To date, we have conducted 1301 interviews. If your band is available for an interview, feel free to contact us and we'll see what we can do. Here are our latest:
After signing with Argonauta Records back in June, Maryland's bluesy doom outfit Mangog just released debut album "Mangog Awakens" last week.
Featuring members and ex members of Revelation, Iron Man, Against Nature, and Beelzefuzz, "Mangog Awakens" is a true doom manifesto kicking off the year in a very unique way for the metal scene.
With the album out now, we got in touch with Mangog's Bert Hall, Jr. (Revelation, Beelzefuzz) to discuss the band's recent formation, the origin of the distinctive name, and the insanity of the Maryland Doom Fest crowd.
A new majestic beast has arisen from the frozen Polish winter: Ur is here to "Hail Death" with a new EP freshly released via Arachnophobia Records. You can pick it up physically or digitally at Bandcamp here.
After covering the group in our first Unearthing The Underground column of 2017, we checked in with band mastermind Gregor for more details on how this new project came together and what went into the creation of Ur, from the band's drink of choice to landing a record deal and working on upcoming material.
xFiruath: I noticed over at Metal-Archives that you are listed as the sole band member, but the press releases about “Hail Death” sort of indicated Ur is a full band and not a solo output. What was the actual lineup for “Hail Death,” and are the members other than Gregor full time or just session warriors?
Gregor: Ur is not my solo project but a band with three members and each of them contributes to the final artistic vision. The rhythm section of the band is formed by Kroll - drummer with whom I play also in Bloodstained - and our longtime friend - Bony, who handles bass. Unfortunately Metal Archives does not always guarantee full information but thanks for paying attention to it - I'll have to take care of this issue and update data.
xFiruath: “Hail Death” is your first official output under the Ur moniker. What prompted the creation of this group, rather than going with any other project you're involved with, and how did the band originally come together?
Originally released in 2013, a new vinyl edition of "Into The Kingdom Of Graves" from Tyrants Blood is due to drop via Tridoid Records.
Coming very soon (December 23rd), this vinyl edition features liner notes from guitarist Marco Banco along with a digital download of the "Coven" compilation release.
We had the pleasure of originally premiering music off this classic extreme metal record three years back, and can't wait for the new version to hit the hands of a hungry fan base.
With that re-issue just about here, it probably shouldn't come as much of a surprise that Tyrants Blood also has new material in the works and lots to share about what's been keeping the band busy lately. Read on for a full new interview with Marco Banco about all things Tyrants Blood!
Dobber Beverly is one of the premiere drummers in the 4th largest city in the United States—Houston. Those who have heard his drumming in extreme bands Demoniacal Genuflection, Insect Warfare and War Master (Oceans guitarist Anthony Contreras also plays in War Master) can attest to his technical skill and speed. With Oceans of Slumber, though, he sought melody over speed. Not that there aren’t really fast parts in the group, but these are part of their dynamics. Singer Cammie Gilbert further adds to the group's harmonious nature. Her voice is smooth, jazzy and emotive.
In addition to writing their own deeply moving, emotional songs, the band has made a name for itself covering classic songs like Emperor’s “The Wanderer,” The Moody Blue’s “Nights in White Satin," and most of, Candlemass’ “Solitude.” The group strikes a balance between capturing the essence of the original song and creating their own, unique take.
The band has released the “Blue” EP and earlier this year the “Winter” album through Century Media records. They have participated in major European tours warming the stage for My Dying Bride and Enslaved. Before a Texas crowd full of friends, Dobber Beverly and Cammie Gilbert answered a few questions pertaining to their albums and recent tours.
Hailing from Poland and offering a more experimental and avant-garde take on the typical black metal sound, Misanthropic Rage has arrived to show us the "Gates Are No Longer Shut!"
After releasing the "Qualia" EP this summer, debut full-length album "Gates Are No Longer Shut" just dropped last month via Godz Ov War Productions and can be picked up in various formats right here.
We got in touch with the mysterious Misanthropic Rage duo, known only as W. and AR., to find out all about recording these releases in seclusion from humanity, signing a record deal, and even chat about the subjective nature of realty. For more info on the band, head over to the Misanthropic Rage Facebook profile.
Since their inception, Finland's Lordi has become one of the flag bearers for old school heavy metal. Their use of costumes, theatrics and pop culture references has made them a favourite for many who enjoyed the style which was most prominent in the eighties, while others have not warmed to the group quite so much. Over the cource of their career, the band has gained a significant fan base in Germany, the Balkans and the United Kingdom. During their stop in Bristol (reviewed here,) as part of their extensive tour of Great Britain, I was able to sit down and speak with the band's drummer, Mana, with whom I discussed a variety of subjects from their recent album, "Monstereophonic," where they find the most success and why they continue to make such use of the classic heavy metal stage show.
Back in 2001, I was eleven years old and obsessed with two things; Professional wrestling and the "nu metal" music that often accompanied it. I discovered such bands as Drowning Pool and Sevendust through wrestling and it led me to check out the Kerrang! TV channel, where I found more bands that gave me what I wanted. One band which I still remember seeing (and hearing) for the first time on the station was SOiL, with their filthy and punchy single, "Halo." It became one of the anthems for those of us into that genre and remains their best known song, even after lineup changes and five albums, the latest of which was 2013's, "Whole."
I recently had the opportunity to sit down and talk with singer Ryan McCombs about a range of topics, from "Whole" to his love of food in the United Kingdom, the cult status of "Halo" to the election victory of Donald Trump and more. You can check out the video.
Formed in the Greek capital city of Athens in 1987, Rotting Christ remains one of Europe's longest running and most respected extreme metal bands. Emerging initially as a grindcore band, they soon became one of the first names in black metal, with their demos spreading across Europe and influencing the infamous Norwegian black metal scene as well as other groups on both sides of the continent. They have since gone on to release twelve studio albums and one EP, in addition to a live album and comprehensive DVD and are still one of the most unique sounding bands in extreme metal music.
At their recent show in London, I had the pleasure of sitting down with frontman and founder Sakis Tolis to discuss their latest album, "Rituals," as well as the legacy of the band, his side group Thou Art Lord, the current political and economic climate and our mutual love of association football. You can listen to the conversation below.
After recently premiering a new music video from the band's upcoming "Nomad" album, we decided to get a closer look at the musical entity that is Chasing Safety.
Below is our full interview with the U.S. post hardcore outfit, which is currently gearing up to hit the stage for an Outerloop label showcase and unleash this sophomore album to the masses early next year.
xFiruath: Let's start with the “Brand New Prison” video we are premiering – what's going on in the clip and where did recording take place?
The video is a live play-through of the song while we were in the studio doing our album. It wasn't very hard to put it together. Shooting was simple we just had the video guy hang out and film while we ran through the song a few times, it was painless.
Doom and sludge metal bands weren’t as common in the late eighties as today. Back then bands most often looked to hair metal and thrash for inspiration. New Orleans, Louisiana was no different. When the saints go marching in, they were doing it to the cadence of Exhorder. After a few years, every music genre becomes oversaturated. Thrash was no longer a novelty to friends Kirk Windstein and Jimmy Bower. Instead of worshipping speed, the two went the other direction, one treaded by bands such as Trouble, Saint Vitus, and of course, Black Sabbath.
Down tempos were a major facet of Crowbar’s sound, but they also liked to push the pace with circle-pit inducing hardcore rhythms. You get hit with a bass bomb and then a machine gun blast. Windstein’s vocals were cast from the same cinder blocks as his guitar grooves, resulting in a more aggressive take than any doom band. Crowbar is a band about fighting, but not in the sense of punching some one in the mouth. Their lyrics are about inner conflict, about fighting to overcome adversity. As hard as the band hits, though, melody is also a major tool to express these ideas.
The mix of hardcore, doom and southern rock became known as sludge. Just like many scenes the NOLA scene was built on friends influencing friends, sharing stages and sharing bands. Bower played drums for Crowbar in the early days. Windstein and Bower both also played together in Down. Add Bower’s other band, Eyehategod, and you have the scene that propagated sludge to the world’s masses. If not for bands like these three, sludge wouldn’t experience its current popularity. The sound has evolved into more of a stoner tag, but at the roots were NOLA bands.
In 1993, Down band mate Phil Anselmo helped NOLA sludge climb into the light. Anselmo had made a name for himself singing for Pantera, so the masses noticed when he produced Crowbar’s self-titled album and brought them on tour. He also sported Eyehategod shirts and took them on tour as well. Animated morons Beavis and Butthead watched “Existence is Punishment” and made fun of Crowbar’s weight. The dimwitted duo made fun of a lot of great metal videos—Death “The Philosopher” and Morbid Angel “God of Emptiness” for example. But even negative exposure is still exposure, especially on MTV.
Nearly three decades after they struck their first chord, Crowbar has looked to the past for inspiration. “The Serpent Only Lies” (due October 28th) is a throwback to the band’s early years. Often a band’s early records are fan favorites because those records are fresh and novel. Even though Windstein wrote the way he wanted to write the album, it’s still cool that he did something fans ask for but never get. Bands cringe at the idea of revisiting early records. In the following interview, singer/guitarist/lyricist Kirk Windstein talks about what inspired him to make this record and how their influences help define the band as a whole.
Utter devastation is coming your way at the end of the month with "Answers To No-One," an album filled to the brim with 20 short but massively destructive metal tracks.
Next week we'll be premiering the full album in advance of the October 28th release, but for now check out our interview with the Texas band below.
You can also follow the latest on this Austin trio at Facebook here while awaiting the impending release.
In our chat with the band, we discuss the album's title, how 30 second grind tracks come together, and much more!
Massachusetts metalcore group Attraction To Tragedy is about to turn some heads with new album "Passion Over Fashion" that releases tomorrow (October 14th).
In addition to the album release, we'll also be premiering a music video for the "Desperate" track that same day, but before all those festivities kick off we checked in with Attraction To Tragedy for a deeper look at this emerging outfit.
Check out our full interview below with members Jaiden, Izzy, and Brandon covering the entire history of Attraction To Tragedy from high school garage band to an independent group now releasing a full-length album.
Ever since its inception in 1993 and revered debut "Legendary Tales" in 1997, Rhapsody Of Fire has been one of the pioneers of the classical power metal sound. The band is credited as being one of the very best bands in the history of power metal, releasing such classics as "Symphony of Enchanted Lands, Pts 1-2" and "Dawn of Victory," albums that have influenced a large swath of acts which followed.
In 2011, in a legendary mutual split, co-founders Alex Staropoli and Luca Turilli agreed to separate – each retaining the entire back catalog of the band up to that point, but one which would see a new vision of cinematic metal for Turilli (Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody) and a return to the heavier film score metal direction of old for Alex Staropoli (Rhapsody Of Fire). Vocalist Fabio Lione would work with Rhapsody Of Fire and drummer Alex Holzwarth would initially work with both bands before committing to Rhapsody Of Fire exclusively in 2012.
Since that time, Rhapsody Of Fire has released two studio albums: "Dark Wings Of Steel" in 2013 and "Into the Legend" released earlier this year. On September 28th, in a major lineup change, Fabio Lione announced his departure from the band citing a new chapter with his commitments with Angra and new band Eternal Idol. On October 9, 2015, drummer Alex Holzwarth announced his departure, citing his own commitments with Serious Black.
Rhapsody Of Fire has vowed to continue with a new vocalist and drummer (to compliment keyboardist/composer Alex Staropoli, guitarist Roberto Di Micheli and bassist Alessandro Sala) and expressed a renewed energy to take on the exciting new challenges. In the band’s first post interview since Lione and Holzwarth’s departure, Alex Staropoli sat down with Metal Underground.com to talk about the latest happenings and the future of the band.
Combichrist started in Norway in the early ‘90s by Andy LaPlegua. He was enraptured by the ambiance found in industrial music. While techno bars are a common site in Europe now, LaPlegua’s hometown was unaccustomed to the hard beat at this time. Being such a small town, the musicians were part of a close-knit scene where he lent his time to various projects and genres. Metal was his main love and if it weren’t for a legendary black metal player, LaPlegua would have never known the dark sonic passageways of industrial music. This new discovery led to him trying something different, which alienated the metal scene but brought in new faces.
While LaPlegua disenchanted his metal scene when he formed Combichrist, now many of his early followers of Combichrist dispute his new-found direction. “This is Where Death Begins,” the group’s eighth studio full-length, shows the group stepping away from the synth-based electronica of their earlier period and donning a more metallic shell. This new-found direction has led to the most success of the band’s career. “This is Where Death Begins” is on pace to be his all-time best selling album. This was done without feeling trapped by the approval of his fans. The band recently played in front of a massive crowd at Knotfest and has been on tour with Cavalera Conspiracy. With a six-man live group, including two drummers and two guitarists, Combichrist puts on an energetic show few can duplicate.
On the off days of the Cavalera tour, Combichrist heads to smaller cities to headline their own shows. These concerts give their fans much meatier performances, including a set list culled from throughout their career plus many current favorites. Before they took the stage in Austin, Texas, Andy LaPlegua spoke with me about their new album and tour.
Morbid Angel and Deicide are synonymous with evil, satanic death metal, so when Montreal’s Necronomicon started to release albums in the early nineties it only made sense to compare them to those classic bands. Band founder, Rob Tremblay didn’t exactly see it that way. While his band contained similar occult trappings and extreme tempos, one would expect that from a band taking its name from Lovecraft’s infamous book of incantations, but he approached his music with a different mindset. From female choirs to orchestral segments, he infused his music with a greater sense of ambiance.
As is the case with many bands early in their career, Necronomicon has progressed over the years. Their music has become more complex and faster. Tremblay states their latest recording, “Advent of the Human God,” released earlier this year via Season of Mist, Records, is near perfection. He feels it is the closest thing to fully realizing his vision.
The group has been on the road continuously and has made several U.S. appearances throughout the last five years. At the time of this interview, Necronomicon was on the last day of their U.S. tour with Rotting Christ and Carach Angren. The band had previously toured their home country, logging in over two months total on the road. This tour was originally set to feature Marduk, but the group cancelled due to vista issues. All three of the bands decided the package was strong enough to carry on, so Tremblay was able to give the following interview.
Controlled Bleeding is a name synonymous with experimental music that crosses any and all boundaries - if you think you know weird, get ready to redefine your definition!
The band just returned with "Larva Lumps and Baby Bumps," released at the end of August via Artoffact Records.
With the album out now, we checked in with Paul Lemos (guitarist/co-founder) to hear more about the eclectic mix of industrial, progressive rock, jazz and heavy metal on display.
Just judging by guitarist JT Royale’s pants, which contain a plethora of patches, he’s a do-it-yourself kind of guy. In fact, the whole band’s hard working DIY ethic has led them to become one of the most visible bands in Austin, Texas. Their merch is everywhere. They’re on several bills seemingly every week, from local shows to opening gigs for touring bands. But the buck doesn’t stop in Austin. The band has self-financed an interstate tour and are currently on the biggest tour of their careers with one of the most popular extreme metal bands of the last decade, Goatwhore.
Touring with Goatwhore is extra special as their friend and Austin local, Trans Am plays with the Metal Blade recording artist. Trans Am is not only a friend, but sometimes a member of The Blood Royale. In fact, the band features three bassists. Whoever fills the spot depends on where and when they play. Tonight, two of the three bassists (O’Neal and Diego who also play in Hexist and God Fearing Fuck, respectively) were on hand to talk about their contributions to the band.
Suds flowed, smoked billowed, hair twirled, fists pumped, bodies bumped as The Blood Royale played filthy, crust-addled metal (think Venom meets Discharge) on a stop off in their hometown. Before they kicked out the jams, the entire band, including two-thirds of their bassists, gathered to discuss their tour, including an especially bloody show, and upcoming releases. Thank you to Nathan Daughdrill for providing us with professionally-shot videos of the band.
We've been anxiously waiting two years for this - Italian prog / power metal outfit Noveria is now gearing up to drop a sophomore album, following the stellar "Risen" release from back in 2014 (reviewed here).
With recording now wrapped up, "Forsaken" is due out on October 28th via Scarlet Records. Another month of waiting was more than we could bear, so we checked in with guitarist Francesco Mattei to find out as much as possible about this impending metallic opus!
German thrashers, Sodom may not receive the attention that thrash bands like the Big Four of America. After nearly thirty-five years, though, the group remains a viable act in the metal underground. Part of the reason they remain important to the metal scene is consistency. While Big Four Bands like Megadeth and Metallica took turns into more commercial territory, Sodom has stayed heavy and extreme.
Sodom is one of those bands you’ll often see stitched to a jean jacket. Seeing a Sodom patch on a jacket gives that person instant cred as a metal head. It’s not only a nod to the old school, but youngsters wearing the patches reveal the band’s longevity. Why not support the band? With their first albums “In The Sign of Evil” EP (1984), “Obsessed By Cruelty” (1986) and “Persecution Mania” (1987) were important records in the development of black metal. The next record, “Agent Orange” (1989) showed them take a step towards the heavier grooves and follow the path so many speed metal bands take into the realm of thrash. Since then, many of their riffs recall Slayer to the point one could say they’re Germany’s answer to Slayer.
The Eighties have come and gone, but Sodom is still here and still relevant. Their latest full-length “Decision Day” (due August 26, 2016) is another lesson in metal violence. Their sound is updated, especially production-wise, and there are less Slayer-isms, but one listen to the record and you know this is a Sodom recording. Band founder/vocalist/bassist Tom “Angelripper” Such screams and barks with utmost gusto, his voice often amplified by his band mates gang choruses. There is a good mix of speed and groove—plenty of head banging material. Latest drummer Makka brings a bit of “rolling thunder” to the band’s sound.
In the following interview, we reached out to Angelripper across the pond to talk about this new record and some of the themes he approached, both musically and lyrically, and to find out other information that fans of the band want to know such as if they’ll ever do a tour with Germany’s Big Four Thrash bands.
According to Testament's legendary frontman, Chuck Billy, working with artist, Eliran Kantor, has been "so easy because he sees our vision right away." The best proof of that lies in the many projects the American Thrash lords have commissioned to the talented Berlin-based visionary—including three album covers, stage backdrops, tour merchandise and more.
"We hope to have a continued relationship with him for years to come,” said Billy a few years back, while interviewed for the book And Justice For Art: Stories About Heavy Metal Album Covers. Their professional relationship has been recently renewed by the unveiling of a new artwork. We're referring to the cover for the band's eagerly-awaited new album, "Brotherhood Of The Snake." The cryptic-yet-epic quality of this imposing illustration has definitely cemented the creative synergy between them. Let's take a look to the Testament/Kantor album cover trilogy and find out what the illustrator has to say about his own arresting images.
THE FORMATION OF DAMNATION (2008)
This unforgettable apocalyptic scene features religious and political symbolism (the angels, the capitol). “It was all [guitarist] Eric Peterson’s concept from start to finish, including the way the composition is arranged with the trumpet-playing angels," Kantor admits. "I didn’t ask a lot of questions back then, as it looked perfect right from the initial pencil sketch he gave me on our first ever email conversation. My main conceptual contributions were my objection of using one of the working titles, "The Evil Has Landed" and insisting on using the old 3D logo instead of the flat one that Testament has been using for quite a few records.”
We recently had the pleasure of premiering new track "Can You Hear Me" off the upcoming debut album from The Devil's Music.
Created by former Devilment member Daniel J. Finch, The Devil's Music is a new outlet for Finch and will feature music originally crafted for the second album of his previous group.
While the album won't be dropping for another month, Finch is plenty excited to get some advance music out to the wider world and had plenty to say about both leaving Devilment and putting together this newer group. Read on for our full chat.
When Helstar answered my knock at the door to the green room at Grizzly Hall in Austin, Texas, frontman James Rivera smiled with a mouth full of fangs. As we proceeded through the interviewed, he continued to dress for the stage. He put on gauntlets and a Christopher Lee-type cape. He and the band were preparing for a set that consisted of many vampire tales. This was to promote Helstar’s latest full-length album “Vampiro,” as well as their first vamperic album, “Nosferatu.”
While remaining in the second decade of the new millennium, “Vampiro” is very much a return to their 1989 classic “Nosferatu.” One look at the lyrics and any fan of Dracula and vampires will know the films approached. Although beefed up in sound with faster drums and other signs of the modern, extreme metal age, “Vampiro” also recalls “Nosferatu” in its use of neoclassical guitar and speed metal licks by way of axe slingers Andrew Atwood (who also helped with lyrical concepts) and Helstar mainstay, Larry Barragan. Also, as in the case with their single, “Black Cathedral,” there are melodies that help instill theatrics and mood.
Rivera spoke to me right before Helstar took the stage. He wanted to warm his voice by answering a few questions. Read further to learn more about why he feels “Vampiro” will be considered one of the band’s masterpieces twenty years down from now.
John Cobbett is a staple in the San Francisco metal scene. Including masterminding and guitar picking for his main band, Hammers of Misfortune, he’s also split his time between Slough Feg, Ludicra and Vhol. He’s responsible for making some of the best music in the Pacific Northwest. Whether plating his licks with amour first sculpted by bands like Storm and early Satyricon, vintage NWOBHM or a serene acoustic passage, at par with Pink Floyd or King Crimson, Cobbett has a penchant for writing memorable tunes.
Being the staple he is in the ‘Frisco scene, it’s not surprising the town has entered his music’s vocabulary. “Dead Revolution,” the latest opus by Hammers of Misfortune (released via Metal Blade on July 22nd) is somewhat of a goodbye album to the place Cobbett calls home. His lyrics reflect a disenchantment of the city that he once loved, the city for which he makes his living.
Upon receiving my call, Cobbett told me how he plans to move to Montana. The salty shores of the Bay will be replaced by mountains and woodlands. City concrete will be replaced with grasslands. This will certainly affect the way Cobbett writes future albums. Read further to learn more about this shamefully under-recognized artist.
Utterly misanthropic and aggressively negative blackened death metal cult Tides Of Sulfur just released new album "Extinction Curse" earlier this month via Black Bow Records.
We had the distinct pleasure of premiering a track from the album ahead of release, and now that the disc is out, we're diving into a full interview with vocalist / bassist Chris Bull (or as he calls it, the band's "throat and low end assaulter").
xFiruath: I'm a newcomer to Tides Of Sulfur. Can you give me a rundown of how the band got together and what the group had done prior to the recording of “Extinction Curse?”
Chris: Well Ant and I have played in several bands since we were teenagers. All those bands got to a stage where we had enough material to gig and then things just fell apart due to conflicts in terms of musical direction etc. Depression kind of stopped me from wanting to share my musical side with the public for a while but we carried on jamming in each others living rooms just for the love of it. In 2012 we knew we wanted to get out there and play.
I won't go into the story of our former drummer but if you listen to the 2012 demo you'll hear for yourself how he didn't fit the bill. We met Tom through our local doom/sludge scene; he was playing in a band called H O M O H (who were excellent by the way) and knew he was exceptional, not just behind the kit but as a human being so we immediately knew we'd found the missing piece.
We recorded and self released an EP thematically based on the 1st world war and called it "Ypres." We still have some copies of it on cassette but it's available on our Bandcamp page. Other than that, there's the spilt tape/CD we released with another criminally underrated and unknown band called The Air Turned To Acid and our friend Jeff of Against All Odds Productions released a compilation tape of pretty much everything we had released, including some digital only tracks and 2 previously unreleased tracks that we recorded in our practice room. Got all that?
xFiruath: I've been listening to the album a bit and noticed that huge change in tone between ending of “Eternal Bleeding” and beginning segment in “...Of Suffering and Grief.” It seems like metal is somewhat unique in the regard, having the ability to span completely different sounds right next to each other. Are you guys aiming to hit a specific sub-genre, and if not how do you go about putting together these songs that cross different styles?
I first heard of Myrkur after hearing that sole recording member Amalie Bruun was sent death threats over Facebook for often petty reasons. What I always like about metal was that it was a brotherhood. If you were into the right kinds of metal, you were one of us. So of course I was really taken aback by the sheer level of misogynistic double standards applied to Bruun because she dared to make pop music despite nobody going after Greg Puciato for Spylacopa or Chino Moreno for Team Sleep.
Since online harassment is an incredibly topical issue today, I decided that the time was right to get the perspective of somebody who's actually been harassed and have her talk openly and honestly about the experience. It also doesn't hurt that Myrkur remind me of Windir and with Valfar dead, Myrkur is the best substitute there is today.