Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Cavern/Anthesis - Split

I write a fairly regular review of 7” releases, just because we get a decent number of them to check out.  In a lot of ways, metal has lead the charge back to vinyl, and now that vinyl has become “cool”, everyone puts out releases on vinyl.  I even saw Justin Timberlake vinyl at Target.  If that doesn't sum up everything that is wrong with the world today, I'm not sure what does.  Anyway, I was going to write this up as part of my 7” series, and make some juvenile joke about you getting 12” this month, but I decided not to.  I will say, though, that making penis size innuendo in album reviews never gets old.

So here we have two bands that are well suited to a split release.  They are both brutal, angry sounding bands, although my one complaint is that they almost sound a little too much alike.  I'll get to that, though.  This is a sub-genre of metal that I never paid much attention too until I started doing these reviews, and then I heard a few releases and realized I really, really like this stuff that sounds like guys who are hell bent on eviscerating you in the street, pissing on your carcass, and leaving you to be found by the authorities.  Certainly there is a lot of grind and aggression in this music, but there are touches of other things as well.  Both bands get a little sludgy at times, both bands veer off into death metal land once in a while, and they both have their own unique combination, their own take, on what brutal aggression sounds like.

First up is Cavern.  They are a little more concise in their song structures so they get the first 6 songs here.  They come at you right of the box with “Plague/Smog”.  No time to warm up and get ready for the assault, either you're ready from the first note or will be overrun in nothing flat.  If you think you're going to catch your breath while listening to these guys, this might not be the band for you.  And the hits just keep on coming, not those lame ass Top 40 hits, but body blows that split your ribs, like “Swarm” and “Greed”.  In fact, all of these tracks just pummel you about the head and body, like a boxer who pulls no punches and throws every punch as though his life depends on it.  “Winter” and “Nyos” just keep it coming.  Only on their closer, “Genie”, do they change up the pace long enough that you even notice.  And maybe have a chance to regroup before you find yourself face down in the street, waking up 3 hours later wondering what the hell happened.  That's Cavern.  Drop the needle and rage.

Anthesis get 4 songs for their part of the split.  And their first track, “Voices”, comes raging and spitting out of the gate, like some king cobra/boa constrictor combo that wants to poison you AND crush you.  Except these guys throw a little technicality into the mix, so you get some technical death metal stuff going on, some wheedly/woodlies going on with the guitars, and even a slow motion feeling breakdown.  Still very aggro, still very in your face, but coming at you with a different approach.  The fun continues with “Beaching Of The Whales”, the music lurching and reeling like me at closing time on a Saturday night.  “Iced Current and Crimson Ivy” bashes and swaggers like I picture The Thing crashing a party he very much wants to attend.  I can even hear him bellow, “It's clobberin' time”.  And everything gets wrapped up with a not so pretty bow on “In Progress”.  All coming at you like a good old 15 round heavyweight title fight, back in the days when boxers were real men and fought 15 rounds and didn't worry about sill things like traumatic brain injuries.

If you need a quick, musical punch to the head and guts to get you pumped up and feeling alive, grab a copy of this split.  It will most certainly do the trick.


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

THE GOLDEN GRASS premiere new video at Onion AV Club

Today, THE GOLDEN GRASS premiere a video for "One More Time" at heavily trafficked tastemakers Onion AV Club, the arts/entertainment division of The Onion, "America's Finest News Source." The track hails from THE GOLDEN GRASS' self-titled debut album, set for international release on May 9th via SVART RECORDS. This Brooklyn-based power-trio is the real deal, and their LP hearkens back to the golden age when heavy rock music was upbeat, skillfully played, energetic, edgy, and bursting with goodtime sunshine vibes. They come hard with a strong backbone of deep-pocket funky flare and an earnest/uplifting southern/country/mountain rock vibe, layered with waves of psychedelic textures that explode into jaw-dropping proto-metal moves. And throughout their progressive arrangements and timeless grooves are lush and powerfully delivered vocals, stacked with gorgeous harmonies and maddeningly catchy verses and choruses singing the tales of real-life loves, losses, and the drive to keep on keepin’ on! Witness for yourself the audio/visual glory exclusively HERE, courtesy of Onion AV Club. 
Tracklisting for THE GOLDEN GRASS' The Golden Grass
1. Please Man
2. Stuck On A Mountain
3. One More Time
4. Wheels
5. Sugar N' Spice

To celebrate the imminent release of their highly anticipated debut album, THE GOLDEN GRASS will be embarking on a number of regional tour dates, culminating in the release show for The Golden Grass. With yet more tour dates to be announced shortly, the latest list of confirmed dates/venues are as follows:

May 2 - Brooklyn, NY @ The Gutter w/ TWIN GUNS + ORGANS
May 22 -  Brooklyn, NY @ Death By Audio **LP RELEASE SHOW** w/ ECSTATIC VISION + VERMA
May 23 - Carlisle, PA @ TBA w/ ECSTATIC VISION
May 24 - York, PA @ The Depot w/ ECSTATIC VISION

THE GOLDEN GRASS formed in early 2013, and before they had even played their first show, they were signed to Svart Records. Their debut 7” was issued in October of that, as a split release with US label Electric Assault Records. Since playing their first show in September of 2013, they’ve shared the stage with an impressive and eclectic range of rock and metal groups, including Windhand, Natur, Ramming Speed, Serpent Throne, Wolf People, and an appearance at the Cincy Psych Fest.
What truly sets THE GOLDEN GRASS apart from the pack of modern '70s-inspired music is their relentlessly upbeat, soulful energy and feel-good vibe, which is a welcome departure from the faceless sea of proto-metal/doom bands currently drowning the underground scene. This catchy five-track album will make you dance, smile, and catch yourself singing along! This album is a sure treat for fans of classic underground hard rock such as Truth and Janey, Dust, and Josefus as well as fans of classic UK psychedelia such as The Move, The Pretty Things, and Mighty Baby. THE GOLDEN GRASS will also greatly appeal to folks into the contemporary sounds of Danava, Horisont, Graveyard, and Dead Man.
The album was recorded by Andrea Zavareei at Urban Spaceman Studio in Brookly, New York where many seminal early La Otracina albums were also tracked. The album was mixed by Jeff Berner at Galuminum Foil Studio in Brooklyn. Jeff has also recorded albums by Naam, Heliotropes, and Weird Owl, among others, at this studio, and he is also a member of Psychic TV. The album was mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege. The artwork was constructed by Niko Potocnjak of Seven That Spells. The collective experiences and talents of all involved were of utmost importance to the creation of this album.

THE GOLDEN GRASS is:*Adam Kriney - drums/vocals (also of LA OTRACINA and past tour member of NEBULA/CULT OF YOUTH/CASTANETS/CLOUDLAND CANYON)
*Michael Rafalowich - electric guitar/vocals (also of STRANGE HAZE/WHOOPING CRANE and past tour member of TAV FALCO'S PANTHER BURNS)
*Joe Noval - electric bass


April 29, 2014, Torrance, Calif. - Scion Audio Visual is offering a free download of a new Red Fang song titled "The Meadows" via Noisey (

The B-side to the 7-inch, a song called "The Shadows," premieres via Alternative Press on May 6. The 7-inch will be available throughout Red Fang's upcoming Situation: AWESOME! tour, which kicks off May 16 at Slim's in San Francisco (dates listed below).

Red Fang released Whales and Leeches in October, with the eleven-song album quickly becoming the band's best-selling and most critically acclaimed release to date. Alternative Press described the album as "bigger, bolder, heavier, catchier and even more savagely fun," Stereogum said the release "takes flight and soars," while Magnet Magazine said Whales and Leeches "is a monumental success - a clear line from Red Fang's earliest recordings to it latest."

Scion AV Presents Situation: AWESOME! Featuring Red Fang

Big Business and American Sharks support on all dates

May 16     San Francisco, CA     Slim's
May 17     Pomona, CA     Scion Rock Fest
May 18     San Diego, CA     Porter's Pub
May 19     Tucson, AZ     Club Congress
May 21     Dallas, TX     Gas Monkey Bar N' Grill
May 22     Austin, TX     Mohawk Outside
May 23     Houston, TX     Fitzgerald's (Upstairs)
May 24     New Orleans, LA     The Parish @ House of Blues
May 25     Atlanta, GA     The Masquerade
May 27     Brooklyn, NY     Music Hall of Williamsburg
May 30     Philadelphia, PA     The Trocadero
May 31     Washington, DC     Rock & Roll Hotel
June 1     Cleveland, OH     Beachland Tavern
June 2     Detroit, MI     Magic Stick
June 3     Chicago, IL     The Wire
June 4     Minneapolis, MN     Mill City Nights
June 6     Denver, CO     Gothic Theatre
June 7     Salt Lake City, UT     Urban Lounge
June 8     Boise, ID     Neurolux


U.S. death metal legend, Autopsy, has released its seventh studio album, Tourniquets, Hacksaws and Graves, today on Peaceville Records. Tourniquets, Hacksaws and Graves can be purchased now on iTunes at:, at: and through the Peaceville web-store at:

Commented the band:

"TOURNIQUETS TIGHTEN....HACKSAWS RIP.....GRAVES ARE FILLED.....THIS IS AUTOPSY, THIS IS DEATH METAL.... With the stench of 'The Headless Ritual' still permeating the befouled air, Autopsy has once again come for your very metal soul with their newest blood soaked homage to all things dark, twisted and horrific....once again bone crushingly heavy nightmares await....'Tourniquets, Hacksaws and Graves' will awaken the most depraved part of the coldest zombie's stare.....blood will flow, brains will be destroyed, coffin lids will be opened..."

Tourniquets, Hacksaws and Graves was recorded at Fantasy Studios with producer, Adam Munoz, and sees a continuation of Autopsy's pursuit of the ultimate in metallic horror and extremity, featuring the longstanding combo of Eric Cutler and Danny Coralles on guitars, Joe Trevisano on bass and Chris Reifert on drums/vocals. From all-out death metal savagery to crawling, doom-filled sludgery, Tourniquets, Hacksaws and Graves further pushes the limits of taste and brutality with this latest relentless onslaught of terror from beyond the grave.

Artwork comes courtesy of Wes Benscoter, who was also previously responsible for the stunning Macabre Eternal album cover.

A new song, "The Howling Dead," can be streamed on the album's mini-site at: 

1. Savagery
2. King of Flesh Ripped
3. Tourniquets, Hacksaws and Graves
4. The Howling Dead
5. After The Cutting
6. Forever Hungry
7. Teeth of The Shadow Horde
8. All Shall Bleed
9. Deep Crimson Dreaming
10. Parasitic Eye
11. Burial
12. Autopsy
"...tried and true Autopsy" - Decibel

"...everything you're hoping to hear when you drop the needle on a death metal record" -

"...showcases yet again the brutal, unrelenting force that continues to separate Autopsy from their death metal contemporaries." - New Noise Magazine

"...primal, bone-chilling death metal of the finest order." -

Stay tuned for more information on Autopsy and Tourniquets, Hacksaws and Graves.


Autopsy is...

Chris Reifert - drums/vocals
Danny Coralles - guitar
Eric Cutler - guitar
Joe Trevisano - bass

Autopsy online...

Jackie Wilson -The Greatest Hits Of Jackie Wilson


It's better to burn out than fade away
My, My, Hey, Hey
- Neil Young

While not the focus of this infamous 1979 Neil Young lyric that Kurt Cobain quoted in his suicide note, the lyric effectively describes the life of Jackie Wilson, "Mr. Excitement."
Jackie Wilson was ground zero for turning rhythm and blues into soul music.  Wilson dropped out of school and became a father at the age of 17.  It was rumored that at the time of his marriage he had at least 10 illegitimate children.  He became a boxer to pay the bills, but, eventually abandoned professional pugulism for music and was discovered by legend Johnny Otis.  He sang with jazz greats, such as Dizzy Gillespie, on the Dee Gee Record label under the name Sonny Wilson. After playing with a variety of jazz and rhythm and blues groups, in 1957, at the ripe old age of 23, Wilson embarked on a solo career and signed with Brunswick Records.
As a solo act Wilson immediately scored with a few songs that did reasonably well on the charts, some of which later would become international blockbusters and the foundation of soul music.  He was the first to record a number of R&B songs that became standards - "Reet Petite," "To Be Loved", "I'm Wanderin'", "We Have Love", "That's Why (I Love You So)", "I'll Be Satisfied" and his late-1958 signature song, "Lonely Teardrops", all written by the team of Berry Gordy, Jr. and Roquel "Billy" Davis.
His fevered onstage antics were the inspiration for, and model used by, Elvis Presley, James Brown and Michael Jackson in their live performances. Wilson would drop to one knee, do the splits, spin, slide, toss his tie and coat off the stage and shuffle through basic boxing moves.  He would invite the less attractive girls in the audience to come up and kiss him.
In 1960, Wilson left Brunswick due to royalty disputes and moved to Chess Records with Gordy.  Gordy used the royalties from Wilson's Chess hits "Doggin' Around",  "Night", "Baby Workout", "No Pity (In The Naked City)," "I'm So Lonely," "Alone At Last" and "My Empty Arms" to start Motown Records.  A year after he moved to Chess Wilson was shot by his girlfriend when she discovered he was unfaithful. He lost a kidney and the bullet couldn't be extracted because it was too close to his spine.  Concurrently, the IRS began to cease Wilson's property for back taxes.
Wilson's career began to sputter.  Except for a mild album with Count Basie in 1963, between 1962 and 1965 Wilson released a string of unsuccessful recordings and appeared to be a washed up has been by the time he was 30.
Wilson's career was reinvigorated in 1966  and 1967 with "Whispers (Gettin' Louder)," "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher" and "I Get the Sweetest Feeling."  Along with reinvigoration of his career came a return to Wilson's "wild ways."  In March 1967, Wilson and his drummer were arrested in South Carolina on "morals charges" for entertaining two 24-year-old white women in their motel room.  Wilson's final hit, "You Got Me Walkin', " was released in 1972.
On September 29, 1975, Wilson was on Dick Clark's Good Ol' Rock and Roll Revue when, in the middle of singing "Lonely Teardrops," he suffered a heart attack and collapsed on stage. The band and audience thought it was part of the act until it was noticed Wilson was not breathing. Although momentarily revived, lack of oxygen to his brain caused him to slip into a coma.  Jackie Wilson died on January 21, 1984, at the age of 49.
While Wilson's career may have been short and tumultuous, he left this world with an unmatched legacy.  If James Brown was the Godfather of Soul, Wilson was the Father (Elvis anointed him "The Black Elvis" and his audiences called him "Mr. Soul.").  The 1999 Brunswick release of The Greatest Hits Of Jackie Wilson is a must have addition to any rock and soul record collection.  It includes the original recordings of 16 of his charted singles. The tracks are pristine, well-mastered and the performances masterful.  The passion in Wilson's voice, the angst, the wildness, are all well displayed. You won't hear a more emotional singer, with such beauty, rhythm, or soul, anywhere.
Legend has it Wilson's heart attack struck as he sang the lyric "My heart is crying."  After those words were uddered it was the music world that shed lonely teardrops.  Mr. Excitement had become Mr. Soul.
- Old School

Monday, April 28, 2014

Steel Panther – All You Can Eat

Yeah, I know.  I'm supposed to be the extreme metal guy around here.  I just love this band, and besides, 30 years ago, this was considered metal.  I love Steel Panther.  Deal with it.

There is just a joie de vivre that this band captures perfectly.  I am a total sucker for hair metal, and these guys do it so very well.  A lot of people get hung up in the image of the band, or the goofy lyrics, but these guys can play.  If they had been around 30 years ago, they would have absolutely been challenging Crue as THE hair metal band.  We all heard the stories about all the wild things that took place backstage, on tour buses, in hotels, during the heyday of spandex and Aquanet.  Steel Panther write the lyrics we all want to hear and tell it exactly how it is.  They capture that whole misogynistic era perfectly.  It was a simpler time, when we all had a lot of fun.

The second track, “Party Like Tomorrow Is The End Of The World”, has a great line that goes, “Make love, with a sheep or a cow or a goose, I know you're wonderin' what it feels like, so take off your pants and get loose”.  I'm sorry, but that shit is funny.  And if you think it's easy to do, that there's no talent involved, give it shot.  Write a song that is a perfect capture of the 80's sound with lyrics that make sense and are funny as hell.  Go ahead, I'll wait.  Not so simple, huh?  “Gloryhole” might be my favorite track on this album, with lots of great lines, but the one that slays me is, “Feel somebody new at the gloryhole, fill someone with goo at the gloryhole”.  And I had to explain ass to mouth a few weeks ago, I hope I don't have to explain what a gloryhole is.

There are great song titles like “Bukkake Tears”, “Gangbang At The Old Folks Home”, which is about a pizza delivery guy who gets more than he bargained for.  “Ten Strikes And You're Out” is the age old story about a guy who just keeps putting up with crap from his girl because she keeps a roof over his head, but hey, enough is enough when you get to ten strikes.  We all have to deal with being awesome in a world of uncool people, hence “The Burden Of Being Wonderful”.  Sometimes we get our hearts broken and it feels like someone is “Fucking My Heart In The Ass”.  “B.V.S.”, “You're Beautiful When You Don't Talk”, “If I Was The King”, and “She's On The Rag” are all pretty self-explanatory and just all things we have to deal with, but it doesn't mean we have to like any of them.

Look, just because I've apologized a couple of times in this review, I don't think we have anything to apologize for.  We all have guilty pleasures, we all have things that make us laugh uncontrollably, certain things just hit that spot for us.  We don't have to explain or justify, it just works.  Steel Panther is one of those things for me.  I honestly feel these guys are geniuses in the lyrics and jokes that they come up with, the musical talent that they show, and the fact that they are all in on this.  None of these guys are doing this halfway, it's all out just like in the 80's.  It is extremely well done and extremely funny.  If you've dug what they've done in the past then you will love this.  If you've been turned off for some reason, give these guys a shot.  Don't be so closed minded that you might miss out on something really good.  Take off your pants and get loose, dude.


Sunday, April 27, 2014

GREY SKIES FALLEN Streams The Many Sides Of Truth At GunShyAssassin Days Before Release

NYC-based ominous metal quintet, GREY SKIES FALLEN, is just days from the street date of their monstrous sixth release, The Many Sides Of Truth, and today the entire album has been made available for streaming.

GREY SKIES FALLEN's epic and multifaceted black/death/doom delivery has never been more poignant and dominating In the band's seventeen-year history thus far as the works showcased on The Many Sides Of Truth, the result of several lineup changes and additions, and several years of dedicated work on the album. The fourth GSF release to be recorded with Keith Moore at his Audio Playground in Patchogue, New York, The Many Sides of Truth packs a wealth of crushing cross-genre metal dynamics into a thirty-eight minute, zero-filler album.

Just a few days out from its official release date of April 29th, GREY SKIES FALLEN is now offering their entire The Many Sides Of Truth through metal portal GunShyAssassin RIGHT HERE.

The local release show for The Many Sides Of Truth is scheduled for Monday, May 12th at The Acheron in Brooklyn, with direct support for GREY SKIES FALLEN coming from the henchmen in Buckshot Facelift, the brutalizing grind/death faction in which three of the members of GSF share double-duty. Additional opening support bombardments will be supplied by local acts Hypoxia, Lysura and Lucid Terror.

GREY SKIES FALLEN Record Release Show:
5/12/2014 The Acheron - Brooklyn, NY w/ Buckshot Facelift, Hypoxia, Lysura, Lucid Terror [info]

GREY SKIES FALLEN will independently unleash The Many Sides Of Truth, directly publishing the album through all digital platforms, and in CD and LP runs of 300 copies each. The Travis Smith-designed cover art for the record has been redesigned in three separate color schemes. The band's own limited digipak CD and digital releases will bear a blue-infused cover, the LP artwork in green. Additionally, Paragon Records will issue a full official jewel case CD run featuring the artwork in red, and also handle distribution of the album. The band's own LP pressing will be available shortly after the other editions on three vinyl color schemes -- black, colored/splattered, and glow-in-the-dark. Preorders for the CD and digital versions through the band are available HERE, and LP preorders are posted HERE.

For review copies of The Many Sides of Truth and all coverage of GREY SKIES FALLEN contact


April 24, 2014, Athens, GA - Lazer/Wulf, the Georgia-based instrumental trio whose music Creative Loafing said "echoes the best math, metal, and prog rock craftsmanship of the last decade," release their highly-anticipated debut album The Beast of Left and Right on July 15 via Retro Futurist Records.

"Coming from Athens, GA, a place where every possible genre of music thrives, but it's not just that. They all co-exist. Everyone's a cross-over artist to varying degrees, because everyone knows each other, shares bills, passes notes. So it wasn't enough for us that we were just a "metal band" in that community; we were encouraged to be bigger than that," explains Lazer/Wulf guitar player Bryan Aiken. "And it works both ways; we were exposed to the most experimental versions of folk, rap, electronica, classical quartets, math-rock... so the rules just flew out the window. Except the golden rule, which is never to be predictable."

The Beast of Left and Right was recorded at Jam Room Studios in Columbia, SC and produced by Kylesa's Phillip Cope, who also is one of the Retro Futurist Records' label owners.

Lazer/Wulf have self-released two EPs: 2009's The Void That Isn't and the 2012 release There Was a Hole Here. It's Gone Now. The three-piece, who Flagpole called "maniacal, prog-obsessed precisionists" is Bryan Aiken (guitar), Sean Peiffer (bass) and Brad Rice (drums).

Lazer/Wulf join Kylesa for a European tour, which kicks off on June 9 in Germany, all upcoming performances:

April 25     Athens, GA     The Caledonia Lounge
May 2     Atlanta, GA     Star Bar
June 9     Braunschweig, Germany     Kulturclub Hansa
June 10     Lyngby, Denmark     Templet
June 11     Malmo, Sweden     Babel
June 12     Oslo, Norway     Vulkan Arena
June 13     Bergen, Norway     Bergenfest
June 15     Kiel, Germany     Pumpe
June 16     Drachten, Netherlands     Iduna
June 17     Stuttgart, Germany     Juha West
June 18     Siegen, Germany     Vortex
June 19    Saarbrucken, Germany     Garage
June 20     Clisson, France     Hellfest
June 21     Vitoria, Spain     Canopy
June 22     Porto, Portugal     Hard Club
June 23     Madrid, Spain     Boite Live
June 24     Barcelona, Spain     Razzmatazz 3
June 25     Toulouse, France     Le Connexion
June 26     Montpellier, France     La Taf
June 27     Lausanne, Switzerland     Inferno Fest
June 28     Dessel, Belgium     Graspop
June 29     Wiesbaden, Germany     Schlachthof
June 30     Munchen, Germany     Strom
July 1     Pisa, Italy     The Jungle
July 2     Bolonga, Italy     Freakout Club
July 3     Ljubljana, Slovenia
July 4     Rijeka, Croatia     Delta Summer Street Session
July 5     Gleisdorf, Austria     Bang Bang Club
July 7     Warsaw, Poland     Progresja
July 8     Gdansk, Poland     B90
July 9     Berlin, Germany     Magnet
July 10     Dresden, Germany     Scheune
July 11     Erfurt, Germany     Stoned From The Underground
July 12     Linz, Austria     Ottenheimer Open Air
July 13     Monchengladbach, Germany     Horst Festival
July 15     St. Petersburg, Russia     Zal Ozhidaniya
July 16     Moscow, Russia     Volta

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Divine Realm - Abyssal Light

I wonder sometimes whether anyone reads my music reviews and whether they get anything out of them.  I think they do.  Why?  Is it because of my incredible insight, good taste and trend-setting abilities?  I doubt it.  Rather, I believe there is something worthwhile in what I do.   Through other people's music reviews a new musical discovery may move me.  Even a review of music I already know may offer a new perspective.  Here is a great example.
I had never heard of the band Divine Realm and I probably never would have heard of them.  However, I read a blog called "Guitar Noize." The blog focuses on everything guitar -  new models, amps, pedals, performances, lessons, accessories, etc.  On April 4, 2014, someone at Guitar Noize named "Jon" published a review of Divine Realm's new album, Abyssal Light ( .  Jon called it "an instrumental progressive Metal album with some fantastic guitar playing and catchy riffs. . . ." and that caught my attention.  I became even more intrigued when I read:
Divine Realm is the creation of multi-instrumentalist Leo Diensthuber and now is a collaborative effort between Leo D, Marc Roy, Tyler Brayton, Kyle Gaulin and Alex Lysko. Leo Diensthuber is a full time private Guitar and Drum instructor and you can hear the drumming influence on his guitar playing with his ultra tight rhythmic and quite frankly very challenging riffs.
Leo began writing the first self-titled Demo “Divine Realm” in 2010 and Leo continued writing and producing tracks, joining forces with Marc Roy as an official contributing member of Divine Realm, as well as Tyler Brayton (also an ex-member of Silence the Villain) recording/producing and playing bass along with fellow “Team Bass” member Kyle Gaulin (ex-Pysiedius) and now featuring powerhouse drummer Alex Lysko (ex-Pysiedius) for the recording of Abyssal Light.
Jon decided the audience for Divine Realm was "fan[s] of instrumental music like John Petrucci (solo album), Chimp Spanner, Pomegranate Tiger . . . ."  His comments, and the two YouTube videos Jon provided compelled me to further explore Divine Realms.
I don't wholly agree with Jon.  I think the six track album is more progressive jazz than melodic metal, but, that is a minor quibble.  The point is because Jon's review intrigued me I decided to listen to Divine Realm's Abyssal Light and discovered a rather amazing band that moved me.  So thanks, Jon, you re-affirmed for me that music reviews are laudable endeavors and opened my eyes to some breathtaking guitar play and tremendous drumming from a band I may not have otherwise discovered.  I hope someday I can return the favor.
- Old School

Friday, April 25, 2014

GREENLEAF: Swedish Stoner Rock Super Group To Release Trails And Passes Via Small Stone Next Month; New Track Posted

Almost by definition, musical side projects aren't meant to last very long, but rather serve as brief, often one-time departures for musicians otherwise engaged with far more pressing or successful bands -- and that's why GREENLEAF has proved itself to be anything but your typical "side project."

Yes, this Scandinavian music collective have gone through a revolving cast since their arrival on the scene, much like an auditory Y2K virus in that fateful millennium flip; but the one constant bond that has repeatedly drawn them together, every few years, like an irresistible gravitational force, is a shared musical vision, straddling the realms of stoner and alternative rock.

Such was the case when GREENLEAF first assembled behind Lowrider vocalist Peter Bergstrand for their eponymous 2000 debut EP, welcomed Dozer frontman Fredrik Nordin for is 2001 follow-up, Revolution Rock, added Demon Cleanerguitarist Daniel Jansson for 2003's Secret Alphabets, integrated Truckfighters vocalist Oskar Cedermalm in time for 2007's Agents Of Ahriman, and powered ahead behind reliable mainstay, guitarist Tommi Holappa for 2012's Nest Of Vipers. Now, GREENLEAF is on the move again, bidding Cedermalm farewell and welcoming new recruits in frontman Arvid Jonsson and drummer Sebastian Olsson, who joined Holappa and long-serving bassist Bengt Bäcke in time to record (incidentally, with no outside help, guest musicians, or other additives) what would become GREENLEAF's next and fifth long-player, Trails And Passes.

Set for global domination next month via Small Stone Recordings, Trails And Passes was recorded by Karl Daniel Lidén at Studio Gröndahl with vocals recorded by Arvid Jonsson at Hälla Libraries, and mixed and mastered by Lidén at Tri-Lamb Studios. Boasting nine-tracks of bonged-out, psychedelic-tinged riff rock, the music on Trails And Passes draws out the best talents of each individual member, resulting in a modern rock amalgam that's as impossible to simplify as it is futile to want to. Gushes Global Domination upon first impression of the record: "The riffs are long, the drumming is intense, the vocals are ferocious, and the album has a very '70s feel to it. The production is very clean and this is their finest album yet. The entire album has an early Deep Purple influence. Tommi Holappa keeps the guitar on an even keel from start to finish. Arvid Jonsson is tight and melodious, Sebastian Olsson is groovy. He knows how to keep the listeners swinging to the beat and Bengt Backe keeps the bass rumbling and growling. The band is clear, crisp and the sum is so much greater than the parts." Adds The Sludgelord simply, "These guys are way too good to be ignored."

With a long, winding career that now sees GREENLEAF categorically divesting itself of any lingering "side project" associations (ask Holappa and he'll bluntly tell you it is Dozer that's become his "side project" these days), GREENLEAF has officially be elevated to the proverbial next level with the abundant strengths of Trails And Passes. Recommended for adherents of Dozer, Brain Police, Sasquatch, Graveyard, Monster Magnet, Clutch, Roadsaw, Truckfighters, Lowrider and The Socks.

Check out opening track, "Our Mother Ash" at THIS LOCATION.

Trails And Passes Track Listing:
1. Our Mother Ash
2. Ocean Deep
3. Equators
4. Depth Of The Sun
5. Humans
6. With Eyes Wide Open
7. The Drum
8. Bound To Be Machines
9. Trails & Passes

Bengt Bäcke: Bass
Sebastian Olsson: Drums
Tommi Holappa: Guitar
Arvid Jonsson: Vocals

Trails And Passes will be released via Small Stone Recordings on May 13, 2014. Preorder your copy at THIS LOCATION. For iTunes preorders, point your browser HERE.

Sworn Enemy - Living on Borrowed Time

Sworn Enemy has always been a band that hit with ferocious intensity a staple in Northeast Hardcore.  Having seen them and even having the pleasure to Play with them a few times I know they are all about making music with no apologies.  Their latest Release “Living on borrowed time” is one of those releases that just gets you Fired up and makes your head..  Salvatore Michael LoCoco’s overcome all anthems and upbeat Hardcore riffing make this album something you want to listen to at high Volumes.  This style is one even the most Disgruntle  Deathmetal Guy and the NU Metal kid can find something to enjoy.

The first moments you get a haunting Guitar swell and the your sucked into mosh riff then a maelstrom worthy circle pit riff and pretty much does this for the entire album.  In the Track “One Eye Open” it gives you a softer riff you think I guess they’re going to give you a Softer like so many metal band s do. But :30 in you realize you are back on the mosh train and its nonstop. I really love this Album. It has  extremely heavy guitar riffing . Soild Bass and drums. Original Vocal tones once you hear Sal you will know its sal when you hear other things with him on it. The Lyrics are awesome the whole album is about being true to yourself and you can overcome anything. In today’s world everyone should get behind that thought process.

Overall the Album is great very well polished and written. As far as Metalcore is concerned not many bands hit the mark like Sworn Enemy they are by all accounts Metal  and Hardcore. I suggest if you are into ether  you should give this a Listen you won’t be disappointed. 

For fans of Hatebreed, Sick of it all, Madball and Skarhead


Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Lords of Altamont : new album for immediate release

15 years-career (or almost), several singles, albums, a huge amount of gigs all around the world, The Lords of Altamont have just taken... Altamont with a brand new album unleashed a few days ago through Gearhead Records (Electric Eel Shock, The Hellacopters, The Riverboat Gamblers, The Wildhearts...). Fourth full length record from the L.A Based californian rock band, "Lords take Altamont" consists in 14 new tracks of pure hardrock'n'roll, psychedelic rock and garage-punk (revival) in order to rock and rock again (and kick some asses by the way).
To have an ear on it, the full record is available for streaming right NOW.    
For the record...
"To celebrate 15 years of The Lords of Altamont in truest form is to revisit the historical event from which their namesake came. Gearhead Records eagerly announce The Lords of Altamont's new album and 5th Worldwide release as an epic tribute to the definitive end to The Summer of Love."Lords Take Altamont "Bringing back the fire of "Midnight to666"'s producer/engineer Nic Jodoin, The Lords of Altamont reinvent infamous songs played at The Altamont Free Concert of 1969 as you've never experienced them before. Jake " The Preacher" Cavaliere gathers together the souls of 14 Lords members including an all star lineup with members of Primadonna, The Chelsea Smiles and The Superbees. Extensive liner notes of past and presentmembers, the tale ofthe band's birth, artwork by Detroit's renowned Chris Kro paired with distinguishing interpretations of classics by The Rolling Stones, The Flying Burrito Brothers and more make this album a quintessential piece to The Lords legacy. ROCK AND ROLL SALVATION"
For fans of MC5, The Cramps, The Fuzztones..  

CHTHONIC: Taiwanese Metal Collective To Kick Off North American Tour As Part Of Paganfest 2014


Taiwanese metal collective, CHTHONIC, is readying to kick off another North American run as part of the fifth installment of Paganfest! Set to commence tomorrow in Springfield, Virginia, the band will join coheadliners Korpiklaani and Turisas as well as Varg and Winterhymn for nearly two dozen live incursions across North America. See confirmed dates below.

CHTHONIC on Paganfest Part V
w/ Korpiklaani, Turisas, Varg, Winterhymn

4/25/2014 Empire - Springfield, VA
4/26/2014 Ottobar - Baltimore, MD
4/27/2014 Theater of Living Arts - Philadelphia, PA
4/28/2014 Irving Plaza - New York, NY
4/29/2014 Imperial - Quebec City, QC
4/30/2014 Metropolis - Montreal, QC
5/01/2014 The Opera House - Toronto, ON
5/02/2014 Alrosa Villa - Columbus, OH
5/03/2014 Mojoe's - Joliet, IL
5/04/2014 Skyway Theater - B - Minneapolis, MN
5/05/2014 Zoo Cabaret - Winnipeg, MB
5/07/2014 The Republik - Calgary, AB
5/08/2014 Rickshaw Theatre - Vancouver, BC
5/09/2014 El Corazon - Seattle, WA
5/10/2014 Toxic Lounge - Portland, OR
5/11/2014 The Fillmore - San Francisco, CA
5/12/2014 Ramona Mainstage - Ramona, CA
5/13/2014 House of Blues - West Hollywood, CA
5/15/2014 Summit Music Hall - Denver, CO
5/16/2014 The Riot Room - Kansas City, MO
5/17/2014 Harpo's - Detroit, MI
5/18/2014 The Palladium - Worcester, MA

CHTHONIC recently released their Ián-Bú DVD via Eagle Vision. The first new video release from the eclectic ensemble in six years, the DVD includes stunning live footage and extensive bonus features beginning with CHTHONIC's full performance at the 2013 Formoz Festival in Taipei, Taiwan, where they were joined by the Chai Feng Traditional Orchestra, as well as renowned Taiwanese opera singer Tang Mei-yun for a collaborative rendition of the track "Defenders Of Bú-Tik Palace." Additionally, the near-hour-long DVD offers up five spectacular music videos from their recently released Bú-tik full-length: "Defenders Of Bú-Tik Palace," "Supreme Pain For The Tyrant," "Sail Into The Sunset's Fire," "Set Fire To The Island," and "Next Republic." The music videos are an extraordinary blend of martial arts, combat fighting, dance, and drama. CHTHONIC members wire-fly through the air, bathe in water amid torrential downpours and travel through time to a party in the 1930s in an elaborate military alliance between Nazi Germany and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) regime. The production truly highlights CHTHONIC's irrefutable creativity both onstage and beyond. Other extras include behind-the-scenes footage from the video shoots as well as exclusive interviews with bassist Doris Yeh, director Vince Chuang and various backstage footage.

CHTHONIC released their award winning, seventh studio recording, Bú-Tik, via Spinefarm Records last year. Called "a masterful and elegant tradition served underneath soaring thrash-influenced guitars, pummeling drums and a vocal performance that is absolutely stellar from an overlooked vocalist," by, the critically adored Bú-Tik is centered around the story of the 228 Massacre, the Bú-Tik Palace and the Mirror Of Retribution, and emphasizes what bassist Doris Yeh describes as "righteous violence, justifiable defense, and the armed spirits." Formed in 1995, with the existing lineup having been together since 2005, CHTHONIC blends metal with traditional Taiwanese instrumentation, mythology, Taoist folklore and the country's labyrinthine history, each album bearing a deep, conceptual story. CHTHONIC is notorious for their elaborate costumes, stage makeup and highly visual stage shows as well as their outspoken political views on human rights and Taiwanese independence.

Ián-Bú is currently available on DVD via Eagle Vision.

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