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“The fact that oppressive institutions and nations born of colonial hegemony, demonize, profile, police and punish the survivors of ongoing genocide and attempt to dictate where they can and cannot live is morally bankrupt, and yet here we are.” – Misandr

One of the best parts about blogging is I always love the chance to help boost amazing work of all stripes by fascinating, forward thinking people. Be it Spellling’s dope slow come down beats and chill as heck textures plus stunning vocal work on Mazy Fly or the harrowing new cinematic Hether Fortune track “Sister” (which was so powerful live) or the latest ominous yet massive doom-opus from Candlemass , there has been so much good stuff already in 2019 to share. And we need it, cuz it is rough out there right now for a lot of people.

One of the most awe-inspiring things that landed in my promo box this year so far was the much-anticipated Tridroid Records split from somewhat mysterious noise practitioner MISANDR and whitephosphorous, “This Can Not Continue”.  The release just went up for pre-order very recently and is a must hear rejection of bigotry and hatred funneled through the lense of sonic vertigo and alienating physical sound avalanches paired with razor keen current event subtexts. The split title This Can Not Continue is both a perfect and simple fact for the horrors going on in the world as well as an apt summary of how the music and content is so intense that it tests the bounds of human endurance until a flip switches and you somehow are comforted by the harsh swirl of cacophony and distress.

Thanks are to be extended to Misandr who allowed us to interview them via email for a VERY insightful and rewarding exchange. I can’t do it justice summarizing but topics include inverting fascism on itself, ableism, noise as self-catharsis, the project’s past and future, the dangers of xenophobia and so much more. Super thrilled to be publishing this and hope you all will read it and enjoy near drowning in this artist’s emotionally exhausting new single on the Tridroid split as much as I did.

Read more BELOW and hang in there, folks.

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We’ve got a special video premiere for you hard rock fans today! Two Inch Voices from Florida are here to bring you their big melodic guitar groove rock that Deftones , Quicksand and O9mm fans will eat up. I even hear a little bit of stuff in the guitar work that reminds me of Shift or Seaweed or something like that. The music might be a blend of emotionally searching and aggro, but the video looks like it was a lot of fun. Hey, Florida does have a lot of sunshine so we can understand if the band went for a 311 goes to the MTV Beach House kinda vibe, haha. It’s cold as fuck in NY where I am right now and I wish I was moshing and jumping around a big ass pool!

We spoke to Jeff from the band about the creation of this moment.

TIV is = Gary “Dubbz” Ferguson- Bass/Vocals, Sean McCord- Drums, Jeffery Arnold aka J Laveau- Guitar/Vocals 

What was it like to write “Downstroke”?

Jeff: Writing “Downstroke” was a blast! It started with Gary (Bass/Vocals) and I jamming on acoustics, at his house. Gary started playing this melodic staccato, riff, I knew it was something; 1.Because he’s playing it, 2.Because it moved really well. So we jammed on this for a minute or two. (this part will eventually become the verses.) So Gary asks if I had anything for the chorus, and because the drive of the song is so good, I wanted to keep the momentum going; so I chopped the riff and went full strum. This took the song to a whole other level! I love how larger than life it sounds and feels! It’s as if whatever you were feeling just lifts away. Aaaaand if you couldn’t tell the bridge/ breakdown parts are our Metal/Hardcore roots shining through. I mean who doesn’t love a little Metal or Hardcore in their musical diet? Haha. I mean really.

I digress, but yeah by the end of the night, we had the song structured and recorded. We brought the song to our drummer at the time, recorded the song instrumental; I took it home and wrote lyrics. The first thing that came to me lyrically was the chorus, “We shine/we shine like diamonds, above a blackened time!” Once that was in my head, I knew the rest of the song would write itself. The chorus means more than anything else I say in the song, maybe to me. Because we are all diamonds and sometimes the world can be dark, and extremely brutal, that’s when we have to SHINE and SHINE the brightest.

What was it like to make the video?

Jeff: Oh man, making this video was out of this world FUN! It helped that Gary and I knew what we wanted for the theme, when we finished writing the song. Haha. That throwback vibe! So we had somewhere to start, and it took us a while to get our location though. In our part of Florida, you don’t have many two story homes, and this was real important for the look of the video. After a couple months of searching and talking to people, I finally posted a sort of ad on my timeline; “Looking to borrow a 2 story house for 5 hours, to shoot a music video.” Yes this is what it said. Who’s going to respond to this, right? But what else could I do? This video was going to happen! Sure enough, not even 10 mins later, this very cool cat from the band “Things Nocturnal”, offered to help. Unbelievable! It was just like that. He invited the band over to look at his place, and we set a date to shoot right then and there. When you or anyone watches the video, they’ll see why.

The video team was led by my very good friend, (Producer/Director/Editor/The Man) Ryan Sousa of Film Native in Tampa, Fl, in collaboration with M90 Studios. Ryan and I have been friends for a while; he did Two Inch Voices’ first video “Into Oblivion”, in 2010. So when Gary and I were talking about videos for the new single, it only made sense to introduce Gary to Ryan. After that meeting, we began sharing ideas and really working together to make something wonderful. And I believe we’ve done that. We’ve made something wonderful. 

 

Reverbnation.com/TwoInchVoices
Facebook.com/TwoInchVoices
Instagram: @twoinchvoices
Twitter: @TwoInchVoices

Film Company:
Film Native: www.filmnative.com
Instagram: @filmnative

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High Cost

Formerly known as Septic Rot, the formidable NYC 5 piece now known as High Cost blew me away when I heard the advance promo of the up and coming act’s new forthcoming (Nov. 30th, Tridroid Records) Self-Titled release. It is so effin’ awesome to still get that feeling of excitement from a new band sometimes and to remember bygone days when word of mouth, the back of some zine or trusted sources was the main way to find out about extreme music, be it punk, crust or death metal.

Nowadays the internet allows us to almost know about too much and the process of separating the cream from the crap can feel like wading through seas of white noise at times waiting for a pearl of passion, but rest assured the real DIY scene is still thriving and out there. The cassette version of their debut EP contains 7 tracks on Side A and noise remixes and live recordings on side B. Lyrics deal with mental health struggles and are written by lead singer Kiki.

Honestly this almost made my year end list and was in the top twenty five before I had to trim down to fifteen for my final list. This band has huge potential and remind me of how fired up I was when I first heard cool world engaged bands like Landmine Marathon or Disfear or other ragers.

Check out the stomping intro to “Illusion” before it explodes into raw punk and shreds you to bits at lightning speed and then devolves into an awesome Cro-Magnon stomp and by then you will maybe be smooshed flat but hooked and want more.

Let’s meet the gang! Read more below.

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By the time the thunderous intro to “Shackled To The Burning Earth” from Denver band Glacial Tomb‘s outrageously good self titled debut (Gilead Media) hammers home with a bigger scowl than Kirk Windstein stubbing his toe, listeners are coming into the home stretch feeling exceptionally rewarded. It is so cool that a handful of bands this year (Un and Forn come right to mind on the ‘extreme’ circuit of underground metal) have managed not only to create great works but to shatter limitations so well that you are too busy experiencing their records as powerful works of art and energy to notice they upended some genre lines. For Glacial Tomb, doom flirting sludge and Gorguts loving death blur into one perfect storm with clouds of melodic guitar cutting through these intense moods like pain-charged lightning gathering around a dark mind. This is an outstanding fucking record I already hold in very high esteem. It should be on everyone’s short list for must purchase in 2018.

More BELOW.

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Scotland’s Bitter Lake is doing things right. The one man black metal project is slowly building up buzz, focusing on releasing cool music rather than hype and improving with each passing moment. I like the cold and methodical yet emotional nature of the project, like impending entropy captured in a burst of constrained, conflicted emotions.

This is an exciting time in metal as a lot of bands are shrugging off genre constraints and finding out who they are for themselves. The left wing black metal coming out is exciting and more than overdue to surpass the tired edgelord tropes of the genre that have always ben laughable if they weren’t so harmful.

Let’s get into the interview with Bitter Lake (who is also running a microphone raffle HERE) and talk about new song “Siberia”, Veganism and more BELOW.

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“Not caring sucks; I’m here for bands that want to talk about what matters to them, what causes they care about, what they’re listening to, whatever. Everybody’s going through it, let’s go through it together.” – W.

Redbait from Missouri declared their intentions clearly within the first few pummeling moments of “We Refuse” on their recent Red Tape EP. The band are loud, clearly pissed and pack a potent political message in this timeline of complete mass stupidity. We need bands who are actively trying to make the world a better place and spreading awareness more than ever. The punk and metal scenes used to be a place where you could find out about dissent and activism and it was encouraged, believe it or not, for bands to use their podium for something other than selling merch or drinking beer on stage. “Smoke In Your Eyes” is one of the more powerful songs I have heard from any band in the underground in the last few years and I am thrilled this group is jumping into the trenches at full speed.

It was a pleasure to break through the thick fog of gullible fact resistant mental soup we are indoctrinated with on the daily and speak to a band who are decidedly intent on upending the bigotry, greed and sexism of our American disgrace. In short, this band is exactly what myself and likely many others who love punk and metal need right now in order to feel like they aren’t completely losing their minds. Read more HERE.

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Stormland is the Gundam-centric death metal brain child of my friend Justin Pierrot. One of the most supportive and friendly people I have met in the Twitter metal-verse, Justin has just released his labor of love Songs Of Future Wars to the unsuspecting masses. He is a creative and enthusiastic individual who cares about the experiences of others and has also been very kind to me in moments of depression, so I thought it would be great to find out more about his own experiences and what led to this brutal yet personal and metaphorical album that is dressed up in stories about giant robot suits.

Read more below.

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It doesn’t take long into a play-through of the heated and mind bending single“Waste” from NYC buzz band Zeal & Ardor to realize that Manuel Gagneux did not come to play on his creation’s new forthcoming release Stranger Fruit (out in June).

Zeal &Ardor’s Devil Is Fine debut caused a lot of tongues to wag with a mix of gospel, soul and extreme metal elements . The formerly one man band has given way to the project becoming a fully-fledged, internationally-touring group. For Stranger Fruit, Gagneux entered the studio with producer Zebo Adam and mixer Kurt Ballou (Converge, Kvelertak, Nails). The title is timely, reminding that there is still plenty of work to be done but that bridges can still be built.

Read a discussion with Manuel Below.

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There are a lot of bands to be excited about in metal right now, but few have the kinetic electricity and obvious spark that Milwaukee’s metallic hardcore act KNAAVES are bringing to the scene. The group have a concise and fiery approach and a clear drive, the kind of intensity that will likely appeal to fans of Converge, Baptists, Immortal Bird or even Disfear. Their new 2 song release January is a must hear that is poised to make a lot of people take notice.

Amanda Daniels (bass) is one of my most valued friends in the metal scene. I was a big fan of her old band Enabler and believed her and got to know her better around the time that the abuse she suffered in that group became known. She is awesome and it is so great to have her presence and energy back in a group who have a ton of potential and positive energy/momentum. She is really deserving of your support and I am assuming so are the rest of the band – which features Andy Parmann (Vox), Jamie Kerwin (Guitar) and Antonio Ninham (drums).  Their music is a powerful release and we can’t wait to hear more stuff from them.

It was great to get a chance to catch up with Amanda and hear about the new project. She spoke about the recent 2 song, show and video plans, #metoo and more with myself and singer Elizabeth Le Fey (Globelamp).

Read more BELOW.

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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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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 (thetruetapehaus.com) 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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“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.

More BELOW.

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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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