Monday, January 30, 2012

Aaron Turner starts Split Cranium

Aaron Turner has another band on the go. This time he’s back playing in a hardcore band, Split Cranium, who will be releasing their first LP soon, as evidenced by the photo below. No music has been posted yet, so your guess is as good as any as to what it will be like.

Friday, January 27, 2012

New Drudkh track

Ukraine black metallers turned a few heads in 2010 with their Handful of Stars album, which saw the band veer towards a shoegaze-eqsue element. The album certainly divided opinions. Now, the band is ready to release to release their next record, Eternal Turn of the Wheel and are streaming one new song entitled ‘When Gods Leave Their Emerald Halls’. It’s streaming now on the Season of Mist FBpage or just down below.

Eternal Turn of the Wheel has been billed as Drudkh’s return to their roots album, and a semblance of their past is definitely strong in this song but this is still the same band that wrote Handful of Stars. And don’t be fooled, despite its new direction, HOS was a great record, and so should Eternal Turn of the Wheel. But it’s looking those pining for Autumn Aurora will again be disappointed.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Pelican post new EP track

Pelican are streaming a new song now from their forthcoming new EP, Ataraxia/Taraxis. The song ‘Lathe Biosas’ is streaming over at Spin with a free download of the song too. The short 4.46 minute long taster of things to come, opens first a heavy riff before sliding into some sumptuously melodic passages, all reminiscent of Pelican’s last two albums. I for one love it, I love everything Pelican have done, they’ve never put a foot wrong and What We All Come To Need (last album from 2009) was a stunning piece of work, so I’ve very high expectations for Ataraxia/Taraxis, which comes out April 10th.

New Soulfly track

You can check out a new Soulfly track below, and it’s still available for download (for a limited time) at Soulfly's Facebook, HERE. The song’s called ‘World Scum’ and is taken from their next record Enslaved, coming out in March. This particular track features guest vocals from Cattle Decapitation’s Travis Ryan. There’s a pretty interesting, albeit vague, 90s death metal whiff off this song. Max Cavalera may not be writing the most interesting music these days, but this isn’t half bad. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Kayo Dot - Gamma Knife

The enigmatic experimentalists Kayo Dot have returned with a new album, Gamma Knife. Of course, once again they’ve crafted another unique and complex record. Click HERE for the full review.

Woods of Desolation working on new album

It’s time for another news post with a Facebook screen cap…

If all goes to plan, a new Woods of Desolation album will be released this year. I have spent the past months HEAVILY writing for this record, and it's now roughly 75% written - but there is still much to do. I wonder if you are ready for what is about to be created...Stay tuned.
Woods of Desolation, the Australian one man black metal outfit, hopes to release a new record this year, so soon after 2011’s Torn Beyond Reason, which featured on the end of year list here for good reason. By far, it was the best Woods of Desolation’s release yet and one of the premier black metal albums of the year. This follow-up couldn’t come sooner. Torn Beyond Reason was aided greatly by its slick production job, which gave the record an even bigger and ambitious sound. I can’t wait to hear what D. has planned next with the album.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Knut announce indefinite hiatus

Swiss technical sludge band Knut has made the dreaded announcement yesterday that they are going on “indefinite hiatus”. Touring in support of 2010’s sublime Wonder record wound down recently and as it would appear, no follow-up album is on the horizon, unfortunately. How long this hiatus will be is anyone’s guess but “indefinite” suggests quite some time.

Diet Pills & more... - The Lower Deck, 20/1/12

Diet Pills returned to The Lower Deck last Friday, with a bill that included Loose Nut, Wolfbait, Sickener, Murmur, Wild Rocket and Flowers of Creation. Click HERE for the full review.

Sunn O))) and Ulver to release collaborative album

Sunn O))) and Ulver will release a collaborative album, Stephen O’Malley revealed in an interview with The Quietus. “There’s a record we were working on a couple of years ago, collaborating with that band Ulver”, he said. “I’ve been friends with the singer for almost 20 years, actually. I went back to that with Kris Rygg, the singer: we were working on mixing that.”

No details were revealed regarding what stage this album is at or when it will be unleashed on the world. Sunn O))) always intrigue with any of their releases and Ulver are, hands down, one of the most fascinating bands of the last 20 years so what happens when these two forces collide is anyone’s guess. O’Malley also mentioned in the interview that he and Greg Anderson (his Sunn O))) partner) were also still working on other Sunn O))) songs and have material left over from 2009’s Monoliths & Dimensions. Click HERE to check out the whole interview, which is a rather thought-provoking read.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Shelf Life: Indie Publishing and Its Future

Last month I published an article in a student magazine (here in Dublin) called Deadline. It was a feature looking at the Dublin Zine Fair from last August as well as independent publishing in Ireland and elsewhere. I spoke with Sarah Bracken, of Baby BEEF Press and organiser of the fair, Jenika Ioffreda, the woman behind the comic book Vampire Free Style, and Dean Van Nguyen, the editor of One More Robot. Anyway, Deadline had only a small local reach and the original article, prior to being cut down, is published now on Drop-d. See please click HERE and have a read.

I really enjoyed doing this piece, it was something a little different and hopefully I can do something like it again in the future, more extensively and in depth, and speak with more people. For now, check it out.

Photo: Sarah Bracken

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Burzum to release Umskiptar in May

The controversial Varg Vikernes is not staying quiet in 2012, with a new album announced today. Umskiptar (translating as Metamorphoses) will be released in May, as usual through Byelobog Productions. The album will be 65 minutes of “skaldic metal” and was recorded in Bergen at Grieghallen Studio. According to Vikernes, “the lyrics on Umskiptar are all taken from a Norse poem, Völuspá”. For more details click HERE. Umskiptar will be the follow-up to From The Depths of Darkness, which came out in November and was a batch of re-recordings of tracks from the first two Burzum records. Fallen, released early last year, was the man’s last full-length of new material and was a very strong record so interested ears await Umskiptar. [EDIT: Artwork below]

Blóðstokkinn (Soaked in Blood) (1:16)
Jóln (Deities) (5:51)
Alfadanz (Elven Dance) (9:22)
Hit helga Tré (The sacred Tree) (6:51)
Æra (Honour) (3:58)
Heiðr (Esteem) (3:02)
Valgaldr (Song of the Fallen) (8:03)
Galgviðr (Gallow Forest) (7:16)
Surtr Sunnan (Black from the South) (4:14)
Gullaldr (Golden Age) (10:20)
Níðhöggr (Attack from Below) (5:00)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Megaupload is shut down. What happens now?

In case you somehow missed it, yesterday US officials shut down file sharing site Megaupload, the world’s largest file sharing site, and made four arrests of the site’s founders and staff, not in the US, but in New Zealand. This shutdown comes the day after the blackout protest against the now infamous SOPA and PIPA bills. Click HERE for the detail on the shutdown on BBC news but also click HERE to check out an opinion piece on Heavy Blog Is Heavy about the shutdown, which captures some very key issues.

Monarch announce new album

Monarch will release their new album, Omens, on February 28th via At A Loss Recordings. Featuring three new compositions of their droning sludge, the album will be their sixth full-length of crushing but strangely emotive movements. Here’s the tracklisting and video preview:

1 Blood Seeress
2 Transylvanian Incantations
3 Black Becomes the Sun

Monarch-Omens. from Sabbat Noir on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Woods of Ypres - Woods 5: Grey Skies & Electric Light

Tragedy befell Wood of Ypres in late December with the passing of frontman and guitarist, David Gold, mere weeks before the release of the band's fifth record, Woods 5: Grey Skies & Electric Light. Regardless, the record will see its release later this month through Earache Records, click HERE for the full review.


New issue of Molten out now

The new issue of Molten is out now. This issue features my brief interview with Tommy Rogers from Between the Buried and Me, as well as a Napalm Death live review. Speaking of which, there’s a full review of the new Napalm Death album, Utilitarian, as well as Tenhi, Esoteric and Throne of Katarsis. Pick up your copy in Easons. 

Crows cause a little stir

Yesterday, Irish hardcore made national headlines. Printed on the side column of the front page of The Irish Daily Star (with the full story inside) and in an article on the Irish Independent’s website was everyone’s favourite misanthropic hardcore noiseniks Crows. Why you ask? It’s all because of their new t-shirt, which has got some people talking.

Crows’ Joe Breaker said the t-shirt made a "legitimate point" about Gerry Ryan’s drug abuse while maintaining an anti-drugs stance. “It might be putting salt in their [Ryan’s family] wounds, but the information is not new, it’s been well documented in the media,” he also stated.

Here’s the front page from yesterday’s Star. What do you think? Crows will have a few words on Drop-d later in the morning.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Join the fight against SOPA and PIPA

It’s just gone past midnight here in Ireland, meaning it is the 18th of January. Across the internet, most notably Wikipedia and Reddit, there is a “blackout” against the US anti-piracy bills SOPA and PIPA, the latter of which is going to congress at the end of the month. Websites are protesting the flaws of the bills, which will threaten free speech on the internet and stifle creativity. Posting will resume here on The Grind That Annoys tomorrow. For now visit HERE for more details on the bills and if you are a US citizen, please contact your local representative to voice your protest against the bills. Thank you.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New This Tongue is Poison tracks, LP coming soon

You’ll recall This Tongue Is Poison, they released a four track demo last year, played a couple of shows and more or less really, really impressed me. The Dublin screamo/emotional hardcore band had been quiet since playing with Link back in November, but it appears now that the band is readying the release of their first LP – Retrospective Dissonance. They’re currently streaming three new songs at their bandcamp, including a re-recording of ‘December’. The songs are accentuated greatly by a magnificent, clean production that really gives the songs room to breathe but still haven’t lost any of the raw emotion emitted. Retrospective Dissonance looks like it’ll a highlight of Irish hardcore in 2012 already. The bandcamp lists April 1st as the release date but that is yet to be confirmed.

Meshuggah reveal album artwork and song titles

Following on from the confirmed release date for their name album, Koloss, Meshuggah have released the record’s artwork and tracklisting. The artwork is an abstract piece of course, cuddling up nicely with the band’s abstract music. I’ve loved most of Meshuggah’s artwork, there’s a “huh?” element in most of them for sure, but that’s what I like and this is no different. All we need now is an audio taster as our eyes have been more than satisfied at this stage.

01 I Am Colossus
02 The Demon’s Name is Surveillance
03 Do Not Look Down
04 Behind The Sun
05 The Hurt that Finds You First
06 Marrow
07 Break Those Bones Whose Sinews Gave It Motion
08 Swarm
09 Demiurge
10 The Last Vigil

Monday, January 16, 2012

Cloudkicker takes part in fan Q&A

Ben Sharp (Cloudkicker in case you’re a bit slow) is tonight, as in right now, taking part in a questions and answers session on Reddit, fielding a lot of different topics from fans. Here’s some of the most important tidbits so far. The full thread can be viewed HERE, with plenty of discussion on his guitar and pedals set-up too.

On playing live:
I think it would be really fun. It just takes a lot of time and effort to put something like that together and I'm not sure if I'm up for that at the moment.

On the vocals found on ‘Let Yourself Be Huge’ and whether there’ll be more vocals in the future:
At the moment I don't have any plans to include more vocals--but I didn't when I started that song either, it just ended up feeling like the right thing to do. So I'm keeping an open mind about it but not planning on it.

On the direction his next material will follow, covered over several different questions throughout the Q&A:
The current batch of songs I'm working on are definitely a return to more familiar territory while still progressing and using lessons and inspiration I've acquired since Beacons. But I always try to do something new so I don't end up doing the same thing over and over again. So I wouldn't say I'm trying to "top" anything, but I am trying to evolve from where I've been.

…I don't really like getting comfortable with stuff. That's kind of why I did Let Yourself Be Huge, because it would have been really safe to try and do Beacons again or The Discovery again but I don't want to get to that safe place where creativity goes to die. Right now I'm working on something that is definitely in a more familiar place as far as the instrumentation and rhythm go, but I'm drawing on new influences like Smashing Pumpkins and Hum and even Steve Reich and Arvo Pärt in one of the songs.

[On Let Yourself Be Huge] Just the fact that I had made five pretty aggressive albums over a span of three years and I wanted to do something a little different. Also, I kept finding myself in the shadow of Beacons musically and one way for me to get over that was to do something totally different and not worry about it. The stuff I'm working on now is more of a return to familiar territory, but in a new way and incorporating some new sources of inspiration.

Working on a new release, I have around 20 minutes of material and I'm aiming for 45 minutes to an hour depending on when I feel "done."

On his influences:
My influences change pretty regularly actually. I mean, Meshuggah and Fredrik Thordendal obviously got my brain thinking differently about rhythm and that lesson has stuck with me so they will always be in there somewhere. Recently I've been listening to a lot of 90s "huge rock" in the vein of Siamese Dream. The month of April 2011 I listened to nothing but The Age of Adz by Sufjan Stevens, and I really dig the way he approaches music from a point of pure honesty (in my opinion). I don't want to do that thing where I list every band I've ever listened to but can I just say that I sincerely enjoy good, honest music? If that's Radiohead or your band or a particularly non-egotistical Kanye West song then so be it.

On people buying his music or downloading for free:
Well I wouldn't offer it for free if I had a problem with it. I've said many times that I haven't paid for a CD since 2004, so why would I hold other people to any other standard? That said, if I really dig a band's music I will support them in some way, and it seems like quite a few people feel similarly judging by the reaction I've gotten since I've had music for sale.

On possibly producing other bands:
I don't think I have the time to be a producer in any regard! I briefly recorded bands in my bedroom when I lived in my parents' house (they loved it) and I didn't really like it that much.

On djent:
I'm pretty indifferent to it actually. I personally don't really describe music in terms of genre but if that helps people figure things out then by all means apply whatever term you think is appropriate.

The Q&A is ongoing so check it out NOW.

New Cannibal Corpse is coming, hear a new song

Cannibal Corpse have released the first song from their forthcoming album and confirmed the album title as Torture, released on March 13th through Metal Blade (of course). You can stream the new track below and also check out the artwork. The cover is a return to legendary gore-laden art that was toned down somewhat on the last two album covers. As for the song, entitled ‘Demented Aggression’, it opens with massive crunching riffs with heaving, filthy bass underneath before exploding into their mainstay of ferocious bile drenched pummelling. After all these years, they’ve still got it. 

Joey Eppard, 3 interview

Several weeks ago, I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing Joey Eppard from 3, following the release of their new record, The Ghost You Gave To Me. The interview is now online at Molten Magazine’s website HERE. Check it out.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Between the Buried and Me begin work on new album

Between The Buried and Me have started work on their new album, the follow-up to Parallax: The Hypersleep Dialogues. That feeling you have right now is called utter excitement.

Friday, January 13, 2012

More tiny, minute news tidbits on Killswitch and Jesse Leach

The Killswitch Engage vocalist saga continues. Jesse Leach was interviewed this week by Horns Up, at the release show for his band The Empire Shall Fall’s new EP, Volume 1: Solar Plexus. Beginning with the topics of the new record, the chat unsurprisingly swerved to the subject of Howard Jones’ departure from KSE and if he would return to the band, which he left in 2002. His answer of “no comment” followed by some laughter once again fans the flames of speculation following the last update (HERE) in this on-going tale. Meanwhile, Killswitch Engage announced that they are holding open auditions, HERE are the details. Check out the interview with Jesse Leach in full below:

Rat's Blood demo tracks online

Dublin’s Rat’s Blood made their live debut earlier in 2011 and have since been tearing it up with some ferocious gigs with their slab of crusty hardcore helmed by equal loves of Swedish crust and noisy Japanese hardcore. Finally, they have some rough demos online, and I mean rough. Streaming just below are two tracks – ‘Abyss’ and ‘Bottles’. The recordings certainly capture snippets of the unhinged aggression that characterises their live show. Obviously they have a rough sound and that would warrant a rough production in some regards, so in many ways it makes sense. There’s no word yet about more tracks or a physical release.

New Terrorizer track

Terrorizer will return next month with their new record Hordes of Zombies. Featuring Morbid Angel’s David Vincent and drummer, Pete Sandoval (whose position in the band remains unclear), it will be the contentious grindcore band’s first new material since 2006’s poorly received Darker Days Ahead and their third album overall, still living in the shadow of the 1989 classic grindcore cornerstone record World Downfall. Interested eyes are on this record considering the Morbid Angel abomination released last year, Illud Divinum Insanus. So far, with only a minute and 59 seconds in this new song 'Subterfuge' to gauge, things look a little brighter.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Alcest - Les Voyages de L’Âme

The first high profile release of the year, Alcest's third album Les Voyages de L’Âme. The effort from the French shoegaze/black metal pioneers has been somewhat divisive amongst some fans. Check out the review HERE for the full lowdown.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Stream the new Skin Like Iron / Nails split

Nails and Skin Like Iron will release their split 7” on the 30th, and you can stream the four new tracks right now over on Decibel’s blog. Unsurprisingly, Nails are every bit as fucking relentless and punishing as ever, continuing on from their pummelling Southern Lord released album Unsilent Death, released in 2010. As for Skin Like Iron, is certainly nothing for the weak but they inject a small dosage of melody in there too. Check it out.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Pelican reveal new EP details

Chicagoan post metallers Pelican have confirmed the details of their new EP release through Southern Lord. Entitled Ataraxia/Taraxis, the EP will be released on April 10th. The band played some new material a number of months ago, which suggested they exploring a heavier style once again. The EP will feature four songs – ‘Ataraxia’, ‘Lathe Biosas’, ‘Parasite Colony’ and ‘Taraxis’, and was recorded by former Isis drummer Aaron Harris. Check out the artwork below.

Cheap Jazz - The Shape of Fun to Come

British alt. rockers released their debut full-length a few weeks ago called The Shape of Fun to Come. Check out the review HERE.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Killswitch vocalist rumours continue rolling

When Howard Jones departed Killswitch Engage last week the internet lighted rapidly up with discussion, mostly rumours of course, about who will take Jones’ place. Phil Labonte has flat out said it is not him and Tommy Vext has expressed his interest. Of course, all eyes are on Jesse Leach to see what he has to say. The former Killswitch vocalist, who sang on the band’s breakthrough record Alive or Just Breathing, has been mostly mute about the issue except for cryptic Facebook updates here and there. Now the latest came earlier this evening with this:

 "stop trying to read Inbetween the lines of my posts. If I have something to say, I WILL say it. For the moment I have no comments on KSE."
This really only adds fuel to the rumour’s fire. If Jesse is not to be the new vocalist, surely he would just flat out say it like Phil Labonte, on the flip side it’s been nine years since he was in Killswitch and perhaps he understands that it is the band, and only the band, that can make any kind of announcement. So, what do you think? Is Jesse Leach returning to Killswitch Engage?

Killswitch Engage have announced this evening that they are holding open auditions for the vocalist position. Here are the details: 
"We've been getting a lot of inquiries about the KsE singer position. If you are interested, please send an MP3 or a song link, a photo and a brief description of yourself to the management email address provided in the contact section of thanks KsE"
Does this rule out Jesse completely?

Tony Iommi diagnosed with lymphoma

Tony Iommi has been diagnosed with lymphoma and begun treatment. The Black Sabbath legend’s condition was announced officially today:
"With the news that Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi has been diagnosed with the early stages of lymphoma, his bandmates would like everyone to send positive vibes to the guitarist at this time. Iommi is currently working with his doctors to establish the best treatment plan--the “IRON MAN” of Rock & Roll remains upbeat and determined to make a full and successful recovery.

"This comes as Black Sabbath--Ozzy Osbourne (vocals), Tony Iommi (guitar), Geezer Butler (bass) and Bill Ward (drums)--are writing and recording their first album in 33 years in Los Angeles (still set for release this fall) with producer Rick Rubin. They will now go to the UK to continue to work with Tony. Further information will be released as it becomes available."

Well wishes for Mr Iommi.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Streaming: Baulta demo

Baulta from Finland are working on their new record, to follow up their last record Deeply Sorry to Interrupt Your Megalomania, released a year ago this week. The instrumental post rock three-piece is currently streaming a new pre-production demo called ‘Golden Years, Happy Years, Now I’m Dead’ to show us what to expect later this year.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Cosmic Winds: The ZOM demo

Just before 2011 came to an end, Dublin’s ZOM released their first slab of wicked death metal in their five song demo tape, via Invictus Productions. From gigging quite frequently for several months the band really garnered plenty of attention in the Dublin underground, impressive considering their first show was only in June, but featuring members of the now defunct Crowd Control helped too. This reputation was proven by the demo selling out in just about a week. Invictus are all out and you won’t find any more at upcoming gigs either. Your only chances lie with some distros that may have copies, Germany’s Iron Bonehead being one of them.

It doesn’t surprise me that the demo sold out, as the band’s visceral live set was more than enough to entice people. Their brand of primal death metal has been a treat, and has somewhat created a buzz similar to the Lethiferous demo in 2010. I’m not comparing the two sonically but they do both have a relating aesthetic but ZOM’s output has proven even better, aided of course by the fact that they play live. In fact, a split between Lethiferous and ZOM doesn’t seem like a bad idea at all, come to think of it.

On the demo, ‘The Horror From Beyond’ (assumingly not the unfortunate misprint ‘byeond’ on the tape sleeve) kicks in after a seething, harrowing intro with a colossal clang of guitars and drums. From there, ZOM power through their grim, evil death metal with deep, corrosive vocals drenched in reverb. The production is suitably coarse with no frills or sheen and only adds to the barbarity.

ZOM will surely tickle the urges you most likely have, or should have, for very early Morbid Angel and dabbles of Beherit. You’re probably a tad upset now aren’t you; I’ve described this wonderful demo to you only for it to be sold out. Well, CVLT Nation just happens to be streaming the demo right now in its entirety. Check it out HERE. Perhaps someday in the future there’ll be a re-press, more people need to hear this and the quick sell out suggests that there will be.

Throatruiner releasing new Elizabeth EP

Throatruiner, the French hardcore label, spent the best part of 2011 releasing some quality albums and split records and 2012 is sure to be no different. Today, they announced the forthcoming release from Swiss hardcore band Elizabeth’s new EP.  Currently recording, the label will co-release, with I For Us, the EP Where Vultures Land on 12” vinyl sometime in March. For now, you can have a listen to their 2010 demo below for a taster of this band’s heaving, Converge-inflected, belligerent hardcore.

Napalm Death's Scum tribute album - open to submissions

Dublin-based label Deathbiter and Death Agony and Screams will co-release a tribute cassette compilation to Napalm Death’s legendary Scum record; fittingly as 2012 marks the album’s 25th anniversary. Already confirmed for the release are Irish bands Drainland, Twisted Mass, ESTEL and Sickener, and also Hello Kitty Motherfuckers.

The compilation is open to submissions and if your band is interested, the deadline is March 31st. For more details, click HERE. There are plenty of slots to fill after all!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Locrian/Mamiffer give us a taster

Locrian and Mamiffer will release their collaborative album, Bless Them That Curse You on March 6th through Profound Lore. For now, they are streaming a new track on Pitchfork called ‘In Fulminic Blaze’, a 9 minute expanse of hypnotic drone and atmosphere, check it out HERE. Locrian released their new album The Clearing back in November, to much praise. Mamiffer is the ambient project helmed by Faith Coloccia, joined by her husband Aaron Turner (ex-Isis).

Swallow The Sun post new video

Swallow The Sun have released their video for new song ‘Cathedral Walls’, taken from their forthcoming record Emerald Forest and The Black Bird. The video can be viewed below. The new song, which is the band’s first new output since 2009’s New Moon record, features fellow Finn, Annette Olzon from Nightwish, who delivers an utterly beautiful performance, although that is not her in the video. The gloomy death/doom band has always been consistent with their records, dating back to 2003’s first full-length, The Morning Never Came. Emerald Forest and The Black Bird is sure to be a highlight for the year upon its release on February 1st through Spinefarm.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Howard Jones leaves Killswitch Engage

Vocalist Howard Jones has left Killswitch Engage. It’s a move that is both surprising and unsurprising. In 2010, Jones infamously sat out a tour for personal reasons with the band enlisting All That Remains’ Phil Labonte and ex-singer Jesse Leach for the shows. However, he since triumphantly returned with some festival dates in summer 2010 and all seemed well, with the band beginning work on a new album just in recent weeks. It would appear those personal issues are still with Jones according to this brief statement released by the band:

"To our family, friends and fans: We have decided to continue on without Howard Jones as the singer of Killswitch Engage. We love Howard and are thankful for the nine years that we've had him in the band. Out of respect for everyone involved, we will not be discussing the specific reasons behind this decision. Howard is a part of our family and always will be, and we wish him well. He has left big shoes to fill, so we certainly have our work cut out for us to find the next singer of Killswitch, something we plan on making priority #1 going forward. Most importantly, thanks to all of you for all the support throughout the years and for sticking by us for all this time. We really do appreciate it and we very much look forward to having a new record for all of you in the not too distant future that we can all be proud of."

This is rather unfortunate news. It’s no secret that I adore Killswitch Engage and have since I was about 13 years old, even up until their most recent output. For me, Howard Jones was, and is, one of the best voices in modern metal and certainly the best vocalist to emerge from the whole American metalcore thing. Of course rumours will abound that Jesse Leach may return but at the moment, the whole thing is up in the air.

New Meshuggah album release date

Meshuggah’s impending new record is one of the most hotly anticipated efforts on 2012. The band has confirmed European tour dates for April and it would appear that the new album will be upon us just before then – 27th March, to be precise. The band posted the teaser below on their site today, so exciting times lie ahead to say the least, especially in the wake of the myriad Meshuggah worshipping djent bands popping up from every crack and crevice.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

First bands announced for Dublin Doom Day 2012

The first spate of bands has been announced for Dublin Doom Day 2012. Ophis, Procession, Pantheist, Ataraxie and War Iron are now all confirmed with the full line-up still to be announced. The standout of the line-up so far is Chilean trad doom three-piece Procession, who played The Pint back in February 2011 in support of roaring record Destroyers of the Faith, a pummelling live band to say the least. Keep an eye out for more announcements for Dublin Doon Day 2012.

New Mourning Lenore song

Portuguese melodic death doom band Mourning Lenore have arrived in the new year with some new material, the first since 2010’s debut Loosely Bound Infinities. A new track is streaming below entitled ‘Shortcut To Nowhere’. This track exhibits some enthralling prospects for the new record, as the band has utilised plenty of clean vocals on this song with some sleek guitar passages that are, oddly, not a million miles away from Isis at their most melodic but it all works. Check it out here:

Monday, January 2, 2012

Iron Maiden + Sikth =

In a strange collaboration, Iron Maiden guitarist Adrian Smith has joined forces with former Sikth vocalist Mikee Goodman for the project, Primal Rock Rebellion. As the blurb puts it: “The forthcoming album fuses together two very different approaches to music - Mikee's unique vocal tones and dark, yet colourful lyrics, and Adrian's instantly recognisable guitar melodies and song writing prowess.”

The new project has released the first snippet of new material in the song ‘I See Lights’, which is taken from the album due for release next month. Listen to the song below. Adrian Smith also plays bass for the album, which will see other session musicians including Abi Fry from Bat For Lashes. "It was interesting doing this album with Mikee not least because we have quite different influences. I was really pleased with the way it turned out. It has a really fresh feel to it,” says Smith.

Bridges of Königsberg – The Five Colors

Welcome ladies and gentlemen, to the first post of 2012! To kick things off, here's a review of the debut album from Chicagoan post rock band Bridges of Königsberg, called The Five Colors, which was released on December 26th. Check it out HERE.