Soulfly – Ritual

Max Cavalera and Soulfly and seemed to hit a bit of a rough patch following the back-to-back release of 2005’s outstanding Dark Ages (2005). None of the records released between then and now were particularly poor. Even the least of them, 2013’s Savages, was perfectly serviceable, and some (i.e. 2012’s Enslaved and 2008’s Conquer) even flirted with the band’s upper echelons. Yet there was a certain feeling that the band had fallen into a bit of a rut. Now, with Killer Be Killed (2014) and his recent return-to-form with Cavalera Conspiracy’s Psychosis (2017) under his belt, Max appears to be experiencing a late-career resurgence, and Ritual—his eleventh full-length release under the Soulfly banner—only continues that upward trajectory.

Total Fucking Destruction – #USA4TFD

What does one do when the genre-defining band they’ve played in for years, disbands? Most will pack up their instruments and kit, settling into another grind altogether – regular, boring ass working life. Not Richard Hoak. During the final days of Brutal Truth’s existence, Hoak obviously decided he hadn’t had enough. The melting pot of blasts and wicked arrangements in his mind finding a new home in Total Fucking Destruction. Nearly twenty years after the first release under this name, we find ourselves in a time where grindcore is more important than ever. It’s always been political, but the platform is sometimes a bit wobbly. Not in this case. #USA4TFD is a viral musical statement that no one is sharing. Yet.

Into the Pit – Iron Reagan and the Sound of Oncoming Thrash

I may have bemoaned the decline of thrash in previous columns. If you have been keeping up with me, you would think that there’s really no such thing as modern thrash. “Huh, that’s too bad. It must’ve died in 1993 or something.” Well, sorta? It would be tough to find any good thrash records past that year outside of Pantera, but that’s another story we’ll tackle later. Thankfully thrash isn’t entirely dead yet. We’ve still got a few older bands kicking the tires and making sure everything’s alright. And we’ve got some younger bands digging into the sound more and…

Grind My Gears – Violence Sans Frontières

A Scotsman, an American, and a Mexican walk into a bar. The Scotsman, wearing a Spazz shirt, compliments the American on his Discordance Axis cap, the American, in turn, admires the Mexican’s Insect Warfare patched jacket. All three order drinks, settling into a discussion rooted in their shared love of fuzz pedals and popcorn snares. “This must be some kind of a joke”, the barman coos; everyone else in the bar waits patiently for something resembling a punchline. But no, this is no joke. This is just the introduction to an edition of Grind My Gears that features bands from…

GALLERY: A Celebration of the Life and Art of Caleb Scofield — October 13th, 2018 @ The Wiltern, CA

Death is a terrible thing, arguably the most terrible thing. But when it hits you unaware, with no preparation or warning, it’s even worse. When the person taken from us is, by all accounts, a caring, deep-feeling and innovative musician, new heights of anguish and pain can be encountered. Such was the case in March of this year when Caleb Scofield (Cave In, Old Man Gloom, Zozobra and collaborator with Isis, The Ocean and Converge) died in a horrible car accident. Instantly, a voice which stood in the center of a rich and wide ranging musical community was silenced. But the community was not; fundraisers were immediately…