Monday, March 29, 2010

The Anthrax Debacle Continues: Still no word on what will happen with "Worship Music"

There's no denying that We've Come For You All is a solid album. And now that John Bush is back in the band, hopefully we can get another one.

So what is the current status of the whole Anthrax debacle? Here's what the Armored Saint/Anthrax frontman had to say in an excerpt from an interview with

MetalSucks: So you think you would be re-recording some of [former ANTHRAX singer] Dan Nelson's vocals?

Bush: That is what they want to do, and it's been a conflict for me, to be quite frank, simply because I kind of felt like I wasn't part of the creation of it. On all the other ANTHRAX records, I was part of it when it happened. I just wasn't involved in this, and it's something that they've already actually completed. I haven't disregarded it completely, and I know it's important to them. I realize they made this record and they're kind of sitting on it. They want to put some of it out, if not everything… at least a single, and we've talked about [releasing] an EP. We're still trying to figure out if we can do that, especially in conjunction with these shows in June. We've just got to kind of iron out some specifics. That's where we're at today, March 15, 2010.

Check out the full interview on

I hope that Anthrax will be able to work things out and release this album, but at the same time, Bush should maintain his integrity and only do the vocals if he actually wants to.

Hopefully Worship Music won't suffer from being left in the cutting room for so long...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Will Nevermore deliver with "The Obsidian Conspiracy"?

Yeah, that album cover above is the real deal. I think it's cheesy and wish the band would have gone with something different, but then again, I'm not the one making the badass music.

The new Nevermore disc, The Obsidian Conspiracy is coming out in just a few months (June 8) and that leaves me wondering one thing... will the band be able to put out an album to satisfy its fans?

While This Godless Endeavor was a solid return to form for the group, I think that Dead Heart in a Dead World still remains Nevermore's masterpiece. I just don't find myself returning to the last album all that much.

Some of the more recent stuff seems like it is more concerned with shredding guitar solos than the songwriting and riff writing itself.

This sort of relates to my post discussing how tech death metal is almost too technical. I wouldn't mind seeing guitarist Jeff Loomis studying some of his old riffs (and maybe even some of the old Sanctuary riffs, even though he didn't write em') and combine that foundation with his progress skillwise to write some truly awesome heavy metal music for us all.

Below is the greatest Nevermore song ever recorded ("The River Dragon Has Come") as well as some recent footage of Loomis shredding and what is supposedly a new tune!

UPDATE: I got rid of the old video because I believe it only had an older track on there and it loaded slow on my comp. I found a slightly lesser quality of just the new track from the same event which I added below. The song is "The Obsidian Conspiracy".

Thursday, March 25, 2010

"Priests of Sodom" is a Cannibal Corpse Classic

Evisceration Plague is hands-down one of the best modern death metal albums out there (it made it to #3 on my 2009 year end list too).

Cannibal Corpse just released this video of the opening track "Priests of Sodom," which is one of the fastest and most technical songs on the album.

Crank up the music and watch below.

Soulfly Goes CGI with "Omen"

What is the deal with metal bands putting out crappy looking CGI album covers???

Iron Maiden most notoriously did it with Dance of Death, but there are other offenders out there too. Soulfly's latest though isn't as bad as some, but I don't necessarily think it's good either...

Maybe I am just being over critical anyways. Who even looks at album covers anymore in the age of downloading? And shouldn't it be the music that matters the most?

Say what you will, I still miss cool album covers and I think it's one of those things people will be sad to see go once physical albums die out.

That being said, the new Soulfly record Omen is set for a May 25 release date. I didn't give Max Cavalera's band much time in the past, but after hearing Conquer got some pretty rave reviews I decided to check the band out.

Not bad. Not bad at all.

Below is a video for the song "Unleash" off that album.

Geek Out with a Blind Guardian Studio Preview

Blind Guardian is one of the greatest metal bands of all time. There is no denying it. If you do, then you shouldn't be listening to metal, or you must have had one terrible experience at a medieval festival while the band's music was playing.

The band combines the sounds of power and thrash metal into an epic sound, full of unique guitar harmonies and soaring vocals. Hell, I'll even go as far to say that vocalist Hansi Kursch is one of the best metal vocalists too (and he is the only man that can legitimately pull off Queen covers in my book).

I could hype up the band all day, but it's better if I just post some clips. One heavy, one acoustic, and one previewing the new album, which the band is currently in the studio recording.


Roadrunner Finally Picks a Legit Greatest Album Cover In Brujeria's "Matando Gueros"

Leave it to Fear Factory's Dino Cazares to form a band alongside Faith No More bassist Billy Gould and Napalm Death's Shane Embury, with a specialty in writing sometimes clever, and oftentimes distasteful lyrics about killing white people, illegal immigration, drug trafficking, and Satanism.

Perhaps even more shocking than the lyrical content of the album (which contains vocals in Spanish), is the album cover itself - an image of an arm holding up a severed head that was taken out of the Mexican tabloid newspaper,¡Alarma!

To this day, I am a little shocked by the album cover, and most of that kind of shit doesn't bother me. I think it's the fact that this is a real image of a REAL severed head that makes it disturbing.

Especially when you put the image in the context of the current day problems in Mexico. There is a lot of violence going on down there (well around the world and even right here in the U.S. too), which makes the album even darker than ever.

You can read Roadrunner's official post about the album cover here. And listen to a Brujeria jam below.

UPDATE: Full list of the greatest album covers that made Roadrunner's list right here if you are curious.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Metal Show is back on the air tonight!

After a semi-relaxing Spring Break it is time to get back to the ol' daily grind, but at least that also includes The Metal Show TONIGHT from 8 to 10 p.m. only on KRUI 89.7FM in Iowa City.

Non locals/radioless folks can tune on online right here (assuming the streams are up and running, which they should be).

While you are eagerly waiting for tonight's show (featuring new music from Armored Saint, Finntroll, White Wizzard and more) you can watch this cool live Overkill video and, if you are in the 80s mood, the latest Ratt music video for the track "Best of Me".

Rock Over London. Rock on Chicago. Wheaties, Breakfast of Champions!

Exploring Metal: Industrial Metal

I enjoyed writing my last "Exploring Metal" piece on the tech death genre, so much that I decided to do another segment on industrial metal.

While my other article was more of a critique on the style, this post is more an exploration of industrial metal and a look at some of the bands within that area.

I think far too often, we metalheads bash other music without giving it a fair chance. If it seems trendy or cool (which industrial metal has been on and off) sometimes the diehard crowd tends to stay away. But enough of that. Now it's onto the robotic riffs of industrial metal!

Unfamiliar with the genre?

Chugging machinelike riffs are a common element in all sorts of metal, so why not seal the deal with unison drums and loops and samples? That is basically industrial metal in a nutshell. Most obviously dudes like Rob Zombie popularized the genre (as seen in the White Zombie video below for "More Human Than Human".

Zombie's music demonstrates the pulsating groove that is typical in the scene. It is funky music that is almost danceable (which is why Zombie is a common strip club favorite I guess?) and is a good example of a commercial industrial sound.

However, there is one band that arguably did more for industrial metal than any other and that is the almighty Ministry.

While the overtly political rantings of Al Jourgensen can be a bit much at times, he writes cool music that is the definition of industrial metal. And the band is still making relevant music to this day.

Pulsating rhythms and loops galore make Ministry an industrial metal fans dream.

In the same vein of Ministry there is the metal/rock outfit Helmet, who while not always being classified as industrial metal, definitely show some influence of the style is more traditional format.

This music is not only catchy, but that main riff and drum beat just pound into your head. For some the repetitiveness can be a turnoff, but for others, it adds to the style. Sure you might not always be in the mood for this stuff, but you can't say it has no merit.

Next up is Fear Factory who moved the genre forward, by combining more of the sounds of extreme metal with industrial sounds.

Perhaps the coolest thing about this band is that they actually did sound like one big machine at times, as seen in the the recent track "Metallic Division" below (Mechanize kicks all kinds of ass by the way).

Max Cavalera fans should take notice of the frontman's dabbling in industrial metal with the excellent Nailbomb. The band proved that while the song is heavily industrial on the album (Point Blank), this sound can be pulled off well in the live setting, which even adds to the groove of it all.

And while I could keep looking for solid examples of industrial metal, why not close things out with some Prong? One of the greatest groove/industrial bands of all time!

No matter what you think about industrial music, it mixes well with the metal and there is plenty of greatness to be found if you just sit back and open your mind.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Oh and happy St. Patrick's Day too! Crank some Celtic metal, drink some green beer and taste the rainbow!

St. Paddy's Day Streaming Music Roundup: Dillinger Escape Plan, Landmine Marathon, Brian Posehn

It's Spring Break. Today is St. Patrick's Day. I've been doin' stuff. So sorry about the lack of posts, but in the meantime here is some music to listen to while you are awaiting me to get back to a "daily schedule."

First off... Dillinger Escape Plan's Operation Paralysis is streaming on the band's MySpace (out March 23).

Next up is the new Landmine Marathon album Sovereign Descent which is out now. You can listen to that one at the Metalsucks blog.

Finally here is a sample of the latest Brian Posehn comedy album Fart and Wiener Jokes (out April 27).


Brian Posehn - Fart & Wiener Jokes Coming 4/27 | MySpace Video

Friday, March 12, 2010

New Exodus "Hammer and Life" Demo Online! Have a Metal Weekend!

If I was a betting man I would say the new Exodus album Exhibit B: The Human Condition is going to kick all kinds of ass. Judging by the new track, "Hammer and Life" that is a fairly safe bet to make.

The new song rips and sounds like it could be a modern thrash classic. Hopefully the whole album will be this good! (Exhibit B is set to release on May 18.

Listen to "Hammer and Life" on the band's MySpace now, or just hit play below and rock out!

And most importantly have a great weekend, it is Spring Break around these Iowa City parts, so I will definitely be enjoying some time off (but will try and keep updating the blog in my spare time.

UPDATE: Another new tune, "Class Dismissed (A Hate Primer)" is now on the band's MySpace. Exodus is two-for-two so far!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Armored Saint cooks up a solid mix of traditional metal with "La Raza"

The folks at Metal Blade were kind enough to send me a copy of the latest Armored Saint CD, La Raza. So what do I think of it?

Well it is classic Armored Saint at heart. Bush sounds as solid as ever and Vera and the gang put together a catchy and definitely safe album that will please fans.

There are actually a lot of mid-paced to slower tunes peppered throughout, so the record maintains a solid mix in tempo. Although after repeated listens it still feels like there is something missing and I'm not sure why. But I call it like I see it.

Longtime fans can do no wrong by picking up La Raza (it really is a solid traditional metal CD) and if you are unfamiliar with the history of the Saint, I'd recommend starting with the excellent March of the Saint before picking this one up.

P.S. I stumbled across this video of vocalist John Bush and bassist Joey Vera of Armored Saint cooking up some pasta sauce and (briefly) discussing the latest album La Raza which will be released on March 16.

UPDATE: Cooking with Armored Saint Part Deux, available now.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

High On Fire Hits Hard With Its "Frost Hammer"

Don't have much to say, besides that this song is badass and that crazy Matt Pike always be runnin' round shirtless.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Dragonforce (Possibly) Parts Ways With Vocalist ZP Theart

Dragonforce won over the hearts of many a fan with its cheesy-but-fun mentality towards shred-heavy power metal. However, after awhile, every new album sort of blurred together with the old stuff.

Now the band is going through a big overhaul after the (rumored) loss of vocalist ZP Theart as read in a retracted Roadrunner press release. While I think Theart was a big influence on the band's sound, maybe this could be for the better?

I think Dragonforce could do with a little stylistic change... maybe even get a heavier vocalist perhaps? I'm not saying ditch the power metal vocals entirely, but someone who can mix-it-up a little.

And, hey, there's always Tim "Ripper" Owens.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Iraqi Metal Band Acrassicauda Releases "Garden of Stones" Music Video

Somehow I have managed to put off seeing, Heavy Metal Baghdad, or even listening to Iraqi metal band Acrassicauda... until now.

After watching the latest video for "Garden of Stones" off Only the Dead See the End of the War, I can honestly say this band sounds cooler than about 90% of American metal bands out there today. And the shit these guys went through just to play the music they love is amazing.

You always hear about all of the violence going on in Iraq, so it can be easy to forget that there are plenty of people over there just like you and me.

Acrassicauda's debut album hits store/cyberspace shelves near you tomorrow.

UPDATE: Now you can listen to the whole album in the player below. I bought myself a copy of the EP, it's not too pricey and definitely worth it.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Exploring Metal: A Look at the Tech Death Genre

Metal is in a period of transition once again. I think we all can agree metalcore is definitely losing steam (bands have either evolved from that title (Lamb Of God, Trivium, Shadows Fall) or have taken it to its limit (Killswitch Engage)) and now it's only a matter of finding a new way to give metal a kick in the ass.

(for argument's sake we are assuming metalcore did increase metal's popularity and is in some way beneficial).

The way things are looking it seems like the unlikely genre of technical death metal is on the rise. Even to the level that there are now more "commercially appealing" versions of these bands creating music. Case A below (heard of The Arusha Accord byway of the dudes at metalsucks).

I'm not sure whether I can say I really like this band or not, because I've only heard one song by them, but the one positive aspect of the video is that the band is performing with energy (which is my big complaint with tech death bands, unless you are talking maybe The Dillinger Escape Plan who are more tech and not really death). Granted this is music video and not live, but you get the point.

I saw The Faceless live and while I dig some of the stuff on Planetary Duality, the live show was boring and the vocals are completely incomprehensible live (Case B). Not to mention the album kind of blurs together after track 2.

What I'm getting at is that tech death metal (and lots of modern metal) is missing the energy that the old school rockers / metal heads once had (and some still have). The live shows were fun because it was equally as enjoyable to see the band rock out, as it was to hear them play the songs.

That is not the case with many tech death bands today.

Another tech death band that is similar to The Faceless, but more evolved, is Obscura. Cosmogenesis is a great album and they are more fun to watch than The Faceless live, but once again, the music itself is lacking some of the emotion classic bands like Pantera or say Metallica always had.

So what is this post all about in the end? The conclusion that while tech death is cool, bands need to remember that the live show and emotion can be just as vital as playing cool sounding riffs. Maybe Arsis has it right and its latest album is a proper example of where the genre should go?

It's funny because I have heard a lot of mixed response with the new Arsis record, but goddamn if it isn't a fun listen! Is it too much to ask for technicality and emotion in a band's music? And is tech death the new direction metal is going? (you could also make the argument it's going the way of modern doom/stoner metal, which bores me even more). I can't say 100%, but I am interested in seeing how this all plays out in upcoming years.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Metal March is here! (and so is the weekend)

Thank DIO it's Friday! This has been one hell of a week, but I did manage to get some posts on here, so at least I didn't forget about you all.

I figured now is as good of a time as any to point out that March has been declared "Metal March," by a number of record labels that are supporting independent music shops and the genre as a whole. Check out more info at

Also I didn't get a chance to put this up yet, but John 5 released a new solo track called "The Nightmare Unravels" which is shredtacular. Also Opeth released a new track ("The Throat of Winter") on the God of War III soundtrack which you can check out below.

Have an awesome weekend!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Enter The Final Frontier with Iron Maiden and Dream Theater!

While Iron Maiden may have failed to find a new graphic designer (90s computer images just aren't that cool anymore), at least the band is finally coming back to North America and will be joined by Dream Theater. And they answered my letter too! There is definitely a show within 6 hours driving distance:

Jul. 18 - Chicago, IL - First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre

The question is how much will tickets cost?

UPDATE: Tickets for the show go on sale Saturday, March 13.

Listen to some Iron Maiden and Dream Theater below:

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Concert Announcement: D.R.I. Hits Spicoli's in Waterloo

Will update later, but legendary crossover thrash/hardcore act will be playing Spicoli's in Waterloo, IA, on October 5, 2010. Far-off, but should be a cool show nonetheless.

Music Video Round-up: Trivium, Caliban, Straight Line Stitch, Mutiny Within

Not a lot of metal news going on right now, but a lot of music video releases. So I figured why not listen to them all and post some thoughts?

Trivium - "Shattering the Skies Above"

Rating: OK
Commentary: Definitely Trivium in sound and the new drummer has potential. This song was just for the God of War III soundtrack, but I would have liked to see the band mix up its style like Megadeth used to do (remember all its great soundtrack songs... "Diadems", "Go To Hell" and "99 Ways to Die" anyone?

Anyways, this won't silence the Trivium haters, but I'm looking forward to seeing what the band comes up with for its next album. Could be heavy...

Caliban - "No One is Safe"

Caliban - No One Is Safe

Caliban | MySpace Music Videos

Rating: Meh?
Commentary: I do kind of dig the orchestral breakdown around the 2 minute mark, at least it's more varied than what the other metalcore kids are doing (and it should be seeing as I remember putting another video from Caliban up and being surprised how long they have been around). Although the band always looks so bored in its videos! Get wild!

Straight Line Stitch - "Never See the Day"

Rating: OK
Commentary: This band is sort of a guilty pleasure of mine. Alexis Brown has a powerful and unique voice, even if the verse, chorus, verse, huge end breakdown, pattern is overused.

There is more actual singing on this track than any of the other singles, so if that throws you off, check out the band's other work.

Straight Line Stitch won't blow you away, but you could do a lot worse. It's simple, fun, and trendy metal/hardcore.

Mutiny Within - "Awake"

Rating: Good
Commentary: I can't say I'm in love with this song, or Mutiny Within itself, but I have to salute any modern metal band that uses clean vocals throughout the song, and the guitarists have some ability.

I heard the band's first self-titled disc has only sold 900 copies in its first week. It definitely deserves higher numbers than that!

At War - "Make Your Move"

Rating: Very retro, in a good way.
Commentary: At War's latest disc infidel had some very cheesy cover art, which didn't really prompt me to check it out, but this song is a solid dose of thrash, if not a bit generic.

Plus that video is just crazy. I never knew I had the desire to see an electric shaver scorpion fight a push-light plier crab until now!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Study/Work Break: The Dillinger Escape Plan - "Farewell, Mona Lisa" Music Video

The Dillinger Escape Plan is another one of those bands I know people freak out about, but that I have never really followed that closely.

It's not like I don't like them, I just haven't really had the urge to pick up an album from them, because I always find something else I want/need. But this song, "Farewell, Mona Lisa," definitely isn't bad (it's actually quite good!). Check out the video below.

Oh and the new album, Operation Paralysis comes out March 23!