Friday, December 15, 2017

Seattle and Washington concert calendar, updated December 15, 2017

Friends in the state of Washington,
Is there a metal music show in your area that is not listed in this calendar? Does your local metal band have a show coming up and is not listed here? Is your band's name spelled incorrectly? Are the dates wrong? If you have information about shows/updates/cancellations, please get in contact with Metal Bulletin Zine.
Seattle and Washington concert calendar, updated December 15, 2017
December 16 All That Remains, Alter Bridge at Knitting Factory, Spokane, WA
December 16 Phobia, Xoth, Vitriol, The Great Sorcerer, Nosretep, EnVenom at Highline, Seattle, WA
December 16 Second Sting (Scorpions tribute), Dr. Crüe at The Lime, Kirkland, WA
December 16 Dilapidation, Voidthrone, Rabitrup at Lucky Liquor, Tukwila, WA
December 17 Tempestarii, Seven Chains, Envenom, Sentient Divide at Mootsy's, Spokane, WA
December 17 Metal Yoga at The Shakedown, Bellingham, WA
December 20 Putrid Temple at Mercury, Seattle, WA
December 22 Black Bone Exorcism, Thou Shall Kill, others at Substation, Seattle, WA
December 23 Potbelly, Hexengeist, The War Within, Wet Temple at Mirkwood Public House, Arlington, WA
December 29 Zoso - The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Experience at Knitting Factory, Spokane, WA
December 29 Queensryche at Snoqualmie Casino, Snoqualmie, WA
December 31 Hell's Belles at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
January 1 Monsters among Gods, Rue the Day, Chronic Trigger, Daughters of Nyx at Funhouse, Seattle, WA
January 2 Vicious Rumors at Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
January 5 Fates Warning, Coven, Killian Mahaffey at Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
January 5 Blood and Thunder, ReEvolution, ApHelion, Oxygen Destroyer at The Mirkwood Public House, Arlington, WA
January 6 Infernal Coil, Theories, Wake of Humanity at Black Lodge, Seattle, WA
January 6 Noceur, Ghostblood at The Shakedown, Bellingham, WA
January 13 Unhailoed, Massacre at the Opera, Kill Closet, Chamber 6, Salem Knights at Louie G's Pizza, Fife, WA
January 18 Acephalix, Scolex, Fetid, Mortiferum at Highline, Seattle, WA
January 19 Hell's Belles (AC/DC tribute), Elephant Gun Riot at Knitting Factory, Spokane, WA
January 20 Violent Hallucinations, Dilapidation, Ironwood, others in Kelso, WA
January 20 Vesuvian, Bleed the Stone, Simulation Theory, Scourged at Lucky Liquor, Tukwila, WA
January 24 Meshuggah at Showbox, Seattle, WA
February 13 Kreator, Sabaton at Showbox, Seattle, WA
February 15 Yob at Chop Suey, Seattle, WA
February 16 Keep Metal Alive III at The Charleston, Bremerton, WA
February 17 Anthrax, Killswitch Engage at at Knitting Factory, Spokane, WA
February 19 Black Label Society, Corrosion of Conformity, Eyehategod at Showbox SoDo, Seattle, WA
February 27 Septicflesh, Dark Funeral, Thy Antichrist at Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
March 5 Iced Earth at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
March 6 Enslaved, Wolves in the Throne Room, Myrkhur, Khemmis at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
March 7 Machine Head at Showbox, Seattle, WA
Msrch 9 and 10 Northwest Metal Fest at El Corazón/Funhouse, Seattle, WA: Skelator, Substratum, others
March 13 Watain, Destroyer 666 at Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
March 19 Udo Dirkschneider, Zero Down, Children of Seraph at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
March 22 Michael Schenker at Neptune Theatre, Seattle, WA
March 24 The War Within at Tony V's, Everett, WA
April 6 Nightwish at Knitting Factory, Spokane, WA
April 15 Uli Jon Roth, Killian Mahaffey at Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
April 15 Judas Priest, Saxon, Black Star Riders at ShoWare Center, Kent, WA
May 13 Soulfly, Nile at Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
June 2 Insomnium at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
June 10 HammerFall, Flotsam and Jetsam, Skelator at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
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Lake Stevens WA 98258 USA
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Thursday, December 14, 2017

the music for peace in the Middle East: Orphaned Land

[by MMB]
Orphaned Land
Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs
Century Media Records
26 January 2018
Orphaned Land keeps changing and they keep doing what they have done, but a bit differently each time, and their hope must be that people don’t get too caught up with one particular style or genre because if they do, this band will keep disappointing each time.
The new work finds them taking their Middle Eastern progressive rock further into uncharted territories in terms of accessibility and simpler song structures. It has taken decades for them to get to this point. They have often taken the long and winding road to making songs, but as they have gotten older and gained more experience about what works and what doesn’t, they have embraced a more intelligible and palatable approach to the music. As a result, the band no longer uses much of extreme metal traits like excessive heaviness and lots of growling. The music is lighter, simpler, catchier and more open to audiences than extreme metal, while still sounding like Orphaned Land music: thoughtful, engaging and dedicated to spreading the message of peace in the world, especially in the war-torn region where they live.
Overall, the songs feature a singing style closer to a melancholic voice, quite different from the usual rock and metal roaring singing and energy. Here the mood is peaceful but with a sense of sadness or quiet desperation in the voice. On the other hand, the instrumentation can often come across as cheerful or uplifting, and coupled with the symphonic/orchestral elements, the sound is mostly upbeat and friendly to the ears looking for melody.
facebook.com/OrphanedLandOfficial/

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

rapid reaction: Watain

[by MMB]
Watain
Trident Wolf Eclipse
Century Media Records
5 January 2018
After two days with the album, my first impressions of the new Watain are very positive. Professionals that they are, they return with a very good production for their black metal. You can hear everything clearly. The blasting sounds tight, and the melodies come across well, and the riffs drive the songs, and the overall feel is that of a band with eyes locked on making an album that sounds good to the ear, not just to themselves but to the listeners, too. They accomplished that goal.
Watain is not messing around. The first eight songs can be played live and they should work rather well. There is a sense of urgency: these songs are not supposed to go off the rails and go on tangents. They are supposed to get on the point quickly, and then stay on point for the duration. Watain aims to deliver the goods. New legions who are looking for black metal that is professional and serious, that you can hear well, and that can sound pretty big in your car while you drive, can't go wrong here. Watain has been around for a long time, and they know what to do. This is business, not a jam session in a garage.
The older supporters that want Watain to remain Watain will be pleased. The band has been to the circus and they have seen everything at this point, and the old loyalists should know by now that Watain is serious business. They will tour to play these songs and they know how to make songs that work. Watain does not lack confidence. Make an album that sounds good, play the black metal as they have done before, make songs for headbanging. The work is done. Bang your head.
As for the last song, after eight black metal songs, the band closes out the album with a longer, slower track, mostly for atmosphere, I would say. It's a different type of track. It is more like a moment to take out the album, and do a conclusion. It's the type of track that they could have in the background after a concert, as they say their goodbyes and let the crowd know that the lights are about to come back on. The show over. Until the next time. It's time to get back on the road.
1. Nuclear Alchemy 3:08
2. Sacred Damnation 4:41
3. Teufelsreich 4:27
4. Furor Diabolicus 4:43
5. A Throne Below 4:10
6. Ultra (Pandemoniac) 4:01
7. Towards The Sanctuary 4:55
8. The Fire of Power 4:38
9. Antikrists Mirakel 7:10
facebook.com/watainofficial

rapid reaction: Hyvmine

[by MMB]
Hyvmine
Earthquake
Seek and Strike
19 January 2018
This publication has previously reported on the activities of the guitar wizard Al Joseph. One issue that came up with Al was that he used to sing and play guitar for the progressive metal band The Great Gamble, but that was years ago and he has become known for his guitar work, guitar lessons and two instrumental albums. It is probably accurate to say that a portion of his fans do not even know that Al used to sing or that he can sing. This publication recently brought up the topic of vocals and Al did not reveal much, but there was something interesting hinted at: that he was not finished singing, that singing was not left behind, even though many people have not heard it.
Well, well, well, Al is back on the mic, singing! My reaction was: "I knew it, I knew it! I knew he would not be able to leave it behind!"
I have had two days with the album. Here's my quick take. This is a whole new beast, and if you have heard Al's instrumental albums, just expect something different, something heavier. The music is prog in a general sense; it's rather heavy, heavier than the instrumental albums and the guitar playing sounds totally different, to me. This has more chugging, and more groove. Of course, there are lots of melodies because that's part of Al's style. Be that as it may, this is something new and different, in my opinion.
What about the singing? I wonder why he has not been singing all along. Speaking for myself, I like the style of singing and Al brings different layers to vocals. The softer backing vocals are very nice on the ear, very smooth, but Al can wail, too. Some of the singing sounds very American: a bit angry, a bit frustrated. Then, he can go into more melodic segments. There are also some traits of the singing that undoubtedly come from Al's personal influences of what he loves in singing.
Anyway, that's all I'm going to say for the moment. This album is coming up soon, so prog supporters will probably want to tell Santa to put this album on the list.
1.Shift 3:54
2.Mirror Master 4:30
3.Shogun 5:38
4.All Of Creation 4:57
5.Earthquake 4:41
6.Fire Escape 4:04
7.Elysium 4:31
8.Great Divide 5:41
9.Cliffhanger 5:12
facebook.com/hyvmineband

review: Lady Beast

[review by MMB]
Lady Beast
Vicious Breed
label: Cruz Del Sur Music
release date: 17 November 2017
Lady Beast is traditional heavy metal from the United States, and more specifically, they play the young heavy metal sound of the genre’s birth. The album is some 36 minutes; eight songs. My impression of the album is that the band believes in playing the music in an honest way. The album sounds like they want to be able to play live what they play on the album. For instance, I hear the singer do the songs as best as possible, but without employing a bunch of effects. It’s a different experience when you listen to Lady Beast: there is a transparency in the singing that you won’t easily find anywhere else. All I hear is the singer doing the work honestly. I also have watched concert videos and it seems like the songs sound similar live and in the studio. This also applies to the instrumentation. They have twin guitars, but on the album one can tell what is going on and what’s being played, and then in the concert videos the music comes across well, reflecting the work ethic of the band. This new album sounds like the band decided to be efficient and effective. Do what you came to do, and then end the album. Don’t overstay your welcome. The people want heavy metal from Lady Beast, give the people the heavy metal, and then leave, knowing that they will come back for more. People familiar with the band will love the new album’s traditional sounds in the style of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, as you would hear with the young Saxon or Holocaust, but now it is Lady Beast’s turn to convince the masses. In other words, big riffs, to the point guitars, fast paced heavy metal for headbanging, solos to do air guitar and a singer who wants you to join the crusade of the young heavy metal that never, ever dies.
www.facebook.com/ladybeastofficial/
Lady Beast (Official) "Vicious Breed"

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

(re)discovering the gold mine that is Riot, an American heavy metal treasure

Riot
Inishmore (Bonus Edition)
Metal Blade Records
30 June 2017
I wish more supporters of traditional heavy metal would be willing to dig deeper into the vast discography of the national music treasure that is Riot, the American act whose debut album is from 1977. I wish more listeners would discover this band in all its glory and would be enthusiastic about how great the music is and would give in and put their trust in Riot because the band has worked hard on its albums, but not simply because they work hard but because they are so loaded with talent. In addition, they have lots of experience and skills. As a result, you would be in a real bind if you tried to identify an album in which the band is going through the motions. Or I should say: at least for me, for instance, I have listened to this album with a critical ear and tried to find problems with it. I find none.
It makes me wonder if the people that assign mediocrity to this album have really listened to it from start to finish several times. Or, do they make up their minds beforehand because this album is not named Thundersteel? I sense a certain laziness, a certain hurry to judgement on this album, as if some reviewers do not want to give the album the proper time. Maybe someone has told them that only Thundersteel is good. Maybe the reviewers do not like the album artwork. Maybe they wanted a tank robot on the cover. Unfortunately, the lack of depth and the rush to judge are unfair to the album.
Let me tell you something: this album is very good quality all around. It has a good production, the instrumentation is great, the guitars are so good, the riffs, the melodies and the solos, it’s all creative and good and very friendly and pleasant on the ear. The songs are rocking and are easy to remember. However, none of this can possibly be true if one does not listen to the album in its entirety, but let’s come back to the track order in a moment.
For now, let’s turn to the question of questions. Is this singing good? Boy, is it ever! No, it’s not the air raid siren Judas Priest style of Thundersteel, but there is so much more to consider on this point. First, on style: Mike DiMeo’s singing is something along the lines of Paul Rodgers (Bad Company), David Coverdale (Deep Purple, and Whitesnake, the early 80s period before the MTV era) and Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow). It’s a bluesy, soulful singing style that opens up the songs to various tempos, from slower, midtempo to fast rockers, and it all sounds well done. The backing vocals on this album are also done very well and fill out the songs.
Now, let’s talk about song tempos. This is not a speed metal album, but this is not a slow album, either. It’s traditional heavy metal played uptempo and midtempo. It is true that it’s not an album with speedy drumming and lots of the drumming is rocking, but nowhere near the thrash tempos. Here is the track list for the album. Below I will explain a bit more about it.
1.Black Water 02:42
2.Angel Eyes 04:27
3.Liberty 05:08
4.Kings Are Falling 04:33
5.The Man 03:52
6.Watching the Signs 04:35
7.Should I Run 04:40
8.Cry for the Dying 04:39
9.Turning the Hands of Time 05:08
10.15 Rivers 05:18
11.Red Reign 05:27
12.Gypsy 05:20
13.Inishmore (Forsaken Heart) 01:45
14.Inishmore 04:32
15.Danny Boy 03:39
16.15 Rivers (acoustic demo) 03:45
total time 01:09:30
Overall the album is rocking, uptempo and fun, and easy to sing along to, and it is not until the Inishmore trilogy (tracks 13, 14 and 15) that the music goes more midtempo overall. During the trilogy the band sounds like they are taking some traditional Celtic music and working or integrating it in some ways (I do not know; I know nothing about Celtic music). You might think of some Thin Lizzy-like melodies here, or not, depending on your music knowledge/taste. Anyway, this trilogy closes out the album and it winds down the album in a very nice, pleasant way.
What is necessary is for more traditional heavy metal and classic rock supporters to say: “Ok, Riot has existed for a long time. I am going to trust that they know what they are doing and I am going to let the music go where it will go. Let it be what it is.” Riot is no amateurs, Riot is not halfhearted band, and this album is made up of good, memorable songs. I do not get the feeling at all that they just went into the studio and whipped out whatever they could in a jiffy. It doesn’t sound like an album made only for purposes of a contractual obligation.
I recommend it to people who like the sounds of classic heavy metal and classic rock and who want melodic songs that they can remember. It is true that the music sounds older and from a different era. That’s because it is and because it comes from an older tradition of real singing, riffs, melodies and the older sounds/tunings of heavy metal guitar and guitar heroes.
metalblade.com/us/releases/riot-inishmore-bonus-edition/

Monday, December 11, 2017

the chanting of the priests of the black metal church of Batushka

Batushka
Litourgiya
release date: November 3rd, 2017
label: Metal Blade Records
"Congregation rises, starts to chant a hymn
Of evil, lust and hatred, the root of every sin" --Metal Church
Creating music that conveys the sense of being present at a church mass has interested metal musicians for a long time. The mysteries and rites of religion sparks a curiosity in bands and some have in their own ways communicated this sense of wonder in their works. Perhaps one of the first serious invocations of the dark spiritual wonders inside the music itself is Candlemass. The album Nightfall (1987) in particular has an atmosphere that the band wants the listener to feel the sensation and the presence of the rites of the religiosity. The band has the visual image of a singer dressed like a monk; that same singer, unlike any other, with his unusual melancholic and powerful style, is a man who manages to convince in his role as a dark metal monk. The music of the album comes across in places as if you are listening to church music in the form of doom metal.
The communication of the mysteries and rituals was later expressed by bands like Mayhem, Deathspell Omega and Root. The sense of worshipfulness in music is found in some places in the black metal masterpiece of masterpieces De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, and then later in the crowning achievement Si Monvmentvm Reqvires, Circvmspice, in moments like "First Prayer," to name but one example in said work. The Book certainly works with said concepts and the vocalist channels the spirit of the monk of the darkness.
For these reasons, it is noteworthy to point out what Batushka (Poland) has done with Litourgiya. The chanting and the sense of worship is now at a different phase: Batushka uses the chanting as part of the songs, as integral, and not as an occasional component of the music. In other words, they have worked the chanting into the songs for a more complete experience of witnessing and living the rites of the church.
Surprisingly, the music is accessible: there are eight songs and not a single track goes over six minutes. No song is a waste of time, no song is an experiment and all the songs stay on point. The compactness and the efficiency of the music goes a long way towards making the album very enjoyable, and very easy to understand, despite the possible first impression that it might be an experimental work. It is not. The songs get to the headbanging, and that is commendable. It is catchy songs, black metal music, and the chanting of the priests in the style of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.
facebook.com/Batushkaband/

Friday, December 8, 2017

Saturday night in Everett: Wingfest

Tony V's Garage will host Wingfest. Here is the official information.
Heavy metal, hot wings and beer! That's right it's the third annual WINGFEST! Featuring talent from bands-
Jesus Wears Armani- 1130 - UTC
Massacre at the opera -1030-1115pm
Chamber 6-945-1015
Method 13-9-930pm
Blood and Thunder 815-845pm
After the Fallout 730-8pm
Anthrocene- 630-715
Damn the flood - 545-615pm
Odyssian- 5pm-530pm
Children of Seraph- 415-445pm
As pillars fall-330-4pm
Prey the Hunter- 245-315
Born with out blood -2-230
$15 adv
$17 door
Basket of wings with each paid entry!
Doors at 1pm
Music at 2pm
All ages till 11:45pm, bar w/ID.

interview with Haze of Summer

Haze of Summer is melodic extreme metal from Russia. The 2017 album Znoi serves as a good introduction to the sound, which is extreme metal with strong melodies that are both melancholic and also pop-like in certain places. Haze of Summer is consciously going against some conservative metal people. For instance, Haze of Summer calls itself “hipster black metal.” Some people cannot stand anything related to the word “hipster.” On the other hand, in the Seattle area there certainly lots of hipsters who consider themselves metal, so maybe Haze of Summer would be a hit in the West Coast of the United States.
Listen to the music and decide for youself! By the way, Haze of Summer now has a new single called “December.”
Hello, Haze of Summer! How are things going in the cold weather of Russia? Where in Russia do you live and are you tired of the winter yet?!
Hey! Everything is fine here for now. Winter become more and more warmer every year, so it’s not so tough in Moscow part. We live in central part of Russia, near Moscow. Here thigs are always going well, thank you.
Haze of Summer has a new song called "December." How did this song happen? Do you have more music planned? Why only one song?! Who are the people that play music or do vocals in the new song?
"December" is just a homemade demo. I did the music and then tried to put poem of very famous Russian poet on this. The result has exceeded my expectations and I've asked a friend of mine from post metal band TOLUCA to mix and master it. So I did all instruments and vocals there. Hope to record the whole album at summer 2018 at real studio, because we are almost done with 2nd part of ZNOI album. It will describe my vision of autumn and winter months.
Is Haze of Summer a band that plays live in Russia? Is it a studio project only? Who are permanent members of the band and how long have you been in the band? Who is answering this interview?
This is me, Nikita. I did all music, lyrics, vocals, guitars and conception for ZNOI album. We are two-men band, but no we've already got line up for live shows and soon you will see something "LIVE" on the YouTube. The second permanent member is Alex Klaptsov from death metal band Grace Disgraced.
Haze of Summer has an album called Znoi. Are you pleased or surprised by the reaction in Russia to your album? What do you think about the response to your music from around the world, like the rest of Europe, the Americas and other places?
I'm pleased and surprised at the same time. I think that Russians are not ready enough for such sharp change of black metal direction. So that's why Americas and Europe response in more positive way. But I also really like to get negative storm from my compatriots. I feel that I've touched their feelings 🙂
How does it feel when someone from China, Brazil or Australia buys your album on Bandcamp? Does it make you want to make more music? Is Haze of Summer worth your time, so far?
This is really awesome. I've never get such emotions before. Yes, feedback (anyone) makes me feel great and make go forward. Haze of Summer worth my mind, haha. I can see great number of positive feedbacks in web or paper zines.
Why do you call your music "hipster black metal"? How do Russians feel about the word "hipster"?
This is no about indie music or something. People don't understand this, sometimes. I just wanted to show people, that you can be whatever you want and live with black metal in your heart at the same time. Haze of Summer is my own vision how can you transform your favourite music style. "Hipster" is the only word and can describe this.
Who are the people that you have on the covers of your album and your new single? Do you ask friends if they want to be on the cover of your albums?
Yes, they are all my friends 🙂 I don’t feel, that Haze of Summer fit into the wider metal scene, especially a Russian one. I try to break “Black Metal of 90th” stereotype in people’s minds. Now, most of the people can’t understand such “unmetal” cover art without any logo. I saw some angry feedback about it, and that means that I got my achievement, haha
So far, all your songs seem to be named after months of the year. What is your plan about this? Will you stop after you have 12 songs finished?!
I didn't think about 3rd album, frankly speaking. If I have something to say, then I'll go with this.
What can you tell us about your lyrics. Unfortunately, I do not know any Russian. The video that you made for your song seemed about personal relationships, and the disappoint of love lost. Are your lyrics about personal issues and emotions?
Exactly. Personal issues and emotions in the field of love, but everything describe with blooming nature on the background. So it’s 50x50. Broken heart and nature, haha. IMHO, this is real black metal - to sing about the most horrible things that can happen this man. Songs about Satan or religion hatred are songs about nothing. This is not really exist. But broken soul after long and agonizing does.
What would it take for Haze of Summer to play shows in the U.S.? What difficulties are there for coming to the U.S. for shows?
1st people in USA need to know us and have a wish to come to the gig 🙂 now it’s so far. I would like to back to U.S. with great pleasure.
Do you have any other news that you want to communicate to us? Thank you for your time!
Soon we will publish LIVE REHEARSAL video on the YouTube with pro sound. We will use a lot of extra instruments which you can hear on the album in real time. Hope you'll like it and thanks for your interest. Defend love!
hazeofsummer.bandcamp.com
facebook.com/hazeofsummer/

Friday, December 1, 2017

interview with Anthrocene

Welcome to the music of Anthrocene! This is a band from the state of Washington, U.S. They are quite the eclectic metal bunch as you will find out in this interview, which is answered by their bassist Keith. Thank you, Keith and Anthrocene!
What is going on in the world of Anthrocene? What is an anthrocene, by the way? Who is in the band and what are their responsibilities?
Hello! We're playing a few shows over this holiday season and doing some studio work. The name Anthrocene just kind of came to us one day. It's meant to be something like “the time of men” in a geological sense. It's conveniently shorter than the official Anthropocene era. A lot of our music tells the story of the destructive relationship of people and their surroundings. More on that later.
As for the band members, we’re a five piece. We’re lucky to have a good dynamic where everyone is a creative contributor and brings part of their style to the mix. Our guitarists have also both taken up a mantle of recording, mixing, and mastering and our singer has to work the crowds while we're busy with our instruments and writes the lyrics. Our drummer handles a lot of the communications with venues and logistics for the band. Our bassist doesn't do much other than show up and play.
I saw Anthrocene live, without knowing much about your band. Your singer was wearing overalls. Why does your singer wear overalls? Why does the rest of the band not do that? Is there disagreement about your theme or about the importance of overalls?!
The overalls relate to the lyrical content. Our story arc follows a character named Lumberjack Daniels through blundering accidents, dark transformations, and ventures above his meager humanity into sublime territory. We're saving the details for liner notes.
There's no disagreement about this theme, we just don't all need to be in overalls and plaid. I doubt most of us even own overalls.
Live, the music sounded like power metal, prog, thrash, metalcore, or like a mix of various sounds. Do you hate the question?: "What style/genre do you play?" Also, Anthrocene features the bass prominently, unlike some bands who don’t seem to care about the bass.
We don't really hate the question, but we're not going to answer it. We like the freedom to explore all of these styles, but we think we're converging on some elements that tie them all together and make them sound like Anthrocene.
Lots of metal has great bass parts. From War Pigs and Iron Maiden to Beyond Creation and Gorguts, there are a lot of counterexamples to the idea that bass shouldn't exist in metal.
There are four songs online. Eclectic, but you manage to make it all sound like normal Anthrocene music. What is next on your recording agenda?
We're hard at work on an LP. We have about an hour of material and we're excited about getting it done. You mentioned that the material managed to sound like “normal Anthrocene” music, and we think we'll be able to sustain that through a full length despite some other style curveballs in the mix. We're not trying to be gimmicky by switching gears constantly and we hope the songs will speak for themselves.
Any other news?
We've told you about our album progress.
Come see us live readers! Our next show is at Tony V’s wingfest on December 9th in Everett.
facebook.com/pg/anthroceneband/
anthrocene.bandcamp.com/releases

right now, Friday night, Excuse All the Blood is on!

Listen to the live broadcast right now, Friday night:
radiofreeamerica.com/station/kaos
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: www.radiofreeamerica.com/dj/seamus-o-reilly
Friday night, 10pm to 1am Pacific Time (Seattle), listen to Excuse All the Blood metal music, out of Olympia, Washington state, U.S.
www.kaosradio.org
www.twitter.com/EATBRadio?lang=en

Monday, November 27, 2017

interview with Arallu

Arallu is extreme metal from Israel. The music began in the late 1990s and in 2017 they released their sixth full-length work titled Six. One quarter genius, three quarters raving lunacy, Arallu is the work of veterans of what some people call “Middle Eastern black metal.” Remember three things: (1) the album is quality; (2) the music is chaotic but within the chaos there are melodies; (3) the music is extreme metal, with a huge dose of black metal, joined to the traditional melodies/music of the homeland and region of these Israelis.
Hello! How is life for your band in Israel? Is metal alive and well in your city and in Israel in general?
Hello METAL BULLETIN and thank you for this interview. I’m Butchered, the main member of Arallu. We have Salem our pioneers of death metal bands from the 80ss. We have Orphaned Land that play all around the world and it's really great to see, but our metal scene is really small, not too many people comes to the shows and not really many good bands, unfortunately.
Was there something interesting in metal music happening in Israel that you decided to form a band? Who is answering this interview and what instruments do you play?
I’m Butchered the main member of the band. For the 2 first albums The War on the Wailing Wall from 1999 and Satanic War in Jerusalem from 2002 I played and recorded all instruments except the sessions drummer. Today I’m the main idea behind Arallu but I play only the bass guitar. Arallu was founded in Jerusalem in the middle of the conflict between the religions around the old city of Jerusalem in the 90s. When you live as the terror is surrounding you and you grow up in this endless conflict, if you want or not, it inspires you whatever you do.
Our music influenced by band like Venom, Slayer, Celtic Frost, Bathory, Deicide and many others. Middle Eastern music is my childhood home music. My father was listening to this music since I was a child. The combination between the European sound and the Middle Eastern sound is not easy to do. When I started listen to the European black metal bands of the 90s, I really liked the idea of the local folk music inside the raw sound of the black metal. I thought to myself: "I can't play like that. I can’t write music like that. I can feel the cold and the mountains coming out from the speakers! If I will try to sound like that no one will listen to my music. I can’t make it sound like that. BUT if I will bring a special sound and guitar riffs with special instruments combined with them,” and that’s what happened.
What big bands have played shows in Israel? How many times have you seen the Israeli band Orphaned Land live?!
Like I said, the metal scene is really small, local bands bring for the top 100 people for the shows. Of course, when Metallica or GnR coming 40,000 people are coming to see them, but it’s different. Metallica and Helloween are not that extreme, when you compare to the extreme bands like Arallu. Nile for example brought 140 people here. Kreator, 500 people. It’s really not much.
Arallu is black metal, and extreme metal in general, that incorporates traditional sounds from your part of the world. In addition to the usual metal music instruments, what traditional instruments from your country did you use on the album?
Our special instrument in "SIX" is the saz. Last album "GENIEWAR" it was sitar and before in "DESERT BATTLES" it was kanun. We don't want to repeat ourselves, we try to bring a different side of the Middle Eastern music every album. Not every part of every song you can add the saz or darbuka or sitar like in the previous album of the band. It takes hours to add these instruments in the right way and right place, but we will do it and work hard for that to bring a new sound to the global metal scene. Not everyone understands what we're playing. Like you can the reviews are good, and when you play risky music you know that can happen. We are not going with the main stream of black metal music, and that's ok with us. We're looking to bring something unique to global metal scene of today
In the past you have had albums with titles like, The War on the Wailing Wall and also Satanic War in Jerusalem. Your latest one is simply called Six. What changes have taken place in your lyrics, compared to the past? Did you have problems in Israel because you called your album Satanic War in Jerusalem?
Absolutely not! The War on the Wailing Wall and Satanic War in Jerusalem are albums from 2000. It’s 17 years ago when I start Arallu until today I have a clear message. The full concept of Arallu is around the ultimate war over the Middle East because we living it. So I believe it's coming naturally even if we will try to ignore it. Arallu is NOT a political band. Arallu is a radical band in the music and the lyric. We do not hate anyone or anybody because of his skin color or his religion. Our lyrics are clear! We rise against what is offensive and hurting us. Us as human beings, us as individuals. The people in Israel don’t know what good life is. We are busy with worrying about personal and national security.
Our lyrics are straight in your face, against the religions and what they represent and of course the people behind them. Our lyrics talks about all those things. From the wars of the ancient times as kings tried to rule Jerusalem, to the wars of today as ISIS are trying to destroy and kill anyone who doesn’t agree with their religious views. This album is the mirror of the human race, hypocrisy of the governments all around the world including Israel, and the unwillingness and fear to fight against the extreme religion leaders. Arallu is the horn of the situation in the Middle East and specially the horn of the wars all around the years in Jerusalem.
We don't look for paper news headlines. We play and live black metal from the 90s. I saw so many death and blood over my life, so I'm really not afraid of Islamic groups because of my music. I remember the bus exploding next to me around the streets of Jerusalem when I was on my way to school. We saw every day the hatred comes through the TV news. I was 16 years old and the extreme black metal concept around Europe comes to my life mixed with bloodshed around Jerusalem is what brought Arallu band to life.
It’s more than a decade that Arallu screaming about the global terror. Satanic War in Jerusalem our second album from 2002, talking about the situation in Jerusalem that spread to the world. I wrote this album in 2001 when the Islamic terror attack everywhere in Israel and especially in Jerusalem. Unfortunately, Satanic War in Jerusalem became a self-fulfilling prophecy and today we all know it. The War on the Wailing Wall our debut album from 1999, was the mixed between our day life and extreme black metal against religions.
How much Hebrew do you use in your songs? Are your songs mostly in English? Is Six a concept album? How does living in Israel affect your lyrics?
In Six I wrote only one song in Hebrew - “Philosophers”. There are phrases here and there like in “Adonay” but most of the lyrics are in English.
"SIX" like the other albums of the band is talking about the situation around the Middle East as it crawls to Europe and the US, and some personal issues we deal with our everyday life, in the lyrics. The song "Adonay" is talking about a simple man from Jerusalem killed by terrorist attack and left behind him a huge world of people who loved him, but actually this song was talking about the last days of my grandfather who really suffered before he died a few months ago. He was my model and I really admired him.
The song "Possessed by Sleep" is about the murder of a little girl named Hilell Yafe Ariel while she was sleeping and the terrorist killed her in bed. When you live around Jerusalem and you have 3 children all you're thinking about is how to keep them safe in this horrible world. From the other aspect we have the song "Soulless Soldier" which is about a soldier in the army service who fights the wars around Israel and when he killed a terrorist who tried to kill soldiers the government put him to trail for that. It’s absurd.
When I’m writing my music and my lyrics I'm not looking for some victories. I mean, I'm looking for something fresh, something that no one touched before. Because our music is a mix with extreme black metal music and Arabian/Middle Eastern music it's very hard to understand it in the first listening. Usually people who like extreme black metal don’t like the Middle Eastern parts and vice versa, when we wrote this album we knew its risky and we know it from the debut album from 1999, but Arallu always looks to bring something different to the global metal scene and we doing it in small steps.
Tell us about the song “The Universe Secrets.” What is that yell at the beginning of the song? Is that a typical yell found in traditional songs in Israel?
Mmmmmmm really interesting question. I believe you will not found this yell in any metal song in the all entire world, actually. It's a happiness yell of a traditional Middle Eastern party. The opening part of the song with the drums beat and the darbuka is like a Middle Eastern traditional song and that’s why we have this yell there. It's like I said, we looking to bring really unique parts around our songs. I don’t believe we will do this again for the future. We will look for something else.
“Victims of Despair” has a traditional melody at the beginning. “Adonay” has a strong element of traditional percussion. Are those percussion patterns something you have grown up listening to in Israeli songs your whole life?
Yes, exactly. If you will listen to the song "From the Desert to the Ice" from our previous album "GENIEWAR" or the song "DESERT BATTLES" from the album, you will find the same ideas with different instruments and different acts. All the music of Arallu is around the Middle Eastern music with black metal basic.
What do you think of the melodies of bands like AlNamrood and Melechesh and Nile?
Yeah, of course. Musically, Arallu belongs to the stream of the bands you mentioned. We are all thinking the same but act differently with our instruments.
What can you tell me about “Oiled Machine of Hate”?
The idea behind this song is to present the power of the religions hatred. How can it be is from 3,000 years ago until today people kill in the name of religions? The human race developed so many things - technology and curing illness that was killing millions only 200 years ago, but from the other side we are so primitive. Killing in the name of religion. It’s obscurity. This song was written is to open your mind to think about that and let you understand the situation.
Has Arallu played many shows outside of Israel? Where do you find that you have the most receptive audiences to your style of music?
We played around Switzerland, Germany, Turkey, Hungary, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia. I think it was a shock for a lot of people from our style and our sounds. Metalheads not accustomed for the sound we bring and it's so great to see the feedbacks.
Thank you for answering the questions. Do you have any news that you would like to share? If a person wants to support your band, what is a direct way of supporting your band?
If you would have asked about dreams in one of your questions, so touring USA would definitely be a dream come true. For everyone interested in supporting us and buying our stuff, the best way is through our Bandcamp.
arallu.bandcamp.com
facebook.com/ARALLU666

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Matt Spall reviews Cradle of Filth

[Matt Spall is a man of sophisticated taste in music, and as you can read from his reviews, he loves to write detailed reviews about bands that often are in the field of progressive music. Yet, he has his guilty pleasures. In some cases, he reveals that he was once a young music fan excited about a band from his own neighborhood, if you will, in England. What are the chances that Matt would love an extreme metal band from his hometown area? Well, Matt and Cradle of Filth have a shared history, and this is the newest chapter in the ongoing affair between an intellectual music writer and a band known for, shall we say, questionable tastes, manners and music. --MMB]
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Artist: Cradle Of Filth
Album Title: Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness Of Decay
Label: Nuclear Blast
Date of Release: 22 September 2017
My first Cradle of Filth review for my website was for the eleventh studio release, ‘Hammer Of The Witches’, released in 2015 by Suffolk’s finest extreme metal export. Unconstrained by the shackles of word limits, I was able to delve into my personal history with the band and go into some detail about why this band remains an important part of my life. If you missed that review and wish to read my personal story, you can check that review out here.
Suffice to say that they made an indelible impression on the psyche of a wide-eyed teenager, who was getting into more extreme forms of metal around the time of the release of ‘Dusk…And Her Embrace’ and ‘Cruelty And The Beast’. And it helped too that this band were so local to me, residing in a location more used to tractors and fields than the unholy noises that Cradle of Filth so deftly created.
Cradle Of Filth have been around for the better part of three decades, nearly as long as I have been alive. It hasn’t always been plain sailing and success for the band, what with the frequent line-up changes meaning that the only original member left standing is the irrepressible vocalist Dani Filth. For better or worse, Dani has always been the driving force behind Cradle Of Filth so there has never really been the fear that the band would ever fold or go off in radically different directions. Nevertheless, it is never helpful to have to keep introducing new members into the fold as undoubtedly the chemistry is affected each and every time. And without doubt, some of the previous eleven records suffered, culminating in material that I didn’t find as satisfying as that of their earlier days.
In light of this, it is very pleasant to be able to report that ‘Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness Of Decay’ features the very same line-up that delivered the surprisingly excellent ‘Hammer Of The Witches’ a couple of years ago, the album that reignited the excitement that I felt in the beginning. And the benefits of a stable line-up don’t take long to be realised, for this is yet another step up in quality and another indication that perhaps some of the magic that was present in their halcyon early years is well and truly making a comeback.
I’d actually take my comments a little further and say that Dani, alongside guitarists Richard Shaw and Ashok, keyboardist Lindsay Schoolcraft, bassist Daniel Firth and drummer Martin Skaroupka have delivered their best record for 20 years with ‘Cryptoriana…’
As the album title suggests, ‘Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness Of Decay ’ is heavily embedded in the world of Victorian Gothic horror and the tone is cleverly set by the opener, entitled ‘Exquisite Torments Await’. Unlike many Cradle Of Filth albums before it, this two-minute introduction is no mere instrumental. It might start with the disconcerting and creepy soundtrack of a horror film but before long, things turn heavy with a lumbering riff, blastbeats and the immediately recognisable shriek of Dani Filth. Lush keys and choral vocals give the brief track a sense of the grandiose before ‘Heartbreak And Séance’ takes over.
The minute I heard this song, I knew that this could be a very special record indeed. It contains everything I like about Cradle Of Filth. Fast riffs, uncompromising heaviness, over-the-top dramatic cinematic pomposity and the most memorable of lush, all-encompassing melodies, the kind of beautiful indulgence that they always effortlessly inject within their own distinctive brand of blackened Gothic extreme metal when firing on all cylinders. I must have listened to this track about ten times before I heard the remainder of the album but instead of getting old or boring, I like it more now than I did at the beginning. Noticeable right from the outset is the guitar solo that is both melodic and expressive, something that I welcome with open arms. And, whilst Cradle of Filth have never been shy with their use of keyboards and synths, Lindsay Schoolcraft really comes to the fore here with a perfectly-balanced use of sounds and textures that bathe the track with lashings of atmosphere.
‘Achingly Beautiful’ follows and another thing hits me as I listen and absorb the album further. Cradle of Filth have always explored songs of a more epic length but on ‘Cryptoriana…’, the compositions weave and dart around more than ever, twisting and writhing with vim and vigour as they make their way through the dark fog-drenched streets of a bygone era. The result is that there is simply more variety and drama within each individual track, heightening the overall impact greatly. I’m not suggesting for one second that this is a progressive metal album, but occasionally, the songwriting hints at it just a touch as witnessed within this particular track.
Lightning-fast staccato riffs, a frantic rhythmic backbone and an unhinged, wailing and gnashing lead solo; they are all parted expertly by understated yet theatrical keys and choral vocals, only to be replaced themselves by a thunderous, sedate riff that makes a huge impression.
The introduction of ‘Wester Vespertine’, with its atmospheric keys initially and then its urgent black metal riffing immediately takes me back nearly a quarter of a decade to the ‘Dusk…’ days. The female spoken word section and the synth drenched melodic Gothic savagery of the returning black metal riff then continue my journey into the past. However, the riff that follows is sculpted more from the realm of thrash, whilst Dani’s vocals do little to minimise the similarities. This composition is sheer extravagance, culminating in the kind of grandiose, galloping crescendo that brings a smile to my face and turns a great song into a sensational one. Without doubt, this is a highlight within an album of highlights.
In and amongst all of the other influences within ‘The Seductiveness of Decay’, the importance of Iron Maiden on Dani and Co. is arguably the most pronounced, thanks to the twin guitar harmonies and galloping melodies that surface frequently. However, it is so well done that the track becomes addictive and a lot of fun, despite the sinister overtones that loom large elsewhere in the song.
Ex-Leaves Eyes vocalist Liv Kristine makes an appearance within ‘Vengeful Spirit’ and in so doing, adds another welcome ingredient to an already rich and rewarding listening experience. The track itself is a little softer-feeling around the edges, more retrained perhaps but retains the sophistication shown elsewhere on this album.
‘You Will know The Lion By His Claw’ features more classic Cradle of Filth melodies, juxtaposed against some of the most of the most extreme material on ‘Cryptoriana…’, led from the outset by a lengthy, agonised shriek from Dani, supported by rich synths and fast-paced black metal riff. The melodies are slightly more subtle but no less impactful, accented as they are in the chorus by some pronounced choral vocals. Again this song goes in all directions within its seven minute length but it retains an almost exclusively high tempo, culminating in some impossibly fast drumming from Martin Skaroupka near the death.
The album is completed by a cover of Annihilator’s ‘Alison Hell’ but not before ‘Death And The Maiden’ brings to a close the original material in powerful fashion. The symphonic introduction is pure decadence, full-on film score territory. I like the fact that this song also deliberately slows things down a touch and delivers a muscular punch to end proceedings. The ubiquitous blast beats remain present but feature more sparingly, allowing chunkier riffing instead to pair up with the flamboyant Gothic overtones. Lead guitar solos are present too, capping off what has become a new and very welcome staple ingredient of Cradle’s sound on ‘Cryptoriana…’
If ‘Hammer of the Witches’ was a welcome return to form, then ‘Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay’ is the sound of a band building on a new-found belief and a rich vein of creativity to deliver, without doubt, one of the best records of their career.
The Score of Much Metal: 9.75
twitter.com/ManOfMuchMetal?lang=en

Matt Spall reviews Jag Panzer

[The long-running U.S. heavy metal act Jag Panzer has existed for decades, with splits and reunions of all sorts in the process. Now in 2017 they returned. So what did our friend Matt Spall think of the new music? Surely he knows this band, right? -MMB]
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Artist: Jag Panzer
Album Title: The Deviant Chord
Label: Steamhammer / SPV
Date Of Release: 29 September 2017
Jag Panzer and I have had a turbulent relationship. Many regard them as a heavy metal institution, pointing towards the likes of their debut, ‘Ample Destruction’, as examples of the very best that US power metal has to offer the world. Admittedly, I came to the band late, via their fifth album ‘Thane To The Throne’ at the turn of the Millennium but they never really ignited my enthusiasm beyond a nod of appreciation. If memory serves, I actually traded in the aforementioned record soon after because it failed to hold my interest and I ultimately felt rather disappointed by it. I realise that this record represented a slight departure for the band, so I did check out other albums. Unfortunately, they did little to change my opinion.
I can already hear the sounds of knives being sharpened by those who consider the content of the previous paragraph as blasphemy. Regardless, I have to speak as I find and I can’t possibly like every band, can I?
However, in an effort to prove myself wrong, I accepted the invitation from Steamhammer/SPV and downloaded the promo for ‘The Deviant Chord’, the tenth full-length release from Jag Panzer. I’ll admit that curiosity also played a part because very little had been heard from the Colorado-based quintet since the release of their last album, ‘The Scourge Of The Light’ way back in 2011. Line-up issues and a near break-up apparently ensued but all of that seems to have been put aside, with ‘The Deviant Chord’ the result that many long-term fans had craved.
Even better news for the Jag Panzer faithful is that the clientele has remained largely undamaged. It means that the Jag Panzer of 2017 is comprised of vocalist Harry ‘The Tyrant’ Conklin, guitarist/keyboardist Mark Briody, bassist John Tetley and drummer Rikard Stjernquist alongside returning lead guitarist Joey Tafolla.
So the stage is set for a triumphant return to the world of power metal for Jag Panzer and for me to finally take the band to my heart, yes? Well, after several spins, I must admit that the answer is both ‘yes’ and ‘no’. For existing fans, I have no doubt that the vast majority will lap up every last minute of ‘The Deviant Chord’ and revel in their return. For me though, it’s unfortunately a case of ‘as you were’ for the most part.
I have tried, I really have, but Jag Panzer just seem to be one of those bands that don’t click with me. I can see the attraction of course but it’s in a kind of detached way, as if I’m listening to the record through a pane of glass, whilst everyone else is in the recording studio rocking out with the band.
To offer something more constructive, I’d say that part of the problem is that there are a lack of killer choruses or strong melodies to capture my imagination. The album ends and aside from the Maiden-esque galloping bombast of ‘Far Beyond All Fear’ or the folk-tinged Celtic-infused ‘Foggy Dew’, I can’t remember much of what I’ve heard in the preceding 45 minutes or so. There are plenty of powerful riffs and there’s no denying the metal credentials of the band but again, they don’t grab me by the throat and slam me against the wall.
I don’t wish to sound overly harsh but I can’t shake the feeling that everything feels a little run-of-the-mill and distinctly ordinary. I certainly wish there was more variety overall, particularly in terms of the speed of the songs; once the initial fervour of the opening couple of cuts has passed, the vast majority of the remaining eight tracks feel comfortable remaining at a mid-tempo with little variation either side.
Again, not even some exuberant lead guitar work from virtuoso Tafolla can save the day as his solos are but a brief flurry of excitement in an otherwise unremarkable landscape. Likewise, the vocals of ‘Tyrant’ are passionately and powerfully delivered but for some reason, I’m not enamoured with his delivery.
I want to make it clear that I am not saying that ‘The Deviant Chord’ is a bad record because clearly it isn’t and I’d be being churlish for suggesting otherwise. It is professionally put together and the members of the band clearly believe in what they are doing. The thing is, I have been thoroughly spoilt over the last year or so with some truly excellent power metal emerging from many new corners of the scene and I think that Jag Panzer for all their strengths are suffering as a result. Whilst they had their problems to deal with, the world moved on and it has moved on apace. Jag Panzer therefore needed to blow me out of the water with ‘The Deviant Chord’ but instead they have simply splashed me a little. Oh well, as I said before, I can’t like them all.
The Score Of Much Metal: 6.5
twitter.com/ManOfMuchMetal?lang=en

Friday, November 10, 2017

the tech-death of Arkaik

The California act has been in business for a long time, since 2004. With time they have improved their brand of music, and on this, their fifth album, you will find that, sure, yes, they are very much a tech band from head to toe, back to front, forwards and backwards, but they have made an effort to add other things to their sound so that it is not an exercise in total technical metal for technical musicians. The music is still very much in the realm of technical-progressive extreme metal with growling, but there are breaks and pauses that add some melody, some slower segments and quieter interludes that give a moment to catch up a bit on the craziness. There is still not a whole lot of melody, and there is no change in genre going on at all, but Arkaik is undoubtedly working on making its art more specific to Arkaik.
If blasting progressive/technical extreme metal is a genre that you support, and you have not heard the band's latest album called Nemethia, listen to the full album at the first link below.
Biography (not updated): Arkaik's debut album, “Reflections Within Dissonance”, displayed a unique marriage of superior craftsmanship and a forward-thinking promise rarely seen in a band this young. Their sophomore album, “Metamorphignition” builds on their progressive and adventurous predilections and aims to transcend the boundaries of “technical Death Metal” even as it revels in the sub-genre's wanton brutality. The band's founder Jared Christianson (vocals) has pooled an immensely talented core of musicians around the band in its over ten years of progression, including emerging drum phenom Alex Bent (who has already done session work for Decrepit Birth/Rings Of Saturn/Battlecross), bassist Ivan Mungia (Deeds of Flesh), and lead/rhythm guitarists Miguel Esparza and Greg Paulson. Having already toured North America supporting Black Dahlia Murder in 2011, and Cannibal Corpse in 2012, they have been touring ever since creating their own enthusiastic fanbase and pushing the genre forward. Now Arkaik has released another crushing onslaught in the form of their newest full-length release "Lucid Dawn" in late 2015, their third Unique Leader Record release to date. Looking forward with ever increasing determination the band continues to seek out new boundaries of extremity and creativity – and then annihilate them.
uniqueleaderrecords.bandcamp.com/album/nemethia
facebook.com/ArkaikBand

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Nairobi Metal Festival is this Saturday!

The Nairobi Metal Fest 2017 takes place this Saturday with the following bands: Last Year's Tragedy (metal from Kenya), Slander (hardcore punk from Italy), In Other Climes (metal hardcore from France), Vale of Amonition (doom dark metal from Uganda), and Irony Destroyed (metalcore from Kenya).
Here is some previous information/announcements about the bands:
In the next days we are going to introduce you to all the bands who are performing at #nairobimetalfest. Let’s start with IN OTHER CLIMES from France. IN OTHER CLIMES is a metal hardcore band formed in 2004 by 5 members sharing the same goal: show to the world how they use their bestial energy to make each show a true party messiah. Being one of the most active French band, and known for their video clips, the steamroller IN OTHER CLIMES, gained a strong international fan base through the years, giving them the opportunity to tour all accross the globe (USA, Brazil, Japan, Cuba, China, SE Asia, Europe...). No matter the kind of music you listen, when the show starts, a true blast of hate and revolt comes to minds and hearts, changing the crowd and band in a one voice screaming: „One life, one change, no fucking regrets“
The second international band to introduce is Vale of Amonition from Uganda. Founded in 2009. The band's name means the same as "Valley of Ammunition" and 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. Musically influenced by Black Sabbath and Mercyful Fate but rather than remain rigid, their aim from the beginning has always been to evolve as much as they can within the heavy metal context. Therefore, "progressive" is a term of significance for them and tells of their collective spirit as musicians. Doom is their ultimate governor and the principle by which they play. We are looking forward to their first gig in Nairobi.
The next band to announce on the line up hailing from the dark creative forces of Nairobi. Irony Destroyed was formed in 2012 by Nelson “Ecclesiastes” Musyoka with three other previous members. They played and practiced some covers and recorded two tracks namely, “Think Twice, if Possible Thrice” and, “Sun as a Home” in 2013. In 2014, Nelson found the guitarist, Lenny Kiano and thus became in charge of the band and recruiting new members when Nelson left to study. Lenny and his newly formed band made their debut appearance at the March from the Underground event hosted by LYT and since then they have always been a crowd favorite in the Kenyan Metal scene. Earlier this year (10th April) they released their EP album entitled "Strife To Legacy" which was well received in the African metal scene. You can expect a heavy performance!
It’s now time to introduce a new band in town. After they sent us a demo with some raw material we couldn’t hesitate to let them warm up the festival. Here’s a little statement from Straight Line Connection what to expect: 'Formed in 2017 by 3 of us, Gun, Param and Maina. It was always my dream to have a rock band and after getting straight line connected to Param, the Drummer we just totally gelled. Param and I started off jamming on acoustic covers at his place till the third jam session when he said he wants to drum some. He got on the drums, I picked up the electric and started playing Scream which I had written a few months before. There was instant chemistry and we said screw the acoustic covers. We never looked back after that. After jamming a couple months we connected with Maina our bassist who added to and completed our songs. Our influences are Tool, RATM, ‪Animals as Leaders‬, ‪Metallica‬, ‪Megadeth‬, GnR, ‪Lamb of God‬, ‪System of a Down‬, ‪Alice in Chains‬, STP and many more. We are working on our album at the moment which will be released early to mid 2018. It will be a cauldron of energy, emotion, timelessness and philosophy...so we hope. The Nairobi Metal Festival will be our first major gig and we thank you and greatly look forward to it.'
Nairobi Metal Festival 2017 has 3 international bands on the line up. Slander is a young Metalpunk hardcore band hailing from Venice, Italy. If you thought that Venice, California was the only Venice that needs to be mentioned when you talk about hardcore music, now you should cope with the franticly growing scene of the original Venice City (Venezia, Italy) as well. In the last decade it delivered a bunch of renewed underground acts and has consolidated an unbelievably strong base, thanks to the cult "Venezia Hardcore Festival" that brings together thousands of HC maniacs from all over Europe. Since the beginning, back in 2014, this band has kept a strong DIY attitude and working ethic, selfproducing their own records & videos, artworks, setting up their own tours and booking local shows for dozens of bands with their own collectives (Trivel collective, Venice Hardcore Crew). They immediately started a relentless touring activity around Italy and Europe, building a solid reputation among promoters and fans with their intense and crazy live sets, alongside some of the most important punk and hardcore acts and becoming one of the most followed bands in their own country. During the last 3 years Slander has collected over 200 shows, supporting bands like Gorilla Biscuits, Descendents, Terror, Defeater, NOFX, Iron Reagan, Agnostic Front, Expire, Bane,Trash Talk just to name a few. The band is currently promoting their latest record "Bad Weather" counting multiple sold out shows around Italy and Europe, Kenya is up next! Get ready!
Last but definitely not least to announce is Last Year’s Tragedy from Nairobi. LYT ripped the belly of Kenya’s invisible metal beast and bore through to become one of the most prodigious bands in Kenya. From a group of University pals to the cutthroat thrashers known today, the group was fundamental in the setup of the Kenya Rock Scene. And then... they were gone. Or so it seemed. They return with brand new, throat grabbing, eyes-rolled-to-the-back-of-the-head music from their imminent album, Amongst Lions. With nothing but love through heartbreak, faith through despair, mallets through obstacles and fists through fear in their music, the band is set to grip you where it burns sweetly. Get ready.
After we announced all the bands the last couple of days it’s now time to mention another highlight on this festival, Dj Tumz. Popularly known by his alias ‘The Rock Doctor’. DJ Tumz has been a huge influence in the growth of rock and metal music popularity in East Africa and beyond over the last couple of years. If you have been listening to his show on Capital FM or have been to the previous „This is Africa“ festivals at the Alchemist you know what‘s up. DJ who knows how to make the crowd move. Here’s a few words from him: „I started DJing rock music exclusively in 2006. The reason was I had been introduced to and liked the music but I couldn't get it anywhere at the moment. By then I was a student at Makerere University in Uganda. That's why I decided to play Rock/Metal exclusively. I decided that other people should experience how it makes me feel. For me it is an escape to a magical place which I don't know where it is, but I know how I feel when I'm there. It's an honour to be part of this great platform bringing talented individuals for a great show! Metal especially is really misunderstood in Kenya. Hope we demestify the perceptions people have and show how powerful music is..after all music is universal“
facebook.com/nairobimetalfestival/

Have you joined the power metal crusade of Cryonic Temple yet?

Power metal fans,
If you have heard the 2017 album by Cryonic Temple (Sweden) called Into the Glorious Battle, then you probably already know that it is a strong entry into the year's power metal albums category. Apparently, there are no official videos for the album. Therefore, if you are a power metal fan, and you have not heard the album, then below you can hear some tracks from the album. Of course, if you really like the music, find a way to give tangible support to the band. Below is the review of the album from months ago, in case you have not seen it.
CRYONIC TEMPLE - Man Of A Thousand Faces (LYRIC VIDEO)
Cryonic Temple - Flying over the Snowy Fields
Cryonic Temple - Mighty Eagle
Cryonic Temple - This War Is Useless (Eulogy)
Cryonic Temple
Into The Glorious Battle
Scarlet Records
Release: 21 April 2017
Cryonic Temple returns with a statement album after years of studio silence. Metal Archives shows that their previous album is from 2008. They began in 1996 and had four albums released before this new one, which is an affirmation of power metal. The loyalists of traditional metal music melodic forms will consider this work by the Swedes as a great example of the genre in 2017. Their objective is to remind their supporters that the band is very much alive, contrary to how it may have seemed for a while, due to the personnel changes over the years.
There are 13 songs that illustrate the main ideas of glorious power metal, beginning with speedfest numbers with thrash-level velocities and uptempo rockers contagious from start to end, forwards and backwards, right side up and upside down. These Swedes have no shame, no shame at all; they want to take over the world right this minute and they seek to convince anyone within striking distance. They take the listener from the highest of highs to the agony and melancholy of the power ballads (three of them, including the closing track as an epic conclusion to the album) that will make you take out your lighter and wave your arms side to side. War, victory, defeat, death, solitude, fury, consolation, joy and desperation, it's all in this tour de force of an album.
The new album shows the band as a major exponent of European power metal. The sound on this album incorporates keyboards as a strong background component that smoothes out the music and adds a permanent element of melody. The guitar work delivers everything expected in this field: fast riffs, uptempo rhythms, fast solos and catchy melodies. In addition, there are some bluesy elements during the power ballads, amongst other places. Everything you want in power metal guitar is present. The bass guitar is not very audible, but "Prepare for War" certainly shows the bass guitar. The drums do not sound like real drums due to the clean production. You can't hear much in the way of cymbal work and the double bass is clicky, as it tends to be in so much of modern metal genres, unfortunately.
The singing is done very well and appropriately for the genre in the sense that it is melodic with both (1) a massive appeal potential and (2) without all the annoying things associated with singing. (1) The singing is very friendly to the ear, in a way that is pop and good for radio, not just for heavy metal audiences. Anyone who hears the power ballad "The War Is Useless" will find the singing to be pleasant and perfect for singing along. (2) The singing is a type of midrange vocal style, but with enough of an upper range to be totally in the territory of melody. There are no forced and out-of-place shrill high notes that some people dislike about traditional metal singing.
Trivia. The band shows some quick flashes of homage to heavy metal and to 80s pop. These include vocal phrases like "steel meets steel," quick keyboards phrasings that recall the power metal renaissance in the 90s, like HammerFall and Edguy. Some of the keyboards parts recall 80s pop, of course, as is usual with power metal. In certain spots, they might be channeling Europe or Cutting Crew. They also could be invoking a bit of Gun n Roses’ “November Rain” in the aforementioned power ballad “The War Is Useless.”
The work is a rebirth for the band. They took their time with this album and the results speak for themselves. Power metal supporters will do themselves a great favor to hear this album in its totality. It should not take more than a few listens to begin understanding that is a strong return for the band in all the songs.
Go here to hear a new song now before the album is out.
facebook.com/CryonicTemple/?ref=ts
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review by MMB

Is NECRYTIS a band that refuses to let the people hear the music?

Necrytis is a traditional heavy metal band with high singing and rocking and shredding riffs and they have their debut album now, which was released back in September 2017, called Countersighns. The band is comprised of Shane Wacaster on drums and vocals, Mark Sobus on bass, and guitarist Toby Knapp, a guitarist with a cult following due to his music with different metal genres and entities/bands, some defunct and many that are ongoing now.
I think that fans of traditional heavy metal, especially those that want some shredding and that want a vocalist who actually sings (not scream, not tough-guy talk-sing), might be a demographic for the band. The album should be interesting for people into that type of sound.
So what's the problem with this band?! Nothing, except that you might not be able to hear their music! Neither the Pure Steel Publishing site nor the band's Facebook page seems to have a song for you to hear.
Maybe some of the fans should mention this matter to them. --MMB
OFFICIAL: Through Pure Steel Publishing the newly founded NECRYTIS release their debut album 'COUNTERSIGhNS'. But if you think these guys are youngsters, you are completely wrong. With Toby Knapp on board, there's an old veteran of the US American Heavy/Power Metal scene, becoming well known in the Underground with Onward in the early 2000s. Now he's also active in acts such as Where Evil Follows and the Black Metal band Waxen. Joining NECRYTIS with ex-Pandemonium and current Sue's Idol drummer, he harkened back to the epic bombastic works of the faded Onward. Elaborate guitar leads, melodic structures with big Maiden and Priest influences as well as an expressive singer in the tradition of Michael Grant (R.I.P.), this is great stuff for every US Metal fan. Mastered by Jens Bogren, 'COUNTERSIGhNS' has a powerful yet warm production. Melodic Power/Heavy Metal that couldn't be better.
OFFICIAL: The brainchild of drummer and lyrical visionary Shane Wacaster, Necrytis is the metallic result of both careful preparation and synchronicity.
Wacaster had recently finished work on the second album from his critically acclaimed band Sue's Idol in 2016 when new ideas for something even better began to take root. Left on his own and without collaborative partners, Shane started rapidly receiving lyrics, drum beats and vocal melodies almost as if he was taking dictation from another realm. With no band in place he fiercely documented and recorded all the musical information he seemed to be ‘receiving’ and when a full album's worth of material presented itself intact, almost by otherworldly guidance, Wacaster began the search for musicians to help him realize his vision.
Enter bassist Mark Sobus, who worked with Wacaster's drum beats and vocal melodies. Sobus pinpointed the proper keys Wacaster was singing in to find his driving root note oriented bass riffs and he locked in tightly with the bombastic drum tracks that were provided him. Now a carefully prepared template and foundation of what would be Necrytis's debut album "COUNTERSIGhNS" was in place. Soaring vocal melodies, intelligent lyrics, pounding basslines and a double bass drum onslaught now awaited the addition of a guitarist. The two members initially had a guitarist in the fold but things did not go as planned and for a brief moment the future of this masterful vision was in question.
Enter Shane Wacaster's high school heavy-metal bandmate from 1987, founder of the legendary band Onward, guitarist Toby Knapp. Wacaster had heard through a mutual friend that Knapp wouldn't be available because of a grueling year of recording three albums back to back. Indeed, when Knapp was presented with the idea of adding a fourth album to his year he was reportedly “concerned" he wouldn't have any inspiration nor anything left to contribute. Plus, how could an album be written and recorded in reverse by traditional standards? Drums first, then vocals, followed by bass and finally guitar? Very unorthodox to say the least.
The muse that guides the hands of musicians sealed their fate when Knapp heard the foundation Wacaster and Sobus had recorded. Knapp immediately went to work with no hesitation and completed all guitar tracks from scratch using cues from drums, basslines and vocal melodies to help him breathe fiery guitar riffing into the music- which pleasantly recalled Onward's debut album "Evermoving". Notably, this is the first album Knapp has recorded with an actual human drummer since Onward's "Reawaken". Who better than the musician he started with in a garage thirty years ago? Synchronicity continued to guide the album into the hands of one of Germany's leading Heavy Metal labels: Pure Steel Records.
Very special finishing touches were added to sound and packaging via the incredible mastering of Jens Bogren who has worked with what amounts to a "who's who" of the greatest metal bands in the industry and the breathtaking art and graphics of the legendary JP Fournier. If Necrytis's "COUNTERSIGhNS" is a ‘sign’ of things to come, we are in for a long and exciting journey with Power Metal's newest and most electrifying power trio!
1. Praetorian X 05:14
2. Palace of Agony 03:53
3. Nova Meridian 03:51
4. Sentry's Scream 05:42
5. God as Electric 04:44
6. My Asylum 05:01
7. Dawn's Aurora 03:27
8. Daemon Angelus 05:12
9. In Ascent 04:21
10. Countersighns 04:44
total time: 46:09
facebook.com/Necrytis/

Monday, November 6, 2017

interview with Kömmand

The black thrash band Kömmand took time out of their busy schedule to confront this inquisition questionnaire interrogation (mostly written in Metalenglisch). Their debut album is from 2017 and it is called Nekrö Kömmandö Attack! because nekro is a way of viewing the world and playing music. Live it at the first link below and you too can rise to the rank of a kömmander of metal and of your life. Kömmander Z speaks.
Hällo! Metal Bulletin zine wants to interrogate the Kömmand krüe about your metal konspiracies. The debut was released in 2017, but when did the konzept für the blackthrash originally begin? Why the blackthrash in partikular? What motivates the Kömmand körps to dedikate so much devotion to this style of nekrometal?

I started writing Kömmand riffs in November of 2013. A lot changed for me in 2013 - the drummer of Skinwalker moved to Oregon, I got kicked out of Strychnine, my woman left me and I completed university. I had no feeling for the future, and a void in my output. Being fully marinated in BLACK METAL for years, my music vocabulary was stunted at the level of the cold, fast and hateful. But for me, the best parts of 2nd wave BM were always the D-beat sections and ROCK oriented songwriting. This, as well as the GREATS of yesteryear, Celtic Frost, Bathory, Destruction, Kreator, etc., are pure candy. I thought, “why wade through the fog of atmosphere to get to my candy riff?” Why not start a project of ALL candy riffs? Something I wouldn’t get bored of listening to in 1-2 months?
Before, during and after these moments, my listening preferences have trended toward the ancient and the riff oriented. CARNAGE and EXHUMER are also steeped in metal lore. We live, breath, drink, and self-destruct for ANCIENT FAST METAL. And we were quite frankly, tired of the shit, safe, eyeliner, multiple-adjective and diaper-metal bands out there.

Who are the members of the band now? One time I saw a post online of the kriminal aktivities of each bandmember für bands, podkasts, zines und other such things. Kann you please give us that information again here now so that we kann share it mit the fans?
Hiuhiuhiu, but of course! As I say, metal is everything for us. Carnage (4-string Krüshfukk) has been displacing neck-cartilage around Seattle for over 15 years with Nekro Morphosis and Process of Erosion, as well as booking shows at the 2 Bit Saloon (RIP) for years, and now booking Metal Mondays at the Substation. Exhumer (Ritualistikk Blackcircle Nekropounding) is one of the most dedicated people for the WAR-EFFORT I know! Until recently he played with Isenordal, he books various shows around Seattle and writes The Sentinel d.i.y. magazine. In addition to Kömmand, I play in Skinwalker and Wende, and record Zett’s Unsilent Storms Radio Podcast to soundcloud twice a month. Yesseah! Self-promotion is as ‘murican as baseball and wealth inequality!

Who rekorded which instruments on the album? Was it a projekt at that point? Does everyone in the band see eye to eye on what the band sound should be? By the way, what is the musical und band bakkground of the three kömmanders?


Well, according to your fine publikation, “They hate each other and can barely talk to each other to make songs together”, HIUHIUHIU!!!!! We’re all united in what Kömmand should sound like. We each have our preferences, but we only honör the OLD WAYS with Kömmand. On the album, I recorded drums, guitars, and vocals, in that order. The band has been playing shows since summer 2014, but never with a stable lineup, so during the summer of 2016, I did the drums out of necessity as Exhumer hadn’t enlisted yet. Carnage recorded bass and handled the mixing and mastering work using his NEKRÖ-DRENCHED audio knowledge. And our musical and band backgrounds were amplified in the above question - we are true metal freaks!
In order to rekord blackthrash korrektly what is necessary for Kömmand? Where do you find the right studios? What type of guitar do you need? What is the preferred ekuipment necessary? How is the bass supposed to sound? What about drums? Should the drums be only the real sound from the aktual drums when the hand and foot hit the instrument?


The way to record blackthrash korrektly is the way to record ALL music correctly: HONESTLY. No studio bullshit, not bells and whistles, every barnacle on the hull left INTACT!!!! Guitars, amplifiers, drums, studios - - almost completely irrelevant. Sound like you sound, and put in the work to sound good, and you’ll be fine. Play with feeling EMPHASIZED, and for FUKK-SAKES, make your instruments sound like themselves!!! Drums must sound like drums, not typewriters or consistent, sterile snooze-fest clicks. NO!!!!!! Guitars, Bass, Vocals shouldn’t sound like anything but YOUR band. Don’t trick things up on the album! This is one of the best things about the best albums - the UNIQUENESS of the sound on that album. No other album sounds like Paranoid. No other album sounds like first Bathory. No other album sounds like Transilvanian Hunger, etc. 
I recorded my drums, in one take per song, excepting for Plague Doctor and Hailstorms 100-Proof, at a godsdamned COUNTRY music studio. The guitars and bass were recorded in a basement. The vocals in a bedroom. It doesn’t matter. The feeling will seep out of any location, if it’s present at all.
Related to the above kuestion, is it not diffikult to rekord drums in fast, extreme metal, especially if it is blasting drums? In your opinion, how does a band avoid cheating in drums und still have a good, professional drum sound if it is blasting metal? Is it or is it not possible? Kann you think of any examples of fast drumming in extreme metal that you know has real drums with no cheating?

In Skinwalker, the drummer Blacksmith would remove the resonant head on his kick drum, and tune the beater head so it was slightly floppy. It was one of those with the fancy foam ring. Then he’d place the mic inside the shell near the Point Of Mallet ATTACK! That’ll do the trick. I’m no studio wizard or a drummer really, all I can say is… imperfect and organic > sterile and immaculate mechanization. 
As to the last queztion… even though he was a shameless perpetrator of “typewriter metal” in the mid-late 90s, Hellhammer’s performance on De Mysteriis in near flawless. It’s a shame Attila took a shit for vocals. Or just listen to Repulsion’s Horrified and Death Strike’s Fuckin’ Death demo for drums. You could do a lot worse than that.
In your opinion, where kann I find the best examples of the blackthrash guitar playing if I am studying this sound? Is it found in Destruction's early works? What about the early Celtic Frost albums? Nocturnal Breed? Nifelheim? What bands started the wildfire of Kömmand? Who does the hammer-ons a lot? Who does the tremolo a lot?
Just listen to 80s DARK THRASH. It will lead the way. Early “Teutonic”-thrash, Bathory, Celtic Frost/Hellhammer, Brazilian dark-80s-thrash, Italian dark-80s-thrash, Czech dark-80s-thrash, Slaughter Lord, Sabbat, Tormentor… But obviously, they would’ve never called their style “blackthrash”. Infernö/Aura Noir carried the torch in the dark days for the style… And currently… German blackthrash, Italian blackthrash, Brazilian blackthrash, Australian blackthrash, Sweden too - so much has changed! Hiu. Kolbotn bands are absolutely KILLING it. And Amerika is cultivating some great bands, especially on the coasts. Hail NORTHWEST THRASH CONTINGENT!!!!
Does the reaktion to your muzik enkourage Kömmand to kontinue? What did you expekkt the Seattle metalheads to think about your sound? Has the reaktion been what you expekted? Do you find that other metal bands are open-minded to sharing the stage with the nekrometal blackthrash of the kömmanders of the Kömmand köllektive?
Well I was crafting snotty, atonal BLACKTHRASH riffs before anyone cared about Kömmand, and I’ll continue after they’ve perhaps drunk their fill so to speak. But really, people are sloshing their brains about to our diddies, so we couldn’t be happier. Maybe it’s a kick in seat for people exhausted by SLOW-MUSIC MOPIES and Adjective-Adjective-Adjective-Metal curio-troupes. Who’s to say. We play loud, fast and snotty and that’s all there is to it. We’ve gotten on with most everyone, and most everyone has been congenial with us. It’s not rocket-science. Go to shows, support artists you value, and enjoy your terrestrial-span ‘cause the grave awaits us all.
Thanks for playing in Everett! It was great to hear the muzik live. What is next for the Kömmand konsortium now that you have an album done? Is it a good indikation of the band that you have already shown us what you mean by nekrometal right here in the state of Washington by rekording an album und you have written your name into the book of heavy metal.


As of drünkenly responding to your Prrrrrompts, I have four songues written, with whisperings of more on the way, so there should be another album forthwith. It’d be good to take our ÜGLYTHINGS on road soon too. Maybe even looking across wide waters? Can’t say, but it’ll be a real hööt.
Kömmander Z likes to do the Celtic Frost exklamation vociferations. However, I want more of those. I am wondering if you are thinking of adding to your repertoire more vociferations like sounds of vomit, gagging, choking, screaming, high yells, and phrases like "thrash!," "here we go again," "kömmand!," "attakk!," “This is nekrö ugh!," "ugh ugh wargh ugh!," und other things like that. Would you konsider putting in more of those? Maybe add one that goes “ugh ugh nekrö argh!”
I think I snuck in a “Thrash!” somewhere on the album, Yes? In any case, a “Pure Black Speed” is nestled lovingly in there, forsooth. No promises on any future interjections. They’re done IN THE MOMENT and any planning may result in proprietary payments to TOM G. All the vocals on the album were done in one take, straight through. Unchained melodies! The ‘ughs’ and the like will make a return though… happy hunting!
Does the Kömmander Z speak Norwegian? I think you know why I ask! The last song on the album seems to be in Norwegian. 


Indeed it is, though I’m sure quite poorly. I don’t speak Norwegian, though I’m trying to learn. I en sneglefårt! For faen! I took a holiday to Norway in the summer of 2015 and I was on the whole quite taken with the place. Bergen especially is a magical city - very much like the PNW really. So the song desribes things I experienced: drinking Syv Fjell beer at the Garage, a CAT that sleeps in a precious stone shoppe, sticks carved with mundane rune messages - an old-Norse “Letter that Johnny Walker Read”! Priceless! So I had to attempt writing in Norwegian - for the city.
Recently, there have been many important events taking place in the world. The end of the world is koming, I am told, und I do not have a plan. I have been listening to Nocturnal Breed’s Aggressor album. That’s the extent of my plan. Should I be doing something else to prepare for the end of the world? I recently threw a television set from the balkony of a hotel but that did not go well for me. Who do you think kould help me to pay my bail? Do you have the number of a good lawyer that kould help me?
A fine album for the apokalypse! End of the world? Grow your own food and get a big weapon? Oh, and the best lawyer in the world is Mr. Dontgetcaughtdoingit. He’s got me out of many a bind! And as this is the last Kuezztion… I say thanks for the interview… Hail Carnage and Exhumer, hail the skullshakers, the patchhorde, NWTC, the breweries, Insomniac and Blacksmith, and all music that doesn’t suck eggs! Wipe yer assholes!
kmmnd.bandcamp.com/releases
facebook.com/Kmmndmusic/