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I’ve been on Linkin Park‘s fan club mailing list a long time now and they always treat the fans very well over there. Today they collectively eased a small amount of a lot of sorrow by sharing a heartfelt memorial letter for vocalist and friend Chester Bennington, who died by suicide last week.

Dear Chester,

Our hearts are broken. The shockwaves of grief and denial are still sweeping through our family as we come to grips with what has happened.

You touched so many lives, maybe even more than you realized. In the past few days, we’ve seen an outpouring of love and support, both public and private, from around the world. Talinda and the family appreciate it, and want the world to know that you were the best husband, son, and father; the family will never be whole without you.

Talking with you about the years ahead together, your excitement was infectious. Your absence leaves a void that can never be filled—a boisterous, funny, ambitious, creative, kind, generous voice in the room is missing. We’re trying to remind ourselves that the demons who took you away from us were always part of the deal. After all, it was the way you sang about those demons that made everyone fall in love with you in the first place. You fearlessly put them on display, and in doing so, brought us together and taught us to be more human. You had the biggest heart, and managed to wear it on your sleeve.

Our love for making and performing music is inextinguishable. While we don’t know what path our future may take, we know that each of our lives was made better by you. Thank you for that gift. We love you, and miss you so much.

Until we see you again,

LP

Visit Chester.LinkinPark.com

#RIPChester

Call 1-800-273-8255
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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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Chester Bennington dies at age 41

Posted by longhairedpoet on Thursday, July 20, 2017 at 3:04 PM (PST)

Chester Bennington has died at the age of 41. The cause of death is currently being reported as a suicide. This news comes just over two months after news broke that Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell had committed suicide.

Chester was the lead singer of Linkin Park and Dead by Sunrise (and released an EP with Stone Temple Pilots).

I’ve been a Linkin Park fan for a decade. I, like many people my age, started listening to them in middle and high school. By the time I was a freshman in high school my three favorite albums by Linkin Park had already been released. The summer after my sophomore year of high school I listened to “We Made It” incessantly.

Unlike with some other bands and musicians I like and listen to, I don’t know anything about the personal life of Chester or any of the members of Linkin Park, save for what I’ve learned listening to their music. What I do know is that despite the people who mocked me for liking Linkin Park’s music, it helped me at some of the toughest and angstiest moments of my life. First introduced to the band via a mix CD my cousin had, I eventually went out and bought Meteora, Hybrid Theory and Minutes to Midnight.

When I was 14, 15, 16 years old and the world felt like shit, and my life felt like shit, and I lived in the middle of nowhere and it didn’t often feel like I had much more than the hand-me-down 5-CD changer on my dresser, I could put on an album like Hybrid Theory and either turn it up to speaker-busting volumes and just thrash as hard as I could, or turn it down and lay in bed and let Chester’s voice wash over me.

The music that Chester made with Linkin Park was music that made a difference for my mental health. That still does make a difference for my mental health. Listening to songs like “One Step Closer,” “Crawling,” and “A Place For My Head” showed me that it’s okay to struggle, that it’s okay to be frustrated, it’s okay to be unsure of yourself, it’s okay to stumble. I would listen to “A Place For My Head” and wait for Chester to start, real low and quiet, to sing, “You try to take the best of me // Go away” and I would think about the people who had outed me in middle school, I thought about the people who called me a faggot,  I thought about the kids who would ask me on the bus if I was a boy or a girl, and through Chester, I would yell at them to go away, without ever opening my mouth.

There’s always been a lot of fun to be had at the expense of Linkin Park fans, as if the band appealed to some kind of lowest common denominator. The truth is that there is an ignorance around mental health. There is an ignorance around the depression and anxiety that Linkin Park fans attempted to treat with their copies of their  favorite Linkin Park albums. There is an ignorance of the depression that Chester tried to treat with every word he sang or screamed.

Hybrid Theory sold 30 million copies. 30 million people related to the struggles that Chester and co. were expressing on that album and in 17 years our conversations about mental health have been regrettably sparse. Unless someone kills themselves or someone else, we seem content to not talk about mental health. As long as the people around us seem fine when they’re around us, we seem content to not talk  about mental health. As long as it doesn’t affect us, we seem content to not not talk about mental health.

As someone who has lived with a diagnosis of depression for ten years and who also has anxiety and gender dysphoria, I have always tried to speak openly and honestly about my mental health, and I’ve always waited for the communities around me to talk about it.

For us here at Metal Riot, our thoughts are with Chester’s family and friends today. Chester’s impact will not be forgotten, and hopefully we can honor his memory by striving to always be as open and candid as he was in his music.

If you or a loved one is considering suicide, please call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

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Pre Order HAUNTED HORSES compelling new post punk EP “Come”

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 12:20 PM (PST)

The tastefully bleak and bold Cercle Social Records camp has launched the Pre-Order for pushy post-punk’s Haunted Horses new 5 song EP HERE! The Seattle group have a very compelling sound that is both spare and huge, the live drums bashing through the discordant yet melodic guitar layers and sort of morose but personally affecting vocals for a sound that reaches out and grabs you tightly. Really hope people get into this industrialized punk EP.

Seattle’s The Stranger describes the band as “confrontational prog punk as imagined by a troupe of angry cave-dwelling Luddites, Haunted Horses manifest a furious onslaught of sound rarely found these days, at times channeling prime-era Liars in their cacophonies of claustrophobic angst.”

New music is not available to preview yet but you can get crushed and crush on the older vibes of HH’s  “The Void” music video HERE. It’s pretty close to some of the energy of the new stuff I have been lucky to get a preview taste of only the newer stuff I heard was more driving without sacrificing cool experimental aspects.

Get yr shit together and get on over and order a copy! The EP drops July 20th, so you won’t even have long to wait!

 

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King of the ghouls Alice Cooper has a frightful delight due out soon for fans, a classic TV Special and concert film on DVD from arguably his most classic era.

Alice Cooper’s Welcome To My Nightmare Special Edition DVD will be released on September 8, 2017 via Eagle Rock Entertainment. The DVD features the 1975 TV special Alice Cooper: The Nightmare, now available on DVD for the first time, along with the 1976 Welcome To My Nightmare concert film.

Aired on ABC in the US, Alice Cooper: The Nightmare showcases every song from the legendary Welcome To My Nightmare album, which had just been released at the time. With Cooper taking on the role of Steven, and Vincent Price serving as The Spirit Of The Nightmare, this special was a unique introduction to his new album, drawing fans even further into the dark fantasy.

Melding horror, theater, and rock music, Alice Cooper’s Welcome To My Nightmarewas a stage show the likes of which was never seen before. Hits and classics songs like “School’s Out”, “Only Women Bleed”, “Billion Dollar Babies”, “Welcome To My Nightmare”, “No More Mr. Nice Guy”, “I’m Eighteen”, and “Department Of Youth” were backdropped with giant spiders, skeletons, a cyclops, and the voice of horror royalty Vincent Price. This groundbreaking theatrical presentation scintillated, horrified, and thrilled audiences, delivering an experience unlike any concerts at the time. He truly brought spectators into a living (or unliving) nightmare, and they loved every minute of it.

The combination of the Welcome To My Nightmare concert film and Alice Cooper: The Nightmare TV special demonstrates the true genius of Alice Cooper. He is beyond music, and beyond horror – Alice Cooper is an experience, who continues to frighten and thrill audiences to this day.

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10 rock songs to inspire social change for the better

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Sunday, July 9, 2017 at 9:20 AM (PST)

Now that the 4th of July has come and gone and the light beer and rockets red glare has faded, hopefully anyone who was  distracted by imperialism’s big huzzah can get back to remembering that protest is patriotism and that things are hella effed up right now. Did you see the G20 debacle? America is a laughingstock to the world right now.

Here is a list of ten songs to jam loud that pack a punch and are motivating as some of us try to stave off the new Dark Ages. : )

More BELOW.

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Southern Lord will release UNSANE‘s Sterilize on September 29th, 2017.  The cover art and track listing for the album have now been made public. This is def one of the releases we are most excited for this year and old school fans will be pleased to see that they didn’t exactly stray far conceptually for the new cover art, hahaha.

Song titles and tour dates BELOW.

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Atriarch announce ‘Dead As Truth’ album, premiere song

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at 4:02 PM (PST)

Dark metallers Atriarch return with their latest album this year, a sure to be moving and moody outing called Dead As Truth.

Listen to the opening track, “Inferno” from Dead As Truth via YouTube, Soundcloud, and Bandcamp plus all streaming services.

Dead As Truth is set for release on August 11th on CD/LP/Digital via Relapse Records. Physical packages and digital order are available via Relapse.com HERE and Bandcamp HERE.

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Candiria’s full 2017 Hellfest Open Air Festival set online now

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at 3:29 PM (PST)

Candiria have been pretty much my favorite live act for a long time. The current line-up just played Hellfest Open Air Festival in Clisson, France and pro footage has surfaced online HERE! Expect many favorites (including a really dope version of “Blood”) and rest assured Carley can still do those signature jump spins! This is a really top notch set all around. US fans can catch the quintessential NYC urban fusion pioneers all summer on Warped Tour along with other cool acts like War On Women, Sick Of It All, Gwar and Neck Deep.

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photo by Danielle Dumbrowski

All Out War have never been shy about confronting the ugly side of humanity through some of the heaviest music around. The Newburgh underground metalcore legends style just gets more potent with age and their new material has been as strong as a lot of the classics.

New album Give Us Extinction has a killer team attached, tracked at West West Side Studios (Hatebreed, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Turmoil) – the album was recorded and mixed by the legendary Steve Evetts and mastered by Alan Douches — with cover artwork by Alexandre Goulet. Guest vocals are provided to the tracks “Choking On Indifference” and “Cybergod” (Nausea cover!) by Emily Muscara (Straphangers) and the track “Carcass Rot” by Michelle Eddison (ex-Starkweather). Organized Crime Records will release the album on LP, CD, and digital formats on August 11th; preorders will be issued in the coming days alongside audio samples and more.

Tracklisting below. Support one of the realest of the real heavy bands.

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Charlie Benante Relaunches Benante’s Blend Coffee Line

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Wednesday, June 7, 2017 at 2:28 PM (PST)

Photo by F. Ruiz

A bunch of cool bands from Life Of Agony to Tombs have branched out into the interesting realm of coffee sales on the side. This is not a joke. Whatever pays the bills or is a passion, right? I mean Purple Pam, Bad Brains and a bunch of other bands made hot sauce as well! And we know a lot of groups have made beer, from Daylight Dies to Sepultura Weizen to Kid Rock’s shitty “Badass American Lager”!

Anthrax‘s Charlie Benante loves coffee. This might explain how at his age he is still able to fucking out slay pretty much every other drummer in thrash with the debatable exception of Lombardo and Hoglan. Is caffeine the secret to the power of Suzerain’s intro? Who knows.

Anyway, having teamed up to collaborate with Chicago’s Dark Matter Coffee Co., his brand “Benante’s Blend” has undergone enhancements that include higher quality choice of coffee beans, a change in the way the beans are roasted that give the coffee a larger and more flavorful taste, and other tweaks, Benante and Dark Matter are proud to announce the relaunch of “Benante’s Blend.”

The coffee will still be available in two varieties, the “Be All End All” blend which is a dark roast with a real kick, and the “Forever Metal” blend, a milder coffee.  And, despite the upgrades, Benante is keeping the price the same.
“I’d been hearing about Dark Matter for awhile,” said Benante.  “They’re based in Chicago where I live, so I tried some of their coffee and thought it was great.  We hooked up, I went down to their headquarters and spent a day there just talking coffee, doing some tasting and I have to say, I felt like I was part of this coffee family.  Everyone there really enjoys the art of coffee, as do I, so this was something I was really interested in being a part of.  We worked together to come up with what I feel is a perfect cup of coffee, and I’m happy to say that my Benante’s Blend is under the umbrella of the Dark Matter coffee family.”
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Photo by Dante Torrieri

Wow. End of an era. News has broke that longtime Baroness guitarist Pete Adams, who played a HUGE role in the band’s ascent to arguably the coolest sludge prog pop hybrid band just about ever, has left the band amicably. So glad I saw their first return show post crash. Pete will still be active in the awesome af Valkyrie (which he plays in with his brother) and Baroness have even announced a replacement already.  We are sure they will still be great. Still, we gotta toast Pete on his way out as watching him and John together was always magic and felt like a real brotherhood as well. Maximum eternal hails.

Read a lengthy statement from everyone BELOW. It is warm and inspiring, actually.

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Danzig is one of my all time biggest musical heroes. By far. I defend him generally no matter what. I really believe in a lot of his material and was in a tribute band with Andy Animal that was one of the best experiences of my life – Wolfsblood. That said, he is an adult and has the resources to do research and cite credible sources if he is gonna cause ripples that endanger real women and Muslims. On a Memorial Day when Trump blanks on properly honoring a 23 year Army vet in Portland who was killed stopping white supremacy because it might offend Trump’s KKK fuckboi fanbase who are too dumb to notice they have done more domestic terrorism than Muslims except the ones Trump turns a blind eye too if he does business with them, I don’t need Danzig spitting bs about border shit and 1950s gender roles or disinfo about Planned Parenthood that Alex Jones republipunks will take as Gospel cuz they beat off to the cover art of Black Laden Crown before even being sure if it was done by Simon Bisley or not.

Tommy Victor is one of my favorite heroes as well. This kind of casual BS affects a lot of fan bases AND endangers women. Real women. Not hypothetical babies. Not 1950s fake good old days that never were good in the first place from an intersectional perspetive. No last caress. Do not pass go or collect a skull. FUCK OFF with that shit. Way to super alienate a life long die hard and the numerous women in my life who would be dead if the rhetoric Trump is now spewing and cronies who amplify it is allowed to run rampant. Guess what, most fake Christians spreading the gospel according to pro life are dumb and misinformed as a fucking post Christ was never really crucified on, you cucks to kleptocracy. Die for oil, suckers.

Danzig has been around the world. Go to Mississippi and see how easy it is for women there. Don’t need extra fuel on the fire for ignorant citronella bonfires.

Worry about the production on your last few albums sucking and being a far cry from the glory days even with good songwriting! And in vicinity of the Misfits reunion scrutiny of what comes next THIS is how you choose to move ahead during a promotional time? Fuck off with that shit.

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I’m not just saying this to promote MY records or anyone’s really specifically, but here is a thought on art in general. Music can bring people together of many cultures. It is very hard for artists to have a sustainable career when no one purchases their art, even if they work hard. You can only get so far without support. Now, Ariana Grande or Eagles Of Death Metal have lots of fans, BUT…if fear and terror starts also cutting in to concert attendance and (unlikely, but) somehow dented it enough, that is a direct assault on culture exchange. The arts struggle enough. The whole idea of a starving artist being more valid is masochistic and puts artists at a huge disadvantage when many of them already have a lot on their plate already as sensitive or tuned in souls.

A great refutation of ideology you don’t like, be it violence or even a political movement or corporation you are against, is to vote with your dollars. Buy organic food, etc. Do what you can. I would hope the deaths of the music fans of Ariana Grande in Manchester , some with their whole lives ahead of them now stolen, might move some of you to go out and purchase a work of art, a shirt, a book, a movie, a record or something to help further the arts and to ESPECIALLY keep music, loud unabashedly alive music of any genre (except NSBM, duh), blasting in the faces of those who see it as a threat to divisions or who don’t want sexual, racial or social mores or gender roles to evolve. One love. PMA. Our hearts at Metal Riot go out to Ariana and her fans. What a sick, sad fucking senseless thing.

Here are a few recommendations of artists of different genres, races, genders and spiritual backgrounds we suggest you support and show that humanity will NOT be thrown backwards, be it by xenophobic Trumpster Divers (supporting only Arab nations you make money off of doesn’t count, Conald Chump/Trump), radical terror groups like Isis or whoever the fuck tries to front on unity and love:

Lizzo: https://twitter.com/lizzo

Tommy Genesis world wide: https://twitter.com/brasil_tommy

Solstafir: https://twitter.com/solstafiroffcal

Lara Hope and The Arktones: https://www.larahopeandtheark-tones.com/

Downtown Boys: https://twitter.com/DowntownBoys

Flatfoot 56: https://www.flatfoot56.com/ 

VOWWS: https://twitter.com/vowwsband 

I am so sick of reading headlines like this. We as a race, THE HUMAN RACE, have to do better than this. A music concert is supposed to be a place where people gather to forget their problems for a few hours, not somewhere to roll the dice with your life. At times like this, I think the only thing a normal person can do is try to be the best, most moral, human they can be- in our jaded era, I believe this is more necessary than ever. For instance, this evening after I read this headline, I ran into a very loose acquaintance at the grocery store & mentioned the news. This person joked "Maybe they did it because it was an Ariana Grande show." I was too shocked to even say anything- I utterly fail to find the humor in the fact that at least 19 people are dead & many more injured, whatever you may think of someone's music. I know nothing about Ariana Grande or any of her songs, but I can guarantee that people of many different races, religions, & beliefs were at that show for the same reason- to have a good time. Some of them won't go home tonight. This is not fucking funny to me. This sort of jaded, joking, mentality is evidence to me of the continual chipping away of our humanity by the pathetically low standards of our era. We are better than this, people. It's dehumanizing, just like the freakish & twisted beliefs that allowed this asshole terrorist to kill a bunch of people they didn't know. Everything you do & say has consequences, even if you don't believe that. Make sure you do your best to think & speak with a moral heart- maybe your kindness will prevent someone from going down a dark path- you never know who you may effect positively. My thoughts & prayers are with y'all in the U.K. tonight.

A post shared by D. Randall Blythe (@drandallblythe) on

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RIP Chris Cornell

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Thursday, May 18, 2017 at 4:22 AM (PST)

No words will do justice to your legacy. Thank you

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