REVIEW: Sahg’s New Concept Album Is Downright Ascendant

Norway’s Sahg have been melting faces since 2004, but 2013 marked a fresh new approach for the ambitious Scandinavian metalheads. After three albums, all of which sequentially numbered, the group let their imaginations run wild with a conceptual album idea, one that wouldn’t be given a number like past records. Delusions of Grandeur took the road instead of a simple Sahg IV, and while it sounds like a break of tradition, it’s actually an incredibly smart move by the band. Delusions of Grandeur is a standalone concept album with as much cosmic energy as the brightest star. Sahg’s latest metal creation delivers just as much finesse as its already ascendant concept implies.

Sahg express their innermost creativity with Delusions of Grandeur, a concept album about a protagonist and his blind obsession with his own ego (aka “delusions of grandeur”). As the character’s reality begins to fade from the delusions, he appears in an imaginary existence where he believes he is the ruler of the universe. His control comes to an end, however, when he falls from his mountaintop palace and fades into the darkness surrounding him, all while being stripped of every bit of his power. Sahg have noted Fritz Lang’s Metropolis and Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey as thematic influences, which fits extremely well with the many different moods that are fully released in Delusions of Grandeur. From the triumphant rule of “Blizzardborne” to the tragic reincarnation into the real world in “Sleeper’s Gate to the Galaxy”, the record demonstrates maniacal control, acceleration of danger and an overarching mood that illustrates a false kingdom’s downfall in picturesque and textured forms.

Throughout the album, Sahg demonstrate every single influence they can get their mitts on. In one track, “Firechild”, they’re tossing ravenous guitar solos that share tones with Mastodon’s Crack the Skye record, while the following track “Walls of Delusion” is purely brilliant sludgy doom metal, taking cues right from The Melvins or even Black Sabbath. Singers Olav Iversen and Tony Vetaas show off extremely versatile vocal styles mixing the spectral snarl of Ozzy Osbourne and the shrieking battlecry of Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson across the tracklist. Iversen, along with fellow guitarist Thomas Tofthagen, demonstrate extreme versatility on the axe, with riff-heavy rhythms crashing through on slower songs like “Walls of Delusion” and revving into overdrive with the fantastically melodic grinding on “Ether.” Drummer Thomas Lønnheim doesn’t skimp on the jazzy drumming either, especially in opener “Slip Off the Edge of the Universe.” There are so many moods shown in Delusions of Grandeur and that’s what every great concept album has been able to do: show off multiple vibes. A consistent stream of mood is no way to tell the highs and lows of a story like Delusions of Grandeur, and Sahg are able to show the rise and fall of its protagonist by creating various tones throughout the album, each one to complement a critical point in the storyline.

“Sleeper’s Gate to the Galaxy” is the eleven-minute-long closer to the record, a multi-portioned departure of the protagonist back into the reality that he leaves behind, all with his own madness in tow. Mixing 2000’s prog metal like Opeth with Led Zeppelin groove and Iron Maiden-esque vocals, Sahg make one hell of a closer, one with multiple steps and sections to tell the album’s climactic final act. The acoustic intro and mid-song interlude set the stage well, breaking up the intensity and letting the listener reflect on what transpired beforehand. With a mighty burst, the album ends as it begins.

Delusions of Grandeur’s ambitiously conceptual nature may sound a recipe for pretentiousness, but Sahg keep this spacey inter-dimensional odyssey (ironically) rather down-to-earth. And that’s a good thing. The band lets tone and texture take control instead of bizarre melodic chords or superhuman rhythm patterns, creating a story that’s both fully envisioned and phenomenally presented. It does tend to lose its most striking luster around two-thirds in (“Then Wakens the Beast” is rather lackluster compared to the rest on the album), but Sahg prove their conviction to their concept and even more conviction to their songwriting. Despite that lull, Delusions of Grandeur finishes strong with a climactic epilogue. Sahg make a ton of smart moves with Delusions of Grandeur; from the tumultuous tonal shifts to the fit and resonant instrumentation, this is a concept album whose intriguing narrative is never a crutch for its songwriting of virtuosity. Delusions of Grandeur is a mix of many different ideas, but a synergy of only the best. It’s a downright out-of-this-world album.

BEHEMOTH launches “Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer” lyric video

“The Satanist” to be released February 4th in North America

BEHEMOTH has posted a brand new track from their forthcoming album, “The Satanist.” The track is entitled “Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer” and is accompanied by a lyric video that includes artwork and text from inside the digipak booklet. Ora pro nobis, which is latin for “pray for us”, features lyrics penned by Nergal, along with Krzysztof Azarewicz. Watch and listen now at metalblade.com/behemoth.

BEHEMOTH has posted a brand new behind the scenes video for “The Satanist.” This video is the third in a series of four that offers a glimpse into the thought process behind the album that Albert Mudrian of Decibel Magazine heralds as “simply the best Behemoth record ever.” The video is streaming exclusively on the massively popular horror destination,bloodydisgusting.com HERE.

BEHEMOTH front man, Nergal, simply offers the following statement: “The Satanist is magic. It’s dangerous. It’s adventurous, and it’s organic.”

The Satanist” was produced by Behemoth, Wojtek and Slawek Wieslawscy and Daniel Bergstrand in Hertz Studio. “The Satanist” was mixed by Matt Hyde (Slayer) and mastered by Ted Jensen (Metallica, AC/DC) at Sterling Sound. The cover art for “The Satanist” was painted by renowned Russian painter and occultist, Denis Forkas (denisforkas.com). The paint used included some of Nergal’s own blood! Additional art and design was completed by Metastazis (Paradise Lost, etc.) and Zbigniew Bielak (Watain, Ghost).

Behemoth is proud to announce that they will be returning to North America this Spring as part of the Metal Alliance Tour 2014! This will be the band’s first North American tour in support of their new album, “The Satanist.” Joining Behemoth on this tour will be Metal Blade label mates, Goatwhore, along with additional support from 1349Inquisition, and Black Crown Initiate. The Metal Alliance tour will begin April 4th in Tempe, AZ and runs through May 3rd.

BEHEMOTH
w/ Cradle Of Filth, In Solitude, Inquisition, Svarttjern
02/07 Munich, DE Backstage
02/08 Stuttgart, DE LKA Longhorn
02/09 Amsterdam, NL Melkweg
02/10 London, UK Forum
02/11 Paris, FR Bataclan
02/13 Pratteln, CH Z7
02/14 Wiesbaden, DE Schlachthof
02/15 Bochum, DE Matrix
02/16 Antwerp, BE Trix
02/18 Tilburg, NL O13
02/19 Luxembourg, LU Atelier
02/21 Wien, AT Gasometer
02/22 Chemnitz, DE Südbahnhof
02/24 Gothenburg, SE Traedgarn
02/25 Stockholm, SE Tyrol
02/26 Copenhagen, DK Amager Bio
02/27 Aarhus, DK Voxhall
02/28 Hamburg, DE Grünspan
03/01 Berlin, DE Postbahnhof

BEHEMOTH
Metal Alliance Tour
1349, Goatwhore, Inquisition, Black Crown Initiate
04/04 Tempe, AZ Club Red
04/05 Los Angeles, CA House of Blues
04/06 San Francisco, CA Regency Ballroom
04/08 Denver, CO Gothic Theater
04/11 Dallas, TX House of Blues
04/12 Austin, TX Emo’s East
04/13 Houston, TX House of Blues
04/15 Orlando, FL Beacham Theater
04/16 Charlotte, NC Tremont Music Hall
04/17 Philadelphia, PA Theatre of Living Arts
04/18 Worcester, MA Palladium
04/19 New York, NY Irving Plaza
04/22 Montreal, QC Club Soda
04/23 Toronto, ON Opera House
04/24 Cleveland, OH Agora Theater
04/25 Chicago, IL House of Blues
04/26 Minneapolis, MN Skyway Theater Studio B
04/27 Winnipeg, MB Garrick Center
04/29 Calgary, AB Macewan Hall
04/30 Edmonton, AB Union Hall
05/02 Vancouver, BC Rickshaw Theater
05/03 Seattle, WA Studio 7

http://www.behemoth.pl
http://www.facebook.com/behemoth
http://instagram.com/behemothofficial
http://www.nuclearblast.de/behemoth
http://www.metalblade.com/behemoth

REVIEW: Down Among the Dead Men Deliver an Energized Form of Death Metal

Bolt Thrower/Benediction vocalist Dave Ingram, along with Rogga Johansson and Dennis Blomberg from Paganizer are no strangers to death metal or even the idea of a side project. Ingram’s work in metal subgenres and even radio programming specifically show that he simply can’t escape the metal community (not that he’d want to). With more than a handful of metal ships sailing these days, the trio pioneer a fresh new project to further scratch that death metal itch. While it won’t set the world on fire and rarely changes itself up across its thirteen tracks, Down Among the Dead Men’s self-titled debut trims the fat from its bones, delivering a faster and overall better approach to the long-tread death metal genre.

Down Among the Dead Men is a mercilessly aggressive record. From start to finish, session drummer Erik R. Bevenrud produces a rapid, gatling gun fire of low-tuned drums, giving the album depth, while guitarists Dennis Blomberg and Rogga Johansson deliver incredibly heavy guitar rhythms, something straight from Messhugah or Fear Factory. Dave Ingram’s vocals are guttural and weighted, rarely differentiating in rhythm. The growls definitely signify the death metal standard, but they rarely achieve a complexity beyond the intense filler heard throughout the genre. It’s certainly a slam, but the layered approach of simply sitting atop such furious musicianship makes the vocals much less essential than they should be.

Down Among the Dead Men is brutal all the way through, but that is its biggest shortcoming. Despite the Messhugah-esque guitar rhythms and suffocating percussion, the album rarely deviates from its heaviness. While that’s nothing new for rhythmic metal, the number of standout moments is terribly miniscule. Melody is clearly not the focus, because aside from toned guitar solos in songs like “Bones of Contention” and “Venus Mantrap”, the album is weight first, pitch later. The band does remedy the single-note vibe by making the songs briefer than their peers do. With a punk rock pace and a blistering metal shade overhead, Down Among the Dead Men remedy the intensity by keeping their songs concise enough that they don’t blend together in a jumbled, single-piece mess. Out of all of the songs on the album, only one cracks three minutes, making the album much easier to digest than others in its genre. However, the lack of standout tracks still creeps along and the appeal is very singular by the final chord.

The rare instances of fully explicit virtuosity appear in songs like “A Handful of Dust”, whose amazing use of guitar groove is a breath of fresh air from the slamming, percussive riffs. “Adolescence of Time” also demonstrates some great guitar work from Blomberg and Johansson, and once again, “Venus Mantrap” stands tall. “Venus Mantrap” also possesses an exceptional blend of beat with guitar intricacy, where Bevenrud’s drums keep a steady pace reminiscent of heavy doom metal than the punk-infused death brew the band shows across the rest of the album. Sadly, these moments of differentiation are limited by the abundance of death metal fundamentals.

Down Among the Dead Men is sure to appeal to anyone who got hooked on Ingram and Johansson’s previous projects, but its rapid-fire percussion does bring a nice edge of thrashy punk to the mix. The rhythms are still the star of the show, with blistering drums and pounding guitar riffs. However, the intricacy is lacking, as Down Among the Dead Men extends its prowess well beyond the limits of its seams. It’s concise and furiously composed, which are still excellent qualities that set them above their peers, but it still drags on too long for a death metal album. All in all, Down Among the Dead Men may have its recurrent flaws and hesitance to stand out, but by trimming the songs down and keeping the rhythms on full view, it still manages to be a good debut that surpasses many of its peers in quality.

Holiday gifts for the rock n’ rollers in your life

We are not always the easiest animal to please some say, but really we are as simple to figure out as microwave popcorn.  The rock n’ rollers in your life consume all things that have anything to do with music and the lifestyle.  The hardest thing about us is that we usually go out and get what we want so fast you never have a chance to get it for us.  So, unless you are going to creep on our Amazon Wishlist and hope we don’t snap up some of those goodies before the Holidays hit, may Pittsburgh Music Magazine suggest some easy as one, two, three gifts that the music maniac in your life didn’t know that they wanted but will absolutely love:

1.  Off the beaten path box sets:

I love quirky box sets that not only have cool tunes, but some extras thrown in that a consumer would not expect.  Jack White’s Third Man Record’s is offering The Paramount Records Wonder Cabinet Available at thirdmanstore.com.  ‘The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records 1917-1932,’ “an epic, two-volume omnibus of art, words and music housed in a limited-edition, hand-sculpted cabinet-of-wonder” features 800 newly-remastered digital tracks, representing 172 artists, 200+ fully-restored original 1920s ads and images, 6x 180g vinyl LPs pressed on burled chestnut colored vinyl w/ hand-engraved, blind-embossed gold-leaf labels, housed in a laser-etched white birch LP folio, 250 page deluxe large-format clothbound hardcover art book , 360 page encyclopedia-style softcover field guide containing artist portraits and full Paramount discography, a handcrafted quarter-sawn oak cabinet with lush sage velvet upholstery and custom-forged metal hardware, and a first-of-its-kind music and image player app, allowing user mgmt of all tracks and ads, housed on custom-designed USB drive.  Cool stuff, but It’s a bit pricey at $400.  If you have a metalhead in the fam, like yours truly, head on over to The Metal Blade Store and check out the amazing prices they have on box sets up to 60% of As I Lay Dying, Amon Amarth, Behemoth, Cannibal Corpse, and much more.

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2.  Alcohol…need I say more

Now unless your rocker has had to swear off (no shame in that my friends), a sure fire way to many a bleeding rebels heart is through his or her throat.  You could go the boring route and buy the case of beer you know they like or the bottle of liquor they always drink or you could go high class.  Recently, one of my best friend turned me onto Tequila.  I’m not talking about ‘To-Kill-Ya’ that we all have had some ‘nights best left forgotten’ drinking.  These are high quality tequilas that taste and go down like nothing you have ever had before.  Let me recommend the best-o-the best: Dobel Tequila is a blend of Reposado, Anejo and Extra Anejo tequilas which have been gently filtered and give the tequila an incredible Diamond Clarity and crispness that is unlike anything that has crossed my palate.  It’s the purity combined with the complexity derived from the aged tequilas makes Reserva del Maestro Dobel a completely unique experience.  I would have never believed it had it not been for my buddie’s Tequila Bar in his establishment and a unique taste test experience.  This is a small batch tequila that is hand crafted, aged in oak casks, and then get this…hand labeled and numbered.  We wrote the company and they were kind enough to offer our readers a FREE recipe book at this link.  Trust me on this one it’s a sure fire winner…and make sure they crack it open with you!

Maestro_Dobel_Tequila_BottleL

3. Something from “their band”

We all have our favorite bands.  Some of us have one and some of us have so many we can’t count.  The thing is whomever you are into, these days there a plethora of off the wall memorabilia and collector items that can be found relatively easily all depending on how much you want to search.  Luckily the internet is truly your friend here.  First, check the band’s website because they often have the cool stuff right under your nose.  Also, check Amazon because they have some pretty cool stuff as well.  But pages like Etsy, EBay, Rockabilia, and Rock N Roll Action Figures to name a few have some hidden gems within them that are sure to please.

Regardless, Happy Holiday, be safe, and I hope my wife is reading this (hints, hints!!!)

51Z4JR1A3RL

 

 

AMON AMARTH launch “As Loke Falls” lyric video; currently on European Tour

US tour scheduled to begin in JanuarySwedish heavy metal icons, AMON AMARTH, have released a brand new lyric video for “As Loke Falls” from their latest album, “Deceiver of the Gods.” The video is streaming now atmetalblade.com/amonamarth. Additionally, fans can see AMON AMARTH live throughout Europe this Fall with Carcass, and Hell! The current list of dates can be seen below, as well as at amonamarth.com.

Deceiver of the Gods” shattered the band’s previous sales records around the world. The album landed at #19 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart and #19 on the Top Current Albums Chart. The band’s last album, Surtur Rising, entered the Top 200 Chart at #34 making Deceiver of the Gods the band’s highest charting record to date. In Germany, Deceiver of the Gods entered the Top 100 Chart at #3, the official Media Market/Saturn Chart at #3 and the German Media Control Weekend Trend Chart at #2. Deceiver of the Gods came in at #9 on Canada’s Top 200 Chart, #2 on the Hard Music Charts and #21 on the Digital Music Chart. Additionally, the record came in at #2 on the iTunes Metal Chart, #2 on the iTunes Rock Chart and #7 on the iTunes Top 200. In the UK, the record entered the official Album Charts at #67, the Rock/Metal Chart at #4 and the Independent Chart at #14 marking the highest UK chart placements for the band yet. Elsewhere, Deceiver of the Gods came in at #9 on the Top 100 Album Chart in Switzerland, #7 on the Austrian Top 100, #9 in Sweden, #27 in Denmark, #51 in France, #34 in Czech Republic and #51 in Hungary.

AMON AMARTH
w/ Carcass, Hell
11/12 Birmingham, UK Academy w/ Bleed From Within
11/13 Manchester, UK Academy w/ Bleed From Within
11/14 Glasgow, UK Barrowland w/ Bleed From Within
11/15 Bristol, UK Academy w/ Bleed From Within
11/17 London, UK Forum w/ Bleed From Within
11/18 Paris, FR Olympia
11/19 Ludwigsburg, DE Arena
11/20 Wiesbaden, DE Schlachthof
11/22 Zürich, CH Komplex
11/23 München, DE Kesselhaus
11/24 Milan, IT Live Club
11/25 Wien, AT Gasometer
11/27 Berlin, DE Columbiahalle
11/28 Leipzig, DE Haus Auensee
11/29 Hamburg, DE Docks
12/01 Oslo, NO Rockefeller
12/03 Gothenburg, SE Tradgar’n
12/04 Copenhagen, DK Store Vega
12/06 Malmö, SE KB
12/07 Stockholm, SE Arenan
12/09 Helsinki, FI Cable Factory
End Tour
Tour w/ Enslaved, Skeletonwitch
01/17 Las Vegas, NV House Of Blues
01/18 Phoenix, AZ Club Red
01/20 San Antonio, TX Backstage Live
01/21 Dallas, TX House Of Blues
01/24 Atlanta, GA Center Stage
01/25 Tampa, FL The Ritz
01/26 Ft. Lauderdale, FL Revolution
01/27 Orlando, FL House Of Blues **no Skeletonwitch
01/29 Charlotte, NC The Fillmore
01/30 Norfolk, VA The NorVA
01/31 Silver Springs, MD The Fillmore
02/01 Boston, MA House Of Blues
02/03 Philadelphia, PA TLA
02/04 New York, NY Irving Plaza
02/07 Chicago, IL House Of Blues
02/08 Minneapolis, MN Mill City Nights
02/09 Lawrence, KS Granada Theatre
02/11 Denver, CO Summit Theatre
02/12 Salt Lake City, UT Murray Theater
02/14 San Francisco, CA The Regency
02/15 Los Angeles, CA The Wiltern
02/16 San Diego, CA House Of Blues * No Enslaved

Tickets are available now at: http://amonamarth.com/tour/

In related news, AMON AMARTH is currently putting the finishing touches on the official video for colossal track “Father Of The Wolf.” The video will be unveiled leading up to the band’s US tour kicking off in January. Until then, check out the trailer now playing HERE.

Order your copy of “Deceiver of the Gods” at this location: http://www.metalblade.com/amonamarth.

http://www.amonamarth.com
http://www.facebook.com/OfficialAmonAmarth
http://twitter.com/amonamarthband
http://deceiver.amonamarth.com

amon-amarth-lyric-video

Dear Sister: In Solitude Continue Sweden’s Metal Mastery

Sweden has been contributing to the world of metal for decades, but even now in 2013, they always seem to surprise the metal community. Even after bringing legends like Messhugah and stars like In Flames to life, the recent years have been kinder than ever to Swedish metal and the bands it brews. As if this year’s Ghost B.C. album, Infestissumam wasn’t enough, Sweden brings another group of rising metal mavens to North America with In Solitude. Though they’ve been making music for more than a decade, the Uppsala quintet continue to explore the most revered sanctuaries of metal might. In Solitude’s third album is able to rival its stomping and brooding peers in doom metal, but the band’s insistence on capturing the melodic power of Black Sabbath is what makes Sister an album that sneaks past the feet of the monstrous colossi of the genre, all while making a dent in the hull of metal as a whole.

In Solitude’s sound is difficult to classify, but in a great way. They clearly have a respect and reverence for the doom metal titans Black Sabbath. The guitar riffs from axemen Niklas Lindström and Henrik Palm don’t possess the echoing tones of later doom metal bands like Trouble or Pentagram; instead, the guitarists add a rough and energetic tone, one straight out the book of Tony Iommi. By keeping the pace just upbeat enough to prompt experimentation, the songs sound much more characterized. “Pallid Hands” uses the same tones and notes that Black Sabbath made magical, but unlike the countless doom metal bands of the 2000’s onward, In Solitude don’t sound sluggish on Sister. The songs are actually quite interesting compositions, with plenty of fluid guitar solos and vocalist Pelle Åhman sounding off notes like Baroness’ John Baizley, performers far beyond the gloom of doom. In Solitude inject some much-needed personality into a genre whose standards and formulas have been running on fumes lately, and it’s a great gesture from these Swedish go-getters.

But the band still stays firmly fortified in the lower tones and dark chords of the heavier sides. Despite its ripping guitar lines, the title track has Pelle Åhman complemented by echoing effects and the bell-like bass tones from Gottfrid Åhman sound like psalms for a sermon after dark. Drummer Uno Bruniusson rounds out the quintet with remarkably virtuoso drumming variety. While not enough to rival the prog drummer greats like Tool’s Danny Carey or even Sabbath drum legend Bill Ward himself, it’s incredible hearing a fluid, almost jazzy drumming style in metal, one that’s groovy enough to get a circle pit going amongst the bass kicks and snare fills. Sister is an album that does just enough to stay in its genre of choice, but doesn’t follow the supposed status quo directed by the weighted, lurching beasts of modern doom metal. It’s remarkably varied and lets the band experiment with both melody and tone in shockingly creative ways.

At only eight tracks, Sister does end a bit prematurely. While the diversity between the tracks is definitely noticeable, when the songs crack an average of around five minutes, some opportunities seem to be missed. Despite the song’s nice mixture of tone and rhythm, each song stays within its own bubble. Tempo changes aren’t common, so the over-consistency in the tracks themselves is disappointing. The guys in In Solitude clearly have a wealth of talent across multiple metal fields, so it would’ve been even greater to hear another fresh track or two by the album’s end.

After listening to Sister in its entirety, it’s tough to call In Solitude a doom metal album exclusively. It really isn’t one. It’s dark, but not brooding; dramatic, but not sluggish. By taking cues from 70’s metal instead of modern doom metal, In Solitude manage to bring something fresh to the world of epic, dark and atmospheric metal symphonies. There are so many memorable elements to Sister, but the most resounding success is the band’s ability to combine thunderous rhythms with nimble guitar and vocal melodies. Even at its worst, Sister is refreshing, a diamond in the rough for the genre that takes notes from unexpected influences and interesting metal subgenres. It’s difficult to envision where In Solitude will go from here, but rest assured that Sister is a solid album that challenges conventions while never buckling its own weight. Check it out.

Getting the Joke: GWAR Shock and Rock with 13th Album

Beneath the countless genres of rock and metal, shock rock is the one that everyone needs to take a deep breath for before talking about. Alice Cooper, KISS and Marilyn Manson remain the cornerstones of their eras for scaring the crap out of their audiences while delivering their music, but with that embrace of spectacle, the “rock” part of “shock rock” was frequently ignored. It was a musical movement where the live shows fueled record sales, not the music itself.

GWAR were one of the first shock rock bands to completely embrace the joke the genre had become. The members put on ridiculously intricate outfits and face makeup, purposely made their live shows into spectacles in controversy and obscenity, all while staying vehemently dedicated to their wacky mythology of being aliens that landed in Antarctica to play metal for us all. With nearly 30 years of ravaging Planet Earth with their music, GWAR continue their legacy with their 13th studio album, Battle Maximus. GWAR have not changed lanes much since 1985 and they don’t much of that on Battle Maximus either, but if you’re a fan, you won’t be left disappointed.

GWAR’s live performances and obsession with a ridiculously crafted lore behind the band has been their calling card, almost overshadowing the band’s surprisingly enticing mix of punk rock pacing and heavy metal influences. Battle Maximus straddles the line of speed metal with hard punk rock, moving throughout the band’s inner circle with ferocious intensity. “Madness at the Core of Time” is clearly a punk rock song. Despite the thrashy nature of Brent “Pustulus” Purgason’s guitar solo, the pace is so drenched in adrenaline that for a second, you might think you’re listening to some up-and-coming hardcore band in a local dive. It’s made all the clearer when Brad “Jizmak” Roberts started pounding on the drumkit like a maniac, frequently shifting pace and tempo throughout “Nothing Left Alive.” GWAR don’t just parody metal; they can play it really well too.

Dave “Oderus” Brockie, despite donning the spiked shoulder-pads and wrinkled makeup of a shock rocker, actually has a very good and distinctive metal voice. Less guttural and much more influenced by the snarl of Ozzy Osbourne, there’s just enough crowd-pumping spirit behind his voice to get the circle pits turning. “Bloodbath” lets Oderus vary up his singing style with punk calls to the crowd and the occasional sliding melody. His lyrics dance around the controversial content that has made GWAR so widely known and loved in metal. It can get rather raunchy, but GWAR capitalize on that vibe and make it their own. When anyone else does it, it’s uncomfortable. When GWAR does it, it’s their weapon of choice.

“They Swallowed the Sun” is one of the best on the album, with lyrics working around machine control and the same cosmically evil themes GWAR brought with them from outer space. Left-turns are abound throughout the track; shifting tempos, metal breakdowns and a great amount of punk-infused energy. The last chorus escalates immensely, reaching a crowd-pleasing height and ultimately diving down before a climactic final note. However, after the halfway point hits, Battle Maximus starts to blend its parts together. Aside from the instrumental title track and “I, Bonesnapper” (featuring vocals from the artist of the same name), the band loses steam from its distinctive mix of punk and thrash. The songwriting stumbles and the band’s signature tones and themes muddle together into something that will get the circle pits turning, but you won’t necessarily know why.

But does this mean that GWAR are bad? Not really. For a band so completely inseparable from their stage presence, their music is actually quite good and can stand alone. You can’t say that for every shock rock band, but GWAR have some very well constructed songwriting in their arsenal. It’s just a shame that much of that excellent songwriting is shoved to the front of the album. It makes an incredible first impression then starts dragging its feet before its end. Battle Maximus is as blistering and ferocious as GWAR has ever been; it won’t make any new GWAR fans, but it’s still incredibly encouraging to see a shock rock band that can still keep its actual music from getting stale, even 30 years after donning the makeup.

kpdn

REVIEW: Downfall of Gaia w/ Black Table

Bad luck was narrowly avoided for Germany’s Downfall of Gaia and their American tour-mates, Black Table, last week. After scheduling conflicts at The Shop almost led to the cancellation of their Pittsburgh tour date, the show was relocated in a somewhat truncated form at 222 Ormsby. Rather than the original plan of Horse Drawn Death Machine opening for the touring acts, Downfall of Gaia and Black Table played shortened, back-to-back sets at the end of a previously booked show featuring various hardcore/post-hardcore acts. (Somehow the organizers managed get seven bands to play between 7 and 11:30 – surely a record for a DIY Pittsburgh show!)

For the purposes of this review, I’m still counting the first five bands as a separate show, although Pittsburgh’s own Pray for Teeth could have easily been an opener for the originally-planned show with their epic post-rocky hardcore. Both Downfall of Gaia and Black Table have been variously described as post-metal, post-black metal, experimental metal, and the other such monikers. For the sake of understanding I’ll just say both bands draw from a similar array of sludge metal (of the Neurosis/Isis variety), black metal (the epic, atmospheric kind), progressive metal, and yes, some post-rock.

Black Table was the more “sunnier” of the two, although in this sense I still mean it as a scorching sun depicted in a jagged baroque style. Although the studio tracks I heard online featured vocals from guitarist Mers Sumida, the pieces they played live were all instrumental, but were no less powerful with their churning rhythms and dueling guitar melodies. Also deserving of credit was the band’s wonderfully dramatic physical presence: guitarist Ryan Fleming would nearly leap as he thrust his guitar in the air at particular stabs of riffing, while drummer Mike Kadnar’s fluid movements looked almost like some sort of seated dance.

Downfall of Gaia had a more prominent black metal vibe, though I’m told they have their roots in crust punk and d-beat, an influence that sounds equally prominent in their current music. In one section of a song they might chug along like latter-day Tragedy, only to give way to a buzzing tremolo ambience worthy of Wolves in the Throne Room, then descending again into a crunching, lurching sludge squeal. Also present were blast beats, something noticeably absent from the drumming in Black Table, as well as harsh vocals, somewhere in between black metal’s animalistic howls and the angry snarls common to hardcore and sludge. If Black Table burned like scorching heat, DoG burned like a gust of chilling wind on a below-zero winter’s eve.

Downfall of Gaia and Black Table are finished touring, but you can check out each band’s music on their respective Bandcamp pages:

Downfall of Gaia

Black Table

9/14 Downfall of Gaia w/ Black Table @ The Shop, Pittsburgh!

Downfall Of Gaia

Though their origin is very crust-infused, the band has taken a much different approach to more recent material. Fast d-beat influenced songs have given way to longer, slower tunes. Recent material can be described as enormous creations that encroach upon the listener like a towering monolith. Their new sound draws elements from doom, black metal, down tempo, sludge, and even hardcore. The end result is an aesthetic not lacking in majesty or depth.

 

“Hailing from Germany, these folks really know how to push the limits of a song and drive it in all emotions and musical dynamics!” cvltnation.com


“Downfall of Gaia traverse more harrowing emotion than many bands do in their entire discographies. Both intensely atmospheric and relentlessly hard-hitting, the band takes hardcore fundamentals and pushes them to emotional extremes, flickering between fragility and ferocity.” Sputnikmusic.com

 

http://www.metalblade.com/downfallofgaia/

https://www.facebook.com/DownfallofGaia

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7dw4Eqb388

THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER debut “Goat of Departure” music video

bdm-goat-video

 

THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER have unleashed their brand new music video, “Goat of Departure.” The video, directed by Ben Mayer, was filmed in the band’s hometown of Detroit, MI last month. In typical TBDM fashion, the video is over-the-top and even features the return of a classic TBDM character, and a real, live goat. Watch “Goat of Departure” now at metalblade.com/bdm.

Trevor Strnad adds: “It’s our pleasure to release our latest exercise in music video stupidity to you all at long last… We’d like to thank Guiness the Goat for penciling us in and all of the rabid TBDM fans for getting wild with us. Press the play button and embrace the glory of the goat!”

THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER’s new album, Everblack,” debuted at #32 on the Billboard Top 200! The album also landed at #3 on the Billboard Current Hard Music Albums chart (behind Black Sabbath and Queens of the Stone Age). Additional chart debuts include #3 on the Billboard Hard Music Albums, #9 on the Billboard Independent Albums, and #30 on the Hits Albums Chart. Additionally, the album peaked at #15 on the iTunes album chart, and #2 on the iTunes Metal chart, second only to living legends Black Sabbath.

The cover art for Everblack was painted by renowned artist Nick Keller with Weta Workshop(nickkellerart.com), whose recent projects include: The Hobbit, Avatar, Chronicles of Narnia, and more. Recording was completed at Audiohammer Studios (lead guitars and vocals), Rustbelt Studios (drums), and Regal Fecal (guitar and bass). Mixing was handled by Jason Suecof and Ryan Williams, mastering was completed by Alan Douches at West Westside. Trevor Strnad’s horror-inspired lyrics persist on Everblack, beginning with In Hell is Where She Waits for Me,a reference to the murder from which the band took for their moniker.

THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER
w/ Vans Warped Tour
06/26 Las Cruces, NM NMSU Practice Field
06/27 Mesa, AZ Quail Run Park
06/28 Las Vegas, NV Silverton Casino Parking Lot
06/29 Salt Lake City, UT Utah State Fairpark
06/30 Denver, CO Sports Authority Field at Mile High
07/03 Noblesville, IN Klipsch Music Center
07/05 Toronto, ON The Flats At Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
07/06 Darien Center, NY Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
07/07 Holmdel, NJ PNC Bank Arts Center
07/09 Virginia Beach, VA Farm Bureau Live At Virginia Beach
07/10 Columbia, MD Merriweather Post Pavilion
07/11 Mansfield, MA Comcast Center
07/12 Camden, NJ Susquehanna Bank Center
07/13 Uniondale, NY Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
07/14 Hartford, CT The Comcast Theatre
07/16 Scranton, PA Toyota Pavilion
07/17 Burgettstown, PA First Niagara Pavilion
07/18 Cuyahoga Falls, OH Blossom Music Center
07/19 Auburn Hills, MI The Palace of Auburn Hills
07/20 Tinley Park, IL First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
07/21 Shakopee, MN Canterbury Park
07/23 Kansas City, KS Cricket Wireless Amphitheater
07/24 Maryland Heights, MO Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
07/25 Atlanta, GA Aaron’s Amphitheater at Lakewood
07/26 St. Petersburg, FL Vinoy Park
07/27 West Palm Beach, FL Cruzan Amphitheatre
07/28 Orlando, FL Central Florida Fairgrounds
07/29 Charlotte, NC Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
07/30 Cincinnati, OH Riverbend Music Center
07/31 Milwaukee, WI Marcus Amphitheatre
08/02 Dallas, TX Gexa Energy Pavilion
08/03 San Antonio, TX AT&T Center
08/04 Houston, TX Reliant Center Parking Lot

http://twitter.com/bdmmetal
http://www.facebook.com/theblackdahliamurderofficial
http://www.youtube.com/blackdahliamurdertv

AMON AMARTH: First Of Three-Part Mini Documentary Posted

amon-amarth-trailer

AMON AMARTH: First Of Three-Part Mini Documentary Posted

As previously announced, today AMON AMARTH unveils the first of their special three-part mini documentary titled Forging Mjölnir. Filmed and directed by Luke Daley (http://makezure.com), the up-close-and-personal clip — which includes stunning black and white nature footage and Norse artwork — celebrates the imminent release of the band’s ninth studio offering, Deceiver of the Gods.

Watch the six-and-a-half minute segment where vocalist Johan Hegg and bassist Ted Lundström elaborate on the mythological themes found within their latest epic via the band’s microsite at http://deceiver.amonamarth.com.

Not many bands can claim their ninth album as the most powerful, dynamic, and plainly aggressive of their career, but then AMON AMARTH have consistently upped their game with every successive release. Having exploded onto the Swedish melodic death metal scene with 1998’s Once Sent from the Golden Hall, every album has arrived bursting at the seams with power, melody and immersive storytelling centered around the richness of Norse mythology. Deceiver of the Gods captures the quintet at the peak of their powers.“Every time we start working on new music we begin with the idea that we’re going to write the best album ever,” Hegg states. “We knew we wanted a more aggressive, live feeling to this record but there’s no formula behind what we do. We just try to write something that takes us a step further than the last record, and is something that will excite us and our fans. Deceiver Of The Gods is the result.”

For proof, sample fourth track, “Shape Shifter” now streaming via Stereogum HERE.

Deceiver of the Gods was recorded at Backstage Studios in Derbyshire, UK, and produced, mixed and mastered by Andy Sneap (Opeth, Megadeth, Exodus, Arch Enemy, Killswitch Engage). The follow-up to the band’s critically adored 2011 Surtur Rising full-length offers up ten maniacally heavy battle hymns rife with the band’s absorbing harmonies and Hegg’s commanding Viking roar. Deceiver of the Gods comes adorned with another outstanding Tom Thiel-created cover portraying a mythical battle between the Norse Gods Loki and Thor. As an added bonus, Messiah Marcolin (Candlemass) makes an appearance as guest vocalist on eighth track, “Hel.”

For special Deceiver of the Gods preorder packages as well as a stream of the title track, go to this location: http://www.metalblade.com/amonamarthDeceiver of the Gods will be released in North America via Metal Blade Records June 25th, in Europe June 21st/24th and Japan on June 26th.

Following a run of European festival dates next month, AMON AMARTH will be opening the main stage of this year’s edition of the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Fest set to commence June 29 in San Bernardino. See confirmed dates below.

AMON AMARTH Summer 2013 European Festival Tour:
06/01 Forta Rock Festival – Nijmegen, NL
06/06 Sweden Rock Festival – Solvesborg, SE
06/07 Rock Am Ring – Nurburgring, DE
06/08 Sonisphere – Sonisphere, FR
06/09 Rock Im Park – Nurenberg, DE
06/11 MeetFactory – Prauge, CZ
06/12 Eter Club – Wroclaw, PL
06/14 Copenhell – Copenhagen, DK
06/15 Noval Rock – Nickelsdorf, AT
06/16 Download Festival – Donington, UK
06/21 Nummirock – Nummijarvi, FI

AMON AMARTH
Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Fest 2013:
06/29 San Manuel Amphitheater – San Bernardino, CA
06/30 Shoreline Amphitheatre – Mountain View, CA
07/02 Idaho Center Amphitheatre – Nampa, ID
07/03 White River Amphitheatre – Auburn, WA
07/05 Desert Sky Pavilion – Phoenix, AZ
07/06 Isleta Amphitheatre – Albuquerque, NM
07/07 Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre – Englewood, CO
07/09 The Intersection – Grand Rapids, MI w/ Children of Bodom, Job for a Cowboy, Battlecross, Huntress
07/10 Molson Canadian Amphitheatre – Toronto, ON
07/12 First Niagara Pavilion – Burgettstown, PA
07/13 Toyota Pavilion – Scranton, PA
07/14 Darien Lake Performing Arts Center – Darien Center, NY
07/16 Comcast Center – Mansfield, MA
07/17 Bangor Waterfront – Bangor, ME
07/19 Susquehanna Bank Center – Camden, NJ
07/20 Saratoga Performing Arts Center – Saratoga Springs, NY
07/21 The Comcast Theatre – Hartford, CT
07/23 PNC Bank Arts Center – Holmdel, NJ
07/24 Jiffy Lube Live – Bristow, VA
07/26 Klipsch Music Center – Noblesville, IN
07/27 First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre – Tinley Park, IL
07/28 DTE Energy Music Theatre – Clarkston, MI
07/29 Expo Five – Louisville, KY w/ Children of Bodom, Behemoth, Emmure, Motionless In White, Born of Osiris, Job for a Cowboy, Battlecross, Huntress
07/30 Lakewood Amphitheatre – Atlanta, GA
07/31 Live Nation Amphitheatre – Tampa, FL
08/02 Austin 360 Amphitheatre – Austin, TX
08/03 Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion – The Woodlands, TX
08/04 Gexa Energy Pavilion – Dallas, TX
08/05 Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre – Kansas City, MO w/ Rob Zombie, Machine Head, Children Of Bodom
08/07 Pop’s – Sauget, IL w/ Children of Bodom, Battlecross, Huntress
08/08 Marathon Music Works – Nashville, TN w/ Children of Bodom, Battlecross, Huntress
08/09 Peabody’s – Cleveland, OH w/ Children of Bodom, Battlecross, Huntress
08/11 Heavy MTL Festival – Montreal, QC

http://www.amonamarth.com
http://www.facebook.com/OfficialAmonAmarth
http://twitter.com/amonamarthband
http://deceiver.amonamarth.com

Job For A Cowboy Leave Pittsburgh Tongueless and Bound (Pix and Interview Included)

Last night Metal Blade Recording artist, Job For A Cowboy, swept into Pittsburgh for the first night of their tour with Hatebreed, Every Time I Die, Terror and This is Hell.  What followed was nothing short of brutality.  The good kind.

Having released “Demonacracy” a year ago in April 2012, JFAC has been hitting the road hard.  Despite the revolving door policy that has plagued the band since inception, the current line-up showed a very tight and concise maturity from the first note.  Running through a good bit of their new material, peppered in with some classics and a little Pantera jam, JFAC definitively showed why they continue to rise in the ranks of death metal, if not metal in general.

This was my first time experiencing the shear strength and tonality that Jonny Davy can manipulate from his pipes.  Many of you might think that someone who has the ability to sing in the fashion many death metal bands do are all the same, but I can assure you that this is not true.  Jonny has some very distinct nuances that can be discerned in each song and it really adds to what the band is doing.  On top of that,  Al Glassman and Tony Sannicandro make a great duo of rhythm guitar and lead guitar respectively.  Tony seems to have added some new dimensionsal aspects with his playing while Al, Nick Schendzielos (bass), and Jon “The Charn” Rice (drums) lay down the crunching driving force that keeps each tune moving at merciless speed.

We here at Pittsburgh Music Mag are seriously looking forward to Job For A Cowboy coming back when they hit the Mayhem Festival and come back to our backwoods July 12.  Until then, we’ll be keeping the Jameson capped for them…

All photos 2013© AWeldingphoto and Pittsburgh Music Magazine

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Jonny Davy post-set with Alan of PMM
Jonny Davy post-set with Alan of PMM

Hatchet To Release New Album

Growing up in the San Francisco area suburbs as young metal heads can make it quite likely to take influence from the pioneers of metal that spanned the area in the 1980’s. So it’s no surprise that Hatchet describes their sound as “Pure, Uncompromising, Bay Area Thrash Metal”.

Since hitting the Bay Area Metal scene in early 2007, Hatchet quickly made a name for itself. They worked hard to gig as often as they could and also not compete with, but group together bands of the like to help strengthen the scene. Focusing on playing with other young starting thrash bands in their area, the fan base grew. Eventually they reached out to the neighboring Los Angeles thrash scene which was also flourishing and invited various bands up to the bay area to diversify their shows, and spread overall thrash metal awareness.

After self-releasing two demos, the band’s debut album, “Awaiting Evil”, was released in mid-2008 via Metal Blade Records. The album was well-received by thrash enthusiasts around the globe and proved a great beginning for Hatchet. Since the release of the debut, the band has completed 3 full DIY U.S. tours that have helped put them on the map for up and coming thrash metal bands. Unfortunately in this time, the band also saw its share of lineup changes, which stalled overall progress of the group. Throughout the changes, founding member Julz Ramos always had the passion to keep the band going, even moving to take on vocal duties. Now in 2012, the band has never been stronger with its most dedicated, mature, and musically inclined members since its birth.

Their sophomore effort, “Dawn of the End”, released on their new label, The End Records, showcases a much more aggressive and professionally oriented band. The group has stated its hunger to hit the road and prove that thrash metal is still a force to be reckoned with.

FUSE posts “30 years of Metal Blade” video

FUSE TV has launched an exclusive interview with Metal Blade Records CEO, Brian Slagel, over at Fuse.tv. The in-depth interview, conducted at the Metal Blade offices, will give fans insights into Slagel’s favorite bands, how the label has evolved, bands the label has missed out on and discovered throughout its three decades in business.

Metal Blade Records will be wrapping up 30th anniversary celebrations for 2012 with a huge show on November 30th at the House of Blues Sunset Strip. Show headliners Armored Saint will be joined by newcomers Gypsyhawk, as well as a special, short set from thrash legends Sacred Reich. Additional special guests confirmed for the show include: Amon’s Amarth’s Johan Hegg, Ray Alder of Fates Warning/Redemption, as well as dUg Pinnick of King’s X. The guest musicians will join Armored Saint on stage throughout their set to perform a variety of cover songs. That Metal Show’s Eddie Trunk and Don Jamieson are confirmed to host the event.

Tickets are currently on sale now at houseofblues.com.

Bison B.C. New Song Streaming on Pitchfork

In conjunction with today’s release of Lovelessness, Pitchfork is giving fans a chance to preview one more track. Check out an exclusive stream of the song “Finally Asleep” HERE.

BISON B.C. worked with acclaimed producer Sanford Parker at Soma and Electrical Audio Studios in Chicago to record Lovelessness. Parker is best known for his work with bands such as Yob, Pelican, Rwake, Yakuza, Nachtmystium, Zoroaster, Unearthly Trance, and more. Needless to say, Parker is more than qualified to put-to-tape the raw, furious energy that is BISON B.C.

Lovelessness is available for purchase in exclusive bundle packages HERE.

Check out PMM’s review of ‘Lovelessness’ here: http://pittsburghmusicmagazine.com/2012/10/17/bison-b-c-s-lovelessness/

Bison B.C.’s ‘Lovelessness’ Will Put Them On Your Love List

They hit you like a shovel, already caked in mud and blood and piss, slamming your brain. Bottom basement guitars rooted down deep with drum and bass rhythm and riff on top of heavy riff on top of heavier riff. Based in the love of all things metal and good, born out of the Sabbaths, and Panteras, and Soundgardens, and Melvins of the world. They are dirty, fast, drop D, pounding, pulsating, back to basics, metal up your ass, all that is beautiful and disgusting about metal that we love.
‘An Old Friend’ opens up ‘Lovelessness’ and has no reverence to your need for codling. It thrives on your hate and anger and fist pounding frustration. If you are at the edge you have just been given a hearty push as you hear the maniacal laugh in your descent. Bison B.C. creates layers of patterns that have a texture of grime and excrement polished with a bit of smut for good measure. Reminiscent of the works of Mastodon and their kin, Bison B.C. has the potential to reach that bands’ level as their fans will surely tell you, and has their own style to add to the genre of ‘mind metal’.

‘Anxiety Puke/Lovelessness’ is the second track on the effort and has a throb of punk sensibility reminiscent of Black Flag, but then flips itself over and takes root in old metal magic. Gorgeous guitars blend over one another and their notes hang and bump into one another with malice punctuated by agonizing vocals. Lyrically, the thematic of ‘Lovelessness’ are glaringly clear, this is no R.E.M. ‘Happy Shiny People’ unless Slayer covered the tune and changed the lyrics to deal with destruction, death, and desolation. The “psalms of suffering” continue with ‘Last and First Things’. Starting on a slower tone than its predecessors on the disc, it quickly pulls the listener in and puts a choke hold on their eardrums. Their is a dichotomy present here of complex yet simplistic measures that are burrowed in familiarity but have a twisting, festering, invasive new passion that is infectious; it’s as if the body has lost control and must now sway and pound in homage to the music before it.
‘Blood Music’ continues the barrage of the senses and will make any sensible metalhead pray that Bison B.C. hits their town. They have built quite a reputation for their live show, touring with the likes of Baroness, Priestess, and Ghenghis Tron. Hard hiiting and unsympathetic in its brutality, ‘Blood Music’ could be the best description of Bison’s sound yet. Next up is ‘Clozapine Dream’ named after the drug oft prescribed to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia. The drug is typically used as a last resort, thus fitting very neatly into the feel and tone of Bison B.C.’s third release on Metal Blade. The cohesiveness of the music with the lyrical content puts this accomplishment on par with the bands’ cohorts such as Between the Buried and Me, Baroness, Becoming the Archetype, and The Dillinger Escape Plan. To conclude their latest is ‘Finally Asleep’ that trudges in with a military like beat to put to rest any doubts of the true weight of the material, bloody and beaten from the experience, scarred by pure existence, and disturbed beyond repair. It is the perfect cap off to what amounts to an amazing piece of sludge metal that will rot in your brain, devour your veins, and haunt your soul.

BISON B.C. worked with acclaimed producer Sanford Parker at Soma and Electrical Audio Studios in Chicago to record Lovelessness. Parker is best known for his work with bands such as Yob, Pelican, Rwake, Yakuza, Nachtmystium, Zoroaster, Unearthly Trance, and more. Needless to say, Parker is more than qualified to put-to-tape the raw, furious
energy that is BISON b.c.

What others are saying about Bison B.C.:

“thrash, smash and fuck-you-up energy that’ll soil your britches faster than a bottle of Mexican moonshine” Decibel
Magazine
“And worthy of a herd of their namesake, their music is thunderous, bone-shaking and most of all, heavy. Really heavy.
These cats have got their own gravitational pull.” Sacramento Press
“Heavy, man. Real heavy. Jean-jacket heavy.” RollingStone.com

Between the Buried and Me: The Parallax 2: Future Sequence Could Be The Metal Release of the Year

If you have spoken music to our COO, Alan, lately you have probably heard him raving over Between The Buried and Me’s latest release, The Parralax 2: Future Sequence. “Killer, crushing, mind blowing, Thelonious Monk meets Maiden/Rush/Prong’s love child meets melting your face, THEE release of 2012…”- the guy won’t stop talking about it. And for good reason, this effort is five star plus with no reservations.

Unfortunately for BTBAM, the day their latest came out we got this tough touring news update- “Between The Buried And Me’s bus caught fire this morning in England. There are no injuries and no equipment was damaged. There is no effect on the band’s tour. Tour manager Courtney Warner adds: “As of now, we are at a service area awaiting transportation to a hotel. A new bus is on its way. We shouldn’t miss any shows because of this. All gear, luggage, personal items and most importantly, people, are all good. We just stink like smoke.”

Paul Waggoner elaborates: “Fuel line done broke. Dadgum flame come shootin out. Peeewwww eeehhhhh sometin’ stank. Crazy British feller come hollerin, “Bus on fire, ya’ll git.” Climb up the ol’ hill barefoot and look back at them flames shootin sky high. Firemen folk come rushin up real quick like and squirt that fire plum out. It was lucky nobody was hurt, not even a stubbed toe. Luggage stank like a Mississippi cow pie on a mid-July heat.

Hopefull, come tomorra, a new horse n’ buggy come. We’ll giddy on up to Belgium town for a good ol’ fashioned hootnanny.

Whoo-Doggies!!!”

The 12-track album was described by Tommy Rogers (vocals, keyboards) as: “A conceptual journey that takes the listener to worlds that seem familiar and worlds that make you scratch your head.” The band’s 2011 predecessor, The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues EP, laid the groundwork for the story behind the Parallax releases, Prospect I and Prospect II.

Listen to what others are saying:

Loudwire described The Parallax II as “quintessentially brilliant,” while awarding the release a perfect score. Alternative Press said the band “continue to dominate progressive metal” and are musically “expanding on every already-top-notch aspect.” Outburn called the album “otherworldly,” while Decibel added that BTBAM are “one of progressive metal’s most singular, unique and genuinely progressive bands.”

Do us a favor here at PMM- check them out, get Parallax 2, and get our boss to stop already- he had us at Between The Buried and Me.

A number of aural and visual clips have been released leading up to the release with the most recent addition audio clips from the entire release, which can be found here: http://youtu.be/HFTbp3UFmyE. The band has also released a stunning, effects laden video for “Astral Body” and a series of instructional videos (guitar, bass and drums) for “Telos”: http://youtu.be/qQZmTXCSO00.

North American tour dates for 2013 are forthcoming.

All dates below w/Periphery and The Safety Fire opening:
Oct. 10 Antwerp, Belgium Trix
Oct. 11 Amsterdam, Netherlands Melkweg
Oct. 12 Cologne, Germany Luxor
Oct. 13 Munster, Germany Sputnikhalle
Oct. 14 Copenhagen, Denmark Vega
Oct. 16 Stockholm, Sweden Debaser Slussen
Oct. 17 Gothenberg, Sweden Sticky Fingers
Oct. 18 Hamburg, Germany Logo
Oct. 19 Berlin, Germany Lido
Oct. 20 Prague, Czech Republic Rock Café
Oct. 22 Bratislava, Slovakia Randall Club
Oct. 23 Budapest, Hungary Durer Kert
Oct. 24 Vienna, Austria Szene
Oct. 25 Munich, Germany Backstage
Oct. 27 Novara, Italy Rock’n’Roll Arena
Oct. 28 Zurich, Switzerland Dynamo
Oct. 29 Stuttgart, Germany Universum
Oct. 30 Frankfurt, Germany Batschkapp
Oct. 31 Paris, France La Maroquinerie
Nov. 2 London, UK Shepherds Bush Empire
Nov. 4 Austin, TX Fun Fun Fun Fest

All dates below w/Animal as Leaders opening:
Nov. 8 Osaka, Japan Avenue A
Nov. 9 Nagoya, Japan 3Star
Nov. 10 Tokyo, Japan Aube
Nov. 11 Tokyo, Kichijoji Club Seata
Nov. 13 Perth, Australia Amplifier
Nov. 14 Adelaide, Australia Fowlers
Nov. 15 Brisbane, Australia The Zoo
Nov. 16 Melbourne, Australia Corner Hotel
Nov. 17 Sydney, Australia The Metro
Nov. 19 Wellington, NZ Bodega
Nov. 20 Auckland, NZ The Kings Arms

www.facebook.com/BTBAMofficial
www.metalblade.com/btbam
www.twitter.com/btbamofficial

BISON B.C. Premiere New Song on Brooklyn Vegan

In the great Canadian spirit of loss and heart ache, the downer foursome known as BISON B.C. have managed to scourge their rotting brains desperately puking out new psalms of suffering. Akin to a lunatic writing their opus on the bedroom wall with their own shit comes this strange noise from the west coast melting pot of shit and failure; in a country based on terrifying distance and lonesome, stoic suffering. Lovelessness does not portray the death of love or the lack of the same. Rather it attempts to map out the pathetic and desperate pursuit of love, which in itself becomes violent like a cancer, an assault on anything that is good in the world. A heartfelt repulsion towards anything that could bring pleasure, because with happiness we suffer truly – the wanting of more. Gluttons! Pigs to the trough! Lead us to treachery! Lead us to solitude!

Today Brooklyn Vegan is hosting an exclusive premiere of another new track from Lovelessness. The track entitled “Last and First Things” is available for streaming HERE.

BISON B.C. worked with acclaimed producer Sanford Parker at Soma and Electrical Audio Studios in Chicago to record Lovelessness. Parker is best known for his work with bands such as Yob, Pelican, Rwake, Yakuza, Nachtmystium, Zoroaster, Unearthly Trance, and more. Needless to say, Parker is more than qualified to put-to-tape the raw, furious energy that is BISON B.C.

The first single from Lovelessness entitled “Anxiety Puke / Lovelessness” is streaming exclusively HERE. Get a first listen and be sure to pre-order your copy of the album. With Lovelessness, BISON B.C. will surely cement themselves as one of Canada’s finest metal exports.

To see our previous article on Bison B.C.: http://pittsburghmusicmagazine.com/2012/08/31/bison-b-c-blasts-back-to-the-dark-ages/

For More Info Visit:
https://www.facebook.com/bisonbc
http://www.metalblade.com/bisonbc
https://twitter.com/bison_bc

BATTLECROSS (TRESPASS AMERICA FESTIVAL) @ STAGE AE 8/14


BATTLECROSS ON TOUR WITH FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, TRIVIUM, POP EVIL, EMMURE AND GOD FORBID
With the mindset to create a sonic metal assault unlike any other, childhood friends, Tony Asta and Hiran Deraniyagala, set forth on the path to shred and abandoned the idea of following any trends. The guitar slinging duo brought an infused style of old school metal with dark elements of thrash and death metal and destined to find the right members.

Struggling for years to find reliable and dedicated members, the true formation of BATTLECROSS was born in 2007 when Drummer Mike Kreger responded a want ad, and added a machine-like, brutal precision on the drums, and proved to be just the right match for Tony and Hiran’s mature and technical style of thrash. Bringing a whole new level of musicianship and intensity with his quick finger picking and tasty solos, Bassist Don Slater joined the group, bringing a skill and technique that impresses even the most prolific bassists. The thrash metal band was finally complete when popular area vocalist, Kyle “Gumby” Gunther joined the band. Known for his command of the stage and alternating deep growls with high pitched screams, Gumby punishes the audience and inspires pits of rage.

Together, the five-piece create an unforgettable and energetic live show that decimates their audience with raw energy and persistence, that has earned a style of their own: “Blue Collar Thrash Metal”, in reference to the hard-working, ‘never give up’ attitude of those who hail from the Motor City.

This reputation for technical talent, humility and kick ass live shows resonated throughout the regional metal scene and BATTLECROSS soon became a fan and band favorite. Sharing the stage with the likes of Dying Fetus, GWAR, Devil Driver, The Absence, Vital Remains, The Faceless and Metal Fests throughout the Midwest, BATTLECROSS began to bang heads nationally with a nod from MySpace-A Place for Metal’s 2008 ‘Best Unsigned Metal Band’ contest, for being ‘Metal Sucks’ worthy, Mike Kreger’s crowning as Sickdrummer.com & Zildjian’s ‘Sickest Dirt Fest Drummer’ and featured on local, national and global metal radio.

…and after years of persistence and dedication, BATTLECROSS is celebrating their hard work and prolific future by signing with Metal Blade Records.

“We are extremely honored to join such a respected label and humbled by their belief in our music. We’re stoked to be part of a label that has a great roster of bands we all admire and respect!” says Tony. Hiran adds, “We understand the hard work and pavement pounding that is required of a Metal Blade band and we are going to work our asses’ off to show the world what we’re about”

Incorporating many elements of extreme thrash, death and tech metal, creating a precise blend of fist pumping brutality, intensity, and drive, BATTLECROSS satisfies both the tech-metal guru and the old-school die hard alike.

The band’s Metal Blade debut is set to release August 2nd, 2011, followed by a tour that will bring a face melting thrash metal assault. The band’s Metal Blade debut was recorded, mixed, and mastered at Random Awesome Recording Studio in Bay City, MI and produced by BATTLECROSS and Josh Schroeder.

Metal Blade debut, full-length album out August 2, 2011 (North America)