Apr 112016

Shadow Woods Metal Festival 2016


As we begin the new week, I have some unfortunate news (at least it’s unfortunate for me). Beginning today and continuing through Thursday morning, I have to bury myself in my fucking day job for one of those day-and-night projects that periodically descends upon me. I’ll make time to post what other writers have sent me, as well as a few premieres I’ve agreed to do, but aside from this round-up and one “Short But Sweet” review I wrote over the weekend, I will be missing in action until sometime Thursday.

Before saying good-bye, I’ve collected a few items that I wanted to share — including, at the end of this post, streams of ten recent videos without commentary (because I’ve run out of time for commentary).


I’m late sharing this news, but the news is so exciting that I’m following the “better late than never” mantra. Last year’s Shadow Woods Metal Festival was a marvelous event by all accounts — including this account by our guest Captain Karbon. As I reported in February, organizer Mary Spiro and her team (who are joined by Baltimore’s Grimoire Records as co-producers this year) have been planning the second installment of this open-air camping metal party, which will run for three days in central Maryland: from Thursday, September 15th through Sunday, September 18th at Camp Hidden Valley, in White Hall, Maryland. They’ve been announcing performers since January, and now the complete line-up has been revealed — and it’s an eye-popper: Continue reading »

Nov 052012

I just wrote that post title in order to get your attention. I can’t really make you pick one. You could pick both, or neither. Actually, I could make you pick, because I know about that thing you did over the weekend that left a trace on your computer, but I’m not a bad guy, so you get a pass.

But here’s the choice:


Hatebreed have recorded a new studio album, The Divinity Of Purpose, which is now scheduled for release by Razor & Tie on January 29, 2013, in North America and on January 25 in Europe. Of course, it comes out earlier in Europe because Hatebreed are a European band. I’m sorry, what did you say? They’re not a European band? Well then, what the fuck is up with those release dates? I think maybe you need to double-check your facts.

In addition to announcing the release info, Hatebreed also revealed the album’s cover art (above), which was created by one of my favorite artists, Eliran Kantor. I’d like to study this artwork without the Hatebreed logo, and I’m curious about how it relates to the lyrical content of the album, particularly in light of the album’s title.

But I have to say that otherwise I’m having kind of a meh feeling about this news. When Hatebreed were a relatively new band, I thought they were hot shit. I’ve cooled considerably on them since then. Should I be getting more excited about this?  Are you?

Next choice: Continue reading »

Oct 022012

(In this post DGR reviews the Sacramento show of the current Hatebreed-Whitechapel-All Shall Perish tour on September 27.)

Here’s the thing about a show like this. I know that I am not the hugest fan of the hardcore scene and I’ll be the first to admit that I was really only there to see All Shall Perish and Whitechapel (for the 2nd and 3rd times, respectively), and if Deez Nuts turned out to be great, fine. If Hatebreed were awesome, then that would be great, too. However, I found myself a little more excited when it finally hit me that this was what they were calling the Ten Years Of Perseverance tour and that Hatebreed would be playing pretty much all of that disc front to back, with some of their other songs interspersed throughout. Now, if you’re going to go see Hatebreed it may as well be during this tour because man, Perseverance is kind of THE Hatebreed album and everything after that was more for fans.

I managed to get some good parking and they already had the doors open, which was a little odd since the flyer said 6:30 doors, 7:00 start time. Little did I know that they would actually start the show about half an hour early and end it really early and pack a ton of music in between. Seriously, I got home at 10:44, which is nuts. I usually don’t expect to get home from one of these until 11:30-ish. Also, I bumped into the folks from RockHardLive, one of the local video companies, so any footage comes from them. You should check them out and follow their YouTube channel, because they do some damn good concert footage from around this area. Continue reading »

Aug 282012

(Our NCS comrade Andy Synn has recently been making me green with envy by attending summer metal festivals on the other side of the Atlantic, which for me might as well be on the other side of the solar system.  However, gentleman and scholar that he is, he didn’t just go and have a ridiculously good time. He also sent back this review of his jaunt to the UK’s BLOODSTOCK festival on August 10-12, 2012. We’re dividing it into two parts, with Part 2 coming up tomorrow [now posted here].)

Ah, Bloodstock. Always an interesting festival, caught between its early power/trad-metal roots and its steady expansion into a more rounded, extreme/non-mainstream metal festival. This year’s line-up was pretty enticing, but circumstances and finances looked set to prevent my attendance. But fate and serendipity stepped in (thank you Sahil!) and on Friday 10th of August I found myself once more pulling into the festival’s parking lot, with a song in my heart and a shiny guest wristband on my arm.



Carefully timing my arrival to coincide with that of Moonsorrow, I wasn’t disappointed, the band utterly on fire, despite the occasionally washed out sound. It helps that the set-list comprised some of my favourite Moonsorrow tracks, I’ll admit that, but the performance itself was brilliant either way. The only downside is that, due to the length of their material, it always seems like too few songs

Sepultura put on a damn good show, their new drummer certainly doing his best to live up to Igor Cavalera’s enviable legacy, while the triptych of Derrick, Paulo, and Andreas showed again and again why they stuck with the name – they just do it all better. The new material sounded great live, while the quartet give the old stuff, including a brace of Beneath The Remains-era material, new life and vigour. Props as well for the welcome, but unexpected, guest slot from Tim “Ripper” Owens on “Territory”.

Dio Disciples were, in many ways, something of a curiosity for the festival. Essentially Dio’s band with a different singer (and a few guests), it’s hard to judge them on merit alone, as their appearance was due to far more than just an ability to play the songs well. This was a tribute to one of the genre’s legendary figures, and while it would be churlish to say it was simply a well-received cover set (the downright dedication to this band’s slot bordered on the fanatical), one can’t help but be moved by this show of respect, and by being reminded of the sheer quality of the material on display. Continue reading »

Aug 042011

(Israel Flanders reviews Jamey Jasta’s new, self-titled solo album. He is expecting some disagreement.)

Ok, so Islander posted a song from this album recently and people didn’t care for it that much. I suspect that many of those opinions were simply pre-conceptions brought on by Jasta’s infamous brocore outfit Hatebreed. Yes, Hatebreed are the bro-est of bros, if there is such a thing as an epitomizing band, but it is unfair to apply it to Jasta in this case. This is really good music that deserves a shot.

So what does Jasta as an album have to offer? This album, according to the man himself, is an amalgamation of all of his musical influences. He plays everything, and wrote everything. Jasta’s preferences seem to cater toward thrash metal, old school hardcore, a taste for some slight metalcore sensibilities, and a little bit of that Crowbar southern sludge weight.

The album opens with “Walk That Path Alone”, a totally old-school throwback hardcore song with a catchy breakdown at the end that doesn’t bore me to tears. The next three songs “Mourn The Illusion”, “Screams From The Sanctuary”, and “Nothing They Say” demonstrate Jasta’s more metalcore leanings. We get to hear for the first time that the man is actually good at clean singing. I know, sounds impossible right? It isn’t. (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »