Monday, July 31, 2006

Walls Of Jericho Post Video For “A Trigger Full Of Promises” Online

I’ve seen Walls Of Jericho live, and I have to say they have a lot of energy when they play live. They seem to be progressing to a more modern form of hardcore, similar to the progression of Throwdown and Hatebreed, although the progression seems to make the aforementioned bands sound that much more different from each other. Walls Of Jericho are currently touring Ozzfest this summer.

You can see the video here.

Walls Of Jericho
Walls Of Jericho News At
Walls Of Jericho At Trustkill Records

Lots Of Tours Coming Up!

We here at Nile River always try and present a sense of unity between different bands that fall under “extreme music” (and sometime bands that don’t as well). The bands listed below represent such genres as melodic death metal, hardcore, thrash, black metal, melodic metalcore, grind, emocore, death metal, progressive metal, deathcore, and some are just hard to pin down as to what genre they play. As always, I remind people to keep an open mind, as diversity, creativity, and supporting a wide range of bands is what keeps the underground alive and thriving. NOT by bashing bands who do something different.

Arsis will be touring with Becoming The Archetype, Misery Signal, Ed Gein, Demericous, Dead To Fall and The Faceless. Not all at once mind you...

Misery Index will be doing some touring in Canada, with Neuraxis and Beneath The Massacre on select dates.

Hatesphere and Gojira will be doing a co-headlining tour in the UK.

A tour has been confirmed for Dark Funeral, Enslaved and Abigail Williams.

Opeth will be doing a European tour.

Cannibal Corpse will be doing a tour with Necrophagia, Spawn Of Possession and Aeon.

Tool has more dates released with support from Isis.

Sick Of It All will be doing a tour with support from The Warriors, The Autumn Offering, and Dead Hearts.

Hatebreed, Napalm Death, Exodus, The Black Dahlia Murder, Despised Icon and First Blood also have some more dates added to their tour.

Check out, and for those tour dates, and of course, going to the bands official website should be helpful in listing tour dates.

Lamb Of God Song Posted Online

The new song can be found at the same place where you can the streaming song “Redneck”. Just grab what looks like a piece from an Ouija board and scroll it to the top right, and hopefully you’ll hear the song “Walk With Me In Hell”. The new song doesn’t quite seem a single oriented as “Redneck”, but to my own ears, it certain sounds like Lamb Of God is lightening up their sound, putting more focus on Pantera styled riffs, racing to the chorus, and of course there’s the singing mixed in there as well. Does that mean they’ve sold out? I guess that’s for everyone else to decide.

You can find the link to the website here, and make sure you grab that Ouija board looking thing and scroll it to the top right!

Lamb Of God
Lamb Of God News At

Cradle Of Filth New Album Details

The release date for the new Cradle Of Filth album titled “Thornography” has been pushed back to October 16th. The musical direction is said to have more guitar solos and Iron Maiden like harmonies.

Guitar solos and more harmonies? The guitar solo is coming back, and well... harmonies are getting quite a bit of abuse from the melodic metalcore crowd, not to mention all the new melodic death metal bands out there. I did think that last years “Nymphetamine” stepped a little closer to some other metal moments, such as metalcore, although I thought it was a decent album.

It seems that many in the black metal crowd, and even Cradle Of Filth themselves are trying to distance themselves from the “black metal” tag. Could it be a marketing ploy? I’ve heard that Dani Filth himself is a master at marketing, so who knows.

Cradle Of Filth
Cradle Of Filth News At
Cradle Of Filth At Roadrunner Records

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Checkout Counter: A Scanner Darkly

I’m sure you’re reading the title of this article thinking “The words are spelled right, but that sentence doesn’t make any sense...”. Well, it doesn’t have to make sense because A Scanner Darkly do what we love most here at Nile River, they make bizarre art music, so it doesn’t need to make sense!

The description that was given to me to describe A Scanner Darkly was science fiction grind/doom. The science fiction and grind elements are certainly up there. So check ‘em out, you might not get it, you might hate it, you might call it noise, but we call it “artistic expression”! Which is the same way Showcase can show naked women and pass it off as art.

A Scanner Darkly
A Scanner Darkly Review At
A Scanner Darkly At Gilead Media

Suidakra Info On Upcoming Album Titled “Caledonia”

Looking back on this past week here at Nile River, we’ve had quite a lot of info about death metal bands in general, so Suidakra provides us with something very different which I don’t think has graced these pages. If you go Encyclopaedia Metallium, the description for Suiakra describes them as “melodic black/death metal with folk and medieval influences”, which I would say is a pretty good description of their sound.

Suidakra has a new album coming out from Armageddon Music titled “Caledonia”. Many Suidakra fans are looking forward to this release, as I heard quite a few negative reviews about their previous album “Command To Charge”. I haven’t heard “Command To Charge” myself, so I personally can’t comment.

The artwork featured in this article is of course for the new album, and was done by Kris Verwimp. Currently “Caledonia” is in the mixing process and has an expected release date of October.

Apparently “Caledonia” is supposed to have it’s lyrical content based around ancient Scottish history, with song titles like '”Highland Hills”, “Forth-Clyde” and “The IXth Legion”, which sounds very interesting.

I’ve had a bit of a hard time getting my hands on Suidakra’s albums, but if you’ve been following some of the newer trends in European metal, you’ll see that stirring in the underground are a few folk influenced and viking influenced metal bands, such as Ensiferum and Amon Amarth. I can easily give Suidakra, Ensiferum and Amon Amarth recommendation for people looking for a different kind a metal.

Suidakra News At
Armageddon Music

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Album Review: Cult Of Luna - Somewhere Along The highway

Cult Of Luna seem to be running in third place behind Isis and Neurosis as the leaders for the genre of slowed down hardcore with keyboards and samples added. Since none of the bands are looking to compete with each other, Cult Of Luna is probably pretty content to be in the position where they are.

Now on their fourth album, “Somewhere Along The Highway” we see Cult Of Luna doing what almost all bands of their kind seem to do in order to progress, which is to lighten up their sound. Don’t misinterpret “lightening up” as “selling out”, as Cult Of Luna are still different enough, and their songs are still long enough to keep them from the ears of radio play.

As always, if you’ve heard Cult Of Luna, they still have a signature sound that permeates everything they do. Especially the interplay between the guitars, bass, drums and vocals during their heavier moments.

I can accept the fact that bands like this feel they need to “lighten up” in order to progress. It’s almost a fact of life or a right of passage for it to happen. Some people still consider Cult Of Luna to continue to their heavy moments in a more emotional way. When I look back to their previous album “Salvation”, I can certainly agree with the “heavy in an emotional way” sense, but “Somewhere Along The Highway” does some things to diffuse the wonderful things they’ve done, and unfortunately in a negative way as well.

The song “Thirtyfour” actually has some moments that have been lifted from Isis. Not inspired by, or sounding similar too, it actually sounds as if they were attempting to make something that sounds like Isis. In a genre based so much on creativity, this is quite a downfall. The ending to the song “Dim” with it’s techno style beats at the end seems out of place. Cult Of Luna has always used their electronics in such a creative sense, one would never think of techno. The songs “Marching To The Heartbeats” and “And With Her Came The Birds” stick out like sore thumbs, as they’re slow, atmospheric songs with barely any percussion and clean singing. That it itself isn’t a bad thing, but the rest of the songs on the album do nothing to incorporate the usage of similar moments, and those same songs don’t do anything to reference any other part of the album. Had either of those two things been done, those songs would fit in much better.

On their previous efforts Cult Of Luna also present us with spectacular albums from front to back, where everything was interconnected and the order of the songs made sense, and things would segueway into each other. Even the most minor attempts to connect one song to another is in vain, as “Somewhere Along The Highway” isn't as much of a complete album as it is a collection of songs.

The previous album “Salvation” introduced the lighter moments that gave us a premonition of “Somewhere Along The Highway” having more lighter moments, unfortunately the songwriting caliber isn’t up to stuff with the other three previous Cult Of Luna albums. That being said, the songs themselves are still incredibly good, especially when taken out of context from one another.


Cult Of Luna
Cult Of Luna At Earache Records

Morbid Angel Predictions

With a Morbid Angel album reviewed here recently, and news from Hate Eternal, I thought this would be perfect timing to discuss the possible future of Morbid Angel.

Erik Rutan runs and leads Hate Eternal, as well as being a former member of Morbid Angel. Erik is often considered the best guitarist to join Morbid Angel, as he’s made some very good writing contributions. Having Erik join a European tour (or perhaps a North American tour as well?) would probably get more concert attendance to those tours. Not only that, but Erik joining Morbid Angel at that time would be in perfect timing to contribute songs to a new Morbid Angel album.

I’ve always felt that Morbid Angel operated at their peak creative capacity when writing as a team. Erik Rutan made a lot of writing contributions to the “Domination” album, and a few writing contributions to the “Gateways To Annihilation” album as well. With favourite second guitarist/writer Erik Rutan on board, and favourite frontman David Vincent back playing with Morbid Angel, things could be set in motion for a well received, and high dollar comeback.

Since Morbid Angel is free from their old Earache Records contract, this frees them up to go to a larger record label, such as Metal Blade, Century Media, Nuclear Blast, or maybe even Roadrunner since Roadrunner seems to be looking more at traditional metal now. If Erik Rutan also produces the next Morbid Angel album, it could have the best production of any Morbid Angel album to date.

The way death metal is going these days, if Morbid Angel can make the release date for their new album before or during Ozzfest, we might actually see them on the Ozzfest stage if they’re on a big enough record label. If not Ozzfest, Sounds Of The Underground presents a very good alternative.

In the end, Erik Rutan might become a “special guest” for certain tours, and to help write and produce a new Morbid Angel album. He wouldn’t have to join permanently, and Tony Norman would be able to come back as Morbid Angels touring guitarist.

I’d like to hear Trey Azagthoth and Erik Rutan do some vocals on the new Morbid Angel album, however, with David Vincents return, that possibility of that happening is doubtful.

Hate Eternal Provides DVD Details

While I’m normally opposed to DVDs for my own personal use, I might make an exception for this new Hate Eternal DVD coming out. The DVD will be titled “The Perilous Fight”, and feature artwork by Paul Romano. The DVD will also feature Hate Eternal playing a set at a place called “The Garage” in London England, after concert interviews, a documentary on the making of “I, Monarch”, touring footage, and the two previous videos for “I, Monarch” and “Powers That Be”.

If asked to describe Hate Eternal, I’d say they’re very fast, but very creative death metal. The vocals are focussed on a lot of harmonies and interplay between Erik Rutans lower grunt, and Randy Piros higher scream.

“I, Monarch” got a lot of very good reviews last year, and it featured an Australian digereedo and Tibetan bone drums. “I, Monarch” was also one of my personal favourite albums from last year, so I give Hate Eternal a listening recommendation. I hope they feature more non-metal style instruments on their next album.

Hate Eternal
Hate Eternal News At
Hate Eternal At Earache Records

Album Review: Morbid Angel - Entangled In Chaos

I don’t have very many live albums in my album collection. The general consensus is that live albums are pretty bad, and death metal live albums are incredibly horrible.

I’ve yet to see Morbid Angel live, so I can’t really compare how they are live to their live album, but this album makes them sound very tight, with some small exceptions nearing the end of the album, probably due to fatigue. The sound quality of the instruments is really good, and everything sounds like you’d expect “Domination”-era Morbid Angel to sound like playing their old material live.

Something I found unfortunate, is that the banter between songs has been cut. Another thing that bothered me was the length of the album, as “Entangled In Chaos” is just under 40 minutes long. The short playing time suggests a direct support slot rather than a headlining gig, and certain favourite Morbid Angel songs aren’t played. From a personal standpoint, I was disapointed that there weren’t some more of the slow songs that Morbid Angel are famous for. Songs like “God Of Emptiness”, “Promised Land (World Of Sh*t)”, and “Where The Slime Live” aren’t played. Only one song from the album “Domination” is played live, which is unfortunate since it’s my favourite Morbid Angel album from the David Vincent era. Other people of course will have some songs they like which haven't been played live, which is unfortunate, as more songs could've been inclduded had "Entangled In Chaos" been recorded at a headlining show.

I’ve probably been ruined for live albums, since my first live album experience was part of a boxed set that contained A LOT of songs for that artist. So, I guess this is something "just for the diehard fans".


Morbid Angel
Morbid Angel At Earache Records

Friday, July 28, 2006

Decapitated Post Video Online

The video for the song “Day 69" comes off Decapitated’s new album "Organic Hallucinosis". I thought "Organic Hallucinosis" was a great album, with a super-tight death metal with an almost mechanical or industrial feel that works in it’s favour. Decapitated have shown that they’re willing to experiment and push themselves further on a creative level. At only seven songs, it’s kinda short though.

The video can be viewed here.

Decapitated News At
Decapitated News At
Decapitated At Earache Records

Thursday, July 27, 2006

One Stop Bob Added To Merch Links

One Stop Bobs has VERY good prices typically cheaper than everyone else on a lot of stuff, almost all shirts and hats. Most of their merch is cheaper than anyone else I've seen.

Phobia Interview At

Phobia have been underground legends for a very long time (about 15 years). They recently put out a new album of traditionally styled grindcore with good production titled “Cruel” out on Willowtip Records. The mp3s I downloaded from the Willowtip website were damn fine. It’s weird hearing old-school grindcore with good production...

Phobia Interview At
Phobia At Willowtip Records

Heaven Shall Burn mp3 Posted At

Anyone for decently done German melodic metalcore? Actually, the guitar tone has a lot more of an old school European death metal style guitar tone - aka the “Sun Studio” sound, achieved with two distortion pedals, so it really feels like there’s more of an old school European death metal influence as well, not just the guitar tone.

Go to, and up at the top you’ll see a pretty colourful banner at the top linking you to the song “Stay The Course”. Heaven Shall Burn will have their new album “Deaf To Our Prayers” out on September 5th through Century Media.

Heaven Shall Burn
Heaven Shall Burn At Century Media

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Hatebreed Has A New Song Posted Online

On the Roadrunner website, you can find a streaming song titled “Defeatest” from Hatebreeds new album “Supremacy”. I must say, I like the song a lot, it really has a lot of quick flowing energy, making it of course a good opening track. One thing I’m wondering though, does Jamie Jastas voice sound a little tired? On Hatebreeds previous albums, I recall his voice sounding more powerful.

For those of you unfamiliar with Hatebreed, I’d call them a modern interpretation of hardcore, mean riff oriented guitars rather than chords running up and down the neck, a lot more double bass in the drums, heavier guitars, rougher vocals, and the inclusion of “chugging” style breakdowns. The overall feel is much more metallic than old-school hardcore.

As a trivia note, Hatebreed are big fans of death metal, even taking death metal bands on tour with them (such as Hate Eternal). In their last video (I believe it was “To The Threshold”) Jamie Jasta is sporting a Suffocation long-sleeve.

I’d like to see Hatebreed do a tour with Hate Eternal, Hatesphere and Hate.

You can hear the new song here.

Hatebreed At Roadrunner Records

Suffocation Songs No Longer Posted

For those of you yesterday who were fortunate enough to get onto the MySpace page for Suffocation, you’d find a song for their new self titled album, the song being “Bind Torture Kill”. Unfortunately neither “Bind Torture Kill” or the song on Suffocations MySpace page the day before that, “Misconceived” are no longer there...

Monday, July 24, 2006

Suffocation Song “Misconceived” Posted Online

The sound quality sounds like a demo. I believe it’s being called a “pre-release” song, so it could be a demo. I’m hoping Erik Rutan will do the production, but I haven’t heard anything about producers, so I’m guessing the new self-titled album from Suffocation will be self-produced.

One of the reasons I like Suffocation is due to the progression from one album to the next. After hearing “Misconceived”, I’m tempted to say that it sounds like it could fit in on “Souls To Deny”.

For those who haven’t heard Suffocation, many have said they’re “the most plagiarised band in death metal”, especially their earlier releases, although their early releases still stand out from the generic death metal bands. The evolution of Suffocation has pulled them very far away from a generic sound, incorporating lots of tempo changes, a signature drum beat, odd sounding guitar harmonies, and odd time signature runs. There are actually very few modern death metal bands now who sound like Suffocation, probably due to the fact that audiences expect something creative from their death metal now, which killed many of the generic death metal clones from the 90's.

You can find that MySpace link to the new song here.

Suffocation News Article At
Suffocation News Article At
Suffocation At Relapse Records

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Album Graveyard: Rune - The End Of Nothing

I’d love to title this article a “Modern Classic”, unfortunately, Rune is probably not popular enough, perhaps not influential enough, and simply just too strange for most people to get.

The description of sound fits somewhere between the genre created by Neurosis, death metal and grind, and gloomy doom. Truly though, Rune is more than the sum of it’s parts, because while a person could point out certain pieces that fit with those genres, Rune is a truly unique creation.

One could interpret the sudden tempo changes as grind. You could say the often slow tempos and generally despondent feeling are related to doom. The inclusion of samples at points could an influence from Neurosis. The strange, garbled, extremely rough, yet harmonized vocals by the two vocalists in Rune at first actually reminded me of the same way Cradle Of Filth does their rough vocal harmonies. Overall though, the description of their sound in this review doesn’t do them justice.

“The End Of Nothing” was the first full length, and last release for the band. Previously they had created a self titled EP in 2000, and a split with Kalibas in 2003. After the breakup of Rune, Willowtip Records re-released “The End Of Nothing” with several bonus tracks. There’s also been an internet rumour of Rune doing a split with F*ck The Facts, but this has been disputed by F*ck The Facts.

Rune of course fell victim to the early incarnation of Willowtip Records who’s roster in the earlier days had very few bands that were very strange, and would break up. The “Willowtip Breakup Curse” situation seemed to have been remedied by signing a lot more less-strange grind bands.

The members of Rune split off to the extremely well received Mouth Of The Architect coming from the Neurosis school of music. Instrumental band Kenoma (who Mouth Of The Architect did a split with) also contains members of Rune. The doom band Ultralord also contained a Rune member at a point in time. As good as all those bands have purported to be, none have come close to the originality of Rune.


Willowtip Records

PS if you look at the download section of Willowtip Records, you can find mp3s of the Rune songs “Babylon Burning” and “Opium Of My Soul” both taken from “The End Of Nothing”.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

End Of The Year Candidate: Serapis - S/T

Somehow, calling Serapis melodic metalcore doesn’t quite capture the oddities in their sound. There are guitar melodies, but they’re far from being stolen from Sweden. Their single note breakdowns sometimes feels a bit closer to Isis than any other simple metalcore. The slight relation to slower bands is more than likely due to the choice of typically slightly slower tempos, as Serapis feels like they’ve been put under sedation, then attempted to play at top speed.

The bulk of the material occurs at a speed a hair slower than mid-paced grove. The most memorable song, and also the same song being pushed almost as a single is “Nancy Leper” the slowest song on the album. Could this make Serapis the melodic metalcore answer to Morbid Angel?

Vocals consist mostly of a high slightly garbled shriek, which might remind some of Jacob Bannon of Converge. Every now and then, clean singing graces the tracks, usually very low in the mix, which gives more of a band feeling as a whole, rather than having clean vocals shoved in your face. The clean vocals at first might remind some of emo, but the closer one listens, the further from emo those clean vocals become.

While melodic metalcore as a whole is already over saturated, Serapis provides a huge creative left turn. Comparing Serapis to other melodic metalcore bands won’t yield too many similarities, yet they fill the prerequisite by having a significant amount of melody and breakdowns, making them somehow an odd fit.



Friday, July 21, 2006

End Of The Year Candidate: All That Remains - “The Fall Of Ideals”

All That Remains wants to have their cake and eat it too. With all the complaints of upstart bands looking to rip off other melodic metalcore bands with sing-along-song style choruses, and certain genre leader beginning to stagnate, All That Remains has chosen to experiment with certain parts of their sound, making some very good integrations.

Perhaps because All That Remains is behind many other popular bands such as Killswitch Engage, Shadows Fall and God Forbid in terms of popularity and record sales, they’ve made a conscious choice not to compete directly with those bands, but instead to create a signature sound that might very well outlast those bands beyond current trends.

The melodic metalcore presented of “The Fall Of Ideals” contains some the catchiest sing-along-song style choruses that All That Remains has done. At the same time, some songs are an experiment with death metal, with tremolo picked riffs, low grunts and blast beats.

Philip Labonte really makes his voice the star of the show with a showcase of his vocal range. Clean singing ranges from crystal clear crooning to a dirty rock tone. His hardcore bark ranges from the mid-range to some highs never seen before on their previous effort “This Darkened Heart”. A modulation in his voice gives a much more black metal style rasp at time, and as said before, there are the very low death grunts.

The bulk of the music itself is built around guitar melodies and harmonies, and while many people point to Europe as inspiration, All That Remains is growing slowly away from European inspired melodies. In most of the songs, to take a break from the quick action the listener is presented with a short focal point on a sombre harmony and often a beautiful guitar solo as well. Worked into the music in subtle ways are bits and pieces of clean guitars and acoustics. There are also the standard “chugga chugga” style breakdowns, but they’re worked in as essential parts of the songs, so at-home listeners won’t be bothered much by such a musical object created for the live setting.

There are drawbacks to “The Fall Of Ideals” though. The first half of the songs are very well done journeys to the sing-along choruses, but they contain very little of the heavy experimentation seen on the other half of the album. The songs on the first half also tend to follow pretty a standard verse/chorus format as well, with the last half of the songs getting some of the more creative, and in a sense better arrangements. The songs also tend to hang between three and four minutes, coupled with some of the standard verse/chorus formats, this takes away from some of the depth in the songs, as well as some of the poor choices for song endings. By the time the tenth or eleventh song rolls around, the album feels like it should have been finished. The lyrics also present a problem as well. A song or two about personal strength, perseverance through adversity is fine, but having most of the alums lyrics focussed around that subject matter comes off as bit a bit egotistical. There’s also a relationship song or two as well, and to be honest, relationships have been covered enough by popular recording artists. All these things drawbacks pull my rating from a 9 out of 10 to an 8 instead.

If All That Remains can further integrate their heavier experimentations into a whole cohesive album, and use them more often for their next outing, my prediction is that they’ll be able to outlast any trend.


All That Remains
All That Remains At Prosthetic Records

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Review Of Gadget’s “The Funeral March” At

With Nasum now done, this leaves Gadget as the band to lead the way for Swedish grind. I find both Nasum and Gadget to be super fast, and depending on your definition of heavy (mine would be usually slower with lots of low end) I would say both bands aren’t necessarily heavy by my own personal definition, the term “low-fat” would be more apt. Gadget is a band I highly recommend.

Review of “The Funeral March” By Gadget At
Gadget At Relapse Records

Hatespheres New Album “Sickness Within” Reviewed At

Thrash holds a special place in my heart, since I grew up with some pretty thrashy bands. I also have an interest in bands from Denmark since it’s a part of my heritage. To these ears, Hatesphere play a modernized version of thrash, and they hail from Denmark as well, also the home of modernized thrash band Konkhra. Hatesphere might appeal to those fans of The Haunted.


Review Of Hatspheres “Sickness Within” At
Hatesphere At SPV Record

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Xasthur To Release New Album On Hydra Head Records

The unfortunate part about “art” music in the world of extreme music is that some artists who produce odd music sometimes don’t do much except release albums. This certainly puts more news out there from other bands who tour, or do other things to gain some sort of media attention. So, here we have a nice change from the usual rounds of death metal, and metalcore that manages it’s way into the Nile River. What we have here is isolationist black metal from the US!

Make jokes if you will about one-man black metal bands (I like them and I still make jokes), but black metal in general is rising from the underground in North America. Xasthur specializes in the keyboardless black metal with intentionally poor production, but creative nonetheless. If you're willing to listen with open ears, it is possible to do good "raw" production.

Xasthur will be releasing their new album titled “Subliminal Genocide” on Hydra Head Records in association with Battle Kommand Records on September 12th.

In other news, seems to be looking at some different extreme music, as lately I saw them post a tour for a death metal tour that had no connection to any metalcore bands. It was the “Monsters Of Death 2006 Tour” with Six Feet Under, Krisiun, Decapitated, Cattle Decapitation and Abysmal Dawn. To also get reports of black metal of this sort from is strange, but still helpful.

I’m also guessing that somewhere in that logo pictured at the top of the post is supposed to be the band name Xasthur if you can decipher it.

Battle Kommand Records
Hydra Head Records

Battle Kommand Records Added To Label Links

Battle Kommand Records is run by the frontman of the US Black Metal band Nachtmystium, Blade Judd also known by his pseudonym Azentrius. Battle Kommand Records has such artists as Xasthur, Nachmystium, and Leviathan on the roster.

Battle Kommand Records

All That Remains Reviews And More

If I was asked to describe All That Remains, I’d say they’re very well done melodic metalcore with clean sung choruses, such as that spawned by Killswitch Engage and Shadows Fall.

I read a short interview about Philip Labonte about the vocals on the newest album “Fall Of Ideals”. He talked about more diversity, more high and lows and more singing, Philip said in that interview there be “Tomb Of The Mutilated” Cannibal Corpse style vocals as well. I was afraid that every song would become a vehicle for sing along style choruses. Most reviews are suggesting that All That Remains are trying have their cake and eat it too, suggesting that the music has become heavier and faster, and that the vocals truly are more diverse, but also containing a lot more sing along style choruses.

I’ll be attempting to get my hands on their latest album “The Fall Of Ideals” sometime very soon. “Fall Of Ideals” gained #75 on the Billboard Top 200. All That Remains is currently on Ozzfest this year as well. All this action should guarantee a place in the elite of the melodic metalcore crowd.

All That Remains
Review Of “Fall Of Ideals” At
Review Of “Fall Of Ideals” At
Review Of “Fall Of Ideals” At
Review Of “Fall Of Ideals” At Decibel Magazine posting about “Fall Of Ideals” Gaining #75 On The Billboard Top 200
All That Remains At Prosthetic Records

Ipecac Records Added To Record Label Links

Ipecac Records is the record label run by former Faith No More singer Mike Patton. They carry such artists as Fantomas, Isis and The Melvins.

Ipecac Records

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Isis To Release DVD In September

Isis is a long running favourite here at Nile River. Isis foloows in the footsteps of the famed underground legend Neurosis, as Neurosis pretty much created their own genre when they slowed down hardcore and added samples and keyboards. Isis also has quite an appeal to fans of Mastodon and Converge.

I usually don’t like to get DVDs because I usually only watch them once. Some of the live show performances take place at the famed CBGBs in New York. It does sound interesting, as I’ve been unable to get out to see Isis live yet. The tour they’re doing with Tool could make them a much larger band, so perhaps some of the tour dates Isis will do in the future after the Tool tour will come a little closer to me.

The DVD will be titled "Clearing The Eye" and will be released September 26th through Ipecac Records.

Isis At Ipecac Records

Checkout Counter: Alchemist

I heard a whole bunch of bands get name dropped, those being Harlots, The Bronx, Maylene And The Sons Of Disaster, Psycroptic, Ulcerate, Devolved, and Alchemist. I did some digging to find out about each of those bands, and out of them i choose Alchemist, because we here at Nile River of course like the more artistic style bands. The sound clips from their website, and the sample I’ve gotten from a Relapse sampler make them very difficult to describe, although Alchemist does fit undeniably into the world of metal/extreme music.

Alchemist At Relapse Records

New Article Type: Checkout Counter

Checkout Counter will feature bands which I give a suggestion on checking out. Sounds simple right?

Earache Records Added To Label Links

Earache currently has such bands as Hate Eternal, Candiria, With Passion, Biomechanical and Blood Red Throne to name a few. Earache is famous in the world of extreme music by carrying At The Gates, Napalm Death, Carcass and Morbid Angel in the earlier days.

Earache Records

Monday, July 17, 2006

Anata: The Conductors Departure Reviewed At

There was a point in time when the website from Anata said "Anata's music can be described as death metal with influences from both the American and Swedish scenes.” It seems now most reviewers are calling Anata technical death metal. Either way, the songs I’ve heard from Anata have a strange interplay between the harmonies and melodies they use which are quite original sounding, and often times have a very good hook to their songs.

Take a look at the review here.

Earache Records

Disillusion Planning Sophomore Album

The first album by Disillusion titled “Back To The Times Of Splendour” came out on Metal Blade, and gained quite a few good reviews. Genres named for being spliced into the mix that have been named so far for them are thrash, melodic death metal, black metal, folk and progressive, and the songs are quite long as well getting up to 14 minutes. Some have even pointed towards Opeth as an indication of structure.

Metal Blade Records

Sunday, July 16, 2006

All Shall Perish E-Card Posted Online

While the post says that the studio version of the song “Eradication” on the MySpace page off of All Shall Perish’s new album is the studio version, the sound quality sounds a lot like the demo version.

While I’m normally opposed to e-cards that have only bits and pieces of songs instead of whole songs, I simply couldn’t resist giving the whole e-card a listen. So far the introductions for the songs on “The Price Of Existence” sound great.

The first release from All Shall Perish was “Hate.Malice.Revenge” which came out in 2003, but was re-released in 2005 by Nuclear Blast. I would describe the sound on “Hate.Maclice.Revenge” as melodic death metal and hardcore on a brutal death metal base, with grindy tempo changes and a very wide range of rough vocals. It was quite compelling. The record label must have a lot of faith in them, because Nuclear Blast seems to be doing a lot to promote their new album. I can’t blame them, as the previews so far sound as though All Shall Perish have improved their formula, sped up the tempos, made longer songs, and made good use of their new lead guitarist.

Here are the links to the e-card and their MySpace page.

All Shall Perish
Nuclear Blast Records

Hydra Head Records Added To Record Label Links

Run by Isis frontman Aaron Turner, Hydra Head is the current home of famed instrumental band Pelican, and extreme doom band Khanate. Hydra Head carries more than a few interesting artists.

For those of you interested in seeing Tool tour this summer, Isis will be opening for them.

Hydra Head Records

Pelican Writing Material For New Album

Instrumental band Pelican has been getting lots of attention as far as instrumental bands go. They’ve been doing quite a bit of touring, with one of the bigger tours being with Nevermore and Opeth, as well as the “Taste Of Chaos” tour.

The guys over at got some info on how things are going with Pelican, and talked about the writing for their new album.

Lately it seems that instrumental music has made some very large gains in popularity in the last two or three years. Could this be in part due to increased interest in underground/indie music in general? My answer would be yes.

Hydra Head Records

Willowtip Records Added To Label Links

One of our favourite record labels has been posted here at Nile River, that label being Willowtip. While being known for having lots of extreme/art bands who would break up in the past, the label has gotten a bit more of it’s focus on grind with a bit of artistic edge. Recommended bands on the label are the highly acclaimed melodic metal Arsis, the highly acclaimed band that defies classification Crowpath, and the highly acclaimed band that also defies classification Rune. Rune is one strange band, so of course we love that kinda stuff here at Nile River. They’ve unfortunately fallen under the Willowtip breakup curse that Willowtip had back in the day.

Willowtip Records

Gorod And Sulaco Post New mp3s Online

Thank the guys over at Sins Metal News for this one. Over at Willowtip records they’ve just posted new mp3s from Gorod and Sulaco. To my ears, all the mp3s come off as grind with a bit of technical flair thrown in. Don’t worry though, they’re not copies of each other.

Go right to the new page right here.
Willowtip Records

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Trivium: A Prelude To Selling Out?

Well, since I threw that question out at Lamb Of God the other month, I think I might be able to rattle a few more cages again. I guess this might throw fuel on the fire to those angry that Trivium made a great album that reviewers loved, and a whole bunch of other people did too. How many times does that happen? Reading the “Studio Report” about Triviums next album from Decibel Magazine, Matt Heafy get’s quoted as saying “screaming is kinda ripping me apart.” meaning we might get a much more radio friendly product for all the people complaining about not being able to understand the words. Ok, I guess I’m being rough, after all, M. Shadows from Avenged Sevenfold wrecked his voice and had to stop screaming too...

I guess this puts an end to Matt Heafy pulling vocal duties for technical death metal band Capharnaum.

As always, it’s not my place to judge, which is why there’s always a question mark at the end of every “Prelude To Selling out?" article.

Decibel Magazine
Roadrunner Records

Atheretic: Death Metal From Quebec

Since I mentioned Decibel Magazine earlier, one of the reviews that caught my attention was Atheretic. The two mp3s I got from the Galy Records website were quite good. Much like the review in Decibel Magazine implies, Atheretic does come on like a downpour of brutality and speed. The mp3s certainly gives me the impression that Atheretic is already above the legions of generic death metal bands in terms of creativity. Check ‘em out foos!

Galy Records
Decibel Magazine

New Issue Of Decibel Magazine Is Out

And within the pages is a great article about the beginnings of Slayer up until now. A couple of crazy things have happened across the way (like the “pissing incident” with Chronos from Venom) which are covered in 16 pages. If there isn’t a book or several about Slayer, then I’d be surprised, as they have enough history and influence to warrant a book being written about them.

One thing I do think is always a shame, is that people often overlook “Seasons In The Abyss” when speaking about great Slayer albums. In case you haven’t guessed “Seasons In The Abyss” is my favourite Slayer album.

In a strange turn of events the overall winner in the whole Metallica Vs. Megadeth dispute actually goes to Slayer. I remember there was a point in time when “Best Metal Album” lists would come up in publications, and Metallica would inevitably land somewhere at the top, if not at the top of the list, with Slayer trailing not too far behind, if not right behind them. Now whenever I read “Best Of Lists” Slayer always comes before Metallica with “Reign In Blood” now beating “Master Of Puppets”.

It’s always strange for me to look back in time about this situation, because Metallica was the band that got me started, and initially I didn’t like Slayer. Slowly but surely I did warm up to them. I think it was only one year later that I became indifferent to them, and then they slowly grew on me. Now you can really see that their influence has grown beyond just their musical style. I’ve read a lot of interviews where musicians talk about how “Reign In Blood” got them up and playing.

Decibel Magazine

Album Graveyard: Martyr AD - On Earth As It Is In Hell

I thought this album would be a good choice for this weeks Album Graveyard, as it continues the thrash theme.

It was suggested that the tours that Martyr AD had done with The Haunted had rubbed off on their sound. Indeed, “On Earth As It Is In Hell” takes the general metalcore pallette and adds a quick metallic base of thrash, with just a touch of melody. Considering the amount of melodic metalcore at the time which still continues in some part today, the melodies within "On Earth As It Is In Hell" are few, and far between, and not overly poppy or sappy.

The more raw production, coupled with a sense of urgency and an amount of experimentation make “On Earth As It Is In Hell” sound like it was released earlier than 2004. This earlier sound serves to make “On Earth As It Is In Hell” feel more influential to those playing the sub-genre of thrash inspired metalcore. An earlier sound would typically make an album sound dated, especially in such newer genres, but in this case it works very well for Martyr AD.

In the end, Martyr AD make “On Earth As It Is In Hell” work based more the intensity of the speed, and brutality of the breakdowns instead of the song writing, and in this case, they succeed in getting away with it.


Friday, July 14, 2006

Modern Classics: Machine Head - Burn My Eyes

The 90's appeared to a few people (and guitar magazines) as the “Great Metal Depression Of The 90's”. The falling of “Glam Metal” and thrash to grunge would push the majority of metal into the underground. In many genres, stagnation is often to extra nail in the coffin. In the case of metal at the end of the 80's, many felt that to progress a band should become heavier, and to those same people, their expectations were not met.

Machine Head contained within it’s ranks a bay area thrash veteran - Robb Flynn. The heavier guitars, harsher vocals and more aggression overall rooted in 80's thrash in "Burn My Eyes" fuelled some already angry metal audiences, was just the right thing at just the right time.

It’s always unfortunate to read articles about thrash and the important albums. While many people cling to the 80's, a lot of people fail to realize that Machine Head helped to modernize the genre, which was well-needed at the time.

With a little bit of digging, you can find other artists who were attempted and succeeded in helping to modernize the sound of thrash. Most European bands such as Occult, Hatesphere and The Haunted preferred speed and a bit more finesse to their approach, while Danish band Konkhra evolved to a much more brutal and American sounding style. Although some of these more modernized thrash bands came later, the influence did not go unnoticed. Taking a look around, you’ll see quite a few thrash influenced metalcore bands among the ranks of the many more melodic ones.

The key to sending brutality home can come from many places. Machine Head took advantage of everything they had at the time. The overall low-end heavy from the drums and guitars combined with the rougher vocal style were standards other bands could adopt and use easily. What did not come easily was the crafting of a whole memorable album, with down to earth lyrics that made the anger much more real than most of the subject matter of thrash from the 80's.

While many people see “Burn My Eyes” as the most thought of album when people think of Machine Head, I think “The More Things Change” gets overlooked far too often. “The More Things Change” tweaked the cosmetic sounds a little bit, perhaps not big enough to warrant a reaction from very many people. I personally always felt the songwriting had been honed to an even better quality than the previous album, and the rhyming pattern of the lyrics have been some of the most advanced I’ve ever seen in my life. In that sense, it’s always too bad to hear people talk about “The More Things Change” as just another “Burn My Eyes”. The general public reaction of “Burn My Eyes” puts it into a more classic role than “The More Things Change”.

The third album “The Burning Red” in 1998 saw Machine Head change their sound to nu-metal, a change that seemed to get some quick record sales, but eventually proved to be a huge downfall in the end. Rumours have been abound that Roadrunner Records held some bands hostage, forcing them to either change to nu-metal or get dropped as the label began cashing in the nu-metal craze. Their fourth album “Supercharger” was released on September 11th. The single entitled “Crashing Around You” with burning buildings in the video which had aired before the release date, coupled with the release of the album on the infamous date, Machine Head saw their support drop instantly.

2003 saw the return of Machine Head with the album "Through The Ashes Of Empires", and a partial return to their old sound. From a personal standpoint, I would describe it as a culmination of all their previous albums all at once. In a strange way, it showed that perhaps the influence of nu-metal isn’t all shallow.

At this current point in time, Machine Head are working on a new release.


Machine Head

Roadrunner Records

End Of The Year Candidate: The Abominable Iron Sloth - S/T

With some of the more popular bands these days playing a bit faster than the once trendy bands of yesteryear, more than a few artists still interested in keeping things both metallic and core have been experimenting with the slower side of tempos.

The Acacia Strain took a creative left turn in "The Dead Walk", and ended up with a happy record label willing to push them hard. Serapis debuted their self-titled album with a major metalcore slowdown that a lot of people fell in love with. I’ve always thought of Cult Of Luna as being the heaviest of the Neurosis pack, and their new album "Somewhere Along The Highway" still contains portions pertaining to their very beginnings. Of course we can’t forget the important return of the classic Celtic Frost with the very important "Monothiest". This year could be remembered for having the slowest tempos, bringing some record bottom-heavy music that’s HEAVY. With that, I bring you the devastating crush of The Abominable Iron Sloth.

An ultra low three pronged guitar contains the exact amount of string slack and down tuned heaviness combined with a hint of looseness to make this some definite sludge for certain. Grooving double bass beats, well timed high barked hardcore vocals, with high grating dissonant tones thrown on top of the sludgy mess keeps the action like an unstoppable battleship plowing through whatever is in its way with unstoppable force. The vocals aren’t the only hardcore appeal, as some of more mid-paced moments serve as wonderful breakdowns.

There are downsides. For such slow songs, and typically being under three minute they’re quite short. The short song length tends to lower the amount of depth within most of the individual songs. The few light injections which make the slow pulverizing that much more destructive by contrast are few and far between. For a full-length that contains nine songs, the album clocks in at only 26 minutes.

The complaints however and tiny and minor, especially in compression to their mammoth sound. Even the band name sounds heavy.


The Abominable Iron Sloth
Goodfellow Records

F*ck The Facts Have New Songs And New Album Art Posted Online

I love these guys. The musical history of F*ck The Facts seems almost intent on commercial suicide with all the obscure and hard to find splits and EPs they’ve done. Either that, or it’s actually a well thought method of marketing.

It’s difficult to keep track of how many releases they’ve done, at this point in time some people in the metal community estimate that they have had more than 40 releases of one sort or another since 1999. In fact, F*ck The Facts has done so many releases that it’s given way to internet rumours about certain splits being released. One such rumour is that they’ve done a split with Rune, which F*ck The Facts denies (I would tend to agree with the F*ck The Facts on this one).

For those of you wondering what F*ck The Facts sounds like, I’d give their description as some quite good grind adding in quite a bit of the death metal touch, a dash of noise, with some breakdowns thrown in, and a hinting of bizarre artsy stuff.

F*ck The Facts also holds a special place in my heart because they’re from Ontario as am I. Unlike Quebec, the rest of Canada hasn’t seen very many artists in the realm of extreme music except as of late. The rest of Canada hasn’t seemed to have had much interest in art music either, with of course Quebec being the exception. We are fortunate these days that people are becoming more and more open minded every day.

The MySpace page for F*ck The Facts is here, and the link to album art is here.

F*ck The Facts
Relapse Records

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Unearth E-Card With Two New Tracks Posted Online

One of the bigger names in the world of Melodic Metalcore has a new e-card up and running where you can listen to the songs “Giles” and “This Glorious Nightmare”. So far, I think the snare drum sounds a slight bit weak. I swear that “Giles” sounds a heck of a lot like “The Great Dividers” from the second full length album “The Oncoming Storm”.

I though “The Oncoming Storm” was very well executed Gothenburg styled melodic metalcore, but also unfortunate that they departed from their much more original sounds from their earlier releases, such as “The Stings Of Conscience”.

Unearth probably represents the most copied style of melodic metalcore, ripping off At The Gates, Dark Tranquillity and In Flames (which Unearth does very well), and injected “chugga chugga” style breakdowns (which Unearth is the reigning king of) with very few clean vocals. With all the bands these days doing that style of melodic metalcore, it’s had a degrading effect on their peers. From a personal standpoint, it makes some of the standard bearers of the genre much less interesting to listen too.

I’d love to see Unearth bring a lot more of their original sound to their new work. Whether this will happen or not remains to be seen. Recently some bands have found a degree of success by making a creative left turn (such as The Acacia Strain). Would a more creative turn push Unearth higher to the musical pack, or would it be better to stay safe and stay where they are? A safer route might not be as safe as they think with a lot of creative action stirring in the underground right now. Those bands who are complacent to keep playing what works might have some newer bands playing something different nipping at their heels very soon.

You can view the e-card here.

Metal Blade Records

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Minsk Sign To Relapse Records

Another band styled after the genre created by Neurosis has signed to Relapse Records, that band being Minsk. I’ve read a few reviews, and I have an mp3, and what I’ve heard so far sounds good. Misnk was considered by some to have the best release doing the Neurosis styled genre in 2005.

Relapse Records
At A Loss Recordings

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Epitaph Records Added To Record Label Links

Epitaph Records has had some famous, and even influential punks bands on their label. They seem to have sparked some controversy as of late with some of the more recent bands being a bit more modern and in a more popular vein than some of Epitaphs previous bands. Epitaph currently has one of my favourite bands signed, Converge.

A year ago, I had a really good conversation with a guy really into underground punk about underground music in general. Many of the people I’ve met who are into the more underground styles of punk (or stick-it-to-the-man style punk as I like to call it) have a good deal of respect for underground metal and it’s ideals A third person entered the conversation to speak more about punk , and Epitaph Records came up in the conversation. It was the stick-it-to-the-man style punk’s contention that Epitaph Records had sold out.

From a personal standpoint, I find it difficult to say wether or not a record label has sold out or not. Record labels aren’t bands, and as such the standard of ideals is quite a bit looser for a record label. A business of course has to generate revenue, although some record labels feel just fine making only a small portion of money since their business is more about passion and supporting the underground or indie music scenes.

I will say that in a way, Epitaph has lost some of their roots, since I don’t see too many underground style punk bands still on the label, and I haven’t heard of any new ones getting signed recently.

Epitaph Records

Galy Records Added To Label Links

Galy Records has the first EP from Beneath The Massacre, an excellent technical deathcore bands from Quebec who recently signed with Prosthetic Records for their upcoming full lnegth. Galy also is the home of Vancouver thrash/melodic metal bands SoulScar which has garnered some very good reviews.

Galy Records

Crucial Blast Records Added To Record Label Links

Crucial Blast is the record label of choice for Ghengis Tron and a few others.

Crucial Blast Records

The Abominable Iron Sloth Post Video

It seems that there’s been some new found interest in the genre of doom and sludge. The Abominable Iron Sloth is one such band. The songs I’ve heard so far tend to be focussed on bing slow, heavy and powerful with hardcore styled vocals. They’ve got me very intrigued, and I’m currently waiting on obtaining their first and only album, the self-titled one.

A video of “I Am The Carcass” has been posted at their MySpace page here.

The Abominable Iron Sloth
Goodfellow Records

Goodfellow Records Added To Label Links

Goodfellow Records is the home of such bands as The Abominable Iron Sloth, Spitfire, Cursed, Blessing The Hogs and Intronnaut, and generally hangs towards the more artsy side of metal/hardcore.

Goodfellow Records

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Attempted Ban On Cannibal Corpse in Australia

Over at they have excerpts from interviews from officials in Australia who either think that Cannibal Corpse should be banned from playing in Australia, or are trying to get them banned from playing a club in Perth Australia.

Some people over there are upset that Cannibal Corpse is playing, especially since two women were murdered in Australia recently. A few details on the murders are at

Two important things that were said in the message board were that Cannibal Corpse has no relation to those murders, and that the fans attending the live show most likely already own some Cannibal Corpse albums, and have already read they lyrics.

One of the quotes I read was “There is enough violence and youth suicide in WA [West Australia] already without any encouragement from awful groups like this.” was said by police minister Rob Johnson.

I guess we really haven’t learned much from the court cases against Ozzy Osbourne and Judas Priest. How about the announcements made by Frank Zappa, Dee Snider and John Denver against the PMRC in the 80's?

Lets be honest with ourselves, censorship is a veil to essentially push right-wing and christian values on the rest of us. Artists don’t just get censored for album covers and lyrics, they get harassed for rumours that have been perpetuated as well.

I remember reading one of the lists of artists to boycott from the PMRC, and the reasons why. One of the reasons to boycott artists is for said “Occult” references. If the PMRC wasn’t interested in pushing religious views, “Occult” references wouldn’t be an issue. Lamb Of God, Marilyn Manson, and Rob Zombie have all been harassed by religious groups attempting to prevent them from playing in certain venues, and in some cases have succeeded.

To trivialize a persons murder or suicide by associating such events with music is an insult to those victims and their families. The attempted banning of Cannibal Corpse playing a concert is nothing but a veiled attempt to push right-wing and christian values on the people of Austalia, which may effect other countries as well using Australia as an example.
Cannibal Corpse
Metal Blade Records
Cannibal Corpse at Metal Blade Records