Monoliths - Monoliths dry cough records ghostcultmag

 

This torturously heavy UK trio Monoliths is so recently formed that I couldn’t dig up anything on them for weeks. Knowing that it was comprised of members from Bismuth, Moloch and Ommadon, however, enlightened me to my fate for the following half-hour.

Getting crushed by a Fuck-off monster of a traction engine. If our US cousins aren’t too sure what one of those is…well, it’s not an easy way to go. The first of two colossal tracks on début Monoliths (Dry Cough Records /Crown & Throne Ltd.), ‘Perpetual Motion’, begins and ends with a disturbing fuzz that leaves you in no doubt what’s coming and, in closing, what has just been. Tanya Byrne’s swerving bass thrum knocks you off your feet but, as the track ebbs and flows, nuances appear as mini-crescendos swirling around the mind. David Tobin’s solo breaks the Om-esque hypnosis which the terrifying riff and Henry Davies’ wondrously tempered drums hammer through the solar plexus, hardly breaking the lumbering pace yet bewitching the senses with its pulverising might. I’m not usually one for instrumentals but this carries me to far-off lands on the back of a yeti.

The monumental, everlasting pummel of ‘The Omnipresence of Emptiness’ takes a short while to move through the volume, and to that familiar bass bellow. Yet when the whole thing crashes together it is a life-ending implosion, carrying depth and weight suitable for the occasion. Missing the latent groove of its forefather, subsequently this is the harder track with which to find an immediate affinity until the most unnerving, horrifying roar introduces a shattering solo. It’s here where one realises the flattening power of the drums, while the other ingredients of this plundering sortie become so unfathomably heavy I completely lost where I was, bemused by the sheer weight yet moved by a scintilla of emotion.

Look, this is no epiphany. It is, however, a near-perfect slab of evil Doom and an excuse for lovers of this stuff to completely lose their shit. In making something usually so monotonous and pulverising sound immediate, occasionally moving, and unmissable, Monoliths prove themselves an essential addition to the Low-end canon.

8.5/10.0

PAUL QUINN

skillet invincible video clip

Modern rock band Skillet have released a new video for their track ‘Feel Invincible’ from their forthcoming album Unleashed, due out on August 5th. You can watch the video at this link or below:

 

Frontman John Cooper commented on Unleashed:

I wanted to make an album that could make people feel the music. I always aim to write songs to which people can relate, but this time I wanted to see not only how the songs would connect lyrically, but also how they’d connect musically.”

Unleashed will be the follow-up to 2013’s Rise album which earned the band a Grammy nomination. Along with the band teamwork of husband and wife John (lead vocals, bass) and Korey Cooper (rhythm guitar, keyboards, programming, backing vocals), Seth Morrison (lead guitar) and Jen Ledger (drums, vocals), they worked with a production team of Brian Howes, (Daughtry, Halestorm, Nickelback), Kevin Churko (Ozzy Osbourne, Disturbed, Five Finger Death Punch), Neal Avron (Twenty One Pilots, Walk The Moon, Fall Out Boy, Linkin Park) and Seth Mosley (Newsboys, TobyMac) on Unleashed. Pre-orders for the album are now live:

Skilled Unleashed album cover ghostcultmag

Unleashed track listing:

Feel Invincible

Back From The Dead

Stars

I Want To Live

Undefeated

Famous

Lions

Out Of Hell

Burn It Down

Watching For Comets

Saviors Of The World

The Resistance

VIII - Decathexis thirdeyerex ghostcultmag

The PR notes accompanying Decathexis (Third-I Rex), the second album from Cagliari firebrands VIII, advise comparisons with Extreme experimentalists Deathspell Omega and Manes. The reality, however, is a progressive aural violence full of invention.

Opener ‘Symptom’s early exchanges see a stripped down, Blackened underpin, quirky in its structure and graced by WLKN’s snarled growl, suddenly tempered by maudlin drops which lend themselves to a Shoegaze feel. That Manes comparison manifests itself with a Jazzy sax, which introduces a dream-like sequence: a piano-led ambience; a street walk followed by a nightmarish descent through rapid atonal chords, Freeform pace changes and hostile growls, with those ivories beginning the road to a sample-laden coda in hair-raising fashion.

The early stages of the ensuing ‘Diagnosis’ beautifully blend an emotional, atmospheric Doom with more of that wistful saxophone and the kind of Deathly, downward spirals perfected by the likes of Pyrrhon. A meander through eerie gentleness is followed by a rampant, horrific explosion, the throat morphing from growl to Blackened rasp in a terrifying escalation of anger. This is the depiction of a war zone yet, replete with a subtle piano centrepiece, the apocalyptic, heartbreaking aftermath of battle is gloriously displayed also.

There’s a Blues-Punk edge to the bludgeon of closer ‘Prognosis’ which lends a more traditional edge but the experimentation is still evident: the sparing, neurotic riffs given a tremolo effect; the atmospheric blast of classical acoustic; the brief, gradual drop once again full of melancholy and portent. It’s WLKN’s voice which again provides the savagery, especially in the tolling, Avant-garde atonality of the second movement: his screams and whispers demonical in accompanying the hydraulic Industria and Marco Porcu’s staggering stickwork.

This constant movement through disparate fundamentals can lead to ‘Prognosis’ occasionally feeling a touch difficult to engage with, its cosmic yet serene finale an ineffectual end to the urgency of the previous 45 minutes. The whole is nevertheless an absorbing tour de force, its manic nature running in perfect tandem with a moving ambience to incite all manner of emotion. By no means an easy listen, Decathexis is nevertheless a hugely rewarding journey.

8.0/10.0

PAUL QUINN

Maryland Deathfest 2017 first wave of bands ghostcultmag

Maryland Deathfest, the long running American metal festival institution has announced their first wave of bands for MDF XV in 2017. Headlined so far by Morbid Angel and Autopsy, the first wave of bands includes Siege, Terrorizer, Macabre, Akercocke (Exclusive U.S. Appearance), Behexen (Exclusive U.S. Appearance), Brodequin, Decrepit Birth, Dopethrone, Embalmer, In The Woods… (Exclusive U.S. Appearance!), Iron Lung, Kerasphorus, Macabre, Nightbringer, Nordjevel, Sargeist (Exclusive U.S. Appearance!), and Usurper. In addition to special appearances denoted above, Morbid Angel will be performing with their new/old lineup including Steve Tucker, Terrorizer will perform all of their World Downfall album, and many more surprises to come. Limited early bird (4-day) passes go on sale today at 11 am EST at this link. Once these sell out, more will be released will be released at a later date.

Maryland Deathfest 2017 lineup so far:

Acid King

Akercocke (UK) – Exclusive U.S. appearance!

Autopsy

Behexen (Finland) – Exclusive U.S. appearance!

Brodequin

Decrepit Birth

Dopethrone

Embalmer

In The Woods… (Norway) – Exclusive U.S. appearance!

Iron Lung

Kerasphorus

Macabre

Morbid Angel (with Trey Azagthoth and Steve Tucker)

Nightbringer

Nordjevel (Norway)

Sargeist (Finland) – Exclusive U.S. appearance!

Siege

Terrorizer (World Downfall set)

Usurper

Kosha Dillz and Matisyahu. Photo credit by Ed Jansen

Kosha Dillz and Matisyahu. Photo credit by Ed Jansen

Indie Hip-Hop star Kosha Dillz has dropped a new video for his single ‘Dodging Bullets’ from his forthcoming new album What I Do All Day & Pickle, releasing July 15th. The track features Matisyahu, who also appears in the video. You can watch the clip at this link or below:

 

Kosha Dillz commented on the track:

When Matis wrote the hook, it first sounded like ‘dodging bullets’ from war, but I soon learned it was a metaphor for personal relationships. For me, the song has come to represent so much more upon performing it. Every time we play it, it makes you feel different. That is powerful to me.”

Matisyahu also commented, explaining the meaning of the track, referring to “anti-Semitic attacks against Jews and Israelis by the BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions] movement.” Matisyahu was recently shot at as a result of his stance against BDS.

This particular ‘bullet’ backfired on the BDS movement, as Jews and non-Jews spoke up about the injustice of the only publicly recognized Jew on the festival lineup being called out to promote a political agenda. The outcry from fans of all backgrounds grew loud enough that even the country of Spain itself denounced the festival for giving into the BDS movement, and as a result, the festival asked me to perform again.

Approximently [one] hundred BDS ‘bullies’ created a pyramid of antagonism trying to block my view of the fans while waiving large Palestinian flags, continually giving me the middle finger, and throwing shoes at me all while holding signs reading insults like ‘Naziyahu,’”

Body Count-5

After previously announcing their signing to Century Media Records, Body Count, the hardcore metal band led by Hip-Hop legend Ice-T have now dubbed their new album they are working on, entitled Bloodlust. The album is set for release in 2017. Bloodlust is being produced by Will Putney known for his work on the last Body Count album, Manslaughter, and Miss May I among others.

 

BODY-COUNT-MANSLAUGHTER-1425

 

Hellyeah Undeniable album cover ghostcultmag

Once again Hellyeah has proven why they are dubbed with the name “supergroup”. This all American heavy metal band consists of many of the biggest names of metal to date. Including vocalist Chad Gray of Mudvayne, former guitarist Tom Maxwell of Nothingface, bass player Kyle Sanders (Bloodsimple/Monstro), guitarist Christian Brady, and former Pantera drumming legend Vinnie Paul. Release their fifth album since their debut in 2007, entitled Unden!able (Eleven Seven Music).

This in your face power house of an album will get your body begging for the pit. From beginning to end the album shows the raw talent of the five member team. Fast paced riffs, wicked blastbeats, brutal break downs, and demonic vocals, this thirteen track album reminds us of what it means to be “Born and Breed a metalhead”.

The album opens up with ‘!’. This powerful intro begins raising the intensity inside your body until you are slapped in the face by track 2 ‘X’. This track is full of a strong lyrical rhythm accompanied with powerful double bass, strong break downs, and mind shredding riffs. Then it leads my personal favorite song on the album track 3 ‘Scratch a lie’. Chad Grey brings those blood chilling screeches, and fast paced lyrics that made him the monster he is today. This song will make you want start a mosh pit at your family reunion. The fourth track ‘Be Undin!able’ is what I like to call the anthem song. Most albums have them. It is the song where it seems to bring the crowd together, though heavy and still has the possibility to knock your teeth out, it’s a song with a positive message and encourages us to stand together as one.

Next song ‘Human’ was the first single off the album. This song gave you the sneak peek of this monstrous album. Though not as heavy as the rest, it still gives you the adrenaline pumping, head banging feeling the rest of the album gives you. The album slows down a bit with the next couple tracks. Though still pure metal, it is just not as in your face as the beginning half. ‘Leap of Faith’, ‘Blood Plague’, the Phil Collins cover of “I Don’t Care Anymore” and ‘Live or Die’ bring you back to the typical Hellyeah style, the heavy metal outlaw, showing a little bit of that southern side of metal. ‘I Don’t Care Any More’ features some leads courtesy of Vinnie Paul’s brother, Dimebag Darrell Abbott, making an appearance via tapes from beyond the grave.

Then there is the track ‘Love Falls’. A melodic ballad that pulls at the heart-strings. Chads’ lyrics transport you to a heartbreak we have all received before, showing his embarrassment and humanity. It’s a refreshing song in the midst of such chaos and brutality. Then the sirens fill your ears. A short intro ’10-34′ that leads into a riot, ‘STARTARIOT’. This song alone makes me want to bleed in a pit. The impact of the drums, the lyrics, guitar, amazing bass riffs, all of it. It’s the perfect storm for a circle pit. Lastly, ‘Grave’. The last song of the album. Just as strong and in your face but has a nice fade out giving you a sense of rejuvenation. Like you just won a war. All and all this album is strong, fast, brutal, and most importantly, HEAVY!

In closing. This album is a must have for any metal fan. It shows the roots and development of our beloved genre. Combining southern and heavy metal together into a sweet harmony of chaos. I recommend this album to anyone and it will be in my playlist for a while. Did they make a great album. I say Hellyeah.

8.0/10

TIM STEBBINS