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Issue 9 - March 2014

Is Paul back for good?

Nervosa

Conan

Monsterworks AMOK Brood Of Hatred Edenbridge Adrenaline Mob Holy Moses Lamb Of God God Module MOS Generator Orcultus


08 14 22 26 30 32 36 40

- Nervosa - Conan - Breed 77 - AMOK - Brood Of Hatred - IAMTHESLEEPWALKER - Monsterworks - Desecratrer

51 - Lay Down Rotten - Holy Moses 52 - God Module - Mantar 54 - Lamb Of God (DVD) 55 - Fuoco Fatuo - Corpsessed 56 - Enthrallment - MOS Generator

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04 05 18 21 35 42 44

- DLC - News - Edenbridge Live Review - Top 5 Videos - Top 5 Album Covers - Behind The Music - Games Dungeon

57 - Carnivorous Forest - Insain 58 - Orcultus - Adrenaline Mob 59 - Dead Earth Politics - Conan

*All content and layout are copyright of Firebrand Magazine. Any attempt to distribute Firebrand Magazine to another site for purposes of download is strictly prohibited. All Firebrand Magazines are property of Firebrand. *

Firebrand After Dark


Meet The Team! Editor In Chief Rick Palin

Joining us this month we have a fascinating insight into one of the worlds largest record labels with an exclusive interview with Brian Slagel better known as being the founder of Metal Blade Records as well as up and coming graphic artist IAMTHE SLEEPWALKER. Also featured in this month’s bumper edition are interviews with the likes of Conan, Nervosa, Breed77 and many more artists as well as the usual assortment of news, reviews and gaming updates.

Senior Media Consultant Rachel Whiston Editor Lee Walker Reviews Team Graham Pritchard Joey Lowebins Jon Seymour Sonya Valantasis Stephen Brophy Stoodge McNulty Download Content Team Rick Palin Judith Fisher Content Download sales@firebrandrr.co.uk Advertising Enquiries sales@firebrandrr.co.uk Review Requests

afterdark@firebrandrr.co.uk

Contact Telephone +44(0)207 0978556

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Monsterworks Monsterworks is a London based band that has, possibly to its own detriment, never followed trends or towed the line; preferring to forge its own path in the continually evolving world of heavy metal. In this respect it has always stayed true to its mission statement: IMAGE IS NOTHING; METAL IS EVERYTHING. Hugo – Bass, James – Drums, Jon – Guitars/Vocals, Marcus –Guitars Stylistically the band has always been difficult to pin down, at one moment death metal, in another stoner rock, then thrash, then prog; but somehow it works - at least that’s what we keep telling ourselves. The new 2014 album “Universe” is a birth to death trip of the great void and everything in it.

Duskburn Duskburn is a four piece sludge/doom metal band hailing from Croatia: a small European country forged through centuries of conflict, political schemes and failed alliances which serves the band as a perfect location for creating nihilistic attitude. Duskburn formed in 2006, originally as a death metal band. Through the years they have injected doom and sludge metal elements, shed technical aspirations and focused solely on atmosphere. Recently they experiment with gluing layers of dissonant harmonies, percussion and drum patterns,buildups and crushing sludgy riffs which cement song structures. Their progress in maturity and experimentation in style can be felt through three EPs: Marrow (2010), Left for the Wolves (2012) and the forthcoming Atum (2014). The themes in songs are centered on: isolation and angst (Marrow); the occult and heresy (Left For The Wolves); cataclysmic omens and the purge of humanity (Atum). They cite Melvins, Godlesh, Swans, Neurosis, Ramesses, Cathedral, Grief and Crowbar as their main influences.

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NEWS Italian death metal front-runners Hour Of Penance have announced the title of their new album – ‘Regicide’ a word defined as the act of the killing of a monarch.

Crucial British modern hard rockers Voodoo Six have lined up the release of a 4 track EP, containing a brand new radio edit of ‘Lead Me On’; the original version of which can be found on the band’s current, highly acclaimed ‘Songs To Guitarist Paolo Pieri commented, ‘Regicide' Invade Countries To’ album. revolves around the themes of destruction and Due to be unleashed on April 21st on rebirth and the killing of the king -- be he your Spinefarm Records, via Universal, ‘Lead Me On own fears, prejudices or dogmas that you build (Edit)’, will be bundled with ‘All That Glitters (live inside yourself to cope with reality. Only by letting In Paris)’, ‘Take The Blame (Acoustic)’ and go of those illusions and tearing down the walls ‘Respect (Acoustic)’. of ignorance and fear that society, religion and A video will also be unveiled in support of every form of dysfunctional authority you the release, filmed during Iron Maiden’s ‘Maiden interjected during your life, can you start to rebuild your own path as a free man that has no England’ European tour last year, on which V6 were main support, playing 28 shows in 18 need for a king. different countries before an audience in excess Scheduled for release via Prosthetic Records on May 13 in North America (May 12 in of 300,000. Voodoo Six hit the road again this UK/EU, May 16 in Germany), the band describes month. Voodoo Six then head off around Europe, ‘Regicide’as "a bone-crushing feast for old and supporting UFO in Sweden, Denmark and new fans...more varied and brutal than Germany, before returning to play a prestigious everything we've done so far." Since releasing 2012's acclaimed ‘Sedition’, slot at the Sonisphere UK Festival in Knebworth Park on July 4th. which Decibel lauded as a "hyper-blasting, inhuman, machine-like attack", the blasphemous quartet have annihilated fans worldwide with their Exorcism confirmed for Dokk’em Open Air fiery exuberance, playing well over 200 gigs 2014 alongside acts including Behemoth, Doomy heavy metallers Exorcism to be Skeletonwitch, Cannibal Corpse, The Black confirmed for Netherlands Dokk’em Open Air Dahlia Murder, Devildriver, Psycroptic, Misery 2014 which takes place June 20 – 21 in Index, Deicide, Belphegor, Nile and more. Dokkum. Other bands confirmed include: Death, Hour Of Penance will play their first show of Metal Church, Annihilator, Gammay Ray, Napalm 2014 at the Trondheim Metalfest in Norway this Death, Mayan, Arkona, Vicious Rumors, Circus weekend. The band will also be seen at several Maximus, Enthroned, M.O.D., Norcturnus AD, European festivals throughout the spring, Carach Angren, with more to be announced including Neurotic Death Fest (Suffocation, soon. Misery Index, Cephalic Carnage). A list of all of Exorcism recently confirmed for Hungary’s their upcoming appearances can be found listed MetalWar Fest 2014, which takes place below. September 5th – 7th in Budapest and will release Stay tuned to https://www.facebook.com/ their debut album, ‘I Am God’, on April 25 via hourofpenance for more news on ‘Regicide’ in GoldenCore Records/ZYX Music. The cover the coming weeks! artwork for the CD was created by Mario Bouffier (Sacred Reich, Megaherz, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop), additional editing by Axel Wiesenauer (Killing Visceral British Modern Hard Rockers’ Compelling ‘Lead Me On’ Ep Unleashed April Machine, Raven Lord) from Rock’N'Growl and 21st On Spinefarm / Universal And Confirm Logo made by Anestis Goudas (Dimmu Borgir, Riot, Kreator, Raven Lord, Zvekan). Sonisphere Slot For July 4th

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Dark Metallers Foscor Release Entire Back more proggie’ than before. The new album, Catalogue Digitally And Make It Available For which is titled ‘Mannsverk’, will hit the streets on the 24th March in CD, Digital and Vinyl formats. Free Download For One Month Formed in Bergen, Norway, in the late '90's Dark Metallers Foscor have today released their by guitarist and vocalist Rolf Edvardsen and entire back catalogue which includes the band's first three full-length albums - 2004's ‘Entrance to bassist Truls ‘Biff’ Eriksen who, wanting the Shadows' Village’, 2007's ‘The Smile of the something different from the pop and metal of their previous bands, turned to psychedelic Sad Ones’ and 2009's ‘Groans to the progressive music as epitomised by bands such guilty’. Each album includes lyrics and as King Crimson, Pink Floyd and 13th Floor information. All three albums will be released Elevators. Joined by two brothers Thomas and digitally from the 6th February, and will be Øyvind Grønner on drums and organ/guitar, available for free download for the first respectively, Brimstone married high quality song month. They can be found at https:// writing to high energy live performances and foscor.bandcamp.com/music quickly became much in demand on the As well as on BandCamp, the back underground psychedelic /prog network, both at catalogue will also be available to stream on home and abroad, thanks to their own special YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/ brand of ‘prog-a-delic space rock’. Under their FOSCORbcn original name of The Brimstone Solar Radiation With over a decade in the music scene, Band, they released the ‘Going Out’ EP in 2002, Foscor recently announced that the band's followed by the full-length albums “Solar natural musical progression and development Radiation Band” in 2004, the country- tinged has led to a change in style away from the ‘Solstice’ in 2005, and their first release on traditional 90's Black Metal mixed with other Karisma Records, the multi-instrumental classical and modern extreme styles, for which ‘Smorgasbord’, in 2009. they became know. Breaking free from the ‘Mannsverk’ finds the lineup back as the restrictions the genre places on bands has enabled Foscor to expand their sound to include original 4-piece and recording in their own studio, using original vintage equipment to shades of Doom and Dark Rock, majestic enable them to get the exact sound they want. A interludes and a healthy flirtation with Prog. Frontman Fiar is quick to point out though sound that includes the use of instruments as that fans will still recognise the distinctive Foscor varied as flutes, saxophones, accordions and style, which the band have not rejected, but have violins, as well as vocal choirs, to create a strong late 60's/early 70's vibe. With many of the songs made better, and which will be very much in coming in at between six and twelve minutes, evidence in the band's newly completed fourth Brimstone have used their considerable musical full-length album ‘Those Horrors Wither’. skill to avoid the trap of boring solos and fruitless Currently in search of a label for "Those Horrors Wither", Foscor has chosen a somewhat jamming - effortlessly fusing Biff’s thundering unusual direction with the guest appearances on bass lines with Thomas Grønner’s relentless jazz - grooves, whilst Rolf Edvardsen’s vocals and the album. Instead of the expected vocals or guitar fit perfectly with Øyvind Grønner’s arsenal instrumental solos, the notable guests have of organs, pianos, mellotrons and synthesizers. written and performed connecting passages Brimstone will launch "Mannsverk" with a between the tracks. show at Det Akademiske Kvarter in Bergen on More information about Foscor can be the 28th March. More information about found at http://www.foscor.com BRIMSTONE can be found on the band's website at http://brimstone.no Karisma Records Announces Details Of New Album From Prog Rockers Brimstone Dew-Scented Begin Writing New Album And Announce Japanese/EU Tour Dates Five years after the release of their last album ‘Smorgasbord', Karisma Records is set to After spending most of 2013 on the road with release the fourth full-length album from Prog acts including Testament and Death Angel in Rockers Brimstone, who have not only shortened addition to appearing at several high-profile their name from The Brimstone Solar Radiation festivals (Wacken, Full Metal Cruise) to celebrate Band, but have also changed their sound to their 20-year anniversary release "Insurgent," become ‘leaner, meaner, hungrier, and much

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German thrash stalwarts Dew-Scented have started writing material for a new full-length, tentatively due in early 2015. Vocalist Leif Jensen released the following statement: ‘2014 is scheduled to be a 'quieter' year since we are focusing on writing the follow-up album to 2012’s 'Icarus.' We have gathered about eight really strong songs so far and are currently working on a couple more. The material is as relentless as you would expect from Dew-Scented, but also shows different and new elements in the mix, since everyone (Marvin, Rory, Joost and Koen) is bringing in ideas and writing contributions this time. As things look right now, we should be ready to start recording around summer and are aiming at an early 2015 release date for the album." In addition to focusing on their new release, Dew-Scented have also announced that they will return to Japan for the first time in nearly a decade to support headliners The Black Dahlia Murder alongside Fleshgod Apocalypse. They commented: "This is the third time for us to visit Japan and the first since 2005’s Extreme The Dojo dates with High On Fire and Misery Signals. We truly look forward to meeting our faithful thrash brothers and sisters over there soon. It’s been too long!" Soon after, the band will return to Europe to join up with Sacred Reich for a handful of dates before taking part in the prestigious With Full Force Festival, which this year is top-lined by Volbeat, Rob Zombie, Motorhead and Amon Amarth. Dates and tickets can be found at www.dew-scented.com

Check out the brand new preview clip below:

AMBERIAN DAWN Signs With Napalm Records!

After their acclaimed record Circus Black in 2012, Finnish symphonic metal band AMBERIAN DAWN have just announced their signing with Austrian Rock & Metal Powerhouse Napalm Records. The band will be releasing the band's new album Magic Forest in June 2014! ”I'm very glad about this new deal with Napalm Records. I'm sure that our cooperation will be successful and enjoyable. This label showed interest in us at the very beginning of our career so I feel very comfortable working with this great label today! Together with our booking agency/management Twisted Talent Concerts we're surely going to make something happen here,” comments songwriter Tuomas Seppälä. ”New album MAGIC FOREST is AD's first studio album with singer Capri. Now with her I've been able to fullfill some of my early dreams with musical styles and this new style is really big, fresh and naturally flowing. New sound is more DELAIN Release Album Preview Clip keyboard driven and the vocal lines have some “The Human Contradiction”! DELAIN will not only strong influence of 1980's. But since this is AD, enthrall Symphonic Metal fans with their fourth there's of course also some fast songs included album "The Human Contradiction", but listeners and some really serious guitar & keyboard new to the genre as well. With extremely catchy shredding too. Mr. Jens Johansson of refrains, bewitching hooks and melodies, STRATOVARIUS once again contributed some symphonic bombast and of course a good dose really awesome playing in form of one keyboard of Metal! That’s how Symphonic Metal has to solo. Thank you Jens, you've been supporting us sound in 2014! Vocalist supreme Charlotte so many years now. Wessels and her equally talented band This is also first time on AD's history when colleagues exceeded the highest expectations we had an actual production team put together. and have elevated the genre to a whole new Thank you Mikko P. Mustonen and Capri for your level. awesome support and work. We really have an The band has now unveiled an exclusive extraordinary good production team here. We preview and album teaser to give fans a taste of had so much fun in doing this album and you can the upcoming album “The Human Contradiction” really sense and hear the relaxed atmosphere we - to be released worldwide in early April of 2014 had on the process.” on Napalm Records!

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Prika and Fernanda of

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Interviewed by stoodge Firebrand Mc After Nulty Dark


Stoodge speaks to Prika and Fernanda from Brazilian thrash trio Nervosa on life as an all female band in Brazil, their stupendous new album 'Victim Of Yourself' and how their rise up the ladder might affect the vantage of everyone on the scene. Ladies, your new album is called 'Victim of Yourself', can you elaborate on the records title and tell us what the name's about?

of material from the album live yet, or is that something a lot of people are just going to have to anticipate?

Prika - Each person is responsible for his attitude, who searches evil for other people, meet evil for himself. The art cover is two skulls, one killing the other, but both are the same skull. This is victim of yourself. Fernanda – I guess the only person responsible for your attitudes is yourself. Sometimes people don´t measure that their actions will have a consequence and end up screwing everything and everyone around by taking bad decisions. When you do bad things and bad things come back your way, you gotta be prepared to assume and be responsible for what you did. When you don´t and prefer playing the victim´s role, you become nothing but a victim of yourself, you can´t blame other people for the things you did and the attitudes you took!

Prika - 9 songs from album we play live, we chose the song "Death" to be a single because this song is completely new, but starting from 30th of march, that is the release of album here in Brazil, we are going to play the full album plus the EP, it will be 14 songs, almost a one hour of show. Fernanda – Most of the songs we've been playing live, but after the album comes pout, it´s always a completely different situation, because people will have had the chance to listen to the album, so they will go to the concert knowing the songs, singing along, this is what makes the gig a complete new experience even if we had played some of the songs live even before the album was out! Also, I´m very excited about playing some of the songs yet to be released live at gigs, I can´t wait to see people´s reactions!

This is of course your debut album, was the recording process as glorious and as painless as some like to say? Prika - Recording this album to me was challenging, because during the recordings I had tendinitis and the doctor plastered my right arm, I recorded with a lot of pain. But it was an incredible experience and the results made us very happy. Fernanda – It was glorious but at the same time it was really difficult. Glorious because recording and releasing our first full length is a dream come true and an opportunity not all bands have, so we were very happy and thankful for the opportunity, but at the same time, we were really focused and concentrated to do our best, paying attention to all details, for us to fulfil the expectations of ourselves and also of everyone who was waiting for our album to be out! In the end, we were really happy about the final result! But it was hard because we had a lot of setbacks during the recording process, including a sharp deadline, studio problems, health problems, but in the end everything worked out fine!

It must be exhausting up on stage projecting all that energy with your chaotic style and thrash velocity, especially as you're a trio. Is being a 3-piece something you sometimes regret?

Prika - We are comfortable about being a trio, we have a perfect harmony, I think that the energy is the same in one band with 5 or 3. The fact that we are a trio, opens space for the bass to work better, with two guitars the bass disappears, and with one guitar the bass works a lot more, I think this factor is very interesting. To be a trio is a challenge, and we like this challenge. When we turned into a trio, it was natural for us, and we don't think that this will be a surprise to other people, and this is a positive point, the people like it and we are happy with this. Fernanda – I always say that even before I joined Nervosa, I was looking for girls to gather up an all female thrash metal trio. I've been in many all female bands before, and there were always 4 or even 5 girls together, what is pretty difficult to handle, girls sometimes can be really Have you had the chance to play the majority hard to deal with and get along with in a band,

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unless you have the same ideals just like us in Nervosa. Besides that, I've always been a trio lover and supporter, and I've always had many idols to inspire me to move on as a trio band! Motorhead, Coroner, Rush, Destruction, Sodom… all of them taught me that it is possible to make heavy music being a trio if you know how to balance all instruments properly an also know how to use and timbre your instrument properly! Also, being a trio makes everything pretty much easier! To have a solid friendship, to travel, to make decisions, to write songs… everything is way easier when you´re in a three some and I don´t and will never regret being this way, it was an option for us and I really like things this way!

matters! Fernanda – As you said, it´s an unfortunate fact that yes, there are still a few narrow-minded people who just can´t accept new things not only in metal but in society. In the beginning it was really hard for us, once we were doing something new, and everything that´s new at the same time can draw a lot of attention but also draw a lot of offensive people who don´t accept things to be changed. So back then when we started, many people tried to offend us even creating and spreading lies about us, and I thought all of that very unfair and didn't understand why, but now I see that you simply can´t control people´s envy or people´s tendency to instead of looking for their own merits to go pursue their happiness and achievements! Nowadays it´s a lot easier for us to deal with this, once there´s only a few people that can´t comprehend that women can also play metal and that are actually more and more running out of arguments against us, they just try to offend us, what makes their prejudice very clear! We are here to stay and we passed through and will pass though whatever it takes to get what we want and to encourage and support more and more girls playing metal around the world! How was your involvement and relationship with the scene before forming the band?

Prika - My first band was when I was 15, so it´s been 13 years playing with bands, I never stopped to playing, I had a label "Sujo Records", I released a few albums, I made some festivals and tour with bands, but I gave up because I made all alone and I didn't have time to play with my bands, but still I make some events rarely. I It's a sad thing to think about, but there's did recently a blog with reviews of the best unfortunately still people on this planet that albums of our scene, the blog is over at suffer from primitive ego syndrome. You acervoclave.blogspot.com know the type, they will normally say something like "a girl playing metal, ha yeah Fernanda - Since my youngest teenage years I have been very involved in metal! Before right". How do you think being an all female Nervosa I played in another three all female band has affected your progression up the metal bands and, meanwhile, I have worked for metal ladder? the metal press: I've been a live gigs Prika - These people are few, the majority photographer and reviewer, I interviewed many support us. The prejudice exists, but someone bands, I've been a metal TV show host and right has to break this paradigm, and we are going to now I have my own metal radio show called fight against this, and along time we will prove Heavy Nation where we play and support many that we are able like the men, and we deserve underground Brazilian and foreign bands and respect. The people have the trend of resisting to also interview many musicians. Besides that, I all that is new, and female bands are still new, have my own audiovisual company called Alien but this situation already is changing. The public Foto & Video which aims to make promo pictures is receiving us very well, this is what and low-budget videos for underground bands,

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it´s one of the ways I found to support and give means for the metal scene I'm involved in.

fell in love with and first album I won as a gift) , Iron Maiden (fave band ever) and Black Sabbath (no needed comments on this! Haha, GODS!). What are the main bands that were They really led me into listening to metal but also subliminally through their music telling you playing metal, Steve Harris and Geezer Butler to go pick up an instrument and make noise? are still great influences nowadays to me! Prika - My mother likes classic rock, and I was born listening to Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, etc... I wanted to sing all songs with 3, but my life changed when I heard thrash metal, I don't remember which band I heard first, but I think it was Metallica, double picking was love at first sight, this made me have desire to learn how to play guitar. My father plays viola (viola is a regional guitar of 10 strings), and he has an acoustic guitar, and it was then that I learned to play guitar. Fernanda - Tough question to answer! I think all bands I listen to end up influencing me in a certain way in everything I do and I listen to A LOT of things in metal and blues, mainly, so I have many things to be influenced by! But I've been raised in a musical environment, my Mom and Dad have been headbangers forever as far as I can remember, so since I was a kid I was surrounded by metal music, so when it was time to pick up a style to follow and play, it naturally was metal! The first bands that really led me to start playing were no doubt Kiss (first band ever I

Do you hope that maybe more women will crawl out of the woodwork now and start openly listening to or playing metal after hearing you, or is Nervosa all about playing for your own enjoyment? Prika - Indirectly or directly maybe, but it is natural because there are few female professional bands. The women are conquesting their space and I believe that in a few years it will be equal to the number of men. But the women need more dedication, it is very hard to meet a woman with the same dedication that a man has. We women have to have much force to win over the prejudice, and the man don't have this obstacle. I hope to see many female bands, but serious bands without sex appeal. Fernanda - Well many girls in our gigs and also in the social networks have come to us saying we have been important not only for encouraging and being an example to other female headbangers all around, but also most of them just come very happy towards us saying they feel

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really represented by us, which I think it´s pretty cool! I've always been a metal musicians’ supporter and Doro Pesch, Girlschool, Lather Leone, for example, have always been very important to me and most of all they have always made me feel represented, so being aware that nowadays we may represent other girls, that makes me feel really fulfilled. But in a certain way, I guess metal is a male dominated scene currently, but it will be a natural process for this to be equalized , cause nowadays there´s a growing number of headbanger girls, girls playing in bands and going to gigs, girls promoting events and working on the metal press, so naturally, women have been more and more involved in the metal scene, and in a few years, I think the amount of girls in metal can be even the same as men and I really like this tendency, and if we are in a way helping this to happen faster and encouraging this movement to keep growing, that´s REALLY cool!

LeatherFaces, Krow, etc... there are many bands that are worth checking out. Fernanda – Yeah right, we´re a bunch of crazy dudes down here! Haha But in a very good way, when people say we´re ‘crazy’, they mean we´re VERY passionate, what´s true. The metal scene here is very rich and wide, wherever you go you will find a solid local metal scene, full of passionate, dedicated and supportive headbangers, and we like to express that, so that´s why in live gigs people tend to think we’re crazy, but I like that very much, I’d say I’m very lucky to be a part of such a special metal scene as the Brazilian one! I’m really proud of the bands (I couldn´t agree more with the ones Prika mentioned before) and also very thankful for all the fans here! Will we be having you grace Europe sometime this year? Tell me yes! Prika - Sure! I hope to play in Europe after September, because we have a contract with the agency The Flaming Arts, and it is certain this How is the metal scene in Brazil these days? tour. We are anxious for this to happen. We want From all reports, I've been led to believe to play in all places, for us we would do it today!!! you're all pretty crazy, I mean that in a good Fernanda – YES! Haha, I like to say we’re a road band, this means we’re a band who simply loves way of course. being on the road and we’ll do this extensively to Prika - Brazil is a large country, and here there promote this album, and one of our greatest are many good bands, the scene is very rich and plans is to play in many places we haven't been large, there are 26 states and it is possible make before, we played a lot in Brazil and plan to play a great tour here. Some bands like Korzus, even more this year, but we have never left Brazil Krisiun, Torture Squad, Claustrofobia, for gigs, so we are working really hard on NervoChaos, Lacerated and carbonized, Voodoo planning European, South American and, Priest, Vocifera, Anthares, MX, Executer, hopefully, North American tours!

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Jon Davis of

Chats To Stoodge Mc Nulty 14

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Every now and then, although not very often. There's a doom metal album that rises above all else, and one that immediately smashes the pedestal of what we already know or supposedly think as a concrete podium of modern doom metal. In 1991 we heard about Cathedrals melancholic journey into the 'Forest of Equilibrium' for the first time. Then, in 1999 after three guys went out to an expensive recording studio to document their finest hour, literally. The result of exchanging a complete studio budget for weed allowed Sleep to record the ominous and legendary Jerusalem/Dopesmoker masterpiece. Their bigwig label didn't approve too much of their red eyed modus vivendi, which did result in a few not so pleasant disputes and a delay of the albums release. A year later, just as the world was still cleaning out it's hash stained bongs another hit was about to blow into the faces of everyone, whether you were prepared or not. In 2000, the populous of the metal universe took notice of Electric Wizard, and so they should have. 'Dopethrone' is still rightfully regarded by many as the greatest post-Sabbath riff splendour. Now, it's 2014 and there's movement, the rubble is forcing it's way out. Something has approached, and it's about to stir shit up! Conan with 'Blood Eagle' have bulldozed what we perceived, or thought we knew as the summit of doom metal releases. Still think every decent riff has already been written? You can't know that for sure until you behold Conan in all their majesty. Stoodge chats to Jon Davis (Vocals/Guitars) about the new ceremony grandeur that is 'Blood Eagle' and of course, loads of other Conan related stuff. So your new album 'Blood Eagle' has finally been unleashed, how does it feel to get your second full length out to the World? It feels good. It seems like years ago when we started the writing process (we started writing just as Monnos had come out) and had demo’s recorded in a studio as long ago as December 2012. Since then we have simply chiselled away at the tracks here and there, changing a riff at a time, changing lyrics slowly here and there, putting things together gradually. We really enjoyed writing this album, it was very fulfilling and these riffs, when you stumble upon them during a writing session, made us very excited. There were so many high 5’s I have almost lost count.

Hammer) and at first we didn’t really know how to take it all as we had never actually released anything, let alone have a printed or an online magazine review it for us. It was pretty weird. Obviously now we are a little longer in the tooth, we have seen a high number of reviews and fortunately most of these have been really good, but we didn’t really expect the reviews for Blood Eagle to be so positive.

Am I right in saying that this record is a little more complex than your prior release 'Monnos’? Yeah I would agree there for sure. Each track has a few more twists and turns and in general the album seems to have a little more going on, it promises more and delivers more we think. It How have you guys been taking to all the seems to put all the bits we enjoyed most from positive reactions of the record? Horseback Battle Hammer with all the bits we To be honest, the positive reviews have been enjoyed most from Monnos and adds a bit more really nice. We see ourselves as a band that is aggression, a little bit more ‘metal’ and then with most at home on stage playing, so to be sat the production Chris gave it we think we have reading some person’s thoughts on the new stuff, created a record that sounds very ‘Conan’ but so considering it has been so positive, is cool. It’s much more. If you think of our standard being kind of like the first stage in the process of songs such as the track Krull (off HBBH) then releasing an album, for us the main bit is playing this album will probably seem light years ahead these tracks live and doing that side of it. We’ve in terms of writing but the delivery hasn’t had really good reviews and scores and stuff changed all that much. We will probably never from people who are we respected and we do start writing complicated stuff, there are bands value it, I guess it’s a good thing we don’t let any who do that much better than we ever could, we of it go to our heads. We have had decent like to occupy this little space between ‘doom and reviews for all our releases (including our ’true' ‘heavy metal’ and that works for us. first full length release Horseback Battle

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Was there a general idea in your head in regards to how the album would sound before entering the studio, or was there an element of putting your hands down a rabbit hole? We had a general idea, basically we wanted some of the aggression of Horseback Battle Hammer and perhaps a little of the more ‘clear’ sounding production of Monnos. We wanted this album to sound heavier than anything when we have released (and we have probably achieved that) and more aggress than the most aggressive parts of HBBH and I think we have achieved that too. We are friends with Chris Fielding (producer) and all along we have said that we’d just like to go all out on this in terms of making it sound heavy, add to this the increased use of proper metal riffs and you have a pretty decent recipe. I guess a lot of bands probably use one or the other - EITHER mid paced rocking stuff OR down tuned sloth like drone - we wanted to do both. 'Blood Eagle' was also the first album recorded at your own Skyhammer Studios, are you going to tell me everything went completely to plan with no hiccups what so ever? Well, believe it or not the recording of the album actually went fine!!! We didn’t make any major changes to what we did in the studio, the only changes were to the actual studio itself. In there we have a really nice old Neve mixing desk and this helped us get a really loud pouchy but warm sound. We had been playing quite a lot during the writing of the album and had rehearsed a lot during the build up to going into the studio, so when we actually got into the studio the tracks were pretty easy to record. The only problems we had were the tea flow. Normally we like there to be at least one cup of tea per hour and, unfortunately, it was a bit stop-start and at one point I had to wait nearly 3 hours for a brew. Fucking out of order.

tight. ON HIS DRUMS!. On the more technical side of things I remember setting up at Roadburn 2012 in front of a full house, we had to carry all our stuff through the crowd, it was madness. After we set up I played a few notes and one of my full stacks goes quiet, as I walk over to it the other full stack goes quiet… There is me on stage at Roadburn, our biggest show at that point (and still to this day) and the sound man says ‘ok guys, go ahead’ through the PA…. We’re meant to start and I have zero sound. All that planning, setting up in front of an expectant crowd and my amps are fucked… I got the sound tech to look at the back of the Matamp and it had blown a fuse because the speaker cable had popped out of the speaker cab and the amp was in open circuit, I then noticed I had kicked my guitar lead and unplugged it from my pedal board - so within two minutes it was all sorted…. I couldn’t have picked a worse time to have a technical issue such as this. Packed room, Roadburn festival, two seconds to go, no sound. NIGHTMARE! When I first heard the album I was like "Holy Shit! This is the best riff porn since Electric Wizards 'Dopethrone'". To you what are the seminal albums that make up the spine of the doom genre? Awesome! That's exactly how I feel when I listen to stuff like Fu Manchu or Fudge Tunnel. Ummmmm, ok I’ll say Fu Manchu - The Action Is Go (not ‘doom’ in most people’s opinion but a big influence for me), High on Fire - Surrounded By Thieves, Slomatics - Flooding The Weir, Fudge Tunnel - Hate Songs In E Minor, Zoroaster - Self titled, Gonga - Self Titled.

What stuff are you guys currently rocking out to at home? Any dark secrets we should know about? I am currently listening to Slaughter In The Vatican by Exhorder. I never really got into this really fast thrash initially, but Harri from Horse There's no questioning that you guys are Latitudes linked to a band called Speed Trap advocates of being heavily involved with the recently and I thought that was cool, then Mike tech side of things. That all sounds great in Scheidt (from Yob) had linked to Exhorder on his theory but that must lead to some unwanted Facebook page so I checked it out. What I found headaches along the way also, right? was this amazing and furious thrash metal that We’ve had a few issues along the way with sounded like a fucked up ‘Cowboys From Hell’ amplifiers dying or drum kits failing. We had an era Pantera. I rediscovered 10,000hz legend by old Orange Or120 go up in smoke during practice Air too. I’m really into Air, they have some once and during our last show in London Paul’s amazing songs and it is totally different from any kick drum nearly fell over as one of the legs was of the guitar based music I listen to. I read on the held on with electrical tape…. We had about 8 internet the other day this blog where a guy roles of gaffe tape and he chose Electrical tape… mentioned someone he knew listened to Tibetan That stretchy, oily tape that doesn’t grip very singing bowls to ‘reset’ his tints. I downloaded a

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full album of this stuff on my iPod and it hasn’t worked yet. Sounds cool though, and really relaxing. Soon I am going to convert all the episodes of Cosmos (Carl Sagan) to Mp3 (I own the DVD’s) and this will be what I listen to when I sleep on tour, better than listening to other people snoring! Music wise, I have been listening to Rainbow quite a bit lately, also Earth and Earthless. You guys are going to be riffing up Europe in April, you're playing a lot of shows that month. How much are you anticipating getting over to the continents mainland to blast the new material? Yeah, we’ve got a lot of shows this year so I

hope the van is ready!!! We’re really focussed on getting out there again, playing these tracks and probably fine tuning them even further in a live environment. it seems like quite some time since we did any proper touring (spring 2013) and have committed a lot of time to getting this album written and recorded, so now here we are only weeks away from our first tour in almost 12 months and we’re ready to go, it’s been a long time coming. Cheers Jon, I can't wait until you get back over to Ireland. Bring it on!!!!! Looks like November might be happening....

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The Robin 2, Bilston, 16 February 2014 Supports - Apparition, Sage’s Recital and Seventh Sin Review and Photos by Reg Richardson So, we're here at the Robin 2, Bilston for what is predominantly an evening of Female Fronted Metal bands. Headlining tonight is Austrian band Edenbridge with support from Apparition, Sage's Recital & Seventh Sin. The bands have attracted a decent sized audience which was great considering it was a pretty miserable Sunday night outside. It might just be my own perception of things but it seems to me that female fronted metal bands have more volatile line-ups than many other types of band. First up tonight was Apparition, one of those bands that has gone through a change in line-up since I saw them here as part of the Dames of Darkness Festival last year. At that time the band was fronted by Laura Sakara Marshall who has since departed to dedicate time to new project Sakara. This time around American songstress Grace MÊridan stood front and centre and in doing so did a fine job. Grace sounded very good indeed....when you could hear her above the band. The volume of the vocals was, at best, modest and spoiled what could have been an excellent set.

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Next band on stage was Sage's Recital, I'd not seen these before and I have to say that I'm still not sure what to make of them. This was the only band that didn't have a female leading the vocals, in fact, there was no female at all and I had the feeling that that was something they were missing. The band describe themselves as a neo -classical and symphonic metal outfit but front man John West seemed to have studied the Dickinson, Gillan & Halford book of vocals and while it perhaps could have worked, that style of vocal didn't hit the target for me with the music, at times, edging towards prog metal. That said, the music side of the short set was pretty good despite one or two sound problems.

faces behind his kit. The crowd responded well to the band who, at the end of the set, found themselves with a few more followers than they had at the start, my mate Paul included.

Third band of the night was Seventh Sin, over from the Netherlands. This was a chance to showcase their latest album, "When Reality Ends", one they grabbed with both hands. At the front was Monique Joosten, a young lady with a refined voice supported by talented musicians, and for me Seventh Sin proved to be the band of the night. Monique interacted well with the audience to promote the band behind her while drummer Wiro Geerlings was a master at pulling

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Last up was headline band Edenbridge. The crowd were expectant as the band came on stage but once again the vocal levels let them down. To compound this, vocalist Sabine Edelsbacher revealed that she was unwell but would soldier through the set which, to her credit, she did without losing everything completely. The lack of strength in the vocals whether from the low volume level or Sabine's inability to belt out the lyrics meant that this wasn't the best of sets. She tried, she really did, but circumstances worked against her and at times her voice faded to almost nothing; perhaps she needed something stronger than the medicinal tea she was drinking throughout the set. The rest of the band played well, very well in fact, and the sound from the instruments was clear and well expressed; only the thin vocals let the band down and that wasn't just because Sabine was unwell. I'd like to see these again when everything was working in their favour and Sabine was 100%. All in all a mixed night, taking everything into consideration Seventh Sin were the best by a street with Apparition running them a close second. Sound and/or health worked strongly against both Sage's Recital and Edenbridge so they go on the checklist to see again in a different environment; Seventh Sin and Apparition I'd see again anytime they were around.

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Metal vids to sink your teeth into

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Jackson Firebrand Cock Rockin’ Winger Rat Race BlackWolf Keep Moving On

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Lee Walker Speaks with Andre Joyzi and Pedro Caparros L贸pez 22

Photo Firebrand creditsAfter EsterDark Segarra


Ahead of the bands triumphant return to Hammerfest, Lee Walker caught up with Andre and Pedro on their ill-fated Chester date to discuss the Cultura era of the band and to ask that all important question is Paul back for good? Hi guys thanks for meeting up for an interview, Hows the tour been so far?

Pedro – Not really no. To be honest we have never stopped playing the classic tracks on that album like ‘Worlds On Fire’, ‘La Ultima Hora’ as Andre – It’s been great so far. Last night in Birmingham was awesome and was probably the they are songs we really cant not play as they really shaped and forged the identity of the band best show so far. We have got London and Nottingham left which are probably the most important ones and we are really excited about the tour. It’s been great playing the old stuff. The people are really into those songs you know. It gets the nostalgia going and feels really awesome. I wasn’t there when the album was recorded but being a part of this now is really cool.

As you mentioned briefly earlier you have had a few line-up changes over the years and the particular line up for this tour you have got Ben Edis from Spirytus taking Stuart’s place and Paul returning to the fold. What prompted these changes?

Pedro – It’s just life. When a band has been playing for so long, like fifteen or sixteen years Where did the idea to do a tour to celebrate the band has been together. We are only human the ten year anniversary of Cultura come and it’s only natural that people want to move on and do something different, someone breaks a from? Pedro – We was toying with the idea for a while leg whatever you know. Lots of things happen and it was originally proposed by our agent and it over such a long time. I wasn’t a part of the band did make sense to us so we said let’s do it and I at the beginning but from what I hear now it sounds pretty fucking cool and Ben is a great can see on your question four something bass player. He has toured with us before with (laughter). Yes there has been changes and it his band Spirytus. They supported us on a was noticeable that Paul left the band last Summer but we remained in touch with him and couple of tours and he has a great personality adding to mix too so it was a natural thing to get asked him to do the tour as he was part of the band when we did ‘Cultura’ which is the essence him to do it. of the band and was the time when this band got discovered by a generation of people. As Joyzi The one question that I have seen bounced was pointing out the tour is going better than ever around Facebook I don’t know how many and we are looking at selling out tomorrow and in times is Paul returning to the band full time? Nottingham and we have a nice slot at Both – Yes. Hammerfest. Pedro – As we are speaking yes he is. Rui is a great singer and was a great guy and a really What’s it like revisiting that era of the band? good friend and a professional but what Pedro – It took us three or four rehearsals to get happened was that when we had to address the to use to those old songs and live wise was also writing process we felt that he was just not the different as Joyzi and Ben (who is helping out on right person and around the same time we was bass) was not in the recordings so we had to just about to get ready for this tour and Paul was readdress a few bits but it is working better than always going to do this tour and one thing led to ever. Its lots of fun and for us its like being back the other (AJ – it was a natural conclusion) so we at home, playing those songs and letting the had to tell him “look man this is what is going to people sing along and with the great responses it happen. We are unsure and uncertain about you has been getting it makes you feel proud of what being a fixed member in the band simply you are and what you have done. because we don’t feel like…” don’t get me wrong he’s got the qualities, he’s a great guy and a Back when you wrote it you obviously just great singer but he hasn’t got the essence that thought of it as an album, did you ever think you need to be in this band. The background and that you would be doing a tour ten years later tunes are a bit strange so you have to be a bit celebrating its anniversary? abnormal to be in this band (laughter).

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Obviously you are playing Hammerfest this weekend. Are you looking forward to it? Pedro – yes we are man. Hammerfest is one of those festivals that keeps surprising us. I remember we did Hammerfest the third something and it was two o’clock on the main stage and we just jumped on stage and it was filled to the rafters big time and for some reason we connected with those guys. Most of the people who attend Hammerfest are young but there are a lot who are of our generation so they still remember you know and they like to celebrate with us and we have have had an amazing response at every single one so that is why we keep coming back to it. We won’t stop until they stop us. Do you have any other festivals lined up?

May which we are headlining. Pedro – and we would like to take advantage of this to say that today’s gig which we had to cancel due to Paul’s really bad health will take place on the 4th of May which is literally just days after the RAD fest so if you are planning to come here keep your tickets and it will be the same lineup, the same people and we will try not to kill ourselves in the meantime so it’s all good. Do you have any messages that you would like to pass onto your fans? Pedro – They are the reason why we are here. We will never forget that and as long and they will never forget us. The give and take for us has worked really well and no matter what happens when you are out there seeing all those people singing your songs, nothing else matters

Andre – We have got Alt Fest in August, we are playing on the Sunday supporting Cradle Of Filth on the Metal Stage, and the RAD fest on the 2nd

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Matt, Callum and Keith from

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SpeakFirebrand with AfterStoodge Dark


Scottish thrashers Amok released their second exuberant bombardment of force last year with their album 'Somewhere In The West'. Stoodge speaks to Matt, Calum and Keith from the thrash dynamo and how things have been since the records release in November. So, Amok have been ripping it up on the thrash scene in Scotland for ten years now. How has the metal scene, particularly thrash progressed up north over the last decade? Matt - I think it's nice to see that there's still a strong metal scene and that lots of bands have stood the test of time. Glasgow’s great for gigs. Calum – When we first started there really wasn’t many thrash bands that I was aware of playing north of the border. We ended up playing with grizzly death and black metal bands all the time. One of the band’s that was about was Matt’s old band Abraxas which were great. Gradually thrash bands started to appear, and get better too. Like the thrash scene in general there are a few bands that have jumped on the band wagon but there are a fair few turning up now that are pretty fucking cool.

There was a five year gap between your debut 'Downhill Without Brakes' and your latest release 'Somewhere in the West'. Is there any reason why the wait was so long and do you maybe regret not capitalising on the momentum you gained from your 2008 release?

Keith - It is one of the biggest regrets I have with this band and I know some of the other guys feel the same! It was mainly due to the fact that pre “Downhill Without Brakes” we were all carefree students and we all had a lot of free time to put into the band. However, we all had to get jobs and a lot of changes occurred in our personal lives. The amount of time we had to play/practice was temporarily reduced! But hindsight is a wonderful thing and I like to take the positive from it! It was during that break that the majority of songs for the album were written and tested Would you describe Amok as a new wave live. So if we didn’t have that break then we thrash assault playing old-school thrash or is maybe could have rushed things and traditional thrash a better tag? “Somewhere in the West” would not sound as good as it does! Also we got Matt in the band and Keith - I don’t think we try to fit into either of those tags! Undoubtedly we take influence from he made his recording debut on that album! His drumming has rejuvenated our sound so it was the older bands but we certainly don’t strive to “imitate” them and fit into a specific genre. I see a well worth the wait! Calum – Yeah basically life got in the way! But I lot of thrash bands trying to do that and it can become a bit boring and generic! If you listen to never stopped writing over those 5 years, so “Somewhere in the West” you will find a different although we were off the grid, the album was range and style of thrash songs so it’s why I find always being worked on. it hard to put a tag on it! 'Somewhere in the West' is the bands second Calum – I agree, I’m proud of being a thrash band but the way in which thrash is going these full length album, it came out in November days is something I’m not really into, its become 2013. Was there ever a feeling of maybe a parody of itself and really predicable. I think we suffering from the dreaded 'follow up' record syndrome whilst going through the writing or are different from a lot of the newer thrash acts because we don’t play up to the thrash image or recording processes? stereotype. For our first album our influences Matt - I came in to this fresh so I just went for it. were clearer to hear, but now I feel we have Pressures on next time! moved on from imitation and have a clear idea of Keith - There maybe was a slight element of fear who we are as a band, and where we want to go. but I think as soon as we started recording, and Matt - I think that amok does its own thing under especially when we heard Matt’s drumming for the thrash umbrella. the first time, we knew were onto something

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good! “Downhill Without Brakes” was an amazing album for us, but I had so much confidence in these new songs! I think the fact that we recorded it ourselves and could get the exact sound we wanted was definitely a help in eliminating any fear! Following up “Somewhere in the West” is a different story though…. Calum – I feel the pressure sometimes because I write most of the initial song ideas. I know the guys are all waiting on me to come up with the goods. It takes a lot of demos per album, probably about 20 songs, so we are quite brutal and discard a lot of material. In the end though I work hard on our music, and writing all those songs is practice, there’s no way I’d release a song if I didn’t think it was an improvement on the last album. I already have some killer ideas for Amok III. If the band had the opportunity and resources to pack up and move base anywhere else in the World where would the desired destination be? Or would you remain and fight in the corner of thrash in Glasgow?

Calum – Aye fuck it! Let’s go to Japan!! Any members of the band have any proud talents or party tricks we should be aware of? Calum – I know Matt does snowboarding and can speak Japanese which is pretty cool! I’m an archaeologist, but it’s more watching pipelines than finding temples. Keith – Stevo is a body builder, and is actually a really great artist. He can also eat 40 chicken nuggets in 8 and half minutes! Greg’s a huge film fanatic, and is a great cook, his meatballs are a favourite of the band! Calum – Aye, and Keith has an uncanny ability to drink huge amounts of Tennents lager without feeling hung-over. He’s a true champion of lager. Seriously, the guy is a hero. What craziness have Amok got lined up for us in 2014?

Keith - There is talk about doing something special to celebrate 10 years of this band but I can’t go into that! But we are firmly back on the live circuit and want to play and promote the new Keith - We are a Glasgow band through and album as much as we can! All things going well I through and this City has been a major influence would like to think that we could be ready to in shaping our sound and we are proud of it! The record by the turn of the year! Follow us at artwork and the sound of “Somewhere in the www.facebook.com/amokscotland and West” work perfectly to show what our brand of www.amokthrash.bandcamp.com to keep up to Glasgow thrash is all about! I wouldn’t change date with our antics! Also make sure you check that for the world! out our label and shop Witches Brew at Calum – It wouldn’t be Amok if we were out of www.witchesbrewthrashes.de Without Witches Glasgow. There’s something about coming from Brew we would likely not be here. a small country, it makes you want to punch Calum – Yeah thanks Cheryl, having your above your weight. support means a lot to us, more than you know! Matt – I’m actaully in Tokyo right now!

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It's time for Firebrand After Dark to get inside the head of Tunisian technical death metallars very own Doctor Frankenstein, Muhammed Melki. From what started as a one man project has exploded into a titan of intricate pandemonium and purpose. Stoodge caught out with Muhammed to find out what he has to say about the bands new album 'Skinless Agony' and the current scene back home in Tunisia. So, what should the World be expecting from your 'Skinless Agony' album? Skinless Agony is a crossing point that all of us may meet in, it doesn't matter where and when and only music can unite us in it, but what unites us is everything that we can feel and everything we experience...to conclude, it may be a journey into the vortex of our minds. How does it differ from your 2012 'New Order of Intelligence' EP? The New Order Of Intelligence EP which was released in March 2013 can only be an explosion of the whole concept within it. There's many obvious messages that were created in the middle of a bad environment and in the depth of fucked up conditions, and to talk about the difference between 2012 and 2014 that's when skinless agony comes, the story begins, and the war starts.. The album is out on Crime Records As, you signed with the Norwegian label a few months ago. How has your relationship been with them and are they a decent stable for the band in the future? Well the relationship has been great and friendly since the beginning and we like that, for the future I see a good thing but let's see what future hides also. Brood of Hatred of course started out as a one man project, the brainchild of you Muhammed. At what stage did you decide to spread your wings and take flight on this journey as a fully fledged group? Metal is a genre where it unites us all no matter what colour race or age... and from my point of view it's true that the core that was created in Brood Of Hatred came to life by one man, but I knew that there would come a day where I would share that pleasure I created with other musicians with the same point of views and the people that are ready to dive in this journey.

country made me create this project, especially when you see how people live, the problems of society, political problems, a ruined culture, but the fact that you discover that this country doesn't have a metal scene...that's when you find yourself as being strange in the middle of unknown people, that scene is rotten here and organizers don't exist. There's just some pretenders and there's no encouragement from anyone. Back to your new album now, lyrically what is the message you're sending out? The message is so obvious and it's the voice of the human race's experience in the universe and this war started from long ago, and its end is near, and this end consists of the evolution of new technologies. Briefly the message is the weakness of the human race and his egoism towards his desires that turns him from a human to an animal. I say that with deepest respect for the Animals. So what about us? Can you see the human race evolving further mentally or physically over the next few decades or are we going to be flushed out as an obsolete species whether we have a choice or not? For me, I see that it's too early for decisions about how our future will be, because the evolution became infinite and the end became obvious which is the war between the human race and the things that they created, And we are in a position to make us forward the message to the people that still have faith in life.

Will we be seeing you guys in Europe ripping it up on tour later in the year? The band is currently active, yet we still haven’t done any live gigs in Tunisia because of the lack of any proper organization. This doesn’t mean that we do not aim to perform on a local, national or international level, and we've already been rehearsing for a year, so let’s see what this year brings after the album is released. Soon some How do you think being from Tunisia has shows will be announced, some international conditioned the band? Are there any pros and shows, we are working on that, and some behind cons from being in a metal band in North the curtain plans are in the process also. Africa? I am happy that I live in Tunisia because this

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Vincent Drummmond aka IAMTHESLEEPWALKER Interviewed by Lee Walker For the people out there who are just discovering you as a result of this interview can you give a brief overview of who IAMTHESLEEPWALKER is? My name is Vincent Drummond, I’m from Peterborough in England and iamthesleepwalker is the name I use for all my artistic & creative endeavours. What made you want to start off with graphic design/illustration? I think the strongest influence that planted the seed for me was that my Dad used to play a disparate and varied mix of music in the house when I was a kid. I remember one day looking through his vinyl collection and thinking that someone must have drawn or photographed all these amazing covers. I didn’t really understand how they did it but I knew I wanted to do it.

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amazing shots and forgotten loads of good ideas for artwork because I haven't taken my camera out or I didn’t have a pen and paper with me. In terms of the artwork you produce, are there any specific process that you go through? Number one is definitely listening to and enjoying the music of the artist I am designing for. I need to have that to be able to connect myself, the visuals & the music. Those three parts are three sides of a triangle. Without one the other two fall down. If the music has no effect on me, if I don’t like it or I can’t connect with some part of it then I don’t believe I should be doing the artwork for it. It’s I also had an amazing art teacher in secondary important for me to feel something for the school called Jerome Hunt and a graphics music otherwise I can’t be 100% committed to teacher in college called Phil Jarman. Both those the project. It would feel false and contrived. guys encouraged me to develop my own style and allowed me the freedom to make mistakes Typically how long would it take you to and hone my skills. I had some really outlandish produce a completed fully finished design? ideas in art class, typical adolescent controversial Each project is different and each band or label for the sake of being controversial stuff. But I was member is different, so there can be a myriad of never discouraged from realising them nor was I internal & external factors that can affect how told I couldn’t do something. I really relished that long it takes. I learned a long time ago to just roll freedom and that total immersion in an artistic with the punches, get my head down and work. environment. All the other subjects at school However, I do like to work fairly quickly so that were very dry, a lot of textbooks and worksheets. the project is always exciting and I keep seeing it Art class was the only time I felt like I was in the with fresh eyes. right place. In terms of artists be it graphical or even Where do you get your concepts from? musicians, there is often talk of them having They come from anywhere and everywhere. My their own ‘signature style’. Have you instincts, experiences and emotions play a large developed a specific style yet if so how would part in shaping the art I make. I’ll see or hear you describe it? something and it will spark off the smallest germ My work is not just a visual representation of the of an idea that worms deep inside & grows. Other music I am designing for but as I said earlier it is times an album cover will come to me out of also an extension of me, of my instincts, my nowhere almost fully formed. I keep scrapbooks emotions and my experiences. My work changes full of images and words; I buy a lot of books, as I change, it changes as each project dictates watch a lot of film and listen to a lot of music. I try and it mutates & reforms naturally over the years. to keep a lot of audio and visual stimulation However, I think my underlying style is around me as much as possible. consistent. Just like the ocean is always the I find that one of the best times for coming ocean but it’s different every time you see it. up with concepts is late at night when I’m lying in If I had to define it I suppose in general my bed. You’re going to sleep so your mind is older work was characterised by being dense relaxed and free to wander, roaming and jumping and layered, organic forms, lots of light burns, from one unrelated thought to the next. dusty and textured like something from a half A piece of advice I’ve always tried to follow remembered nightmare in an old curiosity shop. is to always carry a pen, a notebook & a camera Now my work is in general a lot darker, I use because you never know when the next spark of harsher contrasts, minimal colours but it still inspiration will hit you. I have missed so many retains my love of textures and layers.

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release records and put shows on. It’s important to be involved in your local scene and I am always honoured to be a small part of that. You have also done some work for Holy Roar Records. Was it a similar story to how you worked with Euglena/ The Infernal Sea? Yes, exactly the same. Holy Roar is a great label; they put out so many strong releases and merchandise. They’ve made me go into my overdraft so many times! Do you have any favourite pieces? I don’t really dwell on past projects too much. They were very much a place and a time and I’m always hungry to make something new and plough through the next challenge. But the album cover I did for a band called 1000 fires holds special resonance for me as it is the first album cover that I designed and also I think one of the strongest concepts I have come up with. I know that you have done some work with Russian post-hardcore band Euglena as well as a UK Black metallers The Infernal Sea. How did you team up with these two bands? I’ve been a big fan of Euglena since I heard their split with Hexis and As We Draw on Throatruiner back in 2011. If you haven’t heard it, then you absolutely must. The 3 tracks from Euglena are so crushing; it’s a phenomenal piece of work. So I heard that and at some point I messaged them on Facebook and told them how much I loved the release and said that in the future when they were looking for a designer for anything to keep me in mind. I got a message back from Sanya the guitarist and we got talking and he asked me for some design work. I was so stoked when he asked me and we still chat occasionally on Facebook. As for The Infernal Sea, they’re from my hometown so I went to a few of their shows and spoke to Dean the vocalist and then again, sent a few messages on Facebook and went from there. I think there has been a big resurgence in the past few years in the DIY mentality with lots of smaller labels coming out and an emphasis on bands working together to

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What do you have planned for the future? The internet has made the world so small and yet so vastly impersonal. So as far as is possible for me, I want to bring things back down to a personal level, get out there and make connections with bands and labels, faces to names, actual conversations and that sort of thing. Also I have to have a day job that pays the bills so I would love to be at a point where I am able to support myself full time with my art, quit my day job and devote all my time to creating things.

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One of the things that we at Firebrand After Dark have noticed is that we don’t always give credit where it is due to the artwork which accompanies the albums. We would like to address by bringin to you, what the team feel are the best 5 covers of the material which we have reviewed this month. If you have any comments about them please feel free to tweet us @fbadmag, comment on Facebook /FirebrandAfterDark or email us at afterdark@firebrandrr.co.uk

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Dead Earth Politics The Queen Of Steel God Module False Face

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Fuoco Fatuo The Viper Slithers In The Ashes Of What Remains

Carnivorous Forest Genital Mutilation In The Name

Of God

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Mos Generator Electronic Mountain Majesty

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Monsterworks are one of the most prolific and hard working bands in Britian today. They've just released their 12th slab of atmospheric, prog, astral plain travelling metal with 'Universe'. Jon. the bands vocalist and guitarist tells Stoodge about their latest trip into the galaxy and about how their journey has been until now.

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You guys have been on the scene for quite a while now, even overcoming a few line up tribulations on your journey. 'Universe' is your 12th full length release. How does this record fair in the vortex of your already very illustrious back catalogue? It is the eye of the vortex, the perfect centerpiece, of course! …actually it’s just the next step in our metal evolution. Each album builds and refines on the one before, so Universe is essentially just a representation of where we are now musically or, more specifically, where we were when we recorded it. I have already moved on in some ways in terms of how I write, but I still listen back even to the earliest stuff and get a kick out of it. I am proud of the whole body of work. 12 albums in 16 years is one hell of a return. It must be a nightmare on your personal lives though, all this studio time then touring, then more studio time and then.....? Not at all….basically because we don’t play live much. I can well imagine busting your ass on the road for years will ruin your personal life or your health, or both. Monsterworks has always been a collaboration between “metal brothers” (to use the cliché) on some level where we just get together a few times a year for some relatively intensive work. We don’t see each other often enough to fall out! This lineup has been the same for about six albums. I write most of the music and demo it in my own time which, with the right tools, is easy to do so long as you have inspiration from somewhere. Then we book studio time and start practicing. However, the other guys are quite professional (not necessarily literally, but in the way they approach rehearsal) and don’t take long to pull it together. For example, this weekend we are having what is probably the final band jam before we hit the studio again, and that is only the third full band practice! Marcus (lead guitar) and I

spend more time together because guitar riffs and complementary bits just take longer to get right. Hugo (bass) and James (drums) are astoundingly capable musicians who don’t need much practice. Many bands, even well-established ones, barely make a living playing/selling music anymore, so I just found having a cruisey day job where I can afford to finance recording etc. and not starve in the process was the best balance in my life. I am living a dream, not a nightmare, while I never turned a profit on anything musical I ever did! The world is, frankly, wrong that way but I have to use the cards I got dealt. I have a family to feed now. Is there a fixed routine that you all adhere to before entering the studio and when recording? Once the demos are done it is just about scheduling enough practice in the time before formal tracking begins. Sometimes we are flying by the seat of our pants in the studio, which is why some of the material can be a little rough round the edges, but it is more genuine that way I reckon. In the studio I imagine it is much like the old days. If in doubt, ask yourself “what would Sabbath do?” – actually no, that would just mean snorting a lot of cocaine so we wouldn’t get anything done and be broke. We track drums and bass live to tape, often with a guitar track at the same time, then add overdubs as needed. Rarely does anything get messed with on the bass and drums. Vocals are recorded after the tape session is transferred to the digital domain, along with extra lead guitar where needed. We cram all of that into 4 or 5 days and mix in a separate 4 or 5 day session, although I intend to spend longer on the upcoming album because it is pretty epic.

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It must take a while now also to settle on a setlist when playing live, or do you prefer to play your latest material when performing? Since we don’t play live that much we tend to keep a stock set list of older songs that are short and thrashy, then add a few new ones as time goes by. The set has a lot of stuff from The God Album because that seemed easier to recreate live. Now we are more prog-oriented and there are cleaner vocals, I am not quite sure what we will do next time we play! For us, preparing for a live set is almost as time consuming as practicing for an album so you understand why we gravitate toward the latter. A new recording is immortal, whereas a crappy gig in a basement in London isn’t, even if it can be a lot of fun.

also self-referential, it’s true. I never thought about that. In theory I could stop listening to anything else (not that I would want to) and become some kind of self-perpetuating metal nerd. That would be a really interesting experiment: to train up a musical genius on an isolated island and then cut them off from any further outside influence, and see where the compositions end up in a few years. Of course, it would be cruel and inhuman to cut off anyone from discovering new music. It is one of the purest pleasures in life.

Besides the new album 'Universe' what two past Monsterworks releases would you recommend for any new fans out there? In some ways the most unusual accomplishment Are you still influenced by the stuff that you was the double metal space adventure concept were listening to back in 1998 or does it seem series: Spacial Operations and Singularity. now that you're maybe more influenced by However, from a certain standpoint it was an your own music? insane proposition and its very preposterousness Interesting question. I guess a new band has to could turn people away. have exclusively outside influences. In 1998 In recent times I particularly like The God when we started it was mostly death metal: that Album and Earth. It is when the lyrics started classic 90s period where it just ruled. I still listen getting more philosophical. to that style and those bands are still releasing great albums. I also never lose touch of the Your music does create an epic atmospheric period before that when I was in my formative soundscape, where would be the best place years listening to AC/DC, Judas Priest and to listen to Monsterworks in all it's intended Queen. Since the mid 00s I have been quite into glory? On a space capsule maybe? the so-called “post metal” atmospheric stuff like Yeah, you got it. I am really into surround sound Neurosis, but it took quite a while before it at the moment and hope to release some of our actually rubbed off on my own music. music in that format, so a well-appointed space Our stuff sounds more prog now because it capsule with a nice view over a planet and a integrates some of the atmospherics, but it is good surround system would be ideal.

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Sid Frankosky chats to Stoodge Mc Nulty Ripping up the Bay Area since 2006, Descecrater have gathered a throng of fans in their home circuit. It's now 2014 and their debut album 'Wretched' has been released. Will that listener base expand with their bone crushing introduction now available for the World? Yes, we think so. Stoodge spoke to vocalist and guitarist Sid Frankosky about the band, the albumFirebrand and everything After Darkelse Desecrater.

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So, seven years after the bands formation your debut album 'Wretched' is finally alive. What's the feeling in the Desecrater camp now that the record has finally been unleashed? We are all very excited about the album finally being completed and released to everyone! The process has been a long time coming for us, and one hell of a roller coaster ride. We just wanted to release something strong that is worth listening too. We wanted the quality and the production to be up to par for the listener. We worked to make sure that the recording really captured what we are trying to do musically and artistically. We feel that Wretched is an album that will stand on its own in the Thrash and Death Metal genre. The critics so far have given it great praise as a really hard hitting and heavy album, so that is validating to all the work we have put in.

video soon, and the songs Wretched Existence and Execution are two of the most listened to songs on the new album. We really focused on writing powerful riffs and blistering drumbeats that will have the listener banging their head.

I've heard the record a few times now, and each time I'm picking up on new fragments that I missed out on with prior listens. Can you talk us through your influences? I think one of the unique things about this band is that we all have somewhat different influences so when we combine that; it's a very awesome mix of our individual influences coming together as one force. When we are playing and writing, it is different and stands out because you get that old school feeling mixed with what's out today. To me, that's what we need more of in the metal world. We can't forget our roots and why we like metal in the first For those that aren't too familiar with you guys, if place! So, if you are a true metal head, then the more you hear the album, the more you will catch they check out your album what are they going those influences in our songs, ENJOY!!!! to hear? I believe you are going to hear a lot of old thrash and death metal influences mixed with our own brand of modern metal. When we write, we want to put out something that metal heads want to hear, and also bang their heads to, but more importantly, what we feel will start a pit with! We are metal heads too, so our metal roots can definitely be heard in our style of writing and crafting of the songs we create.

You've already played with the likes of Death Angel, Deicide and Exodus, with your introduction now cemented with the release of 'Wretched' what's next on the bucket list for Desecrater? We are ready to tour! We want to be where our fellow metal heads are! So, metal festivals are something that we would like to be more apart of, and getting the chance to play in Europe would be What about your old bands Striktnyne, Taunted incredible. Hopefully we can make that happen this and Arsnic now, are they on hiatus, completely year. We just want to get our name and our sound discarded or do they exist with different out the best we can possible. We have worked very members? hard to play with the bands mentioned, and we are I believe the only band out of the three that is still playing is Taunted. Arsinic is done and a few of their very proud and honored to get to play with some of the bands that we grew up blasting on our radios. members are starting up there own projects now, I believe. As far as Striktnyne goes ‌ that band was We have even gotten great praise from members of those bands when we played with them personally, done the day it ended, a few members went on to which is quite humbling to say the least. But overall, start another projects. Being in a metal band is all about how bad you want to succeed, and how driven the only thing we can do is keep on playing where you are to get it! Finding people with the talent and we can and hope to let our sound, passion, and similar mindsets is a difficult blend to find, and I truly stage performance speak for itself. believe we have all those elements in Desecrater. Are there any countries in particular you'd love to get to and play sometime in the near future? How about the songs included on the record, how far do we have to go back to find the tracks Most definitely, we would love to play Europe, as we know that the European metal fans are really into our when they were first conceived? style of metal. I think that we would do well in Japan, There are a few songs on the album that were South America, and Indonesia. I think that our brand written back when the band first started. For example, Buried Alive was the first song that we ever of intensity and power would really get a crowd head -banging and thrashing in a pit. Give us a stage with wrote as a band. We continued to write from that point creating a four song EP in 2009. We took some a good sound system with a rabid crowd, and we are in our element. We are big on building that of those songs and adding them to Wretched, relationship with the fan/audience, where they are however, we re-recorded, re-mixed, and mastered feeding on us and we are feeding on them in a cycle them for this album. We are looking to do a music that builds and builds‌ sound like a circle pit?

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Stoodge Mc Nulty Speaks to Brian Slagel the man behind

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The mastermind behind Metal Blade Records Brian Slagel chats to Stoodge about how he sees modern bootlegging, his own listening habits and how back in the day he missed out on signing Metallica and Guns and Roses. Brian, you of course started out by bootlegging and tape trading. To a point that still happens, mostly within in the club and underground punk/hardcore scenes where there's still die-hard collectors and traders. What's your opinion on modern day bootlegging being in the position you are and should this be a thing that's encouraged nowadays? Well this is a tough subject. When I was doing it, it was trading demos and live shows. Today it is more about copying actual albums. We all back in the day bought all legitimate releases and were just super fans who wanted more. The deal now is that it is so easy to share things to not just one person as we did, but millions. I don't mind live stuff being out there, but full albums depending on how distributed is a problem. What are the less obvious qualities a band should have before you would even consider them to be part of the Metal Blade set up? Most important a love for the music. If you really love it, then you will work hard to make things happen. Also it is important to use your influences, but not sound like them.

With your dedication and heavy involvement behind the scenes, do you find it hard to unwind when you do get some time off? Really tough to get time off for sure. I have had one vacation in 32 years. But I do love going to hockey games and sometimes my wife will travel with me and we can take a day or two to explore. So there is some time, but I am pretty much 24/7 7 days a week working. So other than metal are there any other realms of the musical universe you enjoy exploring when on your own or relaxing? Not really, I would say my tastes is pretty much 99% Metal and hard rock..... Maybe a bit of jazz every once in a while. So, in the 32 years that your brainchild Metal Blade has had to grow up, are there any bands you regret never signing or any you wish you hadn't signed? We missed a few in the early days. I needed $10,000 to sign Metallica and just did not have it. Also had an opportunity to distribute Motley Crue's first album, but no resources. Also I kept getting asked to see Guns N Roses before they were signed. I never did as I thought they were a glam band and I was not into that. Then I heard Appetite and said, oops....

Your current roster consists of bands like Flotsam and Jetsam, Cannibal Corpse, Gypsyhawk, Mount Salem, Amon Amarth and Gwar just to name a few. All awesome bands with different backgrounds, fanbases and sounds. Is there any specific sound or genre that you can never see existing under the Metal Blade umbra? Not really, I love all styles of metal so pretty much anything goes here. As long as it is metal or really hard rock. How about your own listening habits? Do you find it difficult to find the time to listen to everything and do you prefer discovering new bands or dusting off an old LP? Well I do both. At work I am usually listening to new stuff, but I love to listen to the classics all the time. I have loaded up an iPod with my fave stuff (Mostly 70's and 80's metal) and listen to that in the car and when travelling a lot.

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Age of Wonders III Theocrat Leader Class revealed

eyes shut! Theocrat Skill Examples: · Mighty Meek – They say the meek shall Triumph Studios, the team behind the Overlord inherit the earth, and this spell gives them the and Age of Wonders series, today reveals the power to do so. The Target friendly unit gains Theocrat leader class of Age of Wonders III. bonus strength for each tier level difference when Age of Wonders III is now available for attacking or defending against a higher tier unit. Pre-Order on Steam and GoG and has a · Instant Wrath – Deals half of all damage worldwide release date March 31st on digital dealt against target friendly unit back to its platforms and European retail on PC. "Theocrats lead the masses by their hearts. attacker until end of combat. Mark of the Heretic - Marks the units in They heal, persuade, minister and convert. Their · target enemy army as Heretics for a few turns. zealots are fiercely loyal, convinced that any Devout units deal an additional 3 damage against action they perform will earn them a greater reward in the afterlife. Because Theocrats tend Heretics. The Great Purge - Channels divine power not to wield many directly offensive powers, it is · to cleanse the land of all supernatural beings. tempting to believe Theocrats pose no threat. The caster's Infantry and Cavalry units gain History has proven this to be foolishness. Many Dragon Slayer, Fey Slayer, Giant Slayer, earthly kingdoms have fallen under relentless Monster Slayer, Summon Slayer, and Undead crusades where holy armies of martyrs, Slayer. evangelists, templar knights, war shrines and · Armageddon - Foretells the end of the angelic beings bring Armageddon to pagan world. The caster's entire Empire ignores lands." negative morale modifiers and its units gain -"Gifted Lords of the Third Age" by Strong Will. The caster's enemies suffer Ralinstone Pedant, Chronicler 80% Weakness and cannot regenerate health Age of Wonders III introduces RPG-style anymore. class-based character building to the strategy The Theocrat Class can be mixed with any genre. The leader persona of the players, of the six races and can be further augmented consisting of a main class, race, and using specializations leading to additional specializations, forms the heart of their realm. magical skills. RPG style skills are extrapolated to affect a Age of Wonders 3® has been rated Teen(T) by whole empire. Leader characters range from ESRB, 16 by PEGI and has a March 31st 2014 Elven Princesses and to Machiavellian Rogues and ruthless Warlords. Today we reveal details of release date on PC. It will be published through digital distribution and brought to retail stores in the Theocrat class. Examples of Theocrat Class Units include: selected territories. For more information and · Martyr: Martyrs have the ability to absorb regular updates please visit www.ageofwonders.com the damage dealt to another unit in the Theocrat’s army, sacrificing themselves for the holy cause. These fanatical warriors also throw New Final Fantasy Xiv: A Realm Reborn Patch stones at enemies. 2.2 Website Reveals Trailer, Previews And · Evangelist: The Evangelists inspire the More Theocrat’s ranks with their Touch of Faith ability Square Enix, Inc. unveiled today unveiled a new and are able to Convert enemy soldiers to the trailer and new screenshots for Through the Theocrat’s side on the battlefield. Maelstrom, the upcoming Patch 2.2 for Final · Exalted: The most loyal subjects of the Theocrat grow angel-like wings and act as flying Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. The latest images offer players a glimpse into brand-new infantry in his armies. · Shrine of Smiting: Theocratic armies carry dungeons like the Lost City of Amdapor and new Hard Mode dungeons, including the lurid Halatali this Holy Shrine into battle to rain death and and the Illuminati overrun Brayflox’s Longstop. destruction upon their enemies. The Shrine’s Smiting Prayer Bolts gets boosted by the Devout High-level players can also get a sneak peek at units in the supporting army. Once per combat, the Second Binding Coil of Bahamut raid which the Shrine of Smiting can be opened to unleash will be the highest level of difficulty available. Full details of the new assets can be found in the Ark of the covenant style death and destruction upon the unbeliever. Don't look at it, keep your

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accompanying document, as well as the redesigned web page http://na.finalfantasyxiv.com/pr/ special/2_2_Through_The_Maelstrom/ As a quick reminder, players are also invited to check out the upcoming 13th installment of the Letter from the Producer LIVE with director / producer Naoki Yoshida, which will kick off on Friday, March 21st at 2:30 a.m. (PDT) and cover upcoming Patch 2.2 content. Main Scenario Writer Kazutoyo Maehiro will also make a guest appearance to speak about the creation of the story and quests. The Book of Legends , 16-bit style’ RPG Adventure , Debuts on Steam Today Merge Games, an independent publisher specialising in collectable games and digital distribution, today announced the launch of The Book of Legends developed by Aldorlea Games http://www.aldorlea.org on Steam. The Book of Legends is an epic game created by the makers of Millennium, Dreamscape, Moonchild, Undefeated, 3 Stars of Destiny and Asguaard - Aldorlea Games. The story, characters and dialogues, developed by Indinera Falls, are immersive and enthralling - a huge stand-alone role playing game, packed full with characters, quests, items and secrets, evocative of the greats of the genre. Merge Games launches The Book of Legends on Steam today with a number of new features including 40 achievements, badges, trading cards, emoticons and user backgrounds. The world is increasingly being dominated by thieves, rogues and bandits signaling the awakening of Demon of Fear, Azutura, who feeds on people's fears. The solution will be found and crafted by the best alchemists of the realm: a special relic whose vapors will send Demon into a profound sleep for the next few decades or so. A notorious traveler gifted with an extraordinary strength, Jordan, is sent to the House of Fear where the Demon lies to do the job. But the very first day of his mission, he is robbed by thieves and loses the precious relic! Key features include: · More than 30 playable characters - play as the strongest man in the world, a princess, a celebrity, a ghost, a dragon, a demon and even a chicken or a cow. · More than 125 spells to cast, over 60 weapons and 110 pieces of equipment. · More than 100 different enemies including extraordinary monsters such as dragons, manticores, demons and ogres.

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· More than 300 areas to explore with 50 hours of playtime with a myriad of side quests and secrets. · 2 different modes – casual and RPG. · Easy-to-use Quest book and Party Switcher · Party Splitting · Variety – your choices affect the game significantly, multiple endings and an exciting story full of twists and witty or hilarious dialogs. Sega Announces Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F For Playstation Vita Is Now Available For Download Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F, the ultimate rhythm game where players can experience a concert with the virtual diva at any given moment on-the-go, is out-now with an SRP of £23.99/€29.99 and available for digital download on the PlayStation Vita handheld entertainment system in Europe via Playstation®Network. Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA f ™ features a completely separate set of trophies from the PlayStation 3 system version and will offer three DLC packs – the Snow Miku 2013 pack priced at £1.99/ €2.49, an Extra Character Modules pack priced at £1.99/€2.49 and an Extra Songs pack priced at £6.49/€7.99, to further enhance gamer’s experience as well as replay value. DLC Cross-Buy promotion is available for both the Snow Miku 2013 and the Extra Character Modules DLC, if players already own these DLC packs on the PlayStation®3 system version, it will unlock it for free automatically when they purchase the PlayStation®Vita system version of the game. Likewise, if they pick up the PlayStation®Vita system version first and purchase this content, it will also instantly unlock it on the PS3™ version if they decide to purchase that one later. Hatsune Miku is the world's most popular digital singer produced by Crypton Future Media,INC. Her popularity continues to increase in the West and she has over 1.8 million dedicated English speaking fans on Facebook. Hatsune Miku is also successful in performing sold-out 3D concerts worldwide and appearing in TV commercials such as Toyota USA and Google.

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Critically-Acclaimed The Walking Dead: Season Two Continues

Telltale will make you feel scared, hopeful, shocked, and repulsed, only to have the next several scenes do the exact same Episode Two, ‘A House Divided’ available for thing,” with Nerdist.com saying, “…it’s a download on Consoles, PC/Mac, and the iOS home-run. Lighting, meet bottle – again.” App Store this week To date, The Walking Dead: A Telltale Leading publisher of digital entertainment Games Series has sold more than 24 million Telltale Games and Robert Kirkman, the Eisner Award-winning creator and writer of The Walking episodes worldwide, earning more than Dead for his Skybound imprint at Image Comics, 90 Game of the Year awards from outlets including Metacritic, USA Today, Wired, Spike today announced the release of ‘A House TV VGAs, Yahoo!, The Telegraph, Mashable, Divided, ’ the second of five episodes of The Walking Dead: Season Two – A Telltale Games Polygon, Destructoid and GamesRadar, and was also the recipient of two BAFTA Video Games Series. Awards for Best Story and Best Mobile Game. The episode is available now on the The Walking Dead is set in the world of PlayStation®Network in North America* for Robert Kirkman's award-winning comic book PlayStation 3, PC and Mac from the Telltale series and offers an emotionally-charged, tailored Online Store, and other digital outlets, including game experience where a player's actions and Steam. The episode will be available Wednesday, March 5thon Xbox Games Store for choices affect how their story plays out across the entire series. Xbox 360® video game and entertainment The Walking Dead: Season Two - A Telltale system from Microsoft, and on the App Store for Games Series - Episode Two: A House compatible iOS devices Thursday March 6th. Divided is rated 'M' (Mature) for Violence, Blood, The Walking Dead: Season Two – A and Strong Language by the ESRB. Content for Telltale Games Series continues the story of Clementine, a young girl orphaned at the outset future episodes in The Walking Dead: Season Two has not yet been rated by the ESRB. of the undead apocalypse, left to survive in a For more information on the game, visit the world gone mad. Players will struggle to outwit both the dead and the living in situations that will official website, Facebook, and follow Telltale test their morals and control the flow of the story Games on Twitter. For more information on The Walking Dead, Robert Kirkman, and all of his through the choices that they make. titles, visit www.Skybound.com and “With the premiere of The Walking Dead’s www.TheWalkingDead.com. second season, players quickly learned the unique challenges of surviving in the zombie apocalypse as our 11 year old heroine thrust World of Tanks and World of Warplanes back into Robert Kirkman’s relentlessly Soundtracks Available for Free unforgiving world ravaged by the undead,” said Original compositions from the two titles out now Dan Connors, Co-Founder and CEO of Telltale Games.“Clem’s journey continues as even more on major digital platforms Wargaming announced the release of the problems arise, quickly reminding the player that soundtracks for its MMO action games World of safety is only temporary, and the bonds of trust may not always be as strong as they seem. This Tanks and World of Warplanes. Albums are available for the minimum price at iTunes Store episode also introduces our first true villain for the series, the mysterious ‘Carver,’ who’s bent on and can be downloaded for free at World of Tanks and World of Warplanes official websites tracking down her new group of survivors at all and Google Music. costs.” “Music plays an important role in the overall The premiere of Season Two, All That experience of a video game, so a lot of effort was Remains has received critical praise with The put into both soundtracks to ensure the highest New York Times calling it “Excellent” and Buzzfeed saying, “It’s a masterstroke by Telltale,” quality of sound possible,” said World of Tanks Adding “This is the real deal; a game for adults, Audio Director Sergey Phomin. “Having the opportunity to add the finishing touches of our not gamers, a game to share, a game to evangelize about, a game to cherish. “Game Trailers.com awarded the premiere with an Editor’s Choice 9 out of 10 rating, saying that the episode, “…doesn’t waste a single minute.

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soundtrack at the studio where music legends like the Beatles and P ink Floyd recorded their albums, was truly a one-of-a-kind experience.” The World of Tanks soundtrack was mastered at the legendary Abbey Road Studios in London, and features 37 original tracks, with the newly revamped tracks to be added to the game client in Update 9.0. The World of Warplanes soundtrack currently features eight original songs with additional tracks under way. The Warlords Of Draenortm Ride Into Battle This Fall Pre-purchase World of Warcraft’s upcoming fifth expansion today and immediately boost a character to level 90. This fall, World of Warcraft® players around the globe will clash with the legends of Warcraft’s brutal past whenWarlords of Draenor™ charges into stores worldwide. Azeroth’s heroes can prepare for the coming onslaught today by pre-purchasing the expansion digitally at www.worldofwarcraft.com/ warlords. Players who answer this call to arms will receive their character boost to level 90 immediately†, allowing them to join friends on the battlefield or experience the latest content from a whole new perspective. The fifth expansion to Blizzard Entertainment’s acclaimed massively multiplayer online role-playing game leads players to the untamed world of Draenor, where the orc warchief Grommash Hellscream is forging his twisted Iron Horde into a world-shattering weapon of conquest. Faced with seemingly insurmountable odds, the champions of the Horde and the Alliance must establish a base of operations on Draenor and seek out courageous allies to make a stand against Hellscream’s mighty war machine. “We’re sending players deep into uncharted territory with Warlords of Draenor,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “New features like the Garrison will give players a commanding role in theWarcraft saga like never before, and everyone can get in on the action right away with the included level-90 boost. There’s never been a better time to go to war for the Horde or the Alliance.” When Warlords of Draenor launches this fall, it will introduce a wide variety of epic features and content for players of every kind, whether they’re longtime veterans or new recruits. With the expansion, players will be able to: · Explore a Savage World: Explore the hostile world of Draenor, home of the orc and draenei races, as it once existed, and adventure in all-new

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zones alongside characters central to Warcraft history. · Build a Garrison: Construct, command, and expand your own customizable stronghold on Draenor, and gather NPC followers to collect resources and embark on missions on your orders. · Instantly Upgrade to Level 90: Upon pre-purchasing the expansion, boost one character of your choosing to level 90, making it easier than ever to enjoy the latest content together with your friends. · Step Into New Character Models: Character models and animations for World of Warcraft’s original playable races are being fully revamped while maintaining the game’s iconically epic style. · Adventure to Level 100: Reach new heights of power and unlock bonuses to further enhance your abilities on your way to the new level cap of 100. · . . . And More: Take on a wide array of Dungeons, Raids, Scenarios, Battlegrounds, Challenge Modes, and more—no matter what kind of content you enjoy, new adventures await. Warlords of Draenor will come in a Standard Edition (physical and digital versions available), which players can pre-purchase now at a suggested retail price of £34.99. Players also have the option to upgrade their pre-purchase to the Digital Deluxe Edition (SRP £49.99), which contains the following in -game bonuses for World of Warcraft and other Blizzard games (each available in-game at the time of pre-purchase): · World of Warcraft —Dread Raven Mount and Dread Hatchling Pet:Swoop down from the dark of night on the black-winged Dread Raven, a mortal progeny of Anzu, and devour your prey in your next Pet Battle with the adorably ferocious Dread Hatchling. · StarCraft® II —Warchief Portraits: Summon the strength of two of the most fearsome Iron Horde warchiefs—Grommash Hellscream and Blackhand as you clash in the Koprulu sector in StarCraft II. · Diablo® III —Warsong Pennant: Brandish this battle-torn pennant on your back, and channel the rage of the Warsong Clan against the demonic forces of Sanctuary in Diablo III.

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For any review requests please contact the Firebrand After Dark team at afterdark@firebrandrr.co.uk

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Lay Down Rotten - Deathspell Catharsis Label: Apostasy Records Reviewer: Stoodge Mc Nulty Website: www.laydownrotten.com

For the first time, Apostasy Records have the fine honour of being stable for a release by this Germanic tribe. 'Deathspell Catharsis', the bands eighth studio release is a fine addition to the bands respectful stockpile of past releases. This new contribution from Lay Down Rotten has the all the strength, power and brute force that a punch from a Kodiak Bear would pack.

Released: 11 February 2014 Highlight: Zombiefied Electrified

the Perverted Flesh' which are as unforgiving and as roughshod as their title suggests, the aforementioned salvo just doesn't cut it on the savagery scales. Besides this very minor hiccup, the record as a whole is an amalgamation of all what's great about European death metal. The final result being a 50 minute Teutonic onslaught of death metal mastery.

Old school northern European death metal influences are vastly abundant on this almost completely solid feast. The album does go slightly off axis with 'The Fever'. It's tribal chanting and hardcore caressing structure unfortunately seem a little out of place on an otherwise robust album. Not that it's a bad song, it's actually the first single released from this record. It's just, well, out of place. Especially when the album consists of tracks 'Blood on Wooden Crosses' and ' Blasphemous Rituals for

Holy Moses - Redefined Mayhem Label: Steamhammer/SPV Reviewer: Joey Lowebins Website: http://www.holymoses.net/

Album number eleven since their formation in 1980. Not it has not all been plain sailing for the German thrashers. After numerous line-up changes they now appear settled and have released Redefined Mayhem.

Released: 28 April 2014 Highlight: Redemption Of The Shattered

Shattered are stand out tracks. Fast, with double bass galore and ripping guitar solos. With a summer run of shows this year one thing is for sure, the latest catalogue of tracks will go down very well indeed. This is a great album.

Holy Moses has never been a band to roll with the times so to say. In the early days they severed their ties with labels who were trying to push them to release commercial records. Now that’s rock n roll! Anyway, the new album, for one thing it is not commercial, anything but. This is old school thrash. Sabina Classen, front woman for the band is on form, I would hazard a guess that this is where Angela Gossow from Arch Enemy gets her vocal style from, it is brutal. Tracks such as Triggered and Redemption of the

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God Module - False Face Label: Metropolis Records Reviewer: Lee Walker Website: http://jasyn9.wix.com/god-module

Havent not really heard of God Module I was pleasantly surprised when I hit play on the curiously named ‘False Face’ album.

Released: 18 February 2014 Highlight: The Mark

As albums go ‘False Face’ ticks all the right boxes in the crossover ebm/dark wave world and is guaranteed to have tracks from it feature in dj sets for some time.

Going from the artwork you would be forgiven for thinking that God Module are a death metal band they are in fact the project of Jasyn Bangert and dwell somewhere in the dark realms of dark wave, ebm, and industrial all merged into one with the harsh dark industrial style lyrics seamlessly interacting with the pulsating ebm sounds occasionally straying into dark wave territory now and then as the album envelopes you transporting you into a beat infused neverworld exploring themes ranging from the occult to betrayal and loyalty, sex and death.

Mantar - Death By Burning Label: Svart Records Reviewer: Stoodge Mc Nulty Website: www.facebook.com/mantarband

Before delving any further, this is exactly how a two-piece band should sound. The White Stripes can go and blow monkeys, as this my friends right here...is the real deal. From both Germany and Turkey these partners in grime have produced something really special with this release.

Released: 7 February 2014 Highlight: Cult Witness

winnebago's and smoking weed with sultry ladies. It's time for some throbbing desert rock from the vantage of the vultures. P.S, If you have any grievances for the exemption of the use of bass in music, then this will put some manners into you.

Strip Buzzov-en of their backbone, transfer it into a rapid wolverine, inject the feisty weasel with angeldust and send it out to the barren lands. Or, an easier way to find out how those developments would unfold is to get this perpetual dose of superlative riff titillation blasting from your speakers. Although made up of a European duo, there's a strong smell of the stoner/desert rock scene of California on this record. This is the dark side of desert rock! Absent are tales of long drives through the dunes, late night partying with the help of

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Lamb Of God - As The Palaces Burn DVD Label: Epic/9.14 Pictures Reviewer: Joey Lowebins Website: http://www.lamb-of-god.com

“Do you ever get into conversations about music and someone says ‘I don’t get it when people say music has changed their life’ or ‘It doesn’t have that big an impact on people’? If this is the case, point that sceptic in the direction of ‘As the Palaces Burn’, the Lamb of God documentary.

Released: 6 March 2014 Highlight: N/A

year old Daniel Nosek, who had died in 2010. Randy then becomes the centre of attention, both in the film and in the media. The most harrowing part of the film is when Randy hears from Daniel’s Uncle about how his death has impacted upon the family. He can be seen to intently listen and then appears to shed a tear. This documentary really is “access all areas”. It takes you on an emotional rollercoaster, taking you from Randy’s arrest to Willy Adler in floods of tears upon Randy’s return to the States. Lest not forget the centre of this, the music, LOG’s first performance following Randy posting bail, will have the hairs standing up on the back of your neck. The final stages of the film show Randy in court and the decision of the trial. Now, if you were following the trial you will know the outcome; if you weren’t, I

This film shows exactly the impact music has on its fans. From a Columbian taxi driver who turned his back on drugs and crime, to an Indian girl who is one of only two female metal vocalists in the country. The power of music is made evident to even the most steadfast non-believer. The film, directed by Don Argott, follows LOG worldwide against the band’s 2012 Resolution tour. The original idea for the film was to turn the cameras away from the band and onto the fans, hence the focus of the first quarter of the film. It is then, following an unfortunate incident involving one of their fans that the camera turns inward to LOG themselves. won’t spoil it for you. Even if you do know the outcome, you won’t be able to take your eyes off the Midway through the tour, to everyone’s shock, screen and your heart will be pounding as the Randy is held in the Czech Republic on decision is read. manslaughter charges after the tragic death of 19 The film shows a changed band, most notably Randy who on previous LOG footage, (the documentary on live DVD Killadelphia) was having fist fights with his band mates and whose constant drinking appeared to be pushing the band apart. What a difference sobriety makes! This is a great insight into one of the biggest names in metal and how powerful the genre is. Not to be missed.

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Fuoco Fatuo - The Viper Slithers In The Ashes Of What Remains Label: Iron Tyrant Reviewer: Stoodge Mc Nulty Website: www.facebook.com/fuoco666fatuo

Released: 17 February 2014 Highlight: Junipers Of Black Iridescence

Time for something that literally breathes death right existence. now, and yes, you did read that right. This is the first full length release from these The Viper Slithers..... manifests from miasmic burial mournful Italian vultures of ruin. The record gets sludge to epitomising what can be regarded as re-released on gatefold vinyl on 31st March, it's a genuine “We don't give a fuck if you hate this� definite must buy for any slab mongers out there. fundamentalist funeral doom. With five tracks of dense unpleasant affliction and a running time of 52 minutes, there's nothing abridged from what's submerged in this necro-perverse cadaver filled marsh. Opening track 'Ancestral Devouring Anxiety' instantaneously implodes, bringing with it one super massive black cloud. It's the debris from this sunless creation that shrouds the entirety of this record. By the time album closer 'Requiem for Nulun' rings out, what's left are only remnants of a former organic

Corpsessed - Abysmal Thresholds Label: Dark Decent Records Reviewer: Stoodge Mc Nulty Website: www.facebook.com/corpsessed

Released: 4 February 2014 Highlight: Of Desolation

After already having two highly credible EP's injected into the death metal stratum, Finland's Corpsessed have finally spawned their majestic debut monster. It's thunderous, unmitigated and it's an unforgiving whirlpool of cataclysmic fortitude. The incessant echoing of a bludgeoning bass, atom splitting drum work, haunting guitar delivery and somatic cell killing vocals make this one hell of a turbulent journey. In a genre that has been on numerous occasions described as saturated, there's a lot to take and remember from this release. Tracks 'Of Desolation' 'Sovereign' 'Ravening Tides' and 'Demoniacal Subjection' grab the bull by the horns and prove to all the cynics that death metal hasn't went anywhere. It's still as potent and as vigorous as before, it remains as relevant as it was twenty years ago, and oh yes, it's immortal baby!

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Enthrallment - The Voice Of Human Perversity Label: Rebirth The Metal/Grindhead Records Reviewer: Stoodge Mc Nulty Website: www.enthrallment.eu

Scaring any close by and exposed flesh since 1998, this Bulgarian death metal machine are back with their fourth full length carnal commodity. Released on the day that the World celebrates Cupids birthday, or some balls like that. The aptly titled 'The Voice of Human Perversity' swoops in, rips out a few guts, and offers up a delicious arterial meal. Indeed , this is a recommended listen to all sado-mantic couples out there.

Released: 14 February 2014 Highlight: Rats Before The Worms

The deeper into this concoction of pungent cadavers and bone filing derangement you tread, you'll realise that there's something unpleasant yet strangely captivating about this release. Prepare to be enthralled.

Opening piledriver 'Screams Etched Within The Crags' slices this ruinous monstrosity into an unbridled and chaotic motion. It's this gesticulation that's fervent and thrusting all the way through this splatter masterclass. 'Rats Before The Worms' and 'Mummified Ante Mortem' uphold to the gutteral grandiloquence set in stone from the albums primordial fulmination.

Mos Generator - Electric Mountain Majesty Label: Listenable Records Released: 24 March 2014 Reviewer: Joey Lowebins Highlight: Breaker Website: https://www.facebook.com/MosGenerator

Mos Generator, the three piece Rock outfit from style at the same time. Bassist Scooter Haslip really Washington has released their fifth studio album via is a master of his craft, and drummer Shawn Listenable records. Johnson provides the perfect catalyst for the band. Combining Thin Lizzy style riffs with Doom elements is no mean feat but the lads really have hit the nail on the head with this record. Opening track Beyond the Whip gets the album started and following track Nothing Left but Night carries on in the same ballsy ‘Rock n Roll’.

All in all, I freaking love this record. The band are doing a few shows through the US and a festival in Germany this year. If you get the chance to see them live do not miss out.

Enter the Fire has a wonderful bass line running throughout, its starts very slowly is one of the stand out tracks on the album. Each member of the band, being a three piece, really brings their own elements to the record. The vocals from Tony Reed are stunning, with comparisons to early Ozzy, but has a very unique

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Carnivorous Forest - Genital Mutilation In The Name Of God Label: Diptera Records Reviewer: Joey Lowebins Website: www.facebook.com/carnivorousforest

Released: 14 February 2014 Highlight: Donkerester

Do you ever listen to a song and think, that would be With song titles such as ‘Carving the C**t’ and great at a house party, or that would be cool to listen ‘Cocksucker’ it’s hard to take it seriously with the to while just hanging out with some friends? only semi decent track on is ‘Donkerester’ as it has a similar feel to Black Sabbath’s Planet Well, I cannot for the life of me see where this EP Caravan. would fit in. For fans of acoustic guitars with offensive lyrics. The closest I could think would be… no I can’t put my finger on it. The EP title itself has a Black Metal ring to it that Gorgoroth would be proud of, but it is nothing like Black Metal or even straight up metal, it’s a man with an acoustic guitar and amusing track titles. The guitar playing has a hint of Tenacious D about it and the vocals are soothing but the songs never get going. The songs start flat and when you think it might escalate into something more, it doesn’t, it stays flat and well uneventful.

Insain - Enlightening The Unknown Label: Koatoxin Records Reviewer: Stoodge Mc Nulty Website: www.facebook.com/insaindeath

Released: 11 March 2014 Highlight: Enlightening The Unknown

Time now for another impressive release from the industrious vault of French label Kaotoxin Records. This release comes cloaked with both good and bad news. The good being, the EP itself. It's an unnerving butchering slice of grinding sluggery. The latter and unfortunate news being this band are no longer active. 'Enlightening the Unknown' is fucking ferocious! Encrusted together without suppression or remorse, it's barbaric, vulgar and boisterous. Combine this cognition along with the technically astute playing throughout the whole record and what emanates is akin to an auditory lobotomy. Crashing in with hyper-velocity, the brazening transmission of Insain is something the World will miss, whether it knows it or not.

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Orcultus - Orcultus 7” EP Label: Forever Plagued Records Reviewer: Stoodge Mc Nulty Website: www.facebook.com/orcultus

Combusting out of Sweden is the rustic black metal inferno that is Orcultus. Offering up four tracks of sheer undiluted virulent venom and fractious discord, this mysterious unit bring with them their very own sonic fusion of destructive, anti-human, flesh festering noise.

Released: 28 February 2014 Highlight: Duo

defilement that expels as this record bleeds itself out.

For the 15 minutes that this 7” EP elapses, the pulsating and unceasing rhetoric of mass human extinction is loud and clear. Although not really being uncommon as a subject in the realms of black metal or it's close relations, it's a concept that perfectly and malevolently entwines itself around the

Adrenaline Mob - Men Of honour Label: Century Media Records Reviewer: Rob Birtley Website: http://adrenalinemob.com/

What do you get when you throw into the pot a shredding virtuoso guitarist, mix in a singer whose credits include Symphony X, Star One and Russell/ Lande. Add in a Bass player from Disturbed and a Drummer from Twisted Sister? Well it won’t be a One Direction tribute band that’s for sure and you may well need to reinforce the stages for this type of heavylLoad.

Released: 24 February 2014 Highlight: Dearly Departed

Portnoy on ‘Omerta’ but AJ Pero keeps the band motoring on nicely.

The album opens with the statement of intent track ‘Mob Is Back’ and yes you will get the message with this one as it pummels your earlobes into submission. This is a band who feels they have something to prove and the opener sets the tone for the rest of the album. The second song ‘Come On ‘Men of Honour’ is the second studio album from Get Up’ is the song most people will have heard as The Adrenaline Mob and neatly follows on from the the record label put it on Youtube, it’s a song packed starting point ‘Omerta’ with a mix of thick and dirty with attitude and heavier riffage and there is so guitar pyrotechnics, plenty of attitude and a solid much grit in Allen’s vocals you’d swear he’d been groove that drives the songs along at a rate of knots. gargling with gravel. ‘Behind These Eyes’ is the With simple and straightforward lyrics. These guys nearest thing to a ballad on this album and nicely sound like the house band of a big and rather nasty varies the tempo.. biker clan one whose cut off and back patch I’d be proud to wear. They are not for the faint hearted and Now it is fair to say that none of this record is ground while it might be said that this type of material breaking and innovative. You will detect influences doesn’t fully tax the vocal talents of Russell Allen he as diverse as the Foo Fighters through to Avenged still fits right into the slot and delivers a performance Sevenfold to The Black Label Society but the band engaging and full of emotion. Also I do have to manage to do it all in their own unique way. But do mention the drumming is not as intricate as the the Mob Rule I hear you ask? In my humble opinion beats laid down by the phenomenon that is Mike yes Indeed they do!

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Dead Earth Politics - The Queen Of Steel EP Label: Self Release Reviewer: Stoodge Mc Nulty Website: www.deadearthpolitics.com

There may only be three songs on this EP, but this short blitzkrieg contains more metal than that of Robocop's genital region.

Released: 11 March 2014 Highlight: Redneck Dragonslayer

With an amiable dissonance akin to Iced Earth collaborating with Lamb of God, this 13 minute marvel will have you salivating and wanting more. It's got awesome artwork also.

Hailing from Austin, Texas, Dead Earth Politics have given the unsuspecting world a glimpse of their resolute idiosyncrasy with this brief flurry of melodic yet hardened metallic substance. The included tracks of 'Redneck Dragonslayer' ''The Queen of Steel' and 'Madness of The Wanderer' all showcase the bands endowment to reek havoc and disruption. A few of these normally not easily obtained facets include groove, conviction, finesse and balls. Added to this is the winning formula of passion, prime song writing abilities and now a new element, that of anticipation for heir future releases.

Conan - Blood Eagle Label: Napalm Records Reviewer: Stoodge Mc Nulty Website: www.hailconan.com

If you're reading this under the illusion that sex is better than a riff, you definitely haven't heard 'Blood Eagle' yet. After their momentous first offering 'Monnos' these Liverpudlians were faced with the daunting task of bettering, or at least replicating their foregoing studio venture to a hungry and expectant throng. Any fears of an underwhelming or anti-climatic follow up record evaporate as quickly as the first flatlining riff of album opener 'Crown of Talons' erupts.

Released: 28 February 2014 Highlight: Crown Of Talons

that is enfolded on this masterpiece is absolutely paragon. Whilst showcasing the bands diversity and limitless take on doom metal, 'Blood Eagle' doesn't just epitomise the genre, it blows it a new asshole.

The whole album continues in a similar vein, with the beasts head never submerging as it manifests into a modern day doom classic. 'Total Conquest' 'Foehammer' and closing track 'Altar of Grief' spew complexity and furtherance, indeed fresh and welcomed attainments in the genre. Put these attributes along side the elementary aspects and all

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Firebrand After Dark Issue 9  

Issue 9 of Firebrand After Dark is out now, featuring interviews with the likes of Breed77, Nervosa, Conan and Brian Slagel from Metal Blade...

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