ALBUM REVIEW: Vatican – Ultra

While Georgian five-piece Vatican may name-check Meshuggah and Dillinger Escape Plan, their roots are firmly planted in (the original type of) metalcore, owing as much to Earth Crisis and Vision of Disorder (et al) as the latter-day spearheads of discordant “popular” heavy music. Ultra (UNFD) may be the band’s second full-length overall, however with a focus on the sound and style, and with the smooth integration of new vocalist Mike Sugars, it feels like a milestone moment in the definition of what Vatican is as a band, and who they are as an artist.

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CONCERT REVIEW: Carcass – Immolation – Creeping Death Live at The Vogue

Carcass is closing the books on their Spring tour with Immolation and Creeping Death this week. Starting out in Austin, Texas and culminating at what might be the final Maryland Deathfest, I caught up to them at The Vogue in Indianapolis.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Killswitch Engage – Live At The Palladium

An interesting release from Killswitch Engage, metalcore royalty who at the beginning of 2020 had just commenced touring their latest album Atonement. But found themselves heading home as the pandemic struck, licking their wounds and unable to take one of their strongest records out on the road, for shows that included support from former vocalist Howard Jones’s band Light The Torch; Atonement featuring the crushing track (‘The Signal Fire’) which saw Jones trading vocals with current (and original) singer Jesse Leach, and the tour providing the perfect opportunity for both frontmen to hit the stage together. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Comeback Kid – Heavy Steps

Twenty-plus years into a career doing anything in the world might make you take your foot off the gas pedal, especially an industry as brutal as the music industry. However, Manitoba’s Comeback Kid continue to challenge themselves to keep refining their sound, and sharpening their focus over a series of releases. The bands’ new album Heavy Steps (Nuclear Blast/New Damage) shows the veteran band of the scene lifting up the rest of us up with defiant music set on highlighting what makes life worth fighting for. uniting us.

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Third World Rise (Members of Claustrofobia) Shares New Cover of “Punishment” by Biohazard

TxWxR, also known as – Third World Rise is a brutal new hardcore/metal project from brothers Marcus D’Angelo and Caio D’Angelo of Brazilian extreme music act Claustrofobia. The band alsi features scene veterans Thiago Monstrinho (Fucking Violence /ex.Worst/ex Presto), the renowned music producer Tiago Hospede (Under the Knife/Mark of Honor/Ex Worst/ Ex Dead Fish), and Tadeu Dias (Simoninha, Celso Pixinga, Lino Krizz, Harppia, Ex-Oitão, Medellin, Sabotage, Dexter, Mano Brown). Check out the bands’ new single and video – a cover of the 1990s Hardcore/Metal classic “Punishment” by Biohazard! Continue reading

EXCLUSIVE STREAM: Dead Man’s Chest – “Dear God”

London’s metallic Hardcore band Dead Man’s Chest has been growing in stature in their scene with high-profile Cro-Mags, Sick of It All, Madball, Integrity. Now the time comes for new music and Ghost Cult is bringing it to you! ‘Dear God’ is a brutal 1-2 smash to the head! Dear God will be released on 7″ vinyl (Gold, Half Gold/Half Black, and Classic Black) on February 28th. Pre-orders will be available through Upstate Records online webstore at the link below. Check it out now! Continue reading

CLASSIC ALBUMS REVISITED: Machine Head’s The More Things Change… Album Turns 20


On March 25th Machine Head’s impeccable second album The More Things Change… (Roadrunner) turned 20 years old. Released at a time when thrash was struggling, and hardcore metal bands were mostly in a time of transition, they dropped this bombshell of heaviness and rage that cemented their legacy as one of the leaders of American Metal that they hold to this day.Continue reading

Superjoint – Caught Up In The Gears of Application


One thing that is apparent as we grind down to the end of 2016 in the music world, is the dearth of quality legacy acts. Sure there are some great bands still kicking around and the dad metal crowd will always love the reunions that seem to be on tour forever. It’s definitely tough be nostalgic when you don’t have time to miss anyone. So when a quality act like Superjoint makes a comeback, you need to pay attention to it.Continue reading

Hatebreed: Live at The Marquee, Tempe AZ

Hatebreed devildriver tour

2200 hours: People are milling about. They are still buzzed after an exhausting Devildriver performance. The last strains of a sound check happens: drums, guitars, bass, vocals. Hey Hey Yup. Yep. Hey A. The floor fills quickly to the sound of Boston “Rock and roll band… everybody’s waitin’ … getting’ crazy anticipating love… and music… Play Play Play….” Christina says, “I haven’t seen them in a long time. It’s the first time in 19 years seeing them. I’m here to have a good time and see a great band.”

Devildriver, by Melina D Photography

Devildriver, by Melina D Photography


2213 hours: The lights go out and the crowd erupts into chants of “Hatebreed! Hatebreed! Hatebreed!” Eerie creepy kid horror music is piped in. “Arizona! Are you ready?” Why yes, Jamey. We are indeed ready! “I’ve been a Hatebreed fan since ’99 when I was in the ARMY. It’s his (points to 7 year old son) first show.”, says Tony. Tony’s son says Hatebreed are “Awesome.” Jamey Jasta hits the stage looking more like Mike Muir. “Destroy everything!” he commands as a pit, a tad smaller and milder than Devildriver’s breaks out. To wit, I think the crowd is a bit tired. They are densely packed yet hardly moving. There are, however, lots of cell phones in the air.

Hatebreed, by Melina D Photography

Hatebreed, by Melina D Photography

Jamey reminds his erstwhile captives that the new album The Concrete Confessional (Nuclear Blast) is the #2 rock record and #13 on Billboard charts. Hatebreed then launch into ‘Looking Down the Barrel of Today’. Live, the song has a wicked funk sound and the pocket is strong with Chris Beattie and Matt Byrne. “The party is only just begun!” Jamey tells us. Finally, the pit has grown. The crowd was a slow burn. They fed off the intensity of the band. Multiple crowd surfers rise above the masses. It’s now a packed house on a Monday night. I was told by a Marquee employee that a good 2500 were in attendance. ‘A.D’ causes a proper circle pit to erupt. Live, ‘A.D’ is a psychotically intense old school thrash song. But, alas, a majority of the crowd stood about like deer in headlights. “They know what they do and they do it will. They stick to it.”, says Patrick. Some are bobbing their heads while others just have this glassy look to their face. I guess I’m just a rabid Hatebreed supporter. Such a laid back attitude towards live music is an anathema to me.

Hatebreed, by Melina D Photography

Hatebreed, by Melina D Photography

Everyone of us are in it together. Everyone leaves with a smile on their face. Everyone leaves with no voice left from a Hatebreed set.” –Jamey Jasta

Hatebreed are killing it on stage. There is elegant beauty in their brutality. It’s been 3.5 years since they played in Tempe. Live they exhibit a tribal feel. Matt’s drumming is deep and mesmerizing. The light show makes me feel like I’m being inducted into the cult of Hatebreed. There are eight discharge lamp/beam/wash moving head fixtures on stage. They shine and flash to the audience; a code of induction. They illuminate the band from behind making them seem larger than life. I drank the Hatebreed kool-aid a long time ago. But tonight I grabbed the chalice and drank deeply again. “I take this vow of hatred, never to be broken.”

There is no family drama. There’s no death. There’s no suicide. There’s no poverty.” – Jamey Jasta.

People hear the music and they think we’re crazy. This is music. It’s transformative. It helps people.” – Jamey Jasta.

Hatebreed, by Melina D Photography


Hatebreed, by Melina D Photography

Hatebreed, by Melina D Photography


Hatebreed, by Melina D Photography

Hatebreed, by Melina D Photography


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Walls of Jericho – No One Can Save You from Yourself

Walls of Jericho – No One Can Save You from Yourself ghostcultmag

Hard to believe that’s it’s been 8 years since The American Dream. Not the American Dream you’re thinking of. I wouldn’t know anything of that as I share a house with way too many roommates and pinch pennies for booze money at the end of the week.

Sagging economy jokes aside, it has been nearly a decade since we heard any new music from Walls of Jericho. And while the Michiganders have been busy starting families and with other musical endeavors, they apparently haven’t lost an ounce of the fury that brought them notoriety in the mid aughts. One Obama presidency later and Walls of Jericho are still spitting venom on latest album No One Can Save You from Yourself (Napalm).

With the exception of album bookend ‘Probably Will’ that venom is still potent. And ‘Probably Will’ is a well put together song, but its clean vocals and orchestral arrangements just don’t gel well with the rest of this sulfuric set.

But allow me to clarify to both naysayer and cautious devotee alike; Walls of Jericho are not on a mission to reinvent themselves. Much to my heart’s delight, frontwoman Candace Kucsulain still has those varnish peeling vocals. If you were expecting a post-hardcore or tech makeover then this album is not for you. That said, if you enjoyed With Devils Amongst Us All and All Hail the Dead then you’ll be dancing to your hearts content on tracks like ‘Relentless’ and ‘Cutbird.’ ‘Damage Done’ follows suit as it switches from gradual pummel to short Slayer blitzes. ‘Reign Supreme’ as a title may seem like an easy hardcore wink and nod, but its suffocating groove will kill any cynicism.

It’ll be easy for the dismissive and jaded to file No One Can Save You from Yourself as derivative. But to do so would be to disregard quality work from a band who’ve long paid their dues. And if we’re going to adopt that philosophy then we might as well expect musical metamorphoses from Ringworm or Integrity. Who wants that?



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