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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

PREMIERE: HARK Release New Music Video "Scarlet Extremities" Off Debut Album 'Crystalline'

The phoenix of classical myth was considered to be a creature of great beauty. Bursting into flames at the end of its life cycle, the bird would be reborn out of the ashes of its predecessor. Hark share a similar fate as the trio is spawned from the remnants of celebrated British heavy rockers TAINT. The creative hand of frontman Jimbob Isaac can be clearly felt throughout HARK's fantastic debut album 'Crystalline'. Angular riffing, pounding rhythms, and dually melodic and his unrelentingly ferocious vocals lead to galloping passages that show the maturity of a band far more honed than expected from a debut. The Welsh did not leave any detail to chance, but carefully crafted music, lyrics and visuals into an all encompassing concept. This diligence includes having their first full-length mixed by Kurt Ballou of CONVERGE fame (KVELERTAK, TORCHE), who added a powerful yet crystal clear production to HARK's unique sound. The artwork was personally designed and drawn by Jimbob Isaac, who is not just known as an outstanding musician but also working as an acclaimed graphic artist. 'Crystalline' furthermore features guest vocals from Neil Fallon (CLUTCH) on the stunning track "Clear Light of....". HARK will literally rock the world with this release. Crank your volume up high and get blown away!

'Crystalline' is set for release on March 14, and on March 18 in North America.

Track listing:
1. Palendromeda
2. Hounded by Callous Decree
3. Sins on Sleeves
4. Black Hole South West
5. Breathe and Run
6. Mythopoeia
7. Scarlet Extremities
8. All Wretch No Vomit
9. Xtal 0.6
10. Clear Light of....

Jimbob Isaac: guitars & vocals
Nikolai Ribnikov: bass
Simon Bonwick: drums


NEWS: CRADLE OF FILTH To Enter Studio In November


British extreme metallers Cradle Of Filth will enter the studio on November 24 to begin recording their new album, tentatively titled "Hammer Of The Witches", for a June 2015 release.

During a recent interview with the "Bleedin' Loud" podcast, Cradle Of Filth vocalist Dani "Filth" Davey confirmed the band's split with guitarist Paul Allender and spoke about the group's plans for the new CD.

"Paul Allender has left [Cradle Of Filth] — which not everybody is aware of," Dani said. "We weren't planning on it, because it was the kind of thing that has been, kind of, brewing for the last year or so. Not so much on a personal level, but [him] living in America [in Minnesota] and then him doing his side project [White Empress] and getting kind of lost in that. I know I've got [my own side projects] Devilment and, dare I say, Temple Of The Black Moon, but it never really came between Cradle; I always found time to do it. For example, the Devilment album, it'll come out, literally, the mirror's image of when the Cradle [album] will come out — [the Devilment album will come out] about autumn, and Cradle's next album will come out spring next year. So the Devilment and [Cradle] won't meet anytime soon, so that's okay."

Asked about whether Cradle Of Filth has found a replacement guitarist for Allender, Filth said: "Well, that's the thing. We only really had one guitarist for the last two albums; Paul had a very strong opinion about doing that, and we're a two-guitar band. So that may be one of the things that kind of opened the fissure a bit."

He continued: "We were doing this [European] tour with Behemoth [earlier in the year] and [Paul] had some personal issues and he couldn't do it, so we brought a Czech guy called Ashok [of Czech groups ROOT and INNER FEAR] in, who's friends with Martin 'Marthus' Skaroupka, the [Cradle Of Filth] drummer, and then an English guy, Richard Shaw [of English acts EMPEROR CHUNG and NG26], who lives in Derbyshire, and we thought, 'Well, that's cool, 'cause he's an English guy.' And it was such a great tour and everybody got on so well, and these two other guys knew the band inside out, so when we started writing, which we were doing on the road — not out of necessity, but just 'cause we could — it just all came together, and it was, like, 'Wow! This is great.'… Everybody was, like, really, 'Yes! That was such a great tour.' [It was] a bit short — it was only three weeks long — so when we came back [home], I was, like, 'Wow, we should usually just be halfway through the tour by this point.' So being that invigorated, everybody just started writing, which has brought the album forward by a whole year. Which will please some, and annoy others."

As of late June, Cradle Of Filth's new lineup had "about eight [new] tracks" in various states of completion for the follow-up to 2012's "The Manticore And Other Horrors", and "it's sounding awesome," according to Dani. He previously said some of the new material is comparable to that of 'Dusk... And Her Embrace' [1996], 'Cruelty And The Beast' [1998] and 'Midian' [2000], albeit with a fresher sound." He added: "I can't define it exactly, as it incorporates a wide variety of styles and dark emotions as one would come to expect from a Cradle  record. One thing is certain, though: this next release is going to be pushing the boundaries of what the band can achieve, and with forthcoming live shows peppering the writing process, I know this album is going to be fuelled by 101% metal fury!"

NEWS: JIMMY PAGE Says He Will Start New Band, Perform Material Spanning His Entire Career


Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page says that "it doesn't look likely" that the band will ever reunite again but plans to form his own group and play material from his entire career, including his Zeppelin work.

During an appearance earlier today (Tuesday, September 30) at the playback of the remastered versions of "Led Zeppelin IV" and "Houses Of The Holy" at Olympic Studios in London, England, Page was asked directly by if remastering the albums made him want to reform the band again. He said: "I don't think it looks as though that's a possibility or on the cards, so there's not much more I can say about that. I'm not going to give a detail-by-detail account of what one person says or another person says. All I can say is it doesn't look likely, does it?" When pressed on whether the holdup was down to frontman Robert Plant's reluctance to revisit the band, Page added: "I've just said it doesn't look very likely."

Page also spoke about desire to get a band together and hit the stage again. He told members of the media at the event: "If I was to play again, it would be with musicians that would be… some of the names might be new to you. I haven't put them together yet, but I'm going to do that next year. If I went out to play, I would play material that spanned everything from my recording career right back to my very, very early days with The Yardbirds. There would certainly be some new material in there as well."

Page added: "I love playing live, I really do. Live concerts are always an interesting challenge because it means you can always change things as you're playing every night. You can make it even more of an adventure. I would play all of the things I'm known to play — instrumental versions of 'Dazed And Confused', etcetera, etcetera…"

Plant, who's busy promoting his new album, "Lullaby And… The Ceaseless Roar", was recently asked by Billboard if he heard anything revelatory in Page's archival snapshots in the reissues of "Led Zeppelin IV" and "Houses Of The Holy". Plant dismissed the unreleased tracks, saying, "No, not really. Because it's so long ago. What you're hearing there is mostly work-in-progress stuff. Things on their way to completion, and maybe there's some little quirk or something that led to an either/or moment. But it's nothing relevant, really. Not to me, at least."

Coming on October 28 will be the Page-remastered editions of 1971's "Led Zeppelin IV" and 1973's "Houses Of The Holy", which will both be released with previously unreleased audio content in a variety of packages — including a limited-edition "Super Deluxe" box set.

Plant spoke about his use of Zeppelin material in his current live act, but hinted that it was the modern approach to the material that delivers the point across. "I think it's a way to enjoy the music," he said. "We do 'Black Dog' and 'Whole Lotta Love' and these other ones, and our approach is driven mostly by trance and psychedelia and the musicians' relationships to African music. In each case, one of the guys in the band will take dominance, and that kind of determines where it goes."

NEWS: RON 'BUMBLEFOOT' THAL: 'I Am Grateful For All The Experiences I Had With GUNS N' ROSES'


Guns N' Roses guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal is currently using the downtime from touring to work on a new solo album and also has a fun new app on the iTunes App Store called Rock Science, which is a rock trivia game with a social gaming twist.

Asked by John Parks of Legendary Rock Interviews if he has gained some perspective as far as how radically different it is for a band like Guns N' Roses to put out an album as opposed to an artist like him releasing a new solo CD, Ron said: "Yes, and it's two totally, totally different scenarios, absolutely. I don't even know how to begin to compare the two. For one thing, in my own situation, in 'Bumblefoot' world, I have all the keys to the whole project. I know I have to write an album, record it and release it. In the GN'R world, Axl Rose [GN'R lead singer] holds the key, and [laughs] when he decides to do something is when he decides to do it, and it's definitely at a different pace than say when I do things."

He continued: "Axl and I are two different people with two different lives and two totally different sets of hurdles to jump over, which totally affects our ability to release what we create.

"It's very hard to bust out anything when life becomes more complicated or you have more people trying to pull you in a million different directions or distract you. The bigger a band gets, the more that happens; so at Axl's level, it's definitely not easy and there's a million fires to put out where at my level there is maybe ten fires or even two fires. [laughs]

"When there's not as many things or people distracting you or keeping you from getting in the zone, it really frees you up to do the simple stuff and things don't need to be so complicated. But I've realized that all those complications that are hurled at you, all of those distractions, they're all external, and they don't need to penetrate your skin and get into who you are, or stop you from doing what you do, or change the relationship that you have with music or creating it or releasing it or sharing it or performing it or anything. I've realized that can be untouchable and nobody can change that. People will try, and people will continue to try relentlessly, but they can't, unless you give them the power. Once you realize that as an artist, you realize that you can do anything you wanna do musically and there's really nothing at all that's truly stopping you after all."

Asked if he is surprised by the level of exposure or spotlight that Axl gives each of the Guns N' Roses musians during the band's live show, Ron said: "No, because at the same time we're a team, and we're there for a reason, and I will be ballsy and say we fucking earned it. [laughs] We've worked hard all our lives to get here, and it's not like we won the lottery or something. It's not like this is just something we stepped in. I've been busting my ass for 38 years musically, and after 30 years, I did my first show with Guns, but even before that, I was out there touring and making music for TV shows, putting out albums and teaching at universities and producing bands and had my own studio. God, I had a whole second house that I just gutted and turned into a studio just to work on music. Yes, I am grateful for all the experiences I had with Guns N' Roses — good and bad — because the bad ones are just the 'unplanned' ones and you still learn and grow from them, so they still bring you something good inevitably."

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

NEWS: ROB HALFORD Is 'Ready To Jump Into The Next JUDAS PRIEST Record'


Judas Priest singer Rob Halford tells that the band is so energized by the sessions for its 17th studio album, "Redeemer Of Souls" — which sold around 32,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 6 on The Billboard 200 chart — that he's already "ready to jump into the next Judas Priest record."

"There's a sense that there's another great metal song to write, another great metal album to put together, another great tour to go out on," says Halford. "It's the hunger. If you've still got that, that serves a series of purposes and reasons why you still do it. Maybe we're chasing the elusive finale, but right now I feel like it's amazing to think what might come next from Priest."

Speaking to the "Trunk Nation" show, which airs on SiriusXM's Hair Nation, singer Rob Halford stated about "Redeemer Of Souls": "When we finished [the] 'Epitaph' [tour], we just got so buzzed from the fans and the reaction wherever we went. Just to put the 'Epitaph' tour together, which was we tried to put a song from every record into the show, and we were living in the life of Judas Priest, all those decades, in one show, night after night on the world trek, and I think that really did something to us internally; as musicians, it should do when you tour. So we realized that this next record really had to be really strong, full of energy, because it's relentless, the tracks are relentless. The energy that you feel off 'Redeemer Of Souls' is replicated in that direction time and time and time again."

Asked what the band was looking to achieve artistically on this record, Halford told "We never ever sit down and kind of premeditate what we're going to do. That's the great purity of Priest's music. It does come from the heart. We just sit down with a bunch of guitars and the riffs start cranking and we put the vocal melodies together and so on. So it comes from a very pure source. I think this was an opportunity after 'Nostradamus', our first concept record, which we had an amazing time putting together, but enough time had passed from it to kind of want to reaffirm who we are, which is a classic British heavy metal band. So with that thought in mind the metal started roaring and we feel that all of these songs from 'Redeemer Of Souls' reemphasize that statement about what this band is trying to be in the heavy metal world."

Regarding his lyrical approach on "Redeemer Of Souls", Halford told "We've been humorously talking about the fact that this record has dragons, it has Vikings, it has aliens, it has zombies, it has a little bit of a religious statement to make. So, those are all the elements that have been in metal for a long time, but I've always felt that, you know, you can make some parallels. Priest has always been in the real world as much as we’ve been in the fantasy world. And there are not that many degrees of separation in some instances.

NEWS: ENSLAVED Begins Recording 13th Album


Norway's progressive extreme metallers Enslaved have entered the studio to begin recording their thirteenth album for an early 2015 release via Nuclear Blast. Main recordings for the as-yet-untitled CD are taking place at Duper and Solslottet Studios in Bergen, Norway, with additional tracking at Conclave & Earshot Studios (presided over by Enslaved members Larsen and Ice Dale), and Ivar Bjørnson's Peersonal Sound Studios. Additional experimentation and sonic exploration will be conducted deep in the woods of Valevåg south of Bergen where the band took a mobile studio to record the infamous "Thorn" seven-inch single in 2012. The effort is being produced by bandmembers Ivar BjørnsonGrutle Kjellson and Herbrand Larsen together with Iver Sandøy. Mixing will be done by Jens Bogren at Fascination Street Studios in Örebro, Sweden. Cover artwork will once again be created by longtime artist and "sixth Enslaved member" Truls Espedal, who has painted all of the band's album covers since 2001's "Monumension".

From his home in Bergen, Norway, Enslaved guitarist, songwriter, and founding member Ivar Bjørnson takes some time to provide the following update:

"My favorite time of year is whenever we enter the studio with Enslaved to record a new album. Now the season of creative madness, endless days, and bleeding fingertips is upon us again… O joy!

"As before, it is the unholy trinity that forms the first line of attack: I (guitar), Grutle Kjellson (bass and vocals), and Cato Bekkevold (drums), are recording the foundations of the album live, while Ice Dale (lead guitar) and Herbrand Larsen (vocals and keys) will add their instruments and voice in their own studios after these initial core sessions. Then I will add some wackiness at my home studio, before we all get together again to finish it.

"I feel that I have delivered basic material that is rock solid.

"I have poured my very life and heart into these compositions while the rest of the band have refined it, shaped it, and delivered it like their very lives depended on it.

"It has been challenging to keep up the pace with the way the songs wanted to go; life flows its ways and takes its turns regardless of your artistic ambitions. However, the music led the way through the fog and I just followed, and never doubting the oncoming album for a second."

NEWS: ENSIFERUM Putting Finishing Touches On New Album


Finnish folk metallers Ensiferum have been locked away for three weeks in Astia Studio in Lappeenranta, Finland with producer Anssi Kippo. Drums, bass, and most of the guitar parts for the band's next CD have been recorded. At the end of last week, guest musician Timo Väänänen tracked some takes with his kantele, and over the weekend, vocalist Petri Lindroos began tracking vocals.

Ensiferum bassist Sami Hinkka comments: "For last few days, Mahi and Pete have sweated their asses off while recording guitars. Songs sound, like our friends in UK would say, bloody awesome! Today (Friday, September 26) we recorded kantele and some special guitar tracks. Tomorrow it's time to set up a microphone and start to record vocals. Things are proceeding as planned."

Ensiferum's next album is tentatively scheduled for release in early 2015 on Metal Blade Records.

Ensiferum's most recent album, "Unsung Heroes", was released on August 27, 2012 via Spinefarm. The CD was produced by Hiili Hiilesmaa at Petrax studio in Hollola, Finland and other locations in the Hämeenlinna area.

Ensiferum is:

Petri Lindroos - vocals/guitar
Markus Toivonen - guitar/backing vocals
Sami Hinkka - bass/backing vocals
Janne Parviainen - drums
Emmi Silvennoinen - keys/backing vocals

NEWS: SEBASTIAN BACH Says His Voice Still Sounds 'The Same' As It Did In Early Days Of SKID ROW


Former Skid Row singer Sebastian Bach was interviewed by TV Rock Live on June 28 at Le Forum in Vauréal, France. You can now watch the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow-

On his new album, "Give 'Em Hell":

Bach: "The sound of it, and my voice, I can't believe it. I don't understand how… I've been playing rock and roll for, like, 25, 27 years, and it sounds the same, my voice, on the record. There are [other] singers that can [also] do that. Steven Tyler, Ozzy Osbourne

"Some people think, 'Oh, Ozzy, he's not a great singer.' I say, bullshit. I think Ozzy is an amazing singer, because I feel what is in his crazy ficking mind. Like, he sounds, you know… crazy."

On his need to be totally into the music that he is performing:

Bach: "If I don't believe in the words and the song, I can't sing it… If I don't believe a hundred percent, I can't do it. It doesn't work. Like, in the beginning of Skid Row, when I was a very young boy, I can remember being in a rehearsal, and we were working on a song that I didn't like, right?! But I said [to myself], 'Oh, don't be a jerk. Give it a shot. Be a good guy. Be nice. Try to be part of the team.' So then I walk up to the mic, and my mouth just shuts. And everybody's, like, 'C'mon, dude.' And I'm, like, 'I'm sorry. I can't do it. I'm sorry.' [Laughs] I didn't get into a rock band to sing music that I don't like."

On his all-or-nothing attitude:

Bach: "Part of my personality is that I'm either all or nothing. Like, I either totally love something or… I just said that in my last question… it's either all of nothing. And I love [my fiancée] Minnie [Gupta]; I really love her. And she tells me sometimes that I love her so much that I push her away. She, like, 'You suffocate me. You're like an avalanche.' She uses that word as a verb to me. She's, like, 'You're avalanching me.' [Laughs] And I was, like, 'I just love you. I don't know what to say.'"

NEWS: BLACK SABBATH To Begin Work On New Studio Album Next Year


Heavy metal legends Black Sabbath will begin work on a new studio album in 2015, to be followed by one final tour.

Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi, who has battled cancer since 2012, recently hinted that the group's July 4 gig at London's Hyde Park could have been the band's last because the touring can be tough on him. But frontman Ozzy Osbourne now says that the group will record another CD next year.

"The whole Sabbath experience this time around was great," Ozzy tells Metal Hammer magazine. "We all made friends, we didn't fuck around, we all knew that we had a job to do, and we did it. It was a lot of fun. So we're going to do one more album, and a final tour.

"Once the dust settled after the last tour, we started discussing the idea, because we were getting asked about it all the time. I said to [wife/manager] Sharon, 'What's going on? Because if there's no more Sabbath, I want to get on with my own thing again,' and she came back and said, 'Let me look into it.' Three weeks later, I asked her about it again, and she said, 'Oh, I still have to talk to so and so...' and I said 'Sharon, I ain't fucking 21 anymore. If we're going to do it, I want to do it before I'm 70!' Time isn't on our side! So she made the call and came back and said, 'Yeah, the record company wants another album.' I believe [producer] Rick Rubin is going to do it with us again."

No new material has yet been written for what will be Sabbath's nineteenth studio album, but Osbourne says that sessions will begin early next year.

"It'll be sooner rather than later," the singer says. "Obviously a lot of it is coming down to Tony's health, he's obviously got his cancer treatment, but we'll get onto it next year. I don't know if we'll be writing in England or L.A., but I'll fly to the fucking moon for it if I have to!"

"13", the first Sabbath album since 1978 to feature Ozzy, Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler, was No. 1 in the U.S., the U.K. and nearly a dozen other countries.

Butler recently said that that the threesome already have a head start on a new record, explaining, "We've still got four tracks left over from ['13']. So maybe we'll fill in the other four or five tracks and put out another album — if it's right. We wouldn't do it just for the sake of it, or the money or whatever. But yeah, maybe."

Original Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward was on board for the reunion when it was first announced in November 2011, but backed out soon after due to contractual issues.

Sabbath has used Ozzy's regular touring drummer Tommy Clufetos since then for live work. Rage Against The Machine's Brad Wilk laid down the drum tracks on "13", which came out in June 2013.

Iommi revealed in January of 2012 that he had been diagnosed with lymphoma, which is described by the Mayo Clinic as "a cancer of the lymphatic system, the body's disease-fighting network." He had to go back to England every six weeks for treatment, forcing him and Sabbath to work around both the treatments and the recovery time needed afterward.

NEWS: ANTHRAX's CHARLIE BENANTE Says New Album Is 'Shaping Up To Be Just As Good As' 'Worship Music'


Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante was interviewed by Jack Antonio on the September 21 episode of "Do You Know Jack?" radio show on CKLB FM. You can now listen to the chat using the Mixcloud player below.

Speaking about the progress of the songwriting sessions for Anthrax's follow-up to 2011's "Worship Music" album, Benante said: "The guys [guitarist Scott Ian and bassist Frank Bello] were here. I have a studio here at my house. When we did the last record, a lot of it was done over here. And they were in this past weekend. We were working on some of the new songs."

He added: "This [album] is shaping up to be just as good as the last one."

Benante was reluctant to offer a possible release date for the new Anthrax CD, explaining: "If I say, 'We're looking at this date,' then it just gets [to be], 'Oh, you said that was gonna be around this date.' So… [But] it won't take eight years to make another record.

Asked about the progress of the songwriting sessions for Anthrax's next CD, Bello told WVOX "Metal Mayhem" host Matt O'Shaughnessy that there are "16 or 17 songs" that the band is working on right now, with plans for the bassist to get together with guitarist Scott Ian and drummer Charlie Benante in New York City "to do some more stuff — just make [the tracks] compact, just make them better and better."

Regarding the musical direction of the new Anthrax material, Bello > told WVOX "Metal Mayhem" host Matt O'Shaughnessy: "It hurts to play it. How about that? [Laughs]

"I'll tell you… Scott and I were jamming with Charlie in Chicago, just doing the demos as we do before we record the record… And you know, after we're done with a song and you're shaking your hand like do do a fast ball? I'm telling you, the blood needed to flow again…

"I like the fact that we have to work for this. That means there's something going on with these songs — whether it's fast picking, whether it's just digging into it, something that both [Scott and I], we looked at each other and started laughing, and we started shaking our hands: 'That's gonna be a good one.' And that's the kind of record this is.

"This is a heavy record, man. This is a heavy, riff-oriented record. It's more thrashier, with [singer Joey] Belladonna's big vocals and melodies, which is gonna be great.

"I like the fact that this is a challenge to play this record. I wanna say that we're having fun with the challenge of playing this record. So that's what I look forward to."

In a recent interview with Kaaos TV, Ian stated about Anthrax's recording plans: "There's no plan [for us to enter the studio by a specific date]. Just like 'Worship Music', when it's ready, it's ready. We're not rushing anything. When we feel like we've got the record we need to make, either this year or next year, whatever it is, that's when we'll go in to start recording it."

Regarding whether he expected the recording process to be easier this time around since this will be Belladonna's second album with Anthrax since rejoining the band, Scott said: "Well, things weren't hard last time. Truthfully, the recording of 'Worship Music' couldn't have gone smoother with Joey. So I don't foresee any problems. We're doing it the same way we did the last record, and we're working with [producer] Jay Ruston again, producing it. So I don't know if that's a case of it being easier. It's not gonna be harder, I don't think; let's put it that way. I foresee it being very much similar, hopefully, to the process of last time, because last time it went great."

On the topic of what the new Anthrax material sounds like, Scott said: "It sounds like Anthrax. I don't review Anthrax records; I leave that up to the fans. So, for me, it just sounds like Anthrax. The people that actually buy our records, I think it's awesome that they are the ones that will then listen to it and say, 'Oh, it's like this,' or, 'It's like this' or, 'It's like this.' And hopefully it makes them happy. To me, it all just sounds like Anthrax

"We don't think about it that hard. We just start writing songs, and it just kind of goes. And then at some point, you say, 'Hey, this has come together really well. Maybe we should start recording these.' That makes it sounds very easy, but it's not. It's usually about year's worth of banging your head against the wall to get it done. It's a lot of work, but at some point we'll know we're ready."

"Every record we've made, we don't compare it to our previous catalog. I don't look at it as, 'OK, this is our eleventh record, or tenth record'; I'm not even sure which number it is. I just look at every record as being of its time, when we had the time to write those songs and record that record. That's it. We just do the best we can in the time we have. Like, now we started writing, whatever, last year, and we're still writing, and we'll probably still be writing for a few more months, and then we'll start recording it. And the record will be of that time period. And that's kind of how I look at every record we've ever made — we just did the best we could in the time period we had to write and record the album."

REVIEW: NUCLEAR WARFARE - "Just Fucking Thrash"

Nuclear Warfare make two things crystal clear with their new album ‘Just Fucking Thrash’. First, they deliver no-nonsense, straight-up thrash metal; second, they don't give a fuck about anything else. Nuclear Warfare are from Stuttgart, Germany and play old school Thrash Metal, incorporating the classic sounds that were unleashed on us by the Teutonic heavy weights - Kreator, Sodom, Destruction, Tankard and the likes. They have been lurking in the underground since 2001 and are still, at large, an unknown band worldwide.

‘Just Fucking Thrash’ is their fourth full length album, and Nuclear Warfare successfully manages to deliver a nostalgic thrash metal album which would take you back a few decades. Right from the start, the album's sound consists of raw chugging guitars coupled with bludgeoning drums alternating with mid-tempo groovy rhythms and classic atonal thrash metal solos. They follow this pattern by the book in almost all the tracks, be it the opener “Great Evil” or the title track “Just Fucking Thrash”.

Just as the album name suggests, we are served with a staple thrash metal sound throughout the album; nothing more, nothing less. Although I love an old school metal sound, “Just Fucking Thrash” evoked a mixed response from me. While I hungrily lapped up some tracks like “Just Fucking Thrash”, “Great Evil” and “Breakaway”, other tracks like “Place of Slaughter” and “Atomic Disaster” were a tad bit tiring.

Nuclear Warfare strategically places two punk songs in the album – “Ich Mag Bier” (I Love Beer) and “Circle of Thirst” – which provide a much needed break from the repetitiveness of the album. 'Ich Mag Bier' gives the album a very “party” kind of a vibe, and acts as a perfect breather before the band goes back to the formulaic 'Atomic Disaster'. The sudden shift to Punk took me by surprise, but it was a pleasant one. Similarly, 'Circle of Thirst' ends the album on a peppy note just when the band starts to get monotonous again. It's full-on punk in its vocals and drum patterns, but precise and groovy in the rhythm guitars. Sebastian Listl's screams sound like Kreator’s Mille Petrozza at times, but overall, it is versatile with a good mix of shouted vocals and high-pitched screams. His vocals on the two punk songs don't seem out of place either, which further proves his versatility.    

‘Just Fucking Thrash’ is not a lengthy album, which actually works towards its favor. It stands at a crisp 39 minutes with 10 songs, avoiding the shift from repetitive to downright mind numbing and dreary.

This was the first time I was listening to the band, and I can sum up the album as a fun, carefree collection of old school thrash metal which stands out at places, but fails to really take off and demand the attention of the listener.

Recommended Tracks: “Just Fucking Thrash”, “Breakaway”, “Ich Mag Bier”, “Circle of Thirst”

Rating: 6.5/10

Reviewed By,
Rakesh Pothengil

Monday, September 29, 2014



Evanescence singer Amy Lee says that the group is not over despite the fact that there are no plans for the band to do anything for in the coming months.

Lee recently told Rolling Stone about Evanescence 's current status: "The situation is we're not doing it now. I don't like to make predictions about the future, because I'm honestly open-minded, and I would never want to say I'm done with any of it, because it's a huge part of me. I've loved my time with Evanescence, I wouldn't want to just throw it away, but, for the foreseeable future, I don't have any plans to do anything with the band."

In a brand new statement posted on her Facebook page, Amy elaborated on her previous comments, writing: "Feeling the need to clarify this — I never said EV was over. I wouldn't limit myself that way. I said I wasn't doing it now and have a completely open mind for the future.

"An open mind is a beautiful thing — I had one when I started the band.

"I'm never going to stop searching for things that inspire me, that make me excited about life, art and music. That's what makes it GOOD!

"I'm not going to let anything or anyone hold me back and make me run in place, especially not an image of myself. Listen to my lyrics and you'll hear that message being called out from the beginning.

"We've got to look forward, keep moving, keep searching, keep growing. You never know what you may be capable of unless you try.

"Evanescence is a part of me — it just isn't a complete picture of everything I'm capable of — not even close.

"To be honest, the most inspired and fulfilling thing I've ever been a part of creating has nothing to do with music — I'm holding him in my arms.

"Don't be afraid to take chances. You may end up with something way better than what you were ready to settle for."

Lee, who became a mother for the first time in July, said that she keeps in touch with the members of Evanescence, but added that "the days of living on the road and an album cycle be this giant daunting thing of working in the studio for six months then going on the road for a year or two, they're behind me."

On August 25, Lee released a new album called "Amy Lee With Dave Eggar: Aftermath", consisting of music she wrote with Dave Eggar for an independent film called "War Story". The movie premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival.

The last Evanescence album, a self-titled effort, came out in 2011.

Journalist Gary Graff had a chance to ask Lee if anything was up with Evanescence, and she told him (hear audio below): "Nothing right now. I'm definitely enjoying this new space, and I guess that's nothing really new.

"Every time we've put out a record there's been a few years in between where I sort of needed to find myself again, but I really like to keep that open mind and having nothing in place in my head about what's gonna happen a year or two down the line. I've got to wait for inspiration to tell me what to do next...

"The truth is I love making music, and I'm going to make music for the rest of my life. Whether that means it's called Evanescence or not, I don't know, but I wouldn't worry about it if I were a fan. But I'm a different kind of a fan."

Lee added that, "I'm really proud of what Evanescence is, but at the same time I feel like I have a lot more that I want to do with my life and a lot more that I want to express, and there's only so much that people are really going to, gosh, allow Evanescence to be. It's already happened; people hear the word Evanescence and they associate it with 'My Immortal'. We were working on 'My Immortal' when I was, like, 15 years old, so now that I'm 32 it's kind of like you get into a headspace where you're like, 'I need a new page to be able to be myself now,' so in a lot of ways I feel that way."

NEWS: SLIPKNOT's COREY TAYLOR - Making '.5: The Gray Chapter' was "More Emotional Than It Was Stressful"

Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor recently spoke to the Q105.1 radio station in Fargo, North Dakota, talking about the band's new album in six years, '.5: The Gray Chapter', and their first since the death of bassist Paul Gray in 2010. He described the experience of making the album as "more emotional than it was stressful."

Taylor said, "The great thing about this band is we've never put shackles on ourselves creatively. If we're feeling one way, we go that way. If we're not, then we tend to go in the opposite direction. It's one of the reasons why we took so long to actually start thinking about doing a new album, 'cause we weren't gonna do it until we were ready."

He continued, "As far as pressure, we've never had a lot of pressure, because we approach it that way. We're, like, 'We're gonna do what we want. If nobody listens to it, that's fine, but we've fulfilled something inside ourselves.' So it was more emotional than it was stressful, to be honest. Because filling in the shoes of Paul, especially, was heavy duty. He was such an integral part of the songwriting process and had such a great ear for it, we knew that we were all going to have to step in and fill those shoes in, and I thought we did a great job. Jim [Root, guitar] came up with some killer stuff, I brought in some stuff, Clown [percussionist Shawn Crahan] really, he brought in some really killer atmospheric stuff that we were able to build into some great music. I think we all really stepped up to the challenge, and I think it was because we wanted to. It wasn't because we felt we had to; we felt we wanted to, we wanted to be able to do that and really kind of make new music with this band again. So it wasn't so much stressful as it was powerful."

Taylor recently denied that the band's new song, "The Negative One", is about former drummer Joey Jordison (who was fired from the band in late 2013), telling Metal Hammer, "'The Negative One' is about me, and not just me, but everybody in the band. We all have so many different sides to ourselves, but especially with this band. When we get together, there's something about the music we make that really unleashes the crazy, dark shit inside of us. And that song in particular is about, basically, embracing it again, giving into it and letting it have its say. Because if you don't, then you sit on it and you repress and it blows up in really negative ways. So, that song is about freeing it."

REVIEW: PHILM - "Fire From The Evening Sun"

‘Fire From The Evening Sun’, the sophomore album of Philm – the ingenious design of Dave Lombardo - carries one of the more infrequent ominous Progressive twists that I have witnessed in recent times, and each of its compositions brilliantly assimilates seemingly mutually exclusive elements in the spectrum of music. It stretches the minds of the listeners in diverse directions while maintaining a sense of natural and fluid progression, ensuring that once they have spun the record from start to finish, the listeners’ minds cannot go back to their initial dimensions. It is like cocaine with a drop of acid; it will have you hooked from the first hit, the first taste, with no turning back.

With only a four-piece drum set, Dave Lombardo breathes callous amounts of heaviness and intricacy in to this album, and his craftsmanship is of another level beyond our expectations. The manner in which Francisco "Pancho" Tomaselli’s bass-playing compliments and embellishes the drums and guitars in each composition is also phenomenal. Alongside these elements, Gerry Nestler’s vocals in the album are simply exceptional, and lithely slither from vicious screeches, raging screams and haunting vocals with a tone of attitude and menace, to cool n’ chilled-out smooth singing and whispers.

Nestler’s vocal wizardry is reverberant in “Train”, coupled with smashingly pumped-up bass-playing, killer riffing, and of course, intense and elaborate drumming. “Train” sets the atmosphere for the album, and with it begins the psychotically electrifying ride through passages of beyond-the-boundaries, earth-shattering, Thrash-infused, pure fuckin’ Metal intricately interlaced with sinister Jazz, Funk, Punk and murky Blues.

The title track “Fire from the Evening Sun” contains an extremely groovy and infectious riff that is hard to erase from the mind. It is rendered even more exquisite with a menacing explosive Thrash conclusion that hits listeners like a blow from Thor’s hammer right to their skulls. “Lady of the Lake” is another intriguing piece of music marked with convoluted drumming and adorned with equally delicate bass-playing, where unforgiving Thrash bleeds into what I felt as Punk in an alternative realm. Furthermore, the postlude of the piece is a beautifully melancholic guitar passage that sets the ambiance for “Lion’s Pit”, which can take listeners to another seldom-explored, enchantingly sombre state of mind.

“Silver Queen” carries a more clement, Stoner feel with echoes of Psychedelia, and is replete with delectable bass work. From there, “We Sail at Dawn” builds up the pace and heaviness again with a touch of scarring hostility and aggression. This paves way for the unremorseful, unadulterated psychopathy that is meticulously unleashed in “Omniscience”, stretching the minds of the listeners in a different direction. This masterpiece of assault also contains a lightening solo; not the mediocre, simple zigzag kind, but the labyrinthine kind that runs through the sky like veins and burns it a bright crimson.

“Fanboy”, the shortest track in the record, is pure systematic chaos; dense, intense and groovy. Its successor “Luxhaven” thrives on piercing, demented screeching and screaming, and raw, exhilarating musical composition rooted in dark, crushing, Jazz-imbued Heavy Metal. Then, “Blue Dragon”, a neoteric piece of expression that redefines heavy music, takes the album further into the depths of untainted ferocity. Imagine the serial killer in the 1995 David Fincher movie Seven, or Hannibal in the 2013 self-titled TV series, unfolding to reality his malevolent design – it is not butchery, but artistry, and “Blue Dragon” is the musical equivalent of that.

“Turn in the Sky” is a song painted in shades of dark haunting Psychedelic Sludge and Doom, capable of serenading a desolated state of mind. At last comes “Corner Girl”; oh, what a masterful epilogue for the album! It is not the least bit what the listeners would anticipate the ending to be, and it is simply beautiful and alluring.

‘Fire from the Evening Sun’, from start to finish, is truly an overdose of downright heavy, malicious, unapologetic, progressive, artfully serpentine and fuckin’ outta this world music! However, this album is not for the faint of heart or those who seek comfortable listening. This record is the kind that pushes the listeners over the edge into the starving mouths of hellhounds. If you are one for dementia-inducing thrills, this is one of those “shut up and take my money, now!” kind of records that you’ve just got to listen to. Period.

Rating: 9.5/10

Reviewed By,
Vimukthi Karunaratne

NEWS: ACE FREHLEY - PAUL STANLEY is "One of the Sloppiest Guitar Players Out There"

Former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley was interviewed by celebrity journalist Chaunce Hayden for the October issue of Metropolis Nights magazine. Below are a couple of excerpts from the interview.

Chaunce Hayden: Recently, in Guitar World magazinePaul [Stanley] said that you had lost a lot of your guitar skills and what a shame it was. How does that make you feel?

Ace Frehley: "I didn't read that, but I think that's hysterical. For Paul to try and say something negative against me as a guitar player? Come on! He should listen to himself playing live. He's one of the sloppiest guitar players out there. He's more worried about jumping around and pointing his finger. That's been the problem since the beginning of KISS. We all used to yell at him for making so many mistakes. I would try and cover for him. So for him to take a shot at my guitar playing…. Is he out of his mind?"

Chaunce Hayden: Vindication?

Ace Frehley: "Like I said, any of my critics now look foolish. That includes Paul and Gene and whoever else is on the bandwagon. They like to call me a drunk and a drug addict and everything else under the sun. The fact is I'm now enjoying eight years of sobriety as of yesterday. I continue to follow that road and put one foot in front of the other. One day at a time I get through it. It's really disheartening for people to continue to badger me and call me a loser just because I made some mistakes in the past. We should put that to bed. That's ancient history at this juncture. My body of work has stood the test of time and I know what I'm capable of doing. One thing Paul and Gene can never say about me is that in concert I always came through and delivered."

Chaunce Hayden: How do you feel about the new football reality show Gene and Paul are putting together for the AMC channel?

Ace Frehley: "I think they should put more time in the studio and maybe they would make better records. [Laughs]"

Chaunce Hayden: There was a rumor that you moved out of your house because you claimed it was haunted. Fact or fiction?

Ace Frehley: "That was true! I was living with my fiancée and we had to move out. She was pushed down a flight of stairs and a lot of things happened to me. I felt like I got punched in the face while up in the attic. Things were always flying around and moving. My fiancée is very psychic and she sees aberrations all the time. I don't see them, but she does. She's that sensitive."

Chaunce Hayden: We talking about ghosts?

Ace Frehley: "I don't know what they are. They could be inter-dimensional people or spirits that haven't found their way. But there's definitely something out there. I've experienced too many weird things to discount that something out there doesn't exist besides us."