Album Review: THE DARKNESS – ‘Pinewood Smile’

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The Darkness

Pinewood Smile

Cooking Vinyl

There are those who dismiss The Darkness out of hand as little more than a one-hit novelty act doing a faux-operatic glam-metal piss-take. Those unfortunate souls are A) probably not much fun at parties, and B) missing the point entirely. Rock and roll, especially heavy rock, has become a dour and earnest beast in the past quarter-century or so, plodding along a loud but often joyless path, rife with negativity and self-loathing. Since day one, The Darkness have served as an antidote against this encroaching gloom, a glittery, sequined outpost shining brightly in a vast expanse of brutal grey. Misery and introspection certainly have their place, but so do joy and outrageousness and just plain fun, dammit, and that’s where The Darkness come in. Yes, their songs are over-the-top; they’re also expertly crafted nuggets of kick-ass rock and roll, stuffed to bursting with beefy riffs, intricate melodies, and cocksure swagger. And sure, some of their lyrics might be a little silly, but those great big jagged hooks they’re attached to ain’t no joke. Their newest album, Pinewood Smile, is a bawdy buzzsaw with peacock plumage, a devastating roundhouse right from a manicured fist. Outrageous and opulent yet fiery and muscular, it’s the finest album in their catalog so far and unless you’re a real fuddy-duddy, it’s likely one of the best times you’ll have listening to a record this year.

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RINGS OF SATURN’s Release Video Discussing Album Reception & Touring

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Technical death core metallers, Rings Of Saturn, released their highly acclaimed fourth full length studio album, “Ultu Ulla,” on July 28th. The alien death core quartet presented an entirely new and esoteric proposition to heavy metal that led to their highest first week sales. The band released a new video discussing the album’s reception, what they have been up to since the release, and what they have in store for the remainder of 2017.

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Exclusive Premiere of DOWNTREND’s “Nobody Gets Out Alive” Official Video! [Stream]

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Downtrend formed in 2004 and has went through a few lineup changes since then. The band retains founding members Josh Crum and Jeremy Chaney. Long time member drummer J.D. Hall takes his seat behind the drum kit adding his style and showmanship to the band. Hall and Chaney were also formerly bandmates in the crushingly heavy group Voices Of Aggression. The chemistry among these three gents is amazing, which can be heard in their music and seen live when they take the stage. In the bands 10+ years their sound has changed and progressed but the biggest thing about the band is the heart and passion they have for music. This year the band held auditions and welcomed new singer Shawn Williams formerly of Hollow. The band’s sound has adjusted somewhat since the addition of Shawn to the band but it’s all changes in a great direction. The band has performed with Shawn around 6 times and each and every time they perform their sound continues to become even more electric. The bands most recent release is ‘Southern Fried Hell Ride: Live’ that was recorded in West Virginia and truly captures the bands ability to perform live. Downtrend has been performing live for over 10 years now and has been the opening act for various legends in rock and metal. Some include Adema, Nonpoint, Sevendust, 10 Years, Otherwise, Lynch Mob, Jake E. Lee’s Red Dragon Cartel, and various others. The band has yet to release any official tracks with new vocalist Shawn Williams….UNTIL NOW. The band has recorded a new track as well as an accompanying video. The track as well as the video was recorded by audio and video engineer Tony Mullins at TubeFi studios in Pikeville, Kentucky. Downtrend has kindly allowed us here at Metal Nexus to premiere the video to the world. So here is the exclusive official video of “Nobody Gets Out Alive” Continue reading

EPICA, LACUNA COIL, INSOMNIUM & ELANTRIS In Baltimore! [Photo Gallery]

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Epica & Cristina Scabbia

The Ultimate Principle tour featuring Epica, Lacuna Coil, Insomnium and Elantris reached Baltimore last Wednesday. This was one of the last dates of the tour and hence I wanted to thoroughly mull over the performance before I put pen to paper. This is hands down the most melodic tour of the year in North America. Rarely do we see a tour with two powerhouse mezzo soprano vocalists in heavy metal. The excitement in the Facebook groups devoted to symphonic and gothic metal has been palpable for months. As I grow older I have slowly gravitated towards the symphonic aspect of heavy metal, and not attending a lineup of genre defining bands was never a question! Continue reading

Album Review: ‘The Wild Sounds of LORDS OF ALTAMONT’

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Lords of Altamont

The Wild Sounds of Lords of Altamont

Heavy Psych Sounds

Since their founding in late 1999, the Lords of Altamont have been preaching the gospel of high RPMs and low morals, the Good News about being bad. Well-versed in the rituals, scriptures and sacraments of the sages and prophets who preceded them, the LA-based congregation has unleashed another electrifying testimonial to the healing powers of rock and roll on their sixth album, The Wild Sounds of Lords of Altamont. It’s a cranked-up, psychedelic biker/garage joyride from Detroit to Berdoo, all virile riffs and swirly Farfisa; you can hear the leather and sunglasses, smell the exhaust fumes and truckstop incense. Vocalist/organist/head shaman Jake Cavaliere, guitarist Daniele Sindaco, bassist Rob Zimmerman, and drummer Steven Van Der Werff are a finely tuned machine, expertly spitting out blasts of santification that baptize you with a shot of whiskey and a punch in the mouth.

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The Many Faces of ANTHRAX’s Scott Ian

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Scott Ian from Anthrax at Nova Rock 2014

Most of us know Scott Ian as a musician. More precisely, he’s a rhythm guitarist and occasional vocalist, and the founder and only remaining original member of the Queens-based heavy metal group called Anthrax. While all that is true, he is also a man of many talents and interests. Some of the facts about his life are pretty interesting, too.

Scott Ian is married. This is pretty usual, except his wedding attire consisted of Bermuda shorts, trainers, and a regular T-shirt. From what I gathered, this wasn’t supposed to be a casual ceremony as this outfit would suggest. Who was the father of the bride? The famous musician/singer/writer/actor/producer best known by his stage name Meat Loaf.

However, music was undoubtedly Scott’s first love. He was sure about their long-lasting relationship early on. Besides his main musical commitment and a few associated acts (best known as the crossover thrash band Stormtroopers of Death), he found the time for many side projects with fellow musicians. Continue reading

FIFTH FREEDOM Release Official Music Video for “Midnight Rain”

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Portland, ME Southern Rock Band Fifth Freedom has released the Official Music Video for the single “Midnight Rain” off of their 2016, sophomore album ‘Heartbreak & Hellfire.’ Fifth Freedom are a rockin’ group from the great north in Maine, but their music has it’s roots in the south. The mixture of classic rock and southern rock is a great way to describe their sound. The band went on tour with Kentuckians Black Stone Cherry for two months, and that tour put the spotlight on Fifth Freedom and brought some well deserved attention to the band. “Heartbreak & Hellfire” was recorded with Jon Wyman at The Halo Studios. The album was mastered by the Grammy Award winning mastering engineer Adam Ayan ( A Perfect Circle, Linkin Park, Nirvana) and the renowned Gateway Mastering Studios in Portland, ME. “Midnight Rain, is a bluesy ballad shouted from the very depths of singer, Alan Jones’ soul. It’s a song about moving on from a love lost by knife-twisting betrayal. Midnight Rain showcases the band’s earnest songwriting as well as their technical chops.” – Fifth Freedom Continue reading

Review: All Pigs Must Die – ‘Hostage Animal’

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Brooding hardcore-punk conglomerated with crushing stoner-esque displays of melody are now indefatigable qualities to what constitutes Southern Lord Records. One particular group to assist in laying down such foundations would have to be the incredibly influential, perennially pessimistic and harrowingly heavy act All Pigs Must Die. Their third studio LP, ‘Hostage Animal’ is scheduled for release on October 27 2017 and is musically their most foreboding attempt to date. The group is now a five-piece act consisting of Kevin Baker of The Hope Conspiracy on vocals, Ben Koller of Converge on Continue reading

Album Review: GUTSLIT – ‘Amputheatre’

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India is in the bringst of a metal revolution and brutal death/grind legends Gutslit are at the forefront! Fresh from their second massive international tour “Brutal Grooves Grinding Moves” with Germany’s Stillbirth, American Splattered and Colombian Carnivore Diprosopus – Gutslit absolutely pulverised the masses across 15 shows in 8 countries to launch their highly awaited sophomore release “Amputheatre”. Set to be released on Oct 15th via new label Transcending Obscurity India – Asia’s largest label for extreme music, pre-orders are live and available here. 

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