None or Unknown
Upstate NY's Surmiser are a grunge, hard rock and post punk marriage who play every note with the conviction of lifers who have long since given up the notion of turning back. The band is an excellent power trio and have just released their buzzed about latest effort Hold The Static. Songs about depression, addiction and self assessment pair with focused but inspired soul eruptions that take you on a journey through a wide range of emotions. Surmiser are very much worth checking out, constantly working on ways to expand their impact and body of songs to mirror their experiences into something representative to their values in sonic form.
Featured StreamsMore MR Interviews
Hey everyone. June has been a completely crazy month but there was a lot of brilliant stuff released. Let’s get right to it and look at my four favorite releases of June 2018 Below.
Gruesome takes top spot for me this month. The cover art for Twisted Prayers is so damn metal and also summarizes the complete disgust I feel for the so called God fearing power hungry fascist monsters trying to turn us into zombies in a new crusades.Add to My Radar
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.Add to My Radar
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.Add to My Radar
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.Add to My Radar
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.Add to My Radar
“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.Add to My Radar
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.Add to My Radar
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.Add to My Radar
“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.
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.
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.
Read the METAL RIOT BEST OF LIST 2017 BELOW.Add to My Radar