set to stun promohr1

Set To Stun is streaming their new album Set To Stun and The Desperado Undead below. The album was self produced with Jordan Griffin and was mixed and mastered by Joey Sturgis (Asking Alexandria, Attila, Miss May I). They will be hitting the road on the BAT2BAT tour with Vampires Everywhere and Consider Me Dead.

bat 2 bat tour STS_8

Nov 30: Nile Theater – Mesa, AZ
Dec 01: The Co-Op – Albuquerque, NM
Dec 02: Tomcats West – Fort Worth, TX
Dec 03: The Korova – San Antonio, TX
Dec 04: Crossroads – Tyler, TX
Dec 05: The Tavern – Hattiesburg, MS
Dec 06: Longbranch Saloon – Knoxville, TN
Dec 07: Emerson Theater – Indianapolis, IN
Dec 08: The Canal Club – Richmond, VA
Dec 09: Santos – New York, NY
Dec 10: Firehouse 13: Providence, RI
Dec 11: The OutPost – Kent, OH
Dec 13: The Abbey – Chicago, IL
Dec 14: Skyway Theatre – Minneapolis, MN
Dec 15: Vaudeville Mews – Des Moines, IA
Dec 16: Marquis Theatre – Denver, CO
Dec 18: The Music Garage – Salt Lake City, UT


Toothgrinder is streaming their new music video for “Lace & Anchor, off of their Spinefarm debut Nocturnal Masquerade out January 29, 2016 below. They have upcoming tour dates across the US below.

toothgrinder after the burial rings of saturn the faceless tour

Nov 27: Beat Kitchen – Chicago, IL
Nov 28: Skyway Theater – Minneapolis, MN
Nov 29: Vaudeville Mews – Des Moines, IA
Dec 01: Marquis Theater – Denver, CO
Dec 02: In The Venue – Salt Lake City, UT
Dec 05: El Corazon – Seattle, WA
Dec 06: Hawthorne Theatre – Portland, OR
Dec 08: DNA Lounge – San Francisco, CA
Dec 09: Whisky A Go Go – Los Angeles, CA
Dec 11: Chain Reaction – Anaheim, CA

Toothgrinder Winter 2016 The Crucible Tour Dates

Jan 08: The Loft – Lansing, MI
Jan 09: Big Shots – Valparaiso, IN
Jan 10: Fubar – St. Louis, MO
Jan 11: Reilly’s Roadhouse – Romeoville, IL
Jan 12: Thompson House – Newport, KY
Jan 13: The Outpost – Kent, OH
Jan 14: Voltage – Philadelphia, PA
Jan 15: The Studio at Webster Hall – New York, NY
Jan 16: The Champ – Lemoyne, PA
Jan 17: Sherlock’s – Erie, PA

rock and shock 2016 first band announcement

Another year, another Rock and Shock Festival arrived on the scene to get us even more in the Halloween mood. A terrific lineup of iconic personalities, and amazing vendors at the DCU Center along with a strong lineup of music titans over at The Worcester Palladium made this a year to remember. I have been to eight of the eleven years of this great festival and it gets better and better every year. This was one of the years where the convention ran slightly ahead of the show for me in terms of love, but that is less about the bands and some the horror giants that were in attendance, among my favorites in the genre, ever.

Friday was marred slightly by the typically shitty I -90 traffic heading out to the venue, taking almost 2.5 hours to arrive from Boston. Not only did we miss a tight group of local bands, I missed some of the bands I really wanted to see like Brick By Brick and Shattered Sun. Getting there in time to catch some of Soilwork at least made up for it. Not only did they play some more recent tracks from The Ride Majestic (Nuclear Blast), they played the throwback classic cut ‘Bastard Chain’ which was amazing.

Sanctuary, by Meg Loyal Photography

Sanctuary, by Meg Loyal Photography

Following Soilwork it was time for some more old-school jams with Sanctuary and Soulfly. The reactivated power metal/thrashers Sanctuary were super tight and sounded great. Better than I expected or remember. Soulfly also put on a great show. Max Cavalera and crew played a lot of hits as well as Sepultura classics and even a little Nailbomb jam. Maybe about the best Soulfly set I’ve ever seen. Max is just really great at extolling the crowd to move: screaming, rapping, or playing some percussion instruments, the guy does it all.

Soulfly, by Meg Loyal Photography

Soulfly, by Meg Loyal Photography

As expected Hatebreed’s career spanning, 20th anniversary set was as great as could be. Jamey Jasta and his crew have boundless energy and played an almost two-hour set. Track after track of classic beat-down songs and deep cuts from every era of the band rained down from the speakers. Many times Jamey jumped into the barricade and had fans screaming along with him. It was epic feeling and people were just throwing down all over the venue. It was a pretty amazing time and Jamey made sure everyone new Hatebreed is coming back with a new album in 2016.

Getting up early on Saturday, we made sure to spend a lot of time at the convention at the DCU center and really get to see and do everything over there. There were many awesome vendors, specifically a lot of local businesses, which was great to see. There were also several dog rescues and pet adoption tables with people doing great work to find some puppies and kitties new homes in the middle of all this metal and horror greatness. While I was only able to get glimpse of George A. Romero, some of the movie personalities I got to chat with made up for it such as Doug Bradley (Hellrazor), William Sanderson, Bill Mosley, Traci Lords, and especially Stephen Macht and Michael Mackay from Monster Squad. Most of the band signings were happening here, with the longest line I saw being for Superjoint.

Saturday’s lineup was a little deeper and more eclectic than most years too. The second stage had an array of diverging styles represented by The Relapse Symphony, Byzantine, Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein with his solo band, and Eyes Set To Kill among others. The main stage was led off by doom masters Witch Mountain. New singer Kayla Dixon has a tall order to fill replacing the much adored Uta Plotkin, but Kayla has amazing pipes and stage presence. She does justice to all of Uta’s material, the other past material of the band, and definitely brings her own style to the table too. I am so looking forward to a new WM album with her at the mic.

For a bit of consistency, the next three bands had a common thread in Wednesday 13, New Year’s Day and The Rocking Dead, all bringing an old/new take on horror punk, glam rock and metal. Wednesday performed the best, NYD had the most fans in the house, and The Rocking Dead was beautiful wreck. Both the later two performed with The Rocking Dead, an all-star collection of talented folks playing all covers. It was exciting to see and hear Doyle and Taime Downe of Faster Pussycat jam out to some great songs, but the band hadn’t rehearsed at all and the sloppy performance was not amusing.

Prong, by Meg Loyal Photography

Prong, by Meg Loyal Photography

Prong was up next and were one of the best bands of the weekend. The band seems reinvigorated by some new blood in the band and performed a mix of old-school (‘Beg to Differ’, ‘Unconditional’) and new-ish (‘Revenge Best Served Cold’) tracks. Props to Tommy Victor for pulling double-duty this tour with Danzig. I’m waiting patiently on that new Prong album in early 2016 too.

Veil of Maya, by Meg Loyal Photography

Veil of Maya, by Meg Loyal Photography

After catching a little bit of Veil of Maya’s performance, we had to grab some provisions (beers and food) and do a final sweep of the band merch for the weekend. Then it was time for Superjoint to open up a total can of whup-ass on The Palladium. Easily the most brutal set and pits of the entire weekend by far. Between Phil Anselmo’s between song levity, the amped up playing it was a really fun time. With an excellent blend of hardcore, doom riffs and heaviness, the band was actually tighter and better than they were back in the day to me.

Superjoint, by Meg Loyal Photography

Superjoint, by Meg Loyal Photography


Superjoint, by Meg Loyal Photography

Superjoint, by Meg Loyal Photography

Finally the set changed over for Danzig. As always he had an impressive stage set up and props, with the ominous “Skull Horns” mascot emblazoned on everything. The backdrop and stage were definitely the best of the entire weekend in contrast to the other bands except for maybe Soulfly. The band came out strong with ‘Skin Carver’ and ‘Hammer of The Gods’. Glenn still has a mighty voice live after all these years. The good thing about being an enigmatic artist and not touring all the time is that people are not burned out on seeing you. Even the songs you have heard a million times on record sounded good live. Feeling every note and dramatic beat, the front man flung himself around the stage like a much younger man. While this challenged him to keep his breath and tone steady, he held up well. The set list was also pretty eclectic with three new cover songs from his new Skeletons album (Evilive/Nuclear Blast).

One thing that was a bummer was the much talked about photo policy. As everyone now knows, Danzig hates photographers; professional or otherwise. I saw at least 25 people kicked out of the show by security for taking pics or videos, and that number may have been 3-4 times that number from what I have been told. Although I admit this policy is extreme, Danzig has a point. Everybody put your phone down and watch the goddamn show! Plus there were signs everywhere and it wasn’t exactly a secret since security guys were warning people all night and stopping the from filming.

Overall Danzig’s set was pretty sweet, although some people I talked to after quibbled with the song choices. He did mix it up well with 15 tracks spread across 7 albums. And I might have chosen a different closer than ‘Brand New God’ from Danzig 4P (American), but no matter. If it’s the last time I ever see the guy live, it’s all good to me.

See you next year Rock and Shock!




Soilwork, photo credit Hannah Verbeuren

Soilwork, photo credit Hannah Verbeuren

Soilwork have released their new video for their song ‘Death In General’. You can see the video at this link at Toontrack

Soilwork Drummer Dirk Verbueren commented on working with Toontrack for the première:

“Toontrack’s software and sounds are essential not only to Soilwork but to myself for the work do daily at my Die Crawling Studio. It’s really an honor to have a company whose products are a pivotal part of one’s creative process to première our new video.”


Front man Bjorn “Speed” Strid commented on the video and about working with its director, Hristo Shindov:

Recording the video for “Death In General” was absolutely spectacular. After finishing up our North American Tour at The Whisky in Hollywood, we got up at 5am the next morning and drove into the desert. Joshua Tree is truly a magical place and was the perfect setting for this song and the mystical feeling it generates. Blind Melon guitarist Christopher Thorn was very kind to let us use his land for the shoot and he also welcomed us into his home. Director Hristo Shindov and his assistants did a fantastic job, capturing the vibe of the song with stunning footage. The dancers, Daisy and Flannery also did an absolute outstanding job, as they danced in the sunset. Truly magical. We are very proud to present this video for one of the most powerful songs that we have ever written. Hope you enjoy it and that you somewhat can imagine the feeling we had while recording it! We highly recommend sipping on a real good tequila or mezcal while watching it…”


Soilwork kicks off their year-end tour of Europe tonight, “The Tour Majestic”, in Malmö, Sweden. Support comes from Hatesphere and T.A.N.K.

Soilwork tour dates, with Hatesphere and T.A.N.K.
Nov 27: KB – Malmö (SE)
Nov 28: X-Herford – Herford (DE)
Nov 29: Kufa – Lyss (SI)
Nov 30: Le Port Franc – Sion (SI)
Dec 01: Colony Club – Brescia (IT)
Dec 02: Backstage Halle – Munich (DE)
Dec 03: Schlachthof – Wiesbaden (DE)
Dec 04: Hellraiser – Leipzig (DE)
Dec 05: Winter Basinfire Fest (CZ)
Dec 06: Bi Nuu – Berlin (DE)
Dec 07: Logo – Hamburg (DE)
Dec 08: Luxor – Koln (DE)
Dec 10: 013 – Tillburg (NL)
Dec 11: Biebob – Vooselaar (BE)
Dec 12: Les Trinitaires – Metz (FR)
Dec 13: Les 4 ecluses – Dunkerque (FR)
Dec 14: Trabendo – Paris (FR)
Dec 15: Antipode – Rennes (FR)
Dec 16: Rocher de Palmer – Bordeaux (FR)
Dec 17: Le Chato’do – Blois (FR)
Dec 18: CC John Lennon – Limoges (FR)
Dec 19: CCO – Lyon (FR)


Phil Campbell of Motörhead, ©Hillarie Jason

Phil Campbell of Motörhead, ©Hillarie Jason

Motörhead‘s Phil Campbell was suddenly rushed to the hospital today and the band had to cancel their sold-out show this evening in Berlin, DE. The band released a statement on Campbell:


“He will be better soon but there is no choice other than to cancel our show in Berlin. We all wish Phil a speedy recovery.”

No word from the band yet if their will be able to perform at their next show, Sporthalle in Hamburg tomorrow, on Saturday November 28. We wish Phil a speedy recovery.


Slayer, photo by Andrew Stuart

Slayer, photo by Andrew Stuart

Slayer, Testament and Carcass will team up as an impressive package tour this spring in the USA, as revealed by a flyer passed out at the final date of the King Diamond tour this past week. Revealing a March 3rd date for a show at Philadelphia’s Fillmore venue, the announcement lends credence to the rumors that have circulated about a US tour for Slayer. Slayer has toured Europe this fall with Anthrax since the release of Repentless (Nuclear Blast) last September.

slayer repentess album cover 2015


What makes a “classic”? In the case of Mayhem’s Live In Leipzig (Peaceville) it’s primarily down to what it represents – not only the closest thing to a full album by the classic line-up of Mayhem (itself awarded the c-word at least in part for the fact that two of them were dead by violence within three years), but an important document in the development of both a scene and a genre. It’s impossible to look into the early days of “second wave BM” without running into a reference to Live In Leipzig, and it still regularly appears in lists of the most important releases in the genre. References to it tend to spend longer talking about its classic status, the “atmosphere” or the events of the scene it helped give birth to than the music itself, which can cause alarm bells to ring.

Setting everything else aside for the moment, then, the first thing to say about the music is that it’s RAW. Not just the sound – which is better than you may be expecting, especially in its’ remastered form – but the song-writing and playing too. People already familiar with the band after Dead’s… er… death may be surprised – the mystical, sinister atmosphere of De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas (Deathlike Silence) is thin on the ground, and the experimentalism that the band embraced in their later years is entirely absent. Early tracks like ‘Necrolust’ and ‘Carnage’ push their Thrash and Venom influences to the front, and even DMDS tracks are more savage and direct than their studio incarnations.

Traditional wisdom has Dead being the quintessential Mayhem vocalist, but his style is much more straightforward and orthodox than that of Maniac or Attila – fans of the latter in particular may be disappointed with lines like “in the middle of Transylvania” delivered in a straight rasp rather than Atilla’s vampire drag-queen tenor. The quality he’s so treasured for, of course, is authenticity –  it’s hard to deny the genuine rage and alienation of a man who shot himself in the head five months after this performance – but the extent to which it really informs the music is a matter of personal interpretation. It’s precisely that “realness” and lack of irony that can transform Live In Leipzig into something more than the sum of its sloppy parts, but it’s hard to pin down objectively – one person’s “sloppy” is another’s “dangerous”.

As a document of the genre’s early days, Live In Liepzig is as important as you’ve heard, and the bonuses in this package (a booklet full of scene memorabilia and a second disc of another performance with most of the same tracks and a rawer sound) makes it even more so. As a piece of music it’s both undeniably flawed and often genuinely captivating – and in many ways it’s the flaws that makes it so engaging. Still an essential history lesson for those interested in early 90’s Scandinavian BM, but not always an easy one to swallow, and some fans will find themselves blasphemously glad that Black Metal has been so thoroughly house-trained.







HexMachine by False Flags is a self-released debut mini-album, although when you give it a listen it certainly doesn’t feel particularly mini, this packs some considerable force. False Flags rise out of the ashes of the once spectacular Leeds DIY scene consisting of former members of Red Stars Parade, Whores Whores Whores & Year Of The Man: so it certainly doesn’t feel like a debut either.

Opener ‘Earl Black’ starts slowly, a gentle intro stopped abruptly by a sucker punch of savage hardcore, crushing riffs and disjointed time signatures. Slamming guitars and shouty vocals scream their intent and it feels fresh and furious.  Reminding me somewhat of the late great Beecher with a hint of Dillinger Escape Plan the track builds in its heaviness throughout.

Followed by ‘Last Screen Goddess’ which is slower but with a refined intensity rather than diminished. This pulses along rhythmically, swaying and mesmerising and constantly building. There’s enjoyment to be had being swept along with the song.

‘Fate (Has A Driver)’ starts off with pounding drums, but with a more understated yet infectious groove infused into snarling, but more straightforward rhythms: which get the head nodding along with ease. There’s a notable intensification in their ebb and flow particularly in the solid groove of the bass work as the song progresses.

When we get to track ‘Pet Wolf’ False Flags start to show off their hardcore chops in full fury, the shortest at 2:15 this screaming statement is a short sharp shock to the system, build a substantial weight to the track before pausing momentarily before launching into the stormy intensity of ‘Namedropper’, which subsides then screams and smashes against the ears with a blackened throb and erratic pulse, giving you just enough pause for breath before suffocating you again with their punch to the gut sound.

Final Track ‘Phone My Wallet’ steps things up yet another gear and undulates between the now familiar pulsing throb and out and out blasting of discordant riffs, this album finishes with the sound of the band giving everything they have and then some, until they have nothing more in the tank and rolling to a cathartic stop.

This may be a debut album, but there’s an all encompassing confidence about this which harks back to their history within the Leeds DIY scene. Definitely a band to watch out for in 2016.






Brooklyn post rockers Disparager is streaming their new video for “At Least I Still Have Bon Iver,” off of their debut EP Timeless, Ageless below. The band has a string of upcoming East Coast tour dates.

Dec 14: Saint Vitus – Brooklyn, NY
Jan 14: Kung Fu Necktie – Philadelphia, PA
Jan 15: The Tap House – Norfolk, VA
Jan 16: Scrap Iron Bicycle Gallery – Wilmington, NC
Jan 17: The Cave – Chapel Hill, NC
Jan 18: The Mothlight – Asheville, NC
Jan 19: The Golden Pony – Harrisonburg, VA

disparager timeless ageless