I’m not going to start this write-up and pretend like I have a solution for grief or that I’ve made peace with the fact that Trevor Strnad of The Black Dahlia Murder is no longer with us. As of this writing, it’s been nearly a week since his passing and frankly, I’m still trying to process that. Telling myself that it can’t be true since I’ve seen Strnad and his bandmates have seemingly all the fun onstage at least seven times.
In time I’ll accept what has occurred. But let’s take a look back.
Cattle Decapitation has released a new song today, ‘Mammals In Babylon’, from their forthcoming new album The Anthropocene Extinction due for release from Metal Blade on August 7th. You can stream the track at this link.
The Anthropocene Extinction is the followup to the critically acclaimed and beloved by death metal fans Monolith of Inhumanity. The Anthropocene Extinction was produced by frequent collaborator Dave Otero (Allegaeon, Cephalic Carnage) at Flatline Audio in Denver, Colorado, and includes guest appearances from the Philip H. Anselmo, Tristan Shone/Author & Punisher and Bethlehem’s Mr. Jurgen Bartsch.
Cattle Decapitations’s artwork for cattle decapitation ‘The Anthropocene Extinction’
Cattle Decapitationwill appear on this year’s edition of the Summer Slaughter tour with Arch Enemy, Born Of Osiris, Veil Of Maya, Obscura and more.
In conjunction with the Summer Slaughter Tour, the band has announce a special Halfway To Slaughter contest! To enter go to the Summer Slaughter Tour’s FaceBook page and share the streaming single post to enter: https://www.facebook.com/SummerSlaughterTour. One random fan on FaceBook will be selected on July 6thto win prizes courtesy of Indie Merch and Metal Blade Records. The mega prize pack will include:
– The Anthropocene Extinction T-shirt – 30″ x 60″ full-color custom album art beach towel – Aluminum water bottle with gold band logo print – 4′ x 2′ full-color album art tapestry – 4-count button pack with custom hangcard – 5″ square full-color album art sticker – 5″ embroidered patch with gold band logo – Cassette copy of The Anthropocene Extinction – CD copy of The Anthropocene Extinction – Double LP copy of The Anthropocene Extinction
I tend to feel spoiled living in Massachusetts. Why spoiled? Because it’s very easy for me to sit back, enjoy a Miller High Life, and put my elitist hat on when it comes to extreme music. Just look at our track record. The dirty water state has given us bands like SS Decontrol, Sam Black Church, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Converge, Shadows Fall and The Red Chord. We’ve had it pretty good.
But unfortunately with such a strong pedigree comes the risk of complacency. It’s easy to rest on those laurels because we assume that the old guard we be there forever. All it takes is watching the latest deathcore clone or third-rate djent band posturing as progressive metal at the Palladium for me to realize that “The Bay State’s” reputation can be tarnished. We cannot soil our history with guitar backing tracks and shitty neck tattoos.
While it is always best to air on the side of caution, I dare say that the future of Massachusetts metal is safe and sound. We have young bands like Pathogenic, My Missing Half, The Summoned and George Orwell the Musical to fly the flag. Joining that vanguard of New England brutality is Carnivora with The Vision EP.
I was fortunate enough to have as guests on my radio show, Stress Factor, in 2013 when they were promoting their first LP, Eternal. The shred was strong on that début offering and I wasn’t the only one impressed as they embarked on a seamlessly never-ending string of regional shows and battles of the bands.
Less than two years later and with appearances on the 2014s Summer Slaughter Tour and Mayhem Festival, the gentlemen from Danvers have returned with an even sharper collection of songs. While everyone has stepped up their game, it’s the guitar tandem of Cody Michaud and Mike Meehan that take center stage on tracks like ‘A Vision in Red’ and ‘Razors & Rust.’ So much so that if given time to further develop they’ll be hanging with great Massachusetts guitar tag teams like Ken Susi and Buz McGrath of Unearth or Shadows Fall’s Matt Bachand (who manages Carnivora) and Jon Donais.
So no need to worry. I say that the future is ours.
The 2015 selection of summer festivals and shows proves to be one of the strongest in years: The usual suspects, Wacken and Hellfest, as well as newcomers Deadfest and King of the Monsters, all feature a brutal bevvy of the best in Death, Grind, Black Metal, and Hardcore.
Keeping up with all of the happenings calls for a comprehensive list, so here’s your guide to the grim de la grim of summer fests:
Summer Slaughter Tour
Dubbed “The Most Extreme Tour of the Year,” the annual Summer Slaughter Tour features a hefty handful of big-time Metal acts serving up set lists to concert goers July 28th through August 24th.
The 2015 lineup includes Arch Enemy, Born of Osiris, Veil of Maya, The Acacia Strain, Obsurca, After the Burial, Cattle Decapitation, Beyond Creation, and other “special guests;” tickets can be purchased through www.TheSummerSlaughterTour.com.
France’s answer to open-air shows includes the annual Hellfest, which has quickly become one of the most exciting and involved.
Over the course of three days, June 19, 20, and 21, with this year’s gathering held in Clisson, France, Hellfest features six stages of subgenre-specific sets:
Main Stages One and Two host heavy hitters, like Judas Priest, Slipknot, and Faith No More, and The Alter showcases crushing Death and Grind bands, like At the Gates, Onslaught, and Leng Tch’e. The Temple features Black Metal and Thrash, and The Valley finds Stoner Rock, Sludge, and Doom.
With the Warzone holding down the Punk and Hardcore front, Hellfest also proves to be one of the most well-organized concert series of the year.
Information on Hellfest can be found at the official Website www.HellFest.fr.
King of the Monsters
July 31st and August 1st find Hardcore and Grind bands celebrating King of the Monsters Records’ 20th Anniversary.
Crudos, Infest, and ACxDC are among performers, and attendees can also catch Creation is Crucifixtion, the defunct avant-garde Grind act.
Information on this two-day show can be found over at www.KOTMFest.com, as well as at the King of the Monsters Facebook.com page (www.Facebook.com/KingoftheMonstersRecords).
Bay Area Deathfest
The second-annual Bay Area Death fest brings Tech-Death and Death-Grind to the Oakland Metro, July 11 – 12th.
Cattle Decapitation, Psycroptic, Origin, and Bay-Area natives Fallujah, head up the crop, and The Zenith Passage, Gortuary, and No Zodiac are among many others.
A spirited DIY effort between its two co-founders, Andrew Manganiello and Thomas Johnson, the Bay Area Deathfest offers one of the most well stocked showcases of the year.
Slayer, King Diamond, Hellyeah, and The Devil Wears Prada headline the 2015 Mayhem Fest: the month-long, state-side show takes on cities from Chula Vista, CA to Dallas, Texas, June 26th through August 2nd.
Whitechapel, Thy Art is Murder, Jungle Rot, Sister Sin, Sworn In, Shattered Sun, Feed Her to the Sharks, Code Orange, and Kissing Candace are among supporting acts; the fest is a one-day blow out, so show up early to catch everyone.
A three-day stay at this Czech Republic show promises to satiate your need for both nu-Metal-era head banging (yep, via Head PE), and Grind and Death equally.
Agalloch, At The Gates, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Napalm Death, Psycroptic, Rosetta, and others will perform, and August 5th sees festival kick off, with August 8th concluding it all.
Brutal Assault is not yet sold out, so if you’re feeling Prauge-y, for more info, visit www.BrutalAssault.cz.
These are just a few of the summer fests and forthcoming shows; for full band lists and further festival info, be sure to check out the Facebook pages and official Websites sites, and visit www.GhostCultMag.com for show coverage, features, reviews, and photos.
Technical Death Metal legends Dying Fetus are heading back to Europe this fall for a six-week tour. They will be joined by fellow musical misanthropes in Goatwhore, Malevolence and Fallujah. The long-running band is still out on the road supporting their exceptional 2012 album Reign Supreme (Relapse). Of the trek, Guitarist / vocalist John Gallagher has said:
“We’re stoked to hit the European road this winter and crush the weak! Every band on this tour brings something unique to the table thus making an amazing package which will pulverize. This will be a death metal party that shouldn’t be missed. Bring your war helmet!”
Dying Fetus tour dates / European Tour with Goatwhore, Malevolence and Fallujah
Nov 08 – Liege, Belgium – Fonck
Nov 09 – Essen, Germany – Turock (Matinee)
Nov 10 – Frankfurt, Germany – 11er
Nov 11 – Dessau, Germany – Beatclub
Nov 12 – Prague, Czech Rep – Meet Factory w/ Cannibal Corpse
Nov 13 – Ludwigsburg, Germany – Rockfabrik
Nov 14 – Berlin, Germany – Lido
Nov 15 – Eindhoven, Netherlands – Dynamo
Nov 16 – Trier, Germany – Exhaus
Nov 17 – Brighton, UK – Audio
Nov 18 – Cardiff, UK – Clwb Ifor Bach
Nov 19 – Glasgow, UK – Cathouse
Nov 20 – Dublin, Ireland – Voodoo Lounge
Nov 21 – Manchester, UK – Sound Control
Nov 22 – Wolverhampton, UK – Slade Rooms
Nov 23 – London, UK – Garage
Nov 24 – Paris, France – Divan Du Monde
Nov 25 – Toulouse, France – La Dynamo
Nov 26 – Santander, Spain – Escenario
Nov 27 – Porto, Portugal – Hard Club
Nov 28 – Madrid, Spain – Penélope
Nov 29 – Badalona, Spain – Estraperlo Club
Nov 30 – Nimes, France – Paloma
Dec 01 – Clermont-Ferrand, France – Le Tremplin
Dec 02 – Aarau, Switzerland – Kiff
Dec 03 – Brescia, Italy – Circolo Colony
Dec 04 – München, Germany – Backstage
Dec 05 – Budapest, Hungary – Blue Hell
Dec 06 – Ljubljana, Slovenia – Gala Hala
Dec 07 – Cluj-Napoca, Romania – Flying Circus
Dec 08 – Sofia, Bulgaria – Jet Rock
Dec 09 – Brasov, Romania – Club Rockstadt
Dec 10 – Kosice, Slovakia – Collosseum
Dec 11 – Wien, Austria – Viper Room
Dec 12 – Nürnberg, Germany – Rockfabrik
Dec 13 – Aarhus, Denmark – Voxhall
Dec 14 – Oslo, Norway – John Dee
Dec 16 – Helsinki, Finland – Nosturi
Dec 18 – Stockholm, Sweden – Debaser Medis
Dec 19 – Hamburg, Germany – Kaiserkeller, Große Freiheit
Dec 20 – Leer, Germany – Zollhaus
JOHN GALLAGHER of DYING FETUS
In the meantime Dying Fetus hits the road in the USA on this year’s Summer Slaughter Tour, as direct support for Morbid Angel, and also counting Goatwhore and Fallujah on that bill. That tour begins tonight in California. When they are done with touring for the year, they will turn their attention to recording their next album, due in 2015, also for Relapse.
Another Summer Slaughter tour descended on America and Ghost Cult was there! Sure, kids on the interwebs bitched and moaned about how “extreme” the so-called “most extreme tour of the summer” really was this go around, but who really cares. Either you went and rocked out, or didn’t go and complained. The metal scene these days is far too diverse for such elitist attitudes to keep thriving, and no one is denying that the early years of the tour had some of the most brutal bands assembled on one stage ever. On the the other hand, when you can bring the current crop of some of the most exciting progressive bands in heavy music out on the road for two months, and criss-cross a country like the USA, you are doing it right my friends.Continue reading →