With a gap of eight years since their last studio album and boasting a new, reshuffled line-up, UK thrashers Evile are back with an absolute vengeance on their fifth full-length release. And as its title suggests, listening to Hell Unleashed (Napalm Records) is much like letting an angry, unfed Rottweiler loose in a roomful of overweight and particularly slow-moving children.
Machine Head performed another of their lockdown-era “Electric Happy Hour” sessions where Robb Flynn is often joined by bassist Jared MacEachern. They perform a set every Friday and this week they deep cuts like ” fan favorite “My Misery” from the Tales From The Crypt: Demon Knight Soundtrack, hits, and covers of Pearl Jam, White Zombie, and Slayer. You can watch every Friday live on that bands’ YouTube or Robb Flynn’s Twitch channel.
In his latest ‘At Home With’ conversation on Apple Music, Zane Lowe is joined by Rob Zombie who discusses riding out quarantine from a farm in Connecticut, becoming friends with his heroes, being “the world’s biggest cult artist”, Alice Cooper as a mentor, why he stopped collecting posters, and discovering music from filmmaking. He also recalls the first time he met Ozzy Osbourne, how White Zombie was widely hated by most bigger bands and their fans when they started and much more!
It should come as a surprise to no-one that Omega (Nuclear Blast), the eighth full-length studio release from Dutch symphonic metal act Epica, is another concept-driven album. Formed in 2002, the band are widely known for their ambitious ideas and themes, covering everything from the Mayan civilization to religion, nature, quantum physics and the possibility that the universe is actually digitally created hologram. You know, simple stuff.
With only founding guitarist Prika Amaral remaining from their original 2010 line-up, Brazilian thrashers Nervosa return with a much more international look on their fourth full-length studio release, Perpetual Chaos (Napalm Records). Joining Amaral this time is Spanish vocalist Diva Satanica, Greek drummer Eleni Nota, and former Abbath bassist Mia Wallace.
The reignited interest in distinctly eighties-sounding metal styles, and more specifically, the thrash revival of the 2000s, has brought with it a handful of blistering new acts, alongside a slew of respectable releases from its originators. However, as a general scene, it has also suffered from a lack of innovation and compositional creativity. Often bands of this scene are perfectly content to just emulate classic sounds long-established by Sodom, Kreator, Venom, Bathory, and Slayer. Oftentimes, I find it a dull guessing game of which thrash bands are being ripped off whenever I listen to these bands. But there are nevertheless a handful of acts that in addition to paying tribute to the old guard’s sound manage to capture that fury, excitement, and blasphemous spirit of heavy music during the proto-extreme metal era. James McBain, the singular creative force behind Hellripper, clearly loves the style of first wave black metal and Teutonic thrash but is also creative enough to blend them to create something that sounds completely fresh. The result here is The Affair of the Poisons (Peaceville Records), a sophomore effort to the more straightforward Coagulating Darkness, and a release of blackened thrash/speed metal fury that will leave you yearning even more for a destructive live experience in 2020.Continue reading
Formed in Worcester, Massachusetts in 2016, five-piece thrash outfit High Command follow up their 2017 debut full length Beyond the Wall of Desolation with digitally released single Everlasting Torment (both Southern Lord).Continue reading
One year after the final performance of Slayer’s entire career at a hometown show in Los Angeles, Kerry King honored the moment with a shot and a Slayer shirt! Kerry’s wife Ayesha King took to her Instagram to post a photo of her husband, and she included the following caption: “Kerry threw on a SLAYER shirt and poured a shot for you all to mark the anniversary of the last SLAYER show one year ago today. Have a shot with us! Cheers friends!” Peers from other bands such as Scott Ian of Anthrax and Phil Demmel of Vio-lence, who filled in for slayer for a few shows on their farewell tour, paid tribute in the comments. Slayer finished their final world tour and members of the band and those close to the band, such as Ayesha King, claim the band will never reunite. Slayer continues to operate as a brand with legacy projects, new merch, and more. Kerry King is reportedly starting a new band with his former Slayer bandmembers Gary Holt and Paul Bostaph. Read our coverage of the final Slayer tour here!
In a year which has seen a global pandemic, mass protests and rioting, explosions, fires, floods, earthquakes, and even fucking murder hornets, wouldn’t it be nice to not have to worry about what final cruel tricks 2020 might still have left up its sleeve, and just have something nice and dependable to enjoy?
Cover songs can be tricky. A balancing act that often results in calamity. Lean too far one way and be accused of musical blasphemy; keep things too safe and be reliably informed you shouldn’t have bothered in the first place. So with that in mind, surely an album consisting entirely of cover versions is just asking for trouble, isn’t it?Continue reading