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Battle CryBattle Cry was recorded live on August 1, 2015 at the Wacken Festival in Germany.
JUDAS PRIEST's tour in support of their 17th studio album overall, Redeemer Of Souls, was one of the most extensive of the group's entire career - consisting of 130 shows in 33 countries, and offering a setlist that touched upon selections from nearly all of their classic albums. And now, fans can relive the live PRIEST experience once more, with the release of the 2 LP, Battle Cry, via Epic Records.LP 1
1. (Intro) Battle Cry (Live from Battle Cry)
2. Dragonaut (Live from Battle Cry)
3. Metal Gods (Live from Battle Cry)
4. Devil's Child (Live from Battle Cry)
5. Victim of Changes (Live from Battle Cry)
6. Halls of Valhalla (Live from Battle Cry)
7. Redeemer of Souls (Live from Battle Cry)
8. Beyond the Realms of Death (Live from Battle Cry)
1. Jawbreaker (Live from Battle Cry)
2. Breaking the Law (Live from Battle Cry)
3. Hell Bent for Leather (Live from Battle Cry)
4. The Hellion (Live from Battle Cry)
5. Electric Eye (Live from Battle Cry)
6. You've Got Another Thing Comin' (Live from Battle Cry)
7. Painkiller (Live from Battle Cry)$35.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
DreamlandNatalie Bergman has had her picture taken on countless occasions -- hundreds of studio portraits and live shots and backstage festival snaps. But the simple, gorgeous black & white photo of Bergman on the cover of Wild Belle's Dreamland that she describes as just me and this sort of abyss That one was lensed by the person who best knows how to capture her essence on celluloid: Her older brother and bandmate, Elliot Bergman. Besides being Wild Belle's multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire, Elliot has an equally impressive flair for visual arts, from painting and sculpture to bronzemaking and photography. An avid collector of vintage cameras, Elliot brought along a recently acquired Polaroid Land Camera to a show Wild Belle played in Denver this summer: The duo grabbed a quick moment at their hotel to take the portraits of each other that grace the front and back of their new record. The pictures Elliot takes of me are always really beautiful and it's because he knows me better than anyone else on this Earth, says Natalie. Adds Elliot: I like that it's a photo of Natalie just being Natalie. And the stark contrast of her in the foreground with the dark background really fit with these collages she has been doing. Natalie is in the light but the shadows are pretty heavy and you can't really tell where she is or what's back there.
Recorded at studios in their native Chicago, Natalie's new home of Los Angeles, Nashville and Toronto, Dreamland -- Wild Belle's bold, evolutionary new album -- derives from an era in the singer's life when she was struggling to get control of what she describes as the anger and deep sorrow that plagued her at the end of her most recent romantic relationship. For a woman whose music has always been inspired by her desire to translate her complicated feelings into immediately relatable songs, there was certainly plenty of grist for the mill. Dreamland tracks such as Losing You and It Was You (Baby Come Back) offer glimpses of the darkness that Natalie battled during the early months writing for the duo's sophomore full-length. But there are also genuine moments of lightness and ecstatic triumph, like Giving Up On You -- an irresistibly kinetic, punk number Wild Belle recorded with TV On The Radio's Dave Sitek producing.
I was very heated when we were making this record. My body, my heart and my soul were filled with a flame, which sounds very dramatic but it's the truth, says Natalie. I had a healing moment when I moved to LA earlier this year, because I was far away from my ex and I felt like I was getting rid of a lot of baggage. That was the redemptive, triumphant time for my lyrics. On 'Giving Up On You,' I sing: 'Now I smile so bright, you can see me from outer space, look at me shine. Baby it's about time, I was so miserable and now I feel so alive.' All the songs I wrote near the end of making the album have that sentiment: 'Now look at where I am, after all the turmoil that was inside of me, I'm here and I'm happy and I'm ready for whatever comes my way.'
The follow-up to 2013's Isles, Dreamland expands the band's ambitions in every way. It's deeper, it's more fun, it's more haunting, it's got more grooves, Elliot says. There's sorrow and pain but there's also hope and joy -- all those things can coexist in the songs because they coexist in life. He continues: Dreamland, that's not some kind of idealized notion of where we live and I hope people hear that as a question: What is the Dreamland What is our dream here The album doesn't get overtly political, but we're dealing with a lot of the things that are dark about what's happening now. 'Throw Down Your Guns' is about a relationship but is also kind of about the messed up situation that we're in right now. The chorus, 'Throw down your guns / In the name of love, I put my hands up,' to me can be heard in a number of ways, including as a prayer for peace or a cry out against violence.
Importantly, the album also shares its name with one of the first songs Natalie remembers Elliot introducing her to: Bunny Wailer's 1970 reggae classic, Dreamland. One year for Christmas, he gave her a compilation of female artists who recorded at Jamaica's legendary Studio One, and it included Della Humphrey's version of the song. Natalie listened to it over and over and over again. I was so in love with it, she says. From there, I started my exploration of rocksteady and ska and lovers rock and anything that had to do with Jamaican music from the Fifties onward.
The duo started writing music together several years ago, after Elliot took a sixteen year-old Natalie on tour to play percussion with his acclaimed Afrobeat ensemble, NOMO. I can present a song to Elliot and he has this foresight -- he can see things further than I see them, and he helps me realize things, she says. I'd been writing very simple melodic love songs since I was fifteen years old. I definitely have a pop sensibility in my style, and that's a great platform for Elliot to work from, because it's fun for him to have a cool little pop song and combine it with more eccentric sounds and make it into a weird, unique percussive jam. Sometimes he'll bring the jam to me and because we've got this routine together, we can write a song together wherever we are.
Work on the album began in early 2014, in Chicago. The song that opens Dreamland -- Mississippi River -- was also the first one to come together in the studio. It was sparked by a moment of musical serendipity: The record starts with this pulsing ARP drone, says Elliot, which is a very expensive esoteric nerdy synthesizer that's complicated to program. Natalie and I had this weird, symbiotic thing where I was playing three chords off the ARP and she started playing different three chords on this out-of-tune autoharp she brought over. They were both completely in the wrong key, and yet perfectly in tune with each other. That was like the new bar for the record. It was like, 'Yeah, we're going to put synthesizers and saxophone and kalimbas on these songs, and we're going to have lavish string arrangements if we want to. We were getting comfortable with all of the materials that we love, and being like, 'I love this, so let's do it.
They tracked several songs at home in Chicago last year, and then at the start of 2015, Natalie packed all of her belongings into the Wild Belle van and drove from Chicago to Venice, California. She rented a house where Elliot joined her a couple weeks later. When I had my place in Venice, Elliot would wake up earlier than I would and start making dope beats, says Natalie. One day he made this ridiculous song, 'The One That Got Away,' and the beat and underlying track were so exciting that it didn't take very long to write. Our friends came over and were jumping on the tabletops, dancing, getting naked because they loved the song so much.
Playing the new songs at Lollapalooza for the first time with an eight-piece band, says Elliot, I had a feeling onstage that I'd never had before with Wild Belle, where you're part of a sound that's much bigger than you could make on your own. It's this charged-up badass feeling. It's about a groove and rhythmic energy and force and momentum and making a big, dark, deep sound -- something that moves people and makes you want to dance and makes you want to shout. It's tapping into a deeper musicality that I've always been looking for.1. Mississippi River
2. Losing You
6. Giving Up On You
7. It Was You
8. Throw Down Your Guns
9. The One That Got Away
10. Our Love Will Survive
11. Rock & Roll Angel$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
URPD-BAB-9012xJedi Mind Tricks
Tear It Down / Battle CryYellow Colored Vinyl - Limited to 500
First single from the long awaited, highly-anticipated debut album from the supergroup spearheaded by Jedi Mind Tricks' front man Vinnie Paz. This single has been out-of-print for years and for the first time it will be available on special edition yellow vinyl.Side A: Tear It Down (produced by Loptomist) ft. Reef the Lost Cauze, Planetary & Vinnie Paz
Side B: Battle Cry (produced by Shuko) ft Apathy, King Syze, Crypt the Warchild, Des Devious, Esoteric, Chief Kamachi, Planetary, Celph Titled & Vinnie Paz
3. Instr.$18.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Los AngelesIn the aftermath of the Los Angeles LP, Flying Lotus set out his stall at the vanguard of new bass music, remixed the likes of Stereolab and Radiohead and became a regular fixture in 2008's end of year polls.
Now, with L.A. EP 3 X 3, the third and final piece of the accompanying EP series, FlyLo and a few friends explore the psychedelic ambience and dream-like elegance that brought such a vital depth to the album's soul.
Two new Flying Lotus compositions, Endless White and Spin Cycles display his deft touch and unrivalled eye for beauty. Breakage's Testament turns Gonjasufi's quiet desperation into a tribal battle cry. But it is perhaps the collaboration with harpist Rebecca Raff that is most striking, revisioning Auntie's Harp into a swirling symphony of rolling arpeggios and piercing electronics.1 - Brainfeeder
2 - Breathe . Something/Stellar STar
3 - Beginners Falafel
4 - Camel
5 - Melt!
6 - Comet Course
7 - Orbit 405
8 - Golden Diva
9 - Riot
10 - GNG BNG
11 - Parisian Goldfish
12 - Sleepy Dinosaur
13 - RobertaFlack (feat. Dolly)
14 - SexSlaveShip
15 - Auntie's Harp
16 - Testament (feat. Gonja Sufi)
17 - Aunties Lock/Infinitum (feat. Laura Darlington)$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Don't Want To Let You DownSharon Van Etten has never needed much room to make a grand statement. With four albums during the
last six years, she's become one of music's most astute new cartographers of the heart, able to capture
emotional trials and triumphs with incisive lines and a voice that loses nothing in the translation and
transmission of feelings. Her second record, epic, needed only seven tracks to live up to its title. 2012's
Tramp and last year's Are We There, went longer, but Van Etten managed still to squeeze enormous
sentiments into especially small spaces. From start to rising stardom, Van Etten has forever understood the
impact of economy
It should come as no surprise, then, that the five-song EP I Don't Want to Let You Down offers documents
of surrender and disappointment, admission and longing in only 22 minutes. Produced by Van Etten and
Stewart Lerman, who also helmed Are We There, these songs are as sophisticated as anything Van Etten has
ever done. Supported by a string section during "I Always Fall Apart," Van Etten's voice rises alongside her
piano. Her prismatic harmonies betray the terror of the song's central admission and one of the new lyrical
cornerstones of her catalogue: "You know I always fall apart/It's not my fault/It's just my flaw/It's who I am."
During the title track, she slowly pushes her voice past an introductory murmur, as if scanning her
surroundings for the resolve to be stronger and more steadfast than she knows she has been. Building across
four minutes, the desperation of the title is expressed through guitars that get bigger, harmonies that get
broader. The chorus is a sing-along commandment, an indelible promise Van Etten makes to be better. The
War on Drugs' Adam Granduciel and David Hartley join Antibalas' Stuart Bogie, Peter Broderick and
Heather Woods-Broderick for "Pay My Debts." The longest song here, it's a cinematic number that smolders
like shoegaze before climaxing into an inescapable seesaw refrain.
The EP ends with a live rendition of "Tell Me." A demo from Tramp, but backed here by her four-piece
touring band, the tune becomes a kind of battle cry for respect and a charged pronouncement of Van Etten's
cultivated powers. It's a map of the singer's progression from an acoustic songwriter to a bona fide
bandleader, a reminder of the poignancy and efficiency her work has long paired.1. I Don't Want To Let You Down
2. Just Like Blood
3. Always Fall Apart
4. Pay My Debts
5. Tell Me [Live]$14.99Vinyl EP - Sealed Buy Now
Angels & DevilsIt's after the end of the world, don't you know that yet...
With recent reports from various think tanks predicting we have somewhere in the range of 15 years left before the collapse of society begins, it would seem like Kevin Martin's sonic predictions of dystopian London that were set out on 2008's London Zoo were pretty accurate. And if we are in fact declining rapidly to chaos, there's no better time then the present to take the focus of that sonic assault from earthly domains and blast it to the netherworlds above and below.
The aforementioned London Zoo is where Kevin Martin, found his true voice. Pulling the fringes into a collective, unilaterally hateful assault. A psychological warfare driven by bass that on one hand captured a moment of London, yet also encapsulated a global message influenced by years of timeless and classic out-music.
The latest offering from the The Bug, Angels & Devils, escapes the London cage, drawing on it for influence yet blowing it up into a world-view now seen from Kevin Martin's new Berlin home. A record that simultaneously draws on London Zoo, completes a triptych cycle which started with his Bug debut Pressure, and fills the spaces between and inserts what was missing previously. Both a year zero re-set and a continuation of what has been. Like the Bowie/Eno classic Low, or Can's Tago Mago, the album is split into two distinct themes and explorations of light & dark. Bringing the angel & devil voices together under a single common banner. Antagonist at times, but not solely for the sake of being antagonistic, there's a beauty and lush sparseness to be found within, even when at its most chaotic. Truly only The Bug could find the common ground between Liz Harris (of Grouper) & Death Grips and make it seamless. Angels & Devils stretches the polarity of its predecessor in both directions simultaneously and is even more extreme for its new found seductiveness and added intensity. Deep space is explored, and physical assault is administered. In these days of YouTube quick fixes, and single tune memory spans, its a joy to witness Martin actually charting a cohesive narrative that rejoices in celebrating life through sonic sex and violence, beauty and ugliness. This is an audio thriller that delights in pursuing its own singular path/vision.
With the Angel side(s) up first, things kick off with Liz Harris (of Grouper) in the submerged lushness that is Void. Followed by contributions from ex Hype Wiliams half copeland (Fall), the blissed out patois of touring partner Miss Red (Mi Lost), two truly zoned Bug instrumentals, and rounded out by Gonjasufi on Save Me. It's a collection of heady, dubbed out cinematic blissfulness with a lurking darkness before giving way to devils...
Devils leads off with the return of long time collaborator Flowdan on the mic and the guitar of Justin Broadrick (Godflesh / Jesu) bringing a complete about face to the proceedings and setting the tone with The One. Roll Deep's Manga steps up next with the instant Bug classic Function, which is being currently smashed on dubplate, by Mala, Kahn and Logan Sama. Death Grips raise the antagonistic bar with Fuck A Bitch. Flowdan & Justin Broadrick come back for the cinematic death crawl of Fat Mac. Warrior Queen steps in for hands down the nastiest vocal she's ever delivered (which is saying a lot) for Fuck You, and finally Flowdan steps up again to round it all off with a Devils battle cry of sorts dirty, fuck that murky....
The concept is completed by the artistic expression it's packaged in, courtesy of Simon Fowler (Cataract). Known for his work for Sunn O))), Earth, and others, Simon has delivered a stunning hand drawn illustration, that sort that would make Bosch proud, showing the duality of the proceedings.
Utopian/dystopian, black/white, complexity/singularity, negative/positive... Angels/Devils.1. Void (Featuring Liz Harris)
2. Fall (Featuring copeland)
4. Mi Lost (Featuring Miss Red)
6. Save Me (Featuring Gonjasufi)
7. The One (Featuring Flowdan)
8. Function (Featuring Manga)
9. Fuck a Bitch (Featuring Death Grips)
10. Fat Mac (Featuring Flowdan)
11. Fuck You (Featuring Warrior Queen)
12. Dirty (Featuring Flowdan)$29.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Blessed Black Wings (Awaiting Repress)Massive power trio High on Fire are a supersonic exercise in conquest by volume. Equal parts molten metal and earthquake panic, the band's Motorhead-meets-Slayer roar is outrageously loud and absolutely punishing. Guitarist/vocalist Matt Pike (ex-Sleep) unleashes a devastating combination of bombastic guitar and howling war cries, weaving fantastical tales of supernatural beasts, forgotten battles and rivers of blood over an unstoppable bass and drum assault.1. Devilution
2. The Face Of Oblivion
3. Brother In The Wind
4. Cometh Down Hessian
5. Blessed Black Wings
6. Annointing Of Seer
7. To Cross The Bridge
8. Silver Back
9. Sons Of Thunder$24.99Colored Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Binary"My last record was very inward-looking," says Ani DiFranco. "I was pregnant and then raising a screaming infant. But now that kid is about to turn four, so I got out of the weeds of personal space and started looking outward again, being more engaged, more big 'P' Political. As an artist, I like to be out in the world, and what initially compelled me was to try to push society to a better place. So when I'm not in heartbreak or motherhood mode, that's where you'll naturally find me."
With her twentieth studio album, Binary, the iconic singer/songwriter/activist/poet/DIY trendsetter returns to territory that brought her to the world's attention more than twenty-five years ago. One of the first artists to create her own label in 1990, she has been recognized among the feminist pantheon for her entrepreneurship, social activism, and outspoken political lyrics. At a time of global chaos and confusion, DiFranco is kicking ass and taking names, with a set of songs offering a wide range of perspective and musical scope.
She describes a moment during the writing of "Play God," an unblinking pro-choice battle cry, as a particular breakthrough. (A live version of the song was included in the anti-Trump "30 Days, 30 Songs" campaign alongside tracks from Death Cab for Cutie, Aimee Mann, Franz Ferdinand, and more.)
"When I wrote the line 'You don't get to play god, man/I do,' I paused and thought, 'Can I say that?,' " she says. "It's not the first time I've thought that, but it's been a while. And in that moment, I thought, 'I'm back, mothafuckas!'"
"When you make a record about family and relationships, people assume you're mommy now and you've lost your edge, and it's going to be all buttercups from here on. So that line had the feeling of 'Take that! My kid is sleeping right now and I want to talk about some shit!"
On Binary, DiFranco tackles the challenge and necessity of teaching non-violence with "Pacifist's Lament" and the need for empathy in "Terrifying Sight." Remarkably, though, these songs-recorded, in her usual fashion, in a couple of short full-sprint sessions spread across several years-were all written prior to the 2016 elections and attendant political turmoil.
"I'm not surprised," says DiFranco. "Over twenty-five years, I've found that my songwriting is often full of premonition. It shows me, in a deep and spooky way, how we know things on levels below consciousness. I write songs and then they happen, and later I realize what they're about. I'm just happy to have some good tools in my toolbox to address what's happening now-the feminist diatribes are turned up nice and high on this record!"
She notes that Binary's title track is key to her intention on this project. "I always title a record from the song that seems to be at its core," she says. "An underlying theme in the songs, and in the feminism I want to engage society with, is the idea that autonomy is a fallacy-nothing exists except in relationship to something else. We are, in some senses individuals with individual liberties and unique powers, but that's only a surface story."
Though this concept is closely tied up in our present-day obsession with technology ("Sitting alone at home, staring at a screen, you can't really know anything, because knowing is engaging," she says), DiFranco also reveals a growing connection to nature and the physical world.
"Every year on Goddess' Green Earth, I understand my relationship to it more," she says. "My early songs were all human drama. I don't think I noticed the bigger picture at all-I was transfixed by power dynamics between people. Now I see that it's largely the providence of women to really embody nature, so I do think I'm getting back to basics, and it's a shift for me."
The backbone of Binary's sound is DiFranco's long-time rhythm section of bassist Todd Sickafoose and drummer Terence Higgins, but on much of the album, the trio is augmented with some all-star guests. "I knew I wanted to involve some of my brilliant friends this time out," she says. "We made some calls and got a party going. That was the idea, to reach out and have some other spirits enter."
Virtuoso violinist Jenny Scheinman and keyboard wizard Ivan Neville both join in for more than half of the record; "they are so captivating and they elevate my shit whenever they come near it," says DiFranco. Other contributors include the legendary Maceo Parker, Bon Iver's Justin Vernon, and Gail Ann Dorsey, longtime bassist for David Bowie. New Orleans resident DiFranco takes special pride in the Crescent City funk spearheaded by natives Higgins and Neville on a number of the tunes. "Their souls are of this place," she says. "The feel they bring is something they got in utero."
For the better part of 2016, DiFranco beat the drum for voter turnout on her "Vote Dammit!" tour, focusing on registering and inspiring people to vote. In the days following the election, fans turned to her for guidance with renewed earnestness, anxious to hear music and wisdom from the longtime activist. Ani encouraged fans to take political action and did the same herself, participating in the Women's March on Washington and performing at the official Women's March after party benefitting Planned Parenthood with The National and Sleater-Kinney.
Binary, of course, is being released into a world in which music distribution and consumption have transformed rapidly and dramatically. For DiFranco, a true pioneer in the music industry with her Righteous Babe label, it's a time to reconsider the possibilities and ambitions of her business.
"While I was precedent-setting at one time with Righteous Babe and my indie crusade, I feel like, in the time it took me to nurse another baby into being, I've fallen behind," she says. "The universe and technology have continued to evolve, and the idea of harnessing technology and crowd-sourcing everything-money, knowledge, revolution-is a very powerful concept that I'm ready to get more involved with. Righteous Babe is starting to grow now into something that will hopefully become avant-garde once again- more of a collective, more dynamic."
"I'm trying to figure it out daily," says Ani DiFranco. "Just like always."1. Binary
2. Pacifist's Lament
4. Play God
7. Even More
10. Terrifying Sight
11. Deferred Gratification$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Marvin Gaye 1961 - 1965Universal Music will release Marvin Gaye's first seven studio albums in a new vinyl box set titled 1961-1965.
The collection kicks off with the soul legend's Motown debut The Soulful Moods of Marvin Gaye (1961) which is full of jazz/pop standards from the like of Irving Berlin and Cole Porter, while the second album, That Stubborn Kinda Fellow (1962) moves into R&B with Gaye co-writing many tracks including the song that launched Paul Young's career, Wherever I Lay My Hat (That's My Home).
When I'm Alone I Cry (1964) is a product of Gaye's early battles with Berry Gordy over direction, with the singer again reluctant to embrace a soul/R&B sound and instead focusing on being a jazz vocalist. Together (1964) with Mary Wells was Gaye's first top 40 album in the US pop charts and the collection of show tunes and standards did provide a couple of top 20 singles. Hello Broadway was a third album in that year and a switch back to soul/R&B for How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You (1965) gave Marvin Gaye his first really big hit single, thanks to the Holland-Dozier-Holland penned title track. This vinyl box is completed by Gaye's Tribute To Nat King Cole which was released in November 1965 just nine months after Cole's death.
Marvin Gaye expert Harry Weinger has overseen this set which sees many of these early records back in print on vinyl for the first time in quite a while.Albums included:
The Soulful Moods of Marvin Gaye (1961)
That Stubborn Kinda Fellow (1963)
When I'm Alone I Cry (1964)
Hello Broadway (1964)
Together - Marvin Gaye and Mary Wells (1964)
How Sweet It Is to Be Loved by You (1965)
A Tribute to the Great Nat "King" Cole (1965)$174.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP Box Set - 7 LPs Sealed Buy Now
The Evil Divide (Awaiting Repress)Three decades into their celebrated career, Death Angel remain as hungry as ever.
As a result, uncompromising urgency and unpredictability define the Bay Area thrash quintet's eighth full-length album, The Evil Divide [Nuclear Blast]. The group-Mark Osegueda [vocals], Rob Cavestany [lead guitar], Ted Aguilar [guitar], Will Carroll [drums], and Damien Sisson [bass]-satiate the appetite for buzzsaw speed riffs, double bass mayhem, and scorching vocals over the course of ten new anthems.
"I want every record of ours to always sound fucking hungry and desperate," declares Mark. "An injured animal is a dangerous fucking animal. We feel that. We're always striving for more and put everything into it until our bodies give out."
"We know who we are," adds Rob. "We're dedicated to this sound for both the fans and ourselves."
In order to siphon that energy, the group re-teamed with producer Jason Suecof [Trivium, Deicide] for the third album in a row. They traded Northern California for Suecof's Florida stronghold, Audio Hammer Studios, during two months in the fall of 2015. Following three consecutive records together, this lineup gelled more than ever while recording.
"You could feel it," continues Rob. "Everything was so much smoother in all regards. We progressed as a unit, and we all got on the same page pretty quickly. It makes recording and playing even more fun."
"We're collectively focused," says Mark. "Rob and I have grown a lot as songwriters, and the entire band is tighter than ever. We knew what to expect sonically with Jason, but we wanted to push things in a different direction. The production and drum, bass, and guitar tones are more organic. He's got such a great ear and nailed it. It's like we confidently hit our stride."
The first single "Lost" intersects a hypnotically haunting refrain with a chugging percussive groove, dropping the melody like a guillotine between fret-burning leads.
"Everybody feels lost at some point in their lives," explains Mark. "It's that sense of self-awareness or lack thereof that comes through in the lyrics. No one's immune to it. That time can be a fleeting week or a matter of years where you don't know what's going on. Music is a way to get it out and a vessel to vent. It's a universal thing." Opener "The Moth" whips from a galloping guitar death march into a battle-cry. Boasting a lyrical contribution from Rob, it name checks the album title in the chorus.
"Mark really breathes life into what I wrote," says Rob. "We have a great time collaborating and bouncing ideas off each other."
"The world is in such an odd state," sighs Mark. "There's always division, but these days it's wild. People are attacking each other for no reason. That's why I love metal. It's an amazing community, and people get into it for no other reason but the passion for music. It's the one thing we can retreat to."
"Cause for Alarm" volleys between a crossfire of six-string prowess, while "Father of Lies" closes on a haunting acoustic outro, illuminating the music's expanse and declaring another creative victory for the group.
The Evil Divide stands out as the culmination of thirty-plus years of music for Death Angel. It kicked off with legendary debut, The Ultra-Violence, in 1987. The classic Frolic Through The Park began to cement their legacy and even earned the distinction of landing on Loudwire's list of the "Top Ten Thrash Albums NOT Released by The Big 4." The group broke up following 1990's Act III only to reunite in 2004 on Art of Dying for the next generation. A powerful trifecta followed. In 2010, Relentless Retribution boasted a cameo from virtuosos Rodrigo y Gabriela, while 2013's The Dream Calls For Blood bowed at #72 on the Billboard Top 200, selling 5,400 copies first-week and earning the group's first-ever entry onto that respective chart. Beyond continued public praise from the likes of James Hetfield of Metallica and Robb Flynn of Machine Head, the band's music has popped up everywhere from Carl's Jr. commercials to Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III. Their fire burns brighter than ever in 2016.
"If you're a casual fan, I hope you really get it on this album," Mark leaves off. "If you've been with us since the beginning, I want you to see we aren't messing around. We're still Death Angel."1. The Moth
2. Cause For Alarm
4. Father Of Lies
5. Hell To Pay
6. It Can't Be This
7. Hatred United, United Hate
9. The Electric Cell
10. Let The Pieces Fall
11. Wasteland$25.99Vinyl LP -2 LPs Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Back To The FrontExplaining the relevance and influence of ENTOMBED is probably as superfluous as pointing out why Slayer rule, Lemmy is bigger than God and Dio the greatest loss in metal history. A legend is a legend. Fullstop. F**k off!
If you still require a proper explanation that is less shot from the hip, well let us start with this: The Swedish Death Metal forefathers and genre innovators have inspired tons of bands all around the globe with their invincible trademark sound. However, as the band's last album "Serpent Saints - The Ten Amendments" dates back to 2007, there is definitely more than a good reason for a bit of catch-up and ask why it took so long to finish the band's superb 10th opus, programmatically titled "Back To the Front", vocalist extraordinaire L-G Petrov states:
""Serpents " was a fairly good album but a little weak compared to previous works and the distribution wasn't that great yet we continued playing shows throughout the past years but never really got going with new songs. At some point we decided that it was time for a new album, so we sat down and played riffs that we had from before as well as many new riffs and started putting them together which really sparked our motivation. That really gave us a push! We feel that this is the best album so far in many years and I think you can hear it on the album!"
Thematically, the will and determination to back up such words with fantastic songs is reflected in the powerful album title and part of the concept of the record as guitarist Nico Elgstrand describes:
"A lot of the album is about being at war in different ways and struggles/shortcomings of mankind, so we felt that "Back To The Front" fitted really well. It has a military reference obviously and we also feel like a platoon (ha ha, a small platoon) that has been behind the frontlines for a long time anxious to get back into battle. Not mean and lean but rather fat and bored and really keen on getting back to what we do best, which of course is to kill! Metaphorically speaking needless to say, ha ha. Also it is a very direct way of saying we've been away for way too long, we know and that we will now aim to stay at the front until the friggin' battle is won! The cavalry has finally arrived if you will (without horses though, ha ha)!"
Well spoken, Sir, yet expectations will be incredibly high on this one as ENTOMBED's roots and legacy goes way back into the year 1987 when they formed under the name NIHILIST. In 1989 the formation changed its name to ENTOMBED and together with Morbid (for whom singer LG played drums), Treblinka/Tiamat, Grave and Dismember, ENTOMBED/NIHILIST established themselves among the earliest bands to forge the immortal Swedish death metal sound that became really popular and unique due to its punkish roots and especially that chainsaw guitar sound, today inseparably linked to terms like "Skogsberg", "Sunlight Studio" or just "Stockholm sound". Inspired by such diverse acts as Autopsy, Motörhead, Discharge or Kiss, over the years ENTOMBED did not shy away from thinking outside of the coffin resulting in a style some fans called Death'n'Roll but in the end it was, is and will be just a band with a style and impact entirely their own.
So, what awaits the listener on "Back To The Front"? Produced by Roberto Laghi (In Flames, Hardcore Superstar) at Studio Bohus (Abba, Europe) in KunÄlv, it's 666% true to the ENTOMBED everybody loves. While not falling for total regression back to the early classics "Left Hand Path" or "Clandestine", it is a total bone-crushing opus that will have fans of all periods cry tears of joy and even the most stubborn fan of the early days join in shame. "The goal was to have riffs that felt fresh and exciting, to make an album that felt old school as well as fresh and up to date, showing who ENTOMBED are today," L-G puts it quite simply and Nico continues: "I thoroughly enjoy the fact that I find it super hard to pick 2 or 3 songs as the best of it, because i really like 'em all. I think that they all have something new and fresh yet it feels very old school in some way. "Kill To Live" with its surprising ENTOMBED-intro turned out very cool and the track also has an almost cinematic yet classic metal feel to it, dunno why, but it just invigorates me. "Second To None" kinda makes me wanna drive a tank while listening, and that to me is how proper metal should sound! It makes you wanna do mighty things so to speak!"
From the morbid, pissed-off lyrics over detuned, massive riffs to the inimitable brick-heavy groove and LG Petrov's titanic roar, "Back To The Front" not only musically but also visually with its stunning painting by Necropolitus Cracoviensis Zbgniew Bielak II (Watain, Ghost, Vader) seems to send a respectful nod to the old school as L-G confirms: "The skull will always be a part of ENTOMBED. I totally agree, we have taken away some of the rock parts and gone with more metal, and I think fans new and old will appreciate that."
With European touring under way in December with label mates and black metal genre leaders WATAIN - vocalist Erik actually penned lyrics for the song "Carnage" (from "When In Sodom" EP, 2006) - and former band member Nicke Andersson contributed parts to the new song "Vulture And The Traitor", the Swedish metal platoon ENTOMBED anno 2013 has all its weapons polished and reloaded and is ready to shatter the entire music scene with an uncompromising full frontal assault. So, let us all enjoy "Back To The Front" and celebrate the fact that the legend called ENTOMBED has finally returned. Goddamn!1. Kill To Live
2. Bedlam Strike
3. The Underminer
4. Second To None
6. Waiting For Death
7. Eternal Woe
8. Digitus Medius
9. Vulture And The Traitor
10. Pandemic Rage
11. Soldier Of No Fortune$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Falling Faster Than You Can Run (Awaiting Repress)Well, it doesn't take long for Falling Faster Than You Can Run to reveal that Nathaniel Rateliff isn't in a very good place. His deep funk is revealed very quickly on the opening track 'Still Trying': "If you roll in it long enough/your shit won't even smell" sings Rateliff, in between crying out, unaccompanied, "I don't know/I don't know/a god damned thing".
And that's the feeling that sticks throughout this, often very fine, new record from Denver, Colorado's Missouri-born Rateliff. On his second full-length album (dropping the & the Wheel from his name) loneliness is writ large: not the kind of loneliness from actually being along, but the kind that comes from being constantly surrounded by people yet unable to shake the feeling of complete isolation. Rateliff has toured with many, many acts over the past few years and most recently has spent time with Dr Dog and fellow Denver act (and friends) The Lumineers. Thankfully, Rateliff rarely sounds like his friends (you might say I'm not a fan) and instead writes and plays music with a lot of heart and soul. It's often his voice that's the star of the show thanks to the subtly-arranged instrumentation: part matured Kurt Wagner burr and part throat-ravaged bluesman ( a bit The Tallest Man on Earth) it's a voice you could listen to all day. But good voice is nothing without good songs, and Rateliff comes with plenty of ammunition on Falling Faster Than You Can Run.
"Still Trying" is an arresting opener; while Rateliff's heart-wrenching roars are the highlight, the backing isn't too shabby either - acoustic guitar and bass drum battle for the spotlight on a ragged country song, and it sounds authentic, like Rateliff has lived what he's singing. And things get better quickly: "I Am" is mostly just Rateliff and his guitar, as broaches his isolation singing: "you'll never know what's buried there / less you dig around". The music swells as he sings the title over and over, following a similar pattern to the album opener. But before things get too familiar, Rateliff picks up the pace with a couple of full band numbers that could almost be considered jaunty, if we were to ignore the lyrics. "Don't Get Too Close" is fine enough and ticks over nicely like a quickstep, but "Laborman" is even better. Like Wilco at their poppiest, it flies off on crunchy and bright electric guitars which belies the lyrical content: "I got a feelin' / a sleepin' depression / that somebody's gonna get hurt", sings Rateliff, followed by "you got the harness/so where you gonna drag me now?" You can see a pattern developing here; Rateliff's stuck somewhere he doesn't want to be, lonely, but how does he get out of it? Take another look at that album cover too - a couple share a bed, an arm reaches out yet it doesn't touch the other person. It's basically a visual encapsulation of what's being sung about.
The epic electric storm of "Forgetting Is Believing" leads a trio of great closing tracks, ending with the Lambchop-murmur of the title track. Rateliff's baritone is exposed and dusty as he sings "leave me alone/you can see me fall/faster than you can run", ending as he started the record - alone and isolated.
Falling Faster Than You Can Run feels, through the dirt, the shit and the whisky, and despite the loneliness, like a hard-earned triumph for Nathaniel Rateliff.
- Andrew Hannah (The Line Of Best Fit)1. Still Trying
2. I Am
3. Don't Get Too Close
5. How To Win
6. Nothing To Show For
7. Right On
8. Three Fingers
9. Forgetting Is Believing
10. When Do You See
11. Falling Faster Than You Can Run$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Lese MajestyHerein bumps and soars Lese Majesty, the new sonic action of Shabazz
Palaces. Honed and primal, chromed and primo. A unique and glorified
offering into our ever-uniforming musical soundscape. Lese Majesty is
a beatific war cry, born of a spell, acknowledging that sophistication and
the instinctual are not at odds; Indeed an undoing of the lie of their
Lese Majesty is not a launching pad for the group's fan base increasing
propaganda. It is a series of astral suites, recorded happenings, shared.
A dare to dive deep into Shabazz Palaces sounds, vibrations unfettered.
A dope-hex thrown from the compartments that have artificially contained
us all and hindered our sublime collusion.
These reveries were sent to Palaceer Lazaro and Fly Guy 'Dai in the
year of gun beat battles in excess; In a succession of days, whilst walking
in dreams and in varied transcendental states .(every minute of every
day is filled with observation and composition. In action). Songs are
committed and gathered by robots at Protect and Exalt Labs, a Black
Space in Seattle,Washington.
The visual features of Lese Majesty are resultant of the gleanings of
fellow Constellationaire, Nep Sidhu.
The Black Constellation squads up, protects and exalts the messages
within, and colludes accordingly. We thank you.1. Dawn in Luxor
2. Forerunner Foray
3. They Come in Gold
4. Solemn Swears
5. Harem Aria
6. Noetic Noiromantics
7. The Ballad of Lt. Maj. Winnings
10. ...down 155th in the MCM Snorkel
11. Divine of Form
13. Colluding Oligarchs
14. Suspicion of a Shape
15. MindGlitch Keytar TM Theme
16. Motion Sickness
17. New Black Wave
18. Sonic MythMap for the Trip Back$25.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Lover, Beloved: Songs From An Evening With Carson McCullersWhen Suzanne Vega first discovered the novelist and short story writer Carson McCullers as a teenager, she thought, "If I ever want to play a character at any point in the future, I could play this woman." That time has arrived. On Lover, Beloved: Songs From An Evening With Carson McCullers, Vega inhabits McCullers' extraordinary character and renders the life of a woman who, revolted by the politics and racism of her upbringing in the American South, arrived in New York in her early twenties and became one of the literary lights of the 20th century. In such esteemed books as The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1940), Reflections in a Golden Eye (1941) and The Ballad of the Sad CafÉ (1951), McCullers used the South as a lens through which to view the painful, nearly always unrequited, search for love in a world that often punishes individual self-expression and rewards repression and emotional compromise. McCullers battled those limits in her life as well as her work - a personal heroism that makes her, in Vega's view, a figure of great contemporary significance. She was an instinctive rebel whose message of personal freedom resonates profoundly in our own insurgent age, nearly fifty years after her death at the age of fifty in 1967.
"I feel that McCullers' ideas and thoughts are very modern," Vega says, "and she incarnates them in a way that other authors don't. She tried to live them and paid a price for it. She would refer to herself in a kind of transgender way - she would say things like, 'I was born a man' -- and she probably was bisexual even if she didn't always act on it. She was one of the first females to write about civil rights and the struggles of blacks in the South. Also, she suffered several strokes and was disabled for pretty much the second half of her life. To use today's parlance, her life and work embodied human rights on just about every level - race, gender, trans, queer, disabled, youth."
The ten songs on Lover, Beloved are part of a two-act play in which Vega and another actress perform the role of McCullers at two historical moments that bookend her career: the first, set in 1941, when The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter propelled her to literary fame, and the second shortly before her death, as she movingly reflects on her life and work. There are also plans to perform it as a one-woman show. Vega wrote the script, and co-wrote eight songs with Duncan Sheik, the singer-songwriter whose keen theatrical sense helped create the Broadway hit show Spring Awakening and the current groundbreaking musical, American Psycho. (Two additional songs, "Carson's Blues" and "The Ballad of Miss Amelia," were co-written by Vega and pianist/composer Michael Jefry Stevens.) In songs like "New York Is My Destination," "We of Me" and "Lover, Beloved," you can hear the signature cool detachment of Vega's singing and revel in the characteristically incisive observation of her lyrics, many of which deftly draw on McCullers' own writing.
But the songs' elastic melody lines, loping rhythms, idiosyncratic instrumentation (including clarinet, harmonium, banjo, ukulele, trombone and accordion), and surprising arrangements (by guitarist extraordinaire Gerry Leonard, who also produced the album) are like nothing we've heard from Vega before. "It was great working with Duncan Sheik," Vega says. "All you have to do is give him the barest bones of an idea and then he delivers this fabulous piece of music." For "Annemarie," an aching ballad about an androgynous adventurer with whom both McCullers and her husband fell disastrously in love, Sheik delivered a lovely, simple melody that, Vega says, "practically made me cry. I couldn't believe how beautiful it was. I wanted something with all that yearning, and I love what he came up with." For "New York Is My Destination," which describes the youthful McCullers' vision of her future as a celebrated novelist, Vega says she wanted "something classic, something that sounded like Rodgers and Hammerstein, something glamorous," and, once again, Sheik delivered a melody that perfectly complemented the heady excitement of Vega's lyrics.
Overall, Lover, Beloved finds a sound that exists outside of time. It's traditional enough to suit the iconic quality of its subject; clever enough to capture her originality and daring; and contemporary enough to help establish McCullers as an avatar for this century as well as the preceding one. Most of the instrumentation is acoustic, but, in particular, Gerry Leonard's evocative, atmospheric electric guitar playing lifts the music into another, more imaginative realm. That McCullers herself was an accomplished, classically trained pianist - and that the lyricism of her writing reflects that innate musicality - only further enhances the shivery dynamic between words and music on the album.
In order to realize the theatrical quality of this project, Vega, with Sheik's encouragement and assistance, also handled her vocals in a different way. "Duncan really pushed me out of my comfort zone," Vega says. "I was shocked at how high he wanted me to sing. But he was like, 'No, no - you can hit that.'" Sheik's goal was to achieve a kind of sonic drama in Vega's vocals, "as much drama as he could squeeze out of me," she says. "It works for the character. McCullers is kind of childlike, and you can believe her singing in that naïve, simple way. I'm pushed beyond my limits in both the low notes and the high notes, and also the emotion. I definitely feel as if I was being pushed beyond what I usually do."
Unquestionably, rendering a character like McCullers in words and in sound represented a serious creative challenge. All the songs on the album attempt to capture the innermost feelings of a writer who was highly ambitious, immensely complicated and fiercely dedicated to her conception of herself and her work. She was simultaneously shy, introverted and wildly provocative, as "Carson's Blues," the album's opening song, announces: "A childish liar/A devilish bitch/I can be innocent and charming/And suddenly switch." "Harper Lee," a song Vega describes as "upbeat and bitchy," chronicles McCullers' sense of her place in the literary pantheon - a spot, in her view, well above the wildly successful author of To Kill a Mockingbird. ("I'd like to kill more than just that mockingbird," she sings.) "Instant of the Hour After" and "We of Me" all explore the loving and loathing, the sexual adventurism and missed emotional connections, that swirled inextricably in McCullers' marriage to a bisexual man who shared her literary ambitions but was never able to realize them. On the title track, Vega limns the dizzying dance of unsatisfied desire at the heart of McCullers' work: "The lover pursues,/The beloved one flees Each one alone/In the land of the heart."
"12 Mortal Men" indicts the provincialism and brutal racism of Columbus, Georgia, where McCullers grew up. "The Ballad of Miss Emilia" essentially recounts the plot of McCullers' novella, The Ballad of the Sad CafÉ, a saga, like so much of her writing, of failed joinings, loneliness, and proud, if isolated, survival. By the time the album concludes with "Carson's Last Supper," McCullers has abandoned the ideal of erotic desire in favor of a more universal love that could embrace all the various characters in her books and the many people in her life - as well as, perhaps most importantly, the ravaging contradictions within herself that both drove her art and caused so much hardship in her life.
With Lover, Beloved: Songs From An Evening With Carson McCullers, Suzanne Vega achieves a new peak in her already distinguished career. With these songs and the play they inhabit, she hopes that "a new generation of people will discover Carson McCullers, that they will realize how cool she is and how compellingly her work can speak to them. I want to put her on the stage again so that her spirit lives. Really, no one is excluded from the vision she defined. I'm so excited by the possibilities." In these beautifully transporting songs, many of those rich possibilities have already been realized. - Anthony DeCurtis1. Carson's Blues
2. New York Is My Destination
3. Instant of the Hour After
4. We of Me
6. 12 Mortal Men
7. Harper Lee
8. Lover, Beloved
9. The Ballad of Miss Amelia
10. Carson's Last Supper$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now