Recent Signings: GOJIRA to Roadrunner – ULCERATE to Relapse Records

GOJIRA sign with Roadrunner Records!

“Roadrunner Records announced today the addition of French metal behemoths Gojira to the label. The band is universally recognized as one of the most talented and extreme art-metal acts on the scene today. Gojira is one of those rare bands that comes along every couple of years and takes everything you know about metal, twists it, reimagines it and comes up with something wholly unique. It’s doubtful you’ve heard anything like Gojira before. The band makes that much of an impact with its music and approach.

“We are so stoked to walk with the legendary Roadrunner,” Joe said about the new partnership. “We discovered SepulturaMachine HeadDeathFear Factory and so many other great bands thanks to these guys. Roadrunner has been a great source of inspiration for us as metal fans. It’s an honor to be part of this family today as a band. We feel we’ll get the right support at the right moment in our career. We cannot wait to release our new record and get back on the road.”

The band’s Roadrunner debut will be its fifth album to date. The band will record in New York City this month, with a projected spring 2012 release date.  Joe Duplantier will serve in a co-producer capacity along Josh Wilbur (Lamb of God).


ULCERATE sign with Relapse Records!

ULCERATE  formed in 2000 and has previously released three full-length albums. The band’s latest album, The Destroyers of All, was released earlier this year and received international critical acclaim for its blend of ambitious songwriting and unorthodox extremity. ULCERATE will enter the studio next fall to begin recording their Relapse debut.

ULCERATE’s Jamie Saint Merat commented on the signing and the band’s upcoming tour dates: “Working with Relapse is a very logical next step for us, and we’re really looking forward to the partnership. Their presence of quality releases regardless of genre, overarching aesthetic, and attention to detail is something that we find very natural to align with, as well as being fans of the label’s releases well before the band was even started. In terms of what’s next for the Ulcerate, 2012 will be a big year for us – in February we’re touring Europe for 23 dates with our good friends in SVART CROWN, followed up by MDF X and accompanying side-shows in the US in May, New Zealand shows in December (2011) and January, and a tentative return to Australia mid-year. We’ll also begin work on album number 4…”.


NASUM Returns

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If things were different, if Mieszko hadn’t died, Nasum would have celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2012, believe it or not. Therefore, and after long deliberation and scrutiny, we have decided that it’s now or never: Nasum will do a handful of shows and festival gigs around the world in 2012 – to celebrate our anniversary, say a final goodbye to the fans and Mieszko.

No cheesy reunion, no new albums, no epitaph for Mieszko. We will play only a few cities and festivals in a limited number of disruptive, unruly concerts.

It will be a total blast, and we aim to go out hard. Just you wait.

When lead singer Mieszko Talarczyk disappeared and died in the devastating and tragic tsunami of 2004, Nasum instantly ceased to exist. As the band’s voice, producer and one of the main songwriters, Mieszko was a vital part of Nasum’s bloodline. When he passed, all plans for tours and recordings were abruptly stopped. Nasum died when Mieszko died, and the rest of the band members went their separate ways.

But in the years that passed, the feeling that everything had been left unfinished lingered with the rest of us. Suddenly seven years had passed, and we realized it was time for closure; for us, the band and for the fans. With our anniversary coming up it felt like a perfect time to end Nasum the way it was supposed to – exploding in a ferocious, blasting frenzy, not wither away at the mercy of tragedy. And finally we are ready, able and totally fucking charged, so expect something over the top. The shows will be a varied, intense mix of the best songs from this colossus of grind.

To handle vocal duties on the upcoming shows we have asked Keijo Niinimaa, vocalist in Finnish grind faves Rotten Sound, to join us. They were always close friends of Nasum, and while Keijo’s plagued screams won’t replace Mieszko, they will add a crippling viciousness to the shows. On a few occasions, we might ask a few other close friends of Nasum to do some vocal sessions. Who? Wait and see!

Note this: if you ever wanted to see Nasum blast shit to bits, this is your last and only chance.

Anders Jakobson – drums
Jesper Liveröd – bass and low vocals
Jon Lindqvist – guitars and low vocals
Urban Skytt – guitars
Keijo Niinimaa – vocals

Review: Tombs – “Path of Totality” (Relapse Records)

If you ever had any doubts that city dwellers have no place in the black metal community, you’re wrong and you haven’t heard TOMBSPath of Totality is the second full-length album from this Brooklyn based blackened sludge metal band. That’s right, I said Brooklyn, as in totally not from Europe. If you want to imagine how evil this album sounds, I’d say picture yourself in a nightmare with Dorian Gray and Alistair Crowley, both just casually having late night conversations about the end of humanity set to a scene from Dante’s Inferno. It’s a pretty sinister album. The thundering drumming on this record is authentic, taking off with the savage percussive assaults inspired by black metal titans DARKTHRONE. Wailing guitar tones and well-paced elements of despair were captured masterfully. Both the guitar and the ominous vocals were the responsibility of Mike Hill, who chants his mournfully oppressive lyrical themes all throughout the thoroughly morbid album; any expressions of nice things weren’t invited into the recording studio when John Congleton (Explosions In The Sky, Baroness) produced it. The entire album and architecture of the songwriting is elaborately composed. Everything is paced together to convey a sense of yearning and ascension through build ups followed by climatic suspense and inevitably the pulling percussions slam you right back down into seething dissonance. Like a cascading series of volcanic eruptions, you can merely anticipate where the next measure will take you, only knowing that it is going to be hot. Path of Totality has it all.

RATING: 8 / 10
By: Keith “Keefy” Chachkes
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Review: Toxic Holocaust – “Conjure and Conquer” (Relapse Records)

It’s been over ten years since Joel Grind spawned TOXIC HOLOCAUST out of the pacific northwest (Portland). In that time he was the forerunner of much of the crust punk/neo-thrash that you hear so many bands churn out ceaselessly and with zero flavor today. Plenty of things should have made him give up his dream of making it, but he never did. Joel paid no attention to fads with his D.I.Y. attitude and his love of metal and forged forward, undeterred. While all of the imitators (and a few legitimately talented bands) and johnny-come-lately’s dumped their albums on the blind masses, he didn’t fold. He continued to refine his songwriting, solidified his lineup after years of rotating casts and put out some great records building up to where he is today. Now with Conjure and Command ready to drop, Joel has fulfilled his potential and promise in spades.

First track “Judgment Awaits You” is a blistering slab of thrash and death with a hint of hardcore too. Grind‘s vocals in particular are sicker than ever before and the beautifully raw production (no triggers, no protools) sounds classically awesome. The de facto title track is next in “Agony of the Damned”. The song has some of the best riffs you will hear on a record this year. Waves of crust punk-style blitzkrieg drums pound away while blackened death sounding chords choke your ears. The breakdown is pure SABBATH-ian inspired heaven to my old ears. “Bitch” has the fierceness of old school punk (think COC) and the riffage of push thrash metal. I even hear a lot of Dave Mustaine’s snarling sarcasm lyrically in Grind, who isn’t afraid to let his many influences fly. One of the great things about this band is even when they pick a topic you’ve heard before (witches) the lyrics are always very smart and original. The half-time feel in the middle section is gonna be the soundtrack to a lot of broken bones when it gets played live. “Red Winter” is another slamming track full of speed metal and angry punk fire. In the persons of bassist Phil Zeller and drummer Nikki BellmoreGrind has finally found the musicians who can match him in hostility, talent and performance. “No Where To Run” is another track you will swear was written in 1985. Unlike many of the people and bands that followed in his footsteps, Grind has a knack for making the old-school riff sound fresh and new. I hope they play this song live because the chorus part is humongous! Sinister songs like “I Am Disease” mesh beautifully with thrash monsters like “In the Depths of Your Mind”  and “The Liars are Burning“.  Wrapping things up with the equally strong “Revelations” and “Sound the Charge”, the album files in as one of the years’ best yet top to bottom. When listening to this album in your headphones, car or home jam box, never forget that you should never underestimate one pissed off guys’ determination to make it using the power of metal and a ton of confidence.

RATING: 10 / 10
By: Keith “Keefy” Chachkes
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Interview: TOMBS, Mike Hill

Matt Darcy:  Tombs is out on the road in support of the new effort “Path of Totality”, how is
the tour going?

Mike Hill:  The Tour was awesome, probably one of our best as far as small tours go.  Some
shows have been surprisingly well such as Montreal, Chicago and Austin. Of course there
are the occasional clunkers but that is to be expected.

MD:  What has been the general reaction to the new songs?

MH:  So far, people have been really supportive of our new material; we’ve been playing most
of these songs for quite a while now, but I think since Path of Totality has been released,
there’s a certain familiarity now.

MD:  You guys went with John Congleton to record this new effort.  How was working with
him on this project and why did you choose him to work with?

MH:  Congleton is probably the most pro engineer we’ve ever worked with in addition to being
a really cool guy.  Initially, I met him a couple of years ago in Dallas when we were on tour
with Isis and Pelican. A the time, Baroness were recording their new record with him. John
Baizley texted me about getting a few people into the show that night and Congleton was part
of the crew. Over the course of the year, we stayed in touch and I sent him demo’s of our
material as it progressed. When the Blue album came out, we were all blown away by the
sounds on that record so the opportunity to work with Congleton was something we all were

MD:  “Path of Totality” has a more black metal sound to it, can you explain the direction you
guys took to writing and the sound you wanted this time around?

MH:  We were going for a more aggressive vibe on the record. The Black Metal influence has
always been present but with the addition of Andrew on drums, the ability to play faster and
with more intensity allowed the influence to move more to the front and center.

MD:  In late July and into August Tombs will be touring Europe with The Secret, where are
you excited to visit?

MH:  We’re looking forward to getting back to Germany and Scandinavia.  This time around
we’re heading to Ireland which will be a first for us.

MD:  Any plans for after the Europe trek?

MH:  There are some plans for package tours, but nothing is finalized yet.

MD:  Besides music, what other passions/hobbies do you have? 

MH:  I like working out a lot. I do a lot of kettlebells and cardio; running, boxing drills etc.
Lately I’ve been doing a lot of reading about “The Singularity” the Ray Kurzweil concept of the
merging of biology and technology.

MD:  Condiments, what is your favorite and why?

MH:  Siracha! You can put it on anything

MD:  Any last words you would like to add?

MH:  We’ll be out on the road a lot this year. Come on out.