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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 ( 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.



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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.


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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.


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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.


All photos courtesy of Nachtmystium.

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