Swedish Metal is the unsung hero of the Metal genre. Rarely do you see so many game changing extreme Metal bands arise from one area as you do with Sweden. You have pioneers of various forms of Death Metal like Entombed, At The Gates and Dark Tranquility who all contributed massively to the genre by contributing buzz saw guitar tones and melody mixed with insanely heavy riffs. Fast forward to today and you still have a healthy amount of bands emerging from the area! One of the most notable would be LIK who have just released a new album that is a worthy successor to bands like Dismember, Entombed and Bloodbath!
Bad Wolves quietly crept on the scene in Spring of 2017, teasing portions of a melodic new age of djent riffs, hard rock song structure, with brash, yet catchy vocals. Behind this fresh take on metal would be former members of such bands as God Forbid, Devildriver, Divine Heresy, Bury Your Dead and In This Moment. Eleven Seven Music picked them up and will release “Disobey” on May 11. What this band has been able to achieve even before the release of their debut album is truly astonishing. A No. 1 single on the Mainstream Rock charts, iTunes No. 1 single of every genre and they have already embarked on an arena tour. Bad Wolves is undoubtedly the hottest thing in heavy music right now. Continue reading →
After the huge succes of the 2015 album ‘IRE’Parkway Drive is back to destroy whatever is left with the dark and harsh vocals of Winston supported by the insane riffage of Jeff, Luke and Jia and the Earth crushing drums of Ben. So you better get ready to witness the end of the world!
Before we get into the new and stellar album ‘Reverence’ we need to dive into the deep and try to grasp the absolute beauty of their past records. Now if you have been a Parkway Drive or even a metalcore fan for a while you already know that they have held the throne from the beginning of time with the 2007 release of ‘Killing With A Smile’. This and several other past albums such as ‘Horizons’, ‘Deep Blue’ and ‘Atlas’ have all been of huge help to the metalcore world. For both musicians and for people who enjoy the music as much as I do. They have for sure set a near perfect example of how the core of metal should be delivered in its best ways. But before you come knocking on my door Parkway Drive has been released music before, they released 2 EPs which you have probably never heard of. They have done a split ep with I Killed The Prom Queen back in 2003 and the not so famous but spectacular 2004 EP ‘Don’t Close Your Eyes’.
OVERKILL are a legendary thrash metal band, formed in 1980 in New Jersey. They have gone through many line-up changes, leaving bassist D. D. Verni and lead vocalist Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth as the only constant members. OVERKILL‘s current lineup also includes Dave Linsk on lead guitar, Derek Tailer on rhythm guitar and Jason Bittner on drums.
The band are masters of the crunchy thrash that the 1980’s spawned. They eat and drink metal music and Blitz is a renowned singer within the genre, being one of the godfathers of thrash, along with James Hetfield of METALLICA and Chuck Billy of TESTAMENT. They have a significant library of studio albums (nineteen in total), including the stone cold classics ‘Under The Influence’ (1988) and ‘Horrorscope’ (1999). Continue reading →
Ruben Romano has a rock and roll pedigree that can stand alongside the very best. As a founding member of both Fu ManchuandNebula (let that sink in for a second, why don’tcha?), Romano helped draw up the plans and build the framework that stoner rock hangs on to this very day. He’s spent the last decade-plus as frontman and guiding force for L.A. based psych-rockers The Freeks, piloting their trips-‘n’-riffs-fueled funny car further and further into the cosmic realm; their newest dispatch Crazy World (released via the ever-reliable Heavy Psych Sounds) is the sound of the band-in-residency at the Garage at the Edge of the Universe, a jubilantly strident “Fuck You” in the face of oblivion.
Kentucky punk trio Baby Bones formed around 2016. Band members Dave Rucinski (guitar/vocals), Thomas Burgos (guitar/vocals/bass) and Badnewz Brandum (drums) are veterans in the Louisville music scene for years. In 2016 the trio recorded the song “Pay Us In Dimes” for the ‘We Have a Bevin Problem’ compilation under the mantle of Baby Bones, rocketing themselves into an unknown future. Of course “Bevin” refers to the current governor Matt Bevin of the Bluegrass state who hasn’t been too well received by the majority of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. He is only the second Republican to hold the office in over 40 years. As we know punk bands are often inspired by political themes and rebelling against the powers the be, and Baby Bones is no different. That compilation created a consumer demand for more of what Baby Bones was offering; Therefore it ignited the trio to invest more time into the group and release more material. The band has went into the studio at Tin Pan Basement and recorded with Dave Rucinski. They have finalized their debut EP titled ‘Curse of the Crystal Teeth’ and it will release on April 14th, 2018 via Gubbey Records.
“Loam & Sky,” the forthcoming release by San Fernando Valley, California prog outlet, THE ELEPHANT PARALLAX, is the follow up to their May 2010 self titled release. This EP ‘Loam & Sky’ is taking all of the elements of their first release and maximizing them in prolific fashion; combining aspects of funk, sludge, and progressive instrumentals, THE ELEPHANT PARALLAX aim to bring genre defying, mind opening melodies that will have you at attention the entire twenty four minutes you listen to it.
Mos Generator are a heavy riffing trio from Silverdale, WA, who have made it their life’s mission to breathe new life into classic rock. They revel in the sounds of the 1970’s, with a nod to a progressive era long since taken over by being too inaccessible for casual listeners.
The band has a strong pedigree, comprised as it is by Tony Reed (vocals, guitar, Wurlitzer; ex-Treepeople), Sean Booth (bass), and Jono Garrett (drums). They came together in 2002 and followed a self-titled debut with a concept album entitled ‘Late Great Planet Earth’ in 2005. This was followed by several great records, including ‘Nomads’ and ‘Abyssinia’.
Their latest release on Listenable Records is the majestic ‘Shadowlands’. I am finding it a real pleasure to absorb the grooves and power on this collection. There is an epic opener in “Shadowlands“, full of riffing and roaring. There is also fuzzbox overdrive on songs like “Drowning In Your Loving Cup” and “Woman Song“.
The songs are compact and lean, swaggering into your consciousness like boxers entering the ring, full of confidence and focus. What makes them elevate from average to great is the tunefulness that sets them apart from the pack.
Reed makes his mark with a melodic maelstrom of musicality with his ripping guitar and cool walking vocals. There is the added bonus of solos that don’t outstay their welcome. It is taste over flash for sure. The bass playing from Booth is rock solid, but busy and I can only imagine what this band would do live. When you have a four piece, a busy bass is essential and you get that in spades on ‘Shadowlands’ – just listen to “The Blasting Concept” for a demonstration of Haslip’s skill. Any review would also be remiss not to make mention of Garrett’s drumming, which drives this album forward.
Combine all of the elements together and you have an album of power, melody and heart. It is not one dimension and I recommend it highly for all lovers of classic rock, infused with stoner tendencies and superb musicianship.
Belgian/Dutch power trio RRRags came together a mere eight months ago, but the songs on their self-titled debut sound like the work of a band that’s been at this rock and roll game for years and years. The band’s musical telepathy is remarkably refined, and the songs are both well-crafted and catchy as all hell. They hit hard without ever plodding, emphasizing groove and atmosphere over sheer brute strength and mixing their upbeat stoner vibe with flashes of soul, funk, southern rock, and power pop. RRRags are obviously true believers and lifelong devotees, my friends, and they’ve conjured up a slab of classic rock for the here and now.
Boston-based, extreme metal band, Unflesh is set to release their first full-length studio album, ‘Savior’ on May 25th, 2018. The musical style on this record embodies the aura of black metal wickedness, while infusing technical death metal ferocity and rich, complex melodies in a way that transcend the confinements of a single sub-genre. The riffing is ingeniously intricate and inspired, vocals are venomous and vile, but those drums! The hyper aggressive drumming performance on ‘Savior’ is utterly relentless and impressive thanks to the otherworldly kit skills of drummer, Chris Dovas (Seven Spires). Not to diminish the other elements, which are arguably just as awesome, but what Dovas so phenominally brings to this record is almost its own selling point. Continue reading →