Ten days have passed since the last time I put together a round-up of news and recommended new music, which is an unusually long gap. Perhaps needless to say, trying to catch up is out of the question. What I’m going to do instead is just pull together some big news announcements from the last 24 hours in this post (plus one related recent song), and then collect a few more recent music streams in a second part that I’ll post a bit later today.
MARYLAND DEATHFEST ANNOUNCES SECOND ROUND OF CONFIRMED BANDS FOR 2017
On June 30, as we dutifully reported, the organizers of Maryland Deathfest announced the first round of confirmed bands for the XVth edition of the festival, scheduled to take place on May 25-28, 2017, in Baltimore. Just minutes ago, MDF announced a second round of confirmed bands — plus some surprising news about where the festival will, and won’t, take place next year. Here are the new confirmed names:
Captain Cleanoff (Australia)
Exumer (Germany) -Exclusive U.S. appearance!
Meth Leppard (Australia)
October Tide (Sweden) – Exclusive U.S. appearance!
Vader (Poland) – Exclusive U.S. appearance!
In addition to revealing this additional batch of 25 bands, MDF also made one more stunning announcement (I had heard rumors of this but kept my mouth shut until officially confirmed): THERE WILL BE NO PERFORMANCES AT EDISON LOT NEXT YEAR.
For a whole bunch of reasons, this is very disappointing news, though I have no doubt this will still be one hell of a weekend in Baltimore next May. Here’s the full statement, which also includes the latest info about ticket sales:
Only 2 venues will be used next year, Rams Head Live and Baltimore Soundstage. Not using Edison Lot may come as a bit of a surprise to some of you, but to make a long story short, the cost of production to use Edison all weekend is too much to justify using it again next year. We prefer to stay true to our roots and not seek a bunch of sponsors or raise ticket prices to help fuel the cost of continuing a 3 venue format, so downscaling to 2 venues was in our best interest. This decision will keep the cost of tickets cheaper than the last few years, but nearly the same amount of bands that you’re used to will be booked.
Once again, the Thursday show at Rams Head will feature doom/stoner/sludge bands, while Baltimore Soundstage will feature death metal.
From Friday-Sunday, Rams Head will be running all day and night instead of just late evening hours. Rams Head will feature death/black/thrash metal bands all weekend.
From Friday-Sunday, Soundstage will be running all day and night just as it has in the past. Soundstage will feature grindcore/powerviolence/hardcore/punk bands all weekend.
This venue format will allow us to keep collisions of 2 bands playing at one time to a minimum. You also only have to walk 2 minutes between the venues.
As always, merch vendors will be present at MDF 2017. We’ll let you know more about where they’ll be located in the coming months.
Note that tickets will be limited in this venue format. It is highly recommended that you get your tickets (especially the 4-day pass) as soon as possible. 300 more 4-day passes will be released on Friday, July 22nd at 10 am EST.
Once these are gone, one final wave of 4-day passes will be released (for the same price as the sale on the 22nd) after we finish booking bands. All other ticket options, including 3-day passes for either venue and single day tickets, will be released after we finish booking bands.
Save the following ticket link:
Next, I thought I would pass around a couple of new album announcements, one of which I am more excited about than the other. Can you guess which one?
Yesterday Century Media Records announced that on September 30, 2016, it will release a new studio album by Asphyx, which bears the title Incoming Death. The press release we received also included this statement from Martin van Drunen:
“Four and a half years after the release of Deathhammer we finally managed to finish its long awaited successor. It will be out on September the 30th, as always on our beloved label Century Media. Expect 11 unmerciful battering tracks in the typical ASPHYX death/doom style, but also the most varied ASPHYX material up to date without losing our rawness, brutality and heaviness. The album will be entitled Incoming Death. And like Deathhammer, it’s a phrase that doesn’t really exist, but refers to what entrenched soldiers cry out when under severe artillery fire. Thus “Incoming Death” implies another relentless bombardment of monstrous ASPHYX death/doom metal!
“Recorded on different locations throughout 2016 and once more mixed and mastered by the mighty Dan “The Man” Swanö. Serious ear bleedings guaranteed! It’s also our first record also featuring “Husky” on drums, who is now with us for already two and a half years molesting the pig skins with the absolute perfect ASPHYX attitude, passion, pride and mayhem. We are very proud of this best ASPHYX album ever! And knowing our dedicated fans worldwide, they will be proud of us as well! Soon we will hit the stages on every continent to do what we do best; Intense, loud, sweaty, filthy and ruthless live performances!”
By coincidence, I witnessed my one and only Asphyx live performance at Maryland Deathfest. I loved the shit out of it. I’m starting to pant like a winded dog in anticipation of this new album.
Oh, one more thing: In case you missed it, DECIBEL magazine included an Asphyx song in the June issue as part of their flexi-disc series, and because it appears that I failed to post it when it first appeared, I’m doing that now. The song is called “Deathibel”, which made me think of Mike Tyson for some reason. The issue is available here.
Now we come to the second album announcement. Yesterday Opeth proclaimed that their new album Sorceress will be released by Nuclear Blast on September 30, the same day as the new Asphyx album. The beautiful cover art by Travis Smith was also revealed. And, as in the case of Asphyx, the press release included a statement about the album by the band’s leader, in this case Mikael Åkerfeldt:
”The new album Sorceress is our 12th studio album since our beginnings in 1990. I find it difficult to understand that we’ve been going on for 26 years, let alone that we’ve made 12 records now, all of which I am very proud of. Sorceress is no exception. I love this album, as does the whole band. I wrote the music during 5-6 months and we spent only 12 days recording it at Rockfield studios in Wales. I find that once again we’ve taken a step forward. Or sideways, Or backwards. Somewhere!? It’s different! It’s extremely diverse. And if I may say so myself, extremely good.
“I feel the right to say that since I like to think I know this band better than anyone on the planet. Also, I always manage to detach myself from the record and listen as a fan. It’s a fine little record. My favorite in our discography right now. Of course. That’s how it should be, right? It’s both fresh and old, both progressive and rehashed. Heavy and calm. Just the way we like it. Hopefully there’ll be others around the globe sharing this opinion. It was a joy to make it. A fucking joy to record it, and a sheer joy listening to it. So there you have it!”
That Åkerfeldt says this album is his favorite in Opeth’s discography right now is interesting, though perhaps no different that van Drunen saying that Incoming Death is the best Asphyx album ever. One of my clever friends quipped, “The new Opeth album has some amazing artwork for what will be one hell of a collection of lullabies.” Perhaps he will be surprised (I hope so).
I’ll add that, in case you missed the earlier announcement, Opeth will be embarking on a North American tour, accompanied by The Sword after the opening date at Ozzfest/Knotfest. The schedule is below.
Sep 24 – San Bernardino, CA – Ozzfest/Knotfest @ San Manual Amphitheater
Sep 29 – Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE
Sep 30 – Silver Spring, MD – Fillmore
Oct 1 – New York, NY – Radio City Music Hall
Oct 2 – Boston, MA – House of Blues
Oct 4 – Montreal, QC – Metropolis
Oct 5 – Toronto, ON – Massey Hall
Oct 7 – Detroit, MI – Fillmore
Oct 8 – Akron, OH – Good Year Theater at East End
Oct 9 – Chicago, IL – Riviera Theater
Oct 10 – Minneapolis, MN – First Ave
Oct 12 – Oklahoma City, OK – Diamond Ballroom
Oct 13 – Houston, TX – Warehouse Live
Oct 14 – Austin, TX – Emo’s
Oct 15 – Dallas, TX – Gas Monkey Live
Oct 18 – Las Vegas, NV – Brooklyn Bowl
Oct 19 – Tempe, AZ – Marquee Theater
Oct 21 – Sacramento, CA – Ace of Spades
Oct 22 – San Francisco, CA – Warfield
Oct 24 – Portland, OR – Roseland Theater
Oct 25 – Seattle, WA – Moore Theater
Oct 26 – Vancouver, BC – Orpheum
MEGADETH / AMON AMARTH TOUR
Now I’ll turn to a couple of new tour announcements that involve some very big names in the world of metal. The first one is headlined by Megadeth, with support from Amon Amarth, Suicidal Tendencies, Metal Church, and Havok. It runs from September 20 through October 16 and, like the Opeth tour, includes a stop at Ozzfest/Knotfest (though it seems that only Amon Amarth will be performing there rather than the entire tour line-up).
Here’s the schedule:
9/20/2016 Casper Events – Center Casper, WY
9/22/2016 The Joint @ Hard Rock Hotel And Casino – Las Vegas, NV
9/25/2016 Knotfest – Devore, CA * AMON AMARTH only
9/27/2016 WaMu Theater – Seattle, WA
9/28/2016 Matthew Knight Arena – Eugene, OR
9/29/2016 City National Civic – San Jose, CA
10/01/2016 1st Bank Center – Broomfield, CO
10/03/2016 Mid America Recreation & Conv. Complex – Council Bluffs, IA
10/04/2016 Roy Wilkins Auditorium – St. Paul, MN
10/05/2016 Sears Centre – Hoffman Estates, IL
10/07/2016 iWireless Center – Moline, IL
10/08/2016 UWM Panther Arena – Milwaukee, WI
10/09/2016 Joe Louis Arena – Detroit, MI
10/11/2016 Sands Bethlehem Event Center – Bethlehem, PA
10/12/2016 DCU Center – Worcester, MA
10/13/2016 Mohegan Sun Arena – Uncasville, CT
10/14/2016 Prudential Center – Newark, NJ
10/16/2016 BB&T Pavilion – Camden, NJ
MESHUGGAH / HIGH ON FIRE TOUR
Also yesterday, the immensity that is Meshuggah announced that they will headline a North American Fall 2016 tour, along with High On Fire (which is an unusual pairing but a clever one). This tour begins in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, on October 10th (though High On Fire doesn’t join the tour until the second stop) and concludes in Maryland at The Fillmore in Silver Spring on November 6th, and it includes a detour to Toluca, Mexico. Here’s the itinerary:
10/10/2016 House Of Blues – Lake Buena Vista, FL*
10/11/2016 Tabernacle – Atlanta, GA
10/12/2016 The Pageant – St. Louis, MO
10/13/2016 Marathon Music Works – Nashville, TN
10/15/2016 Knottiest Mexico – Toluca, Mexico*
10/16/2016 House Of Blues – Houston, TX
10/17/2016 House Of Blues – Dallas, TX
10/19/2016 The Novo – Los Angeles, CA
10/20/2016 Brooklyn Bowl – Las Vegas, NV*
10/22/2016 Aftershock Festival – Elverta, CA*
10/24/2016 Ogden Theatre – Denver, CO
10/25/2016 Liberty Hall – Lawrence, KS
10/26/2016 Mill City Nights – Minneapolis, MN
10/28/2016 House Of Blues – Chicago, IL
10/29/2016 The Majestic – Detroit, MI
10/30/2016 Phoenix Concert Theatre – Toronto, ON CANADA
10/31/2016 Metropolis – Montreal, QC CANADA
11/02/2016 House Of Blues – Boston, MA
11/03/2016 Playstation Theater – New York, NY
11/04/2016 The Trocadero Theatre – Philadelphia, PA
11/05/2016 Starland Ballroom – Sayreville, NJ
11/06/2016 The Fillmore – Silver Spring, MD
* MESHUGGAH only
I’m very disappointed that the closest this tour gets to the Pacific Northwest is the unincorporated community of Elverta, California, a distance from Seattle of 753 miles. However, my comrade DGR will no doubt be happy since Elverta is about 20 miles from Sacramento. I hadn’t heard of the place before, and The Font of All Human Knowledge explains: “The community has two street lights, very few hills, and no major bodies of water.” It will have even fewer hills after Meshuggah finishes leveling them.
Here’s a very short video trailer for the tour: