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Metal News for May 8, 2011

Last updated on August 30, 2016 at 2:22 PM ET

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15 news articles posted on this day.

HavocHate Begins Work On New Material

Power/thrash metal band HavocHate has announced their official return from "hiatus," which started around 2006, with the following message:

"HavocHate is back! We have started rehearsals and will be working on new material shortly."

Check out some of their music on their MySpace page.

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Sunday Old School: Winter

Death metal is a sub-genre that has widely expanded its definition since first receiving this stylistic tag. From the severely distorted guitar tones to unrecognizable low growls and blast beats, death metal has always been a style of extremes. Arguably, death metal’s extremeness is untouchable, especially in the area of paces.

During the late 1980s and early ‘90s, bands were competing for the title of fastest band on the planet. Some death metal groups took a 90-degree turn. Instead of playing 500-notes per song, these groups fleshed out just a few, monstrous chords. By combining the harsh sounds of death metal with the slovenly tempos of doom a new category surfaced, death/doom. In turn, an even slower and more distorted form grew out of this style, funeral doom. Winter was one of the bands that spawned this metal hybrid.

Winter’s unique apocalyptic vision first appeared in 1988. The NYC-area band released its first and only full-length “Into Darkness” in 1990 via Future Shock Records. Nuclear Blast picked up the record in 1992 and released their “Servants of the Warsmen” video on the “Death is Just the Beginning” VHS compilation. This track seemed out of place. It’s languid tempos were like listening to the other bands (Hypocrisy, Master, Brutality, Macabre, etc.) in slow motion. Being the oddball in a crowd is not always anathema, though, because whether viewers liked it or not, this track made an impression.

Winter definitely made an impact on doom metal’s deathly offspring. Their down-tempo compositions influenced funeral doom and drone styles. In order to confirm this statement, I contacted two musicians who feel “Into Darkness” is a classic recording.

Patrick Bruss plays in several death metal bands including Ribspreader, Crypticus and Tombstones. Also, he has mixed and mastered numerous artists such as Acid Witch, Cianide, Cardiac Arrest and Impetigo.

Greg Anderson is a figurehead in the area of extremely slow metal. Anderson has played in numerous groups including Sunn O(((, Goatsnake, Thorr’s Hammer and Burning Witch. He is co-owner of Southern Lord Records.

Both artists agree that “Into Darkness” is a classic album. “Winter,” states Bruss, “was way ahead of the times. The album is especially great for being so un-trendy. In a time when everyone wanted to play fast and technical, these guys were all about mood and a sense of dread…I think bands like this don't set-out to make statements, they just make the music that comes naturally to them while ignoring what's popular. That, in itself, is a great statement… It definitely helped to create a new style of Doom.”

Greg Anderson saw something different in “Into Darkness,” too. Winter’s style was untypical from everything Anderson had heard at the time of discovery. The record influenced him as a musician.

“When I heard that record in the mid ‘90s there weren’t a lot of bands playing in that style. There are only a handful of bands that contributed to my musical perversion (laughs) and playing at the time—Eyehategod, St. Vitus, Trouble and bands like that. Winter was different because they had a punk and hardcore edge, but they had low, growling vocals, which was something the bands I mentioned didn’t really have. They were like a more punk version of Celtic Frost with some death metal vocals. It was really a unique sound at that time. I thought they were amazing!

Anderson continues, “This record was definitely an influence when I played with Thorr’s Hammer (mid ‘90s). We were into anything slow and heavy that we could get our hands on. Back then, there weren’t a lot of releases like that. Those bands were very underground and obscure. Any of that stuff was definitely an influence.”

“Into Darkness” not only inspired Anderson to up the ante on his down-tempo arrangements, he believes it may have also inspired some of his artists on Southern Lord. “Sure, they definitely influenced some of the bands I worked with, but at that time, they were very unique. Nowadays, there are a million bands doing that style. At that time, there were only a handful of bands doing that.”

“Into Darkness” did have its faster moments. These came as punky, Celtic Frost dirges. As Anderson notes above, these elements were part of what made the record so unique. Bruss concurs, “The up-tempo parts sound almost exactly like Napalm Death on syrup. How can you not love that? The slowest D-Beats ever!”

Hanging notes and lethargic-moving kick drums create a mood in its own, but “Into Darkness” contained layers of instrumentation, some working together, some apart. Guitar effects and organs bring trippy elements to the mix. Greg Anderson informed me that the group used a Hammond B3 organ, which a session jazz organist played. Using any type of keys, piano, synth or organ was a novel concept at that time. “It’s really cool because a lot of bands at that time weren’t doing that kind of thing, either,” states Anderson.

From the production to the album’s noisy aspects, Bruss likes the album’s over all vibe. “The noises add a great Sludge element to it while still being ambient.” He hails from the Studio Sunlight death metal side of engineering, so he could not say the production influenced him as a professional. However, he likes the album’s production. “I think it's spot-on. It's grimy, sludgy, & heavy, but also clear. A great production is one you don't notice over the music and this definitely fits the bill.”

With the exception of sludge masters Eyehategod, at the time he discovered Winter, Greg Anderson’s taste were more towards the traditional side of doom—St. Vitus, The Obsessed and Trouble. Bruss mentioned a couple of funeral doom bands from that era that he saw, along with Winter, as pioneering doom/death acts. “They [Winter], along with Thergothon and Disembowelment formed the Unholy Trinity of early death/doom and all three are essential albums that helped define a genre.”

About a year-and-a-half ago, Greg Anderson received a call from Winter. He said he was “flattered” and “blown away” by the fact that they called him to do the reissue because he’s a big fan of the record. As this article establishes, he felt “Into Darkness” is a “pretty important record.” He wanted to take a different approach with this release, though, because it felt it did not receive the treatment it deserved.

“The thing about that record is every time someone put it out it had shoddy packaging. Labels didn’t seem to put a lot of care into it, so we decided to give it a nice packaging. It comes with an 18-page booklet, flyers and liner notes. They were really hands-on in creating the packaging for this, which is something that we really tried to do. To me, this is the definitive version of this release, especially the vinyl. It was originally released on very limited vinyl. This time it comes with a gatefold jacket and a fanzine-style booklet. I wanted to create a nice, archival piece for this album.”

Winter reunited in 2010, apparently just to play shows such as Roadburn Festival 2011 and a recent Roadburn warm-up gig. Southern Lord will release the album April 12, 2011. Read the review of “Into Darkness.”

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The Sign Of The Southern Cross Releases Free EP

Southern Metal act THE SIGN OF THE SOUTHERN CROSS is currently hard at work on the follow-up to 2009's "Of Mountains & Moonshine." To shorten the wait until the release of their sophomore album, the band decided to offer three songs recorded in late 2010 as an EP for free download. This EP is entitled "I Carry the Fire" and can be downloaded for free on Season of Mist's website.

The tracklisting for "I Carry The Fire" is as follows:

1. I Carry The Fire
2. If You Find Yourself Looking Back
3. Doomswagger

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Batillus Release Show Footage Available

Footage has been posted online of Batillus performing the song "Division" at the band's release show for the "Furnace" album. You can watch the video clip below, which also features Kat from Agoraphobic Nosebleed joining the band on vocals.

The entire "Furnace" album is currently available for streaming online, or you can check out Metalunderground.com's review of the album here.

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Svartsyn Posts Song From Latest Album

Swedish black metal act Svartsyn has posted a song online titled "Wrath of Leviathan," which is off the band's latest album "Wrath Upon The Earth." You can check out the track in the player below.

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Zonaria Announces Permanent Bassist

After Zonaria's last tour with Nile, the band has decided to take in bass player Max Malmer as a permanent member.

Commented Zonaria guitarist Emil Nyström: "The band really hit it of well with Max on our last European tour. He's just a badass friend and a really talented young player. We hope to get some awesome stuff set up with him in the nearest future."

Max Malmer also added, "It feels great being in this band, it's a band with both great music and great people in it which can be almost hard to find these days and in this town. Also the experience of being on my first tour ever with them was amazing, I'm looking forward to many future years as the bassist of Zonaria!"

Zonaria earlier this year also announced the joining of former Five Finger Death Punch guitarist Caleb Bingham.

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An Evening with Amon Amarth in Springfield, VA

The last “An Evening with...” tour that I saw was Metallica’s arena tour in the early ‘90s, which happened to be one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. It’s a great concept that I’m surprised more bands don’t try. I was happy to hear that Amon Amarth was putting on such a tour. Playing their latest album in its entirety for the first half of their set, followed by a complete set of other material was the perfect choice, seeing how great “Surtur Rising” is.

As it turns out, “An Evening with Amon Amarth” was not the original plan for this tour, but it could not have turned out any better. More...

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Close Your Eyes Video Interview Available

A new video interview with christian metalcore act Close Your Eyes has been posted online. You can view the interview in the player below.

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Running Wild Reveals Live DVD Tracklisting

Veterans Running Wild have revealed the tracklisting for its upcoming live DVD titled "The Final Jolly Roger." "The Final Jolly Roger" will see its long awaited release on June 24 through Golden Core/ZYX Records. The release will be made available in three separate formats; regular edition DVD, as a double CD, or a special three-disc box set. You can view the track listing for the package below.

1. Intro
2. Port Royal
3. Bad To The Bone
4. Riding The Storm
5. Soulless
6. Prisoner Of Our Time
7. Black Hand Inn
8. Gates Of Purgatory
9. Battle Of Waterloo
10. Der Kaltverformer
11. Raging Fire
12. Whirlwind
13. Tortuga Bay
14. Branded And Exiled
15. Raise Your Fist
16. Conquistadores
17. Under Jolly Roger

CD 1:
1. Intro
2. Port Royal
3. Bad To The Bone
4. Riding The Storm
5. Soulless
6. Prisoner Of Our Time
7. Black Hand Inn
8. Gates Of Purgatory
9. Battle Of Waterloo
10. Der Kaltverformer
11. Raging Fire

CD 2:
1. Whirlwind
2. Tortuga Bay
3. Branded And Exiled
4. Raise Your Fist
5. Conquistadores
6. Under Jolly Roger

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Death Angel Thailand Live Footage Posted Online

New live footage featuring Death Angel performing in Bangkok, Thailand has been posted online. You can view the footage in the player below.

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Dismember To Perform For First Time In Three Years

Swedish extreme metal act Dismember has announced that it will be filling the spot left vacant by Gorguts at the 2011 Death Feast Open Air event in Germany. The band commented on the rare concert appearance by saying;

"This will be our only show in 2011, and our first since 2008 and we feel extremely excited to hit the stage once again for some serious headbanging. We will do a set that covers our whole career, from 'Like An Ever Flowing Stream' from 1991 up until the self-titled album released in 2008, so get ready for some serious Swedish death metal!!"

Death Feast Open Air is set to take place on June 23, 2011 in Hunxe, Germany.

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Hatebreed Details Summer Touring

American metalcore/hardcore act Hatebreed has revealed its current touring plans for this summer. The dates, which include European touring as well as appearance on the Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival, can be found in the list below.

06/17 New Haven, CT – Toad’s Place
06/18 Montebello, QC – Montebello Marina (MetalFest)
06/24 Switzerland, SWI – Sonisphere Festiva
06/25 Sardinea, ITA – Santu Juanne
06/26 Novo Gorizia, SLO – Mostovna
06/27 Budapest, HUN -Durer Kert
06/28 Prague, CZE – Proxima
06/30 Hengelo, NET – Metropol
07/01 Sulingen, GER – Reload Festival
07/02 Roitzschjora, GER – With Full Force Festival
07/03 Bucarest, ROM – Metal Fest
08/05 Tinley Park, IL – First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre (Mayhem Festival)
08/06 Clarkston, MI – DTE Energy Music Theatre (Mayhem Festival)
08/07 Noblesville, IN – Verizon Wireless Music Center (Mayhem Festival)

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Headline News

Still Remains Returns From Hiatus

American metalcore act Still Remains has posted the following statement online, announcing a return from its three year hiatus.

"Maybe we shouldn’t have called it a break-up. Maybe we needed a few years to purge the strain of having six or seven full-time roommates living in a van, and get back to having fun. When Haste The Day asked us to come back for one show none of us immediately said yes. Obviously, we eventually did. Getting together and playing those songs again in a tiny little corner-room in Mike’s basement had a bigger effect than we expected. We want more…

"We are not aspiring to get back to the same type of touring schedule that we had to walk away from. We all have other priorities and many of us are invested in other musical projects, but we know Still Remains has chemistry and musicianship that is not easy to come by.

"New tunes are in the works and we’ve booked a hometown show in Grand Rapids. We are looking forward to rocking together again. "

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Cannabis Corpse Reveals New Album Tracklisting

Crossover death metal act Cannabis Corpse has revealed the tracklisting for its upcoming new full length. The album, titled "Beneath Grow Lights Thou Shalt Rise," is set for a July 12, 2011 release date through Tankcrimes Records. The track list for the record can be found below.

1. Visions From The Dank Side
2. Lunatic Of Pot’s Creation
3. Blame It On Bud
4. Chapel Of Bowls
5. Dead By Bong
6. Immortal Pipes
7. Where The Kind Lives
8. Sworn To The Bag
9. Blaze Of Torment
10. Gateways To Inhalation
11. Slave To The Chron
12. Beneath Grow Lights Thou Shalt Rise

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Unearth Announces European Tour Dates

American metalcore act Unearth has revealed the dates for its upcoming headline tour of Europe. The tour, dubbed the "Hell On Earth Tour," will also features appearances from Evergreen Terrace, Bane, Nasty and Casey Jones with more bands expected to be added at a later date. You can view the currently announced list of dates, cities and venues below.

08/26 Jena, GER – F-Haus
08/27 Koln, GER – Essigfabrik
08/28 Hilversum, NET – Podium De Vorstin
09/02 Derby, UK – Derby Redemption
09/03 Lunen, GER – Rock im Loch Festival
09/04 Antwerpen, BEL – Trix Zaal
09/05 Hannover, GER – Faust
09/06 Hamburg, GER – Markthalle
09/07 Copenhagen, DEN – The Rock
09/08 Kassel, GER – Hot Spot
09/09 Saarbrucken, GER – Garage
09/10 Stuttgart, GER – LKA
09/11 Wil, SWI – Gare de Lion
09/12 Munchen, GER – Werk
09/13 Graz, AUT – Explosiv
09/14 Spittal An Der Drau, AUT – Statsaal
09/15 Prague, CZE – Abaton
09/16 Leipzig, GER – Conne Island
09/17 Berlin, GER – SO 36
09/19 Worgl, AUT – Komma
09/20 Heidelberg, GER – Hallo 02

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