EXHORDER: A Beautiful Sky in Complete Sorrow

Exhorder originally burst onto the scene back in the mid 80s with two classic demos that eventually begat the band’s much heralded and respected debut album, 1990’s Slaughter in the Vatican. It’s an album that not only expanded the dimensions of thrash metal, but also heralded in what would come to be called groove metal, influencing a little band you may have heard of called Pantera to take the sound and run with it on a little album you may have heard of called Cowboys from Hell.

COLD: Breaking the Ice

It’s been close to a decade since the world has received a new record from Florida based rockers Cold. Making their mark in the heyday of big nu metal such as Staind, Linkin Park, and Evanescence, Cold was always the dark horse, pumping out heavy anthems of tragedy and adversity, anchored by frontman Scooter Ward.

CULT OF LUNA: Primal Instinct

Umeå, Sweden’s Cult of Luna is one of the few bands that has been able to emerge from the post-metal morass with an identity intact. Having roots that go back to 1998 have been helpful in the band being one of the scant few to be mentioned as overarching influences and genre leaders not followers (the others being Neurosis and Isis), as has creating awesome music with individuated and defining characteristics.

KILLSWITCH ENGAGE: Fire From The Lion’s Mane

Metalcore mainstays Killswitch Engage was born in 1999 out of the ashes of two prominent Massachusetts metalcore bands—bassist Mike D’Antonio from Overcast (which also included future Shadows Fall vocalist Brian Fair) and guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz (who switched to drums) and guitarist Joel Stroetzel from Aftershock, as well as vocalist Jesse Leach from Nothing Stays Gold.

WAYNE HUSSEY: Solo Mission

As one of the great voices in rock, Wayne Hussey is an English musician with quite a résumé in the gothic world. From being a part of cult icons The Sisters of Mercy to fronting his own band The Mission, Hussey has one of the most interesting lives out there. So interesting, in fact, that he has recently begun chronicling his life in books, with the first titled Salad Daze having just been released.

DESTRUCTION: One Point Vanish

You can’t say “legendary thrash metal band” without mentioning Destruction. We spoke to Destruction vocalist and bassist Schmier to discuss Born to Perish, writing and recording with new members, the band’s history, and his views of the German Big Four.

CRO-MAGS: A New Quarrel

Today, there are two iterations of the Cro-Mags touring out there on the road, but that’s definitely not the case if you speak to band founder, bassist, and songwriter Harley Flanagan. For him, there’s only one Cro-Mags, and it’s the band with him set firmly in the creative driver’s seat.

ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE: Lonely Road Warrior Fights Off Mutants

We caught up with the always astute, eloquent, and hilarious guitarist Matt Fox to discuss coming back from the grave, releasing a record no one wants or cares about, and why zombies are lame.

CARNIFEX: Full Metal Jacket

This summer sees the release of World War X, the seventh and most ambitious outing yet from San Diego’s Carnifex. Delivering all of the neck snapping riffs and pulverizing tempos that have become the band’s calling card, World War X sees the death metal five piece conceiving a war themed modern metal epic that’s as emotional and evocative as it is brutal. We caught up with vocalist Scott Ian Lewis to get the story behind the new record.

MORTIIS: Behind the Mask of Mortiis

Mortiis has gone through various changes in musical direction throughout his career, starting in Emperor and then going on to have an incredible solo career first with dungeon synth (a genre he helped create) before moving to a more goth industrial sound for the past 15 years. Now, Mortiis is digging back into his Era 1 material, performing and reinventing classic songs from his second album, and even considering potential re-recordings in the future.

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