Opeth – Sorceress (2016)

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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.
 
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Municipal Waste / Toxic Holocaust – Toxic Waste Split – PREORDER NOW!!!

Hello there, readers! I wanted to bring this to your attention as soon as I learned about it: pre-orders are now available for the Toxic Waste Split 12″ (Municipal Waste / Toxic Holocaust)! CLICK HERE!

**UPDATE 19 June 2012** Since the first pressing of this split sold out so quickly, Tankcrimes has just announced a second pressing! PLUS you can now download both sides of the release FOR FREE! Check out this newer post for all the relevant details!

This record is coming out on 12 June 2012 via Tankcrimes Records, and I’m predicting it’s gonna go fast. If you’re a thrash fan who’s been keeping up with the explosion of retro/revival bands over the past several years, then you already know that these are two of the biggest names in that movement. If you aren’t already familiar with these bands, I’ll give you a brief introduction to them later in this post (including a list of dates for each band’s upcoming world tours!), but first I want to talk about this incredible package — which I’m sure is going to be a HUGE hit with vinyl collectors all over the world…

Tracklisting:

  1. Trapped in the Sites (Municipal Waste)
  2. Mourning Sex (Municipal Waste)
  3. We Bring ‘Em Hell (Toxic Holocaust)
  4. Alter-ed States (Toxic Holocaust)

Two of the songs (one from each band) can be streamed if you head over to Decibel Magazine‘s website.

 
For the past several months, Scotty at Tankcrimes has often talked about working with various manufacturers and testing a number of different formulations to come up with just the perfect glow-in-the-dark vinyl to use for this release. That kind of dedication should give you an idea of just how important this collectors’ item is going to be…

The extremely limited “Die Hard” edition of the release is available in either the picture-disc (which, as you can see above, features the album’s cover art) or the special glow-in-the-dark vinyl. Either of those will also include a beer koozie and a poster of that cover art, too. Oh, and by the way, I don’t know if you noticed, but the “Toxic Waste” logo inside the glowing globe in the center of the artwork is made of the “T” from “Toxic Holocaust” and the “W” from “Municipal Waste” — sorry, it doesn’t take much to amuse me…

Anyway, for those fans who might not also be into collectible vinyl (or, more likely, for those who want to save the picture-disc or glow-in-the-dark edition in mint condition, but still want to listen to the record) it’s also available in regular boring black or blue vinyl. With any of these editions, you will be sent a link to download a digital copy on the release date, as well.

**UPDATE – 23 MAY** I told you that glow-in-the-dark vinyl was going to be a hot seller and that it would sell out… but I never predicted that they’d all be gone by the afternoon of the first pre-sale day! But, that’s what happened — as of yesterday, there are no more glowing Toxic Waste records left. If you missed out, sorry, it sucks to be you. Next time you need to listen to me when I tell you to jump on something quickly! I just wish I had some extra cash lying around this week, or else I might have grabbed up a dozen copies!

But anyway, all is not lost because that picture-disc edition is still available (although that one surely won’t be around too much longer, either!), as well as the black or blue versions. **

Once again, the link to pre-order the split is here.

 
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Upcoming Shows: Sabaton Swedish Empire Tour

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Sabaton Swedish Empire Tour

Hey readers! If you’re looking for something to keep you busy on a boring Monday evening, head on down to Altar Bar in the Strip, because I’ve just learned that Swedish power metal giants Sabaton are swinging through town tonight as part of their Swedish Empire Tour through North America! I would’ve posted this earlier but I just found the above poster this morning, which local thrashers Sick Twisted Debauchery had linked to on their Facebook page last night. (People need to tell me about these things sooner so I have time to pass the word along to you!)

Anyway, details for this particular show are reprinted at the bottom of this post, after a list of all the confirmed dates remaining on the tour…
 
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Get ’em While They’re Hot: Free Meshuggah Track Download, Ticket Giveaway

 

Well, the nice people of Scion A/V have done it yet again, hooking you up with some more free metal.  This time around, they’re letting you grab the song “I Am Colossus” from Koloss, the new Meshuggah album that was just released on Nuclear Blast.

Here’s what Scion had to say about the band and this song:

The larynx-lacerating, off-the-meter metal of Swedish powerhouse Meshuggah is so distinctive that it birthed its own sub-genre, called djent. On this exclusive single for Scion A/V, the band plumbs heavy grooves as only they can. Turtle-paced but with tightly-coiled potential for acceleration, “I Am Colossus” is one of the best Meshuggah songs in their gem-stuffed discography. Power up.

FREE DOWNLOAD OF MESHUGGAH’s “I AM COLOSSUS” HERE.

 
 

And if that isn’t enough for you, Scion A/V is also giving away a pair of tickets to every Meshuggah show on their upcoming tour with Baroness and Decapitated.

  To enter for a chance to win:

1. Read the RULES and TOUR SCHEDULE: http://www.scion.com/Meshuggahsweeps

2. Follow ScionAV on TWITTER: http://www.twitter.com/ScionAV

3. Tweet “@SCIONAV #Meshuggah [date of show]”

Each winner will be chosen at random from the entries provided for each show. Winners will be contacted via Twitter one day before the concert with details on how to redeem the tickets.  Tour dates are listed below…

 

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Now Available for Pre-Order: (drama) – Zastor Tišine

(drama) Zastor Tišine (Altsphere Production, 24 February 2012)

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Fuck me, I can’t seem to keep my eyes open.  I’ve probably had about five cups of coffee today, but still, here I sit staring at this computer screen and it keeps going out of focus.  Why does the last day of work before a break– especially a nice, long holiday weekend– always seem to drag on forever?  Not that things will get any better when I leave here; I am completely dreading the fact that later tonight, and probably much of tomorrow as well, I will have to venture out into the world of holiday shopping!  Suffering through the world’s worst drivers (they always seem to come out in hordes this time of year, don’t they?) to struggle to find a place to park; pushing through huge crowds of horribly annoying people to get the chance to spend money I can’t really afford on a bunch of crap that my family members don’t really need anyhow… it’s enough to seriously bring on an anxiety attack just thinking about it!

Of course, that’s why the past few days I have been cheering myself (and hopefully some of you out there in internet-land, as well) with great big heaps of awesomely depressive doom metal.  Today’s post will complete the trilogy I described earlier (part I | part II), as we voyage to Croatia to check out the debut LP of a band from Zagreb called (drama), which is entitled Zastor Tišine (Croatian for The Curtain [or Shroud] of Silence).

Following a 2006 demo, the band actually recorded this full-length back in 2010 and made it available through various digital outlets earlier this year.  I can’t remember, now, where I first became aware of them, but I know I heard one of their songs somewhere; I enjoyed it enough to be willing to put in the effort necessary to track down more info about the band– which was no small task!  You try Googling the word “drama” – with or without the parentheses, it makes no difference – and see how easy it is to wade through the billions of results!  (By the way, for your benefit I’ve included a list of links at the bottom of this post, so you can have a much easier time learning more about the band and keeping informed about them.  You’re welcome.) Continue reading

Breaking news!! Behemoth Have Sold Out.

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According to a recent e-mail newsletter from Nuclear Blast, Polish black(ish) metal band Behemoth have officially sold out.

Click here for further details on this shocking announcement, including some related quotes from Adam Darski, one of the judges from the reality show/singing contest The Voice of Poland.