CARCASS Finally Officially Sign to Nuclear Blast Records

CarcassAfter years of courting, CARCASS have signed to Nuclear Blast Records for the world excluding Japan. Surgical Steel, the band’s first studio release since their 1996 LP Swansong,was produced by Colin Richardson and mixed/mastered by Andy Sneap. Joining guitarist Bill Steer and bassist/vocalist Jeff Walker in the band’s current incarnation are new drummer Dan Wilding (ABORTEDTRIGGER THE BLOODSHED) and guitarist Ben Ash (PIG IRONDESOLATIONLIQUEFIED SKELETON). Expect some guest vocals from original sticksman Ken Owen as well, when Surgical Steel is released this Fall world-wide.

CARCASS has released the following statement regarding their new label: “We are pleased to announce that we have found the perfect home for Surgical Steel, the first CARCASS album for, what, eighteen years?! We’ve inked a deal with Nuclear Blast for our new baby.

“We have to thank Markus Staiger for his enthusiasm and belief in what he heard, but mostly his ability to take advantage of Jeff with a bad hangover when he visited the office in Stuttgart to let him be the first to hear the rough mixes. Nuclear Blast has managed to secure this release despite interest from all the main players in what remains of the metal ‘music industry’.

“We’re also looking forward to working with our pals in the US Office, who have done favors for us behind the scenes over the last few years. On a personal note, Jeff  looks forward to his and label manager Gerardo Martinez‘ friendship to come crashing down in flames and tears in a few months.

“As long as we don’t mention ‘The War’ we think we’re going to do just fine with our new Teutonic home!”

North American label manager Gerardo Martinez: “First of all, apologies to the many that were wondering where that signing statement was the other day. Well, we didn’t anticipate the prenuptial agreement to take this long but here we are, and about to release to the world what many people said would never happen: a new CARCASS record!

“All joking aside, this is a dream come true. All I can say is that even the biggest critic, Señor Walker himself included, will find this to be one of the best CARCASS albums. It already sounds like a classic and I can’t wait for people to hear it. ‘Time to die, die in pain’!!!”

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)

ARCH ENEMY – Khaos Legions

Set in the midst of a storyline/theme of societal anarchy and revolution, ARCH ENEMY follow up what is, arguably, the best album of their career in Rise of the Tyrant with Khaos Legions. The good news is that the new album is more or less in line with its predecessor in style and quality.

As with any ARCH ENEMY album, it’s all about the twin lead guitars of brothers Mike and Chris Amott bedazzling the listeners with their all around guitar talents. Those warm guitar tones, godly melodies, pristine death and thrash metal riffing, and beautiful guitar solos are all here again.

Vocalist Angela Gossow does her thing here – lots of emphasis on the enunciation of words, lots of effort and energy towards sounding savage and brutal, and that overall lack of power behind the vocals.

Khaos Legions starts out with plenty of energy but the 14-track record gradually loses momentum towards the last 1/3 of it. That’s not to say that the songs towards the end are bad per se. It’s more about the fact that by the eighth or ninth song, you get the idea of what the record is all about and don’t necessarily need any more material. Also, the lyrical themes of anarchy, unity, “us” vs. “them,” independence, and social revolution run thin as it’s safe to say that most ARCH ENEMY fans don’t take the band’s lyrics too seriously.

Those with keen ears will spot the little nods to heroes of the past with each ARCH ENEMY album. There are nods to JUDAS PRIEST and AMEBIX among others on this record.

There are no surprises on Khaos Legions but I don’t think that comes as a surprise at this point in the band’s career. It’s the band doing what they do…and they do it well. While it may not be as good as Rise of the Tyrant, Khaos Legions is a good ARCH ENEMY record. If you enjoy their godly guitar work and precise, pounding drumming, then you’ll be happy. (Century Media Records)

ARCH ENEMY Commence Recording New Studio Album

Swedish melodic death metal titan, ARCH ENEMY, has begun recording a new studio album, the long awaited successor to 2007’s acclaimed Rise of the Tyrant album. After releasing the Tyrants of the Rising Sun – Live in Japan live DVD/CD (2008) and the re-recordings album, The Root Of All Evil (2009), the band’s ninth studio album will mark a return to new, original material.

The yet-to-be-named album will be self-produced by ARCH ENEMY, and engineered/mixed by Rickard Bengtsson (whom produced 2005′s Doomsday Machine). The band has recently entered Sweetspot Studio in the south of Sweden for the album’s recording process.

Here is the first studio report from the band:

SUFFOCATION: Report from the Studio; Headlining Tour Dates

New York’s SUFFOCATION are currently in the studio working on their new album, Blood Oath. The band provided a brief update on their progress:

“We’ve just completed another shift at Full Force Studios (6pm – 2am, typical shift). As for a progress report – we’ve completed all the drum tracking and rhythm and bass guitars as of this past Sunday. What we’ll have left to do starting today is record guitar solos and getting Frank (Mullen) in there to lay down the vocals. We’re looking to wrap it up next week and start rehearsing a set for the up coming ‘Blood Apocalypse Tour‘ soon after that. All in all, we can honestly say this record is SLAMMIN’ HEAVY and we got some nice little twists for ya’ too. We look forward to crushing some stages for you all real fucking soon!

“Also, videographer Jon Bickford has been in the studio with us shooting the final segments (Blood Oath studio sessions and interviews) to be included in the forth coming SUFFOCATION DVD!”

The aforementioned Blood Apocalypse Tour is their upcoming headlining tour featuring support from WHITECHAPEL, BENEATH THE MASSACRE, DECREPIT BIRTH, VEIL OF MAYA, and PSYCROPTIC.  The tour kicks off on March 14th in Springfield, Virginia.  Confirmed dates are as follows:

SUFFOCATION, WHITECHAPEL, BENEATH THE MASSACRE, DECREPIT BIRTH, VEIL OF MAYA
03/14/09 Jaxx – Springfield, VA
03/15/09 The Norva – Norfolk, VA
03/16/09 The Soapbox – Wilmington, NC
03/17/09 Volume 11 – Raleigh, NC
03/18/09 Matthew’s Bar & Grill – Birmingham, AL
03/20/09 Grant Street Hall – Lafayette, LA
03/21/09 Ridglea Theatre – Ft. Worth, TX (w/ CARCASS, SUICIDE SILENCE)
03/22/09 House of Rock – Corpus Christi, TX
03/23/09 The Zoo – Amarillo, TX
03/24/09 Chic’s Bar and Billiards – El Paso, TX
03/26/09 The Crossing – Palmdale, CA
03/27/09 The Marquee Theater – Phoenix, AZ (Arizona Metal Fest)

SUFFOCATION, WHITECHAPEL, DECREPIT BIRTH, VEIL OF MAYA, PSYCROPTIC
03/28/09 The Grove – Anaheim, CA (California Metal Fest)
03/29/09 The Boardwalk – Sacramento, CA
03/30/09 Modesto Virtual – Modesto, CA
03/31/09 House of Blues – Las Vegas, NV
04/01/09 Club Sound – Salt Lake City, UT
04/02/09 The Black Sheep – Colorado Springs, CO
04/03/09 Tequila Jungle – Lubbock, TX
04/04/09 Red Seven – Austin, TX
04/05/09 El Cine Rey Theatre – McAllen, TX
04/06/09 Java Jazz – Houston, TX
04/07/09 The Village – Little Rock, AR
04/08/09 The Muse – Nashville, TN
04/09/09 The Valarium – Knoxville, TN (w/ CHIMAIRA)
04/10/09 Emerson Theatre – Indianapolis, IN
04/11/09 The Loft – Madison, WI
04/12/09 The Pearl Room – Mokena, IL
04/14/09 Crazy Donkey – Long Island, NY
04/15/09 Maverick’s – Ottawa, ON – CANADA
04/16/09 Le Medley – Montreal, QC – CANADA (w/ THE HAUNTED, NACHTMYSTIUM, INTRONAUT)
04/17/09 The Palladium – Worcester, MA (New England Metal Fest)
04/18/09 Crocodile Rock Café – Allentown, PA