AT THE GATES/Ex-THE HAUNTED Guitarist Anders Björler Launches Solo Project

Guitarist Anders Björler has announced the launch of his first solo album shortly after his exit from THE HAUNTED. The non-metal, instrumental album will be in a soundtrack-style of music inspired by “Italian Film Music (60/70s), Post Rock, Ambient,Progressive, Jazz, Swedish Folk Music.”

Here is Anders with more:

“This is what a month of recordings look like. I am doing some test mixes right now. This will be my first solo album.

“Note: This is NOT a ‘Metal’ project. Those of you who are familiar with my soundtrack/movie stuff for THE HAUNTED & AT THE GATES documentaries will know somewhat to expect…

“If not, check the ‘about’ tab, and you will get a general idea…

“Anyway, more news at a later date :)”

Guitarist Anders Björler and Drummer Per Möller Jensen Quit THE HAUNTED

Sweden’s THE HAUNTED have announced yet another exit of band members following vocalist Peter Dolving‘s recent departure. Guitarist Anders Björler and drummer Per Möller Jensen have also left the band. Here is word from the band:

“It’s with deep regret we have to inform you of another two departures from THE HAUNTED; guitarist Anders Björler and drummer Per Möller Jensen. No animosity whatsoever caused these events, nor are there any other feelings than that they will both be dearly missed. We wish them all the best in whatever, and wherever, their future endeavors will take them.

“For all you who have any knowledge about the band, and know how to count, you will realize that there are only two band members left; Jonas and myself. We are still committed to THE HAUNTED. However, in the light of these recent events, we honestly don’t know what will happen. We hope for your appreciation of our current situation, and for your patience.

“Thanks,
Jonas and Jensen

“Words from Anders:

“I feel that I have come to the end of the line regarding THE HAUNTED.
This is not a sudden or hasty decision. I have been contemplating it for the last couple of years.
Peter’s departure earlier this year made me more certain than ever that I had reached my personal goal
with THE HAUNTED, and that the time was right to call it quits.

“I have enjoyed every bit of the ride.
It’s been an overwhelming journey.
I would like to thank the other band members especially,
our crew through the years, and our fans worldwide for the experience and opportunity.
Thank you so much! The memories will be with me forever.

“I will of course continue writing music, but where that leads me?,
simply too early to say”

Anders”

Per released the following statement to Blabbermouth:

“This decision has been underway for a long time and cannot be attributed to Dolving‘s departure earlier this year.

“It’s been a good 13-year stint. All in all, I have no regrets.

“My penchant for music, creating — as in digging deep — and practicing has never been at a higher peak than now. When you throw musical differences between members in with that, I started feeling unfulfilled. This is not pointing fingers at anybody, but rather just seeing, accepting and acting on that fact.

“Thank you to everybody who has supported us over the years. I have countless memories from shows all over the world. I will cherish all that for the rest of my days, regardless. Thank you!

“This is my station right here, this is where I choose to get off the train and pursue new challenges.

“There will be new music shortly, some already written and recorded. News on this will follow at a later date.

“I wish all the best to Jonas, Jensen, Anders and Peter.”

CONVERGE and NAPALM DEATH Split 7″EP Coming Soon

Legendary bands CONVERGE and NAPALM DEATH have come together for a split release on Deathwish Inc.

Recorded as part of their new album sessions, CONVERGE offer up the blazing new song “No Light Escapes.” Also on the release, CONVERGE offer a “We Are the World” styled rendition of the influential ENTOMBED classic “Wolverine Blues.” Joining them in tribute is a number of friends including Tomas Lindberg (DISFEAR, AT THE GATES, LOCK UP), Aaron Turner (ISIS, OLD MAN GLOOM, SPLIT CRANIUM), Kevin Baker (APMD, THE HOPE CONSPIRACY), Brian Izzi (TRAP THEM), and more. A new CONVERGE album will surface later in 2012 on Epitaph/Deathwish Inc.

On the flip side, metal pioneers NAPALM DEATH offer up two new aural monsters. First, “Will By Mouth” erupts in classic grind fashion. Also on the release, NAPALM DEATH offer the slower and textural new song “No Impediment To Triumph (Bhopal)“. A deeply resonant number that lyrically sheds light on the horrific Bhopal Gas Tragedy of 1984.

Tickets for Extreme Metal Cruise, Barge to Hell, on Sale Now

The world’s first extreme metal cruise, Barge to Hell, featuring 40 bands of extreme metal’s best bands is set to depart from Miami, Florida on December 3, 2012 for Nassau, Bahamas and back on December 7, 2012.  Tickets are now on sale.  The luxury cruise will feature two performances from each band on three different stages, karaoke, and more.

So far 21 out of a total of 40 bands on board are known:

ARTILLERY
AT THE GATES
BELPHEGOR
ENSLAVED
HACKNEYED
HYPOCRISY
KAMPFAR
KRISIUN
LOUDBLAST
MOONSPELL
MORGOTH
PARADISE LOST
POSSESSED
ROTTING CHRIST
SACRED REICH
SANCTUARY
SEPULTURA
SIX FEET UNDER
SODOM
SOILWORK
SOLSTAFIR

Grind Supergroup LOCK UP Announces First U.S. Tour

LOCK UP, the grindcore supergroup featuring genre veterans, Tomas Lindberg, Shane Embury, Nicolas Barker and Anton Reisenegger, has announced its first ever North American tour, a headlining run with GOATWHORE and STRONG INTENTION.

Said drummer, Nick Barker, “After many attempts in the past, sadly to no avail, Lock Up finally gets to make it stateside for a string of shows with our good friends from Louisiana, GOATWHORE. For us in LOCK UP, to play with GOATWHORE in the US is like a dream tour, as they are one of our favorite bands – and being good friends with them too only makes this package even more special to us. Be prepared North America ‘cause we’re coming over to blast your minds into deathgrind oblivion!”

Tour dates:
2/08 – Buffalo, NY @ Club Infinity
2/09 – Albany, NY @ Bogies
2/10 – Boston, MA @ Club Lido
2/11 – Montreal, QC @ Katacombes
2/12 – Tortonto, ON @ Wreck Room
2/13 – Chicago, IL @ Reggie’s
2/14 – Columbus, OH @ Alrosa Villa
2/15 – Baltimore, MD @ Sonar
2/16 – Brooklyn, NY @ Europa

LOCK UP – Necropolis Transparent

LOCK UP have set the bar pretty high for properly executing blistering grind albums, and their TERRORIZER-inspired grind/death style is seemingly unstoppable. PENTAGRAM guitarist Anton Reisenegger pays homage to original axe grinder, Jesse Pintado (RIP), by writing a few angry and aggressive songs to say the least.

Upon pressing play, “Brethren of the Pentagram” blasts and grinds your face in immediately, and you can bet that Necropolis Transparent is going to be one hell of an album with no compromise whatsoever. The fury of Nick Barker’s (ex-DIMMU BORGIR) insane drumming, the chaotic guitars, and Tomas Lindberg’s (AT THE GATES) tortured soul all equate to a combination made perfectly from hell. Songs like “Anvil of Flesh,” “Rage Incarnate Reborn,” and “Vomiting Evil” are guitar driven, super catchy, and brutal, with a tinge of the European flavor.

Bringing in Jeff Walker (CARCASS) and ex-LOCK UP vocalist Peter Tägtgren (HYPOCRISY) for a good chunk of the songs sure doesn’t hurt, either. Their vocal styles compliment Lindberg’s harsher style nicely, accenting some catchy lines in a few tracks, such as “Necropolis Transparent,” “Parasite Drama,” and “Through the Eyes of My Shadow Self.”

There are plenty of worthy grind albums these days, but LOCK UP is the closest band to rival the debut album from TERRORIZER. With short, blasting tracks that make sense, this is one of the few “supergroups” who are not overrated, so be sure to pick this one up for a dose of grind filled goodness. Wherever he is, Jesse Pintado is somewhere out there smiling and proud of this effort. (Nuclear Blast Records)

THE HAUNTED – Unseen

Let it be officially declared that THE HAUNTED are done thrashing. As if the band’s previous few releases were any clue, Unseen is an unequivocal statement that the former Swedish thrashers have long moved onto find new sounds. Leave your old views of the band behind if you want to give yourself any chance of enjoying Unseen.

Unseen is a further departure away from fist in the face metal, and demonstrates the band’s exploration of various heavy rock sounds. The pace is slowed to mostly mid-tempos. Aggression and heaviness do not compose the record’s hallmarks either. The album’s tone is brooding and slithering; perhaps not unlike TOOL to a lesser degree.

The record is a mixed bag in terms of quality. Some work, some don’t.
Motionless,” “Unseen,” and “The City” are, by far, Unseen‘s best tracks. “All Ends Well” is not bad; it’s got a great vocal chorus. “No Ghost” sounds a little out of place with its mid-tempo, heavy bluesy rock. “Catch 22” and “Disappear” are brooding tracks with plenty of TOOL influences. Songs like “The Skull,” “Ocean Park,” and “Done” don’t really do much.

Peter Dolving largely ditches his monotone yelling vocals (ala Tom Araya) and sings on the majority of the record. While it’s great to hear his charismatic and multidimensional singing, some vocal lines sound great while others don’t quite hit. There’s no doubting the personal and emotional nature of the lyrics though.

One can feel the effort put into this record but too often the execution isn’t there. Perhaps an EP of the strongest songs would’ve been best. However, that would’ve sacrificed artistic integrity. At the end of the day, the band has put forth too many solid, jawdropping records for lower standards to be acceptable. (Century Media Records)

SLAUGHTER OF THE BLUEGRASS Release Three IN FLAMES Interpretations

SLAUGHTER OF THE BLUEGRASS, a group of musicians from Sweden known for their bluegrass renditions of AT THE GATES, DARK TRANQUILLITY, and AMON AMARTH songs, have released three new IN FLAMES covers: “Jotun,” “Moonshield,” and “Stand Ablaze.”

Listen to and download the tracks below:

“Jotun”
“Moonshield”
“Stand Ablaze”

Also, visit the band’s website to check out past covers: http://www.sotb.se/

Reunited AT THE GATES Announce More Shows in 2011

After reforming three years ago for live appearances, AT THE GATES have announced more shows in 2011. They will be doing a run of shows next year, with appearances at Metaltown Festival in Sweden and Tuska Open Air in Finland already confirmed.

The band commented:

AT THE GATES will do a limited run of select shows in 2011. Simply put, we had the time of our lives during the 2008 reunion and have decided to do a couple more shows. Although we won’t be touring extensively, and we stick to the initial promise of not making any more music. Please check our homepage and MySpace for updates.”

Shows confirmed thus far:

17 June 2011 – Gothenburg, Sweden – Metaltown
22 July 2011 – Helsinki, Finland – Tuska Open Air

More shows will be announced soon.

THE HAUNTED – Road Kill

While some bands in the metal genre (i.e. PANTERA, MANOWAR) choose to celebrate the excesses of the wild side of rock ‘n roll lifestyle on their DVDs, THE HAUNTED have chosen to give their fans a more sobering and perhaps more well-rounded look into the touring life of an underground metal band.

The centerpiece of Road Kill is a 65-minute documentary about life on the road, warts and all. The documentary is broken up into different topics/aspects of touring, such as “Hygiene” and “Partying,” with interviews with all of the band’s members, past and present, and their crew and fellow tourmates throughout the years. In a way, it’s a nice history of the band starting from the time that former vocalist Marco Aro quit and original vocalist Peter Dolving rejoined the band. The documentary gives a painfully accurate and thorough education of the trials and tribulations of road life. It’ll leave a different impression on the viewer depending on the viewer’s personal knowledge about this unglamorous side of rock ‘n roll.

The remainder of the DVD is comprised of a 2009 live show in Amsterdam, and THE HAUNTED’s last six music videos. The show is tastefully captured with a dash of subtle style in the form of its sepia color tones, and intimate camera views. The crowd is kept dark while the performance of the band is the sole subject. Road Kill also comes with a CD which is the audio companion of the Amsterdam show along with a few extra songs from the show. And yes, bass is nice and audible. Lastly, five unreleased studio tracks are included. While these aforementioned tracks won’t blast your face off, they are pretty cool and are essential additions to any HAUNTED fans’ collections.

Even though Road Kill intentionally omits the pomp and circumstance of other depictions of the touring life, it’s just as honest and down to earth as THE HAUNTED. (Century Media Records)