Articles

3 Inches Of Blood: True Canuck Metal Warriors

With the recent release of their fourth studio album Here Waits Thy Doom early last month on Century Media, Vancouver’s true metal combo 3 Inches Of Blood have finally made the album many of us have been waiting for with baited breath. With the departure of second vocalist Jamie Hooper after the release of their previous album(2007’s Fire Up The Blades), a lot of the modern metal-core sentiments found in their music were dropped. The results of having Cam Pipes as the group’s main singer has brought his King Diamond-like vocals to the forefront – and pushed the band much more into a traditional metal sound that feels even more eighties inspired than anything they had ever done before.

Meeting of the Metal Minded: The Noctis III Metal Festival and Conference

In terms of metal fests, you’ve got your Milwaukees, your Maryland Deathfests, your Wackens, your Holes in the Sky, Dudefests, Hellfests, and so on—all of them well out of range of western Canadians. Thankfully, a new metallic mecca has sprung up in Alberta, at Calgary’s Noctis Festival. The third gathering (full title: Noctis III: Tritagonist) featured two days’ worth of gigs and a full-blown conference peppered with esteemed guests and international acts brought in exclusively for the event. The concert lineup, which included Slough Feg, Novembers Doom, Aura Noir, Destroyer 666, Suffocation and Cynic, was more than impressive enough to get me onto a WestJet flight from Vancouver to witness the carnage in Cowtown.

Rob Hughes gives a fascinating overview of last weekend’s Noctis III Metal Music Conference in Calgary, Alberta.

Interview with Metal Film and Music Video Director, Handshake Inc.’s David Hall

The decision to create film and music videos for extreme underground metal bands was not exactly a conscious decision, but something that came to Hall organically. A fascination with the music, artistic innovativeness and raw talent (and the balls to contact and eventually build a professional and personal relationship with Today is the Day’s notoriously difficult frontman, Steve Austin) led Hall and Handshake Inc. co-founder, filmmaker/ photographer David Cardoso, to create a company that in a relatively short time, has made some of the most innovative metal music videos and films the metal industry has seen in years.

Laina Dawes interviews London, ON based filmmaker David Hall about his work with Today is The Day, making metal music videos and their work-in-progress documentary on the Maryland Death Fest.

Hatebreed: Interview With Jamey Jasta

He was the host of Headbangers Ball, he owns a few businesses, and he’s in two successful touring bands. On face value, one might think Jamey Jasta would have little to complain about, and even less angst to vent through hardcore music. But such criticism loses grounding when taking into consideration that he’s “turning negatives into positives,” as he puts it, by attempting to transfer difficult childhood experience, as well as recent tragedy, into song. Calling from Pittsburgh on the second-to-last night of the Decimation of the Nation tour (featuring Chimaira, Winds of Plague, Dying Fetus and Toxic Holocaust), Jamey shoots the shit with Hellbound’s Jay H. Gorania about Hatebreed’s new, self-titled release—easily the most diverse and dynamic output of the band’s career.

Forest Stream: Nature and Society, Misery and Hope

“Russia is a very good country in many ways, but that is also the country I, personally, hate many things about. The main issue causing this glaringly negative feeling is human indifference. Sometimes it reaches the top level of some sort of cold desperation, and it starts being felt like absolutely nobody cares about anything. Whatever happens they don’t care. Quite often this indifference is shared with another treasure – an ultimate stupidity and even complete assholicism as I tend to call it. I am very tired of it…”

Laura Wiebe Taylor speaks to members of Russian doom metal sextet Forest Stream about their new album, their native homeland and the advantages of recording in studios.

Megadeth: From Vic’s Garage To Endgame With Shawn Drover

The words “Megadeth” and “Dave Mustaine” are pretty much synonymous. In fact, we’d be willing to wager substantial sums of money that we don’t actually have that “Megadeth” and “Dave Mustaine” are far and away more synonymous with each other than “megadeath” and “Herman Kahn,” the gentleman who just happens to be the RAND military strategist who devised and first used the term in 1953 to describe one million deaths as a result of a thermonuclear war.

Kevin Stewart-Panko speaks to Megadeth’s Shawn Drover about their new studio, new guitarist and upcoming new album.

The Gathering: The Next Chapter

When Anneke van Giersbergen announced her departure from The Gathering it was a shock – for many fans but for her bandmates as well. But shock doesn’t have to lead to death or paralysis, and in a sense The Gathering had been down this road before. Reinvention is a familiar enterprise for the Dutch alt rockers, who started out as a doomy metal band with male vocals in the early nineties. Van Giersbergen’s entry on lead vocals was merely one shift, the eventual transition from aggression to shoegazing another. Though Anneke was the voice and forward face of The Gathering for well over a decade, her decision to leave meant another change, not the end.

Killswitch Engage: Turning Liquid Sugar Into Gold

Whether it’s because they have definite hardcore roots, forming as they did from the ashes of Overcast, Aftershock and, later, Blood Has Been Shed, or because they have choruses that sound more like globules of liquid sugar instead of caustic battery acid, Massachusetts’ Killswitch Engage has always had troubles being accepted by metalheads across the board. Arguments range from “they’re metalcore/screamo/not metal therefore they suck” to “they may be metal, but they suck” and other such subjectivity disguised as scene police fact. That they’ve gone ahead and managed two certified gold records in the U.S. means that the underground has yet another reason to chastise them beyond the speciousness of arguments surrounding what genre they call home.

Kevin Stewart-Panko discusses KSE’s second self-titled album and their rise to modest fame with band guitarist Joel Stroetzel.