Nov 122011

Archspire is a young band from Vancouver, BC, who’ve come a long way in a short time. I first discovered them near the end of 2010 via one of our MISCELLANY posts and I’ve been tracking their news ever since. They feature two guitarists who blaze away on 7- and 8-string guitars, a bassist who works wonders on a 6-string fretless bass, and a drummer and vocalist who match them stride-for-stride. They churn out head-twisting streamers of technical death metal that should appeal to fans of bands such as Origin, Decrepit Birth, and Spawn of Possession.

Earlier this year, Trendkill Entertainment released their debut album, All Shall Align, which has been extremely well-received by both fans and critics, and they’re now about to embark on a European tour headlined by Decapitated. I recently got the chance to interview vocalist Oli Peters and guitarist Dean Lamb, through the good graces of Trendkill’s Virgil Palazzolo. The interview follows, and there’s some Archspire music at the end for those of you who haven’t yet tumbled to this band.


NCS: It’s hard to believe that almost a year has passed since we first wrote about you guys at NCS. A lot has happened since then. You got signed by Trendkill, All Shall Align has been favorably reviewed far and wide, you’ve been gigging a ton, and you’re over 3,000 likes on Facebook — but the biggest recent news is the European tour with Decapitated, Aborted, Fleshgod Apocalypse, and Cyanide Serenity. That is one hell of a line-up. How did this thing come about for you?

Dean: Well, we have been working with Virgil at our label, Trendkill for the past few months on setting this up. He has taken on a huge budget to help us out on this one, and it would have been impossible if it weren’t for his initiative and support. It’s really huge for us, and we can’t wait to show Europe what we can do, and what we’ve worked so hard on these past couple years.

Oli: It’s a huge honor. Virgil has done an incredible job and we wouldn’t be where we are right now without him. Continue reading »

Apr 152011

In December, for one of our MISCELLANY posts, we wrote about a then-unsigned technical death metal band from Vancouver called Archspire that had really impressed the hell out of us. The band featured two guitarists who blazed away on 7- and 8-string guitars, a bassist who worked wonders on a 6-string fretless bass, and a drummer and vocalist who matched them stride-for-stride.

By sheer chance, the following month we interviewed  Virgil Palazzolo, the head of a French record label called Trendkill Recordings, and within days of that learned that Trendkill had just signed Archspire to a recording contract — a coincidence that made us quite happy.

Last week, Archspire’s Trendkill debut, All Shall Align, became available digitally on iTunes and it was released as a limited digipack CD in Europe yesterday; the CD will be released in the U.S. and Canada on April 21. That limited digipack CD and a very limited CD/T-Shirt bundle, which features eye-catching artwork by Toshihiro Egawa (Dying Fetus, Suicide Silence, Devourment, and more) are still available at Trendkill’s webshop (here).

A few days ago we learned that the album is now streaming at a French site called Deezer (here). If you’re a fan of bands like Origin, Decrepit Birth, or Spawn of Possession, we think you’ll fall hard for Archspire, and now’s a good time to listen to the album while that stream lasts. If you happen to live in Canada, you’ll soon have the chance to see Archspire live — because they begin a 3-week tour of the country today. Dates and places follow the jump . . . Can you tell that we think this band fuckin’ rocks? Continue reading »

Jan 182011

Yeah, I know I’m taxing your attention span with our third post of the day, but I continue to see eye-catching items and just can’t resist. But I will keep this one short and sweet. It’s about breaking news from three of our favorite bands.


You’re looking at Item One: The just-released cover art for Amon Amarth‘s new album, Surtur Rising. Talk about a fucking metal album cover. The art is by Tom Thiel. The album will be released in North America on March 29, 2011 via Metal Blade Records.

The track listing for the album is out, too, and includes such juicy titles as “Destroyer of the Universe”, “Live Without Regrets”, “For Victory Or Death”, and my favorite: “A Beast Am I”. I’m expecting epic levels of epicness.

Did you know that Surtur was (is?) the leader of the fire giants of Muspelheim (“flame land”) and the oldest being in the nine worlds of Norse mythology? Oh, fuck me, sorry about that; I said I would keep this short. On to the next item (after the jump). Continue reading »

Jan 032011

Trendkill Recordings is an up-and-coming French record label that we discovered through its signing of Pristina — a U.S. band whose 2010 album The Drought (Ov Salt and Sorrow) we thought was awesome. (Read our review here.) Since then, we’ve discovered more of the bands in the Trendkill stable, and it’s a remarkably varied and remarkably good group of artists.

Recently, we got the chance to conduct an e-mail interview of Virgil Palazzolo, the founder and impresario of Trendkill Recordings and Trendkill Entertainment, and a musician in his own right. If you want a bit of insight into the mind of a dude responsible for signing a wide range of bands to recording contracts, distributing a diverse catalogue of albums, and organizing tours and shows in Europe — and who’s on the verge of opening a U.S. office in 2011 — then you ought to read what follows.

Our interview covered topics such as his perspectives on the music business in the Age of Download, what he looks for in potential Trendkill signings, his label’s plans for the new year, and new Trendkill releases on the horizon, among others. We thought it was a damned interesting conversation, and hope you will, too. So read on . . . after the jump. Continue reading »

Dec 192010

Finland Tribute Week took its toll on our exploration of new bands, or at least new bands from outside Finland. Our list of bands whose music we’re interested in checking out continued to grow while we were preoccupied with All Things Finnish, but we did nothing to reduce the list. So now we’re playing catch-up, beginning with today’s MISCELLANY post.

The rules of this game haven’t changed: I randomly pick names off our running list of bands who look interesting (for completely random reasons); I check out a song or two from the bands I pick, not knowing whether the music will be good, bad, or indifferent; and I write about what I heard — plus I let you hear the music, too, so you can make up your own minds. It’s like a pot-luck dinner, but with people you don’t know, who may or may not be good cooks.

Because I’m playing catch-up, I picked six bands off the MISCELLANY list and listened to them in this order: Weapon (Canada), Archspire (Canada), The Fevered (Australia), Unstable (NY), Seven Nines and Tens (Canada), and Bouq (Jordan). Yes, that makes this post almost as long as War and Peace. But by complete chance, it turns out that the music spans a very broad spectrum of metal, so I’m hoping all the following verbiage will prove to be worth your time.


I’ve admitted before that I’ve got the attention span of a hummingbird, and here’s more proof: Our MISCELLANY list is as long as my arm — so what did I do? I listened first to a band that I found out about just yesterday, instead of bands that have been lingering on the list for months. But being unable to concentrate for more than a few seconds does have its advantages, because this was a super-fine find — and I must thank NCS reader SurgicalBrute for the tip on this one. (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »