Breaking News: The 2017 Summer Slaughter Tour Lineup and Dates Have Been Announced

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Recently, one of the heaviest touring festivals in extreme music, or as they like to brand themselves, “The Most Extreme Tour of the Year”, has finally announced their lineup and tour dates for the 2017 summer.  The Summer Slaughter tour, which is primarily run and funded by Sumerian Records and Sumerian Films (explains why the film “American Satan” is funding the tour and why there are multiple Sumerian bands on nearly every Summer Slaughter lineup), will run from July 27th until August 26th and will feature some of the biggest names in deathcore and death metal.

Personally, while I am a huge fan of literally every artist on this year’s bill, I am slightly disappointed to see a lack of diversity in the lineup.  Featuring a plethora of big name deathcore bands, and including some accomplished death metal acts with the likes of Origin, The Black Dahlia Murder, the Faceless, and of course, Dying Fetus, the Summer Slaughter tour is perfectly fit for one specific group of extreme music fans.  If you like the more aggressive styles of deathcore and modern death metal, then this tour is a dream come true.  However, for the metal fans that listen to a wide variety of heavy music, the streamlined roster may be slightly disappointing when comparing the 2017 lineup to past ones.  For example, the 2008 lineup featured a vast group of metal bands with everything from Vader to Cryptopsy, Aborted to Whitechapel, Despised Icon to Born of Osiris, and The Black Dahlia Murder to the Faceless.  In comparison, only 5 years ago in 2012, the Summer Slaughter lineup featured GoatWhore, Exhumed, and Periphery, and even featured Between the Buried and Me going on stage right before the headliner, Cannibal Corpse!  This extreme variation in styles of metal and sizes of recognition and fan base within the metal community exemplifies how diverse the Summer Slaughter lineup can get.  While this year’s lineup is sure to feature great live bands who are some of the heavyweights in their respective genres and are guaranteed to bring in some of the greatest ticket sales the tour has ever seen (due of course to their relevancy and more “radio friendly” sound compared to other artists in past lineups), the lack of true metal diversity is hopefully a trend that does not stick with the annual Summer Slaughter tour.

2008’s lineup:

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2012’s lineup:

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This is, however, the first year that I am a big fan of every artist on the roster.  This, of course, means I will be able to witness hours upon hours of my favorite deathcore and death metal bands play live in a row, but will unfortunately prevent me from discovering new artists that I might become extremely found of, like how I became a huge fan of Beyond Creation after seeing them on the 2015 Summer Slaughter tour.  The full tour poster for the 2017 tour is attached below.  To see complete lineups, visit your local venue’s website to see what local bands will also find a spot on the festival’s date nearest you!  Also, maybe next year we will finally see a black metal band play the Summer Slaughter tour, but until then, enjoy the greatest deathcore and death metal roster the Summer Slaughter tour has ever created!

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Breaking News: Oceano Announce New Album “Revelation”

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Chicago based deathcore giants, Oceano, are back with a new album for 2017!  The 5th full length album, titled Revelation”, for the Adam Warren headed band will be released May 19th and will be the first release on their new label Sumerian Records (Oceano has released all previous material through Earache Records)!

For those who have read Erik’s Album Reviews for the last few months, you will remember that the album we deemed as the absolute best record of 2015 was actually Oceano’s “Ascendants”, which beat out Cattle Decapitation’s “The Anthropocene Exctinction” for the number 1 spot.  Not only did “Ascendants” feature beautiful artwork and the best material Oceano had ever written as a band, but it also served as a pivotal landmark in deathcore history, as the use of mind numbingly heavy riffs with eerie leads played through an Axe FX 2 system along with Adam Warren’s impossibly low harsh vocals, which seem to be taken straight out of the Mariana Trench, have created a unique sound and song structure that have influenced countless modern deathcore bands.

The first single off “Revelation” is “The Great Tribulation” and it is everything I hoped the new Oceano album would be.  Based off the album artwork, which is equally as gorgeous as “Ascendants'”, and the first track attached below, it appears that “Revelation” will be a continuation of the “Ascendants” era with some slight changes.  For example, it appears that production quality has gone up since the groundbreaking 2015 full length album (which might be due to the fact that Sumerian might have higher production quality standards for their releases) and the songwriting is slightly heavier and puts the impactful, breakdown filled verses and Warren’s impeccable low screams at the forefront of each performance.  After only one single, I’m 99.99% this new Oceano album will also be one of the best releases heard all year and will be a strong contender for best Oceano release of all time!

Being a massive Oceano fan myself, I can guarantee I will post a ton about “Revelation” both before and after it is released on May 19th.  Also, thanks to Sumerian Records, I can now finally own an Oceano album on vinyl!  If you would also like to pick up a copy, I’ve attached the link below to the merchandise store.  Give “The Great Tribulation” a listen below, check out our 2015 album of the year list, and pre-order a copy of what might be the best album of 2017 below!

Erik’s Album Reviews’ 2015 Album of the Year List:

https://eriksalbumreviews.wordpress.com/2016/09/26/2015-albums-and-eps-of-the-year/

Oceano Vinyl (FINALLY!):

Vinyl Records

“The Great Tribulation”:

500 Word Review: Xiu Xiu “Forget”

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Do you find some sort of sick, masochistic joy in being depressed? If so, Xiu Xiu’s new album “Forget” might be just for you. Never known for making accessible music, Xiu Xiu gained notoriety last year for their rework of “The Music of Twin Peaks”, a haunting musical retelling of the chilling TV Show’s equally eerie soundtrack. After getting their weird out on that album (and weird in this context is definitely comparative), they have decided to return to what may be the most pop-oriented sound they can make. Despite it’s title, “Forget” makes you remember that not all ‘pop’ music has to be clean-cut and straight forward. Frontman Jamie Stewart and collaborators Angela Seo and Shayna Dunkleman have seemed to craft their sound on this album into the perfect mixture of experimental and pop, calling back hints of Depeche Mode and The Cure and blending them with ‘out’ production choices and often harrowing lyrics.

Although it’s hard to really pin down what a Xiu Xiu record should sound like, it is safe to say that when “Forget” starts, you probably won’t think it’s a Xiu Xiu record. Opening with what seems to be samples from some sort of gangster rap verse, “The Call” is an energetic little opener that right off the bat hints at the record’s more pop-ness while still maintaining it’s eccentrics and aggressiveness. The second song “Queen of The Losers,” is some sort of fucked-up spaghetti western dance song. It also shows the first hint of Xiu Xiu’s blunt fucked-upness. Towards the end of the song, over treated western guitar clangs and tinny percussion, the narrator asks himself “What am I?” He then proceeds to respond, “I’m fuckin’ nothing.” This is the first moment on the album where you really sit back and ask yourself, “What have I gotten myself into?” The next couple of songs though give you hope that maybe this journey won’t be as bad as you think it could be.

“Wondering” may be the happiest sounding song Xiu Xiu has ever put on tape. It’s got a pumping dance beat, a catchy melody, and relatively normal lyrics. But the demented timbres of the instrumental give you that sense of “wait, isn’t this supposed to be fucked up,” therefore still giving every song on the album at list a little sense of the band’s well-known melancholy. The next song, “Get Up” takes the mold of it’s predecessor but manages to make it more horrific. I’ve never been so immediately taken in by a Xiu Xiu song, which is strange because it starts out with just a simple two-note guitar line over a bare drum machine. However, this time the masterfully creepy delivery of the vocals, and the content of the lyrics, make it still seem like there’s cracks in this safe wall.

The next set of tracks take a dark turn, starting with “Hay Choco Bananas.” This may be the most ill-fitting title for a song ever, because this song is highlighted by Jamie’s signature haunting vocals, bare and creepy synths, and a middle noise section that makes you feel like you’re trapped in a padded jail cell. It is then followed by “Jenny GoGo,” which has a techno dance beat and some of the creepiest lyrics on the album. These include ‘baby, I need a hubby inside me, don’t leave me baby.” Which is then followed by some yelling. In description this all sounds sort of campy and over-the-top, but Xiu Xiu’s strength has always been taking the over the top and making it fit. It’s not just experimentation for the sake of experimentation, it legitimately seems like experimentation for effect, and the effect works.

The next three songs, “At Last, At Last,” “Forget,” and “Petite” all follow a similar mold without making it sound like they’re just copy and pasting every song. Not standout tracks, but not bad tracks at all either. The album is wrapped up by “Faith, Torn Apart” which is a harrowing mix of noise and sung and spoken vocals that adds a fitting bookend to the album. Overall, this may be Xiu Xiu’s most accessible album to date, without losing of their experimental sensibility. It may even be one of the best records released this year so far.

 

Score: 8.8/10

 

Album Review by Ethan Lally, March 2017

“Forget”:

Track of the Day Tuesday: LORNA SHORE Godmaker

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This week the “Track of the Day Tuesday” is by a heavier, New Jersey based deathcore band called Lorna Shore.  Lorna Shore is actually a group that I discovered in 2013 after their drummer actively posted on the site, Vinylcollective.com.  Being a huge vinyl collector myself, I was able to talk to him through the forums and messaging function on the site about his band, who was fairly unknown at the time, Lorna Shore.  In 2013, I rarely listened to anything heavier than you’re basic deathcore bands like Chelsea Grin, Suicide Silence, and As Blood Runs Black, so the “Maleficium” EP was too heavy for me to enjoy when I first heard it.  However, after listening to their sophomore album, “Flesh Coffin”, which was recently released (by the way a review for “Flesh Coffin” is in the works), I realized how amazing this young deathcore band is and decided to revisit older works, especially the “Maleficium” EP.  After listening to these tracks for the first time in years, I was shocked to hear how amazing the project truly is, more specifically the successful single, “Godmaker”.  It is because of this that I have decided to name “Godmaker”, the best song on the 2013 “Maleficium” EP in my opinion, the “Track of the Day Tuesday”.

“Godmaker” is an eerie track that starts off with different sounds and effects that could easily be heard in the most suspenseful horror movie.  After the near minute intro, the track then brings in the full band as the guitars hit three melodic minor chords before going into a fast paced deathcore riff.  Throughout the track, multiple tempo changes, transitions between breakdowns and mind-numbing riffs, and astonishing blast beats accompanied by an impressively chilling vocal performance are heard, which help make “Godmaker” so memorable.  However, the most remarkable aspect isn’t any of the features previously mentioned.  In fact, it is the atonal guitar lead heard over the breakdown at (3:48?) in the track.  Not only does this lead guitar part make this breakdown even more brutal, but it adds a horrific (in a very good way), gothic influenced mood and sound to the already heinous track.  The atonal lead part, which you can listen to below, has made “Godmaker” not only one of my favorite tracks off “Maleficium”, but one of my favorite Lorna Shore songs in their discography, while also further proving my theory that melody, whether its tonal, atonal, or influenced and categorized differently, can help improve the song structure of even the most brutally heavy deathcore tracks, resulting in a more memorable project.

The music video for “Godmaker” is attached below.  Of course, I highly suggest you check out the “Track of the Day Tuesday” for both this week and previous weeks.  Also, if you are a Lorna Shore fan, stay tuned as I will be doing reviews for “Flesh Coffin” and possibly “Psalms”.  Lastly, let us know what you think should be next week’s “Track of the Day Tuesday” and stay tuned for more reviews and content to be released later this week!

Breaking News: Young Thug Releases 2 New Music Videos and Releases “JEFFERY” On Vinyl

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One of my favorite rappers, Young Thug, has made some headlines in his most recent releases.  The Atlanta based rapper has released 2 new music videos in 2017 and his latest commercial mixtape, “JEFFERY”, is finally on vinyl!  The two music videos for the tracks “Wyclef Jean” and his latest single “Safe” have both become extremely successful video representations of these great Young Thug tracks, but both have made headlines for completely different reasons.

Back in January, the release of the “Wyclef Jean” music video instantly became a trending topic.  The song itself is fantastic, and “JEFFERY” is without a doubt my favorite mixtape in Thug’s discography, but how the video was filmed and the story behind it made this music video release so significant.  Throughout the entire video, the director, or as he describes it “co-director”, Ryan Staake, includes notes about how the video was filmed.  Apparently Young Thug had a ton of abstract and odd ideas for the music video, and some of these ideas did make it into the music video, but the major problem of the short film was that Young Thug never appeared in the music video.  Despite stating that he wanted to be in multiple shots and co-direct the entire video with Ryan, he arrived to the shoot hours late, even though he had been contacted by the film staff and his label, and he never once got out of his car.  However, even though Thug was extremely hard to work with, and essentially completely omitted from his own music video, the shots Ryan did get and his editing and commentary are extremely entertaining.  In fact, I guarantee that even if the music video was filmed as originally planned, I would still enjoy this version more.  It’s unfortunate that Young Thug was disrespectful to the people working on his own music video, but the final product from this unexpected turn of events has become truly iconic.

Young Thug’s latest music video, “Safe”, was released last Thursday, and unfortunately, it does not include a crazy back story like the one for “Wyclef Jean”.  The shots throughout the film are very simple and aren’t really anything too memorable, but what is prominent is the song itself.  “Safe” has yet to be released on any platform besides this music video on Youtube and serves as the first release of new music from Young Thug in 2017.  The song itself has easily become my favorite track from Young Thug.  The more material Thug releases, the more he truly discovers what his sound is.  His voice and delivery in his tracks continues to keep getting better and extremely unique and distinct.  Also, the quality of his beats continues to progress in a positive way, with each new release surpassing the other in quality of vocal performance and instrumental composition.  “Safe” features more of a laid back, near ambient, electronic beat that perfectly fits Young Thug style.  The captivating beat intertwines with Thug’s personal lyricism and delivery in a phenomenal way that I hope is present in the rest of Young Thug’s releases this year.

Finally, the extremely successful commercial mixtape, “JEFFERY”, is now available on vinyl for this first time ever!  Before this release, only “Barter 6”, Thug’s 2015 mixtape, was the only release of his available on vinyl.  “JEFFERY” has been pressed on standard vinyl, which can be purchased below, and on a Blue/White Marbled variant that appears to be completely sold out at the moment.  If you collect vinyl as avidly as I do, “JEFFERY” is a record you absolutely have to pick up.  Being one of the best Rap releases of 2016, “JEFFERY” is a must have for any fan of modern trap music.  Copies are already selling fast so pick up a copy now!

http://www.urbanoutfitters.com/urban/catalog/productdetail.jsp?id=42090118&category=A-VINYL-ALL

When “Safe” is released on other platforms we’ll be sure to be the first ones to let you know!  Also, stay tuned for any other release Young Thug has in store for 2017.  We also have more reviews of recently released hip hop projects that are due out this week and next so don’t forget to check back in to see what albums and mixtapes we review next!

Track of the Day Tuesday: FLA.MINGO Depression Drive

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This week, the track you need to give a listen to is “Depression Drive” by the vaporwave artist, Fla.mingo.  Fla.mingo’s album “Fantasy” was the first release of 2017 for Business Casual and I already know that it will be one of the greatest vaporwave albums of the year.  I’m not very familiar with Fla.mingo’s music, but based off “Fantasy”, it appears that he mixes both vaporwave/plunderphonics influences with house/EDM influences.  In fact, when listening to his music I instantly think about how some of the synths and vocal samples remind me of Porter Robinson and his two phenomenal full length records.  Combining both my love for vaporwave and EDM, I guarantee I’ll become a huge fan of Fla.mingo as I begin to check out more of his material.

“Depression Drive” is a great place to start when first listening to “Fantasy”.  It has a looping synth very similar to Porter Robinson, Minnesota, Seven Lions, and other notable EDM acts, while also incorporating a pitch shifted vocal track that compliments the rest of the track beautifully.  “Depression Drive” also has a simple, repetitive beat that gives the song a club/House vibe, which further makes the track even more addictive.  “Depression Drive” is a song you absolutely have to listen to today!  I’ve attached the entire bandcamp stream of the album below for those who want to give “Fantasy” a listen.  “Depression Drive” is track number 5, but I highly doubt you’ll be able to listen to only one song, as the entire release is phenomenal.  I look forward to seeing what else Fla.mingo has in store for us in the future and of course let us know what track you think should be the “Track of the Day Tuesday” next week!

 

Breaking News: Hans Zimmer Set to Play 2017 Coachella

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Recently, one of the largest music festivals in the world, Coachella, released their full 2017 lineup.  The list of artists confirmed for the festival is extremely impressive, like usual, but one name stood out over the rest.  That name happened to be Hans Zimmer.  For those of you who might not be familiar with him, Hans Zimmer is probably the greatest composer of the 21st century.  Composing the scores to successful films like “The Lion King”, “Batman Begins”, “The Da Vinci Code”, “12 Years A Slave”, and my all time favorite movie and Original Soundtrack, “Inception”, Hans Zimmer’s legacy and discography is immensely impressive.  That being said I was both shocked and pleasantly surprised to see that he would be performing at Coachella this year.  Zimmer will often perform at concert halls and other venues appropriate for the scores he has written, but I was unaware that he also performed at festivals, especially those like Coachella that usually host pop and electronic artists, like for example Beyonce, who will be headlining the Saturday lineup.

Personally, I would attend Coachella this year just to see Hans Zimmer.  Being able to watch a legendary composer perform fantastic scores in a peculiar environment is probably the only way I could justify paying the ridiculous price for a single Coachella ticket.  Don’t get me wrong, there are other phenomenal artists featured on the lineup this year as well, but nothing compares to the fact that Hans Zimmer will actually have a set time at one of the world’s biggest festivals. If you are going, or planning on attending I highly suggest seeing Zimmer’s performance!  Hopefully some recorded version of his set will be released online afterwards, as I am extremely interested in seeing what songs he will perform, how he will perform them at the festival, and most importantly, how this will all fit into the unique atmosphere at Coachella!

The full lineup and dates for the festival are attached below!  We’ve had an extremely slow start to 2017, but I promise we have a lot more in store for this year, including a seamlessly never-ending list of album reviews, and of course, our Album of the Year list!  Thank you for your patience and continued support and we hope you enjoy all of the content we plan on sharing with you very soon!

 

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