I typically subscribe to the belief that there is an indisputable “big four” of djent — Periphery, Tesseract, Vildhjarta, and Uneven Structure — and that these acts are miles ahead of the rest in the genre for various reasons. Uneven Structure for instance has always had this knack of being somewhat (perhaps unintentionally) Pink Floydian in spirit, with ambient soundscapes, epic progressive compositions, and the visuals to match. Case in point, the new video for ‘Frost/Hail’ from their brilliant 2011 debut album Februus.
The video, which is now available for streaming at Metal Injection, combines ‘Frost‘ with a chunk from the following track ‘Hail.’ It’s kind of a bummer that the band didn’t use the entire song, but a 13-minute music video would be asking for too much and I know that guitarist/graphic artist Igor Omodei has been slaving over this video for months. Regardless, the band executed the cut just right and the video looks gorgeous.
Februus is out now on Basick Records, and will be available in Europe this weekend as an exclusive vinyl record for Record Store Day. Since I’m based in America, I can’t get the Februus vinyl just yet, so count yourselves lucky if you love across the pond. Someone pick me up a copy and I’ll reimburse you. Seriously.
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.
Hello, everyone! Welcome back! We left you last month with a week-long retrospective of the year in the way of our own personal best-of lists. With 2012 a thing of the past and a new year of promising releases coming up ahead, we felt it appropriate to open our posting cycle in 2013 with a look forward. Throughout the week, several writers will be giving you breakdowns on what records you can look forward to in the coming year. To get you started in planning the year ahead, here are five albums that you need to keep an eye out for:
Cynic – TBA Third Album (Season of Mist)
The progressive metal legends will see a return in 2013 with the follow-up to 2008′s Traced In Air. It doesn’t really feel like it’s been nearly five years since their critically acclaimed comeback, as the band have tied us over with several tours and EPs. Granted, the extreme metal roots that the band started with (the core being members of Death for crying out loud!) have nearly vanished, but Cynic have been leaning much more into a new-age psychedelic jazz fusion sort of sound that is both thrilling and thought-provoking.
Having returned to the studio in December, drummer Sean Reinert promises, “a bold new sound for CYNIC and marks a gigantic leap in the band’s progression. We’ve had a lot of time to let this material develop and gestate, and it finally feels ready to be unleashed on the world. I’ve been in trio mode with Malone and Masvidal flushing out a zillion and one details, and couldn’t be happier about what’s happening with these songs. They are truly alive!”
And with song titles like ‘Endlessly Bountiful’, ‘Moon Heart Sun Head’, and ‘True Hallucination Speak,’ you can guarantee that the band will be back in full force with their shamanistic aesthetic.
A couple of years ago, right about the time djent started to catch on but wasn’t really a “thing” yet, an instrumental band by the name of RXYZYXR made their name known online through a couple of singles and an EP. You may remember their rehearsal video for ‘Orgasmic Ceiling’ being featured both here and on Metalsucks at the time. Now two years later with a lineup rounded out by vocalist Tommy Wills and having shared stages with the likes of Protest the Hero, Veil of Maya, Vildhjarta, and Volumes, RXYZYXR have finally released their debut album LMNTS. We’re excited to share with you guys the official stream for the record, which can be heard via the SoundCloud player below:
01. The Sentinel
03. Finish It
04. Lower the Blade
06. Third Revelation
07. Recursive Patterns
08. Spirit of Poison
09. Magic Bullet
11. This Will Do the Job
12. The Seconds
Criminally underrated and hellishly overworked, Car Bomb are a band that to be respected. Between their first album Centralia and their indie documentary Why You Do This chronicling the unglamorous and often degrading life of an independent band on the road, Car Bomb have painted themselves as a dedicated force in extreme cerebral metal. Through it all, they persevere, because for them, the most important thing in their world is to make this music and live this life. Even if you don’t necessarily like the music, you have to respect their dedication to their craft. It’s nothing short of inspiring. After Centralia and the documentary, as well as leading single ‘Third Revelation’ featuring none other than Gojira frontman Joe Duplantier, it was safe to say that the long awaited sophomore release was going to be picking up a fair share amount of buzz.
Vildhjarta surprised me last year with their debut album Masstaden, which really crept up on me and wound up on my best-of list. It had not even occurred to me that the band would already be working on new material less than a year later, but here we are staring down at the face of new Vildhjarta jams coming down the pipeline. The band are busy preparing a new EP for the winter season, and some new samples have been made available below:
According to guitarist Calle Thomer, “we’re hoping to get it out sometime this winter, or at least have it completetd by then. It’s pretty different from måsstaden, dunno how to explain it but its more “nu-metal groove” and the mix is gonna be a bit colder than måsstaden.” It sounds promising already! We’ll pass along more info when we get it!
Century Media seems to be the current home to djent, with a large chunk of their latest string of signings over the last two years being djent-oriented. Come to think of it, Tesseract, Periphery [for EU release], Monuments, Vildhjarta, and Stealing Axion [via Century subsidiary Inside Out Records] all call Century Media home. Now joining their ranks is Serbian group Destiny Potato (featuring Heavy Blog favorite David Maxim Micic on guitar), who have just announced their signing and have released a rough mix of their new song ‘Dark Side Of You.’ You can hear it above.
What strikes me as odd is that the band was formed just last year and were in talks of being signed after their very first show. From the press release:
Officially formed in the spring of 2011, DESTINY POTATO mastermind, David Maxim Micic and singer Aleksandra Djelmas had been writing and recording songs together since they were 16. When the organizers of the annual Euroblast Festival reached out to Maxim about playing the 2011 edition of the fest, they originally wanted him to perform solo, but he convinced them to add DESTINY POTATO instead. What he didn’t tell them was there was no actual band. When the organizers agreed to add them, Maxim and Djelmas assembled one, featuring a popular Serbian singer Ana Maglica as a second vocalist and drummer Milan Yeqy, and performed their first ever show in front of a sold out crowd. In attendance were representatives of Century Media Records, who spoke to the band and later signed them to a worldwide deal.
This is no offense to Destiny Potato, as they show some promise, but doesn’t it seem a bit hasty to jump the gun and sign a band within a year of their first formation and their first live show? Century Media must be confident that they’re going to be money makers, and with a pop/djent sort of sound, it’s likely they will be given the right push. What are your thoughts?
Destiny Potato are working on their debut album, which should be out early 2013.
It must have dawned on the people behind the upcoming Shockwave Fest Tour that the logistics of bringing around 13 bands on one tour was a massive headache, because four bands (Revocation, Vildhjarta, Dirge Within, and Forged in Flame) are no longer on the bill. Most people seem the most heartbroken over Revocation, but I could take or leave them. The main drawing point for me was seeing Vildhjarta on their first ever North American tour, so this was a major bummer.
dear north americans, we can confirm that we are off the Shockwave Festival due to reasons beyond our control. the festival will probably do an announcement about it soon since the word is already out and we´re not the only band that is affected when the bill has been scaled down.
we have looked forward to an opportunity to play in north america for a long time and will do our best to get us on another tour as soon as possible. hope to see you soon ♥
Major sads. Hopefully we’ll still be able to catch them Stateside later this year.
In the mean time, not all is lost on Shockwave Fest. Heavy Blog favorites Last Chance To Reason and Cattle Decapitation are still on the trek, which makes it worth it alone. Check out tour dates and other information on the Shockwave Festival Facebook.
After a few years of quietly thumping about behind the scenes between gigs, the big moment for Monuments is on the horizon. Their long awaited debut album — under the working title Gnosis, last I heard — will be seeing release later this year on Century Media records, home to like-minded bands Tesseract and Vildhjarta. On top of the news of their signing, the band has also announced their new vocalist Matt Rose (above center), who is known for his work with drum n’ bass act The Qemists.
Here’s what Monuments mastermind John Browne said about the signing:
“We’re looking forward to working with Century Media and getting our music to every corner of the world. Expect to have your ears and minds destroyed before the end of 2012. Get ready planet Earth, we’re coming to fuck you! We have found the perfect [frontman] right here in our own back yard, we couldn’t be happier with the work Matt has done so far.“
So, it looks like the wait will be over shortly! Hit up Monuments on Facebook for up-to-date news and information as it comes in. Below, you can hear a pre-production track of Matt Rose and his take on ‘Admit Defeat.’