To get you hyped for Madison, Wisconsin’s Mad With Power Fest 2019, festival organizer and Lords of the Trident vocalist Ty Christian shares his TOP 10 list of arcade games to play while headbanging to power metal.
Montreal’s Operators are fresh off a new album, Radiant Dawn, out now via Last Gang Records, and, with a busy summer of touring ahead of them, they lend us Devojka for a guest blog to give a comprehensive rundown on her extensive gear.
What UK nu-metal bruisers Blood Youth have done on their Rude Records release, Starve, is extremely impressive and the only place they’re headed is toward the big leagues.
Away from writing their new EP, All At Your Mercy, Manchester post-metal band Pleiades have weighed in with a massive 880 hours on Football Manager. We dragged them away from their screen for a minute to talk us through their Top 10 video games.
As we have just hit the half-way mark of 2019, we thought that it would be the perfect time to toss up a #THROWBACKTHURSDAY and reflect upon some of the incredible music which captivated our team in 2018. From Boss Keloid and Parkway Drive to Fever 333 and Johnny Cash, there’s stuff on here for everyone.
In a special guest blog, music video director Sergio Rebolledo and NEXT CItY guitarist Philip Paulsen take us behind-the-scenes of the themes, the logistics, and even the smoke bombs featured in the band’s new “Tell Me” video.
In anticipation of XXL’s 2019 Freshman Class, here are our predictions for the this year’s list of the top young rappers the world of hip-hop has to offer, including Blueface, Gunna, Lil Baby, and Juice Wrld.
After a few months “vacation,” chef Danny P. is back again with a new episode of Baker’s Dozen. With summer nearly here, let’s get those warm days started on the right foot with our recipe for “Not Those Kind of Shrooms” Mushrooms on Toast.
With his newest album, (I Am) Origami Pt. 3 - A Catacomb Hymn, dropping July 19th on Tooth and Nail and DevilDuck Records, indie rocker John Van Deusen hits us with a Stereo Six to catalogue his songwriting inspirations.
With post-hardcore band Movements skyrocketing faster than we can keep track of, here are five reasons the Fearless Records quartet’s preternatural success took off and isn’t slowing down anytime soon.
In today's musical landscape many people believe that physical formats aren't as relevant as they use to be. Truth to be told, many have succumbed to the temptations of consuming music by just clicking a button on their computers, cell phones, iPods, or whatever gadget they have. That's maybe why, in order to compete, physical formats have become more interesting than ever, featuring alternative artworks, exclusive content, videos, and in some cases, even out of the ordinary packaging.
Dusty Peterson is one of those illustrators who really enjoys talking about their work. His level of enthusiasm is evident, especially when giving detailed explanations of his creative process, his technique, and the pieces of which he's most proud. Even though to date this Seattle-based designer has produced artworks for Metal giants the likes of Six Feet Under, Bloodbath, and Cattle Decapitation, he still keeps exploring new creative paths that help him to become a more refined artist. PureGrainAudio recently had the opportunity to delve into Peterson’s mind and learn about his influences, sources of inspiration, the mechanics behind his creativity, and his overall experience working in the world of extreme music.
Without Judas Priest, Heavy Metal wouldn't exist as we know it today. Their influence in the development of the genre has been well-documented thanks to their four decade-long career. The same can be said about the mostly iconic covers accompanying each of their album's cover artworks. Whether they’re are portraying a fallen angel, a hand holding a razor blade, or an eagle ready to attack, the truth is that their impact on Metal aesthetics and popular culture in general is both undeniable and revolutionary.
If there's one band that has never been lured by the temptations of mainstream commercialism or false musical trends, look no further than Darkthrone.
After publishing more than 7,000 album reviews and 40 Rock/Metal-related books, Martin Popoff can easily be considered one of genre's ultimate writers. The Toronto-based author has also professed on many occasions his love for the visual imagery used in Metal and Rock music. In fact, he's already written several books about the subject, including "Run For Cover", a look into Iron Maiden's iconic illustrator Derek Riggs and "Worlds Away", a book centered on the visuals created by Voivod's drummer Michell "Away" Langevin.
Bristish illustrator Mark Wilkinson’s work has been adorning the cover sleeves of Rock and Metal albums for decades. His work for bands like Judas Priest and Marillion, as well as for posters for the Monster of Rock Festival, Star Wars movies, and book covers is widely recognized. His refined technique and unique fantastic visions have made of the artist a legend within the world of commercial illustration. To celebrate his career of more than 30 years, Wilkinson recently published the book "Shadowplay", a recount of most of his work to date. In this interview the artist talks extensively about the new book, his influences, and his ongoing collaboration with artists such as Judas Priest and Marillion.
German visual artist Andreas Marschall is widely known as one of Metal's quintessential illustrators, his works having adorned album covers for decades. Bands like Blind Guardian, Kreator, Sodom, and In Flames, among many others, owe Marschall big time for helping them to establish crucial aspects of their visual imagery. Over the last few years the artist has also been exploring another passion: film making. In fact, he recently premiered his second feature film, a horror/fantasy tour de force titled "Masks", which is expected to arrive on North American shores soon. While promoting the film worldwide, we had the opportunity to talk with Marschall about the origins of his career, his vast body of work, and movie making.
In 2012, ten years into their career, California’s As I Lay Dying released their sixth studio album titled Awakened. With the help of legendary Black Flag drummer and producer Bill Stevenson, the group successfully refined their blend of Metalcore adding sudden slabs of neo-Thrash and occasional melodic catchiness. "We really needed to make sure that we are still progressing and showing that we’re only getting stronger with our sound. We’re always trying to throw in new elements and always expand our sound somewhat," says long time guitarist Phil Sgrosso about the band’s mindset while recording the album. Indeed, tracks like the opener "Cauterize", the frantic "A Greater Foundation" or the sonically dense "Overcome" only come to confirm that this is probably one of the quintet’s finest recorded efforts to date.
Despite the mainstream success and commercial appeal of Van Halen's 1984, this mega-selling album was released with some accompanying controversial issues. For instance, though the album featured muscular Heavy Rock cuts such as "Panama" and "Hot For A Teacher", it also proposed dramatic stylistic challenges in the keyboard-oriented hit singles "Jump" and "I‘ll Wait". Additionally, the cover sleeve depicting a little angel smoking a cigarette while naughtily smiling was indeed, a polemical subject, even though it never caused major issues for the quartet’s successful career.
This is the second part to our "A Guide to (some of) the Best Metal Album Covers of 2012" posting last week. As we know, cover artwork was a big thing for Metal music in 2012. Many of them were epic, cryptic, nightmarish and more importantly, artfully executed. They helped to both enrich many listeners' imaginations and to enhance the music itself; and this is why we're covering them! In the second part to our guide, we keep exploring the stories behind some of these magnificent visual pieces. We've interviewed some of the designers and musicians involved with said art and they in turn opened for us new worlds of imagination an awe. Check it out!