Friday, September 9, 2011

Attention Deficit Domination

File:Attention Deficit Domination.JPGHardcore Hank3 fans have been waiting a long time for Mr. Williams' doom metal release. He has been playing doom for many years at his concerts, but, due to his contract with Curb Records he was able to release just one metal album. Now that he is free of his contract with Curb and is self-releasing his albums he has finally decided to put out his first Attention Deficit Domination doom record.

Attention Deficit Domination is exactly what you would expect from a doom metal album. It's slow and sludgy, extremely heavy, and has mountains of distortion. The songs on the album are excellent and far worth the years of waiting for this album. That being said, nothing on this album is groundbreaking. Then again, a genre that tries it's hardest to stay true to it's roots with straight-up Black Sabbath, St. Vitus, and Trouble worship is the last place you'd be looking for innovation anyways.

The album opens up with "In The Camouflage", a very catchy song that has a nice chorus. This song transitions into the very old-school, Black Sabbath-sounding "I Feel Sacrificed". "Sacrificed" is an album highlight that would have any old-school headbanger throwing the devil horns up in the air.

As the album slowly (pun intended) proceeds to it's mid-point the listener is hit with the best track on the album, "Livin' Beyond Doom". A nearly 9 minute masterpiece that asks all of life's tough questions (Are we aliens? Are we reptilians? Are we just an experiment for sacrifice?) it even has the requisite scary/haunted house interlude in the middle. Deeper into the album you find some more heavy gems as well. "Demon's Mark" would be a great song if it didn't share the exact same riff as Ghost's "Con Clavi Con Dio" (which came first, though? Hank may have written this song long before Ghost even existed. He also may not have.) Album closer "Goats 'N' Heathens" is another stand-out track on this release. It is one of the faster songs on the album, complete with double-bass drumming and some growled vocals. The lyrics cover the same heavy metal fair that you have heard before (Demons! Lucifer!).

Don't let the sometimes cheesy lyrics detract from your enjoyment of this album, though. This is an excellent doom metal release that should alert those in the doom world who are unaware of Hank3 that he is a force to be reckoned with. Very old-school sounding.


1. In The Camouflage
2. I Feel Sacrificed
3. Bend
4. Make A Fall
5. Livin' Beyond Doom
6. Demon's Mark
7. Aman
8. Get Straight
9. Goats 'N' Heathens

3 Bar Ranch-Cattle Callin'

Hank3's four album drop on September 6th promised to bring us a new country record, a doom record, and a speed metal record. 3 Bar Ranch Cattle Callin is the speed metal album. But, after listening to it, I'm not sure that speed metal is the correct term. Is it fast? Yes. Is it loud? Yes. Does it annoy those who don't get Hank3? Yes. So, I guess speed metal is as close a known genre as your going to get from this release. In reality, though, it's exactly what you would expect from Hank3. Something entirely different from anything you've ever heard.

The main premise of this album is that it is supposed to be metal music paired with cattle auctioneering laid over top of the music. And that's exactly what this is. In fact, every single song features an auctioneer. So much so that by the midway point in the album you would do anything to make the auctioneers shut up. It's annoying. Really annoying.

When the album begins with opener "Black Cow" you may think that this is kind of an interesting concept. And it is until songs start repeating. That's right, some songs are on the album more than once. And the only difference? That some of them have Hank3 screaming some unintelligible stuff over the auctioneers. Don't get me wrong, this album does have it's moments. In fact, the music on many of the songs is downright awesome. If this album were to be released as a metal album with standard vocals I would probably be hailing this as a masterpiece right now. "Mad Cow", with it's black metal musical styling is probably the best musical piece on the album. But, the fact is that the cattle auctioneering pretty well ruins the album. Once the novelty wears off and you realize that you still have 16 songs left to go on this 23 song album you probably will just turn it off. This album was a nice idea that, in the end, just doesn't work.


1. Black Cow
2. Now There's A Bull
3. 37 Heffers
4. Mad Cow
5. Branded
6. Square Bailor
7. Cuttin' Hay
8. Y Bar Ranch
9. Countin' Cows
10. Mad Cow
11. Lot 53
12. Cow Sold
13. Cow Mortal
14. Bull Balls
15. Heavy Cattle
16. Y Bar Ranch
17. Black Cow
18. Longhorn
19. Square Bailor
20. Moo You
21. Angus of Death
22. Cattle Callin' Lonesome Blues
23. Branded

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Hank3-Ghost to a Ghost

Remember how in the past I have said that we sometimes stray off the topic of thrash metal? This is one of those moments. Today all you thrash metal crazies and hardcore headbangers are getting a lesson in outlaw country. On September 6th Hank Williams III, the grandson of country legend Hank Williams, Sr., will be releasing a double dose of country material as well as two metal albums. And let me tell you, even if you hate country with a burning passion, give this album a listen. It is worth every penny you may spend on it. As long as you go into this album with no preconceived notions about how country should sound or be played you will love this album.

The first disc of Hank3’s country album is entitled Ghost to a Ghost and features 11 fairly straight shooting country songs. By fairly straight shooting I mean it in the Hank3 kind of way. There’s some hellybilly parts here and there, but mostly just country. The album opener “Guttertown” is an excellent song that will have you toe-tapping in no time. The third track on the album “Ridin’ The Wave” is the first song with a real hellbilly flavor to it. Double bass drums and distorted guitar riffs are present throughout the song. The fourth track, “Don’t You Wanna” may be the best track on the Ghost to a Ghost disc. It is about as catchy as any country song you would hear on the radio today. Except it won’t get played on the radio, because, much like thrash metal, Hank3 and outlaw country have been shunned by both the radio and major record labels.

The next track “Ray Lawrence, Jr.” doesn’t feature much of Hank3 and is mostly sung by a guest singer (Ray Lawrence, Jr., maybe?). That, however, doesn’t stop it from being an excellent (well, two excellent) track(s). It is as close to old-school honky-tonk as you will find anywhere. Following track “The Devil’s Movin’ In” is another old-school sounding song. Sad and doomy, yet at the same time catchy, it provides an excellent half-way point for the first disc. The eighth song on the album is “Trooper’s Hollar”, a track that features banjo as the lead instrument as opposed to guitar. This is probably a close second to “Don’t You Wanna” for best song on the album. It has some weird sound effects but that doesn’t stop the song from being an excellent addition to this album. “Outlaw Convention” is a traditional sounding song that talks about how Hank lives his life by the rules of this convention. Ghost to a Ghost penultimate track “Cunt of a Bitch” is probably the strangest track on that disc. It is as profane as anything Hank has ever written, and basically describes his anger towards a woman who cheated on him (think “P.F.F.”). Disc 1 closer “Ghost to a Ghost” is a traditional sounding song that heads in to “Rebel Within” territory with some screamed vocals toward the end.

Ghost to a Ghost is as good as any country album Hank has put out, however, disc 2 entitled Guttertown is about as far from Ghost to a Ghost as you can get. Think disc 2 of Straight to Hell. Don’t get worried if you didn’t like that part of STH, this is much, much better. It appears to be a concept/theme album, however, with no lyrics to look at it is somewhat hard to tell what that concept is exactly. It’s hard to describe this disc track-by-track as it all seems to be one big concept/song.

Guttertown opens up with some outdoor noises and goes into a strange sort of reprise of the song “Guttertown” from disc 1. Following this intro the album goes into some of the most old-school sounding music you will ever here. You can hear mariachi, Cajun, and traditional American country influences everywhere. Some songs feature accordions, while others take an almost haunting gospel approach with Mr. Williams singing over a backing track of nature noises. This album is as fun as it is haunting. Sometimes happy, often doomy, but always an album that will keep you entertained. Guttertown is nearly indescribable. In the way that Dark Side of the Moon has to be listened to in order understand, so this album goes. It is honestly one of the best albums I have heard in years.

If you do not like this album upon first listen, listen again. As I said in the beginning you cannot approach this double album thinking you know what you are going to get. I did and hated this album on first listen. By the second listen I realized that this album is one of the most unique albums I have ever heard. Words fail me at this point to explain it. It just has to be listened to in order to be explained. This album demonstrates the amazing creative talents Hank3 has. As Hank himself has always said ,this album was his “new beginning”. And a damn good new beginning at that.


Ghost to a Ghost
2. Day by Day              
3. Ridin' The Wave              
4. Don't Ya Wanna             
5. Ray Lawrence, Jr.              
6. The Devil's Movin' In              
7. Time to Die              
8. Trooper's Hollar              
9. Outlaw Convention             
10. Cunt of a Bitch
11. Ghost to a Ghost

Gutter Town
1.Goin' to Guttertown 
2. Gutterstomp 
3.The Dirt Road 
4. Mu Sha              
5. The Dream Before             
6. Dyin' Day          
7. I Promised             
8. Chord of the Organ        
9. Move Them Songs              
10. The Low Line 
11. I''ll Be Gone 
12. Trooper's Chaos 
13. Chaos Queen 
14. Thunderpain 
15. Fadin' Moon 
16. The Round 
17. I'll Save My Tears 
18. It's Goin' Down 
19. With the Ship 

Check back in the next week for reviews of Hank3's new metal albums, 3 Bar Ranch Cattle Callin' and Attention Deficit Domination.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Diamond Plate- Generation Why?

For those who have been following this blog for a while, you know that I have been high on Diamond Plate since the first time I heard their Relativity E.P. about a year ago. Now, the Chicago area band are set to release their debut album on August 9th in the US via Earache Records. And let me tell you, it's another awesome thrash album for 2011.

The album opens with an intro track entitled "Entertainment Today". The track does an excellent job setting the tone for the rest of the album (the bands disgust with generation y and the rest of the world) by opening the album up with news clips from around the world. This intro segues right into the first "real" track "Generation Why?"The track is one of the better ones on the album with a nice, catchy chorus "I ask you why?" shouted by vocalist/bassist Jon Macak. As the album moves along you begin to realize that Diamond Plate are some seriously skilled musicians. Songs like "Pull The Trigger" and "Tomb With A View" have some incredible riffage in them.

As the listener gets deeper into the album three songs appear that were on the bands Relativity E.P. "Relativity", "Casualty of War", and "At The Mountains of Madness". These may be the three best tracks on the album. They are all out thrashers that sound much better than they did on the E.P. The band  finishes the album with "Empire Tomorrow", an all-out thrasher that leaves the listener feeling as though they have been run over by an eighteen-wheeler. 

Generation Why? is an excellent debut album and one of the best albums of the year (right up there with Toxic Holocaust's Conjure And Command and Ghost's Opus Eponymous). The guitar riffing and drums beats are complex and show the band's musical prowess (which is far beyond their years. The oldest member of the band is 18). The only minor complaint I have with this album is the vocals. They take some getting used to as at first they sound somewhat like something you would find on a screamo album. However, on repeated listens they do seem to fit with the album rather well.

4.5 out of 5

1. Entertainment Today
2. Generation Why?
3. Pull The Tigger
4. Tomb With A View
5. Fool's Paradise
6. Relativity
7. Waste of Life
8. Casualty of War
9. More Than Words
10. At The Mountains of Madness
11. Empire Tomorrow

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Toxic Holocaust- Conjure And Command

Retro-thrashers Toxic Holocaust have released their fourth studio album entitled Conjure And Command. And it's good. Really good. In fact, it is one of the best thrash albums released this year. Gone are the somewhat hokey lyrics and somewhat questionable production that every other retro-thrash group has (remember, this is the band that had the underground hit "Nuke The Cross"). In their place frontman and songwriter Joel Grind has placed Venom-inspired lyrics and guitar riffs that sound evil to the core. If this were 1985, Toxic Holocaust would be the PMRC's worst nightmare with song's about witches and executions ("Bitch"), the end of the world ("Judgement Awaits You", "Revelations"), Satan ("I Am Disease"), eating the flesh of dogs ("Agony of The Damned"), and rebellion ("Red Winter"). Not to mention the human sacrifice that is depicted on the front cover.

The first thing that immediately stuck out to me when listening to this album was the excellent production. This album makes the listener want to do one thing: Turn the volume up to 11. I dare anyone to listen to this album quietly. It can't be done. What's more amazing is that this was accomplished, according to the album booklet, with "absolutely no drum replacement, triggering, quantizing, or amp modeling". Pretty impressive for an album that was recorded in the digital era.

The second thing that stuck out to me about this album was the change in sound from Toxic's previous three albums. The band appears to be venturing more into old-school death metal territory as opposed to the thrash that was on their previous efforts. The listener can here Sepultura and Morbid Angel circa Beneath The Remains and Altars of Madness on nearly every song on the disc. Some Venom and a small dose of Bathory can also be spotted here and there.

Lastly, this album has far superior lyrics to other Toxic albums. When frontman Grind growls "We are the left hand, we've bound the right!" You actually believe that he may be serious (Did anyone actually take him seriously with lyrics like "nuke the cross" and "war is fucking hell"?) The third track on the album, "Bitch", actually has an extremely catchy chorus which is hard to believe for music as extreme as this. In no time you'll be pumping your fists in the air and yelling "Tie her up, start the fire, burning in torment alive. For her crimes, for her sins, the bitch will be burned at the stake!"

Anyways, this is an album that fans of old or new school thrash should pick up. This is honestly the best metal album I've heard since Ghost's Opus Eponymous, maybe better. At 32 minutes this album has to get straight to the point. And it does. It takes no prisoners, kicks ass, and leaves enough time to listen to the whole thing all over again.

4.5 out of 5

1. Judgement Awaits You
2. Agony of The Damned
3. Bitch
4. Red Winter
5. Nowhere To Run
6. I Am Disease
7. In The Depths (Of Your Mind)
8. The Liars Are Burning
9. Revelations
10. Sound The Charge

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bonded By Blood Losing Two More Members

Bay Area thrashers Bonded By Blood have announced that guitarist Alex Lee and bassist Jerry Garcia will be departing the band. This comes not long after the departure of vocalist Jose Barrales who left the band in late 2010. Remaining members Carlos Regelado, Juan Juarez, and Mauro Gonzales will continue the band. Bonded By Blood have released two albums that have been well-received by the thrash metal underground. 2008's Feed the Beast and 2010's concept album Exiled to Earth

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I am here to apologize for the lack of updates on this blog.  I have been on vacation recently and have had some other, more pressing issues to take care of. I will resume posting shortly, however. Thank you for your patience.

The Metalman

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Lord of The Wasteland Speaks

Like black metal? Like thrash metal? Like a little bit of both? If so, then Toxic Holocaust is a band you need to check out. Now. They combine the old school metal sound of bands like Venom and Bathory and the punk sound of bands like Discharge. I talked with guitarist/vocalist Joel Grind of Toxic Holocaust by phone earlier this week to discuss everything from his band's new album to the color of his hair.

The Metalman: How are you doing today?

Joel Grind: I'm doing good, man.

The Metalman: Are you ready to get started?

J.G.: Let's go!

The Metalman: Are you guys on tour right now?

J.G.: No, we've actually been off for a bit. We're taking a few months off just to wait for the new record to come out. We toured a lot for the last record so it was time to take a break and get started fresh and do the cities over again in the U.S. We're going to do some world touring and stuff on the new one. Go to Europe again and hit it hard, you know?

The Metalman: So you talked about the new album. It's called Conjure and Command, right?

J.G.: Yep.

The Metalman: And it's coming out on July 19th in the U.S.?

J.G.: Yep. That's correct.

The Metalman: You released one of the new songs on YouTube called "Nowhere To Run", right?

J.G.: Right. That was the first one.

The Metalman: It sounded a little bit different to me compared to your first two albums. Kind of more thrashy?

J.G.: Yeah. I think a lot of people have been saying it's less punky and more straight-up metal but, you know, people haven't really heard the full record yet. You can't really judge on one song. We just really chose to do that song first because we're thinking about doing a video and stuff for it so we wanted to get people familiar with it.

The Metalman: Well, personally, I like it.

J.G.: Yeah. I don't think it's that much different. A lot of people thought it was a lot different from what I've done. But, yeah, this new record is a lot more varied but it's all very extreme. That's an overused word but, you know what I mean, it's definitely been taken up a notch on this record. The new record's a lot faster and a lot more in your face. It's really an aggressive record.

The Metalman: Well I think we can all live with that. Going back to your first couple of records and even your demos it was always just you playing all of the instruments. But now there's three of you in the band, correct?

J.G.: That's correct. It's finally a full band. It took awhile but it was just one of those situations where finding the right people to do it, who wanted to put the work into being a band instead of just saying they are in a band. There's a couple kind of people that you can meet. Just because people play instruments and stuff doesn't mean they have what it takes to play in a band. And there's a lot of work that people don't realize. Last year we toured eight months in a van. We don't have a tour bus or anything like that. We drive ourselves, we sleep in the van and it's not very glamorous but we love it. You have to love it to be able to put up with the bullshit that goes along with it.

The Metalman: Did you write all the songs on the new album or did the new members contribute?

J.G.: Yeah, I actually did write all the songs again on this record. I'm at home and I kind of just demo out the stuff. Like, I use a drum machine program to kind of just get the parts ready and show to the other guys. They know. It's not me being a dictator or anything like that. It's just because I've always done it. I have the vision for the band and always move forward with it. Those guys are cool because they can realize my vision. When I want to do stuff that I can't actually pull off myself, the guys are there and it's cool.

The Metalman: That sounds awesome!

J.G.: It's great. It's a really great way of working. There's a lot of things that I hear in my head that I would never be able to play on drums, you now what I mean?

The Metalman: Who produced the record?

J.G.: We did. We recorded it and produced it ourselves. Our drummer owns a studio in Connecticut and we spent a couple weeks there and did it ourselves and got to get it the way we wanted it and not be under the gun. In the past, [the record's] cost so much money and your working with other people. I mean, I'm happy with An Overdose of Death but it's different when you do it yourself. You make it sound the way you want. I'm really happy with the way it turned out. I think it sounds really heavy but it's still raw. That's the fine line I always like to walk. I like it to sound good. I don't really want it to sound like it was recorded in a trash can. But, I want it to sound still raw and heavy and I want it to sound like a band playing it. Not triggered drums that sound like anyone could have just programmed them on a drum machine.

The Metalman: Speaking of records that sound like they were produced in a trash can, I know your a big fan of band's like Bathory and Venom. How did you get into those bands? Because you have to be looking for stuff like that. That music is not just out there.

J.G.: I got into it when I was in my mid-teens. It was just one of those things. I got into the normal metal bands like Metallica and Megadeth and all that stuff from friends. And then all of a sudden when I started to buy my own music I started going to some record shops in Philadelphia when I could drive. I would go up there and go to some record stores and find stuff with really cool album covers and like occult stuff. Just stuff that really stuck out. I actually remember one trip I went on a weekend up to Philadelphia and I got Onslaught's Power From Hell. That cover just speaks to you. I saw that and I was like, man, that's gotta be good. Then I bought it and that was before eBay was even around. So it wasn't like people were eBaying records and everybody was getting them. These were like $5 records. It was in the cut-bin because thrash was so dead at that point. These were just like shitty records. It was awesome. I remember getting Voivod and Nuclear Assault all for like five bucks. I wish I'd had more money back then. I remember seeing records back then, shit that was like ten bucks that I couldn't afford. I wish that  I had bought, now, because it is worth so much more now.

The Metalman: You're from Maryland. I know you now live in Oregon but what do you think of the Maryland metal scene right now?

J.G.: You know, I don't really know about it. To be honest, I have a bunch of friends from Maryland still and my friend Tim [Paler] who runs the Diabolic Force Distribution thing in Maryland, he's a really good dude and is into all the underground stuff. You know, finding people like that was really few and far between in Maryland and that wasn't really the factor why I moved. The only difference is that Toxic still would probably be a solo project if I still lived there. The real reason why I moved is I went on tour and saw the west coast and especially Portland and I really liked it a lot so I decided to move out here. I don't really know too much about the Maryland metal scene. To me there hasn't been a lot bands that have stuck out, but that doesn't mean that there aren't any. That's not an insult to the Maryland metal scene.

The Metalman: Why do you think about the current black metal that is being released?

J.G.: There's some interesting stuff. There's this band on Relapse [Records] called Black Anvil and we did a few shows with them. I took to them because they kind of do the whole Celtic Frost kind of way. It almost sounds like Celtic Frost meets Destroyer 666. It's pretty cool, I like it a lot. There's always bands popping up. It's kind of cool because there's always new stuff in all kinds of scenes. I keep my eyes open for all kinds of stuff. I don't really focus on one style. If it's good it's good.

The Metalman: Like you said, when you got into this scene, thrash was dead. How were you able to learn those old-school vocals? Were you self-taught?

J.G.: Yeah. Just screwing around with a four track at home. Some of the old demos that weren't even released are pretty embarrassing, man. Awful. That's kind of where I honed my style. Just doing those demos.

The Metalman: What kind of guitars are you playing now?

J.G.: I always have my Gibson V's. I got a couple of those. Those are always like my standard guitar. This company that, it's kind of funny to say what it is, it's First Act. You know what that is?

The Metalman: Yeah, the people that make the guitar picks they sell at Target.

J.G.: Exactly. Like the Target guitars. They make bands like Converge, High on Fire,  and Mastodon's guitars. And they are like custom shop guitars. A lot of people from the Gibson custom shop went on to start First Act. They're awesome and they made me a white Flying V that looks kind of like the old Scorpion's V's and they would get sued if they didn't change the headstock. That's how close it is to the Gibson. It's a really cool guitar and it has a radiation symbol inlay at the 12th fret and I really like that guitar a lot. It sounds really good so I play it mostly live now. It actually stays in tune better than my Gibson. It's awesome. And then I have a Les Paul that I use for home stuff. It's too big. Les Paul's are really heavy and bulky and for the thrash kind of stuff it's really hard to play those live. If I was playing slower stuff I could understand it but with thrash and speed picking and stuff it's hard. And then, standing up with a strap. But, yeah, that's usually what I play. I put JB humbuckers and Seymour Duncans in all my guitars. I've tried a lot of other stuff. I've tried the active stuff but the passive pick-ups are better for me.

The Metalman: Any new bands that you are into these days?

J.G.:  Yeah. Let me think. There's a band called Murderous from Portland. They're really cool. They're more d-beat kind of punk stuff. Midnight from Ohio is really cool. Hmmm. Man, you put me on the spot. I can't really think of anything right now. That's the ones that come off the top of my head right now.

The Metalman: I got one final question that I have to ask you. Is your hair dyed?

J.G.: Oh, yeah. (laughing) Yep.

The Metalman: Alright, I'm gonna let you go. Thanks for the interview.

J.G.: Yeah, no problem, dude.

The Metalman: Have a good day.

J.G.: You to.

You can check out Toxic Holocaust's new song here:

You can pre-order Conjure and Command on iTunes or here:

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Hall Awaits-Slayer Thrash Metal Hall of Fame Class of 2011

One of the most famous thrash bands came together because of a pizza delivery.

In 1981 bassist/vocalist Tom Araya and guitarists Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King were playing in a band called Quits when future drummer Dave Lombardo met King while delivering a pizza. The rest is thrash metal history.

The band began playing Judas Priest and Iron Maiden covers live and were discovered by Metal Blade Records founder Brian Slagel, who signed the band to a record contract.
File:Slayer - Show No Mercy.jpg
In 1983 Slayer would record and release their debut album Show No Mercy on Metal Blade Records. Metal Blade did not pay for the record to be made so Araya and King had to use their own money to pay for the recording. Show No Mercy quickly became the best selling record in Metal Blade history. The band went on their first tour in 1984 playing with future thrash legends Venom and Exodus.

In 1984 the band went into the recording studio once again. This time to record an EP entitled Haunting the Chapel. Following the release of the EP, guitarist King decided to join Megadeth and played a few shows with the band. After returning to Slayer, a decades long feud would develop between King and Megadeth founder Dave Mustaine.

By 1985 Slayer had recorded their second studio album. This time, however, Metal Blade agreed to finance the release. The album, entitled Hell Awaits, is often cited as Slayer's most progressive effort and became well-known for the controversy that it generated. The title track featured a backmasked demonic sounding voice repeating "Join us" and the album artwork showed demons ripping people up as they were damned to hell.

Following Hell Awaits, Slayer would be signed to major hip-hop label Def Jam Records in 1986. Their first album on the new label, Reign In Blood, was considered an instant thrash classic and would be certified Gold for sales of over 500,000 units. Much like Hell Awaits, Reign In Blood generated lots of controversy before and after it's release. Def Jam distributor Columbia Records refused to release the album due to it's graphic cover artwork and the song "Angel of Death" was criticized by many people  who were offended due to it's perceived sympathy for Nazi physician Josef Mengele. Regardless of the controversy, the album managed to reach number 94 on the Billboard 200.
File:Reign in blood.jpg
After the 28 minute assault that was Reign In Blood, Slayer decided to release a slower, longer album as it's follow-up. 1988's South of Heaven initially received mixed reviews, with guitarist King stating, "that album was my most lackluster performance," and Rolling Stone Magazine calling it, "genuinely offensive Satanic drivel." Despite the reviews the album debuted at number 57 on the Billboard 200 and is today considered a classic Slayer record with future live staples "South of Heaven" and "Mandatory Suicide" included on it.

In 1990 the band decided to return to playing fast songs while keeping some of the more melodic qualities from their previous effort. The resulting album was Seasons in the Abyss. Seasons debuted at number 44 on the Billboard 200 and was certified Gold within two years. The album spawned Slayer's first hit single and music video in the title track. The band joined Megadeth, Anthrax, and Testament in 1991 on the Clash of the Titans Tour. In the middle of the tour drummer Dave Lombardo quit the band.

Lombardo's replacement, Forbidden drummer Paul Bostaph,  would appear on the bands next three studio albums: 1994's Divine Intervention, 1998's Diabolus in Musica, and 2001's God Hates Us All. God Hates Us All would once again see Slayer at the center of controversy. The album cover was changed in North America due to the original depicting a bloody and burned Bible with the words Slayer across the front and Bible verses crossed out in the liner notes. The album sold poorly, however, due to it's unfortunate release date: September 11, 2001.

In 2002 drummer Dave Lombardo rejoined the band and the original line-up has appeared on the band's last two studio releases Christ Illusion and World Painted Blood. Slayer is often cited as one of the most influential thrash metal bands of all time and are considered among the "Big Four" of American thrash metal.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Do You Want To Die?

Come join The Metalman and ThrashHead at Maryland Deathfest IX at Sonar in Baltimore, Md. on Sunday, May 29th. We'll be there all day and so should you! Bands playing include: Nuclear Assault, Ghost, and Coroner.

For tickets go to:

Friday, May 20, 2011

Band Spotlight: Diamond Plate

Haven't heard of Diamond Plate? Take note now, fellow thrashers, because this is a band that could jump straight to the forefront of the New Wave of Thrash Metal.

The band are from Chicago, Illinois and are signed to Earache Records (home of Evile, Bonded By Blood, Municipal Waste, and Gamma Bomb). I chatted with lead guitarist Konrad Kupiec by phone the other day.

The Metalman: How did you guys get started in thrash metal?

Konrad Kupiec: To us itwas just kind of a natural thing, you know, we grew up listening to bands like Metallica and Testament and Pantera and all that and it was just a natural thing. It was just us kind of wearing our influences on our sleeves, so to speak. When we started we were just 15 year-old kids living in the suburbs of Chicago, not really knowing there was this whole scene about to erupt all over the U.S. of new thrash bands. We just kind of released our stuff and realized that there was already so many other bands already doing it. It was cool to become part of a scene without really knowing about it.

The Metalman: Off the top of my head I can't really think of any thrash bands from Chicago. How did you guys end up getting noticed in a town with almost no thrash scene?

K.K.: That's another thing that caught us by surprise. You know, discovering that there were so many other bands doing it all over the U.S., but that in Chicago there was really no one doing it. I guess it just gave us more motivation and put some fire under us to really start a scene out here.

The Metalman: You guys have got an E.P. called Relativity. However, I believe that you have sold out of the physical copies of that E.P., right?

K.K.: Yeah. The E.P. was released in mid-2009 and I think it sold out maybe a year ago or so.

The Metalman: I've been looking on websites like and iTunes and I noticed that the Relativity E.P. is available for purchase there.

K.K: Yeah, you can still get it through all the digital outlets and I'm sure it's somewhere on torrents and shit so you can definitely get it for free.

The Metalman: You guys get the money from the digital sales, right?

K.K.: Yeah. iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, all that stuff we definitely get money for still.

The Metalman: So you guys are signed to Earache Records now and you've got your new album coming out in August. Am I correct about that?

K.K: Yep, I don't think there's a set release date yet for which day in August but it'll definitely be in August. Probably within the first or second week.

The Metalman: I saw your Earache label mates Evile are also releasing an album in August. That's gotta be cool, right?

K.K: Yeah, there's comes out August 29th so our's should be a good 2 weeks before that, at least.

The Metalman: So what's the title of your debut album going to be?

K.K: The title is Generation Why?. It's a little play on words.

The Metalman: Awesome title! Are you guys still recording the record or is it finished?

K.K: The actual recording of the record has been done since February/March and by the end of April we were pretty much done with mixing and mastering it. We've just been working on artwork and all that. Apparently the record is in the production phase now. Were just waiting on Earache to release all the info to the world. So the record's been done. It's just a waiting game now.

The Metalman: Can you tell us who produced the album?

K.K: It was produced by Neil Kernon. He's worked with everyone from Cannibal Corpse to Nevermore.   He's just an absolute genius when it comes to producing metal and records period.

The Metalman: Are you guys going to have a tour to support the new record when it comes out?

K.K: Yeah, that's something that we've been working on over the past 2 weeks. We'll definitely be going out on a full U.S. tour in August/September and then we've already started planning for some stuff in the spring. I can't say anything about that yet but will definitely be touring our asses off as soon as the record comes out.

The Metalman: Planning on touring Europe any time soon or are you just sticking to the States for right now?

K.K: Just the U.S. for right now. I know Earache kind of wants to break us into the U.S. right now and then as soon as we've got some buzz going we'll bring it over to Europe and pretty much everywhere else. That's the plan.

The Metalman: Do you get to see any of the other big name acts on Earache? Are you hoping to go on tour with them?

K.K: Yeah, hopefully we'll be seeing them a lot on the road. We're good friends with Bonded By Blood.  I've met Evile a few times when they've come through Chicago. They are all really cool guys. Definitely looking forward to meeting them more and spending some time with them. Hopefully we'll tour together.

The Metalman: You mind if I ask a few guitar-related questions seeing as your Diamond Plate's guitar player?

K.K:  No, of course, man. Go for it.

The Metalman: What kind of guitars are you playing these days?

K.K: Right now my main axe is the ESP. ESP guitars are definitely my favorite. On the album I played a whole variety of guitars to get different tones. Everything from my new Gibson ES-355, which totally, totally rules, to Fender guitars for some nice clean tones. As far as live, ESP is the way to go.

The Metalman: You got anybody endorsing you at this point?

K.K: Not yet. Hopefully once we start touring and getting the name out there someone will pick us up.

The Metalman: Got any favorite amps to speak of?

K.K: Engle all the way. It's just the perfect amp for metal, I think.

The Metalman: Any favorite new bands that push you to be even better?

K.K: I think as far as The New Wave of Thrash goes my 2 personal favorites at the moment are Havok and Revocation. I been listening to them a lot lately. Them releasing really good albums has kind of been like motivation for us to kind of blow them away, in a non-competitve kind of way, of course.

The Metalman: Any non-metal bands that inspire you?

K.K.: As far as guitar playing goes, I'm really inspired by a lot of the jazz musicians. Not even guitar players. Guys like John Coltrane or Thelonious Monk are just huge influences on me, just as far as musicianship and everything. Were all huge fans of bands like Pink Floyd, Alice in Chains, and Faith No More, which aren't necessarily metal but they are still huge influences on all of us.

The Metalman: I've got one more question for you and then I'll let you go.

K.K.: No problem, dude.

The Metalman: I know you guys have talked about adding a second guitar player. Have you found one yet?

K.K: We just announced a few weeks ago that a good friend of ours, Mario (Cianci), is going to be joining us full time. Up until this point we've always been a three piece. After a lot of self-evaluation and thinking about what we could improve on we all agreed that adding a second guitar player would just kind of enhance our live sound. We reached out to Mario who lives in Florida and he flew out here and auditioned and he was just the perfect guy for it. He's actually been in the band since late last year but we didn't officially announce until a few weeks ago.

The Metalman: So are you going to play lead guitar?

K.K: Yeah, predominantly him rhythm and me lead, but, I'm sure that there will be some nice twin solos on the second album and live.

The Metalman: I think that's about all I have for you.

K.K.: Awesome man. Thanks for the interview

The Metalman: Have a good day.

K.K: Later man.

Keep checking back in with Metal Up Your Thrash for Diamond Plate updates. As soon as the tour is announced we will post the dates, here.

You can purchase the Relativity E.P. here:

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Take No Prisoners-Megadeth Thrash Metal Hall Of Fame Class of 2011

Megadeth began life with one goal. To be become better than Metallica. As band founder, vocalist, and guitarist Dave Mustaine put it, "I wanted to be heavier and faster than them." Mustaine formed the band in 1983 with bassist Dave Ellefson, and in 1984 the band recorded their first demo.

By 1984 Megadeth had a solid line-up for the first time in Mustaine, Ellefson, guitarist Chris Poland, and drummer Gar Samuelson and in 1985 recorded their first album with Combat Records, Killing is My Business... And Business is Good! While the album garnered positive reviews it was poorly produced and featured an album cover that Mustaine said made him "mortified".
In 1986 Megadeth completed their second studio album for Combat entitled Peace Sells... But Who's Buying? The album was positively received by critics and allowed for the band to be signed to Capitol Records. Today the album is considered a thrash classic and has been certified platinum by the RIAA in the United States.

By the time 1987 rolled around Megadeth were a band in turmoil. The drug habits of Poland and Samuleson had led to them being kicked out of the band. Chuck Behler took over for Samuelson while Poland's replacement on guitar, Jay Reynolds, was replaced during the recording of Megadeth's third album by his guitar teacher Jeff Young. 

In early 1988 the band released their third studio effort entitled So Far, So Good... So What! The album was not as well received by critics as the band's previous efforts, however, the album is certified platinum in the U.S. for sales over 1 million. So Far, So Good... So What! also contains two Megadeth songs that have long been considered fan favorites; "In My Darkest Hour,"Mustaine's tribute to late Metallica bassist Cliff Burton, and "Set The World Afire," a song about nuclear annihilation.

After the world tour supporting So Far, So Good... So What! both Behler and Young were fired from Megadeth. Their replacements were Behler's drum tech Nick Menza and ex-Cacophony guitarist Marty Friedman. In early 1990 the band recorded their fourth album, Rust In Peace. The album was both a critical and commercial success and featured the hits "Holy Wars... The Punishment Due," and "Hangar 18." The album would become Megadeth's third straight album to be certified platinum.

In late 1990 Megadeth would embark on a tour called "Clash of the Titans" with fellow big four acts Slayer and Anthrax, as well as thrash legends Testament. The next year their song "Go To Hell" would be featured in the movie Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey

Following the success of Rust in Peace, in 1992 Megadeth released their fifth album Countdown To Extinction. The album featured a more streamlined sound, not unlike what Metallica had done the year before with their self-titled album. Countdown debuted at number 2 on the Billboard 200 and spawned three rock radio hits, "Sweating Bullets", "Foreclosure of a Dream", and "Symphony of Destruction." To date the album is Megadeth's best selling and is certified double platinum in America.

In 1994 Megadeth released Youthanasia. The album debuted at number 4 on the Billboard 200 and would become Megadeth's fifth consecutive album to go platinum. The album would also yield two hit singles in "Train of Consequences" and "A Tout le Monde." 

As the 1990's progressed and metal began to fall from the mainstream, Megadeth began to go for a different sound on their next two albums. 1997's Cryptic Writings was a more hard rock oriented album that unleashed the hits "Trust", "Almost Honest", "Use The Man", and "A Secret Place" and 1999's Risk was just that, a risk. It was an almost pop album that was not well-recieved by both critics and Megadeth fans alike. Following Cryptic Writings, long-time drummer Nick Menza was let go and replaced by Jimmy DeGrasso and after Risk Marty Friedman decided to quit the band.

After the 2001 release of The World Needs A Hero Dave Mustaine entered rehab. While there he injured his arm so badly that he was told that he would never play guitar again. Mustaine disbanded the band and focused on trying to re-learn how to play the guitar.

In 2004 Mustaine re-formed Megadeth, albeit without longtime bassist Dave Ellefson. The band once again became popular following the critically acclaimed releases of their next three albums; The System Has Failed, United Abominations, and Endgame. Following the release of Endgame, Ellefson decided to re-join the band. To date, Megadeth has sold over 25 million albums and is currently touring with Metallica, Slayer, and Anthrax on the Big Four tour. The band are often cited as one of the most influential metal acts of all time and Dave Mustaine is frequently mentioned with the top metal guitar players of all time.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Thrash Metal Hall of Fame Inductees-Inaugural Class 2011

Voting has finished for the inaugural Thrash Metal Hall of Fame class. The bands that were nominated for induction were; Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Slayer, Testament, Exodus, Overkill, Sodom, Destruction, and Kreator. The three bands that received the most votes are to be inducted. Without further stalling, I would like to announce which three bands will be in the inaugural class for the Thrash Metal Hall of Fame.
One of the members of the American "Big Four" of thrash metal, Megadeth have sold over 25 million records worldwide and singer/guitarist Dave Mustaine is often credited as being the "Godfather" of thrash metal. The band are still active to this day and are currently on tour with our next inductee...

Another member of the "Big Four" Slayer may be the most extreme thrash band to gain a large following and impressive album sales. Their 1986 opus Reign in Blood is often considered to be the greatest thrash album of all time and was highly influential in the formation of both death and black metal. The band's original line-up is still intact, however, in the 1990's drummer Dave Lombardo left, later coming back.

The final inductee into the Thrash Metal Hall of Fame are Exodus. The band that kick-started Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett's career are well-known for their 1985 release Bonded By Blood. Original singer Paul Baloff was known for humiliating "posers" at shows and calling out audience members with hair metal band patches. Today, Exodus are still active and have continued to release excellent albums.

In the coming week, Metal Up Your Thrash will more closely profile these bands in a series of articles dedicated to the inaugural class of the Thrash Metal Hall of Fame.

Kreator To Begin Working On New Album

According to Kreator's official website the band have begun writing a follow-up to 2009's Hordes of Chaos. According to guitarist/vocalist Mille Petrozza the band already have five songs written for the new disc. For our European friends, you can catch the final part of the Hordes of Chaos tour this summer across the continent.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ghost's Cover Blown?

I hate to do this, I really do. It goes against all of my journalistic ethics, all of my morals, and sadly one of my favorite new bands, but I do believe that the members of Ghost are from a band called, are you ready for this... In Solitude. Nope, not Fenriz from Darkthrone or Erik Danielsson from Waitain or any other famous metal band. In freaking Solitude! By this point I'm sure some of you are saying, "The Metalman has completely lost it, I wish he would just shut up". But, hold on for a second and I will tell you why I believe In Solitude and Ghost are one and the same.
I was turned on to In Solitude by the latest issue of Decibel Magazine where they are featured in the upFront profile section. They were compared by the writer to Ghost and King Diamond. Seeing as I love Mercyful Fate and Ghost I had to check these guys out. Upon looking for their records, I couldn't find them anywhere in the States so I went YouTubeing. After a quick search I found a song by them called "Witches Sabbath". While browsing through the comments I saw one stating that In Solitude doesn't sound like Ghost, Ghost sound like In Solitude because they are older. The comment above that one by a user named aocidicoa agreed that they are older than Ghost and that they just might be Ghost. After carefully listening to the vocals of both Ghost and In Solitude over a couple different songs, I was shocked at how similar their vocals were.

This strange coincidence? led me to check out In Solitude's MySpace page. Sure enough, they are signed to Metal Blade Records just like Ghost. Then I checked out different concerts that each band has played.  Funny enough, both bands are playing Maryland Deathfest at the end of May one day apart. Both bands are from Sweden and The Nameless Ghoul from Ghost certainly has a similar facial structure to In Solitude vocalist Hornper Ahman. Oh, yeah and guess who's on the cover of the new issue of Decibel with In Solitude in it? Yep, Ghost.

So are you convinced? No? Well actually, I'm not either. According to the two bands MySpace's they have shows on the same day coming up in different countries throughout Europe. It will be interesting to see if some of these shows end up cancelled, which would be a tell-tale sign. Regardless, let's enjoy both bands great retro music and maybe one day we can laugh at how ridiculous this article was. Or maybe not.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Metal Up Your Thrash On Facebook

The Metalman is proud to announce that Metal Up Your Thrash now has a Facebook page! Here's the address:

Diamond Plate To Release Debut Album

Chicago band Diamond Plate are set to release their debut album in August according to their official Twitter page:

 Diamond Plate 
@ - Thanks even more for spreading the madness! New album out in August

The band was recently signed to Earache Records. In 2008 they released their first EP titled Mountains of Madness.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Evile New Album Title Announced

U.K. thrashers Evile have announced via youtube that their new album Five Serpent's Teeth will be unleashed upon the world in August. Vocalist/guitarist Matt Drake says that the band are purposely not releasing much info about the upcoming album because they "want it to be like the old days when you went out and bought an album blind." Drake also said that the album will feature the band's first ballad, about late bassist Mike Alexander.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Metal Up Your Thrash Hall of Fame

I am proud to announce the addition of a new feature to Metal Up Your Thrash, the premier thrash metal blog on the internet! We are adding a Hall of Fame for the best thrash bands of all time. I, The Metalman, as dictator of this site will pick the nominees and then you, the readers, will select which bands you want in the Hall of Fame. We will induct three bands each year. All nominees are listed at the bottom of the site and you may choose what band you want to be in the Hall of Fame most. The three bands with the most votes will be inducted. Voting begins now, and ends in one week.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ghost-Opus Eponymous

Swedish metal band Ghost have released their first album, titled Opus Eponymous. Their has been some hype regarding the album due to the fact that no one knows who the members of Ghost are. The press release from Metal Blade Records says that the musicians names are "???". They come onstage in hooded costumes and the lead singer dresses up like a priest. Their have even been rumors that the members of Ghost are famous black and death metal musicians from Europe. Their goal with this album? To "glorify and glamorize the disgusting and sacrilegious."

When I first put this album into my cd player I had no idea what to expect. I was thinking it would probably be black metal along the lines of bands like Immortal and Darkthrone. I couldn't have been more wrong, though. The album begins with a haunting and sad organ instrumental entitled "Deus Culpa". From there the album goes into the first song, "Con Clavi Con Dio". The first thing that stuck out to me was that this band sounded straight out of the early 1980's. This music wasn't brutally heavy and there were no blast beats to be found. The singer even sings in a clean singing voice. The song has a haunting vibe to it (as do all the songs on the album) that brings to mind Melissa era Mercyful Fate.

The third song on the album, "Ritual" sounds like a 70's prog-rock song with a slightly heavier riff and an extremely catchy chorus. However, the chorus on "Ritual" doesn't hold a candle to the awesomness that is the chorus on "Death Knell". The singer calmly sings "666" as if he doesn't really care that he is conjuring up evil spirits. "Satan Prayer" is probably the best song on the album. It has a harmonizing vocal line that glorifys Satan and the band speaks of how they cannot wait for the Anti-Christ. The album closes with another instrumental in "Genesis".

A band hasn't sounded this creepy and scary without screaming and blast beats since Mercyful Fate were in their heyday. This has to be one the top releases so far in 2011. If you like every song to be about Satan, like heavy mid-tempo riffs and somewhat laid-back drums, then this album is for you. 

4/ 5

Ghost will be playing at Maryland Deathfest IX on May 29, 2011 in Baltimore, so if you are in the area, check them out.