Next month will be three years since Chester Bennington ended his life. On what would have been Chris Cornell’s 53rd birthday, not only a fellow musician, but also his best friend and Godfather to his son, he took his life. It has been three years and the sadness persists. Bennington’s struggle with depression and substances was a public affair and through his lyrics, it felt like we knew what he was going through. An exceptional vocalist he fronted a band that dove into multiple genres. Either you liked Linkin Park or you hated them. Regardless, Bennington was the best vocalist of any mainstream band in the 2000s – but, before he told you to shut up, he fronted another band. Continue reading
Ghost Cult caught up with Binary Code leader and guitarist Jesse Zuretti to chat all about his new album, releasing this week, May 15th. The three-year journey to release the record was an arduous one for Jesse and he had many personal issues to overcome. He did so with the help of making music, which, if you hear this new album, is amazing. Jesse went into depth about the ordeal he went through, his creative process, how each member of this band and team stepped on this album on every level, working with producer Aaron Smith (7Horns7Eyes) the songwriting process, their cover of Mazzy Star’s ‘Fade Into You”, their abandoned (for now) covers EP, how Jeff Loomis (Arch Enemy/Nevermore) came to play on the album, making music as a composer for Marvel Entertainment and more. Warning: this podcast contains a frank discussion of suicide and mental illness and may cause some distress to the listener. You can pre-order Memento Mori here and listen to our chat now! Continue reading
Brent Smith and Eric Bass of Shinedown were recently guests on the Faster Than Normal Podcast which is hosted by entrepreneur Peter Shankman. The Grammy-award winning band discussed how they channel their energy and create strategies to overcome depression so they can succeed at their musical career. Faster Than Normal is a podcast about Neurodiversity, (i.e., finding the positives around ADHD, ADD, or simply any “different” type of brain). The band revealed they have recently been in the studio working on new music, their first since 2018’s Attention Attention (Atlantic Records) album. Continue reading
In a post to Instagram, Killswitch Engage frontman Jesse Leach says that he needs “to get help” after recently informing fans that he and his wife Melissa have decided to go separate ways, after 16 years of marriage. Leach has relocated to upstate New York and had posted to his new account, with posts indicating he was hitting reset on his life in many ways. Leach let his followers know that he will be back, he would be seeking treatment so that he can avoid becoming “another statistic of suicide.“. Leach has long been an advocate of mental health care, awareness and suicide prevention and has been open about his past struggles with depression. No word yet on how this affects the newly completed KsE album, due out in 2019 from Metal Blade Records. What matters is Jesse and his health and happiness. We wish Jesse the peace, love and the best way forward for his life. You can read the post below. If you or anyone you know is suffering and thinks there is no way out, you are not alone. You matter and you are loved. For resources and help, please visit this link.
In honor of World Mental Health Day on October 10th, Down Again, a documentary about mental health featuring Mark Hunter of Chimaira will get a worldwide release. Although not a film strictly about Mark’s time as the frontman of Chimaira, it does include music and scenes from his life in music. Hunter will share his personal story about utilizing his art to battle personal struggles and bipolar disorder in the film. Directed by Nick Cavalier – also recognized for directing Derek Hess’ award-winning Forced Perspective documentary – and will be free and available to stream at the link below. Watch the trailer and teaser clips below. Continue reading
New Jersey isn’t a place you’d imagine was capable of spawning a Black Metal act that could appease the kvlt masses, all 666 of them. Indeed, the Garden State had best prepare for the oncoming blizzard. Being a band for nearly 20 years, Krieg has been among the forerunners of the USBM movement alongside Judas Iscariot, Weakling, and Leviathan, a distinction well deserved if it culminates in the release at hand, entitled Transient. The unassuming cover art features naught but a ruined building in black & white; no logo, no title, just an unassuming portrait of decay to accompany the equally grim music.
Far from being merely an imitation of the Norse masters, one can still pick out glimmers of old Immortal, and DarkThrone, as well as that distinctively American (fuck yeah) sound that pays homage to Crust Punk. Speaking of that, there’s a killer cover of Amebix’s ‘Winter’, with faithfully replicated vocals, cleverly placed in the middle of the album as opposed to being tacked on at the end. Not many bands do this, but I feel as though Transient on its own could have gotten away with that, seeing as the material is strong enough to hold its own merit. The drumming’s cannonading assault is rhythmically sound, and even provides enough subtlety, particularly in the cymbalwork, to keep me tuned in throughout. The guitar work is simple, but does its job well enough that they don’t need flashy solos, complex intertwining harmonies, etc. Just endless snow. Even the bass is audible, and that extra layer of low end goes a long way in enhancing the already potent axes.
Overall, I found myself preferring the tracks with the catchiest melodies, as I’m a sucker for songwriting in my Black Metal. ‘Atlas With A Broken Arm’ has a particularly sorrowful, even catchy melody, and near the end puts in a rockin’ headbang section, complete with an atmospheric lead (or is it a synth?), finishing with a spectacularly anguished wail that departs from Lord Imperial’s standard delivery. ‘Ruin Our Lives’ opens slow, has a brief electronic interlude, and returns with renewed malice in the form of Satanic Warmaster-esque pummeling. Closing track ‘Gospel Hand’ is perhaps, alongside ‘Atlas’, one of the strongest tracks, due to its melody also being quite the earworm, insofar as Black Metal can have catchy riffs without being false. Take notes, aspiring Black Metallers, before strapping on those spiked gauntlets: You can make music.
Picturesque bleakness and a comforting sense of nihility pervade this release. No filler makes itself known here, even though the average song is around 4-5 minutes, the longest being ‘Home’, an ambient track featuring a seasonably bleak spoken word piece that drives er… home the essence and heart of the album. Enriched by electronics and a simple acoustic guitar riff, it’s a welcome shift musically, tonally cohesive enough to earn its place. In all, the album doesn’t reek of modernity, nor wallow in its vinyl closet, but offers quality at every turn. A highly recommended soundtrack for your impending death.