Auditory Assault

“Frontman envy? No, I mean we’ve been battling for poll position in this band pretty much since day one and I came to realize that the only thing we could ever agree on is that me and him were the leaders and whoever else was around were the followers.”
— Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich during a recent interview with Times Online.

Intro …

This week’s most listened to CDs by yours truly were Fear Factory’s “Archetype,” Trivium’s “Ascendancy” and Jimmy Eat World’s “Futures.”

I’ll just jump right into things this week. Rarely am I completely struck by a metal release. It happened when I first heard Killswitch Engage’s “Alive or Just Dreaming” (even though I already had the band’s first album)… it happened when I got my hands on a Slipknot demo at a Biohazard show well before the release of “Slipknot” … it happened when I finally picked up Children of Bodom’s “Hate Crew Death Roll.”

And now, it has happened with Trivium. The band’s Roadrunner debut is nothing short of amazing. As I’ve already pointed out elsewhere on the site, the band just has the perfect mix of new and classic metal, but a bunch of subtle nuances mixed in for good measure. I cannot recommend this album enough — when I first listened to the disc I was scoring it as a very high 8, but by the time I had my review done (and listened to the disc ad nauseum) there was no way I was giving it anything less than a 10. Check out my review here … “Ascendancy,” my pick for album of the week.

In brief …

..:..Obituary team up with Slipknot (one of my dream bills)..:.. Obituary have been named the replacement band on Slipknot’s current tour (with Shadows Fall) when the tour touched down at the Forum in California this weekend. Obituary will be filling in for Lamb of God, who was banned from the church-owned venue in February because church leaders were offended by the group’s previous name (Burn the Priest). I envy anyone going to that show and would love to hear how it turns out. In other Obituary news, the band finally finished recording and mixing the new album which is tentatively set for a summer release. The new disc will be the band’s first collection of new songs since 1997. Obituary is a legendary metal band and I highly recommend those not familiar with the band’s material to check out the group’s “Anthology,” released in 2001.

..:..Kittie’s got flaws..:.. It’s been confirmed that guitarist Lisa Marx and bassist Jennifer Arroyo have left Kittie, leaving only original members Morgan Lander and Mercedes Lander. According to a post over the band’s official message board, front woman Morgan wrote, “For the past few years, Artemis Records has denied us critical things like tour support, movie soundtracks, advertisement placement and other critical things that help a band to keep making money and pay the people that needed to be paid, like Jen and Lisa. Within the last 6 months, things became so financially bad that we were no longer able to keep the girls on retainer, that is give them a salary while we are not touring. Not only were we not able to pay them, but we came home from the last tour not knowing what was next for the band.” I don’t know what happened with this band, if behind the scenes they are difficult or what. What I do know is that things looked promising with the band’s debut release, and while the band got better with each follow-up, Kittie remained a force unfocused with much unrealized potential (in my opinion). These girls need to get off of Artemis, get a solid line-up and producer together, sign to an indie metal label and release the album that will make or break their career. Otherwise, just hang it up right now. What a sad, sorry situation…

..:..We haven’t heard the last of Dimebag..:.. A post over at VINNIEandDIME.com has revealed that there is a bunch of unreleased material associated with the late guitarist Dimebag Darrell that could potentially see release in the future. The items that will reportedly see the light of day – either individually or as part of a box set – include a Damageplan DVD (“Damagevision”), Damageplan’s second album, outtakes from the “New Found Power” sessions, another Pantera home video, unreleased studio tracks from the various Pantera recording sessions including stuff that was intended to be on Pantera’s follow-up to “Reinventing the Steel” and side-project Dimebag and his brother (drummer Vinnie Paul) did with country artist David Allen Coe (called Rebel Meets Rebel). I knew there was a bunch of stuff available, so this isn’t that surprising. The best of the list looks to be the second Damageplan album and the Pantera outtakes. I’m sure there’s a pretty good chance most of this stuff will see the light of day so stay tuned for more details.

..:..Soil update..:.. Soil revamped its Web site recently. The band posted a new demo of “Give It Up” recorded earlier this year — the track is the first opportunity to hear the new front man AJ Cavalier (formerly of Diesel Machine) on vocals. Soil hopes to have a new album out by the end of the year.

..:..Brief briefs..:.. Gwar is set to release its first live album towards the end of May. The set will include classics like “Sick of You” and “Ham on the Bone” along with newer stuff like “Krosstika” and “Womb With A View”; Darkest Hour have set “Undoing Ruin” as the title of its new album, set for release in June; the covers disc from Ozzy Osbourne’s recent box-set “Prince of Darkness” will be released by itself later this year; Into Eternity have dropped off the Amorphis U.S. tour; Lacuna Coil are in pre-production for the follow-up to “Comalies.”

The return of “I just came out yesterday. Check me out…”…

Bloodsimple‘s debut “A Cruel World,” a mix of hardcore and metal from former members of Visions of Disorder, Downset and Medication.
Theory of a Deadman‘s “Gasoline,” rock-metal hybrid in the vein of Nickelback.
Thrice: “If We Could Only See Us Now,” a collection of live material and unused tracks from this alternative rock/metal band (the CD comes with a DVD)

And that’s it …. Not much new this week, though I recommend picking up recent releases from Norma Jean and Black Label Society and Ozzy Osbourne’s “Prince of Darkness” box-set.

And then, next week, look forward to a new release from the melodic hardcore band A Static Lullaby (“Faso Latido”), a much-anticipated release from Corrosion of Conformity (“In the Arms of God”) and Hammerfall’s “Chapter 5.” I’ll also throw a personal recommendation out for the album “Dead & Dreaming: Tribute to Counting Crows,” put out on Victory Records late last year. Looks like a lot of good bands putting their own spin on Counting Crows classics.

Mix of the moment…

Here’s a little mix I put together featuring the song’s I’ve been listening to a lot lately (or songs I wish I’d be listening to more). Check one, some or all of them out … who knows, you might discover something you like or remember something you used to …

Susperia: “Chemistry” (off “Unlimited”)
Children of Bodom: “Trashed, Lost & Strungout” (off “Trashed, Lost & Strungout”)
Trivium: “Rain ” (off “Ascendancy”)
Killswitch Engage: “Rose of Sharyn” (off “The End of Heartache”)
Fear Factory: “Slave Labor” (off “Archetype”)
Damageplan: “Wake Up” (off “New Found Power”)
Drowning Pool: “Step Up” (off “Descensitized”)
Chimaira: “Power Trip” (off “Impossiblity of Reason”)
Lamb of God: “Black Label” (off “New American Gospel”)
Slipknot: “Me Inside” (off “SLipknot”)

In closing…

I wanted to end things off with another recommendation this week. After recently hearing some material from Susperia, a melodic metal band from Norway, I think I’m going to check out more of the band’s catalogue. The group has three full-length albums out and is planning on working on the fourth this summer. Check out the group’s Web site here, let me know what you think. I’ll be picking up an album this weekend (along with a slew of other material). I’m also waiting on a copy of the latest A Static Lullaby album (review forthcoming).

And that’s that. As always, drop me a line. Until next time, I’ll be here at Inside Pulse making sure no metal news falls through the cracks.

Take it easy…

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