IMMORTAL: Band Put on Ice (Again); Abbath Announces Solo Band

IMMORTAL vocalist/guitarist Abbath has announced that IMMORTAL will once again go on hiatus because the band members could not come to an agreement regarding their dispute over ownership of the band’s name.  Abbath will move forward with a solo band with new music, and performances, which will include IMMORTAL songs.

Check out the official statement here.

It should be cool to hear what Abbath as well as the other members of IMMORTAL cook up in terms of new music.

ENSLAVED – In Times

enslaved.intimesENSLAVED get straight to the point with their most straight forward and catchy album in years.  Incorporating a strong influence of their early era, In Times is the band’s most direct and blackest work since Isa and Ruun, or even Blodhemn.  Don’t worry, their trademark prog stylings, instrumental interludes, and ice cool guitars remain intact.

What also stands out about In Times is the lack of meandering song sections or weak material.  It’s all lean and optimized.  Six flawless and dynamic songs, each clocking in at a minimum of 8+ minutes, are all that is necessary to make their statement.  The great part is that ENSLAVED glide through each song with ease.

If you wanted to introduce someone to ENSLAVED, “Building With Fire” might be the first song you play for them.  It showcases their dynamic range and songwriting strengths.  The transitions and hooks are excellent.   The group chants in “One Thousand Years of Rain” conjures up nostalgia for the early sword-wielding ENSLAVED.  The title track has a great building and release of tension in epic fashion.  Album closer, “Daylight,” has sweet nods to PINK FLOYD.

It should be noted that vocalist/bassist Grutle Kjellson‘s bass lines are wonderfully audible and find a great place in the mix.  Also, drummer Cato Bekkevold‘s performance here (as well as previous ENSLAVED records) should never be taken for granted.  His great sense of feel, tasty fills, and Mikkey Dee-like power help make In Times special.

Most bands are a shell of themselves by a 13th album…not ENSLAVED. (Nuclear Blast Records)

 

BEASTMILK: Co-Founding Guitarist Leaves; New Band Name Announced

Finland’s BEASTMILK have been extremely busy these days. First, they have parted ways with co-founding guitarist Johan “goatspeed” Snell. Thus, the remaining members felt the need to change the band’s name to GRAVE PLEASURES moving forward.

ORANSSI PAZUZU guitarist Juho Vanhanen also joins the ranks for live/studio purposes. The band will have two guitarists now, including Linnea Olsson (THE OATH, SONIC RITUAL).

Additionally, GRAVE PLEASURES are working on their major label deal debut.

Read the rest of the details at the band’s Facebook page.

SÓLSTAFIR: Icelandic Soul Music

SolstafirThe APESHIT goons have raved about the post-apocalytic cowboys from Reykjavík, Iceland for a few years now. Their last two studio albums, Svartir Sandar (2011) and Ótta (2014), are epic pieces of atmospheric soul. If there was ever a band to rightfully take on the mantle of FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM while also leading the Icelandic metal scene, SÓLSTAFIR are the chosen ones.

We finally got in touch with vocalist/guitarist Aðalbjörn Tryggvason during their recent (mostly sold out) European tour to talk about their volcanic rise in the scene.

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ARCTURUS Sign to Prophecy Productions

Prophecy Productions feel honoured and are excited to welcome ARCTURUS to its artist roster. The first mutual work will be ARCTURUS‘ fifth full-length studio album, Arcturian, which is scheduled for release on May 8th, 2015. Pre-order for all physical products (ltd. 2CD hardcover book, ltd. Gatefold LP, ltd. box sets, Digipak CD) is available now at en.prophecy.de/shop/arcturus-arcturian.html.

ICS Vortex on behalf of ARCTURUS says: “A new chapter, and a new prophetic partner…We are star tripping psyched to be releasing ‘Arcturian‘ soon!”

ARCTURUS line-up 2015:

Simen “ICS Vortex” Hestnæs – vocals

Steinar “Sverd” Johnsen – keyboards

Knut Magne Valle – guitar

Hugh “Skoll” Mingay – bass

Jan Axel “Hellhammer” Blomberg – drums

ARCTURUS plan to make a short tour of European venues between 2nd – 10th May 2015. All dates will be announced next week.

Further European club shows and festivals will be announced later in the year and the band will also perform at Maryland Deathfest, Maryland, USA on 23rd of May 2015 , with extra South American dates to be announced shortly.

Bruce Dickinson Undergoes Cancer Treatment

IRON MAIDEN have announced that Bruce Dickinson recently completed cancer treatment.  It was thankfully caught in the early stages.  Here is the official word from the band:

“Just before Christmas, MAIDEN vocalist Bruce Dickinson visited his doctor for a routine check-up. This led to tests and biopsies which revealed a small cancerous tumour at the back of his tongue. A seven week course of chemotherapy and radiology treatment was completed yesterday. As the tumour was caught in the early stages, the prognosis thankfully is extremely good. Bruce’s medical team fully expect him to make a complete recovery with the all clear envisaged by late May. It will then take a further few months for Bruce to get back to full fitness. In the meantime we would ask for your patience, understanding and respect for Bruce and his family’s privacy until we update everyone by the end of May. Bruce is doing very well considering the circumstances and the whole team are very positive.”

VOIVOD: New Song “We are Connected” Now Online

VOIVOD have recently recorded a new song for a split 7″ vinyl release with label-mates AT THE GATES. The collectors item will be available in stores April 7th, 2015. Check out the song, “We Are Connected“:

Pure VOIVOD!  Also, catch the band on their current tour with NAPALM DEATH, IRON REAGAN, EXHUMED and BLACK CROWN INITIATE.

Official BEHEMOTH Biography Coming February 2015

The 490-page hardcover bookBehemoth: Devil’s Conquistadors, by Lukasz Dunaj is the definitive and official BEHEMOTH biography. It includes quotes and anecdotes from current and former members that provide context and details in addition to the author’s narrative, plus interviews with Tomas Krajewski, Rob Darken, Graal, Havok, and more. The artistically presented pages are filled with old photos of the band, flyers, lyric sheets etc.

Preorders are available now at metalblade.com/behemoth, and include a bundle with an exclusive shirt available ONLY with this preorder.  Behemoth: Devil’s Conquistadors is available February 24, 2015.

In the book, Nergal discusses the acquisition of his first electric guitar: “The first communion was a very important moment for me. I know this sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. Of course, not as a religion experience – I didn’t understand anything and couldn’t care less. Same as all the other kids. We all stood there with our votive candles and waited for one thing. Cash. The first communion must be one moment when you get the most money you’re ever going to get as a child. And for this money, I bought myself my first electric guitar. Not a bike, no Legos – a guitar.”

Video of the Day: NAPALM DEATH’s Barney Greenway Gets Animated

The first music video from NAPALM DEATH‘s new album, Apex Predator – Easy Meat, is now up. Check out “Smash a Single Digit” below:

The video is made up of 1093 unique drawings, each one hand-drawn in ink on paper by artist Lisbet Fredslund (www.facebook.com/ElfShotLameWitch) and actually 225 of the drawings are of the face of NAPALM DEATH vocalist Mark “Barney” Greenway, who provided his comments:

“Couldn’t be happier with the ‘Smash A Single Digit‘ video clip. It shows nothing of dignity or life’s fundamental pleasures – only a snapshot of those unfortunate enough to only be deemed as numbers for production quotas in this world. When a ‘digit’ has therefore been expended, it is rubbed out (or consumed leaving no trace, as in the case of this video). In my opinion, Michael Panduro and the team produced a real work of art and I think the general style holds some really nice future artistic possibilities for NAPALM DEATH.”

Apex Predator – Easy Meat is out now.