Nov 302015


(Wil Cifer penned these reviews of three November shows in Atlanta, Georgia.)

Here’s a snapshot of metal onstage and in the flesh. Over the course of the past week I caught three different metal shows at three different venues with the genres spanning from industrial to thrash to black metal.

The first of these was almost on the periphery of what most might consider metal when Author & Punisher played The Earl, a hipster dive bar with a venue in the back.

We arrived just in time to catch the Portland duo Muscle and Marrow. Never really gave their last studio album The Human Cry the time to immerse myself in it, but their live show changed the way I think of them. There are metal elements to what they do, but I would not call them a metal band. Even then, of the three shows, I would say they were the most emotionally heavy band of the week. This was channeled in a very honest physical manner. Singer/ guitarist Kira Clark’s voice goes from an almost black-metal-like scathing scream to a vulnerable soprano. The duo implemented samples and layers of vocals triggered from a laptop off stage, but in comparison to Author & Punisher they were very organic. Continue reading »

Jul 312015


(Wil Cifer attended part of the Rockstar Mayhem Festival stop in Atlanta on July 29, 2015, and has a few thoughts about what he witnessed.)

There is no news like bad news, and the inner webs are quick to let you know it. So it’s no secret that this year’s Mayhem Festival has been getting more than its fair share of anti-hype. Kerry King spoke out against the lineup, saying “you need talent to make people feel like spending that much money”. I’m not sure if that was a self-deprecating stab at his own band or he really feels like going out with some bands the high school kids seem to love is mandatory career suicide.

The Mayhem Fest co-founder has gone on record saying the metal genre is in trouble because there are not many younger bands that have headlining power and blames the older bands for not taking less money, like punk rock bands, in order to benefit the scene. So I was curious when I checked the tour out myself. Continue reading »

Jun 232014

I’m posting this news as a public service, because… see the name of this site. Though I may not be a diehard King Diamond fan, I know many of you are, and so here’s today’s big announcement:

King Diamond has confirmed what has been rumored for several weeks: the band will return to North America for a full tour this Fall! The tour will wrap up with the previously announced performance at Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin, TX, and begins on October 11 in Atlanta, GA. A limited edition King Diamond jacket will be available through the fan club presale, which begins tomorrow, June 24th. Tickets will be on sale online and at box offices nationwide on Friday, June 27th.

“King Diamond will be joined on stage, of course, by long time band members Andy LaRocque, Mike Weed, Hal Pacino, and Matt Thompson. Additionally, North American fans will be bearing witness to the band’s full European festival stage show. These will be the most ambitious and largest productions in North America in the band’s entire history. A special guest supporting act for the tour will be announced at a later date.”

Here’s the full listing of dates and places: Continue reading »

Jul 222012

Back in June I saw the news that Screaming Records was going to release a limited 7″ vinyl single by Sweden’s legendary Entombed. I’ve been waiting hungrily since then for the music to hit the web, and yesterday some of it did.

This new single is called When In Sodom Revisited and it includes three songs: a remixed and remastered version of the original “When In Sodom” track, which originally appeared on the band’s 2006 EP by the same name; an alternate version of the song composed, performed, and recorded by a Danish artist and sound designer named Klaus “Q” Hedegaard Nielsen (Beta Satan, The Malpractice), and a new studio recording by Entombed of the King Diamond song “Welcome Home”.

This single is the second Entombed release for 2012, the first being a digital release of a variant version of the song “Amok”, which we previously featured here. The recording of “Welcome Home”, however, is the first release by the current Entombed lineup — with Victor Brandt (TOTALT JÄVLA MÖRKERAEONSATYRICON) and second guitarist Nico Elgstrand (who previously played bass for the group) joining L-G Petrov, Alex Hellid, and Olle Dahlstedt.

For those of you who remember the post we ran on the 20th anniversary of King Diamond’s Abigail album (here), it will come as no surprise to learn that I prefer this Entombed cover to the original — mainly because I’ll take L-G’s vocals over King’s. The cover is a cool song. Continue reading »

Jun 152012

How do I know this is the 25th anniversary of King Diamond’s Abigail album? Because our brother in blog Full Metal Attorney has devoted a post to the anniversary on his site today (here). I would add that today is also the first birthday of his twin children, who someday will realize that their old man is way cooler than the daddies of most of their friends.

FMA’s post about this album makes me feel even more ignorant than I normally feel, which is saying something since NormallyIgnorant is one of my middle names. I feel more than normally ignorant because, despite the fact that FMA calls Abigail “one of the most beloved metal albums of all time”, I’ve never heard it. In fact, I’ve never heard any King Diamond album, though I’ve heard scattered songs here and there. Maybe I listened to the wrong scattered songs, because they never sent me into a rush to discover more of the band’s music, and that’s been true despite the iconic status of Mercyful Fate.

According to FMA, Abigail “has some of the best songwriting and performances of any metal record, ever, by everyone involved. And a creepy horror story to go along with it.” With praise like that, I felt compelled to check out two of the songs from Abigail to which FMA devoted particular praise — “The 7th Day of July 1777” and the title track.

I must say, the acoustic + synth intro to “1777” was very cool, as was the riffing that followed it . . . and then I remembered why I never dived deeper into the music: THAT VOICE!! Continue reading »

Nov 042011

In our continuing attempt to make Halloween last all week, I’ve randomly picked four more Halloween-appropriate metal songs from the slew of suggestions we got via this post on Halloween Day.

First, we have “Evil Dead” from Death. As SurgicalBrute said when he suggested this one, how could this not make the cut (though “Zombie Ritual” would have been a fine choice, too)? Then I picked a live video of King Diamond performing “Come to the Sabbath”. Tikan’s actual suggestion was the “classic” Mercyful Fate rendition of the song, but this video is so full of cheese (and boobs) that I couldn’t resist it. After that, we’ve got some horrorpunk (thanks to Trollfiend) from a German band called The Crimson Ghosts; this video is pretty cool.

And finally, with thanks to .jh, we’ve got The Coffinshakers and their odd brand of goth country. Not metal, but definitely Halloweenie.

Lots of clean singing in this collection, but I’m holding my nose and doing it anyway — after the jump. Continue reading »