3/28/2017

Preview pages of James Hetfield biography surfaced

James Hetfield is for sure a outstanding personality in the world of metal. Before becoming known as one of the greatest metal guitarists in the world, Hetfield surpassed several barriers throughout his adolescence including his parents’ divorce, his mother’s untimely death and severe alcoholism.

It is for sure interesting to read how he went along with all the stuff that crossed his path. I always enjoy a look at the beginnings of people. It's exciting to read how they lived their lives, which decison lead to which consequence and how other stuff found their way into their lifes. Some info and story of that kind is about to come our way with the book "So Let It Be Written: The Biography of Metallica's James Hetfield". After months of speculation from fans and critics, preview pages of the introduction and chapter 1 are now available exclusively on CLRVYNT.

Update 2017-06-04: A excerpt of chapter six along with some pictures takes out of the release have been published online at the pages of Noisey. This part of the book talks about the creation of the second Metallica album "Ride The Lightning" and offers some nice insight into the making of.

The cover of "So Let It Be Written: The Biography of Metallica's James Hetfield", (c) by Lesser Gods, used with kind permission

In the first biography of a living Metallica member the author Mark Eglinton uses exclusive, firsthand interviews with a number of artists and celebrities who have crossed paths with Hetfield including members of Metallica, Chuck Billy (Testament), Charlie  Benante (Anthrax), Jerry Cantrell (Alice In Chains), Rex Brown (Pantera), and more to construct the definitive account of Hetfield.

So Let It Be Written: The Biography of Metallica’s James Hetfield will hit shelves and online stores on April 11, 2017 via Lesser Gods. The publication can be pre-ordered via Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Indies.

3/24/2017

CD Review: Reclvse - Evil Lvrks (Doom, 2016)

This EP from Reclvse shows impressively that a band can evolve a lot from one record to another.

Introduction
 
Thinking back on their debut recording in 2014 I had in mind that these guys prefer a sort of doom that comes around slowly in terms of speed and with lots of majestic vocals. Having turned on their their current output that has been dropped in August 2016 a surprise came my way and it already began with a much more decent and detailed cover sleeve.

The cover of Reclvse's "Evil Lurks" painted by Bvrzerk, (c) by Reclvse, used with kind permission
Summary

The EP starts with a short bell intro and the title track makes clear that the band has started to open up a new chapter with the release of this one. While the overall tonality remains true to the classic and oldschool doom formula the songs itself are kept in a much more faster way. In addition to that they are much more groove oriented and the song structures are set in a more precise and sharper way. You can jump into the sound straight from the start without knowing too much of the band beforehand.

"Evil Lurks" itself is only the beginning. The record pushes the mood of the listener further with each track until it explodes in the third number named "Inn Modern Times". Another surprise - the fastest number I wouldn't have expected ever from them. The last two tracks are live recordings. Both numbers help you to come down a bit again. They are held in the style of the first two songs of the EP. Check the title track if you want to find out quickly if this band fits to your musical taste.

Purchase-Link and Album-Stream

Overall this recording should be a fine discovery to all those people out there loving the old days of Black Sabbath. Riffs, simple groove and straight vocals are the essence of this recording. The recording is up for a "Pay what you want" price on Bandcamp. Please consider giving some bucks so the band can continue to provide you with more fine doom metal and let you enjoy liveshows that we all love and need so much.

Contact-Data

Make sure to keep the contact with this Doom band located in South Wales through their Facebook page offering a lot of nice bonus-content.

3/20/2017

Interview with Shallow Ground (Thrash, 2017)

We had a longer talk with vocalist/guitarist Keith Letourneau of the US thrash metal band Shallow Ground. They play classic thrash with slightly added elements of the progressive. Discover how the band goes along with today's digital age in terms of release formats as well as social media as a way of talking with fans. It also shows what music means to a heartfelt musician and at the very end he also give's us a glimpse into what you may experience while touring around...Have some music while reading the little interview in the player below.

Heavy Metal Underdogs: How did the band come together?

Keith Letourneau: We started out back in 1992 with a different line up. Took time off when my daughter was born in 98 and reformed in 2009. We just found each other , Thrash is a brother/sisterhood that just finds one another. And it was time Thrash call to you if you play it lol

Which sources do you use as inspiration for writing new songs?

Life both good and bad crap that happens! Look around there is inspiration in everything you see feel and can touch,  Just have to tap into it.

Do you feel that writing and performing music helps you to push on further with your own personal lifes?

Oh 100% yes!! It becomes part of your DNA, make's up your soul. It just makes me happy!

The cover of Shallow Ground's 2015 release "Embrace The Fury", (c) by Shallow Ground, used with kind permission

Social media surely plays a big role in the communication between a band and their fans. Do you feel that fans contact you more or less personally at gigs these days?

Social media is good.  I get a lot of Thrashers from all over the world hitting me up to BS" which i love" ! It diffidently makes it easier to talk to people all over the world. When we play a gig anywhere and someone comes up and says hay I'm so and so, Its awesome to really put a face with a name ! So I guess Social Media helps some people who are not to out going break there silence and enables them to talk to people they normally would not.  

Do you still prefer releasing music on traditional media like LPs, CDs and the like or do you feel the same satisfaction when putting out music digitally?

CD's its a thing you can hold and look at!! Then  use as a beer coaster after you down load it lol  I prefer CD's myself. Dig has its uses for a lot of people, right to phone and take it everywhere you go always have your tunes with u i get it !

Have you ever experimented with other styles over the years and thought about changing?

Well I was playing Thrash in the 80ies left that band. Started Shallow Ground with Tim and we were more of a speed/ power metal band back then ! But my soul swims in THRASH and im back where I belong PLAYING THRASH! As far as changing things up. I am not a flavor of the month kind of guy. if you know what I mean?  Thrash makes me happy I think no other music out there can make me as happy as Thrash does.

The band Shallow Ground(c) by Shallow Ground, used with kind permission
Did you come along points where you thought about leaving it all behind? If you reached that point: how did you keep the motivation up to move on?

Quit no lol I did walk away for around 10 years to be the best dad I could be. but I'm back lol .

How did I keep the motivation up to move on? Easy when you love playing !

What was the funniest story that came along your way when you performed live? Or did things happen that you would have never thought of to occur (not only at gigs but maybe anywhere else as well)?

Playing Warriors of Metal open air fest in Ohio. Myself and our old bass player Nick were sharing a hotel room. got woken up by screams and yelling! a hooker was getting beat up by her pimp bad. cops came and the dude got busted but he was saying he was going to kill the hooker to the cop wtf. Cop kept saying sir im going to have to bring you in if you keep saying that. Well he did and cuffed and stuffed the whole time before the cops got there was worried about a stray bullet coming thru the window. Cuz the guy had her pinned up against our window saying he was going to shoot her in the head. Wont forget that one lol

Make sure to stay in touch with the band using their Facebook page or see their website for info and the merch section where you can order their music.

3/17/2017

The Interactive Metal Genres Graph offers interactive family tree

Heavy Metal is a genre with many roots and influences. It's coming along and has evolved constantly all the way from 1968 up to present days. But how did it all come together? A brand new website called Bound By Metal has taken the task to set up a accurate graph that feels a bit like a family tree of our beloved genre. Here's a little preview snippet for you to check out:

A preview of The Interactive Metal Genres Graph, (c) by Martin Schmid, used with kind permission

But it's far more. You can not "only" check a detailed overview on the timeline, influences and subgenres of Heavy Metal. You can do some interaction with the graph. The instructions are given directly on the page above the graphic. If you take your time you'll surely make some surprising discoveries this way. Or did you always know where your favorite metal subgenre has it's roots from?

All feedback or idea's for improvements are welcome. You can post them directly in the discussion area underneath the graph on the homepage. Make sure to follow this great project further with a like on the Facebook page of Bound by Metal​.

3/12/2017

Voyager give us a ascension to the stars

Voyager amaze me. Not only have I been pointed to their music out of the nothingness but in addition they have been growing stronger with every song I've heard from them. The last new track the band shared all along with tourdates was "Misery is only company" and this time around the Australian progmetalheads have returned to blow my mind once again.

This time they serve a mixture of haunting and slightly freezing fragileness in the softer sections all along with eruptive and abrasive yet still enjoyable heavy potions all put in one track. It's outstanding how the band links these elements together while always taking care of the fact that everythings sound organic and real. A good production without going too far and making it sound impossible to replay.



Voyager are currently offering their next album "Ghost Mile" on pledgemusic as a preorder. Any pledges will contribute to the completion of the production and manufacturing of the album. You may decide to pick the record or choose one of the other cool items or events to support the band. The album is set for a release on 12th May 2017.

A cool coloured overview of the bandmembers of Voyager, (c) by Voyager, used with kind permission
If that's not so much of your taste you can see the band live touring Australia with the support band "The Algorith" in May 2017. Here are the dates.

Adelaide Fowler's Live - May 11
Melbourne Evelyn Hotel - 12
Brisbane The Zoo - 13
Perth Amplifier Bar - 19
Canberra The Basement - 20
Sydney Oxford Art Factory - 21

Tickets have gone on sale this Friday, 10 March.

Stay in touch with the band through Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

3/07/2017

Interview with SpiteFuel (Heavy Rock, 2017)

SpiteFuel are a powerful and relatively young Heavy Rock band from Germany. Their roots go back to the days when Strangelet were still around. This legendary formation brought to life the well respected "First Bite" record that presented the band playing old school Deep Purple vibes all along mixed up with a lot of emotion and slightly modern metal elements while sticking overall to the oldschool sound package.

Following the split up of Strangelet three members (vocalist Stefan Zörner, Tobias Eurich und Finn Janetzky)  joined forces with the Ex-Devil's Darling members Timo Pflüger and Björn Hessenmüller. They didn't waste time and gave birth to a new combo called SpiteFuel that aims at a much heavier sound while keeping the spirit of Strangelet alive through the use of hooklines that people will remind and sing-along to.

After a strong first album teaser in form of the "Sleeping With Wolves" single their debut album "Second To None" is getting closer with each day. While we wait for the release on 7th of April 2017 we seized the time in between to have a prelisten to the songs and talk with vocalist Stefan Zörner about the details of the impending full length release. Have a listen to the first single while reading the interview in the player below.


Heavy Metal Underdogs: The first appetizer to the album was the Maxi CD "Sleeping With Wolves". It came out in the good old tradition some time before the album release as a physical disc (and also download). This is a courageous decision in my eyes.
What gave the point to finally decide to put it out as a real disc in a digital age?

Stefan Zörner: Ha! Yeah, just as you said! In the good old tradition! That was the intension! We decided this together with Markus (Rösner), our label-boss and friend. We wanted to release the single in a physical form to set an first exclamation mark. Also we are no big fans of that “download-Thing” and we wanted to give a first “real” CD to our supporters and fans. And to be a worthy appetizer to the album, of course, haha!

Do you write the songs as a band do you have a strict limitation who is reliable for certain aspects of the songs?

Both! Most of the songs are created by one of us and come in as demos. In rehearsal we put the tracks together, change some parts or discus the parts, refrains or bridges. When the music feels good and right for all of us, Tobi and Timo think about their solos and I start to write the lyrics and vocal-melodies. Even when I write songs on my own, there is always the music the first in my mind. Tobias is our main songwriter, but Timo and I are writing songs, too. A very comfortable situation for a band, haha! There are so many new songs in stock, we can´t wait to bring them in form and put them on an album!

The album put's a signature with many outworked and long guitar solos. Was this something you had in mind when you composed the music for the album or how did it come together?

Ha, we all love guitar solos and -old school or not- we want solos in our songs! Timo and Tobi are great solo guitarists and so there was no other way for us to create the music! We don´t give a fuck if it´s hip or not, we just do the shit that we love and we would even buy, haha!
These two boys spend hours over hours in their solos and riffs, and I really love the way, they give a special note to the songs! SO all I can say is... more solos, please!!!

Some vocal parts on "Second To None" sound experimental or are performed in a unusual way. How do you work on them and how long does it take until you feel fine with them? Do the other band-members maybe also contribute ideas to them?

Uhhh, most of the hmmm “stranger” (*laughs*) vocal-arrangements happened just as we (Martin Buchwalter and I) recorded them! But ok... I had a kind of concrete vision in my head HOW they should sound, hahaha! In fact, no joke, there was a real close connection between Martin and my humble self, he knew exactly how to push or demand me in a real creative and kind way! This was a so fantastic experience for me to record the vocal-lines!

Vocalist Stefan Zörner performing live, (c) by Tiffany Anne, used with kind permission

Let's have a closer look upon the lyrics. Who writes them?

Most of the lyrics are children of my weird and colourful mind, haha! Sometimes, there are concepts, words, even song-names, that Tobi wants me to write or to complete his music with my lyrics, as you know, we are not just band-mates, we are also close friends (Tobi and Timo are two of my best friends!). A very cool way to write lyrics, too! And I really LOVE new challenges!

Obviously the texts talk a lot about real life aspects. Did you had certain situations on your mind when you wrote these lines?

Definitely! Always! As you can say, SECOND TO NONE is a diary of my inner thoughts, reflections and reactions to all that I experience, feel and even dream. Drama baby, drama! (*laughs dirty*)
To write about shiny demons, castles and how bloody mad or tough I am... no, Sir, sorry, not my cup of tea in the SpiteFuel-context. The real life is the real shit. And I still think, just a hand full of (cool) people read lyrics anyway, so I can write WHAT I want and very intimate... no one cares, hahaha!

Would you say that the lyrics for various tracks are somewhat linked on the album? (I had the feeling)

Okay... YOU are one of the few cool lyric-readers, hahaha! Yeah, it´s kinda funny, some reviewers and even close friends asked me about the “concept” behind SECOND TO NONE. The first reaction was “there is no concept, dear!” But... hell the fuck, there IS a loosely concept! This happened in a ... more subconscious way. But the concept IS there, yes. There are three blocks of lyrics, three emphases. Love, Faith and my reflection on the music scene and the industry... try to figure it out! Haha!

Is there a sort of message you would like to transmit to the listener this way?

No! It really doesn´t matters if the listener just enjoys the music or if she or he is willing to go deeper into the album and it´s lyrics. The only thing I would like to say is: Have fun with the songs, enjoy the sound and let your fantasy do the rest!

The band logo of SpiteFuel, (c) by SpiteFuel, used with kind permission

What do think about the thought of being able to change your past? Do you believe in the Butterfly-Effect? (this refers to the movie of the same name - strictly part 1. In this film the main character is able to change his past using a certain book. In the end every change he does make his life and those of his friends even worser in the present time.).

I really love that movie! I am a great fan of science fiction and theories like used in “Butterfly-Effect”. To answer your question: I think, that every thing we do, every good, every bad word or act comes back to use one day. Karma. Also I am a Christ. I try to do my fucking best. Every day I try not to be a big asshole, haha! And... hmm... no, I won´t change the past. Because all that we are now are the results of what we did once.

The track "Regrets" got me. Do you think that regret also can have a positive effect for someone who has to deal with it?

Jah, of course, man! As I always say... we all are human. In all the brilliant moments, with all the gifts, we are able to use... and in the same way with all the mistakes, defective doings and shit. We are both. Angels and demons. But we can choose. Always! Ant to regret is a basic step into the light, out of that fucking void called “desperation and hatred”.

The cover artwork is outstanding. Would you mind and give us a little hint on the meaning of it? I also had the feeling that the title "Second To None" could have a double-meaning behind it...
(Explanation: This could be related to the saying "We have beat you second to none". Or it's a second leading into nothingness...)

The cover artwork and inlay of SpiteFuel's "Second To None" CD, (c) by SpiteFuel, used with kind permission

Yeah, the artwork by the great Travis Smith is outstanding! We are very honoured! And yep, double-meaning is correct! You can also say hmmmm every song on the album is second to no other track (to none)! Or: The album is second to none before. There are so many ways to interpret the title, yeah!
And the tower, the angel, burning wings, the clock... it all stands for strong symbols. Time is flame that will burn our wings. Live life now. Be human. Just be. There is so many within this artwork. I am very happy with this cover!

Some elements of the "Second To None" sleeve and the "Sleeping With Wolves" single are to be found in both artworks (e.g. the clock). How are both connected to each other?

No big deal! We just wanted to give a hint to the full album within the artwork for the single. So there is the tower/ angel in the background. The more essential details are the wolf and the dollars, of course! “Sleeping” is a statement to the industry and the “Lemmings” nowadays. Same story in “Whorehouse Symphony”. I think, it is important to make a stand. Popular or not... well, I don´t give a fuck!

Finally: was there a moment in your life when music became something outstanding for you? Was there a key situation that maybe changed it all?

Uhhhh... I think, that was when I first listened to David Bowie´s masterpiece “Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars”, must be in the early 80´s. That sound, that championship to use lyrics, that coolness and glitter and (slightly) rock... it never let my down. From that day on I used to sing (ant I am still trying, hahaha!) 

You can preorder the album at the online shop of MDD Records or place your order through Amazon.
If you live in the USA you can order the record through Lone Star Metal based in Texas.  Make sure to have a look upon the band's Facebook account to follow them on the next steps towards the album release and have a look at the tourdates (directly to be found as the sticky first post on the page). 

3/02/2017

Kings Bounty preview album and open for Korn and P.O.D.

I like to have a sneak into new material from time to time.It's exciting to know things are in the makings out there and to have a thought what 2017 may have in store for us.

Kings Bounty from New York City give us a taste of the debut album "Broad Daylight" they are currently working on with Chris Collier who is known for his work with bands like Prong and Korn. The last mentioned band comes to my mind at the first run-through of the video but as quick as you realize they have something in common with them you also know they put in their very own personality. It's the special potion of heavyness I like so much in this one all along with the vocals changing all along the whole track. The drums are kicking in with much groove. A good positive push comes along with this one.

If you're quick enough you may be able to check out the band live as they've been picked to open up for P.O.D. and Korn this very weekend and the upcoming week:

Saturday March 4th 2017 – with P.O.D. Morongo Casino Resort Cabazon, CA
Monday March 6th 2017 – with Korn House of Blues Anaheim, CA SOLD OUT

The full album "Broad Daylight" is set for release during the latter part of 2017.

A live shot of Kings Bounty, (c) by Like no Other Photography, used with kind permission
Anyway, make sure to have a look at their brand new website which holds more album teaser material. Their social sites are available on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.