Solo albums from members of established bands are wildly hit or miss in the grand scheme of things. Often, these outings end up disappointing because the magic that musician had was either lost without the rest of the band or the music winds up being completely redundant, as if it should have been released under the original band to begin with.
Between the Buried and Me frontman Tommy Rogers’ solo project Thomas Giles is neither of those; 2011′s Pulse showcased the singer’s multi-instrumental skill and songwriting abilities in a way that differs greatly from BTBAM, which made the record such a delight. THAT’s how you do a solo album! I was worried that with the band’s busy schedule for the next few years supporting The Parallax II: Future Sequence that we wouldn’t get another Thomas Giles record for quite some time. Thankfully this isn’t the case, as Rogers is currently working on a new solo album!
The Safety Fire are hard at work on their second album, the follow up to the brilliant Grind The Ocean, and have released a studio update detailing the drum tracking for the album. This video, the first of many by the looks of it, shows the band recording at Middle Farm studios in Devon (I didn’t even know they had that newfangled electricity thing in Devon) and contains brief snippets of drummer Calvin Smith smashing it to some new riffs.
UK-based prog metal band The Safety Fire‘s debut album Grind the Ocean was one of my favorite releases last year. Combining rich, technical riffing with lush ambience and the unique vocal style of singer Sean McWeeney, the album had an immediately recognizable sound. Having toured the States and Europe, they’ve now started work on the followup, which might be released earlier than you’d expect. The album is already written, according to a statement by the band, and they’re entering the studio for recording. They’ve also released a playthrough video for their excellent single ‘Floods of Colour’. You can read the full statement and watch the video after the jump.
“To clear the air on a few details, The Faceless has decided to part ways with drummer Lyle Cooper due to a growing difference in the level of commitment to the project. We wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors and we’re sure he’ll continue to be successful with music. Having said that, we are very excited to announce that Alex Rudinger is our new full time drummer. We just played our first 3 shows with him in Mexico and what he brings to the band both musically and personally, is simply astounding. We are looking forward to a great future with Alex.”
Needless to say, Rudinger is an absolute beast behind the kit and is clearly more than talented enough to cope with the all the twists and turns Keene can throw at him, so here’s to hoping this is a long lasting tenure (for once).
For those of us in these grand ol’ isles of Britania, the news was tainted a little as it came with the announcement that the band’s upcoming UK tour alongside The Safety Fire has been cancelled due to visa issues:
Due to Visa issues with The Faceless, our forthcoming tour has unfortunately been cancelled. Refunds for tickets are available from your place of purchase.
Thank you to all of our fans who bought tickets for these shows. We will try to make it up to you as soon as possible – TSF
This statement was later echoed on The Faceless‘s page, also suggesting that the tour will be rescheduled at some point.
2012 has been a phenomenal year in music. Huge bands came out with some of the best music I’ve heard my entire life. Bands were coming out with such amazing stuff; it felt like they actually believed this to be the last year for humanity and had to come out with the best music they’ve ever created. This year was the year of many things; post-rock, progressive metal, comebacks, djent etc. but to me this was mainly the year of death-metal. With stellar releases by industry veterans like Cannibal Corpse, Nile, Cryptopsy and Dying Fetus, as well as newer bands like Cattle Decapitation, Pathology and Dyscarnate, I have never heard this much death-metal at once. I used to shun the genre, but this year, I converted. I came over to the dark-side (partly because they had cookie… monster. Lelelelelel. No? Okay, no more horrible puns). It was also this year that I started listening to some new genres, mainly grind and slam. I knew they existed but I didn’t see the thrill in them till recently. Boy, was I wrong. So let this year be the “Year of Resolution” on my new found sense of taste.
Reflecting back on 2012, it’s difficult not to think about some of the downright horrible news that came out this year. With the closing down of Hydra Head Records, Laurent Schroeder-Lebec leaving Pelican and the shocking death of Mitch Lucker vocalist of Suicide Silence, it had its ups and downs but I guess that’s just life’s way of reminding us that we have to take the good with the bad. Here’s to trying to keep positive for the next year.
This year is also the year I started writing for HBIH and my opinion on music started to mean something. I had been a reader of this blog for 3 years until I was approached by Alkahest to write for HBIH. Having been a jobless Indian living in New Delhi, I instantly accepted the offer and now I can pose as an online music hipster and look down on other people’s music taste with unabashed glee. Thanks again, Jimmy!
Unlike many of my co-workers here at HBIH, I opted to have my list consist only of 10 albums. I’m old-school that way. Yes, they were many albums I wanted to add to my list but I’m going to stick to the tried and tested way of the Top 10. So without any further ado, here are my Top 10 Albums Of 2012.
I’m probably preaching to the choir here, but 2012 was fucking phenomenal. It had everything a music fan could ask for in terms of new releases, and then some. Personally, this year saw me furthering my tastes into more progressive and extreme stuff (with a heavy dose of jazz on the sides), and I think I couldn’t have chosen a better time to pick up on these styles, as genres like death metal and prog enjoyed a fantastic collective output. My list reflects this to a great extent, as pretty much half of the bands found below can be dubbed as death metal in one of its many forms, and even more exhibit progressive elements to at least some extent. Anyway, since most of you are here for the goods, I won’t keep you waiting.
In an unlucky turn of events while traveling on their current European tour yesterday, Between the Buried and Me and Periphery’s shared bus literally caught on fire. Luckily everyone is okay and none of the bands’ equipment or personal items were damaged, so despite the fact that their bus fucking caught on fire, it actually isn’t so bad. I mean, worse things have happened to metal bands in the UK this year.
Shortly after we left Southampton early [Tuesday] morning, our bus caught fire on the freeway. Thanks to Paul our awesome driver and Jake noticing something being wrong, as well as the incredibly fast response of the fire service in the UK none of us were harmed and it looks like all our stuff is okay too. If all goes well this should not affect the tour overall. We have a lot to be thankful for even though it was a hell of a scary way to wake up haha!
Meanwhile, Between the Buried and Me guitarist Paul Waggoner decided to describe the experience in a lighthearted manner:
Fuel line done broke. Dadgum flame come shootin out. Peeewwww eeehhhhh sometin’ stank. Crazy British feller come hollerin, “Bus on fire, ya’ll git.” Climb up the ol’ hill barefoot and look back at them flames shootin sky high. Firemen folk come rushin up real quick like and squirt that fire plum out. It was lucky nobody was hurt, not even a stubbed toe. Luggage stank like a Mississippi cow pie on a mid july heat.
Hopefull, come tomorra, a new horse n’ buggy come. We’ll giddy on up to Belgium town for a good ol’ fashioned hootnanny.
The tour (also featuring The Safety Fire, funnily enough) will continue without delay. Here are the remaining dates:
10/10 Antwerp, BEL – Trix (without Periphery)
10/11 Amsterdam, NET – Melkweg
10/12 Koln, GER – Luxor
10/13 Munster, GER – Sputnikhalle
10/14 Copenhagen, DEN – Vega
10/16 Stockholm, SWE – Debaser Slussen
10/17 Gothenburg, SWE – Sticky Fingers
10/18 Hamburg, GER – Logo
10/19 Berlin, GER – Lido
10/20 Prague, CZE – Rock Cafe
10/22 Bratislava, SLO – Randall Club
10/23 Budapest, HUN – Durer Kert
10/24 Wien, AUT – Szene
10/25 Munchen, GER – Backstage
10/27 Novara, ITA – Rock’n’Roll Arena
10/28 Zurich, SWI – Dynamo
10/29 Stuttgart, GER – Universum
10/30 Frankfurt, GER – Batschkapp
10/31 Paris, FRA – La Maroquinerie
UK’s The Safety Fire are definitely a force to be reckoned with. Their debut album Grind the Ocean is one of my favorites of the year so far, and they’ve already released two videos for songs from that album. Now they add a third video to go with those. This time it’s for the more frantic track ‘DMB (FDP)‘. It’s a live performance video, but edited to look more atmospheric. It definitely highlights the intensity of their live show. I was expecting a bit more to be honest, but it’s still a good video, as it’s one of the better live videos I’ve seen. Also, the track is really good, so there’s that.
And no, DMB (FDP) does not stand for ‘Dave Matthews Band (Fuck Da Police).’ I asked Derya personally, and he denied it. No one but the band knows what it means.
Last week we directed your attention to a pretty nifty sampler from Candlelight Records which featured the world premier of the track “The Paranoid” from Ihsahn‘s upcoming solo release, Eremita. Now it seems other labels are ponying up and offering their own samplers, one of which is my favorite label, InsideOut Music. This short sampler features eight tracks from a wide selection of bands, but the overall emphasis of this download is progressive metal. There is a lot of really great bands on this, several of which have received tons of praise from us here at HBIH — Arjen Lucassen, The Safety Fire, Leprous — but there’s also some lesser known bands that you may not be all that familiar with, and their tracks are pretty great too!
To top this thing off the final track is a live rendition of the song “Addicted”, taken from Devin Townsend‘s upcoming live boxset release, By A Thread. Without giving too much away, or saying anything all too surprising, the song is amazing. Addicted is one of the best releases from Townsend, and it’s an album that really transitions well into the live format.
You can download the sampler here. You just have to give your email address and click a link to verify that you’re not a part of the Borg collective, but other than that the download process is much more fluid than that of Candlelight’s. Props to InsideOut and their great lineup.