Wanaja Festival, held in front of a medieval castle in Finland, is not a festival for those who are exclusively looking a weekend’s worth of heavy metal; most of the acts mingle between pop and rock. Most of the acts and names you’ve never heard of since they cater to such a niche audience; the average Finnish music listener. Only a few bands add enough distortion, play enough riffs and grunt properly every now and then to qualify for a surefire spot on this site. But like you’ve probably noticed, we hardly limit ourselves here at Teeth, but if you do, then consider this a review of Turisas’ hometown concert.
When weighing up my options of which album to cover for my first contribution to The New Classics feature I was pleasantly surprised by just how downright overwhelming the task of narrowing down a pivotal album to highlight. Not through any shortage of quality options, but rather the sheer magnitude of landmark and game changing albums that have dropped during a very fruitful post-millennium decade. Personally, when the year 2000 rolled around I was still in my late teens and on an upswing of discovery since breaking my extreme metal cherry a couple of years prior. Of course I had plenty of catching up to do as my appreciation for heavy metal took on an entirely new dimension, with one ear scouring the landmark early wave of extreme metal, and especially death metal’s storied past, while the other was planted in the (then) here and now.
Even if the Finnish summer does its best impression of having a bipolar mental condition by throwing hail out every other day, there’s one thing you can count on in June and that’s Tuska Open Air Metal Festival held at the capital of Finland, Helsinki. The 17th Tuska was fighting an uphill battle with the visitor count being somewhat stagnant as the mainstream heavy metal boom is starting to wind down after Lordi’s Eurovision victory in 2006. World economy hasn’t improved much either and a lot of different things like Zirconium and Tony Little’s latest ab machine are fighting for people’s spending money. So how do Anthrax, Dimmu Borgir and Emperor fare in a tight spot?
For this summer’s festivities, Teeth of the Divine sent a festival reporter to the Finnish farming headlands to visit the Nummirock 2014 Festival. The festival is held around 330 kilometers north of Helsinki, away from any major city or municipal, annually on and around the midsummer day, during which time the country is often on a nation wide hiatus and a booze binge. So come on in, educate yourself and see how bands like Behemoth or W.A.S.P handled their business.
The fine folks at Clawhammer PR and the fine dude at Deepsend Records are here to liven up your summer with a Massive Summer Giveaway. A whopping 5 CDs are up for grabs from some of Deepsend’s brightest an brutalest bands; Old school death metalers Deus Otious, revived symphonic death metal blasters Agiel, reptilian techsters Embryonic Devourment, black death metal newcomers Emblazoned and chunky Danes, Ferocity. Take part now!
Clawhammer PR Spring Giveaway! Trenchrot, Omnivore, Shroud of Despondency, Insain and Cultfinder CDs up for Grabs!
The fine, if balding folks at Clawhammer PR, one of our very favorite PR companies is in a giving mood for spring. And one lucky, randomly picked TeethoftheDIvine.com reader will get some serious musical loot from some of Clawhammer’s finest clients; Old school Thrashers Omnivore, dusty death metal mavens Trenchrot from Unspeakable Axe Records, brutal French tech death metal crew Insain from Kaotoxin Records, USBM act Shroud of Despondency (Independent) and Black/Thrash Brits Cultfinder (Eldritch Lunar Miasma Records).
The World Cup is in full Swing. England and Spain are watching from home and Iraq is being a dick again. But We here at Teeth of the Divine are drowning in misery as we can’t figure out what to do with all the fame, wealth and fabulously good looks we all have. Actually, scrap the first two. We truly are drowning as well, but at least we look goddamn beautiful. But it’s not money we’re after, no. We’re looking for a few good, literate headbangers to join our ranks to help us with the craploads of music we receive everyday.
Here is hopefully the first of a new feature here at Teeth of the Divine, The New Classics. if you have been listening to metal for any amount of time you well know there there are a certain few records hailed as unquestionable classics. Legendary releases that, 20 years after their release, are still revered, still influential and still great listens. Of course, most of those classics were released in the ’80s and ’90s: Reign in Blood, Master of Puppets, Altars of Madness, Left Hand Path and others, to this day, are considered true classics and will be in another 20 years.
It seems like every year is the better than the last and 2013 was no exception. From anticipated reunions like Gorguts and Carcass to the rise of so-called hipster metal in mainstream circles thanks to bands like Deafheaven, to grizzled veterans like Suffocation, every aspect and sub-genre of metal was firing on all cylinders. As usual, the TOTD staff had to be beaten into getting their lists submitted in time, and luckily, the many new staff members understood the imminent threat of physical violence.
This year we have even included a few ‘celebrity’ lists from some of the people responsible for making and releasing 2013’s great material, so be sure to check out the last page to see what folks like Kevin Quiron of Deicide voted as his favorite albums of 2013. As usual, thank you to all of YOU, the readers of this intimate little site, and stay tuned for more great metal in 2014.
Without further ado, we give you the 2013 Teethofthedivine.com staff picks:
Whatever ever seasonal celebration you celebrate, we hope you have a safe holiday season. The elves here at Teethofthedivine will be taking a small break from providing you with top notch reviews and features so we can recuperate from 2013’s amazing onslaught of metal, and allow the dedicated TOTD staff some time with their families or homeless shelter roommates.
The announcement of the Ghoul Tour was a very exciting moment for the american fans of Dir en Grey. With the Japan-based band’s last US Tour canceled due to the hospitalization of their vocalist Kyo, it had been been a decent number of years since the last US show. Famous for their on-stage self-mutilation, shocking performances, and otherkin-identifying fanbase. Dir en Grey would also be supported by Dagoba, a metal band from France, who had released their fifth full-length album, Post Mortem Nihil Est earlier in the month. It was clear that this event simply could not be missed. On the day of, I set off to attend the show with high expectations.
“I wasn’t even supposed to be here today!” insisted Dante in Kevin Smith’s Clerks and being in the middle of a cold, breezy 10th Wanaja Festival on Friday, July 19th — held in the historic city of Hameenlinna, Finland — I thought the exact same thing. And, the weather wasn’t the only thing on my mind since the lineup made me question my own priorities as well. The metal bands could be counted with three fingers and all of those three would make an appearance on the second day. Yet, following my life patterns like the rats in that Paul Simon song, I still had asked if I could come. I didn’t hear back until just right before the festival’s D-Day when they said “Come on in”, so after shuffling my obligations around and trying to make it all work, here I was.
Celebrate the return of fall with some metal and merch from Victory Records! Symphonic death metallers ERIMHA recently released their album Reign Through Immortality, and for those that like Dimmu Borgir and other bombastic, symphonic black/death metal, Erimha is a must listen and Victory Records wants 3 lucky TeethoftheDivine readers to get in on the action with a huge Erimha prize package and an added bonus prize!!!!
Helsinki, Finland was a busy place on the last weekend of June 2013. Not only were there three, four or five festivals going in and around the city, but the streets were full of gay pride as well. For whatever reason, Tuska Open Air Metal Festival’s visitor count has been on the decline since the relocation from the Kaisaniemi park to the industrial zone — not that the other events around the town helped, quite possibly snatching a few casual listeners with acts like Green Day and Rammstein. However, Teeth of the Divine never abandons those in need, and thus we summoned ourselves to the 16th Tuska Festival where acts like King Diamond, Bolt Thrower and Testament graced the main stage.
Teethofthedivine is thrilled to add an actual, real live musician to its ranks. Hopefully this one will last longer than Ben Hogg (Beaten Back to Pure etc) god love ‘im. Frank was the vocalist on two Internal Bleeding albums (as you will find out below), and brings that experience as well as a ton of contacts in the scene and energy with him for reviews and interviews. Frank currently also writes for allabouttherock.com, but is bringing his background in the industry to our little site. Take a few minutes to meet the latest addition and actual veteran musician to the teethofthedivine. staff.
The fine folks at webzine/label Transcending Obscurity are offering 2 of their releases to 2 lucky readers of Teethofthedivine. That’s right two lucky readers will each receive a copy of Drug Honkey’s disturbing 2012 release ‘Ghost in the Fire’ and the 2010 debut, ‘Impending Hostility’ from Polish war mongering death metalers Preludium.
It’s been a mystery for quite some time as to why Goatwhore isn’t playing in front of sold out crowds in the larger theatres across America. After seeing them five times already in various cities, their shows are usually in smaller bar/club venues with anywhere from 30 to 100 people. And when they’ve been included on massive tours like the one when Celtic Frost reemerged with Monotheist and the one last year with Cannibal Corpse, Between the Buried and Me and countless others, Goatwhore was at the bottom of the bill.
After a year long hiatus, Tampere’s Sauna Open Air festival returned again in 2013 for a weekend that consisted of mainly Northern European acts like Nightwish, Children of Bodom, Opeth, Volbeat and Sabaton — with the only US visitor going by the name of Hatebreed. The festival also saw other changes. Instead of being ushered into a park setting, the party was held in a sports stadium and rather than doing three full days, there were only two. And we were there.
What happens when you discover a new band? You go see them play — that’s what. Noel Holmes discovered Nile and soon found himself at one of their live shows back in March 2013. This is what happened.
We are all about supporting independent, new labels and bands here at Teeth of the Divine. So when fledgling UK label Wretched Decay Records approached us about some reviews and a monster giveaway for all of you dedicated Teethers out there, how could we refuse? Were giving stuff away to not just one, not just two, but three randomly selected winners!
AVE!!!! The fine folks at Canada’s most exciting new metal label, Blast Head Records, are teaming up with the legions at Teethofthedivine.com to present a giveaway to celebrate one of 2013 most impressive releases — ADE’s “Spartacus”. Melding brutal death metal and epic Romans instrumentation, ADE delivers the same sort of imagination and creativity as Nile did over a decade ago. We’re giving away three copies of the album, three posters, three stickers and one Blast Head Records T-shirt.
At the end of every calendar year, metal journalists spend months trying to put together the dreaded year end list. It’s a long, stressful and ever-evolving process that keeps us up at night as we order and reorder albums several times, fret over stuff we have too high on the list or stuff that got bumped off the bottom. We try to make the lists as extensive and inclusive as possible, but inevitably, stuff gets missed. Maybe an album was too obscure, got overlooked in the crowd, we didn’t hear it until too late, or simply never made it into our inbox. So some of the staff here decided to give you guys a late Christmas present and let you know about some releases that you need to hear in case you also missed it or like us, simply overlooked it or it just didn’t get coverage here. These are the mulligans that, in hindsight, deserve your attention and probably would have made our staff’s year-end lists if we weren’t so lazy and rushed by a tireless dictator. So rise, brush, floss and repeat as we drill you with our cavities and fillings from 2012:
UPDATE-CONGRATULATIONS TO PALLBEARER, WHO BY A SERIES OF COMPLEX FORMULAS AND CALCULATIONS WON THE TOTD STAFF ALBUM OF THE YEAR WITH ‘SORROW AND EXTINCTION’. ANAAL NATHRAKH’S ‘VANITAS’ TOOK SECOND PLACE, WITH DYING FETUS TAKING THIRD WITH ‘REIGN SUPREME’.
. Another year, another winter spent threatening physical violence upon the staff here to get their year-end picks in. Now that the dust has settled, here are the results – the definitive list of critical picks of 2012’s best and worst releases. It’s all here: top albums, top EPs, top songs, biggest letdowns and the woulda shoulda coulda’s, as hand-picked by the TOTD staff. Feel free to comment, critique and tell us your own favorites for 2012. Thanks to all you guys for reading our little site in 2012 and here’s to another epic year of metal in 2013. Salut!
Wintersun’s blood-bonded following has been clamoring for a US tour ever since their self-titled debut was released in 2004. 8 years later, our prayers are answered as the controversial album Time I is released alongside a worldwide tour with Eluveitie and Varg. Was it everything we hoped for?
Death metal legends Incantation just released their 9th studio album after a 6 year layoff, Vanquish in Vengeance through Listenable Records. At what an album it is! A crawling monster of doom/death that lays waste to all the pretenders and mimics and two lucky Teeth of the Divine readers can find themselves owning a copy of the album courtesy of the bald—but fine—folks at Clawhammer PR.