I have been looking forward to this week ALL year! At least four albums that came out today will be in my top albums of the year list, and every one of them (except Death) was on my most anticipated albums of the year. Check out these albums if you get a chance, because they are all awesome, and worth a listen.
The founding fathers of grind are back with their fifteenth studio album, and are just as pissed as ever. Napalm Death have always been one of my favorite metal bands and it seems like every album they’ve put out since 2000′s “Enemy Of The Music Business” has been A: basically flawless, and B: better than the one before it.
There are alot of things that help make this album absolutely fantastic. You’ve got Danny Herrera’s blistering drums, Barney Greenway’s incredibly violent, angry howl, and pissed off lyrics, and of course, the trademark riffs of bassist Shane Embury, and guitarist Mitch Harris. Even though there are all of the signature Napalm tricks on this album, there are also some elements you don’t hear on a normal Napalm Death album. The best example of them shaking things up, and going for a more unique sound are the ever increasing use of Mitch Harris’s angry punk rock howling, which appears most notably on the song “The Wolf I Feed” which features him screaming like a maniac and complimenting Barney one minute, to singing like Burton C Bell of Fear Factory the next. Mitch’s backup vocals appear throughout the album and really add an awesome punk rock element to the songs and make them even more enjoyable.
You’d think that after creating the grindcore genre, and putting out fourteen albums, that Napalm Death would be out of unique ideas. After listening to “Utilitarian”, I actually think Napalm Death have created their best album in twelve years. If you are a fan of Napalm Death, bad ass grind, or good music in general, do yourself a huge favor and buy this album.
I first read about Christian Mistress in a magazine who had their last album “Agony & Opium” on their top albums of the year list. After giving that album a few listens, I became obsessed with this band. When I saw they signed to Relapse and planned to put out a new album this year, this became my most anticipated album of the year. The thing I love about this band is their old school approach, which is as heavily influenced by bands like Thin Lizzy and Deep Purple, as it is Slayer and Darkthrone.
Christian Mistress seem to be a 70′s rock band caught in the body of a NWOBHM band. On their debut album for Relapse, Christian Mistress are now able to introduce the mainstream to their unique brand of old school heavy metal played through a classic rock filter with fast, almost punk rock like rhythms, mixed with incredible solo’s and Christine Davis’s whiskey-soaked, Marlboro-drenched vocals. Every song on this album features incredibly catchy guitar solo’s/riffs and vocals, but the title track “Possession” has the finest of them all, with a chorus that’ll stay in your head for days, it’s also eerily reminiscent to a line in the Thin Lizzy song “S&M”. The other stand out track on this album is “Black To Gold”, which features excellent basslines, an incredible chorus, and some fantastic guitar work.
I can’t say enough to stress how awesome this album really is, man. It’s got traditional classic rock riffs that you’d hear on a Deep Purple album, mixed with the NWOBHM attitude that you’d hear on an early Motorhead album and they make for a deadly combo. This album is a perfect drinking album, but it’s also good for listening to while driving, and of course it’d make a hell of a soundtrack, should you choose to mix the two.
The new self titled album by Corrosion Of Conformity is definitely a milestone for the band. It’s their first album since 2005′s “In The Arms Of God”, and it’s the first album with Reed Mullin on drums since 2000′s “America’s Volume Dealer”. More importantly, however, is the fact that this album marks the first time Woody Weatherman, Reed Mullin, and Mike Dean have been a three piece since 1985′s crossover hall of fame album “Animosity”. Granted, this album sounds nothing like their old hardcore punk/thrash days, but it is still a great mixture of the two era’s of the band.
One unique thing about COC is the fact that they have, over the years, developed two distinctly different sounds, but both era’s have fans who only like a few particular albums. Some people are only drawn to the more doomy, southern rock albums like “Deliverance”, “Wiseblood”, and “In The Arms Of God”; others are only drawn to their more hardcore punk albums like “Animosity” and “Technocracy”. The neat thing about their self titled, eighth studio album is that it mixes both era’s perfectly. There really is something for fans of both styles on this album. Songs like “The Doom”, and “Psychic Vampire” have mixtures of the Black Sabbath style tone with some more punk rock sounding drums. Then there are other songs like “Leeches”, and “Your Tomorrow” that have a more consistent, fast paced punk vibe throughout, and songs like “River Of Stone”, and “Weaving Spiders Come Not Here” which would have fit in perfectly on “Arms Of God”. At one point on the track “Come Not Here”, they sound like what Black Label Society would sound like if they got rid of Zakk Wylde’s horrible vocals, and over-squealy guitar style.
The most important thing about this album isn’t the two different styles being demonstrated, it’s how perfectly they are able to pull them off. The best example of this is the one-two punch of “Your Tomorrow”‘s more punk vibe, leading into “The Doom” which has a fantastic mixture of Black Sabbath and older COC. I’m very impressed that these guys were able to come together as a three piece for the first time since I was one or two years old, and put out an absolutely solid record. It doesn’t matter what era you prefer more, if you’re a fan of Corrosion Of Conformity, this album is most certainly worth checking out.
Asphyx have always been one of the more intriguing stories in death metal. Few bands are able to succcessfuly mix brutal, up-tempo death metal with slow, down-tempo doom metal quite like these guys, the fact that they have legendary vocalist Martin Van Drunen, makes them even more interesting. Their last album “Death…The Brutal Way” caught quite a few people by surprise due to it being their first new material in almost 10 years, and the fact that it blew away their last decades worth of albums. Strangely, they have managed to blow that album completely away with their ninth studio album “Deathhammer”.
The first thing you should know about this album is, as Martin Van Drunen states at the beginning of the title track, “this is real death metal, you bastards!”. The second thing to note about this record is, it’s heavy as hell. The riffs on this album are seriously ridiculous, there are songs like the title track “Deathammer” which features incrediby brutal riffs that put most modern bands to shame; then there are songs like the doomier “Minefield” which moves at a slower pace and doesn’t lose an ounce of heaviness. But the real gold on this record are the songs that mix both the brutal death metal riffs, and the slower paced riffs that sound like a tank driving over a field of dead bodies, specifically on tracks like “Der Landser”, and “We Doom You To Death”. The other obvious stand out on this album is Martin Van Drunen’s vocals which, at times, sound like a demonic werewolf, hungry for blood and vengeance, howling at the top of his lungs.
This album is definitely one of the best death metal albums you’ll hear all year. The riffs on “Deathhammer” are very similar to what you’d hear from later Bolt Thrower, except with a doomier influence that decimate the competition completely. I absolutely love this album and think it’s perfect for anybody wanting something to listen to while they smash their enemies skull with a sledgehammer, or just somebody who wants some brutal jams.
Last year, Autopsy released “Macabre Eternal”, which was their first studio album in 16 years, and they proved they were back with a vengeance. Hot on the heels of a hellacious comeback album, they have now released “All Tomorrows Funerals”, which is a re-working of all of their previous Ep’s, which is a genius way to keep building momentum.
If you’ve ever heard Autopsy, then you have a pretty good idea what this album sounds like, especially if you’ve heard any of these Ep’s before. The thing that makes this collection so cool is because there are, not only four incredibly violent new songs, but because all of the songs on here have the same violent, murderous production and feel that made “Macabre Eternal” so awesome.
I think this album is a great way to keep the Autopsy name in the spotlight while they work on a new record, which will be out next year. This album is certainly worth checking out if you’re a fan of Autospy, or if you enjoy hearing death metal done right because, as Chris Reifert stated so elegantly “There will be no compromise and no holding back. If you want 100% pure death metal brutality, you will certainly get it.”.
Death is one of the most influential bands in all of heavy metal, in fact, the genre was basically named after them. Vivus! is a package of the now-defunct death metal legends’ last two live albums “Live In Eindhoven”, and “Live In La”, and it’s a perfect reminder of just how good these guys really were.
Due to Chuck Schuldiner’s untimely passing in 2001, there are plenty of people like myself who never got to see these guys live. This album gives you a perfect glimpse at what it would have been like to see the band at their peak. Even though the sound isn’t perfect, it’s nice to hear classics like “Flesh And the Power It Holds”, “Sound Of Perseverance”, “Lack Of Comprehension”, and “Zombie Ritual” played by one of the strongest lineups the band ever had.
The only downside to this collection is that neither of these recordings are newly released, and contain several duplicate songs, but any chance you get to hear Chuck shred is a good thing. I think the Relapse reissues of the Death discography is a wonderful thing, and this definitely fits perfectly along side the others in your collection. I’m just hoping they’ll finally release the 2nd Control Denied album this year.
Josh LeBreton has been a friend of mine for quite a while, dating back to the days when his band Renea played shows at Cottonport Coffee in West Monroe, La. Josh has released two Ep’s as part of a solo project, and his music has continued to evolve and progress by leaps and bounds with each recording. I wanted to ask him a few questions about his current project, plans for the future, and songwriting style. You can check out Josh’s music here, and here.
It was recorded, mixed, and mastered at Little House Productions in Baton Rouge, LA by Alden Chatham and Brian Beyt. My friends Jon-David Mahoney (bass), Jacob Beslin (drums), and Lyle Begnaud (guitar) collaborated/played with me (guitar, vocals, songwriter) on it.
You’ve been involved with bands, and music in general, for a very long time, specifically in bands like Renea, and The Flood Memoirs. What would you say seperates this project from your previous bands?
This project is me maturing as a song writer and musician instead of just being plugged into a group somewhere and strictly filling a limited role. I can be more spread out here as an artist, less confined to one band’s collective direction. I do love the guys I play with and value their input, however. They’re as much of an influence to me as anything else.
Where do you get the inspiration for your lyrics?
Lyrics come from the music. I let the music inspire melody and words that work well with it. It’s usually just a poetic abstract of sorts from my current state of mind. I could be struggling with something, or inspired by something, I just try to observe things around me and let it come out a bit in my writing. I try to stay relevant and clever when I can.
At this point in time, what musician or band would you say has had the most influence on your sound?
Currently I’m a huge Coldplay fan. I’m also heavily into old guitars and amps from the 50′s Fender area, so that has a heavy influence on what I draw from. Anything sonically organic. People who still make music for the right reasons, whatever the hell those rights would be.
As a singer/songwriter, what would you like people to feel when they listen to your music or watch you perform live?
My main goal as a performer/writer is to make people feel anything inspiring. Something that sparks a little anxiety or maybe excitement. Anything that makes people, without sounding pretentious, feel alive for a second, seriously. Too much of our art now is produced and commercialized and that’s fine. I just want to for a second be a real artist trying to be something worth watching, no agenda, flaws and all. I wanna create, I want people to feel the magic and mystique we used to feel from artists a long time ago, and I try to do it because I want it from other people too. “Do unto others..”
What is your ultimate goal for your music career?
Ultimately, I want to be a full time sustainable artist, but I’d also be perfectly fine with being a working musician. I do a little of that now. Whatever the world needs from me, I guess. Currently, I teach music, so that’s also something I enjoy.
What are you plans for the immediate future of this project? Do you plan on touring any time soon?
Believe it or not, I’ve been trying a new avenue of exposure. Instead of playing anywhere and everywhere all the time, I only play sometimes, some places. I’ve also been entering random credible song writing contests and contacting labels. The music industry is completely upside down these days and frankly, so are people’s tastes in music. I’m just learning how to adapt. It’s all I can do. So no, no plans to tour right now. Sure as hell not gonna tour independently like I did for years, way too much trouble. Maybe if we still lived in the 90′s.
If you could tour with any active band/musician, who would it be and why?
I’d go on the road with anyone who was doing better than I was, had a similar demographic, and wanted me with them. I’d be indebted to anyone who would elevate my current status. Don’t care who it is, as long as they’re good people.
If you were on tour and could have anything you want on your rider, what would it be?
On my rider, I’d ask for a time machine. Making it in music today is completely insane and confusing. I’d either go back in time for “obvious” reasons or skip ahead a bit to pass all this nonsense up, after we figure out how we’re gonna keep making music.
If you could have written any song ever, what would it be and why?
The Cotton Port classic, “Shut the Door on my Way Out,” by Renea. Oh wait..
So here’s the deal, this week had basically no good new releases. The only one really was Pallbearer, however, I threw the Pilgrim review into this one because I didn’t get Pilgrim until after I printed my reviews from the 14th. Both of these albums are crushing doom records worthy of your time, and both have potential to be high on my albums of the year list. Next week i’m going to be reviewing at least six albums, plus new interviews to post, so stay tuned.
There’s just something about doom bands from Little Rock, Arkansas, they just seem to get it, man. For the second year in a row, a band from Little Rock has released one of the most intriguing doom albums of the year. This album is Pallbearer’s debut full length and it’s being released by Profound Lore who have been killing it lately with some huge releases. Like Rwake, the other band from Little Rock to make shockwaves in the metal scene, these guys have managed to craft a truly unique record.
This album starts out with the song “Foreigner”, which i’d say is my favorite song on this album. It begins with a somber acoustic intro that gives way to an amazing combo of crushing atmosphere and melodic riffing. The song also features an amazing vocal performance from vocalist Brett Campbell, which reminds me alot of Candlemass at times, which is a good thing of course. In fact, i’d say one of my favorite features on this album are the vocals. They are full of life and emotion, but also very melancholy and wistful. As far as the actual riffs go, every song on this album seems to be heavier than the one before. At certain points the album goes the funeral doom route with a slow, creeping devastation. I love the way they are able to perfectly mix a somber, depressingly heavy atmosphere, with some of the more creative riffs you’ll hear in this genre thanks to a fantastic rhythm section and an abundant love of all things Black Sabbath.
This album was a bit of a challenge to write about without sounding a bit redundant. Each song on the album features phenomenally heavy riffs and very passionate vocals that fit the atmosphere perfectly. It’s an album that plays heavily on emotions, this is an album that relies more on the way doom should feel, rather than the way it sounds, which means you feel all of the emotion the singer portrays, whether they leave you wanting to hug a loved one, or climb a mountain only to get eaten by wolves. If you enjoy doom metal that really reaches to your soul and spirit, and makes you really feel something, whether it be positive or negative, you need to check this album out. Sorrow & Extinction will, without a doubt, be one of my favorite albums to come back to time and time again throughout the year.
Pilgrim are a three piece doom band from Rhode Island. Their debut lp is called Misery Wizard, which is the perfect name for this album due to it’s heavy Electric Wizard influence, and the fact that it makes you feel absolutely miserable. This album is not pretty by any means, it’s dirty, depressing, and heavy as hell.
If Pilgrim were a football team, they would play violent, brutal defense, and they’d run the ball 50 times a game. That’s the best way for me to describe this album, seriously. They take a formula that works, and they absolutely shove it down your throat, and beat you to death with it for about an hour. The riffs on this album are very slow, methodical, and mercilessly heavy. Most of these riffs are your typical Black Sabbath-influenced doom riffs, but they are so slow and heavy and rarely pick up the pace, and it totally works.
In the above review for Pallbearer, I mentioned that doom metal is more about feelings and emotions than the way it sounds. This album actually sounds like traditional doom, but more importantly, you feel every ounce of misery in every riff on this album. The thing about this album is, even though the riffs are slow and pummeling, and they aren’t breaking any real ground here…if you are a fan of the genre, you will absolutely love Pilgrim because they totally do it perfect. This is a perfect album for listening to at a boring desk job, or even while having a few beers with friends, but it will totally bum you out no matter the setting and this is why I love it.
With today being Fat Tuesday, it’s the last big day of Mardi Gras celebration. In honor of a holiday that’s a huge deal here in Louisiana, I am doing a random record review of, in my opinion, one of the greatest albums in Louisiana music history, and one that reminds me of Mardi Gras in every way possible.
The Mystick Krewe of Clearlight are a band formed in New Orleans, La by Jimmy Bower of E.H.G., Crowbar, Superjoint Ritual, and Down, as well as Joey Lacaze from E.H.G., and Ross Karpelman who played organ on Down II. Clearlight are an instrumental band, but unlike most boring insturmental bands, they take the listener on an absolutely mindblowing ride. There are plenty of instrumental bands out nowadays whose music makes you feel like you are floating through space, or in the clouds, but very few, if any make you feel like you are roaming around the streets of New Orleans drunk as a skunk, high as a kite, sans pants, and surrounded by complete chaos. The album starts off with the song “Swamp Jam” which gives you the vibe that you just showed up to a party and were immediately handed a strange pill and a beer to wash it down with, but soon it goes from a fun party to an intense psychadelic landscape that makes it clear the pill has just hit. From there the album rumbles and swings with a southern fury most bands just can’t touch.
Clearlight are one of the most criminally underrated bands in the New Orleans scene by a long shot. One reason they haven’t gotten more attention is due to only having one full length and a couple of 7″s out, but also because they started playing shows again this year, for the first time in forever. Granted, you’ve probably heard their style of music many times before nowadays due to it being utilized by lots of desert rock bands, and bands like Clutch/The Bakerton Group, but nobody is able to give it that same New Orleans swing that Clearlight does. If you’re bummed you didn’t get to celebrate Mardi Gras in New Orleans, just crank this record up, grab a sixer of Abita, take off your pants, and run around in circles in your backyard until you pass out; when you wake up covered in vomit you’ll feel like you didn’t miss a single minute of the action!
This week has been very busy for me due to work, coming up with content for the March Spazzine, and new release reviews. I was still able to conduct an interview with my friend Steven Bradley of IWrestledABearOnce and Statues Cry Bleeding, I wanted to catch up with Steven and ask him a few questions about life on the road and what it’s like being in a touring band on a major label. For those of you allergic to profanity, you probably shouldn’t read this. You can check out IWrestledABearOnce here (and scb here)
As somebody who started out in a local band in a small town who managed to start a band that ended up on a major label, what advice do you have for other small town local bands with dreams of actually getting out of their town and touring constantly?
Nobody is going to come to your town and find out about how awesome you think you are. Get the fuck out there and tour AND make sure you keep up a strong online presence. The combination of booking coast-to-coast DIY tours and keeping in touch with people on the internets definitely helped us get out there, and is 100% the reason we got signed and are touring the world now!
I know that you guys have a rider for your tours nowadays, but what are some things you wish you could put on your tour rider and actually have waiting for you at each venue?
The band as a whole would probably answer blunts, PBR, a masseuse, and a hot tub filled with champagne… all of life’s simple pleasures, really.
I remember watching Statues Cry Bleeding play to a crowd of 50 or so people at Cottonport in West Monroe, La a few years ago, now you’re playing sold out shows in places like Japan. When you play to ridiculously huge amounts of people, do you ever feel pressure to perform at a certain level or is it easy to block it out and just shred?
50 was a big crowd back then! I remember us playing to a crowd of 15 people and IWABO played shows to even fewer folks than that! And honestly I just go for it every single fucking time… 15 people or 15,000. Playing in front of 15 people is easier because it feels less awkward for me and there’s no barricade, but there’s definitely something awesome about watching a sea of people just bouncing and dancing and diving off of shit. I don’t get nervous at all and never really have. There’s only a couple times in the history of the band I can remember looking out and thinking “Holy Shit!” but it was more of a “wow this is real and my life is pretty badass” not a “wow this is fucking scary” sort of thing. On stage holding a guitar is where I feel most comfortable in the world.
You guys are playing the New England Metal & Hardcore Fest this year, which used to be, and still kind of is, one of the biggest american metal festivals. You are also playing with some huge bands like Overkill and Every Time I Die. You’re also one of the headliners at Warped Tour 2012. Are these festivals as fun to play as it seems, or is it more stressful than people think? Also, i’m completely jealous you get to meet Bobby Blitz!
Every fest is different… and Warped is a beast in and of itself! Although Warped is without a doubt the most organized festival of all time AND it’s a touring fest AND it has 238,293 bands. Pretty fucking impressive how they keep it all together every single day with no real issues. On the other hand, we have DEFINITELY played festivals that are total nightmares… nothing organized and tour managers/promoters/bands all fighting and shit gets insane. We have driven hundreds of miles to play and then the fest is a bust and the promoter fakes a health problem to get to the hospital to dodge paying all the bands… we’ve seen it all at this point. Stoked for NEM&HF though! We’ve played it before and it’s really well organized and fun as hell.
What’s the funniest, weirdest, or creepiest tour story you have? Have you had any of those classic “overdose on heroin in the middle of a solo while topless midgets dance around you” moments?
We get creepy stories all the time, but it’s mainly Krysta that attracts the creepy folks. The INSANE shit people write/tell her even blows my mind sometimes and I’m pretty damn weird. As for funny stories, all of our tour update videos are pretty damn funny in my opinion! Watch them and you can see us all make mistakes and do all kinds of ignorant shit all across the globe!
Have you taken up any strange hobbies to pass the time while on the road?
Just drinking and doing silly shit with friends… nothing too strange! I’ve gotten pretty good at making pipes out of household objects and food items… strange skill I suppose.
Most bands dream about getting to play shows with bands like Every Time I Die, at this point in your career, if you could tour with any active band, who would it be?
REFUSED… since they’re active again… and even though we don’t have the same fanbase whatsoever.
Every time I read an article about IWABO online, people always seem to have alot of negative comments about you guys, yet they don’t really have good reasons why. Do you deal with hecklers at all on the road, if so, do you ever have a Josh Homme moment where you hurl insults and water bottles back at them?
Nah… A FEW times in the history of the band, people have touched Krysta while we’re on stage in a way that is obviously inappropriate, and that’s about the only time shit gets really wild at our shows. Krysta has definitely broken a few noses and we have definitely all but crucified a few dipshits in the past… and watched our scary friends go on to pull weapons on them, etc etc. But other than that, nobody ever talks shit to us in person. I mean people might say they hate us for being goofy or “not taking metal seriously” or some silly shit, but I don’t think anybody would ever want to actually fight us over something that stupid. We don’t have any REAL enemies I would hope since we definitely go out of our way to try to befriend everybody we possibly can and spread the message of open-mindedness and not being a dick. We DID have a super wasted guy at a show one time buy a TON of merch and then yell at us in the parking lot for “PLAYING NOTES!” … apparently he only likes music that’s breakdowns and we play too many notes or something. He later went on to punch his super young son in the face and get the shit kicked out of him before the cops showed up. Good times!
If you could have written any song ever, what would it be and why?
TOUGH question… shit… probably a deftones song, but it would take me a while to pick. Or any Queen song… or anything Slipknot… yeah, I can’t answer this. I give up.
What plans do you have for the future of IWABO? Even though you guys have achieved a fair amount of success just two albums into your career, where do you see the band going in the next two or three years or so?
Hopefully just going to new countries that we’ve never been to before and continuing to grow. We’ve been lucky in that a lot of bands come along nowadays and blow up then fall off the face of the earth completely, whereas we have had ups and downs for sure, but it’s been a slow, steady rise when you look at the big picture! Can’t ask for much more than that in today’s fickle scene, and we’re extremely grateful for every single person who has ever supported us and especially those who continue to do so. We will always be that weirdo band that hang out with people in parking lots and shotgun beers, go to merch during the show to meet people, hang around until every single person who wants a photo or autograph gets what they want, and that will never change.
It’s been a busy week full of awesome new releases, interviews with awesome bands, and trying to promote the site and the facebook page I just created for it. Somehow, as busy as i’ve been, I was able to listen to some awesome new albums that came out this week and write my thoughts on them. Next week is going to be a short one because i’ll only have one review, but there will be another interview, so stay tuned and enjoy!
Goatwhore are from New Orleans and of all of the New Orleans bands they seem to be getting the most recognition nowadays and it’s definitely well deserved. The one thing that I like the most about this band, aside from them having current and former members of bands like Soilent Green, Acid Bath, Crowbar, and Down, is the fact that ever since signing to Metal Blade Records and enduring a hectic touring schedule, they have not stopped putting out the most crushing music you could possibly find.
This is their fifth full length and third for Metal Blade, yet somehow they seem to keep it fresh with each album, in fact, they have expanded their horizons more on this album than the previous two without lacking an ounce of brutality. The last two albums were more pummeling without any reprieve, but “Blood For The Master” has alot more solo’s than the last two albums and on “Embodiment of This Bitter Chaos” there is an actual intro with acoustic guitars and some wonderful soloing like only Sammy Duet can do, in fact all of the solo’s on this album are pulled off with absolute perfection. The common thread between this album and pretty much every other album by these guys is Sammy’s razor sharp riffing, the dude doesn’t seem to ever stop coming up with the thrashiest riffs ever, but the decidedly black metal vibe adds another level of depth most bands can’t pull off.There aren’t alot of bands or guitarist nowadays who can create a style so unique that when you hear it, you know exactly who it is, but Sammy has once again unleashed riffs that are more than worthy of his signature.
The production on Master seems to be alot rawer than their last album, in fact, it’s very similar to the production of their Metal Blade debut “A Haunting Curse”, which is not a bad thing, specifically the way the drums sound. The lyrics on this album and the overall theme are very dark, as is per usual by these guys if you can’t tell by the name, but if you’re a fan of awesome blackened thrash metal or Ben Falgoust’s fierce vocal delivery then you kind of know what to expect. I’m impressed that these guys have gone from an underground New Orleans band, to one of the more well known names in the scene these days and they have done our state very proud. If you are a fan of any of Goatwhore’s previous albums, or if you’re just looking for something angry that you can crank up to ten and rock out to, this album is worth purchasing, it’s also good for blaring in neighborhoods full of children and the elderly.
I’ve never been huge on drone metal, but i’ve always found Earth to be one of the easier bands in the genre to get into. Earth’s first album consists of 3 songs full of nothing but full on drone, but as the years have gone by it seems this project has evolved into something a little more ambitious. The album is instrumental and it’s not really the kind of album you can just hear, you have to actually listen to it, and allow your mind to wrap around it to really get it.
This album is the 2nd part of the “Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light” project and it was recorded at the same time, so naturally it’s got the same kind of vibe as the last album, but it also reminds me alot of “The Bees Made Honey in the Lion’s Skull” which came out in 2008 and has a very western twinge to it. The cool thing about this album is, while listening to it, it kind of makes you come up with a movie in your head, and it fits perfectly as the soundtrack to that movie, whether it be a slow, plodding, horror film, or a fun, yet depressing road trip through the desert.
This album is kind of hard to write about because it moves very slowly and is just kind of…there, ya know? This album is perfect background music for alot of situations such as staying up late at night, drinking coffee, or while your working at a boring job waiting for the clock to strike 5:00. I really enjoyed this album, but it’s not something I could just listen to at random due to the fact that it takes a special mindset to enjoy it, but if you enjoy instrumental music, especially dramatic, droney music, this album is perfect for you.
Beneath The Massacre are a brutal as hell death metal band from Monreal, Quebec, Canada. I’ve never been a fan of your a-typical generic death metal bands like Job For A Cowboy and the tens of thousands of bands that spawned from them, but i’ve always had a soft spot for Beneath The Massacre. Part of the reason i’ve always liked this song is because of the song “Never More” from their absolutely wonderful 2008 album “Dystopia”, mostly because the breakdown in that song is what i’d want to hear if i went on a killing spree of some sort. Due to the fact that BTM are from Canada and, I assume, are hockey fans, and also because it’s hard to not sound boring talking about death metal, i’m going to use some hockey lingo in this review, so lace em up.
As soon as the puck drops on “Incongruous”, and the massive sweeps and blast beats come in sharper than a Gretzky to Robitaille one-timer, you can tell these guys arent messing around, and certainly aren’t trying to make your run-of-the-mill, generic, boring deathcore. The main elements that make BTM more enjoyable than most deathcore bands are the drums that pound furiously throughout the entire album and hit harder than a Chris Pronger cross-check, and also the sweeping/solo’s peppered throughout that break up the monotony and shred faster than a Zdeno Chara slap shot. I think these guys compare favorably to bands like Suffocation, only with a more modern touch, and some incredibly slick production, plus, like Suffocation, they are able to use creative drumming and soloing to keep each song fresh, and leaving you feeling like you just got run over and taunted by P.K. Subban.
Though this album isn’t the most creative death metal album you’ll ever hear, it’s brutal as hell and sounds amazing blasting at 10 while cruising down the road. If you’re a fan of bands like The Faceless or Decapitated, this album is definiely worth checking out, and there are no signs of deathcore or djent in it at all, which should help you choose this over Born Of Osiris or other such garbage.
Orange Goblin are a stoner metal/hard rock band from the Uk and on their first full length in almost four years, they are still killing it after all these years. They have been around since around 1997 and have put out a split with Electric Wizard, as well as five releases on Rise Above Records, who are one of my favorite labels. Before you even read this review, you need to listen to the first song on this album “Red Tide Rising“, otherwise, none of this will really sound that interesting.
I’ve always been a fan of rock music that makes you want to crack open a beer, bang your head furiously, and stomp your foot like a madman, this album happens to entice you to do all of those things. There aren’t as many stoner metal elements to this album as their previous efforts, but the riffs are full of maximum rock n’ roll volume. All of the songs on here are raucous affairs with plenty of solo’s, heavy as hell riffs, and some creative vocals from Ben Ward who, at times, seriously reminds me of Dave Grohl. Seriously though, there are parts of this album that remind me of the time I put a Foo Fighters record on 33 1/3 instead of 45 rpm; the riffs are fast but toned low and heavy and the vocals are deep and gruff and very angry sounding despite the higher pitched at times tone.
Alot of the songs on this album remind me of desert rock bands like Fu Manchu, and Eagles Of Death Metal, as well as bands like Revolution Mother, Valient Thorr and Motorhead. This album gets slightly old after it drags on for a while, but regardless, it’s still got interesting enough subject matter and fast enough guitars to not overstay it’s welcome. Eulogy For The Damned is certainly the kind of album you would put on while on a long road trip, or during a long night of partying and hell raising, or driving through the desert with no pants on while wearing a Motorhead shirt and smoking Lucky Strikes.
I’ve been working on doing more interviews lately, and today i’m posting an interview I did with The Heritage, a southern hardcore band from Northeast Louisiana. I’ve known these guys for many years now, dating back to their days as “The Heritage, The Heartache”, in fact, they once opened a show I booked for The Showdown in Monroe, La and absolutely brought the house down with an insane live show. The Heritage are now on the warpath of booking tours, recording an album, and trying to get signed, and I wanted to ask them a few questions about where they are now and where they are headed. You can check out The Heritage here, and if they happen to be playing in a town near you, do yourself a favor and check them out.
First and foremost, you guys refer to your live show as doing things “Heritage Style”, what exactly does “Heritage Style” mean?
Mitch(guitar/vox): Heritage style started as a joke between the band after watching an episode of 30 rock, calling everything “cajun style”. So we took it a step further and said we will do everything Heritage style; lets break stuff, upset the establishment, and cause an uproar before we leave, so that everyone remembers us.
Heath(vox): Heritage style means doing things in a way that is fun and not taking yourself too seriously, or getting wrapped up in your own ego.
Rus(Bass): Everyone has their roots, we just embrace them and let it all come out. NO MATTER HOW CRAZY IT GETS!
Chris(drums): Heritage style refers to the raw power and excitment of the classic southern rock bands, modernized.
If you were given the choice between being on a major record label and making tons of money, but your band sounded like Nickelback, or being on a small label and touring 300 days out of the year for small guarantees every night in The Heritage, which would you choose?
Mitch: Labels are awesome and they make the music world keep going, but you have to stay true to your roots and convictions. Nickelback are one of the worst bands in the world, and we want nothing to do with that sound. I would much rather never leave the garage, than sound like that.
Heath: I love making money, but I have to stay true to my roots, and my roots are hardcore and old school country, and I would much rather do that then compromise my convictions.
Rus: Creed wasn’t in the equation.
Chris: No question or competition, The Heritage all the way.
If you were in a huge touring band playing arenas, what would be on your tour rider?
Mitch: Bacon cheeseburgers, dvds of all my favorite tv shows, true crime books, and a bottle of Whiskey.
Heath: Fat Cherry Laffy Taffy, wine, & all the crawfish I could eat.
Rus: Icy hot, A coffee pot, moist towelettes, and a websters dictionary.
Chris: Power C vitamin waters, practice pads, drumsticks, mp3 player w/ headphones, & bass drum practice pad with pedals.
If The Heritage could tour with any band currently active, who would you want to tour with?
Mitch: Every Time I Die, The Chariot, Zao, or Clutch.
Heath: Every Time I Die, The Chariot, Lady Gaga, or Gallows.
Chris: Every Time I Die, Our Last Night, Maylene & the Sons of Disaster, and It Lies Within.
When someone watches you live or listens to your record, what would you like for them to take away from that experience?
Mitch: I want them to relate to the southern, hard working aspect of the band. I want people to picture themselves riding a four wheeler through the mud at a barbecue, having a great time.
Heath: Southern insanity.
Rus: This is what happens when Dragonball Z is involved.
Chris: The Audience should be able to look at their attire, close their eyes, open them, and see athletic shorts, cut off sleeveless shirt, and work boots.
What bands would you say have influenced The Heritage’s sound the most?
Chris: Every Time I Die, Norma Jean, Maylene & the Sons of Disaster.
Rus: ETID hands down.
Mitch, in your previous band 1 Method, the lyrics were very religious in nature. What has been the inspiration in The Heritage’s lyrics?
Mitch: The lyrics of The Heritage are very different from 1 Method. 1 Method was about serving God, and the ministry of things. The Heritage’s lyrics are very personal to our vocalist Heath. They have religious overtones, but they are more about Heath’s personal walk. That includes the failures,the doubt,the constant struggle with dying daily and trying to keep your walk upright.
Heath: The lyrics are about my spirtual journey through life.
Was there a particular album or artist that inspired you to begin playing music? At what point in life did you realize that you were destined to be a musician?
Mitch: I knew I wanted to be a musician the day I watched my dad jamming out in the garage with my cousin Jamey Kieth. Living Sacrifice’s The Hammering Process and Zao’s Save Yourself from Hell were the two albums that changed my life, and made me want to start playing metal, and learn how to scream.
Heath: Living Sacrifice’s the Hammering Process. Mitch and I listened to that album every day for months growing up. It changed the game for us completely. We were jamming Korn & Limp Bizkit at the time and Living Sacrifice changed everything for us.
Rus: Korn – Life is Peachy. When i broke my arm racing dirt bikes and had to rehabilitate myself. I still love racing.
Chris: As Cities Burn. Their early demos, before they were signed.
If you could have written any song ever, what would it be and why?
Mitch: Smells Like Teen Spirit or any song off of Weezer’s Blue Album.
Heath: Born this way by Lady Gaga.
Rus: The Happy Birthday song. That way micheal jackson wouldnt have the rights to it.
Chris: Rush’s “YYZ”. Cause it is so tasteful and brilliant.
What current plans do you guys have for the band for 2012 and where do you see the band going in a year or two?
Mitch: We’re recording a new EP in March and we’ve got a tour planned with The Sights Set North Booking for this summer. I’d like to see a full length done by the end of the year, and as much touring as we can possibly handle. In 2 years I want The Heritage to be a full time touring band.
Heath: The same that Mitch said, but I want The Heritage’s music to be on everyone’s ipod, even if they have to steal it.
Rus: We’re finishing recording, we have some tour dates coming up, its moving up up UP, its just gonna keep getting better and better.
February is always an exciting month for new releases, due to the fact that it’s when new stuff finally starts rolling out. I’m always glad to feature guest reviews and tonight comes from my good friend Duane Berry regarding the new Paul Mccartney album “Kisses On The Bottom”.
What an interesting name for a release, “Kisses On The Bottom”, I know I have had some co-workers do that in the past with some degree of success. But I digress. Actually, the name comes from a line in the first song, “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter”. The line goes on to say “I’m Gonna Leave Kisses On The Bottom”. Glad we cleared that up.
If this recording were to ever be made into a movie, the trailer would surely look something like this: Young Paul sitting at the kitchen table eating fish & chips, watching the Everton Football Club play soccer on the telly while listening to dad James play some of his favorite songs on the family piano. These days, it would be more like watching dad in his boxers sitting around eating Cheetos and listening to the Beatles White Album and singing “Ob-la-Di Ob-La-Da” and “Little Piggies”. But I digress, again, Doh.
This is the 35th post Beatles recording released by McCartney and it is totally different than anything he has ever done before. This harkens back to the songs his dad really did sing while playing his family piano. Classics one and all. The concept for this type of release has been around for a while. The first one I heard was a collection of standards done by Willie Nelson on his “Stardust” album that went on to become multi million seller. Not sure if this one is up to those lofty standards, but when you have had 188 charted songs and 33 of them #1 hits, including 60 gold records and 100 million singles sold in Britain alone, you can go old school on em and never look back.
Think Cole Porter, Nat King Cole, Irving Berlin and you get the idea behind the songs here. Only 2 written by McCartney. This disc is full of lushy orchestral maneuvers in the dark, with plenty of small, and not so small, stringed instruments and keyboards. You can just imagine the musicians sitting around in the studio recording this record wearing their “Old Guys Rule” shirts with a lot of Ensure cans all around.
Guiness says Sir McCartney is the most successful musician and writer in pop music history and with that kind of background, much is expected from any release, and this one delivers, in it’s own way. This is not the kind of disc that you will just pop into the player and jam to rolling down the highway, this is a real mood centric recording. Laid back with some excellent vocal work. Veteran musicians like Diana Krall, Robert Hurst, John Pizarelli and arrangements by Eddie Karam and Johnny Mandel make it hard to ignore what is here.
“Home (When Shadows Fall)”, and others feature the London Symphony Orchestra, “It’s Only A Paper Moon” is highlighted by the best string variety on any song while “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive” shows the still strong vocal work McCartney is known for. “My Valentine” and “Only Our Hearts” are the 2 McCartney compositions included. Eric Clapton is a featured guitarist on “Get Yourself Another Fool” and Stevie Wonder guests on harmonica on “Only Our Hearts”.My favorite is “Bye Bye Blackbird” the song that John Coltrane won a posthumous Grammy for in 1982. A song reportedly about a prostitute leaving the business and returning home to her mother. I like this version even more than the Etta James or Miles Davis versions.
I’ve always heard that when people the caliber of Paul McCartney go into a recording studio it should be their goal to make timeless music. This time, it was the timeless music that brought them together in the studio. For a guy that was mostly inspired by american R & B music growing up, McCartney hit a walk off home run with this disc.