The Armageddon chord is the first novel by musician and songwriter Jeremy Wagner. In a broad sense, the book is a fun, fast-paced explosion of heavy metal, Egyptian mythology, and a good taste of the occult that makes for a very engaging read. If you enjoy apocalyptic tales and epic clashes between good and evil, then the plot of this book will definitely have you hooked. And of course, if you like the usual trappings of rock n’ roll glory and have a sense of humor about it, then you might find it funny as well. The key is this- don’t take it too seriously. Just enjoy it for the extravagant, ridiculous, and entertaining book that it is. (more…)
Twenty incredible bands in two mosh-filled, headbang-fueled days.
For the past couple weeks, our buds over at MetalSucks have been teasing their readers with rumors of some momentous occasion in the works, which ended up being The Metal Suckfest in New York City at The Gramercy Theatre, November 4 -5, 2011. (more…)
While in the process of reviewing this album, I had a bit of a debate with a good friend of mine about Trivium. He expressed his misgivings to me, the main one centered on the band’s polished or “semi-mainstream” sound. For him, the band lacks a genuine feel that he looks for when it comes to heavy music. I know what he means, and I share his aversion to bands that come across as manufactured, with no raw or visceral foundation to their sound. However, in Trivium’s case, I don’t think this criticism is fair or applicable. Seemingly reading my thoughts, he mentioned Bullet for My Valentine and applied the same criticism. I was more than ready to agree in their case. But for me, this was more of a contrast than a comparison. I’ve seen Trivium live three times and two of those performances (2005 and 2009) were fantastic. Bullet on the other hand nearly put me to sleep when I saw them open for Iron Maiden in 2006. After exchanging a few more points, my friend conceded that Matt Heafy was a talented singer and that the guitar playing was fantastic, but that he simply could not put his support behind Trivium on the whole. Happy to agree to disagree, we touched the conversation off by ordering another round of drinks. By relating this to you, I mean to clue you into some of my thoughts as I write the rest of this review. (more…)
As someone who has seen Decapitated twice since their last release, once with Vitek and once without, I have been very eager to hear any new material. When I saw them at Summer Slaughter last year, I was so impressed with how Vogg's new team managed to pull things off that felt confident the next dose of original music would be very satisfying. On Carnival is Forever, Decapitated goes far beyond just lazily "adding another album" to their catalog. With a pummeling sense of urgency, Carnival riffs and blasts its way into your mind and leaves you both aching from the punishment and exhilarated by its sheer power.
One could say a lot of good things about Unearth. In 2001, with most emerging metal bands still mired in the colossal waste of time of “Nu-Metal”, the band became one of the first to push the style we think of as “modern” Metalcore with their debut release, The Stings of Conscience. Within a few years, Gothenburg riffs, barked vocals, and breakdowns all became metal standard-fare, from the rundown VFW shows all the way to Ozzfest. Not surprisingly, this spawned an enormous wave of followers seeking to emulate bands like Unearth and Killswitch Engage. But lest we forget, Metalcore was something Unearth did long before the sound became popular. And from what I can tell from Darkness in the Light, it is something they continue to do very well. (more…)
When you review an album from one of your favorite bands, you're torn in a couple directions. In one sense, your passion for them motivates you to be very critical, while in another you still want to give them the benefit of the doubt. So let's get the obvious crap out of the way shall we? Yes, Sounds of a Playground Fading is much better than A Sense of Purpose, but is that really saying much? And while In Flames’ signature sound shines through much of this record, the band fails to use it in a very memorable way. (more…)
"Evinta. A project almost 15 years in the making. An idea that has sat smoldering and never really had a reason to burn alive until now. 9 albums worth of darkness recreated anew to mark 20 years of MDB. Music arranged to the soundscapes of sorrows past. Finally the 20th anniversary allows us to release this music in a form it has been desperately, woefully waiting for. Enjoy the Darkness."
- MY DYING BRIDE
How do you “celebrate” a career when all of your music resembles a funeral procession? Well, I suppose you could just make more music that resembles a funeral procession. But you could add a slight twist if you make a few adjustments. Maybe you will come up with something really special. For their 20th anniversary release, My Dying Bride has taken their characteristic melancholy doom metal and extracted the metal in favor of a double-album of dark, ambient music composed of melodies spanning the band’s career. (more…)
Earlier this year we reported that the re-united incarnation of KYUSS, known now as KYUSS Lives! would be embarking on a few US dates with more to come. Well here we are now with a full tour schedule with Monstro touring in support: (more…)
Nader Sadek is famous for his elaborate stage designs, sculptures, and masks. His clients have included artists like SUNN O))) and Mayhem, whom he helped to construct the stage props for their 2009 tour. Nader is now ready to emerge from behind the curtain with his very own record, In the Flesh.
Perhaps by capitalizing on his connections, Nader brought together quite a cast for this: (more…)
If there is a metal supergroup worth paying attention to, it's Down. So it's been a little worrying to hear some of the rumors going around that bassist Rex Brown may be leaving the band. Is he definitely gone? Would it be just a temporary hiatus? Will Patrick Bruders (Crowbar) be the new official bass player for the band? We don't know for sure, much of this is still speculation.
But there are many signs that his future with Down is uncertain, especially his absence from Down's current round of touring dates. Strange considering he's still featured on the front page of their website in the band photo. The former Pantera bassist has kept busy with yet another supergroup (Kill Devil Hill) he's formed with Vinnie Appice (Ratt, W.A.S.P, 40 Cycle Hum). Here's an interview with Vinnie and Rex courtesy of the guys at MetalAssault: (more…)
Stop whatever you're doing! KYUSS is back together under the name KYUSS LIVES!, well Kyuss minus Josh Homme, and is going to go on tour in the US for the first time in 15 years! Following the rousing success of their European tour, the band has announced two dates in the United States this fall. (more…)
So I was at work today, sifting through my usual round of news sites, when I saw this very interesting article in The Atlantic. I check the Atlantic mainly to read the columns by Andrew Sullivan and Christopher Hitchens, but here and there another writer will catch my eye.
Contributing Editor James Parker has written a piece called How Heavy Metal Is Keeping Us Sane. James Parker commonly writes on cultural topics, from dissecting the appeal of pop-stars, to the many trends circulating through television. I'd read a couple of his articles before, but had no clue he was into Metal, which made my finding this article a very pleasant surprise.
The thrust of his argument goes as follows: heavy metal music taps into the chaotic core impulses of the human psyche and provides an outlet for all of that energy that is otherwise untouched by lighter forms of art and music. (My paraphrasing) (more…)
Sounds of a Playground Fading, the latest album from legendary Swedish metal act In Flames, will arrive in the US on Tuesday, June 21st. In anticipation of its release, the band has sent out the track list and album artwork. The album comes as the follow-up to 2008’s A Sense of Purpose and will be the first not to feature founding guitarist Jesper Strömblad. (more…)
Leave it to a couple heavy metal giants to create the latest supergroup. Black Sabbath guitar god Tony Iommi and Deep Purple's vocalist Ian Gillan have joined forces to form a new group called Whocares, recording a couple songs to help out the people of Gyumri, Armenia in rebuilding the town's music school. Both men have spent a lot of time in the country since the earthquake that struck there in December of 1988. (more…)
On The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues, Between the Buried and Me unleashes a flurry of genre-blending forms and influences to craft an enjoyable, entertaining listen. I found Parallax much more accessible than its predecessor, The Great Misdirect, even as it retains the progressive and experimental nature of the track they've been on since Colors.