All posts by Pidgeon

Devin Townsend Offers Update on Ziltoid 2 and DTP

Devin Townsend gave fans an update on Ziltoid and The Devin Townsend Project via his Facebook page, giving a tracklisting and an idea of the concept saying:

 “Yeeessssss! Z2 is starting to come together! The theme of the double album is Ziltoid versus the DTP, with both getting their own album.”

It is certainly an interesting concept bringing the 2 projects together. Ziltoid was regarded by Townsend as his first true foray into being a solo artist, with him doing the all the music, programming, and mixing himself. Townsend says that there will be a surprising lack of Ziltoid himself appearing on the album. It also appears that Devin will not be entirely alone this time around as the he has stated via Metalsucks.net that  the album will include “real drums, orchestra, choirs etc…”

Since Ziltoid 2 has been greatly discussed; but seemed to be put on the back burner for the Devin Townsend Project, it appears fans will finally get what they’ve been waiting for.

But wait there’s more! Casualties of Cool is also set for May with Ghost 2 being included in the special edition. So this is sure to be a great year for Devin Townsend fans. There’s no doubt that the man is a music making machine and this year will certainly prove just that.

Ziltoid Tracklist:

Z2
Ziltoidian Overture
From Sleep Awake
Deathray
War Princess
March Of The Poozers
Silent Militia
EARTH
Ziltoid Goes Home
Dimension Z

DTP Tracklist:

Rejoice
Fallout
Warrior Way
Midnight Sun
Loud
-Untitled-
-Untitled-
Offer Your Light
Rain City
Farther On

Album Review: Animals as Leaders – The Joy of Motion

In this current generation of music is it well agreed upon that the soul of a record can easily be drowned out by technology or even technicality. It’s so easy for a band to over polish their work. Sure Joy of Motion may have a really polished sound, but have by no means has it lost it’s soul. Animals as Leaders dive in and out of genres seamlessly.  From Post Rock to Progressive Metal (or Djent, if you must) to even letting Tosin Abasi’s strong jazz influence come through. They bring genres together without forcing it. These guys know how to make a 180 without making you feel like you’ve just been slapped in the face. What is a really heavy will just as soon drop you off in the middle of nowhere. These guys aren’t just out to showcase their technical ability. We already know the guys can shred. Normally when you have a band that is this proficient at playing that’s what they put in the spotlight. But how far can technicality creatively take you? What the band have done so well, including here on The Joy of Motion, is not try to wow you with their skills. They let the atmosphere take that weight and boy does it hold up.

I tend to worry about an album that proceeds something mind blowing. How can these guys possibly follow up something like WeightlessThe Joy of Motion, if nothing else, is a formidable force. Tracks like Lippincott take you to an erratic place, somewhere at the dawn of time. Another Year is almost pure jazz. It’s very light and doesn’t see as much of the heavy tone. Tooth and Claw is the antithesis of that and starts off with a crunchy riff and slows back down. But don’t lull off, because it ends with a punch. Crescent starts off almost as something that you would hear from a classic video game. This track is one of the best as far as setting a certain atmosphere.  Para Mexer really caught me off guard with it’s use of Spanish guitar. It has this dirty dancing feel to it. The album closes on a more classic Animals sound with the stellar Nephele. Rounding out what was quite the experience.  When it’s over you feel satisfied. It doesn’t leave you wanting more or wishing you had time back.  This album felt right, it feels like another notch in the belt of heavy metal.  Today it’s horizons widened that much more.

What the band have done here is take a logical step forward. They didn’t make any giant leaps nor did they stay in one place, which is especially easily done in this genre. It steps out of the prog metal genre more than ever which makes it an intriguing listen.  But this also leads me to the one thing leaves this album just short of weightless. It’s not any sort flaw with the album per say, but maybe my ear just isn’t quite tuned to jazz. Maybe my pallet just isn’t quite that eclectic. But that’s not so much a flaw in the album, if you’re into that kind of thing then this album just might be a 10/10 for you. If it’s not your thing then there’s still plenty of classic Animals as Leaders here to chew on. The band have presented a challenge here though. Not unenjoyable, but it might take one or two listens to get. I think The Joy of Motion will see some of the heavy metal guys jump ship. Which isn’t a bad thing, it just means the band has pushed the envelope. It is the mark of a great creative endeavor. For this I commend these guys on great work of art.

Arch Enemy Vocalist Angela Glassow Steps Down, Replacement Announced.

In shocking news, beloved Arch Enemy vocalist Angela Glassow announced that she is stepping down as the band’s frontwoman and that The Agonist’s Alissa White-Gluz will be taking her place. Gluz will make her debut on the band’s upcoming record War Eternal. The split appears to be amicable as Angela made a statement on the band’s facebook page saying that she will remain as the band’s business manager and  gave her reasons for her leaving:

“Dear ARCH ENEMY fans, this is not easy to tell you…I have decided to step down from being ARCH ENEMY’s voice of anger. After 13 years of pure fucking metal, 6 studio albums and countless tours through five continents, I feel the need to enter a different phase in my life, be with my family and pursue other interests. I will however remain business manager for ARCH ENEMY, and I will continue to develop my artist management roster.

I am staying true to my heavy metal roots, just leaving the spotlight so to speak. I am passing the torch to the super talented Alissa White-Gluz, whom I’ve known as a dear friend and a superb vocalist for many years. I always thought she deserved a chance to shine – and now she’s getting it. Just like I got that chance back in 2001.

I want to thank all ARCH ENEMY fans, our labels Century Media (worldwide) and Trooper Entertainment (Japan), our dedicated road crew, and in particular Michael, Daniel and Sharlee for their love and support throughout all these years. It’s been one hell of a ride! We conquered every situation, made it through thick & thin together in the most exciting and rewarding time of my life. Thank you all for being there with me on stage, in front of the stage, and backstage. You have touched my heart, and I hope I was able to give something back to you. I am grateful for the wonderful memories – I will cherish them forever!

I am looking forward to the next decade of ARCH ENEMY madness! Right now I am listening through rough mixes of the new studio album and I am blown away! 2014 will see a renewed ARCH ENEMY at the top of their game. I am proud to be part of this ARCH ENEMY chapter, albeit in a different way – revving up the engines behind the scenes. I hope to see you in front of the stage, I will join you there this time. Let the killing begin, once again!”

As well, the band’s new frontwoman, Alissa White-Gluz, had this to say about becoming the band’s new vocalist:

“I am very honored and happy to announce a new chapter in my life and musical career beginning now; I have joined forces with one of my all-time favorite and globally respected bands, ARCH ENEMY. ‘Wages of Sin’ was the first metal album I ever bought, and it was love at first listen. It is not often that you get a phone call from your favorite band asking you to join! I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with such amazingly talented musicians whom I also consider great friends. I look forward to being able to write and perform at a whole new level now with ARCH ENEMY! Music is forever, metal is limitless and this is only the beginning!”

Main songwriter and Glassow’s husband, Michal Ammot added:

“We are eternally grateful to Angela for all her passion, hard work and talent. Her legacy is tremendous and will always be a big part of the band’s history. We feel great pride in what has been achieved in the past, but also look forward to new battles and new victories. We welcome Alissa with open arms – and we hope you will have open ears. We might have just created our most wicked metal opus yet with our upcoming album ‘War Eternal’!”

In addition the band have also announced that they will debut the title track off the aforementioned War Eterenal on March 20th.   Let us know what you think of the split and the band’s new front woman in the comments below.

 

 

AltWire Opinions: “Where’s All The Good Music Gone?”

Over the past couple decades there’s been a lot of talk about what’s killing the music industry. Way back in the day (at least it sure seems like back in the day) CDR’s struck fear in hearts of many who make their living in the industry. Then came the infamous file sharing network Napster, which made record companies and Lars Ulrich alike wee their brand name leather pants. These days with apps like Pandora and Spotify becoming massively successful, the listener now has an alternative source of music where the artist still gets paid. Even if it is just a portion of a penny per stream. An artist on Spotify will make approximately 600 dollars per 100,000 streams. Well that turns out great for major artists pop/rock artists getting millions upon millions of streams, but what about small time bands who can’t even muster the 100,000 streams to get their measly 600 dollars? This is where laziness truly plagues the 99% so to speak.

 Maybe this is a bit of generalization, but the younger generation who listen to top 40 do not have either the interest or the attention span to dive deeper into the veritable ocean of music. They are perfectly content to wade in the kiddie pool that is pop music. They’re certainly not going to dive any deeper than pop radio takes them. How could one find the time when bouncing between social networks? The amount of information that gets thrown at us by these forums can make for a rather short memory and an even shorter attention span. The internet is so over-saturated that it can be hard to sift through all the recycled nonsense that lays on the top. Which brings me to my next subject; The antithesis yet the same at heart of the ADD plagued younger generation. A generation that’s grown tired of looking for something new.

There is one statement I hear from a lot from folks who were around for the last couple generations of music, even from people closer to my age in their mid 20’s. It’s a truly lazy statement and it drives me insane. They tell me something to the effect of “There’s just no good music out there anymore”. They’ve just given up completely. Not only is it lazy to say, it’s wholly untrue. They were the same kids as this generation, only the mainstream music is no longer “Grunge”. They never really looked any deeper than the kids do now. Of course they’re not going to like what they hear when all they hear is the top 40. Don’t look at MTV and proclaim “music is dead”, don’t be the belligerent old guy who says my generation doesn’t know good music, and don’t be surprised when everyone just rolls their eyes at you.

In the end, what I’m saying is music is not dead. It was just buried by the cynics as they continue to piss on the grave. But underneath it all the music thrives. If you don’t take anything else away from this, remember this one word: Dig. Bring the underground to the surface. Bring those to the spotlight who deserve it. The ones who put their heart and soul into their music and those who play the music just to play it. Sure sifting through the noise can be difficult, but in the end when you find an amazing record, it’s rejuvenating. You have something fresh in your life. You have something filled with someone’s soul and connecting with them on a deep, visceral level is so human.  Don’t be lazy, let go of the distractions, and find something that could have a true impact on your life. So delve a little deeper in Spotify. Make a trip to a local record store and pick a random album. The first thing that catches your eye should lead you to click on the related artists. Find out what the bands you listen to like. The tools are all around, don’t let them go to waste. Don’t let the music go to waste.

Against Me! Make No Bones about the Elephant in the Room with “Transgender Disphoria Blues”

Welp, I suppose I won’t beat around the bush. I mean, Against Me! have certainly done nothing of the sort since it’s right in the album’s title. This is the first album the band has released since the singer’s coming out in may of 2012 as Transgender. Laura Jane Grace (formerly Tom James Gabel) showed the world what it truly means to be a punk rocker by going against something so primitive and intrinsic to human ideology (gender) and I think it does wonders for this album. First of all, it touches on the subject in a way no one has ever done before. I mean, sure the Kinks did a song about it but not from this point of view. And sure Antony Hegarty has been doing it for years but not quite in the same spotlight. Laura did this in a punk scene brimming with testosterone. A scene that is not necessarily all that open-minded.

Now you might be asking yourself “What does all this have to do with the music?” Well that brings me to my second point. It brings new passion to a genre where things have been run down and then backed over… And run down again for good measure. It really brings new life and new perspective to a floundering punk scene.

That all being said, don’t go in expecting an album only the trans community will be able to relate to. They do an excellent job of putting it to sleep while not throwing it in your face. You really only have the not so subtle “True Trans Soul Rebel” which initially comes off as a sort of Sweet cover. Everything else is really up for interpretation. From the more personal songs such as “Two Coffins” and “Paralytic States”, to the 90’s style punk of “Osama Bin Laden as the Crucified Christ” and “Black Me out”, there is something for any punk fan to relate to. Against Me! have by no means abandoned the punk style nor have they abandoned witty song writing. So fear not bangers of the head. Your head will not sit still on this night.

All in all I wish they had made the album longer because it is a good time. It is a fun album, a brave album, and it is a straight up punk album. Though the album’s biggest hindrance is the lack of creativity within the music itself, you feel that nothing drags on. It’s fun, it’s catchy and I think you’ll find yourself singing along. Laura hasn’t a thing and this album certainly shows that. You can listen to the stream now on NPR.com.

Tracks to listen to:

1. True Trans Soul Rebel

2. Osama Bin Laden as The Crucified Christ

3.  Two Coffins

4. Black me Out

Puscifer’s “What Is…” The Best Look at Redneck Punk Rock of 2013

This amusing DVD starts off with a “mockumentary” following Billy D, Hilldy, and (F******) Peter Merkin of the Burger Barns, a self-proclaimed “Punk Rock” band. It follows the band through their tumultuous tour which is filled with drama, infidelity, and thievery. It’s like a mix of Cops, WWE wrestling, and The Young and The Restless. Although the documentary is a hoot, the group manage to sprinkle some legitimate, enjoyable country music into the performance. Songs include “Cuntry Boner,” “Something Depressing,” and “That Song About Hilldy’s Titties.” The last character introduced is Sergeant Major Douché (that’s French) who suffered a mule kick to the head at young age and now believes he’s in the military (although he’s only on for a moment to introduce the band).

The documentary continues in short bits interspersed throughout Puscifer’s set, following the Burger Barns and delving into Major Douche’s life as well. That all said, the documentary is funny and filled with loveabl… well likeab… well, it’s filled with characters. The documentary is recommended to watch first, so you know who the characters are as they will make appearances later.  As enjoyable as the documentary is, when the band’s set rolls around it’s none too late.

It starts with an airstream trailer being pulled on stage, from which Maynard James Keenan emerges. He recites an insightful and thought provoking speech as he sets up the band’s stinky, hippy, drum circle (but not with real hippies, he hates real hippies). Following this circus, the band shoots right into their set and it’s nothing but marvelous. Some of the band sits and sips wine as the others jam out, delving deeper into the previous characters. The setlist is made up of songs mostly from “Conditions of my Parole” as it was the supporting tour for that album.

In conclusion (and all seriousness) this DVD is funny, entertaining, and the band is in excellent form. MJK has put together an original and creative piece of art. For any Puscifer or even just Maynard fans in general this is an essential buy. It’s great look to a side of Keenan I don’t think a lot of people get see. He’s not just the untouchable frontman of rock Gods Tool. He’s not as serious as his work with his other two bands would suggest. His affection for comedy really shines through and makes this something that will stand out in your collection.

Slipknot part ways with Joey Jordison

One the biggest bands in metal, Slipknot, have split ways with drummer and founding member Joey Jordison.  The band released this statement via the bands official website:

“To our Maggots and fans around the world,

It is with great pain but quiet respect, that for personal reasons Joey Jordison and Slipknot are parting ways. We all wish Joey the best in whatever his future holds. We understand that many of you will want to know how and why this has come to be, and we will do our best to respond to these questions in the near future. It is our love for all of you, as well as for the music we create, that spurs us to continue on and move forward with our plans for releasing new material in the next year. We hope that all of you will come to understand this, and we appreciate your continued support while we plan the next phase of the future of Slipknot.

Thank you, The ‘Knot”

This comes as a huge shock as Jordison was a huge part of the writing process and a fan favorite. This now leaves the band without yet another major songwriter. The other being Paul Gray, who’s death has kept the band from recording a new record since 2008’s “All Hope Is Gone.” It certainly will be interesting to see how things happen from this point on as Jordison said he had “over 40 songs written for the new record.” The reasons for the break up are unknown at this point but they seem to be amicable terms.  Stay tuned for further details.

Metallica’s “Through The Never” Flopping Worldwide

Earlier in the year it came out that Metallica’s experimental 3D movie “Through The Never” had flopped in the US.  Well it turns out the Americans aren’t the only ones not interested. Metalsucks.net reports:

“Through the Never has now opened in twenty-five foreign territories across Europe, Asia, South America, and Australia, and to date, has only made $4,452,165 in those markets. Combined with its domestic earnings, that brings its total gross to  $7,872,132 — not even half of its reported $18 million production budget, which doesn’t even include marketing costs.”

However the soundtrack for the flailing film has sold approximately 60,000 copies, which considering the much lesser costs of producing the CD vs the film and the state of record sales, is a pretty damn good number. So with the score they may come out on top by the skin of their noses. Not to mention they must rushing to get it out on Blu-Ray/DVD before the holiday season. It would be a huge fumble on their part if they didn’t. Plus, Battery would make great motivation for any Black Friday shopper!

Nine Inch Nails Make Network Television Debut

One would think after 25 years and massive success, a band like Nine Inch Nails would be perfect for late night television. But only just last night did the iconic outfit led by Trent Reznor make it’s debut on Jimmy Kimmel. The Band Performed Various Methods of escape on air, All Time Low as an internet exclusive, and went on to perform Sanctified, Came Back Haunted, and The Hand That Feeds after the cameras stopped rolling.

The band is currently on the back end of it’s North American “Tension Tour” which wraps at the end of november. And of course if want to see the first time the band played on cable and want a great laugh here is the band performing for Dance Party U.S.A, Lip sync and all.

Source: Loudwire