LAMB OF GOD marked the release of their highly anticipated eponymous album, out now via Nuclear Blast Records, with a video for the album’s fourth single, ‘Gears.’
Guitarist Mark Morton states: “The time has finally arrived! We are absolutely thrilled to have released our new, self-titled album today. We’re all so proud of this collection of songs and feel like they rival some of our best work. As a band, we have a reawakened energy and a renewed creative spark that is evident in these songs and pulses through the entire album. Everyone involved in this project is beyond anxious for the world to hear it. We hope you enjoy it and we thank you for your support.”
The fact that the band’s eighth studio effort would warrant ‘self-titled’ status is a testament to the band’s pride and satisfaction with these songs and this period in their creativity.
SUICIDE SILENCE will be “virtually” everywhere throughout the month of July with a 39 date “Virtual World Tour” running July 2 – July 30 that spans 14 countries & 5 continents. Each geo-gated stream will be approximately an hour & a half in length and will include a professionally filmed multi-camera live performance with full chat integration, market-specific mixed media & an extensive post-performance Q&A. Initial dates are now on sale at this locationfor $10 each & are only available to those within a specified market radius.
All ticket purchasers will gain access to an Exclusive Merch Collection that includes an official tour shirt as well as a number of other items that will never be sold elsewhere. The band will also be sending a 15% off discount code to every person who purchases a ticket within the first week that their market is on sale that can be used on these exclusive items as well as every other item at SSArchives.com through the end of July.
The band comments, “The time has come! We’ve teamed up with Nuclear Blast & BandsInTown on this tour & we’ll be streaming 39 shows throughout the month of July with tickets for the first batch now on sale! While each show will revolve around a specific city, we’ve decided to open up the tickets statewide in the US & to entire countries when it comes to foreign markets. Be sure to get involved on social media by requesting specific songs in your market & requesting markets you’d like us to add in the future. These live streams will be full-on Suicide Silence fan experiences that will never been be re-streamed or shown ever again. Come join the party!”
SUICIDE SILENCE announced the second batch of dates for their previously announced “Virtual World Tour” that includes unique sets, exclusive merchandise & custom experiences in each market.
Bay Area metal icons MACHINE HEAD have released ‘Civil Unrest’, a 2-song digital single, featuring A-side, ‘Stop The Bleeding’ and B-side, ‘Bulletproof’, with the former featuring additional guest vocals from KILLSWITCH ENGAGE frontman, Jesse Leach. This pair of fierce protest anthems were both written days after the back-to-back murders of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery. They are not for the faint of heart.
The gritty performance video was directed and edited by Mike Sloat, shot on location on the streets of Oakland, CA, with Jesse’s part filmed in Kingston, NY with David Brodsky.
Vocalist / guitarist Robb Flynn shares the inspiration behind the release: “I wrote and sang the lyrics on Wednesday May 27th 2020, the day that the four officers who murdered George Floyd were (originally) not charged with anything. This day was engulfed in protests and riots across America. I drove into Oakland, past large demonstrations already happening and in a fury wrote down everything I was feeling after watching the horrific footage. Within hours, what I wanted to say, what I needed to say had been recorded in the song. I decided to sing it over a song called ‘Stop The Bleeding’, that we had recorded back in December. 2018 with Jared [MacEachearn, MACHINE HEAD bass guitar] and Carlos Cruz [Warbringer] on drums.’’
Stop The Bleeding’ features a guest appearance from KILLSWITCH ENGAGE frontman, Jesse Leach, seeing Flynn and Leach trading lyrical lines that spit anger and frustration at current events.
Flynn continues, “I had been speaking with Jesse for maybe 6 months about singing on the song, as it always had a little bit of a Killswitch vibe to me. Unfortunately (or fortunately), our schedules hadn’t lined up, but with the subsequent lockdown from coronavirus, we had time to make it work. After what happened to George Floyd, I sent him the lyrics I’d written and he replied saying he was “100% on board”. Jesse is someone I consider to be a pioneer and in many ways, one of the men who changed the face of metal. His contribution to this song made it extremely powerful and it’s an honor to have him be a part of it.”
Jesse Leach mirrors the sentiment, stating,“Being asked to be part of this song is an honor. Yes, because it’s Machine Head, but more importantly, this is a message that needs to be heard and spread. These issues concerning abuses of power and racism are timeless. I have written about these previously and I’ll write about them again. I think Robb really nailed this one, both lyrically and sonically. My hope is this song helps awaken those who hear it. Robb has been a frequent voice of the voiceless in these times, so teaming up with him is a no brainer. We need more of our Metal Community to speak out on social issues and help raise awareness, especially during these crucial times. Music is the soundtrack to our lives, it transcends language and culture. This is the reason we as musicians need to do our part to spark thought and discussion on these types of issues. We can make a difference through music and we can help stop the bleeding.”
MACHINE HEAD are donating a significant portion of their streaming proceeds from ‘Stop The Bleeding’ to http://grassrootslaw.org, the organization representing George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery.
The B-side, ‘Bulletproof’ is a new song, also recorded with Carlos and Jared back in December 2018. Flynn adds, “The lyrics for ‘Bulletproof’ were finished in the aftermath of not only the Ahmaud Arbery murder at the hands of white supremacist, but everything twisting out of control in our World. The isolation and craziness of the pandemic, the lockdown protesters storming government buildings with AR-15‘s, as well as the blatant lies and conspiracies pouring out of our political leaders mouths, hour by hour, day after day.”
The songs needed something visually provocative as ‘sleeve artwork’, so the band looked to longtime collaborator Strephon Taylor who hand illustrated various elements from this moment in time, to make a powerful statement about America and the World.
Both tracks were produced by Robb Flynn (Machine Head, Roadrunner United, Sworn Enemy, Dress The Dead) and engineered by Zack Ohren at Sharkbite Studios in Oakland, CA, with the devastating mix being handled by long-time MACHINE HEAD collaborator and producer extraordinaire, Colin Richardson, together with Chris Clancy at Audioworks Productions UK. The tracks were mastered by Ted Jensen at Sterling Sound.
With their new album exploring topics such as exploitation, desperation and unrest it almost feels that Lamb Of God have written the soundtrack of 2020. For the band themselves though they felt that this was an important album for other reasons. Grammy Award nominations and being described as ‘one of the most important heavy acts of modern times’ aside they just wanted to deliver an album that felt like it was Lamb Of God.
“It is what we do and it is what we are accustomed to doing,” says lead guitarist Mark Morton when we begin to chat about this self-titled album. “But I have to say we were really excited about doing it. There were some unique conditions, it had been five years so there was a real anticipation for us about the new material and what kind of shape it was going to take. We were talking about what kinds of styles would pop up because we were all really compiling song ideas on our own so there was a lot of material to pick through… there was a lot of raw material.”
Another exciting element for the band this time around was getting to record with new drummer Art Cruz for the first time. “You know we had been playing with Art for a couple of years before we got into any kind of pre-production for this album,” says Morton. “So it was not playing with him that was the new experience, we had worked out all of those transitions and the feel of things on the stage over the past year and a half, but we were excited to be able to write music with him.”
“But yeah when it came to process we worked with Josh Wilbur like we always do,” he continues. “But I think the biggest difference was the way the time was spread out. We started to work on this album while we were still touring with Slayer. We still had a couple of legs left on the Slayer farewell campaign and that was really the reason why it was so long between albums because that tour cycle got extended. So on breaks from that tour Willie, Josh and I would go into a studio somewhere and work for a week and a half on demos for new songs, so we would do that, then head out onto the road again, do that and then on the road again. So we would have this brief pre-production sessions that were like spread out for over a year and that really gave us a lot longer to really sit with the material and let it settle.”
“I turn that gave Randy longer with each song,” he explains. “That let him work out the themes that he wanted to attach to each song. That gave him a chance to really write around it and so that really gave us a long view of being able to put all the material together. While that was all born out of necessatity given our tour schedule it really did become an asset and it became an unique part of the album because it was gestated over such a long period of time.”
That leads me to ask whether or not that time period meant that the album also looks at more themes as well. “It’s hard to say,” he says after thinking for a moment. “It is hard to dissect like that because the raw material of the album is kind of collected over that time. It wasn’t like we went five years and then Willie and I were like ‘let’s write songs.’ The ideas were documented over that course of time, so I guess it could be but I haven’t really micro-analysed it like that. I do know though that there were a few influences in there so over that time that may well be the case. I do know that this is a very dynamic album though.”
Lamb Of God is out on the June 19th 2020 through Nuclear Blast Records.
The wait is over! Australian metal destroyers AVERSIONS CROWN released their fourth studio album, Hell Will Come For Us All via Nuclear Blast. In celebration, the band offer fans the music video for ‘Paradigm’.
Chris Cougan comments, “We are a generation that has been desensitized and traumatised by a daily dose of violence straight into our living rooms. Innocence has been stripped by the cruel nature of human kind leaving nothing but a bleak and hopeless future.”
Jayden Mason comments, “The final single concludes the build up to our new record showcasing a subtle yet apparent change with strong lyrical content and aggressive tunes to follow, this sets the mood for the rest of the record “Hell Will Come For Us All” which is a strong force moving forward for the band.”
LAMB OF GOD has released ‘Routes’, the fourth single from their June 19 self-titled Nuclear Blast release, featuring a guest appearance from TESTAMENT vocalist Chuck Billy.
“Routes” was lyrically inspired by vocalist D. Randall Blythe’s time alongside native peoples at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota during the No DAPL movement. This protest, which began with just a few Native women and children camping at the site in protest of the pipeline being built so near to their water supply on unceded treaty land, quickly grew to an encampment of thousands and received global attention.
Says Blythe, “I went to Standing Rock because I had heard reports of violence committed on the peaceful protestors there by both state law enforcement and private security contractors, and this violence was not reported in mainstream media for the most part. I went to bring supplies and support these people, who were trying to protect their water, and thereby protect everyone, as everything in the natural world is protected.I was there a week, made some great friends, and learned a lot. It was a very profound experience in my life, and I knew one day I would write a song about it.”
Although Blythe conveys his story through the song’s vivid lyrics, he called in his friend Chuck Billy, who is of Pomo Indian heritage, to lend a deeper authenticity to his narrative.
“My experience, although my own, was tempered and shaped by the hundreds of years of brutal oppression of Native peoples in our country,” says Blythe. “So, it was imperative for me to have a Native voice represented on the song, and Chuck Billy was happy to be that voice. At the end, there is a call and response section – Chuck calls and I respond. This is intentional. Musically, it is symbolic of my experience there. A native voice leads, bringing forth positive energy and calling to the people to unite, and I reply, providing support. That was my physical experience, and it is reflected in the song.”
Added Chuck Billy, “It was a great honor as a proud Pomo Native American to be asked by LAMB OF GOD to do some guest vocals on this song. The No DAPL movement by the indigenous people of this country was a historic event. Being able to lend my voice to represent the Native American people complimenting Randy’s storytelling and lyrics is something really special to me. I’m glad this movement was put in a musical message, and I am extremely happy to have been a part of it.”
Audiences got a taste of the first new LAMB OF GOD music in nearly five years with ‘Checkmate’ back in February, followed by ‘Memento Mori’ and the most recent single, ‘New Colossal Hate’ All four songs will appear on Lamb Of God, the follow-up to VII: Sturm und Drang(2015). The album was once again produced by collaborator Josh Wilbur (Gojira, Korn, Megadeth, Trivium), fueled by a mountain of riffs and looming rhythmic shadows. It is also the band’s first record with Cruz, who sat behind the kit with LAMB OF GOD in 2018 and became an official member the following year. In addition to Chuck Billy, the new album features a guest appearance from Jamey Jasta (Hatebreed). Blythe sounds more driven and insightful than ever on Lamb Of God, offering up the angriest and most comprehensive diatribes, addressing modern life in the current landscape, of his storied career thus far.
LAMB OF GOD propelled heavy metal into the new millennium two decades ago with the prophetically titled New American Gospel. They followed with 2003’s As the Palaces Burn, which made the Rolling Stone list of the Top 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time. Ashes of the Wake (2004) was the first LAMB OF GOD album to be certified gold by the RIAA, followed by Sacrament(2006), which debuted in Billboard’s Top 10. Wrath (2009) earned the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Hard Rock, Rock, and Tastemaker charts and was No. 2 on the Billboard 200. Those No. 1 positions were repeated with Resolution(2012). VII: Sturm und Drang (2015) debuted at No. 3 in North America, No. 2 in Australia and in the Top 5 in several countries. The single ‘512’ from ‘VII: Sturm und Drang’ received a Grammy nod for the “Best Metal Performance,” making it LAMB OF GOD’s fifth Grammy nomination.
It is the maybe most demanding project of the Swedish metal icons: “The Feverish Trinity”, a trilogy of songs with accompanying videos that, according to SOILWORK, would ‘celebrate the Babylonian Death Goddesses that once made the world a more feverish and exiting place’.
The band have taken their last steps on this journey that led us to the abysses and dark sides of humanity and release the final instalment of this entity: ‘Death Diviner’.
The band released a monumental trailer for “The Feverish Trinity” lifting the veil for and revealing the bands’ thoughts behind the concept:
To celebrate the release of ‘Death Diviner’ and the showdown of “The Feverish Trinity”, SOILWORK have also unleashed the official music video you can view it here:
“Death Diviner is the final installment in the Feverish trilogy, the end of the path that Feverish and Desperado set us upon. The overall theme of these three songs is an attempt to describe the otherworldy, the emotions your body can’t contain and the desperate measures you take when you feel that there is something out there calling for you, something much bigger than you, but you know that if you could reach it, talk to it, you’d feel a sense of belonging for the first time in your life. Because that’s what we all miss, isn’t it? We all want to belong somewhere, but it never feels right. You always have that itch, that slightly uncomfortable feeling that you could be so much more, if you’d only been somewhere else, with a soulmate who knew everything you’d been through, and never judged any of your actions because it was the only thing you could do at that time.Death Diviner doesn’t provide the answers. The Feverish Trilogy doesn’t provide the answers. But they provide a ‘’What if?” that might change your life.”
The song was written and composed by David Andersson. The song was recorded at SolnaSound Studios by Thomas Plec Johansson and mixed and mastered by Thomas Plec Johansson in The Panic Room, Skövde. Cello and Piano by Hanna Carlsson, Shaker by Thomas Plec Johansson. René U Valdes produced and directed the music video.
Brisbane’s very own Aversions Crown have been wowing fans right around the world with their own style of sci-fi metal over the past decade and now they are returning with their brand new album Hell Will Come For Us All which the band promises captures a new sound that sometimes borders on the heaviest the band have ever sounded.
“This is our fourth album now,” says guitarist Mick Jeffrey when I ask him what the band had set out to do with this new release. “We’ve been around for awhile now so I guess in a way we wanted to really mature our sound. We’d been touring the last album for a couple of years. We knew what songs were working well and we knew which ones were transitioning to the live setting and of course which ones were not going over as well. So we brought all that board when we started to compose the music for this album.”
Some fans will be surprised to hear that there also wasn’t much of a gap between the album cycles either. “We pretty much started working on this one straight after the last one so we had a whole lot of material ready to go when we started to select which tracks we would use on the record,” explains Jeffrey. “I guess the other thing that we wanted to do on this album was branch out a bit with the lyrics and play with the imagery of what the band is really about. Previously it had pretty much all been science fiction and aliens in theme. That had really worked for the band and it suited our records but we didn’t want to always been re-hashing the old material and feel like we hadn’t really evolved. So, we decided that we really wanted to try some new things and that is what we did with this album.”
Of course as change as big as that can mean a bit of a stressful time for a band and I ask Jeffrey how it felt for Aversions Crown to have to change important things like the themes that the band explored in their lyrics. “It actually felt pretty natural,” he admits. “It wasn’t something that we really forced, we just really started writing and it just happened like that. We had a whole lot of ideas just coming forward and then everybody just seemed to connect with it and it just felt really natural.”
“It wasn’t a forced process at all,” he says continuing. “It’s not like we felt that we had to get away from this we just felt that maybe it was time to try something a little different and you know it is a pretty small niche, pigeon-holed market that we had been put into. We were really being pigeon-holed as an aliencore band which is really a sub-genre within a sub-genre and that is a cool thing and we were stoked that people loved what we were doing but it was just time to just branch out into the world of death metal and I think that we have achieved that on this record.”
When you take a listen to Hell Will Come For Us All it is easy to hear that the lyrics this time around touch on much more personal things and Jeffrey says he is pleased that that side of the band is now on show. “Our new single, “Born In The Gutter,” that just came out that really looks at the theme of class divide,” he explains. “It looks at how where you were born in the world can determine your quality of life to at least start with if not for the rest of your life. There is some pretty heavy imagery in the film clip and the lyrics kind of delve into that. That’s just one example of the stuff that we talk about and I guess with the album for lack of a better term it is probably more worldly. It has a lot more things on it that people can relate to and once again it just felt like something that was really natural for us to write about.”
As I talk more to Jeffrey I learn that “Born In The Gutter” is a track that he is really proud of and a track that he just can’t wait to be able to play live. “Oh yeah,” he says laughing. “It just has that classic Aversions Crown riffy feel to it throughout the verses. Then it has a real beatdown to it and there is a kind of cool aggression to it and to me that was one of those tracks that was always in. When we were demoing it it just felt like one we could always envision ourselves playing live on stage.”
Of course we are not going to be able to see Aversions Crown on stage for a little while yet but we can all go out and grab a copy of Hell Will Comes For Us All when it is released on June 12th through Nuclear Blast Records.
Excellent news from AMARANTHE: The band just finished the studio recordings for their new masterpiece! The sixth studio album from the Swedish modern metal heroes will be out on August 28th, as the band revealed in a digital press conference last weekend.
The band states: “Our sixth album is now completely DONE! Last Sunday, a few select press members and music industry professionals got the opportunity to hear our new effort, and the response was overwhelming, fanning our flames of excitement even further! We can now officially unveil that the album will be out on August 28th, and the entire AMARANTHE band and team is smouldering with anticipation to unleash this monster upon an unsuspecting world – stay tuned for the most monumental and accomplished AMARANTHE record to date!”
More information on this highly anticipated album will follow soon. Check the AMARANTHE and NUCLEAR BLAST channels to stay up to date!
With their foundations tracing back to 2008, the group has released 5 albums since then (2011’s Amaranthe, 2013’s The Nexus, 2014’s Massive Addictive, 2016’s Maximalism, and 2018’s Helix), consistently delivering hauntingly catchy tunes led by their unique three-part vocals. Within their arsenal of hit singles – with ‘Drop Dead Cynical’ leading right at the front – a myriad tracks have been received very well via press and fans alike; having also gained countless plays on both radio stations around the globe and across streaming services (the group’s songs have been streamed close to a billion times on Spotify). A string of support tours have blazed AMARANTHE‘s trail in front of huge crowds as well as at their own headline concerts (the group impressively once performed in front of 10,000 fans at Liseberg, Gothenburg). They have kept working incredibly hard over the years, the latest product of which culminated in the form of Helix, which achieved them some of their highest chart positions in the band’s history (Switzerland #21, Germany #29 etc.).
Norway’s avantgarde metal heroes ENSLAVED have released their new single ‘Homebound’ from the upcoming record Utgard, that will be released in spring 2020.
“Homebound‘ is about the greatest reward of exploring and travelling intounknown territory – to “go viking” if you will, turning Homebound at the end of the journey. It is a song that takes Enslaved on a musical journey that is as much an homage to those who dared so we could play our very own style of music: from nurturing blackened roots to nodding at zeppelins in the sky, beholding teutonic thrash titans and watching speeding motorpsychos take off into the futures.”
The band recently revealed new details about the upcoming record – propelling the listener deep into their world, the musicians explain:
“Utgard bears countless meanings to us; an image, metaphor, an esoteric ‘location’, a word on its own etc. – on different levels and layers. From Norse mythology we know it as a landscape where the giants roam; where the gods of Asgard have no control; dangerous, chaotic, uncontrollable and where madness, creativeness, humour and chaos dwell.
The album is a journey into and through Utgard. It is a place of unification of that which is above and that which lies below. It is not about avoiding fear of the pitch-black darkness (it will keep on growing until the next confrontation), but to go into the darkness itself. This is the rebirth of the individual. In a world that has become so obsessed with the false lights of greed, jealousy and egotism this is a necessary journey.
Utgard is not a fairytale, it is a vital part of both your mind and your surroundings, and it has been since the dawn of mankind. Acknowledging that this realm exists and is a vital part of the self, has inspired us deeply since the early days of our lives. Enjoy our journey to the outer limits.”