Metal Monday: Pig Destroyer Q&A
Five years after the release of Phantom Limb, Pig Destroyer are about to make a whole bunch of grindcore fans really happy with their new album Book Burner. Just as ferocious and unforgiving as ever, this album is going to receive a lot of attention in year end lists, as it should. Of course, the second we heard about the new album we had questions, and Blake Harrison (electronics) came to the rescue with some answers.
OS: In the five years it’s been since Phantom Limb, Pig Destroyer has seen a lot of change surrounding the band, including a new drummer”what of these things do you think had the most pronounced effect on the material on Book Burner?
BH: Well, I think the most pronounced influence on Book Burner was the time, we felt like we wanted the record to be lean, stripped down, fierce. (more…)
Metal Monday: The Melvins Lite Experience
Just about thirty years into their career, Melvins are still going strong. Perhaps even stronger than ever with the in 51 States in 51 Dates tour. As explained to me by the band, that’s 19 more consecutive shows than their current record of 32. The Melvins Lite experience, as it were, happened to be an incredibly good one”even from the moment I got in line. Outside the venue I had an extensive conversation with a guy who was planning on seeing a vast majority of their northeastern U.S. dates (12 in all) as well as a nice gentleman who came all the way from Israel to see the Melvins, in addition to Big Business and a few other shows, a fitting audience for a band that doesn’t do “typical” very well at all. For those unaware, Melvins Lite consists of regular Melvins members Buzz Osbourne and Dale Crover joined by bassist Trevor Dunn, without other regular Melvins members Jared Warren and Coady Willis.
Fifty-one consecutive shows in as many states is sort of a crazy notion. By most measures, this would be considered the record”even if the Guinness World Records folks don’t ultimately decide that the feat is worthy. The current record is held by George Thorogood for touring 51 states in 50 days back in 1980 (this includes Washington, D.C. as a separate state)”or so they say. The Melvins’ camp doesn’t so much believe that, though, and it’s not in the record books. (more…)
Metal Monday: Podcast 3
They say third time’s a charm, right? Well, I’d like to think that both my first and second podcasts were also pretty charming, but I’ll leave that decision up to you. This is the time of the year when most bands are embarking on a huge fall tour, gearing up to release a new album or just taking a well-deserved break. What this means is this: there isn’t a lot of newsworthy stuff to report since the last podcast. So, this week’s topic will be a bit different. While I’ve heard most of the albums of interest from 2012, I was thinking about the early stages of my “best of metal” tally for the year and comparing it to my list from last year to see how the lineup held up. Let’s revisit some of my opinions from last year this week. Don’t worry, though, I’ve still got some tasty tunes in this week’s podcast for you (because I don’t want to disappoint).
Metal Monday: Summer Video Roundup
Metal Monday: How To Close A Career The Isis Way
Perhaps one of the touchiest subjects in all of music is the decision of when an artist or band should call it quits and throw in the towel“especially if they’re one of your favorites or an incredibly revered act. Some artists, such as Ella Fitzgerald or Willie Nelson, have the capacity to be great late into their lives; others perhaps not so much (at the risk of offending someone, I’ll let you think of your own here). In some instances, such as the case with Isis, they decide to call it a day before many fans were really ready or it seemed sensible to do so. Many people, including myself, were shocked and a bit saddened by the news that Isis decided to break with a fantastically crafted goodbye letter to everyone via their blog. But this wasn’t actually the end of Isis, not completely anyway.
Not long after their May 18th announcement, Isis announced the dates of their farewell tour, released information about the series of live EPs that would come a year later, and alluded to other plans that would would be announced in the future. Not too long ago now these plans came to fruition when Isis revealed the details for their upcoming collection, Temporal, which will be released on November 6th. This is a collection of rarities, unreleased remixes and each of the band’s music videos“not just a “best of” release.
Metal Monday: Unsung Heroes Ensiferum Return
When thinking of folk metal bands, a handful of names likely come to mind, but certainly no band that has been as consistently great or well-known as Ensiferum. Although Moonsorrow and Eluveitie are fantastic, they still rank far behind Ensiferum. Recently Ensiferum released their fifth full-length album, Unsung Heroes. How does it stand up against the band’s previous four releases? Surprisingly well, actually. And what a rare feat it is in metal’s pantheon for a band such as Ensiferum to put out five albums in eleven years and not have one weak album among them.
For those unfamiliar with Ensiferum, their sound is best described as music for modern-day vikings (who probably also listen to Amon Amarth) with influences from Celtic and Medieval folk music styles applied to a more extreme version of power metal. Flutes, recorders, fiddles, kantele, and more”the diverse instrumentation help folk metal bands like Ensiferum incorporate more than just the musical aspect of folk music. They also do so in regards to textures. But please don’t forget the metal parts. Even though there’s a heaping serving of folk in Ensiferum’s mix, they still shred. Most of the songs feature pretty quick tempos and guitar riffs for days. (more…)