Assault accusations dog Bestial Evil (USA) vocalist Shawn Wright

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Baltimore crust/metal band Bestial Evil, recently the subject of accusations of censorship and possible threats of violence, now face another challenge: allegations of violence against women by people active in the Baltimore metal scene.

Miranda Sewell, a longtime figure in the Baltimore scene, writes the following narrative:

Ok so I managed a smoke shop in Hampden for some years, last year Shawn started coming in to said smoke shop to buy stuff for vaping. He’s from Damascus MD, and knew my boyfriends bands lead singer, and I suppose he thought that would give him a friends and family discount because when I didn’t throw him the deal that he wanted he got pretty pissed off.

He started calling me and threatening me, saying shit like he was going to wait outside my work for me to leave and beat my head in with a baseball bat. He was all “I hope you don’t go to real metal shows in this city because I have a lot of friends, and if I don’t like you, they don’t like you. You’re going to get your ass beat every time you go out.”

Shawn Wright is a dumbass. He grew up in Damascus trying to be a rapper, and when that didn’t work he went to punk, and when that didn’t work he started doing what he calls metal. Have you heard his shit? It’s awful. I don’t know how he gets up everyday knowing the shite he’s trying to pass off as music. Point is this kid does not know what he’s doing, or who he even is.

He’s like a dark cloud over our metal community.

The band, who describe themselves as “lashing death metal,” consists of Shawn Wright on vocals, Kevin Rucker II on guitars, Nick Temoshok on guitars, Jacob Ripley on bass and Evan Phillips on rums. The band plans to release a full length entitled Infectious Cross in the near future, from which it has released one track, “See the Enemy,” which shows a hybrid of crustcore and later brutal death metal.

Another woman, who would not go on the record using her name, sent the following via Facebook:

At a show…wayyy back in the day, this guy threatened to beat the shit out of me because I didn’t want to date him after we hooked up one night. I was 16 and stupid and he thought beating up a woman would change my mind.

It was 2001/2002 at the New Market Grange Hall in New Market, MD. I can’t remember the bands playing, just some local kids I think. I do remember he had been drinking. All I can really remember about the incident was him coming outside during a break between bands and screaming a bunch of nasty shit at me for being a prude and denying that I slept with him (because I was ashamed of my actions). He started saying its fucked up he thought I was his girl, I’m a lying piece of shit, etc etc. At no point in our miserable hookup did we ever establish we were dating but he somehow translated sex as a relationship. Him and his friends were all surrounding me, and all I could do was laugh at him and that’s when he tried to throw a punch but someone (I have no idea who) held him back. He was drunk so he was putting up a fight so I left at that point. It was disgusting.

Him and his goon posse surrounded me outside while he screamed obscenities at me. He lunged and threw a punch but someone grabbed him and he went ape shit. So I left. Never saw that fucking maniac again. He’s got some real issues with anger, the dude is in denial and needs to just stop putting up a front.

It’s amusing to look back on now, that a guy who talks such a big game and acts like such a tough guy would be willing to assault a 16 year old girl because she didn’t want to be his girlfriend. We hung out for a few weeks prior to the incident and there were several instances of him completely losing his shit.

This was 14 years ago and it looks like he hasn’t changed a bit.

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Wright, who has previously served as a Slutwalk organizer and runs a group named “No Room For Hate,” has said in the past that he opposes the use of violence. Stay tuned for more updates as we dig deeper. Unfortunately, Shawn Wright refused comment on any further articles.

Artists and fans against censorship start anti-Baltimore group

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In response to stories of political censorship by the Maryland Metalfest, attacks on Demonic Christ, and alleged SJW exclusion of political non-conformists, a loose-knit group of fans, musicians and writers has formed the Facebook group Make Baltimore – NO PLAY ZONE! to express disagreement with censorship.

The group organizers issued the following statement:

This group was founded to promote the idea that bands should stay out of Baltimore or risk millennial crybabies attempting to ruin band’s careers over the numerous things they find offensive. Every city has this problem, true. But, the children of Baltimore have made this particular city undesirable for having a good time and enjoying a show.
ENTER BALTIMORE AT YOUR OWN RISK!

Once in the underground, #metalgate is heating up as people oppose the idea of censorship and political conformity in metal. Many remember what such herd-thinking did to hardcore in the 1980s and the attempts to censor metal from right and left during the same decade. Others simply believe that genres dedicated to extremity should keep all ideas on the table, especially when the standard of political conformity seems to agree with what most governments, media and large corporations endorse. Time will tell.

Beorn – Time to Dare (2015)

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Power metal, the post-2000 incarnation of speed metal that mixes radio rock and Hollywood-style theatrical music into a hybrid, gets a lot of flack for being cheesy. This is true. However, it is also one of the few areas where metal musicians can create epic music and still have a large audience, since the underground metal audience disconnected from quality with war metal and was replaced with post-hardcore at the hands of vegan SJWs riding fixies to their artisanal bagel shops.

Beorn is quite cheesy, but musically creative, and they know how to write a competent song. Expect verse chorus with interruptions for operatics and dynamics, but generally heavy metal riffs with speed metal and some death metal technique, mated together with Queen- and Judas Priest-styled vocals. The melodies are awfully similar to those from other power metal acts, but this betrays the hidden influences of the genre in movie music, dinner theater and vaudeville, and even inspirational music. There are certain patterns, and these set up the need to deliver certain conclusions, and these songs do it along with the best of them.

High-pitched vocals guide melodic riffs over jazz-style drums which guide and comment but do not take a leading role. The vocals follow the guitar riff less in rhythm that in riffing off its basic melody, which allows more instrumental depth per passage than the unified approach of underground metal. Constant double-bass keeps the pulse pumping, and choruses carefully silhouette the chant-style rhythm of the vocals, but songs break to interludes and stack those with variations on the major themes. Lead guitars stay within the canon of guitar-rock heroics from the 70s but accelerate themselves to a frenetic postmodern pace.

I sometimes write about the difference between appreciating musical quality and liking something. I will never pick up a Beorn album because the cheesiness of this style repulses me, but I’d be a liar to not acknowledge the quality of the music here and its ability to be powerful in the right context. This type of power metal gives heavy metal the breadth of musicality it always wanted and, while cheesy, brings out a wide range of emotions and evokes the powerful sense of taking a journey that the best prog rock albums did. For those who appreciate that, Time to Dare will be a delight.

Affliction Gate – Dying Alone (2015)

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This unruly album launches into a mid-paced, melodic death metal style and then turns up the intensity with constant pounding rhythm. Each song builds itself around a distinctive riff and uses modifications of it to fashion structure out of a stream of creative guitar work that aims first to make a strong statement, and only later to make it fit within a groove the audience can appreciate.

Vocals follow the riffs, giving guitars plenty of room to experiment, and consist of a harsh-throated partial enunciation that allows them to serve as a rhythm and textural instrument. Songs develop according to a rhythm emphasized by both the primary riff and the chorus, evoking the notion of Immolation hybridized with Sodom, and the rest of the song plays with that fundamental tension, although most of the song consists of a verse-chorus loop with one riff per section. Some songs show a riff sensibility derived from European giants such as Demigod and Sinister.

Unlike almost everything that flies over my desk, this band stands on their own, not as much stylistically as in composition. These songs pop out of the album as independent, and while there are many similar rhythms and tempi used, these are interrupted by many changes that shape the chaos into a smooth expression. For a band that works in the area of later classic death metal to withstand modernity and go its own way, and do so smoothly, is exceptional and results in an enjoyable release.

Thanks to Kunal Choksi at Transcending Obscurity, we are able to present this exclusive stream of “Manicheism Inertia” from Dying Alone by Affliction Gate:

Hail of Bullets employs SJW David Ingram on vocals

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Modern death metal (speed metal song form, static riffs) band Hail of Bullets has appointed censorious SJW David Ingram to vocal duties for their show at Maryland Deathfest. The band states:

Mister DAVID INGRAM (ex-Bolt Thrower/Benediction) will be teaming up with HAIL OF BULLETS for our show at Maryland Deathfest, Baltimore USA, May 28th 2016!

This will be the only HAIL OF BULLETS show until the Summer of 2016. We’re happy to have David on board and we will see and announce what the future brings us after the MDF show.

And yes, we intend to start working on new material next year.

Insision – Terminal Reckoning (2015)

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Insision take on the dying underground by combining brutal death metal, early technical death metal and adding in mild touches of modern death metal, creating a sound that hammers its listeners with intensity but works melodic leads and song construction into the mix for variety and depth. The result is a cornucopia of charging riffs and melodic turnarounds, in a style similar to later Gorguts mixed with Deeds of Flesh.

The band makes skillful use of dynamics to intensify songs and carefully presents each as a standalone concept. Guttural vocals ride the rhythm riff but break away to freestyle over the more open patterns. This allows Insision to work atmosphere into the blasting and otherwise violent guitar work. Fans of classic German speed metal like Destruction and Kreator will notice similarities as the album goes on; like the best from those bands, Terminal Reckoning uses single chord riffs with chromatic fills for pure rhythm effect.

If this album could improve, it would be in more internal diversity of riff and pace. Its use of melody thrusts aside the modern metal conventions and instead serves to develop songs, which avoids the becalming effect of too much similarity, and the interplay of vocals and guitar follows the mid-80s style instead of trying to constantly contrast the riffs. That and its inherent aggressive attack allows this album to escape the modern metal doldrums and bring back much of what fans adored in old school, technical and brutal death metal.

Thanks to Cátia Cunha from Against PR, Sevared Records and Insision, we can present to you the following streaming track from Terminal Reckoning

You can find out more about Insision at Facebook, YouTube or via Sevared Records.

#Metalgate: SJWs trying to block Demonic Christ appearances

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If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that SJWs speak in code. “I’m just going to pass this along” is the dog whistle for “if you’re one of Us, you should ready for attack mode now.” Apparently, SJWs are disturbed by an early 1990s interview with Demonic Christ frontwoman Dana Duffey, and because they disagree with her, they’re forming a Two Minutes Hate to get her removed from upcoming festival appearances.

Shawn Wright clarifies what seemed like threats of violence

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After an interview surfaced showing that Shawn Wright of Bestial Evil has stated that he opposes the idea of violent solutions, we reached out to him regarding what appeared to be a series of violent threats against Diabolic Force Distro’s Tim Snodgrass. Wright clarified as follows:

I’m anti violence. Just because I want to fuck him up doesn’t mean I’m going to. So he can fuck off with that bullshit. If I was gonna destroy him I would have.

According to Wright, he communicated the same to Snodgrass with the following message:

“It’s all good Tim. I have no intentions of fighting you or hurting you. A) because I know for a fact you’d lose. B) because you’re not worth my time. And C) you have no relevant place in our scene and absolutely no effect on me.

Nice try I’m done allowing you to get a rise out of me. Have fun being alone. That’s your karma being disliked by us all.

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In the meantime, Wright has launched a new initiative, No Room For Hate, which plans to sponsor a local festival for anti-racist, anti-sexist, anarchist and anti-fascist bands. However, their logo seems to indicate violent intentions, so maybe this will be clarified in the future.

#Metalgate: Waldteufel barred from performing with Psychic TV in Portland, OR

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A reader writes:

Waldteufel just got pulled from the Psychic TV gig here, tonight, for “connections” bullshit. Markus Wolff is an incredible artist. His albums are an honest exploration of Germanic folklore and religion. Is that artistically illegal? People excited to see this very RARE performance have been robbed! I don’t get to shut down artists I see as corroding the environment. Vapid, stale, message-less vomit gets to be played any night of the week. That garbage actually decays the spirit of the entire environment, yet those performances can continue to go on and on. My guess is thought police people put club’s nuts in vice. The promoter did a great job even getting Waldteufel here to do a surprise set but had to unfortunately bend to the tears. The irony of SJWs complaining about this is beyond me. Waldteufel is playing a show with GENESIS P-ORRIDGE of all people!

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Waldteufel issued the statement below.

The misguided guilt by association witch-hunt that has ensued over Waldteufel’s billing with Psychic TV is sad and deplorable. Just because I have worked with some bands that are deemed controversial does not mean I share all or any of their views. And people evolve and change over the years, and I have done so as well. I am certainly far from perfect.

This much should be clear to all who know me – that I disdain all totalitarian forms of government including Fascism. I support indigenous cultures the world over. I have sided and been fascinated with American Native peoples since I was a child. Colonization has been a horrible mistake, and native peoples need more of a voice in what happens to their lands. I have always loved being outdoors in nature, so it’s a no-brainer I support environmental causes and justice and saving what we can of nature and wilderness, as well as finding ways to live sustainably with nature. I hope we can find a way out of capitalism and materialism. My spirituality is based on all of that, and I certainly do not buy into the notion of one’s culture or ethnicity’s superiority over another. I try to focus on the positive and life-affirming aspects, not division and emnity.

The underground scenes I have been lucky to be a part of include people of many diverse backgrounds, sexual orientations and viewpoints, and I feel privileged to call so many of them friends. I would not go through the trouble to make and maintain these connections if I was motivated by anything but love and support among artists and musicians.

I hope this clears up any misunderstandings some of you might have.

Apparently, it’s not enough to have some of the right thoughts; if you have any thoughts which do not conform to those right thoughts, or the appearance thereof, you must be censored. One might ask what the censors fear: that someone might spontaneously agree because the music is compelling?

Vic Records announces re-issue of Mythos Pain Amplifier in 2016

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Vic Records plans to re-issue the 1995 debut album from Finnish black metal band Mythos in early 2016. The new issue will include ten bonus tracks taken from the split CD Vociferous & Machiavellian Hate. Mythos fit into the later black metal years with music like Impaled Nazarene but adapted to longer, death-metal style songs.

The Pain Amplifier re-issue will include rare pictures and extensive liner notes, including notes from Evil Omen label boss Ludo Lejeune. This continues the “underground metal bubble” of re-issues and special additions for Generation Xers and millennials who never got a chance to own them the first time around, and this solid B-level black metal release should appeal to many from that group.