Progressive Metal Act SCARDUST Unveils Video For 'Stranger'
From New Concept Album
Latest clip from Israeli group’s forthcoming album tells the first chapter of a two-part story
An intriguing concept album built of complementary song pairs working from the outside in, “Strangers” – set to be released on Oct. 30 by M-Theory Audio – is the newest effort from acclaimed Israeli progressive/symphonic metal band SCARDUST. With one pair of songs already unveiled to the general public via the music videos for “Tantibus II” and “Addicted,” the band has now revealed the first chapter of another two-part saga with their new music video for the track “Stranger,” which can be viewed HERE. A video for its companion track will be released next week.
Says vocalist Noa Gruman, “When someone close to your heart is leaving you and you’re breaking down and feeling that you’re left to face the world on your own, the shared memories and moments that you had become 'Stranger.' Being neglected is a fragile and exposed feeling, so in this one song we chose to lose the choir and strings and strip things down to the core musicians. In the video, they are playing the song, but never together, in an obscure, unrealistic location. They are surrounded by concrete pillars and the scene is continuously spinning, leaving the viewer feeling dizzy and uncomfortable. Lyrics pop out here and there to highlight specific parts, and there are also hints of water by the musicians' feet and paint cans lying on the ground. One may wonder why, and it will all be revealed in the other side of the story, told from the side of the neglector.”
Mastered by Jens Bogren (Opeth, Devin Townsend, Arch Enemy), “Strangers” was written and composed jointly by singer Noa Gruman and composer Orr Didi, who also collaborated with Gruman on SCARDUST’s full-length debut “Sands of Time” – which was hailed by Prog Magazine as “extraordinary” – and their 2015 EP “Shadow.” The album features guest appearances from German folk musician Patty Gurdy, as well as vocals by the Hellscore choir and England’s prestigious Westbrook Hay Prep School Chamber Choir. Pre-orders for CD and limited-edition gray smoke vinyl editions of “Strangers” are now live HERE.
SCARDUST also recently launched the “Mist Cover Challenge,” an invitation for fans to play or sing along with the final minute of the new song “Mist,” the closing track of “Strangers.” To enter the challenge, follow the instructions at https://scardust.co/mist-cover-challenge/ and upload your video anywhere on social media, tagging the band and including the hashtag #scardustmist. Entries close on Oct. 25, and winners will be announced by the band during a special livestream on Nov. 1 that will also feature a live performance and a Q&A with special guest Patty Gurdy.
Blackened Progressive Metal Group VINTERSEA Reveals 'The Holy Procession' Music Video
Reissue of acclaimed debut album 'The Gravity of Fall' to be released on Friday
To celebrate Friday's reissue of their 2017 debut full-length, “The Gravity of Fall,” Pacific Northwestern phenoms VINTERSEA – whose unique fusion of majestic progressive metal, harsh blackened death and post-metal beauty has received extensive critical acclaim – have unveiled an appropriately ambitious new music video for the album's epic centerpiece, “The Holy Procession.” The clip – produced, edited, and directed by bassist Karl Whinnery – premiered yesterday on Knotfest.com and can now be viewed at HERE.
"'The Holy Procession' is the first song we wrote as a band,” says vocalist Avienne. “We wanted to produce a video that captured the magic in the room when we wrote that song. All the stops were pulled to make this video in terms of dramatism and performance from both the band and actors in the video. We are happy to show how much we have matured in both our performances and video production quality. 'The Holy Procession' has been a band- and fan-favorite, and we are proud to release a music video for it as an accompaniment to the reissue."
The music video for “The Holy Procession” is a sprawling concept video that matches the artistic ambition of VINTERSEA, complementing the 10-minute sonic journey through musical twists and turns, all of them showcasing the group's thrilling combination of hooks and heaviness. Portions were shot on location at the Historic Cumberland Church in Albany, Oregon. The music video is part of an ongoing community effort to restore the building, originally constructed in 1892.
“I came into the band after the first album was released and 'The Holy Procession' was my favorite track,” says bassist Karl Whinnery. “This video was tricky. Our initial filming dates were canceled due to the biblical fires that hit Oregon and choked our skies. Some of the outdoor shots were before the air quality went off the rails and everything had a red overtone. We decided to incorporate that into the video as an undercurrent theme. On a more positive note, we were lucky enough to film at a beautiful turn-of-the-century church in Albany, Oregon. A group is working hard to move it to a new location and make it a community, event and music center. You can see their progress and help their mission at albanycumberland.org!"
M-Theory Audio will shine a brighter light on the “The Gravity of Fall” with a limited-edition double-LP release that will spread VINTERSEA's initial full-length blast of sonic power – as well as their debut five-track 2014 EP, “Constellations” – across four sides of blackened wax. A CD reissue featuring expanded artwork and the “Constellations” material as downloadable bonus tracks will also be offered. Both formats will be released this Friday (Oct. 16) and are available now for pre-order HERE.
Originally self-released in 2017, “The Gravity of Fall” was hailed by No Clean Singing as “dynamic and genre-bending,” while Invisible Oranges praised the band for mixing a “Scandinavian flavor with a distinctly Pacific sound reminiscent of Agalloch and other more progressive moods.” The album – which has never before been offered on vinyl – was recorded by Justin Phelps (The Mars Volta, Joe Satriani) and mixed by Evan Sammons (Last Chance To Reason).
Fronted by Malaysian-born singer Avienne, whose vocal range spans from haunting melodies to fierce growls, VINTERSEA delivers heavy, emotionally powerful and technically intriguing music that is undeniably inspired by the majesty of the Pacific Northwest. The band's compelling combination of progressive metal, black metal and post-metal has been showcased live alongside groups such as Ne Obliviscaris, Jinjer, The Ocean, Sirenia and Arkona. VINTERSEA's latest record, 2019's “Illuminated,” was praised by Dead Rhetoric as “a wondrous, challenging record that will reward listeners who are seeking something more.”
FRENCH HARDCORE GROUP STINKY UNVEILS MUSIC VIDEO FOR ‘STRUGGLE’
Fifth music video from latest record, ‘Of Lost Things’; live acoustic performance to take place Oct. 15
The French band STINKY – praised by Outburn for its “solid melodic hardcore/punk that employs notes of Sick Of It All, Parkway Drive and Comeback Kid” – has released a music video for the song “Struggle,” from their recently-released third album (and M-Theory Audio debut) “Of Lost Things.” The clip – directed by Mathieu EZAN – can be seen HERE.
"It is a take-no prisoners song, with lyrics about strong themes such as emancipation and facing other's judgment," explains drummer Paul. "Not hiding yourself, not living in fear, staying true to yourself, not caring about what other people think about you. There's a connection between this song and the music scene we evolve in, a scene which is not as benevolent as one would think. Musically, the song is a lot more metal-oriented, with really heavy, dark parts in it."
"For this new music video we asked the help of the 'Bungalow Bunker' who build part of the scenery for the "Hellfest Open Air." No post-production effect was added, everything was homemade."
“Of Lost Things” – which was recorded in part by Fabien Guilloteau (Hacride, The Necromancers) and features cover artwork by Emy Rojas (Clutch, Ministry, Queens of the Stone Age) – features 11 tracks of metallic hardcore that the UK's Down For Life magazine praised for its “monstrous anthems and full-on bangers.” The clip for “Struggle” is the fifth music video to be released from the record, joining “Revival Fire,” which features footage of the band performing live at last year's Hellfest; “Strangers With Familiar Faces,” which originally premiered via Germany's Visions Magazine; “Distance,” which was unveiled via New Noise Magazine and quickly added to Spotify's New Punk Tracks and All The Rage playlists; and “Rough Diamond (Unplugged),” the album’s uncharacteristically delicate closing track.
While STINKY's plans to tour in support of “Of Lost Things” have been postponed indefinitely, the group will return to the stage on Oct. 15, when they will perform a private acoustic concert at Matt's Guitar Shop in Paris, France. The band will grant limited entry to select fans through a drawing on their Facebook page (www.facebook.com/stinkyhc). This concert will mark their first live performance since participating in French metal festival Hellfest's “Hellfest From Home” recent livestream event. The band's set can be viewed HERE.
The initial orange splatter vinyl pressing of “Of Lost Things” is already a collector's item thanks to an overwhelming response via the band's Bandcamp page. While a limited number of copies are still available online and at select record shops around the world, the band recently introduced a new vinyl pressing – a limited-edition orange-and-black variant that is currently available exclusively on the band's Bandcamp page (stinkyhc.bandcamp.com).
Since their formation a decade ago, STINKY has played more than 350 concerts across 15 different countries in support of their first two albums, 2015's “Against Wind and Tide” and 2017's “From Dead-End Street.” While the band's name might seem curious to some, their music – a combustible mix of energy and aggression that the UK's Midlands Metalheads Radio says “makes you feel like you can headbutt through a brick wall” – unquestionably passes the smell test.
SHADOWS FALL TO REISSUE ‘OF ONE BLOOD’ ON BLACK FRIDAY 2020
New Wave of American Heavy Metal pioneers celebrate 20th anniversary of seminal release
In conjunction with the album's 20th anniversary, M-Theory Audio is proud to announce the first-ever domestic vinyl release of “Of One Blood,” the breakthrough album from Grammy-nominated New Wave of American Heavy Metal pioneers SHADOWS FALL! This new blood-red pressing – to be released on Black Friday 2020 (exclusive to indie stores via RSD) – also marks the first-ever vinyl release of the remixed and remastered version of the album by Zeuss (Rob Zombie, Hatebreed, Suicide Silence) and Grammy-award winning engineer Alan Douches (High on Fire, Motorhead, The Black Dahlia Murder). In addition, a newly-designed gatefold insert includes rare pictures and new liner notes by vocalist Brian Fair.
Praised by Metal Hammer for “mixing metalcore sensibilities with classic metal motifs,” SHADOWS FALL was founded 25 years ago by guitarists Jon Donais (currently the lead guitarist of thrash legends Anthrax) and Matt Bachand (now a member of Act of Defiance). Soon after the group released their debut album – which featured All That Remains vocalist Phil Labonte – in 1997, Fair was recruited to be the group's new front man. After a year's worth of live shows together, the band entered Massachusetts' Planet Z Studios with producer Zeuss to record what would become a seminal album in the burgeoning New Wave of American Heavy Metal movement.
Influenced in equal parts by classic Bay Area thrash, Scandinavian melodic death and New England hardcore, “Of One Blood” ushered in a new era for metal that emphasized heaviness, hooks and taut musicianship. AllMusic.com applauded the record for its “unique blend of thrash backbone, progressive metal precision and classic metal influences.” To support the album, the group toured extensively alongside the likes of Hatebreed, In Flames, Converge, Lamb of God and Unearth, in addition to sharing festival stages with Pantera and Slayer.
“Of One Blood” set the stage for the band to achieve additional success on their subsequent release, 2002's “The Art of Balance,” which saw the group join Ozzy Osbourne's Ozzfest tour en route to selling more than 250,000 copies. From there, the band cracked the Billboard Top 20 with 2004's “The War Within” – which sold more than 400,000 copies and earned the band its first Grammy nomination – before signing with Atlantic Records for the release of 2007's “Threads of Life,” which saw the band receive a second Grammy nomination. Two more acclaimed albums followed before Donais was invited to join Anthrax in 2013, a move which would eventually cause SHADOWS FALL to go on indefinite hiatus.
Only time will tell whether a reunion is in the cards, but for now, make Nov. 27, 2020 bloody with “Of One Blood”!
EXMORTUS UNVEILS PLAY-THROUGH VIDEO FOR ‘NIGHT ON BALD MOUNTAIN’
Cassette reissue of death/thrash/shred quartet’s horror-themed EP ‘Legions of the Undead’ out now
One year ago, the Los Angeles-based death/thrash/shred quartet EXMORTUS – hailed by MetalSucks for their “mix of thrash, death metal and shred that's absolutely irresistible” – ushered in the Halloween season with a new horror-themed EP, “Legions of the Undead.” The group kicks off this year's festivities with a new play-through video for one of the tracks from that release, “Night On Bald Mountain.” The clip can be viewed HERE, where a limited-edition cassette (only 100 pressed) of the EP is now available exclusively for purchase on the group’s Bandcamp page (which includes digital download).
The play-through video for “Night On Bald Mountain” – a classical piece originally written in the 19th Century by Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky, and famously featured in the 1940 Disney animated feature “Fantasia” – showcases the impressive instrumental prowess of the group’s four members.
"What a year it's been since 'Legions...' came out! To celebrate the anniversary, we thought it would be cool to release the EP in cassette form and finally do a 'Night on Bald Mountain' jam video," says guitarist/vocalist Jadran "Conan" Gonzalez. "We have more in store for the end of the year so stay tuned and most importantly stay safe! Thank you all for the support! Shred on, legions!"
“Legions Of The Undead” marked the first EXMORTUS release featuring the lineup – Gonzalez, guitarist Chase Becker (also of Warbringer), bassist Cody Nunez and drummer Adrian Aguilar – that had logged numerous miles on the road together over the prior two years with the likes of Obituary, Venom Inc., Sabaton, Kreator, Havok, Allegaeon, Hatchet, Homewrecker and The Absence. The five-track release – recorded with longtime producer Zack Ohren (Machine Head, Immolation) at Oakland's Sharkbite Studios – also includes two originals (“Swallow Your Soul” and the title track), as well as covers of two other well-known instrumentals performed in the band's inimitable neoclassical metal style: Danny Elfman's “Beetlejuice” theme and Bernard Hermann's iconic “Psycho Theme.”
Founded by Gonzalez when he was just 12 years old, EXMORTUS released their debut album, “In Hatred's Flame,” via Heavy Artillery in 2008. After gaining additional acclaim with their 2011 sophomore effort “Beyond The Fall Of Time,” the group signed a three-album deal with Prosthetic Records in 2013. In support of that acclaimed trilogy of releases (2014's “Slave To The Sword,” 2016's “Ride Forth” and 2018's “The Sound Of Steel”), the band toured alongside some of metal's biggest names, including Amon Amarth, Children of Bodom, Abbath, Dark Tranquillity and Marty Friedman, earning extensive praise along the way for their live power, prowess and proficiency.