IMMORTAL – Northern Chaos Gods

After initially listening to the first couple seconds of IMMORTAL‘s comeback album, Northern Chaos Gods, you realize that you owe the band a huge apology for doubting them.  A raging storm of ice and snow blast forth in a way that only Bergen, Norway’s finest can produce.

Despite the departure of original vocalist and bassist/guitarist, Abbath, and him allegedly taking most of what was supposed to be the band’s next studio album for his solo album, IMMORTAL is intact and true to their legacy.  Demonaz takes on vocal duties in masterful fashion and, most importantly, returns to his rightful place recording guitars for the band. Peter Tägtgren (HYPOCRISY, PAIN) pulls double duty as producer and session bassist.

While it is accurate to say that IMMORTAL finds much inspiration in their colder, faster sound from around the mid-90’s, Northern Chaos Gods is not a total throwback or a regression.  The mastery and epic sound that the band honed so well in the 2000’s is still intact as evidenced by songs like “Gates to Blashyrkh” and “Mighty Ravendark.” The one characteristic that is not as strong as the hooks that were ever so present in their last couple of albums.  However, Northern Chaos Gods is still a satisfying and enjoyable album.

With Northern Chaos Gods, IMMORTAL continue to build on their legacy and prove that break ups, line up changes, lawsuits, and severe injuries cannot stop one of the greatest bands on the planet.  (Nuclear Blast Records)

Straight Shooting: HYPOCRISY’s Best Song

Without a doubt Swedish death metal legends HYPOCRISY have written many excellent songs through out their career. However, one song stands alone as their absolute best. No, it’s not something from early days with Masse Broberg or the doomy period but from their more melodic era.

On their self-titled sixth album, released in 1999, HYPOCRISY dig from within with “Elastic Inverted Visions.” The song is simply epic in its feel and mainman Peter Tatgren puts out a great vocal performance. The melodic guitars and the balls out guitar solo in the middle are so damn good. Check out the song and let us know if you agree.

End of Disclosure North American Tour: HYPOCRISY, KRISIUN, ABORTED, ARSIS

End of Disclosure TourSwedish death metal legends HYPOCRISY, will return to North America once again this May for a headlining tour in support of their upcoming album, End of Disclosure. Joining them are Brazilian brothers in death KRISIUN, Belgian gore-grinders ABORTED, and ARSIS with AUTUMN’S END and STARKILL will also support them on their metal crusade across the continent on select shows.  Check out tour dates here.

“Hi freaks! I’m proud we can finally announce the North American part of the ‘End of Disclosure World Tour’,” commented Peter Tägtgren. “It’s going to be great to come back again! Don’t worry it won’t be any visa problems this time either as I stayed in NYC this Summer. We’re looking forward to bringing our stage set from Europe, plus playing a lot of new songs and old songs that we’ve either never played, or haven’t played for years. Enjoy the new video for now and see you soon!”

Check out this video message from Peter:

 

 

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

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)

New DVD Celebrates 20 Years of HYPOCRISY

Swedish death metal band, HYPOCRISY, will release a new DVD entitled Hell Over Sofia – 20 Years of Chaos and Confusion on October 14th (Europe) and October 18th (North America).

Bassist Mikael Hedlund commented on the upcoming DVD:

“Finally after 20 years a DVD will be released to tell you the truth about HYPOCRISY. It will contain a full concert from our last tour, ‘Long Time No Death 2010’ at Blue Box Club in Sofia, Bulgaria. It was a show that had everything! The crowd was helping us do one of our best shows in our history and it was recorded with several cameras.

“The DVD will also contain a one and a half hour documentary that will show you our 20 years of chaos and confusion. We would like to give our fans the true story of the past and give them all the details on what has happened on our journey over the years. There are secrets that have never been told, plus pictures and clips that never has been showed. This DVD will give you the full story of HYPOCRISY!”

PAIN – Cynic Paradise

Despite producing an endless amount of albums, going on worldwide tours with HYPOCRISY and various other bands, workaholic Peter Tägtgren still finds time for his pet project, PAIN. As another creative outlet for the HYPOCRISY mastermind, PAIN serves as a fun project with a more mainstream output.

The first few seconds of Cynic Paradise starts off with a keyboard passage eerily similar to the beginning of the self-titled HYPOCRISY album, then continues in typical PAIN fashion with an industrial/metal feel. Aside from the ridiculous song title and lyrics, “Monkey Business” has an aggressive riff attack, and is very HYPOCRISY influenced, but still has enough to distinguish the difference between the two bands. The metal/electronic fusion yields varied results, and tracks like “Follow Me” and “No One Knows” are clunkers which are geared for the mainstream crowd. Cynic Paradise has a few fun party songs, like “Have A Drink on Me” and “Life Fast/Die Young,” and are light hearted songs with good hooks.

Don’t Care” could be mistaken as a track from HYPOCRISY’s doomed Catch-22 album, but Cynic Paradise ends on a strong note. “Feed Us” is a fitting closer with a nicely added piano piece, and also features NIGHTWISH frontwoman Anette Olzon. Olzon’s voice adds another dimension to balance the harsh downtuned guitars and Tägtgren’s vocals, and thus completes another chapter in the PAIN series.

PAIN can be viewed as an extension of HYPOCRISY without the blast beats and testosterone. Cynic Paradise is still filled with keyboards and the classic “Abyss” guitar tone, while the lyrics are tongue-in-cheek and not to be taken seriously. Open minded HYPOCRISY fans will be open to this as a catchy electronic/metal album. (Nuclear Blast Records)

Vocalist Emperor Magus Caligula to Leave DARK FUNERAL

In an official statement from Emperor Magus Caligula, longtime vocalist of Swedish black metal battalion DARK FUNERAL: “I would like to inform all of our fans that on Saturday, August 21, at the Summer Breeze festival in Germany, I will be doing my last show with the band. Naturally I have mixed feelings about this decision, but it is final! They say that every person will have about 15 minutes of fame during their life. Well, I have had a hell-of-a-ride for 15 years now together with Lord Ahriman and DARK FUNERAL. As some people love to spread weird rumors about others, let me make this clear once and for all. I have not committed suicide, I have not taken an overdose, nor are there any personal issues between me and DARK FUNERAL.

“However, my life has taken a new turn lately, and I am also getting married this year, thus my priorities in life lie somewhere else.I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our fans for their amazing support during all the 15 years I’ve been with the band. And I would also like to thank my brothers in DARK FUNERAL for all these years together. Lord Ahriman and I have managed to raise DARK FUNERAL from the deepest abyss, when we have confronted problems before. And there is no doubt in my mind, that DARK FUNERAL, without me, will raise once more, stronger than ever…Thus I have spoken, thus shalt it be…… — Horns up, Masse Broberg A.K.A Emperor Magus Caligula

Added guitarist Lord Ahriman: “Ave everyone! Caligula and I have shared some 15 kick ass years together and I would naturally like to thank my brother for the amazing work he has done for DARK FUNERAL over all these years. It’s been a pleasure indeed working together. You will be missed deeply! But as with everything else, I understand when people change course and get new priorities in life. And I fully respect that. Life moves on after all, and so will DARK FUNERAL.

“In the meantime, and while we’re searching for a new vocalist, the most logical thing for us to do, is obviously enter writing mood. And that’s exactly what we’ll be doing. From now on and until we have found and installed a new killer vocalist, we begin to work on a new full-length. However, you can rest assured that as soon as we have found a new vocalist, we’ll set full force, and continue to tour the world in usual DARK FUNERAL manner.

“THIS STATEMENT ALSO SERVES AS AN OFFICIAL LAUNCH FOR A NEW VOCALIST!

“Naturally, our demands on a new vocalist will be very high, but I/we are fully confident that there are some amazing vocalists out there that would fit us like a hand in glove. So if you do believe that you have what it takes to blow us away with your vocal skills, and to replace Caligula, don’t hesitate to send us some AUDIO/DVD files of your vocal performance! Send to: [email protected]. Since the show at the Summer Breeze Festival will be the very last show we will do with Caligula behind the mic, you can be sure that we’ll prepare a very special pyro show. See you there! — Lord Ahriman and DARK FUNERAL

DARK FUNERAL – Angelus Exuro Pro Eternus

While DARK FUNERAL’s last album, Attero Totus Sanctus, was a good album, Angelus Exuro Pro Eternus is a milestone for the band. It’s highly possible that Angelus Exuro Pro Eternus is the band’s finest work thus far. And that’s not bad considering the fact that DARK FUNERAL has always delivered quality music.

With new blastmaster Dominator (IN BATTLE) in tow, the band unleash their trademark darkness, blasting speeds, scorching melodies, and excellent vocals. The most noticeable distinction between Angelus Exuro Pro Eternus and its predecessors is the grander scale and attention paid to creating stronger atmospheres. The proof is in the song writing as tension and atmosphere is developed with a potent and natural flow. Sure, DARK FUNERAL continue to blast at lighting speeds when the time calls for it, but slower, more moodier songs such as “My Funeral” and “In My Dreams” demonstrate a growing musical palette for the band.

Another distinction between this album and its predecessors are the subtle enhancements in songwriting that give a stronger sense of power and impact. For example, the title track has sections where the tempos are fast and there is an effective transition which then transitions into an even faster tempo shift. Vocalist Emperor Magus Caligula lays down another godly performance as he uses his range of different styles to give the song exactly what it needs to be put over the top.

Speaking of Emperor Magus Caligula, he once again proves why he is one of the best vocalists in extreme metal. His absolutely hellish high screams are awesome, especially when he holds out the screams for a long note. His use of his lower death metal vocals, spoken vocals, and higher screams are all blended in naturally to form a strong cohesive identity as opposed to a cut-and-paste approach. The rest of the band, including leader/guitarist Lord Ahriman, should not be discounted as their performances on Angelus Exuro Pro Eternus are noteworthy as well.

There’s something about the fury and fire of DARK FUNERAL’s Angelus Exuro Pro Eternus that is purifying. There is no need for commercial taglines with DARK FUNERAL. This is true black metal. (Regain Records)