Recent Posts in metal - Page 3
September 22, 2015
photo: GWAR at "Empire Records" in April (more by Sachyn Mital)
GWAR have been touring like crazy lately, with plans to bring beheadings, riffs, and gallons of fake blood across North America through late November. Their schedule didn't have a NYC date when we last posted, but now it does: Webster Hall on November 15 with Born of Osiris and Battlecross. Tickets go on sale Friday (9/25) at 10 AM.
Updated dates are listed below...
September 21, 2015
words and photos by Klaus Kinski
After packing the cavernous Best Buy Theater in Times Square with the most metal heads per square foot in the world probably on September 17, heavy metal supergroup Metal Allegiance surprised the metal world by adding a last minute show on Friday September 18 at the mega tiny Saint Vitus Bar in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. This intimate show was in celebration of the official release of their self-titled debut record which had dropped that day. The insane roster of talent making up the core of Metal Allegiance is something I probably dreamt up as a young headbanger in the '90s and which the metal Gods somehow made manifest; it features the great Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, Liquid Tension Experiment, many more) on drums, David Ellefson (Megadeth) on bass, Mark Osegueda (Death Angel) on vocals, and Alex Skolnick (Testament) on guitar. (Plus non-famous member Mark Menghi.) Extinction AD and Magus Beast provided support for the gig.
For once in my life I got to the show in time to catch the two openers. Having never heard of them before seeing their names announced as openers, I checked them out online before the gig and actually dug what I heard and wanted to make sure I caught their live sets. First opener was Long Island's Extinction AD (ex-This Is Hell). Extinction AD knocked me senseless with a never-ending barrage of thrashy riffs and unrelenting heaviness that brought to mind bands like Slayer and Pantera in their absolute, tip-top prime. The amount of hooky riffs they employ per-song is prodigal and unheard of. I loved the shit out of them. Singer/guitarist Rick Jimenez was in complete beast-mode from start to finish, constantly hocking loogies and navigating his fretboard like he was trying to make it melt under his fingertips. And Jimenez was complemented by an astounding rhythm section. Though mostly hidden in a corner behind one of the guitar amps because of how much real estate Mike Portnoy's drumkit took up, drummer Mike Sciulara completely tore it up. He is an amazing drummer. Bassist Pieter van den Berg and guitarist Christian Beale were also powerhouses of noise with more talent between them than I see in most metal bands these days. They kicked so much ass and the people who didn't bother to leave the bar to catch their set are morons. It was a glorious and explosive kick-off to a sick show.
Up next were old school New York power-metallers Magus Beast. Magus Beast harken back to the old days of the NWOBHM; you know, Judas Priest, Saxon, Iron Maiden, Diamond Head, etc... Though I definitely prefer a band like Extinction AD in terms of heaviosity and aggression, Magus Beast were a really fun and super talented group of guys who, having been around since the 80s, really know how to put on a show and who approach that style of power metal with an incredible arsenal of hooks and a big sense of authenticity and reverence. From the classic metal vocal stylings to the sick shredding solos, this band made me very happy (as opposed to hella aggro). Although they aren't a band I would seek out intentionally, they were really great and a perfect segue to headlining set by Metal Allegiance.
After an intermission that included a frenzied dash to remove any and all extraneous, non-Metal Allegiance related gear from the stage, last minute tweaks to Portnoy's elaborate drum-kit, and ample monitor checks, Portnoy, Ellefson, Skolnick, and Osegueda took the stage. The gimmick of Friday's set was that Metal Allegiance would play Van Halen's self-titled album in full and then play Black Sabbath's "Master of Reality" album in full. The band kicked things off with a short set of general metal covers, including Iron Maiden's "Run to the Hills", one of my all time favorite songs ever. After that it was down to business with the Van Halen set. I will never get used to or be completely comfortable with the idea of a metal supergroup whose existence is predicated on cover tunes. It always feels cheap. But, man, when they tore into Van Halen's "Runnin' With The Devil" I was instantaneously won over and so into it. Skolnick, with an Eddie Van Halen tribute-style guitar, is probably the greatest Eddie Van Halen guitar imposter I have ever heard. When "Runnin With The Devil" segued into the guitar-solo-centric masterpiece "Eruption" which then segued into Halen's cover of "You Really Got Me," your man Klaus was 100% goosebumps and fistpumps.
After they wrapped up the Van Halen set, guitarist Skolnick pulled his hair into a ponytail, put on a blazer, grabbed a Gibson SG, and essentially transformed himself into Black Sabbath icon Tony Iommi, thus signaling the start of the Black Sabbath Master of Reality set. Again, they performed the album flawlessly. Classics "Sweet Leaf," "Children of the Grave," and "Into the Void" were complete and total masterpieces. By all accounts, the greatest forgery of two of metal's greatest albums, performed by some of metal's finest musicians.
I happened to have my crummy DSLR with it's crummy stock lens with me, so I whipped it out and took some shots during the show. They... aren't very good. More below...
September 18, 2015
photo by Tom Couture
Metal collective Metal Allegiance is led by core members David Ellefson (Megadeth), Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater), Alex Skolnick (Testament) and Mark Menghi (of no famous band), and their new album (out today on Nuclear Blast) is loaded with stars, including Phil Anselmo (ex-Pantera), Troy Sanders (Mastodon), Randy Blythe (Lamb of God), members of Exodus, Anthrax, Guns N Roses, Dillinger Escape Plan, Death Angel and still many more.
They played Best Buy Theater in NYC last night (9/17), doing a ton of classic covers like the Misfits' "Last Caress," Metallica's "Seek and Destroy," Black Sabbath's "Into the Void" and Iron Maiden's "Run to the Hills" (videos of all of those below).
They have a much smaller NYC show happening tonight (9/18) at Saint Vitus. The core members will definitely be at tonight's show, and special guests are promised (presumably some of the album guests?). This one's a little more high concept than last night. Rather than just an array of covers, Vitus says they're playing Van Halen's self-titled album and Black Sabbath's Master of Reality. Opening the show is Extinction AD and Magus Beast. Tickets are on sale now.
They also will do a live interview at AOL Studios in NYC today (5:45 PM doors) and they have an in-store at Long Island record store Looney Tunes on Saturday (9/19). There are a few other dates too, all of which are listed below...
September 17, 2015
photo: Torche at Saint Vitus in March (more by PSquared)
Torche recently announced a tour with Failure, and while they aren't on that band's NYC show (10/14 at Brooklyn Bowl), they will play their own NYC show that day at Saint Vitus (10/14). Tickets for Vitus are on sale now. Updated dates are listed below.
In related news, Cavity (which once included Steve Brooks and Juan Montoya of Torche) play their first East Coast show in over a decade at Saint Vitus on September 25.
Industrial superheroes Godflesh brought their 'A World Lit Only By Fire' tour to Brooklyn's Warsaw on Monday September 15 and presented the audience with a brutal festival of earhole-boring, face melting sonic savagery that still has your man Klaus reeling.
The bill was rounded out with superbly cast support from renowned DJ/producer Regis and noise pioneer Prurient. Regis acted as the pre and post band house DJ and did his thing from the soundboard at the back of the room as opposed to the stage. Regis played a great array of atmospheric, heavy, Final-esque ambient music and acted as a superb bridge throughout the entire show. By not performing on stage, it gave the room a bit of a casual vibe where people could drink and talk to their buddies, all under the cloud of flawlessly crafted ambient doom.
After a nice long period of soaking up the sounds created by Regis, one man noise hurricane Prurient hit the stage and unleashed a staggering display of physical energy and sonic cacophony that almost rattled my teeth out of my head. One of the things I love about Warsaw is that the sound system is not ceiling mounted; the speakers are stacked up from the floor at concertgoer-level on either side of the stage. I found myself standing directly in front of the speakers several times throughout Prurient's set (I move around a lot) and at times the bass was so preposterously heavy that the woofers were actually creating a breeze that you could feel if you were standing close enough to them. Prurient's use of screaming, computer generated noise, feedback, bass, and violent physical contortions create an extremely foreboding and panicky atmosphere. There is no denying Prurient's legend and importance to experimental music, but after a while it was a bit much for me (which is ironic, because I love his recorded material) (I'm weird). I was in the minority though; the closure of his set was met with a deafening wave of applause and cheers.
Following another incredible interlude care of Regis, Justin Broadrick and GC Green sullenly took the stage, grabbed their instruments, turned on their amps, fired up a projection, and, after a few moments of feedback, they tore into "New Dark Ages" from their 2014-released "A World Lit Only By Fire". The one particularly important characteristic of Godflesh is a career-spanning sense of consistency. They disbanded in 2002, got back together 10 years later in 2012, and in 2014 released "A World Lit Only By Fire." I am amazed that after a 10-year hiatus, they managed to produce a work that is so patently and unmistakably "Godflesh" and are still able to put on a show that is as dynamic and solid as when I first saw them in 1992. The material they played off of "A World Lit Only By Fire," including "Deadend," "Shut Me Down," and "Life Giver Life Taker" fit in so perfectly with classics like "Streetcleaner," "Like Rats," "Crush My Soul," and "Christbait Rising." When a band has been around since the late 80s, you sort of dread them rolling out their new material. You just want to hear the classics. But for Godflesh, the classics and the newbies are so sonically consistent that from top to tail the show was an epic masterpiece.
More pictures (none of Regis), a video, and the list of Godflesh's remaining tour dates, below...
photo: Bolt Thrower at MDF 2013 (more by Fred Pessaro)
Sad news in the metal community today: drummer Martin 'Kiddie' Kearns of long-running English death metal band Bolt Thrower passed away in his sleep at age 38. The band's statement (via Black Conjuration Fest) reads:
With the heaviest of hearts, and still numb from shock, we have to share the very sad news that on Monday 14th September Bolt Thrower lost our powerhouse drummer, Martin 'Kiddie' Kearns.So sad to hear. Black Conjuration Fest also reports that the band's upcoming Australian tour will be cancelled.
After the first rehearsal for our upcoming tour of Australia, Kiddie suddenly felt unwell which continued throughout the night, and the next day he passed away peacefully in his sleep.
He was a fantastic Dad, husband, son, friend, but to us he was always 'Kiddie', the same 17 year old Coventry kid whose drumming style and personality blew us away when he first walked into our rehearsal room 20+ years ago.
Kiddie enriched our lives, and the Bolt Thrower sound. He leaves a massive hole in the lives of everyone who knew him and will be very sorely missed by many.
Karl, Jo, Baz, Gav & the loyal BT crew
Rest in peace Martin. Watch a video of Bolt Thrower playing Vienna last year, below...
September 16, 2015
by Andrew Sacher
Death metal faves Horrendous are releasing their third album Anareta on October 30 via Dark Descent, and after sharing "Sum of All Failures" they returned today with a second track: the seven-minute "Acolytes." Like the first single and last year's great Ecydysis, it's got big melodic riffs and production that's clear as day, but never at the expense of being frighteningly heavy. Listen to both songs below.
September 15, 2015
by Andrew Sacher
photo: Deafheaven at FFF 2014 (more by Tim Griffin)
Deafheaven already released one song from their new album New Bermuda (due 10/2 via ANTI-) and now they just put out another. It's called "Come Back" and it's another colossal ripper. Like the last single, it proves Deafheaven aren't letting a little fame or a little "hipster cred" get to them, they're in fact sounding heavier this time. It's not all attack though. It goes into clean post-rocky territory for a large chunk of its 9+ minute run time too. Listen below.
Veteran crossover thrashers Corrosion of Conformity got back with guitarist/vocalist Pepper Keenan earlier this year, and now they have another round of dates announced for the fall with support from Saviours, Brant Bjork and Mothership. The rest of CoC's lineup for this tour is Woody Weatherman, Mike Dean and Reed Mullin, the same lineup that recorded 1994's Deliverance (and others), which got a 20th anniversary reissue on Prosthetic last year.
The tour hits NYC on December 4 at Gramercy Theatre. Tickets for NYC go on sale Friday (9/18) at 10 AM with Live Nation/Music Geeks presales starting Wednesday (9/16) at 10 AM. All dates are listed below.
We knew All Them Witches would be hitting the road opening for The Sword this year, and they've since added some dates of their own too. They aren't on The Sword's NYC show with Royal Thunder (12/1 at Webster Hall), but ATW play their own NYC show on December 4 at Rough Trade. Tickets for that one go on sale Friday (9/18) at noon with an AmEx presale starting Wednesday (9/16) at noon. All dates are listed below.
All Them Witches' new album Dying Surfer Meets His Maker comes out October 30 via New West Records. Listen to "Dirt Preachers" from that, below...