Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Creative Writing Inspired by Benediction's Transcend the Rubicon

Click to get a better look at my inspiration.
Sometimes I just let my mind run wild. The creative writing class I am currently enrolled in seemed like a great excuse to craft a story from one of my favorite album covers, Benediction's Transcend the Rubicon. No doubt my professor will think I am totally nuts when he reads my story, but I am fairly happy with the final product that oozes imagery and hopefully lands me good marks. On second thought, he is a pretty enthusiastic guy about anything imaginative, so this will likely be right up his alley. In any case, let your mind wander like I did, and enjoy the concoction that is my brain.

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Following a river, I hiked through the murky, hazy depths of the lost city assigned as an exploration site for my current archeology project. The area looked somewhat familiar with its sinister, idolized structures looming over each step I took, but I pressed onward, despite the fact that I was uncertain of where I was going. Glancing at my map, my path would supposedly twist, cross, and turn around a plethora of buildings--as a bridge was my final destination--but the labyrinth-like trail grew more and more confusing the further I made my way into the forgotten metropolis. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Metal Advisor Interviews Mike Roberts of Bleed the Freaks


Looks like you guys have some pretty big names in your band--how did Mike (ex-Misery) and Will (ex-an earlier incarnation of Cannibal Corpse) meet? Or, rather, did the band's formation require a collective effort from all its members? To be honest, it seems like there is a great mixture of guys in this band.

Mike: Well, Jamey and I were in Misery together. We had that band for a few years and it ran its course. After kids and some family losses, we started to put the pieces back together. We found a drummer and started writing the material that is on the album. We needed a vocalist, so we reached out on Craigslist and found Will Rule, who was reluctant to play in any band, but the chemistry really felt right.  The last piece of the puzzle was finding a lead guitarist. We did the Craigslist thing again, thinking we were listing it in San Francisco, but, by accident, we posted it in the Sacramento listings, which happens to be were Zak is at.  He saw the add, checked out some songs, and contacted us the next day. Now here we are!

Has the Bay Area been receptive of Bleed the Freaks? In other words, do you see both old and new metalheads come out to your shows?

Mike: Yes, for the most part it has been great. The Bay Area, as you know, has a huge history for metal, and there is a good vibe with all the bands. We see new fans and some old school fans appreciate our music, so it’s cool.  Our band has a lot of different elements to it. There are some thrash parts, a lot of groove, and a lot of hard rock influences, so there’s a lot for everybody to take in. Overall, it is a good response from everybody.

Your first record, All is Lost, was unleashed last April. Did you have any trouble promoting the record or did you have reasonable success?

Mike: It is all about advertising and getting your music in the right places. We did a couple radio promos that helped, and now we are working hard to get reviews and interviews going. It’s a steady process and a lot of work, but we are gaining momentum. There are a lot of bands out there competing for space in the magazines, so we are very thankful to guys like you for giving us a shot.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Katalepsy - Autopsychosis (2013)

Like a firm punch in the gut, Katalepsy return for the first time in nearly six years with their second full-length, Autopsychosis. For a band that was once rooted in garden variety slam death metal, these Russians make their first foray into the brutal realms of the subgenre, punishing with each riff and stringing together line-after-line of distorted textures. Naturally, the act has opted not to drop their lyrical adaptation of a horror movie's gory imagery, but nonetheless remain a better band, delivering each guttural with finesse and relatively clear, semi-discernible lyrics. The end result is a stab at a coherent product however imperfect it may appear at the seams and kicks 2013 off to a good start--both for death metal and metal in general.

Autopsychosis settles at the top of the heap for January because the way in which the album links changes in tempo and riffs is fascinating, not only from an aural standpoint, but from that of a composer. Brutal death metal tends to gravitate toward assault through a wall of sound, but Katalespy's music has an emotional side as well, providing ups and downs and occasional dynamic change for its 40-minute duration. Compared with the typical band out to destroy eardrums and take no prisoners, the five-piece's compositional skills are a fair bit better, no to mention progressive in nature and polished in songwriting.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Metal Advisor Interviews Steve Zetro Souza


Not only is Steve Zetro Souza highly in touch with the modern metal scene--he's part of it. Hatriot marks Zetro's full-time return to a band since his departure from Exodus--certainly a reason to rejoice for metalheads worldwide--and a crushing new album that drops later this week. Steve gives The Metal Advisor the scoop on all things Hatriot, as well as his rejuvenated attitude toward metal and music in general. 

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Hatriot currently has one demo recorded. What’s next on the horizon? I hear you have a full-length around the corner…

Zetro: The full-length comes out Friday, January 25th! You can get the single called "Heroes of Origin" on iTunes and Amazon now. 

I haven’t had a chance to hear it yet!

Zetro: Oh, really?! I thought maybe Massacre had sent it to you. So far I have been doing interviews with people that have heard it already. Metal Forces, Metal Hammer, Rock Hard Germany have given it 10/10, 5/5, 6/6—they just said brilliant, amazing. All top honors. I was surprised.

Rock Hard gave it album of the month for January, and it’s not even out yet. They were just blown away by it. The demo is a really, really good depiction of what we’re doing and what we’re about, but the album and the newer songs are better! There are three songs from the demo, plus the video “Blood Stained Wings” that we rerecorded on the new record. We didn’t use “The Fear Within.” We might put that on the second album, but we used “Globacidal,” “The Mechanics of Annihilation,” “Weapons of Class Destruction.” I love all of those songs, but, honestly, Adam, they’re not even the strong ones on the record. Not even. The rest of the album is way more brutal, way more in your face, way more thrashy. Both Kosta and Miguel just shred on this album.

I already let Phil Demmel from Machine Head hear the album because we live in the same town and our history goes back together. I made him a copy last week and said, “I want to know what you think of it.” He came back to me three days later and was like, “It’s brilliant. It’s awesome. It’s unbelievable. You know what? My friends always give me their records and three, four, five songs into it I’m kinda tired of it, but I never got tired of it all the way through the 10 songs. Every song is really killer. You did a great job, and the world is gonna love it.” 

I can’t even tell you how stoked I am to hear this.

Zetro: You’re gonna die. I’m telling you, if you’re a thrash head, if you’ve liked anything I’ve done—this is the wrap on the people that have heard it: they said this is what Exodus should have sounded like after Tempo of the Damned. And I agree with that in some cases, but I think the album has so many other influences on it. I mean, you know, there’s Slayer in there, there’s Megadeth in there, there’s Metallica in there. Kosta, the guy that writes all of the rhythms and the riffs—I write all the lyrics and he writes the music—is 24 years old. He’s a school kid from this stuff! He’s quite well-versed in what Gary Holt and Eric Peterson have done and what Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King have done. And Dave Mustaine and Scott Ian and Mille and Chuck Schuldiner and everybody else in metal! He loves all of that stuff!

Before we even started Hatriot, I spent a three-week question and answer session with this kid just so he knew what the fuck he was talking about because I wasn’t going to start a band with some kid that didn’t know where he was going. I listened to his rhythms beforehand, and I wanted to know what was in his head. He was just solid all the way through.