For millennia, civilizations around the world have passed on the harrowing folklore of mermaids for generations. The chilling tales of these murderous sirens luring unsuspecting sailors to a watery grave with their enchantingly ethereal voices have captivated people across many cultures for centuries. These tales serve as a testament to – not only how powerful a voice can be – but also how important the voice is as an instrument. And if you’re an Abnormality fan, you know this to be very true especially in the case of their new album, Sociopathic Constructs (Metal Blade Records).
Check out all of today’s new releases in the music world! Continue reading
Abnormality unleashed Mechanisms of Omniscience to the masses earlier this year via Metal Blade Records(read our 8.5/10 review), and they’ve have been touring non-stop in support of the crushing new record. They just kicked off their tour in support of The Black Dahlia Murder and Napalm Death, and just to get you more excited for this current trek, we have a new video for your viewing pleasure. Continue reading
The Black Dahlia murder has added dates to their already extensive fall touring slate. After dates with Max & Iggor Cavalera Return To Roots, Allegaeon, Combichrist, All Hail The Yeti, and Oni for some performances across North America, the band will begin a co-headline tour with grindcore masters Napalm Death. Set to begin November 1st, this “Abysmal Predator” sees Abnormality, Pig Destroyer, Misery Index, and Power Trip as support on select performances. The Black Dahlia Murder will also headline a few shows this fall too.
The Black Dahlia Murder commented:
“It is our great pleasure to once again reunite with our long-time pals in Napalm Death; we really hit it off with them when we were just little tykes on our first-ever European tour so many years ago. To this day, Napalm remain a vital force in music and are some of my absolute heroes. It feels great to finally be able to announce this amazing line-up we’ve been brewing…Keeping a secret this good was killing me inside! All of the bands are absolutely killer and we couldn’t be more proud to be considered a part of this elite. We’ll see you this fall, bring your helmet!”
The Black Dahlia Murder tour dates with Max & Iggor Cavalera Return To Roots, Allegaeon, Combichrist, All Hail The Yeti, Oni
Sep 12: LVCS- Las Vegas, NV
Sep 13: Sunshine Theater- Albuquerque, NM
Sep 15: Exit / In – Nashville, TN
Sep 16: Diamond Concert Hall- Louisville, KY
Sep 17: Montage Music Hall – Rochester, NY
Sep 19: The Concourse – Knoxville, TN
Sep 20: Georgia Theater – Athens, GA
Sep 22: Diamond Ballroom – Oklahoma City, OK
Oct 8: Call The Office – London, ON – w/ First Fragment
Oct 9: Salle Multi – Ville de Quebec, QC – w/ First Fragment
Oct 10: Maverick’s Bar- Ottawa, ON #
Oct 11: Opera House – Toronto, ON #
Oct 12: Les Foufounes – Montreal, QC #
#=Max & Iggor Cavalera Return To Roots, The Black Dahlia Murder, Allegaeon, Oni only
The Black Dahlia Murder tour dates
Oct. 27: The Old Crow – Middletown, OH @ w/ Misery Index
Oct. 28: Apollo Theater – Belvidere, IL @ (no support)
Oct. 29: Fubar – St. Louis, MO @ w/ Misery Index
Oct. 30 Rock Island Live – Wichita, KS @ w/ Abnormality
The Black Dahlia Murder and Napalm Death “Abysmal Predator” co-headline tour dates
w/ Pig Destroyer (Nov 13-15), Misery Index (Nov 1-11), Power Trip (Nov 12-21), Abnormality (Nov 1-21)
Nov 1: Top Deck – Farmington, NM
Nov 2: Club Red – Phoenix, AZ
Nov 3: Observatory – Santa Ana, CA
Nov 4: The Regent – Los Angeles, CA
Nov 5: The Chapel – San Francisco, CA
Nov 7: Depot – Salt Lake City, UT
Nov 8: Summit Music Hall – Denver, CO
Nov 9: Riot Room – Kansas City, MO
Nov 10: Bottom Lounge – Chicago, IL
Nov 11: Agora Ballroom – Cleveland, OH
Nov 12: Underground Arts – Philadelphia, PA
Nov 13: Sound Stage – Baltimore, MD
Nov 14: Brighton Music Hall – Boston, MA
Nov 15: Les Poisson Rouge – New York, NY
Nov 16: Arizona Pete’s – Greensboro, NC
Nov 17: Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
Nov 19: Numbers – Houston, TX
Nov 20: Rock Box – San Antonio, TX
Nov 21: Gas Monkey – Dallas, TX
The Black Dahlia Murder tour dates
Nov 22: Hi Tone – Memphis, TN w/ Abnormality
Nov 23: Diamond Pub – Louisville, KY (no support)
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To death metal fans outside of the New England area that have not had the pleasure of listening to/seeing Abnormality, then their latest release, Mechanisms of Omniscience (Metal Blade), should be the next new album you listen to. Forming back in 2005 in Massachusetts, the brutal death metal group has established a gigantic footprint in the local scene that has formed respect in the hearts of all locals (fans and other bands). This record being their début on Metal Blade, the bar was set pretty high. Without fail, they have easily not only reached, but surpassed my expectations.
It may be a limitation with the genre of trying to write a full length album with songs that can remain memorable on their own, but Abnormality has managed to do that here. One of my absolute favorite songs on the album (and maybe in their catalog to date) is ‘Synthetic Pathogenesis’. This track brings forward both sides of the band. On one hand you have the technical expertise with speedy fretwork and drum fills that will leave your head spinning. On the other hand, the aggressiveness that pokes its ugly head out halfway through the song with a breakdown that would make even the most legendary of death metal acts cry. Another great example of this is ‘Vigilant Ignorance’ (which we can also agree is a pretty sweet song title for this day and age). Original members Jeremy Henry (guitars) and Jay Blaisdell (drums) show off their musicianship between a face-melting solo and drum work that not even Shaun T from those corny Beach Body videos could pull off in a cardio video. For those not familiar with this group, another stand out is the ever impressive death metal growls from frontwoman, Mallika Sundaramurthy. With each release, I have watched her grow as a death metal vocalist and wish I could hit the gutturals she hits on Mechanisms of Omniscience. The closing track, ‘Consuming Infinity’ is the perfect way to end this journey with a bolded exclamation point. Technicality, brutality, and a some slam sprinkled in gives this album complete and satisfying closure.
From the demo in 2007 up through Mechanisms of Omniscience, Abnormality show no signs of slowing down or writing cookie cutter albums like many of their predecessors have done. Metal Blade Records have struck gold with this band and this is only the first album in what appears to be a bright future. While most of us lucky natives to the Northeastern portion of the US have had years of fun with this band, it is time for the rest of the world to jump on this bandwagon.
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California death metallers Flesh Consumed will be releasing their third full length release Hymn For The Leeches out later in 2015 via Unique Leader Records. The record is being recorded in several locales and boasts the smoldering lineup of Corey Athos on vocals, Shaune Kelley (Dim Mak, ex-Hate Eternal, ex-Ripping Corpse) on guitars, Andrew Guthrie (ex-Monstrosity) on bass, and Shane Elwell (Images Of Violence, Oppressive Force, VBT) on drums with guest vocal slots by Matti Way (Pathology, Abominable Putridity etc.), Steve Tucker (ex- Morbid Angel, Warfather etc.), Mallika Sundaramurthy (Parasitic Extirpation, Castrator, Abnormality etc.) and more.
The EP features originals and covers of Alice In Chains’ “We Die Young,” with Revocation’s Dave Davidson guest shredding, and a duet with Mallika Sundaramurthy of Abnormality and Parasitic Extirpation on Pat Benetar’s “Heartbreaker.”
We Die Young [Alice in Chains cover]
Heartbreaker [Pat Benatar cover]
So what should you do to entertain yourself on a pre Veteran’s Day Sunday night? If you live in New England, and you are smart (sorry… “smaahht”), you go to see Morbid Angel play the album Covenant in it’s entirety at The Middle East in Cambridge, MA. Since this show was held at a venue with a maximum capacity of something like 575, it was not surprising that it sold out. If you were one of the anxious people shivering outside in line just to to be turned away, well, what did you expect? Mid-sized venue + Sunday + Morbid Angel + Covenant = buy your ticket ahead of time. In all fairness I had my own boneheaded, “What did I expect?,’moment that night as well. I’ll get to that later.
When I saw the announcement of the tour, a three things came to my mind. One, it’s been 20 years since Covenant came out already, wow. Two, there was no question I was going to be there, and three, what a smart move by the band to tour based on the album’s anniversary after all the rumblings in the metal community over Morbid Angels’ most recent release, Illud Divinum Insanus. We metal music fans can be, well, major pains in the asses when it comes to the bands that we hold dearest. When a band makes an album that is a departure from what we expect, we take it as a personal affront to our sensibilities and can be very unforgiving. I am not a fan of the last album but it didn’t change my opinion about what Morbid Angel is and has been. To me they are the best death metal band to date, period. Their first 4 albums are still untouchable in my eyes and I just can’t get behind “fans’that write off a band based on one album. I mean it’s one freaking album, get over it. All the hubbub over it made me think about the fine art world and what it would be like if some of our greatest painters never tried anything new. For every great painting, there are dozens, maybe hundreds of what might be considered less than stellar ones and some that you might think downright suck. It happens, you try things and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Unfortunately, not everyone sees it that way and they can be pretty vocal about it. This is why it was great for Morbid Angel to go on this tour. To remind everyone how insanely great the band really is.
So anyway, I make the trek to Cambridge and get there in good time, park the car and walk over to the venue. Doors opened at seven and I figured the first band went on at 7:30. Unfortunately, I forgot about the line to get in. As is the case with most smaller to mid-sized venues, there is one line at the single entrance where you go to get or give your ticket as well as enter the venue. This makes for slow entry and with a sold out show there is guaranteed to be a line around the block. I planned on getting there just before the first band started, as I normally would for this venue. What was I thinking? Obviously I wasn’t. Took me a bit to get in then I went to the side ramp area where I would photograph most of the show from. Yes I missed the first band, native musical smut mongers, Sexcrement. Having seen them a number of times before, I am familiar with the stage show they have. There are usually one or more female dancers in various states of undress, sometimes in bondage attire, romping around the stage and getting the crowd into a bit of a frenzy. I asked one of my fellow photographer friends that was there, lets call him The Dude, how their set was to which he replied that it was “awesome.’I asked if they had the dancers and he said, “yeah they had a few but none of them had dicks.’Alrighty then.
After a few minutes of banter with some friends, it’s time for Abnormality, a local technical death metal outfit about to do a stint of shows in Colombia including a headlining spot on the Bogota Grind Death Fest XII on November 16th. As usual the band punished the crowd with it’s super technical and no less punishing riffage while singer Mallika belted out her soul reaping growls. Yes, she is a small statured female whose vocals could shred the larynx of most men twice her size but the band is not about some front woman novelty. The band delivers on all fronts. From the insanely complex bass and dual guitar stylings to the pummeling drum beats and fills, this five piece needs no crappy gimmick or girlie points to prove its worth. They played a number of songs off their newest release, Contaminating the Hive Mind which sounded great. As expected pits broke out and hair was flying in the crowd. After they played the last song of the set there were numerous cries for more.
A little break and then the local four piece formed in 2008, Scalpel, was up at bat. They are sort of a grind/death mix. They played a good set and the crowd was into it. I had a hard time hearing one of the two vocalists from my vantage point but other than that they sounded on point. Most of the stage presence came from the bassist and the faces one of the vocalists was making. Their songs were hard for me to get into as they lean at times more towards grind and I am very particular with anything remotely grind so my opinion on their music must be taken with a grain of salt. Like I said they sounded tight and the crowd dug it. Maybe it’s just not my thing but I felt like there was just so much going on that it gave me audio overload. They also have a recent release out called Sorrow and Skin and if your into later Suffocation, this may be for you. They aren’t trying to re-invent the wheel or anything, and yeah, it may be pretty derivative, but if you are into that style, you’d like them and they are seemingly solid live.
So then there was VadimVon, the only non-local band on the bill and the band that’s on the touring package with Morbid Angel, at least for the Dark Funeral, Grave and Morbid Angel last year at The Palladium in Worcester and I know they did a local show at a Metal Thursday event at Ralph’s in Worcester not too long ago but I guess at that time they didn’t have a drummer and played to tracked beats. This time they had a real live drummer and although they would no longer play to recorded tracks for drums, they still had a track playing with synth’s and the like. The three piece hailing from South Carolina started playing to a somewhat bewildered crowd most likely because they weren’t very familiar with them. As the set progressed there were more than a few that were won over by the band and yet still others that stood and stared. I thought the set was played well.
Ok so by now the show was running just a tad late. Not by a lot but just enough for me to wonder if Morbid Angel would be able to play everything on the set list. Because this show was the fourth on the tour, the set list was not a secret and I knew it had songs from albums David Vincent didn’t even sing on, which I thought pretty cool. There aren’t a lot of bands, or vocalists, that will want to play songs that they didn’t record. I mean I have never seen Anthrax play John Bush songs when they are touring with Joey Belladonna. Yeah, maybe that’s not the best example but you get my point I hope. Back to the show. The lights go out, after a few seconds Morbid Angel walks on stage. Some blue lights come up and David Vincent greets the crowd. Before a single note was played, incredibly, a pit started. Before a single note! I just laughed. To be so excited about the prospect of it that you feel the need to start a pit in the middle of this packed place before you even hear them play anything. Well, they had reason to be pumped for this. They blistered the crowd without flinching, keeping the between song banter to extreme minimum. Thank you for that. How many times can you hear someone say, “How are you Boston?,”or “What a crowd you guys are,’or whatever crap they have to fill time with. They plowed through the entire album and it was plain awesome. Everything, the sound, the experience, the crowd, all of it. So then I assumed there would be a break before the encore but no, they went right from ‘God of Emptiness’ only taking a few seconds seemingly, and then right into ‘Where the Slime Live.’There was to be no break and no respite. The rest of the set was delivered with just as much force as the beginning. “Fall From Grace,’would mark the end of the set and was absolutely great. They waved and walked off. That was it. Fans just stood there looking at the stage in awe, sweaty, some out of breath, and probably hoping there would maybe be one more. Slowly, they moved their way about the place looking dazed from the show, the heat, and the crushing crowd but all the same glad for the experience.
What a great show. I only wish it was in a bigger venue with a bigger stage. Other than that, what more could you really ask for?
Words and Photos by Hillarie Jason of Hillarie Jason Photography