Friday, March 23, 2018

support Decapitated

The death metal band Decapitated (Poland) were found guilty by the metal press and fans even before the facts came out. People wanted to see them hang without waiting for facts. The accusations themselves were taken as the facts. Decapitated is vindicated now, but with a lot of financial problems from the legal process. Support Decapitated. Below is a statement that they issued.
We are innocent. We are free. We are back home. And we are ready to return with the band.
The last few months were one of the most terrible and irrational times in our lives.
Jail is a horrible place. 96 days in jail and almost a month outside the jail where we dealing with fear, unbelievable stress, depression, and even violence. It was a really hard time - especially for our families.
Being in jail in another country with charges that became a criminal case is an extreme experience. We do not wish this on anyone. It caused ourselves and our families many stressful days and sleepless nights. The cancelled tour meant loss of the income we use to support ourselves and our families, but worst of all, it cost us our professional reputation in a community we have loved and been members of all of our lives.
Unfortunately, while we were jailed, we could not communicate with the outside world, leaving our fans and our metal community to read many news stories and posts on social media that contained inaccurate information because there were no direct statements from us, the band, the ones in the middle of all of this. We ourselves could not report on how the situation was unfolding. This led people who were so shocked by the news to make untrue narrations. Without walking our experience with us, they felt obligated to comment on our case and blamed us, without even knowing the facts that said something opposite. They came to a very fast opinion about us in a very public way.
In this internet age, it is really easy to ruin someone, their life, their family, their career. Some media and people just jumped on a topic and made their own inconsistent storytelling, taking one piece of information and creating a story they wanted to tell about us around it.
For those who do not know yet: Our case was dropped. All charges against all members were dropped.
Words hurt. Words matter. Truth matters.
Does sexual harassment happen and do crimes against women exist? Yes, and it is horrible.
Do false accusations happen? Yes, this really happens. And it is also horrible.
Many people are falsely accused everyday and the metal community is not immune. Unfortunately, it happened to us. People with their own motivations who falsely accuse someone don't seem to understand they can ruin somebody's life without facing any public consequences themselves. A false accusation can change a life in one moment. One day, everything is normal. Then the next day, you wake up in jail with a police record. You are marked, stigmatized while waiting to see how things unfold, even if the charges are not true. And then, when it’s all over, it is not a "hot topic" on the internet anymore. Not many people spend time on social media to spread the truth, not many people even care what the truth was. It is hard to feel relief when this happens.
We cannot and we will never accept someone else's narration about who we are. That is why we have chosen to return with the band. We know who we are and we can hold our heads and our music high with that knowledge.
I want to thank all of you - families, friends, other bands, and our amazing fans - for your belief in us and your support throughout a horrible situation. Our incredible lawyers, Steve Graham, Karren Lindholdt, Chris Bugbee, Jeffry Finner, and all the teams who stood by us - our management and our label. It's priceless to see that we have so many people who were, are, and will be, with us. You know who you are.
I also want to thank Mr. Dominik Tarczynski from the Polish Parliament who visited us in Spokane and checked if our human rights were protected during the whole process, for supporting our families from the beginning. It means a lot more than words can express.
There will be more time in the future to talk about the path of our return, but now the most important thing for us is to get back to our lives, to return to the people and places and things that had been taken from us, to return to what became even more precious to us while we were away.
We are eager to get our lives back and we are grateful for the opportunity.
We are really sorry we were forced to cancel tours and festivals, but we will work very hard to bring all plans back to meet with all of you again, our community.
"From Pain To Strength" is still a valid motto.
Thank you, everyone, for your patience.

Washington quick news: Siren's Rain

The folk metal travelers Siren's Rain have a debut album called Beneath the Narrows. Check out the links below!
Biography: Conceived in the Pacific Northwest, Siren's Rain is composed of hard hitting and eclectic musicians ranging from traditional folk artists to blackened death metal players. Heavily influenced by multicultural traditional pieces, Siren's Rain delivers a hauntingly beautiful yet driving metal experience, weaving tapestries of songs together like coordinated brush strokes on an intricate tableau.

Washington quick news: The Hybrid Festival in Everett

Below is the announcement about The Hybrid Festival that will take place in Everett in April.
The Hybrid Festival, a blend of some of the best Northwest Soft Rock, Alternative, Hard Rock and Metal in one place. Tony Vs Garage, 1716 Hewitt Ave, Everett, Washington 98201
April 27th
After the Fallout (Seattle WA) 12:00 - close
Limberlost (Seattle WA) 11:00 - 11:45
What Thou Wilt (Seattle WA) 10:15 - 10:45
Children of Atom (Spokane WA) 9:30 - 10:00
Sovereign Citizen & TNP (Spokane WA) 8:45 - 9:15
Strawberry Rocket (Renton WA) 8:00 - 8:30
DT Jackson (Seattle WA) 7:15 - 7:45
Exapsos (Seattle WA) 6:30 - 7:00
April 28th
Method 13 (Everett WA) 11:30 - Close
Massacre at the Opera (Puyallup WA) 10:30 - 11:15
Amerakin Overdose (Portland OR) 9:30 - 10:15
The War Within (Everett WA) 8:45 - 9:15
Corvoid (Seattle WA) 8:00 - 8:30
Casualty of God (Seattle WA) 7:15 - 7:45
Jesus Wears Armani (Seattle WA) 6:30 - 7:00
Ragbone (Spokane WA) 5:45 - 6:15
Over Sea, Under Stone (Spokane WA) 5:00 - 5:30
Noctium (Everett WA) 4:15 - 4:45
Anchor Point (Seattle WA) 3:30 - 4:00
A two day extravaganza
April 27th,
Doors @ 5pm
Music @ 6pm
$10 adv
$12 Door
April 28th,
Doors @ 2pm
Music @ 3pm
$15 adv
$17 door
Two day pass $20
Tickets available through bands March 8th, 2018

Washington quick news: Oxygen Destroyer

The Washington state Godzilla-loving thrash band Oxygen Destroyer has announced that the debut full-length album is now finished and it is titled Bestial Manifestations of Malevolence and Death. Check out the art for the album below. If you are new to the band, below is a previous interview with the band. Also, check out the old video of the band in action. Thrash, mosh and get ready! The Godzilla tunes are coming!
Oxygen Destroyer - Live at The Charleston, Bremerton 12/30/2016 FULL SET
Oxygen Destroyer is a relatively new band in the Seattle area devoted to the cause of thrash for the glory of Godzilla. The band’s mad string exonerator and abstruse larynx projector, Jordan Farrow, momentarily slipped away from his undersea lair to respond to inquisitions brought before him in the name of this publication. Thanks to him, you can gain insight into Oxygen Destroyer’s purpose in life.
Can you tell us how 2016 treated your band? How is your plan to conquer the world coming along for 2017?
2016 was a fantastic year for us, we really stepped it up and started playing as many shows as we could. 2015 was pretty complicated because we went through some lineup changes and didn't get our first demo out until the end of the year. But this year was solid and we found time to release another demo and a split with local death metal band Carnotaurus, we also got to share the stage with legendary bands like Warbringer, Enforcer, Exmortus, Discharge, Toxic Holocaust, Eyehategod, and Drawn and Quartered. For 2017 we plan on releasing our Kaiju-channeled mayhem outside of the Seattle area, specifically Tacoma, Olympia, Port Angeles, Portland, and hopefully LA.
What was happening in your life at that time that led you to the forces of the Kaiju?
All my life I have been a huge fan of Kaiju films. I saw my first Godzilla movie when I was four years old and its been a part of my life ever since. Throughout my life I could never figure out what I wanted to do with my future, then I started playing guitar and writing music in the veins of Teutonic thrash and old school death metal, the raw heavy s## that never f## around. One day I was jamming in my garage and it finally hit me, we already have bands singing about religion, gore, and politics. Hell, we even have bands like Bolt Thrower, Amon Amarth, and Gama Bomb singing about Warhammer, Vikings, and video games.
But one subject that seems to be rarely touched on in metal is Japanese monster movies. In that moment I realized what I was born to do, I was destined to pay tribute to the almighty Kaiju with unrelenting death/thrash fury. And thus, in the name of Gojira himself, Oxygen Destroyer was born. The band began in September 2014 and the current members are Jordan Farrow (guitar, vocals), Joey Walker (guitar), Ben Williams (bass) and Chris Craven (drums).
Some bands go around telling people who to vote for, others would like people to know that zombies are an urgent problem that society must address. However, I have researched in my local library and I have not been able to find a single band obsessed with Godzilla as your band. Can you tell us how many Godzilla movies there are in total?
There are 31 movies total. 29 of them were made by Toho Studios, the other two were American adaptations produced by Hollywood, on a side note the 1998 film starring Mathew Broderick is so s## it doesn’t even count as a true Gojira film. Kaiju films are often ridiculed for being "cheesy" mostly because of the Suitmation special effects, but there is a lot of symbolism and meaning behind them.
The original 1954 Gojira film symbolizes nuclear warfare and the destruction that humanity inflicts upon the earth and themselves. Gojira himself is a representation of the atom bomb and Hiroshima. At the end of the movie the people use a device called the Oxygen Destroyer to exterminate him for good and the creator of the device ensures he dies as well so the technology of the weapon can never be used again. Unfortunately, the device is a failure anyway because another Gojira ends up taking the place of the first one. Gojira cannot die for good and if he ever does another one will always takes his place, this is because he represents the past failures and cruelty of mankind, it matters not what we do because we are forever cursed with our past mistakes. This was why I chose Oxygen Destroyer as the name of the band, not only does it sound thrash as f## but it perfectly fits the theme, Gojira is a thermonuclear deity that embodies death itself, he is a force of nature so powerful that even humanity's deadliest weapon was unable to end his reign of terror for good.
Oxygen Destroyer is a full-blown Godzilla-themed extreme metal band, but there was a proto-Godzilla-themed band before yours and they were called Blue Oyster Cult. Have you by any chance ever heard the song “Godzilla” by B.O.C.? With your expertise in this field, what can you say about that song? Do you believe that it needs more cowbell?
Blue Oyster Cult f## rules, and Godzilla is easily one of my favorite rock songs. Not only are the riffs catchy as hell, but the lyrics are fantastic, lines like "history shows again and again how nature point out the folly of man" perfectly describe Gojira. That song kicks so much ass that no cowbell is needed.
Have there been Godzilla movies recently?
A new American adaption was made in 2014 and it was f## awesome, far better then the 1998 film. Even better, the first Japanese Gojira movie since 2004 was released this year. The film is called Shin Godzilla and it is easily one of the year’s best films. Gojira, Kong, and Pacific Rim all have new films coming out soon so the future of giant monster movies looks bright.
Let’s go back in time to the first recording from 2015. Did you record those songs by yourselves? Does the 2015 demo represent accurately the music as you hear it in your imagination?
Back then the band was a three-piece. I did guitar and vocals just like I do now, but Joey was playing bass and we had Hereticon's Rodney Serrano on drums. His style was raw, aggressive, and fast as hell. When we made that first demo we were poor so we recorded it in Joey's garage. The demo was recorded live with a camera we placed in the middle of the room. I’m content with how it turned out overall; it’s raw, sloppy, and punishing as f##. Oxygen Destroyer is all about nonstop relentless brutality, bands like Vader, Sodom, Sepultura, Cancer, Sadus, Demolition Hammer, and early Death are massive influences. Our sound is meant to represent the hatred and brutality of the Kaiju, and nothing captures that vibe better then skull crushing death/thrash
Then, y’all recorded more songs in 2016. Things are looking up, but now you have to deal with the constant questions: Do you have an album planned?
Right now we're working on some new material and already have some shows coming up. Our first show of 2017 will be at the Highline on January 27th with Raptor (PDX), Sakrificer (LA) and Drawn and Quartered. Once our new songs are finished we definitely plan on recording and releasing our album some time next year.
How do you get the sound you want? What are you favorite guitars and its accompanying equipment? How raw do you want your music to be in the future?
Each release has been recorded differently. As I said the first demo was recorded live with a camera, but for the second demo we recorded each member individually, and instead of a garage we recorded in someone’s living room.
The second demo was a big step up from our first release, the overall sound is balanced very well and the musicianship is way tighter, ever since Chris joined our sound has become more polished and refined while still retaining the thrashing brutality we're going for.
Later in the year we recorded the "Saurian Warfare" split with Carnotaurus. By this time we became a 4 piece, our good friend Ben now playing bass and Joey playing guitar. Instead of recording new songs we recorded 2 songs that were on our first demo. The bands sound had evolved tremendously since then and our older songs sounded completely different, so we wanted to show it. This was the first time we recorded in a studio; each track was recorded live and then had bass and guitar dub over the tracks to give it a fuller sound. Since its release "Saurian Warfare" has had great reception and I think it’s our best release yet by far. The full-length's overall sound will probably be very similar to "Saurian Warfare". I use a Schecter C1 guitar, I've been using it for about 3 years now and I have no intentions of replacing it.
Your music is “name your price” on Bandcamp. Supporters of black/death/thrash should know that. What’s next for your band?
We have no signs of slowing down, we'll be playing many more shows in 2017 and work on our album will begin as soon as possible. Support local metal and hail the f## Kaiju!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

favorite album of the week: March 18th-24th

[Below is my choice for album of the week. At the end of the review there is a lyric video from the album.--MMB.]
Scarlet Records
23 March 2018
The adult contemporary band Eldritch (Italy) is known for quality progressive music (which they always intended when they gave themselves their particular name in honor of progressive metal), but in my view, especially since 2014’s Tasting the Tears and 2015’s Underlying Issues, they have taken an exciting turn by complementing the intelligence of their music with lyrics that grapple with the emotions of relationships and life experiences, including topics like health problems (insomnia, on this new work). Politics, social problems and emotions have always been part of Eldritch, but now we see them moving away a bit from politics and social issues and instead embracing a personal approach to the lyrics.
They have built a discography characterized by quality in the music, but to understand the band’s music it’s necessary to put together the moving parts that comprise Eldritch. One of the most interesting things about the guitar sound is that there is a substantial thrash element in it, but it may not be obvious at first. The thrash is there all over, the guitar has a relatively clear, ear-friendly tone, and the band often goes into headbanging moments, with fast and uptempo moments, but there is more to the songwriting. Sometimes you might be taken aback by how the band will go from a melodic thrash song to a different song of vulnerability and fear, or a song that illustrates their progressive roots. They manage to cover a lot of ground, and it might be frustrating to a listener wanting all the songs to be the similar, but very pleasing to the audiences that look forward to hearing a band take them through a wider range. They also have a singer who, in my judgement, is perfect for the band and who has a good singing voice, a soulful voice, and the singing is one the highlights of the album.
The band has made an album that is another important piece to its discography. From the sounds of it, the album has everything that supporters of the style want: the band’s signature singing and the trademark songs. I get the impression that this is a very good Eldritch album because the quality and the songwriting is as good as it always has been, perhaps even better now in the latter, more mature era of the band.
New listeners should know what to expect. So much metal music works with anger and aggression in the sound and lyrics. While it is true that some extreme metal explores depression and some feelings other than aggression and hate, the screaming, growling and hollering hardly sounds vulnerable, but vulnerability is a constant theme in Eldritch music and the singing, when necessary, is vulnerable, and communicates loneliness, confusion, desperation, as well as confidence, trust and love, and still sounds like a real heavy metal band, albeit an adult contemporary band for people looking for more than anger, hatred and an obnoxious personality of braggadocio. Eldritch is a band that has been recording music since 1991, and its origins reach back even further. As the years have passed they have only gotten better at their art, refining it, and this is what the latest chapter documents. In plain words, if you are interested in a band that plays music for people looking for themes of personal and emotional dis/connections, then you may find the Italian progressive teachers to be just what the doctor ordered.
ELDRITCH - As The Night Crawls In (Lyric Video)

interview: Dracena (part 2)

This is the second part of the interview with Dracena, traditional extreme metal from Sweden. The person answering the interview is Mia, who is the creative force behind Dracena. The objective is to do an extensive interview that covers the past and present of Dracena. This segment covers from the 1980s until about 1997.
Also, in case you missed it or are interested in checking it out, here is the link to part 1. In the first part you can read a lot more about the latest album Cursed to the Night.
Staying in the 80s for a minute, did you listen to the complete albums by Kiss, Twisted Sister and WASP and other bands after you watched those famous videos? Were your friends excited about this music at the time or were you pretty much alone getting into it?
Me and my friends used to listen to all the great bands of the time, there was always someone who had purchased the latest album which could be recorded on cassette and traded, weather it was the whole album or a best of tape of a collection. In my school there were a few metal heads in different classes, but we used to get together during breaks and hang out and talk about the bands and albums, what was new and trade cassettes, VHS and posters and stuff.
What did your parents think about it?! I mean, WASP, and stuff, you know?! They must have thought you were going off the deep end!
As I can remember my parents took it pretty well and didn’t have any particular problem either with my choice of music or my choice of clothing and hair style. My room was covered in posters and pictures from different bands and idols and at one time I even painted a huge portrait of one of my favourite bands right on the wall with water colours. That was not too popular at first, I recall. But they have always been very supportive to my interest although it turned out to be quite extreme.
Is the 1980s your favorite era of Kiss? Have you gone back to listen to the earlier Twisted Sister albums? Of course, WASP had a great run of albums in the 80s, too, right? How do you feel about those old albums now?!
Actually, I am more a fan of the 70’s and early 80s Kiss albums, up to the Creatures of the Night album and also some of their solo albums and spawn off bands. I still listen mostly to anything recorded pre-90s, whatever the genre, simply because that’s the kind of metal I love the most! Then there are some of those bands still active today which have made truly amazing recordings in the last decades and survived with the torch held high. The WASP 80s album releases are each a favourite, different from each other and yet held together by that unique sound like so many of the other great 80s bands used to have, like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Accept etc.
So what happens after those bands? Did you become interested in thrash at all? Where does your interest in metal music take you after bands like Twisted Sister?
In the mid-80s my best friend used to listen to Kreator, Metallica, Anthrax and Megadeth, but I was more interested in Mötley Crüe, Ozzy and Alice Cooper before I got into thrash and speed and later on introduced to the early black metal scene.
When did you hear that some students from school are starting to form bands? Did any friends show you their demos at the time, inspired by the big successful metal of the time, like Judas Priest?
In the city where I grew up the local scene was not big and the bands did not play heavy metal but more hardcore, punk or rock.
When did you hear that there were demo bands in Stockholm? Is anyone you know getting those Stockholm demos at the time, getting those cassette tapes?
It wasn’t until I moved to Gothenburg in the beginning of the 90s that I got more connected to the underground scene, simply because most of my friends’ bands were still unsigned. I didn’t have a lot of contact with any Stockholm-based band except for occasional meetings at mutual friend’s parties.
So, as you go from being a fan of metal music, excited by WASP, and later, by the crop of quality bands in Gothenburg, like Sacramentum and Swordmaster, at a time when Dissection is also getting international attention, what are you thinking then? What do you? Are you thinking: Hey, I need to start a band, too! Do you have a plan?
The idea of forming a band and specifically with all girls, (if possible), surfaced in 1993-1994, when almost all of our male friends got signed and started to release their first or second albums on major labels. Which they played loud and proud at every party. I already rehearsed with some girls since a few years back but that “band” was more a thing to get together and play an instrument than any serious attempt to launch a metal band. So we made a few line-up changes and began to write our own songs.
Later, how do you start finding friends who want to form a band? Where do you find friends for a band? At school? in the neighborhood? Is it difficult to find the right people for a band?
I asked female friends at parties if they had an interest in playing in a band, but it took some time to form a lasting line-up, mainly because most of them had never played an instrument. The greatest challenge was to learn how to play. Luckily, we shared rehearsal room with some other bands and had access to a good back line, so it wasn’t necessary to buy a lot of equipment in the beginning. After we finally had settled for a line-up we started to write the material for the first demo.
By the way, do you know what you want your music to sound like at this time? Or, are you mostly just interested in making some noise with some friends, but there’s no style in mind that you are aiming for?
We all definitely wanted to play metal, extreme metal. We rehearsed as often as we could, not necessarily the whole band, sometimes just me and the drummer, or whomever was available. There was a good mix of different genres between us and we each had different favourite bands we got our influences from. All of the members contributed with material for the songs and that’s probably why it gave the early demos such a unique sound.
Was Dracena your first band or were you in other bands early on? Were you in other not-so-serious garage bands early on?
Dracena was the first band constellation we had a name on, before Dracena it was mostly just a get together and play whatever cover was interesting, or sit home and play alone.
How did you decide on the name Dracena? At the time, did you record any of those early sessions? Do you have tapes of those early sessions?
At first we had a lot of different names, most of them already taken, and finally we settled for Dracena - which originates from the Greek word Drakaina, meaning She-dragon. Dragons are my favourite creature so it was just perfect. I still have all the rehearsal recordings on cassette, some promo material we recorded on porta studio and a bunch of live shows on VHS.
Then in 1997 there is the first Dracena demo! Where did you record it? It must have been exciting to have the demo out for people to hear?
1997 we decided it was time to record the first demo. Three songs and a cover of Venom’s “In League with Satan” were chosen and we booked a studio in a town north of Gothenburg which was frequently used by the Swedish west coast underground metal bands, Studio Lobster.
At this demo all the instruments were recorded live and then we added the vocals on a second track and we also had backing vocals from Peter of Dissection and Terror from Sacramentum. It was pressed in a limited edition of 100 copies on cassette, very exciting to, at last, have a real demo recording!
Do you remember the reaction in your city? Were you playing house parties at this time? Were you playing shows in the city, like at bars at this time?
As I recall it, most friends and fans thought it was cool that there was a band with an all-girl line-up playing some kind of metal. There was also a lot of attention from zines and even the bigger magazines which gave us a lot of support already early on. Every show we played the place was always packed with people. We had several gigs in Gothenburg and the surrounding cities, in Germany and also at the (in-)famous 2 Heavy 4 You festival in Falkenberg, where Root and Deströyer 666 made their first gigs in Sweden and Nifelheim had their first gig ever.
I’ve never played any house party, except for a local MC Club, if that counts? Usually the show was a metal club or a bar with a scene and we supported bands like Lord Belial, Siebenbürgen, Ancient, Agathodaimon and Sacramentum. \

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Washington quick news: Ghostblood finally announces a new album and everybody's wondering why it has taken so long, but they are also relieved that the band is ok and ready to thrash again and make videos about the swamps of Queen Anne Hill

This is it! Ghostblood is back with a new album! Isn't it exciting, Finland? Yes, it is! The Seattle thrash contingent component named Ghostblood has finally, finalleeee done it and now they are going to show you rock and roll, Seattle!
Just for the fun and giggles of it, here is their famous video that I have watched about 786 times in total!
APR 20
GHOSTBLOOD Album Release Barf-Stravaganza at the Central Saloon Featuring: Xoth GHOSTBLOOD Oxygen Destroyer Kömmand
HERE IS AN OLD INTERVIEW just in case you have not noticed that this publication writes about Ghostblood a lot and it's because they pay a lot of money for the coverage and we like the money and you like the money and we are all making lots of big, dirty, sweaty, unethical dinero from Ghostblood's adventures, my friends!
This publication features Ghostblood often and I am not sure why that is. It might be due to the barrels of cash that the band pays for each mention, concert calendar listing, review, interview and shout out. It was a year ago that they sucker punched the world with their debut album Blood from Beyond the Grave. After the album, they have been playing shows and playing pranks on humans. Their brand of swamp horror comedy gore thrash metal has been a hit with everyone from myself to all three members of the band and some of their cousins, too. Recently they had some time to look up some new words in the dictionary. They came across the word “eviscerama,” and they decided to name it their new, hot smacking single. You’ll want to mosh, break dance and do the hokey pokey when you hear this mutant thrashing. Personally, I prefer to do the twist. "C’mon, baby, let’s do the twist. Take me by my little hand, and go like this!" Yeah, baby, that’s my bag!
By the way, the band sent back these replies to some serious questions about the present state of affairs for Ghostblood. Put your apron on because this is going to get messy. Here’s the interview, which was answered by Adam, who is one of the best bassists in the band. He does some screaming, too.
What it is, Ghostblood! What has happened since the debut album one year ago? Have you changed any members? What have you discovered about each other after spending so much time together? Who is your fearless leader? Who is the one always eating potato chips at your rehearsals?
Hello! Wow, it's been a whole year since Blood From Beyond the Grave...that's like 12 months! To answer your first question, we haven't changed any members since then — we've barely changed our underwear, to be perfectly honest. We're all still getting along just fine, aside from the occasional knife fight over mortuary table-scraps. When you spend as much time together as we do, you really get a sense of the other band members' greatest fears: spiders, rejection, and rejection by spiders, respectively. We don't have a leader, per se — instead we rule by triumvirate, and take turns acting as supreme executive officer on a biweekly basis. Band policies regarding snacks and beer must be ratified by a two-thirds majority, while practice and show scheduling requires unanimous consensus.
Your latest recording is a single called “Eviscerama.” Can you explain a couple of things about the new song: Is the single a test recording? To see how it sounds before recording any more material?
The single is, indeed, a test recording (the test came back positive — we're pregnant!). The process of recording the first album was kind of a mess; we did it ourselves (awesome), piecemeal, over about nine months, recording songs as we wrote learned them (less awesome). The Eviscerama single (which we also recorded ourselves) was kind of a practice run for us in preparation for recording a second full-length. We also wanted to have some new material recorded for us to dangle in front of people, so that we may stay relevant. YOU HAVE TO DANGLE TO BE RELEVANT.
Ghostblood has been doing shows in the Northwest. So far, are you liking the experience of being a live band? Do you have plans to start venturing out of the Northwest? Is the United States ready for Ghostblood’s swamp thrash?! Is Ghostblood ready for the United States?
First off, I wouldn't really call us a "live" band, as we are all cannibal mutant ghosts. But yes, to answer your question, we enjoy the experience of being a reanimated necroplasmic manifestation-band — very much so, as a matter of fact. There's usually free beer when we play shows; occasionally there's free food, too, if a member of the audience appears to be sick or wounded. We're venturing down to Portland in November with Carnotaurus, and hopefully we'll make it down to California at some point this winter. Our ultimate goal to tour the United States on foot, like Forrest Gump.
I refuse to watch the movie Ghostbusters because that movie gives us ghosts a bad name. I think that we need Ghostblood’s celebrity status to do a public campaign in defense of ghosts. Have you been contacted by ghosts recently asking you to stand up for us (I am a ghost, too)? Are you going to help us out or not?
We believe in leading by example. It's really easy to espouse a ghost-positive ideology, but you have to be committed to really live it. So, to answer your question, we already are helping out. Every highly visible act of cannibalism or public decapitation we perform speaks louder than any words.
What is the best Ghostblood song that I should play at my upcoming wedding and why? I am having problems deciding between songs about gratuitous violence and songs about the grave. Both have many positive sides.
We typically recommend songs about opening graves and eating the dead for the reception, whereas songs about gratuitous violence are more appropriate for the actual ceremony. Incidentally, at least one of us is an ordained minister. We would love to preside over the nuptials; all we would ask in terms of payment would be first crack at eating any wedding crashers.
What is the best Ghostblood song that I should play at my second wedding and why? (I like to look ahead and make plans for my future. My teachers always told me to plan ahead, so I do.) Don’t you have songs about broken hearts and evisceration, too?
We definitely have songs about evisceration! We haven't written any songs about broken hearts just yet, but we HAVE recently perfected our technique for breaking them.
1.Open chest cavity to access heart
2.Freeze heart with liquid nitrogen
3.Once heart is frozen solid, strike with hammer/rock/rifle butt/human femur.
(Fun fact: Like you, we were taught to plan ahead, but in decapitation school).
Ghostblood has not written any songs about Casper The Friendly Ghost so far. How can this be? Casper has made entire towns fear his name and many children and adults have needed a diaper change upon seeing Casper. What else do you need to write a song? There you have fear, confusion, and terror. The songs practically write themselves!
According to a cease-and-desist letter we received in the mail, we shall not publish any material featuring or referencing the trademarked intellectual property "Casper the Friendly Ghost," under penalty of civil and criminal prosecution as outlined in U.S. Code: Title 17. Stay tuned for our new jam about Jasper the Amiable Spirit, though!
I have been trying to learn to play Ghostblood songs. In order to do that I have been eating a lot, sleeping and taking naps whenever I can, and I have been climbing the trees in my neighborhood and howling like a wolf. Somehow, these activities are not helping me to become a better musician. What do you think I am doing wrong?
Hmm...honestly, we couldn't tell you; it sounds like you're doing everything right. Here's a list of our best guesses, though:
1.You mentioned you were eating a lot. Are you drinking enough beer to soak up the food? Also, are you absolutely sure your diet contains enough human remains? The only reason we ask is that many people think they're consuming enough, but in reality there's a huge deficit in their diet.
2. Try punching your instrument harder.
3. Play louder?
4. Sacrifice a chicken in a graveyard under a full moon. Eat the chicken. Enjoy it so much that you abandon music to pursue a career in culinary arts.
5. Get drunk.
I have other questions for you, but I have to go and play with my snakes now. I have a snake farm and they need attention. One last question: what is the best way to keep up with the news of Ghostblood? Are you on the Myspace? I have read that the Myspace is very popular with the youth of today. Do you use the electronic internets sometimes? Do you have a hotline that humans can call about Ghostblood news?
For sure! You're not much of a snake farmer if you neglect your scale-babies — they need love just like kittens or baby rabbits or pet bears or domesticated mummies.
Anyway, we've never heard of MySpace, but then, we've never been huge into astronomy (MySpace is like a NASA dating site, isn't it?).
The best ways to contact us are:
1.On the Facebook,
2.Over our electric mail,
3.On our Bandcamp page,
Anyway, we have to go — it's been a long week, and those brains aren't going to smoke themselves! Thanks for asking us questions!

Washington state concert calendar, updated March 20, 2018

Friends in the state of Washington,
Is there a metal music show in your area that is not listed in this calendar? Does your local metal band have a show coming up and is not listed here? Is your band's name spelled incorrectly? Are the dates wrong? If you have information about shows/updates/cancellations, please get in contact with Metal Bulletin zine.
Washington state concert calendar, updated March 20, 2018
March 20 Tetrachromat, others at Wild Buffalo, Bellingham, WA
March 21 Whipstriker, Negative Vortex, Oxygen Destroyer, Kömmand at Highline, Seattle, WA
March 21 Dio Disciples, Thou Shall Kill, others at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
March 22 Michael Schenker at Neptune Theatre, Seattle, WA
March 22 Shizerdome, Whythre, Hexengeist at Substation, Seattle, WA
March 24 The War Within at Tony V's, Everett, WA
March 24 Alda, Huldrekall, Forest of Grey, Vouna at Cryptatropa Bat, Olympia, WA
March 24 Eyas/Luna, As Pillars Fall, Down the Scope, others at KTUB, Kirkland, WA
March 24 Metal Up Your Pass: Pagan Country Rebels, Nocturnal Mayhem, Salem Knights at Bubba’s Roadhouse, Sultan, WA
March 25 Human Agony, Rohit, Putrid Temple at Highline, Seattle, WA
March 25 Prying Free, Simulation Theory, Forever Convicted at Tony V’s, Everett, WA
March 26 Metal Mondays: Born Without Blood, Infernal Realm, Speaks In Tongues at Substation, Seattle, WA
March 28 Dying Fetus, Thy Art Is Murder, Rivers of Nihil, Enterprise Earth, Sanction, Scourged at Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
March 28 Zan, Steaksauce Mustache, American Standards, Faus at Eagles 2485, Kennewick, WA
March 29 Steaksauce Mustache, American Standards, The Anchor, Florida Man at 2nd Cycle, Tacoma, WA
April 29 Tetrachromat, others at Luigi’s Mansion (?), Bellingham, WA
March 30 The Sword, King Buffalo at The Pin, Spokane, WA
March 30 Deathbed Confessions, SwampheavY, Kyberox at The Swiss Restaurant and Pub, Tacoma, WA
March 30 Suppression, Acid Feast, Sidetracked, PWWMA, Ruptured Silence at Highline, Seattle, WA
March 30 Top Knot Fest: Czar, Heiress, Steak Sauce Mustache, American Standards, Faus, Smooth Sailing, Into the Storm, Florida Man, Blacktracks, Kihalás, Inhaulation at Southgate Roller Rink, Seattle, WA
March 31 Obscurus Infestus: Simulation Theory, Voidthrone, Kihalás, Nick Superchi, others (about 12 performances) at Obscurus, Everett, WA
March 31 Dominus Nox, Battle Axe Massacre, Rat King at Erebus, Kelso, WA
March 31 Effluvia, Disease, Snake, Bummer at Georgetown Liquor Company, Seattle, WA
March 31 Year of the Cobra, Kal-El, Wizzerd, Witch Ripper at Substation, Seattle, WA
April 2 Ross the Boss, Ethan Brosch, Old James at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
April 5 Noceur, ION, Serpent Sun at The Shakedown, Bellingham, WA
April 5 Villains of the Story, Deadships, We Gave It Hell, Anchor Point, Jesus Wears Armani at Funhouse, Seattle, WA
April 6 Witchaven, Oxygen Destroyer, Kömmand, Carnotaurus at McCoy’s Tavern, Olympia, WA
April 6 Nightwish at Knitting Factory, Spokane, WA
April 7 Black Sun Moon, Beyond the Woods, Tetrachromat, The Circus In Your Town at Hard Rock Café, Seattle, WA
April 7 ReEvolution, Glass Cannons, Aphelion, Simulation Theory at The Mirkwood, Arlington, WA
April 7 Pacific Northwest Death Fest: I, Detest; Dismembering Mary, others at Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
April 12 The Devils of Loudun, Neck of the Woods, Weaponlord at Funhouse, Seattle, WA
April 13 Neck of the Woods at Real Art, Tacoma, WA
April 13 Dead Crown, Avoid at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
April 13 Profane Order, Hissing, Putrid Temple, others at Black Lodge, Seattle, WA
April 14 Neck of the Woods at McCoy’s Tavern, Olympia, WA
April 14 Summer Slaughter 2018 Official Showcase, Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
April 14 Crazy Train (Ozzy), Priest Unleashed (Priest) tributes at The Heavy Metal Brewing Co., Vancouver, WA
April 14 Theories, Burials, Spacebag, Impulse Noise at Black Lodge, Seattle, WA
April 15 Uli Jon Roth at Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
April 15 Judas Priest, Saxon, Black Star Riders at ShoWare Center, Kent, WA
April 15 Hell’s Belles (AC/DC tribute) at Tulalip Casino, Marysville, WA
April 16 Black Star Riders, Zero Down at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
April 17 Sirenia, Threat Signal, Valinor Excelsior, Graveshadow at Studio, Seven, Seattle, WA
April 18 Slaughter to Prevail at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
April 19 Windhand, Ruby the Hatchet, Un at Neumos, Seattle, WA
April 19 X Suns, Tetrachromat, You May Die in the Desert, others at Central Saloon, Seattle, WA
April 20 Second Sting (Scorpions tribute) at Tulalip Casino, Marysville, WA
April 20 Gigan, Sunless at Funhouse, Seattle, WA
April 20 Tetrachromat, Die Like Gentlemen, Marv at the Shakedown, Bellingham, WA
April 20 Blood and Thunder, Dilapidation, Violent Hallucinations, Odyssian at Obscurus, Everett, WA
April 20 Xoth, Ghostblood, Oxygen Destroyer, Kömmand at Central Saloon, Seattle, WA
April 21 Rat King, Effluvia, Whythre at Erebus, Kelso, WA
April 21 Tetrachromat, others at Boscoe’s, Bellingham, WA
April 25 Year of the Cobra, Mos Generator, Destroyer of Light, Kybetox at The Valley, Tacoma, WA
April 27/28 The Tony V's Hybrid Festival: Jesus Wears Armani, The War Within, Silent Theory, Massacre at the Opera, Casualty of God, After the Fallout, Noctium, Chamber 6, others at Tony V's, Everett, WA
April 28 Second Sting (Scorpions tribute) at Emerald Downs, Auburn, WA
May 1 Savage Master, Bewitcher, Substratum, 1967 at Funhouse, Seattle, WA
May 1 Carnifex, Oceano, Winds of Plague, Archspire, Spite, Buried above Ground, Shadow of Intent, Widowmaker, Dismembering Mary at Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
May 4 Blistered Earth (Metallica tribute) at Knitting Factory, Spokane, WA
May 4 Morbid Angel, Origin, Dreaming Dead, Hate Storm Annihilation at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
May 5 Wet Temple, Down the Scope, After the Fallout, Simulation Theory, Skiz Dizzard at Mirkwood Public House, Arlington, WA
May 5 Hell’s Belles (AC/DC tribute) at Jazzbones, Tacoma, WA
May 10 Weaponlord, others at Tony V’s, Everett, WA
May 12 Whythre, Born Without Blood, Effluvia, Orator, ShizerDome at Obscurus, Everett, WA
May 12 Hell’s Belles (AC/DC tribute) at Swinomish Casino, Anacortes, WA
May 13 Soulfly, Nile, After the Fallout, Devilation at Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
May 13 Silent Scream, Madrost at Funhouse, Seattle, WA
May 16 Satyricon, Inquisition, Inquinok, Voidthrone at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
May 17 Cough, Grime, Serial Hawk, Isenordal at Highline, Seattle, WA
May 18 ApHelion, Whythre at The Mirkwood, Arlington, WA
May 18 Noceur at Make.Shift, Bellingham, WA
May 19 Hells Bells at The Point Casino, Kingston, WA
May 22 Obituary, Pallbearer, Skeletonwitch, Dust Bolt at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
May 23 Texas Hippie Coalition, Kobra and the Lotus, others at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
May 23 The Black Dahlia Murder, Homewrecker, The Convalescence at The Pin, Spokane, WA
May 24 Bat, Midnight, Wormwitch at El Corazón, Seattle
May 24 Tetrachromat, Designer Disguise, Hexengeist, Pill Brigade at The Mirkwood, Arlington, WA
May 26 D.R.I., Deathwish at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
May 26 Anvil at Highline, Seattle, WA
May 28 Power Trip, Sheet Mag, Fury, Red Death at Neumos, Seattle, WA
May 31-June 2 Northwest Terrorfest at Neumos, Barboza, Highline, Seattle, WA
June 2 Insomnium, Anthrocene, ApHelion at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
June 2 Battle for Mordor: Blood and Thunder, ReEvolution, Odyssian, Oxygen Destroyer, Dilapidation, Violent Hallucinations, Simulation Theory at The Mirkwood, Arlington, WA
June 2 Born Without Blood, Jugs of Blood at Philip Stengel Presents, Aberdeen, WA
June 4 Aborted, Psycroptic, Ingested at The Pin, Spokane, WA
June 5 Sleep, ell Witch at The Showbox, Seattle, WA
June 6 Devastation on the Nation: Aborted, Psycroptic, Ingested, Disentomb, Arkaik, Venom Prison, Vale of Pnath, Primordial Atrocity at Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
June 10 HammerFall, Flotsam and Jetsam, Skelator at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
June 14 Queensrÿche at Clearwater Casino, Suquamish, WA
June 15 Filth; Insvrgence; Loser; I, Detest at Funhouse, Seattle, WA
June 15 The Accused AD, Effluvia, Dilapidation at The Valley, Tacoma, WA
June 16 Bitter End, Coven, Accused AD at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
June 16 Uli Jon Roth at Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
June 16 Washington Deathfest III: Infernal Legion, Thou Shall Kill, Cryptic Enslavement, When The Broken Burn, Divide Paths, Helles, Shred Bundy, Whythre, Voidthrone, At Home In Hell, ApHelion at Erebus, Kelso, WA
June 21-25 Thirst for Light V festival: Addaura, Alda, Isenordal, Void Omnia, many, many others in Raymond, WA
June 24 Will Haven, Heiress, Into the Storm, Old Iron at Highline, Seattle, WA
June 27 Krallice, Wayfarer at Highline, Seattle, WA
June 30 UADA, Wolvhammer, The Black Moriah at Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
July 7 Crimson Guardian, Morbid Fascination, others at Erebus, Kelso, WA
July 7 Glass Canons, Wet Temple, Tetrachromat, Anyarez Rockz at Mirkwood Public House, Arlington, WA
July 13&14: WADM Metalfest at Erebus, Kelso, WA: Cursed, Oxygen Destroyer, Hang the Kode, Battle Ace Massacre, Inside Defiance, Crüd Güns, Simulation Theory, Noose; Aggression, Violent Hallucinations, Antiform, Hyborian Rage, Pre Embalmed, Dilapidation, After the Fallout, Trojan Swamp Monster
July 14 Queensrÿche at Lucky Eagle Casino, Rochester, WA
July 20 The Backyard Festival:After the Fallout, others Louie G’s Pizza, Fife, WA
August 19 Alice Cooper at Angel of the Winds, Everett, WA
August 20 Powerglove, Xoth at El Corazón, Seattle, W
September 4 The Exploited, Total Chaos at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
September 8 Effluvia, Oxygen Destroyer, Disease at Le Voyeur, Olympia, WA
September 15 Northwest Tribfest at Historic Everett Theater, Everett, WA: tribute bands Dr. Crue, Infinity Project (Journey), Blistered Earth (Metallica), Second Sting (Scorpions), Almost Human (Kiss)
September 20 Amorphis, Dark Tranquillity, Moonspell, Omnium Gatherum at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
October 3 Graham Bonnet Band, Zero Down at El Corazón, Seattle, WA
November 2 Second Sting (Scorpions tribute) at Tulalip Casino, Marysville, WA
November 10 Dilapidation, Oxygen Destroyer, Effluvia, Drawn and Quartered at The Valley, Tacoma, WA
Metal Bulletin Zine
P.O. Box 1339
Lake Stevens WA 98258 USA

Monday, March 19, 2018

Washington quick news: After The Fallout seeks bassist

We're a bit late on this posting, but After The Fallout is in market for a new bassist.

Hey brothers and sisters! Looking forward to throwing down at The Charleston in Bremerton WA this Friday! This will sadly also be our bassist, Adam Vosler’s, last show with After the Fallout. So come out and give him a good send off. Adam has other things he needs to focus on going forward but he’s a brother to all of us, one of our closest friends, and we wish him all the best. 
This means that ATF is looking for a new bassist! We have a busy schedule coming up, are working on pre-production for a new release, and are looking for someone able to step in and get up to speed quickly. As we play many areas you need transportation. We’re all functional adults able to contribute to the financial aspect of being in a working band and you should be too. You need to have pro gear, experience, and stage presence (we don’t stand around onstage looking bored so you can’t either)! There are shows where you’ll be asked to guarantee ticket sales. You need to be able to do this. You need to be 21+.
Initial auditions will be on our 2 singles, “Mindless Reaction” and “Lambs Become Lions”. PM us if you want a shot.

Washington quick news: Noctium seeks drummer

Here is the message from the Marysville area band Noctium:

Hello All!
The time has come to officially announce that we are currently seeking to recruit a full time Drummer for Noctium! Alan Reis has been our fill in for the last year and has gifted us with terrific talent behind the kit but now we must find a permanent member!
In holding auditions, we will require that those interested record a video of themselves playing along to one of our tracks from our Ep “118”
If we feel you have what it takes, we will send you an MP3 of one of our newer songs that we would like you to write and submit a video for as well!
If you are interested, please reach out to us either through our page or directly message Shawn Aaron Thompson

Washington quick news: Xoth

Seattle Space Shredders XOTH Release New Single "Plague Revival"
Seattle space shredders XOTH are back with a new single entitled "Plague Revival." The follow-up to 2016 debut album Invasion of the Tentacube, XOTH paints a horrific vision of a reemerging viral outbreak that unleashes the most primitive aspects of humanity. Check out "Plague Revival" at the link below. XOTH's sophomore album will be released later this year. Stay tuned!
BIO: In the year 2014, four musicians from different regions of North America came together in the Pacific Northwest to create XOTH, a band that captured their love of space, science fiction, Lovecraftian horror, and most importantly Shred. The band's first EP, Hostile Terraforming, was self-released in July 2014 and was immediately followed by a short West Coast tour with MOBILE DEATHCAMP. After the success of what can only be called a musical adventure, XOTH booked and promoted two more tours on their own, every time gaining more loyal fans who recognize their passion and genuine way of connecting with crowds on and off stage.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Judas Priest (review by MMB)

Judas Priest
March 9th, 2018
Columbia Records
I like the album, but what is missing is Judas Priest. It has the guitar tone, the voice, the sound of Judas Priest; it’s a case of: it quacks like a duck, looks like a duck, sounds like a duck and everyone says that it is a duck, but people are prisoners of the moment, and are glad to have a new album, especially because the band is a very old and legendary name, and the elderly rock icons are in bad health, dying, nearly dead or in the grave already.
The problem is clear. Longtime guitarist and founder K.K. Downing is not here. The other longtime guitarist Glenn Tipton is unable play guitar competently because of his illness. Thus, the heart of the sound and the creators of the sound are no longer here. What we have is Richie Faulkner, a capable guitarist by all accounts; Andy Sneap, a veteran guitar master, as producer and undoubtedly an important contributor to the album in more ways than one; and Glenn doing as much as he can within the limits of his very serious illness.
However, there is no way to recreate the chemistry, personality, style, the feel, the intangible sound that was Judas Priest’s twin guitar identity.
Business is business; the show must go on; egos have to be stroked; people don’t know when to quit; corporations want money; fans don’t want to accept the end; nobody wants to die; being on the stage is a glorious experience; individuals have family and careers and want as much money as they can get; the green in your eyes is the love of money; old people don’t want to sit at home as elderly citizens when they can worshipped by thousands of drunk metalheads.
Does the album sound bad? Of course not. Does it have good singing? Of course (Let’s leave aside the issue of how much studio magic technology has been used to shore up the sound of a senior citizen singing). Does it have good guitar soloing? Yes. Does it have terrible songs? No.
What is the problem? The guitar work, for one. The guitar work, again while competent and professional, is missing the specific personality and chemistry that is Judas Priest. For instance, the guitar tone is Judas Priest, but the interplay of the masters of the guitars is not there. I don’t hear that communication where the two masters read each other’s minds as songwriting partners and where they took turns at the finger-twisting solos, in which the solos are a song within a song, in which you look forward to hearing the interplay between the two guitarists, working together. That’s not here, and that is indisputable.
Another problem is the songwriting. You can definitely hear the difference and the lower quality in the songwriting. There is no way to make up for K.K. Downing’s missing contributions and there is no way to make up for the fact that Glenn Tipton is not able to play guitar at the level required for Judas Priest, which affects the songwriting and the execution. What do we have then? Musicians who have consciously tried to cut, copy, paste, rewrite, recreate, reformulate, reconfigure bits, pieces, segments, details, trademark licks and riffs to repackage them, and they have done a good job of it. I won’t comment on the fact that the album has quite a bit of a midtempo and groove vibe that is foreign to the sound of Judas Priest, but this element is certainly a big part of the new album.
Things have not been right with Judas Priest for a long, long time, but I am not going to go into that here. I’m talking about this particular album. There is no need to be hostile to the album or to exaggerate the criticism of it. There is also no need to act as if the album is a total failure; it is a solid, good album by the Rob Halford Band, paying tribute to Judas Priest.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Apathy Noir (review by Matt Spall)

[Our friend Matt Spall (U.K.) decided to focus on a band that is not signed. It is Apathy Noir from Sweden. What does Matt have to tell us about Apathy Noir? By the way, at the end of this review you will find Matt's Twitter link where you can find him at work telling the world about his writings. ---MMB]
Artist: Apathy Noir
Album Title: Black Soil
Label: Independent
Release date: 31 January 2018
Formed back in 2003, Apathy Noir is the given moniker for the artistic output of solo artist Victor Jonas, who welcomes into his personal musical vision, Andy Walmsley, vocalist with Twilight’s Embrace and Beyond Grace. ‘Black Soil’ is the fourth full-length release from Jonas under the Apathy Noir banner, although just to confuse things, prior to 2016, the ‘band’ went by the name of Apathy.
Any time the email or press release mentions names like Katatonia, I’m going to sit up and take notice. In the case of Apathy Noir, the reference was to old Katatonia and Opeth. And, when the words ‘progressive death/doom’ are also mentioned, it was a done deal, even if I am a little late to the party on this occasion.
I must admit that I have not been misled by the references above, because this is pretty much what I expected I’d hear before I hit the ‘play’ button. The mournful lead guitar notes do call to mind the output of early Katatonia, whilst the crushing heaviness is tempered just a little by a production that is authentic to the genre some 20 years ago. Is that a kind way of saying that the production isn’t that great? Well, no, because the production isn’t actually that bad – with a bigger budget, the album could have sounded fuller, richer and clearer of course. However, it is perfectly acceptable and provides some raw grittiness and a taste of bygone days, regardless of whether this was deliberate or not.
I seem to be saying this a lot lately when it comes to the death/doom genre, but ‘Black Soil’ will not win any awards for originality. This is not re-setting the bar or moving it into completely new territory for others to hastily follow. However, what it is, is a thoroughly enjoyable slab of death/doom metal with plenty of melodic sensibility and just enough ‘progressive’ intent to allow then the use of the tag. That said, it’s in no way challenging in that respect, so don’t expect a plethora of tempo and time changes or a radical juxtaposition of apparently disparate ideas. These elements exist on occasion, but instead, Jonas tends to prefer a subtler approach, with plenty of light and shade and dark atmosphere his main weapons to stave off boredom and keep things sufficiently interesting.
Alongside the aforementioned Katatonia and Opeth influences, I also hear a dose of Swallow The Sun as well as, unsurprisingly, Twilight’s Embrace within the seven tracks that make up ‘Black Soil’. None of the songs come in at under the six-minute mark, meaning that there is still over 50 minutes of material to wrap your ears around.
This is the kind of album that proves that I must have a huge soft spot for this kind of music. I say this because whilst it is not at the very highest end of the melodic death/doom genre league table, I still derive an awful lot of pleasure from it.
Opening track, ‘The Glass Delusion’ starts things off wonderfully. The atmospheric sound of synths is joined by a bass and drum beat to set a nice tempo before the track explodes. The savage, almost black metal retching vocals of Andy Walmsley take no prisoners as they do battle with some expertly crafted staccato-style riffs which are both rich and icy sharp. The central melody that is introduced subtly in the intro is maintained throughout via the lead guitars to provide a mournful yet sumptuous feel to the song. It is then topped off quite surprisingly by a flamboyant guitar solo and more layers of atmospheric synths and an occasional foray into much quieter territory.
The Katatonia-isms are brought to the forefront of proceedings within ‘Samsara’, most notably through the sorrowful lead guitar lines. The use of melancholy minor notes is classic ‘Brave Murder Day’ era fodder but the song is executed with such style and elegance that the plagiarism is easily forgiven and forgotten. The introduction of deep and resonant clean vocals is a nice touch too, as are the changes of pace and intensity.
The clean vocals make a return within the beautiful dirge that is ‘Black Soil’, one of the more overtly ‘progressive’ tracks on the record thanks to its more complex and varied structure. Another strong melodic thread runs through the song, but what I also like are the more pronounced tempo changes and the way in which the guitar is allowed to hold a note or two, to allow a little more space into the composition.
If I’m being extremely critical, the clean vocals within longest track, ‘The Void Which Binds’ could do with being just a little stronger, especially early in the song. And I am not overly convinced that it warrants its nine-minute life – there are some nice moments within it, particularly the juxtaposition between the crushingly heavy riffs and the more atmospheric and minimalist interludes. However I certainly think it could have been trimmed by a couple of minutes.
There are a few other very small quibbles I have with the music on ‘Black Soil’, like the fact that I wish I could hear the bass more and occasionally, even the drums are a little anaemic within the final mix.
However, these issues aside, the quality demonstrated in the opening songs by-and-large remains present until the very end. The twisting and writhing riffs that emerge from the calm within ‘Bloodsong’ for example are very nice indeed, as are the particularly anthemic melodies that unfurl in the song’s latter stages.
It all makes for a very pleasant listening experience indeed, one that I am more than happy to recommend to anyone who might be looking for a quality slab of melodic death/doom metal away from the usual suspects and big hitters within the genre.
The Score of Much Metal: 8

Washington quick news: Voidthrone

Voidthrone is an extreme metal band from the state of Washington and they prefer to refer to their music as "unconventional blackened death metal." Unconventional means different things to everyone, but even though according to Metal Archives they began recently, in 2016, they already have a full-length album of 33 minutes of duration and four songs of black metal by the name of Spiritual War Tactics. The music would be interesting to the supporters of Washington state black metal, especially the more open-minded ones, but also to the fans of extreme metal that want to hear something that is a bit more out there. As they themselves say, they are not black metal, strictly speaking, given their incursions into some dissonant segments and some moments that point towards possible avant-garde and/or post-metal leanings. On the other hand, the vocals are, for the most part, black metal, with some death metal, and overall the music is heavy, sick and twisted, inviting listeners to find out for themselves how to interpret the band's unique chaos. The good news is that the entire recording is available for listening at the first link below. If you visit the Facebook page you will see that they do play shows in the state of Washington, that they have issued a video of the drummer at work with one of their songs, amongst other activities.
Voidthrone - Their Recursive Communion Drum Playthrough
Voidthrone - Live at the Highline in Seattle, 29JAN2017

Thursday, March 15, 2018

read online Metal Bulletin zine issue number 142

If you would like to read online issue 142 of Metal Bulletin zine, see the first link below. Issue 142 has interviews with Grethor (U.S.) and Zifir (Turkey), in addition to reviews of Revenge (Colombia), Rapture (Greece) and Visigoth (U.S.).

NEWS: video from traditional death metal band Skeletal Remains

Californian death metal act SKELETAL REMAINS have launched the official music video for "Seismic Abyss," the first single off the band's forthcoming new album Devouring Mortality. Guitarist/vocalist Chris Monroy comments on the video: "The song is simply based on devastation of earthquakes and how unpredictable they can be with SR's own touch on the topic. The footage from the video was filmed here in Los Angeles. It was our first time doing something like this and we had a lot of fun doing it. I hope you all enjoy it as much as we did!"

SKELETAL REMAINS will release Devouring Mortality, on April 13 via Dark Descent Records in North America and Century Media Records for the rest of the world. Tracked at Trench Studios (Abysmal Dawn, Exhumed, Hirax, etc.) in California and mixed by Dan Swanö at Unisound Studio (Asphyx, Dissection, Bloodbath, etc.), Devouring Mortality features cover artwork by Dan Seagrave (Entombed, Morbid Angel, Pestilence etc.). SKELETAL REMAINS formed as Anthropophagy back in 2011, released the two much lauded studio albums Beyond The Flesh (2012) and Condemned To Misery (2015) via German label FDA Rekotz, constantly toured Europe, the US or also Japan, performing at such renowned festivals as Maryland Death Fest, Party.San, Brutal Assault, Obscene Extreme or also Hellfest. 


Washington quick news: ReEvolution

Friends into melodic extreme metal from Washington state,

ReEvolution is a relatively new band in Washington state, having formed in 2016, according to their official information. However, as new as they are, they already have a debut EP out and it is called Misery in Memories. They are melodic extreme metal with growled vocals, grooving drums and they definitely focus on keep the rhythms on the guitar strong by way of heavy chugging. The EP is four songs and would be recommended for supporters into the varieties of these sounds: from melodic death metal and to metalcore and other similar styles, whether it's a bit more European or American, depending on your preferences. In this case, the sound leans more in the direction of melodic death metal, but with American groove features. If you have not heard the band yet, visit their page and learn more about them. They also have some shows coming up in Arlington, but will probably add more shows as the summer gets closer.