Hellfest has announced its 15th-anniversary lineup for summer 2020, and it looks like a dream! Already announced Faith No More, and Down will be joined by Deftones, System Of A Down, Incubus, Korn, Mastodon, Opeth, Deep Purple, Judas Priest, The Offspring, Infectious Grooves, The Darkness, Obituary, Death DTA (the Death tribute featuring members of Death), At The Gates, Entombed AD, Sacred Reich, Devin Townsend, Meshuggah, The Black Dahlia Murder, Dying Fetus, Misery Index, Mayhem, Abbath, Rotting Christ, Primordial, The Great Old Ones, Wardruna, The Hu, Taake, Watain, Alcest, Borknagar, Gaahl’s Wyrd, Electric Wizard, Baroness, Om, Witchcraft, Black Mountain, Elder, ASG, Envy, Mono, John Garcia & the Band of Gold, High On Fire, Pelican, Killing Joke, Perturbator, Life of Agony, 3TEETH, Inter Arma, Body Count, Suicidal Tendencies, Youth of Today, Slapshot, Jesus Piece, Higher Power, Social Distortion, Anti-Flag, Agnostic Front, Reverend Horton Heat, Grade 2, Code Orange, and many more. Hellfest takes place June 19-21 in Clisson, France near Paris and ticket info is coming soon! Continue reading
Gruesome made a lot of inroads with the release of their debut album Savage Land (out now via Relapse Records). Being that the members of the band are obviously huge fans of all things Chuck Schuldiner related, they also learned a number of secrets about their death metal hero while writing and recording their album.
Drummer Gus Rios elaborated on the subject:
“One of the things why, and I’m not giving away any of the trade secrets – a lot of what made Death what it was – I didn’t realize until I did this record. The way he put riffs one after another was very, very, very particular to Chuck. He had a very specific way that he arranges his songs and it wasn’t until I started recording that I was like – so that’s why this sounds so much like Death.”
“Matt [Harvey] unlocked the code. Technically Dan’s [Gonzalez] the better guitar player, but Matt is a musical genius. He knows a lot about songwriting and I actually called him and had a conversation about it. I’ve been listening to Death…what, almost 30 years now? It never dawned on me that Chuck used certain musical devices repeatedly. He wrote very specific riff stylings and again, it wasn’t until I did this that I [realized why] this shit was so good. That’s why this stuff sounds so much like that.”
While recording Savage Land, they recruited one time Death guitarist James Murphy to do a guest solo on a song. Being a friend of the band already, Rios felt having him participating on the Gruesome album and him giving them the ultimate thumbs up helped their credibility behind making such an album of music.
“One of the turning points of the band was when we were making the demos, I called James Murphy. I’ve been buddies with him forever. Death metal is a small genre. That’s the thing. If anybody’s a rock star in a death metal band, then you’re a fucking asshole. Nobody’s a rockstar.”
“Go across the street to that restaurant and ask anyone ‘do you know who Chuck Schuldiner is?’ They’re gonna go ‘who?’ Death metal’s a small little genre. So no one’s a rockstar. It’s a tight knit, everybody knows everyone, especially in Florida.”
“I called James and said ‘this is what I’m doing. It would be super cool if you could do a solo on it.’ Then he goes ‘alright. Send me the shit. Let me check it out.’ “
“Now it switched from James, my buddy to this is James fucking Murphy. This is the dude who was in Death. End period we’re trying to emulate. If he called me back and was like ‘this sucks’…abandon ship. It isn’t going to work.”
“Normally James texts me, but when my phone rings and I saw that it’s him – I hope he has something good to say. I answer it and he’s like ‘dude this is fucking killer!’ “
Having Murphy guesting on Savage Land was a huge honor for the Gruesome members. What meants a lot was also having the surviving members of Death also giving their blessing to them, which meant a lot to Rios.
“I remember we had a conversation about it and he was stoked. He was like ‘I loved the part you wanted me to solo. It’s perfect for what I wanted to do.’ I immediately called Matt and went ‘it’s on.’ James Murphy thinks we’re unsung good. If he thinks it’s good, dude it’s probably good. So that was a big turning point.”
“For guys like Terry [Butler] loves the band. For guys like that who were in the band and to be like ‘this shit is really good’…for us that’s like the seal of approval. Eric Greif – same thing. The guy managed Death forever and still manages all things Death and DTA. He was like ‘you guys are doing something good here. This is solid. I know you’re doing this from the right place and I know you guys love Chuck.’ It seems like all of the ducks are in a row. We’re all in this together. We all love Death. We sound enough like them obviously to love this. I love this.”
“We already have sort of the next three albums talked about and I guarantee you no one record will sound like the next.”
Lastly, he spoke about the Slayer cover of “Black Magic” found on the deluxe edition of Savage Land.
“The reason we did that was because Matt saw Death live in ’89 and they did that. Apparently that was one of Chuck’s favorite songs so that’s the back story on that. It was like ‘we should do some bonus tracks.’ We purposely did eight songs because Leprosy had eight songs. Spiritual Healing had eight songs.”
“There’s nothing that we did that Death did that we didn’t know very well. I produced the record and my motto was if it didn’t happen in ’88 then it ain’t gonna happen today. So aside from the two inch tape machine I couldn’t afford, I didn’t use a computer to edit drums. I used a microphone on a real guitar amp and played the songs all the way through. For the most part, I didn’t use a computer plug in to simulate a guitar. Some of those songs on the drums were one take all the way through. There are some parts that aren’t super perfect. I liked the whole performance. I feel good about it.”
“I remember when I first met Sean [Reinert] back in ’96. I started taking lessons with him. I’m worshipping him for Human and he’s like ‘that album’s riddled with fuck ups.’ I’m like I don’t hear any and he puts a CD in and goes ‘boom…boom…’ “
“Back in those days there was no computers. That’s the point. In those days you had to play your instrument. There was no getting around it. You had to play your shit. Sean was my teacher for about a year and a half before I moved here to LA. He’s changed so much the way I play drums, and we remain pretty much best friends to this day. To have him here tonight…it’s pretty cool.”
“He literally walked up and he was like ‘I’m here….this is your fault!’ The other night we played with Obituary and Don comes up to me and says ‘killer show. I made the old ladies jump.’ I said ‘I learned by watching you!’ It’s all full circle.”
Obscura is streaming the music video for the title track for their forthcoming album Akróasis below. The album is out on February 5, 2016 via Relapse Records. The band has an upcoming European tour in March and April 2015 with Death DTA posted below.
OBSCURA With Death DTA European Tour
Mar 24: La Laiterie – Strasbourg, FR
Mar 25: CCOO Villeurbonne – Lyon, FR
Mar 26: Kiff – Aarau, CH
Mar 27: Deposito Giordani – Pordenone, IT
Mar 28: Cueva – Cagliari, IT
Mar 29: Circo Colony – Brescia, IT
Mar 30: Traffic Rome, IT
Apr 01: Fuzz Live Music Club – Athens, GR
Apr 02: Principal Theater – Thessaloniki, GR
Apr 03: Mixtape 5 – Sofia, BU
Apr 04: Events Hall – Bucharest, RO
Apr 05: Dom Omladine – Belgrade, RS
Apr 06: Barba Negra Music Club – Budapest, HU
Apr 07: Fleda – Brno, CZ
Apr 08: Colloseum – Kosice, SK
Apr 09: Mega Club – Katowice, PL
Apr 10: Alibi – Wroclaw, PL
Released twelve years ago, Albert Mudrian’s anthology of Death Metal has stood the test of time; an engaging read taking you on a loose zig-zag through the birth and, um, death of Death Metal. Unveiled through the eyes of its’ progenitors, there is method to the tale that begins in England, moves to Tampa, takes in Entombed and Scandinavia and reserves a special mention for the oft overlooked Dutch input of Gorefest and Pestilence.
Undertaking a task as complicated as trying to find the true source of the Nile (Karl Sanders – badoom tish!), Mudrian begins his tale by trying to uncover the birth of what became known as Death Metal, settling on Napalm Death and their 1985 era hybrid (Siege meets Discharge meets Celtic Frost) of hardcore punk, thrash and a desire to be harder, faster, sicker than everyone else. The book then focuses on the influence of their Scum release (Earache) on other vital artists, like Morbid Angel (via Pete Sandoval, then in Terrorizer) and the incestuous, small nature of the scene where, due to tape trading and pen palling, most of Death Metal’s predominant protagonists all knew and inspired each other.
As the tales unfurl, you find yourself swept up and wanting to revisiting all the classic albums that are mentioned – Possessed ‘s Seven Churches (Combat), Pestilence Consvming Impvlse (Roadrunner), Massacre From Beyond (the story of Massacre’s signing to Earache being another fun aside revealed in the book) and Master Master (Displeased) forming part of my own soundtrack while reading.
The re-issue picks things up as the roots of recovery were just sprouting through the top soil at the tail end of the 90’s, highlighting the rise of a new DM general in Nile. After touching on the diversification of Death Metal of this millennium, including the mind-sucking brilliance of Portal and their focus on eldritch, dark atmospheres, Mudrian covers the popularity of technical Death Metal (a section that introduced me to Necrophagist and Obscura as you can’t help but be enthused to check all the recommends as you go) over the last decade. The tome now concludes by covering the return to the scene of the apex predators with Carcass, At The Gates, Death (DTA) and others reforming to reap the benefits of their respective legacies and the rewards of the now lucrative and high profile festival market, and to satisfy an urge that, in the case of Bill Steer, they didn’t even know they had. If you read the original, the added content is an agreeable appendix.
Peppered with short anecdotes, but above all an informative and enjoyable potted history of Death Metal, all imparted with the enthusiastic love that a doting parent has for a child, Choosing Death is an affectionate, if whistlestop, walk through of the story of Death Metal to date. In the authors’ own words, he is “Just a fan. Just like you.” He just happens to be a damn good writer who has written The Improbable History of Death Metal & Grindcore. And updated it.
The MOTOCULTOR FESTIVAL will be held August 14, 15 and 16, 2015 at Saint-Nolff in Bretagne, France, and have confirmed their lineup:
Six Feet Under
Rise of the Northstar
Mars Red Sky
Veteran death metallers Massacre will no longer be on the Death DTA’s “Symbolic 20th Anniverary” European tour in late February/March 2015 leg. Their Swamp Leper Stomp ’14 tour in North America with DTA, Obituary and Rivers of Nihil had to be cut short by one show.
Massacre bassist Terry Butler and vocalist Ed Webb today issued joint statements indicating that they have formally exited the band:
Said Terry Butler:
“It’s with a heavy heart that I am announcing my departure from Massacre. I wish Ed, [drummer] Mikey [Mazzonetto] and [guitarist] Rick [Rozz] the best of luck with their future endeavors. I would like to thank the awesome fans for their support and loyalty and to those who labored to help bring the band back from beyond. Thank you as well….Arrivederci!”
Adds Ed Webb:
“After much thought and consideration it is with deep regret that I announce my departure from Massacre. This was not an easy decision to make but a necessary one. The last four years have had its share of both unbelievable times as well as some times I wish to forget. I want to thank all of the Massacre fans, those who accepted me as the new vocalist as well as those who didn’t. You guys gave me the desire to work harder than I ever had in the past. I also had the privilege to play some of the most incredible shows, do some killer tours and meet a lot of great people along the way. At this point, I am going to just concentrate on my two main projects [Generichrist and Destined To Ruin] as well as a few other projects I am working on. I want to endlessly thank Terry, Rick and Mikey for the opportunity to record an absolutely crushing CD and get to tour around the world with them. I wish them all the best in their future endeavors. I hope to see everyone in the future and thanks for letting me do what I live to do!”