New York death metal giants IMMOLATION will release their new album Atonement on February 24th via Nuclear Blast Records. Today, the band has released their second video trailer for Atonement, in which Ross Dolan discusses how he became the singer and bass player of the band. Check out the clip, here.
IMMOLATION recently launched the first single for Atonement, “Destructive Currents”, via a 360º video, here.
Atonement was recorded at Millbrook Sound Studios in Millbrook, NY with longtime producer Paul Orofino, and mixed and mastered once again by Zack Ohren (ALL SHALL PERISH, DECREPIT BIRTH, SUFFOCATION). Cover art was created by renowned artist Pär Olofsson (IMMORTAL, THE FACELESS, EXODUS, ABYSMAL DAWN), along with additional artwork by the very talented Zbigniew Bielak (GHOST, ENSLAVED, PARADISE LOST, WATAIN).
BLACK STAR RIDERS are set to release their forthcoming album Heavy Fire on the February, 3rd 2017 via Nuclear Blast Entertainment. Today, the band premieres the new video for second single, ‘Testify Or Say Goodbye’.
Frontman Ricky Warwick comments on the track: “Power, glory, rock n roll with a whole lotta soul..
You gotta testify or say goodbye
Tell me no secrets, tell me no lies
Get up on the stand look me straight in the eye
You gotta testify or say goodbye … Kinda says it all really !!!”
The track was originally premiered as a world exclusive on Ken Bruce’s BBC Radio 2 show – listen back here.
From the immediate riffs of album opener Heavy Fire to the instant hooks of first single “When The Night Comes In,” from the dirty bass groove of “Thinking About You Could Get Me Killed” to the familiar and trademark dual guitars of Gorham and Johnson on “Testify Or Say Goodbye,” Heavy Fire is an album that will further cement BSR’s reputation as one of the world premiere rock acts.
Following on from their critically acclaimed albums All Hell Breaks Loose and The Killer Instinct, which have paved the way for Black Star Riders to be recognized as a power force in the modern day of Rock n’ Roll, Heavy Fire will be once again released by Nuclear Blast Entertainment. The band have also brought in Pledgemusic, one of the most innovative and successful platforms of the modern music world, to give fans extra special product and experiences to go along with the album’s release.
Heavy Fire Tracklisting:
1. Heavy Fire
2. When The Night Comes In
3. Dancing With The Wrong Girl
4. Who Rides The Tiger
5. Cold War Love
6. Testify Or Say Goodbye
7. Thinking About You Could Get Me Killed
8. True Blue Kid
9. Ticket To Rise
10. Letting Go Of Me
The Limited Edition Digibook CD will have above Tracklisting plus
Limited Edition Gatefold Vinyl
Limited Edition Picture Disc
1. Heavy Fire
2. When The Night Comes In
3. Dancing With The Wrong Girl
4. Who Rides The Tiger
5. Cold War Love
1. Testify Or Say Goodbye
2. Thinking About You Could Get Me Killed
3. True Blue Kid
4. Ticket To Rise
5. Letting Go Of Me
After a full year off the road, Black Star Riders (Ricky Warwick, Scott Gorham, Damon Johnson, Robert Crane and Jimmy DeGrasso) are back with a 16 date UK & Ireland run, joined on the first five dates by Scottish rockers Gun and The Amorettes and then Sweden’s own Backyard Babies with Gun on the remaining 11 shows.
For More Information:
Building upon the success of their 2014 self-titled debut, KXM returns with their sophomore album Scatterbrain. The new album is scheduled for release on March 17th via Rat Pak Records. Scatterbrain is currently available for pre-order via the Rat Pak Records website in various bundles including signed CD’s and t-shirts. All fans who pre-order the album through the Rat Pak website will be entered to win a one-of-a-kind custom guitar as well as other prizes. The pre-order is available at RatPakRecords.com/KXM. KXM is comprised of dUg Pinnick of King’s X on vocals/bass, George Lynch of Lynch Mob/Dokken on guitars and Ray Luzier, of Korn on drums. Scatterbrain features 13 brand new tracks and was recorded at the Steakhouse studio in North Hollywood California. The album was produced by Chris “The Wizard” Collier (Flotsam & Jetsam/Prong/Last In Line) who also produced the band’s 2014 debut.
From the infectious riff of the album opener “Scatterbrain” to the outro of “Angel,” KXM have created something truly special and musically diverse. Songs like “Breakout,” “Calypso,” and “True Deceivers” are sonically different from each other taking the listener on a musical journey. Scatterbrain is thematically a darker record than the debut. The album builds upon the developed KXM rock sound but this time includes some different dynamics drawing inspiration from prog, ska, punk and metal. Through it all, it remains undeniably KXM.
Recorded over the span of 10 days, every song on Scatterbrain was the result of a musical jam from all three members playing together in the same room. Ray Luzier explains on the process, “We wanted to use the same formula as the 1st KXM record: book studio time, come in fresh every day with a new idea & run with it and not over think anything.” George Lynch described the sessions as Record-topia: “we showed up in the studio, camped out with a bunch of gear and let the tape roll! Just like the first album, no pre-production, no rehearsal, no pre-written songs.” dUg Pinnick adds: “The vibe was like a bunch of old friends having fun creating music like the previous record, nothing but fun!”
The track listing for Scatterbrain is:
03. Big Sky Country
05. Not a Single Word
07. Noises In The Sky
08. Panic Attack
09. It’s Never Enough
10. True Deceivers
KXM formed in early 2013 when dUg, George and Ray spoke about trying to jam together. At the time it wasn’t clear what would come from those jams. The only thing that was clear was that these 3 musicians, at the top of their game, wanted to play together. The self-titled debut, KXM, was released on March 11, 2014 and debuted at #31 on the Billboard 200. The band takes its name from the combination of the member’s other projects: K from Korn, X from King’s X and M from Lynch Mob. In a world that constantly searches for new and unique music, KXM delivers all the power and punch that one would expect from these high level players.
Influenced by 80’s thrash giants like Exodus, Anthrax and Metallica plus later-day heroes like Killswitch Engage, ENIME’s music is ‘heavy articulate, clean, thrashy, and also melodic.’ ENIME are a band not afraid to gaze into the abyss and to take musical and lyrical inspiration from it. But no inspirations from mythical gods and monsters, rather ENIME are inspired by the world around us. Unleashing their debut album ‘Demon Inside’ during July 2016, the Montreal based metallers have teamed up with Metal-Rules.com for the premiere of their new lyric video ‘Selling Fear‘, a track off the release about how the government and media use fear as a scare tactic to keep the general population in check.
Watch ‘Selling Fear’ below:
ENIME’s debut album ‘Demon Inside’ is now available on the band’s online store here, iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and all major online retailers.
On January 13th, heavy metal titans ACCEPT will deliver their new live package calledRestless And Live. This set will not only include the entire show that ACCEPT played atBang Your Head!!! Festival 2015 on DVD, but also two live CDs with different recordings from their most recent European tour. Today, ACCEPT release a new live clip to give you a last taste of Restless And Live– watch “Fast As A Shark [Live]” here:
Southern California metal veterans LEATHERWOLF have announced the addition of guitar virtuoso Joey Tafolla of JAG PANZER fame to the line-up. Tafolla replaces Greg Erba whose last show with the band was last summer at Germany’s Bang Your Head!! Festival; he joins original members Michael Olivieri and Dean Roberts, long-time bassist Patrick Guyton, and lead guitarist Rob Math (LIGHTNING STRIKES,PLAYER).
States vocalist/guitarist Michael Olivieri on his Facebook page: “Ladies and gentlemen! Please welcome the amazing Joey Tafolla as the new guitarist for LEATHERWOLF!! Joey is a great guy and great player! We’re excited to have him a part of the Triple Axe Attack! We thank Greg Erbafor his dedication to the band for the last number of years. A fantastic guitarist and an awesome dude!”
In other news, LEATHERWOLF have been confirmed for this year’s 80’s metal extravanganza, Hair Metal Heaven, which is set to take place August 25-27 at O’Riley’s in Hull, England. Other bands on the bill include D-A-D, SPREAD EAGLE, SMASHED GLADYS and PRINCESS PANG. “We are extremely excited to make our return to the UK after almost three decades. The last time we played Britain was opening up for VOW WOW back in 1989 in support of ‘Street Ready’. Great memories! We can’t wait to finally rock for our British fans again who’ve been asking about gigs for years. See you in August!”
Ellefson Coffee Co., the boutique Coffee brand of MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson will open its first brick and mortar ELLEFSON COFFEE CO shop next week in David’s hometown of Jackson, MN. In addition to serving a variety of custom blends of Ellefson Coffee Co brands, including ROAST IN PEACE, SHE WOLF, KENYA THRASH, and URBAN LEGEND, ECC will also be a retail outlet for Ellefson Coffee products and memorabilia, as well as a satellite retail outlet for titles and merchandise from Ellefson’s EMP LABEL GROUP.
The store will also serve as a “Museum of Deth” featuring permanently displayed artifacts and memorabilia from Ellefson’s personal collection , as well as memorabilia from other artists. After teaming up with local Jackson Coffee shop COFFEE CHOICES (one of Ellefson’s personal Jackson haunts) and owner Susan Reiter for their URBAN LEGEND blend, David’s ECC (and EMP) partner Thom Hazaert suggested taking the partnership farther.
“One day Susan and I had a conversation about the idea of sort of re-branding Coffee Choices into something more aligned with the ECC brand, and us coming in as partners.” Says Hazaert. “I pitched the idea to David, we had already discussed the idea of opening a brick and mortar outlet maybe in Phoenix, and we all loved the idea, being David’s hometown, and Susan’s amazing history in Jackson, and her experience running Coffee Choices.”
Adds Ellefson, “I’ve been blessed to travel the world year after year as a musician but my roots have always stayed in Jackson, MN. So, it’s a true honor for our coffee brand to have a retail shop on the main street USA I grew up on, and to serve the very community I was born and raised in. Aside from some great coffee and a fun Rock N’ Roll atmosphere, our store is a go-to destination for coffee that also tells my story of heavy metal and global music history. I look forward to seeing you there!”
And any Megadeth fan already knows Jackson well, even if they don’t know it, as the connections to this small Midwest town run deep in Megadeth lore. Loon Lake Cemetery, that spawned the legend of Mary Jane, immortalized on So Far, So Good, So What is a few miles down the street, while the Ellefson family farm that inspired Megadeth hit “Foreclosure of a Dream” is also a stone’s throw from where ECC is setting up shop.
Hazaert adds, “Not only will Ellefson Coffee Co. now have a permanent face in David’s hometown, but being able to tie in EMP, and everything else we do, and with the huge sense of Megadeth history in Jackson, we are excited to be able to create a really unique and amazing fan (and Coffee) experience, that we are sure will not only be a highlight for the people of Jackson, but a destination for Megadeth fans from around the World.”
The first day of business officially as Ellefson Coffee Co. will be Monday, January 10th, with a grand opening coming later in the Spring. You can pay ECC a visit at 404 Second St, Jackson, MN, 56143.
I’ve often commented that music industry folks rush to get their ‘year-end lists’ generated and on-line much to the detriment of the bands. In their zeal, many albums, especially from the first half of the year get missed because the albums are not ‘top of mind’ in November in the stampede to be the first. Conversely some late year albums got missed as many people generate their albums prematurely, before the year is even over. Every year quality albums are coming out until Dec 31 but these late releases always get the shaft by the mainstream media (who claim to support Metal) by clinging to some arbitrary deadline and because those inconvenient releases do not fit into their neat little boxes, driven largely by commerce. Shame.
I believe some sober reflection would help provide a broader representation of what really happened in Hard Rock and Heavy Metal in 2017. I’ve enjoyed a few quiet days looking back at various releases from 2016 and I’ve cobbled together a little list of albums, EP’s, reissues, covers albums etc, that I felt deserved more attention than they got. Admittedly, many of these are not ‘brand new, full-length studio albums of all new material’, so they get left in the dust.
My friend and colleague Adrian Begrand has so eloquently pointed out, ‘Metal fans love their lists!’. I’m no different so here is one of my lists. I tried to think outside the Metallica / Voi-vod / Anciients / Meshuggah / Darkthrone group-think box. A fun little exercise of no consequence other than maybe someone might check out one of these releases. Enjoy!
JP’s Top 25 list of releases that coulda, shoulda, woulda got more attention in 2016.
The return of guitar god Victor Smolski after 16 years in Rage. Exploring his heritage, his new project (his debut) is a conceptual piece about Russian history.
BLAZE BAYLEY- Infinite Entanglement (Indie) Released: March 18th
Blazes four solo album sees him staying in Sci-fi territory with his first full concept album about time travel. His heaviest and fastest album ever, with tons of guests playing the various characters.
CAULDRON-In Ruin (The End) Released: January 8th
I believe Jason Decay (Goat Horn etc) singlehanded spearheaded the Canadian retro scene spawning/inspiring Skullfist, Midnight Malice, Diemonds, Vicious and so many more. It’s a shame that people passed over Cauldron’s excellent fourth album.
CRADLE OF FILTH-Dusk And Her Embrace-The Original Sin (Cacophonous) Released: July 8th
The long-lost unreleased album from 1996 finally sees the light of day after the 20-year legal dispute with the label ends. Deluxe re-packaging treatment, new lyrics, superb for die-hard fans who have waited years to hear this first version.
DREAM THEATER-The Astonishing (Roadrunner) Released: January 29th.
The bands tour-de-force, their own 2112, got missed by many. The same people who will willingly sit and watch The Hobbit trilogy for nine hours, or binge-watch an entire season of Game Of Thrones in one weekend said the album, at over two hours, was too long!
EMBALMER-Emanations From The Crypt (Hell’s Headbangers) Released: April 1st
One of the original early 90’s Death-Gore bands come back with only their second album in 25 years, after a 10-year gap since the last one. Brutal, guttural, unrelenting and sick. Very old school Death from this early Relapse band.
ENUFF Z’ NUFF-Clowns Lounge (Frontiers) Released: December 2nd
Album #14 from these perennial Beatle worshiping stoners is a compilation of old demos and rarities, a real groovy treat for the true fan.
GRIM REAPER-Walking In The Shadows (Dissonance) Released: Sept 23rd
29 years between albums and it was worth the weight. Carrying on where Rock You To Hell left off. Not many know that this line-up also recorded the little known Steve Grimmett solo album back in 2007. Grimmett’s voice is bullet proof.
HOBB’S ANGEL OF DEATH-Heaven Bled (Hell’s Headbangers) Released: October 14th
Didn’t see this one coming! Australia’s answer to Canada’s Gord Kirchin (Piledriver) or America’s Bill Lindsay (Impaler), puts out his third album in 30 years. No one noticed, no one cared although Down Under he is still a bit of an eccentric hero. Popoff would call this pig-iron, rust-belt Metal.
MYRATH-Legacy (Verycords) Released: February 19th
These exotic guys had such huge buzz and did not capitalize. Perhaps the uninspired album art and album title had pundits pass this one over. Perhaps being on small French labels doesn’t help either. Their 4th album is good or better than anything they have ever done. Don’t let the publicists fool ya, they are from France, not Tunisa. Sadly, most folks missed this early year release. Fun fact: Myrath means ‘Legacy’ hence the title.
NARNIA-Narnia (Indie) Released: September 16th
Arguably, after Styper, the worlds biggest and best White Metal band sees a comeback after seven years and the return of original vocalist CJ Grimmark. A flawless example from the surprisingly quite large but very underground Swedish Christian Speed Metal scene.
NECRONOMICON-Advent Of The Human God (Season Of Mist) Released: March 18th
The next Dimmu / Cradle band. These French Canadian journeymen had a re-think between 2003 and 2010 and reinvented themselves as Canada’s best epic, symphonic, progressive blah, blah, blah Metal band. Third album in the second phase of their career is stellar. The swarthy Italians in Fleshgod Apocalypse get the girls but Necronomicon is the real dirty deal.
OCTOBER 31-Metal Massacre 31 (Hell’s Headbangers) Released: November 25th
An album made entirely of cover tunes that appeared on Metal Blade’s Metal Massacre compilation series. Probably the coolest, least trendy, album of the year… for those in the know. King Fowley is more Metal than I will ever live to be.
PAIN-Coming Home (Nuclear Blast) Released: Sept 9th
Peter Tagtgren, (Europe’s Devin Townsend?) puts out album number 9, the first in five years. Quirky industrial, electronic, death with humorous weirdness goes over the heads of most. Flawless in production, execution and design, but perhaps not cool enough for many peoples lists.
POLTERGEIST-Back To Haunt (Pure Steel Records) Released: October 21st
Nice comeback 24 years in the making from these veteran German thrashers. Two solid early 90’s album on Century Media mean a few of us old dogs remember the band but after a quarter of a century, this album didn’t even make a dent in the awareness of thrash fans who were too busy lapping up the 2016 albums by Assassin, Artillery, Sodom and Destruction, despite Poltergeist being from the same alma mater.
Q5-New World Order (Frontiers) Released: July 8th
I have a soft spot for old 80’s Metal bands that reform just for the love of making music because every knows deep down, that no one remembers them from the first time around and no one will care anymore. But I care…and more and more often kids who are digging up their Dad’s obscure cassettes are paying to go to ‘retro’ festivals to see Q5, Fist and Jaguar etc for the first time. This Seattle band took 30 years off between albums and never missed a beat. They should tour with Saxon.
SPIRITUAL BEGGARS-Sunrise To Sundown (Insideout) Released: March 18th
One of the earlier European Stoner rock bands released their ninth album featuring a line-up that boasts membership (past or present) in the following bands; Arch Enemy, Candlemass, Carcass, Dismember, Firewind, Grand Magus, King Diamond, Mercyful Fate, Opeth, Witchery and more. Ridiculously talented and spot-on, how did no one notice this album?
STEVE VAI-Modern Primitive (Epic) Released: June 24th
The 9th solo album from Vai is a blast from the past. He wrote and recorded an entire album between 1984 and 1990 when he was busy being a rock god and touring the world with the two David’s (Roth and Coverdale). It sat in the vaults for decades and finally gets dusted off and this holy grail for Vai fans meets expectations; the cross of quirkiness and shred. Bonus, backed with the 25th Anniversary reissue of Passion and Warfare with bonus tracks!
Despite being the only band that sounds like this or does this anymore, and despite a high profile tour with Megadeth, and despite the fact that they have ‘DAVE FREAKING LOMBARDO’ drumming on the album, most folks forgot that ST put out their 11th full-length album this year. Old man Muir hasn’t lost any of the fire.
THUNDERSTONE-Apocalyspe Now (AFM) Released: April 1st
First album in seven years sees the return of original vocalist Pasi Rantanen and a return to their original sound. A small North America tour sees one of the early Finnish Power Metal bands finally making headway into the North American market with a strong album of classic Metal.
TRICK OR TREAT-Rabbit’s Hill Part II (Frontiers) Released: July 8th
This former Italian Helloween tribute band (!), now on album #4, jump to the big leagues, bigger label, and they finish their two-part conceptual re-telling of Watership Down. More Helloween than Hellowen themselves, loaded with Power Metal elite guest stars, this album is all the more poignant since Richard Adams died this year.
WATCHTOWER-Concepts Of Math: Book One (Prosthetic) Released: October 7th
The band that everyone says they like, but nobody really likes, released their first new material in 27 years, an EP named after your high school math textbook. The original Math Metal band deserves more respect but they are probably a bit long in the tooth now for the kids who like the current crop of tech-death-thrash.
WICKED MARAYA-Lifetime In Hell (Massacre) Released: March 18th
An album that sat in the vaults for over a quarter of a century finally sees the light of day. Crunchy, early 90’s Power Metal from the US, a fine example of the form.
WOLF HOFFMANN-Headbangers Symphony (Nuclear Blast) Released: July 1st
The Accept main-man releases his second (!) solo album of classical music re-interpretations. Mixing Classic and Metal is nothing new but he does is with flair and style. Elegant. If you wanted a cool covers album you could have easily substitute JORN’S Heavy Rock Radio here.
YNGWIE MALMSTEEN-World On Fire (King Records) Released: June 1st
The man everyone loves to hate, but begrudgingly admits (at least secretly) is the best guitarist in the world, puts out album #20 in Japan only. The production problems that some critics say marred the past few albums are gone.
It was 2000, I moved to Minneapolis to attend college. After I graduated I moved to NYC, I stayed there for about 10 years.
Where do you live now and is it possible for you to make a full-time living creating your art? If not, would you share what your other career is?
I live in Cairo again, I wouldn’t be able to make a living off my art had I continued to live in NYC, when I was there I had some side jobs, doing graphic design and Prop fabrication for everything from movies to store-front props. So always art-related work. Now that I’m Cairo, and the currency is so much weaker here, I’m far more comfortable, mostly focusing on my artwork and selling it abroad.
Tell us about your work as tireless champion and promoter of Metal around the world!
Thanks for your kind words. I don’t see myself as that, but I feel that as a passionate artist, it is not just my right but also my duty to spread all arts. Metals characteristics embody this rebellious and powerful message, especially in the more underground sub genre of this style. There is no limit in what can be done with the music. Which is why I felt that it was appropriate to start this project. It’s not a band; it’s more like an art-producing organism, constantly morphing, changing, but always producing. For this reason its very important that I bring talented musicians form all over the world, people from different backgrounds and cultures to converge and collaborate. This has many benefits, what I believe is one of the biggest benefits is that you get a highly “potent” and cultured metal output. You bring a black metal guitarist form Norway to collaborate with a tech-death bassist from Montreal and an American drummer from one of the heaviest bands around, and you can already imagine that it can be something amazing. However, there is an art in that too, because it can quickly become a nightmare if they don’t respect/agree with each other, and I have to kind of find the balancing point, to make it happen. Luckily it’s never come to that musically. Personally though I wish I could say the same. You deal with characters as well, some with tempers, some with money management issues and so on. So its not as glamorous as it seems, there is alot going on behind the scenes that most people wouldn’t dare imagine. The project started with Alex Skolnick from Testament, who at the time was deep into his Jazz trio, Steve Tucker was out of Morbid Angel at the time, and I was able to get Trym from Emperor and Ralph Santolla, then Deicide guitarist into the fold. In the meantime I had been introduced to Attila form Mayhem, who quickly commissioned me to make him some masks. It was a very exciting time for me. I’m proud to say that since then, I’ve been working with some of my favorite musicians whom I grew up listening to.
It’s important giving the opportunity to more unknown artists such the amazing genius Jim Ross, of Bandwhore and Richie Brown who was in an early incarnation of Trivium, but has an amazing band called Mindscar.
Additionally, I organize shows, direct music videos and make masks/costumes. The thing about all this though, is that I don’t see it, as a single process. For me its all art, and that is what I like to occupy my time with.
You are very well known on the international Metal scene. How have you gathered so much talent for your projects?
I’m always surprised to hear that, thanks again. Most artists I’ve approached are quite intrigued by the project, It actually started out in an art gallery, it was not a metal band, it was a project about perception of the peripheral, and eventually a museum in New York picked up on it and funded me, and asked me to make a performance- I think many people and the artists I chose sense the rigor of it, and that’s its a fresh idea and as a curator, combining different artists together they’re offered a window into making a mark in something special and unique. This is not to take away from their own projects, which are all great, and is the reason
I chose them to begin with. But this is different, in that it’s not a typical ‘band’; in fact it’s not a band at all. One of the good things is that there are “no members” nobody is in or out. Each show, tour, festival appearance record or even sometimes a song on the same album will have a different line up.
Tell us about your connections with Mayhem. Will you be touring North America with them for their 2017 De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas tour?
Attila and I have been friends since we partied together sometime in 2006 I believe, I told him I could make a mold of his face, something I had been doing for years, which is making a mold, and then making face cast out of it. He loved the idea and told me that he’s wanted to wear masks, so we decided ill make him a mask. I made it, and sent it to him.
When he received it he sent me an email telling me to make him 10 more. He used the masks with Sunn O))) first, then Mayhem. Eventually, he got me to do full stage design for Mayhems 2009 US tour, the first US tour they made with him, and it was a mind blowing honor of course. My very first tour, and I get to stay in a really nice tour bus with my favorite black metal band.
I made a lot of new friends, but honestly if they asked me to do it now, I’d have to think about it. It’s safe to say that really weird things happen around them, like some kind of curse. Everyday there was some kind of issue; their next US tour was cancelled a few weeks before it was scheduled, and the tour after that, I was told had even bigger problems then the one I was on. They’ve tour the US twice since then; I don’t know how well they went, but I’d think twice, because, man, it was insane to see the kind of BS they had to deal with on a daily basis and despite having a ton of fun, and the overall experience was amazing. I think it’s the kind of thing you only want to do once to keep the memories nice and clean.
I understand you are still a leader in the Egyptian Metal scene. I understand it is very complicated politically, and socially but could you give us a brief over-view of the type of scene and climate for Metal in Egypt?
Thank you, that’s quite flattering to be given that moniker. Its safe to say that I’ve networked and made connections with the industry more than anyone else probably in all of the middle east and Africa, I’m proud to have done things that others have tried and failed at. If it wasn’t for the jealousy of others Egyptians would be an established “market” and bands would be coming to Egypt on a monthly basis. I’m sorry to all Egyptians who will never be able to leave the country, that due to insecurity and infantile behavior of others, it wont be possible.
I personally don’t blame the government, I know for a fact that problems where instigated by a few simpleminded cowards in the metal scene. And all it takes is one asshole to ruin everything. I’ve been lucky enough to survive the idiocy of several of those assholes.
The scene is unfortunately quite polarized; you have people from all walks of life attending the shows. I’d say metal shows is probably the only place where there’s a true amalgamation of all social classes but they’re in a problem is presented. The fans don’t like each other. I get requests to do shows at nicer venues than this one venue whose owner is a Muslim Brotherhood member (a terrorist sympathizing organization). When I had done these two first shows, I had no idea about the owner, but when I found out, I immediately donated all my income from the show to an orphanage, it was my way of finding a balance. I also looked elsewhere to do the shows, a bar that allows alcohol and smoking cigarettes, and where people of opposite sex can hold hands, none of these things are Illegal, but somehow combine that with metal, and people will think your making an evil ritual. Go figure.
But the scene is also again a reflection of the society, conditioned, confused and self-destructive. Education is scarce and people’s insecurity gets the better of them. No one thinks about the greater whole, just thinking small scale, selfish and what would benefit him or her. So if they see someone rise, they don’t understand that they will rise too, they don’t have that kind of foresight.
I believe the current regime in Egypt is not tolerant of Heavy Metal. Do you ever fear for your life or safety, or for those of your friends?
Oh its tolerant, the problem is not the government (other than that its run by ignorant people) but in general they don’t actually care, here are definitely huge issues the government needs to fix, the problem is the previously mentioned infantile “competition” I have here. Another issue is ignorance, which runs rampant, So one of those musicians called the musicians Syndicate , who is another corrupt figure in Egypt, went and turned the whole thing political. And let me Quote home land security here form what they’ve said: “Metal is not the problem its the extreme Muslim media that’s the problem, and they put pressure on us.” This massive backward pop star and head of musicians syndicate, Said that he cancelled my show, which was attended by devil worshippers wearing the Star of David (?), that there was a DJ from Qatar present ( lol ) and that rituals were performed. He wanted to make this political, using keywords, like Qatar and Star of David; those are things, which Egyptians have political issues with. Of course the tabloid and non intellectual media had their day with it, but surprisingly the intellectual media defended the show, and the pressure was so high on that pop star/head of syndicate guy, that he announced that he would “submit his resignation”. Of course it was just he doing that so he can get all his buddies to protest his resignation. Like I said everything is a scam and everything is corrupted.
Is it true that you were in some ways involved with the aborted Sepultura concert in Cairo this June? The press release blamed you but I would like to hear your side of the story! As Metalheads we can suspect that formal statements that come from the government may not be complete true. Is it true you were arrested and interrogated?
The show was my idea, my connections with Andreas of Sepultura (he plays solos on my record Malefic Chapter 3) was how I was able to get them, they were impressed with the fact that I had brought bands like Aborted etc to Egypt. The guy who wrote this press release is a government lackey as you suspected. They said I had no permits, which is a massive lie. For starters, the permits were made and paid for, mostly by me. A few weeks before the show, I officially handed over the organization of the show to an event-organizing agency. When the police showed up, the organizers had not even made it to the show yet, because it was earlier in the day. Which is actually illegal of them, even if we had no permits they can only cancel the show if it’s in progress. The problem was that pathetic pop star I mentioned, was upset because, like I said, the intellectual media made sure that his name was dragged through the mud. And he had a worse reputation than he had already. We are talking about the head of the musicians syndicate here, even he has mental and confidence issues, which again describes the state the country is in. If you’re that rich and famous and have been given a prestigious title and are still insecure, well that’s just as sad as it is pathetic.
Anyway I was taken and put in a cell for three nights, one policeman burned a cigarette on my foot. I would have been ok with it to a certain degree had the show continued on. But it was cancelled, and it became a global issue. It made Egypt look really bad, and it deserves it.
If you had one piece of advice for the metal community in Egypt, what would it be?
I can’t find any advice to give. Like I said the populace is highly confused. They don’t know a good thing when they get it. Of course there are a few exceptions, but as a whole I find it hopeless.
On happier topics, it’s been a couple of years since your last EP, The Malefic. What are you currently working on? Will you have any special guests assisting you?
Yes! I love collaborating with people, not just in music too, to me it’s the perfect balance, of unleashing creativity then refining. I just got done with recording Malefic 2,its actually mixed now, but I’ve already started working on malefic 1, there are huge talents contributing to the record such as Derek Roddy from hate eternal and Nile fame, his own solo stuff is Called Serpent Rise and is quite amazing. Others include Christian Muenzner former guitarist of Necrophagist and Obscura, Jonas Renkse of Katatonia and Bloodbath and many more. I’ve also started working on about 8 other songs for future records, theres a ton of anger in them. I cant wait to get recording!
What is your next plan for global domination?
Making more art, in all its media. For me its never been something I’m interested to focus on one thing, I love to design things, I love to draw, I love to get on stage and perform, make sculptures etc. 2017 is looking great as I’m confirmed to play several fests, and of course making more drawings. One of the things I’m really excited about is a story I wrote for Malefic. Eventually it will become a graphic novel, going along with the record. I’m working with a very talented artist, and things have been coming out great!
Max Cavalera is the Brazilian vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter who currently plays with Cavalera Conspiracy and Soulfly. He co-founded the acclaimed heavy metal band Sepultura with his brother Iggor Cavalera back in 1984. The band released the album ROOTS back in 1996, which is Sepultura’s most commercially successful album to date. After the following tour, Max left the band and formed Soulfly. Iggor left Sepultura 10 years later and formed Cavalera Conspiracy with Max in 2007. So far, the band has released 3 albums including the latest PANDENOMIUM (2013). 2016 marks the 20th anniversary of ROOTS and to celebrate that, Cavalera Conspiracy announced a series of highly successful shows where the band performed the classic album in its entirely. The sold-out tour reached Finland in early December 2016. I was able to meet Max on the tour bus prior the bands performance. We discussed the ROOTS album, the “Return to Roots” tour, the state of Soulfly, and many other topics including Max’s favorite Lemmy memories.
Bass player Swede, guitarist Marvin Flowberg and drummer/bandleader Mike Cameron Force – Enbound
Interviewed by: Anders Sandvall
Thanks to Emil Westerdahl at Inner Wound Recordings for setting up the interview and for the promo pictures of the band. Promo photos taken by: Robert Elmengård
Enbound is the name of a Swedish melodic metal act that released their second album titled THE BLACKENED HEART in November 2016. The bands debut album AND SHE SAYS GOLD came in 2011 and I was curious to know why it has taken the guys so long to unleash the follow up. If you read the interview you’ll learn more about the work with the album, about the guest appearances, who the new singer Lee Hunter (Work Of Art) is, how it was to work with legendary producer Jacob Hansen, and what the future has in store for the band. If you’re interested of hear something new, fresh, and different in melodic metal, Enbound has something for you.
Here are what bass player Swede, guitarist Marvin Flowberg and drummer/bandleader Mike Cameron Force had to say….