Upcoming Shows: North American Assault Tour and North American Devastation Tour

Hello again, readers. I’ve got two more North American tours to share with you, one that centers around assault, and one that promises devastation.

As it turns out, neither of these tours will be visiting Pittsburgh, but coincidentally, they both DO have stops in Delaware. (If you didn’t see this post from earlier this month, you’re probably wondering why that’s significant. I’d been informed by a certain resident of that state that tours rarely bother stopping there, so it’s now kind of turned into a running joke to point out exceptions to that rule.)

Ironically, it just so happens that the same person who’d been complaining about the dearth of metal shows in his home state — a loyal blog reader/commenter who calls himself Utmu — was the one who pointed out this first tour to me!

 
Continue reading

Upcoming Shows: Some Bands are Playing in Delaware!

Hi. I’m in Delaware.


 

 
Good evening. I’d like to take a few moments to talk to you about the state of Delaware. For any foreign readers (or Americans who are just really bad at history and geography), Delaware is one of the fifty states that comprise the United States.

It’s noteworthy for being one of the original thirteen British colonies that declared independance from the UK and went on to form the USA. Furthermore, its biggest claim to fame was being the first out of those thirteen states to adopt the new national constitution.

In the two centuries that have passed since that time, Delaware has done pretty much nothing else to distinguish itself. This is clear if you ever see the license plate on one of the state’s cars: they all have a slogan that says “The First State.”

If you look at a map, Delaware is a skinny little piece of land hanging off the southeast corner of Pennsylvania — as if Philadelphia just came out of the bathroom and failed to notice it had a piece of toilet paper stuck to the bottom of its shoe. In fact, I suppose you could say Delaware is to Philadelphia pretty much what New Jersey is to New York City.
 

 

That’s weird, you know so much about Delaware. Who are you, fuckin’ Joe Biden?


 

 
Well despite all that, the residents of this state seem to think there is something more to the place where they live. I am basing this observation entirely on the one person I know who lives in Delaware, who happens to be a frequent reader and commenter on some of the same metal blogs that I read and comment on.

Recently he said something about how Philadelphia seems to attract all the good shows, and maybe if that city were destroyed, more bands would come to Delaware instead. I can sort of relate to this; although I live in the same state, I am almost six hours away from Philly, but it seems that many national touring bands feel one stop in Pennsylvania is sufficient. If I’m lucky, they’ll also come to Cleveland (Ohio) but that’s still three hours from here.

Anyway, the point of all this is that I just saw (via the always-helpful folks at Clawhammer PR) not one, but TWO bands who are playing shows in Delaware in the near future! Both are part of mini mid-Atlantic tours, and of course neither of them are coming anywhere near Pittsburgh, but when I heard about this, I felt it was my duty to pass the information along.

If you live in Philadelphia, Virginia, or New Jersey (or on the west coast), there’s some good news for you here as well.
 

 

Continue reading

In Memoriam: Woods of Ypres Merchandise Available to Benefit Family of David Gold

 
The following information comes from Clawhammer PR:

On Dec 21, 2011, there was a shock wave felt around the world when David Gold of Ontario’s Woods of Ypres died on Highway 400. In loving memory of this immensely talented artist and beautiful human being, the family of David Gold has made available a range of merchandise bundles at this location.

Paypal information is included, so please make a purchase in memory of the man that meant so much to so many with his creative, emotionally deep contribution to music. All proceeds from the sales are used to cover funeral costs and other expenses resulting from David’s death.

David’s mother Esther Gold wrote about her son in her e-mail to us and we are honored to assist in spreading the word.
Continue reading

Contest Alert: Win a Stonecreep Prize Pack

image

 
Hey there, readers. Real quick, I wanted to bring this to your attention: in a joint effort between Blistering.com 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…

Continue reading

The Reticent’s Chris Hathcock – Not Very Reticent About NC Gay Marriage Ban!

image

Apologies for the lame joke in the title of this post, but I just couldn’t pass it up! Thanks to Clawhammer PR for bringing this story to my attention.

 

The Reticent‘s Chris Hathcock recently denounced the May 8th passage of Amendment One, North Carolina’s constitutional amendment prohibiting the legal recognition of domestic unions, including same-sex marriages. The amendment, which has made North Carolina a national focal point for the issue, defines marriage as solely a union between a man and a woman, and expands an existing North Carolina law banning gay marriage.

 

Said denunciation primarily came last week in the form of re-posting an image (which I’d already seen multiple times on Facebook) depicting various types of marriage, as described throughout the bible and in the laws of biblical times. However, in this particular context, Hathcock directed his message specifically at the Reverend Billy Graham:

 

The Reticent is collectively disappointed in North Carolina’s passage of an exclusivist, misguided, and ill-informed piece of legislature today. The mind reels. It is all too clear what really fueled those voters that checked “For” which is terribly disheartening. Billy Graham took out an ad in 14 NC newspapers proclaiming his support and we quote him: “The Bible is clear…”. Alright, then we would like to posit the following as other examples of marriage found in that text.

 

Mr. Graham has already displayed — on far too many occasions to count — his sick and twisted version of Christianity which has nothing to do with loving thy neighbor or any sort of a golden rule. Therefore, his direct support of a law which serves no positive or helpful purpose whatsoever, and exists only for the sake of excluding rights and liberties from a specific group of citizens, comes as no real surprise.

The reasoning in this case, though, seems to be the source of Mr. Hathcock’s frustration: there’s plenty of outdated (and just plain wrong) information written in the bible, so it makes little sense for anyone to base their entire lives on something that was written thousands of years ago. But even disregarding that, it certainly makes less sense for any law in this country to be based solely on a religious text (without any other grounds for that law’s existence), when (according to Black’s Law Dictionary) the First Amendment to the United States Constitution includes a provision “that prohibits the federal and state governments from establishing an official religion, or from favoring or disfavoring one view of religion over another.”

Anyway, apparently if you make a public statement that is contrary to a decision made by majority vote in certain places — California, for example — it just gets dismissed as another case of Hollywood liberals and most people barely even notice. However if you do the same thing in a place like North Carolina, I guess it’s a much bigger deal. Following that post, it seems a great deal of argument erupted (both for and against the legislation), prompting a second post a day later:

 

The anger and vitriol on all sides of the current debate in our home state and country is troubling to us. And further we do not want to entertain any further debate on our page because all we want to do is make music. The thing that is most staggering and regretful in all of this is that it seems we as a people cannot have an earnest discussion about this. Are we only capable of venom and hostility? I’m not about to tell you what to think, there are enough people doing that in all our lives already. But regardless of your stance, if we can’t all sit down and have a reasoned, honest, and legitimate discussion of this issue – we will only tear further apart. Once more, we do not wish to use this page to play host to any debate or soapboxing. Yet since we made a statement (which we thought was mild and humorous) we have found it clearly necessary to bring closure to this can of worms. Here ends our political ranting.

 

Very well, we can let the discussion end here and talk about music instead.

Continue reading

Upcoming Shows: Warriors of Metal Open Air (WOM Fest V)

…and while we’re on the subject of metal festivals on American soil that don’t suck…

Here’s the latest info on Ohio’s Warriors of Metal Festival, which is being held on the 29th-30th of June this year (which is, coincidentally, the same weekend as the birthday of a certain metal blog writer/editor!) in Pataskala, Ohio (just east of Columbus). Tickets are on sale now at this location; $50 for both days or $30 for either Friday or Saturday ($40 for both or $25 each if you buy your tickets in a four-pack, and youth tickets are also discounted).

This open-air festival is now in its fifth year, and this year’s headliners include two legends of American heavy metal: Wichita’s Manilla Road and Helstar from Houston, Texas! Plus, there will be a pre-show in Columbus on Thursday night, the details of which have not yet been announced can be found here.

UPDATE, 15 MAY 2012: I’ve just learned that the 2012 Promo Video for Warriors Of Metal Fest V Open Air has been released. The video was produced by the vocalist & guitarist of the Brazilian Thrash Metal band Machinage.


 

Continue reading

Contest Alerts: Win a Shitload of CDs or Records!

Is today your lucky day? It might be! Check it out — I’ve got the details here for TWO different contests, one where the prize is a total of 29 CDs, and another where you can win a whole bunch of vinyl (including some ultra-rare pieces)!
 

First of all, check out this contest sponsored by Clawhammer PR and MetalReview.com:

The fine folks at Clawhammer PR have always been good to us here at MetalReview, but they’ve outdone themselves with this one. Quite simply, this is the biggest contest we’ve offered up in many a malevolent moon, if not forever and ever. So, first off, let’s all say a special thanks to the Clawhammerkids for hooking us up with this gigantic haul. Once we’ve done that, let’s get down to business, shall we?

WHAT YOU GET (if you win):

Of course, in any contest, you want to know what the prize is, right? Well, for this one, if you win, you get a proverbial shitload of CDs*. Here’s the full list:
Continue reading

In Case You Missed It: Erevos – Descensus Ad Inferos

ErevosDescensus Ad Inferos (30 September 2011, Orkestral Promenade Records)

I don’t know what’s in the water in the Greek region of Macedonia. Maybe there’s some kind of magic in the Termaic Gulf or the nearby Haliacmon River or something. Whatever it is, it’s obviously had a strong effect on the musicians of that area, as evidenced by the fact that today I’m going to tell you about not one, but two incredible debut albums, from a pair of bands who both come from the Central Macedonian capital (and second-largest city in Greece), Thessaloniki. The second one, about Hail Spirit Noir‘s Pneuma, can be found over here, but first I’d like to introduce you to Erevos.

 

Erevos (έρεβος in Greek, or translated into English as Erebus) literally means darkness; in the story of Creation, Erebus was one of the primordial Greek deities which originally came forth from Chaos, wherein he was the incarnation of darkness and night. The name also refers to a place of darkness beneath the earth, which some say indicates the eternal home of sinners after death, while others identify it with an area through which the dead pass between earth and Hades.

Erevos is also the name of a symphonic black metal band who have been around since 2004, having released a couple demos and some split releases since that time, in addition to touring all over Greece and other parts of Europe, including Bulgaria and France. In early 2011 they finished recording their debut full-length, Descensus Ad Inferos, and then in September it saw a limited release in their home country through the Orkestral Promenade Records label. The album met with much acclaim from those who were lucky enough to hear it the first time around, so in cooperation with Clawhammer PR, they’re now pushing to spread the word about this excellently composed sonic poetry worldwide. And, well, spreading the word is what I’m here for.

 

Continue reading

Just Released: Pharaoh – Bury the Light

image

PharaohBury the Light (6 March 2012, Cruz del Sur Music)

Good evening, Readers. How’s it going? I’d like to take a quick poll, if you don’t mind. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when someone says “power metal”? Is your first impulse to run away screaming? It wouldn’t surprise me much if that were the case, because that would be the reaction of many people — including myself, sometimes.

Why is that? Well, because somewhere along the line power metal got its name blemished pretty badly in the eyes of most listeners. Somehow the genre got associated with bands who, when they heard “Run to the Hills” for the first time, fell in love with the lightning-speed galloping part towards the end, but thought the song would be better if they had cut out all the stuff that builds the tension up to that point, and creates dynamic contrast, and holds the listener’s attention. Bands whose favorite album of all time is Rising Force, but they never realized that their turntable was switched to 78 RPM instead of 33-1/3.

It’s no wonder most people turn their noses up at the thought of this genre, when its most visible representatives are a bunch of over-the-top, ultra-cheeserrific fuckwads whose primary goal seems to be to constantly outdo themselves in terms of speed and wankery, much more than giving any thought to making good quality music.

Of course, this stereotype didn’t just spring into existence overnight; there have been bands that have incorporated cheesy schtick into their repetoires (whether intentionally or not) for decades. It’s almost as if everyone had forgotten it was possible to put together a group of talented musicians and play music that strikes a balance between heavy and powerful but also emotional and melodic; and to tackle lyrical territory that is epic and grand but not corny and overblown. Almost.

A certain group of Philadelphian gentlemen (who, by the way, come from the eastern side of my home state – just a few hundred miles from here) who call themselves Pharaoh haven’t forgotten. And just one listen to their newest album (their fourth full-length, and fifth release overall, dating back nearly ten years) Bury the Light, which is on Cruz del Sur and was released just last week in North America, is all it will take to ensure you don’t forget, either.

Continue reading