In this report: (Click on a picture to go straight to news about that band)
My eyes get real wide when I see any announcements involving Scottish pirate metallers Alestorm, so naturally I got quite excited when I saw that drummer Ian Wilson has a side project called First to Fight. So I rushed to the MySpace page to get a listen... and was promptly disappointed . I guess I was hoping for something more in line with Alestorm. What I got was some very mellow ambient instrumentals with listed influences including Thursday, Sigur Ros, and Bjork, which is good for what it is, but pretty far from my listening spectrum. Wilson noted, "There won't be any vocals added cos vocals are gay," and "The finished tracks will be bigger, better and sexier. It'll be like listening to the moon fuck the sun!!!" Well, that at least sounds more interesting.
Do you live in the San Antonio, TX area? Will you be travelling to the area around the time of August 29th? If you answered "yes" to either of these questions and you would like to help raise awareness to the plight of abused and/or neglected children, consider checking out the S.A. Rocking Summer Festival, to be held on the aforementioned date at the Sunken Garden Theater. The show will be headlined by Moxy (featuring Russ Graham of Killer Dwarfs) as well as performances by Mad Margritt, Broken Teeth (featuring Jason McMaster), Drifter (Iron Maiden tribute), Lion Heart (Saxon tribute), Eden Burning, Black Falcon, Texas Trash, and Rewired. Visit the festival's MySpace page for more information.
Austrian Death Machine has completed work on the follow up to their debut full-length Total Brutal, which will be entitled... wait for it... Double Brutal! It's not just a clever name - it will actually be a double album.
The first disc will be comprised of an array of Ahhhnold-inspired tracks, while the second disc will contain Ahhhnold-ified covers of classic tunes from Metallica, Megadeth, Motorhead, The Misfits, and more. Although Total Brutal took quite a beating from "serious" metal fans, I thought it was one of the most fun albums released in 2008. Too many bands want to be taken seriously and/or make a statement, two things that will never be an issue for the side project of Tim Lambesis - he does enough of that with As I Lay Dying.
Normally I wouldn't bother to check out a band's video online, much less tell you people about it, but when I saw that Norway's Pantheon I had shot a video for "Serpent Christ" (from their new album Worlds I Create) amidst scenes of bondage and torture, my sick and twisted side got the best of me. The video lives up to the description, with the band performing in a warehouse-type setting intertwined with scenes of hogtied women being cut - and in a particularly gruesome sequence, one of them having a large chunk of flesh cut from her back - and otherwise tormented. It ends with one of them hung like an angel in the Jesus pose as the assailant kneels before her. Far more intricate that I would expect from a band that probably doesn't have much of a budget, but the cello player looks a bit out of place. You can view the video for yourself at their MySpace page as well as hear additional tracks from the new album.
Echoes of Eternity have debuted a new track entitled "Ten Of Swords" on their MySpace page. The song is the lead-off track from their new album, As Shadows Burn, set for North American release on September 22nd. It's a solid piece of traditional metal with a strong female vocalist. Unfortunately, I can't remember a damn thing about their last album to draw any type of comparison. You'll just have to listen to the track for yourself to do that. On another note, the album will be the first to feature new rhythm guitarist Bryan Eagle, who replaced Sam Young last September.
Bison B.C., still in liver-recovery mode from their headlining stint on Metal Blade's Baptized in Beer Tour, is set to hit the U.S. roads again in September, this time with Kylesa. The three-week tour will include a stop at the Planet Caravan Festival in Asheville, NC, where they will share the stage with the likes of Clutch, Pentagram, Wino, and Burst, among others. For the swinging through the southeast, additional support will be provided by Tombs. Meanwhile, the west coast dates will include a different local support act at most stops, including Landmine Marathon, Blackmathhorseman, Saviors, Ludicra, and Red Fang. Vocalist/guitarist James Farwell's dog was very saddened by the news that his master will be leaving him again, but fully supports the jaunt. While listening to their sonically hypnotic live set, you may wish to jump onstage and start humping Farwell's leg just to give him a taste of home. It might make you feel good, too.
Former Mayhem front man Maniac, who has kept himself busy with various projects since his departure from the legendary Norwegian group, has unveiled what may be his most bizarre musical venture yet: a collaboration with industrial/noise veteran Andrew Liles and black metal/avant garde musician Czral aptly monikered Maniac/Liles/Czral. I just listened to the track "Scenens Svope," and it's... different. Near impossible to categorize, with incredibly minimalistic tones with spoken word vocals. I wouldn't call it unlistenable per se, but I probably won't listen when the full-length Det Skjedde Noe Når Du Var I Belgia is released.
Metal Blade Records continues their recent signing frenzy by inking a deal with LA underground black metal act Lightning Swords Of Death. They've received a bunch of critical praise over the past few years and their sound is pretty cacophonous, but I'm not so sure that this will be a successful venture for the label. Their music just doesn't jump out at me. Some would say that I just don't "get" black metal. I guarantee you that one of us is right.
Meldrum is getting ready to hit the road in September, in conjunction with the release of new material that will serve as tribute to their late guitarist Michelle Meldrum, who passed away last year. The two-week west coast run in September will precede the release of the band's new album Lifer, which is comprised of songs written and partially recorded by Michelle prior to her passing and features drums by none other than the always-busy Gene Hoglan as well as new members Laura Christine (bass) and Michele Madden (vocals). Groovy.
Candlelight Records have announced the signing of Chicago's The Atlas Moth. Their new album, A Glorified Piece of Blue Sky, is scheduled for release on October 6th. With a sound that unites sludge, doom, psychedelia, blues, and more, this band is sure to capture the ears of those who are already fans of Nachtmysitum, Wolves in the Throne Room, and just general "heavy music for heavy thinkers" as guitarist/vocalist Stavros would say. I have nothing else to add, but do like what I've heard so far.
Remember Methods of Mayhem? Tommy Lee's first post-Motley Crue project found notoriety by disappointing fans with a modern sound that brought together elements of rock, metal, hip-hop, and drum-and-bass, as well as hopping into bed with the likes of Fred Durst, Kid Rock, and Lil Kim. Their lone self-titled album was supported by a slot on Ozzfest 2000, shortly after which the band abruptly disbanded. Lee went on to release a couple of lukewarmly received solo albums before returning to Motley Crue in 2006. Now in 2009, as the Crue's summer festival tour is winding down, Lee has reformed Methods of Mayhem and signed to Loud & Proud/Roadrunner Records for the release of their sophomore album in early 2010. Does their sound have a place in today's music world, where their style is at best an endangered species? Will they reinvent themselves? Will anybody care either way? Only time will tell.
I'm getting real tired of bands spontaneously creating their own sub-genres. "Hard Chaotic Sniper Rock" - are you serious? That's the tag that Canada's Special Ops have affixed to their music, and more specifically, their new album Through the Heart of the Infidel. Apparently it's a euphemism for "warmed-over late '90s alt-rock." I'm just going off the one new track I was able to hear, though. They make a point to let us know that their lyrics are based on real-life experiences and hardship, which isn't much new, either, but the vocalist's name is Abe Froman, so as long as that isn't his real name, that's a pretty cools 80's reference.Buy me a shot! [CLICK HERE]