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, 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:
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