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Spirits of Fire – Enjoying the Roots of Metal

…e, the second record Embrace the Unknown features Fabio Lione taking the vocal helm from Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens, ensuring a premiere powerhouse in a different light compared to past acclaim with Angra, Vision Divine, and Rhapsody (Of Fire) among others. We reached out to Chris via Zoom, and he was happy to bring us up to date on the singer switch, differences between albums, video and artwork, thoughts on music festivals and scenes in the US versus ot…

Voivod – Anarchy Reigns

…y Pierre Menetrier. Discuss the concept of the clip, does it bring the lyrical content to life, and how does the discussion take place between band and crew to flesh out what we take in for the final effort – as I imagine your audience appreciates the time and energy you put into videos? Away: It was early last year that a video popped online, it was made on the song “Nothingface”. The video was made in animation on a computer in the early 90’s by…

Malison – Reborn for Metal

…a style of heavy metal that incorporates facets of thrash, power, neoclassical, and modern touches, Malison from San Diego, California creates a style that is quite energetic, melodic, and fascinating. The four-piece will make many want to air guitar or sing to the top of their lungs at this material – bringing about thoughts from Megadeth and Iron Maiden to Dragonforce at a surface glance. Their second album Death’s Embrace has delightful dynamic…

Neonfly – A New Future

…, Tonight. Some may say the alternative nuances and attention to broader vocal melodies plus orchestration touches definitely hit mainstream moments throughout – and yet the talent in terms of songwriting and performances is undeniable. We reached out to main songwriter/guitarist Frederick Thunder through Zoom and he was happy to bring us into the Neonfly fold. You’ll learn more about the crowdfunding campaign, choice of producer, special artwork,…

Backlash – World Domination

…impressive riffing, potent and punchy rhythm section work, plus melodic vocals in a genre where screaming seems to be the norm put the quartet in rarified air for their work. We reached out to guitarist/vocalist Ryan Sorensen one afternoon and had a great conversation regarding the band’s latest work Colossus, the development of Backlash as a band, future goals, favorite shows, and lots of discussion on what it takes beyond the music to grow a fo…

Hiraes – Solitary Beginnings

…iver Kirchner, Christian Wösten and Mathias Blässe) merged together with vocalist Britta Görtz (Critical Mass) to create a new death metal act in Hiraes. Formed and recording their debut in the global pandemic, as things begin to open up, their Napalm Records debut in Solitary is also set to hit the streets running. We spoke with guitarist Lukas Kerk and Britta Görtz to get their thoughts on how the band came together, their goals and inspirations…

Vexed – Anger as a Tool to Bring Happiness

…e seeking something fresh within the metal realm. We recently spoke with vocalist Megan Targett to get her thoughts on the album, mental health, how she became interested in metal/singing, and even some issues with the current world we live in. Dead Rhetoric: Culling Culture is your debut album. Is there anything you feel particularly proud of accomplishing with it? Megan Targett: I’m proud of the whole thing. It was a real learning process. Some…

Kaligula – Doctrination of Atisamdha (Brutal Mind)

…first things about death metal bands hailing from Indonesia (or eastern locales in general), the thought immediately goes into slamming or uber brutal death metal. There’s a ton of it in that vicinity, and some of the better acts in the style do originate in that area. But Kaligula is different in that they are more of a straight-up death metal entity. No bells or whistles, nor hyper-extremity, just a gut-punch of death metal. Kaligula frequently…

My Dying Bride – Dark, Shadowy Journeys

…nd are returning quickly with a new EP in Macabre Cabaret. We spoke with vocalist Aaron Stainthorpe about coming back to the band after his daughter’s successful battle with cancer (and handling during the current pandemic), the influence of British poets, the band’s legacy, among discussion of the upcoming EP. Dead Rhetoric: Has it been a bit tougher for you, knowing that your daughter is immunocompromised, with the coronavirus pandemic? Aaron St…

Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh – Taking Over!

…a wide brushstroke of influences and soundscapes. We spoke with bassist/vocalist Maggie English (with some light accompaniment from her sisters CJ and Lulu) about the band’s sound and goals, their new EP, and what it’s like to be in a band with your sisters. Dead Rhetoric: What do you feel you’ve improved upon with Operation Takeover? Maggie English: With Operation Takeover we really tried to push ourselves to the extreme, on every level. So with…

Oceans of Slumber – From Catharsis to Validation

…isn’t as easy as it sounds – and yet Oceans of Slumber have achieved critical acclaim while attaining a fervent fanbase through their discography to date. Their latest self-titled album may contain the first work of a major lineup shift (only vocalist Cammie Gilbert and drummer/pianist Dobber Beverly remain from 2018’s The Banished Heart), but there’s an obvious teamwork aspect to this material that takes the band to new heights of emotional reso…

Alestorm – The Art of Fun

…this needs to go on forever! It’s fun – I love all of this dumb stuff! Basically, this band is an opportunity for all of us to live out our stupid dreams and somehow get paid for it, and somehow people pay attention to what we do. That’s just really exciting for us, being able to do those things. So yeah, I love it – it’s not going to end, and it’s going to get worse. All of these dumb little ideas are going to pop up. Dead Rhetoric: [Laughs] And…

Sorcerer – Lamenting Spirits

…quite a second run in the scene through their recent albums. Gaining critical acclaim and fan buzz through their previous two records In the Shadow of the Inverted Cross from 2015 and the follow-up The Crowning of the Fire King in 2017, the pressure could indeed be higher to elevate their craft to another dimension. These musicians continue to excel as their third album Lamenting of the Innocent showcases more hooks, stronger melodies, smart harm…

Sertraline – Music to Lift You Up

…rent road led to the discovery of Sertraline. Taking progressive and technical elements, massive grooves, and catchy and near-poppy melodies and wrapping them into an energetic ball, their upcoming third EP Clouded Minds & Silver Lines is nothing but impressive. To gather some more info about the band, we chatted with vocalist Lizzie Parry about the band’s name, heavy and melodic contrasts, goals for the band, and impacts from COVID-19. Dead Rheto…

A Saga of Online Sales: A Twelve Album Journey (Part II)

…hout human subjects but it is uncommon for yours truly to see one fairly local to where I traffic around regularly. The axe, likely more than anything in the shot, sold it as something that had to be experienced – is this truly serious? Yes. Yes it is. For maximum setting appropriateness I listened to this album while transiting across a signal void of West Virginia during a recent holiday commute. US 48 is a stellar drive and I figured there woul…

Leah – Songs of Winters Past

…hat you think that. I don’t even know where the idea came from. My husband calls me “The Idea Factory.” I’m never short on ideas. I always have a lot of ideas; I don’t act on all of them of course. But I think I saw something on Facebook, like an ad for a candle or something. I just thought, “Oh my gosh, I have to make candles. I’ve never made one before, but I’m going to do it now!” This was no rocket science, candles have been around for thousan…

A Saga of Online Sales: A Twelve Album Journey (Part I)

…en. For better or worse, the reality wasn’t far off. I’m a sucker for physical formats though and CDs have an inalienable place in my life (typically my car). So the embrace began. Of my initial look at the releases available only one band stuck out as recognizable: October 31. Local traditional stalwarts that I know only by virtue of assorted vinyl collectors I follow on social media and their oft-wide spread interests. Further examination reveal

Eternity’s End – Hotter Than Fire

…e the follow up Unyielding – featuring a new lineup and more of a neoclassical, Racer X/Shrapnel edge to the proceedings. More over the top melodies, more twin guitar and keyboard synchronization, elevating the band to proficiency rarely heard these days in metal. Let’s waste no more of your time – this 45-minute talk on Skype with Christian delves into all the lineup changes, securing a new label, plans for a future instrumental record, and a who…

Ripe – The Rebirth of Litany

…ife events (families, jobs, etc.) justify some of the hiatus, as well as vocalist Michael Bastholm Dahl joining one of the longest running thrash bands in Artillery – recording two albums in the interim plus several tours across the globe in support of those records. But the quintet felt the need to get this album out to the public- going the self-release route after finishing their contract with Mighty Music, and it’s a mighty effort of catchy ho…

Sumo Cyco – Moving Mountains

…ur, and their current US run with Butcher Babies and Nonpoint. We caught vocalist Skye ‘Sever’ Sweetnam as the band was driving towards their next show and she was happy to catch us up to speed with the all-encompassing world of the band – everything from music and videos (along with their over-riding concept of Cyco City), to touring and maintaining independence. We even went a little bit into Sweetnam’s former solo pop career and how it impacted…

Witch Casket – A New Dawn

…s really cool to bridge it into a solo section that almost feels neo-classical, then I will do it. I’m more worried about if it sounds like a cool metal song when I’m done. I’m not thinking about what the death metal or black metal guys are going to say. Whereas before, Sothis was very much cemented in its identity. Witch Casket has an identity but it’s not as committed to it. Dead Rhetoric: And with only the one EP out, you still have time to evo…

Shadowkeep – In the Blood

…ng their self-titled fourth album and armed with the premiere powerhouse vocalist James Rivera of Helstar in the group. The new album tackles much of the Greek Gods and legends of their mythology that seem perfect for the group’s advanced riffing, melodies, and blazing lead work. Reaching out via Skype to the guitar duo who have been a part of the band since the beginning, guitarists Nicky Robson and Chris Allen let the readers know the reasons be…

Recode the Subliminal – Reconnecting

…going the conceptual route, this time they look to the future with biological augmentation through the scope of a story inspired by the video game series Deus Ex. Given the band’s already somewhat futuristic take on the melodic death genre, it’s a perfect fusion. Hard-hitting riffs, sweeping melodies, and plenty of vocal acrobatics by vocalist Ryan Strain. Given our excitement over the recently released album, we fired off some questions, to whic…

Epicenter – Undermining Power Part II

…ayed in a band with Jared on stage, we were in a Kiss tribute band for a local battle of the bands. I was Ace. Our buddies told us we had to be Kiss, so we said alright. That was my first time playing guitar on stage- I can count maybe only a handful of times where I haven’t played guitar on stage with Jared. Foley: That was my first night too playing on stage at battle show- just in a different band. Dead Rhetoric: Being a newer thrash band compa…

Niviane – Rise of the Druid

…u on a journey of both sound and mind. It resonates globally due to historical, fantasy, and mythological tales where unlikely heroes reign, battles are fought, and the outcomes test the wit and wonder of life. The soaring vocals, guitar/keyboard syncopation possibilities, and thunderous rhythm section work meld perfectly to the lyrical terrain – so it’s understandable that since the days of Rainbow, this sub-genre has been a steady force in the s…

Liar’s Tongue – A Crossover Threat

…nces for showing excitement. Reaching out to guitarist Tyler Statler and vocalist Brian Miya, you’ll learn more about the early development of the band, their outside DIY touring they’ve engaged in, some of their favorite bands in the hardcore and metal genres, as well as what the Threat of Intellect means to them in the current world. They’ve got a promising sound that should unite different audiences as one. Dead Rhetoric: Can you let us know ab…

Framework – Ascending the Divide

…(from) The Doors, The Band, and a basic 12-bar blues. I didn’t know it was called that, but he showed me how to play. It became an obsession after that, constantly trying to learn to play new stuff- but I was nine, so what I was listening to at the time was whatever was on the radio. Now how I got into heavier music, I remember I was doing marching band and I noticed that everyone else had better chops than me. I was listening to the radio- and I…

Threat Signal – Reconnecting

…g a new record label) and released their most ambitious record to date. To call out the cliché, Disconnect has been worth the wait. In the time between releases, Threat Signal has matured as a band and Disconnect is more exploratory than one might initially suspect. Progressive melodies and increased diversity fall into place with the band’s signature sound in a way that boosts the entire package. We gave vocalist Jon Howard a call to discuss what…

Metalite – The Metal Elite

…the sound of Metalite. Then you have the song “Purpose Of Life” which lyrically defines Metalite; the song is about ambition. Dead Rhetoric: Could you touch upon some of the lyrical topics for the album? Premberg: Yes, of course. For example the song “Heroes In Time.” We live in an electronic and digital world and this song is about that. How big internet companies saves your data and how ordinary users of their services have no clue about it. Yo…

Abhorrent Decimation – Avarice and Indulgence(s)

…ra in their dose of brutality. We at DR welcomed the chance to talk with vocalist Ashley Scott about the conceptual album and lyrics in detail, as well as crossing paths with Clifton, and what lies ahead. Dead Rhetoric: I’m going back a bit with this but was curious – did you ever directly contact Bernie Clifton after the debacle with your song titles appearing on the back cover of his album? Ashley Scott: Yeah, after it went in the newspaper – we…

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