Eagles of Death Metal

The Damned

The Vandals


The Dead Milkmen


Iggy Pop


System of a Down


Hypnotic Turtle's Arlo White

Hypnotic Turtle’s Arlo White recently caught up with Germany’s Doro Pesch, metal’s reigning queen! From her beginnings with Warlock to her most recent release Raise Your Fist, Doro has been destroying audiences for 30 years! She and her band will be here tomorrow--Sunday, February 17th--at Moe’s Original Bar B Que (3295 S. Broadway., Englewood, CO).  She talked about Wacken, her fans, guerilla video-making on the streets of New York, and the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. . .


Photos by Arlo White

Hypnotic Turtle (Minizine) #2: EYEHATEGOD


Photos: Arlo White

Exiting New Orleans just as Hurricane Isaac was unleashing its wrath. . .EYEHATEGOD trucked their way to Denver for the opening night of the WESTERN NIHILISM FRONT

Hypnotic Turtle is proud to present a one-night trucker music extravaganza! DENVER TRUCKSTOP 2012!

Arlo caught up with The Babysitters, the incredibly rockin’ and fun duo from Denver, and interviewed the band (married couple, Greg Hill and Maureen Hearty) at the playground. . .they even managed to get in some time on the basketball court!! Video by Paul Humphrey

Our first installment of Hypnotic Turtle TV kicked off with Arlo's interview with K.C. Kasum from the Warlock Pinchers; they talked about the past, the present, and their upcoming reunion shows, August 6 and 7 at the Ogden!  

According to San Diego’s Dura Mater’s press release, their music attempts to blend prog rock, jazz fusion, space rock and noise. But to me, it sounds like any old lame Monday night blues jam at the local pub.

 “House of Hades,” the new intro, comes off more Rammstein than the techno on the original release. But that’s neither here nor there when the “Crowned in Terror”s wall of black metal riffage kicks in before bounding into some serious (100 mph) groove with returning vocalist Johan Lindstrand’s raspy howl at the forefront.

Aurora’s Fear Before the March of Flames, perhaps better known outside the state with literally non-stop touring. Their brand of frenetic, spazzy, hardcore may be more suited for the depravity that is living in a dirty van for months on end delivering handfuls of short bursts of blissful devastation across the land. Taking a second to catch his breath, guitarist Adam Fisher was good enough to give me a couple of minutes at a tour stop in Albany, New York.

Punk icon and all around bass monster Mike Watt truly needs no introduction to any serious music fan. But for the uninitiated, Watt, with childhood friend D. Boon, formed the Minutemen in 1980, one of the first bands signed to the legendary SST label. With the untimely passing of D. Boon in 1985, Watt persevered with the Americana roots punk band Firehose. For the last nine years, he’s handled the bass for Porno for Pyros, J. Mascis and the Fog, and currently, the reunited Iggy and the Stooges as well as his own solo career. After surviving a near-fatal illness in 2000, Watt returns with a renewed passion and lots to say. I talked with Watt recently about music and middle age.

From the bland, by-the-book metalcore riffage, to the worn song titles “Killing Tool,” “Skies Grow Black,” “Fuel,” and “Reborn from Fire,” these Swiss students of American hardcore need to find their own identity.

The dark rumbling dirge of “March of the Condemned” is in no way a sign of things to come. The opening instrumental of locals Brutal Hand’s self-released debut is heavy and somewhat interesting. The first full proper song “1314” starts off promising enough with what sounds like the build up of an angry mob before it kicks in with its low rent Dream Theater gallop. Complete with distracting keyboard flourishes.

After first listen, I was all set to rip this CD apart. After subsequent listens, it’s turned into quite the guilty pleasure. As a fan of things cheesy and most things ‘80s, the simplicity and naiveté of these young Finns is somehow endearing.

An ‘80s melancholy is felt throughout the record. “Liar,” “Angel of Death,” and “Love Gone Loco,” while upbeat, still have an undeniable desperation. I actually liked a couple of the token cheese-ass ballads—“Ain’t Crying for You” and “Summer’s Gone” (but if you tell anybody, I’ll deny it).

I was thinking back to the last $10 multi-band pseudo festival type show I’ve been to. . .it was 1990—The Escape from New York tour featuring the Ramones, Debbie Harry (Blondie), and the Tom Tom Club with Jerry Harrison (3/4 of the Talking Heads). Before the show, I had the chance to meet Chris Frantz (drummer, Talking Heads) and his then 3-year old son walking anonymously through the crowd. . .very cool.

Like a computer virus, Fear Factory infects the human system with its trademark cybermetal. Currently on their second U.S. tour this year, Fear Factory’s on the road again for their first headlining stint in support of the most recent Archetype release on Liquid 8 Records. Drummer extraordinaire and video game entrepreneur, Raymond Herrara, was cool enough to give me a couple of minutes on a rare day off.

How the mighty have seemingly fallen. At one time, one of the most influential and watched bands of the extreme underground, Candiria helped pave the way for a handful of jazz-tinged, hard core/metal bands, i.e. Dillinger Escape Plan.

Then the unthinkable happened. The collective band’s lives almost came to an end with a near-fatal auto accident, hence the album’s title and artwork. Apparently, the band had an epiphany. . .not to die broke. So they hooked up with producer and label founder David Bendeth who has worked with Vertical Horizon, Breaking Benjamin, and similarly shitty bands with similarly shitty sounds. Songs like “Remove Yourself,” “Down,” and “I am” could have easily been handled by one of those bands.

I’ve been through this CD four times waiting for something to catch. I’ll be honest, I’m more excited by the prospect of never having to listen to this CD again than I am of finding some gem of a riff or vocal phrase that I missed the first three (!!) times through.

Ozzfest veterans Slayer never disappoint. With a new live DVD on the way (Reign in Blood Live: Still Reigning, due 9/28/04), current tour with Ozzfest, and the upcoming Jaegermeister Music tour in the fall, Slayer is keeping themselves busy in the midst of record label limbo. I was lucky enough to get the chance to talk with guitar god Jeff Hanneman from his hotel in room in New Jersey.

Head for the basement or the door jams as Massachusetts’s metalcore merchants Unearth unleash The Oncoming Storm. The band’s fourth release, first for Metal Blade, is a thunderous, darkly, well-rounded effort. Adam Dutkiewicz’s (Killswitch Engage) bottom-heavy production shines on cuts like the rapid fire, militaristic “Bloodlust of the Human Condition” and “Predetermined Sky” which features a bumpin’ playfully heavy performance out of drummer Mike Justain.

The calm before the storm. The opening instrumental, “Scatology Domine (intro),” sounds like it came out of an upright piano in some mental health rec room. The title track, “Humanure,” barrels out of the speakers like some PCP-addled psycho from a 1970s after-school special.

Blackie Lawless and W.A.S.P. have been on an incredible roll since 1997’s K.F.D. Helldorado, Unholy Terror, and Dying for the World were all solid efforts, and better than anyone could have expected. Which brings us to their new release, The Neon God Part 1—The Rise, a concept album outlined in a forced and badly written ten (!) page libretto (if you will).

How quickly times change, as Friday night’s The Legendary Pink Dot’s show (also the last night of their tour) at the Bluebird Theater saw the group performing to a sparse, loyal, yet talkative crowd. In years past, a Pink Dots performance in Denver was a two-day event/gathering where people literally flew in from all over the globe to attend.

On the verge of their 25th year of mind expansion and musical exploration, the Legendary Pink Dot’s release what is probably their most accessible and definitely their most fun album in recent years. The Whispering Wall opens with a brooding keyboard line in “Soft Toy,” as Edward Ka-Spel, The Silverman, and company stick to the Dot’s formula of dark music and light lyrics, seemingly about a blow up sex doll.

The all too familiar air raid siren of “War Pigs” signaled the beginning of the end. The beginning of Black Sabbath’s set—the end of one of the most amazing days of music I’ve been privileged to witness. A cloud of fog surrounded the amphitheater for the entire day giving it an otherwordly feel. . .Perfect (trapped on Metal Island). To dismiss this as an empty-headed day of testosterone would be erroneous. This is the future of recorded music.

The Heavils are a strange entity, with their homemade guitars, dubbed “meanies” (check them out at www.theheavils.com), and their Clutch infused heavy fuzz, random sense of humor, and just all around quirkiness. Their second album, Heavilution, was masterfully produced by Hevy Devy, Strapping Young Lads’ Devin Townsend, who also provided additional vocals and random noise.

From the opening crush of “Fleshengine Breakdown,” the triple guitar charge of Massachusett’s Beyond the Embrace takes off like a bat out of hell and doesn’t let up for the next 44 minutes. Ok, three guitars—I know you’re thinking the Outlaws or Lynyrd Skynyrd, but no, think (new) Iron Maiden, and you’re on the right track. Throw in a little Chuck Billy (vocalist from Testament), added to the stoner metal swagger of vocalist Shawn Gallagher, and you’ve got the sonic brew known as Beyond the Embrace.

This live, three-song DVD, directed by Doug Spangenberg, finds Massachusetts metalcore outfit Unearth previewing new material to a fervent crowd in a packed Long Island club. Shot in first person, which I have personal issues with (it makes me nauseous), it does give you the sense of being there. Unearth play an explosive combination of styles: new school hardcore, traditional metal, with hints of that “Swedish” sound, and even some black metal guitar on the opening cut, the previously released “My Heart Bleeds No Longer.”

In front of a sparse, motionless crowd of about 50, Springfield, Massachusett’s All That Remains quickly turned from a handful of geeks while checking their instruments to a thick, pummeling metalcore machine when the lights changed over. The vicious vocals of Philip Labonte (formerly of Shadows Fall) led the charge as the band blazed through tracks off of This Darkened Heart, the most recent full length CD on Prosthetic Records.

The evolution of Sweden’s Evergrey, the progressive metal brain child of vocalist/guitarist Tom S. Englund, has been constant. Besides frequent line up changes, the band’s sound has become more focused and cohesive with each CD from 1998’s Dark Discovery to the just-released The Inner Circle, a concept album about life inside a religious cult from all perspectives, which is easily the band’s strongest and most listenable release to date.

Mesmerizing. . .it’s the only word that comes to mind every time I see Italy’s Lacuna Coil. Taking the stage while the hypnotic intro to “Swamped” enveloped the small throng at the front of the stage, Christina Scabbia’s soaring, ethereal vocals break through the aural mist.

“Chainsaw Surgery,” “Autopsy Extravaganza,” and “Gore Apocalypse.” With tired and uninspired song titles like these, I’ll admit I feared the worst from these 15-year, Swedish veterans of the metal underground. Truth be told, I could tear this CD apart. Ridiculous outdated lyrics, lack of originality. . .load this review up with comparison after comparison. . .this riff, that solo. . .completely repetitive drum beats, blah, blah, blah.

But I enjoyed this disc. It hearkens back to the glory days of death metal (1988-1992). No samples or atmospherics, just straight ahead, no frills, uncompromising death metal.

I believe the word Kronow, translated from the ancient texts, comes out to something like: that which causes severe pain and boredom. I believe I heard that somewhere before. Well, if that’s true, this four-song, enhanced CD lives up to its promise (or curse).

For the past ten years [well, now 20 years], Norway’s Dimmu Borgir has been laying down some of the most intense, dark, and beautiful symphonic blasphemy in all metal. From 1993's, For All Tid, to their most recent opus, Death Cult Armageddon, Dimmu Borgir’s constant lineup changes have not slowed down its crusade to enslave the underground masses.

When “the greatest thrash metal band of all time” headlines the Denver Coliseum, it is truly a special event. That they use the theater setting and the hall is still less than half full does not lessen the moment.

The 15th Tavern, with its beer-soaked, divey vibe, is a great place to see a show. Now having said that, doom/stoner metal is best experienced live, so when these two worlds collide, it creates quite a euphoric atmosphere (and I was happy just to be a part of it).

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