TRILLION RED “Metaphere”

TRILLION RED
“Metaphere”
(BadGod Records)
Trillion Red doesn’t move any bowels in me. This could be anything or nothing. I like to try and decipher a band just from the name but this one doesn’t say that much to me. Which in hindsight could be a good thing. That way you won’t be disappointed if the band’s music turn out something different from what you expected. To be honest I don’t know what to make of this. I’ve tried listening to bands like Isis that are a bit more out there than your ordinary bands and I get that. But this, I’m not so sure about. I have no problem being alone in a floating tank. I kinda like the desolation of being alone. Listening to this I feel alone in the universe. This is like being cut off from your mothership, floating helplessly in space. Knowing that you’ll meet your maker any time soon. I’m not ready to throw in the towel just yet. Not the kind of record I put on when I have a party. This one is for those special occasions. Anders Ekdahl

TSAR BOMB “S/T”

TSAR BOMB
“Neowarfare”
(-)
Some albums you look more forward to hearing than others. This is one of those. I have high hopes for Tsar Bombs black metal. I think this one is going to be a great blast of cool black metal. Hopefully with a really cool guitar sound. And with an album title like that this has got to be some bloody brutal black metal for me to not turn it off. And I was right. This is a blast off from the word go. I like the feeling of being blown away by a sonic assault. Can’t get enough of it. The downside of listening to this kind of metal on your computer is that the sound sucks. You really want this to blow your neighbours away with full force. But what can you do in the this age of digital downloads. You just have to crank up those computer speakers to eleven and bang away like crazy. Anders Ekdahl

WILT “S/T”

WILT
“S/T”
(-)
I am not one to back down if the music is too weird. My personality allows me to like almost everything. I have the ability to find anything good in almost everything. It has to be really bad for me to not like it. Wilt don’t seem to be the band that will bring me this year’s greatest disappointment. This is the atmospheric, wintry black metal you’d expect from a band trapped in the Canadian countryside during the cold months of the year. This is the kind of stuff that is hard to get right if you live in a sunny and sun drenched place but oh so great when you actually feel the cold biting hard at your bones. And even though I live in part of Sweden that doesn’t get the same kind of winters as those in the north I still get the winter blues. And there is no better cure than this kind of black metal. Wilt fits like the proverbial glove to my winter depression. Anders Ekdahl

Rush – “2112” Deluxe Edition

Rush – “2112” Deluxe Edition CD/ DVD/ Blu-ray (UMC / Mercury)

Originally released in 1976, “2112” was the first real Rush album for many with lyrics written by Neil Peart, the introduction of their eponymous ‘star man’ logo and most of all, their epic drawn out songs – funnily enough in defiance to their label who had advised otherwise in the hope of gaining the band more success – and ironically gaining them the very commercial recognition they had been seeking lol! With it’s classic 7 part title track inspired by Ayn Rand and telling a futuristic tale not a million miles from Star Wars – that of a controlling Federation ruled by the evil ‘Priests Of The Temples Of Syrinx’ but instead ending apocalyptically with the resonating autocratic message ‘we have assumed control, we have assumed control..’, “2112” would be Rush’s breakthrough album and solidify their classic sound. Since that time the album has been acknowledged by wider circles like the Audio-Visual Preservation Trust of Canada as being ‘culturally significant’ and featured in the Guitar Hero video game series. It is therefore fitting that this year it be chosen to feature in Rush’s first iBook featuring a 40-page comic book story by artist Tom Hodges of funnily enough – “Star Wars -The Clone Wars” no less! With an entirely remastered original album, there will be 3 live bonus tracks in ‘Overture’, ‘Temples Of Syrinx’ and my personal fave ‘A Passage To Bangkok’ along with expanded artwork, liner notes, unreleased photos and a new cover by original ‘star man’ album designer Hugh Syme. A definitely must for the young at heart Rush fan, it will no doubt be an essential Christmas pressie for an Rush parent / grandparent looking to inspire the next generation with Canada’s classic rock and the resonating message for humanity’s inner need to express its’ free will.

Paradox – “Tales Of The Weird”

Paradox – “Tales Of The Weird” (AFM Records)

Formed in the ‘true’ metal region of Bayern and in the same year that “Master Of Puppets” was released, it comes as no surprise that Germany’s Paradox play thrash from the same formula – but even more so that they continue to do so today! Still fronted by main man vocalist / guitarist Charly Steinhauer, expect nothing less than razor sharp Metalli-riffola mixed in with meat hook Metalli-melodies and delivered with precision Metalli-musicianship on songs like ‘Day Of Judgement’, ‘Zeitgeist’ and ‘A Light In The Black’. In fact, I think they sound better now than they did back in the 80s lol! Originally touted as Germany’s answer to Ulrich & co, Paradox were beset by label problems and Steinhauer’s health, resulting in lay offs over the years that impeded the band’s progression onto bigger things. However, they have never lost their passion and stayed true to their roots as judged by the superior thrash of “Tales Of The Weird”, so continue to remain both respected and unforgotten in the underground, born in fire and still aflame!!!

Unburied – “Murder 101”

Unburied – “Murder 101” (Selfmadegod Records)

Crude, misogynistic death / grind from West Virgina. These man mountain hillbillies worship Charlie M, praise serial killers, live for drunken drug fueled violence and love ‘..hating on the system and dishonest cunts…’. It’s hard to believe they actually had a female vocalist (Becky Hawkins) at one point in the band – let’s hope she didn’t end up like the chick on the cover: raped, battered and having her throat generously cut. Musically it’s murder metal all the way: guttural vocals; filthy chainsaw guitars; grunting bass and meat chopping drums on songs like ‘I’m Going to Fuckin’ Kill You’, ‘Stalked, Fucked, and Buried’ and ‘Homicidal Sex Rage’. Utterly distasteful, Unburied’s music is as relentless in its homicidal pursuit as it is brimming with hatred. You have been warned.

Mors Principium Est – “And Death Said Live”

Mors Principium Est – “And Death Said Live” (AFM Records)

It’s been a lengthy 5 years since we last heard from these melodic Finnish deathsters. During that time there have been significant changes – not in the least by the departure of founder guitarist / vocalist Jori Haukio – such that the band now has no original members! Also losing keyboardist Joona Kukkola along the way the band have ironically come close to death themselves – not withstanding their name lol – but as with near death experiences prove, Mors Principium Est have not only managed to persevere, but actually improve! Recruiting from the UK and as far away as New Zealand for guitarists Andy Gillion and Andhe Chandler respectively, messrs Viljane, Sipola and Heinola have taken a huge gamble in entrusting the song writing to the newcomers, but it’s worked and they have been fine choices. Right from the off, the sound is amazing – bigger, cleaner and definitely a powerful guitar driven album – which allows the new, superb material like ‘I Will Return’, ‘Bringer Of Light’, and ‘What The Future Holds’ to be fully appreciated. There hasn’t been a tremendous departure from the band’s traditional sound inspired by At The Gates and In Flames, but the incredibly passionate and powerful melodies carried thru by the masterful guitar work be it in the riffs, licks or soloing are what really does it for me on this album – so much so, that they must’ve given the reaper a real kicking for him to say live again – truly excellent!

Doom’s Day – “The Unholy”

Doom’s Day – “The Unholy” (PRC Music)

lol – does this album cover bear an uncanny resemblance to Sabbath’s own ill fated “Born Again” release in 1983? Well, given one of the tracks on “The Unholy” is ‘Sabbath Deadly Sabbath’ I haveta assume so! Well, this lot are actually from Canada’s Quebec City and go right back to the 80s, at least as far as main man DooM’s initial desire to form an occult metal punk band. Although taking inspiration from Venom, Misfits and especially early Mercyful Fate, Doom’s Day actually has more in common with modern horror doom band’s like Ghost what with the up front church organ keyboards on songs like ‘She’s Possessed’ and ‘Your Last Breath’. Still, the guttural vocals amidst the doom style and occasional forays of double bass speed drumming will either have you perplexed at the contrast of styles or pridefully placing this alongside Gillan & Iommi’s aforementioned bastard child of evil!

nullDB – “Endzeit”

nullDB – “Endzeit” (AFM Records)

Neue Deutsche Härte is an affectionate term coined by the German press to describe the crossover style of industrial, metal and techno as well as distinct German vocals popularized by Rammstein. Formed 4 years ago, nullDB deffo fit into NDH especially with those baritone Germanic vocals that feature prominently in the mix. Thereafter it becomes more perplexing as nullDB seem to draw inspiration from US acts such as System Of A Down what with the middle eastern groove on ‘Tyrannei’, funky chopping rhythms on ‘Flucht’ and nu metal rap sampled ‘Buchse Der Pandora’. As such “Endzeit” (trans: end time) is anything that the title suggests as nullDB seem to be aiming for two markets with their heavy use of suave American melodies while also keeping their feet very much in their home Deutsche market?

BLOOD OF THE SUN

I came upon BLOOD OF THE SUN through seeing the cover to one of their three previous albums. I liked the image on it and ordered all three LPs straight away. Now it’s time for a fourth album and an interview. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

You are now on your fourth album. Does it feel like your journey has taken you where you wanted to go?
-We forge our own journey and so yes, of course this is where we wanted. Hopefully with this new record we are able to take this band and music farther than we’ve had in the last several years. We’ve been patient and worked hard at our songwriting craft and we know that our primary fan base is in Europe. We’ve put a lot of time and effort into this new album and we do feel that we’ve arrived where we’ve planned to be!

How sensible to trends are the music you play?
-None at all I’m afraid. We’re aware of other hard and heavy forms of rock and metal but just like anyone else we play this music for ourselves and do not concern ourselves with what is trendy or popular at the time. It’s not even that all trends are bad but it’s more to the fact that we already know what we want to play and nothing will stop us from doing it. If our music was to become trendy then we’d still be playing it! We don’t really care one way or another.

What periods in music would you say are the best for the inspiration of the band?
-Of course we’re all into the 70’s era of hard rock and metal and these are some of primary influences for the band. We’re also into early 80’s metal and the energy that came from it. This also influences us as well. Everything from Captain Beyond, Grand Funk, Bang, Deep Purple to early Trouble, Megadeth, Slayer etc… We’re inspired by bands that actually play their instruments and take time to write songs.

This is your first album that gets a really good spread worldwide as far as I understand. What do you think this will mean to the band?
-I think it will mean more fans connecting to our music. We’ll be able to spread the word of our sound to many more people than before and the potential to sell more records and play more shows is greater than ever now. We’ve been doing this for a few years now with a few breaks in between but we’re ready now to show the world how we rock in Texas!

I’ve noticed that labels that before were pre-dominantly extreme metal has now moved into other areas of hardrock/metal. What do you think that mean to the exposure of Blood Of The Sun?
-I think it’s great that a label like Listenable is expanding their roster and approach to heavy music. We were a little hesitant to sign with a label like Listenable for this very reason but they’re proven to be very much into the band and our sound and we appreciate labels like this. My opinion is that good heavy music comes in all forms from super extreme to more melodic and everything in between, so I think this is a good thing for labels to expand in this way.

Do you adhere to a certain philosophy when it comes to the graphic side of the band?
-We do have a little bit of a 70’s edge to our visual presentation on our album cover and promotional materials. It’s really just about personal taste and stuff that we’re into. We’ve had bikers on our covers, naked women on our covers, just general things that interest us hahah!

How important are the lyrics to you?
-Very important. I feel like the lyrics are just as important as the music and there are stories to be told within our lyrics, not necessarily super serious all of the time, we sing about things that (again) interest us.

How tough is it to get noticed today even if you have a back catalogue?
-It seems like it is, but I think the fact is that there are just so many bands around today and it’s difficult to get noticed because of this. I mean even just 10-15 years ago you didn’t have as many bands as there are today so yes it makes it more difficult to get your name out there when you have to compete with 1000 other bands. Having a back catalog helps us put our feet on the ground and establish ourselves and we’re confident that we have something to offer even the most discriminating hard rock and metal fan!

What kind of live band are you guys?
-High energy, loud and manic! We like to sweat and rock hard and of course have a good time. Our live show is all about hitting it as hard as we can and connecting with the audience making sure everyone gets down and has a great time. Nothing too fancy on our live set, just good old fashioned hard rock and roll played by guys that feel it from the heart and soul.

What future do you see for the band?
-We’re gonna keep on truckin! hahah! Seriously, we’re just gonna keep doing what we do and hopefully do a series of live shows in the summer fests in Europe! We’ll see how far we can take this new album for the next year and then most likely record another album soon. We’ve got a great album under out belts and I’m sure anyone into quality hard rock and metal will love the new album! Thanks for the interview.