heavy metal

Death metal bands are at a disadvantage before I hear a single note of their music. Just by the nature of what they play, it's extremely difficult for any of them to stand out from the pack. Unlike every other genre, where voices and tones vary wildly, death metal is confined to a set of standards that make everyone sound more or less the same. While that's great for fans who are immersed in the music, and can pick out those small differences and magnify them, it leaves people like me weary from listening to album after album, band after band, that all blend together.

Swedish death metal was a wave. An irresistible force that consumed metal as we knew it, blazing a new trail that left ripples across the entire genre and touched every corner and splinter. In the vanguard of that cascade was Soilwork, a hungry band with an aggressive sound. As the years passed, the wave receded, but Soilwork remains, as strong as ever and on the cusp of the release of their double album "The Living Infinite." We talked with vocalist Bjorn "Speed" Strid on the eve of this release about the spirit of his band, the new album and the fortitude it takes to make a double record.

Listen to any of Buckcherry’s previous five studio albums and you get the idea they’ve done their fair share of sinning. That isn’t to say they’re promoting poor behavior, but…ok, maybe a little bit.

At this point in their lengthy career, there are a couple things about Darkthrone which are automatically true and indubitably awesome. First is that, good or bad or indifferent, Darkthrone is doing whatever the hell they want to do. Musically, this duo has moved into the rarefied air of having nothing to prove to anyone. Long gone is the corpse paint, the leather get-ups and most (but not all) of the scowling.

A few years ago, I thought we were about to experience a revival of 80's sleaze rock, to the size and scope thrash is currently seeing. Guns N Roses managed to finally put out “Chinese Democracy”, Motley Crue managed to resurrect themselves with a new album and an endless string of touring, and there were new bands like Hardcore Superstar that seemed poised to break out and become what their name already proclaimed them to be. It was that band, and in particular their song “Dreaming In A Casket” that made me believe in the sleaze renaissance.

What’s up my blood soaked zombie lovers! It’s your friendly neighborhood singer guy Johan Maldonado from Psychothermia. Before I start, I just wanted to say how intelligent and well thought out your questions are. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve had to answer how we came up with our name, I would probably be swimming in gold flaked spring water from the Andes and sipping vodka martinis somewhere in Cabo (stirred not shaken; sorry 007). The questions/answers will definitely give you detailed insight into the complex and obsessively driven process which defines the method to our madness. ENJOY…

A double album is one of the riskiest propositions in music. They are not constructed or regarded in the same manner as typical albums; not as a collection of singles surrounded by a supporting cast of others songs, but as marathon stories that must traverse the grounds of mood, message and tone. Double albums must hit multiple notes and resonate at periodic intervals. The truth that must be accepted is that no double album is perfect.

Fans of Tool have been anxiously anticipating a new record from the band band since “10,000 Days” was released in 2006. Fans of A Perfect Circle have been waiting even longer. Unfortunately for both groups, however, Maynard James Keenan just keeps having ideas for side projects and is perfectly content to let everyone wait.

If imitation is the highest form of flattery, then Cancer Bats have flattered a lot of people over the years. Not only does their musical catalog reflect so many of their influences, but they’ve been known to breakout a cover or three when the occasion calls for it. On the heels of the success of their excellent cover of the Beastie Boys’ classic “Sabotage,” the Cancer Bats have dedicated an entire EP to a band they likely aren’t often associated with, Black Sabbath.

Just how big is the thrash revival we've seen over the last handful of years? These sorts of things are hard to quantify, but here's a good example: Coldsteel, a New York thrash band that put out exactly one album in their career, has enough attention and interest to reunite and put out their first new material in twenty years. You know the movement is serious when it's not just the big names of the past that are being resurrected, but also the ones you never heard about in their own heyday. For a band like Coldsteel, this is more than they could have ever hoped for.