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 subterfugeTrojan 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 ofsomeone’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 suchtitans as KREATOR, THE HAUNTED, IMPALED NAZARENE, CHILDREN OF BODOM, ROTTING CHRIST, MAYHEM, PESTILENCE,andSEPTIC 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.
The UKs very own version of Roadburn took over London over the bank holiday weekend of 4th May – 6th May. The annual 3-day DesertFest London festival hosted over 70 bands including some of the biggest names in the stoner rock scene, at the most iconic venues in Londons Camden town – from the Roundhouse to Koko, The Underworld, The Black Heart and The Dev(onshire Arms). Camden was a hive for worshipers of the scene to congregate for the 7th edition of this fundamental tour, and with headliners that included Graveyard, Napalm Death, High On Fire, Hawkwind and Monster Magnet, this year has been it’s biggest and most diverse yet!
Today saw the festival at it’s busiest for it’s opening day, with 26 artists across 5 stages, not to mention the thousands of tourists bustling about Camden town – famous for it’s vast array of boutique and quirky independent shops, amazing street food and markets, weird and wonderful street performers and musicians, as well as being the absolute hot-spot for all kinds of sub-cultures to thrive. With the distinct smell of weed fresh in the air on a blisteringly hot day in the capitol, I was ready for the beginning of what would be an epic weekend of (natural) highs from the outstanding line-up at DesertFest London 2018. (Full gallery follows article). Continue reading →
*This is a part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state.*
This month’s state is Louisiana!
New Orleans’ Space Cadaver are a band that have fury and finesse, with a groove that stomps all over their songs. They have a sci-fi style and power to match the best in the universe. Guitarist/vocalist John Baleine, bassist Beto Arias and drummer Jason Meserole bring dark and light in equal measure. Formed in 2015, Space Cadaver have shared the stage with heavyweights such as Conan, Acid King and Ufomammut. Their message of spacey doom is spreading quickly!
Their debut self-titled album has been available since 2017. Guitarist/vocalist Baleine commented that “this album is a benchmark of 3 years of hard work and determination – an opportunity to grow…and have closure with a lot of dark things… It was a cleanse to purge the pent up frustrations around the suicide and murders of loved ones, drug addiction and the struggle to break free from the things that are no longer serving me.”
Space Cadaver have a sound that melds Death, Doom and Stoner in a rock hard package. Their self-titled debut album is a tour de force of genre-defying metal. They may only have a bass, guitar and drums to work from, but they know how to work that to make an amazing cinematic sound that sonically destroys everything in the mainstream metal world.
The album kicks off with the riffy ‘The Infinite Black Sun‘. This sets the band’s stall out, with Baleine’s growling vocals and thoughtful lyrics. The sound that a three piece make is genuinely impressive. The bass is high in the mix and the drums splatter through the fuzz storm of guitar. There are light passages that bring the sound into a different sphere and the dark parts take you to a back alley and mug you.
The guitar dominates “Day Ruiner“, as the groove is augmented by a superb guitar solo that is full of heart and power. “Storm” follows with the sound of hell coming out to play. A grunge-type melody lends the song a spirit that cannot be dismissed easily.
“Insufficient Reward” is a masterpiece in cinematic metal. It ebbs and flows with an approach that composers of movie scores love. I can imagine a video of someone escaping evil forces, running down dark corridors in space. The drumming is superb on this tune.
The commercially accessible “Clock Hoarder” continues with its fantastic bass/guitar interplay. It also manages to tip its hat to old school thrash. “Nowhere, Now Here” continues the album with a progressive, minor key insurgency. Once again, a cinematic sound, focusing on a picture in space of desolation and regret.
The closing two numbers, “Sword of the Lord” and “Draco’s Revenge” are urgent, epic sound songs that veer from blast beats to progressive jazz in the space of minutes.
Overall, Space Cadaver are a band that everyone should check out, before they check out (in space, naturally).
*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 →
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 →
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 →