The year was 2004. In Flames had released Soundtrack to Your Escape, arguably putting the final nail in the coffin of melodic death metal. A genre that had eaten itself and become synonymous with the peaking US metalcore, and the genre was now almost a parody of itself. However, there was a hero to emerge. After one EP, The Porter, 2 years earlier, Germany’s Disillusion were about to reinvigorate an entire scene with their full length debut, the aptly named Back to Times of Splendor
It happens every year. In the mad shuffle to painstakingly put our year-end lists together, stuff gets missed. Whether they were sent to us after the fact, slipped through the cracks, or were simply overlooked, a number of killer releases found themselves in year-end limbo. A few of our staff compiled a list of the praise-worthy releases that missed the cut for our year-end 2015 feature, which means you should still consider them to be some of last year’s best.
The fine folks at Clawhammer PR and the Fine Dude at Unspeakable Axe Records are in a giving mood. They have decided that one lucky Teethofthedivine reader is going to get a veritable swag bag of Unspeakable Axe goodies including 3 CDs, 1 Cassette, 1 vinyl record AND a damn T- shirt to boot. How Awesome is that?
2015. Another, goddamn, year over already. And how’d it end? With a major downer with Lemmy going somewhere else. Who do we have left? Ozzy? Rob? Alice? Anyone else? Damn. It wasn’t all that bad of a year though, even if the world seemed to become even crazier than 2014 — if Fox News is to be believed. Plenty of good music got released and what we’ve got here is a top list of metal related stuff that Teeth of the Divine’s staff handpicked themselves. Unlike most of our corporate overlords, we don’t outsource our opinions, enslave some poor bastards and build safety nets around them just in case they decide to call it quits. Actually, that’s not true. We’re not a hive mind, we enslave people to write for us but we sure as hell aren’t spending any of our huge advertising revenue to keep them alive. Ha! Anyway, browse around and find some worthy stuff you might have missed!
While summer 2015 didn’t met all the expectations, there was at least one constant in that equation; Wanaja Festival held in Hämeenlinna, Finland. Again, its inclusion on a heavy metal site is questionable at best and totally schizophrenic at worst, as most of the artists on the bill aren’t necessarily singing about Satan or promoting safe sex with dead people. But as always, there’s at least a band or two that gives us an excuse to attend the festival and live to tell about it on a heavy metal website. So gather around for some egotistically driven babble about the experience from few months back — when the weather was actually still nice.
Dog days of Summer are approaching. That means heat and sweaty gussets. The only remedy and answer for mother nature’s bukkakke of humidity is some brutal (and we mean brutal) death metal. It just so happens that brutal death metal is the specialty of Comatose Music! Thus, we’ll make the upcoming heatwave even more brutally intolerable by partnering up with Comatose and Clawhammer PR to throw four (4) of the label’s recent gut wrenching slabs of metal at you.
We here at Teeth of the Divine are again drowning in releases, good and bad. It’s gotten so bad that we even told the water department to scram because, honestly, who has time for watery showers when you can simply shower in metal and bathe in righteousness? But even then, the sacrifices to our personal hygiene and well being isn’t enough to cover all the goddamn metal we receive daily. Thus we’re looking for a few good headbangers that know how to spell somewhat coherent sentences to share their educated opinions about today’s hottest and ugliest releases.
The fine Canucks up in Canada’s Blast Head Records are in a giving mood as summer is right around the corner… probably because they never see the sun, right? Anyways to celebrate the upcoming warmth, the label is giving away 10 CDs, yep, ten CDs. And here is the great thing: YOU (or whomever wins) gets to HAND PICK the CDs from Blast Head Records’ releases!!! No questions, no judgement, no getting CDs you might not be interested in. Just 5 CDs each to two randomly picked lucky winners.
So here is the first of our new classics feature that is likely to ruffle a few feathers, just as the album’s initial release did back in 2002. The second album from Arizona’s Vehemence, God Was Created. Released in a bit of a dead era for death metal, the album was released on Metal Blade and was one of Metal Blade’s real gambles, being a new, young death metal band amid the label’s roster that included Vader, Amon Amarth, Vomitory, Bolt Thrower and such, and in a time where US death metal was in a bit of a lull. The band had a self-released album, The Thoughts From Which I Hide under their belt, and followed up God Was Created with 2004’s Helping the World to See, but it was the infamous middle album that divided metal fans and critics.
Another year. Another year of great metal, comebacks, surprises, letdowns, and everything in between. For Teethofthedivine, it was a transitional year as staff turnover was balanced by amazing output that resulted in new content virtually every day of the year. Former Internal Bleeding vocalist Frank Rini joined our ranks, and a number of fresh-faced, bright-eyed writers entered the fray, allured by free metal and a chance to have their voices heard. A few of the regular, grizzled denizens remained.
However, it was business as usual getting both old and new staff to get their year-end lists submitted. It took weeks of Liam Neeson-like emails and gravelly-voiced threats (“I have particular set of skills, skills that make me a nightmare for writers like you. Get me your list and I’ll think nothing of it. But if you don’t get your list submitted, I will find you and I will send you an everso slightly peeved Facebook message”) to get the lists all submitted in time.
So without further ado, here are the Staff Picks for 2014. Please feel free to share, comment and add your own list. Here’s to 2015!
The Teeth of the Divine crew wishes you happy holidays (or whatever) and the best of mosh for the year 2015.
The leaves are gone, the snow has fallen, and the Christmas decorations are showing up. That only means one thing: The great American tradition of gluttony awkward family gatherings…namely…Thanksgiving. To celebrate, the fine folks at Clawhammer PR have teamed up with Teethofthedivine and Comatose Music, Kaotoxin Records, Orchestrated Misery Recordings, and Unspeakable Axe Records to present a massive, 10 CD giveaway to celebrate Turkey day.
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).
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.