Machine Head – ‘Catharsis’ – Review

There’s often a stigma associated with metalheads that their preference is an immovable object, and that there’s no unstoppable force that can make their taste shift. “It’s not about selling out and making money, it’s about the music, man”, they say, probably. The truth is, there comes a time when every artist, true CVLT metal or not, has to think about making money and selling albums. This is where we find Machine Head in 2018, seeking what is perhaps more of a mass market appeal. Catharsis is the ninth album by the thrash/groove metal crossover act from California, and it sees ringleader Robb Flynn trying something a little different.

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Prong – Zero Days

A dictionary entry describes a Prong as “each of the separate parts of an attack or operation, typically approaching a place or subject from different positions.”  The reference is almost a perfect definition of the above named New York metallers in that they combine many different metallic stylings to come together as somewhat of an unstoppable musical force.

A little history on the band ; starting out in the late 80’s hardcore scene, Prong were led by the uncompromising vision of frontman Tommy Victor and after signing a major label deal at the tail end of the decade, moved slowly away from the sound which they had become known for. Landmark release, 1994’s Cleansing saw the band hit upon industrial metal sounds, leading to tours with titans such as Pantera and SepulturaHaving succeeded in morphing their sound throughout the next few decades, Prong arrive in 2017 with latest release Zero Days.

Almost bursting at the seams with fury, However it May End revels in Slipknot-esque riffery, calling on Victor’s ferocious bellowed vocals to drive the opening track. The band’s crossover thrash leanings come into play throughout the record also with Forced into Tolerance letting rip with full throttle drumming ; underpinning both the faster and groove-based sections of the song.

It’s refreshing to hear that, aside from the all out thrash, the band incorporate melody into their sound too, coming across as more technical Fear Factory at times and providing standout moments such as Blood Out Of Stone which feels closer to the nu-metal sound that they helped forge in the mid-90’s.

The consistent nature of the record helps tie everything together too. Whether it be the more commercial sound of anthem Divide & Conquer, the winding groove of Self Righteous Indignation or combining both on the excellent Interbeing – Zero Days manages to sound completely fluid without coming across as one dimensional.

For the already initiated, Zero Days will come as no surprise and picks up almost exactly where last years X-No Absolutes left off. This is no bad thing though, as the record has enough identity and topical subject matter to stand alone as one of the band’s better later-day releases. A fine example of a band who haven’t let up despite passing musical trends, Zero Days has plenty for metallers around the globe to enjoy.

Voivod announce UK/EU June tour

To promote their latest Mini-CD release entitled “Post Society”, Voivod have announced a next string of live-dates which will see the band playing festivals and club-shows in Europe throughout June. You can view the dates and listen to the group below!

08.06. Hamburg – Logo (Germany)
09.06. Sölvesborg – Sweden Rock Festival (Sweden)
10.06. Rheine – Hypothalamus (Germany)
11.06. Goes – Podium ‘t Beest (The Netherlands)
12.06. Aalst – Cirque Mystic (Belgium)
13.06. Norwich – Waterfront (UK)
14.06. Glasgow – Audio (UK)
15.06. Newcastle – Riverside (UK)
16.06. Leeds – Temple Of Boom (UK)
17.06. Nottingham – The Dog House (UK)
18.06. London – Underworld (UK)
19.06. Essen – Turock (Germany)
20.06. Dresden – Scheune (Germany)
21.06. Tilburg – Little Devil (The Netherlands)

Social Arsonist announce British Columbia/Alberta dates

Giving you a heavy hitting music style, Chilean/Canadian thrash hybrid Social Arsonist will be hitting the road for dates across British Columbia as well as Alberta in May, which will then be followed by a tour of Chile and a return to Canada to perform at the Loud As Hell festival.

You can check out the dates below:

May 18 – Vancouver, BC – Rickshaw Theatre –  info
May 19 – Vernon, BC – Record City – info
May 20 – Prince George, BC  – Legion
May 21 – Kamloops, BC – The Dirty Jersey
May 25 – Edmonton, AB – DV8
May 26 – TBA
May 27 – Calgary, AB – Lord Nelson’s
May 28 – Lethbridge, AB – Smokehouse
May 29 – Kelowna, BC – Muninn’s Post
June – Chile Tour
July 14 – Abbotsford, BC – Brother’s Bowling and Billiards
August 5 – Drumheller , AB – Loud As Hell Fest –

Iced Earth announce new album ‘Incorruptible’

It’s a new time for Iced Earth as the band are going to be releasing their twelfth studio album ‘Incorruptible‘ this June! They have only released the tracklist and the album art (seen above) but we’re sure that’ll be enough to keep you excited.

You can check out the full tracklist below!

  1. Great Heathen Army                                  (5:21)
  2. Black Flag                                                 (4:56)
  3. Raven Wing                                               (6:25) — single launch: April 29th
  4. The Veil                                                    (4:47)
  5. Seven Headed Whore                                (3.00) — single launch: April 28th
  6. The Relic (Part 1)                                      (4:59)
  7. Ghost Dance (Awaken The Ancestors)       (6:35)
  8. Brothers                                                     (4:45)
  9. Defiance                                                    (4:08)
  10. Clear The Way (December 13th, 1862)     (9:30)