Video News: He Whose Ox is Gored, Cultura Tres, Eyehategod

 

Video News Update for 24 May 2017

Continue reading

Conan – Blood Eagle (2014), Revengeance (2016)

ConanBlood Eagle (Napalm Records, 28 February 2014)

 

ConanRevengeance (Napalm Records, 29 January 2016)

 

Following our last article that covered a few of North‘s more recent releases, it only makes sense to talk about their current tour-mates Conan as well. The Merseysider trio has been around for over ten years — although the line-up has changed a few times: from 2011 (when their split record with Slomatics came out, which was the last release we discussed here) until the 2014 emergence of their second full-length Blood Eagle, Paul O’Neill had remained behind the drums, but Phil Coumbe had taken on bass/vocal duties; then by 2016 new drummer Rich Lewis had joined, and Chris Fielding (a prolific producer and engineer who had worked on all of Conan‘s previous releases) was added as bassist/vocalist. The only constant throughout the band’s career has been guitarist/vocalist Jon Davis, who also runs Black Bow Records in his spare time — oh and by the way, you may remember from when last year when we covered Boss Keloid‘s Herb Your Enthusiasm, which was a Black Bow release, Davis and Fielding both had guest spots on that record.

Well, it wouldn’t be accurate to say that Mr. Davis being part of the band continuously has been the only constant over the past decade-plus. The sound produced by this trio has perpetually been as savage and barbaric as the literary character from which their name was derived. To be specific, they identify themselves as “caveman battle doom” — and you’ll find, as we make our way through Blood Eagle and last year’s follow-up Revengeance, there really couldn’t be a more apt description …

 
Continue reading

North – Siberia (2006-15), Metanoia (2014-15), Through Raven’s Eyes (2015), Light the Way (2016)

NorthSiberia (self-released, 01 May 2006 / re-released by Prosthetic Records, 02 June 2015)

 

NorthMetanoia (self-released, 11 March 2014 / re-released by Prosthetic Records, 02 June 2015)

 

NorthThrough Raven’s Eyes (Prosthetic Records, 14 August 2015)

 

NorthLight the Way (Prosthetic Records, 18 March 2016)

 

Well. Today is going to be all about North, a band who (naturally) come from the extreme southern part of Arizona, and who, as we mentioned a while back, are touring across the country with Conan. As you can see from the title of this post and that series of album covers just above, there’s going to be a ton of material to go over, so that’s all the introduction we have time for …

 

Continue reading

Obituary – Ten Thousand Ways to Die (2016), Obituary (2017)

ObituaryTen Thousand Ways to Die (Relapse Records, 14 October 2016)

 

ObituaryObituary (Relapse Records, 17 March 2017)

 
One of the originators of the foundational Tampa, Florida death metal scene, formed well over 30 years ago (and using their current name since back in 1988) with three of the original members — brothers John Tardy (vocals) and Don Tardy (drums) and guitarist Trevor Peres — continuously part of the line-up ever since, surely you — visitor to a website devoted to metal music — know Obituary, right? And if I told you they had a new single available with two songs (one of which can’t be found anywhere else) that also includes basically a whole live album worth of bonus tracks, AND that they followed that with a brand-new full-length album that easily stands up among the band’s decades-long discography, what more do you need from me aside from links where you can go and buy these new releases? (See the bottom of this page, below the videos and above the Bandcamp players. Also check below that, for information on the band’s tour dates over the next few days, including a stop in Pittsburgh TONIGHT!)

But I know not everyone out there is a lifelong death metal enthusiast. I’ll readily admit that I myself listen to the genre far less than many other styles of metal, and a main reason for that is that so many of the bands all sound alike and the sound of the music often seems stagnant and stale. But every so often something comes along where the band clearly is doing everything the right way — and with the rare stability and consistency Obituary has enjoyed over all these years, they certainly exemplify that. So I’ll assume that if you’re still with me, you aren’t already a huge fan of the band BUT perhaps curious enough to keep reading this far. Great, so here we go …

Continue reading

Opeth – Sorceress (2016)

opeth_sorceress_promocover_revised

OpethSorceress (Moderbolaget Records / distributed by Nuclear Blast, 30 September 2016)

 
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Abbey Road. “The White Album.” Widely considered to be hugely influential milestones in the history of recorded music. And yet the group responsible for these masterpieces began its career with mindless bubblegum-pop: stuff like “Love, love me do / You know I love you / I’ll always be true / So please love me do,” “She loves you, yeah yeah yeah / She loves you, yeah yeah yeah / She loves you, yeah yeah yeah yeah,” and “I wanna hold your hand / I wanna hold your hand / I wanna hold your hand / I wanna hold your hand.”

Certainly that’s a pretty extreme example, but the point here is that when a band experiences a seismic styistic shift, it isn’t always catastrophic, and can even be a positive thing. Naturally, when this occurs it can sometimes be unnerving to fans of the artist’s earlier work (and of course there have been plenty of moments where such a move did turn out to be a major misstep), but it never ceases to confound me, how often and how passionately hatred is spewed in the direction of Opeth for having developed a different sound over their quarter-century-plus career. This group of Swedes receives just as many nasty comments (particularly if the band is ever mentioned in the context of a metal festival or anything to do with metal music) for NOT making the same album over and over, as Six Feet Under does for essentially the exact opposite transgression.

The transition from death metal to progressive death metal occurred very early in this band’s existence, and it was the latter guise that caught most fans’ attention, gaining the ensemble a huge following. But throughout the course of a dozen full-length albums, gradually the elements of “death” had dropped away, and ultimately “metal” as well, landing Opeth squarely in the realm of “progressive” music, and leaving many earlier devotees feeling shortchanged. Nevertheless, in this reviewer’s opinion the band’s latest effort, last September’s Sorceress stands up quite well — when one judges it on its own merits, rather than attempting a side-by-side comparison with Still Life or Blackwater Park. And with that in mind, let’s jump right in.
 
Continue reading

Bereft – Lost Ages (2014), Lands (2017)

BereftLost Ages (Silent Pendulum Records, 18 November 2014)

 

BereftLands (Prosthetic Records, 31 March 2017)

Hey folks! Just a quick heads-up: Madison, Wisconsin blackened doom band Bereft will be appearing in Pittsburgh tonight (05 April 2017) at Howlers! Also appearing will be Aseethe from Iowa and Cant from Pittsburgh, presented by Winterforge Productions — you can click here for all the details about that. But first, who the hell are Bereft? Well, I’m glad you asked. Step right this way …

 

Continue reading

The Crazy World of Arthur Brown – Zim Zam Zim (2014)

cover_1485203603130912

The Crazy World of Arthur BrownZim Zam Zim (Bronze Rat Records, 28 July 2014)

 

For those who may have missed the announcement, about two months ago, the highly influential and iconic Arthur Brown will be performing a series of live dates with The Crazy World of Arthur Brown — for the first time since that group’s earlier incarnation had disbanded after (or during, depending on which account of events you hear) a U.S. tour back in 1969! This new run of shows will be kicking off tonight(!), and we’ve got the details for you down in the comments section. But before we get there, I’d first like to call your attention to The Crazy World‘s newest album — 2014’s Zim Zam Zim

 

Continue reading