Photo by Jonathan Arevalo
The Dillinger Escape Plan‘s live show is synonymous with chaos, and that’s exactly what they brought to New York City last night. Continue reading
From what I gather, Candiria’s new album (and first proper LP since 2009’s Kiss the Lie), While They Were Sleeping (Metal Blade) is a concept album centered on a “failed musician who rises up against a monarchy in New York City.” While that is a novel concept to dedicate an album to, you wonder is there are any parallels with Candiria’s own near-tragic story.Continue reading
‘Crucifixion’, a track from rock supergroup Giraffe Tongue Orchestra, the new band w Alice In Chains vocalist William DuVall aligned with members of Mastodon and The Dillinger Escape Plan, premiered on BBC Radio 1‘s “Rock Show With Daniel P. Carter”. You can hear the track at this link or below:
‘Crucifixion’ is from Giraffe Tongue Orchestra’s début album Broken Lines, with a release date for September 23 via the Party Smasher Inc./Cooking Vinyl labels.
Brent Hinds commented on the formation of the band:
“During the time Mastodon was there for Soundwave, I was at the zoo in Sydney, Australia and was checking out the giraffes. They are amazing animals – one just grabbed a bunch of bananas from my hand with its tongue and peeled them with it as well – by the time the bananas got to its mouth, they were ready to be eaten. I saw Ben who was at Soundwave too and said ‘Man I think I found the name for our band,’ and told him the story.”
“That giraffe made it happen… like us, he figured it out.”, Ben Weinman of Dillinger escape Plan/Party Smasher Inc. added
William Duvall also commented on the band:
“Writing lyrics for these songs was somewhat like writing for film – the mood shifts rapidly and drastically within a song … sometimes the whole scene changes. There were a lot of times where, if you were trying to impose conventional rock songwriting standards on this, you’d be in a whole world of trouble.”
“Brent, William, and myself have all been friends for a long time. Finishing the GTO record with William completes the puzzle. He is a man of diverse talents, and this band gives him the opportunity to spread his wings.”
Giraffe Tongue Orchestra’slineuphas changed since the project was launched in 2012. Actress/singer Juliette Lewis (Juliette And The Licks) was the original vocalist for the group, but has only contributed backing vocals to Broken Lines. Queens of the Stone Age’s Jon Theodoe appears on two tracks as well. The band has also set up a Pledge Music campaign for special merch and album versions and the album is available for pre-order at the following links.
Pre-order “Broken Lines” now
PledgeMusic – http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/gto
Amazon – http://po.st/GtoBLamz
iTunes – http://po.st/GtoBLiT
Giraffe Tongue Orchestra is:
William DuVall -Vocals
Brent Hinds – Guitar
Ben Weinman – Guitar
Pete Griffin – Bass
Thomas Pridgen – Drums
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One is never quite sure what to expect from Italian Doom, oft laden as it is with a Deathly rattle or Psychedelic, Stoner grooves. The initial strains of ‘The Devil’s Conjuration’, the opening track from Void Of Sleep’s second full-length New World Order (Aural Music), show a slightly chaotic, progressive structure: Riccardo ‘Paso’ Pasini’s gloriously clanking bass cushioned by layered keys and occasionally Djent-style rhythms from the drums and squirming riffs.
Doom actually seems to be the understudy here: vigorous, crashing grooves dancing along the paths of ‘…Conjuration’ and the ensuing ‘Hidden Revelations’ with only a fuzzing, deep rhythm guitar pinning down the Low-end influence. The latter shows a real Prog sensibility, from the cosmic slower sections which are graced by Andrea ‘Burdo’ Burdisso’s languid, mellifluous tones, to the angry creativity of the tangential battery and occasional harsh vocal. This invites a range of comparison: the expansion of Coheed and Cambria; the melody and angular rhythms of Karnivool; even the rampant cacophony of Dillinger Escape Plan or Meshuggah. Yet Void of Sleep meld these fractious, dysfunctional cousins into a vital and hugely engaging whole.
The early, mournful guitar and dragging weight of ‘Order Ab Chao’ is the first earnest show of monolithic intent, yet the pace is soon re-energised by another prancing behemoth of a groove, with Andrea ‘Allo’ Allodoli’s syncopated patterns both sinister and enlivening. Alternatively there’s a soft melancholy to the glorious title track, again nodding to Karnivool’s wistful yet powerfully rhythmic moments, which seems more in tune with a sad foreboding than a celebration of a new coming. The album’s fearful tale is constantly magnetic, its diverse wonder not least explored in the slightly overlong, epic closer ‘Ending Theme’: a drifting yet powerful monster, flitting between moments of airy whimsy and slow yet thudding brutality. Groove-ridden passages see time switches and discordant cascades handled in unison and with consummate ease.
Maybe this is the kind of album Opeth should make in order to re-unite its warring fanbase. In the meantime, let’s herald this gloomy yet vibrant coming which is as delightful as it is foxing and involving.
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Underground cult hip-hop trio Dälek have created a new album due out this April from Profound Lore onApril 22nd. Asphalt For Edenwill be their first full-length album since 2009s Gutter Tactics (Ipecac). They have released 5 other albums and performed withKRS One, Tomahawk, The Melvins, TOOL, Grandmaster Flash, Jesu, Dillinger Escape Plan, Pharcyde, RJD2, DeLa Soul, Prince Paul, Lovage, ZU, Black Heart Procession, Gaslamp Killer, Earth, Flying Lotus, The Bug, Mastodon, Fantomas among others.
Dälek – Asphalt For Eden track listing:
2. Guaranteed Struggle
3. Masked Laughter (Nothing’s Left)
7. It Just Is
They have booked a record release show in Brooklyn on April 22nd. Support will come from Dreamcrusher and Psalm Zero.
Dälek record release party, with Dreamcrusher and Psalm Zero
The Bell House
Brooklyn, New York
$12.00 – $15.00
This Event Is 21 And Over
Doors: 8:00 PM – show: 9:00 PM
MC Dälek -vocals/producing
DJ rEk on turntables
Mike Manteca – samplers, effects and co-producer
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HexMachine by False Flags is a self-released debut mini-album, although when you give it a listen it certainly doesn’t feel particularly mini, this packs some considerable force. False Flags rise out of the ashes of the once spectacular Leeds DIY scene consisting of former members of Red Stars Parade, Whores Whores Whores & Year Of The Man: so it certainly doesn’t feel like a debut either.
Opener ‘Earl Black’ starts slowly, a gentle intro stopped abruptly by a sucker punch of savage hardcore, crushing riffs and disjointed time signatures. Slamming guitars and shouty vocals scream their intent and it feels fresh and furious. Reminding me somewhat of the late great Beecher with a hint of Dillinger Escape Plan the track builds in its heaviness throughout.
Followed by ‘Last Screen Goddess’ which is slower but with a refined intensity rather than diminished. This pulses along rhythmically, swaying and mesmerising and constantly building. There’s enjoyment to be had being swept along with the song.
‘Fate (Has A Driver)’ starts off with pounding drums, but with a more understated yet infectious groove infused into snarling, but more straightforward rhythms: which get the head nodding along with ease. There’s a notable intensification in their ebb and flow particularly in the solid groove of the bass work as the song progresses.
When we get to track ‘Pet Wolf’ False Flags start to show off their hardcore chops in full fury, the shortest at 2:15 this screaming statement is a short sharp shock to the system, build a substantial weight to the track before pausing momentarily before launching into the stormy intensity of ‘Namedropper’, which subsides then screams and smashes against the ears with a blackened throb and erratic pulse, giving you just enough pause for breath before suffocating you again with their punch to the gut sound.
Final Track ‘Phone My Wallet’ steps things up yet another gear and undulates between the now familiar pulsing throb and out and out blasting of discordant riffs, this album finishes with the sound of the band giving everything they have and then some, until they have nothing more in the tank and rolling to a cathartic stop.
This may be a debut album, but there’s an all encompassing confidence about this which harks back to their history within the Leeds DIY scene. Definitely a band to watch out for in 2016.
Deathcore’s a funny scene. Like many of the fusion subgenres, it often fails to find a convincingly cohesive sound amidst the disparate elements that the bands are trying to marry together. What you usually end up getting is a bit like a kit car built by 5 guys with ADHD who’ve turned up with parts from 3 or 4 different manufacturers and half the required tools.
The first three albums of Chicago’s Born of Osiris certainly suffer from this syndrome, feeling bitty, derivative and repetitive. 2013 marked a turning point for the band with the release of the bemusingly-titled Tomorrow We Die Alive (Sumerian). Whilst still a soup of djenty math- and deathcore, the songs gelled more satisfyingly than the predecessors through stronger song-writing and expanded use of keyboard and synth sounds. They finally sounded like a proper band, rather than a group of music nerds showing off to each other.
Encouragingly, Soul Sphere (Sumerian) continues this development (as one would expect from a band with a 12-year career spanning 5 albums). The main evolution here is the death metal part of their sound is much more at the fore, with strong elements of Soundtrack-era In Flames (Toy’s Factory). The math bits also integrate much better with the rest of the parts, sounding more like lead-ins and accompaniment rather than random ejaculations of musical Tourette’s Syndrome. Less Dillinger Escape Plan, more Protest The Hero. I also wonder if someone in the band’s been listening to J-Metal (a wise move, as there’s a scene that effortlessly manages the kind of musical alchemy hoped for by <insert-flavour-of-the-month>core bands), as the keyboards have more spacey feel and greater presence across the album and serve to add more glue to the sound, providing firmer grounding and context for each song.
Soul Sphere‘s opener ‘The Other Half Of Me’ showcases the band’s progress beautifully. The 80’s horror intro floats throughout the piece, binding the rest of the track together into a symphonic slice of Gothenburg goodness that would do any of the Swedes proud. ‘Throw Me In The Jungle’ is an equally strong follow-up in the same vein, but with slightly more emphasis on math. ‘Free Fall’ harks back to their earlier work, but clever use of synth and industrial guitar effects produce a sound that is both consistent and original; an impressive feat, given what’s in the pot.
‘Illuminate’ is slightly disappointing, as it starts off sounding like a continuation of the previous track and would have benefited from being placed later in the album but ‘The Sleeping And The Dead’ changes gear into straight-up djent from the heavy end of the stable and ‘Tidebinder’ proves that it is possible to successfully combine melodic death with djent metalcore. Seriously Nice.
‘Resilience’ dusts off the math chops for a noodlefest very reminiscent of Protest The Hero. ‘Goddess Of The Dawn’ is a blueprint for what the genre should be. All the elements are present, but working seamlessly with each other to produce a deft end result which finally transcends the sum of its parts. ‘The Louder The Sound, The More We All Believe’ is straight melodic death that sounds like it could have been on In Flames‘ Soundtrack To Your Escape. ‘Warlords’ is funky djent. ‘River Of Time’ is a bombastic salute to symphonic metal. ‘The Composer’ closes the show with another reversion to previous fractious form, but once again being saved by the excellent synth work, which is given centre stage for an outtro that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Blood Stain Child album.
This is seriously good stuff. Put it in your ears immediately.
Being a new face on a record label with a storied history like Nuclear Blast Records can be a daunting task for any band. For the members of Speaking The King’s, they became one of the label’s newest faces that spearheaded a breed of youth based punk driven metal.
The band completed their full length album Carousel and is excited to share it with the world. The public got their first taste of the band with their debut EP (2013’s Here To Stay), and since then they began growing into their sound by experimenting with a variety of styles and crafting songs that reached a variety of listeners.
“We worked real hard on the EP but we were trying to figure out which direction we wanted to go – if we wanted to go wider, heavier. We wanted to see what we could do. So one of the things we really loved and really wanted to exploit was Bobby’s [Burap, lead vocals] great voice so we figured let’s focus on a lot of using that element that he has and getting that into our songs,” said guitarist Mike Entin.
“When we were writing the full length, it was a lot of basing off of the choruses opposed to who can write the biggest breakdowns. Now granted there are plenty of breakdowns and plenty of heavy parts on the new CD, it does have something for everybody. It’s a much longer roller coaster.”
Taking the name from a familiar film, guitarist Justin Bock talked about how this hit them enough to name the band after this.
“There was a scene in the movie Inglorious Bastards and it’s actually exactly what you said – it’s a shorthand of speaking the king’s English. It’s the scene where an English soldier first sees a German soldier in the basement of a bar and is captured by one of the actual German soldiers. He basically realizes that it’s the end of the line and there’s really no way out of this. So he’s going up to this place and we just felt like we’re just going to take over this place and we’re just gonna throw everything we’ve got into it and just hope for the best and see where it takes us. So that really struck a chord with us and we grabbed the name and the rest is history.”
On Carousel, they enlisted veteran producer Steve Evetts to man the recording sessions. While soliciting producers to work on their record, they found a connection with him over some of his past producing projects was some of their favorite records and ones that helped shape the band’s sound.
“On this one, we were lucky enough to work with Steve Evetts. Nuclear Blast gave us the opportunity and we couldn’t have been more thrilled. There was a point where we got the list of producers on board and we were writing down the list of CDs they did. We wanted to work with Steve Evetts but let’s put him on here and the reason why was, is because he worked on one of our favorite albums – The Here and Now by Architects, and a lot of our favorite CDs in the past ten years.”
“When we got a call a few days later from Nuclear Blast, they said ‘hey we’re meeting Steve Evetts. OK later.’ We just dropped our jaw and said ‘did that just happen?’ Steve Evetts is an amazing producer. He did a wonderful job and we’re beyond stoked on this,” said Entin.
Bock explained their songwriting process and how they approach their vast string of songs they have written. He said they took more chances on the new record that they did not on the EP.
“Typically Mike or I will come up with riffs or chorus parts. We build from there. It’s become a more closed process than it has in the past. I think with the full length there’s much more variety. We feel we put in a little bit more than we did on the EP where it was more straight ahead heavy. We took a little more risks on this one. I think it paid off huge for us.”
“It usually starts off with Mike or I will write and then we put drums to it and then we put the basic idea structure wise. Then Bobby puts the vocals and then we wait and make it fit the way it is. It’s usually small changes and sometimes big ones and it turns into songs.”
They spoke about the variety of styles on Carousel, ranging from heavier mosh songs to more melodic tunes with sing a long parts, which gives listeners an assortment of songs to choose from.
“It’s funny because what we do is when we put the set together, we will try to knock off a little of everything. We try to make sure to play something for the kids with the breakdowns, and we’ll also play something back to back that the girls want to sing along. The other thing that we also do is that all of our biggest fans say that they like it and they have so much fun and they’re involved. We don’t make it seem like we’re not down on anyone and they wanted to listen to it. I think that’s one of our awesome qualities that we like to win people over. We’re trying to get them involved – even if it’s not a genre that you like, you won’t feel like you’re lost in the crowd. We want you to sing along with us. I think that stuff shows how much we like to put into making this more of a band than just a band’s show,” said Entin.
Having Evetts manning the recording sessions helped Speaking The King’s elevate their sound to the next level. They explained how his past experience helped them grow as a band and working hands on with the band made them a better band overall
“With Steve we gave him a much more complete product. When we did the EP, the band and I just recorded. We didn’t have a singer at that point. So it was like doing two halves and it was the EP. With this record, everything was finished and ready to go when Steve came up and spent a week with us at our rehearsal space just going through everything and song structure – change the kick pattern to this and change the guitar chord to this – little things that help make all the songs into something maybe bigger than we had imagined it being.”
“He’s a master at his craft and was one of the single biggest learning experiences of my life, which was spending that one month with him and learning more than I have than all of the records I’ve made combined. It was really cool just picking his brain and letting him show us how he makes records with real sound the whole time. It’s not all that programmed drums. It’s all real live natural feeling and I think to me those records seem to last. We were super fortunate to be able to meet with him and then to work with him and make a record that way with somebody like that that’s done so many records we have so much respect for,” said Bock.
“One thing that he did actually that we all experienced as musicians he broke us down. He made us work until we had the perfect take. He only strives for the best and we all loved that. It made us better musicians as growing musicians. It was hard love but it was awesome because he got a lot out of you. I think that’s one thing that all of us got after we got out of the studio,” said Entin.
“For me, he made me play so much that there were so many drumheads that we had to switch. I even broke one of his cymbals. He made me play so much and so hard to get the recording correct and perfect. I’ve never sweated so much in my life,” added drummer Will Peacock.
At what point did the members of Speaking the King’s realize that Evetts was the same guy who produced records for such artists as Hatebreed and Dillinger Escape Plan?
“I think for me we kind of had an idea of a lot of that stuff when we went in there. For me specifically, I found out during the process that he actually produced a lot of the records I’ve listened to for a long time that I had no idea he did. Bands that whenever certainly I’m thinking about pitching to who was producing one, I found three or four records that were some of my favorites that he had done and had no idea. We went in there awestruck and left there even more awestruck. It’s really cool,” explained Bock.
While the band are still a new face on the music scene, they are learning the ins and outs of how to maneuver in many situations. They shared some of their experiences from their brief time on the road and playing with other touring artists.
“We’ve learned that there’s all kinds of people that know what we do in there. It’s cool the variety of people who come together for music. We also learned that the sound guy is your best friend in the world. We played a festival out here with Emmure and their sound guy mixed for us for the show. There was an incredible difference. We played at The Grove in Anaheim, CA and it’s a pretty good sized venue. It was a night and day difference between what we had with him and what somebody in the band had with the house guy or whatever. Each venue is different and so when you get a good sound guy, make sure you thank him for that,” said Bock.
Peacock concluded, “Another good aspect is keep it simple. Don’t complicate things with your rigs with everything that you’re using. You’re making it in and out on the road 24-7 for 28 shows out of 30 days. You want to keep it simple because it will have a lot of wear on it and take care of yourself.”
While speaking to Ghost Cult about the upcoming Soulfly album Archangel (Nuclear Blast), Max Cavalera took a moment to talk about his other projects. Cavalera Conspiracy released their third album Pandemonium (Napalm) towards the tail end of 2014, but it was Cavalera’s third and newest band, Killer Be Killed that caused the biggest of stirs last year, with their self-titled debut being released in the first quarter of last year through Nuclear Blast. They just did a tour of Australia at Soundwave Festival earlier this year and have permanently added drummer Ben Koller of Converge.
When asked how is able to balance three high profile outfits, the enthusiastic metallist replied: “I jump from one to the other, pretty much without thinking! I have a switch in my brain that goes off and on. I work mostly with Soulfly, Cavalera Conspiracy had some things last year. Killer Be Killed, we did a bit this year too, some shows.”
What does the future hold for Killer Be Killed? As a band, you have to see it as a huge success? “Yes. It was really much better than I thought (it would be) and the singers really work well together, and I had no idea how that was going to work, but it came together really good. I’m so pleased, it’s a cool, melodic record. It was done in the right way, it felt organic and very natural. It came out very pleased with it. I just don’t like the cover. I fucking hate the album cover. That’s the only negative about Killer Be Killed!”
So what is the next step? And will whatever comes out have a “Max approved” cover?
“Yes! I’ll make sure of that! We’re going to make 2 more songs soon to come out next year on Nuclear Blast for the fans, then we’re going to work on a second record next year.”
In an interview with Metal Hammer, Max Cavalera has reported that he expects another Killer Be Killed album to be released in 2016.
“There’s another Killer Be Killed record coming next year, and more Cavalera Conspiracy stuff in the future. At this point I’m just letting it roll. Whatever happens will happen – that’s my attitude. I’m not forcing anything. If it happens, great; if not then it’s still okay.”
A bonafide supergroup, Killer Be Killed performed their first live dates as a band in Australia earlier this year, is comprised of Cavalera, Greg Puciato ofThe Dillinger Escape Plan, Troy Sanders of Mastodon, and drummer Dave Elitch (Antemasque/ex-The Mars Volta).