January 2014 - Featured Bands

This Month's Century Media Featured Band is:

Iced earth - "Plagues of Babylon" & "Among The Living Dead"
"It's a long way to the top if you want to Rock 'n Roll." That line from the AC/DC classic, "It's a Long Way to the Top," rings true for many legendary rock and metal bands who have persevered and overcome years of adversity to accomplish world-wide recognition. Writing good music is just one part of being successful. As difficult as that can be, creating and adhering to a sound marketing and business strategy is an equally important component to a musician’s success.

Those very different challenges must be accounted for in a musician's vision if they are to have a remote shot of making a living as a songwriter. The clearer the vision, the clearer the path to be taken, although vision and marketing alone don't guarantee a successful journey. A myriad of intangibles must also come into play at exactly the right times. The few uncompromising musicians who pride themselves on the integrity of their craft can surely plan to encounter a path less traveled and sewn with more mountains and valleys than the road clogged with chameleons sacrificing their visions to cash in on the current fads. For two decades, Jon Schaffer and his vehicle, ICED EARTH, have taken the long, high road of non-compromise to reach the rarified air breathed by those few who enjoy lasting commercial success writing and performing music in the Heavy Metal genre.

This Month's Metal Blade Featured Bands are:

Behemoth - "Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel"
BEHEMOTH have always pushed the limits of their abilities and defied the boundaries of death and black metal. Now, the Polish metal kings have returned with a new offering, The Apostasy, which is destined to become both the defining release of the band's career and one of the most revered and dynamic offerings the genre has seen in years. The Apostasy's basic meaning is "to go against religion," and with Poland being one of the top religious countries in the world, BEHEMOTH strives to convey that being religious is not the key to happiness. This album takes everything to the next level, as Nergal (guitars, vocals) promises "more speed, aggression and blasphemy than ever before." The Apostasy is easily the group's most ambitious and epic offering yet and was recorded in the band's hometown of Gdansk with Nergal and longtime sound engineer Malta in the producers' chairs. The effort was once again mixed with the acclaimed Daniel Bergstrand (In Flames, Meshuggah, SYL) at Dugout Studios in Sweden and will be mastered by Bjorn Engelmann (Rammstein).

Sister - "Sick"
The sleaze/punk influenced metal outfit known as SISTER, who hail from Stockholm/J√∂nkoping Sweden, formed in early 2006 working hard to build up a name as a strong act both live and in the studio. SISTER consists of four members who combine the sounds of punk, glam, rock, and metal with an end result sounding something like the bastard child of GG Allin and Guns N’ Roses.

This Month's Host Choice Featured Bands are:

Dark Horse Discourse: Aub's Choice - Jahai “Breaking Into Splinters”
A crushing blend of sounds from the days of the old and the ways of the new from the City of Roses. Progressive groove metal with soul.  JAHAI is an established Cascadian metal band whose name takes on many forms in the Old World. In Malaysia, the JAHAI are a tribe of shamanistic headhunters. In Laotian, JAHAI means “Angered Soul”. To rhythm guitarist Nikk Jahai, it means a blood brother bond that will never break. “We’ve been to hell and back and managed to stay together for ten years, nothing is stopping us now.”  JAHAI is based on a deeper soul than the average band. Everything is a milestone in their continuously expanding timeline. Nikk teamed up with his brother and drummer, Jon, to form JAHAI in 2002; bassist Loyd Abbott was inducted in 2006 and lead guitarist Jacob Wilde was enlisted in late 2011. The band became unified with the addition of vocalist Aub Driver in mid 2012 and has rocketed to the top of the local charts.

Strange Kids Club Presents: Rondal's Choice - Six Feet Under "Revenge of the Zombie"
Death metal behemoths SIX FEET UNDER are back, and with the seething UNBORN, the tenth full-length of their imposing career, they are out for blood. Led by the inimitable Chris Barnes, owner of one of the most powerful and instantly recognizable voices in the genre, the band are returning with an overhauled line up that sees them reinvigorated and churning out some of the most visceral music they have ever put their name to.  In November of 2010 when vocalist and founding member Chris Barnes first started to get the idea of working with new writers for SIX FEET UNDER's next release, he contacted Rob Arnold, Jari Laine, and Ben Savage to share in the writing process. After just two years of writing and recording 20 plus tracks, and releasing UNDEAD in May of 2012, SIX FEET UNDER are now proud to unveil UNDEAD's demented fraternal twin...  UNBORN

Decapitated Dan's Choice - Kalmah “Swampwar”
The story of Kalmah begun in 1991 when Pekka Kokko(v, g) and Petri Sankala founded Ancestor. After 2 demos Antti Kokko joined the band to handle the position of lead guitarist. In 1998 after all in all 5 melodic trash/speed/death metal demos and 5 different bass players it was time to clear the table. Acenstor was buried and refounded as Kalmah. The Line-up was completed by keyboard player Pasi Hiltula.  With new enthusiasm Kalmah started to write new songs for the praised promo CD. With raging melodic death/trash/speed/black metal promo 'Svieri Obraza' the band had finally done the breakthrough and reached a contract with Spikefarm Records. The band wasted no time and headed to Tico-Tico studios with line-up Pekka Kokko(v, g), Antti Kokko(g), Petri Sankala(d), Pasi Hiltula(k) and Altti Vetel√§inen(b). The story of Swamplord begun.

Decapitated Dan's Choice - Temporal “Infinite”
Perth metal band Temporal exploded onto the scene in 2012 with their debut EP "Exitium".  The release rose to as high as number 5 on the Itunes Metal Charts in November as the Perth metallers primed themselves as one of Australia's rising talents.  After playing sold out shows with bands like Born Of Osiris (US), Upon A Burning Body(US), Volumes(USA), Far West Battlefront (SA), Make Them Suffer (WA) and Common Bond, the five piece will head back into the studio mid 2013 to record a follow up to the highly acclaimed Exitium.

MassiveFantastic.com's Choice - Megadeath “Symphony of Destruction”
Rising from the unhallowed wastes of Western Sydney, extreme metal outfit Thy Art Is Murder have carved a trail of bloody mayhem since their inception in 2006. With an acclaimed EP and debut album in Infinite Death and The Adversary to their name, the band have traversed the highways and autobahns of Australia, the UK and Europe on a relentless crusade to destroy every venue and audience they can with like minded peers in a who's who of heavy metal.