Archive for death metal

Sunday Metal Minute: Agoraphobic Nosebleed, “Agorapocalypse Now”

Posted in Sunday Metalhead Minute with tags , , , , , , , , , on Sunday, February 22, 2009 by Ryan Buege

ANBThe Massachusetts gore-grind mind Scott Hull is on the loose again, and this time it’s his Agoraphobic Nosebleed violent grind onslaught that’s doing the damage. On “Agorapocalypse Now”, the current tri-vocal combination between Jay Randall, KAT, Richard Johnson is doing wonders for the ANB sound and while it’s still gritty, chaotic, thrashy, and messy, it’s a much more digestible sound than what was found on the outfit’s earlier albums. Scott Hull has made a way for his violent electronic death grindand to sound almost classic, in a way. Anyone who was hasn’t payed attention to Agoraphobic Nosebleed in a few years should tune back in; Scott Hull is the riffmaster and this band is in the finest form of the existence.

Listen: Agoraphobic Nosebleed, “Agorapocalypse Now”

Concert Photo Recap: Meshuggah, Cynic, and The Faceless @ Station 4

Posted in Concert Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on Monday, February 16, 2009 by Ryan Buege

Meshuggah live at Station 4

Wow! I don’t think I should be allowed to review this one beyond that one word, seeing as how all these bands place among my favorite active music groups (uh yeah, if you didn’t realize yet, I’ve got a very soft spot in my heart for progressive metal). Years of anticipation for both Meshuggah and Cynic to play again in Minnesota were met with great rewards on Friday, February 13th at Station 4 in St. Paul, MN, with both bands dishing out equal servings of old and new mind-boggling progressive metal. Though nearly half the age of the members of the other bands, The Faceless were right at home on the bill and seemed to turn quite a few heads.

It’s always very difficult getting any good photos at Station 4 when you don’t line up a photo pass. When Station 4 is packed with a metal hungry sold out crowd that is switched on into tornado-mode, thrashing to Meshuggah, it becomes nearly impossible. I did my best, and surprisingly got quite a few keepers. Here are the photos from the Meshuggah, Cynic, and The Faceless show at Station 4:

Meshuggah live at Station 4(Meshuggah)

Meshuggah live at Station 4(Meshuggah)

Cynic live at Station 4(Cynic)

Cynic live at Station 4(Cynic)

The Faceless live at Station 4(The Faceless)

Keep viewing the gallery! There’s still many photos of Meshuggah, Cynic, and The Faceless left, so just hit read more to continue… Continue reading

Sunday Metal Minute: Cephalic Carnage, “Lucid Interval”

Posted in Sunday Metalhead Minute with tags , , , , , , on Sunday, February 15, 2009 by Ryan Buege

This week, Mayhem’s Blackened Fest tour was announced, and with such a well-rounded list of band’s scheduled to play, it can be easy to overlook some of the talent that will be on stage before they get to play.

Cephalic Carnage may be the biggest misfits of the entire tour, if only for the reason that they actually inject some humor into their brand of technical death metal. Over the course of the years, I’ve seen Cephalic Carnage playing support at nearly every type of aggressive show; death metal, hardcore, thrash metal – you name it, they’ve played it. The beautiful part about it is that they typically start these sets as unknowns, but no matter who they’re playing with, they always win over the entire crowd by the end. During their last performance at Triple Rock, they incited even bigger pits than the headliner, Darkest Hour, and their hilarious costume changes and over-the-top antics were laugh-out-loud funny with their clever pointedness.

Cephalic Carnage has had a long and storied career in the death metal/grind underground, and they’ve got incredible newer albums, like their recent Xenosapien, but this video of  “Lucid Interval” from their 2002  album of the same name sums up their approach perfectly. Cheap and gritty, dirty and sickening, brutal, and truly hilarious.

Black metal storming into Minnesota in June 2009

Posted in Concert Dates with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on Wednesday, February 11, 2009 by Ryan Buege

It’s not often that Satan blesses this state with prestigious black metal tours (despite many of our resident’s strong Norwegian ancestry), but it appears that someone downstairs has some particularly evil plans for the region in early June. Just this week, two massive underground metal tours were announced, both headlined by some of the most feared band’s BM has to offer.

The most noteworthy show announcement is the Mayhem, Marduk concert on June 9th at Station 4 that is being opened by Cattle Decapitation, Cephalic Carnage, and Withered. Honestly, there will be so much awesome packed into this night that I’m having a hard time getting my head around it. I have not had the chance to see Norway’s Mayhem yet, but the well published details surrounding their gruesome history and sickening live show has me really intrigued. Marduk is equally imposing, and are sure to satisfy the many in Mayhem’s legions. Of all the performances, Cattle Decapitation is the “must-see” band; they are always very impressive live, and this year they are going to be supporting what I believe to be the best release of their career. The hilarious dudes of Cephalic Carnage will most likely incite a great brutal tech mosh fest to get things going, and the Withered performance will surely be an eye-opening starter for those who have not yet caught wind of their incredible technical black metal meets grindcore on their recent Folie Circulaire.

Hopefully the Mayhem show won’t wear out the local black metal fans too much, because on June 15th, Station 4 will be home to the CIII tour featuring long-running and revered USBM band Absu, with support from their labelmates Glorior Belli, Averse Sefira, and Sothis. Right now Absu is only a few weeks from releasing their highly antipated new self-titled album, and by the time this show hits St. Paul I’m sure it’ll still be on my heavy rotation playlist. Even after nearly 20 years as a band, their profile is still clearly rising, and for good reason.

Keep reading for the full tour schedules… Continue reading

FREE Album Download: Iron Thrones, Visions of Light

Posted in Downloads, Music Reviews with tags , , , , , , on Friday, February 6, 2009 by Ryan Buege

Iron Thrones
Iron Thrones is a band that truly embodies their name in several aspects. Not to be too corny, but the band hails from our own iron-rich state of Minnesota, and (despite their relatively short time playing together) you can easily consider them to be one of several crown jewels that the currently burgeoning and heavily varied Minneapolis metal scene has to offer. This is an epic progressive death metal quartet (though, on the lookout for another guitarist) that could easily find resonance with fans of Opeth, Death, Between the Buried and Me, Converge or even maybe post-rock like Mogwai. That’s not to say that Iron Thrones really follows in any of these bands footsteps though, as they have begun to perfect their own unique focused sound. Even on this debut, Visions of Light, the band achieve a rare and organic balance of naturalistic melodies and brutal shred. The album is the embodiment of yin-and-yang, a dense atmospheric album to one man and a nuanced progressive headbanger to another. Right now, it’s doing wonders for my ears.

Iron Thrones, Visions of LightClearly the band knows how to treat its fans, as well. As such, these guys have posted their entire new album, Visions of Light, online for download. The cool thing is that they’ve gone the Radiohead way of things and made it available for free, “donation” through Amazon, Itunes, etc., or as a hard copy purchase. I’ve never heard how this model has worked out for a local underground metal band (as opposed to juggernauts like RH and Rez), and there’s no word when their $500 quadruple gatefold limited pressing with an optional commentary becomes available, but I really don’t see how it could hurt. There’ll still be many opportunities to support them and purchase hard copies when you’re seeing Iron Thrones in the live setting. They’ve got these area shows lined up, including a performance in Burnsville tomorrow:

Feb 6 @ The Garage w/ Rawhyde in Burnsville, Minnesota
Feb 11 @ The Rafters @ UMD w/ Empires in Duluth, Minnesota
Feb 27 @ Electric Earth in Madison, Wisconsin
Feb 28 @ The Uptown Bar w/ Zebulon Pike in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Apr 3 @ Station 4 w/ The Body Beneath, in St. Paul, Minnesota
May 15 @ TBA w/ The Body Beneath & Rhynoceraptor in Minneapolis, Minnesota
May 16 @ TBA w/ The Body Beneath & Rhynoceraptor in St. Cloud, Minnesota

DIG DEEPER: Download Visions of Light!Official SiteMyspace

Sunday Metal Minute: Cattle Decapitation, “The Gardeners of Eden” & “A Body Farm”

Posted in Sunday Metalhead Minute with tags , , , , on Monday, January 26, 2009 by Ryan Buege

The vicious, technical new album called The Harvest Floor from San Diego-based modern grindcore/death metal forerunners Cattle Decapitation was just released last week by Metal Blade, and it’s fucking awesome. Put bluntly, this isn’t your typical 1 minute slash-n-burn straight-for-the-jugular grind that many seem to practice; this is some well-structured, epic music! Go to the band’s myspace now to hear the massive, chaotic opening tracks from the album, “The Gardeners of Eden” and “A Body Farm”. Over at Buzzgrinder, vocalist Travis Ryan had this to say about the songs:

“1. “The Gardeners of Eden”
This is the last song we wrote for The Harvest Floor as we knew we needed to craft the way the album starts out and we already had the song that was going to be the last song on the album. I like subtle reference things like staying with formulas or patterns with mostly everything but the music, that’s their job anyways. Such as using Garamond and Edwardian Script fonts together and laying out the art similar to the previous release. The same goes for this song. This is yet another anti-Christian song kicking off the record. Whereas “Unintelligent Design” (2006’s Karma.Bloody.Karma) dealt with the idea that if in fact humans are the work of a creator, he’s certainly a fallible fuck then… “The Gardeners of Eden” focuses more on the “creation” as being a destructive juggernaut hell-bent on eroding the planet. The title raised an eyebrow or two within the other band members when I told it to them (I come up with song titles first then write the lyrics) and it almost didn’t come to fruition. I explained the whole “well, the world is like the Garden of Eden and us as humans trim and cut down the garden so that makes us “gardeners”” and I kind of just went with it and it works even though the term “gardener” isn’t very brutal. Funny thing is, it was inspired by the track “People” by Boyd Rice in which he refers to the natural order of life needing “a brutal gardener” once in a while to trim some of the fat(humans) off the land(planet earth).

2. “A Body Farm”
Musically this song sort of spills out of the first track as it is connected by feedback ring-out and an atomic bomb blast. The idea of the “brutal gardener” spills into this as well in the form of a sociopathic crime scene investigator that runs a “body farm”. A body farm is a controlled environment operated by forensic specialists that emulates environmental effects on cadavers. They literally place real dead humans on the ground and study everything from causes of death to time of death and so on. The problem is, this guy has one in his backyard and his subjects are works of his own doing: he is also a serial killer and his victims are also the ones that help him solve other crimes. I thought I was really fucking clever with this until our graphics guru Cain was reading the lyrics as he was laying out our album and said “hey, this is just like that show Dexter!” He proceeded to tell me about the show Dexter where the guy is a serial killer as well as a blood spatter analyst. I promise you, I had loosely heard of the name of the show before, but never had any idea what it was about before writing this song. I’ve started watching it and it’s actually really good! Excellent cinematography… Anyways, I need to get cable. This show is rapidly getting up there with my favorite show ever Curb Your Enthusiasm, even though it ripped me off… that was a joke.”

Gotta love the creativity in these  gems (and Ryan’s Curb reference..). These guys called Cattle Decapitation also recently recorded a new video for the song “Regret and the Grave” (seen pictured in a still above) which will presumably be available online soon. Right now, they’re out on a short Southwest/West coast tour with Psyopus, Book of Black Earth, and Gigan.

LISTEN: “The Gardeners of Eden”  & “A Body Farm” (from The Harvest Floor, 2009)

Review: Book of Black Earth, Horoskopus

Posted in Music Reviews with tags , , , , , on Tuesday, January 13, 2009 by Ryan Buege


Book of Black Earth, HoroskopusDeath metal, black metal and doom metal – to an outsider of metal, there’s little distinction between any of these labels. To a knowledgeable listener, though, these terms take on a new life. These are weighty words known to describe the most extreme of all metal music. Each of these underground breeds of metal specialize in their own flavor of assault – from the brutal riffing of death to the overwhelming atmosphere of black metal to the bleak, plodding heaviness of doom. In recent years, metal fans have benefited from a sea of bloodthirsty new bands that are pushing the extremes of these styles to an incomprehensible degree while each is trying to make their own lasting mark on genre. One of of my favorite recent releases of this kind is Horoskopus, by Seattle’s Book of Black Earth, an album of chaotic headbanging metal anthems balancing on an ungodly trinity all of the extremes – death, black, doom \m/

Whether it’s a crushing groove, a spine-tingling solo, a wall of noise, or an addictive hook, Book of Black Earth connects the dots seamlessly. The focus behind the attack is powered with massive, layered soundscapes and brutal death metal riffing. When it comes to death metal albums like this one, if it’s big & beautiful, I’m all for it, and thankfully Book of Black Earth never forgets this. However, despite all of the albums maniacal power, the true beauty of this album is rooted in the band’s ability to simulataneously contrast the deadly brutality with blackened, psychedelic soundwaves and doomy tonal ambience. It seems to find a very unique marriage between what I enjoy in all of my music – both catchy and extreme. Horoskopus is an intense, demanding, fun, and eye-opening release and a definite buy for any fan of extreme metal.

Concert Photo Recap: Blue Ox, Ambassador Gun @ the Uptown Bar

Posted in Concert Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on Monday, December 22, 2008 by Ryan Buege

Last night at the Uptown Bar in Minneapolis, Blue Ox and Ambassador Gun both played brilliant sets of bludgeoning death-n-roll stoner metal and razor sharp grindcore respectively. Although I missed the opening two bands (..I heard Nobot was very good electro psych..) thanks to the shitty road conditions, the fun shows that both these bands put on made the cold trip worth the while for me and the small group of my fellow drunken metalheads in attendance that night. AG even broke out an spot on cover of Sepultura’s infamous “Territory” to close their set! Here are some photos:

Blue Ox
Blue Ox live at the Uptown Bar
Blue Ox live at the Uptown Bar
Blue Ox live at the Uptown Bar
Blue Ox live at the Uptown Bar
Blue Ox live at the Uptown Bar

Ambassador Gun
Ambassador Gun live at the Uptown Bar
Ambassador Gun live at the Uptown Bar
Ambassador Gun live at the Uptown Bar

Full album of photos from both bands available on Facebook!

Iraqi heavy metal returns (after five years of war induced exile)

Posted in Music News with tags , , , , , , on Wednesday, November 5, 2008 by Ryan Buege

After nearly 5 years of war and waiting, heavy metal has made its inevitable return to the city of Baghdad. In 2003, Iraqi thrash metal Acrassicauda band was the last metal band to play in Iraq (as documented in the awesome fucking movie Heavy Metal in Baghdad) before being forced to flee to Turkey, and according to a great USA Today report security has recovered to a level that makes it possible for fans to gather and express their love of metal once again! At a private dinner club on the shores of the Tigris river, 250 Iraqi’s clad in black gathered to rock out to the anthems of local death metal bands Brutal Impact and Dog Faced Corpse.

Seriously, how unbelievable is that? As Muthana Mani of Brutal Impact indicated to USA Today, during the war “being a member of heavy metal’s unique subculture could amount to a death sentence”. After being threatened from every other force in Iraqi culture, metal was forced to go underground to be practiced and grow behind closed doors. Five years have passed, though, and these band’s felt that it was time to just say “fuck you” to the extremists in Iraq and bring metal back into the public.

Among the hundreds of concertgoers in attendance that night were everyone from veiled females to corpse painted shaved head males. Most of the patrons were attending their first metal concert ever. But while the appearance of the some attendees might not have matched the expected, most of the metalheads there knew exactly what to do and how to act. Like I indicated in my review of Global Metal, no matter where you come it only takes the passion inside to be a part of the global metal community. This situation is a perfect example of how youth around the world can use metal both as voice of dissent and a source of personal therapy.

The video that USA Today captured of the concert (at the top of the page) is goosebump inducing, and it’s very inspiring after years of constant reporting on attacks from Iraq. If the traditional black garb doesn’t convince you that these fans know what they were doing, perhaps the mosh pits, broken tables, and Metallica sing-along would. It’s a beautiful thing! Good luck to all the Iraqi metal bands that are struggling to persevere; the rest of the community is looking forward to the future of Iraqi metal!

Gojira made an amazing music video for their new song “Vacuity”

Posted in Video with tags , , on Tuesday, October 7, 2008 by Ryan Buege

France’s best metal band, Gojira, has just released the thought-provoking new video for “Vacuity,” the first single from their skull-crushing new album The Way of All Flesh. “Vacuity” was filmed by directors Julien Mokrani and Samuel Bodin with a RED video camera (the type used by Peter Jackson in the Lord of the Rings series), and they did an unbelievable job of reflecting the themes of the song through strong imagery and metaphors. The song was described by guitarist/vocalist Joseph Duplantier to UK’s Rock Sound magazine as being “about the Buddhist meaning of the word which is emptiness not nothingness, the ultimate presence. It was very hard to picture that concept in a video so we told the story of a girl carrying her own casket as the whole album is about facing your death and your pain.”

It’s been a long time since I spoke to Joe Duplantier during the Cavalera Conspiracy debut gig – and even longer since the release of Gojira’s last album, their genre-defining instant classic From Mars To Sirius. Needless to say, I’ve been very impatient to get this album in my hands to see how the last three years have influenced the band msuically. From the tracks that I’ve heard available on their myspace, The Way Of All Flesh defines their uniqueness even more. While the resemblances to Morbid Angel, Meshuggah, Mastodon, and Sepultura are still clear, Gojira seem to be getting more confident in their vision and abilities every day. Watch out for the album to hit stores on October 14. For now, we’ve got the video for you.

Dates for Gojira’s November U.S. tour with In Flames, All That Remains, and 36 Crazyfists are after the jump… Continue reading