Archive for the ‘all things heavy’ Category

Throwdown – Deathless

November 5, 2009
Throwdown - Deathless

Written By: Jason Coldiron
(Rock/Metal Editor)

Label: E1 – Rating:

Track 1: “The Scythe” – The album begins with “The scythe.” It starts with an explosion of drums and guitars and takes off from there. A scream and guitar transition lead into the first verse. The growling commences and the song is off. The chorus brings some solid vocal work. “Reap what you sew, and come back to life.” Smooth, powerful, moving. This gives a good taste of what’s to come.

Track 2: “This Continuum” – A solid and powerful drum beat gets this song kick- started. It brings much more storytelling than I may have expected, but there’s still plenty of screaming to go around. Through two songs I’m really feeling a Slipknot/Godsmack feel to the vocals and guitars.

Track 3: “Tombs” – Begins with some ‘twisty’ guitars, leading into a solid riff with backing drums and bass. An evil, spoken word vocal track leads into the verse. Moving slower than the first two songs, this one is showing some of the band’s versatility. It gets me wondering what to expect from the rest of the album; more over the top metal or more balance? Can’t wait to find out.

Track 4: “The Blinding Light” – The lead in sound, which continues into the verse… I really can’t tell if it’s a guitar, keyboards, or some kind of synthesizer. In any event, it suits the song well. The song is well- paced, speeding and slowing in good time. This is a very moody piece that is more powerful in capturing the imagination than in actual execution. The screaming vocal of, “the blinding light” is the highlight. It’s a little piece that sticks with me long after the song is over. The guitar run at the end is a pleasant surprise.

Track 5: “Widowed” – This is the perfect song at the perfect time on this album. Moody, atmospheric, imaginative. Building in tension and amplitude. It goes a solid two minutes before any vocals come in, which had me thinking it was going to be a fully instrumental piece. When the vocals do come in, they are suited to the music perfectly. The pace picks up a bit, then slows and returns. This has to be my favorite track on the album.

Track 6: “Headed South” – Getting back to basics, the song takes off with machine- gun guitars and drums. Once again, the pace shifts a bit, ups and downs. Not really sure what to make of it, what direction it’s going. The parts that rock REALLY rock, the slower parts aren’t as coherent. That said, it still rocks hard and still keeps my attention. Around the midpoint of the song we get an outstanding guitar solo, followed two minutes later by probably the best guitar solo on the album. In my opinion, this is the best guitar work on the album.

Track 7: “Serpent Noose” – The highlight here is the harmonizing and melody. The pairing of the vocals and guitars together is seamless and smooth. The guitar solo is powerful without being intrusive. All the elements work in blending together.

Track 8: “Ouroborus Rising” – “Somewhere between love and sorrow there’s an ocean of lies. You and I may not see tomorrow, but we will never die.” The lyrics are fitting and at their best in this song. The vocals back them up and it is the lyrics that make this song great.

Track 9: “Skeleton Vanguard” – This song rocks, but it may get a bit lost. I’m not sure what was trying to be accomplished here. As it goes on though, it grows on me. The guitars start to get stuck in my head and the vocal progression is pretty strong. The big (and loud) finish makes the song worthwhile.

Track 10: “Pyre and Procession” – This has a ‘fight song’ feel to it. Bold and aggressive, rocking out. Good stuff here.

Track 11: “Black Vatican” – This is what I have been waiting for. Quick start with the drums. Smart and complicated guitars that chop and power through. Vocals that grab you and scream at you. It all comes together in this song as it kicks you in the balls and offers you seconds. Another ripping solo won’t let me turn away. It is a perfect set- up for the album’s big finish.

Track 12: “Burial at Sea” – Tension is built for the finale with a slow moving guitar opening. It builds and builds. The vocals come in and lead the guitars through their twists and turns. The final touches are put on the album before the guitars gradually fade out. “Burial at sea” is a fitting closer for this album.

All in all, this is a solid metal album. The vocals sound just familiar enough to draw me in and just original enough to keep me tuned in. The guitar work is versatile; simple and powerful at times, slower and more complicated at others. The drum and bass tracks are fitting and suit the music well. If I had one critique of the album I would say that some of the songs start to sound the same as they go on. That said, the album still rocks start to finish.

I give the album a three gun salute.

Like Throwdown? Check out: Slipknot, Godsmack, Sepultura

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Rammstein – Liebe Ist Für Alle Da

October 30, 2009
 Rammstein - Liebe Ist Für Alle Da

Written By: Tim Bannock

Label: Universal – Rating:

Pull your giant, flame-spurting dildo out of the closet, take your shirt off, and roll your R’s like a cartoon leprechaun, because Rammstein has returned!

Rammstein’s career trajectory has been clearly defined from the outset: this is a band that plays super-macho industrial metal with crunching guitars, symphonic samples, and ridiculously overpowering vocals spitting forth incredibly tongue-in-cheek lyrics. Rammstein didn’t fall into any holes on their sophomore release, Sehnsucht, and in fact proved how experimental they could be on that album. They also showed how they could provide some linguistic acrobatics, incorporating German, English, French and later Spanish into their repertoire, all still with tongue planted firmly in cheek. A pretty good run, if you ask me.

Mutter, and to a lesser extent, Reise Reise brought a little more aggression and melody to the mix, but then Rosenrot came along and dropped the ball in this reviewer’s opinion. By no means a bad album, it instead was predictable. Rammstein wasn’t experimenting; Rammstein was playing by the numbers. It was sometime after Mutter that Rammstein seemed to lose relevance, little by little. Their live shows were still incendiary (literally, especially in the penis area) — check out Volkerball if you don’t believe me — but their music just didn’t have the staying power in anyone’s CD player (or WinAmp queue) when compared to other releases at the time. And that’s what makes Liebe Ist Für Alle Da so good: it’s experimental, it’s awesome, and it’s not leaving the CD player anytime soon.

‘Liebe’ opens with a crushing, straight-forward attack in the symphonically-aided “Rammlied,” and is followed by “Ich Tu Dir Weh,” featuring one of the most sing-a-long choruses Rammstein’s ever put to paper…something difficult to grasp when German isn’t your primary tongue, but I’ll be damned if I don’t fake it during this song. The tracks get better and better, pushing the boundaries of industrial thrash like their first album, and veering into foot-stomping anthemic rockers (“Haifisch”). And that’s when Rammstein takes the experimental nature of some of the samples and vocal melodies and infuses the entire song with that nature: “B*******” features some serious double-bass kicking, grinding guitar chugging, and Cannibal Corpse-esque growls. Absolutely ferocious, and it leads into…an 80’s style power ballad?! You heard it right. “Fruhling in Paris” is a powerfully emotional heavy ballad sung in French and German that touches on elements of current shoegazer rock as well as summoning up images of Bon Jovi’s video for “Living In Sin.”

Suddenly, “Weiner Blut” opens up with it’s storytelling atmospherics which are quickly stripped away by the blazing double-bass rhythm and Ministry-esque guitars. “Pussy” kicks in with a danceable beat and possibly the best Depeche Mode melody to ever be backed by rocking metal guitars. Of course, the lyrics — this time sporting German and English words — are completely ridiculous: “You have a pussy, I have a dicker. What’s the problem? Let’s do it quick.” And later “Take me now, don’t you see, I can’t get laid in Germany.” You think they’ve used lines like this on the backstage chicks while they are touring English-speaking countries?

The title track is more thrash and pomp, and is followed by the super-tense atmosphere of “Mehr,” which sounds partly like a crazed villain explaining why it’s a good thing if he destroys the planet, and partly like a look into that same villain’s soul and seeing that his humanity was lost in some terrible tragedy. Now, the lyrics aren’t really about anything like that, but the music is so evocative and good, and the change-up halfway through to a melodic rocker is just completely amazing. The album closes on a classically influenced movie-like theme that certainly doesn’t fit anywhere else, and is just as oddball and wild as the rest of the album, but in a totally different way.

This is Rammstein at their best: they are experimenting again, they are tearing it up and laying it down, they are writing interesting songs without denying their you-can’t-find-more-machismo-in-a-Western-than-you-can-here attitude. If you like Rammstein, you’ll love this. If you hate them, you might just change your mind: there’s heaviness, melody, thrash, dance, samples, classical music, and amazing vocals. And if you don’t know them, now’s the time to take a listen.

**Editor’s Note: If you haven’t seen the video for “Pussy,” you’ve missed out on a special treat that only Rammstein can bring. Check it out here.

Like Rammstein? Check out: Red Harvest, Static-X, Rorschach Test

It Dies Today – Lividity

October 30, 2009
It Dies Today - Lividity

Written By: Dave Brooks

Label: Trustkill – Rating:

Releasing their third album “Lividity,” It Dies Today look to start piling up the dead bodies of riffs past. But slightly different… They put a twist on some stock metal riffs, remanufacturing them into solid, original parts. Sometimes a chorus will lead you astray. Hang in there! It’s worth it.

“This Ghost” comes out of the graveyard with a chip on it’s shoulder. It pulls a Casper for the chorus, but can’t hold off from being terrifying as it exits the song. IDT metalcore it up with “Reckless Abandon” and make sure every square inch of the genre is covered by chugs, things that are sung and breakdown riffs sprung. A little seesaw action as “Thank You For Drinking” slams the album back into its gullet. A powerful intro gives you a peek at the complex metal riffs this band is capable of and progresses towards sticking that point home until the end of the track.

“Miss October” can be a bitch sometimes! She gets you all ready for hardcore action only to soften up and not even take her t-shirt off! All joking aside, there is some impressive lead work showcased here. This next track would make Mickey Mouse circa Steamboat Willie “Bleed Out In Black & White”. A handful of ripping riffs cut right through that old bastard with no remorse for the kiddies. Want some singing? Fuck you. The “Martyr of Truth” ain’t havin it! Well, until roughly the 2 minute mark that is. Then you get that soaring kind of singing that might get your goth daughter pregnant. “Nihility” is nothing to sneeze at as the band strikes the metal iron while it’s hot. Fine! They start singing a little bit in the middle and very end. What do you want from me?

I believe you want a “Life of Uncertainty” chock stuffed with the darker end of It Dies Todays’ spectrum. Ok, you got it. Yea, there’s singing in this one too. Quit bothering me! They are lots of the heavies in here to make up for it, I promise. Oh boy, I’ve got a surprise! “The Architects” are here to build a big, happy metal house for you to thrash in! Every riff leading into the other perfectly, surrounded by great chorus vocals. “We are the architects of suffering. We are the architects of criminal desire. We are the architects of suffering. We are the architects of such imperfection.”

If “we” is It Dies Today, then “we” just followed up a nut kicking song with a sing along song. The band practices “Complacence Without Pursuit (Lividity)” with the arrangement of the tracks. This and the follow up “Come Undone” seem like they were added to back of this cd to do just that. There’s not enough going on in either that warrant a spot on this album. The final track has what sounds like a bar full of Scots singing a drinking song in the outro/hidden track. I’m very, very confused as the band hails from Buffalo, NY. I think it’s supposed to be funny……right?

They seem to write great heavy riffs and still appeal to their self advertised Hot Topic crowd. If I were 17, into heavier type shit and happened to get my t-shirts from said store, I would be picking up Lividity in a heartbeat. There’s at least 1 sick, impressive riff on every track. Even if you aren’t a fan of clean metal vocals, there’s major heaviness to save the day. It Dies Today have a lot promise. You could do worse than give this a few listens.

Like It Dies Today? Check out: All That Remains, Killswitch Engage, As I Lay Dying

Baroness – Blue Record

October 27, 2009
 Baroness – Blue Record

Written By: John Rabb

Label: Relapse Records – Rating:

Released October 13th by Relapse Records, Baroness’ Blue Record is considered the sister album to their previously released Red Album. Like all great pairings, Blue Record and Red Album are a contrasting duo.

The red has a multi-layered, muscular sound while the blue is an all together different beast. The sound of the new offering is complex and hard to categorize, containing traces of mainstream metal, progressive rock, Southern rock, and the straightforward approach of an indie rock band. For those listeners wary of extreme heavy metal, Blue Record offers an all inclusive quality and a sound outside the genre.

All the old influences from Red Album are present on Blue Record, making them fitting companion pieces, but the new album seems to have a more refined palette. “Steel that Sleeps the Eye” is a bluesy, acoustic interlude reminiscent of Alice in Chains that contains layered vocal harmonies and psychedelic lyrics. The mood set by the track provides a perfect segue for the more robust “Swollen and Halo.” The furious pace of “The Sweetest Curse” is countered by a delicate string of acoustic guitars, while “Blackpowder Orchard” is a pastoral piece that harkens back to later Led Zeppelin.

For all its frills, though, Blue Record is a meat and potatoes hard rock / metal album at the core. “Jake Leg” is fast and groovy, with intricate harmonies and riffs that give way to powerful vocal lines. “A Horse Called Golgotha” is a brilliant blend of the band’s earlier work and their more accessible recent sound, while “The Gnashing” is pure hard rock, bringing the album to a powerful climax with a stomping percussion three minutes in. Blue Record closes with the pensive “Bullhead’s Lament,” which acts as a reprisal of the opening instrumental melody and brings the album to a close full circle.

Because of its incredible sequencing, Blue Record flows extremely well, contains epic rises and falls, and feels like a unified, cohesive collection of songs. In an already impressive year of heavy releases, Baroness has managed to set the standard with Blue Record. The result is an intricate and complex work of art that rocks hard, but is far more accessible than its predecessor, and even quite pretty at times.

Baroness is:
• John Dyer Baizley – vocals, guitar, piano, artwork
• Allen Blickle – drums
• Pete Adams – guitar, vocals
• Summer Welch – bass

Like Baroness? Check out: Torche, Mastodon

Converge – Axe to Fall

October 20, 2009
Converge - Axe to Fall

Written By: Tim Bannock

Label: Epitaph – Rating:

I walked into my Metalholics Anonymous meeting last week and found myself on the spot: it was time that I speak up; I had a confession to make. That’s never an easy thing, and in the world of Metal, sometimes tension runs strong among the brotherhood, and you have to watch what you say. Especially when it involves certain pillars, such as Metallica or Black Sabbath. Mine had to do with Slayer: I loved them, but I found a few too many of their albums to be too short.

There, I said it. Their focused attack is great and has produced some of the most terrifying riffs conceivable, but I pined for them to rage on just a little longer, to take an extra turn here or there in the instrumentation.

What does that have to do with Converge’s new album — Axe to Fall — due out on October 20th? Simple: they put together a focused attack that satisfies, even though well over half the tracks never push the three-minute mark.

Converge is like the prototypical grindcore band, updated and bestowed with a progressive edge that rarely veers into long instrumental jams, but instead pops up as odd-timed syncopation, fluid guitar acrobatics, and melodic-but-just-this-side-of-disorientating fills. More importantly, that progressive nature exists on a larger frame, as you look through Converge’s back catalog and listen to how they got from there to here. It’s never a perfect transition, and not something you hear building from one moment to the next. Instead, it’s something more dynamic maybe, because each album pushes a different boundary, until of these things converge (sorry, I had to!) to create an extreme metal assault that defies easy categorization, and expands your senses. Converge is one of the few bands that can blast you with a full-on metallic assault but do so in a way that you are just as likely to zone out and explore higher consciousness as you are to start swinging your fists and thirsting for blood. It’s dizzying, it’s unexpected, it’s terrifying, and it’s beautiful.

Axe to Fall is all these things, and once again, just a little bit more. The first four tracks absolutely shred your innards, as if you stepped into a wind tunnel and some sick bastard punks you by throwing glass and razorblades in with you. Opener “Dark Horse” has a sort of punk/hardcore vibe that’s perfectly fitting with Converge’s origins and certainly doesn’t disappoint.

The following tracks, “Reap What You Sow” and the titular “Axe to Fall” have a melodic grindcore/thrash sound that couldn’t be any more extreme. The album explores some droning, discordant, Godflesh-style territory on songs like “Worms Will Feed” and “Damages,” but it’s the final two tracks that break the most from convention. “Cruel Bloom” is bluesy, acoustic in many parts, and features Steve Von Till of Neurosis on lead vocals. It never falls into a rut, and is an expertly crafted, somber little piece of melancholy that shows the emotional range of the band. Finally, album closer “Wretched World” features a slew of guests (members of The Red Chords and Genghis Tron) and is a much more atmospheric piece, building slowly but expertly to a sonic crescendo before cutting out on a discordant, feedback laden note, almost like a flat line.

Converge consistently challenge their listeners and their musical capabilities, and come through successfully every time, it seems. Axe to Fall is no different; many more guests than I mentioned show up on this album, providing a collaborative effort but a focused album. You’d never know some of the guests are there, but at the same time, you know they bring something new to the overall dynamic, creating a masterpiece that is just as Converge has always been: dizzying, unexpected, terrifying, and beautiful. Axe to Fall will rip your face off in the most serene and satisfying way imaginable, and you couldn’t die any happier than after listening to this album.

Like Converge? Check out: Burnt By The Sun, Yakuza, Candiria

Hellsongs – Hymns In The Key Of 666

October 18, 2009
 Hellsongs – Hymns in the Key of 666

Written By: John Rabb

Label: Minty Fresh – Rating:

As a heavy metal critic, there are certain things you come to expect when you’re given an album to review – loud, distorted guitars, pounding rhythms, growling vocals, apocalyptic themes and imagery. You know, good-old predictable heavy metal. When I saw the band’s name and the album title I thought, “Piece of cake, just another day at the office.”

Boy was I wrong! Maybe I should have taken the time to look at the happy rainbow and bouncing bus on the cover, or the “rock/pop” genre classification the album came with. Maybe then I would have realized I was dealing with something altogether different.

Hymns in the Key of 666, the debut album from Swedish novelty act Hellsongs takes a refreshing (almost comical) approach to a few of heavy metal’s greatest hits. These tunes are dismantled, pulled apart, and made virtually unrecognizable – even to the trained ear. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find any similarities (save for the lyrics, which, of course, sound completely different) between the Hellsongs version and its original counterpart. Every song on the album, including such epically evil tracks as “Paranoid,” “Blackened,” and “Symphony of Destruction” is made wonderfully pleasant and optimistic with soothing acoustics and Bergnéhr’s beautiful voice, a far cry from the popular appeal from the originals.

The record, in effect, tames AC/DC, turns Black Sabbath tender and beautiful, and makes Megadeth palatable to your grandmother. We’ve seen this in the past – from Metallica’s S&M album to Tori Amos’ rendition of Slayer’s “Raining Blood” – when a band attempts to turn a genre on its head for its own creative purposes. So the listener only needs to know that, despite the group’s name and album title, what you have isn’t Swedish death metal, but gentle, pastoral covers done in a subdued acoustic manner. In the end, Hymns in the Key of 666 may not be something you’ll end up putting in your regular rotation, but it is an interesting concept and a lot of fun to listen to.

Hellsongs is:
Siri Bergnéhr – Vocals, Shakers and Tambourine

Johan Bringhed – Grand Piano, Keyboards and Vocals

Kalle Karlsson – Guitars and Vocals

Like Hellsongs? Then check out: Tori Amos & Slayer

Revocation – Existence is futile

October 15, 2009
revocation existence is futile

Written By: Dave Brooks

Label: Relapse – Rating:

“Metal band Revocation and their new album Existence Is Futile are overflowing with extra riffs! Looking to unload one or several riffs at a time at bargain basement prices! You won’t find many quality, sick, heavy riffs lying around like this everyday! We’re even stacked up on bass riffs. You read that right. BASS riffs! We’ll even throw in double bass backing drums, cymbal work and fills at NO EXTRA CHARGE! Act now and you can have lead/rhythm guitarist/singer David Davidson write YOU lyrics. Hit ’em with it Dave! “Neural toxins scrambles brains!”. There ya go! All this at the low, low price of only $11.95!”

“Enter the Hall” is one of the best titled intro tracks I’ve heard in a long time. They had so many riffs, they had to split it into 2 parts. Great lead work speed leading into a Death’ish thrash brigade. A smooth transition leads to where “Pestilence Reigns”. An up tempo, single note punk/metal groove that left them plenty of room to solo in style. “Where’s the fucking outrage?” screams Davidson. It’s right here in “Deathonomics,” Aatwisted look on making some well publicized, corporate wrongs, right. “Existence is Futile” lets you really know how bad the bassist in your band sounds. Anthony Buda pops the shit out of the main riff. Thumbs up dude!

“The Brain Scramblers” leaves you wondering “How is this dude playing these riffs and singing?” Great guitar gymnastics or GGG’s are all over this track. I pulled out my finger exerciser! A surplus of guitar stylings show up on “Across Forests and Fjords” before the fjord gets manic and wants to take you under. A great instrumental and breather track for this album. They release the “ReaniManiac” once more and get back into a precision based, machine gun attack meets the Munsters.

Ahhh! I’m losing track of the riffs. 24? 30? Too late. Time to “Dismantle the Dictator”. Lead intro to the midsection! Speed metal bridge riff to the kidney! Blast beat jazz funk chanting vocal to the jaw and he’s down Jim! The “Anthem of the Betrayed” pulls out all the riffs you thought were hiding from you. “Leviathan Awaits” to give you what you were waiting for: half time, off the hip metallings. My favorite track is chock full of the groove and pinchies (pinch harmonics in laymen terms). Bang your fucking head as it crescendos to a well constructed, magnificent outro. “The Tragedy of Modern Ages” is that this killer album is almost over. A lot of ground already covered is re-trekked until the 2nd or 3rd bridge riff. Yea, the one at the 4 minute mark with the high strings. A complete transformation takes place as the ending of this CD is going out in grand fashion. Off timing, lead work and melody fuse to leave you wondering if your existence really is futile. Well, mine as a guitarist sure is. Fuck…..

Revocation may come off as a bit ordinary to you at first, but they will reveal themselves to be a true talent in the metal scene after a few hits of weed and a long bus ride or two. I’m kidding! I only listen to music sober! This 3 piece is for real and makes me feel under accomplished. What else could you ask for in a metal release? Pick it up. Now.

If you like Revocation, you might like: Death, Carcass or a lot of other heavy-ass bands.

Children Of Bodom – Black Dahlia Murder – Skeletonwitch

October 15, 2009

Written By: Natalie Perez

When you enter the world of metal a “sea of chaos” ensues, or in this case a “sea of black.” Three of the world’s best metal bands have come together to create an intense musical atomsphere. Be sure to capture all the chaos that Ohio metallers Skeletonwitch build up, leading straight into the thundering force field of The Black Dahlia Murder, right into the main attraction of the night, Finlanders, Children Of Bodom!


Ever attended a mini-block party? Well now is your chance at experiencing your first one, how about joining in on all the fun with the spiraling circle of black! Hence I mean the crowd of people dressed all in black proudly expressing their love and devotion to one of the three musical acts that were set to set the stage that forsaken night out at the Glass House in chilly Pomona, California.

this act from Athens, Ohio dislikes the fact that not too many people are aware of what type of music they actually perform. I guess it would just be your plain old heavy metal – a very upgraded version. Ohio’s Skeletonwitch brought on the fiery blaze for a non-stop 30 minutes, bringing on the skull-crushing and beer-drinking sensation, as the crowd erupted from all angles – singing such songs off “Beyond the Permafrost,” and new comer, “Breathing the Fire,” due out on October 13th. Some of the head-crushing tunes consisted of “Soul Thrashing Black Sorcery,” “Within My Blood,” the title track, along with a douse of double trouble off the newbie album, “Crushed Beyond Dust,” and “Strangled By Unseen Hands.” The front man summed it up best at the end of the set, “Smoke Weed, Drink Beer, and Eat Some F**king Pussy.”

01. Sacrifice for the Slaughtergod
02. Fire From the Sky
03. Crushed Beyond Dust
04. Upon Wings of Black
05. Beyond the Permafrost
06. Submit To The Suffering
07. Soul Thrashing Black Sorcery
08. The Despoiler Of Human Life
09. Within My Blood

The Black Dahlia Murder
The Black Dahlia Murder’s 45-minute set nearly brought the house down when the aggressive crowd of metal-heads began to throw each other around like rag dolls while singing along to each and every song that came screaming out of the vocalist.

01. Everything Went Black
02. Black Valor
03. Closed Casket Requiem
04. Necropolis
05. A Vulgar Picture
06. What A Horrible Night to Have A Curse
07. Christ Deformed
08. Miasma
09. Funeral Thirst

Children Of Bodom
Finland’s finest musicians, and led by one of the most talented guitarists around, Alexi Laiho, Children of Bodom, was the main attraction of the night’s metal frenzy. The show began with “Living Dead Beat,” and then rolled right into “Hellhounds On My Trail,” and “Silent Night, Bodom Night.” The band continued their classic chaos with “Hate Me,” “Bodom After Midnight,” “Are You Dead Yet?,” “Blooddrunk,” and “Hate Crew Deathroll,” dedicated to all the hardcore Children Of Bodom fans within the sea of black.

01. Living Dead Beat
02. Hellhounds On My Trail
03. Silent Night, Bodom Night
04. Hate Me!
05. Follow The Reaper
06. Lake Bodom
07. Bodom After Midnight
08. Are You Dead Yet?
09. Blooddrunk
10. Angels Don’t Kill
11. In Your Face
12. Children Of Decadence
13-.Bodom Beach Terror
14. Downfall
15. Everytime I Die
16. Hate Crew Deathroll

Skeletonwitch Skulltastic Interview

October 14, 2009

Written By: Natalie Perez

Evan and Scott of Ohio metallers, Skeletonwitch, caught up with me recently at their Pomona, California stop out at the Glass House to discusstheir new album, current touring conditions, and everything else thrown in between.

NP: How is the current tour going?

Evan: I guess you saw us what a year ago? Oh, then 3 months ago? It’s great, everybody is great, we’ve been having a good time and the crowds have been great just enjoying it it’s been awesome.

Scott: I second that – everybody from Alexi to the bus driver’s everyone has been nice and making us feel welcomed, nobody is a dick, expect to each other.

NP: I saw via your Twitter you had all gotten drunk before playing a show?

Evan: You mean every day we play a show?

Scott: That was at the West Edmonton Mall, in Edmonton, Alberta.

Evan: What had happened is that we had drunk all of our beer, so there was no more beer, since we had all drank it all, so that was weird.

Scott: That was the first time I had posted on Twitter actually, that tends to happen a lot but all of the guys love to drink beer.

NP: What can be said that hasn’t been said about “Breathing The Fire?”

Evan: That has not been said?

Scott: Oh let me tell you, Jack Endino, who did the artwork, probably has the highest skull quotation.

Evan: Appropriately, 60 skulls, on the front and back!

Scott: Jack Endino counted all of them.

NP: Were there any songs that didn’t make the record that you had wished had made it?

Evan: Nope, everything that got written made it.

Scott: Nope, we didn’t write 60 songs, and didn’t have our producer help us out, like having some leftovers lying around no, we wrote what we did, and that’s what got on it.

NP: Any particular favorites you have off it?

Evan: “Stand, Fight and Die.”

Scott: “Repulsive Salvation,” that’s one of my favorites.

NP: What do you think sets you apart from all the other metal bands out right now?

Evan: Probably the dick sizes.

Scott: I guess I would say, people don’t know where to place us. I’ve read all over, that death metal band Skeletonwitch, Black metal band Skeletonwitch, Thrash metal band Skeletonwitch, they can’t properly place us in the right spotlight. Basically, everybody thinks we’re something we’re not pretty much.

NP: Have any plans for Halloween?

Evan: We’re gonna be on tour with Trap Them, Toxic Holocaust, and The Black Dahlia Murder, over Halloween. Don’t think we’re going to be wearing any crazy costumes or anything like that. But before we’ve played shows on Halloween we use to dress up as another type of band and play as a cover band which was cool but this year we’ll be playing on Halloween.

NP: If you had a chance to do a cover of a beloved childhood classic which would you pick and why?

Evan: I’m not a fan of covers actually, but good question.

Scott: I don’t have any desire to do any type of cover. Honestly, we’ve thrown around ideas here and there; Immortal, Guns n Roses, etc. We like doing what we do, those tracks are already made and we can’t fill someone else’s shoes.

NP: Speaking of childhood, if you had to run into yourself 10 years ago and tell yourself what you’re in store for what would you say?

Evan: I don’t know, just buckle down, and practice, practice, practice.

Scott: I’m 26 so at 16, I would tell myself don’t get those 2 underage consumptions you’re about to get, that’s won’t be good on your behalf.

Evan: The Doc told Marty McFly, don’t get in contact with your past self, or it’ll forever change the events in the future.

Scott: I agree with that.

NP: Anything else you’d like to add?

Evan: Well we have a new record out, and its awesome kids are coming out to our shows, and that means a lot to us.

Scott: Thanks for supporting our band, and helping us do what we love doing.

Hatebreed – Self-Titled

October 9, 2009

Written By: Tim Bannock

Label: E1 – Rating:

People who fault AC/DC for sounding the same on every album are missing the point, which is two-fold: (1) if you can rock out, then rock out, and (2) if you’re winning formula produces songs like “Back In Black,” “For Those About to Rock,” and (ten years down the road) “Thunderstruck,” then stick to it. Music isn’t and shouldn’t always be about innovation, because sometimes a certain sound or progression just elicits the right response. Enter Hatebreed, with their self-titled album, released September 29th.

Jamey Jasta and crew have been releasing roughly the same tracks since 1994. With six full-length releases and just as many people exiting the band over the years, the thing you need to know is that Hatebreed’s still going strong, still in demand, and pulling people into their shows. And they aren’t going through the motions; one listen to the Best Buy exclusive live tracks on Hatebreed’s new LP and you’ll know that these guys just love to wreck up the concert venues they play at. Bustin’ out 15 tracks (not including the aforementioned live ones), Hatebreed sounds just as strong as they did way back when they came rip-roarin’ out of Connecticut to tour with the likes of Slayer, Napalm Death, Entombed and many others.

All of that said, it’s not like they are putting out the same riffs. The self-titled album is the first full-length featuring the dual-guitar attack of Frank Novinec and Wayne Lozinak, as well as a guest solo by Chris Broderick, the new axe-man who helped Dave Mustaine tear it up on Megadeth’s latest release, Endgame. While that shouldn’t lead you to believe that Hatebreed’s whipping out the crazy technical solos on every track, it does allude to the fact that the guitar work sees some more change-ups than on previous releases, albeit only subtly more so. Not every breakdown ends with a held chord; several fills feature some neat harmonizing and the occasional pull on the whammy bar to get a higher-pitched squeal out of the note. Nothing ground-breaking, but it definitely makes tracks like “Between Hell and a Heartbeat,” “Through the Thorns,” and (especially) instrumental track “Undiminished” standout from previous albums.

If you can call their mosh-pit aggression “beautiful,” it’s because you can pick up this disc at any point and hear the influences of those classic bands mentioned earlier, and then get pummeled by the discordant mosh beats when the band goes into circle pit mode. Every single song has a slow break-down with crashing tones, and they all have fast, thrashy moments that remind you of late 80s/early 90s Slayer and Napalm Death. Essentially, Hatebreed knows just how to select the best early-era thrash riffs, tune them down a bit, and toss in a more modern mosh groove that reminds one of Fear Factory, later Testament, and Machine Head.

The kicker to all of this: a cover of Metallica’s “Escape.” How can you go wrong? You really can’t.

Like Hatebreed? Check out: Turmoil, Subzero, Overcast.