Breaking News: Woe Responds to Being Kicked Off Droneburg Festival For Touring With Inquisition

woe hope attrition

Recently, Brooklyn based Black metal band, Woe, were scheduled to play the Droneburg Festival in Germany along with Ulthra and other acts.  However, only hours before the festival would open their doors, they notified the two bands mentioned via SMS text messages that they had been kicked off the shows lineup.  The reasoning behind this swift and drastic decision was that Woe and the other band in question had toured with Inquisition and played the Conspiracy of the Damned Festival, which took place in Rotterdam and featured Inquisition and other similar acts, and because of this the festival assumed Woe held the same beliefs as Inquisition and decided to prevent them from performing on the Droneburg stage.

For those who don’t know, Inquisition, and most of the artists who make up the Conspiracy of the Damned Festival, are nationalistic, and in some cases openly Anti-Semitic and racist, NSBM artists whose ideologies and beliefs are both reflected in their art and representation of their respective bands and above all, inhumane.  Droneburg Festival apparently has a very strict policy about NSBM associated bands performing on their bill, so before doing any further research, they decided to kick Woe off their roster last minute.

Despite touring and playing alongside Inquisition, Woe actually openly embraces an entire different political stance. Woe represents a very anti-fascist political stance, and not only is it embedded in their material, like in the song “No Blood Has Honor”, but they frequently play in front of apolitical black metal crowds while playing this material and even educate concert goers and other black metal fans about how they can also embrace an anti-fascist stance without “sacrificing the harsh, abrasive stance of a black metal band”.  This explains their touring with infamous fascist bands and playing festivals that support these acts as Woe is not supporting these ideologies, but directly challenging them, protesting them, and openly opposing them in hopes of educating those in that environment.  Woe further explained their response to being unfairly omitted from the Droneburg festival in a well-spoken way in their statement attached below for you to read.

If you weren’t a fan of Woe by now, this statement should definitely help at convincing you to become a fan in the very near future.  This political activism and active attempt to grow and help broaden the perspectives of individuals in the metal community is something that is admirable to say the least.  Also, political opinions set aside, Woe writes some sensational black metal that is truly impressive to say the least.  I enjoyed the New York black metal outfit before this news story initially broke, and I can now say that I am an avid fan and cannot wait until this group makes it to a nearby venue!  I’ve also attached the stream of their latest project, “Hope Attrition”, for you to check out below!  Let us know what you think about Woe’s response to the Droneburg Festival incident and stay tuned for more metal news!

 

Woe’s Statement:

“Hope Attrition”:

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Breaking News: Suffocation Releases First Single Off Upcoming 2017 Album

suffocation...of the dark light

Death metal legends Suffocation have one of the most flawless discographies in metal history, and this year they will be adding to their long-lasting excellence with a new full length record titled, “…Of The Dark Light”.  This new full length record from the New York death metal icons will be their 8th full length record (side note a lot of legendary metal bands will be releasing their 8th full length record in the next few months oddly enough) and will be the follow up to 2013’s “Pinnacle of Bedlam”.  Even before hearing the first single I was already extremely excited to check out their new material; mostly because I’m a huge Suffocation and death metal fan, but also because the artwork is nothing like any other release and is very intriguing.  In fact, with exception to “Despise the Sun”, which features a somewhat high quality album artwork design, “…Of The Dark Light” looks nothing like the traditional style of artwork associated with Suffocation releases, which made me wonder if this would represent a change in the overall sound of Suffocation material as well.

Suffocation throughout the years has stuck to a very unique, yet unwavering style of technical death metal.  So even with the unusual (in a good way) artwork, the first single off the 2017 album, “Your Last Breaths”, still encompassed the signature Suffocation sound, with the only difference being a higher sound quality in the recording.  Overall, this track has everything you need in a Suffocation song.  Nearly robotic drumming and blast beats, impressively fast chugging riffs from the man, the myth, the legend himself, Terrance Hobbs, and of course simply powerful, low growls from Frank Mullen collectively make “Your Last Breaths” another superb Suffocation song.

It’s important to note that it’s almost impossible that Suffocation will ever release new material that tops classic, monumental releases like “Effigy of the Forgotten” and “Pierced From Within”, but this doesn’t mean that new releases from Suffocation won’t be some of the best tracks you hear all year in metal itself.  In fact, I personally enjoy both old and new Suffocation and ended up really enjoying “Pinnacle of Bedlam”, despite being released 22 years after their groundbreaking debut album.  I will say though that listening to new material from Suffocation, whether it was released in 2013 or 2017, makes me wonder what rerecorded, higher quality sounding Suffocation albums from the 90s would sound like compared to the original recordings.  Not to take away from the original recordings themselves, as the muddy, slightly lo-fi recording quality fits their slamming style of death metal very well, but after listening to “Your Last Breaths” multiple times it does make me question how much different songs like “Pierced From Within” and “Infecting the Crypts” would sound like if they were recorded to today’s average production quality standards for death metal.  Regardless, “…Of The Dark Light” is sure to be yet another fantastic album from the legends themselves, Suffocation.  Let us know what you think of modern Suffocation material and check out the really cool and fun to mess around with 360 video for “Your Last Breaths” below!

 

“Your Last Breaths”:

500 Word Review: West Berlin “104”

west berlin split

The latest release from West Berlin is their single “104”, which is featured on their recently released split with Bottomfed. This is the third release in their discography following their debut EP, “The Northern Misery” and single “Age”. Personally, I’m a huge fan of “The Northern Misery” and honestly believe this group has a bright future ahead of them in the melodic hardcore scene, and “104” is simply put a continuation of their excellence.

“104” greatly resembles the sound heard on “The Northern Misery”. Their signature guitar sound and chugging riffs accompanied by unique harsh vocals and occasional lead guitar melodies have helped distinguish West Berlin from the rest of the noise in the hardcore scene. Also, I personally am glad to see the Syracuse based punk band continue in the direct exemplified in “The Northern Misery” compared to what was heard on their previous single, “Age”, which in my opinion is fairly sub-par and does not showcase West Berlin’s fantastic songwriting that they’re known for. “104” starts off with a melodic, almost melancholy guitar intro that helps bring in the rest of the instruments and members to the track. My initial thought after hearing the first verse is that it is beautifully written, and could easily find its way onto the phenomenal “The Northern Misery” EP, however I believe that track could sound even better at a faster tempo. The song itself is extremely melodic, but at some points in the first verse I personally think the track is dragging and slightly sluggish. However, this is only a minor critique and does not take away from the superb first half of this song. The chorus, on the other hand, is absolutely addictive. It shows hints of influence from Counterparts, yet has enough signature sound to be easily recognized as West Berlin. Even the pinched harmonics before the second chorus help create a well-written melodic hardcore chorus that is extremely memorable. Finally, the two breakdown-esque bridges heard after each chorus are without a doubt superb. Resembling riffs heard on “Hell Is Black” from “The Northern Misery”, these two chugging riffs add a near beatdown element that I absolutely love about West Berlin’s music. These melodic, mosh-pit inducing, skull-crushing riffs are something that any hardcore fan will love and is something that West Berlin has mastered to say the least.

In conclusion, “104” is yet another fantastic song by the up and coming melodic hardcore band, West Berlin. If you live anywhere in the Northeastern part of the US you need to see these guys live at a show. If the Syracuse act can continue to release projects like “104” and “The Northern Misery” then I can’t imagine why this band won’t become a household name in the next few years. I give “104” an 8.5/10 and if you haven’t yet, go check out the single attached below! Of course, let us know what you think of the track and stay tuned for more reviews and content due out this week.

“104”:

Track(s) of the Day Tuesday: GALLANT Weight In Gold and ROB $TONE Chill Bill

As we mentioned before, last week was extremely hectic for the writers at Erik’s Album Reviews, so we were unable to create new installments for our weekly segments, like Track of the Day Tuesday.  So, like we’ve done before for weeks when we were unable to post a track of the day, we have TWO tracks for this week that you should listen to!  These tracks are Gallant’s “Weight In Gold” and Rob $tone’s “Chill Bill”.  Both of these songs I actually found through commercials and I have since become a fan of these artists!

Rob $tone is an up-and-coming rap artist who released his widely successful single, “Chill Bill”, earlier this year.  The track has been featured on Spotify commercials and features one of the catchiest hooks you will hear in all of 2016.  The track has solid flow and a well put together trap beat, however the most memorable part of this song is the whistling lead part, which serves as the melody to the addictive chorus.  It is impossible to listen to the chorus once and not want to play it again and whistle the melody yourself.  The only problem I have with the song is that I think the whistling melody is over used.  If it was prominent in the verse as well, I believe that the impact the melody would have on the chorus would be even greater than it is now.  This track, however, is still an amazing start for Rob $tone and I look forward to hearing what he chooses to release next!

Gallant’s “Weight In Gold” is the other track you must listen to today.  After hearing his best selling single on a Red Bull commercial I absolutely had to check out the full song.  Gallant is a modern day R&B artist with an absolutely stunning vocal range.  Gallant’s music also incorporates a lot of electronic influence and even some sections in “Weight In Gold” feature EDM like sections.  “Weight In Gold” is an instant classic and an all around well written, extremely impressive song.  “Ology”, Gallant’s debut album, is phenomenal as well and will definitely be an album of the year contender.

I’ve posted links to both songs below for you to check out!  I also attached Gallant’s live performance on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon.  If his live performance doesn’t convince you of his unfathomable talent and musical ability, then I don’t know what will.  Both of these artists will be house hold names in the next few years and I can’t wait to see what they do with their careers next!

Rob $tone “Chill Bill”:

Gallant “Weight In Gold”:

Gallant “Weight In Gold” Live:

Breaking News: A$AP Ferg Releases Remix To “New Level”

new-level-remix

Late last week, one of my favorite rap artists of all time, A$AP Ferg, released a remix to his track “New Level”, which was originally off his sophomore release, “Always Strive and Prosper”.  The original version of “New Level” featured rap artist Future, and soon after its release, it became one of the most successful and highly praised songs off the project.  Now, 10 months after the single was first released, the remix to this fan favorite is available on all prominent music streaming services and features verses from A$AP Rocky and Lil Uzi Vert, along with another verse from Future himself.

Personally I like this remix even better than the original version.  Not to say that the album version of “New Level” is bad, but the added verses from A$AP Rocky and Lil Uzi Vert, along with the new, rewritten verses from both A$AP Ferg and Future collectively make this the greater of the two tracks.  Honestly, I would be glad to see yet another remix to this track, especially since artists like Schoolboy Q, Earl Sweatshirt, Denzel Curry, and even Danny Brown could fit well on this more aggressive, powerful sounding beat.  Regardless, this new single and “Always Strive and Prosper” are some of the best rap releases of 2016 and “Always Strive and Prosper” could possibly be one of the greatest albums to be released this year as well.

Give this new remix a listen and if you haven’t heard anything by A$AP Ferg before, then listen to anything off his two phenomenal studio albums: “Trap Lord” and “Always Strive and Prosper”!  Be sure to check in to Erik’s Album Reviews often as we get closer to deciding what are the best rap albums and mixtapes of 2016!

Breaking News: Suffocation Is Working On New Music To Be Released In 2017

suffocation

One of the greatest death metal bands ever, Suffocation, have stated that new music is in the works and will be released next year!  The band took to Facebook Monday to say that despite a lack of touring, the group will have a new release for their fans next year.  Suffocation, who were apart of the Summer Slaughter tour this year, have not released any material since 2013’s “Pinnacle of Bedlam”, so a new album would be highly anticipated!

I personally cannot wait to hear this new material!  If you would like to read the band’s statement it is attached below and if you want to listen to Suffocation look up literally anything they have released because all of it is phenomenal!

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