Not sure how many of you are familiar with the excellent music zine, Faceculture, based in the Netherlands. They cover a wide range of non-mainstream and some mainstream music. What I enjoy most about them is their insightful and candid band interviews. Check out their recent video interview with CARCASS guitar god Bill Steer. They discuss the entire history of the band and the details of their comeback. Very cool stuff.
Following the demise of CATHEDRAL, guitar god Gaz Jennings has returned with his new band, DEATH PENALTY. After releasing the Sign of Times/Seven Flames 7″, the band is set to release their self-titled full-length debut on September 16th via Rise Above Records. Expect a new mix of doom, NWOBHM, and other elements.
“When Cathedral split I didn’t have any intention of getting another band together,” Gaz admits. “I wanted to do a record, because Lee [Dorrian, CATHEDRAL front man and Rise Above Records boss] has been saying for years that he’d give me a deal! But all my time was taken up writing stuff forCathedral. I had a few bits and bobs lying around, so I started writing material a few years back and that’s where it all started. And now the album is ready to go.”
Dubai’s death/thrash assault, NERVECELL, is pleased to announce their union with Unique Leader Records.
Spawned in 2000 as one of the first extreme metal bands to emerge from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and having toured alongside legendary metal acts such as METALLICA, MORBID ANGEL, DEICIDE, DECAPITATED and SUFFOCATION, NERVECELL are true torchbearers for a Middle Eastern wave of metal.
Comments the band of joining Unique Leader‘s expanding roster of brutality: “We are very excited to announce that we have signed with Unique Leader for a worldwide multi-album deal. As a Middle East-based extreme metal band, we have constantly strived to take our music to all ends of the world and as a record label specializing in extreme metal, we couldn’t be more pleased to begin this new relationship. The new record is currently being worked on and we can’t wait to bring the chaos live to a stage near you soon!”
NERVECELL released their debut full-length, Preaching Venom, in 2009 via Germany’s Lifeforce Records (Europe) and Spellbind Records (Middle East) followed by their critically-adored Psychogenocide long player just two years later. The widespread success of latter also awarded NERVECELL the honor of being crowned the “All Time Best Selling Metal Act” in the Middle East and North Africa region, consequently receiving a plaque of recognition from Virgin Megastores (MENA) in January of 2012 certifying this huge accomplishment.
Check out this great article in Rolling Stone India.
As you may have heard, the legendary Tommy Ramone passed away on Friday, July 11, 2014 at age 65. He had been battling cancer. Tommy is the final original member of the RAMONES to pass away.
Aside from the band’s first three albums, you can gain great insight into Tommy and the rest of the band in the excellent documentary, End of the Century. The trailer is below.
Those first couple albums changed my life as a teenager. In the middle of all the aggro and gloom I was listening to at the time, the RAMONES showed me that I could smile and be happy while listening to something heavy and fast. Another life lesson that I learned back then was that if the music isn’t catchy, memorable, and real, forget about it. Tommy, thanks for the timeless music and for keeping the rest of the guys together when they went over the deep end. Nice guys can finish first.
So big news over this album is the debut of new (female) vocalist Alissa White-Gluz (ex-THE AGONIST). Did you really think that ARCH ENEMY would ever replace Angela Gossow with a male vocalist? C’mon, man.
So how does Alissa stack up? Her voice is stronger than Angela‘s. Thus, you don’t hear the blatant studio magic used to cover for the shortcomings in Angela‘s abilities. As War Eternal progresses, it is easy to grow weary and tired of Alissa‘s vocals because they are simply not that good, and her vocal inflections and patterns are repetitive. Don’t get me started on her laughable, over exaggerated facial expressions and stage moves.
On the other hand, as can be expected, the instrumental components of War Eternal are as rock solid and as technically proficient as they’ve always been. The band stays true to their trademark melodic death metal sound. Expect much of that killer ARCH ENEMY-level musicianship. There are many absolutely fine riffs and solos. You cannot deny those melting, sweet Amott-style melodies. While Nick Cordle is no Chris Amott, he gets the job done.
Overall, War Eternal is what it is. Nothing more, nothing less. As longtime metal warriors, we know one thing: Michael Amott‘s music is something that is always worth checking out. (Century Media Records)
The sixth album from Polish gods, DECAPITATED, will be entitled Blood Mantra and is set to be released September 26, 2014 via Nuclear Blast and Mystic Production (Poland)
The artwork was created by Polish artist, Lukasz Jaszak Design & Photography, who also made the cover of Carnival is Forever.
Blood Mantra was recorded at Hertz Studio in Bialystok, Poland under the direction of Wojtek and Slawek Wiesawski.
Guitarist & founding member Waclaw “Vogg” Kieltyka states:
“Extreme and groove – I think that’s the best way to describe our new album. This time we feel that we have something totally crushing and huge.
“Blood Mantra is the most heavy and mature album we ever did in our carrier. I cannot wait to start to play songs live because riffs are soo deep and powerful.”
Check out this excellent drum cam footage shot from the band’s show last week in Poland with GOJIRA.
ELECTRIC WIZARD have announced Time to Die as the title of their forthcoming studio album. Time to Die is the eighth full-length offering from these doom staples.
This will be the band’s first album release since signing a worldwide deal with Spinefarm Records.
Says ELECTRIC WIZARD founding member, Jus Oborn:
“All of our albums in the past have had a theme — revenge, drugs, black magick — and the theme of this one is death. Of course, death to us really means rebirth, so this album is a manifestation of a very primal occult belief in the final sacrifice. We have gone full circle — it was inevitable, but we had to do it. We had to kill the band so we could be reborn. It was the only way to ensure we could come back even stronger.”
The artwork, once again created by Oborn, is an extension of that theme; this is further solidified by the LP gatefold image, which will be revealed soon.
Here is the band performing “Funeralopolis” at Hellfest Open Air 2014 last month in France:
Crossover beasts IRON REAGAN have announced their sophomore album, The Tyranny of Will, will be released September 16th for North America, (Sept 15 (UK/World), Sept 12th (Germany/Benelux/World) via Relapse Records.
Vocalist Tony Foresta commented on the new album:
“This might be my favorite thing I’ve ever worked on. It’s definitely the heaviest sounding. I’m really excited to get this record out to people. Everyone worked their asses off on this one and I think it shows”.
Drummer Ryan Parrish added:
“This record looks exactly how it sounds. Savage. Everyone involved with Tyranny Of Will, from the artwork to the recording, mixing, and mastering process, went above and beyond and hopefully all of you maniacs out there will crank it to 11!”
Poland’s extreme metallers HATE are currently in the studio recording their new album tentatively named Crusade:Zero. The successor to 2013′s critically acclaimed Solarflesh will contain eight new tracks and a few bonus tracks as well. The sessions are taking place at Hertz Studio in Bialystok, Poland with the Wieslawski Brothers behind the console. The band’s main-man Atf Sinner comments:
“We have been carving this monster for months and finally we have brought it to the studio! Pavulon has already finished tracking drums, which sound fantastic thanks to the new recording room here. Powerful, authentic drum sound! Now we are getting down to recording guitars. Everything is going smooth so far. As I mentioned before, these new songs are a definition of what HATE is, and with all the experience we gained, we are getting it all on the next level now.”
The album is tentatively scheduled for a worldwide release in November this year via Napalm Records. More news to come.
Here’s the video for “Alchemy of Blood” from their last one, Solarflesh:
To understand VADER‘s Tibi Et Igni is to know a few key facts. First, this is their best album since 2002′s Revelations. Second, Tibi Et Igni features the best collection of guitar solos in the band’s history. It’s a complimentary mix of intense, fast solos with whammy bar action (Peter), and PRIEST-style classic heavy metal soloing (Spider). New comer James Stewart is unquestionably the VADER‘s best drummer since the legendary Doc (R.I.P.). And most importantly, the album rules.
You get the famous VADER-style combined with songwriting magic that takes it to that special place. There’s a good balance of the blasting, ripping tracks, intensely catchy fast-mid tempo ones, and epic ones. Throughout the band’s history, they have released so many killer songs and many of the ones here rank among their best. This speaks to just how good Tibi Et Igni is.
“Hexenkessel” features some new dynamics for the band as the song has a great sense of tension that is built and released throughout. The guitar solo that comes in later really takes it to that next level. The album goes to another level with the eighth track, “The Eye of the Abyss.” The serene orchestrated intro and the undeniable sense of urgency and doom are excellent. The following track, “Light Reaper,” races to the finish like a one-way trip to hell. Closer, “The End,” may be the crown jewel of the VADER catalogue. Emotionally powerful and full of a sense of hope against a backdrop of finality , the song absolutely shines. It’s definitely the band’s JUDAS PRIEST-moment.
The bottom line: Buy it. (Nuclear Blast Records)