Next week marks the 20th anniversary of the passing of iconic Death vocalist and guitarist Chuck Schuldiner on December 13th, 2001. This weekend his friends, peers and disciples will assemble atThe Brass Mug in Tampa, Florida to perform a tribute concert to the man and legend of Death Metal. The concert will feature an all-star cast of musicians, including six former members of Death. The show is expected to sell out, if it is not already, but now it will be lived streamed, which you can purchase at the link below.
Megadeth leader Dave Mustaine has revealed that the band is in the studio and recording up to 18 songs for their highly-anticipated new album, As part of their “The Metal Tour Of The Year” streaming event hosted by SiriusXM’s Jose Mangin, Dave spoke about the progress of the recording sessions for the band’s follow-up to 2016’s “Dystopia” album. He said (see video below, transcribed by Blabbermouth.net): “Dirk [Verbeuren, drums] and David Ellefson [bass] both just finished their parts. And this was probably one of the strongest records we’ve ever had as far as duration. The other records we’ve done have all done been different lengths, and our [record] contract that we have [to deliver] for one company, it’s eight songs, for another company, it’s 11 songs, so, realistically, all we need to do is do an 11-song album and we’re done, right? That’s not the way old Uncle Dave is, though.
Tronos is a side-project born of many late-night conversations between the two of the more prolific creative forces in underground metal, Napalm Death legend Shane Embury and legendary producer Russ Russell. Joining them is the equally talented Dirk Verbeuren on drums, Billy Gould, Troy Sanders and Dan Lilker on bass and vocals by Snake from Voivod – there’s no shortage of talent on display here. Continue reading →
In a post to their social networks, Megadeth has teased an announcement. Hopefully it’s the start of a tour cycle, new music, or both! Megadeth will release the follow-up to 2016’s Dystopia (Universal) this year, has planned to book several huge tours potentially, and headline the inaugural Megacruise metal cruise! The new Megadeth album will be the first to feature Dirk Verbeuren (Soilwork) on drums. More info to come as we get it! Continue reading →
The number seven has long been a recurring theme with GlennDanzig. ‘777’, ‘7th House’, seven albums with numbered prefixes, and now in 2017 – seven years on from his last studio album to feature original material, and at the age of 61 (six plus one…? Okay, maybe that’s pushing things a little too far) it’s finally time for Black Laden Crown (AFM Records), the latest chapter in the Danzig story.Continue reading →
Veteran Syracuse metallic hardcore outfit Earth Crisis have been championing that sound since the early 1990s while tackling subjects such as animal rights, veganism and fighting environmental issues within their songs. Their hard hitting sound paved the way for the early versions of what was known as metalcore began to influence those who fused hardcore and heavy metal into a brand new sound.
Their moment came full circle as they took part on this year’s Knotfest in Devore, CA and nearly 20 years ago they also played on the first Ozzfest at the very same venue.
“We’ve been up to California quite a bit for the past few years. We were out here with Terror and Sworn Enemy. We played with One Choice and Cavalera Conspiracy,” said band vocalist Karl Buechner, about their recent treks out west.
Playing the second stage of the fest, they got to take part on one of the larger hard music fests in the United States. Landing a mid day slot on Day One, they were greeted by a packed crowd who were also eager to see other bands such as At The Gates who were on directly after them.
Earth Crisis with At The Gates at Knotfest 2015.
“Thank you to Slipknot for hand picking us for the festival and putting us on, and to all of the great bands we got to play with today. It was awesome to see At The Gates. We’re looking forward to seeing Slipknot of course and Judas Priest. It’s a stacked bill. Thanks to all of our fans in California who come out to the shows and supporting Neutralize the Threat and Salvation,” commented Buechner.
Since their return to the music scene, following a brief hiatus between 2001 and 2007, they have continued to wave the flag for the sound they championed for over two decades. Guitarist Scott Crouse and drummer Dennis Merrick explained about returning from their hiatus, following the release of their 2001 record Slither.
“We’ve been doing it since 2007 in a more laid back fashion than we used to,” said Crouse.
“We’ve put out three records since then – three full lengths and this year we’ve put out a four song EP – re-recorded two songs from Destroy The Machines and two previously unreleased tracks with Josh Grobelle of Bullet Tooth. We’re still doing stuff. Still playing shows,” said Merrick.
2015 was the 20 year anniversary of the band’s 1995 debut release Destroy The Machines, and the record that introduced a new generation of heavy music fans to a new metallic driven heavy metal sound.
While much of the year was focused around the anniversary set plus the release of their new EP The Discipline, they are concluding that leg with their rescheduled California dates in February 2016.
“We’re pretty much done with that. We had a show booked at Chain Reaction in Anaheim we had to make up. So that will be the last Destroy the Machines show in its entirety show,” said guitarist Scott Crouse.
“So far this year, we’ve played the Black N Blue Bowl, Southeast Beast, a festival in Detroit, Carry the Weight Fest VI and a headliner in Sheffield are where we exclusively did the Destroy The Machines set,” added Buechner.
Would they look into doing other albums in its entirety? Crouse mentioned the next in line was their 1996 album Gomorrah’s Season Ends. “It’s a lot of re-learning,” he said.
“It would be cool to combine some songs from Gomorrah’s [Season Ends] and Breed [The Killers]. Maybe do a combo set,” said Buechner, thinking aloud.
Being that Earth Crisis has celebrated 24 years of existence total, their message behind their songs has not changed much over the years. Themes such as animal rights, environmental issues and veganism are still a central part of the band’s message, which is now adapted towards what is happening in modern times.
“Our message is the same. We believe in kindness towards animals. I think one of the reasons we grew up with those thoughts that are in the forethoughts in our minds was because in Syracuse the city is on the shores of one of the most polluted lakes in North America are on Lake Onondaga [and] have all sorts of toxic poisons in it with factories and clouds of pollution going into the sky – something that would settle around us. A little bit to the north were the dead lakes in the Adirondacks. There was acid rain coming in from Canada, carrying all of the poisons from the factories, and all of the fish and vegetation were dying.”
“When Dennis and I were teenagers, Chernobyl happened. It definitely felt like things were being destroyed around us. So that’s why we took it so seriously,” said Buechner.
“I think now too, veganism for diet has been more of a mainstream thing. The plight of animals is still there. In a way it’s gotten to be more at a critical point. Factory farming has gotten so huge. People are still consuming insane amounts of meat, even though veganism is getting more mainstream.”
“There’s still tons of animals dying and being tortured in laboratories. A lot of organizations end up still doing things, like that No New Animals Lab organization from Seattle trying to stop the killing in underground animal laboratories. The Sheff campaign was a real successful campaign trying to stop animal testing. There’s still very good reasons why we’re doing what we do. The last record Salvation is focused on animal testing more than it was on the meat industry,” added Merrick.
One hotly contested subject that could appear on their future albums is Monsanto, the controversial sustainable agricultural company who has been linked with dumping poisonous chemicals into commonly eaten foods and their ties within the food industry. The band has referenced them, alongside subjects such as genetic engineering and modifying plants for human use on their two recent albums, To the Death and Neutralize the Threat, which adds to their arsenal of hot topics worked into their songs.
“The more you dig into that the more diabolical it is. Their new game – what they’re doing is buying up natural companies and then they use them to stop bills that are labeling genetically modifying ingredients.”
“What they’re for – they’re against labeling, which really Monsanto owns. A lot of these mainstream health products you see in all of the stores, Monsanto has their hands [on them]. They have their hands on their enemies to try to sway the public,” said Crouse, about the controversial company.
“I’m not sure if this is a proven fact or not, but one of the rumors is that in Monsanto or one of the places where the scientists design these things. They have organic food in their cafeteria.”
“We’ve never put that much emphasis on the health benefits of veganism. We’ve always tried to come from the animal liberation side of things to get people to understand what was going on in the laboratories and factory farms and the slaughter houses and the ranches and the Japanese whaling fleets and everything else that’s going on. The oceans are dying,” added Buechner.
Earth Crisis was well recognized for including the veganism subject within many of their songs. While this was one of many subjects the band was well known for, the general attitude towards the band and the subjects they based their songs around had greatly changed over the years. Veganism was no longer a taboo subject, and something the public became a bit more open towards.
“In a way back then when we started people didn’t know what veganism was in the mainstream but there was definitely a lot of underground support for it,” explained Merrick. “In the punk and hardcore community there were a lot of kids that were vegan and that’s kind of shifted. I think veganism for health reasons in a lot of ways have been co-opted by the mainstream and less popular in the underground punk scene. It’s counter culture because it’s not considered a mainstream thing.”
“It’s not a struggle as much. Maybe the counterculture kids steer away from it because their mom or their mom’s friend might be vegan,” said Crouse.
“In some ways it was a good it was co-opted by the mainstream for vegans, whether it was for animal rights or health or environmental issues. It’s for the animals and the environment anyways,” added Merrick.
While Earth Crisis is running once again, the various members have their other musical ventures happening at the same time. Buechner gave the status of his other band Freya, who had been working on their new album, and how the two bands’ schedules balance out.
“We actually had the drummer from Soilwork (Dirk Verbeuren) play on our new record. It’s done and my guitar player (Brendan Flynn) is doing all of the artwork and the layout,” he said.
Hello everyone! We have both good and bad news to share with you today. We have parted ways with our bass player Bill…
“It actually has worked out very well balancing things between the two bands. Freya’s actually played more countries in Europe than Earth Crisis has at this point. We were further into the east last time we went over. We stayed for two months. So it’s great. We work on Earth Crisis and then when people want to focus on other things….I mean all of these guys do other bands as well. Scott’s working on a band with Jimmy [Chang] from Gut Feeling and the singer of Cursed, and Andy [Hurley] of Fall Out Boy. I’m working on Freya.”
Texas progressive/melodic death metallers Fall is self releasing The Insatiable Weakness on January 26, 2016. Soilwork drummer Dirk Verbeuren is handling all drums on the recording. Stream lyric videos for “Soul Ignition” and “Harvester” below.
01: From Ashes 02: Not of the Sky 03: Ever Hollow 04: Harvester (Guest vocals on Harvester by Jessie Frye) 05: Cinis (Guest vocals on Cinis by Asa Dubberly ) 06: Desolation 07: Soul Ignition 08: …to dust 09: Empty 10: Gods of Ruin 11: You were but a Shade
Soilwork Drummer Dirk Verbueren commented on working with Toontrack for the première:
“Toontrack’s software and sounds are essential not only to Soilwork but to myself for the work do daily at my Die Crawling Studio. It’s really an honor to have a company whose products are a pivotal part of one’s creative process to première our new video.”
Front man Bjorn “Speed” Strid commented on the video and about working with its director, Hristo Shindov:
Recording the video for “Death In General” was absolutely spectacular. After finishing up our North American Tour at The Whisky in Hollywood, we got up at 5am the next morning and drove into the desert. Joshua Tree is truly a magical place and was the perfect setting for this song and the mystical feeling it generates. Blind Melon guitarist Christopher Thorn was very kind to let us use his land for the shoot and he also welcomed us into his home. Director Hristo Shindov and his assistants did a fantastic job, capturing the vibe of the song with stunning footage. The dancers, Daisy and Flannery also did an absolute outstanding job, as they danced in the sunset. Truly magical. We are very proud to present this video for one of the most powerful songs that we have ever written. Hope you enjoy it and that you somewhat can imagine the feeling we had while recording it! We highly recommend sipping on a real good tequila or mezcal while watching it…”
Soilwork kicks off their year-end tour of Europe tonight, “The Tour Majestic”, in Malmö, Sweden. Support comes from Hatesphere and T.A.N.K.
Soilwork tour dates, with Hatesphere and T.A.N.K. Nov 27: KB – Malmö (SE) Nov 28: X-Herford – Herford (DE) Nov 29: Kufa – Lyss (SI) Nov 30: Le Port Franc – Sion (SI) Dec 01: Colony Club – Brescia (IT) Dec 02: Backstage Halle – Munich (DE) Dec 03: Schlachthof – Wiesbaden (DE) Dec 04: Hellraiser – Leipzig (DE) Dec 05: Winter Basinfire Fest(CZ) Dec 06: Bi Nuu – Berlin (DE) Dec 07: Logo – Hamburg (DE) Dec 08: Luxor – Koln (DE) Dec 10: 013 – Tillburg (NL) Dec 11: Biebob – Vooselaar (BE) Dec 12: Les Trinitaires – Metz (FR) Dec 13: Les 4 ecluses – Dunkerque (FR) Dec 14: Trabendo – Paris (FR) Dec 15: Antipode – Rennes (FR) Dec 16: Rocher de Palmer – Bordeaux (FR) Dec 17: Le Chato’do – Blois (FR) Dec 18: CC John Lennon – Limoges (FR) Dec 19: CCO – Lyon (FR)
Soilwork has released a new video for their song ‘Enemies In Fidelity’ from their latest album The Ride Majestic (Nuclear Blast) . You can watch the video at this link or below:
The clip was directed by Hannah Verbeuren, wife of Soilwork drummer Dirk Verbeuren. Vocalist Björn “Speed” Stridcommented on the video:
“The video for “Enemies In Fidelity” captures the hardship of maintaining friendships between friends or lovers and how the struggle sometimes gets addictive, very often to a point where you lose yourself and hatred takes over.”
Soilwork is soon to embark on the “We Sold Our Souls For Metal Tour” with Soulfly, Decapitated and Shattered Sun. Soilwork will act as direct support on all dates.
“We Sold Our Souls To Metal” 2015 Tour With Soulfly, Decapitated, Shattered Sun Sep 30: Fonda Theater – Los Angeles, CA Oct 01: Regency Ballroom – San Francisco, CA Oct 02: Hawthorne Theater – Portland, OR Oct 03: Studio Seven – Seattle, WA Oct 04: Rickshaw Theatre – Vancouver, BC Oct 06: Level Nightclub – Kelowna, BC Oct 07: Starlite Room – Edmonton, AB Oct 08: O’Brian’s Event Centre – Saskatoon, SK Oct 09: Park Theatre – Winnipeg, MB Oct 10: Amsterdam – Minneapolis, MN Oct 11: Mojoes – Joliet, IL Oct 12: Val Air Ballroom – Des Moines, IA Oct 13: Agora Theater – Cleveland, OH Oct 14: Opera House – Toronto, ON Oct 15: Corona Theater – Montreal, QC Oct 18: Northland Performing Arts Center – Columbus, OH Oct 19: Crofoot Ballroom – Pontiac, MI Oct 20: Gramercy Theater – New York, NY Oct 21: Ottobar – Baltimore, MD Oct 22: The International – Knoxville, TN Oct 23: Masquerade – Atlanta, GA Oct 24: Culture Room – Ft Lauderdale, FL Oct 25: State Theater – St Petersburg, FL Oct 27: Scout Bar – Houston, TX Oct 28: Empire Control Room – Austin, TX Oct 29: Gas Monkey – Dallas, TX Oct 30: Sunshine Theater – Albuquerque, NM
They had just completed their first “real” tour supporting Testament and Exodus across North America, and unlike their previous DIY style tours supporting club sized acts, they learned quickly the wrong and right ways of surviving on the road.
“The last one we were with (Testament/Exodus) – that was a real get up and go,” explained drummer Rob Garza. “We were still learning and now we’re way more focused and way more on time. We’re trying not to get on anyone’s bad side especially we don’t mess up too much,” he said, about the quick learning curve.
Testament frontman Chuck Billy is no stranger to the Shattered Sun camp, as he is one of their co-managers from Breaking Bands LLC and has been mentoring the guys over the past year.
“[We’re] basically learning how to do things the right way. When we first got on the Testament and Exodus tour with them this past April, we were all fan boys over Testament and Exodus, but then Chuck’s biggest role in the band is as a mentor. He could just say ‘just relax…we’re all here as a team. We’re all family on this tour and every tour you’re gonna be on. These are your peers,’ “ he said.
“We’ve got him to calm us down the fan boys in us. Also outdoing each show – we had a decent show yesterday. Today we did better so basically we keep on pushing so we put on a better show every day.”
Joseph Guajardo of Shattered Sun. Photo Credit: Kevin Estrada.
Already from the Mayhem Fest they have gone from performing in from a largely older crowd to a younger demographic that leans towards the newer style of bands featured on the Victory Records side stage.
“The guys and myself were talking about that yesterday. Even the bands that were on tour – no disrespect to Testament and Exodus – they’re more of our age group. You go with the Testament and Exodus and it’s strictly that thrasher crowd. There’s nothing wrong with that. On this one, you have that all around, different genres of music collectively. It’s a different feel. We like it. We’re digging it.”
While the band’s sound comes from the heavier side of metal and their band name is a modified version of an Unearth tune, Garza spoke about their range of influences that helped shape their overall sound.
“When we first started jamming, our guitarist Daniel [Trejo] named our band after an Unearth song ‘Shattered By The Sun.’ So he was really into Unearth and still is to this day. We all are,” he said.
“We try to stick with melodic metal and keep it thrashy, and we’re all fans of other genres as well. One of my favorite drummers and bands of all time is the Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins. I try to incorporate as much groove into our thrash beats. It’s a combination of a lot of stuff. It’s like ‘I was listening to this today. I want to try to see how this would sound on this song.’ “
“On this album, we tried to cover all grounds because where we’re from, everyone in our area is real biased. We’re not heavy enough for the hardcore kids or we’re not soft enough for the older crowd. We just wanted to make a CD and just bring as much of everything in. We get known as bands that plays a lot of different kinds of music. We just try to throw it into one thing so we try to cover everyone’s demographic on that one.”
Henry Garza of Shattered Sun
Being on the road, Garza and the Shattered Sun members have experienced many different things but also being from a small Texas town, they also found new and unusual things.
“I believe it was on the last tour, we were in South Carolina and they were selling roasted peanuts. It looked weird, just there in a jar staying warm. Just small things like that that freak us out. But we Google what it is and say ‘uh ok…let’s try it out.’ “
“What I wanted to do when we were in Canada, I wanted to go to McDonalds and see if they had the Royale With Cheese. I didn’t get a chance to do that. I’m trying to cram a bunch of different things into my demographic right now.”
Plus the rare time off of the road has given them time to enhance their road home known as their van. While they have accepted the fact that they will be calling it home for the next year, they have slowly made moderations to it.
“This time we’ve actually built a bunk in our van. ‘OK what can we do differently?’ We’ll probably try to put another bunk in there, a shoe rack, because right now everybody’s shoes are thrown all over the place. We even have our inverter so we routed our power strips so we can charge our phones in the back. We’re learning tour by tour.”
All of the touring experience has now landed them an upcoming North American tour supporting metal heavyweights Soulfly, Soilwork and Decapitated. Garza himself is excited about the upcoming tour but has his eyes on meeting another drumming idol.
“I’m actually really pumped because one of my favorite drummers is Dirk Verbeuren from Soilwork. On our last tour, we had Gene Hoglan and Tom Hunting, and on this tour we’ve got Paul Bostaph and Vinnie Paul, and the next tour I’m going to have Dirk Verbeuren. To be on the same tours as these great drummers is amazing. I’m looking forward to picking that guy’s brain. Getting to tour with Soulfly – those guys are legendary. We all grew up listening to them.”
Learning from past mistakes, Garza admits he is trying his hardest not to have a Wayne and Garth’s ‘I’m Not Worthy’ moment on this upcoming tour.
“Deep down we have, but then it’s like be cool. On the outside, we’ve got to play it cool. On the inside, I’m crying a little bit.”
He admits there is one stop on the upcoming tour he has his eye on.
“I’m just waiting until we get to Milwaukee so I can say ‘it’s pronounced Mil-WAKEY’, from Alice Cooperon Wayne’s World Part 1.”