Thursday, October 19, 2017

an interview with the death metal wizards from Greece: Necrovorous

The death metal keepers Necrovorous (Greece) have been concocting their particular potion of primal preeminence amongst the gods and the mortals, within the dark alleys of the holy, the filthy and the insane, and they have been doing it for a long time, churning out demos, splits, EPs, an album and other such articles. They have been recording music for years and years, but things are getting even more interesting now with the band’s second full-length album, after more than ten years of confronting the mud and the swamp of the music business. The Greeks have found their way to Dark Descent Records, which if you think about it, seems like a perfect home for them. Necrovorous has one thing in mind: the creation of classic-style death metal. Fine, fine, fine, but who is Necrovorous and what do they want with you? Why does the death metal fanatic find themselves in the aim of Necrovorous? Let’s find out now. By the way, now you and all of your sick friends can gather around the chimney on a dark and stormy night, drink some hot apple cider and do a test listen of the new Necrovorous work called Plains of Decay in its entirety because it’s available for full streaming at Bandcamp. The link is at the end of this interview with the wizards themselves: Necrovorous!
Your band did good work with your new album Plains of Decay! Now that the album is finished, how is life for Necrovorous in Greece? How is life in general for your metal band in the ancient and legendary city Athens?!
Athens has been cool for metal for years. We are in the middle of a metal renaissance right now, there was a great scene that produced tons of masterpieces back in the late eighties up to the mid nineties and right now we are going through a similar phase. Life for the Necrovorous chaps has always been simple and straight as nails, it’s mostly work, family, working out, music and flicks nowadays. As far as Plains of Decay is concerned, it seems that the album has created a quite positive buzz around the reviews keep on coming in and are mostly very positive. The cd is already out and we are waiting for the LP/MC versions. We are still very satisfied with what we managed to unearth with the new album.
Necrovorous is classic-style death metal! I am new to Necrovorous. When did the band actually begin and have you been active since the beginning? Who are the members of the band now and who is answering this interview? On Metal Archives it shows that you have recorded a lot of music!
It’s Kostas answering this interview and currently Necrovorous is consisting of Vaggelis: drums, Kostas: vocals and Marios: guitars/bass. The band was founded in 2005 by S***eater (Vaggelis) and Pig*****r (Perikles), their goal was to fill a gap they felt it existed in the scene. Back then slam death metal and hi-tech brutal death metal was the order of the day, there wasn’t any dark and brooding death metal left except for the well known bands like Dismember, so the guys decided to get their acts together and create a combo influenced by old grindcore and death metal. The early sound of the demo tapes was mostly a hybrid of AUTOPSY, IMPETIGO, MASTER/DEATHSTRIKE, REPULSION, DR.SHRINKER, PUNGENT STENCH with some punky stuff thrown in for the good measure. The “Crypt of the Unembalmed Cadavers” 7”ep from 2009 was definitely the major turning point for Necrovorous. At that particular EP everything fell into place and the then new line-up seemed to have the ability to create extremely dark yet energetic music with uncanny ease. We pretty much resumed the same course for the first full-length, for the split EP with ANATOMIA and ultimately for the second album “Plains of Decay” which we feel encompasses our sound in a very effective manner. Everything fell into place on Plains of Decay, the tracks are better, the performances tighter, the production is great for what we do and the atmosphere is very morbid and twisted.
I think that Plains of Decay has a good production! Where did you record the album? Do you record your own music in your own studio? How do you make the classic death metal production? The album feels good to the ear, and I can hear the instrumentation well.
Thanks! We used the best gear possible and we tracked in several places. The mixing/mastering was handled by Stamos Koliousis and took place at Nest studio in Norway where Stamos is currently located. There are so many different production styles that can be classified as “classic” death metal productions that we dig and are not necessarily “technically” proficient. We just wanted to keep the instrumentation spontaneous and the atmosphere grimy and somber without having to compromise the technical aspect, some old school fans tend to think that sloppy equals great but they keep on forgetting that the old school bands actually had their stuff together and knew what they were doing. In terms of sound engineering we didn’t want to brickwall the whole thing, we opted for as great tones as possible and we kept it as organic as we could. We think it works.
Do you plan to tour in Europe to celebrate Plains of Decay? I hope your Greek fans like your new album! Do you have plans to play shows in the United States? Has your band ever played here in Seattle? Do you want to play a show in a dark, cloudy, grey and rainy city?!
There are no tour plans as of yet but we are discussing with Matt from Dark Descent the possibility of getting the beast on the road again. We haven’t ever set foot on U.S soil before and we would very much like to do so. We want to play everywhere possible without losing tons of money.
Can you tell us the story behind the song “Psychedelic Tribe of Doom”? That song is heavy, but melodic and it’s also like a melodic death doom song. Did you know you wanted the song to have a feel of doom before you gave it a title?
We always want the lyrics to fit the music, this is a bet actually since I never write lyrics based on ready musical parts, but I somehow manage to achieve the perfect marriage of sick texts and even sicker music. “Psychedelic Tribe of Doom” deals with a perverted, drug consuming killer hippie commune in the vein of the Manson family that lives off hallucinogens and act as predators. I have a soft spot for such stories, I love reading and watching videos about sects, ritualistic suicides, messianic megalomaniac religious leaders, etc. That song is a rollercoaster of a song and yes it starts in a brutal manner but ends as a hymn to despair, misery, hopelessness and desolation. Marios also played a killer solo in the end of the song that further enhances the feelings I am talking about, it makes me wanna rip my flesh apart…killer.
“Misery Loves Dead Company” is a fun name for a song. It’s not as funny as “Revenge of the Booger” from your demo from 2006! Was Necrovorous a gore death metal band in the early days? “Misery Loves Dead Company” is a more brutal song. The heaviness and brutality are a strong element in Necrovorous.
Nothing can top the inane antics of the “Booger” days, the guys were total “Revenge of the Nerds” freaks back in the day. “Misery Loves Dead Company” is about a love story tainted by substance abuse that ended up in a really horrific manner. Yes, Necrovorous used to be more gore inspired back in the day but now we are mostly dealing with whatever we find disturbing, as for heaviness, yeah, we want it to be so heavy that can crush you under its weight, we also want it to be dark and hopeless. I think we succeed in being a band that diminishes every sense of hope even though we are not a doom band.
“Lost in a Burning Charnel Ground” shows the guitar tone at the beginning when one can hear the slow sound. I am curious. How do you get the guitar tone? I’m not sure, but do you like the early Dismember/Entombed guitar sound? They used the HM-2 pedal, but what equipment do you use? Something similar?
No Boss HM-2 pilgrimage here. We love the Swedish buzzsaw patented sound but it is as I said already done ad nauseam. Our tone is much more multi-faceted dare I say. We wanted to convey a mixed bag of a tone as our influences range from MANTAS/DEATH to DISMEMBER, TIAMAT to ROTTREVORE, DETERIOROT to GOREFEST, SEMPITERNAL DEATHREIGN to BOLT THROWER and early CARCASS. Stamos worked with a variety of heads and cabs and I honestly don’t remember what he actually ended up using.
The song “Cherish the Sepulture” is one of more direct tracks on the album. It’s a headbanging song for sure! But I cannot decide if I have a favorite song because they all sound good to me. What is your favorite song on the album? Or, is it like asking, which one of your children is your favorite?!
Seriously I really cherish (pun intended) the new album as a whole but I think the “Cherish the Sepulture”, “Psychedelic Tribe” and “The Sun Has Risen” are the most representative of the bunch. Yeah, we love all of our children they are as ugly as we are, like father, like son.
Do you have any news that you want to share now? Thank you for your time!
We have shirts and cds for sale, plus some of the older tapes and cds, get in touch or be brainwashed by a Jim Jones wannabe and drink his lethal koolaid.
We sincerely hope we play some killer shows, score more records, cds, tapes and killer flicks.
Die by Power!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

the barbaric thrash of Schafott from Germany

Supporter fanatics of primal thrash will meet the Saxons by the name of Schafott, whose debut album is called The Black Flame. The sound is in the territory of black thrash, more or less, inspired by 1980s black metal savage thrash for today. You are definitely going to hear the German thrash, especially the earlier, classic mayhem of the pioneers of the genre. Schafott's album is already released on High Roller Records the summer of 2017. To get an idea of the sound of the band visit the band's Facebook page where they have posted some of these new songs. Expect the Schafott horde to play it dirty and mean.
OFFICIAL: German extreme metal hopefuls SCHAFOTT hail from Dresden/Saxony. The four-piece have been around since 2011, released their demo ‘Satan’s Throne’ in 2014 (which was picked as “Demo of the Month” by German Deaf Forever magazine) and are now presenting the world with their first full-length effort “The Black Flame”.
Even though often filed under (slightly drunk and occult) “black/thrash”, SCHAFOTT really stand on their own, carving their own dark niche with vicious songs both full of incessant aggression and a dazzling melodic ingenuity. With their lyrics always focussing on all sorts of blasphemous forces and their dealings, SCHAFOTT never content themselves with your run-of-the-mill, bang-along metal song, but always aim for song-structures that go above and beyond.
The recordings for “The Black Flame” were done in SCHAFOTT’s own rehearsal room and in the ‘Lava Vault’ in Chemnitz: “We were able to use equipment from the ‘Time and Dust’ studio in Chemnitz and from another one in Dresden, which helped creating a very satisfying sound. We tried to do everything ourselves to have complete control over the whole process. Jonty Lava (Heretic, Abyssous) helped us a lot with everything and did a great job with mixing the album. We are very thankful for all the effort put into this release by all the people involved. The mastering was done by Patrick W. Engel, whose work and music we highly respect. This really rounded everything off.”
“The Black Flame” is adorned by a stunning cover artwork, contributed by talented artist Patricia Huck, who created the perfect visualisation both of the lyrics and the overall feeling of SCHAFOTT’s debut album. Apart from great art, “The Black Flame” also contains a really special feature: guest vocals done by Paul Schlesier from Black Salvation. Keep it burning!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

free death metal from Denmark: Xettia

If you love old-school, direct death metal and you have very little money, there is a Danish band that wants to have a dangerous meeting with you. They have a recording and they are asking you to pay whatever you want, including zero money, but maybe don't be a total zero and be a hero. Give them something because death metal is all fun and zombies, but it takes money to run the show, no matter how small it is.
Feather Storm
release date: November 6th, 2016
1. Feather Storm 05:55
2. Hells Dimension 06:17
3. Slay the Slain 07:29
4. Triumph of Death 07:17
5. Worn Out 05:08
total time 32:06

Friday, October 13, 2017

Thursday, October 12, 2017

BLOODSTRIKE Streaming 'Execution of Violence' / Embarking on U.S. Tour with FORCEPS

Bloodstrike is a classic-style traditional death metal band from the city of Denver, Colorado. The band's debut album is from 2015 and it is called In Death We Rot. Now they are back with a new one called Execution of Violence and it releases tomorrow, Friday. The band also has some shows coming up in the United States. Execution of Violence will be released October 13 on CD and digital formats through Redefining Darkness Records. A limited edition (100 copies) cassette version of the album will be released through Raw Skull Recordz.
The band has announced: "TOUR STARTS TOMORROW! Bloodstrike and Forceps will begin with the Execution for Violence release party in Denver at 3 Kings tomorrow, Friday the 13th! We then hit":
10/14 ABQ - Launchpad w/ Suspended
10/15 El Paso - Rockhouse
10/17 Dallas - Reno's Chop Shop
10/18 San Antonio - Hi-Tones
10/19 Laredo - Cold Brew
10/20 Corpus Christi - Boozers
10/21 Harlingen - Hop Shop
10/22 Houston - Rudyard's
10/29 Denver Death Fest 1 w/ Macabre
11/14 Denver - Lost Lake w/ Necrot
Biography: The initial idea for the punishing old school death metal assault that would become Bloodstrike was first conceived by guitarist Jeff Alexis (ex-Silencer) and vocalist Holly Wedel (ex-Nexhymn) in 2013. They recruited Joe Piker (ex-Dripfed) on guitar, Ryan Alexander Bloom (ex-Havok) on drums to round out the band and began developing a collection of massive riffs and crushing arrangements. Blood strike's veteran lineup exploded onto the Denver metal scene in June of 2014 with their three-track Necrobirth demo. The demo gained instant popularity with the death metal underground and drew comparisons to bands like Bolt Thrower and Entombed for both its ear-catching simplicity and blood-curdling heaviness. Impressed by the success of the demo and the work ethic of the band members, Redefining Darkness Records signed Bloodstrike to its roster in September of 2015 and quickly released their debut album In Death We Rot. After a successful round of touring and writing in 2016, the band went back into the studio in the spring of 2017 to record their second full-length album, Execution of Violence.
The folks over at No Clean Singing are streaming the complete album if you want to hear the sound of Bloodstrike. See the first link to hear it.

News: CORROSION OF CONFORMITY To Join Black Label Society On North American Winter Tour; Tickets On Sale FRIDAY!

CORROSION OF CONFORMITY will join Black Label Society this winter for a mammoth North American live takeover. The tour begins December 27th, 2017 in Denver, Colorado and will wind its way through nearly four dozen cities, the journey coming to a close February 27th, 2018. Additional support will be provided by Eyehategod and Red Fang on select shows. Tickets go on sale Friday, October 13th at 10:00am local time. See all confirmed dates below.
CORROSION OF CONFORMITY w/ Black Label Society, Eyehategod (12/29 - 1/20; 2/11 - 2/27), Red Fang (1/26 - 2/9):
12/27/2017 Ogden Theatre - Denver, CO
12/29/2017 Anthem at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino - Sioux City, IA ^
12/30/2017 Uptown Theater - Kansas City, MO ^
12/31/2017 Pop's Nightclub - Sauget, IL^
1/02/2018 Sokol Auditorium - Omaha, NE^
1/03/2018 House Of Blues - Chicago, IL ^
1/04/2018 Egyptian Room at Old National Centre - Indianapolis, IN ^
1/05/2018 The Fillmore Detroit - Detroit, MI ^
1/07/2018 Upstate Concert Hall - Clifton Park, NY ^
1/08/2018 M Telus - Montreal, QC ^
1/09/2018 Rebel - Toronto, ON ^
1/10/2018 20 Monroe Live - Grand Rapids, MI ^
1/12/2018 Diamond Ballroom - Oklahoma City, OK ^
1/13/2018 Bomb Factory - Dallas, TX ^
1/14/2018 Emo's - Austin, TX ^
1/15/2018 House Of Blues - Houston, TX ^
1/17/2018 House Of Blues - New Orleans, LA ^
1/18/2018 Marathon Music Works - Nashville, TN ^
1/19/2018 Bogart's - Cincinnati, OH ^
1/20/2018 Center Stage - Atlanta, GA ^
1/26/2018 Jannus Live - St. Petersburg, FL *
1/27/2018 House Of Blues - Myrtle Beach, SC *
1/28/2018 The Ritz - Raleigh, NC *
1/29/2018 The Fillmore Silver Spring - Silver Spring, MD *
1/31/2018 PlayStation Theater - New York, NY *
2/01/2018 The Palladium - Worcester, MA *
2/02/2018 Aura - Portland, ME *
2/03/2018 Electric Factory - Philadelphia, PA *
2/05/2018 Town Ballroom - Buffalo, NY *
2/06/2018 The Goodyear Theater at East End - Akron, OH *
2/07/2018 Stage AE - Pittsburgh, PA *
2/08/2018 Eagles Ballroom Club Stage - Milwaukee, WI *
2/09/2018 Myth Live - St. Paul, MN *
2/11/2018 O'Brians Event Centre - Saskatoon, SK ^
2/12/2018 The Ranch Roadhouse - Edmonton, AB ^
2/14/2018 Commodore Ballroom - Vancouver, BC ^
2/16/2018 Bowes Event Center at Revolution Place - Grande Prairie, AB ^
2/17/2018 MacEwan Hall - Calgary, AB ^
2/19/2018 Showbox SoDo - Seattle, WA ^
2/20/2018 Roseland Theater - Portland, OR ^
2/21/2018 Ace Of Spades - Sacramento, CA ^
2/23/2018 House of Blues - Las Vegas, NV ^
2/24/2018 The Marquee - Tempe, AZ ^
2/25/2018 Sunshine Theater - Albuquerque, NM ^
2/27/2018 The Fonda Theatre - Los Angeles, CA ^
^ Dates With Eyehategod
* Dates with Red Fang
CORROSION OF CONFORMITY has completed the follow-up to 2014's IX offering. Helmed by longtime producer John Custer, who's recorded such prior CORROSION OF CONFORMITY classics as Deliverance, Wiseblood, America's Volume Dealer, and In The Arms Of God, the record will mark the band's studio reunion with vocalist/guitarist Pepper Keenan and their first full-length record together since 2005.
CORROSION OF CONFORMITY emerged from hibernation as a trio and released 2012's self-titled album and 2014's IX to wide acclaim, but many fans have been eagerly and patiently awaiting the return of Pepper Keenan. The band was originally an influential hardcore punk/heavy metal crossover act before reaching critical success with a then new lineup on 1991's Blind album. That trajectory continued with wider appeal as Keenan took over as the group's primary vocalist on Deliverance (1994) and Wiseblood (1996). These two recordings in particular fused the raw energy of their previous albums, with some great strides forward in classic rock inspired songwriting and more spacious production and execution. Since then the band has often been copied but rarely equaled. This juggernaut gained mass and momentum with relentless touring alongside such greats Metallica, Clutch, Eyehategod, and many more. Eventually, following the release of In the Arms Of God in 2005, Keenan decided to focus all his energy on his hometown band Down...until now.
Pepper Keenan - vocals, guitar
Woodroe Weatherman - guitar
Mike Dean - bass, vocals
Reed Mullin - drums, vocals

keep on riding Pale Mare

The Canadian sludge stoner cowboys Pale Mare are about to open the barn and go to the prairie of doom. This publication cannot locate a page for the band yet, but below is a link to the label that will be running with these broncos from Toronto. The preparations for the rodeo are underway. Pale Mare is the name and sludge stoner is the game.
Pale Mare
Pale Mare
Medusa Crush Recordings
Release: 10 November 2017
OFFICIAL: Medusa Crush Recordings is pleased to reveal that they will release the self-titled EP by Toronto sludge band PALE MARE on November 10th 2017. The EP will be available on limited edition cassette. Pre-orders will be made available in the next few weeks.
About Pale Mare:
Pale Mare is a Toronto-based heavy metal band born out of the common desire to play music that is loud, aggressive and full of thick groovy riffs. Formed in the summer of 2015 by Eytan Gordon (guitar, vocals), Tommy Gervais (bass, vocals) and Luke Roberts (drums), the band put their backs to the grindstone in order to forge the sounds which are heard on this, their self-titled debut EP.
After a successful local debut and the release of their single debut ”Descolada”, they have been fortunate at this point to open for many hot touring acts and supplied local show support for artists such as Windhand, Weedeater, Set and Setting and Pertubator. Their sound has been likened by some in the same sonic territory as say early Baroness, High On Fire, Mastodon and Black Tusk; full of fire, attitude, brimstone, tone and soul - all vital ingredients for quality metal.
Through relentlessly crushing live performances, they have attracted a loyal fan base locally by showcasing the bands ability to play with high emotion and skillful execution. With the release of their EP set for November 10th, and material for a full length already in the works, Pale Mare are finally ready to give the world a taste of things to come as they prepare to bring their high-energy live show on the road to the masses that follow.

keep on riding Pale Horseman

Enter this rodeo and ride the bucking bronco or get kicked in the face by the stallion. Sludge from the USA's Pale Horseman is on the way in November!
Pale Horseman
The Fourth Seal
Release: 24 November 2017
OFFICIAL: On November 24th 2017, sludge/doom metal band PALE HORSEMAN will release The Fourth Seal. The album was recorded, mixed, and mastered at Comatose Studio in Bradley, Illinois, U.S.A. by Dennis Pleckham of Bongripper.
The band commented about the album "We are very pleased with the new album and more optimistic than ever about the future of the band in general. We put a lot of time and effort into this recording; more so than any of our previous releases.
Back in May of 2016, we made a major line up shift with the addition of new drummer, Jason Schryver, and he has given the band a newfound power and energy which had not been present in our previous releases and live shows.
The drums are better and the overall attitude of the band is more professional now too, which has made for a much more efficient and flourishing environment in the way of creativity as far as writing riffs and fleshing out song structures. We feel that this is by far our strongest and heaviest release to date.
About Pale Horseman:
Pale Horseman is a 4 piece metal band from the Chicago area which combines elements of sludge, doom, and death metal. Featuring a dual attack of guitarists/vocalists and a pummeling rhythm section, their live shows are most often described as “crushing" and their studio recordings have been done by some of their biggest influences including Dennis Pleckham of Bongripper, Noah Landis of Neurosis, and Justin Broadrick of Godflesh.

keep on riding A Pale Horse Named Death

Where have all the horses gone? Where are the cowboys and cowgirls when you need them?
Biography: On the surface, A Pale Horse Named Death are impressive. But you´ll want to dig deeper and immerse yourself in all the sonic and lyrical layers, because the band isn´t afraid to plume the depths of darkness that humanity is capable of. It´s murky stuff, but someone has to do it.
Sal Abruscato and Matt Brown have followed 2011´s incredible introduction And Hell Will Follow Me with Lay My Soul to Waste, which keeps the band´s patented signature formula of slow, deliberate sludge and head-down doom in tact and as flawlessly executed as ever. Think Alice in Chains, only harder, angrier and with a more perverse view of the world, as if they were reared in a row house in Bensonhurst, as opposed to the rainy landscape of Seattle, all the while feasting on a steady diet of Black Sabbath records.
Abruscato is open about the fantasy that dominates his lyrical point of view. He admits that all songs "have a line to reality…things that could and do happen everyday." But like any skilled storyteller, Abruscato likes pushing buttons. His lyrics are no different than the narratives of the horror movie playing at your local multiplex. It´s largely fiction, with some nuggets or kernels of truth embedded within.
Musically, the record matches that pallor and "will hit you in the gut." There are more harmonies this time out, and the piano is a bit more front and center, while guitarist Eddie Heedles contributed some leads. But for the most part, the formula remained largely untouched. "If it´s not broken, don´t fix it,´" Abruscato said, matter-of-factly. "We wanted to display the advancements, musically and artistically, and retain the core element."
Mission accomplished!
A Pale Horse Named Death arrived with And Hell Will Follow Me. They have firmly implanted their roots in the metal scene with Lay My Soul to Waste. It’s a metal album that headbangers who enjoy a walk on the darker side of life will end up revering and responding to.

Matt Spall reviews Arch Enemy

Our friend the British music critic Matt Spall, who specializes in long reviews, has stated that he is a big fan of "melodic death metal." As everyone knows, Arch Enemy has a boatload of talent and experience and they have had success for many years playing the "melodic death metal." When the new Arch Enemy album arrived, as expected, an committed enthusiast of the genre like Matt Spall is bound to get around to pour his energies into analyzing the work.
What did he find? What is going on with Arch Enemy in 2017?
If you love detailed and loquacious reviews, especially in the field of progressive music, it is difficult to go wrong with Matt's writings. He writes about it a lot, as you can read at the link at the end of this review. --MMB.
Artist: Arch Enemy
Album Title: Will To Power
Label: Century Media Records
Date Of Release: 8 September 2017
Have I ever mentioned that I love early Arch Enemy? I’m talking ‘Burning Bridges’ and before. This, as far as I am concerned, was the pinnacle of their career, with ‘Stigmata’ remaining my personal favourite. I loved the dark brutality that married so effortlessly with blazing solos, soaring melodies, a touch of progressive intent and topped off by the characterful growls of Johan Liiva. This was proper, unadulterated melodic death metal that delighted and beguiled me on each and every spin.
Since the departure of Liiva and the recruitment of Angela Gossow, I have to be honest and say that the output from this undeniably talented quintet has been disappointing and frustrating. Sure each album remains littered with muscular riffing and lightning fast and expressive solos, because to a certain extent, with the likes of Michael Amott and now the newest recruit, Jeff Loomis in the fold, there has to be a certain amount of six-string exuberance. It is part of the Arch Enemy DNA. However, in almost every other department, Arch Enemy have taken a step backwards as far as I am concerned.
To be crystal clear though, I am not blaming Gossow for the reduction in my enjoyment. Sure, I preferred Liiva’s delivery but this is only part of the story. Overall, I have found the post-Millennium material too dull, too prescriptive and lacking in that magic ‘je ne sais quoi’. I appreciate that I am likely to be in a minority with this view but I have to be honest otherwise what else do I have?
But that being said, there are moments within the likes of ‘Wages Of Sin’, ‘Doomsday Machine’ and even ‘War Eternal’ that make my ears perk up. I’d be a fool to say otherwise given my undying fondness for heavy guitars and wailing solos, particularly when handled by such accomplished musicians.
And now, in 2017, Arch Enemy find themselves fronted by the utterly gorgeous Alissa White-Gluz for whom ‘Will To Power’ is her second studio album having replaced Gossow in 2013. She is joined by the founding duo of guitarist Michael Amott and drummer Daniel Erlandsson as well as long-time bassist Sharlee D’Angelo and now second axeman Jeff Loomis.
This being the first studio record to feature Loomis as a fully-fledged member of the band, I had a tingle of excitement about a new Arch Enemy album for the first time in the better part of two decades. Being a huge fan of Nevermore and their more unique style of melodic prog/power metal, I was hoping Loomis’ songwriting abilities would have an effect on ‘Will To Power’. Imagine the huge lump of disappointment I experienced then, when I found out that Loomis has zero input into the songs on this record. Nevertheless, I find it difficult to let go of bands that have historically been so important to me. As a result, I wanted to give Arch Enemy one last chance before giving up on them once and for all.
Sadly, I can honestly say that my relationship with Arch Enemy is at an end. And I am genuinely sad to say this. I really wanted to like ‘Will To Power’. I really wanted to welcome the band back into my life with open arms. And, after hearing the infectious anthem that is ‘The World Is Yours’, I dared to believe that the spark might be reignited. It contains some devastating riffs, savage drumming from Erlandsson, bold bass work from D’Angelo and some excellent growls from White-Gluz. The chorus is hook laden and the lead guitar trade-offs between Amott and Loomis are full of energy and mind-bending dexterity. There’s even a riff at the two-minute mark that’s classic ‘Burning Bridges’ territory.
The unfortunate truth however, is that this is by far and away one of the best tracks on the record, leaving much of the rest in its dust. Hell, a few songs in and I find myself getting bored, wondering when I can listen to something else – ‘Stigmata’ for instance.
In the interests of fairness and as I have hinted elsewhere, I will gladly admit that the musicianship throughout this record is of the very highest order. There are plenty of bruising and satisfying riffs to be heard as well as some crazy lead work. But I have come to realise that these ingredients alone are not enough. I need more. I want to be blown away by the music that I listen to, or moved, or fascinated. ‘Will To Power’, does none of these things. Even the painfully inevitable dabble with clean vocals within the ballad-like ‘Reason To Believe’ does very little to stir my interest. White-Gluz has a tremendous voice, with a rich, smouldering tone. But when she executes something in between this and her all-out extreme delivery, it just sounds a bit cringe-worthy.
Speaking of cringe-worthy, I now find myself addressing the lyrics on ‘Will To Power’. I’m all for bands spouting positivity if that’s what they want, but the content here hits an entirely new level. ‘The World Is Yours’, ‘Reason To Believe’, ‘A Fight I Must Win’ and the album title itself; these all sound like chapters in some kind of self-help book rather than heavy metal song titles. Being this overt and in-you-face, I find the lyrics just a little too positive and a little too toe-curling. It’s all too saccharine and nauseating to be perfectly honest.
That said, tracks like ‘Murder Scene’ with its lovely dual guitar harmonies and very strong melodies are rays of sunshine in an otherwise murky and unfulfilling record. There’s also ‘Blood In The Water’ which has more of a ‘Burning Bridges’ bright and breezy feel to it. And the closer ‘A Fight I Must Win’ has a certain gravitas thanks to a lush orchestral intro and symphonic overtones throughout.
But at this point, there’s not much more to say really. I will state once again that I am almost certain to be in a small minority with my views and there will be legions of fans chomping at the bit to deride my review. Some might even use an occasional swear word in my direction. That’s fine, everyone’s entitled to their opinion and if you like a polished and conventional style of extreme metal, ‘Will To Power’ will be a triumph. But in all honesty, there are far too many excellent records out there that I’d rather listen to. I wish that it wasn’t the case but hey, you can’t win them all. And with that, Arch Enemy and I have officially parted ways.
The Score Of Much Metal: 5

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

extreme metal from Iran/Germany: Zurvan

Zurvan is based in Germany, but they claim that they began in Iran years ago. Unfortunately, this publication cannot provide much more information about the "Persian nihilistic black metal" of Zurvan, but the complete album is available for listening.
Gorge of Blood
release date: June 28th, 2017
label: Satanath Records
OFFICIAL: Zurvan released third album "Gorge of Blood" after 3 years of silence. This album includes 13 bloody and wild tracks. Dark and poisoned guitars with hammer and vain power chords, horrific and wild riffs, which changed any second and are full of violence, grief and hate. Solos, which screaming any seconds and don’t have any calm and quietness and at the same time are in persian and oriental mood, that their ode to sad takes the soul out of the body. Drums pounding and furious rhythms are like constant fire and explosion in deadly ups and downs, that make maniac space with guitars and bass, and at the same time changing the rythm every second. Bass guitar are being melodic and sometimes fast and rough and sometimes make a tragic and sad situation. Nervous and aggresive vocal, who screaming persian lyrics and sometimes sinks in sorrow, that drags blade on your vessels. Lyrics, which are full of darkness, absurdity, death, blasphemy, revolt and rebellion and slaughters the religion. For fans of: The True Mayhem, Urgehal, Merrimack, Tsjuder, Svarttjern (Official), Valkyrija, Unlight, Marduk Official, Dark Fortress (Official), Lifelover, KRYPT.
1. Gorge of Blood 04:16
2. Convulsion 04:27
3. Kiss of Death 04:51
4. Isolation of Sense 04:51
5. Self-Mutilation 05:07
6. Kafir 04:58
7. Zurvancide 05:03
8. Aggression 05:46
9. Hallucination 05:09
10. Swamp 07:22
11. Filthy Calendar of the Time 05:15
12. Freezing 04:42
13. Massacre 05:05
total time 01:06:52
OFFICIAL: Satanath Records has a knack of discovering great bands from even the most unexpected countries for metal in the world. This time around, they've unearthed a band from Iran, playing a form of black/death metal that leans towards the Scandinavian template but add their own flavour to the mix. ZURVAN have created a sublime blend of semi-melodic, DISSECTION-meets-BOLZER kind of sound which it infuses with riffing that is distinctly Eastern-sounding. They're on their way to forming their own identifiable sound but even as of now, their music is a breath of fresh air and holds immense promise, especially for a band from a place like Iran. Like AZOOMA, they're likely to leave a mark in the genre.

the traditional heavy metal of Blazing Rust from Saint Petersburg, Russia

In the Russian city of Saint Petersburg there are many interesting to experience. For instance, you can see the famous Church of the Savior on Blood or maybe you want to see the infamous Peter and Paul Fortress, and so many other things. All very interesting. Do you know what else is interesting? Traditional heavy metal coming from this very city in the form of Blazing Rust. Don't cut your hair! Bang your head! Put on your leather jacket and your bullet belt and get down with the denim-and-leather glory of heavy metal that goes by the name of Blazing Rust. If you can't get enough guitar solos and traditional heavy metal is your middle name, then make sure to go to the first link and find out more about time-defying Russians and their quest to bring their steel to the world. There are songs and other information there, including a video from the band's 2017 album called Armed to Exist.
OFFICIAL: BLAZING RUST is a heavy metal band from St. Petersburg (RUSSIA) which sound and music direction are soaked with spirit of 80s - classic unpolished metal at its best! The band was formed in November 2014 and consists of former and current members of well-known Russian metal acts, such as Pyre, Drama, Ulvdalir, Internal Damage, Grenouer. Having their own tinge and vision without limiting themselves to the rigid frameworks, Blazing Rust pay homage to real heavy metal gods such as DIO, JUDAS PRIEST, BLACK SABBATH, DIAMOND HEAD etc.
In May of 2015 BLAZING RUST released a debut cassette demo tape that was sold out among the loyal headbangers fairly quickly. 2015 also saw the band playing several shows in Saint Petersburg and other cities of Russia. In march, 2016 the band took part in “The Ultimate Revenge of Heavy Metal Festival” held in Helsinki, Finland, sharing the stage with such legends of old school metal as WITCH CROSS, SAVAGE, OZ, SCANNER etc. From March to October 2016 the band has been working on recording and mixing of full-length album named "Armed To Exist" which consists of 9 tracks and totally continues the way of authentic heavy metal sound which Blazing Rust has started from.
Check out what the Metal Temple scribes have observed about Blazing Rust: It is virtually about the execution and how the band’s spawned material arrangements made this old school experience to become one of the profound outcomes out of a newcomer Heavy Metal. The main reasons are that BLAZING RUST never did really innovate anything, like most bands of the age, they followed their gods, embracing their heritage and coming with their vein of music. Nonetheless, the Russians fashioned the mixture of 70’s Hard Rock / catchy Heavy Metal and even a few salutations to Blues Rock, to end up as inspiring and motivating for further listening sessions. “Armed To Exist” pumped up the classic riffery, a sort of a polished version of RAINBOW meets JUDAS PRIEST, DEEP PURPLE meets DIO and BLACK SABBATH meets NWOBHM, whether through the twin guitaring through the soloing, diverse vintage beats to the immensely strong vocal line that takes charge of the cavalry force. Nothing over the top regarding technical merits, yet not as fundamentally basic as it would seem, Armed To Exist is a delivery of soulful passion.

Monday, October 9, 2017

the symphonic/folk metal of Crimfall from Finland

The Finns call their own music "epic cinematic metal" and they have returned with their their album to present another chapter in the quest to take on the world of metal music. Fortunately, the new album is available for listening in its entirety at the link below. When will there be more Lord of the Rings movies? Maybe Crimfall can get the job of composing music for those movies, or just listen to the new album and hear for yourself what "epic cinematic metal" is all about.
Metal Blade Records
Release: 25 August 2017
OFFICIAL: Wearing many a mask, Crimfall's cinemascopic metal eludes easy descriptions. Harsh influences from their northern homeland and its violent roots meet echoes of black metal, but it is all iced with epic orchestration and symphonic soundtrack atmosphere. The melodies convey soundscapes of majesty and long lost histories as the interplay of Mikko's demonic screams and Helena's heavenly vocals bring forth the raw despair and beauty, painting contrasts with a heavy hand as seasons of war cycle in their unforgiving descending spiral.
Crimfall's story began in 2007 in Finland as Jakke Viitala gathered talented musicians around him to drive forth his lifelong vision of music that would respect no boundaries. Two albums have been released since then: debut As the Path Unfolds... (2009) and The Writ of Sword (2011), which they supported with European tours. Crimfall is now known for uncompromising visual live shows and diverse albums crafted with patience, as they never do anything half-hearted.
After six years of battle preparations, Amain - set to be released on August 25th, 2017 by Metal Blade Records - is their most ambitious album, combining familiar elements with fresh inspiration, and wreathed in massive crisp production from Fascination Street Studios. Featuring music that spans from monumental orchestrations to songs whispered over fading pyres, Amaincontains layers upon layers of grand melodies woven between jagged shadows. On this latest release, Crimfall also continues to sing the stories of wars waged in vain, advocating freedom from religious dogmas and the bloody chains of tradition.

free death metal: Grave Ascension from Tampa, Florida, U.S.

Grave Ascension is raw and classic-style death metal filled with the primal spirit. Judging from the way this recording sounds, they believe in making death metal demanding that only the diehard enthusiasts of the genre enter this realm. They function as a tight, cohesive unit big time, meant to sound like real drums and the music overall seems inspired by the young death metal of the late 1980s, maybe 1988 to 1990, in heaviness and execution. Put this recording next to the early demos of Immolation, Incantation and this Tampa, Florida, U.S. band seems to fit right in.
This is a name-your-price/free recording.
Grave Ascension
Sin Never Dies
release date: April 2nd, 2017
1.Bestial Perversion 03:24
2.The Body Decayeth 03:16
3.Trench Warfare 03:00
4.Ceremony of Mutilation 03:49
total time 13:29

Morbid Angel's new album Kingdoms Disdained out on December 1, 2017

Morbid Angel
Kingdoms Disdained
release date: December 1st, 2017
1. Piles of Little Arms 03:44
2. D.E.A.D.
3. Garden of Disdain
4. The Righteous Voice
5. Architect and Iconoclast
6. Paradigms Warped
7. The Pillars Crumbling
8. For No Master
9. Declaring New Law (Secret Hell)
10. From the Hand of Kings
11. The Fall of Idols
OFFICIAL: Morbid Angel’s 9th studio album will be released worldwide on Dec 1st on Silver Lining Music and via JVC in Japan, reuniting guitarist and founder Trey Azagthoth with bassist and vocalist Steve Tucker to create this world beating apocalyptic soundtrack.
The album will be available in CD (jewel case and digipack with lenticular cover), 180gms Vinyl in a Gatefold and Digital download...& don’t forget you will be receiving the immediate download of “Piles of Little Arms” when you pre-order. A special Edition Boxset will be available to order very shortly.
Just one play of Morbid Angel’s searing, incendiary Kingdoms Disdained, and you’ll realize that this is the only true current aural document of a world sinking into uncharted despair. “The album title says it all,” states Tucker, “everybody’s fed up and nobody can figure out how to fix it. We’ve got all these miniature wars in neighborhoods, cities, countries, and we’ve got people with varying opinions causing chaos, yet everyone is doing what they feel is right. Which all makes it feels like the world has reached a point of utter madness and confusion.”
Recorded at Mana Recording in St. Petersburg, FL and produced by Morbid Angel with Erik Rutan (Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse, Hate Eternal, Six Feet Under, Belphegor), Azagthoth, Tucker, and drummer Scotty Fuller, have created 11 pieces of devastatingly dynamic death metal!
Formation, demos and Altars of Madness (1983–1990)
Morbid Angel was formed in 1983 in Tampa, Florida by guitarist Trey Azagthoth and drummer/vocalist Mike Browning. The band made their debut in 1987 on the New Renaissance Records record label. They recorded their debut album, Abominations of Desolation, in 1986, but the band was unsatisfied with the final product and it remained unreleased until 1991, printing 10,000 copies. In the early stages of their career the band developed a reputation for "gruesome stage antics."
In 1986, David Vincent joined the band, replacing Michael Manson and Sterling von Scarborough as vocalist and bassist respectively. Fellow Terrorizer drummer Pete Sandoval soon followed. Their first studio album, Altars of Madness, was released in 1989, and is regarded by many as one of the most important death metal albums of all time. It is also considered the first true death metal album. Music journalist Jason Birchmeier writes that: Few albums struck a chord within the ears and minds of the late-'80s underground metal scene like Morbid Angel's Altars of Madness did at the end of the decade, setting a new precedent for metal bands to reach. With the arguable exception of Chuck Schuldiner's Death, never before had a heavy metal band carried their lightning-fast guitar riffs and equally spellbinding guitar solos into such horrific territory. Venom and Slayer redefined the extent to which a metal band could align itself with all things evil during the beginning of the decade, but Morbid Angel made these two groups sound like children's music compared to the Florida-based group's assaulting death metal sounds and their blasphemous lyrics.
Rise to success (1991–1995)
1991 saw the release of their second album, Blessed Are the Sick, which was met with widespread critical acclaim, and is considered by many to be a landmark release in the death metal genre. The album differed from its predecessor, showcasing a more "sludgy" side to the band. Following the success of Altars of Madness' and 'Blessed are the Sick', in the Spring of 1992 Morbid Angel were signed by Irving Azoff to Giant Records for one album, with the option of five more. Later that same year, second guitarist Richard Brunelle was kicked out of the band due to alleged substance abuse.
On June 22, 1993 the band released their third full-length album 'Covenant', which went on to sell over 150,000 copies in the United States alone. Their record label dedicated promotional resources to the album, and commissioned music videos for the songs 'Rapture' and 'God of Emptiness'. These music videos were put on heavy rotation by MTV, and the latter also appeared on the television show Beavis and Butt-head. The success of the album enabled the band to tour with Black Sabbath and Motörhead across the United States from February through March of 1994, which David Vincent credits with helping the band significantly expand their audience.
The band released its fourth studio album, Domination, on May 9, 1995, which featured new guitarist Erik Rutan of Ripping Corpse. It proved to be a somewhat controversial album among fans, featuring a slower, more atmospheric and experimental sound than on previous albums. Music critic describes the album's sound as "more groove-oriented". The album has gone on to sell over 100,000 copies in the United States alone. Regardless, following the release of the album their record label dropped them from their roster.
Steve Tucker era (1996–2003)
In 1996, shortly after the release of their live album titled Entangled in Chaos, bassist/vocalist David Vincent departed the band and was replaced by Steve Tucker. They released their fifth full-length album Formulas Fatal to the Flesh in 1998, which was considered more aggressive and complex than their previous album 'Domination'.
With Tucker, the band went on to release Gateways to Annihilation and Heretic in 2000 and 2003 respectively. Tucker briefly left Morbid Angel in 2001 and was replaced by former Hate Eternal bassist and vocalist Jared Anderson. In 2002 however, Anderson left the band and Tucker re-assumed his position as bassist and vocalist.
Reunion with David Vincent (2004–2014)
In 2004, Steve Tucker once again left the band, paving the way for former vocalist/bassist David Vincent to return. The band continued by touring and playing festivals such as Wacken Open Air in 2006.
Morbid Angel's appearance on some of the mid-summer 2008 European festivals was announced as a "short break from writing and pre-production of their new 8th studio album".
In May 2008, it was announced that Destructhor from Zyklon would be the band's new guitarist, and Destructhor would appear on the new album. On March 18, 2010, the band announced that Tim Yeung would play drums on the upcoming album, allowing Pete Sandoval to recover from back surgery. On June 22, the band entered the studio to begin the recording of their new full-length album. On March 5, 2011, the band headlined the Scion Rock Fest in Pomona, California. This performance was their first in the US in six years, aside from a one-off show in Los Angeles in May 2009. On March 9, Morbid Angel confirmed that their new album would be called Illud Divinum Insanus.
The album was released on June 7 via Season of Mist. In an interview in December 2013, David Vincent confirmed that Pete Sandoval is no longer a member of the band, claiming that Sandoval had "found Jesus", and stating, "Pete Sandoval and Morbid Angel are not compatible", laying to rest speculation that Sandoval would eventually be returning to the band.
Asked in a December 2014 interview about Morbid Angel's plans for 2015, Vincent replied, "We're done [touring] for awhile. It's time to write." Yeung said that the band was in talks of recording an EP.
Reunion with Steve Tucker (2015–present)
On June 15, 2015, it was reported that David Vincent and Tim Yeung were no longer in the band. Former vocalist/bassist Steve Tucker has once again rejoined, and a replacement drummer has yet to be found. Later that day, however, Vincent denied that he had left the band.
On his official Facebook page, Steve Tucker hinted in a post on the 17th of June that guitarist Destructhor is no longer part of Morbid Angel either: "Who will play second guitar? Time will answer that one..."
On June 18, 2015, this was confirmed, as Destructhor announced his departure from Morbid Angel to focus on the Norwegian death metal band Myrkskog. On June 19, 2015, David Vincent confirmed that he left Morbid Angel, due to creative differences. Both Vincent and Yeung teamed up together in late 2016 to form the band I Am Morbid.
On August 3, 2016, it was announced that Morbid Angel was signed to UDR Music and is currently at work on a new studio album, which will be released in 2017, with a tour to follow. On January 9, 2017, Trey Azagthoth announced on his Facebook page that Scott Fuller from Annihilated joined Morbid Angel for the recording of their new album. Additional details indicated that the album title would presumably start with the letter "K", given the band's history on naming their albums alphabetically.
The next day, the band announced that they had hired Dan Vadim Von from Vadimvon as their second guitarist. They also announced a U.S. tour with Suffocation, Revocation and Withered, which would begin in May. In a March interview on The Metal Magdalene With Jet show on Metal Messiah Radio, Steve Tucker explained that the album would be a "death metal album".
When speaking to Orlando Weekly, Tucker said that the tour setlist wouldn't feature any David Vincent era material and would then perform songs featuring him instead. He also said that they would play "probably one or two new songs" from the new album, in which he said that it was "almost done, but we don't want to put out too much with YouTube putting it up the next day." The opening night on May 23, they performed a new song entitled "Warped".
In July, Morbid Angel were forced to cancel their summer festival appearances in Europe due to "unfortunate and last minute, unforeseen problems with a passport for one of the members of the band." The band's management explained that a new passport wouldn't be issued in time for the shows. Morbid Angel were upset with the news and apologized thereafter. They are currently working on rescheduling their performances for the fall.
On October 4, the band revealed the cover artwork for their forthcoming album titled Kingdoms Disdained, which is due for release on December 1. The next day, the brand new song "Pile of Little Arms" was made available for streaming.
Piles Of Little Arms

Sunday, October 8, 2017

the shredding heavy metal of Jack Starr's Burning Starr

The shredding, the singing, the big rhythm section, the headbanging and the true heavy metal all converge for a classy album by the New York band. Longtime fans of traditional heavy metal might be interested to know that in addition to the shredder Jack Starr himself this band features current Riot vocalist Todd Michael Hall and former Manowar and current Ross the Boss drummer Rhino, and the bass is taken up by Ned Meloni. I’m not sure how this band is treated in the Big Apple itself by the fans there in that city, and it seems like they are not as known as they should be in the United States in general, given the band's status as veterans of the genre with some seven full-length studio albums just under this specific name, not to mention the other works under the Jack Starr moniker. Maybe European fans of traditional heavy metal treat the band better. At any rate, the new work has everything you could want in the genre. It’s a professional album by skilled musicians well versed in the art of heavy metal. --MMB
Jack Starr's Burning Starr
Stand Your Ground
label: High Roller Records
release date: 25.08.2017
OFFICIAL: Jack Starr is one of the unsung heroes of Heavy Metal. Born in Paris, he learned to play guitar by ear, copying the riffs of traditional rhythm & blues records. His first semi-professional band was called Starr System, where he was joined by two future Trust members, drummer Jeannot and Petit Pois (of Les Variations). In America, Starr emerged on the rock and metal scene in 1981, forming the first incarnation of Virgin Steele, along with vocalist David DeFeis. He played on »Virgin Steele« (1982) as well as »Guardians Of The Flame« (1983), which many old time fans still consider to be the best Virgin Steele albums ever (along with the later »Noble Savage«).
In 1985, the guitarist founded his own band JACK STARR’S BURNING STARR and issued his first solo album entitled »Rock The American Way«. Over the coming decades, Starr participated in various projects like Devil Childe, Phantom Lord, Thrasher and Strider.
»Stand Your Ground« is the name of his seventh solo album, issued by High Roller Records. “It's an old school type metal album with modern production and great songs,” comments Jack Starr on »Stand Your Ground«. “In my opinion, it is one of the best metal albums in the last twenty years. I think that if we could go back in a time machine and put out this album in 1988, it would sell millions of copies but even though it is 2017, I think it will still do very well.”
Jack Starr continues comparing »Stand Your Ground« with its predecessor »Land Of The Dead« from 2011 (featuring Ross The Boss and David Shankle of Manowar fame): “I think the new one is more diverse and has many more influences and also it is much longer. I think I am playing better guitar solos, Todd Micheal Hall is singing better, Ned Meloni on bass is playing the best of his career and the comparison that comes to my mind is Steve Harris. Ned is playing with passion and speed like Steve Harris and also getting a great sound like Steve Harris and as far as Rhino, there is nothing to say because he always plays great and this album is a continuation of this incredible drumming style that he as perfected. My favorite song on the album is 'Stand Your Ground', the title cut, I have played this one for a few people and the reaction has always been the same, it seems that the listener is very surprised that even though the song is eleven minutes long, it passes very quickly and is not repetitious. 'Stand Your Ground' has so many twists and turns and changes within the same song, it is like a mini symphony!”

Friday, October 6, 2017

contact Metal Bulletin zine

Write to Metal Bulletin Zine here:
Metal Bulletin Zine
P.O. Box 1339
Lake Stevens WA 98258 USA

Matt Spall reviews the Nocturnal Rites new album Phoenix

Nocturnal Rites has been dead for a long time. That's what it seemed like. Ten years since the last album. Some people actually really hated the last album anyway. Some people at Metal Archives gave this brutal assessment of the last album by Nocturnal Rites: "The 8th Sin is a pop-rock album with little to no "metal" in it at all, and the band's songwriting is on a very elementary and juvenile level that would ashame and embarrass most bands. This is very pre-processed and sterilized music, with layers upon layers of synths and sampling and vocal distortion to hide how simplistic and banal it really is." That's nothing. Another person was even more brutal. Check it: "I loathe deeply bands like this (or at least what this band has become), the ones I've often refered to, or reviewed as being bands that disgrace the name of power metal. In fact, with bands like this being so popular, if people hate power metal, I absolutely can't blame them. This is complete and utter drivel. A trainwreck of a musical undertaking. Avoid like the plague ... unless you like pop."
What happened to Nocturnal Rites? Did they wake up on the wrong side of the bed? Did they forget to use underarm deodorant? Did they forget to eat their vegetables? Something was wrong. After that fateful album we did not hear from them for 10 years. Ten years! That's like a decade or something! Here we are. 2017. Nocturnal Rites dares to show their faces again. Why did they come back? Can they redeem themselves? How is that possible? Is it possible?
Our friend Matt Spall has bravely decided to take up this very issue: the return of Nocturnal Rites. Oh, boy, what are going to find?! Is this going to be a disaster? I'm scared for Nocturnal Rites. I'm a little bit scared for you, too, friend. Let's see what Matt has to say and let's take him at his word. By the way, if you enjoy long reviews and in particular, you love prog music, then be sure to check out more of Matt's writings at the link below. --MMB
Artist: Nocturnal Rites
Album Title: Phoenix
Label: AFM Records
Date Of Release: 29 September 2017
A good decade ago, Swedish melodic power metal band Nocturnal Rites released the eighth album of their career, ‘The 8th Sin’. It received generally very positive reviews and I certainly enjoyed the content. What I didn’t realise then was that this would be the last we heard from the quintet for ten long years. Then again, I’m not entirely sure that the band themselves thought this would be the case either. In 2008, long-time guitarist Nils Norberg left to be replaced by Christoffer Rörland who in turn later left to join Sabaton. But even then, we are led to believe that a follow-up album was to be recorded in 2011. Needless to say, that this didn’t happen and so fans have been left waiting and wondering for what feels like an eternity.
All that history is exactly that though: history. It’s in the past and it is time to focus on the here and now. On that score, things are looking very rosy indeed because not only have Nocturnal Rites returned, but they have delivered an album, the aptly-titled ‘Phoenix’, that’s better than I had ever dared to hope for.
It is like the band never went away. The core of vocalist Jonny Lindqvist, guitarist Fredrik Mannberg, bassist Nils Eriksson and drummer Owe Lingvall remain in place, recently joined by Scar Symmetry guitarist extraordinaire Per Nilsson to round things out. As a huge fan of Scar Symmetry and the impeccable guitar playing of Nilsson, I was even more excited about ‘Phoenix’ than I would have otherwise been. And they have put together a truly brilliant heavy metal album. If you’re looking for inspiration on how to create the perfect blend of melodic metal, power metal and classic heavy metal, then look no further than ‘Phoenix’.
Ok, so ‘Phoenix’ might not be perfect, but it is damn close. For example, I’m struggling to pick out any of the songs as being a weak link or a dip in the quality, such is the consistently high standard that runs like a golden thread through this record.
Everything a died-in-the-wool heavy metal fan could possibly want is right here. There’s no wasted time, no wasted notes; the whole album feels well-honed and well oiled, like a machine. But don’t let that fool you into thinking that the music on ‘Phoenix’ is devoid of humanity or lacking in heart. Quite the opposite in fact. And if your blood doesn’t start pumping a little faster as you listen, you may as well give up on listening to heavy metal entirely.
What you get on ‘Phoenix’ is wall-to-wall riffs, gigantic rhythms, huge melodic choruses that frequently veer into anthemic territory, blazing solos and powerful vocals that are dripping with heart and passion.
That word ‘passion’ is important because, although I talk about this being a honed, well-oiled album, the passion with which the material is delivered is apparent in every department. ‘Phoenix’, as the name suggests, has the feel and atmosphere of a band that has been reborn and as a result, are loving every minute. I can imagine the guys grinning ear to ear in the rehearsal room and studio as the music came to life. And quite justifiably too.
At this juncture, I feel compelled to return to an aspect of ‘Phoenix’ that I find so wonderful, and that’s the lead guitar solos. I’m a sucker for a good lead break but over the years they have generally become less fashionable. But fashion be damned, Nocturnal Rites demonstrate without question, just how irresistible a good six-string shred can sound and why heavy metal should never abandon this most glorious of excesses. This is hardly surprising though if I’m honest. This was always a significant weapon in the Nocturnal Rites armoury but now, with Nilsson delivering many of the leads, they are a thing of utter joy and exuberance, both melodically charged and technically adept.
It is a challenge reviewing albums like this because it is always tricky choosing which songs to highlight for special praise. Each of the eleven tracks has something about it which is deserving of mention but that would make for a lengthy review.
Nevertheless I feel compelled to begin with the opening cut, ‘Heart As Black As Coal’. The opening riff grabs you by the scruff of the neck with its no-nonsense attitude and it’s not long before the first gigantic chorus of the record hits with style and panache. The production is great, offering clarity to all instruments whilst providing the guitars with an exceptional strength. The tone of the track is dark and menacing, accentuated by the aggressive and forceful delivery of Lindqvist but it’s ultimately an enormous heavy metal anthem that fills my heart with unbridled joy.
‘Before We Waste Away’ ensures that ‘Phoenix’ maintains the best possible start. The mid-tempo stomp underpinned by Lingvall and Eriksson is irresistible, especially when it leads into such an edifying chorus; hook-laden and sublime. It also features a mind-boggling lead guitar solo that veers nicely into Scar Symmetry territory before being dragged back into the monstrous chorus.
By way of contrast, ‘The Poisonous Seed’ is a harder, faster and darker beast all round. Double-pedal drumming dovetails with yet more crunchy, uncompromising riffing whilst there’s a more pronounced use of dramatic keys just behind the metallic tumult.
One of my favourites, a little surprisingly, has to be the slightly more ballad-like ‘Repent My Sins’. I love the slower, writhing riff and the way that it works excellently in tandem with one of my favourite choruses on ‘Phoenix’. Again the tone of the composition and the lyrics is relatively dark, with Lindqvist offering a mesmeric performance, but I can’t help but smiling as I listen because everything is just so on-point and insanely enjoyable.
Another stand-out track is ‘The Ghost Inside Me’ which is as dramatic and symphonic as I’ve heard from Nocturnal Rites. At its heart, it is still a monstrous metal song but thanks to the inclusion of choir vocals and a marked increase in orchestration, it stands out in grandiose style, full of pomp and theatrics. Then there’s the instantly more modern-sounding ‘Nothing Can Break Me’ with its bold electronic effects and even more impactful chorus.
With any band that returns after such a long hiatus, the anticipation is always going to be huge. But crucially, Nocturnal Rites have not just lived up to my expectations, they have smashed them out of the park. It is a dangerous thig to say with over three months of 2017 left, but I am struggling to believe that anyone else will release a better melodic power metal album this year. ‘Phoenix’ is huge and it deserves your attention immediately.
The Score Of Much Metal: 9.25

right now Friday night (Seattle time), Excuse All the Blood, is on

Listen to the live broadcast right now, Friday night:
Excuse All the Blood is a metal music show from the state of Washington, U.S. The show features black metal, heavy metal, death metal and other metal genres, too. The show is on Friday nights, but it is also available any time here:
Friday night, 10pm to 1am Pacific Time (Seattle), listen to Excuse All the Blood metal music, out of Olympia, Washington state, U.S.

the ghost metal music of Vale of Amonition from Uganda

Vale of Amonition is a world unto itself. I’m not sure that it’s a good idea trying to find a genre label that fits nicely and comfortably. I feel like 2013's Those of Metal Afar is a trippy experience somewhere between doom and maybe, perhaps psychedelia spirits, and ghosts. The most recent recording is from 2016 and it is called Of a Painting Grim. Surprisingly, it is not as out there as I thought it was going to be. My impression is that it sounds different, and it goes deeper into the realm of melancholy while also coming across as doom metal, but not the garage/sludge type. This is too smooth, too elegant for that. Of a Painting Grim is a single, so it's hard to say where Vale of Amonition is headed from here, but if you are along for the ride, then this is another stop on the way to whatever is the future. Learn more about the band below and listen to the latest music at the first link below.--MMB
OFFICIAL: The VALE OF AMONITION or "Valley of Ammunition" is a home to things of a tragic persuasion. A sanctuary for warmakers, a province for mages, an abode for ancient tribal lords and their possibly doomed descendants and a whole world of creatures divine and devious.
Surrounding the Vale is the Abyss which is now inhabited by the most ancient of beasts. Light does not flow into the Abyss and its creatures never venture into the Vale. But a storm is brewing and events shall soon unfold in a harrowing and dramatic fashion.
We are the band that speaks of the Vale of Amonition to Earth. We tell of its glorious history, its troubles and triumphs and of the heavy hand of doom that refuses to abandon it.
Musically, Black Sabbath and Mercyful Fate are our most important influences but rather than remain rigid, our aim from the beginning has always been to evolve as much as we can within the heavy metal context.
Therefore, "progressive" is a term of significance for us and tells of our collective spirit as musicians. Our willingness to grow, our love for dynamism and intricacy and our purpose to create and to imagine INFINITELY!
Doom is our ultimate governor and the principle by which we play.
Hail Dagory!
Curtain of Doom and the Broken Shield (Demo, 2010)
Ammunition of the Gods (Single, 2010)
Black Cathedral (Single, 2011)
When Philosophy Turns Dark (Single, 2011)
The Spirit (Single, 2012)
The Witch (Single, 2012)
Infernal Supremacy (EP, 2012)
THOSE OF METAL AFAR (Full Length, 2013)
Fallen From The Nile To Cross The Rubicon: Flight Of Vickonomy (Compilation, 2013)
Of A Painting Grim (Single, 2016)

Thursday, October 5, 2017

the speed metal of Vulture from Germany

This Teutonic speed metal alliance named Vulture is 100% devoted to the classic-style heavy metal played at high speeds. The older generations will associate the sounds with Canadian bands like Exciter and Razor and also with an American act like Agent Steel or the early days of German thrash/heavy metal like Running Wild or even Kreator during the days of Endless Pain.
The younger generations wanting to hear what speed metal is, Vulture is basically a dictionary definition of speed metal. Young or old, it doesn't matter, as long as you want your metal in the seriously classic and traditional way of speed metal, denim and leather, then Vulture is for you.
Visit the band's page below to watch an official video from their new album The Guillotine. The video looks great and sounds insane. Well, the bands looks like a bunch of metal lunatics and they sound like it!
OFFICIAL: VULTURE from North-Rhine Westphalia, Germany have stirred up some decent attention among Speed- and Thrash fans with their debut EP “Victim To The Blade”, and they are now presenting us with their stunning debut “The Guillotine”.
VULTURE's take on playing metal can best be described as a sped up Judas Priest record sprinkled with Bay-Area Thrash and Canadian Speed, steeped in the atmosphere of early Mercyful Fate/ King Diamond. VULTURE started recording “The Guillotine” in early 2016. The band went to Hellforge Studio to work with their good old friend and comrade in arms Marco Brinkmann. Recording the album was hell of a ride, due to the high pressure everyone felt, but in spite of that, Marco did an amazing job. The mix is absolutely marvellous and sets a new standard for the genre. Every riff is like a razor cut, every shriek pierces our eardrums, and every hit of the snare makes your heart beat faster. The mastering was done by Patrick W. Engel of Temple Of Disharmony and suits the mix in the best imaginable way. The artwork for the album was once again done by the fabulous Velio Josto, an Italian artist, whose razor-sharp realistic kind of style literally cuts the album sleeve in half with a flashing guillotine blade.
What makes this album stand out the most is its very well thought-through and mapped out songwriting. VULTURE are living up to their own high standards regarding Heavy Metal music. Every aspect of the album is calculated, nothing's left to chance. And still, the album is vibrating, it's vivid, wild and far from sounding modern, artificial or mediocre. “The Guillotine” celebrates Heavy Metal without trying to sound old school. The album and its songs are deeply rooted in the 70s and 80s, yet they are children of our time. “The Guillotine” is authentic, not retro. The great guest vocals from Olof of Enforcer cap it all off. VULTURE are all in, and they take no prisoners!

this brutal death metal Gutslit from India

Fans of brutal death metal check in on this band Gutslit. They're going to give it to you straight: brutal extreme metal blasting all over and lots of headbanging and moshing riffs. It's heavy and it's ugly, just the way that the people demand it. The recording won't take long to convince you, either. Go to the first link below and hear some of the songs.
Transcending Obscurity India
release: 15 October 2017
1.Amputheatre 01:12
2.Brazen Bull 03:05
3.From One Ear to Another 03:23
4.Necktie Party 03:12
5.Blood Eagle 03:32
6.Brodequin 02:45
7.Maraschino Eyeballs 03:11
8.Scaphism 02:42
9.Death Hammer 05:38
total time 28:40
OFFICIAL: Indian brutal death metal legends return with their highly awaited new album titled ‘Amputheatre’. It’s a quantum leap ahead in terms of songwriting when compared to their 2013 debut ‘Skewered in the Sewer’. GUTSLIT have improved phenomenally and honed their skills in the company of the new vocalist Kaushal LS of GODLESS. Their trademark brutality now sees development with the incorporation of grind influences, and their music couldn’t be better balanced and memorable. This makes them stand head and shoulders above from the sea of brutal death metal bands out there, and with a massive European tour lined up this year, GUTSLIT sure won’t make it easy to forget their masterpiece.