Friday, December 9, 2011

Sycco Returns

Dario Sycco returns to podcasting as a Metal Detector. On the air since 2006, Sycco (former co-host of Radioactive Metal, This Week in Metal and Focus on Metal podcasts) is not afraid to express his opinion. His large collection of metal and 30 years of metal listening experience combined with extensive knowledge of audio production help to turn Metal Detector into a metal podcast with balls and charisma. This show is all about metal discoveries with everything a discriminating metalhead would ever want including news, trivia, guests, killer music & much more. If you’re not afraid of the explosive combination of German precision, British sarcasm and Polish sense of humor produced in isolation of frozen Canadian prairies, then this might be a show for you. If you’re looking for an old-timer digging into his nostalgia box of vinyl, you may have to look elsewhere.
Episode 1 features an interview with Tony Iommi, segment on the truth behind the Big 4 of Thrash, news, trivia, great music and much more. The show is available as a free subscription via iTunes. You can also check out Dario's new website All his former shows as well as the new Metal Detector are available on the largest metal podcast network called Cast Iron Ring.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Morbid Angel vs Death Metal

Greetings metal fans.  I have awakened from my slumber and after a week of listening to the newest Morbid Angel release and reading all of the reviews, it's time for the final word.

First off, I have a list of "must have" releases for 2011.  It includes Obscura, Origin, Opeth, Amon Amarth, Autopsy, Machine Head, Dream Theater, just to name a few.  Oh, how could I forget Morbid Angel.  I don't care when they release an album it will be a must buy for me as long as they are recording music.  It's in my Death Metal DNA.  Now I, along with the majority of all extreme metal fans as well, have been anticipating this release for nearly 8 years.  Does Illud Divinum Insanus deliver the what we expected?  Before you jump to a conclusion, let's think about that answer.  What is expected from what many consider to be one of the greatest death metal bands of all time?  Another version of Altars or Covenant?  Perhaps a continuation of Gateways or Heretic?  Just like each of you, after the first and second spin of this record, I was caught off guard.  Morbid Angel had taken a left turn and infused a style of music that we, as metal-heads, were not prepared for.  Or were we?  I am one of the fortunate fans that had been able to have a brief email correspondence with none other than Trey Azagthoth.   Over a few emails and the following of his myspace page, everything has slowly cleared my vision.  If you are a musician you are typically inspired by what you listen to, not just by what you play.  If anyone had really been paying attention to what Trey had been listening to over the years you would surely start to realize that he is a fan of heavy electronic/techno style music.  Now with that being said, it was still difficult to really give Illud a honest listen because I, too, was expecting something along the lines of Domination era Morbid Angel.  Now to the hard truth.  Illud is not a bad album, it was simply not was expected.  Morbid Angel requires you to adapt, overcome and really listen to what is going on.  Now on to the review.

Two things must be stated:  David Vincent is back and Pete Sandoval is on injured reserve.  Now with that said, I have read a lot of online reviews for this record and also this lineup.  I will openly state that if you think that replacement drummer Tim Yeung is a bad drummer not worthy enough to supply the beat on this record, than you need to have your hearing checked.  Purists may want Pete back but Tim is more than capable to handle the skins.  He is one of the best Death Metal drummers out there.  Period!  I want nothing more than to see Pete get back to 100% but until then, Tim will do just fine.

Track 1:  Omni Potens
It reminds me of Burzum.  At least prison era Burzum.

Track 2:  Too Extreme!
Not what you expected now is it.  The great vocals of Vincent are there, the crazy trademark guitar sounds of Azagthoth are there.  The lyrics are lacking in my opinion.  This sound is almost electronic with what may be a drum machine.  We are your new religion, no religion...

Track 3:  Existo Vulgore
This song is certainly what I expected.  Good tune.  Heavy as hell.  The drumming is supreme and vocals are traditional Vincent.  Weird chorus, almost catchy...

Track 4:  Blades for Baal
Oh shit, is this what I was waiting for?  Probably the best song on the album.  At least in my opinion.  Reminds me of early 90's death metal with exceptional production.  This needs to be a song played live.

Track 5:  I am Morbid
I have no idea what happened.  After track 3 and track 4, the train needed to change direction.  Although it is catchy as a song, it certainly was not expected from Morbid Angel.  Song has grown on me but still hard to digest.

Track 6:  10 More Dead
I actually like this one a lot.  The riffs and drumming set the pace for a grooving death metal song.  Funny lyrics, great production.

Track 7:  Destructos vs The Earth/Attack
With the first listen I clearly was saying what in the hell happened?  The scary thing that did happened was that this song has gotten stuck in my head and for some reason has grown on me.  No, I am neither drunk or high.  I want to hate this song but the truth is I can't get that fucking song out of my head...

Track 8:  Nevermore
Love the way this starts out.  Heavy and traditional sounding.  I was smiling while jamming this one.  It certainly has the flavor of Domination era MA.

Track 9:  Beauty Meets Beast
This songs starts out strong as well.  Not a bad song.  It feels mid paced and almost reminiscent of mid 90's death metal as well.  It will do.

Track 10:  Radikult
I don't even want to comment on this song.  Is this Metallica mixed with NWA? Skip!!!

Track 11:  Profundis-Mea Culpa
Weird song altogether.  I like it after hearing track 10.  Initially slow paced and not what I expected as an album closer.  The song picks up and actually is not as bad as most reviewers are slamming it to be.

After giving this album multiple listens and trying to figure this record out it has started to grow on me.  I initially felt that this beast was a clear failure for a legendary band that once gave me aural pleasure not matter which album I chose to spin.  That being said, I will say that my opinion is worth shit to most, but this album, although tarnished with electronic/techno style beats, is better than what many say.   I rate this album 6.5 out of 10.  That is the final word.

Let the comments begin...

Thursday, May 5, 2011

SEPULTURA - Kairos cover revealed

Brazilian/American thrashers SEPULTURA will release their new album,"Kairos" (an ancient Greek word signifying a time in between, a moment of undetermined period of time in which something special happens) on June 24 in Europe and July 12 in North America via Nuclear Blast Records. The artwork for the CD was created by Erich Sayers, a Los Angeles-based freelance digital artist and photographer whomSEPULTURA first met at the band's recent concert at the House Of Blues in West Hollywood, California. 

Commented Sayers: "I started by researching 'Kairos' for images and meaning as soon as the band gave me the title. 

"'Kairos' is about time, the actions we take, and the positive or negative repercussions that follow. I knew the image would have wings. I also knew I would somehow need to represent time, but in a way that is timeless. 

"Speaking with Andreas [Kisser, guitar], he had an idea for a gel skull. I was uncertain how I would make that happen, but I did and it is unique. 

"Actions and their repercussions are represented by the arms, transitioning from the strong healthy arm on top and the decrepit hand below. The background is made from a couple of photos I took on a recent trip to Morocco. They give the composition a mystical quality. 

"It was an honor for me to work with SEPULTURA. I am a longtime fan of this legendary band.

Added Kisser: "We were very lucky choosing the artist to design the cover of 'Kairos'. His name is Erich Sayers and we met him backstage at a SEPULTURA concert in Los Angeles last January. He left us his card and when we checked his website we were very impressed by his awesome work. I explained to him the concept of 'Kairos' and he fastly captured what we wanted, sending us ideas in that same week. He's a very talented guy, who knew how to draw the concept of the album. The cover is different from all the other covers we did in the past but it's 'old school’ at the same time, like the album itself. We're very happy with the result."

SEPULTURA's new CD was recorded at Trama Studios in São Paulo, Brazil with producer Roy Z. (JUDAS PRIEST, HALFORD, BRUCE DICKINSON, HELLOWEEN). 13 tracks were laid down during the sessions, including cover versions of MINISTRY's "Just One Fix" andTHE PRODIGY's "Firestarter".

"Kairos" track listing:

01. Spectrum 
02. Kairos
03. Relentless
04. Just One Fix (MINISTRY cover)
05. Dialog 
06. Mask 
07. Seethe 
08. Born Strong 
09.Embrace The Storm
10. No One Will Stand 
11. Structure Violence (Azzes)

"Kairos" deluxe edition track listing:

01. Spectrum 
02. Kairos
03. Relentless
04. Just One Fix (MINISTRY cover)
05. Dialog 
06. Mask
07. Seethe 
08. Born Strong 
09. Embrace The Storm
10. No One Will Stand 
11. Structure Violence (AZZES)

Bonus tracks:

12. Firestarter (THE PRODIGY cover)
13. Point Of No Return

* Plus bonus making-of DVD

In a recent interview with BLABBERMOUTH.NET, Kisser was asked how the band came up with the "Kairos" title. "The whole theme of the album is the concept of the time, and the title reflects that — it's like one concept of time which is not chronological, from one to two; it's like a an instant in time, it's a special time of change," he replied, before adding, "Everyone's life is written by [their] choices — you have many 'kairos' moments, like if you go [from] point A [to point] B [to point] C, you are driven by your choices or your guidance; you have to go either one way or the other. And that's the kind of time we talked about — not about aging or getting old or going back [in time]; it's just [about those important] moments that can change everything. . .We thought about [that in regards to] SEPULTURA itself — 26 years of history and the moment where we are now; why we're here; why we're doing this album and why we have what we have; the changes we have inside and outside the band. It's a collection of 'kairos' [moments] that [got us] here. It's being inspired by our own biography, but mostly [focusing] on whatSEPULTURA is today." 

Regarding the "Kairs" artwork, Andreas said, "The artwork is done already. We had this young guy [Los Angeles-based freelance digital artist and photographer Erich Sayers] that we met backstage at our show in Hollywood, at the House of Blues, in January. This guy was a fan and he gave us his card and he sent us some artwork and it was fucking amazing; the guy is an awesome artist. And we decided to work with him on this album. We explained to him the concept and, of course, we sent him lyrics and some pictures and some sculptures, [visual] representations of 'kairos,' and he came up with a really cool design. It's woman's body figure with a skull with a type of skin that is like a gel melting with big wings and stuff. And she's holding an [hourglass] with [the SEPULTURA] tribal 'S' [logo]. it's really nice. He really worked fast and he was very creative with a lot of ideas. We were very fortunate to find a guy like this under those circumstances — at a show — and it was great to work with [someone who] was so excited to be working with us."

On the topic of the songwriting process for SEPULTURA's new CD,Andreas said, "[We] really [wanted to] keep [the album] short. One of the characteristics of the old albums [was that they didn't have a lot of songs on them] — like 'Arise' had nine songs, and 'Master Of Puppets'had nine or eight — so our idea was to have ten songs, and really [make them as good as possible], maybe add parts and think a little bit more about the riffs instead of just throwing songs out there one after the other. 'Cause with [2006's] 'Dante XXI' and 'A-Lex', it was kind of that way... especially with 'A-Lex', since it was our first album with Jean Dolabella on drums, just working with him, writing with him for the first time, it was more like a big jam. But this one, we stopped and thought more about the whole concept and we focused on being more creative in the end. After using books [as the basis of the lyrical concepts on] our past albums, and the experience of doing that, we limited ourselves [this time around] to be more creative. I think it really helps when you have a goal and focus, and it worked great on this album."

When asked about SEPULTURA's decision to work with Roy Z this time around, Kisser said, "The idea [for the new album] was really to putSEPULTURA on stage in the studio and having a producer that is [also a performing artist himself], it helps a lot [in capturing that live energy] in the [recording studio]. The album was practically recorded live; that was the idea initially — to try to be as live as possible — and more than 50 percent of first takes [is what we kept on the record]. It sounds really live and we're very happy with the chemistry we had with Roy in the studio. He really liked the idea of trying this raw approach. He didn't know the studio very well in São Paulo, but he learned [as we went along]. We didn't have too much time for pre-production [either], but everything worked out really perfectly. We were ready to record and he was very quick and smart in finding ways to [capture] the sound [we were looking for]. It was fun to record guitars with him, using different pedals and amps and stuff, and [he had] nice ideas to build really cool solos. So it was great; he was really the perfect guy for us [to work with] at this moment. . . In the end, the result is amazing; we're very happy. I think it's one of the best SEPULTURA albums that we ever did — the whole vibe and the sound and the lyrics and the songs and the style. I'm very confident that we created something really special with this one."

Photo below by Estevam Romera

Source (Blabbermouth)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Dream Theater finally reveal who the new drummer is!

Mike Mangini, the 48-year-old session artist who has played forANNIHILATOREXTREMEJAMES LABRIE and STEVE VAI, has officially joined DREAM THEATER as the replacement for the recently departed Mike Portnoy.

Commented Mangini: "The day that I got the phone call to be in DREAM THEATER, it took my brain a minute to assemble what was going on, and when it sank in, the feeling was just of tremendous relief.

"It means so much to me, I almost felt like crying a couple of times. [Laughs] I didn't know what to do.

"What it means to me to be part of not only such a legendary band, butthis band, is a sense of fulfillment and purpose. I feel like a puzzle piece, and with Mike [Portnoy] in particular, I feel really honored to carry on the torch for him; I'm carrying on his spirit."

Regarding the decision-making process, the members of DREAM THEATER had the following to say:

Jordan Rudess (keyboards): "The thing that stands about Mike Manginiis that he [plays] with such intensity and direction and power, and that was very engaging.

"It was hard to totally decide; you can't just say, 'OK, it's him and write off some other guy, because they're both incredible."

John Petrucci (guitar): "We unknowingly used a method that we use when we write music, which is, 'Just hear out my side.'

"During that discussion, we kind of came to some conclusions, we hashed things out, and at the end of the discussion, it was clear. We made a decision."

John Myung (bass): "A lot of it was just how felt with each particular drummer. It turned out that we were kind of all on the same page as to who we needed to carry on. I think it was meant to be."

Mangini is notorious for his technical prowess and holds three out of four World's Fastest Drummer titles. These include the Fastest Matched grip at 1,247 strokes in 60 seconds; Fastest Hands, which he earned by executing 1,203 single-stroke notes in 60 seconds without drumsticks mallets etc.; Fastest Traditional Grip which he earned by executing 1,126 strokes in 60 seconds; and Fastest Single Stroke Foot record, playing 13,222 hits in 15 minutes and 5,222 hits in five minutes.

Mangini has written two books about his drumming techniques. These books, titled "Rhythm Knowledge", are a practice method for deconstructing and simplifying complex polyrhythms and time signatures.

Mangini joined ANNIHILATOR in 1991 and appeared on the band's "Set The World On Fire" album. He toured with the group in support of the CD until 1994 at which point he was asked to play with the Massachusetts band EXTREME, replacing that group's original drummer Paul Geary.

After EXTREME dissolved in 1996, Mike was informed through drummerJonathan Mover that guitarist Steve Vai was auditioning drummers for his live band. Mike successfully auditioned for Steve Vai's band and relocated to Los Angeles.

From late 1996 to early 2000, Mangini was the highly regarded drummer of Vai's live ensemble, which also included bassist Philip Bynoe, guitar wizard Mike Keneally and (in 2000) guitarist Dave WeinerMike also recorded several drum tracks for Steve's "Fire Garden" and"Ultrazone" albums.

In 2005, Mike accepted a full-time teaching position at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and today he is a prominent faculty member in the school's percussion department.

Portnoy, who co-founded DREAM THEATER more than 20 years ago, abruptly quit the band last summer while on tour with AVENGEDSEVENFOLD.

He played on AVENGED SEVENFOLD's latest album, "Nightmare", following the death of that band's drummer, Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan, and toured with them in late 2010 .

The third and final webisode in which the members of DREAM THEATERshare with their fans some of the intense process, along with the musical joy, that went into choosing a new drummer can be viewed below.

A little more than a month after Portnoy's sudden departure fromDREAM THEATER, the band held three days of auditions in New YorkCity. Over an amazing and productive three-day period, the band played, jammed and spoke candidly with seven of the world's greatest drummers, learning about them musically, personally and professionally, and assessing the fit of each drummer's incredible chops with the band's trademark prog-rock sound.

The members of DREAM THEATER have been extremely sensitive to the fact that this is not only a monumental decision in their own lives, but also a critical moment in the lives of their fans around the world. "The departure of our lifelong bandmate and friend was an unexpected and truly heartbreaking blow," said guitarist John Petrucci. "The fact that as a result of that event we'd be introduced to seven infinitely capable and uniquely talented drummers was heartening."

The following seven drummers took part in the DREAM THEATERaudition process:

Aquiles Priester (age 39) (ANGRA, PAUL DI'ANNO)
Peter Wildoer (age 36) (DARKANE)
Virgil Donati (age 52) (PLANET X, SEVEN THE HARDWAY)

Source: (Blabbermouth)