Thursday, November 29, 2012

Weekend Breakdown with Desecrate, A666RESSOR, and Toxic Ritual

With their album At the Edge of Sanity, California's DESECRATE slam together some tasty modern metal, leading the listener through a gauntlet of galloping aggression and epic melody.

The twin guitar work of Nick Simile and Chase Becker work so well in Desecrate's music, carving out some melodic thrash riffage with a power metal edge. The lead work, sewn in perfectly with the dynamic rhythms are spectacular, crisp and articulate in its execution.

Highlights include Fury Within and Repent, the latter containing a stream of killer stomping riffs that come together with the vocals to tell a story of sonic brilliance.

Other songs such as Erased is both haunting and ass kicking, filled with tranquil sadness and soaring exhilaration.

Vocalist/guitarist Simile mainly clean-sings throughout At the Edge of Sanity, at times sounding as if Dennis DeYoung is trying his hand at pure metal. If for some reason that sounded like a back-handed compliment, it's not - the guy knows how to bring it (even with the death growls), fitting Desecrate's music like a spiked leather glove.

This is the kind of metal that I like to crank and marvel at killer musicians displaying their chops with dynamic arrangements, pristine playing, and just plain well-written tunes to wreck my freakin' neck.

Check out the METAL below and then hit Desecrate up here and here.

In the metal world, there are a few "Aggressor" bands out there, but here I am focusing in on Mexico's own AGGRESSOR (A666RESSOR). If anything, I can't help but love the sound of these guys, cranking out thrash reminiscent of early Kreator and Schizophrenia-era Sepultura.

Their song Social Virus is pure thrash brimming with palm-muted power chords, pissed vocals, and a raw, grainy sound that screams 1986. Or 1987. Whatever, it kicks ass. Even their video for the Social Virus appears vintage.

Check out the video below and then visit them on Facebook.

Alright, let's get really, really raw now. I happened upon the crossover UK band TOXIC RITUAL while doing a routine thrash search. At first listen, the production of their demo songs was a turn-off, offering up a rather weak guitar sound instead of the fuller mass of controlled distortion this type of music desperately needs.

However, I made it past the first song Rise of the Merzombies, which is a good thing considering my interest had at first been tainted by the recording.

By the time the chorus for Toxic Manifesto hit, I was rocking to these guys in full force. As loose, raw, and at times, sh*tty sounding the demo tends to be, the band Toxic Ritual freakin' ROCKS!

The riffs and dynamics in their tunes wear their influences well, and in a live setting, I bet they could set the place to flame.

Fans of punk/crossover thrash take note because once Toxic Ritual get a quality recording out to the masses, it will be a mosh-worthy addition to your collection. I can't wait to see where these guys take it from here.

Listen to the goods below and then check them out here and here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Visiting my dad's vinyl and re-revisiting my own stash!

Recently I was able to visit my good ol' mom and dad in southwest Kansas and dig through my old man's vinyl collection. I've been wanting to do that for a long time because I knew I had a few gems I kept in there from years ago, and it's been high time to take 'em back!

Thanks, dad for keeping them safe!

As I dug through, I found countless examples of classic rock albums - all belonging to my dad. I combed through Hendrix, Deep Purple, Blue Oyster Cult, Johnny Winter, Nazareth, Judas Priest, Joplin, Beatles, Trapeze, and many more, including tons of blues and jazz.

I kept thinking how cool it was that many of these records my dad owns were bought new off the shelf, right when they came out. At the time, who knew that Hendrix would become the legend he is today or that Smoke on the Water would contain the riff that launched 1,000 guitarists?

Some of my dad's records are weathered and beat to hell from years of use and abuse, but man it felt good pulling those albums out and giving them some overdue attention.

Then I found my stash! You see, my vinyl-buying time was rather brief before I switched to cassette tapes and then CDs. I have only a few vinyl albums, and it was during a time when I was feeling my way through music to see what struck a chord in me.

I found Pink Floyd, ZZ Top, Zeppelin, AC/DC, Kingdom Come, and the Howard the Duck soundtrack.

Yes. The Howard the Duck soundtrack.

That pretty much summed up my vinyl buying experience, but I still picked up a couple more records a few years after I made the switch to CDs, and those were the ones I was after.

Here is one of 'em:

I already had the Garage Days Re-Revisted on CD, but when I saw this poor guy stuck in the freaking CUT-OUT BIN for a measly $2.99, I snatched it up and to this day never opened it. It still has the "Do not pay MORE!!!" sticker on it.

Now, I doubt that I would sell it for $5.98, damn what the stick on the cover says (including the $2.99 sticker).

I plan to get a nice turntable in the near future, and I am debating whether or not to rip the plastic off the cover and give this record a spin. The collector in me was kicking me in the balls as I wrote that last sentence.

Here is the second vinyl I was after:

I got the Whiplash EP at a used dealer YEARS ago for about $10.  This baby still looks brand-spankin' new, and I just love looking at it.

When I spotted these in the up-righted stack of records, I grabbed them up, added them to my sad little pile of vinyl and danced around a bit. My dad blankly looked at me and smiled. He loves music just as much as I do, so he understood my enthusiasm.

After I calmed down a bit, I put my pile to the side and continued to dig through my dad's records, pulling out stuff even he hasn't seen for years. We poured through quite a bit of his collection, dusting off memories and conversing about the magic of music.


We still have a bunch we haven't even went though yet. I can't wait to go back and continue where we left off.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Speculation about Diamond Plate's line-up change

Wow, so I was in for a surprise when I read that Diamond Plate replaced bassist/vocalist Jon Macak with Matt Ares. Last I knew, these guys were on their way to record a second album.

Well, they still ARE on their way to album number two, but apparently the chemistry between Jon and the rest of the band had deteriorated to the point of kicking the guy out!

Here is the band's statement:

“Over the past few months we have been writing and demoing songs for the next album. During that time, we felt that the chemistry between Jon and the rest of the band wasn’t as strong as it needed to be. We decided to move on, and find someone that shared the same passion to create the music that we’ve always wanted to make. We wish Jon all the best, and we want to thank him for being a part of this band. We are extremely excited to announce and welcome Matt Ares into the band as vocalist and bassist. Matt has really been a breath of fresh air for us, and in the first two weeks of jamming with him we were able to create an entirely new batch of songs and finish demoing the second album. Matt’s voice and playing add new dimensions to our sound, and we can’t wait for everyone to hear the band now. Thanks for always supporting, and keep your ears open for a new Diamond Plate record in 2013.”

This hit me like a ton of bricks, but after the dust settled in my head, I began speculating. That usually leads to trouble.

Well, I HAVE to speculate since (as of this writing) I have yet to read an official statement from Jon himself as to what the hell happened between him and the other fellas. Maybe it's none of my business, but as a big fan of Diamond Plate who invests time into the band's music, I can't help but wonder.

I love the Generation Why? album but I know that there was a huge backlash from those who believe that Diamond Plate strayed from the sound found on their demo. Many detested the vocals. Personally, the vocals did not bother me in the least. Others didn't like that every song was full-on traditional thrash metal. Again, this did not bother me because the dynamics between the "slow" songs and the thrash numbers worked well within the album as a whole.

I'm bringing this up because I wonder if the backlash had something to do with Jon's dismissal. Were they listening to the detractors and decided a change would be for the better? Did management have a hand in this? Did the band want to go further into what Generation Why? had begun or did they want to abandon that and go pure thrash metal? Which camp did Jon fall into and was this the reason for the breakdown in band chemistry?

Speculation. My thoughts could all be bullsh*t and maybe he was let go because he's a Raiders fan or something. I don't know.

However, I am a fan of Jon Macak and if he chooses to continue in another band, I will check it out.

Also, I am a huge fan of Konrad Kupiec and Mario Cianci (he was in Thrash or Die for God's sake!!), so I will absolutely check out the new Diamond Plate album. I am curious as to which direction they will venture toward musically.

And yes, James Nicademus is killer, too (drummers don't get enough love around here!). James, you kick ass! \m/

In the end, I do wish the best for everyone involved, including new bassist/vocalist Matt Ares. I hope the future bodes well for 'em, 'cause I'm ready for some new metal!


It looks like Jon Macak had released a statement publicly. Here's what he had to say:

To all who are not yet aware, I am no longer with Diamond Plate. It has been an extremely difficult pill to swallow but it is the truth. I would like to take a minute to thank all of the wonderful people who have played a part in the good times and successes that we enjoyed while I was a member of the band: our manager  Frank Mastalerz for providing a calm voice and leading us through the difficult decisions; everyone at Earache Records for giving a bunch of kids a chance to live their dream when others would not; and all of the talented bands that we were fortunate enough to have toured and shared the stage with over the years for helping us learn how to be true professionals. All of the people mentioned above have my utmost respect and gratitude for the support that they have shown for me as well as the band during my time as a member.

In regard to my former band mates, I will attempt to jump the gun on some of the questions that I am expecting to get. I assume that many fans will want to know how or why the situation came to this resolution and my response to anyone wondering is that what happened is between Konrad, Jim, Mario, and I. My hope is that everyone will understand and respect that fact by trying to avoid any incendiary questions. What I will say is that due to how things transpired I am not currently on the best of terms with the guys but cannot overlook the reality of the situation. We grew up together, we shared countless adventures and amazing experiences together, worked our asses off to get where we got, and are who we are today because of the time we spent together. I am not happy about the end result but it would be ridiculous to release this statement without acknowledging what we accomplished.

Above all else, I would like to thank the fans that have given me the chance to perform onstage. Playing for you guys is what I am most thankful for and passionate about and I owe every good thing in my life to you for letting me do so all these years. Many of you know that my life has hit some difficult times in the past few years but the incredible and unending support that I have received from you was literally what helped give me the strength to get out of bed on a daily basis and face the obstacles that have been thrown my way. I have grown to be friends with many of you, especially in the Chicago scene, and I love and cherish each and every one of you. Going onstage to entertain you and bullshitting with you at the merch table is what I am on this planet to do and I will continue to pursue music as my career to do so. I will find a band that values the positives in my personality and performance and I will be onstage again. My desire to carry on despite what has transpired in my life is one-hundred percent thanks to all of you.


So there you have it. Sounds like it wasn't amicable, but at least Jon seems determined to continue with music one way or another. I wish him luck!

Monday, November 19, 2012

The NWOTM Blog: Year Two!

So The New Wave of Thrash Metal Blog has reached its second year, and thanks to all of you, we keep growing and growing.

I believe the popularity of this blog stems from the lack of "thrash only" venues available online (or on the newsstands). Of course there are a few good ones, such as the Global Thrash Assault, among others, but for us thrash fans (along with thrash cousins punk/crossover and death metal), we take what we can get.

Usually, if you want to read about thrash metal, most of the well-known metal magazines, both on and offline, usually offer up a shred of thrash input to make room for the 100s of other sub genres within the metal community.

The NWOTM Blog tips the aforementioned formula on its head: I offer up a shred of other metal sub genres to make room for THRASH. I'm not dogging on the other sub genres (in fact, I like most of 'em), but what is a thrash-head to do when the pickings are so damn slim?

Well, I try to fill that open void just a little bit with the NWOTM Blog. Personally, I not only want to know more about the thrash bands I love, I also want to FIND MORE bands! As I have mentioned many times before, the grassroots is where it's at: local, hardworking, bad-ass thrash bands that have a couple unknown demos circulating on the Net.

I mean, you all already know about Evile, Municipal Waste, and Wabrbringer. Let the thrash world also hear about Sewercide! Condition Critical! Cuttin' Loose! Warsenal! Insanity Alert! The list goes on and on.

I find these bands (or they find me) that I think are amazing and want to share them with you all, putting them on par with the signed bands that I love so much.

Of course I will write about the more popular bands - I freakin' love those bands as well. However, I remember what it was like playing in a local band and trying to spread the word about my music, and how it felt when someone took notice.

After I posted the announcement of the NWOTM Blog's 2nd anniversary on the Facebook page, I received a comment from Pat Smith, the bassist for the Texas metal band Avenues of Approach, a band I recently posted on the blog. Pat thanked me for spreading the good word of metal, and then wrote:

"On behalf of AoA, I want to personally thank you! We are being listened to in parts of the world I would have never imagined possible, and that is all because of the NWTMB, and your dedication. While I don't see a "World Tour" any time soon, it's still really cool to say we're being listened to in 5 different countries! And the NWTMB is completely responsible for that."

Personally, for me, his statement is awesome. Awesome! Not in an ego-stroking way. It's just validation to me that the Blog is doing what its meant to do: Get the word OUT!

So thank YOU to all the thrash fans and bands out there who check out this blog (and its accompanying Facebook page). You fans display a love and hunger for thrash, complete with a NEED to search out and discover new bands who can crank out your favorite sub genre of metal. It's a passion that should never be extinguished.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Weekend Breakdown with Animas and DSMB

Over in Wincher, VA, there be METAL going by the name of ANIMAS. Listening to their new EP titled Blood on the Iron, fans of power thrash will find much to enjoy.  Maiden-esque guitar gallops merge with epic, moody solo sections while vocalist/bassist John Habuda flips from a rough Mustaine-sounding vox to demonic screams.

Most of the music is slow to mid-paced grinding metal, mixing plenty of melody with the aggression, but there are definitely moments of explosive thrash to keep the dynamics popping. The twin guitar work of Kyle Luttrell and Kory Campbell kicks mucho ass, bringing to mind a less frenzied Chris Peterson (of Cellador fame) style - and such, turned a lot of Animas's music into pure ear candy for yours truly.

Give ANIMAS a shot by listening to the tune below and then visit them here.

For a more abrasive direction, let's check out Australia's crossover thrashers DSMB. Their self-titled EP was released last year and I'm pissed that I've only recently discovered these guys.

DSMB's 6-song quick blast of face-shattering crossover first caught my attention with their relentless homage to old-shcool thrash/punk, but then thoroughly kicked my ass with their catchy, slammin' riffage. DSMB show diverse influences all over the thrash map (hints of S.O.D., Slayer, Municipal Waste, and even Vio-lence), but always with a foot planted in the crossover sub genre, helped along with vocalist Boskie's pissed-off and on-target delivery.

Over repeated listenings, I love the self-titled EP more and more. Check out the songs below and then hit up DSMB here where you can download a few of their songs for free, or stream the entire EP here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Humungus! 'Nuff said!

Let's get back into the madness with a Richmond, VA band that blesses the listener with a hammerface full of killer chugging metal. HUMUNGUS rides the line of traditional metal and thrash, offering up rough to clean/high-pitched sonic screams with ferocious e-string destroying riffage.

Their tune Martial Law slams along with driving guitars until toward the middle of the song it almost turns into a Megadeth tribute song, vocal pattern and all. I'm not complaining - it still kicks ass, but it becomes obvious that old-school 'deth is a huge influence.

Humungus have a ton of killer ideas and when they work, they work really well. Check out the goods below and hit Humungus up here and here. If you dig 'em, buy their Drinkin' a Beer EP here.

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