Testament with Special Guests
The Black Dahlia Murder, Municipal Waste, Meshiaak
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General Admission * Standing Room Only * If Any Seating Is Available, It Will Be On A Strictly First Come-First Serve Basis * All Ages * Additional $5 Cash Surcharge At The Door For Under 21 * Attendees Under 16 Must Be Accompanied By A Ticketed, Adult Guardian
The time has arrived for TESTAMENT to unleash new thunder to the masses and reveal their thirteenth studio album: Titans OF Creation. Just as the elements of this planet thrive within all living creatures, each musician in TESTAMENT represents a necessary component of this latest musical endeavour. Still filled with a massive and unstoppable energy since their last release, TESTAMENT has taken their style to the next level and present an album that is loyal to the roots of traditional thrash metal while still bringing alluring, brilliant, and progressive ingredients to the table. Bass is showcased, new vocals are introduced, and as expected, the guitarwork of Peterson and Skolnick is greatly complex and mesmerizing.
Eliran Kantor stepped up once again to create a new piece of artwork for the cover of this release. His classic, almost Renaissance style of painting melds beautifully with the ancient, psychological, and enlightened subject matter of the songs. Three monstrous titans stand in the place where the planets are formed. One pours molding liquid which the others hammer into human DNA, twisting and turning into the ring of a newborn planet. Each titan has the flame of a dying star burning in their chest; the origin of the atoms making up the bodies that are bubbling and boiling on the curves of the spiraling helix.
Titans OF Creation has many moods and material contained within; all of which somehow tie into a common philosophy of creation and its necessary counterpart: destruction. “Children Of The Next Level” smashes through the gates as the opening track with a flood of sound that prepares the listener for an abundance of violent thrash. Meanwhile, the lyrics rage about the outrageous philosophies of the Heaven’s Gate cult (founded in 1974).
Songs like “Dream Deceiver” carry more old school sound that will tickle the senses of any common TESTAMENT fan. The lyrics describe being trapped in a dream by an otherworldly female force who is slowly working to degrade the mind. Dreams are part of existence, but when we are asleep we are entirely vulnerable; one of the many mysteries of being human. “Someone’s haunting you and won’t leave you alone; the only time they pick at you is at night when they can control the way you sleep,” describes vocalist Chuck Billy.
“Night of the Witch” features frightening and captivating vocals from Eric Peterson. Carrying a vibe far more akin to Black Metal, Peterson swoops in with a power that melds perfectly with Billy’s ground shaking, guttural growls. Taking some influence from Robert Egger’s 2015 horror masterpiece “The VVitch: A New England Folktale,” the song carries with it a magical quality that directly reflects the mood of the film. At the very end of the track, a theremin howls through the air much like witches rising towards the moon; setting the final tone. “The album has a lot about it that’s fresh to the ear,” explains Peterson.
Written by guitarist Alex Skolnick, “Symptoms ” is filled with detailed with intricate guitar work that well represents the complicated and spellbinding journey that comes along with handling depression, mood swings, and a countless list of mental health frustrations. The lyrics in this song discuss a sad truth: that mental illness is more common than we all think, and than many of us are willing to acknowledge. On a lighter note, a vibrant track entitled “The Healers” swings back and forth between waves of death and thrash, heavy and melodic, light and dark. The words are spiritual, and extremely personal. They describe Billy’s own experience dealing with all natural medicine men; the elders of the earth, and how they managed to help him pinpoint and heal his past illness. “City Of Angels” comes bearing an entirely new sound for TESTAMENT. The creeping sludgieness and slow, stalking tempo, walk hand in hand with the almost unbelievably gruesome tale of the Nightstalker Richard Ramierz, all combining to form another stand-out track on the record.
In 2020 the days of writing an album all together in one room are far gone, but to be able to take advantage of technology allows for TESTAMENT to go about a very similar writing process to what they always have. Basic songs are molded, structures are added by everyone in the group, instrumentals are highlighted, and finally the lyrics and vocals are created to finalize the sonic story. Facetime and human on human contact still remain crucial elements to TESTAMENT’s song writing process and at some point throughout, every member physically interacts and writes with one another. In between writing this album, the band toured relentlessly which allowed for less stress, more time in between, and greater inspiration for this album cycle. There was also plenty of anxiety-free and level-headed time for pre-production and the initial recording process with Juan Urteaga of Trident Studios. Andy Sneap was then able to tweak, mix, and master this album to his usual perfection.
TESTAMENT’s process of creation has evolved and progressed yet they’ve remained steadfast over the course of literal decades. While always managing to present the genuine aspects of thrash metal that solidify their existence, they spread into unique horizons through developing crisp and fascinating sounds.
Any band that has earned an army of devout followers through dropping seven killer full-lengths - and touring their collective ass off for sixteen years - could perhaps be forgiven for thinking they could take it easy as they wade into their eighth release. But that's just not The Black Dahlia Murder's style, and Nightbringers is testament to that. Having released their most accomplished, aggressive, and emotionally diverse music to date in the form of 2015's Abysmal, the Michigan quintet have once more pushed themselves to new heights, and the 34 minutes of searing melodic death metal that comprises Nightbringers is riveting listening. "I always feel a responsibility to the people who support this band when we start making a new record," asserts vocalist Trevor Strnad. "The pressure that comes from people being excited to hear what you come up with next can be intimidating, but it's so exciting that those people love you so much for just doing what you do. It makes you want to honor what you've done in the past, but also excite them with where you go next, and that definitely drove us on 'Nightbringers'. When we started writing I honestly didn't know we had this album in us, and I feel really proud of it. It's a great moment for us."
Rather than meticulously plan things out or stick rigidly to any kind of template, when it comes to writing, The Black Dahlia Murder prefer to let things happen organically. In the hands of guitarist Brian Eschbach - who co-founded the band with Strnad in 2001 - and new recruit Brandon Ellis (Arsis, ex-Cannabis Corpse), Nightbringers is rich with dynamic riffs that are at once fresh and classic TBDM, resulting in a collection that shifts through many moods and effortlessly incorporates various elements of extreme metal. With guitarist Ryan Knight having amicably stepped down in 2016, the addition of twenty-four-year-old Ellis to the band's ranks has helped usher in an exciting new era. "He's very professional for his age, I think he's skilled far beyond his years, and his live energy is exceptional. When Max (Lavelle, bass) joined the band he challenged a lot of us on stage to raise our personal bar, and Brandon's pushed that even further," states Strnad. "Brandon coming into the band and writing a bunch of songs was an awesome surprise too. He really took the reins, and this record is also the most involved that Alan (Cassidy drums) has been too. The way that we were doing the demos and bouncing things back and forth he had a lot of room to do what he wanted to do, and I think it's definitely a more colorful album for that. I also think as we get older the emotional content goes up. I think we better realize how to grip the listener. Personally, I try to write lyrics that are going to match each part, and kind of ramp up those feelings that we're putting across." Strnad's statements are vividly borne out by every moment of Nightbringers. For fans attending 2017's Summer Slaughter tour, the first taste of of the record came with the inclusion of the title track in their set, which has an undeniable immediacy to it, rich with hooks and boasting a "circusy, evil and playful" air. By contrast, "Catacomb Hecatomb" is suffused with tragedy, the mournful tone of its slower passages deeply affecting. This too is dramatically different to "As Good As Dead", which has some swagger to it that Strnad likens to Megadeth, or "Matriarch", described by Eschbach as a "wild, neoclassical romp" and stands as one of the most cutthroat and all out aggressive tracks in the quintet's arsenal. Upon first hearing the latter, Strnad was intent on matching its visceral intensity. "I felt inspired to write very violent lyrics to it. It's told from the perspective of a woman who is trying to have a child and not having any luck, and she goes kind of crazy and stalks this other woman who is due to have a child. She finds her moment to take it from her, cutting it right out of her stomach." While Strnad explores a variety of themes and ideas with his lyrics, they are united by the album's title, which embraces a tenet that has been central to The Black Dahlia Murder's output since the very beginning. "Death metal and nighttime are synonymous to me. We are the rulers of the darkened hours that the Christian good fears. A lot of archaic ideas that are still upheld - such as marriage and monogamy - came from Christianity, whether people want to acknowledge it or not, and to me, death metal has always been bucking that. It's 'being-the-villain music', because we're the enemy of Christianity, the enemy of all that is good and traditional. Death metal is for free thinkers, it's for showing people the path to inner strength and operating on your own will, instead of being told what to do and living in fear, and songs like the title track and 'Kings Of The Nightworld' are about leading a legion of awakened minds into battle." Following this theme also motivated Strnad to forge into ever-darker territory, even when this meant tearing things up and starting over. "I felt I needed to rise to the occasion to make as much of the blood and guts and heinousness as possible, and there was actually a couple of points where I rewrote some songs. I just didn't feel like they were dark enough, or violent enough, so I was really trying to ramp up the monstrous aspects of things - the grizzlier the better!"
Rather than decamp to a single studio, the members split off when it came time to start laying down the songs - all well versed in how to get the best out of their individual performances. With former bassist Ryan Williams once again assisting, the drums were tracked at The Pipe Yard in Plymouth, Michigan and rhythm guitars and bass in the band's practice space in Warren, Michigan. Ellis then recorded his many blistering solos in his home studio, while Strnad opted to record at his home in Auburn Hills, Michigan with Joe Cincotta (Suffocation, Internal Bleeding) of Full Force Studios overseeing his sessions. For the unique and haunting cover art they turned to Kristian Wahlin, aka Necrolord, who has designed seminal artwork for the likes of At The Gates, Bathory, Emperor and also TBDM's 2007 release, Nocturnal. "I think he's the most prominent artist when it comes to classic releases in the melodic death metal genre, and kind of bringing things full circle with it being the ten-year anniversary of 'Nocturnal' felt right. By now people probably wouldn't have expected us to go back to him, so it's kind of a surprise, but at the same time it's a very classic cover too." With the band celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the aforementioned album by playing it in its entirety on Summer Slaughter, it has given them a moment to reflect not only on the road that has led them to here but also that which lies ahead. "When I think back to when we started the band, I feel very proud of everything we've done, and I also see a lot of improvement over the years," says Strnad. "In the early songs, I can hear us as kids, and then segueing into our adulthood as musicians and writers, but sixteen years in, I still feel young as a band. I feel like we have a shit ton left to do, and I think we're sitting pretty with the best lineup we've ever had. I also think 'Nightbringers' could be our finest hour yet. I feel very strongly that it will affect people, I want to get all of these songs in people's ears, and I want them to check out everything we've got on this record. There's so much variety and so many great ideas, and I think that this could take us to another place."
Nightbringers worldwide chart debuts:
#8 Billboard Top Current Albums (USA)
#9 Billboard Top Albums (USA)
#2 Internet Albums (USA)
#3 Current Hard Music Albums (USA)
#3 LP Vinyl Albums (USA)
#3 Independent Current Albums (USA)
#4 Current Rock Albums (USA)
#6 Independent Current Albums Consumption (USA)
#15 Current Digital Albums (USA)
#16 Digital Albums (USA)
#35 Billboard Top 200 (USA)
#2 Hard Music Charts (Canada)
#12 Top Album Charts (Canada)
#17 Top Digital Charts (Canada)
#22 Rock/Metal Albums (UK)
Nightbringers track listing:
2. Of God and Serpent, Of Spectre and Snake
6. Kings of the Nightworld
7. Catacomb Hecatomb
8. As Good as Dead
9. The Lonely Deceased
The Black Dahlia Murder online:
So what happens when a band’s riotous reputation catches up with them? Precautionary measures are taken and they - of course - get banished, only this time, it’s into space! When the greedy ship captain hordes the food rations, the crew kicks into survival mode, commit mutiny, and devour their captain skewing the story into a horrific yet fantastic cannibalistic voyage into space that cult movies are made of.
The Fatal Feast, the fifth studio album by Richmond, Virginia’s cross-over kings MUNICIPAL WASTE, not only ponders the type of moral dilemma faced in the title track but also tackles earthly issues that consistently plague humanity (“Covered In Sick/The Barfer,” “Repossession,” “Standards And Practices,” “12 Step Program,” “Crushing Chest Wound”). These 37 minutes of new music consolidate the best of everything the band’s got to offer: their utmost respect for headbang-inducing riffs, their trademarked aggression, their tongue-in-cheek sense of humor, and their talent for extracting meaning out of the absurd.
Rising from the squalor of a cursed punk house for their live debut at a New Year’s Eve keg party welcoming in 2001, founding members Ryan Waste and Tony Foresta quickly embraced a DYI ethic to spread the word about their band and graduated to booking shows out-of-state and even in Mexico. After a self-titled EP and the Waste ‘Em All debut album in 2003, bassist Phil “LandPhil” Hall and former Melt Banana drummer Dave Witte were ushered into the fold. This line-up went on to record three full-length albums for Earache Records (2005’s Hazardous Mutation, 2007’s The Art Of Partying, and 2009’s Massive Aggressive), earning such accolades throughout their career as “MUNICIPAL WASTE do it so well that any track could squeeze comfortably between D.R.I. and Gang Green on a mix tape” from Spin Magazine, “No band sound more authentic,” from Alternative Press, “A gold standard” from Decibel magazine , and “Undeniably the best at what they do,” from Outburn magazine. Visually, the band also delivered, as evidenced by the success of the devil-may-care and often outrageous attitude of their videos which have all become fan-chanted anthems at their live shows. The fact is, no one could argue against MUNICIPAL WASTE’s reputation as the ultimate feel-good party band.
Dedicated to keeping the spirit of the 1980’s cross-over scene alive, it was with their uncontrollable mirth and succinct songs that lead MUNICIPAL WASTE to reap the rewards of their hard work. By the time they signed with new label Nuclear Blast in 2011, they had proven themselves as die-hard road warriors would could tour & perform with bands outside their genre such as Suicidal Tendencies, The Casualties, 7 Seconds, Circle Jerks, Sick Of It All, GWAR, Lamb Of God, Children Of Bodom, and At The Gates and win over their crowds. Here they are 11 years later and their rabid fan base continues to expand.
With artwork by Justin Osbourn of Slasher Design, 2012’s The Fatal Feast is the first MUNICIPAL WASTE album to feature contributions from invited guests. Steve Moore of Zombi penned the intro to the title track and the spacey “Waste In Space,” John Connelly of Nuclear Assault’s vocals grace “Unholy Abductor,” and singer Tim Barry of Richmond punk legends Avail jumps in on “Standards And Practices.”
For fans of metal, punk, and hardcore, MUNICIPAL WASTE’s The Fatal Feast is already being hailed as “an interstellar thrashterpiece” by Decibel magazine. Space may be a noiseless vacuum for amateurs who don’t travel with their own P.A. system, but seasoned veterans of extreme situations MUNICIPAL WASTE always know better than to leave home without it!
DISCOGRAPHY - Studio Albums
The Fatal Feast, 2012 (Nuclear Blast) • Massive Aggressive, 2009 (Earache)
The Art Of Partying, 2007 (Earache) • Hazardous Mutation, 2005 (Earache)
Waste ‘Em All, 2003 (Six Weeks)
DISCOGRAPHY – EPs, Splits, and Comps
Louder Than Hell 7-inch Comp, 2004 (Six Weeks) • Dark Thoughts: A Tribute To COC 7-inch, 2003 (Six Weeks) • Super Sabado Fest 12-inch Comp, 2003 (Six Weeks) • Tango And Thrash MW/Bad Acid Trip Split 7-inch, 2002 (Amendment) • MW / Crucial Unit 12-inch Split, 2002 (Six Weeks)
Self-Titled EP, 2001 (Amendment/Busted Heads)
Meshiaak return with their blistering second album 'Mask Of All Misery,' which will be released on 15th November, via Mascot Records.
It has been three years since the Australian quartet's debut album 'Alliance of Thieves' dropped, which married dark undertones, heavy grooves and sophistication whilst retaining old-school metal values. Upon its release Metal Hammer applauded its "modern power/thrash metal attack," Powerplay exclaimed that the album "bludgeons and berates the senses with incredible precision and astounding musicianship" and Classic Rock revelled in the "mix of brooding progressive metal and heavy rock."
So, it's no surprise then, that the band are back to continue the story and have a new member and renewed energy. Formed in Melbourne, by 4ARM's Danny Camilleri and Teramaze's Dean Wells with bassist Andrew Cameron, they have recruited drummer David Godfrey who replaces Jon Dette, following his departure due to logistical reasons with him being based in the US and the rest of the band in Australia.
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