Hellbound is Canada's newest online magazine featuring heavy metal in all its glorious forms. Hellbound is written by fans for fans. Updated weekdays with album reviews, interviews, blog entries and more.
The very first edition of Helliad Fest will be taking place in Polish town Gdynia on 23-24 August 2019. First day of the festival will be indoors at the club Muzycznu Ucho in centre of Gdynia, day two will be open air at the park Kolibki outside the town, right in front of the beach.
Organized by an experienced team, the festival will focus on the more extreme side of metal, like death, black, doom and feature Polish and Scandinavian bands promoting cultural exchange between the two regions.
Helliad Fest will be a family friendly festival and will have a separate Kids Zone with attractions for the youngest.
Helliad’s debut in the festival world will start with some well known names. Main festival day headliners will be Norwegian black metal band Satyricon. Other Scandinavian acts will include Norwegian black metallers Slagmaur and Swedish death metal band Desolator. Featured Polish bands will be death metallers Decapitated, controversial black metal group Batushka, post metal quintet Obscure Sphinx, progressive extreme metallers Blindead, black metal band Blaze of Perdition, industrial metal six- piece Thy Disease, stoner outfit Belzebong, post/sludge metal band Entropia, black/ noise/experimental group Thaw, psychedelic/electronic quintet Sunwôrm, black metallers In Twilight’s Embrace and Nightrun 87– a synthwave solo project of American- British muscian/ producer living in Poland William Malcolm.
It’s a good thing that Saint Vitus spent a couple years out on the road with Scott Reagers back in the fold before heading into the studio to record this second self-titled album with their original singer. I caught ‘em in Cleveland in 2016, and they were quite strong in the live setting. Reagers has not lost his voice at all, and the pairing of his soaring vocals with Dave Chandler’s chunky riffs is pure doom-metal perfection…which brings us to this album.
Self-Titled 2 is a rarity in the Vitus catalogue in that it’s over 40 minutes long – only their two post-Wino albums from the 90’s are lengthier than its 41-minute runtime. And while it does have its share of preludes, interludes and even a 90-second hardcore punk number at the end, it can still stand proudly next to some of those 35-minute classics from back in the day.
“Remains” gets things started with a classic Chandler riff assault more vicious and viscous than a milkshake to a Brexiteer’s noggin. Reagers comes in like a man possessed around 1:20 in, mixing in a gruffer growl with his trademark wail. It even has an extended, strangled-cat guitar solo – another Saint Vitus signature.
Following a three-minute prelude (fittingly titled “A Prelude To”), “Bloodshed” picks up the tempo considerably, a three-minute stomper in the vein of “White Stallions” or “War is Our Destiny.” A little derivative, perhaps, but I can’t complain – “White Stallions” is a personal fav. “12 Years in the Tomb” is also up-tempo by Vitus standards, and comes complete with the catchiest chorus on this record. “Wormhole” brings things back down to a funereal crawl, perfect for some slow-to-mid-tempo headbanging. Oh, and there’s references to trolls, zombies and the walking dead in the lyrics.
The main riff in “Hour Glass” should be required reading for all bearded hipsters enrolled in Doom Metal 101. The verse is vocal-driven, which only makes its periodic reappearance all the more impactful. Zipping synths and croaking bullfrogs dominate “City Park,” along with a lonely bassline and some ominous spoken word. This would be one of those throwaway tracks I was talking about. But then they deliver another tender morsel of doom in “Last Breath,” just as gloomy and depressing as anything heard on Hallow’s Victim…or even Die Healing.
And then, for the hell of it, they throw in a 90-second hardcore song, “Useless,” at the end. It’s actually quite good, if you like Discharge – not something I thought I’d ever be writing in a Saint Vitus review, mind you.
Saint Vitus - Saint Vitus (2019) full album - YouTube
While not completely underground (they’ve played almost every major U.S. doomfest over the past few years), Doomstress has managed to fly under my radar until now. Formerly known as Project Armageddon, this Texas outfit had put out three albums under their previous moniker…but this is their first full-length release under the new name. In any case, if you like the sounds of Castle, but wish they were doomier, then this record is for you.
Sleep Among the Dead starts off with the up-tempo stomp of “Bitter Plea,” which reminds me of Castle in both the riffs and the vocal department. However, the slow section that first kicks in a little over a minute in offers a gloomy – albeit brief – change of pace. Around the 2:30 mark, we get a nice, crunchy, Sabbath-style riff that leads into a soaring guitar solo, after which things mellow out considerably before the final verse kicks in. “Burning Lotus” offers up more of a power-metal vibe with its steady, trad-metal chug, although they do slow things down a bit on this one, as well, with a particularly punishing doom-metal passage past the three-minute mark. “Dreaming Spider” is much more slow from the get-go. The first real riff doesn’t start until about 90-seconds in, and it’s an excellent slice of melodic doom metal, paired with eerily soothing vocals a la Jex Thoth. “Your God is Blind” offers up another solid, doomy riff, leading up to an incredibly catchy chorus. You’ll wanna raise your fist and yell along to this…
The gloom and despair continues with the Candlemass-infused “Bones and Rust” and the nearly eight-minute “Apathetic Existence,” which adopts the doomy, plodding pace of Witch Mountain at their bluesiest, or even “Black Sabbath” (the song) before building to a soaring, slow-mo chorus that allows the vocals to shine, only picking up the pace to a steady chug past the five-minute mark. This record simply gets slower and more depressing as it goes on – with the album-closing title track offering up some of the best riffs for slow-mo headbanging – which is kinda what you want from this kinda music, isn’t it?
Swedes In Flames headlining the seventh edition of Elbriot
The 7th edition of the Elbriot Festival will take place right in the heart of German city Hamburg, at the Grossmarkt on Saturday, 17 August 2019.
Elbriot festival’s headliners this year will be heavy metallers In Flames. The Swedes released their latest album I, the Mask on 1 March this year and Elbriot will be the last stop on their long summer festival list.
With more confirmations on the way, we also will have the chance to see the energetic Australian quartet Airbourne, American metalcore band Hatebreed, Californian’s Of Mice & Men, theatrical Swedish heavy metal act Avatar, British power metal band DragonForce, Swiss avantgarde metal six- piece Zeal & Ardor and Ukrainian metallers Jinjer.
That promises to be a wonderful festival day!
In 2018 the organisers of Elbriot Festival come up with a new festival – Hammaburg Fest, which took place a day before Elbriot at the same location with focus on medieval rock and metal.
Hammaburg Fest’s debut in the festival world started with four German bands: medieval metal band In Extremo, heavy metal five-piece Die Apokalyptischen Reiter, medieval folk rockers Schandmaul and Feuerschwanz.
After a successful first year, the second edition of Hammaburg Fest will be taking place on Friday, August 16th at the same location as Elbriot – Grossmarkt im Hamburg. This year the festival is planning to lead us down the memory lane and focus on the 1980s and ’90s. So far we have two confirmations: British rockers Sisters of Mercy and Swedish rap metal band Clawfinger.
A good heavy show was just what I needed to kick off the weekend after a few days of being stuck indoors with the current wild fires blazing in Alberta and making the air shit to breathe. I arrived at the show pretty early – I wanted to catch all the bands as I had only seen one of the four of them before.
Opening the night was 68. This heavy two piece had a pretty early start time of 6:30pm, but there was still a pretty good sized crowd starting to see them play.
Dance with the Dead was second to hit the stage. These guys were definitely a little different than the rest of the acts last night. With no vocals and just keyboards and guitars this synthwave group may have not been for everyone but from what I saw they had a good number of people moving along and headbanging to them.
Devin Townsend was the real treat of the night for me. Around the time Strapping Young Lad disbanded is when I was first introduced to Devin’s music. His whole set last night had the crowd singing along and then bursting in laughter seconds later. As this was an acoustic set Devin was able to really get intimate with the crowd. Even though he only had time for seven songs he was cracking jokes left, right and centre from everything about his marriage of 30 years to the 30 or more albums he has put out over the years.
Avatar was the real heavy hitter for the evening. Just like the last time I saw them they had a killer stage set up and killer lights, which makes it great for taking photos. This was only the second time Avatar has been through Edmonton; the first was in October of 2018 with Trivium and Light the Torch at the same location, the Ranch Roadhouse. Starting their set they opened up with “Glory To Our King” and had guitarist Jonas Jarlsby rise up in a throne out of the risers. Playing some of their singles like “A Statue of the King,” “Smells Like a Freakshow” and “Hail the Apocalypse,” they gave fans got their monies’ worth with a well over 15-song setlist.
Join us this month as we celebrate 10 full years of Hellbound! – and as we carry on with our monthly staff picks. May the metal be with you!
New Release: Membranes – What Nature Gives… Nature Takes Away.
Live: Asomvel At Dolans Limerick. A killer mix of Venom and Motorhead… which is as it should be but seldom is.
Non Metal: Tangerine Dream – The Official Bootleg Series Volume Three.
Wild Card: The Many Lives of the Evil Dead. An excellent collection of essays about the much loved series. And remember, Bruce Campbell, Sam Raimi and Robert Tappert. No Ash… No Evil Dead.
New Release: Call of the Void – Buried in Light (Translation Loss, May 10, 2019): “loud metallic sludgepunk” sounds pretty accurate. This band’s brand of rage is satisfyingly great. Heavy and not too crazy, it makes you feel alive on the way toward death.
Listening to: Carcass – Mount Of Execution (Surgical Steel, Nuclear Blast, 2013)
New Release: Vader – Thy Messenger (Nuclear Blast, May 31st)
Live: The Absence, Jungle Rot, Origin, Deicide. May 28th @ Mod Club Theatre, Toronto.
Non-metal: With the loss of my Grandpa this past week, I’ve been listening to some country songs that he really enjoyed and also bring back good memories. This ones for him: Travis Tritt – Where Corn Don’t Grow (The Restless Kind, Warner Bros. Records, 1996)
Wild Card: Mid90s. A film written and directed by Jonah Hill
Into The Grave Festival returns in 2019 bigger and stronger with a three day weekend and two stages.
Taking place in quite a unique setting, on a former graveyard and set against the backdrop of a historical tower and with mega line-up, Into The Grave festival is a treat for any metal fan.
Into The Grave festival’s 9th edition will be taking place on 9-11 August at the town center of Leeuwarden, Netherlands. This year as an addition to the two main festival days, the organizers have added a shorter third day and also a second stage. Right now there are maintenance works in process on the festival site to position the main stage differently to previous years, so that it does not obstruct sight of the crooked tower of Oldehove.
In the past years at the festival fans have enjoyed Kreator, Slayer, Sepultura, Sodom, Life Of Agony, Sabaton, Amon Amarth, Arch Enemy, Gojira, Behemoth just to mention few.
This year’s festival will feature as headliners American heavy metallers Anthrax, German power metal quintet Powerwolf and Swedish progressive metal band Opeth alongside other metal acts such as American thrash metal five piece Death Angel, Italian gothic metallers Lacuna Coil, British progressive metal band Tesseract, New Zeeland heavy metal trio Alien Weaponry, mighty thrashers Testament and many more.
Every fan knows that punk rock has had a fantastic relationship and tradition with bootleg records, and that tradition has now broken into the mainstream as well. In the twenty-first century, bands like The Doors, the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Pearl Jam as well as artists like Jeff Tweedy, Neil Young and Lars Frederiksen have released a stream of great sounding live recordings under the “bootleg” moniker to the expressed joy and appreciation of fans, and have deepened the well of insight into some of those artists’ creative mindsets too. Granted, not ALL of what has come out has been gold – but the set of successes which have come along have increased the chance that a bootleg release can be something to get excited about and can be a chance worth taking at the record store.
bootlegs have proven to be great articles worth finding, but then there are the
rest – which is the category into
which DK40 falls. This 3CD set
presents three shows – two from ’82 and one from
shortly before singer Jello Biafra’s exit in 1986 [the show which appears here is from The Farm in San Francisco, CA in
1985] – and, between those three sets,
illustrates the three points that most listeners recognize as “the bootleg experience”:
a set which features good sound quality (captured, in this case, at the
Paradiso in the Netherlands in 1982), a set of fairly mediocre sound quality
(captured in Munich, Germany in 1982) and a set that doesn’t sound bad but
simply wasn’t a really great show (the San Francisco show from 1985). Now, it
can’t be said that there aren’t flaws in each of these sets but, combined as
they are, they make for a reasonably decent listening experience.
It needs to
be conceded that, on their first pass through this set, DK40 will leave listeners actively trying to adjust to its lower
fidelity. Initially, cuts like “Police Truck,” “Holiday In Cambodia”
and “Kill The Poor” from the Paradiso disc, “Forward To Death,” “Let’s Lynch The Landlord” and “Too Drunk To Fuck” from the Munich disc and “Goons of Hazard,” “This Could Be Anywhere” and “MTV Get Off the Air” (from the San Francisco disc) all split their time
between sounding papery and muddy, but the passion put out by Jello Biafra’s
voice and the swirling pull of the instrumental performances is both noxious
and hypnotic. Likewise, historians will be fascinated to hear Jello bring the
proceedings to a grinding halt in San Francisco, and tell fans to back away
from the stage so fans pressed against it don’t either climb up onto it or get
crushed on it. Such acts make perfect sense on one hand, but also fly in the
face of the media’s presentation of punk as hordes of violent fools in the
Eighties on the other – which helps to make this set
feel a bit more real and revealing.
In the end, while miles from perfect, it’s the combination of the sound, the songs and the spirit in these songs detailed above that makes DK40 worthwhile. That the sound quality is raw, rough and unrefined proves not to be as great a detractor as one might expect; rather, the warts-and-all impression left by each of these three CDs makes each feel like a perfect time capsule of a moment and the spirit of that moment, and it will definitely appeal both to younger potential fans, as well as being a document of the moment that will thrill older fans because it illustrates that not all documents from were destroyed or lost to some bulk tape eraser.
Man, The Sanctuary has gotta be the nicest bar I’ve ever seen a metal show in. There’s no way the place is more than two years old — it’s clean, pristine, with a nice bar area out front and a spacious, 150-200 capacity concert space in the back, complete with a decent-sized stage and a solid sound system. Oh, and here’s the kicker: three-dollar beers! OK, they might not be craft, but you can get cheap ‘n shitty brews like Hamms, Schlitz, PBR and Blue for no more than three bucks a can — Hamm’s was only two bucks, which practically makes it Doug Ford’s wet dream!!!
Duuuude, I would go to pretty much every gig at this place…if it wasn’t in Detroit. As it stands, I was in town to see Church of Misery, a band that would have played Canada a few years ago, were it not for a U.S. government shutdown preventing their paperwork from arriving in time. This particular tour was strictly in the States, connecting MDF, which they played two days prior, with Austin Terrorfest. And not only was I catching Tatsu Mikami and company for just the second time, but it was my first time seeing Nick Oliveri — in any capacity — as well.
After a blazing set from local Detroit openers Against the Grain (who’ve played Toronto more times than all the other bands combined), Toke mellowed the buzz considerably with their brand of low ‘n slow Carolina sludge. This trio sounds like if Sleep and Weedeater had a baby, and that baby was addicted to opioids. Man, this is some good shit!
To the surprise and delight of the audience, Mondo Generator busted out a couple classic Kyuss covers — “Green Machine” and “Allen’s Wrench” — with Oliveri effectively channelling John Garcia, especially on the former. They also played a brand new tune called “Kyuss Dies,” in case you’re wondering where his feelings lie…