Jun 222011

I’ve never been entirely sure about the point of metal news releases about music you can’t yet hear, albums you can’t yet buy, and tours for which you can’t yet acquire tickets, but people still seem to be interested in this kind of shit. Not me, of course. I’m so fucking zen-like in my outlook that these kinds of pointless cock-teasers just flow over me like a soft summer breeze, barely ruffling my hair. My pulse rate doesn’t move a beat from its normal, slothlike resting state. I remain as steady and unmoving as a hummingbird.

Wait, that didn’t end right. Okay, well maybe it did. Truth is, I am metal-nerd enough to get excited about this stuff, though I can’t provide any rational reason why. In keeping with our unintentional Finn-centric theme of this week’s posts, several of these items focus on Finnish metal.

So, here’s the top-level summary of news for this post: Announcement of two new European tours — one featuring Gorgoroth and Vader and the other headlined by Machine Head; a progress report on Insomnium‘s new album; word of an all-star album (and the label “all-star” is no bullshit) in the planning stages from Finland’s Spinefarm Records; and perhaps the most glaring example I’ve seen in months of an interviewer failing to ask a follow-up question (in this case, about Opeth‘s new album).

While I’ve got your attention, I might as well also throw in some music you can actually hear right now — high-quality footage of Suicide Silence performing a song from their forthcoming new album.  (all that stuff after the jump . . .)


I can’t see either of these tours because they will be in Europe and though I’m a jet-setter in my mind, I do not own an actual jet, and the tech-geeks in tech-heavy Seattle still — STILL — haven’t perfected the teleporter technology. But I’m biting down on my frustration and serving up this tid-bit for all you Europeans and true jet-setters out there.

The first announcement is that Norway’s Gorgoroth and Poland’s Vader will join forces for “The Sign Of Hell Tour 2011”. It will include over 45 shows throughout Europe. It will kick off at the end of October and conclude right before Christmas. A press release reports that Gorgoroth’s set will include material from their re-recording of Under the Sign of Hell, to be released on August 29 by Regain Records, and that Vader will be playing new songs from their next Nuclear Blast release, Welcome to the Morbid Reich (due August 13 in Europe and September 13 in NorthAm). Two or three more bands will be added to the bill eventually.

No specific dates or venues have yet been released. If I’m not too bitter about my inability to see this, I might put up a post when the schedule is released. But I make no promises.

The next tour news is enticing and odd at the same time — enticing because the headliner will be Machine Head and the support will include DevilDriver and Darkest Hour, odd because the tour will also include Bring Me the Horizon. At least this time, we have a schedule (though more dates may be added):

Nov. 02 – Oslo, Norway @ Sentrum Scene
Nov. 03 – Stockholm, Sweden @ Arenan
Nov. 05 – Tampere, Finland @ Sorsapuistosali
Nov. 06 – Helsinki, Finland @ The Circus
Nov. 08 – Fredriksberg, Denmark @ KB Hallen
Nov. 09 – Hamburg, Germany @ Grosse Freiheit 36
Nov. 10 – Dresden, Germany @ Alter Schlachthof
Nov. 12 – Vienna, Austria @ Gasometer
Nov. 13 – Milan, Italy @ Alcatraz
Nov. 17 – Lisbon, Portugal @ Coliseum
Nov. 18 – Oporto, Portugal @Coliseum
Nov. 21 – Zurich, Switzerland @ Volkshaus
Nov. 23 – Paris, France @ Zenith
Nov. 24 – Neu-Isenburg, Germany @ Hugenottenhalle
Nov. 25 – Munich, Germany @ Kesselhaus
Nov. 26 – Ludwigsburg, Germany @ Arena
Nov. 28 – Eindhoven, Holland @ Klokgebouw
Nov. 29 – Brussels, Belgium @ Vorst Nationaal
Nov. 30 – Oberhausen, Germany @ Turbinenhalle
Dec. 03 – London, UK @ Wembley Arena
Dec. 04 – Birmingham, UK @ National Indoor Arena
Dec. 05 – Glasgow, UK @ Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC)
Dec. 06 – Manchester, UK @ Central


The next album from Finland’s Insomnium is one of the year’s most anticipated at this site. The news is that the band have disclosed the title of the album — One For Sorrow. It’s now scheduled for release in October on Century Media Records. It  was recorded in Gothenburg, Sweden with sound engineer Daniel Antonsson (who’s the bassist in Dark Tranquillity and guitarist in Dimension Zero) and at Fantom studios in Tempere, Finland, where the album is also currently being mixed by Samu Oittisen. Yes, all this did raise my pulse-rate. I don’t know why.


This next item really elevated my pulse, all the way up to the point where it could be detected by trained medical professionals as a sign of life. Finnish record label Spinefarm Records reports that it will celebrate its 20th anniversary by organizing a “summer camp” in July where members of various bands signed to the company will collaborate with each other in creating and recording new songs. Now, check out the bands whose members will be participating:

Swallow the Sun

The resulting album is tentatively titled Spinefarm Allstars. Fuck yeah, I’d say that’s a good name for it. The album will allegedly be released before the end of the year.

OPETH NEWS (and interview fail)

Mike Bax of Lithium Magazine recently conducted an interview with guitarist/vocalist Mikael Åkerfeldt of Opeth. Here’s one question and one titillating answer from the interview:

Lithium Magazine“Heritage” will be your tenth album, and your third album on Roadrunner Records. Did you have anything different in mind that you really wanted to accomplish on this tenth album?

Mikael: I just wanted it to be different. I had a pretty strong urge to do it differently and not be stuck in a rut, so to speak. I’d like to think that every album we’ve done has been an album that reflects what we really wanted to do at the time. This time around, when I started writing, I was a bit disillusioned with what I wanted to do and what we should do as a band. I didn’t want us to get stuck with a sound. I get restless and when that happens it’s just time to move on and try something different, and that’s what we did with this album.

We just wrote eleven or twelve songs that sounded like stuff that I would want to listen to now, rather than writing stuff that sounds like things we’ve already done before. We have always tried to do records that we want to hear. There’s no exception to that rule with “Heritage”, but it’s a different-sounding album than our previous ones.

Now, what do you think the next question was? What would you ask next? What’s the most obvious next question in the world?

Here’s what Mr. Bax asked: “If I’m reading my Internet bits correctly, “The Devil’s Orchard” is set to be your first single, correct? Are you going to pop that online to give fans a taste of the new material?”


SUICIDE SILENCE (the only actual music in this post)

Now for some actual music. This is high-quality performance footage of the new song “You Only Live Once”, as performed by Suicide Silence on June 19 in Vienna, Austria. The song will appear on the band’s next album, “The Black Crown”, which will drop on July 12 via Century Media Records.


  1. I really need to move to Europe…

  2. SS bring posing boxes around with them on tour. It doesn’t help make their live show any less boring and predictable. The frontman spends all his time vacillating between faux teen angst foetal positions, indicating for a “circle” to start, or stomping his foot to start each breakdown. Wash, rinse, repeat. So bad.

    • OK, only yesterday I was wishing for an NCS “like” button, but again, I will have to settle for a smiley: 🙂

      But apart from your regrets about the stage posturing, no love for the song at all? It sure got its hooks in me.

      • My biggest problem with the song is Mitch. I mean, I like the high pitched scream and everything, but his inhales, like most inhales, are weak… at least live; the guy needs some tips for exhaled lows from his friend Big Chocolate. I do really like that Mark Heylmun is starting to show what he can do with a guitar.

        I went and listened to some NTtB SS and I remembered why I lost interest quickly… well sorta’… I don’t know why I lost interest quickly, I guess it’s just that songs aside from “Disengage” and maybe (maybe!) “Wake Up” didn’t have a certain feeling to them… to be honest I don’t really know why I didn’t like the rest of the album as much as “Disengage”…

        Also… that bass… is loud… and this song is up on their Facebook, I listened to some of it yesterday. Oh, and they have a song called “Fuck Everything” (really guys, “Fuck Everything”?) on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QScDSAoXlNs

        I haven’t listened to that one yet, I’m about to though.

        • I like this live version you posted though, I guess I like to watch people play instruments… it’s like being at a zoo I guess… but less boring.

          Also, I hate when bands want you to Like them on Facebook in exchange for being able to listen to their music off of their page…

          • Yeah, I’m annoyed by that, too, but it’s all marketing mantra, and Facebook “likes” do provide a vehicle for bands to keep themselves in the eyes of fans and potential fans on a daily basis. For a counter-argument to that social-network marketing strategem, check that Mikael Akerfeldt interview I made fun of in this post. Of course, he can afford that attitude because of Opeth’s immense popularity. Most bands have to pull out all stops to build and connect with a fanbase.

        • I may have admitted before, and if I haven’t, I’m doing it now, that I have a weakness for this band. I remember hearing their first album, within days after it became public, being played over the PA at a Seattle club while waiting for an opening act to finish their sound check. I was so taken with it that I went over to the soundboard guy and asked what he was playing.

          I’m just as taken with this album, in part because I hear a band, who’ve been type-cast and dismissed by metal elitists, who are moving forward — incrementally, to be sure — but moving, changing, becoming more interesting. If they were just re-treading what I heard on that first album, as so many popular deathcore bands have done, I’d be bored by now, but with SS, I’m not. If BadWolf doesn’t send in his review soon, I’ll have to froth at the mouth over this thing myself.

          • I’m surprised at you boss.

            Of the new songs I’ve heard (several, but far from all so this isn’t a complete write-off yet) they’ve all been pretty terrible. So many generic, gloopy breakdowns, all the “riffs” have been unmemorable and just fill time before each bass drop. I’m surprised you consider this them moving forward as to me everything I’ve heard essentially sounds like them keeping the most dunderheaded deathcore parts intact and shoving in the most lowest common denominator nu-metal parts in… one bad thing + another bad thing does not progress make.

            I think I’m disappointed really as I did think these guys were going to move forwards (though NTTB had me a little wary already), whereas (thankfully) the other deathcore bands I had my eye on have pretty much all gotten better and mutated into interesting forms over time. These guys have gone SO boring.

            And again, their frontman is just annoying to watch nowadays. He’s so used to a pliable audience of kids that he gets really petulant in front of any audience who won’t just do what he wants them to. Ah well.

            • Well, I’ll be the first to admit that I develop emotional attachments to bands based on the chance confluences of time and place of hearing, and that may affect my objectivity. But I’m standing by what I said. I’ve heard the whole album, though I’m not sure hearing the whole thing would affect your opinion. I wonder, how much of your reaction to the music is affected by Mitch Lucker’s stage-schtick?

              • Yeah, it probably doesn’t help. I’m man enough to admit that. But honestly, he didn’t used to be this bad? Right? All I could think was that he was the deathcore equivalent of Jonothan Davis. And not in a good way.

                And posing boxes…. posing boxes???

                • 🙂 (No NCS comment “likes” – yet.)

                  Most bands whose vocalists or guitarists feel the need to elevate seem to find stage monitors to be perfectly good posing boxes. But can you fuck them up standing on them? Maybe people should be old-school enough to just stand on the stage. I admit that I’ve never seen the vocalist of a straight-arrow death or black-metal band standing on anything but the stage.

                  • The only time I’ve seen posing boxes was at a Dir En Grey concert.
                    Now, I like their music (not as much as I used to, but it still tickles my… ummm…junk), but goshdarnit if their fans don’t make me wanna try to skin a live badger.

                    Wait, that was off topic. Anyway, the singer used posing boxes and to good effect, I thought. He’s short. Like damn short, and a bit theatrical (melodramatic might be another good word). In order for anyone except
                    the front row to be able to see him cut himself (or whatever he was doing) he had to stand on the box. I think, in this case, it only worked, because it was playing to that sort of whiney, doom-and-black-finger-nail-polish

                    I feel like I started with a main thesis and then forgot it halfway through.

                    • I saw Dir En Grey at a big venue in Seattle a couple years ago. As it happened, I was coming out of the latrine near the stage just as the band was coming from an adjoining backstage door to walk up the stairs to the stage — and yes, they are tiny people. Tiny. Very small. However, they did not tickle my junk.

                    • I wouldn’t call their music metal (though some do, which I still find odd), but it does change quite a bit. They have, over their history, gotten heavier.
                      Still, I don’t blame any metal fan for not getting into them….

                    • I’ve forgotten who I really came to see at that show, but it wasn’t Dir En Grey. However, they had a big crowd of rabid fans in attendance. I was more entertained by their set than I thought I’d be, but not enough to become a fan.

                    • “I was more entertained by their set than I thought I’d be, but not enough to become a fan.”
                      I think if I heard them for the first time now, I’d probably agree with you on this. I think there’s enough emotional connection that I still like them.

                      Or maybe I just have shitty taste in music. Hahahahaha!!

            • I can kind of hear how they’ve changed, I think they’ve moved a tiny step toward tech death; I’m not a guitar genius but that riff at the beginning seemed kinda’ technical, and the solo looked like quite a feat.

          • I’ve known for a while that you like SS. I like them, but I don’t. I have sort of a love-hate relationship with these guys. I like them because they seem legit, they like legit bands, and they dress like metal heads (cept for Mitch… way to drop the ball man). I like some of their songs like “Disengage” and to some extent (maybe not as much as I used to) “Wake Up”. Also I’m a pushover when it comes to beards… Mark has an awesome beard… but I digress.

            Other songs push me away like “And Then She Bled”. I get where they’re coming from, a woman had a wild animal as a pet which isn’t a good idea, but if I remember correctly, a woman was also mutilated by that same pet; I have this same problem with Cerebral Bore’s “24 Year Party Dungeon”, it sounds funny at first, but then you learn the backstory and it doesn’t seem so funny anymore… that wasn’t really what I was going for, that’s more lyrical than sound-wise, but I meant sound-wise and veered off in that direction…

            I don’t really know where to begin sound-wise since I haven’t really given NTtB a good listen, but when I listened to the other songs or parts of them yesterday I was put off by them, with the exception of “Disengage” of course… but I can’t really choose whether I’m a fan or not.

            I guess you could say I like the guys in the band (even Mitch…) but not the band’s music (for the most part). Weird huh?

            • Oh, and based from this recording I do like the song above.

            • Just listened to the studio version of “You Only Live Once” and it was good. I don’t think I’d be picking the album up, but it’s definitely not bad in my book.

  3. I’m not good with interviews, so I’m not sure what the next question should have been, but I’ll take a guess….

    Ummm…should it have been: “So, when are you gonna do a duet with Celin Dion?”

  4. The new song sounds like decent impression of Lamb of God to me.

  5. I’d forgotten that Gorgoroth were re-recording Under the Sign of Hell. I can’t wait to hear the new version of “Revelation of Doom.”

    Regarding Spinefarm Allstars, it sounds like the name of the coolest Little League team ever.

    P.S. I know this is an older post, but I’ve been out of town for several days without internet. =P

    • Hey, better late than never! Yeah, I forgot about the Gorgoroth re-recording, too. It was supposed to be out in June but got pushed back due to “manufacturing problems”. I’m really curious to hear it.

      Spinefarm Allstars would indeed be a cool Little League team, especially if they wore band shirts and spikes instead of uniform jerseys. 🙂

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