Instrumental experimental prog duo The Surrealist have FINALLY released the single they were teasing for weeks yesterday December 14th. As expected, it’s very melodic and well layered when it has to be. Roopam’s guitar playing is mind blowing as usual and will launch you into another atmosphere. If you’re not familiar with The Surrealist, then I suggest you get familiar with their music! If you don’t remember they were my featured band from November. There are no limits on their massive potential and “Kaelido” is another testament to their original and unique sound Roopam has established for The Surrealist. Check out the song!
Australian tech blasters Blade Of Horus released a wild album today through Lacerated Enemy Records. Clocking in just under a half hour of skull crushing and a note cramming frenzy Blade Of Horus delivers yet again but on even more wild and obscene level. The guys added a SITAR to some of their sections, fucking sweet aye? Their vocalist Nathan doesn’t fall anywhere short of impressive….the guy’s guttural gets better and better. I never questioned it, in regards to the band’s debut “Monumental Massacre”. He had some great lows, but expanded his death metal technique big time for his boys. There’s some squeals and highs included this time…..maybe some Travis Ryan and Trever Strnad influence? I can’t get over it, his voice brings Blade Of Horus to an even bigger sound than before…..awfully impressive. Ivan and James rip even harder this time around on guitar. The occasional synthesizer moments give “Obliteration” an extra sci-fi boost, if you know what I mean geeks.
The guys were recently playing shows with Organectomy, to boot! Australia is building a sweet metal scene and Blades propels the Aussies to a higher level than where they were before for their country. If you want a slightly different side of technical death metal with more melody, some spontaneity and killer death metal groove Blades will fuck your shit up. Don’t sleep on their debut either! But holy fuck, this sophomore album will rape your ears! Buy them both damnit!
Chicago Death Metal band WARFORGED has official signed with the best independent record label right now, the ever so hot Artisan Era. The announcing comes as as great surprise, but not a surprise at the same time. The Warforged guys have been making a name for themselves playing shows and establishing their band for years now. I only heard of them going into last year, and was blown away at their great melodies and quality musicianship that make them a unique force in death metal.
Here is the official press release through The Artisan Era:
Chicago, Illinois-based death metal act Warforged is proud to officially announce their signing to extreme metal label The Artisan Era. The group will be working with the label to release their first full-length album in the spring of 2019. After garnering widespread acclaim with the release of their 2014 EP, Essence Of The Land, the group has worked hard the last few years to craft a fitting follow up to that highly praised effort.
The Artisan Era comments on the signing, “Warforged is a band that puts every ounce of thought and passion into every aspect of what they do. They are pushing lots of artistic boundaries in the most positive ways with their new material and it’s phenomenal. We are proud to have them on our team and we can’t wait to see what the future has in store for the band.”
Warforged band statement on signing to The Artisan Era
“We are very happy to announce that Warforged will be working with The Artisan Era for the release of our debut full-length record: “I: Voice.” The 9 track, 73-minute concept album continues seamlessly out of our 2014 release, “Essence Of The Land,” and serves as part 1 of an ongoing concept centered around interwoven dreams and memory. The music is an elaboration on the vibes and textures from EOTL – pushing for a far wider dynamic and emotional range. Malcolm & Mike are doing great work with TAE and we really look forward to working with them as well as seeing y’all out on the road next year!”
Freshly signed Ash Prison is debuting their song “Prophetic Automation” on TMR right here right now! The guys recently partnered up with Eastbreath Records out of Indonesia to bring some wildly complex and artistic technical death metal to us earthlings! Remember me foaming at the mouth about some bands from Indonesia? Well, here’s another testament to that opinion of mine. I hope everyone enjoys this killer track from Ash Prison! Enjoy the song and visit the band and their record label at the appropriate links! Plenty of other great bands there to distract you as well! Stay tech you fiends!
Marc Durkee is putting out a great album on January 18th of 2019 titled “Remain In Stasis” and is premiering the guitar play through for the track “The Dark Dimension” through our site! He touches the metal side, for sure. Marc’s true talent comes combining lots of emotion, some technicality here and there, and some great transitions between moods. He’s a diamond in the rough, without a doubt. You can check out his killer chops on the playthrough right below! Enjoy people of the internet!
Thanks to the mighty Gear Gods for posting a bass playthrough of one of Crevassian’s songs, and because of that I have yet discovered another nutty band. The chaps are an instrumental metal band with a modern sound to their wide and glorious sound. Yes, they djent and ride that 7th or 8th string sometimes. They’re a very atmospheric and melodic band that keeps you interested from the get go. Crevassian isn’t necessarily technical, but very focused on layering their songs really well with some keyboards and synth too that also give them a majestic and epic sound.
James Humphries – Rhythm Guitar Nick Povey – Drums Luke Fabian – Bass Cody Gaffney – Lead Guitar
The guitar work is absolutely fucking perfect, I can’t stress it enough. Crevassian deserves much more credit and attention that they’ve received and are awfully impressive. Nick holds down the fort with some sweet pocket rhythms, but still gets chances to play some sweet fills here and there. Luke’s bass playing is shown above in the link, but damn he is full of musical flavor on that beast of his. Check out Crevassian’s latest self titled EP which was just released on December 7th if you’re into instrumental music. It fucking slams! TMR approved a million percent!
Unbowed is a blackened death metal band that supported First Fragment on their recent Fall/Early Winter tour across Canada and wow did I really enjoy them. The band released their latest album “Through Endless Tides” last year in 2017. They are a no nonsense extreme metal band, with some modern influences here and there but mainly a black/death metal band. There are also some great guitar melodies, that help diversify their sound.
Ioan Tetlow – Vocals Alex Snape – Guitar Steven Rowlands – Guitar Aiden Watkinson – Bass Julian Dutton – Drums
Alex and Steven’s chemistry on guitar is absolutely sweet. It’s very tasteful, melodic and pretty well organized. Unbowed is a true force to be reckoned with and will only keep elevating themselves in the metal community for years to come if they keep getting quality opportunities such as this tour they were just on.
I have had “Through Endless Tides” on repeat since the show on the 2nd. If you love Behemoth and Immortal with some melody, these guys will do it. Oh, and their stage presence is obnoxious. Can I say anything more about them? The album is great, and their show is even better! Unbowed really throws down and if you’re not familiar with them you need to change that ASAP! Ioan’s stage presence and wide variety of growls enhances the band along with their variety of cinematic, symphonic, keyboard and string sounds in a lot of their songs.
Unbowed was planted on this earth to kick ass and chew bubble gum, and haven’t failed in doing so. Whatever they may be working on is probably as good as “Through Endless Tides” but shit I have a hard time putting this album down. These guys have the TMR stamp of approval! Canada has so many great and diverse metal bands that Unbowed is another living proof of that for sure.
Finally, I’ve gotten to see one of my favourite locals for the first time in what feels like forever. Some recuperation was necessary for them to return to the stage, but the downward spiral has finally turned upward. They have a new song, and they still remember some old stuff. Everyone’s playing is still tight, as if they never really phased out in the first place.
And that was in May of 2016.
But alas! Buffalo’s death giants Seplophile have returned for a second time! And in just over a year and a half. Almost kind of feels like that Slayer farewell tour that hasn’t ended yet, but like, in reverse. But this time it was a little different.
Our pals in Mass Casualty kicked off the night in classic brutal death style; you certainly can’t go wrong starting a night off with songs like “Dragged Into Cremation” and one of my personal favourites, “Cunt Slamming Frenzy”.
One of my favourites out of Rochester, Sastruga, carried on with their own flavour of techdeath. Their material is typically fast and complex, but also allows room for more ambient and jazzy sections that fit in perfectly in between all of the technicality. These guys steal the show for me every. Single. Time.
Rochester’s death/grind/noise/etc. amalgamation Sulaco was on Seplophile’s last return show, but this time they brought with them a +1; they acquired themselves a vocalist to ease up on the pressure on guitarist Erik Burke. It was Jason Leone’s first live performance with Sulaco, and he did an outstanding job. And the best news is, they’re keeping him! Or so I’ve been told..
Sulaco weren’t the only one to present a new face on Saturday. Founding member of Seplophile Greg DiPasquale stepped down earlier this year, and announced that his replacement would be no other than Louis DiThomas-Keller (Nethergrave, The Age of Plagues). I mean, its a huge bummer Greg had to put the guitar down for the foreseeable future, but stinky diapers aren’t going to change themselves. But it was awesome to see Louis back on stage, where he belongs, shredding with some of Buffalo’s best.
And I do wanna thank the guys for letting me bust their balls on this a little, but I’m kind of being serious. I want to see EP release show. And if they have the chops, and LP release show. No more of this “return” bullshit. They didn’t really go anywhere to begin with.
In response, Seplophile vocalist Colin Winkelman had to say; “Why would you say that!? You totally already know we’re supposed to return again next year!”
Catalysis is releasing their debut self titled EP December 14th which is a total banger. I am honored to present the world this nothing short of stellar debut EP courtesy of the kindness of Catalysis. If you love groove and melody, you’ll really dig Catalysis. Hope you enjoy this as much as I did. TMR has you covered yet again on another fantastic piece of music! I hope you enjoy the interview with the band that is right below here, while you’re listening to their EP!
TMR: How did Catalysis form?
It originally started just as myself and our lead guitarist, Drew, deciding to jam for a bit of fun outwith our respective bands at the time, but then by the point that we actually got round to meeting up to jam, the bands that we were both in had just split up, so we decided to start Catalysis as our new project. We’ve had several line-up changes since then, but everyone that’s been a part of the band since it’s inception had all been a part of the local music scene with other bands.
TMR: Talk about your upcoming EP. Do you feel you’ve grown as a band compared to when you first started?
Absolutely, I feel like the main element of growth that we’ve had is that since we became a four piece band with the members we have now, our sound has become a lot more focused. Our last EP was a showcase of a lot of different influences that various members of the band had, and I think we all feel like despite being proud of that EP, it wasn’t very concise. Since then, and without much discussion about what we wanted ‘our sound’ to be, I feel like we’ve really come into our own, which is what we want to highlight with this new release.
TMR: What shows do you have planned coming up to support the release?
We’re playing an EP launch show at Beat Generator in our home town of Dundee on December 14th alongside some local talent that we’re happy to call our friends, asides this we’re also playing shows in Perth and Dunfermline on December 1st and 2nd respectively, though these aren’t in support of the new EP, I feel like they’ll help to generate a bit of excitement around what we’re up to at that time.
TMR: Go into detail about working with Mendel and how you hooked up. His solo work is spectacular, let alone what he has done in Aborted. What was your experience like letting him mix your EP?
Working with Mendel has been a great experience, and surprisingly smooth sailing as well given that all communication with him has been online due to him being in the Netherlands. I think I speak for everyone in the band in saying that none of us have been a part of a release that sounds as good as this one in regards to the actual mix and production, and any comments that any of us had about any element of the mix for the EP, Mendel was always happy to revise what he’d done and make sure that we were as happy as we could be with it, and I know we’re all over the moon with how its turned out. All credit goes to Drew for getting us hooked up with him as well, he’s the one that reached out to him after seeing that he offers mixing services to bands, and Drew’s the one that kept us all in the loop with what Mendel was doing as well.
TMR: How did everyone get into music? And did you think you would be doing it professionally rather than just for fun?
I think we’re all people who have felt a massive impact from music in their lives, and like I said earlier, we’ve all been a part of bands prior to Catalysis, especially our vocalist/bassist, Col, he’s been active in Dundee bands since the early 2000s. I’d say that we’re all quite driven people, and as lame as it may sound I think we all view music as one of the driving forces in our lives, so an interest in playing music just came naturally. We’re all aware of how hard an industry the music business can be to get into, so the way that we all view it is that Catalysis is something that is fun for us and is something that we can use as a form of expression more than anything else, cause we’re not under any impression that we’re going to become massive rock stars or anything like that, but we figured that we might as well do as much as we can with this band, and achieve as much as we can that we can all be proud of.
TMR: What new releases are you guys looking forward to?
Seeing as we’re almost at the end of 2018 now, upcoming releases is a bit of a tough one, but there are quite a few releases from this year that we’ve enjoyed, some examples being TerrorVision by Aborted, Overtures of Blasphemy by Deicide, As The Kingdom Drowns by Psycroptic, Catharsis by Machine Head and the self titled release from Jungle Rot. We all have varied music tastes, so I know that everyone in the band would have a lot of other albums they’d want to say so these are just a few releases that I know more than one of us has really enjoyed. Personally I think that 2018 has seen a lot of really stellar albums being released, I could go on for a while about that haha!
TMR: How did the writing for the EP go? Did you have songs planned from the past or were there fresh ideas? Explain how your band writes.
The way that we generally tend to write is that Drew or Sean will come up with a few riffs or even a whole song on guitar, and then present it to myself and Col. From there I’ll start writing my parts, and if it’s just been a riff or two that’s been shown to us then as a band we’ll write the rest of the song, or if someone brings a whole song to the table, we’ll usually give it a few tweaks based on how everyone feels about it. We’re not really into just jamming out at practices or anything like that, because improvisation isn’t always our strongest point, and we write our best music when we all have time to sit with what someone has written, and add our own elements to it. I think by writing like this, we are able to write quickly, while keeping the ideas and quality consistent. We’re actually already a considerable way through writing the follow-up to the EP
TMR: What 5 band’s discographies would you choose to accompany you on a 5 hour road trip?
This is a tricky one because of how different everyone’s music tastes are, so I don’t doubt this would cause some arguments, haha! Though I’d say that Machine Head, Chimaira, Sylosis, Dyscarnate and Wintersun would be 5 bands that might keep everyone happy.
TMR: What interests you guys outside of Catalysis? Any other bands you guys are part of, as well?
Drew’s the only one of us that’s a part of any other projects at the moment, he’s in a punk band called Overdose with his dad as well as this band. I know I’d like to be part of something else as well, something a bit less in your face and more progressive rock oriented, most likely. Sean has his YouTube channel where he reviews guitar gear and does covers of songs from bands that he’s into as well, so folk with an interest in that kind of thing should definitely go and check out his channel. Outside of other musical endeavours, Sean and Col are both married and have kids, so I know that quality time with their families is really important to them. We’re all fans of going to gigs as well, whether they’re local shows where we get to see some of the bands that we’ve become friends with over the years, or going to see bigger bands that we love.
I know I’ve been slacking lately on show reviews, and I have been to plenty since the few articles I did over the summer (Inferi/Alterbeast, Inanimate Existence/Last Of Lucy/Fields Of Elysium and Micawber/Ahtme/Lago in September)…..so I finally pulled my head out of my ass, and the First Fragment show in St. Catharine’s is getting the TMR treatment.
First off…..I gotta talk about how awesome Canada is. Warehouse was a super clean venue….not just the stage (YES BUFFALONIANS THERE’S AN ACTUAL STAGE WITH LIGHTS!) but the bathrooms and bar as well. They really, really care about cleanliness and first impressions. What else I really, really loved was how the bands were so professional swapping over….switch over time was very efficient, and the scheduled length of the show was basically on point! Here in Buffalo for local shows sometimes it drags on past doors, and a 7pm door time might not start until 8pm or a bit later to try to get more people in the venue. I was impressed with the logistics and sticking to the start and end time of the show. It was a very close drive, 45 minutes at most including a few minutes crossing the border on a Sunday. And it was only $12! If you want to keep up to date with the venue’s shows check out The Warehouse!
Now for the music….Occultic was first up. They were on WITHIN A HALF HOUR OF DOORS! They are a no nonsense death metal band with great groove and rhythm. The vocalist was very upfront, present and energetic. I try not to judge bands by band names, or check out their music before a show if i’m not familiar with them. In the modern age, we have those advantages and disadvantages. It’s great to access music easily, but can be good and bad for attendance…..some bands are just better live than on a recording, and people can also make a short sighted judgement based on a recording negatively impacting that show attendance and vice versa. Occultic was a passionate opener that started off a fun filled and relentless night of the various metal bands on the bill. You can check out Occultic’s groovy death metal right here.
Up next were Eaten By Sharks (more band name judging!) who I was curious about because of a random band name. Shit, did they put on a solid show and constantly required crowd interaction. They seamlessly blended classic and modern death metal with some technical flare here and there. I was thoroughly impressed with this awesome band, and can only add another solid band to the ever-growing laundry list of opening bands that may or may hit hit the spot…..and Eaten By Sharks fucking shredded! Check out the band here.
Sinner followed Eaten By Sharks and they were awfully confusing sound wise to be honest. They have a grindcore influence with some hardcore moments and some quick parts as well. Tough to describe, but they were metal for sure! They kept the energy flowing and were entertaining the crowd without hesitation! Sinner was a fun band that also threw in a Hatebreed cover (I’m pretty sure it was Hatebreed) for good measure, as well. If you’re into that sort of style of metal, check out the bros right here.
Unbowed came up next (who was First Fragment’s support on the tour for the November/December run across Canada) and gonna have to be honest I loved this band as much as the rest. They have that blackened death metal feel to their sound with sweet background elements of keyboard/synth, strings and some singing occasionally that offset all the different growls. They were very professional, energetic and had it their whole set. I don’t know if any fans or musicians can relate to such an experience but they didn’t slack at all or show any sort of insecurity….I just KNEW they were the support band, and it did set them apart from the rest. There was that confidence and aura that I think surrounded them during their massively impressive set. Check out Unbowed, you won’t be disappointed at all.
Now for the main event…..First Fuckin’ Fragment. The under appreciated tech death geniuses from Quebec. Their stage presence is beyond wild…..taking into fact their music isn’t the easiest to replicate, I’m shocked they were able to put on a very engaging show. I have been waiting for the guys to come close enough to Buffalo, and shit that quick trip across the border more than did the trick. Also factoring in December around 50 degrees throughout the day leading into the evening with barely any snow made the decision easier travel wise. I was very impressed with their stage presence, and already knew what I was getting musically so I don’t need to constantly say the same things about the great First Fragment that have already been said. The technicality, proficiency, clean playing of everyone and David’s energetic vocals were basically perfect. First Fragment fucking rips, check them out PLEASE.
I absolutely needed to tell the guys how obsessed I am with their talent and skill. And a band as talented as First Fragment they were equally as laid back, as most Canadians generally tend to be.
Here’s a quick take on my phone of one of their many impressive instrumental sections, further showcasing their talent dedication and passion to technical neoclassical death metal.
My cheeky dumb ass between David (vocals) and the legendary Forest Lapointe (bass) (First Fragment, Augury, Ex- Beyond Creation).
A very happy Dave with axe slinger Phil Tougas who is a wild man on stage. Dude is a modern day legend that not enough people know about. He has it all as a guitarist.
And to boot, the attendance for a Sunday evening just under a month before the Holidays was awfully impressive. Excluding the bands, I would guess there were at least 60 people there if not more for an underground death metal show maybe 70. Many metal horns and hugs were had by all at this killer show. Great job Canada, great fucking job. We will be back sooner than later.