ALBUM REVIEW: Entropy – Force Convergence

Formed in 1989, but with less than a handful of full-length studio albums to their name, Canadian thrashers Entropy aren’t exactly the most prolific act in the universe. A seventeen-year absence from 1995 to 2012, and a gap of eight years since their previous album hasn’t helped, but whenever the two remaining original members, vocalist Ger Schreinert, and guitarist Dan Lauzon, do eventually get together, the results are always worth waiting for. Continue reading

PODCAST: Episode 89: Jacob Bannon (Converge) on Umbra Vitae Band and Debut Album

Ghost Cult was honored to chat with musician and artist Jacob Bannon of Converge, Wear Your Wounds, and his new band Umbra Vitae. That group just released their debut album, Shadow of Life, (read our review here), a brutal, OSDM flavored album created by Jacob and a group of master musicians and friends such as Mike McKenzie (The Red Chord, WYW) and Sean Martin (Twitching Tongues, ex Hatebreed, WYW) Greg Weeks (The Red Chord, Labor Hex) and Jon Rice (Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, Job For A Cowboy). In a frank discussion with our editor Keefy, Jacob discussed the impact coronavirus has had on the music world and more specifically his bands and his label Deathwish Inc., what are the Death Metal inspirations of the group, how Umbra Vitae came together, how this is a full band and not side-project, the poem that inspired the band name and the entire album, an update on new Converge and WYW music, and much more. Jacob is working to stay focused and creative during the pandemic to keep his bands and Deathwish Inc. alive in all of this and if you can, please support his music, art activities at these links.

Buy the album here https://orcd.co/umbravitae

Support all of Jacob here:

https://jacobbannon.com/

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ALBUM REVIEW: Umbra Vitae – Shadow of Life

Converge is one of the lucky Hardcore/Punk bands that has seen notable success over the years. Though they have flirted with the metal genre on some of their albums like The Poacher Diaries (Relapse Records) and You Fail Me (Epitaph Records), frontman Jason Bannon has been itching to make something heavier. This veteran vocalist loves his celebrated children Converge and Wear Your Wounds, but is now really exposing his heart for ferocity with his new Death Metal project, Umbra Vitae. Along with some other experienced and eager members, Bannon has just released the band’s debut LP, Shadows of Life on his own label, Deathwish Inc.

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Jeff Hanneman of Slayer Died Seven Years Ago (January 31, 1964 – May 2, 2013)

Ghost Cult continues to fly the flag of Slayer high, and customarily we celebrate the life of Jeff Hanneman, who passed away on May 2nd, 2013. Jeff left an indelible mark on all of metal through the music and performances he created with Slayer. His legacy as a riff maker, songwriter, soloist, and metal personality has not been dampened since his death. In the time since he passed, Ghost Cult observed Slayer as they released a final studio album with Jeff’s contributions (Repentless), had a legend take his spot live (Gary Holt of Exodus), released a comic book with Jeff’s likeness, completed their final world tour ever of two years, released an incredible film/music video trilogy (The Repentless Killogy), former bandmate DaveLombardo wrote a loving tribute to his fallen friend, and we have written two career-spanning retrospectives (read them here and here) on the end of the band. Every night on that final world tour, Slayer honored Jeff during ‘Raining Blood’ with the still reigning banner. Hail Jeff and Hail Slayer!

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ALBUM REVIEW: Havok – V

Judging by its title, the latest release by US thrashers Havok is either a bold, singular statement about this being their fifth full-length studio release, or, rather less plausibly, that it’s actually a concept album based on the 1980s sci-fi series about alien lizard people who wear big red jumpsuits. Sadly, it is, in fact, the rather more mundane first option, but that doesn’t stop V (Century Media) from being bigger and almost as frightening than the hairstyles on that show. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Annihilator – Ballistic, Sadistic

If Ballistic, Sadistic (Silver Lining Music), the new album by Canadian speedsters Annihilator, is anything to go by, then relocating to the UK is probably the best move the band’s mastermind Jeff Waters has made for years. Consistency has been an issue with Annihilator for some time, but since the recruitment of English bassist Rich Hinks, the band have not only rediscovered their classic sound but a new lease of life in the process. Continue reading

EP REVIEW: Black Talon – Existential

Formed in 2010, Edinburgh thrashers Black Talon follow up their 2015 debut Endless Realities (Wasted State Records) with independently released five-track EP Existential. Sounding like a modern Scottish version of the 1980s Bay Area, this short release is replete with riffs and melodies similar to the likes of Forbidden, Testament and Dark Angel with vocals owing a debt to Vio-Lence and UK thrashmonkeys Acid Reign. Continue reading

EP REVIEW: Municipal Waste – The Last Rager

You know the old idiom, “you can’t judge a book by its cover”? Yeah, well, it’s nonsense. Just take one quick look at the cover to The Last Rager (Nuclear Blast), the new EP from Virginian beermonsters Municipal Waste and judge to your heart’s content. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Toxic Holocaust – Primal Future: 2019

Listen, guys, this opening statement probably isn’t going to be the most logical thing ever said about a Toxic Holocaust album, but Primal Future: 2019‘s biggest issue may just be that it’s stuck in the 1980s. Yeah, I know that love for Reagan era Thrash Metal is the house that Toxic Holocaust has built and resided in since their inception so save your comments. I mean Primal Future: 2019 has more reverence for that decade than Stranger Things, The Goldbergs and Michael J. Fox combined. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Anacrusis – Suffering Hour/Reason (Reissues)

One of the lesser-known names of the 80s/90s thrash scene, St. Louis act Anacrusis still managed leave quite an impression on the genre. Combining lightning speed with intricate and progressive song structures, the band released four albums between 1988 and 1993. Only previously available from certain online marketplaces at inflated or stupidly high prices, the band’s discography is finally being made available from label Metal Blade. Continue reading