Thursday, May 31, 2007

Band Feature: Inveracity

This bands comes recommended by one of the blog readers, dschalek.

Gory death/grind usually doesn’t get featured here, not because of any predisposition towards the genre (heck, my friends know I’ll listen to just about any kind of intolerable music), it's simply due to the fact that the sites and magazines I usually cruise by don’t feature that much goregrind. The songs I heard on their MySpace page had some very catchy riffs, some with heavy influences from Suffocation and Cannibal Corpse. While the vocals are low, they don’t quite get into death burp territory. Their older material had much rawer production, and of course the lowest of low vocals, hinting that the direction that Inveracity is going in with their modern material shows some progression between albums.

Inveracity released their latest album titled “Extermination Of Millions” earlier this year through Unique Leader. Someone should send a promo copy to Decibel magazine...

I know, the promo pic isn't the prettiest...

Inveracity
Inveracity At MySpace
Inveracity At Metal-Archives
Unique Leader

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Pig Destroyer Post E-Card

You can view an e-card for the upcoming Pig Destroyer album here. “Phantom Limb” is due out June 12 through Relapse.

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

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Dark Tranquillity Post New Video

I got this from a post at Blabbermouth. The post said that Dark Tranquillity posted a promotional video for the song “Terminus” from their latest album “Fiction”, which you can view here. I was wondering if the band did the video themselves, or had a professional do it, or whether someone made it for fun or whatever, because the video is a Lego rendition of the band playing a song.

You can also view the video “Focus Shift”, which also comes off of fiction, which was released last year through Nuclear Blast here.

Dark Tranquillity

Dark Tranquillity At MySpace
Dark Tranquillity At You Tube
Dark Tranquillity At Metal-Archives
Dark Tranquillity At BNR Metal
Dark Tranquillity At Century Media
Dark Tranquillity At Spinefarm

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Legion Of The Damned Post Live Tracks

When I looked up Legion Of The Damned at the Metal-Archives, I was very surprised to find out they used to be Occult. I had liked Occult quite a lot, but I guess the band members felt the need to change the name, which is kind of too bad since Occult has been around since the mid-90's, and Legion Of The Damned sounds exactly the same. You can expect to hear some great modernized thrash with very raspy black vocals if you check either of those bands out.

Legion Of The Damned recently posted two live tracks titled “Bleed For Me” and “Legion Of The Damned”, which are available for download at their MySpace page here.

Legion Of The Damned

Legion Of The Damned At MySpace
Legion Of The Damned At Metal-Archives
Legion Of The Damned At Massacre
Occult At Metal-Archives
Occult At Karmageddon Media

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Unsigned Band Feature: Better Left Unsaid

I was cruising through Metalreview and saw a decent review for this bands demo. Better Left Unsaid play melodic metalcore similar to some of the usual suspects like Shadows Fall, As I Lay Dying and All That Remains. While not the most original band, they execute melodic metalcore extremely well.

Better Left Unsaid
Better Left Unsaid At MySpace
Review Of Better Left Unsaid's Demo At Metalreview

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Behemoth Post New Song

You can hear the new Behemoth song “Prometherion” at Ozzfest web page here. The track comes from their forthcoming album “The Apostasy”, which is due out July 17 through Century Media.

Behemoth
Behemoth At MySpace
Behemoth At PureVolume
Behemoth At YouTube
Behemoth At Century Media
Behemoth At BNR Metal
Behemoth At Metal-Archives
Behemoth At Regain
Behemoth At Avantegarde
Behemoth At Pagan

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Agoraphobic Nosebleed Post Two New Songs

The songs “Alcoholocaust” (taken from the 7" split with Total Fucking Destruction) and “Unwelcome Remarks” (taken from the 7" split with Apartment 213) can be heard at Agoraphobic Nosebleeds MySpace here.

Agoraphobic Nosebleed At MySpace
Agoraphobic Nosebleed At Relapse

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Sworn Enemy Post New Video

You can view the video for the song “All I Have” here. The song comes from the 2006 Sworn Enemy album “The Beginning Of The End”.

Sworn Enemy have also named their upcoming album “Maniacal”, which will be produced by Tim Lambesis.

Sworn Enemy
Sworn Enemy At MySpace
Sworn Enemy At PureVolume
Sworn Enemy At Abacus

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Monday, May 28, 2007

A Few New Links

I found a music news site that deals with generally heavy stuff called Midwest Excess, which you can go to here.

While I already have links for Decibel Magazine and Metal Injection, both of those sites now have blogs. You view the blog for Decibel Magazine here, and the blog for Metal Injection here.

Supreme Brutality is a site focussed on death metal, grindcore and goregrind. You can take a look at it here.

The Endless Feed is a metal news site that you can see here.

Punk TV and Tangible Sounds are based in Canada. You can go to Punk TV here, and Tangible Sounds here.

AMP (American Music Press Online) is a magazine, which you can view here.

PunkRockVids is a video site dedicated to punk and it’s related cohorts, which you can surf through here.

Underground Video TV is also a video site. You can look at it here.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Will Of The Underground

I often try my best to pass by comments left by other users on music websites, as some of the posts made can often be pretty unbiased, and can be generalized bashing. Unfortunately it can be difficult to escape. In fact, there’s one band in particular (who shall not be named) who gets beat up on repeatedly. Despite the fact that I’ve read very few interviews with the band, and of those interviews, the answer to many of the questions were completely inoffensive, I still read constant bashing.

I’ve actually witnessed a lot of internet sabotage going on for this band. From information websites having to lock out the subject, to never being able to access the bands website, this has in a way made the internet a weapon. I’d try and be more understanding to the situation of internet users if this band was truly offensive in some terrible way, but they’re not. From all I can see, the people playing in the band are completely benign guys who just want to play and make music.

I’ve seen their releases make it to “real metal” sites to read the reviews, and watch them get bashed in those said reviews, and I couldn't help feeling the the album was hated before it was heard. I’ve also watched this band change from release to release. This is a different case than bands that blatantly "sell out", as I don’t believe that the changes made were actually to gain any more audience, but were actually done in some way to curtail some of the harassment by the online community. Of course, this is simply a theory I have, and the band would probably completely deny it.

One could theorize that if enough people harass a band to change their style, it might just work. The band in question has gone from playing what some would consider not %100 metal (and like I’ve said before, I don’t have an opinion on that subject, you people on the internet can find a place to debate that on your own), to something considered purely metal.

It’s times like these where I take a look at some of the fans into real metal, and what we’re supposed to be standing for. Thinking for ones self. Leadership. Individuality. Those qualities aren’t just exclusive to cultures and sub-cultures in metal, so why is it that so many in the world of metal tell other people what they should be doing? It’s kind of an oxymoron to convince people to be different by telling them they should be more like someone else. It's kind of like saying "It's what all free-thinking individualistic leaders listen too!"

Metal (and lots of other independent music for that matter) could kick the world in the ass. It’s too bad we’re often too busy trying to kick each other.

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Review: Despised Icon - “The Ills Of Modern Man”

Unlike many other bands, Despised Icon has made huge leaps and bounds in terms of quality and creativity between each full-length. Their first full-length, “Consumed by your Poison” was a fairly standard grind album that gained a lot of comparisons to Dying Fetus (although I personally don’t see the connection). By contrast, the next album “The Healing Process” basically took every heavy, harsh, and caustic portion from both death metal and hardcore, and threw them together in tempo-shifting grindy package. I felt that “The Healing Process” had it’s shortcomings, as the nature of the tempo jumps in every song caused many of the songs to blur together, and there was also that lack of hooks as well. “The Healing Process” did manage to win people over on intensity and ferocity though.

Here we are today with “The Ills Of Modern Man”. The album brings over the death metal and hardcore elements just like “The Healing Process” did, but this time around, the tempo shifts aren’t as huge between songs, and making the general speed of the songs a bit more consistent leads to giving individual songs a bit more personality. What’s also new is the slight hint of 90's groove metal in small dashings in all of the songs. You can expect to hear some mid-paced thrash-attacked riff mixed with some death beats that start to get close to double bass triplets. It’s not southern tinged like Pantera, but the groove serves it’s point nonetheless.

Actual song-writing elements have been improved, as there are some songs where parts repeat. It’s not quite a verse-chorus format, as the listener still meets new song parts often. The level at which the songs captivate the listener with something that’s much catchier on this album as opposed to the previous album is also much more apparent.

“The Ills Of Modern Man” is not without it’s flaws. One vocalist in particular (since the band has two) sometimes employs the use of ultra low “pig squeals” also known to some as the “death burp”. While I have nothing against such vocalisations, they’re not clear, as the person doing those vocals needs to shape their mouth in such a way that it’s difficult to pronounce words. Both vocalists also tend to hold their screams all the time as well, rather than allowing any of the words to be spouted out in any quick manner. Doing this all the time really drags the vocals out, and lowers the intensity of harsh vocals as an instrument. Almost all the songs on “The Ills Of Modern Man” have a portion that slows down tremendously, almost moving at the speed of an aging tortoise. This wouldn’t be a problem if perhaps the riffs could catch and take hold, but the slow portions often feel as though the band is holding themselves back, and as a result, almost every gets held back a little as well.

Considering the leaps and bounds in the level of quality Despised Icon has been able to show with each successive release, their next album should land on some “best of” lists for whatever year it might be released. Until that time, “The Ills Of Modern Man” comes pretty close.

3.5/5

Despised Icon
Despised Icon At MySpace
Despised Icon At PureVolume
Despised Icon At Century Media

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Friday, May 25, 2007

The Number Twelve Looks Like You Post e-card

You can view an e-card for the upcoming The Number Twelve Looks Like You album titled “Mongrel” here. The new album is due out June 19 through Eyeball.

The Number Twelve Looks Like You
The Number Twelve Looks Like You At MySpace
The Number Twelve Looks Like You At PureVolume
The Number Twelve Looks Like You At Eyeball

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Divine Heresy Post Samples Online

You can hear some samples of the upcoming album from Divine Heresy at their MySpace page here. The samples come from their forthcoming album “Bleed The Fifth”, which is due out August through Century Media and Roadrunner.

Divine Heresy At MySpace

Divine Heresy At Century Media

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Engineer Post New Song And Track List

A few music news sites have posted this information about the upcoming Engineer album, this post comes from Blabbermouth -

Syracuse, New York-based metal outfit ENGINEER will release its sophomore full-length album, "The Dregs", on July 10 via Black Market Activities. The CD was recorded in February at More Sounds Studio with producer Jocko Randall (ED GEIN). The result is an album that "achieves the band's original goal to push the musical boundaries of each other while maintaining a strong sense of integrity," according to a press release.

"The Dregs" track listing:

01. Scala Natura
02. The Iron Worker
03. Greenhorn
04. Tremors
05. Hollow Vessel
06. The Thinning Cynic
07. Big Black Smile
08. First Frost
09. Waves
10. Kings

Check out the song "Scala Natura" on the band's MySpace page here.

ENGINEER will tour with COLISEUM, BURNED INSIDE and RAMMER in support of "The Dregs".

ENGINEER previously released material through Hex Records and Four Leaf Recordings.

Engineer
Engineer At MySpace
An Old Engineer MySpace Page
Engineer At PureVolume
Engineer At Metal-Archives
Engineer At Black Market Activities

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Posting Certain Genres...

For those of you wondering why I haven’t posted much “pure” metal as of late, the only reason why is because there hasn’t been anything that has piqued my interest as of late. It also seems to be a bit of a slow period for that sort of heavy music. The same goes with less-known, or more underground bands, I simply haven't found anything as of late.

Sleepytime Gorilla Museum Post Video

I had heard of this band on several occasions, but I hadn’t actually had a chance to hear them, until I saw a the video for the song “Helpless Corpses Enactment”, which you can view here. Having their upcoming album titled “In Glorious Times” released on The End on May 29 certainly signals that like most bands on that record label, that Sleepytime Gorilla Museum is playing something very off-the-wall.

Sleepytime Gorilla Museum
Sleepytime Gorilla Museum At The End

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Future Of Extreme-Music

Now, some of my friends who I know personally, that I get to see and talk too all the time know that I've had a new website in the works.

Currently the guys at A Small Orange Software (the same guys who did the website for SMN News) are busy creating a website for me that's due in the second week of June. I've already got some staff working on some projects for the site right now, such as setting up interviews.

I've known that this has been coming for a long time, in fact, Extreme-Music was created with the idea of going to a better site, by practising my journalistic and english skills here first. I've still been putting lots of effort forth at this site, and I will continue to do so until the new site comes up.

At first, I was thinking that I would stop posting at this site completely until the new site comes out. I'm not sure what exactly I should do with this site, although I do know I'd still like to keep it going in some way.

This is one time where I'd really like some feedback from anyone who comes to this site. I'd like to know what you guys think I should do with Extreme-Music. Don't be afraid to leave any comments, as for a long time I've left it open to anyone, so there's no need to sign up if you'd like to leave a comment.

One last thing - Nick and Rory, I'd especially like to hear your thoughts on what you guys think I should do with Extreme-Music, as your opinions count most!

Behemoth Post Album Artwork And Tracklist For New Album

Blabbermouth recently posted some new information about the new Behemoth album as follows -

Polish extreme metallers BEHEMOTH have revelaed the track listing and artwork for their new album, "The Apostasy", due on July 17 via Century Media Records. The group's most ambitious and epic offering yet, it was recorded in the band's hometown of Gdansk with the group's mainman Nergal and longtime sound engineer Malta in the producers' chairs. The effort was mixed with the acclaimed Daniel Bergstrand (IN FLAMES, MESHUGGAH, STRAPPING YOUNG LAD) at Dug-Out Studios in Sweden and mastered by Bjorn Engelmann (RAMMSTEIN, SAMAEL).

"The Apostasy" (view artwork at this location here) track listing:

01. Rome 64 C.E
02. Slaying The Prophets Ov Isa
03. Prometherion
04. At The Left Hand Ov God
05. Kriegsphilosophie
06. Be Without Fear
07. Arcane Hereticae
08. Libertheme
09. Inner Sanctum
10. Pazuzu
11. Christgrinding Avenue

BEHEMOTH will return to the U.S. this summer on Ozzfest 2007, having landed the direct support, non-rotating slot right before second-stage headliners HATEBREED.

These Polish metal titans recently posted a new video clip on their official YouTube page here, which documents their latest photo session.

Behemoth
Behemoth At MySpace
Behemoth At PureVolume
Behemoth At YouTube
Behemoth At Century Media
Behemoth At BNR Metal
Behemoth At Metal-Archives
Behemoth At Regain
Behemoth At Avantegarde
Behemoth At Pagan

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The Dead See Post New Tracks

You can hear some new tracks from the just released album “Through The Veil” by The Dead See at their MySpace page here. The album was released through Pluto on May 22.

The Dead See At MySpace
The Dead See At Pluto

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Big News! A Person Makes An Actual Post At This Website!

Recently at one of the music news blogs I cruise by every now and then, I saw a post made by the author asking why people weren't making very many comments. Well, since this website was made mainly just to tell the friends I know personally, it was quite surprising that I've actually attracted attention from, well, you know, actual people!

I'm actually surprised people have found the site, because the times I've actually attempted to search for my own website on a search engine, I usually don't end up with very many results (if any at all).

View the comments made by dschalek at my recent Dimmu Borgir review here, and the band feature for Monolithe here. You can also view his metal blog called "Metal Flows In My Veins" here.

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Dillinger Escape Plan Rumours

Lambgoat recently posted in their “bits” section a rumour dealing with Dillinger Escape Plan. The rumour suggested that drummer Chris Penne has left Dillinger Escape Plan to join Coheed And Cambria permanently. Chris Penne has been working with Coheed And Cambria in the studio for their upcoming album.

Chris Penne is pictured second from the left in the promotional picture.

Dillinger Escape Plan has toured with Coheed And Cambia in the past, quite recently actually (maybe 2006 or 2005?) I’ve heard that the guys in Dillinger Escape Plan are good friends with Coheed And Cambria, as well as A Fire Inside. I hope that the connection popular bands such as Coheed And Cambria, as well as A Fire Inside have with underground bands such as Dillinger Escape Plan can teach others to be tolerant and respectful of other types music.

Dillinger Escape Plan
Dillinger Escape Plan At MySpace
Dillinger Escape Plan At PureVolume
Dillinger Escape Plan At BNR Metal
Dillinger Escape Plan At Wikipedia
Dillinger Escape Plan At Relapse

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Premonitions Of War - Back From The Brink Of Death!

Here’s a post from Lambgoat that details what’s going on with Premonitions Of War -

Following a lengthy hiatus, Premonitions Of War has returned. According to the band, "it's been a long two years - some members touring in other bands, some spending time in jail. We are currently writing new material and have begun booking shows for the summer." Sean Vandegrift, formerly of From A Second Story Window will be filling in on vocals in May and June while Nate Johnson tours with Through The Eyes Of The Dead.

I think this details a few questions I was wondering about Premonitions Of War. I guess the whole jail thing would make it difficult for them to tour in Canada...

If you go to their MySpace page, you can listen to, and download live songs with what sounds like Nate Johnson doing the vocals.

With Premonitions Of War back, hopefully they can work on the rumoured upcoming release on Victory.

Finally, listing B. Petree as “Tactical Support” (most likely a merch guy, or roadie, or sound guy) would explain the appearance of the unexplained sixth member in promotional shots, although the promotional shot I've chosen features five band members that play instruments.

Premonitions Of War At MySpace
Premonitions Of War At Black Market Activities
Premonitions Of War At Victory
Premonitions Of War At Tartarean Desire

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Deathchain Post Video

You can view the video for the song “Pit Of Possessed” here. The song comes from Deathchains upcoming album titled “Cult Of Death” due out May 28 through Dynamic Arts.

The Finnish band Deathchain classifies themselves as a thrash/death band which is a very apt description. The guitars have a very 80's thrash vibe to them, in both tone and riffs, with the drums double-bass and blast beats, along with the harsh vocals bringing the death metal influence in. I found the video to be nostalgic, cheesy, and entertaining.

Deathchain

Deathchain At MySpace
Deathchain At Metal-Archives
Deathchain At Dynamic Arts
Deathchain At Thundering

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Pelican Stream Entire New Album Online

You can hear the upcoming Pelican album titled “City Of Echoes” here. The album is due out June 5 through Hydra Head.

Pelican
Pelican At MySpace
Hydra Head
Pelican At Metal-Archives

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Band Feature: Bloody Panda

I had actually heard of this band first through Decibel Magazine, and I was intending to check them out. Unfortunately in the reviews section of Decibel Magazine, as funny as they might seem, often they don’t actually describe the music. It wasn’t until Revolver Magazine and their “Quick Fix” section where they described Bloody Panda as sounding like “A crazy Japanese chick hijacking the mix at tectonic doom behemoths Khanates final show - and moaning so well thy decided not to break up.”

I really took some time to check Bloody Panda after that because I happen to like Khanate a lot. I think their music is barely tolerable, and their not the kind of band I listen to because I “like” the music (I know that sounds weird and doesn’t make sense). Actually I can’t understand why anyone else likes Khanate besides myself.

Bloody Panda doesn’t quite sound like Kahante, but they do feature some things sonically that might appeal to people who like slow intolerable music. There are some big differences between Bloody Panda and Khanate, namely that Bloody Panda doesn’t seem to use drums very often, even though they often feature a drummer when playing live. Bloody Panda also features singing in Japanese instead of screaming high poetry in English. Bloody Panda doesn’t also use feedback as much as Khanate does, if even at all.

Bloody Panda released their last album titled “Pheromone” in April through Level Plane.

Bloody Panda
Bloody Panda At MySpace
Bloody Panda At Level Plane
Holy Roar
Bloody Panda At Metal-Archives
Bloody Panda At Doom-Metal

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Some New Links!

My Bitter End Post Video For “To All Things Expendable”

You can view the video for the song “To All Things Expendable” here. The song comes from My Bitter End’s latest album titled “The Renovation” released earlier this year through Uprising.

Note: I also wanted to post new video from Rwake, but the video at the website wasn't working for me.

My Bitter End
My Bitter End At MySpace
My Bitter End At Uprising

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Poison The Well Post Video For “Letter Thing”

Poison The Well have posted the video for the song “Letter Thing” here. The song comes from their recently released album “Versions” that came out through Ferret.

Poison The Well At MySpace
Poison The Well At Ferret

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Review: Beneath The Massacre - “Mechanics Of Dysfunction”

Quebec has had history of very technical and extreme bands, considering the history of Kataklysm, Cryptopsy and Gorguts. One could also measure the amount of experimental and creative energy of those bands, with Kataklysm being a classic standard bearer on one side, and Gorguts representing how far extreme music can toy with new ideas on the other. Beneath The Massacre is much like Kataklysm in that they represent technical death metal, rather than push it forward.

The formula for the typical Beneath The Massacre song is a mixture of Necrophagist style guitar runs on top of ultra fast blasting drums, with lots of “What if Meshuggah played death metal?” styled single note polyrhythm breakdowns. On top are a pretty low deep tone of death barks spouting the ills of modern society and corporate abuse. And well... that’s it. It’s an intense mixture that’s both powerful and fun live, but with every song being a clone of one another, the beatdown begins to chip away at the listener until the end of the album.

A constant fistfight of guitars and drums would do well in a radio mix of extreme music, as there is the odd hook hidden in a breakdown or guitar run. “The Mechanics Of Dysfunction” is also pretty inoffensive to the standard death metal fan as well, but for the average fan of generally extreme music, “The Mechanics Of Dysfunction” doesn’t quite reach “must have” status.

3/5

Beneath The Massacre
Beneath The Massacre At MySpace
Beneath The Massacre At PureVolume
Beneath The Massacre At Prosthetic

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The Number 12 Looks Like You Post New Song

This band dates back to some of the earlier years (I think maybe 2002 or 2003?) of metalcore, doing the weird art thing before a lot of other bands were, as well as long song names that don’t make sense, or that have silly puns.

The new song on their MySpace page looks like it could be titled “Sleep With The Fishes”, but the title gets cut off. It looks like the new song will appear on the upcoming album from The Number 12 Looks Like you, titled “Mongrel” which is due out June 19 through Eyeball.

The Number 12 Looks Like You
The Number 12 Looks Like You At MySpace
The Number 12 Looks Like You At Eyeball

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Review: Job For A Cowboy - “Genesis”

I had heard the songs “Knee Deep”, “Entombment Of A Machine”, and “Entities” through free downloading provided by Job For A Cowboy. Those songs come off of the “Doom” EP. Those were some very well written grind/deathcore songs, so I was a bit surprised to find that the rest of the songs from the “Doom” EP were a bit more like filler. Although, I do have to say that Job For A Cowboy forged a unique signature sound right from the get-go.

“Genesis” improves upon all the good qualities that were there on the “Doom” EP. The band is now more extreme jumping from break-neck speeds to slow gloomy parts on the fly. The tempo jumps are some of the biggest and harshest I’ve heard in a long time. They’re tighter than ever before, no doubt from all the touring to support the previous effort. All the instruments are heavier and more powerful due to the good production, no doubt from the money that Metal Blade was willing do dump into this band to back them.

Jonny Davy has a signature voice, and could soon be competing with George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher for his technical word delivery of spouting off lots of words in a very catchy, rhythmic fashion. A slightly closer inspection of Jonny Davy’s vocals reveals that he isn’t quite pronouncing his vowels properly, and while he does pronounce his consonants, it’s almost as though he’s not saying the proper consonant when the time comes. Of course, if you’re not reading the wonderfully written lyrics along with the music, you’ll probably not notice these very minor shortcomings.

Lyrically the whole album is focussed on religious themes like Armageddon, conflict, and the uprising of evil. This could lead one to think that Job For A Cowboy are a Christian band, which may very well be true, but make no mistake, their message is definitely not an attempt to push any agenda. The religious aspect instead serves more as a backdrop to a story.

With the exception of the massive tempo jumps, the album is pure death metal, and at that, quite unlike any death metal band to date with such a different sound. The two guitar work seems to go through just about every combination of dual guitar work you can think of, from harmonies, solos, to bleak melodies on top of a rhythm guitar. If you listen hard, and I mean very hard, in a song or two you can hear some guitar trills similar to Cannibal Corpse. The band seems to love Suffocation styled drum blasts, and they’re used often with machine gun like firing from the snare drum. The slow, ultra heavy, gloomy, and atmospheric portions that show up in just about every song due to the tempo shifting nature, along with the constantly duelling guitars playing off of each other, to the instrumental segueways bring to mind Morbid Angel. The song “The Divine Falsehood” stands out as being a slow powerful song that takes some heavy inspiration from Morbid Angel. It’s just to bad that the song hangs on repeating itself on the second half, as it could’ve been an much more notable track.

Every song has some sort of moshable part for the metal crowd, if not several. To building up to fast crowd pleasers, to a slow steady pulse to make a circle pit, to some more choppier heavy breakdowns to bang ones head too, which might in fact get those pit ninjas and floor punchers jumping into the pit as well. There’s plenty of mosh to go around. Don't worry for those of you who don't like anything "core", as every breakdown is a metal style breakdown.

“Genesis” would get top score if there wasn’t something holding it back. The band knows how to turn just about every riff and vocal line into a hook, and most of the songs are spent attempting to build up to something. As a listener, sometimes you’ll reach that destination, typically being some sort of breakdown, and sometimes you won’t, and then song will just end. It’s seems with the inherently choppy nature of the tempo changes which sometimes seem akin to the introduction of thrash song, it’s as though many songs are constantly building up even right before the ending. Most of the songs are two and a half minutes long, so many could’ve used some rearranging bringing some other parts back, as they almost feel unfinished. At only thirty minutes, with build-ups and hooks all over the place, “Genesis” is like eating half of the best steak you’ve had in your life.

4.5/5

Job For A Cowboy

Job For A Cowboy At MySpace
Job For A Cowboy At PureVolume
Job For A Cowboy At Metal Blade

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Khann Signs With Black Market Activities

This is the first time I’ve heard of Khann. They feature some former members of Bodies In The Gears Of The Apparatus. I’d say that they certainly fit into the world of metalgaze, bearing some similarities to Isis. With the connection that Black Market Activities has to Metal Blade, perhaps Khann might gain some extra support from Metal Blade. Khann will release their new album titled "Tofutopia" through Black Market Activities.

This is the second band to be formed from the ashes of Bodies In The Gears Of The Apparatus, the first one I had heard of was Success Will Write Apocalypse In The Sky. The members in Khann however, don’t seem to feel the need to make an excessively long band name.

Khann At MySpace
Black Market Activities
Bodies In The Gears Of The Apparatus At MySpace
Success Will Write Apocalypse Across The Sky At MySpace

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HORSE The Band Post New Song

The band some have labelled as “nintendocore” has posted a new song called “Murder” at their MySpace page here. The song comes from their forthcoming album titled “A Natural Death” due to be released August 28 through Koch.

HORSE The Band
HORSE The Band At MySpace

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Band Feature: Battlefields

The band name seems a little typical and misleading. You might expect a band with a name like Battlefields to play something like death metal about war, or maybe old school 80's thrash, but instead, we get a strange type of metalgaze. The majority of the songs I heard had clean shimmering guitars that bring to mind Cult Of Luna, especially those moments when other bits of ambient noise or a melodic guitar line is thrown on top. Suddenly out of nowhere comes a heavy distorted mess of heaviness, often with harmonized harsh vocals similar to Rune. Very intriguing stuff.

Battlefields debut album “Stained With The Blood Of An Empire” was released through Init Records. There are only four songs, but the total album length comes up to thirty-five minutes.

I almost forgot to mention that I found out about this band through Aversion Online. If you go to the Aversion Online link, you can get a free mp3 from the “Stained With The Blood Of And Empire” release.

Battlefields At MySpace
Battlefields At Init Records
Battlefields Aversion Online

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Review: Car Bomb - “Centralia”

I first heard about Car Bomb from a positive review of their demo. I then met the guitarist a few months later at the New England Metal and Hardcore Festival giving out the very same demo. I spoke to the guitarist, and how the band didn’t want to get signed, so imagine my surprise several more months later when I found out they signed to Relapse.

Right from the start, Car Bomb wears their influences on their sleeve, those influences being Dillinger Escape Plan and Meshuggah, and even a little Faith No More. Unlike most Meshuggah Escape Plan style bands, Car Bomb actually use their influences to inspire some strange ideas. Centralia uses their influence blatantly about 1/8th to 1/4 of the time. From Meshhuggah, expect to hear polyrhythms, and string detuning styled riffs. From Dillinger Escape Plan come the clean jazz interludes, the strange runs and dissonant chord movements. From Faith No More comes the strange vocalisations, such as the vocal harmonies in “H5N1“, and something of a semi-rapped passage in “Solid Grey”.

Vocalist Michael Dafferner has an immediately recognizable voice, with his mostly mid range/slight high bark. He achieves most of his vocal variety more often with the rhythm he shouts at, rather than moving his scream higher or lower.

When the band isn’t making use of their influences, they don’t seem to fall in all the same traps most math/jazz/tech/spazz/core bands do. There’s the odd strange guitar run or smashing of a dissonant chord, but “Centrailia” isn’t teeming with those same elements the whole time. What the band instead prefers to do is move around with staccato start and stop style shifts, and then throw in strange effects and bits of noise. The high jagged screechings from the guitar stabs at the eardrums, but every now and then the bits of ambient noise can go on for a bit too long, sometimes for more than just a few seconds right smack dab in the middle of a song.

In the end, Car Bomb hasn’t quite managed to pull off a masterpiece. The songwriting of this style of music can be difficult to mould into a whole cohesive story with a definite beginning and ending. The influences they have are used to push themselves forward in a creative sense most of the time, but when they are showing off their influences, it’s not subtle. In all, a very decent first album, and a band to watch, but I feel bigger things could be on their way.

3.5/5

Car Bomb
Car Bomb At MySpace
Car Bomb At PureVolume
Car Bomb At Relapse

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Band Feature: Obscurus Advocam

We have more music from the venerable hotbed of France. Obscurus Advocam play a style of black metal that lacks keyboards, which is typically raw, but in their case they use good production to their advantage. The overall sound is very “epic”, both from a songwriting standpoint and standard song length. In many ways I was actually reminded of Dimmu Borgir, not in the sense that both bands sound similar, but in the sense that both bands could have their music used for an action movie soundtrack.

Obscurus Advocam had their last album “Verbia Daemonicus” released in February through Battle Kommand, with some very un-black metal styled cover artwork. I should note that while the promotional picture at the top features only one band member, Obscurus Advocam actually has three current members.

Battle Kommand is the record label run by Blake Judd, AKA Azentrius, the man behind Nachtmystium. I must admit, I’ve always liked his interviews. He comes across as a cool guy willing to experiment with his music, and he doesn’t mind who listens to his music, and he doesn’t mind who listens to the bands on his record label either.

As another note, I’d also like to mention that France is quickly becoming one of my favourite locations for music. Unlike many other people who like musical location due to a significant amount of bands playing a certain style of heavy music (which is actually the reason why I like the Quebec scene), I like France, along with Japan because they’re both locations that put out consistently high quality experimental music. In the case of France, music coming from that location tends to be of very high quality even when bands aren’t trying to experiment that much, unlike Japan, where the bands from there that don’t experiment much tend to be boring.

Obscurus Advocam

Obscurus Advocam At MySpace
Battle Kommand
Obscurus Advocam At Metal-Archives

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Metalcore - Was It Something The “Real” Metal Fans Were Asking For?

All arguments to whether metalcore is “real” metal or not I’ll leave to everyone else to argue about. I remember a time when metalcore bands like As I Lay Dying went on tour with Six Feet Under, Behemoth and Skinless, and got good reactions from the death metal crowd. People who had been into underground metal like death metal, modern thrash and melodic death metal weren’t worried about short hair or tight pants and often gladly accepted those bands with open arms.

Today we know all about how popular metalcore is and how many bands (both clone bands and variants) of the genre there are. I remember seeing deathcore and some more technical stuff gain an inkling of popularity, and it’s almost as those the anti-trend people are looking for the next trend to beat up on, as though it’s their next trendy thing to do.

I remember a time in chat rooms and message boards when people in the metal crowd said that metal is what people should be listening too, that it’s what should be influencing people, and that bands should be more technical. Late 90's and early millennium metalcore was built upon being influenced by real metal.

As it stands right now, just about any type of real metal you can think of has gained huge amounts of popularity. Many claim that old-school death metal is stronger than ever. black metal as a whole is much more popular. There are 80's styled thrash bands coming out, getting signed, and gaining interest, and even the once maligned power metal has grown by leaps and bounds as well, not to mention many other variants.

I watched a news program on TV one time about commercial groups gauging trends. They split up teenagers into four groups in different levels of trendiness. There were of course the trendiest people, who follow the newest trends pretty close, but they don’t set the trends. It’s the people in tiny subcultures that don’t buy a lot of standard products who set the trends.

In essence, isn’t it us, the people in the underground metal crowd, who were willing to do it first when no on else was, who set these trends? We spoke, telling people what bands they should listen too, what they should be influenced by, and that there should be more technical playing, and the public listened. Yet the underground metal crowd is now mad that what we love has become more popular.

I could use the old cliche “be careful what you wish for, you just might get it”, but our wish was granted, and we got what we asked for.

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Review: The End - “Elementary”

I think the previous outing by Canadian band The End titled “Within Dividia” was largely overlooked. Many people, as did I, saw them at first glance as being similar to Dillinger Escape Plan. A few more listens, and I discovered that “Within Dividia” was quite a bit different than standard Dillinger Escape Plan releases and subsequent clones, with a steady double bass pulse and its roaming jagged guitars. There were of course those itty-bitty moments bringing to mind the ambient moments of Neurosis, but those were mainly saved for taking a break from the action.

The first opening I heard from “Elementary” did remind me of “Within Dividia”, but much more simplified, especially when it moved from those previously mentioned double bass pulses and roaming jagged guitars, to some more easier to digest chords. Indeed, much of the signature sound of the past from The End is still present, even when they go super-light into radio rock moments (and yes, the vocals could be considered “emo” at times).

The second song “The Never Aftermath” threw me for a loop. Jangly chords, completely clean sung vocals. By radio standards, this song is still pretty heavy, and even features a moment in a break where a familiar dissonant tone comes along.

Also featured are some very Maynard James Keenan like vocal moments, as well as a lot of lighter more modern era Neurosis. How does The End pull all this off without becoming sellouts though? To an extent they do it by including some remains of the old The End in small bits and pieces of “Elementary”, but in when all is said and done this new album could be viewed as selling out. And for good reasons.

Lets be honest with ourselves, much of this is moving towards a direction of radio-rock with emo and Tool styled singing. While its difficult to say, it may just be that “Elementary” is a waypoint between their old sound, and a new one.

3/5

The End

The End At MySpace
The End At Relapse

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Nile Post Album Artwork And Tracklisting

Over at Blabbermouth, and more than likely a lot more websites as well, there was info posted for the upcoming Nile album. Here’s an excerpt from the Blabbermouth post:

The cover artwork for the new NILE album, entitled "Ithyphallic", has been posted online at this location. Due in Germany on July 20 via Nuclear Blast Records (July 23 in the rest of Europe) for the new NILE album, entitled "Ithyphallic", the CD was recorded at Sound Lab Studios in Columbia, South Carolina with producer Neil Kernon (NEVERMORE, CANNIBAL CORPSE, DEICIDE) and engineer Bob Moore.

"Ithyphallic" track listing:

01. What Can Be Safely Written
02. As He Creates So He Destroys
03. Ithyphallic
04. Papyrus Containing The Spell To Preserve Its Possessor…
05. Eat Of The Dead
06. Laying Fire Upon Apep
07. The Essential Salts
08. The Infinity Of Stone
09. The Language Of The Shadows
10. Even The Gods Must Die

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

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Monday, May 14, 2007

Job For A Cowboy Post Video

You can view the video for the song “Embedded” here. It comes from their newest album “Genesis”, released May 15 through Metal Blade.

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

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Band Feature: Krohm

With an article not too long ago about Nachtmystium signing to Century Media, and naming Xasthur in that article, yet another US black metal band has come to my attention, stumbled upon through Blabbermouth.

The unmastered songs on Krohms MySpace page actually seemed to nail a good raw style production, keeping all the instruments audible. Krohm doesn’t seem quite so interested in being as extreme as possible as they are with creating an atmosphere, with a cold stark guitar tone that often uses arpeggios moving between dissonant and melodic moments. The vocals sound as though they might be done in another language, or perhaps imitating a foreign accent.

It’s surprising to hear a band of this quality sound so Norwegian, yet come from Seattle Washington. Krohm will have their newest album titled “The Haunting Presence” come out through Debemur Morti Productions. The release date as of yet is not known.

Krohm
Krohm At MySpace
Krohm At Debemur Morti Productions

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Monday, May 07, 2007

Necrophobic Post Video

You can view the video for the song “Blinded By Light, Enlightened By Darkness” here. The song comes off of the most recent Necrophobic album, titled “Hrimthursum”, which came out last year through Regain.

Necrophobic
Necrophobic At MySpace
Necrophobic At Metal-Archives
Necrophobic At Regain
Necrophobic At Karmageddon Media

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Despised Icon Post Video

You can view the video for “In The Arms Of Perdition” here. The song is from the upcoming Despised Icon album “The Ills Of Modern Man” due out May 22 through Century Media.

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

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Dillinger Escape Plan Demo Posted Online?

What appears to be a teaser trailer for a new demo of a Dillinger Escape Plan song can be found at YouTube here. The band is hoping to have their new album out by October through Relapse.

Dillinger Escape Plan

Dillinger Escape Plan At MySpace
Dillinger Escape Plan At PureVolume
Dillinger Escape Plan At BNR Metal
Dillinger Escape Plan At Wikipedia
Dillinger Escape Plan At Relapse

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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Review: Dimmu Borgir - “In Sorte Diaboli”

It’s hard to make a concept album, because the end result has to be a whole, complete, cohesive album instead of a mere collection of songs. Most people have an album or two in their collection that’s a must have album, an album that is the audio equivalent of a great movie, an album that’s best played as a whole.

“In Sorte Diaboli” opens with “The Serpentine Offering”, a song that begins with an orchestral opening just before getting the album into the midst of the action, mostly with quick/mid-paced songs on the first half of the album. A slow brooding instrumental song “The Fallen Arises” serves as an interlude/intermission in the middle of the album, then re-opens the engagement with a fast song, “The Heretic Hammer”. The second half of the album is very climactic, with the speed in portions of “The Fundamental Alienation”, and the intensity of “The Invaluable Darkness”, before slowing with the closer “The Foreshadowing Furnace”. As you can see, the guys in Dimmu Borgir have put some effort forth in make the arrangements work with peaks and valleys.

Everything is in high polish splendour, in which Dimmu Borgir romanticises the notion of black metal. The cold stark guitar tones, raspy vocals and blast beats keep Dimmu Borgir in line with the origins of black metal. The very well synthesised orchestral arrangements are of movie quality, which helps to add to the epic feel. The operatic vocals from bass player ICS Vortex are utilized more often than on previous Dimmu Borgir releases, and for the most part meld seamlessly into the music (with the exception of the operatic vocals on “The Serpentine Offering”, which seem to come out of nowhere).

Comparing “In Sorte Diaboli” to previous Dimmu Borgir works is where the problem arises. While they’ve put effort forth on a concept for the album, and the arrangements, they come off as an experienced band playing what works instead of pushing any sort of envelope. Sonically, there’s really no difference between “In Sorte Diaboli” and the previous album “Death Cult Armegeddon”.

I’ve never had a situation arise where an album has been pulled together as a whole so well, yet didn’t push any creative boundaries to put itself ahead of the pack. It’s true, many would say that Dimmu Borgir were already at the top of their game before “In Sorte Diaboli”, but this time around it’s themselves they need to best.

3.5/5

Dimmu Borgir
Dimmu Borgir At MySpace
Dimmu Borgir At Nuclear Blast

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Nachtmystium Sign With Century Media

With the amount of raw styled black metal bands in the US getting exposure and critical acclaim, it was only a matter of time before one of those bands signed with a big label. Nachtmystium has now signed a deal with Century Media, and they’re also finalizing a deal with Candlelight for European and Asian releases.

This isn’t the first raw styled US black metal band to move onto a significant label. Xasthur signed with Hydra Head for their critically acclaimed 2006 release “Subliminal Genocide”, a move that angered some black metal fans in the underground. As it turns out, Xasthur and Nachtmystium are associates.

I have the most recent album released by Nachmystium, “Instinct: Decay”, which added some pretty creative elements to a more “raw” styled black metal which had previously not been done before.

As a final note, something that I’ve noticed stirring in the underground are quite a few symphonic black metal and black metal/metalcore bands in the US taking heavy influence from Cradle Of Filth and Dimmu Borgir. They don’t seem to faring too well... In case you’re wondering, I have heard raw styled black metal/metalcore bands (there’s not very many of them). It appears that some people, seeing some metalcore bands turn away from melodic death metal to more brutal death metal as an influence in order to jump on the next trend are seeing symphonic black metal as the next thing in metalcore. Considering that deathcore hasn’t reached the same levels of popularity melodic metalcore has, black metalcore might have an even harder time getting out there.

Nachtmystium At MySpace
Nachtmystium At Metal-Archives
Nachtmystium At Battle Kommand
Nachtmystium At Eerie Art
Autopsy Kitchen

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Friday, May 04, 2007

Review: Type O Negative - “Dead Again”

So many goth bands are cliche. Most of them have women fronting the band, with the reasoning that having a woman front the band will be their “gimmick”. We also can’t forget the typical subject matter - relationships. We’ve all heard relationship songs in one way or another, from songs about being with someone to breaking up and everything in between.

Is Type O Negative the first goth metal band? I’m sure some would debate that question, but they stand at being one of the earliest, and the prototypical goth metal band. As it stands, they also seem to be the most forward moving. “Dead Again” shows the band looking ahead by showing off their personal roots (which may not be goth metal roots to some), and wrapping it in all the familiar Type O Negative trappings.

The warm, comforting ultra-synthetic wash in the guitars, to Pete Steels very low, masculine singing, tag-teamed beside Kenny Hickeys higher grainy singing is still there. Many bands that use keyboards throw fake synths on top of the rest of the music as a background afterthought, but the keyboards of Josh Silver have always been integral to the Type O Negative sound, sometimes hanging around as simple chords quiet in the background, to taking the forefront as realistic pianos, harpsichords, organs and other instruments are still used to their fullest potential as well. Other signatures, like their 80's synth-pop sensibilities are still heavily prevalent.

The real difference in comparison to previous efforts is the amount of songs that are surprisingly fast (but only after a good slow, heavy introduction). The songs that become fast, like “Dead Again”, “Some Stupid Tomorrow”, and “Tripping A Blind Man” are reminiscent of old school 80's hardcore, with other older moments giving a hint of rock from assorted decades sprinkled in subtle doses throughout. Some of the slower moments go right for slow, heavy, and angry by conjuring up Black Sabbath, such as the intro to “Tripping A Blind Man” or taking a small trip to the 70's a bit more with some stoner rock in “An Ode To Locksmiths”.But if you want to hear the hammer come down hard, witness the Russian chant in the middle of the song “September Sun”.

Josh Silver talked about how the last Type O Negative album on Roadrunner, “Life Is Killing Me” ended up sounding like all their previous efforts together at once. It seemed to signal the end of an era, leaving a big name label like Roadrunner, and Pete Steel going to jail and rehab. With all the turmoil put behind themselves recently, it looks as though Type O Negative has a new beginning.

4/5

Type O Negative
Type O Negative At MySpace
Type O Negative At SPV

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Artist Vs. Blogger

Recently a band that I grew up with released an album with a song denouncing a specific blogger. The song has gone as far to become the single, and video from that album. While I like the music of the song in question, I disagree with message in the lyrics.

The song is basically a hate song going out to the author of a blog who made some offensive comments in an article about a certain heavy metal musicians death.

My disagreement with the song from the band is due to the fact that rather than paying homage to their fallen comrade, they’ve used it strike at the blogger, which ends up giving a lot more attention to the blogger than it does their fallen comrade. I already know the article the blogger wrote offended lots of people in the metal community, and lots of other people not involved in metal as well. I’m sure many regular people would agree, a person does not deserve to die simply because they play a certain style of music for a living.

The song written by the band however brings a lot of attention to the blogger, and not just the negative attention the band wants to bring, there could be a small portion of people who might condone the bloggers comments who would not normally have known about this author had he not been mentioned in a song.

In the end, the blog author was, and still is a nobody with a website. He made blatant insults about a persons death by compiling a collection of heavy metal and rock ‘n roll stereotypes. His article was a pile of ranting rhetoric, with hollow meaningless insults, and some big words stuck in there. None of his sources were cited. Now with an artist using his name in a song, this blog author can get his fifteen minutes of fame.

Note: I was originally going to write this article naming both the artist and the blogger, but since my message is about ignoring the blogger, I re-wrote it without revealing the identity of the band or the author of the blog.

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