EP REVIEW: Beltfed Weapon – Darkened Demise


Beltfed Weapon has often felt like a fun but sort of long-running vanity (but nonetheless valid) project for Seattle’s talented Frank Hetzel, many years between quite short releases featuring a who’s who of underground metal players guesting in support of a slightly odd discography. It is strange to me that there aren’t a series of full-lengths after so much time spent between releases, but every shorter thing Frank has released still has moments to enjoy for the casual thrash, death, and (at times) power metal fan. 

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Skinlab Shares New Video For “Dead Tomorrow”

Skinlab has shared some new music and a video from their upcoming new album, due in 2019. The clip for ‘Dead Tomorrow’ provides a slice of the grooves, and hardcore metal style the band laid down in the 1990s as a highly influential band from the Bay Area. Juan Urtega (Testament, Machine Head) produced the new album, due out on Art Is War Records. Continue reading

Testament To Host A Listening Party For Brotherhood Of The Snake At Affliction Studios Tonight

Testament, by Hillarie Jason

Testament, by Hillarie Jason

In conjunction with Affliction Clothing, Testament are hosting a listening party for their new album Brotherhood of The Snake, due out on October 28th , from Nuclear Blast Records. Details are below: Continue reading

Watch Testament Discuss Their New Album Artwork


Testament are closing in on the release of their new album Brotherhood Of the Snake, due out on October 28th from Nuclear Blast . You can watch Chuck Billy and Eric Peterson discuss the artwork concept by created by Eliran Kantor (Hatebreed, Soulfly, Kataklysm) in the clip below: Continue reading

Testament Reveal Artwork For New Album, Brotherhood Of The Snake, Due This Fall

Testament band 2016 photo credit Gene Ambo ghostcultmag

Testament. Photo credit: Gene Ambo


Bay Area Thrash legends Testament have announced their new album, Brotherhood Of The Snake, will release this October 28th from the bands longtime label, Nuclear Blast. They have revealed the cover art for the album as well, created by artist Eliran Kantor (Hatebreed, Soulfly, Kataklysm) who also worked on 2012’s Dark Roots Of The Earth. You can see the artwork below:


Testament Brotherhood of The Snake ghostultmag


Producer Juan Urteaga (Exodus, Heathen, Machine Head), guitarist Eric Peterson and singer Chuck Billy, Brotherhood Of The Snake was mixed and mastered by well-known metal producer Andy Sneap (Accept, Arch Enemy, Cradle Of Filth, Kreator, Machine Head, Megadeth).

Peterson commented on the new music:

“It’s very diverse, but it’s very epic. There’s nothing on there that breeds commercial. And I think for thirty years of recording music and trying different formulas and stuff, we’ve found a formula that is very metal. I think for the metal fan that is looking for something, for the nooks and crannies… not just your normal, ‘Oh, it’s got a thrash beat and a riff.’ There’s a lot going on here.”

“It’s different. This one is more thrash. I mean, this has got some of the fastest stuff that we have ever played. Usually, we have one or two thrash songs, and then we have some mid-tempo, and then we have a slow, heavy one, and then up-tempo kind of stuff. Half of the new record is thrash, which we’ve never done before.”

“It’s kind of like ‘Demonic’ and ‘The Gathering’, but a little bit wiser. Chuck’s not singing so death. I mean, he does some death stuff but he’s singing more like he did on the last record and then with the craziness of ‘The Gathering’ or even heavy stuff like ‘Demonic’.”

Testament will support the new album with a UK/Ireland tour this fall with Amon Amarth and Grand Magus this autumn.

Testament tour dates with Amon Amarth and Grand Magus:

Oct 31: Manchester Academy, Manchester, UK

Nov 01: -O2 ABC, Glasgow, UK

Nov 02: Vicar Street– Dublin, UK

Nov 04 : Roundhouse- London, UK

Nov 05 : O2 Academy, Birmingham, UK

Machine Head to Release Bloodstone and Diamonds This Fall

MH album coverimage003



In what has already been a banner year from Nuclear Blast Entertainment, the label has announced that Machine Head’s highly-anticipated new album will be called Bloodstone & Diamonds and release this fall. Produced by Robb Flynn and the band’s house co-producer Juan Urteaga, will be mixed by perennial MH cohort Colin Richardson (Carcass, Fear Factory, Slipknot,Behemoth, Devildriver). Additional tracking, editing, and mixing was done with heavy metal legend Andy Sneap (Exodus,Testament, Arch Enemy, Accept, Megadeth) and Steve Lagudi.


Heirs to the throne of Bay Area Thrash and arguably the best modern American metal band right now, Bloodstone & Diamonds is the follow-up to the commerical success of Unto The Locust (2011), and landmarks of modern metal The Blackening (2007) and Through The Ashes of Empires (2003). Flynn is the sole remaining founding member of the band he formed in 1992, after he left third-wave Bay Area thrash rebels Vio-lence, after early turns in the formation of Forbidden (then known as Forbidden Evil) and Defiance.



Never short on words, Robb Flynn comments:

“I cannot even begin to tell you how proud we are of this album,” comments frontman Robb Flynn. “It’s been a heck of a ride. It looked like it might not ever happen again at one point, but man, this album is a milestone for us. You’re going to love it HeadCases.”


Without getting too philosophical on ya, bloodstone and diamonds represent two of the hardest materials on earth, it is also a lyric from the opening track of the album ‘Now We Die’. In many cultures the bloodstone has been used as an amulet to protect against evil, and is the symbol of justice. Diamonds and are hardest natural material on earth (which is how we feel about our music), and it also represents the diamond logo I drew 22 years ago (in my wife’s apartment on Dover St. in Oakland) that has become the symbol for the band.”


MH image002


Bloodstone & Diamonds track listing:

1. Now We Die
2. Killers & Kings
3. Ghosts Will Haunt My Bones
4. Night Of Long Knives
5. Sail Into The Black
6. Eyes Of The Dead
7. Beneath The Silt
8. In Comes The Flood
9. Damage Inside
10. Game Over
11. Imaginal Cells (instrumental)
12. Take Me Through The Fire

Adds Flynn:
“10 songs, an interlude, and an instrumental with an audio collage of spoken word snippets (think ‘Real Eyes, Realize, Real Lies’) by Dr. Bruce Lipton and Steve Bhaerman, taken from their (incredibly inspiring) audiobook Spontaneous Evolution.

“Guest musicians include 2 different string quartets featuring the original Quartet Rouge that appeared on our last album Unto The Locust. And a new all-male quartet which we featured on the song ‘In Comes The Flood’.”


String arrangements for 2 of the songs ‘Now We Die’ and ‘Sail Into The Black’ came courtesy of myself and Rhys Fulber who has worked with everyone from Sarah McLachlan, to Fear Factory, and the string arrangement for ‘In Comes The Flood’ came courtesy of myself and ex-Worship and current-Bring Me The Horizon keyboardist Jordan Fish, who is a producer in his own right.”


We worked with several artists to complete the 28 page (!) ‘standard’ CD booklet, as well as the 48 page (!) hardcover leather-bound Media-book that will serve as the special edition, including Rafal Wechterowicz, Marcelo Vasco, and long-time Machine Head art-collaborator Strephon Taylor. The theme was to have both CD and hardcover Mediabook look like an old Alchemy book from the 1800’s, with weathered edges, sepia toned pages, and magic / masonic / alchemy themed woodcarvings throughout.”




Bloodstone & Diamonds mediabook edition:




Lyric Sheet Sample:

image005 lyric sheet

Make sure to catch Machine Head on the road this fall with Children of Bodom, Epica, and Battlecross.

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