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Monday, June 27, 2011

Been a long time comin...

So I'm finally out of high school, which means I have a shitload of time on my hands even with community college in fall haha. So, I will FINALLY begin updating this shit as regularly as I can! I'll have some new interviews up as well as cd reviews, I've stocked up for the summer. Here's a track from an upcoming review, check these dudes out:

Friday, May 20, 2011

DIAMOND PLATE INTERVIEW


Hailing from Chicago, Illinois (my hometown), thrash metal masters DIAMOND PLATE have been spearheading the new wave of american thrash movement since their true inception in 2007. The band, made up of lead guitarist KONRAD KUPIEC, drummer JIM NICADEMUS, and bassist JON MACAK (and now featuring new guitarist MARIO CIANCI) have undoubtedly set themselves aside as a metal onslaught unlike most. Blending thrash metal, technicality, and progressive elements into their sound, they have earned  themselves a rank in EARCACHE RECORDS ever-growing roster. Here I have interview my friend and fellow rager Konrad, a virtuoso who explains the state of the metal scene, the meaning behind "Generation Why?" and what makes Diamond Plate the unique metal band they have grown to become.

You guys have been around for a short time, but in that short time you've not only helped put Chicago on the map as a growing thrash scene, but you've also presented yourselves as one of the more diverse young acts to come out in the metal scene recently... You guys are a lot more technical and progressive than most thrash metal bands around. What drives you guys to pursue that over the top style?

From the beginning we never set out to be a part of any particular scene or stereotype. We just wanted to make the best music possible, and since we were just a bunch of pissed off 15 year old kids, that music came out fast and heavy. So us becoming a 'thrash' band was a natural thing rather than a decision. As a band, we found that perfect mix of technicality, heaviness, and catchiness to set us apart from other bands that just focus on one of those aspects. For us, it has always been about the energy of the songs we write. The only thing that drives us is just being able to outdo ourselves with every song we write. With every song we want to get better at what we do, whether that means improving in playing or just songwriting itself; it all depends on the kind of song we want to write. That's the way we've progressed from day one.

The early years, circa "At The Mountains of Madness".
There definitely is progression. My first experience was watching you guys tear apart Cafe Duvall in Chicago, along side the once mighty Infinite Missiles, and I was blown away. You guys have since moved on to supporting legendary acts such as Destruction, Exodus, Behemoth, and even performing your own headlining shows. With that ambitious mentality, what's in store for us album-wise? Your last offering, "Relativity", was ape shit compared to what was presented to us on "At the Mountains of Madness".

With the debut album, our main goal is to really capture the energy from our live show on record. It is something that we've never been able to do with a release before. This time around, our playing is better, the songs are better, and the production will be WAY better. The recording for our two E.P.s was done in my basement, so obviously there wasn't a lot that we could have done sonically for our music; we were very limited. This time around, being in an actual studio with an amazing producer will completely change what we can accomplish. I can't say anything yet about our studio/producer choice, except that this will be huge and we all can't wait to show everyone was we are really capable of.

Nice! I've been huge on your live performances, there's a lot of energy about for just 3 guys. How many thrasherpieces can we expect for the full length? And when does the touring Madness begin for you guys?

We're currently hard at work at perfecting around 10 songs for the debut album. We all want the songs to be as best as possible and for the entire album to adhere to our philosophy of 'all killer, no filler.' If all goes as planned, we'll be hitting the road and spreading the madness across the U.S. by this summer! After we've conquered the States we'll be moving onto the rest of the world.

That's very, very promising to hear. I really dislike buying an album to find that there's a bunch of songs that don't seem to have any real feeling or energy put into them. Can we expect a killer touring package on behalf of the Earache Roster? Possibly some Waste, some Gama? Ha ha! 

Konrad Kupiec
Outside of the studio, our main focus is on songwriting. But once we're in the studio, the energy and the emotions of each song are what we want to capture the most. Too many albums come out these days that are just, for lack of a better word, stale. The music is disposable. It has no substance. This is something that seems to be occurring in all genres, including metal. We're hoping that this album and all of the rest to come, set us apart from everyone.
We have no definite tours lined up as of yet, but rest assured you'll be seeing us out on the road A LOT! Haha

I very much agree, man. It's good to know you guys are getting real picky and thoughtful on the songwriting and recording process. Quality or quantity. You guys better set up a killer good bye show here in Chicago too! Ha!

Since we've been stuck inside writing and getting ready for the record, we're all dying to play a show in Chicago. The headlining show we're putting together for the record release in the summer is going to be huge, no doubt!

Nice! Something as rad as the Windy City Thrash Fest you guys threw last summer? 

We're actually planning for the record release show to be the equivalent of a second Windy City Thrash fest. I think this time around we'll try and include some other great bands from Chicago playing hardcore/crossover, true heavy metal, and death metal to really showcase the Chicago scene in general. And obviously there will be plenty of thrash bands as well haha, but I think if we can pull together all those different genres of metal and make one huge show out of it, we can do something really fucking powerful for the Chicago scene.

That sounds fucking awesome, Chicago really needs more shows! Sometimes it seems like there's an absence in the term "local metal" when compared to other states. Any idea for a date?

Yeah the absence of a local metal scene always bothered me when we were starting up. Thats why we've tried to support and grow the scene as much as we possibly could, and I'd like to think we've done our part. It's only going to keep growing!
We have a date scheduled for June/July when the record comes out, but I can't announce anything YET. Soon my friend!

Live
You guys have definitely plated in a role in Chicagoland's metal scene, and helped put the midwest on the map in comparison to the east or westcoast. At the time of this interview, you recently announced the title of your debut: "Generation Why?", any story behind its meaning?

We wanted the title and theme of the album to be extremely relevant to the world today, especially to people our age. I think over these next few years the world is going to be changing a shitload. Our generation is the one that will determine if that change will be for the better or worse. The song "Generation Why?" makes a statement against how people our age don't seem to strive for greatness anymore; all most of us seem to do is make excuses for why everything we're about is not how it should be. Politics are bullshit. The education system makes us dumber. The monetary system makes us broke, while the media keeps us blind. Music, art, and everything else seems to be losing quality. We can't just settle with those things or try and avoid them. Lets stop asking why, and start asking how we can achieve greatness and go beyond an average life of mediocrity.

I couldn't agree more. I can safely assume that when bands like Nuclear Assault or Megadeth released records, especially towards the end of the 80s, there always seemed to be a deeper theme than most bands would opt for. Social commentary and metal seem to go together pretty damn well, I think it's nice to see band reaching back for that instead of channeling gore or fantasy into their lyrics. Not that it's bad, but I feel more of a connection when the lyrical content and message is relevant to current issues.

Thanks Chris. I've always felt that it's time to give metal back to the 'thinking man'. Music is real and should reflect the world around it. That's what makes it so fucking powerful. Plus as artists, that gives us an endless source of inspiration. We don't have to create themes and lyrics from fantasy; there are so many fucked up things in the world that all we have to do is look around and get inspired from reality. And at the same time, a lot of people can connect to the music like you said, because everyone can relate to the real world. It's just up to us to project our inner vision of that world into music.

Well said man. Can older fans expect some of the Lovecraft themes you guys touched upon early in DP? 

Well, "At the Mountains of Madness" is on the full length and after the fourth time recording it for a release we finally have the song as tight and heavy as we always wanted haha. Although the song is inspired by Lovecraft, there is a hidden social commentary in there as well. It's just a little deeper and harder to figure out

Sophomore effort, the "Relativity" EP
Oh shit. Will lyrics be provided this time around? I've always had trouble figuring out the chorus to "Relativity". Anything else explored on this album?

All lyrics will be included in the booklet this time around, no worries. And Jon's voice/pronunciation has gotten a lot better as well so you'll be able to figure out what he's screaming haha. There's a whole variety of topics that we chose to tackle this time around; the media, the music industry, post-traumatic stress disorder, transcendentalism, and a lot of other issues/ideas. It's all across the board for the full length haha

That's a very unique range of subjects, I'm really liking where this his heading. Do any of these apply to the album cover concept wise? Not sure if you're really allowed to say much on that at this point haha.

Well, I can't say too much about what the album cover will be yet. However, the main thing we wanted to accomplish with the album cover is for it to be 100% real. We didn't want it to be a graphic design or Photoshop job, or a painting. We wanted to just capture the cover with a photograph, which is something I haven't seen in metal in a while. The concept for the photo is actually really simple and minimalistic, but the challenge was to capture it without using graphic design and taking an easy way out. We're all about challenges and the end result was killer.

Wow man, never really heard of that... I'm very interested in the release of that. Pretty unique, I don't recall any other cover being a legit photo other than Exodus' "Fabulous Disaster", but regardless, it sounds like you're really shooting to stand out in the new wave of metal coming out. Any future press releases we can expect in the coming weeks?

Haha funny you mention "Fabulous Disaster" because the guy that shot that cover, Gene Ambo, did all the photos for "Generation Why?" as well! Go figure!
And actually, yes we'll be announcing a lot of big news fairly soon! It's just a matter of when Earache will send out the press releases, but it should be within the next week or two

You guys just don't stop being metal, do you? 

Haha nah man that is not possible!

Awesome interview bro, thank you very much for you time. Any last words? 

No, thank you for the great questions! I think we covered pretty much everything, thanks to any fans reading this, and look for the album in stores and online in August!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Band of the Week- PARALYZER

Not to be confused with Paralyzer of IL.

PARALYZER
FROM: TENNESSEE & VIRGINIA, USA
LINE UP:
Bass: Neal
Vocals: Josh
Drums: Chris
Guitar: Isaiah
Guitar: Dillon
 
GENRE: THRASH METAL

Short interview with Josh Thorne:

So tell us a bit about Paralyzer bro.
 
Paralyzer began in early 2010, even though Neal had been wanting to start a thrash band for some time before that. The original lineup was Neal Williams, Mike Plaster, Chris Blevins, Brian Neece, and Dave Killebrew. The lineup has changed quite a bit in the last year, but the lineup in Paralyzer now is the strongest it's ever been. As far as our sound goes, it's thrash metal. Musically, all of us come from some pretty unique and different backgrounds, but when we come together to write songs, we thrash. Period.
Have you guys put out any releases since your inception?

There was a two-song demo recorded before I joined the band, and both songs are available on our Reverb Nation page for everyone to check out. Right now, we're putting the finishing touches on our first official EP that we'll be recording in the next month or so.

I understand that you just joined the band, what's it been like since? 

It's been a relatively easy transition, dude. I basically went from hanging out with the band all the time to hanging out with the band all the time, and holding a microphone, haha. Everything has been really great though. We're almost constantly writing new stuff, and booking as many shows as we possibly can, so no complaints here!

Nice man! Good to know it's been smooth. For those who haven't heard the old Paralyzer material, what can we expect from the new stuff, sound wise?

Expect a tighter, heavier, and way angrier sound. The four songs we're putting on this EP are the best songs we have written, as far as I'm concerned. Those songs are "Death Cult", "Hellish Demise", "Thrashoholocaust" and "Genocide Season". If you like violence, you'll like this. Bottom line. 

That sounds fucking awesome man. This sounds very promising! When can we be on the look out for the new Paralyzer? 

We're hoping to release the EP sooner than later, for sure. As I said, we'll be heading into the studio later this month and once everything is prepared, I'd say we'll shoot for a summer release. We're also going to be recording two more, older songs of ours for a split EP with our friends in Unspoken Triumph from Chattanooga, TN and that will likely drop shortly after the EP, if all goes according to plan.
Sounds like a battle plan my friend. Any last words?
Thanks for the interview! The blog is absolutely sick, and more people should follow your lead and do whatever it takes to keep extreme metal fans in the loop. Be on the lookout for new music from us very soon, listen to Ice Cube, and show love to cop killers nationwide


http://www.facebook.com/ParalyzerMetal

Saturday, April 16, 2011

WARRIORS OF METAL FEST

Is back! Some of the finest in thrash, speed, heavy, and power metal unite in Ohio this summer for a pummeling metal festival, complete with camping and 2 days of headbanging! Be sure to stay update with this fest, it promises to be completely fuckin crushing! 

FOR LARGE FLYER AND INFO, VISIT

FACEBOOK: WARRIORS OF METAL FESTIVAL
WWW.WARRIORSOFMETALFEST.COM

Friday, April 1, 2011

INTERVIEW WITH CARDIAC ARREST


Heart Stopping Death Fucking Rot. That's the exact phenomena that occurs to those who take a listen to CARDIAC ARREST, Chicago-based Death Metal Masters. Incepted in 1997, it wasn't until 2004 that the band's debut EP took us by the balls. HEavy touring and stellar records have not only made them underground heroes, but they know join the ranks of IBEX MOON RECORDS alongside blasphemers INCANTATION and GRAVEHILL. Being one of my favorite hometown bands, I could not miss the chance to do this first, small interview with Adam Scott, vocalist and guitarist from the start. What follows is only horror:

(Conducted Dec/Jan, many setbacks on my behalf...)

So, 2010 has more or less been one hell of year for Cardiac Arrest. Care to give us a rundown on the biggest things that went on for you guys?

Well, prior to releasing our 3rd Full Length "Haven For the Insane". We went on our first US tour w/ friends and label mates Gravehill. It was a tough time but not without their being any fun too. We also embarked on the last dates of the ENTHRONED/DESTROYER 666 North American Tour which led us to our first time into Canada which I can say were some of the best shows we've ever done! Other one-off shows we did were this year's Central Illinois Metalfest and the New Jersey Deathfest. 


Nice! Goddamn that is some tight touring. I'm guessing that your signing to Ibex Moon has had it's pluses- there must be a lot more exposure for you guys, and by looks of your touring circuit, business is good. Any background information on the signing?

The signing to Ibex Moon was definitely the push we could use as a band. We've known John Mcentee (Label Ceo/Incantation) for a great number of years. We did a midwest mini-tour w/ Incantation a year or so ago. It went really good for us. That did lead to some serious talks about releasing the Haven album, and lo and behold. hehe.

An excellent album by the way! Was there a specific way you guys chose to do this one? Or is there already a writting formula you guys stick with? 

Thanks alot man!!! I don't think there's any particular formula in this stage of the game other than we play what we want to play.

And that's the way to fuckin' go. A lot of modern death metal seems to focus heavily on how intricate and technical your shit is. You guys on the other hand opt for the old school style, which is just brutality and homicidal fun. Honestly, that's the shit I prefer, because if you over-exaggerate what you're making, you loose the soul of the music don't you think?

Oh for sure. There are alot of great musicians who perform in this kind of music. SOME are good at the technical stuff, but in the end if there is no hook in your riffs or songs it's worthless.

Indeed. It's badass when Dying Fetus, Decrepit Birth, or Suffocation do it, but you guys have nailed the roots of death metal. Does that have anything to do with the "Campaign For Death Metal Purity"?

Yea pretty much that was kinda the idea with the tour name. The (then) 3 bands being generally rooted with that kind of background. It seemed fitting for such a tour.

Any particular memories on that brigade?

Not one in particular. Just alot of hustling. Overall the crowds at each city was good. Only maybe two dud-gigs. Alot of laughs between band and tour mates, all that stuff.



Going back to Chicago, you guys were around for the essential glory days of the Windy City- bands like   MASTER, MORGUE, CYANIDE, SEVERED, USURPER, LORD BLASPHEMER- and saw most of them come to an end. You guys definitely help put Chicago on the map in the metal world, any thoughts on that and on the current state of the scene?

The current state you ask? Kinda hard to say at times. I don't really go to shows as much as I used to, but I know it seems every couple years turnouts are kind of low, but of course it comes right back around, I can definitely say the scene is extremely saturated. A gigantic amount of bands which can lead to shows happening on the same night which is tough when the crowds get divided. As if to say "How do you make your mind up?".

Ever heard of High Spirits? They're fucking great. Speaking of fucking great, what are you're plans for Cardiac and Death Dealer next year?

Oh hell yea!!! I love High Spirits. Good Heavy Metal. Well as of the next year...well, completing the recording the upcoming 4th album which is looking like a summer release on Ibex Moon. Not much at the moment on the live spectrum except Jan. 2nd @ The Empty Bottle in Chicago w/ Eye Gouger and Johnny Vomit, as well as the Evansville Deathfest in late June. I'm sure some more stuff will come along in due time but time will surely tell.

Thanks for all of your time dude, it's an honor to interview one of Chicago's finest. Keep rotting man!

Thanks a bunch for the interview, Chris! The support is truly appreciated! ROT THE FUCK ON!!!!



Death, the brutal way. Be sure to check out Cardiac Arrest's latest offering "Haven For The Insane", out now on Ibex Moon Records.

Also on Facebook and Reverbnation

Band of the Week- STRAIGHT JACKET

STRAIGHT JACKET
FROM: VIRGINIA BEACH, USA
LINE UP:
Bailey Arnold - Guitar & Vocals
Kasey Pritchard - Guitar
Gage Shanahan - Bass & Vocals
Matt Washburn - Drums
GENRE: THRASH METAL

Short interview with Gage Shanahan

What can you tell us about Straight Jacket? 

Pretty much, a few High schoolers who all wanted to get together and make some good ol' thrash and thats what we've been doing for about 10 months now haha.

In those 10 months, what would you say is your biggest accomplishment?  

Writing as much as we have, and having done one self-produced demo EP and one professionally done demo LP within such a short time. its kind of amazing how much we've written.


Sounds good! You guys have released some previews for us via YouTube, I'm hugely into "Necromacht". What direction do you guys take lyrically and musically? Influences?

!ell...for the most part, we kinda just go with it, anything fast, heavy, and not too simple...Vocally we just write what Bailey (our guitarist/singer) can sing while he plays. we go for the classic thrash topics when it comes to lyrics...war, demons, anger, history, stuff like that. influences are anything thrash/metal, some punk. But we've been told we do sound alot like DARK ANGEL.

Gnarly. Very gnarly man, and I really do hear a lot of old school DARK ANGEL, SLAUGHTER (CAN), and SLAYER going on. Any slated release for the new demo?

Probably here in late april. we've been having a few money issues here and there, so we've gotta finance some art and other things since we're going to be independently distributing the demo, but luckily we've got tons of request from all over the world for it. we're definately excited to get it out there.

Very much looking forward to this. Any last words?  

Just wanna say to keep an eye out for some real underground metal, and I wanna give a shout out to the POSSESSOR guys and NEMESIS!!

Also on Facebook and Reverbnation

INTERVIEW WITH HAVOK


In this short but gnarly interview (which was done in Jan/Feb, but had setbacks in our behalf), I got the chance to catch up with guitar diablo, David Sanchez of HAVOK. On the brink of releasing a new albu, these new-school thrashers delivered us to evil with their debut "Burn", and their sophmore effort "Time Is Up", diminishes any talk of trend-hopping. These guys are far beyond that, and now it's time you take note. Class is in session.

So tell us a bit about yourselves for the unfortunate souls who have not experienced Havok.

Well, we're a thrashy metal band from Denver, Colorado. We officially had our first show as "HAVOK" in February of 2004 and have been playing out ever since. To this day we've released a bunch of EPs and one full length album. We just finished work on our second album and it should be coming out in Spring of 2011. Shwing!

How did you guys come to be? You're one of the heavyweights in the new era of thrash acts to come out recently. 


I started the band in high school with a drummer that I met. We began jamming and playing METALLICA songs together, then got a guitar player and bassist. Within a few months, we had an hour of metal covers down and a few originals, so we started gigging. We released a couple of demos and EPs with that original lineup, then after a couple of member changes, we started touring in 2007. Touring has been our main priority ever since then. We have toured the country many times since then and we will continue to do it in 2011. This new album will bring lots of time on the road!

Speaking of which, you guys are set to hit the road with MALEVOLENT CREATION soon, excited to get back to what you guys do best? (Upon release, they already played. I love Malevolent, but hands down, Havok stole the show.)

Hell yes! Touring is what we love more than anything, so we are totally psyched to get out again! We would rather be on the road any day than sitting at home doing nothing. Ha.

Burn is a killer album, absolute thrasherpiece where all the hitting comes off hard. I know you guys have been working on number 2, what's new this time around?

Ha, thanks! We have just about finished work on our new album, "Time Is Up". Release details about the album should be released early this year. It absolutely destroys the last album in every way, so I can't wait for our fans to hear it. If you liked "Burn", you're going to like "Time Is Up" 43 times more... The songs are better in every single way possible. This album is faster, catchier, more technical, and way heavier than the first one, so I feel like metalheads are in for a real treat when they buy this one. Keep an eye out for details about the upcoming album!


Very nice, looking forward to it. Your last big tour, I believe, was with Primal Fear? How was your reception to all the, what I assume was dominantly, power metal/traditional fans? I also know you guys pulled off a few solo dates, how was that reception?

The Primal Fear tour was rad! We had a great response every night. With PF being a traditional metal band, that means their fans like it old school, so we fit in in that respect. When we play solo, it all depends where we are.

I've recently heard "Scumbag in Disguise" off of "Time Is Up", and I gotta say that I was blown away. It's very heavy and quite fast, and the solo's are just blistering. If the album is just as punishing as this song, you guys have a lot coming your way. 
 
Thanks a lot man, glad you dig it! I think "Scumbag In Disguise" is a good representation of the whole new album. Anyone that likes that song, will definitely want to get "Time Is Up." The entire album is aggressive, heavy, technical, and catchy. It'll be worth the $10-$15 to buy it.
 
I'll most definitely be picking it up, and I encourage our readers to support these thrash heavyweights as well. "Time Is Up" will be out March 29th, 2011 via Candlelight Records.
 
Rad! Thanks for the support. Much appreciated!! See you on the road.


 Again, at the time of this interview, done between Feb/March of 2011, "Time is Up" has officially been released to the masses. Pure fucking thrash metal insanity, buy it NOW.