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Massive Metal Monday: Mutoid Man “Bleeder”
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Mutoid Man Band Photo

Mutoid Man is a heavy metal supergroup that formed in 2012. Cave In mastermind Steven Brodsky and Converge drummer Ben Koller joined forces to work on the material that would become their 2013 debut EP Helium Head. The recording was met with a very high degree of acclaim from fans and critics alike. Bassist Nick Cageao joined the band in 2014 and the trio began work on their debut full-length album.

Released earlier this year, Bleeder is a swirling amalgam of punk, hardcore, metal, and math rock. Watch for it on my (and almost everyone else’s) “Best of 2015” list.

This week’s Massive Metal Monday tune is the title and closing track of that album. Without further ado, I give you “Bleeder.”

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Massive Metal Monday: Entombed “Wolverine Blues”
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Entombed Band Photo

Swedish death metal pioneers Entombed stood out from many of their contemporaries due to their “buzzsaw” guitar tone. It was a tone that would inspire countless bands in its wake. Converge guitarist and producer extraordinaire Kurt Ballou has often cited hearing Entombed as the moment that he realized hardcore and metal could be combined with such spectacular results.

Entombed would evolve beyond straight death metal over the course of their nine studio albums, leaning more and more towards a sound they called “death and roll.” With the departure of founding guitarist Alex Hellid in 2013, it seemed as though Entombed had come to an end. However, the remaining members regrouped under the moniker of Entombed A.D. and released their debut record Back to the Front in 2014.

Today’s Massive Metal Monday track takes us back to 1993 and Entombed’s killer third album Wolverine Blues. Here with the official video for the title track is Entombed performing “Wolverine Blues.”

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Massive Metal Monday: All Pigs Must Die “Sadistic Vindicator”
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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All Pigs Must Die Band Photo

All Pigs Must Die is a hardcore metal supergroup consisting of Kevin Baker of the Hope Conspiracy, Ben Koller of Converge, and Adam Wentworth and Matt Woods of Bloodhorse. They play an amalgam of blackened metallic hardcore and crust punk that takes no prisoners. Imagine late period Darkthrone meets Converge and you have a vague idea of the brutality afoot here.

The band is currently signed to the metal super-label Southern Lord Records and have, to date, issued 2 EPs and 2 full-length albums. Today’s Massive Metal Monday selection is from their excellent 2011 full-length debut God Is War, which was produced by Koller’s Converge bandmate Kurt Ballou. This is the album’s closing track “Sadistic Vindicator.”

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Concert Review: At The Gates, Converge, Pallbearer, Vallenfyre at The Wiltern Theater 3/27/15
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Decibel Magazine Tour Poster At The Gates

When we left off with the first part of my review of this show day, my 12-year-old son Jesse and I had just finished meeting At The Gates at their in-store appearance at Vacation Vinyl on Sunset Boulevard before their headlining gig at The Wiltern Theater with Converge, Pallbearer, and Vallenfyre.

It was nearly 5:30PM when we left Vacation and Vallenfyre was to go on first at 7:00PM sharp, so we figured we’d grab some grub at the Denny’s next door before heading on in to the venue. After acquiring said sustenance, we walked next door under the marquee of the gorgeous landmark Wiltern Theater, cleared security, and headed inside with 10 minutes to spare before the show began. Just enough time for a stop by the merch booth to check out the wares. I have to say that I was heavily impressed that every t-shirt from all 4 bands was priced at $20, no more, no less. Converge had so many amazing-looking designs that it was hard to pick one! There were of course pricier items like a really cool At The Gates hoodie featuring the artwork from their new album At War With Reality for $40 as well as some cheaper items such as hats and posters.

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At The Gates In-Store At Vacation Vinyl 3/27/2015 (Photos)
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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At The Gates Wiltern Marquee

When At The Gates announced that they were working on their first album in nearly two decades, hardcore fans such as myself were both excited and a bit apprehensive. They had, after all, gone out on a high note with their 1995 masterpiece Slaughter of the Soul. So imagine our collective sigh of relief when At War With Reality was released in late October of last year and picked up right where its predecessor had left off. The album was so amazing, in fact, that it ended up tied for the number one spot on my Best Metal Albums of 2014 list. Adding to that rush of excitement, it was announced not long after the album’s release that the band would be touring North America in the Spring of 2015 headlining the Decibel Magazine Tour and they would be bringing along three of the most kick-ass bands on the planet to boot. At The Gates, Converge, Pallbearer and Vallenfyre all on the same bill? The wait until March would surely kill me!

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Massive Metal Monday: Converge “Precipice / All We Love We Leave Behind”
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Converge Band Photo

hailing from Salem, Massachusetts, Converge is virtually a genre unto themselves. In 1990, guitarist Kurt Ballou and vocalist Jacob Bannon were just “hardcore kids with left-over Slayer riffs” who decided to form a band. The sound that would result from their marriage of hardcore and thrash would become one of the earliest examples of what is now known as metalcore.

There is really no way to overstate the influence that Converge has had on thousands of bands since, but it is telling that Ballou is now one of the most sought-after producers in all of metal. Working out of his own God City Studios, the guitarist has attached his name to some of the biggest and most revered metal records of the last 25 years.

Today’s edition of Massive Metal Monday examines the conjoined songs “Precipice” and “All We Love We Leave Behind” from Converge’s most recent studio album 2012’s All We Love We Leave Behind.

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High On Fire Choose Kurt Ballou to Produce New Album
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High On Fire Band Photo

Stoner/doom metal legends High On Fire have announced that they plan to commence recording for their seventh studio album in late January at Salem, Massachusetts’ GodCity Studios with producer Kurt Ballou. Ballou, who is also the guitarist in legendary hardcore/metalcore band Converge, is currently one of the most critically acclaimed and sought-after producers in extreme music. In addition to producing HOF’s most recent album, 2012’s De Vermis Mysteriis, he has helmed numerous classics from the likes of Nails, Baptists, All Pigs Must Die, Code Orange Kids, Trap Them, Skeletonwitch, Vallenfyre, Black Breath, Kvelertak, and countless others.

High On Fire wrote the material for the new disc over the past year in both their hometown of Oakland and in New Orleans. The songs have been described as “epic” and “sonically huge.”

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