CINEMA CINEMA join us today with a new track! The band sometimes sound like Attila Csihar got into devilish mischief inserting hidden messages into back alley Sergei Prokofiev compositions instead of smoking a doob and listening for Satan’s commands in the bridge of “Stairway To Heaven” like normal rockers, so I was excited to see what they have cooked up next! The answer is…”Bratislava”!
The nine minute song is an enthralling exploration of feel and musical adventurousness as the band weave through dynamic peaks and valleys during their at times relaxing and at times anxious (but entirely intriguing) journey. At times it comes off like a Pinback and Don Byron slow burn mescaline voyage, which is obviously fucking amazing.
Ev Gold tells us:
“Things got chaotic in our attempt to leave after the gig in Bratislava, on tour a few years ago. I had to walk out into a lane of oncoming traffic with my hands up, to plea for a halt. Seemingly no way possible to back the van out otherwise. There was a protest outside of a castle a few blocks away from the show, which at first sounded ‘cool’, but wasn’t after all. People and cars flooded the streets. Our place to crash for the night fell through, now we needed to leave Slovakia and drive to Vienna to sleep. We finally made it out and got to a quiet stretch of road over the border, then heard sirens. Pulled over by Austrian Law Enforcement. It was a saga. Deserved a song years later.”
CINEMA CINEMA was established in 2008 by Brooklyn-born cousins, vocalist/guitarist Ev Gold and drummer Paul Claro. They’ve been described as “experi-metal punks” by the Village Voice, a “jolt of adrenaline” by BrooklynVegan, and “feral and unrelenting” by Big Takeover.
In 2019, the duo joined with Nefarious Industries to release their fifth album, CCXMD. Taking a stylistic left turn from any previously recorded output, they found themselves delving into ambient and atmospheric free-jazz territories. CINEMA CINEMA invited reed aficionado Matt Darriau – best known for his work with Grammy award-winning world-music ensemble The Klezmatics – to join the group for the collaborative, entirely improvised affair. Darriau had been a guest on the band’s 2017 LP Man Bites Dog, providing saxophone on a handful of tracks. The album was described as, “no-holds-barred punk-jazz,” by Brooklyn Rail, and, “as intelligent as it is unintelligible,” by Invisible Oranges.
CINEMA CINEMA now presents their sixth full-length, CCXMDII, which serves as companion and conclusion to 2019’s CCXMD. Woodwind expert Matt Darriau returns, bringing along more tools from his repertoire as the trio submerge themselves in the strange beauty of chaotic sound, found together in the moment. CCXMDII was engineered, mixed, and mastered by Vin Cin at Electric Plant Studios in Brooklyn, New York, with artwork, design, and layout by Lauren A. Kelley.
Nefarious Industries will release CCXMDII on CD and all digital platforms on August 20th. Find preorders including merch bundles HERE and watch for additional audio previews and more to post over the weeks ahead.
Touring extensively through the past decade, CINEMA CINEMA has performed over four hundred fifty shows across eleven countries. The duo has toured numerous times alongside SST Records founder Greg Ginn, including a fifty-plus-date 2014 North American tour opening for Black Flag, select dates supporting Black Flag in 2013, and shared dates in 2010, 2011, and 2012 with Ginn’s other outfits The Royal We and The Taylor Texas Corrugators. In addition, the band has half a dozen European tours to their credit, including a 2013 stint in support of Martin Bisi Band and a run of Summer festivals in 2016.
CINEMA CINEMA appears in and has contributed music to the critically acclaimed 2014 documentary Sound And Chaos: The Story Of BC Studio. The band was also included on BC35, a celebration of the 35th anniversary of BC Studio – alongside members of Swans, Sonic Youth and other studio alumni, released via Bronson Recordings in 2018.
CCXMDII Track Listing:
1. A Life Of Its Own
2. Cloud 2
5. Crack Of Dawn
7. Cloud 4
Ev Gold – guitars/vocals
Paul Claro – drums/percussion
With Guns N’ Roses eternal Appetite For Destruction inching towards its’ mid-thirties yesterday, it is a good time to consider the current state of hard rock genre. While the danger days of the Sunset Strip are gone or much more watered down than they used to be, the genre of hard rock as a whole was never confined to L.A. anyway. Disturbed and Avenged Sevenfold pull huge crowds and still rule the roost currently and bands like Rival Sons or Royal Blood have been holding down the fort. And don’t forget the charming and dedicated Wolfie Van Halen! Who are some artists in the genre that inspire y’all currently? It is ok, Niratias – as Chevelle tell us. So it is ok if you aren’t decisive. We got you covered!
Ayron Jones has impressed me lately with a blend of soul, grunge influences and so much more. Jones can really play but also knows restraint and dynamics. Plus, I love any Seattle musician who gives props to Kim Thayil as an influence. Check out the Child Of The State release and turn your frown upside down with some great tunes. Certainly one of the coolest dudes in the game right now.
We are past the time when bands like Candlebox or Bush were in super heavy rotation but that doesn’t mean there aren’t modern rock bands getting lots of love. Some acts such as In This Moment, for example, have some stage shows that rival pop acts in scale and imagination. And Clutch continues to grow and dominate everything they take a Kraken at.
Count The Pretty Reckless out at your own peril. The band’s fourth album is basically unstoppable and a huge and vindicating moment for the Taylor Momsen led act. The Pretty Reckless became the first female-fronted band to have five number one singles when “Death by Rock and Roll” rose to the top of the Mainstream Rock Chart. I know that term is frowned upon as we all want to consider cis women (or any woman) a musician before their sex or gender identity but it still is a fucking rad accomplishment however you frame it. Much respect.
I never understood people who trash talked Momsen. She seems cool as fuck and her band rocks. They certainly are dedicated to their craft and it honestly just reeks of the basest sexism when people dismissed her out of hand. Who is laughing now, fuck faces?!! hahaha.
In April 2018, the band’s longtime-producer, Kato Khandwala, was involved in a motorcycle accident and died later due to injuries from the crash. I commend Taylor and the band for not giving up in such a bleak moment and for the fact that Taylor was able to come back from a dark time and reclaim her health. What is more rock and roll than a personal redemption?
August will see the release of Power Trio from outspoken power rocker Danko Jones, one of the most talented and fiery live performers in the world.
The long running band deserve an award at this point for being genre torch bearers and literally never sucking. Three cheers for hard rock’s continued survival!Add to My Radar
It is always stimulating when a band makes a long term impact by never sacrificing their drive to expand consciousness. Not every band has the guts or resolve to be a Dead Meadow, Kylesa, a Pharmakon or a Skinny Puppy. It is not an easy task to never fail to resist kowtowing to the framework of popular entertainment norms. To make each statement count.
Luminous Rot by metalgaze sound painters Nadja (Leah Buckareff & Aidan Baker) shows the duo remain capable of resisting the autopilot tendencies of many a long running group, whilst still retaining hallmarks that made them appeal to noise hungry weirdos, artsy types and sewer dwelling mutants. It is amongst a short list of my very favorite musical ‘moments’ of the year.
It was truly a Wayne’s World “We’re Not Worthy” checklist moment for me to get to interview the group about one of the year’s most thrilling records, an album that deserves to be revisited often by listeners in 2021. Frankly, it makes a lot of other albums feel semi-amateurish and will go over some people’s heads. What else is new?
We discussed Southern Lord, sci-fi “norms”, David Pajo’s role, pandemic peculiarities and much more. Luminous Rot is particularly compelling in how it effortlessly melds both obtuse and more welcoming musical forms into a cohesive soak.
Read onward BELOW.
I just recently self-released a new, punk influenced album on Bandcamp for my collaborative WALKING BOMBS multi-genre project called Tears We Should Have Shed. People have been really loving this one and I super appreciate the support and energy exchange with you.
This record was made safely against the odds during 2020 in beautiful, forested Upstate, NY. It deals with a lot of collective and personal grief and the idea of how do we move through and transform that without destroying ourselves as individuals or a whole. I was blessed beyond belief to have an amazing crew of friends work on this record with me, Elizabeth “Le Fey” DaPena (Globelamp), Sean Paul Pillsworth (Nightmares For A Week, Jerk Magnet), David Brenner (Gridfailure), David Bodie (ex-Time Of Orchids, Divest, Kayo Dot), Taraka Larson (Taraka, ex-Prince Rama), Jack Manley (The Jennifer Shop), and Justin Zipperle (Shadow Witch).
More info on each song from the album BELOW.Add to My Radar
“We were always clear on wanting this record to sound live and feel like it could have been recorded in an earlier time, and to steer clear of the sort of slick, modern rock sound that some people prefer.” – Jay Lindsey
Richmond, VA doomy psych philosophers BOOK OF WYRMS are a band who completely rocked my socks off the most unexpectedly this year thus far. This is not to say I underestimated them but rather that I had never heard their hearty blend of intensely immersive and vibey riffs, haunting vocals and ‘feels like you there’ production before. Suffice to say it was an incredible and welcome discovery.
It makes sense such a trippy but earthy band comes from such a beautiful and complicated state.
I knew I has to corral members onto these here blog ‘pages’ and get an interview. Their new full length Occult New Age is an essential tool for uplifting yourself through heavy and yet empathic creative roads. I work nights and so often have kind of crazy dreams in the day and just woke from one where there was a sort of mentally blocked character who became destructive or was almost choosing to be a killer, I’m trying to remember. He was kind of bullied in a small town for being sensitive to otherworldly forces by his own estimate and so was sort of frantic to prove or discover them around him to show he was telling the truth. But people pushed him down instead of nourishing his gifts so he was also almost resentful of the unknown. It was sad, actually. Waking from that and knowing I was going to publish this piece today, I couldn’t help but wonder what this dream entity/character’s life would have been like in their ‘story’ if they had a record as steeped in channeling and understanding these concerns as Book Of Wyrms have managed to write.
Occult New Age really feels like both a refuge and a tool as much as a place for your mystical, doom loving ears to call home.
Read more below.
One of the few good things about this pandemic life has meant time for people to dig deep and soul search for an even more meaningful sense of self-expression. After all, we have had reminders daily that time is precious and you ought to be true to yourself, right? As a writer it has also been a good chance to have random email convos with incredible and talented cool folks and Suzi Moon is certainly high on the list of radness level as far as “rad people I have gotten to communicate with” in recent times goes.
Suzi Moon radiates the essence of punk attitude and makes the balance of sweet and sour seem effortless in glam gutter songs like “I’m Not A Man” or the rollicking “Nuthin’ To Me” that you can snarl or sing-a-long with like nobodies business. Yes, the Civet and Turbulent Hearts alumna is going solo and has delivered a fantastic video for the instantly memorable “Special Place In Hell” track from upcoming debut EP CALL THE SHOTS.
Read our chat BELOW.
‘This album is essentially a reflection of the societal ills that hold us back from having the grand culture and community the United States loves to pretend it has.’ – KZ
Hello dear readers and happy Trans Day of Visibility. Hope people are lifting one another up today and feeling good and loved. I need cold water thrown on my face after the inane stupor I entered from just reading an article about how friggin’ Michale Graves might testify on behalf of some loser Proud Boy Jan. 6th insurrectionists. Uh, that’s your character witness? What is he gonna do? Get up there and go ,”You’re lookin’ through the eyes of a Psycho! An American Psycho (Whoa-oh!).” The sad part is I don’t know if that would work in the fash mob defendants favor more or less considering how compromised many of our courts are.
One thing that DOESN’T make me want to scream in frustration (at least not in a bad way) is listening to the cathartic and brilliant new record Modern Grotesque from melodic post-screamo East Coasters Dreamwell, pretty much the most impressive shit I have discovered in a long time. This record , especially after the shared PTSD of 2020 we are all semi-thawing from, just feels like a massive release of hope, heart and triumphant defiance. A cry for a more caring and dignified world for people who are different, sensitive or just genuine… for the lovers, dreamers and you (to get more Kermit than Pepe up in here). It is an album that reminds me that feeling things is not weakness and which has some of the fiery and passionate type of playing that first got me into bands like UOA, At The Drive In or On The Might Of Princes.
Modern Grotesque also boasts some of the most impactful melodic playing I have heard in a long time this side of really good Modest Mouse, moments that just take artful twists and turns that couldn’t have been generated through a cynical aim and only through vibrant and vulnerable love for the music.
Please enjoy my chat with vocalist KZ as much as I did.
Read more BELOW.
Vertigo from Finnish occult psych metal hybrid Jess and the Ancient Ones is nearly here, a brilliant bouquet of bold songwriting, deep mental excavation and explosive creativity. The Svart backed record (order HERE) releases this May in time for some of the finest weather for celebrating the sacred planet we inhabit -and too often regularly abuse- as well as the wider cosmos. It is an album that defies easy categorization even as it revels in nostalgia, riding waves of late 60’s bliss turned to unease through the dark heart of our current disoriented moment of mass ptsd and hopefully out the other side to better horizons. Rarely has escapism sounded so timely and alive, a defiance of folding up and dying without making a joyful, organ-steeped noise.
It is one of the most exciting, colorful and living testaments to rock you will hear this year and is in heavy rotation in my home, one of my favorite releases of 2021 yet by a long shot. The tornado on the cover might seem foreboding byt is also a fitting symbol of the intensity of the soaring vocals and enlightened playing within! It was a pleasure to pick the brain of guitarist Thomas Corpse about the release and other topics related to the band and their orbit.
Read more BELOW.Add to My Radar
Corporate clown Adam Levine (of Moron 5) recently did one of this oh so bold “rock is dead because I can’t tie my own shoes’ moments and said that he doesn’t feel like there are bands anymore. He told Zane Lowe that there aren’t enough in the pop limelight even if there are still some around, but doesn’t see how his watered down brand of commercial rock which promotes the gatekeeping of the industry via very narrow creative standards has contributed to the problem. This is also to say nothing of the fact that rock radio was intentionally killed off years ago.
Also, isn’t Adam in a band or is he admitting they are a formula?
It doesn’t help that mainstream press acts like no albums in rock came out after admittedly huge and impressive OK Computer or Toxicity or whatever 20 years ago (with the rare token rock nod to Greta Van Fleet or whoever). Even really incredibly nuanced and terrific rock records paired with an entire documentary on American music history like Sonic Highways by the massive Foo Fighters that do help keep rock somewhat noticed get hipster scrutinized to shreds in an effort to suck the life out of them for clicks while subpar indie formula trash gets ass licked or we elevate fucking Tekashi69. Zoomers acting like emulating 00’s Paris Hilton fashion is the new “alternative” is not exactly revolutionary either. And while she may think that she is well intentioned, Miley Cyrus ripping off Plasmatics and Celtic Frost art while covering all the most basic hit songs from any 90’s band isn’t really doing it for me.
Adam Levine should have used his platform instead like Ke$ha who has recently boosted acts from Royal Thunder to Voivod! Not to mention she made the best pop crossover album of 2020 as well with High Road! THAT is what I am talking about. I certainly don’t like when bands act like we have to eradicate pop or rap or other genres but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t fight for rock and let it be announced as DOA by lazy types like Levine who have massive industry privilege but barely use it for anything other than to bloviate and (formerly) “judge” people on bad tv shows.
Here are a few crucial current bands who truly ought to be on your radar. Put some respect on their names BELOW.
With the welcome rumor that Kat Dennings will be in WandaVision in some capacity, I wanted to go back and see Thor: The Dark World for the first time in awhile. It often gets dragged and I had started to believe the general consensus through the hypnotic power of repetition, but revisiting the movie reminded me that I actually loved it in theaters and it was , in fact, one of my favorites in the MCU.
Personally I am tired of people acting like Thor: The Dark World is the worst Marvel movie. It just simply is not true. Maybe you have to be a weird, queer fan of dramatic costumes, freaky fantasy elf shit and dramatic highs and lows like me, but…from the elaborate sci-fi settings to wider universe building and mythical expansion, to eerie and ominous dark elves to easily one of the coolest of the Infinity Stones and a great supporting cast, the movie holds up better than people give it credit. Sure, Malekith might look kind of like Prince Nuada from Hellboy 2 if he sported a Joey Jordison mask, but he was (and is) still a formidable threat.
It might not have the flash and knee slap levels of the revolutionary Ragnarok (pretty much the best MCU film after Black Panther and Winter Soldier, easily), but it nonetheless has a lot for fans of dark fantasy. Plus. the movie still had plenty of comedy and character building as well. DC for awhile had everything looking dour and smog infested but it is good to have a balance of dark and light tones in different films for Universe building. That made Birds of Prey and Shazam! really stand out in contrast and freshen things up. Likewise, if every Marvel movie was Ant Man (which I also love, don’t get me wrong), it would get too damn zany after awhile. Dark World sets high stakes with real consequences (Frigga and her beautiful funeral scene) and I personally love the visual feel of a lot of it. It is the tense middle movie of the first three and it creates a great contrast between all of the Thor movies for a very enjoyable trilogy arc. It certainly works better than the much more uneven Iron Man 2.
Natalie Portman was semi-sidelined due to being infected with energy but her character was still completely integral to the plot and it was annoying in other movies afterward how she was scarcely referenced for awhile. I also think the love interest between the scientist and the walking mythical anomaly/alien was always a fun angle and the two had fun banter and a cute awkwardness that added to their appeal as characters. She validated his research and he had even more to fight for.
Did I mention that this movie has some of the best flight action sequences in all of Marvel’s onscreen content?
Leslie Felperin of The Hollywood Reporter said, “Although director Alan Taylor manages to get things going properly for the final battle in London, the long stretches before that on Asgard and the other branches of Yggdrasil are a drag, like filler episodes of Game of Thrones but without the narrative complexity, mythical heft or all-pervading sexiness.”
I would argue with that statement because the narrative complexity was still being literally built, much of it in this movie. This is still very early on in the MCU as the stories filled in gaps for movie-goers unfamiliar with the wider comic galaxy or the realms. Also, while it may not be as scandalous as GoT by a long shot, you can’t pretend no one finds Portman or Hemsworth attractive, lmao. And personally I love all the Asgard stuff. It is always some of the coolest visual material in Marvel whenever you see the Rainbow Bridge spanning impossible reaches.
Dark World is also one of the most metal of Marvel’s movies, the awkward Manowar fan of the MCU. But essential for die hards and for the development of the wider saga of the ancient relics. It will be hopefully re-assessed as time passes and we see more Jane Foster growth in the future.
2020 has been quite a challenge -to say the least- for so many people. Unless you are a fat cat getting inexplicably bailed out or the Catholic Church getting relief money (even though they were only in debt from pedo lawsuit settlement payouts), chances are 2020 found you broke, lonely, thirsty and miserable, scared or mourning loved ones. Music was no stranger to this. We lost any certainty of what the future holds in an already difficult industry and even lost Neil Peart, fucking EVH and Riley Gale on top of everything else. But people also made great art that will stand the test of time, profound sacrifices and held fast, rallied for racial justice and so much more. It is an important time to be alive and just as beautiful as it can be painful! And there is still December ahead of us as of this writing. Hope against horror.
The following list of Metal Riot’s top albums of 2020 reflects records that capture excellence, performance, drive, willpower and survival in no uncertain terms. As well as killer tunes, of course! Kudos and thanks to all the bands.We usually post our list just after Thanksgiving but I am gonna be recording that week in the studio with Globelamp and Sean Paul from Nightmares For A Week, so…let’s get started ending the year earlier! Hey Decibel published theirs first, okay?!! Rock the fuck on, lovers and dreamers. Please buy all of these releases or whatever you dig. And remember, dear readers…I came up and so could you…And fuck the boys in blue.
Sepultura’s highest charting album since 1998 (and their best since 2009’s bruising A-Lex, which it surpasses) is nothing short of a monument to a lifetime in metal, the determined triumph of a legacy name never saying die and following their trusted vision over popular opinion. Quadra works on every level. In a year filled with so much death even the band’s name vibrates on some heavy karmic level, but “Isolation” especially resonates deeply in a time of so much social upheaval for justice reform. Each section of the album masterfully represents different styles the group has been known for from classic thrash to tribal groove to slower and grim anthems to technical workouts, but it all works incredibly well. From saving the environment to tackling depression and self destruction, Derrick commands stronger than ever while Eloy Casagrande stakes his claim as the most driven and insane drummer currently active in metal. Jens Bogren brought out the absolute best in this line-up. A+ all the way.
Throw in how during quarantine the band kept morale high across the metal world with interviews and killer jams during their SepulQuarta series with the likes of Scott Ian, Shavo Odadjian, Rob Cavestany and many more, and the band take the cake for our heroes of 2020.
There has been a lot of top notch death metal this year of different sub-genre varieties from Ingested to Necrot to God Dethroned to Abysmal Dawn and others. That said, Skeletal Remains ABSOLUTELY destroyed most of the competition with their latest near perfect death metal monstrosity The Entombment Of Chaos. From the thrilling horror of the Seagrave art to some of the most intense and odds defying music of the band’s tenure, this record offers relentless replay value. From the imposing violence of “Tombs Of Chaos” to the eerie “Enshrined In Agony” to the standout “Dissectasy”, the group have vaulted much closer to the top of the pack.
3. VÖLUR – Death Cult
Arguably the most creative album of 2020 – and with SUCH a timely album title – Death Cult is the intoxicating yet deadly sound of seductive decay and the will to escape empty indoctrination. Gorgeous violin based doom defies expectations at every turn and the band’s singular sense of purpose is thrilling. The Toronto band’s third album is a must hear and will likely cause even the most necessity hardened hearts in 2020 to break into smoldering halves.
Bestial Mouths, Nothing, Ulver and other brave sailors on the seas of sorrow all released truly killer records in 2020 that rank among their best ever, but Soft Kill’s newest is my favorite simultaneously spooky yet painfully real and poetic release of this fucked hellhole of a year. A reminder that even at the lowest low people are still out there worth celebrating and fighting for. A testament to loss, love and possibility in art and community. This band has yet to let me down and their catalogue got me through a lot of depression this year when I was both determined to stay sober but also was reeling from narrowly avoiding a diabetic coma and going into serious medical debt. So glad I snagged this on limited tape release already!
The Chinese Democracy of extreme epic metal albums was released very early in January of one of the most fucked up years in human history and it would be a damn shame if it didn’t get more accolades in the madcap shuffle, especially since we have all lived through quite a fucking ‘storm’ together this year. In limbo for about seven years, you’d never believe this exciting and possibly the most ferocious album of 2020 was recorded by a band burnt out by relentless touring. Storm finds the Canadian underground warriors delivering frenetic and death defying performances, their best songwriting plus cameos from Lindsay Schoolcraft, Morgan Lander and Per fucking Nilsson ! Unleash The Archers, Germany’s Varg and Ensiferum all delivered some exemplary epic records in 2020, but Blackguard’s potential swan song was above the pack and well worth one of the most frustrating waits in metal history. I am beside myself with joy and hails that it finally saw the light of a bleary day.
“A Lesson in basic human Empathy” has my favorite lyrics of 2020 (I mean, besides “High Road” by Kesha) and even more wonderful that it comes from a black metal project, a genre often known for apathy and heartless cruelty.
Judgment based on action not on colour, race or sex no harming of sentient beings but respecting life help where help is needed No condemnation of the innocent take responsibility for your wealth that is built on the backs of others
Talk about something we sorely needed this year! And lest you think I am only swayed by lefty ideology to get on this list, the album features many of the best riffs and arrangements and startlingly emotional playing of the year. This album is a refuge and a reminder that work still needs to be done.
7. -(16)- – Dream Squasher
It says something about 2020 that several albums – Bleakheart’s also brilliant and gothy Dream Griever comes to mind – had titles that reflected the thwarting of dreams. “Ride The Waves” is about as perfect a punk metal mash as you’ll ever here. Dropping like a piano from a skyscraper onto our heads during the mid point of 2020 when things couldn’t seem bleaker, veteran sludge band -(16)- delivered the most clobbering album of recent memory. There is also the best anthem to loving your dog since Wisdom In Chains penned “Girls Lie, Cops Lie, Dogs Love”. And we all dealt with some ‘harvesters of fabrication’ this year. Bobby Ferry is a champion on this album, which crushed everything else Relapse (and most other labels) released this year.
8. Spirit Adrift – Enlightened In Eternity
Speaking of dogs, epic metal pitties (we have to stan)! This has to be the best album cover maybe…ever? Nathan Garrett makes us all proud to be metalheads yet again with another brilliant album from the guy in metal who possibly plays with the most heart. “Ride into the Light” is the best Snakes For The Divine song High On Fire never wrote and “if we make it through the night we will ride into the light” is major 2020 vibes. COC influences abound, while “Screaming From Beyond” reveres classic metal through and through and yet feels current and connective to this moment. “Stronger Than Your Pain” is my favorite of the bunch, a pressing reminder to keep heart as hypnotic and melodic riffage brings to the forefont a will to carry on from the murk of doubts.
Cammie Gilbert gave the best vocal performance in all of metal throughout the jaw dropping self-titled Oceans Of Slumber release (don’t even get me started on how good the band’s arguably best ever Type O Negative cover of “Wolf Moon” is). Oceans Of Slumber is a self-titled album that lives up to the underscored nature of self-titled albums, which can run the risk of not living up to the hype but in this case leaps galaxies to defy even the loftiest expectations. This is not just ‘prog metal’ that is annoyingly obtuse for the sake of being brainy. This is a soulful and heavy merger of so many genres into a seamless whole that it is a world unto itself yet full of the very best connective tissue to deeper realizations that make the human experience worth living.
Santa Cruz hardcore band Drain supplied the illest crossover record of 2020 (even stacked up with the also amazing Mr. Bungle frantic freak thrash record). Revelation Records did the world a big favor in backing this band, one of the most high energy groups in hardcore right now. It is almost impossible to turn this off before listening all the way through or at the very least flipping over a table.
11. Vile Creature – Glory, Glory! Apathy Took Helm!
Much like Canada’s Wolverine, doom duo Vile Creature keep unwittingly revealing they are the best there is at what they do. Everything about this release is amazing, from the most ambitious and full payoff compositions of the group’s career, to the support they are getting (well deserved) in the scene, to the already basically iconic art. The 3rd pressing is even on trans flag colored vinyl. Adam Tucker’s mix and master sounds better than anything they have released to date and really brings all their brilliance to the forefront without killing the furrowed brow vibes. The doom and gloom also has celestial level vibes on this record that add some very unique listening textures and feel larger than life, a friction of glory and gore.
It is fitting to include a Texas based punk/metal hybrid band on here in closing in a year where the loss of Riley from Power Trip brought huge attention to the impact the Lone Star state has had on the modern scene. By far the nastiest and filthiest riffs of the year (Worm Moon Offerings a close second), this record is in the Bane Give Blood and Slayer Reign In Blood tradition of blink and you’ll miss it, all killer/ no filler, wham bam thank you, etc. over and done leave ’em scorched and wanting more albums. Super stoked to see where this band goes in the future. Then you also have a song like “Catacombs” with some brief atmospheric intro perfection before the proceedings battle to a fiery finale.Add to My Radar
Skeletal Remains have built up a reputation for being a reliable source for some of the best death metal around where old school feel and fury and the ‘raw’ stuff manages to coincide with technical aspects without the scales being tipped. Plenty of stuff your Death or Massacre addict could vibe with and champion while still retaining the attention of people looking for something new, The Entombment Of Chaos is a must hear record for anyone who wants to properly get a grasp on a comprehensive list of the best stuff that came out this year. Despite some upheavals, the current incarnation of the band have released their most essential, confident and potentially career defining release yet! Even if you are not some scholarly metal cleric in a dusty tower, you can casually pick this up and find a killer outlet to both channel rage and have fun.
I spoke to Mike about the new album, coping with Covid, being part of the storied history of death metal, love for the fans and more RIGHT HERE!
‘Each song is teeming with rancor and a profound disgust with the things we see happening every day in the world, in the news, in our cities, in our backyards… the title, Detest is violently appropriate for the mood of this EP. Music is art and art has always been a non-bastardized, unfiltered version of history as told through those who lived it in their own words.’ – Matthew (vox)
Hell’s Teeth have made an explosive statement on their new DETEST EP. This metallic hardcore infused deadly extreme metal band could be huge if they get the right support, but either way they will make powerful and corrosive, heavy art. Fans of everyone from Power Trip to The Black Dahlia Murder to Turmoil to Baptists could hang hard with this release. Honestly though, with a band this legit and driven it is lazy to simply compile easy ‘sounds a little like sometimes’ points. You’d be selling yourself and the band very short if you didn’t hear their original vision for yourself free from bias.
Made up of scene die hards from the Hudson Valley area, Hell’s Teeth are just the shot in the arm the scene could use to keep things enthusiastic, no bullshit and venomous. I spoke to some of the band about this exciting release, tracked by Sean Paul Pillsworth (of Nightmares For A Week, The Inevitables) at Nada Recording Studio in beautiful Montgomery, NY. You wouldn’t believe such a serene setting could produce a recording this hostile!
Read more BELOW.
band photos by Michael Mannhaupt
None or Unknown
The gnarliest punk album of the year just dropped. Love Is A Lie, Filth Is Eternal from Filth Is Eternal (formerly F'd and B'd) reminds us that there was a time when Seattle bands were considered dangerous, when Mudhoney might jump on your face and half the roster of Sub Pop didn't look like even Starbucks wasn't gentrified enough for their tepid, pale faced indie rock bullshit. Filth Is Eternal plays an explosive blend of go for the throat, not a moment wasted punk n' roll married to Sonic Youth flirting dissonance and with tones ugly enough to make Fudge Tunnel blush and The Bronx seem like Captain & Tennille. Fronted by an actual snarling wild animal over some of the best riffs and beats you have ever heard. This record reminds me of a show I played in 1997 with my old band Fuse where I got wasted on unclean tapline Rolling Rocks and bottom shelf whiskey after getting a tattoo and ended up rolling on a country bar floor half nude and bleeding and smearing black grime and tattoo inky residue and blood everywhere, waking up the next day feeling kind of aroused and ready to fight literally anything but also half dead. Sirhan Sirhan is gonna get out of jail and be all stoked to enter polite society and this shit will play and it will retrigger a hypnotic trance and make dude go all Winter Soldier on some dudes. If your band doesn't bang as hard as the ending of "The Dog", just quit now.