Tom Warrior Censored on Upcoming Celtic Frost Reissues

In a recent blog post, Celtic Frost vocalist/guitarist Tom G. Warrior has publicly disowned BMG’s upcoming double CD reissues of his band’s best output, Morbid Tales and To Mega Therion, and the more pandering and spotty Into the Pandemonium and Vanity / Nemesis. The embarrassing Cold Lake was omitted at Warrior’s request. While initially on board with the reissues and involved with the creative process, Tom Warrior has abandoned ship because the commercial mega-label BMG refused to print his linear notes as he intended. This blatant censorship was a means of preserving the integrity of the Noise Records liquid assets purchased by the label but had inadvertently overwhelmed the Cold Laker with a plethora of painful flashbacks of the corporate influence that plagued Celtic Frost throughout its existence.

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Why Heavy Metal Lost The Culture War

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There is a religious war going on in our country for the soul of America. It is a cultural war, as critical to the kind of nation we will one day be as was the Cold War itself.1

Many metal-heads think that metal died out as a genre because it went corporate and lost its edge. Undoubtedly more commercialized metal appeared, as it always does whenever a genre becomes popular and therefore, profitable. There is more to it than that, however, as larger cultural forces and schemes were at play.

The question of commercialism arose because there was a bridge between power metal/jock metal (e.g. Korn) and more old school thrash metal (Metallica/Slayer) which was never gapped. This paralleled the gap of a decade earlier, when the gap between metal bands like Motorhead and hard rock bands like Van Halen divided the fanbase between album listeners and radio listeners. This gave rise to entire subgenres like black metal, death metal and grindcore which were deliberately designed to avoid having large-scale commercial success. That in turn triggered the rise of the 1990s version of glam, grunge, which was basically slowed-down indie-rock influenced hard rock.

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Interview with Jerry Warden of the Heavy Metal Hall of Fame

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We last talked to Jerry Warden when he announced his intention to create a Heavy Metal Hall of Fame in Arlington, Texas. He took a few moments to grant us an interview and reveal the plan, along with details about his past band Warlock and Texas metal.

You founded Warlock with your brother and two members of what would eventually be Rigor Mortis. What did Warlock sound like? Why do you think it achieved such legendary status in the Texas metal scene?

Originally, we were clueless kids/young men with a love for metal. We played cover songs of the NWOBHM bands and other heavy fare of the time. We didn’t write originals until Rick began to blossom as a song writer.

Recently, members of Warlock have restored the band and plan to release material from the demos. What can you tell us about this?

We played our reunion show at Diamond Jim’s Saloon in Arlington on Sat., Aug. 2 of this year and play on NYE at The Boiler Room in Deep Ellum. We combined the 1986 recording with one song from the 1985 recording and Kerry Crafton mastered the final product.

Do you think Warlock will write and release new material?

We have completed two new songs, “Rubber Bullets” and “Devil Dance” and will continue to write and rehearse for the foreseeable future. “Walking Plague” was recorded by Gammacide but was written by Warlock and we never recorded the song. We intend to record “Walking Plague” and several new songs next year for a 2015 release.

After Warlock, members went on to Rigor Mortis and Gammacide, which were bands from the newer style of metal at the time. How do you think these bands influenced Texas metal? Was their style a natural outgrowth of where Warlock had been heading?

“Walking Plague” and “Gutter Rats” were Warlock songs. Gammacide was a direct outgrowth of Warlock whereas Casey and Harden met Mike and he took them down a different metal path.

Do you think it’s possible to be a metalhead for your whole life and never get bored? Should metal be designed for people beyond their teenage and early 20s years?

Fortunately, I’m a simpleton, a meat and potatoes metalhead. Some mention the word shallow and I’ve been accused by more than one person of failing to “grow up” but I still love metal music. I listen to the hard rock of my youth to the current sounds of Ancient Instinct by Primordius and a whole helluva lot in the middle. I love the lifestyle, too. I get excited for the first cold night of each Fall to wear my leather jacket. Metal music has grown from a community to a family with many positive results. You see a growing number of benefit shows each year for different brothers and sisters but metal continues to provide an edge for the old and clueless as well as the young and clueless.

Your newest project is a “Heavy Metal Hall of Fame.” What gave you the idea for this? Why now?

The Heavy Metal Hall of Fame (MHOF) is overdue at this point. The idea originated from the lack of respect shown to metal music by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (RHOF) but, as our community or family evolves, we need a place of our own regardless of any outside factors including the RHOF.

How do you intend to get funding for the “Heavy Metal Hall of Fame”? Will it be a physical museum that charges admission? What are you going to put in the gift shop?

Our major form of funding will derive from grants. We will have a brick and mortar version of the Hall in Arlington, Texas. We should have the grant money in place to lease a building next year. Within 5 to 10 years, we should have the money to construct our own building.

What bands do you think were essential components of the Texas metal scene? Did they all get discovered and accepted, like Pantera and others did?

You’ve gotta begin at the beginning with Warlock, Pantera, Rigor Mortis, Helstar, Watchtower and Militia but gotta mention dead horse, Gammacide, Rotting Corpse, Arcane, Morbid Scream, Absu, Blaspherian, HOD, Shawn Whitaker, SA Slayer, Solitude, Aska, Primordius, etc. The list of bands who were and are essential components of the Texas metal scene should never end.

With Warlock returning and the Heavy Metal Hall of Fame, do you see yourself re-living your youth, or simply doing things you wanted to do the first time? Was there some moment in the past where things did not work out, that you’ve now managed to get past?

The Heavy Metal HOF is a natural progression for me in life. Rick Perry left Warbeast and asked me to reform Warlock with him. Rick Perry defined heavy guitar in the D/FW Metalplex as well as around Texas and the rest of the world. I am honored and very fortunate to share the same work space as Rick and very lucky to share a band with Clay McCarty & Randy Cooke.

Who do you feel is the audience for the Heavy Metal Hall of Fame, or the typical person you imagine will visit, and what do you think it will be like for them? How would it have felt to a 16 year old version of yourself?

I believe metal music transcends the generations and expect to see metalheads of all ages at the Hall. I believe we still have the same excitement within us as the 16 year old metalhead. Unfortunately, in a lot of cases, as adults, we’ve learned to contain our excitement.

War Master “Lust for Battle Tour 2014” launches

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Texas old school grinding death metal band War Master takes its influences from old school death metal and melodic grindcore like Bolt Thrower. Since its launch in 2009, War Master has built up a following for those who like underground metal in the feral and atavistic way that distinguished the old school from the imitators.

Following the success of its EP Blood Dawn last year, itself following the triumphant Pyramid of the Necropolis full-length the year before, War Master unleashes itself on the Southwest with a mini-tour that should bring old school death metal maniacs out of the woodwork.

Tour Dates:

  • Friday, July 4 – Austin (The Mohawk)
  • Saturday, July 5 – San Antonio (Korova)
  • Sunday, July 6 – Laredo (Cold Brew)
  • Monday, July 7 – El Paso (Horizon Bar)
  • Tuesday, July 8 – Tempe (51 West)
  • Wednesday, July 9 – Los Angeles (Redwood Bar)
  • Thursday, July 10 – Bay Area (Burnt Ramen)
  • Friday, July 11 – Oakland (Road House)
  • Saturday, July 12 – Grindcore 2014 Fest

Warmaster releases The End of Humanity

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On October 30, Dutch band Warmaster released its second full-length album The End of Humanity. As our earlier review points out, this is an old school death metal release with influences from grindcore.

What makes Warmaster worth paying attention to is not style but substance. These songs are made of familiar elements, and don’t push any envelopes, but unlike most “old school” releases these days, they fit together well and sound deliberate. You will not find new revelations here but the music works like an entity of its own, not a grab-bag of parts from 1994.

In The End of Humanity, you will find the same power that made death metal a force of musical empire in the 1990s: crushing riffs fit together in tight labyrinths that expand as you traverse them, sonic intensity in distortion and vocals, seemingly unattainable levels of alienation from everyday “be nice to everyone” humanity. You’ll also find a band with its unique voice.

Because of this, we’re excited to introduce Warmaster in interview and a live stream of The End of Humanity. Let’s hear what they have to say.

You formed as a band in 2004 with the purpose of making old school death metal. What prompted this decision?

We all grew up with death metal in the 90s and death metal wasn’t that hot around 2004. We felt the urge and pleasure to revisit Death Metal, the old school way. Inspired by bands such as Bolt Thrower, Obituary, Master and Entombed,we started to write our own songs, blending all the good, which became WARMASTER, straight forward, rude and extremely heavy!

What are your own musical influences? Do these match with favorites you listen to on a regular basis? Do you listen to any of the newer-style metal?

We all have different influences, The binding influence for us all is 90s death metal. As songwriter bands such as Bolt Thrower, Entombed and Hypocrisy influence me. The newer styles do not influence us much. We respect the wave, but it is not our thing.

I had a blast trying to piece together some of the musical allusions you made on this record. So far I’ve identified Blood, Massacre, Terrorizer, Master and perhaps Malevolent Creation. Did I miss any?

Thank you, you just compared us with bands we never thought of. Thinking about it, yes you are right on those, but we are also identified us with Six Feet Under, Bolt Thrower, Asphyx, Benediction and many more.

Do you feel a need to live up to a “Dutch style” of death metal? Are you fans of the older Dutch bands like Pestilence, Sinister, Ceremony and Asphyx?

Not at all! We do it the Warmaster way! The common feel though is same with these bands you mention!

Have you talked to the guys from War Master (TX) about having such similar names? Are you worried about causing confusion?

Actually there are multiple Masters of War. You also a thrashy Warmaster from Canada and a Portuguese black metal band called War Master, who were the first using this name.

I do not think people will mess it us up. We both play old school, but you definitely hear differences in music and sound. War Master is a bit faster, while we mostly keep it midpaced, doomy and groovy!

On “Medestrijders Voor Volk en Vaderland” you experiment with some unnerving guitar sounds. Can you tell me how this develops the theme of the song?

This is actually one of the fastest songs we wrote. Rik came to rehearsal with the opening riff and without boundaries and jamming, the song wrote itself. Half of the songs on this album have been written this way.

“The End of Humanity” begins with an intro that recalls the 1980s style sonic paste-ups that Discharge did. What made you choose this intro?

We were playing with song and album title. The original title for the album and the song “Nuclear Warfare” was “Massive Kill Capacity,” which gave Corné, who created the samples for the album, some great ideas. He is very much into bombastic, theatrical themes. He made several samples of which some are used on the album. This is a great opening of the album!

It seems to me the album has a theme based on the title. Why did you choose this now, after most people assumed nuclear war and human self-destruction were off the table after the end of the Cold War? Or did the Cold War not end, or are there newer threats?

Decimation of humanity the horrific way are good themes to write song lyrics about. They cannot be bound to one war or another. “Death Factory” is WWII, with “Barbarians” we go back to prehistoric warfare. And “Medestrijders voor Volk en Vaderland” is about the 80-year war in the 1600s in Europe.

I quote from a punk band of great repute: “World peace can’t be done. It just can’t exist.” Do you think there are solutions to humanity’s problems? Will they be revealed through death metal?

The only solution to world peace is going out with a big bang! …Destruction of the planet!

As long as there are humans, war will be there as well!

Death metal is the solution to write about war in the best way, brutal and aggressive!

You have this great guitar sound on the album, that’s fuzzy and warm like a sweater but mean like the metal treads of a tank. How did you record this album? Do you have a “Warmaster method” of recording yourselves?

The guitar sounds really fits; we experiment a lot with guitar sounds. We have our own Studio, so it’s easy to realise this. After all those years we receive a lot of experience while recording other and own bands. Also listing to recordings of other bands it give you an idea what you want.

Members of Warmaster come from other bands. Can you tell us about those bands, and whether they’re still active, and if not, why they ended and what you hope will be different with Warmaster?

We all played in different bands, some still play in other bands.

Alex and André both play in Dark Remains (Death Metal)

Rik has also played in this band as a bass player. He quit to fully concentrate on Warmaster.

Alex replaced his spot in this band. This band is still active and busy with their fourth studio album.

Alex also played in a band called Exploded (Thrash Metal) but he stopped with this band this year. It is still active.

Marcel plays also in Ceremony of Opposites (Death Metal).

Please forgive me for this question. This cover looks a bit… uh… well, maybe people seem to be reacting badly to it. Can you tell us why you chose it, and why it’s important to the album’s theme and vision? Are you planning on having an alternate cover?

Hahaha…. I have one short answer for your last question.. No! We don’t have an alternative cover.

Because we like this cover! After the first album First War we wanted something different.

Something rare.

I think we accomplished that task. It is different, it is rare.

When recording the album we asked a friend (Ammar) of ours to draw some of our ideas, it ended like it is right now.

We knew what kind of artist he was and what he could do. We wanted to give him a opportunity and he took it.

We took the chance what people think about the cover but we don’t care what others think. We like it!

Maybe with the third album we do something else, something unexpected. Some people will like it, others will not.

But hey, so will our music! You like it or you don’t like it!

What’s next for Warmaster? Will you tour, or write more material? Do you have a long-term plan or are you just enjoying the ride?

We are very creative lately. So far we have released a split 7” EP with Humiliation from Malaysia and our album The End of Humanity on DeadBeat Media and Slaughterhouse Records. And we already have enough material for a new album ……so new album next year!

With the album out we want to play many shows, because playing live is what makes us go on! Maybe tour if the right options are there, but we prefer single shows or weekends instead.

1. Warmaster – Massive Kill Capacity

2. Nuclear Warfare

3. Deadly Artillery

4. Death Factory

5. The Target

6. Lies to Deny

7. Barbarians

8. Poison Dwarf

9. Ancient Anthem

10. Medestrijders Voor Volk en Vaderland

11. Destroyer of Worlds

Available from:

Support the war… against hipsters

Interesting take on it:

I personally don’t want to label metal ‘underground’. I try to get my friends interested, but for one reason or another metal was meant to hold a limited audience. Which is fine because it has remained resilient through the years with such support. Exclusivity has become a defining pillar of the scene, the implications of which look dismal for the future of the genre.

{ snip }

My problem is not with ‘who likes metal’ but rather why they like metal and what the implications are for the genre.

Hipsters tend to take the honesty out of music because of how they rationalize their choices. People who respect their taste in music do not listen to bands because they are underground; they listen to them because they make good music. If a band gets too popular, they let it slide so long as said band remains honest. If said band loses their integrity, say Metallica, for instance, then one abandons them not for crossing some unspoken popularity threshold but rather because they have betrayed the trust of their fans. This is a powerful bond not easily broken by the likes of the mainstream press.

Hipsters, and I’m generalizing here, define their musical taste by what is unpopular; I’d even venture to say it is a defining pillar of hipsterdom (whatever that means). Metal has rare bouts of popularity but is unlikely to achieve mass appeal anytime soon, especially given the rigid parameters of top-tier saleability in the music industry. These impossible conditions leave metal with one possible future. Since the genre will not likely be rising to the mainstream popularity which could save it from a skinny-jean-clad audience (though I must admit that is pretty thrash) it is only a matter of time before the genre is completely saturated with hipsters. In San Francisco, metal culture has dwindled to only a handful of bands. – Sons of the Atom

The principle of hipsterdom is being different/ironic/”unique” through surface changes.

The hipster is at heart a very normal person, usually working a do-nothing job and living a boring life. Most are SWPLs.

They have, however, embraced failure. They aren’t doctors, lawyers or architects; they’re not even rogue programmers. They’re not real writers or artists. In fact, they’re not very good at anything. So they socialize and try to be “different” to stand out, since they’re not going to stand out for being good people, or smart people, or talented people. They’re faking it.

This is why they like music that’s basically bad: anyone can do it. If you trick it out enough, you get famous for it.

This is why they like ruined social scenes, failed things, and obscurity: they can take over.

They took over metal in 1999ish and have truly wrecked it, because metalcore is noomoo for underground hXc kids, and as a result it’s insipid trash.

Hardcore died in 1987 or before, and really has never come back. The hipsters want to think otherwise. Metal died in ’94.

It’s important to realize that hipsters are a sign of the end of all good things. They are the parasites who are trying to justify themselves into importance.

Supporting the war against hipsters is to support:

  • Substance over appearance.
  • Reality over social reality.
  • Art over personal drama.
  • Idealism over individualism.

All good things come from crushing the hipster, which is a force of decay.

Apple sold 9.25 million iPads and 3.95 million Mac computers. Gross margin for the quarter came to 41.7 percent.

Shares of Apple have emerged from the limbo they had fallen into after Chief Executive Steve Jobs took leave last January for unspecified medical reasons. – Reuters

Capitalist banksters, ganksters and toadies love hipsters because they will buy a bog-ordinary product with a special label and quintuple the margin on it. They are ideal consumers: morons who think they are right and can be easily led to buy something if it makes them feel unique and special.

Allah ta’ala will reward all those who give service in crushing the false (who don’t entry) and raising up the honest. Immortality and righteousness await all those who smite hipsters.

Blaspherian – Infernal Warriors of Death

Blaspherian improve upon their promising debute Allegiance to the Will of Damnation, sharpening their focus by developing riffs as themes, stacking multiple variations of a similar idea and then slaughtering it with counter-themes. In the best tradition of death metal, these songs make sense once you’ve heard all the riffs in sequence, but you would not think they’d fit together if you heard them separately. This gestalt allows Blaspherian to create a deepening atmosphere of cavernous doom, using the time-worn technique of old school death metal bands but wrapping it around a new spirit, one in which evil is deliberate and contemplative instead of chaotic. Through this evolution we see Blaspherian staying true to the old school, but allowing gentle influence from the developments of black metal and more recent maturations of the style such as those seen on later Immolation and Beherit albums. The emotional side of death metal emerges but is confined within a cold and inhuman logic, making this music both as natural as an open summer sky and brilliantly outside of the human norm under which we suffer. Blaspherian use a low-tech approach, with percussion that sounds like early Incantation and anchors the riff-fest generated by former Imprecation guitarist Wes Weaver. Detuned, bassy riffs of one to four chords hammer out patterns that then mutate and contort, often with a dropped note or changed picking technique, to produce textural layers through which melody filters. While firmly grounded in the old school, Infernal Warriors of Death opens up new horizons for the old school death metal genre, which now exists in parallel with others. It also shows what made this genre powerful in the early 1990s and makes it doubly relevant now, in the process delivering powerful music with an intense and resonant atmosphere.

-Brett Stevens-

Virus – Pray for War

Virus - Pray For War

Britannia was throughout much of the 1980’s, with the exception of the grindcore movement, a musical wilderness ever since the general decline of the NWOBHM movement, which globally had given way to the speed metal movement, and subsequently what were then ‘embryonic’ or otherwise non-foundational forms of death and black metal.

The year here was 1987. Onslaught had already made their mark with their first two full-lengths, and Sabbat were yet to release their debut. Virus’s debut will remind some of Onslaught, as both bands have seem to have inherited a lot of their influence from the music of crossover act, Discharge.

Virus take a more primitive approach to their music, both in execution and production. In the guitar patterns we see a heavy influence from the early music of Sodom, the melodies tend to be fashioned in the same NWOBHM- indebted manner as their ‘In The Sign Of Evil’ E.P. whilst they are executed at a more quick and furious pace that resembles their first full-length Obsessed By Cruelty. The drums are not as chaotic and more or less run more fluidly with the pacing of the guitars, and are of a low volume, giving an almost ‘cautious’ sound that is rather similar to Bathory’s self-titled debut. Vocals are a direct shout, English-accented, and an obvious paean to Discharge or Subhumans. Lyrical content focuses on themes of post-nuclear society, and the consequences of chemical and agent warfare, lyrics and song titles almost laid out as if to honour the broken English vocabularies of early Sepultura and Sarcofago. In short, like a lot of classic speed metal it sums up the way the genre analysed the Cold War world; decades of pacifistic tension and the foreknowledge of ultimate conflict.

In hindsight this band were quite unique; the hybridisation of styles into a rough and cohesive song format, all bound by a common theme appears to have shown it’s influence on various bands throughout the years. Like countrymen Onslaught they were deeply rooted in the attitude of early 80’s British punk hardcore, and although minor, crafted a minor sub-style within the trappings of their era that was uniquely English. They are still an obscure act today, but given that in said period tape trading was considered a norm, it would be hard to not to imagine prominent bands today. Some of these would easily include Beherit, Conqueror, Bolt Thrower, Impaled Nazerene, Blasphemy, Angelcorpse, Spearhead, among others.

Whilst not a ‘direct influence’ per se, if we consider many black/death hybrids we see today, amongst modern underground crazes such as ‘war metal’ for example, it is easy to establish on listening to this release where some of these acts derived and later advanced their themes and concepts. As well as this it serves as a nice example of music that borrows forms from the metal and punk traditions, and comes across as honest and original without going out of it’s own way to do so. Worth a check.

-Pearson-