Artwork by Gyula Havancsák
After 36 years of touring and writing new music, Grave Digger is still at it putting out fantastic power metal anthems. Their new album, ‘Healed By Metal’ dropped on January 13th, 2017 on Napalm Records. It is their fourth release with the label and their 18th album overall. ‘Healed By Metal’ lives up to the big expectations following their previous, stellar release, ‘Return of the Reaper’ (2014). This record also features the debut of new keyboardist, Marcus Kniep. The rest of the band remains the same from the last album including Chris “Reaper” Boltendahl on the vocals, Stefan Arnold on drums, Jens Becker on bass, and Axel “Ironfinger” Ritt on the guitars. The German power metal band continues to put out strong material consistently almost every 2 years. You can buy ‘Healed By Metal’ on Amazon or you can get it on iTunes. Continue reading
You are about to bear witness to the heaviest band the country of Singapore has to offer. The ‘Vedic metal’ pioneers since the early ’90s return this year with their most ambitious album to date. Having worked hard over the years to forge a unique sound that’s a sublime blend of Indian classical music rooted in ancient spirituality and extreme metal encompassing death metal, black metal and thrash metal music. Rudra have influenced various bands both within their country and abroad, they have set standard for what fans what in regards to blackened thrash and death metal. The unheralded overlords of Asia, Rudra have a cult following that remains mysteriously loyal, as they hone a sound that’s probably unparalleled. Their latest album, again founded on the principles of Vedic spirituality. Indian classical instruments such as sitar, flute, tablas (Indian percussion) and even a didgeridoo are used for this album, to create a spiritual expression. Don’t let the idea of these unfamiliar instruments scare you away, it doesn’t get in the way at all of this band dominating in the genre where they have broken barriers and still remained true to the metal way. ‘Enemy of Duality’ released December 17, 2016 and is destined to be a landmark from the Orient, one that doesn’t abandon the ancient roots and blends the traditional sounds and philosophies seamlessly into music that’s at once challenging and hypnotic. Continue reading
Beyond My Eyes is the solo project of musical mastermind Mr. Erick Green. Now 39, Erick was born in Santa Marta, Magdalena, Columbia but spent much of his early life traveling all around this South American country. During his adolescence, he settled in Barranquilla, learning Cumbia (a dance-oriented genre of popular music throughout Latin America), Vallenato (a popular folk music of the Caribbean region of Columbia literally meaning “born in the valley”), Salsa, Rock and Metal. Starting off as a percussionist, Green remembers “banging on anything that could make a sound or [he] could beat with [his] hands and feet” before being given a guitar to noodle around with. With a big appetite for radio friendly Metal bands like Def Leppard, The Scorpions and Poison, Erick found his motivation to properly play the guitar from none other than Metallica. Being self-taught strictly by ear, he had to buckle down to nail the technique required to play these beloved tracks and eventually earning him the title “El Metallica” among friends. As his skill set expanded, so did his desire to play live, resulting in a band called Espina with friends Oscar and Johnny as well as another, collaborative local project called Risk.
*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured State*
This month’s State is Idaho
Traitors Gate is:
Ken Mansfield – Guitars
Tim Allan – Drums
Colby Dees – Bass
Mister Y– Vocals
Alright my Metalhead friends, I have a special treat for this week’s State of the Art: Idaho series. Not only do I have a killer band that you are sure to dig, but also am including a review of of their new, self-titled debut! I have never done this before but the opportunity presented itself and I sure as hell was going to take advantage of it! New band AND new music?!? Good stuff. Let’s get to it. This week, from Boise, ID, comes Traitors Gate.
Photo Credit: Kristen Zarra
There is nothing more rewarding than stumbling across a band you haven’t heard of, giving it a listen and it blows your mind. That’s exactly what Inner Temple has done for me. The band is based out of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and formed in late 2013. The band released a 5 track EP titled ‘Captivity’ on October 28, 2016. The EP was Recorded/Mixed by former drummer Keeyan Zimmerman and Produced by Chris Castillo from the band The Greater Victory. ‘Captivity’ is the follow up to the 2 track EP ‘The Games We Play’ that the band released in February 2016. The band includes various elements in their music including alternative and hard rock with a heavy influence of grunge and some fuzzed out stoner qualities as well. The band is currently comprised of Dustin Schumacher on vocals/guitar and Kevin Schlosser on drums. The drumming on ‘Captivity’ was completed by former drummer Keeyan Zimmerman who has since left the band. Inner Temple is currently auditioning bassists to fill the final spot in their trio. The band’s debut EP released early in 2014 and is very rare to find, but it sparked a cult following of fans that have helped the band get the word out about their unique sound. Continue reading
Artwork by Brian Lewis
From Oakland, California, Cultural Warfare are preparing to debut their first EP from M-Theory Audio, “Future Kill”. This thrashing release will drop this Friday on January 27, 2017. The band has undergone some lineup changes since forming in 2011 but has finally been solidified for their first release. The band consists of long time members Billy Garoutte on the guitars and Kevin Doughty on the drums. Joining the band will be members from the band Taunted, with Jacques Serrano on the vocals and Pete Aguilar on the bass guitar. The EP was produced by Juan Urteaga (Testament, Exodus, Vicious Rumors) and mastered by Maor Appelbaum (Faith No More, Halford, Sepultura). The artwork of ‘Future Kill’ was done by Brian Lewis of Stone Design (DevilDriver, Black Label Society). Having been around since the formation of bay area thrash, the highly experienced members of Cultural Warfare are here in 2017 to conquer the world with their classic thrash sound.
Disillusion Effect was conceived from the remains of the now-defunct Morgantown, West Virginia band Diabolus, Disillusion Effect swept across the Mountain State quickly and ruthlessly following its inception in the summer of 2012, screaming, chugging, and rumbling its way through the Appalachian Mountains and beyond. The band’s first release came in form of a single with the track, “Dawn of Our Unmaking,” produced by Morgantown, W. Va., musician Aristotle Jones. The single immediately opened the eyes to fans all around the mountain state and surrounding areas. The band then moved on to record and release a self-titled EP, produced by Mark Poole of Zone 8 Recording Studios. After the release of the EP just as the band was charging forward their drummer left the band, leaving them to use programmed drums for a period of time. The band then decided to take a DIY approach on their full length album ‘Behold the Inevitable Beast’ and then send to Jay Hannon (Byzantine, Gods Below Us) at 7 Over 8 Recording Studios for mastering. The full length was released on October 1, 2015. It was around this time that guitarist and a founding member Jimmy Rhodes had to leave the band, but before leaving the band he handpicked his replacement ensuring that the band would continue on. So joins “Big” Ed Green to the fold and with him came his drummer in the band The Kafka Machine, Aubra “Adam” Cole. Now Disillusion Effect was whole once again. While we are just now unveiling to you this amazing body of work the band is already in writing and recording process for another release titled ‘Achluophobic’ which doesn’t have a release date as of yet, so get acquainted with this album while we await yet another brutal assault from these West Virginia natives. Continue reading
Gravehuffer began their life as the band KROM in 2008. The band is from the Show Me State and that state nickname rings true with their sound. They aren’t flamboyant with their music, they seem to know the exact style they are going for and they show that within their music. Gravehuffer’s sound has really mutated since the beginning of the band, and they didn’t truly realize how unique their sound was until they began playing live shows. They add influences from all over the board including crust punk, grindcore, new wave of British heavy metal, sludge and doom. It seems like an odd mixture of influences, but with them all combined they come up with a style that has really set them apart from any competition. The band featured 3 tracks on a compilation album called ‘Horrific Unholy Noise’ which featured brutal grind/death bands like Corpseflesh, Vomitomb and Facegrinder. Now Gravehuffer are preparing to release their debut album ‘Your Fault’, which was recorded and mixed at Iron Sights Studio by Larry Deardorff . ‘Your Fault’ is set to release on March 3, 2017. The band has already been receiving airplay on various online radio networks both domestic and international. Continue reading
T-Tops hails from the great city of Pittsburgh. The city that gave us the iconic sandwiches at Primanti Brothers has now given us something else amazing to consume, only this time with our ears. The group is made up of ex members of The Fitt, Don Caballero, and Wormrigg. Lead vocalist and guitarist Patrick Waters and bassist/backing vocalist Jason Orr (also current member of the band Holy Rivals) founded the band and after searching for a drummer for an extended amount of time welcomed drummer Jason Jouver to the fold. They certainly have experience in other bands and you can hear that within their music. T-Tops have 5 releases in their discography, 2 of which were dropped in 2016. Their new 7″ ‘Face Of Depression’ dropped in November and was produced by drummer Jason Jouver at Plus Minus (+/-) Recording Studio. It’s the follow up to their April 2016 10″ split ‘Cyrus Gold’. The cover art for that previous release even pays homage to their hometown team the Pittsburgh Pirates. Jouver, who played on the album in addition to producing it, has since left the band due to fading interest/work schedule/and a bad arm injury. The band has since added Mike Koch as the new drummer for the band. While other bands struggle to put out one release every few years this band has issued 4 releases in the past two years. T-Tops is not only a band proud of their hometown but they also proudly deliver some amazing rock music with varying elements that gives them a uniqueness. The power trio expels ravaging riffs, gravely vocals, thundering beats and a soundtrack for driving fast to. The band is now scheduling a tour and we will let you know when and where to catch this amazing band once they hit the road. At times their style is somewhat retro but with a modern twist. So roll down your windows and let your mullet flow in the wind, this band is about to take you from 0 to 60 one track at a time. Continue reading
Steaksauce Mustache is a band full of personality. Not only within their music, but in all aspects. If you ever have the opportunity to catch a live stream of them just sitting around it is surely to be one of the most obscure and entertaining things you have seen on the web. The Oregon based band described their sound as “chaotic hardcore” and that is very fitting. Don’t think of chaotic in a negative manner, what Steaksauce Mustache create is a uniquely beautiful chaos. The band’s previous release was ‘The Almighty Aardvoctomalark!’ which released in 2014. Just the track listing alone produces some amazing laughs from the band with songs like “Moby Dickface”. Steaksauce Mustache has followed that up with their new record, ‘Eat What We Kill For You’ which released on September 12, 2015. The album was produced and mastered by Evan Kunze. Another thing to note about the band is their eye catching cover art. Sometimes album art is often overlooked, but this is one of those albums that I would have purchased on a whim based solely on the art. The incredibly detailed artwork was created by the band’s vocalist Taylor Bates (New Melody Art Design). Continue reading