Friday, August 4, 2017

Interview with Brian Slagel of Metal Blade Records!

Hey Brian, how are you?
Good, thank you

Metal Blade Records, at its roots, is the forefront of Heavy Metal music. I know you’ve discussed the beginnings more than enough in the past, but can you give us a quick rundown of how Metal Blade Records started?
​I was just a huge fan of the New Wave of Heavy Metal back in 1980. I started the first ever US Metal Fanzine, The New Heavy Metal Revue, and then started working at a record store in LA. Once I found there were some good bands in LA and no one was paying any attention, I decide to do a compilation album of the local bands. That turned into a distribution deal with a indie distributor and the rest is history.........​

Some of the biggest bands in Metal have made their way through Metal Blade as well, knowing you were the starting point for a lot of these bands must be an incredible feeling.
​I was just happy to play whatever small role I could to help the scene out. I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. It is pretty amazing looking back  at how many amazing bands we got to work with. Even better they are still all friends to this day. ​

Having the reputation you do heading Metal Blade, do you have any tips for all the up and coming bands on getting noticed?
​Try to get out and be a part of your local scene. Also social media is a huge help as it exposes you worldwide. Also in terms of music, it is good to be influenced by your favorite bands just do not try to sound like them. ​

I’m sure you’ve seen a fair few bands in your time, what makes a band stand out to you live?
​It is just something that hits me. For sure you have to sound good and play good, but some bands just have "it"​

What’s your process on signing a band to the label? How many people does a demo go through and do you need to see the band live before you finally decide?
​Usually someone at the label or someone we work with will mention a band to me. We really do not have to see them live as much as back in the day. They will have some stuff online we can check out as well. If something hits me, we like to work with them. ​

Metal Blade’s roster at this point has some high profile Metal bands including Amon Amarth, Goatwhore, Cattle Decapitation and The Black Dahlia Murder, just to name a few, but there’s also some lesser known bands on there. What Metal Blade bands would you like to see get into the spotlight?
Igorrr, If These Trees Could Talk, Visigoth, Alleageon, Mother Feather, Portrait, Below, Abnormality, just so many!!​

What are some of your personal favourite releases so far from Metal Blade Records? Either of all time or just so far this year.
​Well that is so hard to answer, I love them all. Kinda like picking your favorite child. But Armored Saint's "Symbol Of Salvation" is up there. I talk about it in our book, but the circumstances of having lost a guitar player to leukemia and making an amazing album make it very special​

I would like to thank you very much for your time, Brian. Last up i would like to ask what albums fans should be keeping an eye out for in the future?
​New Cannibal Corpse, Black Dahlia Murder, King Diamond new album and a Live DVD........​

Thanks a lot for your time, Brian!
​Thank you!​

Friday, July 21, 2017

Shattered Sun "The Evolution of Anger" Review

Shattered Sun made a huge splash when they released their debut album "Hope within Hatred" back in 2015 and claimed their spot on the North American tour Mayhem Festival along side some of the biggest names like Slayer, King Diamond, The Devil Wears Prada and Whitechapel. Two years later, the band has just dropped their second album "The Evolution of Anger", a hard hitting, straight to the point piece of Thrash Metal/Melodic Metalcore.

"The Evolution of Anger" has its own sound and the biggest credit I can give it is the fact that it shows Shattered Sun have found their voice. While "Hope Within Hatred" was a solid release, the band tried many different sounds on that release to see what would stick. "The Evolution of Anger" has a consistent tone and it's anger. Songs like "Hollow Chains", "Keep Your Eyes Shut" and "Burn It Down" all show the bands power in different ways. "Hollow Chains" keeps true to that Melodic Metalcore/Thrash sound with a song that sounds like it could have easily been written by some of the legends like Testament themselves. Burn It Down keeps the tone going but with a more raw edge to it almost mixing the influential sounds of old school Thrash Metal with some more modern age Metalcore bands like As I Lay Dying and making a perfect monstrosity of Metal.

From beginning to end the album doesn't let up and while the songs do have a way of melding together, each of the songs still sounds independent and different from one another. For the most part the album transitions from song to song really well with no notable breaks that seem unnatural to the album. The album art is another big draw of this release, much like a story to the album itself the art is very much open to interpretation, but just looking at it the art is unique and seems to display a character much like "Hope Within Hatred" did which may end up being Shattered Sun’s signature to their covers.

Let’s just spill the beans and say it, if you liked "Hope Within Hatred", you’ll be beyond ecstatic with "The Evolution of Anger". This is an album that takes everything that was great about the first album, expands on it and polishes it, with this kind of upwards trajectory for the band I’m already looking forward to the band’s next outting!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Ataxia "Awaken the Nebula" Review

        London, Ontario's own Technical Death Metal maniacs Ataxia are here to blow up speakers and get heads banging. The new album "Awaken the Nebula" is a straight to the point Technical Death Metal album that has one of my favourite album covers this year. Let's delve into this Death Metal release and decide if it's worth your time.

        This is an album that kicks off at full speed with "After Birth" which takes hints from the best of Cattle Decapitation and adds its own elements including, but definitely not limited to, Technical Death Metal riffing and Melodic Death Metal rhythm. While "After Birth" shows off the full spectrum of what Ataxia has to offer, "Consign to Oblivion" takes the intensity and speed of old school Death Metal to its peaks. After a short and sweet intro the song kicks up , grabs you by the throat and crushes until the end, letting up at no point in the middle.

        Given the above, what else could need to be added? Take a look at "Internal Ferment" which takes the Technicality to its peak for this album, but actually adds some incredibly unexpected Deathcore elements that are surprising fresh and welcome to the album. The only song on the album that comes off as filler would be "Bludgeoned", while there's nothing particularly wrong with the song it doesn't add anything new to the album. The song is a fast paced Death Metal track with a pretty cool riff that, after hearing over and over becomes a little stale. The song does serve as a good break to the album though as the rest of the album after this point is just as killer as the first half, so at least it can just meld into the other tracks.

        All in all, only having one track that feels kind of dull isn't bad out of the 7 tracks on the album all things considered from a lot of Death Metal bands out there. This is a release that most, if not all Death metal fans should be able to find pleasure in, find Ataxia and the new album "Awaken the Nebula" on Bandcamp to find this heavy slab and let us know on Facebook what you think, are we right to say there's one dud song?

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Aborted "Bathos" Review


        Internationally renowned Death Metallers Aborted have been all over releasing new music regularly. Between 2016s “Terminal Redux” which was followed a few months later by “Retrogore” which at this point is a highly praised album, Aborted have had no issues keeping fans happy. Now that we are in 2017, of course it’s time for some new Aborted and this time around they released the 2 track EP “Bathos” onto the world.

        First thing to mention is the artwork, Aborted always have some of the best artwork, ranging from the weird and obscene to the goriest, or in the case of “Bathos”, the occult. The cover sees a house with hooded figures peering out from behind it and in the front, a pentagram with dead bodies, the most obvious of them being impelled in the centre. This artwork is classy for Death Metal, this is the kind of art I want on a shirt because it’s going to shock people, but they’ll also do a double or triple take to finally realise what the hell is going on.

        The music of “Bathos”, as I mentioned before, the EP is only 2 songs. The first of which is “Bathos” itself. The song treads lightly between Technical Death Metal, Grindcore and has hints of Deathcore elements mixed in. It can’t quite decide where it wants to go with the intro itself sounding a lot like Suicide Silence and many parts and vocal patterns being reminiscent of the same, while at the same time there are more than enough portions that combine the sound with Death-Grind as made famous by some other bands like Cattle Decapitation. The other piece of music on the album “Fallacious Crescendo” goes much more to the roots of what Aborted is known for, being a heavy slab of Death-Grind much like a lot of their previous work.

        All in all, great release. Aborted tried something a little different with the two songs to make them distinctive from each other. One taking cues from the more recent popular bands in the Metal subgenres while the other pays homage to what got Aborted so well known. “Bathos” is out July 7 through Century Media Records and if you’re a fan of the band, old or new, you should probably pick it up for some hints to where the next album might be going.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Interview with Merlin Sutter of Cellar Darling

Merlin Sutter, drummer for the new Folk Metal Cellar Darling sat down with s at Five Magics Music to talk about the new band and the upcoming album "This Is the Sound" as well as difference between the new band and his ex band Eluveitie.

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Friday, June 2, 2017

Interview with Marcus Jidell of Avatarium

Marcus Jidell from the ever growing Doom Metal band Avatarium takes a few minutes from the studio in Stockholm to talk to us about the new album "Hurricanes and Halos", the writing process, what makes music good and the newest inclusions to the band!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Interview with Brittney Slayes of Unleash the Archers

      Brittney Slayes, vocalist for the Canadian Epic Metal band Unleash the Archers, took a few minutes out of her day to speak to us at Five Magics Music about the new album "Apex" that is being released June 2nd through Napalm Records!