Pat Egan, longtime Director of Retail Sales at Relapse Records, tragically passed away on Monday, February 18th after a battle with pneumonia and related complications. In honor of the man who was so instrumental in the success of so many Relapse bands and records, the label has put together a 20 track compilation featuring a collection of his favorite songs and artists, including MASTODON, THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, ABYSMAL DAWN, DEATH, and many more, including a never-before-released track from EXHUMED.
100% of proceeds from the compilation will go towards a college fund for his young daughter Katie. Relapse thanks each band for contributing each track and waiving their royalty fee to maximize the benefit for Pat’s beloved family. The compilation is available via Bandcamp at this location for only $5 but friends and fans are welcome to donate as much as they want. Direct contributions may also be made via paypal to [email protected].
EXHUMED frontman Matt Harvey has been added as a special guest lead vocalist to the all-star studded Death to All Tour 2012. Matt Harvey will be joining drummers Gene Hoglan (Individual Thought Patterns/Symbolic) and Sean Reinert (Human), bassists Steve DiGiorgio (Human/Individual Thought Patterns) and Scott Clendenin (The Sound of Perseverance), guitarists Paul Masvidal (Human), Shannon Hamm (The Sound of Perseverance) and Bobby Koelble (Symbolic), and vocalist/label-mate Charles Elliott of ABYSMAL DAWN/BEREFT.
Harvey replaced OBSCURA vocalist Steffen Kummerer due to visa issues and had only 9 days to learn his entire set. Matt Harvey elaborates on the opportunity: “To say that I’m excited about hitting the stage with such amazing musicians would be a massive understatement. To say that I’m overwhelmed standing in Chuck‘s spot singing his songs would be the understatement of the century. Phrases like ‘it’s an honor’ get tossed around pretty casually, but taking part in this unique celebration is truly exhilarating, humbling and magical for me. Even though the name of the band is DEATH, this event is a celebration of Chuck‘s life and the vitality and staying power of his work. To be able to share what DEATH‘s music has meant to me this way is a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity I am incredibly grateful to have.”
Death to All Tour Tribute 2012 [remaining dates] 6/26/2012 House of Blue – Chicago, IL [TICKETS]
6/28/2012 Irving Plaza – New York, NY [TICKETS]
6/30/2012 The Beacham – Orlando, FL [TICKETS]
It doesn’t happen too often, especially when lawyers get involved, but sometimes bands end up using the same name. Bands with the name “MAYHEM,” “SHINING” and “DISGORGE” have managed to coexist in harmony while also offering very cool music to the world.
While we’re on the eve of the Death to All Tour, the other band named “DEATH” is also making news with a documentary about their obscure career. Check out the article.
This summer, former members of DEATH, will assemble a series of DEATH tribute shows in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and Orlando to not only pay tribute to Chuck Shuldiner but to benefit Sweet Relief Musicians Fund. The organization is dedicated to assisting musicians without health insurance, which is exactly the situation that the late Chuck Shuldiner found himself in when he was diagnosis with brain cancer.
Back in 1998 on a cold December night, the legendary DEATH were set to perform at The Whisky. What would eventually become the Apeshit goons were all in attendance for this mandatory show. The band recently released what ended up being their final album, The Sound of Perseverance. This was to be my first (and last) time seeing DEATH and I was excited. This show was recorded and later released as the Live in LA: Death and Raw album.
The Whisky was packed that night with plenty of old school death metal fans. The show was clearly oversold as indicated by the sauna-like conditions inside. Newly born darlings of the metal media, HAMMERFALL, opened the show. Their brand of traditional heavy metal/power metal got them a great reaction from the crowd who was clearly into it. The band took off to bigger (underground) heights in the years to follow before falling back to earth.
We had to wait what seemed like an eternity before the DEATH intro of the Halloween movie theme song came on to the approval of the crowd. I managed to get some prime real estate close to the stage between where Chuck Shuldiner and Scott Clendenin would play from. As soon as DEATH started playing “The Philosopher,” the crowd was energized and totally engaged. This show was about feeling the music instead of trying to act like a tough guy. Continue reading →
Ten years ago today, the metal world lost death metal pioneer, Chuck Shuldiner. I remember hearing the news early in the morning as I started my shift at work. It was a very cold morning and the news of his death made the day a whole lot worse. MTV had posted a video interview they had done with him following his latest round of treatment so I was thinking that maybe he would be able to pull through and beat the odds.
Let’s pay tribute to the metal god and blast DEATH and CONTROL DENIED today in his honor.
Check out ZYKLON‘s supreme cover of the DEATH classic, “Pull the Plug.”
Like hardcore OPETH fans, CYNIC fanatics will vouch for anything the band releases. Carbon-Based Anatomy is nice material to quench the thirst of said fans, but this release is not quite up to par with their full length releases.
Half of the instrumental “songs” on this EP have some experimentation and provide a full experience to the listener, but let’s get to the facts: there are only 3 new songs here. The vocals are clean and well done, Sean Malone returns to reprise his role as the bass extraordinaire, but something is missing. The CYNIC staples of Paul Masvidal’s “robot” vocoder vocals, mixed with death metal growls are nowhere to be found, and as a result, the disc sounds too light and fluffy.
The title track shows that Masvidal and drummer Sean Reinert have a more free flowing approach to CYNIC’s newer material. An intricate, but structured progressive jam session is the result. Along with his airy vocals which provide the CYNIC touch, Masvidal has improved his already excellent guitar work, and spruces up the title track with his best solo since DEATH’s Human album. Reinert’s masterful drum patterns and skill makes the band who they are.
“Box Up My Bones” continues the free flowing fashion with tasteful, controlled, progressive drumming, but the lack of great riffs and seemingly “soft” and flowery parts drag the song a bit, and weighs the mood down. “Elves Beam Out” features all the progressive CYNIC elements, but this small glimpse of songs already shows that Traced in Air was a far better output.
This release is a teaser which leaves their fans clamoring for more, but the power and fresh ideas from Focus are long gone. It seems as if CYNIC are content with this direction, but don’t be surprised if the new full length has minimal expansion, and sounds more like Carbon-Based Anatomy version 1.5. (Season of Mist)
“Ghost Town” immediately brings back memories of DEATH’s The Sound Of Perseverance as Richard Christy executes a timely drum intro, and starts to blast away with his unique drumming style. Fretless bass master Steve DiGiorgio‘s bass lines immediately draw your attention, and when Ripper‘s first notes hit, the listener knows that this is nice slab of classic heavy metal melted together with great musicianship. So many bands these days forget how to write “songs,” but this all-star group writes a few excellent and memorable tracks, as “From The Abyss” showcases the heavy metal sound with catchy riffs and solos that even extreme metal enthusiasts can enjoy. The entire album is a throwback album paying tribute to traditional heavy metal and reminding youngsters how to write metal songs with catchy hooks, choruses, excellent leads, and superb drumming without resorting to overused blast beats, generic vocals and mindless solos. Christy can out drum any of the so-called “technical” death metal drummers, but he chooses to be clean, basic, and solid, while adding his own technical flair, much like his days with DEATH and ICED EARTH.
“Blood On Wood,” as with a large chunk of the album, has a lot of NWOBHM and JUDAS PRIEST influence. And while the songs are on the short side, the length works out well as the tracks range mostly in the 3-4 minute mark. A track like “Manifestations” is one of those heavy metal tracks you can sing along to without feeling cheesy and just have fun belting out a long Ripper scream. “The Darkest Eyes,” the pinnacle of the album, showcases Christy‘s perfect and synchronized drumming, with Suecof‘s melodic solos and breakdowns which compliment Ripper‘s sing-a-long chorus and screams amazingly well.
CHARRED WALLS OF THE DAMNED is finally a “supergroup” that lives up to its name and isn’t just a quick cash grab, like EX-DEO or OV HELL. This project can be comparable to a more traditional heavy metal version of CONTROL DENIED, but CHARRED WALLS definitely holds its own. Fans of any of these amazing musicians should dig this release, as would any heavy metal or metal fan in general. Do not overlook this band just because of the horrible name or cover art, because this album may very well be the surprise album of the year. (Metal Blade Records)
Richard Christy talked about the tour: “I am Soooooooooooooo pumped to get out on the road and blast some heavy metal with CHARRED WALLS OF THE DAMNED this summer! Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens and I are beyond excited about this tour! The response to our debut album has been so amazing and I think people are going to be blown away when they hear these songs live! I’m sweating my buns off in the rehearsal room every day getting tighter and tighter on our songs so that we will be absolutely blistering when we get out on the road in July! Steve DiGiorgio and Jason Suecof have prior commitments and won’t be able to join us on this tour but we have the incredible musicians John Comprix (BEYOND FEAR, RINGWORM) on guitar, Dennis Hayes (BEYOND FEAR, ex-ICED EARTH) on bass, and Matt Sorg (RINGWORM) on guitar joining CHARRED WALLS OF THE DAMNED for this tour! We’ll be playing our debut album in full and we’ll have plenty more surprises as well! Joining us as host of the tour and also doing stand up at each show will be the hilarious comedian and carrier of the heavy metal torch, Don Jamieson from VH1′s That Metal Show! I’ve known Don for many years and I’m so psyched to have him as part of this tour! Coming soon we’ll have more big announcements about the tour including opening bands in each market and other cool surprises! So get ready to raise your fists and bang your heads with CHARRED WALLS OF THE DAMNED this summer! See you on tour!”
Vocalist Tim “Ripper” Owens adds: “Man I really look forward to this short run of shows, just going out with some friends and playing in front of some of the best fans around. And watching Don every night just tops it off!!! See you all on the road!”
07/01 Chicago, IL Empty Bottle
07/02 Detroit, MI Harpo’s
07/03 Montreal, QC Les Foufounes Electrique
07/04 Toronto, ON Opera House
07/06 Cleveland, OH Peabody’s Down Under
07/07 Pittsburgh, PA Diesel
07/08 New York, NY Gramercy Theater
07/09 West Chester, PA The Note
07/10 Worcester, MA Palladium w/ DREAM THEATER
Bands reforming and reuniting seem to be the trend in underground metal lately (CARCASS, EMPEROR, IMMORTAL, AT THE GATES, etc.) – however most of the bands just cash in for a tour, or play a few exclusive festivals, and that’s the end of it. A few of the bands that have reformed, actually make new albums, and since CYNIC‘s Focus is touted as one of the best progressive death metal masterpieces of all time, Traced in Air has long time CYNIC fans wondering if they could stand the test of time. After all, the band was put to rest and forgotten about. CYNIC is, and always will be a “love them or hate them” band, as there is no in between. If you hated the robot voice and entire Focus album, you will not enjoy Traced in Air at all.
Traced in Air is the ultimate album CYNIC die hards have been asking for, and the band does not disappoint. The album opens with “Nunc Fluens“, and almost instantly you hear Sean Reinert doing what he does best – pounding the drums with technical precision. Although he and Paul Masvidal both played on DEATH‘s Human album, CYNIC was their creative force and really brought their jazz fusion influence out into the open. “The Space For This” and “Evolutionary Sleeper” are bona fide CYNIC tracks, although some vocal parts can get too flowery at times. No need to fret however, as there still death metal growls that accentuate the chorus at the exact perfect points. Newbie OPETH fans may get a kick out of this album, but this album was written for CYNIC fans exclusively. Reinert‘s superb drumming really highlight the entire album, and “Adam’s Murmur” is a track where the band really gels as the drums, technical bass and guitar playing mesh as one cohesive unit. “Nunc Stans” closes the album in CYNIC fashion, with an eerie and mellow outro.
While parts of the album feel too empty and lacking intensity, that was the purpose of Traced in Air – getting away from the whole death metal genre and instead into the progressive rock/metal arena. More progressive rock than metal is showcased on the album, so if you miss the aggression but still want the progressive death metal, you’ll have to put in DEATH‘s Human or PESTILENCE‘s Testimony of the Ancients. CYNIC will always have ties with PESTILENCE and ATHEIST as progressive death metal kings, and hopefully those two bands can also match this excellent “reunion” album as well. (Season of Mist)