Former Rigor Mortis and current Warbeast vocalist Bruce Corbitt announced earlier this week that he will be retiring from performing after being diagnosed with esophageal cancer. He explained in detail on Facebook, “I was just told an ago I more than likely have stage 3 Esophagus cancer. Still a chance for stage 2. I get into more details on what that means and our plan of attack soon. But after much discussion with the doctors and specialist. ..they’ve told me there’s no chance within in any reasonable time that I’ll ever be able to perform again. So it breaks my heart at this time that I’m forced to announce my retirement from singing.”
A lot of people would stop fighting, but that’s not Bruce. After going through several treatments this week, he announced on Friday that the doctors agreed to allow him one final moment on stage, and it happened last night in Fort Worth, Texas. Continue reading →
Power Trip has released one of the undeniably great albums of 2017 thus far with Nightmare Logic, out now on Southern Lord Records. While on tour with Iron Reagan, Ghost Cult’s Keith Chachkes caught up with front man Riley Gale at Webster Hall in New York City to discuss politics, radical philosophy, metal and more. With inspiring music and a chaotic live show, Power Trip are one of the most impressive bands on the scene today. Continue reading →
Superjoint unleashed Caught Up In The Gears of Application last week via Housecore Records, and as Keith said in his review, the record “is a nice return to form for this supergroup of metal veterans.” In my recent interview with Jimmy Bower, he mentioned how good the new stuff would sound live, and he was not lying. Superjoint killed it at their record release show at Gas Monkey Live in Dallas over the weekend, and we have fan footage of their set for you today. Continue reading →
Superjoint will be releasing their new album, Caught Up In the Gears of Application, on November 11th via Housecore Records, and they’ve just announced a massive record release show in Dallas, Texas. Continue reading →
“Everything is bigger in Texas,” the saying goes. Now, I don’t know about the size of the gentlemen of Texas outfit Die Young, but what I do know is that they are not messing around. As no-nonsense as their message, their newest effort No Illusions (Good Fight Music) starts off swinging a few fists. With their Bolt Thrower-like mix of hardcore and thrash, they take no prisoners.
Before reforming and dropping the record, the band released the single ‘Providence’. In an interview, vocalist Daniel Albaugh said that ‘Providence’ is about preferring a chaotic universe to a universe led by one – sadistic, according to the Old Testament and Albaugh – God. The rest of the record also points to a very anti-theistic message, from the title of the album (No Illusions) to songs like the very sarcastically titled ‘God’s Promises’.
The song Providence itself, in terms of sound, is very reminiscent of a young Hatebreed. Aggressive, no-nonsense, no fancy riffs, just honest hardcore. The slowed-down intro gets the listener amped up for the violence yet to come. With a commanding shout they kick the song into a higher gear, ready to fire up a mean mosh pit.
After ‘Providence’ the album barrels on like a semi-truck, floating between almost Slayer-like thrash and classic Knuckledust-, Blood For Blood-style hardcore. In some songs, like ‘I Repent’, they mix the thumping hardcore backing, with a warp-speed thrash metal shred solo. The two genres go together quite nicely, forming an audio barrage of pure aggression.
However, No Illusions does not really stand out for me. Most of the songs are quite interchangeable, and I have a feeling I’ve heard most of them before. It is a solid record, with solid riffs and a solid sound, but it does not manage to surprise the listener. The songs are good for throwing a beer or two and running into the pit, guns blazing, but it does not really have any memorable hooks or riffs.
Predictability is as underrated as a comfy old of pair of trainers for moochin’ around in, and if we were gambling peeps round Ghost Cult Towers even before picking up Sons Of Texas début Baptized In The Rio Grande we’d have had some pretty strong suspicions as to whether or not it would carry the expected Southern flavours of the Lone Star State.
And a seam of a Southern groove does indeed hit the back of the throat as strong as a slug of straight-up Bourbon from the outset, and is the underlying theme of each of the eleven songs. The initial impression is that Sons of Texas are a Face Off mixture of Down and Black Stone Cherry with Zakk Wylde picking up the tab, particularly on the opening and title tracks. Mark Morales manages to incorporate elements of both Anselmo and Chris Robertson to his delivery representing the band by mixing aggression where it’s needed (but without spilling over and losing the melody) with some quality choruses and hooks, in particular when things kick back during ‘Breathing Through My Wounds’ and ‘September’, two powerful, rocky balladic reflective moments that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Stone Sour album
Elsewhere there are touches of Disturbed or Shinedown, and ‘The Vestryman’ has NOLA (Elektra) etched into its’ spine, but these are mentioned more as pointers of where the band sit sound-wise and stylistically. Clearly receiving the backing of Razor & Tie, Josh Wilbur (Lamb of God, All That Remains) is behind the production desk, bringing forth a full, thick and expertly balanced sound, it isn’t long before you embrace the appealing, honest enjoyability of Sons of Texas and accept Baptized In The Rio Grande in its’ own right as fine, Southern, hard rock album imbued with a song-writing maturity beyond the years of the contributing members all while retaining the requisite youthful energy to put the songs over.
You can rest assured, predictability isn’t the only thing that is welcome – giving people the big, stompin’ rock songs that put a grin on the face and an involuntary bob in the neck are too, and Sons of Texas have those in spades.
Everything about Buried (Shelsmusic/I.Corrupt), the debut full-length from Texan trio Brother/Ghost, shook me to the core before I’d even heard it; some websites even likening their sound to Folk and Country rock. The song titles were stark enough to make me wonder, and the reality here is indeed very different.
The initial strains see Death in Vegas-style atmospherics blend with the catchy melodies of 90s Indie-pop outfit New Radicals, slowed by a brick on the turntable and oft decorated with crushing riffs and pummeling drums, as with opener ‘Satan’. The real magnetism in these early stages, however, is the harrowing melancholy of the lyrics and the delivery of co-vocalist Colby Faulkner James; the maudlin tunefulness counteracting the tortuously slow execution. ‘Cripple’s utterly depressing tale is delivered from the back of a giant snail by James’s mellifluous tones, beautiful yet heartbreaking, the harshness increasing with the building riff and roared coda.
The ensuing ‘Causeway’ is a similar story; a painfully sad trawl through a melodic lament, James’s voice and the teardrops of a Fender Rhodes dripped like barbed honey into the soul. Exemplifying some of the most delicate Doom music of recent times, ‘Freedom’s twisty bass riff snakes through a jangling lead and strange drum pattern, the slight lift in pace only mildly alleviating the bitter misery disguised by those deceptively spiteful vocals: sometimes hushed and calm, occasionally soaring like a wounded eagle, once breaking with raw emotion.
Despite the overriding disconsolation, this is a strangely uplifting sound…until the invitation to wrist-slitting that is ‘Pendulum’. When co-vocalist W.S. Dowdy’s throat reaches for doleful bass notes, you’ll realise just how the spirit of David Gold courses through this album. Incredibly, more honest, gut-wrenching emotion bleeds from ten seconds of this track than any effort from the late, legendary Woods of Ypres mainman; the chopping, swinging riff embodying the title, the closing momentum a staggeringly affecting slowness. Closer ‘Blackdog’, meanwhile, is initially layered with lush synths which cheapen the tired, almost inebriated voice. The ensuing swell, however, is the aural depiction of depression with riffs squirming through oscillating sound effects and lyrics such as “Toothless mouths full of doom and god” fully depicting the near-apathetic despair underpinning the whole set.
It’s a curious affair this, blending easy listening with pulverising power and the most emotionally disturbing sadness; bewitching, bitter, traumatic yet compelling, and well worth the many listens it will take to control your brain. Those of us who have experienced this level of darkness will either find it too painful to reach the end of this captivating offering, or fully wallow in its exquisite tragedy.