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RIP Marsha Zazula of Megaforce Records

Posted by Morgan Y Evans - Walking Bombs on Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 12:55 PM (PST)

The entire world of metal and rock owes Marsha Zazula a debt of gratitude for co-founding Megaforce Records in the early 80’s with Jon Zazula. The label helped launch Metallica into the stratosphere and advance thrash metal much further into mainstream consciousness, where it has arguably remained the most popular form of metal for all time.

Megaforce of course has also helped with records by Anthrax, Bad Brains, Raven, Overkill, Patti Rothberg and so many more terrific and legendary artists.

Marsha has passed at the age of 68 from cancer. While I never got the chance to talk to her I do know Rikki and on behalf of Metal Riot want to send her and all of Marsha’s loved ones and friends our most heartfelt condolences and eternal thankful horns up high for her help making metal the best genre ever.

There he is! That’s him! That’s… the Warrior! He shot Cyrus!

New York is known for a ton of uncompromising bands unafraid to tell tales from the hard side over the years from Madball to Black Anvil to Crisis to of course Biohazard to Made Out Of Babies to Gridfailure to Krallice to Locked In A Vacancy to Indecision to Unsane, to name a few (haha). Add grime mongers GRAVESEND to the list. Methods Of Human Disposal is a very Sopranos sounding album title if I ever heard one (and yes, I know that is dirty Jersey).

20 Buck Spin has chosen the band as their first release of 2021 and it is fitting. While we all want to move forward like 2020 never happened, you can’t just ignore the horrors of any past period of history. New York’s blood curdling and tough as nails history is on display in these tracks, crucified and yet still alive. The drums sound like a blood soaked cardboard pillow (in a good way), the music churns like a haunted subway tunnel and the overall effect is terrifying as the band absolutely destroy on their new track “End Of The Line”. Guitar pounds like jackhammers at your sanity and the noxious vocals emit a foul haze of corruption and downtrodden malaise. Love it!

The record releases Feb. 19th but you can get a fix now.

Methods Of Human Disposal was recorded in September 2020 by Nolan Voss of Thirty Legion, mixed by Arthur Rizk (Power Trip, Tomb Mold, Xibalba), and mastered by Brad Boatright (Obituary, Vastum, Terminal Nation). That’s quite a team!

John Schaffer from Iced Earth can get in the garbage, but it seems he is already there. The reptilian fearing,  delusional Confederate Flag apologist is cool with marching with Nazis and trying to overturn a valid election – the safest in history – to disenfranchise the black vote. Now the police are looking for him. Why hasn’t anyone done a wellness check on this dude on a regular basis for years now?

I regret every time I have ever supported this band in the past , including a cover story for New Noise. You’ll never be Maiden. Go crawl up Set’s mystical snake asshole. Sons Of Liberty is dumb as fuck. Sure you have a super nuanced view of social issues when your band’s best singer literally quit to be a cop. LMAO.

An almost even bigger fuck you to edge lord indie m*th connoisseur / revenge por* burn out Ariel Pink, who not only supports Trump now but also emotionally blackmailed my partner Globelamp once by telling her if she ever mentioned him in public for verbal abuse that he would go and publicly support accounts run by supporters of her abuser, despite knowing the sites are full of slander against her. Even stupider, he once gave her career advice and told her that you can’t go around saying whatever you want in life all the time and expect to be taken seriously (she has the screenshots)…then goes from mansplaining to supporting known civil conversationalist Donald Trump.

If you march with Nazis, you are condoning them. Period. Ariel is also Jewish, so it is extra fucking stupid.

If you are into telling people that the Dems were really behind slavery, I hope hundreds of years later you also are cool with showing people 13th and how in bed with prison for profit the GOP have been and remind everyone of the Southern Strategy, among so many other things. Also, calling out Biden for his racist policy history is fine, as it is with the Clintons. That doesn’t mean Biden hasn’t improved a lot on the issues compared to Donald FUCKING Trump (who literally tried to take credit for a black man’s economic gains and started the racist birther movement). The ‘tear gas the peaceful protestors for racial justice for my photo op’ guy.

There is no place in America where white, cis male entitlement is “the real victim”. BLM would never have gotten so far into the capital yesterday and with a MUCH more valid reason to be mad at institutions that have failed them.

Pink is claiming how he was there to ‘peacefully support the President’, as if supporting grifter mafia slimebag Trump in any way is acceptable at all?!!

Hope you both enjoy the Maga sewer, you fucking traitor loving flops. Shut the fuck up, pay some taxes for a social safety net and realize you are privileged lala land loving clowns.

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Spanish technical death metal masters WORMED are now streaming a brand new play-through video for the song “Bionic Relic,” which is taken from 2019’s sci-fi EP, Metaportal. Check out the play-through HERE!

WORMED comment: “We’re not  fans of play-throughs, but since this world is changing and we haven’t played anywhere for a year (!!!) we thought you would like to enjoy a display of a ‘Metaportal’ track, ‘Bionic Relic’ with the full band. This was recorded on different planets. We live light years from each other and it’s quite hard to be all together for recording any footage. Become a ‘Bionic Relic’ with us!

Wormed might not be super keen on play-throughs but we sure are and they are great at them! Enjoy our collective race towards the singularity with this bop!

Metaportal was released on July 19, 2019 and can be streamed, downloaded, and ordered HERE.

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Devastating news today as I learned from Revocation’s Instagram of the sudden passing of the true rock n roll warrior Alexi Laiho. Hot on the heels of the news of another musical genius of another genre, the enigmatic rapper MF Doom, we now start 2021 saying goodbye to a hero of shred with the passing of Alexi.

I am so glad he had a keen work ethic and there are many CoB releases for us to treasure for years to come. I am so glad I got to see them live finally once when they toured with Clutch and Black Label Society. The metal scene weeps today. Some people may think shred virtuoso playing is “cheesy” or over the top but it is a bedrock foundational corner of thrash and heavy metal. When I hear Alexi play soaring solos that bordered on power metal at times but soaked in the grim blood of rock n’ roll infused thrash madness, it could lift me out of my daily pains and into a world of possibility and thankful escape. I am sure I am not alone in this.

Laiho was an Aries like me and just a year and a few days younger and it makes me really want to underscore to you readers to please, please treasure your loved ones, lives and moments. Don’t waste the opportunity to reach for your dreams!

A statement from his official Facebook team can be read below:

One of the most renowned guitarists in the world, Alexi Laiho, has passed away. The musician, most notably known as the front man of Children of Bodom, died in his home in Helsinki, Finland, last week. Laiho had suffered from long-term health issues during his last years.

Alexi Laiho and drummer Jaska Raatikainen founded Children of Bodom in 1993, and the band was one of the most internationally acclaimed metal acts in Finland up until their very last farewell concert in December of 2019. Last year Alexi Laiho put together Bodom After Midnight, who recorded three songs and shot one music video, which will be released later on posthumously.

Besides Children of Bodom, Laiho was known for acts such as Warmen, Sinergy, Kylähullut and The Local Band. Awarded with a Metal Hammer Golden Gods and several other international prizes, the guitarist was also the main star, leading a group of one hundred guitar players at Helsinki Festival in 2015 in “100 Guitars From Hel” – a massive concert piece he composed.

“We are crushed by the sudden passing of our dear friend and band member. Words cannot describe this shock and the profound sadness that we feel”, Daniel Freyberg, Mitja Toivonen and Waltteri Väyrynen from Bodom After Midnight state.

The talented guitarist and musician relished his roles as stepdad in his patchwork family, and as uncle and godfather. Especially during the last years, the important family ties brought a welcomed balance to his life and the active touring. Laiho was particularly close with his big sister, parents and his sister’s daughter. Laiho’s sister says:

“We are all absolutely shocked and devastated. We ask for privacy and understanding during these hard times. My little brother’s funeral will take place privately.”

Alexi Laiho will also be deeply missed by his family in Australia.
“Alexi was the most loving and magnificent husband and father. Our hearts are eternally broken”, Kelli Wright-Laiho says.

The remaining members of Bodom After Midnight do not give any interviews at this time.

Jouni Markkanen
Bodom After Midnight management

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Happy New Year From METAL RIOT. Bring On 2021.

Posted by Morgan Y Evans - Walking Bombs on Thursday, December 31, 2020 at 10:37 AM (PST)

The other night I was watching the mini documentary There Will Be Quiet about the straight edge hardcore band Judge’s lauded return to the stage from a few years ago and was moved by the story of Mike Judge dealing with social disconnect from growing up in a society that shames men for being emotional. The cult of toxic toughness is something that is well overdue for a change in the greater Universe, major Aquarian vibes are an important part of the coming future astrologically and we cannot sustain a society and world that is so machismo at the expense of the tender nuances that allow us, if we dare, to not live as compartmentalized shells or paranoid androids. I say that from a male perspective because for better (and usually worse) we still live under a conquering Sky God global patriachy paradigm.

It is remarkable how cool it is to see the change and growth of the dudes in this Judge documentary and made me super psyched for the power of hardcore and friendship to heal and uplift still in our underground!

Let’s take that kind of big energy into 2021. Watch that Judge doc if you have never seen it and let’s try to all channel our Anthony Civarelli this year – as in welcome and uplift one another and remember our shared victories as he does for Mike in the documentary’s powerful ending.

I have also been really enjoying Rituals Of Mine’s Hype Nostalgia, a record so musically chill and emotive yet full of real connection amidst the stylistic potency that it reminds me of when I first lost my mind at how good early Portishead is. It’s that awesome. I was moved by learning of how Terra Lopez navigated grief in the wake of the loss of a family member and other struggles and believe me when I say it is relatable to a lot of horrific trauma from my own life that feels sometimes like it would cripple me from moving forward forever. My heart goes out to Lopez for being brave enough also to make this super potent record and get in touch with a ‘pre-loss’ perspective.

As the record’s Bandcamp bio says: Lopez wanted to create a soundscape from a pre-loss perspective, revealing how the darkness she experienced was just microcosms of her being.

I feel like that is a great motivating energy to think about as we leave 2020 as well. Who were we from before this painful pandemic year and what have we learned? What can we carry forward together differently? I have had many comversations with my girlfriend Elizabeth, the psych folk musician Globelamp, about how happy she was as a DIY musician before she was manipulated, discarded for demanding fair pay and a victim of DARVO during a terrible time in her life as a member and immediately following her time in the fucked up band Foxygen (still remember how you thought starting a personal niche label called “Fascist Records” was cool under Trump or at all, Sam. Fucking psycho privileged idiot.)

My point is, how does tragedy define us? How can we retain the inner child and spark of enthusiasm we once had in the face of daunting challenges that swallow us whole? How do we embody what we have been through in a healthy way and move forward but remember our brightness inside? For better or worse- and it is also a privilege to pretend the USA was “ok” before MAGA and not built on white supremacist gaslighting, vulture capitalism protecting the 1% from equal taxation at the expense of the poor and also awash in nightmare factory farming bleak karma culture- we have all just shared in an abusive psychic relationship with Donald Trump. The scars may heal but are a symptom of a wider disease. And it also won’t just go away by spiritual bypassing and toxic positivity, though PMA is still super important!

One thing I know is, we can’t give up.

After nearly dying this year and just avoiding a diabetic coma, I am more eager than ever to seize the day and to heal with people, try to promote great bands and send empowering vibes out to you all. Let’s remember the heroes of the scene we lost this year from Riley to EVH to Frankie Banali and other folks who gave us their all to remind us that life can be an incredible place together. Let’s be inclusive and defy the odds. Let’s make our best songs yet to come and also honor where we have been. Let’s change the ugly paradigm we have been under the heel of and celebrate the best in us in 2021. And yes, that also means holding Dems accountable for not being progressive enough and not resting on laurels just cuz of a temporary illusory Blue win “respite”.

Love you all. Hails, horns and hopeful head walking on show crowds again in our future in 2021!

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Transcending Records is pleased to issue exclusive North American vinyl pressings of Wildhoney and A Deeper Kind Of Slumber from Stockholm, Sweden metal icons TIAMAT.

Initially released via Century Media Records in 1994, Wildhoney is TIAMAT‘s fourth studio album. Produced by Waldemar Sorychta, the record marked a strong shift in the style from the band’s early death/doom roots incorporating more progressive rock and psychedelic influences and themes centered around the occult, nature, and LSD. All Music Guide praised the album upon its release, referring to it as, “one of the classics of the genre.” Wrote Decibel in a TIAMAT Hall Of Fame piece on the record, “…nobody was prepared for Wildhoney… Leadoff track ‘Whatever That Hurts,’ ‘Gaia,’ ‘The Ar,’ and ‘Visionaire’ were wondrous examples of TIAMAT‘s flexibility, deft musicianship, and no-holds-barred vision. The term ‘atmospheric’ was used to describe TIAMAT before, but on Wildhoney, the subgenre was firmly created. What really shocked longhairs, however, were the unlikely end points in ‘Do You Dream Of Me?’ and ‘A Pocket Size Sun.’ At no point in death metal’s timeline were songs about girlfriends and bucolic drug use (we think) set to echoplexing guitar gymnastics and lullaby-like songwriting the epitome of cool. Suddenly, they were.”

Transcending’s limited vinyl edition of TIAMAT‘s Wildhoney will be released on March 12th, 2021 and comes available in three color variants: orange with yellow/black splatter (200), orange/yellow marble (200), and standard black (100) on heavyweight 180-gram vinyl in a gatefold sleeve with pull-out poster insert.

 

For Wildhoney preorders, go to THIS LOCATION.  

 

TIAMAT‘s fifth full-length, A Deeper Kind Of Slumber, was initially released in 1997 by Century Media Records. Featuring background vocals by Birgit Zacher (Moonspell, Angel Dust, Sentenced) and experimentation with a variety of influences, the album marked the group’s first complete withdrawal from both death metal and conventional heavy metal, following Wildhoney. It was also the first release after their relocation to Germany and was written almost entirely by founder/lead songwriter Johan Edlund. Much of the music contained within reflected on Edlund’s personal relationship with drugs, creative differences within the band as well as an interpersonal relationship. Wrote All Music Guide, “A Deeper Kind Of Slumber moves TIAMAT even farther away from traditional heavy metal, with synthesizers dominating the arrangements and Johan Edlund doing completely away with metal growling in favor of an unearthly croon. Although it’s not very metallic, the music is quite heavy in its own way, creating a numb, sleepy ambience that feels both introverted and resignedly pessimistic…”

 

Transcending’s limited vinyl edition of A Deeper Kind Of Slumber will be released on March 12th, 2021 and also come available in three color variants: orange with red/black splatter (200), white/red color-in-color (200), and 100 standard black (100) all on heavyweight 180-gram vinyl in a gatefold sleeve with insert. The record will also be released in cassette format limited to 100 copies.

 

For A Deeper Kind Of Slumber preorders, go to THIS LOCATION.
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Scene stalwarts RELAPSE RECORDS have gifted us with a fucking gigantic 30th Anniversary label sampler to smash the remainder of 2020 into the dust with. It’s a handy little survey course on the label’s celebrated history supporting the best of death, extreme, doom metal and whatever the heck else strikes their fancy. From titanic moments in scene history like Neurosis’ “Through Silver In Blood” or of course Mastodon’s “Blood And Thunder” to a huge range of tracks including Benumb, Don Caballero , The Dillinger Escape Plan, Black Tusk, Nothing, King Woman, Incantation, Morgion, Nux Vomica, Gism, Daylight Dies, Harvey Milk, Royal Thunder, Skinless, Iron Monkey, Mindrot and so many more…this is a deep dive into thrilling nostalgia and a love of the counter culture.

It must have taken them all year just to upload all these fucking songs to Bandcamp!

 

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KREATOR to release ‘UNDER THE GUILLOTINE’ deluxe set

Posted by Morgan Y Evans - Walking Bombs on Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at 8:47 AM (PST)

The story of Kreator’s meteoric rise to the global elite of thrash metal bands from their humble beginnings in Essen Germany, began under their first name of Tormentor in the early 80’s. It was their ‘Blitzkreig’ and ‘End Of The World’ demos changing hands in the era’s bustling underground tape-trading network that exposed them to the international metal community.  Positive word of mouth soon attracted the attention of Germany’s own metal start-up, Noise Records, which signed the newly re-christened Kreator to a deal.

Kreator’s tenure at the label spawned six studio albums and established them as one of the most influential on the thrash scene, one they dominate to this day.  1985 debut, Endless Pain was a savage debut; its crude thrashing quickly had the underground metal world abuzz with excitement. 1986’s Follow up, Pleasure To Kill is considered the band’s first “classic” album and raised the bar with more diversity of tempos, while losing nothing in terms of ferocity or speed. 1987’s Terrible Certainty further cemented the reputation that Kreator were one of the genre’s finest exponents.  In 1989 the band closed the decade with the thrash triumph of Extreme Aggression, their biggest seller to date.  1990’s huge magnum opus Coma Of Souls confirmed them in thrash history before they diversified their sound on the experimental, Renewal in 1992.

Under The Guillotine is a deluxe celebration of Kreator’s, Noise Records discography and is the definitive collection of their first decade of recorded work and contains :

Endless Pain – (Swirl vinyl with original artwork & inner sleeve)
Pleasure To Kill – (Splatter vinyl with original artwork & inner sleeve)
Terrible Certainty – (Splatter vinyl with original artwork & inner lyric sleeve) 
Extreme Aggression – (Half/half vinyl with original artwork & inner lyric sleeve)
Coma Of Souls – (Splatter vinyl with original artwork & inner lyric sleeve)
Renewal – (Swirl vinyl with original artwork & inner lyric sleeve)
Some Pain Will Last DVD – Containing ‘From The Vault’ mini documentary, plus two previously unreleased audio live concerts and an Andy Sneap remix of Live In East Berlin 1990
12” x 12”, 40 page hardback book of photography, quotes and lyrics from the first decade of the bands existence. Contains rare and previously unseen photos from the era.
Reproduction ‘End Of The World’ demo cassette 
‘Demon’ figurine USB drive containing MP3 audio of all the expanded editions of all the albums.
All encased in an executioners, guillotine box.
The first 250 orders from the Noise Records store will also receive a signed art card by Mille Petrozza.

Also available as an introduction piece is ‘Under The Guillotine – The Noise Anthology’ – an 18 track double-vinyl collection of Kreator’s Noise era classics, pressed on splatter vinyl, including rare and unseen photos. And for the non-vinyl collectors, there will also be a 30 track 2CD version, housed in a mediabook.  Both feature rare tracks and remixes from the bands discography.

 

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METAL RIOT’S TOP 12 ALBUMS OF 2020 ‘BEST OF’ LIST

Posted by Morgan Y Evans - Walking Bombs on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 at 1:35 PM (PST)

2020 has been quite a challenge -to say the least- for so many people. Unless you are a fat cat getting inexplicably bailed out or the Catholic Church getting relief money (even though they were only in debt from pedo lawsuit settlement payouts), chances are 2020 found you broke, lonely, thirsty and miserable, scared or mourning loved ones. Music was no stranger to this. We lost any certainty of what the future holds in an already difficult industry and even lost Neil Peart, fucking EVH and Riley Gale on top of everything else. But people also made great art that will stand the test of time, profound sacrifices and held fast, rallied for racial justice and so much more. It is an important time to be alive and just as beautiful as it can be painful! And there is still December ahead of us as of this writing. Hope against horror.

The following list of Metal Riot’s top albums of 2020 reflects records that capture excellence, performance, drive, willpower and survival in no uncertain terms. As well as killer tunes, of course! Kudos and thanks to all the bands.We usually post our list just after Thanksgiving but I am gonna be recording that week in the studio with Globelamp and Sean Paul from Nightmares For A Week, so…let’s get started ending the year earlier! Hey Decibel published theirs first, okay?!! Rock the fuck on, lovers and dreamers. Please buy all of these releases or whatever you dig. And remember, dear readers…I came up and so could you…And fuck the boys in blue.

1. ALBUM OF THE YEAR: SepulturaQuadra

Sepultura’s highest charting album since 1998 (and their best since 2009’s bruising A-Lex, which it surpasses) is nothing short of a monument to a lifetime in metal, the determined triumph of a legacy name never saying die and following their trusted vision over popular opinion. Quadra works on every level. In a year filled with so much death even the band’s name vibrates on some heavy karmic level, but “Isolation” especially resonates deeply in a time of so much social upheaval for justice reform. Each section of the album masterfully represents different styles the group has been known for from classic thrash to tribal groove to slower and grim anthems to technical workouts, but it all works incredibly well. From saving the environment to tackling depression and self destruction, Derrick commands stronger than ever while Eloy Casagrande stakes his claim as the most driven and insane drummer currently active in metal. Jens Bogren brought out the absolute best in this line-up. A+ all the way.

Throw in how during quarantine the band kept morale high across the metal world with interviews and killer jams during their SepulQuarta series with the likes of Scott Ian, Shavo Odadjian, Rob Cavestany and many more, and the band take the cake for our heroes of 2020.

2. Skeletal RemainsThe Entombment Of Chaos

There has been a lot of top notch death metal this year of different sub-genre varieties from Ingested to Necrot to God Dethroned to Abysmal Dawn and others. That said, Skeletal Remains ABSOLUTELY destroyed most of the competition with their latest near perfect death metal monstrosity The Entombment Of Chaos. From the thrilling horror of the Seagrave art to some of the most intense and odds defying music of the band’s tenure, this record offers relentless replay value. From the imposing violence of “Tombs Of Chaos” to the eerie “Enshrined In Agony” to the standout “Dissectasy”, the group have vaulted much closer to the top of the pack.

“No, we don’t want your cult Kool-Aid”

3. VÖLUR – Death Cult

Arguably the most creative album of 2020 – and with SUCH a timely album title – Death Cult is the intoxicating yet deadly sound of seductive decay and the will to escape empty indoctrination. Gorgeous violin based doom defies expectations at every turn and the band’s singular sense of purpose is thrilling. The Toronto band’s third album is a must hear and will likely cause even the most necessity hardened hearts in 2020 to break into smoldering halves.

Thankfully no one is touring this year anyway cuz this vehicle looks suspect

4. Soft KillDead Kids, R.I.P. City

Bestial Mouths, Nothing, Ulver and other brave sailors on the seas of sorrow all released truly killer records in 2020 that rank among their best ever, but Soft Kill’s newest is my favorite simultaneously spooky yet painfully real and poetic release of this fucked hellhole of a year. A reminder that even at the lowest low people are still out there worth celebrating and fighting for. A testament to loss, love and possibility in art and community. This band has yet to let me down and their catalogue got me through a lot of depression this year when I was both determined to stay sober but also was reeling from narrowly avoiding a diabetic coma and going into serious medical debt. So glad I snagged this on limited tape release already!

5. BlackguardStorm

The Chinese Democracy of extreme epic metal albums was released very early in January of one of the most fucked up years in human history and it would be a damn shame if it didn’t get more accolades in the madcap shuffle, especially since we have all lived through quite a fucking ‘storm’ together this year. In limbo for about seven years, you’d never believe this exciting and possibly the most ferocious album of 2020 was recorded by a band burnt out by relentless touring. Storm finds the Canadian underground warriors delivering frenetic and death defying performances, their best songwriting plus cameos from Lindsay Schoolcraft, Morgan Lander and Per fucking Nilsson ! Unleash The Archers, Germany’s Varg and Ensiferum all delivered some exemplary epic records in 2020, but Blackguard’s potential swan song was above the pack and well worth one of the most frustrating waits in metal history. I am beside myself with joy and hails that it finally saw the light of a bleary day.

6. UprisingII

“A Lesson in basic human Empathy” has my favorite lyrics of 2020 (I mean, besides “High Road” by Kesha) and even more wonderful that it comes from a black metal project, a genre often known for apathy and heartless cruelty.

Judgment based on action not on colour, race or sex no harming of sentient beings but respecting life help where help is needed No condemnation of the innocent take responsibility for your wealth that is built on the backs of others

Talk about something we sorely needed this year! And lest you think I am only swayed by lefty ideology to get on this list, the album features many of the best riffs and arrangements and startlingly emotional playing of the year. This album is a refuge and a reminder that work still needs to be done.

 

7. -(16)- – Dream Squasher

It says something about 2020 that several albums – Bleakheart’s also brilliant and gothy Dream Griever comes to mind – had titles that reflected the thwarting of dreams. “Ride The Waves” is about as perfect a punk metal mash as you’ll ever here. Dropping like a piano from a skyscraper onto our heads during the mid point of 2020 when things couldn’t seem bleaker, veteran sludge band -(16)- delivered the most clobbering album of recent memory. There is also the best anthem to loving your dog since Wisdom In Chains penned “Girls Lie, Cops Lie, Dogs Love”. And we all dealt with some ‘harvesters of fabrication’ this year. Bobby Ferry is a champion on this album, which crushed everything else Relapse (and most other labels) released this year.

8. Spirit Adrift – Enlightened In Eternity

Speaking of dogs, epic metal pitties (we have to stan)! This has to be the best album cover maybe…ever? Nathan Garrett makes us all proud to be metalheads yet again with another brilliant album from the guy in metal who possibly plays with the most heart. “Ride into the Light” is the best Snakes For The Divine song High On Fire never wrote and “if we make it through the night we will ride into the light” is major 2020 vibes. COC influences abound, while “Screaming From Beyond” reveres classic metal through and through and yet feels current and connective to this moment. “Stronger Than Your Pain” is my favorite of the bunch, a pressing reminder to keep heart as hypnotic and melodic riffage brings to the forefont a will to carry on from the murk of doubts.

9. Oceans Of SlumberS/T 

Cammie Gilbert gave the best vocal performance in all of metal throughout the jaw dropping self-titled Oceans Of Slumber release (don’t even get me started on how good the band’s arguably best ever Type O Negative cover of “Wolf Moon” is). Oceans Of Slumber is a self-titled album that lives up to the underscored nature of self-titled albums, which can run the risk of not living up to the hype but in this case leaps galaxies to defy even the loftiest expectations. This is not just ‘prog metal’ that is annoyingly obtuse for the sake of being brainy. This is a soulful and heavy merger of so many genres into a seamless whole that it is a world unto itself yet full of the very best connective tissue to deeper realizations that make the human experience worth living.

10. DrainCalifornia Cursed 

Santa Cruz hardcore band Drain supplied the illest crossover record of 2020 (even stacked up with the also amazing Mr. Bungle frantic freak thrash record). Revelation Records did the world a big favor in backing this band, one of the most high energy groups in hardcore right now. It is almost impossible to turn this off before listening all the way through or at the very least flipping over a table.

11. Vile Creature – Glory, Glory! Apathy Took Helm!

Much like Canada’s Wolverine, doom duo Vile Creature keep unwittingly revealing they are the best there is at what they do. Everything about this release is amazing, from the most ambitious and full payoff compositions of the group’s career, to the support they are getting (well deserved) in the scene, to the already basically iconic art. The 3rd pressing is even on trans flag colored vinyl. Adam Tucker’s mix and master sounds better than anything they have released to date and really brings all their brilliance to the forefront without killing the furrowed brow vibes. The doom and gloom also has celestial level vibes on this record that add some very unique listening textures and feel larger than life, a friction of glory and gore.

12.  SkeletonS/T

It is fitting to include a Texas based punk/metal hybrid band on here in closing in a year where the loss of Riley from Power Trip brought huge attention to the impact the Lone Star state has had on the modern scene. By far the nastiest and filthiest riffs of the year (Worm Moon Offerings a close second), this record is in the Bane Give Blood and Slayer Reign In Blood tradition of blink and you’ll miss it, all killer/ no filler, wham bam thank you, etc. over and done leave ’em scorched and wanting more albums. Super stoked to see where this band goes in the future. Then you also have a song like “Catacombs” with some brief atmospheric intro perfection before the proceedings battle to a fiery finale.

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There is something to be said about Detroit style hard rock. There is no denying the electrifying energy once Seduce hits the stage. Seduce continues to sell out venues with their die hard fans that like it fast, hard, & loud.

Detroit’s very own Seduce is a heavy rock power trio that has been playing their own style, in your face music since the 80’s. Their unique sound integrates the weightiness and authenticity of their vast influences, Detroit grit, and their expertise of delivery which is why Seduce continues their success.

Seduce was featured in the movie Decline of the Western Civilization “The Metal Years. They just get better over time with rock and roll that our ears long for. Seduce consists of singer and bassist Mark Andrews, guitarist David Black and Drummer Chuck Burns.

Seduces’ 1985 self-titled first album has become a highly sought after album among the underground metal community worldwide and is still coveted today.

Now for the good stuff- Prudential Music Group & Rouge Records is proud to announce the December 2020 reissue of Seduce’s record Too Much Ain’t Enough which features the bonus track “Homicide” on special limited edition purple vinyl. The re-issue will be distributed through Sony Orchard.

This will sell out quickly. Both albums are available through https://www.prudentialmusicgroup.com/store.html#!/Seduce/c/28915535

Death metal contingent ABIOTIC have returned with an exciting new pending release, Ikigai.

The album will be released on Friday, February 12th, 2021 via The Artisan Era. Cover art was handled by Caelan Stokkermans known for his work with Soreption, Cattle Decapitation, and Fires in the Distance. Abiotic – Ikigai was engineered, produced, mixed, and mastered by Tony Simone at Zenbeast Media. Vocals were recorded and produced by Nick Loiacono at Fang Studios.

Abiotic guitarist John Matos comments on the development of Ikigai
“Our intention behind Ikigai was to come back with a vengeance. As it has been over 5 years since our last release, we wanted to put together the most cohesive, diverse, deep, and brain shattering record we possibly could and I feel like we’ve achieved that and more with this album. Having written this over the course of the last couple of years and finishing this record during a pandemic, the feelings we sought to bring out with this record; pain, grief, desperation, and perseverance are palpable in every note, every chord, and every word, with lyrics touching on topics of suicide, depression, addiction, climate change and the struggle of finding our reason for being.

We wanted to make this record real and relatable in every sense. This album is without a doubt the best material we’ve ever put together, with brand new elements, and a production/mix that has taken our sound to new heights. The addition of Tony Simone and Kilian Duarte solidified this. We decided to include a variety of guests that we’ve always wanted to collaborate with, like Trevor Strnad, Chaney Crabb, Brandon Ellis, Scott Carstairs, Jared Smith, and Jonathan Carpenter, and are beyond excited for everyone to hear them.

We really wanted to push the boundaries of what fans expect from us while giving them the signature sound we’ve honed in that they’ve come to love. Personally, Ikigai is one of the greatest accomplishments of my life, especially after not knowing if the band was ever going to come back. But we’re back. And we’re here to stay.”

Abiotic – Ikigai Tracklisting
1. Natsukashii
2. Ikigai
3. Covered the Cold Earth
4. Smoldered (Feat. Chaney Crabb of Entheos)
5. The Wrath
6. If I Do Die (Feat. Brandon Ellis of The Black Dahlia Murder)
7. Souvenir of Skin (Feat. Trevor Strnad of The Black Dahlia Murder)
8. Her Opus Mangled (Feat. Jared Smith of Archspire)
9.  Horadric Cube (Feat. Scott Carstairs of Fallujah)
10. Grief Eater, Tear Drinker (Feat. Jonathan Carpenter ex-The Contortionist)
11. Gyokusai

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Long-running Oakland, California-based doom metal band CARDINAL WYRM is preparing to release their fourth album, Devotionals, on December 11th. Alongside the album’s details, cover art, and preorders, the song “Nightmarchers” has been made available for streaming.

CARDINAL WYRM‘s Devotionals can be described as heavy, intricate, driving, progressive, and genre bending music that seeks to tell a story. The album features Pranjal Tiwari (S.C.R.A.M.) on drums and lead vocals, Nathan A. Verrill (Terebellum, Fyrhtu) on guitars and backing vocals, and Leila Abdul-Rauf (Vastum, Terebellum, Hammers Of Misfortune, Fyrhtu) playing bass and providing additional vocals.

The follow-up to their Svart Records-released 2016 album Cast Away SoulsCARDINAL WYRM‘s Devotionals was recorded and mixed by Greg Wilkinson at Earhammer Studios (Necrot, Vastum, Brainoil) and mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege (Obituary, Sunn O))), Vastum). The album is completed with cover artwork by Kim Holm, photography by Michael Thorn and Amy Oshit, and layout/design by Shelby Lermo.

Stream the first single from CARDINAL WYRM’s Devotionals, “Nightmarchers,” now at THIS LOCATION.

CARDINAL WYRM will self-release Devotionals on cassette and across all digital service providers on December 11th. Find preorder options HERE and watch for a vinyl edition likely early next year.
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Legendary Dutch death doom elite ASPHYX finally returns with their new, 10th full-length studio album entitled Necroceros. The new album was recorded at Tom Meier’s Tom Meier Studio and at Paul Baayens’ The Mörserstudio, then it was mixed and mastered by Sebastian “Seeb” Levermann at Greenman Studios. Necroceros, which once again features front cover artwork by Axel Hermann, will be available worldwide on January 22nd, 2021 via
Century Media Records.

 

ASPHYX frontman Martin van Drunen states, “The first recordings for ‘Necroceros’ started somewhere in November 2019. Mainly just rough ideas. We hired Tom’s studio for a couple of jam-sessions so we could record as soon as we thought something had potential. We finished about 6/7 songs, but after a few listenings we decided there had still quite some work to be done.
 

 

After the 3 previous albums and this one being ASPHYX’s 10th official full studio record we were very well aware that the standard had to be incredibly high. Our advantage was that for the first time we had a steady line-up. Since “Incoming Death” we were damned good “worked in” together, one “felt” what the other wanted or where he was music-wise going. With Paul having tons of riffs on the shelves, the earlier takes and the unexpected rapidly spreading Covid-19 outbreak and thus all our gigs being canceled one after the other, we booked Tom once more for a bunch of jam-recordings. Which turned out marvelously…
 
It took 2 weekends to finally arrange all songs and tape the drum-tracks. Going completely berserk while playing and being totally satisfied with the variety, rawness, brutality and dynamics of each particular track, we were 100% certain that we were heading in the right direction.
 
Long before all the above was happening, I already had introduced “Necroceros” as a working title. It came out spontaneously, sounded powerful and since we used the word “Death” in every release-title, so did “Necro”. The idea was a sci-fi fantasy entity on an eternal course, existing only to devour planets, turning universes into meaningless voids. And while the boys were laying guitars and bass over the drums I searched and wrote the themes and lyrics for every single track. And there we were…
 
To mix with Seeb was a shot in the dark, but he had told me one of his wishes was to ever be able to mix a Death Metal album for a band like ASPHYX. And since we wanted a fresh input, we gave him a chance by letting Seeb do a test and it fused simply excellent.
 
As always, we passed the working title on to Axel Hermann to skizz about and let him throw his morbid imagination over it with detailed bits and pieces. And once more he didn’t let us down with another brilliant masterpiece.
 
And here we are. Something old, something new, something krushing, something sparkling, something alcoholic, something genius, but all very, very ASPHYX!”
The first single and video for the forthcoming album, along with more details about Necroceros, will be released on November 6th, at the start of the album’s pre-order campaign. Stay tuned for more details.
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Sad sight to behold, frankly

Tommy Vext of Bad Wolves went full Maga Clown this week, right in time for a GOP coup of the Supreme Court that threatens women’s rights, the division of church and state, environmental protections, LGBTQ, corporate abuse and so much more! But don’t worry! Tommy says on his Instagram that there are studies that say climate change is natural anyway! That’s as moronic as believing the Earth is flat or systematic racism doesn’t exist and we live in  meritocracy. How does Linda Perry, who I believe writes songs for Dorothy, feel about this? How does Dorothy!? Doc Coyle was in God Forbid! This is wack af.

It isn’t free thinking to join the endorsement ranks of the KKK, Lil Pump and the Taliban, Tommy. It’s dumb as fuck and chauvinistic. Also, you blocked my verified Puerto Rican girlfriend – the singer Globelamp- for critiquing you for not caring how it will affect women’s rights and falsely equating social democracy with ‘CoMMuNism’. Here is an article about how Trump is similar to Castro, dude. Don’t get it twisted. Bernie is a democratic socialist, not a communist. And Biden is a centrist! 

Oh no! Unions! A social safety net for the marginalized! Dudes who might care (or you think would care) about marginalized groups still often don’t blink when women are on the political chopping block. And now, a patriarchy loving cultist being rammed into the supreme court isn’t good for women.

Trickle down economics is piss for the poor. It has always been a gop lie. And acting like business tycoons care one iota of a fuck and will be ethical if deregulated is so beyond crazy I don’t know where to start, but it seems to be a core belief of people conned by those who think objectivism is at all feasible or moral in a corrupt society. You are only helping vulture capitalism and entrenched white supremacy.

It also matters that all people who can get abortions rights are threatened! They probably just think it is murder. Abortion rates don’t drop from banning them. They just get more dangerous and more people die! That is not pro life!

Bad Wolves (and the drummer of System Of A Down for that matter) can get in the fucking garbage.

Y’all got the bag so now you don’t care about marginalized folks? You dare to pretend Trump has been cool for LGBTQ? Ben Weinman super bummed me out today being on insta telling Tommy he had “balls of steel.” More like shit for brains.

It is super sad to see Tommy misled and fall for horrible propaganda. I have moshed my heart out at Vext/Candiria shows many years ago. It is akin to mental illness to believe Trump- a serial mafia backed grifter failson RACIST- and I am not sorry in the slightest for saying that. I am not saying I get to decide how he votes and I am white as snow but he seems like the snowflake for blocking critique, especially when the alt right cry they have been shadowbanned and about ‘FreEDumB Of SpeEECKKKCGGH!’ at every opportunity when people don’t want to host their hate enabling viewpoints. I am a demiflux pansexual, despite my skin color. And diabetic. Both of which also make me unsafe in Trumplandia.

Anyway, get a fucking clue Tommy! Pathetic! Go fuck off with 50 Cent and Ted Nugent into delusion land. PS Antifa serves a god damn purpose. Last I checked it was the same thing we pretended to care about in ww2, dipshit.

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