Acid Death, Live in Germany. (Photo credit unknown)
About a month ago, I wrote a little piece for Metal Nexus in regards to the unearthing of the long lost debut album of Grecian prog/tech metal innovators, Acid Death. (Click here to check it out if you’re so inclined.) Not long after the publication of that article, I was in contact with Savvas Bettinis (vox and bassist for AD) about a possible interview with the band and after consideration, we decided on a more Q & A style due to differences in scheduling and time zones. What follows is the results of that exchange, Continue reading
The classical Roman poet Virgil wrote in ‘Aeneid’, one of his most well known epics, to “be wary of Greeks bearing gifts”. Of course, Virgil was referring to the historically significant delivery of the subterfuge Trojan horse by the Greeks in order to gain access inside the fortified walls of the Trojan stronghold in the midst of a ten year siege. Ol’ Virgil, though, never could have, in all his poetic grace, imagined the Greeks handing the metal world the offerings of Hellenic Acid Death. Floga Records announced on March 10th that they were releasing the long buried first album from the legendary death/thrash/prog/tech metal collective known to the world as Acid Death. This album is finally seeing the light of day after a quarter of a century (25 years!) of staying in the shadows of someone’s long forgotten stash. The band originally formed in 1989, and “Balance Of Power” was recorded in 1992 by the fledgling group who would go on to release several albums: “Pieces Of Mankind” (1997), “Random’s Manifest” (2000), “Eidolon” (2012), and most recently “Hall Of Mirrors” (2015). The gorgeous grounds of Greece spawned this apocalyptic philosophical quartet, apropos, considering the rich history of the country. Comprised of Savvas Betinis (ex-Brainfade and ex-Kinetic) on vox and bass, Kostas Alexakis (ex-Braindfade and ex-Kinetic) keeping the beats busting on drums, John Anagnoston (ex-Released Anger and ex-The Crucifier) on rhythm guitar and last but certainly not least is axe slinger Dennis Kostopoulus (ex-Infidel) on the lead. Despite some breaks over the years, the band returns to its’ core roots more often than not and have firmly cemented themselves as one of the major innovators and mainstays of the Greek metal scene. Acid Death have shared the stage with such titans as KREATOR, THE HAUNTED, IMPALED NAZARENE, CHILDREN OF BODOM, ROTTING CHRIST, MAYHEM, PESTILENCE, and SEPTIC FLESH over the years, alongside some epic and raved about performances on the festival circuit. Continue reading
Fifty years ago, the much-vaunted but short-lived Summer of Love burned out nearly as fast as it began, and the Sixties began its death march toward Cielo Drive and Altamont Speedway. Choked out by lethal doses of greed and drugs, groovy-baby, flower-in-your-hair psychedelia quickly gave way to bad trips and endless bummers, speed freaks and acid burnouts. The sounds of an era roiled by perpetual tumult and social upheaval transformed and mutated as well, into something harder-edged, more sinister; less It’s A Beautiful Day and Scott McKenzie, more Blue Cheer and Black Sabbath. And while Alice Cooper has claimed responsibility for his group “driving a stake through the heart of the Love Generation,” the bands represented on the Numero Group’s new compilation Acid Nightmares show that his namesake act were but one link in a worldwide network of accomplices, and that sonically speaking, the Hippie movement died a death of a thousand cuts.
Photo Credit: Christian Buck
*This is a part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state.*
This month’s state is Vermont!
Combining elements of doom, death, sludge and black metal the Montpelier, Vermont based band Lightcrusher was formed in 2010. You could say that their lyrical themes tend to be more leaning towards the darker side of things with themes like nature, misanthropy, loss, and isolation. The band is comprised of 5 members including members and ex-members of bands like Chalice, Lord Gallows, The Demon Bell, Sunder, Cruciferion, Limbwalker and others. Some of the members were actually in these bands together, so there was already a chemistry and bond created there that you can hear on the bands material. The members include M. Schrift on vocals, A. Sørensen on guitar and vocals, K. Emmons also on guitar, J. Elwert behind the drum kit and L. Gallows on the bass. The quintet released their first material in the form of a demo in September of 2015. Simply titled ‘Lightcrusher Demo’. The recording included five tracks. Fast forward to December 2016 and the band has now released a brand new EP titled ‘Forests of Unresolve’ which includes 5 blistering tracks of death doom and the bands signature duel vocal style.
These are the best ten records I heard in 2017, and I think they prove unequivocally that despite what you may have heard, nearly seventy years on rock and roll is alive and well. You may have to do a little more legwork than you’re used to to find it, but trust me, it’s there. Bands all around the world carrying on the traditions of those who came before, while also constantly rebuilding the whole thing in their own image. Hearing the evolution is exhilarating enough to make wading through all the crap worthwhile. This list was in a constant state of flux. There were another four or five records that could’ve just as easily made the cut, and half the albums here were in the top two at one time or another. Continue reading
Though he had quite the rough and scary exterior Rev. Jim Forrester was one of the nicest and most sincere people I ever had the pleasure of meeting. He and I bonded over our mutual love of Acid Bath at the inaugural Doomed & Stoned Festival in Indianapolis in 2016, where his band Foghound put on one hell of a show. The 43 year old bassist recently had battled back from some health issues. He had a blot clot in his liver and the music world all had him in our thoughts and the powerful man that he is battled back and took the stage again to do what he loved most, play music. In addition to playing bass for Foghound Jim also was a part of the band Serpents of Secrecy and played for Sixty Watt Shaman. Continue reading
Steve Tucker & Trey Azagthoth
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. Continue reading
Photo Credit: Eric’s Bad Ass Uncle!
In this series we pose the age old questions to a wide array of music lovers. As fans of music most of us keep a mental list of active bands we want to see live that we haven’t yet seen. The Bucketlist brings to you those lists of your favorite artists and why those bands mean so much to them.
Nate Garrett is a name you may be familiar with. Musicians strike to get signed by a label throughout their careers and Nate has achieved this with not only one band but two. In 2015 Nate founded the band Spirit Adrift, which essentially started out as a one man project. In 2016 the band released an EP ‘ Behind – Beyond’ and a full length ‘Chained to Oblivion’ both via Prosthetic Records . They also released a split release with Khemmis via War Crime Recordings. Spirit Adrift has a slow festering doom sound with some psychedelic qualities. Both releases are riddled with riffs and thundering bass lines. Also on vocal duties Nate’s voice booms with soulful qualities throughout each track. All the tracks have this immense harmony and melodic feel with the powerful guitar work and drum beats holding up the back end. Around the same time Nate was founding Spirit Adrift he was welcomed into Gatecreeper as their guitarist. The bands are vastly different but do have some similar elements. Gatecreeper is certainly more in the vein of death metal, but they combine some doom influence as well. The band includes a Swedish style rapid fire riff attack and equal parts groove to make a smooth and filling cocktail of greatness. Since Nate was added to the band they have appeared on 3 splits, a compilation album, a full length and a live album. The full length ‘Sonoran Depravation’ was released in 2016 via Relapse Records, and the band’s live album ‘Unleashed in the Middle East’ was released in May of 2017 independently. You can easily say at this point that Nate Garrett is a successful musician. Dividing his time between two successful groups is certainly another feat within itself. Continue reading
Technical death metal‘s biggest outlaws DYING FETUS are doing the rounds and getting fans all warmed up and excited for the new studio album after 2012 release, ‘Reign Supreme’. Their new album hits the stores on June 23rd, 2017 via Relapse Records, going by the name of ‘Wrong One To Fuck With‘. April 20th saw them releasing their first single off the above mentioned forthcoming album, titled, ‘Fixated On Devastation‘, if you haven’t heard the first single yet, you’re living under a rock and missing out. Go check it here.
*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured State*
This month’s State is Oregon!
Like shooting fish in a barrel for this month’s State of the Art: Oregon series. No matter how extreme your Metal tastes, Oregon has something for you. Digging 80’s Pop Metal? Gotcha covered. More into old school Thrash and Power Metal? You got it. Think these are for wusses and desire to hit the extremes? There are more good Death and Black Metal bands in Oregon than you can shake a stick at. If there is one niche that stands out in the upper, West Coast, however, it is going to be Progressive Metal. Incidentally, this stands among my favorites, so this week let me introduce you to Increate.