Aug 112014

Collected in this post you will find news of three U.S. or North American tours. News about the first two is still somewhat incomplete, and I’m a bit late reporting on the third one. All three are enticing.

“IN THE MINDS OF EVIL”

Last month news surfaced about a tour to be headlined by Deicide, named after their most recent album, In the Minds of Evil. Last night Inquisition posted an announcement on their Facebook page about the tour, which was interesting because when the tour was announced last month Marduk was named as one of the support bands, but now it appears that Marduk are out and Inquisition are in. In addition, Abysmal Dawn have been added to the line-up. Here’s the complete list of bands:

DEICIDE
SEPTICFLESH
INQUISITION
ABYSMAL DAWN
CARACH ANGREN

An updated official tour flyer hasn’t been released yet, so I decided to use a photo of an embryo of the short-tailed fruit bat (embryonic stage 19).

Inquisition also included an initial schedule of dates in their FB post, while noting that more dates will be added. Here’s the schedule so far:

Sep 222013

(It’s been a while since we received a guest post from Dane Prokofiev (who writes everywhere and has his own blog at Zetalambmary), but today he returns with an argument about why it’s worthwhile to use band comparisons in music reviews.) 

I used to dislike comparing a band whose album I was reviewing to another band in my written reviews and only resorted to doing so when I found absolutely nothing interesting about the band’s music to be worthy of description through the use of metaphors. Ever since my exposure to Saussurean semiotics, however, I have changed my mind.

Saussurean semiotics posits that there is no intrinsic connection between words and their meanings. That is to say, it is not natural for the word “dog” to refer to the concept of dog-ness. The word “dog” is a linguistic construct, something that is distinct from the concept of dog-ness. What English-speaking people label as “dog” is labeled as “الكلب” by Arabic-speaking people , “chien” by French-speaking people, “hunder” by Icelandic-speaking people, “犬” by Japanese-speaking people, and “狗” by Mandarin-speaking people. The fact that people use different words for the same object in different languages means that there is no particular connection between the word “dog” and the thing that we refer to as a “dog”.

The product of this arbitrary relationship between the signifier (“dog”) and the signified (the concept of dog-ness) is called the sign, which is the mental image that is conjured in a person’s mind when he or she sees the signifier and understands that it is referring to the signified, aka certain properties that constitute the thing-ness of something.

Apr 122013

Life can be summed up as follows: You don’t get what you pay for, and then you die. Which is why getting things for free is so damned important. It gives you that little flicker of hope that maybe things will balance out before your tiny spark gets sucked into the void. Of course, it’s a false hope, but the capacity for self-delusion is vital in leading a happy life.

Okay, now that I’ve got you in a cheery mood, here’s some a that free shit.

“DEATH TO ALL” TICKETS

The Death To All tour, which pays tribute to late legendary vocalist and guitarist Chuck Schuldiner and raises money for the Sweet Relief charity, is starting its 2013 run tomorrow night in West Hollywood and will continue through the end of this month. Unlike last year’s inaugural edition, this tour will feature one line-up, the Humanera Death lineup consisting of guitarist Paul Masvidal, bassist Steve DiGiorgio, and drummer Sean Reinert (with Max Phelps of Exist providing the vocals). The set list will focus on Human and the three Death albums that came before it, Scream Bloody Gore, Leprosy, and Spiritual Healing

And guess what? Thanks to Live Nation, we have two sets of two tickets to give away for the tour’s April 24 stop in New York City at Irving Plaza.

Mar 272013

 (I wish I had thought of this cool idea for a post. But BadWolf beat me to it — and this is his piece.)

It’s not news to anyone reading this ( I hope) that heavy metal culture has an elitist streak. In fact, read enough comment threads on this blog and others, and you will notice a tiered system of elitism, false barricades that we, as fans, erect to keep ourselves distanced from a perceived wasteland that is ‘the mainstream.’ By virtue of reading a metal blog, I’d wager you’re already a step or two up on the elitism pyramid. By definition, as a metal blogger, I am MORE than a few steps up on the elitism pyramid. But I’m not far enough up to lose my sense of perspective.

There is an appropriate amount of ironic self-distancing when appreciating art. The top of the elitist pyramid? Probably black metal purists, and look how even the mainstream lambasts the true corpsepaint-set as clowns. Those folks would do well to remember that most of the Norwegian attack bands abandoned the strict black metal template quite rapidly. Ihsahn is in a prog band now. Mayhem put electronica all up in their second album.

But at the same time, from where I stand, the lowest rung of elitism is abjectly deserving of ridicule as well. And what constitutes that bottommost rung? Probably the bias against breakdown-centric bands. You can even see it on No Clean Singing—we’re covering a lot more black metal than deathcore these days.

Feb 272013

As previously reported, your humble editor’s blog time is being squeezed mercilessly by the old fuckin’ day job. There is no relief in sight yet. The consequence is that I can’t spend as much time as usual checking out new music and news. But I did make a quick survey of my typical sources last night and saw and heard many things of interest. Details about 3 new tours and 2 cool live videos are in this post, and I’ll have more goodies in a second one later today.

DEATH TO ALL TOUR 2013

In Tourism news I saw the following report on Metal Injection: The Death To All tour, which pays tribute to the late Chuck Shuldiner is returning for another run in 2013. The tour had its first run last year and featured an all-star lineup of former members of Death, “but was later plagued with drama surrounding the financials of the event, with some musicians not getting paid by one of the promoters.”

Unlike last year, the 2013 tour will feature one line-up, the Humanera lineup consisting of guitarist Paul Masvidal, bassist Steve DiGiorgio, and drummer Sean Reinert. In addition, Metal Sucks is reporting that Max Phelps, Masvidal and Reinert’s bandmate in the most recent line-up of Cynic, will be providing the vocals. The tour will focus on Human, and the three Death albums that came before it, Scream Bloody Gore, Leprosy, and Spiritual Healing. Hell yes.

Nov 152012

In this post are four new things I saw and heard today.  I saw and heard other things today, such as the sight of the Sun (which is worth reporting, given that it’s November in Seattle) and the explosive sound of my own voice when I put weight on my fucked-up ankle the wrong way. That was about as close as I’ve ever come to thinking I could do vocals for a black metal band.

Well, as painful as it is for me to say this, “enough about me”. Here are new videos from Beyond Creation (Canada), Welicoruss (Russia), and Beastwars (New Zealand). The Welicoruss and Beastwars songs are also brand new and will appear on forthcoming albums. But first . . . the debut of a remastered song from . . .

DEATH

As you may know, Relapse Records has been re-issuing remastered editions of albums by Death. The latest is the band’s 1990 record, Spiritual Healing. This is a two-disc release, with the first one featuring a complete remaster of the original album and the second one including 16 previously unreleased rehearsal recordings, outtakes, and studio instrumentals. If you spring for the limited edition digipack, you’ll also get a third CD of a never-before-released live set recorded in 1990. And if you download the album from iTunes, you’ll get 5 previously unreleased pre-Human rehearsal tracks that aren’t included on either of the CD versions.

Well, enough with the free advertising. The reason I’m writing about Death today is that today Guitar World premiered one of the remastered tracks from Spiritual Healing: “Altering the Future”. You can hear that after the jump, along with the remastered version of “Living Monstrosity”, which appeared earlier.

May 302012

Phro has obviously been spending way too much fucking time on his own blog or I would have found out about this movie from him instead of having to read about it on Skeletonwitch’s FB page.

Just when you think zombie filmography has become so saturated that there’s nothing new to say about zombies, we get Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead. Leave it to the Japanese to take a tired old cinematic trope and breathe new life into the shit. I mean, don’t get me wrong: I like a crap zombie movie as much as the next dude, but they get kinda boring after a while — even when real life starts imitating art. But there’s a difference between a crap zombie movie and a craptastic movie with shit zombies and hot, gun-toting Japanese chicks wearing schoolgirl uniforms, which seems to be required dress for all hot Japanese chicks.

Zombie Ass, which premiered at a film festival in Austin, Texas (?!?) last fall and had its Japanese premiere in February 2012, was made by renowned Japanese director and legendary ass-fetishist Noboru Iguchi. It seems to involve poop-covered zombies crawling from outhouses, mutant intestinal parasites, and a lot of potent farting. Sounds awesome, no?

The odds of me seeing this movie are zero, but the “international” trailer for the film — complete with garbled English voiceover and titles — is fucking hysterical.  Okay, to be more precise, it’s hysterical if you have a really juvenile, scatalogical sense of humor like I do, and I’m pretty sure you DO have that kind of sense of humor, or why else would you be wasting your time at this site?

Mar 282012

Yesterday, I wrote about an exciting new band named Crator who have finally surfaced some new music after first being cryptically mentioned in an update written by John Longstreth for Sick Drummer magazine in 2010. In addition to being one of the members of Crator and the drummer for Origin, Longstreth is also the current drummer for Gorguts.

When it comes to technical death metal, Gorguts occupies a place in rarified air. It has gone through several iterations divided by long periods of inactivity, with legendary vocalist/guitarist Luc Lemay being the only constant.  The band’s last album, From Wisdom To Hate, was released 11 years ago, but word surfaced about three years ago that Lemay was reviving Gorguts yet again — this time with the line-up filled out by Longstreth and by Dysrhythmia bandmates Kevin Hufnagle and Colin Marston.

Since then, Gorguts die-hards have been waiting . . . and waiting . . . and waiting for new music. It appears we will finally get to hear some of what the new line-up have been creating, because it was announced yesterday that Gorguts have been added to the U.S. DEATH TO ALL TOUR 2012.

Dec 132011

On December 13, 2001 — ten years ago today — Chuck Schuldiner died of a brain tumor after a two-year battle to survive. To honor his memory, NPR writer Lars Gotrich persuaded eleven metal musicians to pick their favorite Death song, and write what it and Schuldiner have meant to them. The list of contributors includes three former members of Death — Paul Masvidal (Cynic), Gene Hoglan (Fear Factory), and Richard Christy (Charred Walls of the Damned), all of whom, interestingly, chose songs from the 1991 album, Human.

The list of contributors also includes Arthur von Nagel (Cormorant), Elizabeth Schall (Dreaming Dead), John Dyer Baizley (Baroness), Stephan Gebedi (Hail of Bullets), Matt Harvey (Exhumed), Kevin Conway (East of the Wall), Anthony Buda (Revocation), and Steffen Kummerer (Obscura).

It’s an interesting read (and includes streams of the chosen songs), and I thought Gotrich’s introduction eloquently captured the wonder many of us have experienced as we listened to Death’s music from different albums over time — as an artist, Chuck Schuldiner was not only a great talent, he was also constantly moving in new directions. Here’s an excerpt from Gotrich’s introduction (which continues after the jump). To read the whole thing, go here.

“There’s something to be said for the visionary who dismantles the very movement he’s created or pioneered. . . . For a humble guitarist from Florida named Chuck Schuldiner, his metal band Death (not to be confused with the proto-punk band of the same name) was a mere instrument. Along with the Bay Area’s Possessed, Death not only helped spawn an entire extreme genre around gore and technical guitar wizardry, but like horror movies sometimes do, Death also challenged our notions of life.

Dec 022011

November is done, and the countdown begins to the end of 2011 and he beginning of the New Year. We’ve been so focused this week on the year behind us, since 2011 Listmania is now in full swing, that we almost forgot that there is a future, and it will be filled with metal.

So, here’s the deal:  In these METAL IN THE FORGE posts, we collect news blurbs and press releases we’ve seen over the last month (November) about forthcoming new albums from bands we know and like (including occasional updates about releases we’ve included in previous installments of this series), or from bands that look interesting, even though we don’t know their music yet. In this series, we cut and paste those announcements and compile them in alphabetical order.

Remember — THIS ISN’T A CUMULATIVE LIST. If we found out about a new forthcoming album before November, we wrote about it in previous installments of this series. So, be sure to check the Category link called “Forthcoming Albums” on the right side of this page to see forecasted releases we reported earlier.

This month’s list begins right after the jump. As usual, this list is half-assed rather than comprehensive. So, feel free to leave Comments and tell all of us what we missed when we put this list together. Let us know about albums on the way that  you’re stoked about!

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