Metal Blade

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.

Children of Bodom/The Black Dahlia Murder/Skeletonwitch @ Odeon, Saskatoon, SK, October 1, 2009

If there’s one band that fully deserves a “victory lap” tour, it’s Children of Bodom, who after a good dozen years plying their distinct brand of melodic extreme metal, is finally experiencing some significant success in North America. For most fans who live in the smaller centres, they best they could manage before was to catch Alexi Laiho and his booze-fueled band of flashy Finns as part of a package tour, be it the Unholy Alliance or Gigantour, which usually meant a measly eight or nine songs, maximum, and when a band has six studio albums under their belts, it’s tough to get some variety. So the venue was packed with fans hoping to get a huge dose of the old stuff, and that’s exactly what Bodom gave them.

Adrien Begrand reviews the recent Saskatoon stop on the CoB/BDM/Skeletonwitch tour.

CONTEST: BLACK DAHLIA MURDER autographed CD/DVDs giveaway!

eta: new rules!!! Like to win things? Yeah, us too! Well, courtesy of the fine folks over at Metal Blade we have two (2) copies of the brand new BLACK DAHLIA MURDER Deflorate album to give away. And if that in itself wasn’t good enough, these are the limited edition CD/DVD versions of the album and it comes fully autographed by the members of the band.

Trouble: Psalm 9/The Skull (reissues)

Sadly, most of Trouble’s albums are long out of print, which makes Escapi’s decision to reissue the first two in expanded, remastered formats that much sweeter. Released individually in slipcase, two-disc versions, both 1984’s Psalm 9 and the following year’s The Skull have been digitally remastered, and are much louder and clearer than the original CD issues.

Newly reissued again in North America this September through Dismanic, Sean Palmerston revisits the first two classic slabs of doom by Chicago’s legendary TROUBLE

God Dethroned: Passiondale

The key to decoding the motivations behind God Dethroned’s latest album is its title: Passiondale is a concept album about a small site of tremendous struggle in World War One. Unsurprisingly, the subject matter works with the death metal ferocity running through most of the record

Gorania: GOATWHORE is Great (Hellbound’s letter of the day is “G”)

Goatwhore is one of those bands that lights a fire under my ass. Though generally regarded as a black metal band, they’re actually so much more. There’s a rugged punk attitude, the dirge ’n sludge inherent to Louisiana metal bands is certainly present—offering some definite doom sensibilities—and never before has their thrash influence emerged as prominently as it has now with the release of Carving Out The Eyes of God, easily their career’s highlight thus far.

Behemoth: Evangelion

Poland’s Behemoth have returned with their ninth album in nineteen years, and this time around the band sounds as though they are pushing themselves even further. While Evangelion is still recognizably (and perhaps even predictably) Behemoth, there’s a controlled chaos to the sound that gives things a certain energy.

Bison BC, Lazarus AD, Barn Burner @ Amigos, Saskatoon, SK, July 14, 2009

Bison BC, or simply “Bison” as they’re known round these parts, has become a live institution in Western Canada over the last year and a half, and the nice turnout on this Tuesday night reflected the band’s steadily growing grassroots fan base. Theirs is an easy sound to like, and one that translates exceptionally well to live settings, especially smaller venues

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”.