Saturday, February 11, 2012

New Video Alert: King Conquer - "6 Gallon Gasoline Stomach"

New video for "6 Gallon Gasoline Stomach" from King Conquer.
The track appears on 2010's America's Most Haunted via Mediaskare Records.
I had never heard of this band until today let alone heard their music. I was blown away. Something about this band is so authentically heavy and vicious. It's refreshing. So check out this tune and stay in touch for more info on their next album! 8.5/10.
P.S. They are also looking for a second guitarist if you live in the Florida area. Hit up their Facebook for more info.

Aborted need a bass player!

Aborted are seeking a stand in bass player for their upcoming tour. Their demands are pretty standard, and some of these things you would think go without saying but you never know. You could end up with an ad like this guy's. Seriously, check that shit out. It's hilarious.

But here's the band's original post:

"Hey guys, want to shred the bass with aborted on the upcoming tour cycle? Here is your chance: we are looking for a stand in bass player for our upcoming tour cycle. requirements are as following:

1- know how to play the material
2- rock out on stage
3- Have your own gear
4- be 21 years of age or older
5- no criminal record / no hard drugs
6- be willing to play with a pick
7- have touring experience
8- only EU and US citizens (we are looking for a european for the european dates, a US citizen for the US touring cycle)

Interested? Send a video of yourself playing one of our songs to "

Friday, February 10, 2012

Photo of the Day.

Don't forget to head over to our Facebook page and give us a like!

New Video Alert: The Devil Wears Prada - "Dead Throne"

New video for "Dead Throne" by The Devil Wears Prada.
From Dead Throne released in 2011 via Ferret Music.
I honestly never was a fan of the DWP until their Zombie EP which absolutely blew me away compared to anything they had done prior. Then we got Dead Throne which was pretty good. They definitely seem to better with a heavier sound and less singing. What we have hear is one of those typical live/tour videos that are a bunch of random things spliced together. Like the song way better than the video. 7/10.

Happy 50th, Cliff

Today, as many of you may know would have been Cliff Burton's 50th birthday had he not lost his life in a tragic bus accident in Sweden on September 27 of 1986. Cliff climbed to fame as Metallica's original bass player (if you don't count Ron McGovney's short-lived tenure with them) and since his death, they've struggled to find a solid replacement until 2003 when Rob Trujillo stepped into the frame. But although the band moved on without him, he has not been forgotten.

This day stands a sad reminder of how much time has passed since that accident, and must make you think about where Metallica might have ended up had he not died. The accident happened before my time, but I remember the first time hearing the name Cliff Burton. I was in grade 5, and I'd borrowed their CD 'Kill 'em All' from a friend who had stolen it from his big brother who was just about the biggest Metallica fan I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. I got to the song (Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth and he told me all about Cliff, and the accident that claimed his life.
His father put out this video last year on the 25th anniversary of his death, and I think that there was one particular quote that sort of encapsulates Cliff's life mantra and gives us, those who loved him during his life and after his death, an idea of how to properly pay tribute to him:

"I'll miss him, but I can just picture Cliff, as I've told my family, if we get too sentimental about the sad thing that happened to him, he would say to me, 'Knock that shit off dad. Let's have a drink, where's the next gig going to be, or where's a bar nearby where we can go out and jam?'"

So grab a drink - I don't care if you don't drink, make an exception today - turn on 'For Whom The Bell Tolls' and rock the fuck out. Happy birthday, Cliff. We miss you.

Of Mice & Men's Guitarist/Vocalist Leaves Band in the Most Awkward Way

Of Mice & Men are well known for their shitty reputation and never ending drama amongst the members, especially front-man Austin Carlyle. However it seems like guitarist/singer Shayley Bourget has decided to leave the band. In the above video 3of the 5 members talk about his 'personal issues' but never allude what it is... addiction to gay porn? I'm not sure. In fact I felt incredibly awkward while watching this video and then I realized I don't give 3 fucks. So sorry for wasting your time.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Best news of the year: Meshuggah track leaked!

The song is titled "Break These Bones Whose Sinews Gave It Motion" and it is the 7th track to appear on Koloss. I don't have too much time to actually talk about how awesome this is, as I'm running off to class in about 5 minutes, but it is an official Meshuggah track and it would appear to have been leaked by the band themselves. It's as 'dark and sinister' sounding as they promised.
iamaleak by gregoriev_suckalotsky

EDIT: The song apparently has a name! It's called 'Break These Bones Whose Sinews Gave It Motion.' Chilling.

Cattle Decapitation start mixing new album

It's no secret that San Diego's Cattle Decapitation have been writing and recording a new album, but other than that, fans are still in the dark about anything to do with it. The band has said next to nothing about their upcoming release (I literally know nothing about it!) but in a Facebook message to fans today they promise to unload a bunch of info about the album on us all really soon. Here's what they had to say:

"Mixing of our new album has begun! We can already tell this will be our best production of any of our records yet. Fans of The Harvest Floor and To Serve Man will be stoked!

Album title, track list, guest appearances, pre-order info and the awesome conceptual cover art by Wes Benscoter coming soon!"

That's a lot of info to drop all at once! I suppose it's worth mentioning that Benscoter also created the cover art for Cattle's 2009 album 'The Harvest Floor' as well as designing artwork for Autopsy, Sentinel and the almighty Slayer. But regardless of what the album cover looks like, or what the album is titled for that matter, this should be on your list of shit to check out in 2012. I don't think the guys are tooting their own horn when they say that this is their best production yet. They keep getting better, year after year.

New Video: Dillinger Escape Plan 'Parasitic Twins'

The Dillinger Escape Plan has been in the news pretty often these days. They're preparing material for a new album and Ben Weinman's involvement in the new supergroup, The Giraffe Tongue Orchestra (featuring members of Mastodon, Jane's Addiction and The Mars Volta) has certainly been getting much deserved media attention. Then there's Greg Puciato's disagreement with the former over a very publicized drug trip and apparent relationship with pornstar Jenna Haze.

But at last the news coming out about the band once again has something to do with their music, or rather a music video, and a bizarre one at that. The video is for Parasitic Twins, off of their 2009 album 'Option Paralysis.' It's not by any means a heavy track but it's still Dillinger, so if you can stand their more commercial-sounding stuff give check it out. If not, but you happen to like trippy videos featuring lovers with a serious age gap, then go ahead and check it out too. 4/10

Adrenaline Mob giving away signed copy of their new EP

Heavy metal supergroup, Adrenaline Mob, are giving away a signed copy of their new EP through a Facebook contest. There are some pretty big names scrawled on the CD case - Vocalist Russell Allen (Symphony X), drummer Mike Portnoy (Dream Theatre, Liquid Tension Experiment, Avenged Sevenfold), guitar superstar Mike Orlando, and bassist John Moyer (Disturbed) - making it a pretty valuable piece of plastic.
Details for entering the contest can be found here!

"My First Hardcore Song" Prt. 2

This is actually pretty funny. I think I'm going to go down to the park and steal an 8 year old to do "My First Djent Song" this afternoon.

VH1's Metal Evolution now streaming online

As a metal fan, I find most television programs, movies or documentaries aimed at discussing music or the history of it to be, well, pretty fucking lame. I don't have watch any more documentaries on The Doors, or Biggie Smalls; Jim Morrison killed himself and Biggie Smalls (quite deservingly) got killed. End of story. Why do documentarians insist on continuing to cover what's already been covered into oblivion?

Thank fucking God someone by the name of Sam Dunn decided to educate the masses on heavy metal history and some of the more influential acts in the genre through a series of in-depth documentaries (Metal: A Headbanger's Journey, Global Metal, Iron Maiden: Flight 666, Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage) and just wrapped up an 11 part documentary series called Metal Evolution on VH1.

Well, it appears that like many things 'metal' that Metal Evolution is now streaming online, FOR FREE! You can check them out on VH1's webiste.

Veil of Maya European Tour

Europe you lucky bastards! Veil of Maya is embarking this April on the "European Eclipse Tour" with support from Betraying the Martyrs, Vildhjarta, Structures, and Volumes. That's quite an impressive line-up if I say so myself. You could dub this tour "The Sumerian Tour" featuring Vildhjarta (Century Media). You can also preview clips from Veil of Maya's new album Eclipse here. Eclipse is the band's third full-length and it's due out on Sumerian Records February 28th, 2012. The European dates are listed below.

Apr 27 Backstage Munchen, Germany
Apr 28 Rock Cafe Prague, Czech Republic Tickets
Apr 29 LKA, Pirate Satellite Fest Stuttgart, Germany
Apr 30 Club Vaudeville Lindau, Germany
May 01 Matrix Bochum, Germany
May 02 Sub89 Reading, United Kingdom
May 03 The Well Leeds, United Kingdom
May 04 Underworld London, United Kingdom
May 05 O2 Academy2 Newcastle, United Kingdom
May 06 Moho Manchester, United Kingdom
May 07 O2 Academy3 Birmingham, United Kingdom
May 08 Baroeg Rotterdam, Netherlands
May 09 DE KLINKER Aarschot, Belgium
May 10 Batofar Paris, France
May 11 Kiff Aarau, Switzerland

New Video Alert: Emmure - "Drug Dealer Friend"

New video for "Drug Dealer Friend" from Emmure's 2011 album Speaker of the Dead via Victory Records.

Kind of strange they came out with another video for the last album when their new album is already mixed and on the way. I mean the lyrics are obviously terrible and it's funny that it's sort of a lyric video. Probably done intentionally because this song was notorious for it's 3 whole lines and just general weirdness. However, I do think musically it's one of Emmure's better tunes. 6/10.

Don't go 'South of Heaven' this Valentine's day without your custom Slayer condom!

Slayer is feeling the love this Valentines Day, and want you to feel it too! The band is offering fans a very special Valentines package, FOR your package. They're selling specially themed Slayer shirts (a women's shirt, that reads 'I Heart SLAYER' and a men's which dons the simple slogan, 'FUCKIN' SLAYER') complete with custom Slayer condoms.

I'm telling you guys, if your lady buys you one of these, you never EVER let her go, and if you get her one and she still won't let you stick it in her butt, then I think it's probably time to have the old 'It's not you, its me' talk.

I hope we can expect more holiday packages like this from the kings of anti-christian thrash (I would love a 'Christ Illusion' nativity scene for Christmas this year, guys). So what are you waiting for? Head over to their webshop and slay some with Slayer this Valentines Day!

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Earth streaming 'Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light part II' on Pitchfork

Last year, Seattle-based drone metal band, Earth, released the first part of a dual album release called 'Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light.' Part I came out almost exactly one year ago and it was essentially in the same vein as their previous full-length 'The Bees Made Honey In The Lions Skull,' but darker, and slightly doom-laden.

'Angels/Demons part I' was one of the more memorable albums of 2011, and I've been salivating at the thought of part II, which comes out February 14, just six short days away, which means that a six day wait should be nothing after an entire year.

Well fuck that, because is streaming 'Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light part II' in its entirety on their website right now. I literally just started listening to it, so I'll reserve any major judgement for now, but my first impression: I could not be more at peace than I am right now listening to this. If you've never given Earth a try, I suggest you start now, with this very album. Turn it up loud, maybe smoke a little bit of your local forbidden herb (if that suits you), and let the wall of sound close in around you.

Lock Up finally break out of the UK

The name Lock Up should mean something to you. If it doesn't let help your dumb ass catch up, they are a UK grindcore super-group formed by Shane Embury (Napalm Death, Venomous Concept), Nicholas Barker (ex-Cradle of Filth, Dimmu Borgir) and Jesse Pintado (Napalm Death, Terrorizer). After Jesse's death in 2006, Anton Reisenegger (Pentagram, Criminal) took on the role of guitarist. Tomas Lindberg (At The Gates, Disfear, etc.) relieved Peter Tägtgren of vocal duties in 2002. At any rate, if those names mean nothing to you, you've definitely come to the wrong blog.

They've been screwing around and touring Europe for a few years now but the UK can no longer contain them. Today they kicked off their first North American tour. Unfortunately bassist Shane Embury can't make the dates for some unreported reason but not to fear, they've set up an equally prominent bassist to replace him, none other than Dan Lilker of Brutal Truth. Lilker had this to say about stepping in for Embury:

"It's a pleasure and an honor to (briefly) step in for Mr. Shane Emburyand hold down the bass for LOCK UP for these East Coast shows," commented Lilker. "Hope to see all the grindfreaks come out and experience the mayhem. Full speed ahead, fuckers!"

Considering they hit Montreal in three days and I'm poorer than a two-dollar whore, I'll have to sit this one out, but I wish them the best on the tour and pray they come back soon.

Lock Up's latest full-length 'Necropolis Transparent' came out July 1 of last year on Nuclear Blast.

Bill Ward out of Sabbath, son and fans pissed

Big, big news in the old school metal world. As you've probably heard Bill Ward has either quit or been ousted from the Black Sabbath reunion, apparently because of the bands refusal to sign a contract regarding the bands future. The fucked up thing is is that there is seemingly no bad blood between the two parties. Bill quite politely and publicly announced that he would not be participating in their reunion, including the upcoming recording process and an upcoming performance at Download Festival. But the media has thrown such a centrifugal spin on this story that Ward's own son has taken to the internet to retaliate against accusations and assumptions towards his father. Here's his full statement, you tell 'em Aron:

"the press is spinning this shit storm to read as if my dad has quit. this is not true. the guys know that. that's why they said the door is ALWAYS open.
my dad hasn't "declined" playing with black sabbath or "threatened" to pull out of this reunion.
as he stated his bags are packed and he's ready to go. he say's it loud and clear, he definitely wants to play on the album and he definitely wants to tour.
i know he's been committed to this project from the beginning all the way to the point everyone else flew off to the uk.
when i saw him over the summer he had this little cd case with him that had all the rehearsals and song ideas.
each cd was sharpie scrawled with rough titles and ideas they had been working on.
about a month ago my dad called me to let me know that Tony had been diagnosed with cancer. he said they were all flying over in the next couple of weeks to continue recording the album in the uk and begin rehearsals for the summer tours. he'd been rehearsing more than i've ever known him to. up till about 3 weeks ago he was working extremely hard and close with the other 3 on this album/reunion tour. he was in very good spirits and sounded excited to be writing with Tony, Geezer and Ozzy again.
i know if they sort this shit out you guys won't be disappointed.

i've always stayed out of my dad's business and would like nothing more than for everything to be worked out swiftly between the guys.
unfortunately it's become personal with all these idiots slagging off my dad so this is for the fucking morons saying

"get over it Bill" : my dad has "gotten over it" again and again. he's risen above this bullshit thing called showbiz for the last 30 years. he's respected because he's real and honest not just because he's a complete bad ass on the drums. he's been there for other musicians. in all kinds of circles - punk rock, hardcore, metal whatever. he was one of the first to get his head screwed back on after the 70's and get cleaned up. he's given so much support to so many people trying to pull themselves out of the hell called addiction. he tries so hard to stay in touch with the fans. he'll talk your ear off if you get a chance. he is humbled by your support and loves you.

"can't believe he needs to make this public" or "it's not the first time" : you're an idiot and have no idea what the hell's really going on. just shut the fuck up and keep the speculation and lies to yourself. what my dad posted was from his heart, on the level and as usual completely honest. he wants you to know what's really going on. that he has been given a contract that he can't sign. nothing more to it. no hidden agenda. disappointingly someone else is trying to shroud everything in some kind of x factor "yeah it's full steam ahead - we have no choice" bullshit. of course they have a choice.

"don't be so greedy" : he is by no means greedy man. if he was he would of settled with whatever contract given him. it's kind of obvious someone else is greedy. wake up. he lives in a modest home in southern california. pays rent like the rest of uz. in case your still blind look at it this way - sadly the current "sabbath" statement reads as if someone would rather see the remaining members play in front of thousands of disappointed, confused and resentful fans then give my dad a dignified agreement. additionally the record sales will be severely affected because it isn't the promised original line up. all this because of someone's inability to respect him as the committed founding member he is. this has derailed the fan's hopes of seeing the original line up and strongly divided the fans. what a way to fuck up such a powerful, influential and inspirational legacy for the rest of time.

"who cares, it's just a bunch pensioners" : i'm just as cynical about old rock legends getting back on the road "one more time" as anyone but this is BLACK SABBATH. they've never been a conventional band. thing is i know these guys have been rehearsing loads. over the last couple months. when i've caught up with my dad he's been talking about how heavy the jams have been and how hard he's been playing. do you think people were looking at miles davis, ornette coleman or max roach going "man these guys are boring and old" no! it's the music that's important, played by the masters themselves. thats what we want. they're here to teach us, inspire us and make us flip out. i saw the (captain beefhearts) magic band recently on tour and they were clearly the definite article. legends. completely schooled any new hip shiny processed hyped out mush you've been exposed to in the last couple years. there's no doubt that there are loads of new heavy as fuck bands out there but to me Black Sabbath are still totally relevant. it's pointless to bitch about their age. they will kick serious fucking ass. trust.

to Terry (my godfather) , Ozzy (my friend when i was little) and Tony (towering hero) i hope that you will listen to your fans. they want all of you together. as YOU are black sabbath so is my Dad. i hope you guys can work it out.

As I said, it appears that there are very few hard feelings between the ol' boys, and the band says that the door is always open for Bill to return. In the meantime, Sabbath's drums will be manned by Ozzy Osbourne's drummer, Tommy Clufetos, so it's not like they're bringing in any totally outside talent. However, fans aren't having ANY of this, and have started a Facebook petition to get Bill back in the band. The group was started either yesterday or today, but they've already reached 21,000 supporters, but I think everyone understands quite well that nobody actually pays attention to those petitions.

For now I think both fans and the media should relax a little and quit speculating, at least until the smoke surrounding this heated situation has cleared and some official info on the dispute comes out.

Municipal Waste's 'Fatal Feast: Waste In Space' album art revealed

Richmond, Virginia thrash band Municipal Waste revealed the artwork for their album 'Fatal Feast: Waste In Space' today, which was created by the talented Justin Osbourn of Slasher Design who also designed the album art for Aborted's 'Global Flatline' which came out in January. It looks pretty cool, and it's definitely metal: It's got gore, mutants, and are those empty beers around that devoured corpse? You don't get much harder than that.

But it's got me thinking, since when is previewing album artwork a big deal? How much do fans really care about the artwork on the album in comparison to the album itself? Good album art definitely adds to the overall aesthetic of an album, but I think that until the album comes out, it's just a picture (a face with no name, if you will).

A few weeks back Meshuggah posted the cover art for their forthcoming release 'Koloss' and as excited as I am for that album, I couldn't care less about the artwork. I'll take the time to appreciate it when I pick up the album, but without a soundtrack it's just a JPEG to me. In either case I would much rather listen to a 30 second rough clip of one of the tracks on the albums.

I guess its fair to say that as bad ass as 'Fatal Feast's' album art is, it left me hungry for something more, especially after 2009's 'Massive Aggressive' which let me down a little.

Anyways, mark April 10 on your calendar because that's when 'Fatal Feast: Waste in Space' becomes available to us earthlings, and it's definitely going to deserve a listen.

For The Fallen Dreams Studio Update

For The Fallen Dreams are currently in the studio recording their 4th full-length album. It's being recorded by Tom Denny (ex-A Day To Remember) who also recorded last years Back Burner. It will be the bands first release on their new label Artery Recordings. So far the band has uploaded a couple videos. Check them out above.

Updated: Jesse Leach Rejoins Killswitch Engage

UPDATED: Statement From Killswitch Engage



(New York, NY): Killswitch Engage are pleased to announce that they have filled the singer vacancy in the band and they have done so with a familiar face: original vocalist Jesse Leach.

Leach sang on the band's first self-titled album, which came out in 2000, and on their landmark 2002 Roadrunner debut Alive or Just Breathing. Leach left the band in 2002 and was replaced by Howard Jones, but his work on Alive or Just Breathing has always been revered by diehard, longtime KsE fans. Things have come full circle a decade later, and Leach and the band couldn't be more pleased about this reunion.

The band revealed that Leach auditioned for the job he once held and pretty much blew everyone away and then some. The band stated, "After much deliberation and careful consideration, we are pleased to announce that Jesse Leach has rejoined Killswitch Engage. Our job was to find the best person to fill Howard's shoes: a decision based on talent and not familiarity."

The band further said, "Truth be told, Jesse blew us away in auditions. The room seemed charged with electricity. He commanded both new and old material, and proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he wanted to do this. The choice became very clear and apparent."

The band also is psyched to share the news with fans, saying, "This change is very exciting. We know you're going to love it. This is truly a new era in KsE history and it is ready to shred your face off. So, please help us in welcoming Jesse back into the KsE family; he is a rare and great talent, a fact that older KsE fans have known for years. Here is to a killer new record and a bright future. The five of us cannot wait to write this record and play shows together and bring that feeling to our fans. It's been far too long."

The "new" guy himself also commented on his return to the band after a decade-long absence, saying, "It is a great honor to rejoin my brothers after all of these years. After some discussion and much reflection, it was obvious to me this was the path I was meant to take. We got together and jammed on the 'Howard-era songs,' as well as some Alive or Just Breathing-era songs and we all felt the synergy."

He continued, "I look forward to writing the new record, since the demos sound absolutely amazing, as well as breathing new life and getting comfortable with the soulful songs Howard has written. It is a new chapter of my life filled with new and exciting challenges. I will give all that I can to honor the position I have been given and take nothing for granted. I will sing every note with all of my soul. I am very blessed and very thankful to be back in the KsE family! All things happen in their due time and now is the time for this reunion and new direction."

KsE remain hard at work on their latest album, which follows 2009's second self-titled album.

The band will perform at the New England Metal and Hardcore Fest on April 22, 2012. Leach last performed with KsE in March 2010 in New York City, Clifford Park, NY, and Wallingford CT.
This story dropped yesterday and there's a good chance you've already heard... but if you haven't; Killswitch Engage announced that original front-man Jesse Leach is back in the band after Howard Jones left the band early this year. Many fans begged for this to happen but it seemed unlikely as the band was holding open auditions and Leach seem tied down with other projects and endeavours. Seems kind of crazy and I'm actually a little bit excited to hear this stuff because I couldn't stand anything Jones did with the band especially the "Holy Diver" cover. It smells like 2003 metalcore to me... and that's alright. There has been no real statement from the band other than the above picture but I'm sure the silence will be broken soon. Time to get out your black t-shirts and studded bracelets. Let's do this. 

Fuck The Facts, KEN mode, and Devin Townsend among 2012 JUNO nominees

Awesome news, everyone. The 2012 JUNO Awards are coming up in a little over a month from now, and they have released their list of nominees for Best Metal/Hard Music Album of the Year. I've gotta say I probably couldn't have picked better nominees myself, barring these first two exceptions.

Anvil were nominated for their album 'Juggernaut of Justice,' most likely because of the hype started by a 2009 documentary about the band. The album that followed that documentary was 'Juggernaut of Justice,' and the public reaction, no doubt, displayed to them that people not only wanted to see a film about a band struggling to make it big in a world that wouldn't pluck two hairs off their own ass to support them, but they wanted to continue to see them struggle in reality, regardless of how many times they've paid their dues. As far as I'm concerned their talent has already taken them as far as they'll ever go.

Next on the list of nominees is Cauldron for 'Burning Fortune.' All I have to say about this album stems from something that I heard member, Jason Decay, say about how they came up with the title of the album. Decay suggested Burning Love and the rest of the band apparently thought they could “live with that” until they could come up with something better, which they never did according to him. This whole album should have been put off until they came up with something better. On that note, Cauldron as a band should have been put off until they came up with an act that didn't sound like Def Leppard on a steady regimen of Estrogen treatments.

Finally, we move down the list onto something that everyone either can or should enjoy: The Devin Townsend Project for his progressive death metal opus, 'Deconstruction top.' This album topped my list of favourite albums in 2011 and if I could carry it into 2012 it would probably top that list too. Other than a little bit of goofing about towards the end of the album (fart sounds, talk of cheeseburgers, and other trademark Hevy Devy tomfoolery) it is a fairly serious release and is hands down one of the most sonically complex series of songs I've ever heard. I can tell you now, if my vote meant shit, DTP would be leaving with a JUNO.

I shouldn't be so quick to rush to judgement though. Fuck The Facts even nabbed a nomination for their deathgrind masterpiece, 'Die Miserable,' an album that spent more than it's fair share of time spinning on my record player. How awesome would it be to hear someone announce that Fuck The Facts would be taking home a Juno in front of millions of confused viewers?

And, finally, Winnipeg noise rockers KEN mode received a nomination for their crushing, bass-laden album, 'Venerable.' This was an album that made I knew would land on my year-end list as soon as I heard it. I was happy albeit a little shocked to see them on the list, as I'd always assumed they were unknown to just about everybody, but it's good to see them getting recognition for their efforts, and from the folks at the JUNO Awards of all places!

So short of a couple timed-out hair metal disasterpieces, the nomination lineup looks fantastic with a well-rounded assortment of metal and hard rock subgenres and I can't wait to see who out of these groups of headbangers will get to bring home one of those coveted awards.

The JUNO festivities kick off here in Ottawa on March 26 and run until April 1.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Metallica to host two-day 'Orion' Festival

So the big news today that has the internet and metalheads everywhere all atwitter, is Metallica's announcement of a two-day 'Orion' festival in Antlantic City. The festival will feature Metallica headlining each evening as well as a performance of The Black Album in its entirety on one of the nights, and Ride The Lightning on the other. Another surprise is a collection of 22 of the most random-ass bands they've ever played with, handpicked by Metallica.

When I first looked at the lineup I thought it was a bad joke. I don't know what the fuck they were thinking here; you've got indie bands playing along side some of the weakest metal bands out there, a couple hardcore bands, some assorted rock and a black metal band.
Just when I truly believed James Hetfield was sober...

If I were to put my convictions aside, I would admit that there really aren't too many bad bands on the bill, short of Cage the Elephant (whose last album 'Thank You, Happy Birthday' sounded like an epileptic noise rock band recording through tin-can phones while staring directly into the constant flashing of a strobe light) and Avenged Sevenfold (let's be honest, when were they ever good?) but what the Hell are they doing here together? Seems like a big mash-up of lighter, popular bands to appease Metallica's ageing audience, and maybe draw in some audience members that wouldn't typically drop a hundred or so dollars to see a geriatric thrash band.
In their press release the band explains that the various acts that will be taking to the multiple stages at 'Orion' reflect the musical tastes of the members of the band themselves. I'm not sure which is worse, the fact that Cage The Elephant is playing with Metallica or that someone in Metallica actually likes them. Major credibility damage.

Regardless of the genre-mashing nature of this festival, it does seem to be a sort of once-in-a-lifetime event.

Here's a big chunk of the initial press release from Metallica:

"We've had the idea of doing our own lifestyle festival with lots of diverse music and fun and games for years," said METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich. "Finally this year all the practical ducks lined up in a row, and we are beyond psyched to bring Orion to our fans, friends and the curious. After the most incredible of weeks ever in December 2011 celebrating our 30th anniversary at the Fillmore in San Francisco, California, bringing the spirit of that week, the looseness of that week, the possibilities of that week, the fan interactive elements of that week, and the (fill in your own blank here) of that week to a festival setting is so exciting we can hardly contain ourselves."

Orion Music + More will feature multiple live music stages plus a lifestyle element that reflects each of METALLICA's band members many personal interests. METALLICA will headline both nights of Orion Music + More and play "The Black Album" in its entirety one night "Ride The Lightning" in its entirety the other. This will be the only time the band will perform these albums in North America in 2012. The lineup for Orion Music + More will span multiple musical genres. From punk to country, over 20 bands will perform.

Regarding how the bands were selected to perform at Orion Music + More, Ulrich said, "Music, to us, is really diverse; it covers all grounds. If you took the four of ours;' iPods and scanned through those, you would find the biggest variety and diversity of music, so we're trying to bring that spirit to this festival."
He added, "A lot of the European festivals, and certainly also Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo and so on, in outside lands in America, these festivals are really about diversity and about different experiences. You go there, you go check out bands you don't know a lot about, you go check out bands where it will be the first time you'll experience them. So there's a whole big pile of stuff — from punk to thrash to country to, sort, of alternative, straight-ahead rock, blues. But it's really about diversity."

The METALLICA Met Club fan club presale starts tomorrow, February 8 at 10 a.m. (Eastern) and runs through Friday, February 10 at 10 p.m. (Eastern). Met Club members get first dibs on buying festival tickets and with a couple of options to choose from.

The Orion Festival will be held on June 24, and 25. Two day passes begin at a fairly hefty 125 bucks, $150 for the 'early bird' orders, and $175 for advance tickets, which considering the scope of the festival and the sheer number of bands attending this festival, is a pretty fuckin' decent price. 'Met Club Ultra' VIP packages are also available for $225.

Below is a video of a livecast with Metallica in which they discuss the festival. Dig it.

- Dan "The Grinder" Hurtubise

Album Review: Chimp Spanner - All Roads Lead Here EP

Chimp Spanner -All Roads Lead Here (February 6th, 2012 via Basick Records)

If Paul Ortiz was meant to do anything besides making music in life, I'm not sure what it could be. The man seems to compose non-stop, making music for everything from video games to TV commercials, and his idea of fun seems to be getting away from one kind of music and writing another.

Ortiz, better known by the name of his solo project Chimp Spanner, released a new EP yesterday. This is pretty big news to the djent community. It's called 'All Roads Lead Here' and although I really enjoyed the full-length released previous to this, this EP makes 'At The Dream's Edge' seem like a rushed, half-assed last minute effort. 'All Roads' is both beautiful and crushing and while sounding meticulously calculated it flows naturally.

Chimp Spanner, being a totally instrumental project, Ortiz seems to make up for the lack of singing by creating an emotional vibe using a quite perfect balance of both melody and groove. Listeners can expect a wall of sound while listening to 'All Roads'. The guitars, drums, bass are all sealed together at points by layers of synth, resulting in an ambient feel, especially through all three parts of the song Möbius.

Ortiz displays his virtuosity on a whole new level over the duration of this six-track EP, incorporating stunningly phrased solos, baffling rhythm riffs, and moments of clean, peaceful melody that can only be described as sublime to create a soundscape that is bound to make many other 2012 instrumental metal releases pale in comparison.

The Metal & Hardcore Times gives Chimp Spanner's 'All Roads Lead Here' a perfect score of 10/10 stagedives.


01. Dark Age Of Technology
02. Engrams
03. Mobius Pt I
04. Mobius Pt II
05. Mobius Pt III
06. Cloud City*

*Recommended track

- Dan “The Grinder” Hurtubise

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Album Review: Psycroptic - The Inherited Repression

Psycroptic - The Inherited Repression  (February 7th, 2012 via Nuclear Blast Records)

Holy shit, folks. One haggard year later, I have returned to The Metal & Hardcore Times to bring you the freshest news in everything and anything metal. I'm excited to get back to you all here and force some of my opinions down a throat or two.

2011 held no shortage of great heavy music to drool over (some personal favourites from yesteryear included The Devin Townsend Project's dual release of 'Deconstruction' and 'Ghost', Mastodon's 'The Hunter', and the triumphant return of Despise You on their outstanding split release with Agoraphobic Nosebleed, '...And On And On') but of course, by now that's ALL old news now.

February is already here with a fucking vengeance and if you've been paying attention to, well, the internet then you should know that Aussie tech-death maniacs Psycroptic released their new full-length 'The Inherited Repression' today.

I've been rocking this album since they streamed it in full from Guitar World's website a couple of weeks ago. If you're a fan of Psycroptic at all, then you can likely guess what to expect, as it's not unlike 'Symbols Of Failure' or 'Ob(Servant)'.

The album kicks off with some droning guitar vibrato, crashing cymbals, and picks up almost immediately to the same impossibly quick double kicks they demonstrated on older songs like Alpha Breed. Guitarist, Joe Haley, who is also the brother of drummer, Dave Haley, displays some of the thrashiest rhythm chops I've ever heard on this album, as well as a few lighter, eerie intro riffs on Euphorinasia, and Deprivation.

I also want to take this moment to express my delayed gratitude to vocalist Jason Peppiatt who replaced Matthew Chalk back in 2005, and has been doing an absolutely amazing job with Psycroptic as Chalk was an unintelligible, sloppy growler. Peppiatt on the other hand, delivers a performance on 'Repression' so powerful it makes my throat hurt just listening to it.

The songwriting on 'Repression' is unparalleled by their own earlier releases. Never before has Psycroptic delivered such a consistently good record, as some songs on previous records struck me as nothing but filler. The only true drawback with this particular album is that some riffs come off as filler, but seeing as they hardly play the same riff twice, it's more than easy to overlook.

Already I'm willing to predict that this album will be turning up on a quite a few critics 'Best of 2012' lists.
The Metal & Hardcore Times gives Psycroptic's 'The Inherited Repression' 9/10 stagedives.

Tracklist :

1. Carriers of the Plague
2. Forward to Submission
3. Euphorinasia
4. The Throne of Kings
5. Unmasking the Traitors
6. Become the Cult
7. From Scribe to Ashes*
8. Deprivation
9. The Sleepers Have Awoken

*Recommended track

- Dan "The Grinder" Hurtubise

Jesse Leach Rejoins Killswitch Engage

This story dropped yesterday and there's a good chance you've already heard... but if you haven't; Killswitch Engage announced that original front-man Jesse Leach is back in the band after Howard Jones left the band early this year. Many fans begged for this to happen but it seemed unlikely as the band was holding open auditions and Leach seem tied down with other projects and endeavours. Seems kind of crazy and I'm actually a little bit excited to hear this stuff because I couldn't stand anything Jones did with the band especially the "Holy Diver" cover. It smells like 2003 metalcore to me... and that's alright. There has been no real statement from the band other than the above picture but I'm sure the silence will be broken soon. Time to get out your black t-shirts and studded bracelets. Let's do this. 

Bare Bones Release New Track "Cursed"

Up-and-coming hardcore/metal act Bare Bones have released a brand new song titled "Cursed". I'm liking this one quite a bit. The band features members from Dead & Divine, To Cherish, and The Holly Springs Disaster. They're currently out on tour so head on over to their Facebook and give 'em a like and listen if you haven't already.

New Video Alert: Stick To Your Guns - "Bringing You Down (A New World Overthrow)

New video for "Bringing You Down (A New World Overthrow)" from Stick To Your Guns.
It's a live video filmed at Chain Reaction for the single they released back in early December. There's also lots of footage from the Occupy Movements across the U.S. in 2011. Not crazy about the video.. the whole time I kept thinking this is the worse version of Architects "Devil's Island" that focused on last summer's riots in England. Stick To Your Guns does seem to get "poppier" with each release. Oh well. 7/10.

Shit Band Guys Say ft. HIGHSOCIETY

"Kill everyone!!!!!" "Stop fighting!!!!"

Obey The Brave: The Early Years