Get ’em While They’re Hot: The Fourth (and Final) New Vesperia Song is Available for FREE!

STOP! You should totally check out THIS POST instead. Vesperia‘s entire The Swordsman demo is now available to download for free; the full details are included there.

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Out Now: Young Hunter – Stone Tools (Touring with Cormorant!)


Young HunterStone Tools (18 May 2012, Self-released)

A couple days ago, I saw an announcement that Cormorant would be heading out on an eight-night tour all along the west coast. (If you need a refresher on that band, check out this review of their latest album Dwellings, which incorporates a discussion of their entire discography.) Now, as they operate independently and self-fund all their activities, they don’t get the chance to do shows all that often, so for them to announce a multi-date tour is a pretty big deal. (Full details are included later in this post.) When I read that all the arrangements were made in collaboration with another DIY band, Young Hunter (who are also appearing on almost all of the scheduled dates), it made me want to check these guys out as well.
I’m glad I did, and now I’m going to share them with you — so you can be glad too.
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In Case You Missed It: Vattnet Viskar – Self-Titled EP


Vattnet ViskarVattnet Viskar (15 March 2012, Broken Limbs Recordings)

So I decided it was time to reach into my great big pile o’ stuff waiting to be reviewed, to find something to write about today, when the name Vattnet Viskar jumped out at me. Since they released their self-titled EP through Broken Limbs back in March, I’ve been seeing a lot of buzz surrounding this band, culminating in the announcement last week that they had been signed to Century Media Records.

Prior to this recent EP, the band had self-released a demo tape in 2011 in extremely limited quantities (only 30 copies were made, according to my research). But, before you go scouring eBay, don’t dispair: since that time they’ve made that recording available for free download; I’ll hook you up with the details at the end of this post.

Anyway, then the EP came out on 10″ vinyl and CD and within about two months this relatively obscure band from New Hampshire was inking a deal with one of the biggest labels in the metal world. So what’s up with all the hype surrounding this American band with a Swedish name (it translates to “Whispering Water”)? You’re about to find out. And pay close attention, because these guys are about to get huge. No, astronomical. Trust me.

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Upcoming Show: Catch The Whiskey Holler for Free at Market Square

The Whiskey HollerHive Songs (6 April 2012, Self-released)

Good morning, readers. If you don’t mind (and actually, even if you do — tough shit, this is my blog), I’m going to step outside the realm of “metal and heavy music” for a second time this week, and talk about another “guilty pleasure”…

My wife and I have developed somewhat of an agreement whenever we’re in the car. We sort of take turns with the driving duties, and consequently we also alternate who will be the passenger. Over time, the job of passenging has evolved to include having control over the radio/CD player. Since there’s very rarely anything worthwhile on the radio, this usually means being responsible for selecting CDs for the duration of us traveling.

Now, we do have a bit of an overlap in our musical tastes, but that isn’t always the case — there are plenty of things I like that she might not have chosen, and vice versa. But after repeated exposure, I’ve discovered that we each have been adapting and expanding our comfort zones a bit, in terms of what we listen to. For example, with her obsession over neo-folk/bluegrass styles, I’ve begun to develop an appreciation for some of this material as well.

So recently when I discovered the the Pittsburgh-area band The Whiskey Holler, they really grabbed my attention.
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Get ’em While They’re Hot: Download Batillus Tracks from Recent Split LP for FREE!

Batillus/WhitehorseSplit LP (20 May 2012, Vendetta Records)

Good afternoon! Here's some exciting news that just came my way recently. I haven’t talked a whole lot about Brooklyn post-doom heavyweights Batillus, although I did name their album Furnace as one of my “Top 11 of 2011.” Nevertheless, ever since I discovered the band sometime in the early part of last year, I’ve been a big fan of their immensely powerful doom’n’gloom soundscapes.

Well, just recently, Vendetta Records has released a 12″ split that also includes Whitehorse from Melbourne, Australia. To be honest, this is my first time hearing of that band, but anything that involves Batillus is guaranteed to catch my attention. The LP is now available for purchase from the Bis Auf’s Messer webstore, or you can pick up a copy directly from the two bands when they head out on tour together next month (see a full list of dates later in this post). The first 100 copies will be on a limited-edition white vinyl; all the rest will be available in standard black.

However, the two tracks from the Batillus side of the record can be downloaded for free (or whatever price you choose to pay) from their Bandcamp page —

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Contest Alert: Win a Copy of the New Dying Fetus CD!

The new album from death metal gargantuans Dying Fetus, Reign Supreme (their seventh full-length), is scheduled for release on 19 June (US), 22 June (Germany and Benelux), or 25 June (worldwide) through Relapse Records.

However, thanks to and Metal Maniacs (in cooperation with Relapse), three lucky winners will get a free copy of that CD along with a sticker…

All you need to do is click here, and fill out your name and address!

Good luck!

Dying Fetus: Facebook, Myspace, Youtube
  Pre-order Reign Supreme here!
Relapse Records: website, Facebook
Metal Maniacs: website, Myspace
Metalhit: website, Facebook, Myspace

Contest Alert: Win Municipal Waste Tickets (PLUS Free Downloads!)

Guess what! After last week’s post about the upcoming Municipal Waste/Toxic Holocaust split (still available for pre-order from Tankcrimes), I got word from Scion A/V that they will be giving away a pair of tickets to each and every date on the current Municipal Waste U.S. tour (with Black Tusk and 3 Inches of Blood)!

I apologize to those who live in North Carolina and Georgia, since the shows in those areas have already taken place; also, if you live in Florida, the winners for tonight’s show (29 May) in Orlando and tomorrow’s show (30 May) in Pensacola have already been drawn. Sorry!

But for the rest of the country, take a look at those tour dates (listed in last week’s post), then check out these simple directions:

  • Read the official rules here
  • Follow Scion A/V on Twitter here
  • Tweet this message: “@SCIONAV @MWTour [date of show]”

And that’s all there is to it. The randomly selected winner for each date will be notified one day before the show.

Just in case the chance to see them in concert for free isn’t enough for you, there’s even MORE Municipal Waste news… how about a pair of tracks for you to download ABSOLUTELY FREE?
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The “Signmeto” Unsigned Band of the Week (Memorial Day Hangover Edition): Amy Caudle


Good morning, friends. A quick peek at the calendar reminds me that it’s Tuesday, which is the day that comes after Monday, so as you’ve obviously figured out by now, this post is getting published a day late.

For those who are keeping track, every Monday I visit the “Sign Me to Roadrunner Records” website to find some new music, either from randomly browsing artist pages, or based on suggestions I receive directly from people or bands who are looking for reviews. Then I come back here and describe what I found, so another artist can get a bit more publicity each week, the lovely and intelligent people who read this blog can discover new music to listen to, and everybody wins.

Well, this Monday (yesterday) was a little different, because in the United States, we have a national holiday every year near the end of May, which is called Memorial Day. One of our favorite things to do in this country is to get together with our families and friends, drink excessive amounts of alcohol, eat some meat which has been charred on a grill (as well as side dishes which often contain eggs or mayonnaise or other perishible ingredients and typically don’t hold up very well when the weather outside is hot), drink some more alcohol, sit around in the sweltering heat and humidity, drink even more, and then eventually get into huge fights with our families and friends.

This is pretty much how most of our holidays (between May and September) are celebrated. Now, we realize that some people in other countries don’t have the same freedoms to celebrate like drunken assholes that we Americans enjoy, so we don’t take this for granted! As a nation, we have a long military history, and there have been many wars fought — and sadly many people have lost their lives in the struggle to maintain our freedom and general standard of living. Hence, we have set aside a Monday each year called Memorial Day, where we memorialize and honor those brave individuals, by giving ourselves a three-day weekend and celebrating like drunken assholes.

Fun times, obviously, but between three whole days of parties and picnics, I sort of wore myself out – and by Monday evening I wasn’t really in a condition to do much writing. But I do have an obligation to you readers (particularly those who live in countries where you had to go to work yesterday!), and so I did make an effort to go and listen to something that I could share with you. And this morning, I will tell you about what I found.

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Contest Alert: Win a Stonecreep Prize Pack


Hey there, readers. Real quick, I wanted to bring this to your attention: in a joint effort between and Clawhammer PR, for the next few days you can have the opportunity to win a prize package from Portlandian death-thrashers Stonecreep!

This giveaway will include a digipack of the 2011 re-release (via Old-School Metal Records) of their 2009 album The Deathmarch Crushes On, a CD copy of the 2007 demo EP We Bleed Disaster, a t-shirt, sticker, and beer koozie. All you need to do is click right here, and fill in the relevant personal information. Be sure to submit your entry soon, because the contest will close on Friday (1 June)!

Oh, and while we’re on the subject, the band will soon be heading out across the U.S. in support of the Deathmarch album’s recent re-release, on what they’re calling the Storm of the Deathmarch U.S. Tour 2012. So far there have been sixteen confirmed dates over the course of three weeks between June and July (including a stop in Pittsburgh). See below for the full details…


Update 12 June: the contest may have ended but the Deathmarch tour is still, umm, deathmarching soon! I’ve learned of a few adjustments to the tour schedule, which has been updated accordingly, below, along with an explanatory statement from the band…

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Coming Soon: The Gates of Slumber – The Awakening (Vinyl Re-issue)

Well, how about that. Just a few days ago we talked about the epic doom heroes that are The Gates of Slumber (including a full list of their current tour dates – see that post for more details). And now I’ve just learned that Abyss Records has announced plans to re-issue the band’s 2004 debut album …The Awakening!

The cover art (shown above), is not the same painting that was used on the original release (which was taken from Pieter Bruegel’s “The Triumph of Death”), but from what I understand, this new artwork (which was done by Ken Kelly) is also what had been used for the extremely limited 2xLP edition, which has been long out of print. Just like that original vinyl edition, this re-release includes “The Cloaked Figure” (which originally appeared on the band’s third demo recording, also from 2004) as a bonus track.

The record won’t actually be available until the fall of this year, but keep an eye on the band and label (see links below) for any new updates, including when the pre-order process will begin!

The Gates of Slumber: website, Facebook
Abyss Records: website, Facebook, Myspace, Reverbnation, Youtube