Posts Tagged ‘case’

Children of Bodom – I Worship Chaos

Finnish melodeath superstars Children of Bodom have gone through several identity crises. Starting off as neoclassical melodic death metal, they had a lot of success. Their album Hatebreeder is indisputably a classic of the genre. But over time, they turned their sound into a more groove-oriented version of themselves with shred sections. This sound still had a lot of acclaim, as their fourth album Hate Crew Deathroll was also received very positively, even though some lamented the loss of their older influences. With their next few albums, they kept slightly changing their sound to be more accessible while simultaneously trying to capture their spark from their earlier days, but it never clicked, even though slog the way they had some great songs. After several disappointing albums, and the loss of famed guitarist Roope Latvala, Bodom are faced with their deciding moment. They could either pick themselves back up and make a comeback, or risk forever being written off. Thankfully, their ninth album, I Worship Chaos , is more the former than the latter. What really makes a Bodom album tick? If we’re talking post- Hate Crew, it’s basically solid grooves, chantable choruses, angry one-liners from Laiho and cheesy lead sections. Well, I Worship Chaos has got all of those covered. Each song is full of memorable little licks, be it some aggressively-nod-inducing riffs, earworm melodies or just proclamations screamed by Alexi (who sounds angrier than he has in a while). But what’s really important isn’t just that these elements are thrown in to tick boxes, it’s that they all come together in a way that makes for an enjoyable listening experience. And  that’s definitely the case here. Roope Latvala’s departure was definitely concerning as his lead playing was thought to be a big part of the band’s sound, but Alexi seems to be managing just fine without him. Perhaps the solos are a bit less intense, but there isn’t a noticeable drop in songwriting quality overall. In fact, the album feels better written than several of its predecessors. Everything is in lockstep, riffs carry tension and resolution very well between each other, and they don’t feel tired. This is an especially impressive feat if one considers the fact that melodic death metal has been around for quite a while and the template has been “figured out” long ago. Even Bodom have contributed to that process in the past, and nine albums deep into their career, it would be easy for them to feel like there’s not much left to say (in fact many though that was the case even seven albums deep into their career, so in some ways I Worship Chaos is a resurgence of quality). Sure, Alexi doesn’t sound like he feels as rife with angry creativity as he did fifteen years ago, but he sounds a lot more invigorated than he did five years ago. The benchmark for success in melodeath isn’t necessarily innovation anyway, it’s polish. And polish is in abundance on this album. It’s hard to underline in words the specific tightness that makes this album tick. This isn’t something that one can identify on paper. It’s the feeling of genuineness and effort conveyed by the tone of the writing. To the careful listener, that the songs were put together not by haphazard cobbling of ideas that were left on the drawing board after a writing session but were carefully put together to ensure every cog clicks properly with everything else, is obvious, and that is when the heart put into the album is apparent. Overall, I Worship Chaos is a polished, heartfelt album that makes it sound like Children of Bodom are enjoying their own music again; and fans should join in on that as well. The band are better than they have been for several albums, and new life has been breathed into their music. In a way, they’re back from the dead, telling us that we were wrong to write them off. ? Children of Bodom-  I Worship Chaos  gets… 4/5 -NT

Mind Pulp-Mind Pulp

Self-Release/Independent 2013 A little while back I was commenting on how there are just too many new Ohio rock and metal bands to for me to stay up to date on all of them. That was when I was struggling to come up with words for The Unclean’s latest release. I’m not having that problem with the five-piece band Mind Pulp. If anything it is just that without another Ohio band (Black Valor who I have reviewed in the past as well) chances are I might not have heard of these guys. That just goes to show you that in any given area there will always be a new band left to be discovered. You just might have to either look harder or, in the case of Mind Pulp, just get lucky. Originally hailing from New Philadelphia, Ohio (yeah, I didn’t know there was a metal scene there either folks) it looks as if they’re calling Canton home these days. Even though it is the birthplace of Marilyn Manson I’m not going to hold that against these guys! Granted, Canton would seem to be more of a fit for the band anyway as their sound and style, which is reportedly influenced by the likes of Korn, Static X,? Machine Head and Mudvayne, has a real urban grit to it. Mind Pulp was formed back in 2011 and, from the very start, the band’s main focus was “to create a style of music that could be embraced by everyone no matter what their taste in music was”. I’m not sure that’s going to work so well for Mind Pulp unless your average listener’s personal tastes includes the word “heavy”. More then anything that is what Mind Pulp has going for them on this 9-track release. It should be noted that while there are 9 tracks here it’s just 30 minutes in length. So it does run more like an EP. It’s not like Mind Pulp doesn’t make the most of that short time though. “El Diablo”, “Tell Me Why” and “Blood Clot” (all three of which you can be heard on the band’s Reverbnation page) offer solid metal in the vein of both Korn and Machine Head. Their Reverbnation page also features a sweet cover of Prong’s “Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck” so I’d wager that some of Prong’s heaviness has rubbed off on Mind Pulp. Of course there’s also some of Pantera’s heaviness to be found in Matt Pettit’s bass playing so you can kind of see where I’m going when I mention that Mind Pulp as that bottom-end crunch factor in their sound. As for the other four musicians there are no slouches among this bunch. Doug Wright and Nick Bonner easily handle the guitars and, on a track like the relentless “Relapse”, the solos speak volumes about the talent level of Mind Pulp.Vocalist Chad Heck and drummer Brent Mathiasas round things out and both do a pretty smashing job with things through and through. The only (minor) complaint to be found of this self-titled release is that when Chad Heck sings clean (I’m assuming he sings both clean and rough vocals) it doesn’t have quite the impact of the much more “metal” vocals. And Mind Pulp is very much a metal band as a cut like “Evil Intentions” will attest to. Sometimes when one guy tries to handle both ends of the vocal spectrum it doesn’t work so well. Vocalist Chad Heck has the rough vocals nailed down, but his clean singing could use a little tweaking. I do have to wonder though if it’s just the mix of this release that’s out of whack? Maybe he comes across better in concert? That could very well be the case as Mind Pulp has one of those sounds that must be killer to hear live. Have you ever listened to an album like that and thought to yourself? “I bet this band is heavier then hell and loud as f**k live!”? Considering how well things chug along on this disc I’m willing to wager that the real fun would be found in seeing Mind Pulp live and in living color. While checking out Mind Pulp’s Facebook page I noticed that it has pictures from their past gigs (and some “interesting” ones at that) so it looks as if a live setting might just be as good as, if not better, then this studio-release. Of course, judging by some of those live pictures posted on their Facebook page, it’s also got to be some kind of unique experience seeing them live and Lord knows I wouldn’t mind some of those “experiences” right about now!? Back to the disc we must go and, in addition to the numerous bands mentioned above, I picked up on both Dope and White Zombie so the influences are quite varied. This release would be the perfect pick me up for those who like alternative and nu metal, but straight-ahead metal heads will be able to enjoy this one as well. Should you find yourself in need of something HEAVY (and that falls within the bounds of “metal”) be sure to give Mind Pulp a chance. You might just find yourself with another fave new band!

Fan-Generated Randy Blythe Online Petition Receives U.S. Department of State Response

Mary Ouellette, The U.S. government may not have been forthcoming with information to Randy Blythe before the Lamb of God singer traveled to the Czech Republic and found himself serving a jail stint over the summer, but they’re definitely keeping an eye on his alleged manslaughter case now. A Lamb of God fan from Brandenburg, Ky. was responsible for creating a petition on the White House website asking for the government’s help as the singer prepares to head back to the Czech Republic to answer to the charges. The vocalist was arrested this past summer when the band returned to play a show in Prague. Local officials claimed that Blythe was involved in tossing an audience member from the stage and that the man in question later died from an injury sustained when he hit the ground. The petition garnered 29,000 signatures over a 30-day period, which is 4,000 more signatures than necessary for it to receive the requisite attention. Michael Posner, the Assistant Secretary of State of Democracy for Human Rights and Labor, drafted a statement on the Randy Blythe matter. It reads as follows: We appreciate your inquiry about the case of D. Randall Blythe, who was released from detention in the Czech Republic on August 3, 2012, and returned to the United States shortly thereafter. Mr. Blythe has publicly stated his intention to return to the Czech Republic to face trial for the alleged manslaughter of a Czech man at a concert in 2010. He recently told MTV, ‘It’s the correct thing for me to do … this poor young man’s family deserves some answers.’ Pending Mr. Blythe’s trial, we cannot discuss the details of his case. We are closely monitoring the progress of his trial. The Department Of State noted in its 2011 Human Rights Report that in the Czech Republic, ‘The laws provide for the right to a fair trial, and the independent judiciary generally enforced this right.’ We expect that the Czech government will make all efforts to ensure a fair, transparent, and timely trial for Mr. Blythe, and guarantee full protection of his legal rights under Czech law and his welfare. If you would like to know more about what the Department of State does for U.S. citizens overseas, please visit our website at Travel.State.Gov. General information on U.S. human rights policy is available at On Nov. 30, the Czech state attorney filed criminal charges against Blythe after reading the case file presented to him about the investigation. The Prague court has three months to set a trial date. Blythe, who already served a 37-day stint behind bars this summer, could face a long-term sentence if convicted. [button href=”” title=”Next: 10 Best Lamb of God Songs” align=”center”]

Lamb of God Manager Responds to Randy Blythe’s Czech Republic Indictment

Liz Ramanand, Loudwire Earlier today, news broke from the Czech Republic that Lamb of God vocalist Randy Blythe has been officially indicted for the charge of manslaughter. Now, an update has come from the Lamb of God camp, who have issued a statement on the case’s most recent development. This latest development begins a new chapter of Blythe’s controversial case, and the indictment means that the District Court of ‘Prague 8′ has three months to either set a trial date for Blythe, or postpone the decision for the sake of continuing the ongoing investigation. Lamb of God manager Larry Mazer has responded to the indictment with a new statement. Mazer states: After a three month investigation, the prosecutor in the Czech Republic has decided to move forward with an indictment of Randy Blythe on the charge of manslaughter with intent to cause bodily harm. Obviously, we intend to fight vigorously against these charges as we feel that in no way did Randy intend to cause bodily harm on the young fan who subsequently died from injuries sustained at the show.  As he has stated previously, Randy intends to go to Prague to defend himself at trial. While it is a tragedy that a Lamb of God fan died following a performance by the group, in no way do I feel that Randy did anything improper that led to the young man’s injuries and subsequent death.  The price of a ticket to a show does not entitle audience members access to a band’s stage.  In the years since the murder on stage of Dimebag Darrell Abbott, performers of all genres have had to become more guarded while performing in response to the dangers presented by fans trying to become part of the performance.  We believe that Randy responded professionally to the numerous amount of fans rushing the stage that day, a number of them captured on videos that have been posted on the internet. We have testimony from the venue operator that acknowledges lax security and an improper barricade being used that evening. Numerous testimonies from fans also were contradictory as to the actions of the multiple fans that tried to access the stage. At this point, all that the band, myself, and our lawyers can do is to present a defense and try to convince the panel of judges who will hear the case that Randy is innocent of all charges and that his name and reputation need to be cleared and that he be permitted to carry on with his life and career always mindful that a fan passed away after a Lamb of God performance. Stay tuned for more on the Randy Blythe case as news breaks. [button href=”” title=”Randy Blythe Officially Indicted by Czech Republic for Manslaughter Charges” align=”center”]

Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe to Learn if He’ll Stand Trial for Criminal Charges by November’s End

Bradley Kanaris, Getty Images Lamb of God ‘s Randy Blythe  will learn in the coming weeks whether or not he’ll have to stand trial on criminal charges in the Czech Republic, as the case file has been sent to the prosecutor for review. Czech news site reports that police have completed their investigation into the alleged manslaughter case and recommended that the vocalist be indicted and ordered to return to the Czech Republic to stand trial. The prosecutor in charge of the case will now review the facts and determine whether there is enough criminal liability to pursue the case further. A spokesperson for the Municipal Public Prosecutor’s Office in Prague, Stephanka Zenklova, stated that a decision on the matter will be made before the end of November. The singer was arrested this summer for his alleged involvement in the death of an audience member who sustained an injury after being thrown off the stage at their show. The injury didn’t immediately present itself, and the victim passed away a month later. Blythe spent 37 days in a Czech prison before finally being set free on bail. Shortly after arriving back in the U.S., the vocalist stated that he planned to return to face the charge and that the victim’s family had the right to some answers. He added, “I want my name cleared. I have to go around the world and tour, you know. That’s what I do. I’m not going to hide here. I’m an innocent man. I’m going to go to court and see what happens.” [button href=”” title=”Next: 10 Best Lamb of God Songs” align=”center”]

Mike Portnoy Tosses Parts of Drumkit + Raps During Mini Meltdown in Manila

Mary Ouellette, There are instrument-breaking, expletive-hurling onstage meltdowns, and then there’s something a whole lot less bombastic but no less entertaining that drummer Mike Portnoy pulled off during a set in Manila, Philippines, when he became upset with the equipment setup mid-performance. The Adrenaline Mob drummer, who was playing with his supergroup that featured bassist Billy Sheehan, guitarist Tony MacAlpine, and keyboardist Derek Sherinian, was clearly not happy with the way his drums had been set up during the show and had a mini-meltdown that was captured via fan video (seen below). We call it a mini-meltdown as the concept of tossing parts of your kit to the ground definitely qualifies as a meltdown, but it may be one of the calmest experiences ever seen in this situation. The former Dream Theater stickman can be seen gesturing for assistance mid-song, and once the drum techs got to the stage, he proceeded to stop drumming while the band played on and tepidly tossed several of his cymbals to the ground while the group of techs worked on his kit. He then asked the band members to take the sound down a little as he addressed the crowd with an impromptu rap about having to wait all night for the crew to get it right. Once the kit was back in proper order, Portnoy returned to his place onstage and finished out the song with the band, who continued performing throughout the entire ordeal. The drummer later posted about his actions in a lengthy missive that read: Not to excuse my actions, but at least to explain the situation: This PSMS tour has been VERY difficult on all of us in terms of gear and production. The only way we have been able to make it to such far away places such as Manila, Russia, Israel, Indonesia, etc (where it is normally VERY expensive to tour unless you are a “name” band that has been around for many years) is we’ve have had to make concessions by using supplied gear and local techs at each show. Granted, WE agreed to these terms and are willing to make it work — however, on at least a half dozen occasions on this tour we have been incredibly frustrated to arrive at the venue only to find the band’s gear requirements were simply blatantly ignored (wrong keyboards, wrong amps, Zildjian cymbals, etc) AND were not setup and ready for us as was supposed to be the case and what the promoters had promised. We have been as patient and understanding as we possibly can be…but when you get 4 guys who haven’t slept more than a couple of hours every night in order to fly to these shows without sleep … sometimes our patience can wear thin. In the case of the Manila show, we arrived hours before the show to find out the drums weren’t setup, cymbals were missing, Billy‘s amp was wrong (again) and Tony had a buzz on his gear that would not go away … but we forged ahead because we were VERY excited to play for the fans! At the start of ‘Stratus’ (where the video on youtube is from) — my snare drum mic fell off and I motioned for the tech to come put it back on the stand/drum … and instead, he comes up to the drum kit and takes the mic away … leaving me playing with NO snare mic!!! (you’ll hear I begin playing the high tom instead of the snare) … realizing he had no idea what was going on or how to fix the situation, I stopped playing and did my little “rap” while they fixed the situation and we wouldn’t have to play the whole song with no snare in the mix. In the video, you can see I was at least making a joke out of it and wasn’t maliciously trying to hurt anybody or storming off in anger. Moral of the story: WE ARE HUMAN! And sometimes frustrating circumstances create frustrated behavior. I’m not saying I was right in stopping the song … but if you see a video from later in the show, you’ll see I explain to the audience that I’ve been waiting my whole career to play in Manila and I wasn’t going to let ANYTHING ruin my night or their show!!?And we carried on and everybody had a great night. And I look forward to returning (although this may be the last time I tour without my own kit and my own drum tech…hahahaha!!!). Watch Mike Portnoy Deal With Technical Issues in Manila [button href=”” title=”Watch Adrenaline Mob’s ‘Undaunted’ Video” align=”center”]

Slipknot’s Shawn Crahan Speaks Out on Charges Filed Against Doctor in Paul Gray’s Death

As previously reported, criminal charges were filed this week against a Des Moines, Iowa, doctor who is accused of contributing to the deaths of eight patients, including Slipknot bassist Paul Gray. Now, Slipknot percussionist Shawn ‘Clown’ Crahan, who was one of the people interviewed by police for the case, has spoken out on the matter. Crahan was one of nine people — including Gray’s widow Brenna — who provided information