Monday, November 30, 2015

ABORTED - Necrotic Manifesto (Graspop 2015)

There are many ways to die but even more to kill as sonic mass murderers ABORTED elaborately explain since their forming back in 1995 and once again explicitly underline on their newest, eighth studio album “The Necrotic Manifesto”. Founding member and vocalist Sven "Svencho" de Caluwé reveals that conceptually “the album is our own take on the sordid tales of the Necronomicon, the “book of the dead”, of corpse drowned in a sauce of gore and fun covered with a good old 80’s slasher vibe.” This idea was congenially transformed into excellent artwork by Par Olofsson, who already created stunning visuals for acts like The Faceless, Exodus, Immolation, Pathology, Immortal and more.
Delicious gory fun aside, musically ABORTED mean dead serious death metal business since day one, delivering their aural blows with a maximum of versatility and hard-hitting brutality successfully melting the technical US school of Suffocation, Cannibal Corpse with the melodic incisions of European flavor obviously inspired by recently returned UK gods Carcass or even Entombed. ABORTED hack, slash, cut, grind, blast, groove, crush, rip, tear, destroy, kill in every way humanely possible and this multi-faceted approach has earned them a dedicated fanbase over the past years.
“The Necrotic Manifesto” – also produced by Jacob Hansen (who already worked with the band e.g. on 2003’s “Goremageddon” and 2011’s “Global Flatline”) – makes no exception and continues in the tradition of its much acclaimed predecessor guaranteeing you maximum gore metal pleasure. Intensity – check, brutality – check, technicality – check, inhuman savage vocals – check, keyboards – nope, bittersweet melodies – hell no, folk elements – get outta here?!?! While remaining true to themselves,
ABORTED still have a couple of macabre surprises in store spicing their renowned and respected killing spree with some bonus-carnage: First up, are guest vocalists Vincent Benett (The Acacia Strain) on “Your Entitlement Means Nothing” and Phlegeton (Wormed) on “Excremental Veracity”, sweet as rot cover versions of the incredible “Funeral Inception” (Suffocation) and “Arise” (Sepultura) as well as an entire card came (!) invented and designed by the band accompanying the album’s limited edition as Svencho details: “The card game starts off with my humble self finding the “Necrotic Manifesto” at a truck stop while taking a dump on tour, reading out passages and unleashing hell on earth. Through the card game players take on the role of a band member or crew member and have to defeat the legions of hell with their maniacal leader: the doctor! All presented with a good dose of dark humor, horror and tons of internal jokes which will get players to know the members of the band a bit better and more personal.”
Ready to shed blood and spread gallons of guts across the globe, the live Armageddon known as ABORTED will first tour the US with Kataklysm in April, followed by European release shows in May before selected mass executions during the upcoming festival season. So, better believe the self appointed “Gurgloroth” Sven de Caluwé when he says “get ready mankind, ABORTED is coming right at ya!”

Armored Saint "An Exercise in Debauchery" (OFFICIAL VIDEO)

Armored Saint was formed in 1982 by brothers Gonzo Sandoval (drums) and Phil Sandoval (guitar), and guitarist David Prichard, while still enrolled at South Pasadena High School. Next to join were singer John Bush and bassist Joey Vera. The band released 3 records on Chrysalis records from 1984 - 1988. In 1989 they released a live EP titled Saints Will Conquer. While writing and recording rough four-track demos for their next album Symbol Of Salvation, guitarist Dave Prichard was diagnosed with leukemia. Prichard succumbed to the disease before recording sessions for Symbol Of Salvation began in 1991. He was replaced by Jeff Duncan. Following the successful Symbol of Salvation tour, John Bush was offered the lead singer position in the thrash metal band Anthrax. Unsure of Armored Saint's future, Bush accepted the job. The remaining members decided to call it quits and Armored Saint was officially disbanded. In 1999, with Anthrax on temporary hiatus, John Bush and Joey Vera decided to reform Armored Saint. The entire Symbol of Salvation lineup returned to the studio, and in 2000 the album Revelation was released. The following year the band released a compilation of rare demos and live recordings called Nod to the Old School. In 2010 the band released it's first studio record in 10 years titled La Raza on Metal Blade Records. The band recently released their 7th studio album titled Win Hands Down, which was released on June 2nd 2015.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

free black metal: Morrow (Washington state)

Morrow (Washington state)
release date: November 24th, 2015
Recently on a previous issue of Metal Bulletin Zine there was information about Black Tears, the solo project of a certain Trevor Eulau in the state of Washington.
The following is how Black Tears described itself: In the search of a darker form of expression, Trevor Eulau started the project Black Tears to convey a deep feeling of melancholy and longing into melodic black metal. In May of 2015, the first EP "Forgotten" was released. Ranging from slow, depressive doom metal to cascading tremelo picking and blast beats, "Forgotten" is a sorrowful journey into the soul. With future plans to create a longer, more cinematic listening experience, and possibly pull together live members, the future of Black Tears is full of possibilities.
Facebook gives the following personnel:
Trevor Eulau: guitar
Drew Harper: guitar
Ben Afallouss: vocals, guitars
Now there is new information. Black Tears has changed the name to Morrow because they think that it fits them better.
You can obtain the black metal recording for free at Bandcamp.
The recording is called “Forgotten”:
1.Forgotten 06:26
2.Remnants of This Sorrow 06:36
3.Longing... 02:24
4.The Abyss of Life 07:42
total time 23:08
The band appears to be from the Seattle region, but I cannot say with certainty if it’s Seattle proper or not. At any rate, Morrow is a promising black metal band. It’s black metal with slower/melancholic segments. In my opinion, so far, the band is doing a good balance. It’s going to be interesting to see if they can keep their black metal as they come along. Rather, I mean: I hope that they don’t lose their black metal because it is sad to see our young metal musicians lose their souls to hipster/post-rock “evolution” or “maturing.” Beware of hipster friends, they will try to change you and tell you that metal is “conservative” or not “cool,” especially in this Seattle/Portland axis of hipsterdom. Yuck.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

MYRKUR - "Den Lille Piges Død" (Official Track)

Danish one-woman black metal project Myrkur ("darkness" in Icelandic) burst onto the scene like a Valkyrie into battle in mid 2014 with her eponymous debut EP on renowned independent label Relapse Records. Combining the rawness of second wave black metal bands like Ulver and Darkthrone with a natural sonic, ethereal beauty, Myrkur created a wholly unique perspective on the genre that quickly caused a firestorm of attention and praise from fans and critics alike.
After releasing the widely praised, self-recorded EP and a new demo in late 2014, it was announced that Myrkur would be co-producing her full-length debut with one of black metal history's most important figures, Kristoffer Rygg aka Garm of the legendary Ulver. Joining Myrkur (vocals, guitars and piano) in the studio this time were a pedigree of musicians including drummer Øyvind Myrvoll (Nidingr), guitarist/bassist Teloch (Mayhem) and additional horn, string and traditional Scandinavian instrument players. Garm commented about the experience, stating "I am really proud to be involved, to help her make her vision come to life, and also to have her carry the torch, so to speak."
Recorded around various studios in Oslo along with the famous and macabre mausoleum of Norwegian artist Emanuel Vigeland, the result is a truly captivating and grandiose experience that blends second-wave black metal, Nordic folk music, classical instrumentation and haunting choirs. Simply titled M, Myrkur's full-length debut is deeply rooted in Scandinavian black metal tradition while pushing the genre to a whole new echelon.
M will see it's worldwide release this August via Relapse and will come on the heels of her first ever live performance, headlining the black stage, at Denmark's Roskilde Festival. Numerous other festival appearances around Scandinavia and Europe are planned throughout the year while Myrkur is poised to remain one of the most talked about artists of 2015 and beyond.
MYRKUR - "Den Lille Piges Død", released via the Adult Swim Singles Program in September 2015

SWALLOW THE SUN - Abandoned By The Light (Lyric Video)

Swallow the Sun was formed in 2000 by Juha Raivio, soon joined by his friend Pasi Pasanen. A full six-piece line-up was built in 2001, then the band released its first demo at the beginning of 2003 and signed after a few months to Firebox Records. They subsequently recorded two full-lengths, with the 2005 single Forgive Her... entering the Finnish top 20 singles chart at the fourth place. They signed to Spinefarm Records in 2006.
Swallow the Sun, Biography 2015, By Chris Dick
When Juha Raivio and Pasi Pasanen formed Swallow the Sun in the quaint city of Jyväskylä before the turn of the millenium, the duo’s ambition was no wider than writing a few tunes in the vein of their heroes, My Dying Bride. Between 2000 and 2003, Swallow the Sun honed their doom-inspired songwriting skills and welcomed, with dark menace, gradations of death, black, and funeral doom—a Finnish pastime, actually—to round out the sonic scope. Like their chief influence, by the time the ultra-limited demo Out of This Gloomy Light hit label desks in 2003, Swallow the Sun defied easy categorization.
“All I wanted is a channel to put these demons [to rest] and make a music that matters,” ponders primary songwriter Raivio from his woodland home. “Who cares if its doom or if it’s pop? As long as its 100% from the heart, then the goal is reached.”
Clearly, Swallow the Sun was, in sound and sight, unequivocally from the darkest of hearts. After signing to small Finnish independent Firebox Records, Swallow the Sun rapidly became an underground sensation. The group’s debut album, The Morning Never Came, was a haunting reminder doom-death had legs after the Peaceville Three (Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride, Anathema) had largely moved on. Fans, sensing greatness in Swallow the Sun, couldn’t get enough of the epic opener “Through Her Silvery Body”, the insanely dark “Out of This Gloomy Light”, and the Lovecraftian closing title track. By winter 2003, The Morning Never Came earned Top 10 placement in lists all over metaldom, while long-standing publications like Kerrang! honored the debut as “one of doom metal’s finest moments to date”.
“We had no expectations at the time,” singer Mikko Kotamäki admits. “We were just a bunch of young blokes doing what we wanted. So, in that sense nothing’s changed, except we’re not so young anymore. Of course, it made us hungrier and now we are here with a triple album. More passionate than ever.”
From The Morning Never Came through 2012’s universally lauded Emerald Forest and the Blackbird, Swallow the Sun’s ascendancy has been like no other. The group’s sophomore album, Ghosts of Loss, placed within the Top 10 in Finland’s Top 40 chart, sandwiched with woe between System of a Down and Gwen Stefani. The same year, Swallow the Sun was nominated by the Finnish Metal Awards for “best cover art” and “best band”. Chart success continued unabated. With Hope—the group’s first for Spinefarm Records—Swallow the Sun burned up the Finnish charts, landing in the Top 3. But that wasn’t enough. When the Plague of Butterflies EP landed in September 2008, the 35-minute epic splashed at Number 1, cementing the group as serious contenders to Nightwish, Children of Bodom, and Amorphis. Follow-up full-length, New Moon, also placed easily in the Top 10 when it marched glumly into stores in 2009. Some three years later, Emerald Forest and the Blackbird also hit the upper echelons of chartdom, morosely peaking at Number 2. There was no stopping golden hand of Swallow the Sun’s doom. Even in the U.S., where the group has had marginal label support, they completed successful tours with Soilwork, Katatonia, Insomnium, and Kreator.
“During 2007-2012 we toured so much from our own pockets, it’s a miracle we’re alive,” says Kotamäki. “Some of us even have stable relationships, places to crash after all those years on the road. And now it’s time to do it again after a few quiet godforsaken years. I guess we’re still willing to risk it all.”
Swallow the Sun might not be labeled as risk takers, but they are. First of all, doom-death isn’t exactly a lucrative genre. Even My Dying Bride had to re-prioritize the band years ago to make ends meet. Second of all, Swallow the Sun touring the world—particularly the U.S., where costs are exorbitant—with limited label backing is no mean feat either. Third of all and perhaps most significant, Swallow the Sun have announced the follow-up to Emerald Forest and the Blackbird as a triple full-length titled, Songs from the North I, II & III. The group’s sixth full-length isn’t a compilation, an anthology, a live overview, or a boxed set. Songs from the North I, II & III is a legitimate triple album. With it, they join The Smashing Pumpkins, George Harrison, Tom Waits, among few others as artists willing to risk it all with a single release spanning three long-players. Whatever game Swallow the Sun are playing with their music and personal sanity, it’s paying off.
“It sure is pretty much full-on madness to do a triple album these days,” grins Raivio. “When bands want to release only one or two songs online because people would not have enough patience or time to listen full albums anymore. What bullshit. I think many bands are not respecting their fans at all to think that way. Or, they are just lazy bastards. I’m all about albums being whole experiences. Something you need to live through to be able really understand the depths and meaning of music and lyrics. Who would want to read a book just from the middle, or just watch the end of the movie? Music is holy, albums are holy. But it’s a triple album and all the albums make one big picture. One long journey through the light and dark. It is not a concept album that would have continuing story, but all the albums are connected to each other.”
Make no mistake, Songs from the North I, II & III features a complete Swallow the Sun experience. One album continues in the vein of Emerald Forest and the Blackbird and the albums before it. Meaning, it’ll be jaw-dropping, first-rate doom-death. Another album is an acoustic foray representing the group’s ability to unplug and enchant in the darkness. The final part of Songs from the North I, II & III is the most extreme, a complete ride into Swallow the Sun’s most horrific abyss. In the same vein as countrymen Thergothon, Unholy, and Skepticism, the third part is finely-crafted, conscience-crushing funeral doom.
“We have always been known for these words: gloom, beauty, and despair,” Raivio says. “That really says it all. As you get older and older, the wounds will just get deeper and deeper. The hell of living will take you into the depths you would never believe you have to travel in this lifetime, but at the same time you learn to respect the beauty more and more. All these things evolve. Like the music as the years pass. But I would give it away in a heartbeat if it would end these journeys in the dark. But it sure is good for the soul and heart of the music. No great art comes without great pain. Sad but so true.”
Songs from the North I, II & III is Swallow the Sun’s first for new label Century Media. Chuffed as Finland is cold in the winter, the Finns’ move from Spinefarm to Century Media was smart. In their new label, they’ll have a team dedicated to making sure Swallow the Sun’s black-hearted music is heard far and wide. Mostly written by Raivio following the Emerald Forest and the Blackbird tour cycle, Songs from the North I, II & III is an album that has taken time to perfect. Actually, that’s not entirely true.
“To be honest, we could have released this album over a year ago already,” reveals Raivio. “I think 90% of the music was written almost two years ago, but we had huge problems with our ex-record label and we could not enter the studio and go ahead. But now we are in the wonderful hands of Century Media. Nothing is holding us back now.”
Indeed, Swallow the Sun’s chains have broken. Even a drummer switch from Kai Hahto to newcomer Juuso Raatikainen won’t impede on the Finns’ venture. Whereas other doom-death metallers have made waves with violins, female vocals, and orchestras, Swallow the Sun are making their mark indelible with Songs from the North I, II & III.
“It’s such a massive album,” Kotamäki says. “Definitely not the easiest piece to swallow. I hope people will appreciate the amount of work we put into it after hearing it. It’s real music with real thoughts behind it. From uplifting to depressing and everything between. Like human life. No disposable shit.”
In a world crass, judgmental, and myopic, Songs from the North I, II & III will expand minds, release souls, and cleanse hearts. Let’s fall into the all-encompassing dark of Swallow the Sun together.
Swallow the Sun are: Juha Raivio (guitars), Matti Honkonen (bass), Markus Jämsen (guitars), Aleksi Munter (keyboards), Mikko Kotamäki (vocals), and Juuso Raatikainen (drums).
SWALLOW THE SUN - Abandoned By The Light (Lyric Video). Taken from the album "Songs From The North I, II & III". Century Media Records 2015.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Axemaster (part 4: conclusion of the interview)

Previous issues of Metal Bulletin Zine have been looking into the past and present of Axemaster. The following is the conclusion of the interview. At the end of the interview you will find the band links to find out more and to hear some of the music.
Axemaster is traditional heavy metal from the state of Ohio, U.S.
The band started in 1985, and has gone through lineup changes, including name changes, but lead guitarist Joe Sims, the only remaining member from the old formation, continues to steer Axemaster today. In 2014, the band signed with Pure Steel Records (Germany), and Sims produced, mixed, and mastered the new album "Overture to Madness.” Pure Steel released "Overture to Madness" in 2015, an album which, according to the band, “helps to define Axemaster's overall general style as a combination of the dark riffs and feel of doom metal and the energy and aggression of non-speed thrash metal.”
Geoff McGraw - vocals/rhythm guitar
Joe Sims - lead guitar
Denny Archer - drums
Jim Curtis - bass
A lot of metal musicians are perfectionists. When asked about this or that "masterpiece" album, some musicians say something like: We like it, but for us it was another album and we didn't know we were making a "classic." Other musicians say: We like it, but we hear a lot of the imperfections. You, Axemaster guys, have now had time to digest your 2015 album "Overture to Madness." -
Joe: I'm DEFINITELY one of the perfectionists you spoke of, I always hear imperfections in stuff I do. Most of the time people don't see what I'm seeing as an imperfection, but they are still things I'd do differently. There are only a couple in "Overture to Madness", and the couple have to do with my production and not the writing or playing. Overall, considering the HUGE amount of work and BS I had with doing this album, I'm really happy with how it came out. I thought from when I wrote all the songs that it could be the best thing I have ever been a part of and now I definitely think it is. A "classic"? It's not for me to say whether it is or isn't, that's up to the fans. But what I will say is I think the album is pretty kick ass! 
Geoff: Perfection to me isn't playing everything exactly 100% right. Perfection has as much to do with feel and emotion as it does technique, a song that is strictly perfect technique sounds sterile and lifeless, there must be passion behind it. That being said I tend to be a perfectionist in my pursuit of how I imagine something should sound or feel. Joe will corroborate that when recording vocal parts I would cut some things over and over again in an attempt to make it sound exactly how I heard it in my head. Perfection is in the ear or eye of the listener, for me the album sounds like I wanted it to, but is it perfect? I don't know, I'll leave that to the individual, but I am very happy with it. -
What specific things do you want to make better on the next album? -
Joe: Well, in my opinion perfection is impossible, anything and everything that anyone does can be improved in some way. I don't think there is any certain thing about "Overture" that could use a lot of improvement, but one thing that will be different about the next album that I think will be somewhat of an improvement is that the way we write music is now quite a bit different than the way it was done on the album songs. I wrote all the music and did 95% of the arrangement for the tunes that are on the album on my own with VERY little input or suggestions from anyone else. Hell, I even created a whole lot of the drum beats you hear on it! Now, the way we do it most of the time is I come up with a basic template, a concept for a song (the riffs I want to use with a basic, scratch arrangement), then I record a demo of it with a metronome and play it for all the guys to see if they dig it. If they do they learn what I did and we put the tune together as a unit. Everyone offers suggestions for changes here and there, many of which we use. They all write their own parts instead of them just going with what I want them to play. I think doing things this way will add a little extra diversity and energy to the music, I think everything will have a little more feel and not in any way sound at all robotic. Plus, Geoff wrote 90% of the music for one of the best new songs we have, so that one SURELY has a little different feel. -

Geoff: Joe is right, while I really dig Overture To Madness the way we do things now is much more organic. What you have to realize is that during the recording of Overture the band was almost in a constant state of flux, the one absolute constant was Joe. He was the focal point for anyone who came into or departed from Axemaster, so most of what you hear is the direction Joe was reaching for, and that turned out a great album. I am very happy that I was able to write the lyrics and vocal melodies, and that I was able to leave my mark on the 1st album after being asked to join the band. Now the writing and arrangements of the new songs are more about taking a concept and working together to create something we all have a hand in, much more organic. -
Are you completely pleased with the drum sound, for instance? What about the sound of the bass? Would you say that Jim and Denny are pleased with the sound? -

Joe: Well, I'm never 100% pleased with ANYTHING I do, so that's an easy one to answer! Even though I like the sound of the rhythm section on the album, I think it sounds pretty solid overall, there are some things that I know can be improved. Denny didn't play drums on the album, it was original Axemaster drummer Brian Henderson, and Brian recorded the drums himself using his own recording gear. Honestly, a lot of the drum tracks he gave me sounded FAR from professional. I took a lot of time with them and pulled some rabbits out of my hat to make them sound good. For the next one though we will have better sounding drums from the start which will make my job A LOT easier. Plus, we need to record the bass differently. I have a lot more experience now and know a lot better what needs to be done from the beginning. Jim's okay with the album bass sound, but I know he would have liked it to be a little stronger and clearer, and a little more out front in a couple certain spots, and I totally agree with him!
Where do you all stand on the issue of drum recording and drum sound? Do you all think it is not a problem to use a fake drum sound on a metal music album? Lots of metal albums nowadays feature not the sound of the drummer's real drum set, but the sample drum sound of a computer program or application or whatever. It's basically, some say, drum programming because a drummer knows that the sound is not the work he did. Plus, it's been fixed or enhanced so that the imperfections are taken out. Is Denny ok with the idea that on an album, people hear not his drums, his abilities, his particular way of drumming, his quirks, but the perfect work of computer software? -
Joe: NO WAY would I EVER use totally programmed electronic drums on an album. I hate the sound and feel (or lack of feel) of those things! Even though there are some great systems that sound pretty close to real, I can still tell the difference. I'm sure Denny feels the same way, but in Axemaster he will never be faced with that issue because it will never happen in this band; we will ALWAYS have a real person playing drums on recordings. Honestly, I don't know of any professional metal albums that use only totally programmed drums. If you would, give me a couple examples of what you're speaking of, now I'm curious.
[Answer from the editor: Please see at the end of this interview for the answer.]
Anyway, on the other hand, I don't have a problem with using triggers on drums, they clean up the sound, but it's still the actual drummer playing. Those are used a lot in pro studios and as long as the process is done the right way, it comes out the same as using mics on the kit except the sound is a lot clearer, the hits are more defined, and all the different tracks are easier to control in mixdown. But it takes a good producer with experience using triggers to get the proper result, if they aren't done correctly, the drums could easily come out like total shit!!!! I also don't have a problem with fixing/editing some things during mixdown, that's standard procedure. On (especially) a studio album, the goal is for each song to sound as good as it can possibly sound, and it's the producer's job to do whatever is necessary to make that happen. I'm not talking about totally changing parts or anything, just small adjustments to take things from being "not bad" to being totally right. You certainly don't want to go nuts and change things to the point to where the band isn't able to play the stuff correctly live, but I don't see any problem with making adjustments so the material sounds totally correct. -
Geoff: I think what you have to remember is that technology that replaces old techniques is not a bad thing, like drum triggers or digital editing, It used to be that you would cut tape to achieve the same thing. I do not miss cutting tape, while it's a skill I am glad I learned the number of hours you spend cutting tape is insane and if you make a mistake you have to start over again. However replacing a musician with a machine, takes way the feel and then it's not music, it's mechanically reproduced sounds....although there is some of that stuff I like, lol. I would not want us to ever replace a human with samples. -
For many people, this is the first album that they hear Geoff singing. Is Geoff able to go back and listen to his own singing on the album or does he find it difficult to dissect his own performance? -
Geoff: Actually I do listen to the album, I think it came out how I wanted it to. I don't think there is anything I hear that I wish I had done differently. Like I said previously we cut and recut anything that I wasn't satisfied with, in every case we started with recording a scratch vocal that I thought was more or less what I wanted, then I took that and played it at home and tweaked the ideas. When we actually recorded the final tracks I tweaked it some more. There were in studio revelations where I decided to do something different or change approaches entirely, those "hey wouldn't this be cool" moments. Joe made occasional suggestions which I was free to use or not use. In the end, if it didn't feel right I kept working on it until it did. Because I did that, when I listen to it now there isn't anything that I am dissatisfied with, I can listen without nitpicking my performance or wishing there was something I had done differently.
I guess it sounds pretty much like I addressed the 1st question about if I am a perfectionist or not -
Say, do you like the artwork of the album as much now as you did at first? It's very grey and it almost looks like the artwork for a doom band, right?! It's grey and somber, but it's difficult to be cheery about madness, isn't it? The album cover looks like it could be for a band like Candlemass or old Trouble! -

Joe: I was the one who found the artwork and I still LOVE it. Like I'm sure I mentioned somewhere in this interview, our music is heavily influenced by doom. The only kind of riffs I use have the dark feel of a Sabbath or a Candlemass, the main difference being that we usually put those riffs into a more thrashy context. And Geoff's lyrics aren't exactly the kind of thing you would find in an episode of "The Smurfs," the little blue fuckers would have to go to therapy after that hahaha! His words fit the mood and feel of the music absolutely perfectly. So overall, I think the artwork totally goes with our material and the album. To me, it being black and white also gives it the cool feel of an old horror movie and makes it stick out; there aren't a whole lot of label releases out there that are done entirely in B&W. -
Geoff: I do like the album cover, not as much as the original concept though. Being straight forwardly honest we had an amazing original concept that an artist was going to provide us with. Promises were made prices were agreed to, and then with just a few weeks before deadline and release he revealed that he hadn't started on it and wanted more money than agreed upon from the label. It really pissed me off, I realize that sometimes these things happen, but this was supposed to be a special case and a special price because he was Joe's friend. This was a betrayal of friendship, not business, and I can never forgive him for it. That being said, I really do like the artwork that Joe found, it fits precisely the mood and feel of the album. All the various images of the cover, music, death, art, life, and it's use of negative space are moving, even darkly enchanting. I would like to see the original concept someday, maybe on a rerelease, but then again maybe not because it would be a different artist which would make the piece different too. -
I'm no expert on bands from Ohio. I remember Shok Paris because I heard them on radio back in the day. In y'all opinions, what bands from Ohio are pioneers in metal? Black Death, Destructor, Breaker? I'm just throwing some names, but I do not know the history in a real sense! I hope that this interview has given you all a chance to explain to us a bit about the history of metal in Ohio! -
JOE: Well, Black Death is definitely a pioneer because they were one of, if not the first signed heavy metal band that had all black band members. They are still around by the way, they played at the Ragnarokkr fest in Chicago we played in 2014 and I believe just had a new album come out. Cool band and great guys! Anyway, yeah, there was/is all those Auburn bands like Shok Paris, Breaker, etc., but there have also been other metal/rock musicians from around here like Jani Lane of Warrant back in the day (even though that's obviously not the kind of thing I have ever been into, still is a genre of metal). None of the bands from here made it HUGE, but there have always been a lot of groups of all the different rock genres around here that have put out cool stuff over the years. Actually, a couple of our label-mates on Pure Steel are from Ohio, Wretch and Sunless Sky. -
Geoff: I have to disagree with Joe about bands from Ohio not making it huge. There have been tons of bands and artists from Ohio, many have even made it National such as Mushroomhead, Chimaira, Chastain, Necrophaigia, Skeletonwitch, Tim "Ripper" Owens, Nine Inch Nails, Filter, Marilyn Manson, Maynard James Keenen of Tool, Hawthorne Heights, Devil Wears Prada, Salt The Wound, Gilby Clark And Steven Adler were both born in Cleveland....and dare I even mention them ...Black Veil Brides. It doesn't even end there, Ohio has a long and rich history of producing musicians in all genres from rock and blues to jazz and hip hop. While many of these artists don't necessarily appeal to everyone there can be no argument about their influence and that they indeed "Made It Big". -

Joe: I totally forgot about Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails being from this area, and I honestly didn't know that a couple of those musicians were born around here. The term "making it big" is very subjective, what I meant and should have said is that ones I was thinking of aren't quite household names that even non-metal fans totally know about. They aren't as recognized as bands that are universally known like Sabbath, Kiss, Priest, and Maiden. Which is really unfortunate because there have always been a lot of great musicians in this area.

Do you know the people at Auburn Records? Do you know Bill Peters? -
JOE: Oh yeah, I've known Bill for quite a few years, he does a metal show on local college radio every week. I don't know him THAT well personally, but he seems like a really good guy who is totally into metal. Our drummer Denny actually knows him better than I do. Strangely enough, I don't know any of the other Auburn people or even the bands personally. You would have thought that after all these years I would have crossed paths with some of them but never did. The thing I always thought was strange though was when I was first sending the original Axemaster demo around, I never heard back from Auburn but Azra Records out of LA wanted to sign us on the spot. I always thought it was odd that the hometown label seemingly had no interest in the band, it took a label from LA to sign us and first get us into the international scene! -
In band discussions, how do you see the future for Axemaster from here on out? Do you feel like your band has every reason to continue into the future and to find out where this music will take you? I would like to remind you all that in metal music the old legends are playing music and are in their 60s (or maybe older, I don't know!). Therefore, Axemaster could be just getting started, in a sense. Who knows, it's just a matter of being really stubborn and not breaking up, not stopping, getting through the obstacles, and continuing as Axemaster from here until the wheels come off and everybody is a senior citizen!! -

Joe: The music business as a whole is HIGHLY unpredictable, you could say the only thing that's certain is uncertainty. But the one thing I can say FOR SURE is that I'm a totally stubborn fucker and I'm not gonna give up as long as I'm breathing and still able to play!!! I could be 100 years old and if my fingers still work and people are into seeing an old bastard jam, I'll be on the stage and it will still be Axemaster, hopefully with the same guys as now!!!!! I'm not gonna repeat past mistakes and am gonna see this band through till my days are over. Like you said, in a way, Axemaster IS just getting started while at the same time having a kick ass history. We're in a uniquely cool situation where we kind of have the best of both worlds: although we have a name that a lot of fans already know, we are seen by many as somewhat of a new band (which in a lot of ways we are), so we aren't looked at like an old band that's past its prime. It appears to me that people look at us with having the potential "up-side" like a new and fresh project would have, while at the same time we have a lot of long-time fans and a history that's a definite advantage. Given all that, we would be totally nuts to not go for it and see how far this band can go!!! I think this is just the beginning of a long and kick ass ride!!!!!! -

Geoff: I think that there is indeed a feeling of just getting started, and I feel a lot of optimism toward the future. Joe and I were actually just talking about the fact that we both see this as a long term deal. Music has always been at the heart of who I am, and while I am also open to doing side projects and guest spots, Axemaster is the platform that I see as being my foundation. After all these years of slogging it out I feel like I finally found a home, and as everyone knows..."there's no place like home". -
The following is the answer to the band’s question about drum programming. The band asked for examples of professional metal bands that use drum programming.
Without doing research, here’s a bit of an answer. It is well known that Fear Factory’s “The Industrialist” (2012) is drum programming because the band makes it no secret. The band has made it clear that their albums and lots of bands that they know, are basically using drum programming, but some bands just don’t want to admit it publicly because in metal there is this illusion/perception/belief that there is more integrity. It is also well known that the long-running metal band from Germany, Running Wild, for “Victory” (2000) and “The Brotherhood” (2002) used drum programming. Other metal musicians, such as Rage (Germany), for instance, have publicly stated this about those Running Wild albums, and many German metal musicians have stated that it is drum programming because they know from personal connections that they have. It is also well known and it is believed that many U.D.O. albums are drum programming because Stefan Kaufmann did the programming. For instance, listen to “Holy” (1999). Does it sound like real drums to you? That’s just one U.D.O. example. Many people believe that King Diamond’s “The Eye” (1990) is drum programming, but King Diamond denies it and drummer Snowy Shaw refuses to give a straight answer (due to legal contracts/disclosure agreements?) when asked point blank by Sick Drummer Magazine. I think his refusal to answer the question is itself the answer. I also remember reading that he cried when he heard the album and he realized that it is not his drumming. I cannot find you the article for that right now, though. Judas Priest’s “Ram it Down” (1988) has some drum programming and I remember reading in an interview that they did it because the drumming was no good in certain places. Last example for now, Bathory admitted to using drum programming specifically on “Under the Sign of the Black Mark” (1987). That’s at least one album that Bathory admitted to doing it.
Plus, this zine has asked some bands, bands whose albums do not seem to have real drums, and some of those bands did not answer the interview. Apparently, that “crossed the line” by asking. Some bands have answered and have been honest. Others apparently got angry and decided not to answer the interview. The above examples do not even cover modern extreme metal, which has many bands either using drum programming or using it for some parts, but calling it something else.


Power Theory has a new album and new video. See below.
Power Theory was founded and formed by Bob Ballinger and the early line up included Charlie Gallagher on bass after Bob and Charlie disbanded Night Myst. Even though they generated some local buzz, the early line up was short lived because not all members understood the vision of what was to become.
In order to strengthen the vision, line up changes were made. Steve Sabo was added on drums and Dave Santini joined as vocalist. Bob and Dave formed an instant bond for songwriting and began putting together material for the E.P. "Metal Forever". Charlie Gallagher stepped down as bassist; so Jason Tete joined.
The E.P. "Metal Forever" was recorded with Jason Grosse at 1021 Studios in Bristol, PA as an independent release. The band played live extensively and started writing/recording at 1021 Studios for a full-length release. With the material completed by September 2010, they hired the legendary Achim Koehler to master the project and independently released "Out of the Ashes, Into the Fire". In the fall of 2010, Steve Sabo was replaced as drummer and Chris "Chachie" Smith filled in temporarily. Although Chris's picture appears on the CD liner notes, Steve Sabo actually recorded drums for the album.
Power Theory signed a 2 year deal with Pure Steel Records Germany in February and "Out of the Ashes, Into the Fire" was repackaged and internationally released on April 29th, 2011 at "Keep it True" Festival in Königshofen, Germany. Soon after the release, bassist Jason Tete amicably parted ways with the band for family reasons and so was replaced by Jay "Viking Jay" Pekala. Finally, during summer, a vital missing piece, a true metal drummer, Lorin Savadove was added. Now, with a more dynamic rhythm section the band started recording their follow up album once again at 1021 Studios.
The band gained more extensive live exposure, expanding their range to neighboring states and continued recording new material for their sophomore effort "An Axe to Grind" with cover artwork by Eliran Kantor on Pure Steel Records. An invitation from Datis Alee to play Warriors of Metal V Open Air in Pataskala, OH on June 29th was accepted. The band and record label mutually agreed to officially release "An Axe to Grind" on that day. Power Theory played more shows later in the summer with national acts such as White Wizzard, Icarus Witch, October 31, and Anvil Bitch also labelmates Exxplorer, Sleepy Hollow, and Widow. In September Power Theory opened up for German metal icons, ACCEPT and KREATOR in their hometown of Philadelphia, PA to a packed house. Jay Pekala departed the band after the show.
Demo recordings for a 3rd full length release began in March and it was clear a powerful transformation was taking place. The band chose to part ways with Dave Santini and the search for a new lead vocalist began. Nygil Hoch (who is a Musicians Institute GIT graduate) was recruited for lead/rhythm guitar duties and NYC area vocalist Jeff Rose earned the spot as front-man, thanks to his preparation and talent. Long time band friends Paul Orkin (Flesh Engine) and Drew Foster had been generously filling in on bass duties for various live shows but the final addition of Alan D'Angelo (Livesay, Sleepy Hollow) on bass, completed the new line up.
Revamped and ready to roll the band returned to the main stage at Warriors of Metal Open Air VI to play a killer live set with old and new material and was greatly accepted by fans. In October 2013, Power Theory embarked on their first national U.S. tour as main support for SEVEN WITCHES with VICIOUS RUMORS headlining on the second leg of VR's North American "Metal Masters Tour" and returned home to support NWOBHM legends, RAVEN at JB McGinnes in New Castle, DE. Sadly, in late November, drummer Lorin Savadove had decided to step down due to a personal injury. Later, Nick Bunzck was tapped to fill in on drums. 2014
Early highlights have seen the band playing shows with national acts Single Bullet Theory, Byzantine, Arctic Flame and Primeval Realm. Come April, PT goes to play Ragnarökkr Metal Apocalypse/Chicago Metal Fest alongside Picture, Grim Reaper, Riot, and Voltax. The year concluded with an appearance at SAVFEST-USA on October 18 with their most closely related label-mates, WRETCH and a monster show once again in direct support for RAVEN on November 22 at The Legendary Dobbs on South Street, Philadelphia, PA. New management under SentinelMusic had been in order for the following year.
Kicking off in high gear, the band re-launched the recording process of their 3rd full length album “Driven By Fear” with a new producer, Carlos Alvarez (Dirty Viking Studios). The first shows of 2015 included opening up for DORO on March 3 in Philadelphia, PA and traveling to Pittsburgh, PA and Columbus/Akron, Ohio on April 16, 17 and 18 respectively to headline with label-mates WRETCH/Sunless Sky/Axe Master. May 15, 16 and 17, Power Theory flew down to Florida for 3 amazing shows with Marton Veress (Armageddon) on drums for his first performances with Power Theory. June 6 was PT's first time in Providence, Rhode Island, playing at Firehouse 13. June 7 was at Blackthorn 51 in Queens, New York. June 13 will be a local show at Bull Shooters Saloon as direct support for Release's farewell.
The first scheduled performance outside of the United States will be held at Hard Summer Festival in Falkenfells, Bavaria, Germany. Surely to become a highlight in the bands career.
"Driven By Fear" is in the process of being mastered and will be released on Pure Steel Records.

ENFORCER - Scream of the Savage (OFFICIAL LIVE CLIP)

Enforcer has a 2015 live album called "Live by Fire." Check out the new video.
With the release of their debut album Into the Night in November 2008, ENFORCER kicked open the floodgates for the return of traditional heavy metal, paving the way for many other young bands to follow. With critical acclaim pouring in from fans and the international music press, ENFORCER wasted no time taking their show to the road for their first European and American tours as well as for a litany of appearances at many of Europe’s most highly regarded festivals including Sweden Rock, Keep it True, Arvika Festival, Festung Open Air, Bang Your Head and many others.
Following the release of Into the Night ENFORCER added a new bass player in the form of the Rickenbacker-wielding Tobias Lindqvist, with former bassist Joseph Tholl joining shredder Adam Zaars for a dual lead guitar attack. During their relentless worldwide tour schedule of 2008 and 2009, ENFORCER managed to fi nish writing their second full-length album. The band spent the remainder of the year polishing the material before hitting the studio in late December 2009 to lay down the tracks with renown Swedish producer Rikard Lofgren. After the release of such a stellar debut album, many fans and critics were left wondering if ENFORCER could ever top or even equal their iconic debut album. Proving themselves more than up to the challenge, ENFORCER emerged in February 2010 with their latest masterpiece, aptly entitled Diamonds. A pure old-school heavy metal album of the highest caliber, Diamonds is ENFORCER at their best. Recorded, mixed and mastered 100% analog with no triggers, samples or any other phony modern studio techniques to deliver an old-school heavy metal album the way it was intended to sound!

Monday, November 23, 2015

free black metal: Svneatr

Serpents & Storms
release date: January 13th, 2015
In the province of British Columbia, Canada there is something new brewing. It is called Svneatr (I pronounce it "Sun-eater," but how do you pronounce it?) and it's black metal. I have no information about how this was recorded, but it sounds very promising. I have been listening to it for a while now, actually. I should have told you about this recording much earlier, really. Personally, I like the feel of the recording. The drums sound like real drums, and the music sounds rather honest, which is a pleasant surprise. I don't know how long this entity has been at work, but I hope that this is not the last thing we hear. Besides the sound of the recording, of course, there's the songs: solid black metal that is played at various speeds, not just fast. The result is that you can hear the guitar work and drumming rather well. Anyway, maybe one day we can find out if the drums are real drums and just more information about this entity in general. For now, there's the music and it is free, so for black metal supporters there are various reasons to look into this music right now.
Serpents & Storms
1.Kingdom Falls 06:36
2.Crimson Star 04:06
3.Walk the Fires 05:26
4.Trance 05:29
total time 21:37

news: War Curse

War Curse (USA)
Final Days
Static Tension Recordings
release: 22 January 2016
Those that buy cassette tapes and like punk/thrash might be interested in the news of War Curse’s debut on January 22 2016 on Static Tension Recordings.
War Curse was formed in late 2013 by guitarists Justin Roth and Joshua Murphy, and drummer James Goetz. In 2014 the decision to pursue the project led to the recruitment of vocalist Tarek Puska, and a bassist named Death Metal Doug (who wasn't to last long). Two bassists later, Eric Payne completes the line up and War Curse is melting faces around the Midwest, sharing the stage with notable bands like Raven, Viking, Unleash the Archers, and many more. Listening to War Curse’s debut EP “Final Days” reveals influences from early thrash metal icons Exodus and Testament, heavy metal titans Metallica and Megadeth, and draws subtle inspiration from the band’s love of punk rock. War Curse has been called thrash enough for the thrash heads and heavy metal enough for the guys who grew up listening to Iron Maiden. With no plans on slowing down, War Curse will be heading back into the studio in early 2016 to record a follow up to “Final Days”, hoping to showcase their evolution as a band and songwriters.

news: The Desolate

The Desolate
The Great Departure
release: 30 September 2015
How about a band for people into Pantera, Slipknot, Lamb of God, Hell Yeah, for those into the sounds of groove-metalcore bands? It looks like the band started in Iowa, USA in 2008, but recently the band is based in the town of Vancouver, in the state of Washington. This December they have shows coming up and below you will find the list of dates. They have a new album called “The Great Departure.” In the new album the band continues the mixing of metalcore and grooves that they have working on for years. They could be rolling to your town next; see below. Also, below is a link where you can hear the new album.
The band is:
Nick Bielser: guitar, vocals
D.C Snipes: guitar, backing vocals
Clayton McDaniel: drums
Josh Sullivan: bass/backing vocals

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Skinflint "Okove" Official Music Video (PURE STEEL RECORDS)

Skinflint is a three piece Heavy Metal band from Gaborone, Botswana. They have incorporated elements from African culture with Heavy Metal music, attracting the attention of international media. Their releases Iklwa, Gauna, Dipoko and Nyemba pay homage to ancestral beliefs and African spirituality, while still playing in the vein of Traditional Heavy Metal. The band has headlined shows across Africa, and enjoyed successful tours as far as Sweden.


Hailing from the city of Ventura an hour north of Los Angeles, Night Demon is a classic metal trio comprising vocalist/bassist Jarvis Leatherby, guitarist Brent Woodward and drummer Dusty Squire. The band unites the three members’ musical inspirations and influences ranging from old-school metal greats such as Iron Maiden, Metallica, Diamond Head, Angel Witch, Riot and Saxon to punk legends The Misfits. But whilst Night Demon’s music proudly exhibits these roots, it does so in a manner contemporary with modern time, and even in Night Demon’s short tenure as an active band since 2012, this quality has compelled first-time listeners to take notice and has made an indelible impact on them.
Night Demon released their self-titled debut EP in April 2013, consisting of four original compositions on CD and vinyl, and to coincide with their massively extensive Spring 2014 European tour (including appearances at Keep It True and Pounding Metal Fest), they put out an expanded edition of the EP with four additional tracks including three rare, obscure cover tunes Axe Crazy (Jaguar), Lightning To The Nations (Diamond Head) and Radar Love (Golden Earring; live version).
Spring 2014 also saw Night Demon successfully sign a European record deal with SPV/Steamhammer, and was soon followed by a signing with Century Media Records for North America (and the rest of the world excluding Europe). In Fall 2014, Night Demon embarked on an epic journey across North America with British metal legends Raven, and returned home from this 44-show, 9-week, 19000-mile run having established a strong first impression on old-school metalheads throughout the continent, turning Raven fans into Night Demon fanatics overnight. Also in 2014, Night Demon completed work on their debut full-length album ‘Curse Of The Damned’, featuring 11 brand new original tracks, and with its early 2015 worldwide release began the next chapter of the Demon's rapid rise.
In January 2015, Night Demon trekked a four-week winter US tour supporting Skull Fist and Elm Street, and this tour witnessed the debut of the band's new, enhanced live show which has since included their own manually operated lighting display, and the much-heralded on-stage appearance of their chalice-bearing reaper-esque mascot 'Rocky' every night. Audiences nationwide were mind-blown and held captive for life, further expanding the band's fan-base. The end of this tour was marked with a one-off gig opening for Eyehategod in Fresno CA. This added to the band's past high-profile gigs such as the three-show 2013 West Coast run with Diamond Head and Raven, and being personally invited by Glenn Danzig to be part of the Samhain reunion Los Angeles show in 2014.
The 2015 winter US tour was immediately followed by a comprehensive 10-week tour of Europe, wherein they played several excellently attended headline shows, appeared at the Metal Assault festival in Germany and the Very 'Eavy fest in the Netherlands, and played a handful of gigs with Dave Lombardo's Philm. After the completion of this run and a short three-week break at home, Night Demon set foot on a D.I.Y. spring/summer 2015 headline tour of their own through the United States, bringing their richest stage production and longest set lists for the viewing and listening pleasure of their legion of devoted fans.
Besides the unadulterated musicianship and exuberance of their original tunes, Night Demon’s strength lies in their live performance wherein they win new fans every time they take the stage, whether it’s Europe or North America. They have undoubtedly established themselves as seasoned musicians, powerful performers and unrelenting road warriors, and with hundreds of shows already under their belt, Night Demon is primed for endlessly extensive worldwide touring in the immediate and long-term future, and while they carry on with this conquest for global domination, they continue to compose face-melting, spellbinding new material.
Be on the lookout for Night Demon hitting a stage near you, and prepare yourselves to get down to the ritual!
-Andrew Bansal -Metal Assault


"Discharge is a British hardcore punk band formed in 1977 by Terry "Tezz" Roberts and Roy "Rainy" Wainwright. They are often considered among one of the very first bands to play hardcore punk. While the band had substantial lineup changes over its history, the core members over the early 1980s, when the band produced its key recordings, were Kelvin "Cal" Morris (vocals), Tony "Bones" Roberts (guitar), Roy Wainwright (bass), and Terry Roberts (drums).[1]
The band's music is characterized by a heavy, distorted, and grinding guitar-driven sound and rawly shouted vocals, with lyrics on anarchist and pacifist themes. The band's first album in 1982, Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing, went to number two on the UK Indie charts and number 40 in the UK Album Chart. In the early 1980s, the group had a number of singles and EPs place in the top 10 of the UK indie charts, including the 1981 EP Why(#1) and the 1982 single State Violence State Control.
After 1982, the addition of guitarist Peter "Pooch" Purtill brought significant thrash metal crossover elements to the band. In the 1990s, the band released several metal-influenced albums, which alienated some of the original fan base. In the early 2000s, the original line up was reunited and they released a self-titled album using the 1980s musical style. Discharge's music influenced hardcore punk, thrash metal, crust punk, grindcore and various extreme metal subgenres. The most well-known thrash metal bands covering Discharge songs include Metallica, Anthrax, and Sepultura." (bio)

Saturday, November 21, 2015

new issue: 64 of Metal Bulletin Zine

Here is this week's issue of Metal Bulletin Zine: number 64.
Teloch Vovin
Ghost Machinery
FREE metal music:
Cryptic Excision (WA state)
League of Frost
Crusted Trust

free metal music: Crusted Trust

Crusted Trust (Russia)
Holy Guidance
release date: November 7th, 2015
They formed this band because the thing that they want is a huge mosh pit where thrashers can gather and make some noise. Mission accomplished. The band is not trying to fool anyone here. They play thrash and they like lots of guitars, and that's what they do.
1.Chemical Weapon 02:19
2.Final Warning 03:59
3.Шаг 03:04
4.The God That F... Dead 03:10
5.Holy Guidance 04:13
6Логике смерть 04:16
7.Say Hi to Shah 00:49
8.Chemical Weapon (Fat Vocals Bonus) 02:19
9.Стул (Hidden Ponus Track) 00:04
total time 24:13

free metal music: League of Frost

League of Frost (Croatia)
Ancient Burial Ground
release date: April 11th, 2015
The band explains who they are as: "League of Frost is a Croatian black metal band formed by Pokojnik, Sablast and Drinogor in 2015 after their band Proklet split up." The band is upfront about their intentions: black metal, and that's it. It's black metal for supporters of black metal. This recording is definitely a good start for them.
1.Intro 01:05
2.Temple of Baphomet 04:48
3.Hail Belial, My Lord 02:43
4.Sacrifice the Innocent 05:01
5.Ancient Burial Ground 04:55
total time 18:32

free metal music: Nefast

Nefast (Holland)
release date: September 6th, 2015
The band states that they are interested in "the absurd" and some call the music "psychedelic black metal," for those that would like a different take on black metal. The music is still not very far removed from black metal, but they are beginning to show the distancing. If anything, you could say that prog is an important part of the sound and you can hear it in the drumming, which is not so linear, and a bit of the experimental sounds, like a moment here, a segment there of some sideways energies. We’ll have to wait and see where things go from here.
1.Discomfort II 06:38
2.Discomfort I 04:06
3.Saturnine, Consolation 12:41
4.Absolved 13:00
total time 36:25

free metal music: Cryptic Excision (Washington state)

Cryptic Excision
release date: 2014
Metal Archives says that this is from Seattle, but there is little information about it. On Bandcamp, where you can get the recording for free, it says the following: "Recorded in an underground base somewhere in the Northwest by Phantom Practitioner in 2014. No drum machines. released June 22, 2014. Phantom Practitioner - All Instruments."
The recording is:
1.Deflated Pericardium
2.Terminal Necropsy
3.A Night Out (Of This World)
4.Stillborn (Not on Earth)
The music is brutal death metal with some space/alien sounds, but not too much. It's still very much raw death metal, with super low growling, and fast tempos.


The Dysentry Penance
Vic Records
Release: 30 November 2015
Vic Records does it again. This compilation of demos gives insight into the development of Pestilence, Holland’s most loved and known contribution to death metal in the late 80s and early 90s. Depending on with whom you talk, people love “Consuming Impulse,” “Testimony of the Ancients,” “Spheres,” or some other album. However, these demos are something else entirely. This is the early phases of the band. The recordings are rough. The band sounds young and very energetic, playing extreme metal like their lives depended on it. You might hear a bit of their influences, you will hear lots of primal and chaotic execution.
These recordings are from 1987, right before the band’s 1988 debut ‘”Malleus Maleficarum.” Pestilence was always changing, and in these early recordings the band has not yet taken the death metal plunge, instead it’s raw, aggressive thrash, both in the music and vocals. This compilation features notes by Pestilence leader Patrick Mameli.
Recommended for the Pestilence collectors.


Greyhaze Records
release: 11 December 2015
This compilation of old demos and rehearsals is for the total collector that wants to have everything that the band ever recorded. This collection goes a long way towards accomplishing the objective of making you an expert.
Of course, the band is legendary in the realm of black metal, death metal, war metal and bestial metal in general. The album, which Cogumelo Records (Brazil) and Greyhaze Records (USA) are releasing, includes 20 songs from the demos “Satanic Lust,” “Christ’s Death,” and other demos that the band recorded before doing the official albums. This title comes with photos from all stages of the band’s career and notes by former vocalist/guitarist Wagner Antichrist.
Sarcófago is held in high regard for many reasons, especially the legacy of their early years. The corpse paint, the bullet belts and the blasphemy, and the raw intensity of the music, connected with a small number of youth around the world, youth that would eventually pick up their instruments and take up the flag of black metal.
These demo recordings are recommended for the total Sarcófago fanatic that would love to hear earlier versions of the official album songs.

Ghost Machinery

Ghost Machinery
Evil Undertow
release date: November 13th, 2015
Pure Legend Records
When your heart is on fire for melody and power, for catchy songs and the 80s, these Finns want to take you higher, to the place where the past and the present live side by side and it is called Ghost Machinery.
They even do a cover of “No Easy Way Out” from the movie “Rocky IV” (1985). It does not get much more 80s than that.
The sound is heavy metal with prog and melodic rock. Maybe they like Iron Maiden and Saxon, but perhaps they also enjoy their prime 80s Journey, Sammy Hagar, and Night Ranger.
Anyway, so, what were we talking about?
Ah, yes, I was telling you about the song “No Easy Way Out.”
“Rocky IV” exemplifies 80s extravagance. From the Vegas-like spectacle of James Brown doing “Living in America” to Rocky’s son’s robot toys and the Russian evil-empire-cyborg-like boxer, everything is meant to be big time. “No Easy Way Out” is the song that Rocky listens to in the car when he’s driving, thinking about his dead friend Apollo Creed, the former heavyweight champion.
Ghost Machinery’s take on the song is a melodic heavy metal cover version of the original. The guitars are heavier, basically. The spirit is the same, and just as good. Or better, if you like metal. That brings us to the nitty gritty of Ghost Machinery: this band seeks perfection for the creation of melodic heavy metal, with that 80s keyboards vibe, and a bit of a prog edge. Why prog?! Because they sure love to do real guitar solos, too, and they are not shy about it. One of these cheeky monkeys even wears a shirt that says “Yngwie Who?” and took a picture of it. How do you like them apples?
These giant killers happen to be ridiculously good. Speaking of shredding, the band does do shredding, but it’s within the context of songs because, well, I don’t mean to brag, but they actually do know how to write catchy songs, not just do guitar solos, unlike “certain” people. In conclusion, if you want to visit the 80s, this band has a one-way ticket for you. Be careful, though, you might not want to leave.


Beneath Abyss
Inverse Records
release: 16 February 2015
Melodic and operatic vocals, together with extreme metal vocals, work together in oppositional harmony. More than just a dichotomy, the band also works a wide variety of components towards a synthesis of modern melodic/extreme metal. The coexistence of different sides is kept together through the guitar sound of chugging and “melodic death metal,” enhanced with symphonic metal. Basically, modern metal converges into the sound of this Greek band. From the sounds of it, the band wants an album that competes with the best modern metal albums of today. They seem to have a bit of everything for the audiences into Nightwish, Epica, In Flames, Arch Enemy, Amorphis and other commercially successful bands that work with the melodic/extreme modern metal hybrid. The various elements found here are reconfigured in their peculiar way through operatic/extreme vocals on top of the chugging “melodic death metal” foundation, layered with symphonic sounds. If a band like Epica is commercially successful and accepted by the European crowds at Wacken and similar places, then it means that there is definitely room at the table for Caelestia. The question would then be: How is this band going to get in front of the audiences that like an Epica or an In Flames? This band, says Metal Archives, began in 2012, so this is very early in the game for them. Considering that matter, the album is a strong statement from them at this point in time.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Teloch Vovin

Teloch Vovin
Further Down The Tunnel
release: 23 September 2015
The New Yorkers have returned for another installment of their ritualistic occultist extreme metal and this time they are calling it “Further Down the Tunnel,” and right they are. They could have called it “Further Down the Tunnel of Ritualistic Chaos,” too. The recording is firmly in the realm of primal black metal, driven by monstrous, harsh vocals and pounding and blasting drumming. The music may at first sound like cavernous black metal, but if you listen a bit more you will find the rituals and ceremonies contained within. The band is not experimental per se, although they have their moments of atmosphere and moments of contemplation or serenity, including some sounds of various instruments, like electronics and chimes and maybe other elements that only they know what they are.
I do not know about who the people in this band are. However, it seems like they want their music to be a lot more serious than just a bunch of “dudes jamming some tunes.” Some may call this band elitist or something like that, but the band definitely wants a certain audience that understands their music as something more than a little hobby. This is their fourth recording since 2011, at least, so the band has been relatively active, including playing some shows in their area.
For the band, black metal is something more serious than just music. What is black metal for you?

new concert: Skeletonwitch

El Corazon - Seattle, WA
Fri, Apr 01, 2016


Brutal Aggre666ion
release date: June 10, 2015
Xtreem Music
Many years have passed since this death metal band began in Colombia, but the thinking has not changed, only gotten more stubborn: blasting extreme metal, the type that the people into Cannibal Corpse, Krisiun and Hate Eternal will quickly embrace as metal brothers. Just look at the title of the album, and that says it all: pedal to the metal blasting energy.
The band has been doing this for a long time, and they have lots of experience. First of all, even though this is clearly blasting death metal, there is an obvious level of quality that you can hear immediately. Second, the band has spent lots of time working hard on the guitar solos and it shows. Within the extreme metal barrage, there is an elegance in the soloing that will surprise. Third, if you like death metal that is reliable, that you can trust, this band thinks exactly like you. They are the personification of death metal. Fourth, this is recommended for death metal freaks into Deicide, Monstrosity, Cannibal Corpse, Malevolent Creation, Sinister, Drawn and Quartered and other such bands that people recognize as unbending in their death metal will.
It’s possible that many U.S. supporters of the genre have not heard of this band. Therefore, to introduce you to them, here are excerpts from the history of the band.
“MASACRE begins its musical career with a demo tape in 1989 entitled "Colombia... Imperio del Terror", next year comes a second demo tape named "Cáncer de Nuestros Días". These two demos show what is going to come from this colombian band, which would carry in the bloody hearts of the world of Death Metal.
In 1990 the band releases its first Mini LP named "Ola de Violencia", and with this one they fund their extreme sound and their compromise with the fans desiring dark terror. The french label Osmose Productions, released the first CD of the band entitled "Requiem" (1991), gaining MASACRE with this one a world wide recognition and placing the band as one of the best in Death Metal. After this CD the band toured in Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela and Peru. …
the band recorded in 1996 the CD "Sacro" produced by the label Lorito Records from Medellín. With this CD the band gains new blood, putting itself on a high place in the local and international scene. This CD was distributed by important labels in many places around the world. MASACRE toured a lot around the country and visited Venezuela two times in 3 cities there, playing with important bands. After that tour, the band traveled to Ecuador playing and showing its songs in Quito. …
In 2001, MASACRE signed with a new label from Colombia named Decade Records, which released the record entitled "Muerte Verdadera Muerte". This CD contains 10 brutal tracks including one version of our gods Kiss (Strutter). It is important to say that in this CD MASACRE shows its maximum development as an extreme, technical and brutal band within the Death Metal in the world.
In 2001 MASACRE begun the “Death Truly Tour” to support the CD “Muerte Verdadera Muerte” which became one of the best tours of the band because the fans really received and supported MASACRE and its CD. …
In 2003 MASACRE recorded the pre-production for the new CD “Total Death” with 9 tracks and the band is sure these tracks truly represent all the aggressiveness MASACRE wants to reflect. In 2004 "Total Death" is out. This CD was produced, mixed and masterized by Erik Rutan (Hate Eternal, Ex-Morbid Angel) at Mana Recording Studios in Tampa-Florida.”

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


Bad Omen Records
Release: 16 October 2015
Flight is a good example of the rebellion against the robotization of metal music. This rebellion is often taken up by strong-willed bands that have their own perspective on things. Flight (Norway) is a traditional heavy metal band founded in 2012. More specifically, the spirit of the band is all about the sound of the young heavy metal of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, around 1979 to 1981, more or less. The drum playing sounds human, not like a computer.
The album begins in a good way and quickly establishes that the band is not stingy on the riffs at all. As the album progresses something else happens: Are the songs getting better or is it a case of the listener understanding the songs better? What happens after repeated listens? Well, the band must be plenty confident of its abilities because they have done something unusual: they have put the stronger songs on the second half! There you go, the band breaks another rule. That way, you don’t have to worry about the band ending the album with a whimper or with filler. The album begins with the self-titled song “Flight” to get the juices going. From there on forward, it feels like the album just gets better and better.
The band lets out the soloing and whole new cans full of riffs. Some albums run out of gas by the middle. That’s not the case here. The band has a plan, to go strong to the finish, and they do.
Overall, I feel comfortable saying that this band will be a very pleasant surprise for the enthusiasts of the sound of the late 70s and early 80s: Satan, Witchfynde, Tygers of Pan Tang, Blitzkrieg, Holocaust, Saxon, Iron Maiden, Clove Hoof, Diamond Head and also some old bands from Scandinavia and Finland: Heavy Load, Oz, Gotham City, so on and so forth. I mention those bands not because Flight sounds like any one of those in particular, but rather because the spirit of Flight seems very inspired by the sounds of the era of young heavy metal.
Flight is the name. Heavy metal is the game.

this Friday in Everett

This show is this Friday in Everett. Black Mass is a thrash band from Boston and R.O.T. is a band from the state of Washington. It looks like the band DOGS from Japan was not able to enter the country due to documentation issues.
Black Mass

PHRENETIX - Piece Of Lie (Official Video)

"PHRENETIX is a thrash metal band formed in 2011, Lithuania. Since 2012 August, the four maniacs have been actively playing shows in clubs and festivals throughout the country. After a full year of gigging, Phrenetix have released 5 demo tracks online, which was later distributed by „Symbol of Domination Prod“ in CD. Now the group continues to play concerts and are preparing for recording a full-length album in 2014 summer.
PHRENETIX music fully describes the essence of old-school thrash metal, and also incorporates a variety of other music styles, which gives the group a unique, manic sound. Their distinct riffs and odd composition separates them from many thrash metal bands, which, including intensity and aggression in live performances, is the main Phrenetix feature and appeal." (bio)
PHRENETIX - Piece Of Lie (Official Video)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

new updates: Seattle region concert calendar

Seattle region concert calendar by Metal Bulletin Zine (Washington state). If you know of other metal concerts in the area, please get in contact with Metal Bulletin Zine, here, on Facebook or on Twitter.
November 17th at 07:00 pm at Studio Seven: Blind Guardian with Grave Digger
November 18 at Highline: Mgła, Buried at Sea, Unearthly Trance, Sempiternal Dusk, Weregoat, Samothrace
November 19 at Highline: Amarok, Addaura, Badr Vogu, Hissing
November 20 at Highline: Lesbian, Usnea, Beneath Oblivion, Un, A God or an Other
November 20 at Tony V's Garage in Everett: Ravages of Time, Black Mass(Boston)
November 21 at The Kraken: The Devils of Loudun, Raiju (CA), Hexengeist, GHOSTBLOOD
November 21 Fallen Angels Olympia; 4th Ave Tavern
November 23rd at Neumos Venom Inc. with guests Necrophagia
November 27 Ocean of Obsession, with Stollintyde and The War Within. at Tony V's Garage in Everett
December 2 Bell Witch at Barboza
December 3 Kamelot + Dragonforce at the Showbox
December 4 Maiden Seattle at Flight's Pub in Everett
December 5 at Louie G in Tacoma: Otherworld, Kill Closet, American Wrecking Company, Massacre at the Opera, Salem Knights, JesusWearsArmani, Ocean of Obsession
December 10 at Highline: Abhomine, Necroholocaust, Weregoat, Crurifragium
December 11 at Highline (Hail Santa VI VI VI Fest): Witchaven, Xoth, Sarcalagos, Raptor Thrash, Substratum, Progenitor
December 11 at El Corazon: Black Sabbitch, Witchburn, Zero Down
December 12 at Highline (Hail Santa VI VI VI Fest): Wolvhammer, Atriarch, Ghostblood, Rhine, Brain Scraper
December 12 Sarcalogos at McCoy's Tavern - Olympia, WA
December 17 Black Breath at Neumos
January 2 at Flight's Pub in Everett: Death Metal from San Juan Puerto Rico ZAFAKON, CALAMITY, W/ Local Talent, KILL CLOSET
January 30 Nile at El Corazon
January 31 at Studio Seven: Warbringer, Enforcer, Exmortus, Cauldron, Oxygen Destroyer
February 19 Fleshed Apocalypse at Studio Seven - Seattle, WA
February 6 Black Sabbath at Tacoma Dome
March 6 Halloween at The Showbox
March 7 Delain, Sonata Arctica, Nightwish at Showbox SoDo
March 24 Y & T at Studio Seven
April 11 Iron Maiden at Tacoma Dome
May 08 Primal Fear at El Corazon - Seattle, WA