Interview with guitarist/vocalist
Rob “The Witch” Tremblay
By Peter Atkinson
With their symphonic black/death metal bluster and ashen, war-painted/leather-cloaked appearance, it’s easy to see how Montreal’s Necronomicon draw comparisons to Behemoth and Dimmu Borgir – at least from a musical and aesthetic standpoint. But from a philosophical perspective – not to mention their panda-face makeup and three-person lineup – Necronomion have much more in common with Immortal.
Yet where Immortal long have reveled in tales of battles and demons in their mythical frozen kingdom on Blashyrkh, Necronomicon embarked on a more mystical, transcendent journey through the cosmos – and man’s place within the greater whole of the universe – with their 1999 full-length debut Pharoah of Gods. That voyage continues with their fifth and latest effort Advent of the Human God, due out March 25 on Season Of Mist.
During an interview via Skype from Montreal – and later via e-mail – founder/frontman/guitarist/songwriter/producer Rob “The Witch” Tremblay spoke, among other things, about Necronomicon’s unique, often otherworldly, take on death/black metal and how the band’s origins in the wilds of Northeast Canada play into that, the challenges of trying to pull of such ambitious music as a three-piece – the band is rounded out by long-time drummer Rick and newish bassist Mars – and the uncomfortable run-in with the German thrash band they have shared the Necronomicon moniker with for more than 20 years.
31 years since the release of debut album “Bonded by Blood” and Bay Area legends Exodus hit the road with a European and UK tour to mark the occasion.
Carrying Lost Society and Striker in tow, they paid a visit to The Underworld in London (admittedly one of their favourite spots to play, according to frontman Steve “Zetro”) for what was to be a consistently crazy night of crowdsurfing and moshing for all to enjoy.
I have not seen the 2500+ capacity MacEwan Hall sold out for a Metal show in a long, long time. Not even for bands that also pull in the more mainstream crowds like Blind Guardian and Gwar. But Nightwish did it! At their second concert in Calgary in over 20 years, the place was packed for an extra-ordinary bill of Euro-Metal. Delain and Sonata Arctica have also been through Calgary before and the crowds were out in force to see the triple stacked show. I’m not surprised Nightwish is riding a career high with a triumphant North American tour with their new signer as they just recently won the award for Best Metal album in their homeland of Finland.
Store Delivery Enables Bands to Direct Distribute Vinyl from Pressing Plant to Record Stores Worldwide
In a twist on the crowdfunding model, vinyl pressing and presale platform QRATES has launched Store Delivery, a new service shaking up vinyl distribution by enabling record stores worldwide to directly buy, and even help fund, artist and label vinyl projects.
The appeal of vinyl isn’t diminishing and for many artists having their vinyl sold at a record store is something particularly special. For smaller artists and labels though getting their music stocked in stores is still a challenge, especially when it comes to selling vinyl in foreign countries. Not to mention trying to secure space at the oversubscribed pressing plants, if they even know how to go about organising a pressing.
Enter QRATES, which since April 2015 has facilitated artists to sell or pre-fund, press and distribute their vinyl releases direct to fans. New addition Store Delivery opens this up to record stores enabling them to purchase vinyl at wholesale prices, as well as participate in funding projects. Once pressed the finished product is then automatically delivered direct to the store. Additional capability is planned for the future, such as the ability for artists to sell their back catalogue to stores as well.
Currently in Beta, but due for full launch imminently, Store Delivery incorporates a network of over 200 record shops and buyers. Partners include Juno Records, Europe’s largest online record store, and Jetset, HMV and Technique in Japan. QRATES intends to expand this to 1000 stores globally by 2018, starting with the US this spring.
In its first year of operation QRATES has already hosted over 1000 funding projects for artists across every genre, with many successfully reaching their targets. It’s not only artists and labels finding opportunities through QRATES though. In something of an evolution from the old CD covermount, music media are also seeing the potential in special funded vinyl projects, including music curation blog Noon Pacific, which completed a limited edition vinyl compilation project.
Greg Gouty, COO of QRATES explains: “Our business is built on the belief that every artist should be able to put out vinyl if they wish, regardless of whether they have access to the expertise and contacts of a big label or not. Store Delivery takes this a step further by opening up the door for anyone, artist or label, to offer their vinyl records to stores worldwide. What’s more full control and profits go directly into the artists and labels hands.”
Ozzy Osbourne (Vocals), Tony Iommi (Guitar) and Geezer Butler (Bass) wrapped the first dates of BLACK SABBATH’s massive 2016 THE END world tour last week (3/7) in Vancouver, BC to an overwhelming response, from fans and critics alike. The first leg of sold-out North American shows will be followed by a run of summer performances including return visits to Los Angeles (at the iconic Hollywood Bowl), New York, Chicago and 14 additional cities. Tickets for the summer shows are available at www.Livenation.com. See BLACK SABBATH’s world wide itinerary below.
Here’s some critical feedback from 2016’s THE END tour:
“From the pulverizing opening tritone of ‘Black Sabbath’…the show was more a celebration of the pioneering heavy-metal band’s legacy than an epitaph…each of the musicians was in stellar form in Chicago…now may be the beginning of the end for Black Sabbath, but, as they proved in Chicago and over the years, their music will echo through the ages.”
–Kory Grow, ROLLINGSTONE.COM, 1-23-16
“The beginning of The End happened Friday in Chicago at the United Center, where the band played a two-hour set of snarling hard rock songs, played according to the rules of strict minimalism but always with brawny execution…Black Sabbath remains a genre of its own, combining space jazz and prog-rock, gothic imagery and riff-heavy thunder.”
–Mark Guarino, THEGUARDIAN.COM, 1-23-16
“The iconic rockers were able to bid farewell in style…If this was truly the band’s last show in Washington, the quartet had left its fans with a night they’ll never forget.”
–Ernest Jasmin,TACOMA WEEKLY, 2-8-16
“Sabbath sounded so strong that, at times, it seemed like an absolutely ludicrous idea for these guys to even be thinking about hanging it up. Yet, if the goal is to go out on top–in peak fighting form–then Sabbath is right on track.”
–Jim Harrington, SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 2-10-16
“Osbourne was confidently strutting the length of the stage, imploring the audience to clap along…Osbourne led the band through classics like ‘War Pigs’ and ‘Children of the Grave,’ exuding bravado and, often, joy. The night didn’t belong to Ozzy, though. While bassist Geezer Butler remains rock-solid…Iommi’s effortless leads and power-chord riffs laid the groundwork for generations of hard-rocking axe-slingers, yet his attack still sounds fresh and resonant, and his vibrato-laden shreds are as precise as they were four decades ago…”
–Jeff Miller, BILLBOARD.com, 2-13-16
“Black Sabbath put on as perfect of a farewell show at the Pepsi Center [in Denver] as you could have hoped for. They played, sounded and yes, sung as well as they did in their prime…Instead of leaning on theatrics, they let tight riffs take the audience away…Their astonishing performance Monday night proved the band to be going out with remarkable live chops.”
–Mike Long, DENVER POST, 2-16-16
“One of the strongest live rock shows in recent memory…Sabbath performed the music with such power and conviction that songs many of us have heard ad nauseam seemed fresh and new…The fluid rhythms, the interlocking, crushing dynamics between the rhythm section, and Iommi and Osbourne’s uncanny ability to switch in and out of the role of avatar of doom and avuncular hype man, rousing the crowd, made for a show that was much more than merely a great performance. It felt inclusive.”
–Tom Murphy, WESTWORD(Denver, CO), 2-16-16
“Black Sabbath turned its The End farewell tour into a celebration–albeit one steeped in a little bit of Satanic mechanics…the 100-minute, 14-song show was standard issue Sabbath–Spartan and leaden hard rock played with tight precision.”
–Gary Graff, THE OAKLAND PRESS (Detroit, MI), 2-20-16
“Black Sabbath, from Birmingham, England, was foundational for metal, but the music it played on Thursday–all of it recorded between 1969 and 1976–is full of scales related to the blues, which has its own long tradition of despair masking joy. That joy on Thursday was in sound and feeling. You could hear the band in giant, clear, present detail, unusual for the Garden…”
Ben Ratliff, NEW YORK TIMES, 2-26-16
“…he [Osbourne] was on fire last night, hitting all the notes exactly the way you remember them. All the stretched out vowels, all the ‘ohh yeahh!’s, everything. In even finer form was Tony Iommi, whose riffs were as crisp today as they are on the early records, and whose solos still screamed. No disrespect to Geezer Butler of course, who shined all night and especially on his bass solo in ‘N.I.B.’…There really wasn’t a moment where you weren’t hearing some of the best heavy metal ever written…The show was also a serious reminder of how even with legions of excellent doom bands popping up for decades, still nobody can do it like Sabbath.”
–Andrew Sacher, BROOKLYN VEGAN, 2-27-16
“If this in fact was the end for Black Sabbath, then it was one hell of a farewell.”
–Dean Pilling, CALGARY SUN, 3-5-16
“Black Sabbath were magnificent…what sets Black Sabbath’s music apart is how fresh it still sounds…a night free of stage effects or gimmicks, packed with a selection of brilliantly performed songs from the best heavy metal band there ever was and ever will be.”
Robert Collins, CTV NEWS VANCOUVER, 3-8-16
These dates mark the end of the epic journey that BLACK SABBATH began nearly five decades ago. The massive 2016 THE END world tour by the greatest Metal Band of all time will take the band to Australia and New Zealand in April, then Europe fora mix of summer headlining and festival performances, before returning to North America in August.
As previously announced, a special fans-only CD featuring original artwork by Shepard Fairey/Obey Giant is being sold at shows along the tour route. The CD is comprised of eight previously unreleased tracks: four songs are outtakes from BLACK SABBATH’s worldwide #1, Grammy Award-winning album 13 and four live songs from the band’s critically acclaimed 13 World Tour.
When this tour concludes, it will truly be THE END, THE END of one of most legendary bands in Rock ‘n Roll history…BLACK SABBATH.
Details on Tickets, VIP packages and more for the North American shows can be found at: www.Livenation.com
In Slayer’s song “You Against You,” vocalist Tom Araya screams “Your perfect world is ending this day, So what? I wouldn’t have it any other way.” And so, from the very first frame of the band’s “You Against You” music video, the gore, the violence, the projectile-blood-spewing and the carnage begins and just never ends.
“You Against You” is the prequel to “Repentless,” Slayer’s brutal 2015 video filmed at an L.A. prison that has logged nearly 7.5 million YouTube views. Like “Repentless,” “You Against You” was directed by BJ McDonnell, stars Jason Trost (“Hatchet III”) as Wyatt, the eyepatched rebel inmate, and tells the story of the circumstances that led to Wyatt’s erroneous arrest and imprisonment.
Slayer’s performance of “You Against You” was shot deep in the heart of California’s Mojave desert earlier this year in a graveyard of jets, airliners, and helicopters.
“After the ‘Repentless’ video,” said Slayer’s Tom Araya, “BJ delivers with ‘You Against You.’ Fu**ing awesome!!!!!”
Repentless, Slayer’s 12th studio album, was released on 9/11/15, making its career-highest debut on
Billboard’s Top 200 Albums chart, coming in at #4 and scanning 50,000 units. The album also debuted in the Top 5 in the U.S., Germany, the Netherlands, Australia, Canada, Finland, Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark, Portugal, Czech, Greece and Sweden, and was the #2 best-selling album in the world on the United World Chart. In addition, Repentless received spectacular press response – “Metal Album of the Year” (Guitar World), “…prime fu**ing Slayer…” (Metal Hammer), “…thrash redefined, upgraded and reborn, a return to the essence of who Slayer is.” (Houston Press)
Slayer is currently in the final weeks of its winter 2016 North American tour with Testament and Carcass supporting. Remaining dates are below.
17 Revolution Event Center, Boise, ID
19 The Paramount, Seattle, WA
20 Roseland Ballroom, Portland, OR
22 Warfield Theatre, San Francisco, CA
23 Warfield Theatre, San Francisco, CA
25 Rabobank Theatre, Bakersfield, CA
26 The Joint, Las Vegas, NV
For more than three decades, Slayer’s onslaught has proven the band to be the supreme thrash-metal band on the planet, the band that other heavy acts are measured against and aspire to. The two-time Grammy-winners have also accumulated an abundance of certified Gold Albums along with “Best…” awards from media outlets all over the world, including Kerrang!, SPIN, Metal Hammer, Revolver, and Esquire. Throughout Slayer’s history, the band has never faltered in unleashing its extreme and focused sonic assault, and, unlike many of its contemporaries who “commercialized” their sound, Slayer has remained crushing and brutal, steadfastly refusing to cater to the mainstream. Slayer’s founding member, guitarist Jeff Hanneman passed in 2013, and Exodus guitarist Gary Holt has been filling in for him since. Paul Bostaph, who was Slayer’s drummer from ’94 – ’01, has rejoined bassist/vocalist Tom Araya and guitarist Kerry King, and is back behind the kit.
As demanded by legions of fans, The Great Kat http://www.greatkat.com world’s fastest guitar/violin shredder/Goddess of Metal’s groundbreaking albums are now available on iTunes for $1.29 each song or $9.99 for the album. “Worship Me Or Die!” and “Beethoven On Speed” include famous Great Kat metal anthem & ShredClassical hits, such as: “Metal Messiah,” “Beethoven Mosh,” “Beethoven On Speed,” “Flight Of The Bumble-Bee,” “Funeral March,” “Kat-Possessed,” and much more. The Great Kat’s music has recently been featured in Tesco’s Call of Duty: Ghosts video game TV commercial http://youtu.be/6tW_ik2J000 and is perfect for thriller movies, video games, fast speed chases, & more. More Great Kat Music & Videos Available on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/great-kat/id384709526 & http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/the-great-kat/id368743108
Press Quotes about “Beethoven On Speed” and “Worship Me Or Die!”:
The NEW YORK TIMES declared about “Beethoven On Speed” “The wave of the future might well be heavy-metal Beethoven by way of Juilliard.”
VH1 declared: “The Great Kat. ‘Metal Messiah’. Exploded on to the metal scene with Worship Me or Die! It’s a still-stupefying incendiary collection of original compositions that announced a new talent that could never be slowed down, held back, or pent up.”
The Great Kat is the Juilliard grad violin virtuoso/”Top 10 Fastest Shredders Of All Time” (Guitar One Magazine) and the ONLY Guitar/Violin Double Virtuoso since Paganini.
TED POLEY has released the first video from “Beyond the Fade” for the song “Higher.”
Frontiers Music Srl is excited to announce the release of TED POLEY’s new solo album “Beyond The Fade” on May 13th, 2016.
Best known as lead vocalist for the legendary Melodic Rock masters Danger Danger, TED POLEY is also an accomplished solo artist, having released two acclaimed releases, “Collateral Damage” (2006) and “Smile”(2007).
“Beyond The Fade” is available for pre-order on Amazon and on iTunes. Digital pre-orders include an instant grat track download of “Higher”.
The story of “Beyond The Fade” starts after Danger Danger’s acclaimed performance at Frontiers Rock Festival in Milano in 2014, when he and the label developed the idea to work together on some new music. The next step was to speak to producer Alessandro Del Vecchio (Hardline, Edge of Forever) and with a band that he put together, TED performed at the second edition of the Frontiers Rock Festival. A few months later, TED came back to Italy to finish the vocals on the album.
TED says: “I am absolutely thrilled with the way the whole album came out. If I have one quote: “ITS AWESOME!” My great friend and co-producer Alessandro Del Vecchio brought my sonic vision to life and no request from me was too great for him toward his goal of making “The Ultimate TED POLEY Solo Album” and he surely delivered on his promise. We had alot of fun making the album and its obvious when you hear it. You can practically hear my smile while I am singing. We decided to make it sound BIG and there are a ton of backing vocals (in some cases more than 80 tracks of them!), along with great songs, soaring melodic guitar leads, pounding bass and big drums, all layered with cool keyboards… like a delicious Musical Cake! Save some room for dessert, I KNOW THAT YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE THIS ONE!”
With songs penned by the brothers Tom and James Martin (VEGA ) and “Hands of Love” written by Tony Bruno/Joe Lynn Turner Official Page , the sound of the record is nothing else but TED POLEY at his best, with immediately recognizable hooklines, amazing guitar work, immaculate production and total 80’s attitude!
“Beyond the Fade” is sure to please not only TED POLEY’s fans, but all fans of melodic hard rock. Don’t miss this superb release.
“Beyond the Fade” Track Listing includes:
1. Let’s Start Something
2. Everything We Are
3. Hands Of Love
4. The Perfect Crime
7. Where I Lost You
8. You Won’t See Me Cryin’
9. We Are Young
11. Beneath The Stars
TED POLEY: Lead Vocals
Issa: duet vocal on The Perfect Crime
Alessandro Del Vecchio: Drums, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Mario Percudani: Guitars
Anna Portalupi: Bass
Megadeth w. Suicidal Tendencies, Children Of Bodom and Havok
at GEC in Calgary, Alberta
March 6th, 2016
All pictures courtesy of Jeff B. and Metal Nation Radio
Sunday, March 6th was a semi-historical occasion in the Calgary Metal scene. It was the first time that a Metal concert was hosted in the Grey Eagle Casino, a beautiful new venue in Calgary. Sure Queensrcyhe had played the GEC a couple months before but the small seated crowd of 500 older fans but that gig was almost a warm-up for the crowd and style of show as the sold out Megadeth tour. There were so many unanswered questions…would the layout be seats or standing area? Would it be loud enough? How would the line-up’s be? Could security handle the crowd? And most importantly…would there be enough beer?! I’m pleased to say the GEC met all expectations as it was a great, safe show and it seemed that all the 2700 or so people had a great time.
It is not too often that the 2500+ capacity MacEwan Hall gets completely sold out for Metal shows, but Slayer, who have performed at this same venue a few times before, managed to do just that on their most recent stop in Calgary, Alta. Slayer is riding high on what many people are saying is their best album in years (REPENTLESS [Nuclear Blast, 2015]) and the legions of Metal were out in force! Managing crowds and traffic flow is a complicated endeavor at the best of times and it was a bit of a struggle on Monday night.
A rather cold night at hand, two of the world’s greatest themed metal bands are about to play one of England’s iconic venues. It is pretty evident how everyone around me feels about the moment and the tour, non-stop talking about how amazing it is too see such a massive line up.
The last time I saw Alestorm play was in a very tiny venue in the south-west of Germany, it’s going to be very interesting to see how they cope with such a large venue. As for Sabaton, I haven’t myself ever seen them before, but I have heard nothing but good words.
CADAVERIC POISON signs with Metal on Metal Records.
CADAVERIC POISON, an old school death/thrash metal project featuring members ofMASTER (Paul Speckmann) and WITCHBURNER (Simon Seegel and Felix Darnieder), have signed with Metal on Metal Records for the release of their self-titled debut album, scheduled for April 29th. The band had one EP out on Dying Victims Productions in 2014, from which the title song, “Fight for Evil”, is up on the band’s YouTube channel.
Prairie Fire Events Ltd is proud to announce its full line up for the official Farmageddon Open Air indoor sister festival SHREDMONTON Metal Festival and Conference taking place from Friday, May 6th to Sunday, May 8th.
Featuring over 20 bands over the course of 3 days at The Starlite Room and The Brixx Bar and Grill (same building), as well as a multi-room industry based conference located at the Shaw Conference Center. The full line up consists of an ultra heavy hitting bill that includes headliners Dying Fetus, Acacia Strain, Jungle Rot, Black Crown Initiate,Goatwhore, Finnish power metallers Thunderstone along with some of Western Canada’s best including Disciples of Power, Planet Eater, Scythia, Tylor Dory Trio, Every Hour Kills among many more! Plus clinics by Tylor Dory (Tylor Dory Trio), Tim Waterson and panels at the Shaw Conference Center on recording, photography, video production, publicity, media relations, journalism, and concert promotion / talent buying for festivals / venues with music industry professionals from across Canada (full conference schedule and list of industry reps here).