Category Archives: News/Notes

Enter Shikari // Album Teaser

And the early contender for album of the year in 2012 IS… Enter Shikari!

 

I had high expectations for these lads, ever since I first came across the Common Dreads about 2 years ago. I then went back and listened to their debut, Take to the Skies, and I could see that they were band heading in the right direction. All to often you see a band stay within the same mold, never breaking out of it and never really progressing in a way that shows musical growth and maturity. Enter Shikari is NOT that band. With everything they release, they ALWAYS sound better. They have always done it on their own terms and have always stayed true to themselves.

 

I can go on, and on, and on, but I’ll save that for the review that will follow the January 16th, 2012 release of A Flash Flood of Colour. Here’s an album teaser the boys released today, as well as a few of the tracks that have been fully released. This record will blow minds.

 

 

Ghandi Mate, Ghandi

 

Sssnakepit

 

Quelle Surprise

 

 

 

 

 

 

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R.I.P. Dimebag Darrell Abbott

 

 

Today marked the 7 year anniversary of the death of one of metals greatest guitarists, Dimebag Darrell Abbott. During a concert at the Al Rosa Villa in Colombus, OH with then band Damageplan, a crazed “fan” jumped on stage and starting shooting, aiming for the ex-Pantera members Dimebag Darrell and his brother and drummer Vinnie Paul. This would be the last time the two would be able to share the stage as bandmates and brothers.

 

I was in college in December of 2004, and I woke for one my early classes. As I was ready to go, I grabbed my phone and noticed text. It was from my best friends brother, Bret, who told me Dimebag Darrell had been shot and killed on stage. Doubt was my first reaction, and the worry. I jumped online, found it to be true, and told roommate Adam, Bret’s brother. We went to campus, but I couldn’t go to class. I skipped out, and went home and just put on Pantera records. I will never forget the day I found out.

 

I just want to give some personal insight on what Pantera and Dimebag meant to me throughout out my life in an attempt to honor the legacy that Dime is survived by.

 

My first Pantera interaction was on my middle school bus, in a town in which I was brand new. Being new, I wasn’t the most popular, especially entering a new town in 8th grade when cliques had already been formed. The only group that accepted me were the metalheads, the punks, the goths, the openminded. These were the people who would see me for who I was and being in a similar situation themselves, I was welcomed to be part of their crew. Bill Clark, one of my dearest and best friends to this day, was the very first to introduce me to Pantera. On one bus ride home, he handed me his headphones and portable CD player and said,”Here, check this out. The song’s Cemetery Gates, the band is Pantera”. I was into rock and roll at the time, and was just getting into guitar, so I was obviously drawn to what I was taking in. I had never heard anything like what was coming through the headphones, and I had NEVER heard anyone play guitar like that! I was blown away, and my adoration for Dimebag Darrell was born.

 

As I grew up, my interest in music became more and more prevalent in my everyday life. Pantera was something I fully got into later in life, but I remember playing the opening riff to Walk in band practices, and I remember just blasting Vulgar Display of Power, The Great Southern Trendkill, and Cowboys From Hell in high school and college.

 

Pantera was something that I grew into, and my true respect was realized when Dime was gone because it was then I knew that no one would EVER play like him, and no one would ever be as influential. We have so many bands out there now, and there isn’t a guitar player who really stands out like he did. I know, you can name some “famous” players that are in popular bands, and so can I. But what you can’t do is pick out today’s guitarists from a musical lineup and instantly know who it is.

 

Dime was so unique and innovative, and I don’t think we will truly say that type of visionary for a long time, if ever again. Now, I am so sick of hearing about Sabbath, and Zeppelin, and Hendrix, and blah blah blah. YES, they are seminal bands with supremely influential songs, albums, and musicians. But, ask todays musicians who there influences were, and you won’t hear them drop any of these bands. If they do, they’re probably hipster fakes just trying to sound cool. In heavy music, you’ll hear Pantera. You’ll hear “Dime was such an influence to me”, you’ll hear “without Dime, our band wouldn’t exist”. They were THAT important to the heavy music we enjoy today.

 

I’m sure I digress, as I often tend to do. My point, is that Dimebag Darrell is the one of the greatest guitarists to ever grace this world, and we lost him way to soon. He seemed like the coolest dude you would ever want to meet, and if you were ever fortunate enough to have an encounter on a personal level, I’m sure he would have treated you like you had known him for years. Genuine people are hard to come by, and you know Dime was just that. Not only an amazing player who changed the world of heavy metal guitar, but someone who truly embraced what he was fortunate enough to have been given in life. We miss you, but we’ll never forget and your legend will live on through the music you left us. Thanks for everything and we’ll see you on the other side. Gethca’ Pull!

 

Now, don’t sit back in silence, crank up ANY of the songs from Pantera’s career as loud as you can and just enjoy what they created for us. Below is a video for arguably the best song in the history heavy metal, The Great Southern Trendkill.

 

 

 

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Cars on Fire//New Album Sampler

I came into contact with Cars on Fire about a year ago, when I got my hands on their 2009 release Dig Your Own Grave. It is still in heavy rotation on my iPod, as the 7 song effort NEVER gets old. I actually find it refreshing each time it shuffles through my collection of tunes while driving, and I always find myself reaching for the dial to crank it up a few extra notches. It is a record best served loud, and it will either make you want to party and/or destroy something.

Now, for the reason we’ve gathered here. Cars on Fire have a new release coming out in 2012, and they’ve released a sampler video for the next collection of songs. As far as I know, the release date is still to be determined. I’ve had a little contact with the band via their Twitter account (@carsonfireband) regarding this, and they let me know that they’ve encountered a few setbacks with the new record and they are “just trying to finalise some things but as soon as we have any news we’ll put it up on here”, so stay tuned to that.

 

This is going to be an awesome release, and will probably find it’s way onto my Best Of list as the new songs sound even better than the now 3 year old Dig Your Own Grave material.

The video is below. Check it out and SHARE it with as many people as you possibly can, because music this good needs to be heard!

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It’s Been Real // Thrice and Thursday

Yesterday, Thrice. Today, Thursday. Two bands that have been very influential to myself and countless others, are both done in the capacity in which we have become accustomed. Both bands have put out seminal records within their careers, each with a record that had a huge impact on me.

 

As for Thursday, I hadn’t even heard of them until a bargain bin CD sale in the Central Michigan University computer store put me into sonic contact with War All The Time. That album was amazing then, and it still gives me chills to this day. I had never heard vocals like Geoff Rickly’s. He has a voice that can really find it’s way into your soul, and he will always have one of the most unique voices in music.

 

As for Thrice, I had heard samples of their previous recordings, but it wasn’t until Vheissu was released in 2005 that my music world was overturned. Up until that point, I had listened to heavy music, but I had NEVER heard anything with so much passion. It was influential in more ways than I can even count, most prominently in the way I play guitar and even the way I listened and still listen to music. That record was massive, and I can say without a doubt, that Vheissu is one of the best records of all time.

 

I will miss them both, but knowing they have left in their wake such a beautiful body of work is comforting not only for myself, but for future generations of music lovers to discover. Thank you for all the art you’ve laid upon the world; your reasons to stop are most admirable and I think I can speak for many by saying that we will never stop listening.

 

Take a minute and read both statements from both bands by following the links below. Then, find your way to the bottom to check out a favorite song from both of the aforementioned albums.

 

Statement from Thrice’s Dustin Kensrue

Statement from Thursday

 

Here is Music Box, one of my favorite tracks from Vheissu.

 

And here is Division Street, one of my favorites from War All The Time.

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The Return of American Head Charge

This is HUGE news for me. American Head Charge is one of my favorite bands of all time, and I have always hoped that one day they would make their triumphant return. Well, here we are; the Minneapolis metal visionaries, have come back.

I actually have very fond, detailed memories of my first encounters with this band, as I do with most bands that helped shape me as a music listener and musician. I had heard their very first single (from TWoA), Reach and Touch, on the Ozzfest 2001 Summer Sampler. It was the very last track on the compilation, and I listened to it over and over…and over and over. Now, this was back when music was more difficult to discover, so comps like this were gold. Then, one night while venturing home from a fall league high school hockey game, I stopped into Best Buy to see what I could find. There it was, emblazened in its glory with that tank barreling towards me, much like the music would from the very first track. A Violent Reaction tore my face off, and they didn’t let up until the album closer, Nothing Gets Nothing, concluded… then I listened to it again! The War of Art was, and is, unlike anything that was out at the time, at least from my perspective, and it blew me away and it still does. I still own that very copy, although it’s now been transferred to mp3 and enjoyed from my iPod.

In 2001, me and several great friends caught them as the opening act for Slipknot, System of a Down, Rammstein, and No One on the Pledge of Allegiance tour in Detroit at Cobo Arena. It was my first concert of this magnitude, and it was about as intense as it sounds like it would be for a 17 year old. These were the premier bands of the day in the nu-metal movement, and all except one (No One) went on to produce multiple, successful follow up albums. AHC was crazy on stage, and there were hardly any people there to see them play (except for the guy in the pit with a mouthguard in; we knew he meant business and to stay away), but knowing the album I was singing along to every song when most people were thinking, “when is Slipknot coming out?”. So, now I have this amazing album that is in my opinion, ahead of its time, followed with an amazing live set; I was hooked.

A few years go by, and they release their 2nd album, The Feeding. Another great album, and having gone through a few line up changes in the interim, the album is a change of pace in terms of sound, but nonetheless, as aggressive as the debut. It just came off a little more polished and I could tell the songwriting had improved. All in all, great album. I remember picking it up with my buddy Adam, mainly because we thought the new Hed PE album was out. We went to Best Buy looking for Only in Amerika, only to realize we were a few weeks early (how did we LIVE before the internet was so prevalent???), and ended up picking up the new AHC release. We jammed to it all the way home, and loved it. Both commenting on the maturity of the sound. That was the last ‘new’ material we would hear from them for years.

My best friend Adam and myself would periodically discuss our hopes that they would record a new album or at least put SOMETHING out. But, after founding guitarist Bryan Ottoson died as the result of an accidental overdose on prescitpion drugs in 2005, we started to lose that hope. Then, vocalist Cameron Heacock left the band in 2009, which they contributed to “inability to continue on a musical career path”. The group was in the process of looking for a new singer, when they decided to call it quits. AHC was dead, with so much potential still untapped.

But, they’ve reconciled and are back together with a handful of the original members (some original members were gone after TWoA, and did not record on The Feeding). They are on a 10 date tour starting tonight, Oct. 20th 2011.

In a musical climate in which the majority of metal and heavy music is starting to blend together and sound the same again (it happens every couple of years), the return of American Head Charge still feels as refreshing as it was the first time I heard them. In my opinion, they were ahead of the game in the early 2000’s, and they unfortunately got lumped into the much maligned nu-metal genre when it was reaching its peak. As hated on as it is, that era of heavy music changed my life, and I would not be the music junkie I am today without that scene, hell, I might not even be PLAYING music if not for the passion I took from those bands.

Every one has their old records they like to put on to bring back the memories of their youth, be it Zeppelin or The Beatles. The Stones or The Who. That’s all well and good, but give me my old nu-metal records and I’ll wax nostalgic on the records and bands that changed MY life. American Head Charge is one of those bands, and to have them back touring and making music is a day I have waited years for.

American Head Charge is back. Nothing more needs to be said. Enjoy what’s to come! Welcome back…

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SeeS//TheenD

Connecticut based SeeS have released their debut album, TheenD, for FREE! The download is available here. This album is amazing. Trust me. Djenty riffs and brutal screams amidst soaring clean vocals. Why have you not already clicked the link to start downloading?! Enjoy.

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Born of Osiris//Album Preview

Born of Osiris have posted clips of each song off their upcoming release, The Discovery, on their Facebook page. The record will be released on March 22nd, 2011 via Sumerian Records and from the sounds of the clips, this album is going to spectacular. It can also be mentioned, that as of the bands last release, I was not really to big of a fan, for whatever reasons. Upon reviewing the clips, the album should show a sense of maturity in the realm of songwriting and skill.

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Across the Sun//Studio Video

The kind folks at Revolver have posted a new video of Across the Sun in the studio recording their full length as Lambesis Studios. Before the Night Takes Us will be released on March 22nd, 2011 via Metal Blade Records. You can preorder the album on iTunes now!

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New “Last Chance to Reason” Song

The Maine based, progressive/metal/electronic band Last Chance to Reason, has added a stream of their new song Coded to Fail on their Facebook page. Just click LIKE and you will have access to the new single from the upcoming album, Level 2. It is set to be released on April 12th, 2011 via Prosthetic Records. It should be amazing, and this is one I am looking very forward to. You can tide yourself over with their previous release, Lvl. 1.

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The Haunted – “Disappear”

This is a radio rip from the BBC Rock Show. It is a brand new song from the upcoming album, The Unseen from Swedens The Haunted. If you are a follower of previous work, this is most definitely a departure from their previous works. However, I do think that I will enjoy this release and the direction they seem to heading in. I enjoy melodic clean vocals in my metal, and I have always been interested to hear what The Haunted would sound like if they were to ever add them. I think I enjoy this song, but, I also think I need to hear this within the context of the album.

 

The album will be released on March 22nd, 2011. Take a listen to the new track, Disappear, and feel free to discuss in the comment section!