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Los Angeles Death Metal emissaries Annihilated are preparing to drop their brutal début manifesto, XIII Steps To Ruination from Unique Leader Records on October 28th (next Tuesday). Featuring former members of Abysmal Dawn, Grotesque, Excretion, and Arkaik the band may be new, but has the pedigree of hardened musical killers. Ghost Cult is proud to partner with Earsplit PR to bring you this great new band!

Listen to ‘Global Enslavement’ now!

 

Official Press Release:

California-based extreme death metal perpetrators, Annihilated — who features within its ranks, current and former members of Abysmal Dawn, Grotesque, Excretion, and Arkaik — will spread their sonic sickness across the lands this Fall with the release of debut full-length, XIII Steps To Ruination.

Set for official unleashing via brutality powerhouse, Unique Leader Records, later this Fall, Annihilated’s XIII Steps To Ruination was produced by drummer Scott Fuller (Abysmal Dawn) and boasts eleven pounding, methodically-crafted tales of torment bedecked in hailstorm riff sequences, homicidal blasts, maniacal vocal onslaughts, and strategically composed percussive syncopation all fueled, conceptually, by political/corporate disgust and societal revulsion. As an added bonus, XIII Steps To Ruination features guest appearances by Sven De Caluwe (Aborted), Monte Pittman (Prong), Peter Truax (Vesterian, Eyes Of Fire) and Eric Stobel (Plaguereaper, P.O.R.).

Comments Fuller of Annihilated’s union with Unique Leader: “We are psyched to be a part of the Unique Leader family. With such a notable roster of brutal death metal bands and awesome releases, we feel right at home.”

XIII Steps To Ruination Track Listing:
1. Global Enslavement
2. Eyes In The Sky
3. This Fear I Speak Of
4. XIII Steps To Ruination
5. Eradication Profits
6. Divide Distract Deceive
7. For The Ignorant
8. Wastelands
9. Creations Of Man
10. Throne Of Eternity
11. Putrifacation

 

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Annihilated was forged in 2008 by guitarists Eric Matranga and Robert Fimbres shortly following the demise of Los Angeles’ Excretion. Intent on composing music with a purpose, Annihilated stands resolutely against the prevalent “sheep mentality” of society in favor of rational thought, questioning the motives of government and news media outlets though debilitating auditory domination.

XIII Steps To Ruination will see release via Unique Leader Records on October 28th, 2014 North America, October 31st,2014 in Europe and November 3rd, 2014 in the UK. Preorder your copy today at THIS LOCATION.

https://www.facebook.com/Annihilatetheworld
http://www.uniqueleader.com
http://www.facebook.com/UniqueLeaderRecords

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Swedish dark metal outfit Witherscape is releasing an EP “The New Tomorrow” via Century Media Records on December 9, 2014.

The band features Swedish singer, multi-instrumentalist and producer Dan Swanö (Edge of Sanity, Bloodbath, Nightingale, etc) and fellow countryman Ragnar Widerberg.

Swanö checked in to comment on the release as follows:

“The new track “The New Tomorrow” is introducing the new main character, “mannen i vitt” (“The man in white”) and the storyline revolves around his quest for the meaning of life and how he wants to make a difference in the world of the forsaken. It is 1950 and he finds this wonderful estate up north and buys it at an auction. He begins the work to turn it into a sanctuary for ones with broken spirits or other disabilities, who need to escape the ever-growing stress of the big city life. The plot will continue on the 2nd full length WITHERSCAPE album, which will hopefully be out at the end of 2015.
The cover versions were chosen because they are songs that resonate with us at their very core, but didn’t necessarily have – in our humble opinion – the production or performance to portray their full glory. We gave them the WITHERSCAPE treatment and learned a lot from analyzing, performing and recording them. And we will bring that experience with us into the writing for the 2nd album…

The re-make of “Dead For A Day” called “Dead For Another Day” was born out of the idea to let WITHERSCAPE make a WITHERSCAPE cover and remove all things death and metal to see what it would sound like. We fell in love with the new approach and decided to include it on the EP to show the versatility that can be expected from this band!”

Here is the tracklisting of the EP:

WITHERSCAPE – “The New Tomorrow” EP:
1. The New Tomorrow (4:42)
2. Defenders Of Creation (Warrior Cover) (4:27)
3. A World Without Heroes (KISS Cover) (2:36)
4. Out In The Cold (Judas Priest Cover) (6:35)
5. Dead For Another Day (4:40)

Witherscape Official Website
Witherscape On Facebook
Dan Swano Official Website

Silver Snakes is set for a US West Coast tour with United Nations that starts on Tuesday, November 4th in Los Angeles, CA. They will be making their UK touring debut in January 2015 supporting Pianos Become The Teeth. All dates are below.

With United Nations
Nov 04: Jewels Catch One – Los Angeles CA
Nov 05: The Observatory – Santa Ana, CA
Nov 06: 924 Gilman – Berkeley, CA
Nov 07: Holocene – Portland, OR
Nov 08: Korean Hall – Vancouver, BC
Nov 09: Barboza – Seattle, WA
Nov 10: The Boreal – Eugene, OR
Nov 11: Fort Ryland – Reno, NV
Nov 12: Divebar – Las Vegas, NV
Nov 13: 191 Toole – Tucson, AZ
Nov 14: Pub Rock – Scottsdale, AZ
Nov 15: The Casbah – San Diego, CA

With Pianos Become The Teeth
Jan 27: The Exchange – Bristol, UK
Jan 28: Rescue Rooms – Nottingham, UK
Jan 29: Audio – Glasgow, UK
Jan 30: Sound Control – Manchester, UK
Jan 31: Underworld – London, UK

Year of the Snake was recorded at band vocalist and guitarist Alex Estrada’s The Earth Capital Studios (Nails, Touche Amore, Joyce Manor), mixed by Brian McTernan (Cave In, Engine Down, Circa Survive) at Salad Days Studios, and mastered by Jay Maas at Getaway Recording (Defeater).

Stream the record here and watch the official music video “Grey Wolf Wild” below.

Watch a live, acoustic video for “All Your Eye” below.

Silver Snakes Official Page
Silver Snakes On Facebook

SWTF 2014

 

96 Hours at The Western Front

(Editor’s Note:) For the second year in a row Ghost Cult is pleased to bring you coverage of the premier doom, sludge, and avant-garde heavy music event on American soil west of the Mississippi river. Thanks to our friends at Violent Resonance, we have full coverage of the fest from the eyes, ears and lenses of these fine purveyors of heaviness. We seriously take little notice of the competition (other websites you cheat on us with) here at Ghost Cult, but if you love this great noise we call metal in its many forms, check out their sick in-depth interviews, and killer reviews. Thanks you guys! 

 

 

Part I:

A First Taste of Doom in the Desert

As dusk fell over Tucson, AZ on Thursday, October 16th, the third and thus far most prestigious iteration of the Southwest Terror Fest commenced with a whole new look and feel to it. Having moved further into the colorful warrens of the downtown area and expanded to two venues this year, The District Tavern and the historic Rialto Theatre, it felt as if this festival had achieved something admirable even before the first note of the first chord from the first band was played. Downtown Tucson possesses the kaleidoscopic atmosphere of many different types of art and culture mixing together in a melting pot that provides the sustenance of entertainment for people of every stripe, and for four days this month, the most widely imbibed audio brews were the twenty four various shades and vintages of the bands who brought the dark and heavy vibes of punk and metal to that scenery.

 

IMG_2095 Conquer Worm

Much like the precursor shock to a devastating quake, the fest kickoff show at The District Tavern packed enough of a wallop to send one sprawling around the room a bit, but not enough to blow the place apart. Local Tucsonans Conquer Worm began the night with their brand of minimalist doom and were followed by Twingiant, the Phoenix, AZ based purveyors of roaring galactic sludge. In between these sets of ear shattering heaviness came another new aspect of the festival this year: the guerrilla troubadour known as Amigo The Devil. Performing his first of several impromptu sets of what can best be described as acoustic “murder folk”; Amigo hopped up onto the bar with a banjo and serenaded the tightly packed crowd with some tongue in cheek tales of woe. This brought a nice new element to the event, by breaking up the usual cycle of one band playing, a set change, and another band playing.

Twignant

The final two bands of the kickoff show, Oryx and -(16)-, ended the first night of the fest on a pretty high note. Oryx, a two person psychedelic doom crew from New Mexico, brought a depth and intensity far out of proportion to the number of band members, and veteran sludge metal practitioners -(16)- riled the crowd up with an impressive set that showed they haven’t lost any steam after twenty-two years on the scene.

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The long, narrow dive bar shtick of The District brought the music up close and personal, and despite the cramped conditions at times, the environment and music transported the crowd to another place of pure enjoyment. Without looking out the front windows of the venue, someone could even imagine that this show was taking place in a tucked away alley of Manhattan or Chicago. The sound was fair to good considering the dimensions of the venue, but this was more than made up by the proximity of the stage to the crowd: neck to neck and about as personal as it can get.

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Overall, the first evening of the fest was satisfying and the mood of concert goers was one of anticipation for the upcoming days of the event. The sense of community and diversity among the attendees was fascinating as well. One could hear accents from all across the Unites States and the world. There were fans from Germany, Israel, and France right there in the desert town of Tucson, AZ. Build it and they will come, indeed.

 

PART II- Monday

 

Southwest Terrorfest on Facebook

Violent Resonance on Facebook

WORDS: RYAN CLARK

PHOTOS: VALERIE LITTLEJOHN

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Friends of veteran guitarist Bernie Versailles (Redemption, Agent Steel, Engine, Masters of Metal, etc) are seeking donations to help pay for costs pertaining to his recent surgery. Longtime friends Gary Wells and Juan Garcia are asking the metal community for assistance via a fundraising page at YouCaring.com.

Versailles had suffered a brain aneurysm on the morning of October 5, 2014 and was rushed to a Southern California emergency room, where he underwent a successful craniotomy to fix his aneurysm, and with physical therapy to follow.

He and his longtime partner Soma have two young children, Sevina and Apollo.

Redemption Official Website
Redemption On Facebook
Redemption On Twitter

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36 Crazyfists is releasing their forthcoming album Time and Trauma via Spinefarm Records, out in February 2015. This is their first album in four years, and their first with new drummer Kyle Baltus (replacing Thomas Noonan) and returning bassist Mick Whitney (replacing Brett “Buzzard” Makowski). Their last album, 2010’s Collisions and Castaways, was issued by Ferret Records in the United States and Roadrunner Records in Europe.

Check out their new song “Also Am I” here.

36 Crazyfists have an upcoming tour supporting their 20th Anniversary with Skinlab, All Hail The Yeti and Incite as support. Dates are as follows.
Oct 31: Whiskey Dick’s – South Lake Tahoe, CA (BDP Halloween Show)

With Skinless:
Nov 01: Ash Street Saloon – Portland, OR
Nov 02: The Hop – Spokane, WA
Nov 03: El Corazon – Seattle, WA
Nov 05: Bombay’s – Redding, California
Nov 06: Velvet Jones – Santa Barbara, CA
Nov 07: Brick by Brick – San Diego, CA
Nov 08: Los Globos – Los Angeles, CA
Nov 09: Pub Rock Live – Scottsdale, AZ
Nov 11: Skylight Santa Fe – Santa Fe, NM
Nov 12: Dirty Dog Bar – Austin, TX
Nov 13: Gas Monkey Bar ‘N’ Grill – Dallas, TX
Nov 14: Downtown Lounge Tulsa – Tulsa, OK
Nov 15: The Labyrinth – Norman, OK
Nov 16: The Lizards Lounge – Wichita, KS
Nov 17: The Roxy Theater – Denver, CO
Nov 18: Mesa Theater and Club – Grand Junction, CO
Nov 19: Db’s – Idaho Falls, ID
Nov 20: Bar Deluxe – Salt Lake City, UT
Nov 21: Cheyenne Saloon – Las Vegas, NV
Nov 22: The Uptown Nite Club – Oakland, CA
Nov 23: Lost on Main – Chico, CA

36 CRAZYFISTS 20th Anniversary Show:
Dec 05: Chilkoot Charlie’s – Anchorage, AK

36 Crazyfists on Facebook

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Swedish death metallers, Bloodbath, is releasing the title track from their forthcoming fourth album Grand Morbid Funeral (out November 18th via Peaceville) for Record Store Day/Black Friday 2014. Stream the song here.
Grand Morbid Funeral was recorded and mixed at Ghost Ward Studios and the City of Glass Studios in Stockholm, Sweden by David Castillo. Chris Reifert and Eric Cutler of Autopsy have guest appearances on the record.

The present Bloodbath lineup is:

Jonas Renkse – Bass
Anders “Blakkheim” Nyström – Guitar, Vocals
Martin Axenrot – Drums
Per “Sodomizer” Eriksson – Guitar
Nick Holmes – Vocals

bloodbath album covwer

The track listing for Grand Morbid Funeral is as follows:

01. Let the Stillborn Come to Me
02. Total Death Exhumed
03. Anne
04. Church of Vastitas
05. Famine of God`s Word
06. Mental Abortion
07. Beyond Cremation
08. His Infernal Necropsy
09. Unite in Pain
10. My Torturer
11. Grand Morbid Funeral

 

Bloodbath on Facebook

Mall_(film)

The thought of Linkin Park turntablist Joe Hahn’s directorial debut to be a story based on author/actor Eric Bogosian’s 2000 based book of the same name, Mall. Forget about whatever thoughts you may have of his band or his music – this film is quite impressive and gives viewers quite the ride within this quasi-psychological thriller.

The story draws is formatted somewhat like Crash, where it is centered around five strangers and how their erratic lives overlaps. Malcom (played by James Frecheville of Animal Kingdom fame) is a Crystal Meth ridden, ready to snap guy who is equipped with a bag full of weapons and self-made bombs, and is on a vendetta to wage war on the world, and his destination is the local mall and the unsuspecting shoppers there.

The narrator of the film is Jeff, a pot-smoking, day dreaming, social outcast teenager (played by Cameron Monaghan of Showtime’s Shameless TV show) is wandering around the mall with his so-called friends and attracting trouble by the mall police. He is fascinated by the Hernan Hesse’s 1927 novel Steppenwolf and liked to recite passages from it as he wanders around the mall.

Under peer pressure by his friends and to impress the girl he likes, Adelle (India Menuez), he drops Ecstasy and the effects of the drug rages while the shootings were happening. The way Jeff’s inner conflicts was portrayed in the film shows created quite the demonic roller coaster range of emotions he was dealing with.

Danny (played by Vincent D’Onofrio, who also co-produced the film) is depressed pervert, who is wandering around the mall, and ironically is caught peeping on Donny (played by Gina Gershon), a regretful housewife who is seeking personal thrills while she is out and about. Danny gets arrested and cuffed in the back of a squad car, until the arresting officer (Ron Yuan) gets shot by Mal by flying bullets from above, as he was about to let free and served a court summons. Danny survives but deals with the guilt of being a pervert by Jeff’s friends, and especially by Adelle, who takes advantage of him in the back of his car, in a sadistic fashion, while he is struggling with what he had done.

As Mal enters the mall, he crosses paths with Michel (Gbenga Akinnagbe), a mall security cop who had a past as a bully and later changed by honoring non-violence to his late wife. He sees Mal after he confronts his ex-boss Barry, a tuxedo store owner with whom he blames for his life spiraling out of whack. Their interaction throughout the movie plays a key part, including how Michel’s inner conflicts about how he dealt with confronting Mal, when the police were trailing him.

Hahn and co-vocalist Mike Shinoda’s original competitions are featured in the film, which flow well with the fast pace of the story. The story itself is somewhat of a social commentary in sorts, from what a shopping mall represents to society and the variety of people who frequent them. Plus with the rash of similar incidents like what was portrayed in this story tells a sad story of the societal ills in today’s times.

 

 

Mall film on Facebook

Joe Hahn on Facebook

 

REI NISHIMOTO

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There can’t be many people who don’t agree with the assertion that a band name is important. Our collective musical history is littered with band names that are brilliantly evocative (Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Emperor) as well as those where, if truth be known, they didn’t really try at all: Panic! At the Disco, Texas is the Reason, Cute is What We Aim For [and my personal favourite We Butter The Bread With ButterReviews Ed] all need to see me after school for a chat.

Of late, band names tend to give you an almost intuitive sense of what the music is going to sound like, and, let’s be fair, you know already that Sodomized Cadaver are going to be a death metal band, don’t you? Yes, you do and yes, they are. Sodomized Cadaver hail from Ebbw Vale in the South Wales valleys. Ebbw Vale is probably best known for two things – its steel and mining heritage and a tough and uncompromising rugby union team (famously known as The Steelmen after the town’s industrial history). Ebbw Vale is but one of many South Wales valleys towns where there often isn’t a lot to do, so forming a band can be a creative and positive outlet for many.  What Messrs Gavin Davies and Raymond Packer have created with this five track EP is straight out of the death metal box, albeit one dripping in gore and generally unpleasant  themes.

Calling your EP after a sexual predilection that fantasises you or your partner being eaten alive gives you a sense on where these valley boys are coming from and with song titles likeCannibal Butcher’, ‘Torture’, and ‘Weapons of Mass Decomposition’ there might not be much room for creative manoeuvring, but at least you know where you stand and they know, rather all too well, what gets their audience salivating.

With influences that range across the often diverse palette of extreme music, there’s plenty of Morbid Angel and Cannibal Corpse dripping through the grooves as well as bits of Bolt Thrower and The Black Dahlia Murder. Someone is clearly in awe of Bill Steer’s guitar playing on Carcass records, too.

At one level you could be critical at the cartoon like imagery conjured up by Vorarephilia (SWEM) and wonder whether it is all a bit juvenile – we have been there and done this all before. However, another part of me wants to give these boys the benefit of the doubt as I sense a pretty black sense of humour running through all of this. For all the bludgeon and dismemberment, under all that flesh, gore and mutilated body parts I can’t shake the sense that there’s also a glint in their collective eye, a sense that they also know this is not for real and we should just go with the energetic and pulverizing flow that they have created. I bet they love their mums, too.

Visceral and intense, as these things need to be.

 

7.0/10

Sodomized Cadaver on Facebook

 

MAT DAVIES

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Part of the charm of being in the heavy metal community is the fact that it is a real community, a group of diverse people from diverse backgrounds, beliefs and ethnic origins bound by a shared love and appreciation for all things heavy and metal. It gives a real sense of belonging, a shared understanding – a belief that the music that you love can open hearts and minds and generally make the world a better place.

If you’re getting the distinct sense that I’m filibustering and not actually getting to the actual review of the sixth album from Sweden’s Scar Symmetry, then you’d be right because if you like Scar Symmetry, my suggestion is that you look away now.

The Singularity, Phase One: Neohumanity (Nuclear Blast) is the first of a trilogy of records. The Singularity is a sci-fi (in the loosest sense of the word) concept album that revolves around the rise of “artilects (artificial intellects) with mental capacities far above the human level of thought” and that “by the year 2030, one of the world’s biggest industries will be ‘artificial brains,’ used to control artilects that will be genuinely intelligent and useful.” According to the band, the album focusses on the divide between “those who embrace the new technology and those who oppose it” due to the social issues caused by the rise of artificial intelligence and the emergence of trans-humanists adding artilect technology to their own bodies.” Of course.

Let’s not get too carried away with the ludicrousness of the story – what we have come here to praise, or not, is the music, isn’t it?

Well, as you probably know already, what you get is fundamentally a melodic death metal record that is exquisitely produced and efficiently and energetically performed by a band that appear to have gotten themselves something akin to a second wind. The problem is the entire enterprise leaves me utterly, utterly cold.

Granted, there’s a bit more on the melody and a soupcon of prog thrown in but that’s it really. You know when the choruses are going to kick in, know when the growly vocals are going to get really growly. It’s all just a bit, well, obvious.  I thought the lyrics and subject matter in need of an editor and the overall effect of listening to this record was, I imagine, like being covered in a vat of cliché and self-regarding hubris. I’m sure there will be plenty of people that will praise this to the highest, revel in its supposed ambition and generally fawn around it like a sycophantic junior at an Elizabethan court: not me, though.

There’s two more where this came from, too.

You know, sometimes if it’s not doing it for you, then it’s not doing it for you. And The Singularity… is not doing it for me. At all. I can admire the effort here, the scope and the ambition, and I applaud the single-mindedness and the collective musicality. What I can’t do is pretend that I like any of it.

 

4.0/10

Scar Symmetry on Facebook

 

MAT DAVIES

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Ask most people who hate Cradle Of Filth what they sound like, and they’ll get it wrong. The pervasive image of the band amongst younger Metal fans is that of pop-heavy, dance-floor filling Metal-lite, and though they must take some of the blame for the ubiquity of that image themselves, musically it just doesn’t fit a band who never dropped the solid core of Maiden, German Thrash and blast-beats that defined their sound. No, for all their leather man-skirts and guy-liner Cradle do not sound like that – but vocalist Dani’s new side-project most certainly do.

Devilment’s musical language is built on the combination of catchy, groovy riffs and the kind of sinister dance beats that filled 90’s Goth clubs.  Song-writing is the absolute key here, and Devilment really have a tight grip on it – discrete, catchy songs with plenty of character, based around sharp hooks and driving riffs.  Yes, riffs – catchy songs and Goth-club vibes aside, The Great & Secret Show (Nuclear Blast) is a Metal album, just one that eschews the posturing and macho sincerity of traditional Metal.

Dani’s presence is, of course, likely to be one of the big draws here, and existing fans will find his performance both familiar and surprising.  The bi-polar extremes of his older performances are almost entirely absent, with the growled vocals completely excised and the testicle-piercing shrieks he’s infamous for barely present.  Instead he dwells almost exclusively in a mid-paced speak-snarl reminiscent of the spoken-word vocals he used in Cradle, but with the portentous melodrama replaced with a knowing grin.  Combined with his newly-indulged fondness for puns and joke song-titles (‘Even Your Blood Group Rejects Me’ is either brilliant or the exact opposite), he seems to be reinventing himself as the Goth Martin Walkyier – and doing a surprisingly good job of it.

There is nothing “extreme” about The Great & Secret Show, and little of the blood-and-thunder melodrama that traditional Metal is built around, but if the idea of catchy, groovy Pop Metal with dance sensibilities and a prominent sense of humour appeals, you could do a lot worse.

 

7.0/10

Devilment on Facebook

 

RICHIE HR