Last week, we were forced to cancel the Metalunderground.com Official Podcast due to scheduling conflicts and a relative dearth of fascinating, frightening, or fabulous news. This week, we are back with a vengeance.
In an extended episode, co-hosts Kevin Perez (n0thinghead) and Mike Smith (OverkillExposure) hold a series of intense discussions regarding three different, but equally captivating, current metal topics.
Up first: the seemingly endless recording/production/mixing woes of epic Finnish act Wintersun, which released “Time I” in 2012 after an eight year wait since the now-classic self-titled debut. Fans are poised with bated breath in anticipation of the upcoming sequel, but master songwriter (and admitted perfectionist) Jari Mäenpää just keeps running into delay after delay.
In a fit of frustration, Mäenpää recently took to social media to explain his technological and financial catch-22 vis-à-vis Nuclear Blast Records. Mike and Kevin share some mixed opinions of all this. What do you think?
Next, it’s onto more of the outrageously popular Slipknot, whose only necessary introduction is this: some love to love them, others love to hate them, but no one can fully categorize them (please don’t argue that last point - you’re wrong).
It’s been six years since the best-selling but not-entirely-fan-pleasing “All Hope Is Gone,” and after several dramatic episodes and periods of doubt over the band’s survival, Slipknot has finally unveiled new music from the upcoming fifth studio album: video single “The Negative One.”
We, like most people, think this new stuff carries strong echoes of “Iowa” (2001) and even “Slipknot” (1999). We don’t entirely agree on just how good that is, however. Listen in to find out who you think is right!
Finally, we launch into a detailed reaction to “The Flesh Prevails,” the new full-length from atmospheric, progressive, insert-your-sub-sub-genre death metallers Fallujah. The album is packed with idiosyncrasies both excellent and dubious. Listen in here to check out the full range of opinions, and don’t forget to subscribe via iTunes or RSS. Enjoy!
To the army of haters in response to last week’s episode: the Metalunderground.com Official Podcast thanks you for helping keep things exciting! We understand, however, that it wouldn’t be fair to routinely discuss the likes of Babymetal for such a broo-tal crowd. So to make it up to you, this week we bring you some good old Swedish death metal.
Just kidding. Co-host Mike Smith (OverkillExposure) gives a first reaction to “Back To The Front,” the new album from The Artist Formerly Known As Entombed, or “Entombed A.D.” in legalese. Recent name ownership disputes forced the current lineup - including longtime vocalist L.G. Petrov - to make the slight alteration, but thankfully, the music itself sounds like good old Entombed. Listen in to check out Mike’s full thoughts on the matter.
Next, co-host Kevin Perez (n0thinghead) reviews - big incoming shocker here - another “prog-djent-core” album. Indeed, he has no shame, and makes no apologies. This week it’s “No Sleep,” the recent sophomore effort from Southern Californian five-piece Volumes. Regarding the band’s creativity, Kevin offers an insightful take on the “good artists borrow; great artists steal” maxim. Listen in to hear more!
“Djent-core” is one general arena in which Kevin and Mike differ greatly, and Mike has the nerve to utter some less-than-flattering remarks about a recent After The Burial performance he witnessed (you can’t see it, but Kevin was wearing the band’s shirt during this discussion). Their disagreement ends as Mike moves on to the real reason he was attending: Killswitch Engage. A full report and lively discussion of the influential band ensues.
The Metalunderground.com Official Podcast treads some touchy ground this week. Japanese pop-metal sensation Babymetal, a trio of decidedly illegal adolescent girls, has in 2014 sent the global metal community into equal paroxysms of laughter and rage, depending on whom you ask.
The gossip seemed to have quieted down recently, until several Babymetal photo-op pictures began surfacing on various social media accounts, including one with bassist/vocalist Jeffrey Walker of Carcass. Co-host Mike Smith (OverkillExposure) uses the subsequent reactions to examine just why “metaldom” seems always so eager to vomit bile at easy targets.
Next, it’s review time. Co-host Kevin Perez (n0thinghead) tackles “Amanuensis,” the new album from UK progressive metalcore act Monuments. He and Mike both admittedly struggled with the tongue-twisting title, a word Merriam-Webster defines as “one employed to write from dictation or to copy manuscript.”
Finally comes a shared reaction to the latest teaser for the upcoming (yet still untitled) Slipknot album, and a retrospective discussion on the unlikely Iowan superstars’ meaning and legacy over the past fifteen years. Love them or hate them, their place in history is secure and not to be ignored.
This week on the Metalunderground.com Official Podcast, co-host Mike Smith (OverkillExposure) returns after a jaunt in Europe, where he helped cover the celebrated Tuska Open Air Metal Festival in Helsinki, Finland.
A series of full-length articles are on the way, but for now, Mike shares a handful of impressions, recollections, and opinions. This year's Tuska featured numerous heavy hitters, including Dimmu Borgir, Anthrax, Emperor, Children Of Bodom, Carcass, Satyricon, and Insomnium. Check out Mike's initial breakdown of the experience, and learn which performances impressed (or surprised) him most.
Then it's on to a new review by co-host Kevin Perez (n0thinghead), this time of "From Parts Unknown" by eclectic Buffalo, New York noisemakers Every Time I Die. He's not yet sure how this varied release stacks up against his personal favorite, 2012's "Ex Lives," but is quick to assure you it brings plenty of thrills.
Finally, Kevin and Mike react to the recently announced Knotfest lineup - a thorough blend of mainstream and underground, old school and new - and the ill-advised kidnapping hoax by Texas deathcore band Upon A Burning Body, a publicity stunt that backfired spectacularly.
This week, our Official Podcast experienced something of a change.
As regular co-host Mike Smith (OverkillExposure) is away in Europe, long time writer, Diamond Oz (who is ironically, from and residing in Europe) filled in for him to discuss with Kevin Perez (n0thinghead) some of the biggest stories of late.
They begin by talking about the new Cannibal Corpse material, before discussing the forthcoming Slayer tour of North America, where they will be joined by Exodus and Suidical Tendencies and then wrapping things up with an in depth discussion about the new Mastodon album, "Once More 'Round the Sun."
Check out the podcast at this location and feel free to leave us your feedback!
It's Friday night, and if you have a beer in your hand, you naturally ought to be listening to two guys yammering about metal. This week on the Metalunderground.com Official Podcast, we apply our finely sharpened critics' scalpels and "rapists' wit" to yet another round of new and upcoming music from a diverse array of bands.
Co-host Kevin Perez (n0thinghead) has a well-documented hankering for technical and progressive metal, and eagerly tackles two fresh new songs, "Sapphire" and "Carved In Stone," from forward-thinking extreme outfit Fallujah.
Co-host Mike Smith (OverkillExposure) offers a stiff double, sans chaser: the much-hyped eponymous debut album from Wovenwar (ex-As I Lay Dying) and "Till Death, La Familia," the seventh disc from New Jersey "Latin metal" sextet Ill Niño. In Mike's opinion, one of these efforts is good... the other ain't so hot. Find out which is which, and why.
Finally, Kevin recaps DevilDriver's recent headlining show at Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale, FL, featuring Whitechapel, Carnifex, Revocation, and Rivers Of Nihil. Check out his reaction to the show (for which we held a promotional ticket giveaway), and if you attended one of the tour dates, see if it approximates your own experience. We want to hear from you!
There's been no shortage of hot-button weekly metal news lately - well, very little shortage, anyway; sometimes we at the Metalunderground.com Official Podcast (listen here) are forced to make shit up - and perhaps the most hotly contested announcement is that of the big ol' Singer Change. Replace a bassist or keyboardist and no one bats an eye. Replace a guitarist or drummer and healthy debate ensues. Replace a singer and everyone loses their minds.
It happened in March when Alissa White-Gluz (ex-The Agonist) stepped into the shoes of veteran Arch Enemy frontwoman Angela Gossow, and now it's happened again on the Left Coast: Bay Area thrashers Exodus have relieved vocalist Rob Dukes of his duties after nine years and four albums of service, making way for the return of previous frontman Steve "Zetro" Souza. Reactions have been mixed and somewhat heated, and here to discuss just that is your fabulous co-host Mike Smith (OverkillExposure).
Next, Mike and dashing co-host Kevin Perez (n0thinghead) tackle the fresh new single "Rusted Nail" from Swedish metal giants In Flames, of which they both are confirmed fans for life. However, reactions to this song are mixed as well, and the overall attitude toward the band's upcoming album "Siren Charms" is one of... shall we say, "cautious optimism."
Finally, Mike offers his initial reaction to the upcoming album "Origins" from Swiss folk metal heroes Eluveitie. He was blessed with an early promo for review, and concludes that this effort combines elements of the band's past and present and is likely to satisfy fans old and new alike.
Tune in here, enjoy, and offer us your feedback. You can subscribe via iTunes or RSS, and don't forget to throw in for a free ticket giveaway in Fort Lauderdale (if you're able and willing) for DevilDriver at Revolution Live next Wednesday, June 18th. Just email us at email@example.com with "DEVILDRIVER" in the subject heading, and provide your name matching your ID.
The time is fast approaching for DevilDriver at Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale on June 18th, and we at the Metalunderground.com Official Podcast are offering a free ticket giveaway to South Florida residents or anyone else able and willing to attend. Anyone interested should email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject "DEVILDRIVER," and provide your name (matching your ID).
This week: vocalist Paul "Ablaze" Zinay (Blackguard) and bassist Xavier St Laurent (ex-Ion Dissonance) of Montreal, Quebec have formed a new group known as Ages. The two tracks so far released are titled "Heinous Nemesis" and "Resounding Negation," featuring members of Epica and HateSphere as guests. Co-host Mike Smith (OverkillExposure) offers his opinion on the band's sound and potential appeal.
Next: Mike and co-host Kevin Perez (n0thinghead) react to two freshly released singles: "Chimes At Midnight" from Atlanta's Mastodon and "Cusp Of Eternity" from Sweden's Opeth. Both songs are taken from the eagerly anticipated upcoming albums "Once More 'Round The Sun" and "Pale Communion," respectively.
First things first: any South Florida residents interested in seeing DevilDriver in Fort Lauderdale on June 18th should email your full name (matching your ID) to email@example.com with the subject DEVILDRIVER. We are hosting a ticket giveaway through the Revolution Live venue.
Last week on the Metalunderground.com Official Podcast, we reviewed a series of new full-length releases. This week, we were forced to settle for mere songs, tastes of albums soon to come.
Co-host Mike Smith (OverkillExposure) gets things started by reviewing the new Entombed A.D. song "Bedlam Attack," off the forthcoming album "Back To The Front.” You may also know this band as Sweden’s long-running pioneer act Entombed - creators of the death metal classics “Left Hand Path” and “Clandestine,” and “death ’n’ roll” landmark “Wolverine Blues” - and Mike offers his take on the legal dispute that led to the slight name change.
Then co-host Kevin Perez (n0thinghead) reviews the new song "Thirst," off the imminent album "From Parts Unknown” by Buffalo, New York’s eclectic hardcore punkers Every Time I Die. As with Entombed, this band has never been too shy to experiment stylistically, and Kevin evaluates the quirky evolution leading up to this current work.
Finally, we react to a bizarre international story. Poland’s Behemoth just can’t seem to stay out of trouble these days, and due to alleged “wrong visas,” the band was recently detained and deported from Russia while on tour. Though Randy Blythe’s (Lamb Of God) 2012 fate in the Czech Republic was thankfully averted, we can’t help but feel troubled over the occasional pitfalls of travel in this part of the world - and if frontman Nergal’s account is accurate, the jail accommodations were, to put it politely, less than sanitary.
It's a review-o-rama this week on the Metalunderground.com Official Podcast! Your co-hosts Kevin Perez (n0thinghead) and Mike Smith (OverkillExposure) treat you to a whirlwind of reactions to three very different new metal releases - but not before Kevin reminds you of our ticket giveaway for DevilDriver at Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale, June 18th. Interested Florida residents should tune in for details.
First order of review business: the self-titled debut of eclectic supergroup Killer Be Killed, featuring Max Cavalera (Soulfly), Greg Puciato (The Dillinger Escape Plan), Troy Sanders (Mastodon), and Dave Elitch (ex-The Mars Volta). This review is mainly Kevin's bag, with a few cents from Mike on some of the distressing "metal hipster" comments on YouTube.
Next, Mike takes over to rave about Arch Enemy's hotly anticipated tenth studio album "War Eternal," the first to feature new guitarist Nick Cordle (ex-Arsis) of Charlottesville, Virginia fame (Mike's proud hometown) and vocalist Alissa White-Gluz (ex-The Agonist) of Montreal, Quebec. As far as Mike is concerned, this is some of the band's strongest material since the classic "Wages Of Sin"  and is a must-buy release of 2014.
Finally, with heavy hearts, Kevin and Mike tackle the unpleasant burden of dissecting the new Mushroomhead album "The Righteous & The Butterfly," which both confirmed fans sadly agree constitutes the band's weakest material to date - a major letdown after a four-year wait and the hyped return of beloved vocalist Jason "J-Mann" Popson. However, they do their best to look on the bright side, though it is admittedly a struggle.
Tune in here, enjoy, and don't hesitate to offer us your feedback.
After a week off due to technical issues, the Metalunderground.com Official Podcast is rolling along once again. Co-host Kevin Perez (n0thinghead) launches this week's episode by announcing another ticket giveaway through Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale, FL, this time for the upcoming DevilDriver show on June 18th. Tune in for more details.
Next, Kevin recaps last week's ticket giveaway performance: Swedish theatrical occult rockers Ghost (Kevin adamantly refuses to use the band's asinine new legal moniker "Ghost B.C.")
Then Kevin and co-host Mike Smith (OverkillExposure) react to the new Suicide Silence lyric video "Cease To Exist." The song is the band's first released material since the untimely 2012 death of vocalist Mitch Lucker in a motorcycle crash.
Then comes a discussion of the recent "uncloseting" of two founding Cynic members Paul Masvidal and Sean Reinert, and finally an affectionate nod to the late Hans Ruedi Giger, the Swiss surrealist artist whose impact on metal visuals - including collaborations with Celtic Frost, Carcass, Korn, and Triptykon - runs far and deep.
Tune in here, enjoy, and offer us your feedback.
Co-host Kevin Perez (n0thinghead) kicks off this week’s Official Podcast with a special announcement: Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale, FL is sponsoring a ticket giveaway for the upcoming Ghost show this Wednesday, May 7th.
If you’d like to get in on it, contact Kevin via Twitter or Instagram (he goes by “n0thinghead” on both) and provide your full name, which must match your ID at the box office.
Next, Kevin and co-host Mike Smith (OverkillExposure) react to the recently announced Summer Slaughter Tour lineup, featuring headliners Morbid Angel and including such bands as Dying Fetus, The Faceless, Goatwhore, and Origin.
Then, Mike reviews the recent Century Media release “Back From Beyond,” the third studio album (and first since 1996) by Tampa, Florida death metal outfit Massacre. The band features former members of Death, Six Feet Under, and many other acts.
Finally, Mike and Kevin indulge in their shared love of melodic death metal by co-reviewing another Century Media release: “Shadows Of The Dying Sun,” the fresh and highly anticipated new album from Finland’s Insomnium.
Check out the podcast here, enjoy, and offer us your feedback.
This week, our Official Podcast brings you another round of live music recaps. First, co-host Mike Smith (OverkillExposure) revisits the burgeoning local metal scene of Lynchburg, Virginia – previously covered here – with a rundown of its newly minted “Thursday Throwdown” series of concerts.
The second show, held at Phase 2 on Thursday, April 17th, presented a compact and delightfully complete ceremony of rock and metal tribute, starting with three-piece cover act Mourn The Illusion, continuing with progressive melodic metallers Unspoken, and culminating with headliners and local hard rock darlings Singleside ("Moving Forward" album review here).
Next up, co-host Kevin Perez (n0thinghead) discusses a recent headlining performance in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, by Canadian bizarro-metal wackos Protest The Hero. Check out his thoughts about the bill, which included openers Intervals, eclectic tech-proggers The Safety Fire, and strangely, Detroit thrashers Battlecross.
Finally, your co-hosts react to the recently released single “All Rise” from Wovenwar, the new formation of As I Lay Dying members minus prison-bound frontman Tim Lambesis. Wovenwar features Jordan Mancino (drums), Nick Hipa (guitar), Phil Sgrosso (guitar), Josh Gilbert (bass/vocals), and Oh, Sleeper frontman Shane Blay (vocals).
Check out the podcast here, enjoy, and offer us your feedback.
“If it wasn’t for the thousands upon thousands of dollars Triston Seever lined Arty’s pockets with every week, the rock god knew the Hollywood agent wouldn’t tolerate the star’s strange new habits – the most disturbing of which was slaughtering young girls by the dozens. Triston Seever was a fraud; Arty knew this. (He was a man who knew a thing or two about fraud.) The little charmer was no longer an innocent kid. Something dark had taken hold of his body.”
Tune into our Official Podcast for co-host Mike Smith’s (OverkillExposure) dramatic reading of “All The Rage,” an original supernatural horror short by author Lindsey Beth Goddard.
“All The Rage” appears in the brand new metal-themed horror fiction anthology “Axes Of Evil,” out this month via Diabolus In Musica Publishing, an imprint of Chupa Cabra House. "Axes Of Evil" was edited by veteran metal journalist Alex S. Johnson.
Next, co-host Kevin Perez (n0thinghead) shares his thoughts on “The Joy Of Motion,” the recently released third album from Washington, D.C.’s instrumental progressive metal prodigies Animals As Leaders.
Pop some popcorn, take a listen here, enjoy, and offer us your feedback.
After last week's April Fools shenanigans, now it's back to business for the Metalunderground.com Official Podcast. Co-hosts Kevin Perez (n0thinghead) and Mike Smith (OverkillExposure) kick things off with detailed reviews of two new releases.
Early this month, Italy's Lacuna Coil released seventh studio album "Broken Crown Halo," which Mike considers a fantastic followup to "Dark Adrenaline" [2012, reviewed here] and the popular gothic metal group's best effort since "Comalies."  Check out his reasons.
In turn, Kevin tackles the debut self-titled EP from eclectic progressive act Lesser Key, featuring founding Tool bassist Paul D'Amour. While he's enjoyed it thoroughly, he does have some reservations.
Lastly, your co-hosts address the recently announced bill for the annual Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival. While not exactly enthralled, they both make an effort to sort out the diamonds in the rough and find some good to celebrate. It's best to approach these things with an open mind.
Take a listen here, enjoy, and offer us your feedback.
This past Tuesday, April 1st, dawned with a bang and ended with the agonized wail of countless deceived, angry, and fed-up folks. It's what the kids these days might call "butthurt." Even in this high-speed age of unlimited information, it seems that some still have trouble checking the calendar or fact-checking stories.
Your Metalunderground.com Official Podcast co-hosts, Kevin Perez (n0thinghead) and Mike Smith (OverkillExposure) found this all quite amusing. So in the irreverent spirits of Mark Twain, Orson Welles, and The Onion, they decided Tuesday evening to chuck all journalistic ethics and decency right out the window and wage a valiant, side-splitting battle against truth.
This week's episode is one hundred percent fact-free, and features a tongue-in-cheek rundown of some of Metalunderground.com's 2014 April Fools highlights, posted as headlines throughout Tuesday.
Among the lampooned: every single member of Metallica (in what is sure to be an evil, thrashing comeback effort, "Hell Hath No Fury"), prison escapee Tim Lambesis (As I Lay Dying), evasive interviewee Phil Anselmo (Pantera, etc.), would-be cinematic deity Dave Mustaine (Megadeth), and noted Oscar-lacking actor Leonardo DiCaprio, whose "Meshuggah face" in the recent hit "The Wolf Of Wall Street" has earned him an onstage guest appearance with the twisted Swedish metal titans.
Please forgive the avalanche of lies and silly humor; we advise you to remove your "serious" caps for this episode. Also, a few bong rips beforehand wouldn't hurt. Take a listen here and enjoy!
This week certainly could've gone better for metal. Most of us woke Monday morning to the startling news that Dave Brockie, aka Oderus Urungus - visiting alien, hilarious aficionado of all things offensive, and lead singer of costumed shock metallers GWAR - had died in his sleep of unknown causes Sunday, March 23rd.
Naturally, co-hosts Kevin Perez (n0thinghead) and Mike Smith (OverkillExposure) felt it only right to devote a nice, twitching, juicy slab of this week's podcast to Dave/Oderus. [00:50:45] His sudden death will likely have a massive, throbbing, aching impact on the future of metal culture, an impact as understated and yet as ever-present as his three-decade influence while alive and killing.
It's not all bummer news, though. We have some live concert adventures to share as well. Kevin caught performances by two renowned progressive metal bands: The Ocean [00:08:58] and Between The Buried And Me. [00:37:15] Mike saw thrashers Destruction [00:00:44] and experienced a unique, unexpected, trend-bucking grassroots event dubbed Annihilation Fest, held in Lynchburg, Virginia. [00:27:01]
It's been a juicy week of controversial metal news, and your hosts on Metalunderground.com's Official Podcast couldn't wait to fry a couple of the biggest fish for your listening enjoyment.
Co-host Kevin Perez (n0thinghead) gets right down to business with a detailed review of "Lost Forever // Lost Together," the anticipated sixth studio album from Brighton, England's "post-metalcore" heroes Architects.
Next, Kevin and co-host Mike Smith (OverkillExposure) set their sights on the band that's delighted and enraged metal fans the world over - but without whom none of us seem able to live - Metallica. The band recently performed a lengthy new number dubbed "The Lords Of Summer," of which bootlegged footage soon surfaced. Rather than lobbing the lawsuits of yore, Metallica graciously responded by releasing a "Garage Demo" cut of the tune, which your hosts examine in as fair and balanced an approach as possible.
Finally, the bombshell of the week: Arch Enemy's two-punch announcement that longtime frontwoman Angela Gossow had stepped down from the microphone and that Alissa White-Gluz (formerly of The Agonist) had replaced her. Kevin and Mike hash out the potential implications of this change and what it means to them, all the while marveling at just how well this secret was kept under wraps until an official music video was ready for release.
Whether this development reinforces or diminishes Mike's recent OpEd on sexist cynicism in metal, "From Dicks To Chicks," we'll leave up to you. Regardless, take a listen here, relax, enjoy, and offer us your feedback.
Last week on Metalunderground.com's Official Podcast, we brought you two young and very special Canadian bands, The Kindred and Hollow. And sure enough on this week's episode, co-host Kevin Perez (n0thinghead) continues indulging in his love for progressive (and, coincidentally, Canadian) bands.
Toronto, Ontario's Intervals, formed in 2011 and until late last year a strictly instrumental band, have just debuted with the full-length "A Voice Within," within which you'll indeed find a voice: frontman Mike Semesky. Kevin considers some of the musical developments this shift in focus has spurred.
Next, co-host Mike Smith (OverkillExposure) makes a painful, heavy-hearted effort to dissect his conflicted feelings about the latest Iced Earth release "Plagues Of Babylon" (reviewed here). It is the veteran metal band's tenth studio album, and so far to Mike's ears, falls tragically short of the dazzling comeback that was 2011's "Dystopia."
Finally ensues a discussion of singer Howard Jones, the positives and negatives of his contributions to the mighty Killswitch Engage, and his brand new group dubbed Devil You Know.
Take a listen here, enjoy, and offer us your feedback.
This week on Metalunderground.com's Official Podcast, dedicated co-hosts Kevin Perez (n0thinghead) and Mike Smith (OverkillExposure) start by tackling two debut releases from two fascinating Canadian bands.
First up is Ottawa, Ontario's The Kindred, formerly known as Today I Caught The Plague. Kevin explores his mixed feelings about this act's eclectic take on progressive metal, first by recounting a bracing live experience, then by dissecting the new release "Life In Lucidity."
Then Mike shares his thoughts and feelings on Montreal, Quebec's Hollow, a band he describes as an all-around "celebration of extreme metal" that subverts certain trends and defies others. The group's debut album "Mordrake" is due out this May, 2014.
Finally, your hosts wrap things up with an impassioned and informative overview of "As The Palaces Burn," the new documentary film chronicling the adventures of Virginia powerhouse Lamb Of God - including frontman Randy Blythe's dramatic 2012 legal showdown.
Take a listen here, enjoy, and offer us your feedback.