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 →
In addition to having a keenly honed knack for riff-driven/pop-tinged sugar-and-sludge psychedelia, Kevin Starrs does atmosphere better than anybody working in heavy music today. As creative force and sole constant member of Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats, his albums play like 70mm cult horror classics bootlegged onto well-worn VHS cassettes, casting their cathode ray glow over otherwise darkened bedrooms. The colors are vibrant but washed-out, it’s warbly and more than a little distorted, the on-screen movements leave tracers, and the whole thing has just enough fuzz and static on it to seem genuinely creepy. Acid-steeped, with a heavy dose of psychopaths, brainwashers, and a ready steady flow of that red red kroovy, the Uncle Acid canon is a grindhouse marathon for the mind’s eye. The latest opus from Starrs and Co., Wasteland, brings the “post-apocalyptic dystopia” genre into the oeuvre, a tale of walled cities, mindless masses, piped-in propaganda, and hidden computer discs filled with long-forgotten memories and perhaps the keys to freedom. The premise may sound prog, but the execution is blessedly pure classic rock hesh.
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.
There’s no doubt that 2018 has brought us several great metal releases from some of the biggest names in the business and more than a handful of noteworthy newcomers as well. As 2019 looms upon us in the coming weeks, there is plenty to be excited about for what the new year will bring us metal fans. Here is a list of some of 2019’s most anticipated metal albums to look forward to throughout the year: Continue reading →
Desert rock legend John Garcia is back with and he brought some sand-covered riffs for your ears. Garcia is a founding member and former vocalist of the now disbanded Kyuss. Since their split Garcia has not stopped working on project after project, often bringing on old bandmates like Scott Reeder and Brant Bjork. After forming Slo Burn, Unida, and Vista Chino Garcia released two solo albums. Some of these included original material or different takes on old Kyuss tunes. Since his last recording, The Coyote Who Spoke in Tongues, John Garcia and the band have found a new energy that is palpable from the first note.
John Garcia And The Band Of Gold begins with the introductory track, “Space Vato”. As tiring as introduction tracks have become, this ramped up an energy that prepared you for the coming tide of the album. Garcia’s identifiable and unique voice is as strong as ever. With the small bite-sized tracks the album does not exhaust or lose momentum; One track moves on to the next without one staying for too long. Tracks like “Chicken Delight” and “Popcorn (Hit Me When You Can)” are groovy tracks rooted in old acid rock with modern aggression and style to them. “Lilliana” is riff powered desert rock, something that can only be born from sand. My favorite track on the record “Apache Junction” is pure Sabbath-worship that channels the energy of a song like “Hand of Doom”. After spending a day in the desert, you sit and stare at the stars with “Softer Side”. This ends the album on a soft and euphoric note.
John Garcia And the Band Of Gold is out via Napalm Records January 4 with a European tour happening shortly after its release (dates below). To keep up with John Garcia and his band, follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
Live: JOHN GARCIA And The Band Of Gold Special Show w/ Nick Oliveri, Luna Sol, Death in Pretty Wrapping 29.11.18 US – Las Vegas / Vinyl
w/ Dead Quiet 23.01.19 FR – Paris / Le Trabendo 24.01.19 FR – Bordeaux / Le Krakatoa 25.01.19 ES – Madrid / Caracol 26.01.19 ES – Barcelona / Razzamatazz 2 28.01.19 FR – Lyon / Le Kao 29.01.19 CH – Zurich / Bogen F. 30.01.19 IT – Milan / Santeria Club 31.01.19 DE – Munich / Backstage Halle 02.02.19 AT – Graz / Explosiv 03.02.19 HU – Budapest / A38 04.02.19 CZ – Prague / Rock Cafe 05.02.19 DE – Nürnberg / Hirsch 07.02.19 DE – Jena / F-Haus 08.02.19 DE – Berlin / SO36 09.02.19 DK – Copenhagen / Loppen 10.02.19 NO – Oslo / John Dee 12.02.19 FI – Helsinki / Tavastia 14.02.19 SE – Stockholm / Debaser Strand 15.02.19 SE – Gothenburg / Sticky Fingers 16.02.19 DE – Hamburg / Gruenspan 17.02.19 DE – Cologne / Helios 37 19.02.19 BE – Leuven / Het Depot 20.02.19 DE – Aschaffenburg / Colos-Saal 21.02.19 DE – Essen / Turock 22.02.19 NL – Tilburg / 013 23.02.19 UK – London / O2 Academy Islington
Cancer was formed in 1988 by drummer Carl Stokes, guitarist John Walker and bassist Ian Buchanan. Not long after forming, the band released 2 demos (‘No Fuckin Cover’ and ‘Demo 2’) and toured with a variety of bands including Bolt Thrower and Charged GBH. During the 90’s, Cancer released the most material, however, it would be the first two of these albums that really gave the band a name in the Death Metal scene. ‘To the Gory End’ (1990) and ‘Death Shall Rise’ (1991) are relatively obscure releases even to many Metal fans, however, for those of us who have heard them we know they are classics of the genre! After being absent since 2005’s ‘Spirit in Flames’ Cancer have returned in 2018 with a new album! Available now via Peaceville Records ‘Shadow Gripped’ is an album that harkens back to the glory days of Death Metal! Continue reading →
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.