WTF? First Shawn Drover (drummer) quits MEGADETH to “pursue [his] own musical interests” and the very next day Chris Broderick (lead/rhythm guitarist) quits “due to artistic and musical differences…to pursue [his] own musical direction.” Coincidence? Probably not. Drover was instrumental in Broderick’s selection as the replacement for his brother, Greg Drover, in February of 2008. Both musicians are incredibly talented so my question is, will we see a band rise from the ashes with the Drovers and Broderick joining forces? Whatever the results, we here at METAL DESCENT wish Drover, Broderick, and MEGADETH all the best in this new chapter of their careers.
METAL DESCENT’s WEEK IN REVIEW
- Interview: RISE OF THE NORTHSTAR’s Hokuto No Kev
- This Week’s New Heavy Metal Album Releases
- Sounds From The Heavy Metal Underground
- Andy Thomas of BLACK CROWN INITIATE: Interview
- SKÀLMÖLD Með vættum: Album Review
- The Top 8 New Metal Music Videos Of The Week
AFTER THE DUST HAS SETTLED
We can’t review every album that comes out, but when something excellent crosses Mike’s car stereo, he has to tell you about it. Below are three new album reviews to guide you to the best metal music. He takes suggestions too, so post in the comments if you think there’s an album we should check out.
DECAPITATED Blood Mantra (Nuclear Blast)
For those of you expecting the same old DECAPITATED, you can throw those thoughts right out the window. Sure there is still plenty of their signature tech death but Blood Mantra is so much more than that. With elements of thrash, melodic death metal, groove metal, stoner metal, djent and spacey atmospheres strewn throughout, this is surely the band’s most well rounded album to date.
CLOUDKICKER Live With Intronaut (Century Media Records)
CLOUDKICKER has finally released his first major label album and it’s awesome. Ben Sharp is a solo artist from Cleveland, Ohio who has been independently releasing music that he has written, recorded, mixed and mastered under the moniker of CLOUDKICKER since 2007. Now he has parlayed that success into a live studio album with the boys in Intronaut. Sharp’s music combined with Intronaut’s musicianship makes for an unbelievable progressive metal album, the likes of which may never be duplicated again. Live With Intronaut easily ranks as one of the best and most brilliant instrumental metal albums of all time.
ELUVEITIE Origins (Nuclear Blast)
I love metal. It is, without a shadow of a doubt, the best and most talented form of music around today. With that said I also have major respect for the catchy, yet complicated arrangements of Celtic folk music. There’s nothing quite like drinking at an Irish bar while listening to a live Celtic band. With Origins, ELUVEITIE manages to take two amazing and complicated forms of music and combine them into one seriously sick album. The musical arrangements are so well written and somehow the band is able fit these two highly contrasting styles together without a hitch. I only wish I could hear ELUVEITIE play this entire album live the next time I head out to The Black Rose in Boston.
NEWS OF NOTE
- VENOM have confirmed the release of their new studio album, From the Very Depths. It will be released January 27th via Spinefarm Records.
- April 2015 will see the return of the HATEFEST Tour. The unholy billing will be headlined by SIX FEET UNDER and includes also MARDUK, VADER, and HATE! Special guests on all weekend-dates will be EISREGEN and DEBAUCHERY. Tickets for this exceptional Death/Black Metal tour are available at www.hardticket.eu.
- MACHINE HEAD HAS posted a behind scenes look at the making of the video clip for the track “Now We Die” (see below). The clip was directed by Mike Sloat (TESTAMENT, STAIND) and comes from their recently released Nuclear Blast Entertainment debut, Bloodstone & Diamonds.
- Norwegian progressive extreme metallers ENSLAVED released their first six installments in the seven-part “Diary of Mad Men” series shedding insight into the band’s upcoming as-yet-untitled thirteenth studio album, set for an early 2015 release.
- Seminal NYC hardcore veterans AGNOSTIC FRONT, will enter Buzzbomb Sound Labs on December 5th to begin recording their 11th studio album. The session will be handled by Paul Miner (TERROR, H2O, ATREYU, DEATH BY STEREO, ETC.,) who will be engineering, mixing and mastering the release. Artwork and layout will be handled by artist Todd Huber, who also works with vocalist Roger Miret’s clothing-line American Made Kustom.
- Death metal legends OBITUARY released their Relapse debut Inked In Blood, this past October via Relapse Records. In conjunction with the album’s release OBITUARY have teamed up with ESP Guitars and Ultimate Guitar for a special guitar solo contest. Visit Ultimate-Guitar.com HERE and find out how to record your own unique solo on the new song “Violence”. OBITUARY will personally judge each entry awarding one grand prize and 2 runners up.
- Following the announcement of their brand new album Searching For Zero , Canada’s CANCER BATS are finally able to announce that the album will be available in the US on March 10th, 2015! Metal Blade Records has launched pre-orders for the album digitally and physically, including limited CD and t-shirt bundles. Fans can order now at metalblade.com/cancerbats. North American tour dates for 2015 are being scheduled and will be announced soon!
- Spanish thrashers ANGELUS APATRIDA are preparing for their upcoming 5th studio album, Hidden Evolution, which is set to be released on January 19th in Europe and January 27th in North America (digital only) via Century Media Records.
- KING DIAMOND’ s Dreams of Horror was released last week and has debuted at #28 on the Billboard Hard Music charts! This is the ONLY “best of” album covering the band’s entire career. KING DIAMOND and Andy LaRocque meticulously mastered and enhanced these 23 songs into the ultimate editions, chosen by the band from both the Roadrunner and Metal Blade catalogs. Listen to “The Puppet Master” from disc 2 of “Dreams of Horror” and order a copy now at metalblade.com/kingdiamond.
- MOONSPELL are known to sign their souls away to the lunar side while recording and they have done just that with their new album Extinct, due out March 2015 via Napalm Records.
- Sun Eater, the fourth full-length album from JOB FOR A COWBOY, was released last week via Metal Blade Records worldwide. The response has been overwhelmingly positive and has led to a #91 debut on the Billboard Top 200, and a #5 debut on the Billboard Hard Music albums chart! On the day of release, the album was #2 on the iTunes metal charts. In Canada, Sun Eater debuted at #125 on the Top 200 chart, #15 on the Hard Chart, and #129 o the Digital Music Chart. On iTunes Canada, the album peaked at #4 on the metal albums chart, #17 on the rock chart, and #88 on the overall Top 200 albums chart. Listen to “Sun of Nihility” and order your copy of JOB FOR A COWBOY‘s Sun Eater now at metalblade.com/jobforacowboy.
- The rumors have been doing the rounds for months and it’s official at last: March 3rd will see the release of the latest studio recording by British rock legend UFO, their 22nd to date. The album will be called A Conspiracy Of Stars, and the band consisting of Phil Mogg (vocals), Paul Raymond (keyboards, guitar),Vinnie Moore (guitar), Andy Parker (drums) and Rob De Luca (bass) have recorded almost a dozen new songs, produced and mixed in the Kentish town of Deal by Chris Tsangarides, renowned for his work with acts such as JUDAS PRIEST, THIN LIZZY, and GARY MOORE. Almost simultaneously with the release, UFO is scheduled to go on a European tour in 2015.
Do you have heavy metal news that you’d like to share? Reader anecdotes are welcome in the comments.
I.O. Kirkwood is the Senior Live Music Editor at Metal Descent. You can read her personal blog HERE.