Apr 122014

This has been one of those weeks where my blog time was severely constricted by both personal and job-related demands. You might have guessed that, based on the complete absence of any “seen and heard” posts since Monday. I didn’t have time to do much more than quickly scan through the interhole each day looking for new song and video premieres and make lists of what I’d like to hear and see when time would permit. This morning, I finally crawled through that list, and found a shitload of new things I really liked.

Because I’m behind, and because I don’t want to fall further behind, I’m taking the wimp’s way out in this post. I’m just going to stitch together a bunch of recommended song and video streams (11 of them) with almost no commentary. It’s a stream dump, and I will bet money you’ll find something to like, almost regardless of your tastes. It’s spring, and metal is in bloom.

Salted within this list are a couple of news items that perked my interest, even though there’s nothing available to hear… yet.

I present this box of chocolates in alphabetical order. There will be another similar collection either later today or tomorrow. Tell me what you like. Leave comments! Continue reading »

May 222013

(DGR bears witness to the May 18 performances in Sacramento of The Dillinger Escape Plan, The Faceless, Royal Thunder, and Journal.)

It’s been a bit of an odd concert season so far this year. I heaped tons of praise on the Sacramento music scene last year because it seemed like there was show after show, after show, hitting within the span of a few months, to the point that between seeing local bands and bigger acts I actually wound up doing something like seven shows in one month – which was fucking awesome. This year though, work has overtaken a lot of what I’ve been up to. The year has just devolved into an endless stream of overnighters on the job, which have insured that in the span of five months….I’ve seen a whopping three concerts.

This one in particular was very exciting because it meant I’d get to see The Dillinger Escape Plan again. I’d seen them once before with Mastodon, which was a very weird experience. That time it seemed like a lot of people were there because they wanted to hear that one song that Mastodon had on the radio, so something like Dillinger was going to sail right over folks’ heads. This time though, you had a crowd who really wanted to see them and were enthusiastic as hell about it — and no band can create a feedback loop of energy quite like Dillinger can.

Of course, there were other groups on the bill, and whilst I had no idea what I was in for with Royal Thunder outside of the basic description from their Facebook, I did want to see Journal (again) and The Faceless for the first time on this end. Continue reading »

May 132013

(BadWolf reviews the new album from The Dillinger Escape Plan.) 

Originality is The Dillinger Escape Plan’s stock-and-trade. Their blend of atonal mathcore and pop hooks still stands out a decade after they first perfected it, despite the run of knockoff bands. However unique their style remains, they’ve done fairly little to change the formula since their sophomore record, 2004’s Miss Machine. The two albums since more-or-less re-tread that amazing album’s ground, albeit with a few different experiments here and there. And every record since has been incrementally less brilliant. Until now.

2013’s One of Us Is the Killer is another stab at that classic album’s formula, but it comes closest to catching that record’s spark. While Dillinger always produce excellent records, they progress more like books of Bukowski poems than novels—by that I mean they’re often best digested a few random songs at a time. (I wonder how much time DEP spend on track-listing their albums.) And of course, as is often the case with experimental music, some songs work better as stand-alone pieces, and some don’t work at all.

Each song works on One of Us Is the Killer. It dials down the bullshit: only one laptop interlude a la Ire Works, and no six-plus-minute trudges—I expected the album to tack toward radio play after DEP signed to Sumerian Records, who seem more interested in pimping Asking Alexandria than making good metal these days, but I found myself pleasantly surprised. The record sounds more savage than Miss Machine by a hair’s breadth. Continue reading »

Apr 232013

I’m going to pretend I’ve never heard of The Dillinger Escape Plan. I’m going to imagine that I have no idea what their music is like. I’m going to forget that I’ve heard “Prancer” from their new album and develop temporary amnesia about the fact that they convincingly lose their minds on stage, just as they often do in the studio. I’m just going to watch this brand new DEP video for a song called “When I Lost My Bet” and react to it with no preconceptions. I know I can do this. Here we go:


The music is totally off the chain — bursts of grind-like freakazoidica, explosions of spastic riffing and un-strung rhythms, vein-bursting yells, fast and slow, loud and soft, insane and . . . insane.

And the visuals? Thoroughly surreal — umbilicals that go where they don’t go in nature, walls with mouths, feathers and blood, faceless heads, dust and dirt, and too many other things to even comprehend on a single viewing. Mitch Massie directed this video, and you can’t not watch it once it starts. So, brace yourselves . . . and watch it! Continue reading »

Feb 182013

Today and the next few days are pretty jammed with the work that pays the bills, but I just took a break long enough to spot the following tidbits I’d like to pass around like a family-sized bag of popcorn.


I saw an announcement that The Dillinger Escape Plan have revealed the title of their next album — One of Us Is the Killer — and a general timeframe for release — May — as well as the album cover (above).

The album will be released by the band’s imprint label Party Smashers Inc. and will be distributed in NorthAm by Sumerian and by BMG everywhere else.

I also saw that DEP has already begun scheduling tour dates in the U.S. and overseas. Many more dates will follow, but you can see the initial list right after the jump. Continue reading »

Jan 172012

We started yesterday with three videos and we’re starting today with three more. Two of today’s offerings are official videos that were released yesterday by King Giant and Cipher System and the third is a Capital Chaos live performance by The Dillinger Escape Plan. All of these bands know how to bring the metal, albeit in very different ways.


On January 21, Northern Virginia’s King Giant will have the CD release show for their new album Dismal Hollow. We’ve heard it, and BadWolf’s review will be up here soon. But in short, it’s simply one of the new year’s first great albums — a dark, raw, smoke-filled crusher of Southern doom that rocks hard and is also one of the heaviest beasts you’ll hear in 2012. Massive, hook-filled riffs link up with thundering rhythms, head-spinning guitar solo’s, and Dave Hammerly’s incredible vocals to produce one memorable song after another.

We first stumbled across King Giant in September 2010 because of the ass-kicking video for a song called “13 to 1” off their 2009 album Southern Darkness, and wrote about that here. A few months later, they released a performance video for another Southern Darkness song called “Solace” — and we had to write about that one, too. Yesterday, the band released the first video for Dismal Hollow. It was produced and directed by Kevin Barker (who also made those previous KG videos) and funded by the band and their fans through Kickstarter (I’m proud to have chipped in for that project myself). It’s fuckin’ great. Continue reading »

May 012010

We’re now a full four months into 2010, and it’s time for our fourth update to the list of forthcoming new albums we posted on January 1. (See the original list here, the first update here, the second update here, and the third update here.) Below is a list of still more projected new releases that we didn’t know about on January 1 or at the time of our last three updates (or that we’ve found updated information about) — and the new sickness is still spreading in epidemic proportions.

Once again, we’ve cobbled together news blurbs about bands whose past work we’ve liked, or who look interesting for other reasons. Needless to say (but we’ll say it anyway), these are bands that mostly fit the profile of music we cover on this site.

So, in alphabetical order, here’s our list of cut-and-pasted blurbs from various sources since our last update about forthcoming new releases. Look for the bands you like and put reminders on your calendar. Or if you’re old school like us, just get em tattooed someplace you can see without a mirror (because reading stuff backwards is hard).

ABIGAIL WILLIAMS: “Abigail Williams have completed recording of individual performances for their still untitled second full-length. Captured at Conquistador Studios in Cleveland, Ohio, eight new songs were laid down with vocalist/guitarist Ken Sorceron and engineer Cole Martinez controlling the audio takes. The songs are currently being mixed by Peter Tagtgren (Dimmu Borgir, Immortal, Celtic Frost) and are expected to be completed later this month.”

ABYSMAL DAWN: “Los Angeles-based metallers ABYSMAL DAWN will enter Trench Studio in Corona, California in May with producer John Haddad (PHOBIA, INTRONAUT, HIRAX) to begin recording their new album for a tentative fall release via Relapse Records. The follow-up to Programmed To Consume will be mixed by Erik Rutan (HATE ETERNAL, VITAL REMAINS, CANNIBAL CORPSE) at his Mana Recording Studios in St. Petersburg, Florida.”  (the list continues after the jump .  .) Continue reading »