Saturday, August 30, 2014

Single Bullet Theory Embarking on To Hell Paso and Back Tour 2014; s/t Retrospective CD Released

SINGLE BULLET THEORY have announced their first return to Texas since 2005. The "To Hell Paso and Back Tour" launches in Levittown, PA on September 20 and moves through New York, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, and Oklahoma before invading Texas on September 30 in Fort Worth. Featuring former PISSING RAZORS guitarist Matt DiFabio, SINGLE BULLET THEORY is planning to perform a couple of Razor's tunes as part the set. For a list of shows and tour updates visit www.singlebullettheory.us/tour-dates.


The band is touring in support of its recently released self-titled album, which is a retrospective look at some of its older material and includes remixes, remasters, and a few unreleased songs. Fans can pick up the album from the band at shows. Single Bullet Theory is also available at www.singlebullettheory.us/music.

SINGLE BULLET THEORY have also just completed new album Divine Ways of Chaos and is currently shopping it to record labels. The album was self-produced and recorded at Matt DiFabio's studio and features guest performances by Justin Arman (SOCIETY 1, CRISIS, MOD), Alan Tecchio (WATCHTOWER, HADES , NON FICTION, SEVEN WITCHES) and Tim Roth (INTO ETERNITY). The album was mastered by James Murphy (TESTAMENT, DEATH).


In other news, SINGLE BULLET THEORY now has its own hot sauce, which will be available on the first run of tour dates. Two different brands are available for mass consumption, including Damnation (a spicy habanero/mango blend) and Route 666 (very hot ghost pepper orange sauce).

"To Hell Paso and Back" tour dates:
9/20 @ McStews - Levittown, PA
9/25 @ Tobacco Rd - Manhattan, NY
9/26 @ Rippers Rock House - Akron, OH
9/27 @ Berlin Music Pub - Ft Wayne, IN
9/28 @ Fubar - Saint Louis, MO
9/29 @ Downtown Lounge - Tulsa, OK
9/30 @ Tom Cats West - Ft Worth, TX
10/1 @ The Blue Max -  Midland, TX 
10/2 @ Happy Endings - El Paso, TX
10/3 @ Fitzgeralds - San Antonio, TX
10/4 @ Beerland - Austin, TX
10/5 @ Zeros - Corpus Christi, TX
10/7 @ Smokin' Aces - McAllen ,TX
10/8 @ Penny Pub - San Angelo, TX. (w/ Exmortus) 
10/9 @ Gold Crown Billiards - San Marcos, TX
10/10 @ Acadia - Houston, TX
10/11 @ 18th St Pier Bar & Grill - San Leon,TX
10/12 @ Thunders Tavern - Pascagoula, MS
10/13 @ TBA

Thursday, August 28, 2014

U.S Doom Unit Northern Crown to Release 'In the Hands of the Betrayer' October 14

South Florida Epic Doom Metallers NORTHERN CROWN will self-release debut EP In the Hands of the Betrayer on October 14.  

As one of the oldest genres of heavy metal, doom metal's roots are buried deep and anchor the extensive forest that heavy metal has become. NORTHERN CROWN pays homage to those who have come before in its approach to riffs, organ use, and pacing, but doesn't let the old school ways of doom define it. Stream the title track and pre-order the EP at:

  

1. In the Hands of the Betrayer
2. A Perfectly Realized Torment
3. Crystal Ball [Candlemass Cover]
4. Approaching, Encroaching Storm

5. To Thee I Give an Orchid

In the Hands of the Betrayer features five intense pieces ranging from four to twelve minutes in length. Covering the emotions of retribution, shock, outrage, and despair in the originals, the album rounds out with a cover of CANDLEMASS' 1986 anthem, "Crystal Ball." "Doom, specifically, is about alienation," main songwriter and guitarist Zachary Randall explains. If other acts can be said to be the trees of the forest, NORTHERN CROWN is the velvet fog unfurling through them. Randall goes on to note that, "this is easily the most personal art I've ever created, both musically and lyrically." Each song, the oldest more than ten years in the making, is detailed, emotive, and pronounces a rare resonance and memorability. NORTHERN CROWN is the sound of realization and reaction, with a touch of smoke and mirrors - an approaching, encroaching storm.

Album vocalist Frank Serafine summons a formidable blend of his vocal influences, such as RONNIE JAMES DIO, ROB HALFORD, and JORN LANDE, for his performance. Drummer Josh Brown is guided by the rule of elegant simplicity in his style and contributes many nuances to the songs both in pushing a section or pulling back the momentum. Featured performers also include guests from psych metal pioneers ORBWEAVER, with guitarist Sally Gates contributing leads and Randy Piro summoning bass guitar lines from the aether. Additionally, Roberto Celentano of SHADOW SOCIETY adds a keyboard presence in the forms of organs and piano throughout the record, recalling RAY MANZAREK, JON LORD, KEN HENSLEY, and PER WIBERG, which completes the crux of the smothering atmosphere.

DIRE PERIL releases lyric video for “Space Invaders”

California Sci-Fi Power Metallers DIRE PERIL have just released their lyric video for “Space Invaders”, a song based on the popular 80’s Atari game of the same name. “Space Invaders” is the 1st track to be made available from their upcoming EP “Queen of The Galaxy” set for release September 26th, 2014 through DEAD INSIDE RECORDS.

As previously announced DIRE PERIL are joined by special guest guitarist Tony Cordisco (Judicator) featured on “Space Invaders”.

The newly released video can be viewed via the link below:


“Queen Of The Galaxy” EP track listing:
1. My Vengeance Is Everything (Chaos Reigns)
2. Space Invaders (Ft. Tony Cordisco - Judicator)
3. Queen Of The Galaxy (Ft. Brittney Hayes - Unleash The Archers)
4. Something About You (Boston Cover)

Vocalist Brittney Hayes (Unleash The Archers) makes a special guest appearance taking on the duty of lead vocals for the title track “Queen of The Galaxy”.

Cover artwork for the album was created by Horror\Fantasy artist Sean “Zombie” Walusko.

On August 4th, 2014 “Queen Of The Galaxy” was made available for special pre-order through the Dead Inside Records Website. The 1st 100 preorders will be shipped with an exclusive autographed “Queen of The Galaxy” Poster.

DIRE PERIL self-released their debut EP “Astronomical Minds” in 2012 to rave reviews from both fans and critics around the world.

The band has been hard at work writing and recording for multiple albums and are currently finishing recordings for their follow-up EP to “Queen of The Galaxy” titled “Through Time & Space” tentatively due February 2015.

A full-length effort titled “Final Scenes For Forgotten Worlds” is in the final writing stages and nearing completion as well.

With so many new releases on the horizon DIRE PERIL are excited to announce the addition of new lead guitarist Jearme Greathouse to the band’s ranks. Jearme a veteran of the Northern California Metal scene brings with him a strong work ethic and an energizing style of playing and stage presence. With the final piece in place the band plans to perform many live dates in support of the new album.

For the latest band news and show dates visit their official Facebook page:

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Sound Of Thunder- Releases "Elijah" Lyric Video

The Metal Underground premiered the lyric video on Monday for "Elijah" from ASOT's latest release.  

The song is from the band's insanely great forthcoming album "The Lesser Key of Solomon", due out September 9th worldwide on Mad Neptune Records. 

The album was produced by RIAA multi-platinum-awarded producer Kevin '131' Gutierrez (While Heaven Wept, Raven, Shinedown). 

The video can be seen here:

The direct link for the lyric video is:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zG6pO8lvE6A 

"The Lesser Key of Solomon" features 10 of A Sound of Thunder's most intense yet nuanced songs, exploring territory which is simultaneously heavier and more atmospheric than ever before. A review of the album can be found right here at Focus on Metal.


Tracklisting:

1. Nexus of Realities
2. Udoroth
3. Fortuneteller
4. The Boy Who Could Fly
5. Elijah
6. Master of Pain
7. Blood From the Mummy's Tomb
8. Black Secrets
9. One Empty Grave
10. House of Bones

Total running time: 61 minutes

"The Lesser Key of Solomon" will be available as a digital download, compact disc, and in a limited deluxe vinyl-book format.

A Sound of Thunder's previous album "Time's Arrow" was released worldwide via Mad Neptune Records on June 4th, 2013 and featured a guest appearance by ex-Iron Maiden vocalist Blaze Bayley.


Links/Contact

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Review - Horrendous "ECDYSIS" (Dark Descent Records)


Hailing from the East Coast of America, Horrendous are a death metal band that make records like they used to make them. In fact, sophomore album, Ecdysis, would have you swear you were listening to something from 1994 as opposed to 2014. With lowbrow production values, organic drumming and treble-heavy guitar sound, this is a disc that wears its influences on its sleeve: so old-school, you’ll be scribbling on your jotter as you spin it.

Opening track, The Stranger, is a beast of a thing setting the tone perfectly for the rest of the album. The guitars are down-tuned, distortion-heavy; an almost black metal-esque wall of noise were it not for those sweeping leads washing over the top. And then you’ve got Damien Herring’s vocals piercing through the mix; not so much a growl as a beer-soaked drawl. Blackie Lawless eat your heart out.   
The Weeping Relic picks up the pace even more, pounding drums and speed riffing driving us hard. 
Things are taken back a notch with 5th track, The Vermillion, an acoustic instrumental with more than a little Spanish Castle Magic (to quote the great Yngwie). Ninth track, Pavor Nocturnus, brings those black nuances back, even throwing in a little doom, with its minor-keyed guitar and reverbed vocal. But it’s on tenth track, Titan, where this album peaks; an emotionally charged crescendo with sweeping guitar and painfully melancholic vocals. You’ll be knocked off your feet.

Ecdysis is an album built for the metal fan whose denim jacket is littered with Entombed and Carnage (and maybe even WASP) patches; the kind of metaller who shakes their fist at death metal with monikers such as ‘technical’ or ‘melodic’ and reaches for the off switch at the first sign of triggered drumming. Dig in.


Label: Dark Descent (http://www.darkdescentrecords.com)
Release date: October 14 2014


Reviewer: Wayne Simmons (www.waynesimmons.org)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

CHAINFIST 'Scarred' Album Details Revealed


Danish metallers CHAINFIST will release their second full length album “Scarred“, on October 6 worldwide via Mighty Music/Target Group. The album contains 11 tracks, produced by Michael Hansen at Phon Studio and mixed/mastered by Jacob Hansen (Primal Fear, Volbeat, Anubis Gate, Pretty Maids) at Hansen Studios
The “Scarred” album teaser can be viewed below: http://youtu.be/uLq-VsW5ivw

Undoubtedly “The Big Four” has been a great inspiration for CHAINFIST, but at the same time the band is incorporating new school heavy metal elements and gripping vocal melodies to make their unique touch on the genre, with bands like MercenaryVolbeat and Disturbed as references.
Jacob Hansen sought a dirty sound, but yet with a mainstream appeal, which was fitting for the old-school riffing’s, powerful leads and melodic vocals that was pivotal for this recording.


Scarred” track listing:
01. Scars of time
02. 1000 ways to bleed
03. Black rebel noise
04. Another day in hell
05. Poison moon
06. 10.000
07. Know you hate
08. Seven minutes of pain
09. Statement
10. Mass frustration
11. Black rebel noise (acoustic)




CHAINFIST are:
Jackie Petersen – Vocals
Michael Kopietz – Guitars
Thomas Hvisel – Guitars
Braca Pedersen – Bass
Jesper Heidelbach – Drums


CHAINFIST is a five-piece Danish metal band formed in 2007, which consists of ex-members of PanzerchristFrozen Sun and Infernal Death.

In September 2010 they released their first full-length album “Black Out Sunday” which was praised by several Danish metal-sites e.g. heavymetal.dk that gave them 10/10 stars and commented: “The album is a bomb filled with everything from every drawer, all without being overwhelming or cluttered.”

Since then the band has been playing on various stages in Denmark, building up a solid live-reputation with top-marks from the critics.

In the fall of 2013 the band began the recording of their second album “Scarred” – an album that are the result of intense and spontaneous live-recording sessions to get the most “manhood” out of the drums, guitars and bass as possible. “Manhood and Downstrokes, this was the main attitude” guitarist Michael Kopietz (ex-Frozen Sun, ex-Panzerchrist) explains.
Scarred” will be released October 6th 2014 worldwide.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Steve Whiteman and Tave Wanning on This Weeks Focus on Metal


Episode 196 - Summer Metal Mash Up

This week we mix it up bit. We go from America to Sweden, veterans to debuts. First up is Steve Whiteman from Kix, who have just released "Rock Your Face Off" the first disc of all new material in 19 years. Also this week we have Tave Wanning from newcomers Adrenaline Rush who are releasing their S/T debut on Frontiers.

Hit up Kix at: http://kixband.com/ and Adrenaline Rush can be found at: http://www.adrenalinerush.se/


Track of the week is from our new buds American Dog from their latest Neanderthal. Become one with the dog at: http://www.americandog.us/

Grab it now from the Focus on Metal SiteThe Focus on Metal RSS feedThe Cast Iron Ring or on iTunes

And as always Focus On Metal…Everything Else is Insignificant.

SOLACE OF REQUIEM To Release "Casting Ruin" August 29

ViciSolum Productions has announced the August 29 worldwide release of Casting Ruin, the newest album from Virginia-based extremists SOLACE OF REQUIEM.

The fourth release from this criminally under-recognized Technical Blackened Death Metal trio, Casting Ruin is without a doubt the band's finest hour. These nine highly evolved, yet relentlessly violent tracks are as listenable as they are devastating. ChroniclesOfChaos.com called Casting Ruin "one mean, complex, stupefying and brutal motherfucker," but words alone cannot describe this contender for 2014's most metal album. Check out album tracks "Soiling the Fields of Putridity" and "Heaving Bile and Ash" at:


Pre-orders for Casting Ruin on digital or CD formats are now available at the above link. Digital pre-orders come with a free download of the band's 2010 release The Great Awakening. 


1. Defiling the Spectrum
2. Casting Ruin
3. Soiling the Fields of Putridity
4. Song of Shards
5. Wading into Mire
6. Eroded Absolution
7. Heaving Bile and Ash
8. Pools of Ablation
9. Bio-Alchemy

For more on SOLACE OF REQUIEM visit:

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Review - A Sound of Thunder "The Lesser Key of Solomon" (Neptune)

When ya write a review of an album that first sentence is always a bitch. More so when the album has soundly kicked your ass for the last 48 hours. That's the case with "The Lesser Key of Solomon", A Sound of Thunder's fourth release.


As always in the interest of full disclosure I am a longtime supporter of this band but I feel that I can still maintain a fair outlook on their musical output and I believe that the album will speak for itself.

The album drops on September 9th but I have been given a rare PHYSICAL advance copy. That has allowed me to listen to this not only with headphones but also cranked on my car system. And I will tell you I have taken maximum advantage of this situation. Each way of listening yields a different experience and it's nice to be able to have at both ways. With some nice headphones on (not those crappy ear buds) you can really hear all the nuances in the tracks while on the car system you get to revel in the sheer power of the tunes.


So the cast of characters hasn't changed since "Time's Arrow". Chris Haren on drums, Jesse Keen and Josh Schwartz doing guitars and keys and of course the amazing vocals of Nina Osegueda. I should also note that once again Kevin Gutierrez has the production reigns. This is like old school metal with a band sticking with a producer for album after album only in this case they don't get complacent they just get better.

As a Kickstarter supporter for this album I have gotten small glimpses of the work in progress but those snippets clearly did not represent what these guys have rolled out on this one. First off sonically it's incredible. The bass sound is superb. It's the tone that I think bass players aspire to. The drums are equally clear and present and those two elements just anchor everything else so solidly. And there's plenty to anchor. One thing that struck me was the increased use of keyboards but they never sound forced or out of place. I would characterize the B3 parts as the best use of that sound since Deep Purple. As usual the guitar parts are set in that nice midrange that allows them room to breathe and compliment the vocals. And the vocals, well I've never made any bones about the fact that Nina is one of my favorite vocalists out there and the performance here does nothing to diminish that.

With all that out of the way let's dig in.
The album kicks off with "Nexus of Realities" more an intro than an actual track it does set the mood nicely. Now the ensuing "Udoroth" is another thing entirely. This is classic ASOT. Fast and in your face with unrelenting vocals and their trademarks spiraling guitar lines. This track cannot and should not be ignored. Clearly this could easily be the single off the disc and a killer opening track for a live set. That one transitions to "Fortuneteller" a mid tempo track featuring some nicely woven guitars over a straightforward keyboard pad. Later in the track they make use of the B3 for a very cool breakdown. This track reminds me  what it would sound like if you combined DIo era Sabbath with Deep Purple MK2.

Next up is "The Boy Who Could Fly". This one is probably the most commercial sounding track I have ever heard Nina sing. This could easily sit well on terrestrial radio (I'm still working out if that's good or bad). Clearly though there's a depth and a story behind the lyrics and that in my opinion is what sets this one apart from the normal commercial song. I did i mention that Josh throws down one of the tastiest solos I have ever heard from him on this too.

Track 5 "Elijah" is a near ten minute epic clocking in at 9:30. Talk about deep themes this really hits it out of the park. Cleverly Nina never lays it out fully and leaves just enough to your imagination to come up with your own interpretation about what is really going on in this one. It definitely ups the eerie factor. This is also one of those tracks where Nina takes you on a journey by essentially speaking in each characters voice which creates almost a mini rock opera. Instrumentation on this is also excellent with a metric shit ton of stuff going on.

After three "lighter" tracks ASOT turns back to the heavy with "Master of Pain". A soon as I saw the title I knew this was going to go places and I'm pretty damn sure that Nina had a blast writing this one. If this one doesn't create a legion of S&M devotees I don't know what will. Nina has clearly mined the thin line between ecstasy and agony and put it to words in an undeniably effective way. If you don't listen to the lyrics on this one you are denying yourself a very cool experience. The lyrics on this will blow the mind of any of those sheltered housewives out there that are so enamored by "Fifty Shades of Grey". This one also contains another killer wah inflected Josh solo on it. One of the best tracks on the disc in my opinion.

From this point on Nina goes full on Mercyful Fate/King Diamond and that's a good thing. First up is "Blood From The Mummy's Tomb" a way cool tune about revenge from the grave. The double bass wok on this one is so freaking tight but it doesn't hit you in the face because they didn't go for that booming cannon bass sound it just sits there nicely in the mix. If you ever wanted to hear Josh do some Floyd-like soling this is where he does it. Nice B3 riffing on this one too. And I gotta say that some bands would have probably gone overboard on the Egyptian thing and made a campy mess not so with these guys. ASOT has made a horror classic with this one.

"Black Secrets" is pure classic hard rock riffing. What to not like about that? Solid hooky riffs. B3 in the breakdown. Even a tiny drum solo in there. Great mid tempo track with a classic 70's vibe. 
Track 9 "One Empty Grave" starts out with some very stripped down backing and it lets Nina's vocals and the subject matter shine. The absence of stuff really lends to the ghostly nature of the subject. One thing that drives me nuts on this one is the backing vocals. There's another voice in there and I have no idea who it is. Perhaps it's Veronica Freeman but there's nothing on the advance copy about it. Why does it matter? Cuz the voices sound so greasing good together that it'll make the hairs on your arms go up. Update: Josh gave me a shout out and assured me that Nina is the only female voice on the album.  Once again proving how versatile Nina is. So it's a more down tempo tune but the mood created is so inescapable that you just have to listen.

The disc wraps up with "House of Bones" clocking in at 8:39 it initially seems like a long tune however the first 1:15 is an intro piece. It almost a reprise of some of the themes heard in track one. That transition to a cool almost proggy bass line. There's a real jazz fusion element n this one between the bass and the guitar. Reminded me a bit of Jaco meets Blow by Blow era Jeff Beck for a good chunk of it however they bring the metal about three minutes in along with a nice bluesy vocal line from Nina.

ASOT has taken ten tracks of heavy and supernatural themed songs and created another killer release with "The Lesser Key of Solomon" Listening to all of it just enforces the notion that this band is still growing and that they haven't become complacent or predictable. If this is your first ASOT experience I would urge you to go back and explore the prior release too. Each one has a unique tone and experience.


So what's the FoM score on this one? With ten tracks and a max score of 1 point per track I'm going with 9.5 out of 10. "The Boy Who Could Fly" leaned a little too commercial for my tastes but the solo and the lyrical depth gave it a half point. This one's another release that I think is well worth your wharf earned cash from an independent band that continues to do things on their own terms. The fact that the fans continue to heavily support everything they do should be a clear indication that these guys are the real deal.


Find out more about ASOT and order up the release at:

Saturday, August 16, 2014

No Exchange Of Christmas Cards Here

 

    So drummer Randy Black is leaving Primal Fear today over what is stated as "irreconcilable differences" with singer Ralf Scheepers. Of course Ralf has come out since the announcement and said that no dirty laundry will be aired about the reasons why. So why name Randy then? Why not say it's the boring but safe "musical differences" reason even though we as fans know that 99% of the time its covering up the truth.

   Ralf is opening himself up for future questioning about this. Saying he's not going to talk about it won't make it go away. Randy was in the band a long time and the band were on a streak of really solid albums, this years Delivering The Black is one of the best releases of 2014 in my opinion. If he won't talk about it I guarantee the rest of the band will be questioned in interviews. It's the world we live in now where people want information be it truth or not. I'm all for honesty but don't do it half-assed because there's enough speculation as is on the net. The truth will eventually come out because now people will really dig deeper and what's stopping Randy spilling the beans now he is on the outs. It's good publicity for him, right? Especially if he come across as the victim.

Richie.

   

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Super Groups But Where Are The Live Shows

    


   We all know the score these days. Bands make money from touring, there's no money in cd sales and new music promotes the tour. Motley have a new song in the set and I have no idea what it sounds like. Remember the new song they had in the set on the last tour? I'm right there with you, what was it called.....Unforgettable or No Hook or Five Minute Scribble.

   Here's what is not often mentioned: bands or "super groups" who record albums and never tour and in most cases don't even play a show. Let's start with KXM, the band featuring Doug Pinnick, Ray Luzier and George Lynch. Solid album for sure but no shows yet. Now on to WAMI featuring Dougie White, Vinny Appice, Marco Mendoza and Iggy Gwadera that's a little more recent. No shows and I see Dougie is already back in the studio with Michael Schenker and Marco is out with The Dead Daisies. Rated X is out soon and that has Joe Lynn Turner, Tony Franklin, Carmine Appice and Karl Cochran on it. Yesterday I see a photo of Deen Castanova, Jack Blades and Doug Aldrich in a studio. Probably the only time you will see them together too. Glenn Hughes got seriously pissed off with Joe Bonnamassa because he didn't want to tour and that broke up Black Country Communion. That's not happening here. It seems that the other bands mentioned grab the fee from the label and record the album. That....folks.....is.....it. It wouldn't surprise me if some of them are done over the net too. There's no intention to tour, the players know the score, let's get it done and move on. By the time the damn thing is done each person's itinerary is full for a year. The Winery Dogs is the only recent exception.

   Still think KXM will play a show? Lynch just recorded an album with Stryper's Michael Sweet so fat chance. Whatever happened to those T&N shows? Listen, I'm looking forward to the Rated X album and the one with Doug Aldrich because there's too much talent there for them to be crap but these guys are going to grab the labels cash and go back to their day jobs because they have to and I don't resent them at all for it. Even one show would be nice though. For a live dvd. To sell.

Richie.