Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Weekend Breakdown: Thrash to check out!

I am starting the Weekend Breakdown early since I will be taking a vacation from blogging over the next four or five days. I wanted to fit in more bands this time around, but my time for writing is limited tonight.

No matter. Check out the post and find a couple (or more) bands that you like! METAL ONWARD!

Here is a Swedish thrash band that I find myself listening to more and more recently. Conflagrator cranks out some riff-heavy chugging thrash metal. The band's talent is undeniable as they swirl their 80's icons into a vortex of pounding fury. When these guys kick into a straight e-string downstroke, it causes involuntary whiplash. Freaking fantastic!

Listen below and then Facebook 'em.

Old school Entombed, Dismember and Grave fans take note: California's Fatalist offers up a dose of traditional Swedish death metal that is nearly flawless. The songs are brutal and the buzz-saw sound tugs at my nostalgic heartstrings, taking me back to a time when I first heard Entombed's Clandestine or Dismember's Like an Ever Flowing Stream. Fatalist are not carbon copies of their influences, but they do proudly inject them within their hard-hitting tunes for all to hear and enjoy. METAL!

Check out their tune and then visit them here.

Excellent musicianship with never a shortage of riffs in each song, Norway's Cockroach Agenda play music that, according to the band, "are built up with a combination of fast-, mid- and heavy-riffs, so hopefully every metal-fan can find something he/she likes." In fact, the songs are so packed full of these combinations that tunes such as Desertion run over seven minutes to fit 'em all in! However, I don't mind long songs if they are good and Cockroach Agenda pulls it off well.

Here is Desertion. Here is their Facebook page.

Getting away from traditional death and thrash, we have Argentina's Stone Dozer who is flying the flag of Pantera-influenced groove metal. The riffs are good southern-tinged metal stomp, and the vocals invoke a less-aggressive Anselmo (more like a mellow Anselmo trying to Morrison it up a bit). For fans of this genre of metal, Stone Dozer will more than satisfy. All that's missing is the whiskey.

Listen below and then go here.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Musical tastes and my favorite record stores

The last time I went to my two favorite record stores, I left feeling a little bit depressed. After a few hours of shifting through countless CDs, many of them used at a low price, I ended my day taking home only one.

Years ago, that would be unthinkable. Long ago I could walk into a record store and have a wanted piece of music on plastic in my sweaty hand within five minutes. Usually I would have to pick between four or five CDs that I would want, sadly putting most back on the shelves due to budgetary restraints (light wallet).

Now, it's a miracle for me to find anything. Have you ever looked in a refrigerator full of food and not find anything to eat? That's me in a record store.

One reason is that I already have a TON of CDs, so when it comes to the well known thrash and metal bands, I already own it or was never too interested. "Never too interested" means that although I might like a band, I am okay not owning all of their albums. If I see one on a store shelf, I could leave it and not feel incomplete.

However, one of the main reasons that I leave record stores empty handed and a little depressed is that the stores cannot support where my listening habits have ventured.

Will the record store here in middle America carry Mentally Defiled, Hyades, Injury, National Suicide, Evildead, or Evil Army? This may seem like an ancient argument - about how record stores won't carry underground metal, but back in the 90's, I could find the sickest and craziest death metal available on the shelf next to…I dunno, Tom Petty. Sure, I couldn't find the hard stuff at the neighborhood Walmart, but the actual record stores, both local and national, had plenty (along with Tom Petty).

Also, back in the day, I had some built-in bias against demos. Back then, I was never a demo collector, and rarely gave unsigned bands the time of day, so it didn't matter if you could find it on the shelf or not. Stupid, stupid, stupid! Now that I know better, I have discovered some of my favorite music is being cranked out by fans who pour their blood and sweat into a three or four song self-released EP.

Also, now that I am writing for this blog and spending time with all sorts of new thrash bands from all over the world, a big chunk of my music listening time is dedicated to bands who self-release or are tied with "very" independent labels. When I go to the record store here, will I find Bio-Cancer, Lich King, Which Witch, Hellbrain, or Impalers? Of course not (especially the self-released demos), and I don't fault the record stores one bit for that. However, those bands are where my musical tastes play, so it's no wonder I leave two of my favorite record stores with one lonely CD in my hand.

I don't want to seem like I'm knocking record stores. They have to make money to stay open (and they definitely get my online business), but with less thrash and traditional metal taking up shelf room, and killer demos available online, it's my own musical preferences that have stifled my in-store buying experience.

I still wish the brick and mortar stores luck in finding a foothold within the online world. I will visit them when I make the trip out of town in hopes of finding a couple treasures. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on your own view, I probably have already found it online.

By the way - the one CD I bought that day was R.D.P.'s Anarkophobia, found at Love Garden Sounds in Lawrence, KS. If I collected vinyl instead of CDs, Love Garden would be an absolute paradise for me.

More thrash! Sentenced on Sunday, Magnetron, Ruppthritis, Mortal Mess

These posts where I list three or four bands to check out will eventually become a weekly feature. The post will be called the Weekend Breakdown and will feature a list of bands to add to your thrash arsenal.

Hopefully, I can get that rolling within the next couple of weeks. So, until then, let's get on with the thrash!

Chicago, IL seems to be a breeding ground for great metal and Sentenced On Sunday are thrashing it up with the best of 'em. This is relentless, pounding metal helped along by the jack-hammering double bass drumming skills of Toby Nickles. SOS's music is equivalent to getting shoved into a barrel and rolled down a steep rocky hill. It'll beat the hell out you and you'll thank them for it.

Check out their song Predator. Facebook page here.

Killer fast deathrash from the Netherlands who pack hard-hitting metal with furious drums and fist-raising gang vocals. These guys just recorded a new album and I am more than anxious to hear it. MAGNETRON!!!

Check out their tune Born Witless. Facebook page here.

This Balwin, NY band add many flavors to their metal. It's thrash with hints of traditional metal, groove, and hard rock. Ruppthritis have truly inspired moments of killer riffage that keep the songs fresh and interesting.

Check out their tune and then check them out here.

Another Chicago, IL band, Mortal Mess creates chugging metal with raw punk sensibilities. I can't say enough about how the riffs on here simply freaking rock. Simple and dynamic, the music has the listener nodding along with a pissed sneer on the face.

Listen and then Facebook 'em here.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Tantara ROCKS!

Here is a band that is going to be a major force in the NWOTM. Bold statement? Yes, and admittedly part of that stems from my own personal bias as a fan of Tantara. However, this old-school flavored thrash band from Norway seriously has a knack for writing killer songs that could put a little fire in the belly of your average metal fan.

When I listen to their Human Mutation EP, as well as their available demo songs on Tantara's Facebook page, I am amazed that they were written by a group of 17 and 18 year-olds. Yes, I know most NWOTM bands have members of similar age, but it's the feeling and dynamics of their songs that shows how much Tantara understands what the hell they're doing when constructing some mosh-worthy tunes.

Their influences consist of the who's-who of old-school thrash and power metal, such as Testament, Vio-lence and Judas Priest. Tantara manages to capture a bit of the magic of what made those original bands rock so hard and inject it into their songwriting.

Killer riffs and well-orchestrated solos abound, I can't help but to keep their tunes in my regular listening rotation of new metal bands.

Oh, yeah. Another item I must mention to back up my previously made bold statement: Legendary producer Flemming Rasmussen is working with Tantara on their debut album which they will begin recording soon. I can't wait to hear it.

Listen to Negligible Souls and then go to their Facebook page to hear the rest. Official site here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I have to thank Doug Dominicali for sending me a video of the Brazilian thrash band WOSLOM.

When I started the video, I wasn't prepared for the hammering onslaught of the opening riff. After the song let out a victory roar as it repeatedly kicked my ass, I was immediately hooked and had to find out more about WOSLOM.

Based off the samples I heard from their debut CD Time to Rise, the rest of their songs sound just as promising.

Check out their killer promo video for Time to Rise and then listen to the title track.

Purchase the CD or MP3s to Time to Rise here and then "like" them on Facebook.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

D.R.I. logo love

I have always been attracted to the D.R.I. skanking guy logo. Not in a sexual way, I just always thought the logo mark freaking ruled.

The many times I spent in high school sketching band logos on my notebooks, the D.R.I. logo was always one of them, and I still think it's bad ass to this very day.

Apparently, I am not the only one who shares this belief.

When checking the stats for my blog traffic, at least five times a week someone finds my blog by searching for D.R.I.'s logo. Believe me that I get a lot of hits from folks looking for various thrash metal logos, but the search for the D.R.I. logo alone surpasses them all.

In fact, I can guarantee that many people will find this particular post via a "D.R.I. logo" Google search. Let me say, "Greetings, fellow D.R.I. logo lover! After you save the logo to your hard drive, please come back and roam the posts for some NWOTM love."

Although I have my own thoughts on what makes the D.R.I. logo so popular with those "in the know." The skanking stick figure encased within a circle is legendary in thrash lore. The logo is iconic, striking, easily recognizable. It has universal thrash appeal.

Think about it. If you went to a record store and hanging on the wall over a batch of vinyl or CDs was the D.R.I. logo, you would KNOW that pile of music is full of thrashy goodness.

If you passed a club while driving down the street and the only sign they had above their entrance door was the D.R.I. logo, you would KNOW what kind of music plays there (and then you would proceed to get an event calendar for upcoming shows).

The skanking guy symbol SAYS thrash. It inevitably catches the eye of all those who love the genre, even if you really don't like D.R.I. (for shame).

So, fellow skanking guy symbol fans: Why do you love it so much? Nostalgia? It's meaning? Looks good on a button? What does it mean to you?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Neil Wonnell's Metalmouth online broadcast

If you're looking for a dose of metal, go check out Neil Wonnell's Metalmouth online broadcast over at Reverbnation.

From Wonnell himself:

"I play old school/new school Thrash Metal, the occasional punk anthem, Metal classics, plenty of unsigned bands from around the globe, and give you just enough craziness to keep everybody havin' a good time!"

He is scheduled to post a new show every weekend, so head over to his site and check it out.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Fatal Demise ROCKS!

What we have here, my fellow thrashers, is a bona fide diamond in the rough. What I mean is this: Michigan's FATAL DEMISE is already a freaking diamond, heard through an extremely rough-cut demo.

The bonus is that the demo sounds good enough to hear this band shine. Since I began the NWOTM blog I have heard a lot of good thrash, but Fatal Demise is one band that makes me foam at the mouth in anticipation of what a clean and heavy production could do for their songs.

I hate to sound like I am knocking these guys, because that is certainly not the case. Fatal Demise cranks out some straight-forward, balls-out thrash metal, and I love it.

What I like about their song writing is that you can feel when the riffs will change from fast paced to a heavy as hell half-time and then back to a mid-paced headbanging assault, leaving a satisfying teeth-grinding smile on the listener's crazed face. Such dynamics can make or break a thrash song, but Fatal Demise has nearly mastered the technique.

Will you find groundbreaking originality here? No, but the music is groundbreaking in the sense that I want to stomp holes in my floor when I listen to it. Does that count?

Check out the vids below and then go "Like" 'em on Facebook.

My brother-in-law went to a Gama Bomb show and all I got was this awesome t-shirt

Evan, my brother-in-law was lucky enough to see Gama Bomb in Dublin on May 28th. He took these pics with the band.

Yeah, he always looks like that.

Anyway, he called me after the show and told me all about it. I sat and listened with a big smile on my face and a belly full of envy.

Less than two weeks later, I got this in the mail...

Thank you to Evan! I am happy. Love the shirt. Also, let it be known that the next time Gama Bomb tours the States, I will be that guy and wear this shirt to their show. So, kiss it.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

More thrash! Kemakil, Smash Potater, and Incarnit

Kemakil's origins extend back to 1988, playing some decently high-profile local gigs around the Ipswich and Suffolk areas until they split in 1990. Although they reformed in 2007, their hearts still remain with the old-school.

As far as influences go, Kemakil has one foot in the Bay Area and the other dipping a toe in Germany, all used as a blueprint in constructing killer songs of no-frills thrash metal.

Listen to the excellence of Blood Removal Machines and then check out Kemakil here.

Ah, I can hear the "serious" thrash fans out there scoffing. Well, screw it, 'cause we're talking about the legends of Aurora, IL here - SMASH POTATER - and I believe that these guys will eventually reach cult status outside of their local thrash circles. Or go platinum with their debut...what the hell do I know?

Bad ass and fun, the 'Taters roll out an array of catchy riffs and witty lyrics. A song about Zombie Bees? Classic. But just because Smash Potater can have a bit of fun with their topics doesn't limit them to be a simple novelty band. They create some stomp-worthy thrash to be used as kindling to kick off a roaring circle pit.

Check out Livin' to Thrash, Thrashin' to Live and click here for more on Smash Potater!

Based on a couple songs I heard on Reverbnation, I thought Sweden's Incarnit were trying to forefront the melancholy thrash movement. That is not a dig because the songs, one with a slow churning tempo (The Starets) and the other written with sweeping emotion (Demons), caught my attention.

Admittedly, I didn't get into these songs as much. The Starets begins well enough, but begins to stretch out in tedious lengths. Demons is actually a killer song. The riffs rock and the solos are gorgeous, but the parts that are supposed to build and show some muscle don't have the dynamics to make those muscles flex (example: at 3:30 to 3:23 and into the solo riff, it simply feels flat).

However, as I mentioned, there was something about Incarnit's songs that compelled me to seek out more of their material. Out of the plethora of thrash bands I was listening to while researching for my blog, Incarnit kept creeping back into my mind!

When I visited Incarnit's YouTube page, I came across a couple other songs that were more to my liking. Songs such as Suffer and Home are tight thrash numbers that really highlight Incarnit's songwriting abilities. At times they bring to mind material found on Evile's debut album, but far more interesting. Their touches of traditional metal add a nice dimension to their songs.

Incarnit's music is good and the potential for these guys to begin writing all-out thrash classics is just within their reach. I am definitely going to keep my eye on this band as they progress. I can't wait to see where they go from here.

Stream their vid and then check out Incarnit here.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Ow, my freakin' ears!

This will be a non-preachy endorsement for wearing earplugs during metal concerts.

Here's my endorsement: I freaking HATE wearing earplugs during metal concerts.

When I go see a concert, I want to feel the intensity of the music. I want the double kick drum to blow me over. I want the guitars to rake across my brain, causing uncontrollable headbanging fury. I want to THRASH!

All of these are hard to achieve through the muffled tranquility of earplugs.

Earplugs. Blah. Pfft!

I played in various metal bands throughout high school and into my late 20s and I never wore earplugs. I went to concert after concert and never wore earplugs.

I remember going to see Sepultura during their Chaos AD tour (with openers Clutch and Fear Factory), and as everyone gathered on the standing-room hall floor, I heard someone yell this:

"You're wearing earplugs?! What are you, a f*cking p*ssy?!"

I turned around to see a guy yelling at a complete stranger about him wearing ear protection. I guess that wearing earplugs was not "metal" enough for this schmuck. My lack of wanting to wear earplugs stemmed from them hampering the live music, not if it was acceptable within the circles of metal.

So that idiot's statement bothered me and stuck with me. You know what else bothers me and has stuck with me?

A consistent and permanent ringing in my ears.

Yep, through years of abuse, they are damaged. And it sucks.

The breaking point came when I was the vocalist for the band Truth Cell. We practiced in a 10 x 10 foot room at full concert volume. Stupid? Yeah, but at the time, we felt that we didn't buy all this equipment to strum at acoustic volume. We wanted to ROCK!

However, I would leave each practice (and live show) with a hard ringing in my ears that would usually go away the next day (or two). Or so I thought.

Now since I have always slept with the stereo or TV on, I never noticed during the dead silence of the night what kind of accumulated damage I was doing to my ears.

One night while trying to sleep in my apartment, sans the white noise of my Japanese devices, I noticed a sound as if the neighbor's tea kettle was being left on the stove top.

My eyes opened wide and I cupped my hands over my ears to kill any outside noise. I muttered, "Oh, crap," as the ringing remained. I knew I was screwed.

The dumb thing is, I knew the risks of not wearing earplugs. But no matter now. Shoulda, woulda, coulda…I messed up my ears for good.

It doesn't get better. Even now as I type this, with all the room noise and outside traffic blaring, if I pay attention, I hear the ringing. Also, when I go to sleep, I HAVE to turn on a fan or the TV to help drown out the ringing a bit. My ears have become the home of an annoying noise shadow that will follow me around for the rest of my life.

Yes, I should have used ear protection. Yes, I now wear them to every concert I attend as protection against further damage.

Oh, I still freaking HATE earplugs, but believe me when I say that I hate the constant ringing in my ears worse.

It can happen to you. Wear earplugs.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

New World Horror radio feature

New World Horror will be featured on Buffalo NY's WBNY 91.3 FM on Thursday, June 9th at 8:45PM eastern time.

Fans will be treated to an on-air interview as well as a broadcast of their 3 song demo.

If you don't live in the area, you can stream the station live here.

Edit: For those of you who missed it, you can listen to the whole interview here.

Friday, June 3, 2011

More music! Hellbrain, D.N.R., and Bludvera!

Hellbrain from Genève play a combination of thrash, death, and everything in between, to create a vicious form of music with layers upon layers of intensity. Switching from headbanging fury to industrial-precision gallops to groove-based death 'n' roll, Hellbrain seem to have their work cut out for them when writing songs.

There seems to be a lot involved, but the songs are far from disjointed. Hellbrain guides the listener through a labyrinth of sonic fury, extended beyond traditional death or thrash metal, yet firmly rooted in within the genres.

Hellbrain might not be for everyone, but those looking for a switch-up from the typical while maintaining the heaviness, give 'em a try.

Listen to a couple of their tunes and then check out Hellbrain here.

For those who don't like their thrash mixed with the flavors of hardcore and 90s-flavored stomp will probably streer clear of Brazil's D.N.R., but only doing so to their own detriment. Too bad, because D.N.R. plays some crushingly heavy music that most fans of hardcore-laden death and thrash would embrace.

The band claims influences such as Machine Head, Napalm Death, and Brazil's own R.D.P., so if any of this appeals to you, by all means, check 'em out. If not, check 'em out anyway - you might accidently like something.

Note: The lyrics are all in Portuguese, but it didn't bother me at all. Eu gosto! Muito legal.

Listen and then go here for more on D.N.R.!

On the more traditional front, we have Liverpool's Bludvera. Drawing from their influence of old-school monsters including the gamut of both Bay Area and German bands, Bludvera keep their thrash pure, fast and heavy.

Songs such as Maniac and Total Recall contain killer riffs, fist-waving gang shouts, and pit-worthy moments that bring to mind Vio-lence and Bonded by Blood.

Bludvera are supposed to be working on new stuff now and I'm excited to hear it. Meanwhile, take a listen to Maniac and then head over to their website and download their demo for freaking FREE!


Thursday, June 2, 2011

A nice blog plug!

The NWOTM Blog just received a nice shout-out over at the Gogmagogical blog. He gave out some killer kudos my way and I really appreciate the kind words. If you are a fan of music (and you know you are), go check 'em out.

So thanks, Gogmagog! Hope to see you around these parts often.
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