Artist of the Month
Drive for an hour so outside Glasgow, you'll
find an unassuming little town called Ayr. You'll have heard of biffy clyro before
of course. About how Simon Neil and schoolfriend twins James and
Ben Johnston formed their first band as young teenagers at school
in the nearby town of Kilmarnock in 1995 over a shared love of experimental
rock and hardcore. You'll know something of how they earned an army
of rabidly devotional fans who followed
them across the country and beyond.
And you'll probably know about their three albums; 'Blackened Sky',
The Vertigo Of Bliss' and 'Infinity Land'.
What you might not know is that they've been hard at work making what could just
be the next truly, historically, important rock record to come out
of the British Isles. It's called Puzzle and it's coming your way. [ more ]
The often imitated yet never duplicated Detroit
deathsters The Black Dahlia Murder have returned to the public eye
to reclaim their rightful throne as leaders of all things extreme
with their third blackened opus of thrashing melodic death metal,
finds the band at their most violent while never compromising the
staple melodic style that they have become synonymous with. "The
album Nocturnal is a rebirth for the band," states vocalist
Strnad. "We've never had such a sick rhythm section. Bart and
Shannon have really stepped up and added an extra punch to this
beast of a record," the singer proudly chimes. The end result
is a more vehement and venomous Black Dahlia in 2007. However, no
album of such a magnitude is without its tribulation. [ more ]
"These are the sounds that resonate
through my mind...
These are the words that I speak in my dreams...
These are the visions I experience,
throughout my unconsciousness..."
- Burton C. Bell
Ascension of The Watchers, the creative journey of Burton C. Bell and John Bechdel, is a vision born of life, love and spirituality. The music, melodies and lyrics gives one the opportunity to share in Burton 's visions as he sees them, in their purest form. The intimate nature is envisioned to draw the minds, hearts and aspirations of a people to a higher level of thinking and feeling by bringing them together in celebration and reflection in the beauty of life and spirituality, through these melodies and words. [more]
If you take for granted that music exists as an expression of the inner mortal psyche, life can turn into an infinitely captivating adventure when musical creation is placed in the hands of a singular breed of enigmatic perfectionists. When those graced with the rare gifts of astounding technical abilities and songwriting prowess are also fueled by a sacred trinity of creativity, originality, and self-belief, the results will always steer clear of any sub-genre categorization.
Formed in the college town of Umeå in northern Sweden in 1987, MESHUGGAH have spent the last twenty years and cumulative thirteen releases developing, exploring, and redefining their complex, inimitable approach on the art of expressing their collective Id. An entity that has not sounded like anyone else in over thirteen years, MESHUGGAH are one of the few purely and honestly lateral-thinking forces genuinely dedicated to pushing the boundaries of extreme music simply because doing so comes naturally to them. Unafraid to take risks and tackle new experiences, they create albums you can listen to six years later and still discover things you never noticed before. The mystical lore surrounding them pertains to their mathematical execution of odd-cycle time signatures shifting around common 4/4 time. As a result, it isn’t shocking to see some of the biggest names in metal standing in the wings at MESHUGGAH shows, shaking their heads at the band’s majestically demented, down-tuned, groove-laden, and precisely performed polyrhythms that never veer out of control. [ more ]
Everything Ministry has created
since its inception has been an evolution. Al Jourgensen, the architect
of Ministry, succeeded by remaking the mainstream in his own image
and forging a new style of music. Jourgensen morphed Ministry from
a lightweight synth-pop band in the early ’80s to a musical
juggernaut with many side projects (Revolting Cocks, 1000 Homo DJs,
Pailhead, Lard) on legendary Chicago-based Wax Trax! Records. Moving to Sire Records in the mid-’80s
Ministry released albums showcasing an ever-evolving style. The
Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste and The Land of Rape and Honey
both went Gold as people searched beyond bland MTV conformity. Psalm 69, featuring “N.W.O.”,
“Just One Fix” and “Jesus Built My Hotrod”,
went Platinum in 1992 and forever changed music with its heavily
aggressive content. But during the late ’90s heyday of "alternative
music", Ministry’s output waned on Filth Pig and Dark
Side of the Spoon, despite a Grammy nomination for “Bad Blood”. Coming back strong in the new millennium
with Animositisomina Jourgensen refocused his energy. In 2004 a
revitalized Ministry debuted Houses of the Molé. For its
25th Anniversary in 2005, Ministry released Rantology featuring
tracks personally mixed, arranged, recorded and mastered by Uncle
Al himself. In October 2005, Jourgensen launched
his own label, 13th Planet Records complete with an online store.
Ministry’s first release on 13th Planet, Rio Grande Blood,
debuted in 2006 and captured Grammy nominations for “The Great
Satan” (2005) and “Lieslieslies” (2006). It was
followed by the remix album Rio Grande Dub in 2007. Ministry’s
final studio release, The Last Sucker, is out now and is available
for order in the 13th Planet Store.
Formed in 2003, Atlanta’s
WITHERED rose from members of the grindcore/crust punk band social
infestation, with a yearning to explore extreme music and create
something with black metal overtones and dramatic guitar melodies
while still clinging to their punk and grind roots Needing anm unrelenting percussion force to accomplish
this, the band called upon long time friend and accomplished drummer
Wes Kever. The three piece began writing, all the while unraveling
the enigma of the greater picture WITHERED would later become. After
a few songs, the band realized it was time to find the bassist that
could fill out WITHERED's sound and audibly obliterate their listeners.
Calling upon Greg Hess, the former bassist for leechmilk, he was
known for pummeling his instrument and his menacing sludgy background
helped shape what would become WITHERED as it is today. Completing the band’s 5 song EP Order Born
From Chaos late in 2004, the work spun the wheels into motion, gaining
tremendous momentum and praise. In April 2005, WITHERED inked a
deal with Lifeforce Records, to record addition songs for the would-be
EP, evolving the works into Memento Mori, featuring artwork by Paul
Romano (Mastodon, Nasum, Trivium), yielding high praise throughout
the world for its intense stylings and sophisticated arrangements,
carving WITHERED a permanent position among top acts in extreme
music. In the fall of 2006, the band recruited
Mike Longoria to fill in for local and regional shows but ultimately
became a permanent member, along with drummer Beau Brandon, solidifying
the line-up that would record Folie Circulaire, WITHERED’s
latest opus. Again featuring artwork from Romano and a devastating
mix courtesy of Phillip Cope (Baroness, Black Tusk, Kylesa), Folie
Circulaire marks another notch into the legacy of WITHERED’s
history, further cementing the band’s place among bands in
extreme music continuing to push the boundaries of the genre.
Raunchy was born in 1994 as the brainchild of lifetime friends Jesper Kvist, Morten Toft Hansen, and Jesper Tildsted - three friends who would later mark a transformation in modern heavy metal. To round out the lineup, Raunchy recuited Lars Vongstrup, Lars Christensen to handle vocals and guitars respectively. Within a short amount of time after their formation, RAUNCHY's status elevated to "Denmark's best-kept metal secret" getting press quotes such as "RAUNCHY is the beginning of a new area of modern heavy metal", "One of the best Danish debuts EVER" and "Forget about the latest hype-neo-metal band from L.A. .bow down to RAUNCHY!" Between 1995 and 1998, RAUNCHY recorded two demo CD's, which were later used on the compilation "Extremity Rising Vol. I & III" which led to their first initial signing to Mighty Music's sublabel Drug(s) for their first release "Velvet Noise." It was after the release of "Velvet Noise" that Jeppe Christensen was recruited into the band to handle keyboards full-time. RAUNCHY quickly got picked up by the well established metal label Nuclear Blast in 2002. "Velvet Noise" got re-issued for all of Europe and was followed by their second full length records "Confusion Bay" in 2004.
In 2005, RAUNCHY signed a deal with world's finest up and coming metal label LifeForce Records to release their third full length record entitled "Death Pop Romance," with new vocalist Kasper Thomsen at the helm. Raunchy seamlessly expand upon their signature sound of old to develop an ultimately more impressive offering. No more questions - THIS is "Futuristic Hybrid Metal"!
RAUNCHY continued to renew their sound and outlook with their third full length "Death Pop Romance" on LifeForce Records. Hailed as a blend of "Futuristic Hybrid Metal" with their previous releases on Nuclear Blast ("Confusion Bay" 2004 and "Velvet Noise" 2002), the Danish quintet took the necessary steps to propel their sound forward by mixing intensely abrasive thrash riffs and dynamic drumming in the vein of Strapping Young Lad and Fear Factory with their signature sound, while subliminally incorporating elements of pop music and Scandinavian melodic death metal.
With the release of their fourth studio album "Wasteland Discotheque," Raunchy continues to up the ante, reating accessible, groovy numbers that mix brilliant electro-pop with a primal death metal crunch. Raunchy continues to be a band that works outside metal's self-inflicted genre boundaries.
In an ever-changing and volatile music industry, it remains a constant challenge for new bands to break out and make a name for themselves on their own. However, one quartet from Los Angeles that simply refuses to let the state of the industry deter them is OPIATE FOR THE MASSES, whose undying, unparalleled work ethic and captivating live performances ultimately caught the attention of Century Media Records. The label has never seen anything quite like OPIATE FOR THE MASSES, whose sheer collective talents and hunger to succeed is refreshing to find in this day and age. Century Media quickly signed the band to a worldwide deal and are beyond ecstatic to bring something this innovative to the forefront of the scene.
Oakland California's, ALL SHALL PERISH, returns with their most diverse offering yet! Never one to record the same album twice, ALL SHALL PERISH has made yet another giant leap forward for themselves and the death and grind genres. Awaken the Dreamers cements the band‘s status as leaders in their field after 2006's milestone release, The Price of Existence, permanently secured the groups place in metal history. In a scene that is fast becoming stale ALL SHALL PERISH is here to resuscitate and breathe new life into a genre full of fly by night successes.
Joe Duplantier - guitar, lead vocals
Mario Duplantier - drums
Jean-Michel Labadie - bass
Christian Andreu - guitar
It has always been hard to put a tag on GOJIRA, one of France’s most extreme bands the country’s musical pallet has ever known. But then again, the band has never really sought out such a tag, instead letting the music do the talking, preferring introspection and intelligence over preconceived notions and preexisting tags. Ever since the 1996 formation in town of Bayonne in the southwest of France, GOJIRA has been an ever-evolving experiment in extreme metal ultimately built upon a worldly, ever-conscious outlook with roots firmly-planted both in the hippie movement and an environmentally-conscious, new age mentality. This time, with The Way of All Flesh, GOJIRA harnesses a spiritual consciousness as well, but still culminates in a sound wholly heavy.
“It’s more inventive than From Mars To Sirius and at the same time more straight to the point,” GOJIRA frontman Joe Duplantier says of The Way of All Flesh. “The whole album is about death, death is like a step on the path of the soul. The mystery surrounding this phenomenon is just so inspiring, and death is the most common thing on earth.”
“This album is also a ‘requiem’ for our planet,” Duplantier continues. “We don't want to be negative or cynical about the fate of humanity, but the situation on Earth is growing critical, and the way humans behave is so catastrophic that we really need to express our exasperation about it. It's not fear, but anger. But we still believe that consciousness can make a difference and that we can change things as human beings.”
False Icons will be releasing their debut CD, God Complex, on November 11th on 13th Planet Records. The band features industrial rock veteran John Bechdel on vocals, guitar and keyboards; Brian Broadt on keyboards, vocals and guitars; Mark Panek on drums; and Dave Brown on bass. Mixed and produced by Ministry’s Al Jourgensen. God Complex combines elegantly layered keyboards, heavy guitars, deep bass, sophisticated atmospheric touches and John’s unique vocal style.
Dark and powerful, God Complex is an inspirational journey of imagery and emotion that is sure to capture the attention of fans of powerful, extreme music the world over. Each track on God Complex creates its own separate world - a synthetic landscape of sounds, rhythms and dark, airy melodies. Bechdel’s descriptive lyrics and unique vocal style deliver an intriguing series of futuristic visions, life’s journeys and mysteries. His eloquent guitar lines swirl through Broadt’s hard-charging electronic beats and occasional heroic vocal rants, carving their way through plethoras of synthesizers. God Complex is a dense, layered and kaleidoscopic collection of songs created by a quartet of adept musicians and more importantly, music fans with an unbridled zeal and enthusiasm for creating adventurous music.
Misery Index, based out of Baltimore, Maryland, and Washington, DC, USA, features vocalist and bassist Jason Netherton, guitarist Sparky Voyles, drummer Adam Jarvis, and guitarist/vocalist Mark Kloeppel.
The music of Misery Index combines the most intense elements of metal with a distinct grind approach, added with a touch of hardcore and extreme punk attitude and passion, thus pushing the limits of metal with an insane mix of regressive thrashing rhythms, corrupting breakdowns and energetic ferocity. Misery Index sets no limits in their goal of making metal and grind flow together in boundless punishing assaults designed to modernize the classic death and grind metal of the early 90’s, drawing influence from Brutal Truth, Disrupt, Morbid Angel, Napalm Death, Terrorizer, His Hero is Gone, Bolt Thrower, Assuck and Entombed.
The imagery and lyrical concepts are also very critical to the band, and one can expect that in the true nature of the genre, Misery Index will catapult their ideology and anger to the forefront, and shove the sickness and hypocrisy of this planet right back in the face of all who so quietly accept the status quo…and have fun at the same time.