From the smallest canton in Switzerland comes ColdCell, from Basel-Stadt. The five member extreme metal band, currently on tour after their release show earlier this month has a lot of upcoming shows. Five years ago in 2012 the guys came together and officially became ColdCell. Seems like two maybe a lucky number for the band, since every two years since the founding they have released a new album. Their debut album ‘Generation Abomination’ produced by Gravity Entertainment in October of 2013, being their longest album to date. Two years later the band released their second album entitled ‘Low Life’ in May of 2015 with just one less song, but from a new label Avanlgarde Music. November has been a very busy month for this out of the Swiss group with the release of their third album ‘Those’ on November 3rd 2017. This eight song album was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Victor Bullock, over the course of three months in Germany at Woodstock Studio. The album was produced under the record label Avanlgarde Music. Don’t forget to keep an eye and ear out for them with many big upcoming shows on their current tour with a stop at Road Fest 2017 this December. Continue reading →
After releasing their beautiful childs named ‘Cane Hill’ & ‘Smile’ they have finally announced their second official full album ‘Too Far Gone’ via RiseRecords. If you liked their older work you will definitely like this so stop whatever you may be doing and get right in!
“I might be lonely, but I ain’t alone here, so I keep on pushing the limits of what makes me” is one of the lines Asking Alexandria vocalist Danny Worsnop belts in the kick-off of the band’s fifth, and self-titled, album’s opening track “Alone In A Room”. It’s also the most definitive line of the entire record in that it describes Danny’s willingness to continue to expand himself in multiple unexpected directions as a musician. For a man who has dabbled in sonic equivalents of both love letters to the 80’s glam rock he grew up adoring and tell-all emotional country, it might come as a bit of or maybe no shock at all that he opens this record with a swaying vocal style that recalls more Usher and less Sammy Hagar. And if you think that’s his lone hat trick on this excursion, you are quite mistaken.
As a whole, Asking Alexandria aren’t satisfied with doing the same old, same old this time around either. Opting for a much more contemporary sound that better suits the title of one of the world’s fastest growing modern rock bands, ‘Asking Alexandria’ contains both gleaming, layered electronic production elements and raw “rawk” guitar tones. This may sound contradictory, but it also describes to a T the contrast Worsnop’s gruff rock voice offers the primarily pop-influenced backdrop he is often given here.
In an odd sort of way, the record moves forward but also looks back. This may be the band’s cleanest record since “Stand Up & Scream” in that Danny sings cleaner than he has in quite awhile and there is a prominent electronic element. While there’s no sporadic dance breaks, those elements are included in a much more cohesive way yet in a manner that their inclusion doesn’t feel textbook. “Alone In A Room” has a vocal sample dance hook in its bridge, “Under Denver” uses a pulsating synth the likes of which haven’t been heard on an Asking Alexandria record since 2009 and, oh yeah, there’s a hip hop track too that has the goal to be larger than life and nothing less. While these ideas don’t always work to the strength of the music itself, it’s nice to hear an experimental Asking Alexandria after The Black’s commitment to essentially re-writing ‘Reckless & Relentless’. This is after all, Danny’s return to the fold and the band are using the attention gained from that saga to break down creative barriers. More Depeche Mode & Fall Out Boy, less As I Lay Dying and Slipknot.
The content itself is as diverse as its many ideas at play. First off, this is a more optimistic Asking Alexandria than we once knew. No longer are songs like “Run Free” and “Someone Somewhere” just brief glimmers of hope; This entire record is practically made of hope. That hope was born from the suffering that made the band’s entire career though, specifically Danny’s formerly destructive habits. And he is outspoken in his departure from such a lifestyle here, which makes the record one of substance and provides it more of a *gasp* mature air. “Room 138” particularly touches on the night Danny overdosed and nearly died in a California hotel room and its a hell of a reflective way to top off a record. On the other hand, the curveballs offered by writing songs about conspiracy theories and Adam and Eve are head-scratchers but they’re also sat between a one-take acoustic track about money hungry corporate monsters, so anything’s plausible.
The band’s improved headspace makes this already much different from their past offerings which were fun albeit flawed escapisms. Ranging from tranquil (“Hopelessly Hopeful”, “Under Denver”) to grandiose (“Into The Fire”, “Rise Up”, “When The Lights Come On”), Asking Alexandria are a tighter unit by playing around Danny’s expansive vocal abilities, though admittedly subdued to allow him most of the expression. This decision makes sense for a bigger sense of atmosphere, build-up and ultimately, a focus on emotion. It does leave some fans who were expecting flashy guitar solos and more guitar musicianship out in the cold, however. Keep in mind though, those patient enough to dive deep into this record will find some stellar moments. Drummer James Cassells portrays so much more energy with his snare than before, especially in “I Am One” and “Hopelessly Hopeful”. There’s a notable bass progression from bassist Sam Bettley in “Into The Fire” that makes the lead-up to the chorus feel that much more significant. It’s all “in-the-pocket musicianship, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t impressive.
The fans that miss heavy, metalcore Asking Alexandria might be disappointed that such a side isn’t more present here, but those fans will also love “Eve”. It’s groovy, crushing verse breakdowns and brutal vocal gurgles will satisfy any old-school fan. And though the song doesn’t grow into a satisfying release, it is balanced with a chorus that will stick. It’s not the only heavy moment on the record, but it is the lone significantly heavy song.
The record does have an infectious amount of prominently hook-driven energy. I can’t say there’s any song here that lacks a memorable line or chorus and every member of the band has honed their crafts to ensure that Asking Alexandria as a band are known for big anthems. And that’s exactly what this is: A record of anthems. Songs that not only the fans will relate to but that the band needed to write. While this direction is the most polarizing yet from an already polarizing band, it will do wonders to their live shows and provide more variety in the future. In fact, this record’s lasting impact lies in what potential it shows the band has and the wide range they can play with. The ascent into the mainstream made with this record reminds me of both Linkin Park’s ‘Minutes To Midnight’ and Metallica cutting off their long hair & recording ‘The Black Album’. Time will tell if this direction will elicit as much backlash and ultimately as much payoff as those two records did.
Make sure not to miss the band on their upcoming 2018 tour!
Tour dates (co-headline tour with Black Veil Brides):
1/10 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Complex
1/11 – Denver, CO @ Fillmore Auditorium
1/12 – Kansas City, MO @ Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland
1/13 – Minneapolis, MN @ Myth
1/15 – St. Louis, MO @ Pageant
1/17 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE
1/18 – Grand Rapids, MI @ 20 Monroe Live
1/19 – Milwaukee, WI @ Eagles Club Stage
1/20 – Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theatre
2/02 – Worcester, MA @ Palladium
2/03 – Portland, ME @ State Theatre
2/04 – Montreal, QC @ M Telus
2/05 – Toronto, ON @ Rebel
2/07 – Norfolk, VA @ Norva
2/08 – New York, NY @ Terminal 5
2/09 – Baltimore, MD @ Rams Head Live
2/10 – Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory
2/12 – Atlanta, GA @ Tabernacle
2/13 – Nashville, TN @ Marathon Music Works
2/14 – Indianapolis, IN @ Egyptian Room at Old National Centre
2/16 – Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey Live
2/17 – Houston, TX @ House of Blues
2/19 – Albuquerque, NM @ El Rey Theater
2/20 – Tempe, AZ @ Marquee Theater
2/22 – Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory Concert House
2/23 – Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater
2/24 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox SODO
2/25 – Vancouver, BC @ Vogue
2/27 – Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory Concert House
3/01 – San Francisco, CA @ The Warfield Theatre
3/02 – Las Vegas, NV @ House of Blues
Morbid Angel’s latest studio album, released December 1st, 2017, ‘Kingdoms Disdained’ is a return to form following their previous, polarizing release, ‘Illud Divinum Insanus’ which left many longtime fans feeling alienated. As part of the original Florida death metal scene, Morbid Angel was formed in Tampa in 1983 by guitarist Trey Azagthoth, the only remaining original member, and original vocalist, Mike Browning. Since their inception, the God-hating, Satan-loving death metal pioneers have released nine studio albums to date and are regarded as being among the forefathers of American Death Metal. Their 1989 debut album, ‘Alters of Madness’ is frequently recognized as one of the greatest death metal albums of all time.
So what happened with ‘Illud Divinum Isanus’ that pissed so many fans off? Longtime vocalist, and arguably most notable past band member, “Evil D” David Vincent who left the band to pursue his dreams of becoming the first death metal Garth Brooks, has stated that they were experimenting with pushing the boundaries of extreme music. By “extreme” evidently this meant unabashedly kicking aside death metal norms and branching out into the realms of Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson with industrial-infused, shock-rock tracks like “Radikult.” The song title alone is cringe-worthy to some. As a whole, the album was largely considered a low point in the band’s catalog and left many wondering if Morbid Angel had lost their way entirely.
However, with all that being said, ‘Kingdoms Disdained’ is true and authentic death metal once again. With Steve Tucker returning for the third time as lead vocalist, in between David Vincent’s in-and-out membership of the 2000’s, Morbid Angel has created something that contends with the evil and twistedness of their classics. While banging on all cylinders and doing what they do best, they are masters of creating dark, chaotic death metal that sounds like something Satan would listen to on acid. Steve Tucker is right at home with his panther-like growling vocal delivery, and Azagthoth’s 7-string, dissonant riffing is showcased nicely throughout. While there are no immediate classics that blatantly stand out when compared to past greats such as “Rapture” or “God of Emptiness,” the album as a whole is solid.
Standout tracks are “Garden of Disdain,” which has a “Where the Slime Lives” vibe, “Architect and Iconoclast,” and “Declaring New Law (Secret Hell).” I would say there is a good amount of filler on this album as well, unfortunately, and this could be largely due to having major band member changes. Dan Vadim Von is new on guitar as well as Scott Fuller being new on drums for the band. Drumming-wise Pete “The Feet” Sandoval is sorely missed but Fuller is more than equipped to hold his own in the lineup and puts in an impressive performance on the record.
With this album under their belt, and hopefully a consistent lineup for the foreseeable future, I anticipate the follow-up to ‘Kingdoms Disdained’ to be much stronger as the cohesiveness of the band continues to build over time. At this point, we can rejoice in the fact that Morbid Angel is back and once again sounding like themselves.
“A thinking human’s aural wet dream. Part progressive, part psychedelic, part grunge, and all rock, this quartet’s music is just as calm and calculated as it is erratic and emotional” – PureGrainAudio.
Pheonix, AZ’s grunge/prog metal cult The Oxford Coma has just released a new lyric video for “Inflatable Patriots (Touching People In Their Sleep)”, taken from their recently released second LP ‘Everything Out Of Tune’. Commenting on the single, guitarist/vocalist Billy Tegethoff states “This song is about hypocrisy, obliviousness, injustice, brainwashing, hipster racism, and cat noises.” Intrigued? Watch the video below this article!
‘Everything Out Of Tune’ delivers more than forty minutes of devastatingly creative noise rock-influenced psychedelic intensity that takes The Oxford Coma’s unique sonics to the next level in every conceivable way. Offering a spectrum of effects-drenched tones that teleports the listener into an altered state of listening, with thundering grunge riffage meets progressive exploration. The follow-up to the band’s 2015 release ‘Paris Is Mine’ features guitar from Intronaut’s Sacha Dunable on the lead track, “Trauma (Maybe I’m Forgetting Something.” Created over a two-year cycle with a completely restructured line-up, ‘Everything Out Of Tune’ was recorded and mixed by the man of many talents Steve Albini at Electrical Audio in Chicago, and mastered by John Golden at Golden Mastering. Continue reading →
Wes Borland really needs no introduction, the eccentric guitar player of Limp Bizkit and lead vocalist and guitarist of Black Light Burns and Big Dumb Face. Of course Limp Bizkit has been a dominating force in the nu-metal scene since 1995, even prior to the release of their debut album ‘Three Dolla Bill, Y’all’. ‘While all the Limp Bizkit fans are eagerly awaiting a new album Wes has released a new Big Dumb Face album titled ‘Where Is Duke Lion? He’s Dead…’ on October 31st. This is by far the heaviest project Wes is involved in and has an iconic eerie death metal sound. It is the bands first release since ‘Duke Lion Fights The Terror!!’ in 2001. They also released the track “He Rides Skies” which you can listen to here! Continue reading →
A follow-up to any sophomore release is a massive undertaking for any band, but especially so for one that has been in the works for a near half decade. Finnish rockers Mangoo have certainly let us sweat it out in anticipation since 2012’s Small Stone debut ‘Neverland’. Will you be ready when you fire up their latest offering? Can you handle ‘The Heat’?
The quintet have been firmly routed in the underground since 2005 with their self-released untitled debut EP, and were brought to domestic and international media attention with their first full-length ‘Neolithic’ (7:45 Records) in 2009 and subsequent sophomore ‘Neverland’. Each time Mangoo has been personally involved with the recording and production processes. Enabling them to keep the music entirely their own, allowing them a complete freedom over their sound and song writing. By this, the abundance of experimentation has kept them advancing forward at an astonishing rate in terms of growth and progression, and Mangoo have accomplished something truly special with ‘The Heat’ that drops this Friday 8th December via Small Stone Records. Pre-order now here! Continue reading →
Swedish extreme tech-metal pioneers Meshuggah have announced a 2018 North American tour with special guests Code Orange and Toothgrinder. The 6-show tour will kick off at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, BC on January 23rd and will make stops in Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco before concluding at The Wiltern in Los Angeles on January 29th! Tickets for the tour go on sale on Friday, December 8th at 1 PM EST, purchase here. Following the 6-show trek, Meshuggah will perform at the 70,000 Tons Of Metal Cruise alongside Kreator, Exhumed, Sepultura, Goatwhore, Internal Bleeding and many, many more. How about that for a new year high? Continue reading →
Midlands four-piece GO PRIMITIVE have released the brand new video for ‘A Different Person’ the explosive second single taken from their forthcoming debut album, ‘Choices‘,out February 23rd 2018. The video sees our bewildered protagonist attending a seemingly standard job interview which descends into a surreal and chaotic adventure, as he is taunted by unwanted fantasies about the other potential candidates’ alter egos. The track itself is an energised rock stomper layered with thunderous riffs and punchy beats entwined with melodic vocal lines and killer guitar solos. Fuelled with attitude, the band state, “’A Different Person’ is about someone showing their unfavourable true colours, shattering the belief of the kind of person you thought they were”.