Time really does fly. It feels like just yesterday, watching the Headbangers Ball on MTV, and some band called Overkill comes on with the video “In Union We Stand.” The name glowed in green with a skull bat logo (please cease and desist AvengedSevenfold) draped on each side of the drum riser. The song had speed but also a hook in the chorus that had me singing it the next morning. It’s been over three decades since that introduction and now I’m staring at their 19th full-length album titled ‘The Wings Of War.’ Overkill climbed out of the New Jersey gutters with a determination to succeed and has been resilient against the trends and changing climates of the music industry. This latest offering shows no signs that this green and black thrash machine will slow down anytime soon. The new caveat to the equation is the addition of drummer Jason Bittner (Shadows Fall, Flotsam andJetsam, Stigmata), and he turns in a crushing performance. Throughout the songs you continually notice how lethal the drums are. His playing and energy provided the spark to ignite the fuse on this record. The album will be released on Nuclear Blast on February 22 and once again features a brilliant cover design done by Travis Smith (Nevermore, Opeth, Soilwork, Death). Continue reading →
Austrian crossover thrashers Insanity Alert will release their new full-length, ‘666-Pack’, on January 25th via Season Of Mist. “Forged in Innsbruck in 2011 and influenced by the likes of S.O.D., D.R.I., Suicidal Tendencies, Nuclear Assault, Bones Brigade, Municipal Waste, and Toxic Holocaust, Insanity Alert are the kind of people who know what to bring to a party: a big dose of humor with a dash of darkness, party tunes, and a six pack. It’s these ingredients that make up the basis of the band’s third full-length. A relentless, twenty-one-track ripper, ‘666-Pack’ brings the classic spirit of speed metal’s salad days back with savage metal precision. Ultra-catchy riffs, vicious vocals, and empowering gang vocals are packed into short, sharp rapid-fire attacks delivering everything great about thrash in spades.” ‘666-Pack’ was produced and mixed by Toni Meloni Loitsch (Die Toten Hosen, Silbermond, H-Blockx) at Nautilus Sounds Studio, mastered by Dan Randall (Municipal Waste, Toxic Holocaust, Ghoul, Cannabis Corpse) at Mammoth Sound Mastering and comes wrapped in the gruesome cover creation of Mark Riddick (Rotting Christ, Horrendous, Revocation, etc.). Continue reading →
‘Summoned to Rise’: the new album from Create A Kill is an homage to forefathers of Thrash, specifically those that would help shape the birth of Death Metal, ala Slayer, Sodom, Possessed, Kreator, and Dark Angel. Create A Kill carve out a vicious collection of tunes that will make you want your bang your head like it’s 1989! ‘Summoned to Rise’ was recorded and mixed by Gus Rios who also wrote all the music for the album while Alex Marquez and Matt Harvey contributed all the lyrics. The album was released July 13, 2018.
The Charm The Fury formed in Amsterdam in 2010 and solidified their metal sound with their first album ‘A Shade Of My Former Self’ in 2013. It was a few years later when the band truly turned heads as they were signed to Nuclear Blast Records and released ‘The Sick, Dumb & Happy’. The band tour the U.S. playing several festivals along the way including Carolina Rebellion, Welcome To Rockville, Northern Invasion and revived the Wall Of Death among fans and moshers wherever they took the stage. The band was led by charismatic lead vocalist Caroline Westendorp. Her vocals were far superior to other female fronted bands and the band often was compared to the might legends Pantera. Rhythm guitarist Mathijs Parent exited the band in 2016 followed by lead guitarist Rolf Perdok in 2017. Once those founding members left the band they had been pretty quiet after finishing out their tour schedule. On November 20th the band made a statement on Facebook that the band is officially breaking up.
Attention all Sodom-Fans, there’s a number of exciting news from Tom Angelripper & Co! On the one hand, the band are currently at the studio to record new material, on the other their next shows are scheduled for early September, and the end of November will see the start of their extensive “MTV Headbangers Ball Tour 2018” alongside Exodus, Death Angel and Suicidal Angels. And as if that wasn’t enough great news, the best bit of intelligence comes directly from the thrash metal act’s inner circle: “We’re a real family again,” enthuses frontman Angelripper following the band’s line-up change in spring 2018. “We all really enjoy the new line-up consisting of Frank Blackfire (guitar, ex-Sodom, ex-Kreator, Assassin), Yorck Segatz (guitar, Beyondition), Husky (drums, Asphyx, Desaster) and myself. There’s a real team spirit again, we’re having a great time together, every one of us is interested in everything and – really important! – everybody is there for everybody else. Obviously that kind of atmosphere is bound to have a positive effect on the songwriting.” Sodom have been thrashing since their formation in 1981 and has 15 studio albums under their belt. Sodom’s current lineup could be the best and heaviest lineup the band has ever had. How will Sodom sound with the new lineup? They are ready to give you a teaser with their new EP ‘Partisan’ which will be out on 23 November 2018, featuring three tracks including a live recording from this year’s Rock Hard Festival. The digital version of the album also includes the bonus track “One Step Over The Line” which the band has released an official video for as well. The new line-up could hardly present itself in a more impressive manner! This EP should hold fans over until they complete the new full length they are currently working on.
Wrapping up “The Sin and the Sentence” touring cycle that began in late October 2017 and saw them trek all through the US, Canada and Europe for more than 100 dates, the road warriors in Trivium are back for another leg of North American dates that will see them hit 25 more cities through November 3rd. Joining in on the fun for this leg are the supergroup-esque fellas in Light the Torch and the ever entertaining band out of Gothenburg, Sweden, Avatar.
*This is a part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state.*
This month’s state is Alabama!
Hailing from Mobile, Alabama, Oracle offers extreme metal with intention. Ranging from melodic to outright bludgeoning brutality, it’s the elaborately well-conceived song structures that bring together all of the interesting musical elements for a truly exciting listening experience. Like an intricately crafted movie plot with multiple twists and turns, Oracle takes the same approach with their music. Tracks transition through multiple moods, tones, and tempos not simply because they can, but because they need to in order to achieve such monumental levels of depths and dynamics this band delivers. Continue reading →
Formed in 1976 Diamond Head have been one of the most iconic yet underrated New Wave Of British Heavy Metal bands in the history of music. The band has influenced a long list of musicians and bands around the world but some of those topping the list would be Metallica, and Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine. You may have heard Metallica’s cover of “Am I Evil”, which they have also performed with the Big 4 during their tour. The song was originally written and recorded by Diamond Head in 1980 on the bands album ‘Lightning to the Nations’. The band has released 7 studio albums, 5 live albums, and several EPs, singles and splits. The bands most recent album released in 2016 and is self titled. The album was the debut of the bands new vocalist Rasmus “Ras” Bom Andersen. Ras is the third vocalist the band has had since their formation over 40 years ago. The bands original vocalist was Sean Harris who last left the band in 2004 and from then until 2014 the bands vocalist was Nick Tart. Though both the former singers released great material with the band I do feel that the vocal style Ras delivers in the bands new album is exactly what the band needed, and I believe it’s some of the best material the band has released to date. Diamond Head has been working on a follow up to the self titled album with plans to have it released during the winter of this year.
In Early May I got to catch my very first Trivium Concert at Manchester Music Hall in Lexington KY. If you aren’t familiar with Manchester Music Hall, first let me say that its one of, if not the best small concert venues in Central, Kentucky. Prior to this concert, I did a little research on the band. I had heard of the band over the years and had checked out the radio-friendly cuts but I had never really dug into any of the album tracks. One thing I love about listening to tracks off a bands albums 24 hrs before going to see the band really makes me appreciate the hard work, blood sweat, and tears musicians put into making an album. Most bands track songs just for studio cuts while others track just how they would be on stage as if they were performing the songs live. Being a musician myself I can certainly say that in my many years of stage experience less means more. The more backing tracks and other electronic gear you bring to a live show other than whats necessary raises the chances for more shit to go wrong. Continue reading →
Arriving a half hour early to any gig is perhaps not the best idea, especially when it is freezing cold with snow in the air, but I wasn’t the only one keen to get into Londons iconic Koko in Camden town ahead of tonight’s monumental performance. On their headlining tour in support of their record ‘Machine Messiah’ that just so happens to coincide with vocalist Derrick Green marking 20 years with the band, the mighty Brazilian legends Sepultura. There was a decent crowd joining me already and the vocal topic of choice was the Cannibal Corpse gig happening right around the corner, but we were all in agreement that tonight’s line-up of Fit For An Autopsy, Goatwhore and Obscura as supports was far too appealing.
Londons Koko is perhaps one of the most beautiful venues I have been too. Formerly one of the largest theatres outside of Londons West End, the venue itself boasts numerous viewing platforms with many touches celebrating its mixed and magical past as a theatre, cinema and now as a dedicated music venue. Inside the lights were already dim with the stage illuminated red and blue spotlights gleaming across the lower floor. Many fans rushed to the pit barrier to claim their front row spot for the evening and within about 10 minutes the 2000+ capacity venue was already looking full. Continue reading →