National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) 2018 Show Report

Greetings from the 2018 National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Convention AKA the NAMM Show, where things have been changed up a bit from years past. For starters, all the booths were in different locations, including some booths that were outside the normal convention center area. While there was still an insane amount of people, it felt a bit less crowded due to the new format and wider areas between booths. Let’s not delay any further and get to some of the products we particularly enjoyed!

Sonor displayed the beast of a kit, the SQ2 “The Book of Souls,” made specifically for Nicko McBrain (IRON MAIDEN). Witnessing it up close and personal was truly astonishing. Crafted in Germany, the shells were made to Nicko’s specific specifications, complete with Eddie inlays. Beautiful stuff.

Paiste had a 90” giant gong on display. Yes, a 90” gong. Not sure how practical that would be, but that’s a whole lot of gong going on.

While not exactly metal related, some of you may remember the old Roland TR-808 or TR-909 drum machines, and now they have been officially reintroduced as virtual plug-ins. Note that you’ll have to use the Roland cloud, however, this is extremely cool and a great throwback for those nostalgic drum sounds.
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Preview MASTODON’s The Hunter Album in its Entirety; Official Release Party at On The Rox

All 50-plus minutes of MASTODON‘s forthcoming The Hunter album are now available for listening via the Hunter Visualizer on YouTube. The album drops September 27th via Warner Bros/Reprise.

A special (and free) album release party presented by Metal-Army.com will be taking place a day before the release at The Roxy in West Hollywood, CA. The event will include a live performance from IT’S CASUAL and special guest DJ, WARBRINGER, on the eve of the release of their Worlds Torn Asunder album. Schedule is as follows:

8PM – Doors
8:15PM – The Hunter is played in its entirety
9:15PM – IT’S CASUAL live performance
10PM – WARBRINGER guest DJ
11:15PM – The Hunter is played in its entirety once again

NEVERMORE Tour with WARBRINGER, HATESPHERE, BLACKGUARD Kicks Off Today

NEVERMORE’s headlining North American fall trek is set to kick off in the band’s hometown of Seattle tonight. This is the band’s first headlining Stateside tour in almost three years and features WARBRINGER, HATESPHERE and BLACKGUARD in the support slots.

This quintessential metal band was formed out of the ashes of Seattle, Washington, based thrash act SANCTUARY in 1991 by Warrel Dane (vocals) and Jim Sheppard (bass), with the addition of Jeff Loomis (guitar, who had played in the final line-up of SANCTUARY).

NEVERMORE Headlining Tour
Sep. 24 – El Corazon – Seattle, WA
Sep. 25 – Hawthorne Theatre – Portland, OR
Sep. 26 – Slim’s – San Francisco, CA
Sep. 28 – Key Club – Los Angeles, CA
Sep. 30 – The Galaxy Theatre – Santa Ana, CA
Oct. 01 – Ramona Mainstage – Ramona, CA
Oct. 02 – U.B.’s Bar – Mesa, AZ
Oct. 03 – The Rock – Tucson, AZ
Oct. 05 – Bluebird Theater – Denver, CO
Oct. 06 – Marquee – Tulsa, OK
Oct. 07 – Ridglea Theater – Ft. Worth, TX
Oct. 08 – Scout Bar – San Antonio, TX
Oct. 09 – Numbers – Houston, TX
Oct. 11 – Emo’s Alternative Lounging – Austin, TX
Oct. 13 – The Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
Oct. 14 – Volume 11 – Raleigh, NC
Oct. 15 – Jaxx – West Springfield – VA
Oct. 16 – The Palladium – Worcester, MA
Oct. 17 – The Trocadero – Philadelphia, PA
Oct. 19 – The Gramercy Theatre – New York, NY
Oct. 20 – FouFounes – Montreal, Que
Oct. 21 – Music Hall – London, Ont
Oct. 22 – Opera House – Toronto, Ont
Oct. 23 – Peabody’s – Cleveland, OH
Oct. 25 – Diesel Nightclub – Pittsburgh, PA
Oct. 26 – Headliner’s Music Hall – Louisville, KY
Oct. 27 – Blondies – Detroit, MI
Oct. 29 – Reggie’s – Chicago, IL
Oct. 30 – The Rave – Milwaukee, WI
Oct. 31 – Station 4 – St. Paul, MN
Nov. 01 – Royal Albert Arms – Winnipeg, MB
Nov. 02 – The Exchange – Regina, SK
Nov. 04 – The Republik – Calgary, AB
Nov. 05 – Pawn Shop – Edmonton, AB

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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NEVERMORE Announce North American Tour with WARBRINGER, MUTINY WITHIN, HATESPHERE

Seattle’s NEVERMORE have announced a North American fall headlining tour in support of their new full-length, The Obsidian Conspiracy. The tour kicks off September 23rd and runs through November 5th. Support will come from WARBRINGER, MUTINY WITHIN, and HATESPHERE.

Tickets are on sale now exclusively through www.EntertheVault.com and will be available there until June 19th when they go on sale through all normal ticket outlets. A limited number of VIP tickets will be available for a pre-show meet and greet with NEVERMORE.

Here are the tour dates:
9/23 The Rickshaw Theater – Vancouver, BC
9/24 El Corazon – Seattle, WA
9/25 Hawthorne Theatre – Portland, OR
9/26 Slim’s – San Francsico
9/28 The Key Club – Los Angeles
9/30 The Galaxy Theatre – Santa Ana
10/1 Ramona Mainstage – Ramona
10/2 U.B.’s Bar – Mesa, AZ
10/3 The Rock – Tucson, AZ
10/5 Bluebird Theater – Denver, CO
10/6 Marquee – Tulsa, OK
10/7 Ridglea Theater – Ft. Worth, TX
10/8 Scout Bar – San Antonio, TX
10/9 Numbers – Houston, TX
10/11 Emo’s Alternative Lounging – Austin, TX
10/13 The Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
10/14 Volume 11 – Raleigh, NC
10/15 Jaxx – West Springfield – VA
10/16 The Palladium – Worcester, MA
10/17 The Trocadero – Philadelphia, PA
10/19 The Gramercy Theatre – New York, NY
10/20 FouFounes – Montreal, Que
10/21 Music Hall – London, Ont
10/22 Opera House – Toronto, Ont
10/23 Peabody’s – Cleveland, OH
10/25 Diesel Nightclub – Pittsburgh, PA
10/26 Headliner’s Music Hall – Louisville, KY
10/27 Blondie’s – Detroit, MI
10/29 Reggie’s – Chicago, IL
10/30 The Rave – Milwaukee, WI
10/31 Station 4 – St. Paul, MN
11/1 Royal Albert Arms – Winnipeg, MB
11/2 The Exchange – Regina, SK
11/3 The Republik – Calgary, AL
11/4 Pawn Shop – Edmonton, AL

The Obsidian Conspiracy drops June 8th in North America. Several formats will be available for purchase:
–Regular 10 song edition
–Limited Edition digipack featuring the cover song “Temptation” (THE TEA PARTY).
–ITunes version featuring the cover song “Crystal Ship” (THE DOORS).
–LP version with a bonus 7″ featuring “Temptation” and “Crystal Ship
–Limited edition, import only box set only available at CM Distro in North America (features songs “Temptation“, “Crystal Ship“, and a bonus disc, Play the Guitar Like Jeff Loomis)

Pre-order the album here: http://www.cmdistro.com/Artist/Nevermore/10219

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

VADER, WARBRINGER, THE AMENTA @ Chain Reaction, Anaheim, CA (11/28/09)

[slidepress gallery=’vader-091128′]

Anticipation for an extreme metal show was high in the mostly conservative area known as Orange County, CA. Immediately after walking inside the venue, I noticed a strangely high proportion amount of teens and young metalheads in the crowd, with a majority of them wearing either WARBRINGER or MUNICIPAL WASTE shirts. LAZARUS A.D., who had recently stepped in for this tour, since the drummer of DECREPIT BIRTH had quit just a night before, had just ended their set.

Australia’s THE AMENTA got on stage and caught some interest to inquisitive minds with their industrial fused death/grind, which was certainly an interesting mix. Frontman Cain Cressal intrigued the crowd with his energy and stage diving. Ripping through a few of their more well known tracks, THE AMENTA impressed the crowd, but these fresh faces were eager for their neo-thrash heroes to come on.

As soon as WARBRINGER hit the stage, a flurry of hair, arms, and legs appeared in the pit, with the majority of the crowd enjoying the breakdowns and thrash riffings of the new-school thrash group. Unfortunately, this young crowd gives more praise to a band like WARBRINGER rather than the original legends, such as KREATOR, SODOM, and EXODUS, but nevertheless these thrashers got the high-top wearing crowd going with “Pray for Death.” Frontman John Kevill seemed real appreciative of the enthusiasm demonstrated by the kids.

Some of the crowd dispersed as the Polish war machine was ready to hit the stage, but many stayed, as this was probably their first time seeing a true underground metal band from outside the states. VADER opened with “Devilizer”, and the energy from this well-oiled machine was intense. Vogg’s precision playing and headbanging provided an excellent balance to Peter’s gruff vocals and shrieking solos. The songs were played about one-and-a-half to twice as fast, so all negative thoughts about “the new drummer of VADER” was put to rest. The band plowed through the set with fury, unleashing hell with “Sothis”, “Rise of the Undead”, and mandatory crowd favorites “Wings” and “Carnal”. The young crowd looked lost during the older tracks, such as “The Wrath”, and “Dark Age”, as the kids probably weren’t born yet when these songs were released. The band blasted through a few songs off Necropolis, to promote the new album, and after only about 35 minutes, VADER had to end their set short, due to the strict all ages venue guidelines. However, Peter announced that the band will be back in April with OVERKILL and destroyed the crowd by finishing them off with “This is the War” and “Lead Us!

It’s a shame that this is Vogg’s last tour with VADER, but he will be where his heart is with DECAPITATED. VADER is and always will be pure 100% death metal, and this is why VADER is still one of the underrated, but top bands in the underground metal scene.

VADER, DECREPIT BIRTH, WARBRINGER, THE AMENTA @ Blender Theater, New York, New York (11/06/09)

I arrived at the Blender Theater shortly as Canada’s AUGURY hit the stage (I’m not sure how ROSE FUNERAL sounded or fared in front of the packed Blender crowd, they could have been atrociously bad or phenomenal, but I’m sure they have a myspace for you to check out).
AUGURY specializes in sweeping guitar runs, overly technical passages, and competent albeit somewhat bland song structures that neither offend or impress. A tour with THE FACELESS would be ideal, as both bands keep their performances extremely stiff, yet tight, setting up an evening of music appreciation as opposed to rocking out in any way. Drummer Robin Stone of THE AMENTA filled in admirably on the kit filling in for the recently departed Antoine Baril for AUGURY and the band managed to be unimpressive yet solid at the same time.

Up next was THE AMENTA from Down Under making their U.S. tour debut. Offering up industrial-tinged blackened death, the Aussies blasted their way through material from their excellent Occasus debut as well as offering up some tracks from follow up, n0n. Vocalist Cain Cressal does the psycho singer thing well, contorting his face in any number of weirdo positions as the band plowed away through their set.

WARBRINGER arrived next much to the delight of numerous pre-pubescent attendees who have no interest in “the old man thrash” sounds of classic bands such as DARK ANGEL, SLAYER, or EXODUS, and have instead opted to be wowed by a band stealing riffs from the aforementioned. Nevertheless, WARBRINGER received strong support as the kids chanted the band’s name with great enthusiasm. While I’m still not 100% sold on their “Johnny-come-lately new thrash on the block” sound, the band has improved significantly since their early tour with NILE, and kept the crowd rocking throughout their short set.

Santa Cruz, California isn’t known for being a hotbed of death metal talent, but ambassadors DECREPIT BIRTH made a strong case for the SC scene as they unleashed a strong set of punishing tracks that flip flopped between material from As Time Begins and Diminishing Between Worlds. Unlike some tech-shred bands that focus entirely on out-teching one another (and in the process lose some grit), DECREPIT BIRTH keeps the fury intact, balancing intensity with technical skill. Charismatic frontman Bill Robinson (who looks more like a member of BUZZOVEN than a death metal singer) kept the audience engaged as the band continued their onslaught. They even previewed a track that they will be on their next album, but unfortunately the title escapes me as it was mumbled by Robinson. Nonetheless it offered up a nice preview of what’s in store from this promising band next year.

Poland’s VADER finally arrived on the scene, and despite the seemingly endless amounts of line-up changes throughout the band’s career, frontman/guitarist/mainman Peter has soldiered on. And for this tour at least, he brought along the very capable Vogg from DECAPITATED.

Despite some shaky sound issues with the venue, the band worked through the classic “Sothis,” with Vogg being able to adjust and nail a lead shortly after a frantic roadie handed him his replacement guitar in mid-song. “Rise of the Undead” from their new Necropolis album kept the proceedings moving along nicely. The band unleashed a plethora of classics from the deep VADER catalog. “Wings,” “Carnal,” “Silent Empire,” “Black to the Blind,” all turned Manhattan into a pit as the band methodically and surgically drove the point home. Apparently Peter had been battling sickness, but based on his fluid solos, crunching rhythms, and throat-scraping vocals, you’d never know the difference as he and band delivered the metal goods with nary a misstep. But Vogg was the highlight of the show as he ripped through the leads like a man possessed , boding well for the future of DECAPITATED. VADER closed out the set with “Dark Age” before heading in to a mini-encore with tracks from The Art of War EP .

Once again, Vader displayed why almost 30 years later, they still deliver the pinnacle of Polish death metal and still possess enough firepower for many more killer tours down the road.

OBITUARY to Head Out on Tour with KRISIUN, GOATWHORE, THE BERZERKER, WARBRINGER

Death metal vets OBITUARY are readying to embark on a North American headlining tour in support of latest long player Darkest Day, released via Candlelight Records this past June. The tour will kick off on September 3rd at The Rock in Tucson, AZ and pillage its way through a month’s worth of shows before coming to a close on October 4th at Headliner’s Music Hall in Louisville, KY. The band will be joined by KRISIUN, GOATWHORE, THE BERZERKER, and WARBRINGER.

Tour dates:
9/3/2009 The Rock – Tucson, AZ
9/4/2009 U.B.’s Bar – Mesa, AZ
9/5/2009 Gator’s – Farmington, NM
9/6/2009 Bluebird Theater – Denver, CO
9/8/2009 Galaxy Theatre – Santa Ana, CA
9/9/2009 Key Club – Los Angeles, CA
9/10/2009 Slim’s – San Francisco, CA
9/11/2009 Hawthorne Theatre – Portland, OR
9/12/2009 El Corazon – Seattle, WA
9/14/2009 Sugar – Victoria, BC
9/15/2009 Plazza Club – Vancover, BC
9/17/2009 Warehouse – Calgary, AB
9/18/2009 Starlite Room – Edmonton, AB
9/19/2009 The Riddell at University of Regina – Regina, SK
9/20/2009 Royal Albert Arms – Winnipeg, MB
9/22/2009 Rave – Milwaukee, WI
9/23/2009 The Pearl Room – Mokena, IL
9/25/2009 Opera House – Toronto, ON
9/26/2009 Imperial de Quebec – Quebec City, QC
9/27/2009 FouFounes – Montreal, QC
9/28/2009 The Trocadero – Philadelphia, PA
9/29/2009 The Blender Theatre at Gramercy – New York, NY
9/30/2009 The Palladium – Worcester, MA
10/2/2009 Volume 11 – Raleigh, NC
10/3/2009 Orange Peel – Asheville, NC
10/4/2009 Headliner’s Music Hall – Louisville, KY

VADER: North American Tour; Support from DECREPIT BIRTH, WARBRINGER, More

Poland’s VADER have announced a North American tour in support of their forthcoming new album, Necropolis (out September 22nd in the U.S. and Canada). The 38-show Decibel Presents: Monsters Of Death Tour begins November 4th in Baltimore, Maryland, and also features DECREPIT BIRTH, WARBRINGER, THE AMENTA, S.W.W.A.A.T.S., and AUGURY.

VADER guitarist/vocalist, Piotr “Peter” Wiwczarek, offered some words on the tour:
“Metal always was and still needs to be a brotherhood. All we were doing [in the past] to support the music and the scene was cooperating with other bands. Natural selection decides if a band is really dedicated or if it’s just an episode. Not much has changed today, actually. Even if the so-called ‘metal music business’ changed some rules, there will still be those who play with passion and those who want success. It is not us who wanna be ‘a judge,’ so we always try to tour with bands we have a good relationship with. A good time and a friendly atmosphere is important for all of us. I only hope that everybody will enjoy the tour and will come away with good lessons from it… like we in VADER always do. Deciding on a set list is always a problem. With every new album, the problem grows bigger and bigger. I decide the set list and I’m always confused. Usually, I try to mix some of old VADER hits with new stuff. The set might be different and depends on the conditions. For the upcoming tour through the USA and Canada, we’re gonna make the set slightly different from our shows in Poland and Western Europe. I also asked our fans about their favorite VADER songs. It may help me make a choice. I wish we could play all of our new songs, but it is not possible. I think we’ll do five pieces from Necropolis and mix them in with some old VADER. The veterans and also the new ‘in-VADERs’ will find something interesting for sure! After the maniacs learn the new album better, we can always add more songs.”

The Monsters of Death Tour will also mark the North American debut of VADER’s live line-up: Piotr “Peter” Wiwczarek (guitars/vocals), DECAPITATED‘s Waclaw “Vogg” Kieltyka (guitars), Reyash (bass), and SOUL SNATCHER‘s Pawel Jaroszewicz (drums).

Pre-sale tickets for the Monsters Of Death Tour are available online at www.EnterTheVault.com through July 17th. On July 18th, tickets go on sale through all normal ticketing outlets.

11/04/09 Sonar – Baltimore, MD
11/05/09 The Palladium – Worcester, MA
11/06/09 Webster Underground – Hartford, CT
11/07/09 The Blender Theater @ Gramercy – New York, NY
11/08/09 Fou Founes Electriques – Montreal, QC – CANADA
11/09/09 Imperial de Quebec – Quebec City, QC – CANADA
11/10/09 Mod Club – Toronto, ON – CANADA
11/11/09 Penny Arcade – Rochester, NY
11/12/09 Peabody’s – Cleveland, OH
11/13/09 The Pearl Room – Mokena, IL
11/14/09 Rave – Milwaukee, WI
11/15/09 Station 4 – St. Paul, MN
11/16/09 Royal Albert Arms – Winnipeg, MB – CANADA
11/17/09 The Exchange – Regina, SK – CANADA
11/18/09 The Underground – Calgary, AB – CANADA
11/19/09 Starlite Room – Edmonton, AB – CANADA
11/20/09 Roll-A-Dome – Prince George, BC – CANADA
11/21/09 Bourbon – Vancouver, BC – CANADA
11/22/09 Sugar – Victoria, BC – CANADA
11/23/09 El Corazon – Seattle, WA
11/24/09 Satyricon – Portland, OR
11/25/09 Regency Grand Ballroom – San Francisco, CA
11/27/09 Jumping Turtle – San Marcos, CA
11/28/09 Chain Reaction – Anaheim, CA
11/29/09 The Key Club – Hollywood, CA
11/30/09 U.B’s – Mesa, AZ
12/01/09 The Rock – Tucson, AZ
12/02/09 Gator’s – Farmington, NM
12/03/09 Club Vegas – Salt Lake City, UT
12/04/09 Bluebird Theater – Denver, CO
12/05/09 Marquee – Tulsa, OK
12/06/09 Scout Bar – San Antonio, TX
12/07/09 Scout Bar – Houston, TX
12/09/09 The Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
12/10/09 Peppermint Beach Club – Virginia Beach, VA
12/11/09 Volume 11 – Raleigh, NC
12/12/09 Rex Theater – Pittsburgh, PA
12/13/09 The Trocadero – Philadelphia, PA