It looks like Canada is going to be getting a whole lot heavier this coming year with Armstrong Metal Fest. Bringing the likes of Boston tyrants Revocation and Vancouver’s own metal moshers in Ninjaspy, it’s going to be one hell of a weekend!
Check out the announced bands above and listen to the headliners of one day below!
There have been three extra bands that have just been announced for this years Bloodstock Festival. Announced for the festival are Arch Enemy, Chelsea Grin and Oni! You can check out the full list above and listen to Chelsea Grin below!
What is arguably going to be the most controversial record in its musical field, Suicide Silence are here to show off their versatility and show off something else that the fans will most likely criticise. With it now seeming the band going into a direction and create something they have always wanted to, have they made something that will good light or will it be just another backlash to add to their list?
The first two songs on the record are the tracks that people have already heard and are banging their heads against the desks in pain. ‘Doris’ starts off with a very strange intro to the album as a whole, but once the track kicks in it flows a lot more groovy in its album writing. The live recording of the entire album is a main feature throughout with the band having some off the cuff touches. Whilst the ‘tee-hee’ vocal parts can be a bit off putting, the more noticeable cleans have a decent tone on them and once the bass sections flows through, the sound on that is such a nice flavour to the song. The guitar effects can take away at some points with the flanger/phaser sound being a weird placement. As it flows straight into the next track ‘Silence’ the heavy intro is a mosh pit waiting to happen and gives a throwback to their older material. Then the verses have a distinct nu-metal sound within its walls and as the vocals flow really nicely on some of it, at points it can feel a bit off putting. With the KoRn/Deftones names thrown around as comparisons for sections, it does come off but at the same time it feels a bit upsetting comparing these disingenuous sections to those bands.
‘Listen’ opens up the unheard songs with the bounce of the drum patterns and the distortion of the guitars, which at some point feel muddy at time. The bass and vocal heavy sections feel full of raw emotion and punch through, and feel when the guitars start chugging, it has that moment of feeling like some angsty metalcore with the high screams getting a bit eye wincing at points. Then there are these parts that have some uncouth chanting singing bits in the background with the more spoken word element having a sprinkle of seasoning to the otherwise already salty dish. The ending minute of this track feels ripped out of the ‘Issues’ era of KoRn music, dubbing a nice nostalgic feel. Arguably one of the better tracks on the record is most likely the softest song you’ll ever hear from the band. ‘Dying In A Red Room’ is beautifully written and gives a much darker tone without having to utilise so much of their heavier accolades. The Deftones influence is much more apparent in this track and even with a taste of the band Tool coming into full effect. The only downside of this song is the ending when the sound of Eddie’s vocals make him come across like a dying computer.
With the band asking for less feedback, ‘Hold Me Up Hold Me Down’ kicks off with some feedback before the guitars kick in and bring something that is an enjoyable listen, but as the song goes on, the bands structure seems to fall off the rails, with the style of vocals that Eddie does over one section feeling really out of place and makes you lose interest in the track and with an album that has quite a huge chunk of four and a half to almost six minute tracks, being something that grips the listener is something you really want. What might surprise a lot of listeners is that there is a monstrous breakdown with some of the most disgusting low vocals being produced and the guitar tone working effectively. The fact that this breakdown goes on for half of the song feels like a lack of creativity, which is amazing coming from an album that encompasses so much unique elements from so many genres. There will also be the fans who will get off on the pig squeals and blast beats, and rightly so.
‘Run’ is a definite throwback to the 90’s way of writing and music style with the structure of its guitars and drums with the clean vocals, like in DIARR, work a lot more as a whole when you think about how they are writing their music. The guitars are what make this track a more enjoyable experience with the tone that they use having such a great flow within it and overall becomes another enjoyable track. ‘The Zero’ uses key changes to a bit of its advantage, with about 3 different keys being used overall. The clean vocals start to fall off the rails again with the odd grunt addition and the pattern he uses not feeling like it flows with the track for most of the song. The panning of the guitars get a bit more of a pulsating motion in the verses and the instrumentation push a bit more, with the choruses being a very solid listen, especially with the screams. The ending of the tracks poses a bit more of an exciting side of the band, with the guitar buildups muted and tremolo picked with the selected drum pattern helping put a few more wheels in motion.
The final two tracks are the bands final clasps and with ‘Conformity’, it starts to show off the more enjoyable side of their softer material and with the addition of the acoustic guitars, it adds a more seductive element to it. Once again, the instrumentation builds so much around it being a great track and the clean vocals for 85% of the track really give an argument to them pushing more of that side of them and whilst the track has notions of the calmer side of Metallica in the linear parts of it all as well, unfortunately the time aspect of the track feels a lot more dragging than it does gripping. The final track goes on a heavier tirade and has a more death metal aspect to it much like ‘The Cleansing’ album era. The old school fans of the band will definitely be gripped to this track with its ferocity and its stylistic approach with the blast beats and pounding triplets. ‘Dont Be Careful You Might Hurt Yourself’ is undoubtedly one of the heaviest tracks on the record and closes the album on a very tribal note, with the whistling and the sounds of clinking instruments.
You have to applaud the band. They have made something that is the path they want to go and invoke a lot of stylistic endeavours that will no doubt be great in their future releases. The fact of the matter is though that the live recording, a certain amount of clean vocals, some parts of the guitar tones and the overall attraction of many influences turn this album into a bit on an audible calamity. The band have set a new bar for themselves musically, but it honestly won’t be hard to beat.
When the words Thrash Metal are mentioned (especially from the older wave) fans have the tendency to think back to the time when it was great, when bands like Testament and Slayer were kings of the genre and when the scene had a sense of kick that sacrificed the control and creativity from the intense genre. Conversely the comparisons to newer fans might see a slowing up band that is mainly playing a genre that has become archaic and stale.
Within the case of Overkill they straddle this line perfectly giving the pure Sabbath worship on the intro to The Wheel and then kicking it back into the pace of newer bands like Havok on Goddamn Trouble. What can be seen most from this release is a great sense of variety, and shows that the band release it’s not the mid 80’s anymore, but they have gotten older in a much more graceful and controlled manner.
What is a huge characteristic of the sound of the band is Blitz’s harsh scream, and whilst this might seem a drawback for some (as it is not the cleanest vocal in metal), it’s very easy to identify the lyrics in the songs and to follow his interpretation. With tracks such as Red White Blue referencing “clowns” during American’s interesting period with the new leadership of Donald Trump might be seen as poking a sense of fun at the establishment and gives the song a whole new meaning. The clean singing on the end of Shine On also allows the vocalist to show what he can do within this type of role, and in truth Blitz pulls this off perfectly.
Going into the realms of creativity with a symphony to end the album on is a brave move from a band whose listeners will want them to “keep it heavy”. Within the context of what the group has set out to achieve however, it has made the record seem much more creativity than a typical Thrash release. With mixing and mastering credits to Andy Sneap his work recently in creating quite a theatrical sounding band in Hell might have carried over into the creation of the record and made for the band to start going into other avenues, the album has carried on the larger production quality of latter day Overkill records perfectly, and has made for great live moments to be inserted within the set.
Finally the band as a whole have brought through the great way Thrash has developed, particularly in the guitar interplay of Dave Linsk and Derek “The Skull” Tailer on the speedier tracks such as Goddamn Trouble. The work of both of these amazing musicians has added heaviness to Overkill’s music and has made it retain the quality of Thrash the band had on earlier releases. Ron Lipincki as a drummer does expert and precision drum fills throughout the context of the album and same with bassist D.D. Verni.
In essence the band have not done anything truly new, most of these elements have been done before throughout the scene, in a multitude of different ways. What the group have done however, is created something that sounds great for their fan base, and have made a set of songs that the group will continue to play within their live set and ones which hold up towards their great legacy.
It looks like Anthrax need your help! Amongst them playing ‘Among The Living‘ in full, they are going to be making a fan favourite set which you can help pick out HERE. From favourites such as ‘Madhouse‘ to hidden gems like ‘H8 Red‘, its your turn to create!
You can check out their UK stint below!
Thursday 9th February – Birmingham O2 Institute
Friday 10th February – London O2 Forum Kentish Town *SOLD OUT*
Saturday 11th February – Bristol O2 Academy *SOLD OUT*
Monday 13th February – Nottingham Rock City
Tuesday 14th February – Manchester Academy
Wednesday 15th February – Glasgow Barrowlands *SOLD OUT*
Thursday 16th February – Newcastle Northumbria University
Friday 17th February – Norwich UEA
Bringing you a bunch of their really old demos, heavy metal/thrash metal band Sanctuary are going to be releasing a bunch of their old demos for all the hardcore fans and new fans who want to be transported back to the beginning.