MF Gallery Announces Dave Brockie Memorial Art Show, In Honour Of Late GWAR Frontman Dave Brockie + Over 100 Artists Confirmed To Contribute To Gallery Including Cory Brown, Extremo The Clown, George Abruzesse, & More; Scheduled For May 03rd 2014 In Brooklyn, New York + All Proceeds To Go Towards Dave Brockie Foundation

In honour of the late GWAR frontman Dave Brockie, better known as Oderus Urungus, the MF Gallery in Brookyln has announced the Dave Brockie Memorial Art Show, an art show featuring pieces based off of Dave Brockie, GWAR, and pieces made in tribute. Over 100 different artists have confirmed involvement, including Cory Brown, George Abruzesse, Extremo The Clown, Mark Riddick, Ryan Case, Kate Ferry, and many more. The Dave Brockie Memorial Art Show will take place May 03rd in just under 2 weeks, and is an all ages event. All proceeds from the art show will go towards the Dave Brockie Foundation, a charity organization recently set up by GWAR in Dave Brockie’s memory.

metalinjection:

Stabbings & Gunshots Put An Abrupt End to Ohio’s Firefest 2014

Police said gunshots were fired at the venue around 7:10 p.m with the brawl taking place inside and including knives, bats and machetes.

Click here for more

Extremely unfortunate turn of events. The fact that we have problems like this in a community that I’ve found to be loving and respectful is depressing.

A speedy recovery to those injured, and my personal condolences to the families and friends of the few who unfortunately lost their lives. May they rest in peace. \m/

"Killers & Kings" by Machine Head

Yesterday was Record Store Day for indie stores across Canada, U.S., and more, and as part of the event, Machine Head put out a demo version of "Killers & Kings", a new song from their upcoming untitled album, as part of an exclusive 10” single release. Now they’re streaming that same version online and its sounding great! It follows a simpler route, much like what we heard on “Unto The Locust”, but its a great track nonetheless, with some killer guitar work as usual from Robb Flynn, and some great metalcore-styled verses to back it all up. A good taste of whats to come, especially considering this is only an unpolished demo.

The next Machine Head will likely be out by the end of the year via Nuclear Blast Entertainment, but if you’re lucky you may still be able to grab extra copies of "Killers & Kings" from record stores out there. No guarantee’s, but its certainly worth a shot. Check them out on tour in a month too, and co-headlining Scion Rock Fest 2014 with High On Fire!

A few days ago a story was reported that Dave Mustaine flew out a deaf fan to a Megadeth/Motörhead show in Las Vegas. I quite honestly wasn’t sure what to think of it, because Dave Mustaine isn’t known for saying the nicest things at first, but I suppose this local news report confirms it, as Sarah Churman, also the author of the powerful"Powered On: The Sounds I Choose To Hear & The Noise I Don’t", and Dave Mustaine were interviewed live before the Las Vegas show last Thursday.

I’m not a huge fan of Megadeth honestly, don’t even mention "Super Collider"around me, but this is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. Definitely a nice uplifting story for the Holiday Easter weekend. \m/

ALBUM REVIEWS!; New Music From Emmure, Triptykon, I Declare War, Stoneburner, Brainstorm, Mos Generator, Reality Grey, Gamma Ray, Sevendust, Tuomas Holopainen, Words Of Farewell; April 18th 2014

HOLA EVERYONE!

This week we’ve tons of booming releases from the likes of I Declare War, Gamma Ray, Words Of Farewell, Stoneburner, Triptykon, and more! Plus a new acoustic release from Sevendust entitled “Time Travelers & Bonfires”, and the latest solo release from Nightwish keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen, entitled "Music Inspired By The Life & Times Of Scrooge". And no, they’re not referring to Ebenezer Scrooge. They’re referring to Walt Disney’s own Scrooge McDuck. Give ‘em credit, its pretty different.

And finally; “Eternal Enemies” by Emmure. We’re only 1/3 of the way through 2014, but “Eternal Enemies” may have already claimed the top spot for worst album of the year. To find out why this album is such a waste of everything, read below, but don’t bother investing any extra time into it. Just don’t.

Anyways, enjoy! \m/

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 "Eternal Enemies" by Emmure

Deathcore

Released April 15th 2014

     Of all the deathcore hacks out there, Emmure is the one I hate the most. Honestly, I’m shocked these guys have managed to be successful at all, with their constant Limp Bizkit aesthetic worship, pouty and attention-seeking lyrics, and general lack of talent. “Eternal Enemies” opens up on more of the same from them, with grainy sound effects played overtopped light chugs, while Frankie curses. Soon ‘Nemesis’ kicks in, with absolute CONSTANT breakdowns, and the kind of angsty lyrics that make 13 year old boys think they’re hardcore (‘I fucking hate you, you’ll get what you deserve’. God damn it guys, bathroom stall writing has more brains than that). This repeats through the whole album quite frankly, with the exception of slight hip-hop breaks in ‘E’ and ‘Most Hated’ (the latter of which featuring more genius lyrics like ‘Eat dick, you can hate me all you want cause I don’t give a shit, so who the fuck are you?’), and the honestly disturbing themes of the intro ‘[Untitled]’, the same track previously known as ‘Bring A Gun To School’. While I understand controversial themes are common in metal and rock, (Cannibal Corpse made a fucking living off of it), I think it’s pretty sad that Frankie is writing lyrics about taking pleasure in murdering innocent children, and trying to pass it off as, and he was quoted as saying this btw, ‘satire’. And it OPENS the album. Disgusting. So, if you like immature pricks being immature and continuing to reject the idea of actually trying to write a song instead of 15 pissed off rants with breakdowns, then you’ll love “Eternal Enemies”. As for those of you smart enough to stay away, pat yourself on the back for not wasting your hard earned cash on this generic, brain-dead, and offensive piece of crap.

Rating: 0/5 (Sinful)

"Melana Chasmata" by Triptykon

Black Metal/Doom Metal

Released April 15th 2014

     Though we may never see Celtic Frost resurface again, Tom G. Warrior and his new buddies in Triptykon bring us the next best thing: “Melana Chasmata”, a dark and diverse trip that revels in the older stylings of black metal, and in turn bridging the gaps between some of metal’s other extreme genres. At first glance you can tell there is a lot of very genuine effort on Tom’s part, as every single bit and piece is so fine-tuned and calculated, like some type of equation; everything has its place and time to shine, and the impact is powerful. There’s still plenty of simpler heavy-hitting riff monsters, like ‘Breathing’ and ‘Tree Of Suffocating Souls’, but their flow and constrast with the album’s quieter and more introspective tracks, notably the stunning doom metal epic of ‘Boleskine House’, in turn gives them another visceral edge, and listening to the album in full helps all these edges come together, like a narrative of sorts. It’s very obvious Tom took the reins on this one, but credit goes nonetheless to the other musicians for such a bang up job, particularly the haunting female vocalist who shows up from time to time whose name I unfortunately don’t know (sorry). While I’m not sure I love this album QUITE as much as everyone else, there is no denying this is still a very powerful album, one that will likely reveal itself more repeated listen.

Rating: 4.5/5 (Incredibel!)

"We Are Violent People By Nature" by I Declare War

Deathcore

Released April 15th 2014

     “We Are Violent People By Nature”. That title alone paints a slightly unfair picture of what to expect; more trope-filled deathcore. But I Declare War have a knack for writing some genuinely strong stuff despite the unfortunate cliches of their genre, and there’s a sublte depth and variety underneath at all that immediately gives I Declare War a visceral edge over their peers. Perhaps the most useful tools in their arsenal is their control of speed and dynamic; death metal-fueled blast beats transition in a swift flash into pummeling slow-churning breakdowns with the snap of the wrist, with some powerful guttural harmonies to boot and give the music another dark edge, almost Behemoth style as the singer reaches deep down and pulls out some truly powerful guttural vocals. While I certainly wouldn’t consider I Declare War progressive by any sense, there are surprising textures and different musical ideas everywhere, coupled with some strong writing and performances all around. Certain bits can get a little monotonous, but this a good example of what deathcore can be when bands actually try instead of settling for more breakdowns.

Rating: 3.5/5 (Good)

"Life Drawing" by Stoneburner

Doom Metal/Sludge Metal

Released April 15th 2014

     On the surface, “Life Drawing” is an abrasive sludge-fried mammoth, but digging past the outright heaviness reveals intricate sides to Stoneburner, and soon emotion begins to pour out from every angle. There’s a lot of slow building moments here to amp that up, notably the bittersweet melody of ‘The Pheonix’, gradually building up to a riff the size of a small city, and the pure doom lavishes of ‘An Apology To A Friend In Need’, moving in the opposite direction, getting much slower as the song starts up before turning into pure drone for a bit. Acoustic fiddlings come into play as well on slower, more melodramatic tracks such as ‘Drift’ and ‘Giver Of Birth’, which also wisely serve as short intermissions of sorts; neither song goes over a minute long, and plays at the right moment to allow the listener a quick breather before the next piece storms its way in. Vocally and instrumentally the album is strong, with some great sound mixing and lots of subtle effects that carve their way in and add some more light substance to the already emotional music, and “Life Drawing” proceeds like a rock opera of sorts as a result, painting pictures of doom and misery for the listener. Definitely an album to look out for.

Rating: 4/5 (Great!)

"Firesoul" by Brainstorm

Power Metal/Heavy Metal

Released April 15th 2014

     It’s a shame that Brainstorm haven’t been able to really break out and make a real impact on the power metal scene, because they’re arguably one of the most consistent bands out there. Playing a heavier side of power metal, in line perhaps with Evergrey and Angel Dust, Brainstorm harkens back to what is considered their best album “Soul Temptation”, tackling a lot of the same themes, sounds, and ideas with “Firesoul” and even bringing in the same cover artist. While the end result is not power metal genius, its a fun ride nonetheless, with heavy riffs sprawled all around, notably in album opener ‘Erased By The Dark’, tons of massive choruses, and a battering ram rhythm section, constantly pounding behind the mountains of hooks and guitars. Diversity is not the focus here; swift and crunchy power metal is, and thats where the album succeeds. Frontman Andy B. Franck delivers some of his best melodies since “Soul Temptation”, and they’re all backed with stellar instrumentation. It’s a straightforward album, perhaps even generic by power metal standards, but its heavier edges shine through and album turns out a beast despite the cliches. If you’re looking for solid power metal, it’s hard to go wrong with “Firesoul”.

Rating: 3.5/5 (Good)

"Electric Mountain Majesty" by Mos Generator

Stoner Rock/Hard Rock

Released April 15th 2014

     From the start you get an easy idea of what “Electric Mountain Majesty” is all about, and Mos Generator is not shy to hide that, praising their heroes at every turn (notably lots of Jimi Hendrix and Black Sabbath love). I’ve got nothing against that, especially when some of the guitar writing is so fucking sweet, whether it be the frantic bluesy jams of ‘Breaker’, the classic rock groove of ‘Beyond The Whip’, or the head-ripping ‘Neon Nightmare’. It’s clear that a great guitar sound was the focus through the duration of the record, but credit should be given nonetheless to the rest of the band for some great well-laced rhythm parts and some simple but effective bluesy hooks. Writing wise the album is fine enough, but it would’ve been great to see a tad more diversity, as the album sticks incredibly close to mid-tempo hard rock, and some changes in just speed alone could have made the album super heavy in some parts, adding to the already tight stoner sound. As it stands though, “Electric Mountain Majesty” is a solid release, great for chilling with a smoke. It might not be a regular in your playlist, but it’ll rock once the joint is lit.

Rating: 3/5 (Decent)

"Define Redemption" by Reality Grey

Melodic Death Metal

Released April 15th 2014

     It’s no coincidence that this album is called “Define Redemption”, as this is Reality Grey’s sophomore album, yet their first in almost 8 years. That’s a huge gap in between albums, and unless you’re Guns N’ Roses or Metallica, you can’t afford to take that long for an album. So in many ways, Reality Grey is not just redeeming themselves, they’re starting again from scratch. With that in mind, its actually sad that in 8 years, all these guys could push out was textbook definition melodic death metal. Good stuff, but fairly average nonetheless, with plenty of death metal base, subtle melody weaved in, and a heaping dose of guitar solo’s to boot. Thankfully, its all still well executed, with melody introduced through the music with some metalcore elements here and there, along the lines of The Black Dahlia Murder, though unfortunately their writinMg isn’t quite as sharp in order to work quite the same way, and as noted before, the ending result is average. Still, its solid all through, and there’s honestly nothing bad about the album, so harm done if you should see it on a store shelf and decide to pick it up, especially if you love death metal solo’s.

Rating: 3/5 (Decent)

"Empire Of The Undead" by Gamma Ray

Power Metal/Heavy Metal

Released April 15th 2014

     Gamma Ray’s discography has become stronger with almost every release since their debut, with only slight hiccups to derail, and “Empire Of The Undead” see’s them finally beginning to culminate the best of their stuff in one heavy collection, and I do mean HEAVY; guitars have a significantly thicker tone and choruses are bolder, with ‘Pale Rider’ taking a wicked cue from Judas Priest’s ‘Painkiller’, and the title track reeking of old 80’s thrash in some moments. Despite the new found heaviness, this is still Gamma Ray, and it’s the general aesthetic and hooks that manage to continuously floor. ‘Seven’ in particular could be one of Gamma Ray’s best hooks to date, thanks to a fantastic vocal performance from Kai Hansen. Despite all this, you’d be a fool not to notice new drummer Ehre delivering 100% behind the kit, accenting the already sharp riffs and melodies with blistering percussion. There’s nothing really all that new here, but Gamma Ray’s ability to bridge their best talents so effortlessly is amazing on its own, and the resulting strength and epic metal, make up what could be their best album to date.

Rating: 4.5/5 (Incredible!)

"Time Travelers & Bonfires" by Sevendust

Alternative Metal

Released April 15th 2014

     It’s kinda sad to see Sevendust jumping the ‘lets make an acoustic rock album because we need new music to sell right the fuck now and we’ve got no other songs to put out’ bandwagon, the same one Alexisonfire jumped on before being swallowed whole by City & Colour. However, for a band like Sevendust, this train becomes very attractive very quickly, as Sevendust’s naturally moody and sometimes ambient alt. metal is a perfect fit for acoustic re-mixing. In an obvious, but incredibly smart move nonetheless, frontman Lajon Witherspoon was made the focus. Instruments are put on the backburner and are there moreso to emphasize Lajon’s crooner vocals, and soon the already touchy topics of tracks like ‘Trust’ and ‘Black’ are given new weight. This isn’t a full length album, so tracks don’t drag on as they still last the regular time, and by the time you’re mentally ready to dig into something heavier, the album is done. Its timed well, performed well, and is relatively cheap. What more could a Sevendust fan ask for?

Rating: 3.5/5 (Good)

"Music Inspired By The Life & Times Of Scrooge" by Tuomas Holopainen

Symphonic Rock

Released April 15th 2014

     When I first heard Nightwish keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen was making a solo album, my reaction was quite honestly: ‘meh’. It wasn’t until I was informed that this was a concept album based on Walt Disney’s own Scrooge McDuck, that I couldn’t help but be interested. And for those of you unaware; yes you read that right. The guy from Nightwish wrote a concept album about Scrooge McDuck. You have not gone insane, and apparently neither has Tuomas, cause the album is actually really fucking good. Working with a massive orchestra, Tuomas has managed to put together a surprisingly grand and powerful album, chronicling stories of adventure, loss, and tragedy, through the sweet and almost inspiring symphonic melodies of ‘A Lifetime Of Adventure’, the moody scales of ‘Dreamtime’, and the emotional weight that is ‘Go Slowly Now, Sands Of Time’. Honestly, its hard to believe something with such amazing production value has ANYTHING to do with a cartoon duck, but it does, so massive credit to Tuomas and his crew for making something of “The Lord Of The Rings” scale quality. Every string is potent, every flute soars, and every melody is a dagger, piercing through it all and emerging on top, advancing a sweet and sometimes lovely story of a character that nobody expected to hear about. Well done guys.

Rating: 4.5/5 (Incredible!)

"The Wild Black Yonder" by Words Of Farewell

Melodic Death Metal

Released April 15th 2014

     “The Wild Black Yonder” shows a much more polished and mature side to Words Of Farewell, having very clearly listened to criticisms of the their debut, and sharpening everything they do in turn. If only all bands were willing to make that kind of progress and change… but thats an issue for another time, for now we have “The Wild Black Yonder” to explore in full. Utilizing the standard melodic death metal conventions along with some great atmospheric bits, Words Of Farewell burst out with subtle gloom and a surprising progressive edge, with moodier passages and great instrumentals, some extended for added effect. For me, the instrumentation is the focal point, as it drives so much of the album and gives way to the albums most interesting moments, though credit must still be given to the vocalist, whose range has also been broadened with barks, whispers, and thunderous gutturals all around. The musicianship between these guys has definitely improved to say the least, and the subtle changes made, save Words Of Farewell from the dreaded sophomore slump. Some more memorable hooks would be great, but as it stands, “The Wild Black Yonder” is a step in the right direction for Words Of Farewell.

Rating: 3.5/5 (Good)

Iron Reagan, the same wicked awesome supergroup featuring members of Municipal Waste and Darkest Hour, is streaming a new EP for free via Decibel Magazine’s flexi disc series! BOO YAH!

On a sweeter note, "The Living Skull" is apparently a song about the late GWAR frontman Oderus Urungus. Awh.

Physical copies of the flexi disc are available at Decibel Magazine’s online store. I just ordered my copy personally. If you want one, grab it soon brah.

01. “Tongue Tied”
02. “The Living Skull”
03. “I’m Regret”
04. “Zero Gain”
05. “One Shovel Short of a Funeral”
06. “Spoiled Identity”
07. “Your Kid’s an Asshole”
08. “The Hungry Male (of Wall St.)”
09. “Cops Don’t Like Me, I Don’t Like Cops”
10. “Declaration of War”
11. “I Spit on Your Face/Grave”
12. “Court Adjourned”
13. “The Hill Witch”

The Black Dahlia Murder have announced a fucking move called “Fool ‘Em All” and it looks awesome.

Its basically gonna be an entire film’s worth of death metal, weed-smoking, farting, Trevor’s balls, 3D, and watching tweens get terrified and confused on Warped Tour. And if we’re being honest, that sounds like the best movie ever.

"Fool ‘Em All" comes out May 27th via Metal Blade Records. If you don’t buy it, you’re a loser. C:

Guitarist Shane Gibson Passes Away At Age 35, Confirmed Via MetalSucks.net & Direct Statement From stOrk Bandmates + Best Known For His Work w/ Progressive Metal Band 'stOrk' & As A Former Live Guitarist For Korn; Upcoming stOrk Album Still Scheduled For Release + No Word On Future Of stOrk

Unfortunate news for us tonight, we have lost a brother. Guitarist Shane Gibson passed away earlier this morning, from a supposed blood clotting disorder in Birmingham, Alabama. Shane Gibson was perhaps most famous for playing live with Korn from 2007-2010, taking the spot of Brian ‘Head’ Welch, as well as for his brief engagement to actress Carmen Electra, but his main project was progressive metal band stOrk, whose latest album is coincidentally set for release in 2 weeks. In an online statement, stOrk had this to say;He was one of the best guitar players the world has ever known and his virtuosity was matched only by his wit and generosity of spirit. He will be missed beyond measure’. The future of stOrk is unknown at this point. Bring-On-The-Metal sends its prayers to stOrk, Korn, Shane Gibson’s family and friends. Take solace that he left a great legacy of music for all to enjoy.

Kreator Announces Headlining European Tour w/ Arch Enemy, Sodom, & Vader As Support + Guitarist/Frontman Mille Petrozza Confirms This To Be Kreator's Last Big Tour Until 2016, Due To Schedule Of Upcoming Kreator Album; Tour Starts November 26th 2014 In Lyon, France @ Le Transbordeur

In an awesome move, thrash metal legends Kreator have announced a huge European tour in support of their upcoming re-issues for "Endless Pain", "Pleasure To Kill", and "Extreme Aggression", as well as their 2012 album “Phantom Antichrist”. Joining the tour is Arch Enemy, supporting their upcoming “War Eternal”, Sodom, supporting their album “Epitome Of Torture”, and Vader, supporting their upcoming album "Tibi Et Igni". Kreator frontman/guitarist Mille Petrozza adds 'This will be your last chance to see Kreator live in clubs for quite a while, because we'll be busy working on a new album in 2015 and only play carefully selected shows'. The tour starts November 26th in Lyon, France at the Le Transbordeur. Tickets are available here @ www.hardticket.EU

ALBUM REVIEWS!; New Music From Sabbath Assembly, Lost Society, Pyrrhon, Black Label Society, From Hell, Cormorant, Delain, Erebus Enthroned, Trollfest, Diabulus In Musica; April 11th 2014

HOLA EVERYBODY!

Its been a long week, but I finally got ahold of some great new music from the likes of Lost Society, Cormorant, Pyrrhon, Trollfest, and more! Including the latest from Black Label Society entitled “Catacombs Of The Black Vatican”, and the debut concept album from supergroup From Hell entitled “Ascent From Hell”, featuring ex-Down Factor frontman George Anderson, Death Angel bassist Damien Sisson, Slayer/ex-Forbidden drummer Paul Bostaph, and One Machine/ex-Nevermore guitarist Steve Smyth!

Finally, a real treasure from occult rockers Sabbath Assembly, and one of the best albums released so far this year, "Quaternity". I know little of these guys, but after playing "Quaternity" on repeat too many times to count, that will like change VERY soon. 

Enjoy! \m/

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"Quaternity" by Sabbath Assembly

Neo-Psychedelia/Doom Metal

Released April 01st 2014

     In today’s world of progressive and death metal flavoured doom, it’s become so easy to forget the natural, ritualistic, and often mystical aspects of doom metal. Sabbath Assembly likely anticipated this lapse in memory, booming from the very start with thick walls of acoustic fiddling, enchanting vocals, and pure satanic lyrical worship. Needless to say, this is what doom metal was meant to sound like years ago when it was established. It brings to mind a heavier side of Ides Of Gemini (if thats even possible), constantly venting with smoke, distortion, and the natural mistakes the instruments make, creating a scary and imposing atmosphere that proudly never once leaves in the album’s duration. ‘I, Satan’ in particular is heavy perfection. Not even joking. It’s scary, twisted, completely unpredictable, and produces the kind of satanic imagery that induces nightmares for Christians everywhere. And that’s only one track; ‘Jehovah Of Death’ is a bittersweet spiritual journey with strange dramatic turns, ‘Lucifer’ is a beautifully psychedelic and introspective trip, and the 18 minute monolith ‘The Four Horsemen’, cinematic and powerful in every sense of the word, finally brings back light near its end, bringing the album full circle, as if the album itself is a religious experience for Sabbath Assembly, and I love that. I love the mystic and strange aura, the contrasts between soft psychedelia and outright doom, the challenges of the senses and mind. “Quaternity” is not an album, it’s an experience, one that will make you simultaneously contemplate and throw your fist in the air. Congrats Sabbath Assembly, you just released a contender for album of the year.

Rating: 5/5 (Perfect!)

"Terror Hungry" by Lost Society

Thrash Metal

Released April 01st 2014

     Though I’m not familiar with Lost Society, they seem to have generated a decent buzz amongst some of my friends, who are pretty smart guys and not wrong about music. Nevertheless, I went into “Terror Hungry” fairly certain I knew what I was going to get in return, and while I wasn’t far off from my theory, I was nevertheless impressed by this young thrash band, and by the time ‘Game Over’ launched, I couldn’t help but start banging my head. The writing, since we’re being honest here, is far from original, but where this works regardless in the album’s wickedly sharp production values. Everything is crisp, as guitars ring with a satisfying speed metal crunch, and rhythm pounds with fantastic Exodus and Overkill style assaults. Infant, looking back on the album now, I’m fairly certain these guys went into the studio, played a bunch of 80’s thrash, got drunk, ordered pizza, and then just decided ‘hey lets fucking record an album and have fun and punch each other’s teeth out’, as that exact attitude is so well reflected in its upbeat thrash and enthusiastic performance. “Terror Hungry” is pure thrash metal, through and through, without having to resort to the cheesy retro-metal tropes found today. Buy it, love it, bang your head.

Rating: 4/5 (Great!)

"The Mother Of Virtues" by Pyrrhon

Technical Death Metal

Released April 01st 2014

     I’m gonna take a wild guess and say that Gorguts is a MASSIVE influence on “The Mother Of Virtues”, as this quite honestly sounds like the leftover material from “Obscura” or “From Wisdom To Hate”. But hey, if you’re gonna take, take from the best; “The Mother Of Virtues” opens up proudly, arguably overwhelming in its dark and abrasive attitude, but with patience comes understanding of Pyrrhon’s tactics and ideals, and the albums lyrical theme of urban malaise starts to make sense, as drums skitter, guitars flail, and vocals proclaim themselves like horns. The shock kicks in and the themes are driven home, making this albums dark technicality are the more powerful. Again, pure Gorguts worship, but if it works it works. I particularly love the albums strange and dynamic riffs. The only complaint I have is a fairly obvious one that I won’t bother repeating for the sake of redundancy, but “The Mother Of Virtues” manages to impress nevertheless. Definitely keep an eye out for these guys in the future.

Rating: 3.5/5 (Good)

"Catacombs Of The Black Vatican" by Black Label Society

Heavy Metal/Southern Metal

Released April 08th 2014

     Despite having seen Zakk Wylde live twice, once with Ozzy Osbourne and again with Black Label Society, his style is something I really can’t dig into. A lot of his stuff just feels the same, and “Catacombs Of The Black Vatican” does extremely little to convince otherwise. Admittedly there is less of his signature guitar screeching on the album, and he manages some cool Alice In Chains styled harmonies on ‘My Dying Time’, but the rest of the album is honestly a bore, never really straying from standard BLS fare. Whether it be the drab biker-rock of ‘Fields Of Unforgiveness’, the slow southern grit of ‘Believe’, or the Volbeat riffery rip-off of ‘Damn The Flood’, the album never once manages to really do anything interesting. Zakk and his best are solid performers, but this writing is the same ol’ stuff that BLS has been happy to chug out since 1999 with lyrics of doom, religion, hatred, all the works, and it’s extremely less heavy this time around. If by chance you’ve NEVER heard ANYTHING that Zakk Wylde has released, whether it be with Ozzy or BLS or Pride & Glory, this might intrigue you. The rest of us will likely fall asleep after the first 3 tracks. On the bright side, I had a really nice nap.

Rating: 1.5/5 (Bad)

"Ascent From Hell" by From Hell

Death Metal/Thrash Metal

Released April 08th 2014

     From Hell is a love letter of extreme metal; featuring an all star roster with Slayer’s Paul Bostaph, Death Angel’s Damien Sisson, Down Factor’s George Anderson, and One Machine’s Steve Smyth, the album is a concept album of sorts that pulls from several sides of the metal spectrum, though sticking strongly in thrash and death metal. It’s lyrics aren’t the most potent, but imagery is created nonetheless with demented black metal vocals and the general ideals of the songs, emphasized by powerful music that succeeds in part thanks to the aforementioned diversity; ‘The Walking Dead’ rocks a steady mid-tempo thrash groove, ‘Soul Crusher’ pounds with battering ram percussion, and ‘Nun With A Gun’ ignores the obvious tongue-in-cheek crap that could’ve been delivered in favour of driving death metal. The album glorifies the horrific aspects of metal and wisely reflects that in its music, and while nothing here is wholly original, “Ascent From Hell” is an enjoyable ride nonetheless. I’m personally interested to hear how this super-group expands on their sound should another album be released.

Rating: 3.5/5 (Good)

"Earth Diver" by Cormorant

Progressive Metal/Black Metal

Released April 08th 2014

     It seemed like Cormorant would be at their end with Arthur Von Nagel leaving the band to work with Telltale Games in 2012, but quite the opposite; while this isn’t quite the Cormorant you remember, “Earth Diver” still provides plenty of ferocious energy and blackened prog, and as the album unfolds, reveals a new and less bombastic Cormorant. Taking Arthur’s place is newcomer Marcus Luscombe, amd with this change in line-up comes a change in writing as well, arguably looser, casual, and more open. Musically though the album is still a heavy blast of blackened prog, this time with variety to boot, as ‘Sold As A Crow’ shines with folk-like qualities, ‘Mark The Trail’ drives with an purely savage energy, and ‘Daughter Of The Void’ goes for more rabid black metal, weaving technicality in and out. It certainly still has its weird moments, and as a result, aesthetically nothing has changed for Cormorant. Whether or not fans embrace the new ideals of “Earth Diver” shouldn’t be an issue for Cormorant, as they’ve paved the way for a great and fresh new start.

Rating: 3.5/5 (Good)

"The Human Contradiction" by Delain

Pop Metal/Symphonic Metal

Released April 08th 2014

     The surge of angry e-mails I got when I ripped apart Delain’s “We Are The Others” was incredible, so with that in mind, I feel like I should start this review on a good note; if by chance you are one of the many who totally hate me, there’s a good chance you will love “The Human Contradiction”, because it is nearly identical to “We Are The Others”, to the point where I don’t see the need to even rag on it, because I feel like I already have. Tracks like ‘Stardust’ are a fluffy puke-inducing cheese train, ‘My Masquerade’ is a subtly introspective track that dares you to brace some non-existant weirdness, and ‘Lullaby’ is a cheap ballad number in every sense, no different from radio stupidity. With that said, production and song-writing are genuinely better, and the occasional use of heavier, almost guttural vocals is nice, adding contrast to the other lisped vocals that have to be dealt with. None of this ultimately changes the final product, but it does make everything slightly more bearable for those like me, who enjoy substance instead of constant pop-flavoured sparks. So yeah, as you can tell I’m still not riding the Delain train, quite proudly, as “The Human Contradiction” again opts for generic pop fare dubbed as symphonic, simply because some synths were thrown on top. Nicer synths, but synths nonetheless.

Rating: 1.5/5 (Bad)

"Temple Under Hell" by Erebus Enthroned

Black Metal

Released April 08th 2014

     With a name like that, you should be able to imagine what kind of music these guys play; black metal, with plenty of blast beats, fast riffs, and screeching vocals. Not totally out of the ordinary for sure, but its loud unmistakable presence goes a long way, pounding away and practically forcing you to give in to its madness. Vocals in particular are a huge highlight and pro, as he sounds cold, damaged, and torn, with his performance alone dominating the album. Occasional use of gothic chants is great too, and when paired with the albums drastic doomy changes, notably on ‘Void Wind’, soon “Temple Under Hell” really starts to shine. Instrumentally the album is solid as well, offering up doom-tinged black metal riffs and a stellar percussion performance to work along the cold vocals and create something dark and even ritualistic at times. “Temple Under Hell” may not the worlds most unique black metal album, but it works where and when it needs to. A solid black metal album for fans you’ve got an itch for something simpler.

Rating: 3.5/5 (Good)

"Kaptein Kaos" by Trollfest

Folk Metal/Melodic Death Metal

Released April 08th 2014

     It goes without saying Trollfest is a weird fucking band, with plenty of incredibly unorthodox instruments flying everywhere, complete with accordions, bagpipes, deep horns, etc. Normally this would sound silly in the hands of almost every other musician on the planet, but with Trollfest its different, as the natural spirit of the music is so fucking ridiculous and over-the-top. ‘Sagn Om Stein’ brings to mind a drunken circus melody, ‘Solskinnsmedisin’ plays out like a weird death metal latin music remix, and the album’s own title track reeks of polka and pure rowdy folk. Hell, ‘Kinesisk Alkymi’ manages to mix in Chinese strings and even an ehru into its music, showing a VERY shocking amount of diversity in Trollfest’s madness. Thankfully that diversity is also coupled with some fantastic instrumentation and performance, with my only real complaint being the same here as last time; I have no idea what these guys are talking about in the slightest. I’m not sure if these guys speak english, nor do I think they should have to learn, but I’d still enjoy knowing what is going on in some of these tracks. That aside “Kaptein Kaos” is a wild and rewarding album that proudly stomps borders into the ground, all in the name of stupid party music. Who could argue with that?

Rating: 4/5 (Great!)

"Argia" by Diabulus In Musica

Symphonic Metal

Released April 08th 2014

     Diabulus In Musica is admittedly not a band I’m very familiar with at all. Infact, I don’t know if I remember hearing about them till’ now, and as I’ve found out with “Argia”, there may be a reason for that. Musically they bring to mind a dumbed-down Nightwish or a generic Epica clone, with plenty of synths and electronics instead of actual strings. That alone is an incredible bummer, as some of the ‘orchestral’ arrangements are well written and would benefit immensely from a real authentic string section, and unfortunately, the other instruments such as drum and guitar don’t fare much better, doing almost nothing above the bare minimum (‘Inner Force’ in particular is a bore in the guitar-department, settling for cheap metalcore chugs). Vocally the album is alright, mostly due to the constant Tarja-worship, but the occasional hook can’t carry an album of nothing. Honestly, I don’t even blame the band. I blame the producer for making the guitars sound so flat, for making the synths abundant and as cheesy as possible, and for not pushing these guys into really doing anything. Like I said, I knew little of Diabulus In Musica before “Argia”, and if their previous work is as lazy and flat as this, thats likely not going to change anytime soon.

Rating: 1/5 (Terrible)

Bleed From Within, BabyMetal, Therapy?, Bo Ningen, Beastmilk, Trash Talk, Atari Teenage Riot, Malefice, Dregen, Canterbury, & More Added To Sonisphere 2014 Line-Up + More Bands Rumoured For Announcement; Festival Scheduled For July 04th - 06th 2014 @ Knebworth Park In Herfordshire, England

A slew of eclectic bands have been announced to join the already MASSIVE line-up at this year’s Sonisphere Festival 2014, including Bleed From Within, Trash Talk, Atari Teenage Riot, Bo Ningen, Malefice, Dregen, Canterbury, and more, including Japanese internet phenomenons BabyMetal, and a headlining slot for Therapy? on the Bohemia stage on July 06th. These bands join a massive line-up including Mastodon, Anthrax, Carcass, Slayer, and more, with Metallica, Iron Maiden, and The Prodigy all headlining. Sonisphere Festival 2014 is currently scheduled for July 04th - 06th at Knebworth Park, and with a few more names supposedly on the way, this is shaping up to a diverse, but very entertaining festival.

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