The Metal File recently interviewed Voivod drummer Michel “Away” Langevin. To no surprise, the interview mainly concerns the band’s new (thirteenth) album, Target Earth, released on January 22nd by Iron Gang Factory and Century Media.
According to Langevin one of the reasons why the album sounds a lot like earlier Voivod is because bassist Jean-Yves “Blacky” Thériault is back in the band after a 17 year absence, being closely involved in the songwriting with new guitarist Dan “Chewy” Mongrain. Among all the “very progressive” songs with “strange time signatures”, Langevin requested to include two more thrash-y songs à la Motörhead, which resulted in “Kluskap O’Kom” and in the band’s first French song, “Corps Étranger”.
Langevin also says that due to Voivod’s 30th anniversary this month, the band plans live tours throughout the world this year, starting in Canada, crossing North and South America, then going to Europe and ending in Asia. In between tours they want to write new material. The past is alive.
We know what the vast majority of the public have moved on to, which is the hipster/indie/emo hybrid of the -core genres, but it’s hard to blame them since underground metal is underproducing.
Underground metal is in stagnation. For the last 18 years, nothing new has come of it, although there have been standouts in the old style. We’ve been relegated to the “old school” category.
It isn’t that the talented musicians are gone. It’s that they got overwhelmed by untalented imitators interested in fame, money and socially popular topics. The good was marginalized by the mediocre.
Death metal is the ultimate evolution of metal. Black metal added melody to it. The next stages will have to do something substantially distinctive, or do it substantially better, in order to get noticed to the degree that musicians want. Three chords and the truth will not do it.
Perhaps all of metal should go back to Metallica’s “Orion” and try to re-innovate from there.
A collaboration between zine enthusiasts Alan Moses (Buttface zine) and Brian Pattison (Chainsaw Abortions zine), this relic features rare photographs and stories from the bands themselves. There are no outside influences to censor or alter what is displayed.
Reminiscent of Zoyd Wheeler, a California stoner who dives through plate-glass windows in order to keep qualifying for government mental disability benefits in Thomas Pynchon’s Vineland, a 47-year-old man in Sweden is on the dole for his addiction to heavy metal.
“I’m still addicted,” said Hässleholm resident Roger Tullgren, according to The Local. His addiction, which is seen as a mental disability, allows him to receive benefits to supplement his income because he listens to too much metal to hold down a full-time job.
Since we all know that jobs are jails, and 75% of what goes on in offices is redundant and could be eliminated, it seems a positive trade. After all, he’s receiving only the equivalent of $150 per month, and spends much of his time with his band. The whole thing might just be a promotional stunt.
But this brings us the broader question: we are Hessians united by a culture and a vision. Our cultural belief includes the attitude that jobs should be done efficiently so people can go on to do more interesting things with their lives. Why are we still sending everyone to kill eight hours a day at jobs? One explanation is that people simply don’t know what to do with themselves otherwise.
Another view is that we could do this, but then people would need to find something compelling to fill that time slot. They’d need to find a purpose, or meaning in life. At least Roger Tullgren has found his, even if many people think he’s committing himself to Satan as a result. And what’s wrong with that?
On January 1st, England’s Abyssal released their second album of decomposing death metal via digital download.
Deriving influences from early Immolation, Incantation, and most noticeably Arkhon Infaustus; Abyssal executes their lust for decay and molds it into a good mixture of modern death/doom metal. If a rat gnawing at a corpse manifested into a soundtrack, this would be suiting.
“In a decaying society, art, if it is truthful, must also reflect decay.” – Ernst Fischer
Middle earth sweeping epic metal band Summoning are due to release their next full-length soon. Old Morning’s Dawn will follow after a lengthy gap the spectacular and critically-acclaimed Oath Bound released seven years ago.
After black metal fired off its initial salvo by 1995, Summoning rose from a melodic black metal band into their own style, which meshed longer melodies, lush keyboards and backgrounded guitars, Tolkien-derived imagery and softened but rasping vocals. Building on the work of other long-phrase black metal bands like Ancient, early Enslaved and Gorgoroth, but using its own sense of tempo and mood, Summoning quickly became a favorite for many who were searching for a new direction after the underground blazed out with a final peak of intensity in albums like Transilvanian Hunger and Hvis Lyset Tar Oss.
This weighty inheritance would be too much for any band to handle, but Summoning have refined it over the years, first adding more traditional folk elements and then dialing it back to a streamlined metal sound. During that time, they’ve also fought off accusations of political impropriety and overcome personnel changes and the mercurial black metal scene/market. With their audience primed with the release of the recent movie The Hobbit, Summoning are ready for conquest yet again.
Proto-death metal ear smashers Master launch an ambitious tour in 2013 in support of their newest album, which sounds the most like modern death metal since their popular On the Seventh Day… release. Catch them in your city or suffer ignominious sodomy!
Fri. March 1st – Los Angeles, CA @ The Joint
Sat.March 2nd – Richmond, CA @ Burnt Ramen
Sun.March 3rd – Portland, OR @ The Branx
Mon.March 4th – Seattle, WA @ 2 Bit Saloon
Tue. March 5th – Boise, ID @ The Red Room
Wed.March 6th – Salt Lake City, UT – TBA
Thu. March 7th – Cheyenne, WY @ Forum619
Fri. March 8th – Topeka, KS @ The Boobie Trap
Sat.March 9th – St. Louis, MO @ Fubar
Sun.March 10th – Madison, WI @ The Frequency
Mon.March 11th – Chicago, IL @ Reggie’s Rock Club
Tue. March 12th – Warren, MI @ The Ritz
Wed. March 13th – Rochester, NY @ Bug Jar
Thu. March 14th – New England – TBA
Fri. March 15th – Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus Bar
Sat. March 16th – Philadelphia, PA @ Gunners Run
Sun. March 17th – Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar
Tue. March 19th – Chattanooga, TN – TBA
Wed.March 20th – New Orleans, LA @ Siberia
Thu. March 21st – Fort Worth, TX @ Tomcats West
Fri. March 22nd – Oklahoma City@Chameleon Room
Sat. March 23rd – Houston, TX @ BFE Rock Club
Sun. March 24th – Austin, TX @ Dirty Dog Bar
Mon. March 25th – Midland, TX @ Fast Freddy’s
Tue. March 26th – El paso, TX @ House of Rock
Wed.March 27th – Albuquerque, NM @ Launchpad
Fri. March 29th – Mexicali, MX @ Bar El Andariego
Sat. March 30th – Pomona, CA @ Characters
Sun. March 31st – CA – TBA
Mon.April 1st – Fullerton, CA @ Slidebar