Friday, October 17, 2014

Music News and New Music For October 17th, 2014

So of course, when running your own blog it can be tough to keep up with the s**tload of stuff that comes across our ears over a weekend!  Some good, some bad, some not even worth mentioning.  I guess that's how I use AFGM in general.  These articles that I go through everyday from various sites (Blabbermouth, CBC, National Post, AV Club, Google, Wired, Exclaim, Music News, Rolling Stone, etc.) and sort of "filter" some of the nonsense news such as the latest fashion design, who's got beef with who and who ISN'T doing music...still.

These articles brought forth are for a few different reasons:

1. It is relevant music information that pertains to you as a reader, no matter the level of intent or the genre.

2. They are relevant to the music I would be currently listening to or a genre I have put some attention and focus on.

3. I am rather patriotic about my Canadian music, so that always comes as a first for me.  I enjoy music from all parts of the world respectively, but I still have to promote local if I can.  Canadian music rocks!

4. Because it's humorous and we can always use a good laugh.  Rarely will it be at someone's expense...but then again I am just the guy talking about it.  They're the ones causing the comments.

So in closing, I trust you all will not read EVERY single article posted here.  But I hope you find something of use here and keep the conversation going by forwarding it onto someone else.  Click on each article heading for redirection to the full article.  Cheers!



From music fan to music mogul:

“I found an Alternative Press magazine at the supermarket in my hometown of Barrie, Ont., when I was 13 and read every word.  I got invited to my first local show by my friend, Andrea, and was quickly wrapped up in the music scene after that. Nothing could quite hold my attention the same way and I did anything I could to get closer to the action.  The idea to start my own business came to me on a family vacation. I brought a big empty notebook and pen. I just started writing ideas. The pages were filled slowly with charts, numbers, lists, webs, and soon enough the whole notebook was filled. It was my first business plan. If you flip through it you would find lists of possible mentors to take out for lunch, service offerings, business models, cash flow projections, lists of prospective clients, potential strategic partners, and more." -Sari Delmar


Google Play Music App Breaks The 500 Million Download Barrier:

"Google and Facebook (post Whatsapp acquisition) remain the only developers in the Play Store that have managed to reach the 500 million download threshold. However, several of Google's apps (like Gmail and YouTube) have pushed past the 500,000,000-1,000,000,000 bracket to reach over a billion human beings."


GENE SIMMONS Stands By 'Rock Is Dead' Claim, Says Technology Has Outpaced Laws:

"No, I don't think it's the economics.  I think it really comes down to when technology outpaces the laws of the land, it's the Wild West; people just go and grab territory and don't pay for it. It devalues new bands. It doesn't affect me — I make a living — but it's sad, because the next BEATLES or the next KISS, it does not have a chance." -Simmons


Aretha Franklin Talks Adele Cover, Clive Davis' Influence and 'Real' Singers:



"I went back to my days in New York, down in the Village where I started.  Back to [jazz clubs] the Village Vanguard and the Village Gate, where my dad brought me. I stayed down there with the jazz greats Horace Silver and Charlie Mingus, Coltrane… It just doesn’t come any better than that." -Franklin


Joni Mitchell Collects Her Love Songs onto New Box Set:

"Joni Mitchell Curates Four-Disc Collection Featuring 53 Newly Remastered Songs Recorded Throughout Her Landmark Career That Evoke Her Vision Of Love. 

Mitchell selected the material from 40 years of recording. She designed the package. The package is a book containing 53 lyrical poems, six new paintings, and an autobiographical text illuminating her recording process. It is funny, mystical, and informative."


James Blake Plays Toronto on Upcoming Tour:

10/30 Paris, France - Pitchfork Music Festival Paris
11/30 Toronto, ON - Mod Club * 
12/01 Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg *
12/05 Miami, FL - Young Arts *
12/07 San Francisco, CA - The Chapel *
12/09 Los Angeles, CA - The Roxy *

* with Airhead


Pixies Reveal 'Doolittle 25' Reissue Featuring Unreleased Demos:

"Doolittle 25 will be available as both a 3CD and 2LP set, with the latter accompanied by a digital download. The band's longtime collaborator and artist Vaughan Oliver oversaw the design of the reissue, which features his artwork along with photographs by Simon Larbalestier. The album's original artwork was reinterpreted using metallic ink."


Meet Prince's New All-Female Band, 3RDEYEGIRL:

"A big part of playing with Prince is to know all his material.  He likes to switch it up. He might go apart from the set list we have. We have to pay attention. If he wants to stop, he might start something else. He's a great arranger, master of arranging songs on the spot.

What's really cool about this is the girls and I came into this camp with years of training and studying, more specifically jazz.  We all studied jazz for quite sometime. It is really a genre where you put your improv skills to the test. It's like learning how to speak to other musicians in the form of music." -Donna Grantis


Iggy Pop, Michael Stipe Design Custom Guitars for War Child Charity Auction:

"War Child’s mission to bring war-affected communities the resources that their circumstances demand is not only crucial and appropriate, but speaks to a fundamental quality we have as humans to respond and react to injustice, even when we’re not directly affected ourselves.  There is some mystery in the contrast between lives lived in abundance and lives lived in poverty and struggle.  There is mystery in the connection we have to each other and the ability to react to injustice.  Art can be a meditation on these mysteries, as it was for me during the process of this project.  I’m grateful to be able to take part in a response and to support War Child’s programs that make a difference in the lives of over 375,000 war-effected children a year." -Gus Van Sant


Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds Return with 'Chasing Yesterday' LP:


"Chasing Yesterday" will drop on March 2nd, 2015 via Sour Mash Records.



"It was a major pain in the arse.  It's not that I've ever had people telling me what to write or what direction to go in, but managing sessions from one end of the week to the other proved extremely difficult. I had all these people looking at me and saying: 'right, what are we doing today?' I was making the whole thing up as I went along." -Gallagher


The Who Expand 50th Anniversary World Tour, Add Canadian Dates:

04/15 Tampa, FL - Amalie Arena
04/17 Miami, FL - American Airlines Arena
04/19 Jacksonville, FL - Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena
04/21 Raleigh, NC - PNC Arena
04/23 Duluth, GA - The Arena at Gwinnett Center
04/27 Austin, TX - Frank Erwin Center
04/29 Houston, TX - Toyota Center
05/02 Dallas, TX - American Airlines Center
05/11 Nashville, TN - Bridgestone Arena
05/13 Chicago, IL - Allstate Arena
05/15 Columbus, OH - Nationwide Arena
05/17 Philadelphia, PA - Wells Fargo Center
05/20 Uniondale, NY - Nassau Coliseum
05/22 Atlantic City, NJ - Boardwalk Hall
05/24 Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun Arena
05/26 Brooklyn, NY - Barclays Center
05/30 Forest Hills, NY - Forest Hills Stadium
09/14 San Diego, CA - Valley View Casino Center
09/16 Anaheim, CA - Honda Center
09/19 Las Vegas, NV - Colosseum at Caesars Palace
09/21 Los Angeles, CA - Staples Center
09/23 Oakland, CA - Oracle Arena
09/25 Portland, OR - Moda Center
09/27 Seattle, WA - Key Arena
09/29 Vancouver, BC - Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena
10/01 Calgary, AB - Scoitabank Saddledome
10/03 Edmonton, AB - Rexall Place
10/06 Saskatoon, SK - SaskTel Centre
10/08 Winnipeg, MC - MBMTS Centre
10/10 Minneapolis, MN - Target Center
10/13 Milwaukee, WI - BMO Harris Bradley Center
10/15 Chicago, IL - United Center
10/17 Detroit, MI - Joe Louis Arena
10/19 Toronto, ON - Air Canada Centre
10/21 Toronto, ON - Air Canada Centre
10/23 Pittsburgh, PA - CONSOL Energy Center
10/25 Newark, NJ - Prudential Center
10/27 New York, NY - Madison Square Garden
10/29 Boston, MA - TD Garden
11/01 Washington, DC - Verizon Center
11/04 Philadelphia, PA - Wells Fargo Center





Making age-appropriate music with former rock star John Mellencamp:

"Mellencamp's recent comments about his need to make age-appropriate music are certain to rub some peers the wrong way. He doesn't see the point of running around a stage and singing about girls the way he did 30 years ago. He remembers seeing James Brown in his prime and being electrified, then cringing 25 years later watching the soul master struggle to get up from his signature splits."


Jimmy Page says Led Zeppelin reunion is not possible, but plans to start own, career-spanning band:

"I don't think it looks as though that's a possibility or on the cards, so there's not much more I can say about that. I'm not going to give a detail-by-detail account of what one person says or another person says. All I can say is it doesn't look likely, does it?

"If I was to play again it would be with musicians that would be… some of the names might be new to you. I haven't put them together yet but I'm going to do that next year. If I went out to play, I would play material that spanned everything from my recording career right back to my very, very early days with The Yardbirds. There would certainly be some new material in there as well." -Page


Eminem Shares "Shady XV" Details:


"Founded in 1999, Eminem and Shady Records will celebrate the label’s 15th anniversary with its fifteenth release: ShadyXV, a two-CD compilation featuring an album of the label’s greatest hits, including classics such as 50 Cent’s “In Da Club” and Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” plus an album of new material from Eminem, Slaughterhouse, Bad Meets Evil, D-12 and Yelawolf as well as special guest-artist collaborations. ShadyXV (Shady Records/Interscope Records), set for release November 28, 2014, will be preceded by a new Eminem single, “Guts Over Fear.” The song features Sia and was produced by Emile Haynie (Grammy winner for Best Rap Album for Eminem’s Recovery)."




David Gilmour Says 'The Endless River' Will Be Pink Floyd's Final Album:

"This is the last thing that will be out from us... I'm pretty certain that there will not be any sort of follow-up to this.

It's a shame, but this is the end." -Gilmour


A note from Roger [Waters] - September 30, 2014:

Dear Friends

Some people have been asking Laurie, my wife, about a new album I have coming out in November. Errhh? I don't have an album coming out, they are probably confused. David Gilmour and Nick Mason have an album coming out. It's called Endless River. David and Nick constitute the group Pink Floyd. I on the other hand, am not part of Pink Floyd. I left Pink Floyd in 1985, that's 29 years ago. I had nothing to do with either of the Pink Floyd studio albums, Momentary Lapse of Reason and The Division Bell, nor the Pink Floyd tours of 1987 and 1994, and I have nothing to do with Endless River. Phew! This is not rocket science people, get a grip. 

On another subject, my recent trip to Bruxelles was very moving. To listen to the testimony of some of those present in Gaza during the euphemistically named Operation Protective Edge, July and August 2014 was deeply disturbing. I am still non plussed by the acquiescence of the governments of the USA, UK and EU to the policies of the current Israeli administration. Should we encourage our leaders to sue for a peaceful solution or not? Here is a link to the findings of The Russell Tribunal on Palestine emergency session 2014:

http://www.russelltribunalonpalestine.com/en/sessions/extraordinary-session-brussels/findings

Please study these findings and any rebuttals and then make up your own minds. Whatever you decide, let us all agree that, "To stand by silent and indifferent is the greatest sin of all."

Love
Roger


FOO FIGHTERS: 'Sonic Highways' Premiere-Party Concert To Be Streamed On Facebook:

"The highly anticipated new HBO series "Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways" debuts on Friday, October 17 at 11:00 p.m. EST. In celebration of the premiere, HBO will collaborate with Facebook to present "Foo Fighters Sonic Highways: Live From The Cubby Bear", a live stream of the FOO FIGHTERS premiere party concert, which will be made available to fans in the U.S. on the HBO Facebook page (www.facebook.com/hbo)."


Fleetwood Mac Expand North American Tour, Add Shows in Toronto and Montreal:

10/10 Boston, MA - TD Garden
10/11 Newark, NJ - Prudential Center
10/14 Pittsburgh, PA - Consol Energy Center
10/15 Philadelphia, PA - Wells Fargo Center
10/18 Toronto, ON - Air Canada Centre
10/19 Columbus, OH - Nationwide Arena
10/21 Indianapolis, IN - Bankers Life Fieldhouse
10/22 Auburn Hills, MI - The Palace of Auburn Hills
10/26 Ottawa, ON - Canadian Tire Center
10/31 Washington, DC - Verizon Center
11/01 Hartford, CT - XL Center
11/10 Winnipeg, MB - MTS Centre
11/12 Saskatoon, SK - Credit Union Centre
11/14 Calgary, AB - Scotiabank Saddledome
11/15 Edmonton, AB - Rexall Place
11/18 Vancouver, BC - Rogers Arena
11/20 Tacoma, WA - Tacoma Dome
11/22 Portland, OR - Moda Center
11/24 Sacramento, CA - Sleep Train Arena
11/25 San Jose, CA - SAP Center
11/28 Inglewood, CA - The Forum
11/29 Inglewood, CA - The Forum
12/02 San Diego, CA - Viejas Arena
12/03 Oakland, CA - Oracle Arena
12/10 Phoenix, AZ - US Airways Center
12/12 Denver, CO - Pepsi Center
12/14 Dallas, TX - American Airlines Center
12/15 Houston, TX - Toyota Center
12/17 Atlanta, GA - Philips Arena
12/19 Ft. Lauderdale, FL - BB&T Center
12/20 Tampa, FL - Tampa Bay Times Forum
01/16 St. Paul, MN - Xcel Energy Center
01/17 Lincoln, NE - Pinnacle Bank Arena
01/20 Grand Rapids, MI - Van Andel Arena
01/22 New York, NY - Madison Square Garden
01/24 Atlantic City, NJ - Boardwalk Hall
01/25 Uniondale, NY - Nassau Coliseum
01/28 Providence, RI - Dunkin' Donuts Center
01/31 Buffalo, NY - First Niagara Center
02/03 Toronto, ON - Air Canada Centre 
02/05 Montreal, QC - Centre Bell Centre 
02/07 Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun Arena
02/08 Newark, NJ - Prudential Center
02/11 Des Moines, IA - Wells Fargo Arena
02/12 Milwaukee, WI - BMO Harris Bradley Center
02/14 Chicago, IL - Allstate Arena
02/17 Louisville, KY - KFC Yum! Center
02/18 Cleveland, OH - Quicken Loans Arena
03/01 Austin, TX - Frank Erwin Center
03/07 Charlotte, NC - Time Warner Cable Arena
03/08 Knoxville, TN - Thompson–Boling Arena
03/11 Little Rock, AR - Verizon Arena
03/12 Oklahoma City, OK - Chesapeake Energy Arena
03/15 Charlottesville, VA - John Paul Jones Arena
03/17 Greensboro, NC - Greensboro Coliseum Complex
03/18 Nashville, TN - Bridgestone Arena
03/27 St. Louis, MO - Scottrade Center
03/28 Kansas City, MO - Sprint Center
03/31 Wichita, KS - INTRUST Bank Arena


KORN Kicks Off American Launch Of 'Rock Science' Mobile Game:



"The KORN/Rock Science mobile game release is a direct-to-fan competition where millions of fans can participate in an instant.  It is a huge achievement for us and the worldwide rock community as a whole. And this is just the beginning!" -Jorge Bravo (CEO at Nuday Games)


METALLICA's LARS ULRICH Is 'Immensely' Inspired By U2's 'Attempt To Reinvent The Wheel':

"It's 2014 and anybody who thinks outside the box, or attempts in any way, shape or form, to break the status quo in the world of music, should be applauded.  To me, it's not about whether the endeavor is a success or not. It's the fact that they have the balls and the foresight to throw something this radical at all of us.  We are embedded in our creative process right now and this type of attempt to reinvent the wheel inspires me immensely." -Ulrich


ART OF DYING SIGN TO ELEVEN SEVEN MUSIC AND SECRETLY FINISH NEW ALBUM:

"It's been a busy year for Art of Dying as we've inked a deal with Eleven Seven Music, (Motley Crue, Five Finger Death Punch, Papa Roach, Escape The Fate) and finished our new record with David Bendeth (Bring Me The Horizon, Breaking Benjamin, Of Mice & Men) in New Jersey completely under the radar."


Within The Ruins & Texas In July Set For November Canadian (& US) Tour:

11/09 Des Moines, IA – Vaudeville Mews
11/11 Billings, MT – Babcock theater
11/12 Missoula, MT – Zaac
11/14 Calgary, AB – Nite Owl
11/15 Edmonton, AB – The Armoury
11/16 Regina, SK – The Exchange
11/17 Winnipeg, MB – The Zoo
11/18 Thunder Bay, ON – Crock’s
11/20 Sudbury, ON – The Townehouse
11/22 Toronto, ON – Sneaky Dee’s
11/23 Montreal, QC – Underworld
11/24 Quebec City, QC – La Source
11/25 Trois-Rivieres, QC – Rock Cafe Le Stage
11/26 Ottawa, ON – Mavericks


Cradle of Filth To Enter Studio In November:

"CRADLE OF FILTH, who are about to head off to the wilds of Russia for an extensive tour crusade throughout Rocktober (see dates elsewhere on this page), confirm November 24th as the date they will be entering the studio to start recording their new album, with a release date tentatively etched for the beginning of June 2015 e.h under the raw working title of 'Hammer Of The Witches'."


Ozzy Osbourne Launches Ozzfiesta (a Five Day Festival at a Mexican Resort):

"Tickets for Ozzfiesta go on sale Friday, October 17 at 10 EST at www.ozzfiesta.com. And if you assumed that a festival taking place at a five-star resort wouldn’t be cheap, then you assumed right, with ticket prices starting at $1,899 per adult, $499 for children (4-17) and $100 for toddlers (newborn-3). The first 500 rooms sold, though include a meet and greet with Ozzy.  While it’s definitely pretty pricy, it also sounds like it could be a pretty fun getaway for the same reasons why Motorboat sounded like a blast. Plus, there’s probably still a lot more bands to be announced, so this could be the perfect vacation getaway for metal heads (who aren’t really into cruises)."


Ministry Planning New North American Tour:

"North American Tour Dates 
Limited cities TBA stay tuned!
Toronto
NYC
Chicago 
Seattle 
San Francisco 
Los Angeles"


PHILIP ANSELMO Says SUPERJOINT RITUAL Reunion At 'Housecore Horror Film Festival' Will Be A 'One-Off':

"It is a one-off, a hundred percent, as of right now, man, It's something that we get asked about quite a bit, but, really, for us, if you look at the guys that are in the band, original members, it's really me and Jimmy [Bower, guitar], and, of course, we've got Kevin Bond coming in on guitar and whatnot. But, really, if you look at just Jimmy and me alone, we're gonna be crazy busy coming up in 2015 as well, and Jimmy with EYEHATEGOD and whatever obligations DOWN decides to take on. But I think the main focus of next year would be, maybe around summer time, is getting [to work on] that third [DOWN] EP. And other than that, man, I wanna write another solo record and produce some bands. So, [there will be] not as much touring for me next year."


KING DIAMOND Best-Of Collection Due In November:

"We went back to before all the remastering that was done on our stuff and got back to the original stuff and could tweak that. And you hear things that you… If you [got into the band] later on, you could only buy certain versions of the albums these days. And they don't all sound the way I would like [them] to sound. And now we got the chance to actually select the songs ourselves, me and Andy, and we worked on them hardcore with this new gear to get them as optimal as possible. And they sound very close to how they originally sounded. You will hear things you can't hear on the versions you can buy today."


Korn To Release Limited-Edition Photography Book To Celebrate Debut Album's 20th Anniversary:

"The members of Korn built an immortal bond back in 1994 the first time that Jonathan Davis, James “Munky” Shaffer, Reginald “Fieldy” Arvizu, and Brian “Head” Welch decided to make music as a unit. They shed blood, sweat, and tears in the studio and on stage, fashioning an undeniable, unsettling, and unique sound that would permanently alter the course of rock music. Over the past 20 years, there have been eleven seminal releases, two Grammy Awards, countless sold out shows, and 35 million albums sold worldwide.

The first Korn album was released on October 11, 1994. To celebrate the 20th anniversary, the band is releasing a limited-edition 300-page hard cover book including photos from the archives paired with brand new notes and commentary from the members. From the stage to the dressing room to the recording studio, you’ll have unlimited access to everything that went into the band’s career so far.

Without you, there would be no shows, albums or reason to get in a bus and do this. Now you have the chance to own a piece of the band’s history."




Former KORN Drummer DAVID SILVERIA Apologizes For Not Being Able To Take Part In 20th-Anniversary Tour:

"As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of our debut release, I can't believe it's been 20 long years.

I'm sorry to all of the fans that I couldn't be there on tour to celebrate the anniversary, but that's just the way it goes.

I can't tell you all how much I appreciate all of the support from the fans around the world. To you, I say thank you from the bottom of my heart. God bless you all." -Silveria


SEPULTURA - 'Relentless: Thirty Years Of Sepultura' Biography Due In December:

[The book] "tells the remarkable story of how Brazil's biggest musical act came to sell over 20 million albums worldwide. From their beginnings playing music that could have seen them arrested, through three decades of success, struggle and strife and including new details about members leaving, 'Relentless' uncovers the story of one of the world's most influential metal acts. Written with the support of the band, it is illustrated with over 70 photos, many from the band's personal archives, and most previously unseen."

For more information, visit SepulturaBook.com.

Music Video Roundup For October 17th, 2014

Going through my playlist at the end of a work week is like the toast to the weekend; especially when you have been gone away on vacation for the past week with no contact with the outside world.  YouTube playlists and subscriptions coming out my ears so sometimes it's rather hard to follow each upload unless doing a round up such as this.  I hope this will make the starting of your weekend energetic, whether you are going into work or escaping from it.

Apologies in advance for those who loathe my video articles but there are just too many great clips out there to ignore.  So if you do not have the bandwidth to watch this video, then too bad!  Hahaha just kidding.

So for the slower connections just load the article, go for a coffee/glass of water, return, play and enjoy!  This will surely be one of my playlists for the end of the work day and hopefully doesn't keep your eyes glued to the screen for too long.  Cheers and happy Friday!

**Please note that this week's round up was quite extensive and therefore did not have all the normal information posted below.  Please click on the hyperlinks of each video to find out more about the artist and album releases.**



Matty Mullins - By My Side:




Black Stone Cherry - Remember Me:



"Magic Mountain" was released on May 6th, 2014 via Roadrunner Records.


We Came As Romans - I Knew You Were Trouble (Taylor Swift Cover):



Punk Goes Pop, Vol. 6“ will be out November 17th, 2014 via Fearless Records.


Come The Dawn - My Body's Failing:



“Light Of The World“ was be released on Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 via Sumerian Records.


Devilment - Even Your Blood Group Rejects Me:



The debut album, “The Great And Secret Show”, will be released on Halloween (October 31st, 2014) via Nuclear Blast Records.


Mushroomhead - Out Of My Mind:



"The Righteous and the Butterfly" was released on May 13th, 2014 via Megaforce Records.


Mastodon - The Motherload:



"Once More Round The Sun" was released on June 24th, 2014 via Reprise Records.


BEAR - Mantiis:



"Noumenon" will hit stores on October 7th, 2014 via Basick Records.


The Acacia Strain - Cauterizer:



"Coma Witch" hit stores on October 14th, 2014 via Rise Records.


The Amity Affliction - The Weigh Down:



"Let The Ocean Take Me" was released on June 6th, 2014 via Roadrunner Records.


Ill Nino - I'm Not The Enemy:



Their latest album "Till Death, La Familia" was released on July 22nd, 2014 via Victory Records.


Starkill - Before Hope Fades:



"Virus of the Mind" was be released on October 14th, 2014 via Century Media Records.


Three Days Grace - I Am Machine (Lyric/Music Video):



"This record, we really wanted to go back to the raw, really aggressive, you know, sometimes rough around the edges and just bruteness," he said. "And that's kind of what's coming out and maybe it's a reflection of just where our heads have been at and the experiences that we've had." -Neil Sanderson


Norah Jones - Behind That Locked Door (George Harrison Cover):



Performed live on Conan's George Harrison week.


Coheed and Cambria - Welcome Home (Live on Guitar Center Sessions):



"An exclusive clip of Coheed and Cambria performing "Welcome Home" from Guitar Center Sessions."


Foo Fighters with Zac Brown - War Pigs (Live on David Letterman):




Gary Clark Jr - Don't Owe You A Thang (Live from Hyde Park):



Gary's latest album "Gary Clark Jr: Live" was released on September 23rd, 2014 via Warner Bros.


Big Boy Bloater - Fat Around The Heart (King 810 Cover):



Big Boy Floater was featured on the "TeamRock Radio‘s ‘Blues Show".


The Wild Feathers - Ceiling:



Live from the "Live Room Sessions" located in in East Nashville, TN.


The Wild Feathers - Hard Times:



Live from the "Live Room Sessions" located in in East Nashville, TN.


The Wild Feathers - Happy Again:



Live from the "Live Room Sessions" located in in East Nashville, TN.


Opeth - Voice Of Treason (Visualizer Clip):




Opeth - Elysian Woes (Visualizer Clip):



"Pale Communion" was released on August 25th, 2014 via Roadrunner Records.


Afroman - Because I Got High (Positive Remix):



Afroman released "Because I Got High" Positive Remix to support nationwide legalization of marijuana.

Review of the "Hell or High Wattage Tour" feat. Darkest Hour, Unearth, Carnifex, and more!

So last minute opportunity presented itself on Wednesday night ahd I just had to jump on it.  Sumerian Records was kind enough (thanks again Amanda & Sumerian) to slip me a photo and review pass for Darkest Hour's co-headlining tour titled "Hell or High Wattage Tour" alongside Unearth.  The tour also featured direct support from Carnifex, Origin, King Parrot, and Black Crown Initiate.  I, The Breather was having border issues so unfortunately they were not present for the Toronto stop of the tour.


So I want to start by apologizing to the opening acts that I did not get a chance to see.  I failed on a 'golden rule in music' in which you are to show up and support the opening bands even if it isn't your style of music.  So to BCI, King Parrot, and Origin, I apologize for my absence and support.  I managed to squeeze in as Origin was tearing down their gear off the stage.

I was hoping for a better turn out for the show but I also realize it was a later evening on a Wednesday night.  And even though we are supposed to rock n roll all night and party everyday, most people who go to the shows have day jobs that pay for these tickets.  So it's understandable that a Wednesday night show would not yield the same numbers as a Friday/Saturday night gig.  Nonetheless, the crowd made the place feel very full but also space to breathe and not smell everyone walking by (haha).

So I met up with some friends, grabbed a brew, set up my gear and picked out a nice little corner by the bar on the floor where I could stash my lenses and be able to move around.  And with good reason as Carnifex took the stage and set off quite the mosh pit.



Not being my typical style, I could still appreciate some guttural vocals and some sexy breakdowns.  Friends that I attended the show with were sporting their merch and joining in with the masses on a circle pit.  Good showing overall.  A little bit of a time delay (and what seemed to be an issue with the stage sound), Unearth were ready to unleash some aggression on the young spectators below.  To get this out of the way, I have never seen a bad Unearth show before.



After touring for many years and keeping the core sound relatively the same throughout their albums, I find they have great chemistry and rarely do I find them lacking anything.  So I say this with all tact and diligence...it was a wall of sound!  I don't think I'd be doing my job if I didn't call it like I see it.  Something was wonky about the "wall of sound".  Not looking to place blame on anyone (nor should I since it wasn't my show) but I had a hard time hearing the individual instruments.  I also walked around the venue a bit to see if it was my location but sadly it wasn't/.  So once small constructive criticism over 6-7 shows really isn't that bad.


The we have moved onto the finale of the evening.  Darkest Hour takes the stage after some delays from previous bands and sound check completed.  Ripping through their opening track "Wasteland" was hard for me to keep the camera steady.  I mean, how could you when they have Travis Orbin pounding the shit out of those kick drums in the background?!


But I had to remember that Sumerian gave me the opportunity and had to produce.  So steady as best we (aka myself) could and shoot!  The Opera House can be a hit and miss with the house lights, and for some reason a shitload of fog/smoke on the stage as if it's ambiance/mystic.  Makes for a great time, especially when members like John Henry can't sit still for 0.25 seconds before jumping around again.


But even though some fans from the show had dissipated, the guys started and finished off strong.  They jumped from album to album, hoping to cover some older material but also giving fans a taste of their new self-titled album (and first one on Sumerian Records).




Overall, I thought it was a great show with some great bands.  Ticket prices were running around $20-$25, so for six bands on the bill that's not a bad deal.  Hell, even if you only showed up for the co-headliners, that's a mere $10-$12.50 for an hour's worth of music.  Quite a deal if you ask me.  So in conclusion, the show was a success.  Be sure to check out more of these guys as they will surely return to the great white north!  Check out the rest of the photos over at AFGM's Facebook page!

Slipknot - .5: The Gray Chapter

So I am sure by now that most people reading this blog or other music websites have learned about a new Slipknot album will be arriving next week in stores.  There has been a lot of anticipation surrounding this album and so much has happened in the band since the previous effort ("All Hope Is Gone").  Band members have left, new members have entered, new imagery, new masks, new material, and still the same Slipknot core sound we love to hear from the opening note.

Since there is a lot of information to cover here, I thought to break it down into a few small categories...just in case I miss anything.


001: The Members

As mentioned above, we see a couple new members added to the group.  Those following Slipknot have known for some time now about the untimely death of bassist Paul Gray and his drug overdose (morphine and fentanyl) in 2010.  This has a very hard affect on the band as it took quite some time for them to come to terms with it, express their emotions, and pass their grieving phases.  This also served as motivation for the production of the new album.  The grayest of blue skies (no pun intended) can sometimes act as that extra 'umph' when searching for musical/lyrical inspiration.  Emotions (whether good or bad) drive the best work out of us.  Same goes for Slipknot.

"Despite his corporeal absence, Paul Gray is very much present and accounted for on this album, and not just in its title. Musically, the band’s new bassist and drummer are very clearly (and very capably) following the same thrusting rhythmic template that Gray forged with Jordison, but Gray is also quite clearly there in the lyrics, obliquely or otherwise." -Revolver

(Photo courtesy of Slipknot's Facebook Page)

"It was almost like getting to know each other again.  We were all kind of grieving in our own way and dealing with things in our own way. And knowing that we had to be healthy to go in – we had to be creative to go in – and knowing that we were gonna have to fill this huge void, we just kind of took it upon ourselves to make up for that emptiness by being a little bit of Paul. Like we were all a little bit of Paul in our own way." -Taylor

The new member's identities have been sheltered by the band thus far and not giving any indication who they have behind the bass and the drums.  As you all have probably read as well, long time member Joey Jordison exited the band in December of 2012.  While no bad blood has slipped onto the Internet yet surrounding the sudden exit, a fair amount of people have speculated a potential disagreement between Jordison and other members.  Either way, what happens between them as a band is their business and don;t necessarily care as long as the music quality is still there.  Feel free to make your own guesses as to whom the new members are.  The rest of the world is.


002: The Masks



Like most albums with Slipknot, new masks were introduced as the beginning of the promotion for the album.  It has become just as much of a marketing ploy as it is for a new chapter in the band's existence.  Fans will cling to their social media and music sites to catch a glimpse of what the guys will look like in both the album and on tour.  So smart move for them to make the revealing of masks to be a promotion POV.

"With every album, some of us kind of us stick the same way and change it in subtle ways.  People like me, Clown, Sid and a couple of others, we change ours drastically. Because, for me, the mask is a representation of the person on the inside, and nobody stays the same over time; that's my belief. So, for me, with every album, my mask has evolved and evolved and evolved, and so this one, specifically, is supposed to represent the person behind the mask, but then the person behind that person, which is one of the reasons why it's two pieces, and you can peel the one off, and it's still a representation… So it's almost like having two different faces, but it's the same person." -Taylor (via Blabbermouth)


003: The Album

As mentioned above, ".5: The Gray Chapter" will be released on October 21st, 2014 via Roadrunner Records.  Pre-orders for the album itself have been launched at Slipknot1.com.


1. XIX
2. Sarcastrophe
3. AOV
4. The Devil in I
5. Killpop
6. Skeptic
7. Lech
8. Goodbye
9. Nomadic
10. The One That Kills the Least
11. Custer
12. Be Prepared for Hell
13. The Negative One
14. If Rain Is What You Want
15. Override (Special Edition)
16. The Burden (Special Edition)

Early play and promo copies of the album clearly states who the producer and mixer are for this.  The album was mixed by Joe Barresi, who has done previous work with Tool, QOTSA, Clutch, Bad Religion, and many more.  Production duties were handled by Greg Fidelman, who has also done work with Metallica, Neil Diamond, Audioslave, Black Sabbath, and more.  And another piece of info to note is the photography for the album was done by 006 member Shawn "Clown" Crahan.


004: The Music

So I had the chance to listen to the album as a whole already and all I have to say is... WELCOME BACK!  I am already in love with this album and do agree with critics (and band members) that a cross between V3 and Iowa is the best way to describe this album.  It's hard hitting right from the get go with songs like "Sarcastrophe" and "The Devil in I".  I can't get enough of that double kicker when the chorus kicks in for "The Devil in I"!  So to fans who might be a little weary about new members and songwriting process, fear not as the Knot has returned for another round.  Check out some of the audio clips the band has shared thus far.






Loudwire: Which song on the new album ‘.5: The Gray Chapter’ was most difficult to get to completion and why?

"As far as from an emotional standpoint, the one for me that really rung my bell was the last song on the official album, a song called ‘If Rain Is What You Want.’ That song is really a reaction to the album that people expected us to make or thought that we were going to make. Anyone who’s dealt with the kind of loss that we’ve dealt with realizes that there’s no one side to this story. There are so many different sides to it that enable you to be able to tell it honestly. You have to come at it from all these different sides and talk about some of the ugliness of losing a loved one. So, ‘If Rain Is What You Want’ is really a response and an opening up. You talk about catharsis, it was a way to let go of a lot of what we were sitting on as far as trying to get to the point where we could, I don’t want to say cry about it, but just make amends with it, really. That song is really special for that. It’s got some of my favorite lyrics in it." -Taylor (via Loudwire)







005: The Videos

For the direction of the second video, "The Devil And I" ,Slipknot threw out a casting call for fans (also known as "human maggots") to be featured in said video.  The only requirements for the video were ages 20-35 and shooting the video barefooted.  Not that bad right?  Plus, you get to be in a freaking SLIPKNOT MUSIC VIDEO!!



"After everything we went through, there's a catharsis that comes with this, being able to throw all the emotion and aggression out that we've been holding onto. At the same time, getting to be creative again. Feeling that juice coming back into us. It's been a real positive experience just from an artistic standpoint, a lyrical standpoint.

We're making an album that's not just a reflection. Let's just get new music out there. There's something very vital with what we're trying to do. There's something very visceral with the emotion we're playing with and trying to tell the story of a band that's gone through hell, and yet we're back. It's been really fulfilling." -Taylor (via Blabbermouth and Full Metal Jackie)



"The Negative One" (*NSFW) was directed by 006 member Shawn "Clown" Crahan.  It features some rather disturbing imagery and does not feature any band members in the video, making it rather artistic than anything else.  In order to watch the video (at least from YouTube and not AFGM) you must be at least 18+.  I don't attempt to assume my target audience's age while posting these so use common sense folks.


006: The Tour

The touring aspect of this album will begin with a huge bang.  Slipknot have forged together a music festival unlike any other on the globe currently.  And with good reason as they are a band unlike any other (unless you cynics want to argue other metal bands that wears masks).  Knotfest kicked off in 2012 in Council Bluffs, Iowa on August 17th, and in Somerset, Wisconsin on August 18th.  Headliners included bands such as Deftones, Lamb of God, Cannibal Corpse, and many more.  Since then, it has grown into quite the 2 day festival with headlining acts (for the 2014 edition) such as Danzig, Anthrax, Black Label Society, Hatebreed, Testament, Carcass, In This Moment, Fear Factory, Otep, and [of course] Slipknot for two days!

(Photo courtesy of Slipknot's Facebook Page)

Loudwire: The touring cycle for the new album kicks off with Knotfest and the lineup this year is amazing. How much is the band involved in choosing what bands to book? What criteria makes a band best suited for Knotfest?

"We were very, very involved in putting this package together. The cool thing was, there was absolutely no lack of bands that were lined up to be a part of it. That was lucky for us. We were given a list of bands who were available and we went through and picked the ones that we wanted to put something together with. Then as soon as word got out that we were putting something together, we had all these bands coming out of the woodwork that wanted to be a part of this. It was the best of both worlds for us.

At the same time, it’s also a testament to the fact that we’ve been able to create something now that when we put our name on it, people understand that this isn’t something that’s put together just for show. This is quality. This is for the fans, something special, unique and it’s something that we’re always going to try and top ourselves. When bands see that we’re putting something like that together, one of the reasons why they want to be a part of it is because they know we treat it very special. We treat it in a way that maybe not a lot of other bands treat the things that they put their own name on." -Taylor (via Loudwire)



After the 2 day Knotfest, fans around the continent will be treated to a worldwide tour with Korn and King 810 as direct support for the events.  Dates are listed below and tickets are on sale now.  So what are you waiting for!?  Join the guys in celebrating their new album and a wicked good time in the process!  More information will be posted as it comes in.  I think the only thing left to mention is the absence of Canadian touring dates.  Let's hope more will be added in the new year.

October 25 - San Bernardino, CA @ Knotfest
October 26 - San Bernardino, CA @ Knotfest
October 29 - El Paso, TX @ El Paso County Coliseum
October 31 - Dallas, TX @ Gexa Energy Pavilion
November 1 - Corpus Christi, TX @ American Bank Center
November 2 - San Antonio, TX @ AT&T Center
November 4 - Little Rock, AR @ Verizon Arena
November 5 - Oklahoma City, OK @ Chesapeake Energy Arena
November 6 - Omaha, NE @ CenturyLink Center
November 8 - Madison, WI @ Alliant Energy Center
November 9 - Sioux Falls, SD @ Denny Sanford Premiere Center
November 11 - Denver, CO @ Denver Coliseum
November 19 - Baltimore, MD @ Baltimore Arena
November 21 - Nashville, TN @ Bridgestone Arena
November 22 - Lexington, KY @ Rupp Arena
November 23 - Ft. Wayne, IN @ Allen County War Memorial Coliseum
November 25 - Moline, IL @ iWireless Center
November 26 - Kansas City, MO @ Sprint Center
November 28 - Rosemont, IL @ Allstate Arena
November 29 - Detroit, MI @ Palace of Auburn Hills
November 30 - Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Centre
December 2 - Reading, PA @ Santander Arena
December 3 - Camden, NJ @ Susquehanna Bank Center
December 5 - Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun
December 6 - East Rutherford, NJ @ Izod Center
December 7 - Boston, MA @ Paul E. Tsongas Arena

(Photo courtesy of Slipknot's Facebook Page)

Random Music Quotes: Green

"I think it's great to grab people's attention when you take things out of context or try to creat some type of flow [and generate] controversy. I think the negative energy can go both ways. It can also backfire in your face if you're putting out that negative energy. And I feel that happens most of the time, if not all the time. When you're out there and you're just putting so much crap or shit out there, as far as talking and blah blah blah, then it's definitely gonna come back to hit you in the face. I think, in a way, people believe a lot of things that are being said that are completely ridiculous. It happens in everything, not only in music, but just in media itself, as far as mainstream media.

(Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

People see it and they go, 'Oh, I believe that, totally,' And it's just not true. Unfortunately, that can have an effect on us, and it has, I think, in the past in certain ways. But at the same time, I remember being young and just 100 percent into hardcore and just, like, 'I don't like any other styles of music.' It was hard for me to open up. I remember, I was at a point where I was talking shit about a band, a local band from Cleveland, or at least someone in the band, and the shit got back to me. It was, really, walking down the street and I saw the dude, and it was just, like, 'Pop!' Like, right in the face. [Laughs] I was, like, 'OK, I'm on the ground now. I should probably just keep my mouth shut.' And I learned a lesson from that. I was, like, 14 or something, 15, and I was just, like, man, you have to be really cautious with what you say, 'cause it can really come back when you least expect it." -Derrick Green

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Listen Like a Canadian

OK I wanted to talk a little bit about this new app that Spotify has launched for it's Canadian users.  The timing of this couldn't have been more perfect.  Not only did Spotify launch in Canada last week, but it's also on the tails of a very controversial CRTC debacle with Netflix.

Without having to dive into that issue too much, the long and short of it was the CRTC's commitment to showcasing Canadian content with an international company such as Netflix.  Netflix responded with a simple ideology that customers dictate what content is featured and not at the direction of a body of government.  The issue is still ongoing but this "Listen Like a Canadian" is more than what I think Canadians bargained for.


So what the app/website does essentially is catalog ALL artists in Spotify (I would assume the artists are all available on Spotify).  "Listen Like a Canadian" wants you to engage in Canadian bands and to let the world know that there is TONS of Canadian artists very similar to the ones abroad.  So I decided to test the theory and see if I could stump this "Canadify" search.  Here is what I got.

First search: Rammstein (Germany)

Top results were: Kittie, Strapping Young Lad, Skinny Puppy, and Nickelback (?)



Second search: Vintage Trouble (USA)

Top results were: Patrick Lehman, Anthony Gomes, Colin James, and Jeff Healey



Third search: Bjork (Iceland)

Top results were: Esthero, Elsiane, Feist, and Peaches



Forth search: Descend (Sweden)

Top results were: Aeternam, First Reign, Karkaos, and Quo Vadis.



And just to add another variable to this, I added a Canadian artist to the search to see what I would get.  I was quite impressed the amount of Canadian content this website/app could generate!  I even loved the result display of "Woah!  Alanis Morissette is already Canadian."

Fifth search: Alanis Morissette

Top results were: Alanis Morissette, Sarah McLachlan, Avril Lavigne, and Chantal Kreviazuk.



So give it a shot and try and stump the website/app.  I'm sure you can think of many names that are far more obscure than the ones I put into the search engine.  Let's see some of the results from your choices!

Glen Campbell's Not Gonna Miss You

Alzheimer’s disease is expected to affect one in eighty five people by the year 2050.  It hits families more often and closer than you would expect.  I think it's safe to say that someone in our lives (whether family of friend) has battled with this disease or we at least know someone with this crippling condition.  Symptoms can include confusion, irritability, aggression, mood swings, trouble with language barriers, and more.  It is something that can even affect the most basic of needs such as eating, drinking, washing, and doing daily errands.

Now can you imagine not being able to recognize your own art you created?   Can you imagine waking up one day and not remembering your own song on the radio?  Or that famous chord progression you've been playing for the past 20 years?  Or a chorus of a song you created that now has no meaning?  That is exactly what is happening to music legend Glen Campbell.

Now at age 78, Campbell has been performing and writing for well over 50 years, releasing more than 70 albums in his catalog.  After hearing of his diagnosis in June of 2011, Glen wanted to end his music career on a high note with all his memories in tact.  The "Goodbye Tour" was announced shortly after with his three children joining him in his back up band.  His final show was on November 30th, 2012 in Napa, California.

So the last salute that Campbell gave back to his fans was the October 7th release of "I'm Not Gonna Miss You" music video.  Check it out and try to understand how hard it must be for someone to forcefully give up their true passion in life.  I know I'd get a little teary if I was forced into a similar predicament.



Glen has now been moved into a long term care facility for those diagnosed for Alzheimer's disease.  While the disease is hard to predict and even harder to cure, I'd like to focus on the optimism of this situation by highlighting Glen's track record.  The man has sold 45+ million albums worldwide, 12 RIAA gold albums, 4 platinum albums, 1 double-platinum album, an induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame, and more than 80+ songs across the Billboard charts.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Music Releases For October 14th, 2014

So many albums, so little time.  Trying to make the best of a short week here in Canada, it will be both exciting and draining to sit through all these album releases happening this week.  I have to admit there are a few on this list I might hold off till the end (coughifwehavetimecough) such as U2, Melvins, Starkill, etc.  Not knocking their talent or the album as a whole (if it wasn't good enough it wouldn't be on AFGM), just a few front runners that I have had my attention on such as Acacia Strain, Exodus, Scar Symmetry, Sammy Hagar, and Grinder Blues!  Woo hoo!

Speaking of Sammy's new album, I was really delighted to hear the stripped down material that he has been working on with Vic Johnson.

"I realize that when I played my songs acoustically, it made me sing different. It brought a new light to the lyrics that I’d written throughout my career.  It was just me and Vic live in the studio with no overdubs.  Just two guitars, sometimes one guitar, sometimes just one voice, sometimes two voices." -Hagar

Exodus welcomed Steve "Zetro" Souza back to the fold for the new Exodus album.  Kind of a bummer for Rob Dukes since he has been fronting the band for quite some time now.  But old relationships and best selling albums can sometimes take the forefront on that subject.  So in short, sad to see Rob go but looking forward to what Steve can bring to the table.

The Acacia Strain taking a fair amount of the hype for this week's releases as they enter into their seventh studio album "Coma Witch" which brings the deathcore pioneers back into the spotlight.  While some reviews have been less than admirable, I have to agree with New Transcendence with their unique review.  Fit For A King and Starkill are also high on the radar for rockers as well, with some solid efforts of their own.

So the usual reminder folks.  Whether it's their first or fifteenth album, bands need funds to keep playing music for us all.  So be a doll and head to a local record store for a double win!  If ordering from the couch is your choice, then get it from a solid online retailer.  If you are an anti-hoarder, then stick with the digital streams and sales.  Cheers and have a great week with new music!

(U2 - Songs of Innocence)

Songs of Innocence is a curious album. Not because of the music but because it will probably be remembered as the album 500 million people complained about and then deleted. If U2 had released it normally it may have received better reviews (it’s the best thing they’ve done since How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb maybe even Zooropa) but it wouldn’t have made the same waves in the music press either. Maybe the gamble was worth it. It’s been downloaded roughly 26 million times (around 5% of the people able to) which makes it a huge success. But I can’t help shaking the feeling it’s tarnished; a very, very good album by one of the great rock bands has been deleted by more people than will ever listen to it. -The Sound Bot

(Grinder Blues - Grinder Blues)

The name of this band is perfect as the trio channel their Mississippi Delta and Chicago Blues influences like Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf and others, but ‘Grinder Blues’ adds a heavy dose of distortion to their groove, and there is plenty of groove going on here. Jabo Bihlman’s guitar playing is a deadly combination of Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn, whilst his little brother punishes his drums with a jazz mixture of Billy Cox. Then there is Pinnick throwing out his spitfire bone-rattling bass lines deep in the pocket to bring it all together. -Innocent Words

(Sammy Hagar with Vic Johnson - Lite Roast: Acoustically Brewed)

Sammy tips his hand by calling his acoustic album Lite Roast, the very title suggesting that these low-key renditions of old tunes are designed for smooth consumption at a coffeehouse. And he's not wrong! Strumming a 12-string while accompanied by Wabos guitarist Vic Johnson, Hagar approximates the kind of intimate atmosphere that can be found anywhere there's an open mike. It has to be said the Red Rocker -- who, like Johnson, is clad all in white on the album cover -- knows how to modulate his charm, toning his inherent hamminess down a notch or ten, preferring to slyly slide into a phrase instead of singing to the rafters. -All Music

(Bob Seger - Ride Out)

The strange thing is how young and vital Seger sounds. In both energy and focus, “Ride Out” far outpaces Seger’s last album, “Face the Promise.” Though his new music will hardly upstage his classic work, it’s a more likable and open effort than anything Seger has produced in two decades.

He penned all the ballads, the most beautiful of which, “All of the Roads,” finds him assessing life with some apologies and shudders, but without conclusions.

For all his autumnal perspective, it’s clear Seger isn’t about to book a bed in the nursing home just yet. In the title track, he vows to “ride out to a bold horizon/where the sun may be shining/on a place you’ve never seen.” -NY Daily News

(The Melvins - Hold It In)

History and experience state that most people’s fandom only extends as far as MTV or Rolling Stones or their favorite local program-director controlled DJ point them; and, most people who claim to be fans of Nirvana are never pointed in the direction of the blistering and trail-blazing Melvins.

To be fair and up front, I’m not sure if people who graduated from high school in the early 90s are allowed by law to dislike a Melvins’ album. That aside, Hold It In is definitely an album that will make it into my frequent playlist; a claim that the vast majority of albums released this year cannot make. -Bearded Gentlemen Music

(KMFDM - Our Time Will Come)

That quintessential sound was waiting for a quintessential band like KMFDM, and as the title cut here croons, "You can't kill, what won't die", although a couple slower numbers here don't thrill, and the calm, kitsch disco that's been flirted with for a while now still seems better suited for My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult. Get past those minor complaints and Our Time Will Come feels as if the band handed out post-concert comment cards and were truly inspired by all the excellent advice handed back. Respekt. -All Music


(Sanctuary - The Year The Sun Died)

Sanctuary was one of the more promising power/thrash metal bands in the late 80′s and early 90′s but because of creative difference, they disbanded in 1992 having released only two albums.

If Sanctuary had never broken up and kept the same style over the years, this album would not have worked at all.  However, with such a long hiatus, you would expect a band to have at least a bit of a rebirth.  Sanctuary’s latest effort is a solid heavy metal album with excellent riffs, well crafted solos and different, yet sneakily good, vocals.  The Year The Sun Died may not have you jumping out of your seat in the way you may have hoped but it definitely should not disappoint. -Metal Descent


(Gideon - Calloused)

The problem occurs when listening to the whole album. Every time the clean vocals come out of hiding, they are accompanied by what sounds like every other band member singing or screaming behind him, essentially creating entire choruses of gang vocals. Maybe they weren't confident enough with the quality of the singing, but this happens every single time (except for one time in "The Limit" when the vocals are accompanied only by fade/echo effects). It gets very old quickly.

Musically, Gideon could have (and have) done better, but considering the target demographic and the wholesome lyrics, all their young fans may just want another big mouthful of knobs to chew on. -Jesus Freak Hideout


(Scar Symmetry - The Singularity: Phase 1 Neohumanity)

Whether you are a long time Scar Symmetry fan or a newcomer, this is a band that unites all with a broad brush that covers many styles with such brilliant craftsmanship. In the world of Scar Symmetry, there are the fans that cannot get over the departure of Christian Alvestam (Solution .45), when the band decided to split his clean/growl vocals into two distinct vocalists: the smooth clean style of Lars Palmqvist and the harsh guttural utterings of Roberth Karlsson.

Scar Symmetry has taken its own history and remolded it better with a nod to all those elements to make the most memorable and astonishing masterpiece I have heard in the band's 10 year history. With the first in the trilogy concept series a smashing success that should grab the attention of a large swath of open minded fans, the band has its work cut out to make “The Singularity, Phase II” live up to this monument. -Metal Underground


(Exodus - Blood In Blood Out)

While it's easy to empathize with Rob Dukes' predicament, the result of "Blood In, Blood Out" is an overwhelming success. This band is more recharged even than when pulling together "Shovel Headed Kill Machine" in 2005 and Steve "Zetro" Souza has plenty to do with it. The rest is left to some ingenious songwriting, punishing thrash and an old school refusal to die.

This is one of EXODUS' finest outputs in their three-plus decades as a band and it deserves to become one of the toast albums of 2014. The cruddy circumstances leading up to it put aside, "Blood In, Blood Out" far exceeds what the fans could've wanted from it. Pared down to a simple sentence, this album is fucking sick. -Blabbermouth

(The Acacia Strain - Coma Witch)

Borrowing elements from Death is the Only Mortal’s stellar fretwork, and relying heavily on Continent-era brute force and brutality, Coma Witch is the band’s most solid and immersive instrumental offering yet—beginning, as always, with their stellar percussive element.

Coma Witch has ended the you you’d held in such high regard. The Acacia Strain do the same thing for heavy and hard-hitting deathcore. Coma Witch is the band’s figurative megatron, a sum of their best parts to a create a towering, discography-defining juggernaut. It is not simply enough to fear it—it must also be respected. -New Transcendence

(Fit For A King - Slave To Nothing)

Fit For A King‘s Slave To Nothing is impressive, a step forward for the band while retaining enough old sound to appeal to fans familiar with their history. The Will Putney (Suicide Silence, Miss May I) assisted production is perfect for the band. I would kill to work with Will and the band are obviously relishing their collaboration. Solid State Records is matching their greatest releases with this. It certainly is up to par with Demon Hunter’s best, with a display of soaring melody plus a whiplash groove to please fans looking to fill the Chimaira or God Forbid voids as well. -Metal Riot

(Starkill - Virus of the Mind)

STARKILL's second album is near flawless but even if it was made to be absolutely perfect it wouldn't have STARKILL's unique edge within the music. Parker, Shaun, Tony and Spencer have made an album which could change the face of modern metal today, these guys deserve huge success due to how talented they all are on their selected instruments. "Virus Of The Mind'' will be in every melodic death metal fans Top 10 albums of the year without a doubt. -Metal Temple