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

SEPULTURA, DEATH ANGEL, KRISIUN, HAVOK Heading Out on Tour April 2012

SEPULTURA, DEATH ANGEL, KRISIUN, and HAVOK will be heading out on a North American tour this April.

“We are so excited to go back to North America,” commented SEPULTURA guitarist Andreas Kisser. “Last year was great but this time we have the new album Kairos out and people already know the new stuff. Plus, it’s the first time we are touring with our long time friends in DEATH ANGEL and our brothers from Brazil KRISIUN. Finally we have a chance to tour with a Brazilian band outside Brazil; a long time wish! So prepare yourselves for an amazing and historical tour. North America deserves some real extreme and intense metal! See you all soon on the RELENTLESS WORLDWIDE TOUR, DESTROY!”

Tour dates can be found here.

APESHIT’s Top Metal Albums of 2011

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!!
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SOULFLY’s Enslaved to be Released March 2012

2012 will see the release of Enslaved, a brand new SOULFLY album, which will be their eighth overall. 2012 also marks the band’s 15th anniversary of the band.

The lineup features Max and guitar dynamo Marc Rizzo, with STATIC-X‘s Tony Campos taking up the bass. The lineup is rounded out by ex-BORKNAGAR drummer David Kinkade.

Enslaved was recorded at Tallcat Studios in Phoenix, Arizona and was produced by Zeuss and Max Cavalera.

SOULFLY also collaborates with Dez Fafara of DEVILDRIVER and Travis Ryan of CATTLE DECAPITATION. Ryan said it was “an honor to receive a call from someone you had pictures of on your wall as a kid.”

Cavalera also wrote a song “Revengeance” about his slain stepson Dana, whose death was the catalyst for the creation of SOULFLY. He partners with his sons Igor and Richie on vocals, while his other son Zyon plays drums. It is the first time Max has performed with three of his sons.

Watch SEPULTURA’s Entire Performance at Wacken 2011

SEPULTURA‘s entire performance at Wacken Open Air 2011 has been posted online. Cheers to Ardyvanderhulst for posting this video. This is a great performance.

Here’s the setlist:

1. “Intro“/”Arise
2. “Refuse/Resist
3. “Kairos
4. “Just One Fix” (MINISTRY cover)
5. “Convicted in Life
6. “Choke
7. “What I Do!
8. “Relentless
9. “Troops of Doom
10. “Territory
11. “Inner Self
12. “Ratamahatta
13. “Roots Bloody Roots

Straight Shooting: Extreme Metal Artists are Good People

Throughout my years of going to shows and meeting extreme metal bands to just say “hello” and “thanks” or to conduct an interview or hang out as colleagues, I have always found these artists to be very humble, down to earth, and hardworking people. Playing extreme metal is often a thankless and perilous endeavor that regularly tests just how much these artist are dedicated to their art.

Specifically, the legendary bands tend to be the most approachable and appreciative. They are more than happy to shake your hand, pose for photos, autograph all your merchandise, thank you for your support, and speak with you for a little bit. They may not have the most time in the world or be in the mood to do so, but they often try their best. Even strong and intimidating personalities such as David Vincent, Trey Azagthoth, Glen Benton, and Chris Barnes are all nice dudes. On the other hand, there are also exceptions to this but they shall remain nameless.

The brothers in KRISIUN are some of the coolest guys you can meet. They are so grateful when you compliment them on their performance or music. And if you’ve been a diehard for a long time, that makes their day. They never brag about their musicianship even though it’s totally insane, especially given the fact that they perform flawlessly every night. Whole notes don’t really exist in their songs. Hell, if you have the opportunity to party with them, they’ll share their whiskey or herb with you without hesitation.

Ross Dolan and Bob Vigna from IMMOLATION are awesome guys. I’ve seen them in various cities across the U.S. and they are always the same. Zero egos. Zero gimmicks. They’ve always been underdogs in terms of popularity despite the fact that they are legends but they never complain about anything ever. They just work hard and try their best.

I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Andreas Kisser twice throughout the years and he is just as, if not cooler, than what you see in SEPULTURA home videos or elsewhere. He’s just a really cool and friendly person ready to laugh and is always positive. No shit talking from him. Andreas is probably one of the most open-minded people you can meet as well.

If you’ve ever seen SUFFOCATION live, then you’ve seen just how down to earth Frank Mullen is with the crowd. He never tries to act like the toughest guy on earth. He just speaks to the crowd like he would with people that he knows in his personal life. Offstage, the man is the same. Just a cool, honest, and passionate person. Frank appreciates any fans whether they be long time or brand new ones.

At the end of the day, the overwhelming majority of extreme metal bands that tour all over the world don’t really make much money. And yes, many of them have families and day jobs to take care of back home. It can be a meager existence. Thus, you can’t blame them for having tours with VIP packages.

Without their dedication and immense talents, there wouldn’t be much of a scene. So next time you’re at a show and you see a band member walking around or just hanging out, it will never hurt to just say “hello” and show appreciation for their hard work. Trust me, they will appreciate it.

SEPULTURA – Kairos

The pressure of writing a great SEPULTURA album, years after Max Cavalera departed, has certainly been a daunting one. After getting back on track with A-Lex, the new offering, Kairos, has its moments of “classic SEPULTURA” elements, but the aggression and speed are stripped away. There are heavy moments with catchy riffs, but for the most part, what you will find on Kairos is a mixture of mid paced and mediocre tracks.

Spectrum” starts off slow with a groovy and simple riff that sounds decent, and the listener expects the speed to increase somewhere within the song, but the tempo never picks up. The pattern continues, as the title track starts off well and shows great potential only to decrescendo and slow down again. “Relentless” finally shows some spirit, as the beginning riff is reminiscent of the slow, catchy, crunchy style of early OBITUARY, and finishes off with an Arise era solo. The album starts to wear thin as songs like “Dialog” and “Born Strong” drag with their slower beats and rhythms. Aside from the occasional slow double bass, drummer Jean Dolabella does not let loose, and takes a “simpler is better” approach.

The start of “Mask” contains a riff and vocal pattern that is interestingly very similar to CAVALERA CONSPIRACY’s “Inflikted,” with Jean finally showing aggression and blasts in the song. There is a tasty solo towards the end – showing that there are a few good tracks on Kairos. The short and thrashy “No One Will Stand” and “Seethe” sound like classic SEPULTURA and help liven the album up. However, the pace of the other tracks outweigh these thrashier songs. SEPULTURA has never been afraid to experiment, and “Structure Violence (Azzes)” is an interesting collaboration with the French percussive group, LES TAMBOURS DU BRONX, but at the end of the day, most fans would probably skip this track.

Kairos includes the MINISTRY cover “Just One Fix,” and while the original sounds great, this cover would have been better suited for a future EP release. The digipak CD/DVD version of Kairos includes their cover of THE PRODIGY’s “Firestarter,” and is easily one of the best tracks the band recorded during the Kairos sessions – it’s aggressive, catchy, and the solo by Andreas is amazing. The other bonus track of the digipak version is “Point of No Return,” an aggressive song which sounds like a mix of A-Lex and Chaos A.D. Why the band chose to leave these tracks off of the normal version is an enigma, as these bonus tracks would have spruced up the album immensely.

The concepts and lyrics on Kairos are interesting and very well suited to the current incarnation of SEPULTURA. Derrick Green still does a commendable job on vocals, and Andreas puts in an amazing effort in terms of bringing back remarkable Arise-like solos throughout the entire album. Although Kairos is an above average record, most of the songs may be too slow and bland to keep the listener interested throughout the entire voyage. While some Max-era SEPULTURA purists have missed out on some great albums such as Nation and A-Lex, Kairos offers more variety and melody, but a lot less aggression and speed than the new CAVALERA CONSPIRACY. (Nuclear Blast Records)

SEPULTURA – Mask by NuclearBlastRecords

Video of the Day: Max Cavalera May Thank “God” in His Albums But He’s No Xian

SOULFLY/CAVALERA CONSPIRACY‘s Max Cavalera has thanked “God” on all of his albums for quite some time now. However, it should be clarified that he is not Christian. Check out this video interview conducted by Alexander Holland Jensen, which aired on November 2009, for Norwegian TV where Max is asked about church burning among other things.

CAVALERA CONSPIRACY @ House of Blues, Anaheim, CA (04/29/11)

The latest CAVALERA CONSPIRACY tour gives the chance for fans to enjoy songs from Blunt Force Trauma, as well as seeing Max and Igor Cavalera tear up some SEPULTURA songs. It’s unlikely that there will ever be a reunion of the “classic lineup” for SEPULTURA, so CAVALERA CONSPIRACY may be the next best thing. While Igor missed the show in Hollywood due to visa issues, he was behind the kit in Anaheim, and certainly did not disappoint.

Marc Rizzo was lively on stage and performed flawlessly – also for the first time in recent years, he left his trademark hat at home. Although Max seemed to be more focused on singing and getting the crowd involved than playing his guitar and guitar parts, Rizzo more than adequately covered the guitars.

Igor never skipped a beat as the drums sounded great in the club, and his chops were just as lethal now as they were in 1991.

Max was on stage sporting an old NAPALM DEATH shirt, and showed that CAVALERA CONSPIRACY is a more simple “going back to the roots” project than his main band, SOULFLY. Although the band seemed to have more energy during the Inflikted tour, this was another excellent show put on by the Cavalera brothers, and hearing old SEPULTURA songs with Max and Igor will never get old.

The band cruised through a good balance of songs from the two CAVALERA albums and SEPULTURA material. Songs from Inflikted, including “Ultra-Violent” and “The Doom of All Fires,” incited the crowd. But when Ritchie Cavalera came on stage to sing “Black Ark,” a frenzy of bodies marched into the pit. From Blunt Force Trauma, the band played the title track, “Killing Inside,” and a few others to promote the new album, but the crowd was most excited for the SEPULTURA material.

CAVALERA and co. blasted through a sped up version of “Arise” to the delight of the crowd, and also brought out the oldie but goodie, “Troops of Doom,” which sounded excellent with the precision of Igor’s drumming and Mark Rizzo’s mastery of the axe. The band closed out the night with the SEPULTURA fan favorite, “Roots Bloody Roots” and the frantic audience dispersed into the night, mingling with tourists and the Disneyland crowd.

CAVALERA CONSPIRACY – Blunt Force Trauma

Now that the celebration of the Cavalera brothers reuniting and putting out a strong, hard hitting debut album is over, we can all see what album number two from CAVALERA CONSPIRACY is all about from purely a musical perspective. Blunt Force Trauma is good but the songs as a whole are simply not as good as its predecessor.

With any Max Cavalera release, you can expect plenty of hooks and catchy riffs and the new album is no different. His charismatic vocals and easy to follow vocal lines are all there. In a lot of subtle ways, Max has expanded his riffing vocabulary to include new thrash sounds as well as more of a simple, punk-like songwriting approach.

Igor Cavalera took a “less is more” approach to his drumming, which resulted in his least intricate drumming performance since the first two SEPULTURA releases. Sure, he keeps the tempo with his expected power but many of the characteristics that make Igor such a distinct and excellent drummer have been omitted on Blunt Force Trauma. Those powerhouse fills are largely gone and any trademark tribal rhythms are relegated to one song intro (“Burn Waco“).

Having said all that, Blunt Force Trauma still delivers urgent punk-influenced, thrash/death metal that is perfect for a live environment. There are some really cool songs such as “I Speak Hate,” “Target,” and “Burn Waco.” The band is not out to revolutionize metal nor create a super technical album. It’s all about creating catchy, fast, aggressive songs that get the blood moving. Thus, the album does exactly what it sets out to do. (Roadrunner Records)