Interview with guitarist Scott Crouse  |  By Dane Prokofiev Comics and music cross-pollinate each other in Earth Crisis’s eighth studio outing and Candlelight debut, Salvation of Innocents. It’s the age of media convergence, and the Syracuse metalcore veterans have embraced it by giving their music a whole new visual dimension in the form of animal-rights-themed comic book, Liberator. Founding member and guitarist Scott Crouse speaks to New Noise about the reason for the multimedia package, the band’s relaxed relationship with their current label and more. It’s interesting that you decided to collaborate with a comics-publishing company for this record. Was it something that was planned way in advance, or was it a whim of the moment decision? I’d say it was a little bit of both. We’ve been trying to do something like a comic book for years—we’ve had the idea for years—and it kind of came together last minute with this last album. Like going into, it wasn’t the plan, but we had the concept for the album. And... ...

Read More →

Interview with vocalist/guitarist Tommaso Riccardi  |  By Dane Prokofiev It is difficult to pick “singles” from Fleshgod Apocalypse’s latest and third studio offering, Labyrinth. This is because the band has basically produced something more akin to a 54-minute-long symphony that is broken up into eleven parts in order to avoid overwhelming anybody with one overly-lengthy and gargantuan track. And to top it off, the band even has an equally majestic lyrical theme (the Greek myth of the Labyrinth of Knossos) to complement the music’s grandiose soundscape. In this interview, main vocalist and guitarist Tommaso Riccardi discusses the intricacies of the musical and thematic aspects of Labyrinth. For a band that plays a technical and majestic-sounding metal sub-genre such as symphonic technical death metal, which is more tedious—song-writing or mixing and mastering of the numerous musical lines? Why? It’s obviously both. Composing—when you’re talking about an entire symphonic orchestra, piano, choirs, guitars, bass, drums and at least four or five different kinds of vocals—gets pretty complex. Anyway, like everything else in... ...

Read More →

Interview with Joseph Michael  |  By Dane Prokofiev Few singers can make classic heavy metal singing sound fresh, but White Wizzard’s new vocalist Joseph Michael does just that on the band’s third studio album, The Devils Cut. If you ever thought that it was impossible for anyone to sound quite like Bruce Dickinson while, at the same time, having the uncanny ability to perform uvula-quivering operatic singing, think again. And with the Los Angeles heavy metal quintet’s position at the forefront of the NWoAHM (New Wave of American Heavy Metal) now, Michael’s career looks set to go nowhere but over the top. As briefly as you can recount, what were you doing before joining White Wizzard? I was and still am the principal at HRX Records. It’s like my own little Motown where I write and produce my projects, which include Midnight Reign. I also write for other people; one of the songs was picked up by Fox to be used in the new Fright Night 2 movie. What is... ...

Read More →

The Browning Hypernova (Century Media) Electronica. Trance. Dubstep. Deathcore. The last of the aforementioned items may seem to have nothing to do with the first three, but American electronicore act The Browning has managed to blend it with the first three well. Although young, the 6-year-old quartet is pushing the sonic boundary of extreme metal more than a typical avant-garde black or progressive death metal band can. Crowds will party-mosh to the generic but gratifyingly brutal deathcore breakdowns that often lead right into euphoric trance breakdowns (and vice-versa). Hypernova is an apt name, for the many fleeting synth intros and outros take one on a mental cruise through astral skies, stellar graveyards and UFO-infested star systems. There is even a dubstep-ified track to please the Skrillex fans (“Gravedigger (Eskimo Callboy Remix)”). While the electronic music side of the band is fantastic, the guitars, however, play such a subservient role to the synthesizer that it seems uneconomical to have two out of four band members playing the instrument; and there is... ...

Read More →

Crossfaith APOCALYZE (The End) Japanese electronicore band Crossfaith is now well into its seventh year of existence, and despite their relative youth, they are one of the biggest bands at the forefront of the next –core phenomenon: electronicore. In fact, the Osaka quintet’s latest output, APOCALYZE, could not have sounded more current, feeling like The Path of Totality (Korn, 2011) version 2, only with more –core than nu-metal in it. Due to the heavy dubstep influence on top of Crossfaith’s typically electronica-influenced metalcore style, APOCALYZE feels like the product of a collaboration between one-man dubstep project Skrillex and Japanese trance metal band Blood Stain Child. The music often steps into trippy territory, with foozy-doozy dubstep breakdowns (“We Are The Future”), surreal MIDI sound sequences (“Hounds of the Apocalypse”) and over-synthesized vocals making for a lethal sonic cocktail that will drug the mind senseless and compel the body to wobble ‘til it drops. It should be noted, however, that the combination of electronic sound effects and mostly screamed vocals can feel... ...

Read More →

Last Chance To Reason Level 3 (Prosthetic) Concept albums don’t usually have straightforward titles, but Last Chance To Reason’s latest offering has one: Level 3. Looking at the band’s penchant for concept albums, it’s no surprise then that Level 3 is their third studio album and the two others that came before it are titled Lvl. 1 and Level 2. The currently three-piece band that hails from Augusta, Maine plays typical progressive metal with heavy electronic music leanings: Synthesized vocals to achieve a dreamy sound, the quintessential blend of harsh and silky-smooth clean singing to obtain the beauty-and-the-beast effect, guitar riffs ‘n’ solos that evoke mental imagery of outer-spacey nether realms, drum beats that sound synthesized, and plenty of synthesizer melodies and accompaniment throughout the entire album. Musically-speaking, this album is hardly astounding. Today, there are a handful of progressive metal bands playing this type of prog metal, hence rendering it not unique anymore. But conceptually-speaking, Level 3 is quite astounding; and this bit of praise is being said despite... ...

Read More →

Written by Dane Prokofiev Despite the astounding failure of grindcore bands in making it to year-end lists in general, they have been very, very successful in one thing that their peers in most other sub-genres are not: consistently and validly criticizing capitalism. Indeed, capitalism shall be demonized for the millionth time here. Some of you should have heard from friends and bloggers by now that 2013 has been and seems fated to be a lackluster year for metal. Compared to 2012, which was the year of excellent releases from the likes of Alcest, Dawnbringer, Devin Townsend Project, Diablo Swing Orchestra and Sigh, 2013’s list of potential year-end list candidates looks horrifyingly empty so far. In fact, we are already well into the first-half of the year and there is only one metal album that has gotten many a reviewer raving about its potential to be album of the year thus far: The Ocean’s Pelagial. And what better unseen-force-at-work to blame than good ol’ capitalism? At a fundamental level, the metal... ...

Read More →

Photo by TJ Scott We’re pleased to bring you Falling Still‘s track ”Gods of the Echospace,” off their upcoming release, Hot Piss, due out on June 25th. Bassist Brett Hamilton comments on the track: “Gods of the Echospace” tells a sad Southwestern tale, intended to leave a lingering feeling of nostalgic loneliness – a reminder of how easily, and sometimes tragically, people can come in and out of our lives. The song is meant to be listened to while thinking about all your missed-connections, heartbreaks, and goodbyes that came too soon, and how their remaining effects have echoed through time and shaped you.  For better, or for worse. fallingstill.com  |  www.facebook.com/fallingstill  |  twitter.com/fallingstill Falling Still Shows: 6/12 – Los Angeles, CA @ Boardner’s 6/25 – Los Angeles, CA @ Hemingways Lounge Read more about Falling Still’s Hot Piss on the next page… ...

Read More →

Chthonic Bú-Tik (Spinefarm) Continuing the militant metal theme from their last studio album (Takasago Army, 2011), Taiwanese extreme metal band Chthonic explores the theme of “an armed body and mind” this time round on their third studio album for Spinefarm. (As visually depicted in the queer and striking album cover art.) Bú-Tik is an oriental ride through a pugilistic sonicscape that will leave you itching for a kung-fu brawl, and although there are hard-hitting moments in the music, it doesn’t just sound violent throughout. There are many melancholic parts of the music where the Chinese violin weeps and the synthesizer sobs dramatically in the background, and to top it off, guitarist Jesse Liu’s skill has gotten better, for he dishes out many fast yet melodic-death-metal-worthy guitar solos this time round; a feat he did not quite achieve on the band’s earlier albums. There is an interesting cameo by Taiwanese political activist Su Beng in fourth track “Next Republic”, which begins with a five-seconds excerpt of the song “台灣民族主義” that is... ...

Read More →

Havok Unnatural Selection (Candlelight) American re-thrashers Havok have become more politically inclined on their third studio album. This is clearly evident from the first two tracks of Unnatural Selection having the titles of “I Am The State” and “Give Me Liberty… Or Give Me Death” respectively; although they sound cheesy and cliché, it’s somewhat a refreshing angle for the band, seeing as how its lyrical approach on past albums was not as politically-pronounced. Lyrics aside, it’s a pity that this record doesn’t live up to the melodiousness of the previous album, Time Is Up. Granted, the songs are infused with explosive energy and will get one into a frenzied rage. Opening track “I Am The State” is one great example, as it’s a straightforward, 4-minutes-long thrash attack. But there are fewer melodic guitar riffs this time round, as most tracks have unvaried and repetitive riffs. Of the ten tracks, only “Give Me Liberty… Or Give Me Death”, “It Is True” and “Waste of Life” feature riffs that register in one’s... ...

Read More →