From the remains of the local band Chimera which gave birth to the new band name Decage. After repeated personnel changes they have definitely settled on Sebastian "Swed" Založnik (ex-Heretic, ex-OOOH) on vocals, Nace Serdinšek (ex-The fugitives, Something Small) on rhythm guitar, Žiga Ring (Carnifliet) on bass guitar, Izi Felicijan (ex-Chimera, Kholn, Something Small) on rhythm guitar and Alexander "ACO" Trivunovič (ex-Chimera, ex-Bloody Rosa, Kholn, Something small) on drums. They don't know how to define their music they said that they are more modernist / groove metal band.
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LICENCE TO HATE
2010 - Licence to Hate is a musical group of same-minded people, which was founded in the fourth quarter of 2010. Enclosed in a basement for nearly a year, they created, trained and were looking for that golden thread, which would link them stronger, or even merge them into a perfect whole.
2011 - Towards the end of 2011 they found that golden thread and have decided that the time has come for the concert stages.
2013 - Creativity never stops. Going forward we created a DEMO "Sick Of All That Bleeds" with four songs and a music video which was introduced to the public in 2016.
2017 - It was time to do something bigger. We never stopped, we never surrendered and started to prepair and slowly manifest a new chapter in our creativity..... to be continued....
Licence to Hate @ Facebook
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Metal in its most natural form.
Jan Brišar (Noč) - vocals
Aleš Jelovčan (Frogi) - guitar
Urban Valjavec - guitar
Miha Markun - bass
Aleš Kozelj - drums
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In it's current form since 2005, The Mor(R)ons are a speed-driven punk rock band from Kranj, Slovenia. Though sometimes lacking in basic knowledge of how the world works, the band has thus far released three full-length albums and shared the stage with bands like Nofx, Mad Caddies, Useless ID, Ten Foot Pole, Atlas Losing Grip,Hog Hoggidy Hog, Bad Cop/Bad Cop and more.
The Mor(R)ons @ Bandcamp
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START AT ZERO
Start at Zero line-up consists of young guys from the town of Ajdovščina, which holds a very special place within the hard-core punk scene in Slovenia and abroad. The band’s roots date back to the summer of 2012, when the guys were brought together by a wish to make their own punk-rock music and to present it at various concerts. They have already done several smaller gigs. During the last 2 years, they have managed to join their persistence and their musical enthusiasm to come up with a nice collection of new songs. Their gigs are packed with energy, and their lyrics reflect upon both socially critical and personal themes while also addressing the role of young people within the society.
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Countless bands have gotten the trajectory wrong. Too many haven’t figured out the musical calculus. More than is fair have veered off the proverbial map never to be heard of again. And they’ve all suffered greatly from it. Not Tribulation. From 2009’s 'The Horror' to 2013’s 'The Formulas of Death', the Swedes secretly figured out how to refactor death metal’s tenets to their favor. No more were Tribulation merely the product of their influences but rather something more, a step beyond wanton barbarity and the unharnessed fire of youth. Likewise, the venture between 2015’s The Children of the Night—a breakout moment for the Stockholmites—and new album Down Below is a yet another step into the unknown, where shadowy creatures glare with eyes ablaze and howl with white fangs bared. The years between and miles traveled could’ve forced the Swedes off their fiendish path, but they stayed true. From its obsidian core to its fluttering expanses, Down Below is a triumph of darkness and death. Or, very much Tribulation.
“I wouldn’t say that evolution is as dramatic this time around,” says guitarist Adam Zaars. “There are elements from both 'The Formulas of Death' and 'The Children of the Night' (and 'The Horror' for that matter) on the new album, but with a new flavor. 'Down Below' is heavier and a bit rawer than Children and it wanders in similar territories when it gets more expansive, but it’s surely on different paths. It’s a very peculiar process when making music because you hear quite instantly whether something works if you try something ‘bold.’ And often you feel it even before you try it out and you have to tell everyone else to bear with you until you reach the point (whatever and where ever that is) where your idea has manifested in the way that you first saw or heard it. I think it’s the same for all of us. It’s all very Tribulation at least!”
Indeed, Down Below has the hallmarks of Tribulation’s previous oeuvre. Frontman Johannes Andersson is as reptilian as ever, hissing and croaking poetic threads of necro-romance, while the guitars of Zaars and Jonathan Hultén seduce the dead and spellbind the living, and drummer—in his first appearance for Tribulation—Oscar Leander swings through Andersson’s bass playing with star-quality confidence. But there’s more to Down Below than Tribulation let on. There’s creepy pipe organs, John Carpenteresque slasher movements, ominous church bells, and monk calls woven through and into the Swedes’ Jugendstil-inspired death. While most are conspicuous in their new travails, the Swedes hide their moody innovations on 'Down Below'.
“You can fit a lot into the space that we’re creating, but it’s always got to be of the right substance,” Zaars says. “It’s all a matter of balancing on the edge and not falling. I think that’s often what we do, actually. We push it all quite hard in many different directions and try not to fall over, be it cheesiness, pretentiousness or whatever. As an example, we have been writing about the vampire theme for a while now, a theme that is very, very cheesy if you do it in the wrong way (which to me is pretty much every way). Vampires and folk influences, it sounds like a pretty horrible mix, but it’s all very dear to us and so we treat it with respect.
We try the same approach in the music. We take it all very seriously, and hopefully that works.”
Written by Zaars and Hultén under the spell of countless blood moons, 'Down Below' is the result of Tribulation exploring the painstaking process of songwriting from new vantage points. While Hultén wrote predominantly on his own, Zaars teamed up with Andersson and Leander. They acted not only as bandmates—musicians able to play out Zaars’ maniacal pieces—but also as a feedback loop. Together, they put the sinful skeletons of Down Below to digital tape. The two methodologies worked well between Tribulation’s touring schedule—the Swedes played over 170 shows in support of The Children of the Night—and other band-related commitments.
“I worked more closely with Johannes and Oscar,” says Zaars. “I had them on hand throughout the process to help me see if certain ideas worked or not, as well as being open to whatever ideas they had. Very valuable! Oscar also helped me a lot in that he has more skills than I when it comes to music software (and hardware for that matter) so we could record demos of my songs more easily which is something I have never done before. I usually come with the songs to the rehearsal room to try it out there for the first time and then record the demos with the entire band. This saved us a lot of time that we didn’t have in the first place. It was difficult as well. Maybe more difficult than ever. But the result is absolutely worth all the hard work that we’ve all had to put in to this!”
'Down Below' was recorded at Soundtrade Studios and Studio Cobra, respectively. Soundtrade, renowned for hosting Swedish music legends ABBA, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Europe, is where Leander tracked the drums with Martin Ehrencrona (Vampire, The Oath) at the helm and Linus Björklund at his side. After the Soundtrade sessions were over—about a week, according to Zaars— Tribulation cut over to Studio Cobra, with Ehrencrona in tow, to record the bass, guitar, vocals, and other instruments. For three months the Swedes toiled into the dead of countless nights—where songs like ‘The Lament,’ ‘Lady Death,’ ‘Lacrimosa,’ and ‘Here Be Dragons’ invoked the vaults of heaven to remarkable effect—to realize Down Below. Harvest, however unpleasant, was positively plentiful.
“We chose Cobra because we recorded some stuff there for Children and really enjoyed the time there,” Zaars says. “Both the time in Soundtrade and Cobra were very enjoyable. Cobra and Martin gave us the opportunity to be creative. It was a new experience for us to work with a producer as we have this time, and I think we all really enjoyed it. I left a few things unfinished in some of my songs so that we could have his input and he’s been giving input and ideas wherever and whenever he’s had some. You give and you take and you kill a lot of your darlings, but in the end that’s almost always a good thing, and this time it really elevated the songs.”
Certainly, Tribulation have come away with an album full of gems. From the death-rock shake of ‘The Lament’ and the windy Carpathian haunts of ‘Subterranea’ to the gloomy post-punk of ‘Nightbound’ and the infectious refrains of ‘Here Be Dragons,’Down Below is unbelievably great. But it doesn’t stop there. Inside the songs, Tribulation parlay awe and shock into something more impressive. Some of Zaars and Hultén’s best solo work can be heard on ‘Lady Death,’ ‘Cries from the Underworld,’ and ‘The World.’ Time-keeper Leander has also proven himself worthy of his newly appointed position. His ability to play simple yet clever continuously gets better as Down Below progresses. Check out ‘Here Be Dragons’! And Andersson’s vocals—even in their sublime decay—emote heavy sheaves of hate, mourning, loss, and fear. If The Formulas of Death was arboreal and 'The Children of the Night' urban, then Down Below must be nestled in between.
“A bit of both for sure,” says Zaars. “We were aiming in one direction that was a bit more foresty and that direction kind of made its own twists and turns, as it always is when we do something. We let it happen, we let it guide us. When we speak in terms like this I would say that it’s still somewhat in the city, but that city is much older, or in a different era, than the city that Children resided in. And it’s a lot closer to the forest, and even ventures quite deep into it.”
Changes are inevitable. The force of momentum powerful. As with The Children of the Night, so too with Down Below. Tribulation has succumbed to change and momentum, but the Swedes didn’t let it become them. They’ve evolved (or are evolving) on 'Down Below'. To wit, the evocative vibe of places frightful and things malign remains strong, as does Tribulation’s roots as an inspired death metal act. What’s changed is the approach and the inspirations affecting the approach. Down Below isn’t just Album of the Year material, it’s the type of effort that will be remembered for decades. Music from the other, indeed!
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We all wade through archetypes. We all ARE archetypes. Distant echoes of a life both primeval and noble. To embrace these archetypes, to accept them not only as a part of life but as life itself is what some may call enlightenment, some peace of mind. ELUVEITIE call it »Ategnatos«. And by using their longest gap between two Metal albums to gather momentum, they just forged their strongest album around it.
Born in the rural mysticism of the Swiss alps and since a very early point deeply rooted within Celtic mythology, Gaulish history and proto-European culture, ELUVEITIE have long become Folk Metal’s trailblazers, spindoctors and rightful masters of their craft. All the more because they never limited themselves to simple forays through rune-decorated cliches or foolish drinking songs. From their fabled debut »Spirit« (2006) onward, theirs was an approach of respect, historic accuracy, depth and the most thrilling, catchy, primordial melange of Melodic Death Metal and Pagan Folk the world could have ever imagined.
Success, of course, was not far behind. Their groundbreaking seminal work »Slania« saw them bond with Nuclear Blast, a friendship that lasts to this day and quickly turned the band into a worldwide phenomenon. In a rapid two-year-succession, they unleashed »Everything Remains (As It Never Was)«, »Helvetios« and that massive monument of all things Folk Metal called »Origins«, framed by the two elaborate and archaic acoustic albums »Evocation I – The Arcane Dominion and »Evocation II - Pantheon«, the last of which was also presented on an unforgettable acoustic tour. On each release, they refined their trademark brand of Chrigel’s thundering roar, metallic fierceness and folkloric ingenuity that has always been miles above the usual “let’s add some bagpipes there”.
Members came, members went. The soul of ELUVEITIE, though, the very essence of this pagan congregation remained undisturbed. Now, in the dawn of 2019, they look back upon an impressive seven studio albums, the last of which climbed to the very top of the Swiss album charts and also made a remarkable entry at No. 6 in Germany, as well as countless tours around the globe and headliner slots at the biggest Metal festivals. Still, this was only the beginning. A 13-year-overture for the things about to come. The sky is darkening, the ravens fly. The stage is set for the thunderstorm that has already been heralded by the tempestuous harbinger »Rebirth« in late 2017. Finally, everything is prepared for the colossal voice of the ages that is »Ategnatos«.
On an album both mystical and philosophical, ELUVEITIE propel mythology, pagan belief and spirituality into our modern world. “This one almost became something like a socio-critical uncovering work”, says Chrigel, “some kind of a revelation, a doomsday prophecy. Dark and severe in its atmosphere and charisma, and also occult, arcane and elitist.” The album itself is a manifesto, a fast-paced, highly dramatic and embellished work on which today's society sees itself in the mirror of ancient Celtic mythology and knowledge. “The image, of course, is blood-curling”, Chrigel adds with a bitter grin. “At least to those with eyes to see.” Far more that a pessimistic swan song for our world, however, »Ategnatos« holds the cathartic promise of renewal. “Ategnatos is the Gaulish word for ‘reborn’”, Chrigel explains. “To the sharpened mind, it points out the concealed, long forgotten key to change and renewal.” This, naturally, comes at a price. “There's always suffering before bliss. And always darkness before light.”
A work based on archaic archetypes and the ancient concept of renewal, »Ategnatos« unfolds an elemental force to be reckoned with. “These archetypes are still within us. People didn't change that much during the last 3000 years – and men were always just men.” No wonder the album follows a decidedly darker, monumental tone that suits them very well. Of course, ELUVEITIE have long found their very own trademark sound, a sonic adventure often copied but never overcome. With »Ategnatos«, the dedicated nine-piece not only worked with a real string quartet (a premiere!) and granted Fabienne Erni’s sublime mastery of the harp the room it deserved; they also undertook a holistic upgrade resulting in some of the most catchy (‘Ambriamus’), most aggressive (‘Worship’, featuring LAMB OF GOD titan Randy Blythe on guest vocals) or most epic (‘Black Water Down’) tunes the Swiss Metal nobility has ever offered.
While this may not come as a surprise to those familiar with the zeal and ardor this band is known for, the whole journey that would eventually give birth to »Ategnatos« was rather unusual. With what quickly became the most stable, most prolific and most creative line-up yet, ELUVEITIE created the album while staying at the Zurich University of Arts and more than ever worked as one. This is an accomplishment in itself given the fact that the Swiss Folk Metal superstars boast a full nine members, but it gets even more special if you recall the usual process of creation. “From the very beginning of ELUVEITIE, my blueprint for a new album remained untouched and eventually became a reality. This record, however, is a product of the entire band. The whole affair was a decidedly spontaneous process allowing the songs to radically change while still in development.” The instant hit ‘Ambriamus’, for example, only took them two hours to write when they already were in the studio. “A bit unusual”, Chrigel confesses, “but all the more brilliant.”
Some things, of course, never change. Recordings took place in their beloved New Sound Studio with their engineer of choice Tommy Vetterli. “Yet it was radically different as we only had four weeks to record this time around – as compared to the eight weeks we had for ‘Origins’.” By taking mixing duties to the skilled hand of renowned studio wizard Jens Bogren in his Fascination Street Studios in Örebro, Sweden, ELUVEITIE returned to the very spot where they mixed their now legendary »Slania« album more than ten years ago. “How time flies”, Chrigel exclaims. And with an insurmountable epic like »Ategnatos« under their belts, the next years are bound to fly by, too. Heavy touring will commence even before the release, taking the band to South America first. “Asia, Europe and the United States are about to follow, bridged by a massive festival season”. Oh no, ELUVEITIE are not only back, stronger and fiercer than ever. They are reborn. Truly and thoroughly reborn, thus becoming an archetype of their own.
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Lacuna Coil is a gothic metal band from Milan, Italy. Since their formation in 1994, the group has had two name changes, being previously known as Sleep of Right and Ethereal. Inspired by the combination of gothic imagery and music, the members have been known, musically, for composing mid-tempo songs consisting of prominent guitar lines and contrasting dual female/male vocal harmonies to help create a melodic, detached sound. Much of the band's recent material, however, sees a heavier and more down-tuned style, featuring a more distinct bass line and a higher mixing of the guitars within the songs. The band's 2012 release, Dark Adrenaline, peaked at number 15 on the Billboard 200. They have toured internationally and were nominated in 2006 for an MTV Europe Music Award.
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Infected Rain are far from the overly manufactured metal many of us have grown accustomed to.
A combination of female screaming, hard riffs and samples created the individual style of Infected Rain. The band was formed in 2008 and made their first appearance on stage on August 3, 2008, performing in a concert dedicated to Slayer. At the end of the same month Infected Rain recorded their first demo CD, which consisted of three songs: With Me, Parasite and No Idols. Over the next 2 years the band appeared in several concerts in Moldova, Romania and the Ukraine. Infected Rain took 1st place at the Big Up!
Urban Fest in 2009 and continued the stream of its successful performances at the Forest Kap in 2010 and 2011. In summer of 2009 the band released their EP, which included six songs: Judgmental Trap, Panika, No More, Escape, Go Away and Homeless. Their first music video was for the song Judgmental Trap and was shot in winter of the following year. November 25, 2011 was marked by the release of the band’s first album, entitled Asylum. After that the band went on a tour in Romania to support the album. In January 2012 the band released its second music video for the song At the Bottom of the Bottle and shortly after that performed at the Metal Special Fest as a headliner. In June, the band played at OST fest 2012 in Bucharest on the same stage with Dimmu Borgir and Motley Crue. Shortly after that they released a new music video for the song Me Against You, collaborating with Moldova Extreme Moto Cross. Then on March 8th, a music video for the single Stop Waiting came out. In the autumn of 2013 the band toured Romania, Russia, Ukraine and Bulgaria as their first big tour. May 15th of 2014 the band released the second album called "Embrace Eternity". Later, in September and October was their big European tour in which they visited 12 countries. January of 2015 was marked with the release of 2 more music videos for the album "Embrace Eternity". At the same time the band never stopped concurring new countries and headlining big festivals in Europe. 2016 started with the release of their new music video for the single Serendipity that gave a start to a new, heavier era for Infected Rain. Serendipity and 3 other singles that the band released with the beginning of 2017 are part of the third album called “86” that was released April 20th 2017. The album, was fallowed by a very powerful and emotional music video for the song ORPHAN SOUL. This video brought to the band new fans and new support that allows the band to grow bigger and tour more. At the moment the band is working on a new album that is going to see the light in the beginning of 2019.
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The Viking sails have been set – 2018 will be under the sign of the dragonhead. Uncompromising, combative, epic – the new LEAVES’ EYES! One of the most successful bands in the symphonic metal genre returns with its seventh album, ready to live up to the public’s high expectations. Leaves‘ Eyes are the historians of Metal. Every album puts to music a chapter of Nordic mythology or one of the Nordic sagas. ‘Lovelorn’ (2004) delved into the mystical world of a mermaid. The legendary ‘Vinland Saga’ brought the Vikings to life in 2005 and entered the album charts, kicking off the wave of success which saw the bombastic ‘Njord’ (2009) continue the adventurous journey of these medieval mariners. ‘Meredead’ with its Celtic folk sounds went on to take the ghosts of the marine world by surprise. The Metal opera “Symphonies Of The Night” (2013) was a monument to the heroic women of past centuries. The musicians’ fascination with myths and the powerful nature of the Nordic countries is tangible in all their compositions. Every Leaves‘ Eyes album is a soundtrack for a history told in multilingual concepts. In 2015 Leaves‘ Eyes delivered an impressive monumental opus about the first king of Norway in their epic ‘King Of Kings’, a sophisticated concept album which garnered chart positions in numerous countries (no. 15 in Germany, among others) and consolidated the footprint of this style-defining act in the foundations of Symphonic Metal. Sold-out shows in Europe, Asia, North and South America (a US tour with Sabaton in 2017, among others) during their ‘King Of Kings’ global tour attest to enthusiastic reactions worldwide. Their live shows are spectacular events featuring breathtaking stage sets like a Viking ship or the unforgettable ‘Swords in the Stone’ monument.
April 2016 saw Finnish vocalist Elina Siirala succeed Liv Kristine at the longship’s helm. Her impressive live premiere in front of more than 20,000 metal heads at the Hammersonic in Jakarta / Indonesia, subsequent festival appearances (headlining shows at the Metal Female Voices, Wave Gotik Treffen, Masters of Symphonic Metal, Full Metal Cruise, among others) and tours through Europe, the US and Canada established Elina as a charismatic frontwoman with a powerful voice, immediately sparking euphoria among Leaves’ Eyes’ fans. Following the ‘Fires In The North’ EP, which sold out immediately, ‘Sign Of The Dragonhead’ will be the first full album featuring the new line-up. The chronicles of the Vikings is continued and reveals that the band have honed their strengths even further. At the same time, musical surprises have raised their sound to a new level. The title track is a raw number featuring martial choirs and forges a sonic arch to ‘King Of Kings’, continuing the adventurous journey of King Harald I. Frontman Alexander Krull and virtuoso guitarist Thorsten Bauer prove to be ingenious masters when it comes to composing haunting metal hits. Every track has the musicians upping the creative ante, revealing an impressive amount of diversity without neglecting their trademark sound elements. ‘Across The Sea’ evolves into a metal shanty with an irresistible rhythm, bound to be a definite neckbreaker. ‘Like A Mountain’ sets to music a tragic Icelandic love saga and surprises as a bass-heavy goth rock track. An emotional song with plenty of tough elements which allows Elina to reveal the full range of her vocal skills. Confident and autonomous, her classically trained voice takes possession of the songs – gentle at times, powerful at others – lending a highly individual note to her interaction with Alex‘s growls. Leaves‘ Eyes have succeeded in creating compositionally complex yet tangible tracks. Perfectly coordinated instrumentation – never top-heavy, always unconventional. Medieval nyckelharpas, fiddles, uilleann pipes and whistles blend naturally with the Metal guise, creating catchy songs such as ‘Shadows In The Night’ and ‘Völva’, which whisks its listeners away to the mythical world of the seeresses and sorceresses of the Northern countries. Nobody expected a song like ‘Riders On The Wind’ which has classic Heavy Metal and Celtic Folk clash to create an acoustic Viking party. These musicians’ deep affinity with the Viking era is revealed on ‘Jomsborg’ about the legendary fortress and its Baltic Viking army, where in fact Alex’s ancestors hail from. At the same time, ‘Jomsborg’ is an homage to today’s Viking re-enactment scene which is enjoying increasing popularity. An army of first-rate guest musicians – the legendary ‘London Voices’ soundtrack choir (‘Star Wars’, ‘Lord Of The Rings’, ‘Hunger Games’) and Victor Smolski’s Almanac Symphony Orchestra from Minsk – turn numbers such as ‘Waves Of Euphoria’ into epic sound monuments. The brilliant sound production, once more courtesy of Alexander Krull at the Mastersound Studios, leaves nothing to be desired for Leaves’ Eyes fans. And visually, the music is brilliantly continued and perfected into a complete work of art. The opulent artwork created by Stefan Heilemann and the awesome video to support the title track make the Norsemen visible and underline this outstanding band’s perfectionist approach to art. Leaves‘ Eyes sound more direct, powerful and unique than ever before. ‘Sign Of The Dragonhead’ plays in the premier league of music and, thanks to a new exceptional vocalist and the band’s tried-and-tested fortes, is set to leave an unforgettable mark in the success story of this group, hinting at new feats at the horizon. Full speed ahead!
Leaves' Eyes Website
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SIRENIA was formed by Morten Veland in January 2001. Morten’s musical work was already well known through his work with his former band Tristania, a band he co-founded back in the mid nineties. Being the main songwriter for this band he was a part of defining the gothic metal sound from a very early time on.
With SIRENIA the intention was to bring it to the next level, a task he succeeded to fulfil. Up to date SIRENIA has released 8 albums, an EP and several singles. Their albums have made it to the charts in 6 countries, receiving great reviews worldwide. Meanwhile their singles have topped radio charts in several countries. Their 9th album ‘Arcane Astral Aeons’ will be released on the 26th of October 2018 via Napalm Records. SIRENIA has also toured extensively in Europe, Latin America, North America, Asia and Australia for 15 years and counting and performed at the biggest festivals in Europe on the same billing as huge acts like; Ozzy Osbourne, Iron Maiden, Aerosmith and Korn, to mention a few.
SIRENIA sounds like a mixture of gothic metal and rock with classical orchestrations, in addition to some elements from more extreme metal genres. Their sound have a solid base in the powerful drums and bass supported by massive rhythm guitars, dressed with atmospheric keyboards and spiced with melancholic violins and 12-string guitars. The music is at all times melodic and groovy. The vocal styles are diverse and consist of female vocals, choirs, growls, screams, clean male vocals, whispers and samples. The songs are very intense and dynamic. The lyrics are based on reflections on life, death, love, hate, paranoia, anxiety and mental decline in general.
The band has been through some line-up changes over the years, but has now settled with a fixed and strong line-up.
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Megacorporations owning our governments, the world on the verge of ecological collapse and humanity fleeing into cyberspace to escape the horrors of the real world – is this 2019?
When Philip K. Dick wrote what would later become Blade Runner, no one would have believed that the dystopian cyberpunk future he imagined 2019 to be, would be so similar to the world we live in today…
This realisation is what sparked the idea for the new album from FOREVER STILL – »Breathe In Colours«, which was released via Nuclear Blast on March 29th 2019.
With their sophomore full-length album, the band has evolved their songwriting skills even further and didn’t want to produce a carbon copy of its predecessor »Tied Down«, released in 2016. Instead, the new album drifts both into more epic moments like on the captivating opener ‘Rewind’ or ‘Embrace The Tide’, while frontwoman Maja Shining also delivers her heaviest screams to date on the groovy ‘Survive’ or their emotional declaration of war, ‘Fight’. And for the first time, the songwriting duo of singer Maja and multi-instrumentalist Mikkel Haastrup have decided to make the album a more collaborative effort and therefore brought their long time live drummer, Rune Frisch, into the studio with them to record the drums – a big step for the two young musicians who handled everything on their own on the previous record, from music videos to band photos, the album production and even concert booking.
For »Breathe In Colours«, the band decided to work with a futuristic and dystopian theme, as Maja explains: “Instead of looking in, we turned our focus to the world and saw it in a state of change. It somehow reminded us of the dystopian cyberpunk future, we’d seen in books and movies when we were kids, where megacorporations own our governments, the world is on the verge of ecological collapse and humanity is fleeing into cyberspace building walls around ourselves to escape the horrors of the real world. This, and the fact that two of the most influential cyberpunk works of all time, Blade Runner and Akira, are set in 2019, is what gave us the initial idea for the album and its more electronic and raw sound.”
On their social media, FOREVER STILL have already revealed some initial info on the new album hidden in binary code language, and the explanation behind the cover artwork of »Breathe In Colours« – still designed by Maja herself – is just as fascinating:
“At first glance the cover art appears quite dark and gloomy, but in reality it’s bursting with colour. Just like the real world – sometimes we just have to look really closely to actually see it. The many numbers behind me represent all the colours in the world in binary code – more commonly known as ‘computer language’ and at the same time it’s a reference to the world becoming so digital and people escaping into their computers to find colours instead of living in the real world and finding them there.”
After accomplishing two extensive European tours alongside LACUNA COIL and CHILDREN OF BODOM, the band was able to refine both their live performance and songwriting skills and to experiment with a heavier direction and the incorporation of post-rock moments, while the lyrical themes centre mostly around inner and outer wars, the need to overcome struggles and self-doubts and growing stronger through that experience – a topic that many fans can relate to and that have always helped them connect to the music ever since the band released their first singles in 2014. In the same empathic vein, the album title was inspired by an early memory that Maja kept with her from her teenage years:
“The album title was born from an experience, I had as a young teenager, where I started wearing all black and a friend of my mother’s suggested that I wear more colours. I told her that it’s just an aesthetic preference and she replied that it was okay “as long as I remembered to keep the colours on the inside”. At that time I thought, it was the stupidest thing, I’d ever heard, since wearing all black doesn’t automatically mean you’re sad inside. Despite thinking that, her words stuck with me and I was able to have it make sense in a new way much later in life. For this album it’s an affirmation that even though the world sometimes seems cold and grey, there is still colour and kindness to be found, but in order to see it, we first have to find the colours on the inside”
After sweat, blood and tears and the surprising use of a theremin, the result of FOREVER STILL’s efforts to break through the numbing grey, is a surprisingly diversified and mature album that breathes fresh air – and colours – into the bland rock scene.
Forever Still Website
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LOST IN GREY
The Finnish theatrical metal band LOST IN GREY was founded in 2013. Inspired by symphonic and folk metal, literature and the world itself, Lost in Grey creates multifaceted music and brings elements of drama to the songs as well as live performances. The band will be releasing their 2nd album THE WASTE LAND in January 2019 via Reaper Entertainment Europe.
On this new album Lost in Grey dives into the themes that lead to the story of their debut album THE GREY REALMS (2017). The Waste Land represents a place where suppressed thoughts and emotions are hidden. There they wither or live on as echoes and whispers. Telling the story, Harri Koskela (also keyboard), Emily Leone (also violin) and lyricist Anne Lill Rajala play the characters within the story and bring a very own touch to it through their diverse voice talents.
Lost in Grey are without doubt one of the most promising newcomers within recent years, electrifying their audiences through their suspense-packed story and the terrific sound setting. Listen to a piece of art in which the lyrical concepts are in an inseparable union with the musical compositions and all the graphics around the album, showing the talent and commitment of each band member.
Lost in Grey Website
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Asphodelia is a dark symphonic metal act founded in 2016 in Foggia, Italy, by Samuela ‘Samah’ Fuiani (vocals and keyboards) and Ruggero ‘Lordian' Doronzo (guitar), and currently including Davide Ricciardi (bass), Giuseppe Centonza (drums) and Gianni Colonna (guitar). Their sound blends symphonic and choral sonorities, electronics and Mediterranean echoes into a solid metal frame with a strongly dark mood. Their lyrics are usually centered on the theme of the afterlife, on the life and death dichotomy, the fleetingness of time and the misery of the human condition.
The band is named after the asphodel, typical Mediterranean flower connected to the ancient Greek Underworld: in the ancient Greek mythology, the Asphodel Meadows is a place where the indifferent souls, who lived a life of neither good or evil, are sent to live after death.
The band released a promo EP entitled 'Vengeance' on 26 May 2016, receiving enthusiastic response from their fanbase. In May 2017 they joined the prestigious roster of The Flaming Arts Agency, leading them to important stage experiences such as the Female Metal Voices Tour Russia 2017 as main support to Sirenia, The Agonist and Cellar Darling.
With the release of their debut album ‘Welcome Apocalypse’ through Mighty Music on 20 April 2018, the band makes its official entry into the international metal scene, gathering the attention of the specialized press and receiving flattering reviews from magazines and media like Rock Hard (DE), Sweden Rock (SE), Powerplay (UK), Rock Tribune (BE), Scream Magazine (NO), Burrn (JP), We Rock (JP), Lords of Metal (NL), Pure Grain Audio (CA) and many others. The videoclip for their first single ‘Cassandra’ was premiered on three international media: Legacy (DE), Sweden Rock (SE) and Metalized (DK).
The release is supported by a promotional tour in UK, Spain, Italy and many summer festival appearances, leading the band to perform in several countries and share the stage with acts like Sabaton, Moonspell, Septicflesh, Udo Dirkschneider, Arkona, Caliban, Moonsorrow, We Butter The Bread With Butter, H.e.a.t., Avalanch, Saratoga, Carach Angren, Skyforger, Metsatöll, Cruachan, Necronomicon, Illdisposed and many others.
The band has recently announced its participation to the Female Metal Voices Tour 2018 with Butcher Babies and Kobra And The Lotus this fall in October.
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The story of GWAR is carved across the history of this barren and hopeless planet, but GWAR themselves are not of this world… their story begins in the deepest reaches of outer space. Long ago, the beings who would become the rock band GWAR were part of an elite fighting force, the Scumdogs of the Universe. For eons, they served as thralls to a supreme being known only as the Master. But one by one, each future member of the band earned a glaring reputation for being an intergalactic fuck-up. And so, they were banished, sent away on a fool's errand to conquer an insignificant shitball floating in a dark corner of the universe; the planet Earth. Once here, GWAR shaped the face of the globe, destroying and rebuilding the natural world, and giving rise to all of human history. Aliens to some, gods and demons to others, our erstwhile Scumdogs fucked apes to create the human race, and this fateful unplanned pregnancy would prove to be truly disastrous!
Their new album, The Blood of Gods, is nothing less than a sacred text chronicling the rise of humanity against their makers, and the massive battle between GWAR and the forces of all that is uptight and wrong with the world. Along the way, the band challenges the sins of their great mistake, from politics, pollution, and organized religion, to fast food, and factory farming. Humans are shown as what they are; a parasitical disease that must be eradicated before they suck the planet dry.
Of course, The Blood of Gods is the first GWAR album without the band's fallen leader, Oderus Urungus. The title of the album refers to the loss of Oderus and the struggles and triumphs that produced the new sound of the band. Born of adversity, The Blood of Gods is a sonic scar… a question asked and answered… Death cannot kill GWAR. Nothing can. GWAR LIVES MOTHERFUCKERS!
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The only predictable thing about Canadian cosmic-metal warriors Voivod is that they will forever be unpredictable. On the warpath for more than 35 years, Voivod have pushed their sound relentlessly forward, constructing imaginative musical realms with each endeavor. They literally changed the face of thrash metal in the ‘80s, forged new prog-metal ground in the ‘90s, and kept up with changing times and lineups in the 2000s with fresh, inspired music.
In 2018, Voivod’s 14th studio album, The Wake, is upon us. The band’s original members, drummer Michel “Away” Langevin and vocalist Denis “Snake” Belanger, find themselves reinvigorated and reenergized by the presence of guitarist Daniel “Chewy” Mongrain and new bassist Dominic “Rocky” Laroche. Mongrain, now celebrating ten years in the band, has done a more than respectable job replacing original guitarist, the ever-beloved Denis “Piggy” D’Amour. His contribution to the making of The Wake was as integral to the new album as was Piggy’s leadership during his reign.
The Wake steers the Voivod spacecraft through a tangled, tantalizing storyline, woven into the most maze-like, edge-of-your-seat musical experience the band have embarked upon since those heady days of the late ‘80s. Songs such as “The End of Dormancy,” “Iconspiracy” and “Spherical Perspective” churn and twist in such a way that no Voivod devotee could possibly have wished for more. While previous album Target Earth was a grand rebirth for the band, and 2016’s Post Society EP a promise of adventurous things to come, The Wake takes the approach of those recordings, widens the parameters, and introduces a few bold new facets to the Voivod soundscape: prominent acoustic guitars and classic music flourishes are woven into the controlled electric calamity. The Wake is sure to be hailed alongside previous achievements Dimension Hatröss, Nothingface and The Outer Limits.
Chewy offers insight into the collaborative nature of Voivod song architecture: “I wrote a lot of the ideas and worked a lot on the details, but the song structures and general sound and identity of the opus is a team work. Snake recorded a few ideas on the bass and with his voice, which inspired me to create something with. Rocky wrote most of his bass parts and also song ideas, parts, and melodies. Away’s talent at structuring song sections is gold, and his groove on the riffs takes the ideas into a parallel world of which no one could imagine at the start.” He might very well be thinking of the 15/4 time signature driven by Away’s propulsive skin-beating on “Always Moving.”
As for those new facets of the Voivod sound within The Wake, Chewy reveals that “the acoustic guitars were added as texture on the clean parts, but also over some distorted riffs. It helps hearing the colors of the chords more precisely, and we mixed it just loud enough to feel them. As for the string quartet, when I was listening to the outro of ‘Sonic Mycelium,’ I was hearing strings in my head, so I got to work and wrote a three-minute arrangement for string quartet. The quartet was fun to work with, and since we had them in the studio, we added a few sparkles on other songs. There is a part in ‘Always Moving’ which is inspired by Stravinsky. Classical, jazz, metal, they use the same 12 notes, so why not borrow some ingredients from other styles? It’s refreshing.”
The journey of the album is deepened by a compelling storyline, which Snake summarizes this way: “In the wake of an incredible discovery that created a monstrous disaster, the whole world will live through a series of events that will force humanity to understand the new reality and the concept of not being alone in the universe. Not without a fight, not without chaos and conflicts, not without plots and conspiracy. Some will accept and some will deny the truth. Religions will fall to create new ones. But eventually, the world will reach a new level of conciousness, a new spirit, a new way to look at the sky.“ It’s all revisited and resolved in the 12-minute closing song, “Sonic Mycelium,” which also quotes from 1993’s “Jack Luminous” epic. “That song is a sort of medley,” says Snake, “of all the other songs on the album. It mixes riffs and musical parts, but in a different order.”
Of course, no Voivod album is complete without the inimitable artwork provided by drummer Away, who notes that the cover “depicts us, the band, as four Voivods holding a vigil for a dead planet.” Hence The Wake, an incredibly captivating slice of sonic escape from the masters of cosmic metal, and an album that sits confidently next to the many top-tier achievements of their past. Forever forward, always moving!!!
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Childrain come from the new generation of Spanish bands bringing determination, quality and immaculate live performance.
Childrain is top melodic metal band from Vitoria (Basque country), formed by young members with a clear vision for the future. Their brother bond in the band can be most powerful thing. Just remember Pantera, Sepultura, Gojira or Arch Enemy.
Many times the best bands come from hidden and secret places. Among emerging young hopes from Spain, Childrain have remained loyal developing their own style with 3 successful releases. Their second album «A Fairy Tale for the Dissent-2013» reached almost 8.000 copies sold as part of a magazine campaign. Third album «Matheria» was released in 2015 and since then they headlined small and medium festivals across the country, France and Portugal, including Resurrection, Download Festival, Kristonfest, VOA, and played numerous club shows with bands as Gojira, Napalm Death, Hatebreed, Atreyu.
«The Silver Ghost» is the newest album recorded in 2018. Combining metalcore and melodic metal with catchy melodies that take you on a super sound- well produced journey. It is technical and progressive with spiritual and awakening message. They come with own vision of melodic metalcore with a selection of songs that are on the edge of radio singles. The melodies flow through the songs with catchy vocal choruses from clean to growls, surrounded with powerful riffs and strong structures. The album is full of extra special heavy and groovy songs that stand out.
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NO MORE FAITH
This is a tribute band to Faith No More! We like them, we respect them!
We are based in Slovenia, Europe.
Džoko ''Jazz'' - Lead vocals
Gašper Gantar - Bass guitar
Rok Rozman - Drums
Miha Dolinar - Keyboards
Žiga Janežič - Guitar, back vocals
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Welcome to first class technical death metal madness. Machinegun vocals rattle remorselessly over a furious flurry of arpeggios, scales, and everything else that the two string wizards of ARCHSPIRE can pick at break-finger speed out their guitars. If this sounds hardly human at the level of technical execution, the Gatling-style hyper-drumming pushing these monstrous compositions forward is adding to the alien impression. It cannot even be a question that the Canadians have outdone themselves with their third full-length, ‘Relentless Mutation’.
This album is simply insane in a most excellent way. The level of musicianship that ARCHSPIRE offer, will leave even tech death fans drooling. Yet the outfit from Vancouver in British Columbia is bringing an important extra to the table, the rare ability to write great songs. ‘Relentless Mutation’ is not just another compilation of outstanding musicianship, but the songs come with recognisable patterns that make sense in the greater conceptual framework of the album. And a clever use of contrasts leaves moments of clarity for the listener to take a breath and get ready for the next assault.
ARCHSPIRE exploded onto the scene in the year 2009 – after an earlier prelude under the moniker DEFENESTRATED. The band grew out of the rich Canadian scene for technical extremes that includes illustrious names such as GORGUTS or BEYOND CREATION. Yet ARCHSPIRE set out to take the sound to the next level from the start as their debut album ‘All Shall Align’ (2011) made clear, which immediately received critical comparison with the scene’s spearheads like OBSCURA.
The band developed a lyrical concept revolving around a dystopian science fiction universe, which was expanded on their sophomore full-length, ‘The Lucid Collective’ (2014) that witnessed ARCHSPIRE gaining widespread international recognition as one of the hottest names within the tech death community and beyond.
With ‘Relentless Mutation’, the Canadians are pushing the limits of their genre even further than before on all levels. ARCHSPIRE come crushing like a whirlwind to free ears and minds from pre-conceived notions about technical death metal. Time to leave your shelter and face the tempest. This is the future.
The cover of ‘Relentless Mutation’ has been painted by renowned artist Eliran Kantor already well-known in the metal world for his works for TESTAMENT, ATHEIST, and HATE ETERNAL among others.
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BENEATH THE MASSACRE
Hailing from Montréal, Québec, Canada, Beneath the Massacre was formed in 2004 by Elliot Desgagnés (vocals), Christopher Bradley (guitars), Dennis Bradley(bass) and Justin Rousselle (drums). The band immediately drew attention to themselves in the metal community with their first release, ‘Evidence of Inequity’ (2005) and further helped in shaping the sound of modern brutal technical death metal with their critically acclaimed ‘Mechanics of Dysfunction’ (2007). Their technicality, speed, raw energy and politically engaged message further propelled their renowned status in the metal community. After touring intensively for the better part of a decade, Beneath the Massacre has remained quiet since 2014. Declared dead by most until in 2018, when it was revealed that the band was indeed still alive and aiming at a return.
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Looking in a medical textbook will tell you the following: Vulvodynia is a chronic, severe vaginal pain with no identifiable cause. While the severe part is dead on, what a medical textbook won’t tell you is that Vulvodynia is also the pioneer in what is rapidly becoming South Africa’s most eviscerating export: slamming brutal death metal. With lobotomizing, lurid riffs, skin-shredding blast beats and slams gruesome and filthy enough to induce septic shock, Vulvodynia are a lethal plague, spreading throughout the flesh of today’s heavy music scene—infecting one set of ears at a time, and leaving no survivors.
Spawned in 2014 by Vocalist Duncan Bentley and Guitarist Luke Haarhoff, Vulvodynia is a South African slam juggernaut designed with one purpose: to make the craziest, most absurdly heavy music possible, while attempting to define themselves as more than just “another slam band.” If their mission was over-the-top heaviness, then consider it accomplished—from their debut release, Lord of Plagues, Vulvodynia’s penchant for skull-splitting technicality and eviscerating heaviness has been obvious. Rapidly gaining popularity and recognition for their prodigal slam prowess, Lord of Plagues saw the band reach ears not just in their local scene, but around the world as well. As the band’s popularity grew, their sound matured, drawing more from a greater array of influences and improving their musicianship and dynamic in August 2014 the band signed a two album contract with Australian Label ‘Vicious Instinct Records’ and added producer Byron Dunwoody in as second guitarist, in October of 2014, the band released their debut full-length album, Cognizant Castigation. Featuring Acrania’s Luke Griffin and Ingested’s Jason Evans (among many others), Cognizant Castigation is an album that cements Vulvodynia’s status as slam legends, transcending common gimmicks and staples of the genre and instead opting to generate an overwhelmingly crushing experience that fans of any style of heavy music will be able to get into.
If 2014 was the year the band finally grew into their potential, 2015 was the year they shattered their own mold, evolving into an even more aggressive and creative display of no-holds-barred heaviness. The band released a lengthy-but-lurid eight track EP titled Finis Omnium Ignoratium, completing their contact with Vicious Instinct Records. No longer satisfied with their status as a terrifying trio, the band sought to expand—searching South Africa for more like-minded musicians willing to bring forth brutality. Vulvodynia’s search was not in vain—as they added drummer Thomas Hughes (Fuzigish, Haggis and Bong & All Forlorn), bassist Kris Xenopoulos (Carnage Carnival, Contrast the Water) and guitarist Matthew Mader (Your Cynical Sanity). With a full-fledged line-up confirmed, the band made their first moves sextet—a contribution to a multi-band Halloween split and a signing to the Czech-based label Lacerated Enemy Records.
A packed 2015 well in the books, 2016 is looking no less busy. Already in the studio recording their next release, Psychosadistic Design, which is slated for a mid-spring street date. Never satisfied, the band will keep writing, as well as finalizing plans for a 2016 Europe tour and a 2017 U.S. tour to follow—proof that there is no way to predict just how far or how fast Vulvodynia’s sinister infection will spread.
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INFERI are an American technical death metal band forged in the depths of Nashville, TN. The band formed in 2006 and set themselves outside of the generic pack by mixing melodious, yet technical musicianship rarely seen in today’s extreme metal acts. After releasing their debut album, Divinity In War in 2007 and following up with The End of an Era in 2009, lead guitarist, Malcolm Pugh (A LOATHING REQUIEM, Ex-ENTHEOS, Ex-DISKREET, Ex-ENFOLD DARKNESS) recruited Mike Low (OUBLIETTE, Ex-ENFOLD DARKNESS) on guitar and the band released their critically acclaimed album, The Path of Apotheosis in 2014. INFERI returned in 2018 with the release of their album, Revenant, which charted #26 on Billboard’s Hard Rock Albums, #28 on Billboard’s New Artists and #92 on Billboard’s Independent Album charts. Additionally, 2018 brought a new lineup with Spencer Moore (Ex-ANIMALITY, Ex-ABYSS WALKER, PHOBOS) on Drums, Andrew Kim (Ex-VIMANA, Ex-SEREN) on Bass and Stevie Boiser (TETHYS, EQUIPOISE, Ex-DISSONANCE IN DESIGN, Ex-VALE OF PNATH) on Vocals. With the lineup solidified, in 2019 INFERI released a completely re-recorded version of their 2009 album, titled The End of an Era | Rebirth. The band has toured extensively along side acts such as OBSCURA, ARCHSPIRE, BEYOND CREATION, RIVERS OF NIHIL, ALTERBEAST, VIRVUM, WORMHOLE, EXIST, REAPING ASMODEIA and GRINDMOTHER across the United States and Canada. INFERI are currently endorsed by Kiesel Guitars, ESP Guitars, Darkglass Electronics, ENKI cases, and DR Strings.
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Formed by already renowned Slovenian metal musicians, the band Morost first began to appear on stage after the release of their well received debut album Solace in Solitude in 2014. Whilst creating complex metal music Morost are exploring and breaching the bounds of extreme musical expression, both in studio and on stage.
Sophisticated metal compositions from this Slovenian band will bring you the unexpected expeirience, from raw black metal, through swamp groove psychadelia, to slow death metal and blastbeats just to spice it all up for a moment.
Jonas Savšek - vocals
Blaž Maligoj - bass
Blaž Zupan - guitars
Peter Frol - guitars
Tamara Cerović Erjavec - keyboards
Jan Martin Dobre - drums
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Sarcom is a groove-death metal band from Metlika, Slovenia. The group was formed back in 1997 - by Ilija Šajatovič(bass), Frederik Urbančič(guitar) and Dejan Mihajlovič(vocals). Drummer Toni Klemenčič joined the band a few months later. originally band was formed as a thrash-groove metal band, influenced by the legends Sepultura, Anthrax, Metallica, Pantera....And many others. Band was constantly evolving and looking for a heavier and more agressive sound, so band gained exactly that when Damir Čoralič(guitar) joined the band, and the crusade begin. After two years, of constant playing all over Slovenia and Croatia, Frederik Urbančič had to leave the band and that caused the band to evolve to even more aggressive and heavy style. So that heaviness and aggression become constant inspiration in bands music.
Sarcom @ Facebook
Brutart's art brut approach to music started in 2000 when the band was conceived, reached its teenage years in astonishing three years, with the 2003 release: Arab Dream. Three years later, in 2006, first full length album, Mimic, was released, and then a long, scary silence. Breaking this unnerving 'hiatus', on 7th april in 2017, a second full length album titled 'Wear my skin' came to be. A step into more focused and dark direction was made. While most of the chores in band remain the same: Blaž Kelbl still growls and plays guitar, Erik Orson still plays the guitar, Sebastjan Mulej still tortures the drums and growls, the band got a new member. Roman Štupar who gently caresses the bass guitar. Future is still dark! Darker than ever…
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SPACE UNICORN ON FIRE
Space Unicorn On Fire is a metal band from Slovenia. Their playful mix of old-school heavy metal and geeky progressive metal brings listeners to miles of smile, like a match next to a barrel of kerosene. Some others sing about Satan, booze and women. These guys sing about women, space and fooling around supernovas, nebulas and pulsars! Well, a careful listener might even find nuggets of wisdom. Come to a show and join the experience!
Rok 'Tavta' Tavčar - Lead vocal
Matej Osredkar - Guitar
Matjaž Ličar - Keyboards
Grega Stamenovič - Bass guitar
Gorazd Ledinek - Drums
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THY ART IS MURDER
Privatized prisons enforce police states, where nonviolent offenders languish for decades. Pharmaceuticals numb the mind. Social media distracts the spirit. All while the very planet lurches toward an inevitable climate disaster that will extinguish humanity. The Nightmare of Human Organ Harvesting? That’s not a gruesome song title from some forgotten old-school death metal record. It’s a headline from the Wall Street Journal.
Against this backdrop of postmodern dystopia, chaos, and confusion, arrives Human Target, the earth-scorching fifth album from extreme metal titans THY ART IS MURDER.
Australia’s most brutally alarming cultural export since George Miller’s Mad Max franchise makes music that serves as a loud last gasp against the ever-encroaching void. It’s a blazing light of nihilistic despondency before the final darkness. Fusing authentic crushing death metal with blackened fury and flashes of knuckle-dragging stomp, THY ART IS MURDER exorcise the pangs of mortality and the pains of socio-political trauma.
It’s a reinvigoration and redefinition of a thriving subculture that has earned them a place in the Top 50 Most Popular Metal Bands Right Now, According to the Internet, a list compiled by a popular metal blog (based on worldwide page views) that puts THY ART IS MURDER among Metallica, Slipknot, Slayer, Megadeth, Ghost, and Iron Maiden.
THY ART IS MURDER’s thinking-person’s blackened death metal has challenged and inspired audiences around the globe, from top-tier genre festivals like Download, Graspop, Hellfest, and Summer Breeze; to high-profile tours supporting Killswitch Engage, Parkway Drive, and Architects; to multiple headlining and co-headlining shows. In their native country, they’ve charted higher than any other homegrown extreme metal band. They even toured North America with Slayer as part of Rockstar Mayhem.
Guitarist/cofounder Sean Delander, guitarist/lyricist Andy Marsh, singer Chris “CJ” McMahon, and bassist Kevin Butler officially welcome drummer Jesse Beahler (Jungle Rot, Black Crown Initiate, Rings Of Saturn) into the fold with Human Target, who brought a groovy yet technical approach to the proceedings. Marsh and Delander wrote the songs in just a few short weeks, with producer Will Putney once again at the helm.
THY ART IS MURDER continues to rail against the anti-intellectualism and fear of mortality at the heart of some of the worst of public policy. In contrast with their impressive back catalog, no song on Human Target singles out organized religion or the concept of God specifically. The title track is about the practice of organ harvesting in China, where the World Heath Organization found a huge discrepancy in the number of organs volunteered by donors and the number of organs transplanted into the wealthy.
“Make America Hate Again” isn’t intended to alienate any of the leftist band’s more right leaning audience members; it’s an attack against the entire political system, satirizing the expectation that any government will make things “great” for the masses.
“New Gods” is about the role of social media in the mental health epidemic. “Death Squad Anthem” champions the youth who are fed up with the current system. “Atonement” is both a brutal examination concerning the truth of sexual violence, most of which goes unreported, and a literal atonement of sorts for some of the band’s less thoughtful lyrics, around the time of the original lineup’s formation a dozen years ago.
“Welcome Oblivion,” inspired by a line from the late Christopher Hitchens’ Mortality, likens humankind to a “cancer” upon the planet. “Eye for an Eye” subversively ascribes a patient vengeance to the earth, an earth that will survive the “cancer” of humanity. “Voyeurs into Death” attacks the surveillance state and for-profit-prisons. “Chemical Christ” is about the religion of addiction, from pharmaceuticals to “smart” phones.
The fifth full-length from THY ART IS MURDER follows the blistering Dear Desolation (2017), which debuted in the Top 100 in the US and Australia’s Top 5. They continue along an evolutionary trajectory charted by The Depression Sessions, an unprecedented collaborative album with The Acacia Strain and Fit For An Autopsy. That project arrived after the uncompromising Holy War (2015), Hate (2012), and The Adversary (2010).
A fresh generation of extreme music acolytes and longstanding death metal fans alike enthusiastically endorse the unrelenting aggression and increasing lyrical depth of THY ART IS MURDER. Videos for “Puppet Master,” “Holy War,” “No Absolution,” “The Purest Strain of Hate,” “Shadow of Eternal Sin,” “They Will Know Another,” and “Light Bearer” have accumulated 40 million views, 13 million of them for “Reign of Darkness” alone.
If this is truly the soundtrack to the end of humanity, it’s music that should unite and empower extreme metal fans in all corners of the genre. This is underground music for the people, carrying the torch for a primal style that doesn’t die. As New Noise declared, “few embrace the feel of the apocalypse so dearly and expertly… THY ART IS MURDER is clearly at the head of the modern death metal pack [and] they are just getting better.”
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Colossal swells erupt from a vast ocean of human suffering and universal dread and in their wake present to us the latest offering from the minds of CARNIFEX: World War X. Soul darkening, eye-bloodying, flesh crushing death metal is to be expected from this group of musicians, yet with the new album comes a unique notion of unavoidable hopelessness; the inevitable rot of mankind. CARNIFEX has stoked the coals and breathed a distinct power into »World War X« that boils over into subjects and sounds of human degradation.
Still scorching from the release of »Slow Death« in 2016, CARNIFEX never really stopped their writing process but rather developed one element, and continued to flow into another to create a natural path between Slow Death and World War X. Although not a concept album as it would normally be defined, World War X is conceptually rounded in a manner which displays a distinguished theme. Through the lens of war can be viewed subjects CARNIFEX fans will be familiar with; individual struggles, and internalized challenges that can feel akin to a deadly battle.
The album artwork created by Blake Armstrong is more expansive than CARNIFEX’s usual, straightforward, symbol-centric album covers. Although a shard of iconography still rests center stage, a landscape erupts around it setting forth the final physical forms of evil onto the remaining shards of the planet. “It’s chaotic, dangerous, violent, mysterious... much like the album,” reflects frontman Scott Ian Lewis.
Nine blistering tracks are contained within World War X and each song is compiled of multiple menacing layers which are substantially longer than previous CARNIFEX songs. There is a noticeable gain in the complexity of song structure as they deliver you further into an audio-sensory sojourn. “To me, this album is the best we’ve done as far as both guitar riffs and solos,” says Lewis. “There’s a lot of listenability there; you hit the end and you want to hit play again. There’s more theatre, more depth to this record.” The album was once again recorded by Jason Suecof of Audiohammer Studios at the helm of tracking and mixing (DEATH ANGEL, JOB FOR A COWBOY, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER), and was mastered by Ted Jensen of Sterling Sound (DEFTONES, PANTERA, AS I LAY DYING).
The title track opens the album and quickly ignites the tone of World War X both lyrically and musically. Much like a conversation, the song displays multiple, cynical points of view on the subjects of war, death, and certain destruction. “The fallout from that,” reflects Lewis, “what happens when you find yourself in a place where the only way you can move forward is with those types of emotions, and that type of violence.” A music video for the track, shot in the barren, death filled landscape of the Salton Sea and directed by Lewis, will also be showcased alongside the single.
'No Light Shall Save Us' featuring Alissa White-Gluz will also accompany a music video (directed by Scott Hansen) upon its release. Exemplifying the album as a whole, and containing the majority of the album’s elements in one song, 'No Light Shall Save Us' was written not long after the conclusion of the »Slow Death« album cycle. “We really wanted to feature a guest female vocalist. Alissa not only has an extremely strong, recognizable voice, but a vast range of clean and melodic singing, too. It’s different for a CARNIFEX song, but it still has all the elements of our sound. It’s a great lead in for the album - fans are gonna hear a lot of things they haven’t before, but it still sounds like us. We’re trying to push ourselves within what we write, not push ourselves to go beyond our genre. I feel that at some point people feel they need to evolve beyond metal, perhaps for popularity’s sake, but I think there’s another way to do it, and that’s just to get better at what you do.” Another track entitled 'All Roads Lead To Hell' includes guest guitar solos by solo artist Angel Vivaldi.
World War X will be released on August 2nd, 2019 via Nuclear Blast Records, just in time for the band’s summer headlining gig with The Summer Slaughter Tour across North America. After two years of gaining momentum with the tour (2010, 2016), CARNIFEX is thrilled to be headlining for the entire run. As usual, CARNIFEX has taken the poisons of this world and translated them into a powerhouse of extreme musical artistry that will in every way gratify their fans and live audiences.
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FIT FOR AN AUTOPSY
Corrupt politicians, manipulative mainstream media, government surveillance, mass shootings, clean water shortages, religious warfare, aggressive agribusiness, climate change, GMOs and a whole host of mind-numbing problems certainly make it feel like humankind is “going to hell in a hand basket,” as they say. There may be nothing that can be done about it at this point. But at least we have a killer soundtrack.
Fit For An Autopsy’s Hellbound is the perfect score with which to watch the flames rise. Punishing, unrelenting and alternately both heavy and dissonant, the New Jersey metal band’s first album for Good Fight/eOne conjures visions of Nero vigorously attacking his fiddle, even as Rome was engulfed in fire all around him. Esteemed English actor Michael Caine delivers perhaps the best line in Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” trilogy: “Some men just want to watch the world burn.”
Death metal often chooses to deal in devils, demons and horror-movie inspired gore. “Deathcore” detours into broken relationships and introspective issues, much like its scene cousins in Metalcore and alt-rock. Fit For An Autopsy blaze their own path, opting to address the dirty, gritty and grimy reality of modern day life. There’s no fantasy, no plaintive odes to lost love. This music is hell. These songs are Hellbound.
Scene queens, careerist cartoons and poseur-iffic hacks best step aside when confronted with the self-assured, art-for-art’s-sake vibe of Fit For An Autopsy. As MetalSucks observed early on: “The band’s brutal, glowering take on [deathcore] reminded [us] of the squandered potential of the genre. Hardcore grooves and swagger, when incorporated correctly, blend quite well with death metal.”
On Hellbound, Fit For An Autopsy expand upon their commanding approach to an often maligned subgenre by synthesizing the rhythmic experimentalism of Gojira, the aggressive post-Noisecore of Converge, the esoteric and meditative tribalism of Isis, a virulent dose of the New Wave Of Swedish Death Metal (At The Gates, Dark Tranquility, early In Flames), the legendary progenitors of Floridian death metal (Death, Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse, Obituary) and the “deathcore” acts who offer actual proficiency in the genre (Suicide Silence, All Shall Perish, Whitechapel).
Each nuanced building block is meticulously assembled together to form a near-perfect modern metal masterpiece, all with the confident vibe of a group of people making the music they want to make for its own sake, trends and “hype” be damned.
There was justifiable reason to be excited about Fit For An Autopsy from the start. The rich pedigree of its core members foreshadowed the momentous music that was to come. Nate Johnson’s stint fronting Through The Eyes Of The Dead resonated with many death metal diehards. Guitarist Will Putney is an accomplished metal producer, mixer, engineer and cowriter. Putney’s fingerprints are all over currently relevant albums from Stray From The Path, Reign Supreme, Misery Signals, Vision of Disorder, Counterparts, For Today, Like Moths To Flames, Stray From The Path and more. Guitarist Patrick Sheridan is rightly well regarded for his work on the fretboard as well as with a tattoo machine. The rhythm section of bassist Shane Slade and Sick Drummer-approved Josean Orta is beyond formidable.
The earliest rumblings of Fit For An Autopsy emerged on a 2008 demo. The self-released Hell on Earth EP arrived the following year, eliciting interest from Guy Kozowyk, The Red Chord vocalist and Black Market Activities label honcho. Kozowyk released Fit For An Autopsy’s devastating debut, The Process of Human Extermination, in 2011. Sputnik Music paid particular attention to Johnson’s dominating presence. “The dude’s a swamp creature,” they wrote of his “absurd” (in a good way) delivery. “When you hear him scream, it’s like, ‘What the ---- was that?’ You realize whatever it is would probably eat you if you ran into it in the woods.”
The group’s seething contempt for modern society is rivaled only by the sonic bombardment dropped upon the unsuspecting all over Hellbound, a record that is equal parts challenging and engaging. It’s an album designed to make people feel uncomfortable, while at the same time, counter-intuitively soothed by its catharsis. Criminals, junkies and the systems that fail them; deadbeat parents; poisoned food; BS celebrities and false idols; they’ve all led humanity here. Hellbound draws a line in the sand. It’s a declaration that even it’s all going down the proverbial drain likeminded individuals can take some solace in the expression of shared rage.
Fit For An Autopsy @ Facebook
I AM is a five piece metal band hailing from the Lone Star State of Texas. Their sub genre of heavy metal is called TEXAS DEATH. I AM takes their influences from the big four (Slayer, Metallica, Megadeth, and Anthrax) also staple bands such as Pantera, Power Trip, and Cro-Mags. I AM is the dive bomb guitar driven metal that the world needs.
Vocalist Andrew Hileman started the band in 2011 with a different lineup, but with the same vision of what evolved into the crushing metal band it is today. The band's debut album, "Life Through Torment" was released February of 2017. With this lineup they have been solidifying Texas Death across North America on tour with bands like The Acacia Strain, For The Fallen Dreams, Kublai Khan, Left Behind and many more.
The band signed with 1126 Records in 2018. I AM began recording the new album with Randy Lebeouf at Graphic Nature Audio (Kublai Khan, Left Behind, and Great American Ghost) with a vision of capturing their chaotic live performance and power. By the time they left the Graphic Nature Audio summer of 2018, their sophomore album, "Hard 2 Kill" was made. The album is set to release on November 2, 2018 and bring Texas Death to a new light.
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Founded in 2002 by guitarist/vocalist Steffen Kummerer, German progressive death metal band OBSCURA caused a stir when they – out of nowhere – toured as support for the legendary Suffocation on the band’s European tour in 2006 and independently released their debut album Retribution that same year. From its very beginnings, the band (named after Gorguts’ inimitable 1993 full-length) demonstrated an uncanny ability for blending different forms of technical, cerebral metal into a coherent synthesis of death, thrash and black metal merged with progressive elements.
In 2009, after being acquired by Relapse Records, the band released Cosmogenesis , a marvel of technical and progressive metal that firmly established OBSCURA as one of modern extreme metal’s leading lights. Not one to bend to convention, OBSCURA distinguished themselves and their unique brand of music via the tasteful use of vocal effects, fretless bass, philosophical underpinnings, and other elements rarely touched on in extreme metal.
In addition to cracking the US Billboard charts, the release of Cosmogenesis saw OBSCURA embark on their first worldwide tour, which included visits to North America, Europe, and Japan. Cosmogenesis was followed in 2011 by Omnivium , which was lauded by Decibel, Terrorizer, Metal Injection, and dozens of others as a landmark achievement in technical music. That album entered the US and German charts while enabling the band to conduct another run of extensive touring across the globe. Five years since the release of the universally-acclaimed Omnivium , the progressive metal masters returned with their strongest and most dynamic release to date. The aptly-named Akróasis (Greek for “hearing” or “listening”) draws on all the various elements of OBSCURA ‘s signature sound and combines those qualities into a cohesive and mind-blowing whole.
The band embarked on multiple world tours with such renowned artists as Cannibal Corpse, Death To All, Children of Bodom and countless others including numerous festival appearances at Hellfest, Graspop Metal Meeting and many others.
Now in 2018, OBSCURA complete their long-running, four-album conceptual circle with the release of Diluvium (defined as a great oceanic flood), their most evocative, diverse and vibrant release to date.
Recorded with longtime producer V. Santura (Triptykon, Pestilence) at Woodshed Studios in Landshut, Germany, Diluvium is a stunning achievement for the illustrious quartet and a landmark release for progressive metal as a whole. Complete with all the band's signature elements plus groundbreaking polyrhythms, dramatic songwriting, and jaw-dropping virtuosity, OBSCURA raise the bar once again with an album that will go down in the annals of metal history as one of the most astonishing performances the genre has to offer.
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God Dethroned was formed by main-man Henri Sattler (guitars/vocals) in 1990. After one demo they released their debut album The Christhunt in 1992 on a small German label. Due to problems with the other band members and the record company, Henri decided to end the band. He then formed Ministry Of Terror, a Thrash Metal band, and released the Fall Of Life album with them in 1994. After a European tour, Henri left the band and re-formed God Dethroned. Armed with new band members and better songs, Henri and the new God Dethroned recorded The Grand Grimoire and inked a deal with Metal Blade Records. Many successful tours followed in Europe, the USA and Japan with great Death and Black Metal acts like Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel, Immortal, and Marduk, just to name a few.
The band also played most of the renowned festivals: Dynamo Open Air, Wacken, Graspop and Summer Breeze. However, not everything went smoothly. Drummer Roel Sanders left the band after the USA tour promoting Bloody Blasphemy. Nile‘s Tony Laureano played on the Ravenous album, but couldn’t stay in the band for obvious reasons. Janne Saarenpää from The Crown played on that tour, until finally new drummer Ariën van Weesenbeek joined the group, whose first recording experience with the band was Into the Lungs of Hell. This album was received very well by the press around the globe, and again the band toured around Europe and played festivals like Party San and Summer Breeze.
The time following the release of Into the Lungs of Hell was one of the most difficult periods in the band’s history. God Dethroned had been together so long that the individual band members had developed new views on life and the band. Somehow the challenge was gone. At a certain point, Beef (bass) and Jens van der Valk (guitars) decided to leave. The remaining band members, Henri and Arien, wrote a new album, The Lair of the White Worm, based on a novel by Bram Stoker. New band members Isaac Delahaye (guitars) and Henk Zinger (bass) joined the band right before the recordings. After the release, God Dethroned played numerous festivals (Summer Breeze, With Full Force), headlined tours in Europe and the USA, and supported bands such as The Haunted and Bolt Thrower.
In between tours, the band worked on a new album, The Toxic Touch, and went straight into the studio after the European tour with Bolt Thrower. After the release of the album, the band toured Europe as main support for Vader, then played festivals like Earthshaker and New England Metal & Hardcore fest, with a number of headliner shows across Europe. Family issues kept Henri at home for a long time until he started working on Passiondale – (Passchendaele) mid-2008.
During mid-October, the band went to Soundlodge Studio in Leer, Germany to work with Jörg Uken again, since the production of The Toxic Touch turned out so well. Compared to the previous album, this new album – Passiondale – (Passchendaele) – was a lot more extreme and furious (while still containing the band’s signature melody), mainly due to the return of Roel Sanders on drums (who played on The Grand Grimoire and Bloody Blasphemy). Henri recalls, “It seemed the most logical thing to do, to go back to our early sound. Danny Servaes, who also played keyboards on aforementioned albums, participated again and added that touch of mystique, which made the songs even more special…The grimness of war is reflected in the songs, and the atmosphere creates a feeling of listening to the soundtrack of a war movie.“
Passiondale – (Passchendaele) was recorded as a three-piece because guitarist Isaac Delahaye decided to go in a different direction. He did, however, contribute to the album by doing a lot of additional research for the lyrics Henri wrote. Themed around World War I, these lyrics aren’t from a particular point of view or speak about a specific country, since God Dethroned‘s band members don’t want to take political sides. After the release of the album in 2009, the band embarked on a massive world tour, playing South America for the first time in their career. Plans for another album about World War I were made during those days on the road, and Under the Sign of the Iron Cross was written and recorded soon after.
With its grim atmosphere and aggression, Under the Sign of the Iron Cross (2010) was again well received by the press around the globe, earning “Album of the Year” accolades from various outlets. However, the band needed a break after more than 20 years on the road, and the decision was made to play a farewell tour during 2011. After playing many festivals in Europe, God Dethroned‘s grand finale was at the 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise (USA) in February 2012.
In 2013, Henri attended the funeral of his former label boss, Michael Trengert, and he met several people from the music industry again, as well as many fellow musicians. He decided that day he needed music more than anything else in his life and decided to get the band together again. The full reformation of God Dethroned would still take several years to achieve, but by 2014, the band was ready to go out on the road again. This re-boot took place where it all ended, on the 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise in 2015. Another year of playing festivals followed, before the band finished recording the last album of the World War I trilogy. The World Ablaze was recorded at the end of 2016 by the band, mixed by Dan Swanö and mastered by Sander van der Heide at Wisseloord Studios in the Netherlands.
Dan Swano comments: “God Dethroned have taken a great turn on the fields of death metal. This album is a great combination of all kinds of tempos and styles the genre has to offer, each performed with crushing perfection, and catchy choruses and memorable melodic hooks! Will go down well among fans of Bolt Thrower (R.I.P.) and some of the other Dutch death brigades I’ve had the pleasure of working with!”
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One might argue that the artist’s intent is irrelevant. In Thulcandra’s case, taking the bands’ aesthetic intentions into consideration not only enriches and elevates the experience of the music, it also enhances its value for extreme metal.
When Thulcandra was founded in 2003 by Obscura’s lead guitarist and vocalist Steffen Kummerer and Juergen Zintz, it was done with one intention: To celebrate the music of bands from the golden age of Swedish extreme metal such as Dissection, Sacramentum and Unanimated; songs that comprehend, reinterpret and pay tribute to old-school Swedish blackened death metal and its overall aesthetic. Yet, after the demo “Perishness Around Us” was released in 2004 and preparations for the recording of Thulcandra’s first studio album were already taking place, events took a grim turn. All activities came to an abrupt end when Juergen Zintz tragically committed suicide.
Thulcandra was reborn when Tobias and Sebastian Ludwig (both Wraithcult, Ex-Helfahrt) und session drummer Seraph (Dark Fortress) joined forces with Kummerer in 2009 – and the band’s debut album “Fallen Angel’s Dominion” was finally recorded. With its release in 2010, a merciless winter storm was unleashed upon the masses that can only be described as the an accurate homage to Dissection, including the infamous “blue” Necrolord cover artwork and the grim reaper imagery.
By doing so, Thulcandra was coming “as close as possible to reviving those fallen heroes of old” as angrymetalguy.com put it. Fans and critics agreed, that with “Fallen Angel’s Dominion” the band had “created a mighty powerful and superbly executed melodic black metal album with exceptional songwriting and impressive musicianship. Through the debut, Thulcandra show they understand how to evoke the best moments of Dissection and pay tribute while still tearing your face off.”
The band continued to walk this musical path when releasing the follow-up “Under a Frozen Sun” only one year later. However, the second album shows increased ferocity, more ambitious and mature songwriting, improved musical variety and better balance of melody. But it wouldn’t be until the third album, that the band was going to show what it was truly capable of.
Backed by the expertise of highly-acclaimed musician and producer V. Santura (Woodshed Studios; Triptykon, Dark Fortress, Celtic Frost) and, again, by the visual mastery of the legendary Kristian “Necrolord” Wåhlin, Thulcandra in 2015 released “Ascension Lost”. The album demonstrated the band’s “ability to use their songwriting skills to craft a narrative, and push that narrative to interesting and haunting places,” as Metal Injection puts it – and concludes that “Metalheads who hope to see their beloved style retain both its menacing and ornate qualities should be happy.” Well, they were. And “Ascension Lost” was named one of the best releases of 2015 by critics and magazine throughout Europe and the US.
It was then, that Decibel Magazine respectfully put the band on top of its list of “Top 5 Dissection Clones” by stating: “The magic of Thulcandra is that they’re really fucking good. It’s not just nostalgia for nostalgia’s sake. The Germans are actually writing songs, branched logically off of Storm of the Light’s Bane and predecessor The Somberlain. If Reinkaos wasn’t Dissection’s proper send off, then Thulcandra’s entire discography surely is.”
However, Thulcandra’s discography is not complete just yet. In 2019 the band announced a new album and a refreshed lineup, featuring M.D. (Haradwaith, Soulscape Project), Christian Kratzer (ex Hailstone) and Erebor (Secrets of the Moon, Haradwaith). Get your winter coats out, it might get very cold very soon.
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Having established themselves with 2015's Boundaries of Reality EP and 2017's acclaimed Engram of Decline full-length, Fractal Universe released their sophomore album, Rhizomes of Insanity, in April 2019 via Metal Blade Records.
Once again, it hits as hard intellectually as it does sonically, affirming the French quartet's place on the progressive death metal map."'Rhizomes of Insanity' is a concept album based on a thought experiment around the concept of insanity," asserts vocalist/guitarist Vince Wilquin. "It questions the origins of it, and tries to define where we set its boundaries with 'reason'. It eventually questions its place in our modern society and surmises that it has turned into an intrinsic, unavoidable but also necessary part of it and of every human being, which we're trying to repress at all costs."
From start to finish, the album is an immersive, complex yet wholly accessible collection rich in melody, invention, and packed with decimating riffs - wielding ten tracks, all of which hit their mark.
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RINGS OF SATURN
Rings of Saturn is an American deathcore band from the Bay Area, California. The band was formed in 2009 and was originally just a studio project. However, after gaining a wide popularity and signing to Unique Leader Records, the band formed a full line-up and became a full-time touring band. Rings of Saturn's music features a highly technical style, heavily influenced by themes of alien life and outer space. They have released five full-length albums, with their third, Lugal Ki En, released in 2014 and peaking at 126 on the American Billboard 200 chart while their fourth, Ultu Ulla was released in 2017 and peaked at 76 on the Billboard 200, making it the band's highest peak to date. Gidim was released in October 2019.
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While death metal is one of the darkest subgenres of music ever created, steeped in macabre imagery of blood and gore and delivered with guttural bellows and piercing squeals, it is not without its guiding lights or impassioned empowerment.
ENTERPRISE EARTH, a band committed to the brutal audio onslaught and proficient excellence, carves out personal meaning from the darkness. They conjure self-determination and iconoclastic independence, from within the bowels of extremity.
The band’s authentic death metal precision and technical might is unquestionable, as evidenced in clubs, theaters, and festivals on tour, as ENTERPRISE EARTH has teamed with contemporaries like Dying Fetus, Whitechapel, Chelsea Grin, Thy Art Is Murder, Carnifex, Oceano, and Winds Of Plague, and joined the Summer Slaughter Tour with iconic genre trailblazers like Cannibal Corpse, Nile, and Suffocation.
In just a few short years of existence, the Spokane, Washington based outfit has churned out an impressive discography of diverse sounds, from the early deathcore rumblings of the XXIII EP (2014) and the astonishingly savage debut full-length, Patient Ø (2015), to the adventurous, cerebrally-thematic Embodiment (2017). Now partnered with eOne Music and Good Fight, ENTERPRISE EARTH has crafted their definitive work, Luciferous, produced and mixed by the highly acclaimed Jason Suecof, an album of epic proportions firmly establishing them among metal’s elite.
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BRAND OF SACRIFICE
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Once in a while during a band’s career, there comes the moment when you look back and reevaluate your body of work. Such self-criticism can either lead towards an overhaul of one’s stylistic palette or increased awareness for what you truly are. Considering Brazilian death metal brothers KRISIUN, such an analysis can cause quite a dilemma. Active since 1990, and renowned for such furious classics as the rabid “Black Force Domain” (1995), 2000’s constantly blasting masterpiece “Conquerors Of Armageddon”, and the merciless yet memorable “Southern Storm” (2008), the band’s trademarks have always been insane tempos, almost inhuman drumming and Lemmy-like roaring vocals negating any sense of ‘hooks’ or ‘melody’. And, let us face it – while KRISIUN have become extremely technical and more varied in terms of grooves and rhythms over the years – they are forever committed to deliver the full-on-death-metal-assault that made the group legendary in the first place. Still, after 2015’s “Forged in Fury”, Alex, Max and Moyses realized a different approach was necessary. “It was a bit of a complicated album,” singer/bassist Alex Camargo admits. “There were more slower parts on it and it was also quite long. We still stand behind it 100%, but we doubt it is what KRISIUN’s essence is about.”
Thus, for “Scourge of the Enthroned”, KRISIUN’s 11th studio album, the group decided to head for a faster and extremely savage record again. Clocking in at an intense 38 minutes – counting in the bonus tracks “Forged in Fury” was almost an hour long – it was also due to producer Andy Classen’s input that “Scourge of the Enthroned” became a real monster: “Working with Andy at Stage One Studio again, felt like coming home. We stayed at his musician’s apartment for almost a month and we all concentrated on capturing an honest, almost live kind of vibe and trimmed the songs harder than on the last one.” Located in the countryside close to German city Kassel, the landscape helped immensely during this period. “There was no distraction at all, that place is in the middle of nowhere and apart from barbecuing with Andy we just worked on the songs like madmen.” Once the album kicks off with the title track, KRISIUN’s newest opus hits with an urgency and immediate force that even harkens back to the debut! “You mean the ‘Black Force Domain’ riff in ‘Demonic III’, huh? That song is about the band and our history. After all these years, we felt it was about time we do our own anthem and a riff like that is a bit of a throwback for us and the fans!” In terms of sound, however, the band did not bring back the uncontrolled roughness of “Black Force Domain” yet had a distinct mindset when starting the recording process: “We interpret the album title as us being a scourge for all the plastic death metal out there. You are listening to human beings here not a computer! All has been recorded and played naturally, and while you can hear all details, it does not go for this ‘American’ sound that is so lifeless and sterile. It is a very organic and heavy album and I think that connects it with the spirit we already had on the debut.”
Indeed, sir, and it offers a whole bunch of highlights as well! From the Slayer-like screeching solo opening ‘Devouring Faith’, to the neck-breaking ‘A Thousand Graves’ and rhythmic complexity of ‘Abysmal Misery (Foretold Destiny)’ over to the album’s epic finale ‘Whirlwind of Immortality’, the latter being another track connected to the artwork by Eliran Kantor (Testament, Hate Eternal, Incantation) as Alex explains: “The song is about the Anunnaki, who appear in Sumerian mythology, judging the fates of mankind. Often they are portrayed as seven figures, we have only three appear on the cover since it connects well with ‘Demonic III’. As KRISIUN is about to celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2020, it’s only fair we now appear symbolized as ancient death metal gods on the cover, haha!” Lyrically, the album however does not dig too deep into myths as Camargo confirms: “We deal with religious fanaticism, war, and the tragedy of the refugees, who flee from the fighting in their home countries to end up drowning in the sea or being treated like dogs in the western countries. Reality offers a lot of topics to write pissed off death metal!”
Asked what plans KRISIUN have for the months to come, Alex promises a release show in Essen (Germany) on September 7th, a global live onslaught and invites everybody to check out “Scourge of the Enthroned”, revel in its violent glory and adds: “We are one the few three piece bands out there, delivering it tight, loud, raw and real!” And that is, what the essence of KRISIUN is all about!
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Multistate death metal project GRUESOME was born out of guitarist/vocalist Matt Harvey and drummer Gus Rios' mutual involvement with the Death To All tours (Harvey served as frontman for the original mini-tour and Rios both performed “Baptized in Blood” and worked with DTA drummer Sean Reinert on the following US tour where Exhumed filled in as support). After discussing and discarding the idea of putting together another incarnation of DTA to focus exclusively on the first two albums, Harvey half-jokingly suggested that the pair write their own songs in intentional homage to Death. It wasn't long before the idea gained traction, and the band soon had five tracks written. With Harvey writing in California, Rios recruited Possessed guitarist Daniel Gonzalez and Derketa bassist Robin Mazen to record the material in Florida, while Harvey tracked his vocals on the West Coast.
GRUESOME released a pair of single-song demos in 2014, and was subsequently signed by Relapse Records in June of that year, with a full-length release (recorded in Florida, of course) planned for early the next year. The result of those recordings would become the band’s debut full- length Savage Land, a truly gruesome slab of Leprosy-styled death metal released in April 2015. It’s clear from the song quality on Savage Land that GRUESOME is humbly determined to keep Death’s classic sound alive as faithfully as possible, and the critical acclaim for Savage Land has reflected the band’s dedication. Metal Injection called Savage Land “the advanced, dripping-rot-from-the-corners-of-a-coffin, putrid, vile death metal throwback that you’ve been waiting for,” while Exclaim declared that “the enthusiasm alone on Savage Land is awe-inspiring.”
After the positive reception of Savage Land, GRUESOME knew they wanted to continue further with their tribute, and decided that any true Death tribute band would have to sink its teeth into the undiluted savagery of Death's early material. Their forthcoming EP reflects that sentiment: produced by the band and co-produced / recorded with Jarrett Pritchard at New Constellation Studios RMP in Orlando, FL, Dimensions of Horror is a gruesome salute to Death's iconic Scream Bloody Gore and once again features cover art by the legendary Ed Repka (Death, Atheist, Massacre). A six-song slab of grisly, bone-breaking death metal jams, Dimensions Of Horror continues the development of GRUESOME's homage to the founding fathers of the genre and proves that no matter the decade, old-school death metal is always relevant, always brutal, and always irresistible. With an all-star lineup and unmatched songwriting skills, GRUESOME is willing and able to propel the historical sentiment and sincerity of Death’s spirit into the present.
Gruesome @ Bandcamp
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VITRIOL affirms that Death Metal is a genre of fear.
Portland, Oregon's violent trinity, fronted by the dual vocal assault given from guitarist Kyle Rasmussen and bassist Adam Roethlisberger, driven by the inhuman drummer Scott Walker, proved to make a successful strike at the genre's heart with their 2017 EP, "Pain Will Define Their Death". Released via Italy's Everlasting Spew, it already provided a shockingly intense glimpse at the whirlwind that was to be unfurled on the group's much anticipated debut record, "To Bathe from the Throat of Cowardice".
Supported by fellow underground icons such as Trevor Strnad (The Black Dahlia Murder) and just recently confirmed for their first European tour with Nile and Hate Eternal, VITRIOL are poised to attack extreme metal with will, technical proficiency, and the determination to push boundaries, for visual proof just watch Rasmussen/Roethlisberger play through tracks like 'The Parting of a Neck' (https://youtu.be/OpkerWvcb5Q). "The spirit of VITRIOL is to take the uncompromising, thrashy, punky, spirit of the late 90s extreme death and bring it to a world that has been numbed by records that have abandoned all life in favor of shrink wrapped, candy coated articulation," Rasmussen proclaims and transforms into 44 minutes of utmost sincere and vicious music embodying a radicalness and personality akin to the essence of black metal.
Joe Petagno (Motörhead, Krisiun, Angelcorpse) visualized this approach perfectly on the album's gloomy and intimidating artwork: VITRIOL are the blade at the throat of Death Metal's comfort zone, the literally razorsharp cutting-edge stabbing at the fabrics of a genre too complacently regurgitating the same sonic formulas over and over again. SweDeath-replicas, Morrisound-worships, TechDeath-polish – be gone!
"The only noble future for Death Metal is one of strenuous personal responsibility. Intolerance for mediocrity, and reverence without novelty."
With VITRIOL, Century Media Records are proud to present a band willing and self-confident enough to take risks, sonically with its raw, suffocating yet natural production, musically with its sheer abundance of stellar riffs and unworldly rhythm section, lyrically by its deeply personal and gripping invocations of triumph and tragedy. Each note is human talent, each beat sheer force, each line of text a pouring of blood. "To Bathe from the Throat of Cowardice" neglects mainstream conformism in favor of a heartfelt interpretation of Death Metal amalgamating influences from Immolation to Blut Aus Nord, from Hate Eternal to DSO.
It is a bold and truly demanding opus yet immensely rewards those who dare travelling beyond.
Vitriol @ Bandcamp
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Vitriol @ YouTube
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Loudness was formed in 1981 by Akira Takasaki, Munetaka Higuchi, and Hiroyuki Tanaka who were transitioning from rock band Lazy to trying their hand at a heavy metal band, unhappy with the musical direction of Lazy. Shortly after formation, however, Tanaka quit the band to pursue a career in anime soundtracks with the band Neverland. In turn, Takasaki recruited childhood friend Masayoshi Yamashita as the new bassist and shortly after hired frontman Minoru Niihara formerly of Earthshaker through an audition.
In 1985 following the band's first North American and European tours Twisted Sister's co-manager Joe Gerber helped Loudness ink a deal with Atco Records. This was the first time in history that a Japanese heavy metal band had signed with an American label, or toured the US, and under Atco, the band released their American debut Thunder in the East which was met with good sales and commercial success reaching #74 on the Billboard 200 and remained there for 23 weeks, also a first for a Japanese metal band. After two more albums and two more Billboard appearances, producer Max Norman suggested that the band hire an English speaking vocalist which would end up being Michael Vescera. Vescera would serve as vocalist for the next two Loudness albums before leaving in 1991 to join Yngwie J. Malmsteen.
Following a steady decline in popularity through the Vescera era, Loudness returned to Japan where Masayoshi Yamashita also left the band. He was replaced by Taiji Sawada of X Japan fame. But by 1993 Sawada quit to form Dirty Trashroad followed by founding member Munetaka Higuchi who joined Niihara's new band Sly leaving Takasaki as the only original member left. Later that year Loudness introduced replacement members Masaki Yamada and Hirotsugu Homma of Ezo on vocals and drums, and finally Naoto Shibata, band leader of Anthem on bass essentially turning Loudness into a supergroup. This lineup would release three albums before Yamada indicated his desire to leave the band in 2000.
Before leaving, Yamada suggested that Loudness hold a reunion tour to celebrate their 20th anniversary and by 2001 Higuchi, Niihara, and Yamashita had all returned to the lineup where they would remain for the next 7 years until the death of Munetaka Higuchi which was mourned greatly throughout Japan.
In 2009, the band indicated that they wouldn't be disbanding despite the passing of Higuchi and hired Masayuki Suzuki to fill the void left due to Higuchi's passing. Loudness remains active to date.
Loudness @ Facebook
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Loudness @ Twitter
tHOLA, which means ‘wolf’ in an ancient east-Indian language, is a Swiss Melodic Speed/Power Metal band. The band was formed late 2016, initiated by the main Songwriter and general Mastermind, Rolf ‘Rodo’ Studer.
Rodo’s vision was to get the very best musicians and to create fast and powerful metal, interjected with technical and progressive elements. With Rodo’s reputation for being an outstanding musician and an ‘out-of-the-box’ songwriter, it did not take much convincing for drummer Sven Imsand, Bassist Thommy Ambiel and vocalist extraordinaire, Fredy Salzmann to join the new band.
Two songs, Screaming World and Digital Time, were written and recorded within weeks. Already during this processes, it became very clear, that in order to make tHOLA’s music as powerful and heavy as we had set as our goal, we needed a second Guitarist. There was really only one name that came to mind, a guitarist, even though he hadn’t played live in quite some time, who had exactly what we needed, what we wanted, what we were looking for, Patrick Ambord. Patrick, with his very unique style, with his technique and his enthusiasm, was in the band before we had the chance to finish our proposal; a big fat YES, Let’s do it!
With that, the tHOLA line-up was complete and we were ready to write and record songs. The recording part is necessary, because tHOLA’s drummer, Sven, lives in Spain and we use the recordings to rehearse individually.
Within a few months, through extremely hard work and total commitment by all band-members, we had together a just under two hour set. tHOLA’s debut concert was to be held in one of the finest Music-Clubs in Switzerland, the famous Moshpit in Switzerland. After an intense one week band rehearsal in Switzerland, we hit the stage and were overwhelmed by the reaction from the audience. It did not take long, and we had the over two hundred people attending, moshing and headbanging. It was a night to remember.
Since then, the band toured Eastern Europe, visiting Countries such as the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Romania and Croatia, together with two Swedish Metal bands; toured with OTEP through Germany, Austria, Italy, France, the UK and Belgium and played several shows in Switzerland.
In May, 2019, the band parted ways with their Singer, Fredy. It was a mutual decision, the main reason being that the band wanted to invest more time, sweat and blood in our music.
We were worried. How and where the hell would we find, not just a replacement, but someone who would front tHOLA, the way we’ve always envisioned with a voice, that matches our unique sound. We flooded the web, filling out countless forms on music boards and not sleeping at all for a couple of days. Turns out, none of this was necessary, all it took, was one phone call; a phone call, to the one person, we were looking for, Mr. Thomi Rauch. Thomi was and is, exactly what we were dreaming of, what we wanted. Thomi’s voice blew our minds right away and even though, most of our ‘looking for singer’ ads haven’t even been activated, we stopped it all, because, we had our Man.
With Thomi fronting tHOLA, there is no stopping us and trust me, hear us, see us, experience us and you know what I mean.
THOLA stands for uncompromising, fast, heavy, sometimes very playful Metal, with a twist here and there; pure Metal Circus.
Thola @ Bandcamp
Thola @ Facebook
Thola @ SoundCloud
Thola @ Twitter
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Initially influenced by the likes of Meshuggah, Chopin, Cannibal Corpse, Bach, Domenico Scarlatti, Taraf de Haidouks and Aphex Twin, traces of these artists can be found littered across Igorrr’s discography, but Serre has never been interested in remaining static or merely recycling ideas, and his work has dramatically evolved accordingly. It deeply explains how Igorrr’s music is such an explosion of creativity while keeping a cohesive universe records after records.
In recent years, Igorrr has also become a collective, rather than the work of one man alone, which has brought a new level of intensity into the group live representations.
Igorrr @ Facebook
Igorrr @ YouTube
AUTHOR & PUNISHER
AUTHOR & PUNISHER, named, “one of the most prolific acts in aggressive music,” by Noisey, has just released his first album on Relapse Records entitled “Beastland”. His newest and most intense album recalls Ministry, channeling Godflesh, traversing through dark, uncompromising, and often disturbing soundscapes, with occasional detours into rich melodies and splinters of light. After leaving a career as mechanical engineer in Boston to focus on art and sculpture, Tristan Shone, the creator and sole artist behind AUTHOR & PUNISHER, moved west to pursue his MFA in Southern California. In the metal and machine shops of University of California, San Diego, Shone forged a relationship with design, sound and fabrication that ultimately yielded AUTHOR & PUNISHER‘s first music and mapped the journey away from traditional instrumentation towards custom made, precision machinery. Shone used his technical knowledge, along with his artistic background to create what Wired Magazine has hailed as his own “special brand of doom metal.” All aspects of the AUTHOR & PUNISHER sound begin with physical movement, limbs struggling in unison to coordinate a wall of electronic rhythm and oscillation, ultimately conditioned by an organic and loose quality absent of sequencing and plastic perfection. AUTHOR & PUNISHER performances are a real amalgamation between man and mechanisms. They are direct, physical, heavy experiences that have amassed praise and intrigue from a wide array of audiences. Pitchfork styled him “immediate but mysterious,” Stereogum described his “chilling, unrecognizable form,” and NPR hails him as “a thrill [who] fires on all cylinders.”
“ In the contiguous realms of metal nerds and gear nerds, Shone possesses semimythical status. He performs within a semicircle of frightening homemade machines that seem at once futuristic and medieval.“ – The New Yorker (2016).
Author & Punisher Website
Author & Punisher @ Facebook
Author & Punisher @ Instagram
Author & Punisher @ SoundCloud
Author & Punisher @ Twitter
OTTO VON SCHIRACH
Otto Von Schirach (half Cuban / half German) was born in 1978 in the swamp infested refugee world of Little Havana Miami. As a child his grandmother practiced Santeria and White Magic, which opened his eyes to the strange and bizarre. Otto grew up listening to Miami Bass, Gore Grind, Gangsta Rap and Afro Cuban Noise. In 1995 Otto bought his first drum machine from a crack-head just 2 blocks from his mom’s house. Right away he recognized his passion for grimy diamond soaked kick drums through distorted fuzz muck. The rest is history.
Otto Von Schirach @ Facebook
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