There aren’t many bands who can lay claim to sounding better now, with nineteen albums under their belts, than they did at their perceived peak. At least not many who can say it while keeping a straight face anyway. But then again, not every band is OverKill.Continue reading
Overkill has announced they have completed work on their new album, and it is due out in February 2019 from their label Nuclear Blast. It will mark the bands’ recorded debut with drumming legend Jason Bittner (Shadows Fall, Flotsam And Jetsam) behind the kit. Continue reading
Jason Bittner is undoubted one of the best metal drummers in the world. He is best known for his time in Shadows Fall, and Flotsam And Jetsam, but has been playing with Overkill for the last year plus and totally crushing it. Jason has shared drum cam footage on his YouTube channel of him performing two songs: ‘Electric Rattlesnake’ and ‘Hello From The Gutter’. This was shot during Overkill’s run on the 2017 Metal Alliance Tour. Continue reading
This is awesome news! Jason Bittner, who is well known from his years behind the kit with Stigmata, Shadows Fall and Voivod, has officially joined Overkill! Continue reading
In theory, the new Flotsam and Jetsam album Flotsam and Jetsam (AFM Records) should be called Regeneration. Their press brief says that the band really started in 2015 with the line-up of Eric AK, Mike Gilbert, Michael Spencer, Steve Conley, and Jason Bittner (Shadows Fall). For this, I gave Flotsam and Jetsam a fresh listen, forgetting the past albums and attacking Flotsam and Jetsam as a new separate entity. The new album Flotsam and Jetsam is twelve songs lasting 56 minutes. It’s an hour that goes quickly by as the tracks seamlessly blend from one song to another.
The first thing that struck me was the heaviness of opening track. ‘Seventh Seal’ is has a heaviness that weights it down. If it weren’t for the guitar lines and jaunty pace of the song, it could be a doom song. There is something about the song that claws at you and keeps you earthbound. ‘Life is a Mess’ has the same thundering drumming as ‘Seventh Seal’. The vocals have this nu-metal rap feel with 90s metal singing. I hear shades of Testament in the guitar parts. ‘Taser’ opens up like a muscle car on an open backwoods Texas road. It’s fast and it’s wild. The vocals are a bit strained, but the music more than makes up for it. ‘Taser’ has a swagger about it. I went into ‘Iron Maiden’ wanting to love it because I love Iron Maiden. True to form, it’s a Bruce Dickinson epic lyrics love fest. It’s a bit of the ‘Trooper’ in new clothes. I nice wink wink nudge nudge to a great band.
The rest of the album is more of the same. Solid tunes that follow the tried and true metal formula. Flotsam and Jetsam the album has lots of guitar solos in all the right places and heavy drumming and bass playing keep everything solid. Some of the songs are a bit chunky and plodding while others have interesting accoutrements. If you like Overkill and Testament, you’ll enjoy Flotsam and Jetsam.
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Recently inactive Boston metallers Shadows Fall will headline The Big Kaunha Festival in August. Taking place at Fêtemusic Hall in Providence, Rhode Island on 8/22, the bill will also feature regional acts such as End Time Illusion, Anaria, Carnivora, Oath over three stages, with many other bands yet to be announced.
The band commented on the show:
“We may add a few more shows around this date and these could possibly be the only Shadows Fall dates of the year.”
The band released a statement last August stating of the intentions of the band to take at least a long open-ended hiatus:
“Touring full time in a band these days has never been more difficult financially. When you have to ensure the future comfort of your family, difficult decisions have to be made. Another reason is the fact that our lead guitarist (Jon Donais) is now in Anthrax, which makes it hard for us to do any extensive touring with our full lineup.
“This has been a real hard decision for all of us to make, but we feel at this time this is the right thing to do. We don’t hate each other, we’re not bitter,;we, in fact, still have a really great time together, but the ride has slowed down and it’s time for the next chapters in our lives, whatever that may be.
“For the past decade and a half, we have been able to create the music we have always wanted to hear and share it with music fans everywhere. That being said, you still may see us at a festival or two over the next few years… If they ask, we will come!”
In addition to Donais’ work touring and recording a new Anthrax album, Brian Fair has performed with Overcast, Matt Bachand has launched a management company called Manshark Entertainment and joined Act of Defiance on bass, and Jason Bittner has joined Flotsam And Jetsam. Shadows Fall’s last album release was 2012’s Fire From The Sky on the Razor & Tie label
Resurrected cult classic progressive thrashers Toxik have posted two new songs – “Too Late” here and “Crooked Crosses” here, off their forthcoming album In Humanity. The songs feature Mike Sanders on vocals, Josh Christian on guitar, Jason Bittner (Shadows Fall/Flotsam & Jetsam) on drums and William Bodily (Freya) on bass. The songs were mixed and mastered by Tom Morris of Morrisound Recording in Tampa, FL.
Drummer Jason Bittner (Shadows Fall) has replaced Kelly Smith in Flotsam and Jetsam, who left to attend to family duties. Bittner has also left his other project Toxik and will be involved with Flotsam’s new album, due out in the spring.
“I have been a Flotsam And Jetsam fan for decades, following the band around the East Coast in the eighties and nineties. I’ve been lucky enough to be in the background of the Flotsam And Jetsam camp as a fan, supporter, and gear leader to my dear friend, Kelly David Smith.
I am hard at work relearning all the classic Flotz material and can’t wait to record and tour with the band in 2015. This will become my focus after the completion of the 2015 U.S. Shadows Fall hiatus tour, which will happen spring/summer 2015.
As they say… ‘Flotz ’till death!’ See you in Europe, in April.”