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“Anything could go wrong at any moment...”

Aaa at their most epic show ever

Issue 312



What’s their Bloodstock headline show gonna be like, and when’s the next album coming? Tuomas Holopainen reveals all…



Alex Skolnick and Mark Menghi round up the big guns for another all-star album. Allegiance, assemble!


The secret story behind sweet love song Hammer Smashed Face.


With his horror movie influences and skull mask, he’s the most metal synthwave artist yet.


Dani and Dav Winter-Bates interview each other. How the hell are these guys even related?!


The final part in our series about one of metal’s most-loved genres.


He’s survived stabbings and swigged piss. Freddy Cricien takes the only test that matters.





One of underground metal’s most celebrated photographers, Ester Segarra is releasing her first book.


Who or what are Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters? Plus Amarok and BlackLab bring more new noise.


Collaborations from Uniform and The Body, and Wovenhand’s David Eugene Edwards and Einstürzende Neubauten’s Alexander Hacke, plus The Lion’s Daughter, Fukpig, Obscura, Axegrinder and more.


Ivar Bjørnson and Einar Selvik team up with Eivør along the Nordic coast, plus Oranssi Pazuzu, Suffocation, Hooded Menace, Belphegor and more!


GOLDEN GODS Parkway Drive bring their pyro to the party of the year! 3

You have to see it to believe it


od Smallwood promised Iron Maiden were going to “have some fun” with their monstrous new show, and their longtime manager was not pissing about. A few weeks ago, some lucky blagger headed to Stockholm to witness the fire and the fury ahead of the Legacy Of The Beast tour hitting the UK later this month. Jump to page 28 to find out exactly what the hell they’ve got going on, and why it should leave Maiden fans of every era very, very excited. In devastating news, the metal world was left in mourning by the sudden loss of Vinnie Paul on June 22. A powerhouse of a drummer who helped shape heavy music as we know it today but, perhaps more importantly, a genuine beam of light who improved the lives of everyone he touched. He’ll be missed dearly, and you’d like to imagine that somewhere, somehow there’s a hell of an Abbott brothers jamming session going on. Read our tribute to Vinnie on page 38 and check back next month for a specialfeature celebrating the legacy of Pantera. In the meantime, ours is a Black Tooth Grin. Raise it high and…


IRON MAIDEN Planes! Eddies! Madness! We fly to Stockholm to hang with Maiden on their Legacy Of The Beast tour. You don’t wanna miss this…


DEZ & WEDNESDAY Why have the metal veteran and the horror icon gone all outlaw country? We go to California to demand some answers…



With a new album recorded in Seattle, we chat to Jerry and co about the ghosts of grunge past.


At The Gates’ glorious box set dissected, plus Behemoth coffee, Volbeat rum, Terminator goblets, Ghost masks, Alice Cooper figurines and more merch of mightiness!




We pay tribute to one of the greatest drummers in metal’s history. RIP, Vinnie Paul.

Nine Inch Nails, Daron Malakian And Scars On Broadway, Halestorm, Powerwolf, Sinsaenum, Epica, Skeletonwitch, Black Fast, Maggot Heart and more get flexed on the Hammer decks.


A7X, Guns N’ Roses and Ozzy bring delirium to Download, plus Nine Inch Nails, Stone Sour, Zeal & Ardor, Wolves In The Throne Room and more!

DOWNLOAD YOUR EXCLUSIVE FREE STORY OF METAL E-BOOK! The Story Of Metal – Part 1 is a special collaboration between Metal Hammer and Classic Rock, detailing the birth of heavy metal through the eyes of the bands that made it happen. Featuring the likes of Iron Maiden, Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath, Motörhead. Judas Priest, Slayer, Dio and many more! To get hold of your exclusive free download of the e-book, just head to the link below: 5

Divine S ig ht

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METAL HAMMER GOLDEN GOD AWARDS 2018 Indigo At The O2, London “underneath all the fire and explosions and smoke, it all simply comes down to the fact that we love playing music. I grew up on a stage in a youth centre, so every chance we get to push ourselves into some insane new realm we grab with both hands, but it’s still the same drive and the same energy. It was an honour to play the Metal Hammer Golden Gods; the energy was pure and it was insane. I simply wanted to be part of it, so I dived in. That’s how it started all those years ago, we wanted to be part of it, and that’s how it will always stay. We rise together.” WINSTON MCCALL



HOLY VISION Parkway Drive 7


Nightwish’s leader talks new music, new shows and why they’re changing up the formula WORDS: ALI COOPER

It’s now three years since we’ve had a new

Nightwish album. The symph-metal megaweights recently reconvened after some downtime to play a US tour, and now UK fans can look forward to the Finns’ headline spot at Bloodstock and arena dates at the end of the year. We grabbed band mastermind and founder Tuomas Holopainen to find out about their biggest shows ever, family life in the fold and whether we’ll get new music sooner rather than later…

Where are Nightwish at right now, Tuomas?

“We started the year relaxing and rehearsing, then went into seven weeks’ intense touring America for 34 shows. We were afraid of how it would work with Floor’s little newborn baby but we didn’t have a single problem, it all went so perfectly with the nanny being with her all the time. However, as a band, we’ve decided that was the last seven-week leg we’re ever going to do; I see a lot of continuity in Nightwish, so if we still want to exist in 10-15 years, we need to rethink how much we can tour.”

So in the process of calming down life on the road, you’ve signed up for a nine-month-long Decades tour… “We had an 18-month sabbatical without

“80% of the new album is done” 8

a single show last year, so we’re all energised to hit the road again. Plus this is nowhere near the two years we toured Dark Passion Play, those dark days are behind us. For the Decades tour, we’re handing out the compilation album during the shows, which we thought was a brilliant idea. The setlist is 90 minutes of at least one song from each album except Angels Fall First. I was in disbelief when I heard we’re playing Wembley again, plus another two big UK shows in December – I’m really proud and I’m happy.”

Before that, you are headlining Bloodstock for the third time after 2003 and 2008. How crazy is that?

“It’s very impressive, especially on UK soil because the UK has been quite the challenge for some bands like us. I have good memories of Bloodstock, even though it’s always muddy and wet. The Brits and the Finns get on so well because we share weather – the more miserable, the better!”

Have you ramped up your production for that headline set?

“We’ve put a lot of effort into the video screens, which we used on the previous tour, but this time it’s bigger than ever. Plus we now have some on the risers to make a 3D effect, and we’ve included them in every single song this time. Together with the pyro and some other little special effects, it’s going to be quite the production.

We love complementing our music and the theatrics at every show with big productions – we’re not trying to blow everybody up!”

When can we expect to hear a new Nightwish album?

“I’ve been busy songwriting for the next album for the last eight months. Whenever I’m at home, I’m in my studio coming up with some new riffs I’m really excited about. Surprisingly enough, I already have 80% of the new material done but the idea is to finish this winter tour first so we can give the album the time it deserves, then start recording next summer. If everything goes as planned, we’re looking at a spring 2020 release. The previous album was big and the tour was quite long, so this time we need a long breather to come up with something worth publishing again. We don’t want to rush things.”

Will Jukka Nevalainen be making an appearance on drums again?

“I’d be very surprised if Jukka ever comes back as a full-time drummer, even though he’s much better when it comes to his insomnia. We’ve been talking about him joining us on tour for a few guest appearances, to do a few songs with us, which we’d love because he still has the passion and fire burning in him and it’s killing him that he can’t tour with us. He’s still the CEO of the band’s company, so he’ll always be very closely involved.”

Nightwish headline Bloodstock in August, then return to the UK in December – see p.109 for dates. Decades (Best Of 1996-2016) is out now via Nuclear Blast

FIVE MINutes ALONE with... Nightwish

Tuomas Holopainen: Nightwish’s main man has big plans 9


The all-star metal cast reassembles for another round WORDS: JAMES WEAVER


PRODUCER: Alex Skolnick and Mark Menghi

STUDIO: Spin Studios, Long Island City, NY

EXPECT: An all-out metal assault from metal’s own Avengers

The Marvel Cinematic Universe

may be the biggest crossover in cinematic history, but when it comes to heavy metal, that title fittingly belongs to Metal Allegiance. Three years after the release of their debut, which featured a host of some of our most beloved names, Hammer catches up with project mastermind Mark Menghi to get the insight on what we can all expect from phase two.

So, the new Metal Allegiance album! What’s the latest? You’ve just finished in the studio, haven’t you?

“Yeah, we’re done! The record is done and submitted and it went great.”

Would you say the recording and creative process has been more straightforward this time round? “We did this one a little differently. Alex [Skolnick, Testament guitarist] and I started writing together on New Year’s Day of January 2017 in Brooklyn, New York. We wrote the first two songs that day, then he and I went down to Mike Portnoy’s house and we wrote the song Down By Silence (which John Bush [Anthrax/Armored Saint] is on), plus Mother Of Sin (the track Bobby Blitz of Overkill is on), Terminal Illusion (which features Mark Tornillo of Accept), plus Power Drunk Majesty parts one and two, which is one long song!”


“Yeah! We wrote all that and The Accuser. That was all done in just four days. Creatively, we just gel and it all fell into place – there was no struggle writing music. These singers, they just kill it. I remember when I gave the lyrics to John Bush and I told him the story

Death Angel’s Mark Osegueda, Armored Saint’s John Bush and Megadeth’s David Ellefson thrash around some ideas


An obscene amount of talent in one room!

behind them, he sent back his first demo and I was completely blown away! I didn’t even have to tell him what to do – he sang the song exactly how I’d envisioned it. There was never any arguing, never a single fight, it was very easy working with all the vocalists, it was a pleasurable process. No issues at all. And I like to think we have delivered the best possible result working with all these musicians.”

“We got Cavalera and Kisser On the same record!”

IN THE STUDIO Metal Allegiance

Mike Portnoy, Alex Skolnick, Mark Osegueda, Andreas Kisser and Mark Menghi prove you’re never too big for a bedroom jam session with your mates

With such an extensive list of guests on this record, how difficult was it to bring them in to the studio?

“Believe it or not, getting the guest vocalists is the easiest part of the process. With me being the lyricist – I guess you can call me the ‘chief lyricist’, if you will – I wrote about 80% of the lyrics on the album. The hard part is actually finding the right phrasing that fits these singers’ vocal styles. For example, Bobby Blitz and Troy Sanders from Mastodon – two completely different singers, completely different vocalists – and yet I’m writing the lyrics for both of them. I kind of had to stop and think, ‘How would Blitz sing this? How would Troy sing this? How would Trevor [Strnad, The Black Dahlia Murder] sing this? How would Mark sing this?’ So, that’s really the hardest part. I know what the story is, I know what the lyrics are because I wrote them, but how is it going to fit their vocal capabilities? To me that’s the hardest part of the process.”

Do you have a bucket list of people you would really like to bring into the Metal

Mark Menghi and Bobby Blitz get lyrical

Allegiance fold one day? Who’s at the top?

“I always say James Hetfield. If he is reading or listening, give me a buzz! He is the one guy we would love to have. Him or someone like Rob Halford, but it comes down to timing. With this record, we didn’t even think about reaching out to people like that because they were either in the studio or on tour so we knew who would be impossible. When we’re writing we don’t know who is going to do what so it’s just a matter of who do we think would sound best for the song. One of the people that we really wanted but thought would be impossible was Max Cavalera, and it worked out! For me, that’s a big one – I’m a huge Sepultura

Mike Portnoy and Mark Menghi ruffing it

and Soulfly fan, and to have Max and Andreas Kisser on the same record, to me, that’s a step in the right direction!”

So when can we expect this new album to see the light of day?

“It comes out September 7! The release date is set. We’re excited about what people are going to think.”


Cannibal Corpse Hammer Smashed Face

On the brink of implosion, Cannibal Corpse wrote a hate-filled juggernaut that took them to infamy WORDS: MATT MILLS • Illustration: Mark LEary

Cannibal Corpse need no introduction.

From their morbid album art to their twisted and sadistic lyrics to their all-killer-no-filler records, they remain death metal’s biggest success. The quintet have uncompromisingly embodied the word “extreme” for 30 years, placing them among heavy music’s most consistent veterans. But Cannibal Corpse’s unyielding reliability only makes it all the more shocking to learn that the genesis of their biggest single and the song that launched them on the world stage, Hammer Smashed Face, came from the group nearly imploding. “Alex [Webster, bass] and I technically quit the band,” recalls drummer and co-founder Paul Mazurkiewicz. “We were fed up with the situation and one guy in particular, who we’ve since replaced. I remember us getting back from a tour and saying, ‘We’re outta here! We’re gonna start our own band!’ This only lasted maybe a week, but in that week, guess what was born: Hammer Smashed Face! We put it together out of sheer hatred. “It was mostly Alex’s doing,” Paul adds of the track’s initial writing phase. The bassist’s in-depth involvement in Hammer

Smashed Face’s inception is not surprising. The song is notorious for its pummelling and rhythmic start, where Paul’s quick yet primal drumbeats give way to a brief, bass guitar-led interlude, all before a gigantic and climactic breakdown. “We always knew that it was important to us to have the bass shine through. Alex is that kind of a bass player; we always loved the Iron Maiden approach in that way, and that’s what we wanted. We always wanted the bass to be heard, more so on [Hammer…’s parent album] Tomb Of The Mutilated than any of the previous records.”

As Hammer Smashed Face explodes into

its incessant first verse, Cannibal Corpse’s rhythm section slices through the mix like a rusty chainsaw, with an intensity fuelled by the raw production of death metal icon Scott Burns. “Back then we weren’t experienced enough to know what we wanted,” Paul explains of the track’s abrasive sound quality. “Tomb… was recorded in two weeks. Back then, you didn’t have the time, so you had to go off experience.” But beneath its violent production and musicianship, Hammer Smashed Face reeks of adventurousness. The monstrous anthem eagerly experiments with its speed, slowing to a more grooving pace for a gloriously growl-laden latter half – perfect for gnarly headbanging. “We always like to mix it up. That was us learning as we go, honing our skills, working on our songwriting. We always wanted to be fast and the beginning of Hammer… is one of the most intense

“WE WERE FED UP and quit the band” 12

we’ve had for a song. Then you’ve got the killer bass break, it goes into a blast again and then, yeah, you go into the groovy, middle-paced part. That was the style we were shooting for: we like variety, even within one song. Throwing those grooves in, we like doing that. It just feels good!” Paul happily admits that he “could probably talk about Hammer… for a long time,” but its status as one of death metal’s most pioneering and well-known tracks is also partially owed to outside help from a very unexpected source. In 1994, two years after it first crushed skulls, the single and its creators made a surprise cameo in the Jim Carrey flick Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, in a sequence that’s gone down in cinematic history for its magnificent randomness. “Jim, at the time, was finding death metal very intriguing,” says Paul. “We were just sitting at home in Buffalo and we had a call from Metal Blade [Records] saying, ‘We just got a call from Jim Carrey. He’s making a movie and wants you to be in it.’ We had to decline at first because we had to be in Europe for a tour. But a day went by and they called again: ‘They want you bad! They are gonna rearrange shooting around your tour.’” Through a bizarre mix of brutality, variety and cult Hollywood comedies, Hammer Smashed Face has remained a death metal trailblazer for a quarter of a century. And it still slays.

Cannibal Corpse’s latest album, Red Before Black, is out now via Metal Blade. They play Bloodstock on August 11


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Metal Hammer 312 (Sampler)  

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