On October 24th and 25, 2015, my 12-year-old son Jesse and I made our second annual pilgrimage to Slipknot’s giant, weekend-long heavy metal festival Knotfest. The event once again took place at San Manuel Amphitheater at Glen Helen Regional Park in San Bernardino, California. This is a recap of our experiences on Saturday, October 24.
The event actually kicks off on Friday night with a show just for those who are fortunate enough to be holding camping or VIP passes. We were not among those folks, so we missed out on Sepultura, The Faceless, and several others. A bit of a bummer, but nothing compared to the gut-wrenching decisions that we would have to make later in the weekend with so many quality bands performing opposite each other on the side stages (more on that in a few…).
At the end of last year, we learned that metal titans Anthrax would be contributing a song to Catch the Throne: The Mixtape Vol. II, the official Game Of Thrones album featuring music inspired by the events of Season 4 of the popular HBO series. The New York thrash band had been in the studio working on their follow-up to 2011’s Worship Music, their first album with lead singer Joey Belladonna since 1990’s Persistence Of Time, when they posted studio photos to their social media accounts that were captioned #”ŽCatchTheThrone”¬. The hashtag was an obvious Game Of Thrones reference, as that was the title of the first mixtape compilation featuring songs inspired by Seasons 1-3.
Now, Anthrax and HBO have released a quick teaser video that contains interviews with several members of the band talking about the television series, intercut with footage of them in the studio, so we get to hear a snippet of the song, which is about the Lannister family.
Check out the teaser video here below, which features guitarist Scott Ian — who just appeared as the Steel Pole Walker on last Sunday’s episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead — bassist Frank Bello, and drummer Charlie Benante.
If you’re a dyed-in-the-wool metal fan like me, you need no introduction to independent label Relapse Records. For the last quarter of a century the Philadelphia record label has been home to some of the most revered acts in the metal world. Their roster reads like a who’s who of influential and beloved artists: High On Fire, Mastodon, Pig Destroyer, A.C., Death, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Dying Fetus, Obituary, Nile, Suffocation, Neurosis, Voivod, Revocation, and many, many more have called the label home at one point or another.
So, imagine my excitement when I heard that, in celebrating their 25th anniversary, Relapse has posted a 184-song sampler to their bandcamp page and it is a 100% FREE download. Yeah, you read that right — 184 tracks for free!
One of my favourite metal bands of the last few years has been Mastodon. Their first three albums showed their evolution from violently heavy sludge metal into a more progressive metal band. Album number four, Crack The Skye, was the album Mastodon fans were waiting for them to make and it’s only $5 right now.
Written largely by guitarist Brent Hinds, while recovering from an altercation with System Of A Down’s Shavo Odadjian which left Hinds in a coma, it is a swirling, dream-like but intermittently heavy album.