We are reminded yet again this week of the dangerous lifestyle of touring, as yet another young band suffered a tragic loss over the weekend. Early Graves vocalist Mahk Daniels was killed over the weekend when the band’s van rolled over on the highway and he was ejected from the vehicle. Aside from the obvious tragedy of losing a talented young singer like Daniels, this incident also serves as a stark example of just how important it is to be careful on the road between gigs. Be aware of hazards in the road, wear seatbelts whenever possible, and NEVER drive when you’re tired. My thoughts and prayers, as well as those of the entire Metal Insider staff, go out to Mahk Daniels’ family, all of Early Graves, and the members of The Funeral Pyre, who were sharing a van with Early Graves when the crash occurred.
It’s a short week in terms of new releases, although there are a few very significant names amidst the slim pickings. The rest of August more than makes up for this short week, so read on and plan for more greatness to come soon.
Buckcherry, All Night Long (Eleven Seven)
The hard rock group has been flying high on the success of “Crazy Bitch” for four years. But can they re-create the magic of a song that epitomized legions of crazed fan girls and stalkers? Probably not, although the band is still one of the most popular among the coveted 18-24 demographic. This album will generate at least one or two hits for certain, meaning the fall will be a season of Buckcherry getting played all over the radio.
All Out War, Into the Killing Fields (Victory)
After the 2007 release of Assassins in the House of God, it was announced that the reunited All Out War had left Victory, with no specific reason given. The fact that Into the Killing Fields is being released on the label only serves to further confuse those following the situation. Regardless, this is a veteran hardcore outfit well known for their loyalty to the old-school methods of the scene. This album will retain all the classic traits that All Out War is known for.
Wretched, Beyond the Gate (Victory)
For every one good technical metalcore/deathcore band out today, there are ten that bury the good one under the carpet and make them lose notice. Wretched is one such band, suffering from a lack of recognition very similar to Woe of Tyrants and Conducting from the Grave. Incidentally, Wretched is compared to both of these bands rather often, which gives me a great feeling about them. Give these guys a shot if you’re looking for one of the rare diamonds among the pile of crap in this scene.
In the Midst of Lions, The Heart of Man (Facedown)
The St. Louis-based group is cutting their teeth on this year’s Scream the Prayer tour right now. Drawing off the heaviest elements of Impending Doom and With Blood Comes Cleansing, this band is unapologetic and relentless in their approach to Christian deathcore. They’ve even managed to make their lyrics into a form of attack. Seek out this band if you’re looking for an onslaught of brutality.
Fleshwrought, Dementia/Dyslexia (Metal Blade)
The collaboration of Job for a Cowboy’s Johnny Davy and Animosity’s Navene Koperweis is sure to be an experiment in madness. Koperweis has created a musical backdrop that is the equivalent of Devin Townsend on crack, while Davy gives the vocal performance of Bigfoot’s lovechild with George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher. Trying to comprehend most of that will likely give a lot of you headaches, so I’ll just save you the trouble and say to check it out for yourself.
Horseback, The Invisible Mountain (Relapse)
This record is required listening for any drone-doom fans out there. It’s a side project of North Carolina-based booking agent Jenks Miller, who also plays drums in a few stylistically-dissimilar bands and runs his own solo project. Musically, Horseback is much like other side projects from post-metal bigwigs (think Harvestman, the side project of Steve Von Till of Neurosis). The approach is straightforward, the music heavy, and the drone constant.
Queens of the Stone Age, Rated R – Deluxe Edition (Interscope)
Does this album even need an introduction? Of course not. The bonus material is what people will buy this for, and there’s plenty of it too. Six B-sides are the main focus of the second disc, which will also feature the band’s performance at the Reading Festival in 2000. Even a decade after its release, this album is still one of the classics of the decade, and this refresh of it makes it all the better.
Next Week: A lot of reissues yet again, with a whole lot of guitar squeals drawing our attention away from the classics. August is loaded, so don’t go anywhere!