After relaunching for free this summer on the iPad, ALARM Magazine is back in print with more awesome shit. We’re psyched to have the mighty Soundgarden on the cover of our Nov/Dec issue, which includes interviews with and stories on Converge, Refused, Melvins, Dirty Projectors, Bloc Party, P.O.S, Squarepusher, Fang Island, and more.
The eighth full-length album from Converge is every bit the frenetic, neck-snapping metalcore monster that two decades of precedent could have promised. Yet even when sticking to some of its shortest, most explosive hardcore throw-downs, the Salem-based quartet maintains a dedication to craft and perfection.
Did you catch this last week? That’s right — it’s the first track and video from Converge’s All We Love We Leave Behind, a brand-new dose of hardcore pyrotechnics due out in a scant five weeks.
Syncing with the blazing tempo, director Max Moore’s cinematography offers ultra-low-attention-span cuts with a dark, blue-grey palette. Try to count the many quick tie-ins to vocalist Jacob Bannon’s cover art.
This content appears in the July/August iPad edition of ALARM Magazine. Download it for free and keep reading!
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.
Let it be known that 2012 has been a great year for reunions in the music industry. We all know about the names of the past coming together again for live performances, but few end up writing new material or actually functioning as a band. Enter Old Man Gloom: an all-star noise-sludge lineup that has moved in mystery since the end of the 1990s. Now, following a few recent live shows of its own, the Boston-based four-piece has released NO, its first recorded effort in eight years.
“Eternal”[audio:http://alarm-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Generation_of_Vipers_Eternal.mp3|titles=Generation of Vipers: “Eternal”]
With a pair of members in US Christmas and one in A Storm of Light, Tennessee trio Generation of Vipers has kept quiet for the past four or five years. But the sludgy post-hardcore three-piece finally self-released its third album, Howl and Filth, last year, and now it gets a proper push and release from Translation Loss.
Rejoice, lovers of sludge and noise. It was announced today via Facebook that Old Man Gloom, comprised of members of Converge, Isis, Cave In, and Zozobra, will release a brand-new album titled NO on June 26. The album will be released on member Aaron Turner’s label, Hydra Head, marking the first material that the band has released since the coveted Christmas in 2004.
Holy smokes! ALARM’s fan-boy meter is registering off the charts, and for good reason: hardcore quartet Converge is covering Entombed’s classic “Wolverine Blues” on a new seven-inch split with pioneering grindcore outfit Napalm Death. And it gets better, because the cover includes guests in the form of Tomas Lindberg (At the Gates, Disfear), Aaron Turner (Split Cranium, Mamiffer, ex-Isis), and members of The Hope Conspiracy and Trap Them. Calling it “epic” seems like an understatement.
There’s no actual rule saying that heavy bands have to dilute their heaviness when they indulge in melody — or, for that matter, when they put cutesie My Little Pony-looking dinosaurs on their album covers. For whatever reason, the nerve to attempt either still is rare, as Miami four-piece Torche demonstrates with its third full-length, Harmonicraft.
Coalesce: “The Comedian in Question”[audio:http://alarm-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Coalesce-The-Comedian-In-Question.mp3|titles=Coalesce: “The Comedian In Question”]
Kansas City, Missouri-based hardcore band Coalesce has spent the last decade in flux, with shifting lineups, hiatuses, and sporadic shows prior to a full-blown reunion that spawned a new seven-inch, a full-length, and an EP.
But just because its output and appearances have been limited, the band isn’t out of touch. The scene has simply changed, and lead vocalist Sean Ingram wanted to rediscover the magic of its early days. Now, he finds himself on the ground floor of yet another nascent, independent movement: hardcourt bike polo.
Punk Living Through Non-Musical Means, or This Bike is a Weapon
by Sean Ingram of Coalesce
There was a point a few years ago that I was completely depressed by the world I had created around myself with electronics and new media. A fellow I knew had offed himself, and it was great sport to come up with the best pun skewering his illness in the comments. A band from Japan wrecked on the highway here in the States, seriously fucking some of them up, and the response was, “Van frip, Paypar prease,” in a mocking and fairly racist manner. For whatever reason, this kind of assholery was getting to me, and I made a pact with myself that I would turn everything off, and do my best to disassociate myself from cynicism. A major task, I know. But there is only so much one can take of faceless assholes telling them what is and isn’t cool. So it was done. I was out.
Without all of this extra noise, it was easier to focus on tasks at hand. Planting an orchard, building some old-school hemp rope-swings, not knowing what someone’s done for the last week before catching up with them in person for a beer. Little things were more enjoyable. As my attitude started to ease up, and I started to take more time to enjoy the little things, I noticed some guys on some bikes with big hammers, knocking the shit out of a little ball. I spent the day by the sideline checking these guys out. It was like hockey, but on these Mad Max-looking bikes. But these guys clearly weren’t jocks. These were guys that probably heard “Skate or die, fag!” yelled at them a million times in high school, just like me. So I gave it a shot.