I was so drunk I wish I remembered a lot more of that show! Anyway, Lara moved away from my area and has been kicking major ass in the metal scene supporting bands and so it was great to catch up with her and find out what is gonna make this festival super special and lit!

Read more BELOW.

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February wrap-up: The 4 best albums of the month (Jessica)

Posted by longhairedpoet on Wednesday, February 28, 2018 at 9:05 AM (PST)

Holy shit, friends! February is the shortest month, and it flew by in a flash! But, before we close out this chapter and move on to March, I’ve got the four albums that I thought kicked the most ass this month.

Check them out here.

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Pre Emptive Feb 2018 Round Up: 4 fave albums of the month (Morgan)

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 at 4:54 PM (PST)

Photo by Eric Tra

Who knows what I will be doing next week, but I already know my four favorite albums for February. Might as well post ’em since so busy right now mostly moving and arguing with NitwitTweeters (Nitweeters) on Twitter. These are my choices for my four favorite ragers of the month, which I am already looking ahead towards the end of.

Read up on them BELOW.

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photo by Kat Cade

“I really feel like it’s important to not perpetuate or enable toxic ideologies and attitudes when you see them…” – Beth (bass/vocals)

Cleveland, Ohio’s Pillärs have given the underground a real shot of adrenaline right out of the gate in 2018 with new release Abandoned. From to the battle cry d-beat attack of opener “Last Rites” to the eerie and solemn dirge of closer “Behind The Wall”, the eight tracks on the release defy apathy and display relentless chemistry between the band members . There is a real love for underground punk and metal here in most forms.

Released on Tape Haus cassette (thetruetapehaus.com) and self-released CD, this is one of the most buzzed about current records in extreme music circles.

It was our pleasure to check in with the band about touring new places, scene building, overcoming obstacles and personal goals for making the scene more inclusive and generally rad.

Check it out BELOW.

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As a person and performer, I was and still am driven by the thought that we still had something to prove and strive to change people’s minds about who and what they think we are or were. – Morgan Lander

Kittie were always more than some nu metal female novelty act as they were originally crassly marketed. The group’s ongoing story has not been properly told until now, a twisting road that found the band in various line-ups kicking ass and taking names, overcoming sexist hurdles, conquering venues big and small and winning the hearts of thousands. Not every band can say they have six albums and several million record sales and still be as uncompromisingly heavy as Kittie have been over their career.

A long gestating documentary is arriving on March 30 via Lightyear Entertainment in North America to celebrate the band’s career and impact. The three-disc set, which was directed by Rob McCallum, includes a Blu-ray and DVD of the documentary as well as a new live album on CD.

Morgan Lander, the bands fierce yet friendly front woman, took some time to answer questions from myself and Elizabeth Le Fey (Globelamp) about Kittie’s role in making metal more inclusive, special moments along the way and much more.

Read more BELOW.

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Metal Riot’s 50 Best of 2017

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Thursday, November 16, 2017 at 3:11 PM (PST)

2017 managed to be even more exhausting and painful than 2016, for the most part. I hate to sound so negative (despite writing for a metal blog), but it is the truth. Thankfully we had so much good music to help save us from extinction. While we lost many more great artists this year to the great beyond, this list alone is a reminder that a lot of kick ass bands are just hitting their stride. Rock n’ roll is in safe hands as long as acts like these take the time to remain so invested in their art. Yes, even Gwar (hahaha).

While in the past we have often had lengthy descriptions for each album that made our rather amorphic year end lists, this year (album of the year excluded), we listed the artist name and the album cover. It is less about being lazy than encouraging you to discover some of this music for yourself. Live in it a little or discover something new without preconceptions other than the recommendation (though let’s get real, if you are reading Metal Riot you prob stay attuned to the goings ons of many an obscure or well known band anyhow). But yeah, we wrote about it all year long, after all…let’s experience it together. Smack the tambourine together and slit our wrists and twist and shout and all that crap.

Suffice to say, it is awesome to see a wide variety of sub genres, related branches and different types of people represented. We hope you feel the same. You BETTER feel the same when it comes to the awesomeness of having several antifascist black metal bands on our list. And anybody who wants to complain about Limp Wrist beating out some more “metal” acts hasn’t heard how intense, timely and passionate Facades is.

From Life Of Agony‘s explosive comeback supporting Mina Caputo to Woe‘s scorching “No Blood Has Honor” (and the album that houses it) to the hits you in the gut critically acclaimed Zeal and Ardor record to Bell Witch‘s engulfing latest opus to Kreator breaking the sound barrier to Wage War even proving there is still some life in Metalcore, you’ll find quite a lot to digest here and revisit or look up if you already haven’t heard or purchased these babies.

Thanks to all our staff writers who participated. June, Tyrus, Andrew , Jessica and… myselves.

Anyway, there will be some random posts here and there before the end of 2017 on Metal Riot, but I am scaling back the next few weeks to deal with some very important family stuff, start the next stage of my transition mindfully, brace for the holidays and to both help assist with the next Globelamp album AND work on an EP I am doing as Walking Bombs in collaboration with the noise project Gridfailure. Thanks for everyone who gives a shit! I’m extra stoked on a lot of the records this year as well as the piece we got to run on the Warzone NYHC tribute.

Terviseks

Read the METAL RIOT BEST OF LIST 2017 BELOW.

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“Dreadlords is a black metal band (occult blues, grim folk, Satanic gospel), just not conducted in the usual format.” – J. Gannon

I found an old journal last night from about fifteen years ago and tore out a page in which I’d scribbled that ,“Life is like passing through a fogging yolk and maybe breaking loose into a heaven, but no guarantee?” Dreadlords, an experimental group from Upper Black Eddy, Pennsylvania who feature members of industrial flirting ritual occult act T.O.M.B. , seem to be searching out their own meaning to creation and our human experience navigating the perils of darkness and light’s perpetual tug of war with the soul. I’ve mainly been listening to them, Nate Hall’s lonely latest and the ethereal darkness of Lisa Cuthbert’s HEX TAPES the last few days and finding a lot of comfort in both during some quite shitty personal struggles.

In the garish glare of American mainstream culture, one could quickly be forgiven for wanting to pare things down to something more gritty, personal and close to the Earth. Blues, metal, gospel and – to my generally ringing ears, anyway – even some No Wave bordering punk influences combine with growling oral traditions and lonely campfire ritual soul-bearing to create a unique sound on the group’s 2017 release REAPERS.

Honestly, I ate a pot brownie and listened to this thing just last night out in the middle of the woods with a creative cohort, such is the return investment on these songs. It is taking the sort of wallop of the much more linear stoner rock band Lo-Pan’s “Marathon Man” to smack me back to reality this morning from my brain’s wanderings out on the edges of a REAPERS night time dream which transcends realms and archetypes like the musical equivalent of King and Straub’s The Talisman. If anyone wants to bring some strong black coffee and some hugs and kisses to where I am de-fogging in bed, that would also be appreciated.

But yes,  Zimimay, Samantha Viola and J. Gannon made a not too modest dent on the underground’s psyche with the uncompromising black psych blues release Death Angel , which featured some potent declarations of intent via the likes of “Dreadlords Cometh” and “Thieves Of Faith”. REAPERS expands the scope the mysterious act’s rising Mojo, personalizing the experience even further with a deep dive into the soul’s longings and laments.

More BELOW.

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‘Politicians, religious organizations and media were probably always corrupt, but it’s more difficult for them to hide it now. On the contrary: it would seem they’re not even trying to hide it anymore! They’re just counting on the apathy of the general public.’ – Alex Agnew 

Diablo Blvd have from Belgium pair bold vocal melodies with various shades of rock that travel from light to dark while staying rooted to the core hard hitting sound. Their new record Zero Hour brings in some New Wave and New Romantic influences further while adding more heft to the group’s hard rock punch. Be sure to pre order HERE (it comes out very soon on 9/22 via Metalville).

Alex Agnew stops by today to discuss touring, influences, the state of the world, playing music for everyone and much more. Check it out BELOW.

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It is not often you hear someone as clearly at home with a guitar in their hands as true virtuoso Al Joseph. I don’t listen to mostly instrumental guitarists that often, though I do get down to some Marty Friedman and love Scale The Summit, but I was so blown away when I heard Al Joseph’s recent stratospheric All Of Creation record that I had to track the man down and ask him about writing it, his technique, inspirations, hope and dreams, etc.

What a cool person! I promise if you listen to this record you will be very inspired to create, experience and LIVE! Satriani, Pettruci, Townsend Project and Reid fans will be into this for sure, but really you don’t have to love technical leads to find a human element here to latch on to. We here at Metal Riot highly advise you make some time for Al’s amazing art.

Read MORE BELOW.

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