By the time the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival limped its way into Northern Virginia there wasn’t anything terribly festive about it. Indeed it felt more like epic fail than anything else, especially when one looked around the grounds of the unfortunately named Jiffy Lube Live and saw not only an empty lawn, but an empty third tier of “shed” seats, a mostly empty second tier and a front section that was maybe two-thirds full.
I felt bad for the main acts, Slayer and King Diamond, both of whom killed it. They certainly would have been better served by playing full theaters instead of desolate amphitheaters on this tour, especially given the rag-tag support cast that made up much of the rest of the bill.
In these few short years, Copenhell has established itself as a force to be reckoned with in the Scandinavian festival circuit. The organizers have never intended for the festival to be just a usual music event, but rather a celebration of the metal culture as a whole. Located in a somewhat obscure location (at an aging industrial area), close to the city-‐but not close enough to be easily reached, the surroundings give the festival incredible authenticity and a good feeling of belonging. A security guard told me that Copenhellis the best and easiest festival to cover; compared with other festivals is the unity and fellowship unparalleled. Here, the care for each other is the key.
New Jersey-based thrash metal veterans OVERKILL recently inked a new worldwide deal with Nuclear Blast Records. The band‘s first worldwide release on Nuclear Blast will be a special box set titled, HistoriKill: 1995 – 2007. It is scheduled to be released this fall and will include eleven OVERKILL albums on 13 CDs and a bonus CD (incl. demos, remixes and an unreleased cover song) in digi sleeves.
The masters of historical-themed brutality, NILE, have released a lyric video for the brand new track entitled “Call To Destruction”. The song is taken from the band’s new masterpiece What Should Not Be Unearthed which will be released on August, 28th via Nuclear Blast.
Watch the lyric video for “Call To Destruction” on the Nuclear Blast Youtube channel:
Egyptian-themed death metal titans Nile marked their 20th anniversary in 2013 and are marching confidently forward toward their 25th. The band’s eighth studio album, What Should Not Be Unearthed, is their most effectively punishing release since 2005’s Annihilation Of The Wicked – and stands in marked contrast to the squeaky clean, surgical precision of 2012’s At The Gate Of Sethu.
Where Sethu was about dexterity, Unearthed is more about brutality. The technical proficiency remains, it’s just got a lot more balls to go with it this time. It was a calculated move, according to founding guitarist/vocalist Karl Sanders, but one the band – rounded out by guitarist/vocals Dalls Toler-Wade, drummer George Kollias and new bassist/vocalist Brad Parris – felt they needed to make. And with more than two decades in the underground trenches under their belts, who could argue otherwise.
In a wide-ranging phone interview from the band’s home base of South Carolina, Sanders offered the following about the mindset of Nile going into What Should Not Be Unearthed and the creative process, the trials and tribulations of touring and even the confederate flag debate that was raging in his adoptive home state and elsewhere at the time following the recent race-related mass murder in Charleston.
Italian Heavy Metal outfit NITEHAWKS inked a deal with Skol Records, Polish label known from cooperation with acts such as TITAN FORCE, JAG PANZER, TYGERS OF PAN TANG or SAVAGE MASTER. The band was formed in 2015. Their debut album titled “Vendetta”, will be released on September 30, 2015, and will be available as CD and limited edition LP.
NITEHAWKS deal in a style of Heavy Metal which mix up energy of so called “New Wave Of Traditional Heavy Metal” acts, such as ENFORCER or STRIKER, with classic song structures that were immortalized by ’80s Metal acts such as ACCEPT, RUNNING WILD or JUDAS PRIEST.
‘SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST: HEAVY METAL IN THE 1990’s’, TELLS STORY OF ONE OF THE GENRE’S BEST – YET MOST DIFFICULT – DECADE
Since its inception in the late 1960’s, heavy metal has experienced quite a few ups and downs in popularity. But there was one specific decade that sticks out as the most troubling – the 1990’s. In what seemed like one fell swoop, a style of metal that had been popular for much of the 1980’s was rendered obsolete, and in its place, was a much more real, raw, and unique approach – detected in several new metal-based “sub-genres.” Add to it several changes in the music industry and media, and it appeared as if traditional metal may have met its expiration date…before several bands (and a certain traveling festival tour) helped put headbanging rock back on track.
Written by journalist/author Greg Prato, ‘Survival of the Fittest: Heavy Metal in the 1990’s’ is the first book to focus entirely on this decade. Set in an oral history format, ‘Survival’ features over 80 interviews conducted exclusively for this book, including current or past members of Pantera, Sepultura, Fear Factory, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Kiss, Def Leppard, Guns N’ Roses, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax, Exodus, Testament, Dream Theater, King’s X, Extreme, Winger, Cinderella, Living Colour, Faith No More, Primus, Nirvana, Nine Inch Nails, White Zombie, Stone Temple Pilots, Kyuss, Danzig, Clutch, Life of Agony, Biohazard, Type O Negative, Within Temptation, Cradle of Filth, Death, Coal Chamber, and System of a Down (among many others), as well as Eddie Trunk, Riki Rachtman, and Lonn Friend. Also featured is a foreword penned by Pantera bassist Rex Brown.
Greg Prato is a Long Island, New York-based journalist, who has written for Rolling Stone and Guitar Player, and has authored such books as ‘Iron Maiden: ’80 ’81,’ ‘The Faith No More & Mr. Bungle Companion,’ ‘The Eric Carr Story,’ and ‘Grunge is Dead: The Oral History of Seattle Rock Music.’ ‘Survival of the Fittest’ is his 16th book overall.
Available as a paperback version [616 pages, $24.99], a Kindle download [$9.99], and a Nook download [$9.99], ‘Survival of the Fittest’ helps put the ’90s and heavy metal all into perspective.
Returning for another year after a sold out show in 2014, Incineration Festival returns bigger and better than ever. Expanding both in size and genre, 2015 saw the venues scattered across some of the largest and most infamous metal venues in Camden, hosting not only the usual black and death metal, but incorporating psychedelic and shoegaze acts into the mix. While some of the less traditional extreme acts may have come as a surprise, especially as last years headliner was Taake, nothing seemed out of place. The crowd seemed to agree as arriving the exchange, the queue stretched around the side of the black heart as revellers waited eagerly to collect their wristbands.
Metal’s perennial whipping boys Anvil are back in town. They have taken every knock, weathered every storm and are still going strong. They have been treading the boards for a long time so if you want to know how they fair after over 30 years in the business read on for a story of then and now.
Metal Allegiance have released the first lyric video from the upcoming self–titled release available worldwide on September 18th via Nuclear Blast Entertainment. “Can’t Kill The Devil” features Chuck Billy on vocals; Alex Skolnick, Phil Demmel & Andreas Kisser on guitars; David Ellefson on bass; and Mike Portnoy on drums. The lyric video for the song impacting radio today can be seen here: https://youtu.be/zjXEXx-mIdc.
“I am very honored to be a part of the Metal Allegiance record. The track ‘Can’t Kill The Devil’ was fun and challenging for me,” states vocalist Chuck Billy. “Working outside of Testament lets me try different things with my voice. I think the fans are going to be singing along to this track for sure.”
Swedish metallers SABATON will film their performance at the Sabaton Open Air in their hometown of Falun in August for an upcoming DVD/Blu-ray, to be made available in early 2016.
Says the band: “[Sabaton Open Air] is happening for the eighth year in a row, and this unique event has, over the years, brought people from around the world to this special show. Fans who have travelled there know what is so special about it, and now our plan is to share that with the rest of the world, so we decided to record the 2015 year’s show in full! [The DVD/Blu-ray] will also contain more SABATON stuff, including more live shows that we will explain more about later.
“We feel that the time is right for another live release. A lot has happened with SABATON since the last release which was recorded 2012 in Poland. We have a new album and Hannes [Van Dahl, drums] is now in the band. But not only that… we now have two new members on the stage. [Tanks] Audie and Walther! And, all together, we now make a show which is better then ever before. This is something we would love to record so it stays forever!
“If you wanna be part of a totally unique thing, come to Falun and join in the worlds biggest SABATON party.”