February, 2011 Archive
Jeff Hanneman got bit by a nasty spider last month and had to undergo emergency surgery on his right arm. Eww, I wonder what our favorite nature explorer would say about this. Anyway, this poses a problem to Slayer because they have a big Australian tour coming up, which of course means money. And Hanneman don't want to give that up and neither does Slayer. So they've decided to put a little PR spin on it:
"Jeff is our brother, we've all been friends and together as a band for almost 30 years," said Araya, "so we just want him to completely recover as soon as possible."
"After everything that happened last year," King added, "we all agreed that we just can't let our fans down again," referring to Araya's severe back and neck pain that prompted his January 2010 surgery, unfortunately leading to the band's postponement or cancellation of numerous shows in 2009 and 2010. "Jeff is totally on board with this decision, so we will tour as planned. At this point, we can't pinpoint exactly what day he'll be back, but he'll be back as soon as he possibly can. And we can't wait for Jeff to get better and get his ass back on the road."
Let's be honest, this could end up being really cool should they get the right replacement. But who could it be? As soon as we find out, we'll report on that because I'm sure there are dudes like this guy going nuts right now.
Get over the Monday blues by listening to all this new metal that came about today. Valen-what day? I thought so…
Amon Amarth have premiered another track on Decibel's blog, which is exciting because Amon Amarth rule, remember? If you have to ask what it sounds like, duh, it sounds exactly like Amon Amarth – the band have a sound and they stick with it, and there is nothing wrong with that! I'm pumped. Are you going to see them on tour? I think I may have to.
Here is an appropriate premiere for Valentines Day: Devildriver's new track 'You Make Me Sick' is streaming on Blabbermouth and it's very appropriate if you have a lot of anger and rage in your body, possibly from being rejected on Valentine's Day.
Darkest Hour are getting in the spirit by releasing a new mp3 titled "Love Is A Romance" and it's available to stream only if you like their Facebook page. Bands need loving too, you know!
Devin Townsend released a FREE live EP today, and I'm sure some people downloaded it, but I can't… most likely because this free download crashed his label's servers. It is going really slow so if you have enough patience, you can download the five track live EP right here.
For all you prog-heads out there, I will end this update with a link to yet another new Scale The Summit track. You can stream the track now at the Prosthetic Records store. It sounds killer!
by Jeremy Ülrey
1992 was good to Varg Vikernes, at least from a creative standpoint. In a nine month period running through September, the man known to (an admittedly very limited segment of) the world as Count Grishnackh would record the lion's share of the material that defines his legacy to this day.
The last of those records, Hvis Lyset Tar Oss, is arguably his peak moment, a culmination of hours of sonic experimentation and an increasingly comfortable grasp of the avant garde. From an initial base leaning heavily on the rarefied epics of Bathory, Vikernes rapidly progressed into an iconoclastic figure of second wave black metal through force of personality and sheer woodshedding.
The physical release of these records would be a more protracted affair: only the debut album, Burzum, made it to record store shelves in 1992 proper. The Aske EP and second full length, Det Som Engang Var, were both released in 1993, but Hvis Lyset Tar Oss wouldn't see the light of day until April of 1994, shortly before the trial of Vikernes for the murder of Euronymous began. (more…)
Lemmy has almost become Dave Grohl's unofficial good luck charm. Grohl can't seem to go anywhere without him. The Foo Fighters are set to put out a new record very shortly and have released their first single, "White Limo" and even got Lemmy to star in the video as their crazy chauffer. The Foo Fighters may have the best hit ratio when it comes to making great music videos, and this one is certainly no different. Another great effort from all those involved, and kudos for the VHS throwback. If you were ever a fan of the Foo before the blastbeat captured your soul, I recommend checking out this video: (more…)
Unless you have a girlfriend who is in love with Lady Gaga, then you may have missed the Grammys last night. Relax, you missed absolutely nothing! As for the two categories delegated to heavy music, yet again there were no surprises as Them Crooked Vultures won the Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance for their track "Red Fang" beating out Alice In Chains (who were snubbed in my opinion), Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots and Ozzy Osbourne.
As for "Best Metal Performance," Iron Maiden took home the gramophone-shaped paperweight for their song "El Dorado" beating out Korn, Lamb of God, Slayer and Megadeth. Well, at least Korn didn't win. It seems like the Grammys continued their tradition of picking the band name they most recognized. Megadeth seems to be nominated every year and lose each year. Poor Dave Mustaine. He has friends in the CIA and FBI but none on the Grammy board. Here is the full list of nominees for the three of you that are interested: (more…)
Now that we know the Big 4 will not be doing a tour, but instead just one big festival show. Yawn. That means Metallica has had a whole bunch of free time. Turns out the band's been working on some new music. Rolling Stone spoke to guitarist Kirk Hammett who was being quite coy:
"We want to record it in two weeks," guitarist Kirk Hammett tells Rolling Stone. "We had planned on doing it in March, but we pushed it back to May. I don't want to give too much away, but it's not really 100 percent a Metallica record. It's a recording project, let's put it that way. Without getting too deep into it, it's more a recording project than a bona fide Metallica album. Whether or not we can pull it off in just two weeks remains to be seen."
I wouldn't say I'm excited about new music from Metallica, but I would say that I am intrigued. Death Magnetic was not a complete piece of shit, I actually enjoyed a bunch of it so maybe this will be decent as well? Who knows, this could just end up being another covers album or a covers EP since they are only giving themselves two weeks to record. I guess we'll find out come may. The best part of the article though is when RS asked him about how he feels about the other bands in the Big Four: (more…)
The weekend is upon us, and here are some new tunes to get us through until the clock strikes 6!
Children of Bodom really want you to like them. That's why they are letting all of their fans on Facebook stream their new track "Ugly". Head on over, like 'em, and then you will be granted access to hear the new track of their forthcoming release, Relentless Reckless Forever.
You can now stream Deicide's upcoming release, To Hell With God over at CMDistro.com, where you can also pre-order the disc.
Relapse has posted Death's entire Sound of Perseverance reissue (including bonus tracks) up for streaming on the band's Facebook page.
Frank's band Meek Is Murder recently entered Godcity Studio with mothafuckin' Kurt Ballou of Converge to record a new record and Decibel has a pretty funny video clip of the band recording the record and talking about it's history.
Amon Amarth are hitting the road in the Spring, and they're hitting it hard. The band just announced a set of shows in the United States that will see "an evening with" Amon Amarth, meaning no openers, all Amon. The band will be playing two sets a night. The first set will be their entire new album, Surtur Rising, in it's entirety and a second set featuring a collection of older material. Two Amon sets for the price of one! The band must really be digging this new album of theirs if they decided to play it in it's entirety on tour. Sounds like a fun time! Here are the dates: (more…)
by James Zalucky
Faded am I, behind a wall of consciousness
Still feeling a different world
Chilling voices fill my head-
I open my eyes
-Darkthrone, from Paragon Belial
Through the years of Heavy Metal's existence, there have been a few records which, through their innovative sound and striking character, have defined the nature of particular movement. In the dark, cold world of Black Metal, one could easily point to the early Bathory records, along with those of Mayhem and other members of the Norwegian "inner-circle". However, one record stands out in my judgment for shaping Black Metal's crude, haunting, and atmospheric sound: A Blaze in the Northern Sky. While most fans would agree on Darkthrone's essential contributions to the genre, some may quibble with me over my choice of this record, "How could you not pick [insert other early Darkthrone release here], its so much more KVLT!!!". After all, Blaze was one of the first Black Metal records I ever owned (I bought it when I was 17), so I understand how this may make me biased in its favor. However, after years of being a fan, I still maintain that A Blaze in the Northern Sky is Darkthrone's most essential release, at least from their Black Metal-era. (more…)
What a difference a few years makes. Four years ago, there was no bigger fad in music than the Guitar Hero fascination. Everybody either owned the game themselves, or would constantly hang out with friends who had it. Bars had Guitar Hero nights. Musical instrument sales surged from a renewed interest from the younger generations. Dragonforce got a whole career in the United States strictly off their track being the hardest song to beat, and just like that it's all done.
Yesterday, Activision, the makers of the game, announced that the franchise would be discontinued saying “due to continued declines in the music genre, the company will disband Activision Publishing’s Guitar Hero business unit and discontinue development on its Guitar Hero game for 2011.”
No more Guitar Hero games! Good riddance. Let's be honest here, how much more game could they suck out of the Guitar Hero teet? Where was there left to go? I've been writing for over a year about how over it I am, and most of you agreed with me. The fad is over. I still think the game is a great way for people who have never picked up a musical instrument before to ease into playing, but there is no need for new yearly iterations. There is no need to be sad though, everybody involved made their money and cashed out.
The future doesn't look too bright for Rock Band either, as the development company Harmonix was recently sold by MTV Games (the distributor of the game) for $20 million, with Harmonix also recently dealing with some heavy layoffs. Ouch!
Things are kicking back into high gear, with several tours set to be announced in the coming weeks, including this new one. Carnifex and Oceano are teaming up for the "Names Mean Nothing Tour" along with The Tony Danza Tap Dance Extravaganza and Within The Ruins as support acts. The tour starts out in Los Angeles on March 31st and wraps up in Reno, NV on May 12th. That's some serious touring, all over the country, including a stop at the New England Metal and Hardcore Festival. Here is the full routing:
3/31 Hollywood, CA @ The Whisky
4/1 Tempe, AZ @ Underground
4/2 Albuquerque, NM @ Fusion Factory
4/3 Oklahoma City, OK @ The Conservatory
4/4 Kansas City, MO @ El Torreon
4/6 St Paul, MN @ Station 4
4/7 Milwaukee, WI @ Miramar Theatre
4/8 Chicago, IL @ Mojoe’s
4/9 Toledo, OH @ The Jamboree
4/10 Indianapolis, IN @ Emerson Theatre
4/11 Grand Rapids, MI @ MXTP
4/12 London, ON @ Call The Office
4/13 Toronto, ON @ Annex Wreckroom
4/14 Montreal, QC @ Underworld
4/15 Quebec City, QC @ L'Octobre
4/16 Worcester, MA @ New England Metal & Hardcore Fest
4/17 Springfield, VA @ Jaxx
4/18 Raleigh, NC @ The Brewery
4/19 Charleston, SC @ The Oasis
4/20 St Petersburg @ The State Theatre
4/21 Ft Lauderdale, FL @ Rocketown
4/23 Douglasville, GA @ The 7 Venue
4/27 Cleveland, OH @ Peabody's
4/28 Buffalo, NY @ Mohawk Place
4/29 East Rutherford, NJ @ Bamboozle
5/1 Louisville, KY @ Expo Five
5/2 St Louis, MO @ Fubar
5/3 Tulsa, OK @ Marquee Theatre
5/6 Fort Worth, TX @ TomCats West
5/7 San Antonio, TX @ White Rabbit
5/10 Salt Lake City, UT @ The Complex
5/11 Reno, NV @ The Alley
On the second 2011 episode of the Relapse Podcast we have new and exclusive music from Obscura, Rotten Sound, Death, Red Fang and more! Plus John Gallagher of Dying Fetus stops by to talk with Viking Phil in this month's exclusive interview. Like always, we have plenty of Relapse news and tour information to go around as well as classic tracks from Zeke and Atheist. DOWNLOAD, PLUG IN AND TURN IT UP!
Obscura – Septuagint
Rotten Sound – Alone
Rotten Sound – Self
Noisear – Life Consumed You
Rwake – Unleashing Cosmic Destruction
Red Fang - Wires
Rabbits – Burn, Sun, Burn
Zeke – Flat Track
Atheist – Mother Man
Dying Fetus - Your Treachery Will Die With You
Dying Fetus - Grotesque Impalement (Remastered)
Misery Index – Sleeping Giants
Cephalic Carnage – A King and a Thief
Death – A Moment of Clarity (1997 Demo)
Abysmal Dawn – Manufactured Humanity
We've been covering the goings-on in the Slipknot camp for a while now. Just to do some recapping: drummer Joey Jordison says everything is okay and frontman Corey Taylor constantly says he does not feel comfortable being in Slipknot anymore. The most recent update to this dramatic saga was an interview Taylor gave in Billboard where he said "there are moments when I'm like, 'Let's keep going for (Gray),' and there are moments when I'm like, 'It's not the same without him.'"
Naturally, the next step in this vicious cycle is for somebody to interview Jordison and him to say things are going fine. Guess what? That just happened! In a recent interview with Australian radio show "The Racket", here is what he said when asked about the current status of the band:
"Everything's fine. I get questions about it all the time, of course, so I just wanna set the record straight that everything in the Slipknot camp is just like it's always been, just like since we started. It's definitely been a regrouping. We need to do this, and the people need it, and we're coming back. It's something that you definitely need to see. I'm not gonna let the cat out of the bag about what we're actually doing, but it's gonna be a definite celebration — it's gonna be the ultimate gathering, that's for sure. And everything is great in Slipknot; we had a great band meeting, and everything is on the up-and-up, and we're ready to come back. And it's happening quickly."
Did anybody else's heart jump for a second when he used the word gathering? Back to the point at hand, looks like Joey is in denial, because everything that Corey Taylor has said in the press completely contradicts everything Joey said in that last paragraph. I think it's commendable that Joey is trying to put a happy face on the whole situation, as he seems like he doesn't want to let the 'knot fans down, whereas Taylor is just taking the honest approach. Well, either way, the band has fest shows scheduled this summer, so maybe once they go out there and feel the energy of the crowd, it will almost feel like everything is back to normal.
As part of Black Metal History Month, we will be highlighting some of the most important black metal releases of all time for your reading pleasure. Here is our first entry in the Essential Black Metal Listening category:
Pure Holocaust is Immortal's sonic statement of purpose. Their debut album, released a year earlier, had set them apart from their black metal peers in theme and tone. Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism proved Immortal to be the kings of all things grim and frostbitten, eschewing Satanism, paganism and nationalism in favor of epic battles in the frosty fictional kingdom of Blashyrkh. The preposterous video for that album's title track revealed a theatrical flair for the absurd, setting Immortal well apart from their somber Norwegian counterparts. It wasn't until Pure Holocaust, however, that Immortal's music stepped away from the pack. Improved production, peerless swarming riffs, concise but grandiose songwriting and a raging rhythmic assault push Pure Holocaust into the pantheon of black metal classics. (more…)
by James Zalucky
Sometimes it's hard to separate awesome underground bands from crappy ones. Contributor James Zalucky is willing to take one for the team and go through our massive collection of demos from unsigned artists and every now and then, pick one he likes and pitch you on why you should like them. Here is the third installment:
Protean Collective is a progressive metal/hard rock band from Boston, MA. While their music roams through intricate arrangements and thoughtful modes of expression, the band maintains a raw, aggressive attack on the senses. With expressions both “cerebral and emotive”, the band’s unique sound brings the unity of the two concepts into sharp relief. Their influences include bands like Porcupine Tree, Soundgarden, Meshuggah, Pain of Salvation, Rush, Queens of the Stone Age, Mastodon, Tool, King Crimson, and Opeth. Hell, with taste like that, how can you go wrong? (more…)