Friday, November 10, 2017

the tech-death of Arkaik

The California act has been in business for a long time, since 2004. With time they have improved their brand of music, and on this, their fifth album, you will find that, sure, yes, they are very much a tech band from head to toe, back to front, forwards and backwards, but they have made an effort to add other things to their sound so that it is not an exercise in total technical metal for technical musicians. The music is still very much in the realm of technical-progressive extreme metal with growling, but there are breaks and pauses that add some melody, some slower segments and quieter interludes that give a moment to catch up a bit on the craziness. There is still not a whole lot of melody, and there is no change in genre going on at all, but Arkaik is undoubtedly working on making its art more specific to Arkaik.
If blasting progressive/technical extreme metal is a genre that you support, and you have not heard the band's latest album called Nemethia, listen to the full album at the first link below.
Biography (not updated): Arkaik's debut album, “Reflections Within Dissonance”, displayed a unique marriage of superior craftsmanship and a forward-thinking promise rarely seen in a band this young. Their sophomore album, “Metamorphignition” builds on their progressive and adventurous predilections and aims to transcend the boundaries of “technical Death Metal” even as it revels in the sub-genre's wanton brutality. The band's founder Jared Christianson (vocals) has pooled an immensely talented core of musicians around the band in its over ten years of progression, including emerging drum phenom Alex Bent (who has already done session work for Decrepit Birth/Rings Of Saturn/Battlecross), bassist Ivan Mungia (Deeds of Flesh), and lead/rhythm guitarists Miguel Esparza and Greg Paulson. Having already toured North America supporting Black Dahlia Murder in 2011, and Cannibal Corpse in 2012, they have been touring ever since creating their own enthusiastic fanbase and pushing the genre forward. Now Arkaik has released another crushing onslaught in the form of their newest full-length release "Lucid Dawn" in late 2015, their third Unique Leader Record release to date. Looking forward with ever increasing determination the band continues to seek out new boundaries of extremity and creativity – and then annihilate them.
uniqueleaderrecords.bandcamp.com/album/nemethia
facebook.com/ArkaikBand

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Nairobi Metal Festival is this Saturday!

The Nairobi Metal Fest 2017 takes place this Saturday with the following bands: Last Year's Tragedy (metal from Kenya), Slander (hardcore punk from Italy), In Other Climes (metal hardcore from France), Vale of Amonition (doom dark metal from Uganda), and Irony Destroyed (metalcore from Kenya).
Here is some previous information/announcements about the bands:
In the next days we are going to introduce you to all the bands who are performing at #nairobimetalfest. Let’s start with IN OTHER CLIMES from France. IN OTHER CLIMES is a metal hardcore band formed in 2004 by 5 members sharing the same goal: show to the world how they use their bestial energy to make each show a true party messiah. Being one of the most active French band, and known for their video clips, the steamroller IN OTHER CLIMES, gained a strong international fan base through the years, giving them the opportunity to tour all accross the globe (USA, Brazil, Japan, Cuba, China, SE Asia, Europe...). No matter the kind of music you listen, when the show starts, a true blast of hate and revolt comes to minds and hearts, changing the crowd and band in a one voice screaming: „One life, one change, no fucking regrets“
The second international band to introduce is Vale of Amonition from Uganda. Founded in 2009. The band's name means the same as "Valley of Ammunition" and is a home to things of a tragic persuasion. A sanctuary for warmakers, a province for mages, an abode for ancient tribal lords and their possibly doomed descendants and a whole world of creatures divine and devious. Musically influenced by Black Sabbath and Mercyful Fate but rather than remain rigid, their aim from the beginning has always been to evolve as much as they can within the heavy metal context. Therefore, "progressive" is a term of significance for them and tells of their collective spirit as musicians. Doom is their ultimate governor and the principle by which they play. We are looking forward to their first gig in Nairobi.
The next band to announce on the line up hailing from the dark creative forces of Nairobi. Irony Destroyed was formed in 2012 by Nelson “Ecclesiastes” Musyoka with three other previous members. They played and practiced some covers and recorded two tracks namely, “Think Twice, if Possible Thrice” and, “Sun as a Home” in 2013. In 2014, Nelson found the guitarist, Lenny Kiano and thus became in charge of the band and recruiting new members when Nelson left to study. Lenny and his newly formed band made their debut appearance at the March from the Underground event hosted by LYT and since then they have always been a crowd favorite in the Kenyan Metal scene. Earlier this year (10th April) they released their EP album entitled "Strife To Legacy" which was well received in the African metal scene. You can expect a heavy performance!
It’s now time to introduce a new band in town. After they sent us a demo with some raw material we couldn’t hesitate to let them warm up the festival. Here’s a little statement from Straight Line Connection what to expect: 'Formed in 2017 by 3 of us, Gun, Param and Maina. It was always my dream to have a rock band and after getting straight line connected to Param, the Drummer we just totally gelled. Param and I started off jamming on acoustic covers at his place till the third jam session when he said he wants to drum some. He got on the drums, I picked up the electric and started playing Scream which I had written a few months before. There was instant chemistry and we said screw the acoustic covers. We never looked back after that. After jamming a couple months we connected with Maina our bassist who added to and completed our songs. Our influences are Tool, RATM, ‪Animals as Leaders‬, ‪Metallica‬, ‪Megadeth‬, GnR, ‪Lamb of God‬, ‪System of a Down‬, ‪Alice in Chains‬, STP and many more. We are working on our album at the moment which will be released early to mid 2018. It will be a cauldron of energy, emotion, timelessness and philosophy...so we hope. The Nairobi Metal Festival will be our first major gig and we thank you and greatly look forward to it.'
Nairobi Metal Festival 2017 has 3 international bands on the line up. Slander is a young Metalpunk hardcore band hailing from Venice, Italy. If you thought that Venice, California was the only Venice that needs to be mentioned when you talk about hardcore music, now you should cope with the franticly growing scene of the original Venice City (Venezia, Italy) as well. In the last decade it delivered a bunch of renewed underground acts and has consolidated an unbelievably strong base, thanks to the cult "Venezia Hardcore Festival" that brings together thousands of HC maniacs from all over Europe. Since the beginning, back in 2014, this band has kept a strong DIY attitude and working ethic, selfproducing their own records & videos, artworks, setting up their own tours and booking local shows for dozens of bands with their own collectives (Trivel collective, Venice Hardcore Crew). They immediately started a relentless touring activity around Italy and Europe, building a solid reputation among promoters and fans with their intense and crazy live sets, alongside some of the most important punk and hardcore acts and becoming one of the most followed bands in their own country. During the last 3 years Slander has collected over 200 shows, supporting bands like Gorilla Biscuits, Descendents, Terror, Defeater, NOFX, Iron Reagan, Agnostic Front, Expire, Bane,Trash Talk just to name a few. The band is currently promoting their latest record "Bad Weather" counting multiple sold out shows around Italy and Europe, Kenya is up next! Get ready!
Last but definitely not least to announce is Last Year’s Tragedy from Nairobi. LYT ripped the belly of Kenya’s invisible metal beast and bore through to become one of the most prodigious bands in Kenya. From a group of University pals to the cutthroat thrashers known today, the group was fundamental in the setup of the Kenya Rock Scene. And then... they were gone. Or so it seemed. They return with brand new, throat grabbing, eyes-rolled-to-the-back-of-the-head music from their imminent album, Amongst Lions. With nothing but love through heartbreak, faith through despair, mallets through obstacles and fists through fear in their music, the band is set to grip you where it burns sweetly. Get ready.
After we announced all the bands the last couple of days it’s now time to mention another highlight on this festival, Dj Tumz. Popularly known by his alias ‘The Rock Doctor’. DJ Tumz has been a huge influence in the growth of rock and metal music popularity in East Africa and beyond over the last couple of years. If you have been listening to his show on Capital FM or have been to the previous „This is Africa“ festivals at the Alchemist you know what‘s up. DJ who knows how to make the crowd move. Here’s a few words from him: „I started DJing rock music exclusively in 2006. The reason was I had been introduced to and liked the music but I couldn't get it anywhere at the moment. By then I was a student at Makerere University in Uganda. That's why I decided to play Rock/Metal exclusively. I decided that other people should experience how it makes me feel. For me it is an escape to a magical place which I don't know where it is, but I know how I feel when I'm there. It's an honour to be part of this great platform bringing talented individuals for a great show! Metal especially is really misunderstood in Kenya. Hope we demestify the perceptions people have and show how powerful music is..after all music is universal“
facebook.com/nairobimetalfestival/

Have you joined the power metal crusade of Cryonic Temple yet?

Power metal fans,
If you have heard the 2017 album by Cryonic Temple (Sweden) called Into the Glorious Battle, then you probably already know that it is a strong entry into the year's power metal albums category. Apparently, there are no official videos for the album. Therefore, if you are a power metal fan, and you have not heard the album, then below you can hear some tracks from the album. Of course, if you really like the music, find a way to give tangible support to the band. Below is the review of the album from months ago, in case you have not seen it.
CRYONIC TEMPLE - Man Of A Thousand Faces (LYRIC VIDEO)
Cryonic Temple - Flying over the Snowy Fields
Cryonic Temple - Mighty Eagle
Cryonic Temple - This War Is Useless (Eulogy)
Cryonic Temple
Into The Glorious Battle
Scarlet Records
Release: 21 April 2017
Cryonic Temple returns with a statement album after years of studio silence. Metal Archives shows that their previous album is from 2008. They began in 1996 and had four albums released before this new one, which is an affirmation of power metal. The loyalists of traditional metal music melodic forms will consider this work by the Swedes as a great example of the genre in 2017. Their objective is to remind their supporters that the band is very much alive, contrary to how it may have seemed for a while, due to the personnel changes over the years.
There are 13 songs that illustrate the main ideas of glorious power metal, beginning with speedfest numbers with thrash-level velocities and uptempo rockers contagious from start to end, forwards and backwards, right side up and upside down. These Swedes have no shame, no shame at all; they want to take over the world right this minute and they seek to convince anyone within striking distance. They take the listener from the highest of highs to the agony and melancholy of the power ballads (three of them, including the closing track as an epic conclusion to the album) that will make you take out your lighter and wave your arms side to side. War, victory, defeat, death, solitude, fury, consolation, joy and desperation, it's all in this tour de force of an album.
The new album shows the band as a major exponent of European power metal. The sound on this album incorporates keyboards as a strong background component that smoothes out the music and adds a permanent element of melody. The guitar work delivers everything expected in this field: fast riffs, uptempo rhythms, fast solos and catchy melodies. In addition, there are some bluesy elements during the power ballads, amongst other places. Everything you want in power metal guitar is present. The bass guitar is not very audible, but "Prepare for War" certainly shows the bass guitar. The drums do not sound like real drums due to the clean production. You can't hear much in the way of cymbal work and the double bass is clicky, as it tends to be in so much of modern metal genres, unfortunately.
The singing is done very well and appropriately for the genre in the sense that it is melodic with both (1) a massive appeal potential and (2) without all the annoying things associated with singing. (1) The singing is very friendly to the ear, in a way that is pop and good for radio, not just for heavy metal audiences. Anyone who hears the power ballad "The War Is Useless" will find the singing to be pleasant and perfect for singing along. (2) The singing is a type of midrange vocal style, but with enough of an upper range to be totally in the territory of melody. There are no forced and out-of-place shrill high notes that some people dislike about traditional metal singing.
Trivia. The band shows some quick flashes of homage to heavy metal and to 80s pop. These include vocal phrases like "steel meets steel," quick keyboards phrasings that recall the power metal renaissance in the 90s, like HammerFall and Edguy. Some of the keyboards parts recall 80s pop, of course, as is usual with power metal. In certain spots, they might be channeling Europe or Cutting Crew. They also could be invoking a bit of Gun n Roses’ “November Rain” in the aforementioned power ballad “The War Is Useless.”
The work is a rebirth for the band. They took their time with this album and the results speak for themselves. Power metal supporters will do themselves a great favor to hear this album in its totality. It should not take more than a few listens to begin understanding that is a strong return for the band in all the songs.
Go here to hear a new song now before the album is out.
facebook.com/CryonicTemple/?ref=ts
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review by MMB

Is NECRYTIS a band that refuses to let the people hear the music?

Necrytis is a traditional heavy metal band with high singing and rocking and shredding riffs and they have their debut album now, which was released back in September 2017, called Countersighns. The band is comprised of Shane Wacaster on drums and vocals, Mark Sobus on bass, and guitarist Toby Knapp, a guitarist with a cult following due to his music with different metal genres and entities/bands, some defunct and many that are ongoing now.
I think that fans of traditional heavy metal, especially those that want some shredding and that want a vocalist who actually sings (not scream, not tough-guy talk-sing), might be a demographic for the band. The album should be interesting for people into that type of sound.
So what's the problem with this band?! Nothing, except that you might not be able to hear their music! Neither the Pure Steel Publishing site nor the band's Facebook page seems to have a song for you to hear.
Maybe some of the fans should mention this matter to them. --MMB
OFFICIAL: Through Pure Steel Publishing the newly founded NECRYTIS release their debut album 'COUNTERSIGhNS'. But if you think these guys are youngsters, you are completely wrong. With Toby Knapp on board, there's an old veteran of the US American Heavy/Power Metal scene, becoming well known in the Underground with Onward in the early 2000s. Now he's also active in acts such as Where Evil Follows and the Black Metal band Waxen. Joining NECRYTIS with ex-Pandemonium and current Sue's Idol drummer, he harkened back to the epic bombastic works of the faded Onward. Elaborate guitar leads, melodic structures with big Maiden and Priest influences as well as an expressive singer in the tradition of Michael Grant (R.I.P.), this is great stuff for every US Metal fan. Mastered by Jens Bogren, 'COUNTERSIGhNS' has a powerful yet warm production. Melodic Power/Heavy Metal that couldn't be better.
OFFICIAL: The brainchild of drummer and lyrical visionary Shane Wacaster, Necrytis is the metallic result of both careful preparation and synchronicity.
Wacaster had recently finished work on the second album from his critically acclaimed band Sue's Idol in 2016 when new ideas for something even better began to take root. Left on his own and without collaborative partners, Shane started rapidly receiving lyrics, drum beats and vocal melodies almost as if he was taking dictation from another realm. With no band in place he fiercely documented and recorded all the musical information he seemed to be ‘receiving’ and when a full album's worth of material presented itself intact, almost by otherworldly guidance, Wacaster began the search for musicians to help him realize his vision.
Enter bassist Mark Sobus, who worked with Wacaster's drum beats and vocal melodies. Sobus pinpointed the proper keys Wacaster was singing in to find his driving root note oriented bass riffs and he locked in tightly with the bombastic drum tracks that were provided him. Now a carefully prepared template and foundation of what would be Necrytis's debut album "COUNTERSIGhNS" was in place. Soaring vocal melodies, intelligent lyrics, pounding basslines and a double bass drum onslaught now awaited the addition of a guitarist. The two members initially had a guitarist in the fold but things did not go as planned and for a brief moment the future of this masterful vision was in question.
Enter Shane Wacaster's high school heavy-metal bandmate from 1987, founder of the legendary band Onward, guitarist Toby Knapp. Wacaster had heard through a mutual friend that Knapp wouldn't be available because of a grueling year of recording three albums back to back. Indeed, when Knapp was presented with the idea of adding a fourth album to his year he was reportedly “concerned" he wouldn't have any inspiration nor anything left to contribute. Plus, how could an album be written and recorded in reverse by traditional standards? Drums first, then vocals, followed by bass and finally guitar? Very unorthodox to say the least.
The muse that guides the hands of musicians sealed their fate when Knapp heard the foundation Wacaster and Sobus had recorded. Knapp immediately went to work with no hesitation and completed all guitar tracks from scratch using cues from drums, basslines and vocal melodies to help him breathe fiery guitar riffing into the music- which pleasantly recalled Onward's debut album "Evermoving". Notably, this is the first album Knapp has recorded with an actual human drummer since Onward's "Reawaken". Who better than the musician he started with in a garage thirty years ago? Synchronicity continued to guide the album into the hands of one of Germany's leading Heavy Metal labels: Pure Steel Records.
Very special finishing touches were added to sound and packaging via the incredible mastering of Jens Bogren who has worked with what amounts to a "who's who" of the greatest metal bands in the industry and the breathtaking art and graphics of the legendary JP Fournier. If Necrytis's "COUNTERSIGhNS" is a ‘sign’ of things to come, we are in for a long and exciting journey with Power Metal's newest and most electrifying power trio!
1. Praetorian X 05:14
2. Palace of Agony 03:53
3. Nova Meridian 03:51
4. Sentry's Scream 05:42
5. God as Electric 04:44
6. My Asylum 05:01
7. Dawn's Aurora 03:27
8. Daemon Angelus 05:12
9. In Ascent 04:21
10. Countersighns 04:44
total time: 46:09
facebook.com/Necrytis/

Monday, November 6, 2017

interview with Kömmand

The black thrash band Kömmand took time out of their busy schedule to confront this inquisition questionnaire interrogation (mostly written in Metalenglisch). Their debut album is from 2017 and it is called Nekrö Kömmandö Attack! because nekro is a way of viewing the world and playing music. Live it at the first link below and you too can rise to the rank of a kömmander of metal and of your life. Kömmander Z speaks.
Hällo! Metal Bulletin zine wants to interrogate the Kömmand krüe about your metal konspiracies. The debut was released in 2017, but when did the konzept für the blackthrash originally begin? Why the blackthrash in partikular? What motivates the Kömmand körps to dedikate so much devotion to this style of nekrometal?

I started writing Kömmand riffs in November of 2013. A lot changed for me in 2013 - the drummer of Skinwalker moved to Oregon, I got kicked out of Strychnine, my woman left me and I completed university. I had no feeling for the future, and a void in my output. Being fully marinated in BLACK METAL for years, my music vocabulary was stunted at the level of the cold, fast and hateful. But for me, the best parts of 2nd wave BM were always the D-beat sections and ROCK oriented songwriting. This, as well as the GREATS of yesteryear, Celtic Frost, Bathory, Destruction, Kreator, etc., are pure candy. I thought, “why wade through the fog of atmosphere to get to my candy riff?” Why not start a project of ALL candy riffs? Something I wouldn’t get bored of listening to in 1-2 months?
Before, during and after these moments, my listening preferences have trended toward the ancient and the riff oriented. CARNAGE and EXHUMER are also steeped in metal lore. We live, breath, drink, and self-destruct for ANCIENT FAST METAL. And we were quite frankly, tired of the shit, safe, eyeliner, multiple-adjective and diaper-metal bands out there.

Who are the members of the band now? One time I saw a post online of the kriminal aktivities of each bandmember für bands, podkasts, zines und other such things. Kann you please give us that information again here now so that we kann share it mit the fans?
Hiuhiuhiu, but of course! As I say, metal is everything for us. Carnage (4-string Krüshfukk) has been displacing neck-cartilage around Seattle for over 15 years with Nekro Morphosis and Process of Erosion, as well as booking shows at the 2 Bit Saloon (RIP) for years, and now booking Metal Mondays at the Substation. Exhumer (Ritualistikk Blackcircle Nekropounding) is one of the most dedicated people for the WAR-EFFORT I know! Until recently he played with Isenordal, he books various shows around Seattle and writes The Sentinel d.i.y. magazine. In addition to Kömmand, I play in Skinwalker and Wende, and record Zett’s Unsilent Storms Radio Podcast to soundcloud twice a month. Yesseah! Self-promotion is as ‘murican as baseball and wealth inequality!

Who rekorded which instruments on the album? Was it a projekt at that point? Does everyone in the band see eye to eye on what the band sound should be? By the way, what is the musical und band bakkground of the three kömmanders?


Well, according to your fine publikation, “They hate each other and can barely talk to each other to make songs together”, HIUHIUHIU!!!!! We’re all united in what Kömmand should sound like. We each have our preferences, but we only honör the OLD WAYS with Kömmand. On the album, I recorded drums, guitars, and vocals, in that order. The band has been playing shows since summer 2014, but never with a stable lineup, so during the summer of 2016, I did the drums out of necessity as Exhumer hadn’t enlisted yet. Carnage recorded bass and handled the mixing and mastering work using his NEKRÖ-DRENCHED audio knowledge. And our musical and band backgrounds were amplified in the above question - we are true metal freaks!
In order to rekord blackthrash korrektly what is necessary for Kömmand? Where do you find the right studios? What type of guitar do you need? What is the preferred ekuipment necessary? How is the bass supposed to sound? What about drums? Should the drums be only the real sound from the aktual drums when the hand and foot hit the instrument?


The way to record blackthrash korrektly is the way to record ALL music correctly: HONESTLY. No studio bullshit, not bells and whistles, every barnacle on the hull left INTACT!!!! Guitars, amplifiers, drums, studios - - almost completely irrelevant. Sound like you sound, and put in the work to sound good, and you’ll be fine. Play with feeling EMPHASIZED, and for FUKK-SAKES, make your instruments sound like themselves!!! Drums must sound like drums, not typewriters or consistent, sterile snooze-fest clicks. NO!!!!!! Guitars, Bass, Vocals shouldn’t sound like anything but YOUR band. Don’t trick things up on the album! This is one of the best things about the best albums - the UNIQUENESS of the sound on that album. No other album sounds like Paranoid. No other album sounds like first Bathory. No other album sounds like Transilvanian Hunger, etc. 
I recorded my drums, in one take per song, excepting for Plague Doctor and Hailstorms 100-Proof, at a godsdamned COUNTRY music studio. The guitars and bass were recorded in a basement. The vocals in a bedroom. It doesn’t matter. The feeling will seep out of any location, if it’s present at all.
Related to the above kuestion, is it not diffikult to rekord drums in fast, extreme metal, especially if it is blasting drums? In your opinion, how does a band avoid cheating in drums und still have a good, professional drum sound if it is blasting metal? Is it or is it not possible? Kann you think of any examples of fast drumming in extreme metal that you know has real drums with no cheating?

In Skinwalker, the drummer Blacksmith would remove the resonant head on his kick drum, and tune the beater head so it was slightly floppy. It was one of those with the fancy foam ring. Then he’d place the mic inside the shell near the Point Of Mallet ATTACK! That’ll do the trick. I’m no studio wizard or a drummer really, all I can say is… imperfect and organic > sterile and immaculate mechanization. 
As to the last queztion… even though he was a shameless perpetrator of “typewriter metal” in the mid-late 90s, Hellhammer’s performance on De Mysteriis in near flawless. It’s a shame Attila took a shit for vocals. Or just listen to Repulsion’s Horrified and Death Strike’s Fuckin’ Death demo for drums. You could do a lot worse than that.
In your opinion, where kann I find the best examples of the blackthrash guitar playing if I am studying this sound? Is it found in Destruction's early works? What about the early Celtic Frost albums? Nocturnal Breed? Nifelheim? What bands started the wildfire of Kömmand? Who does the hammer-ons a lot? Who does the tremolo a lot?
Just listen to 80s DARK THRASH. It will lead the way. Early “Teutonic”-thrash, Bathory, Celtic Frost/Hellhammer, Brazilian dark-80s-thrash, Italian dark-80s-thrash, Czech dark-80s-thrash, Slaughter Lord, Sabbat, Tormentor… But obviously, they would’ve never called their style “blackthrash”. Infernö/Aura Noir carried the torch in the dark days for the style… And currently… German blackthrash, Italian blackthrash, Brazilian blackthrash, Australian blackthrash, Sweden too - so much has changed! Hiu. Kolbotn bands are absolutely KILLING it. And Amerika is cultivating some great bands, especially on the coasts. Hail NORTHWEST THRASH CONTINGENT!!!!
Does the reaktion to your muzik enkourage Kömmand to kontinue? What did you expekkt the Seattle metalheads to think about your sound? Has the reaktion been what you expekted? Do you find that other metal bands are open-minded to sharing the stage with the nekrometal blackthrash of the kömmanders of the Kömmand köllektive?
Well I was crafting snotty, atonal BLACKTHRASH riffs before anyone cared about Kömmand, and I’ll continue after they’ve perhaps drunk their fill so to speak. But really, people are sloshing their brains about to our diddies, so we couldn’t be happier. Maybe it’s a kick in seat for people exhausted by SLOW-MUSIC MOPIES and Adjective-Adjective-Adjective-Metal curio-troupes. Who’s to say. We play loud, fast and snotty and that’s all there is to it. We’ve gotten on with most everyone, and most everyone has been congenial with us. It’s not rocket-science. Go to shows, support artists you value, and enjoy your terrestrial-span ‘cause the grave awaits us all.
Thanks for playing in Everett! It was great to hear the muzik live. What is next for the Kömmand konsortium now that you have an album done? Is it a good indikation of the band that you have already shown us what you mean by nekrometal right here in the state of Washington by rekording an album und you have written your name into the book of heavy metal.


As of drünkenly responding to your Prrrrrompts, I have four songues written, with whisperings of more on the way, so there should be another album forthwith. It’d be good to take our ÜGLYTHINGS on road soon too. Maybe even looking across wide waters? Can’t say, but it’ll be a real hööt.
Kömmander Z likes to do the Celtic Frost exklamation vociferations. However, I want more of those. I am wondering if you are thinking of adding to your repertoire more vociferations like sounds of vomit, gagging, choking, screaming, high yells, and phrases like "thrash!," "here we go again," "kömmand!," "attakk!," “This is nekrö ugh!," "ugh ugh wargh ugh!," und other things like that. Would you konsider putting in more of those? Maybe add one that goes “ugh ugh nekrö argh!”
I think I snuck in a “Thrash!” somewhere on the album, Yes? In any case, a “Pure Black Speed” is nestled lovingly in there, forsooth. No promises on any future interjections. They’re done IN THE MOMENT and any planning may result in proprietary payments to TOM G. All the vocals on the album were done in one take, straight through. Unchained melodies! The ‘ughs’ and the like will make a return though… happy hunting!
Does the Kömmander Z speak Norwegian? I think you know why I ask! The last song on the album seems to be in Norwegian. 


Indeed it is, though I’m sure quite poorly. I don’t speak Norwegian, though I’m trying to learn. I en sneglefårt! For faen! I took a holiday to Norway in the summer of 2015 and I was on the whole quite taken with the place. Bergen especially is a magical city - very much like the PNW really. So the song desribes things I experienced: drinking Syv Fjell beer at the Garage, a CAT that sleeps in a precious stone shoppe, sticks carved with mundane rune messages - an old-Norse “Letter that Johnny Walker Read”! Priceless! So I had to attempt writing in Norwegian - for the city.
Recently, there have been many important events taking place in the world. The end of the world is koming, I am told, und I do not have a plan. I have been listening to Nocturnal Breed’s Aggressor album. That’s the extent of my plan. Should I be doing something else to prepare for the end of the world? I recently threw a television set from the balkony of a hotel but that did not go well for me. Who do you think kould help me to pay my bail? Do you have the number of a good lawyer that kould help me?
A fine album for the apokalypse! End of the world? Grow your own food and get a big weapon? Oh, and the best lawyer in the world is Mr. Dontgetcaughtdoingit. He’s got me out of many a bind! And as this is the last Kuezztion… I say thanks for the interview… Hail Carnage and Exhumer, hail the skullshakers, the patchhorde, NWTC, the breweries, Insomniac and Blacksmith, and all music that doesn’t suck eggs! Wipe yer assholes!
kmmnd.bandcamp.com/releases
facebook.com/Kmmndmusic/

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Hail to England, Hail to GRIMGOTTS: the new album is arrived

The sword-wielding, shield-making power metal dragons of the northern snowlands known as Grimgotts have now set the firebreathing upon the universe with the debut full-length album called Lions of the Sea. Grimgotts plays power metal because denim, dragons and leather brought them together. Come, power metal loyalists, and listen to this savage poetry. Go the first link and welcome to the freak show.
OFFICIAL: Grimgotts is a London-based power metal band in the vein of Power Quest, Edguy and Twilight Force. The band formed in 2015 and so far has released 3 EPs of original material, one cover single and this month will be releasing the debut album, "Lions of the Sea". The first single off of movie debut album, "Calm Before the Storm" has just been released.
You can hear and download all of Grimgotts' music on our bandcamp page for free. We have decided to keep all of our music as "name your price" so far in order to encourage as many people as possible to listen!
We also have music out on iTunes and plan to release the new album digitally.
In 2016, Stormspell records produced 500 copies on CD of our first two EPs combined, "Here be Dragonlords" and "Extenditus Playus". These can be purchased online.
The philosophy of this band is to have fun and not take ourselves too seriously, as you might be able to tell with EP titles like "Part man, part beast, part dragon". Our music is synth/ keyboardy power metal with shredding guitars and a vocalist who isn't afraid to hold back!
Look out for our new album "Lions of the Sea" which will be released this month.
grimgotts.bandcamp.com
facebook.com/grimgottsband/
store.cdbaby.com/m/cd/grimgotts
twitter.com/grimgottsband

Seattle and Washington concert calendar, updated November 4, 2017

Friends in the state of Washington,
Is there a metal music show in your area that is not listed in this calendar? Does your local metal band have a show coming up and is not listed here? Is your band's name spelled incorrectly? Are the dates wrong? If you have information about shows/updates/cancellations, please get in contact with Metal Bulletin Zine.
Seattle and Washington concert calendar, updated November 4, 2017
November 5 Systematic Death, Capitalist Casualties, Deathraid, Hideous Creep, Repudiate at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
November 7 Children of Bodom, Carach Angren, Lost Society, Uncured at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
November 7 Allegaeon, Ne Obliviscaris, A Sense of Gravity, A Flourishing Scourge, Vesuvian at Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
November 9 Suicide Silence, Upon a Burning Body, Slaughter to Prevail, Prison at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
November 9 Rhine, Rat King, Ghostblood, Hexengeist at The Kraken, Seattle, WA
November 10 Second Sting (Scorpions tribute) at Tulalip Casino, Marysville, WA
November 11 Children of Bodom, Carach Angren, Lost Society, Uncured at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
November 11 Trojan Swamp Monster, Dilapidation, Effluvia and Oxygen Destroyer at Erebus, Kelso, WA
November 12 Within The Ruins, Aversions Crown, Currents at The Pin, Spokane, WA
November 13 Suicide Silence, Upon A Burning Body, Slaughter To Prevail, Prison at The Pin, Spokane, WA
November 14 Origin, Archspire, Defeated Sanity, Dyscarnate, Visceral Disgorge, The Kennedy Veil at Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
November 15 Gwar, Ghoul, U.S. Bastards at Showbox Sodo, Seattle, WA
November 17 Cannibal Corpse, Power Trip, Gatecreeper at Neumos, Seattle, WA
November 17 Washington Deathfest at The Charleston, Bremerton, WA: The Charleston (Monsters Brawl Main Stage) 6pm: Embryonic Devourment, Violent Hallucinations, Progenitor, Whythre, Ghostblood, Nihilist Nation, Ashen Pyre, Oxygen Destroyer. High Fidelity lounge (The Chaos stage 2) 4pm: Monsters Among Gods, Abiosis, Inside Defiance, Prey The Hunter, Noceur
November 17 Walking Corpse Syndrome at The Pin, Spokane, WA
November 18 Blistered Earth (Metallica tribute) at Jackson St. Bar, Spokane, WA
November 18 Boycott the Baptist at The Charleston, Bremerton, WA
November 18 Xenopsy, Kill Closet, Walking Corpse Syndrome, Darklight at Tony V's Garage, Everett, WA
November 21 Crowbar, Tombs – Incite, Tricounty Terror, Sausage Slapper at Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
November 24 Arch Enemy, Trivium, While She Sleeps, Fit For An Autopsy at Showbox Sodo, Seattle, WA
November 25 Castle, Kömmand, Blame the Wizards, Severhead, Barbarian Wasteland at Funhouse, Seattle, WA
November 25 Monsters among Gods, Born without Blood, The War Within, Karma's Playbook at Darrell's Tavern, Shoreline, WA
November 26 Castle at The Shakedown, Seattle, WA
November 27 Belphegor, Cryptopsy, Hate at Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
December 1 Bell Witch, Monarch, Usnea, Isenordal at Highline, Seattle, WA
December 1 Zepparella (Led Zeppelin tribute) at Tractor Tavern, Seattle, WA
December 2 Drawn and Quartered, Effluvia, Nekro Drunkz at The Valley, Tacoma, WA
December 2 Ghoul, The Plot Sickens, Crud Guns, Misuse of Power, Kömmand at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
December 2 Oxygen Destroyer, Violent Hallucinations, Grim Ritual, Battle Axe Massacre, Thonis, Transcribing the Necronomicon at McCoy's, Olympia, WA
December 3 Hell's Belles (AC/DC tribute) at the Manette @ Bremerton, WA
December 4 Ghost Ship Octavius, American Wrecking Company, Avoid the Void, Omnisight at Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
December 7 Weltesser, Body Void, Isenordal, LB! at Highline, Seattle, WA
December 8 Darkest Hour, Warbringer, Exmortus, ReEvolution at Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
December 8 Heartbreaker Led Zeppelin Tribute at Rocko's Fireside, Everett, WA
December 8 Witch Mountain at High Dive, Seattle, WA
December 9 Jesus Wears Armani, Massacre at the Opera, Chamber 6, Method 13, Odyssian, Born without Blood, Children of Seraph, As Pillars Fall, Blood and Thunder, After the Fallout, Prey the Hunter, Anthrocene, Bleed the Stone at at Tony V's, Everett, WA
December 15 Accused AD, Demon Hammer, Hallucinator, The Devils Of Loudun, Oxygen Destroyer at Highline, Seattle, WA
December 16 All That Remains, Alter Bridge at Knitting Factory, Spokane, WA
December 16 Phobia, Xoth, Vitriol, The Great Sorcerer, Nosretep, EnVenom at Highline, Seattle, WA
December 16 Second Sting (Scorpions tribute), Dr. Crüe at The Lime, Kirkland, WA
December 20 Putrid Temple at Mercury, Seattle, WA
December 22 Black Bone Exorcism, Thou Shall Kill, others at Substation, Seattle, WA
December 29 Zoso - The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Experience at Knitting Factory, Spokane, WA
December 29 Queensryche at Snoqualmie Casino, Snoqualmie, WA
January 1 Monsters among Gods, Rue the Day, Chronic Trigger, Daughters of Nyx at Funhouse, Seattle, WA
January 5 Fates Warning at Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
January 6 Infernal Coil, Theories, Wake of Humanity at Black Lodge, Seattle, WA
January 19 Hell's Belles (AC/DC tribute), Elephant Gun Riot at Knitting Factory, Spokane, WA
February 13 Kreator, Sabaton at Showbox, Seattle, WA
February 17 Anthrax, Killswitch Engage at at Knitting Factory, Spokane, WA
February 19 Black Label Society, Corrosion of Conformity, Eyehategod at Showbox SoDo, Seattle, WA
March 1 Queensryche in Spokane, WA
March 6 Wolves in the Throne Room, Myrkhur, Khemmis at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
March 7 Machine Head at Showbox, Seattle, WA
Msrch 9 and 10 Northwest Metal Fest at El Corazón/Funhouse, Seattle, WA: Skelator, Substratum, others
March 19 Udo Dirkschneider, Zero Down, Children of Seraph at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
March 22 Michael Schenker at Neptune Theatre, Seattle, WA
April 6 Nightwish at Knitting Factory, Spokane, WA
April 15 Uli Jon Roth, Killian Mahaffey at Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
April 15 Judas Priest, Saxon, Black Star Riders at ShoWare Center, Kent, WA
June 10 HammerFall, Flotsam and Jetsam, Skelator at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
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P.O. Box 1339
Lake Stevens WA 98258 USA
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the interview with Large Marge is here!

Large Marge is a grind band that is relatively new to this publication. They have been playing shows in the Seattle region, and they have a 24-track monstrosity called Truck Stop Hauntings. Before you read this interview, which was answered by both members of the band Abe and Jerald, there are three things to mention: 1. Large Marge is a grind and chaos is what you will get; 2. This music is bonkers; 3. Relax, friend, Large Marge will help you.
Thanks to both crazies Jerald and Abe for doing this interview. --MMB.
You lads have another band called Dilapidation and it’s death doom. So when did Large Marge begin and why did you feel the need to do it?
Abe: Started Large Marge back in 2009 or so. I was bored and had yet to start a grind project.
Jerald: Large Marge is an idea that Abe has had for a long time. He had someone else in mind to do the vocals but nothing ever came of it so he asked if I would be interested in giving it a shot. I had been wanting to try doing vocals for a project for a while so I jumped at the chance.
Large Marge is in some ways the opposite end of Dilapidation: the speed and brevity of the songs is a contrast, for instance. How do you view Dilapidation and Large Marge?
Abe: They are just parts of music I like to play. I have never really considered myself one for any particular style so I just play what sounds fun and then make bands if I can that play the same thing.
Jerald: Abe and I both have several projects we work on at various times and we view them all as entirely separate entities. I would have to say that the biggest contrast between the two is that everything we do in Dilapidation is much more thought-out and deliberate where as the approach we take with Large Marge is a lot more spontaneous. We can take time away from focusing on Large Marge and jump right back into it with no problems but Dilapidation requires much more effort to maintain.
Why do you prefer a nonhuman drummer? Can a human drummer do all the crazy stuff you imagine?
Abe: I just write. I have no preference to human vs machine. I will say that with a machine I do not have to worry about skill levels or endurance. I used it initially because drummers are a pain to find that are of the skill level I need and then it just became part of the sound so I quit caring about a live drummer.
Jerald: Abe creates the core musical concepts in the band so he would have more insight to the reasoning behind the programmed drums but I know there is a major Agoraphobic Nosebleed influence (that goes for both of us). He definitely likes to take advantage of the fact that a computer can accomplish inhuman things and I believe he has mentioned wanting to take that idea even further. It opens up a lot of creative possibilities. When people find out that I am a drummer, they sometimes ask why I don't just play drums in Large Marge but if we did that, it would be an entirely different band.
How do you know when a track is finished? Do you write the songs in the spur of the moment?
Abe: I actually spend quite a bit of time writing the songs, but I do not use a guitar to do it (trade secret on how I do it). Every song is pretty deliberate. I have a general outline and then go back and fine tune things, but always with a skeletal idea in place before starting.
Jerald: Our approach to making music is different from any other project I have ever been a part of. We never work on songs together in person. Abe writes all of the music, programs the drums and records the guitar. He sends the instrument tracks to me and I listen to them and write lyrics. Finally, I record my vocals and we compile the songs into a release. I never know what the music is going to sound like until Abe sends me the tracks and he never knows what my vocals sound like or what my lyrics are until he hears the finished product. We only meet up to practice for a show.
Do any of you like the old grind bands like Repulsion and Napalm Death? What about the newer grind bands, which ones do you like? Is grind a genre that you play, but that you don't follow very closely or you do follow it very closely?
Abe: I like a bit of old grind. Pig Destroyer and Anal Cunt especially. I really do not know many new bands. I have tried a few out but they all lack something. Not sure how to describe it.
Definitely something I play more so than follow. Most bands are not doing anything really interesting with it anymore, save for a couple here and there. A lot of bands I have heard in recent years are Anal Cunt style wannabes that also claim to hate Anal Cunt and just do the lofi noise hipster shit that all sounds the same. Been to several shows like that and could honestly not decipher when one band finished and a new one began.
Jerald: I don't listen to much of the grind that has come out in recent years. As with any genre, we have our variations in taste but the grind bands we both appreciate most seem to be Napalm Death, Siege, Pig Destroyer, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Assück and Anal Cunt.
I can't speak for Abe but I wouldn't say I follow grind closer than any other genre. I don't listen to it as much as I used to when I was first getting into it but it's still a style of music that I have a deep appreciation for. I can't speak too much on the musicianship of any current bands as I am the kind of person who is more likely to dig through old recordings rather try to keep up on new releases.
Grind bands are often vocal about their left and/or liberal opinions. Large Marge seems unwilling to join the radical left, liberal, white-guilt politics and ideology. What do you think?
Abe: I personally do not use any of my bands to promote any sort of ideology. I also do not write the lyrics. That I leave to Jerald.
Jerald: We've never been interested in using our music as a political vehicle. As I said, we like to stay busy with various musical projects and if we wanted to write music that makes a statement, we could do that but Large Marge isn't the place. We like to have a wide range of subject matter in our music. It's more fun that way. Songs in Large Marge cover a lot of different ground from sleep deprivation to the daily grind of going to work to Slavic folklore just to give a few examples. As the lyricist, I'd say that I prefer to take a more personal approach to this band where as politics is a much more all-encompassing concept.
Will you be bringing elements like electronics and other experimental sounds to create as much noise and chaos as possible?
Abe: We already have to some degree. Considering the concept and nonspecific direction I have taken with Large Marge, nothing is really off the table.
Jerald: Our new album, Truck Stop Hauntings, features some noise tracks in it. I've had a passion for making ambient/noise music since high school and it's something I wanted to include in the band early on and Abe was very receptive when I brought it up to him. We've even started incorporating them into our live set.
What is next for Large Marge? Is the Seattle area crowd treating you well or are they mostly confused with Large Marge?!
Abe: I do not know. I really do not pay attention to anything but cigarettes and when to come in when the drums cut out.
Jerald: We're just gonna keep doing what we're doing: writing, recording and playing shows. We may eventually do some out of town shows here and there but there are currently no plans for anything like that. We really love doing Large Marge but it's one of several projects that we are each involved in and Dilapidation is definitely our highest priority. As far as the Seattle crowds, we're always pretty unsure about the reaction we will get from any audience but so far, people seem pretty accepting. All of the shows we have played so far have been pretty low-key and we tend to play on a lot of mixed bills so I have no idea what the local grindcore fanatics would think of us. They would probably just think we're dorks.
largemargegrind.bandcamp.com
facebook.com/largemargegrind

Friday, November 3, 2017

Thy Worshiper

by MMB
Thy Worshiper
Klechdy
release date: May 25th, 2016
label: Arachnophobia Records
1.Gorzkie żale 08:30
2.Wila 04:47
3.Marzanna 06:07
4.Halny 06:43
5.Post Coitum 02:25
6.Wschody 10:46
total time 39:18
Disc 2
1.Zioła 07:21
2.Słońce 05:08
3.Grzyby 06:30
4.Dziady 11:01
5.Żywot 02:16
6.Anielski orszak 08:12
total time 40:28
The gills of this band are unbelievable. Every time I listened to the album it felt like a journey into Thy Worshiper’s methods of madness. For some reason, I realized that I did not know how long the album is. I had been listening without paying attention to the playing time. Then I looked. One hour and 20 minutes. Well, no wonder it feels like a journey.
Thy Worshiper is fiercely peculiar in its delivery of the avantgarde. As far as I can tell, this is the way that Thy Worshiper has done things since the debut album in 1996. Perhaps this way of making music seems to the band like normal, but this is anything but routine. While it is accurate that the music is not experimental in the sense of improvised noise making, and there is a clear foundation in extreme metal in general, Thy Worshiper is still music for diehard adventurous souls. To top it all, this must be the band’s magnum opus, its grandest and proudest achievement.
My personal impression is that there is a big percussion-centered vibe to the album, a pagan-tribal feel, and when you add that to the vocals (desperate, ghostly, gothic, funeral singing, contrasted with growling), the music is something like pagan avantgarde, without necessarily being able to provide a dictionary definition of what exactly the terms pagan avantgarde mean.
In my opinion, the band has crafted a far-reaching work. Therefore, be confident that they have the knowledge to do this type of music. If they have spent lots of energy making such an album, it’s only fair to underline that the listener has to commit to Thy Worshiper. It is not likely that there will be a hit song that will jump out. It’s not casual metal, but after a few listens the songs will make more sense, and that’s when it’s easier to hear the melodies, and the overall atmosphere of the album. The extreme metal and the avantgarde, the strange and the heavy, and the left-field melodies, are not easy listening when Thy Worshiper puts it all together, but I find that the disparate pieces become a full picture with repeated listens. If the band has done all this hard work to make the album an adventure, as opposed to delivering a formulaic album, then it stands to reason that it takes effort and patience to absorb the music.
I am surprised at how enjoyable and melodic it sounds once one is more familiar with the songs.
thyworshiper.bandcamp.com/album/klechdy
facebook.com/thyworshiper

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

the classic-style heavy rock of High Spirits from Chicago

I'll give it to you straight: High Spirits is an American band whose sound is 50% Thin Lizzy and 50% New Wave of British Heavy Metal, or something like what used to be called heavy rock, which is another term for young heavy metal in the 1970s, right before the term became an orthodoxy. The band calls it "high energy rock," and it's heavy metal, but again, it's the young metal when the genre was wide open and the younger musicians were lean and hungry and wanted to prove themselves because their ancestors--Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Thin Lizzy, so on and so forth--had set the standards very high. High Spirits is uptempo, rocking music, big on melodies, and filled with a certain optimism and the vibe of fun metal. The songs get to the point quick and they do their thing, and then it's over, and the next song arrives, and it's just as catchy as the previous one. Trivia: If you ever read Metal Maniacs, you may be interested to know that the former Metal Maniacs writer Chris "Professor" Black founded this band. Listen to the complete EP at the first link below. Warning: This music might make you play air guitar and bang your head. --MMB
High Spirits
Escape!
Release date: September 8th, 2017
1.Escape 04:01
2.Stagefright 03:27
3.Feels Like Rock and Roll 02:20
4.Lonely Nights 04:14
total time 14:02
Biography (not updated): The world is waiting… It’s ready now… So are you ready?
HIGH SPIRITS wants to know! Because the band is more than ready to share with you its exhilarating new album “Motivator” set for release on 16th September 2016 via High Roller Records. Here’s one album you definitely should judge by the cover: “Motivator” is fast, colorful, uplifting, and going far! It also marks the 500th release in the High Roller Records catalog (HRR500), a sure indication that the band and label alike are proud of their hard work and shared success to date.
When asked about High Spirits’ popularity, founder Chris once joked, “I don’t know! I expected this to be a ‘demos-were-better’ band!” It’s true that the self-titled 2009 demos collection may have caused a minor sensation, originally self-released as a plain white-label LP and sold at the first High Spirits show, which was in August of 2009. A European vinyl release via High Roller Records followed a few months later, and the white-label version is of course a nice rarity nowadays. Occasional Hometown shows in Chicago plus DIY tours of the USA in 2010 and again in 2011 turned out to be a lot of fun indeed, and meanwhile the first studio album was underway.
The album was titled “Another Night”, and upon its August 2011 release, the response quickly built to a rousing cheer. High Spirits and High Roller had a fantastic surprise: everyone seemed to love this album! It felt really good! By 2012, demand was “high” to see the band live in Europe. In May of 2012, High Spirits made its European debut at Rock Hard Festival, followed by two exclusive club gigs in Germany and then Muskelrock Festival in Sweden. By 2013, the band’s word-of-mouth fanbase was growing rapidly. High Roller met the demand with successive pressings of “Another Night” LPs, and the band delivered another run of European gigs, culminating in the long-awaited finale at Keep It True Festival. High Spirits then capped 2013 with an explosive hometown show and began work on the follow-up studio album.
Released in April of 2014, “You Are Here” was a sharper batch of songs compared to the debut. It showcased the more commercial side of High Spirits’ songwriting and also incorporated the raw energy of its live show to a greater extent. Response from the press and the record-buying public was enthusiastic, and the band’s audience continued to grow. Airplay on National Public Radio (NPR) in the USA was once again a fantastic surprise: although High Spirits remained fully rooted in the DIY practices of the independent music world, its appeal (and recognition) had officially extended beyond those borders.
During 2014 and 2015, the band undertook its most intense touring schedule to date, visiting unexplored parts of Europe, Canada, and the USA, as well as returning to places where support was already strong. In 2015 alone, the band performed at seven festivals in six countries! It was an exciting year that left the band feeling very grateful and also wondering what new adventures the future would bring. Songwriting for a third album had begun as early as May of 2014, and with intermittent studio sessions between tours, High Spirits had a finished album in hand at the beginning of 2016.
“Motivator” features High Spirits at its highest-energy, fully-powered best. It’s an upbeat, athletic record, incorporating all of the band’s characteristic musical dynamics and pushing them to the limit. The sound design is authentic, organic, yet richly detailed. And when it comes to the lyrics, the listener will no doubt notice that the album is nearly autobiographical, inspired by the band’s experiences in recent years and offering a potent dose of motivation (of course) for the days, nights, and years to come. High Spirits has never sounded so accessible yet so removed from the norms of modern-day rock music.
“Motivator” will be preceded in August by the single “Take Me Home”, which the band describes as “one of the more atmospheric cuts”, followed by the full album release on 16th September. High Spirits then will be back on tour in October, driven by what just might be their liveliest batch of songs yet, happily headed wherever the road (and skies) take them next.
Are you on board? ‘Cause here we go!
highspiritsmetal.bandcamp.com/album/escape
facebook.com/highenergyrock

Monday, October 30, 2017

a commentary on Seattle's A Flourishing Scourge's 2017 album

Sometime ago I commented on the first few songs from this self-titled debut full-length album by the Seattle band A Flourishing Scourge, and I said that I would come back to the whole album, given the magnitude of the whole work. Therefore, here is the full commentary. If you read it before, the part is that is new begins after the band pictures below, with song number 4.--MMB
A Flourishing Scourge
A Flourishing Scourge
release date: June 9th, 2017
label: independent
1.Tidal Waves 09:54
2.To the Stench of a Rotting Corpse 06:30
3.Insatiable 06:50
4.Onerous 08:18
5.Awakened 02:58
6.Vacant 07:17
7.The Hedonist 08:12
8.Solace 09:20
total time 59:19
Seattle's A Flourishing Scourge is progressive extreme metal, but maybe we need to say what they are and what they are not, given that progressive has so many meanings. Some people have noticed that progressive is often used for various forms of punk, hardcore, postrock, djent, deathcore, metalcore and that type of groove-guitar/chugging stuff. That's not A Flourishing Scourge. This band has big riffs, hooks, melodies, the type that come from heavy metal because this is a heavy metal band: anyone into thrash, death and black metal will feel at home with the guitar work, and with the intense drumming. This is not a band that plays “grooves” and this is not a band that chugs away at the low strings. The drumming is, basically, traditional death and black metal drumming, it’s not “groove” drumming.
The vocals are growled and deep, not whiny or screamo. This may or may not be a problem for some. You'll have to decide. It's traditional extreme metal growling, basically; not microphone-cupping, low-intensity growling. It's extreme metal vocals with fullness and depth.
Supposedly, there is a problem with the length of the album. It is almost an hour of music and this is a turn off for some or it is too much for others or whatnot. Is the music too much today and don't feel like listening to the complete album? Press pause or stop and come back to it another time. Maybe you can handle it only a couple of songs at a time? I bet A Flourishing Scourge has no problem with that.
This is a professional album by an independent band. I can tell you for a fact that this album has cost a pretty penny to make. Who knows if there will be another album? Maybe they will break up? Maybe the next album won't be for another seven years? If a band spends its own money, and they have gone way above the call of duty to make an album that makes them and Seattle metal proud, isn't that something to celebrate?
Maybe you don't like extreme metal. Understood. Maybe you don't like prog. I get it. But if you want skills, professionalism, intelligence, dedication to the craft, a love of metal music, thoughtfulness, effort, hard work and songs by a heavy metal band that is thinking big, then this is what you will find on the album. Let me show you.
1.Tidal Waves 09:54
You could say that A Flourishing Scourge starts the album with a song of melodic black metal with a robust death metal production. Right away you can hear the importance of black metal for the band. The guitar work is definitely based on black metal, then around the three-minute mark the pace changes through a mellow pause before once again diving into extreme metal territory and before you know it, now there is a big progressive feel in the guitar while the speed seems to have increased. Lots of tremolo moments backed up with a thick, thrashing rhythm. Then, down the stretch, things slow down a bit, the bass guitar transitions to slower guitar work, then some tremolo melodies wrap it all up. Big statement from the band: Here we are, this is what we do. How do you like them apples?!
2.To the Stench of a Rotting Corpse 06:30
The title is the most different of all the songs. You would think it's a brutal death metal band. Kind of strange. Sure. This track begins very softly and contemplatively, but then out of nowhere the blasting black metal tears through the peace, then a transition to less frenzied pace yet still very much uptempo. The song does have vocals, but the guitar power is so decisive that the guitars are rulers of this realm. In particular, the last portion of the song is very melodic and the melodies go at a nice, ear-friendly pace, and that’s how the song ends. Very nice.
3.Insatiable 06:50
Total blasting black metal at the beginning. This is A Flourishing Scourge going as fast and as black metal as they can. At about the 1:30 mark the speed lets up a bit, for an uptempo mood, with some lower, brutal growling. At about 3:00 the song is still a headbanging tune, still going strong, but something else has crept up: the progressive riffs, the thrashiers bits, the melodies all have entered the door and have made themselves comfortable and by 4:30 the guitar solo is in full swing. The guitar harmonies, the melodies are taking this one home, but not before a very pleasant segment, about a minute, of acoustic guitar comes in and takes the song to the very end.
4.Onerous 08:18
After spending time with three songs in which the songwriting is characterized by black metal and death metal intensity enriched with progressive complexity, and a professional production, it’s a bit easier to see how these musicians think and how meticulously they approach their work. This particular song is another long track that requires several listens to make sense and only after repeated listens do I get a good feel for this song. Overall, it starts out as a heavy progressive track which then goes into extreme metal territory, like blasting and speed. This one rounds out the massive first half of the album comprised of four songs that require the listener’s full attention. Essentially, the band does four epic songs with the intention of giving any other album in 2017 a run for their money.
5.Awakened 02:58
After four songs that take the listener for a twisted ride, wouldn’t be it nice to have a break? The band just took the listener on an all-out intense listening session that is taxing on the senses. Consider how long it takes to write these songs. Consider how much work it is to get them right when they play them at first. After that intensity, a break might not be a bad idea, eh? It’s about three minutes of serene piano, and some gentle background sounds; a completely different experience from what has preceded this transitional piece.
6.Vacant 07:17
This song continues the peace. The bands does not throw you to the wolves again. Not yet. This song takes the long winding road to its destination. The keyboards are prominent is some spots. The mellow side of the band and their crazy side finally show up in a much more full coexistence. The soloing towards the end is beautiful before stepping aside for the extreme metal’s arrival, which marks the end of the song.
7.The Hedonist 08:12
My impression is that this is the most straightforward, upfront extreme metal song on the album. The song has all sorts of fun details. Some American brutal death metal blasting, some European black metal blasting. This is the band getting down and making a bit of music for the moshpit. In fact, it is an instrumental because they must have not wanted to ruin the fun with any more interferences. It begins quietly, but it builds up quite well and in a measured manner. I think it is cool how the band even shows a bit of the old blasting style of the Mike Smith school of drumming. By the 2:45 mark the song has entered the extreme metal threshold and it is going at a high speed. The song pretty much stays that way until the end: fast, intense and headbanging.
8.Solace 09:20
I am convinced the introduction to this song is an inside joke. For some 53 seconds the song lures you into thinking that it is going to be like Beethoven's "Für Elise," but just when you thought that they were going to take it easy on you because it is the last song, then they burst out of the gate with a moshing and headbanging segment, which then turns into an extended solemn part of the song and it looks like this is the way that they will open the door and take their leave, but not quite. Just before leaving, they launch into a short bout of extreme metal to close the album out with a bit of a bang.
Now it's your turn. Give some of your time to the creation of extreme and progressive metal named A Flourishing Scourge and perhaps you will also discover the music behind the sounds.
aflourishingscourge.bandcamp.com/releases
reverbnation.com/aflourishingscourge/songs
facebook.com/aflourishingscourge

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Excuse All the Blood

Friends,
The metal program Excuse All the Blood is on Friday nights, from here in the state of Washington, in the West Coast of the United States.
However, if you missed the live broadcast, listen on archive. Check out the archive, and bang your head. This is the Halloween-themed episode link below. The captain and commander in chief is Seamus O'Reilly, who is a walking library of metal music.
Seamus plays black metal and traditional heavy metal, and death metal, the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, thrash, doom, and all sorts of obscure metal music. He plays Washington state metal music bands, too!
Here is the link to the archive.
Do you love it loud? Are you a war machine? Do you want to rock and roll all nite? Are you a creature of the night? Are you dressed to kill? Are you ready to set heaven on fire?
radiofreeamerica.com/show/excuse-all-the-blood-1-kaos-community-radio

Hexx's undying loyalty to metal music

I’m not even going to attempt to tell you about the history of this American band from California. Every time I try to figure it out and I run against a bunch of holes in the story, so I’ll just leave it alone. The changes that have taken place over the decades is not easy to understand. Let’s just say that they have done a wide variety of styles in their history, including radical changes in sound that confused more than a few people, myself included. They released their early music in the middle of the 1980s and have continued with ups and downs, and whenever they came to a fork in the road, they took it. However, instead of talking about the past. Let’s talk about this brand new album of heavy metal in the traditional way. True metal, thrashy heavy metal, power metal or whatever you prefer to call it. Traditional heavy metal meets thrash metal, and that's the new Hexx album. Hear a new song at the first link below. --MMB
HEXX - "Wrath Of The Reaper"
Label: High Roller Records
Release date: 15. Sept. 2017
OFFICIAL: The infamous Bay Area has a long and extensive Metal history. Responsible for many of Metal's most trendsetting acts (just think of Exodus, Testament, Forbidden, Heathen or Blind Illusion) for over three decades now, the city by the bay has spawned some of the most innovative and exceptional talents there is. HEXX, one of the third-generation Power Metal bands emerging from San Franciso, were formed in late 1984. Their first album entitled »No Escape« was released only in the United States of America (by the legendary Shrapnel label) and began shaping a steadily growing fan base for the band. It was followed by »Under the Spell« and »Quest for Sanity« marking the end of HEXX Mark I.
At that time, internal changes were taking place within the ranks of HEXX that would alter their musical direction. On the strength of a new song called “Watery Graves“ (released as an EP on Wild Rags Records), HEXX signed to Century Media Records. The following album, 1991's »Morbid Reality«, marked HEXX's evolution from a more or less traditional Speed/Power Metal band to a brutal, technically-inclined Thrash/Death Metal outfit.
With the brand new record »Wrath Of The Reaper«, however, Hexx are returning to their traditional Power Metal roots. “Perhaps HEXX phase three is a good way to describe it,” says founding member and guitarist Dan Watson. “This new record is mostly rooted in our old Power Metal style of our first two albums but there is a track on the album called ‘Exhumed For The Reaping’ that has a lot of very fast riffs that almost sound like it could have been from our Speed/Thrash Metal era. Eddy’s vocals are very high and melodic, so it still sounds like very fast Power Metal and not like true Thrash Metal. We consciously tried to take what we thought were the best elements and style of our first two albums »No Escape« and »Under the Spell« and use that as the mainframe feel and vibe for this new record. I think there are slight elements echoing back to »Quest for Sanity« as well in some songs. We think this new album is by far our best offering.”
BIOGRAPHY: The San Francisco Bay Area based Power/Thrash Metal band HEXX was formed in 1983, and released its debut album, "No Escape", on Mike Varney's Shrapnel Records label in 1984. Since then the group has been through several lineup changes and musical style variations. The first lineup for the "No Escape" album was: Dennis Manzo (vocals), Dan Watson (guitars), Bill Peterson (bass) and Dave Schmidt (drums). The group’s second effort, "Under The Spell", was released in 1986 once again on the Shrapnel label, and with European distribution support from Roadrunner Records. For this album Dennis Manzo was replaced by Dan Bryant on vocals, and Clint Bower was added on rhythm guitar. The musical style for this album was still very much Power Metal, but with a hint of the Speed and Thrash influence that would define the band's subsequent musical style and direction.
By 1988 HEXX recorded the "Help Your Self" demo demonstrating a shift away from traditional Power Metal to the Speed/Thrash style that was taking over the Bay Area musical landscape at the time. Clint Bower took over on vocals, and Dave Schmidt was replaced by drummer John Shafer. England's Music For Nations label signed the band and released the "Quest For Sanity" EP in Europe. This album was released in the United States the following year by Wild Rags Records. In 1990 HEXX released a single on the Wild Rags label called "Watery Graves" which included two Speed/Thrash bonus track versions of "Under The Spell" and "Edge Of Death" from their 1986 "Under The Spell" album.
In 1992 HEXX signed with Century Media Records and released their most technical and speed driven album to date, "Morbid Reality". A year or so after this release the group disbanded and lay dormant until spring of 2013, when founding members Dan Watson and Bill Peterson reformed with original "No Escape" vocalist Dennis Manzo, and new drummer Gary Gutfeld, to perform at the Keep It True Festival in Germany in 2014. The reformed HEXX recorded the "Up From The Grave" demo that is in the similar Power Metal style of their first two albums. Due to Bill Peterson's mounting health issues he was replaced by bassist Mike Horn just prior to the bands performance at the Keep it True festival.Mike Horn remains as the bands bass player to this day.
After returning home from performing at the Keep It True Festival in Germany, history seemed to repeat itself, and Dennis Manzo was once again replaced by Dan Bryant on vocals, and Gary Gutfield was replaced by original member John Shafer on drums. This line up recorded two new songs, "Burn Or Boil" and "Swimming The Witch", and in July of 2015 performed at the Headbangers Open Air festival in Germany. A new deal was signed with Metal Blade Records to re-release both "Under The Spell" and "No Escape". "Quest For Sanity" and "Watery Graves" are being re-released on Vic Records, and "Morbid Reality" is being reissued by Dark Symphonies Records. Dan Bryant has recently been replaced by new vocalist Eddy Vega, and Bob Wright from BROCAS HELM has signed on to share guitar duties with Dan Watson.
soundcloud.com/high-roller-records-2/hexx-screaming-sacrifice-official
facebook.com/officialhexx

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Seattle and Washington concert calendar, updated October 27, 2017

Friends in the state of Washington,
Is there a metal music show in your area that is not listed in this calendar? Does your local metal band have a show coming up and is not listed here? Is your band's name spelled incorrectly? Are the dates wrong? If you have information about shows/updates/cancellations, please get in contact with Metal Bulletin Zine.
Seattle and Washington concert calendar, updated October 27, 2017
October 28 Hell's Belles (AC/DC tribute) at Jazzbones, Tacoma, WA
October 28 Blistered Earth (Metallica tribute) at Capps Club, Kenmore, WA
October 28 Vale of Pnath, First Fragment, Virvum, Aethereus, Withheld Judgement, Odyssian at The Pin, Spokane, WA
October 28 Skelator, Githyanki, Omni, Tiger Blonde at The Central Saloon, Seattle, WA
October 28 Weaponlord, Iron Nightingale, others at Highline, Seattle, WA
October 29 Vale of Pnath, First Fragment, Virvum, Aethereus at Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
October 29 Metal Yoga at The Shakedown, Bellingham, WA
October 29 Felled at Black Lodge, Seattle, WA
November 1 The Black Dahlia Murder, Suffocation, Exhumed, Decrepit Birth, Necrot, Wormwitch, Ashes of Existence at Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
November 3 The Drip in Yakima, WA
November 4 Narcotic Wasteland, Dreaming Dead, Countless the Dead at Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
November 4 Reevolution, Blood and Thunder, Aethereus, Thou Shall Kill, After the Fallout at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
November 5 Systematic Death, Capitalist Casualties, Deathraid at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
November 7 Children of Bodom, Carach Angren, Lost Society, Uncured at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
November 7 Allegaeon, Ne Obliviscaris, A Sense of Gravity, A Flourishing Scourge, Vesuvian at Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
November 9 Suicide Silence, Upon a Burning Body, Slaughter to Prevail, Prison at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
November 9 Rhine, Rat King, Ghostblood, Hexengeist at The Kraken, Seattle, WA
November 11 Children of Bodom, Carach Angren, Lost Society, Uncured at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
November 11 Trojan Swamp Monster, Dilapidation, Effluvia and Oxygen Destroyer at Erebus, Kelso, WA
November 12 Within The Ruins, Aversions Crown, Currents at The Pin, Spokane, WA
November 13 Suicide Silence, Upon A Burning Body, Slaughter To Prevail, Prison at The Pin, Spokane, WA
November 14 Origin, Archspire, Defeated Sanity, Dyscarnate, Visceral Disgorge, The Kennedy Veil at Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
November 15 Gwar, Ghoul, U.S. Bastards at Showbox Sodo, Seattle, WA
November 17 Cannibal Corpse, Power Trip, Gatecreeper at Neumos, Seattle, WA
November 17 Washington Deathfest at The Charleston, Bremerton, WA: The Charleston (Monsters Brawl Main Stage) 6pm: Embryonic Devourment, Violent Hallucinations, Progenitor, Whythre, Ghostblood, Nihilist Nation, Ashen Pyre, Oxygen Destroyer. High Fidelity lounge (The Chaos stage 2) 4pm: Monsters Among Gods, Abiosis, Inside Defiance, Prey The Hunter, Noceur
November 18 Blistered Earth (Metallica tribute) at Jackson St. Bar, Spokane, WA
November 18 Boycott the Baptist at The Charleston, Bremerton, WA
November 21 Crowbar, Tombs – Incite, Tricounty Terror, Sausage Slapper at Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
November 24 Arch Enemy, Trivium, While She Sleeps, Fit For An Autopsy at Showbox Sodo, Seattle, WA
November 25 Castle, Kömmand at Funhouse, Seattle, WA
November 25 Monsters among Gods, Born without Blood, The War Within, Karma's Playbook at Darrell's Tavern, Shoreline, WA
November 26 Castle at The Shakedown, Seattle, WA
November 27 Belphegor, Cryptopsy, Hate at Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
December 1 Bell Witch, Monarch, Usnea, Isenordal at Highline, Seattle, WA
December 2 Drawn and Quartered, Effluvia, Nekro Drunkz at The Valley, Tacoma, WA
December 2 Ghoul, The Plot Sickens, Crud Guns, Misuse of Power, Kömmand at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
December 2 Oxygen Destroyer, Violent Hallucinations, Grim Ritual, Battle Axe Massacre, Thonis, Transcribing the Necronomicon at McCoy's, Olympia, WA
December 3 Hell's Belles (AC/DC tribute) at the Manette @ Bremerton, WA
December 4 Ghost Ship Octavius, American Wrecking Company, Avoid the Void, Omnisight at Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
December 7 Weltesser, Body Void, Isenordal, LB! at Highline, Seattle, WA
December 8 Darkest Hour, Warbringer, Exmortus, ReEvolution at Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
December 8 Heartbreaker Led Zeppelin Tribute at Rocko's Fireside, Everett, WA
December 9 Jesus Wears Armani, Massacre at the Opera, Chamber 6, Method 13, Odyssian, Born without Blood, Children of Seraph, As Pillars Fall, Blood and Thunder, After the Fallout, Prey the Hunter, Anthrocene, Bleed the Stone at at Tony V's, Everett, WA
December 15 Demon Hammer, Hallucinator, The Devils Of Loudun, Oxygen Destroyer at Highline, Seattle, WA
December 16 All That Remains, Alter Bridge at Knitting Factory, Spokane, WA
December 16 Phobia, Xoth, Vitriol, The Great Sorcerer, Nosretep, EnVenom at Highline, Seattle, WA
December 20 Putrid Temple at Mercury, Seattle, WA
December 22 Black Bone Exorcism, Thou Shall Kill, others at Substation, Seattle, WA
December 29 Zoso - The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Experience at Knitting Factory, Spokane, WA
December 29 Queensryche at Snoqualmie Casino, Snoqualmie, WA
January 5 Fates Warning at Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
January 6 Infernal Coil, Theories, Wake of Humanity at Black Lodge, Seattle, WA
January 19 Hell's Belles (AC/DC tribute), Elephant Gun Riot at Knitting Factory, Spokane, WA
February 17 Anthrax, Killswitch Engage at at Knitting Factory, Spokane, WA
February 19 Black Label Society, Corrosion of Conformity, Eyehategod at Showbox SoDo, Seattle, WA
March 6 Wolves in the Throne Room at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
March 7 Machine Head at Showbox Market, Seattle, WA
Msrch 9 and 10 Northwest Metal Fest at El Corazón/Funhouse, Seattle, WA: Skelator, others
March 19 Udo Dirkschneider, Zero Down, Children of Seraph at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
March 22 Michael Schenker at Neptune Theatre, Seattle, WA
April 6 Nightwish at Knitting Factory, Spokane, WA
April 15 Uli Jon Roth, Killian Mahaffey at Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
April 15 Saxon, Black Star Riders at ShoWare Center, Kent, WA
June 10 HammerFall, Flotsam and Jetsam, Skelator at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
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