Category: Metal

Southern Californian death/thrash battalion EXMORTUS has officially joined the roster of metal’s heaviest label Nuclear Blast Records. In addition to the signing announcement, the band is giving fans a taste of their highly-anticipated next album with the single ‘Oathbreaker,’ which is available for streaming now and accompanied by the music video created by Wayne Joyner (DREAM THEATER, DEVIN TOWNSEND).

Commenting on the signing, founding guitarist Jadran “Conan” Gonzalez says: 

“We are very excited to announce that our upcoming album will be our first with Nuclear Blast as our new label. We’re working with them to bring you what we consider to be our best album yet!”

Adding about the single, Conan states: 

“‘Oathbreaker’ is the perfect teaser for the new album. Not only is it fast, heavy and filled with shred, but it’s inspired by Tolkien’s haunting lore of the Dead Men of Dunharrow in the Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. While our previous work focused more on the heroic aspect of fantasy and sword & sorcery, this album expresses the darker side with tragic heroes and horrors of humanity. Enjoy the new track cause we feel it belongs in our setlists for years to come!”

It’s time for another deep dive into the horrors of mortality and the foul side of the supernatural – it’s time for “Survival Of The Sickest”! The sixth full-length album from BLOODBATH, Sweden’s undisputed masters of old school death metal, will be unleashed on September 9, 2022 via Napalm Records.

This is death metal at its ugly best: vicious, unrelenting and irrevocably sworn to the black.
After smashing the thrashing death metal assault and album opener “Zombie Inferno” out to the masses, BLOODBATH have just released another new burner, entitled “Carved”, featuring none other than Luc Lemay (Gorguts). Without any doubt, the relentlessly heavy track will ensnare the minds of new fans and thrill longtime supporters, aiming to turn intestines outwards in preparation for another irrevocable BLOODBATH!

Jonas Renkse on “Carved“:“If you’re a subject to human experiments performed by the sickest surgeon, you may not have the time to suffer a thousand deaths, but one thing is for certain: YOU’RE CARVED.”

The world is in flames, and “Survival Of The Sickest”, produced by BLOODBATH and co-produced and mixed by Lawrence Mackrory at Rorysound Studios, offers no respite from the horrors of reality. Instead, with the addition of new guitarist Tomas ‘Plytet’ Åkvik (Lik) onboard, BLOODBATH’s latest and greatest album gleefully confronts the slavering ghoul lurking in the shadows, and treats him to ten songs of ripping death metal frenzy. Alongside BLOODBATH’s official alumni, “Survival Of The Sickest” boasts a smattering of irresistible cameos from the great, good and ghoulish of the metal underground, including Barney Greenway (Napalm Death), Luc Lemay (Gorguts) and Marc Grewe (Morgoth).
From the thuggish brain-smash of opener “Zombie Inferno” to the bleak, obsidian ooze of closer “No God Before Me”“Survival Of The Sickest” is the sound of a great band in blistering form. In contrast with The Arrow Of Satan Is Drawn, which borrowed heavily from the blackened end of the death metal world, the new BLOODBATH goes straight for the jugular in true old school fashion. With strong echoes of everything from Morbid Angel and Death to Deicide and Obituary, songs like the rampaging “Putrefying Corpse”, the disgustingly slow and heavy “Dead Parade”, and the deliciously twisted “Tales Of Melting Flesh” breathe fresh fire into an arcane, perpetually rotting formula.

Formed by Jonas Renkse and Anders Nyström (both of KATATONIA), Mikael Åkerfeldt (Opeth) and Dan Swanö (Edge Of Sanity) in 1998, BLOODBATH devoted themselves to resurrecting the increasingly forgotten art of pure death metal. In 2014, they unveiled a new frontman – legendary Paradise Lost vocalist Nick Holmes, now redubbed Old Nick – and yet another macabre musical evolution. With this new line-up, the only way to go was grim. On “Survival Of The Sickest”BLOODBATH evoke their most horrifying sonic scenarios to date, from the death-by-munching nightmare of “Malignant Maggot Therapy”, to the murderous nihilism of “Affliction Of Extinction”.

A glorious comeback from a legendarily wicked musical force, “Survival Of The Sickest” provides yet more proof that BLOODBATH are the kings of the old school.
BLOODBATH add:“If there was a declaration of goods attached to this album, it would say Florida death metal exported from Sweden.”

Providence, RI. quintet KINGSMEN have unleashed their latest single and music video for ‘Bitter Half’ via Sharptone Records. Speaking on today’s release, the band shares:

“There’s always a good guy and bad guy.  Every story has one. Every person has an inner voice speaking on behalf of each side. Every idea you create involves them. More often than not, the bad guy in our minds seems like a big scary monster. They’re intimidating. They can be enticing. They can make things seem too easy. They can cheat you out of a great opportunity by offering the coward’s way out. They can make you feel weak. ‘Bitter Half’ is about knowing you’ve been taken advantage of by that ‘devil on your shoulder’. Its about standing up and saying enough is enough. It’s time to move on. It’s time to become better. It’s time to say “f*ck you” to your bitter half.’’

Prior to today’s drop, Kingsmen have previously released the music video for ‘Trial By Fire’, the band’s first new, original release since their 2020 debut album, ‘Revenge. Forgiveness. Recovery‘. Watch the music video for ‘Bitter Half’ here or at the link below, stream the track here: https://bfan.link/bitter-half

Be sure to stay tuned for more Kingsmen news coming soon.

Calling all Australian heavy music fans as two of the nations most captivating and relentless heavy acts, Brisbane post-hardcore outfit Deadlights and regional Victorian metallers Mirrors, join forces to announce an unforgettable six-date Australian co-headline tour in November, ‘The Ego’s Valley Australian tour

Joined by special guests Inertia, the Destroy All Lines tour kicks off in Mirrors hometown of Melbourne on November 4 at Corner Hotel. The tour will move through Hobart on November 5, Perth on November 22, Adelaide on November 12, Sydney on November 25 and will come to wrap at Princess Theatre in Brisbane on November 26. Tickets on sale Wednesday August 3 at 5pm local time via Destroy All Lines. 

Having extensively toured their mesmerizing live shows together across the country in 2019, both Deadlights and Mirrors are primed and ready to pick up where they left off and dive headfirst into ‘The Ego’s Valley’ tour.

Since touring with each other in November 2019 on Thornhill’s The Dark Pool tour, we’ve been itching to get back on the road together!” share respective vocalists Dylan Davidson and Patty Goodman.

As we both released albums during COVID and haven’t had a chance to tour them yet, we figured now is the perfect time to make it happen. I think our sounds mesh in a really cool way that both our fanbases will love. Our worlds are going to collide to create an experience that the Aussie scene will always remember.”

Debuting with Greyscale Records as one of their first signings with their album ‘Mesma’, Deadlights have become a household name within the Australian alternative scene. Supporting acts such as Parkway Drive, Thy Art Is Murder, Every Time I Die, and so many more, 2020 saw the band knuckle down to create the landscape that would become the follow up to ‘Mesma’. They began with a blank slate, waded into uncharted territories and dove deep into ‘The Uncanny Valley’.

Similarly, Mirrors quickly turned the eyes and ears of Australian listeners towards Regional Victoria in 2017. Ceaseless work by the band alongside their fierce production team culminated in an eleven track, genre busting tour de force in the form of their debut album ‘The Ego’s Weight’ released in 2021 through their freshly acquired record label, Resist Records. Nominated for Best Independent Heavy album or EP at the 2022 AIR Awards, ‘The Egos Weight’ delivered a multitude of opportunities for the quartet including an appearance at Knight and Day Festival, Unify Forever Festival, and national tours with Polaris and While She Sleeps alongside Loathe. 

Sydney band Inertia have proven their place atop the lineup with their most recent release, ‘Memoria‘, built from the foundations of dark pop dripping with soul and intensity contrasting with explosive, driving riffs. The metalcore act strive to carve out their unique position at the forefront of Australia’s heavy music community, leaving a lasting impression with their carefully crafted sound. Inertia’s determination and drive secured them a place on the coveted Resist Records roster and has seen the band share the stage with some of the most prominent alternative acts both Australian and international.

Join Deadlights, Mirrors and Inertia on an unforgettable run of shows on the ‘The Ego’s Valley’ Australian Tour. Tickets on sale Wednesday August 3 at 5pm local time via Destroy All Lines. 

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

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.