Monday, April 30, 2007

Unsigned Band Feature: Imposer

When I heard the first song, I was about ready to close the mp3. At the same time, I was a little intrigued. It was very raw, and in many ways conjured the underground spirit of death metal when it was in its infancy, and in many ways they’ve put out demos that are purely death metal, but with raw black metal styled production. On the surface, they seem very simplistic, yet Imposer builds an atmosphere.

If you go to their website, you can hear some samples of both of Imposers demos. They can be fairly off-putting in the beginning, but as always I encourage our readers to listen with an open mind.

Imposer

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Band Feature: Llorah

Going by Aversoinonline, another band from France gained my attention. They fit into the world of metalgaze. Llorah has moments that draw similarity to Cult Of Luna, but for the most part, the songs are a bit faster than the typical metalgaze fare, with dissonant guitars, and a much rawer, looser performance.

Llorah At MySpace
Atropine
E-Vinyl

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Unsigned Band Feature: And Utero Dominae

Sometimes I get really surprised by some unsigned bands and their demos. I’ve had a lot of experience with bad demos, as I’m sure are the guys at Metalreview, the place where I found out about And Utero Dominae.

Over at Metalreview, the reviewer stated that And Utero Dominae sounds like equal portions of metal and industrial, whereas most bands tend to hang towards one side or the other. It’s refreshing change to see that industrial is still being created, and survives in underground circles, especially after the degree of popularity it had in the 90's.

And Utero Dominae
Review of And Utero Dominae’s Demo “Bleeding Machine” at Metalreview

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Review: Vital Remains - “Icons Of Evil”

I had gotten the previous Vital Remains album “Dechristianize” in 2004. It was an intense album with top-speed death metal drumming, long songs between five and ten minutes long, and power metal styled melodies and harmonies between typically brutal American death metal styled riffs. The biggest downsides from that album was the sound of the snare drum being akin to a “click”, and remember we’re dealing with blast beats all the time, so snare drum gets hit A LOT. That album at times seemed to almost drown in super fast beats all the time, and many of the riffs on “Dechristianize” seemed to lack some depth, often being tremolo picked fare. Albums in the underground can do well more on intensity than great big hooks, and with Glenn Bentons Deicide fame and powerful vocals, Vital Remains quickly became one of the more popular and notable death metal bands.

Having Erik Rutan producing “Icons Of Evil” has solved one big problem right off the bat - the snare drum. Other than that, Vital Remains has improved upon the formula that worked for “Dechristianize”, by having the riffs of the rhythm guitar contain more depth and catchiness. No longer does every riff depend on being picked as fast as possible. The melodies and harmonies on top of the blasting chaos are as good as they were in the previous effort, and are spread out throughout the songs rather than being focussed in a few select areas. Vital Remains even spreads the melody out to the unexpected, yet fitting acoustic portions on “Scorned” and the Spanish flamenco guitar “Reborn... The Upheaval Of Nihility”.

Many of the songs on the first half of “Icons Of Evil” have a bit of a start/stop pattern, with slight pauses before returning to the action, which helps to break up the constant blast of drums. That being said, the drumming is still a constant beatdown that can really chip away at the listeners resolve. The other good qualities help to distract from that constant pulse.

It seems that one year after another, Glenn Benton is able to provide two albums in a row of absolute god-hating in the form of Vital Remains “Icons Of Evil”, and Deicide’s “The Stench Of Redemption”.

3.5/5

Vital Remains
Vital Remains At MySpace
Vital Remains At Century Media

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Added A Few More Links

In the regular music news links we have The Darkest Hours, and The Metal Crypt.

In the magazine links section we have Lollipop Magazine (I know the name sounds misleading), On Track Magazine, and Vampire Magazine.

A News Article About Black Metal

Blabbermouth was also kind enough to provide links to some news episodes about black metal, with a significant portion focussing on Gorgoroth. At one point in time in 2006 had three out of four members of Gorgoroth were in prison, with bassist King Ov Hell being the only free member. The band then kicked him out.

Take a look at the news article at VBS TV below -

Episode #1
Episode #2
Episode #3
Episode #4
Episode #5

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Band Feature: Arkhon Infaustus

I’ve often mentioned having an interest in Japanese bands due to the quality and creativity of some of the bands coming from that country, but it seems I should start mentioning France as well. There seems to be a large output of creative high quality bands coming from there (such as Gojira, Deathspell Omega, and Anorexia Nervosa).

Cruising through Blabbermouth, I saw a post about a band I had never heard of, a French band Arkhon Infaustus about releasing their upcoming album sometime soon. I immediately went over to their MySpace page and found some pretty decent black/death styled songs.

One thing I’m surprised about with the genre of black/death is the creative directions people are taking it. There have been many bands playing standard versions of both black metal and death metal over the years (even splitting into sub-genres of each), but black/death seems to be opening a lot of doors. We’ve been fortunate not to have a slew of Behemoth or Zyklon clones come out.

Arkhon Infaustus will release “Orthodxyn” May 28 though Osmose, and will get North American distribution through Red Stream Inc.

Arkhon Infaustus
Arkhon Infaustus At MySpace
Arkhon Infaustus At Osmose
Arkhon Infaustus At Metal-Archives
Red Stream Inc.

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Friday, April 27, 2007

Unsigned Band Feature: Adai

I was looking through the bits portion of Lambgoat, and saw there was a post for a band I’d never heard of. Adai had new songs at their MySpace page. I went over, and I heard some very sludgy stuff as soon as the audio came on. The majority of the material is more in the metalgaze vein (which lends itself very well to some sludgy moments).

From all appearances, this two-man band is unsigned, but has an EP titled "...I Carry" coming out soon. I would expect the band to get signed soon.

Adai At MySpace

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Band Feature: Transmission 0

I had the first full-length from Transmission 0, titled simply “0”. I thought it had some good songs, but overall didn’t quite match the high quality by most of the bands in the world of metalgaze. Now, the songs featured at their website off of their newest second album sounds pretty long, heavy and torturous, and manage to build up to something bigger.

The new album from Transmission 0 is titled “Memory Of A Dream”, as was released last year through Go-Kart, and appears to have a North American release recently through Candlelight.

Transmission 0
Go-Kart
Transmission 0 At MySpace
Candlelight
Transmission 0 At Metal-Archives

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Akercocke Make Upcoming “Antichrist” Album Available For Streaming

You can hear the complete upcoming album “Antichrist” from Akercocke here. The album is due out May 28 through Earache.

I posted two pics of Akercocke since they're known by many as "Thebest dressed band in death metal."

Akercocke
Akercocke At MySpace
Akercocke At Earache
Akercocke At Metal-Archives
Akercocke At BNR Metal

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Review: Poison The Well - “Versions”

When I heard the song “Letter Thing” posted on the internet long before the release of this album, I was hooked. I had to find out what the rest of “Versions” sounds like for myself.

It’s no secret that Poison The Well have been getting ripped off by numerous clone bands. Poison The Well has chosen a path that puts them ahead of the game in terms of creativity, and hopefully longevity by adding some very old-school elements to their core sound. It’s a huge creative left turn that surprisingly turns out heavier than their previous works. So what’s that creative left turn I’m speaking of? Raw, gritty bluesy bar rock and country, yes country music grabbed from decades ago. Further back than the 80's. It’s not slight either, the album is teeming with old-school elements left and right, and Poison The Well integrate screaming vocals, tempos upped by today’s standards, and low distorted heavy slow moments with those old elements seamlessly.

You can expect to hear slide guitars, dirty guitars, horns, and even subtle hints of organs. Little hints of echoing reverb, little bits of feedback intentionally left in, and guitars played so hard that they get pulled out of tune just a little for a moment make for an extremely raw performance. At the same time, the actual recording quality is top notch, and the band’s playing is super tight. It’s a strange combination of slick and raw together, as they typically don’t mesh at all, but in this case it works perfectly.

If there’s something at fault, it’s that some songs are short, and seem like they’re building to something even more powerful, and then simply end without anything to bring the listener down properly. Some people would look at that as simply a way of keeping the energy high, and giving the listener a reason to come back, subconsciously hoping the song will finish properly on the next listen.

“Versions” is no doubt going to be a polarizing album to longtime fans of Poison The Well. One thing is for certain, the new additions in sound were not made with the intention of becoming more popular.

4.5/5

Poison The Well At MySpace
Poison The Well At Ferret

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Cephalic Carnage Post E-Card

You can view an e-card promoting the album “Xenosapien” by Cephalic Carnage here. The album is due out May 29 through Relapse.

Cephalic Carnage has been around for awhile playing experimental grind. They’re one of the few bands that are able to have songs in a different genre (typically they have some old-school doom/stoner metal songs on every album) and still make an album work.

Cephalic Carnage
Cephalic Carnage At MySpace
Cephalic Carnage At PureVolume
Cephalic Carnage At Relapse

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Municipal Waste Post New Song

You can hear the song “Headbanger Face Rip” at the MySpace page for Municipal Waste here. The song comes from the forthcoming album “The Art Of Partying”, due out June 11 through Earache.

Municipal Waste is a newer band playing “crossover”, the 80's version of merging thrash and hardcore.

Municipal Waste
Municipal Waste At MySpace
Municipal Waste At Earache

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Concert: Dimmu Borgir, Unearth, DevilDriver, Kataklysm

April 22 was my first time at Toronto’s Kool Haus. All of the concerts I’ve been to in Toronto have been at the Opera House, but the Kool House is much bigger, essentially like a great big room. Simple, big, and square.

It wasn’t long after I got inside that the long standing Quebec death metal band Kataklysm began playing. Three men in front of the drum kit, one with a bass, one with a guitar, and one with a mike headbanged and windmill spun their hair through each and every song. Every song sounded exactly like what you would hear on any Kataklysm CD. With the exception of guitar parts that required more than one guitar, Kataklysms sonic execution was perfect.

For the next band, the lights darkened and music playing in the background between bands muted. The introductory portion of the opening song on DevilDrivers latest album “The Fury Of Our Makers Hand” was piped in from a recording through the PA. The lights then came on, and DevilDriver blasted into their first song “End OF The Line”. High energy songs are great for beginning albums, and they make great opening songs for shows as well. Upon getting into the song when the lights came on, the first thing I noticed was how long Dez Fafaras hair has gotten, probably longer than he ever had it in his Coal Chamber days.

DevilDrivers setlist was well-rounded with songs from every album, including two new songs from the upcoming album, and one of my favourite songs was played as well, that song being “Grinfucked”. Many people (including myself) had pondered the question as to what that word meant, and Dez explained that it essentially means it’s a person with a knife behind their back and a grin on their face. A word he made up, and had given the audience permission to use.

It was my fourth time seeing Unearth. Having already seen them with Slayer, I spent my time close to the pit, and crowd surfed often through their 45-minute set. Having their music focussed more big breakdowns than the rest of the bands on tour, the crowd reaction for Unearth seemed to be the roughest out of all the artists on tour.

Plenty of water from bottles was thrown into the audience, as well as spitting clouds of mist throughout their set, an Unearth staple for their live show. While I didn’t get a chance to see much of the action on stage, a friend claimed that guitarist Ken Susi was french kissing a girl at one point while he continued playing his guitar.

One thing I found unfortunate, much like on the Slayer tour, Unearth played no songs from their first full-length “The Stings Of Conscience”, or their EPs (with the exception of “Endless” which was re-recorded for “The Oncoming Storm”). Unearth has a great early history that I wish they would celebrate more often.

Then came the band everyone was waiting for, Dimmu Borgir. They opened with the ever-popular “Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse”, and carried on the early part of their set with mid-paced songs before getting into faster material, and mixing things up later on.

Shagrath walked around the stage slowly with his dominating, almost rock-star like presence. The leather vest and no shirt for most of the show solidified his rock ‘n roll appearance even more.

As always, guitarist Galder appears to be into the music more than any other member of the band, as evidenced mostly by his facial expressions while playing (I’ve seen pictures of Galder playing, and when seen by himself, his facial expressions can be absolutely hilarious when taken out of context). I couldn’t help but think to myself, with his shaven head and standard moustache, Galder comes pretty close to being the equivalent of a black metal dad...

The only fault that was in my mind was simply not having a song that had Mayhem drummer Hellhammer play at absolute top speed. He showed off his capabilities in a drum solo playing faster than any song in the Dimmu set, yet there was no song that showed how fast he could actually go.

To be honest, had it not been for that guy in security who told me to stop crowd surfing during the Dimmu Borgir set, the show would’ve been perfect.

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Ion Dissonance Post New Song

The song “Kneel” can be found at the MySpace page for Ion Dissonance here. It comes from the upcoming album “Minus The Herd”. The new album will feature new vocalist Kevin McCaughy.

Much like Kevin stated to me in the interview I had with him a month back, the material is a little less technical, slower, and features repeating portions.

This picture was taken by K. Dobbins, a photographer I worked with. So far it's the first promo picture I've seen so far with new vocalist Kevin McCaughy (seen in the middle).

Ion Dissonance
Ion Dissonance At MySpace
Ion Dissonance At Abacus

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Nile Set Release Date For New Album

So far, July 20 is the German release date, and July 23 will be the release date for the rest of Europe for the new Nile album titled “Ithyphallic”. A North American release date has not yet been set, but it typically falls on a Tuesday, making July 24 a possible date.

Nile
Nile At MySpace
Nile At Relapse
Nile At Nuclear Blast
Nile At BNR Metal

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Obituary Sign With Candlelight

I had been hearing rumours for awhile that Obituary was looking more at signing with Earache, but it seems that Candlelight has given them the best deal. September 11 has been the release date set for the forthcoming Obituary album.

It seems Candlelight has set Obituary up with a new website. It doesn't look quite like most modern band websites, but it's probably only a temporary situation until Obituary gets a complete new website.

Something else I’d really like to add. Satyricon was able to tour with Celtic Frost for several reasons, one reason being that Satyricon wears their Celtic Frost influence on their sleeves. Obituary wears their Celtic Frost influence on their sleeves as well, and they’re a classic death metal band from the old school. I would definitely like to see Obituary and Celtic Frost tour together.

Obituary
Obituary At MySpace
Candlelight

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Cryptopsy Parts Ways With Lord Worm

Here’s the post made at Blabbermouth about the situation with Cryptopsy and Lord Worm -

Guitarist Alex Auburn of the Canadian death metallers CRYPTOPSY has confirmed to BLABBERMOUTH.NET that the band has once again parted ways with singer Lord Worm (a.k.a. Dan Greening). No reason was given for Lord Worm's departure, but according to Auburn, this time the vocalist was "kicked out" of the band and didn't leave of his own accord.

CRYPTOPSY is currently looking to audition candidates to fill the positions of singer/frontman and keyboardist/samplist. Vocalists must be able to sing in clean voice, on pitch, and also be able to scream/growl. If you are motivated and would like to try out, e-mail the band at crymusic@hotmail.com. If you have a criminal record, don't bother auditioning, as this means you can't tour.

When I read it, I was a bit saddened, as Lord Worm had a reputation built up over the years, and many people thought he was the vocalist that belongs in Cryptopsy. The last I heard about Cryptopsy, they were working on a new album. The keyboard, sampler, and clean singing aspects heavily suggest that they’re looking to go in a different musical direction.

Cryptopsy
Cryptopsy At Century Media

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Pig Destroyer Post New Song Online

The famed grind band Pig Destroyer has posted a new song titled “Loathsome” at their MySpace page here. In a modern era such as this new millennium, it’s quite a different experience to hear music done with typically “raw” production recorded so well and powerfully.

The song comes from Pig Destroyers upcoming album “Phantom Limb” due out June 12 through Relapse.

Pig Destroyer
Pig Destroyer At MySpace
Pig Destroyer At Relapse
Pig Destroyer At Metal-Archives

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And The Winner Of The Genre Title Is...

Following up on my previous article “What Are We Going To Call This Genre?”, it seems that Outburn have also gone with calling the genre inspired by Neurosis as “Metalgaze”, as evidenced by their review of Minsk.

I happen to like the term myself, so from this point forward I’ll be using it whenever the situation arises.

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Outburn Magazine Added To Magazine Links

It was late one night when I was in the mood for a pepperoni stick. I walked across the street to find my regular variety store was closed, so I walked a little further to the next place which was a big magazine shop. With so many magazines, I decided to take a look. Not only did this magazine shop have Decibel (a magazine I couldn’t get unless I went to a bigger city until now), but another magazine that I had never heard of also caught my attention, which was Outburn.

Outburn focuses on the typical fair of extreme music we know and love (metal, hardcore, metalcore, some more obscure stuff) but they also review some more poppy items such as pop-punk, indie music, and some electronic stuff. The magazine looks to have some tie-ins with the UK (I haven’t totally researched the origins of the magazine yet though).

Outburn Magazine

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Nailed To Record New Album

I usually don’t have high expectations for new death metal bands, as many come off as uninspired and incredibly generic. I’ll still give a song a try though.

I found out about Nailed (who comes from the UK) from SMN News, stating that Nailed would be recording a follow up to their debut album that came out in 2005.

The songs I heard on their MySpace page sounded to my ears as a mixture of Suffocation, Morbid Angel, Immolation, and Vader. Yeah, I know it sounds like they’re basically ripping off other bands, but in the world of death metal ripping off a band that’s creative can be better than a completely generic collection of tremolo picked riffs and blast beats.

Nailed At MySpace
Nailed At Metal-Archives

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Job For A Cowboy Post E-Card

There have been quite a few people awaiting the new album from Job For A Cowboy. That album will be titled “Genesis” and will be out May 15 through Metal Blade. You can view an e-card for it here. It also appears that their official website has been re-launched.

Job For A Cowboy
Job For A Cowboy At MySpace
Job For A Cowboy At PureVolume
Job For A Cowboy At Metal Blade
Job For A Cowboy At Metal-Archives
Job For A Cowboy At Wikipedia

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Band Feature: Sofy Major

Coming from the current creative hotbed of France comes a band playing stuff in the field of, yet again, Neurosis! Yes, I am a sucker for this stuff! I caught wind of this band from a review of their self-titled EP, which was released through Argghh!! Records, was reviewed at Aversion Online. From the appearance of things, the band is almost attempting to make it extremely difficult for people to obtain their material (although more than likely it’s due to record labels not having enough money to push the band harder).

If you go to the review link to the review at Aversion Online, you can get an mp3 of one of Sofy Majors songs.

Sofy Major
Argghh!! Records At MySpace
Review of Sofy Majors S/T EP At Aversion Online (ignore the comments and scroll up to read the review and get an mp3)

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Band Feature: Zozobra

This band features members of Cave In and Old Man Gloom. I would describe the sound from their current (and I believe first?) album titled “Harmonic Tremors” as merging a bit of stoner rock with you know, Neurosis and all that (damn, we really need a name for that genre, don’t we?) Anyways reviews have been very good, so give ‘em a try.

Zozobra
Hydra Head

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Band Feature: Atrocity

These guys come from the old-school underground. It’s pretty surprising lately to see some pretty underground bands in the world of death, grind, and other assorted genres in the world of extreme music that put out only a few releases in the late 80's/early 90's getting back together.

Recently Resurrection, a death metal band from Florida that put out only one album, “Embalmed Existence” on Nuclear Blast reformed. The guys in Atrocity reformed a bit earlier, and had a chance to rework and re-record some songs from their earlier releases (their first release being in 1989, and last before they broke up in 1992) for their current release “Contaminated” released at the beginning of the year on Open Grave.

The songs on their MySpace page come from old recordings (even an old demo), and feature some old-school death/grind. It really transports you back to when the underground was emerging. I highly recommend Atrocity.

Atrocity At MySpace
Open Grave
Atrocity At Metal-Archives
Review Of “Contaminated” At Metal-Review
Resurrection
Resurrection At MySpace
Resurrection At Metal-Archives

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Band Feature: Benea Reach

Wow these guys are different. Benea Reach feature a former Extol member, that member being guitarist Christopher Espevoll. Extol of course gained recognition for pioneering experimental Christian extreme music (in Extols case, that started as black metal). There’s a definite Meshuggah influence going on, which is sandwiched between some post-hardcore like melodies, and some slower Cult Of Luna like moments. Sound like a strange mix? It is, but it works well, as well as the usage of a more traditional verse/chorus format. I’ve heard so much music that eschews verses and choruses that it’s nice to hear something that comes back to familiar parts.

Benea Reach released their latest album “Monument Bineothan” through Candlelight in March. A highly recommended band.

Benea Reach

Candlelight

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Band Feature: The Orangeburg Massacre

The band name comes from an incident in South Carolina where highway troopers fired upon protestors outside a college campus. The Orangeburg Massacre play noisy, caustic, off-time chord driven sort of metallic punk/hardcore. They certainly seem like a band that would fit in with Converge fans.

Their latest release, titled “Moorea” came out on Pluto last year.

The Orangeburg Massacre At MySpace
The Orangeburg Massacre At Pluto

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Unsigned Band Feature: The Janissary

I found this band while going through the “bits” portion of Lambgoat. The Janisarry features ex-members of the band Gods. The songs on their MySpace can be slow and sombre sometimes, and then get cranked out to become jagged and sort of heavy. The tempo is typically slow, accented by keyboards and high tearing, shrieking vocals. It kind of reminds me of a hardcore answer to doom (apart from Neurosis of course).

The Janisarry At MySpace

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New Links

Doom & Sludge appears to be a brand new website. The news on the page starts from late march, and of course the website appears to focus on all things doomy and sludgy.

From brand new, we go to a site that claims to be one of the oldest music news sites on the net, that site being Chronicles Of Chaos. The website claims to have been online since August 1995.

And you can also check out One Metal as well.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Band Feature: Horna

This raw black metal band from Finland has been gaining some attention with the release of their full-length album least year, titled “Ääniä Yössä” (I have no idea how to pronounce that). They’ve got a lot of songs on their official website, mostly unreleased tracks and bonus tracks, so it’s certainly a reason for fans of the band to visit the website.

For a band that’s only been around for a few years, you’d be surprised by the sheer amount of splits and EPs they have out (much like some ultra-underground grind bands).

Horna has the typical intentionally poor production to the point where the recording is very quiet. I have to admit, at times I wish some of these black metal bands put more effort into production, or at the very least Kurt Ballou could produce or give some lessons on how to do good raw production...

Horna
Horna At MySpace
Horna At Metal-Archives
Horna At Woodcut
Northern Sky
Omnia
Obscure Abhorrence

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Trap Them Sign With Deathwish Inc.

I posted a band feature about Trap Them not too long ago, and now they’ve signed with Deathwish Inc. the record label run by Jacob Bannon, the frontman for Converge.

The band will enter Godcity Studios on June 6 to record their EP titled "Seance Prime" which will be produced by Kurt Ballou.

Band Feature Of Trap Them At Extreme-Music Blogspot
Trap Them At MySpace
Trash Art!
Deathwish Inc.

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Friday, April 13, 2007

What Are Well Going To Call This Genre?

When I first started writing my post about Rosetta (and it happens pretty often when I write about a similar band), I was trying to state what genre they happen to be in.

The first thing I know I have to deal with of course, I know there are those of you out there who have to say “Why do we need labels?” Now, while I can understand how bands don’t like to be labelled, if you haven’t heard it, you need a way to describe it. If we had no labels, what would we I be forced to say in order to describe a band? Perhaps something long and drawn out? Simply compare them to other bands? Just keep it simple and say they simply play music? I don’t claim my word to be gospel, and many of you who know me personally know that I’m simply explaining my own interpretation.

Some well-known sites have attempted to start their own terminology for the genre started by Neurosis. The BNR Metal Pages calls it “atmospheric hardcore”. Decibel Magazine started calling it “metalgaze”, a term I know at least one of the authors at Metal Review has adopted. The posters at Wikipedia often refer to Neurosis, Isis and Cult Of Luna as “post metal”.

Things can become even more confusing at the Metal-Archives. Genre labels at that site usually describe the aforementioned bands as being mixtures of things like “Sludge”, “Doom”, “Atmospheric”, “Progressive”, “Post-Hardcore”, even things such as “Tribal” and “Ambient”. There has been some argument between users as to what belongs at the Metal-Archives, typically avoiding genres such as punk and hardcore despite the connection some people see between those genres and metal. This could possibly lead to some posters at the Metal-Archives not wanting to label anything resembling “Post-Hardcore” fearing it could be rejected (even if the description could be apt for the situation).

It is true that many of these bands have had, or still have hardcore connections by either starting as hardcore or having former members of hardcore bands. Recently some bands of this style have had no hardcore connections. Additionally there are many fans of metal and hardcore crowds, as well there are a new group of fans not interested in anything metal or hardcore that are turning their attention to bands of this style.

Another question about genre interpretation - if something is heavy, and has harsh vocals, is it metal? People unfamiliar with underground music might quickly answer yes without even giving hardcore or punk a second thought. In this day and age, many a “Troo” metaller or “Trve Kvlt” fan would argue no, as some don’t consider certain forms of grind to be related to metal. Those examples of music fans are at very opposite ends of the spectrum though.

I’d like to add that I don’t think the description of “Post-Metal” at Wikipedia is that accurate. I’ve read lots about bands of this style, but I have yet to hear the term “Post-Metal” being used, as the only place I have heard it used was Wikipedia. The Wikipedia page about “Post-Metal” also states that there are very few bands playing this style of music, but if you start digging you’ll discover there’s actually quite a few bands that fit together playing this style (I would say you should be able to find about fifty of these bands easily, and possibly a hundred with some extra digging, possibly more).

Some Genre Definitions (Including Atmospheric Hardcore) At The BNR Metal Pages.
Decibel Magazine
Metal Review
“Post Metal” At Wikipedia
Metal-Archives

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Band Feature: Rosetta

Definitely a band that fits in with Neurosis, Isis and Cult of Luna, the BNR Metal Pages describe Rosetta as being a bit more spacey, which is the best explanation I’ve herd so far.

Rosetta has had some very interesting releases. Their first full-length titled “The Galilean Satelites” was a dual-CD offering, with one portion containing vocals, and the other being a different instrumental affair. The song lengths on both CDs are equal to each other, as the dual-CDs were made to be played in unison. That album came out on Translation Loss in 2005.

Recently Rosetta released a split with Bolboa on Level Plane titled “Project Mercury”. It’s a pretty long split being more than 45 minutes long, and the final title song was actually done by Bolboa and Rosetta together. That came out this year on April 3rd.

Rosetta
Rosetta At MySpace
Rosetta At Translation Loss
Rosetta At BNR Metal
Rosetta At Metal-Archives
Balboa At Level Plane

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Information On The New Nile Release

Rather than typing out all the info myself, I decided a better idea would be to copy and paste the post from Blabbermouth. Here’s the post -

NILE mainman Karl Sanders has issued the following update:

"We are currently finishing the mixes on the new NILE album, entitled 'Ithyphallic', our first album for Nuclear Blast [Records]. So far we have been nothing but thrilled to work with the entire cast at Nuclear Blast; they have treated us exceptionally well and have given the band a ferocious and inspirational new lease on life. Dallas [Toler-Wade, guitar/vocals], George [Kollias, drums] and I are convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that this new record contains our best material yet, and Neil Kernon [producer] is working overtime to ensure that every single blasphemous note is heard in all its primal savagery.

"There are nine songs and one short acoustic piece, two of which are epic length songs, yet overall a wide range of tempos, some doomy, exotic elements as well as some unbelievably fast and catchy metal. A few songtitles: 'Language of the Shadows', 'Even the Gods Must Die', 'The Infinity of Stone', 'Ithyphallic', 'Papyrii Containg the Spell to Preserve its Possessor Against Attacks from He who is in the Water'.

"We are, as could be expected, very much looking forward to our upcoming Australian tour. Our last tip down under went exceptionally well and we can't wait to play again for the rabid Aussie metal fans. We will also indeed be bringing the NILE brand of ithyphallic metal to the uninitiated masses at the summer Ozzfest, and, quite welcomely, playing our own NILE headlining shows for the off Ozz days. We are also anxious for the European NILE fall tour that is in the works where we will finally be able to play a nice long NILE set covering a wide range of material from all our albums."

NILE's new album is being recorded at Sound Lab Studios in Columbia, South Carolina. The band's last CD, "Annihilation of the Wicked" album, was released in May 2005 via Relapse Records. A video for the album track "Sacrifice Unto Sebek" was shot on location in Atlanta, GA by director Chad Rullman (MASTODON's "March of the Fire Ants", THE AGONY SCENE) for Supercollider Films.

Support on NILE's Australian tour will come from Polish technical death metal sensations DECAPITATED.

(Thanks: polylepis)
(Originally posted at Blabbermouth)

Blabbermouth Post About The Upcoming Nile Album
Nile
Nile At MySpace
Nile At Relapse
Nile At Nuclear Blast
Nile At BNR Metal
Nile At Metal-Archives

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Amenta To Release “Non”

Going by SMN News, I found a post about a band called The Amenta about releasing basically all their previous releases as part of a compilation. The new release will be titled “Non”, and will be released in 2007. It includes their EP “Mictlan”, their full-length album “Ocassus”, and another release called “Soundtrack To A Hidden Earth” (I couldn’t find much info about that last one). The release will also include a photo gallery and the “Virus” DVD.

The Amenta provide a compelling mixture of industrial, with some argument whether they mix that with death metal or black metal (the Metal-Archives lists them as death metal, while the MySpace page for The Amenta lists them as black metal). The choice is up to you, I thought they sounded very interesting.

The Amenta
The Amenta At MySpace
The Amenta At Listenable
The Amenta At Metal-Archives

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Links Updated (Some Bad News As Well About Some Sites)

Digital Metal has been hacked preventing news items from being posted.

Got Metal? is currently not loading (it hasn’t loaded for awhile) and appears to be offline, and will be removed from the links list.

Indie Vision Music has been re-launched, and is now fully up to date.

The link to Knac will be copied and placed into the “Other” section (since it’s an internet radio show).

Maelstrom Zine will be moved to the “Magazine” section.

Metal Net Radio will be moved to the “Other” section.

The Metal Observer will be moved to the “Band Encyclopaedias” section.

Metal Underground will be copied to the “Band Encyclopaedias” section.

More Hate Productions has been moved to the “Record Label Links” section.

Oupiric Productions has been moved to the “Record Label Links” section.

Punk Centre will be removed for lack of updates.

Rock Detector will be copied to the “Band Encyclopaedias” section.

Rock Review
will be removed for lack of updates.

Shout Web will be removed for lack of updates. The site has stated that they will be back with a revamped site some time in early 2007.

Stygian Crypt Productions has been moved to the “Record Label Links” section.

Underground Review will be removed for lack of updates.

The link to Unity HXC has been changed to give users a direct link to the homepage.

Metal Storm has been copied to the “Band Encyclopaedias” section.

Doom-Metal has been copied to the “Music News Links” section.

Black Minds has been removed due to lack of updates.

Harm Magazine has been added to the "Music Magazines" section

And finally, due to the way posts appear, for the next while some new posts will actually appear below this post. It’s due to the fact that I have some posts saved as drafts and ready to go. They were actually competed before this post.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Despised Icon Posts Artwork And Track Listing

If you head on over to their MySpace page, you can see the new cover art for Despised Icons upcoming album “The Ills Of Modern Man” which will be released May 22 through Century Media. If you look in the blog area of their MySpace page, you can also see the track listing for the album.

Despised Icon
Despised Icon At MySpace
Despised Icon At PureVolume
Despised Icon At Century Media
Despised Icon At Relapse
Despised Icon At Galy
Despised Icon At Metal-Archives

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Band Feature: Dekadent

I was cruising through Blabbermouth the other day, and I happened upon a news post talking about a band from Dekadent from Slovenia about recording their new album, which will be titled “The Deliverance Of The Fall”. The Blabbermouth post lists them as “atmospheric black metal”, and the Metal-Archives classifies this band as black metal, but the songs I heard at their website to my interpretation don’t sound like black metal.

What I heard from the mp3s provided on their web page sound similar to some kind of electronic/pop music. It’s very guitar oriented with very heavy guitars, fast pounding double bass and harsh vocals. At some points, the guitars have a somewhat cold stark sound, and the vocals could be compared to black metal style vocals, but for the most part, I would not classify this as what most people think of when they think of black metal. The end result nonetheless is extremely compelling.

Dekadent

Dekadent At Metal-Archives

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Monday, April 09, 2007

Band Feature: Total Fucking Destruction

This strange and kind of funny grind band formed out of the ashes of Brutal Truth. Brutal Truth is back together now, and drummer Rick Hoak is playing in both bands. Whats surprising about Total Fucking Destruction is that the vocals aren’t that harsh, sort of half-sung, which gives a very different feeling to this already different kind of grind.

Total Fucking Destruction will release their full-length album “Zen And The Art Of Total Fucking Destruction” March 13 through Translation Loss.

Total Fucking Destruction At MySpace
Translation Loss
Total Fucking Destruction At Metal-Archives
A page that appears to have mp3s of a demo...

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Band Feature: Blutch

The genre of sludge is one that I like a lot, yet I haven’t put a whole lot of effort forth at the more “pure” versions of the genre (since sludge has seeped in and influenced so many heavy bands that play a slow heavy song). Blutch seems to mix in more high dissonant tones, and has a few more moments where they’re atmospheric rather than attempting to crush the listener. The amount of feedback they use reminds some people of Khanate.

Blutch should help fill some of the empty space left by The Abominable Iron Sloth. It appears that last year they released their latest album “Materia” through Delboy, and that At A Loss will re-release the album on April 23.

Blutch
Blutch At MySpace
Blutch At Metal-Archives
Blutch At Doom-Metal
Blutch At Rockdetector
At A Loss
At A Loss At MySpace
Delboy

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Sexcrement Post New Songs

Typically anything that involves death metal and something sexual is usually gore grind, but in this case Sexcrement feature a sexual-humour theme in the lyrics, with surprisingly higher quality death metal. By all accounts, it appears as if their first full-length “Genitales From The Porno Potty” has already been released on Deathmetal.us (my guess is that the album was released on April 10th).

The band has posted three new songs t their MySpace page if you want to hear them.

Sexcrement At MySpace
Sexcrement At Return To The Pit
Sexcrement At Metal-Archives
Deathmetal.us

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Sunday, April 08, 2007

Review: Cannibal Corpse - Vile (Re-Release)

To many, the concept of Cannibal Corpse is completely laughable (the band name, the artwork, the lyrical content, and sometimes even the music of death metal itself). Perhaps to some, not taking Cannibal Corpse to seriously has led to their success, as many tout Cannibal Corpse as being the biggest death metal band in the world.

“Vile” is said to be the first death metal album on the Billboard top 200, debuting at #122 in 1996. It also marked a big change for the band, as it was the first album with vocalist George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher. “Vile” also marks an evolutionary step for the band growing from their humble simplistic beginnings of mostly power chords up and down the guitar in their earlier days, to incorporating a lot more runs that start to get into more jazz territory. The guitar solos compared to the previous album “The Bleeding” are derived much more from Slayer this time. George “Corpsegringer” Fishers vocals hang around a mid-range to sometimes high death grunt, and his proper diction and pronunciation are certainly much clearer than the previous vocalist Chris Barnes, but sometimes he still slurs his words. From a lyrical standpoint, the band attempts to be creative and some of their attempts work, while other songs come off as simplistic descriptions of slashing.

Production is also an issue. While Cannibal Corpse may have gone with famed death metal producer Scott Burns, his production style was slightly raw rather than powerful. The tuning of the snare drum sounds exactly like the snare drum on every album produced by Scott Burns, and a lot of the instruments have some reverb cranked up. In the early days of death metal, raw styles of production are much more forgivable, especially when it’s a new band looking for a new sound. It can add to the youthful exuberance of an underground band, but in this case, raw death metal production on a 1996 album sounds dated and detracts from the sound.

The song “Devoured By Vermin” has practically become a single being the most chorus driven and hook laden song from “Vile”. Most other songs are a bit forgettable by comparison, although a portion of the song “Bloodlands” is memorable for a bassline that imitates a heartbeat.

On the next album “Gallery Of Suicide”, Cannibal Corpse eschewed all simplistic power chords, and their guitar solos grew beyond cloning Slayer and evolved into a signature style. The vocals became much clearer, and lyrics became more creative. All subsequent albums from “Vile” featured continually better production, more technical playing and catchier songs, although those albums have been extremely similar to the point of stagnation.

The main feature to the re-release of “Vile” isn’t the songs, since the album hasn’t been remastered, instead it comes with a bonus DVD of Cannibal Corpse playing a show in California in 1997. The video quality isn’t top notch, but the band sounds powerful onstage, and they provide lots of headbanging and windmill spinning hair. George doesn’t move much from his spot on stage, but he becomes much more mobile towards the end of the show.

In the end, the real attraction of the “Vile” re-release is the bonus DVD. If you’re the kind of person that wants to own just one Cannibal Corpse album, my suggestion would be the last one, “Kill”. It has the best production and features the catchiest songs.

3.5/5

Cannibal Corpse
Cannibal Corpse At MySpace
Cannibal Corpse At Metal Blade

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Posting Date Errors

Some of you might noticed that the date for a post doesn’t actually match the date it appears. This is due to the fact that I usually try to stay ahead by saving posts as drafts several days before I make a post. Also, you actually see the day I saved the draft of a post, not the day the post actually appears to everyone else. I hope this clears up any confusion about the way dates appear.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Band Feature: Cauldaron

At my regular day job last year, when I was working with a temporary crew, the subject of metal came up to one of the temps there, and we had a good long conversation about music and metal, and he told me that the guitarist from Goat Horn worked under him. Goat Horn was a fun retro metal band that had a doom/thrash mix in sound that hailed from the Toronto area.

Unfortunately while some people were hoping for a new album from Goat Horn in 2005, they broke up. Bass player/vocalist Jason Decay and drummer Al “Altillery” Chambers found a new guitarist, and formed a new band, that band being Cauldron.

Cauldron is a slight bit different from Goat Horn. The influences come from the same period (very early 80's), but Cauldron is much faster than Goat Horn, being based more on classic heavy metal, and the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, and a hint of thrash as well. Cauldron continues the extremely high enjoyability of Goat Horn. Lets hope they land on tour with 3 Inches Of Blood. Highly recommended.

Cauldron At MySpace
Cauldron At Metal-Archives
Goat Horn At MySpace
Goat Horn At Metal-Archives
Goat Horn At Doom-Metal
Goat Horn At RockDetector

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Added Some More News Links

I can’t remember which site it was, but I was going through one of the other music news sites that I have a link too, and found links to their partner websites. I bookmarked all the good ones. Most of the websites are predominantly Russian, but you can read all of the sites in english. Some of the sites focus on signed bands from Russia, giving some of our readers here access to more new bands to take a look at.

Maelstrom
Treehouse Of Death
Dead Tide
Pyro Music
Spirit Of Metal
Metal Net Radio
PHD Canada
Black Minds
Oupiric Productions
Stygian Crypt Productions
More Hate

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Hate Eternal Finds New Bass Player

It is official, Alex Webster, the bass player from Cannibal Corpse will play bass on the new Hate Eternal album. Alex and Erik have been good friends for a long time, and in fact when Erik started Hate Eternal, Alex was the original bass player, although I think he had to quit due to time constraints before the first Hate Eternal album “Conquering The Throne” was released back in 1999.

I’m guessing that more than likely Alex will be a guest rather than a permanent member, due to the fact that Alex doesn’t do vocals, and that his main band is Cannibal Corpse. The flip side is that Cannibal Corpse doesn’t tour very heavily since they make enough money to make it their day job, and Hate Eternal doesn’t tour as often because Erik does a lot of producing. Erik and Alex might be able to get their schedules to coincide to allow Alex to tour. All they would need to decide would be whether Hate Eternal would soldier on as a band with one vocalist, or whether Alex, Kevin Talley, or perhaps a second guitarist would do backing vocals.

Hate Eternal
Hate Eternal At MySpace
Hate Eternal At Earache
Hate Eternal At Metal Blade
Hate Eternal At Metal-Archives

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Monday, April 02, 2007

Band Feature: Lesbian

Much like Violent Femmes, while the band name suggests there are women present, it’s an all-male affair.

I found out about this band through Revolvers “Quick Fix” article. Typically most of the bands they feature there I’ve already heard of, but every now and then they get a band that I’m not familiar with and fits in with the theme at this website.

Now, I wouldn’t say the description that Revolver gives is that accurate, stating that Lesbian are basically a mix of Mastodon and Darkthrone. Instead, what you can expect is psychedelic heavy stoner metal with a black metal croak thrown on top for vocals. It’s cool to see bands pulling stoner metal into the modern age by cranking up the heaviness.

Lesbian At MySpace
Lesbian At Holy Mountain

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Review: Chimaira - “Resurrection”

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a review. I haven’t gotten very many albums at all recently, and the last two albums I got were too old to review. I didn’t buy “Resurrection” by Chimaira (not yet anyways), as a friend was kind enough to lend it to me, and after listening to it I felt compelled to write a review. A purchase of the album is imminent.

I have to admit, I’ve lost some interest in some of the newer big bands like Lamb Of God and Killswitch Engage. I don’t think their songwriting has gotten worse, I’ve simply lost some interest because they’ve gotten bigger. Chimaira is a band that I haven’t lost interest in, although they seemed to have lost a bit of popularity to Killswitch Engage and Lamb Of God. Perhaps it’s the fact that Chimaira is willing to tour with death metal bands like Nile and Hate Eternal while some other bands only want to do big tours with big bands.

The career arc for Chimaira almost suggests they want to commit commercial suicide. Their first EP “This Present Darkness” in 1999 started off with the modernized thrash sound that listeners have been familiar with for Chimairas last three albums.

In 2001 Chimaira released “Pass Out Of Existence” which is much slower and groove-laden than the rest of their catalogue. It seemed as though “Pass Out Of Existence” was a stab at a much heavier and underground nu-metal sound. “Pass Out Of Existence” has had rumours abound that record label interference, coupled with the band themselves trying to make songs for other people, as well as following the direction the producer wanted led to making that album that way it is.

“The Impossibility Of Reason” in 2003 was a big hit with perfect timing. The band went back to the modernized thrash sound of their EP “This Present Darkness”, and made a purely metal album right when people were looking for real metal bands. “The Impossibility Of Reason” solidified the signature sound of Chimaira, and took influences from old school thrash peers, such as stacking instrumental breaks beside guitar solos, just like Metallica did.

Perhaps it was the influence of Metallica that drove the band to try and go for songs over five minutes that led to their self-titled album. The songs were longer, but in some ways it seemed as though the band forced the songs a little bit longer than they should’ve been. The self-titled album was a slight bit slower in tempo than “The Impossibility Of Reason” which pulled down the level of intensity. The self-titled album seemed to lack the same amount of meaty hook-laden riffs, and it was a long album to sit through. Overall, the self-titled album was still decent.

With “Resurrection”, Chimaira seems to mix their signature sound while at the same time wearing their influences on their sleeve. The guitar solos take heavy inspiration from pre-90's Metallica, with a guitar solo from the song “Resurrection” being reminiscent of Slayer. That’s not the only direct Metallica influence you’ll hear. The nine-minute long "Six" with it’s middle eastern inspired melodies contains some razor-sharp pedal tone styled riffs that have an early Metallica influence written all over them.

The band also wears Nine Inch Nails all over by cranking up the amount of keyboards and industrial samples throughout. Chimiara stretches themselves out with other 90's experimentation, such as the spoken word verses on “Killing The Beast”. It reminded me of a time when nu-metal was fresh and new, and the vocals for the bridge actually sound similar to something Linkin Park would do.

Other experimentation occurs in the final song “Empire”, with blast beats and orchestral synths, they attempt to create an imitation black metal sound. It doesn’t quite work out as well as they hoped, but it’s a decent attempt that doesn’t sound out of place.

Many bands claim that they’re next album will be heavier than the last, and I typically scoff at it since the remark sounds so cliche. I don’t believe Chimaira actually claimed that “Resurrection” would be heaviest album, but it achieves it’s heaviness over their previous work by crafting better songs than the predecessor, upping the tempo, and by sounding so busy. Twin guitar work intertwines itself all over the place with industrial portions on top of that.

“Resurrection” isn’t without it’s fault though, the biggest being the lyrics. Mark Hunter’s attempts at sounding angry come off more like he’s reaching for something personal to be angry about. From hearing “Pleasure In Pain”, “No Reason To Live”, and “End It All” touted during choruses, to the lines “you’re so fucking worthless”, and “I’ll make you fucking bleed”, they all come off as shallow and cliche.

It’s difficult to top “The Impossibility Of Reason”, as it stands as a benchmark in time. “Resurrection” is the next best thing.

3.5/5

Chimaira
Chimaira At MySpace
Chimaira At Ferret
Chimaira At Nuclear Blast
Chimaira At Roadrunner

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Band Feature: Pulling Teeth

I saw good review on Lambgoat for this band, and thought I’d give them a listen. I was pretty surprised by the sound, mixing in a few retro influences all together into an 80's hardcore, 80's thrash, and Black Sabbath doom all into a melting pot. The songs I’ve heard on their MySpace page don’t move between their influences as much as they’re able to pull that retro mix all together and play it all at once. It sounds strange, but it works.

Pulling Teeth released their last album “Vicious Skin” in 2006 on Chainsaw Safety/A389.

Pulling Teeth
Pulling Teeth At MySpace
Chainsaw Safety
Pulling Teeth At A389
Review Of “Vicious Skin” At Lambgoat

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Even More Lineup Changes For Hate Eternal

Cruising through the music news pages as I do every day, I came across the info that bass player Randy Piro is leaving Hate Eternal.

Back in 2006 when Hate Eternal was on tour with Chimaira, Arch Enemy and God Forbid, the show had finished, and I was at the merch both for Hate Eternal when Randy Piro started talking to me about Ion Dissonance because I was wearing an Ion Dissonance shirt. The conversation progressed and he spoke about the famed Quebec band Gorguts and their underground classic "Obscura". I went on to get the whole Gorguts collection because of that conversation with Randy.

At that same show I had conversation with the fill-in drummer Hate Eternal had at that time, Kevin Talley, who is now the official drummer for Hate Eternal. I also got to talk to Erik Rutan which was a great experience, due to the fact that I grew up on the Morbid Angel album "Dominate", which was the first album Erik Rutan played on for Morbid Angel.

For Hate Eternal, this marks the second time they’ve had a complete lineup change, and the first time Hate Eternal will have a completely different lineup between albums (with the exception of Erik Rutan of course, it’s his band).

The reason why Randy Piro is leaving Hate Eternal is to focus his time on his band Gigan with guitarist Eric Hersemann and drummer Grover Norton.

Hate Eternal
Hate Eternal At MySpace
Hate Eternal At Earache
Hate Eternal At Metal Blade
Gigan At MySpace

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