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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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“…It’s about moving forward and leaving what’s behind you exactly that, behind you.” – Brock Lindow

 

Everyone sort of recalls the cover art for 36 Crazyfists A Snow Capped Romance the best, perhaps. It is kind of the record art you maybe subtly most associate with the band as far as branding, even though I listen to other albums by them more. But I feel like the NEW artwork for Lanterns sort of fits them as a band the most. The traveler faces the cold and the road ahead but is not overcome by it, a solid metaphor for an inspirational band that has pushed forward no matter what for over two decades as a leading light in grooving, depressive, melodic nu hardcore fusion and hard rock. There was a solid thumbs up from fans for the new track “Death Eater”, which premiered recently at Loudwire .

 

This group just really hits the sweet spot for me as far as cultivating their own sound and path/holding their own no matter what is the current biggest trend. I think they fuckin’ slay year after year.

 

It was great to catch up with vocalist Brock and learn more about the ebb and flow of sadness and motivation that fed one of the strongest releases yet from a band with plenty of good songs under their belts already.

 

Read more BELOW.

 

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‘Looking at a lot of history and myth, women have been treated as a “temptress” or “seductress” – forcing “pure” men to commit evil. Even in this day and age, a lot of people treat women as monsters.’ -PR

Running out the door to see Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble play up the street so I am not writing the longest intro for this, but Pope Richard is a positive force in the underground metal scene and likes a lot of my snarkiest Twitter posts about politics that a lot of people think go too far, haha. Blackened Death  is an incredible label more people should support and he is a major force behind it. Fucking A+ stuff that breaks stereotypes about metal as a haven for hate groups while still pushing very classic elements and the cutting edge? Look no further!

I also was a dungeon master as a kid and at several points in my life have actually OWNED every Dragonlance book save two or three harder to find joints like Murder In Tarsis (have it now) and  Love & War (have it now as well, haha). Of course I was thrilled to see Pope Richard has a musical project called Takhisis! This was a metal band name that needed to exist. The record fucking slaaaaayyyys as well, doomy self-made perfection that rocks hard but is just rough enough around the edges to keep it feeling more hungry and coming for you.

Read our chat BELOW in the Abyss.

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Freddy Alva/ Photo by Jammi Sloane York

 “I believe that the main running thread during graffiti’s infancy in the mid-1960s, and its subsequent expansion during the following decades, was the underlying element of this movement being a youth-driven one.” – Freddy Alva

New York City. New York Hardcore.

Everyone knows that both the place and musical style have had a legendary impact in shaping wider culture and tastes around the globe. New York is forever the hub of America, the place where the Statue of Liberty (our strongest symbol of hope and justice despite what assholes like Trump’s failed Muppet fascist buddy Stephen Miller would have you believe) looks benignly outward welcoming and holding her torch high.

Everyone knows Judge, Sick Of It All, Madball, Burn, Killing Time, Skarhead and countless other influential and aggressive acts who have rallied crowds, raised adrenaline levels and blown minds for years. When it comes to the huge impact of graffiti on the world, the parallels are most often shown between hip hop music and graf artists. Some cool documentaries exist as well.  When it comes to the rise of NYHC and the impact and synergy between fans and players with the graffiti world, the story is still more clouded in the wider mass consciousness.

A fantastic new book aims to change that. Urban Styles: Graffiti In New York Hardcore (DiWulf Publishing) is a crucial and comprehensive guide featuring photos, interviews from key players and lots of informative info related in an at times informal but very real and insiders style manner. It is our immense pleasure today to share with our readers an interview with author Freddy Alva, a long time scene member and expert who has shaped this labor of love into a very special moment for fans of New York, the music, street art and the people.

Freddy was very active in the DIY culture of hardcore from the outset; he was a fixture at such venerated venues as CBGB during the heyday of their Sunday matinees. Along with friend and fellow NYHC stalwart Chaka Malik, Freddy covered the music scene through his fanzine New Breed and eventually released a well-known and highly revered compilation cassette that featured some of the most influential bands of the time, The New Breed Comp. A recent documentary sharing the same name has been released to critical acclaim.

More below.

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A lot of people know Brutal Truth, perhaps the heaviest grind band that ever snarled and raged beneath a mushroom cloud of bong smoke, for their Sounds of the Animal Kingdom album the best. It simply comes down to the cover art being so fucking bad ass (though Need To Control has a killer front cover as well) and the fact that Relapse seemed to really give it a good push, arguably one of the records that helped kick start the post-early days ascendancy of the label along with some other classics like Neurosis’ Through Silver In Blood or DEP’s Calculating Infinity, for example. As extreme and interesting as those bands were, Brutal Truth are simply not palatable in basically any way for most people, even open minded ones. You have to be all about the grind, sludge and chaos with a smear of politics and loathing for the inanity of humanity.

For me, this was the first album that really made me ‘get’ grindcore and was a huge mental puzzle piece in moving me towards the most extreme stuff in my collection being Fear Factory and some Death or Sepultura to fully embracing Napalm Death, checking out Repulsion, yadda yadda. I still think Kevin Sharp has the most fearsome bellow and it does more for me than a lot of even lower gurgle death metal vocals like, say, Nile or Pathology (not to take anything away from them). Cannibal Corpse may have had the extreme record art and some fierce growls, but Kevin Sharp always sounded like he had just half eaten someone and was yelling at them DURING the cannibalistic act.

Animal Kingdom is a perfect storm capturing in desperation in our collective, obsessive and narcissistic society. It shoves reality in your face and laughs at the idea of civilization, laying bare our cruelty as the most destructive force in the food chain.

The band had done some great stuff in the past with Colin Richardson or Steve McAllister who had credits with Crisis and Corrosion Of Conformity, among others. Animal Kingdom found the group getting one of their most vivid and intense sounds yet with the help of Billy Anderson. This record was able to match some of the social commentary of an early track like “Anti-Homophobe” that was so promising with some of the crushing heaviness of Need To Control, refining all sides of the band’s strengths into a magnificent onslaught on “Jemenez Cricket” or “Postulate Then Liberate.” And there is hardly even much you can say about the Lilker and Hoak rhythm section insanity besides ,“Holy fuck!”

For guitarist Brent McCarthy, this was his swan song with the group, as high point of an exit as you are likely to find in metal (though BT made great albums after him in the years to come as well). I can remember staring at the graves and skyline montage on the back artwork and getting freaked out at the push of mortality and the oppressive stupidity of my fellow man, something all too prominent in the news again these days like almost never before. Sept. 23rd marks twenty years of this smashterpiece and everything else is STILL not loud or fast enough. Light one up and give the old girl a spin if you haven’t in awhile (or even if you have).

 

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Blake Judd talks return, homelessness, opiods and ‘Resilient’

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Thursday, August 10, 2017 at 8:20 PM (PST)

 .The wrongs I committed to support my addiction…I paid for in mental scars that I can never wipe from my mind. All I can do is make sure, every day, that I never, ever make the decision to bring that awful garbage back into my life to ensure that I never have to see or experience anything like that ever again. And through being of service to people who are in the shoes I used to be in today, maybe I can use these awful experiences as a deterrent for others to stop before they go through the hell I experienced.

…I did not “kill” my girlfriend. I did not “use” with my girlfriend. And I certainly did EVERYTHING I could to save her when I found her….but it was just too late. – Blake Judd

We talk about mental health stuff briefly after a celebrity dies and the rest of the time try to ‘trigger’ one another with memes. No wonder some people choose to drop out of society any which way they can. Not that every conversation in life needs to be “are you ok?”, but generally it seems rites of separation are more commonplace than a gathering of those with allegiance to forging deeper opportunities in metal to make the extremity mean bonds, healing and conversation .  At live shows I usually see unity for the most part amongst metal crowds. Though cynicism might mainly be in the world of online trolls, it is good to address stuff head on rather than in the self churning bowels of the comments sections of metal sites and Facebook at times.

I just saw Katie Von Schleicher live in a small venue and was taken out of my daily stress and into a reflective moment, moved by the soulful music. Life is such a fast house of mirrors sometimes and we shine in some and stumble through others, cutting ourselves and fragmenting in the eyes of those around us. Sometimes the process is completely painful and other times it leads us to seeing ourselves differently or more completely as shards are swept up.

Blake Judd is back with a very unexpected EP called Resilient.  They have signed a new 2 album global deal with a new home that includes the Resilient EP as well. Full announcement in late August / early September, but the Resilient EP achieves Blake’s goal of creating an album experience in 3 songs. I have heard it and longtime fans will be thrilled with the variety. Early darker experimental black metal is paired with some of the deepest places you have heard different incarnations of the band go to yet, but as a logical extension of where things left off on the previous few releases.

More BELOW.

All photos courtesy of Nachtmystium.

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Casting Ships are a Kingston, NY based nautical folk punk band who grew up on hardcore and cut their teeth on a deep love for the scene. The band is now a duo made up of Rob Samps on vocals and guitar and Nikki Mayone on cello. They are about to drop one of the gems of the Summer with new release From The State Of New York on Burning Capital Collective. The five song EP was recorded Nada Studios by the great John Naclerio (My Chemical Romance, I Am The Pilot) and will likely turn the head of anyone unfamiliar with the group who hears it as well as please older fans.

I caught up with Samps and had a lengthy chat about the record, the country and a LOT more. Casting Ships are about to open for famed ex-Faith No More and Bad Brains vocalist Chuck Mosley and will have cds available at the show. They have a lot of other stuff on their plate as well.

We don’t really pander to people with short attention spans like a lot of sites these days. If a conversation is interesting but long, chances are we will go way above other sites word counts here. If that offends you, don’t be the daft twit who writes tl;dr on our Fbook page. If it wasn’t for you, go back to twiddling your thumbs liking 800 random Instagram photos and speaking in emojis as you post your 800th Snapchat dog ears/nose selfie.

For those of you who can handle a nuanced hour long conversation, by all means come aboard BELOW.

 

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Deep Cuts: CROWBAR

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Sunday, July 23, 2017 at 5:59 PM (PST)

Few bands reward die hard fans over and over again as well as the metallic sludge cavalcade that is Kirk Windstein’s long adventuring CROWBAR. One of the most potent to this very day veteran bands and one of the first more extreme groups I remember being really blown away by many years ago on Headbanger’s, CROWBAR have delivered album after album and monster riff after monster riff.

The band has some of the most revered heavy gems and arrangements in metal to true metal fans and yet also speak in the eternal secret language of the real underground, purveyors of shadow hits that are the “lifesblood for the downtrodden”, so to speak. Like Candlemass, The Obsessed, Orange Goblin or other bands who are not as big as Sabbath but row in equally heady and heavy waters, CROWBAR are hugely inspirational for those who furrow the brow and trudge through this world while carrying a lot of it on their back.

Today we usher CROWBAR into our DEEP CUTS vault, revealing our choices for three songs from the band that we think are lesser appreciated and yet truly bad ass numbers.

More BELOW.

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Photo by Jake Cunningham

Wilderness Dream released their most recent effort, Paralysis Rise on July 14 (you can grab a digital copy of it over at Bandcamp for $7). Leading up to the release of the album, I had the opportunity to sit down with Wilderness Dream guitarist and vocalist Ben Murray, who is also the label head of Creator-Destructor Records.

Ben is a cool guy who has been involved in the scene in various bands and through his work with Creator-Destructor Records for over ten years, and with Paralysis Rise and Wilderness Dream, he shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, him and his fellow Wilderness Dream thrashers are dropping the melody for speed and brutality on their latest studio effort.

Check out what Ben had to say about the album, Creator-Destructor and what’s next for Wilderness Dream here.

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Stream HAUNTED HORSES “Come” Right Now.

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Sunday, July 16, 2017 at 7:58 AM (PST)

We are very excited today to get to reveal to you a full stream of West Coast post-punk duo HAUNTED HORSES new EP “Come”. It’s fantastic, driving and persistently ominous in a seductive way. The record is out imminently on Cercle Social (Pre-order HERE).

Recorded by Myke Pelly at Crybaby Studios (Seattle, WA) 
Mixed by Myke Pelly and Blake Bickel 
Mastered by Blake Bickel at Dynamic Sound Service 
Artwork by Myke Pelly

Guitar/Vox: Colin Dawson 
Drums: Myke Pelly

 

 

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Five must hear 2017 releases that don’t overstay their welcome

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Thursday, July 13, 2017 at 11:38 AM (PST)

Poison Blood

Some albums are simply better as a less is more statement. It doesn’t mean the music is bad, rather that the record goes for maximum impact. Hardcore is usually pretty traditionally on point about this but metal is not always adept at reeling back on the grandiose enough to actually trim enough fat to make some records all killer. I doubt half as many people would have hated Load by Metallica for example if it wasn’t so B-load-ted at over an hour of music. “Bleeding Me” is a kick ass song and over eight minutes long by itself. Does anyone even really remember how “Poor Twisted Me” goes other than that it had a so so blues intro? “Wasting My Hate” is not exactly up there with the band’s classics either. Only die hards can sing along to that or “The House That Jack Built” despite a few cool riff progressions in each, but everyone knows the damn words and every note of “Sad But True”, get me?

Below are a handful (list kept intentionally short on purpose in lieu of the topic at hand) of 2017 albums that are short, sweet and leave you wanting more.

See more BELOW.

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SEEKER has been perhaps the coolest band on Victory for awhile now, completely uncompromising and out to craft their own approach. Bryce stops by today to take part in our latest edition of Formative Years!

Read BELOW for five records that molded his approach to chaos!

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The people around our group at that time acknowledged the weirdness of it. I know I exist. – Cambria Evans
For years I have had an on again off again argument with Coheed and Cambria. We grew up together in various bands. Their first drummer Nate was my best friend and in bands with me as well. We have had many amazing times and many horrible times and in the early days we all used to play shows together all the time.

 

I remember a particular day in 1997 vividly where a side project band of mine called The Electric Ten Inch was jamming at Shabutie’s regular practice space at Nate Kelley’s family home in Bearsville, NY. The band was myself, Mic Todd on bass, Zac Shaw (now of Dead Unicorn), Nate on guitar and Damien Shannon on lead (he went on to work on Ween’s White Pepper album, incidentally).  Claudio Sanchez was there listening to us jam out on the song “Ghost”, which was about addiction. He was sitting on the floor bopping his head to Mic’s bassline. The sense of brotherhood amongst us all was very strong and the musical energy was so rad.

 

I never thought in a million years I would one day spend almost two decades simply asking for Claudio to admit my sister Cambria exists. She was a part of our scene, collected door money at shows that I booked for us all and is a real and good person. She is also my hero for coming out of our drug crazed Woodstock 90s scene mostly unscathed.

 

My sister is more reconciled to a lot that has happened including the gaslighting and does not let it affect her anymore, despite her initial discomfort. I however have a lot of ptsd from rape trauma, trans issues, being a former junkie and much more that is already hard enough to navigate without gaslighting . I get very bad anxiety attacks. I trigger very, very hard from unresolved conflicts that I bury.  Especially since our dad died and only a short while afterwards people hit me up saying Coheed had a new song mocking me. I want peace but can not always control my mood swings, despite taking medication. I can only try my best. I used to even share stages with them since the band name change but when lots of time passed and they never admitted the truth, it really ate at me and offended me. Being threatened with violence by people also didn’t help.

 

I also have shielded my sister the best I could for years from online trolls calling me a liar or her a whore, people telling me to kill myself (which I have attempted before including as recently as 2015) or shitty things going on behind the scenes to discredit me and get me blacklisted. It has honestly really been hellish and made it hard not to feel a constant low level paranoia. It is also very hurtful because I have tried to save their lives before from drugs. I also put out the first cd compilation Shabutie was ever on w one of my friends Tom (called Error 404 Not Found) in 1999. I booked most of their early shows for them. I even dated the ex bassists ex wife and we have a very tangled history. Coheed even stole the guitarist of my old band of seven years Divest (who had the same producers) to be their touring keyboardist after members promised to help us get a record deal but instead we were broken up by him jumping ranks. And I know they have told people to steer clear of me.

 

Ten fucking years later it really broke my heart when “You’ve Got Spirit Kid” came out with alleged fresh attacks about me. They had used lyrics of mine before in “Hearshot Kid Disaster” and all kinds of weirdness over the years. But this new song came right as I was finally speaking to Mic Todd again after 9 years trying to heal our friendship and was giving him cancer remedies meant for my dad. I blew up online at Claudio and Mic and I have not talked again since. It sucks. He used to be one of my very best friends. Someone even vandalized my non writing related workplace at that time and I thought it was an associate of the band who I was arguing with, though now am not sure and have forgiven him.

 

That said, my sister and I really do want peace with the past and present members. People think I am a hypocrite at times because I will say that and then lose my temper and attack them again in very angry language. I get how that can make me seem like a bully to people who don’t know the massive personal histories or the wall of silence from Claudio. I find that to be like tone policing an abuse victim who is trying to raise awareness. I mean there is a reason my band now is called Walking Bombs. I can only do my best and try not to explode but I really struggle. Doc from Bad Brains asked me at my dad;s funeral to try and lift the burden from my heart and let it go. AND I really want that but with mental health problems it comes back up. It feels like everyone is fine if I shut up about it but after near two decades of telling people I have serious manic depression issues and would simply like the respect of the warts and all truth to help heal and not re-trigger me, you’d think the band could take five minutes to make a public statement. It would seriously help me stay level and not freak out on them anymore randomly.

 

After many years my sister finally feels comfortable with me asking her some questions. I am very glad it doesn’t upset her or reach her any more, though she also has had far less drama with them than I have.

 

 Read more BELOW.
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Apex is choosing to accept your fate and make the best of it! – Brittney

Don’t be mistaken, the title of this article is not implying that Apex from Canada’s much raved about Unleash The Archers is a failure by any means, rather that it proves they have so much to give that they can climb the metal stairway to heaven immeasurably from here. Apex is already an album of the year contender to a few of my friends I have spoken with.

Formed in 2007, the power metal and thrash hybrid band eschew boring classifications and instead just boldly mold themselves into their own metal unit, a true heavy metal band like Judas Priest, Sister Sin, King Diamond, Accept, Huntress, Valient Thorr, Ross The Boss Band, Tower, The Agonist or any real deal blue blooded defenders of the faith out there.

Let’s catch up with vocalist Brittney, who I personally always say has some of the best pipes in the game these days, and get the scoop on the new album Apex.

Read onward BELOW!

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