Thursday, June 30, 2016

black metal from Washington state: Ashen Pyre announces

Ashen Pyre announces:
This Friday, darkness falls upon Everett. Witness our emergence below the waning crescent, with support from Serpent's Chalice and Necrosomnium.
Obscurus
2622 Center Rd
Everett WA
7pm
www.facebook.com/ashenpyre
www.ashenpyre.bandcamp.com/album/tract-i-malus-ferox

review: Striker

Striker
Stand In The Fire
Record Breaking Records
Release: 5 February 2016
One of the purposes of a review is to present an opinion on an upcoming album. Thus, given that this album has been out for months now, this review is a fail in that regard. The quality of the album merits that audiences supportive of traditional heavy metal, which Striker executes like champs, give it thought, if they have not done so. Infectious and addictive, Striker is all about melodies and memorable of classic heavy metal, but this is not retro, it is a modern band playing the classic metal of today. Striker plays traditional heavy metal and it just so happens that they are really good at it. They run the gamut from thrashy stompers to anthems and songs that are meant to sound like hit singles. They began in 2007 and this is their fourth title. Devoted followers of traditional metal, especially in the band's home country of Canada, already know the band because they are not exactly a secret anymore. The cat is out of the bag and supporters of the genre already know.
On this new album the band has created a problem for themselves: most of the songs sound like hits and anthems and now they will have to figure out how to top it. Ah, but that's their problem, not the listener's! You'll have your favorite songs and you might even change your mind about your favorite tracks the more you get to know the album. There is one requirement that you need to meet: if catchy songs is something that you are seeking, then get ready to rock. Yes, it all seems very clichéd, but it is not until you hear this little monster that you'll understand.
Let's sum up the situation: classic heavy metal reinterpreted for today and it is made to sound like hit songs, which they would be, if heavy metal were on the radio. Avoid this album if you hate melodic singing and songs that you can remember. Striker is out for blood and it's not too late to stand with them in fire. Uptight snobs and cynical people won't like it, but that's ok, Striker doesn't need them, anyway. Heavy metal thunder, indeed.
OFFICIAL INFORMATION: “Full Speed or No Speed”: prophetic words to live by from Striker’s debut full length release “Eyes in the Night”. Since forming nearly 8 years ago, not a day goes by without the pedal to the metal attitude that smashes through the traffic jam of modern metal. “Stand in the Fire”, Striker’s 4th studio album, prepares to shift the band into high gear and leave the competition in the dust. Guest performances from some of metal’s premiere players as well as other unprecedented collaborations prepare a high octane mix that is ready for ignition. This will be Striker’s strongest album to date, living a life set by one rule: no limits!
Striker has come a long with since their 2007 formation in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The band’s first demo immediately caught international attention from notable German record label, Iron Kodex. Backed by the label’s support, Striker went on to record and release their first EP, “Road Warrior”, in early 2009. The EP spread like wildfire among metal fans in Canada, Germany, and Spain. It was this first major stepping-stone in kick starting a promising career.
In 2010 the band released their first full-length recording, “Eyes in the Night”, which reinforced Striker’s presence in both the domestic and international metal scene. The release initiated the band’s touring career: including Canada coast to coast, and over a dozen European countries with several festival appearances (Metal Assault Festival, and Headbangers Open Air) overseas. This established the credibility of Striker as a hardworking, dedicated band, willing to take the risks necessary to make it to the next level of their musical career.
Over the years Striker continued to refine their public image, hone their product, and solicit support within the music industry. Having completed the Iron Kodex contract with Eyes in the Night, the band looked towards greater achievements and began working with producer Michael Wagener (Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica, Skid Row) in Nashville, Tennessee. After spending over two months recording in the USA the band completed their 2nd album, “Armed to the Teeth”, and was promptly signed by prominent Austrian label Napalm Records July 27, 2012.
Hot off the heels of the album release announcement, Striker was selected to directly support heavy metal giants Metallica for 2 sold out shows at Rexall Place in Edmonton. The shows were a huge boost to the band and showed them the inner workings of one of the most successful bands in history. With a newfound work ethic, the band set to work planning their biggest Canadian and European tours to date, breaking into new territories such as the UK and Japan. With the desire to improve and expand to even greater heights, the band remained in Europe after a headlining tour and began to work on the album “City of Gold” with visionary producer Frederik Nordstrom, a founding member of the melodic death metal sound.
“City of Gold” was critically acclaimed and propelled Striker forward in the industry, directly supporting veteran acts such as Bullet and Artillery on extensive tours of Europe and the United States. Major European festivals began to take interest, with the band headlining smaller festivals such as Devilstone Festival and Headbangers Open Air, and headlining the second stage at major festivals such as Metal Days Festival to enormous crowds. Working again with Frederik Nordstrom, “Stand in the Fire” sees Striker taking their destiny into their own hands by releasing the album on their own label “Record Breaking Records”, ushering in a new era of decisive action, dedication and forward thinking. Live life by one rule: No Limits!
www.facebook.com/strikermetal
www.striker-metal.com
www.twitter.com/strikermetal
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review by MMB

NEWS: Dominhate

NEWS:
Dominhate
Emissaries of Morning
Lavadome Productions
Release: 22 April 2016
This recording is aimed at the audiences that are serious about death metal. You know it when you hear it, and this band from Italy has in mind the language that the knowledgeable public will recognize and understand. It's a code, and it is the code of death metal. Luckily for the readers, the recording is available for scrutiny at the link below. Read the hype if you want, but your ears will be more than enough to provide guidance.
OFFICIAL INFORMATION: Dominhate retain everything essential about death metal while pushing towards added extremity - devastating rhythms with a dark flavour, unrelenting waves of earth-shattering percussion, formidable infernal roars from what sounds like only a mythical figure, and imagery that is hand-painted but ominous all the same with an undeniable otherworldly aura about it. Dominhate present the new face of death metal - contemporary without losing the ancient morbid touch, forward-thinking while paying tribute to the pillars of the genre. 'Emissaries of Morning' is a new chapter in death metal mastery; it is how you take forward the sound of the genre without betraying the roots.
www.lavadome.bandcamp.com/album/emissaries-of-morning
www.facebook.com/Dominhate

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

NEWS: Darkend

NEWS:
Darkend
The Canticle of Shadows
release date: April 25th, 2016
label: Non Serviam Records
This is a work for the audiences into black metal forms. Darkend is symphonic black metal from Italy and the new album, which is available in full for listening at the link below, strives to be memorable, while remaining committed to an overall fast delivery. Below is the official hype and information about the album and band.
OFFICIAL INFORMATION: "The Canticle Of Shadows" by Italian Symphonic Black Metallers DARKEND, offers the listener so many opportunities to revel in its sonic bombast, its violent tendencies, and its amazing compositions. Besides the already talented musicians of DARKEND supplying their art, the brand new album "The Canticle Of Shadows," features some revered figures of the metal scene. Featuring appearances by Attila Csihar (MAYHEM), Niklas Kvarforth (Shining), Sakis Tolis (Rotting Christ) and Labes C. Necrothytus (Abysmal Grief. A Symphonic Black Metal album that is heavy on the atmosphere, but "The Canticle Of Shadows" sees the group reaching a whole new level. The musicianship is impeccable, the arrangements exciting, and the vibe one of pure apocalyptic dread. A further step towards the Abyss, taking every element to the extreme: a darker, heavier and far more intense monument than ever before. DARKEND's "The Canticle Of Shadows" is the sound of a band at the top of its game.
BIO: Darkend stands for Extreme Ritual Art: a combination of ancient ceremonial chants mixed with arcane symphonies, nocturnal ambiences and sulphur riffs engraved on black metal patterns. The first full-length “Assassine” (2010) quickly took the band abroad to tour throughout Europe with ROTTING CHRIST, SAMAEL, MELECHESH & KEEP OF KALESSIN, bringing on stage a unique mix of sound, theatre and occult ceremony: from esoteric epitaphs and incense burning to ghastly skulls, grave candles and dead branches, every single detail is meant to build a spiritual mist of bleakness and horror. With rave reception by fans and critics, the second album “Grand Guignol - Book I” (2012) consolidated the band’s spot on the international metal map and allowed DARKEND to proudly embark on a long, crushing European tour supporting legendary CRADLE OF FILTH & GOD SEED. 2013 and 2014 saw the band perform at well-reputed European festivals alongside MAYHEM, IMMORTAL, MORBID ANGEL, TAAKE, SHINING, NILE, KREATOR, SODOM, INQUISITION, DESTRUCTION, BELPHEGOR and many other iconic acts. The brand new album “The Canticle Of Shadows”, featuring some revered figures of the metal scene, is a further step towards the Abyss, taking every element to the extreme: a darker, heavier and far more intense monument than ever before.
www.darkend.bandcamp.com/album/the-canticle-of-shadows
www.facebook.com/darkendofficial

Seattle area concert calendar

Seattle area 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 and Twitter.
July 1 Ashen Pyre, Serpent’s Chalice at Obscurus, Everett, WA
July 1 Yob, Sandrider, Un at Highline, Seattle, WA
July 4 Ashen Pyre, Serpent's Chalice, Born Without Blood at Substation, Seattle, WA
July 7 Wayfarer, Alda, With The End In Mind, Falls Of Rauros Highline, Seattle, WA
July 16 Holy Grail, Spellcaster, Exmortus at Highline, Seattle, WA
July 17 Ne Obliviscaris, Black Crown Initiate, Starkill at The Shakedown, Bellingham, WA
July 18 Ne Obliviscaris, Black Crown Initiate, Starkill at The Crocodile, Seattle, WA
July 19 Inter Arma, Withered at Barbosa, Seattle, WA
July 20 Imbalanced, Anthrocene, Defenestrator, Oxygen Destroyer at Funhouse, Seattle, WA
July 21 Arkaik, Vale Of Pnath, Singularity, Devils of Loudun at Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
July 22 Castle, Disenchanter, Year of the Cobra at Funhouse, Seattle, WA
July 22 Undergang, Spectral Voice, Temple of Abandonment at Highline, Seattle, WA
July 28 Riot V at Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
July 28 Inquisition, Antitheus, Sacrament ov Impurity, guests at Wild Buffalo, Bellingham, WA
July 29 Inquisition, Antitheus, Necrosomnium, Sacrament ov Impurity, Guests at Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
August 5 Come To Grief, Bell Witch, Hissing, Dilapidation at Highline, Seattle, WA
August 8 Summer Slaughter: Cannibal Corpse, Nile, After the Burial, Suffocation, Carnifex, Revocation, Krisiun, Ingested and more at Showbox SODO, Seattle, WA
August 8 WRVTH at The Pin, Spokane, WA
August 12-14 Migration Festival at the Capitol Theater in downtown Olympia, WA: Alaric, Auroch, The Body and Krieg collaborative performance, Christian Mistress, Dead to a Dying World, False, Fórn, Full of Hell, Hell (U.S.), Khemmis, Kowloon Walled City, Krallice, Magic Circle, Mizmor, Mournful Congregation, Mutilation Rites, Nightfell, Obsequiae, Pale Chalice, Panopticon, Thou, Vastum, Vhol, Yellow Eyes
August 16 Krallice, Pale Chalice, Addaura, A God or an Other at Highline, Seattle, WA
August 19 The Dread Crew of Oddwood at Funhouse, Seattle, WA
August 20 The Dread Crew of Oddwood at WMRF, Bonney Lake, WA
August 21 The Dread Crew of Oddwood at WMRF, Bonney Lake, WA
August 21 Anthrax, White River Amphitheater, Auburn, WA
August 22 Master, Sacrificial Slaughter, The Black Order, VX36, Xoth at Substation, Seattle, WA
August 22 Belphegor, Origin, Shining, Abigail Williams, guests at Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
August 24 Sammy Hagar at The Tulip Amphitheatre, Tulalip, WA
August 28 The Devils Of Loudun, A Sense Of Gravity, A World Without, Children Of Seraph, Thieves of Eden, Vesuvian at El Corazon, Seattle, WA
September 1 Cobalt, Mantar, Into the Storm at Highline, Seattle, WA
September 5 Volbeat, Killswitch Engage, Black Wizard at WAMU Theater, Seattle, WA
September 16 Marduk, Rotting Christ, Carach Angren, Necronomicon, Funeral Age, Inquinok at Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
October 1 Def Leppard at Tacoma Dome, Tacoma, WA
October 11 Gojira, Tesseract at Showbox SoDo, Seattle, WA
October 14 Between the Buried and Me, Devin Townsend Project, Fallujah at Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
October 15 Saint Vitus, The Skull, Witch Mountain at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
October 15 Skeletonwitch, Iron Reagan, Oathbreaker, Gatecreeper at Highline, Seattle, WA
October 29 Himsa at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
November 15 Armored Saint, Queensrÿche, Midnight Eternal at Showbox at the Market, Seattle, WA
November 26 Dark Tranquillity, Swallow the Sun, Enforcer, Star Kill at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
November 29 Sonata Arctica, Leaves’ Eyes, Omnium Gatherum at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
January 18 Udo Dirkschneider "Back To The Roots - Farewell To Accept" at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
January 28 Blue Öyster Cult at Historic Everett Theatre, Everett, WA
www.facebook.com/The-Metal-Bulletin-paper-zine-238441519609213/?fref=ts
www.twitter.com/MetalBulletinZn

Monday, June 20, 2016

Helleborus (review by MMB)

Helleborus
The Carnal Sabbath
Satanath Records (Russia)/ Black Plague Records (USA)
Release: 17 June 2016
Helleborus is a black metal entity by Jerred Houseman and Wyatt Houseman, brothers from Colorado, U.S. who also have another musical project named Akhenaten which is uptempo atmospheric metal with Middle Eastern elements. This publication has previously stated about Akhenaten:
Akhenaten (Colorado, U.S.) is the work of two metal blood brothers, Wyatt Houseman (vocals, lyrics) and Jerred Houseman (guitars, drums, bass), who have two projects that I am a bit familiar with: Akhenaten and Helleborus. I guess it was last year, 2015, that I heard the black metal of Helleborus and I immediately liked the vocals. I liked the music, too, but I noticed the vocals, which, in my opinion, are possibly the best new extreme metal vocals that I heard in 2015. For me, the vocals stood out a lot and I remember thinking that they were especially good. Thus, I was looking forward to getting to know this Akhenaten album on account of the vocals of Wyatt Houseman.
Akhenaten is an entity that is something like “exotic” extreme metal with major Middle Eastern/Arabian elements: "Middle Eastern ethno dark industrial black metal." There is a symphonic vibe and the Middle Eastern/Arabian components are upfront, an indispensable part of the music, not just low-volume background sounds. In this music, despite the “world music” sounds, the black metal does not disappear completely. The guitar is present, even if it’s not raging all the time, obviously. I like the fact that the percussion is present throughout, too. If there is a beat, then that keeps my interest. I am not looking for long periods of ambience or yoga music, you understand. Anyway, like I was saying, I like the vocals, but I knew that coming in. That was part of the deal. I expected those vocals to be present because if they were not, then I was probably going to go find the exit door. I usually see the word “industrial” and I’m out the door. Mr. Houseman screams/growls similar to prime-time Chuck Schuldiner/ Mikael Åkerfeldt/David Vincent. There is a thickness to Mr. Houseman’s voice. I hope that he can actually do the vocals for real, and not just studio magic. The vocals are closer to black metal in feel, but they do not sound annoying like screechy vocals do for some people. There is a certain smoothness to them. There is definitely an expressiveness to them, too, that’s for sure.
The “exotic” elements are upbeat, like belly-dancing music, in a similar way that Nile or Melechesh is belly-dancing music. Akhenaten sounds very melodic due to these elements. Given that this is supposedly just two people, there are several issues that you might be pondering. It sounds like the drumming is drum programming and not real drums. What about all that Middle Eastern instrumentation? Is it real instruments? I cannot find anywhere where it says that Mr. Jerred Houseman plays other instruments besides guitar and bass. Don’t trust what I say, though. Hear the album for yourself at the Bandcamp link below.
Now, on to Helleborus.
This is very interesting black metal music. Atmosphere and black metal have been incorporated into surprisingly memorable songs of dark extreme metal. Moreover, atmosphere here does not mean ambient or doom or postrock, styles that have severe problems with song-centered music. Instead, these are memorable songs.
I continue to find the vocals to be a very attractive proposition: quite a bit of the words are intelligible, which if you think about it, it's curious because that is usually not the case in extreme metal. I can think of a couple of exceptions besides this band, but not too many.
In addition, it is important to recognize that Helleborus has very good guitar work and the guitar shows a focus on dark, catchy and melodic songs. The riffs do make these songs: in every song there are riffs or hooks or melodies that make the songs easy to remember and encourage repeated plays. It's also a nice change of pace to hear melodies in a way that fits the dark and heavy vibe of the music.
The album has programmed drumming, unfortunately. It's easy to see why musicians do this. It's easier than to deal with another human being; it's cheaper than going through the process of recording drums, which can be difficult if there's little experience; it's more efficient than to explain to a drummer what beats one is hearing in one's own imagination for the songs. Sometimes one lives in a small town and there are no drummers that can handle this music. There are plenty more reasons to use drum programming, but all those reasons have to be rejected. In metal music the audience wants to see a human playing drums in concert, for instance. If a band is asking for money for its album or wants to be taken seriously, it's necessary to be serious about the music, too. This calls out for an adventurous and skilled drummer to bring it to life. Support this band, listen to the music and show Helleborus that you appreciate quality metal like this. Greatness awaits Helleborus, and only real, live drums on the albums will do.
www.helleborusblack.bandcamp.com/releases
www.facebook.com/HelleborusBlack
www.akhenatenmusic.bandcamp.com/album/incantations-through-the-gates-of-irkalla
www.facebook.com/akhenatenmetal/

Denner / Shermann (review by MMB)

Denner / Shermann
Masters of Evil
Metal Blade Records
release: 24 June 2016
Perhaps before going any further there is one question that should be answered right away. Does the idea of glass-shattering, ear-piercing high screaming vocals seem attractive? Is it appealing to hear a singer belt it out big time as much as possible? If the answer is a firm "no" or "no way, under no circumstances," then this album is of no use because air raid siren screaming singing is a crucial part of it. Support for the album really does hinge on whether the high screaming sounds are pleasant to the ears or not, for if they are this will be a treat, and if they are not, this work will be quite jarring.
If opinion is favorable towards the vocals, then what awaits is serious, traditional guitar work in which the riff rules the realm. Denner and Shermann turn in work that is worthy of their name and legacy, and worthwhile for the public that follows the happenings of the twin guitar maestros. Time and again they come up with hooks and melodies that sound particular to the two Danes. The songwriting aims for the classic tropes that their supporters know and they want people to make the connection between now and their past songwriting.
For works from musicians that have a long history and a large back catalogue, it is often the case that reviewers feel compelled to do a comparison between the new album and the past ones. Such reviews frequently engage in an act of fighting shadows and imaginary arguments, and it can get rather silly. Of course, an album from elderly artists will be different in many ways from the works of their youth, and loyalists already have their favorite albums, sometimes based on nostalgia. This new album has the fundamental stylistic traits for which people know Denner and Shermann. As to where this title stands in the fictitious list of favorites for audiences, it is better to leave it to you. You will be the one to decide that.
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OFFICIAL INFORMATION: Twin guitar lengends of Mercyful Fate Michael Denner & Hank Shermann will release their new Denner / Shermann full-length album, Masters Of Evil, on June 24th via Metal Blade Records.
Masters Of Evil contains 8 new Denner / Shermann tracks that continue right where the EP, Satan's Tomb (2015), left off. Building upon the musical foundation of Satan's Tomb, these songs cover the entire gamut of heavy metal nuances and take the listener down a mysterious path where tales of dark, supernatural fantasies are told, transporting you to places that can only be found in the most vivid, blood curdling nightmares. Fully loaded to satisfy the old fans with just what they would expect, Masters Of Evil is also injected with menacing, sinister, new surprises that could only come from the sonic DNA of Michael Denner and Hank Shermann.
"After 'Satan's Tomb', we continued aggressively writing and recording ideas, except for the short break we took to do all the press for the release of the debut. We are very excited with the outcome, and the full-length album is ready to be unleashed this summer," says guitarist Hank Shermann.
Vocalist Sean Peck comments, "This record really has it all I think. Working with Hank and Michael and the guys creating this record, was the ultimate metal thrill ride for me! I can't wait to hear the fan reaction to this sinister sonic salvo of savagery!"
Michael Denner also adds, "This new record really shows how the five of us have grown as a band and bonded as songwriters. It contains the kind of compositions I believe our fans would expect from us. I think this release will serve as kind of a tribute to our incredible fans worldwide, as we recognize and acknowledge their die hard loyalty over the years."
The album cover for Masters Of Evil was painted by Swedish artist Thomas Holm, who also created the artwork for Satan's Tomb - and who is very well known amongst fans for his standout pieces over the past three decades! The mixing was once again handled by Arnold Lindberg at Sound Industry Studio in Gothenburg, Sweden - who also engineered Satan's Tomb. Mastering was done once again by Maor Appelbaum in Los Angeles, California. The vintage sound on the new record harkens one back to the days of 2 inch tape machines, long nights in dark studios, and huge consoles glowing under dim incandescent light. Once the guitars hit your ears, the unmistakable trademark guitar sound of Michael Denner and Hank Shermann is instantly recognized. Prepare yourself for a heavy metal thrill ride!
Denner / Shermann line-up:
Michael Denner - Guitars
Hank Shermann - Guitars
Sean Peck - Vocals
Snowy Shaw - Drums
Marc Grabowski - Bass
www.facebook.com/dennershermann
www.twitter.com/dennershermann

Sunday, June 19, 2016

interview: Bushwhacker

This prog extreme metal band was born to run, they were born to dream, the craziest boys you ever seen, they gotta do it their way or no way at all. They turned loose from Yukon to Vancouver, Canada and they’re loving every minute of it. They’re not men or machines, they’re just something in between. Everyone’s watching to see what they will do, everyone’s looking at them, oh, everyone’s wondering will they come out tonight, everyone’s trying to get it right, get it right.
This band does not wear hot leather pants nor red headbands, but they do play prog extreme metal and they want something from you: “Tell people about us, come to our shows, bring your friends and buy our music and merch.”
When this publication sent them some questions, this is what they said. Listen to their latest album The False Dilemma in full at the link below and take it from there.
Greetings! How’s life in Canada treating you?
Oh, hi there, Metal Bulletin! Yes, we are in Canada... Vancouver, British Columbia to be exact. It's just north of Seattle on the Pacific coast to give people an idea, if they don't already know. Vancouver is the third largest city in Canada (after Toronto and Montreal, respectively), so the heavy music scene here is not too shabby in comparison to other cities in Canada. There's a ton of well established bands, great promoters and devoted festivals that have helped pave the way for up and coming bands, while also encouraging a lot of bands from abroad to make Vancouver a regular tour stop.
Here is the band’s official biography.
“In an era of over-classified genre taxonomies, it's a breath of fresh air to find a metal band that just makes music. Vancouver's Bushwhacker is one such. Their sound combines influences from many decades, from traditional death and black metal genres to 60s and 70s British prog and psychedelia, and even further to jazz and darker 1800s-era classical. The result is a complex and thoughtful arrangement that both challenges and pleases the ear, defying classification.
Though Bushwhacker now resides permanently in Vancouver, the stark wilderness and mountainous landscapes of their Yukon homeland still shine through in the power and intensity of their music. Formed in Whitehorse in 2008, Bushwhacker began with four high school friends that shared a love of old-school thrash metal. With Geoff Woods on guitar and vocals, Cavan Egan on guitar and vocals, Sean Komaromi on drums and Keenan Dennehy on bass, the quartet began to write and perform original music. They released their self-titled debut in July 2011 and followed it with a tour through BC and Alberta that ended in Vancouver, their chosen new home.
After settling in Vancouver, the band parted ways with Dennehy and brought in fellow Yukoner Rory O'Brien on bass and vocals in October 2012. With the addition of another composer and vocalist, Bushwhacker then began a new era of songwriting; inspired by all the variety and opportunity the city had to offer, they began to explore new avenues and sounds.
August 2013 saw them in the studio at Rain City Recorders, putting the finishing touches on their newest work, a one-song, 20-minute EP called Fish Guy. A shining example of evolution done right, Fish Guy features all the passionate metal fury of their earlier works, while still boiling, now carefully honed into effective, driving riffs and passages, framed and punctuated by evocative, dexterous psychedelic breaks and solos. Classic thrash vocals have expanded into a medley of layered harmonies, eerie growls and epic choruses, carrying lyrics full of ancient nautical superstition.
In 2014 the band again entered Rain City Recorders in Vancouver to record what would become a career high water mark in The False Dilemma. Engineered by Stu McKillop and Mark McKitrick, and mixed/mastered by McKillop, The False Dilemma is a profound slab of Heavy that drips of Black and Death Metal whilst delving deep into the realms of psychedelia, which sees the quartet evolving into a darker, fine-tuned machine of cynicism The False Dilemma will be released on March 5, 2016 through Bandcamp.”
For new listeners reading this interview, what should they expect? Can you tell us a bit about your recordings?
We've got 3 recordings available at the moment: our self-titled debut, the Fish Guy EP and our most recent full-length The False Dilemma. All of out releases are available on ITunes, but our latest album is also available on most streaming platforms (Spotify, Google Play, etc.)
As far as what to expect from us musically, there is no easy way to describe our sound; there isn't a "go to sub-genre" that we fit into neatly. With every Bushwhacker release we've evolved and progressed in a way that reflects our personal tastes, musical environment, and development as musicians; however, there is a certain something that we feel unifies our releases and makes them "us". The first album was very much influenced by old-school thrash metal, with some progressive/psychedelic leanings. Our second release, Fish Guy, is much more refined and delves deeper into our progressive/psychedelic side (it's one 20 minute long track) and the writing is more technical, while showcasing more of our sludgy and extreme metal influences. Our latest release, The False Dilemma is more pseudo-proggy extreme weirdo heaviness. Basically, that's our vibe. Make things heavy and crunchy, but then mess with people's preconceived ideas by throwing some spaced out riffs in the mix.
As for the recording process, we did The False Dilemma at Rain City Recorders with Stu McKillop and Mark Mckitrick (where we also recorded our Fish Guy EP). They're rad dudes to work with, so we've been very happy with the way both those releases turned out. We'll likely go to Rain City again for our next recording, but it will be in a new, larger studio space, as they've since moved locations.
How do you see the music of your band?
Every time we attempt to classify ourselves into a metal sub-genre some nerd tells us that we don't fit their criteria for whatever sub-genre we tag ourselves with. This coupled with the fact that we don't give a flip anyway means that it is up to the listener to decide because we really could not care less. We make music that is often heavy and if you like it good, if not is it too late now to say sorry?
What led you to the life of a musician?
Living in a small town can be really boring. Many people turn to drugs to kill the boredom. We simply added music to this formula to create a cocktail of non-boring.
Do you plan to tour?
We have a few gigs lined up this summer: July 9 in Vancouver, BC with Mos Generator, Wake, M16, Skull Vultures and Year of the Cobra, and July 16 in Whitehorse, Yukon with The Vagitarians) The show in Whitehorse will be our first gig in our hometown since we relocated to Vancouver 4 years ago, so it will definitely be a very special occasion for us. We don't have any touring plans lined up yet, but we would like to hit the road extensively again in 2017, after we release our next record, which we are currently writing.
What type of lyrics is important to you?
Our lyrics are better than Loverboy and we are also from Vancouver, so I think we are doing just fine. But if you want a piece of my heart you better start from the start.
What is the connection between your personal beliefs and your lyrics?
All of our lyrics touch on sociopolitical, religious, and philosophical issues. This is because we are all thinking about these issues all the time. We can't be afraid of discussing these things because if we were we would not be true to ourselves and that is more important than any business we might obtain. Many of our lyrics are metaphorical, this might not always be obvious, but if you dig into a song of ours that doesn't have an obvious meaning there is probably something there if you dig a little deeper.
What other news do you have?
Our next album will be lit. Stay tuned.
www.bushwhackeryukon.bandcamp.com
www.facebook.com/BushwhackerYukon/

Saturday, June 18, 2016

review: Contrarian

Contrarian
Polemic
release date: November 20th, 2015
label: Willowtip Records
A while back this publication reported on this particular album. This review is for those that might have missed it. Of course, this is now an album that is not so new. Contrarian is, says the band, a "progressive death metal, avant-garde death metal project." Let's leave aside the question of death metal because it's not death metal, but we can say that it is progressive extreme metal, and let's move on. According to Metal Archives, the personnel on the album is Ed Paulsen (bass), George Kollias (drums), Jim Tasks (guitars), Brian Mason (guitars), Leon Macey (guitars [lead]), and Cody McConnell (vocals). George is very well known for his Nile work, and Leon is known for his Mithras and Sarpanitum music. This work will be interesting to those that enjoy the combination of prog and extreme metal. One reason in particular that the album stands out is the songwriting. It is prog music and there is no doubt about the skill and the virtuoso elements of the songs and time changes. However, the band has been careful to make sure that this still sounds like metal music, properly speaking. The skill and intellect are kept in balance with the rocking. This is by no means a total headbanging album; it is not a speedfest and it is not a brutal death metal exercise. Nevertheless, it is undeniable that there is lots of high energy going on, there is an uptempo vibe to the whole album, as opposed to being shoegazing or proggy postrock, or sludge and space rock, styles sometimes associated with prog and that are slow. It's not saying that this is as intense as brutal, blasting death metal, but there is plenty of headbanging possible. It does have riffs. It does have speed in places, just not total, nonstop speed.
The deal is this: this is prog—extreme metal with prog—for metal people who are not musicians. In a word, it's not so complex and anti-song that only skilled prog musicians could enjoy it or praise it. The central objective is the songs and that is readily evident because on a first listen there are little things—melodies, hooks, lines and such details that initially might be points of interest and that on subsequent listens become clearer and fuller. The vocals could be the deal breaker for some people. The growling on this album is low and gruff. There is no melodic/growling combination, just growling. The vocals are not meant to be the focal point of this music, and are closer to a drumming or percussion instrument; they are there to keep certain rhythms and times and fill the voids of silence felt when a band is fully, no-vocals instrumental. On the other hand, this is all-business growling, with none of the punk/hardcore shenanigans like screamo-core-yelling. Listeners that dislike all growling and that never like it in any context, then this album probably will not do much to change their minds. Frankly, some people have called the vocals boring, but if someone says that, perhaps they should also state they are not into growling too much, maybe, given that this type of growling is well done and it is very competent, and fits this music, if we understand that this is a method of working for prog extreme metal.
It's not clear how successful this album has been for the musicians involved. It seems like not many publications wrote much about it, but hopefully that is not true. For those that missed the boat on this music, the album is good quality all around that may interest the more selective metal music supporters. Listen to the complete recording at the link below. Expect prog and expect extreme metal. Expect quality.
www.contrarianmetal.bandcamp.com
www.facebook.com/contrarianmetal
review by MMB

interview: Fear Theories

Fear Theories is a modern heavy metal band from Norway. Their debut album from 2016 is called The Predator. The band is relatively new, in the sense that their debut EP is from 2013, and the band started in 2010. The band is: Ole Sønstabø on lead guitars, Andreas Tjøsvoll on guitars and vocals, with Brage Nygaard handling the drums, and Joakim Antonsen taking care of business on the bass. Here is an interview to learn more about them.
Hey, you got some cool tunes. What’s up in Norway with your band?
Thank you! Life is great, we’re all working our heads off at work so we can afford to keep doing this. As you know, being in a band is not cheap these days, especially if you’re passionate about what you do. Metal life in Norway is pretty good. Norway is in the top 3 countries in Europe with the most metal bands per capita so we’re fitting in nicely. Only difference is that we play a little more oldschool metal/thrash instead of black metal and heavier genres more associated with our country.
What is the history of your band? Who is answering this interview?
The band consists of Andreas Tjøsvoll, Brage Nygaard, Joakim Antonsen and Ole Sønstabø. Brage and Ole has the pleasure of answering these questions! We started playing together in 2010 and released our first EP in 2013, playing our first festival Karmøygeddon Metal Festival that very same year. After going on tour in Eastern Europe, we released our album “The Predator” on February 26th, 2016. This summer we will play at Norway Rock Festival where bands like Five Finger Death Punch, Within Temptation and Avatar is also playing.
What can you tell us about your recordings and what should we expect from your music?
We have 2 releases out at the moment. Our EP “So It Begins” (2013) and full-length album “The Predator” (2016). Both are on Spotify, amazon, iTunes, etc. for your listening pleasure. “The Predator” was recorded in Studio Borealis which is run by Einherjer frontman Frode Glesnes. You can expect an old school approach with a modern sound to it. Bits and pieces of thrash lying around here and there.
What is your interpretation of metal music?
It started out as old school metal, but on The Predator, some thrash metal made its way in. The stuff we’re writing now has a lot more elements in it. A lot of folk inspired, very melodic themes as well as a lot of inspiration from classical music. One of our new songs has some Asian folk music in it which sounds epic with the metal treatment. Our interpretation of metal is that the heaviness takes a lot of aggression out of the listener, as well as it takes some understanding of music to really appreciate it. Which is why we feel many metalheads are very nice and smart people.
How did you become a musician?
Ole: The thing that inspired me to start playing guitar had a lot to do with my family being very musical. My father and both my sisters played instruments and I thought it was very interesting and cool to be able to play music yourself. As with many others it was Metallica that caught my attention and made me really interested in the electric guitar.
Brage: Making metal music came natural, as I’ve always liked the genre. The main reason I started playing instruments though probably came from my hours spent playing Guitar Hero and Rock Band. I played those games a lot. My friends would come over to my house and the second they opened the front door they would hear me banging away on plastic drums, or strum like a maniac on a plastic guitar. I guess that’s where it all started. Once I got tired of games I pretty much just transitioned to real instruments starting with the guitar and then got my first drum set shortly after.
Finding the right people were difficult at first but when we found the right place and environment it was pretty easy. We were lucky enough to be part of something called Torvastad Youth Club which is a place were a lot of young musicians got together and formed bands. That was where all of us met!
What can people do to support your music? Do you plan to tour?
People can listen to our music as much as possible, buy the album if you like it, like us on Facebook and spread the word! We love it when people talk to us and express their opinions. Be it constructive criticism or praise, we will always appreciate it and try to always get better at what we do. There’s no tour planned yet, but we have a lot of gigs around Norway planned so stay tuned! Nothing international just yet as it takes a lot of money and planning to pull that of. Especially if you don’t have a manager or label.
Do you think that it is possible that one day you can make a living from music?
There’s no money in any music if you’re a fresh band with no recognition. Of course, metal can be a little bit more difficult when it comes to reaching a wide audience. We hope to one day make a living out of our music but we would be fine with just getting to do what we do. Our definition of success would be to be able to go out on the road, experience new places and meet more awesome passionate metalheads for as long as we’d like. I guess you could sum it up this in one sentence. We basically love playing live.
Are there specific topics that you cover in your lyrics?
Brage: We don’t want to limit ourselves to any specific themes lyric wise. Writing lyrics is a creative process and what’s going on in our lives play a big part in what’s going down on the paper. For this album I remember having hoarded some lyrics that ended up becoming Heroes of Today and Atonement. After that there was a lot of brainstorming back and forth with mostly me and Andreas. Fitting to our name Fear Theories a lot of the lyrics have a dark theme like “The Predator”, “My Own Worst Enemy” and “Fear Theories”, but you also have songs like Metal Lives Forever and Heroes of Today taking more of a straight forward old school metal approach lyric wise. Personally I feel we have some pretty good sets of lyrics that I’m happy with, but always room for improvement naturally. Currently we have a few songs missing lyrics, but a new release is still quite a long time from now so it’s hard to say what direction the lyrics will go. Though I have been thinking about trying to make a concept album.
In what ways are your lyrics affected by your life experiences?
Brage: My personal beliefs and experiences most certainly affect the lyrics I write, and I do think you should be able to address controversial themes. Be it through lyrics in a song, a chronicle in a newspaper, a movie or any platform really. It’s important to talk about things people generally don’t want to talk about. Without the freedom to express your opinions society will eventually accept all sorts of things they’re told by the people who rule them, and there’s plenty of horrible examples throughout history of what can happen then.
Do you use any special equipment for your sound?
Ole: We’re a little mixed when it comes to gear. I use an ENGL Powerball amp and a Skervesen Raptor guitar which is absolutely stunning in every way. Andreas is a little more oldschool with his Marshall JCM900 amp and Gibson guitars. It creates a nice blend of old school and modern. We both use Bare Knuckle pickups. Joakim uses his ESP/Ltd F-series 5-string, which sounds huge through his Fender Rumble 100. Last, but not least Brage plays a 5-piece DW design series acrylic set. Going to sound amazing once we sometime in the future get back into the studio. For cymbals he uses a mix of Sabian AAX and HHX’s and some Zildjian cymbals as well. Drums are all real! Recording is about capturing a great performance so we always use real instruments in our recordings.
What other news do you have?
For now, we’re writing new material as we speak. We have some gigs here in Norway ready waiting to be announced, and we have an announcement regarding a festival gig next year coming up in June!
www.soundcloud.com/fear-theories
www.facebook.com/Fear-Theories-230232180341169/
THE END

Friday, June 17, 2016

Fallujah

Fallujah
Dreamless
release date: April 29th, 2016
label: Nuclear Blast America
"Stellar" and "grand" and "terrific" and "gorgeous" and "brilliant" and "cherished" are just a few of the words used to talk about Fallujah. Fallujah is a melodic/extreme hardcore/growlcore band with postrock/posthardcore elements. They are about to start a tour in Europe and their tour's first show is at the famous music festival called Hellfest Open Air Festival in France, which boasts more than 140 bands this year, if the information on hand is correct. Of course, that is many, many bands, but just the fact that this band is on the bill says that they are doing well, or not doing too bad, at worst. Their previous album The Flesh Prevails (2014) was received very well, too. This year they have a new album. The band, according to some people, is on the cutting edge of extreme rock music. Their use of hardcore/metalcore/growlcore vocals with chugging rhythms, mixed in with melodic/ambient/yoga/meditation music sounds have been welcomed by people who see themselves as looking for something new, different and supposedly revolutionary. The band also prefers the use of spacey singing voices here and there to contrast with the hardcore/deathcore sounds. The music is difficult to tolerate because the combination of aggravating music (hardcore/deathcore/punkcore) with discombobulated components (sleepy-time music) works very well for causing quick repudiation. The self-conscious so-called spiritual/world-music vibe cannot go far before one comes to her or his senses and realizes that this music by these California hipsters is really very gimmicky and self-important. It's not too long before the time for patience runs out and one has to press stop.
Some people believe that this is the cutting edge of extreme rock music today.
*
(review by MMB)

NEWS: Gruesome

NEWS:
Gruesome
Dimensions Of Horror
label: Relapse
release: 20 May 2016
The time for pure 80s Death worship is here again and it is called Gruesome: a gang of zombies positively obsessed with making songs that sound like 80s Death. The cynics will roll their eyes and gnash their teeth, and the Death superfanatics that never get enough of the old death metal will jump for mosh and bang their heads. Listen to the recording below and figure out which one you are.
OFFICIAL INFORMATION: After exploding onto the death metal scene in 2015 with their Leprosy-inspired full-length debut, Savage Land, death metal wrecking crew GRUESOME — featuring current and former members of Exhumed, Possessed, Malevolent Creation, and Derketa — returns in 2016 with a new EP entitled Dimensions Of Horror. Produced by the band and co-produced and recorded by Jarrett Pritchard at New Constellation RMP Studios in Orlando, Florida, Dimensions Of Horror is a gruesome salute to Death’s iconic Scream Bloody Gore full-length and once again features cover art by the legendary Ed Repka (Death, Atheist, Massacre et al). A six-song slab of grisly, bone-breaking death metal jams, Dimensions Of Horror continues the development of GRUESOME‘s homage to the founding fathers of the genre and proves that no matter the decade, old-school death metal is always relevant, savage, and irresistible.
Multi-state death metal project GRUESOME was born out of guitarist/vocalist Matt Harvey and drummer Gus Rios’ mutual involvement with the Death To All tours. Harvey served as frontman for the original mini-tour and Rios both performed “Baptized In Blood” and worked with DTA drummer Sean Reinert on the following US tour where Exhumed filled in as support. After discussing and discarding the idea of putting together another incarnation of DTA to focus exclusively on Death’s first two albums, Harvey half-jokingly suggested that the pair write their own songs in intentional homage to the band. It wasn’t long before the idea gained traction, and the band soon had five tracks written. With Harvey writing in California, Rios recruited Possessed guitarist Daniel Gonzalez and Derketa bassist Robin Mazen to record the material in Florida, while Harvey tracked his vocals on the West Coast.
GRUESOME released a pair of single-song demos in 2014, and was subsequently signed by Relapse Records in June of that year, with a full-length release (recorded in Florida, of course) planned for early the following year. The result of those recordings would become the band’s debut full-length Savage Land, a truly harrowing slab of Leprosy-styled death metal released in April 2015. It’s clear from the song quality on Savage Land that GRUESOME is humbly determined to keep Death’s classic sound alive as faithfully as possible, and the critical acclaim for the record has reflected the band’s dedication. Metal Injection called Savage Land, “the advanced, dripping-rot-from-the-corners-of-a-coffin, putrid, vile death metal throwback that you’ve been waiting for,” while Exclaim gushed, “the enthusiasm alone on Savage Land is awe-inspiring.” Now, GRUESOME has returned stronger than ever with their new EP Dimensions Of Horror. With an all-star lineup and unmatched songwriting skills, GRUESOME is willing and able to propel the historical sentiment and sincerity of Death’s spirit into the present.
GRUESOME is:
Daniel González – guitar
Matt Harvey – guitar, vocals
Robin Mazen – bass
Gus Ríos – drums
www.gruesomedeathmetal.bandcamp.com
www.facebook.com/gruesomedeathmetal

Fates Warning (review by The Man of Much Metal)

Prog rock/metal expert The Man of Much Metal has written an observation on the new album by the long-running progsters Fates Warning. According to The Man of Much Metal, Fates Warning has sometimes been a hit/miss inconsistent band. Now they have a new album, and the question for progheads is: Is this another disappointment? Can this band convince the prog listeners again? Let's find out the verdict from the pen of The Man of Much Metal.
Artist: Fates Warning
Album Title: Theories Of Flight
Label: InsideOut Music
Date of Release: 1 July 2016
Fates Warning. These are two simple words that, over the years, have been synonymous with the subgenre of progressive metal. Indeed, the American behemoth is rightly credited with helping to create and shape the subgenre as we know it today. After all, they have been around since the 80s and, since their inception, have created some brilliant material along the way.
That said, having come late to the genre around the turn of the millennium, they’ve always fought with other bands for my full-on attention. I like a lot of Fates Warning’s early material but have found their more recent output a little hit and miss. ‘FWX’ and ‘Disconnected’ for example had their moments, but failed to completely blow me away. Thus began a prolonged hiatus that lasted a good decade before the Americans returned in 2013 with ‘Darkness In A Different Light’. Again, it had some strong moments but wasn’t as consistent as perhaps it could have been.
Now, in 2016, we are presented with studio album number twelve entitled ‘Theories Of Flight’ and boy, oh boy, have they finally and unequivocally delivered the record that I have wanted them to deliver for so long. ‘Theories Of Flight’ literally has just about everything that the ardent progressive metal fan could possibly want. And the result is rather spectacular, as you might imagine.
Starting with the basics, ‘Theories Of Flight’ features musicianship out of the very top drawer. It’s not surprising really, given the experience and talent of the entire group, and given the track record of these guys. But it is that good that it deserves a mention however obvious it may seem. Depending on my mood and my focus on any given spin, I find myself honing in on different aspects of the material, from the insane drumming of Bobby Jarzombek, to the expressive bass of Joey Vera and from the heavy complex riffs of Jim Matheos to the more melodic and effervescent lead breaks courtesy of Frank Aresti which, interestingly, have been reduced in frequency for this record. Add to this the vocals from Ray Alder who is on fire here, and the mouth begins to water.
Then there’s the production which walks that fine line between clarity and power expertly. The result is a sound that does justice to all of the material, from the all-out shredding, to the more subtle and nuanced sections, where the listener is given respite from the highly-charged metal onslaught.
But more than all this, Fates Warning sound like a band rejuvenated. The music comes across to me at least, as sounding hungry, vital and passionate, like the guys have well and truly rediscovered their mojo. Some might argue that Fates Warning never really ever lost it, but the vibe just feels different on ‘Theories Of Flight’, permeating the entire disc from beginning to end in such a positive way. It means that I smile whilst I listen, almost as much as I either headbang, air guitar or sing along in my spectacularly tone-deaf manner.
The lead ‘single’ and album opener ‘From The Rooftops’ sets the tone beautifully for the entire record. It begins innocuously enough, featuring a brooding atmosphere and Ray Alder’s fantastically measured melodic vocals. It subtly builds, a portent of things to come. And then, at just over the two-minute mark, the song properly explodes with full power. Complex, churning riffs dominate, alongside some brilliantly deft drumming, strong melodic sensibilities and the occasional blazing solo that make it a heady, memorable and exciting beginning to the record.
But if you are fearful that Fates Warning have front-loaded the album with their strongest material, you’d be wrong. ‘Seven Stars’ follows almost before a breath can be taken and led by a really nice lead guitar line, and a clever stop-start riff, it flits effortlessly between rhythmically-heavy verses and a chorus that is ridiculously hook-laden. I just love the cheekiness and groove that envelops this track despite being as technically adept as it is.
‘SOS’ is one of the shortest tracks on the album but it packs a lot in to its meagre four-and-a-half-minute life. At the mid-section, the pace is slowed and an interesting sound effect is used to create an entirely different vibe to the rest of the song which features yet another great vocal hook and more commanding riffing from founding member, guitarist and principle song-writer Jim Matheos.
By contrast, ‘The Light And Shade Of Things’ is one of two compositions that top the 10-minute mark. It begins quietly, taking its time to deliberately build the tension and increase the atmospherics. The lead guitar embellishments are sparingly used but have a vaguely bluesy feel to them when they appear. And then the gentle opening is forgotten as, like a tsunami, heavy riffs, blistering drumming and almost confrontational vocals threaten to knock you off your feet. It might not be as fast-paced as other songs, but what it lacks in speed, it makes up for in intensity and a more pronounced exploration of light and shade. A gorgeous lead guitar solo follows on from a short acoustic-led interlude and the whole thing is rounded out by an addictive, sprawling chorus that shows Alder at his absolute best, deploying his excellent range to dispel any concerns that the high notes can no longer be reached.
Elsewhere, I adore the urgent, up-tempo ‘White Flag’ which features another great chorus and some of the best work from bassist Joey Vera and his rhythm partner-in-crime Jarzombek. It also underlines the song writing prowess as it effortlessly and seamlessly moves from one idea to another in true progressive style. ‘Like Stars Our Eyes Have Seen’ is a thrashy monster that proves that you can be heavy and aggressive as well as subtle and technically adept. And ‘The Ghosts Of Home’ deservedly earns the ‘epic’ tag as it runs the gamut from dark and strangely oppressive cinematic overtones, to emotion-fuelled atmospheres and from jaw-dropping virtuosity to feel-good melodic intent. To close things out, the title track is a much moodier and introspective piece of music complete with spoken word samples, plenty of synth-led atmospheres and a genuinely bleak and sombre tone overall.
We’re only around half-way through the year but 2016 has been utterly sensational for fans of progressive music. Fates Warning have come to the party and their cup doth overfloweth. In this kind of form, Fates Warning are thoroughly irresistible and with ‘Theories Of Flight’ they remind us all, if a reminder was necessary, that they are rightfully considered to be one of the most important and best progressive metal bands on the planet.
The Score Of Much Metal: 9.25
www.manofmuchmetal.wordpress.com
www.twitter.com/ManOfMuchMetal?lang=en

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Exalter

NEWS:
Exalter
Obituary for the Living
release date: March 11th, 2016
label: Transcending Obscurity
Metal supporters that want sharp and fast riffs, shredding, the sound of guitars in the service in thrash and a tank full of energy will get a kick of Exalter, a thrash group from Bangladesh. How many thrash bands from Bangladesh do you have in your music library? If your answer is "not that many" or "none" and thrash is your bag, try this new bag for a change. As long as you want real thrash, thrash that sounds like thrash, then you're in business today. Listen to a couple of songs at the link below. By the way, speaking of itself, the bands says: "Exalter is a Thrash metal band consisting only three members. Quite unusual for a lot of metal bands. The band has Tanim as the Vocal/Guitarist, Afif on Drums. Currently audition going on for Bassist. The band started it's journey on 2013. But rest assured this band is a great addition to the Bangladeshi extreme metal community. The band promises songs packed with insanely fast paced drumming, crushing riffs and heavy sound." Alrighty then, let's get to work, people!
www.exalter.bandcamp.com/album/obituary-for-the-living-thrash-metal
www.facebook.com/ExalterBD/timeline

Gojira

Gojira
Magma
release date: June 17th, 2016
label: Roadrunner Records
Gojira is a postrock band that many people love. Actually, the fundamental sound of Gojira is groove rock, a rather simplistic and repetitive guitar sound that captivates the attention of the listeners due to the simple/chugging qualities. The reviews do not hesitate to say that the music is the work of genius: the groove and postmodern sounds really have hit a nerve with certain people. The new album is no different. The band's combination of chug/groove/simple sounds and the indie/alternative rock influences have attracted the attention of the publications and obviously the listeners, too. The vocals alternate between shouts and emo/spacey/indie-type attempts at singing. The vocalist obviously cannot sing, does have the natural ability to sing, but he can vocalize without shouting and it is enough of a contrast to please the band's audience. The band is probably considered genius also due to its habit of making very irritating/repetitive sounds, which are the result of the band playing around with its equipment, making weird sounds, finding strange little noises, experimenting and then using those annoying sounds over and over and over again until one cannot take it anymore and has to stop listening to the album because it is not possible to keep listening to something that is this utterly annoying.
Gojira are considered genius.
*
*
review by MMB

Seattle area concert calendar

Seattle area 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 and Twitter.
June 16 Washington Deathfest: Funeral Age, Sarcalogos, Primordial Atrocity, Dead Nexus, Fools Among Thieves at The Charleston, Bremerton, WA
June 16 Taake, Young and in the Way, Wolvhammer, Addaura, Blood Etchings at Highline, Seattle, WA
June 17 Into the Storm, Aggression, MRSA, Hexengeist at Substation, Seattle
June 17 Cyborg Octopus, The Last of Lucy, Raiju, The Devils Of Loudun at Highline, Seattle, WA
June 17 Queensryche at Silver Reef Casino, Ferndale,WA
June 17 Venom Inc., Necrophagia, Wormreich, Sunlord, Inquinok, Slutvomit at Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
June 18 Venom Inc., Necrophagia, Sunlord at The Shakedown, Bellingham, WA
June 18 Obsidian, Rhine, Oxygen Destroyer, Serpentspire at Funhouse, Seattle, WA
June 18 Aggression at The Charleston, Bremerton, WA
June 19 Dire Omen, Drawn and Quartered, Dilapidation at Highline, Seattle, WA
June 25 Nightfell, Hallucinator, Serpentine at Substation, Seattle, WA
June 25 Trannysaurus Rex, Gygax, Substratum, Hexengeist at Highline, Seattle, WA
June 26 Profatanica, Demoncy, Fornicator at Highline, Seattle, WA
June 26 Aggression at The Pin, Spokane, WA
June 26 InAeona, Immortal Bird at Funhouse, Seattle, WA
June 27 Metal Mondays In Seattle at the Substation: Carnosaurus, Thieves of Eden, Dilapidation, Bryce Carter at Substation, Seattle, WA
July 1 Ashen Pyre, Serpent’s Chalice at Obscurus, Everett, WA
July 1 Yob, Sandrider, Un at Highline, Seattle, WA
July 4 Ashen Pyre, Serpent's Chalice, Born Without Blood at Substation, Seattle, WA
July 7 Wayfarer, Alda, With The End In Mind, Falls Of Rauros Highline, Seattle, WA
July 16 Holy Grail, Spellcaster, Exmortus at Highline, Seattle, WA
July 17 Ne Obliviscaris, Black Crown Initiate, Starkill at The Shakedown, Bellingham, WA
July 18 Ne Obliviscaris, Black Crown Initiate, Starkill at The Crocodile, Seattle, WA
July 19 Inter Arma, Withered at Barbosa, Seattle, WA
July 20 Imbalanced, Anthrocene, Defenestrator, Oxygen Destroyer at Funhouse, Seattle, WA
July 21 Arkaik, Vale Of Pnath, Singularity, Devils of Loudun at Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
July 22 Castle, Disenchanter, Year of the Cobra at Funhouse, Seattle, WA
July 22 Undergang, Spectral Voice, Temple of Abandonment at Highline, Seattle, WA
July 28 Riot V at Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
July 28 Inquisition, Antitheus, Sacrament ov Impurity, guests at Wild Buffalo, Bellingham, WA
July 29 Inquisition, Antitheus, Necrosomnium, Sacrament ov Impurity, Guests at Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
August 5 Come To Grief, Bell Witch, Hissing, Dilapidation at Highline, Seattle, WA
August 8 Summer Slaughter: Cannibal Corpse, Nile, After the Burial, Suffocation, Carnifex, Revocation, Krisiun and more at Showbox SODO, Seattle, WA
August 12-14 Migration Festival at the Capitol Theater in downtown Olympia, WA: Alaric, Auroch, The Body and Krieg collaborative performance, Christian Mistress, Dead to a Dying World, False, Fórn, Full of Hell, Hell (U.S.), Khemmis, Kowloon Walled City, Krallice, Magic Circle, Mizmor, Mournful Congregation, Mutilation Rites, Nightfell, Obsequiae, Pale Chalice, Panopticon, Thou, Vastum, Vhol, Yellow Eyes
August 16 Krallice, Pale Chalice, Addaura, A God or an Other at Highline, Seattle, WA
August 21 Anthrax, White River Amphitheater, Auburn, WA
August 22 Master, Sacrificial Slaughter, The Black Order, VX36, Xoth at Substation, Seattle, WA
August 24 Sammy Hagar at The Tulip Amphitheatre, Tulalip, WA
September 1 Cobalt, Mantar, Into the Storm at Highline, Seattle, WA
September 5 Volbeat, Killswitch Engage, Black Wizard at WAMU Theater, Seattle, WA
September 16 Marduk, Rotting Christ, Carach Angren, Necronomicon, Funeral Age, Inquinok at Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
October 1 Def Leppard at Tacoma Dome, Tacoma, WA
October 11 Gojira, Tesseract at Showbox SoDo, Seattle, WA
October 14 Between the Buried and Me, Devin Townsend Project, Fallujah at Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
October 15 Saint Vitus, The Skull, Witch Mountain at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
October 29 Himsa at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
November 26 Dark Tranquillity, Swallow the Sun, Enforcer, Star Kill at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
November 29 Sonata Arctica, Leaves’ Eyes, Omnium Gatherum at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
January 18 Udo Dirkschneider "Back To The Roots - Farewell To Accept" at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
January 28 Blue Öyster Cult at Historic Everett Theatre, Everett, WA
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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Thursday in Seattle: Blood Etchings (extreme metal from Washington state)

Blood Etchings will be playing a show tomorrow, Thursday, in Seattle. Find out more about the band below.
June 16 Taake, Young and in the Way, Wolvhammer, Addaura, Blood Etchings at Highline, Seattle, WA
OFFICIAL INFORMATION: Hailing from the decrepit metropolis of Seattle, Washington, BLOOD ETCHINGS exalts the Hand of Lucifer through their sinister songs of darkness and demise. After a Night of Unholy conjuring the band was summoned into existence in the early months of 2010. Many nights of seclusion and rehearsal brought forth their distinctive form of Baroque Black Metal. Blending infernal tones, beats and melodies with an ornate ritual stage show, BLOOD ETCHINGS spreads the Plague of Truth throughout a world of lies…
BLOOD ETCHINGS is an assemblage of Blood, Death, and Perversion… SERAPH, a Blood Master and speaker through both tongues and strings, beckons a horde of destruction upon the unworthy… IMPERATOR, a blood thirsty demon of ill repute, plays upon the rotting sinews of his countless victims… Together as Spawns of Satan they shall destroy all…
The year of 2011 included a self titled demo drenched in blood, as well as four live rituals. Starting with the HELL ON EARTH shows in Sacramento, California and Portland, Oregon, BLOOD ETCHINGS began spreading their plague along the west coast… Returning to Seattle they next presented the BLOOD MASS IN BALLARD ritual. This show resulted in a full length DVD featuring BE, Sacrament Ov Impurity and Baal Beryth performing their black metal arts under the deathly light of the full Moon… Lastly, the gruesome SEVEN HEADS OF THE DEAD which manifested the many facets of Death and impaled the head of the lamb upon the face of the earth…
The early months of the 2012 finds BLOOD ETCHINGS deep in the pits of hell rehearsing and writing for a new series of rituals… the reemergence will be a west coast tour in April, followed by the recording of a full length album…
IN BLOOD!
Blood Etchings - Lucifer Victorious (Seattle)
www.facebook.com/bloodetchings

Hellcats

Hellcats plays traditional heavy metal. There's new material coming down the pipeline at some point, but in the meantime, if you have not heard the band, right now is as good a time as any. For metal supporters into melodic and traditional heavy metal, especially. The following is the official information. Check out their videos, too.
OFFICIAL INFORMATION: Hellcats is an all girl rock metal band from Slovenia and the first all girl metal band from that part of Europe. The band was formed in Ljubljana by the sisters Sasha and Sonja Zagorc, who started to perform together in their childhood, while they were still at music school. Sasha was studying classical guitar and Sonja flute. Later on Sonja switched to drums and they formed a band. Due to the small size of Slovenian music space it wasn't easy to find many female musicians. After numerous resounding concerts on big stages they twice performed at Metal Camp festival, in front of a full auditorium, Viva la Pola festival in Croatia, Metal Franconia festival in Dettelbach near Würzburgh and many more. In 2012 the all-female quartet was invited to tour Russia. In one week they played a series of gigs, including the biggest rock festival in Kaluga titled "Zheleznye devy" or "Iron Girls" and travelled from Moscow to Kaluga, Ryazan to Tula and Tambov City. In the summer of 2012 they were chosen among more than 400 groups and performed at the bigest music festival Jelen Demofest in Banja Luka (Bosnia and Herzegovina). On the competition they achieved 4th place and thus became the highest placed foreign band at the festival. In 2013 they released their debut album Warrior Princess in Milano at the beginning of their Italian tour. This year they went on a German tour for the first time, played 2 festivals (Metal Franconia& Mühlen rock festival) and at few clubs. They have released three videos, »Steelrider«, »Now is my time« and »Demon Dreams«. They are recording a new album at the moment.
HELLCATS - SANJAM DEMONE Official Video
HELLCATS STEELRIDER Official video
HELLCATS - Divja pot live
www.facebook.com/hellcats.eu
www.twitter.com/HELLCATSsi

NEWS: Legati

NEWS:
Legati (Mexico)
Path to Synchrony
release date: February 6th, 2016
label: independent
Legati, you could say, sounds closest to power metal with high, melodic singing, while at the same time exercising a certain degree of diversity in the songs. Fortunately, they have five songs on ReverbNation that provide a good idea of the range of the band. Listeners into melodic metal sounds would be the target audience for the band. Below is information about the album and the band, although they don't have much more information on Facebook at the moment.
1.Dreams 03:30
2.Oblivion 03:28
3.Where 03:51
4.Noche de Luna 05:16
5.Shock 03:54
6.De Visu 04:22
7.New Era 03:54
8.Whisper Shade 04:34
total time 32:49
Daniel Avila: bass
Edgar Hira: guitars
Lluvia Domínguez: vocals
Pablo Monclova: drums
www.reverbnation.com/legatimx/
www.facebook.com/legatimx/

contact Metal Bulletin Zine

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Funeral Age (Washington state, U.S.)

Funeral Age is an extreme metal band from the state of Washington. Metal Archives says that they are in Seattle. Below you will find a link to hear the music, as well as some official information and a review from Metal Archives.
OFFICIAL INFORMATION: Funeral Age was original formed as a Thrash Metal band under the name Suicide Culture in 1997 but changed to Funeral Age in 2003 and took a more Black/Death Metal approach. Bands we have opened for: Cannibal Corpse, Kreator, Vader, Decapitated, Exodus, Enthroned, Destroyer 666, Sadus, Impiety, Gravehill, The Accused, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Possessed, Marduk, 1349, Withered, Weapon, and more!
Discography:
Fistful of Christ (2003)
Thy Martyrdom Come (2010)
REVIEW from Metal Archives:
Well this is a trip back in time. I reviewed Funeral Age's first disc, Fistful of Christ, back in 2003, in my first year as a reviewer here. I always tried to keep an eye out for more from them, but it seems this one slipped past me. Thy Martyrdom Come was released in 2010 on the band's own dime, and it took me a bit of work to get ahold of it.
This doesn't have the slick, well-produced gloss of a more expensive album, no clickety-click of gated drums and high-speed technicality. What this band does have is heaviness to spare, old-school conviction, and a sense of musicality that would shame many so-called melodic bands. These songs are long, complex without being busy, and filled with a flowing and addictive sense of melody and phrasing. This is one extreme band that does not suffer the delusion that playing death metal excuses them from real songwriting or from playing good riffs. Funeral Age never use speed or heaviness to cover up deficiencies, but rather as tools to accentuate and sharpen their compositions.
Also, this is a dirty, gear-grinding death metal album in the vein of Possessed or Krisiun, though with their sprawling musical complexity, this band reminds me more than a bit of The Chasm in their glory days of Conjuration of the Spectral Empire. Thy Martyrdom Come is just a feast of great riffs and melodies that never stops surprising me with its twists and turns. A truly great album.
www.facebook.com/FuneralAgeOfficial/app/204974879526524/
www.funeralage.bandcamp.com

tomorrow!!: July 16 at The Charleston in Bremerton, WA!

June 16 Washington Deathfest: Funeral Age, Sarcalogos, Primordial Atrocity, Dead Nexus, Fools Among Thieves at The Charleston, Bremerton, WA
www.facebook.com/FuneralAgeOfficial/app/204974879526524/

interview: Bestial Invasion

Knowledgeable thrashers will quickly recognize the name of the band for being the name of the old song by Destruction. If you are thinking that they play thrash, you’d be correct in this case, but with a twist: the band calls its music technical thrash. Bestial Invasion is from Ukraine, a country that has been in the news in recent years due to separatist movements and Moscow’s involvement. With that in mind, this publication asked the band about its current situation and also a bit about its country. In 2015 the band had the album Act of Retribution and in 2016 they have the EP Trilogy: Prisoners of Miserable Fate.
Greetings! What can you tell us about Bestial Invasion?
Greetings! We are Bestial Invasion and we play metal! Bestial Invasion formed in 2014, in Sumy, Ukraine. Members: V.Zadiev – vocals, E. Maestro – guitars, A. Klaptsov – guitars, Metal Priest – bass, I. Semenchuk – Drums. I’m metal priest a leader and a founder of the band. Today I’m gonna answer your questions. The Bestial Invasion band plays technical Thrash metal. At the moment almost all the members live in the different cities. But that doesn’t hinder us to be productive.
Originally we have played music with female vocals and it wasn’t bad but we needed something more powerful and oldschoolish. So I decided that we should find a male vocalist with high pitch singing and wide vocal range. In 2015 we met our new singer V.Zadiev. Since then we have recorded and released our first LP album ‘Act of Retribution’ and EP Trilogy ‘Prisoners of Miserable Fate’.
What bands were your inspiration for a “technical thrash” band in Ukraine at the start?
Well, there are lots of bands that inspire us like Atheist, Toxik, Wathctower, Anacrusis, Coroner, Mekong Delta. And it wasn’t easy to find right people at all. Even to find a band members was a big problem because technical thrash is not much popular here as a genre.
What can metal people do to support your music?
Obviously, the great thing you can do for us is purchasing our CD’s and merch and visiting the shows. That is the main thing that will help us to keep it up and make new music. Also we extremely need to let people know us and our music so sharing Bestial Invasion’s music and stuff with friends is also very helpful.
What can you tell us about the equipment/instruments that you use and do you use real drums on the recording?
First of all, needless to say that we are fans of oldschool sound and music. Therefore we need to use more live sound instruments and equipment and less sound replacement technologies. So the answer is yes – the drums are real played by our drummer. And that’s how it should be. I got my custom bass guitar MP28 made specially for me and I really love it sound. And our guitarists prefer BC Rich and Jackson guitars.
In the news we read that the economy is not very good in Ukraine. How does the economic situation affect your band?
Almost in all former USSR countries there are problems with standards of living. In our country it’s a low-paid work, no social protection and etc. So you never know what you’d get in the future. Unpredictable. Certainly it effects on us either, because if you don’t have enough money you can’t go touring abroad and can’t afford good equipment. So, yeah, it’s difficult but who says it should be easy? It’s metal!
What is your opinion of the political situation in Ukraine? There is conflict in the eastern part of the country, right? How has the conflict affected your life and your band?
My opinion is that the former Ukrainian government and the present both are criminals and despots. They are killing people and making them unhappy. The war hasn’t affected on a band because we live in the north of Ukraine.
What is your opinion of the Ukrainian government? What is your opinion of the Russian government?
As I say our government and officials are big criminals. They care only about themselves and do not care about the people. Many people here already are very disappointed. So that’s the answer. And I can’t say much about Russian government. I don’t live there.
In the news we read of separatists in Ukraine, of cultural and language conflicts. What can you tell us about your own experience?
I just let you know guys that more than a half of Ukraine population speaks Russian, just as I do all of my life. Almost all my friends and relatives do speak Russian. So there are no tensions or oppressions or something between Ukrainian-speaking and Russian-speaking peoples in Ukraine. It’s just a myth. You can freely speak Russian here.
What other news do you have?
We are planning to finish and release our second LP album. This is going to be something special! New sound, new music and songs. And people will be able to see our progress and I dare say it’s gonna be a new level for a band. So guys, it’s worth to wait, hopefully we will make it done on this fall. Thank you Metal Bulletin Zine and until next time!
www.facebook.com/bestialinvasionua
www.soundcloud.com/bestialinvasion
THE END.