July 16, 2010

New & Noteworthy, July 16th - Punch the Walls

The Mayhem Festival kicked off last weekend and was heralded by new releases from three of its artists. This weekend sees the beginning of another big tour, Summer Slaughter, headlined by comeback artist of the year Decapitated. And while no Summer Slaughter artists have new releases on July 20th (although there will be one on the 27th), there are still a plethora of loud and heavy artists hitting the streets with new albums this coming week. So everyone should be picking their driving music for the Summer Slaughter tour dates from the upcoming new releases.

The tour schedule for this week also sees plenty of heaviness hitting the pavement. But the biggest tour sees three-fourths of the Big 4 hitting the road together for the first time in two decades. Thrash fans will ensure that this tour is sold out within minutes of tickets going on sale. Keep your eyes open for the sale date of that tour, as well as all the other gems coming to a stage near you very soon!

Next Week's New Releases

  • Wormwood by The Acacia Strain - The battle for metalcore supremacy in Massachusetts has been a four-way slugfest for nearly a decade. But when thinking of deathcore in The Bay State, only one name comes to mind. From their humble beginnings on 2002's …And Life is Very Long to 2008's massive faceripper Continent, The Acacia Strain are synonymous with beatdown mosh metal. Wormwood differs from previous material in that it was not written around a central theme, but the unmatched brutality that this band is known for will not be lessened even slightly.
  • There Will Be Violence by Impending Doom - One of the leading bands on Facedown Records' roster, Impending Doom have set the high water mark in Christian deathcore. The subgenre may not have a lot of easily recognizable names, but few can match the divine fury that these Californians wielded on 2009's The Serpent Servant. There Will Be Violence features cameos from Tim Lambesis of As I Lay Dying and (ironically) Vincent Bennett of The Acacia Strain, showing just how quickly this band is rising in the metal world.
  • Death Potion by Early Man - Traditional metal act Early Man has had a tumultuous five years since their debut album Closing In hit stores. Now signed to The End Records and relocated to Los Angeles, the band has achieved minor hit status via soundtrack appearances in movies (Aqua Teen Hunger Force), video games (MLB 07: The Show and NHL 2K8), and television shows (HBO's Eastbound and Down). Hopefully Death Potion will gain them more widespread recognition with a full album of quality material.
  • Offspring of Time by Burning the Masses - The band's sophomore release was recorded with ex-Misericordium vocalist Cameron Argon - who promptly left the band in mid-May to pursue a college career. He has since been replaced by Brian Kulikoff, although Argon's vocals remain on Offspring of Time. If these San Diego upstarts hope to achieve any lasting success, they need to pick a vocalist and stick with them, as Kulikoff is their fourth singer in five years of existence.
  • Fragments of Form and Function by Allegaeon - This Colorado-based quintet has a lot of love for combining styles of bands like The Black Dahlia Murder and Decrepit Birth. They have intense technicality sweeping through all of their songs, but there's some melody in the background as well, providing variety and atmosphere. It's an interesting style that will hopefully attract a few fans from a wide variety of groups.
  • This is Revenge by Ender - The Jersey deathcore group's Eulogy debut isn't anything you haven't heard before. But if you catch these guys on the "Player Hatour" this month, you'll see a very odd stage show that can sometimes involve fans humping band members' legs, among other weirdness. If you're looking to laugh or be confused, Ender will do it for you in a live setting.
  • The Vitality Theory by Rosaline - Unlike the previous group, Rosaline just left Eulogy, signing with Good Fight Music this year. The six-piece post-hardcore group has a semi-experimental nature to them, earning comparisons to early Thursday and Hopesfall. While it may not be original, at least these guys are emulating the best of their scene.
  • Ressentiment by East of the Wall - The result of the breakup of The Postman Syndrome, East of the Wall plays the same style of experimental post-metal that their predecessors played, just without lyrics. Fans of Rosetta and Year of No Light already know about the brilliance of this band, due to East of the Wall's split EP with the two bands released earlier this year. Fans of other experimental instrumental bands like Animals as Leaders will also want to give East of the Wall a shot.
  • Nightmares by Mozart Season - Another band trying to blend heavy, groove-laden riffs into post-hardcore, Mozart Season has the same appeal and the same drawbacks of bands like Motionless in White and Agraceful. On one hand, they write some killer riffs that any metal kid would love. But on the other hand, their vocals and lyrics leave most metalheads feeling disgusted and disappointed. If you don't mind the pop-punk influence that shines through on most of the choruses, then Mozart Season is worth a look.
  • Turning Lead Into Gold With The High Confessions by The High Confessions - This band is pretty much a supergroup with the most diverse history possible, featuring alumni of Ministry, Sonic Youth, Nachtmystium, and a recording engineer that worked with Stereolab. Their Relapse debut has one of the most oddly funny titles seen in a long time, and it's very easy to categorize their genre as "experimental". Consider this album a must-buy if you're a fan of Relapse's output at all.
  • Gift Horse by Mose Giganticus - The synth punk outfit's third album is Relapse's other big release this week, and also marks the debut of Mose Giganticus for the label. This album is supposedly much heavier and addresses numerous religious topics from a storyline perspective. One can only guess what insanity has spewed forth from the mind of Matt Garfield this time around, although it's a sure bet that this album will be attention-grabbing.
  • Coming Alive by Chimaira - The CD/double DVD release chronicles the band's touring in support of 2009's The Infection and also delivers the entirety of Chimaira Christmas 10 on film, among other features. Those who have never seen the insanity of a Chimaira Christmas show or only seen clips on YouTube need to pick up this DVD, myself included. The snippets I've heard from Chimaira Christmas attendees say that the experience is incomparable to anything else. And even without any knowledge of what a Chimaira Christmas is like, the live setlist is enough to merit the purchase of this DVD.
This Week's Tour Announcements

  • The American Carnage Tour - Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax
Sure, it may not be the entire Big 4 Tour we hoped for, and with Metallica announcing the end of the Death Magnetic touring cycle, the chances of a true Big 4 Tour are slim right now. But hey, 3 out of 4 is pretty damn impressive, especially considering that one of these bands was nearly dead for almost two years. As I stated above, these shows WILL sell out nearly instantly, so if you have to camp out at the box office to get them, do so, because these shows will absolutely be worth whatever their cost is.
ThePRP announcement

  • Serj Tankian
With his sophomore album Imperfect Harmonies due out on September 7th, the System of a Down frontman will immediately hit the road after its release with his backing band, The F.C.C. More biting social commentary can be expected, as is standard for Tankian. Whether he can overcome the persistent SOAD comparisons that Elect the Dead received remains to be seen.
ThePRP announcement

  • California Blood Tour - Cattle Decapitation, Devourment, and more
The full lineup for this tour also features Knights of the Abyss, Burning the Masses, and Son of Aurelius, meaning that this tour will pretty much act like a cement mixer running over your face. Running from late September to early November, this tour will leave a trail of blood and bodies in its wake as it crosses the entire country. I love when bands take the time to stop in smaller markets, and this tour does just that. Kudos to Cattle Decapitation for never forgetting their fans, even the ones that raise cows in the farms of Nebraska for our beef industry.
ThePRP announcement

  • Nachtmystium, Zoroaster, The Atlas Moth, and Dark Castle
Get ready to have your mind warped with this tour. Chock full of experimental psychedelic metal and headlined by the kings of weirdness in heavy music, this tour is NOT for the musically uneducated. Unfortunately for West Coasters, this tour does not go past the Mississippi River very much. But East Coasters won't be poking fun when they see what the West gets in exchange.
ThePRP announcement

  • Melvins
Starting in mid-September, the Melvins look to take over as much territory west of the Rocky Mountains as they can. They will spend a solid month in eight states, including an unprecedented eight shows in California alone. It may not be a full lineup of awesomeness like Nachtmystium's tour, but the Melvins are awesome enough on their own that East Coasters will be just as jealous as West Coasters over neither of these being full US tours.
ThePRP announcement

  • Deftones
This week, I'm getting just as sick of announcing new Deftones tour dates as I was last week of announcing new openers for Tool. It was only two weeks ago that I announced the expansion of the band's summer tour with Baroness and Circa Survive. Now there are not only more dates, but another opening band, This Will Destroy You, playing the last seven shows leading into BlackDiamondSkye. Will Chino Moreno never stop?
ThePRP announcement

  • Dir En Grey and Apocalyptica
This seems like a weird pairing, with the Japanese pop-metal outfit co-headlining with Finland's cello metal quartet. The highlight of this tour will be seeing Apocalyptica play new songs from their forthcoming album 7th Symphony, due out on August 24th, the same day that this tour hits New York City. Now that is what I call an excellent scheduling maneuver!
Blabbermouth announcement

  • Early Man, Evile, and Bonded by Blood
The heavy metal group is using two talented young thrash groups for support on their tour to support Death Potion. This is good for both bands. Early Man get to play with two bands that are pretty much guaranteed to fire up the crowd for them. Meanwhile, both Evile and Bonded by Blood get a good tour to lead them into the second leg of Overkill's Killfest 2010 tour, announced back in May. The only problem is the tour occurring six weeks after the album's release, but that's a mere technicality for fans anxious to see the return of Early Man.
ThePRP announcement

  • Venomous Concept, Kill the Client, Murder Construct, and Nails
A grind fan's dream, Venomous Concept is the collaboration of two members each from Napalm Death and Brutal Truth. Their album Poisoned Apple hit stores last year, and they're finally hitting the US for a string of eleven shows in September. Napalm Death is too busy for Venomous Concept to be more than just a side project, so get to these shows if you can.
Blabbermouth announcement

  • Fu Manchu, Black Tusk, and It's Casual
There's no word yet on any plans for new material from Fu Manchu, but seeing them on tour with Black Tusk in tow should tide fans over for now. The stoner rock veterans still have plenty of gas in the tank, and they've proven time and again that their music always has something new and fun to offer whenever a new album appears. Black Tusk is a great support band for this tour due to their similarity to Fu Manchu's older material. Check out this tour for a chance to kick back and relax Southern-style.
ThePRP announcement

  • We Came as Romans, Upon a Burning Body, In Fear and Faith, Confide, and Abandon All Ships
Touring diversity ought to be encouraged more often, in my humble opinion. So I'm gratified to see this tour in the works for late summer. There is plenty of heaviness on this tour, but it's countered with lots of melody. You'll get a mixed bag of bands here, but all are good at what they do, making this tour worth checking out if you want to expand your horizons.
ThePRP announcement

  • Antagonist, Diskreet, The Breathing Process, and Wretched
Antagonist's sophomore album World in Decline hits stores on August 17th via Prosthetic, and they're hitting the road right after its release. Their debut Exist didn't make the waves the band hoped to create, although it was skillfully performed and produced. Hopefully World in Decline matches the quality level of Exist, because strong touring will make it easier for the band to get recognized.
ThePRP announcement

  • Oceano, The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza, Circle of Contempt, and Blind Witness
These three shows will be an additional exclamation point on the end of the "Over the Limit" Tour, although none of the shows are particularly impressive or exciting. The only highlights will be see new songs from Danza III: The Series of Unfortunate Events, and the small chance of one or two new songs from Oceano's forthcoming sophomore album Contagion. Other than that, these shows don't mean a lot.
ThePRP announcement

  • Vision of Disorder, Incendiary, Judas Syndrome, and Reign Supreme
August 20th will be a great night for New Yorkers, as Vision of Disorder will headline a hometown show in NYC. The support acts are all drawn from the underground hardcore scene, making this a great show all around. But what will draw most fans in is the possibility of new music from VOD and potential news about the band's supposed new album. Check out the show if you can, and keep your ears peeled for news otherwise.
ThePRP announcement

  • Queens of the Stone Age and Eagles of Death Metal
Last week, I placed three very obvious links in my paragraph covering Living Sacrifice's new tour plans. If you didn’t click those links, shame on you! Please, support rock stars in need and check out these links, especially this one. Eagles of Death Metal bassist Brian O'Connor was recently diagnosed with cancer and he needs help to pay for his chemotherapy treatments. This one-off show in Los Angeles will serve as a benefit show for O'Connor, which means you should attend if you are in the area. If you're not in the area, donate to him if you're able. Rock stars need our help now in every way we can possible give.
ThePRP announcement

Now that I'm off my soapbox, I'll end this edition of New & Noteworthy. Check in next week to see what summer tour gets highlighted by relevant new releases and tours!

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