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Grammy-nominated. Respected by peers. Revered by fans. An unstoppable force. Tougher than a prison yard. Architects of positive, uplifting anthems that require and demand crowd participation. That’s Hatebreed, top to bottom, back to front.
This Connecticut hardcore/metal institution has been demolishing its way around the globe since 1994. Not many bands can enjoy that kind of longevity, but Hatebreed have made “being a career band” look easy. They’ve endured typical band “issues” like changing members and record labels, but through it all, they’ve never compromised and never looked back, instead choosing to charge ahead and make the most brutal, boot-to-the-teeth music they can.
And here they are, 15 years into their storied career, which includes four stints on the quintessential summer tour Ozzfest, racking up more appearances than any other band other than Ozzy himself; there are countless magazine covers (including a forthcoming issue of American metal Bible, Revolver); a Grammy nomination for “Live For This” from 2004’s The Rise of Brutality; a debut album, Satisfaction is the Death of Desire, that is considered a classic release by fans and critics alike; a front-man who was invited to serve as the first host of the exhumed Headbanger’s Ball on MTV2; and countless fans who hail from all walks of life. Go to a Hatebreed show and you’ll see dudes, girls, and casual metal fans with a soft spot for Hatebreed. Hatebreed’s music is like a universal language that so many speak and comprehend.
Despite all the accolades, the rich history and the band’s keen ability to remain relevant deep into the second decade of its career, Hatebreed refused to rest on their laurels for Hatebreed, their fifth proper studio album, not counting 2009’s For The Lions, which found the band flexing its creative muscles and covering influences such as Slayer, Misfits, Agnostic Front, Cro-Mags and Sepultura! The band retains the same headspace from For The Lions, by confidently trying new things and attempting different things to result in fresh, unexpected sounds.
For Hatebreed, former guitarist Wayne Lozniak returns to the fold and the band inked a new record deal with E1 Entertainment for U.S. and Canada and Roadrunner International for the rest of the world. This flurry of activity has infused the band with new life and a renewed sense of energy and as a result, everything about Hatebreed is bigger, stronger and louder. It’s like the band has been rejuvenated by all these changes. After 15 years of brutality, the music is fuller, more technical and Hatebreed finds the quintet boldly going to new places. The results are beyond impressive and the risk has yielded a greater reward.
Each track on Hatebreed is both like everything you’d expect and nothing like what you are expecting, a testament to the band’s ability to change without veering too far off course.
If you’re searching for brutal and aggressive metal, you’ve met your match with UNEARTH. Combining elements of hardcore, thrash, and extreme metal – while also never overlooking the importance of thought-provoking lyrical ideas and concepts – UNEARTH has steadily become one of the leading lights in heavy metal.
Look at the careers of all great metal bands, and there is a certain album that pushed the respective group to the next level. The March, the forthcoming fourth full-length from UNEARTH is bound to be that album for the band, as it contains all the expected elements from earlier UNEARTH classics, while also managing to drive their sound forward.
Hailing from just north of Boston, UNEARTH originally formed in 1998 with a three-man core - singer Trevor Phipps, guitarists Buz McGrath and Ken Susi – and were subsequently joined by bassist John “Slo” Maggard. Derek Kerswill’s union with the band marks UNEARTH’s latest addition, resulting in what many consider to be the band’s most potent line-up of all.
Over the years, UNEARTH has issued a steady stream of modern metal classics, including such full-lengths as 2001’s The Stings of Conscience, before signing with Metal Blade, and issuing 2004’s The Oncoming Storm. All the while, UNEARTH continuously crisscrossed the globe, becoming one of the hardest – and most consistent – touring bands in all of hard rock. Over the years the quintet has played in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, South America, Mexico, Japan, Europe including the Netherlands and their first ever headlining trip to Russia, and has appeared not once, but two times each on such renowned metal fests as Ozzfest and Download. They have also appeared on International festivals such as Rock Am Park, Rock Am Ring, Loud Park, Wacken and others. In the process, UNEARTH has toured alongside some of rock’s top names, including Slayer, Slipknot, Killswitch Engage, Hatebreed, Lamb of God, and many others.
But with the arrival of 2006’s III: In the Eyes of Fire, UNEARTH scored their most worldwide successful album yet. Produced by Terry Date (who has worked with Pantera, The Deftones, and Soundgarden), the album debuted at #35 on the Billboard Top 200 Charts. And according to Phipps, the album’s purpose was a simple one. “It seemed like a lot of bands were falling in that trend, where more of the harder hitting bands wanted to gain more fame, and put more pop-oriented sounds into their metal and hardcore. That record was a statement for us – to show people you could still write a heavy, mean record and continue a solid level of success.”
The album instantly earned unanimous glowing reviews, as Blender.com hailed it as “Easily a front running candidate for Metal Album of the Year,” while Revolver Magazine called it “A stunning accomplishment, one that repeatedly pushes the boundaries of heaviness, yet contains enough sonic and lyrical layers to give the songs depth and staying power.” One of the highest compliments came in Rolling Stone Magazine, from Slipknot frontman, Cory Taylor. “It’s like Anthrax and Megadeth rolled into one. It’s everything you want in a great metal song.”
After wrapping up an extensive tour in support of III (including some of their biggest headlining shows ever) and seeing their first-ever DVD, Alive from the Apocalypse reach gold status in Canada shortly after its release in early 2008, UNEARTH got to work on their latest offering. Back on board was the producer of their earlier albums, Adam Dutkiewicz. The end result is an album that includes such metallic gems as “Grave of Opportunity”, "Crow Killer", "My Will Be Done", "Hail the Shrine," and "We are Not Anonymous." The lyrical content has once again stepped into a challenging realm as they range from overcoming personal hardships to questioning government, politics and organized religion.
Phipps claims "This is our most crushing record to date. We pulled back some of the speed on this album just a bit so we could make the tunes more pummeling." He added, "The record has everything we have brought to the table in the past, the thrash, stomp, groove, melody and classic metal elements, but the song writing continues to improve. We are all proud as fuck of this album."
Formed in 2002 in the legendary San Francisco Bay Area California USA, First Blood set out to create straight-forward and crushing metal-edged hardcore music with a pissed-off, in-your-face message.
"We just wanted to play music that was right to the point so kids could sing-along and let out their aggressions on the dancefloor,"
states frontman Carl Schwartz about the band's early, no-frills attitude. "We never thought or expected we would be playing shows outside of California, let alone San Francisco." That would soon change.
Upon the self-release of their brutal 5-song DEMO 2002 (later reissued by Bridge9 spin-off Division 36 Records) and a split 7" Dead Man's Hand Series EP with Philadelphia's Blacklisted in 2004 on Deathwish Inc, First Blood soon hit the road to unleash their fury upon the world in promotion of their debut 2006 full-length release entitled "Killafornia" on Trustkill Records.
"We had our sights set on touring in every underground music scene possible so as many kids had a chance to see First Blood and hear our message," states Carl. The band would soon light radar screens in more than 30 countries worldwide, with devoted listeners across the United States, Canada, Europe, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Hong Kong, Phillipines, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, and beyond. Sharing the stage with world-class acts such as Cro-Mags, Comeback Kid, H2O, Ignite, Sick Of It All, Agnostic Front, Hatebreed, Madball, Terror, Napalm Death, Exodus, Gorilla Biscuits, Earth Crisis, Strife, The Path Of Resistance, Stick To Your Guns, Death Before Dishonor, Gallows, Born From Pain, Decapitated, and many more, First Blood has become an unstoppable force and staple of the hardcore community.
Fast forward to 2010, First Blood ramped-up for their highly-anticipated, sophmore release entitled "Silence Is Betrayal" on Bullet Tooth Records. Featuring 16 tracks of pure musical devastation and lyrical condemnation, First Blood relit the flame and burning spirit that originally brought the band together. "Silence Is Betrayal laid it all out on the table with a point of view that left little to misinterpretation" is how Carl described the strong lyrical focus of challenging the status quo, while remaining every bit as true-to-sound to the brutal aggression that many have come to expect musically of First Blood. "Silence Is Betrayal is every bit as heavy and abrasive as First Blood gets, complete with a war-torn soundtrack of armageddon breakdowns and relentless sing-along calls to action."
Full speed ahead into 2012, First Blood celebrates their ten year anniversary as a band. "We're really proud of what we've accomplished and where we've been over these past ten years, and we're really thankful for all of the great people who appreciate and respect what we do and represent. You make this possible and we salute you with infinite thanks, love, and respect!" To mark this milestone, First Blood prepares their upcoming tribute release(s), dedicated to those who have inspired the band in both music and life. Aptly entitled, "FBI" (First Blood Inspiration) listeners can expect to hear crushing new renditions of classic anthems by Hatebreed, Sick Of It All, Earth Crisis, Path Of Resistance, Agnostic Front, Madball, Biohazard, and many more... all re-recorded in First Blood style. Release dates to be announced in early 2012.
Keep watch and catch First Blood live on the Mazine Rebellion Tour 3 with Madball, H2O, Deez Nuts and more (March 2012/Europe) as well as New England Metal and Hardcore Festival (April 2012/USA). Stay tuned for more upcoming tour annoucements with destinations around the world. "It's shaping up to be another strong year in the First Blood legacy" adds Carl as momentum continues to push forward with First Blood. "Let's keep the message alive. We'll see you all again soon.
Peace and love!"
FIRST BLOOD - Celebrating 10 Years Of Truth
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