Jul 292014

I haven’t managed to compile a round-up of noteworthy new things in a few days, so this one is largish, though still not large enough. I’ll try to keep my own verbiage to a minimum so you don’t lose interest and drift away like hyperactive children, or like me when I hear a firetruck going by. I’ll begin with a trio of news items and then move into the music.

MACHINE HEAD / CHILDREN OF BODOM / EPICA / BATTLECROSS

Yesterday came an announcement that Machine Head, Children of Bodom, Epica, and Battlecross will tour North America together beginning on October 4 in Denver and ending on November 1 in Hollywood. Tickets go on sale this Friday at 10 a.m. Eastern. Machine Head’s new album on Nuclear Blast should be out around the time of this tour. I can’t honestly say that I’m very lathered up about this tour, but if you are, please send photos of yourself. Here are the dates (continued after the jump):

10/04/2014 The Summit Music Hall – Denver, CO
10/05/2014 Aftershock – Merriam, KS
10/06/2014 House Of Blues – Dallas, TX
10/07/2014 House Of Blues – Houston, TX
10/09/2014 Hard Rock Live – Orlando, FL
10/10/2014 The Masquerade – Atlanta, GA

May 292013

Today has brought an absolute flood of new streaming metal that’s pleasing to these ears (in addition to our own streams of new music today). And by “pleasing”, I mean music that will jam an icepick in your eardrum, pour nitroglycerine down the hole, and detonate it.  There’s so much to be heard that I’ll attempt to hold my own words to a minimum and let the music speak for itself. So here we go, in alphabetical order:

AUTOPSY

Autopsy’s new album, The Headless Ritual, comes out June 24 in Europe and July 2 in the U.S. on Peaceville Records. I’m awful hungry for it. Today Lars Gotrich continued with his ongoing mission to infect NPR with metal viruses and filthy-up the place by premiering a song from the album named “Arch Cadaver”. In his words: “‘Arch Cadaver’ is classic Autopsy, but it’s also a bit of a rock ‘n’ roll party. Sandwiched between a minute of deranged doom and a left-right-channel guitar-solo face-off, there’s a whiskey-swigging, Motorhead-pounding rhythm that boogies at an insane pace.”

That about sums it up. Go here to jam that shit.

Dec 032012

(Here we present BadWolf’s interview of Hiran Deraniyagala, guitarist for Detroit’s Battlecross, whose latest album Pursuit of Honor we reviewed here. This interview transcript appears courtesy of the Toledo City Paper.)

 

They’ve got you doing press, because Tony [Asta, guitarist] is on his honeymoon?

Yeah

 

Where are he and his lovely lady at?

Chicago. They just got a hotel. They never really I guess went out just themselves. They’ve always vacationed with family, or gone on the road with the band. So Tony and her have never really been able to enjoy that time together. This is the honeymoon they could afford right now.

 

I hope he doesn’t feel like he’s going to be back on the road too quickly.

Oh no, they knew this in advance. She’s used to his travels. Because being in a band, things come out of the blue. When the wedding date was set we were actually afraid we’d be out on the road at that time and some of us would miss the wedding. We might have had to do some dates without him. But it all worked out that we could be there. Now there’s nothing to worry about now, I guess until kids pop into the picture.

[laughs]

Hopefully it’s a little while before that happens.

Aug 042011

(NCS contributor BadWolf weighs in with his thoughts about the new Metal Blade release from Battlecross.)

In the interest of full disclosure, readers beware: I have a personal interest in Battlecross. I have known them from the earliest demo tapes, been involved in their scene for years, pimped their debut album endlessly, and have a vested interest in their success.

None of that changes that Pursuit of Honor, their debut album on Metal Blade, is a triumphant achievement, as well as a testament to the perseverance of Detroit, and the virility of modern American metal.

Let’s take the story back five years. I was a freshman at a liberal arts college in Michigan and met my best friend there. At that time I was metal to the bone but wholly disinterested in modern metal. He changed that with two albums: Lamb of God’s Sacrament, Trivium’s Ascendency. Suddenly I got the connection between the late-80’s thrash titans I worshipped and contemporary metal.

Months later Machine Head’s The Blackening was released and I was adrift in the middle of the American metal renaissance. This style is directly descended from Slayer, Pantera and Metallica, but incorporated the mosh-friendly rhythm of hardcore and the triumphant melodicism of European death metal. After a Trivium gig that year, my BFF and I sat up drinking 40’s of Miller Lite and jamming to the Battlecross demo we got in the parking lot. The next year that style was dead—suffocated by pop-metalcore (which we rejected) and the prog-death explosion (which we embraced).

Flash forward to now and the style is attempting to revive: Revocation are trying to cash in on their critical acclaim, as are Lazarus A.D., and finally Machine Head are releasing the follow-up to The Blackening. None of that matters: Battlecross have revived the genre all their own. (more after the jump . . .)

May 032011

(Our bro BadWolf offers a word of congratulations . . .)

It feels good to know that even in these dark days good things happen to people who deserve it, and great hard-working bands do get signed to big labels. Today is a day we can celebrate something good happening to an underground band we support.

When I last checked in with Battlecross (here), Detroit’s finest tech-thrashers, they were sounding global but bogged down in local. They’d just completed a lead singer swap after self-releasing a debut album with no backing. They were re-recording said album with said new vocalist, but had nobody to support them or release the debut V2.0.

What a difference a few months and some good press makes:  On May 2nd Battlecross announced that they have signed a contract with Metal Blade Records. (more after the jump . . .)

Jan 282011

(NCS contributor BadWolf is back with another edition of “Think Local, Sound Global”)

The re-master is a quirky thing; nearly as tricky to successfully pull off as the re-recording or the dreaded lead vocalist swap. It takes guts to do any of them without a huge dedicated fanbase, and a keen ear to do any of them well.

Kudos, then, to Detroit’s underground metal standard-bearers Battlecross. They are at the moment re-mastering their self-produced debut, Push, Pull, Destroy, with new vocal tracks from a different lead singer, but no label to speak of backing them in any way.

Here’s the rub: the new versions of the songs sound amazing. That this band does not have more widespread recognition is a travesty. Battlecross have been playing in Michigan for years at events like Dirtfest and Ogrefest, as well as opening for bigger bands like Mushroomhead and The Faceless—ever sharpening their chops, as well as licking them. These guys are tighter than a nun, and often play right in the crowd just to make a point—they don’t mess around, they slay.  (more after the jump . . .)

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