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Saturday, October 25, 2014

NEWS: OZZY OSBOURNE Hopes BILL WARD Can "Get His Stuff Together" Before Next BLACK SABBATH Album and Tour

In a new interview with Esquire.com, Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne confirmed that the band will record another album in 2015 and go out on one final tour. He said, "I'm not one of these guys to do my solo stuff one night and Black Sabbath the next. I can't do that, you know. It's too much to handle. So with the Black Sabbath thing, the record company wants us to do one more record, and we've decided to do one more tour, and at the end of the tour we just disband and I go back to doing my solo stuff. And that's why I released [the solo career retrospective] 'Memoirs Of A Madman', to let people out there know I'm still functioning as a solo artist."

When asked if he has started writing songs for the new Sabbath album, Ozzy replied, "No. Although I texted [guitarist] Tony [Iommi] the other day. I said, 'It would be a great idea if you could send me some musical ideas so I can try and work some melodies around so we don't have to go searching for the song structure.' So I'm not starting from a cold block, you know?"

He added, "What I'm really happy about is, if this is Black Sabbath's last hurrah, then we'll have ended it on an up note rather than when I left in 1979 and everybody was fucked up on one thing or another and I was marked out as being the worst, you know. It ended on a bad note, so... The only thing sad about it is I hope [drummer] Bill Ward can get his stuff together to do this because... one of the biggest things I'm proud of in my life was that Black Sabbath wasn't a band that was created by some business mogul in London or New York. That we were four guys who had a great idea and it worked from record one, and we still... Would you believe that it took 45 years to get our first No. 1 album in America? It was amazing to me."

Read the rest of the interview here.

NEWS: CANNIBAL CORPSE''s ROB BARRETT on Russian Concert Cancellations - "We Didn't Get Arrested or Deported"


Cannibal Corpse guitarist Rob Barrett was interviewed by Kaaos TV on October 15 at Nosturi in Helsinki, Finland. You can watch the chat below.

When asked about the problems the band encountered in their recent Russian tour, Barrett stated, "We tried to do eight shows in Russia, but ended up only doing four and a half due to some problems over there with somebody that was getting our shows shut down. So we actually only were able to do four full shows and then we got stopped half way through a fifth one. But at least we got to do more than half, so that was a success in itself. We didn't get arrested or deported, or… Well, we got canceled several shows, but… Other than that, the shows were really good over there. The shows that we weren't allowed to play, we actually stuck around and did a signing and took pictures with a bunch of people just so then they didn't feel like we were just leaving and not really caring about them."

The concert cancellations in Russia are believed to be linked to complaints about Cannibal Corpse's lyrics by Dmitry Tsorionov, the head of the Russian orthodox social movement 'God's Will', who claims that they violate the country's anti-blasphemy law. 

When asked for his opinion on these aspects of countries like Russia, Barrett replied, "I don't really wanna say my full opinion about it, but it seems at least over there that the wall is back up, you just can't see it."

Cannibal Corpse's tour of Russia kicked off on October 2 in Krasnodar and was scheduled to include eight concerts. However, only four shows went ahead as planned, with the band's October 5 gig in Ufa getting axed when the venue abruptly closed "for technical reasons." The band's October 10 concert in Nizhny Novgorod was shut down by armed masked police officers 30 minutes after it had started. A number of fans were detained and taken for compulsory drug tests.

According to the police, the detained fans were charged either with "disorderly conduct" or with "being drunk in public," offenses that are punishable by fines or up to 15 days in prison.

NEWS: VINNIE PAUL ABBOTT - A Lot of Newer Metal Drummers "Play Too Much"


In his appearance on Hatebreed frontman Jamey Jasta's podcast 'The Jasta Show', former Pantera and current Hellyeah drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott said that he still loves all the legendary musicians he grew up listening to, but is unable to appreciate the extreme metal drummers of today because they "play too much".

Vinnie Paul said, "I always really loved the guys that made me wanna play drums. John Bonham, probably the greatest drummer ever. All of us wanted to play drums like him.

"Alex Van Halen… I loved his playing because he had so much energy; he made those songs exciting, along with everything else that went with him.

"Tommy Aldridge is the guy that made me wanna play double kick, man. I heard him play 'Boom Boom (Out Go The Lights)' with the Pat Travers band and he was doing stuff with his feet that I couldn't even hear people do with their hands. I was, like, 'Man, I've gotta get another bass drum.'

"That's a whole another funny story. I went to my dad. I said, 'Man, I've gotta have another bass drum, dad.' And he was, like, 'Why? What's wrong with the one you've got, son?' And I said, 'Nothing. I need two.' And he just looked at me, like, 'Two? What's that for?' I said, 'I'll show you. Just get me another one, man.' And so that's how I got started on that.

"And then, somebody that really doesn't reflect in my playing, but I'm a huge fan of, is Neil Peart; he's an amazing drummer.

"But the new guys, to me, a lot of them play too much — to me.

"I always considered myself a groove drummer, and a blast beat don't have much of a groove to it. And a lot of these drummers play so much that it's not about the song anymore, it's like a show-off session. 'Watch me. Here I go.' It's over the top.

"To me, I always felt like drums have to be the support and the driving factor in a song, and there's places where the drummer has to show off and do things and get the spotlight, but not all the time. You've gotta pick and choose. And it's always gotta be about the song. That's really the bottom line."

REVIEW: OBITUARY - "Inked In Blood"

It’s always exciting when legends make a comeback.  The nervous anxiety about the sound on the new album coupled with the actual realization while listening to it evokes a physical response. The sonic experience culminates either in teeth-clenching jubilance or hopeless manic despair. Obituary are set to release their ninth studio album on 28th October, and I too exhibited a perceptible nervous excitement as I started to play their latest release titled 'Inked In Blood'.

The album artwork displays a mutilated torso nailed to a wooden wall, along with some bloodstained surgical instruments. The dismembered torso bears the name of the band, written by excoriating the skin on the chest, painting a putrid image; the perfect setting for some gruesome and violent old-school death metal.

Obituary gets right down to business from the starting second on this album. 'Inked In Blood' does not open with some teasing instrumental intro; instead, it thwacks your face with a fast, dirty riff while simultaneously bludgeoning your guts with some super-tight drum work behind the kit on “Centuries Of Lies”.  It’s a full-on death-thrash assault right from the first note. John Tardy wastes no time in getting into the thick of things with his raw aggressive vocals and ghastly screams. The subsequent tracks progressively slow down the pace of the album, but what it loses in speed, it gains in intensity, groove and might. “Violent by Nature” lays down on a crunchy bed of distortion as Donald Tardy smacks you with an extra dose of groove on the drums using a thunderous double bass and crushing snare hits. Things get ultra heavy and sinister with “Pain Inside”. It mangles the album to a stoner death/doom shape with a massive devilish riff over some shrieking pinch-harmonic squeals. The track is sculpted by meaty palm-muted chugs on a backdrop of some amazing dynamics on the drums, as it takes on the silhouette of an enraged beast hunting down its prey.

'Inked In Blood' is definitely on the slower end of the spectrum, inclined more towards the depressive and ominous characteristics of death metal rather than technicality or speed. Although the album has tracks like “Centuries Of Lies”, “Violence” and “Minds of the World” to provide a welcome change of pace with its fast riffs and thrashy drum beats, the core strength of this album lies in groove and intensity rather than speed. What I enjoyed the most was Donald Tardy's brawny style of drumming. He sounds massive behind the kit with his double bass and snare hits pounding away through the heavily distorted guitar sounds. Apart from strength, he also provides a lot of dynamics to tracks like “Pain Inside”, “Out of Blood” and the title track “Inked In Blood”. The guitars are down-tuned and thoroughly distorted to provide a thick meaty structure to the sound on this album. Although the riffs are not too complex, they ooze groove and have enough fire power to make you bob your head in agreement. Trevor Peres provides some dense, grinding riffs and backs them up with some melodic and nifty solos. John Tardy's vocals are abrasive and have enough raw energy to elevate the distorted sounds to newer levels of awesomeness. The album has been self produced by the band, who have done a good job in maintaining the quality of the sound as it was in their earlier albums. No single instrument stands out to become an eye- (or an ear-?) sore, yet every aspect gets clearly defined. “Paralyzed with Fear” is a fitting conclusion to the album, serving you a mixed bag of every aspect of this album inside it.


'Inked In Blood' is a good mix of intensity and raw power. Although it lacks for most parts the sudden bursts of speed and technicality that we typically associate with Death Metal, it more than compensates for it with some kick-ass headbanging groove and grinding, distorted goodness. It features some truly memorable riffs which are sure to attach themselves to you like parasites, long after you have finished listening to the album.

Recommended Tracks: “Violent by Nature”, “Pain Inside”, “Visions in my Head”


Rating: 8.75/10


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Reviewed By,
Rakesh Pothengil

Friday, October 24, 2014

REVIEW: SCAR SYMMETRY - "The Singularity (Phase 1: Neohumanity)"

Ever since vocalist and founding member Christian Älvestam departed from Scar Symmetry in 2008, the band has been trying to find its right footing. That being said, most fans, me included, were obviously quite bummed when news of guitarist Jonas Kjellgren’s exit from the band surfaced late last year. Nonetheless, the band remained persistent and decided to carry on as a quintet. Following this, an announcement regarding a new album was made. What was even more interesting was the fact that this album, entitled ‘The Singularity (Phase I: Neohumanity)’, was to be the first installment of an ambitious trilogy.

Songs: The album opens with the intense and boisterous “Neohuman”. The song is a combination of sophisticated progressive sections with a mix of harsh and melodic vocals. The band has surprisingly managed to maintain its signature sound despite Kjellgren’s departure. We also see the return of the keyboard in the mix, which plays a vital role throughout the album; something which was largely missing on the previous album The Unseen Empire. “Limits To Infinity” is the next track on the album as well as the first single released. It is by far the weakest track in my opinion, and definitely not the kind of track that should have been used for a single. It just feels out of place compared to the rest of the songs here; almost like filler material. Fortunately, “Cryonic Harvest” too retains the signature style of the band. The main feature of the song is the duet between Lars’ soaring melodies and Rob’s guttural vocals. The definite highlight of the album has to be the album closer “Technocalyptic Cybergeddon”; clocking in at 8 minutes, the track feels like two songs sewn together. The song keeps the listener glued throughout by shifting between annihilating death metal segments and melodic portions.

Musicianship: I was highly doubtful whether the band would be able to carry on with their trademark sound without Kjellgren, especially since he composed most of the heavier and well-received material. But Nilsson has definitely proved me wrong. Not only has he stepped up as primary composer, but he has also handled the production on the album; something which was done by Kjellgren on all the previous albums. Tracks like “Cryonic Harvest”, “Neohuman” and “Technocalyptic Cybergeddon” are testimony of Nilsson’s fantastic songwriting chops. The guitar work is simply splendid; notably the leads on the record are some of Nilsson’s finest works. This is probably due to the fact that the music was solely Nilsson’s creation, which gave him the freedom to do whatever he wanted to on the record.  The duo of Lars and Roberth on vocals brings in a wide and unique range. Obviously, for die-hard fans, Älvestam cannot be replaced, but Lars and Rob definitely do a fine job on the vocals front. Lars is blessed with an excellent clear voice, which he aptly uses for soaring melodies as well as the execution of impressive robotic-sounding voices. Rob’s monstrous growls go hand in hand with Lars’ clean vocals. Henrik Ohlsson has done a marvelous job on the skins. His drumming brings in the groove in the music. While his drumming isn’t very complex, it nonetheless steals the spotlight on “Neuromancers” and “Technocalyptic Cybergeddon”. On a negative note, some songs seem reminiscent of the band’s older material, one striking example of this being the small similarities found between “Neuromancers” and 2009’s “Frequencyshifter”.

Lyrics: Henrik is also credited for the lyrics on the album. The lyrics describe a future where humans and machines have fused together to become an evolved species. While I was not particularly impressed by the lyrics, some listeners may definitely find it an interesting story.

Production: As mentioned before, Nilsson has taken over the production for this album. And for a first-timer, he has definitely done a very good job on that front as all the instruments are crystal clear. Unfortunately, the album seems to have become a victim of heavy brick-walled production, which has resulted in a loss in the dynamics of the songs.


Overall: On the previous two records, Scar Symmetry seemed to have lost its momentum. Things seem to be changing with this record. In comparison to 2011’s ‘The Unseen Empire’, ‘The Singularity (Phase I: Neohumanity)’ is definitely a step-up, but in terms of a Scar Symmetry album, it still lacks the energy and emotion present on the first three records. Nonetheless, this album has still managed to lay the groundwork for the trilogy and will make listeners eagerly look forward to Phase II and III.

Line-Up:
Per Nilsson -
Guitars, Keyboards
Lars Palmqvist - Vocals (Clean)
Roberth Karlsson - Vocals (Harsh)
Henrik Ohlsson - Drums
Kenneth Seil - Bass


Rating: 7/10


--
Reviewed By,
Naman Lakhani

NEWS: KERRY KING: Next SLAYER Album Will Contain 'Fast', 'Heavy' And 'Spooky' Material

SLAYER guitarist Kerry King says that fans will "dig" the band's next album because it contains much of the same type of material that SLAYER has covered on its previous efforts.

SLAYER's new CD is being produced by Terry Date, who previously worked with the band on the song "Implode", which was made available as a free download as a "thank you" to the band's fans for their continued support following SLAYER's surprise performance at this past April's Revolver Golden Gods awards in Los Angeles.

During an appearance on Scion AV's "The All Purpose Show", King stated about the band's upcoming CD: "By the time this record comes out, it's gonna be six years, almost, since the last one. So you can only beat the old the old material so much, you know, and then you've gotta have some new stuff to infuse in there. It's fun to do that too, though. It's fun to have new material you can play because, you know, at some point you get tired of playing certain songs. But we played 'Raining Blood', 'Angel Of Death', almost every show since '86, so… That goes both ways. There's some [songs] that you're just gonna play 'till you stop playing, and there's some you're, like, 'I'm ready to take four years off on this one.' So we'll have 10-12 new ones to play for everybody next year."
Asked if there is any pressure on SLAYER to come up with a worthy follow-up to 2009's "World Painted Blood", King said: "I think there's more talk about pressure than anything. I mean, I've been making up this music for 30 years — not by myself, but I've been making it up for 30 years. So I think it's business as usual, pretty much. We've got fast material, we've got heavy material, we've got spooky material… So anything you dug about SLAYER historically, you should dig about this record."

NEWS: SLIPKNOT's COREY TAYLOR: 'We've Always Written Our Own Destiny And Steered Our Own Ship'

SLIPKNOT singer Corey Taylor says that the six-year recording break that followed the release of 2008's "All Hope Is Gone" was crucial in allowing the band enough time to deal with the passing of SLIPKNOT bassist Paul Gray while also providing them with the inspiration to make a worthy follow-up effort.

"I think [the break] was important on two levels," Corey told DIY magazine. "One, we needed the time to grieve, and to kinda make peace with the fact that this had happened, and it is what it is. We were all dealing with our own internal battles, basically. A lot of that is on the album. In one way, we just needed time to heal, and on the other hand, we've never done anything that we didn't want to do. Outside forces might've felt like, 'You need to go in and do something', but we've never felt like that. We've always written our own destiny and steered our own ship in a lot of ways. We knew that we weren't gonna be pushed — positively or negatively — into doing something that we didn't feel was time to do. At the same point, we didn't know what story we wanted to tell. By taking that time and allowing ourselves to naturally get to the point where we wanted to go in and make this music was really important, not just for the health of the music, but for the health of the band."

Due on October 21, ".5: The Gray Chapter" has been described as SLIPKNOT's "most focused album yet" and, because of everything the band has been through, their heaviest — both musically and emotionally.

"As you get older, the intensity with which you approach music changes, obviously," Corey told DIY. "But with this album, it wasn't really a challenge because we've never held anything back. We've always tried to go above and beyond, so for us, it was just about making sure that the subject matter of the song — whatever song we were working with — conveyed that emotion."
He continued: "Without the album being a concept album per se, the album really is the story of the last four years for us. Whether it's a song like 'Goodbye', which is really all about the day we were sitting in my house, the day we lost Paul and the deep, deep sadness that comes into it, or there are songs about Paul on there, which are a celebration of his spirit. There are songs about the anger that we all felt, not only towards Paul for losing him — which is a very human thing to feel — but also towards ourselves; about that almost-guilt, the angry guilt of ‘Was there something else I could've done?' You'll keep yourself awake nights thinking about stuff like that. Each song was a piece of the puzzle and a story to tell, and it was all about making sure that we channelled that, didn't filter anything and made sure it was exactly the kind of emotional beat that we wanted to feel."

REVIEW: SCRIBE - "Hail Mogambo"

There aren't many bands around which redefine their genre with the music they create, almost none from India. Enter Scribe.

Scribe are tagged as Hardcore, Metalcore, Post-Hardcore, Experimental and what not, but what they play can only be best described as “Scribe”Core. Their unique brand of music that incorporates influences from the 90s era of the Indian mainstream music industry (Bollywood) is truly something unreal. Much like everywhere else, metalheads in India too hate mainstream music. However, Scribe audaciously incorporate lyrical references, characters and whatever the hell that fancies them from Bollywood, and deliver something that is supremely powerful and beyond hard-hitting.

Scribe released their third album 'Hail Mogambo' on September 25th this year. They took their time after their phenomenal second album 'Mark of Teja' in 2010, but it was definitely worth the wait. 'Hail Mogambo' is a sequel to 'Mark of Teja' and depicts the clash of the two super villains that were central to their respective album plots. This 13-track masterpiece obliterates everything in its path with its precise razor-sharp 7-string guitars and relentless polyrhythmic drum madness. Add to it some eccentric vocals, motor-mouth rapping and Beatboxing backed by some soulful melodic singing and you have a lethal and addictive cocktail in 'Hail Mogambo'.

After the teasing intro track “Hail”, Scribe hits you with “Calendar Khana Lao”; you instantly notice a new element in their armory in the form of the synth, enveloping the thick groovy riffage and surgically precise drum patterns. The vocalist Vishwesh Krishnamoorthy wastes no time in cutting through the heavily distorted instrumentation with his trademark screams, and kickstarts the proceedings in style. You also get glimpses of their new vocalist Gagan Gill (from the progressive death metal band Petrichor), providing a melodic touch to the track in the chorus. “Cops, Cops (Cops, Cops)” takes things to a whole new level with million-words-a-minute rapping over a bed of frantic polyrhythmic goodness and a riotous groove pattern. Drummer Virendra Kaith - arguably one of the best drummers in India - delivers a sucker punch of a performance on drums throughout the album. The pandemonium culminates with a supremely melodic chorus only to start all over again. Guitarist Prashant Shah mentioned that the idea of the song came to him while he was stuck in a jam and he heard a Piaggio mini tempo's engine giving off this amazing groove pattern. Well, they absolutely nail it.

'Hail Mogambo' maintains the ferocity of 'Mark of Teja', yet retains the fun vibes Scribe gave off in 'Confect'. While 'Mark of Teja' mostly had Vishwesh doing his quirky voices in between massive growls, and high pitched screams, 'Hail Mogambo' takes that to the next level by adding his crazy beatboxing style and blitzkreig rapping. Apart from “Cops, Cops”, “Captain Raj” also showcases this unique talent. The addition of Gagan adds a whole new dimension to the vocals and complements the band's sound very well. I feel that he does a better job than Vishwesh when it comes to clean vocals, and he would definitely be useful when they perform live to pull off all the craziness we hear on the vocals on this album. The synths are used quite elaborately by Akshay Rajpurohit (also on guitars) to shape each track. 

“Ha! Ha! We Are Poor!” starts off with a nostalgic synth-driven pop intro and explodes into a monstrous riff which made me raise those metal horns up. This track is a shapeshifter flowing effortlessly from pop to metal to hip hop over a milieu of EDM! Another track which completely takes you by surprise is “Tomato Aryabhatta”. Midway into the groovy mayhem, the track twists into this jazzy elongated outro reminiscent of those beautiful background scores of Charlie Chaplin movies. 'Hail Mogambo' ends strong with “Black Diamond” and “The Fumanchurian”. I can’t decide whether it was the intensity of these tracks, the immensely catchy groove or the super peppiness that I enjoyed the most. But for me, they are a fitting conclusion to the madness that is 'Hail Mogambo'.



Scribe keeps you entertained for the entire length of 41 minutes on this album. They throw many surprises at you throughout this album both sound-wise as well as lyrically (which you might miss if you are unfamiliar with Bollywood). Scribe as a band thoroughly enjoy themselves on stage, and they are able to resonate that madness and camaraderie with the listener on this album. It's always difficult to make a sequel as exciting as the original, but Scribe nails it on 'Hail Mogambo'.

Recommended Tracks: “Cops, Cops (Cops, Cops)”, “Ha Ha! We Are Poor!”, “Captain Raj”


Rating: 9/10


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Reviewed By,
Rakesh Pothengil

Thursday, October 23, 2014

INTERVIEW: REVOCATION's David Davidson On 'Deathless' - "It's Heavy, Epic, Diverse & It Will Kick Your Ass"

Throughout the course of their career, which has been relatively small, Revocation has earned itself a name to the scale a lot of the bigger bands. Their unique and intelligent amalgamation of death metal and thrash metal, with bursts of epic guitar and drum sections, makes for a fresh experience for any avid listener. Release after release, Revocation keep on improving and never fail to bring their fanbase music that has been worth the wait. Their latest issue 'Deathless' has come only a year after their critically acclaimed self-titled record. The important thing is that even though Revocation’s releases have come one after the other in quick progression, the quality of the songwriting, production and performance and other factors have never deteriorated. It seems as if the band will continue with this onslaught of this music in the future as well, judging by the energy this album gives off.

Gearing up for a tour & album release, Metal Wani's writer William Richards had a chat with composer David Davidson. He discusses new album "Deathless", songwriting, switch to Metal Blade Records, touring, Boston Metal scene and much more.

Stream The Entire Interview Below:

REVIEW: BEYOND CREATION - "Earthborn Evolution"

The boundaries of music, and metal in particular here, are getting pushed to its wondrous pasture with land still left to explore. Moreover, what could be more exciting than a complexly structured blend of technical death metal and progressive metal? Today we have Beyond Creation, a Progressive Technical Death Metal band from Montreal, Canada with their second full-length to be released on October 24th and 28th worldwide, and in US/Canada respectively. I cannot tell you how long I've waited for this beauty to land in my hands. Well I can actually, it's been 3 years since they released their stellar debut album, 'The Aura' after being formed in 2005. Today, I listen to their second output as a band, 'Earthborn Evolution', and I didn't expect to be disappointed even one bit. That's the assurance you get from such bands. They know what they are doing, although complex and they will do it better time and time again. Consistency, displayed with sheer efficiency. And what did I think of the album? Well, lets read on.

This record begins with 'Elusive Reverence'. The blast of technicality with that fretless bass all noodled up which I missed so much, highlights their trademark sound. Unanimous efforts couldn't go better than this. The riffs stay hypnotic throughout, with a bulldozer of vocals by Simon Girard who can, not only rip the highs and lows at growling, but can flare through the guitar like a virtuosic genius! The drumming maintains the complex tempo that goes from heavy, to brutal and even groovy/jazzy at times. The first solo is quite a belter to begin with, and the bass guitar exemplifies the jazzy/groovy tinge in their music. And boy, does that bass sound tasty or what.



The second song, 'Sous La Lueur De L'empereur' holds a similar start to the song that has its standard uprisen due to the pleasing bass. This track has a few progressive, odd time breaks displaying a wonderful drum pattern by Philippe Boucher. The lead-bass duo take off wonderfully with a groovy, stop motion solo accompanied by a bass line that drags along beautifully, ending with a short shredding frenzy courtesy, the lead. The main riff borderlines on melody and groove. Whilst loving this album already, the three best songs in the album, according to my opinion, has track no. 2, and track no. 3 in it. The third song, the title track 'Earthborn Evolution', begins with a groovily endearing bass intro that is tastily melodic. Rest of the instruments kick in to retain their original sound. The first guitar solo forebodes a melodic style that opens up a bridge for the bass yet again. The bass solo at the end of the song is mind blowingly mystical. The 9th track, is the penultimate song of the record, 'Theatrical Delirium'. It is a decent song that expels one of the best bass guitar sounds I've heard. This magical bass solo is followed by a short lead guitar solo. Shortly after, descending into a breezy blues/jazz break. The song then kicks back to its brutality. It concludes with another such break that brings about an outburst solo from the lead guitar.

The rest of the album is quite the whopper to every death metal fan, but consists of little variety, with many songs sounding not very different from the other. While I did notice a few atmospheric/ambient, blues/jazz breaks or rather stutters, throughout the album, a more prominent spot in the record would be increasingly pleasing to the ears, in my opinion being a progressive album in a whole. Other than this shortfall, I couldn't come across anything else that would bring the pointer down for these guys and their immensely mountainous efforts to top up what was easily one of the best technical death metal debut albums ever made. Tough job indeed. Did they level at it? Well frankly, I still liked the first album better. Maybe because it was their first release and that in itself took them a step closer to their epitome. Also because this album was a good ten minutes or more shorter than the aforementioned record. No songs even crossing the 7 and a half minute mark. All trivial remarks set aside, this full-length has delivered successfully. Yes, it could be better, but it could be even more worse to begin with. A flawless effort that slightly goes in vain due to the not-so-out-of-the-box composition, even for a band like Beyond Creation that possess their unique identity in the league of death metal heavyweights. This, coming from a genuine fan of both the albums, but someone who loved the debut album so much, that the second one didn't quite live up to that standard. Both the outputs still defying the common man's skills, are two albums to watch out for, inspiring a fresh horde of progressive technical death metal bands, thanks to the majestic of them all, Beyond Creation.


Rating: 8.5/10


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Reviewed By,
Vishaal Gollerkeri

REVIEW: GENERATION OF VIPERS - "Coffin Wisdom"

Hailing from Knoxville, Tennessee, Generation of Vipers is a sludge metal band with post-metal, post-hardcore and other influences. Over the years, the band has released some solid releases and is usually likened to Neurosis and Isis, though it is a bit unfair since the band is musically quite unique. Each of their releases had something new to offer and I was certainly excited to see what they could bring to the table with their latest release ‘Coffin Wisdom’. ‘Howl and Filth’ was received very well by the fans and critics alike, and there is a lot of hype over the new album among their fan base.

‘Coffin Wisdom’ is Generation of Vipers’ fourth full-length album, which is releasing on the 28th of October 2014. The album has a very dirty sound, so to speak, staying true to the muddy sludge sound and it works very well. The album features thick catchy riffs, beautiful and clearly discernible bass lines and drum work that perfectly complement riffing. Though I am not a fan of shouting hardcore vocals, it seems to work pretty well in the album. We can also see some drone influences here and there.

The album starts off with “Damaged Awake”, which was the single that the band released. The track wastes no time at all with pointless intros and jumps right into the groove. I love the bass work on this track and it forms the backbone to the rhythm that runs throughout the track. The title track has a slower tempo and effectively uses the drone/wall of noise sound. Like the rest of the album, the bass is very prominent, and that makes me happy. The riff is dark and catchy at the same time and the outro is perfect to dance and head-bang to. “Dark Matter” creates a sinful atmosphere with ambient elements infused between the hooks. “You Deserve This” starts off with a bleak whispering vocals over calm drumming and haunting violins, and is one of the best tracks on this record. “Haunted” is exactly what its name suggests – haunting. It starts off with a piece that could very well fit into a horror movie. At the 2-minute mark, everything turns upside down when the doom riffs chomp down over everything happy and gleeful, and then end the track with an unsettling outro. This was my favorite track of ‘Coffin Wisdom’. “Stolen Voices” is a straightforward sludge track that would probably sound great live. The song gets progressively better by the end of the track. The final track, “Crawling on the Ceiling”, is the longest track on the album and features one cool riff after another. More fist-pumping and head-banging music can be found on this track.

‘Coffin Wisdom’ is a great addition to the band’s catalogue – the earlier albums were more atmospheric and the later albums were sludgy. The band is technically great as well, and I cannot mention about the great bass enough. The only thing I can complain about is, expect for the middle 3 tracks in the album, it gets a bit monotonous with the vocals, but it isn’t something to worry about. This album would definitely be as loved as ‘Howl and Filth’ by their fans, and it definitely deserves their love.

Ratings: 8/10


--
Reviewed By,
Prateek Kulkarni

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

NEWS: RENE THOMSON Surrounded By World Renowned Musicians On His New Release "UnBroken"

Following the success of his debut album “Let´s Get Ruthless” (2009), which featured a wide range of renowned metal musician guest, René Thomsen, guitarist, composer, and mastermind, continues this superb combination for his second release, Unbroken! Includes international known musician guests, from Udo Dirkschneider, Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath, Dio, Heaven & Hell), Bobby Jarzombek (Halford, Fates Warning, Sebastian Bach, Riot), David Vincent (Morbid Angel), Mathias Don Dieth (U.D.O.), Andre Hilgers (Rage, Sinner) and Helge Engelke (Fair Warning, Dreamtide), who have lent not only their technical skills but also glamour to the material.

René Thomsen has composed twelve songs for Unbroken, most of them together with Fair Warning producer and guitarist Helge Engelke. “I’ve known Helge since the eighties when we shared a rehearsal room,” Thomsen remembers. “Ever since, I’ve known that he is the perfect co-songwriter and producer for my music. He’s got that unusual musical sense that Unbroken has thoroughly benefitted from.”

The roles of the guest musicians were allocated on the basis of the recordings which Thomsen and his group (Robert Soeterboek/vocals, Ingo Lühring/bass, Mike Pesin/guitar, Max Dietzmann/drums) cut: Thomsen’s long-standing friend David Vincent (Morbid Angel) played bass on ‘Draw The Curtains’. Vinny Appice was the drummer of Thomsen’s dreams for ‘We Made It’, which he wrote during the night following Ronnie James Dio’s death in remembrance of that great American rock singer. The song’s guitar solo and its intro ‘Six Thirteen 64’ were written by Mathias Dieth in direct collaboration with René Thomsen. Dieth also came up with the idea of asking his friend and erstwhile colleague Udo Dirkschneider to record the vocals. It would have been impossible to perform this number in a style more charismatic than Dirkschneider’s.

Thomsen is particularly proud of Bobby Jarzombek’s contribution to ‘Draw The Curtains’, ‘New Horizon’, ‘Unbroken’ and ‘Fools of Fortune’. “I’ve known Bobby since recording Let´s Get Ruthless, so all it took was a phone call to sign up this exceptional drummer’s services for Unbroken.” Just as uncomplicated as enlisting Rage skinsman André Hilgers, who recorded the impressive drum parts on ‘Dream’, ‘Break That Spell’, ‘Into The Unknown’ and ‘In Steel We Trust’. The fact that Hilgers is not only “a fantastic drummer, but also a really nice guy” (quote Thomsen) was of course conductive to the Unbroken project. The album was produced by René Thomsen, Helge Engelke and Arne Neurand, a team with great vision and technical skills. The team have a work-intensive and occasionally difficult production process behind them: “That’s the reason for the album title Unbroken,” Thomsen explains, “because life is about not letting adverse circumstances get you down but holding on to your dreams and carrying on.”




NEWS: OPETH's MIKAEL ÅKERFELDT Says It Was 'A Mistake' To Perform So Many New Songs On 'Heritage' Tour

On October 11, guitarist/vocalist Mikael Åkerfeldt of Swedish progressive metallers OPETH was interviewed by UK's Metal Hammer at Roundhouse in London, England. You can now watch the chat below.

Asked how OPETH went about choosing which songs to perform live on the current tour, Mikael said: "It can be difficult with setlists. We sat down [this time], and I think we were drinking a lot of wine, so nobody had any perception on how many songs we were writing down, basically. And we have eleven records now; if we go on a tour for a record, we wanna promote that record a little bit more than the other records. So we just wrote down songs, and we ended up with a list of 40 songs or something, which is impossible to cover in a show unless you're playing for a day. So we had to narrow it down. I'm pretty headstrong too, and I kind of mixed up my own integrity as a musician with the, so to speak, showmanship of this band. Like, when we play a show, we wanna please the crowd, basically. And we did a tour in support of the last record, 'Heritage', where we played a lot of new stuff, and we didn't play any of the really heavy stuff, which left a lot of people not so happy with the show, which, in retrospect, I thought was a mistake on my behalf. But now, we put together songs that, first, we want to play them, and we think that we can play them quite well, and most importantly, we think that it would please the fans. So integrity, I try and keep that to the creative side of things, and the live side of things will be more, like, crowd-pleasing things, whoring out a little bit. But we also love playing those songs, and that's not a problem for us."

NEWS: SEBASTIAN BACH On GENE SIMMONS' 'Rock Is Dead' Claim: 'I Get Enough Rock In My Life'

Former SKID ROW singer Sebastian Bach is the latest musician to respond to KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons' recent comment that "rock is dead."

Simmons told Esquire magazine last month — in an interview conducted by his son Nick — that "rock did not die of old age. It was murdered. Some brilliance, somewhere, was going to be expressed and now it won't because it's that much harder to earn a living playing and writing songs. No one will pay you to do it."

Simmons went on to elaborate that as a result of file-sharing and other issues, record label support for rock music was not available like it was when KISS was coming up, concluding, "It's finally dead. Rock is finally dead."

Asked what we can do to keep rock alive, Bach IndiePower.com: "Well, you have to ask [Gene] that. I get enough rock in my life. I rock as hard as I can, and then I go to sleep.

"Obviously [the old way of doing business in the music industry doesn't work anymore], but, I mean, that's not like a big news story.

"[Sarcastically] There's this thing called the Internet. It's wrecked everything. I hope it's just a fad.

"Prince says the Internet's just a fad. It's gonna be gone soon."

NEWS: JUDAS PRIEST's ROB HALFORD: 'I'm Lucky In As Far As The Condition My Voice Is In'

In a brand new interview with Pitch.com, JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford spoke about how he has maintained his vocal ability four decades into the band's career.

"I've been doing this for 40 years of my life now," he said. "I suppose before I open my mouth, I already know what I'm supposed to do. [Laughs]

"Wouldn't it be great if that's the way the world was? I suppose a lot of people open their mouths without thinking. I won't go there, but you know what I'm saying."


Asked if he does any vocal training to keep his voice intact, Halford said: "It's just an acquired skill, that you know what key to go for, what tone to go for, what register, how to deliver. It's all just doing it, you know?

"Didn't someone once say that you have to do like 10,000 hours of practice before you get it right? Because with certain things in life, some of the best moments come from doing it over and over and over again.

"I'm lucky in as far as the condition my voice is in. I was well rested before we started recording [the new JUDAS PRIEST album, 'Redeemer Of Souls'], and I think any singer will tell you that when you go into the studio, you hope that your vocal cords are in the best shape that they can be at that time. And I think on this record you let loose because you're just having the best of time. You're excited about the songs and where the band is at and what you're trying to do. It's a combination of a lot of things that should shine in your performance and get corking when the red light goes on."

In a July 2014 interview with the Birmingham Mail, Halford stated about how his vocal performance has evolved over the last four decades: "The voice changes obviously. The trick is just to look after it — don't drink, don't smoke, don't do drugs. I look after my voice these days, and still belt it out.

"When I was a raging drunk and drug addict, I really abused my voice. Thank God I realized I was doing some stupid things. You can damage your voice, and find that you can't do softer things in your music."

NEWS: MAX CAVALERA Says CAVALERA CONSPIRACY's 'Pandemonium' Is 'Some Of The Most Aggressive Stuff' He Has Ever Done

On October 5, Metal Mark of SkullsNBones.com conducted an interview with Max Cavalera (SOULFLY, CAVALERA CONSPIRACY, KILLER BE KILLED, SEPULTURA). You can now watch the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow

On "Pandemonium", the upcoming third album from CAVALERA CONSPIRACY, the band led by brothers and founding SEPULTURA members Max and Igor Cavalera:


Max: "It's pretty good, man. It was fun to play with [Igor] and make a fast record. We decided to just go for it like we used to play before. When we first started this thing, we loved playing fast and throwing down very aggressive stuff. And this record, 'Pandemonium', was based on that — raw energy and adrenaline of the brothers playing metal. And it's cool that we found that after, I don't know, 30 years, we can still go back to that metal place and take that energy out and put it into a record. So I think people are gonna be stoked when they 'Pandemonium', because I think it's, for sure, the heaviest and most aggressive out of the CAVALERA stuff. But it's [also] probably some of the most aggressive stuff I've done in my whole life."

On what it was like to have no contact with Igor for 10 years following Max's departure from SEPULTURA:

Max: "It was hard, those 10 years that we didn't speak. It was really depressing for us. I hid it from the world, but inside I was very sad that I didn't speak with my own brother. And people were always asking about that, and I would always say, 'I don't know. He's doing his thing, and I'm doing thing. We're living in separate worlds.' So when we got back together, it was awesome, it was a great feeling. It was like a black cloud had [been] lifted. And then we decided to give it a go at playing music [together] again, which is another cool thing — create CAVALERA CONSPIRACY, which was started in '07, I think, and has not stopped. But we do very things very differently [from SOULFLY]. SOULFLY tours a lot more — we play everywhere and every shithole. SOULFLY is relentless [when it comes to touring], Igor doesn't like that. And I don't blame him. He's got more of a slowed down lifestyle. He lives in London now and he's got [his] family there. I respect that, so we do CAVALERA tours a little bit moderate. But there will be some tours. I think in January we'll do an American tour."

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

NEWS: EXODUS Singer Says 'Big Four' Of Thrash Metal Is Really 'The Big One And The Other Three'

In a brand new interview with the the Argentinian radio station Rock & Pop 95.9 FM, vocalist Steve "Zetro" Souza of San Francisco Bay Area thrash metal veterans EXODUS was asked why his band rarely gets mentioned alongside the so-called "Big Four" of 1980s thrash metal — METALLICA, MEGADETH, SLAYER and ANTHRAX.

"Personally, I don't pay attention to that necessarily," he said. "I was in the Bay Area in the beginning, before I was even a member of EXODUS, so I remember who was the forefathers of thrash. I mean, Tom [Hunting, EXODUS drummer] invented that drum beat. That [guitar] picking style was from Gary [Holt, EXODUS guitarist] — that's where the genesis of that came from.

"I think what [the media] did [when they came up with the 'Big Four'] was they took the four bands who were probably the most successful in the initial period of thrash metal — from, say, '85 or '84 to '90. If you were to go off popularity, if you were gonna go off record sales, you would have to say ANTHRAX, MEGADETH, METALLICA and SLAYER.

"Now, when you ask me that question, this is what I say: it's 'The Big One And The Other Three.' Sorry. Neither one of those bands — and I love every single one of them… But METALLICA sits on their own. So, to say the 'Big Four'? I don't know if you can say that. You have to say 'The Big One And The Other Three.'"

"And again, I was the singer for LEGACY, which turned into TESTAMENT, so I hired everybody in that band — even Chuck Billy. So my influence, as a writer and musician starting a band, was tapered after EXODUS and METALLICA. I didn't even know, really, that SLAYER or MEGADETH or OVERKILL or ANTHRAX existed. I lived in the Bay Area, so then that band which you all known now as TESTAMENT, the genesis of that band was because of EXODUS, so…"

NEWS: SLIPKNOT's COREY TAYLOR: 'I'm One Of The Most Hated Dudes Right Now'

SLIPKNOT singer Corey Taylor says that he is "one of the most hated dudes right now" but claims that he "loves" being the topic of conversation among the band's fans because it helps "carry on the legacy."

Speaking to XFM's Ian Camfield on this week's "XFM Rock Show", Taylor said of the incessant Internet chatter and rumor mongering involving SLIPKNOT: "It'll definitely make you sleep on your side of the bed, man. It's pretty ridiculous. You stay as far away from the windows as possible."

He continued: "It gets weird with our fans, man. I mean, it's great to the point where it's like… there's almost, like, a 'Twin Peaks' vibe to it where people are reading into…

"At one point there was a whole message board dedicated to measuring the forehead of one of the models in 'The Negative One' video. I promise, this is true. And I'm reading this, going, 'Wow!'

"At one point, they had us killing JFK. I wasn't even alive then. But, apparently, the technology exists that SLIPKNOT, as a whole, could travel back to '63, pull the trigger, get right back out and right back into the studio…"


Taylor added: "I love it, though. I love it. I think it's great. Because, again, I've always said: I'd rather have people talking about me, whether it's negative or positive, than not talking at all. Because as long as your name's in that conversation, it's carrying on the legacy. And trust me, I'm one of the most hated dudes right now. You have no idea. The stuff that's coming out of some of these people's mouths… If I took any of it seriously, I wouldn't be on the mic with you right now, I'd be curled up in a foetal position on my bed, sucking on my own thumb, because it's ridiculous."

Asked about the perception that he is solely to blame for SLIPKNOT's dismissal of drummer Joey Jordison and Jim Root's departure from STONE SOUR, "That's the burden of being the frontman. [But] I'm not the boss. Trust me. I'm not the boss in either band. It's very much a committee. I help make decisions, but I don't make. But that's the perception."


He continued: "It is what it is. And, like I said, I'm a big boy. I can take it. I have a Hello Kitty pillow that I cry into every night. But that's not the point. It keeps me humble. It keeps me where I need to be.

"You just kind of have to take i
t and roll with it. People dog me now, but they'll love me later, and it's just the way it's always been."

Corey also had a light-hearted warning for anyone who bad-mouthed him.

"For all you trolls out there, I'm taking down addresses!" he said. "I'm pulling a 'Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back' and I'm coming to find all of you. I have a giant computer printout and you're gonna get socked up as soon as I see you."

Monday, October 20, 2014

NEWS: AT THE GATES Release "DEATH AND THE LABYRINTH" Music Video


Swedish melodeath pioneers At The Gates have released a new music video for their single "Death And The Labyrinth", off their upcoming comeback album 'At War With Reality'. The video was directed by Patric Ullaeus of the Revolver Film Company AB, who has previously worked with bands like Hammerfall, In Flames, Europe, Evergrey, and many others. You can now watch the music video below.

Vocalist Tomas Lindberg commented on the new album, "We had a very special idea about the kind of approach we wanted for the first video from 'At War With Reality'. What we needed was someone gifted enough to throw himself artistically into the project full on.

"The lyrics to the song are very multi-layered and surreal, so we wanted someone to create a fevered dreamworld that went with the melancholic frustration and dramatic desperation that we feel comes across in the song. This is exactly what Patric has created for us. It's his vision of the music and lyrics, which compliments the track perfectly, in my opinion. I couldn't be happier!"

Ullaeus added, "It's always nice to work with creative artists who are like-minded. Ideas seem to flow easily. We had a lot of fun making our vision come true. Being on these amazing locations in Antelope Canyon, Arizona was truly an unforgettable experience."

'At War With Reality' track listing:

01. El Altar Del Dios Desconocido
02. Death And The Labyrinth
03. At War With Reality
04. The Circular Ruins 
05. Heroes And Tombs
06. The Conspiracy Of The Blind
07. Order From Chaos
08. The Book Of Sand (The Abomination)
09. The Head Of The Hydra
10. City Of Mirrors
11. Eater Of Gods
12. Upon Pillars Of Dust
13. The Night Eternal

Sunday, October 19, 2014

PREMIERE: OBSIDIAN KINGDOM Reveal New "BALL-ROOM" Music Video from Upcoming Album

'Mantiis' Album Cover
When Spanish newcomers Obsidian Kingdom self-released 'Mantiis' in 2012, the 500 copies they had pressed sold out in a blink of a eye. The most ambitious project of the band until now, this debut album fully displays its components’ maturity in music writing and performing, meaning a bizarre step outside the boundaries of extreme music. 'Mantiis' is a conceptual album on a violent crime and its dramatic repercussions, which featuresg a single song divided into fourteen tracks flowing through different genres. With a progressive character and a post-modern approach, and taking part in the long-lived tradition of rock operas, 'Mantiis' embarks the listener in an eerie musical trip, noted for the coherent exploration of a wide range of styles and emotions.

The band spares no sound resources in order to portray the most varied scenes; from quiet despair to utter violence. And this is only the beginning - OBSIDIAN KINGDOM are already hard at work on their second full-length!

You can now watch the music video for their single "Ball-Room" below.

'Mantiis' will be released via Season Of Mist on October 24, 2014, and on October 29, 2014 in North America.

Tracklisting
1. Not Yet Five
2. Oncoming Dark
3. Through The Glass
4. Cinnamon Balls
5. The Nurse
6. Answers Revealing
7. Last Of The Light
8. Genteel To Mention
9. Awake Until Dawn
10. Haunts Of The Underworld
11. Endless Wall
12. Fingers In Anguish
13. Ball-Room
14. And Then It Was

Line-up
Zer0 Æmeour Íggdrasil: keys and vocals
Ojete Mordaza II: drums
Rider G Omega: guitars and vocals
Prozoid Zeta JSI: guitars
Fleast Race O’Uden: bass

Obsidian Kingdom Facebook: www.facebook.com/obsidiankingdom
Season Of Mist Facebook: www.facebook.com/seasonofmistofficial
Obsidian Kingdom Shop: http://smarturl.it/OKmantiisshop

NEWS: New NIGHTWISH Album to Feature Guest Appearance by Professor RICHARD DAWKINS

Richard Dawkins (second from right) with members of Nightwish
[photo by Mikko Karmila]
Source: BLABBERMOUTH.NET

The eighth studio album by symphonic metal stalwarts Nightwish, due for release next year, will feature a guest appearance by famous evolutionary biologist and atheist writer and leader Professor Richard Dawkins. You can see photos of Dawkins and the members of Nightwish in the studio below.

Keyboardist and main songwriter Tuomas Holopainen revealed last year that he became fascinated with what he calls the scientific "thought plays" of Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. "I'm reading them at the moment. I was just reading it an hour ago," he told Roadrunner Records. "'The Magic Of Reality' [Dawkins' 2011 book] it's called, and it has the most beautifully written introduction to science ever. Just full of thought plays. It's great."

When asked if their works will inspire the lyrics of the new Nightwish album, Holopainen replied, "I already know now that since I have been so enthusiastic about this kind of literature for the past few months, and will be for the upcoming months, that it's going to come out somehow. I don't know how just yet, but it will come out. I know it from experience."

He added, "Sometimes I come across interviews I did ten years ago and see that I am quite a different person. So something has happened say during the past five, six, seven years, and a lot of it has to do with the books that I've read, mainly WhitmanHitchens and Dawkins."