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Scotland’s Bitter Lake is doing things right. The one man black metal project is slowly building up buzz, focusing on releasing cool music rather than hype and improving with each passing moment. I like the cold and methodical yet emotional nature of the project, like impending entropy captured in a burst of constrained, conflicted emotions.

This is an exciting time in metal as a lot of bands are shrugging off genre constraints and finding out who they are for themselves. The left wing black metal coming out is exciting and more than overdue to surpass the tired edgelord tropes of the genre that have always ben laughable if they weren’t so harmful.

Let’s get into the interview with Bitter Lake (who is also running a microphone raffle HERE) and talk about new song “Siberia”, Veganism and more BELOW.

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Fall brings the cool embrace of a life worth living

Posted by longhairedpoet on Sunday, September 30, 2018 at 5:46 PM (PST)

Photo Credit: Spinesplitter

In the eleventh hour, I bring you my September wrap-up. Holy fucking shit September was one hell of a month. Fortunately, the new music has been good inside and outside of metal. Whether you’ve been trying to avoid Supreme Court-Senate-Nomination-Bullshit, or you’ve been raising all the hell about it you can, whether you’ve been working with survivors in an emotional time of need, or doing your best to survive on your own, whether you’ve been writing to cope, or just playing your show to get through – September was rough as shit.

I’m glad to come back at the end of every month, especially on months that this is the only post I write for Metal Riot, and share with y’all what I thought was really cool throughout the month.

Check out the four albums I enjoy the most this month here.

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“Not caring sucks; I’m here for bands that want to talk about what matters to them, what causes they care about, what they’re listening to, whatever. Everybody’s going through it, let’s go through it together.” – W.

Redbait from Missouri declared their intentions clearly within the first few pummeling moments of “We Refuse” on their recent Red Tape EP. The band are loud, clearly pissed and pack a potent political message in this timeline of complete mass stupidity. We need bands who are actively trying to make the world a better place and spreading awareness more than ever. The punk and metal scenes used to be a place where you could find out about dissent and activism and it was encouraged, believe it or not, for bands to use their podium for something other than selling merch or drinking beer on stage. “Smoke In Your Eyes” is one of the more powerful songs I have heard from any band in the underground in the last few years and I am thrilled this group is jumping into the trenches at full speed.

It was a pleasure to break through the thick fog of gullible fact resistant mental soup we are indoctrinated with on the daily and speak to a band who are decidedly intent on upending the bigotry, greed and sexism of our American disgrace. In short, this band is exactly what myself and likely many others who love punk and metal need right now in order to feel like they aren’t completely losing their minds. Read more HERE.

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Stormland is the Gundam-centric death metal brain child of my friend Justin Pierrot. One of the most supportive and friendly people I have met in the Twitter metal-verse, Justin has just released his labor of love Songs Of Future Wars to the unsuspecting masses. He is a creative and enthusiastic individual who cares about the experiences of others and has also been very kind to me in moments of depression, so I thought it would be great to find out more about his own experiences and what led to this brutal yet personal and metaphorical album that is dressed up in stories about giant robot suits.

Read more below.

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JULY’S BEJEWELED DAGGERS: 4 Faves Of The Month (Morgan)

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Wednesday, July 25, 2018 at 5:07 PM (PST)

Hi readers. Since 2018 started Jessica and I have been doing monthly recap lists of whatever four records got our attention the most. This could be a matter of personal taste or something about a work that struck a chord or matched a moment well, but it is less a critical rejection of other works not featured than an embrace of albums that proved themselves the most compelling to me during this July. So take it as one of those “staff recommends this cd” sections you used to see at Rhino Records only much cooler, duh. Very happy to say that everything on this list features performers playing their hearts out.

1. Twilight Fauna’s Where Birds Sing My Name takes the top spot for me this month. The latest from Paul Ravenwood and drummer Josh Thieler of mighty Slaves BC is a beautiful and soul baring effort, dynamic and stouthearted. From straight up banjo songs to arrow sharp black metal that feels like blood is flowing through it rather than pretension and cold-pose, this is a fitting companion to The Year the Stars Fell. The Green and yellow splatter vinyl is too dope to comprehend with my mortal mind. We are lucky to have this project in our metal midst to remind people that records handled with personal reverence can still move mountains and bring oxygen to fatigued forms.

2. Berlin’s Maggot Heart are honestly so fucking cool I can’t take it. The new record Dusk To Dusk was almost my number one pick of the month but my heart succumbed to my East Coast loyalty that Twilight Fauna instilled. But yeah, Linnéa Olsson is so talented and chill and her latest record with her post The Oath + Grave Pleasures outfit is perfect anarchic post punk with a low key metallic sting that should make most American rock bands feel fucking hella embarrassed in comparison for the weak crap they are putting out. The songwriting on this is unreal, especially the manic “Medication” and galloping “Blood Envy” coming to mind as just phenomenal tunes. Recorded in Stockholm in 2017, it cements the potent creative bond with drummer Uno Bruniusson (mainly of the much missed In Solitude fame). I can’t recommend enough surrendering to this record and letting the modern world’s stresses seem like they can be relieved and defeated by the spooky and catchy but semi-detached vocals, rolling and thundering but kind of punk drums and absolutely alive guitar and bass performances. I bought this faster than anything that came out all year. Please please please support them cuz I need them to stick around.

3. With all due respect to Ordinary Corrupt Human Love and some of the other moving or ambitious records out this month that did not make my July list, Mutilation Rites going more death metal was a no brainer for me. And I mean no brainer in a zombies ate all the brains but still want more cuz they are in a death metal frenzy type of no brainer. Chasm from Gilead Media and the NYC scuz rebels of Mutilation Rites continues the bands feedback and buzzsaw /slow burn attempt to become Hades’ official house band. “Pierced Larynx” gives me intense feels of glorious dread and death dirge. It has a more punk rooted crusty underbelly amidst the slower Exhumed and blackened talons in your throat vibes. The monumentally metal drums that pound through the intro to “Post Mortem Obsession” that set up the roaring chaos to follow had me in awe. 6 songs but all fairly lengthy and they all slap. Like Hooded Menace or Black Cobra, the band keep the core elements of what makes them work but tweak their approach slightly with each outing just enough to keep it fresh but familiar. It is intense but not to the point of being silly, just vital and brilliant. This was my fave DM album of the month, all very due respect to Coffin Birth .

4. Birds In Row’s We Already Lost The World takes my fourth and final spot on the list for July. I feel like it is an important record people will remember in years to come. It has a post hardcore infused edgy and kinetic insistence that many albums fail to manufacture, cuz you can’t fake that shit. This French band, currently already supporting fucking Neurosis and Converge, have long term potential and most importantly great songs. “Love Is Political” is just a great song name and the song tears at scabs. “We vs. Us” reminds me of some of what I love most about Cave In and Modern Life Is War in one unexpected fell swoop. Personal War made a buzz but this is gonna take them to the next level. I don’t know how to sum up adequately the mixture of transcending pain the music and artwork stirs up, but this is well worth checking out and surrendering to the barely hopeful cacophony of.

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June Wrap-up: My 4 favorite albums this month

Posted by longhairedpoet on Saturday, June 30, 2018 at 2:35 PM (PST)

It’s been sunshine and metal time this June. If you haven’t had a chance to hear the four albums that make my list this month, you’re going to want to go and check them out!

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June wrap up: 4 favorite records of the month (Morgan)

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 at 3:58 PM (PST)

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.

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

Posted by longhairedpoet on Sunday, June 3, 2018 at 2:55 PM (PST)

How is it already June, folks?! Sorry for the delay, but I am prepared to let y’all know about my four favorite albums from the month of May.

Check them out here.

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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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