Dependability is crucial to any band’s fanbase and 2017 did not disappoint. All of the bands that we’ve come to depend on for great music more or less delivered the goods. One band stood out to us all were the death metal gods from Yonkers, New York, IMMOLATION. They continue to stand as a pillar for metal with their unending well of creativity and longevity. Atonement blew us away with its complexity, ominous atmosphere, and inventive brutality.
Enjoy our lists of our favorite albums of 2017. And remember: Buy or die!
In grindcore, there is a holy triumvirate: NAPALM DEATH, TERRORIZER, and LOCK UP. It’s no coincidence that all three bands are related in history and members. LOCK UP does the most in terms of honoring the legacy of the other two bands while sounding, arguably, the most fresh overall.
So should you care about the fourth album from a band, one that is essentially a side project, in their 18th year of existence? The answer is a definitive “yes.” Demonization is all about godly riffs, intensity, and most important, excitement. The feeling of a speeding training flying off the rails is invigorating. Right from the start, the album starts rolling and never stops until the final note. It’s unfair to single out songs to be highlighted as they are all of equal quality. Just listen to the whole thing.
While underground metal super groups have become so common and often fail to live up to their hype, the gang of Shane Embury, Kevin Sharp, Nick Barker, and Anton Reisenegger are unequivocally delivering the goods. Without a doubt, Demonization is one of 2017’s best releases.
Bow down to LOCK UP or be damned to a life of subpar grindcore. (Listenable Records)
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.
World Downfall is by far one of the most devastating and influential grind albums in existence, so it’s a damn shame that Darker Days Ahead was an atrocious flop. Unlike Darker Days’ ugly guitar tone, uninspired songwriting, and lack of enthusiasm, Hordes of Zombies returns to form with a slightly different, but still masterful approach.
It’s impossible to fill the shoes of the late Jesse Pintado, but new guitarist Katina Culture does a great job on the album. The riffing style is much thrashier, opposed to Pintado’s all out grind/groove oriented riffs, but the thrashy riffs fit TERRORIZER nicely, especially having Pete “Commando” Sandoval return behind the kit, with his trademark blasting in tact. The biggest difference on Hordes of Zombies is that the catchy, short surges of groove that was so prevalent in World Downfall is not as noticeable, but the overall feeling of the album is still definitely “TERRORIZER.”
The title track begins the album proper with a midpaced groove and familiar vocal pattern style seen before. Anthony Rezhawk emulates original singer, Oscar Garcia, to perfection with short bursts of lyrics throughout the songs. Tracks like “Subterfuge” and “Evolving Era” have nice blast beats with a spectacle of thrashy, headbanging riffs intermingling throughout.
“Ignorance and Apathy” has a KRISIUN-like feel to the beginning, while tracks like “Radiation Syndrome” and “Flesh to Dust” continue the brutality. All tracks within Hordes of Zombies flow nicely, and “Generation Chaos” even has a short melodic passage in between all the blasts and fury. “Forward to Annihilation” never lets up, and the high octane closer, “A Dying Breed” finishes this energetic, fresh sounding album.
It’s a shame that MORBID ANGEL chose to record their new album without Pete Sandoval, but perhaps it was a blessing in disguise, as Hordes of Zombies certainly lays Illud Divinum Insanus to waste. That being said, the only grind bands you need to pay attention to these days are LOCK UP and TERRORIZER. (Season of Mist)
2011 was a very productive and enjoyable year for extreme music, perhaps the best in years. Thus, it was not an easy task choosing what we enjoyed best since they were just so many. 2011 also gave us unforgettably bad albums by LOU REED and METALLICA, flops by THE HAUNTED as well as controversial ones by MORBID ANGEL.
We look forward to another strong year in 2012 in which we will celebrate our 10 years online. Cheers for all of your support in 2011! Radikult!! Continue reading →
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!”
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
Season of Mist just inked a deal with all-star band TWILIGHT OF THE GODS. Initially joining forces as a tribute band to BATHORY, singer Alan Averill (PRIMORDIAL), guitarists Rune Eriksen (AVA INFERI, AURA NOIR) and Patrik Lindgren (THYRFING), bassist Frode Glesnes (EINHERJER) and drummer Nick Barker (LOCK UP) recently started to write their own material, which should end up on a full-length album some time next year.
The band issued the following statement: “We are proud to sign a worldwide deal for TWILIGHT OF THE GODS with Season of Mist… So first question, why? The idea originally was to piece together an international band to pay tribute to BATHORY. Nothing more and nothing less. A challenge and a homage. We toured the BATHORY set last year and played some festivals here and there. We never say never again but some form of line was drawn under last years triumphant set at Ragnarok festival which made the whole journey seem worthwhile.
“We were asked to re-record BATHORY classics and offered this and that to make DVDs and live albums. Never in a million years was this going to happen… Yet the chemistry was so good between the five members we talked about writing our own material. It seemed a shame to file away the energy and synergy on a dusty shelf somewhere when new possibilities were open to all of us.
“Life after all is about new challenges and journeys so in the month of October the five members of TWILIGHT OF THE GODS convened in Southern Portugal for a writing session. On the back of this a contract was signed and things began to take shape. None of us in our respective bands and pasts have ever played straight forward Heavy Metal and this is what TOTG is shaping up to be… Sure there are some Epic parts and some 70s rock influences but the vast majority of the material sounds truly classic metal.
“Right now we are looking at going into the studio sometime in the first couple of months of 2012. So expect a full on Heavy Metal album crafted by a motley crue with over 40 albums experience within them and two decades each individually sharpening their swords…”
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)