ALBUM REVIEW: Kataklysm – Unconquered


Kataklysm has proudly been waving the banners of Melodic Death and Death Metal for nearly thirty years. Originally hailing from Canada, this now multinational act has consistently delivered strikingly aggressive music for decades and it has solidified their spot at the Heavy Metal table. It’s only been two years since they released their last record, Meditations (Nuclear Blast). Yet this new full-length, Unconquered (Nuclear Blast) demonstrates how this quartet has a wealth of heaviness still to share.

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EXCLUSIVE VIDEO PREMIERE: Banisher – “Lockdown”

Polish extreme Metal band Banisher has shared a new music video for their track “Lockdown”, from their Degrees Of Isolation album, released earlier this year via the Selfmadegod label. The low-key supergroup is made of members and ex-members of Decapitated, Belphegor, Vital Remains, Hate, Redemptor, and Shodan, and the music is starkly brutal, and uncompromising. Watch the video for here “Lockdown”

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Vital Remains, ex-Morbid Angel and Chimaira Members Unite for 93

 

Recently departed from Vital Remains, vocalist frontman Brian Werner has formed a new band called 93, featuring Tim Yeung (Morbid Angel, Divine Heresy) and Matt DeVries (Chimaira, Fear Factory). They are joined in the group by Rithiya Khiev and Chris Joao. Check out a teaser now! Continue reading

When The Circus Is In Town: Jason Keyser of Origin

 

krisiun origin north american tour

Emerging from a sea of black t-shirts, Jason Keyser of Origin finds me standing mid-way through the venue’s pre open-door line.

Oh, good it’s not a video recording,” Keyser says as we make our way around the corner to a quiet side of the street.

As we set down our gear on the sidewalk, Keyser greets wallet-chain wearing kids who recognize him.

No, but this way, you can pose in the photos and fluff-out your hair,” I remark between his handshakes with fans.

I’d rather you Photoshop me a lot,” he says as the crowd thins. “Give me a glow.”

Lindsay O'Connor of Ghost Cult with Jayson Keyser of Origin. Photo credit by William Williams

Lindsay O’Connor of Ghost Cult with Jason Keyser of Origin. Photo credit by William Williams

Although Keyser and crew are about halfway through their co-headlining slot on the Devastation Across the Nation US tour, he looks rested and already illuminated, so I skirt the suggestion.

Tony Lazaro said it best: ‘I feel like an old carnie in an old circus,’” Keyser quips, referring to a remark the Vital Remains guitarist made while Origin toured with the band in 2011. Lazaro parlayed the jest while standing at his band’s merch table as he watched young kids run amuck. “There’s a new generation of fans, and we’re still holding on,” Keyser says. “But [Origin guitarist and vocalist] Paul Ryan is the only original member, and he’s still just as young at heart as you can imagine; it’s adorable—he’s a lifer!”

Although there are newer generations of Metal fans taking to the scene, Origin remains one of the well-respected staples, lauded for their blast-beat blitzkriegs and searing technicality. And while Origin isn’t touring in support of anything necessarily “new,” the band’s last album, Omnipresent (Nuclear Blast), remains innovative and relevant.

We’re lucky we’re not big enough that we have to cater to a certain look or style,” Keyser says. “People still seem to dig it, dig what we do. It keeps it fresh. Our last album, [Omnipresent] was a little different from the last one before it, but how ever we’re feeling is how we express ourselves.”

<center><span style="color: #999999;">Origin, by Susanne A. Maathuis</span><center/>

Origin, by Susanne A. Maathuis

 

Would you ever take fans for a loop and put out a Funeral Doom album?

Yeah, maybe—why not? Omnipresent featured a straight-up circle-pit, Thrash-Metal song, as well as a Black Metal song, so maybe we’ll put out an Origin Sludge album—slow it all down by 100 percent.”

Do you give a shit about what your fans think?

If we could have sold out, we would have sold out a long time ago—I guess we are one of those bands that doesn’t “care” about what fans think, because if we did we’d be “selling out.”

I don’t think about it specifically like that, but…hmm, now that you broke it down, I’m going to have to think about it. “

Do you have plans for a follow-up to Omnipresent?

After we’re done with the tour, we’ll have a lot of time off, and we’ll start pounding out a new [album] in early spring [next year].”

origin album cover

Now a-days, you have to keep pumping out albums to stay relevant—

There are some bands, however, that take a long time to put out an album, like Meshuggah.

Meshuggah makes way more money than we do—we don’t have that luxury!

It is good to stay relevant; there’s a weird time period before the next album becomes a comeback—like, you have to put out new music before two years or after six, otherwise you’re lost in the abyss.

As far as a new album, though, I’m the last person whose input gets put in that consideration—my role comes last in that.”

Other than this tour, what do you have in the hopper you’re looking forward to?

The tour is halfway done—I’m excited about it being all the way done, actually!

Ideally, we’ll be playing South America, and we’ll be playing a festival in South Africa too—I’m basically using the band as an excuse to travel around the world—good work if you can get it!”

Keyser and I make invisible oranges, before he disappears back into the club. Doors open, and my buddy and I make our way inside. We see Keyser sitting at the Origin merch table, fashioning a quiet grin, arms folded as he observes a carnival of young fans collecting in throngs before him.

 

Origin continues to co-headline the Devastation Across the Nation tour with Krisiun, and with supporting acts Aeon, Alterbeast, Soreption, and Ingested. The band is planning to head to the studio next year, so be on the look out for more information on their forthcoming activities online here:

LINDSAY O’CONNOR

New England Metal And Hardcore Festival 17: Day 2

new england metal and hardcore april 2 2015

Day two at Metalfest is usually more like a marathon than a sprint. It’s about going hard or going home, but also taking care of yourself too. You gotta stay hydrated when you’re hot and sweaty, take a breather from time to time, and not eat like crap the entire weekend. I made sure to fill up on some terrific energy boosting organic juice at the Paris of the 80’s Cafe next to The Palladium. Because juicing is metal!

Saturday is also where I spent a little more time with the upstairs bands. While the main-stage has more of the metal bands that I favor, the upstairs is for real warriors. Hardcore is still loveless to the mainstream. Nobody plays this style of music for riches and fame. So there will be violence in the pit, there will be glorious pile-ons, sweaty hands grabbing the mic, and there will be shout-a-long choruses. Catching acts such as No Zodiac, Disgrace, Gods Hate, and the mighty Wisdom In Chains, you can see the past meet the future of music, and the fans who care deeply about these bands.

Shattered Sun, by Meg Loyal Photography

Shattered Sun, by Meg Loyal Photography

 

The first main-stage band I caught on Saturday was Texas-bred Shattered Sun. While they are opening the Dark Roots of Thrash II tour for tonight’s final acts, at Metalfest they hit the stage at about 2:30 PM. They whipped the early crowd into a frenzy with their modern take on neo-thrash. As I was jamming out, I look over to my left and there was Gary Holt (Exodus/Slayer) giving his seal of approval, banging his head.

The main-stage was so good this year, it was hard to peel away for some grub. Worcester (or Woostah if you are local wildlife) certainly has some decent food options, including the stellar Kenmore Diner within walking distance to the venue. I’d love to see some food trucks participate in future years, considering how many awesome ones we have locally.

After catching parts of good sets from Thy Will Be Done and The Agonist, it was time for some more death metal. We haven’t had much classic death bands of late here, so it was cool to see Incantation and Vital Remains on the bill. While the later band is immensely popular here, Incantation ruled supreme. Lots of people were seeing this great band for the first time today and they slayed.

Nails, by Meg Loyal Photography

Nails, by Meg Loyal Photography

The most talked about band before metalfest the last two years has been Nails. Their set last year may never be topped for intensity. Moving down to the main-stage, the entire floor did not devolve into a violent pit of epic proportions as I predicted. However, there was one large circle pit in the middle and some rough stuff up front, but for the most part people were able to enjoy the band and not die, which was good. Nails crushed it hard. That new album cannot come fast enough for me.

Nuclear Assault may be going into retirement, but not before hitting the road and ripping us a new one. They sounded fresh as ever, especially John Connolly’s chirping high screams. I’m looking forward to their new EP in June.

Exodus, by Meg Loyal Photography

Exodus, by Meg Loyal Photography

 

Exodus is another band that has gone through some changes. With a recent album, Blood In Blood Out (Nuclear Blast) and a returning Steve “Zetro” Souza on vocals, the band sounded tight. I was happy with the set list, which included some of their more recent stuff, and of course classics like ‘Toxic Waltz’ and ‘Strike of the Beast’. Props to security for handling all the crowdsurfers and moshers without the usual nonsense I see at other venues.

Testament, by Meg Loyal Photography

Testament, by Meg Loyal Photography

 

Testament closed things out in style with a stage set right out of Iron Maiden’s playbook. And why not? Testament is one of those legacy (pun intended) thrash acts. They had a huge production with creative lights, billows of smoke, and the crazy bursting strobe lights that were a little overpowering frankly. Although they had a slightly over-loud sound mix, the band was incredible as they played only their first two albums, plus ‘Practice What You Preach’. With all of their talents, Testament is like The Avengers, and they are thrash metal’s mightiest heroes.

Testament, by Meg Loyal Photography

Testament, by Meg Loyal Photography

 

Testament, by Meg Loyal Photography

Testament, by Meg Loyal Photography

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WORDS BY KEITH CHACHKES

PHOTOS BY MEG LOYAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Turnstile, Eternal Sleep and Jagged Visions Added To New England Metal and Hardcore Festival

new england metal and hardcore april 2 2015

The New England Metal and Hardcore Festival has added Baltimore hardcore outfit Turnstile for the Saturday lineup, and Eternal Sleep and Jagged Visions for the Sunday lineup. The event will be at The Palladium in Worcester, MA on April 17, 18 and 19, 2015.

The updated lineup is:

Friday April 17th
Between The Buried And Me
The Red Chord
Cavalera Conspiracy
Corrosion of Conformity
Jasta
Code Orange
Overcast
On Broken Wings
Within The Ruins
Fit For An Autopsy
The Atlas Moth
The Banner
Black Mask
Homewrecker
Discourse
Phinehas
Downpour
Boris The Blade

Saturday April 18th
Testament
Exodus
Nuclear Assault
Nails
Turnstile
Indecision
Incendiary
Suburban Scum
Incantation
Vital Remains
Allegaeon
Rivers of Nihil
The Agonist
Wisdom In Chains
Disgrace
Gods Hate
Thy Will Be Done
No Zodiac
Extinction AD
Vice
Absolute Suffering
Shattered Sun

Sunday April 19th
Motionless In White
For Today
The Color Morale
Vanna
Death Before Dishonor
Cruel Hand
Sworn In
Lionheart
The Plot In You
I Declare War
These Streets
My Ticket Home
Rude Awakening
Lorna Shore
The Last Ten Seconds of Life
World of Pain
Shark Ethic
GhostXShip
Living Laser
Brick By Brick
Nasty
Gift Giver
Oath
Exalt
Unity
Eternal Sleep
Jagged Visions

New England Metal and Hardcore Festival on Twitter
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New England Metal and Hardcore Festival on Instagram

Worcester, MA. – Worcester, Massachusetts-based concert promotions company, MassConcerts, is pleased to announce…

Posted by New England Metal Fest on Thursday, April 2, 2015

Alterbeast Supporting Boris The Blade, Abiotic, etc on North American Tour

boris the blade abiotic alterbeast reaping asmodeia tour

Sacramento progressive death metallers Alterbeast will be supporting Abiotic and Boris The Blade on a North American tour this spring. They are supporting Immortal, out now via Unique Leader Records. Stream “Flesh Bound Text” here.

Download “Flesh Bound Text” and “Mutilated Marvel” for free below.

Formed in 2011 under the working title Gary Busey Amber Alert (GBAA), Alterbeast combines the teachings of The Black Dahlia Murder, Necrophagist and Spawn Of Possession with the classic death metal mastery of band’s like Dissection and Morbid Angel into an irately cathartic sound expulsion.

ALTERBEAST w/ Boris The Blade, Abiotic, Reaping Asmodeia:
Apr 12: Hotshots – Shreveport, LA
Apr 13: Riot Room – Kansas City, MO (w/ Vital Remains, Vale Of Pnath)
w/ Boris the Blade, Alterbeast, Reaping Asmodeia:
Apr 15: High Tone Cafe – Memphis, TN
Apr 16: Tremont Music Hall – Charlotte, NC
Apr 17: 10th Street Live – Kenilworth, NJ
Apr 18: Coco 66 – Brooklyn, NY
Apr 20: Montage Music Hall – Rochester, NY
Apr 21: Mavericks – Ottawa, ON
Apr 22: The Ritz – Detroit, MI
Apr 23: Vintage Villains – Danville, IL
Apr 24: Bada Brew – Crest Hill, IL
Apr 25: Warehouse – Lacrosse, WI
Apr 26: Metal Grill – Milwaukee, WI
Apr 27: Vaudeville Mews – Des Moines, IA
w/ Boris The Blade, Abiotic:
Apr 28: The Skatuary – Denver, CO
Apr 29: Metro Bar – Salt Lake City, UT
Apr 30: Green T – Pocatello, ID
w/ Boris The Blade, Abiotic, Lord Of War:
May 02: The Pin – Spokane, WA
May 03: Duffy’s Hangar – Salem, OR
May 05: The Rockbar – San Jose, CA
May 06: The Grizzly Den – Upland ,CA
May 07: Rock City Studios – Camarillo, CA

Alterbeast on YouTube

Abiotic Streaming “Cast Into The Depths”

abiotic casuistry

South Florida death metallers Abiotic will be kicking off a lengthy North American tour in April with Boris The Blade, Alterbeast and others. They will be touring in support of Casuitry, out April 21, 2015 via Metal Blade Records. Stream “Cast Into The Depths,” which features Dying Fetus frontman John Gallagher on guest vocals, here.

ABIOTIC:
Apr 12: Hotshots – Shreveport, LA
Apr 13: Riot Room – Kansas City, MO (w/ Vital Remains, Vale Of Pnath)
w/ Boris the Blade, Alterbeast, Reaping Asmodeia:
Apr 15: High Tone Cafe – Memphis, TN
Apr 16: Tremont Music Hall – Charlotte, NC
Apr 17: 10th Street Live – Kenilworth, NJ
Apr 18: Coco 66 – Brooklyn, NY
Apr 20: Montage Music Hall – Rochester, NY
Apr 21: Mavericks – Ottawa, ON
Apr 22: The Ritz – Detroit, MI
Apr 23: Vintage Villains – Danville, IL
Apr 24: Bada Brew – Crest Hill, IL
Apr 25: Warehouse – Lacrosse, WI
Apr 26: Metal Grill – Milwaukee, WI
Apr 27: Vaudeville Mews – Des Moines, IA
w/ Boris The Blade, Alterbeast:
Apr 28: The Skatuary – Denver, CO
Apr 29: Metro Bar – Salt Lake City, UT
Apr 30: Green T – Pocatello, ID
w/ Boris The Blade, Alterbeast, Lord Of War:
May 02: The Pin – Spokane, WA
May 03: Duffy’s Hangar – Salem, OR
May 05: The Rockbar – San Jose, CA
May 06: The Grizzly Den – Upland ,CA
May 07: Rock City Studios – Camarillo, CA
May 08: Soma – San Diego, CA

boris the blade abiotic alterbeast reaping asmodeia tour

Abiotic on YouTube
Abiotic on Twitter

Abiotic Releasing Casuistry April 21st

abiotic casuistry

Abiotic is releasing their new album Casuistry on April 21, 2015 via Metal Blade Records. In support of the record, they will be hitting the road on an extensive North American tour, which is posted below. Stream “Cast Into The Depths,” featuring John Gallagher of Dying Fetus on guest vocals, here.

They had re-tooled their line up by adding vocalist Travis Bartosek and drummer Brent Phillips. In the late summer of 2014, Abiotic ventured to Basement Recordings with acclaimed producer Jamie King.

The addition of Brent Phillips and Travis Bartosek were particularly influential on the recording process. Phillip’s drumming allowed for the band to spend more time exploring tones and sounds than ever before. He brought a renewed sense of groove and feel to the process, along with being the fastest drummer the band has played with to date. Vocally, fans will notice the largest change here. Bartosek took over lyric writing duties and topics range from suicide, Middle East conflict, religion, and a bit of misanthropy. An additional note on vocals – John Gallagher of Dying Fetus can be heard lending his trademark sounds on “Cast Into the Depths.”

ABIOTIC Headline Dates:
Apr 09: Walters – Houston, TX
Apr 10: Empire Control Room – Austin, TX (Texas Independent Fest)*
Apr 11: Yays – San Angelo, TX
*Denotes Festival Appearance

ABIOTIC w/ Boris the Blade, Alterbeast, Reaping, Asmodeia
Apr 12: Hotshots – Shreveport, LA
Apr 13: Riot Room – Kansas City, MO (w/Vital Remains & Vale of Pnath)
Apr 15: High Tone Records – Memphis, TN
Apr 16: Tremont Music Hall – Charlotte, NC
Apr 17: 10th Street Live – Kenilworth, NJ
Apr 18: Coco 66 – Brooklyn, NY
Apr 20: Montage Music Hall – Rochester, NY
Apr 21: Mavericks – Ottawa, ON
Apr 22: The Ritz – Detroit, MI
Apr 23: Vintage Villains – Danville, IL
Apr 24: Bada Brew – Crest Hill, IL
Apr 25: Warehouse – Lacrosse, WI
Apr 26: Metal Grill – Milwaukee, WI
Apr 27: Vaudeville Mews – Des Moines, IA

ABIOTIC w/Boris the Blade, Alterbeast
Apr 28: The Skatuary – Denver, CO
Apr 29: Metro Bar – Salt Lake City, UT
Apr 30: Green T – Pocatello, ID

ABIOTIC w/Boris the Blade, Alterbeast, Lord of War
May 02: The Pin – Spokane, WA
May 03: Duffy’s Hangar – Salem, OR
May 05: The Rockbar – San Jose, CA
May 06: The Grizzly Den – Upland, CA
May 07: Rock City Studios – Camarillo, CA
May 08: Soma – San Diego, CA

ABIOTIC Headline Date:
May 09: The Underground – Mesa, AZ

Fit For An Autopsy, I Declare War, etc Added To New England Metal and Hardcore Festival

ne metalfest uh7y_0119nemf17admat1thirdwaveweb_1

The New England Metal & Hardcore Festival 2015 has announced new additions to the 2015 edition lineup. They are posted below in bold.

Friday April 17th
Between The Buried And Me
The Red Chord
Code Orange
Overcast
On Broken Wings
Fit For An Autopsy
The Atlas Moth
The Banner
Black Mask
Homewrecker
Discourse
Phinehas
Downpour
Boris The Blade

Saturday April 18th
Testament
Exodus
Nuclear Assault
Nails
Indecision
Incendiary
Suburban Scum
Vital Remains
Allegaeon
Rivers of Nihil
The Agonist
Wisdom In Chains
Disgrace
Gods Hate
Thy Will Be Done
No Zodiac
Extinction AD
Vice
Absolute Suffering

Sunday April 19th
Motionless In White
For Today
The Color Morale
Rotting Out
Death Before Dishonor
Cruel Hand
Lionheart
The Plot In You
I Declare War
These Streets
My Ticket Home
Rude Awakening
Lorna Shore
The Last Ten Seconds of Life
World of Pain
Shark Ethic
GhostXShip
Living Laser
Oath