Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Avenues of Approach ROCKS!

Texas metal men AVENUES OF APPROACH offer up an impressive well-rounded kick to their music, mixing it up between fist-pumping metal and gasoline-chugging hard rock.

With AoA's new EP, titled New Revolution, they are churning out a brand of metal that is rather accessible, walking that fine line of producing music that is both pit-worthy as well as something you could buy at Target.

Damn if that doesn't sound like a backhanded compliment, but the statement truly isn't. AoA simply know how to write relatively wide-appeal metal with muscle, all the while evading the Load/Reload road entirely.

Vocalist Brock Brooks freakin' nails it on these songs. Without his vocal dynamic, the music (as good as it already is) would definitely loose some impact. Brooks's seemingly effortless delivery brings to mind doses of Pantera, Coal Chamber (!), and even the Foo Fighters (!!), and utilizes his varied technique like a splash of lighter fluid to keep the music burning.

Truthfully, my hard thrash biases started stinging me when Brooks would go into clean-singing mode, but once I actually listened to what was going on in the music, that all changed. Now I couldn't imagine songs such as Through Darkness and A Test of Wills without that specific dynamic.

Although Brooks shines on this album, the rest of the band holds their own just fine, hammering out tight guitar work and a rhythm section that drives this sh*t through walls. Bad ass!

Purists beware, because although AoA definitely uses thrash in their music arsenal, they also add multi layers of groove metal and hard rock, using the sub-genres to their advantage.

Check out the goodies below and then hit up Avenues Of Approach here.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Stump Grinder ROCKS!

Hell, I thought I wrote a few doting words about the Columbus, GA band STUMP GRINDER. I haven't, and for fans of raw, punk-fueled, metallic, riff-rocky, humorous, crossoverish thrash -- I'm sorry. I should have said something about these guys earlier. Bad NWOTM Blog! Bad!

However, with the release of their next "single" Woodchipper Jones, not only did Stump Grinder bring their name to the forefront of my music-overloaded brain, they also planted a fat smile on my handsome mug. I love this stuff!

Listening to Woodchipper Jones, I find myself jamming out to thrash metal wrapped in sped-up, finger-tangling riff-rock, weaved in with bits o' punk and death. What's not to love?

The other two available tunes offer up just as much fun. Welcome to the Bar bring to mind the aggression of Toxic Holocaust while Fuzzy Death Machine hits on a more traditional thrash metal sound with a punked-out chorus. Fun as hell.

I read that they have a couple more tunes in the works to be released soon, and although I am more than stoked to hear them, I would love for Stump Grinder to hunker down and churn out a killer full-length.

Check out the good below, hit them up here, and download some FREE Stump Grinder tunes here.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Essence wins Rock the Nations Awards 2012!

A mammoth congratulations to Danish thrashers ESSENCE for winning the Rock the Nations Awards 2012.

Why is this a big deal? Hell, it's more than your average bar-band battle of the bands gig. As the winner, Essence earned a worldwide record deal with Noise Art records as well as a booking contract with Rock the Nation.

Bad ass! As a huge, huge fan of their Ultimhate debut Lost in Violence, I couldn't be more excited. Apparently, Essence's new album is already in the can and will be released in early 2013!

Here's hoping these fortunate circumstances offer the band a wider reach around the globe, especially for the accessibility of a physical product (I only have my obligately cherished MP3s of the Lost in Violence album). Also, I'm ecstatic about the idea that such a wider reach will bring them to the US.

Oh, yeah!

If you're interested, check out my review of Lost in Violence here as well as my Essence interview here.

Now, for God's sake, please release a sample of the new stuff! NOW!!! Or I can wait. Whatever.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Plector goes out on a high note with Punishment Day

In case you didn't know, Sweden's PLECTOR is breaking up at the dawn of the release of their next album titled Punishment Day. With the financial pressures of maintaining a full-time underground deathrash band, I would be the last person to cast stones at these guys for calling it quits.

However, I find Plector's Punishment Day an incredible slab of sick 'n' savage metal, making the whole situation rather bittersweet.

Listening to Punishment Day, you can tell that Plector injects a well-rounded understanding of how to orchestrate face-pummeling, groove-laden metal. These guys maintain a secure grasp on what makes this type of music tick, proving it song after song in a series of furious thrashings and mid-paced neck-crushers.

How vocalist/guitarist Erik Engbo can harness such killer riffage on a continuous level is impressive to say the least. The dynamics between songs, such as No Reward and To Be Punished deliver both locomotive thrash chug-fests as well as pounding after pounding of crushing death grooves that bring to mind Jungle Rot's finest moments.

If this album starts a well-earned fire throughout the underground, I'm hoping that Punishment Day will have Plector remembered as a band who went out while in top form.

Check it out when Discouraged Records releases it on November 7th.

Visit Plector's Facebook page here.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Damageflag joins with Punkerama Records...because they ROCK!

A big congratulations to Ireland's own DAMAGEFLAG. These young thrashers inked a deal with Punkerama Records which will release the band's debut EP on November 1st.

If you have yet to hear Damageflag's music, these guys crank out driving thrash with mind-hooking riffage and an overwhelming sense of having a hell of a good time.

Their tune Ride Like Hell has branded itself in my brain. The main riff is genius and the chorus is perfect for the live-performance-audience-participation scream along.

Listen to their goods below and then hit Damageflag up here.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Weekend Breakdown with Prainbork and Septic Fatality!

How might one get a grasp of what California's Prainbork is shelling out? Geez.

This is an epileptic attack mix of punk and metal bubbling with video game aggression and surreal humor. The layers of odd brilliance shine through in each song as Prainbork mastermind Art Bertik-Marquez channels his inner Mr. Bungle with nods to 50s rock, avant-garde jazz, and industrial, all peppered in a multi-genre mass of mind-blowing metal.

Prainbork's album A Wrench Short of a Baker's Dozen is driving and thunderous, with touches of atmospheric ghostliness and cartoon insanity. This is what it must have been like in the mind of a late-70s era Robin Williams.

Check out the songs below and hit Prainbork up here.

Back in 2008, in good ol' South Yorkshire, guitarist Niall Roberts assembled the thrash building blocks for the band Septic Fatality. Four years later the public finally gets a taste of their upcoming EP titled Into the Tomb.

Sure the title of both the band and the EP scream death metal, but Septic Fatality are simple-yet-effective, pure thrash. As for the taste of their upcoming EP, ever since I heard Septic Fatality's tune Sadistic Maniac, I find myself going back over and over again, listening to their only available song like an addict. Is Sadistic Maniac a wheel-inventing thrash tune? Not by a long shot, but dammit, everything about it rocks. The raw production, the mind-infecting riffs, and the shout-along vocals offer the listener some horns-up thrash injected with small doses of Municipal Waste and Gama Bomb. What the song lacks in gut-punching dynamics, it makes up for in bare-bones attitude and catchy guitar chugging.

I'm ready to hear the rest of the Into the Tomb!

Listen to Sadistic Maniac below and then visit Septic Fatality here.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

GrimWolf is pure werewolf METAL!

California's GrimWolf are described as "Pure American Werewolf Metal"! Werewolf metal? Hey, man, I can get on board, especially when the music is this beastly and aggressive.

As a horror movie fan, I was initially intrigued by GrimWolf's take on werewolves and how they plug the subject into most of their songs (Lycanthrope, Becoming the Beast, Little Red, etc.). Of course any band's cool gimmick has to be backed up by killer tunes, and thankfully GrimWolf provides ass-kicking ear sustenance as well.

GrimWolf hits hard with a solid heavy rock foundation, raging with melodic and occasional southern-tinged riffage. They add in heavy doses of thrash and death metal to create a savage climate for the listener to roam through - preferably under the light of a full moon.

With a seamless combination of old-school and modern thrash influences, the assault of GrimWolf's straight-forward chugging riffs are undeniably heavy as hell, and the when they break into melodic twists, killer solos, and traditional metal overtones, it all comes together into a monster of well-written metal.

Check out the tunes below and hit GrimWolf up here and here.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Review: Lich King - Born of the Bomb

Why the hell isn't LICH KING getting pushed by a solid record label? Surely their last two efforts earned a spot next to Evile, Diamond Plate, Gama Bomb, Bonded By Blood, etc., as far as well-written, quality thrash metal.

Even if the naysayers scoff at Lich King for being unoriginal or too goofy to be taken seriously, one would still have to admit there is an appeal to Lich King's music, whether one understands it or not.

Personally, I understand the music's appeal for me. I freakin' enjoy old-school thrash metal, and Lich King knows how to write a kick-ass song. Period.

Way back when Lich King released "Combat Mosh" as a teaser to the new album, the driving riffs and head banging dynamics had my mouth watering to hear more. That was approximately one year ago, so it's a good thing I didn't hold my breath until Born of the Bomb's release. In fact, I remember thinking what the hell was taking so long in popping that new album out…you know, since I am Mr. Impatient. I mean, Lich King offers up a couple samples to taste and an absolutely killer album cover, and they expect me to calmly wait while they seemingly stall the recording process (something I seriously doubt they did)?

Now although I was impressed with the teaser songs (which also included Wage Slave and the fantastic We Came to Conquer), I wasn't expecting anything more or anything less from the new Lich King album than a few well-written thrash tunes ranging from good to great which will occupy my car CD player for the next month or two as I drive to and from work.

Well, scratch that sh*t right now. I may not have been expecting anything more from BotB than a few well-written thrash tunes, but what I got instead is a monster of a metal album that will most certainly do more than occasionally occupy my car CD player. What I got is a full-on solid slab of hungry thrash metal that will rule in my music listening rotation for a long time to come.

From the get-go, I really dug the short, sweet, and heavy-as-hell opener All Hail. However, I freakin' knew I hit pay dirt with this album once the two following familiar songs lead into In The End, Devastation. This track is the teeth-gritting stomp and blistering thrash attack I crave in my metal. The chugging riffs actually bring to mind early Pro-Pain and vocalist Tom Martin's use of dynamics between his vocal rhythms and the music's metal onslaught is perfection.

Other highlights include Agnosticism, which at first was my only weak link on the album until the actual music of the track sunk in and completely infected me. The song's initial build-up to an incursion of stomping thrash is mirrored in pure awesomeness by the solo sections of impactful musical prowess. i.e. It's bad-ASS.

Another killer track is Axe Cop, a razor-sharp thrash smasher with a chorus fans will definitely shout while submerged within the song's insanity.

The closer, Lich King IV (Born of the Bomb) ups the dosage of brain-sick riffage and pure thrash tempos that will make even the most hardened Vio-lence fan smile.

So yes, I may have been whining about how long it took to finally hear the full album after the first teaser release, however, I have to keep in mind that top-notch takes time. What's better than top-notch thrash, right? With Born of the Bomb, Lich King stepped up the quality and created a herculean thrash metal album more than worthy of our time as fans of the genre.

So why isn't Lich King getting a well-earned push by a solid record label? I don't know, but it's their loss. Absolutely one of the best of 2012.

Lich King's Facebook page.
Buy Born of the Bomb here.

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