Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Month, New Music! Metal Releases for February 2015

BLIND GUARDIAN - Beyond the Red Mirror (photo: Facebook)We all know that the first month of the year tends to pass in a bit of a hazy blur, either due to the come-down of so much celebration or the fact that it's f$%king freezing and we just want winter to be over, goddamnit! Ahem... anyway. Before we know it, January will be coming to a close, and February will be waiting just around the corner. You know what that means - and no, I'm not talking heart-shaped boxes of chocolate or pudgy cherubs with ranged weapons.

I'm talking more new metal releases than you'd even know what to do with! This 2015, February is jam-packed with fistfuls of new metal albums about to be unleashed upon an unsuspecting public (or in this case, a suspecting and f$#king stoked public)! Therefore, we shall waste no time in bringing you this complete guide to what new music awaits us for the second month of the new year. After all, you've gotta be prepared for all of this!

Let me tell you, this month is a doozy. We have a pretty worthy crop of new releases on the horizon, most notably from The Agonist (featuring new vocalist Vicky Parasakis, replacing former frontwoman Alissa White-Gluz following her decision to sign on with Arch Enemy), the potent power metallers of Blind Guardian, All That Remains, Benighted, Ensiferum for fellow folk-metal fans, the beautiful black metallers of Carach Angren, Marduk and instrumentalists Pelican.

Go ahead and scan the complete list below, broken down by date:

Foehammer Unveils Cover Art For Self-Titled Debut

FOEHAMMER cover art

We should file this under "heavy f$#king funeral doom", because that's what we're dealing with here. Locally born doomsters Foehammer just previewed the cover art for their forthcoming self-titled debut album, released via Grimoire Records.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Armageddon Needs New Vocalist

ARMAGEDDON

Armageddon, a Swedish/American metal band featuring former Arch Enemy guitarist Christopher Amott that will be playing Maryland Deathfest in 2015, has announced via Facebook that vocalist Matt Hallquist (Under A Serpent Sun)has parted ways with the band, spurring them on a search for a new voice.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Happy New Year! Upcoming Metal Releases for January 2015

Napalm DeathAh, the New Year's celebration. No doubt you will come up with an ingenius plan to get yourself either incredibly wasted on booze/pot in some sort of social setting, or incredibly wasted on food and Netflix (or just the usual horrid cable coverage of an electronic ball symbolizing this country's fascination with materialism drop from a very tall metal pole in the crowded hell they call New York's Times Square).

Fortunately for us all, whether you end up nursing a nightmarish hangover (or bangover), sitting on a toilet wishing you hadn't eaten so much, or simply already regretting your well-meant but ill-thought New Year's resolutions, chances are there is at least one album coming out this month from a metal band worthy of a few January jam sessions.

As my Yule/X-mas/New Year's gift to you, here is a convenient list of every rock/metal release slated for the wintry month ahead (brought to you by Loudwire):

Here's What Behemoth's Nergal Really Meant To Say About Extreme Metal Lacking "Spirit"

BEHEMOTH (photo: Facebook)

Blabbermouth has posted an article with the somewhat inflammatory (and slightly misleading) headline of BEHEMOTH's NERGAL Says Many Of Today's Extreme Metal Bands Lack 'Rock Spirit'. If one were to base an opinion around that headline alone, it wouldn't be surprising to see that people might get their panties in a twist over that statement... but hear me out.

Nergal of Behemoth is absolutely right, though as most of us would do if we were put on the spot, he didn't really elaborate enough to protect himself from the unwarranted rage of the oversensitive. Therefore, I will attempt to translate for Nergal and make clear just what exactly he was trying to say, and the point he was trying to make - and then, you too will be in total agreement (at least, I hope).

Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt Accept Their Daughter's Gender Identity, Set Shining Example for All Parents

Shiloh John Jolie Pitt (photo: ROBYN BECK/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)Few know this, but in my youth I was more than just a tomboy. I wanted to be a boy. I envied them their simple tastes in clothing, their laid-back attitudes, their (sometimes vulgar) humor, and the camaraderie that came with being a part of an almost-exclusively male circle of friends. I dressed in baggy, comfortable clothing. I even asked my dad to call me "son" once, although he never actually acknowledged my requests. Later on, around the start of my teenage years, I even dated a girl.

I eventually discovered that this was to be only a phase. Over the course of time and through several different life experiences in which I became more familiar with who I was, I went on to realize that despite possessing some very masculine personality traits (which I still embrace to this day), I didn't really have a strong desire to change sexes... or sexual orientation for that matter.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Metal Progenies: Raising Kids in a Family of Musicians/Creatives

The Metal Maiden family (yours truly, the bearded man and young sir)It's no secret that having kids, and subsequently raising them, is no easy feat. It's not a walk in the park. No one ever said it would be, and some are so fearful of it they swear off children altogether.

Who can blame them? Kids are cranky, poopy, sometimes smelly little assholes when they want to be. They demand your time and attention, and they are your total responsibility for eighteen years.

Despite that, I'm sure you've heard equally as many rewarding stories of poignant realizations and fulfillment when it comes to parents talking about their kids. "It's all worth it," you'll hear them say, "and I wouldn't trade him/her/them for all the world." That, of course, is the reason that the human race keeps going. People wouldn't be going out and having all these kids if it did not fill a void they never even knew was there, or if it did not runneth over their souls with love and a sense of purpose.

So yes, it sucks sometimes to be a parent... but, it's also awesome. This we know.

When you're a musical/artist parent, however, either one or both of you, the awesome-osity factor of parenting increases exponentially and I'll tell you exactly why.

Friday, December 19, 2014

1349, Origin, Abysmal Dawn & Wolvhammer Announce Chaos Raids 2015 US Tour

Chaos Raids USA 2015 TourIt seems we're about to get hit with a wave of ultra-heavy, because not only are the face-meltingly transcendent metallers of Origin and 1349 going on tour... they're bringing with them Abysmal Dawn and Wolvhammer. Get ready, because they'll be at Empire in Springfield, VA on February 24th, which is just one of their many stops across the States.

Here are all the dates:

New Release From Ensiferum Due Out February, Huge European Tour Planned

ENSIFERUM (photo: Facebook)

"Folk metal lives! The legendary Ensiferum will be releasing their sixth studio album, One Man Army, on February 24th, 2015 via Metal Blade Records. Let's see those horns way, way up for this one.

Stream New Apocalyptica Track Off Upcoming Album, Shadowmaker

APOCALYPTICA (photo: Facebook)

Apocalyptica will be releasing their newest album, Shadowmaker, on April 15th, 2015 and I can't fucking wait! Fortunately, we've been giving a track from the release to hold us over and, of course, make us want it even more... and you can stream it right here, right now:

Iris Divine Gets Label's Attention

IRIS DIVINE - Karma SownSo, Vince Neilstein over at MetalSucks (who clearly has exceptional taste in music, based on his past coverage of the band) has reported that Iris Divine may be in talks with a record label or two on the heels of their newest release, Karma Sown after finally catching some well-deserved and long overdue attention for their efforts.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Ten Things That You'll Experience At A Metal Show

You know, I hear those "listicle" things are quite popular nowadays. Figured I'd better jump on the bandwagon quick before the wheels fall off.

If you've never been to a metal show before and are curious about what really goes on inside the doors of a local show or even a bigger (but not, like, Ozzy big) national tour stop, this one's for you. Even once the mystery is gone, you'll still want to eye our calendar like a hawk and get yourself to one of these things ASAP - I promise.

Prince William & Kate Give Us An Early X-mas Present

As far as I know, the royal couple is still spending time on the sullied soil of the States... presumably with no plans to even come by our neck of the woods. *Sigh.*

As bereft as I am not to get to meet them on their tour to the land Britain once claimed, they have pacified their devoted American admirers with the best early X-mas gift we could ever hope for: new pics of 17-month old baby Georgie!

Credit: TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge/PA Wire


His little sweater! EEEK!! So much cuteness.

Vocalist & Musician Recreate Melodies of Ancient Mesopotamia

Photo credit: NewsweekHerein is the proof that one does not need great fame to be immortal - one simply needs to write/record music.

Death and time consumes all the earthly facets of ourselves. Our bodies are destined for ash or soil, and all the intricacies of our lives destined to be forgotten. So what really carries down our memories? What will continue to thrive once all traces of us are embedded into the dirt? What will be left to endure?

Needless to say, record-keeping, literature, imagery and language all play an important role in teaching future generations about the lives of their forefathers and foremothers. These things can draw out a diagram of facts with which to build a structured hypothesis about how things once were, how some once were. The only downside is, when all you have is facts, the diagram is dull, lifeless, soulless even, lacking the proper color to really illustrate the character of the subject.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Permafrost Releasing Debut Album, "Transitory"

PERMAFROST (photo: Facebook)

Hailing from the highly depressing area of Alexandria, VA is a diamond in the rough of the doom/death variety: Permafrost.

The three-piece has been on the scene for a long time, but now they are finally releasing their long-awaited debut, entitled Transitory. Their heavy, intense yet thoughtful and complex sound has captured hundreds of fans during their time in the underground, and thanks to their 3-track name-your-price Bandcamp release, you can experience them even if you can't make it to see them live (though I highly suggest you do). To make it easy for you, you can stream it right here, right now.

X-mas Just Got A Whole Lot More Metal Thanks To Sir Christoper Lee

Sir Christopher LeeEver since the 2010 release of Charlemagne: By The Sword And The Cross, Christopher Lee has solidified his status and being thoroughly and completely metal in every way. He was already metal as fuck having lived a life filled with intrigue, uncertainty and risk-taking, but now he has proved to be even more metal than ever before.

How did he accomplish this? By making this year's holiday season the most metal we've ever seen. even over last year's which included a metal anthem by Lee entitled "Jingle Hells". This year, he has one-upped himself in true Lord of Misrule style by releasing the single entitled "Darkest Carols, Faithful Sing". Watch a generous preview right here, right now:

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The "Clique-kening" - A Theory On Why Musicians (& Everyone Else) Are Struggling Now More Than Ever

Trent Reznor, NIN (photo: Wikipedia)You've heard it a bunch of times by a plethora of different musicians. Trent Reznor has been quoted as saying something to the effect of "The days of musicians striking it big are dead" and you'll hear "It's tough out there for new bands" from both new and vetted musicians.

We all know that there are too many bands and fans are spread too thin. We all know that the pop music industry is hogging all the attention and keeping better, more talented bands out of the limelight. We all know that economically, times are tough for everyone. These are all reasons that the music industry isn't what it was, but what if there was a bigger reason behind all this? What if there has been a change over the years, one that's been happening so gradually we've barely even noticed it until now, that has driven everyone not willing to sell their soul for a higher profit margin into the underground?

Monday, December 1, 2014

Iris Divine Streams First New Track Off Upcoming "Karma Sown"

IRIS DIVINE - Karma Sown The highly-anticipated (and also Kickstarter-funded) new album from Iris Divine, entitled Karma Sown, will be dropping in December - this we know. Today, however, we were given a bit more than a release date. We got a spankin' new track!

Here it is, in all it's glory:

Raven Unleashes Raw Live Footage of New Track from Upcoming Album "ExtermiNation"

RAVEN (photo: Facebook)Captured on the hallowed ground of Saint Vitus bar in Brooklyn, Raven posted this live version of one of the tracks off their forthcoming album ExtermiNation for their fans on the heels of a successful close to the Kickstarter campaign they utilized to help fund the album with the support of SPV Records.

What a fucking way to thank us! This should do well to make everyone eager to hear the rest of what this new project will imbue upon the ears of all in range. SPOILER ALERT!!... it's some damn fine metallin'.

Hear for yourself:

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Iris Divine Announces New Album Deets on "Karma Sown"

IRIS DIVINE - Karma Sown

Finally! Fans of Iris Divine (like myself) are finally treated to news today on their forthcoming album, Karma Sown. Happy Thanksgiving, indeed!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Fresh New Tracks from Yesterday's Saints

YESTERDAY'S SAINTS
WARNING: The tracks you're about to stream below are moshingly heavy. Do not listen in a crowded place, lest you inadvertently start the circle pit from hell!

Raven's Kickstarter Funding New Album "ExtermiNation" Entering Final Days

RAVEN - 'Party Killers' Kickstarter album cover

Raven has been cooking up not one, but two new albums for release in early 2015 - but only one of those albums will be accessible to everyone. The other is a special gift made solely for Kickstarter backers who pledge twenty dollars or more, giving us all incentive to pitch in a little more so we can get our hands on it!

You can tell how worth it your pledge will be by the sheer number of backers and the amount of money that they've raised thus far - 296 people are chomping at the bit right now in anticipation for the new goodies from Raven.

Some of the perks the band is offering for different pledge levels include vinyls, exclusive t-shirts and merch, an exclusive cover song of your choice, and even bass lessons with bassist/vocalist John Gallagher.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Saint Vitus Vocalist Detained for Illegal Substances by Norwegian Police

SAINT VITUS

About an hour ago, Saint Vitus released this statement on their FB page regarding an incident that has resulted in Wino being unable to finish out their European/Scandinavian tour:

Simone Simons and Nemesea Tease Us All

The beautiful and talented Simone Simons of EPICA (photo: Facebook)Posted today upon the book of Faces by both Simone Simons' official page and Nemesea's was the tease of all teases, and you simply must see this.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Behemoth. Cannibal Corpse Announce Winter Tour with Aeon, Tribulation

BEHEMOTH, CANNIBAL CORPSE, AEON, TRIBULATION 2015 Winter Tour Official PosterAll this good news has been long overdue. Behemoth has just announced they will be co-headlining a US/Canada winter tour alongside Cannibal Corpse, with support coming from Aeon and Tribulation.

They're set to kick off this beastly motherfucker in January 2015, and our specific date (for the DC/MD/VA area) is March 3rd, 2015 at The Fillmore Silver Spring in Maryland.

However, just in case you're in a position to see more than one, check out the full list of stops below.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Draconian Laying Tracks for New Album; Streaming New Song

Daniel Arvidsson of DRACONIANIf you love doom metal - like, really artistically composed and beautifully morose doom metal with heavy and heavenly all in the same track - you will absolutely love Draconian.

Even if, for some reason, you aren't typically a fan of clean vocals mixed into your doomicus metallicus, give them a shot. I promise it will change all you thought you knew about operatic vocals in metal. They really aren't just for the power crowd. It can and DOES work well in every subgenre that exists in metal today, so long as that soprano has the talent to translate the bleakness required to really suck it down to that bittersweet level of doomosity. Trust me; I doom, therefore I know this to be truth.

Naturally, as I hear them start whispering about new albums on the horizon, I'm gonna get excited... and frankly, so should you be getting chuffed to see their next and newest release.

Condition Critical Parts Ways with Vocalist

CONDITION CRITICALWell, there are certainly no shortage of these types of stories nowadays. I'm a victim of a similar situation... you know, the constant internal struggle that lives within most musicians where they are forced to continually weigh their passion for performing with their ability to survive and have a roof over your head or provide for your family. As in, most of us can't usually have it both ways.

Athon from Black Tusk Dies in Motorcycle Accident

Athon, BLACK TUSK

More sad news to report as another loss has hit the metal community. Athon of Black Tusk has died after sustaining "irreparable brain damage" in a motorcycle accident.

He was 32 years old.

Nightwish Finally Comes to North America! And They're Bringing Sabaton & Delain

Did I get this right? Fucking Nightwish is coming from across the pond with Sabaton and Delain beginning in April of 2015!

Perhaps even more exciting is that fact that instead of wondering whether or not Annette Olzon will butcher classic Nightwish songs (or even if she'll decide to show up), the fantastical troupe will be featuring the much more talented Floor Jansen who has taken her place as the new permanent singer for the group.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

EPIC TOUR ALERT: Vovoid, Black Crown Initiate, Napalm Death, Exhumed, Iron Reagan Announce Winter Tour

Well, this just made my day!

It seems that Vovoid, Black Crown Initiate, Napalm Death, Exhumed, and Iron Reagan will be touring the US and Canada beginning in January (on January 27th to be exact - the tour will end February 28th) with special guests(on select dates): Ringworm, Dayglo Abortions and Phobia.


For our area, that means our date will be January 31st, 2015 at the Baltimore Soundstage with Ringworm (who fucking rule, IMO)!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Wayne Static, Vocalist/Guitarist of Static X, Dead at 48

Wayne Static, STATIC X
Some heavy news today... Wayne Static, frontman of Static X, has died today at the age of 48 from a suspected drug overdose (though no cause has been 100% confirmed as of this posting).

UPDATE: It has been reported that Wayne died in his sleep.

Perhaps even sadder is that he was slated to co-headline a tour with his solo band and Powerman 5000 beginning on November 6th.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Epica Premieres New Video: "Victims of Contingency"

EPICA - The Quantum Engima

Okay, so have I told you how much I love Epica's new album, The Quantum Enigma? It's absolutely fucking phenomenal, and it only gets better with every listen.

They've just put out a video for one of the tracks, "Victims of Contingency", and from beginning to end it echoes all the brilliance of the album. Stream it right here:

New Album Teaser from Division

Division

Division, the local area metallers that many of us know and love, has just posted a little teaser for what is on the horizon in 2015.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Belphegor guitarist Helmuth Lehner's mother is "at her end", cancels North American tour

BELPHEGOR - Conjuring the DeadBelphegor's frontman and guitarist Helmuth Lehner is the best son a mother could ask for. He's issued the following statement in regards to the situation and announced plans to cancel their North American tour.

Beelzefuzz Breaks Up

Damn shame. Up-and-coming doom metallers Beelzefuzz have posted this cryptic graphic on their Facebook page, insinuating that the end is nigh for them:

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Cassandra Syndrome Cancels Farewell Show, Is Officially Over (and we, officially bummed)

CASSANDRA SYNDROME... is dead :(

Well, it's really official now. Cassandra Syndrome has announced that they're dunzo - even going so far as to say that their album release show, scheduled for September 20th, has been cancelled.

Pre-orders for the album are still available, and it'll still be released on that date, but that will be the last we ever hear of this ensemble. All of them together like this, at least. CS as we knew them is no more.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Monday, August 25, 2014

A Sound of Thunder Premieres New Video for "Elijah"

A SOUND OF THUNDER (photo: Metal Underground)DC-based A Sound of Thunder premiered their new video for the track entitled "Elijah" off their forthcoming album, The Lesser Key of Solomon, due out September 9th via Mad Neptune Records on Metal Underground.

You can stream it right here:

Friday, August 22, 2014

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Modern Inquisition

Lately it seems I've been writing more non-metal related topics than actual metal news, but it is because there are some frightening realizations I've come to over the past couple of weeks that I am compelled to write about. There's the ongoing Ferguson, MO situation that is forcing the issue of corruption within law enforcement (and indeed, our very government), as well as the tempers of a concerned public, to reach critical mass. That, however, will be a different article.

This article is about another issue that as of late seems to have backslid from the progress I naively believed we had made; tolerance among Christians. In my naivete, especially after watching my local Pagan community grow to proportions I would never have believed possible (though still in the minority) and after meeting so many wonderful people of varying faiths who saw past religious labels and accepted me wholly for who I was, I had thought that Paganism & Traditional Witchcraft was no longer thought of as an obscure occultist sect of Satanism by most modern Christians - a misguided belief encouraged by pastors and parishioners who mistakenly think we believe that Satan even exists.

Monday, August 18, 2014

MindMaze Signed By Inner Wound Recordings

MINDMAZE

Big news for the epic power metal ensemble from Pennsylvania - MindMaze has just been signed to Inner Wound Recordings just ahead of their upcoming release for Back From The Edge, due out October 28th (October 24th in Europe).

Maryland Deathfest Announces Full 2015 Line Up

Here it is, in all its mighty glory:

MARYLAND DEATHFEST 2015 LINEUP

Slipknot's Corey Taylor Would Rather Dump Ice Over His Head Than Give Money to ALS

So ThePRP reported that Slipknot's Corey Taylor recently posted this footage of him doing the ALS ice bucket challenge, which to my understanding is a challenge wherein the challenged either donate money to ALS, or dump a bucket of ice water over their heads.

Mommy Advice of the Day: Roommates & Kids Don't Always Mix

Lately there's been something troubling me, and I just need to get it off my chest. Since this website gives me a convenient platform to voice my concerns and get an opinion on them, I'm using it now to its full capacity and will (hopefully) simultaneously enlighten you on some tips to looking for roommates if you have kids, and/or living with roommates who have kids.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Thursday, August 14, 2014

An Open Letter to the Duggar Family... Re: Tolerance

The Duggars

Dear Duggars,

I would like to preface this letter by saying first and foremost that I bear no ill towards you whatsoever, and confess that I am usually watching your show every morning while I feed breakfast to my almost 9-month-old son ever since we moved here. He wakes up conveniently when your show starts, and for that first hour he's awake I will flip to TLC and revel in the fact that one woman could bear and raise so many children and still be ready for more despite the daily struggle it seems to sometimes present, and that one man would so patiently and lovingly put up with and help with it all - all while both having a saintly serenity in their countenance that never lets up for a moment.

Sanctuary Unveils Cover Art for New Album

SANCTUARY - The Year The Sun Died

Sanctuary has just posted their new cover art for the forthcoming album, The Year The Sun Died, due to be released on October 14th (October 6th in Europe).

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Opeth & In Flames Announce Big North American Tour, Doesn't Come To VA, DC, or MD

OPETHIN FLAMES

Well, here are the dates and everything but they must have either, a) decided they were too good to show up anywhere in the Mid-Atlantic that wasn't some huge and overblown fucking venue with an almost guarantee of selling out the place or b) their labels didn't let them.

Friday, August 8, 2014

A Sound of Thunder Unveils Details for Kickstarter-Funded New Album, "The Lesser Key of Solomon"

This just in via Metal Underground:

A Sound of Thunder, the DC-based power group that has enjoyed quite a bit of success with their "intense yet nuanced" style reminiscent of the Iron Maiden era of metal will be releasing their Kickstarter-funded full-length album, The Lesser Key of Solomon, on September 9th of this year via the band's own label, Mad Neptune Records.

Landless Theatre Company's Prog Metal Version of Sweeney Todd Opened Last Night

Sweeney Todd goes metal! (photo credit: Brandon Penick Photography)

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is a play many read in their youth, and many more discovered when it was adapted to film years later. The screenplay is brilliantly written, the story is poignant, humorous, and bittersweet, yet altogether bleak and dismal. It perfectly and artfully displays the depths of a darkened soul on so even a level as only one who has tread darkness themselves could ever hope to articulate, or even understand.

The original screenplay itself is genius, so there seemed to be few ways to improve upon it - but the Landless Theatre Company has found the perfect way (and quite possibly, in my opinion, the only way) to do just that. Such a bloody, brutal and beautiful play deserves to be set to the finest prog metal (or progressive metal, for those who aren't familiar) music our infinitely talented local community has to offer! With this idea, and with the help of voices from such talented frontwomen as Irene Jericho of Cassandra Syndrome and Nina Osegueda of A Sound of Thunder and exceptional actors such as Andrew Lloyd Baughman, they have created a play that captured the attentions of Sondheim himself!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

1349 Releases New Track

1349 (photo credit: Revolver/Jorn Veberg)

If you've never heard of 1349, you're really missing out. They're a fucking fantastically heavy black metal band, though not for the faint of heart.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A Sound of Thunder Shows Some Hospitality to Visiting Fan From Germany

Jesse Keen and Josh Schwartz of ASOT hanging with fan Gerko on his visit to the states from across the pond!Here again is another excellent example of why exemplary local/unsigned bands are some of the best bands - containing the best people.

Powerhouse power-metallers of A Sound of Thunder received an email from a fan overseas, saying that he happened to be in town.
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