Guess the Fake Death-Metal Band Names!

Categories: Metalocalypse

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Well, it's just about that time of year again: the time when it turns dark and cold and everything that's good and green and living in Houston begins to wither and decay. Not due to the weather, obviously -- we ain't got but one season in this town. No, that creeping rot that you can smell faintly in the air comes not from autumn, but from the impending, annual arrival of Building Temples From Death Fest, the sickest, reeking death-metal congress yet known to our state.

These aren't "melodic" death metal bands, folks. There will be no deathcore. Building Temples From Death Fest (which would be, uh, BTFDF) plays host only to the truest of the true believers. Headlined by the brutal old-schoolers Internal Bleeding, this will be a day's worth of the metal that you still have to hide from your mom -- especially if you're an adult. The evil practitioners on display from noon 'til close at Fitz on Saturday still relish the genre's power to offend, pumping out ear-shattering thunder dripping with gruesome art and obscene lyrics.


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The Brief, Bizarre Wave of Good Synth-Metal Bands

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Photo by Joe Dilworth
Enter Shikari
Earlier this year, I wrote about the wave of dubstep metal that is ruining everything. That might have led some readers to believe that I'm fundamentally against the idea of mixing synthesizers and other electronics into metal, but that is absolutely not true.

The problem with dubstep metal is that it's horribly executed, but the concept itself could be successful. Back in the day, a lot of bands actually used synthesizers to great effect in a brief wave that unfortunately ended way too soon. These five managed to get it right.


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Goatwhore at Fitzgeralds, 9/15/2014

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Photos by Nathan Smith
Goatwhore, Venomous Maximus, Demoniacal Genuflection, Legion
Fitzgerald's
September 15, 2014

Of all the days of the week, none are less metal than Mondays. The domain of alarm clocks and rent payments, Monday must necessarily be the sworn enemy of middle fingers and Jager shots. Nobody applies KISS makeup on a Monday. No one has ever gotten a skull tattoo on a Monday. If you're listening to heavy metal on a Monday, it's only because you listen to heavy metal every day.

It was these everyday-metal types who showed up to Fitzgerald's on Monday night, with not a part-timer in sight. The black-clad die-hards came to see Goatwhore, the long-running New Orleans headbangers who draw upon the entire, vast universe of metal to arrive at a sound forged in the rank heat of the Gulf Coast. But they were also treated to a fairly stacked bill of local talent on a night when, by all rights, they should have been at home in bed. And they weren't about to just stand around and clap politely.


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Overkill Schools Us on Classic East Coast Thrash-Metal

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eOne Music
Overkill today: Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth, Derek "The Skull" Tailer, Dave Linsk, D.D. Verni, and Ron Lipnicki.

As the screamin' front man for New Jersey thrash-metal legends Over Kill since the group's formation, Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth has seen, experienced, and learned a lot in three and a half decades. So what is the one piece of advice that his 2014 self might offer the 1980 Blitz?

"Give up the fucking cigarettes, man. Throw them away!" he laughs heartily. "I smoked for 35 years and was chained to the things. I'd have a nicotine patch on while chewing nicotine gum with a Marlboro hanging out of my mouth! But I've been tobacco free for two years, and I wish I'd done it sooner."

That Ellsworth's voice is in fine, fine condition (and that he can hit those super high notes) is much in evidence on the band's newest effort, White Devil Armory (eOne Records).

While not a concept album, the 11 tracks are essentially short stories featuring a character known as the Armorist. Ellsworth's lyrics take him on a journey of war, cage-fighting, medical emergencies, devils, politics and religion, all set to brutal double bass drums, deep bass notes and shredding guitar solos.

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Meet Joe Cocchi, Metalcore Craft Brewer

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eOne Music
Within the Ruins; Tin Bridge Brewing co-founder Joe Cocchi is second from left
So far 2014 has been a big year for technical metalcore band Within the Ruins. Back in July, the Massachusetts quartet released their fourth full-length studio album, Phenomena, perhaps their most accomplished work to date. According to guitarist Joe Cocchi, it was also their their fastest and easiest to record.

But Cocchi has also been hard at work on his side project. Whereas most musicians keep their extracurricular pursuits within the realm of music, booking their own DJ gigs or experimenting with atypical genres, Cocchi threw himself headlong into the world of craft beer when his company, Tin Bridge Brewing, launched this year.


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Why Ride the Lightning Is Metallica's Most Influential Album

Categories: Metalocalypse

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Metallica's seminal second album, Ride the Lightning, turned 30 years old this year, which I think is amazing. To be honest, I don't keep up much with anniversaries and such; I celebrated St. Anger's 10th anniversary last year because it was funny to me, but to quote "For Whom the Bell Tolls," time marches on. I don't think much of it.

However, amid all the retrospectives regarding Ride the Lightning's big anniversary, one thing has stood out to me: the album's lasting influence, perhaps greater now than ever before. I could go on and on about the album and Metallica, but it's all been said before. What of where Ride the Lightning stands in the public consciousness in 2014?


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The Horror Never Ends for Warbeast's Bruce Corbitt

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Bruce Corbitt of Warbeast
Texas metal singer Bruce Corbitt's career has seen some wicked ups and downs over the last 30 years, from signing record deals and taking on high-profile tours to being fired unceremoniously and watching bandmates pass away in front of his eyes. It hasn't been a lifestyle fit for the faint of heart. But if there's anything useful that low-budget slasher flicks have taught us, it's that a certifiable creature of the night like Corbitt always comes back for one last slice.

So do yourself a favor and watch your throat tomorrow night, because Corbitt will be back in town again at Acadia Bar & Grill with his band Warbeast, the ferocious Dallas-area thrashers who have become a favorite of Gulf Coast metal god Philip Anselmo. The former Pantera front man signed Warbeast to his Housecore Records imprint and released their aptly titled sophomore album Destroy last year before taking them on the road with his sludge supergroup Down.

Now, Warbeast is working on a worthy follow-up to Destroy's heavy, old-school thrash attack. Tomorrow's show is the only one on the band's books until October as they prepare to hole up, bear down and grind out another thick stack of riffs.


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Bio Paints Complex Portrait of AC/DC's Mighty Youngs

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columbiarecords.com
The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC
By Jesse Fink, 320 pp., $25.99.

The mere mention of AC/DC to even the most casual of fans will bring up one image: the short, frenetic guitarist Angus Young dressed as a schoolboy and running around the stage like a maniac -- even while pushing 60 years of age, and sometimes making his own devil horns. He may not be the lead singer, but when the crowd chants "AN-GUS! AN-GUS!" during "Thunderstruck," there's no doubt as to who the real front man is for the group.

Diehard fans and writers who know a bit more about the band dynamics might tell you that it's quiet rhythm guitarist Malcolm who really calls the shots, while overlooking them both is older brother George.

George was never in the group, but was a crucial developer of the band's sound (especially in the early days) and the whiz in the studio, utilizing knowledge first learned as a member of the Easybeats, who had a worldwide hit in 1966 with "Friday on My Mind."

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Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival at The Woodlands, 8/10/2014

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Photos by Francisco Montes
Avenged Sevenfold
Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival
Feat. Avenged Sevenfold, Korn, Asking Alexandria, Trivium, Suicide SIlence, etc.
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
August 10, 2014

August 10 was a date Houston headbangers had circled on their calendars. The Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, North America's largest, loudest traveling menagerie of metal, promised to destroy the Woodlands Pavilion on the last day of the tour.

While many were miffed that the carnival's full coterie of bands wouldn't make the trip -- acts like Body Count, King 810 and Ill Nino couldn't be squeezed into the venue's silly two-stage configuration -- it was still more than enough heavy metal for anybody. The day started early and ended late, and the summer sun seemed bound and determined to helpfully redefine "brutality" for every tatted-up freak in attendance.


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Four Reasons Not to Miss Rockstar Mayhem Festival

Categories: Metalocalypse

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This year's metal festival season is in full swing, and you might be feeling a little overwhelmed what with All Stars Tour, Warped Tour and Summer Slaughter Tour already having passed through Houston. Maybe you're burnt out, but it's time to get ready for one more: Mayhem Festival.

This year's might be the best of all four of the aforementioned metal fests, and there's a lot of reasons you probably shouldn't skip it, even if it means slamming yet another ten Red Bulls. However, we've narrowed it down to five damn good reasons to go for it.


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