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Friday, July 25, 2014

INTERVIEW: BLUES PILLS' Elin Larsson On Debut Album - "It Reflects Lot Of Emotions, A Lot Of Love"

Blues Pills. The kind of rock and roll to cure what ails you. These ones may not be metal per say, but they reach right down to the core of metal's roots and pull that old sound to the modern age, spiced up with an edge hard enough to shatter stone. Between guitars that bring a shady deal gone down at an ominous crossroads and vocals that sound as if they were performed by the illegitimate love child of Aretha Franklin and Neil Fallon, this bands fire burns hotter than a pig on a spit. A young band with a fresh take on an old sound, spread across land and sea, these kids dominate every note that they create. Soul, heart, spirit, fire, passion, gumption, or whatever you want to call it, Blues Pills has it.

Gearing up for a release of their self titled debut album, Metal Wani's Editor In Chief Owais 'Vitek' Nabi and writer William Richards had a chat with the incredibly talented Elin Larsson to gaze deeper into what makes Blues Pills so special. She discusses new album, songwriting, inspiration, getting signed to Nuclear Blast, future plans and much more.

Stream The Entire Interview Below:

NEWS: SKID ROW Guitarist DAVE 'SNAKE' SABO: 'We've Always Remained True To What We Do'


On July 20, Skid Row guitarist Dave "Snake" Sabo and bassist Rachel Bolan were interviewed at the studios of the WZZM television station in Grand Rapids, Michigan. You can now watch their appearance at this location.

Asked how Skid Row's sound has changed since the release of the band's first two albums, Sabo said: "It hasn't. We've always remained true to what we do. It's the only thing we know how to do, to be quite honest. And one of the things that we pride ourselves on is that we've never been disengenious with the audience at all; we've always been very true to the spirit and the soul of the band."

He continued: "Songwriting is a very selfish act; you have to write for yourself first. But by doing that, you leave no stone unturned and you make sure that what you're giving the public is completely true and pure. And this way, you kind of leave it up to them to decide whether they like it or not; it's out of your hands at that point. But at least it's genuine. It's not something that's false."

Added Bolan: "We've never changed our… I don't wanna say 'formula,' but the way we write songs. We've always done it. We just get in a room, buy a six-pack of beer and we bounce ideas off each other for hours. Shut off the cell phone, you know…"

Skid Row — Johnny Solinger (vocals), Scotti Hill (guitar), Rachel Bolan (bass), Dave "Snake" Sabo (guitar) and Rob Hammersmith (drums) — will release a new seven-song EP, "Rise Of The Damnation Army - United World Rebellion: Chapter Two", on August 5 via Megaforce Records. The CD will contain covers of Queen and Aerosmith classics as bonus tracks.

In a recent interview with Icon Vs. Icon, Sabo spoke about Skid Row's mindset while writing the new material. "I think we have also gotten to the point that we are so appreciative of what we have and are so thankful," he said. "We are really humbled by it all. I think with that comes a respect for the audience and what the band has been able to do over the course of the past 28 years. There is a respect for the songwriting, along with a respect for each other.

"Rachel and I really became conscious of how fortunate we are. To still be songwriting partners, band members and best buds after all this time is really something. That doesn't get lost on us through this whole process. We are keenly aware of being present and in the moment. It sounds cliché, but when it really does happen, it is something truly incredible. I think we are just going to take that philosophy and presence of mind into the next release and create from there. It is a great sampling and a great place to be in when you are both on the same page with one and other. The results are something to behold."

NEWS: JUDAS PRIEST's RICHIE FAULKNER Doesn't Rule Out Another Studio Album


Judas Priest guitarists Glenn Tipton and Richie Faulkner was interviewed by Patrick Prince of Powerline. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Powerline: The new album ["Redeemer Of Souls"] has a nice diversity. You have "Crossfire" and then you have a "Metalizer", so it does kind of cover the whole history of the band's sound. I picked up this quote from [Judas Priest singer] Rob Halford where he says "Every record that we've made, we've tried to give it some distinction, some separate identity." But this album is kind of like the perfect release now, at the right time, where it covers the whole history of the band.

Faulkner: It's all part of the band's makeup as far as I'm concerned. We didn't specifically go back and revisit — consciously — parts of the band's history. We just wanted to go in and write something very true and very natural. And the band's character has been so strong over 40 years. I don't know quite how that happens but that's the magic of a band like Priest that's forged ahead. You can write stuff that comes from the heart and it sounds like Judas Priest. It's inherently Judas Priest.

Powerline: The album also seems stripped of production effects, like the band [performing] live.

Faulkner: It was pure from the writing process, from where the songs came from, to the production, to the recording. It was just very pure and honest and let the character of the band speak for itself. I think it does that.

PowerlineRichie, when you first joined the band there must have been certain feelings about it, and compare that to the first time recording with the band. Was it the same kind of feeling? Was there nervousness? Sounds like you just fit right in as you did live.

Faulkner: It's been an evolution from day one. Some things have changed. Some things have evolved and progressed. And some things had stayed the same. In the sense that from day one it's been inclusive. It's been a family. You know, "What do you think? How do we improve this?" It's not a dictatorship, you know. So, "How do we change the set list for the better?" "How do we change the stage production for the better?" Right on into "What ideas you got for the new record?" "How do we change this song to make it better?" So those are the things that stayed the same through the whole experience in the band. And on the other side you have things that have progressed. First of all, it was just in a live scenario, being accepted by the fans, playing those great songs throughout all those countries. And then going into the studio. So it's been an evolution as well. With a constant family feeling underneath it all.

Powerline: It was probably better that you started performing with the band before going into the studio.

Tipton: I agree with that, 100 percent, yeah.

Faulkner: On a creative level as well. You can always look back and join the dots looking back. But when you look back like that you think that it's probably why it worked so well. You build relationships with the guys and with each other as a unit very quickly under condensed kind of situations. You build trust. You value each other's opinions. And then you digest all this music — over 40 years. That's what we were doing night after night after night. There was stuff from "Rocka Rolla", there was stuff from "Defenders", there was stuff from "Painkiller", there was stuff from "Nostradamus", it was all seeping in, so then when you get to the writing process, again, you've built up relationships, you trust each other, and you just digested the 40-year back catalog. So you're all on the same page both personally and creatively. And looking back at it it makes perfect sense. From the acceptance side as well, from the fans, you almost prove your colors from the live set, and the next stage you're proving your colors. So it's a natural progression.

Powerline: A lot of comments from fans about bands retiring is "Ah, they're not really retiring. They'll be back." It seems to be an ongoing thing.

Tipton: Well, it's easy to understand, you know. We meant it genuinely when we said it was our last world tour. It will be our last world tour as such, but that's not to say it's gonna be our last dates. You know, time changes things. Richie came along. When we put together the "Epitaph" tour, we hadn't found Richie yet. Richie hadn't found us. Fate hadn't put us together, so things change. Richie joined the band, injected a lot of enthusiasm into the band. Retiring as well Rob said, "What are we going to do, sit at home, sit in an armchair and think, what's there to do this afternoon? Maybe I'll go write a song and maybe think about going on tour again." We genuinely meant what we said. It wasn't just to try to sell more tickets. Things change.

Powerline: And do you think the band will keep recording, even when you stop touring?

Tipton: Who knows?! It's very dangerous territory now to make statements. [smiles]

Faulkner: Based upon the new album and on how much material we came up with, and how easy it flowed from everyone on this record, I wouldn't rule out another studio record. I mean, you never know. You never know what's going to happen and why it will be or why it might not be. But just based purely on the creative juices of these sessions, I wouldn't rule it out completely.

Read the entire interview at Powerline.

NEWS: COREY TAYLOR On Recording New SLIPKNOT Album: 'We Knew It Was Gonna Be Heavy'


According to The Pulse Of Radio, Slipknot has finished recording its fifth studio album and first since 2008's "All Hope Is Gone". The disc is also the band's first without late bassist Paul Gray, who died in 2010, and drummer Joey Jordison, who was dismissed in late 2013. Singer Corey Taylor told "HardDrive" host Lou Brutus about recording for the first time without two key members. "It was interesting," he said. "We knew it was gonna be heavy. We knew it was gonna be one of those things where it's like, 'Okay, we're in uncharted territory right now, so what do we do?' You know. And Jim [Root, guitarist] and Clown [Shawn Crahan, percussionist] really stepped up, you know. They kind of started leading the charge and really getting stuff together. So by the time we really got into the studio, we had a really great template of music to check out."

Corey recently described the musical direction of the new Slipknot material as "a great mesh of [2001's] 'Iowa' and [2004's] 'Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses)'." He explained: "You've got the gorgeous melodies and the artistic direction of 'Vol. 3' and then you've got the absolute brutality of 'Iowa'. And I think people are gonna lose their minds when they hear it."

There is no word yet on the album's title or release date, but a single is expected to arrive sometime soon.

Reports have suggested that Slipknot has recruited drummer Jay Weinberg to play on the new album and tour. Weinberg is the son of Max Weinberg, longtime Bruce Springsteen and the E STREET BAND drummer. There are also rumors that Slipknot is no longer working with Donnie Steele, the group's original guitar player who has been playing bass for Slipknot since the band resumed touring in 2011.

Slipknot has announced that the second edition of its Knotfest event will take place on October 24-26 in San Bernardino, California. The Iowa-based band will headline two of the three days, Friday and Saturday, playing a completely different set on each night. Friday night's show will be exclusively for fans who buy VIP or camping packages.

Fans who purchase tickets to Knotfest will receive a digital copy of Slipknot's new album when it's eventually released.

The band will also stage Knotfest Japan on November 15-16 in Tokyo.

NEWS: MEGADETH's DAVE MUSTAINE Says He Has 'Over 130' New Songs That He Has Been Working On


Megadeth mainman Dave Mustaine was interviewed on the July 18-20 edition of Full Metal Jackie's nationally syndicated radio show.

To see a full list of stations carrying the program and when it airs, go to

Full Metal Jackie: Dave, [Megadeth bassist] David Ellefson recently posted on Facebook that the two of you had started kicking around ideas for the next album. What makes the embryonic part of songwriting enjoyable for you?

Mustaine: Knowing that there's going to be a finished product at some point. Making songs is always fun, but we didn't have a lot of time between the last couple of records. We were recording while we were touring and we would come home and go right into the studio. And having the luxury now to be able to sit with songs for a little while and digest them, that's really helpful. We had that kind of time when we did "Countdown To Extinction", when we did "Rust In Peace". When we did "Peace Sells, But Who's Buying?", we wrote that while we were on tour for 72 weeks. That was one of the longest tours of my life. And, of course, with "Killing Is My Business", I had my whole life to write it. So a lot of the successors to those super-popular records kind of came out with not a lot of time to develop the songs. And I feel really confident about that right now.

Full Metal JackieDave, how have you changed most as a musician in terms of how your style has evolved and music you hear other than your own that inspires you?

Mustaine: Believe it or not, I've gotten very, very comfortable in my own skin. For the longest time, I really didn't believe in my guitar playing, and there's a lot of psychological damage that had taken place over the years after I left Metallica because of all the negative stuff that was said about me. It really… I'm not gonna say it hurt, 'cause that makes me sound like a puss, but it was very discouraging. And at one point, I started to realize, "Wow, this is actually what I was meant to do. I've influenced a lot of people and I'm actually enjoying myself, so I've gotta get off of the pity pot." And then, seeing the success of the records, the attendance of the shows, the ranking in the charts where I stand as a guitar player and what I've, it really… at the end of the day, it makes you feel great. And still, I always go back to the same thing — Jackie, I've said this to you before — no matter what anybody says about me, I know that the fans' investment and belief in me, us getting that soup kitchen in Haiti and the one in Mexico, that's the greatest thing ever. Knowing that my playing guitar is helping feed widows and orphans. That is so awesome.

Full Metal JackieDave, how reflective did you get about the significance of United States history when you recorded a version of the national anthem for the movie "America"?

Mustaine: That was really interesting, because they had asked me to do that, and it's no secret I'm not an Obama supporter, and I think everybody right now is getting to experience the "I told you so"s, but I'm not one of those guys to say that. When [filmmaker] Dinesh D'Souza had come out as a debate… he was doing a debate against somebody; I can't remember who it was, and I found him to be very educated and very interesting. And he wasn't trying to persuade me to be a conservative or be a Republican, he was just talking. 'Cause I'm an independent. I thought that he was really, really intelligent. And I saw the screening for "America" and I thought, "This is fantastic," because there's so much misinformation that's going around with this whole guilt trip they're laying down on people that are successful. And they asked, would I do the national anthem? And I said, "No, I don't think so. 'Cause, I mean, [Jimi] Hendrix already did that." And they said, "Well, do it your way!" And I said, "Well, if I did it my way, I would just like to really play it how it is, but very soulful." Because so many people play the anthem and they destroy it with all this ad-libbing and wanking and stuff like that. For me, it was really rewarding. It's pretty straightforward, but I like it. I've already got an offer to play for the Raiders in September, which is the 200th anniversary of the national anthem. So, hell, it paid off already.

Full Metal JackieDave, is there anything you can tell us about the update and where things are at with new music?

Mustaine: Sure. I'm just kind of fiddling around with songs. I sent a song over to management. I'm working with Ron Laffitte again, and Ron and I were together during the heyday of Megadeth's biggest records — "Rust", "Countdown" and "Youthanasia". He's a metal fan, and we've been friends for a real long time. And I was interested to see what his opinion was. 'Cause the last guy we had managing us was really a sweetheart of a guy, but he wasn't really born in the wool, if you know what I mean. So he didn't really understand metal that much, and if I would have sent him a song, he could have said it was great, but deep down inside, I believe I probably would have said, "Yeah, what do you know?" I sent a song over to Ron and he freaked out. Because he said it's like the old-school stuff and "I can't wait to see what happens." This is a guy that wouldn't say stuff like that unless he was serious. So, the band guys are all excited about it too. Now, as far as collaborating and stuff like that for new music, that's on these guys' shoulders. I've got, in my Pro Tools rig I've been working on, I have over 130 songs that I've been working on — just pieces of stuff and saving them and fixing them and making them right and making more complex and more melodic and heavier and stuff. And I'm ready to go. [laughs] I'm just gonna see what these guys do — if they're gonna hang out and just rely on me, or if they've got some ideas up their sleeve. And the other thing, too, a song isn't just music — there's lyrics to it, too, and the melody. I can have a great-sounding song, but the vocal line can suck. [laughs] So, having someone come in and say, "Hey, try this," is always great.

NEWS: JOHN 5 Says That He Has Made An 'Incredible' New Album With DAVID LEE ROTH


Former Marilyn Manson and current Rob Zombie guitarist John 5 (real name: John William Lowery) has recorded an "incredible" new album with VAN HALEN singer David Lee Roth which the axeman hopes will see the light of day in the not-too-distant future.

John 5, whose first "big break" came when he was selected by Roth to play lead guitar on the critically well-received 1998 release "DLR Band", tells Canadian rock journalist Mitch Lafon in a new interview (hear audio below): "[Dave and I] just made another record, and it's, like, the 'California Sessions', [Dave] was calling it. And it's 11 of the greatest songs you'll ever hear, and it's just me and Dave, and we had Gregg Bissonette play drums on it. And it's unbelievable. There's a song called 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow Bar & Grill'. And you know, just great, great songs. And hopefully sometime it'll see the light of day. But he's, of course, busy with Van Halen and all that stuff. But it's an incredible record."

He added: "[The new album with Dave] was made not too long ago — like, probably, maybe, a year and a half ago or something like that. 'Cause I always go over to his house and we write music and things like that. It's a lot of fun. They're all original songs. I would just go over to his house during the day and write this music and then he would book the studio at night. So we would go into A&M Studios — Henson Studios, it's called now — and we'd record. And it's so great. I mean, it sounds like just Dave from that 'Van Halen I' or 'II' or 'Women And Children First' era, [in terms of his] singing [style], and it's incredible, man. It's really incredible. He loves it too, so maybe it'll see the light of day sometime."

John 5 also spoke about his collaboration with Judas Priest singer Rob Halford on the 2WO project, which released the much-maligned "Voyeurs" album in 1998 via Trent Reznor's Nothing Records label.

"Here's what's really cool: People love that record, they love that record now," he said.

"When we were making that record, it was a very, very, very guitar-heavy record — very heavy guitar record," he added. "And I remember Tom Morello from Rage Against The Machine heard it and he was, like, 'This is my favorite record. This is incredible.' 'Cause it was really aggressive and heavy and it had Halford going nuts on it. And we got signed to Nothing Records, Trent Reznor's label. And then, I was still making money and stuff, so I had to go on tour with somebody, and Halford took it to New Orleans with Trent [to remix it], and it totally changed; like, they took a lot of the guitars out. This was at a time when guitars weren't really that popular, and they took a lot of these guitars out, so the record completely changed. I was shocked and disappointed — 'cause all the guitars were taken out. But what was so strong about that album is those songs were so strong; they're such strong songs that it still holds up today. And people really enjoy that record. Halford has the songs with the guitars and all that stuff, and it sounds incredible."

John 5 digitally released a new solo single, "This Is My Rifle", on June 17. The track is taken from his eighth solo album, "Careful With That Axe", to be made available on August 12 through 60 Cycle Hum. The effort features Rodger Carter on drums and Matt Bissonette on bass.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

REVIEW: Grave Digger - "Return of the Reaper"

With a haunting intro, Chopin is awake from his grave and waiting for Grimm Reaper to resurrect his soul. A whisper of death seems to be waiting to scream in the mist of innocence. A rage starts with fiery riffs, what more is required to give you that chill in the bones? Well, if you want this sort of music! Grab a copy of Grave Digger’s “Return of the Reaper”.

Consisting of 12 tracks, each has its own way of fiery and aggressive speed metal. With classical influenced keys by Hans Peter Katzenburg, insanely raspy voice by Chris Botehndahl, a balanced solo by Axel Ritt and good old 80s speed metal drumming by Stefan Arnold, a bass which provides the foundation by Jens Becker provides you a hell headbanging session for a hour at least through this album. Like the lightning falling on a tree, a storm which invades the sea, a mist which swooshes your face to bow down to the earth, “Return of the Reaper” brings differences from the ordinary Speed Metal bands.

Being an under rated band, Grave Digger cannot be under-estimated by their potential of creating a promising 80s Speed Metal. Germany is known for their insane creativity in Metal. Bands like Rage, Scanner ,Primal fear, Running Wild, Vampyr, Helloween, Blind Guardian, Gamma Ray, Brainstorm, Metalium, Edguy, Demons and Wizards are evidences that Germany is more capable of creating the best and Only a hardcore Power Metal fan would know that. A mere word is enough to create a difference. And Grave Digger seems to be trying to keep up to their good old level. Very weird though, their old albums were more passionate such as “Witch Hunter”, “Knights of The Cross”, “Rheingold”, “War Games”. It’s understandable that with new members, the sound or composition level differs. None the least, Axel Ritt’s short solos and keys from Hans Peter does bring out the best in the album. Levels of outstanding vocal performance by Chris Botendahl surely bring out the urge of Power in Speed Metal band.

As the album goes, the intro to the end, the organized way of tracks are impeccable. Right from the haunting intro of “Return of the reaper” to ball-breaking opening riff of "Hell Funeral", Grave Digger brings out a whole new level from the mix up of their previous albums. They continue the assault with fiery red-hot tracks like “War god”, “Tattooed Rider”, “Dia De Los Mertos”, and “Satan’s Host”, where each and every single note is insanely mellifluous, sending chills down one’s spine and forcefully engaging an ardent metalhead in the heavy metal proclivities of headbanging. Yet there is a hint of that “Knight of the Cross”,” Excalibur” and also” War Games” in them. In fact, there is quite a variety of experimental aesthetics here, proving that Grave Digger isn't afraid of exploring new songwriting avenues, even as they approach their thirty-fifth anniversary.

The final track “Nothing to Believe in” is more like an anthem. Lyrical theme is based on their album art which is clearly visible. It's safe to say that Grave Digger has a tried and true method of playing their metal. They've always stuck by it, and by all means they should because this is what works for them. With all the levels of judging as an album and comparing to their previous albums, they have kept their promise and done a good job.

If you are choosy about the tracks, try my favorite personal tracks – Dia De Los Mertos, Satan’s Host and Tattooed Rider

Rating: 7/10

Reviewed By,
Shwetha Kamath

NEWS: LAMB OF GOD Frontman on Indonesian President: Finally, A Metal President to Argue About SLAYER Records With!

We at Metal Wani were pretty excited about the first world leader who is a publicly acknowledged fan of heavy metal, but I didn't really put it all into perspective until reading this recent post from Lamb of God frontman Randy Blythe on his Instagram page:

"Incredibly, ladies & gentlemen, the new President of Indonesia is a metal head AND a lamb of god fan. No, this is not a joke, yes the photos are real, yes he digs Napalm Death, Metallica, Megadeth, & lamb of god amongst others- holy crap! THE WORLD'S FIRST HEAVY METAL PRESIDENT! Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, the governor of Jakarta & former furniture salesman who was born into poverty, has won the election. I do not know much at all about Indonesian politics, so I can't comment of their political situation one way or the other, but from what I can tell, Jokowi seems to be a man of the people. Wow. A metal head president- who would have thought? AMAZING.

I mean, can you IMAGINE it? This is THE ONLY PRESIDENT IN THE WORLD with whom you can sit down and argue about which Slayer record is the best. Holy crap, it's too much! I want the Prez to take me on a diplomatic surf summit to Bali. Maybe I can get ambassadorial status."


Immediately upon arriving at The Waiting Room, in Omaha, NE, I was impressed with the turnout. Having not only played the venue several times as well as having seen countless shows there, this was one of the largest crowds I’ve seen there. They couldn’t have picked a better venue for this particular show either, with the crowd capacity they drew and quality of both the sound and lighting; it was an incredibly intimate show. The semi-local death metal band Ezra opened up the night with bang, putting in a killer set that had people already starting to move. On this leg of the tour, the one man atmosphere machine of Thrones on support as well. After chatting with some friends after Ezra was off I turned around to see what I thought might be a tech setting up some pedals on an ironing board in an attempt to not have to bend down to adjust everything. Lo and behold he was the man behind the madness. Thrones put on a fantastic set that was a real treat to experience in person. The moment you close your eyes you get lost in the noise and atmosphere he creates. I had a blast watching him play around on the pedals that lined the ironing board.

After probably the shortest line-up of supporting acts I’ve ever seen was done, Agalloch took the stage. The incense was lit, the fog machines were cranked on, and the lights were set low. From the moment they started to the moment their time was up, there wasn’t a single break between songs. It was a continuous set of tracks that worked perfectly with the type of atmosphere they created. Each song sounded like it was right off the record with all the emotion pouring into the recordings revamped and increased tenfold. They came out to “The Astral Dialogue” which got a huge response from the crowd. It was fast and full of energy, you could actually feel the crowd really get going and light up. A mosh pit immediately engulfed the front half of the room as people that have apparently never been to a metal show were sucked into the vortex, kicking and screaming the whole way. The front row held up to their assumed tasks of going absolutely nuts with headbanging and throwing horns to get the band really going. A strange odor of sweat, spilled booze, and incense began to grow in intensity as Agalloch reached the halfway point in the show with “Dark Matter Gods”.

It was a real roller-coaster of a show with the tracks going from heavy and fast to atmospheric and calm. One minute people are going berserk, headbanging like they’re trying to shake their skull off their heads as if it’s a piece of dirt they accidentally stuck their shoulders in, the next their eyes are shut as they get lost in the ambiance. An outside, less experienced eye might just assume they’re just really dizzy after all the windmilling and headbanging, but they’re really, probably, diving into the musical atmosphere that’s being cultivated. The set ended to a mixture of cheering and praise as well as most screaming for an encore. Forgive me for not being surprised when the band comes back out on stage to rip through a few more tracks before actually calling it a night. Aside from the band writhing and bouncing along to the music, the stage effects really added a lot to the show. The lighting work was really set off by the insane amount of fog they had rising up out from behind the guitar rigs. Half the time all the members were totally silhouetted against the fog while the other half being when they had all sorts of colors pouring down through the fog. I’ve honestly never seen the simple combination of lights and fog pulled off so incredibly well. This was easily one of the most intimate shows I’ve ever been too and really wish I’d given Agalloch more of a listen prior to the event so I could have further appreciated their show. It was an absolutely brilliant set that I could watch every night for weeks and not get tired of.

Agalloch Setlist:

Into the Painted Grey
Vales Beyond Dimension
Ghosts of the Midwinter Fires
Dark Matter Gods
The Melancholy Spirit
Celestial Effigy
...And the Great Cold Death of the Earth


Falling Snow
Of Stone, Wind and Pillor
Plateau of the Ages

Reviewed By,
Dallas Luckey

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Album Of The Month - July: NOVEMBERS DOOM - "Bled White"

Well, my fellow heathens and cretins, it’s that time of the month again where I rummage my brains in my struggle to pick my top album of the month. It’s maybe because I’m paying closer attention to each passing year and month of my life, but DAMN, another great month just flew by in what has been a great year for metal! Then again, it just so happens that the current crop of records hasn't been all that pulsating. Let me remind you, I haven’t listened to every single album that has come out this month, or any previous month for that matter. Who ever has that kind of time? Still, I'm determined for that to happen someday.

But alas, I’m rambling once again. Let the harassing criticism begin!

Here is my Album of the Month – July : NOVEMBERS DOOM - Bled White

Novembers Doom emerged in the mid 90’s American extreme metal landscape and perfected the death-doom style in a sense due to the impeccable balance of doom, death and gothic elements; and the inclination of the band towards these specific stylistic divisions have across the span of their career been at varying levels relative to each other. Being a tapestry of various elements, two aspects are key to the band's signature sound - its impeccable mix of the death/doom/gothic metal aesthetic and prog rock ideas. These elements are reintroduced in a distinctive and unique way relative to their older material on ‘Bled White’.

Unlike many of the bands that Novembers Doom often finds itself being compared to, the duration of the compositions are sufficient enough to present their ideas by means of cyclic repetition and dabbling in progressive song-writing, while not coming off as overtly mechanical in the alternating set of chord progressions and overall riff phrasings, which have a palpable sense of undulation. Kuhr’s vocal melodies are doleful and thus appropriately baritonal yet with an almost liberatingly empyrean sense of finality. The harsher vocals on the other hand are strident and raucous with a high sense of enunciation. 

Despite being cast from the same clay, endless comparisons with the Peaceville triumvirate is at the end of the day intellectually dishonest and sells short the sound Novembers Doom has forged for themselves. The band certainly has a distinctive manner in which it presents the various eclectic elements of its compositions – it is elegant and balanced, with a song-structuring that befits its lofty vision and brooding emotional value, while still being plainly memorable within the range of the recursive songs, managing to invoke the intended gamut of somber moods. It is majestic, melancholic and emotionally stirring without any of the pretense, a testament to an honest sense of artistic expression alongside its cultivated conceptual dramatism.

Click here to Buy 'Bled White'

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NEWS: OZZY OSBOURNE Unveiling Cover Art For Mystery Project

Legendary BLACK SABBATH singer Ozzy Osbourne has asked his fans to "help unscramble Ozzy's new cover art by using the hashtag #OzzyRules on Facebook and Twitter. The more you share the sooner it unlocks."

You can see the progress and learn more at this location.

It is unclear if the cover art in question will be used for Osbourne's new solo studio album, which would be the follow-up to 2010's "Scream". Ozzy's touring guitarist, Gus G., told Noisefull in a recent interview, "Ozzy wants to do another solo album, that's for sure. As far as I know, he has a contract for three more solo albums, so I don't know when he will finish them, if he'll do them and if I'm going to be a part of it, but I definitely know that he wants to do one more solo album."

NEWS: KISS' GENE SIMMONS - "Try Being Nice to Rich People"

Gene Simmons, co-founder and bassist of hard rock legends Kiss, recently spoke to the San Diego Union-Tribune about the band's incredible success almost four decades after their inception.

"I have been part of the [top] one percent [of Americans in terms of wealth] for the past 30 years, [and] it's fantastic!" he said. "The one percent pays 80 percent of all taxes. Fifty percent of the population of the U.S. pays no taxes. The one percent provides all the jobs for everybody else. If the one percent didn't exist, there would be chaos and the American economy would drop dead."

He continued: "Try being nice to rich people. I don't remember the last poor person who gave me a job."

Asked about his seemingly shameless flaunting of his wealth and endless determination to promote the Gene Simmons "brand," Simmons replied: "You know how I spell shameless? P-r-o-u-d.

"People often confuse, at least in my estimation, my pride and self-confidence with arrogance. Because they are not used to people who have an in-your-face, 'take it or leave it/this is how I am' point of view. I'm more like an animal in the jungle that (urinates) on the ground and doesn't ask your permission. 'This is me, this is my territory.' It's simply defining who I am and what I stand for.

"That's called full disclosure, before the facts. Others simply hold their opinions to themselves and never say who they are you. You will always know who I am. You don't have to like it; that's OK if you don't."

In a 2012 interview with Forbes, Simmons spoke about his values and his definition of success.

"I have a problem with the current state of what we call capitalism in America," he said. "I am a capitalist by definition. I believe in supply and demand. I don't believe the government should stick their noses into the rise and fall of the economy. I don't believe in the welfare system, I believe in the job system. Don't give people welfare, give them jobs. You shouldn't get a check for nothing, you should get a check for doing something. Otherwise you're training generations for doing nothing. I don't believe the unions should have a hold on jobs, I believe in work states, I believe in supply and demand. I don't believe in competition. I believe the current system is closer to socialism than it is capitalism. I am a direct result of the capitalist system. I came to America and I had nothing, I had inferred people skills and language skills. I don't borrow money, and I fund myself and I create jobs and I hate anybody that's looking for a free ride."

NEWS: SEBASTIAN BACH: 'I Want To Make A Record That You Can Listen To The Rest Of Your Life'

Anna Zurek of Myglobalmind webzine recently conducted an interview with former SKID ROW singer Sebastian Bach. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Myglobalmind: So what would you say is the main difference between the tracks on your new album, "Give 'Em Hell", and older ones on, for example, "Kicking & Screaming"?

Bach: Well, "Kicking & Screaming" was written a lot by a guy called Nick Sterling [guitar]. This kid that was in my band, that I was very impressed by him at the time. But it did not work out between me and him in the long run, which is really unfortunate, but I am a… I do not know what the right word is… I get the job done. I. Get. The. Job. Done. No matter who is in my band. I do not put out a record that, if I do not feel like it is a 100 percent, that it can be it, then it does not come out. So some people say, "Well, you have to work with them." No. Because my job has been with me for 10 years; we do not get in arguments. You know, Duff McKagan [GUNS N' ROSES], I get along great with him. He plays on half the record. Steve Stevens from Billy Idol's band plays on three songs. John 5 [ROB ZOMBIE] is on the first single, "Temptation". But these guys love to work with me. If you do not want to be the best you can be, then I am hard to work with. Like, if you just want to put something out to get paid, I am not your guy. I want it to sound like the best it can sound and I will not rest until it sounds that way to me.

Myglobalmind: That is great and rare nowadays, especially with younger musicians.

Bach: I know what you are saying. The difference between a singer like me or Ozzy [Osbourne] or Steven Tyler… When I started out, you could not be a lead singer unless you had your own sound that was all your own. Let me explain that. Ozzy Osbourne — nobody sounds like that. Jon Bon Jovi — you know his voice. Steven Tyler — nobody sounds like that. Vince Neil — nobody sounds like that. Rob Halford — nobody sounds like that. Sebastian Bach… I had my own sound. I do not sound like Axl Rose. All of us are identifiable in our vocals, and immediately, when you hear me sing or talk, you know that is Sebastian Bach. Same with all the stars of [the time] when we were kids. These days, what you just said, I do not think that anybody tries in bands now coming up. I do not hear any lead vocalist that is coming with his own new, brand new, unique sound. Like none. Zero. If there are some, tell me! [laughs]

Myglobalmind: Where do you usually get your inspiration from for songs and lyrics? How do you create songs within the band?

Bach: Well, you know, each song is different and each album is different, but my goal is to make some music that I want to listen to over and over and over and over again because, lord knows, the first SKID ROW album, people have been playing that album for 25 years and they always will. Nobody gets sick of it. So that is my goal. I want to make a record that you can listen to the rest of your life. You know and that is kind of a major accomplishment. I mean, I do not even know if I am accomplishing it. To me, I am. You know those things only come to light over the course of time. So, to my ears, "Kicking & Screaming" and "Angel Down", they sound really good, so that is all I can do. I did not know when we were making the first SKID ROW album that anybody would like that. You do not know that when you are making it. You are like jamming and "We Are The Youth Gone Wild," oh that is cool! And then the whole fucking planet fucking freaks out! You do not know that while you are doing it.


During a recent interview with Music Radar, former AC/DC drummer Chris Slade spoke about his departure from the band before the recording sessions for 1995's "Ballbreaker".

"I'd been doing demos [for what was to become 'Ballbreaker'] with the guys in London for two months," Slade explained. "Mal [AC/DC co-founder and rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young] called me and said it was nothing to do with me and was nothing I was doing or not doing but they wanted to give [longtime AC/DC drummer] Phil [Rudd] a try. I said, 'That's me out then, I'm gone.' Mal said, 'No, no, no we want to keep you on, we don't even know if Phil can play,' and told him that was his problem now. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. I resigned the next day. They wanted to keep me on for months and months and that didn't feel right. It was probably my stupid pride."

He continued: "If that was my son, I would now say, 'No, just sit there, they'll come back to you.' To be honest, I think they would have. [laughs] But they're very proud themselves and they wouldn't come back now.

"We still get on and it was an honor and a privilege to play with those guys.

"People always ask me what I did when things went wrong on stage with AC/DC. Nothing ever went wrong. I might drop a drum stick, maybe, but that was about the only thing. They were like clockwork, like a machine. Just fantastic. What a wonderful experience."

PREMIERE: BEYOND CREATION - "Earthborn Evolution"

Feel the onrush of sweeping arpeggios, crushing waves of fretless bass, complex rhythmical patterns and erupting scales peppered with jazzy feeling and masterful execution under the mark of 'Earthborn Evolution', which names the sophomore full-length of BEYOND CREATION. The French part of Canada is home to a vibrant culture of technical Death Metal fostered by outstanding acts such as GORGUTS, CRYPTOPSY, MARTYR, and NEURAXIS. This illustrious family tree has produced many sprouts in the past, yet none of them are as brilliant as Quebec's new amazing scion: BEYOND CREATION! Founded in the Olympic city of Montreal in the year 2005, the band worked hard to gain technical expertise before putting out their only demo in 2010. The immediate buzz resonated within and beyond technical Death Metal circles and was followed up by a self-release of "The Aura" (2011), which was re-issued by Season of Mist in 2013. With their debut album, BEYOND CREATION delivered a ferocious blend of technicality, melody, and brutality aided by fang-filled growls, which was interwoven with beautiful progressive interludes. Yet this was just the beginning as 'Earthborn Evolution' proves beyond doubt. Their next step now catapults the Canadians into the top league of their genre, right among such giants as ATHEIST, DEATH or early CYNIC. Prepare for the lightning evolution of the progressive technical death metal revolution!


1. Elusive Reverence
2. Sous la lueur de l'empereur
3. Earthborn Evolution
4. The Great Revelation
5. Neurotical Transmissions
6. Abstrait Dialog
7. The Axiom
8. L'exorde
9. Theatrical Delirium
10. Fundamental Process


Simon Girard: vocals, 8-string guitars
Kevin Chartré: 8-string guitars
Dominic 'Forest' Lapointe: 6-string fretless bass
Philippe Boucher: drums

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

NEWS: History Has Been Made. Indonesia Has A METALHEAD President

Devoted metal fan Joko Widodo has been announced as the new President of Indonesia.

The Indonesia election commission said Jokowi Widodo won the presidential election with 53.15% of the vote. His opponent, Prabowo Subianto, received 46.85% – as reported by the BBC.

As we previously reported, Joko is often at metal shows in Indonesia and even once owned a signed bass from Metallica's Rob Trujillo – although he had to give it up as the gift was regarded as a bribe.

But this is huge news for Indonesia – whose metal scene is growing rapidly. And any President who (by his own admission) is a fan of Metallica, Napalm Death and Led Zeppelin can only be a good thing.

NEWS: TOM KEIFER Says GENE SIMMONS, Not JON BON JOVI 'Discovered' CINDERELLA recently conducted an interview with CINDERELLA frontman Tom Keifer. A couple of excerpts from the chat are below: Looking back, how would you describe the group's "Still Climbing" (1994) era? Considering the successes of "Night Songs" (1986) and "Long Cold Winter", it really seemed that the record had been lost in the shuffle of it all.

Tom: It was a hard record to make because at the end of the "Heartbreak Station" tour, I got hit with the paralysis. I knew we had to make another record immediately. The record company was down our throats. I couldn't sing. I couldn't sing at all. So I would describe it with one word: dark. I was trying to write songs for a voice that wasn't there. It was weird because they'd say, "You're never going to sing again, but if you are going to sing, you have to completely retrain your voice." So I started that process and I'm thinking, "Okay, what voice am I going to end up with?" I was basically trying to write songs for a voice that I don't know what the voice is yet. It was just a weird time, man. Eventually, we had the songs and it was time to go. We put off the record for almost three years while I was struggling with my voice. And then, when we finally got in, we had to record those vocals very differently from what we did on the three records. I'd walk in behind the mic and just sing the song top to bottom on four or five tracks and then we'd comp it… I couldn't do that on "Still Climbing". We had to really kind of go one line at a time and really piece all of the vocals together because I was in such a bad place." After the departure of (drummer) Fred Coury, how did everyone become interested with Kevin Valentine?

Tom: We ended up using (drummer) Kenny Aronoff (CHICKENFOOT, JOHN FOGERTY, JOHN MELLENCAMP) on that record. He was just amazing. The bottom line is that the drums came out really great. Actually, Fred said he thought it was the best drumming on any CINDERELLA record. Kevin had actually joined the band. When we got into the studio, (producer) Andy Johns is very good with drummers and Kevin, unfortunately, was not working out in the studio. So at that point, we brought in Kenny to cut it and then after the record was done, we were back to searching for a new drummer again. That's when we found Ray Brinker, who came from the band BAREFOOT SERVANTS. I don't know if you remember him. …He has also played with (classic rock vocalist) Pat Benatar, so he's an amazing drummer. He's actually the one who toured with us on that tour. …He's a great guy. Am I correct in understanding that after being signed to Portrait Records by (A&R legend) John Kalodner, the group recorded an album? What is the status of these recordings? Will they be ever fully released?

Tom: Actually, it never was finished. We were in the demo stage and the deal blew up. We ended up in court with a lawsuit. No record was actually ever recorded. We wrote a lot of stuff and demoed a lot of stuff and we were getting ready to hire a producer. I won't get into details, but we ended up having a falling out with Sony and a lawsuit occurred. We were tied up legally for quite a few years. In those situations, you have recording restrictions, so we couldn't record as a group for a while. That's when I started my solo record. (Bassist) Eric (Brittingham) and (guitarist) Jeff (LaBar) did their solo stuff and everybody kind of drifted apart. In terms of the recording aspect, we were still touring together pretty heavily back then. That's really all we wanted to do. We just wanted to be a band and play music because the deal was so ugly. Once you get into the lawsuit thing with courts and judges, you're pretty much screwed. It's probably why we haven't signed another record deal since. And honestly, it's why I produced my record without a label involved. Normally, you would take demos to a label, sign a deal, and then let them pay for, fund, and produce the record for you. I didn't want to deal with any of that, so when I started "The Way Life Goes", it was produced without a label involved. We used our own money, did it on our own time and money because we just wanted to have a finished product. We always had the idea that if it ever got finished that we would take it to a label for distribution and marketing because that's not something I wanted to do. When it was finished, we actually found a great home with Merovee Records. …They're such a great label. They're independent. They've had this really incredible faith in the record and in me and put everything into it. They've done a great job and I'm very grateful that I found them in that situation. Throughout your career, there have been countless rumors in regards to (BON JOVI frontman) Jon Bon Jovi having "discovered" CINDERELLA while playing at the Empire Rock Club in Philadelphia. Is this story entirely true?

Tom: Actually, I'm going to set the record straight because something came up online about this recently. Jon is credited with discovering the band. Or, in other words, his interest in the band actually led to a record deal. But if you went back a couple years before that, (KISS bassist/vocalist) Gene Simmons was actually the guy who first took an interest in the band. His interest did not lead to a deal for one reason or another. He took it to some labels and he actually did take it to Polygram, but they just weren't interested. He did take an interest in the band, so I guess in terms of discovery, you really could credit Gene, even though both Gene and Jon showed an interest in the band. Jon's interest did eventually lead to a deal, but that was pulling teeth, too. He told his A&R guy they were chumming about us and said, "You've got to go down and see them." He came down and he still wasn't convinced. He wanted to hear more material and sign us to a six-month development deal. It's not easy to get a record deal. Gene Simmons and Jon Bon Jovi can be singing your praises all day long and it doesn't mean you're going to get a deal. Gene was the first to take an interest and then a couple years later, Jon wandered into that club and went to his A&R guy. We finally won him over and he signed us to a full deal, but that was a bit of a process too. I'm grateful to both Gene and Jon for the interest they took in the band.

NEWS: GLENN TIPTON On 'Epitaph' Tour Being JUDAS PRIEST's Farewell: 'We Lied'

JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford says that the addition of guitarist Richie Faulkner to the band's lineup largely contributed to PRIEST's decision to hit the road again four years after the legendary British heavy metal group announced its "farewell" tour.

Asked if people may have misconstrued what JUDAS PRIEST said in late 2010 about not wanting to do any more extensive touring ever again, PRIEST guitarist Glenn Tipton said during an appearance on last week's "Rockline": "We, uh, lied. [laughs] The statement we made was we’re gonna do no more world tours. As we said before, it takes a massive chunk out of your life. It's pretty arduous out there — almost two years, the last one, playing two and a half hours every night, four or five shows a week. But we enjoyed every second of it. And we said that at the end of it, we weren't gonna do any more world tours, but we didn’t' rule out any dates. And we just got so enthused with the new album and everything that we put some dates in and we'll see where it goes from there."

Asked by "Rockline" host Bob Coburn if it's fair to say retirement didn't work out for the band at all, Tipton replied: "We lied. We lied. We didn't mean to." Halford added: "Actually, it's Richie Faulkner's fault; let's blame Richie. We can't overemphasize the importance of having Richie with us at this point in our career."

He continued: "When Richie joined us for the 'Epitaph' tour, extraordinary things were happening night after night after night. And that, accompanied with some of the things that Richie was doing backstage before the show, laying down licks with his little portable recording gear, it was just this energy that was just out of control. So, naturally, when you come off a tour like that and you digest everything, you're just raring to go and we couldn't wait to get into the writing mode and start making music for [the new JUDAS PRIEST album] 'Redeemer Of Souls' together."

NEWS: SLASH Says He 'Loathes Looking Back And Fantasizing' About Classic GUNS N' ROSES Lineup

Slash says that he doesn't care about the fact that ex-GUNS N' ROSES bassist Duff McKagan played several shows with the band's current incarnation this past spring.

McKagan joined the Axl Rose-led group for five shows in South America and the Revolver Golden Gods awards show in Los Angeles in April. McKagan was filling in for GN'R's current bassist, Tommy Stinson, because Stinson reunited with THE REPLACEMENTS for high-profile dates at Coachella.

Slash, who was part of GUNS N' ROSES' classic lineup, tells "When [Duff] told me he was doing the shows, I didn't think much about it. Why would I care? If you remember correctly, Duff was the last guy in the band."

Asked if he ever wonders about what would have happened if the original GUNS N' ROSES had stayed together, Slash said: "I don't think about that because that's not what happened, so what's the point? People are always like, 'What if you had done things differently?' Not only with GN'R. But it's just such a waste of time. Things happened and it's done. I sort of loathe looking back and fantasizing about anything one way or another because in the end it didn't happen."

Former GUNS N' ROSES drummer Matt Sorum recently told that he was "cool" with McKagan's reunion with Rose. "Duff's like a really consummate gentleman, he's always been the mediator," Matt said. "I think he got caught in the middle of all the other stuff. So for him to mend fences [with Axl], it was cool. It's time. Rather than sitting around and saying 'What if?' He was really cool about it, he sent us all e-mails. It was nice, it felt cool, it felt right."

Asked if he would play with the current version of GUNS N' ROSES if Axl called him to do it, Sorum replied: "Yeah, sure. I got no problems with any of that, you know? Life's too short. It's getting shorter too."

NEWS: SEBASTIAN BACH Talks About Being 'Transformed' Into LADY GAGA On 'Sing Your Face Off'

Former SKID ROW vocalist Sebastian Bach spoke to Über Rock about his recent appearance on ABC's latest singing competition "Sing Your Face Off", where he had to take on the identity of some of music's famous faces such as into Willie Nelson, Lady Gaga, Adam Levine from MAROON 5 and Freddie Mercury of QUEEN.

"You have to do what you have to do," he said. "The first one, I let them do it their way. That was Adam Levine, and I wasn't happy with it. So the next one was Lady Gaga and I flicked a switch in my head and I said, 'Sebastian, now it's time for you to fuckin' rock! No matter what, do it for your fans, do it for yourself.' So they had this outfit that they wanted me to wear that was like some girls red chiffon thing, and I go, 'I'm not fuckin' wearing that. I'm not wearing that on your show. I'm not wearing that ever.' So we got pictures of Lady Gaga and found something that suited my persona, because she's a real metalhead. She really loves metal, and she's a very theatrical performer. So they showed me this picture of her in this black, kind of KISS-like shoulder thing and I had big antlers on my head, like Angelia Jolie, which was weird because that 'Maleficent' movie came out the week that I was doing that. It was, like, the same look. But what's funny is that the very next day after I did that, Lady Gaga started wearing a SKID ROW shirt and she also started following me on Twitter, so it's pretty crazy and kinda cool."

Unfortunately, after four weeks, Sebastian had the lowest score and was sent home from the show. On June 14, however, Bach returned with fellow contestant, actor/comedian Jon Lovitz, on the program's season finale for a rousing rendition of LMFAO's "Sexy And I Know It".

Monday, July 21, 2014


"Ego Dominus Tuus" comes as a huge surprise. With their previous release "Hierophany Of The Open Grave" (2011) NIGHTBRINGER succeeded to raise an eyebrow or two in Europe, but the old world was rather busy with sufficient orthodox Black Metal of its own. This is about to change. Sure, the elements that "Ego Dominus Tuus" is made of are well known. There are obvious traces of EMPEROR, DARK FUNERAL and DIMMU BORGIR among other black classics to be found on the American's fourth full-length. Yet NIGHTBRINGER have created dark and gripping music that is clearly bigger than the sum of its parts. Their songwriting is flawlessly elegant and easily carries even through songs of epic duration without a single second wasted. When NIGHTBRINGER were founded, the band was created as a conduit for contemplations on the mysteries of death as it is understood in the tradition of the magical arts. Formed in the year 1999 by Naas Alcameth (guitars and vocals) and former member Nox Corvus (guitars, percussion and vocals), the band from Colorado in the United States chose Nordic Black Metal as the foundation of their artistic expression. NIGHTBRINGER are still holding up the traditions of second generation Black Metal, while adding their own unique sinister sound. After unleashing several demos and split releases between 2001 and 2006, their debut album "Death and the Black Work" darkened the light of the world in 2008. A second album followed two years later with "Apocalypse Sun". Rising from the US underground, NIGHTBRINGER found themselves opening for major acts of the scene such as WATAIN, KRIEG and PROFANATICA and in 2014 crossed the Atlantic for a small tour reaping strong praise from the initiated. Now it is time to listen to NIGHTBRINGER again without prejudice and discover the remarkable strength of "Ego Dominus Tuus" that will lead them to the elite circle of American black metal!


1. Prayer Of Naphal
2. Et Nox Illuminatio Mea In Deliciis Meis
3. Lantern Of Eden’s Night
4. Things Which Are Naught
5. I Am The Gateway
6. Call Of The Exile
7. Where Fire Never Dreamt Of Man
8. The Witchfires Of Tubal-Qayin
9. Salvation Is The Son Of Leviathan (Alabas in Memoriam)
10. The Otherness Of Being


Naas Alcameth: guitars, bass, vocals, scripts and ambience
Ophis: guitars, bass, vocals and scripts
VJS: guitars, bass, backing vocals
Ar-Ra’d al-Iblis: vocals, scripts
Menthor: percussions

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REVIEW: Suicide Silence – "You Can’t Stop Me"

Suicide Silence, one of the most popular deathcore bands, is back with their latest release ‘You Can’t Stop Me’, their first release since Mitch Lucker’s tragic death in 2012. Hernan ‘Eddie’ Harmida (of All Shall Perish) was brought in as the new vocalist to fill Lucker’s shoes for their latest release. Suicide Silence, though gaining a lot of popularity with their recent releases, has been a bit of a letdown for me since their first EP and ‘The Cleansing’. I was interested to see what Eddie would bring to the table with ‘You Can’t Stop Me’ and be rest assured; Suicide Silence is safe and back, the album being a tribute to their late ex-vocalist.

The album consists of a lot of the essential deathcore chugging and the combination of the high screams and the low gutturals. While I absolutely love the gutturals in the album, I wasn’t a fan of the high screams at all. But I would definitely say that I enjoy Eddie’s highs more than that of Mitch’s. There were breakdowns that worked well, and there were some that didn’t. I guess a lot of effort was put into making this an emotional album but not enough into making it more cohesive.

After a brief intro with “M.A.L” (Mitchell Adam Lucker), “Inherit the Crown” (presumably implying Eddie inheriting from Mitch) starts off like any other generic deathcore song, but then gets better midway with some good lead guitar work and satisfying amount of blast beats. The next track “Cease to Exist” is pretty sweet with great kick drumming and a brutal breakdown that involuntarily makes you headbang. The track “Control” features George ‘Corpsegrinder’ Fisher of Cannibal Corpse lending his vocal skills to this heavy and fast tempo track, which he performs satisfactorily. It also contains a massive breakdown at the end of the track, which was quite entertaining. 

“Warrior” was a bit uninteresting and I felt that it hindered the flow of the album. Speaking of the title track, the lyrics were written by Mitch before his untimely death and the track is entertaining enough to keep you interested, but there was nothing really spectacular. “Monster Within” features the vocalist of The Dillinger Escape Plan, Greg Puciato, and by this point the album gets stale with its predictable chugging and breakdowns. “Ending is the Beginning” is arguably the best track of the album and provides some respite to listeners like me who were getting a little bored at this point in the album. The track is a re-recording from the band’s first EP and you can hear the old deathcore sound in the track. “Ouroboros” is the final track of the album, and it is a slow tempo track where the band has tried to add an atmospheric intro and a very similar outro. I would have liked it if they had gone out with a bang though.

There are tracks in the album where the band shines, but they couldn’t keep it going for long and there are parts that act like filler. This is definitely a good effort from the band, and is probably their best album after ‘The Cleansing’. I’d definitely recommend this album to all the deathcore fans, but I would be a bit cautious if you are not. You can try out the recommended songs to see if it’s your forte.

Recommended songs: “Ending is the Beginning”, “Cease to Exist”  

Rating: 7.4/10

Also Check: Interview With Suicide Silence's Eddie Hermida

Reviewed By,
Prateek Kulkarni