Posts Tagged ‘Scott Alisoglu’

Züül– To the Frontlines

My expectations couldn’t be any higher for an album, considering that Züül’s Out of Time was one of my favorite albums of the year, if not the 21st Century. The Carbondale, IL group did everything right; this was NWOBHM inspired on multiple fronts, but with all those unexplainable “cult heavy metal” elements that makes a […]

Helker – Somewhere in the Circle

Hey, even the most jaded among traditional/power metal fans would be just a little curious when the album sticker includes text like “the leading heavy metal band from South America” and “featuring Tim ‘Ripper’ owns & Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear). And then there is that whole thing about being “for fans of Primal Fear, Dio, […]

Interview with Mortillery

Edmonton’s Mortillery gets it right. Debut album Murder.Death.Kill (HPGD Productions) really set the tone for the Canadian thrash metallers; everything from the album title to the artwork to Cara McCutchen’s vocal ferocity to the up-the-irons mentality lived, breathed, and puked METAL. Napalm Records heard it, got it, and snatched up that debut album for reissue, including the vinyl treatment. But it is with The Origin of Extinction that Mortillery have raised the bar and unknowingly dared bands the world over to try and top it. Blazing riffs, lacerating solos, vocals that move from thrash brutality to wailing heavy metal singing, and consistency of catchiness all the way through to the end. I can’t get enough of it, which is why The Origin of Extinction is a virtual lock for my 2013 best-album list. Guitarist Alex Gutierrez spoke to me about the finer details of what it’s like to be in a band of metal fans making music for metal fans and not giving a damn about wheel reinvention.

Mortificy – Burn and Suffer

So much of the death metal coming out of Latin America is of a purity more apparent that most other regions of the world; that is, the energy flow and overall vibe is gut-delivered and soul-derived, the lack of pretense immediately obvious. That is exactly what one hears on Mortificy’s Burn and Suffer. The Brazilian […]

Darkthrone – The Underground Resistance

Slice it and dice it any you’d like, but The Underground Resistance is Darkthrone doing what Darkthrone does best: that being whatever the Darkthrone wants to do. What that has meant on the last few albums especially (and back even further when you really think about it) is that Fenriz and Nocturno have immersed themselves […]

Interview with Desecresy

If you love your death metal dark, acrid, and Finnish, then look no further than the two-headed beast that is Desecresy. Exploding (or maybe “oozing at a medium pace” would be more fitting) onto the scene with Xtreem Music release Arches of Entropy and topping it up with last year’s The Doom Skeptron, the DM dirge of Desecresy is among the best I’ve heard, even in consideration of a Finnish scene rife with some of the world’s finest bottom-fed Chuggers of DM Darkness. Multi-instrumentalist/composer Tommy Gronqvist and catacombs-dwelling belch-bellower Jarno make one Hell of a team. Tommy offers this Demonstration of Death at no charge to the reader. Rejoice!

Atkins May Project – Valley of Shadows

Think back four decades; just try it. You may recall that Al Atkins fronted Judas Priest during those ancient times and even penned one of the band’s all-time classic songs: “Victim of Changes.” Not bad, eh? Though his stint with one of Birmingham’s finest heavy metal units is more than notable achievement to include on […]

Honky – 421

It’s not death, black, doom, sludge, metalcore, or thrash; it’s just blues-informed, stoner-tinged, ass whippin’ hard rock, so move on over to the side if you’re a metal-only type of guy (or gal). In fact, “Super Texas Boogie” is how Honky describes itself and most folks would be hard pressed to come up with a […]

Mortör – Shoot ‘Em Up

Shoot ‘em Up, the self-released album from Canadian death-thrashers Mortör is one of those efforts that you hear every once in a while that makes you think it could have easily been released on a metal label of some repute. It’s catchy, it’s grooving, and it’s just plain tough. With nary an ounce of fat […]

Interview with Kreator

Many an interview I’ve done over the years and a handful will always stand out, often based on the intelligence and affability of the musician to whom the questions were posed. I can now add Kreator’s Mille Petrozza to that list of highlights, based on my recent discussion with him on a tour bus parked in front of The Beaumont, the venue at which the German legends melted faces and lacerated eardrums at the Kansas City stop of the North American Teutonic Terror Attack tour with Accept. Though I did interview Mille sometime around the release of Violent Revolution several years back, aside from recalling him to be quite congenial and informed then too, it was conducted by phone and my memory of it is fuzzy at best. Mille is not only a staunch advocate of metal and someone who cares deeply about Kreator’s rabid worldwide fan base; he is a genuinely nice guy and a progressive-minded citizen of Planet Earth. He also happens to be writing some of the best thrash metal of his career, as evidenced by the recent release of the musically refreshing, surprisingly catchy, and (of course) aggressively thrashing Phantom Antichrist on Nuclear Blast. Let us prey.

Ultra-Violence – Wildcrash EP

Here’s the deal. It’s tough to make a splash with an album that culls from the vintage Bay Area thrash sound without coming off as second rate imitation. Fortunately, thrash metal fans – probably even more than death metal fans – are less concerned about originality than the average fan of heavy music. In that […]

Abnormality – Contaminating the Hive Mind

Do not assume that the lateness of this review is somehow indicative of procrastination resulting from indifference related to Abnormality’s Contaminating the Hive Mind. Said procrastination is the result of…well, whatever else might lead to procrastination. In any event, the Massachusetts’ act delivers a memorable effort here for which extra (figurative) points are awarded for […]

Interview with Rex Shachath

Sometimes you just need to stop all the obsessing over wheel reinvention and just play the music that you love, regardless of originality. That’s exactly what Belfast’s Rex Shachath did on debut EP Sepulchral Torment. Said EP is nothing more than well played and memorable death metal of the traditional sort inspired by the original masters. When a band references the likes of Morbid Angel, Vader, Immolation, and Cannibal Corpse in discussing its music (as Rex Shachath guitarist Andrew Pennington does in the discussion that follows), rare is the death metal fan that wouldn’t be paying attention. Mr. Pennington gives us the down ‘n dirty of the nitty and the gritty of Rex Shachath.

Rex Shachath – Sepulchral Torment EP

Death metal has become so crowded with genre-splitters, tech freaks, and old school imitators that we sometimes forget the taste of the meat and potatoes stuff. It takes a band from Northern Ireland called Rex Shachath to serve that traditional meal up right. You know that whole thing about not over-thinking everything and just going […]

Grave – Endless Procession of Souls

How do I love thee Grave? Let me count the ways. It is the heart and soul of demonic growler, guitarist, and sole original member Ola Lindgren and the way he keeps the machine running in such a well-oiled manner. It is the rottenness and sheer weight of those riffs, the ugly enormousness of the […]

Interview with Dawnbringer

The ever busy and resolutely dedicated warrior of Heavy Metal Chris Black is a talented songwriter and versatile musician, as one can hear with clarity in his work with bands like Superchrist, Dawnbringer, High Spirits, and Pharaoh. He’s also one hell of a nice guy and a true supporter of Metal on multiple levels, not the least of which includes his past work as journalist Professor Black for the [now defunct] Metal Maniacs and as owner/operator of Planet Metal Records. But the primary topic at hand warranting exploration and selective dissection concerns Dawnbringer and new Profound Lore album Into the Lair of the Sun God, the follow up to the equally spectacular Nucleus. As pigeonholing is for the birds, we’ll just call the Dawnbringer style well written, heartfelt, and dynamic Heavy Metal. This time around Black took on the ambitious task of writing a bona fide concept album into which we shall delve in short order. We’ll also be shedding some light on the new Superchrist album, which is titled Holy Shit and can be obtained for a paltry sum via Hells Headbangers Records. It is a grand example of no frills, catchy Metal, which deserves some virtual ink and your hard earned trinkets. Dawnbringer headlined this year’s Alehorn of Power Fest VI at Reggie’s in Chicago and as I can attest personally, the faces melted were many and the reverberations from the decibels dealt can still be felt. Incidentally, this interview was conducted the week prior to the show, as you’ll soon realize. In any case, allow us to bring it so that you may consider it brought upon completion of this full meal of the written word.

American Dog – Poison Smile

If Poison Smile doesn’t get the attention that American Dog deserves in North America (Europe has been reveling in it for years now), then I don’t know what will. Then again, the Ohio band’s DIY approach to releasing albums on this side of the pond makes it a little tougher to get the word out, […]

Scott Alisoglu’s Infrequent Playlist of the Absurd 10

Howdy folks! Who in the hell says “howdy” these days? Lame! Or at least not “Rad!” anyway; I’m pretty sure on this one, but be you might want to consult your copy of Hip Teenage Colloquialisms for Dummies just in case.. We’ll begin the proceedings with a couple of books as a way of proving to the world that I have in fact beaten back the disease of illiteracy…or some shit like that.

Interview with Abominant

Dear fans of traditional U.S. Death Metal, were you aware that Kentucky’s Abominant has released nine full-length albums and just recently self-released the Battlescarred EP? You’re weren’t? I guess I’m not surprised since Abominant has never gotten quite the level of recognition as many of their peers, including some that haven’t released half as many albums. But as you’ll read, fame and fortune were never priorities for the veteran act. And if you start a death metal band because you think it is your best bet to achieve worldwide recognition and sacks of loot, then a head examination would seem to be in order. In any case, what is most important for you to understand is that Abominant are in it not necessarily to win it, but to make the best albums they can make and have a great time doing so. Mission accomplished. If you love USDM, then you really must grab some Abominant albums, perhaps 2010’s Where Demons Dwell or 2008’s Warblast for starters. You could also begin your journey into the abyss with the brand spanking new Battlescarred, which features two new songs (“Pile of Flesh” and the title track) that are pretty damn representative of the Abominant sound, and two covers (Black Sabbath’s “The Mob Rules” and Pestilence’s “Out of the Body”) that are impossible to dislike. How could you go wrong? Bassist Mike May is the man with the answers and without the turntable.

Abominant – Battlescarred EP

Battlescarred is an apt title on a couple of levels for Abominant, Kentucky’s Death Metal mainstays, an act with no less than eight full-length albums under its collective bullet belt. Sticking to their bullshit-free USDM approach no matter the trend or the financial risk, Abominant wear those USDM scars proudly, while their brand of scalding […]

Interview with God Forbid

I’ve seen God Forbid in a variety of venues on several different tours, beginning with their opening spot on a tour in 2001 supporting Determination that featured Nevermore, Opeth, and Angel Dust in front of 30 people in Topeka, KS, and then most recently on the 2012 Overkill tour stop in Kansas City. Musically, the band has come a long way between Determination and new album Equilibrium. It was 2004’s Gone Forever that established God Forbid as a melodic sort of metalcore act on par with the likes of Killswitch Engage, yet never reaching that same level of popularity even with an output since that has been far more ambitious. Concept album IV: Constitution of Treason saw the band expanding musically, but it was Earthsblood on which God Forbid took things to a whole new level, one on which soaring melodies met rich, progressive arrangements. After that the band’s contractual relationship with long-time label Century Media came to an end and the search for a new label began, ultimately ending with God Forbid’s signing to Victory Records. New album Equilibrium sees God Forbid reining in some of the over-the-top dynamics of Earthsblood without abandoning its progressive flair and throwing in some new twists (as they always do), but more than anything else writing several quintessential God Forbid modern melodic thrash metal anthems for a new generation to enjoy.

Coffins – March of Despair EP

As much as I’ve always liked the Japanese Gods of the Deathly and the Doomed (a.k.a. Coffins), I don’t recall enjoying one of their numerous releases on a multitude of formats (probably even 8-track) quite as much as new EP March of Despair. By that I mean that it ended up being more than a […]

Interview with Stonehaven

The band is Stonehaven, the location is Kansas City, the style is black metal, the record label is Horror Pain Gore Death Productions, the album is Concerning Old-Strife and Man-Banes…and it is magnificent in terms of compositional depth, lyrics, and pure fucking sonic terror. Any questions? Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty of Stonehaven. We asked vocalist/lyricist Stephen Holdeman and guitarist Nick Van Walleghem to satisfy our curiosity and quench our thirst for knowledge in that regard.

Scott Alisoglu’s Infrequent Playlist of the Absurd 9

And we’re back! Nothing overly zany or wholly inappropriate to say this time around; only that I do enjoy these playlists and I’m always a little amazed with just how much music goes in and out of my ears on a weekly, even daily, basis. Some things never change; and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Interview with Fastway

This is one of those special sort of interviews for me since guitarist “Fast” Eddie Clarke’s contributions to one of my all-time favorite bands, Motörhead, had such a huge impact on me growing up and still does to this day, not to mention his work in Fastway, particularly that brilliant first album. I still recall purchasing Motörhead’s No Remorse cassette at a record store in San Antonio, Texas during a visit one summer, a consumer product decision that changed my life (grabbing a copy of Celtic Frost’s To Mega Therion didn’t hurt either). But enough with all that nostalgic blathering and on to the business at hand. It’s taken two decades, but Clarke is back in a big way with a fantastic new Fastway album, one that should blast any remaining memories of the questionable material that followed All Fired Up right out of your head. Clarke is joined by vocalist/bassist Toby Jepson and drummer Matt E on what is without question a great hard rock album called Eat Dog Eat. Welcome back Eddie and welcome back Fastway. Read on.