We’ve all heard at least a half dozen or more tropes about preservation, about finishing what we start, and about how anything worth doing is worth doing right, and approximately a thousand variations upon the same and similar themes. The Swedish death metal band Sarcasm wants you know those important and oh-so-persistent lessons in life did not fall upon their deaf ears. The core duo of the current quintet, vocalist Heval Vozarslan (also of Third Storm) and Anders Erikson have written and recorded together as Sarcasm since 1994. While an EP appeared in 2000, and along the way a bunch of demos, their material from that time did not see a proper full length release until 2016 on Dark Descent Records. Yes, you read those last two sentences correctly. Less than a year after their proper debut, Sarcasm rounded out their lineup, bringing back Peter Laitinen on guitar (who previously played with the core in ’94, also of Imperial Domain, The Hidden, ex-Goatworship), and fleshing out the rest with Jonas Soder (Imperial Domain, also ex-Goatworship) thundering along on bass and Matte Modin (Firespawn, The Hidden, and ex-Dark Funeral) taking on the role of beat master. July of 2016 saw the release of their proper full length release ‘Burial Dimensions’, and, in breakneck speed as if making up for lost time, the sophomore effort ‘Within The Sphere Of Ethereal Minds’ is scheduled to drop on April 28th of this year. Continue reading
The name Ghost Bath refers to the act of committing suicide by being submerged in a tub of water, and given the music this band has brought forth on their previous EP and full length releases, it’s an appropriate one. Ghost Bath, hailing from the state of North Dakota, play an interesting brand of depressing black metal, chock full of rough, howling vocalizations accompanied by razor sharp instrumental passages that send the listener on a trip through the throes of a depressive mind. The forthcoming album, ‘Starmourner’ releases April 21st, 2017, via Nuclear Blast, finds Ghost Bath stretching their wings, much like the angelic theme that threads the album, and exploring old and new territory alike. Continue reading
Quickly: what comes to mind when you think of the state of Kentucky? Hillbillies? Country music? Horses and bourbon? Maybe UK basketball? Whatever it is, I highly doubt that death metal is among what pops up. Defying what outsiders think they know about the Bluegrass State, Louisville (aka Louis-evil) based Order Of Leviathan has launched an all out assault on convention via an “eternal quest for total darkness through transcendent art.” Founded in March 2012, these guys pulled the band together not for the promise of fame, but to create art purely for the sake of art.
Comprised of vocalist Nathan Bowling, Levi Crandell-guitar, Derek Tipton-guitar, Dustin Rawlings-bass, and Mike Hargrave-drums, Order Of Leviathan have released two full albums thus far, and have played with such acts as Cannibal Corpse and Cattle Decapitation. 2013 saw their first full length release, “The Infernal Path To Total Darkness”, an absolute BEAST of a debut, and more recently, the sophomore satanica offering of “Death Worship” in August of 2016. This band of nihilistic misanthropes are only growing in scope and skill, and with razor sharp intent, they’re hellbent on opening your eyes to ultimate nothingness of life. Continue reading
*Every Thursday from now until Chicago Open Air gets here we will be releasing an article about a band playing the festival to get you familiar with them.*
This week’s artist is Avatar!
Swedish metal band Avatar will be making their debut at Chicago Open Air to “steal the show” on July 15th. Forming in 2001, the band went through several lineup changes before releasing their first full length album, ‘Thoughts of No Tomorrow’ in 2006. ‘Schlact’ followed that in 2007 and then their self titled album was released in 2010. This was the start of the band’s rise to fame having been signed by Sony Music and releasing their biggest song yet “Queen of Blades”. The song received recognition from Blizzard Entertainment as it was about a character from the game Starcraft. Throughout these years they hit the road with many experienced bands like In Flames, Obituary, Helloween, and Dark Tranquility. Continue reading
DOWN THE STONE formed in 2013 in Italy. The band has retained all of its original members: Lorenzo “Lau” Ricci (guitar and vocals), Jordan “Gio” Conti (guitar), Lorenzo “Abbo” Grassi (bass) and Fabio “Hammer” Catozzi (drums) since their formation. The band has a modern and powerful rock sound, with some major influences from the rock and metal bands of years past. In the year of their formation they released their debut EP ‘Metamorphosis’. That EP was recorded at Frequencies of Monza Studio. In June of 2014, during a concert at the Legend of Milan, they were noticed by Marco Barusso, and he offered to produce their first full album, ‘Life’. Marco Barusso is mostly known for engineering and mixing 4 of fellow Italian band Lacuna Coil’s albums. Fast forward to June 17, 2016 when the band launched “Walking In My Shoes”, the first single from the album, which received excellent feedback. The band then released the album in December of 2016. DOWN THE STONE bring a lot of well-planned elements into their music. It really sits in that grey area between modern and old school metal and it’s the best of both worlds. Continue reading
Jude Throckmorton – Vocals and Guitar
Matthew Shawn Chapman – Guitars
Zac Stewart – Bass
Kirk Evans – Drums
Error of the Moon
March 31, 2017
After having the band referred to me by my friend ‘Chelle last year, 3Eighty3 has been one of my favorite, go-to bands. Once I reviewed their kick ass debut EP, Raw Fuckin’ Power and added it to my 25 Best Albums of 2016, I have stayed in contact with them and made a couple new friends. Metal tends to do that, as you well know. One big, crazy-ass family! In rolls 2017, and I am pleasantly surprised to find out that in their busy show schedule, the band has managed to write and record a brand spanking new EP called Error of the Moon that is due for release on March 31st, 2017. Like a junkie jones-ing for their next hit, I contacted Matt on the down-low: “Uhh. Hey dude. Ca ca can you hook muh me up with tha that new CD bro? I nuh, nuh NEED some more of stu stuff you you got going on over there in Texas…” Being the cool guy that he is, he sent me the master MP3s as soon as they were completed and on the day that they were being sent out to be pressed. Big thanks my man! Been flat wearing it out ever since. So. Is that sh*t good, you ask? If my family can be used as a gauge (Electronic Dance and Young Alternative fans, the lot of them), my wife and kids f’in HATE it because it is too loud (add whiny tone) and been blasted countless times as I am driving, so, yeah, it is f*cking awesome!
Chris Petersen – Vocals, Guitar
James Pickett – Bass
Diego Valadez – Keyboards
Nick McCallister – Drums
Off the Grid (March 10, 2017)
Almost a year ago, shortly after joining the staff I jumped at the chance to cover Cellador for our State of the Art: Colorado series. While the band had started under the name Aposte in Omaha, NE back in 2003 by guitarist and vocalist Chris Peterson, the name was changed to Cellador just over a year later. Once releasing The Burning Blue and Leaving All Behind they caught the ears of Metal Blade Records who immediately signed the band and released Enter Deception in 2006. The album defined the band as one of the best emerging Modern Power Metal bands but by 2009 Cellador cracked, leaving many members behind before moving to Denver, CO in search of their much deserved star. After five years of band reanimation, Honor Forth was finally released in 2011 and quickly became the band’s defining album, launching Cellador to new heights and putting them on major bills around the globe. By 2015 and early into 2016, the band had stabilized and again went into the studio; taking their time to assure a fitting follow up to, now classic, Honor Forth. With the ink barely dry on their contract with Scarlet Records in hand and being under recently acquired new management, Cellador is set to charge their way directly into the Metal throne room once Off the Grid is released into the wild on March 10, 2017!
***** Review by Roni *****
Old Scratch is:
Jeff Worley – Guitar/Vocals
Nick Sheppard – Drums
Rahsaan Lacey – Bass
Lyrics & Music by Jeff Worley
There’s something exhilarating about listening to new music that just grabs you and has you jamming within moments. Fun, fast paced and high energy all describe the debut album Feral by Old Scratch. Guitarist Jeff Worley was the last man standing in Charlotte, NC with the previous version of Old Scratch and it’s rebirth began in January of 2016 as he along with Nick Sheppard on drums and Rahsaan Lacey on bass played their first gig together. I, for one, am grateful that they did so, because just over a year later…I’m getting whiplash from banging my head so hard to their debut album.
*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured State*
This month’s State is Virginia!
Here we go! Onto the great state of Virginia for our March State of the Art series. The tenth state of the union, nicknamed “Old Dominion” by King Charles II of England at the time of the Restoration, Virginia boasts Jamestown, founded in 1607 and claiming one of the oldest cities in the United States, the birthplace of eight U.S. presidents and a prominent place the country’s overall history. Surrounded by Maryland, Washington D.C., the Atlantic Ocean, North Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia and Kentucky, Virginia covers some 42,774.2 square miles, 65% of which is forestland and has a current population around 8.5 million. In addition, the state contains the natural beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Cumberland Mountains, Allegheny Plateau and Chesapeake Bay. While known for the production of coal and tobacco over time, computer chips have recently surpassed both combined as the top grossing exports. Virginia also has one of the top ten school systems in the States but sits near the bottom of public spending on the arts. Thankfully it has done no apparent harm because the state has spawned acts like Gwar, Iron Reagan, Lamb of God, Arsis, Pig Destroyer, Municipal Waste, Alabama Thunderpussy, Pentagram and many, many other top notch Metal bands. Oh, right, we can now add Iris Divine to this illustrious list of bands.
Artwork by Travis Smith
Progressive power metal band The Silent Wedding has just premiered the music video for their new song, “Silence”. The video was directed by Ioannis Psychos. They also possess a symphonic sound here as they headbang their way through the remarkable performance video. There’s a wicked keyboard solo in there that fits perfectly. It is possibly the most metal a keyboard has ever been. Having shared the stage with bands like Saxon, Firewind, and Fates Warning, The Silent Wedding shows strong prowess that is rare in the large sea of metal today. The band from Greece will be releasing their second full length album on March 10th via FYB Records (Belgium). It’s titled ‘Enigma Eternal’ and you can pre-order that here. The cover art of it was created by Travis Smith, who has also done work with the likes of Opeth, Katatonia, and Nevermore. You can view the music video below. Be sure to follow the band on Facebook.