Features

Cripple Bastards: Two Decades of Provocative Grind

Happy birthday, Cripple Bastards! My how you’ve grown. No, really. To the untrained ear, the 20-year-long list of releases that Asti, Italy’s long-standing provocative grindcore institution have comprising their discography may sound like short burst of noise after short burst of noise – and we’d be lying if we said everything that has followed since the day one Guilio “The Bastard” Baldizzone organized a rehearsal on the top floor of an abandoned factory with his fellow extreme music obsessed chum, Alberto The Crippler, has been top-of-the-line, especially some of those early cassette only releases – but, being able to maintain a stable line-up over the last few years has definitely helped the band progress towards pummelling grindcore efficiency.

YOB: Zen and the Art of Crushing Skulls

Zen Buddhism has always played a central role in Scheidt’s songwriting for YOB, especially on the two previous albums, 2004’s The Illusion of Motion and 2005’s great The Unreal Never Lived, but on The Great Cessation a considerably more blunt approach, which often seems to border on despair and even anger, permeates such tracks as “Burning the Altar” and “Breathing From the Shallows”.

STAFF PLAYLISTS – July 2009

Find out what HELLBOUND’s contributors are listening to going into the month of July. Each writer has submitted their Top 5 list and have an option to list a book and a film they are into right now too. We also have 3 special guest lists from members of the music industry that we like and that have supported HELLBOUND in some way.

Staff Picks: Favourite Canadian Metal Albums

With July 1st being our nation’s official birthday here in Canada, we thought we’d try to do something to pay honour to the many great bands and albums in the metal realm that our ten provinces and three territories have given birth to. We asked Hellbound’s regular contributors to write a paragraph or two about their favourite Canadian metal album of all time, the results of which follow below. All of the albums mentioned are indeed worthy of the nod and worth checking out if you have never heard them before.

Epica: Classical Conspirators

Despite the fact that symphonic metal has become a very popular metal subgenre over the last decade or so, and although it’s become commonplace for metal bands to employ full orchestras on their studio albums, it’s not every day that a band is afforded the opportunity to perform live with a full orchestra behind them. So when Epica had a chance to stage a full-blown extravaganza in Miskolc, Hungary, of all places, needless to say the Dutch symphonic sextet jumped at the offer.

Saros: Collaborative Creativity and a Heavy Flow

San Francisco boasts a long and well-recognized tradition of musical creativity. Not just an artefact of the past, this inventiveness has carried through to the present. Saros stands out among the Bay Area’s current crop of eclectic and talented artists, fusing multiple influences and personalities into a flowing inundation of moody aggression.

Label profile: Shadow Kingdom Records

Taking the name of his label from the first of writer Robert E. Howard’s fantastical Kull story series, it’ll probably come as no surprise that Shadow Kingdom Records’ and Distro deals extensively in material where swords, shields, impossibly tall marble castles and scenic green hills are stained claret-red with the remnants of some mythical battle feature prominently on album covers. But a random sampling of both the titles Shadow Kingdom owner Tim McGrogan distributes and the bands with which he works illustrates that he’s not as dogmatically dedicated to epic/traditional metal as you might expect.