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.

Interview with Phil Freeman, Author of Sound Levels: Profiles In American Music, 2002-2009

“Metal is hard,” says Freeman. “It’s difficult, rigorous music but it’s not treated as such. These are guys who are on the level as symphony players on their respective instruments. These are guys who went into their bedrooms at age 10 and didn’t come out until age 20, but because they have long hair and they sing about decapitating virgins or whatever, it’s not treated with the respect the effort put into it would seem to demand.”

Laina Dawes speaks to music writer and recent Metal Edge editor Phil Freeman about his newly released book.

Birushanah: Taking Japanese Culture To New Extremes

One band that has embraced traditional Japanese culture and used it to make something that is both new and exciting is the Osaka based quartet Birushanah. A band that has ties to the always-amazing Corrupted (bassist Sougyo spent some time in that band), Birushanah melds traditional Japanese percussion (done on metal instrumentation) with sludge metal that is similar to early Swans, Neurosis and (fellow Japanese) Zeni Geva

Slayer: Preparing for a World Painted Blood

“I can imagine myself at 75 looking like Charlie Watts playing speed metal,” says Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo. “I’m OK with that. I don’t know about the other guys. I’ll keep playing, though, and as long as Slayer needs me, I’ll be here. Whatever they wanna do.”

Keith Carman speaks to Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo about their new upcoming album, World Painted Blood, and what the future holds for the legendary Southern California metal band.