From new characters to an inside look into the creation of his highly anticipated new record, horror aficionado Wednesday 13 was just a few days away from releasing his latest album Necrophaze via Nuclear Blast Records when we got to pick the man’s unique brain.
Primal Future: 2019 may be the sixth Toxic Holocaust full-length, but six albums is just the tip of the discographic iceberg for the Portland crossover thrash institution. Numerous EPs, demos, splits, live albums, and compilation appearances, in addition to those six albums, round out and comprise the 20 years of Toxic Holocaust’s recorded history. Ironically enough, Primal Future: 2019 has the most in common with the band’s earliest releases…
The idea to release a short, 26 minute album titled Horror with VHS inspired cover art could have exploded in the face of a lesser retro thrash act without the pedigree and experience of Exhumed. Thankfully, Matt Harvey and Co. have all the bases covered with their seventh full-length, an absolute ripper of a record that strikes like lightning with riff after devastating riff.
New Zealand’s very own Alien Weaponry have found their way back to California soil to kick off a tour with Black Label Society. A band heavily influenced by Māori, Alien Weaponry has quickly made a significant splash in the metal world. From playing all of the biggest festivals in the world to touring with legendary bands, this group is hard to ignore.
Following the release of Borknagar’s 10th album in 2016, Winter Thrice, many of the pieces that drove the band’s progressive Viking/folk/black metal for a good portion of the past two decades started falling by the wayside. These included guitarist Jens Ryland, whose association with the band went back as far as 1997, and lead vocalist Andreas “Vintersorg” Hedlund, who understandably bowed out after suffering a near-tragic injury.
It takes great strength and determination to move on after a loss. But how do you continue when someone so integral to a band has died? Hellyeah is still trying to figure this out. Legendary metal drummer and founding member of Hellyeah, Vinnie Paul (Pantera, Damageplan), passed away from heart disease in 2018 during production of the band’s new release, Welcome Home. Paul finished tracking drums for the album prior to his death, so what listeners hear are his final recordings.
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.
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.
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.
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.