Starkill (formerly Massakren) are a symphonic black/melodic death metal band hailing from Chicago. Their sound can be described as a mixture of old Children of Bodom and Dimmu Borgir. They had an EP out under their previous name, but they got picked up by Century Media and now they’re about to release a full length titled Fires of Life under their new name. They’ve released a video of a song from said album titled “New Infernal Rebirth”. It’s quite fun, reminiscent of the old Bodom albums. You can check it out below. Fires of Life comes out on the 30th of April on Century Media. If you like oldschool Nordic metal, then it should be a treat. Also, you can check the band’s previous video for the title track of the album after the jump.
02. Carve My Cross
03. Handbook For The Recently Deceased
04. Choking On Sand
05. Let Me Be The One
06. Sunglasses At Night
07. Martyred Or Mourning
08. No One Lies To The Dead
09. I Share In Shame
Among extreme metal fans, Arsis are usually referred to both with reverence and disappointment. Their initial releases are regarded by many as hallmark technical/melodic death metal efforts. But as they proceeded further into their career, they appeared to lose their spark. Many longtime fans became disenchanted with frontman/mastermind James Malone’s descent towards the same hole that Children of Bodom‘s Alexi Laiho seemingly fell in. But the recently (via Scion A/V) released EP Lepers Caress indicated that Malone was taking the band back into the heavier, darker direction it came from. The EP wasn’t entirely convincing, but it was a step in the right direction. Shortly after the EP, Arsis’s fifth album Unwelcome was announced; and even the artwork of the album hearkened back to the older Arsis albums. Now that Unwelcome is upon us, it’s clear that Malone has regained his muse, and that the Arsis that fans originally fell in love with is back, after all these years.
The Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival is something I have loved since it started. Each year it brings something for everyone, and I was lucky enough to be there in 2011 for Disturbed‘s last show before their hiatus, Trivium‘s first tour playing stuff from In Waves, Megadeth for obvious reasons, and to even be front row for Machine Head, singing ‘Halo’ in the pouring rain. This year, though, the lineup is sick. Mastodon, Behemoth, Amon Amarth, Machine Head, Job For A Cowboy, Born Of Osiris…it’s so good! Of course there are some bands I have no care for (ahem, Five Finger Death Punch, Motionless In White) but that’s why there’s multiple stages, right? And speaking of, this year there will be not three, but FOUR STAGES. I am revving up my excitebike as we speak. I’m definitely going to find my way to the Tampa date, and hopefully be able to score some sweet interviews while I’m there! You can read the full lineup and dates after the jump.
Hey everybody, it’s Shjon Thomas and Ryan Mattheu from The Deadstation! We’re a dystopian progressive metal band based out of Boston, MA. The awesome guys at Heavy Blog have given us the opportunity to write another article on whatever we wanted… so we put on our thinking caps and tried our hardest to narrow down the infinite possibilities to ONE idea.
We decided to list five bands that are, in our humble opinion, the FIVE MOST IMPORTANT bands in metal right now. These bands are the ones who are shaping metal music of the future, by kicking major ass in the present.
We have to reiterate though that this is just our opinion, and that we are not stating it as fact in any way! Everybody will have their own opinion on this subject, and they are all just as valid as ours.
In fact, why don’t you post YOUR list in the comment section below! We love to hear about what bands people are digging these days.
Ladies and gentlemen, time to start taking bets and making projections for this year’s Summer Slaughter Tour. Last year, we made a few educated guesses based off rumor and likelihood and more or less nailed a majority of the lineup long before it the best iteration of Summer Slaughter to date was even fully announced. This year, we’ve got a few names being thrown around thanks to the official Summer Slaughter Tour Facebook, and one possible lineup may include Children of Bodom, All Shall Perish, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Gojira, and The Ocean.
We didn’t just pull these names out of thin air, either. Summer Slaughter often throws out possible names to gauge reaction, and more often than not, those bands make it to the final lineup. One such band that could be seen with top billing in this year’s Summer Slaughter is The Dillinger Escape Plan, who were recently signed to Sumerian Records, a label that has a major stake in the tour. This yearly tour is starting to branch out to wider variety lineups — last year’s had something for everyone, having Periphery and Cannibal Corpse on the same bill which would have previously been unheard of in a non-festival — so having a band rooted more in the realm of hardcore than death metal like previous top-billing bands would still make sense depending on how the rest of the show looks. They have a new album coming out this year as well, and will be in the market for a tour such as this that would put them in front of a large number of fresh faces. It’s perfect for everyone involved.
Devin Townsend is clearly the MVP of the year, what with two brilliant records being released, each one getting five star reviews here at Heavy Blog. It’s always enlightening when the man speaks. The dude is so humble, yet he is without a doubt one of the most influential figures in metal right now. Devin’s a class act, that’s for sure.
So Devin gave a pretty in-depth interview with Metal Injection, and there’s a few tid-bits that really stand out and get me all kinds of excited. You really should watch the whole interview, but here’s an outline of the awesomeness that lies within, just in case anyone out there happens to be at work and can’t spare the seventeen minutes:
Devin’s previously mentioned upcoming record Epicloud will be “heavy pop music” and will probably feature Anneke Van Giersbergen. Sounds an awful lot like the premise to Addicted, doesn’t it? A continuation of that sound would be more than welcome.
Another Ziltoid record is still planned, in case you were wondering.
If we give Devy $120k, he’ll grow his hair out again. Part of me hopes he doesn’t raise the money.
Strapping Young Lad still not going to happen. No surprises there, and frankly, I’m okay with it.
“Due to repetitive conflicting schedules with job related obligations I have decided to depart OBSCURA. Beside the limited availability that kept me away from touring during the last months, I feel like taking new directions in my musical development.
“Looking back, the cooperation with OBSCURA has been positive and successful. However, it’s time to move on and find new challenges and opportunities for my musical career.
“I would like to thank all the fans who supported us and wish OBSCURA all the best with their future work.”
How the band are going to properly replace him is beyond me; dude’s one of the best bassists in death metal and is certainly a tough act to follow. Hopefully the next guy does the band justice.
Today I would like to discuss a recent trend in the field of album artwork as it pertains to metal bands. When you think about the artwork of most metal albums, images of skulls, demons, fire and misogyny spring to mind. Metal is supposed to be evil and the artwork is supposed to reflect that right? In the past this was the case. Cliched imagery, was combined with a mono- or duo-chromatic colour palette to create something dark and unsettling. Blue implies coldness, red symbolizes fire, purple is alien, etc. A combination of sickly green and blue are used to startle and disgust the viewer. Of course there are exceptions to the rule but in the majority of cases, the design and execution of metal album artwork has followed strict, unwritten rules.
But things are different now. Metal musicians can have short hair, merch can be neon, and a genre called djent can exist and be taken seriously. So what does this mean for album artwork? Perhaps you have seen the signs already, noticed the changes, album art is no longer the one colour festival of evil that it used to be. Bands are embracing warm and varied colour palettes, comforting textures, landscape images and even sunshine! Gasp, you say! I’m not just talking about scene golems who have embraced all over print design like your nearest BAPE outlet (LOL at this image). I’m talking about bands that are lauded by critics and recognized as talented and original.
Children of Bodom are a hit or miss with me. There are times when I can dig their material and times where I just wish they’d go away. Still, I’ll always have a small margin of deep rooted respect for melo-death artists because it was the first genre of metal I got into (unless you count nu metal). Anyway, the guys over at MetalSucks premiered the music video for their song “Roundtrip To Hell And Back.” To save you an extra click, you can check it out right here:
While the song itself isn’t very exciting, I have to agree with the guys at MetalSucks on the cinematography. It’s great. You actually get to enjoy the band playing live instead of the typical spastic editing and post-production stylized visual masturbation. Solid video for what it is!
I’m sure you know by now that we aren’t really huge Job For A Cowboy fans here at Heavy Blog; in fact, there are probably a few writers that despise them. I do appreciate their evolution from run of the mill deathcore to respectable death metal, though. Shit’s not bad, and I have no qualms about seeing them sandwiched between The Ocean and Between The Buried And Me this weekend. One thing that JFAC does get consistently right is their album artwork. Like Iron Maiden, Megadeth, and Children of Bodom, JFAC seems to carry a mascot through each album, and unlike the cliche grim reaper that Bodom has, I like this character as it’s something different.
The Gloom EP artwork above is a bit different from their previous work, but it’s still pretty rad by any means. If you haven’t heard it yet, you can listen to the new song “Misery Reformatory” below.