Multi-instrumentalist Erik Larson (Backwoods Payback, Alabama Thunderpussy, Birds Of Prey, Hail!Hornet) recently brought to mind a band that had not actually crossed my mind in many a year: Dead Brain Cells, or as they’re commonly known, DBC. The band itself was a Montreal-based thrash metal band that originally formed in 1986 after beginning under the name of Final Chapter in 1985 with guitarists Eddie Shahini and Gerry Ouellette. The pair began looking for a drummer and soon entered former Unruled and Vomit & The Zits drummer Jeff Saint-Louis and guitar player Phil Dakin, who switched to bass for the band. Also joining at the time was former Vomit & The Zits singer Dave Javex Ray-O-Vac (David Leone) as the band’s vocalist. Realizing they were on to something serious, the guys took the new name of Dead Brain Cells, one of three suggestions by Leone, the other two being “The Mental Pukes” and “The Retarded Assholes”. However, before the band could really get going or perhaps even record, Leone had to exit due to employment commitments and so Dakin decided he would sing and play bass at the same time in DBC. By 1987 Dead Brain Cells were signed to Combat Records for whom they would record their landmark debut self-titled full-length album, Dead Brain Cells, that very same year. Produced by the famed Randy Burns (Nuclear Assault, Ludichrist), the album contained 13 tracks of ferocious, well-executed thrash metal with elements of hardcore and thought-provoking, socially conscious lyrics. The album elicited positive reviews from the likes of Metal Hammer, Burn and others as it quickly gained acceptance with fans in the metal underground as well. Continue reading →
XIBALBA is one of the most violent and fierce acts I have ever witnessed in person. The band formed in 2007 in Pomona, California. The band’s sophomore release and Southern Lord Records debut ‘Hasta la Muerte’ (2012) is still one of the most influential hardcore albums released in the last decade. It was during their tour in support of that album that I was able to see them in what used to be a United States Post Office in the small town of Whitesburg, Kentucky. The city has a population of less than 2,500 people, and it just goes to show the band is willing to play anywhere that their music is wanted. They followed up ‘Hasta la Muerte’ with their 2015 release ‘Tierra y Libertad’. On that album XIBALBA demonstrated their ability to progress their aggressive sound from one album to the next. It’s been one year since the release of ‘Tierra Y Libertad’, XIBALBA now returns with three vicious new tracks of hard hitting hardcore on ‘Diablo, Con Amor.. Adios’ via Closed Casket Activities. The EP is a continuation of the bands gritty, raw, downtuned, metallic grooves. As with their prior titles, ‘Diablo, Con Amor.. Adios’ was recorded at The Pit Recording Studio with longtime cohort Taylor Young (Nails, Twitching Tongues, Disgrace) and mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege (Integrity, Nails, Harm’s Way), XIBABLA also once again secured artwork from Dan Seagrave (Dismember, Entombed, Suffocation) to visually depict the wrath of these three relentless tracks. XIBALBA has climbed their way to the top in regards to hardcore bands and the new EP is the proof that they have earned their rightful place at the top. Continue reading →
We return to Ireland for yet another round of crushing, punishing extreme metal via Indominus‘ debut EP, the 5-song “Legion Within“. Released last September, the guys Alan Duddy (vox), Simon Cochrane (lead gtr./bkg. vox), Logan McKee (rhythm gtr.), Mark Payne (bass) and Nathan Glasgow (drums) administer a savage assault of Death Metal, Thrash, and traditional, oldschool-inspired Metal here. It is highly reminiscent of the earliest pioneering bands within the U.S.’ Floridian DM scene of yesteryear, clearly influenced by the likes of Obituary, Death, Massacre and the like. Structured upon blistering dual guitar antics, bone rattling rhythms and furiously unrelenting drums, the music is savage and abrasive. There are several vocal styles attached to things too ranging from bellowing gutturals to shriek-ish highs and the occasional aggressive Hardcore type, each adding a rather distinct flavoring to things. Continue reading →
What do you get when you take a primarily one-man musical project from Columbus, Ohio and mix it with a two-man musical project from Malaysia? You get six songs of pure badassery from the freshly issued “Taurean” split EP from the Buckeye State’s THAL (The Heathens Are Loose) and the weed worshiping Hashishian of course! Only THAL‘s Vince Green (John Walker) is joined by his wytCHord bandmate, Kevin Hartnell, for some help with the drums and guitars on this new material. Meanwhile, Hashishian is working within its own two man configuration for their contribution here as well so let’s jump into it, shall we? Continue reading →
Just the name Grim Ravine itself inspires images of some foreboding, deep cavernous crevice within the earth where life is endangered and possibly, myriad evils abound. Those imaginings are not far off the mark either when the bleak, rock bottom sonics of the band’s imminent EP release, “The Light Is From Below“, is experienced. It will be issued this Friday, February 17th via Black Bow Records, the label run by Jon Davis of crushing heavyweights Conan. Taking their cue from such sonic monstrosities as Unearthly Trance or Bongripper, Grim Ravine have weaponized a lethal aural assault of bleak, burdensome Doom emanating with Sludge-like miseries. The four songs unleashed on the EP, “Shrine Of Misery“, “Translunary“, “Hypernova” and “Vacant Mass” carve their way into your skull with frightening misanthropy resonating in their beings. Heavy, loud, laden with groove, loud, heavy displays of what the band themselves admit to being their own knack to “worship tone and riffs”, this is vile doom merely for the same of such. Once you subject yourself to it via the Bandcamp embed below, odds are you will be utterly shuddered to your very soul itself and never able to peacefully rest again anytime afterward.
From far away Warsaw, Poland we receive the newly released Bantha Rider self-titled 4-song EP which instantly piques my interest with its ‘instrumental Stoner/Sludge’ tag. That tag more than ably describes what we are getting here but there’s some elements of Doom too and it is all delivered with a kind of sluggish groove that just cannot be ignored. The power at the heart of this power trio, guitarist Chris, bassist Bart and drummer Art definitely meld an opiate-like haziness into their sound. Like any true opiate, the music rolls along at alternating speeds, tempos and paces which successfully you right along its path..one moment slow and sedate, the next a rush of energized riffs and nicely powered rhythms. Another notable aspect of the music is the seemingly somewhat Lo-Fi overall sound that its rendered within, which adds a most validated sludgened component to everything that you hear. Continue reading →
Teaneck, N.J.’s Super Snake released their contribution to all things amore-related yesterday, Valentine’s Day, with their new album “Leap Of Love“. In fact, they are streaming it in its entirety today and I must say, it is a rather interesting sounding release to say the least. Produced by Kevin Antreassianfrom the Dillinger Escape Plan, Leap Of Love is Super Snake’sanxiously awaited follow up to their earlier EP releases, Summer Girls & Rider. The album itself is headfirst dive into trippy Psyche-Pop and ofttimes hazy, atmospheric Doom and here’s your opportunity to experience it in the embed below. Enjoy!
RIYL: Queens Of The Stone Age, Butthole Surfers, Sonic Youth
Relapse Records has announced their planned vinyl reissue of Death’s legendary fourth album, Human. The reissue will be available as a standard single LP and a limited edition deluxe 2xLP boxset. The deluxe version has been packaged into a super limited (500) vinyl box set containing the full Human album remastered on the first LP plus a bonus 2nd LP featuring instrumental studio tracks and demos from ‘91 (on vinyl for the first time) and is housed in an exclusive jacket with expanded art. Both LPs are pressed on Bone White and Aqua Blue Merge with Blood Red and Bronze Splatter. The box set is accompanied with an album art slipmat, a 22” x 22” album art poster and a 8.5” x 8.5” magnet sheet containing all of Death’s iconic album art and logos. A stream of the album can be found below.
High quality video of progressive metal band Circle II Circle, that features Savatage frontman Zak Stevens, and their performance at 2012’s Wacken Open Air festival has surfaced. The amazing set featured highlights from the album, The Wake Of Magellan, and that video of the full performance is available for streaming below.
“The Ocean” “Welcome” “Turns To Me” “Morning Sun” “Compliant In The System” “The Wake Of Magellan” “Anymore” “The Hourglass” “Black Jack Guillotine”
Argonauta Records will issue the new full-length offering from Italy’s The Buckle, titled “Labbrador“, tomorrow, February 13th and I dare say that it’s definitely an interesting release. What the two guys at the heart of The Buckle, Andrea and Maxim, have crafted on this album is nothing short of fantastically unique sounding Stoner Rock but it does not just stop there. With ample amounts of Psychedelia, Alternative and modern Rock elements to spare, the duo delivers an infectious descent into trippy realms otherworldly music. There’s even tints of Punk and Post-Rock on the highly energized but oddly-hued sonics that permeate the body of work presented here.