All posts by Birdman Dan

Dan "Birdman" Siegel, is a graduate of SUNY Binghamton as well as Connecticut School Of Broadcasting. Metalhead since 2006, guitarist and vocalist for the band RÖÄRGH!, and former Loud Rock DJ at WHRW. Was given the nickname 'Birdman' before Michael Keaton.

10 Well Written Metalcore Songs With Embarrassing Breakdowns

Breakdowns are the most reoccurring complaint metalheads have about metalcore, alongside the genre’s vocals. As far as I’m concerned, I’m with most metalheads when it comes to bands that pride themselves on that 4/4 hi-hat, same lowest note on the guitar chug over and over again BS on every song. However, I’m not one to let a breakdown ruin an entire song for me, as long as the rest of the song contains well-written sections. I thought I’d take some time to share with you all some of my favorite metalcore songs. These all have that breakdown BS, but with a lot of extra badass.

“It Starts Today” – Obey The Brave

This 5-piece band from Montreal has lyrical content similar to that of Hatebreed. However, Obey The Brave put more emphasis on lead guitar tracks. Right from the beginning this song displays actual riffs rather than grooves. After the lyrics “Here we go” we hear the first breakdown, then right afterwards is a hypnotic lead with reverb and delay. There’s an even slower breakdown after the second “Here we go”. Afterwards, the riffs resume and we’re treated to the same hypnotic lead again before the song ends.

“Nightmares” – I Killed The Prom Queen

From their recent comeback album “Beloved”. The breakdown in this song is relatively short, but occurs multiple times. The intro hooks you in with it’s melodic riff in hi-pass mode, then in regular mode. It is one of the faster songs on the album, which I usually prefer. If you don’t like clean vocals in metal, then I’d suggest giving this song a chance since the cleans in the chorus are overshadowed by that melodic riff.

“District Of Misery” – Oceano

The most embarrassing breakdown of the song occurs at the beginning. Luckily afterwards, the one-note chug here is complemented with either drumming that is more complex than usual, or a keyboard track that sounds like you’re sinking deeper into the ocean’s depths. This is a deathcore song that builds and builds, climaxing at 2:07 into the song.

“The Failsafe” – Misery Signals

I really enjoy it when a metal band lets the notes ring. There’s a lot of that in this song. It begins in a somber key signature, then builds to a more hopeful key of G. What really did it for me though was the clean pre-chorus. The embarrassing breakdown enters after vocalist Karl Schubach screams “Give us a sign”. Not exactly the sign I was hoping for. Luckily, the listener is treated to that amazing clean pre-chorus a second time as the song’s outro. Another song with the pre-chorus and breakdown elements called “Luminary” was present on the band’s latest album “Absent Light”.

“It’s Not Safe To Swim Today” – Veil Of Maya

Expect some frantic splashing in the pit during the breakdowns if you hear this song played live. Rather than splash (though I’m guilty of it myself once), I would focus on Marc Okubo’s relentless riffage. He begins the song with a descending scale, then goes into his signature playing style of diverse and technical riffs. Not to mention the last two notes in the song are pretty unusual.

“Abducted” – Rings Of Saturn

A song like this reminds me why the classification “Aliencore” makes total sense. The scale used in the dueling arpeggios is an Anhemitonic scale, which is particularly creepy (used also in “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”). On this band’s records there are multiple guitar tracks, but since they’re limited to 2 guitars when playing live, you cannot expect as many duel arpeggios. In fact you can expect at least one guitar performing a rhythm track or breakdown. In the case of this song, it occurs in the later half of the song.

“Make It Bleed” – Whitechapel

You can really feel the brutality oozing out of your pores on this track. Sick riffs after the piano intro. The six-piece deathcore act tuned even lower on their eponymous album. The breakdown occurs about 90 seconds in. Then there’s some lyrics and riffs over the breakdown and then a clean section that takes you to the middle-east, then a pretty advanced solo, more cleans, then back to the insane riffage and lyrics to make you vomit razor blades. Fuckin’ brutal.

“Brain Death” – The Acacia Strain

I really didn’t like this band when I first saw them open for Hatebreed in 2009. I couldn’t take the excessive breakdowns, or beatdowns as their fans like to refer to them. Then when they opened for Lamb Of God in 2012, I walked into the House of Blues in Atlantic City thinking “this intrigues me”. This song was emulating the Meshuggah trend and placing atmosphere in the chorus. I also enjoy the dueling leads after the second chorus. Their signature slower breakdown comes shortly after those leads. After that show, I did some exploring and realized that this band will occasionally throw guys like me a bone, and include a song or two per album with a great atmosphere to make up for the breakdowns. In the case of their newest album Coma Witch, that would be the song “Holy Walls Of The Vatican”.

“Edge Of The Earth” – Volumes

Here’s a band with two vocalists per song. This song has a nice instrumental intro as well. From the beginning of the actual song, it has a great lead section to complement the low-tuned rhythm. The singing in the chorus is impressive as well. After the second verse the breakdown occurs. Then you’re treated to the pre-chorus and chorus once again before the song closes ever so softly. Just like the Acacia Strain, this band will throw me a song like this, or “Vahle” an emotional tribute to a friend who tragically died in an automobile accident, in the midst of their djenty breakdowns or Backstreet Boys-style singing (found in “Erased”).

“Romance Is Dead” – Parkway Drive

And so I end with the first metal band I ever saw in concert. This is usually their closer. Produced by Adam D. of Killswitch Engage, the song has a sick metal tone despite the band’s larger connection to hardcore. The metal elements of the band are from the more technical guitarist Jeff Ling. The song has a wide variety of riffs before and after the breakdown minutes into the song, complemented with emo lyrics “So cry me a fucking river, bitch!”. Ultimately what makes this song after it just builds and builds, is the two-handed tapping technique at the end complemented by other guitarist Luke Kilpatrick, as well as a closing atmosphere to calm one down from the excitement of the tapping.

Interview: Hate Eternal Bassist Discusses New Album And Response to Solo X-mas EP

Tampa’s Hate Eternal has been pummeling the masses since 1997. 2015 has been no exception with the release of their sixth offering Infernus. Recently I had the opportunity to have an exchange with bassist J.J. Hrubovcak via e-mail. We discussed a range of topics from the new album, to what motivates him, and even touched on his death metal Christmas record from 2013.

Looking back what was your favorite moment of the recording process of “Infernus”?

My favorite moment is the actual writing. This band is a collaborative effort and I really enjoy being able to contribute so much to the process. Erik and I live pretty far from each other so we exchange Pro Tools files and Skype, but the best moments are flying down to sunny Florida to jam in person. We both grab a guitar and go to town and see what comes of it, then arrange it. Chaos Theory was one of those born from a 3am jam. I’ve been in the band 7+ years at this point and I really feel like I am in the groove. I contributed on guitar to Phoenix [Amongst The Ashes] as well, but I was newer to the band and my approach to the riffing is different now. Anyway, I’d have to say the creative process is my favorite part of any album. That and hearing the final result!

Any plans for a promotional music video? What track do you feel deserves one the most?

The plans are in the early stages on that front. I’m so proud of every tune on this record and there are choice cuts throughout the album. I think each person has their own favorite and it really depends on what we want to convey in the video. This record is really dynamic so do we choose a slower one? A faster one? A mix? On this album, I don’t think only one tune stands out. There are multiples – all of them! You tell me! Which one is the best for a video?

Speaking from a rhythm perspective, do you feel new drummer Chason, is a great match for you when playing together?

Chason is a great match! He brings a spastic, animalistic energy to the table and you can hear it in his fills. Plus the guy hits like a champ and plays with tree trunks for sticks – I think they are 3A. He also has a lot of groove and can play multiple styles. The videos are out there for folks who are interested in just hearing him jam.

Regarding your upcoming tour with Misery Index, Beyond Creation, and Rivers Of Nihil; Who are you most excited to be touring with?

All three of these bands have their unique styles. Rivers of Nihil have been killing it. I’m new to Beyond Creation and I like what I’ve heard. I’ve always loved Misery Index and we are good friends so it will be a fantastic tour.

What are your thoughts on letting albums stream in their entirety before they hit stores? Did you have any say when it came to “Infernus”? Do you view it as just giving your art away for free?

I leave that up to the professionals. Labels release many albums per year and they’ve obviously seen a boost from it, otherwise they wouldn’t do it. I’m old school so originally I wondered if that was a good idea when labels started it. But the bottom line is that folks who want it for free, will get it for free. By streaming it yourself, you are giving someone the opportunity to 1) realize just how badass the record is, 2) click ‘buy’ on the stream page when they otherwise wouldn’t and 3) view the special collector’s edition packages. Will the future show everyone that it is the right thing to do? I don’t know.

Overall, how would you say was the response to your X-mas metal EP? Would you do it again?

The response was overwhelmingly positive! I was hoping that would be the case because I put so much effort into crafting it as a dark death metal record regardless of seasonal theme. There are so many death metal Christmas tunes out there that are cheesy and campy. For instance, you can find a bunch of growling “Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer” covers. I wanted to do the exact opposite of that. I didn’t want this EP to be a joke, but instead base it on dark, morose hymns with a twist on the lyrical content and frame it in a death metal context. I would like to do another one, but it would have to be right. The musical themes would have to be dark enough, but also recognizable enough. There are a lot of happier, recognizable Christmas tunes, but many of the darker hymns are
religious in nature and I don’t know if they would be too obscure. We shall see…

Who’s your favorite 3-piece metal band (besides Motorhead)?

There are so many good ones – among them are Krisiun, Deeds of Flesh (for a long period) and of course Destruction! Destruction is great!

What is your favorite Hate Eternal song (pre-Phoenix) to play live?

Definitely “Whom Gods May Destroy”. That song is just hauling! Fury and Flames is so tortured! I love that record. Alex’s bass lines on that tune are fun to play also.

What is your desert island album?

That’s a hard one. It’d probably be one of the big four thrash band records like Reign in Blood or Peace Sells. I think that either way, if you have to listen to one record over and over on a desert island alone, you are going to go crazy! My brother used to like some of the Japanese noise bands. If you are going insane, you might as well get there faster with a bunch of noise band static on endless loop!

Rotting Christ Frontman Talks Live Album, 25+ Year Career, And New Album

Sakis Tolis has been a core member of Rotting Christ since the band’s inception in the late 80’s. For decades the band has honed their craft of dark metal, blending the styles of gothic and black metal together. The time and resources spent has given them 11 full-lengths under their belt, with album number 12, Rituals, on the way in February of next year. This year saw the release of “Lucifer Over Athens”, a double live album recorded in their homeland of Athens, Greece, showcasing the band’s 25+ years of musical output. Recently I was fortunate enough to have an exchange with the frontman via e-mail, where he seemed overjoyed to say the least.

Regarding your double-live album: Just how difficult was it selecting 2 hours worth of material from a discography spanning 25+ years?

A pain indeed! 123 albums more of 150 songs in our career and we had to get the summary of them! A hard job indeed but after a lot of talks and philosophy we went ahead with a setlist that includes songs from our early demos through our very latest material. I hope the setlist satisfied at least a bit of our metal brothers around.

“Lucifer Over Athens” contains a bonus track from the “Katá ton Daímona Eaf̱toú” sessions “Welcome To Hel”. How did that track not make the album itself?

We always have bonus tracks for any kind of use extra editions limited editions etc etc… how did that sound for you?

I see you’ve contributed the keyboard tracks for past albums? Have you ever desired to have a live keyboardist?

We did once in the past but didn’t work. Man it looks awful on the stage playing keyboards, at least for our band…

Do you still like being referred to as “Necromayhem”?

Why not? If you want to call me like this feel free to do. I never forget my roots.

You’ve made it clear that the band name expresses your opposition to any religion. What do you think of the New Atheist movement?

Is there any? I mean a movement? Atheist movements exists since the ancient times… you mean atheist in our music? If yes, of course and its good.

NON SERVIAM brothers.

How is the new album coming?

Almost ready… I do not know man. I have been working since last year on that and I am not able to tell you how sounds or better; if its good or bad. It sounds dark though. With many guests, including our fans, who actually participated on the chorus of one song!

What can we expect from your sets on the upcoming tour with Mayhem and Watain? As varied as your live album? Or new material?

Both… in the little time we will have on stage… we will try to not disappoint anyone, and will include songs from all of our eras.

What is your desert island album?


This is history and personally I have a strong respect for history!

Closing Remarks:

Thanks for your attention.

See you in on the road for some hellish shows around your land.
until then…



10 Metal Covers So Different, They’re Wasteful

In this writer’s opinion, a band can do a cover song injustice one of two ways (in rare cases both). One is by playing the song to a T, and adding no elements of what your band has to offer. For some reason the most occurring example in my mind is Joan Jett’s cover of “We’re Not Gonna Take It”. But this editorial is dedicated the other path of injustice, having a cover so different that it either is unrecognizable, or defeats the purpose of the original version. Now for those of you who think that I’m being “too mean” or that “a band has every right to do a grindcore version of “Genie In A Bottle”, I just want to make you aware that covers cost money. Yes, music law is a thing, and it states that your band must have a license for every cover song that it records and sells (even for streaming on Spotify and Bandcamp), and venues must obtain licenses if they are going to allow bands to play cover songs. My co-writer once spoke to members of Jungle Rot about the possibility of performing their cover of “Jesus Hitler” originally by Carnivore, and their response was along the lines of “we don’t want to deal with the paperwork”. A mechanical license can be very expensive depending on how many copies of your cover song you intend to sell. So I would imagine if your band was to do a cover song, you would want the perfect blend of originality and homage so that you would get a return on investment. But these 10 songs that I will now list, seem like a wasted investment and their efforts would have been better spent on just another original. I’m not sure if mechanical licenses were acquired for all of these. Some are so different that you could get away with claiming it’s an original. I’ve divided this list into 2 parts; 5 metal covers of metal songs and 5 metal covers of non-metal.


Forgotten Tomb – Depression (Originally by Black Flag)

You’ll understand why this cover is ridiculous at 3:06. First of all, it’s a good thing this band didn’t sell this record on iTunes because in accordance with their policy on 10 min+ songs, this cover wouldn’t be available for purchase unless you bought the whole damn “album”. Secondly, when there’s an extended period of feedback, it’s usually reserved for live shows, and it’s best when it’s accompanied by breaking instruments on stage. Other than a small minority of extreme noise fans, does anyone really want 7 minutes of feedback/wasted space on their music player?


Sunn0))) – For Whom The Bell Tolls (Originally by Metallica)

West Coast weirdos Sunn0))) did several of these types of covers. Initially I thought they just played this Metallica classic 3x slower. But no. There are no vocals, and there’s not much variance in the riffs, as was on the original version. The band has been on record stating that this was meant to be a reinterpretation rather than a cover, explaining why there is literally zero resemblance to Metallica’s recording, sounding instead like a Sunn0))) original. Still, a music lawyer once told me that even rearrangements require a license. And why even bother slapping Metallica’s name on 10 minutes of drone doom?

Fun fact: The full title of this track (last track on “Flight Of The Behemoth) is “F.W.T.B.T. (I Dream of Lars Ulrich Being Thrown Through the Bus Window Instead of My Mystikal Master Kliff Burton)”


Tuathail – This Charming Man (Originally by The Smiths)

The guitar melody on this bears resemblance to the original, although the distortion makes this cover look like a troll. And the main importance of songs from The Smiths is Morrissey’s vocals. Replacing them with typical black metal vocals doesn’t do The Smiths justice, while the pop-esque melody doesn’t do black metal justice.


Amon Amarth – Aerials (Originally by System Of A Down)

Same case as above. SOAD’s vocalist Serj is one-of-a-kind. And while Amon Amarth’s vocalist Johann could be considered the same, he really should stick to what he knows, lyrically and vocally.


In Extremo – This Corrosion (Originally by The Sisters Of Mercy)

The token folk metal tune on this list. The use of folk instruments on this recording definitely bring something different to the table. Problem is that the instruments give it too much of an improper upbeat tone, while the original recording has a gothic tone that is too epic to be messed with.


Epica – Crystal Mountain (Originally by Death)

Sometimes you can sneak clean vocals into death metal songs and keep them good. But having a soprano interject in the middle of a death metal classic is just over-the-top. The addition of a symphony is pretentious as well.


Celtic Frost – In The Chapel In The Moonlight (Originally by Dean Martin)

Yes. Celtic Frost does Dean Martin. This song has a percussive track just like several of their originals from earlier works. Tom G. Warrior for the most part refuses to do actual singing on this as usual. As was the case with The Smiths, it’s injustice to a singer but now with a beat that sounds nothing like the original.


Crystal Viper – Tyrani Piekieł (Originally by Vader)

I can’t help but feel that this was done out of nepotism. Both bands are from the same Polish metal scene. This cover features Vader frontman, Piotr Wiwczarek, but as a backup vocalist for the most part, only having the lyrics in the bridge to himself . While this doesn’t annoy me as much as Epica’s Death cover, the clean vocals still defeat the purpose of this death metal track. The guitar tuning on the original recording was more aggressive as well.


Machine Head – Colors (Originally by Ice-T)

Given that this song was recorded when the Nu-Metal movement rose to popularity, it of course raised some eyebrows. Flynn’s rapping isn’t too different from Ice-T’s. So to give the song a twist, he inserted a few guitar techniques here and there. But pick scrapes can’t really hold a candle to record scratches in my opinion.

Vital Remains – The Trooper (Originally by Iron Maiden)

This is my example of a cover being unjust by being the same and different all at once. Before the death growls kick in, the guitars are played in the same way as the original. So the beginning sounds like power metal. Hence they’re trojan horsing their death metal on you here. In the past, death metal bands have covered metal classics. But in other cases, the riffs were made more aggressive and tuned lower.

Interview: Soilwork Drummer Is ‘Not A Big Fan Of Modern Music Production Trends’

Dirk Verbeuren is a musician most known as the drummer for the Swedish metal powerhouse Soilwork. He joined the band in 2004, just in time for their groundbreaking Stabbing The Drama album. Beyond his flagship band, he has made many contributions both live and in-studio to bands such as Satyricon, Aborted, The Devin Townsend Project, Jeff Loomis, Warrel Dane, The Project Hate MCMXCIX and many others. He also hosts his own instructional drumming program over the internet for paid subscribers called Dirk Blasts!.

Needless to say, he has kept busy as a musician, especially with the upcoming release of Soilwork’s tenth studio album The Ride Majestic. Nevertheless, Dirk took some time to answer some questions on the band he has spent over a decade in, as well as questions about his drumming style.

I saw the documentary on this new album that featured Björn. Obviously the events leading up to making the album were a ‘majestic ride’ for him. What does the album title mean to you personally? Have you experienced a ‘majestic ride’ of your own while in this band?

Yes. I’ve been so fortunate to spend a decade in Soilwork, and for the most part it’s been a fantastic time. I’ve certainly experienced my share of bumps in the ride, both within the band and on a personal level. What I take away from that is a new understanding about how best to navigate through life and become a better person in the process. Every moment is important and it’s really up to us to make the best of whatever situation life hands us. It’s a majestic ride if we choose to make it so.

For this new album the band has teamed up with the management company Breaking Bands, [founded by Testament vocalist Chuck Billy and The Zazulas]. How did this all transpire?

We found ourselves in a tricky place after releasing The Living Infinite. Our relationship with our then-manager was steadily deteriorating to the point where it became almost impossible to function as a band. We decided to stop touring, let the contract run out and move on. Chuck has been a Soilwork fan and a friend of Björn’s for many years. When we found out that Breaking Bands was interested in working with us, it was pretty much a no-brainer for us. Chuck, Jonny and Marsha Zazula, and Maria Ferrero have already taken things to a whole new level for us. With their help, we’re more ready than ever to conquer the world!

Looking back, what was your favorite moment of recording The Ride Majestic ?

I was in the studio only when recording my parts. As much as I enjoy being around to see an album come together, my schedule rarely allows for that to happen. But I know my bandmates always deliver incredible music and performances, as they all did on The Ride Majestic. My favorite thing was that I got to practice the songs and arrange the structures with Björn and David beforehand. Thanks to that, I got to record full takes of almost every song. I’m not a big fan of the trend of “perfect” productions; the organic and spontaneous aspect of my playing is what matters most to me, and our producer David Castillo was 100% in tune with that. We did absolutely minimal editing on the drum parts. I like to hear the little imperfections and the vibe of the moment captured in the songs.

What made Soilwork decide to record their recent live album in Helsinki?

Finnish music enthusiasts embraced Soilwork early on. I can’t remember a single show in Finland where the crowd was anything less than amazing. With that in mind, we felt that we owed it to them to shoot our DVD there. And it turned out to be an incredibly epic night indeed!

I noticed on Live In The Heart Of Helsinki a lot of material from before Stabbing The Drama. What is your take on the older material? Or do you not like to change up the drum tracks so much?

We respect all of our fans, including the ones who think the first two albums are the best. Live In The Heart Of Helsinki contains songs from every one of our albums. Our music has evolved along with us over the years but we’ll always be immensely proud of our legacy. Also, one of the beautiful things about Soilwork is that every musician is allowed ample room to be himself, to express his own personality. I play the old songs my own way but I do my best to incorporate the key elements of the performances of my predecessors Henry Ranta and Jimmy Persson.

You have an instructional program for purchase on the internet called Dirk Blasts! which updates regularly. Have you ever considered an extensive instructional DVD for worldwide distribution?

I considered it. Making a DVD is quite a project though. As much as I love my vinyl collection, physical formats are inevitably dying off. Streaming platforms and interactivity are becoming the norm. I wanted my drum lessons to be in tune with the way people obtain their information. My wife Hannah came up with the idea of creating instructional videos and interacting directly with my students through the Dirk Blasts Facebook group. And of course she was right: it worked out really well! My fellow drum fanatics are sharing their knowledge and questions, and I’m learning as much from the whole experience as they are. We’re all students. I’m really proud and happy to be a part of this growing community! Anyone who’s interested to join Dirk Blasts can sign up at

What’s your favorite Soilwork song to drum along to?

I love them all, but I never seem to get tired of “Nerve”. It was a pretty tough song to master at first. Now I have it down to where it has a solid flow. I can bang my head when I play it and I keep messing around and improvising the details, which keeps it fun and also challenging. That song never fails to get audiences going.

Finally, what is your desert island album?

Fredrik Thordendal’s Special Defects Sol Niger Within. I’ve played it hundreds of times and it still gives me goosebumps. One of the most unique, heartfelt and inspiring pieces of music ever created.

10 Metal Albums You May Have Missed This Year So Far

We’re about halfway into 2015. A lot of my friends have engaged in this new tradition of listing their favorite albums from the year so far. Thinking about doing this yourself? Not so fast. Here are some mind-blowing albums that have either been released independently or by a relatively smaller label. Some of these albums are from newer bands, others are from side-projects or after-projects. Some are from older bands, and there’s even a comeback album thrown in this list.

Mechina – “Acheron”

I’ve been a fan of this band only since last year. The first thing I’ve noticed on this new album is how they’ve managed to sink as low as the band, After The Burial (That’s a joke, not an insult by the way). By which I mean they have incorporated the use of what sounds like a 9-string guitar, an instrument popularized by After The Burial. Upon further research, I had discovered that the band had actually been using a 10-string guitar. I’ve also noticed a greater emphasis on interludes within the album, my favorite one being “Ode To The Forgotten Few” featuring Mel Rose. While doing different things on this release, Mechina continues to pummel us with their blend of Symphonic/Groove/Industrial/Death Metal. Their futuristic image has prompted the band to format the pre-sale of Acheron onto individual USB drives. The album is actually the first of the second part of a double-trilogy. Talk about concept.

Alkaloid – “The Malkuth Grimoire”

The band was formed by former Obscura drummer Hannes Grossmann, in collaboration with Dark Fortress frontman Morean, and featuring Obscura’s former guitarist and current bassist. The Malkuth Grimoire is a great way to hold yourself over while you wait for the new Obscura album. Despite similar band members as well as being lumped into the same sub-genre of death metal, there are significant differences between the bands as demonstrated by this debut. Alkaloid have displayed more technical vs. melodic guitar techniques. The album features a track called “C-Value Enigma” entirely composed of a bass solo by Linus, not performed on any Obscura track. The vocals can be described as more sinister than Obscura’s.

Armageddon – “Captivity & Devourment”

Originally formed as a side project for Christopher Amott of Arch Enemy. The band has been on and off for almost two decades largely due to Chris’ involvement with his main band. The band began playing a similar style of metal, then progressed towards a pure power metal effort. But this time around, Chris managed to take Armageddon back to it’s roots with Captivity & Devourment.

Arcturus – “Arcturian”

In the avant-garde category of metal this is a must-know band. Among the two founders of the band is the drummer for Mayhem. This album is quite the journey for those who love exploring the atmospheric side of metal. Hopefully you were able to catch the space vikings at this year’s Maryland Deathfest.

Chapel Of Disease – “The Mysterious Ways Of Repetitive Art”

The name is taken from two Morbid Angel songs, “Chapel Of Ghouls” and “Angel Of Disease”. Their debut album was more geared towards old school death metal. This time around, the 4-piece death metal act from Germany included even more clean portions so well-produced that they’ve begun to really take on Morbid Angel’s atmosphere.

Immortal Souls – “Wintermetal”

They are likely named after a song from Edge Of Sanity, and you can consider them the Melodic Death Metal version of Immortal. The subjects of Winter, Snow, Sorrow, and Coldness are constant in the band’s lyrical content. I’ve followed this band for several years, yet I was kept in the dark about this album. I remember seeing the video for “Calm Before the Snowstorm” over a year ago, and not learning of many updates since. But of course, when Wintermetal was unleashed upon the public, they really brought it.

Sulphur Aeon – “Gateway To The Antisphere”

If you’re hooked on this Cthulhu fad, then I have a band for you. It features the insane vocal stylings of M, the heavy sounds of bass and guitar from T, and the brutal drumming from D. I’m not making this up. Did I ever mention, image is necessary for bands who want to get their name out there?

Viking – “No Child Left Behind”

Viking formed in Los Angeles in the late 1980s. They had an album out on Metal Blade Records in ’88, and then another released on Caroline Records in ’89. Between those two albums, the singer and drummer became Born-again Christians, prompting lyrics with no blasphemies on the second album. Their new faith also prompted a break-up, for fear that singer, Ron Eriksen could not balance touring with his new faith. Hence, No Child Left Behind is a comeback album. It features the mighty Gene Hogan on drums (tapped by his brother Brett, who joined Dark Angel after the initial break-up).

Cain’s Offering – “Stormcrow”

I consider us very lucky to have this album in existence. This is a power metal supergroup that formed a few years after Jani Liimatainen’s departure from Sonata Arctica. It also features Timo Kotipelto, singer of Stratovarius, as well as members of Wintersun, Rhapsody, and Silent Voices throughout the years. They released their debut in 2009, but could not follow-up much due to members’ commitments to their other bands. It seemed as though Cain’s Offering would be a one-time deal. But now, with the release of Stormcrow, the band has promotional photos of the full-lineup, and now a social media presence. While Timo still has a huge commitment to Stratovarius, perhaps there’s still some hope for this band to tour in promotion of their albums.

Pyramaze – “Disciples Of The Sun”

Here’s a power metal band we don’t here too much from either. Hailing from Denmark, their previous album featured Matt Barlow (ex-Iced Earth) on vocals. This new album welcomes new vocalist Terje Haroy, as well as some other new musicians. As of now, the drummer and keyboardist are the only members to remain of the original line-up.

Comprehensive Metal Workout Playlist

Summer is pretty much here. So if you’re not bikini/speedo ready by now, you may want to hit the gym. I completely understand that you dread the thought of intense workouts, but don’t worry, I’m here to help. What gets me through all of my intense workouts is the music I listen to. Below I will list 5 of my favorite workout songs from almost every sub-genre of metal (in a few cases, more than 5). So I’ve got some workout tunes for you no matter what your metal niche is. The results below are based on a total play count between my iPod, iPhone, and iTunes.

Heavy Metal Classics

A Corpse Without Soul (Live Bootleg) – Mercyful Fate
Murders In The Rue Morgue (Live from The Beast On The Road w/ Bruce) – Iron Maiden
PainkillerJudas Priest
Am I Demon (Live from Thrall: Demonsweatlive) – Danzig

Hair Metal

Just Got LuckyDokken
Children Of The NightWhitesnake
Get The Funk OutExtreme
Kickstart My HeartMotley Crue
Don’t Care ‘Bout Nothin’Shotgun Messiah

80’s Thrash Metal (North America)

Alice In Hell (Demo) – Annihilator
Alone In The DarkTestament
Rotten To The CoreOverkill
Kill As OneDeath Angel

80’s Thrash Metal (Germany)

Mad Butcher (Live from A Savage Symphony) – Destruction
Who Pulls The Wire?Accusser
Flag Of Hate (EP Version) – Kreator
Sodomy And LustSodom

80’s Thrash Metal (The Big Four)

Last Rites/Loved To Deth (Demo) – Megadeth
The Four HorsemenMetallica
Aggressive PerfectorSlayer
Die By The Sword (Live from Decade Of Aggression) – Slayer

Thrash Metal 2000+

At The Mountains Of MadnessDiamond Plate
Unleash The BastardsMunicipal Waste
Dread CommandWarbringer
Immortal LifeBonded By Blood
Wild DogsToxic Holocaust

Speed Metal

Paint A New WorldHelloween
Taken By TimeStriker
Agents Of SteelAgent Steel
You’re Gonna PaySkull Fist

Power Metal

The Goatrider’s Horde3 Inches Of Blood
Twilight Of The GodsBlind Guardian
Night WitchesSabaton
Arise And PurifySanctuary
Cross The LineI Am I

Melodic Power Metal

Rise Of A Digital NationMachinae Supremacy
The Black HaloKamelot
Struggle For The Freedom FlagGalneryus
Black SheepSonata Arctica

Black Metal

Crystallized Pain In Deconstruction (Live in Marseille) – Mayhem
Cosmic Keys To My Creations & TimesEmperor
Rabid Death’s CurseWatain
Souls For BelialMarduk

Blackened Death/Thrash

Todos Somos HumanosAnaal Nathrakh
The UsurperCeltic Frost
Hellfire’s DominionDesaster
Slaves Shall ServeBehemoth

Melodic Black Metal

YlemDark Fortress
Unleash HellNaglfar
NomadShade Empire
He, The AethyrRotting Christ
The DragontowerKeep Of Kalessin

Old School Death Metal

A Skull Full Of Maggots (Live In Moscow) – Cannibal Corpse
Remnants Of Withered DecayMalevolent Creation
Gates To HellObituary
Evil DeadDeath
Chapel Of Ghouls (Live From Entangled In Chaos) – Morbid Angel

Death Metal 2000+

Helleluyah!!! (God Is Dead)Vader
Decency DefiedCannibal Corpse
Let Them BurnKataklysm
Unfit For Human ConsumptionCarcass
Worst Case ScenarioJungle Rot

Death Thrash


The ExorcistPossessed
Cradle RobberRevocation
OmnivoreDemolition Hammer
The PathLoudblast

Brutal Death/Slam

Slaves To The PyreBrodequin
Experience Your FleshBenighted
Narcissistic ApathyIngested
Above AtmospherePathology
Dirty Cunt BeatdownGorgasm

Melodic Death Metal

Blinded By FearAt The Gates
Laser Cannon Deth SentenceDethklok
ClaymanIn Flames
Blood On Your HandsArch Enemy
Tie My RopeChildren Of Bodom
Stabbing The DramaSoilwork
The Blackest IncarnationThe Black Dahlia Murder
Heroes To UsKalmah
A Parenthesis In EternityScar Symmetry

Technical Death Metal

The Ghost Of A StrangerThe Faceless
Die By My HandsAeon
Iconic ImagesAllegaeon
The Face Of My InnocenceArsis
Two-Pound TorchCryptopsy
Evoking The Wrath Of The RevenantsFisthammer
AscensionHour Of Penance
Wrath Of VishnuOrigin
Rain EaterRivers Of Nihil
An AutopsyThe Faceless


The Smallest ManNasum
Die Laughing (Live from Goodbye Cruel World) – Brutal Truth
Unchallenged HateNapalm Death
Human Is The BastardTotal Fucking Destruction
Sex On The FlagAgoraphobic Nosebleed

Gothic Metal

Night EternalMoonspell
Irony Of FateCrematory
Clinic For DollsUnSun

Industrial Metal

ReplicaFear Factory
Caught In The CrossfireThe Bezerker
TV IIMinistry
Feuer FreiRammstein
Nine Spectrums Of ImpurityThe Project Hate MCMXCIX

Folk Metal

Wooden Leg!Alestorm
Under Bergets RotFinntroll
Purifier Of The StarsMelechesh
Tengger CavalryTengger Cavalry

Progressive Metal

The MotherloadMastodon
Ebb/FlowMoon Tooth
TyrantosaurDead Empires
Embraced By DesolationInto Eternity
The AbsenceLuna Mortis

Progressive Extreme Metal

The Fractured OneBlack Crown Initiate
Cerebral HybridizationFallujah
Earthborn EvolutionBeyond Creation
L’Enfant SauvageGojira
Destroyer Of DreamsConquering Dystopia

Progressive Metalcore

Gods Amongst MenWithin The Ruins
FlourishThe Contortionist
DivergencyBorn Of Osiris
Frak The GodsPeriphery

Symphonic Metal

SangrealSeptic Flesh
Kings Of The Carnival CreationDimmu Borgir
Chainsaw BlastGloomy Grim
Be Dead Or DieStarkill

Groove Metal

Ratfinks, Suicide Tanks And Cannibal GirlsWhite Zombie
DescendingLamb Of God
Beautiful MourningMachine Head
Absence Of LightProng

Stoner Metal/Rock

Dragonaut (50% Faster) – Sleep
A Shotgun Named MarcusClutch
PowertripMonster Magnet
I Am The Night, Colour Me BlackPriestess


SupagorgonizerIron Monkey
TranquilizedAcid Bath
Waste Of TiamatHigh On Fire
Midnight EyesHowl

Alternative Metal

Destroy Create Transform SublimateDestrage

The Negative OneSlipknot

Introduce YourselfFaith No More
What’s The Matter ManRollins Band
We Die YoungAlice In Chains


Axe To FallConverge
PressuresParkway Drive
Finish ItCar Bomb
MikasaVeil Of Maya
Panasonic YouthThe Dillinger Escape Plan

Melodic Metalcore

ConvalescenceDarkest Hour
My Will Be DoneUnearth
All That We HaveKillswitch Engage
SignsConducting From The Grave
The PlagueAs I Lay Dying


DesolationBoris The Blade
A PlagueCranely Gardens
Objective To HarvestRings Of Saturn
Isolating The MothAlighieri
Make It BleedWhitechapel


Don’t Fail Me Now (Lady Luck)Vildhjarta
BalthasarEl Scar
Bouncing In A Bottomless PitFredrik Thordendal’s Special Defects


Cruisin’ Till The Wheels Fall OffTiger Flowers
Lagarto (EP Version) – Lazer/Wülf
Womb With A ViewGWAR
I Suck (Blood)Every Time I Die


What metal songs do YOU work out to?

10 Astonishing Metal Bands From Israel

This June, yours truly will be making the third trip of his life to Israel. In honor of this upcoming trip, I’ve decided to do some reflecting on my favorite bands from the country home to “The Holy Land”, in order of formation date. Metal is viewed as sacrilegious particularly in Israel. Many venues will not host shows on the Sabbath. Despite this, several of the bands below have endured the controversy and have become well-respected in the metal underground.

Salem – Tel Aviv – Formed in 1985

The name was taken from the horror film “The Witches Of Salem”. Their style is a blend of death and doom metal with occasional oriental influences. Drummer Nir Nakav, has stated in an interview for the documentary “Global Metal”, that their lyrics pertaining to Jewish suffering has had the band butting heads with Varg Vikernes (despite Varg admitting to appreciating the music). In 1994, they released their debut full-length Kaddish. The title pertains to the Mourner’s Kaddish, a prayer for dead relatives, included in three daily synagogue services.

The opening track, “The Fading”, received regular airplay on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball. The 9th track on Kaddish, “Ha’ayara Bo’eret” (The Burgh is Burning), is a cover of an Israeli folk song, sung in Hebrew, and its lyrical content is associated with the suffering of Jews during the Holocaust. They’ve released 4 other studio albums since then, and in 2011, Kaddish was re-released. A special concert to commemorate the re-release took place in Tel Aviv, where GN’R guitarist “Bumblefoot” joined the band on stage.


Orphaned Land – Bat Yam – Formed in 1992

A progressive metal band which incorporates elements of Middle-Eastern and Arabic music. Each of their albums contain the concept of two extremes clashing; Shadow to Light, East to West, Past to Present, or God to Satan. Their lyrics have often promoted a message of unity and peace between Judaism, Islam, and Christianity.

Their debut on Century Media Records, Mabool, tells the story of three angels, one from each of the Abrahamic religions, on a journey to warn humanity of a flood invoked as punishment for its sins. Despite several biblical references in their lyrics, most members of this band identify as agnostic or atheist. Overall, the one message this band wants to relay to all who listen is as follows: “People should be judged by their hearts and inner sincerity, not their religious beliefs.”


Melechesh – Jerusalem – Formed in 1993

They may be residing in The Netherlands now, but Melechesh have a history in Israel and are still being marketed as a band from Jerusalem. Their name derives from two words with Aramaic and Hebrew origins. The meaning of the conjoined words is “King of Fire”. Up until 1998 the band recorded and gigged in Jerusalem where they were harassed by law enforcement officers with deeply held religious beliefs, prompting their relocation to The Netherlands. Their debut was controversially titled As Jerusalem Burns. They refer to their sound as Sumerian metal. Just think Absu, but with more oriental influence. On their most recent album, Enki, from this year, they had the opportunity to collaborate with Max Cavalera.


Distorted – Bat-Yam – Formed in 1996

They took influence from progressive and gothic metal bands and an oriental influence from their country-mates Orphaned Land. They didn’t release a debut album or tour outside of the Tel-Aviv area until 10 years after forming. The success of the debut, Memorial, earned them a deal with Candlelight Records.


Winterhorde – Haifa Region – Formed in 1999

Originally called Autumn Palace, they changed their name to Winterhorde two years later after some soul searching and line-up changes. The success of their demo grabbed the attention of Greek label Burning Star Records. The label would release their debut album, Nebula, prompting positive feedback and demand for Israel’s answer to theatrical melodic death/black metal to tour Europe. Their 2010 sophomore album Underwatermoon was met with similar positive response, and the band is currently working on album number three, Maestro. They have shared the stage with several international acts with similar musical influences. Such includes Keep Of Kalessin, Negura Bunget, Crematory, and later this year they are due to open for Ne Obliviscaris in Tel-Aviv.


The Fading – Tel-Aviv – Formed in 2000

They began at the dawn of the new millennium as Excessum, then changed their name to “The Fading” (me thinks named after the opening track on Salem’s debut) in 2006. Two years later, The Fading competed in Israel’s division of the Waken Metal Battle for a spot on the WET stage at that year’s Waken Open Air. They competed against several Israeli metal bands including one with their former producer, and won. They also won the global division of the Waken Metal Battle, held while they played the festival. Their prize as such, was a record deal with the festival’s record label. Under this deal the band recorded their debut album, In Sin We Find Salvation.

The success following the debut, has earned them the opening spot on several shows with international metal bands coming through the Middle-East. They are often matched up with melodic death metal favorites such as In Flames, Children of Bodom, and Arch Enemy. In 2013, the band announced work on a sophomore album, self-produced. As of this year, they have announced via Facebook that ‘Till Life Do Us Part, is due to be released later this year.


Nail Within – Tel-Aviv – Formed in 2001

Like The Fading, Nail Within play melodic death metal, though the latter is a little more aggressive and thrashy. While recording their debut album in Germany, the band got to meet figures of the Teutonic Thrash Metal scene, as well as At The Gates singer Thomas Lindberg, all whom made guest appearances on the eponymous album. The band ended up being short-lived, breaking up soon after their release show, yet being highly influential to Israel’s melodeath scene. They played a one-off reunion show in Tel-Aviv with Salem’s drummer as well a guest appearance by Thomas Lindberg.


Dagor Dagorath – Afula – Formed in 2003

Filed under Tolkien-named metal bands. Specifically, their name refers to “The Battle Of Battles”. They faced a four-year hiccup due to some members’ mandatory civic duty of military service. Hence their debut album, Yetzer Ha’ra, was released 6 years after their formation. They have been featured in an issue of Metal Hammer UK as well as the first volume of Burning Roots, an anti-nsbm compilation.


Whorecore – Tel-Aviv – Formed in 2003

A six-piece grindcore/death metal act, from “The city that never stops”. Known for playing as many shows as they can with a total disregard for venue or audience. They are considered Israel’s best live actin the punk, grind, and metal communities. They have two full-lengths under their belt, with their debut album, Protection, released in 2006. Also featured in “Global Metal”. “Supporting violence against stupidity since 2003” (Facebook excerpt).


Hammercult – Tel-Aviv – Formed in 2010

Considered a supergroup in Israel’s metal scene that featured two members of The Fading. Their unique blend of thrash and death metal won them the Israeli Waken Metal Battle of 2011, as well as the Global Waken Metal Battle that same year. They’ve done several European tours with the likes of D.R.I., Sepultura, and Napalm Death. Their first album, Anthems Of The Damned, was released by German label Sonic Attack in 2012. Continuing to promote their second album, as well as a potential third album, they will be the support act for Overkill’s show in Tel-Aviv this June.


Honorable Mentions:

Acropolis – Melodic Power Metal with Trance influences  – Tel Aviv

Buzzer – Stoner/Sludge Metal – Tel-Aviv

Edited by Doug McCausland

Two Metal Bands Involved In Fatal Van Crash

It has been reported by WSB-TV Atlanta that at around 7am this morning, a fatal van crash occurred at Interstate 85 in Georgia, near Highway 98. The greater details are as follows, as stated by The Georgia State Patrol;

“The driver of the passenger van may have fallen asleep, drove down an embankment and struck a tree. Three people were ejected and later died. Three others were in critical condition. A total of eight people were taken to Athens Regional Hospital and Northeast Georgia Medical Center.”

Those involved in the crash are the members of two metal bands, Wormreich, and Khaotika. Both bands have been doing a short tour with Kult Ov Azazel, who had this to say on their Facebook page this morning;

“Unfortunately tonight’s show in Atlanta, GA will be canceled. The van carrying Wormreich and Khaotika was in a horrible accident this morning. We cannot go into details due to respect to the families of the involved and we are sure details will soon be available through the other parties when the time is right. Our thoughts are with those involved and their families.”

Troopers report that a total of twelve members between the two bands were involved in this accident. Charges are pending in this case.

As of 1:25 PM Wormreich’s label Moribund Records has confirmed the death of guitarist Ian McKinney (Nazgul Vathron). The names of the other two fatal victims have not been disclosed as of now. Echoing Kult Ov Azazel, our deepest sympathies and most positive vibes go out to the victims and their families. Remember to be well-rested before driving.

Video of report by WSB-TV Atlanta here.

12 Metal Bands Due For A Comeback

Remember when- Yes it’s that type of article. A list of bands, whose past material blew me and many others away, that haven’t been active in the studio in recent years. Some have come back from a hiatus or split. While others have just been touring constantly, or have just been silent in regards to their future plans. Whatever the reason, these are all bands that I’m confident the metal community would really appreciate a comeback, specifically a new record from.

Necrophagist – Last album: Epitaph (2004)

Let’s begin with the obvious. The German Tech-Death outfit’s debut Onset Of Putrefaction was a great start, but what really opened doors for this band was their sophomore release Epitaph. It was the first to feature actual drums. It also featured frontman Muhammed Suicmez adding classical influence to the lead guitar tracks, incorporating renditions of Beethoven’s “Für Elise” and Prokofiev’s “Romeo And Juliet Suite No. 2”. Touring was constant upon the release of the album. 2007 was the year that saw Necrophagist headlining their first Summer Slaughter Tour in the U.S. As a matter of fact they are the 3rd most occurring band on Summer Slaughter line-ups, falling only behind The Faceless and Dying Fetus. Since 2008, live appearances have ceased, while fans await the fabled 3rd studio album, commonly referred to as “The Chinese Democracy of Metal”. Possible titles are limited to only rumors, but Muhammed has stated that it would feature 7-string guitars, including a custom Ibanez 7-string with 27 frets! Talk about suspense. The latest statement concerning album number 3 was made in 2013 by drummer Romain Goulon;

“Necrophagist is definitely not dead !!! There will be a new album. I’m aware that people are crazy about it, but if you ask me for a date, I’m afraid I can’t help… I think we’re close to get all the required “ingredients” to go back to work.”

Given that no release date was given, and that Goulon is a relatively new member, I’m going to take these updates with a grain of salt, at least until we receive an update by Muhammed.

UnSun – Last album: Clinic For Dolls (2010)

Formed by a Polish couple in 2006, which includes a former guitarist for Vader and Dies Irae, UnSun brought us a new type of female-fronted Gothic Metal. This band brought to the table a heavier, more downtuned guitar tone (pervasive in modern death metal), to go along with singer Anna Stefanowicz melodic vocals and the keyboards that gave their music a Gothic overtone. In 2012, a Facebook statement by a source only listed as “The Victims Of Public Health Service”, revealed that Anna had been suffering for over a year from a throat condition so severe it hurt her to even speak. In 2014, Anna stated that she was able to sing again and that the writing process for album 3 was almost finished. Obviously we cannot rush this band due to the ordeal Anna has gone and is going through. We can only wish her the best of luck. Until the next album, or rather next update, I would fill the void of UnSun’s heavy gothic sound with the music of Mechina.

Sleep – Last album: Dopesmoker (2003)

The legendary stoner metal trio have been re-gigging since 2009. First with live performances at the All Tomorrow’s Parties Festivals in the U.K. and U.S., and then sporadic short tours and festival appearances. One can argue that the most limiting factor for longer tours is guitarist Matt Pike’s commitment to his band High On Fire, who are currently confirmed for a new studio album. By late 2012 as a result of their spot on Maryland Deathfest, the band stated that they considered themselves a “full, reunited band”. In July of last year the trio graced us with a new song through Adult Swim’s Singles Program entitled “The Clarity”. Pike has been pretty secretive about whether or not this would manifest into a new full-length album for Sleep. So what do you think? If Sleep put out a new full-length, would you like it to be an hour-long single song like “Jerusalem” or “Dopesmoker”, or to be more conventional like Volume 1 and Holy Mountain. Personally I’d prefer the latter for two reasons.
1. It would be easier to market
2. See below statement from their Facebook page;

“For those asking…
Sleep cannot re-issue Holy Mountain on vinyl. Or CD. Or MP3.
Nor can Sleep print t-shirts or posters, etc with the original Holy Mountain artwork.
All rights to that album (and any related art) are owned by Earache records. Forever.
…and no, Sleep doesn’t make a dime from that record and hasn’t since the early 90’s.
Bands: Please be very careful what you sign.”

Personally, I’d like to see a Holy Mountain Part 2, as a way for the band to redeem themselves after losing the right’s to that album.

Deströyer 666 – Last album: Defiance (2009)

One year after the release of Defiance, Australian/Dutch Blackened Thrashers Deströyer 666 announced ‘SIEGE’ as their follow-up record. They released a compilation album with a new 7 inch EP in 2011 and since then they’ve had a few hiccups. Dropping off a U.S. tour with Destruction as well as line-up changes, including the loss of long-time guitarist Shrapnel.

Cerebral Bore – Last album: Maniacal Miscreation (2011)

Named after a weapon in the Turok video game series, armed with samples from the movie Trainspotting, they are the death metal pride of Scotland. In 2012 their loyal fans voted for them the grand opportunity to be the opening band on The Summer Slaughter Tour (headlined by Cannibal Corpse that year). Months later, just 24 hours before a U.S. tour with Dying Fetus, singer Simone Pluijmers left the band. Shawn Whitaker (Insidious Decrepancy) filled in for that tour, and ended up staying the vocalist for more shows after that. They’ve made a few more sporadic appearances, and some members ended up managing the 2014 Summer Slaughter Tour. No news of a sophomore album, a tour, or permanent vocalist though.

Dååth – Last album: Dååth (2010)

This is a very interesting death metal band with influences of industrial metal and gypsy jazz. Their breakthrough record, The Hinderers, was released on Roadrunner Records. The two albums that followed were released on Century Media. The band’s inactivity since 2011 can be explained by the fact that 2 (and then eventually 3) members went to fill vacant spots in the band Chimaira, which has been ended as of last year, but not before the Dååth members quit. Now lies more time to devote to a new Dååth album.

Into Eternity – Last album: The Incurable Tragedy (2008)

This progressive metal outfit from Saskatchewan faced a questionable line-up when vocalist Stu Block joined Iced Earth in 2011, which I was fortunate enough to see. In February of 2012, singer of The Order of Chaos, Amanda Kiernan joined, and Into Eternity began demoing new material with both singers. By late 2013 it was confirmed that Stu Block had permanently left Into Eternity in favor of Iced Earth. Hence Amanda is now the band’s full-time singer. I unfortunately passed on the opportunity to see Into Eternity with their new singer. Big mistake. About a year ago a new album was reported almost mixed. No greater details have been released about the album though.

Vital Remains – Last album: Icons Of Evil (2007)

The Rhode Island death metal band has been on a roll with their recordings since 2003. The latest 2 albums, Dechristianize and Icons Of Evil, featured vocals from Glen Benton (Deicide), and some amazing lead guitar work from Dave Suzuki. Those two members have been absent from the bands line-up since 2009. Vital’s long-time rhythm guitarist, Tony Lazaro, has stated in several interviews that he has 2 albums worth of material written. Originally intended for a 2012 release, constant touring and line-up changes have pushed the release of the follow-up to Icons Of Evil even further. Lazaro has stated in interviews that this new album would take a more old school death metal approach, straying from the epic 6-minute average-length songs of the last two albums

“The longest song, I think, is four and a half minutes. It’s everything you’d expect from Vital Remains, but just in a shorter package.”

The band’s current vocalist is Brian Werner (ex-Monstrosity), and their current lead guitarist is Dean Arnold (Primal Frost).

Psyopus – Last Album: Odd Senses (2009)

This mathcore band from Rochester NY, is known for having a guitarist with techniques so unorthodox, that they have failed to receive endorsements.

“Mesa Boogie has not done very much to sponsor me because I do too much of this…” *yanks guitar by the whammy bar and shakes it furiously up and down* – Christopher Arp

Their hiatus began in 2010. Then in 2012 it was announced that the band would reunite with three of the four original members. They’ve done some gigging since then, and in 2014 the Soundcloud page for Headbang ’n Buttonmash released the band’s interesting (to say the least) cover of The Grateful Dead’s “Touch of Grey”. No plans for the future have been announced publicly yet though.

Sadist – Last album: Season In Silence (2010)

Sadist are a progressive death metal band from Italy that put out a WTF?! release in 2000 entitled “Lego”. The negative response discouraged them into breaking up for 5 years. Since their return, they’ve released 2 more albums with their signature sound from the 90s. With their weak grasp on social media you would think they’re only huge in their home country, but they have indeed played headlining shows and metal festivals around the world. Still, this entry is more personal than anything for me to appeal for a new album from the quartet.

Priestess – Last Album: Prior To The Fire (2009)

First off, this band has nothing to do with Judas Priest. They are hard rock/heavy metal band from Montreal associated with the “retro rock” movement, influenced by AC/DC and Black Sabbath. Their debut album, Hello Master took the world by storm. Several of the tracks were marketed by other forms of media.

  • “I Am the Night, Colour Me Black” was used as a track in Need For Speed Carbon
  • “Lay Down” was used as a track in Guitar Hero 3: Legends Of Rock
  • “The Shakes” was placed in a compilation CD by Metal Hammer Magazine
  • “No Real Pain” was used as a track in Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam
  • An Instrumental version of “Run Home” was used in the soundtrack for Surf’s Up

Unfortunately, album 2 did not receive the same reception. The band took a more progressive and natural-sounding route when writing and recording respectively. They were dropped from RCA as a result of their refusal to write more songs along the lines of the Hello Master sessions. Hence, Prior To The Fire did not get as much exposure. 2012 saw a tough year for the band. After a cancelled European tour and a lack satisfaction with new material, the band decided to take a hiatus and engage in other musical projects. Lead vocalist Mikey Heppner has stated that it is best to let the material for album 3 “happen naturally”. So unlike other entries, this band is still on hold. While I certainly don’t want to rush album 3, I still believe the band is due for a comeback.

Brain Drill – Last Album: Quantum Catastrophe (2010)

You damn kids with your Rings Of Saturn! Don’t you know there’s a death metal band with the same kind of technical skill? We almost didn’t have a second album by this band due to a line-up hiccup, but it came to fruition. In 2014 a Facebook statement was made that the band is at work on a third album. No details were revealed for the now-approaching 5-year wait though.