How to best describe what Armed for Apocalypse’s Ritual Violence (Candlelight Records) sounds like? While I’ve never had the pleasure, I imagine it’s much like jamming a knife into an electrical outlet. Not sure if that analogy will work for everyone. Well, it’s like witnessing the centerpiece car wreck from Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof. Shit, barely anyone saw that movie. Just know that it’s abrasive and the average listener should approach with upmost caution.
Rising UK hardcore metallers Conjurer have booked an extensive tour of the UK and Europe for later this year. Direct support from Earth Moves, LLNN, and Armed for Apocalypse. The news follows the bands electric set at Download Festival. The general on-sale tickets available from Wednesday 19th June. Pre-sale for London and Manchester available now at the link below. The band is still supporting their debut LP Mire, released in March 2018, via Holy Roar Records.Continue reading →
We have a LOT of time for UK Sludgey Hardcore/Metal act Allfather. Not only is their new album And All Will Be Desolation (Rotting Throne) a beast of a record, they also possess an arsenal of MASSIVE riffs, and those riffs also kill fascists. It’s true, it’s damn true! Staunchly political, and marrying this to a love of underground HEAVY music, spearheading a campaign to share and promote their contemporaries and those they love and share ideals with online, it only made sense to ask vocalist Tom Ballard to talk us through some of his favourite EPs of 2018. Continue reading →
Weirdo Fest III has confirmed their lineup, which will be held at the Midtown Barfly in Sacramento, CA on August 29-30, 2015.
Saturday, August 29th: Nekrogoblikon Warbringer Will Haven Alter Beast Early Graves Armed For Apocalypse Divided Trigger Kill The Precedent Club Destruction Of A King Lifeforms Aethere
Rappers: J. Terrible Takticz Abernasty
Sunday, August 30th: The Warriors Lionheart Headliner TBA My Iron Lung World of Pain Havenside Retaliate These Streets Bad Times Crew War Story NYHC Worst Intentions Raw Dawg Judgment Day Know Your Enemy xDEVOTIONx
Rappers: GFN & R3d Mr. Jet Black Abstract Ninjaa Dceased
Sepultura was one of the many bands to perform on the Rock In Rio Festival in Brazil, as well as their stints in Spain and Portugal. They were one of the few Brazilians acts to participate who also gained international acclaim. Beginning in 1985, they invited international artists such as Queen, George Benson, James Taylor, Rod Stewart, AC/DC and Yes to participate. They are set to participate on the inauguralRock In Rio USA in Las Vegas in May.
Frontman Derrick Green spoke about what this festival is about. “One of the reasons is it was one of the first festivals that ever occured here. They happened to have bands like AC/DC and Ozzy Osbourne and other international artists. It became an incredible event for Brazil for such a long time. They were able to achieve a lot. The festival was responsible for making sure it happens every year, and being able to capture many different generations of people, whether they’re old or young.”
“I think what draws internationally is they don’t go through too many problems to make things work out. They’re able to draw incredible acts and they’re getting support to make it happen.”
Since they have performed on this festival before, Green shared his dream lineup if he were booking the event.
“There’s a few of the bands who have already been playing like Metallica and Slayer, but there’s a lot of smaller bands like a band from Cleveland, OH that I’m a big fan of called Keelhaul. I don’t know if they’re even still together. I would definitely have them or other bands like this band from California called Armed For Apocalypse.”
“I’d have to go down a list but bands like The Prodigy or Ministry – bands we’ve done covers of. A good mix of different bands which would be cool to see.”
Crowbar has spent much of 2014 touring behind their tenth full length record titled Symmetry In Black (out now via EOne Music). Already headlining a tour with Revocation, Havok, Fit For An Autopsy and Armed For Apocalypse; the Symmetry In Winter tour with Unearth and Black Crown Initiate, and appearing at Maryland Death Fest and the Scion AV Rockfest, they have kept themselves busy and also celebrating 25 years of the band in the meantime.
Photo By Keith Chachkes
One thing frontman and guitarist Kirk Windstein did was bow out of his long time “other” band Down in 2013, which the decision helped with him focus on Crowbar instead of balancing multiple bands.
He admits that leaving Down allowed him to put all of his time into Crowbar without juggling schedules. “I do have a clearer vision but it’s not that I have another band to worry about. It’s just that Down is a democracy and so is Crowbar. The difference is, and when I told Phillip [Anselmo], he understood me. ‘You’ve always been in charge of your career. You did what you wanted to do. If you wanted to stop doing Down and do Superjoint [Ritual], you did it. If you wanted to stop that and concentrate on a record label, you did it. Stop that and do a solo record, you did it.’ He was very cool about it, of course. He is my brother. I love him until the day I die. He was very cool about everything.”
“The situation for me in my life had changed to simplify my life was the smartest thing I’ve ever done. Now I’m in control. Now as in an arrogant asshole – I’m in control of when I tour, where I tour, how long I tour. My wife does merchandise. To us, Crowbar is a family business. So if we’re not on the road doing Crowbar, we’re at home being a family. To me, it was a logical, perfect step for us as a family. You saw what you saw and this band kicks ass. I put us against anybody. I ain’t scared of nobody. We don’t need bells and whistles, explosions, dragons, demons, light shows or none of that bullshit. I’m proud of what we do and I believe in what we do. That’s why I’m doing it.”
He said he likes how things are moving along with Crowbar and has regained control of his career. “Now I call my own shots. At my age…not to sound like a dick but I deserve to be in control of my own life and my career. With Crowbar, I do that.”
There have been a lot of killer tours of late, but few packed the variety and the punch of the bill accompanying Crowbar on their latest jaunt. Rather than take out a bunch of similar bands with an overlapping fanbase, the creators of this tour package took a bunch of cool bands that are all slightly different in genre and fandom make-up and sent them out to do something really unique. It definitely worked, because for a Tuesday night, the upstairs of the Palladium was fairly thick with heshers and heifers by the time my awesome photog for the night, Meg Loyal, and I rolled into the venue.
Armed For Apocalypse was already on when I got in, and they seemed to be going over well with the the early crowd. Apparently I also missed a slew of great local talent, which pissed me off. Promoters of shows: stop beginning before 7 PM on a weeknight (Tuesday) when most of your crowd is driving from 65 miles away or more during rush hour. Armed… meanwhile put on a killer show I wasn’t expecting this early. Their talents lay somewhere between a sludgy metal base with some grooves, death metal flair, and occasional flashes of technicality. They also had a gang-vocal-thing going on from most of their band that I liked too. We’ll be looking out for these guys again!
Fit For An Autopsy has been grinding it out live non-stop this year. They continue to pick up steam since adding Greg Wilburn to their ranks. The Palladium crowd also takes a fancy to this band they know very well from numerous shows and fests, and so the crowd was amped up and the pit was instantly activated. These guys always put on a killer performance and inspired the best, most violent pit action of the evening. There is just something about the way they carry themselves with confidence and the brutality of their style, I can really see them stepping up to the level of a Suicide Silence or a Whitechapel when their next album drops in 2015. You’ve been warned, don’t sleep on this band!
At the midway point of the night, I caught myself feeling very positive about the current scene, and that a tour like this can even happen and pass through our neck of the woods. Sentiment. I need to watch that! Meanwhile Havok came on and clearly had some of their own fanbase in the house, because their entire front of the stage was more or less a total circle pit for their set. A band that has hit the 10-year mark and also has a big following in our area, had a triumphant feeling hitting the stage and thrashing their balls off. Front man David Sanchez, like his entire band, has some sweet musical skills and has a shriek not unlike Mark Osegueda of Death Angel, who make a fair comparison for the band too. Special note goes to Marshall Wieczorek of Wretched, who was filling in for Pete Webber behind the kit did a great job. The band recently signed with Century Media and are also planning a new album for next year.
The Palladium, even the more intimate part of the venue upstairs, can be a clusterfuck on any given day. It was cool seeing a lot of my my local brethren of metal fans and friends at the show. It had been a very heavy week of shows in our surrounding area, with many national and local bands worth seeing. Still, I was impressed that by the time Revocation took the stage, the place was pretty full. Ans why not? Being a Boston band and playing this venue was practically a hometown show and many people in the house were sporting their Revocation shirts (a no-no to me, but good for the band I suppose). The anticipation was higher than usual, since the band has signed a new deal with Metal Blade and are on the cusp of dropping their new album Deathless. The band played a tight set with a mix of “hits” and new songs that left bodies sweaty on jaws on the floor. As usual, a lot of folks are just here for the guitar fireworks in the form of Dave Davidson and Dan Gargiulo. Their rhythm section was augmented tonight too, with Jon “The Charn” Rice (Scorpion Child, ex-Job For a Cowboy, The Red Chord) filling in for Phil DuBois (arm injury). Revocation is just one of those bands that wears many hats and pulls it off extremely well.
Heading back stage to interview Revocation, I was just wrapping up my chat when I heard the strains of the first few songs of Crowbar’s set. The went on pretty quick with little turnover apparently, but I didn’t miss much. The crowd was doing the “slow acknowledgment” head-bang to ‘Symmetry In White’ when I finally made it back downstairs. Kirk Windstein made a funny crack about turning all the lights off, then just relegating the rest of the night to a sparse spotlight, that was befitting of this workman-like band. As their set list shows Crowbar is as important to this genre as they relevant today, with a string of great songs and new material that holds up too. Kirk likes to slide to the side of the microphone when not singing, an unintentional but necessary move that puts him where he belongs, front and center. He has a solid group of guys behind him these days, but it makes him shine that much brighter.
About half-way through the set I realized this was about the best Crowbar show I’d ever seen. Kirk has raised his game up a few more levels than he was already at over the years and his laser focus on this band has definitely paid off. While a lot of people associate the band with ‘All I Had (I Gave)’, it was a song like ‘Planets Collide’ that really write the story of this band in granite. Kirk, his voice up to a mic and his hands around a guitar neck are a treasure to the metal community. I hope we get to enjoy them for a long time.
Who says that heavy has to be played on a seven or eight string guitar? Returning to defying this trend are Armed For Apocalypse, a four-piece from California who are creating a blisteringly heavy track on just six strings. Returning with their second album, The Road will End (Ironclad Recordings) grinds its way through 40 minutes of pure sludgecore destruction.Continue reading →