Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pre-Weekend Breakdown with Condition Critical, Silent Supremacy, Possessor

There will be a severe lack of posts for the next few days as I hang out with family and help celebrate my dad's birthday. It will be a great weekend.

However, your weekend will feel less complete since there will be no Weekend Breakdown post, right? Wrong! Never fear, dear readers and angry thrashers - I can't let the whole week go by without pimping out a least a couple kick-ass bands.

Soooooooo, here we go!

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past week or so, you've seen Dayton, NJ's CONDITION CRITICAL plastered all over the metal blogs and forums. With good reason, too! Condition Critical a freaking monster of a band. A literal war of sound that attacks with fast and chunky riffs, sick vocals, and drums that strengthen the dynamics to deadly perfection.

All this thrashy goodness is exemplified in the following track titled Time Wave Zero. So check it out and then head over to their Facebook page to download their future classic thrash demo for fah-REEEE!

Do you like stomping riffs and killer gang vocals? Well, yeah ya do! Enter Southampton's SILENT SUPREMACY. I pimped these guys a couple days ago on my Facebook page, but in case you missed it, I needed to post about them on the ol' NWOTM Blog.

According to their bio, Silent Supremacy began "out of shared enjoyment of jamming assorted Warbringer songs, writing fast riffs and shouting aggressive, often gore-laden lyrics."

Not all of their riffs are fast, mixing in a dose of mid-tempo chugs and hanging power chords to keep the dynamics interesting. Also, Silent Supremacy has an obvious old-school death metal influence added to the sound, which freakin' rules (in my opinion).

Listen and love it. Afterward, visit them on Facebook here and snatch up their songs for free.

Although they command it in their song Hammer and Nails, I'm not handing my soul over to satan, but I know good thrash when I hear it. Virginia's POSSESSOR is absolutely pure, no bullsh*t, evil thrash metal, charging out with epic raspy vocals, blistering tight guitar work, and marathon-like drumming behind the kit.

Possessor's music is dripping in old-school insanity, raging like a hurricane of flesh-scorching fire. Man, I'd like to see these guys live.

Although I don't share their lyrical passions, Possessor's music is crushing metal and they have one of the best logos in the NWOTM, next to Lich King.

Listen below and then Facebook them here.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Legionary ROCKS!

Those of you who who were (or are) fans of the early 90s death metal explosion need to sit up and take notice. New York's LEGIONARY take a chunk of the early Florida death and mix in some late 80s thrash to create some killer face-ripping metal.

There are a ton of crushing, chugging, and rolling riffs in each song, but it isn't all Suffocation or Origin-like insanity. Sure, you are treated to occasional blast beats, but Legionary makes sure there is plenty of room for some straightforward headbanging riffs and tempos. Needless to say, Legionary's music is freakin' heavy as hell and I can't stop jamming to it.

Helping the music hit the mark is the production on Legionary's demo recording, which is clear and tight. With such attention to detail to their song craft as well as it's execution shows that Legionary are as serious about kicking your ass as they are taking themselves to the next level. What's the next level? Let's keep an eye on them and find out. I know I will.

Check out the two available songs below and then catch them here on Facebook and Reverbnation.

Weekend Breakdown: Atomic Head, Terrathorn, Gladius, Crowdburn

Santiago, Chile's ATOMIC HEAD have been my go-to band this week, giving me the ass-kicking I need when craving a thrash fix. These guys rev up their music with some rough Bay Area inspiration with an added whisper of traditional heavy metal to create a mosh-worthy beast of head-slammin' METAL!

From the opening pounding riff of The Punishment as well as its ending bass solo, to the chest beating chorus of Nuclear Attack, to the slam fest opener of The Sinner, Atomic Head know how to bring the thrash and they do it well.

Check out the songs and video below and then hit 'em up over at Facebook.

I recently stumbled upon TERRATHORN, a thrash group with hints of crossover and modern twists, and I freaking' love 'em! These Southhampton thrashers lash out with a rolling barrage of catchy riffs, moving dynamics, and killer vocals.

The mix of old school and modern-sound thrash riffing blends perfectly without sounding disjointed nor does it dampen the aggression. Terrathorn is a fun listen, making one hope that they'll eventually play live in a nearby venue. Tarathorn! Come to the States!!

Check out the tune below taken from their 2009 album Acquire Dominate Destroy, and then go look around their Facebook page for the like button.

Portland, OR's speed/thrash metallers GLADIUS offers slabs of well-crafted metal tunes, similar to the ones we old guys would use to melt the stereo speakers in our extremely used 1978 Camaro z28.

Yes, Gladius is old schoolius maximus, but if you listen, you can hear the death and power metal influences squeeze through the cracks.

The musicianship is first-class, and I must give a special mention to vocalist Nick Courtney who can go from raspy thrash barks to a Halford-esque scream at the drop of a hat. In fact, when Courtney sings in a clean lower register, you would swear they hired Halford to record some tracks.

Overall, Gladius play killer metal…and then they add some metal to their metal.

Listen to the track below before hunting them down on Facebook or Reverbnation where you can download their three available streaming songs for FREE!

If the trash purists didn't hate my blog already, I am about to hammer the final nail in the coffin. Sweden's CROWDBURN are by no means old-school and they definitely are not pure thrash metal.

Sure, they have thrash elements in their music, but it's one of those "You got modern metal in my thrash!" or "No, you got thrash in my modern metal!"

Whichever the case, Crowdburn's music is a layered roller coaster of both brutal metal and haunting melodies. Crowdburn packs so much into one song that crushes, soars, slams and sails, it takes the listener on a journey of sonic intensity and beauty.

Crowdburn may not be typical of this blog, but they play killer metal that kicks around all boundaries of the genre. Click and listen below and then click here for their Facebook page to download some songs for FREE.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bio-Cancer needs your votes!

I've been pimping this on my Facebook page for a while.

One of my favorite thrash bands BIO-CANCER is in the running to open for Sanctuary! All they need is your votes. Please consider clicking on this link and vote for them. There is only a few days left before it ends.

If you feel that you would like something in return, head over to their Facebook page and download their available streaming songs for FREE! You won't be disappointed!

Monday, August 22, 2011

New Hatchet songs available for FREE!

The Bay Area thrash masters HATCHET have released two songs off their label-shopping promo CD.

These two tracks, titled Signals of Infection and Screams of the Night, are killer cuts of straight up thrash metal! So for those of you who want to add more Hatchet into your thrash arsenal alongside their Awaiting Evil album, these tracks are available as a FREE download!

Click here to check out and download the new tunes, and if you haven't already, go "like" Hatchet on Facebook!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

4arm's title track from Submission for Liberty

Yes, I just posted about 4ARM, but they recently released the title track from their upcoming album Submission for Liberty and I had to share.

If this song is any indication of what we can expect on 4arm's third album, then we're in for something freaking epic. The title track is a thunderous slab of hard-hitting thrash that had me smiling in disbelief at how much it thoroughly crushes any doubt on the state of the NWOTM. Simply awesome.

I can't wait to hear more.

Check out the stream for Submission for Liberty here and then go check out their official site.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Weekend Breakdown: Sword of Judgement, 4arm, Snyper Target, Enemigo

Special thanks goes to Alexander Dinesen for pointing me toward a band that is SO FREAKING METAL it's scary. Seattle, WA's SWORD OF JUDGEMENT is refreshingly unabashed in their brand of power thrash, writing epic riffs that could muffle an earthquake. The musicianship is stellar, the production is clean and professional, and the songs are shredding slices of sonic metal that teeter on cataclysmic proportions.

I'm including all three of their available streaming songs below, and after you listen go over to their Facebook page and download them for free! SWORD OF JUDGEMENT!!!!!


Pissed and aggressive, Australia's 4ARM mixes assaulting thrash metal with a dash of groove. Danny Tomb's vocals dance perfectly over the barrage of non-stop riffage, going from the classic thrash bark to a more Anselmo-like drawl. 4arm cranks out some tough freaking metal, bound and determined to kick your ass.

Check out the two tracks below and then Facebook 'em here.


I have come across so many bands recently that offer little to zero information about themselves. I'll find a song or two that I like and the rest is a mystery. Such is the case with Colombia's SNYPER TARGET. The one song they have available for streaming titled The Recipe for Chaos shows that they have the potential to be a thrash powerhouse.

The song brings to mind Arise-era Sepultura mixed with streamlined east coast thrash. It's short, heavy, and killer. Hey, guys in Snyper Target! More songs and a little bit of info on you, please!

Listen to the tune below and then you can check up on them on Reverbnation.


A sick blend of thrash and melodic death metal, Venezuela's ENEMIGO play it straight without a ton of tech math. The songs are good and are given a boost with a recording of razor sharp production. The fretwork is tight, the solos are well done and the galloping riffs crush.

If this is your type of metal, listen below, check them out at Reverbnation, and then go here to download their entire demo for FREE!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

ENVY from California! Where are you? You ROCK!

Okay, maybe I suck at using search engines or something, but I cannot find any substantial info on the San Pedro, CA band called ENVY.

Luckily, I checked out a thread over at the beloved Thrash Unlimited that has one of their songs posted titled A Ring of the Bell.

The recording is rough as hell, but shining through the grainy haze of the audio playback is Envy's genius for writing the absolute most killer Megadeth-inspired thrash metal I've ever heard.

The RIFFS, man. Awesome. The song structures, the dynamics, the solos, and the vocals - it's all there just WAITING to be hammered onto a quality recording for all of us to enjoy.

As far as more material from these guys, there are a few live rehearsal available, but the song I'm posting here is the best we seem to have so far.

Check it out below and then if you want more…well, you're on your own until ENVY makes themselves more easily accessible. I imagine that will happen in the very near future. I hope!

NWOTM: 30 years from now

J.M. over at the Lunar Hypnosis blog has a review up for Havok's Time Is Up album. He mentions that some of the songs on the album could have been written 25 years ago, during the early days of thrash.

This reminded me of something I posted a while back about how thrash is backward compatible.

I then read a line in J.M.'s post that made me smile.

"What I'm trying to say is that thrash then and now is timeless and music like this has been a blast for the first thirty years of my life and assuming I don't drink myself stupid one day I'll hopefully be jammin' to this stuff for another thirty years to come."

I agree with J.M.!

I believe that 30 years from now, there will be teens who grew up listening to their dad's (or mom's!) Havok, Warbringer, and Municipal Waste albums. Some of these kids will start bands, churning out more slabs of traditional, undiluted thrash metal. Record deals will be made, and people will pay attention - another New Wave of Thrash? Yes!

Since thrash will never go away despite what is happening in the music climate, there will always be a new New Wave of Thrash Metal, and I love that. New bands will come out of the woodwork to either keep the classic thrash sound going or to add their own spin to the genre. These future metal giants will be part of the new NWOTM, and those bands which influenced them such as Toxic Holocaust and Evile will be considered old-school.

Can you just hear the future Lenny Troo Frashers? "I hate this modern crap! These bands are just ripping off the old-school masters such as Havok and Bonded By Blood!"

Come back to this post in 25 years, read that last line, and smile.

So with a dash of parody and a healthy dose of sincerity, the NWOTM will perpetuate itself, and assuming I don't drink myself stupid one day (on too much grape soda and Diet Mountain Dew) I'll hopefully be writing about this stuff for another thirty years to come.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Dr. Living Dead giving away a free song!

To promote the release of their new self-titled album on HR Records, the crossover kings DR. LIVING DEAD are giving away a song for FREE!

The song, titled Slime From Above, can be downloaded off their Bandcamp page.

Check it out below!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Weekend Breakdown: Savagery, Nuclear Torment, Desertor, Six In Line

Chicago, IL thrashers SAVAGERY planted their roots in 2008 as a cover band, but eventually evolved into writing and recording gut-punching thrash metal! Special note needs to be taken of vocalist Braulio Correa who will throw the occasional lyrical emphasis with a quick inhuman scream that is so freaking cool that it actually elevates the already killer music up another notch.

Listen below, Facebook them here and then download their entire seven song demo here…for FREEEEEEEEE!!!! Thanks, Savagery!

These four young metalheads from Sweden play some of the best teeth-grinding, fist clenching, ass-kicking, brand of f*ck you thrash I've heard in a while. Sure NUCLEAR TORMENT offer it with some tongue-in-cheek lunacy, but that doesn't lessen the aggression. It's crossover about headbanging, moshing and chewing bubblegum.

Listen, and then visit their Facebook page where you can download their two available songs for free.

Brazil's DESERTOR plays hardcore/crossover that is fast and tough as nails. Although Desertor's earlier efforts leaned more on the punk side, especially on the vocals, the latest batch of songs treads right into death metal territory (again, especially on the vocals). On the whole, these guys are intense, fast and aggressive, just how I like 'em!

Listen to the short but sweet example below and then head over to their MySpace page to hear all the rest!

Up from the hellish gutters of grime and bloody knuckles we find Sweden's SIX IN LINE. A rough 'n' tough mix of metal, punk, and thrash 'n' roll, these guys remind me of a thrasher version of the mountain man rock gods Scissorfight, complete with occasional bluesy riff and vocals full of sand. I love it!

Check it out, and if you're down then hit up Six In Line on Facebook.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Aggressive ROCKS!

Colombia's AGGRESSIVE must have found a way to bottle the old-school Bay Area flavor and pour it directly into their music.

From the wall-of-sound whirlwind of both blazing and chunky riffs to the Killian-esque vocals, these guys lay down some quality west coast-influenced thrash metal that easily bring to mind flares of Vio-Lence.

If this appeals to you, by all means, check this out immediately. If it does not appeal to you, what are you doing here? Go watch the Flintstones or something.

You can listen to most (if not all) of their songs on their Reverbnation page and the only place I found their album Predators' Arrival for sale is on Brutalized Records website.

Listen to a couple tracks below and then hit 'em up on Facebook!

Interview with Diamond Plate

Diamond Plate have been a busy band. Their debut album 'Generation Why?' has hit the literal and virtual shelves today and they are prepping for the upcoming America Torn Asunder tour with headliners Warbringer.

Still, Diamond Plate guitarist Konrad Kupiec was able to take some time and answer a few questions about the new album.

Since you signed to Earache, things seem to be moving quickly for you - from recording, getting the record out and hitting the road. Does it all feel like a whirlwind to you? How are you handling everything?

This past year has definitely gone by insanely fast because of how busy we’ve been. Even though we took a considerable break from playing any type of shows, we’ve been busier than ever. Our work ethic has definitely been at an all-time high, so everything is going great for us. We all couldn’t be more excited to finally hit the road and really push the record to future fans that haven’t heard of Diamond Plate yet.

You all started this band at a very young age. Did you ever dream it would go this far?

Being in a band is the only thing I’ve ever dreamed about as a kid. I still dream about everything that we still have yet to accomplish as a band, because for me (and the rest of the guys), this is only the beginning of our dream. I’m 19, and still have a lot of room to grow as a guitarist, songwriter, and human being; I’m nowhere close to reaching my potential in any of those areas.

How did you hook up with Earache?

We’ve been on Earache’s radar ever since our first ‘Mountains of Madness’ EP was released in 2008. A close friend/fan of the band showed our music to Digby, the owner of Earache. It wasn’t until the summer of 2010 that Earache finally decided to give us a chance to prove ourselves and offered us a record deal.

Has Earache gave you any indication into how they want to market Diamond Plate to the metal community?

It’s the label’s job to stamp a genre on a band and then sell the band to that specific market. As artists though, we can never have that in mind when we’re writing music. We’ve never tried to write music to fit into a certain type of market. We’ve always just played we felt, and let the market ‘come to us.’ And that’s the only thing we’ll ever do. At the end of the day, the music just speaks for itself.

I am a huge fan of Generation Why?, and bridging from your first EP to the new album, there is an obvious evolution to your sound. How did those changes evolve and what decisions were made in how to incorporate them into the new material?

Thanks! There wasn’t ever a conscious decision to change our “sound.” The change heard from the ‘Mountains of Madness’ EP to ‘Generation Why?’ is just a natural evolution. Three years of practicing, playing shows, writing songs, and going through different stages of our lives helped shape the music on the album in a very natural and pure way. On top of that, it was our first time recording in a professional studio, so the vibe while tracking was completely new and exciting to us; people can hear that when they listen to the songs. It’s a different kind of energy, but it’s undeniably there more than it ever was before.

How long was the recording process for Generation Why?

We spent a few months writing and doing preproduction with all the songs, but once we entered the studio, we recorded the entire album in only 10 days.

Since this is your debut album for a big label, how did it feel to get the finished product in your hands?

Absolutely incredible, as you might imagine. We’ve never been prouder and felt more accomplished after recording our music. Having the CDs in our hands was the most gratifying thing after putting in months of hard work into finishing the album.

How are you preparing yourselves for life on the road?

We’ve just been trying to stay as organized as possible, and in addition to practicing all of our songs, we’ve been in a way mentally preparing ourselves for the long road and hard work ahead of us. We plan on living out of our RV and touring for the entire year, write the second album, and start the cycle all over again! But we’re all ready for the best times of our lives as well!

Thrash metal has enjoyed a lifespan of approximately three decades with tons of fans from different generations. Do you feel that Diamond Plate can attract the old-school thrash fans? Do they show up to your gigs?

Diamond Plate has always had a strong ‘old-school’ following. There are always a ton of old school fans at our shows. To me, ‘old-school’ isn’t a type of look or a type of sound. It’s not wearing hi-tops and jean jackets, or having a record that sounds like it was produced 20 years ago. It’s an energy and an attitude. I think that is what attracts those fans to us. We’re just trying to write the best and heaviest songs and deliver them with as much energy as possible. And above all, we want to stay relevant without sounding like anyone else. That’s exactly what the bands that we idolize did in the ‘80s, and old-school fans can feel that in our music and at our shows.

What do you want people to take away from a Diamond Plate concert?

Although we accomplished a lot on record with ‘Generation Why?’ we’ve always felt our live show is where the band truly shines. There’s a quality in our music that’s best represented live and in its rawest form. I want people to be able to feel our music like they’ve never felt it before. And I want them to keep feeling it on the ride back home, the next morning at school/work, a week later, a month later, and up until they see us the next time around. And then have it happen all over again. Maybe the word I’m looking for is whiplash…And lots of it.

Chicago has a killer metal scene. Do you have any hometown favorites?

There are a ton of great bands here in Chicago; off the top of my head: Dawnbringer, High Spirits, Bible of the Devil, Zuul, Jungle Rot, Trouble, Smash Potater, Nachtmystium...

Final words?

To all the readers, don’t take my word and or anyone else’s word about Diamond Plate, check out ‘Generation Why?’ and decide for yourself! Thanks for using your ears! And thanks for a killer interview!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Lenny Troo Frasher: From my collection

I forgot that I saw Demolition Hammer in concert

Yes, I forgot that I saw Demolition Hammer live.

That may sound strange, especially now that DH is such a revered band with albums that are considered thrash cannon. However, in my defense, I was going to a LOT of shows during that time, and usually there were three or more bands playing per gig. Sometimes things get lost in the shuffle...and I didn't even drink.

This past weekend, my brain had been exposed as the blundering forgetful mass of pudding that I never knew it to be. I was with my friend Kevin, who went to many of those shows with me back in the day, and I mentioned how awesome it was that we saw the band Cancer during their 1992 US tour.

Kevin said, "Yeah I remember that. Demolition Hammer was bad ass."

Everything got quiet. I looked up at Kevin with a quizzical look. He looked back at me. "What?"

"Demolition Hammer?" I asked.

"Yeah," Kevin said. "They opened the show."

"WHAT?" I asked, wide-eyed. I shook my head. "No, no. I'm talking about the Deicide show when Cancer opened."

"Yeah, and Demolition Hammer opened the whole show," said Kevin.

My memory kicked in and my heart sank a little. I suddenly remembered that the line up truly did include Demolition Hammer as the openers. I frantically tried to assemble the events of that night 19 years ago.

I remembered Cancer's set and getting their autograph on my copy of Death Shall Rise.

I remember Deicide's set and my friend Kevin trying to get Benton's autograph after the show. Benton signed ONE dude's CD and then said loudly, "Alright, that's all," and walked away. Kevin stood there, holding out his CD booklet as Benton turned and headed toward his bus. Kevin then said boldly (and angrily), "F*ck this guy!"

So, yes, I remember all that, but for the life of me, I still cannot remember Demolition Hammer.

I pulled out the old ticket stub that I have tucked away inside the Cancer CD booklet. There it is: Demolition Hammer. How can I not freaking remember these guys playing?!

Admittedly, back in '92 they were a new band (to me) and at that concert I had my eyes set to see Cancer. So at the time, the opening band was just in the way of me seeing one of my favorite death metal bands.

Get that? Demolition Hammer was "in the way." As in, "Hurry, whoever you are, so I can see Cancer."


I feel sick now even typing this.

In light of this, I need to dig out my old ticket stubs to see if I have any other brain farts preventing me from remembering killer concerts I've attended way back when.

Hold on.

Yep. I don't remember seeing Epidemic open the Unleashed show I attended back in '93.


Friday, August 5, 2011

No Weekend Breakdown. Here's an ADM vid!

Sorry, folks, but there's no time for me to get a Weekend Breakdown post ready. If I can get a post in before Monday, that will be great, but don't count on it.

Anyway, I had this song in my head today, so I thought I'd share it. Give Arnie some love (everyone else has).

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Interview with Lich King

As the Massachusetts thrash generals Lich King make preparations to embark on their first ever US tour, the Lichmaster Tom Martin, took some time to answer questions about his life in art, graphic design, and (of course) music.

What were you into before the other: drawing or playing music?

Drawing. Music was always just a hobby thing, I'd relax by plugging in and chugging along to Anthrax between art jobs. Years later, I started writing actual songs and putting them up, people liked them and music started taking over. These days art is still winning, but music is the hobby I never took seriously, and it snuck up on me and started taking over.

Many bands usually have a tough time to budget for good album cover art and posters. Could you comment on how awesome it is to be able to do your own art and graphic design?

Honestly, it's pretty awesome. I've saved thousands of dollars by just being me. Add in our drummer who does all our (post-WGD) recording and sound work in his home studio and we are raking in the bank by not spending anything. And by that I mean we're only slightly less poor than your average metal band that has to shell out for a logo, cover art, graphic design, studio time and mastering.

Where did you study art and design?

I went to the JOE KUBERT SCHOOL OF CARTOON AND GRAPHIC ART in New Jersey. I went in around the time comics were big, intending to come out a comic artist. The comic market crashed spectacularly before I graduated and now, here I am, doing whatever art I can so I can afford canned peas for dinner.

Is graphic design your full-time job?

Yup. I sit around and leave Netflix on all day so it can rattle off documentaries while I do album covers, logos, layouts, illustrations, concept art, creative consulting, lots of stuff that sounds great and doesn't pay nearly as well as you think it does. ...OH WAIT, you're a graphic designer too, right? High five for low living.

How often do you get hit up by other bands to do art or design work for them? How many want it for free or trade?

I get hit up pretty regularly. Here's how it usually goes.
Band: Hi, we're (forgettable name you've never heard of). We were wondering how much it costs for art.
Me: You're going to have to be more specific, my price quote depends on the details and how much time it's going to take me.
Band: We were thinking of having a zombie invasion in a post-apocalyptic city with a mushroom cloud over it and fighter jets going overhead and these radioactive stormtroopers are waging war against the zombies and these wicked undead bats are flying everywhere and there are ghosts n' shit.
Me: (thinking okay, this is going to take a ton of time. I'll work it out so that by the hours spent, I'm ALMOST making minimum wage.) $600.
Band: WOW, really? We definitely can't pay that. How about you do it for forty bucks and a pack of gum? We'll put your name in the booklet, it'll be great exposure for you.

See my "canned peas for dinner" answer above. This is why.

A lot of the bands are very good about it but my main gripe is that no one respects that this stuff doesn't just fly out of me and I rake in the cash for pressing a button on my talent. It takes hours of concentration to turn out this shit.

What are some do's and don'ts when asking the Lichmaster to design a band logo or album cover?

Good question.

• Give me tons of details on what you want, as opposed to just asking "how much for art."
• Understand that I make my living doing this and I need money to survive. I'm not going to do this for you because we're all brothurrs of metallll.
• Try to come up with a concept that's going to stand out and be interesting, it'll motivate me.

• Ask if you can get the art before you pay.
• Ask for something that's almost exactly like another cover but with your logo.
• Ask for it to be set in a city. ...just because I'm terrible with rigid backgrounds.
• Ask for stuff that bashes a religion. I don't do it. I'm not religious, but it's a personal choice. Deal with it.

What do you do to begin designing another band's logo? I imagine that you want it to fit the overall "feel" of the band.

Yeah. I never listen to a band for inspiration, as what I get from a band and what they want to project are very rarely the same thing. Instead I ask them for the SORT of logo they'd like, by band name. It helps give me a flavor of what they're looking for. There are a lot of different logo styles out there and I don't think anyone's looking for something completely original. If they say they are, I think they're a bit out of touch on what's best for a metal band. ...I bet the Metal-Archives crowd would jump all over me for that sentence.

When I first heard your band name, I didn't think of World of Warcraft, I thought of the cover to the AD&D module Tomb of Horrors. How did you come up with the name and the look of the mascot?

Well aren't you as sweet as a baby junebug baked into a blueberry muffin. ...I just made that up, I don't know what it means. Anyway. Yeah, D&D was the inspiration for the name and the mascot. I just thought it'd be cool to have a huge enemy that's an undead wizard that's taken over the entire land. Once I had the idea, I just sketched out a skeletal dude with a crown, a sword and a suit of armor. I lost the armor, over time, and I'm glad I did- the WoW Lich King is heavily armored. I can't say our mascot is too terribly original, as everyone's got a nigh-undefeatable undead dude as their mascot, but the crown and the story kinda lend ours a weird spin, I feel. The King's story in album four is going to take a very strange turn.

What decisions do you make to have your artwork for Lich King fit the feel of the music?

In the first two albums, I just kinda made generic thrash metal art- main undead guy, army of zombies, radioactive stuff, not much creativity to it. With album 3 and 4, the art is matching what's happening in the King's song, almost like the cover of a book. WORLD GONE DEAD's cover featured the destruction of Boston by a horde of fiends, and the next album will feature a very different kind of plot point.

Do you get the same feeling of satisfaction when you finish a killer piece of art or design as you do when you finish a new Lich King song?

... ....I dunno, it's hard to compare the two. I definitely get a rush out of both, but the flavor's different. I guess I'm more excited when I turn out a new song, because the feedback you get is much more visceral. With art, the best people can say, usually, is "wow, looks great!" With a great new song, people really seem to lose their minds. Maybe it's just that I haven't been doing music quite as long, but I'd say I get slightly more satisfaction out of a song.

It seems to me that your song Black Metal Sucks is the most talked about of all Lich King songs. Did you think that it would cause such waves when you were writing the lyrics for it?

Nope. In fact, I looked up stuff I said at the time, and a word I was using for it when I made it was "filler." I was calling it filler before anyone had heard it, and just thought I could use a two-riff joke song to get some laughs. The way that frickin' song took off is... well, I mean, it's great promotion but as I always say, if I'd known it was going to be that big, I'd have put some effort into the songwriting.

I've admitted that I am not a huge fan of blackened thrash (although the actual music can be great). From what I gather, you are not a fan of blackened thrash either. Am I wrong about that, and if it's true, why?

I CAN be, it can be good, but honestly what I like about blackened thrash and death-thrash is just the thrash part. You can leave all the other stuff at home.

Does Lich King's sense of humor piss off a lot of the "angry thrash only" guys?

Not so much from the angry thrash only guys, but the serious metal only guys hate us and the original metal only guys hate us more. We also irritate the troo thrash only guys... the phonies that think you're making a mockery of thrash metal if you're not playing about satan and evil and wearing the thrash metal costumes when you do. L.A. is thick with thrashers, but from what I can tell, they may or may not completely turn their backs on us when they see we're short-haired dudes wearing regular clothes. There's lots of image-conscious bullshit in metal, and the only way to make everyone happy, it seems, is flying under the radar by looking and acting just like everyone else.

A couple more questions: Were you surprised by the success of your van fundraiser? (This past April, Lich King held an online fundraiser to help buy a touring van. -r.)

Yeah, honestly. We knew Razormaze (and you should check those guys out, by the way) had gone in and done a successful van fundraiser through Kickstarter.com. We started up our own, shooting for $3,000, and being very careful to not annoy people by mentioning that we were panhandling too often. Halfway through, we had- like... three tenths of our goal, and I was starting to give up hope. Then in the last week we did a push and were shocked to see the money pouring in. We actually shot 300 bucks over our goal, a day or two before the fundraiser ended. We were kinda shocked. Occasionally, still, we stand in the van and say "free van." It's really odd to think that the VEHICLE you're standing in was a gift from your fans.

How is the van holding up?

It's great, it runs beautifully and the air conditioning is like an arctic blast. The seats could be more comfortable, but ehh. I just left Brian's house yesterday, where we were building a bunk platform into the back. This thing's going to be great when we take it out. This is our first tour so we're probably overplanning things. We take off in about exactly one week from now, as I write this.

Thanks to Tom for the killer interview. Here is a list of dates for Lich King's upcoming US tour.

• 8/11/2011 Thur Philadelphia PA Jr's Bar
• 8/12/2011 Fri Virginia Beach VA Cozumels
• 8/13/2011 Sat Richmond VA Strange Matter
• 8/14/2011 Sun Raleigh NC Volume 11
• 8/15/2011 Mon Johnson City TN The Hideaway
• 8/17/2011 Wed Columbia MO Cafe Berlin
• 8/19/2011 Fri Chicago IL Reggie's Rock Club
• 8/20/2011 Sat Fort Wayne IN Brass Rail
• 8/21/2011 Sun Lansing MI The Blackened Moon
• 8/22/2011 Mon Toledo OH RamaLama Records
• 8/23/2011 Tues Chillicothe OH First Capital Music Hall
• 8/24/2011 Wed Cleveland OH Tower 2012
• 8/25/2011 Thur Pittsburgh PA The Smiling Moose
• 8/26/2011 Fri Buffalo NY The Funeral Home
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