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Sunday Old School: BMHM Part 4. Thou Art Lord

Sadly, we've come to the closing chapter of this year's Black Metal History Month. Over the past weeks we've examined the influential Czech band Master's Hammer, Canada's most beloved black metal outfit Blasphemy and the understated but important presence of Norway's, Thorns and this week, we'll be rounding things up by taking a look at a supergroup from Greece whose members all have a background in extreme music, several of whom achieved success in their own right. And so we close Black Metal History Month's sixth installment with a feature on Thou Art Lord.

Thou Art Lord began life in the Greek capital of Athens in 1993, the brainchild of Rotting Christ frontman Sakis Tolis and George Zacharopoulos, AKA The Magus of Necromantia (and part time keyboardist for Rotting Christ) on guitars and bass respectively, being joined in their endeavour by Mortify vocalist Gothmog (John Hiotellis.) The trio recorded a demo "The Cult of the Horned One" before releasing their first EP, "Diabolou Archaes Legeones," both in 1993, the same year that they also released a split 7" vinyl with Belgian black metal group, Ancient Rites. More...

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Pit Stories: Rained Out At Summer Breeze

There's a million and one Pit Stories in the metal world and we're on a quest to catalog them all!

After we premiered new track "Genesis 11:1-9" last month, Belgian symphonic black metal crew Saille checked in with us again for a tale of a show almost gone terribly wrong.

If all the equipment and crew manage to arrive in one piece, nobody has burned the place down, and drunk fans don't climb on stage and wreck everything, there's still always mother nature to contend with, as Saille discovered while playing the Summer Breeze fest. Guitarist Reinier Schenk recalls the story like this:

We arrived at the Summer Breeze festival in Dinkelsbühl (Germany) with plenty of time before our gig. We were lucky and got 1 hour for setting up our gear. About 15 minutes before we could get started all hell broke loose. It was already dark at that time, so we didn't see anything happening, but it got extremely windy and it started to rain.

The stage manager came to us running, with panic in his face. He was yelling to us: "Leave all your stuff here and get into that bus NOW!!!" We were looking at each other, wondering wtf is his problem? Everybody in the backstage was acting weird, running, shouting to each other, like a scene from a movie. Then others started to shout the same, so we all went into a bus and the driver started the engine and drove away as fast as possible and took us somewhere else.

Still not knowing what was happening he told us they would have to cancel our show, because a huge storm was heading to the festival site and it was too dangerous to play. We were all disappointed of course, but all of a sudden the driver got a phone call telling him the storm would not hit the festival. He drove us back to the stage (which was very wet from the heavy rain) and there we were... we had 15 minutes before showtime and we had to hurry as hell. No mercy!

Saille will release new concept album "Gnosis" this coming March 17th, 2017 via Code666 Records. Check out a track from the release below. More...

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Sunday Old School: BMHM Part 3. Thorns

If there's one place that springs to mind when one thinks of black metal, it's Norway. The Scandinavian country may not have invented the genre, but they certainly shaped it into what we know today. Many of the most famous names in black metal were formed in Norway, including Immortal, Darkthrone and Dimmu Borgir, but there were also plenty of cult (or should that be kvlt?) favourites, including today's featured band, Thorns.

The roots of Thorns dates back to 1989 in the city of Trondheim, when guitarist Snorre W. Ruch and vocalist/bassist Marius Vold formed the band, Stigma Diabolicum, with whom they recorded one demo, "Luna De Nocturnus," as well as releasing a rehearsal tape and a live recording, "Live in Stjørdal." They soon added to their ranks, bringing in a bassist named Harald Eilertsen, allowing Vold to concentrate on vocals, as well as drummer Bård G. Eithun, better known to black metal fans as "Faust," who would later join Emperor. The quartet changed their moniker to Thorns around 1991 when the use of Latin was becoming more prominent in black metal. More...

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Pit Stories: Puke Stains And Fried Chicken

Happy Valentine's Day metal heads! Our Pit Story this week may not have much to do with love, but it does feature dirty mattresses where very unpleasant things no doubt went down, so that's close enough, right?

Many of our tales from the pit are all about what's going on during the show, but as any touring musician will attest, there's a lot going of craziness on behind the scenes, especially with bands trying to find a place to hang their hats for the evening before hitting the next town.

This week we've got a tale from the Thera Roya crew about some less-than-pleasant accommodations in Nashville:

I'll never forget when we played in Nashville, TN on our first tour. We thought it would be warm in the winter in New Orleans so we headed south (we're idiots lol). We ended up in a blizzard in Nashville and payed this stellar show at a place called the owl farm. Unfortunately it's not around anymore. This was nearing the mid to end of the tour and all of us were fried at this point mentally. I think Ryan was even catatonic at one point hahaha.

We needed a place to crash that was warm and this guy from one of the other bands had a punk house called the Himan house. We all crammed into this disgusting room with puke stains on the rug and dirty mattresses everywhere. Some of us ran out to get some fried chicken. When we got back and feasted on gas station chicken we noticed these pictures and notes on a wall together and a name that said "Gloria."

One of the members of the house was a repo guy and when he was emptying a house he found a trunk full of pictures and diaries from this girl Gloria who had passed away and he decided to make a shrine at the Himan house. I'll never forget sleeping in Nashville with Gloria's shrine in front of me.

Thera Roya will release new album "Stone and Skin" on February 17th, 2017. A full stream is currently online at this location. More...

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Sunday Old School: BMHM Part 2. Blasphemy

Black Metal History Month is up and running once again, covering some of the darkest and most brutal bands to ever lace up a pair of boots. It's a genre often associated with the freezing cold, in part due to the barren tone and unforgiving nature of the music, but also due to many of the genre's most famous (or rather infamous) bands such as Mayhem, Emperor and Burzum originating in Norway, while other bands like Dissection and Impaled Nazarene also hail from cold countries such as Sweden and Finland respectively. Today we'll be looking at another group from one of the world's chillier nations, though this time on the other side of the Atlantic, as Sunday Old School travels to Canada to take a look at what is perhaps North America's best black metal band, Blasphemy.

Blasphemy were formed in 1984 in Vancouver, British Columbia by childhood friends Sean Stone and Gerry Buhl, adopting the respective monikers of 3 Black Hearts of Damnation and Impurity and Nocturnal Grave Desecrator and Black Winds. They were joined in their pursuit by guitarist Geoff Drakes, AKA Caller of the Storms, before adding a second guitar player the following year in the guise of Blake Cromwell, who took on the name Black Priest of the 7 Satanic Blood Rituals. The group started out covering songs by the likes of Sodom, Slayer and Bathory and immediately made a name for themselves when they began performing live, as according to Black Hearts, the show caused a riot in the streets, a factor in the group being blacklisted from Vancouver along with too many fights breaking out at shows. More...

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Pit Stories: Bizzaro World Mindfuck

It's Pit Story day once again metal fans!

Today we've got a completely bonkers, off-the-wall story where every element of a show - from arrival and loadout all the way to what happened after getting home the next day - were so insane as to be a surreal, dreamlike experience.

This week's tale comes courtesy of guitarist Jordan Smith of Indianapolis, Indiana-based band Drude. Want more info on Drude? Head over to the band's Facebook profile here. Jordan tells the crazy pit story like this:

When I was asked to share a crazy pit story, narrowing it down became quite the challenge. Which really classifies as the craziest thing I've ever seen? Nude crowd surfing? Shooting up in the audience? Dude with a billiard ball in a bandanna blindly swinging it around at head level? Seeing as nude crowd surfing is awesome and junkies and reckless assholes will be served no honorable mention from me, I am going to with the Cleveland story. More of a crazy show story. Names and locations have been omitted intentionally.

The band I was in at the time pulled up to the building around 5 o'clock and we were met with all the hospitality you'd expect as a touring band. We were shown the place and got unloading. After getting our van stuck in the mud, we managed to make it inside and got setting up.

The time came for us to play and we noticed that people started bringing random trash into the building. I didn't wonder about it much, but by the next time I looked up, there was a dude 6 feet in the air crashing down on it. One by one, people were launching off of one another trying to absolutely obliterate this door. Once that had been destroyed, they brought in a wooden bench and starting completely fucking that thing up. Scraps of wood were flying all throughout the room. Mind you, we had fog machines and lights going, so this scene was just a completely intense sensory experience. Next were a few plastic lawn chairs falling victim to cinder blocks being thrown at them and exploding everywhere. Then I smelled burning. Somebody had lit a trash can on fire in the building.

I couldn't believe what was happening. It was amazing. After the havoc, we cleared the stage and began loading into the van. As soon as we got our gear out into the yard the skies broke into a torrential downpour, completely soaking all of our gear. After dealing with that the best we could, we went back in. As it turned out, the last band had left and decided that they weren't going to play. During our set there was a guy sitting on the couch in the back and our bass player had teasingly said something to the effect of "Come on get up, this isn't a coffee shop" and that so greatly offended the guy that he and his whole band left.

About an hour later a lady, who we had assumed was homeless judging by her clothing and demeanor, came in and started grabbing the mic from the final band and rapping into it. Saying all kinds of shit barely discernible through her badly slurred speech. After 10 or 15 minutes it had reached that "Ok, we get it" phase. Curiously, I asked one of the guys if this was a normal thing and why they didn't ask her to leave since she was clearly disrupting the show. The guy told me that there were some serious no bullshit crack dealers living across the street and that was their sister. The last time they kicked her out for coming in there and being a drunken mess, they were met with very convincing threats from their neighbors. So they just sort of had to let her do her thing and play along no matter how annoying or obnoxious she was being. She was harmless and sort of endearing.

Later that night, we were put up and fed by the promoter and the evening had seemed like a passing dream. The next day, we looked at the Facebook event page and it was blown up by some Neo-Nazi dudes just hammering away at how awful we were and making some really shitty comments about homosexuals and people with disabilities. It feels necessary to mention that he was in no way affiliated with the venue or promoters and they tried their best to have our backs. The whole thing was a complete Bizarro World mindfuck. I lost my favorite Sleep hoodie, but I gained a ridiculous story that I've probably told a hundred times since.

Three-piece metal outfit Drude (formerly known as Burn The Army) will release a new self-titled EP on March 3rd, 2017. Check out the title track below. More...

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Sunday Old School: BMHM Part 1. Master's Hammer

It's back! February means only one thing for Metalunderground.com, a month of darkness and controversy, with a few history lessons thrown in and some of the most extreme music ever recorded; Black Metal History Month! Throughout February, we'll be featuring black metal bands past and present in various columns and Sunday Old School will be taking a look at four bands from the genre, each from a different country. Speaking of countries, today will be the first time the column features a group from the Czech Republic and one cited as a big part in the development of black metal as we know it; Master's Hammer.

Master's Hammer was formed in the Czechoslovakian capital of Prague in 1987 (the Czech Republic and Slovakia would not go their separate ways until 1992,) by vocalist and multi instrumentalist, František "Franta" Štorm, along with bass player Milan Fibiger and drummer Ferenc Feco. The trio recorded their first demo, "The Ritual Murder," that same year before bringing in a second guitarist named Míla Krovina and recording another demo, "Finished," in 1988. They continued to self-release their own material, including a live album in 1989, entitled imaginatively enough, "Live in Zbraslav 18.5.1989." More...

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Pit Stories: Mob Justice

After that crazy tale of a chainsaw clear out last week we're back again for more heavy metal pit mayhem!

A familiar theme arises this week in the form of a cautionary tale. We've heard plenty of times in the past about you should always respect the stage and do your best not to piss off the band, but it's not a lesson that always seems to sink in for all metal fans.

This week vocalist / keyboardist Joseph Michael of Witherfall shares a tale of a New York state show where a crowd had to go all mob justice on one unruly asshole who wanted to ruin it for everybody.

Joseph recalls the events like this:

I was at a show in upstate NY a while back at a place called Albies. The place was known for being a cool place to catch local and touring metal bands. A band called the Blob Mob was on stage tearing up some classic metal and the pit was happening on the floor. All of a sudden a drunk psycho steps up on stage and smacks the “Blob” in the head with a beer bottle, sending shards of broken glass, blood and shitty beer all over the stage...

The “Blob” was a well known and loved local singer who also happened to be at least 350 pounds and was not happy. Members of the audience grabbed the unlucky assailant and carried him outside and beat the living shit out of him until the police arrived. I made my way out the back door and hid until the cops left, as I was not of legal age. After all the chaos died down and the blood and beer was mopped up the band went back on stage and killed it. Great night.

California group Witherfall is set to release new album "Nocturnes And Requiems" on February 10th, which is dedicated to the life of Adam Sagan who passed on December 7th, 2016 during the final stages of production. Check out a track below, and you can follow the latest on Witherfall via Facebook here. More...

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Unearthing The Completely Unexpected Underground

The ascendancy of Nergal's new dark blues / country project Me And That Man got me thinking about all the utterly unexpected sounds that have come through my speakers in the years I've been writing here.

For every thrash rehash, modern metal copy and paste job, or a slew of utterly identical melodic post-hardcore emo bands, there's always some outfit hanging out just below the surface that no one has ever heard of - but is putting out awe-inspiring sounds.

Today we're going to focus on those groups that go way off the beaten path, offering a very different take on various sub-genres than what you'll hear from the average metal band. You aren't going to read about them on Rolling Stone, but these are the innovators pushing boundaries that deserve to thrive in the metal underground.

Zeal And Ardor

This one-man project creates something that is so incredibly obvious in hindsight but has barely been scratched by the scene as a whole: a collision of old African American spirituals with extreme metal. Reading that description for the first time, it seems like those two forces wouldn't be compatible, but just think about the connotations for a second.

Why did black metal arise in the Scandinavian scene in the first place, and why are the early days of the style so closely associated with church burnings? American slaves persecuted by Christianity have more in common with the pagans of European lore than you might think.

Imagine if those same slaves had access to guitars and decided to take their music in a more extreme direction. I'll let the project's Bandcamp description explain the rest:

Imagine this: Django sacrifices a goat on stage while intimidating slave chants roar and screeching guitar riffs burn in the background. Then the rhythmic chain rattling evoking a satanic summoning makes way for the eerily familiar melodies of Norwegian black metal.

Intrigued? While the album as a whole does have some down points and a lack of focus (a full review is coming), the tracks that stick to this collision of ideas are top-notch. Zeal & Ardor's "Devil Is Fine" is due to officially drop February 24th, 2017.

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Sunday Old School: Edge Of Sanity

Oh Sweden, sometimes you are too good to us. The Scandinavian country has long been one of rock and metal's biggest exporters, giving the world such great punk bands as Anti Cimex and Disfear, as well arguably the most creative death metal in history with the likes of the melodic In Flames and Dark Tranquillity, as well as the brutal, Unleashed and the progressive, Opeth. Speaking of progressive death metal, that's another area we'll be exploring today, as we take a look at another of Sweden's more daring extreme bands, Edge Of Sanity.

Edge Of Sanity were formed in Finspång, a small town in the Östergötland county in 1989 by Dan Swanö, a multi instrumentalist who recruited guitarists Andreas Axelsson and Sami Nerberg, in addition to bass player Anders Lindberg and drummer Benny Larsson to complete the lineup. The quintet recorded their first demo, "Euthanasia" that same year, before releasing three more ("Kur-Nu-Gi-A," "The Dead" and "The Immortal Rehearsals") in 1990. These demos along with a growing live reputation were enough to catch the attention of Black Mark Records, who soon snapped up the band and released their debut album, "Nothing But Death Remains" in 1991. More...

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Pit Stories: Chainsaw Clear Out

We've got an epic Pit Story for you tonight metal fanatics!

Forget the feel-good nature of last week's story about gaining a devoted new fan, this week we're back to pure fist-in-the-face mayhem of a proper pit.

Today's story comes courtesy of Davin Jones from Pissed On, who recounts a tale of one wonderfully drunk fan bringing a rather dangerous object into the pit. Davin tells the story like this:

It was Halloween Eve and it was Pissed On's third time playing Cincinnati, our first time playing Rake's End. To set the atmosphere, let me tell you that it was essentially a costume party and just about everyone there was bloody and horrific. The crowd was comprised of your usual grind freaks, crust punks, and a handful of hardcore kids but one attendee stood out.

His name was Steve and he was dressed in a long brown trench coat and wore a mask a la The Purge. In one hand he held a half-drank beer and the other a chainsaw with the blade still on. We first met Steve when he came over and drunkenly gave us a Four Horseman speech in Spanish. Needless to say we knew he was going to be a good time.

As we set up to play our set, the crowd slowly came closer. Rake's End is a smaller venue so people packed in tight and when a pit arises it conjures up in the very front next to the band. Steve made his way to the front, chainsaw in tact, even more drunk than before. Our set begins and bodies are flying side to side, and Steve is being tossed around like a joint. I see one kid get his septum ring ripped out of his nose, blood everywhere. At one point I turn away from the crowd and feel a fist meet my neck. Mic stands are being knocked off and chaos is ensuing.

Somewhere amongst the cluster fuck of a pit going on, Steve decides to put his chainsaw in the air and subsequently start it. With the chain on. In a crowd of people. He was soon kicked out, but he found his way back in and even bought us beer (which he tried to give to us while we were playing). We never got to thank Steve because after the third time being thrown out he started chasing a car down the street with his chainsaw. I don't know where you are right now you crazy fuck, but thank you for one of the best Halloween's of my life.

Damn... in all the crazy pit shenanigans, I don't think we've ever experienced a live chainsawing before! If anybody has footage of that night, please let us know so we can share it!

"The Hanged Man" by Kentucky grinders Pissed On is due out this coming March 17th, 2017 via Advocate Records - check out an advance track below.

Oh, and a brief plea from your friendly neighborhood metal zine worker: for the love of god, please don't name your band anything like Pissed On. You see I have to search for that phrase to find your music, and do you know what kind of things get seen between typing those words and finding a page actually associated with your band? Fuck my eyes... More...

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Sunday Old School: Criminal

When one door closes, another one opens, right? That's not always the case for musicians, many of whom that find success with one band are unable to repeat it with the next. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule, perhaps most famously being Dave Grohl who after the demise of Nirvana achieved fame with Foo Fighters. It's happened in metal too, with today's Sunday Old School lesson demonstrating how Pentagram (now called Pentagram Chile) mainman Anton Reisenegger went from the influential but struggling death metal favourites to form his country's biggest thrash metal group, Criminal.

Criminal was formed in 1991 by Anton Reisenegger and Rodrigo Contreras and were joined in their endeavour by Primate drummer Jose Joaquin Vallejos and bass player Juan Francisco Cueto in the Chilean capital of Santiago. The group were able to make use of Reisenegger's underground cred to gain an instant name for themselves, as evidenced by their very first show being an opening slot for Kreator before they had even recorded a demo. In 1992 however, the band recorded two demos, with the latter, "Forked" earning particular attention and praise internationally. More...

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Pit Stories: Gaining A New Fan

Ready for another dive straight into the pit? Every Tuesday we check in with bands and fans from around the globe to get their most memorable stories from live shows!

Recently our Pit Stories have been all about bad fan behavior, from an overly aggressive mosher getting booted from the venue by the Melvins to an especially eager fan crawling on stage and interfering with a Empyrean Throne show.

We're shifting gears this week to a much more positive interaction: drawing in metal heads who have never heard your band before and become a fan based off a strong live performance.

Raj Krishna from prog group OmnisighT shared the tale below of gaining a new fan during a Vancouver set. Footage of the person in question is available after the jump, where you can literally watch him work his way through the crowd towards the stage as he gets more and more into the music.

One of our best sets was at the Rickshaw in Vancouver, BC during Wacken Metal Battle Canada finals. We're pretty intense live, we can bring in cold fans that have never heard or seen us before. We knew we had a good set that night, and some cool videos of it.

One night we were hanging out and watching some Omni on you tube when we saw a vid of "Plasticine," the last song that night, which went over really well. The video is pretty shitty quality. The point is, this guys never heard of us and just decides to record us on his tablet.

The vid is shaking, the musics too loud, but it captures the energy! You can see throughout the song, he gets closer and closer to the stage until he's right in the pit. He's chanting OmnisighT by the end of the song! I'm pretty sure we got a brand new Omni fan that night!

Omnisight's upcoming EP "Power of One" is slated to arrive on January 20th, which follows 2016 live album "Live At The Theatre." Check out the title track and pre-order your copy over at Bandcamp here. More...

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Sunday Old School: Nightfall

Those of you who listened to the interview I conducted with Rotting Christ frontman, Sakis Tolis, will have discovered that in addition to being a die Queens Park Rangers fan, I'm a follower of the Greek football club, PAOK (which stands for Panthessalonikios Athlitikos Omilos Konstantinoupoliton, for any of you who insist on pronouncing full names.) While attempting to find a stream of their match against AEL Larissa today, I discovered that the game has been postponed as a result of heavy snow. It may seem strange to think that a hot and usually sunny country such as Greece can produce such weather, but it's not uncommon. Perhaps then it shouldn't come as a shock that the small but fascinating nation has also produced some very dark bands over the past few decades, including one of Gothic metal's early favourites, Nightfall.

Nightfall were formed in the Greek capital of Athens in 1991 by vocalist and bassist Efthimis Karadimas, joined in his endeavour by guitar players Christian Adamou and Mike Galiatsos, as well as a drummer simply known as Sotiris. This lineup recorded the group's first and only demo, "Vanity" that same year. The tape contained four songs with lyrics, as well as an instrumental, an intro and an outro and showcased a death/doom style, which had begun to be popularised by the likes of Anathema and Paradise Lost. While circulating in the metal underground, the demo found its way to France, where Holy Records took notice and offered the band a deal. More...

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Pit Stories: Respect The Stage

Following on from last week's tale of a fan being chastised by the performing band, today's entry in the ever-growing Pit Story catalog also features a band laying down the law on an unruly participant.

Today's story comes courtesy of Empyrean Throne vocalist Andrew Knudsen, and concerns respecting the band's space. Stage crawling/diving is all well and good - so long as the band is on board!

Andrew recalls the story of opening for Nile:

Our shows tend to get crazy and violent. People get wrecked in the pit area, glass gets broken if you’re not looking after your drink. Our fans are a wild bunch. We encourage rabid crowd participation. However, we take our performance very seriously. It is a ritual. There is a spiritual intent with our shows, and when we are on stage, it is treated as sacred ground.

We bring a lot of stage paraphernalia to each show. We have an altar with actual animal bones, war banners, tons of candles, a ritual dagger, blood, and tons of other trinkets aside from our gear. Because of this allotment we don’t invite fans on stage. Outside of performing, we spend a lot of our personal free time and money on constructing—as well as maintaining—these items. So when we perform we also demand that the audience respect the stage, its contents, and performers.

Last February, when we opened for Nile at the Grove of Anaheim, some young and quite hammered kid kept trying to force his way on stage and pull at various members’ boots and legs during our set. This guy was raging, he was the finest specimen of filth that evening. Totally cool until he climbed up on stage. I’m not sure what he was trying to accomplish, he wasn’t there to stage dive or crowd surf, he was just there flailing around like a lunatic.

From what I recall, he tried to grab my incense censor and part of our altar before, literally grinding up on the leg of one of our members. At that point I grabbed him by the neck and threw him into the audience, who did not make an effort to catch him. They cheered instead. After the show the young lad came up to our merch booth and apologized for his tomfoolery, and proceeded to buy one of every item from our store. We thanked him for coming out and supporting us. It’s something we still laugh about today. I guess the moral here is this, support the band and get into the music, but also respect the stage and the performers on it because we will protect ourselves and our property at all costs.

Empyrean Throne's new album "Chaosborne" will be self-released this coming January 24th, 2017. Telling the story of a hapless Templar knight in medieval Europe and his subsequent decent into the realm of Chaos, the album offers eleven solemn hymns to unbecoming. More...

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Sunday Old School: Anti Cimex

Heavy metal and punk have more or less always had an uneasy relationship. There's been taunts and violence from both sides, yet there's always been a level of mutual respect, perhaps moreso in recent years than when the two genres were at their commercial (some might say, cultural) zenith. Many metal bands have cited the likes of the Sex Pistols, Discharge and Bad Brains as an influence, while numerous bands from the punk and hardcore scenes such as Suicidal Tendencies, D.R.I. and The Exploited have channeled the metal sound into their own to create crossover thrash and in later cases, grindcore. This week, we'll be taking a look at another legendary punk band who struck a chord with fans of both styles, Anti Cimex.

Anti Cimex were formed in Gothenburg, Sweden's second largest city in 1981 and initially consisted of vocalist, Nils "Nillen" Andersson, Joakim "Joker" Pettersson on guitar, drummer Charlie Claeson and bassist, Tomas "Freke" Jonsson, the last of which had also been a member of another notable Swedish punk band, Shitlickers. This lineup would only record one EP together in December of that year entitled, "Anarkist Attack," which wasn't released until 1982. Shortly afterwards, Nillen was sacked from the group and Frecke took over the position of vocalist, with the band bringing in Christian "Cutting" to handle bass, before he was replaced by a bassist known simply as Conrad. More...

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Pit Stories: Chill Out Fucker!

Happy Tuesday metal heads! It's officially our first Pit Story of the new year!

We're kicking the 2017 edition of the column off with a tale of an overly-rowdy fan who managed to get himself ejected... by the band itself!

Charlie Dowzell from U.K. doom group Sail shared this tale about an unfortunate fan being called out mid-show by none other than the Melvins:

A couple of years ago we went to see the Melvins in the Exchange, Bristol. Fantastic venue and very small indeed - 200 folks tops, I think. The place went absolutely mental when they came on and the vibe stayed at an all-time high - they were loud as all hell and played banger after banger.

Near the end of their set they played 'The Bit' and the already pumped-up crowd somehow became even wilder, which was ace. This is where things fall apart a little. Somebody was clearly 'in the zone' as it were, and King Buzzo must have thought it too much - admittedly I think the guy was beginning to knock people down and maybe actually hurt them, I'm not overly sure.

Next thing I know, the band have stopped mid-song and this guy gets a royal bollocking from King Buzzo, who told him to 'chill out, fucker!' to a rapturous applause. Tail between his legs, this guy yells out 'I'm sorry!' to which Buzz tells him he doesn't care that he's sorry, and wants him gone.

Think they ejected him from the venue, and on went one of the most intense and fantastic shows of my life. That will always stay with me as something so powerfully surreal and very funny. 'Chill out, fucker!' indeed.

Sail's new album "Slumbersong" is being prepped for a March 10th, 2017 release via Hibernacula Records. Check out a track off the release below. More...

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Unearthing The Underground: Kicking Off 2017

It's a whole new year metal fans, and as the first Monday in a wide open 2017 standing before us full of metallic possibilities, we've officially arrived at the year's inaugural edition of Unearthing The Metal Underground!

In week's past we've covered modern prog rock groups and much more extreme metal bands alike. Today we're going to cover three completely different sub-genres in our underground picks, from post-rock to black metal to melodic death.

A Province Of Thay

This unlikely group hailing from Seattle caught my attention strongly when we had the opportunity to premiere the "Atonement" EP in October of 2016.

The opening title track immediately grabbed me and had me spinning the release multiple times to experience more of this shoegazy post-rock just absolutely dripping with atmosphere and emotion but still very much on the metal side (check out our full review here).

I sort of love the genre description A Province Of Thay uses on Facebook: "gloomy doom, post rock, post metal, prog, nerds." That pretty well sums it up. Take a listen to "Atonement" below.

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Sunday Old School: Repulsion

Happy new year one and all! While everything is pointing towards another year of events set to depress everyone, Metal Underground will be keeping it brutal too throughout 2017 and what better way to live up to that promise than by covering a band a group credited as one of the earliest and biggest influences on extreme music? It's fair to assume that many bands dream of becoming influential if not commercially successful when they start out, and to make a mark before releasing an album is one only a handful of groups have ever achieved, though some bands were able to do just that including Hellhammer, Siege and today's featured band, Repulsion.

Repulsion were formed in Flint, Michigan in 1984, originally using the name Ultra Violence, before changing it to Genocide and recorded their first demo, "Toxic Metal" the same year. Though they quickly made a name for themselves in their local scene, maintaining a stable lineup proved difficult and it seemed as though they were finished after one demo when core members Matt Olivo and Scott Carlson were invited by Chuck Schuldiner to join Death. The collaboration did not last long and so the duo returned to Flint, determined to pick up where they left off with Genocide, eventually recruiting drummer Dave "Grave" Hollingshead and recording a second demo, "Violent Death." More...

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Pit Stories: Marshmallow Girl In The Lion Onesie

Remember the chicken guy who used to go to all the Baltimore/D.C. area shows in a full body chicken costume, or that masked midget who would order people around in the mosh pits of California?

Rock and metal shows are known for their interesting characters, but its not just the die hard fans or musicians themselves who show up in interesting attire... sometimes its the journalists like us who cover the shows!

For this week's Pit Story we've got our own Amy Dyer sharing how she likes to hit up music festivals and live shows and make an impression wearing something just a bit out of the ordinary:

When I photograph gigs, I take a bag of marshmallows with me and throw them into the crowd during the wait between acts. I have now earned a reputation as Marshmallow Girl. I once went to a gig as a punter and someone recognized me as marshmallow girl and bought me a pint XD. More funny than interesting but it's still makes me laugh.

I've gained a similar reputation at festivals when I spend the entire weekend in a Lion onesie. Andy Copping (owner of Download) has no idea what my name is but does know I'm the photographer in a lion onesie XD.

Amy was kind enough to share a few photos of this lion outfit below... including one where she's meeting a very bemused Marilyn Manson!

What's the strangest thing you've seen someone wear to a festival, and what's your preferred show-going attire? Let us know in the comments section below!

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