TRIPTYKON – Melana Chasmata

The great TRIPTYKON redefine darkness once again with their second full-length album.  Melana Chasmata is a multi-dimensional exploration of darkness colored in different atmospheres.

TRIPTYKON masterfully utilize a full repertoire – three different vocalists, a wide range of riffing styles, violent and solemn atmospheres, and more.  It’s a great lesson in musicality and serves as a foil to simple, formulaic songwriting.

Each song on Melana Chasmata is its own unique journey. Some are desolate, ominous, and naked like “Boleskine House” and “Aurorae.” Others have an unnerving feeling of instability and doom like “Altar of Deceit.” “Breathing” is just devastating in its heaviness when it picks up the speed. Starting from the sixth track, “Demon Pact,” Melana Chasmata enters a lucid nightmare, which is as vivid as any conscious experience.

Few bands create such powerful and compelling atmospheres, and no band does it like them. TRIPTYKON triumphantly prove why they are pioneers. Mandatory. (Century Media Records)

TODAY IS THE DAY Involved in Serious Traffic Accident, Tour Cancelled

Two days ago, TODAY IS THE DAY were involved in a major accident where the band’s tour van was struck by a vehicle in Massachusetts.  Band leader Steve Austin and band merch man Trevor sustained major but non-life threatening injuries and were the only passengers in the van.  The vehicle, band gear, and merch were a complete loss.  The rest of the dates on the current US tour are cancelled.

Here is what Steve Austin had to say:

“At 9:30 PM last night while driving to New York to meet up with our Drummer, our van was struck by an out of control car that had collided with another car. My dear friend and TITD merch man Trevor and I had just left my home in Orland, Maine after a 4 day Thanksgiving break in between tours. We had just completed 50 + Shows since October 7th, both Headlining and Main Support for EYEHATEGOD. Our b We had been driving for 4 hours and had just crossed into Massachusetts.
Suddenly, Trevor said Look Out! I looked towards the passenger window and saw a car heading in a straight line for the side of our 15 Passenger Van. The car was within 3 feet when he saw it and it nailed us perfectly in the side spinning us around 180 Degrees, followed by flipping the Van UPSIDE DOWN. Trevor and I were thrown super hard inside the Van with Glass bursting all around us, hot transmission fluid pouring down and sparks flying everywhere as the Van was sliding backwards and upside down the Middle of I-495 interstate. I truly felt at that moment that I was going to die…[read more]”

SÓLSTAFIR – Ótta

solstafir.ottaLeave it to the Icelandic post-apocalyptic cowboys, SÓLSTAFIR, to reward their fans with a godly follow up to their godly album, Svartir Sandir.  This time around, the band only release a single disc’s worth of music but it’s more than adequate.  Their unique style of dark/atmospheric metal rises to new levels here.

The one characteristic that stands out the most on Ótta is how powerfully the band utilizes quiet and gentle atmospheres.  Additionally, there are song sections where they could easily crash in with a wall of heaviness but the band choose to pull back.  This actually results in keeping the tension and mood while also keeping listeners on their toes.  Most importantly, SÓLSTAFIR‘s soulfulness and honesty is right up there with ANATHEMA, IN THE WOODS…, and PRIMORDIAL.

The journey that is Ótta can best be summarized by how it begins and ends.  “Lágnætti” starts things off with quiet pianos, Aðalbjörn “Addi” Tryggvason‘s heartfelt vocals, and the beautiful string orchestra.  Once the post-punk basslines and pounding drum beat comes in with the massive whale siren calls of the guitars, the intensity truly gets epic.  Closer “Náttmál” is equally soulful and beautiful.  The push and pull of the song is extremely compelling and it builds up to an epic descrescendo.  It is the crashing of glacier-sized emotions.  Awesome.

In a genre where being soulless and forgettable is the norm, SÓLSTAFIR are truly saviors.  There’s a reason why there are one of the best bands on the planet.  (Season of Mist)

SOLEFALD Returns with Latest Masterpiece, Norrønasongen. Kosmopolis Nord

After four years of silence, avant norse folk metal duo, SOLEFALD, return with Norrønasongen. Kosmopolis Nord, an experimental soundtrack to the fjords and mountains of Norway, and a hymn to the nature of the North. A prequel to the eclectic duo’s forthcoming Kosmopolis Sud full-length set for release next year, Norrønasongen. Kosmopolis Nord was created for release on vinyl, boasts a crew totaling ten musicians and finds SOLEFALD venturing into new and unfamiliar soundscapes.

Norrønasongen picks up the torch from 2010′s Norrøn Livskunst illuminating the same barrenness through the prism of prog rock, electro, folk and noise,” elaborates vocalist/guitarist/programmer Cornelius Von Jackhelln. “Norrønasongen is our first release with all the lyrics written and sung in our mother tongue. Norse Jugendstil for eyes, minds and ears: SOLEFALD are delighted to be back with their boots on!”

Adds vocalist/synthesizer/programmer, Lars Are Nedland, “As long-time fans of the progressive movement of the late ’60s/early ’70s, it was in the cards that SOLEFALD would dive into the world of melotrons at some point. Norrønasongen is a progressive folk-pop-noise release, and sets the scene for the forthcoming album Kosmopolis Sud by being nothing like it. We’re SOLEFALD after all!”

STURMGEIST & THE FALL OF ROME, a noise outfit from Oslo’s underground resistance, have remixed Norrønaprogen and delivered a B side of epic noise -”Norrøna: Ljodet som ljoma” and “Songen: Vargen.” Einar Kvitrafn Selvik of WARDRUNA contributes with skaldic vocals while Mari Skeie Ljones plays the Hardanger fiddle, traditionally held as the Devil’s instrument in Norwegian folklore.

SOLEFALD have outsourced the rhythm section to the young talents of Baard Kolstad (GOD SEED, BORKNAGAR) on drums, Alexander Bøe (IN VAIN) on bass and Petter Hallaråker (ICS VORTEX, RENDEZVOUS POINT) on guitar. All three performed with the band during the 2013 European tour.

Norrønasongen takes its name from Olav Aukrust‘s (1883-1929) poem of the same name. Written in 1915, the poem describes the horrors of World War I as seen from the Norwegian mountains, with metaphors from Norse mythology. With the timing of its release, Norrønasongen marks both the century passed since the first World War, and the 200th anniversary of the Norwegian Constitution. As storms sweep the globe yet again, the poet’s apocalyptic words can be read as a sorrowful warning.

Jeff Loomis Joins ARCH ENEMY as Live Guitarist; Chris Amott Rejoins for Rest of U.S. Tour

Big news out of the ARCH ENEMY camp:  Guitarist Nick Cordle is out of the band as guitar extraordinaire, Jeff Loomis, will join the band as live guitarist.  However, before Jeff joins up with the band’s current tour, original guitarist, Chris Amott, will take over Nick‘s spot for the rest of the U.S. tour.  Now, who doesn’t want to catch the band on tour?  Awesome.

Check out the official statement from the band and Jeff Loomis here.

 

NEUROSIS Announce Three California Tour Dates to Close Out 2014

NEUROSIS has just confirmed three more shows for 2014, set to take place during the final days of the year in California. While the members of NEUROSIS currently reside in numerous areas of the country, the Bay Area will forever remain the land of the band’s origin, and to commemorate one of their most active years performing abroad in their nearly three decades in existence, they’ll unite for a trio of concerts including two shows back where it all began.

The first of the year-end live run will see NEUROSIS playing at The Observatory in Orange County’s Santa Ana on Monday, December 29th. The next two evenings – Tuesday, December 30th and Wednesday the 31st – will see the band back in their native Bay Area lands, with two consecutive shows at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. Supporting NEUROSIS on all three of these headlining shows will be an incredibly diverse and destructive lineup, including Portland’s morose d-beat hardcore icons, TRAGEDY, San Diego-based industrial drone man/machine act, AUTHOR & PUNISHER, and San Francisco’s sludge/noise rock outfit, KOWLOON WALLED CITY.

SUFFOCATION, INTERNAL BLEEDING, PYREXIA, JUNGLE ROT, KATAKLYSM @ The Whisky (10/21/14)

“Slammin’” would be an accurate description of this year’s Carnival of Death tour featuring INTERNAL BLEEDINGPYREXIAJUNGLE ROTKATAKLYSM, and the almighty SUFFOCATION!  The interesting back story to this tour is that Guy Marchais (SUFFOCATION) used to be in INTERNAL BLEEDING and PYREXIA;Doug Bohn (PYREXIA) was with SUFFOCATION; and Keith DeVito (INTERNAL BLEEDING) was withPYREXIA and SUFFOCATION!  Don’t forget that INTERNAL BLEEDING and PYREXIA have been hailed (or dismissed) as SUFFOCATION clones in the past!

INTERNAL BLEEDING opened the show and finally returned back to Southern California!  Vocalist Keith DeVito has injected a death metal/hardcore style to the groove/slam act.  The band showcased a few crushing tracks from the new album, Imperium, and the older fans were treated to classics such as “Anointed in Servitude.”  I.B. warmed the crowd up with their short but sweet set – they were like a delicious appetizer, with SUFFOCATION being the main course!

PYREXIA
A throng of old school fanatics (myself included) were anticipating PYREXIA to hit the stage.  Drummer Doug Bohn, who played on SUFFOCATION’s masterpiece Pierced From Within, now crushed the skins for PYREXIA.  The crowd got a tasty treat when Keith DeVito, who sang on PYREXIA’s System of the Animal, performed the controversial track, “Confrontation” with the band.  The pinnacle of the set, of course, was hearing the crushing slam riffs of “Inhumanity” and “Sermon of Mockery” from their debut album.

JUNGLE ROT had a tough task to keep the energy of the crowd up, but the pit indicated that the fans seemed to enjoy the ultra-groovy mid-paced heavy riffage.  While JUNGLE ROT doesn’t play anything new or crazy, they never fail in their delivery with their no-nonsense death metal groove attack!

kataklysmKATAKLYSM, the beast once known as the “Northern Hyperblast,” has changed their style a bit to a more groove/start-stop type of band, but they still played to the crowd’s delight.  Their set was quite a diverse one and spanned their lengthy career, with old classics such as “The Awakener,” to a few tracks off the new album, such as “If I Was God…I’d Burn It All” and “Fire.”

SUFFOCATION finally greeted the raucous crowd, but to some slight confusion and disappointment.  Unfortunately, vocalist Frank Mullen has a limited amount of days he can take off from his regular day job, so he is unable to do some of the tours.  If you have been a long time SUFFOCATION fan, this is not new news, as DECREPIT BIRTH‘s  Bill RobinsonDYING FETUS’ John Gallagher, and even INTERNAL BLEEDING’s  Keith DeVito have filled in before.  This time SUFFOCATION went with an interesting choice, as DISGORGE drummer, Ricky Myers, has stepped in to do the vocals on this tour.

suffocationBeginning with “Thrones of Blood,” the thundering bass, technical blasts/beats of Kevin Talley (also a surprise on this tour to some), and amazing riffs whipped this Tuesday night crowd into a frenzy.  Brutal classics like “Catatonia,” “Effigy of the Forgotten,” and “Liege of Inveracity” all sounded tight and sick as ever.  Frank was sorely missed, however, as Ricky’s vocals sounded forced, and while talking in between songs, he sounded like he was losing his voice.  Frank’s signature hand chop and hilarious stage banter was missed as well, but again, these were tough shoes to fill. Ricky did an admirable job, but out of a scene of so many great death metal growlers, it was in interesting choice to hire him for this tour.  Nevertheless, SUFFOCATION gave 110%, and before you knew it, “Infecting the Crypts” closed out the seemingly short set, and the Carnival of Death tour stop for Los Angeles had concluded.  We haven’t seen a great package like this in a while, so if this tour has not made it to your town yet, be sure to check it out!

Anathema to Play Special “Resonance” Sets with Duncan Patterson and Darren White

UK legends ANATHEMA have announced two very special shows next April.  They will be performing songs from their entire history, as part of a Resonance set (named after compilation albums) with original bassist/songwriter Duncan Patterson and original singer Darren White.

Shows:

Roadburn Festival – April 12, 2015, Tilburg, Netherlands

O2 Shepherds Bush Empire – April 16, 2015, London, England.

Roadburn festival is a hugely respected institution and has to be the most fitting launch for the ANATHEMA ‘Resonance‘ tour. It will be a celebration of the band’s entire history, and to be joined by our old friends and comrades Duncan Patterson and Darren White for these exclusive shows will be a very special, potent and positive event for all of us. We hope you can join in this once in a lifetime celebration” – Danny Cavanagh.