Remember Teddy Ruxpin? Remember wishing that he worked with tapes other than his own so that you could have an adorable bear singing Black Sabbath or “Weird Al” Yankovic? Well, now you can live out those fantasies through Cobra Digital’s Party Animal Dancing Pet Speakers.
On June 11, Black Sabbath will release 13, its first album with Ozzy Osbourne in 35 years. Legendary producer Rick Rubin was tabbed to man the boards, and Rage Against the Machine drummer Brad Wilk has joined behind the kit. Check out the in-studio footage of the band with the world’s most unkempt producer.
Last year, long-running metal super-group Down released the first of a sprawling four-part EP series. Aptly titled IV, the releases — the rest of which come in 2013 or later — are meant to comprise a massive new album, and the first takes the band’s Black Sabbath influences to a rawer and darker place.
Singer, songwriting contributor, and former Pantera vocalist Phil Anselmo — who teams with members of Corrosion of Conformity, Eyehategod, and Crowbar in Down — joined us to talk about soaring vocals, his home studio, and that unapologetic Sabbath influence.
13. This number, above most others, has a superstitious history — buildings built without 13th floors, Friday the 13th, and historic associations with bad luck. But in 2013, heavy-metal forefather Black Sabbath is taking that number back with the release of its new album, 13, to be released in June.
With the day’s first set, Lollapalooza 2012 officially begins at 11:30 AM CST — “bright and early” for professional rock bands.
We’ll be tweeting and posting to Facebook intermittently with our thoughts, and if you’re down at Grant Park too, let us know if you’re still alive. (Today’s high temp. will be in the low 90s with 50% humidity. Drink your bubble tea.)
Tonight’s festivities end with two of the billion bands to use “black” in their names — Black Sabbath and The Black Keys. Here’s our quick list of sets to catch:
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Oakland sludge trio High on Fire has kept the heavy-metal flame alive and burning for 14 years, having formed following guitarist/singer Matt Pike’s time in doom/stoner group Sleep. And with each new chapter in the band’s scorching legacy, Pike, drummer Des Kensel, and bassist Jeff Matz further challenge what a power trio can do. Somehow, over time, they’ve managed to grow louder, more epic, and even catchier.
The band’s sixth album, De Vermis Mysteriis, in many ways is classic High on Fire. Recorded with Converge’s Kurt Ballou, it balances punishing sludge riffs with epic solos and high-octane tempos. The first half alone is an exercise in ferocity: “Bloody Knuckles” pounds out a hook-laden variation of the band’s classic churn; “Fertile Green” lunges into an ultra-menacing stomp; “Madness of an Architect” taps into its Sabbath-y roots for old-fashioned doom.
Here Kensel speaks about going back to basics, writing in the studio, and “Eureka!” moments.
Viva Voce: “Analog Woodland Song”[audio:http://alarm-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Viva-Voce-Analog-Woodland-Song.mp3|titles=Viva Voce: “Analog Woodland Song”]
Kevin and Anita Robinson comprise Portland, Oregon-based rock-n-roll band Viva Voce. The married couple has released six full-length albums since the late ’90s, the latest of which is called The Future Will Destroy You. With Kevin hammering the drums with machine-like precision and Anita producing catchy hooks and riffs with classic-rock cool, it’s a surprisingly lighthearted sound for such a foreboding title. The band’s sticking by its claim, though, and recently compiled this apocalyptic playlist for ALARM.
1. The Stooges: “Search & Destroy”
I’m a streetwalking cheetah with a heart full of napalm. ‘Nuff said.
Neurosis: “To Crawl Under One’s Skin”[audio:http://alarm-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Neurosis_Souls_To-Crawl-Under-One-s-Skin.mp3|titles=Neurosis “To Crawl Under One’s Skin”]
Earlier this year, pioneering sludge-metal band Neurosis reissued its third studio album, Souls at Zero, on its own label, Neurot. Though it sounds just as fresh today, it has been nearly 20 years since that influential mixture of heavy grooves, diverse folk instrumentation, and mammoth metal riffs first cropped up. We asked frontman Steve Von Till to compile a playlist for us, and he came up with 11 bands that were instrumental in Neurosis’ formation and development.
Bands Integral to the Origin of Neurosis
by Steve Von Till of Neurosis
This playlist may contain the secrets to the origin of thousands of bands who became inspired to give it all.
1. Joy Division: “New Dawn Fades”
The driving bass. The melodic yet primitive guitar. The empty and bleak space as large as the riff. The words, “Me, seeing me this time, hoping for something else.” The emotions left behind.