Sep 042013

Yesterday I posted our final article of the day at about 1:30 pm EDT and then turned my attention for the rest of the day to what I actually get paid to do. While I wasn’t looking, someone re-opened Pandora’s box and a horde of red-eyed bat-winged things flew out in a blizzard of leathery wings and ammoniac guano. Yeah, baby, a veritable flood of nasty shit — so many noteworthy news items and new songs that to fit all of them in this post will require that I wire my jaws shut and mumble only a few words per item. Here . . . we . . . GO!


It started with dates in Hollywood and NYC and predictably has now mushroomed into a full U.S. tour. Well, at least 16 cities in the fullness of the U.S., which do not include all the wonderful cities in the Pacific Northwest or 36 other states. But fear not, others may yet get to see Gojira (!!!), the aging remnants of Slayer, and Melbourne’s 4ARM, because more dates will be announced later. Here are the ones announced yesterday:

25 The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, NV
28 Hollywood Palladium, Hollywood, CA
30 Events Center @ San Jose State, San Jose, CA Continue reading »

Sep 032013

Here’s a bit of tour news that put a smile on my face: This morning Scion A/V announced that High On Fire will be touring North America beginning November 10 with direct support on all dates from Norway’s Kvelertak.

In addition, Doomriders (Nov. 10 to 23), Pack of Wolves (Nov. 27), and Windhand (Nov. 29 to Dec. 12) will be opening for those two bands on different legs of the tour.

But that’s not all. As part of this Scion A/V-sponsored tour, High On Fire will be releasing a new single entitled “Slave The Hive” on October 16. According to the press release we received, the song will be available on the tour as a limited edition 7-inch, and a video of the song will be released simultaneously.

The current schedule of dates is after the jump; apparently, more dates will be announced next week. I am highly pleased to see that Seattle is on the list. I know you will be happy for me, and thank you for that. Continue reading »

Apr 272013

Here are some things I saw and heard over the last 24 hours that gave me a lift.  Mayhaps they will lift you, too.


I liked Kvelertak’s first album, but I haven’t heard the new one, Meir. But Badwolf has, and he raved about it: “[T]hey throw parties to which their music is the soundtrack, and I cannot think of better party music”. Yesterday they premiered a video on various web sites for one of those new songs, “Kvelertak”, and today it went up on YouTube.  It’s an interesting name for a song.  In a subtle way it reminds me of the name of the band. It also reminds me of why I like rock music, because it fuckin’ rocks balls.

The video is also really good. Director Stian Andersen traipsed along with the band for a handful of shows on their recent tour of Europe, and he and his crew filmed parts of the ones in London, Cologne, Paris, and Oslo, plus some off-stage stuff, too (eg, shower scenes). And then he edited all that footage beautifully. Asses will be kicked by this; mine is black and blue. Watch it: Continue reading »

Apr 242013

(Our man BadWolf reviews the new album by Norway’s Kvelertak.)

Spring ’13 brought with it a bumper-crop of highly-anticipated follow-ups to albums I loved in 2010, and perhaps not one of those records came with higher expectations than Kvelertak’s Meir, the followup to their self-titled debut.

If you missed the boat, Kvelertak’s bizarre and infectious mix of black metal, hardcore punk, and classic rock blew through the internet, and later the international tour circuit, like a storm, complete with professional endorsements from respected musicians like Baroness mastermind John Dyer Baizley (who painted the covers to both their debut and Meir) and Converge guitarist/master-producer Kurt Ballou (who produced both records).

Let’s put this in perspective: Four years ago this band was a bunch of nobodies, and in 2013 they opened for Kiss in Norway. Kvelertak played support to Torche and Converge in the autumn of 2012 and are about to embark on a US headlining tour, playing after The Cancer Bats, a more senior band. Meir, a record sung in Norwegian, got love from mainstream blogs like Stereogum, and was released by Roadrunner who, lest we forget, puts out Nickelback records

As far as I’m concerned they deserve every ounce of praise and success they’ve received. Continue reading »

Feb 272013

As previously reported, your humble editor’s blog time is being squeezed mercilessly by the old fuckin’ day job. There is no relief in sight yet. The consequence is that I can’t spend as much time as usual checking out new music and news. But I did make a quick survey of my typical sources last night and saw and heard many things of interest. Details about 3 new tours and 2 cool live videos are in this post, and I’ll have more goodies in a second one later today.


In Tourism news I saw the following report on Metal Injection: The Death To All tour, which pays tribute to the late Chuck Shuldiner is returning for another run in 2013. The tour had its first run last year and featured an all-star lineup of former members of Death, “but was later plagued with drama surrounding the financials of the event, with some musicians not getting paid by one of the promoters.”

Unlike last year, the 2013 tour will feature one line-up, the Humanera lineup consisting of guitarist Paul Masvidal, bassist Steve DiGiorgio, and drummer Sean Reinert. In addition, Metal Sucks is reporting that Max Phelps, Masvidal and Reinert’s bandmate in the most recent line-up of Cynic, will be providing the vocals. The tour will focus on Human, and the three Death albums that came before it, Scream Bloody Gore, Leprosy, and Spiritual Healing. Hell yes. Continue reading »

Jan 222013

Norway’s Kvelertak have a new album (Meir) coming in 2013 via Sony Music. Last fall they performed one of the new songs, “Bruane Brenn”, for the first time at a live show in Oslo. This past weekend it appeared on Spotify and as of yesterday it’s also now available as a download via iTunes in Scandinavia, accompanied by Seldon Hunt artwork, though it won’t become available on other iTunes sites worldwide until January 28.

You may once again scratch your heads over the logic of record labels in making staggered releases of music in the modern digital age. Something appears in Country X, and in no time at all it appears on YouTube everywhere else. And then we often see the game of YouTube Whack-A-Mole in which the labels demand that YouTube take down the leaks, only to see them surface again.

And so, “Bruane Brenn” is now on YouTube, and after the jump we’ll have that song clip for however long the particular link we found may exist, along with video of that live performance in Oslo (which is pretty fuckin’ cool in its own right).

Oh my, is this a catchy motherfucker of a flailing, upbeat punk rock romp, with juicy guitar chords, a hook-y chorus, a blend of scarred and clean vox, and a sweet, slowed-down guitar solo. This is more a road-burning, sing-along rocker than anything infected by the black metal virus that seeped into songs from the band’s debut album. Very nice way to start this Tuesday. Continue reading »

Aug 292012

The new album by Norway’s EnslavedRIITIIR, comes out Sept. 28 in Europe and Oct. 9 in North America on Nuclear Blast. It’s already available for pre-order in a variety of bundles at this location. The deluxe digi-pak edition comes with a bonus DVD that includes segments on the making of RIITIIR, the band, the recording studios, and the artwork. But the coolest looking bundle is the one with the bone-and-charcoal-splatter double-LP gatefold, which is limited to 1,000 copies.

About three weeks ago NPR debuted a long new song from  RIITIIR called “Thoughts Like Hammers”. Now the band have debuted a lyric video for the song, which you can watch after the jump. The song is such a trip. It’s part stoner metal, part indie rock, part prog, and the whole package is wrapped up in a blackened skin. It’s also an exception to the rule around here, because it includes clean vocals as well as scalding rasps, but man, the clean vocals are really good.

I usually find lyric videos to be distracting and annoying. Most of the time I’d rather just hear the music. But at least the words to “Thoughts Like Hammers” aren’t ridiculous. To the contrary, they’re interesting. So yes, I think the video is worth seeing, especially if you haven’t yet heard this song.

But the “Thoughts Like Hammers” video isn’t the only goodie from Norway we’ve got in this post. Last night I also watched a professionally filmed and edited video of Kvelertak’s live performance at the AREA4 festival in Germany on August 18. It’s about 22 minutes long, and I ate up every minute. To be fair, I’m already a Kvelertak fan, but I have a feeling that even people who haven’t yet gotten into their recorded music will rock out to this jam. Continue reading »

Aug 202012

Here are two new tours that metallic denizens of the U.S. and Canada should know about, both of which were announced today. One is co-headlined by Napalm Death and one by Converge. And what a nice coincidence that is, since not long ago we got a Napalm Death / Converge split release, from which we’ll play some music after coughing up the tour details . . . Also, both tours are stopping in Seattle, which makes me all smiley.


This tour is actually billed as a co-headline gig by Municipal Waste along with Napalm Death. I decided to put only Napalm Death in the headline mainly because it fit better with the recent release of that split. Exhumed is also along for the ride as direct support, which makes this tour even more awesome. But that’s not all! Depending on the dates, one of the following four bands will also be performing:

Sci-fi Arizona thrashers Vektor, Canadian punk band Dayglo Abortions, Bay Area crossover band Attitude Adjustment, and Colorado speed thrashers Speedwolf.

But wait, there’s still more!

Again depending on the locations, fans will also get to see guest sets from U.S. grindcore bastards Repulsion, Chicago punks Dwarves, and Seattle’s Martha Splatterhead’s Revenge. Continue reading »

Jun 252012

To start this Monday off in style, we have two videos, one new and one that has become new again because it won a prize. And starting off a Monday in fine style is always a good goal, because I ain’t feelin’ too fuckin’ stylin’ on a Monday, and any kind of Monday style is a big goddamn plus, don’t you think?


This French band’s last song and video jumped me up like an electrode in the bunghole. Not that I would know what that feels like, mind you, but it seems like a fitting metaphor. Magoa’s “Animal” video is one of the best of the year, and if you haven’t seen it yet, by all means please go visit our earlier post about it. But as of yesterday, Magoa have a new song + video that is a bunghole insertion with extra voltage.

If there’s another modern band doing old-school groove metal with as much punch as Magoa, then I really want to hear about it. Their new song, “Enemy”, is like a brigade of machinists punching rivets through the steel girders of your thick skull. It really is the archetypal convulsive headbanger, a cleverly calculated formula for making people go into paroxysms of spastic neck-snapping.

And if that weren’t enough, it includes a hooky chorus and an old-school breakdown — by which I mean a breakdown that isn’t announced by a big fucking bass drop and one or two atonal chords. The production is just about perfect for this kind of metal — powerful, cathartic, and man, when the double bass comes alive, you’ll want to ram your head into the nearest wall. Even better, the song is a free download. Continue reading »

Jun 082012

Norway’s Purified In Blood have a new album via Indie Recordings called Flight Of A Dying Sun due for release on June 11 in Norway, June 15 in the rest of Europe, and some other day in North America. The album’s eye-catching cover art (above) was created by Jondix Mahashakti. Here are a few more intriguing details about the album:

It features guest appearances by Glenn Reaper (the band’s second singer who otherwise wasn’t involved in the recording of this album) on a power anthem called “Iron Hands” and Erlend Hjelvik (Kvelertak) on a song called “Mot Grav”. It also includes performances by a guest saxophonist, a guest organist, a guest on double bass, and a guest Siberian throat singer.

Today the band released an official video for that “Mot Grav” song, and Erlend Hjelvik is in it, along with worms, skulls, chains, falling water, and some sketchy looking activities. Along with all that, the video further includes chunky, viral riffs — the kind that will get your headbang on. There’s one thing missing from the video — clean singing. There’s just the kind of vocals that you could use in lieu of a sandblaster if you had a big paint-stripping job ahead of you.

Neck-snapping follows the jump, along with artwork for the “Mot Grav” single.
Continue reading »