Metallica pinball

Master of Bumpers: Metallica declares …And Pinball for All

Say what you will about Metallica’s propensity to put its name on things, but this actually looks pretty awesome.

The band has teamed up with Stern, a leading manufacturer of pinball machines, for a Metallica-themed cabinet. Featuring 12 different songs, including “One,” “Master of Puppets,” “Creeping Death,” “Battery,” “Enter Sandman,” and “Fade to Black,” the machine will come in three different editions: Pro, Premium, and Limited Edition. Some of the features? An electric chair with a “shaking, writhing ‘Sparkey’ figurine,” two different ball-eating snakes, and a ball-smashing hammer. It sounds appropriately metal.

Check out another image and a teaser below. More info and how to order one here.

Connectivity and the colossus: Swedish metal mavens Meshuggah on alternate musical pathways

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meshuggah_kolossMeshuggah: Koloss (Nuclear Blast, 3/27/12)

“Do Not Look Down”


The average brain of an adult human has 100 to 500 trillion synapses. Each new electric impulse, each wrinkle that develops in our minds, leads to our understanding of the world around us. How this is done is still a mystery, and our experience of music is at the forefront of this complex puzzle. Somewhere between vibrations in the air hitting our eardrums and memory, we each confront and interpret the sounds of our surroundings and perceive the phenomenon of music — that which is made of rhythm, pitch, timbre, and dynamics.

Harm's Way

The Metal Examiner: Harm’s Way’s Isolation

Every Friday, The Metal Examiner delves metal’s endless depths to present the genre’s most important and exciting albums.

Harm's Way: IsolationHarm’s Way: Isolation (Closed Casket Activities, 7/5/11)

Harm’s Way: “New Beginnings”

[audio:|titles=Harm’s Way – New Beginnings]

Though ostensibly affiliated with the hardcore scene, Harm’s Way has moved into the primitive, mid-paced territory of death-metal bands like Bolt Thrower and Asphyx. Originally formed in 2005 as a power-violence band in the vein of Crossed Out and Infest, Harm’s Way has become slower and more metallic with each of its releases. Isolation, its second full-length recording, is a definitive statement for the band, cementing its vision of the possibilities in heavy music.

Hardcore and metal have fed off of each other for decades. In the early and mid-1980s, Metallica, Celtic Frost, and other pioneering bands cited not only the new wave of British heavy metal as an influence, but also hardcore bands like Discharge. Since then, there has been a two-way street between the metal and hardcore communities, with New York-based hardcore bands like the Cro-Mags and Madball clearly borrowing ideas on heaviness from death-metal bands, and a band like Obituary claiming Merauder as an influence.

Killing Joke

Killing Joke: Honoring the Fire

Reunited with its original lineup for the first time since 1982, Killing Joke is back with more than just muscular riffs and soaring melodies — instead offering a homeopathic cure for the decline of Western society.

David V. D'Andrea: Ulver album art (photo by Roger Johnsen)

Posters & Packaging: David V. D’Andrea’s Psychedelic Haunts

The connection between visual and auditory art seems natural to graphic artist David V. D’Andrea, who notes KISS album artist Ken Kelley, Metallica’s merchandise designer Pushead, and Dischord Records founder and designer Jeff Nelson as fundamental influences. “The artists I looked up to when I was young were all music based,” he says. “Early on I saw the music and visuals as one in the same.”

Since the early 1990s,  D’Andrea has gradually become a staple in the West Coast music scene. Growing up, D’Andrea produced zines and fliers – generally in the DIY fashion of Xeroxing – for a variety of underground bands in the Oakland, California area. By the mid-’90s, the artist’s work began to receive well-deserved attention: D’Andrea soon had a commission for an album cover.

David V. D'Andrea: Swans poster
David V. D'Andrea: Swans poster
Morrow vs. Hajduch

Morrow vs. Hajduch: Bongripper’s Satan Worshipping Doom

Scott Morrow is ALARM’s music editor. Patrick Hajduch is a very important lawyer. Each week they debate the merits of a different album.

Bongripper: Satan Worshipping DoomBongripper: Satan Worshipping Doom 2xLP (August 13, 2010)

Bongripper: “Hail”
[audio:|titles=Bongripper: “Satan Worshipping Doom”]

Morrow: Chicago’s Bongripper makes the type of music that you might glean from its name — bleak, crushing doom metal that’s built on stoner riffs and down-tuned guitars.  I will preface this by saying that I’m not a huge fan of the genre, but the band already has two strikes in my book for the lame pot-related name and the (presumably tongue-in-cheek) Satanism.