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Trauma – Another Awakening

…think as a band it’s important to have videos out there, even if you can only do a lyric video that’s better than nothing. You just have to get it out there and let people know what you’re doing. Dead Rhetoric: Where did Donnie want to come across with some of the lyrics on this record – did he end up writing all the lyrics, or other members contribute too? Gustofson: He did most of the lyrics on these songs. “Death of An Angel”, “Walk Away”, ther…

SilentLie – Equilibrium (Rockshots Records)

…ct SilentLie. Equilibrium is the group’s second album, a four-piece naturally developing as musicians and people since their debut full-length from 2015 Layers of Nothing. Personal reasons caused a bit of delay in the group’s momentum, but now we have these ten tracks that showcase a more energetic, blasting sound that is very jumpy, catchy, and addictive. The effusive nature to the voice, melody choices, and delivery contained within singer Giorg…

Splintered Throne – Beware of the Reaper

…. I’m enjoying it though. Dead Rhetoric: Where did you want to come across lyrically for this record? Mann: I’m really influenced by Iron Maiden, so there are a couple of songs that are historical in context. “The Crossing”, Jason had the idea of being about a voyage with ships, so I did some research and there was an ancient African king who disappeared, extremely wealthy. He and his sailors went off into the ocean and were never seen again. That…

Aura – Underwater (My Kingdom Music)

…rds often showcase Aura’s penchant for starting a song in one direction, only to quickly switch up the tempos or atmosphere – “Eternal Bliss” a tour de force in that front, Opeth-like driving guitars against clean/ambient parts building to that bombastic chorus payoff plus subsequent progressive instrumental payoff with Fates Warning-like movements. The focused nature to these arrangements with radio-friendly times (“Lights Behind the Clouds” the…

Rage – Back to Life

…over the years? Wagner: The relationship with Steamhammer and SPV, especially with Olly Hahn, the label guy there, is very personal and we are good friends. Like it was with Nuclear Blast with Andy Siry, but then he left the label, so we had time to go to someone else. We think it’s very important to have a very close, personal relationship to the people you work with. Otherwise, you are just a number among loads of others, you know? Dead Rhetoric…

SpellBook – Deadly Charms (Cruz del Sur Music)

…mid-tempo hard rocking benchmark. Already impressing this scribe in 2020 through Magick & Mischief, the expansion of the lineup to a dual-guitar attack opens up sonic possibilities for SpellBook that they achieve seamlessly for Deadly Charms. It’s exciting to anticipate what will come next from this talented team of musicians. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RN8cflhNMpk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EO67RK5qxJ0 SpellBook on Facebook…

Under the Oak – Rabid About Metal

…along to. Then my cousin was into metal, like Motörhead, Bulldozer, and a bit of early extreme metal. I was influenced by him, and then Kiss came along. I was born in 1971, so I am a part of the Kiss generation. Like everything, you want to grow your hair, you want to play an instrument to take part in the scene, not just listen. I had a calling for this, I think. I was thirteen when I picked up the guitar, in 1984. I had two lessons. They wanted…

Razor – Cycle of Contempt (Relapse Records)

…also enjoy the back-and-forth crunchy guitar/bass interplay during the early parts of the title track – showcasing a bit more of a traditional/bluesy aspect to these gentlemen before fading into the expected gallops/charge the subsequent musical movements unleash. While other bands vary the template record to record, Razor prefer the reliable method of keeping things at a speedy, thrash base – lyrical topics regarding mental health / violence for…

Meridian – Entering the Next Dimension

…ine years now. He was always the only lead player. When Marco joined, he only recently started playing leads. They are very different lead-wise. They both offer something different and something special. Martin, his musical influences are definitely based in the blues. He loves the blues as well. Many metal and hard rock bands base their lead guitar play on the blues anyway. He can also shred and play fast as well. He likes to improvise a lot. Mar…

Lost Society – Hold Up the Sky

…dsight it makes sense to have that out, even though our reasoning was totally different. Honestly, I feel like social media has been very important to me, and we have been lucky as a band, we genuinely enjoy doing social media. Which is obviously something that not every band is as lucky – some bands are so against it, without even trying to make it look like themselves. They will have a perception that they are not going to do the social media th…

Mentalist – Empires Falling (Mentalist Records/ Pride & Joy Music)

…elivery – everything from Kai Hansen to Davide Moras from Elvenking plus a bit of Swedish melodic hard rock/metal finesse to his capabilities, circling around all facets on the quick hitting “If You Really Want” while reaching his emotional intensity in the moody slow to speed epic “Out of the Dark”. Guest work on keyboards and bass appears with Kamelot’s Oliver Palotai and Symphony X’s Mike LePond, while the steady fills/solid power tempo command…

Purpendicular – Stepping Out of the Shadows

…, faxes would come in. It was basic. The good thing about that was, generally, only good bands got a chance. Nowadays, you don’t know who’s real and who’s fake, what’s real and what’s not real. It’s very saturated, and that’s a shame. I’m not trying to diss young people who are trying to be musicians, but I think the music today is suffering. I was talking to Ian about it, when Deep Purple got together, they were all into different kinds of music:…

Assimilator – Assimilator (Self-Released)

…s point may need a bit more tightening/polish to gain more buzz. A relatively bluesy/calm guitar intro shifts quickly into a melodic death riffing plus a driving snare/kick tempo foundation through “Slave”, while the follow-up “Burial Hymns” contains a see-saw battle between slower, churning rhythms, semi-progressive hi-hat snare foundational components, and the caustic vocal roar pushing over the top. It’s as if these musicians aren’t afraid to a…

Asylum – Eliminate the Tyrant

…ppearance was at True Thrash Fest 2017 in Japan. That whole experience really opened our eyes to playing internationally and seeing how fans react in a different country compared to what we were used to in Australia. Dead Rhetoric: Being together for over a decade, how would you assess the career of Asylum to date? What types of goals or ambitions do you set out to accomplish, both in the short term and long term, with this band? Armstrong: I thin…

Stratovarius – Stepping Up the Game

…with Timo’s voice, demoed everything and started to write lyrics immediately. The lyrics which would make sense. Then we had multiple sessions, Timo, Jens and me, writing new material and presenting old ideas and go through those to present modern Stratovarius. The result was pretty good, the melodies and lyrics are more major and easier to approach. Dead Rhetoric: Were there any songs that were a bit more challenging on this record than others?…

August 2022 Rapid Fires

…nd more, the short length of this one means that there needs to be absolutely no let up in absolutely devastating the listener. END starts it off with two cuts that do their best to jostle you, with the scathing “Eden Will Drown” before going into more lumbering industrial and crust influence with “The Host Will Soon Decay.” Cult Leader wraps it up with monolith but short “Ataraxis” and similarly diving into slower yet still equally intense darkne…

Wolfheart – Gathering in the North

…ing him to do something from the album was very short. It happened accidently. Usually there’s management talking to management, there are favors being owed in the music business, there are things being exchanged, this type of system. When that happened, I had to think about my position again. So I rethought my position and just think about what the music needs. With “Cold Flame” we needed this very monstrous kind of growling. I do my best in the…

Box – Cherry Blossoms at Night (Miserable Pyre of Secrets)

…th driven, experimental sounds, add a dash of post-metal, with the occasional speedy thrash riff, they may be cooking up a unique recipe. Instead, this is a collection of eight songs that don’t fit together as well as one would hope. If Box finds a bit of direction, look out – the talent here is blatantly obvious. For now, Cherry Blossoms at Night is representative of wearing a few too many hats at the same time. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9E…

Aquila – Metal Is Metal

…al bands at the time. To play there, you had to get their respect, especially in the early 2000’s. Once we came around, other bands came around and started creating a metal scene. I don’t care where you come from, when I book shows, I will book any type of metal. Hardcore, death metal, thrash metal, grindcore, whatever it is. I just loved it. Metal is metal to me. I think now, I’m not too involved with the metal scene in Windsor as I moved to Kitc…

Vlad in Tears – Hope Through Despair

…’s been amazing, and the musicians here are much more respected than in Italy. You can only imagine how it is there. There’s nothing if you want to start something, you can’t. It seems like if you are a foreign musician coming to Italy, you are viewed as a superstar, you know? We had a lot of chances in Germany, we always just keep moving, playing more, traveling more. You never know what is going to happen next. Dead Rhetoric: Your style of alter…

Revocation – Diabolical Chaos

…unique and original is something under the metal umbrella can be a little bit difficult because there are only so many different ways you can write about Satan or whatever. Certainly, I think there is… these topics still have real world significance, especially in today’s day and age I feel like the world as a whole has been getting more secular from a populist standpoint, but it feels like power is consolidating more with religious, extreme ideo…

Absolute Darkness – Failure of State (Self-Released)

…rowls give the material that added underground appeal. The political/socially-driven lyrical content comes from expected norms for the genre – handling everything from income inequality and unsubstantiated rumors/conspiracy theory spread about through social or major media outlets to dictators or war-oriented actions. Being products of a movement that spawned the 80’s thrash originators, it’s not surprising to hear the approach to specific guitar…

Santa Cruz – The Return of the Kings (M-Theory Audio)

…layers surrounding Archie embellish and enhance the main hooks professionally – knowing when to rise to the occasion through key transitions that tear the roof off any establishment, as you get an early Ozzy-like blitzkrieg on the guitar/drumming front for “Under the Gun” all the way to a quick hitting “Stay” closer that seesaws between power punk and melodic metal measures for both the musical and vocal deliveries. The Return of the Kings will no…

Fallujah – Embracing Oblivion

…nging. Instead of doing what’s natural to me, picking up my guitar and really going for it, I was really trying to change the way we structure music. A lot of different influences brought about certain riffs, and then things take over. With that last record, we wanted to go somewhere else, be atmospheric, hold back with different elements. With this album, I felt relieved after doing the fourth album. I wanted to do what came natural and take from…

Brymir – Bigger, Stronger, Faster, Better

…take some snippets out of this, and it’s not over colored or epic. It’s a bit darker, a bit more shocking, you can take these figures out of this and make posters with them. You could say it’s more of a composite idea there. But it’s striking in itself, the figure is giving this offering up. It was a definite change in pace to our previous albums. We wanted more of a dramatic reveal, we are now on Napalm, now things are going to be different. I k…

Thundermother – Black and Gold (AFM Records)

…of the Toxic Twins of Steven Tyler/Joe Perry. These ladies can also get a bit adventurous during “Watch Out” and “Try with Love”, showcasing a bit more of their metal chops as Filippa Nässil lays down circular lead breaks matching the adrenaline-laced proceedings. The record closes on another slower note for “Borrowed Time”, a poignant tale about the feelings that occur post-show as you move onto the next venue, wanting to ‘live forever’ and bott…

Soilwork – Relating to Abandonment

…ng to the table that still understood the things we want to express musically and lyrically with this band. David was one of those people – he started touring with the band in 2007, and he joined as a full-time member for The Living Infinite, and Peter jumped off the band a second time. David inspired me to pick up the guitar and start writing songs, that’s really what happened with that album. It’s quite crazy, one of the original members quits t…

Russian Circles- Gnosis (Sargent House)

…t’s their third time working with Kurt Ballou behind the board, and he deftly makes every instrument heard equally, thus ensuring that every track punches as hard as it can. Gnosis starts out with “Tupilak”, a rolling thunder of menacing drums and true to its namesake, when the curse turns around to bite the conjurer in the ass, the track bares its fangs and rain down glorious riffing courtesy of Mike Sullivan and Brian Cook. First single “Conduit…

Hammer King – Savage Nobility

…speak. I enjoy this album. I can’t tell you if it’s my favorite, it’s really too early. I’ll know after we play the songs more live. How will it work in the live setting, will the people enjoy the songs? I’m really happy with the final product, the artwork and the golden logo that we have this time. It’s very good. Obstacles for the album. The limited time, which led us to making a good album, but it was stressful. I remember when Napalm said we…

Savage Master – Those Who Hunt at Night (Shadow Kingdom Records)

…pider web-oriented guitar runs, thunderous bass/drum interplay that’s equally vicious yet maintains that mandatory pocket potency, or the naturally sinister presence of Stacey reigning over the top as complimentary background gang vocals fill in the dynamic contrasts – it’s all there and more for the nine main songs. Vintage 80’s synths placed in key spots give off that soundtrack vibe, while that driving mid-tempo guitar churn allows opener “Hunt…

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