Coming Soon: Interview With Periphery, Cannibal Corpse, Fen, Nader Sadek, Battle Beast, Skyharbor, The Contortionist, Sanctuary and much more
Coming Soon: Reviews Of Napam Death, Periphery, Orden Ogan, Lonewolf, Serious Black, Bloodbath, The Crown, Angelus Apatrida and much more
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Saturday, December 20, 2014

NEWS: VINNIE PAUL: I Never Really Understood Impact PANTERA Had On People Back In The Day

Former Pantera and current Hellyeah drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott was interviewed by Woody of the Minneapolis, Minnesota radio station 93X. You can now listen to the chat using the SoundCloud widget below. A couple of excerpts follow.

On Pantera's legacy:

Vinnie: "I never really sit down and think about it. I never really understood the impact that Pantera had on so many people back in the day until we were done doing Pantera. When you're in the moment and you're going full blast, you really don't think ever about things… I certainly don't about things from the past; I'm always looking forward to the future and where we're going next with things. And maybe some day I'll have a chance to sit down and relive it all and think about it all, but right now all I'm thinking about is this upcoming [Hellyeah headlining] tour and going out and crushing people with all the new music off [Hellyeah's latest album] 'Blood For Blood' and then getting back in the studio and making the fifth Hellyeah record."

On what keeps him motivated:

Vinnie: "Music, man. Music's my life. I love playing music, I love being on the road. I love interacting with the fans. It's been something I've done my whole life. It's really the only thing I know. I'm not married, I don't have any kids, I don't have anything that really keeps me in a certain place at one time. I really enjoy being able to be out on the road and just really entertain people."

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Top 6 PROGRESSIVE Rock/Metal Albums Of 2014

2014 is coming to an end and we have had an insane number of Progressive metal bands releasing their albums this year. Here goes the Top 5 Progressive Metal Albums of 2014 \m/

1. Transatlantic - Kaleidoscope:

Rick Wakeman of the band Yes, once said about progressive music, "I say that it’s about breaking the rules. But the secret of breaking rules in a way that works is understanding what the rules are in the first place". The reason I view progressive music as the best kind of music there can be, is because I know I won't be let down, but neither will I know what to expect. It is the harmony of solid, concrete complexities woven into an ocean of emotion orchestrated by what you may understate as the maestros of music, in general. That, my friend, is progressive music in a gist. Transatlantic is the best example of this mystery. This is where the band members really pull up their sleeves, show you that this isn't a magic show filled with tricks, but it is a pure display of talent that words can't suffice. Neal Morse comes up with all the funky, creepy, peaceful sounds he can, Stolt is a natural with his leads that never fail to impress and coordinate so perfectly in sync with Morse's keys, Portnoy reaches out all over his drum kit and Pete just slaps that bass all along the way, making this unanimous effort, a success to say the least. This describes band's new masterpiece Kaleidoscope.

I'd say progressive music a like a box of assorted chocolates, you certainly never know what to expect at all, and you will crave for it, for life. It is these musicians we must salute to, for sticking up to what they always do, not holding back to whatsoever boundaries the world comes up with, breaking them effortlessly, and coming up with back to back masterpieces, staying true to what they believe in all along the ride. This one certainly is the best album of their career. The silence does feel awkward after 75 minutes of top class music expelled into my ear drums, so I shall stop now and go back to fulfill my craving for this special kind of chocolate.

2. Ne Obliviscaris - Citadel:

When Ne Obliviscasris came out with ‘Portal of I’ in 2012, it took the progressive metal world by storm. All the years of hard work prior to their debut album paid off when critics and listeners alike hailed the album as monumental to the progressive extreme metal genre. It still is one of my favorite albums of all time. They gathered a dedicated fanbase after that release, and their successful crowdfunding experiment proves that fact. ‘Citadel’ is another quintessential Ne Obliviscaris record – a great combination of heavy and delicate music with generous experimentation and heartfelt melodies. For me, the violins have always been a highlight in the band, and they really shine in this album. The atmosphere and the emotions that the violins create is something ethereal. The clean vocals are top-notch as well. One moment we are listening to a mellow section and falling in love, while in the next moment, we are back to the heavy parts and breaking things; all of this executed perfectly and without abruptions. Towards the middle of the album, Ne-O goes all progressive rock over us, with some heart-wrenching clean vocals and violin solos.

Considering how brilliant ‘Portal of I’ was, Ne Obliviscaris had to live up to a huge amount of expectations, and I would say that they have definitely succeeded handsomely in satisfying their fans. As to whether this will surpass ‘Portal of I’’s effect on the fans, only time will tell.

Also See: Interview With Ne Obliviscaris

3. Evergrey - Hymns For The Broken:

This year Swedish progheads Evergrey released a masterpiece titled "Hymns For The Broken". If you can't tell, I can't think of a single moment on this album I don't absolutely love. As someone that could never get hooked by an Evergrey album, I can assure you this is not just 'fandom' talking. Hymns for the Broken is a perfect album that even after weeks of constant play, I can not get enough of. Perhaps it is indeed perfection, or perhaps it just hit me at the right time in my life, either way I am in love. The tempo keeps changing throughout the album, but the flawless movement in the instruments keeps it absolutely enthralling. The conversations between keyboard, bass, and drums is something that I could listen to on repeat for hours, especially when the haunting lead melody soars above it all.

Easily a current contender for album of the year, its so full of beautiful melodies and amazing arrangements that any fan of power or progressive metal will absolutely love. I don't doubt that all previous fans of the band will appreciate this album as much as I do, but I sincerely hope that new listeners give this record a fair and objective chance as well. This is definitely their most ambitious release yet, and they absolutely nailed it!

Also See: Interview With Evergrey

4. Skyharbor - Guiding Lights:

Skyharbor's previous album Blinding White Noise was not perfect, but a lot of those kinks seem to have been sorted out in Guiding Lights. Guiding Lights is more polished and sounds complete and well-rounded. The atmospheric and ambient elements of Skyharbor’s music have been incorporated into the mix with some gorgeous subtlety in this album. These lend sensual undertones to the inspirational and almost romantic focus of the record. Keshav Dhar and Devesh Dayal put across scores of groovy and heavy riffs, perfectly interspersed with haunting guitar lines and acoustic work. The men are also primarily responsible for bringing in the atmospheric envelope to Skyharbor: the band’s strongest ally. Be it the ballad “Patience” or any hard-hitting song, the guitarists impeccably deliver, but this is only because they are perfectly in sync with the ‘feel’ of the sound. The lead-guitar work is perfectly poised between exquisite and extensive, only delving into complex licks at instrumental climaxes in songs.

‘Guiding Lights’ has everything going for it. The album is an incredible effort by Skyharbor and will surely take them places (quite literally: the band is soon embarking on international tours). ‘Guiding Lights’ is definitely worth your time and money, and will surely help the band cement a place for themselves in global metal.

5. Flying Colors - Second Nature:

"It is not the beauty of a building you should look at; its the construction of the foundation that will stand the test of time." - David Allan Coe.

A musical group's foundation is quite surely dependent on the first spark of chemistry that ignites through their first album. If successfully executed, the next album is sure to be a step above the predecessor. Second Nature sure has reached the levels of the previous album, considering, that itself was a mammoth record to beat. Another thing I loved about the previous album that hasn't yet hit me the same way here, is how a listener can relate to certain songs; "The Storm" is a simple rock song, yet the most compelling and emotional song by the quintet courtesy the lyrics, vocals and the lead. Similarly, "A Place in your World" does an almost good enough job to substitute that factor in this record. This full length proves yet again as to why progressive rock has to be more in the limelight, and more appreciated. But I guess we listeners and the artists themselves prefer quality over the quantity of fans. This album is for everyone into progressive rock music, and also for the ones stuck up in the old school abyss looking for new, genuine music rooting back to classic rock itself. I guess something I loved about the album the most is the team work, the chemistry the way they fuse in, is just remarkable, and rare, may I point out. Five lives, overflowing with experiences, knowledge, skill and creativity have unanimously sculpted this majestic album, and all I can say is we'd be honoured to hear more and increasingly better music from the respective musicians. Flying Colors, have aced it with flying colors!

6. Soen - Tellurian:

When the best musicians from different bands decide to come together, it’s only for a side project in most cases. But not in case of Soen. The album is an insane collection of absolutely titillating drum work, thanks to Martin Lopez being one of the best prog drummers this decade has seen. There is incessant cymbal work, off-beat ecstasy, juggling with time signatures, innovation with percussion instruments, groovy patterns and subtle drum rolls everywhere! Tracks like “Kuraman”, “Ennui”, “Pluton” and “Void” highlight this Swedish-Uruguayan maestro’s work.

Soen deliver the full package with groove laden, dynamically catchy and memorable tracks, ambient, melancholic ballads, some acoustic breakdowns, subtle guitar work, lots of vocal moments , slow-tempo breakdowns and climatic and energetic outros. There is melancholy and energy, power and vulnerability, smooth and heavy. The overall sound of the band turns out to be comfortably pleasant, but menacing at the same time. This album is an absolute DON’T MISS for progressive fans and drum enthusiasts, and also for anyone who wants something unique. Clearly one of the best albums in 2014! Listening to the whole album is a delirious experience, and this 54 minute masterpiece will be over before you know it. I say “delirious” because this is in the true form of art, and art should disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed.

Also See: Interview With Soen

NEWS: New IRON MAIDEN Christmas Card Offering Hints of Band's Possible Return to the Studio

British metal godfathers Iron Maiden may have offered hints of a possible return to the studio next year for a long-awaited new album. 

This year's Christmas card (image below) sent to members of the Iron Maiden Fan Club features the band's mascot Eddie The Head running out of a studio, with a sign outside saying "Uroton 51".  The back of the card features the message, "Eddie's got a little Christmas gift for everyone who's been REALLY BAD! Must not be opened till 2015...". Some fans have interpreted this as an anagram for "On Tour '15", possibly meaning that there are more tours on the horizon for the band next year.

Iron Maiden have yet to make any official announcements about a new album, but the band has reportedly been seen in Paris, France recently with their producer Kevin Shirley, who is said to be helming the new effort.

NEWS: Ludovico Technique Releases "Deeper Into You" Music Video

Orlando, Florida based Dark Electronic band Ludovico Technique have released their "Deeper Into You" music video. The track comes from their album "Some Things Are Beyond Therapy" (Metropolis Records). The video for the song Deeper Into You presents a visualization of the depths to which human emotion can deteriorate when stretched beyond its limit. - Ben V (Ludovico Technique).

Dark Electronic band Ludovico Technique has released two albums on Metropolis Records (Skinny Puppy, Combichrist, The Birthday Massacre etc), quickly becoming one of the labels top performing and touring acts. They have toured extensively across North America with other international artists in the dark electronic genre.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

PREMIERE: Stream BENIGHTED's New Live Track "Let The Blood Spill Between My Broken Teeth"

BENIGHTED are celebrating their 15th anniversary of grinding death mastery with the release of a live album with DVD entitled 'Brutalive the Sick'. All songs and images were recorded at the French Sylak Open Air on the 9th of August 2014. The band comments: "We are happy to announce our first live album 'Brutalive the Sick'", state BENIGHTED. "These 13 tracks represent our unleashed fury on stage, whipped up by an amazing crowd. We hope this makes for a suitably brutal and insane birthday gift for all of you!" BENIGHTED have continually set new benchmarks for brutality and viciousness. The listener is heavily beaten into submission by their relentless vocal onslaught, massive riffing, and close-to-inhuman drumming. The brutal death outfit was brought to life by members from the French death and black metal bands DISHUMANIZED, DARKNESS FIRE and OSGILIATH, who joined forces in May 1998 for a more aggressive, heavy and modern way of expression. When their first self-titled and self-produced full-length 'Benighted' hit the streets in the year 2000, it created a strong impact. What had originally started as a side-project soon became the main thing. With every following album their fan-base grew. 'Psychose' (2002), 'Insane Cephalic Production' (2004), 'Identisick' (2006), and 'Icon' (2007) were equally enthusiastically received by adherents and critics alike. BENIGHTED's impact was massively aided by the band's mind-blowing live performances at extensive tours and prestigious international festivals such as Neurotic Death Fest, Hellfest, Summer Breeze, and Inferno Festival among many others. With 'Asylum Cave' (2011) the French cemented their reputation for psychopathic topics as the album was based on a fictional concept of a delusional schizophrenic's obsession with deranged Austrian pervert Joseph Fritzl. The latest masterpiece 'Carnivore Sublime' (2014) dealt with a borderline patient descending into cannibalism. Buckle up for a mega-heavy live ride!

Tracklisting :

1. X2Y
2. Noise
3. Let the Blood Spill between My Broken Teeth
4. Collapse
5. Experience Your Flesh
6. Carnivore Sublime
7. Prey
8. Grind Wit
9. Fritzl
10. Collection of Dead Portraits
11. Slaughter Suicide
12. Slut
13. Asylum Cave

Line-up :

Julien Truchan – vocals
Olivier Gabriel – guitar
Kevin Foley – drums
Pierre Arnoux – bass/backing vocals
Emmanuel Dalle – guitars

Buy Here: 

NEWS: PHIL ANSELMO: Next Solo Album Will Be "Very Different"

In a recent interview with Yahoo! Music, former Pantera and current Down frontman Phil Anselmo stated that he will take some downtime from touring in 2015 to work on multiple projects, including the follow-up to his 2013 solo album with his solo band The Illegals, 'Walk Through Exits Only'.

"It's going to be very different," said Anselmo. "I feel like every solo effort should be different. That's a rule in my house under this particular roof. I don't want to regurgitate a damn thing I've done in the past. Maybe I might touch on certain things, and in a lot of ways there's no getting around the voice because my voice is my voice. But you can express different musical influences from generations of music. I can do anything I want with [my solo band] The Illegals. It's my band."

Although Anselmo hasn't yet commenced work on his next solo CD, he told Yahoo! Music that he's got plenty of material to potentially use. "I'm sitting on top of so much music that I have never put out there," he says. "Sometimes I wonder if I should just put this shit out as is or if I should re-record it and try to refine it and fit in in some way within some new band; or maybe even fit it into Down. All of that goes through my head. But I'm really looking forward to revising some of this stuff."

NEWS: JAKE E. LEE Explains Why He Gave Up Songwriting Credit on OZZY OSBOURNE's 'Bark At The Moon'

Former Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Jake E. Lee recently stated that he wrote most of the music with some help from Ozzy's then bassist Bob Daisley for the singer's 1983 classic 'Bark At The Moon' album; he just never received credit for it as part of an agreement he made with Osbourne and his then record company.

Lee was tapped by Osbourne to replace late guitarist Randy Rhoads, and went on to play on two Ozzy records - 'Bark At The Moon' in 1983 and 'The Ultimate Sin' in 1986.

In his December 1 appearance on Eddie Trunk's show 'Trunk Nation' on Sirius XM's 'Hair Nation', Lee explained how he gave up the songwriting credit, "Here's the truth. This is really gonna get me in more hot water, but whatever, I'm in hot water and I don't see a way out…"

He continued: "I was told from the get-go, '[If] you write part of the songs, you'll get writing credit, you'll get publishing. That's part of your deal.' So we recorded the album. I'm recording the album at Ridge Farm in Scotland, and this in the middle of Scotland, in the middle of farmland. It is actually a farm — Ridge Farm is actually a farm; the recording studio is in the barn. So I'm by myself. I don't have management, I don't have a lawyer, I don't have anything. Anyway… But they promise me, 'You'll get what's coming.' And I keep asking because I'm getting really close to finishing all my stuff on the record, and finally, once I lay down the final track of my guitar playing, they said, 'Ah! We have the contract for you.' And in it, it says, specifically, 'Ozzy Osbourne wrote all the songs. You had nothing to do with any of the writing, you have no claim to publishing, and you cannot say so publicly.' And I looked at it. I'm looking at Sharon [Ozzy's wife/manager], and I said, 'This is not what you told me before.' And she says, 'No, it isn't.' [And I said], 'Why do you think I'm gonna sign it?' And she says, 'Because if you don't, we'll give you a plane ticket, you go back home and you stand in line and you sue us. In the meantime, we have all your tracks, we'll get another guitar player, he'll redo your tracks, and you'll have nothing.'"

Lee added, "The only reason I'm saying it now is because that was just mean. That was mean. What am I gonna do? Really? Am I gonna say, 'Fine. I'm going home. Take my tracks off. Some other guy will get all the credit for playing guitar, and I still have to try to sue you for the rights?' It would have been just… not a good decision."

Asked how it came about that he got songwriting credit for his work on 'The Ultimate Sin', Lee said, "Well, then, I refused to do anything until I had a contract in front of me promising me writing credit and publishing."

Lee also recalled some of the writing sessions for 'Bark At The Moon', telling Trunk: "It's funny, 'cause when I was re-learning "Now You See It (Now You Don't)" [for my new band Red Dragon Cartel's live set], I could remember vividly when [Bob and I] wrote that song together and how it was kind of based on "Whole Lotta Love" by Led Zeppelin. We were trying to come up with a riff like that. And I had the riff, [Bob] wrote the bridges, and we both wrote the chorus. And I can remember him sitting there and me sitting here and writing that song together. He had a lot to do with… I came up with most of the riffs and most of the music. He would add things that made it special."

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

NEWS: Is This MEGADETH's New Drummer?

Justis Mustaine, the son of Megadeth mainman Dave Mustaine, has uploaded a short video clip of the band's bassist, David Ellefson, rehearsing with an as-yet-undisclosed drummer, presumably as part of an audition for the slot left vacant by the departure of Shawn Drover. Check it out below.

Ex-Megadeth drummer Nick Menza recently said that he "doesn't rule out" rejoining his former bandmates, explaining that his return to the group is up to Megadeth mainman Dave Mustaine.

Writing on his Facebook page, Menza said: "Like I have said in the past, I don't rule out rejoining Megadeth and the opportunity would be totally cool. I'm open to whatever could possibly happen. That's up to Dave. Right now I'm focused on writing and demoing songs with [fellow former Megadeth members] Chris Poland [guitar] and James Lomenzo [bass]."

Menza joined Megadeth for the 1989 recording "Rust In Peace" and for the next nine years became associated with the band's "classic" and most profitable era.

Following the reissue of the entire Megadeth catalog, Menza was invited to reunite with the band in 2004. Days after a reunion was announced, Menza was fired after rehearsals and replaced with Shawn DroverDave Mustaine said that this was because Nick "just wasn't prepared."

Only hours after Drover announced his exit from Megadeth on November 25 to "to pursue [his] own musical interests," guitarist Chris Broderick revealed he also quit the legendary metal band, saying that he was leaving the group "due to artistic and musical differences."

The as-yet-unnamed new "supergroup" featuring Poland, Menza (drums) and Lomenzo made its first public appearance earlier this week on the sixth episode of the brand new Internet TV program "Inside Metal" hosted by Bob Nalbandian.

Monday, December 15, 2014

INTERVIEW: ANGELUS APATRIDA's Guillermo Discusses Why "Hidden Evolution" Is Their Best Album So Far

It’s been a busy time for Angelus Apatrida ever since the release of their previous album, “Clockwork”, in 2010: After a support slot on the Spanish Arch Enemy tour in December 2009, this ambitious and voracious Thrash Metal quartet did about 80 shows in their native Spain as well as in Portugal (including slots at all relevant festivals like Sonisphere or En Vivo) and crowned activities by supporting the Slayer / Megadeth tour there. Additionally, ANGELUS APATRIDA also toured Europe twice: First together with Skeletonwitch / Warbringer and then with Dying Fetus, Keep Of Kalessin, Carnifex and Fleshgod Apocalypse (as part of the “Bonecrusher Fest”), which helped expand the band’s international visibility and showcase their high level of musical skills abroad as well. Their much acclaimed previous studio album “The Call” did enter the national sales charts in Spain on# 14, marking the label’s highest ever chart entry in the country. Right after the release the band embarked on a a European tour with Canadian label mates 3 Inches Of Blood and Havok and toured intensively in their homeland. During 2013 the went to Finland to support the Swedish Metal innovators Meshuggah on 3 dates.

Gearing up for a release of their highly anticipated new album "Hidden Evolution", Metal Wani's Rakesh Pothengil & Owais 'Vitek' Nabi had a chat with frontman Guillermo. He discusses new album "Hidden Evolution", songwriting, riffs, lyrical approach, thrash metal scene and upcoming tours.

Stream The Entire Interview Below:

INTERVIEW: SYLOSIS' Josh Middleton On 'Dormant Heart' - "It's Dark, Progressive & Reflects Our Musical Journey"

Every generation of Metal bands has its pioneers – groups that re-define the genre musically and take it to a new level. Sylosis is one of them! It’s not for nothing that the quartet from Reading, England has been considered as UK’s greatest Metal export. Sylosis are the kind of modern band that, on paper, get a thrashaholic who has an appetite for the old-school fairly excited. With comparisons to Death, Cynic and Metallica, it's no wonder they're so hotly acclaimed. Gearing up for a release of their highly anticipated new album "Dormant Heart", Metal Wani's writer Vimukthi Karuratne and Owais 'Vitek' Nabi had a chat with frontman Josh Middleton. He discusses new album "Dormant Heart", songwriting, lyrical approach, riffs, upcoming tours and 3 albums that changed his life.

Stream The Entire Interview Below:

INTERVIEW: SOULBURN's Twan Geel On New Album - "It's A Timeless Blackened Doomed Death Metal Album"

A suffocating darkness eclipses the world as SOULBURN rise a new...

Originally, SOULBURN emerged after the demise of Dutch death metal legend Asphyx in the mid 90’s, when founding members Eric Daniels (guitars) and Bob Bagchus (drums) looked for a seperate outlet to unleash their mutual obsession with Bathory, Venom, Celtic Frost and unite it with a dark, doomy and primal death metallic twist. After a demo and the cult “Feeding On Angels” debut album via Century Media Records in 1998, which featured Wannes Gubbels (Pentacle) on vocals/bass, SOULBURN were put to rest and seemed to be a mere transitional act before Asphyx achieved a short-lived return for “On The Wings Of Inferno” (2000) with the same line-up. And now, 16 years after their debut album, the blackened Death Metal merchants return to the surface by signing a new worldwide recording agreement with Century Media Records in their new line-up shape that again features the core of Eric Daniels (guitars) and Bob Bagchus (drums), teaming up with Twan van Geel (Flesh Made Sin, Legion Of The Damned) as vocalist/bassist and Remco Kreft (Grand Supreme Blood Court, Nailgun Massacre, Xenomorph) as second guitarist. SOULBURN’s sophomore album, “The Suffocating Darkness”, was released on November 17th, 2014 via Century Media Records. The album was recorded with Harry Wijering (Harrow Productions), mix/mastering duties were taken over by Dan Swanö (Unisound Recordings) and the artwork was designed by Timo Ketola as well as Roberto Toderico.

Recently Metal Wani's writer William Richards has a chat with frontman Twan van Geel. He discussed new album, songwriting and much more. Here are the excerpts:

Greetings from India, Twan Van Geel. How are you doing?

I'm doing fine thank you.

With the release date of The Suffocating Darkness set for November 17th, are you guys at all nervous about how it will be received?

Well, at this point, the album is already released in the big bad world. Some very nice reviews keep on coming our way. Which is always nice to see. Nervous? Nah, we are not new to the scene. We know what to expect. 'Curious' would be a better word then 'Nervous' here.

It has been 16 years since anyone has heard from Soulburn, how are you guys feeling about the reformation of the band?

We are feeling very confident with this line up. It seems that the magic really is happening. Everybody knows what works and what doesn't. There is a clear vision in mind. A strong believe that says what we are doing is pure and honest. Soulburn is reborn, the beast is back. Our shadow will cast it's grimness on the unwanting souls of fragile humans. They will feel us, and when they do...They'll know it's for real. No boundaries shall be put upon us. We will follow our own path as expectations are none existing ( or we simply don't give a fuck). We will follow our guts with Soulburn. And believe me, our darkness will prevail.

After so much time has passed, what made Soulburn decide that this was the time to re-emerge?

It was a gut feeling as well. Bob and Eric were thinking about starting a band in the vein of old-Bathory, Venom, Celtic Frost. While jamming around they soon came with name Soulburn again. It just felt right. Century Media was enthusiastic as well. And so the rebirth emerged. They recruited Remco Kreft on guitars and me on Bass and Vox. And the rest is history once again.

In a point in time when the market is absolutely flooded with bands, both new and old, what would you say that Soulburn is bringing to the table; or rather back to the table with The Suffocating Darkness that will make you guys stand out against the masses?

What we are doing is timeless blackened doomed death metal. Inspired by the old gods like Bathory, Venom, Celtic Frost, Helhammer, when metal still sounded as a crime and mothers thought the devil was in the house taking possession of her children. We don't use triggers, everything is played live and for real. No overdubs bullshit. You could even hear some small mistakes on the album. We just leave it as it breathes the right atmosphere we want. Maybe the combination of Black, Doom and Death is not refreshingly new. The outcome of the songs are. One needs to decide for themselves to explore if we stand out from the masses or not. I truly believe we are. This is some dark black magic we've got going here!

The Suffocating Darkness is a crushing album. Who does the brunt of the writing for Soulburn?

Eric comes up with the riffs, Bob arranges them into a song. They record it and send me the song and I write my lyrics upon them. Put my vocals on top and send it back.

Where do you guys draw your influences from lyrically?

The lyrics are about life and death, god and devil. The grand mystery of what lies beyond the common world we know. They have a strong satanic aspect to them. Placing the self above the divine. To kill a god, is to set free ones soul. Death is nothing to fear rather a stepping stone for true life. To embrace the darkness is to become the light itself. You are your own god, your own judge and jury. I like to combine philosophical aspects within them together with dark prozac-like atmospheres. They need to take the listener into the void and back to the flames and back to the abyss and so forth...A whirlwind of mysteries and dark desires. Flirting with suicidal thoughts , indulging into sin and death. A journey through forever and the never.

The Suffocating Darkness was recorded by Harry Wijering at Harrow Productions and mixed/mastered by the legendary Dan Swanö. How was it to work with those guys and how happy are you with the production quality?

They both done an very good job. We worked together many times before and we knew they would be the right men for he job once again. And it worked out just perfect. We are very pleased with the result!

So, you are a busy man musically with all of your other projects as well as Soulburn. Would you say that Soulburn is your main focus, or do you balance it between your other bands?

My main band would be Legion of the Damned. I'm their lead guitar player. Legion of the Damned plays more shows and also does some touring every now and then. It is a much bigger name in the scene as well. With Soulburn we are aiming for maybe 10 to 13 gigs every year. This way we keep it fresh for ourselves and for the fans.

Are there any plans for extensive touring in support of The Suffocating Darkness?

No, there are no touring plans. We just did three shows in Germany with Bolt Thrower, and we've got some nice festivals planned like Neurotic Deathfest and Partysan Open Air and some other shows as well. Like I said before, we are not aiming for a lot of live shows. Just special things and nice places. This way we keep it interesting for ourselves as well as for the fans.

After this album has made its rounds, can we expect more from Soulburn, or can we expect another 16 year wait for the next album?

Hahaha, no, not for another sixteen years! We are already writing new material, so be warned! We will be back with new darkened armor sooner then you might think!

Are there any plans of coming to India? There are many Soulburn fans here eagerly waiting for you.

No plans yet, but feel free to contact us. It would be a great adventure to come to your country and meet the fans in India!

Thank you Twan for taking sometime to do this Interview. Any message for your fans in India?

Check out our album 'The Suffocating Darkness' if you haven't done that yet. Join us in our dark journey through the spheres of death and set your souls ablaze! ...and before I forget, I love your chicken Vindaloo! Hot as hell!!!

NEWS: VIVIAN CAMPBELL On Next DEF LEPPARD Album: 'If It Comes Out Being Wussy, I'm Not Accepting Blame'

Earlier this week, Kate of the London, Ontario, Canada classic rock radio station Free 98.1 FM conducted an interview with DEF LEPPARD guitarist Vivian Campbell.
On his health after undergoing stem-cell treatment in his continuing battle with Hodgkin's lymphoma:

Vivian: "I am actually doing really, really well. I got a stem-cell transplant a while ago, and I'm just kind of recuperating from that and getting ready for next year and everything is going as well as it could. So I am expecting a full recovery as well as a growth of hair."

On DEF LEPPARD's plans for 2015:

Vivian: "We have a new record that's gonna be coming out next year, and as a result of that we're actually undertaking a world tour instead of just doing our usual, which is going around America in the summer. So that's exciting for us. We're starting up in Canada, obviously… So we're going to Canada, we're gonna do the States, we're gonna go to Europe, we're going to Japan, Australia and hopefully the UK. So it'll be a busy, busy year for us, and as exciting as that is, it's also very exciting for us to actually have some new music be coming out and to get on stage and play something new."

On how the new DEF LEPPARD album is shaping up:

Vivian: "We're doing it in installments. We live all over the planet, so it's a little difficult getting us all together to work. But we did about six weeks starting February into March last year — that was the initial session — and that was the most fun part, because we did that playing live — we actually set up and played as a band — which is not something that we normally do in the studio. So that was the fun part of the record, and then from that it gets difficult; the hard work begins. But there was another session in May, which, unfortunately, I couldn't do, because I was doing a chemo session at that time. At the moment, Joe [Elliott, vocals] is actually doing most of the work, 'cause there's a lot of vocals to be done. We cut a bunch of tracks and we basically left it all in Joe's hands. We said, 'Joe, go and write some lyrics and sing on this.' So the weight is on his shoulders to get this done. I know that he's currently doing a little club tour around the UK and Ireland with his project band DOWN 'N' OUTZ, but before and after that he's in the studio doing vocals, and he'll be doing that all the way through January. Phil [Collen, guitar] and I do some Pro Tools sessions at home and then we send them over to Dublin for them to fit into the record. So the bulk of the record is done; it's just the finishing touches and a lot of the lead vocals that need to go on from here on."

On when fans can expect to see the new DEF LEPPARD album released:

Vivian: "We do have a commitment that we have made to ourselves and to our management to get this record done before the tour. I would guess that the record will be released by the middle of the year, but we'll certainly get a track on the radio sometime in the first quarter of 2015 — we'll get a single out there — and I would assume that when we go on tour, we'll be playing that."

On what the new DEF LEPPARD material is sounding like:

Vivian: "Well, it's never finished 'till it's finished, but, like I said, last year when we first started playing, we did track as a band, and when we do that, we tend to write more rock songs. So I would say that the first four or five tracks that we cut were on the heavier side, but I have no idea if they will actually make the grade. You never know. The way DEF LEPPARD records work, the last guy in the studio gets to have the final word. So who knows?! I know that I'm not gonna be there, because I have too much medical stuff going on. I'm kind of done at this stage, so I'm not going back to Ireland for any more sessions. There may be a final session in January or February that I will not be party to, so I have no idea what the final thing's gonna be. All I can tell you is my involvement was with the first part of the record, and it was a hard rock record at that stage, so if it comes out being wussy, I'm not accepting blame, you know what I mean?! I'm throwing my hands in the air."

Sunday, December 14, 2014

REVIEW: CARCASS - "Surgical Remission/Surplus Steel" [EP]

After the success of one of the best comebacks in metal history with ‘Surgical Steel’, Carcass have released some more bonus material for the fans to feed on. The ‘Surgical Remission/Surplus Steel’ EP is basically four bonus tracks that were recorded during the Surgical Steel sessions but not included in it. 

The track list is:
1. A Wraith in the Apparatus
2. Intensive Battery Brooding
3. Zochrot
4. Livestock Marketplace
5. 1985 (Reprise)

The EP begins with “A Wraith in the Apparatus” which has a mildly interesting intro; the riff may sound hypnotic over multiple listens, but it turns dynamic towards the end in perfect Carcass fashion. Jeff Walker here probably criticises the maddening effect of power and how it is abused today and has been long since. Intensive Battery Brooding” gets off to a powerful start with some beautifully disgusting sounding grooves reminiscent of their ‘Necroticism’ sound. Carcass further express their newfound zeal against animal cruelty by describing it with their signature technical vocabulary and putrefying analogies. And as always, Bill Steer rips up some memorable solos in this and the other tracks here, showcasing his status as one of the best in the scene.

“Zochrot” might be my personal favourite on the EP as with its hypnotic feel, Walker’s powerful vocals, tight rhythm structure, dynamism, and of course, grotesque but melodic guitar work. Here, Carcass goes towards some historical Egyptian and Middle Eastern themes, talking about crucifixion and mummification with finesse. 

Speaking about “Livestock Marketplace”, why Carcass chose to give a lyric video to this is beyond my understanding. It is one of the slightly obnoxious songs they’ve made so far, reminding you slightly of the ‘Swan Song’ album. The lyrical metaphors are interesting though; comparing a “cattle market” to its British slang meaning for a nightclub or disco apparently frequented by women who wanna get laid ASAP, as they are essentially showing themselves off in the hope of being taken home, just as cattle are shown off at cattle markets in the hope of being sold. But the way in which Carcass talk about this term is something like this:

Promiscuous sensuality for we are all whores & prostitutes
Life’s a celebration at the cattle market
The frigid and recycling death disco
Bestial passion at the cattle market
On the killing floor

This chorus sounds like a humorous parody of party songs, with the way Walkers sings here. The EP ends with a “reprise” of “1985”, the track that started off ‘Surgical Steel’.

In the end, buying ‘Surgical Remission/Surplus Steel’ is a good idea if you loved ‘Surgical Steel’ and want a bit more of Carcass. Besides that, non-fans can also like this material, but it’ll make more sense if you listen to ‘Surgical Steel’ first for sure. Increase your collection with this EP and have a fun 17 minutes of their made-in-the-UK Melodic Death metal!

Rating: 7.5/10

Reviewed By,
Sarthak Khanna

Top 5 Thrash Metal Albums Of 2014

2014 is coming to an end and we have had an insane number of thrash metal bands releasing their albums this year. Here goes the Top 5 Thrash Metal Albums of 2014 \m/ 

1. EXODUS - Blood In, Blood Out:

Blood In Blood Out’ is a landmark record for Exodus since 85’s ‘Bonded by Blood’. It is an orgy of riffs and heroin for the thrasher. It is proper thrash metal straight from its golden era, and I strongly appreciate the fact that they have not meddled with it. It is what thrash is/was supposed to be: fast, anarchized and in-your-face. Zetro has done full justice to this one, and I was very pleased with what I heard. What he lacks in depth, he totally makes up for in speed and intensity. Gary Holt does what he does best, which is being Gary Holt. I credit this man for being true to himself and his group despite all the other things going on around him. 

Exodus gets far less recognition and respect than they deserve, and I hope that this record changes all of that. If the Big 4 is planning on an expansion of interests and ideas, then this album should serve as some food for thought.

Also See: Interview With Steve 'Zetro' Souza


This year, Max is back teaming up with brother Igor Cavalera to give us the third installment of their group, the one and only Cavalera Conspiracy. With fellow Soulfly guitarist Marc Rizzo handling lead guitar and Converge’s Nate Newton on bass, Cavalera Conspiracy gives us an aggressive and barbaric album this year; what started off as “Fuck The Groove” and evolved into what we are talking about today - ‘Pandemonium'.

Well, in a recent interview with Metal Wani’s very own Vitek, Igor said that ‘Pandemonium’ is the fastest, most aggressive stuff that they (he and brother) have done in a long time, and that is exactly what this album is. It is a strong bond of two brothers who despite a plethora of past troubles including alienation from one another for a near decade, are back together and bringing hell on earth. Max sounds like a demon; I have never heard a Max Cavalera with this kind of monstrosity in his voice, so much so that I even asked myself whether he used a vocal processor! Igor owns the kit, And his tribal influence on percussion is barbaric. Marc Rizzo clearly has given us some of his best stuff on solo work, and Nate is tight as ever. For those debating the mix quality in this album, I too debated with myself on this, and considering the raw element of the music, I think it is perfect.

It is raw, it is fast, it’s the combined assault of not one,but two Cavaleras. And if you haven’t heard it yet, then what are you waiting for?

Also See: Interview With Iggor Cavalera

3. DUST BOLT - Awake The Riot:

‘Awake the Riot’ is the German revolution of thrash metal; made to be played live, made for the mosh pit, bred in the womb of thrash, the way it is supposed to be. This is my favorite album so far this year, and I am not kidding. I appreciate how Dust Bolt have stuck to the true style of this music and made it more anarchized, without having to alter its DNA. The artwork is straight from the 90’s - and I hope they send me a patch for my battle jacket - yet the mixing quality of the music is current and up-to-date. Their guitar solos are amazing, and they have even given us some soul-reaping acoustic intros in songs like “Distant Scream”. The intros stick in your head, the riffs pulse in your heart, the scales are extraordinary, and the drumming will get you high. This album is proof that simple can still be awesome, and that old-school thrash is still bad-ass. 

‘Awake the Riot’ is one of my favorite thrash metal album of the year, and Dust Bolt is far too underestimated as a band. I hope I see them live someday; I would pay good money for this assault, because that’s exactly how good it is. Fellow metal-heads and thrashers, look no further. BUY THIS ALBUM, and you will not regret it.

Also See: Interview With Lenny Bruess

4. OVERKILL - White Devil Armory:

Overkill has never undergone any easily discernible stylistic changes and easily puts some of the bigger names in the game to shame as far as sheer consistency is concerned. Seventeen studio albums down, and the band show little signs of neither deviation nor deceleration. The riffs are as explosive as ever, adhering to structuralism as much as they are abrasive and outright fun. The clanging bass that acts as a structural skeleton to the explosive strumming of the guitars, unabated in their intensity, and yet riff phrasings are carefully executed with a palpable sense of tempo regulation and selective melodicity.

A riding rhythm section accompanied by muscular riffing, alongside Ellsworth’s tireless anthemic proclamations makes for yet another compelling offering from Overkill, and is a solid as any of their better releases. How well some of the songs on the latter half of the album sit well with the listener in terms of immediate memorability is questionable, and doesn’t grip one as firmly as its predecessor ‘The Electric Age’ did in its entirety. I mention this only for the sake of analysis, and one would be fastidious to disregard this album due to the same. ‘White Devil Armory’ is no doubt a testament to Overkill’s integrity, consistency and executionary finesse. But moreover, it’s a solid slab of meat-and-potatoes, hooky thrashing done marvelously right.

Also See: Interview With Bobby Blitz

5. TANKARD - R.I.B.:

When the going gets tough, the tough get thrashing. That seems to be the key to success and the sheer awesomeness that so many old thrash bands have stuck to. Tankard is not excluded. Tankard , sweet Tankard , ever so reliable and happily predictable. They’re the thrash equivalent of your favourite concert t-shirt. It’s always there for you, it’s comfortable, beer soaked and you go way way back together. 

Till date I never had to waste time worrying if they would start exploring jazz fusion, ambient soundscapes or become self-important about the message in their music. No sir, Tankard was just Tankard. Thankfully, the comforting non-progression continues on R.I.B, and they continue to deliver their battle-tested (and themed) thrash lunacy. I guess a good description of Tankard's sound would be the clean sound of Ride The Lightning-era Metallica with the angriness of pre-1991 Megadeth. That's simply a recipe for greatness. So let me get straight to the point ... with R.I.B, one can clearly say that this is Tankard in their most destructive, meanest, fastest and furious forms to date.

Also See: Interview With Gerre

Saturday, December 13, 2014

INTERVIEW: PRIMORDIAL's Nemtheanga On New Album - "It Clearly Explains Why We Don't Compromise With Fans"

2014 has been a fantastic year for metal and a lot of my favorite bands released some amazing albums and so much music is still out there to be explored. Black metal in the recent years has really stepped up its game and has caught my attention the most when compared to other genres. Primordial has been one of my favorite bands for a while now, and I adore every one of their albums. The music always had the odor of what I would think the 12th century and voyages smelled like. A new Primordial album was exactly what was required to finish off this year with a high, and like any of their previous albums, ‘Where Great Men Have Fallen’ failed to disappoint. The album is the quintessential essence of Primordial - the absolutely enchanting vocals of Nemtheanga that once more engulfs you in melancholy, the pungent medieval Irish atmosphere, heartfelt melodies, and topnotch poetry/lyrics and enraged riffing. The cold and gloom it brings perfectly suits for a winter evening listen. 

Metal Wani's Editor In Chief Owais 'Vitek' Nabi had a chat with Primordial frontman Nemtheanga. He discusses new album "Where Great Men Have Fallen", songwriting, ferocious vocals, lyrical approach and tours.

Stream The Interview Below: