Mar 182020

Abysmal Dawn


Here we are again. with so many new songs and videos that I want to recommend that I’m resorting to what I did last weekend — compiling lots of sights and sounds (which are all over the map in genre terms), accompanied by only very brief comments of my own. I also added one news item that excited me, though there’s no music to be heard yet.

I should add that I hope you are all well, and that you’re doing your damnedest to physically stay away from other people to the greatest extent possible.


We begin with a jackhammering, shivering, and slithering piece of death metal menace, complete with thoroughly beastly vocals and twisted melodic accents and grooves that both prove to be ridiculously catchy. I could swear they actually used a heavy-caliber machibe gun instead of drums for parts of this, and that they tortured a poltergeist for the solos. Continue reading »

Jan 082016

Joseph Mallord William Turner-Death On A Pale Horse-c1825-30


(TheMadIsraeli prepared this round-up of music from yesteryear that’s been keeping him company lately.)

The scarcity of my writing last year stemmed partially from a desire to go back and listen to shit I liked or loved from past years, whatever it was, and fuck being musically relevant. This is something I hadn’t done in a long time, and I have to admit that doing this just about saved me from burning out on music altogether. This music blogging thing, it can become genuinely tiresome in the race to try and keep up with what’s worth noting. Listening to albums that may or may not be worth the time you just spent listening to them, to find out whether they are or not, can take a lot out of you sometimes.

I decided it’d be cool to write a piece here and there where I give some commentary on those older albums I’ve listening to, hence the title “Irrelevant Listening”. Maybe this could be a monthly thing, but as much as I intend to get back on the horse in regards to everything else, I’d hate to try and schedule this in any way. However, I have been noticing a pattern where I tend to change my “irrelevant listening” playlist every month or so.

So here are the records that had my attention this past December. Continue reading »

Jun 102015


(Austin Weber has stepped up for round-up duties today, with a collection of new music and videos from 11 bands.)

Seeing as Islander is once again away in a work-related hell setting, I figured I’d step in again and keep our readers up to date with several newly released jams as well as newly released albums from a variety of bands.

Unfortunately, however, I’m low on spare time, as you may or may not have noticed from my recent absence from posting here at the site these last few weeks. So, I’m going to try something new and say nary a word about the songs/albums posted below — much as that fucking pains me to do! Not because I don’t feel strongly about each and every one of them, but simply because it’s almost 6 AM here, I haven’t gone to bed, and need to be up again in 4 hours. Thankfully, you came here for the music more than anything I would hope.

Without further ado… Continue reading »

Sep 042013

(Andy Synn delivers this review of the second day at the recently completed Summer Breeze festival in Germany, and again provides video of the performances. To see his review of the festival’s first day, go here. We’ll have Part 3 of his review tomorrow.)

Day 2 of the festival kicked off (for me at least) with some pure blackened misanthropy courtesy of France’s Merrimack who proceeded to shake the cobwebs out of everyone’s brains with an esoteric take on panzerfaust black metal blasting that recalls Deathspell Omega in places (though considerably more focussed and violent).

The band’s frontman Vestal was a particularly difficult figure to look away from, screeching his savage hymns of depravity whilst physically flagellating himself with both his mic and his bare fists. Combine this with the band’s relentless delivery – all jagged edges and harsh, ecliptic angles, and you get one singularly uncomfortable, yet incredibly compelling, live experience. Continue reading »

Jul 172013

Rumors of this tour have been circulating, but now it’s official: Lamb of God, Killswitch Engage, Testament, and Huntress will be joining forces in a North American tour that begins in October and will hit 28 cities before it ends right after Thanksgiving. Tickets go on sale this Friday.

Check out all the tour dates after the jump. Continue reading »

May 162013

John Hyduk (photo by Andrew Spear)

I love to read good writing. The subject matter doesn’t even matter much. When the writing is lively and evocative, when it has style and flair, the prose is its own reward.

Unfortunately, I don’t read as much as I used to back before I began messing with this blog. But yesterday I read two things that were really good; part of why they’re good is that both writers use short, punchy sentences and phrases. They have a cadence, like a drum beat. I try to remember this lesson in my own writing, but for some perverse reason I continually forget it. What made both essays even more striking is that the authors — John Hyduk and Randy Blythe — aren’t people whose main occupation is writing.

One of the pieces is hilarious. The other is powerfully moving. The first one has nothing to do with metal, the other is very much about metal. I’m putting both of the articles right in this post.

I think I’ll start with the funny piece first. A fellow sufferer in the decade-long woe of the Seattle Mariners baseball team sent me the link. You’ll probably understand why if you read it (misery loves company). The author is a man named John Hyduk. As you’ll see, he works the graveyard shift for a beverage distributor outside Cleveland, Ohio. In his words, he’s “a yard monkey, climbing around inside semitrailers in the dark with a flashlight, checking pallet tickets against the product loaded, matching invoices . . . making the world safe for carbonated refreshment.” He writes as a hobby, or maybe he actually collects some extra money in doing so, I don’t know. He’s good enough that one of his essays got him nominated for a 2012 National Magazine Award.

Continue reading »

Jul 262012

I guess this could be predicted, but I was hoping against hope that it wouldn’t happen: Gojira’s North American tour with Lamb of God and Dethklok that was scheduled to begin right here in the Emerald City on August 1 has been canceled. I just saw this morbid news on Heavy Blog Is Heavy, and “borrowed” their modification of the tour poster as well. HBIH also included the following statements by Lamb of God and Dethklok:


“Due to the continued incarceration of LAMB OF GOD singer Randy Blythe in the Czech Republic, the band’s co-headline tour with Dethklok scheduled to begin August 1st in Seattle is being cancelled.  The band regrets the decision but the uncertainty of Randy’s release makes it impossible to carry on with the tour.  Upon Randy’s release, it is the band’s intention to rebook a tour in the fall and at this time the band fully intends to participate in the Mayhem Cruise in December.

LAMB OF GOD wishes to thank Dethklok, Adult Swim and Gojira for their support and patience as well as all of the promoters who had dates on the tour.  Last but certainly not least, the band thanks all of the fans who bought tickets for the tour and who have been supportive of Randy and the band over the last month that Randy has been held in Prague.  Without the fans, there is no LAMB OF GOD.”


“In light of circumstances beyond our control, the upcoming Dethklok and Lamb of God with Gojira summer tour has been canceled. Refunds will be available to customers who already purchased tickets through their point of purchase. We thank Dethklok fans for their continued support and look forward to releasing information about the band’s upcoming third album and a planned fall tour in the coming weeks.”

Okay, fine, so maybe LoG will organize a new tour whenever Randy Blythe is allowed to leave the Czech Republic and maybe Dethklok will find another way to hit the road soon, but honestly, what I really want to know is what Gojira are going to do. Continue reading »

Jul 132012

We’re one of the few metal blogs on the web who have devoted no space at all to the criminal charges that Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe is facing in the Czech Republic. There are various reasons for that, but one of them is that we didn’t want to join the ranks of many whose writing on the subject has generated more heat than light, preferring instead to wait until a time when we might be able to contribute some meaningful insight into the problems that Blythe is currently experiencing.

Today is that day. Today, we have a guest post by a British criminal attorney, Clare Paget, who is one of the best minds at the law firm of Hanne & Co, in London, UK. She provides some actual trained legal insight into the situation. And for that, we owe thanks to one of our favorite UK extreme metal band’s, Prosthetic recording artist Dragged Into Sunlight, who put us in touch with Ms. Paget.

As you probably know, Randy Blythe was arrested on June 28 upon landing in Prague and was charged with what is being described as the offense of manslaughter under Czech law for allegedly causing the death of a fan named Daniel Nosek at a Lamb of God show in the country on May 24, 2010. At the time of this writing, Blythe remains in a Prague jail because the Czech prosecutor has filed an objection to his release on $200,000 bail.

Ms. Paget has experience with this type of case under British law, including obtaining the acquittal of a defendant in a high profile manslaughter case in 2011. Of course, because the charges against Blythe are based on conduct committed in the Czech Republic, the Czech criminal code will be applied to determine whether he committed an offense. Nevertheless, based on our research (which includes a review of this translation of the Czech criminal code and this summary and analysis of that code), it appears that there are relevant similarities between the Czech and British legal principles applicable to this type of criminal charge, as Ms. Paget describes them.

After the jump, Ms. Paget offers a concise analysis of the case based on her own experience in defending against manslaughter charges in the UK.  Continue reading »

Feb 272012

(DemiGodRaven reviews the new album by Lamb of God.)

I know this is probably the case for quite a few people, but Lamb of God were one of the groups responsible for getting me into really heavy music. I had always enjoyed heavy metal in general, but I was one of those people who didn’t like screaming. Then I listened to New American Gospel at a friend’s house and for some reason just loved it, despite the horrendous drum production on that disc. After that, all bets were off, and I basically descended into the troll cave from which I write now.

Lamb Of God have always been just crushingly consistent. Ever since Ashes Of The Wake, they haven’t really felt the need to make a massive shift in sound and instead have iterated upon it in the same way I imagine artists will continually add more and more detail to their sculptures despite already being confident about where they are in their work. Sometimes this works really well. I thought Sacrament was a great release and listened to that disc so much that I can’t listen to it anymore. I acknowledge that it is an excellent CD, but I spun that thing into the fucking ground. The reception which greeted that one was always really weird. I always got the sense that the band didn’t really enjoy it and felt like it was more of a lateral jump from Ashes Of The Wake than a move forward.

Wrath was supposed to be a tremendously huge release for them, but it didn’t quite click for me. It was the first time I had ever thought, “Yep, this is just another Lamb Of God disc”. Nothing really stuck for me. Strangely, I found the bonus tracks, “Shoulder Of Your God” and “Condemning The Hive”, to be the best things they accomplished.

Then there was the in between “Hit The Wall”, which came out for the Iron Man 2 video game, and while the game itself was fucking garbage, the song was a pretty good tease as to where Lamb Of God might be looking for the future. Continue reading »

Jan 262012

(DemiGodRaven helps catch us up on metal news.)

Hey folks, I’ve planted my ass in the underworld for a brief period of time in order to round up all the smaller (and maybe not so small) news stories that may have fallen through the cracks in one way or another. Some of them are simple things like album streams, others are album teasers, there’s some tour news, and hey, occasionally you’ll even get a free song or two, ya hear? Also, if you aren’t reading this in a 50’s news reporters voice after seeing the picture of the hat above YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG. First up is a pretty simple album stream, and then we’ll go on from there.

Lamb of God’s latest album Resolution saw release recently, and so they decided to run a full album stream over at AOL Music to give people a chance to get in a good listen before they decide whether to buy or not. I’ve enjoyed this release much more than Wrath, but it is still largely iterative on the sound that they started building in Sacrament.

It’s a good listen all the way through, but I can imagine it would be pretty dull if you picked a random song instead of the five or six really great ones. In other words, this is not an album built for Ipod shuffle like Amon Amarth’s stuff usually is (for example), so you’ll have to be in a really Lamb of God mood in order to really get into this one.

Also, they used the shotgun blast sample again. The same one they used on Sacrament. I was just waiting for the GOD-DAMN before it. Full review incoming soon. In the meantime, while you wait for me to validate your opinion and tell you how awesome of a metal listener you are, you can stream that fucker over here. Continue reading »