“after Sound Awake we were even keener to try some different approaches…” – Mark Hosking (Karnivool)

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Despite our ever obvious leaning towards much darker stuff here at Metalspree, some of us here just cannot shirk away our deep appreciation for Karnivool. A band that has let out waves of progression on to the International music scene, let alone in rock/metal. With just a mere 2 albums under their belt, their brand of progressive rock made quick work of carving out new sections of acceptance into every avid fan. That said, we are eagerly their third album titled “Asymmetry” which is to be released on July 19th in Australia, via Density Records. Raj Sharma from our side had a quick chat with guitarist Mark Hosking from Karnivool.

1.Greeting guys, how have you all been ??

Fantastic thank you for asking. Just got back into London, hungry and tired but exhilarated.

2. After a massive gap, you are all ready to release your much awaited third album?? Is it more of a complex record in terms of song structure as being compared to your previous studio materials??

I don’t think so, complexity is something we are always trying to get away from I think, but it sneaks back in there when we aren’t looking sometimes. The album is a duality of sorts, hence the album title.. I think Jon explained it best when he said to reach our destination on this album we had to take large arcs around in a circle to get there this time. Has made for a really interesting album I think

3. Who did most of the lyrical writing for this album, or is it completely taken care by Ian Kenny?? Are there any particular story or concept involved with the new materials??

No we share the lyric writing up quite a bit. Kenny usually gets a melody line over the music then the lyrics come after, and they lyrics usually change quite a bit with differing inputs from people as the songs develop

4. You guys did a re-release of your EP Persona, but you guys also had an self titled EP which almost went unnoticed? Mayn’t be in Australia but definitely went unnoticed across the globe. Have you ever had the idea of going back and re-recording the old songs or an instance of that being as a fan demand to you all?? The re-recorded version of Some more of the same in the Persona EP definitely gets me feeling that damn I don’t have a copy of that self titled Vool EP L

Definitely not! Ha ha.. the old self titled thing is from a time before this band was even this band, it’s a very youthful album full of … potential… he he.. that’s one way to put it.

5.”All I know” was known as Pearogram, why exactly did you guys decide to change it during the release?

This was a working title, we have many many working titles over the course of a songs creation, very strange, odd titles that spring out of the recesses of our minds.. final titles don’t usually come until the song has musically and lyrically become itself.

6. Its been quite a while since you guys posted your DVD teaser online on YouTube, when exactly do you plan to release it?? With the third album around the corner, had you guys planned to release the DVD after the new album??

DVD is coming we promise! It his some delays in the creative process and we got so involved in the completion of album three that it had to take a backstep for a few months.. frustrating for us as well but its definitely coming.. will be released in 2013.

7.  You guys are also playing this year at the Download festival, landing to a more new borders?? How excited are you all??

Very excited! Download is one of those stigma festivals that you hear about and really want to be a part of so its going to be great, so many great festivals its going to be a blast

8. I have noticed that despise you being one of the finest bands inAustralia, with a fanbase spread across the globe, you guys still haven’t had your shot at Australia’s one of the most biggest yearly events ,Soundwave festival?? Any particular reason behind it ??

No real reason, Soundwave are not famous for putting on home grown bands, they prioritize internationals and that’s ok, perhaps next year.. its always a great lineup

9. With your new single “The Refusal” being out there must have already lots of questioning about the mixing/mastering duties on the album?? Can you throw some light on that??

It will all be revealed with the album, but its different as always, we promised to  never do the same album twice, and after Sound Awake we were even keener to try some different approaches to the mixing and studio plans from last time. I have no doubts some will love it, some will hate it.. but as usual we just couldn’t see ourselves doing it any other way

10. You guys have played twice in India, do you have any plans for doing a complete India tour after the new album is released??

We love playing in India, can’t wait to get back there and play some more shows.. as to when and for how long im sorry but you’ll just have to stay tuned on that front!

Flotsam and Jetsam – Ugly Noise

Jayaprakash Satyamurthy reviews the new album from Flotsam and Jetsam titled Ugly Noise, released via Metalblade Records.

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Tracklist:
1. Ugly Noise 04:10
2. Gitty Up 03:09
3. Run And Hide 05:28
4. Carry On 04:19
5. Rabbit’s Foot 04:17
6. Play Your Part 05:29
7. Rage 03:25
8. Cross The Sky 04:45
9. Motherfuckery 03:07
10. I Believe 02:53
11. To Be Free 03:08
12. Machine Gun 03:17

I’m only intermittently familiar with Flotsam and Jetsam’s back catalogue, but here are the broad strokes: in their early days they were fierce thrash contenders, by the mid-90s they’d arrived at a more polished sound, with Eric AK’s vocals tempered to a tuneful yawp which, combined with a considerably streamlined riffing style and melodic interludes, made them sound like a heavier Queensryche at times.  A lot of old school thrash fans dismiss material like their 1992 album, ‘Cuatro’ as an attempt to access a mainstream audience, but the music definitely had a drama and intensity of its own. However, it didn’t seem like they could muster up the same level of creativity from album to album and their subsequent albums are pretty inconsistent in quality.

I haven’t heard the previous albums they released after their brief post-2005 hiatus, but ‘Ugly Noise’ sounds like more of the same phenomenon – a middle-of-the-road, middle-aged thrash sound that’ll never recapture the youthful energy of the early speed-maniac days and that has only sporadically benefited from the additional depth and songwriting maturity that this many years in the saddle should confer. The main problem is that everything here has been done before; these songs often sound less like original compositions than collections of tried and tested maneuvers and stratagems. Even the newer elements in the sound are a couple of decades old.

In a way, the mid-paced stomp of ‘Play Your Part’ sums up the juncture the band finds itself in: they haven’t blazed the kind of protean, self-contradicting trail some of the thrash giants have in the past decade, but they haven’t arrived at the hard-won consistency of an Overkill either. They’ve mainly been treading water, playing a part they’re pretty much locked into by now, churning out material that’s just a bit proggy, kinda thrashy and not likely to light a fire under listeners – or to alienate an equally aging thrash audience who are willing to settle for something, anything, with a familiar label on the cover if it doesn’t sound core. There are some out and out clunkers like ‘Rage’ and ‘Motherfuckery’which chug along, some ill-advised electronic layers and never seems to go anywhere, sometimes sounding like a rejected pro wrestling anthem, and no out-and-out classics.

This is competent metal music that sounds like it’s stuck in the mid-90s retrograde action undertaken by metal acts who could have dreamed of mainstream glory a few years back and now had to find ways to evolve without overtly selling out to grunge or nu metal. There are lots of quasi-breakdowns and dissonant bits mixed in with the more melodic segments. The musicianship is effective if rarely stellar, dressing up some very prosaic ideas with facile embellishments. There’s no real reason to slam this album or to offer it anything more than weak praise, just remember not to set your expectations too high when you choose to spin this one.

 

Full of Hell – Rudiments of Mutilation

Mohammad Kabeer review the new album from Full of Hell titled Rudiments of Mutilation, released via A389 Recordings.

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Tracklist:
01. Dichotomy 02:10
02. Vessel Deserted 02:11
03. Coven Of The Larynx 01:03
04. Throbbing Lung Fiber 01:02
05. Indigence And Guilt 01:51
06. Embrace 03:37
07. The Lord Is My Light 04:21
08. Bone Coral And Brine 01:54
09. Rudiments Of Mutilation 02:06
10. In Contempt Of Life 03:56

Full of Hell is one of the most exciting bands to watch out for in modern hardcore. Their last   album Roots of Earth are Consuming my Home was probably one of the darkest, most “malicious” sounding hardcore I have ever set ears on.  Vii caso’s description of their live performance at Maryland Death Fest  made the band even  more intriguing as according to him  It was pure evil with  the  dark lighting and harsh noise transitions in between songs and too add to that a rabid, visceral frontman.  So it was obvious that there new album had some huge shoes to fill.

For those who don’t  know and would like to get some background  about this band ,Full of Hell  is  a four piece from Maryland/Pennsylvania , now that that’s  taken  care of  lets get down to business. When compared to their last album   the production is much more cleaner, however that does not really take anything away from the band as these guys still sound evil, nasty  and  at some points even  frightening  in a completely new way.  Whereas the previous album was all about  the high gain  heavy hardcore,  that mixed some  doom and sludge,  this album is much  more experimental , an example of which can be seen  in the track Coven of the Larynx which  has your typical chord driven  guitars  played to a skank beat   which is  layered with   oddball dissonance something that would fit well with Deathspell Omega, in fact  another track Indigence and Guilt has the  skank played along to very detailed, wicked and almost black metal  sounding guitars  not too dissimilar to other black  metal bands today  like Nightbringer and Aosoth. This reaches its peak in the track when the bands brand of technical, chaotic hardcore is juxtaposed with weird flanger guitar effects and power electronics. There are some tracks which move away from hardcore as well, for instance The Lord is my Light opens up with somewhat drone-ish   guitar work  which  brings images of  insanity, loneliness and desolation  which  later builds up to a sonic  nightmare  with weird guitar effects that  makes  you feel as if everything around you is melting  and  there’s no way you can run(damn this band  fuels me to write!) , and the last track In Contempt of Life where the band experiments with  really crushing  , sludgy/doomy guitars,  which is accompanied by some really chilled laidback  stoner rock drumming. But with all of that being said, these elements don’t really take away Full of Hell’s signature sound and in fact adds much more to it, making it much more elaborate.

Thus keeping everything in mind I would say that Rudiments of Mutilation is a challenging, yet highly rewarding release., that  will be enjoyed by anyone who  is into extreme music, not just hardcore.  One of the best hardcore releases of 2013 so far.

 Stream the entire album below

Havok’s Michael Joseph Leon talks about touring and their new album

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Let’s say we have 10 bands being spawned each minute and as per the current fad cycle,  out of these a good 3-4 will be/are throwbacks. Said bands seek to time travel and ride on the novelty value of bands of yesteryear. Some do it with much finesse and put their own spin to it, while some make a mockery of themselves by belting out insipid rehashes. Havok is a band that belongs to the former set. Adding enough doses of technicality, Havok play thrash as it was in its heyday. Today our very own Raj Sharma catches up with the newest bassist to the Havok lineup, Michael Joseph Leon. Micheal is also the bassist for the melodic death metal band The Absence.

Havok is all set to release Unnatural Selection on June 25th, via Candlelight Records.

1. Greetings from Metalspree, how are you doing Michael??

Good dude! Just recovering from the Depise the World European Tour with Suffocation, Cephalic Carnage, and Fallujah! It was an insanely fun trip to say the least!

2. Tell us about your new album, how nasty is it?? In your words, how is it different from all previous Havok releases??

It’s pretty nasty in my opinion! It’s a bit more dynamic than the previous records, in that a few songs are a bit slower than your average Havok fan would be used to! The songs are great though, and each one rocks hard! Also, it is the first record that i’ve recorded with the band, so expect a change in the bass playing, there’s alot of sweet slapping riffs im sure you’ll enjoy!

3. Havok has been often mentioned as a retro-thrash metal outfit by the critics, how much do you agree with that and why so ??

In someways, I do agree with that “title” because let’s face it, the first few releases are really…well, thrashy haha! But I do believe the music does have a certain vibe to it that transcends the “retro-thrash” ideas. When people who are unfamiliar with the band ask me what kind of music we play, I just say “heavy metal”!!

4. Tell us how did the guys get you on the bass duties after jesse’s departure ??

I have known the dudes way back in 2010 when my band The Absence was on tour with Havok, Full Blown Chaos, Beyond Terror Beyond Grace and Malevolent Creation. We grew to be great friends immediately, and since then, we have stayed in very close contact. Pete actually played drums in the Absence for one tour in 2011 with Evergrey, Sabaton, Blackguard and Powerglove! This past winter, I was doing sound and merch for Havok on the Skeletonwitch tour, and the Barge to Hell Cruise, so when I got the call a few weeks later that Jesse wasn’t going to be in the band anymore, we all knew at that point that I was the dude that would replace him. Best wishes to that dude, he’s a very important part of the bands history and i’m lucky to have the same opportunity he did for so long!

5. How’s the tour life  going on with Havok?? As the newest member, tell us your favorite Havok song to play live? Just one though. 😉

Touring with Havok is just as fun as ever! Like I said before, i’ve toured with the dudes quite a few times before, the only difference now is that i’m playing on stage and posing in the pictures haha! Honestly, its a blast to play the songs, but my personal favorite to play live is probably “Fatal Intervention”! It’s a very aggresive song with some fun stuff going on in the bass department!!

6. You guys have been constantly touring right after the release of PONR’, how fun was it supporting Suffocation? Have you heard their latest release yet?

The Suffocation tour was insane! Every person on the tour was cool as fuck, including all the dudes in Cephalic Carnage and Fallujah! We did some things on this tour that would make the dudes in Jackass proud thats for sure haha! I watched a bit of Suffo’s set everynight, all their shit is so brutal! I did enjoy the new songs they played in their set everynight!

7. You guys went out and recorded drums for the new album in a theater for the first time? How was the experience? And was it Pete’s idea of recording it in a theater?

The whole band agreed that recording in the Gothic Theater would be the best option for the new album, and it was pretty damn fun! Well, im not sure how much fun Pete had playing drums from sunrise to midnight 2 days in a row haha! It was a great learning experience, and the drum tracks turned out just as rad as we hoped they would!

Album art for the new ‘Unnatural Selection’

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8.Your song “From The Cradle To The Grave” is about America’s first serial killer H.H Holmes, does the new album have any particular storyline/concept to it?

Unnatural Selection has a few different directions lyrically. There are a few songs with strong political views, a few about human civilization at its worst and finest, and a couple about the stressful process that is touring, writing, recording, and producing a new album! Overall, there are a lot of positive messages for self-realization, and education in worldly events, you’ll see what I mean when you hear the songs!!

9. On a personal note, I think your covers took more of the attention from the crowd than your original songs in the early release of PONR. This time you are just doing a cover of Black Sabbath’s “Children of the grave”? Was it a mutual decision by the band on covering this particular Sabbath song or does the cover somehow fit your new album??

The decision to cover that song in particular was made before I joined the band, but I’m still really stoked about it! It ended up sounding really awesome, and who doesn’t love the shit out of Black Sabbath!! I’d say that the lyrical theme of the song is what ties it into the record the most!

10. Any new bands that you’ve been digging lately, or might have crashed into on tour and also want to give a shout out to??

There are a few rad bands that I’ve met on tour in the past that im totally stoked on right now! Fallujah impressed the shit out of me on the Despise the World tour, and i’m very excited about their new full length release! Those dudes have a bright future ahead, love those guys! Revocation is another one of my favorite bands these days, their new record is sure to be a sick one as well! My brothers and sister in Blackguard have a new release in the works that im very stoked on! So many good bands these days!!

11. Thanks a lot for the interview; we are definitely having beers once you get Havok to India, any last words to the fans??

My pleasure dude, any time!! We would more than love to come play for you in India, let’s make it happen! Thank you for supporting and promoting the band, you are what keeps us alive and kickin’ ass! Make sure you pick up a copy of the new album “Unnatural Selection” and play that shit as loud as you can for all your friends! Let’s bring Havok to India!!!!!  \m/ Rock on! \m/

Watch their brand new video!!

Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats – Mind Control

Jayaprakash Satyamurthy reviews the new album from Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats titled Mind Control, released via Metalblade Records.

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Tracklist:

1. Mt. Abraxas
2. Mind Crawler
3. Poison Apple
4. Desert Ceremony
5. Evil Love
6. Death Valley Blues
7. Follow the Leader
8. Valley of the Dolls
9. Devil’s Work

Uncle Acid and the Dead Beats’ 2011 album, Blood Lust, was a coup, one among the handful of instant classics of the doom genre I’ve heard in this decade. With a mysterious, shrouded and infectiously tuneful sound, like some bizarre 60s pop-influenced version of Electric Wizard, and a lyrical approach that was the equivalent of a learing, homicidal seduction by a 70s B-grade British horror villain, and most of all, with intensely hummable and memorable tunes like ‘I’ll Cut You Down’ and ’13 Candles’, it was a near-perfect breakthrough album.

The news isn’t quite so good on the follow-up, ‘Mind Control’. First, the good: Uncle Acid and his Dead Beats haven’t really altered their basic sound. Although the mesmeric opening track, ‘Mount Abraxas’ and ‘Follow The Leader’ are more sprawling, and in the case of the former more openly Sabbathoid than anything on the previous album, we’re obviously in the same soundworld of sinuous, insinuating, dreamy vocals, louche, swaggering riffs and uncanny sex magick. What’s changed is the consistency of song writing. Some of this material is forgettable, and at least one song, ‘Valley of the Dolls’ is simply a badly written song: dull, overextended and repetitive.

That’s not to say that tracks like the two previously mentioned aren’t worth listening to, or that ‘Desert Ceremony’ and ‘Evil Love’ don’t strut about in platform shoes and bell bottoms and make darkly veiled threats of rapine and murder with as much verve as anything on the preceding album, but they aren’t the norm, this time around. The somnolent ‘Death Valley Blues’ marks a descent into a set of slower, less memorable tracks that trade the tension between glorious melody and insalubrious ritual that was such a great part of ‘Blood Lust’s appeal for a tired, over-extended doom rock formula that isn’t half as unique or arresting as I’d come to expect from this band.

So this is only about 1/3 of a really good album, and that’s a shame. I hope Uncle Acid can power through whatever songwriting slump he’s caught in and deliver the goods again with his next album. In the meantime, we’ll always have Blood Lust…

Stream the entire album at Spin.com.