heavy metal

Ready to take on the world as part of the Warped Tour, Vampires Everywhere wants you to know that this is not the same band that released their debut album "Kiss the Sun Goodbye." This is a new act, a better act, a stronger act, and they want to introduce you to their new lineup and new sound. Frontman and self-proclaimed vampire Michael Vampire sat down and talked VERY candidly about where his band was, where they are now, what it means to be a vampire, why people are attracted to vampirism, and naturally, "The Lost Boys." Read on:

This is not what I expected. Dr. Acula traditionally has presented listeners with wildly variable, scatter-brained music, embracing frayed edges and the pure nonsense that deathcore makes possible. I expected more of the same from "Nation," and was instead presented with a relatively cohesive, all-systems-go, straight ahead moshfest that not only sounds marginally out of character for the band, but is a solid improvement.

Psychology has taught us many things about the human condition, few of which can be applicable to an examination of a black metal album. However, there is one phenomenon that is worth considering. We've learned, through studies, that humans are better able to differentiate between members of their own ethnic/racial group than those of other backgrounds. Likewise, fans of black metal will have no problem identifying Brume D'Automne from every other similar band, and can point to the qualities that make them stand out as a unique entity.

No great story can be told without drama. Uncomfortable though it may be, conflict is what keeps us engaged in the narrative, what makes us connect with the characters as they soldier on through their journeys. The life of a band is one of those stories, so many of them littered with lineup changes and shifts in direction, always searching for resolution. It is befitting that a band trafficking in epic sounds would have an equally grand story to tell, and such is the case for Rhapsody.

Following in the footsteps of legendary talent is never an easy thing. It's a thankless task, one that ensures the person in question will spend an entire career failing to live up to the standard that was set before them. In that spirit, anyone who still decides to travel down the well-worn road should be commended for their courage, regardless of the end result of their efforts. For every Norah Jones, there are dozens who's careers are only notable for their name.

As Kreator hovers around thirty years in the game, it's tough to have new commentary about their efforts. What can be said about Kreator that hasn't been said before? The corollary question to all of this is "is there anything new that needs to be said?"

This is not your father's heavy metal band. Whitechapel has always been labeled as a deathcore band, but there's more to it than that. They stem from a short-lived but extremely popular splinter of heavy metal that recalls the kind of brassy, grinding sound that dominated the years immediately following the change of millennium. This splinter gave rise to a burst of musicians such as The Red Chord, Nile and Converge, but then sank back into the background.

* The Smashing Pumpkins (which has become the epithet for Billy Corgan himself,) is soliciting fan-submitted art that evokes images pertaining to their new album "Oceania." Fans can tag and submit their art based on the album's 13 song titles through any number of social network and photo-sharing websites. For details on how and where to submit, we well as guidelines for the submissions themselves, check it out here. "Oceania" drops June 19th.

Having just released the excellent "The Hunt", Grand Magus sees two of their critically-acclaimed previous released reissued for fans who may have missed out on the band as they ascended to the top of the traditional metal ranks. The climb started with "Wolf's Return", the album that started to build a buzz around the band. Mixing elements of doom into a traditional metal framework, the album straddles the line between crushing riffs and the sound that would expand their horizons.

I've often wondered how much our experiences color the way we look at the music we love, whether the time in our lives we encounter certain sounds will forever define the impact certain records will have on us. I ponder this because of Ulver's collection of psychedelic covers, “Childhood's End”. Here we have an album of sounds lifted straight from the 60's and 70's scene, where the music served as a soundtrack to acid trips and other forms of mental alteration.