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HELP! I NEED SOMEBODY... “The Beatles said, ‘All you need is love,’ and then they broke up.” Thanks for the lyric, Larry Norman (“Reader’s Digest”). The Beatles penned so many great songs. Have you ever heard a supposed prophecy that God had anointed the four young lads from Liverpool to be His instrument to usher in the Charismatic renewal? Interesting idea. I heard that inference in the “Sons of Thunder” prophecy that you can find online. That’s a serious digression, but my point is the Beatles wrote some very clever lyrics. I’d like to reference the tune “Help,” which has been sung many times by most of us. I’m welcoming some fine folks to new leadership positions at HM. One is Rob Shameless (rob@hmmag.com), who will start managing the content here. He has been a huge help with our website, becoming our website’s “News Hound” and managing our Facebook page (Like this FB page, will ya?). Chris Gatto is another guy that’s helping out in a managerial role. He’s overseeing the Heaven’s Metal section of the magazine. He loves metal more than you do. Don’t believe me? Chat him up and find out for yourself (metal7@ ptd.net). Another awesome guy is our “E-news Hound,” Jason Irvin, who compiles our weekly enewsletter with its off-the-wall and trivia questions. If you don’t currently get the enewsletter, sign up for it now. (Sign up at bottom left of hmmag.com site). If you think you’d like to help out on a regular basis, give me a shout. Maybe we can figure out a role for you to play together as we discuss. We are having a 20% off sale right now at the HM Mag store. Between now and 10/31, use this code – “ROCKtober” and you’ll get 20% off anything in the store (including subs – but it must be ordered at the store, not at the digital mag page). Feel free to share this offer with anyone. We’ve also got a 50% subscription code (“HMHMHM”) that can be redeemed in the store (only). See ad page 4.

REGULAR Letters Hard news Live report Heaven’s metal fanzine

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III Split w/ Maranatha Red 7” Antiseptic Bloodbath TKIC Wait for the Siren Desperate Night About a Burning Fire

An improvement over Season..., but not as hot as debut. Both heavy, done by one guy & on my top 2012 list. A sneek peek at Shane Ochsner of Hands’ new music. Long time no see! My new favorite hardcore band. Little Green men... Power metal fury. Reliving some old goodness during deadline.

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REVIEW Music Lifestyle Indie pick

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HEAVEN’S METAL Thank you for following up with me on this (subscription order). I have to be honest with you, though. When I saw this mag online it was the actual mag in full color. I was not aware it was a black and white version of it. Other than that, I have always liked the magazine since its inception. I think what you established is something very valuable to the scene and bands that you have been covering over the years. I am definitely more into bands like Stryper, Sacred Warrior and the like, but have found out about some really great bands, such as Disciple and others since then, because of you. So, keep up the great work and maybe we’ll meet in person one day. Take care, Doug. –Michael Lukers, via email

DETRITUS I just drug up my copies of both Detritus cd’s and realized how great they were. What happened to those guys? Might be a good column for the mag. –Chuck P, via email Ed – A great idea! They were a good UK import. We’ll get one of our writers on that ASAP.

HEAVEN’S METAL BACK ISSUES Thanks for the (refund/substitution) offer. I grew up on Heaven’s Metal, traveling an hour to pick up the issue (at a small random Christian bookstore) ... it was the highlight of my music childhood! I’m sure I’m not the only person to wish I still had those early issues just to recall the days of when I was first introduced to some of my favorite groups and my borderline obsession with Christian metal. I’m happy to say your mag (reviews and especially demo reviews) led me to some gems in the works over the years and has allowed me to pass on this interest to my own three children and many in my youth group over the years. I do love today’s metal as well, but oh, those days... Anyway, before I finish I wanted to thank you, Mr. Van Pelt, for your passion and drive over all these years to bring me this love! Heaven is gonna be so much joy praising our Lord, talking music, playing music. Talk about the ultimate festival! As for your offer to replace the three issues not available ... just keep the balance. I like your t-shirts and HM mag, but my goal was simply to get what I could of what was left of Heaven’s Metal, and while I can’t thank you enough for your offer, for all the years you’ve given me of happiness ... let the $8.85 be a token of my appreciation for all you’ve done! (You deserve thousands, I assure you!). God bless! –Jym Hopper III, via email Ed – You can call me Doug, Mr. Hopper. The fellowship we have as believers and metalheads is a blessed one that I’m glad we share.

THE LOVE DARE.31 This stuff (HM blog) should be out there in a book. People having a troubled marriage need help. –Christina Campbell, via website Ed – Are you being sarcastic? This blog topic is from the book The Love Dare. It’s packed with great marital advice, based on the love Christ has for us.

Ed – Hope you like the Sacred Warrior teaser article in this issue (we’ll follow up with a cover story when their new album drops) ... and you’ll be glad to know we’re having a big Disciple feature in the next issue.

CURSING VS. BLESSING This guy really has problems (re: Roger Martinez, who commented on the “Help Save HM Magazine Campaign” post at hmmag.com). Does he not know how a lot of people in the metal scene have been ripped only because of the music we listen to, how few people there are that will really support us and listen to us? This guy needs help. Thank you, Doug Van Pelt for doing what no one else has – giving us news on great bands with no filters. You are doing our Lord’s work. –Doomslayer, via website Ed – Thanks for the encouragement. I appreciate the comment about no filters. While I try to use discretion, I also respect the intelligence of the HM audience and thus will report information both good and bad.

TOP 100 TALK CONTINUES... I bet it was tough getting through the last half of that list! A list like this is impossible to make everyone happy! With that said, I think the commenters point out some really influential bands that were overlooked. Let me know throw out a few on my end: Lust Control and Squad Five-O. I was happy to hear a couple people mention Keith Green. Musicians from the Jesus Movement more generally are incredibly important to modern Christian music – especially Keith. Just consider the tribute album Start Right Here from many Christian rock bands influenced by him. –Ben Donahower, via website Ed – Yeah, Keith Green’s For Him Who Has Ears to Hear should’ve been on the list, but going From 400 albums down to 100 was HARD. Once you whittle it down, then you have to remove some album to add another. With metal playing such a large role on our list, it was even hard for Keith’s Elton John-like album to make it. Sigh.

OCTOBER 2012 EDITOR/PUBLISHER MKTG & ADS CONTR EDITORS E-NEWS HOUND FACEBOOK FIEND METAL MANAGER

Issue #160 Doug Van Pelt Doug Van Pelt, Frontgate Media Charlie Steffens Allan Aguirre, Kemper Crabb, Matt Francis, Chad Johnson Jason Irvin Rob Shameless Chris Gatto

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HARDNEWS Quick & concise

News bullets We’ve made this section of “news bullets” smaller and shorter, because you can get more news faster online at hmmag.com (as we post news updates every day at all times of the day).

UNDEROATH ANNOUNCES END

FLYLEAF RELEASING NEW ALBUM

FAREWELL TOUR BOOKED

NEW HORIZONS DROPS OCTOBER 30TH

“It’s sad to say that we feel like it’s time to close this chapter, but we have never seen things more clearly,” says vocalist Spencer Chamberlain. “These have been the best years of my entire life, and I owe that to every single person who ever supported this band along the way. This wasn’t a quick decision by any means. It’s just time for us to move on.” Keyboardist Chris Dudley adds plans for the tour: “We’re viewing this time as a celebration of the past decade or so as well as a last chance to see and hang out with fans, as well as our friends on the tour. It’s the end of an era and we’ll be going out on a high note!” Underoath will also cap its incredible run with the release of a career retrospective album, Anthology 1999-2013 – available November 6 on Solid State Records. In addition to tracks that span the band’s career, Anthology 1999-2013 also includes the aforementioned brand-new tracks, “Sunburnt” and “Unsound,” recorded with longtime producer Matt Goldman.

A&M/Octone recording group Flyleaf will release their third studio album this month. The band also unveiled the full album track listing and released the second single titled “Call You Out” (the follow up to the album’s title track). “’Call You Out’ was one of the first songs written during the New Horizons sessions,” commented bass player Pat Seals. “The stomping opening verse evolved over time into this aggressive but very calculated track that closes with Sameer using chaotic guitar sounds to sort of burn it to the ground engages you all the way through.” Seals has not only designed the album cover for the band’s upcoming release, he also created a fold out poster as part of the packaging. New Horizons Track Listing: 1. Fire Fire; 2. New Horizons; 3. Call You Out; 4. Cage On The Ground; 5. Great Love; 6. Bury Your Heart; 7. Freedom; 8. Saving Grace; 9. Stand; 10. Green Heart; 11. Broken Wings

White Collar Sideshow are on their CD Release Tour until Thanksgiving. You can send donations to: WCS, PO Box 10866, Ft. Smith, AR 72917 or via PayPal: booking@whitecollarsideshow.com The Skies Revolt are part of MTV’s Making Moves series and have released an exclusive stream of their track “For Your Health” on MTV Buzzworthy. Audio Adrenaline has released its debut single from their forthcoming 2013 release with the premiere of the music video “Kings & Queens.” This music video debut follows in the footsteps of the announcement of the re-formed AA with former dcTalk member and industry mainstay Kevin Max as lead vocalist, vets Dave Ghazarian (Superchick) on guitar, Jared Byers (Bleach) on drums, and singer-songwriter Jason Walker playing on keys along with original member Will McGinnis on bass. MxPx have posted a video for the song “Aces Up” on their website. Onward to Olympas has posted the video for “Wolf’s Jaw,” from the new album Indicator. Project 86 is working on a new video and some new Christmas music as a follow up to 2008’s This Time of Year EP. Andrew Schwab is releasing a new book, too – The Tin Soldiers.

P.O.D. joins Daughtry & 3 Doors Down Tour

P.O.D. will join Daughtry and 3 Doors Down as special guests on the forthcoming pairs coheadline U.S. tour. The tour kicks off November 17th in Tunica, MS and will run through the middle of December. P.O.D.’s second single, “Higher,” will impact the week of October 30th. The video for “Higher” is available now on VEVO. The video for “Higher” was filmed with director Ramon Boutisveth (All That Remains, For Today, Trivium). The band also partnered with Harley Davidson for this video and the video features a number of Harley Davidson motorcycles. The band’s first single, “Lost In Forever” hit #1 at Active Rock Radio (#1 on BDS). This is P.O.D.’s first-ever number one single at the Active Rock format and also the first number one charting Active Rock track for the band’s new label partners at Razor & Tie. The video for “Lost In Forever” has also already generated over 2.1 million combined views. Both songs are off of P.O.D.’s new studio album, Murdered Love (Razor & Tie), which was released this past summer. The band will also release a vinyl version of Murdered Love on November 19th.

Look for a documentary about Extol soon, focusing on the history of the band, revealing the reason why Extol suddenly disappeared in 2007 and will document the whole process of making the new album, after 5 years of silence. [extolfilm.com] Our beloved editor really goofed in the last issue. The Children 18:3 picture in the PHOTOS section was not David Hostetter of Children 18:3, but instead was his sister Lee Marie. Oops! That was dumb.


At far left is the shed FDR started. Below is Virginia sending off their merch to Merch Now. Next is the first facedown family minus Overcome and POR in 2000. Below is Facedown Family 2012. Jason and Virginia in 2000 and in 2012

INDUSTRY PROFILE: Facedown Records ROB SHAMELESS TALKED TO VIRGINIA DUNN, THE WIFE OF JASON. TOGETHER THEY HAVE LED ONE OF OUR SCENE’S MOST IMPORTANT LABELS. FIND OUT MORE AND HOW THEY’VE “DONE IT RIGHT ” AS THEY’VE SOUGHT THE LORD IN PRAYER. GOD BLESS THEM. How long have you been helping Jason with Facedown Records? Well, I met Jason Feb 9th, 1998 at the White Rabbit in San Antonio, TX. No Innocent Victim was playing and I had never seen them before. My friend Skip Brooks was the promoter for the show and he introduced Jason and me. We hit it off right away and we had a long distance relationship for a year! After Christmas of ‘98 I moved out to California and lived with some of Jason’s friends until we got married Aug 6, 1999. I started helping Jason with the label that year living in Cali, packing up mail orders in the 10x10 metal shed in his parent’s back yard. I worked at Chili’s and Jason worked at a print shop. The beginning of 2000 I quit my job at Chili’s and we decided that I would not get another job, but just stay home and work for the label instead. I would go to the post office, check the PO Box for orders, then go to the office (shed), pack the orders, then back to the post office and mail them. I worked on folding paper catalogs and addressing and stamping them and doing some phone orders, too. The beginning of 2001 Jason finally was able to quit his job at the print shop and work for Facedown full-time. He had gotten to the point where he would come home after a full day’s work and work on the label until late at night, so it was nice to have that extra time. Where did the label start and how many stages has it gone through? Jason started the label as a hobby and he was able to get the word out about Facedown and its bands when he would be touring with N.I.V.. It spread through word of mouth and Jason would send out postcards and catalogs to everyone on N.I.V.’s mailing list. That was the first stage. The second stage was the year 2000 when we had our first Facedown Fest and we had a more complete website that was helping get the word out. The next stage after that was 2001-2004. We experienced a lot of growth those years, had our first employees and Distribution. In 2005 we had 7 employees, a two-story office building, a successful online store, a screen-printing business on-site and a newly signed distribution deal with RED Distribution. That was the busiest we’d ever been. Life was hard in those days. The long hours we worked took a lot

of the enjoyment out of it for us, honestly. We had high overhead with all the employees and office space and the stress of all of that really got to us. Because of all that, in 2007, we decided to make some changes. We didn’t have as much time with our bands as we wanted, because of all the time the business took, so we decided to hand our mailorder over to Merch Now, sell our screen-printing equipment and down-size to two employees. That brings us to present day. Since 2007, with all the changes, we love what we do again and our focus is clearer of what we want and most of all what God wants from Facedown. Instead of focusing on being the biggest label out there, we are content to stay small (and healthy) and focus on the bands. Focus on spiritual growth in people that we work with, instead of being this big machine. In this stage we’ve had the biggest band (For Today) and the most album sales, despite the decline in the music industry. We really feel like God brought us through all those other stages for a reason and we are right where He wants us to be. What is your job at the label and what does a typical work week look like? I do a number of different jobs. To name a few things, I do all the updates for the website, keep track of inventory at Merch Now, do all the promo mail outs for publicity and sales reps, poster mailouts for touring bands, shipments to bands, customer service emails, international distro orders, digital and merch accounting to the bands, all the banking, bill paying and tax preparations, listening to demo submissions and helping Jason with whatever comes up. Each day is different just keeping up with each of these tasks. What is the best part of your work day? If there is a worst part of your day what is that? I do enjoy updating the website and accounting because at the end of it all you have something to show for. It feels good to get the totals and mail out checks to the bands. It’s exciting to see the hard work pay off – literally! I think my least favorite job is listening to demos. The process of reading the email, going to their Facebook or website, listening to their music and trying to

figure out what they are about is so tiring. I don’t enjoy it because I will do hours of that and there won’t be one band that we are interested in. Most of the bands that we sign we didn’t sign from a demo submission, we had a reliable source tell us about them and then checked them out. So, it feels like a waste of time when I do that. With the inter web changing the music industry with digital downloads. Is it easier or harder to sell records whether that is CDs, vinyl, or legal downloads? It’s harder to sell music with so many free, illegal options out there to download with the click of a button. There’s no use crying about it and our approach has been to try to educate people on the fact that our bands are directly supported when people pay for our releases legally. A few years ago, we took off all the legal text that is on the back of CDs and we just put a thank you on them to people who do buy them. The only way that we’ll be able to move forward, is if people continue to buy our bands’ music (digitally or physically). Unlike other labels, we are a small company that splits its profit with our artists. We have no overhead or high administration fees, giant salaries or anything like that. It’s our goal to keep things as lean as possible so that as much of the money can go back into the bands, albums, tours, videos, recordings, etc. There are many labels that are owned by males and their wives do very little with the process. What is it like being Jason’s wife and working along side him and helping these great bands? It’s wonderful! We work in our home together and our two employees, Dave and Shannon Quiggle, work in their home together. Working together every day you would think we would get sick of each other but we don’t. We’ve worked together for 13 years now and our relationship has only gotten stronger. We are best friends. Jason is an amazing husband and boss / co-worker that respects me and keeps me including in everything. We both enjoy getting together with our bands and housing them at our home, finding out about new bands and seeing the gospel change people’s lives.


10 LIVE

LIVE REPORT The Choir October 7 REVIEW by DOUG VAN PELT, PHOTOS BY RACHEL VAN PELT (Austin, TX) The Choir played a phenomenal show at

Cornerstone earlier this summer, so it was with high expectations to see them on their current tour, which is still majoring on the classic Chase the Kangaroo album played (almost in its entirety). With little to no fanfare, the band took their places and launched into “Consider.” The familiar drums, bass, lyricon and guitar cascaded over the neighborhood activity center’s meeting room (which acted as a glorified living room, but with comfortable folding chairs all in rows) with a terrific mix that all came out of the small portable sound system they’ve been traveling with. It was nice, loud and full. There was no doubt it was going to be a splendid evening with high quality tunes. The minimal pauses between songs, however, was just like a professional touring show. “Children of Time” romped on next, followed by “Clouds” and then the awesome melancholy ballad, “Sad Face.” Steve Hindalong appeared from around his drumkit to be handed a Strat by Derri Daugherty and everyone (between 50 and 60 people in attendance) knew what was coming. It was funny, because Paul Q-Pek (in the front row) started laughing in expectation. Hindalong nervously quipped, “Why are you laughing?” It was one of many living room moments that kept the show light-hearted. As has been the band’s habit as of late, Hindalong customized the lyrics for the evening. Instead of “Every - body in the band” appreciating Mark, their former road manager, he voiced appreciation for his bandmates - beginning with Derri, who loved his Dallas Cowboys, but Monday Night things didn’t go so well.” Saxophonist/lyricon player Dan Michaels got roasted next and then legendary rock bassist Tim Chandler. After returning to his drumstool the band segued into the mesmerizing ode to all touring musicians – “So Far Away,” which was followed by the charming title track, “Chase the Kangaroo.” Then they deviated from the #4 Christian Rock Album of All Time (according to this magazine) and played “Cross that River” from their latest (great) album, The Loudest Sound Ever Heard. Then Hindalong jumped up and whispered an audible to Daugherty and they jumped into the opening lines of “Set my guitar on fire with a long-stem match” and “To Cover You” received a round of applause from the appreciative audience. They

topped that by going right into probably the best-named self-descriptive song title of all time – “Sentimental Song.” After this moment things felt so good to all the ears in attendance that every other song was subsequently just gravy. At one point Hindalong humbly shared how life sometimes handed us hardship and underlined how we needed help – from God and each other – to make it. The band did depart the no platform stage very briefly to be coaxed into an encore from the local host/promoter, Lisa Reid. Hindalong and Daugherty performed the worship song “Beautiful, Scandalous Night” (from At the Foot of the Cross, Volume One: Clouds, Rain, Fire) as a duo and then Chandler and Michaels joined in for the finale – “Circle Slide.” Photos (clockwise from top): Tim, Dan and Steve; Tim Chandler leans into it; Steve; Derri; Dan. [Photos by Rachel Van Pelt]


PHOTOS 11

The Choir (Photo: Rachel Van Pelt)


12 LIVE

White Collar Sideshow (Photo: Natahsha Priya)


PHOTOS 13

Mouth of the South (Photo: Rob Shameless)


14 F E AT U R E T T E

Album: Fable Label: Joy Revolution Release Date: August 21, 2012 Members: Benjamin Dunn and “a whole creative community of friends,” too numerous to mention/list here. RIYL: Mae, Josh Garrells, Foster the People, The Polyphonic Spree, fun. facebook.com/benjamindunnmusic

SMOKING POPES Given a chance to get philosophical about his band The Smoking Popes, Josh Caterer turns biblical: “Taking a larger perspective, we’ve been back together for 7 years, we were broken up for 7 years, and our original time out was 7 years.”

Wait, I say, you’re not going all Joseph on me, dreams of 7 years of famine followed by 7 of plenty? “No,” he laughs, “I heard an interview with Iggy Pop once, where he said that he noticed that his life kind of went in 7 year intervals, and I thought it was an interesting coincidence.” So, while we’re on the subject of rock icons, and as you’re wondering why you should care about the re-release of a relatively obscure 90’s band’s major label debut, here’s a testimonial from Morrissey of The Smiths: “Did you ever hear Born to Quit? I thought that album was extraordinary, the most lovable thing I’ve heard in years.” That’s impressive cred, even if you’ve noticed that the Popes tended to sound a lot like the Smiths, if all amped up in Husker-Du style guitar hyper-drive. Caterer says, “When we reformed in 2005, it bothered us, particularly, that Born to Quit was out of print. There were a couple other

BY BRIAN QUINCY NEWCOMB

projects we wanted to get to, because we felt it was also important to have something new, but [the re-release] is great.”

enough to present the Christian faith to nonChristian people in a way that’s going to be palatable. If you’re going to ‘Praise the Lord,’ just Praise the Lord, come right on out and say it. People don’t want to feel like you’re pulling a ‘bait and switch.’ There’s something dishonest about that approach.”

The first surprise, he says, is how good the originals sounded. “Since we recorded the album on a small budget for an indie label (before we knew Capital would pick it up), you’d think it would be fairly lo-fi. Listening back, I’m impressed by how good it actually sounds, how good of a job (producer) Phil Bonnet did at making us sound professional in spite of the amateur way that we were approaching the project.”

Still, Caterer writes music and leads worship while working with his rock band on the side: “The stuff that I’m doing for the Smoking Popes is not Christian music, it exists in its own genre, that’s separate from the worship songs that I write for church.”

After Born to Quit, they released Destination Failure, which fans and critics agree was the band’s masterpiece. Then a year later, Caterer became a Christian. Finding his new found faith a difficult fit for his band, he quit and formed the Christian rock band, Duvall, which released one album in 2003.

Avoiding schizophrenia, Caterer explains, “There’re two different functions. In the Popes, we just go out there to entertain. But music made for the church serves an entirely different, very specific group function, you’re participating in something much bigger than yourself.”

Asked about his journey into the Christian music industry and back to the Popes, Caterer said that in trying to appeal to both the Christian and the general audience, Duvall had offered something destined to fail with both audiences. “It might not have been a failure as a musical experiment,” he defends, “but it was a failure as a marketing experiment.

Besides the sound, and the fact that this music is available again, Caterer’s more than pleased to have the album art re-configured: “We come back from tour and they’d attached this photo of a pudgy guy flexing his muscles. We never wanted that. We can’t totally escape it, so we thought the whole stained glass, impressionistic look was a cool, new style, that we could own.”

“I think there’s something problematic about softening the message of your music


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Album: TBD Label: Facedown Release Date: August 14, 2012 Members: Kramer Lowe, vocals; Kyle Phillips, guitar/vocals; Andrew Higginbotham, guitar; Justin Allman, bass; Mark Hudson, drums/vocals RIYL: Blessthefall, Between the Buried and Me

YOUNG LONDON facebook.com/onwardtoolympas

Fresh off The Vans Warped Tour 2012, Young London is an electro-pop band hailing from Boston, MA, doing things differently than most artists today. They are all about having a good time with the music and fans. Fresh off new single, “Call My Name” (available on ITunes), Young London is sure to make you want to dance and sing along and is sure to be a good time waiting to be had. The mix of the upbeat energy of electronic music mixed with the catchy songwriting that pop music is known for. Their cover of “Video Killed The Radio Star” by The Buggles was even featured by MTV’s Buzzworthy. The members of Young London are incredibly talented, making music that is leaps and bounds ahead of mainstream pop or electronic music. The music is a mix between innovative dance and pop beats complemented by the positive message they convey while pushing boundaries of the genre and thinking outside of the box, which is really among many things that set them apart. They embark on a US headlining tour September, 21st kicking off at House Of Blues in Boston and winding down October 13th at Ciero’s in St. Louis, MO. Put on some dancing shoes and check Young London out! We caught up with Sarah of Young London...

BY NICK LITRENTA

Introduce yourselves and explain the history of Young London. How did you get together? Matt has a recording studio in Boston, and he was working on a folk project for a mutual friend of ours. I came in to do guest vocals, and Matt was really into my voice. We wrote a few tracks together and it just made sense. We were like, “Okay ... let’s do this.” And Young London was born.

How was the experience on the 2012 Vans Warped Tour, and what are touring plans like right now? Warped Tour was incredible. It’s still hard for me to process the fact that I toured all summer with some of my favorite bands ever. It was our first time touring in a bus ... we could get used to that! We leave for our first US headlining tour this Friday, and then in December we are going out again as direct support for another band. A mystery band ... we don’t want to spoil the surprise of their tour announcement. You just released a new single, talk a little bit about that? Yes! It’s called “Call My Name (Tonight).” We’re really stoked on it. I feel like it’s a cool progression from our record. It’s

a little more ‘80s. It was inspired by the infinite coolness of the movie Drive.

What has been the best touring experience that you have had? WarpedTour was definitely our favorite so far. Matt and I are both vegan, and the catering was ridiculous. But mostly it was just so cool being around all those bands that we grew up listening to. We’d be onstage watching Taking Back Sunday, and I’m just thinking, “16-year-old me would die.” How would you describe your live show? Glitter, lasers and super soakers. We go hard. Coolest city you have ever visited on the road? This is a weird one, but we had a really fun day in Iowa City last summer. They had some awesome restaurants and cool little shops. You would never know! Way to go, Iowa! How would you describe Young London to someone who hasn’t heard you before? Electro-pop duo. We try to treat every song we write as if it’s a single.


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Album: Fable Label: Joy Revolution Release Date: August 21, 2012 Members: Benjamin Dunn and “a whole creative community of friends,” too numerous to mention/list here. RIYL: Mae, Josh Garrells, Foster the People, The Polyphonic Spree, fun. facebook.com/benjamindunnmusic

THE WEDDING Sometimes not having a direction is a direction. On The Wedding’s latest release, No Direction, we find a band more concerned with crafting rock ‘n’ roll with substance and depth, than one that’s trying to mold itself into a preconceived notion of who they actually are. Speaking with Trevor Sarver, guitar player and founding member of the band, “We just went into this record with a desire to write the best songs we could, not having any sort of box we were going to try and stay within. It was really freeing to all of us to just write whatever we felt and not stay within certain boundaries. Lyrically, No Direction is about letting go of the idea that you can prepare your life in such a way to keep you from danger. Forget the idea that our existence is about comfort and safety and start living.”

The “no direction equals direction” theme even spreads out to the listener, enticing them to evaluate the path they find themselves on. “I think we’ll be able to offer the listeners a challenge in the form of a record. A challenge to just abandon everything and understand that there’s really true direction in abandoning all of what they

BY JEF CUNNINGHAM

currently know as direction. Every one of us is offered that challenge, it’s a matter of us all stepping up to accept it. Musically, it’s an eclectic record for sure. One of those records for diverse music lovers, because we are music lovers first. We decided to write a record that definitely did not keep us inside of a box. We experimented with different sounds and weren’t afraid to just write a song no matter how it came out. Hopefully we offer a chance for a kid to say that they like a “rock ‘n’ roll band” instead of some band in a million sub genres. It’s just a rock ‘n’ roll record through and through. Shifting gears and changing direction is sometimes for the betterment of the journey you’re on. For The Wedding there has been a lot of time and change since the release of the band’s last full length album Polarity in 2007: Two independent EP’s, a new singer, a band that lives in several different states, even switching from their longtime producer and friend. “Mark (Townsend) found The Wedding back in ‘04, signed us to a label he worked for, and ultimately played a huge role

in our development and helped us stay a band through the beginnings of learning “how” to be in a band. We are forever grateful Mark believed in us and gave us a chance, and we made some killer music together. With years of being a band came a simple desire to explore, which brings us to Jasen Rauch. Jasen has always been a friend of ours from his days touring in Red. Once he left the band, he started focusing on the writing/producing side of things. Already being friends and understanding really who we were as a cut-and-dry rock ‘n’ roll band, we decided to move forward with him on the Distance EP, which he co-produced with Brian Virtue (30 seconds to Mars, Audioslave). From then on out it was clear we wanted to do a record with Jasen.” The destination doesn’t seem to be set for this now veteran rock ‘n’ roll band, and it appears they still have an appetite for the open road that lies ahead of them. The future is all possibilities and the sky truly is the limit.


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Album: TBD Label: Facedown Release Date: August 14, 2012 Members: Kramer Lowe, vocals; Kyle Phillips, guitar/vocals; Andrew Higginbotham, guitar; Justin Allman, bass; Mark Hudson, drums/vocals RIYL: Blessthefall, Between the Buried and Me

IT LIES WITHIN facebook.com/onwardtoolympas

Front man Zach Scott talked with me about various topics ranging from the band to new labels. With interesting and intriguing answers I got more then I planned. “Chrysalis is a golden cocoon, from historic past. A fan came up with the name and posted it on our facebook. We knew that was it after we looked it up.” Discussing how the band came up with the name of the album, and how it felt right for the band. Surprisingly enough, he mentioned a fan came up with the name, showing that It Lies Within does reach out to their fans, and is active with their social medias. “It represents the album and us as a band. Hence what lies within – It Lies Within the cocoon.” Some things just match up in a way that it makes sense. But the band has gone on to adopt a moth for their logo as well, rounding out the theme. “We have a simple logo that represents us. We haven’t put much thought into it, but more and more we start to notice that it is something that has followed us since it came out.”

BY TONY D. BRYANT

A band not putting much thought into their brand raised a few questions to me. So, I wanted to find out more of where the moth logo came from and what sparked the interest in it.

“We have one artist who does a majority of our merchandise, and CD covers. He is an artist from Indonesia; he is just a high school student. He started throwing designs our way, and they were amazing. He is a fan of the band, so he gave us some for free. We liked what he did, so we did a little bit of business.” When asked what the artist’s name was Zach told me he did not know, and that he could not pronounce it, either. Curious about how much has been done by the fans for the band, I wanted to know how much involvement their label, Luxor Records had with the album. “Regardless of a label signing, and regardless of where we were headed, we were still going to create this album. We were still going to get out there and tour on our own. So, with our goals already set and planned, when we talked to them I knew that was exactly what they wanted to hear and the ball started rolling from there.”

Zach goes on to give credit to the president of Luxor and that he likes the label. Saying it was a “lengthy process” and “…after some communication things started moving.” Then things turned for the more interesting. “I think within a year from now we will be on a bigger label.” Describing how Luxor is there to help them grow and get bigger. With festivals and tours coming up he plans the next year to be a big year and that they should blow up and move to a new label. With It Lies Within already shopping for a new label, and having fans coming up with ideas for their brand, I wanted to know how much their faith was involved with these decisions. “We don’t project ourselves as a Christian band. Not all of us are Christian. We project the positive message. It comes out in the writing, it comes out in the lyrics. We title ourselves as a positive message band.” With a tours lined up, the recent release of a new album; the band is only focused on themselves. Making sure It Lies Within can always fallback on its fans to keep them moving.


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FOLLOWING THE FREAKS THAT MAKE UP WHITE COLLAR SIDESHOW WILL GIVE YOU A DISTORTED VIEW OF WHO THEY ARE. GETTING CLOSE-UP, THOUGH, WILL OFFER AN ENCHANTED VIEW OF HOW THINGS CAN BE AND TRULY ARE IN THE HEARTS OF THE MISFIT CHILDREN OF GOD. With the White House about to be occupied by a Mormon, religious cults are on the mind of a few suspicious people out there, who peer through their mini-blinds before they respond to the ringing doorbell at their abode. White Collar Sideshow has most certainly seen their fair share of mental abuse in the form of judgmental stares and tags of “religious cult this” and “trouble-maker that.” This ain’t no cult we’re talking about, though. From a distance, T.D. Benton and his family appear freakishly comfortable in their inked-up skin. Tophats, ties, vests, dresses and boots hearken back to a freeform steam punk novelist’s imaginary time frame. His wily stage grin seems to mimick a traveling snake oil salesman from yestercentury, but once you’re on his radar, he’s likely to approach you and the phony sales schtick you project upon him falls off like the fur of his pair of attack lapdogs they keep holed up in their roadworn recreational vehicle. His Southern charm meets rock culture misfit humility very quickly disarms any thoughts of religious freaks, evangeliphonies or even shock-rock arrogance. Like me, you’ll soon say to yourself, “These are my kinda people.” How has jumping into this wild and crazy ministry been and how has the transition been from “Oh my gosh! This crazy thing is working!” to “How do we keep this thing going?” At first it was, “Wow, I can’t believe we are really doing this gypsy nomad life,” and learning how to live on the road. It has been very challenging and has certainly been a crazy life indeed, but we are used to it now. You can definitely tell the difference between needs and wants, that is for sure. At first it was tough finding places to perform, we were naive to think everyone in the “Christian world” would embrace it (and that is still very tough). Now we are getting booked in general places like tattoo conventions, horror fests, bars, clubs and still our fair share of churches and Christian events... The new direction we are headed has been well received and God has opened a lot of doors for us. Because there is a lot of freedom in performing for general audiences, the learning curve is how to challenge people’s thinking and inspire people to go further in the Christian world, and how to meet people and love people where they are at, in the general world. I love it! I do most of the creative, and Herr Schwein (Philip Wells) is the ultimate servant, Leech (Tristen Benton) does his fair share when he’s on the road, while Veronica (the faceless woman) keeps the train rolling and is one of the hardest workers I’ve seen in this business. She is our manager, tour manager, booking agent, advance person, merchandiser, oh, and bass player... She keeps us super busy and I’d love at some point


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BYTHE KERN COUNTY KID to find someone who gets what we do to help relieve some pressure off of her. It’s hard to find peeps that work as hard as you do. What are some lessons that God has taught you along the way? One: You can’t judge a book by its cover! Two: Just because you put the word Christian in front of it doesn’t make it so. Three: Don’t worry about what other people think! Three-point-five: Don’t become a cheap imitation of someone or something else. God wants to use us for who we are – not for what everyone wants us to be. Our identity should be Christ – as hard as that is to achieve sometimes! What inspired this new concept album? The film part of The WitcHunt is loosely based on the seven deadly sins, and the inspiration behind this was, “Before you point your finger at someone, what is it that consumes your life?” This is something that we deal with on a day-to-day basis and something I am just as guilty of doing. The musical part of this project was based on my brother being killed in a head-on car crash. I have never felt so much anger, hatred, frustration, sadness, heartbreak, questioning my beliefs, questioning why I’m on this planet ... so overwhelming. For months (of) not rolling out of bed, not feeling like doing anything and wanting to quit doing the sideshow, (then) a friend of mine – Eric from Sleeping Giant – challenged me with using all those emotions for this performance in order to connect with people who are going through the same thing. What I didn’t realize is how many people (are) dealing with a tragedy of some sort – dealing with the same emotions, and how many people in general feel the same way all the time – Christian or not. What has been the toughest transition from the old live show to the new one? The toughest part, I believe, was and is finances... We have no record label backing us, and we felt that a Kickstarter wasn’t for us, so with the help of a few friends and our last few years of tour money we reinvested everything we had and have to make the dream come true. The filming took 13 months with over a hundred actors and with us and Travis Joiner (777 productions) doing everything, (it) was one of the biggest projects we have ever worked on. Not to mention finding someone to record the music who actually gets what you’re doing with your ideas, and then all the editing to the performance to make it all come together and make sense... Whew! If there are any artists reading this, you can do it, just give everything you have to it. Your focus, direction heart, mind, soul, sometimes all your material things and all of your money! Don’t have a plan-B; just dive in head first.

Who worked on this album with you and how did some of these professional connections take place and what was it like working with these people and in these places? An awesome producer/engineer (named) Chris Baseford, who has worked with Rob Zombie, Tommy Lee, John 5 to name a few. It was very hard finding a producer, because you didn’t want to hurt people’s feelings who have wanted to work with you, but at the same time trying to find someone who can really step into your mind – that’s what you want to find. We were sitting at a buddy’s house trying to figure out who to record with, and he just bought the new Zombie album. Veronica decides to google the producer and she emailed him and said, “We don’t have a ton of money, this is what we do ... if you’re not interested we understand.” Chris emailed the next day and absolutely loved it! What we didn’t know is that Chris was the head engineer at the infamous studio in LA called the “Chop Shop” and when that ended, he designed the studio called The Atrium. This studio is the bottom floor of Tommy Lee’s house outside LA. What a dream, right? Recording with Zombie’s producer at Tommy Lee’s house – two of my biggest influences, so sweet! We didn’t have much money to live on, so we parked the RV on the street in the ghetto of Echo Park for a month, rented a car to go to Hollywood then back to the ghetto every night... Glamorous, huh? It’s funny, people’s perception of what you do. I got a text from someone who said, “Don’t forget about us little people...” Guess they didn’t realize we were living in the ghetto spending our last cash on this project. What is your vision for this movie? Just to connect with people, I guess. To help people realize they are not alone. If we were all honest with each other about how we felt, what our emotions are, what we struggle with – I really believe we would be living in a different, more honest world ... instead of hiding from each other. I didn’t write this to make people feel bad, I wrote it to point the finger at myself. We would love to participate in Film Festivals – we just need to get a foot in the door. I bet this group of film and music artists never dreamed that a suspicious writer squatting in a Echo Park was studying them from afar for this story. It’s a good thing Benton flashed that Arkansas smile at me when he saw me approaching. One life lesson he’s taught me in our brief encounter is this: In a dangerous world, there’s safety in getting up close and personal with WCS.




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w hen

listening to this band, it’s hard not to start growing out your hair, put on a sleeveless Slayer or Cannibal Corpse shirt, jean shorts and black steel toe boots with the metal horns high in the air and head bang. This Seattle-based metal act comes forth with a “straightto-the-point” heavy sound with a slight progressive technical twist that makes you grateful that honest metal still exists today in a world with hundreds of sub-genres. 7 Horns 7 Eyes exist for one reason only and that is the love and passion for music. The talented skill of creating music is heard on their full-length debut album Throes Of Absolution from Century Media. Rhythm Guitarist, Aaron Smith, says the band formed during high school and went through a major transition as some members left for college. Smith and bass player Brandon, his brother, are the only founding members left. For a band that brings forth such

heaviness, musical influences range far and wide for Smith. This includes bands from DC Talk all the way to Mudvayne. “As a young kid I loved the Beach Boys!” said Smith. “My dad loves oldies, so I was exposed to a lot of ‘50s and ‘60s music growing up. Anytime I would get a glimpse of modern rock music, I immediately loved it. By the time I hit about sixth grade, I had started discovering a lot of Christian artists that my parents would indiscriminately listen to. I also eventually started listening to secular radio. Everclear deserves most, if not all credit for inspiring me to play guitar. I didn’t discover Nirvana’s music, or really even know anything about the fact I lived in the capitol city for grunge music, until that era had already passed.” Smith testifies that he has a knack and a drive for writing music. He takes credit for writing the whole album on his own, of course with everyone else creatively pitching in their own parts such as guitar solos and song structures. He believes it’s important

getting input from others, since losing sight can happen with hours of working on music. As far as making the band stand out in today’s world, it’s their ability to write in a way that doesn’t sound like a knock-off of their musical influences. “I think it’s easy for people to pick out some of our influences (Meshuggah, Katatonia, Strapping Young Lad), but I also don’t feel like any one influence pulls too heavily on our music,” says Smith. “I wouldn’t say that we ever really sat down as a group and decided that we needed to sound a certain way, it was more just the natural result of writing music that felt the most compelling.” 7H7E’s sound has every heavy musical structure ranging from speeding picking, slow doom-like power chords, blast beats and juicy guitar solos. This makes the band seem genuine and unique when breakdowns seem to be what most young listeners care about. Smith believes that in any music scene, bands tend to focus on


7 HORNS 7 E Y ES

how they present themselves physically rather than show their true selves through music. For this band, it’s about writing music that naturally moves them and maintains a high level of creativity. “I suspect that a big reason breakdowns and palm muting styles are popular is because it’s simple to do. Anyone can feel like they can step up, start a band, and be the coolest person around – in their mind at least.” said Smith. “For a lot of kids, breakdowns are their favorite part of music and I wonder if they just develop a very narrow idea as to what music actually is. Music is so much more beautiful and evocative than any one genre or instrument can ever reveal by itself, and the best musicians are well aware of that.” The label “Death Metal” has always left an idea of pentagrams, blood, goat heads and the praises of Satan along with violent acts. This can be difficult when a Christian act has no control of not letting some audiences put

them in that category. Like many believe, it’s all about what you put into the band with all your mind, body and soul and not caring what others think. 7H7E believe that a personal relationship with Christ is accepting His death and what it has done for mankind. God’s love can be used as a guiding light and can be used to answer life’s hardest questions. “Worshipping God has everything to do with the motivation of one’s heart and nothing to do with a genre of music,” says Smith. “There is nothing inherently worshipful about G/C/D chords being gently strummed on an acoustic guitar or anything inherently evil about distorted diminished chords, minor scales, and blast beats. I’m also certain that God appreciates a Christian who utilizes the abilities and talents they were blessed with, even if they decide to write inaccessible, technical music with vocals that some people find indiscernible.” 7H7E plans on touring a run of dates in

Canada early next year and hopefully some U.K. dates as well. It is a dream to tour with Soilwork, Living Sacrifice and get started writing a new album in late 2013. Some say that you have to be a gloomy person to appreciate dark and doom metal, but according to Smith, that’s not the case. “There’s a lot of powerful emotion in gloomy doom metal and I’m walking proof that you don’t have to feel gloomy inside in order to be moved by dark-sounding music.” says Smith. “It’s not likely that the bands of the future will continue to sound exactly the same as their predecessors do today, but the bands that will really carry the torch forward will be the ones who are able to key into those same emotions in people, while musically doing something fresh. Of course, I can’t predict exactly what that will sound like, but I’m confident that there will be passionate, creative musicians who will make it happen.”



BY DANIEL GARCIA

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INHALE EXHALE

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WITH INHALE EXHALE ON THE VERGE OF RELEASING THEIR NEW ALBUM MOVEMENT, ALL THEY NEED IS TO GET GOING. GETTING BACK INTO THE GRIND OF THINGS AFTER A HIATUS ISN’T ALWAYS EASY. JON DELARUSSA TALKS ABOUT WHAT IT MEANT TO START MOVING FORWARD AGAIN. “We were on tour and had a lot of great shows and a lot of great friends. But we took some time off and it has been a process (of) label shopping and being excited that the fans want to hear the album. The fans we do have, have been waiting a while... “With the label shopping, I was really confused as to how we left Solid State (and) how it all went down. Even some of the reps said they were surprised. I think we would’ve done stuff differently, but it was a management decision and from there we kind of wanted to see what we wanted in general. We got approached by a few labels and had a lot of talks and discussions. It was a weird transition. Being somewhere for four years and then leaving, it was exhausting. There were a bunch of people we worked with who left, too. We are still in contact on a friend level, but they no longer work at Solid State. We worked it out and got a really good distribution deal, and that was our main concern. “We had people come up to us in the industry who expressed they didn’t feel we were being supported enough on Solid State. As far as I am concerned, I don’t feel that way. I don’t get into the politics about it. I always felt they cared, but people have their opinions. We haven’t had any negative feedback for leaving, I don’t regret signing to them, and at the same time I don’t regret leaving them, either. “When I started writing the album, I started with a few guitar riffs on my part. I produced and mixed the whole thing. We had some opportunities to get in with some good producers. We had the option, but we wanted the pre-production. Movement is basically in a musician’s life – at least for a while – trying to balance it with your normal life. Some relationships come and go, some stick and a lot don’t. I think Movement represents the past two years of the band’s life as a whole. It has to do with those people who have come into our lives, and (getting)

taken advantage (of) when it counted or needed them, or getting hurt by somebody close, and finding meaningful relationships with someone else. Everything leaves an impression from experiences with people. Sometimes it’s a scar or sometimes it’s something great. That experience affects your life and your decisions. That was our year to a couple years later – regardless if it was bad or good. That is why we named the album Movement.” Years after what must’ve felt like betrayal, the wound is still deep; but with a new outlook on life, and momentum starting to build, Inhale Exhale is looking to the future. “We have always been creative people. Musically we just try to be creative and have well-crafted songs. We don’t try to mold it to anything, everyone sounds like someone. And we are aware that we are a hardcore band – a metal band – but we don’t try to be anyone else. Our faith keeps us strong on the road, and helps inspire us. A lot of our songs can be out there – about the Zombie Apocalypse, but we have a lot of songs that are incorporated with God. Dealing with death and how faith has helped out a lot. I think it really reflects that on the album. This is our most emotional album we have put out lyrically.” “There are no U.S. tours planned as of right now. We have had a few opportunities, but we haven’t decided on anything yet. There are a couple of potentials, but we kind of want to support it in Europe right now ... and maybe some other overseas dates we are talking about. We want the album to be out for a little bit in the U.S. and give people time to get a hold of it. These countries in Europe we are going to – we haven’t been there. We’ve toured internationally, but we’re not there all the time. We want to see how people respond to it in the U.S. before we tour. We are excited for the Europe dates, though.”

“We would like to tour with friends. Some of the bands we have been friends with are not touring anymore. It would be great to be with friends, because you’re on tour with people you know and are cool with, but it doesn’t always work out that way. We are friends with Miss May I, For Today, and those are some of the bands we would like to tour with. We don’t care if we are supporting or headlining. We just want to have a good tour. One that makes sense business-wise and musically, we want to have fun. “Facebook rules, with the internet and how people hear things. At first it was Myspace and now Facebook. We also have an unofficial Wiki page that we have. We got a new P.R. (Public Relations) company called Blacklodge, they work some really good bands. They are really good at getting us what we want. I think it is great that we can keep in contact with fans. I was in a band where we had only a website with a forum before, so the change is quite nice, and to be able to be more involved with the fans – like letting them know we are going to do a video shoot, tour updates, and everything else we do. “Our artwork is done by a friend named Chase. And he has done some work with a few bands from Tooth and Nail. He kind of came up with the whole thing. I just gave him a simple direction. We did not want anything that was too over the top, but something that looked cool at the same time. “We are not looking to blow up from any of this. We just want to have fun. We want the fans to enjoy it and for us to enjoy it. I just want things to go smoothly and get the album out, and then take it day to day after that.” 

BYTONY D. BRYANT


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S H I N Y T OY G U N S

How did Carah rejoining the band come about? In a nutshell here is how everything transpired: Basically, we wrote our first album, We Are Pilots, in its original demo form all by ourselves – without producers, mixers, managers, labels, lawyers, etc., – and we hit the road ... hard. We worked as hard as a band would that would be on a major label. This was around 2004-ish.Then we toured just as hard in 2005; pushing a differently recorded version of the same demo record. This time we had grown a little more; had a manager/lawyer and an agent etc,. Then we got signed to Universal Records in 2006 and recorded the record for the final time and actually commercially released the album. Now the label and everyone expected us to tour all over again ... and rightfully so. But we were already exhausted. Now we are flying all over the world. Some of us were drinking more than was necessary more times than we should have... Sleeping never. And we started to argue, to literally just … break. And Carah and I, who were best friends before and when we started the band, began to dislodge from each other and grew completely apart. This happens when you play 300 shows a year and never get rest and – most importantly – we stopped talking. This destroys friends. This destroys marriages. This starts natural separation no matter who you are trying to have any type of a relationship with – God or man. And it quickly will destroy a band. So, at the height of the peak of our album cycle in 2007, when the band was selling out shows all over the U.K. and U.S.A., we finally just blew pistons and went home. Carah moved to Sweden to be with her boyfriend at the time; and the rest of us – confused, flustered and exhausted – went home. We thought she didn’t want to be in the band anymore. She thought we didn’t want her to be in the band anymore. And so ... we became broken. We then decided to move on with the next album, with or without her, and made a record and had another singer come in to sing her parts; our good friend Sisley. She busted her tail for us, but like any torn family, we were just missing our girl. You can’t replace mom. You can’t replace sister. Family is real. So, three years go by. Carah and I didn’t really speak that much. Maybe an email or two. “Merry Christmas.” Then one day I was hanging with a female friend of mine who told me to just, “Buy a plane ticket to Sweden. Just go. Don’t ask, just go. Email her your itinerary. Show her you care. That you want to talk...” It didn’t make sense, but then again (argued my friend), ‘When do girls make lots of sense to boys?’ We truly are very different, but wonderful creatures. So, Mikey and I flew away to Sweden ... in the dead of winter. And we sat at a coffee table. We ate pizza. We played games with her and Daniel – her then husband. Then it all came out: the trauma; the pain; the memories; the words; the love … and we found out rather quickly that no one really meant anything they said. We were just tired. So tired … and then we all came home over time and over more talks. And then we made a beautiful batch of babies – III. Our new album. How has the chemistry of the band been affected with having her back? Yes, we are now one again. Happy band.

How’s the reaction been? With our fans? Lots of tears. Lots of extremely happy people. What is the general sentiment amongst y’all about having her back? We are all very warm and just on fire in general. However, (we are also) cautious. What we want to make double sure of is that we do not go down paths that we did in the past that led to problems. We have all learned to respect each other and communicate. What were some of the life experiences that might have guided or influenced some of these new songs – both lyrically and/or musically? Oh, wow. You’re gonna go there, huh? Okay... So, there are lots of those. Lets dive deep. First and foremost, the trauma of separation and reunion within the band ourselves was a primary source of creative fuel for the entire record. But many, many other things happened that powerfully shook the foundations of our hearts and our lives. Without naming individuals, these things became mapping points for our personal journeys: 1. One of us lost a mother. 2. One of us became separated in marriage. 3. Another of us nearly became separated in marriage; but, thanks to love, forgiveness and patience, was able to heal and continue on. 4. Our beloved lighting designer died suddenly from a fall from a ladder. 5. One of us discovered that a love interest of many years was actually a completely different person, and unfaithful. These things happened over time and what’s awesome is – what a time to band together! We shook this off and stood up with a straight back and just expressed what it feels like to deal with these life things. About how something quite negative can actually flip into a beautiful positive and a learning experience. I can’t even begin to stress how real and personal this record is to us. I saw you guys play outdoors on that big stage at SXSW. It was great seeing you. How was that show for you? We had lots of fun, however, we were short some of our crew and had to hire some local people that I think were a little unfamiliar with the gear, so we struggled a bit to hear ourselves on stage – which is normal. The show was fun and awesome. We love Texas. And how does an outdoor venue/stage like that differ for you as performers as opposed to indoor and/or smaller clubs? It’s not so much different. The only thing about the big festivalish shows like this is that it’s hard to really connect with the crowd on an intimate, touchable and personal level. 40,000 people is a lot of faces to find. It’s mass media almost and we prefer to be more intimate on stage. However, it’s still loud and awesome and we enjoy playing, really, anywhere.

BY DOUG VAN PELT

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26 FEATURE

Tell me about the experience of filming “Waiting Alone” and the “Loverunner” promo films. Share some funny or challenging moments in the making of. Well, it took Carah and I and our directors – Luke Ebrel and Edgar Morais – 26 days to complete the film. There were lots of falling asleep while driving, lots of McDonalds, lots of running from the cops and from angry business owners, because we shot on their property, lots of really fun and amazing journeys as we traveled over 6,000 miles on the ground. Carah and I really needed to get the “eff” out of Los Angeles. It had been a very long and tiresome mixing session with the record and this video really was what we needed to do to: 1. complete our idea and treatment and; 2. keep us sane (laughs). What led to the theme for it? Well, we were going over a bunch of treatments for videos, and Carah and I were complaining that we wanted something a bit more epic, more dramatic. We just decided that we wanted to create a character called “the loverunner,” someone who was on a quest to find love – true love – and was determined against all odds to get to it.

What are your favorite tunes from the new album to play? “Wait for Me.” “If I Lost You.” Why? Because of the depth in these songs and how personal they are to me. How are you feeling about the momentum around this new album? I think the people who know this album is coming out, they are extremely excited. However, in my opinion, it’s going to take a lot longer than one might expect to notify 12 nations that the original members are back together (and) that we have a brand new album out. We aren’t on some big fancy major label anymore. We are on an indie label – full of really cool guys and things are great. But things are different, and we have to get used to that. We have lots of flags to raise up poles. And lots and lots of shows to play. Which is going to be amazing. What are your plans for the next year? Tour, tour, tour. Get close to beautiful storms and beautiful people. Make new sounds of music.

Share some details for those that haven’t seen it... The Loverunner, portrayed by Carah, had what we will call a “love interest” in Brooklyn, NY. However, Carah lives in Hollywood. With no means of transportation, the loverunner decides that love matters more than logic – which I completely agree with – and she runs out the door, down the street, and all the way to New York. However, the “chosen one”, portrayed by our singer Chad Petree, has other plans for the loverunner. Over mountains, in rivers, through tornadoes and baseball hail stones she runs and embattles angry mugging boys, spell-wielding demons, cuts and injuries. But, in the end, like love, the goal is met.

What inspires you about the force and power of love? It is an uncontrollable storm that is to die for. I want to die in love. Would die for love – not pink hearts and candy – the real stuff. The stuff that makes planets.

The economy around making and playing music has changed quite a bit in the last decade. How close have you guys come from hanging it up? Never.

If you could ask God one question on worldwide television and get an audio response, what would you ask Him? Can I please see Your face for just an hour … just the reality of Your face and Your voice close and touchable.

What led you to the edge and what kept you from giving up? Possibly because music is all we know. And it’s all we want to know. Terrified of the world outside...

What are some experiences you’ve had that have changed your life? It’s really quiet and humbling when you watch your entire family begin to die in front of your eyes. How harsh is that, you ask? But it’s real. Sometimes life comes to an early close and you have to be ready to love back to those who loved you first. And it’s really okay. It’s nothing to be afraid of at all. Just swallow and face forward and you will make it through.

Any new changes to your gear/setup that excites you and you’d like to share? We have replaced everything, basically. Thanks to our wonderful friends at Roland and Schecter, and Fender and Shure, we are

blessed with an entire new tour pallet of new and exciting gear and instruments. Also, our amazing lighting company – Toucan Lighting out of Oklahoma City – is building a super-rig of visual stimuli that you are going to love to see on tour with us. What technological breakthru of the recent past has excited you the most? This new Mac laptop that just came out is mind-blowing. Makes us want to throw our 12-core out the window. It’s getting scary; but exciting where things are going. Why? Well, you can mix an entire record outside of the analog world from bed, because of its processing power and SSD drive. This is nerdish. Doesn’t matter. Matters to us, though. How important is the visual side of your musical presentation? It’s more important than the music in the live world to us. By just a little bit. Why? Have you ever turned to a friend and said, “Hey man, you wanna go hear Beach House tonight?” No, you don’t. You instead say, “Hey man, you wanna go see Beach House tonight?” Anything else you’d like to share? Yes! Our album comes out October 22nd. Our new fading listening video will be done by then, too. It was created by us and our directors – Luke Ebrel and Edgar Morias and it features the “tiny toy guns.” It’s so adorable you will just explode and blood and puss will go everywhere and it will make a mess and people will get sad, because you blew up. What are your thoughts on dub step and EDM? Favorites? Criticism? EDM – it’s so cute how people call it that now. No thoughts. Been in love with zeros and ones since a young child in the ‘90s. So stoked that millions of you people finally opened your eyes to the hypnosis of dance music and its culture. Now we can all have a ball and even listen to it on the radio. Love this. 


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28 COVER STORY

further see

“THIS THING TOOK TWO YEARS,” EMO ICON CHRIS CARRABBA BLURTS OUT. THE LEADER OF DASHBOARD CONFESSIONAL AND REIGNING TWO-TIME FRONT MAN OF FURTHER SEEMS FOREVER IS SWEATING BULLETS OUTSIDE HIS HOUSE IN SOUTH FLORIDA ON THIS HAZY, HOT AND HUMID AFTERNOON ONLY SECONDS AFTER HE DELIVERS THE PERFECT FIVEWORD SALES PITCH TO PROMOTE THE NOTORIOUS FSF’S NEW ALBUM PENNY BLACK. He double checks the math in his head and smiles. “That’s a pretty good enough of a sales pitch,” the 37-year-old beams. “I mean, who else puts that much time and effort into a record in this era?” Very few. In fact, most artists – especially the younger ones -will record a song in GarageBand, and immediately create a cool lyric video on their Macbook, upload it on YouTube and spam their Twitter followers about it. Further Seems Forever have more of an old school mindset. The veteran five-piece – who returned to original form in 2010 – spent the past two years’ worth of weekends and Thursday Nights at Carrabba’s studio, which he prefers to think of as a “fort,” solely on fine-tuning what became Penny Black. That was the only availability the four other members (bassist Chad Neptune, drummer Steve Kleisath, and guitarists Joshua Colbert and Nick Dominguez) had away from their nine-to-five day jobs. Due to the sporadic recording process, Carrabba coproduced the effort alongside Jonathan Clark and Mike Fanuell, so he could remain organized on each track’s progress. By working at their own pace, the newly re-united collective were able to concentrate on both their direction and identity. “We thought, ‘how do we make a record that’s true to who we were, but more true to who we are,’ because that is ultimately more important,” Carrabba explains. “Otherwise people fear it’s a fake attempt at re-capturing something. Since nobody was looking, we got to figure it out, because we got to take a long time.”

Penny Black, the Floridians’ fourth studio album (the second with Carrabba and first under the Rise Records banner), drops October 23rd. The explosive 12-track LP shows the growth in their musicianship since their last songwriting venture as a unit, 1998‘s The Moon Is Down. While it could be looked to as an extended continuation of sorts, the group’s subject matter has a more mature outlook. “It has a lot to do with the disparity between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots,’ and that sorta power struggle,” Carrabba, who labels himself in the ‘Hollywood middle class’ financial class, explains. “I wouldn’t necessarily say that the record is super political. That’s one of the themes, but I think the band got the feeling of re-discovering – like a ‘new beginnings’ kinda thing. It’s not autobiographic, but it’s the state of mind we’re in. It was a little bit celebratory, almost.” Leading the charge is the single “So Cold,” an impassioned radio rock smash which possesses that re-discovery vibe. Other highlights include the melodically piercing “On The Outside,” the pulsating “Stern The Loss,” and emotional post-hardcore delights “Way Down” and “Rusted Machines.” The most surprising track, however, is “Janie.” It’s a haunting, apologetic acoustic ditty that differs immensely from the electric guitar-powered liveliness that embodies Penny Black and by including that composition on the LP, it further illustrates the growth in musicianship and identity of the veteran five-piece. Also, it proves Further Seems Forever is comfortable enough to go the acoustic route while not stepping into Dashboard Confessional’s territory.


ems forever: forever: timing FURTHER SEEMS FOREVER 29

BY BEAR FRAZER

Photo: Jon Paul Douglass


30 COVER STORY

“WE GOT ALONG UNLESS WE WERE WORKING ON MUSIC OR TRYING TO TOUR.”


FURTHER SEEMS FOREVER 31

In regards to “Janie,” that was the only time Carrabba was afraid the lines would be blurred between the two groups. “Generally, you can tell the bands apart easily, but I did think about that with ‘Janie’ simply for the decision on whether to have an acoustic guitar and once we decided that it was okay with us, that seemed like a good enough decision,” Carrabba explains. “We were worried that somebody else might think it’s not right for that record, but we think it’s more right for the song, and it’s not me playing acoustic guitar, so it isn’t my influence. It’s such a different dynamic, and the songs that come out of the way we write are just so uniquely not anybody.” During the entire album process, the indie juggernaut went to great lengths to maintain the element of mystery, which has seemingly disappeared amongst today’s ADHD generation of music listeners as artists will do almost anything to grab their brief attention spans. Knowing this, Further Seems Forever set a few ground rules. First, unlike Carrabba’s Dashboard Confessional writing and recording sessions, the “fort” was closed to everyone outside the band, label and production team. Also, not a word about it was to be typed on any social media platform, let alone spoken to anyone else in the real world. Just like that, the fingertips of online stalkers were immediately diced and had no cause to Facebook creep. “You have to work really hard to have some kind of mystery. That’s why I like these great new bands that spring out of nowhere,” Carrabba explains. “They’re the last batch, or maybe bands like us where we’re mysterious, but doing something well after anybody expected or desired us to do anything. Maybe that’s the last big piece of mystery you can have. I miss it.” “And it’s funny,” he continues. “I gave myself a Twitter ban because of that. I felt like there’s gotta be pieces of my life that my fan base doesn’t know about or isn’t constantly engaged in. They cannot really find it more intriguing to know that I prefer skim milk in my coffee. That’s the last thing people don’t know about me.” Well ... not anymore. Carrabba just openly divulged his skim milk preference. Everyone knows now. “See, I’m ruined,” the 5’6” singer half-heartedly says. “I’ve been conditioned like everybody else.”

Photo: Jon Paul Douglass

*** The phoenix was on the verge of recreating itself. In 1998, Further Seems Forever formed from the ashes of Christian hardcore outfit Strongarm as most of that group – Colbert, Dominguez, Kleisath and Neptune – decided to launch a new band with a more rock-oriented sound. Carrabba, formerly of the Vacant Andys, was tapped as the lead singer. Conceptually, it was the perfect fit considering he was BFFs with the other four members. Within a year, they placed the song “Vengeance Factor” on The Emo Diaries - Chapter Four – An Ocean Of Doubt and dropped a six-track split EP with Recess Theory titled From The 27th State, a reference to both group’s home state of Florida. To cap it all off, they signed with Christian indie label Tooth & Nail soon thereafter. Internally, however, there were catastrophic problems. “The first thing we disagreed on, and disagreed on most, was I came from this other band that toured constantly and I had realized ‘that’s it.’ That’s the one way to do it,” Carrabba recalls. “Unless you’re gonna be on a major label, which didn’t seem in the cards with anything we actually desired, you gotta go out and play.” Most of the members, however, didn’t share the same desire to hit the road. What followed were verbals spats and other details Carrabba prefers not to get into – claiming it’s water under the bridge, which it is. Truthfully speaking, it’s a puddle he’d rather not step back into. The front man even offered the band some personal songs he wrote, but when they passed, he recorded those tracks for his solo project Dashboard Confessional. Those tunes appeared on the project’s debut album The Swiss Army Romance, which got a soft release. Eventually, that water completely drowned Carrabba’s musical union with the other band members. “I can’t explain why there was so much tension, but there was so much tension and it just killed the momentum for me,” Carrabba explains. “You have to love the music you’re doing and you have to love the guys you’re in the band with, and those were things that were true, but were suddenly gone from me, and I love the guys and love the music, but I didn’t love making music with the guys anymore, because of the tension that was there all the time.”


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“YOU HAVE TO LOVE THE MUSIC YOU’RE DOING AN BAND WITH, AND THOSE WERE THINGS THAT WER AND I LOVE THE GUYS AND LOVE THE MUSIC, BUT ANYMORE, BECAUSE OF THE TENSION THAT WAS T Carrabba quit the group in August 2000 and went on a quick monthlong Dashboard Confessional tour, but agreed to return later that October to provide the vocals for the Further Seems Forever’s debut album The Moon Is Down, which dropped March 2001. While the short vocalist wasn’t certain of his next move, that brief solo trek cleared things up. “I went on this one-month tour for Dashboard,” Carrabba says, “and I was trying to figure out what I was gonna do for a band when I got back. Of course, I wanted to be in a band, but that month turned into, ya know, all this time now.” The side project turned full-time endeavor’s first official single “Screaming Infidelities” kicked off Dashboard Confessional’s reign of acoustic emo-rock dominance. Carrabba earned three gold-selling albums (2001’s The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most, 2003’s A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar and 2006’s Dusk And Summer) and a platinum certification for MTV Unplugged 2.0, which was arguably one of the most memorable Unplugged performances in the 2000s. Further Seems Forever, however, wasn’t as fortunate. They recruited Jason Gleason as their next vocalist and topped the Billboard Heatseeker’s Chart with their sophomore set HowTo Start A Fire in February 2003. When he quit in 2004, Jon Bunch joined and sang on their third full-length Hide Nothing. Amidst minimal success, the collective went on an indefinite hiatus in 2006. Evidently, Carrabba obtained more success and did it his way – the way his former bandmates chose to ignore. “It didn’t feel vindicating necessarily. I mean, it felt good. I didn’t have a ‘one versus the other’ attitude about it anymore, but I will say it did feel a little bittersweet, because those are the guys I spent so many years devising the dream with and I wanted them there too,” he admits. “It didn’t feel like, ‘I showed them.’ It never felt like that. My point of contention mainly in the band is I wanted to tour and they didn’t want to, and I went out and toured [with Dashboard Confessional]. I toured my ass off and the band succeeded because of that, and I think they looked at that and said, ‘He’s right. Let’s do that,’ and they toured their asses off and they got successful, too. That felt more vindicating than making it my own.” Carrabba has watched his former group quite closely. Their relationship has been solid the minute they stopped making music together and when Dashboard hit the big time, Further Seems Forever provided support on tour. The ex-front man even found inspiration from the Notorious FSF’s other two LPs – the pair recorded without him – and reunited with them at the Skate And Surf Festival in 2005 where they performed The Moon Is Down in its entirety. Still, the idea for a full blown re-formation wasn’t discussed for five years and, when it was, it was in the spur of the moment.

“These guys are my super close friends and it felt like something had been missing for so long,” Carrabba says. “We continued to hang out for all those years we weren’t in the band, but there’s only so much fishing you can do. We played pick-up basketball, we had barbecues, but I don’t know. Somebody picked up a guitar and it felt right.” Just like that, the phoenix rose again. *** Further Seems Forever had tumultuous experiences with their previous front men, but now that they’ve reunited with Carrabba, their original mouthpiece, the five-piece are the strongest they’ve ever been. As for Carrabba, he gets the rare opportunity to create music and more unforgettable memories with his best friends again. In fact, part of him feels as if he never left to begin with. “It’s weird. I’ve always felt like I’ve been in the band, even though I haven’t been for a long time,” he says. “We didn’t get along. When I split from Further, before The Moon Is Down was released, we got along unless we were working on music or trying to tour. Just hanging out as friends, we had a great time. So, I think the big difference is we can make music now without wanting to kill each other. That makes me feel like there is some longevity to the band as opposed to this being a one-off.” Though the guys are working regular day jobs, with the exception of the ‘Hollywood middle class’ singer, they are managing to squeeze in a quick two-week promotional run for Penny Black. The trek kicks off October 24th at the Bottom Lounge in Chicago, IL and runs through November 4th at the Royale Night Club in Boston, MA. A more extensive tour will be announced in the future. For the first time in over a decade, music heads will be able to see Further Seems Forever in original form and performing new material. And now that Carrabba has thought about it some more, he is amending his five-word sales pitch for Penny Black. “This thing took twelve years,” he declares with pride. “That’s even better and that would be more appropriate! From the last record ‘til now, this thing took twelve years. There’s your pitch.” 


FURTHER SEEMS FOREVER 33

ND YOU HAVE TO LOVE THE GUYS YOU’RE IN THE RE TRUE, BUT WERE SUDDENLY GONE FROM ME, I DIDN’T LOVE MAKING MUSIC WITH THE GUYS THERE ALL THE TIME.”

Photo: Jon Paul Douglass


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FEATURE 35

What Honour Crest Says THIS BAND MADE QUITE AN IMPRESSION ON ME BASED UPON THE MUSIC ALONE. LOTS OF DYNAMICS AND JUST THE RIGHT METAL TONES DIALED IN AND THE PASSIONATE DELIVERY AND FRENETIC ENERGY OF HARDCORE. NOT ABOUT TO START A REVOLUTION OF EXPERIMENTAL PROPORTIONS, BUT INTENSE ENOUGH TO ROCK ANY AUDIENCE INTO OBLIVION. AFTER SEEING HM MAGAZINE’S QUOTE ON THEIR HIGH-QUALITY TUNES THROWN ABOUT ON PRESS RELEASES HERE AND THERE, IT SEEMED NATURAL TO WANT TO GET TO KNOW THE BAND ON A DEEPER LEVEL.

What is totally right with hardcore these days? The hardcore music scene (metal, hardcore, metal core, etc.) has a lot going for it at the moment. Bands are getting a lot more exposure and I personally feel there is a lot more opportunity for a band in any of these genres then there has been in the past.

What is absolutely wrong about hardcore (the scene, etc.) in your opinion? One opportunity I think the scene has is I feel fans are very specific on the genre or subgenre or music, especially locally. For us, very few people will go to a “hardcore” show and a “metal core” show – same with pop punk and rock shows. It seems you have to pick your genre and stick to it and I think that with there being so much in common with the musical influences, it would be awesome to see more cross-genre support.

What can be done to capitalize on the good and/or correct the bad? As with anything in life, trying your hardest, being open minded and reaching out to people really helps. There is only so much you can do to persuade people to give you a chance. Respecting people’s opinions and thoughts is just as important as being open-minded.

What are the most diffi cult songs for any of you guys to play live? Why? Off our album, Metrics, our most difficult song – at least for the guitars – is “Crawling through Quicksand.” It’s one of our fastest-paced songs and has more riffs and leads than most of our songs. But honestly, some of the stuff we have in the works makes that song look easy.

How did you hook up with Indianola Records? How’s that been so far? The story of how we hooked up with Indianola is a long one. Without going into too much detail, we had been deep in the works with another label and, when that fell through, Indianola reached out to us and were so much easier to work with – way more straight-forward and they have been nothing but awesome guys towards us. So far, so good (Thanks Matt and John).

What are your favorite songs on Metrics? Why? My personal favorite song off Metrics is “Horcrux.” I think it’s got a really catchy chorus, and a superb ending. Really well put together and definitely a crowd pleaser.

What do you think of Jesus Christ? I cannot speak for the band as a whole; however, I personally was raised as a Catholic and continue my faith. I go to church and am married through the Catholic Church. I also participate in some college campus activities that are run by the Baptist church and the Presbyterian church on campus. The idea that I have been given the gifts that I have been given by God and that He wants me to use them to my full potential is always in my mind – especially with the band.

What do you think about His claims to be “the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father but by Me?” I personally feel that the Christian faith is a great lifestyle and spiritual philosophy. I believe that it sets a great standard of living and is an excellent way to provide morals and help guide people to be better people. However, I personally do not believe that those who do not believe in Jesus are not able to live good lives, be


36 FEATURE

good people, or accomplish their goals. Generally speaking, all religions have the same guidelines and encourage the idea of treating others how you wish to be treated and living a happy and healthy life style.

How well do you feel you know your audience? How important is that connection? (or) Why do you think there is a distance? We absolutely love our “audience” – friends, family – and take every chance we get to meet new people at shows and on the road. The number of people we’ve met and still are in contact with because of our relationship through music is huge and continues

If there were one phrase, one style of merch or any one trend that you are totally sick of, what would that phrase/merch/trend be? What makes you so sick of it? I don’t really get sick of much of the stuff out there. Some things can get kind of irritating seeing them day after day, but to each his own.

What do you think of “that annoying hardcore dude that goes too far?” He’s probably just asking for more attention, and or needs a friend.

seem to win elections by putting the other candidate down, instead of by proving your own accomplishments.

Top 5 or 10 albums that everyone reading this should have/buy (no matter the genre) and a brief explanation/ reason why. Any Underoath Album. Coheed and Cambria is my favorite band. Cory thinks the new I See Stars album is life-changing. I highly recommend our good friends in Pilot. Provoke Destroy. Under City Skylines.

“I personally feel that the Christian faith is a great lifestyle and spiritual philosophy.” to grow. We would not be anything without the people who listen to our music and encourage us to make more.

Describe the most outrageous incident you’ve ever had happen at one of your shows (or even a show you were at)... The most outrageous event ever to happen to us was about a year ago. We were performing in a Karate DoJo, and our vocalist, Luke, went into the crowd to break up a fight. After trying to separate the fight and failing, he was then thrown to the ground by one of the guys who turned out to be the karate master/owner/security for the show. Turns out it wasn’t a fight, it was the owner trying to throw out one of the moshers. Luke apologized after the show, but we’ll never forget that Dojo.

How important is the visual side of music to your overall art? Why (or why not)? For us, the visual side of it is very important. Chad, the other guitarist in our band and composer of our music also, is a very artistic person. He designed the cover art for Metrics, and our EP prior to that. He has also designed a couple of our shirts. Also, we really love our live performances and put a lot of effort into our stage presence and light show. I really think the visual side is just as important in getting across the theme and ideas of our music.

Tell me about how Chad Orange’s programming fits well with the band... How did that fuse with the band (when did you start working together? Why? etc.) Chad Orange is the original Honour Crest – founder and CEO. He has been writing music for his bands for years, and over time it evolved into Honour Crest. Our songs all start off on the computer with drums and synth and coolsounding fake guitars. He usually shows us some drafts, or even a finished song, we all critique it and compromise on what we want and what we don’t want. But honestly, he’s such a talented and creative guy. The band formed because he was looking for more members, so he could start to play live shows and, after adding Luke as a front man and playing a few shows with Chad, Luke and a computer, they added me on 2nd guitar, Jimmy on bass and last, but not least, Cory on drums.

Let’s go back to Metrics for a second. Tell me about the songwriting and creative process for this album. What were the earliest creations like? What inspired y’all? What was one of the most fulfilling/exciting parts of this process? Why? I partially answered this earlier; but, in a more full story: Metrics started when Chad was in the Navy and went on deployment for about 9 months. During his free time he wrote an insane amount of music – I’m talking 80-90 songs. I honestly don’t know if a single one of those made it onto Metrics... Actually, I think crawling was one of those, but when he got back we picked the style and ideas we liked and he made some preproductions and we fine-tuned and came up with what we wanted. Then we hit up our good friend, Andrew Baylis, who came down to record us in our friend’s house. Literally, his living room. The vocal booth was his closet. I think the most exciting part was hearing the finished product, because some vocals and lyrics written by Luke and Chad were written on the spot, and we had no idea how they would come out. So, definitely hearing the finished product for the first time was an amazing feeling.

Tell me about the studio/recording experience? What do you recall? What memories will you take away from that? We still haven’t been to a real studio, but hanging out with friends for days on end, doing what you love is an amazing time, but it can get real boring. I recommend bringing a Game Boy and your favorite Pokemon game.

What are your goals for the rest of 2012? The sky is the limit. We have some fun stuff coming our way, and touring is a must for us. Keep an eye out.

What are your thoughts on the political climate in the U.S.A.? Care to make an election prediction? Most political guy in the band is Jimmy, and I know who he’s gonna vote for, and, if you want to discuss his political views with him, you can find him on facebook – “Jimmy Dillon.” I’m not a citizen, so I can’t vote. With that being said, I definitely feel the way the media portrays these elections and the advertising campaigns really portray the wrong image and

The last 3 are good friends of ours and make killer music.

Anything else you’d like to discuss? Really hoped you guys liked our new album, Metrics. If you haven’t checked it out yet, please do.




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ALBUM REVIEWS

39

Album reviews

39 ALBUMS 42 GEAR, GADGETS, COMICS, BOOKS & FILM

FURTHER SEEMS FOREVER PENNY BLACK

It’s said that “time heals all wounds” and also that “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” Thankfully, both of these statements are fitting and apply to Further Seems Forever. Penny Black marks the triumphant return of Dashboard Confessional’s Chris Carrabba, who left the band shortly after recording the band’s 2001 debut, The Moon Is Down, and almost feels like the appropriate followup to such a lauded and beloved album. It’s hard to describe just how good Penny Black actually is. Expertly crafted songs performed with a passion and youthful vibrance that’s often hard for a veteran act to achieve. Listening to this release from stem to stern you get the impression that these musicians really love these songs as well as this renewed original version of Further Seems Forever. The most straight-forward song on the record is the first single, “So Cold”, where the band displays its vibrancy, energy and excitement to just be playing together again. It’s a catchy pop song with an underlying almost punk rock energy and Carrabba’s emotive voice soaring during the chorus. Other standout tracks on an album full of standout tracks include: “Kings Canyon,” “A System Of Symmetry,” the title track and the hauntingly beautiful “Janie.”

Rating system 05 04 03 02 01 *

CLASSIC FABULOUS SOLID SUSPECT AMISS 1/2

Every time Further Seems Forever has released an album in the past it quickly took the place of my favorite FSF record from the one before it, and Penny Black is no exception. It’s uncertain what the future holds for FSF, whether it’s more records and subsequent tours or if this is to be the band’s swan song. But one thing is for sure, the band that so many fell in love with so long ago still has it and we’re all better because of it. [RISE] JEF CUNNINGHAM


40 A L B U M R E V I E W S

BECOMING THE ARCHETYPE I AM I Am is an epic, (somewhat) concept album that does an outstanding job of not only connecting each song to the ones around it, but with such well-written songs, allows you to pluck out your favorites and listen to them independently. Each song is based around a different “name” for Christ (“The Eyes of the Storm,” “The War Ender,” etc.), and, just like the names of the songs, Becoming the Archetype has written them so they all feel connected – alike in just enough ways, but independent enough to stand on their own. The recording itself is incredibly tight; there isn’t a lot of feedback, the notes hit and stop – it’s perfect for the machine-gun style of songwriting from the Atlanta-based quintet. That songwriting will turn your head in the first minute you listen. It opens with a low, brooding guitar line, but takes you to a clever punch in/punch out guitar tick that lets you know the band doesn’t plan on taking you on the same expected metal routes. They do the same thing at the beginning of “The Time Bender,” moving into a sweeping atonal guitar line that was refreshing to hear, a well-written plot twist to a sometimes staid genre of songwriting. All in all, I Am does the storytelling well, through the music and concept of the album, and has put together one of the best technical metal albums of the year. [SOLID STATE] DAVID STAGG

SHINY TOY GUNS III The album III marks the return of original vocalist Carah Faye to Shiny Toy Guns’ musical fold, and while you’d expect such a reunion to be characterized by lyrical and musical joy, you’d be wrong in this instance. The disc opens with the one-two punch of “Somewhere to Hide” and “Waiting Alone,” which explore paranoia and regret, respectively. Sonically, this new disc mainly applies a relatively frothy, ‘80s synth-pop groove. It’s at its best, however, when beefy electric guitars super charge “Speaking Japanese,” which veers nicely in the sonic direction of Nine Inch Nails. On the other end of the stylistic spectrum, “Fading Listening” is a sweet pop song that will remind you of The Human League at their best; it has an enjoyably light dance groove. Lyrically, III isn’t particularly spiritual. However, it’s not too difficult to read between the lines of “Mercy,” particularly when Chad Petree sings, “Mercy sent a miracle” and tangibly sense the presence of a higher power. Most of the time, Faye and Petree alternate singing lead on these 11 songs. However, the pretty, yet slightly spacey ballad, “Wait for Me,” finds these two nicely performing a duet together. In fact, it sounds like it could very well be a pop hit – albeit still a little left of center. Its words nicely contrast with another ‘waiting’ song, “Waiting Alone,” by speaking of one that lovingly waits for another. Ultimately, III is reunited and it (only sometimes) feels so good. [FIVE SEVEN] DAN MACINTOSH

TEXAS IN JULY S/T Texas in July comes with legit metalcore on their third release, a self-titled effort from the incredibly young band. (They toured the country while still in high school and can now spend full-time on this direction.) The record features the straight time signatures and guitar chugging under finelytuned themes and solos – stand-out tracks like “Cry Wolf” and “C4” have the best – with effective build-ups to breakdowns, a necessary story arch to the success of any metalcore band. Listen to “Crux Lust” for the more metal side of this metalcore release. The record also features special guests including August Burns Red drummer Matt Greiner on the final track, which is a fitting collaboration as Texas in July is surely a band ABR fans would listen to. A little more variation on the breakdowns and it’d be in constant rotation. [EQUAL VISION] DAVID STAGG

ABEL MAKE IT RIGHT When Abel’s vocalist Kevin Kneifel admits, “Oh, the devil wants to drag my soul, drag my soul down to the lake of fire,” during the CD’s first single, “Fire Walk With Me,” off Make It Right, he immediately brings Greg Dulli of The Afghan Whigs to mind. That’s a great comparison, because Dulli is one of rock’s greatly underrated vocalists. Kneifel, like Dulli, brings a tangible sense of desperation when he sings many of the lines to these songs. Out of Poughkeepsie, NY, this four-piece creates a dangerous mess of sound. Song titles like “A Grief Observed” may hint at Christian faith, but songs like “Fire Walk with Me” come off more like the Nick Cave’s morbidly religious ramblings. On “Come Home,” Kneifel speaks of how fragile life truly is. The sound of this music is a reminder that everything can all fall apart, nearly at any minute. [BROKEN HEART] DAN MACINTOSH

IT LIES WITHIN CHRYSALIS In a chug-it-out-then-two-step slugfest, It Lies Within has written and executed a wonderful record in Chrysalis. The Michigan-based quintet use the synth and drum pad sparingly enough to salt-and-pepper the record, but not enough to where it changes the core of the record or outright takes over the album. “Redefined Identity” mixes a banjo-type sound into a somewhat country/synth pad break down that takes the song to a whole new level. The end of “Find Your Truth” has a particularly ambient mechanical-synth outro. The whole record employs the use of the mute-unmute-in-musicaltime for percussive effect. All in all, a great record to change up the day-to-day metal album. [LUXOR] DAVID STAGG

LETTER TO THE EXILES MAKE AMENDS Make Amends starts off strong and doesn’t really let up. New vocalist, Chris King adds an emotive flair to a band that is almost relentlessly heavy. “Open Graves” starts off the album and gets right to the brutality, intricate riffs and breakdowns. Leroy Hamp from War of Ages is featured on the track “Conversations With Fallen Saints” and the combination of these two monstrous voices is pretty much an epic win. “A World of Wicked Men” appears seemingly out of nowhere as a mostly down-tempo ambient moody kind of track and gives the album a nice little break from the metal onslaught. High production values, high technical ability and quality songwriting with – an emphasis on melodic musical moments interspersed with teeth-rattling heaviness helps to keep Letter to the Exiles from sounding like just another hardcore/metal band in an already over-saturated marketplace. [FACEDOWN] JEF CUNNINGHAM

Ratings DV

Writer

Further Seems Forever Penny Black

04

04

Becoming the Archetype I Am

04

04

Shiny Toy Guns III

03

03

Texas in July S/T

03

03*

It Lies Within Chrysalis

04

03*

Letter to the Exiles Make Amends

04

03*

Abel

Make it Right

04

03

Showbread Cancer

03*

02*

The Glorious Unseen Lovesick

03

04

All Kings All Poets What We’ve Become

03

02

Derek Webb Ctrl

03

02

Newsboys

Live in Concert: God’s Not Dead

03

03

An Epic, No Less Echo of Love

03

Remedy Drive

03

Resuscitate

03


ALBUM REVIEWS

SHOWBREAD CANCER In what Showbread would describe as grandiose, Cancer is their sixth full-length release, but this one is a full-fledged concept album they would compare to Ziggy Stardust and The Wall. The truth is, the likeness lies in its storyline; its music is more mid-’90s punk, ska, and pop rock (Quick storyline: Protaganist starts punk-rock band to lead a revolt in America against “The Principalities.”). While the album may be considered ambitious, it seems like the band understands “concept album” to mean “write long songs.” Showbread, in their album notes, claim you may need to “dust off the library card” to dig deeper into its philosophical meaning, but the veil is thin and with one read of the lyrics you’ll have a pretty good idea of what’s going on. (Hint: It’s a political album called Cancer.) Unfortunately, the whole storyline experience feels a little too much like reading a really long book with one-dimensional characters; you get to the end, and you kinda wish you had stopped earlier. As with any pop-punk-rock record, there are anthems and chants that will be stuck in your head, but the bad songs are bad and make the whole musical experience tough to sit through. [COME&LIVE] DAVID STAGG

THE GLORIOUS UNSEEN LOVESICK Worship albums are hard to critique. All forms of true worship are pleasing to God, so can you really criticize any worship album? Fortunately it’s evident very quickly that you won’t need to struggle with that question while you listen to Lovesick. The Glorious Unseen is as strong as ever on their third full-length. Lead vocalist Ben Crist is well-versed in the art of turning a simple vocal melody into a beautiful and catchy tune, none more evident than on the single, “Harp in my Heart” and opener “Brand New.” The album is slower and more low-key than their previous efforts, but there are still a couple of heavier tunes in the middle of the album like standout track “In This Moment.” This is worship at its finest. [BEC] TIM HARRIS

ALL KINGS ALL POETS WHAT WE’VE BECOME All Kings All Poets – Oklahoma Citybased and previously named Sandusky – is a pop-punk duo whose debut record was a unique listen; the pop-punk movement doesn’t have a ton of public traction right now. Unfortunately, most of this record is sloppy. Weak guitar riffs, borderline off-key singing – it’s almost like they only had a certain amount of time in the studio and decided to go with some things they otherwise would have gone back and changed or re-did. The instrumentation is like a junior varsity football team – it could use some more practice before hitting the Friday night lights. All in all, a good portion of this seven-song EP is juvenile and could use a re-working in the studio. Tighten it up, re-write song elements, sing on key. [PHM] DAVID STAGG

DEREK WEBB CTRL While deserving of much respect, it’s sometimes difficult to get over the nagging impression Derek Webb is a bit of a folkemo artist. If he intends to be seen as a tortured artist of some sort, he’s succeeding. Ironically, this new work – titled with the techy moniker of Ctrl – is oftentimes one of Webb’s more organic releases in a while, particularly coming so soon after the significantly electronic Stockholm Syndrome. “I Feel Everything” is, for instance, driven by finger-picked acoustic guitar. The latter’s lyric appears to concern sensory overload, where the song’s character can’t feel anything because he feels everything, presumably. However, unlike Stockholm Syndrome, which was somewhat based upon the principle that hostages may well express empathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, Ctrl is relatively impenetrable, thematically speaking. Also, when Webb asks, “am I born to die” at the start of “And See The Flaming Stars,” but before the mournful Sacred Harp choral comes in, you’ll need to remind yourself you’re not listening to Radiohead. This is because Webb’s voice consistently conjures up manic depression, like an emo kid that’s forgotten how to smile. Listening to Webb’s new music makes it extremely tough to ctrl negative emotions. [NOISE TRADE] DAN MACINTOSH

NEWSBOYS LIVE IN CONCERT: GOD’S NOT DEAD The Newsboys’ new live album is basically the band’s latest studio work, God’s Not Dead, performed before a live Minnesota audience. Therefore, if you’re expecting a condensed career overview of some kind, you’ll be disappointed. With that said, though, this disc captures the group in fine form and performing before an enthusiastic crowd. These latest Newsboys songs are essentially worship compositions that fit in nicely with more familiar church praise tunes, including “Mighty to Save” and “Revelation Song.” Michael Tait only dips back into the dc Talk catalogue once for “Jesus Freak.” Songs like “Your Love Never Fails” succeed at keeping the energy level high throughout. Tait is a seasoned performer, playing an upbeat host that even turns the audience into a swaying black choir (made up mostly of Minnesota white people) for “He Reigns.” Nevertheless, from a consumer’s perspective, if you already have the Newsboys’ latest studio music, this concert disc is hardly essential. [SPARROW] DAN MACINTOSH

41

AN EPIC, NO LESS ECHO OF LOVE The band An Epic, No Less lives up to its namesake with its latest offering, Echo of Love. This 10-song album offers superb production and clarity of sound for listeners. The group’s sound has a 21st-century appeal with its digital layering and overall fidelity. The talented St. Louis-based collective can attribute its successful recorded sound to producer Dustin Burnett (Newsboys, Augustana, The Wrecking). Standout songs include “Come to the Cross,” an invitation for listeners to experience God’s mercy, grace and love. Frontman Todd Larson’s singing is complemented well by the background vocals and piano of Hannah Chancellor, the wife of the band’s drummer, Daniel, who provides clear crisp beats that support the intricate and diverse arrangements of his peers. An Epic, No Less is a breath of fresh air in an industry often plagued by monotonous, three-chord pop, and the snotty, cloned, garage-band sounds of screamo groups. The band’s unique sound can be attributed to its clever guitar and string arrangements combined with its use of digital effects. Guitar work is provided by Neil Endicott. Violin strings blanket this album beautifully by Britney Stutz. The album’s hit lead single, “Mercy Light,” is an account of Moses beholding the glory of God. Its video, by Tennyson S. Tanner, addresses the issue of human trafficking. It is another standout song on this excellent collection, because it combines crunchy guitar riffs with well-arranged vocals and keyboard melodies in a sound that mixes influences of hard rock, dance, electronica and R&B. For those eager to listen to high-quality music in excellent arrangements, An Epic, No Less is highly recommended. [BEC] JAMES HESTER

REMEDY DRIVE RESUSCITATE Well, you can no longer call Remedy Drive a band of brothers, as singer David Zach is the only remaining Zach Brother in the group. Resuscitate is an extreme measure when it comes to the issue of life and death, but this band is nowhere close to that dangerous point. With that said, though, Zach sure sounds weary during “God I Hope So,” which comes off like one of Jon Foreman’s solo psalms. In contrast, this album’s title song kicks out the jams with a large dose of guitar rock. Lyrically, Remedy Drive drives home the urgency of active Christian faith. If God’s love is “Better than Life,” well, “What Are You Waiting For?” The album concludes with a song called “Hold On,” which is a praise song giving thanks to God for giving drowning humans something solid to hold onto. The best way to avoid the need to be resuscitated is to remain in solid safety, which is safely within reach. [CENTRICITY] DAN MACINTOSH


42 G E A R

LIFEstyle

gear

SQUIER CHRIS AIKEN PRECISION BASS This is a new take on the venerable Fender P Bass®. The Aiken signature model comes complete with a mirrored acrylic pickguard on an Olympic White body, 20-fret maple neck and fingerboard with white binding and white pearloid block inlays. In addition, Aiken’s bass is powered by a Duncan Designed™ PB-105 Precision Bass pickup and includes a knurled chrome volume knob and “HiMass” bridge with brass saddles. [ squierguitars.com ]

FENDER VIBRO-KING Introduced in 1993 to great acclaim, guitarists and amp aficionados everywhere have prized the enduringly classic Vibro-King as one of the most touch-sensitive amps ever, with sparklingclean shimmer at lower volumes and powerfully thick overdrive when cranked up. Fender now commemorates those two decades of pristine tone with the release of the Vibro-King 20th Anniversary Edition amplifier. Available in black, blonde, and brown coverings. [ fender.com ]

HM Magazine Podcast Episode #25 2011  podcast.hmmag.com

THE HM MAGAZINE PODCAST IS ALWAYS FREE

PODCAST.HMMAG.COM FENDER IMPRINTS “1ST 46” Fender announces the release of a limited number of the popular American Vintage Series instruments featuring “1st 46” neck plates, a designation given to the first 46 instruments of each model year. These neck plates commemorate the fact that Fender was founded in 1946, as well as the fact that Fender is releasing the most accurate and beautiful Fender re-issue instruments ever from key historical years. The neck plate will serve as an indicator that these “1st 46” models were the first of their kind to be built, as well as add an element of collectability to these first run instruments. These units will be randomly distributed around the globe for Fender fans everywhere to have a chance to find one in their local stores. [ fender.com ]

FENDER GB HOT ROD DELUXE The GB Hot Rod Deluxe 112 Enclosure is an elegant performance machine designed in close collaboration with Grammy Award-winning jazz guitar virtuoso George Benson. Meticulously engineered, the GB Hot Rod Deluxe is a striking 40-watt 1x12 combo outfitted in a gray-black vinyl covering, silver-strand grille cloth and a classy GB logo badge. It has the full bottom-end characteristic of 6L6 tubes, and a versatile all-tube preamp including a 12AT7 up front for cleaner tone, especially with humbucking pickups. A 100-watt Jensen® C12K speaker handles the immediacy of Benson’s singing soloing style with clarity and range, and the solid-pine cabinet increases tonal resonance while reducing weight. [ fender.com ] More


GADGETS 43

LIFEstyle UNCOMMON IPAD CASE Uncommon has unveiled a monogram alphabet collection called “Drop Cap Delight,” which will bring a smile to font/ design enthusiasts. This clip-on backside case looks sharp and adds stylish protection. [ getuncommon.com] [ Price: $49 ]

gadgets OHT (One Handed Tool) The Leatherman OHT is their first-ever full-size multi-tool that is 100% operable with one hand. Every one of the 16 tools is one-hand-opening, even with aviator gloves on, which allows the user quick access to the most needed tools while on the job. The rapid-deploying spring-loaded plier jaws make any project easier and faster. [ leatherman.com ] [ Price: $82 ]

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL, flight testing & TIME TRAVEL? read it all in the book Desert High HM Editor Doug Van Pelt’s first novel

DesertHighBook.com

PRESS

AUDIO-TECHNICA WS55 HEADPHONES Audio-Technica’s Solid Bass headphones are here to rock the holidays! They deliver impactful bass along with accurate midrange and highs, for listeners who want to hear hard rock, hip-hop and other bass-driven music with maximum power and punch. Models include the over-ear ATH-WS70 ($149.95) and ATHWS55 in black and black/red ($99.95). [ audio-technica.com] [ Price: $99 ]

PIRANHA The Piranha is a single-piece, multi-purpose pocket tool constructed from heat-treated, 100% stainless steel. A built-in rubber bit holder secures full-size bits. Like the fish for which it’s named, the Piranha pocket tool will help you get the job done quickly: tightening screws, loosening bolts, prying things open, etc. And, since you’ll barely notice this super slim multi-tool in your pocket, it’s perfect for everyday carry. It’s also TSA-compliant, so there is no need to worry about it when you board your next flight. [ leatherman.com ] [ Price: $35 ]


44 D V D S & F I L M

LIFEstyle

film

THANK YOU, BILLY GRAHAM While one might mistake this DVD as a stirring tribute/documentary that shines a light, honoring a great, simple and obedient man that has blessed presidents, the world and the body of Christ, what it really is (is) a behind-the-scenes disc about the multi-artist song of the same title (as well as the video). A bonus CD features the song. Now, that documentary idea would be awesome... [ Lamb & Lion ] DV

LOUIE GIGLIO – THE ESSENTIAL COLLECTION Sermons on DVD? Sounds like something a skeptic would call “fruitcake-ish,” but these five teaching DVDs are awesome, awe-inspiring, sometimes funny and fit ever-so-perfectly with the theme of giving worship and praise to our Creator – which is precisely the context where many of these talks took place (Chris Tomlin tours and Passion Conferences). Capturing these rich messages to share via this medium was smart and a blessing to us. [ sixstep/EMI ] Doug Van Pelt

LAST OUNCE OF COURAGE A father loses his son to war and dries up inside for many years, until his grandson reminds him at what price freedom comes. As mayor of his small town, he decides to change its reputation to “Christmas City.” All hell breaks loose. While not exceeding the quality of a “Hallmark Moment” television movie, the tension, drama, tragedy and joy do a heart good. [ Veritas ] DV

UNCONDITIONAL A wonderful movie out in theaters right now that shows another beautiful facet of the cut stone/jewel we call grace. The examples of unconditional love in action – especially towards children – also show characters getting outside of their pain and discovering joy in the journey. Very moving. [ Harbinger Media ] DV TAKE IT BACK – STAGE DIVE CITY Stage Dive City is the long-awaited DVD by Middle Coast Productions and Take It Back. This DVD is a mix of footage made up of the band’s last performance, interviews with the band and fans. They all talk about the band’s history, as well as final thoughts on their last show at the Solace Music Venue in Joplin, MO. There is also never-beforeseen tour footage. [ stagedivecity.com ] Rob Shameless

PEACE, LOVE AND MISUNDERSTANDING This fun-loving drama shows a victim of divorce forced to take her kids to her estranged mom – a hippie still living in Woodstock – and all the fun, cliches and conflict that ensue. [ IFC ] DV [ Cuss: 12 | Gore: 0 | Sex: 2.5 | Spiritual Conversations: 40 ]

ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS Offbeat comedy from Great Britain that takes some getting used to, following a time-honored formula of following a dysfunctional family through the rigors of so-called “daily life” and its many mishaps and complicated relationships. [ BBC ] DV

lence & how tuitous sex, vio e. s w/cussing, gra er viewing it with someon ne sce of er = numb on” aft itual conversati KEY to Ratings pir “s a rt sta be to easy it would


B O O K S & R A P H I C N O V EL S 45

LIFEstyle

books & graphic novels ESCAPING THE CAULDRON | KRISTINE MCGUIRE

Due to the outlandish claims of Rebecca Brown in her books, a new tome by a former witch arouses suspicion, but fortunately, McGuire is a smart, grounded and balanced writer that doesn’t espouse cancelling Halloween or freaking out over the Harry Potter or Twilight phenomena. She does stand on Scripture and addresses witchcraft, Wicca and other occult practices in both telling her story and short little chapters on various related subjects. [ Charisma House ]

MULTIPLY | FRANCIS CHAN

Watching this dude preach is cool, because he calmly and eloquently covers essential doctrines and topics. The author of Crazy Love here takes on the subject of discipleship and how the kingdom of God grows within us and through us. Expect practical, simple yet challenging guidelines to see this as a reality and “turn the world upside-down.” [ David C. Cook ]

COLD-CASE CHRISTIANITY | J. WARNER WALLACE

ROUGH JUSTICE | ALEX ROSS

This big book showcases the brilliant work of Alex Ross, who has illustrated tons of DC characters in photo-realistic paintings. He breaks out his sketches and rough drawings, offering insight into the process. Extra reasons to pick this up would include the deleted scenes and alternate panels for the Kingdom Come saga along with his proposals for revamping characters like Batgirl, Captain Marvel and an imagined son of Batman named Batboy. [ Pantheon ]

In the spirit of Lee Strobel (The Case for Christ), who wrote the foreword here, J. Warner Wallace has written Cold-Case Christianity. Cold Case Detectives investigate specific types of criminal events: 1. Events that occurred in the distant past 2. For which there are typically no living eyewitnesses 3. And little or no direct physical evidence These cases are made by examining the nature of circumstantial evidence and assembling a convincing, cumulative circumstantial case. The claims of the New Testament Gospels can be similarly investigated: 1. The gospels record events that occurred in the distant past 2. For which there are no living eyewitnesses 3. And no direct physical evidence The tools used by Cold Case Investigators can be applied to the New Testament gospels to determine if the facts they represent are a true record of the life of Jesus. It’s about time! Author Jim Wallace was an atheist for the first 35 years of his life and his skepticism offers a nice approach that adds to the material. This releases in January, so you’ll have to wait awhile before you can dig in. [ David C. Cook ]

THE LEGACY | FORREST RAWLS & COREY CLOVER THE TERRIBLE SPEED OF MERCY | JONATHAN ROGERS

Flannery O’Connor has influenced more writers and English majors than I can count. Thus this biography that delves into the legendary writer’s spirituality will unlock much of the grace and light found juxtaposed in her dark and terrifying stories. [ Thomas Nelson ]

A warrior that depends upon the real-time power of Christ takes on the demonic and evil in this comic book. The debut issue drops this month. The storyline thus far is tragic and the illustrations by Corey Clover are detailed and epic. [ White Shadow ]


46 C O LU M N S

WITH KEMPER CRABB Concerning “Jesus is My Girlfriend” Songs: Observations on the Imbalances of Today’s Worship (Part the Sixth) We’ve seen in this series that contemporary worship music has become dominated by songs modeled on romantic, experiential, subjective musical expressions. We’ve further seen that, though such songs are a legitimate stream of Biblical worship expression, they have been historical and Biblical worship models (such as the Psalms or the Book of Revelation) held in balance with objective, doctrinal song content. We then began to investigate how and why such an imbalance has occurred in arriving at such an experiential overemphasis. We began by seeing that the deep alienation between God and mankind engendered by the Fall leads men to see the world dualistically, as split between the “pure” spiritual realm and the flawed and imperfect physical world, a view which is a result of the simultaneous and inescapable knowledge that men have rebelled against their Holy Creator while they attempt to suppress that inescapable knowledge (Romans 1:18-32). This split was institutionalized in Platonic thought, which hugely influenced monastic thought, which shaped to a certain extent the way the Medievals viewed Reality, and, with the infusion of rediscovered dualistic Aristotelianism, resulted in a Late Medieval and Renaissance perspective which located emotion and instinct in a “religious” zone, while reason and normative life were seen as belonging to the “secular” sphere. The Reformation was partially a reaction against that dualistic view, but when German Lutheranism became dead in its orthodoxy, an experiential reactionary movement called Pietism arose, which resurrected a dualistic perspective, and emphasized spiritual experience over intellectual and doctrinal knowledge of God, which they associated with the inferior “lower-level” secular realm. Pietism hugely influenced the Great Awakening (especially the Second Awakening), and all subsequent Evangelicalism.

highest expression of spirituality: as its goal and evidence. The revivalist perspective was so strong amongst most Evangelicals that the very shape of the worship services of their services was altered, as the goal of those services changed from the primary worship of God and the Biblical instruction of, and administration of the sacraments to Christians into services which, though they continued to teach the Word and worship God (and even, on occasion, to administer the sacraments), altered their aim from the edification of the saints and giving God glory to seeking converts from among the unsaved. The historic and Biblical worship of the Church was changed into revival services whose goal became the conversion of the lost, whose salvation was demonstrated by the emotional response of the converts. This change in the goal of Evangelical worship resulted in a change in the function of the music utilized in the services. Although the hymns (many of which were originally conceived and written to be used in revival services) still ostensibly praised God, they did so as part of a larger effort to elicit conversion and/or to evoke the emotional experience associated with conversion. This reorientation in goal recast the orientation of the new music of the Evangelicals from a largely objective perspective toward a largely subjective one, from telling and celebrating the Triune God Incarnate in Jesus for Who He is and What He has done for us all to primarily celebrating and telling God What He has done for me personally. Now, as I’ve noted before, there was always a subjective strain in the worship of the Church, but prior to this, that strain was held in balance with two other emphases (a Trinitarian balance) which we’ll investigate in the next article in this series, Lord willing. [kempercrabb.net]

The revivalism (eventually organized into a “methodology” to elicit an emotional “spiritual” response in revival attendees) shaped Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Congregationalist and virtually all subsequent Evangelical thought, so that a view was institutionalized which saw emotional experience as the


C O LU M N S 47

Devotions with Greg Tucker

We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all – all but the sin. –Hebrews 4:15 The first night was a Sunday. As I prepared to spread my sleeping bag over the cold, hard sidewalk across from a local park, I was greeted by a massive cockroach. “Welcome to my world,” I imagined him saying, and as the sun went down, so did my spirits. I never dreamed I would be homeless. In the well-defined world of haves and have-nots, I’d always been the former – roof over my head, cash in my pocket, and a calendar full of meetings with important people. Yet today my roof had been replaced with the open sky, cash came in the form of coins others had dropped, and the only person deemed “important” to me was the man who delivered homemade burritos out of his car. He brought his 10-year-old son to help, and as I took the food I wondered what that boy thought of me, the filthy homeless man. Too filled with shame to make eye contact, I looked at the ground and accepted his gift with a quiet, “thank you.” Sunday evening was hardest. In addition to being needy for the first time in my life, I was alone in a world where numbers equals safety. My town had seen a rash of murders among the homeless community – a nagging thought – and scattered around me were individuals modeling the effects of the cheap Vodka. There were sleepy drunks and friendly drunks, but the two men I kept my eye on were mean, violent drunks. By 2:30 I was back awake, walking the streets in a daze. Scanning for money, I found $1.30 and an old leather belt. On Monday a group invited me to their area on the grass, and they patiently taught me the ropes of my new life. One person provided a trash bag to protect my sparse belongings from the morning dew. Another tutored me on the science of flying, their name for presenting a hand-drawn sign at the top of a freeway exit, silently requesting cash. (They use both sides of the cardboard. “Homeless

Devotions with Greg Tucker

and Hungry” works for the going-to-work crowd, while flipping it over to show “I just want a beer” makes money at 5pm.) I learned where to find drugs, which businesses to avoid, and how to stay dry when it rains. I discovered on my own that park toilets are open during the day, but when I inquired about restrooms for after-hours use, they laughed. “You’re standing in them!” Finally I had friends. The more I got to know these dozen or so people, individuals I would have looked beyond in my other life, I was struck by how valuable each one was. I listened to their stories, saw their respect for one another, and experienced firsthand how challenging each day is. Living on the street is a tough existence, and it’s a near impossible cycle to break out of. In my group, most were homeless because life had dealt them a bad hand. Kenneth had cancer without insurance; Jeff earned good money in offshore drilling before a car accident robbed him of his mind and future; Betty walked away from pure luxury. Her husband had hit the lottery – quarter of a million dollars, she says — but that man abused her viciously, and all Betty knew to do was leave. On Wednesday morning, I quietly rolled up my bag and slipped away as the others continued to fight for sleep. I departed with my secret intact. Before long I had returned home, showered, eaten, and spent time in serious discussion with God. What had been an experiment for me is everyday existence for my new friends, and stepping into their world changed me irrevocably. They still exist at that park, so now my challenge is to live like a changed man. For their sake, …to God’s glory. Gregory Tucker is president of Tucker Signature Films in Beverly Hills, and pastor of HopeCCA. You can hear him online at HopeSermons.com.


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C O LU M N S 49

VOL . 11 – J UST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE M Y AGE

A side effect of nostalgia is that everyone thinks their childhood was the best. “Where are all the good cartoons these days? What happened to quality animation like Rugrats or Doug or, um, Muppet Babies that I grew up on?” Radio gets it equally bad. It was a more exciting time to be a music fan in the ‘90s, when guitars were still present versus today’s programmed dominance. It’s a constant battle of my disposable pop music is better than today’s disposable pop music. So besides the obvious implication that entertainment made for children is more enjoyable when you are a child, or that lyrically shallow pop songs about love and heartbreak are more meaningful when you are young and full of unrealistic impressions of love and heartbreak … I truly, actually, objectively believe that my childhood was better than the generation’s to follow. This is at the risk of sounding naive and, more realistically, old. But I was born before every middle class household had one stock computer (much less every child with a laptop, apparently some provision of the New New Deal). It was around elementary for me when you couldn’t go a day without receiving an America Online disk in the mail, a shiny new portal to browse websites and receive messages, instantly, through a modem connection. This was the advent of the internet. Growing up without the main culprit, Facebook, spared me the embarrassment of posting my deep and emotional thoughts to a public forum. By the time I got a Livejournal, I was a freshmen in college, so even though I would post starkly shallow song lyrics below my societalaccepted maturity level, it was exclusively for the 12 people that I was seeking attention from (who, incidentally, were all in my immediate proximity of college campus). I deleted my account rather than sifting out every post about a certain person after a certain break-up, so even if it is relegated to some back corner internet archive, at least they never rolled out a timeline feature. No, I had embarrassing thoughts. I wrote vulnerable pop-punk songs and have notebooks filled of trite, largely plagiarized confessionals. Those notebooks are like keeping a live grenade from your favorite tour of duty; I could never part with them for sentimental reasons, but their earthly existence bears the risk of discovery and injury to me and the person I am leaping to disarm. 8th grade gave us those giant graphing calculators. They were larger than the original grey-block game boy, and it didn’t take long for the functionality to be abused. I was essentially using it as a cellular notepad storage-equivalent, with zero connectivity. I’d sit in class and, using the numbered keypad, type out the entire lyrics to the Switchfoot song “Chem 6A”. This was my status update. I loved the guitar riff. I loved the melody. When I wasn’t humming it perfectly, I was exercising the lyrics inside a rectangular brick for no one to see but me. The calculator didn’t even have a notepad function; I had to create a program and then type within the lines of coding. It served zero technical functions, but somehow I knew the calculator could inherit the sense of lazinesschampioning that so endeared me.

“Nothing but a chemical in my head/Nothing but laziness/Cause I don’t wanna read the book/I’ll watch the movie.” I would sit in class, shirking the responsibility of attuned ears, my only dedication to this slacker manifesto. “I’m just like everybody else my age. That’s right,” I would think, “I’m not troubled, or any worse.” It was cool to be the underachiever in the Bart Simpson culture, and I think the greatest irony might be the complexity contained within the song itself. The bass-line blubs and gurgles around the infectious guitar riff as the syncopation in the deceptively loose drums betray their rocksteadiness. This is, after all, supposed to be slacker rock, made by genuine San Diego surfers … guys who didn’t get haircuts and wasted days at the beach. Somehow, the one-dimensional songs I remembered blasting from the stereo (I swear it was the only album my brother owned for a year straight) have taken on genre-bending qualities on current retreads. A horn section? Orchestration on that acoustic number? Organ solo? Twinkling keys? I remembered Switchfoot as a surf-ish power-pop band that seemed to lose my interest as their star rose and Mandy Moore caught on. Spinning their debut Legend of Chin shows more. As much as I hate describing music as mature, it featured influences (jazz, singer-songwriter) even tempos that weren’t straight angst energy. And while the gorgeous backing strings under the acoustic-styling of a song like “Home” doesn’t instantly qualify it as “mature” (though the production and arrangement on these numbers certainly contributes) its insight like the following lyric certainly does: “I’ve been poison/ I’ve been rain/I’ve been fooled again /I’ve seen ashes/Shine like chrome/Someday I’ll see home.” I haven’t followed Switchfoot’s career for a while now, and not from some rejection of mainstream approximation. I actually smile when I see their current relevance, for either market. I will say that their last album I’ve paid attention to, The Beautiful Letdown ... well, the title says it all. It seems a little more obvious than Chin. Jon’s songwriting entered this stage of extra-personal cultural diatribes, you know – the grand strokes against busy, media-driven lives and living life in a grand sense. The introspection, the bedroom honesty, and those exciting flashes of youthful exuberance seem to be replaced by someone all too confident in broad songwriting to stumble into my interest again. The message is good, don’t get me wrong – it’s just a little too “grab life” in a Hallmark sense (at least when I stopped checking in). I’m glad that my formative years were spent away from the internet. You know, I really did have a better childhood than kids these days. Kids these days... My thoughts were kept to pen and paper and graphing calculators. I’m sure it wouldn’t be hard to embarrass me with an undercooked internet post ... but I’d hate to think if my pubescent impulses collided with the immediacy of social media (and trust me, my complexion was not worthy of YouTube), but I know if I stuck to Switchfoot lyrics, I wouldn’t be too far back. After all, I’d just be like everyone else my age.

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#93 : SACRED WARRIOR | ULTIMATUM


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TABLE OF CONTENTS

SACRED WARRIOR'S NEW MUSIC JUST KILLS ... CAN'T WAIT 'TIL CHRISTMAS! Ever get excited about new music? It happens to us, too. If you haven't taken a peek at that Sacred Warrior video yet, go do it now – ( sacredwarrior.net ). There's a new Deliverance and a new Recon album on the horizon, too. I'm dreaming of a White Metal Christmas, how 'bout you? To make things more metal and run smoother and more streamlined (and I just feel the urge to blurt out "Steelheart" right now ... call it a non-profane form of Terret's Syndrome, or chalk it up to how silly us Heaven's Metal staffers get around each other), we have promoted Chris Gatto to Managing Editor of the Heaven's Metal section. If you don't like some band we cover or a decision we make, go ahead and blame me (even though it'll be Gatto's fault). We've also added heavy metal vocal shredder Scott Waters to the Heaven's Metal Karew, too. If this doesn't improve our coverage, I don't know what will. Turn it up.

Doug Van Pelt

Sacred Warrior 54 H E AV EN ' S M E TA L

HEAVEN'S METAL FANZINE OCTOBER 2012 [#93]

ALIVE AND KICKIN'

AN INTERVIEW WITH NEW VOCALIST ELI PRINSEN BY DALE HUFFMAN

Dale Huffman from Metal Pulse Radio: I know we just interviewed you back in March concerning your band The Sacrificed, but a lot has happened since then. It is all over the net that you have agreed to the lead singer position for Sacred Warrior so I have a few questions for you my friend. How did the band approach you to be their new lead vocalist? What was your reaction? Eli: Actually, I approached them! I saw the resignation letter that Rey had posted on their Facebook page and then, shortly after that, I saw that they were holding auditions for a new vocalist. I actually had people sending me emails and Facebook messages, asking me to audition. So, I sent them a couple of video links from some stuff I had on YouTube, like that old DragonForce audition I did, as well as a few songs from The Sacrificed. A few days later, I was contacted by Steve Watkins, (bass player / Executive Producer) and he sent me two audition tracks as well as the expectations and requirements to even be considered to be a part of Sacred Warrior. After recording the two audition tracks and one of their classic songs, they contacted me and offered me the position, which I humbly accepted. Have you talked to Rey Parra about your part as the new lead vocalist? ( if so what was his reaction?) Rey and I became friends back in 2009 during the recording of The Sacrificed’s 2012 album. Rey was originally going to record some guest vocals on the album, but it didn’t pan out. A lot happened in that time period, including the passing of Rick Macias, and Rey simply didn’t have the time, so I ended up tracking the vocals for that track ("Saved") myself.

Christmas release. I know you probably get asked this a lot but will The Sacrificed continue to be together since you joined Sacred Warrior? Yes, I do get asked this quite a bit. I am giving my full attention to the writing and recording process with Sacred Warrior right now. I have committed myself to this band and ministry.

THE METALLIC TABLE OF ELEMENTS

Michael Phillips (The Sacrificed guitars) has also formed a new band, Join The Dead. We know that it may be difficult to continue, but we are still going to do our best to make it happen for the fans, and for the glory of our Lord. You’ll probably see the 4th installment from The Sacrificed, late 2013. I didn't mean to bombard you with a lot of hard question, Bro. Did you have anything else to add to this interview? Just a quick thank you to all of the fans who have supported me with both The Sacrificed and Sacred Warrior. I prayed for God’s will to be done concerning joining Sacred Warrior, and I was nervous about the reaction the band would get after they released something with a new singer, but the fans have been totally cool and welcoming. I feel so blessed to be a part of this, so I would also like to close by saying: "Thank you Father."

Tune Into Untombed Radio For "Metal Pulse Radio with Dale" on Thursday at 7pm (EST) http://untombed.com

Rey is an awesome guy, a true man of God, and an extremely gifted vocalist. He’s one of the reasons I started singing, and is one of my top vocal heroes. Rey conveyed to me his approval and also, the responsibilities I will take on with the utmost seriousness. I took his advice to heart, and will do my absolute best in all areas to carry on as the new vocalist. I saw the first music video you put out, it sounded great. How does the process work on recording since you both live in different states. The music tracks are recorded in Aurora, IL, and I am tracking the vocals here in Florida. Do you have a name and release date for the new album? The name of the CD is Waiting In Darkness. We are shooting for a

54 SACRED WARRIOR Metal Pulse Radio's Dale Huffman gets up close and 56 H E AV EN ' S M E TA L

ULTIMATUM UL ULTIMAT ULT LTIM LTI TIIMAT TIMA TI MAT MA MAT ATUM

personal w/ Sacred Warrior's new front man and he's not afraid to ask about Rey.

20 YEARS YE EARS OF METAL, META TAL, D BY D

DALE D ALLE FR FROM METAL MET ETAL ETA TA PULSE TAL PULLSE LS R RADIO ADIO O HA HAD D A CHANCE TO O SPEAK SP SPEAK EA A WITH AK WIITH S SCOTT COT COTT TT W TT WATERS AT RS ATERS AT FRO FROM ROM U ULTIMATUM LTIMATUM LT TIMAT MA ATTUM AT U TO DISCUSS DISCUSS SCUSS THE BAND’S B BA BAN AND D’S S 20 20T 20TH 0TH ANNIVERSARY 0T ANNIV VERS SARY SA RY AN AND AND THEIR THEIR LA LLATEST LATES AT ATEST ATE ST HAPPENINGS. HAPP HA PPENINGS ENINGS S. Dale: How are you doing Scott? Scott: Doing great! Thanks for asking. What did you do with your year and a half sabbatical? During that year off, Alan was healing from surgery on his elbow. Robert hooked up with his ex-Angelic Force singer and formed Blue Ruin. They are still performing. My wife and I moved in with my mother-in-law for several months to help take care of her. She was diagnosed with ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. That time was rough on my whole family, but I'd do it all again in a heartbeat. She was wonderful lady and it was worth the time we spent with her. Despite the hard work and tears, there was also plenty of laughter and good times. Congratulations to you and the band on your 20th Anniversary! I see you have put out a new box set to celebrate. Who came up with the idea of releasing a box set? It was a joint effort between myself and Bill Bafford at Roxx Productions. It originally started out as a new EP, but then the idea came for a 20th Anniversary release with new songs and old songs. Then Bill wanted to do something really special, so he came up with the idea for the box set. After that, we threw around ideas as to what should be in the box. We finally pegged it down. What comes in the new box set? Three CDs; the remastered and expanded version of Puppet of Destruction, a CD of studio outtakes and demos that the band recorded before Into the Pit. That CD will have the entire track listing from Into the Pitt in alternative mixes, demos and production tracks. There’s also a ton of bonus tracks on it with more alternative mixes and production tracks. The new CD, Heart of Metal – 20 Years of Ultimatum, will be packed full of remastered songs from the band’s

past and four new songs. The new CD will have a 16-page insert with tons of photos of the band and quotes from friends and fans of the band. There will also be a DVD that is to include two full live shows that were recorded in California and the official Heart of Metal video clip. The box itself is all black with white lettering and a silver foil embossed Ultimatum logo. The extras include four autographed photographs, a signature Robert Guiterrez guitar pick, a Heart of Metall stitched patch and a sticker of the CD artwork. It’s a very nice collection and limited to only 100 hand-numbered copies. There’s been some controversy over the new cover art. What’s your take on it? Well, the whole concept was my idea. I had originally wanted Rex Zachary to do the illustration. Rex had done the Into the Pitt cover. However, Rex didn’t have the time, so Roxx suggested a different artist. Originally, the illustration was to be a musclebound metalhead with a metal heart in his hand. It ended up being a caricature of myself in my stage garb ripping out my own metal heart and offering it to the audience. It’s suppose to have a comic book feel. I really like it. It has created some strong feelings. People either love it or hate it. I suppose that’s a good thing. It gets people talking and people notice it. The cover was drawn by artist Dave Besanson. Let’s turn our attention to 20 years as a Christian Metal band. What changes have you seen in the Christian Metal scene in the past 20yrs; Good or bad? It’s become less of an exclusive scene. Back in the '80s, Christian metal was almost like this exclusive club and there was this huge gap between "secular" and "Christian" bands. Christian bands on Christian labels playing to a room full of Christians at a church. That’s never the way it should have been. While it’s important to uplift and edify other believers, we are also to "go into the world

56 ULTIMATUM Dale Huffman does his interview thang with a longtime veteran, Scott Waters, who is immortalized on the band's new 20th Anniversary boxset cover artwork. Look for more work from Scott in these pages soon...

Saint: A BEACON

58 H E AV EN ' S M E TA L

58 SAINT Chris Gatto gets up in Richard Lynch's grill, tackling lawsuit rumors, album artwork, politics and even pulls out a tin-foil hat confession. Read on as Rich touches on Saint's best album yet – Desperate Night. 62 ALBUM REVIEWS A couple new ones and some classics

62 A L B U M R E V I E W S

ALBUM REVIEWS ANTIDEMON APOCALYPSENOW Much like the King they follow, it seems that Antidemon's fourth release is intent on destroying the works of the devil. This album is a heavy churning maelstrom of old school death metal. Think groovy and heavy, this is not brutal tech death. They still sound like themselves, its just honed and sharpened with a fresh fire and better production to boot! The lyrics are included in both Portuguese and English, so you can get the gist of what is going on. Despite the fact that this has such an old school vibe, I really am digging this and have played it numerous times. My main thought is that – despite it running around 45 minutes in length – it simply is not long enough. [Rowe Productions] Michael Larson

SOUL EMBRACED DEAD ALIVE Rocky Gray and company return with Dead Alive, the first full-length album from Soul Embraced in five years. Despite the somewhat lengthy spans of time between albums, Soul Embraced pick up right where they left off. After a tranquil introduction consisting of a piano and acoustic guitar, the brutality kicks in and sounds oh-so-familiar. This is both good and bad; fans of the band will almost assuredly enjoy Dead Alive, yet one could arguably expect further progression or refinement of the music of Soul Embraced. Breaking the music down further reveals songs that are more lead guitar-rich, along with a heavier emphasis on the modern death and thrash metal sound of bands like Arch Enemy. Standout tracks include “Breaking Point” and “A Curtain of Deceit.” This album definitely won’t disappoint. [Solid State] Chris Beck

DEMON HUNTER STORM THE GATES OF HELL Being HM Magazine’s requisite Demon Hunter album reviewer, I’m always stoked when the band releases a new album. That same excitement welled up in me just before spinning their recent offering, Storm The Gates Of Hell. Surprisingly, this is the first Demon Hunter album that wasn’t immediate for me. You know, the ones that grab you from the beginning, and you just know that the entire disc is going to be killer. All that being said, this is still a solid fourth outing. Opening with the fast, furious, and frantic title track, drummer Yogi displays his speedy chops throughout. The breakdown at the end is a definite standout, reminiscent of Lamb Of God. Lead single “Fading Away” features keyboards, something that is becoming very common in today’s rock and heavy metal. Ryan Clark’s melodic vocals shine here. Guitarists Don Clark and Ethan Luck exhibit their start-stop technicality on “A Thread Of Light,” and Jon Dunn (bass) holds down the bottom end the way it should be. The standout for me is “Sixteen.” Against a backdrop of rich orchestration, the song unfolds and builds into an astonishing pre-chorus featuring former Living Sacrifice vocalist Bruce Fitzhugh. And I’ve got to say, it sure is nice to hear his distinct scream again. Once more produced by Aaron Sprinkle (Anberlin, The Almost) and mixed by Machine (Lamb Of God, Clutch), the production is some of the cleanest and slickest you’ll find anywhere in the metal realm. Lyrically, Clark uses his usual metaphors to convey the band’s message. “Thorns” addresses cutting, a very real and growing concern among today’s society. “Carry Me Down” is a plea to family and friends not to grieve for a deceased loved one whose salvation is secure, while “I Am You” brings the band and their fans together in our plight against the things of this world. Storm The Gates Of Hell? To that I say, “Go get ‘em!” [Solid State] Chad Olson

TOURNIQUET ANTISEPTIC BLOODBATH The latest release from technical speed masters Tourniquet is upon us. Entitled Antiseptic Bloodbath, it features just about everything you could want from a Tourniquet release: speedy technical riffage, classical instruments that are arranged to flow seamlessly into the titanic metal riffage, in depth lyrical content and superior musicianship. This metal offering hits full speed on such tracks as "Lost Language of the Andamans" (don’t let the intro fool you), "Flowering Cadaver" and the full-tilt title track. "86 Bullets" has a great riff that grabs you and forces the head to start bobbing back in forth, all the while retelling the tragic story of a circus elephant, named Tyke, who had to be shot after escaping. "Fed by Ravens, Eaten by Crows" (with spoken narration by Bob Beeman); "The Maiden Who Slept in a Glass Coffin," along with the aforementioned "Lost Language" benefit from hauntingly arranged strings. The almost sorrowful melodies seem to be a musical overture destined to grab one by the collar and demand a quick rewind to just hear what is being played. A string of guest stars on the guitar are planted throughout, Marty Friedman, Pat Travers, Bruce Franklin (Trouble), Karl Sanders (Nile), Santiago Dobles (Aghora). To hear Pat Travers play on a Tourniquet album is quite a moment. Never fear, though, as Aaron Guerra shines throughout – the man has tone! Luke Easter provides a stellar vocal performance and Ted Kirkpatrick shows why he is one of the top drummers in metal. Produced by Neil Kernon, who has a very long and distinguished resume in the recording world (everything from Hall & Oats to Cannibal Corpse!), Antiseptic Bloodbath is a tightly produced and meticulously executed. The instruments are given a change to breathe while not losing their place in the mix, and that driving guitar tone just kicks one up the backside. Fans of Cynic and the like will what to give this release serious attention. Antiseptic Bloodbath is high quality metal that forces one to examine their role in this life, while taking the listener on a dramatic journey of metal bliss. Don’t miss this one, bang thy head with joy! [Pathogenic] Keven Crothers

(Antidemon; Tourniquet; Demon Hunter; Soul Embraced). 65 COLUMN Steve Rowe sounds off.

A couple blast-from-the-past reviews from Chad Olson & Chris Beck. Surf this: antidemon.net, solidstaterecords.com, tourniquet.net

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THROWING DOWN THE GAUNTLET By Steve Rowe

THAT'S TOTAL EVIL! In Wonrowe Vision we are currently in the process of Recording the fan fav song, "That's Total Evil," as well as a new studio version of "Pictures," which is a classic 1986 Lightforce song. "That's Total Evil" is my reflection on situations that effect me very badly that most may not even see as being evil. Primarily it is about the evil of Internet music theft that is killing music art and, to my horror, is even seen as okay for "Christians??" I guess that Christians who steal have not read 1 Corinthians 6:10 – Thieves shall not inherit the kingdom of God! Time to repent, people, and go and sin no more! Even past Mortification members steal music from the Net!!?? As a Bible-believing Christian, I follow 1 Corinthians 5:11, which states that I should not even associate with a "brother" who cheats others! People: You are not just killing music art; but, most importantly, Gospel music art! Secondly, the song deals with small-time local bands ripping off other small-time local bands!? We all understand how difficult it is to score a local gig, and some bands set up shows with the deliberate intent of ripping off their fellow local metal brothers? Which means they are no metal brothers at all! Many of us jump on the opportunity to play local gigs to get the opportunity to perform in a scene, trying to compete with major metal and heavy rock bands travelling through every week! Only to arrive at the end of the night and no one gets paid, except the headline nobody posers! That is just pure evil to rip off others who are battling on in metal with the rest of the diehards! Lastly, the song deals with the increasing evil of Christians with physical disabilities being emotionally and spiritually abused by other "Christians?" I was at a Deep Purple concert about four Years ago. 6,000 people in a huge hall here... I was with my closest friend Rob, who is not a Christian, but a tremendous man of long-time friendship. When I was the bassist in my band Lightforce in the late '80s Rob was the bassist in his band, Rapier. Part of the reason Rob quit performing 20 Years ago was because of other local bands and promoters ripping him off. Anyway, we had just enjoyed a great show, singing along to classic Deep Purple songs and were walking out. I had been sitting for hours and so, with Paraplegia, it took me a while to get going. I was walking with my cane in my right hand and using a rail to my left to get up and walking. So, I was walking along laughing and smiling with Rob and this dude is leaning on the rail blocking my path and looking at me rudely? He made me walk around him. As I was passing, he said, "You need to throw away that cane and go and follow God!" That's total evil! There have been a number of instances in different churches with people saying to me: "Why have you not received your healing? Do you have no faith?" These stupid people are lucky I am a pacifist, or I might enact Proverbs 30:33 – As the churning of milk brings forth butter, so the twisting of the nose brings forth blood! But I cannot do this – even though such action is deserving! The Scripture trails off: "...but the forcing of wrath brings forth strife…" And so we must love our enemies and Bless those who despitefully use us! This is a tough call, but the only response that I have! I am just stating facts here and not wanting revenge. "Vengeance is mine," saith the Lord, "I will repay!" Blessings To All!

Heaven's Metal Editorial Team: Chris Beck, Keven Crothers, Chris Gatto, Mark Blair Glunt, Loyd Harp, Johannes Jonsson, Mike Larson, Jeff McCormack, Steve Rowe, Jonathan Swank, Doug Van Pelt, Todd Walker myspace.com/heavensmetalmagazine 1-year subscriptions (12 issues): $12 (Everywhere, man) Advertising/Editorial Info: editor@hmmag.com | 512.989.7309 POB 4626, Lago Vista TX 78645 Copyright © 2012 Heaven’s Metal (TM). All rights reserved.

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Sacred Warrior 54 H E AV EN ' S M E TA L

ALIVE AND KICKIN'

AN INTERVIEW WITH NEW VOCALIST ELI PRINSEN BY DALE HUFFMAN

Dale Huffman from Metal Pulse Radio: I know we just interviewed you back in March concerning your band The Sacrificed, but a lot has happened since then. It is all over the net that you have agreed to the lead singer position for Sacred Warrior so I have a few questions for you my friend. How did the band approach you to be their new lead vocalist? What was your reaction? Eli: Actually, I approached them! I saw the resignation letter that Rey had posted on their Facebook page and then, shortly after that, I saw that they were holding auditions for a new vocalist. I actually had people sending me emails and Facebook messages, asking me to audition. So, I sent them a couple of video links from some stuff I had on YouTube, like that old DragonForce audition I did, as well as a few songs from The Sacrificed. A few days later, I was contacted by Steve Watkins, (bass player / Executive Producer) and he sent me two audition tracks as well as the expectations and requirements to even be considered to be a part of Sacred Warrior. After recording the two audition tracks and one of their classic songs, they contacted me and offered me the position, which I humbly accepted. Have you talked to Rey Parra about your part as the new lead vocalist? ( if so what was his reaction?) Rey and I became friends back in 2009 during the recording of The Sacrificed’s 2012 album. Rey was originally going to record some guest vocals on the album, but it didn’t pan out. A lot happened in that time period, including the passing of Rick Macias, and Rey simply didn’t have the time, so I ended up tracking the vocals for that track ("Saved") myself. Rey is an awesome guy, a true man of God, and an extremely gifted vocalist. He’s one of the reasons I started singing, and is one of my top vocal heroes. Rey conveyed to me his approval and also, the responsibilities I will take on with the utmost seriousness. I took his advice to heart, and will do my absolute best in all areas to carry on as the new vocalist. I saw the first music video you put out, it sounded great. How does the process work on recording since you both live in different states. The music tracks are recorded in Aurora, IL, and I am tracking the vocals here in Florida. Do you have a name and release date for the new album? The name of the CD is Waiting In Darkness. We are shooting for a

Christmas release. I know you probably get asked this a lot but will The Sacrificed continue to be together since you joined Sacred Warrior? Yes, I do get asked this quite a bit. I am giving my full attention to the writing and recording process with Sacred Warrior right now. I have committed myself to this band and ministry. Michael Phillips (The Sacrificed guitars) has also formed a new band, Join The Dead. We know that it may be difficult to continue, but we are still going to do our best to make it happen for the fans, and for the glory of our Lord. You’ll probably see the 4th installment from The Sacrificed, late 2013. I didn't mean to bombard you with a lot of hard question, Bro. Did you have anything else to add to this interview? Just a quick thank you to all of the fans who have supported me with both The Sacrificed and Sacred Warrior. I prayed for God’s will to be done concerning joining Sacred Warrior, and I was nervous about the reaction the band would get after they released something with a new singer, but the fans have been totally cool and welcoming. I feel so blessed to be a part of this, so I would also like to close by saying: "Thank you Father."

Tune Into Untombed Radio For "Metal Pulse Radio with Dale" on Thursday at 7pm (EST) http://untombed.com


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56 H E AV EN ' S M E TA L

ULTIMATUM

20 YEARS OF METAL, D

BY DA

DALE FROM METAL PULSE RADIO HAD A CHANCE TO SPEAK WITH SCOTT WATERS FROM ULTIMATUM TO DISCUSS THE BAND’S 20TH ANNIVERSARY AND THEIR LATEST HAPPENINGS. Dale: How are you doing Scott? Scott: Doing great! Thanks for asking. What did you do with your year and a half sabbatical? During that year off, Alan was healing from surgery on his elbow. Robert hooked up with his ex-Angelic Force singer and formed Blue Ruin. They are still performing. My wife and I moved in with my mother-in-law for several months to help take care of her. She was diagnosed with ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. That time was rough on my whole family, but I'd do it all again in a heartbeat. She was a wonderful lady and it was worth the time we spent with her. Despite the hard work and tears, there was also plenty of laughter and good times. Congratulations to you and the band on your 20th Anniversary! I see you have put out a new box set to celebrate. Who came up with the idea of releasing a box set? It was a joint effort between myself and Bill Bafford at Roxx Productions. It originally started out as a new EP, but then the idea came for a 20th Anniversary release with new songs and old songs. Then Bill wanted to do something really special, so he came up with the idea for the box set. After that, we threw around ideas as to what should be in the box. We finally pegged it down. What comes in the new box set? Three CDs; the remastered and expanded version of Puppet of Destruction, a CD of studio outtakes and demos that the band recorded before Into the Pit. That CD will have the entire track listing from Into the Pit in alternative mixes, demos and production tracks. There’s also a ton of bonus tracks on it with more alternative mixes and production tracks. The new CD, Heart of Metal – 20 Years of Ultimatum, will be packed full of remastered songs from the band’s

past and four new songs. The new CD will have a 16-page insert with tons of photos of the band and quotes from friends and fans of the band. There will also be a DVD that is to include two full live shows that were recorded in California and the official Heart of Metal video clip. The box itself is all black with white lettering and a silver foil embossed Ultimatum logo. The extras include four autographed photographs, a signature Robert Guiterrez guitar pick, a Heart of Metal stitched patch and a sticker of the CD artwork. It’s a very nice collection and limited to only 100 hand-numbered copies. There’s been some controversy over the new cover art. What’s your take on it? Well, the whole concept was my idea. I had originally wanted Rex Zachary to do the illustration. Rex had done the Into the Pit cover. However, Rex didn’t have the time, so Roxx suggested a different artist. Originally, the illustration was to be a musclebound metalhead with a metal heart in his hand. It ended up being a caricature of myself in my stage garb ripping out my own metal heart and offering it to the audience. It’s suppose to have a comic book feel. I really like it. It has created some strong feelings. People either love it or hate it. I suppose that’s a good thing. It gets people talking and people notice it. The cover was drawn by artist Dave Besanson. Let’s turn our attention to 20 years as a Christian Metal band. What changes have you seen in the Christian Metal scene in the past 20yrs; Good or bad? It’s become less of an exclusive scene. Back in the '80s, Christian metal was almost like this exclusive club and there was this huge gap between "secular" and "Christian" bands. Christian bands on Christian labels playing to a room full of Christians at a church. That’s never the way it should have been. While it’s important to uplift and edify other believers, we are also to "go into the world


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DUDE

DALE HUFFMAN

ULTIMATUM 57

and preach the good news." You see many bands today with a Christian message now doing tours with other bands, playing in the clubs, being a witness with their life, reaching out to a hurting world or just being a positive influence in a scene plagued with negativity. Ultimatum has always been a heavy metal band. We are Christians and our lyrics reflect that. However, we are not in some separate genre from other heavy metal bands that sing about other topics. We have shared the stage with all sorts of bands who have any number of differing beliefs. That’s the way it should be. We are to be an example to others, not hide in our Christian bubbles. When Ultimatum would play clubs, we would often help other bands set up and break down their gear. That’s being a servant, rather than being a snob. People don’t care what you know, until they see that you are a sincere person who truly believes what you are preaching. It’s about serving others and pleasing the Father, not about being a part of some exclusive scene. As well, it’s nice seeing Christian bands that sing about other things than just "turn or burn" and "rock, rock for the Rock." There’s nothing wrong with those lyrics, but God has given us so many great things to sing about. There’s nothing wrong with writing a song about relationships, social issues, emotions, nature or whatever. In our case, because I write most of the lyrics and I am a Christian, even when I write about topics outside of the Bible, my faith is still seen in the lyrics. On the new CD coming out in October, there is a song call "Blood on 1000 Hills." It’s about the Rwandan Genocides in 1994 in which some 800,000 people in the East African were slaughtered. I read a story about a church whose members were gunned down as they took refuge inside the sanctuary. Soldiers just pumped the building full of bullets, leaving hundreds dead. However, the few people that lived through it didn’t give up. They didn’t lose faith. Rather, they trusted God and moved forward with their lives and began rebuilding their church. They have hope in Jesus. So, while that song is about a terrible tragedy and isn’t necessarily based on Scripture, the lyrics also show the side of hope and healing. You guys have played many shows over the years, but what would you say has been you favorite show? There have been many shows that I enjoyed. My favorite shows have always been those where the crowd was as into the show as I was. There’s an energy that the band feeds off of and the crowd feeds off the band’s energy. Some of my favorite shows were Cornerstone California, the Extreme Marti Gras show back in 2002, Up From the Ashes III in California and opening for Once Dead in Anaheim back in 2004. It’s funny, but all those shows are in California. One of my personal favorite

shows was when I sang for Once Dead in Switzerland at the Elements of Rock. I would love to see Ultimatum in front of that great European crowd. Over the past 20 years what has been your favorite song to play live? There are many of those. "Never" has always been a favorite. Though we don’t always perform it. "Temple of the Spirit" is one of my favorites. "Greed Regime" is great, because it’s a good head-banger and great for windmills and such. I also liked performing "Deathwish," because there is a part in the song where I go over to Robert, grab one of his picks and strum the part of the song while he plays the notes on the neck. I also had a blast playing some of the covers from Lex Metalis. "Ton of Bricks" is always a good barnstormer! The crowds always seem to like "Creeping Death," "Burn" or "Wrathchild." Ultimatum has been around for 20 years, yet you've remained an underground band. How did you manage to hang on that long? How much longer do you think Ultimatum will go on? Purely for the love of what we do. We are all heavy metal fans in a heavy metal band. It's never been about popularity or money for us. That's why we never bowed to trends, especially when heavy metal was a dirty word in the late '90s. We like playing music. We like being on stage. We love the Lord and feel called to do this. We didn't sell out stadiums, but we didn't sell out our integrity, either. That's why it lasted for 20 years. How much longer will it last? I can't say for sure. I love all the guys in this band like brothers and would hate to see it end. However, as we always have, we'll leave that in God's hands. If He wants things to move forward, then He will open the doors for us. If the door closes on Ultimatum tomorrow, well then that's okay, too. You mentioned that there will be a few new songs on the Anniversary album… Does this mean we could possibly see a new release in the coming year? I don’t know the answer to that yet. We’ll see where this release leads us next. Thank you, Scott, for taking time with us. Do you have any last words to share with Ultimatum’s fans? We hope that you enjoy the music and we also hope that the lyrics to our songs will hit home with you. We have been unashamed of our Christian beliefs since we started. In a metal culture where Christianity is looked at as the enemy, it’s been an uphill battle. Thanks for supporting us for the past 20 years. Tune Into Untombed Radio For "Metal Pulse Radio with Dale" on Thursdays at 7pm (EST) http://untombed.com/ (Bottom photo by Kristian Thompson)


58 H E AV EN ' S M E TA L

Saint:

A BEACON


SAINT 59

FOR A DESPARATE NIGHT BY CHRIS GATTO

SAINT IS ONE OF THE LAST FEW REMAINING CHRISTIAN METAL "APOSTLES" OF THE LATE '70S AND EARLY '80S, THAT RODE FORTH SIX-STRING IN HAND TO SPREAD THE GOSPEL ALL OVER THE WORLD (SWEDEN'S JERUSALEM ALSO COMES TO MIND.) MANY WOULD FOLLOW, BUT SAINT WOULD CHOOSE THEIR OWN PATH, ESCHEWING THE HAIR METAL EXPLOSION FOR A DARKER, MORE TRADITIONAL METAL SOUND. THEIR DEMISE AT THE END OF THE '80S MARKED THE END OF AN ERA. BUT AFTER THE DARK AGES OF THE '90S, WHEN GRUNGE AND ALT ROCK HAD THEIR DAY, A NEW MILLENIUM DAWNED AND THE GUITAR SOLO WAS ONCE AGAIN REVERED. SAINT RETURNED ONCE AGAIN TO SOLDIER ON, BATTLE HARDENED AND STRONGER THAN BEFORE. GET THE SKINNY ON SAINT'S NEW LATEST AND GREATEST DESPERATE NIGHT, AS WE SPEAK TO MASTER ARMORER RICH LYNCH. Chris Gatto: There's something strange going on here. Saint was a power metal cult classic of the '80s, beloved by many fans, yet it was their 2010 release Hell Blade that ended up ranked highest in Heaven's Metal's "Top 100 Christian metal albums of all time" list a couple years ago. And the new CD, Desperate Night? Even better. Same band, same message, and signature sound. Rich, all of a sudden it seems you guys are surpassing anything Saint did in the golden era of metal (the '80s). Can you explain that? Rich Lynch: Older wiser, new cast with new influences. We're trying to hang on to the original Saint sound, yet bring freshness to the stage. That happens when you bring in a 32-year-old drummer, who also is an excellent studio engineer. I'm finding the happy medium, so to speak, between the new style and the traditional style of metal and adding them together. It's kind of like mixing sugar with sugar – you can't go wrong. The cover art for Desperate Night. For the first time (I believe), we see a symbol repeated on an album cover.That symbol is the staff with skull, horns, and blades referred to as the "Hell Blade" on the last album. Is there any significance to its appearance here? Also on the cover art are two knights facing each other and one is pointing something out in the background, which is a world awash in reddish colors. Is this meant to be a pun on desperate night/ desperate knight? There is a picture of someone with hands covering their face on the disc itself, which portrays a desperate night. I love the artwork – just trying to root out any deeper meaning behind it. Yes, apocalyptic-styled band that we are, we thought it could be a theme. On Hell Blade you saw “the Blade that’s from the pit” rising out of the abyss, now handed over to the beast and his minions pictured on the front cover. These are demonic creatures searching for those who have

not yet taken the mark of the beast. I wanted a dude hiding behind a car in fear for his life, but the artist didn’t quite give me what I wanted, but nonetheless they are pointing to the dude with his head in his hands on the disc and he … is having a “Desperate Night.” The CD has a lot of sound effects this time around, which really add to the effect of the music. I'm referring to the opening and closing instrumental "The Crucible," which has the feel of Priest's "Metal Gods" to it, gunfire heard near the beginning of "Judgment," and the political soundbites from current and past presidents on "Inside Out." What inspired this, and what are you trying to say with "Inside Out?" The intro is the evil minions carrying the Hell Blades, marching through the streets. I don’t think it’s a secret that I’m a tin-foil-hat-wearing, Biblethumping, clinging-to-my-God-and-religion kind of guy, so to write a Tea Party type song is right up my alley. I’m tired of all the DC spending and want the government to get out of our way. Actually, my surprise on the song "Inside Out" was hearing Obama's soundbites, knowing that you are a Tea Party type. The song worked out well, though. I think it has a message without being too heavy-handed, politically. I hate when bands do that. The Obama sound bites are kind of sarcastic, have you seen the little video I put together? (www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoADgyenCaA) The intro to "Judgment" takes place in a coffee shop somewhere in Israel. A terrorist goes in and starts killing people and then that leads to the things to come, bringing us to an end and then the song ends with a nuclear explosion. Personnel. Saint has had members come and go, and come back again occasionally. This album the lineup is


60 H E AV EN ' S M E TA L

" When Jesus chose me, He scraped the bottom of the barrel, and most would agree this subculture is scraping pretty low as well, so I believe that's where I need to be." Rich and Josh Kramer, Jerry Johnson on guitars, and the new drummer is Jared Knowland. Jared adds some serious skills on the rhythm end, as well as songwriting credits and production credits. How did he join the band? Jared actually joined us for Hell Blade (note the similar drumming style); however, it wasn’t official until November of 2010. Jared brings newness to the band and his influence will continue to cause us to grow. He just wrote a new song that we’re arranging for a video that should be out soon. And then there's a further line that adds: "and introducing Brian Phyll Miller – lead vocals." You know that Saint fans get a little scared when Josh Kramer – the voice of apocalyptic metal – is in absentia. It appears that the new guy sings only the title song, "Desperate Night" (and does it well, I might add.). The BGV's on this album sound really great. So, if the new guy is responsible for those, kudos to him ... but, you guys just updated the band photo on your website at saintsite.com and conspicuously missing is Josh Kramer. So, I feel compelled to ask: "What is going on?" I’ve been looking at Brian for a long time, Josh is such an awesome singer, but he doesn’t like it here (Oregon). So, doing videos and press pics or writing songs is very difficult when your singer lives 1,000 miles away. Then Josh also announced that he was going to look at other avenues as well, and so we would be limited to how often he could perform. After he declined to do The Perfect Life and then again Crime Scene Earth (which later he came back and sang) I started searching for vocalists who live in the area and like it here, and, of course, are Christian. Brian, I think, is going to be a huge part of Saint and I believe he will take us to a new level. Josh will most likely do some performances with us from time to

time, but Brian is the voice of Saint now. (Back to questions about the cover). Forgive me if I've asked about this before, but I recall hearing that, back in the day, the band Armored Saint tried to sue you guys, saying that the name Saint was too close to theirs. Now that Armored Saint is together again (I saw them play in 2011 – great band), is there any risk they will see the Desperate Night cover as copying their knight logo? Had to go look and see what you're talking about. No, I don't think they would waste their money on a knight's helmet – and ours is different. My guys are like cyborgs. I sometimes wonder if they're a bit irritated that: One, we still have our name; and two, the name of our record company is Armor (that wasn't on purpose, by the way). I think about them as often as they most likely think about us. The new CD is a masterful mix of classic and modern metal influences, with songs like "Crucified," "The Key," "Let it Rock" and "Escape from the Fire" that must be played full volume, windows down, pounding the steering wheel to the rhythm while screaming to the wind, as well as songs like "End of the World," which could easily have belonged in Saint's '80s canon, and the title track, which follows a more commercial vein. My question is two-fold: What music or events inspired you to be a metalhead back in the early days, and what or who influences the more modern sounds Saint incorporates in 2012? I'm glad you like the CD, Chris. The one person responsible for molding me into the metalhead and songwriter that I became is John Mahan. This all happened way before Saint. Jared is the most influential member to bring in a more modern style.


SAINT 61

The song "To Live Forever" (an) unused song from the Too Late for Living era, recorded 10 years later for the Perfect Life EP, and now re-recorded another 13 years later for Desperate Night. Any particular reason – or just to hear it with Josh singing? We had a bunch of people request it. Many requests for "The Runner," as well. Then yes, there is the Josh-singing-it element, but mostly I wanted to take this song with so much meaning, that so many people relate to, and bring it to life and record it the way it was meant to be. Last time we spoke, you related about how Saint's message will always be that of a prophet warning that "the end is near." Rich, what events brought you to salvation in Christ, and how is or isn't that related to your identity as a member of the heavy metal subculture? My salvation is a long and drawn-out desperate night. I will tell you this – by the time I went to bed that night, I was baptized in the Spirit and no stumbling has kept me away from the grace I received that night. When Jesus chose me, He scraped the bottom of the barrel, and most would agree this subculture is scraping pretty low as well, so I believe that's where I need to be. Josh's song "Zombie Shuffle" is a great way to use fantasy imagery to portray the real problem of drug addiction. Is there a story behind the song? Josh wrote and played all the instruments on this song except drums. He told me that it's from a trip he made up to Washington state, where he oversaw the construction of a storage facility. He said there were so many drug users there and they were like zombies, hence the song was written.

Being a band that is more studio than live in function, how do you promote Saint to the masses? We haven't, really – just word of mouth or whatever Retroactive has done, but we are about to do a push via magazines and web sites. We're in the middle of making a new music video – a new, never-before-heard song with Brian. We're planning some shows for next year, mostly in Germany, but some here in the U.S. How can the fans help promote Saint and, more importantly, the gospel message? Get on the social networks and pass around the band site, our Facebook pages, call or email your favorite radio station and request and, mostly, pray for us – that God's will be done in us, that He will use us for His glory and that we'll be obedient to the call. What kind of merch and shirt designs do you have in store for the fans? We have a new shirt coming out soon. It will have a band pic on the front and a small print on the back. We'll be putting up a band shot poster. Jared has a bunch of things he wants to make and, hopefully later this year, we'll have something new to look at and listen to... God bless you guys.


62 A L B U M R E V I E W S

ALBUM REVIEWS ANTIDEMON APOCALYPSENOW Much like the King they follow, it seems that Antidemon's fourth release is intent on destroying the works of the devil. This album is a heavy, churning maelstrom of old-school death metal. Think groovy and heavy, this is not brutal tech death. They still sound like themselves, it's just honed and sharpened with a fresh fire and better production to boot! The lyrics are included in both Portuguese and English, so you can get the gist of what is going on. Despite the fact that this has such an old-school vibe, I really am digging this and have played it numerous times. My main thought is that – despite it running around 45 minutes in length – it simply is not long enough. [Rowe Productions] Michael Larson

MESSENGER YOU CHOOSE This is one of those bands that people are either going to really like what they offer, or they will just turn up their nose at it (sadly). I think a lot of it comes from the era of music you grew up enjoying. For me, I had a healthy dose of a lot of the early classic Christian rock – that great raw sound of the bluesy hard rock, and those blatantly evangelical lyrics. Well, that is how I categorize Messenger – a modern take on that great classic sound – Jesus Music! This sophomore release gives us ten tracks along the same lines musically as the first, but taking it to new levels with a maturity in writing as well as the performing that really shines through. I am one of those who thought their first release was good – I think this second is better all around. [MM] Jeff McCormack

GERMAN PASCUAL A NEW BEGINNING Do you remember in 2009, when the amazing band Narnia hit us with the new album, Course of a Generation, that introduced us to a hot new voice handling the vocal position? Remember how the new band totally blew us away, and then as quick as it hit us, they announced that Narnia was no more? Well, here he is again with a solo release, and let me tell you – it is amazing. Now, personally I have a long history of loving the music of Narnia with Christian on vocals, but when Germán took over on vocals, it was such a hot and fresh new feel that it instantly became one of my favorite releases by the band. And truth be told, this new release could easily be considered a follow-up to that great Narnia release. Musically it is, of course, a blistering slab of melodic metal/power metal, dipping ever-so-slightly into a melodic thrash feel. At times, I tend to feel that maybe the Narnia release has a slightly more aggressive sounding edge in places, this album remains true to the style while feeling a bit more smooth throughout. Vocally, I think Germán sounds even hotter this time around. I cannot quite lay my finger on it, but the occasional "oddity" in his vocal style that I had mentally noted on the Narnia release seems absent here, to the point where if I were given a blind listening test between the two, I am not really sure I could tell you it was the same singer. This is Euro-metal at its finest! Tight blistering riffs and leads, and power hungry drums and bass fill the space behind Germán and build one monster of a power metal release. Now, a bit about the man behind the music with this official bio release: Vocalist Germán Pascual has appeared on releases by Divinefire, Narnia, and Mind's Eye. This solo release, A New Beginning, is being released to North American and Europe via Nightmare / Sony / RED. Blessed to have these special guest musicians joining on the album are Carl-Johan "CJ" Grimmark (Narnia / Fires Of Babylon / Rob Rock/ FullForce) and bassists Per Schelander (Pain of Salvation / Royal Hunt) and Raphael Dafras (Almah / Seven Horizons). This all-star lineup should let you know just how good this is sounding. [Nightmare] Jeff McCormack

Surf this: antidemon.net, messengermetal.com, nightmarerecords.com, tourniquet.net

TOURNIQUET ANTISEPTIC BLOODBATH The latest release from technical speed masters Tourniquet is upon us. Titled Antiseptic Bloodbath, it features just about everything you could want from a Tourniquet release: speedy technical riffage, classical instruments that are arranged to flow seamlessly into the titanic metal riffage, in-depth lyrical content and superior musicianship. This metal offering hits full speed on such tracks as "Lost Language of the Andamans" (don’t let the intro fool you), "Flowering Cadaver" and the full-tilt title track. "86 Bullets" has a great riff that grabs you and forces the head to start bobbing back and forth, all the while retelling the tragic story of a circus elephant, named Tyke, who had to be shot after escaping. "Fed by Ravens, Eaten by Crows" (with spoken narration by Bob Beeman), "The Maiden Who Slept in a Glass Coffin," along with the aforementioned "Lost Language" benefit from hauntingly arranged strings. The almost sorrowful melodies seem to be a musical overture destined to grab one by the collar and demand a quick rewind to just hear what is being played. A string of guest stars on the guitar are planted throughout: Marty Friedman, Pat Travers, Bruce Franklin (Trouble), Karl Sanders (Nile) and Santiago Dobles (Aghora). To hear Pat Travers play on a Tourniquet album is quite a moment. Never fear, though, as Aaron Guerra shines throughout – the man has tone! Luke Easter provides a stellar vocal performance and Ted Kirkpatrick shows why he is one of the top drummers in metal. Produced by Neil Kernon, who has a very long and distinguished resume in the recording world (everything from Hall & Oates to Cannibal Corpse!), Antiseptic Bloodbath is tightly produced and meticulously executed. The instruments are given a chance to breathe while not losing their place in the mix, and that driving guitar tone just kicks one up the backside. Fans of Cynic and the like will want to give this release serious attention. Antiseptic Bloodbath is high-quality metal that forces one to examine their role in this life, while taking the listener on a dramatic journey of metal bliss. Don’t miss this one, bang thy head with joy! [Pathogenic] Keven Crothers


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C O LU M N

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THROWING DOWN THE GAUNTLET By Steve Rowe

THAT'S TOTAL EVIL! In Wonrowe Vision we are currently in the process of Recording the fan fav song, "That's Total Evil," as well as a new studio version of "Pictures," which is a classic 1986 Lightforce song. "That's Total Evil" is my reflection on situations that effect me very badly that most may not even see as being evil. Primarily it is about the evil of Internet music theft that is killing music art and, to my horror, is even seen as okay for "Christians??" I guess that Christians who steal have not read 1 Corinthians 6:10 – Thieves shall not inherit the kingdom of God! Time to repent, people, and go and sin no more! Even past Mortification members steal music from the Net!!?? As a Bible-believing Christian, I follow 1 Corinthians 5:11, which states that I should not even associate with a "brother" who cheats others! People: You are not just killing music art; but, most importantly, Gospel music art! Secondly, the song deals with small-time local bands ripping off other small-time local bands!? We all understand how difficult it is to score a local gig, and some bands set up shows with the deliberate intent of ripping off their fellow local metal brothers? Which means they are no metal brothers at all! Many of us jump on the opportunity to play local gigs to get the opportunity to perform in a scene, trying to compete with major metal and heavy rock bands traveling through every week! Only to arrive at the end of the night and no one gets paid, except the headline nobody posers! That is just pure evil to rip off others who are battling on in metal with the rest of the diehards! Lastly, the song deals with the increasing evil of Christians with physical disabilities being emotionally and spiritually abused by other "Christians?" I was at a Deep Purple concert about four years ago. 6,000 people in a huge hall here... I was with my closest friend Rob, who is not a Christian, but a tremendous man of long-time friendship. When I was the bassist in my band Lightforce in the late '80s Rob was the bassist in his band, Rapier. Part of the reason Rob quit performing 20 years ago was because of other local bands and promoters ripping him off. Anyway, we had just enjoyed a great show, singing along to classic Deep Purple songs and were walking out. I had been sitting for hours and so, with Paraplegia, it took me a while to get going. I was walking with my cane in my right hand and using a rail to my left to get up and walking. So, I was walking along laughing and smiling with Rob and this dude is leaning on the rail blocking my path and looking at me rudely? He made me walk around him. As I was passing, he said, "You need to throw away that cane and go and follow God!" That's total evil! There have been a number of instances in different churches with people saying to me: "Why have you not received your healing? Do you have no faith?" These stupid people are lucky I am a pacifist, or I might enact Proverbs 30:33 – As the churning of milk brings forth butter, so the twisting of the nose brings forth blood! But I cannot do this – even though such action is deserving! The Scripture trails off: "...but the forcing of wrath brings forth strife…" And so we must love our enemies and Bless those who despitefully use us! This is a tough call, but the only response that I have! I am just stating facts here and not wanting revenge. "Vengeance is mine," saith the Lord, "I will repay!" Blessings To All!


October 2012 - HM Magazine  

The October 2012 issue of HM Magazine featuring Further Seems Forever

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