EXCLUSIVE STREAM: Starcrazy – “Long Way Home”

 

Rising Australian rock stars Starcrazy have teamed up with Ghost Cult to stream the first single from their debut EP, due in early 2021. “Long Way Home” calls it back to a simpler time of spazzed out licks, breezy hooks, catchy verses, great vocals, and real rock n roll swagger. A song like this is the polar opposite of today’s fake everything and too clean substitute for pop pulp. The band already counts legends such as Alice Cooper and Fishbone frontman Angelo Moore, and chances are you are next! 

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ALBUM REVIEW: Plague Years – Circle Of Darkness

Relative newcomers to the scene, Detroit’s Plague Years follow up their independently released 2018 debut EP with their first full-length offering, Circle of Darkness (eOne Music). Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Disciples of Verity – Pragmatic Sanction

Music fans love a good supergroup. However, a lot of times the results may vary and the resultant music that felt like it would rule on paper doesn’t translate in the end. Well, that sure isn’t the case with Disciples of Verity. Not only does the band boast a who’s who of dynamic talents from across Rock and Metal (Living Colour, God Forbid, Negative Sky, Sekond Skyn), their debut release Pragmatic Sanction (The Label Group/InGrooves) has a ton of memorable songs; heavy enough for the real headbangers, but catchy enough for the masses. Continue reading

VIDEO PREMIERE: Children of the Sün – Emmy

Summer of Love” inspired band Children of the Sun are releasing their new album Flowers via The Sign label on July 26th, 2019 in digital, CD, and vinyl formats. The eight-piece band hailing from Arvika, Sweden deals not just the hippie aesthetic of that time, but a musical homage to the emotive vocals, Hammond B-3 organ and spacey guitars of their forebearers. Ghost Cult is presenting the retro video for their song ‘Emmy’. Get ready to jump in your Delorian and gun it to 88 miles per hour, taking you back to a simpler time of free love, good drugs, and all-around kindness to others, which we need more of today. Watch the clip now! Continue reading

Lost Society – Riptide: Live at Manchester Academy 3

When it comes to the heavy scene of Finland, your average metalhead is likely to associate it with a plethora of power and melodic death metal bands that established themselves during a period in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The strength of such acts, which included Stratovarius, Children of Bodom and most infamously Nightwish, not only helped put Scandinavia on the map but to this day remain the icy nation’s most popular and recognised exports. However, despite a long-lasting legacy steeped in epic choruses, neo-classical soloing and gliding keyboards, it so happened that in 2010, a humble quartet from the small town of Jyväskylä by the name of Lost Society would bust down the gate with a relentless thrash album aptly titled Fast Loud Death. It was a release that harkened back to the very earliest days of Metallica and Exodus, and was so instantly beloved by thrashers around the world that it solidified the band as one of the most energising new faces of the genre. So much that when the band dared to change their style up on their latest release (2016’s Braindead – Nuclear Blast), many of their fans were left feeling at best, puzzled, and at very worst, betrayed. On the back of this polarising release, Lost Society welcomed a mosh-ready Manchester crowd for a night of thrash, groove and everything in between on their very first UK headline tour. Continue reading

EXCLUSIVE ALBUM PREMIERE: Guerrilla Ghost “Perpetually Sad Motion Machine”

Coming out of Milwaukee with their own flavor of genre-redefining socially conscious Hip-Hop, Guerrilla Ghost drops their new album this week, Perpetually Sad Motion Machine via Triple Eye Industries. Reminiscent of leaders of the scene like Dead Prez, Common, Jedi Mind Tricks, Dilated Peoples, Dalek, Kool Keith, Death Grips, Jurassic 5 and others; the new album features guest spots by Carnage the Executioner, Lorde Fredd33 (New Age Narcissism), members of Fox Face (Dirtnap Records), and artwork by Child Bite’s Shawn Knight, Perpetually Sad Motion Machine is the next step in the evolution of one of the genre’s rising acts. Jam out to the album now! Continue reading

Atreyu Release New Singles, Announce New Album

 

In a post to social media, California metalcore kings Atreyu has announced their new album In Our Wake, releasing on October 12th via Spinefarm Records. This is the band’s second album since their reunion, following 2015s excellent comeback album Long Live (Search And Destroy/Spinefarm). The band created the album with John Feldmann (a.k.a. Feldy of Goldfinger) who famously produced their classic Lead Sails And Paper Anchor album. The final track ‘Super Hero’ even features M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold and Aaron Gillespie of Underoath. You can hear the title track of the new record and another song, ‘Anger Left Behind’ and pre-order the album right now! Continue reading

Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell – Keep It Greasy!

Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell is one of those bands you just have to like – it’s ruckus great fun and Keep It Greasy (Rise Above) is a shit kickin’ fun album. I like it because I can head-bang and two-step to it. The track ‘Tired N Wired’ is this mish-mash of chunky bass driven black metal with thick twangy guitars of southern rock mixed with 1970s epic guitar solos. It makes me want to find a pole, put on my hooker heels, a pair of Daisy Duke’s and just dance my wee heart out.  Continue reading

Suicidal Tendencies – World Gone Mad

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In the three years since Suicidal Tendencies released their last album, 13 (Suicidal), to a somewhat mixed reception, things have changed substantially once again in the Californian act’s camp. Main man Mike Muir and his trademark bandanna are back of course, but only lead guitarist Dean Pleasants survives from the 2013 line-up. Out go guitarist Nico Santora, bassist Stephen Bruner, and drummer Eric Moore, to be replaced by Jeff Pogan (rhythm guitar), Ra Diaz (bass), and some chap called Dave Lombardo holding the sticks. Continue reading

Freedom And The Future – Chris Broderick and Shawn Drover of Act of Defiance

AOD 6 by Stephanie Cabral

Act of Defiance 2015. Photo credit Stephanie Cabral

Late last year, both guitarist Chris Broderick and drummer Shawn Drover announced they were parting ways with thrash legends Megadeth. A few months later, the pair announced they had formed a new band, Act of Defiance. This new supergroup, also featuring former Scar the Martyr vocalist Henry Derek and Shadows Fall guitarist Matt Bachland released their debut album Birth and the Burial (Metal Blade) in August of this year. A surprising change of direction, the album is far heavier than many would have expected, especially after the main songwriters’ last record was Megadeth’s AOR-friendly Super Collider (Tradecraft/Universal).

Despite having played in one of the biggest metal bands in the world and probably in the position where they could attract as big a name as they wanted, the former Megadeth men went for a relative unknown with Scar the Martyr’s Henry Derek.  “We put together a list of 30 singers we thought would work well for Act of Defiance and Henry came back as one of 5 we sent out an initial demo to record on”, begins Broderick. “Henry’s demo fit the music so well, so we knew we wanted him as our singer. Talking with him and working on demo material was really easy, and we have a great working relationship.” The addition of Matt Bachland on bass didn’t involve such a wide search, however, as Shawn Drover confirms: “I have known Matt for over 15 years now, and after seeing he was looking for a new gig since the Shads aren’t touring anymore, I hit him up.

Despite the legacy of their previous bands, the duo felt no pressure over fan expectations, Drover calmly explains. “You can’t worry about what people’s perception of a new band will be before they have even heard one note. We just wrote and recorded the exact record we wanted to make, at the end of the day what else can you do?” Broderick is on the same page, equally fearless about people’s reactions.“While we knew we would be compared to our former bands it didn’t concern us, we just wanted to get our own music out there for people to experience, so that attitude allowed us to write freely without chasing any preconceived idea of what people would expect from us.

One of the most surprising things about Birth and the Burial is how heavy is; it’s a record far closer to the likes of Arch Enemy than the melody of Megadeth’s Super Collider. Broderick’s confidence shows: “Both Shawn and I knew we wanted to come out with something heavier not only for ourselves but also for the fans.” Despite what some might see as a new direction, Drover felt there was no compromise: Certain tunes are a bit more progressive and dynamic, but in the end it’s all Heavy Metal. We just created what we truly wanted to write with no regards to chasing trends or wanting to be soft just to try to sell more records. We have no interest in that.

On top of that, Broderick respects the impact of the unknown that Henry brought to the table. “I think the thing that caught people most off guard was Henry’s vocals being so heavy but I think once they hear how melodic he can be at the same time and realize how appropriate and emotionally accurate each style he sings is for the music he is singing over it becomes clear how cool it is.”

While there were a few ideas and riffs that existed previous to the band forming, the majority of material on Birth and the Burial was written specially for the record. Drover: “I have never had much of an issue being inspired to write new music, so there was certainly no shortage of inspiration going into the writing process for this new record. Chris and I were very focused on what we wanted to do on this record, which was to make a Metal record without compromise.

AOD 3 by Stephanie Cabral

Act of Defiance 2015. Photo credit Stephanie Cabral

Obviously AOD’s previous bands were known for their strong leaders; Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine is known for his authoritative streak, while Scar the Martyr’s Joey Jordison was a key member in the nine-man chaos of Slipknot. Who’s the leader now? Broderick: “Right now, Shawn and I are the ones who created Act of Defiance and are taking the initial reigns on its direction, however as Henry and Matt come into the fold and get more involved in the band it will become more equal between all four of us.” There are no dictators though. Drover: “This is a band. We all have a say. When you have people who all have the same goal, which with us is to make the best Heavy Metal we can, it’s not too difficult to agree on matters.”

Was it these strong leaders that led to everyone leaving and eventually forming Act of Defiance? Broderick: “I can only speak to my experiences and it was just a measurement of the positives against the negatives. Performing for such ravenous die-hard fans was awesome, but there came a time where I felt stifled artistically and musically. I liken it to a lawyer leaving a firm to start their own or a chef starting their own restaurant. While neither are giving specifics, it’s clear that a change of direction and freedom is the theme. Drover: “It was simply time for me to move on and make the kind of music I wanted to make. My focus is about music and the new record, period. Anything negative about the past becomes the headline and is a distraction to what I’m here to ultimately promote.

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As well as a new sense of musical freedom, there’s a strong focus on the future, the band say they have no intention of playing old material from their previous bands and this is their sole focus. Broderick: “It started with Shawn and I wanting to get out some of our own music, unaltered or controlled in any form. Act of Defiance is a band with no intention of it just being a project. A lot of people are just doing project after project and giving the fans nothing of substance to connect with.” From the sounds of it, we should be looking forward to plenty more from the supergroup. Drover: “I have never been a huge fan of being in 9 different bands, because most people tend to view those things as just a “project” as opposed to a real band, which is exactly what AOD is.

This is our future, and we are prepared to take Act of Defiance as far as we can for the long haul.”

 

Birth and the Burial is out now via Metal Blade

WORDS BY DAN SWINHOE