Friday, 27 June 2008

Opeth Cancel Upcoming Gigs

Due to the unexpected illness of Mikael Akerfeldt, Opeth have been forced to cancel a number of upcoming gigs. Here is the official release from http://opeth.com/

"Due to Mikael contracting Varicella (Chicken Pox), the appearances this weekend, Peace & Love (Borlänge) 26th, Hove festival (Norway) 27th, Metal town (Gothenbourg) 28th, and Graspop Dessel (Belgium) 29th, have all been cancelled. We hope to have Mike on his feet again as soon as possible, and obviously apologize to all and any that had set out to see Opeth this weekend"

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Unleashed - Hammer Batallion


Since their formation in 1989 by front-man, vocalist and bassist Johnny Hedlund, Swedish death metal band Unleashed have released 9 albums and one EP in total, ranging in different styles of death metal.
Since then they've come a long way in their 19 year history, after a hiatus in 1997, lasting until 2001, when they announced their return returned with the epic album Hells Unleashed (released in 1992), and then since, some of their best material was recorded and released in form of another 3 albums, the latest of which being Hammer Battalion, released in June of this year (2008, for those who have forgotten).

This album marks a high point in the career of Unleashed within the metal ranks, continuing their themes of pre-christian worlds and viking mythology, amongst others. This band is not afraid to 'talk' about some of the most controversial topics in the world today, most notably their extreme anti-christian themes, present throughout pretty much all albums, with songs from the early days such as "I Am God" from their 1993 album Across The Open Sea which boasts the lyrics "I am God, I kill people just for pleasure", amongst other, possibly more graphic subjects included in the package. Basically, they say what they want to say, and aren't afraid of saying it.
Hammer Battalion opens with such theme, in the song "The Greatest of All Lies", which speaks of 'the passion of the christ', with the themes continuing into the next song "Long Before Winters Call". " Your Children Will Burn" being the title of the third track, in which serves as a warning of the consequences of blind faith. It's obvious now that Unleashed don't care for what they'd call organized religion, blind faith and so forth, which is, on some sence what the band is all about - voicing against what they believe to be false.

Unleashed certainly are influenced by Nordic and viking culture, aswell as battle themes present in songs such as "This Day Belongs To Me", which represents a soldier in battle calling to Odin to set him free and "Warriors of Midgard". This war theme is also a constantly used topic throughout Unleashed's history as a band. Their albums also feature songs about political matters, mass genocide (see "Triumph of Genocide" on the Midvinterblot album), partying hard and... The lord of The Rings.

Hammer Battalion is a solid addition to the Unleashed discography, with all their trademarks, and more! The album promises pure death metal, no compromise, and delivers! As Johnny says in an interview regarding new material, "We feel very strongly that Hammer Battalion is likely our best album so far, so we don't see new material opting towards a major change. We don't want to walk away from Hammer Battalion's concept, at least not a lot."

Hammer Battalion is now available through SPV records. I recommend you getting yourself a copy. Now if only they'd tour Australia...

http://www.myspace.com/666unleashed

The One Insane:


Midvinterblot live:

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Murder Manifest Releases Free Album!!!


In order to promote their upcoming CD, which will see daylight in August, Dutch death thrashers Murder Manifest will give away their new album "Mental Surgery" via their website www.murdermanifest.com

No streaming, these are fully downloadable MP3's!

The tracks:
01 - Coma
02 - Philosophers Of Doom
03 - The Ride To The Cold And Blue
04 - Final Bastion
05 - Fog And Lies
06 - The Scam
07 - Mental Surgery
08 - Disordered Thoughts

* Guest vocals by Henri Sattler from God Dethroned

For more information on the band, check out their Myspace profile: www.myspace.com/murdermanifest

Or of course, through their website:
www.murdermanifest.com

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Carcass Touring Australia!!!


Reactivated British extreme metal pioneers CARCASS will embark on a tour of Australia in October. Confirmed dates are as follows:

Oct. 09 - Perth, AUS @ Capitol
Oct. 10 - Adelaide, AUS @ HQ Complex
Oct. 11 - Brisbane, AUS @ The Arena
Oct. 12 - Sydney, AUS @ The Metro Theatre
Oct. 13 - Melbourne, AUS @ Billboard

Tickets go on sale on Thursday, June 26.

Fan-filmed video footage of CARCASS first performance — Friday, June 6, 2008 at the Sweden Rock Festival in Sölvesborg, Sweden — can be viewed below.

CARCASS' next concert will take place this coming Friday, June 27 at the Tuska festival in Helsinki, Finland.

In February of 1999, CARCASS drummer Ken Owen suffered a near-fatal brain hemorrhage, leaving him in a coma for over 10 months. As a result, he is not taking part in CARCASS' current reunion run (ARCH ENEMY skinsman Daniel Erlandsson is filling in), but will reportedly be traveling with the band whenever possible and making brief appearances at select shows.

CARCASS' reunion lineup:

Bill Steer (FIREBIRD) - Vocals, Guitar
Jeff Walker (BRUJERIA) - Vocals, Bass
Michael Amott (ARCH ENEMY) - Guitar
Daniel Erlandsson (ARCH ENEMY) - Drums

Taken from Blabbermouth.net

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Psycroptic sign to Nuclear Blast!


Psycroptic & Soundworks Management are proud to announce that as of Friday June 20th 2008 Tasmania’s own Psycroptic are officially signed to Nuclear Blast Records worldwide and Stomp for Australia for the new full length album due out this October!!!!


The band is ecstatic about this signing and the possibilities it is about to bring..let the brutality begin.


Nuclear Blast have signed the Tasmanian Technical Death Metal band PSYCROPTIC. US A&R Gerardo Martinez about the signing: "We are beyond excited to be working with one of the BEST Technical Death Metal bands in the world right now. We feel the band will reach the status they deserve in a short period of time.
Also the band is euphoric about the cooperation


Currently on tour in the USA as part of the massive Summer Slaughter package..the band themselves had this to say:-
“To say that all of us in Psycroptic are excited to be working with Nuclear Blast is quite an understatement .. we're over the moon!!!! Nuclear Blast has always been the pinnacle of labels within the metal realm, and to be signed with them is a huge honor for us...and to be the first Tasmanian band to ever be on the label is a pretty awesome bonus as well. The artist roster is nothing short of amazing, and for Psycroptic to be added to it...well, we couldn't be happier!!” – Dave Haley(Psycroptic)


Stomp Australia had the following comments:-

Label Manager Darren Cherry commented. "Psycroptic are a pioneering and ever progressing force in extreme metal and Stomp are proud to be releasing their upcoming fourth studio album which we believe will take them to an entirely new level on a global scale".

http://www.myspace.com/psycroptic

Saturday, 21 June 2008

Fight Fire With Fire Update


Just a quick update on the Fight Fire With Fire Tour 2008. Below are the posters for the different shows with the bands that will be playing. Make sure you get yourselves along to the shows and support a great cause!


We'll make sure we give you the information on the Sunderland show as soon as we get it. So keep watching this space!!!

For more information, or to purchase your tickets, head over to:

http://www.syndicatethirteen.co.uk/fundraiser.htm

Some Chinese Democracy anyone?




There is a long running joke online among music fans that there will be democracy in China before the sixth Guns N' Roses album, Chinese Democracy, is ever released. On the 18th of June however, 3 days ago for those who are counting, we were one step closer to hearing the final product of 14 years of recording, delays, some more delays and reportedly $13 million of production costs. In total nine tracks, which are apparently mastered and finished, were leaked. Only 3 of the tracks have not been heard before with the remaining 6 having been previously leaked or heard live in varying degrees of work in progress. So far the reaction from music fans online has been mixed, ranging from "It's terrible" to "It's fantastic". Only time will tell if the album will ever be properly released. As for me, I wouldn't bet against democracy in China coming about first.



Tracklisting:
1. Rhiad and the Bedhouins (3:47)
2. If the World (5:00)
3. Untitled (5:50)
4. Chinese Democracy (5:01)
5. Better (5:12)
6. The Blues (4:53)
7. I.R.S. (4:41)
8. Madagascar (5:52)
9. There Was a Time (6:51)

Friday, 20 June 2008

Shhh!! It's not a Metallica Review!!

Okay, I saw that everyone was being told to keep quiet about the new Metallica record after the Listening party. After a few days of searching I found a review that was lifted word for word by guys at Antiquiet....Here is that review in full, by Bob Mullhouse @ The Quiet Us

METALLICA: New Album Preview
by Bob Mulhouse

Being a fan of the Danish-Californian heavy metal quartet Metallica is hard work. They’re the quintessential band of two halves, pulling in millions of fans from 1983 to 1995 with five mostly excellent albums, which ranged in approach from youthful violence to radio-friendly hummability. In 1996, however, Metallica released the first of a shockingly poor string of alternative-rock, covers and live records, finishing up with 2003’s terrible St. Anger, the most disappointing metal CD ever released. Staying loyal to them after this many years isn’t easy, frankly.

So what, you might be thinking– all bands have their creative peaks and troughs, surely? Well, you’re not getting it. Metallica aren’t just a metal act: they are the Led Zeppelin of their generation, a band which your kids will revere 30 years from now to the same degree as we do the Beatles and the Stones today. To love them is to really love them. Their work ethic (which other band spends three years on the road at stadium level?) and their damnable songwriting ability (leading to songs of visceral power which you can still sing in the bath) has made them bigger, heavier and more essentially here than anyone else. That’s why we still pay attention to them after more than a decade of recorded dross. That’s why even their drummer Lars Ulrich’s petulant sparring with Napster in 2001 and the painful-to-watch Some Kind Of Monster documentary (made during their group-therapy sessions) don’t outweigh the hope we all felt when it was announced in 2007 that none other than Rick Rubin would be helming their new studio album, the first in five years.

Rick Rubin, as any fule kno, is responsible for launching the careers of many a fine band (including Slayer, Metallica’s sometime contemporaries), but– more relevantly in this case– has also revived the fortunes of creatively ossified artists whose moment in the sun has passed, such as Johnny Cash and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Could The Beastie Beard breathe life into Metallica? God, we hoped so, simultaneously aware that Ulrich et al have raised and dashed our hopes before.

It was with some trepidation, therefore, that I attended the playback of Metallica’s new album at the HQ of Universal, their UK record company, on 3 June. We were permitted to hear six of the 10 tracks which will ultimately appear on the album– which, a rep from the Q-Prime management company informed us, is referred to colloquially by Metallica as ‘Nine epics and one song’. The sense of occasion was reinforced by the presence of almost the entire editorial teams of the UK’s two biggest metal magazines, glaring at each other over the tea urn. [What? Metal Hammer and Terrorizer? -Antiquiet.]

Right from the off, it’s a relief to hear that the utterly awful production of St. Anger is no more. Ulrich has replaced the old dustbin lid from that album with an actual snare drum, and the sound is fresh, clean and resonant (even though the songs are still only rough mixes at this stage). The first song, like the rest of the ‘epics’, is between six and eight minutes long and begins with a bass intro from low-ender extraordinaire Robert Trujillo. Moving rapidly from riff to riff, the song bursts with energy and ideas: singer and rhythm guitarist James Hetfield barks “Luck runs out!” repeatedly and throws in some twisty, semi-progressive riffs which could have been lifted directly from, their last truly good album, 1988’s …And Justice For All. Guitarist Kirk Hammett, who was banned from soloing on St. Anguish for no adequately explored reason, is on fire, whipping out the melodic, rapid-fire shreds for which he is famous over an extended solo section – almost as if he’s making up for lost time. This is Metallica’s best song in ages, perhaps since the 1980s.

The next cut has a working title of Flamingo and is going to be the first single. Now, Metallica’s lead singles have been breathtakingly crap since 1995, so it was a relief to hear that Flamingo (as it almost definitely will not be called) is a modernised take on their amazing 1988 song One, all balladry at its front end before a speeded-up metalstorm at the back. Hetfield delivers a clean-picked intro which reminded me of the Beach Boys (I know… but I only got to hear it once, all right?) before the body of the song, which is basically like The Unforgiven from 1991’s Black Album. If you’re familiar with the chord progression behind the solo in Am I Evil?, the ancient Diamond Head song which Metallica made their own, you’ll be able to picture the under-solo riffage in this song– all simple, effective major-interval jumps.

However, let us not forget that this is modern Metallica– and the next two songs are much less fun. The first, which may be called We Die Hard judging by the frequency with which Hetfield barks the phrase, starts boringly but accelerates halfway through and enters slightly proggy territory, all stop-start riff stabs and a clever time signature. The next song is very …And Justice, a lengthy, unhurried workout which revolves around the line “Bow down / Sell your soul to me / I will set you free”, itself
a 1988 line if I ever heard one. Apart from dexterous soloing from Hammett, it’s
not great.

So far, we’ve had two good songs and two dull ones– not a bad track record for new ’Tallica, believe me. However, track five is tedious, a combination of the aimless riffery of St. Anger and the pointless rock chorusing of Load, the album which almost finished Metallica in 1996. “Crying, weeping, shedding strife!” sings Hetfield in that slick Enter Sandman manner, over an unthreatening clean midsection which would (and no doubt will) suit VH1 down to the ground.

At this point the Q-Prime geezer asks us if we want to hear more, and fortunately we say yes– because the final song (and indeed, it is ‘The Song’, the little guy among the nine epics) is great, a genuine slice of thrash metal that starts fast and stays that way. Like a slower, less precise Battery (the opening track of 1986’s flawless Master Of Puppets album), the song nips in and out, not outstaying its welcome and proving that on some level, Metallica still have the necessary vitriol to impress their older fans. OK, it reminded me a bit of Dyer’s Eve, the last song on Justice, which had a kind of “I suppose we’d better do a fast one for the fans” feel about it– but in 2008, Hetfield and Ulrich delivering any form of thrash metal is not to be sneered at.

We file out of the listening room, not saying much. This album could be good, or it could be mediocre– too much depends on the other four songs to make a call at this point. I try not to agonise about it, but this matters, damn it. It really does.

I said it wasn’t easy being a Metallica fan in 2008, didn’t I?

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Watershed, A Second View


Ahh, so, We all saw it coming, a new album from Opeth, and it's what all Opeth fans have been waiting for since Ghost Revries was played out (but not worn out). As most people probably already know, Watershed is the title of the new album, and is the first one to feature the drumming of Martin "Axe" Axenrot (Bloodbath, Satanic Slaughter, Witchery), and the epic guitaring of Fredrik Åkesson (Krux, Talisman), and of course features noise from Per Wiberg, Martin Mendez and the one and only Mikael Åkerfeldt.
As to be expected the album was leaked to all a few weeks before the release date, which is always a shame. I find it ruin the experience of cracking open a newly bought album, an flicking through the booklet as I hear the album for the first time. Almost feels like christmas, especially when it's a band as awesome as Opeth, and an album as good as this one!

At first fans didn't seem all too happy about the different sound, those that 'acquired' it started talking about things that were wrong with it. The criticism started with the live recording of Heir Apparent, which I saw the day it was out, and as expected, it boosted my excitement for the album more than you could imagine. Of course it was the bands first live show since Peter's departure, so you can't really blame the band if they weren't playing 100% on a brand new song, while on a boat out at sea with a lead singer who apparently suffers from a bit of sea sickness.
The sound on the video wasn't the best, but what I heard within that recording was just amazing. and now that I finally have the CD, I must say the album is precisely what I was looking for.

The opener, Coil, is a short, clean/acoustic number featuring the vocals of Nathalie Lorichs alongside Mikael. This also marks the first time for a guest vocalist to be featured on an Opeth record, and yes, I do know that Steven Wilson has done vocals on previous albums, but nothing as 'solo' as this. Already we can tell this is going to be a completely different Opeth album, but in a very good way, to be sure. As coil Coil bids farewell, an epic introduction to Heir Apparent sounds.
This song sounds so different on the record if you compare it to the live recording that surfaced in April. Those who decided to judge the album from that alone are truly fools. Again this album follows the same old Opeth rule, with the mixture of clean and heavy sections, but, as I'm sure many people will argue, it's not the same as the other records! Sure, they follow the same methods in pretty much all of their albums, but there's always a new twist added to make it somewhat different to the previous albums. I could go into a futile attempt to explain all the differences between albums, but this isn't a review of all their albums, just this one.
This alum certainly features a lot of different, experimental endings. Heir Apparent finished with an interesting medium to high pitch feedback sound, while irritating to some, it does add to 'dramatic effect'.

The Lotus Eater, has itself a rather interesting beginning. Basically Mike singing along with some of pers playing, before going straight into heavy guitars and blast beats. Now that's what I'm talking about! Continuing the traditional Opeth-ness with a mixture of growls and clean singing, brutal heavy metal and a very mellow middle section. What I thought was a nice touch was something I never really thought I'd hear in a Opeth record, but it reminded me a LOT of camel, so I suppose it's feasible. Towards the 6 minute mark there's a rather proggy keyboard interlude which sounds remarkable like something you'd expect to hear on a 70s prog record. Certainly a different twist for a record such as this. The ending again being different, loads of speaking with keyboards and screeching violins. Interesting.

Burden begins with a piano playing, before continuing into pure Opeth ballad. A very nice touch indeed, with a pretty long solo section and an ending that you will either love, laugh at or just absolutely hate. It ends with a nice acoustic Melody and solo over the top, then it decays in a way I would never have thought of. As the Melody is played, the guitar is tuned down constantly, occasionally sounding way off, but damn if it isn't interesting.


Porcelain Heart, released officially before the album as a digital single, which I personally would have preferred as a physical release, but you can't always win. This was their second song to be featured in a dodgy Roadrunner film clip. It was quite hilarious in parts, with a few moments of 'what the hell is that all about?', despite all that, it's a very decent song in the end. It features what could have been an updated or re-vamped version of The Grand Conjuration form Ghost Reveries, using the same sort of chord structure, but in a slightly more creative manner and with a nice melody over the top.

Hussain Peel is the only song to extend more than 10 minutes on this record, and it begins with a very jazzy acoustic bit which goes down nicely. They added a bunch of 'hidden' messages, within some reversed vocals. There's probably a bunch of videos on Youtube regarding the matter, and a few extensive topics on the official forum about it all. Some speculate the section around the 2 mins mark, to be a take on Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven since it mentions "My Sweet Satan", which was part of some freakish words present when one part of the song was played in reverse. But, of coarse Opeth's version differed and was intentionally done.
After some soft moment it goes into some awesomely heavy guitars, perfect for insane headbanging.

Hex Omega, begins heavy and awesome and progresses into another softer ballad, which I quite liked. There's some really creative ideas amongst this 7 minute epic masterpiece, kinda hard to explain really, but it makes a wonderful ending to this already amazing album.

Watershed is a whole new step in possibly the right direction for the band as far as popularity goes. Watershed debuted in the top 25 of the U.S. charts, number 7 in Australia and number 1 in Finland. Pretty good for a band that hardly anyone had heard about 2 years ago. They've been experiencing sold out shoes, and people going crazy just to get a taste of Opeth. About damn time too.
All up, this is an album you'll either love, or absolutely hate and wonder where they went wrong. For me, its an album that I absolutely love. It's different to the older Opeth, so it's not another remake of Blackwater Park or Still Life, which I believe their intention is with each new record. If you haven't heard this album yet, buy it as soon as possible. The bonus content in the Special Edition DVD was a Nice addition too, with a 5.1 mix of the whole album, interviews with the band, bonus songs and some jam room sessions.


And as most people probably already know Martin Mendez became a father not too long ago. Noak Mendez Artigas came into this world on the morning of June 14. Many congratulations to Martin and Sandra!

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Interview with the new Anthrax singer Dan Nelson

Frank Bello:Rob Caggiano:Dan Nelson:Charlie Benante:Scott Ian


As some of you may know Anthrax are back!


With John Bush and the band parting ways, Joey Belladonna not wanting to carry on after the reunion tour, and the return of Rob Caggiano, only a new singer was needed to make them a force to be reckoned with again.


With all the ‘flaming’ going on between the fans on the Anthrax message board about who should be in/out or just shaking it about, it was a pretty hostile environment for them to walk into.


Step on to the rink Dan Nelson, and done it he has, with style. A self confessed fan of the band that is starting to live the dream!


Not content with just putting him to work in the studio, the band gave him a trial by fire with an opening slot for 3 nights on the current Iron Maiden tour, but before that they were kind enough to have a small warm up gig in front of a few hundred rabid Anthrax fans.


What follows is a short interview I got with the man himself.


How did you get the job with Anthrax? Thru Rob Caggiano, I contacted him on-line about starting up a project. After he heard my voice he felt I would be a good fit for Anthrax.

You have said you've always been an Anthrax fan. Did this help you to audition for them, or were you star struck at meeting them? Definitely helped knowing the songs in advance....They are so down to earth the star struck thing didn't even come into play. I was very determined to get the job.

What bands did you play with before? Quite a few....Crucibal, Discipline, Unbroken, Devilsize.

Have you always been a 'metal' singer, or are there some dark secrets in you past?
Dark secrets? Haha...I have been in both metal and rock bands. I enjoy singing in general. If it's a good song I will sing it....Not just metal.

How did it feel when you were first offered the job with such a well known band? Great.

Did you know about all the bad feeling from fans about the whole business with a new/old singer before you took the job?
Being a fan I knew all the John versus Joey battles...I hope to carve my own niche. Both those guys were great. Neil Turbin did a great job as well.

Did you have any second doubts about saying yes? Nope. Bring it on.

How did you feel when people who had never heard you before were 'flaming' you on the bands web site, just because you weren't their choice of singer? I don't let any of that stuff phase me....Love me or hate me, I am still going to sing cause I love doing it.

How much of an input will you have on the new album given that the guys were writing stuff before you joined? I have had a good amount of input on the lyrics and melodies. We have also written music from after the point of me joining. So it's not all pre-existing material.

How has it been joining the band, considering how close they all are? They have treated me like one of the family from the start.

Have they been playing jokes on you because you're the new guy? Here and there, but then again I am pretty big. I'm just kidding...Maybe.

What's been the worst thing they've done so far? Nothing too bad.

What are you looking forward to most with the band? Writing and performing great music....Both old and new.

How has your life changed since joining the band? All for the better.

What did you say when the guys told you were gonna open for Iron Maiden? Absolutely. I was pumped.

How did it feel to walk out on stage and sing with guys you've been a fan off? Incredible.

How does it feel now you've got your first couple of gigs under your belt? Feels great, I am really glad to be past that part of it. Now it's time to go to work.

Who are your influences? I have a lot. Everyone from Elvis Presley to James Hetfield.

What are you currently listening to? Arsis - We are the Nightmare. Faith No More - King for a Day

What do you do to chill out? Go to the movies, spend time with my wife. Draw.

How do you feel about downloading music? To each his own.

Lastly, you told this story on the Anthrax message board, but for all those who haven't seen it, can you tell us your Bruce Dickinson story. Haha, long story short....Bruce came backstage to congratulate me on my performance. And I missed him cause I was taking a crap. How's that for a Spinal Tap moment?


Many thanks to Clay for setting this up for me.


Thanks to Dan, for taking the time to answer my questions.


For more information check out;
www.anthrax.com/NFWS/. There’s also footage of the band performing some of there classics on there.


www.anthrax.com/nfc/index.php The new Anthrax message board. You have to register to this board, but it is free.


www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermouth.net/news.aspx?mode=Article&newsitemID=98809
For audio of 3 new songs performed live.

Photo by: Gene Ambo

Paradise Lost - The Anatomy of Melancholy (Dvd Review)


Paradise Lost have had a long and interesting 21 year career as one of England’s finest musical exports. The band have a large and interesting back catalogue which makes for interesting listening and for an even more interesting new live Dvd entitled “The Anatomy of Melancholy”. The Dvd opens up with new track “The Enemy” which takes on a whole new life compared to the original and average sounding album version. From here on in the band storms through some of their more recent back catalogue with tracks off their self titled and “Symbol of Life” albums. Here is where they throw in a curveball in the shape of the track “So Much Is Lost” from their experimental album “Host”. The track however goes down a treat and even the most ardent haters of the “Host” album would have to admit that this is a great track in a live setting.

As the Dvd goes on the band continues to storm through some of their older tracks which haven’t gotten an airing in years. Tracks such as “Pity the Sadness”, “Forever Failure”, “Once Solemn”, “As I Die” “Embers Fire”, “Eternal”, “True Belief” and “Gothic” all sound as fresh and new as the day they were first recorded. The band throws in another new track in the shape of “Praise Lamented Shade” which takes on epic proportions and really shows that Paradise Lost have truly returned to form. The band closes with the expected track “Say Just Words” from the “One Second” album which is nothing short of an anthem for them.

The production and the band’s performance on the Dvd cannot be faulted in anyway. Everything sounds crisp and clear yet skull pounding heavy at the same time and with the addition of new drummer Jeff Singer the band have never sounded so tight and cohesive as a unit. The one weak point of Paradise Lost in a live setting has always been the vocals of Nick Holmes. A perfect example of this is on their previous live Dvd release “Evolve” in which he sings out of tune for at least three quarters of the performance. On this new Dvd however Nick Holmes is at his vocal peak with not one “bum note” in the whole thing. It is without a doubt the best vocal performance of his that has been captured with his vocals reaching new highs.

Without a shadow of a doubt this is one of the best live Dvds I own and one of the best ones that I have ever had the pleasure of seeing. It has everything that you could want from a music Dvd, great packaging, a great performance, and an even better set list. For any Paradise Lost fan this is a must have. Period.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Fight Fire With Fire Tour 2008


After vandals destroyed their brand new tour bus earlier this year, the tour and management agency, Syndicate Thirteen (aka S13), decided to set up a charity tour to raise funds for a replacement tour bus.

S13 have 9 bands on their current roster, and intend to expand in the future to help promote signed and unsigned bands across the UK. But one of the main issues they have to contend with is the lack of tour bus!

The line up will consist of 4/5 bands, with at least one from S13, and the rest of the line up completed by up and coming local bands. It's a chance to check out some fantastic new talent while at the same time supporting a great cause!

The fundraising tour will take place at the following:

4th July – The Hive, Edinburgh
12th July – The 13th Note, Glasgow
18th July – The Eildon, Coldstream
26th July – Legends, Newcastle
2nd August – Retox, Sunderland
10th August – Bar Co., Swansea

Tickets will cost you £5, a bargain and a half! So make sure you get yourselves along, and spread the word!

For more information, or to purchase a ticket, head on over to:

www.syndicatethirteen.co.uk/fundraiser.htm

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Amon Amarth Studio Diary Part 5 - More Guitar

Does it go past 11?
Amon Amarth 2008 Studio Diary Part 5

Dismember - Australia Burns Tour July 2008

Proudly presented by Bleed Records, Soundworks & Riot...



Swedish Death Metal Gods are returning! On their ' Australia Burns ' July Tour 2008 !!!!!



Tue, July 15th - Perth - Amplifier
Tickets : www.moshtix.com.au

Wed July 16th - Adelaide - Enigma
Guests : Tzun Tzu & Altars Tickets : www.venuetix.com.au
ph charge 8225 8888

Thur July 17th - Hobart - The Bris Hotel
Guests : Earth, Terrorust, Separatist & M.S.I. Tickets : www.moshtix.com.au

Friday July 18th - Melbourne - Hi Fi Bar
Guests : F*ck I'm Dead, Earth, Terrorust, & Embodied Tickets : www.thehifi.com.au
ph charge 9654 7617

Sat July 19th - Sydney - Gaelic Theatre
Guests : Earth & Terrorust Tickets : www.moshtix.com.au

Sun July 2oth - Brisbane - Rosies on Edwards
Guests : Vomitor & More T.b.c. Tickets : www.moshtix.com.au



Founded 1988 in Stockholm/Sweden, Dismember were among those responsible for Death Metal's big break through. The Classic Debut album, 'Like An Ever Flowing Stream' from 1991, has resulted in their rise to ' CULT ' status.

After 20 Years of Unrelentless live performances and more classic album releases, Dismember is now back with their most crushing album to date!

The self titled Album 'Dismember' is out now through Riot / Regain.
It's the ultimate death metal album!

One of the finest Swedish bands ever formed. Dismember have lost nothing in terms of intensity over the years . The sheer pace and passion of the songs are blistering and the vocal sounds are as pissed off as ever. Powerful riffs that are not in short demand, plenty of lead works and memorable melodic harmonies are what the metal scene needed and Dismember have them in Huge Spades.
Stockholm's Death Metal Gods are back to their glory days..... back to the early 90's.
LIVE, Dismember are one of the best live bands on Earth! full stop.

If you missed out on the Australian 2005 Tour and still hear people talking about it, you know there is a very good reason why.
As long as Dismember live, Death Metal will reign!


Article & pics source, and band information: http://www.myspace.com/dismemberofficial

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Interview with Count Darvius Noctem of 'Days of Our Decay'


Hello Count Darvius Noctem, how are you?
Doing ok at the moment, a bit frustrated.

Could you give me a 3 word description of how you feel Days of Our Decay sound?
Gothic/Industrial/Black Metal

Could you explain to me when and how 'DOOD' were formed?
I started the band in 2002, when I lived in Minnesota. I had unreliable undedicated members back then, so I took the project and basically made it into a solo project. It was in very rough stages for the first couple of years, and then things gradually grew from there, evolving into what it is today. When I started, the intention was to express myself, musically and combine all of my main influences into one b*****dized musical entity. I have been playing keyboards/piano (as well as many other instruments) for years and really set my focus on my own band as opposed to join another band. I really wanted to write songs, and then decided that I would have to sing them as well if anyone was going to take this seriously. It took some time to get my style down, and get where it is today, but hopefully people can understand where I am coming from and appreciate what I have to say.

What inspired you to name your band ‘Days of Our Decay’?
The name itself was a parody of the soap opera "Days of Our Lives." The band was never meant to be a parody though, I just wanted to do something serious and be over-the-top at the same time.

You are the male vocalist, also you compose the music and lyrics, what meanings and elements do you wish to capture?
Musically, I try to create very dark, epic, melodic, and catchy songs. A lot of the songs tend to have a very misanthropic feel to them, which I am pretty blatant about. Most bands either go more in more of the goth rock, the industrial rock, or black metal direction separately, whereas we tend to combine features from all three and meld them into one. I want the dark, clean monotone vocals mixed with the harsh mlack metal shreiks, accompanied by female operatic vocals, all of which backed by the over use of dark melodic keyboards played to electronic drums mimicking industrial, as well as black metal rhythms.

The female vocals are performed by Demonika Demise, how do you feel about the haunting essence of her voice?
Even though her voice isn't very prominent in the music, it still adds a creepy backing or melodic effect. Demonika is basically the "finishing touch" on every song. Many times her voice is so dead on that it is mixes in with the keyboards adding that extra force behind each note.

You now have a live band, do you plan on touring soon? If so where?
Correction, we DID have a live band. We have gone through more session members than any other band. We are actually really easy people to work with, despite what most would assume. We are always making back up plans because we are very determined to get out music out there. A plan is currently being formulated. We want to start touring in Canada, and then do a whole North American tour, and eventually make our way to Europe because, that is where our main fan base is at.

You have 3 albums, could you tell me the story behind each of these? What do each of these mean to you? In each one did you represent any particular emotions, explore various issues?
We really have 5 written, but the final recordings for the last two are not quite complete. We are also working on the untitled 6th album as well.

With "The Devil's Concubine," I was going for a more Vampiric Metal feel. I used a lot of vampire references, and a lot of biblical ones, as well. I just wanted something dark with haunting melody.
For the "Sinners' Masquerade," I focused my attention on Anti-Christian themes, and wanted to more less point out the hypocrisy and the facade in organized religion, as well as in the human spirit. It was a very angry/cynical album that needed to be done, in my opinion.

On "The Scarlights," I wanted to be a bit more melodic and catchy with this album, yet still be dark and follow the particular style I set out to create. Overall, the songs turned out to be an amalgam of the two previous albums, but with more diversity, and more of a melancholic feel, without being too brooding. The keyboard playing got a bit more complex and lyrically, it varies from angry, to hopeful, and then to sad. The vocals are varied a bit more within each song and the techniques have improved.

Basically, with each album, I am trying to find a way to make the music more epic, and catchy, yet not straying from our style, but occasionally, introducing some new elements. Expect the 4th and 5th cds to be darker and more epic.

Have any of your songs affected you more so than the others?
I tend to touch on a lot of personal topics, some of which are more blatant, whereas some are more cryptic. Every song I write has some kind of significance, whether I am really serious, or just having fun.

Who would your music appeal to?
Looking at our myspace friends list, we seem to appeal to people of any age really. Fans of gothic metal, industrial rock and black metal seem to take to us fairly well. We don't really fall under a specific genre, so people who have a more diverse taste in rock and metal, seem to like us.

What musicians have inspired you?
Vocally, I'd say: Whiplasher Bernadotte, Marilyn Manson, Dani Filth, Shagrath, Peter Steele, Rob Zombie, Jyrki 69 etc. Musically, Nightmare Industries (Deathstars), Mustis, Martin Powell, Tuomas Holopainen, etc.

How do you feel about the metal scene at the present?
The American metal scene to me is complete s**t, other than a handful of mainstream bands and bands like us trying to make it out of the underground. The European metal scene to me is awesome! I cannot stress that more. I am a big fan of the Finnish metal scene, in particular, and the mainstream black metal scene. I am very impressed with what Europe is producing these days, and really everything that they have produced in the past, as well.

During the songs creation have you a set pattern of procedure (eg the lyrics followed by music)?
Music is always first, with the exception of: "(You're Nothing More Than) Dead Roses On My Grave," in which the title and half of the lyrics were written before the music. In most cases, I tend to start with a simple melody or a simple beat/tempo and go from there. Many times, parts will get scraped, or morph into something completely different before the song is completely finished.

Do you find Myspace useful to promote your music?
Yes! It is the best thing for musicians now a day. Bands used to have actual websites, whereas now, all you need is a Myspace and millions of people can hear your music. We sell our albums on our page, and that has gone over quite well. We have an ever growing fan base that we are proud (and thankful) to have, and hope things keep going well in that aspect.

What styles of music do you listen to? Has your musical taste varied much over the years?
I prefer the darker music overall, so anything from gothic rock/metal, black metal, industrial rock/metal, some alternative, some 80's new wave, and classical music as well!

At what stage did you feel your future was to follow a musical path?
When I first listened and saw videos by Marilyn Manson. I thought, and still think, the man is a f*****g genius! I then decided that this was something I would want to pursue in the future.

Are there any changes you would wish to make to any of your albums?
Hahaha! Yeah, I would have liked to record them in a better studio, with better equipment, for sure. I know the production is lacking, but we do the best with what we have!

What are your ambitions for ‘DOOD’?
To get a stable touring line up, pursue the band fulltime, and sell a bunch of f*****g records so we can have the opportunity to tour the world and hopefully meet some awesome people, and see some awesome places, and most of all: Have fun doing it!

There are song samples on ‘Days of Our Decay’ Myspace page, feel free to have a listen
The link to Days of Our Decay www.myspace.com/daysofourdecay

God Forbid - Beneath the Scars of Glory and Progression DVD


A new God Forbid DVD has been released through Century Media, called Beneath the Scars of Glory and Progression. The DVD, which was released in the US yesterday, but appears to be a multi-region DVD (from what I can gather).

It's consists of 2 DVDs and covers the bands history and includes all their music videos and a complete live show from their home state.

There is a trailer for the DVD, which can be found here:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9i96XWxa3o

Disc 1:

1. The Concert: Live In Jersey:
2. Force Fed
3. Chains Of Humanity
4. Divide My Destiny
5. Go Your Own Way
6. Anti-Hero
7. Better Days
8. The Lonely Dead
9. Reject The Sickness
10. Gone Forever
11. Broken Promise
12. To The Fallen Hero
13. The End of The World
14. Crucify Your Beliefs

Disc 2:

The Documentary: Rated R For Real

· God Forbid Member Profiles
· The Real Black Metal
· God Forbid And Their Motorcycles

The Music Videos:

· Better Days
· Anti Hero
· Gone Forever
· The End Of The World
· To The Fallen Heros
· Chains Of Humanity

Def Leppard Australian Tour



Def Leppard, with guests Cheap Trick and The Galvatrons are set to hit australia with a select few shows. be sure to not miss these rock legends!


October 31 - Members Equity Stadium, Perth *
November 3 - Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne
November 5 - Acer Arena, Sydney
November 7 - Newcastle Entertainment Centre
November 8 - Brisbane Entertainment Centre
November 10 - Win Entertainment Centre, Wollongong
November 11 - Ais Arena, Canberra

TICKETS ON SALE FRIDAY JUNE 20

From www.ticketek.com.au & 132 849

Except Perth: On sale Monday June 23 from www.ticketmaster.com.au & 136 100

Aborted - New Album Release


German metallers Aborted have a brand new album, "Strychnine.213", which is due to be released on the 23rd of June in the UK (24th in the US) through Century Media.

You can check out their studio sessions from the album here:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=8P6fAYRgSEU

They also have an eCard up which you can find here:

www.centurymedia.com/eCard/Aborted/Strychnine213

The band are about to head out on the Summer Slaughter tour in the US, along with The Black Dahlia Murder, Kataklysm, Vader, Cryptopsy, The Faceless, Despised Icon, Born of Osiris, Psycroptic and Whitechapel.

06/20 Majestic Theatre – Detroit, MI
06/21 Peabody’s – Cleveland, OH
06/22 Headliner’s Music Hall – Louisville, KY
06/24 Northern Lights – Albany, NY
06/25 The Trocadero – Philadelphia, PA
06/27 The Palladium – Worcester, MA
06/28 Starland Ballroom – Sayreville, NJ
06/29 The National – Richmond, VA
06/30 Ground Zero – Spartanburg, VA
07/01 The Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
07/02 Jannus Landing – St. Petersburg, FL
07/04 The White Rabbit – San Antonio, TX
07/05 Meridian – Houston, TX
07/06 House of Blues – Dallas, TX
07/08 Sunshine Theater – Albuquerque, NM
07/09 Club 101 – El Paso, TX
07/10 Marquee Theater – Phoenix, AZ
07/11 House of Blues – Los Angeles, CA
07/12 The Dome – Bakersfield, CA
07/13 SOMA – San Diego, CA
07/15 The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA
07/16 The New Oasis – Sparks, NV
07/17 Hawthorne Theater – Portland, OR
07/18 Studio Seven – Seattle, WA
07/19 Big Easy Concert House – Spokane, WA
07/20 Big Easy Concert House – Boise, ID
07/21 Club NVO – Logan, UT
07/23 Cervantes Ballroom – Denver, CO
07/24 Sokol Underground – Omaha, NE
07/25 First Ave. – Minneapolis, MN
07/26 The Rave – Milwaukee, WI
07/27 Pop’s – St. Louis, MO
07/28 House of Blues – Chicago, IL

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Opeth - Watershed Review


Over the last 10 to 15 years Sweden has become the purveyor of some of the greatest music, not only this side of the Atlantic, but across the global world of music. At the top of this elite are Opeth whose latest offering, is the so called “Watershed” in their career. In the last 2 years they have lost two vital members from their ranks in the shape of Martin Lopez and Peter Lindgren. Although this would be a death blow to some if not most bands this has not perturbed main-man Mikael Akerfeldt from creating a great although difficult listening experience. The album opens with the Pink Floydish sounding acoustic number “Coil” which boasts some of the most lavish clean vocals Mr Akerfeldt has peformed on record along with the vocals of fellow Swedish vocalist Nathalie Lorichs. As the album progresses into the next 2 tracks things go down a more brutal path involving gut wrenching death metal vocals (as per usual), some blast beats and also the oddest of prog/jazz piano parts you are ever likely to hear on an Opeth album. It is on these tracks that new drummer “Axe” has proved himself as an astounding drummer and more than capable of filling the shoes of departed member Martin Lopez. However the stand out track on the album has to be “Burden”. Upon the first listen you think “what in the name of…”. This is the most unOpeth track you are ever likely to hear. It just screams of 70’s prog power ballads. It even has the obligatory piano solo. This is the point on the album where you can truly hear some of Akerfeldt’s musical influences.

The track “Porcelain Heart” is the lone track co composed with new man Frederik Akesson and to some extent it shows. The track reeks of a slightly more complex arrangement of “The Grand Conjuration” from their previous outing with Akerfeldt’s vocals reaching an almost falsetto height towards the final 2 minutes of the number. The closing tracks “Hessian Peel” and “Hex Omega” (those names I know!!!) are again 2 of the more experimental tracks from Opeth in recent years with “Peel” showing some truly brutal moments and some shredtastic lead work from Mr. Akesson. “Omega” boasts some Faith No More style lead riffage and believe or not a real church organ which closes the track and the album. All in all this is a great album but at times it sounds painfully average with the lyrics sounding extremely cheesy at times, see “Hessian Peel”, and some of the riffs sounding uninspired, see “Porcelain Heart” . Production wise the album cannot be faulted in any way with the drums for the first time, to these ears anyway, being more forward in the mix and sounding a lot thicker in general. This album will be the one that will truly polarize opinions on this band. It is the most difficult Opeth album to listen to and to get fully into. You’re either going to love it or hate it. I love it, but only just about.

Mental Interrogation with Justin Warrick of Bleed The Sky

Who? Justin Warrick, guitarist/backing vocalist of Bleed The Sky.

Myspace: www.myspace.com/bleedthesky

How long have you been playing together? The band lineup has changed since the formation in 2003 but this line up has been together almost 2 years!!

How did you meet? My last band REV was actually opening for Bleed, we became really good friends/drinkin buddies outside the band and then Kyle left the band, and they called me up!!

What kind of gear do you use? Right now we are using Peavy 6505+ and a VHT Pitbull.

Is there an album that inspired you to join a band? I have always been a music fan and couldn't think of anything else I would rather do, so I can't think of one album that made me want to be in a band cause there were several, all the way back to Shout At The Devil, Motley Crue, Out of the Cellar, RATT, any Metallica record up to and including the black album, Guns N Roses, always great, N.W.A., and well lets face it anyone who ever picked up a guitar or a mic or sat behind a drum kit with the purpose of playing heavy music has to bow down to the ALL MIGHTY PANTERA!! R.I.P. DIMEBAG=G.O.A.T.!!!

What was the last album you bought? CLUTCH!!!!

What do you think of downloading music? It is what it is, it aint never gonna stop now, but just remember all those artists that you love can't afford to make the music you love unless you buy it!!!! It isn't being greedy or anything but we have bills too and it costs money to go out on the road and put out records!!

Who would you say was your personal biggest influence? Dimebag on so many different levels!

If you could trade places with another musician for a day, who would it be and why? No one I LOVE MY BAND!! METAL!! But if I had to probably Justin Timberlake, not really a musician though, so I could spend some of that money and hell you have all seen the a*s that dude pulls!!

If you weren’t playing in a band, what do you think you’d be doing instead? Tattoo artist.

Where do you think the best metal is coming from at the moment? From your stereo as long as it is playing Murder The Dance (the new Bleed The Sky album) which is out in stores TODAY (16th June in the UK)!!!! Ha ha ha no really there is a bunch of new bands out there like Horse Called War from OK City, Stenmm from NY, Carbid outta Austin TX, Lead Burns Red out of San Diego CA, Heat Fix outta OK City and so on and so on there is always great music out there, you just gotta realize that is not always what the media tells you is good!! (MI - and that's the reason we started Metaholic Music!)

If you could only eat one kind of food, would it be savoury or sweet? Savory, steak and tators all the way!!!

What’s your favourite movie? Anyone that makes me laugh, but I also like a good killin movie too!!

What was the last live show you went to (not including your own)? Heat Fix in OK City.

What do you have lined up next? We will be touring soon, we have about 48 days booked right now so stay tuned to our Myspace and we will have those dates up soon!!

Why should people check out your band? You shouldn't unless you like METAL and/or sexy long haired dudes that drink and smoke a lot!! Ha ha! Murder The Dance, the new record from Bleed The Sky is out in stores June 10th (in the US, June 16th in the UK), that is today by the way, GO BUY IT!! See you all out on tour soon!!!

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Opeth UK Tour Dates


November will see Swedish progressive metallers, Opeth, visiting the UK for a fair few tour dates. So if you missed them on the Defenders Of The Faith tour in April, you will get another opertunity to see Sweden's best before the year is through!
  • 17th - Glasgow, ABC - UK
  • 18th - Dublin, St Vicars - UK
  • 19th - Birmingham, Academy - UK
  • 20th - London, Shepards Bush Empire - UK
  • 21st - Bristol, Academy - UK
  • 22nd - Nottingham, Rock City - UK
  • 23rd - Manchester, Academy - UK
They will also be in the UK in August for Bloodstock Open Air Festival. There's simply no excuse to miss them!

www.myspace.com/opeth

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Amon Amarth Studio Diary 2008

Swedish viking metallers Amon Amarth have been updating fans with online video studio diaries, with insight into how the bands doings as they work on the new album. It can be quite and amusing watch for fans. You might even learn something. Here's all 4 parts.

Part 1 - Drums

Amon Amarth 2008 Studio Diary Part 1


Part 2 - Guitars

Amon Amarth 2008 Studio Diary Part 2


Part 3 - How to chop onions with your bass guitar, and BBQ assembly/lighting 101. Insightful!

Amon Amarth 2008 Studio Diary Part 3


Part 4 - Vocals

Amon Amarth 2008 Studio Diary Part 4