PESTILENCE, WARBRINGER, VITAL REMAINS @ Ultra Violet Social Club, Los Angeles (06/07/10)

A variety of metalheads gathered outside the Ultra Violet Social Club, a former strip club turned music venue, and were impatiently waiting for the countless opening bands to finish. Finally, as the blasphemous intro for “Where Is Your God Now” began, the legions of VITAL REMAINS fans went inside to see a short, but brutal set by the east coast death metal veterans. Like the sets from their recent tours, the band ripped through the Glen Benton-era hits, such as “Devoured Elysium” and “Hammer Down the Nails.” Vocalist Scott Wily got the crowd going when the intro for “Dechristianized” came on and blasted their way through the epic track. The crowd seemed to enjoy VITAL’s energy and passion, and will be eager to see them come back in a few months for the Summer Slaughter Tour.
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PESTILENCE Announce First U.S. Tour in 16 Years

Technical death metal legends PESTILENCE are pleased to announce their first US tour in over 16 years! The 17-date journey will kick off in Baltimore as part of the Maryland Deathfest at Sonar on May 30th and close at the Gramercy Theater in New York City on June 17. Support will be provided by WARBRINGER, VITAL REMAINS, ENFOLD DARKNESS and SACRIFICIAL SLAUGHTER. Advance tickets are on sale via enterthevault.com.

PESTILENCE released their first studio record since the critically acclaimed Spheres full-length(1994) with 2009′s Resurrection Macabre (Mascot Records). The band currently features vocalist/guitarist Patrick Mameli (C-187), returning bassist Jeroen Paul Thesseling (OBSCURA), new drummer Yuma Van Eekelen (THE NEW DOMINION, BRUTUS) and guitarist Patrick Uterwijk.

PESTILENCE w/ WARBRINGER, VITAL REMAINS, ENFOLD DARKNESS, SACRIFICIAL SLAUGHTER:

5/30/2010 Sonar – Baltimore, MD (as part of Maryland Deathfest)*
5/31/2010 Club Mosaic – Chattanooga, TN **
6/01/2010 The Bar – New Orleans, LA **
6/02/2010 Emo’s – Austin, TX
6/03/2010 Ridglea Theater – Ft. Worth, TX
6/04/2010 Launchpad – Albuquerque, NM
6/05/2010 Club Red – Tempe, AZ
6/06/2010 Ramona Mainstage – Ramona, CA
6/07/2010 Ultra Violet – Los Angeles, CA
6/08/2010 DNA Lounge – San Francisco, CA
6/09/2010 Satyricon – Portland, OR
6/10/2010 Studio Seven – Seattle, WA
6/13/2010 Station 4 – St Paul, MN
6/14/2010 Reggie’s – Chicago, IL
6/15/2010 Mod Club Theater – Toronto, ON **
6/16/2010 Les Foufounes Electriques – Montreal, QC **
6/17/2010 Gramercy Theater – New York, NY

* PESTILENCE only
** No WARBRINGER

RISE – Pentagramnation

It’s been eight long years since we last heard new music from Los Angeles’ RISE. However, the wait was not all in vain as their new album, Pentagramnation, is easily the band’s strongest and most sophisticated work.

Stylistically, Pentagramnation‘s dark tone is created by a contemporary blackened death metal sound that equally uses blast beats and various driving mid-tempos. Fans of DIMMU BORGIR, OLD MAN’S CHILD, and BEHEMOTH may find much to enjoy on this album. Melody is a significant part of their attack whether it be in the riffs, guitar solos, or keyboards. And speaking of the guitar solos, vocalist/guitarist Istvan Lendvay‘s melodic, emotional solos are a pleasure to listen to. Perhaps his best solo can be found during the ending to “Conqueror’s of the Ninth Century.” Acoustic guitars are used sparingly yet effectively enough to add further color to the album. The album ends just as dramatically as it began with “Opus Requiem” in which the band enlists the help of ARCH ENEMY vocalist Angela Gossow and the lead guitar talents of Dave Suzuki (ex-VITAL REMAINS).

Pentagramnation is not an album of singles but best enjoyed as a one work. While the band’s peers may be on well-known record labels with plenty of media pull, RISE is good enough to compete with the big boys. Let this review be a notice to all. (Hymnus Records)

VITAL REMAINS’ Gear Stolen in Austin

Death metal band, VITAL REMAINS, posted an urgent notice regarding theft of their gear:

“Tuesday night [March 24] thieves broke into our trailer at our hotel in Austin, Texas and stole some of our gear (Gator‘s bass and Tony‘s guitar are pictured below) and 300+ shirts. A make-up date is in the works for the canceled performance at the Riot Room in Kansas City and will be announced shortly…

“Please send any info you may have to [email protected] or [email protected]. A reward will be offered for any information leading to an arrest of the individual or individuals involved with NO QUESTIONS ASKED.”

Tony‘s guitar: “AGILE REAPER CUSTOM BLACK CHANCERY V” w/ INVERTED CROSSES on the Neck-6 STRING

Gator‘s Bass: “BLACK ESP LTD 5 STRING”

VITAL REMAINS – Icons of Evil

Since VITAL REMAINS apparently can’t resist any opportunity to create a death metal album filled with as much anti-Christian fervor as possible (simply look at the cover art for this release), it should come as no surprise that Glen Benton of DEICIDE fame returned to reprise his role performing vocal duties on the new VITAL REMAINS album titled Icons of Evil. The approach this time around is much more straightforward (think Into Cold Darkness), rather than the over-the-top, somewhat pretentious angle taken with the prior release of Dechristianize. The majority of songs on Icons of Evil are more reminiscent of the newest DEICIDE album, except with longer, more versatile sections. However, those who thoroughly enjoyed the constant melodic solos, guitar harmonies, and technical expertise of Dechristianize should have no fear. About half the album still uses a similar songwriting formula to that found on the previous release, and songs such as the title track, “Scorned,” “Hammer Down the Nails,” and “In Infamy” display this gloriously. Also, apparently the band took some prior criticism to heart concerning the drum production, thus gone is the background drum “clicking” now replaced by only thundering bass as expected from such high quality production. It is still refreshing to hear how tracks like “Born to Rape the World” and “Shrapnel Embedded Flesh” simply steamroll the listener without as much care for guitar dramatics, and Icons of Evil does an excellent job of melding the old with the new. Many songs are still over seven minutes in length, so the epic feel of the songwriting also still survives. The cover of Yngwie Malmsteen‘s “Disciples of Hell” is also very satisfying. With the unholy blessing of DEICIDE‘s frontman, VITAL REMAINS is poised to take the lead in the top metal albums of 2007 with Icons of Evil. (Century Media Records)

DEICIDE’s Glen Benton Confirmed to Sing on New VITAL REMAINS Album

VITAL REMAINS, who are set to head out on tour with DISMEMBER, GRAVE, DEMIRICOUS, and WITHERED offered a quick note on the tour as well as details on their forthcoming new album:

“Just checking in with everyone right before VITAL hits the road again.  Going out with DISMEMBER and GRAVE is going to be killer! These are two great old school death metal bands that really helped define the Swedish Death Metal sound. A brutal assault; Death Metal the way it was meant to be, fast and heavy!!

“I know people have been wondering about the new record…well, it’s just about 100% written. More importantly, it looks like Mr. [Glen] Benton [DEICIDE] is going to be doing vocals for us once again! We were able to work around DEICIDE‘s crazy touring schedule, and we’ll be hitting the studio by the end of the year. We’ll keep you posted on all the info and if you haven’t already, go pick up DEICIDE‘s Stench of Redemption…it’s an amazing record. Hope to see everyone in the underground come out and as always, thanks for the support!”

DEICIDE – The Stench of Redemption

Everyone knows that Glen Benton and his merry band of hell raising mischief-makers have been writing songs about hating Jesus and killing Christians for a long time, but after a series of mediocre and otherwise seemingly forgettable releases on Roadrunner Records there is one question that seemed to haunt this band – does anyone care? With the reinvigorated songwriting and supercharged rhythms on The Stench of Redemption, DEICIDE is going to make you care.

Although their 2004 release Scars of the Crucifix marked a return to form of sorts on Earache Records, it took a line up change and rebuilding of this band’s sound from the ground up to create the aural assault in The Stench of Redemption. Gone are the production hiccups that appeared on Scars…, and Brothers Brian and Eric Hoffman bowed out to be replaced by ex-CANNIBAL CORPSE guitarist Jack Owen and guitarist Ralph Santolla of ICED EARTH. The result is excellent production with a plethora of roars, riffs and blasts that explode with thrash-infused death metal goodness. The band freely admits that this is the fastest material they have written, and their determination to write what is potentially the best DEICIDE release to date shines through. Tracks such as “The Lord’s Sedition” demonstrate that Glen picked up a few pointers on atmosphere and mood during his time working with VITAL REMAINS, though nothing on this album is as pretentious as the songwriting that appeared in Dechristianize.” Ralph and Jack most notably showcase their talents with solos on “Desecration,” “Crucified for the Innocence,” and “Death to Jesus.” Select versions of the album also include an interesting cover of DEEP PURPLE‘s “Black Night,” which has more blasting drums than Deep Purple could ever have imagined.

Some may say this album only serves up the best parts of those songs in DEICIDE‘s early career, but anyone with an ear for reinvention will recognize this release as representing the expression only hinted at in 1992. Let the earth quake, skies fall, and gods tremble with The Stench of Redemption. (Earache Records)

DISMEMBER and ENTOMBED to Team Up For Tour Dates

DISMEMBER will hit the US for their first tour in years. Beginning September 30, the band will headline alongside GRAVE, VITAL REMAINS, DEMIRICOUS and WITHERED for an East Coast/Midwest run. The band will return alongside US labelmates ENTOMBED and GRAVE for shows in December. ENTOMBED‘s new EP, When In Sodom, will see its awaited American release on November 14.

DISMEMBER w/VITAL REMAINS, GRAVE, DEMIRICOUS & WITHERED:
09/30/06 Mark’s Showplace/Bedford, NH
10/01/06 Bb Kings/New York, NY
10/02/06 Jaxx Nite Club/Springfield, VA
10/04/06 Culture Room/Ft. Lauderdale, FL
10/05/06 State Theater/St. Petersburg, FL
10/06/06 Swayze’s/Marietta, GA
10/07/06 Creepy Crawl/St. Louis, MO
10/08/06 House Of Rock/Eau Claire, WI
10/09/06 Station 4/St. Paul, MN
10/10/06 Abbey Pub/Chicago, IL
10/11/06 Agora Ballroom/Cleveland, OH
10/12/06 Backstreet Billiards/Saratoga Springs, NY
10/13/06 Middle East/Cambridge, MA
10/14/06 Medley/Montreal, QU

DISMEMBER w/ENTOMBED & GRAVE:
12/01/06 Knitting Factory/Hollywood, CA
12/02/06 Pound/San Francisco, CA
12/04/06 Rock N Roll Pizza/Portland, OR
12/06/06 Studio Seven/Seattle, WA
12/09/06 Hubba’s/Denver, CO
12/10/06 Launch Pad/Albuquerque, NM
12/12/06 Chic’s/El Paso, TX
12/13/06 Clubhouse/Tempe, AZ
12/14/06 Forum/Mexicali, Mexico
12/15/06 Showcase Theater/Corona, CA
12/16/06 Jumping Turtle/San Marcos, CA

More dates for December are expected.