Metal Shards, Vol. 1

Introducing a new section to the blog (coming a little late this time, but that will be rectified) is a fairly off-kilter round-up of the news pieces since the beginning of the year that I found interesting and want to share with you. They are taken from various sources such as Terrorizer, The Gauntlet, Home Of Metal and Metal Hammer, and if they require a link then I will try and provide one to the original text or video where possible. Obviously a whole host of other things has happened as well as these items, but this site was not designed to be a news-centric site, so if you want to know more then go on one of the sites mentioned. Still, hopefully this section proves of interest to people, do give feedback below.

1. Randy Blythe is in the Presidential Race.
First off, something which at first sounds like one of the usual rants from one of metal’s most outspoken vocalists. But this time the Lamb Of God vocalist isn’t messing around: he’s seriously shooting to become POTUS. Read his opening manifesto about foreign policy on his blog, Randonesia.

2. Howard Jones is out of Killswitch Engage
In a move which will shock most metal listeners who follow the more “mainstream” acts, prominent metalcore act Killswitch Engage have lost their distinctive vocalist Howard Jones, who has cited “personal issues” and not having the musical drive to continue (sound familiar?). The band have already shot down the rumor that All That Remains frontman Phil Labonte won’t be taking over. And so, as the internet usually does, it has kicked off a lot of speculation over who the new guy will be. One hotly-tipped favorite is Tommy Vext of Divine Heresy (check out his voice here), who sounds like a strong contender, although I wouldn’t mind hearing some more stuff from Jesse Leach, who was KsE’s original singer (and whose album Alive Or Just Breathing I adore). We’ll have to see what happens.

3. Wormrot arrested on New Year’s Eve
Everyone’s favorite Indonesian grindcore nice guys were held in a police station on New Year’s Eve after a concert FOR HAVING GUYS AND GIRLS SLEEPING IN THE SAME ROOM. The band wrote on their Tumblr (Azean’s viewpoint, Rasyid’s viewpoint) about the events, which you can read for yourself, and remain surprisingly calm about the whole thing, especially the religious intolerance of the people involved. Especially after the punk arrests that went on recently, this has been a fair bit to enrage the extreme music community. My thoughts are with those in the scene out there, and I hope the situation improves.

4. Alcest album streaming on YouTube
This news made my jaw fall open. Alcest is the work of French musician Neige, who has made some fantastic albums with this project in the past. And Les Voyages De L’Âme is precisely on that same level of beauty. The melodic and shoe gazing style of black metal is enveloping in its atmosphere, and his vocals are otherworldly. But don’t let me rant about it, go to this link now and hear for yourselves! Streaming here.

5. New Meshuggah (March 27th), Black Breath (March) and Converge (Summer) announced.
Amidst a whole plethora of new and interesting-sounding material, these three bands stood out in particular. Meshuggah always sound promising when it comes to headcrushing metal, Black Breath were astounding on their début of punk-meets-thrash and Converge are one of the founders of the metalcore genre. I’m looking forward to all three of these, along with a whole host of other ones, such as Swallow The Sun and (strangely, maybe too optimistically) the new Metallica album due.

6. David Gold (Woods Of Ypres) dies in a car accident.
I may be a bit slow to report on this one, but it’s still fairly shocking. One of the kindest members of the Canadian metal scene passed away suddenly in a road accident recently, just after completing work on Woods Of Ypres’ 5th studio album, due to be released posthumously this year. Earache Records were particularly touching in their tribute to him, which can be found on Facebook. May he rest in peace, my thoughts are with his loved ones.

7. Cannabis Corpse hold a benefit concert for Cory Smoot, Randy Blythe guests.
Featuring twice in this news section, Randy has taken vocal lead in a benefit concert organized by parody death metallers Cannabis to raise money for the recently-deceased Cory Smoot of GWAR, who passed away from cancer recently. By all accounts, the gig was a blast, here’s a video of the band rehearsing “Blunted At Birth”.

8. Metallica are to make a 3D movie.
An announcement was made by the band a while ago about making a 3D movie a while ago, and then they went silent about the matter. Turns out it wasn’t a hoax or a throwaway comment, the movie will happen, and it’s due for release sometime in 2013. Talk about forward planning!

9. About A Plane Crash are (slightly) douchebags.
UK deathcore act About A Plane Crash have been kicking up a shitstorm recently with their alleged antics at a gig. The concert, supporting two other local acts at a 16-year-old’s birthday party, resulted in the venue getting trashed with the bar destroyed (and alcohol being served to minors), the band being accused of stealing equipment and making racist remarks. Turns out most of the bad blood has been cleared up, although the equipment and racist comments haven’t been completely cleared. Still, anyone going onto their Facebook page can see a complete amount of hate pasted all over their wall. Just goes to show, don’t mess with the scene or they will mess back.

10. Primarkial release a cover album.
Finally, on a lighter note, a Primordial parody band have released a cover album of songs. Those in the UK will get the band’s reference to the well-known clothing store, showing the band don’t intend on taking themselves too seriously, also with their choice of album title: The Gardening Wildebeest (parodying The Gathering Wilderness). Those who know me will know my adoration of Primordial, so this album will certainly be one to check out!

Hope it’s been a fun ride, looking forward to next time.

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