Brilliant Move: Jack Owen Joins SIX FEET UNDER

Legendary death metal guitarist, Jack Owen, will be rejoining ex-CANNIBAL CORPSE bandmate, Chris Barnes, in SIX FEET UNDER as a second guitarist.  Jack was part of the rebirth of DEICIDE as he joined the band in 2004 following his exit from CANNIBAL.

Chris Barnes comments:

“Hello, hello! First of all, I would like to thank all the fans that pre-ordered and purchased our new album ‘Torment‘, and everyone that is enjoying our new work! Thank you very much! Much appreciated!!
“And now, without further ado, it is with great pleasure that I announce and introduce to you our new second guitarist, Jack Owen.
“As you all know, Jack and I started off together helping form one of the greatest Death Metal bands of all time. Jack and I began talking a few months ago, after his departure from his previous band about joining forces.
“From my side of things, it’s going to be amazing to work with Jack again!! We had some intense adventures, to say the least hahaha…and it’s gonna be killer to step on stage with Jack for the first time in over 22 years!!
“Jack will be joining SFU for the entire cycle of touring for the new album and beyond!
“As you can imagine Six Feet Under is planning a very exciting live set list for you all to freak out over!!!
“More info and tour dates coming soon!
“Hang on to your skeleton!!
Barnes

Jack Owen adds: “I’m super excited to work with my metal brother Chris Barnes and the mighty Six Feet Under! We’ve been talking about writing original material for years, and I hope it gets to that point. It would be amazing. For now, I’m looking forward to touring our asses off. I miss Europe, Canada, South America – hell, I just miss touring! It will be an honor jamming with Chris and his current SFU lineup of talented musicians…and performing with Chris will be like reliving our youth. I can’t wait to see all the SFU and old school Cannibal Corpse fans across the globe!”

SATYRICON Currently Seeking Second Guitarist

SATYRICON have announced an open search for a second live guitarist while they continue to write their new album. Here are the details:

Satyricon might need you!

Satyricon is currently considering a second guitar player for touring. If you would like to audition for this, you need to have the following qualifications:

“Skills on a high international level, touring experience, ability to attend rehearsals on a weekly basis and good social skills. You MUST be a Satyricon fan. The band is not looking for players in general. This is a lifestyle, more than a job. It is not possible to play the music of Satyricon without feeling it, or responding to the demands of the band without really wanting to be a part of this.

“Please send a video of yourself playing not only your own select Satyricon songs, but anything you think is representative of your level as a player. It does not have to be technical, it might as well be something representative of your ability to interpret music. Should the band want to pursue, you will be invited to an audition in Oslo.

“Send your video and some words about yourself and your musical background to: [email protected]

National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) 2017 Show Report

Engl Marty Friedman ampThe 2017 edition of the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Convention has concluded, and it was mostly filled with updates/improvements on past products, but there were a few items of interest to the metal community!  Let’s gear up (pun intended) and see what 2017 had to offer!

First and foremost for heavy metal fans, Paiste introduced its limited edition Nicko McBrain (IRON MAIDEN) “Treasures” set – impressive looking cymbals with the artwork of the sun god, Tonatiuh, and of course with the Paiste logos in the classic IRON MAIDEN font.  When the company says this set is limited edition, it truly is limited, as there were only 83 sets produced worldwide!  For all you OCD freaks out there, Paiste also announced the Color Sound 900 series, with a variety of new colors to match the color of your kit.  I saw purple, blue, black, and red on display, and the color scheme was a delight for the eyes.

Honorable mentions included the Soultone booth, where they showed a picture of the late Nick Menza (OHM, ex-MEGADETH), which was a very touching and cool thing for them to do.  Yamaha drums celebrated their 50th anniversary, and were displaying a few of those solid kits on display.

NAMM is always top-heavy on guitars, and the APESHIT crowd loves to hear about new guitars on hand.
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APESHIT’s Top Metal Albums of 2016

VirusAnother strong year is in the books for heavy music, so strong that making a year end list seemed unfair to every release that we did not include in our lists.  The underground continues to thrive with releases from legendary bands such as DARK FUNERAL, VADER, and NEUROSIS that will stand the test of time. Actually, most of the long running bands did not fail to meet or exceed expectations.  Thrash metal pioneers, MEGADETH, VOIVOD, and TESTAMENT, certainly released excellent records.  What is more important is that 2016 saw a lot of great releases from less trendy, more obscure bands.

Trees of EternityThis past year is personally notable as lost a dear friend and contributor, Brandon Stratton AKA rocknro11chef13.  As a small tribute, we’ve included albums that he would’ve likely picked for his year end list.  Life is short, my friends.  Embrace it.

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Goodbye, SABBATH. We Love You

The inevitable finally happened on February 4, 2017.  BLACK SABBATH played their final show at Genting Arena in their hometown of Birmingham.  Here is official footage of the final song, “Paranoid.”

As expected, the setlist for the show was essentially the same set they’ve been performing since the reunion with Ozzy for the second Ozzfest.  Here are some other clips:

 

Sadly, we never got to see Bill Ward participate in this final leg of the tour (or the reunion for that matter).  But then again, maybe it’s for the best.

Thank you for everything, SABBATH.  None of us would be here without you.  We can’t wait to see the new projects from each individual member!  And who knows, they may reunite again.  This is rock ‘n roll after all.

The New IMMOLATION Sounds Like It Was Worth Waiting For

The death metal gods from Yonkers, New York, IMMOLATION, will finally release album number 10, Atonement, on February 24th, 2017.  The first song, “Destructive Currents,” is now online as a 360 degree video:

Atonement was recorded at Millbrook Sound Studios in Millbrook, NY with longtime producer Paul Orofino, and mixed and mastered once again by Zack Ohren (ALL SHALL PERISH, DECREPIT BIRTH, SUFFOCATION). Cover art was created by renowned artist Pär Olofsson (IMMORTALTHE FACELESS, EXODUSABYSMAL DAWN), along with additional artwork by the very talented Zbigniew Bielak (GHOST, ENSLAVED, PARADISE LOST, WATAIN).

Comments vocalist/bassist Ross Dolan:
“We are excited that everyone will finally get a preview of what the new record has to offer. Atonement is a very dark and haunting album both musically and lyrically, commenting on the darker side of humanity and the world today. Each song on this album is unique in its own way, offering the listener a wide range of dark and sinister passages that I think really hone in on all the elements that make this band what it is.

“The sound of this record is exactly what we were hoping for, and we feel the production really gives these songs that massive sound and dark sinister feel they needed. Zack and Paul really nailed it with this one and made our tenth album our best sounding record to date. We are all very proud of what we have created here, and we hope everyone else will enjoy these 11 songs as much as we think they will.

“The song ‘Atonement‘ is about that blind fury and destructivnes of religious extremism regardless of where it comes from and under what religious banner it flies. The cover piece was inspired by a passage of  lyrics from this song, and Par managed to create a visual for those four lines that just blew us away. So needless to say, we are very pleased with the overall look and feel of the album, which also includes 4 amazing pieces of artwork done by the extremely talented Zbigniew Bielak.

“We chose the song ‘Destructive Currents‘ as the first song to leak to the fans because it’s a fast and aggressive song that gets right down to business. It’s just dark and powerful, and I think it gives everyone a sense of whats in store for them with this release. Lyrically the song deals with the herd/mob mentality and how it gets fed, manipulated and exploited by outside forces. These are the currents of deception, misinformation and destruction, which are designed to mislead people. So that’s really the idea behind the song lyrically.”

WOLFHEART’s Next Album Hits March 2017; First Video Released

WOLFHEART have dropped the new video for “Boneyard.” The single paves the way for Tyhjyys, the band’s third full-length, out March 3, 2015 via Spinefarm Records.  Sounds like another killer record from this underrated band.

Track listing:
1. “Shores of the Lake Simpele
2. “Boneyard
3. “World on Fire
4. “The Flood
5. “The Rift
6. “Call of the Winter
7. “Dead White
8. “Tyhjyys

MAYHEM to Release De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas Alive; Band to Perform Classic Album on North American Tour

Norwegian black metal icons MAYHEM are celebrating the release of their 1994 landmark De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas full-length with tours across the globe. This coming January, the band will march their way across North America performing the record in its monumental entirety.

In conjunction with their many live appearances, MAYHEM will also release De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas Alive on December 15th, 2016. The album was captured live in Norrköping, Sweden last year during the band’s headlining set at the Black Christmass Festival. The show marked the band’s first time ever playing the album in full.

Check out live footage of “From the Dark Past” and “Life Eternal“:

De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas Alive was recorded, mixed and mastered by Tore Stjerna and NBS Audio and produced by vocalist Attila Csihar and guitarist Teloch with light production by Anne Weckstrom, stage design and production by Jonas Svensson, video recording by Thornfields Production and video editing by Tamàs Tarczi. The celebratory release will come available on CD, LP, and DVD (the first 1000 copies are numbered) as well as digitally on December 15th, 2016. For physical preorders, point your browser here. For digital orders go here.

Catch the band performing the album in its entirety on their upcoming North American tour with BLACK ANVIL and INQUISITION, which starts January 20, 2017.

INTRONAUT – The Direction of Last Things

Intronaut - The Direction of Last ThingsLos Angeles’ sworn enemies of 4/4 time signatures, INTRONAUT, step up their game on album number four, The Direction of Last Things. Their extreme metal roots play the most prominent role in the album’s sound since the early days of the band as evidenced by the heavy riffing and extreme, distorted vocals.  Given that, INTRONAUT takes inspiration from their past and incorporates it into where they’ve currently progressed resulting in, arguably, their best album to date.

Opening song, “Fast Worms,” is a tour de force that embodies the compelling journey that is The Direction of Last Things – atmospheric passages, volcanic intensity, fantastic genre melding, and clockwork precision.  The hilarious music video reflects their piss taking/tongue in cheek attitude.

Digital Gerrymandering” is built on an awesome snaking riff that the band masterfully morphs through different time signatures and phrasing.  The tension that is built and then released with the clean vocal section is awesome.

On “The Pleasant Surprise,” INTRONAUT take thrash riffs and retool them into a very modern metal sound that is huge.  TESTAMENT and DEVIN TOWNSEND be damned.

The Unlikely Event of a Water Landing” is the band showcasing why they are one of the best “prog metal” bands on the planet.  Seemingly, two very different vibes with a guitar solo at the end that would make Jerry Cantrell proud.

Sul Ponticello” is pure soul.  Check out the vocals that come in at the 4:47 mark, and the song gets even better from there.

The title track is easily the biggest monster on the disc and carries this momentum of finality that doesn’t let up until The Direction of Last Things‘ conclusion.  The more you open your ears, the more you will hear all of the intricacies.  Check out the killer riff that comes in at the 1:15 mark.  So damn good.

City Hymnal” starts and ends in a fantastic cascade of sound that would draw envy from DEVIN TOWNSEND and JESU.

The Direction of Last Things is a union of well thought out riffing/song phrasing, impactful dynamics, and an always original delivery and style.  Bands like ENSLAVED and OPETH are still playing catch up in many ways as to how far ahead INTRONAUT have gone in their progressive journeys.  In the larger scope of things, metal needs more unique, stand alone albums such as The Direction of Last Things. (Century Media Records)

Video of the Day: Never Forget that Dan Swanö Was a Member of the Original GHOST

While the masses are currently swooning over GHOST BC AKA GHOST, let’s point out that the original GHOST was formed in the early/mid 80’s by metal god Dan Swanö (drums) and his older brother Dag Swanö (guitars).  Check out this appearance of the band on Swedish TV:

As a bonus, check out this music video they did for the song, “3002.”  Wait for the 2:20 and see these little kids go off!