metal

Devin Townsend Project: Along for a Great Screaming Ride

After a few years of relative quiet, Devin Townsend came back with two new albums in 2009. The first to fall on anxious ears was Ki, a relatively restrained outing for the often bombastic Townsend, introducing the Devin Townsend Project and what will eventually be a four-part multi-album endeavour. A few months later, Addicted followed, taking the project in a more straightforward and lively direction while shaking up the musical cast. (Addicted features vocalist Anneke van Giersbergen along with previous Townsend collaborators.) Here Devin answers a few logistical questions about the new project, covering distribution, pragmatic accounting, and future touring plans.

Interview by Laura Wiebe Taylor

Converge: Axe to Fall

Converge seem to be following a trend among veterans like Sacrifice, Suffocation, Asphyx and Brutal Truth who have released albums this year: offering music that despite the band’s longevity, are if not one, the best albums they have ever created, all while staying true to their original sound.

From The Archives: EYEHATEGOD Interview from 1996

I originally wrote this interview for Canada’s EXCLAIM! in June, 1996 but they no longer archive back that far on their website, so I thought I’d make it available here again. I did this interview with Brian Patton upon the release of Dopesick, which I still think is one of their best releases ever.

Trivium/Chimaira/Whitechapel @ Odeon, Saskatoon, SK, November 20, 2009

Trivium has talent up the wazoo. That’s never been in doubt. The problem with the Florida band is that Matt Heafy and his mates often try far too hard to impress, the perfect example being the bloated 2008 album Shogun, which threw everything at the wall, from thrash riffs, to hooky choruses, to tempo changes, to epic song structures, with very little sticking in the end. With this fall tour being one last go-round before the band takes a break to write and record their fifth album next year, it was interesting to see Trivium downplay the Shogun record as well as 2006’s The Crusade, instead focusing primarily on the breakthrough Ascendancy, as if they were openly conceding that it’s the best album.

PHOTO GALLERY: A Peek At The Kachluba Metal Shrine

In their previous house, Mr. Kachluba had a nice little room to display his limited edition mailorder boxed set, picture disc LPs, CD collection and vast button collection, but in the new Chez Kachluba this lucky fellow has nearly the entire basement in a huge L shaped room – most of which is dedicated to his love of metal. The rest of the shrine also contains a projection television and kick ass surround sound system, on which Rob, Albert and I took in a viewing of the amazing-in-its-own-right Anvil: The Story Of Anvil DVD.

Devin Townsend Project: Addicted

Who knew crack would be so cheap? I’ve never really been a drug taker, the occasional joint when I was in my younger days but never really liked it. So while I’ve never done anythning harder, I imagine this record would be something like taking cocaine or meth. The high is quick and the come down is quick and you come back for more but it is always like chasing the dragon.

Barren Earth: Our Twilight

Whenever a veteran metal band undergoes radical changes, like in Amorphis’s case, a new lead singer and a more streamlined sound, even if that shift in direction is successful artistically commercially and artistically, there will always be the stubborn folks in the background bitching and moaning about how their favourite band just isn’t the same as it used to be. Well, if you’re one of those people who still gripe that Skyforger is a sellout and can’t hold a candle to Tales From the Thousand Lakes, first of all, you’re only half right, and secondly, you can give a listen to Finland’s newest supergroup, who approach Amorphis’s classic, folk-infused progressive doom sound as if nary a day has passed since 1994.

Adrien Begrand dissects the debut release by Finnish progressive death metal supergroup Barren Earth.

Pistons: We’re Pistons

Punk rock Italians Pistons recorded this ten-track album, which sounds like a cross between vintage Sex Pistols and the modern version of Motorhead, in nine hours but I wish they had spent more time, or recorded more songs.