Monthly Archives: July 2022

The UK blackened sludge metal bandTIGGUO COBAUC have just released the new EP “Trial By Combat”  via Spectral Hound Records (EU, UK) and Xaninho Discos (South America).  

TIGGUO COBAUC is a band formed in 2018 in Nottingham UK and composed by Reno Ramos (Vocals, Bass), Luca Martello (Guitars), and Luis Barreto (Drums). The debut EP “Trial By Combat” – composed of 6 tracks for a running time of 30 minutes – displays ferocious vocal lines, raw guitars, and accelerated blast beats. The mature songwriting is influenced by the 80s-90s doom metal scene, 80s black metal, and some other personal influences. 

The international death/thrash metal band MEFISTO have just released the new album “Phosphorus”  via GMR Music Group.  

Originally formed in 1984 in Stockholm, MEFISTO were forerunners of the early Swedish death metal scene. Following hot on the heels of Bathory, the band influenced a whole generation of Scandinavian extreme metal bands. After releasing the two demo tapes “Megalomania” and “The Puzzle” in 1986, Mefisto disbanded in 1987. 

In 2017, 30 years after its first demise, MEFISTO released an album that placed them at the heart of the scene that they helped to create. This time with original drummer Robban Granath, now also handling the vocals, and added to the band were guitarist Mogge (who also played bass on the recording). LG Petrov also made some guest vocals on one of the songs. In 2019 the band once again entered the studio to lay down what would become the album titled “Octagram”. This time the band brought in Chaq Mol (of the mighty DARK FUNERAL), to do some guitar shredding on two songs. The album evolved into a concept album based on a dystopian lyrical base. An album more dark, heavy and brutal than it´s precursor. Once again the band were spreading their distorted tunes all over the world. In 2020 during the plague things started to happen with the band. First in to join forces with the band was again Chaq Mol, then the mighty A. Impaler (FIRESPAWN, NAGLFAR). Shortly afterwards drummer Chris Barkensjö (LIK, WITCHERY) and keyboardist Carl Westholm (CANDLEMASS, AVATARIUM)

With the new album “Phosphorus” the band has recovered its thrash metal roots and added an atmospheric sound with organ, theremin, choirs, dark guitar harmonies, energetic drumbeats, and shredding heavy metal guitar solos – all whilst retaining their original death metal sound. The album is recorded, produced, and mastered by Mike Wead (King Diamond/Mercyful Fate guitarist), and Simon Johansson (Wolf guitarist). Heavier, darker, more sinister, more melodic, more varied than earlier albums. MEFISTO presents to you an album filled with atmospheric blackened metal. 

SAOR means free, without obligations, unconstrained. All of these characteristics are intrinsic to the music of SAOR, the musical entity spearheaded by sole member Andy Marshall. As a lone wanderer proudly shouting the tales and myths of his people, his culture and his region from the tops of misty Caledonian mountains for the wind to carry, Andy has carved a solitary, yet strikingly inspiring path with SAOR ever since Roots, his first album laid deep… roots, indeed!, way back in 2013.

A decade about to be completed which is now about to witness the release of a fifth full-length, a decade in which Andy and SAOR have almost single-handedly made us all feel a little bit like Scots at heart, regardless of our own individual origins, such is the passionate and almost visual way that this musician delivers his profoundly atmospheric hybrid of black and folk metal, peculiarly described as Caledonian metal. “I used to play in some local bands, but I never really liked writing music with other people,” Andy recalls of his initial, formative times as a musician, beginnings that already hinted at the future road that would be taken. “There were too many opinions and arguments about the direction of the music. I have always preferred writing music alone.” As such, his musical and conceptual vision could be developed steadily, undiluted and unrestrained. Free, without obligations, unconstrained. “I was really into black metal and folk metal at the time I wrote Roots,” the Scot reveals, somewhat unsurprisingly. The components for his musical edifice are clear – it’s in the personality of their seamless mix, and in the Scottish fog that surrounds it, that the unique magic lies.

“There were plenty of Scandinavian bands singing about their history, culture, roots… but there were no Scottish bands. I thought this was kind of weird because we have such an interesting history, and quite gloomy and epic landscapes, much like the Scandinavians. Since I grew up around traditional Scottish music and was a huge fan of film soundtracks, I used those influences and tried to merge them with atmospheric black metal, folk metal and other sounds. It was quite a natural fit for me. I live very close to mountains, beautiful forests and lochs, and I spend a lot of time on the Isle of Skye, so you can guess where my inspiration comes from. I’ve also been interested in Scottish history from a young age. I’m no expert, but I take inspiration from reading about the past and always feel connected to it.”

Established as a singular voice and presence in the metal and folk underground with Roots (“it might sound corny, but it’s the ‘roots’ of SAOR and the Caledonian metal sound,” Andy jokes. “You can hear some of the typically Scottish melodies on it that would become more prominent in future albums.”), Andy Marshall forged on, and follow-up Aura appeared less than a year later. Though it contains some of the most appreciated hymns in his entire discography, the Scottish musician, ever a perfectionist, has mixed feelings about it. “I was never a huge fan of the production and performances on this one,” he shrugs. “It felt rushed. Funnily enough, it became one of the most popular and well received SAOR albums. People seem to love the somewhat ‘muddied production’ because it gives the album character. We still play songs from this live and they go down really well. ‘Pillars of the Earth’ is one of my favourite SAOR songs.” With apologies to Andy, we do side with the masses on this one – and would even throw the hallowed name of Bathory as an example of how “muddied production” and “character” are two concepts that can indeed go hand in hand, treading a fine but clear line throughout the history of metal.

Perhaps avoiding another rushed effort, Guardians took two years to appear as the third chapter in the ongoing saga that is the SAOR discography. Definitely leaning even more to the side of folk, it’s a work of rare emotional depth within the genres it touches, even if our man is, once more, rather unfazed and focused on the technical aspects of the recording. “I think it’s a natural progression from Aura, but with a slightly improved sound. It focuses more on my folk/Celtic influences. Some would say the folk metal element is more prominent due to the amount of bagpipes, tin whistles and other folk instrumentation used on this album,” he muses. However, not even his author can deny the power of this album’s highest moments. “’Hearth’ is one of the most popular SAOR songs and ‘Tears of a Nation’ always goes down well in a live setting.” Sound considerations aside, it was clear by then, circa 2016, that SAOR was a living, breathing entity, evolving and exploring. Like that recurring metaphor of the lone wanderer that seems so perfect we cannot let go of it. Free, without obligations, unconstrained.

The period between albums ever-lengthening, as if each step into the world of SAOR requires a bigger period of reflection and maturing to take the next one, Forgotten Paths would only appear in 2019. A worthy wait, however, as the evolutionary step was by far the boldest, bravely defying imaginary style constraints and showcasing an atypical and engaging approach to the overall “folk” super-genre. “My most open and accessible album,” Andy admits without hesitation. “There’s definitely a hint of post-metal creeping in on this one and a little less black metal. Neige from Alcest provided guest vocals on the title-track, which was an honour. This is around the time I started using the term Caledonian metal to describe my sound. I think it sums up my music and the themes perfectly.”

As live appearances were beginning to be much more frequent and SAOR a constantly demanded name on more notable events, the world decided to throw us all a pandemic curveball, which halted the victorious march of Andy and his stage cohorts for a while. However, you wouldn’t expect a period of isolation to ever hold back a musician and a project that are, by definition, and even by many of the feelings by them evoked, isolated, would you? And it most certainly did not. “From 2019-early 2020 we had a pretty hectic time touring and playing festivals, so I actually really liked the first few months of lockdown. I got a chance to relax,” Andy says. “But when the government decided to stop us from travelling, even leaving our local area, it was horrible.” Also, the end of 2020 brought an unexpected gift of recognition, as SAOR won the “Best Metal” Category at the Scottish Alternative Music Awards (SAMAs). Humble as ever, Andy thanked the band’s manager Joe, his stage comrades and Season of Mist, and added that “it’s been a tough year, so this award means a lot.”

Even better than recognition and accolades, from these difficult times, the new album, Origins, appeared. And for their first album in three years, and their premiere for Season of Mist, we wouldn’t expect anything other than… the unexpected. A counter reaction of sorts to the more meandering and even “accessible” direction of the previous records, perhaps inspired by its main theme of the Picts (a group of peoples who lived in what is now northern and eastern Scotland during Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages) and their fierce battles, Origins comes across as a more raging, black metal-infused effort, copiously evocative in its imagery and even melancholic in places, but decisively strong and abrasive at the same time. “This album is a lot more guitar driven,” Andy confirms.

“During the pandemic I listened to a lot of classic heavy metal and I think you’ll hear the influences on the dual lead guitars and solos. I  also wanted this to be my heaviest album with emphasis on the riffs. My harsh vocals have changed from deep growls to more of a black metal style. Since the subject of the album is the Picts, I wanted a pagan theme throughout, and so that aspect is a lot more prominent than in the previous albums. I also used instruments such as the Carnyx and tribal drumming to convey that feeling.” One of the strongest songs on offer, the opener in fact, “Call of the Carnyx”, is in fact about the Carnyx itself, the ancient Celtic war horn, and it conveys like never before the feeling that it must have  been to hear its resounding bellow, calling the Pictish warriors to battle. A moving homage to the legacy of the Picts, Origins guides us through their gods, their fallen heroes who died protecting their families and land, and what still remains of their identity in the Scottish people of today.

As much as we have food for thought, assured and guaranteed entertainment and inspiration for the months to come as we listen to and explore Origins and its themes, its creator is naturally already moving on. Andy doesn’t need much to create the worlds SAOR albums inhabit, and his most powerful tool is always with him. “I don’t need to be in one particular place to write or be inspired,” he explains. “I do have my own little office/studio in my home where I write music and lyrics, but it’s nothing special. My imagination is the most powerful tool for SAOR.” Not only do we vehemently agree, we would even say that imagination is the most powerful tool, always, for everyone. The one untamed weapon we all possess and can use at all times. Free. Without obligations. Unconstrained.

Watch and listen to ‘Omens,’ the title track from LAMB OF GOD’s forthcoming 9th album. The new single from the GRAMMY-nominated metal colossus is available everywhere for download and streaming.

I think a lot of the messes human beings find ourselves in could be very easily prevented simply by paying attention to obvious repeating patterns, both in our personal lives and in a broader sociohistorical context,” says LAMB OF GOD frontman D. Randall Blythe. “What some call ‘omens’ are really just manifestations of the fact that there is nothing new under the sun. It’s foolish to ignore this, but we all do it.”

Listen to the single on all platforms:  https://lambofgod.bfan.link/omens-single

Pre-order Omens album here (included local pre-order link): https://lambofgod.bfan.link/omens

The gargantuan ‘Omens’ follows the album’s first single, ´Nevermore,´ which collected more than 1 million views on YouTube and over 1 million streams on Spotify shortly after its release just last month.

The hard rock and metal press described ´Nevermore´ as “crushing” (Metal Injection), “like a nail bomb” (Revolver), and “a thundering taste of what’s to come” from the band’s new album (Kerrang!).

The Omens album arrives on October 7th, 2022, on Nuclear Blast Records.

Omens follows 2020’s self-titled No. 1 Hard Rock Album, saluted by the likes of Rolling Stone and NMEOmens is perhaps their angriest album yet. Produced by longtime collaborator Josh Wilbur (Korn, Megadeth), Omens is a vicious new testament for the Richmond, Virginia-based band, a furious entry in their beloved catalog. “The world is crazy and keeps changing. Omens is a reaction to the state of the world,” Blythe explains. “It’s a very pissed-off record.” He pauses for emphasis. “It is extremely pissed-off.”

The New Wave Of American Heavy Metal architects tracked Omens at Henson Recording Studios in Los Angeles, California, a location that birthed classics from The Doors, The Ramones, and Soundgarden, among others. “The inner workings of the band have never been better,” explains guitarist Mark Morton. “You can hear it in Omens. You can see it in our performances, and if you’re around us for five minutes, you can feel it.”

In times of tyranny, Danish deathcore outfit CABAL are taking aim at the oppressors. The band’s new single ‘Violent Ends’ is a statement of intent for all those who use abuse their power.

CABAL states:
“Violence breeds violence, it’s as simple as that. Those who live by the sword will also die by it. This song is a middle finger to the people who violently abuse their positions of power. Their end is inevitable and it’s coming soon.” 

The new single comes with a stark new video that pairs a frenzied performance with intricate and evocative animation.

‘Violent Ends’ is the third single that the band has released from their upcoming album Magno Interitus. The band’s Nuclear Blast debut will be released on October 21st.

Stream the single here: https://cabal.bfan.link/violent-ends.ema

Preorder Magno Interitus here (Local pre-order available soon):
https://cabal.bfan.link/magno-interitus.ema

 STUDIOCANAL and Working Title Films today confirm that cross-cultural British rom-com WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT? will receive its World Premiere at the 47th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival. The film will screen as a Gala Presentation at the Roy Thomson Hall on Saturday, 10th September.

Directed by Shekhar Kapur (ELIZABETH) andwritten by Jemima Khan, WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT? stars the Primetime Emmy® Award nominated Lily James (PAM & TOMMY, BABY DRIVER, DARKEST HOUR, MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN, REBECCA), Shazad Latif (STAR TREK: DISCOVERY, PENNY DREADFUL, PROFILE, TOAST OF LONDON), Shabana Azmi (HALO, FIRE, RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST, IT’S A WONDERFUL AFTERLIFE, CITY OF JOY, MADAME SOUSATZKA), Sajal Aly (YAKEEN KA SAFAR, MOM, ALIF) andAcademy Award® and BAFTA winnerEmma Thompson (MATILDA, GOOD LUCK TO YOU, LEO GRANDE, CRUELLA, SAVING MR BANKS). The film also stars Asim Chaudhry (BLACK MIRROR: BANDERSNATCH, PEOPLE JUST DO NOTHING, THE ELECTRICAL LIFE OF LOUIS WAIN, THE SANDMAN), Jeff Mirza (ETERNALS, BLINDED BY THE LIGHT), Mim Shaikh (FINDING DAD, INFORMER, PLS LIKE, KING GARY), Iman Boujelouah, Mariam Haque (FINDING ALICE, HOMELAND, FLOWERS) and Sindhu Vee (MATILDA, STARSTRUCK, FEEL GOOD).

The film is produced by Nicky Kentish Barnes (ABOUT TIME, ABOUT A BOY), Jemima Khan (IMPEACHMENT: AMERICAN CRIME STORY, THE CLINTON AFFAIR, THE CASE AGAINST ADNAN SYED, WE STEAL SECRETS: THE STORY OF WIKILEAKS) & her Instinct Productions, alongside Working Title Films’ Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner.

Ivor Novello Lifetime Achievement Award-winning and Mercury Prize nominated composer, Nitin Sawhney CBE has created the music for the film, with British-Pakistani record producer, DJ, songwriter, and musician Naughty Boy bringing his production and writing skills to the soundtrack, alongside three-time BRIT Award and Mercury Prize nominee, Joy CrookesKanika Kapoor and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan will also feature on the soundtrack, with Rahat appearing in the film itself.

STUDIOCANAL is fully financing and will release in their own territories – the UK, France, Germany, Australia & New Zealand – and are selling the film worldwide. 

WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT? is set to be released in Australian cinemas on February 2nd 2023.

Shudder, AMC Networks’ premium streaming service for horror, thrillers and the supernatural, releases today the first clip for the Shudder Original What Josiah Sawahead of the film’s debut on the platform next week, on Thursday 4 August. The film is the third feature from American filmmaker Vincent Grashaw (Coldwater, And Then I Go) and world premiered to high praise at the 2021 Fantasia Film Festival and went on to win awards at the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival, Fantaspoa International Fantastic Film Festival, Screamfest, and more.

In What Josiah Saw, after two decades, a damaged family reunite at their remote farmhouse, where they confront long-buried secrets and sins of the past. The film, which is written by Robert Alan Dilts, stars Robert Patrick (The Terminator), Nick Stahl (Sin City), Scott Haze (Child of God) and Kelli Garner (Lars And The Real Girl). 

What Josiah Saw is produced by Ran Namerode, Grashaw, Bernie Stern and Angelia Adzic and executive produced by Cole Payne and Scott Haze.

Today the Los Angeles garage rock quartet The Paranoyds share their new track ‘Single Origin Experience‘, taken from their forthcoming second album, Talk Talk Talk, arriving September 9th on Third Man Records. They’ve also announced their autumn North American tour and will support Jack White for three dates on his own tour this September. The Paranoyds are Southern California DIY rock royalty, unafraid and unapologetically in perpetual pursuit of a good time. Fueled by the fiery energy of their live shows paired with raw lyricism and subtle societal commentary, Talk Talk Talk finds The Paranoyds taking their artistry to new heights. 

On the new single The Paranoyds playfully observe America’s deeply flawed ideals and its hyper-surveilled, hyper-marketed, absurd profit-driven reality. It reckons with both America’s shameful history and current shady antics by the government and top corporations. 

Explaining the meaning behind the song, guitarist and vocalist Lexi Funston says “Sometimes an event happens or a news report comes out or whatever and you’re just so bummed about what it means to be American. It can be so exhaustingly cringey. Companies spying on us and ‘green-washing’ their products in the hopes of selling as a ‘pure’ life, a branded experience. What the fuck right? Does single origin coffee really taste any better???”

Opening with a fuzzy, layered vocal that sings “Nihilism bobbleheads, misogynists but working on it / American means shaking hands and stealing land / Modern horror is unmotivated / Moving through the dates unabated,” the track exemplifies the band’s effortless blend of eccentric societal commentary with sincerity, all over a grainy guitar and a magnetic hook that’ll stick in your brain long after the song’s over.

Today’s release follows the previous gritty, lo-fi punk track ‘Lizzie‘ and its retro, 80’s-inspired video which sees the band launched into space, sporting robotic movements in silver costumes and ornate tin-foil headwear. Both tracks give a great taste of what’s to come on their excellent new record, Talk Talk Talk, which is packed with a masterful blend of light-hearted playfulness and sharp sincerity over fuzzy guitar, dreamy vocals and punchy rock-n-roll.Over 11 tracks, the close-knit four-piece experiment with sounds that span an eclectic array of genres from jazz, to lo-fi punk-rock to groovy R&B, showcasing the innovative range of The Paranoyds.

The German melodic metal band RETERNITY have just released their new album “Cosmic Dreams” via MDD Records

With “Cosmic Dreams”, the Swabians around masterminds Carsten Sauter and Stefan Zörner present their third, most mature and at the same time most intense work. On the new album, the band surprises with a departure from the rather thrash-influenced predecessors to high-class arranged and produced tracks, which nevertheless unite all the trademarks that make up the band: melody, heaviness and variety between the otherwise rigid metal pigeonholes. 

A striking feature is the use of keyboards for the first time, which give Zörner’s lyrics, which deal with the diaspora into outer space, the coldness of the stars and the increasing coldness of humans, gloomy dystophic and failed dreams, a perfect futuristic framework. The music is sometimes intricate and progressive (“Cosmic Dreams”, “Blitzwerfer Blues”, “Seemingly”), sometimes grippingly hard (“Only Scars Remain”, “Depths of Nothingness”) but also epic and expansive (“The Narrow Sleep”, “Astronaut”, “My Reternity”). 

Is this heavy metal, thrash, doom, prog, death or nu metal? Who cares! The result is a homogeneous sounding statement in metal! With the producer of choice, Andy Horn (Fight feat. Rob Halford, Rob Rock, Cage, Edenbridge) and fresh blood on drums and bass, they worked intensively for months on an album that can undoubtedly play in the top league and is a groundbreaking album by the ambitious southern Germans. 

The German alt-rock/prog metal band R3VO have just released the new single “Artificial Pleasure” on June 8.

Since their 2021 single “Paranoia,” R3VO has adopted a grittier yet more refined sound with “Artificial Pleasure.” The new song avails itself of heavy sections, psychedelia-influenced choruses, and an intimate outro. The band notes:Artificial Pleasure is an introspective journey on the topic of undergoing addiction.” 

R3VO is the project that should be on your radar. The Alternative Rock/Progressive Metal band has made a name for itself after their continuous appearances in Berlin’s underground scene. Influenced by powerhouses such as Opeth, Porcupine Tree, Muse, and Guano Apes, the four-piece is a combination of technical ability and raw energy. Sonically they are recognized for their use of catchy guitar riffs, dramatic vocals, and the irresistible grooviness of the drum and bass duo.