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: The Acacia Strain Announce New Album “Gravebloom”

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Massachusetts’ own The Acacia Strain are back with a new record to follow up their monumental 2014 release, “Coma Witch”.  Their 8th full length album will be titled “Gravebloom” and will be the first album in the band’s history that will not be released 2 years after the previous full length record in their discography.  Prior to “Gravebloom”, The Acacia Strain albums were released in two year intervals, starting with “…And Life Is Very Long” in 2002 all the way until 2014’s “Coma Witch”.  While it may be frustrating to have to wait an extra 6 months than usual for a new TAS release, I am fairly sure it will be worth the wait (not to mention that having an extra long album cycle for “Coma Witch” was something I personally was very happy to see).  However, we are now months away from yet another TAS album, and the first single released, “Bitter Pill”, already showcases how the legendary metal band will continue their profound legacy in the extreme music scene.

“Bitter Pill” is the perfect representation of how the sound from “Above/Below” and “Coma Witch” has continued to live on, but slightly evolve, in the recent years of TAS’s history.  Deep, crushing guitar and bass tones and riffs steamroll through the entire track as thunderous percussion and Vincent Bennett’s demonic and instantly recognizable harsh vocal tracks add a punishing, unforgiving heaviness to the track as a whole, resulting in brutal song that is a perfect representation of The Acacia Strain’s signature, near flawless sound they’ve come to embody since 2013.  Personally, “Coma Witch” isn’t just my favorite TAS album, it’s one of my favorite albums of all time and is extremely influential and important to me and the music I enjoy today.  That being said, I’m extremely excited to see “Gravebloom” take on this continuation of the theme and sound heard on “Coma Witch”.  Everything to the artwork, which looks surprisingly similar to that of “Coma Witch” (seen below), to even the unique guitar tones and riffs heard on “Bitter Pill”, appear as if they could easily fit into “Coma Witch” as interchangeable aspects.  This isn’t meant to be interpreted as an insult, as I personally believe that if The Acacia Strain are writing some of the best material of their careers, why should they change anything?  In fact, I’m ecstatic to see that “Gravebloom” will be an even heavier, slightly more evolved (in a positive way) version of “Coma Witch” that might even be able to surpass the 2014 masterpiece as the new greatest release from TAS’s long history.  Of course, it will take a lot more than one phenomenal single to accomplish this, however, they are off to a solid start so far.  I will say, however, I am fairly disappointed to see that a track similar to “Observer” won’t be heard on “Gravebloom”.  Even though TAS or Rise Records haven’t released the official length of each individual track, the fact that pre-orders for the album, which are attached below, feature CDs and vinyl releases with only 1 disc per item means that we won’t be seeing another epic, masterfully written half-hour long track like we did on “Coma Witch”.  However, it might be too redundant if “Gravebloom” practically mimicked “Coma With” in composition, so I can see why the group chose not to write a song similar in structure.  Regardless of similarity to “Coma Witch”, it is a known fact that adding Devin Shidaker to TAS was the greatest move in the band’s history, as the songwriting heard on “Above/Below”, “Coma Witch”, and “Gravebloom” is nothing short of impeccable.

“Gravebloom” artwork vs. “Coma Witch” artwork:

2017 is shaping up to be one of the best years in extreme music in recent memory, and myself and the rest of the staff at Erik’s Album Reviews will constantly keep you updated on all things involving The Acacia Strain this year, so stay tuned as we get closer to the release of “Gravebloom” on June 30th!  Pre-order the new, pretty much guaranteed to be stellar The Acacia Strain album below, listen to “Bitter Pill”, and check out our recent post about Oceano’s new upcoming album, as “Revelation” is very similar to “Gravebloom” as they both appear to be continuation’s of their respective band’s previous and best material to date (not to mention that Devin Shidaker also used to play guitar for Oceano).  Lastly, a review of “Coma Witch” is in the works, which further discusses the vast significance of the superb album and it’s influence on myself and the rest of the modern extreme music community.

“Gravebloom” Pre-orders:

http://merchnow.com/catalogs/the-acacia-strain

Oceano new album post:

https://eriksalbumreviews.wordpress.com/2017/04/14/breaking-news-oceano-announce-new-album-revelation/

“Bitter Pill”:

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”: