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In the microcosm of friends that I live in there are many women coming together to support and exalt one another in the arts. This is a marked shift from what you see in pop culture which is women competing with one another, exploiting their selves and each other for success, and approval from our patriarchal culture. – Sera Timms

Ides Of Gemini are one of the more deserving bands in the underground, always searching for both revelatory experiences and the breaking of new ground within their art. While the band have benefited from strong support from major players within the scene, from early support from Neurot to a tour with Ghost to finding a new coveted home with Rise Above Records, the band have also faced their share of setbacks that have forced their momentum to sort of develop via ebb, flow and word of mouth despite their hard work. Original drummer Kelly Johnston-Gibson incurred a career-threatening injury while on tour in the US in 2015, causing founding members J. Bennett and vocalist (and then-bassist) Sera Timms to reassess their next move. After enlisting Scott Batiste of Saviours as a stand-in drummer for a short West Coast tour, things clicked and Scott soon became a permanent member. The band then expanded to a quartet for the first time, as Sera relinquished her bass-playing duties to newcomer Adam Murray.

The band have never shied away from making their own path and now return with an album called Women, a simple celebration and study of the sacred feminine perfect for these times when the President sexualizes his own daughter while cutting off all funding to UN Family planning or when just the other day one of the premiere and most dedicated writers in metal – who happens to be female – was attacked deplorably by a site for having a disability . It is great to see some bold art from a band that is far more respectful and also features a woman in a primary – not token/ fashion appendage – role. Sera’s drifting vocals on the hook of new song “Mother Kiev” are positively consuming yet far from predictable, while many still gush about the band’s bold recent take on “Strange Fruit” as a doom dirge. You can hear a mid tempo new track “The Rose” now at Cvlt Nation.

Women is produced by the talented Sanford Parker and features guest appearances from Tara Connelly of Clay Rendering (on Queen Of New Orleans) and Marriages and solo singer-songwriter Emma Ruth Rundle (on She Has A Secret), a personal favorite of mine. Nicola Samori’s cover art looks like something out of a museum, delicate and yet strong and romantic despite being interpretively marred by a partial smear. But perhaps that is up to the viewer or listener to decipher if the art or songs indicate damage, obscurity or survival.

Read my latest interview with the band, this time with vocalist Sera Timms, below.

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Interview: Gridfailure – Hostile Ambient Takeover

Posted by Metal Riot on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at 2:02 PM (PST)

Gridfailure is one of our favorite current projects out there in the extreme musical weirdo multiverse, the experimental and totally mental brainchild of scene lifer Dave Brenner (ex-Theologian, ex-Heidnik) .  Since May of 2016 Brenner has already released two albums, a split with Never Presence Forever and several collaborative releases with even more on the horizon! There is really no rule book, which makes this one of the more exciting acts to follow currently.

The latest Gridfailure release Hostile Alchemy features guest contributions from a wide cast of allies including Leila Abdul-Rauf (Vastum, Ionophore, Cardinal Wyrm), Mark Deutrom (Bellringer, ex-Melvins), Jeff Wilson (Wolvhammer, Abigail Williams, Chrome Waves), Faith Ciavarella, Pete Tsakiris, Benjamin Levitt (Megalophobe), Christian Molenaar (Those Darn Gnomes), Alexei Korolev (The Company Corvette), and more. Some sections of the album sound like listening to distant jazz while drowning in a swamp, the hallucinations mounting as oxygen is cut off to the brain and you fade to black. Other songs are like the half remembered film score from a two week old nightmare you haven’t been able to shake off. This is probably the music that Morlocks in the X-Men universe screw to by candlelight in the sewers beneath the underbelly of New York City.

“As Gridfailure was spawned from creating horror music, the underlying themes of terror and impending harm are always going to be there,” Brenner says.

Read more below.

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Death metal fans are raving about the new self-titled Obituary release for excellent reason. From the hysterical video for “Ten Thousand Ways To Die” that picks up where their Inked In Blood “Violence” clip left off and is bound to get a chuckle out of almost anybody, to more rock solid songwriting that builds on one of the most impeccable musical legacies in death metal, Obituary are both writing for themselves and pleasing die hard fans at the same time. The results will have fans crashing down doors like the zombie hordes the Florida greats seem to fear most.

Next year will mark thirty years since the group changed their name from Xecutioner and made metal heavier forever. It seemed about time for a self-titled album under those circumstances, but I spoke with one of the founders, Trevor Peres, to get to the bottom of it all.

More below.

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 Betraying The Martyrs new record The Resilient  more than proves they are here to stay and should not be underestimated. We spoke a few months back with vocalist Aaron Matts about the Paris, France based Sumerian rockers latest, what goes into songwriting and more.

 

This interview was originally published weeks ago with a different intro but was lost in the malware issue we had that wiped about a year of site content. I had enough of it backed up that I was able to rebuild it for the fans of this young, bright metalcore act and for readers who maybe even missed it the first time.
Check it out BELOW.
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Interview: Paralandra – Hard Rock hopefuls seize the spotlight

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Saturday, March 25, 2017 at 8:33 AM (PST)

When I first heard Paralandra I knew they had a great chance of becoming one of my new favorite hard rock bands. The commercial crossover appeal of Lacuna Coil or Halestorm married to a deeper strain of bluesy hard rock and alternative groove gives this Springfield, Missouri act an edge that has many eyes on them already.

You can catch them on The Alive Tour this April or on a great opportunity slot playing Rocklahoma  alongside many acts including Three Days Grace, The Cult, Taking Back Sunday and more this May.

Drummer Nick Gray fills us in on band dynamics, their sound and work ethic, recording and almost getting to open for Scott Weiland.

Read more about this inspiring bunch of true believers BELOW.

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Mother Feather shorthand themselves as ‘pop cock rock’ but that is a far too
insufficient capsule to contain their glam infused explosive energy within.
The Brooklyn based band are theatrical, melodic and hard hitting with an edge
not often seen these days, brimming with enough possessed pizazz to get them
inked to Metal Blade despite being a far cry from the rest of the current
roster like Abornamilty, Sourvein and Criminal.

Listening to their forthcoming full length (order HERE right nowwwww!!!) , arguably the most rock n roll
record that streets in May, you can’t help but feel like the East Coast is
finding a pulse again. It’s been awhile, maybe since The Star Spangles caught
my ear, that I have heard a band who can embody gutter garage meets arena
worthy punch within the same skin so well. Anybody sick of the pretensions of
all the micro blogged sub genres out there today who just wants to get fuckin’
rocked and maybe vanish for awhile in a golden cloud of sweaty club rock with
attitude should eat this shit up fast.

Restaurant personality Chris Santos was impressed with the band and was tweeting about them, bringing them eventually to the attention of Metal Blade owner and rock and metal tastemaker Brian Slagel.

“He kind of pointed Brian in our direction and Brian checked it out and was excited,” says vocalist Ann Courtney. “Our Twitter feed was blowing up with metal guys. We are definitely on one end of the spectrum of the label, which is cool. I think a lot of metal heads think Brian is being subversive or something, but really I think it is just that he is a sincere music fan! He’s said we remind him of the 70’s stuff like KISS and Thin Lizzy that he grew up with.”

It’s pathetic we live in a time where we have to have a show like Vinyl
(admittedly a good program, no slight against it) to remind assholes that rock
n roll even exists. Mother Feather are the real thing, though. Ann Courtney,
Elizabeth Carena, Matt Basile, Chris Foley and Gunnar Olsen are hopefully as
commited as they sound to the cause, but let’s enjoy it while it lasts and
while we have them because this is lightning in a fuckin’ bottle, after all.

Read More BELOW.

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‘Yeah, records on vinyl are a big thing here. Frankly, I prefer it the way it was, as an outsider thing with record fairs, hole in the wall record stores and seedy second hand shops crammed with used porno mags and Bonnie Tyler maxi singles. No, wait, maybe I don’t.’ – Benediktator

If you want to have your day or night irrevocably changed, like entering into a magical and demented forest from which you might not return for a hundred years, look no further than the third release from Norway’s saturnine prog force Tusmørke. Fort Bak Lyset is the album in question, a veritable circus of odd riffs, vertiginous chanting, danceable merry making and impishness on a profound scale. Svart Records is lucky to be releasing this insanity on the masses, dangling a truly adventurous musical carrot out there for the brave souls willing to follow the super weird music into the laughing forest.

Enlightened psychedelic progenitors Benediktator, Krizla and the phenomenon Marxo Solinas speak to us today from a realm of imagination so that we might glimpse a slight understanding of the inner workings of this peculiar and splendid group’s latest.

More below.

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“We started off as a government experiment gone right for once. Designed by
naval science officers aboard the “USS who gives a shit” ~Montana (vox/guitar)

Gossip Girl, Megan Fox, Taylor Lautner, Sugar Ray, Jar Jar Binks. What do they
have in common? I’m pretty sure they all were on the cover of Rolling Stone in America before
the fucking Ramones ! Chew on that awhile, lovers of rock n roll.

Maybe it is because, like NYC’s Tournament, the Ramones were a band who arguably make rock critics less of a necessity. Just press play/drop a needle and the music packs so much punch that it tells your body and brain most of what it needs to know. It speaks for itself.

I nerd out a lot, and today at the dentist’s office waiting room I was reading Terry Goodkind’s Phantom. There is a part where the characters are discussing the magical Sword of Truth and someone says ,“It is not the weapon that matters so much as the man who wields the weapon.”

This is also very true of the guitar (with a disclaimer that it doesn’t just have to be a “man”). Proof can be witnessed when Tournament play The Acheron with Ex-Cult on May 28th.

Tournament take Brooklyn radittude to new heights and decimate mere hipster bands with antics, alcohol consumption and fiery live shows that have garnered them a reputation as great rockers and solid songwriters. Along with bands like PMS and the Mood Swings, Tower, Mother Feather and The Compulsions, Tournament prove the Big Apple can still be a place where rock n roll can’t be killed. We support this message and recommend you check out the following interview with Montana (vox/guitar) and Jordan (drums) from the group as well as purchase their The End Records debut Teenage Creature post haste.

Read on BELOW.

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For this generation a lot of self-esteem comes from the phone or a picture like on Instagram. A Facebook comment. Since we didn’t have that when I was a kid we would talk about bands, shows, ideas. So I try to get back to that with my daughter or my circle of friends. – Jamey Jasta.

It’s always a pleasure to interview Hatebreed as one of the most consistently heavy, scowling bands in the world are actually some of the most down to Earth and grateful dudes in the business. Hatebreed are a band whose (cough) perseverance makes me never believe haters or doubters in my own life who say things can’t be
accomplished, the worm-tongue types or divider who will whisper negative mantras or lazy couch warriors who give up too soon for want of trying rather than take a hard
fucking look at why they are such losers.

New album The Concrete Confessional proves this unkillable band never settle for living in the past or resting on their laurels. It is a barrage of meaningful and
impactful tunes that will earn more praise and respect from anyone worth a shit. There are some bad ass pre-order packages up HERE.

Album deets from the press release:

The Concrete Confessional was recorded in Connecticut, produced by long-time collaborator Zeuss (Rob Zombie, Suicide Silence, Whitechapel), and mixed by Josh Wilbur(Lamb of God, Megadeth). Artwork was created by Marcelo Vasco (Slayer). The new music is crushing and heavy with provocative lyrics that touch upon a number of topics that have become front-and-center in today’s New Normal: the rise of terrorism, police brutality, moral decay, greed and betrayal, increased divisiveness, and the fading promise of the American Dream, potently covered on the track “A.D.”

Read more below.

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“We needed a name. We did this surgically in a sense that it was me and Sam. Jello came down for a weekend but otherwise it was two of us hashing out ideas. So it was surgical. The first half of the record was so fast. I did the guitar and bass on it and had stiff little fingers playing meth music to keep up with the kids. And the drums were machines because Sammy did all the programming. So, Surgical Meth Machine. And it is funny because now I am doing more press on this than Ministry, Revco and Lard combined! It’s pretty gross.” -Al Jourgensen.

Surgical Meth Machine is the latest brain boggler from industrial legend Al Jourgensen. It is pretty much down to Al and Keef Richards in the rock n roll unkillable deadpool at this point, but Al shows no signs of releasing anything less than crazy before the apocalypse (or being in a Disney movie). SMM is a rollercoaster of a weird record that has some of his most unhinged, white knuckle/teeth gnashing machine thrash in years but gets increasingly through the looking glass and trippy as the record eggs you on into a black hole.

The album was crafted off-and-on over a period of 12 months, mostly in the
Cuban-American singer and multi-instrumentalist’s Burbank, California studio
with longtime engineer Sam D’Ambruoso.

So, first time I interviewed Al years ago he told me I should make a necklace out of my vas deferens and about how doctors lost his toe once and teaching his dog to be a designated driver.It was awesome to talk AGAIN to Al today and pick his brain about medical marijuana, the algorithms of the apocalypse, politics and this awesome new record from Nuclear Blast.

More Below.

big 4When asked in an interview with Las Vegas Review-Journal about his most memorable nights he had being in Slayer, guitarist Kerry King shared his memories of Slayer playing “Big 4” shows with MetallicaMegadeth and Anthrax, which he calls an important part of his career. He explains:

“Something that was really cool for me — and I didn’t think it was going to be as cool as it was — was when we did the ‘Big Four’ shows. I think that was important. I think it mattered. When I went in, I thought it was going to be cool for the fans, but in the end, it was cool for me, too.”

He added: “The funniest thing in the history of Kerry King and Slayer is us and Metallica, we don’t really run in the same circles. As similar we are, you know, we’ve never been on tour with those guys. To actually play with them on the ‘Big Four’ was really cool for me. I’d go back behind where Lars goes when he gets done with a song — we called that Larsland — we’d go watch the show from there. It was really cool. It was just cool hanging. Kirk would come and hang out, and we’d go do stuff with Lars. It was fun.”

Slayer released Repentless, their first album in six years, last September on Nuclear Blast. It was also their first album with Exodus guitarist Gary Holt as the replacement for the late Jeff Hannemann, and their first with drummer Paul Bostaph in nearly 15 years.

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Exodus to begin work on new music next month

Posted by Metal Dude on Saturday, March 26, 2016 at 11:09 AM (PST)

exodus lineupIn an interview with Finland’s Kaaos TVExodus drummer Tom Hunting revealed that the band is planning to begin writing new material next month for their follow-up to 2014’s Blood In, Blood Out. He states:

“Gary and I are gonna start sitting down… He’s gonna write some riffs and we’re gonna start jamming in April. We’re not under any hurry or any kind of time constraints to come up with a new record, but we want to. Everybody’s motivated, and we have a little free time in April. ‘Cause we’ve been touring constantly for this album, and Gary’s got commitments to Slayer too, so we’ve gotta work around that. He’s a big part of this thing.”

You can watch the rest of the interview below.

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It’s been a good few years for die hard stoner fans, from C.O.C. kicking butt
to Geezer, The Midnight Ghost Train, Tarpit Boogie, Monolord and others
keeping the scene burgeoning like a fat bowl of lettuce. One of the most
solid efforts you’re likely to hear, Greenleaf‘s Rise Above The Meadow is a
hard rock infused crunching mass of bluesy riffs, pounding drums and a
distinctively Swedish sense of melody to vocals that fall between the schools
of Danzig, Wino and Ozzy.

“A Million Fireflys” is a must hear newly forged anthem that anyone into QOTSA, Dozer, Born Again -era Sabbath etc. will be keen to savor or start spreading as the new gospel. The band’s Napalm tenure is sure to stay great.
I’ve been recommending them to everyone lately, ranging from Trevor of Pelican to probably your grandma. It’s such a good single I stopped listening to Future Brown’s “Wanna Party (remix)” for a minute or two to remember rock is really good when it actually exists.

I’m writing this on the anniversary of Van Halen’s 5150 album. Whether you are a Hagar fan or not, those were the days rock and metal ruled the charts. Greenleaf are proof that you can knock back a shot celebrating that rock n’ roll will never die.

More below.

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From Celtic Frost’s Into The Pandemonium to Metallica’s S&M to the mind blowing latest from blackened chamber doomers Wolvserpent to the fucking insane Bach shredding of shred dominatrix/violinist The Great Kat, many metal artists have flirted with or amalgamated classical influences into their sound, to drastically varied levels of success. Ontario’s The Visit, comprised of Musk Ox’s very skilled Raphael Weinroth-Browne (cello) and the strikingly talented Heather Sita Black (voice), get it more right than most of the others put together.

Starting in the reverse fashion of four feet and cello planted firmly in classical yet with a deep, romantic and soul pulling fascination with the darker side of the musical world, the pair have managed to make music that could stir esteemed concert halls and gothier types alike. Through Darkness Into Light, a late self-released 2015 triumph, was one of the loveliest and most breathtaking releases of late 2015 (with a stellar Alan Douches mastering job that really makes it feel cinematic). Additionally, this was  one of the most primary of a handful of albums that kept me “sane” last year (along w moody stuff like Tearist, The last temptation of christ, He Whose Ox Is Gored, Vowws, Marriages, etc.)

During a particularly dark time I found The Visit‘s gossamer heartache and striving sounds that float throughout Through Darkness Into Light to be a comforting sort of oxygen that I could trust in, a record I didn’t talk much about because I was holding it rather close. That is, ironically, often the best compliment we can give something…exclusion via the intimacy of overly processing how something powerful makes you feel which you aren’t yet willing to vocalize.

Metal fans of a certain type may scratch their caveman heads but others will get that heavier stuff like permanence, desire and the magnitude of self in a vast cosmos are at play, a certain naturalist’s existentialism that perhaps is a product of being an avant garde act from Ontario. Or maybe I am just projecting. When the bowing gets heavy enough on “Without This Flesh” I dare you to not be hit by the impact of feel anyway, even if other passages are somehow too floaty for you thrash types.

Personally, I think The Visit are a breath of cold, fresh air and make inventive, soul stirring art of the highest musical caliber.

Raphael and Heather answer my questions below.

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Candace Kucsulain has been an underdog, a hardcore heroine, a mom, a fighter
and much more. Her band Walls Of Jericho are true veterans of the metalcore
scene, trench fighters who have done a lot over the years until a recent near
decade break between albums.

One listen to Napalm Release No One Can Save You From Yourself will not only
knock the dust from your skull but you’ll be really thankful the Detroit
natives are back to shitkick some sense into the current crop. Through and
through this album is a fierce winner, full of engaging topics, inspiring
motivational lyrics, ballistic breakdowns and crowd friendly chants that don’t
suck. Prepare to get very fired up.

It was great to talk to Candace about her career, her beliefs and how this
time it was very cool having everyone in the band contribute something to the
lyrical hardcore cookpot.

Read more BELOW.

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