Posts Tagged “No Doubt”

On February 25, Norwegian/American hard rockers TNT performed at the studios of Norway’s public television network NRK as a part of a series showcasing Norwegian musicians. Check out footage of the performance at

TNT played its first official reunion show with singer Tony Harnell on January 17 at Gregers Live in Hamar, Norway.

Harnell confirmed his reunion with TNT in October 2013, explaining in a statement: “After much discussion and lots of soul searching, I’m happy to officially announce that I’ll be back behind the microphone with TNT.

“I’m very proud of all we accomplished over the years and proud to have written and recorded all those great songs with my brother from another mother, Ronni Le Tekrø.

“Sometimes it’s just time to give the fans what they’re asking for.

“2014 is the 25th anniversary of the successful ‘Intuition’ album and we thought it would be a good time to get out and relaunch this little machine for you guys!

“Can’t wait to see you all on tour!”

In August 2013, TNT parted ways with its frontman of the past seven years, British vocalist Tony Mills (ex-SHY). He explained in a statement: “Maybe we did 500 shows or something like that, but not many out of Norway.

“It has been the most prolific live period in my career, and when I felt the stagnancy and the lack of desire to grow and develop any further, I knew my time was done with the band.

“I don’t think it’s sensible to expect new art from the band after thirty years, just a lot of re-living the past and reconstructions of old albums and performances.

“None of us are getting any younger, but I have a great desire to not stop creativity in my life. I hate wasting days and singing songs from the past to satisfy old fans.

“Nostalgia wasn’t doing it for me.

“We were never close as friends or anything like that, so there is no great loss, and I have no doubt they will reform the original lineup and just do the whole thing all over again. I wish them good luck on that. I have other releases to come that excite me much more than that.”

Harnell rejoined TNT on stage for their 30th-anniversary concert on June 2, 2012 at the Clarion Hotel in Trondheim, Norway. The group performed a special setlist while accompanied by the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra (Trondheim Symfoniorkester). Also making a special appearance with the band was TNT‘s original singer, Dag Ingebrigtsen.

After leaving TNT in 2006, Harnell was replaced by Mills, who has since appeared on three studio albums from the band: 2007’s “The New Territory”, 2008’s“Atlantis” and 2010’s “A Farewell To Arms”.

Harnell‘s final release as a member of TNT was the “Live in Madrid” DVD, which came out in September 2006 via MTM Music. The set, which was filmed on April 1, 2006 in Madrid, Spain, was accompanied by an 82-minute audio CD plus booklet liner notes from Harnell about his work with the group as well as an additional tour documentary by Darren Paltrowitz.

Photo credit: Kjell Solstad


Comments No Comments »

Before you get caught up trying to decipher the sprawling title of SEPULTURA‘s 13th album, “The Mediator Between Head and Hand Must Be the Heart”, the core principle behind it is inspired by dystopian themes conveyed in the 1927 silent film classic, “Metropolis”. This sort of delving should be no surprise to SEPULTURA followers, since Andreas Kisser of late has been consulting literary and cinematic works for inspiration, trending by the band’s recent works “Dante XXI” and “A-lex”.

2011’s “Kairos” was more of a straightforward SEPULTURA venture with no real concept and fans at-large embraced the chewy and thrashy tone of that album. Thus, consider “The Mediator Between Head and Hand Must Be the Heart” more in the same vein from the standpoint that Kisser and SEPULTURA 2013 (which now includes Eloy Casagrande on the drums in the stead of Jean Dolabella) are concentrating on linear modes of thrash and mash with extracurricular earthy grooves sprinkled along the hefty ride. Considering the fact SEPULTURA now has one of its founding fathers, Max Cavalera and SOULFLY as direct competitors at Nuclear Blast Records, there’s no doubt going to be a de facto square-off in the eyes of the fans.

SEPULTURA‘s conceptualizing on this record not only heralds Fritz Lang‘s visionary tale of mankind’s seduction (and ultimate dehumanizing) by the big machine, but it also dabbles in propositions that religion is fruitless and mainstream society is obtuse to the suffering of its less fortunate brothers and sisters. You know, the same as it ever was in SEPULTURA.

As with “Kairos”, SEPULTURA has their engines humming with plenty of velocity as well as rolling tribal percussion. Turning to Ross Robinson, who produced the band’s classic “Roots”, (and with no irony, SOULFLY‘s first full-length CD) “The Mediator Between Head and Hand Must Be the Heart” has its songwriting moods in the right place and that equates into a bloody good ride, if not quite meeting the premise of devastating evolution Ross Robinson would have SEPULTURA fans believe.

Robinson reportedly notified Andreas Kisser of his intent to “smoke” the latter album on “The Mediator Between Head and Hand Must Be the Heart”, a bold and potentially rash assertion. “Roots” has the benefit of innovation on its side, while SEPULTURA‘s newest project finds the band already having stretched many fragments and parameters beyond their key speed zone. What’s best about “The Mediator Between Head and Hand Must Be the Heart” is that it feels like a proper SEPULTURA album, finding a happy medium delved from the band’s last three albums. In effect, most people should come out of this listening session pleased by the results.

Kisser‘s riff-o-matic shredding and wiggly solo jerks are trusty as always. Always overlooked for his share of SEPULTURA‘s rolling thunder, Paulo, Jr. is a rumbling engine of chaos on this album. Derrick Green (who’s finally starting to be let off the hook somewhat by the jaded sanctions of the metal public) delivers another confident performance. Green is actually allowed to show a different dimension to his customary gruff vocals on “Grief” where he wallows cleanly (and forlornly) on the verses before plowing through his raspy yelps on the choruses.

SEPULTURA these days have a young buck riding the kit and while he doesn’t yet possess the calamitous fills of Igor Cavalera, Eloy Casagrande, as Derrick Green long has, fits the mold of this group just fine. Casagrande is a little choppy on some of his rolls, but he drops more than his share of grenades upon the album. He scorches on the careening “Trauma of War” and then he delivers dynamic swaps between stamp and thrash modes on “The Vatican” that follow a nervy opening featuring church tolls, cantata and piercing synths.

In order to stand up even remotely to “Roots”, SEPULTURA is expected to fuse traditional percussion elements and while subtle in spots, blatant in others, they do deliver the goods. Some fantastic conga work busts loose upon the banging bridge on “Manipulation of Tragedy”, clapping triumphantly amidst the enormous groove of the cut. “The Bliss of Ignorants” gets extra loft out of its accusatory stomp with a gnarly segue of tribal rhythms floating out of Andreas Kisser‘s dotting solo.

If there’s any authentic connection to “Roots” on this album, it’s minute at-best, the closest coming with “The Age of the Atheist”, which finds the interchanging rhythms between crawl and blitz tapped out with fragrant percussion. SEPULTURA are returning to their heritage in increments while Max Cavalera and SOULFLY continue to raze away the tribal elements that gave the offshoot such tremendous character. With SEPULTURA, that ethnic flavor is plentiful again and most welcome. “Obsessed” operates in the same manner as “The Age of the Atheist”, only in this case, the brisker touch of the song is aided by the double-hammer acumen of none other than SLAYER‘s Dave Lombardo. Handing out more than just a mere cameo, Lombardo all but jerks SEPULTURA back momentarily to their “Beneath the Remains” days. Derrick Green sounds like he’s trying to live up to the moment by dousing the song with some of his meatiest screams and crustiest whispers on the record.

“The Mediator Between Head and Hand Must Be the Heart”, is adventurous, but not quite in the same manner as “Dante XXI”, “A-Lex” and of course, “Roots” long before them. The Portuguese rapping trailing throughout the funky calypso of “De Lamo Ao Caos” is a ballsy maneuver and it delivers a pretty killer payoff, at-that. It’s admirable for Ross Robinson to want to push his clients to a higher level of craft, particularly when they find themselves in the unnecessary position of having to justify themselves with every single release that’s come out since 1998’s “Against”. While it’s evident at this point Andreas Kisser, designated leader and creative spearhead of the band, has no intention of inviting overtures of a Cavelera reunion, there’s no practical reason to judge SEPULTURA with that looming specter over their heads. Andreas, Paulo, Jr. and Derrick have done justice to this band over the past fifteen years and “The Mediator Between Head and Hand Must Be the Heart” should prove to be their moment of redemption, even in the eyes of SEPULTURA‘s naysayers.

Comments No Comments »

If there’s a true maverick of the underground aside from Mike Patton, no doubt it’s Hank 3. While his bloodline indirectly calls upon him to stand worthy of the Grand Ole Opry, if you know anything about the Hank Williams lineage, you know the youngest would just as soon level the place down to cinders until they reinstate has grandfather into their hall of fame.

Frankly, everything Hank 3 has done in his crust-punk-doom-country-collided career has been a veritable spit upon the pavement of the Opry, be it his involvement in ASSJACK and SUPERJOINT RITUAL to his own spread of entities ranging from HANK III to 3 BAR RANCH to ATTENTION DEFICIT DOMINATION and now his latest venture, the simply-named 3.

By no means to be confused with the pop-tinted prog unit of the same name, 3 comes to play this year as an outlet for Hank 3 to shove out a pair of simultaneous albums, the cowpunk slapper, “A Fiendish Threat” and a pure country double album, “Brothers of the 4×4”. Recording both albums in a span of four months with the same stable of like-minded backup players, “A Fiendish Threat” is the album that will gain the bigger attention.

Hank 3 describes “A Fiendish Threat” as an album that took some years off of him and for certain, there’s a refreshing vigor punching out of it. Hank 3 fields the guitars and drums on this thing and yowls through a voice filter, giving the new joint a hellbilly punk-industrial texture to it. All dashed by devilish fiddling from David McElfresh and Billy Contreras plus stand-up bass thwacking from Zach Shedd. Most of Hank‘s guitars are acoustic, which lends a cheeky if pretty damned impressive air to the punk feel of the record carrying hints of the MISFITS, RAMONES, SUBHUMANS and STIFF LITTLE FINGERS.

Many of the songs here speed like a thoroughbred stud in fear of having its nuts shorn off, in particular the galloping duo of “There’s Another Road” and “Broke Jaw”. The latter is the faster of the pair and before you’re settled into the breezing chord switches, an out-of-nowhere slide guitar solo is heaped in, carrying a hallucinogenic echo you’ll feel punch drunk from. While you’re hanging dazed, stand by for some monster fiddles in the midst of it all. Then there’s the full-on blitzes of “Face Down” and “Full On”, songs that fly at such a crazy fast pace it’s a wonder Hank and Zach Shedd didn’t break their raped strings in the process. Considering most of these songs were done in a single take, the chop-slop feel of “Face Down” and “Full On” are remarkable in their fierce execution.

Some of the songs of “A Fiendish Threat” are on the mid-tempo side, but they carry serious clout. “Watchin’ U Suffer” is the most ass-kicking number on the record with the nastiest groove, the fiercest beat and violins that taunt behind the knuckle-brawling heft of the song. “Breakin’ Free” is wrangled in the same manner, albeit there’s a wicked breakdown segment leading into another warped slide guitar wave, followed by a sedate section of chimes and then another razzing fiddle rip. A presumed personal anthem, Hank 3 bellows on this track about busting out of music conventions and (assumedly) those who continue to dog him for not remaining pure country. The finale of “Breakin’ Free” is set up with a downhome country swill in the flavor of Hank the elder that’s torched in the final seconds. You just know the grandson is, in his own way, saying “fuck you” to the Opry committee, much as he always has. In direct answer to “Breakin’ Free” comes the uppity “New Identity” and “Fight My Way”, both of which address Hank‘s domestic hullabaloos as much as his musical controversies.

“Different From the Rest” is Hank 3‘s definitive self-ode as much as it’s one for the entire Eighties punk and hardcore ethos he draws from on “A Fiendish Threat”. It has a decided MISFITS slide that burps straight out of the psychobilly shuffle of “Can I Rip U” in the beginning of the album, the latter complete with hilarious distorted response calls.

Not as over-the-top zany as the death grind scorching overtop the cattle calling loops in 3 BAR RANCH, “A Fiendish Threat” yells giddyap out of the chute and the listener is expected to grab on for life beyond a mere eight seconds. Go ahead and cheat with both hands. By the time you reach the swarming fiddles nattering throughout the heavier tones of “Feel the Sting” and the doom-flavored ballad of “Your Floor” (where Hank shoves out a broiled Ozzy impression and the fiddles are mutated into something befitting of a nasty peyote trip), you’ve been flung through quite a ride which prompts a few laughs and a lot of slams.

For a reported ADD-dyslexic, Hank 3 is one of the most prolific artists of this generation. Whether or not you appreciate his weird ways, there’s no denying he has balls of steel. Hank mockingly hollers through his voice scrambler that he’s a big disgrace on the title track. As if. More musicians should follow this guy’s lead and stand true to themselves. A Grammy seems as likely as an induction into the Grand Ole Opry for Hank 3. What’s coolest about the cat is that every move he makes is done against those grains with a callused middle finger in the air.

Comments No Comments »

Elle Haus of Full Throttle Rock recently conducted an interview with British vocalist Tony Mills (TNT, SHY). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Full Throttle Rock: You’ve had a long, fruitful career with TNT. Do you look back on that time with fondness and accomplishment for the work you created?

Mills: Not really for the work I created, to be honest, although the third and final album, “A Farewell To Arms”, was the best of the three, without a doubt.

Full Throttle Rock: But this time really belongs to seven years on stage and not a lot else.

Mills: Maybe we did 500 shows or something like that, but not many out of Norway. It has been the most prolific live period in my career, and when I felt the stagnancy and the lack of desire to grow and develop any further, I knew my time was done with the band. I don’t think it’s sensible to expect new art from the band after thirty years, just a lot of re-living the past and reconstructions of old albums and performances. None of us are getting any younger, but I have a great desire to not stop creativity in my life. I hate wasting days and singing songs from the past to satisfy old fans. Nostalgia wasn’t doing it for me. We were never close as friends or anything like that, so there is no great loss, and I have no doubt they will reform the original lineup and just do the whole thing all over again. I wish them good luck on that. I have other releases to come that excite me much more than that.

Full Throttle Rock: You’ve publicly stated that in today’s world long gone are the days of going to a shop to buy your favorite artist’s new record, with the whole digital revolution of music and downloads. What is your opinion of the state of the music industry at the moment?

Mills: The young musicians of today will get different kicks, I guess, but there was nothing like getting a letter back through the post from a record company with a positive response to a demo that you had sent weeks before. Or recording in big studios where you stayed for months; a lot like being on holiday, but creating great music with big name producers. Record advances have all but disappeared, and the market is evolving in many different ways. I often hear engineers saying that they miss the roll of the tape machine in the background. I can empathise with that, although the technology is so much better now. I feel sorry that the traditional record company and its releases have all but disappeared, but on reflection, they also made a mess of a lot of things and they can’t do that anymore either. Corporate record companies had many of their own ideas that didn’t agree with the artists’ ideas at all, but nevertheless were enforced regarding releases and artistic direction. They had no real place in that, but they waved the cheque book and you had your arm twisted in their direction one way or another. I kind of soldiered on regardless through all the changes of the last thirty years, because they were so inevitable. I don’t see a whole lot of money in making records anymore; the profit has lay in the performance and the merchandise for quite a while now, so we write and record to support that ethic and do the best we can.

Read the entire interview at Full Throttle Rock.

Comments No Comments »

Greg Prato of Songfacts recently conducted an interview with Jon Oliva (SAVATAGE, TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA, JON OLIVA’S PAIN). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Songfacts: Would you agree that SAVATAGE was one of the first-ever true prog metal bands?

Jon: Absolutely. No doubt about it. I think that really started with “Hall Of The Mountain King”, but then definitely from “Gutter Ballet” on, we definitely expanded. We had done three or four records that were basically the same, except for “Fight For The Rock”, which we don’t count. That’s like the red-headed stepchild. But yeah, we started going that route, definitely with “Gutter” and “Streets”. I had never heard of the term prog rock until a few years ago. I didn’t know what it was. Back in 1987 I don’t remember that term being around. Was it?

Songfacts: The only other band that may have been described that way is maybe QUEENSRŸCHE, but I really don’t remember them being described like that around the time that also SAVATAGE was around, back in ’87.

Jon: Yeah, it’s weird. I’m wondering when that prog base first started popping up as a new genre. I’ve got to check that out. That’s going to bother me all day now. I want to know when the first time someone said “prog rock.”

Songfacts: I think DREAM THEATER may have been the first band to be called prog metal.

Jon: If you really think about it, the first prog-type band was probably ELP. But I see what you’re saying. DREAM THEATER to me, I like that band a lot. I think the drummer is amazing, just too many solos for me. I can’t help it, man. They’re great players. You can’t take away the talent. These guys are unbelievably talented. Some of those solo sections are just like, “Okaaaay,” but great band. People like ’em, so people like 20-minute guitar solos.

Songfacts: Why do you think that TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA has reached such a huge audience, but SAVATAGE in the ’80s didn’t? Do you think it was just a matter of timing or just listeners’ tastes at the time?

Jon: Well, I think what happened with that mainly is that the name SAVATAGE, we ran the course with it. And because of some bad mistakes that we made business-wise in our younger days before Paul O’Neill, we never could quite recover from that and get into the bigger level. I mean, we did well. We did really good in Europe. But we never got SAVATAGE to that level, and after 20-some odd years and then losing Criss [Oliva, guitar] in the middle of that, we just weren’t ready to continue. The fatal thing that happened was with the song “12/24” off of the “Dead Winter Dead” album [1995]. We sent the song out around Christmastime, and a station down in Florida started playing it, and it became a hit down here. Atlantic Records sent that CD to every radio station in America and nobody would play it. They said, “Why didn’t you play the song?” It’s like, “Well, SAVATAGE, that’s a heavy metal band from the ’80s. We don’t play that shit.” They never even listened to it. You know how we know? Because the next year we sent the exact same song and put a Christmas tree on the cover and an angel and called it “TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA,” and it was #1 on 500 radio stations. So that just goes to show you that what was holding SAVATAGE back was SAVATAGE. It wasn’t the songwriting. It was the same, Paul and I, and before that, Criss, Paul, and I. You know, the proof was in the pudding. “12/24”, which is technically a SAVATAGE song from the album “Dead Winter Dead”, has sold millions of records. I’ve got them hanging on my wall. But when it was released as SAVATAGE, it sold 30,000. So what does that tell you? It tells you that the name’s turning people off for some reason, and that’s what it was. Now look at what’s happened. TSO is one of the biggest bands in the world, it’s unbelievable. It’s funny to me, because it’s SAVATAGE. [laughs] I get a kick out of this. I’m like, “It’s SAVATAGE with tuxedos and a bunch of other people from all around the world.” We bring in people from all around the world, which makes us kind of international, which I think is cool. But the thing that sells it is the music, Paul‘s stories, and Paul‘s poetry and the lyrics, and the way that Paul and I work together when we write. There’s a chemistry there.

Read the entire interview at Songfacts.

Comments No Comments »

On September 6, vocalist Mark “Barney” Greenway of British grindcore pioneers NAPALM DEATH was interviewed by in Kiev, Ukraine. You can now watch the chat below.

NAPALM DEATH recently took part in Decibel magazine’s second annual national tour alongside the preeminent gore institution CANNIBAL CORPSE and New York death metal stalwarts IMMOLATION.

NAPALM DEATH‘s latest album, “Utilitarian”, sold around 2,200 copies in the United States in its first week of release, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The CD debuted at No. 14 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200.

NAPALM DEATH‘s previous album, 2009’s “Time Waits For No Slave”, opened with around 1,800 units to land at No. 19 on the Heatseekers chart.

“Utilitarian” was released on February 27, 2012 in Europe and February 28, 2012 in North America via the band’s longtime partner, Century Media Records. The cover artwork perfectly fits the album’s theme and was created by the Danish artist Frode Sylthe, who is also responsible for THE HAUNTED‘s “rEVOLVEr” artwork.

Bustleholme — a live collaboration between NAPALM DEATH and ceramic artist Keith Harrison — has been rescheduled for Friday, November 29 in the Modernist setting of the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill on Sea, East Sussex, United Kingdom.

Initially created for the V&A in London (where it was supposed to take place this past March), this groundbreaking project will see the band come together with Harrison to depict and destroy a custom-built installation during a one-off live performance. Expect no limitations imposed upon what will no doubt be one of the most important events of the cultural calendar.


Comments No Comments »

Look, we know that when it comes to gnarly, crust-tinged, heavy-as-fuck hardcore music we’re all a bit spoiled right now. From the scorching mayhem of Trap Them to the thrashy leanings of Enabler all the way through to the catchy punk ‘n’ roll of Kvelertak, there are few subgenres in as rude health in 2013, which is why we’re really not taking it lightly when we suggest that Palm might be the very best of the lot of them.

Formed 13 years ago in Osaka, Japan and weaned on a diet of Slayer, Converge, Entombed, Sepultura and Neurosis, the four-piece have only made it to our shores once so far – way back in 2010 on an extremely well-received if rather brief tour – but with fellow Osaka natives Crossfaith currently blowing up all over the place due to their similarly crushing live shows, more and more Japanese metal bands are beginning to get some deserved attention – and Palm easily sit at the top of the pile.

“Palm was formed just to play heavy and hardcore music,” states frontman Toshihiko Takahashi plainly. “There are good metal bands [inOsakaandJapanin general], but honestly, there’s not a very good scene going on. But, with Crossfaith’s exposure, the new generation are becoming active and I hope that Japanese hardcore and metal music will get more exposure to the world!”

On why Japanese metal has struggled to gain international recognition on a large scale until relatively recently, Toshihiko is certainly in no doubt that it’s not for a lack of trying. “We want to,” he muses, “but a lot just don’t know how, and there’s also the language barrier and lack of connections. I know that we all aim to get out there.”

Judging by last year’s incredible Our Darkest Friends album, which boasts artwork by Converge legend Jacob Bannon, Palm are certainly ready to stake their claim as leaders of the Japanese underground, and their live shows – “impulsive, hard and no-bullshit. Pure live energy” – aren’t to be messed with either. Just get your asses back over to theUKsoon, alright, lads?

“Last time we came, we were able to experience great towns, the people were great and we had a great time,” enthuses the singer. “We always want to come back so we ask all of you to spread our name and bring us back!”

You heard the man. The campaign starts now.

My Darkest Friends is out now. Order it from

Interview by Merl

Comments No Comments »

Only their second studio album within an eighteen year block, Chicago doom legends TROUBLE are back. Well, without Eric Wagner and Jeff “Oly” Olson, anyway. That’s the bad news. The good news is that TROUBLE is in the capable hands of former FLOODGATE and EXHORDER vocalist Kyle Thomas. While a large consensus of fans have remained dubious about the doom legends’ future after collectively dismissing 2007’s “Simple Mind Condition”, they can take some heart.

Nowhere near as watered-down as its predecessor, TROUBLE‘s latest slab “The Distortion Field” employs plenty of their famed chunk o’rama doom riffage from “Psalm 9” and “The Skull”. They also dabble once again in the psych-alt pastures that made the 1990 self-titled album and “Manic Frustration” the explorative gems they are.

Guitarists Bruce Franklin and Rick Wartell still have it, there’s no denying the fact. While “The Distortion Field” is largely throwback (the opening rumble of “When the Sky Comes Down” is a kissing cousin to “The Tempter” from “Psalm 9”), there are enough dynamics corralling the two critical periods of the band to make it an easy listen.

“One Life” is a mash-up of TROUBLE‘s vintage doom plods with a swerve into trance-driven, swooning choruses. Subtly, the merge sounds like a dirtier version of KING’S X, no doubt a carryover from Franklin and Jeff Olson‘s involvement with Doug Pinnick‘s SUPERSHINE project. The punchy and jive-filled “Paranoia Conspiracy” is an instant grab and it gives Kyle Thomas the opportunity to strut along to the rolling riffs with enough showmanship needed to satisfy TROUBLE purists. Franklin and Wartell peel off a greasy tag solo and pummel every space of “Paranoia Conspiracy” not occupied by a lulling bass line.

Interestingly enough, TROUBLE stakes a case for having a fair influence (as much as they were influenced themselves) upon the grunge era as did SAINT VITUS. It’s going to be hard not to think of SOUNDGARDEN on “The Broken Has Spoken” and “Sucker” with their grunge grooves and fuzz bucket rear distortion. Likewise, the muddy shuffles of “Your Reflection” are echoed by TAD and TEMPLE OF THE DOG. While “Sink or Swim” comes with a toothy blues rock trundle on the verses, the choruses are haunted by risky dashes of PEARL JAM. The easygoing sprawl of “Have I Told You” keeps TROUBLE stationed in their revisit to the nineties, albeit it’s likely to put more than a few listeners on the edge of mistrust.

This gambit nearly becomes “The Distortion Field”‘s undoing, but smartly, the album mucks things up with jagged hunks on “Hunters of Doom” and remains in a similar key the rest of the ride. “The Distortion Field” maintains a heavy course on “Butterflies”, “Sucker”, “Your Reflection” and the ethereal “Greying Chill of Autumn”. The latter is the best track of the second half of the album, dashed by an effective combo of spooky wah and ripping choruses.

A bit better than “Simple Mind Condition” but not quite as solid as 1995’s “Plastic Green Head”, “The Distortion Field” is a decent rebound giving Franklin and Wartell the opportunity to break Kyle Thomas in. His gruff and gravelly pipes are an appropriate fit for everything they ask of him, whether it’s to amble along or to get knee-deep. Thomas can doom it up and he can swing. He gargles his higher octaves (especially on “Glass of Lies”) and swoons his mid-to-lower ranges. His cat screech on “Hunters of Doom” is so freaking metal you’ll feel your fist clench by reflex in appreciation. Thomas is given some wicked riffs to play with and “The Distortion Field” is largely a pleaser, even if it would’ve best been served at forty minutes instead of an hour. Let the jury decide on TROUBLE‘s fate at this point; at least they make a reputable argument for resurrection.

Comments No Comments »

AVENGED SEVENFOLD‘s new album, “Hail To The King”, has registered the following first-week chart positions:

USA: #1
UK: #1
Canada: #1
Ireland: #1
Mexico: #1
Brazil: #1
Australia: #2
Finland: #2
New Zealand: #3
Germany: #5
The Netherlands: #6
Italy: #8

“Hail To The King” sold 159,000 copies in the United States its first week of release. The disc beat out strong new entries from rappers Big Sean and Juicy J to hold on to the top spot and give the California band their second straight chart-topper after 2010’s “Nightmare”, which moved 163,000 copies to hit the top spot upon its arrival.

The title track from “Hail To The King” has spent four straight weeks at the top of Billboard‘s Active Rock radio airplay chart.

AVENGED SEVENFOLD‘s opening is also the largest week for a hard rock album in over a year. The last to sell more in a week was LINKIN PARK‘s “Living Things”, which debuted at No. 1 with 223,000 copies sold in July 2012.

Next up for AVENGED SEVENFOLD is its first major tour in support of the new CD, which starts October 3 in Chicago. M. Shadows told The Pulse Of Radio that the band is raring to go after more than a year off. “Yeah, we’re feeling good, no doubt about it. We’re really excited, you know, the batteries are recharged, you know. I think that year off really helps, and then you start wanting to get back on the road. We’re looking forward to it. It’s gonna be a whole new chapter for us and we’re excited to be playing again. We’re excited about the record. So when you’re excited about the music you’re playing, it makes touring a lot easier.”

The tour will conclude on October 26 in Las Vegas. Support on the road trip will come from DEFTONES and GHOST.

AVENGED SEVENFOLD celebrated the release of the new album last week with a free show at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles.

Comments No Comments »

Bustleholme — a live collaboration between legendary grindcore outfit NAPALM DEATH and ceramic artist Keith Harrison — has been rescheduled for Friday, November 29 in the Modernist setting of the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill on Sea, East Sussex, United Kingdom.

Initially created for the V&A in London (where it was supposed to take place this past March), this groundbreaking project will see the band come together with Harrison to depict and destroy a custom-built installation during a one-off live performance. Expect no limitations imposed upon what will no doubt be one of the most important events of the cultural calendar.

The band will play a special live set through an experimental sculptural sound system constructed by Harrison. Clad with blue and yellow ceramic tiles, the raw, uncompromising energy of NAPALM DEATH‘s music will activate a set of three specially created ceramic sound systems, which will disintegrate as the performance progresses.

Harrison was Ceramics Resident at the V&A from October 2012 to March 2013. Harrison‘s work explores the potential for the direct physical transformation of clay using industrial and domestic electrical systems in a series of time-based public events. These treat the clay in seemingly inappropriate ways, applied directly onto electrical equipment or other host objects. The resulting works are willfully idealistic and impractical attempts to permanently change the properties of the material, or to produce a sensory alteration such as the generation or modulation of sound.

This will be a very special and exclusive event you definitely should not miss.

Keith Harrison comments: “My interest in NAPALM DEATH started in the late ’80s when as a teenager in Birmingham I would listen to John Peel‘s evening radio show when they would appear out of nowhere in jaw-dropping fashion, sometimes for no more than a few seconds.

“The raw, uncompromising energy of NAPALM DEATH will be used to activate a set of three specially created ceramic sound systems based on the group of vivid blue and yellow tiled tower blocks on the Bustleholm Mill estate, West Bromwich where I was born.”

NAPALM DEATH vocalist Mark “Barney” Greenway states: “Sound as a weapon — or a weapon of change — is a very interesting concept and I think that the whole process of our sound gradually degrading clay sculptures is captivating.

“The noise element of music should never be understated and this event at De La Warr Pavilion will hopefully demonstrate that music can do interesting things beyond the realms of clipped production techniques.

“On a personal level, particularly of interest to me is the fact that the sculptor Keith grew up around the very same area as me in Great Barr, Birmingham, and basing his sculptures around the tower blocks in that area brings back a lot of quirky memories mixed with the impressions of shameful deprivation in some of those places.”

Bustleholme is a challenging and exciting proposition, a bringing together of artists operating at the outer limits of their respective genres to create a unique happening that pushes the boundaries of artistic expression.

The De La Warr Pavilion is a Grade I listed Modernist icon and an international centre for contemporary arts on the seafront in Bexhill On Sea.

The event is free, but limited. Booking fees apply. Maximum four tickets per booking.

For more information, call 01424 229111 or visit

Comments No Comments »