Raivio further states, “In other news, unfortunately our busy brother Jaani will step aside from the band at least for this new album cycle, but we are happy to tell that you can hear Jaani’s backing vocals on the new album anyway.”
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.
Bodom After Midnight management
Rainy day check-in and some music recommendations for you today here at Metal Riot.
I am doing ok. My mother, as I wrote a day or so back, has coronavirus along with 70 other patients at her elder care/dementia facility. For now she is stable and things are going as smooth as can be hoped under awful circumstances. Trying not to lose my mind about it still and breathe through it.
As of May 1st I will also be celebrating 4 months sober from booze, no weed and cigs completely after a hard struggle and depressed 2019. During a pandemic, I feel like I am proud of myself for not guzzling red wine every day and divebombing into a serious spiral. Thank you to those who have encouraged me. Love and horns to you all. Count your blessings.
Last night I was watching Chloe Mendel’s IG live, which was cool. She is creative director for faux fur brand Maisonatia and was doing a fundraiser for Paws Chicago. She is also incidentally (we are a rock site, lol) Billy Corgan’s partner and Chloe was telling stories about how she was getting creative with Tie Dye techniques on some unsold Pumpkins tour merch to make them look more vintage. It was interesting! Props to anyone staying creative or positive during this time and also using their platform to remind that animals need help right now too.
I actually recently bought my gf Elizabeth/Globelamp the chord book for the Adore album-the gothiest SP record- which arrived just before we took a drive to see the Tibetan prayer flags near the KTD Monastery above Woodstock, NY (as we do every few years). Yes, we wore masks and stayed far away from people. It was very spiritually replenishing.
Elizabeth and I have been arguing with a lot of mindless Swifties during the pandemic who are covering for Taylor Swift. Swift made anti-Semitic public statements against Soros as “greedy”. My gf used to be a Swiftie but the second she critiqued Taylor for anything she was mocked mercilessly out of the fandom and trolled for trying to get solidarity against her well connected indie scene abuser’s DARVO tactics. She also is hated by them because she recently wrote a Medium piece about how Taylor Swift is a hypocrite for pretending to be “woke” while she spent years ignoring Trump- so she could keep making money off her conservative fans, let’s get real- only to make a huge fuss (and an awful documentary centering her privileged perspective) on how hard it was to come out as a moderate Democrat. Since then Swift has played Amazon prime day during a worker’s strike and while Amazon supports ICE and also played China for Xi while there are millions in Muslim re-education camps. Taylor could have pulled a Bjork and shouted ‘Tibet!’ but instead she just made money and ignored the suffering and capitalistic rubber stamp she gave to Alibaba Singles Day. Her fans have even trolled us and said no Uighur’s have been harmed in China and Globelamp is just “jealous”. Um, calling a female musician the “jealous” trope when they critique your pop fave you stan isn’t aligned with the espoused theme of “The Man”.
Seriously, why can privileged known shitbag Sam France start a label called “Fascist Records” and pretend it is about the unfair music industry (you’re wealthy and from Calabasas, stfu…you’re not Prince) or Swift can dogwhistle about Soros from her zillion houses during the Covid-19 outbreak and the music media thinks it is chill?
I wish humans learned from the past. I am reading the awesome Nico: The Life & Lies Of An Icon by Richard Witts and there is a haunting passage where she (someone deeply scarred by the war since childhood) suggests that post-WW2 ,“It is a pity they rebuilt Berlin. They should have left it empty. It would make a marvelous museum now. The National Museum of Destruction.”
This shit is not a joke for scene points.
It seems we are more divided in the world than ever, heedless of environmental issues and corporate cronyism/blind spots, etc. In America we have the DNC gaslighting for Biden and misleading about NY Times’ Tara Reade conclusions with the gross playbook Lisa Bloom established to try and once save Weinstein’s hideous ass being now weaponized against anyone from Rose Twitter or elsewhere who thinks regardless of party accusations can’t be erased by Voltron-formations of politicians saying ,”He’s a good guy.” I can relate to Rose McGowan feeling alienated by it. I never thought I’d see Gillibrand and Warren (naïve as I was) run cover for Biden. It’s gross and more proof they should have not impeded Bernie. It has alienated so many people, even folks who were Blue No Matter Who before like myself out of a desire to get rid of Trump (yes, I wanted Bernie or Warren to win and then hoped things could be improved if it “had to be” a centrist). But FUCK this Tara Reade silencing, gaslighting DNC crap.
There must be a reckoning and push for restorative justice and a higher bar set than using the Kavanaugh approach (from the LEFT!) – or Anita Dunn compromising Times Up via PR for Biden. GROSS! Wack!
You can’t pretend no victim’s story doesn’t shift slightly at times as they work up the nerve over time to confront powerful figures. It’s textbook. Survival doesn’t fit neatly into your party lines.
We really do need a revolution in this country and a much better social safety net, along with a total mental restructuring around empathy over dollars and power.
Anyhow, thanks for letting me rant. We’re all in this human mess together and this is my only current platform besides music (I lost 5 jobs including my 8 year newspaper gig shuttering due to the virus). Gotta vent somewhere! XO, y’all.
My friend and sometime noise collaborator Dave Brenner aka GRIDFAILURE has announced Sixth Mass-Extinction Skulduggery II. The second album in the five-title concept series will see its initial release on June 5th via Nefarious Industries. It is going to be seismic. Pre Order HERE and check out “No Defensive Wounds To Be Found”.
Containing material spanning GRIDFAILURE’s entire four-year lifespan, Sixth Mass-Extinction Skulduggery II infuses many styles of analog and digital percussion, acoustic and electric guitars, bass, ukulele, many types of keys and synth, accordion, trumpet, theremin, powerelectronics, harmonica, didgeridoo, field recordings, and more, some of which were recorded outdoors including in extreme weather events. The record features guest contributions from members of Deadbird, Vastum, T.O.M.B., Chrome Waves, Mountaineer, A Fucking Elephant, Megalophobe, The Third Kind, Cutworm, Fuck Your Birthday, Fyrhtu, Feel Happiness, and musicians who’ve played with likes of David Bowie and Miles Davis, and more.
Sixth Mass-Extinction Skulduggery II was performed/arranged, recorded, and mixed by GRIDFAILURE’s David Brenner at The Compound in Valley Cottage, New York, who also drew the cover art. The record was mastered by Dan Emery at Black Matter Mastering in Nashville, Tennessee (Kool Keith, Benjamin Tod, Krieg, Thetan).
HETHER FORTUNE is one of my favorite artists and people. She’s even one of the last real punks, I’d even go so far as to say. Hether has a new demo and rarities collection out this week. Buy it on Friday when Bandcamp gives 100% to the artists during this fucked time.
The release is called Whenever I’m In Doubt About Things I Do I Listen to the High Street Wailing Sounds in a Queue. Among other highlights it has some Wax Idols songs as demos, her Tom & Stevie cover, a killer Verve cover she was playing live in recent solo gigs (which made me pre-order this as soon as I learned about it) and more. Dig the lengthy Fiona Apple style When The Pawn…, The Idler Wheel… -esque long ass album title. Or maybe she was inspired just as much by Shai Hulud’s Hearts Once Nourished…? Hard to say! Just support it!
Lastly today before I fade back into the Catskill mists, outstanding death metal act IN MOURNING have a slick re-release of their Monolith record coming out via Agonia. How hot is that double pink vinyl?! Shut up and order it HERE.
Until next time, best wishes and may hope stay with you through this shitshow.Add to My Radar
Finnish melancholy death-doom metal masters Swallow The Sun have just announced their North American headline tour today. The band will be on tour this Spring with special guests Infected Rain and Wheel. Catch the band on tour starting April 20th in Tampa and ending on May 24th in Dallas. Tickets are available for purchase HERE.
“We have been touring many times in North America since 2007 but never headlined before this,” states Swallow The Sun’s Mikko Kotamäki about the upcoming headline tour. “So it’s about time to play you a decent length shows, not just 30-45min like before. Better get your tickets now and spread the word. No excuses, you asked for it, you got it! See you soon!”
The band will be touring in support of their most recent full-length album When A Shadow Is Forced Into The Light. Swallow The Sun’s seventh studio album was produced by the band’s very own Jaani Peuhu and Juha Raivio and is their most personal, cleanest work to date. Purchase and stream When A Shadow Is Forced Into The Light, which Heavy Blog Is Heavy calls “songwriting perfection”, HERE.
Swallow The Sun is Mikko Kotamaki (vocals), Matti Honkonen (bass), Juuso Raatkainen (drums), Jaani Peuhu (keys and vocals), Juho Raiha (guitar), and Juha Raivio (guitar and keys).
Dates BELOW.Add to My Radar
Hi everyone. As usual, I am inclined to post my AOTY list a little on the early side to hopefully get capitalist metal scum to buy more of these masterpieces in advance of the holiday season. I also am very busy doing important shit like going through a hellish move to get away from a slumlord, petitioning Marvel to reinstate Julian MacMahon as Dr. Doom in the MCU , etc. I have also been busy being furious that the entire Metal Riot Twitter account was deleted by vengeful Melanie Martinez and Foxygen stans just because I said that my gf Globelamp and I are not part of a god damn murder plot against stupid Foxygen and that anyone who thinks that is an idiot (FYI: their official twitter tweeted and deleted awhile ago “she tried to kill me and isn’t done”…complete evil nonsense). She has dental records that her teeth were knocked out, geniuses. It wasn’t from no one. The Melanie stans also hated that my gf stood up for the woman who accused Melanie of assault. Everything is wack. Not a good look to support Foxygen, to put it nicely.
Sorry I dropped some F bombs, Twitter! I notice you still have Richard Spencer on there with a god damn turkey emoji dogwhistling Native American genocide, you trash! Sorry I stood up for my abused girlfriend and want some losers to leave us alone. I do apologize to anyone inconvenienced and will continue to do my best to support lots of bands, though I am disgusted by the Twitter platform so not sure I will be replacing the account.
Anyway, it has been an intense year so I sure as hell hope these impeachment hearings gain some traction. Quick shameless plug. I was honored to release two albums this year with my Walking Bombs project via Nefarious Industries, the war, hate and capitalism themed Suicide By Citizenship and the non binary themed Sphinges Sibling Selves and Queens.
I am still in awe of the assembled allies who took part in these albums, from Gridfailure to members of Tad, Caustic Resin/Earth, Cycle Sluts From Hell, Kylesa, All Out War, Globelamp , The Beautiful Bastards and more. I will remain very thankful for years to come for these releases, which helped me express myself during a very hard personal year where my gf and I were battling Foxygen legally and dealing with DARVO. Thank you EVERYONE who checked my records out this year or did a premiere. More to come in 2020!
The following are some of the musical powerful albums by others that really resonated with me the most this year. Well, I mean they are the ones cloests to the hard rock, metal and punk genres. I also listened to lots of Tamaryn, Kerli and Jenny Lewis, as should you all. Bless you cool cats and let’s all keep the faith, I value you all and thank you for continuing to support the site. In the next few weeks before the end of the year we will also post short lists from other staff and guest artist favorite list contributors to continue our year end celebration. Stay loud and proud! Love, fangs and headbangs, y’all. Today is trans day of remembrance as I write this and let’s make the world brighter.
Read the Year End List BELOW.Add to My Radar
I am listening to the uplifting pop infused vocal of “Mercy Mirror” from my promo copy of the new album Resist from the internationally influential act Within Temptation. It is a great record, another victory for a band with many who have never been shy about aiming for epic bombast where others have their eyes lower to the ground. The follow up to 2014’s excellent Hydra (has it been so long already?!) was worth the interminable wait for fans and is sure to be a major release of the quarter. The album contains guest appearances by singer Jacoby Shaddix (Papa Roach), Anders Fridén (In Flames) and Jasper Steverlinck (Arid), which is chill, but the band don’t need cameos for the whole album to stand strong. Sharon and the gang sound very inspired and ready to add to their legacy.
Get the album as of February 1st! It is still a few hours before release day as I write this.
From the cinematic “Endless War” with a piano-outro to live for to the already popular with fans rallying cry “Raise Your Banner” to the stomping crunch of “Trophy Hunter”, this record will fill a big void for a lot of people wanting to feel lifted up during some very depressing times right now. Some people listen to the most angry stuff in times of trouble but also it is good to remember hope and a sweeping sense of history, which Within Temptation provide in ample doses throughout. They truly just come off as very professional and next level grandiose (but I mean that as a compliment in their case).
The band comment on their new futuristic direction: “We were done with orchestras and classic metal riffs. We’ve done it a thousand times before! This time we’ve expanded our horizon and started listening to powerful artists from other genres that implement bombastic sounds and huge basses into their tracks. All of a sudden we thought: we need these new exciting sounds too – but not the slick artificial feel that so often is connected to it. We started finding ways to roughen up these modern sounds, resulting in a surprisingly new musical world that is heavier, dirtier and more futuristic than we’ve ever created before.”
“Supernova”, my favorite song on the record, proves by itself that this was not a risk that was taken in vain. Amazing, huge stuff.
Tour Dates below.
2/28: Baltimore, MD @ Rams Head Live
3/1: Philadelphia, PA @ The Fillmore
3/2: New York, NY @ Playstation Theater
3/3: Boston, MA @ House of Blues
3/5: Montreal, QC @ Olympia
3/6: Toronto, ON @ Rebel
3/8: Chicago, IL @ House of Blues
3/9: Minneapolis, MN @ Skyway Theater
3/11: Denver, CO @ The Summit
3/12: Salt Lake City, UT @ The Complex
3/14: Portland, OR @ Roseland Ballroom
3/15: Vancouver, BC @ The Vogue Theater
3/16: Seattle, WA @ Showbox SODO
3/18: San Francisco, CA @ The Warfield
3/19: Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern Theater
I’m one of those anomalous fans who likes Venom’s music, and Black Metal in particular, but doesn’t like the genre it allegedly spawned. Even only finding tenuous entry points into thrash and speed metal as a whole (give me Evile and Iron Reagan, please), Black Metal was a revolution in depravity when I listened to it in high school.
Now the band is out with their fifteenth studio Storm the Gates, and Cronos, joined by Rage and Dante, bring ’round the classic Venom sound – I suppose what might be called in today’s language – blackened thrash metal.
Storm the Gates will be available on December 14.
Check out my full review of Storm the Gates here.
Another month has passed us by. The time has just fallen back, meaning shorter and darker days are upon us. The situations we’re in seem to get darker, too, with each passing day. If you’re here reading this then you, like me, probably turn to music to deal with the shit going on in the world. The sun continues to rise and set, and for those of us who see it rise and see it set, we have an obligation, a duty, to do our best to make the world suck a little fucking less each and every day. Hopefully these four albums can be your soundtrack for that.
Check out the four albums I enjoy the most this month here.Add to My Radar
Just a reminder that the new one In Our Wake from blood sucking metalcore bruisers Atreyu hits streets October 12th and it is a winner. Here is the title track “In Our Wake” in case ya missed it. Much higher production value video than the early days, lol. Brandon still grand slams those catchy cleans to the moon. We stan. Like Thrice, it is good they have embraced their grandest ambitions because the songs aren’t held back and the emotion can come through without being self-conscious.Add to My Radar
CHTHONIC, the Taiwanese metal band recognized with its unique signature of performance, is to release an all new album, Battlefields of Asura, on October 10, the first new music since 2013’s full-length album, “Butik”.
Formed in 1995, CHTHONIC has hit the road touring over forty countries with hundreds of concerts and festivals. CHTHONIC has become the most visible Taiwanese metal band with international publicity. In the past five years, all five members of CHTHONIC have turned a new page in their lives respectively. The frontman of band formed a new political party but also got elected into the Parliament while the others established their families. Nevertheless, they have not forgot the promise to release new material to the fans. This year, CHTHONIC has Randy Blythe, frontman of Grammy-nominated metal band Lamb of God, and Denise Ho, iconic freedom fighter and singer from Hong Kong collaborating with the creation of the album and appearing in the preview of title track which has raised huge resonance in the music circle.
To tease the album, a secretive promotion plan saw the debut track in new album, “Millennia’s Faith Undone”, remixed and published by five new bands and artists with their own distinctive styles– Elephant Gym, Hom Shenhao, Unfamiliar Friends Party, Bison Country, and Angry Youth, which raised the speculation and attention among fans and people in music industry about the song and the series of remixes. Listen HERE. The speculation even hinted the possibility of renaissance of lyrics in Taiwanese. Days ago, Denise Ho, the iconic Hong Kong singer, published her version of “Millennia’s Faith Undone”, as her first Taiwanese song mixed with the voice of Freddy Lim, the frontman of CHTHONIC, throughout the song, which has become a hit in Taiwan and Hong Kong. As the talks about the relations between the song and CHTHONIC continues, the answer finally reveals today that the 60-second preview of the original version of “Millenia’s Faith Undone” can be heard below and the full version will be out on September 4.
According to CHTHONIC, the new album Battlefields of Asura depicts the adventure of deities in Taiwan through eleven songs carrying messages about resistance, freedom and fraternity. The journey is full of hostility, adversary, impregnable fortresses and desires but also inspires infinite courage to search for eternal wisdom. Anyone deeply touched by this album will eventually realize that it is the origin of all thrilling epic stories portrayed in the past albums. This album sounds like gods versus devils and fights among evil spirits on the surface; however, everyone can feel the empathy of fury, grief and even strength of resurgence from the lyrics. When asked why the band names the new album “Battlefields of Asura”, Doris, the spokesperson of CHTHONIC, states, “This album is the prologue of the albums released in the past and was inspired by and dedicated to the activists of Taiwan’s first modern political reform movement back in 1920s.”
Pre-orders on CD & Vinyl are available now! The album marks the first vinyl released by CHTHONICsince its formation. Pre-order of album box set is also available in Taiwan, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong which includes the album, T-shirt and caps, thematic candle glass, rosary plus 7″ vinyl collaboration single of CHTHONIC and Denise Ho.
“Generation Idiot” metallers Nonpoint have announced their newest album X (which they want to pronounced as “ten”).
X is due out August 24 via Spinefarm Records.
Ahead of the release of X Nonpoint has released videos for “Chaos and Earthquakes” and “Dodge Your Destiny”
Said vocalist Elias Soriano:
“Ten – I can already tell is going to become a flagship record for us. Watching people’s reactions when we play them the newmusic tells me that we have created something that is going to move crowds and may even redefine us. It’s the year of the X.”
Check out the cover art and tracklist for X as well as “Chaos and Earthquakes” and “Dodge Your Destiny” here.
Add to My Radar
The legendary Electric Wizard have exhaled a cloud of brimstone smoked darkness that has taken the shape of a new video entitled “See You In Hell.” Witchfinder/Spinefarm release their newest record befittingly titled Wizard Bloody Wizard in November, but for now you can get this sweet taste HERE.
This song starts with a bluesy dirge and sounds a bit cleaner than Time To Die (in hindsight one of their darkest records). Still, no complaints here. I mean, Jus is singing about hope being lost and other fun topics. I am def in the Electric Wizard do no musical wrong camp, in general. 7 minutes of top notch shuffling, powerful retro stuff here with major auras all around.
Add to My Radar
Add to My Radar
Photo by Peter af Kleen
Maybe it is naive to put the burden of “saving rock n roll” entirely on proto metal/glam/garage punks Spiders from Gothenburg, Sweden, but the vibes and power the band bring are so good and so strong that you want to imagine a better world where their new song “Why Don’t You?” speeds to the top of the charts. So, so good.
The band have been around for a number of years at this point (and have shared the stages with the likes of Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats, Graveyard and some new band called Metallica), but I had somehow never heard them until recently. Thank God. Not that I wouldn’t have enjoyed their earlier stuff, far from it…but awareness of the group came along and restored my faith/made me feel good right at a time when I needed a pure rock n roll jolt of lightning. Here is hoping they do the same for you.
It’s a breath of fresh air to have a band cut through the plasticity of pop culture so flawlessly. Shit, “Why Don’t You?” is pretty much a perfect rock song even if they had never done anything else.
John Hoyles checked in for a fun conversation BELOW.Add to My Radar
Jonny McBee had this to say about the signing:
“I am really proud of what THE BROWNING has become. It’s been a long, hard road. Signing with Spinefarm is a big step in the awesome direction this band is going and I cannot wait for the future. Excited for the world to hear this next album!”
The Browning’s last album Hypernova came out in 2013. The follow up (and Spinefarm debut) is due out this summer.
In addition to signing The Browning, Spinefarm has signed Helhorse and Royal Thunder. Read more about those signings here.
There are some bands more adept at riding the chaos than others in the storied history of underground music. From noise and hardcore pioneers like Steel Pole Bathtub to Man Is The Bastard to synth/indie/post-core bands like Six Finger Satellite to numerous grindcore bands like Fuck The Facts, etc.- some groups just embody the concept of "fuck it/let's really go for it" more than others. NY's Black Mesa sits proudly in that same spirit of frenzy and ferocious inventiveness, as evidenced by their recent compilation of insanely manic live performances. Whatever sub genre they throw in the emotional blender, you are bound to enjoy a deliciously nutritious smoothie of muddy sonic punk purée.