Louis B. Falgoust II: Vocals
Sammy Duet: Guitars, Vocals
Zack Simmons: Drums
James Harvey: Bass
Louis B. Falgoust II: Vocals
Sammy Duet: Guitars, Vocals
Zack Simmons: Drums
Robert “TA” Coleman: Bass
“We wanted it raw. We wanted it organic. We wanted it to sound the way we do in the live setting,” relays Goatwhore frontman Ben Falgoust of the band’s latest output, Vengeful Ascension. Their seventh full-length and second recorded reel-to-reel, Vengeful Ascensionwas captured at Earth Analog in Tolono, Illinois (near Champaign, Illinois) with longtime soundman and comrade Jarrett Pritchard (1349, Gruesome), breaking a four-album tradition of working with Erik Rutan.
“Working with Rutan was awesome. We did some great records with him,” Falgoust is quick to point out. “But you come to a point where you’re like, ‘All right. Let’s try something new.’ It was part of trying to remove ourselves from a comfort zone and a risk thing we needed to take. Plus, we really wanted to hit the essence of where we are live and what better way to harness that than by having our live sound guy involved. Jarrett is knowledgeable with the studio stuff. He also knows how we sound coming out of a PA and we really wanted to get closer to that. Pritchard really focused on that live aspect from every members’ perspective and I think he pushed us out of our personal comfort zones. He really understands our vision.“
The resulting ten-track, forty-one-minute production – mixed by Chris Common (Tribulation, Pelican) and mastered by Maor Applebaum (Faith No More, Halford, Today Is The Day) – marches in, clutches its listeners by the throat and refuses to loosen its grip until the abrupt conclusion of “Those Who Denied God’s Will.” A sonic manifestation of war, chaos, desolation, and emotional conflict, seamlessly bridging twenty years of the band’s signature brand of audio venom, it’s a record that finds its members at their most accomplished both individually and as a cohesive unit. Guitarist Sammy Duet’s dense, sub nuclear riff work and possessed solo blitzes are at their most devastating spiraling flawlessly and instinctually around drummer Zack Simmons’ and bassist James Harvey’s hammering rhythms while Falgoust’s distinctly commanding roar, his acidic prose more enunciated than ever before, complimenting the apocalyptic proceedings.
“I think every song on this record is pretty fucking strong,” the frontman reflects. “Each song is a representation of Goatwhore. from day one until now. It really shows our evolution as a band. I don’t think that this band has reached its peak yet. I mean, I think we’re closer now than ever but we’re still growing; we’re still evolving.“
While hardly a concept record in the traditional sense, Vengeful Ascension loosely revolves itself around Luciferian notions in title and spirit where the symbol of Lucifer serves not as a fiendish, all-destroying demon but rather an emancipator or guiding light. It’s a theme of struggle and transcendence derived from John Milton’s Paradise Lost epic and one that has appeared, whether directly or indirectly, within Goatwhore works of the past.
“There’s that whole idea of Lucifer being the anti-hero,” elaborates Falgoust. “He’s cast out from this place in Heaven to the depths of nothing. He keeps trying to ascend to the top again but no matter what, there’s always this significant force trying to destroy him at any point and banish him back to Hell. If you look at it from an everyday aspect in life, it’s the idea of people, hitting the bottom of the barrel or you know, things just aren’t going right in life… emotion plays a huge part in how people react. Whether it’s based on love or hatred or sadness or whatever, there’s always an aspect of emotion that drives people to an extent. So the whole idea of a ‘Vengeful Ascension’ is built on being at the bottom, working your way to the top, and realizing along the way that there’s other facets to the journey aside from just pure retribution. Within negativity there can exist a positive angle as well.“
Vengeful Ascension serves as the soundtrack to that luciferious rise straight off with the combative, ritualistic drum onslaught of opening hymn, “Forsaken.” Wholly immersive, each track is alarmingly palpable in subject and corresponding execution. The tense, clandestine battery of “Chaos Arcane,” based on HP Lovecraft’s book Nyarlathotep, a story which attempts to recount the inexplicable sense of fear in expectancy of an unknown evil, conveys that sensation of impending doom through sound in a way only Goatwhore can. “Mankind Will Have No Mercy,” a pseudo tribute to Bolt Thrower, seethes under the weight of its own wartime sentiment, while the rapid-fire, punkish urgency of “Under The Flesh, Into The Soul,” a first person account of irrepressible resentment, sounds utterly enraged. “If resentment could speak, that’s it right there,” says Falgoust. “It’s the idea of resentment getting into an individual and just consuming you.” And with an average runtime of just four minutes, no one song ever overstays its welcome.
Forged by former Acid Bath/Crowbar guitarist Sammy Duet in 1997, it’s been two decades since Goatwhore reared its menacing head from the swamplands of New Orleans, Louisiana. The band’s winding history a dramatic, at times traumatic, sequence of personnel changes, fatal injuries, paranormal activity, natural disasters, and an assortment of other misadventures large and small, their tale begins with the primitive rumblings of the Serenades To The Tides Of Blood demo and subsequent Eclipse Of Ages Into Black debut released in 1998 and 2000 respectively. Then a five-piece comprised of Duet, Soilent Greenvocalist Ben Falgoust, guitarist Ben Stout, bassist Patrick Bruders and drummer Zak Nolan, Goatwhore‘s DIY work ethic, persistent tour schedule and warring, fuck-all approach of songs like “Invert The Virgin” and “Desolate Path To Apocalyptic Ruin” helped spawn a loyal following compelled by the band’s unrepentant Celtic Frostian rhythms and corrosive black death bayou swagger.
A slower, more introverted affair, Funeral Dirge For The Rotting Sun followed in 2003. The record trailed a near-fatal van crash that left Falgoust temporarily paralyzed and the future of the band uncertain. Against medical odds, Falgoust regained use of his legs and the band, now a four-piece with Duet taking on full guitar duties, quickly returned to the road. Seemingly plagued by bouts of disaster, 2005 found the band fleeing the desolating flood waters of Hurricane Katrina. Delayed but undeterred, Goatwhore‘s first Metal Blade Records release — 2006′s A Haunting Curse, which featured the revised lineup of Duet, Falgoust, drummer Zack Simmons (ex-Nachtmystium) and bassist Nathan Bergeron — proved their most vicious manifestation yet. The record was captured at Mana Recording Studios in St. Petersburg, Florida with Erik Rutan (Morbid Angel, Hate Eternal), who would go on to record the band’s next three studio offerings. Wholly embracing their long-avowed Hellhammer and Venom devoutness without pirating it, A Haunting Curse is relentless in speed, precision and brazen hostility and six years later, “Diabolical Submergence Of Rebirth,” would make its way to HBO award-winning drama series, Treme.
By 2009, Goatwhore unleashed the nefarious craftings of Carving Out The Eyes Of God. A behemoth recording in sound, mind and spirit, the record ranked among the year’s most worthy metal albums by fans and critics globally, debuting on the Billboard Hard Music chart at #33, the Billboard Top New Artist (Heatseekers) chart at #16, and the Billboard Top Independent Albums chart at #34. No small feat for a blatantly non-mainstream band. Decibel Magazine hailed the band’s, “rigid tempo shifts, gargantuan hooks, blasting black mass anthems, and Falgoust’s soot and venom snarl,” while Outburn likened it to, “a modern day, ‘roid-injected sword fight between Celtic Frost and Venom.“
For the next two years, Goatwhore maintained an unyielding tour schedule, reducing cities throughout the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia to rubble with their notoriously crushing, live performance. Further educating the potentially unversed, unofficial Goat’ anthem, “Apocalyptic Havoc,” appeared on the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 game soundtracks for Splatterhouse and Saints Row 3, while the video for the song was featured in an episode of Last Call with Carson Daly. 2011 closed with a win of Best Hard Rock/Metal Artist at the annual Big Easy Awards, which pays tribute and honor to the city’s performing talent.
Resting only long enough to conjure more audio pandemonium, Goatwhore undraped the chart-topping, critically-lauded Blood For The Master full-length in 2012. Now featuring Duet, Falgoust, Simmons and bassist James Harvey, who joined the cloven-hoofed ranks in 2009 following the exit of Nathan Bergeron, the record found Louisiana’s notorious metal horde at their most unified. Delivering a ruthless onslaught of fist-pumping, heathen anthems, and rhythmic obliteration bedecked in the enticingly unhallowed prose of Falgoust who succinctly dubbed the record, “evil rock ‘n’ roll.”
The maniacal hymns of Constricting Rage Of The Merciless arrived in 2014 and marked the band’s first studio effort to be tracked to two-inch tape, a more challenging approach that demands performance over pro-tooled perfection and leaving little room for error. Boasting a more urgent, ominous and blatantly reckless demeanor than its predecessors, the record again surpassed previous efforts in composition and execution consequently debuting at #81 on Billboard’s Top 200 chart, topping their last entry position of #171 with Blood For The Master. Elsewhere, Constricting Rage Of The Merciless ranked in at #21 on Billboard’s Rock chart, #7 on the Hard Rock chart, and #13 on the Independent chart while third album single, “Baring Teeth For Revolt,” made its audio debut in CBS crime drama series Elementary. Welcoming live bassist Robert “TA” Coleman (Warmaster, Hod), a tireless tour calendar, including shows with Samhain as well as well as a converted performance at Ozzfest-meets-Knotfest opening Black Sabbath‘s final West Coast show, followed. And now, the time for Vengeful Ascension has come.
AIR RAID is a Heavy Metal act from Gothenburg, Sweden. They were originally formed in 2009 by guitarists Andreas Johansson & Johan Karlsson. After releasing the EP “Danger Ahead” & the Full-length album “Night Of The Axe” with former singer Michalis Rinakakis, AIR RAID appeared at the Keep It True-Festival in Germany, early 2013. This was followed by two smaller tours and festival gigs around Europe.
In the middle of all success, the personal differences between the band and Michalis had gotten too severe. As a result, AIR RAID decided to part ways with him.
Shortly after bringing in new vocalist Arthur W Andersson in July 2013, the band went on a 5-gig Southern European Tour, and also performed two very successful gigs on Japanese Assault Fest in Tokyo, Japan!
The current line-up, including Andreas Johansson (Guitars), Magnus Mild (Guitars), Robin Utbult (Bass), David Hermansson (Drums) and Arthur W Andersson (Vocals), are now working on a new album and will appear on many gigs throughout 2016. Catch them on the road and Raid On!
Chicago, IL Kataplexy are up-and-coming band to watch for in the brutal death metal scene In 2011 the band released there Extreme Hockey Metal Theme Promo titled “Intermission Zamboni Disfigurement” consisting of three songs which was released independently by the band. The promo was intended to give the fans and death metal community a idea of what we want to sound and accomplish in the scene. The promo was tossed around from local shows to Maryland Deathfest. It was very well received throughout the death metal community. In 2011 the band once again independently released their first-length “Mind Deterioration”. So far has received very positive reviews.
A sonic metal assault that leaves audiences pumped with adrenaline, Detroit’s BATTLECROSS triumphantly return as one of the true champions of American Heavy Metal with their devastating sophomore release, War of Will. Co-Produced at Audiohammer Studios with famed producers Mark Lewis and Eyal Levi, the sophomore effort from Detroit’s newest soldiers of steel will soon prove as one of the most impressive follow-up releases , destined to become a heavy metal classic for fans of all sub-genres. “War of Will triggers a strange Deja Vu while feeling completely brand new” says Levi.
With elements of upbeat thrash, European, death, and southern metal, War of Will brings back the old school thrash, heavy groove, harmonizing guitars, epic guitar solos, dynamic death-style vocals and impressive bass work that made 2011’s Pursuit of Honor a fast favorite. Fans will appreciate another complete, yet more mature brutal assault with contagious hooks and choruses that will guarantee headbangability and the dynamic live show for which BATTLECROSS is best known.
Celebrated for their cross-over thrash/classic American heavy metal image and sound, and relentless enthusiasm for touring, BATTLECROSS entered Audiohammer Studio in March 2013 immediately after a full North American trek with Sweden’s In Flames and a busy 2012. With an impressive list of top notch metal productions, the studio turned out to be the perfect fit for the young band. “The laid back atmosphere, mixed with the ‘deliver or be delivered’ expectations really inspired us to push ourselves to be the best during the production, and it really reflects in the lyrical content as well as the final product.” said Guitarist Tony Asta. “War of Will is exactly what it sounds like, a straight up heavy metal album, but we’ll let the fans be the judge”
Titled to describe BATTLECROSS’ fast and furious climb in the two years since releasing their debut, War of Will challenges fans through its lyrical theme to push their limits in pursuit of their goals and to sacrifice all to overcome life’s obstacles and succeed—a message proven by the band’s quick ascent to breakout status from high-profile tours, heavy radio play, while drawing comparisons to the heavyweights of metal.
War of Will marks the first major session contribution by drummer Shannon Lucas, who contributes an upbeat thrash vibe with his precision and aggression best suited for the BATTLECROSS style. “Shannon is one of the true beasts of metal drumming” said Co-Producer Eyal Levi, “his skills are technically untouchable and combine that with a badass rising star of a band and we have the makings of a crushing record.”
The young band’s career kicked off what every metal musician dreams of: amazing album reviews from Metal’s most respected publications for their 2011 debut on Metal Blade Records, Pursuit of Honor. Metal Assault named the record “one of the most ‘complete heavy metal albums in recent times’ while receiving high praises from heavyweights Revolver, Decibel, Blabbermouth and others. With killer reviews across the internet and in print publications throughout North America and overseas (including band of the month in Metal Hammer Norway and Metal Hammer Spain), it should be no surprise that this blue collar, hard-work ethic that comes from the members of BATTLECROSS translates into a potent force on record as well as a high-energy live performance winning fans across the country on some of the metal’s highest profile tours.
The growing buzz over Pursuit of Honor positioned the band for opportunities that have proven to be stepping stones for what is expected to be a long and exciting career for BATTLECROSS, starting with a spot in a 2011 CMJ Showcase with Skeletonwitch and Kvelertak and the band’s first tour ever, an Eastern U.S. run with Rose Funeral and Diamond Plate. It was during this tour that BATTLECROSS was introduced to North America and became SiriusXM Liquid Metal mainstays with the single Push Pull Destroy, which spent over 30 weeks on ‘The Devil’s Dozen’ and reached the #1 most requested song for five weeks and to date, over two million YouTube views. Throughout 2012, satellite radio introduced singles ‘Breaking You’ and ‘Man of Stone’, together spending a total of 50 weeks on Jose Mangin’s popular Metal Countdown.
BATTLECROSS’ reputation for technical talent, humility and fan engagement earned the band the opportunity to continue their climb with an appearance at 2012 SXSW Metal Blade Showcase; tours with: Hate Eternal and Goatwhore (Winter 2012), Origin, Decrepit Birth, Cattle Decapitation on the Occupation Domination Tour (Spring 2012), Metal Hammer’s Trespass America Festival with Five Finger Death Punch, Killswitch Engage, and Trivium (Summer 2012), a headlining stage appearance at Heavy MTL, opposite System of a Down and high-profile shows celebrating Metal Blade’s 30th Anniversary with As I Lay Dying, Six Feet Under and more.
After a fist-pumping debut, impressive 2012 breakout tours, BATTLECROSS will continue their climb as one of Metal’s most impressive new bands with 2013 appearances at the New England Metal and Hardcore Festival, Orion Music +More with Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Deftones and Suicidal Tendencies in the band’s hometown of Detroit and the 4th Annual GwarBQ with Municipal Waste and Corrosion of Conformity.
WAR OF WILL releases July 9th, 2013 just as the band heads out for the summer on the Rock Star Energy Drink Mayhem Festival Tour with Rob Zombie, Five Finger Death Punch, Amon Amarth, Children of Bodom, Machine Head, Behemoth, Mastodon and more in what is expected to be the tour and album that will cement BATTLECROSS as an American Heavy Metal heavyweight banging heads for years to come.
Started in 1997 by one of Decibel Magazine’s Top 20 Death Metal Guitarists of All Time, Erik Rutan (of Morbid Angel & Ripping Corpse), HATE ETERNAL has easily become one of the most prominent names in the extreme metal scene with Terrorizer Magazine recognizing the group as one of the Top 8 Bands of the last Decade! Erik Rutan, J.J. Hrubovcak and Chason Westmoreland weave complex riffs, devastating drums, and truly ferocious vocals into a new masterpiece – INFERUS. The new album is already listed as one of the most anticipated albums of 2015. It’s heavy, it’s catchy, it’s innovative!
Though the band has experienced great success since its beginning in 1997, HATE ETERNAL are no strangers to turmoil and strife. In 2002, Erik chipped vertebrae in his neck in a van accident on tour and spent the next couple of months out of commission. During this period, band members withdrew from tours mere weeks from start date. This included a tour on which a London show was filmed for the band’s first-ever live DVD. Replacements were found and the tours continued on as planned. One of the most unfortunate events was the untimely passing of bassist and dear friend, Jared Anderson, who passed in October 2006 while in talks to rejoin the band. None of the issues ever kept HATE ETERNAL from its trajectory. Almost three years after the metal masterpiece, “I, Monarch”, HATE ETERNAL returned to the death metal scene with a new record. Fury and Flames, the band’s fourth studio album, marked the start of a new chapter in HATE ETERNAL’s already illustrious career. Fury and Flames was hailed as a diverse, heavy, chaotic and emotionally fueled record and saw the band on the road in the U.S. and Europe including the large European summer festival circuit (Party San, Summer Breeze and Brutal Assault).
For the writing and recording of Phoenix Amongst the Ashes, HATE ETERNAL recruited J.J. Hrubovcak on bass to join the devastating trio. In terms of the writing on Phoenix Amongst the Ashes, Rutan stated “it was my goal to expand upon what the band has done in the past, and add new dynamics and twists to the traditional, dissonant HATE ETERNAL style, yet keep it in the same vein. It took the three of us really pushing ourselves, and digging deep into the essence of who we are as musicians and writers and players to create something very unique and special.” The touring cycle for this record took the band to Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Central and South America as well as the standard U.S. and European tours.
Following Jade Simonetto’s departure, the band recruited Chason Westmoreland on drums and signed with Season of Mist for release of their sixth full-length masterpiece titled Infernus. It was recorded at frontman Erik Rutan’s own Mana Recording Studios in St. Petersburg, FL with mastering handled by Alan Douches of West West Side. This time, artist Eliran Kantor (Hatebreed, Testament, Soulfly) was recruited to create the lavish cover art.
Regarding the recording and the signing, Rutan comments: “We are ecstatic about how the recording for our new album has been coming out so far, and our new label and home Season of Mist. We’ve worked very hard on crafting these songs to reflect our path, from our past to the present, and the journey of HATE ETERNAL and its members. Writing this album was a long and arduous process. It took a tremendous amount of determination, blood, and sweat to bring this all to fruition. We’re super proud of what we’ve accomplished creatively, and excited at the prospect of releasing what we feel is our most powerful HATE ETERNAL material to date. Now it is time to bring this all to life! The recording process so far has been fantastic. I’ve never felt so focused and determined on a HATE ETERNAL record, and I know that this will be an album our listeners and supporters will truly appreciate. It represents an important milestone for me personally since 15 years ago both HATE ETERNAL began recording its first album and Mana Recording Studios was born. We have so much more news to share with you over the coming months. We cannot wait for you to hear this album!”
HATE ETERNAL have been one of the leading death metal acts worldwide for over eighteen years. The band’s full-length albums are considered crucial genre touchstones, and HATE ETERNAL are a proven headliner on major stages across five continents.