IRON REAGAN’s Sophomore Album Hits September 2014

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 HATE Hit the Studio

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:

VADER – Tibi Et Igni

Vader - Tibi Et IgniTo 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)

BABYMETAL Begins Conquest of U.S. July 2014

Japanese sensation, BABYMETAL, have recently announced their first shows in the U.S.  The band will kick off their tour headlining the Fonda Theatre in LA on July 27, 2014.  Following that, the band will support LADY GAGA on a few dates.  Tickets will go quickly if they haven’t already been sold out.  Challenge your notions of music and join the weeaboos as BABYMETAL begins their takeover.

BOTANIST Announce Album Number Six, VI: Flora

One of the Bay Area’s most interesting bands, BOTANIST, is excited to announce its sixth chronological release.  Titled VI: Flora, this 11-song full-length album is a progression from the misanthropic masterplans of the destruction of mankind at the hands of plants as detailed on the project’s last two albums: 2012′s III: Doom In Bloom  and 2013′s IV: Mandragora.  Now, VI: Flora focuses on the wondrous beauty of the plants themselves through a gauzy haze of dream-like sound with the voice of The Botanist acting as spectral underpinning to the reverie.

BOTANIST is an avant-garde musical project that is the world’s first band to use distorted hammered dulcimers as its primary instrumentation. The experimental music further delves into esoterica with a harmonium and a 12-string bass guitar, propelled by unusual drumming that  often features highly atypical time signatures and rhythm shifts.  The albums tell the story of a botanist gone mad at witnessing the destruction of the natural environment at the hands of man. He retreats into a hermitage, surrounding himself with the natural world. In this Verdant Realm, he awaits for the day when humanity will eradicate itself,  which will allow for the utopia of flora and fauna to eventually reclaim the earth.  The content of BOTANIST’s songs are a combination of scientific botanical empiricism and the poetic, romantic perception of someone who is deeply moved by the forms of the primordial, mysterious aspect of the natural world. In the world of BOTANIST, nature is the most tangible representation of the divine, and is treated as such.  While Botanist’s story is negative and misanthropic on the surface, it is an allegory of warning to a world out of balance: respect the natural world and all living things, or else the natural world will wipe you out and move on. The element of hope lies in the possibility of a changing of worldview, or at the very least the ideal that the world will right itself eventually, whether that includes humanity or not.

Here is a track from their recent EP:

EMPEROR Kicks Off Nightside Eclipse Anniversary Shows at Sweden Rock 2014

Black metal kings, EMPEROR, played their first show performing In the Nightside Eclipse as part of the album’s 20th anniversary at the Sweden Rock Festival this past Saturday. Hopefully, you were one of the lucky ones at the show.

Let’s pray for a full, official band reunion as we enjoy these clips from the show. Cheers to Niclas Johansson for the footage.

Devin Townsend’s CASUALTIES OF COOL Post First Music Video

Devin Townsend‘s crowdfunded side project, CASUALTIES OF COOL, have posted their first music video for the song, “Mountaintop.” Here is how he describes it:

“Here is the official video for Mountaintop from our Casualties of Cool album. I have been a fan of Jessica Cope‘s work for a while now, and the opportunity to work with her rose for this album and we are thrilled with the result.

“Although the concept of the video is loosely based on the concept of the record, we found it worked better as a stand alone piece. Che and I therefore decided not to have the characters in the video portray us personally.

“I hope you enjoy this, I’m so happy to have an opportunity to work with brilliant artists in my career. I’m very proud of this album and video!

Devin Townsend

OPETH’s Pale Communion is Sounding Pretty Damn Good

OPETH‘s new record, Pale Communion, hits stores on August 25, 2014.  Judging by the lead single that has been released, “Cusp of Eternity,” the record sounds like it’ll be damn good.

“Cusp of Eternity” sounds less exploratory than Heritage and more in line with the vintage prog that the band have become known for.  Let’s see how the rest of the record turns out.

Video of the Day: ARMAGEDDON is Playing Death Metal Again

Do you remember the first time you heard ARMAGEDDON‘s Crossing the Rubicon?  So awesome and it still holds up to this date.  Then do you remember listening to the band after band leader/guitarist Chris Amott took over on vocals and they went on the prog rock/metal path?  So after a long hiatus and his exit from ARCH ENEMY, Chris Amott has resurrected ARMAGEDDON and now, they’re playing death metal again.

Check out their lyric video for the song “Captivity & Devourment“:

Pretty damn good!