Recent Posts in metal - Page 2
December 12, 2013
by Doug Moore
Black Cobra at SXSW 2012 (more by Greg Cristman)
Playing in a two-man band is a tough proposition. Both members are responsible for filling up a lot of aural space, and neither has much of anywhere to hide if they fuck up. These challenges become considerably steeper for two-piece metal bands -- volume, presence, and technicality are all valorized, so the standards for success are high and the margins of error are slim.
All of this make LA-based two-piece Black Cobra that much more impressive, especially as a live act -- they rumble like High on Fire and zig-zag like Converge without missing a beat. (We've talked about this before.) Accordingly, you would do well to catch their just-announced January 3 date at Saint Vitus (openers TBA). Tickets are on sale now. Though these guys tour quite a lot, they've slowed down a touch over the past couple years and haven't released anything since 2011's Invernal. No other East Coast dates have been announced so far, and they'll be back on the West Coast the following day.
Stream a couple of songs from Invernal and check out Black Cobra's full set of upcoming dates below...
by Doug Moore
British rockers Cut Yourself In Half play a cockeyed version of driving, borderline-metal-but-not-really jams that bands like Red Fang and Queens of the Stone Age have had such success with. Back in October, we posted their track "The End", a few weeks before they put out their debut album Mekkanizm. They're back with a new video for "Say Goodbye to the World" (not to be confused with the Dax Riggs tune), which comes from the same album, and makes its premiere in this post.
The video is a pretty silly affair involving a priest and a lot of corn-syrupy fake blood, but "Say Goodbye to the World" itself is a ripper. While "The End" found Cut Yourself In Half in a noisier, more jagged mood, this song is more of a straight-ahead rock 'n roll tune, with only hints of harmonic darkness shading the head-nodding chorus. It's catchy as all get-out.
Mekkanizm is out now via New Heavy Sounds. Watch the "Say Goodbye to the World" video (along with a stream of "The End") below...
December 11, 2013
by Doug Moore
With one notable exception, the metal world was dominated by older acts in 2013. We're not halfway into December yet, but 2014 is already piling up notable live appearances by legacy acts. Dark Angel, At the Gates, Candlemass, Pungent Stench, plus scads more have been announced for Maryland Deathfest; Metal Church and Morbid Saint have upcoming shows scheduled; and now long-running (since 1985!) death/thrashers Deceased have announced a NYC show happening at Saint Vitus on February 15. Support will come from Fantom Warrior, Penetration, Sacrificial Blood, and Exhumation. Tickets are on sale; no other dates have been announced so far.
Unlike virtually all of the aforementioned bands, Deceased have been active consistently for their entire existence; only a scattered handful of years have gone by since their inception during which they didn't release something new. (Incidentally, they played with Morbid Saint during that band's 2012 NYC appearance.) They haven't changed a whole lot over their 28-year run, but they've gotten really, really good at what they do, and they always deliver live. This show should be a ripper.
Stream a song from their most recent album, 2011's Surreal Overdose, below; compare it with their 1991 debut, Luck of the Corpse, just for fun.
by Doug Moore
Cult Leader are basically the great nouveau-metalcore band Gaza sans vocalist Jon Parkin. Gaza broke up earlier this year in the aftermath of some highly public rape allegations leveled against Parkin. Though the allegations never led to a criminal case and were eventually kinda-sorta retracted, the surrounding drama seemed to have played a role in their decision to disband.
Fortunately, Cult Leader have picked up pretty much exactly where Gaza left off -- bassist Anthony Lucero has moved over to vocals, but the jarring rhythms, endless skronk chords, and titanic low end all remain intact. The band have signed a deal with Deathwish Inc. (who are coming off a year of Deafheaven-fueled success) and released a new tune, "Skin Crawler," from their debut EP, Nothing For Us Here, which will be out in April.
I'll miss Parkin's imposing physical presence at Cult Leader's live shows, but I'm mostly just happy that this incredibly talented group has elected to carry on in the same vein. Stream "Skin Crawler" below.
By Doug Moore
Xibalba at Power of the Riff East, 2012 (more by Greg Cristman)
Xibalba have been pretty much perpetually active since releasing Hasta La Muerte in 2012. The band recently released a video for the song "Soledad" off that album, comprised entirely of homespun live footage and backstage antics taken over their last few years of roaming the country. The "antics" section is pretty much what you'd expect from a band that overtly worships both Madball and Obituary. Spoiler alert: they talk about money a lot and booze even more.
Xibalba are also part of a recently-announced North American tour in February and March headlined by long-running hardcore act Comeback Kid, who recorded a new album during the fall; Downpresser will be tagging along as well. The tour will stop at a number of festivals, including SXSW, Never Say Never Fest, and South By So What. It also includes an NYC stop at Santos Part House on February 26. No word on tickets yet, but you can keep checking Santos' Ticketweb page if you like.
Take a look at the Xibalba video and the full list of dates below.
December 10, 2013
by Wyatt Marshall
Deiphago at Maryland Deathfest in May (more by Fred Pessaro)
Filipino three-man black/death horde Deiphago are coming to terrorize the east coast for a few days this week, starting with a date in New Jersey before landing at Union Pool on Friday 12/13 with Obeisance and Inverted Trifixion. No advance tickets for this show, so grab 'em out the door before steeling yourself for some brutality. Deiphago was last this way in May when they stormed Maryland Deathfest, and Saint Vitus in Brooklyn a few days later. Did you go?
The evil trifecta of Deiphago, Obeisance and Inverted Trifixion will also be sharing the stage at Satan's Unholy Abomination Fest II in Hyattsville, MD, a two-day event with Disma, Engorge, Mausoleum, Sathanas, Hellgoat, Satanik Goat Ritual and many more. Details are available at the fest's Facebook page.
Dates and Satan's Unholy Abomination Fest lineup are listed below...
by Doug Moore
Back in November, we received word that American drone masters Sunn O))) and Norse avant-garde stalwarts Ulver would be collaborating on an LP titled Terrestrials. Some more details and a very brief sample from the third of its three songs have emerged; you can stream the sample below. It's only 3 minutes long, which makes it hard to extrapolate what the whole thing will sound like, but the supporting blurb from the press release helps:
Oslo, Norway, August 10th, 2008. Following their 200th gig, playing before 2000 people at the Øya festival, SUNN O))) teamed up with Norwegian legends ULVER at their Oslo studio, Crystal Canyon. They recorded three "live in improvisation" pieces, starting that evening and ending at dawn, as Northern sunlight seeped in through the windows....So there will be a lot of droning, vamping, and gradual dynamic shifts. No surprise there, but the magic is in the details for these acts. You can buy the "Eternal Return" sample for the gag price of $100 on Bandcamp, but it's not really meant to be downloaded.
The album's opening piece, "Let There Be Light," builds up from silence and darkness and proceeds - ceremoniously, coruscating - O'Malley and O'Sullivan creating the backdrop for Rygg's Basso Profondo chants. The music unfolds over eight minutes before reaching a crescendo of bass and brass, introducing both Anderson and ULVER as we know them. The Sunn has risen.
"Western Horn" accelerates on a single and austere note of sustained bass and low end, evolving gradually into a haunted soundscape. Crying violins, clusters of Fender Rhodes, guitar pickups, and metal plate drones are gradually layered beneath Anderson's augmented bass feedback.
"Eternal Return" introduces Rygg singing a lyric evoking ancient Greece, Egypt and the Biblical lands. The song is palindromic, echoing the lyric, beginning and ending with the same bass line and musical pattern, though the guitars are ultimately reversed as the song implodes upon itself.
Terrestrials will hit the street in North America on February 4. Stream the sample below...
by Doug Moore
Metallica in Antarctica (via Metallica.com)
Back in October, Metallica announced that they'd be playing a Coke Zero-sponsored show in Antarctica of all places for a select few South American contest winners. Metallica followed through on this bizarre premise this past Sunday (12/8), and slick footage of the entire gig is now available on Youtube (and streaming below).
This show was, alas, not Metallica's best effort, but the footage is still interesting and fun to watch. Some observations:
--How the hell did they not play "Trapped Under Ice"? Where was their PR and management on this one?PREVIOUSLY:
--There's a reason that the guitars and bass sound weirdly plastic and cheap -- the band couldn't or didn't want to deal with the considerable logistical hassle of getting real amps to Antarctica, so they're piping artificial tones directly into the headphones that everyone in the vid is wearing. You'd think that Metallica could manage better D/I tones, though.
--As ever with modern Metallica, there's some cringe-inducing moments here, like Hetfield responding to a crowd-sung lyric with "YOU BETCHA!!"
--There are also some more warm 'n fuzzy moments, like the "olé olé olé" football chant between that breaks out at one point.
* Metallica are sort of Beliebers
* Metallica played the Apollo
* Metallica going 3-D in new movie, 'Through the Never'
* Metallica did a "surprise" Orien Fest set playing 'Kill Em All' in its entirety
Stream the Antarctica show and check out the set list below...
December 9, 2013
by Doug Moore
Monster Magnet at MHoW (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Bad news, Monster Magnet folk: according to the band's publicist, frontman Dave Wyndorf has the flu, which means that the remaining shows of their tour with with Royal Thunder and Zodiac have been cancelled, including their 12/14 date at the Bowery Ballroom here in NYC. According to the venue's site, refunds are available. If you really feel like bumming yourself out, check out Invisible Oranges' enthusiastic writeup of the tour's Chicago date.
The full list of cancelled dates is below.
by Doug Moore
Morbid Saint at MDF 2012 (more by Fred Pessaro)
Classic-era thrashers Morbid Saint are responsible for one of the most vicious thrash albums of the style's heyday in 1988's Spectrum of Death. Their reunited incarnation also played one of the best non-marquee sets of MDF 2012, noticeably outdoing a certain other band with "Morbid" in their name who played the same day. The same year's Relapse vinyl reissue of Spectrum of Death was enough of an event that two members of Locrian saw fit to include it in their BV best-of lists that year. I often find myself skeptical of '80s-era metal bands who still play live, but this reunion has been nothing but gravy so far.
Morbid Saint played NYC once early in 2012, but haven't otherwise been in the area since their MDF appearance. They're now got a few shows scheduled for 2014 (and more TBA), including a return to NYC on February 1, when they'll hit Saint Vitus Bar for a show with Seeds of Perdition, Stychnia, and Condition Critical. (They're also playing a one-off in their hometown of Sheboygan, Wisconsin on 12/21.) If you enjoy thrash at all and missed these guys in 2012, I strongly encourage you to take this opportunity to catch them -- outside of certain efforts by Slayer and Dark Angel, '80s-era thrash doesn't get much more intense than this. Tickets for the Vitus show are on sale now.
All currently known dates are listed, along with a stream of Spectrum of Death, below...