Entries tagged with: Black Sabbath

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photo: Black Sabbath in NJ in 2013 (more by Greg Cristman)
Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath recently announced their "final" tour for 2016, which includes NYC's Madison Square Garden on February 25. Since we last spoke, they added a second night for February 27 at the same venue. Tickets for 2/27 are currently on Citi/VIP presale. Live Nation/Ticketmaster presales start Friday (9/25) at 10 AM and the general on-sale starts Saturday (9/26) at 10 AM. The 2/25 show is still on sale (same link).

Sabbath's lineup for the tour includes original members Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler. Opening on all dates is Rival Sons.

Updated dates are listed below...

Continue reading "Black Sabbath add second MSG show to 2016 "final" tour"

words and photos by Klaus Kinski

Metal Allegiance

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...

Continue reading "Metal Allegiance covered Van Halen's S/T & Black Sabbath's 'Master of Reality' at Saint Vitus (pics, review)"

photo by Tom Couture
Metal Allegiance

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...

Continue reading "metal supergroup Metal Allegiance played Best Buy (watch), playing Van Halen & Sabbath songs @ Vitus tonight"

Black Sabbath The End

Black Sabbath will play NYC's Madison Square Garden on February 25, as part of their so-called final tour that their dubbing "The End." Tickets go on sale to the general public on Saturday (9/12) at 10 AM but there's a presale going right now and the password is... wait for it... "SABBATH".

photo: Black Sabbath in NJ in 2013 (more by Greg Cristman)
Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath discussed retirement not long ago, and now they announced what they're calling "The Final Tour by The Greatest Metal Band of All Time." It has original members Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler (no Bill Ward) and begins in January 2016.

The tour hits NYC on February 25 at Madison Square Garden with Rival Sons. Tickets go on sale 9/12 at 10 AM. All dates are listed, along with a tour announcement video, below.

Keith Richards will probably not catch this one.

Continue reading "Black Sabbath announce "final" tour for 2016, Madison Square Garden included -- dates"

by Andrew Sacher

Big Blood

Portland, ME husband and wife duo Big Blood (aka Caleb Mulkerin & Colleen Kinsella) have been making truly eccentric psychedelic folk for almost a decade now. They have countless releases that make use of genuinely raw production and several sounds and instruments that fall outside of the typical "folk" spectrum. If you haven't heard their stuff, perhaps you've heard Caleb contribute similarly raw production to O'Death. Or maybe you've heard both Caleb and Collen contribute accordian, vocals, dulcimer, guitar, piano and more to Swans' 2012 album, The Seer.

This year, Big Blood released two full-length albums, Double Days I and II. Between the two albums, they put out 16 original songs and covers of Black Sabbath's "Planet Caravan," The Cure's "Disintegration" and Francis McPeake's folk standard "Wild Mountain Thyme" (which Joan Baez, Judy Collins, The Byrds, Bob Dylan and many more have recorded). It's perhaps needless to change that they change up all three of those covers a lot, and Big Blood's versions fit right in with the duo's own unique sound. If you haven't heard these albums, they're really worth checking out. You can stream both below.

Big Blood don't have a tour or a NYC show scheduled at the moment, but the one show they do have coming up this weekend is pretty close to NYC: Jersey City's WFMU Monty Hall on Saturday (7/25). That will be opened by Human Adult Band and Picastro. Tickets are on sale.

Album streams below...

Continue reading "stream Big Blood's 'Double Days I & II,' see them in Jersey City"

by Andrew Sacher

Marissa Nadler

Black Sabbath may be best remembered for pioneering doom metal, but their early albums also had a few great psychedelic folk songs worked in. Marissa Nadler knows this, and considering how dark many of her own folk songs are, has probably been inspired by them before. Now she's covered one of those songs, the brooding "Solitude" from their game-changing third album Master of Reality. She doesn't stray too far from the original, but she still finds ways to make it her own. Check it out below.

Continue reading "Marissa Nadler covered Black Sabbath's "Solitude" (listen)"

photos by by Rachel Juarez-Carr

Mac Sabbath @ Brooklyn Bowl London, 6/11/2015
Mac Sabbath
Mac Sabbath

There are lots of high-concept tribute acts out there. You may have seen Tragedy, NYC's all-metal Bee Gees tribute band, Lez Zeppelin, the all-girl Led Zeppelin cover band or, say, The PIzza Underground. Well here's LA's Mac Sabbath, which is about as high concept as it gets, with disturbed versions of a certain fast food chain mascots reworking Black Sabbath songs to their own needs...aka "Iron Man" becomes "I Am Frying Pan." You get it, you get it. Our UK correspondent caught Mac Sabbath's show at the London branch of the Brooklyn Bowl franchise last week (6/11) where they played with another mashup tribute act, Elvana (we'll let you figure that one out on your own). Pictures from the night are in this post.

Mac Sabbath will be back in the States and touring the West Coast and Southwest this summer and fall. Nothing on the East Coast. All dates are listed, with lots more pics, below...

Continue reading "Mac Sabbath is a fast food themed Black Sabbath tribute band (pics from their show at London's Brooklyn Bowl)"

photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Andrew Sacher

Refused @ MHOW - 6/4/15

Last night (6/4) on stage at Music Hall of Williamsburg, Refused singer Dennis Lyxzen told the crowd how he was a metalhead as a kid, but one day traded his copy of Napalm Death's Scum for a Youth of Today record, and the rest was history. He said he wanted his band to be just like those New York Hardcore bands, but there was one difference: they weren't tough. And it's true, Refused are not tough. They sound tough -- when they incorporated the intro to Slayer's "Raining Blood" into their own "The Deadly Rhythm" you would have thought it was part of the song if you didn't know any better -- but their stage show is pretty much the exact opposite of macho. They came out wearing blazers, and Dennis is more about flamboyant dancing than the typical moves of the hardcore bands that influenced them. It was as good a reminder as any that they were once labelmates with fellow Swedes The Hives.

Sometimes it was a little funny, like when you'd watch some of the burlier dudes stage dive in front of this band in suits, but mostly that juxtaposition is what makes them great. On one hand, you've got these could-be pop stars on stage, and on the other, they're chugging away at their guitars and screaming their heads off. It's not like no other band ever tried that approach, but even 17 years after their last record few can do it like Refused.

After the MHOW show, Refused headed to Greenpoint for a last-minute aftershow at Saint Vitus (similar to what they did at Acheron after Terminal 5 in 2012). Refused already played their great, regular Refused set for the night, but at this point it was 2 AM, Dennis had been "sweating for four hours straight" (as he said on stage), and they wanted to have some fun. They did a few off Shape of Punk (including the "Deadly Rhythm/Raining Blood" thing again and a ballistic encore of "New Noise"), a new one, and a handful of covers including Black Sabbath's "Fairies Wear Boots," Black Flag's "My War," Fugazi's "Bed For the Scraping," and threw in bits of Snapcase and Earth Crisis and more. They clearly weren't taking themselves too seriously, and I think just about everyone in that room, on stage and off, was having a killer time.

Refused at their late show at Saint Vitus #refused #saintvitus

A photo posted by Brooklyn Vegan (@brooklynvegan) on

The Vitus show was opened by Primitive Weapons, and the MHOW show had Creepoid and an unannounced set from Obliterations. Obliterations play NYC again tonight (6/5) with Refused's west coast tourmates White Lung, which Dennis told the crowd they should go see (you can still get tickets).

MHOW was Refused's second NYC show of the week, after Bowery Ballroom with War on Women the previous night. And they'll be back to open for Faith No More at MSG on 8/5 (buy tickets or win them).

Last week, Refused played an in-store at LA's Vacation Vinyl, which pro-shot video has now been released from. Watch that, with more pictures from Music Hall of Williamsburg, Refused's MHOW setlist and a video of the Sabbath cover from Vitus, below...

Continue reading "Refused played MHOW with Creepoid & Obliterations, then a late show at Saint Vitus (pics, setlist) ++ LA in-store video"

photo: Geezer Butler in NJ in 2013 (more by Greg Cristman)

Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler was arrested just after midnight on Tuesday night for for misdemeanour assault, public intoxication and vandalism after a bar fight. Rolling Stone reports:

The fight took place at the Corkscrew Saloon in Death Valley's Furnace Creek Ranch. "After the Inyo County Sheriff's Deputy arrived on scene and interviewed witnesses, it was determined that there had been an argument that escalated into a physical confrontation - resulting in an individual being struck and a broken window," Inyo County police said in a statement.
Butler was released after "detox and citation."

Meanwhile, Black Sabbath have been saying they're working on a new album and planning to tour this year.

the greatest metal band of all time in NJ in 2013 (more by Greg Cristman)
Black Sabbath

On Thursday, we posted MetalSucks' list of the 25 greatest metal bands of all time as voted on by a poll of musicians, critics and other music industry types. Well we posted #2 - #25 at least. #1 hadn't been revealed yet, but with the absence of Black Sabbath thus far it seemed obvious who MetalSucks would be revealing as the winner. It's officially announced now, and duh. Here's some of what Kim Kelly had to say about the greatest metal band of all time:

It's hard to quantify Black Sabbath's impact on heavy metal, because without Black Sabbath, there would be no such thing as heavy metal. Theirs was a logical continuation of the increasingly heavy sounds that came before, from Wagner to The Beatles and Deep Purple to Steppenwolf, but it took a perfect storm of Birmingham's working class gloom, Tony Iommi's mangled fingers, inner demons both real and imagined, and the nascent menace of Thatcherism waiting in the wings to first coax true heavy metal thunder down from the lofty realm of the gods and into this mortal coil.

...So, why is Black Sabbath one of the most important metal bands of all time? If it weren't for them, none of us would be here. For that at the very least, to say nothing of their incredible music, they deserve our veneration.

No Sabbath, no metal. Period.

Read more on them and the rest of the bands on the list over at MetalSucks.

Let's hope that new album and (allegedly final) tour come sooner than later. Rock out to some Sabbath and check out the list in full below...

Continue reading "Black Sabbath is the greatest metal band of all time, says Metal Sucks poll (duh)"

by Rob Sperry-Fromm

Iron Maiden in Austin in 2013 (more by Tim Griffin)

MetalSucks has been spending the past month releasing a list of the 25 greatest metal bands of all time, counting down to number 1 with a new band each day. They polled a pretty broad array of metal experts, ranging from critics to music industry types to musicians that run the gamut from Chuck Billy of Testament to Anatamy of Habit's Mark Solotroff. They released number 2, Iron Maiden, earlier today which came in ahead of other huge/classic bands like Slayer, Metallica, Pantera, Judas Priest and Megadeth. Number 1 gets revealed tomorrow, and considering Black Sabbath have yet to make this list, we think we may have a hunch as to who it's going to be.

The list slants pretty heavily towards classic thrash and death metal bands, with Sabbath being the only doom band in sight. In addition to the obvious classic bands in the top 10, there are some modern genre-busters (Opeth, Meshuggah), foundational death and grind (Napalm Death, Morbid Angel), and some good old 80s theatricality (Dio, Mercyful Fate). Limiting the list to 25 means there are going to be a ton of omissions, but still maybe Neurosis, Converge or Mastodon could've made it instead of Ozzy getting on there twice?

The legacies of classic bands like Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax and Sepultura, which many would say have taken a hit in recent years, appear untainted here considering they still all take high slots. Something else of note is that there's not one single solitary black metal band on this list. I guess Lamb of God are more important to this panel anyway.

Check out the full list below, and check MetalSucks tomorrow for the inevitable Sabbath reveal.


Continue reading "24 of the best 25 metal bands, according to a MetalSucks poll (#1 coming soon, but seems obvious)"

photos by David Andrako

Danny Clinch / Perry Farrell @ McKittrick Hotel -- 10/13/2014
Danny Clinch Book Release Party - McKittrick Hotel
Danny Clinch Book Release Party - McKittrick Hotel

Famous music photographer Danny Clinch celebrated the release of his new photo book Still Moving with a star-studded, John Varvatos-hosted party and show at Sleep No More home McKittrick Hotel last night (10/13). The private event featured Danny's band Tangiers Blues Band as a house band, and they were joined by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band for most of the set. Special guest performers included Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins (in town promoting the new Foo Fighters stuff), Perry Farrell (in town doing Jane's Addiction stuff as part of CBGB Festival), Zac Brown (playing with the Foo Fighters on Letterman this week), Roy Bittan (E Street Band), Jesse Malin, and Jon Herrington. Courtney Love and Michael Stipe were in the crowd, but didn't perform. Pictures from the event and a video teaser Danny made for the book are in this post.

Foo Fighters also began their week-long residency on The Late Show with David Letterman last night, playing a cover of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs" with Zac Brown (who appears on their new album). You can watch the video of that below. While they're in town, they've got a secret late-night thing going on tonight (10/14) which they ran a contest for last week. Anyone win a ticket? Anyone know what/where it will be?

More pictures and those videos, below...

Continue reading "Danny Clinch celebrated his new book @ McKittrick w/ Dave Grohl, Perry Farrell, more; Foo Fighters covered Sabbath"

I said what??? (more by Greg Cristman)
Black Sabbath

Ozzy Osbourne released the following statement last night:


"Firstly, I never spoke to 'The Mail Online.' Several quotes were pulled from another interview I did for The Shortlist that was posted earlier in the day and were taken out of context to create 'The Mail Online' story [about 9-11]. I apologize to anyone who may see these quotes and believe this is actually how I feel. Please know that I would never want to offend or hurt anyone--that was never or would ever be my intention. You would think that at my age I would finally realize that any conversation with a journalist can be twisted, reprinted and made into another story. It's another life lesson learned.

My representatives have asked 'The Mail Online' to pull the piece, but of course, they've refused and now it has been subsequently picked up worldwide because of the sensational slant 'The Mail Online' put on the story.

Love and peace to everyone. May your God go with you."

--Ozzy Osbourne

In related news, Ozzy recently said that Black Sabbath are working on another album.


"There was a certain amount of science to it. An entire week of work experience students left the office thinking that cutting-edge music journalism in 2014 mostly involves calculating which bands have been mentioned most in NME in the past two years, then hunting out references to the bands that influenced those acts online and finally adding up the number of times each influence came up. This gave us a rough list which our editorial team - heads swimming with all of the bands that Wolf Alice (or whoever) have raved on about over 4am ciders - then took to the pub, tore into shreds, fought and shouted about and finally reconstructed in the rundown of 100 you see in the mag today. The Beatles didn't make it. Sorry." [NME[
NME went ahead and listed who they think the 100 most influential musicians and bands are (their latest cover story). Radiohead topped the list. Read the rest with justifications at NME, or just look at their full list below...

Continue reading "100 Most Influential Artists, according to NME"

by Wyatt Marshall

Black Sabbath in NJ in 2013 (more by Greg Cristman)

Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi told Metalhammer that the reunited group's next concert at the Barclaycard British Summer Time festival (what a mouthful) may be the band's last. In what wasn't so much a "we're done" interview, Iommi said that with no future touring plans it's uncertain whether the band will book any more shows. Iommi travels to England every six weeks for treatment for lymphoma, which he was diagnosed with in 2012.

In other Black Sabbath news, bassist Geezer Butler has offered $1,000 for information leading to the apprehension of the person responsible for putting 25 dead cats in plastic bags and hanging them from a tree in Yonkers, NY. From The Journal News:

"It is so tragic that we have human beings among us that are capable of committing such a heinous and heartless crime," Butler said in a prepared statement released by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Westchester. "Surely there is someone out there that knows who has done this. Please do the right thing and come forward to get this coward(s) off the street."
The cats were found in late April, and Geezer's donation brings the reward for catching the person or persons who committed the crime to $25,000. Like Geezer, we hope this sicko is brought to justice, and if there is ever a second edition of 'Metal Cats', we hope Geezer gets the cover.

By Ian Chainey

Godflesh @ Irving Plaza 4/10/2014 (more by Greg Cristman)

Angry about Metallica at Glastonbury? Or angry at people angry about Metallica at Glastonbury? Here's your palette cleanser. We've got a ton to cover, so let's take a walk on the newswire:

After finishing up a successful North American run, Godflesh will release Decline & Fall, a new EP of four songs, on May 26 through the band's Avalanche Recordings. Excepting a 2013 flexi single of a Slaughter cover, this will be the duos first new material since 2001's Hymns. Your 'oh god, I'm old' moment for the day: babies became teenagers in the years between new Godflesh tunes.

That said, Opeth fans will have to wait a little longer. Fans were promised a single and details on Pale Communion, the forthcoming 11th album for the proggy blarghers out on Roadrunner Records. It was originally slated for June 17. Now? August 26. (Godflesh fans: "Oh, cool, a couple months.") Per the outfit: "Several circumstances prevented the band from delivering essential tools to Roadrunner in time which are needed to set up the album release properly and release schedule conflicts made us mutually decide on August instead of June." Those circumstances? Probably the damn runaway wheel again.

Pilgrim is making a pilgrimage (stop groaning) across the United States with fellow doomers Age of Taurus. The group is supporting their recently released II: Void Worship, an epic doom tidal wave of sonic destruction. The tour will finish up June 25 at The Acheron with Holly Hunt and Blackout joining the bill as well. Tickets are on sale.

Also coming up at The Acheron? Malignancy! Yes, the masters of the pinch harmonic and incredible death metal stage banter will swing in with Goemagot at The Acheron on June 28. Tickets are on sale for that too.

In other touring news, Negura Bunget are not. At least, they're not touring North America after visa issues forced them to cancel their jaunt which was to have hit Saint Vitus tonight (5/9). The European dates of their world tour are still on, as is work on their next record. Says the group: "Meanwhile weíll focus all our frustration energy into completing the last details of the new album, Tau." The quirky Romanian black metallers have had a rough go of it lately, restocking the membership in 2013 upon the departure of most of the outfit to Dordeduh. Drummer Negru is the sole remaining member.

Speaking of Europe, perhaps BL'AST! and Bunget will cross paths. The reformed crossover neck-snappers will keep the comeback rolling with a European tour. Filling out the ranks are desert vets Nick Oliveri and Joey Castillo. BL'AST! will also be making select North American fest dates, including This is Hardcore.


Belphegor are back, circling August 8 as the date for Conjuring The Dead, which will be available via Nuclear Blast. It's the band's tenth LP and was produced, as most things are, by Eric Rutan. The Austrians have released the cover art in advance and it features the most blasphemous depiction of Mickey Mouse ever. See if you can spy it.

Shining -- the other one -- have signed to Season of Mist. The depresso bleak metallers will issue something new for the label in 2015. Shining brain Niklas Kvarforth: "After a long period of negotiations and discussions that lasted almost eight years, I have now chosen to grant Season of Mist the privilege of releasing the next Shining album." Eight years? But Niklas, YOU'VE ALWAYS BEEN THE CARETAKER.

If you're excited to catch Super Duper Alice Cooper at Rocks Off Film Fest, you'll be pleased to note the surprisingly-not-adult-oriented production team, Banger Films, has signed on for two more documentaries: Black Sabbath and Soundgarden. Both will film this summer.

Sean Reinert and Paul Masvidal, current members of Cynic and former members of Death, have publicly come out. Their Los Angeles Times interview is worth a read, not due to their orientation, but because they're simply smart, considerate, charismatic people. Cynic's Kindly Bent Free to Us was released in February of this year.

Cudahy, Wisconsin's Days Of The Doomed Fest has been renamed Days Of The Doomed Fest IV - In Memory Of Jason McCash, honoring the Gates of Slumber player who sadly passed away last month. The fest is headlined by trad-doomers Trouble and will span two days, June 20 and 21. A full lineup appears below.

Finally, out from left field, turbo blastbeater Nicholas Barker (Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth) will join Berwick RBL and Eyemouth RBLS pipe bands -- as in bag pipes -- for a set of special engagements in Berwick upon Tweed in the UK. (Berwick upon Tweed: City name or math professor fanfic title?) Tickets will be free, but must be booked in advance. Americans, worry not, the performance will be filmed so you can battle that guy in the neighboring apartment who WON'T STOP BLASTING DUBSTEP. C'MON.

Don't forget: Keep up with the rest of our metal coverage during the week.

Now that you're, ahem, fully briefed, let's recap all of the A/V transmissions:

Pittsburgh grindy punks Complete Failure are offering "Errant Social Mile Marker" for name your own price at their Bandcamp. The entire album, The Art Gospel of Aggravated Assault, is available for streaming below.

If you're in the same core mindset, Maryland Deathfest-invitees and satanic City of Angels powerviolence unit ACxDC dropped "Filicide" from their Antichrist Demoncore available through Melotov Records, June 24. Stream it below, too.

Death metal more your thing? The tech-ish beasts in Hour of Penance are streaming their long-player, Regicide, in full at Soundcloud. Get ready for blasts aplenty. The album will be out on Prosthetic Records next week.

Less tech? You can find a nasty bug Under the Church. (Again, the groans.) "Denial of Death" is up on Youtube, a foul bit of rot from former Nirvana 2002 members. June 16 is the date for this infected slice thanks to Pulverized Records.

Want weird? How about a band that named their last record We Meditate Under The Pussy In The Sky? That's from Opium Warlords, featuring the talents of ex-Reverend Bizarre singer Sami Albert Hymnien. The group teased "The Self-Made Man" (streamable below) from Taste My Sword Of Understanding out on Svart Records, May 30. Tastes like doom! With. . .a weird kick. . .water. . .need water.

The first track from the One and All, Together, for Home comp collected by Drudkh is now up, with this cut coming courtesy of Winterfylleth. The folk-metal/atmophosmeric black metal round-up will be available through Season of Mist on May 27. (Preorder.) All contributions will be exclusive to the comp, with most bands offering covers of traditional standards. Scope the packed tracklisting and the track stream below.

Lastly, Vancouver sludge riff stackers Bison have checked in with the b-side to 1000 Needles, their new EP which will see a release by way of War on Music Records sometime in June. That's below as well.

Got it? Good. To shows we go:

TODAY (5/9): Sadistic Intent, DEATHHAMMER, Natur, Inverted Trifixion, and Iron Force invade The Acheron, promising thrash n' blasts. (Tickets.) In a punk state of mind? Violent Bullshit and Steel Phantoms will be at Union Pool, $8 at the door.

TOMORROW (5/10): Saturday is absolutely overflowing. First, get into some longform tech and stretched out sludge with Ulcerate, Inter Arma, and CAR BOMB at Saint Vitus. (Tickets.) Punks, though, will have a tough choice. There's Geronimo, Force & Fire, Concrete Cross, and Nightcrawler at ABC No Rio ($8, doors at 3 PM) and then there's the throwback core of Zombie Fight (record release!), MANALIVE, On the Offense, Jukai, and Ache at The Acheron. (Tickets.)

SUNDAY, SUNDAY, SUNDAY (5/11): Need to cool down after raging? Make a classic rock connection with the retro Graveyard and Bombus at Webster Hall. (Tickets.)

Looking for late adds and dates ahead? Our NYC Metal Show Calendar has got you covered.

Let's talk IO: We were tossing you fresh gems left and right, premiering Belus, Vainaja, HUSH., Serpentine Path (click this, now), and Den Saakaldte. We also put on our thinking caps, dissecting Infestus and figuring out why bands with tiny discographies seem more authentic. And, as is our compulsion, we hoarded every release under the sun for your perusal in Upcoming Metal Releases.

As always, don't forget to dial in Invisible Oranges on East Village Radio. This week, we had Kirk Windstein from Crowbar in as a guest and he played two new dandies from Crowbar's forthcoming Symmetry in Black. Plus, we jammed mountains of metal madness. Always worth the listen. Tune in every Tuesday, 10pm EST.

Alright, consider the decks cleared. What did we miss? What are your plans? Let us know and catch all of the dates, reams of streams, and other noted details below.

Continue reading "The Heavy Lowdown: new Godflesh EP; Negura Bunget cancel tour ++ Pilgrim, Opeth, Belphegor, weekend shows, lots more"

by Ian Chainey

Black Sabbath in NJ in 2013 (more by Greg Cristman)

Is the Dark Lord going to be a knight? Will your Photoshop skills land you a place on Geezer Butler's bass? It's a heck of a busy day if you're a Black Sabbath devotee.

First, to UK cyberspace we go, where a petition to get Sabbath singer Ozzy Osbourne knighted is nearing the creator-imposed 5,000 signature threshold on Causes.com. Started by superfan Helen Maidiotis in February of this year, the Angelfire-art-outfitted petition is gaining steam as press and metalheads around the world catch on. The idea behind the venture is to get the attention of David Spooner, Honours and Appointments Secretariat. And, surprisingly, it has. In the campaign's embryonic stages, Spooner suggested that Maidiotis scrap the original plan to knight the entire band and focus her attention on one member. Thus, the petition and The Knighthood of Ozz Facebook page was born.

So far, the push to tack an official 'sir' prefix on the 65 year old granddaddy of metal has drawn support from expected and unexpected sources. Osbourne's daughter Kelly is a noted proponent and former Ozzy guitarist Bernie Tormé has pledged his support with a letter to the cabinet office. The most intriguing development? Maidiotis says even Buckingham Palace is now familiar: "Our campaign has reached Buckingham Palace, as a friend of mine had sent off letters explaining about our battle for Ozzy's knighthood - and they have replied positively." Officials no doubt double-checked to ensure Osbourne hadn't harmed any corgis during his notorious run of '80s debauchery.

The other Sabbath tidbit is Geezer Butler, original/current four-string plucker, is asking interested parties to supply the legend with a new logo. Full details are available at his website, though this PR pic will no doubt pique your interest:

Geezer Butler

Nice! Right near the tone controls. I don't even think I need to plot this one out.

While you craft your snarkiest 300 / P.S. I Love You joke, relive the glory days of both gods with a 1970 Sabbath concert below...

Continue reading "Ozzy Osbourne knighthood campaign launched; Geezer Butler wants a new logo (you can design it)"

by Doug Moore

Portishead at Hammerstein Ballroom, 2011 (more by Dana [Distortion] Yavin)

Both Portishead and their vocalist Beth Gibbons tend to work slowly; the former theoretically have an album in the works, though it could take "ten fucking years" to be completed. (We're down to seven, now; the band have reportedly cleared their schedules.) Gibbons, likewise, announced plans last year to release a solo album via Domino Records, but details are still in the offing 10 months after the initial announcement.

In the meantime, Gibbons teamed up with the unheralded UK doom band Gonga for an intriguing Record Store Day release: a basically note-for-note cover of Black Sabbath's classic, eponymous song. If you didn't get a copy last weekend (and don't want to spend a bundle on Ebay) you can stream the recording below. Gonga pretty much just play it the way Sabbath did, and even Gibbons' vocal performance is fairly conservative and buttoned up. Still, it's good to hear her voice on a new recording.

Check out the "Black Sabbath" cover (with footage from Mario Bava's titular 1963 horror film) below...

Continue reading "Portishead's Beth Gibbons working on solo album, recorded a Black Sabbath cover with metal band Gonga (listen)"

Converse Black Sabbath

Converse just released a new series of Black Sabbath Chucks, which actually look pretty cool. One side of one is pictured above. All three are at Converse's site. Black Sabbath is playing Brooklyn in March and touring in April. Bill Ward won't be there, but look for him at the next Today is the Day show.

In other music-related Converse news, this weekend is the third edition of the FREE creative workshops they're holding at Rubber Tracks Studio in Williamsburg. Registration is open through 1/9 at midnight for "How to Record Live Instruments" with Benjamin Weinman & Billy Rymer of the Dillinger Escape Plan and "How To Record Using Outboard Effects" with EL-P & producer Nick Hook. As previously mentioned, El-P will also headline a show at Rubber Tracks on 1/24. Details on that are still limited.

Meanwhile, Converse's 'Rubber Tracks Live' series of free shows continues tonight (1/9) in Boston at The Sinclair with Joey Bada$$, Dillon Cooper, and Cavalier, and then January 16 at Glasslands in Brooklyn with The Hood Internet, Pictureplane, and Bearstronaut.

photos by Greg Cristman

Iggy & The Stooges @ The Mohawk Austin, TX 3/13/13

2013 has come and gone but we still have a couple year-end posts to go. Greg Cristman shot a whole lot for us last year -- everything from metal to synthpop and all points in between -- and he picked his 25 favorites from '13 which are in this post.

You can also check out year-end photo faves from BV contributors Amanda Hatfield, David Andrako and Dominick Mastrangelo. More of Greg's pics picks are below...

Continue reading "Greg Cristman's favorite live music photos (that he took) of '13"

by Doug Moore

Bill Ward (right) with Black Sabbath, before being redacted in 2012
Black Sabbath

If it wasn't official before, it is now: drummer Bill Ward is the most likable member of the original Black Sabbath lineup. While his erstwhile bandmates are busy photoshopping him out of old band pics and releasing new music of dubious quality with tremendously creative cover art, Ward has been keeping a relatively low profile. He has a solo album, entitled Accountable Beasts, floating around somewhere in the mixing/mastering process, though it doesn't have a release date yet. He also recently participated in a weird but cool visual art project involving colorful, psychedelic performance shots.

Hellbound.ca ran a great interview by Kyle Harcott with Ward today; he comes off as not only thoroughly genial, but quite openminded about newer metal (he did write a Hails and Horns column for a while) and remarkably hard-working for an established player, to boot:

How often do you practice?

Every day, but that's not necessarily stick practice, I work on rhythms probably two or three hours a day. I work on out-of-the-box ideas, I reinvent ideas. I challenge myself, make it incredibly difficult to perform on some of things I do. For example, when I'm using my keyboards, I write with my left hand, but I play drums on the keyboard with my right, so that one hand has to play all the drum parts - so by the third or fourth hour of doing that, my hands are killing me. I've taught myself new techniques in the bathtub by putting my feet out of the water and tapping the side of the bath - trying to create rhythm against the resistance of the water, which is really difficult to do as well. But by playing and practicing these really hard rudiments, when I actually play stick-to-snare, it all fits much nicer, like, oh, this feels good, when the pedal actually rebounds. These are just little techniques I've built up over the years to be a better player.


What bands excite you as the torchbearers in modern metal?

Oh God, there are so many! Amon Amarth are progressing really well. And I've got to wave the flag for bands like Soilwork, who are not necessarily new, but what they are doing is progressing, and they're playing so fucking well. Same with a band like Devildriver, where I'll be listening and wonder "What are they gonna do next?" I'm blown away by those guys. Another one of my favorite bands is Celtic Frost. I also really like Today Is The Day. And - I know it'll never happen, what with Henke's passing, but I also wish we could have a reincarnation of Disfear.

Do you have a particular style or subgenre of metal that you're drawn to?

Not really - if the music catches my heart and my ears, then that's it. I usually find out afterward what the genre might be called. If it sounds great, I'm going to pick up on it - from Cryptopsy, or Arch Enemy, Krisiun - it's all such good stuff, very dramatic ways of playing. See, it's the energy that turns me on. I have an open mind, and I try to be critical of none of the bands, even if something's not to my personal taste. After all, somebody worked really hard on that music.

So there you have it: Bill Ward loves Today is the Day, Krisiun, Celtic Frost, and Cryptopsy. Awesome.

There's some diversity of opinion regarding 13, the Bill Ward-less new Black Sabbath album. I personally thought very little of it, but a lot of other music writers (including at least one Invisible Oranges contributor) rated it highly. If you haven't heard it yet, you can stream it in full below in preparation for Sabbath's upcoming North American tour. Dates for that tour, including its March 31 stop at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (tix here), are listed in full below as well.

Continue reading "Bill Ward practices drums in the bath, loves Cryptopsy and Today is the Day"

by Wyatt Marshall

Bat Sabbath

Cancer Bats are in the midst of the previously discussed tour with Red Fang, Indian Handcrafts and The Shrine (dates below), and the day after that tour hits NYC (12/11 at Bowery Ballroom, tix), they'll be taking a night off to play a very special Black Sabbath tribute set at Saint Vitus (12/12) with No Way and Blackest. The Cancer Bats will be performing as Bat Sabbath, which is also the name they used to release their tribute EP which they titled Bastards of Reality (like every other Sabbath cover band). This isn't the first time Cancer Bats have busted out the Bat Sabbath--they've played double headlining Cancer Bats/Bat Sabbath shows before, and toured Canada as Bat Sabbath late in 2011, too. Tickets for the Vitus show are on sale. Listen to Bat Sabbath below.

The real Black Sabbath is touring North America too.

Cancer Bats aren't the only band on the Red Fang tour with a little something on the side. The Shrine is playing a show at The Acheron with Natur, Dirty Fences, and Iron Force on 12/12 too. Tickets for that show are still available.

Updated dates are listed, along with the Bat Sabbath stream, below...

Continue reading "Cancer Bats playing Black Sabbath tribute show at Saint Vitus during Red Fang tour (updated dates & stream)"

By Doug Moore

Behemoth at Irving Plaza, 2012 (more by Greg Cristman)

Behemoth frontman Nergal is kind of a badass -- he's an extremely gifted musician and a live-performance powerhouse who's played an important role in putting the potent Polish metal scene on the international map over the past 20 years. He's also a cancer survivor; after his 2010 leukemia diagnosis, he underwent chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. Two years later, Behemoth were back on the road and plowing through high-energy live sets like nothing had happened. Again, badass.

Behemoth announced a 2014 release for The Satanist -- their tenth album, and their first in half a decade -- a few months ago. I admittedly haven't been too excited by their last few efforts, but after watching the NSFW video for leadoff single "Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel" (streaming below), my enthusiasm for the band has been rekindled. It's far moodier and more patient composition than the cluttered, robotic death/black metal that they've produced recently. They can still put the hammer down when they need to, though; the song's final minute is both the catchiest and most intense moment I've heard them produce since the mid-aughts. The video is pretty cool too, especially if you're into artsy black-and-white shots of evil rituals happening in slow motion.

In related news, Behemoth were also recently announced as part of the initial lineup for the 2014 edition of France's Hellfest, which will take place from June 20 through 22 (6/20-6/22). The lineup so far is huge and crazy: there's a "huge rock band" stage, featuring Iron Maiden, Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and Soundgarden, among others; a big-name thrash/black metal stage that spotlights Slayer, Death Angel, Emperor, Iced Earth, Behemoth, and more; a death metal stage that will include Death To All, Carcass, Opeth, Nile, Gorguts, Hail of Bullets, and Weekend Nachos; a smaller black metal stage topped off by Watain, Gorgoroth and 1349; a sludge/stoner stage featuring Electric Wizard, Monster Magnet, Unida, Kylesa, Godflesh, and Clutch; and a punk stage topped by Walls of Jericho, Millencolin, and Turbonegro. Wow. You can reserve tickets now, if you feel like parsing the Google-Translated ticket page.

Check out the Behemoth video and the full set of Hellfest announcements below.

Continue reading "Behemoth debut new song & NSFW video, playing 2014 Hellfest (line-up)"

Felix the Cat

Tickets for the London Grammar show at Irving Plaza go on a BrooklynVegan presale today at 9 AM (password: "BVLONDON") followed by Live Nation and Music Geeks presales at 10 AM.

Tickets for the Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds show at Prospect Park go on Radio/Venue/AEG Live presales today at 10 AM.

Tickets for the Black Sabbath show at Barclays Center go on Live Nation/Mobile App presales today at 10 AM.

Tickets for the Lauryn Hill show at the Paramount go on venue presale today at 10 AM. Tickets for her Bowery Ballroom shows are still available. No presales for her NJ and Port Chester shows.

Tickets for the newly-added Paul Simon & Sting show at MSG go on Live Nation/Local presales today at 10 AM (password: "STINGSIMON"). Tickets for their other MSG show (same link) are still available but "not many left."

Arcade Fire tickets go on presale today too.