Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Some spooky songs for you this Halloween, enjoy!


Siouxsie & the Banshees "Halloween" Live 1981



Anacrusis "The Munsters Theme"



Iron Maiden "The Number of the Beast"

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Rock n' Roll For Life Baby!

video

Deathy Thrash Metal with a humourous underside. I can dig it!

Check out Horrific with their song "Death Rock"

I Was Gladly Fed Through The Teeth Machine!

video

So the new The Red Chord album is out and I went out and bought it today as soon as I could. It's amazing and I haven't stopped listening to it since I got home. Here is one of the best songs off the album "Mouthful of Precious Stones"

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

New Airbourne album this winter!

Australian hard rockers Airbourne have announced a tentative release date for their follow-up to 2008's Runnin' Wild as February 2010, titled No Guts, No Glory. It may not be metal, but it kicks just as much ass. I'm looking forward to seeing Joel O'Keeffe climb some more towers in support of the record, and a UK tour has been announced around the time of release.

Here's a live video of "Diamond In The Rough" off Runnin' Wild


Friday, October 9, 2009

Free 15 Track MetalManiacs Sampler


MetalManiacs' October sampler is now up for free download! There are some great tracks here, including new ones from Vader, Belphegor, Revocation, Scar Symmetry, Ensiferum, and many more. Also check out an NHR Records sampler at the same location. You can get your hands on these at...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Doom Metal: Is There Anything Better?


So I'm a huge Doom Metal fan and i find each new band I come across in the genre to be amazing. Stoner Doom is wonderful, Death Doom is not it sucks. Drone Doom is okay at times not a big fan. Regular ol' Doom Metal influenced by Black Sabbath is the good stuff!

Bands:

Electric Wizard

Orange Goblin

The Gates Of Slumber

Ea

Lord Azmo (check 'em out good band)

Om

Doomsword

Pagan Altar

Esoteric

Reverend Bizarre

Sleep

Saint Vitus

Warning

Friday, September 25, 2009

Iron Thrones Exclusive Interview


I had the privilege of interviewing Adam Clemans and Steve Henningsgard of progressive death metal up-and-comers Iron Thrones, a band I recently discovered and was eager to learn more about. The guys were extremely courteous and provided some great insight into a band you're sure to hear more from in the near future. Check it out as we talk metal, Minnesota, and pizza...

Thank you very much for taking the time to chat! Hopefully this interview will open up even more eyes to the music, because this is about as good as metal gets. First off, could you provide us with a little history of the band? Iron Thrones has seemingly come out of nowhere, at least for this fan, but has it been a long process getting the project off the ground?

Adam (Vocals) - Well the band had been around for a couple years under the moniker "Everest", before I joined. I had been living in Chicago prior to that and touring in my old band Veil of Maya. When I moved home I noticed that "Everest" was looking for a vocalist, so I was very excited to get in contact with them. A week or so later I was in the band and had begun writing and tracking for "Visions of Light".

Steve (Guitar) – Yeah, really once Adam joined the band is when we became “Iron Thrones”. Our sound and lineup had changed so much since the “Everest” days, and there were a lot of bands with the same name. In particular, some shitty jam-band from California was debating litigation if we didn't change our name, and we didn't feel it was worth it to fight for such a common name! A new name gave us a fresh start, and I think it really helped us out in the long run.

You list Opeth, along with other progressive bands, as an influence on your Myspace. Opeth are the kings in their field, but are you influenced by some of the old school progressive groups like ELP, King Crimson, Rush, Pink Floyd, etc. as well?

Adam - Yeah of course! I grew up hearing records like Pink Floyd's "Meddle" as well as King Crimson's "Lizard" & "Islands", thanks to my dad.

Steve – Honestly, hearing how obvious some of our influences were in “Visions of Light”, has really inspired me to expand my musical horizons. Having a guy like Adam in the band helps: that guy has the most insane/obscure album collection!


Besides making the music itself, the album Visions of Light was completely self-produced and self-released, correct? That must be one hell of a satisfying feeling having done it yourself and come out with such a fantastic product.

Adam - Yeah, it was 100% self produced and released. It feels really good, to be honest with you. Having a DIY ethic to what we are doing is a liberating feeling and frees us to do anything we want with our own music. In a way Iron Thrones is a "selfish" band because we do what we want to do because we love doing it.

Steve – *Laughs* Yeah I never really thought about it that way, but “selfish” is a good word for it. Taking the time to buy the recording equipment and learn how to use it, really pretty much lets us do whatever the hell we want, start to finish. Having a mobile recording rig opens up a lot of opportunity to record in fun places, like the middle of a forest or some old barn that's about to fall over or something. I foresee a lot of experimentation with our recording process in the future.

From what I’ve read, reviews of the album have been overwhelmingly positive. Is the praise as widespread as it seems, or have you had to weather some criticism also? If so, do the critics inspire you as much as the acclaim?

Adam - We were all very excited when the record came out and the reviews started pouring in. We were taken very much by surprise when we noticed that most of the reviews were positive! We have gotten a few here and there pointing out flaws, but that only inspires us to do better the next time around.

Steve – It's a nice feeling when you find someone who clearly enjoys what you're doing, and many of the criticisms have been valid, but I think taking any reviews too much to heart can be dangerous, either positive or negative. It's fun to write with the audience in mind, but when you start to worry if people will like what you're doing as much as your previous work, you're guaranteed to have problems growing as a musician. That said, thanks to everyone who's written about us, as it has always resulted in more people hearing and potentially enjoying our music!

Your base of operations is Minneapolis, Minnesota. Quoting from your site, "The members of Iron Thrones were drawn much like cards from a deck. Fate pulled five guys from all over the US to Minneapolis, MN for a purpose." Coming from across the country, why choose Minneapolis as your headquarters?

Adam - Well Minneapolis was the base for the band from day one, and it is where I was born and raised. So it was only natural for the band to stay there. Our bassist Curt came to Minneapolis for schooling and Pete moved up from Iowa purely for the band, so we were all basically stationed in MN anyway.

Steve – I was born in Connecticut, but grew up in the Minneapolis suburbs, so I'd call myself a native pretty much. I think living in Minnesota, given its insane weather and super-passive-aggressive people, likely contributes to our sound. Not many places in the world go between 100+ degrees with 95% humidity in the summer, to -30F with several feet of snow in the winter.

I really don’t know much about music in Minneapolis besides Prince and The Replacements. What’s the metal scene like? I imagine it would be the birthplace of many a frosty black metal band, like Scandinavia.

Adam - I wish!!! I'm a huge black metal fan!! Its safe to say that the MN metal scene is pretty low-key. Back in '00 - '05 there was a lot more going on, but as the years have passed and new trends keep coming and going the scene has kind of thinned out.

Steve – Yeah, there really isn't a hell of a lot going on around here lately. I think the weather is right for Black Metal, but the mentality is so different. You really don't get very many strong personalities around here, and pretty much everyone has the same background and religion, so nobody's really that angry. Scandinavian countries have such rich histories in comparison, it's bound to create some intense music.

After doing a little research it seems like the city has a fairly active Scandinavian (particularly Swedish) folk music scene. Does that kind of atmosphere also mean a big following for metal bands like Opeth via the “Swedish connection”? If so, how has that helped Iron Thrones establish a fan base, since you fit into a similar genre?


Adam - I wish I could say yes. But we don't really have much of a following in MN. We're trying though, haha.

Steve – It seems difficult to motivate people to come out to local shows any more. Hopefully as our live show progresses along with our music, we'll have an easier time getting people to come check us out!

I see the band is looking for a second guitarist. I can’t seem to find anything about “former members” on your site nor Myspace, has Iron Thrones always been a group with one guitarist? How does this affect playing live, is the guitar workload Jimmy Page-esque? Also, how goes the search for an additional guitar player?


Adam - No we actually have always had a second guitarist (minus the past few months). We recorded "VoL" with two, which is why we are trying so hard to find another because we feel that our sound isn't as big as we'd want it to be live. So anyone reading this, its an open invite to drop us a line!!

Steve – *Laughs* Yeah, the search hasn't been going very well. We even put tabs up on our website to make it easier, but so far only one or two guys have sent us anything. As much as we'd like to have a second guitarist again, Curt (bassist) and I have been writing our new material under the assumption we likely won't find one any time soon. I think we've done a good job filling up the sonic void live, adjusting our arrangements and thickening our tone, but it's definitely not the same.

Speaking of playing live, your 2009 East Coast tour focused mainly on the Midwest and Northeast. Has this been the extent of your shows so far, or have you paid the South and West Coast a visit? Ever played out of the United States?

Adam - Unfortunately our east coast tour ended up falling through do to some booking conflicts. It's really hard for a band like us who has little to no label support trying to go to a new area. Promoters aren't as willing to go out of the way to try to get venues booked because the lack of draw. We have not been to the West Coast YET!! or been lucky enough to play outside the US.

Steve – Both Adam and I have played all over the place in previous bands, and so we're both anxious to get out and do it again. We're doing our best to be smart about it, and wait until we can find good shows with established local/regional bands, vs. playing with two other touring bands with no fanbase, for two kids in some random town in PA on a Wednesday night.

You’ve visited Chicago, New York, and many points in between…which city has the best pizza?

Adam – Chicago!!!!

Steve – Chicago!!!!

You guys look poised to take the metal world by storm, but Iron Thrones doesn’t seem like a band too concerned with popularity. With the group picking up steam, what changes, if any, will more recognition bring about?

Adam - We are all very dedicated to taking this band to what ever level happens to come our way. We aren't trying to impress labels or add a million people a day on myspace, but we will keep doing what we love doing and whatever happens, happens.

Steve – Agreed. We're all in this band to express ourselves through the music we love and most relate to, not to impress teenage girls into buying our records. If that were our goal, we sure as shit wouldn't be playing such an unpopular genre of music! Personally, my goal with getting the word out about us, is to find the few people out there that dig what we're doing, and connect with them. I know there are a few out there, and judging by the nice comments and conversations we've had with them, our music seems to make them as happy as it makes us. I think when you're in it for the music, you use it to express who you are, and so when you find people that really enjoy your music, you're connecting with them on a level that goes much deeper than if you're just playing what the masses want to hear. I think that's infinitely more rewarding than money.

What does the future hold for the band, and when can fans expect a new record from Iron Thrones?

Adam - Well we are in the process of writing new stuff. We're not sure if we are going to do an EP or a full length, but time will tell. We are all very pumped with how the new stuff is turning out, and we can't wait to finish it up and get it out!

Steve – Given our 100% control over everything, we'll likely be experimenting with the whole recording and releasing process. It'll be a lot of fun!

Thanks a lot for taking the time to answer some questions, it’s great getting some insight into an amazing new band! This certainly seems like an “I was there when…” moment, catching you guys right before you put the metal world on its ear. Any last words you’d like to share before you go forth and conquer?

Adam - I'd like to say thanks to you for all the kind words and interest! And thanks to anyone/everyone who's ever taken time out of their day to listen to us!

Steve – Yes, thank you!

You can check out Iron Thrones at
www.myspace.com/ironthrones

And don't forget to download their album Visions of Light for free!