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Book Review: We Sold Our Souls: A Novel By Grady Hendrix
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Empress Eve   |  @   |  
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We Sold Our Souls review

We Sold Our Souls
Hardcover | Kindle
By Grady Hendrix
Publisher: Quirk Books
Release date: September 18, 2018

The myth of musicians selling their souls to the devil in exchange for success goes back to 18th century violinist Niccolò Paganini, a rock star in his own time. But of all the musical genres, this Faustian pact has become most associated with heavy metal, the modern-day “devil music.” It’s one thing to choose to sell your soul to gain fame and fortune, but what if someone bargained your soul away for their own benefit without your knowledge, leaving you broke and in despair? That’s what happens to rising star Kris Pulaski in Grady Hendrix’s We Sold Our Souls.

In the 1990s, guitarist Kris Pulaski and her band Dürt Würk were seemingly on the verge of a major breakthrough. They had released several well-received albums and had toured the world, where they opened for the likes of Slayer and repeatedly won over live audiences. But then one night, Dürt Würk’s lead singer, Terry Hunt, deceived and betrayed his bandmates, tricking them into signing a contract that led to his – and only his – eventual stardom and their downfall.

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NJ Metal Band Fires Drummer For Not Knowing All Metal Subgenres
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Marissa Bergen   |  
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Metal Band

Local death metal band, Auditory Vomit, is looking for a new drummer after firing Don “Cymbal Slayer” Greenblatt from the band. Reports say that it all started when Greenblatt got into an argument with singer and band founder, Trevor “I Eat Kittens for Breakfast” Odermeyer. Band members, bass player Fred “Thunder Strummer 69” Finestein and guitar player Nils “Slammer Hammer” Henriksen claim the two began arguing during a rehearsal in Odermeyer’s mother’s basement in their home town of Trenton, NJ.

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The Best Metal Albums Of 2016
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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The Best Metal Albums of 2016

Wow! What a suck-fest 2016 was, huh? Lemmy goes and dies in the waning moments of 2015 and it’s all gone to hell since then. Bowie, Brexit, Prince, Trump, Mohammad Ali, ISIS, Leonard Cohen, Glenn Frye, Harambe, Keith Emerson AND Greg Lake, Standing Rock… the list of death, destruction, and atrocities goes on. Hell, The Cubs even won the World Series, so you know the end must be near! Thankfully though, we metalheads had a treasure-trove of great new music in which to drown our sorrows. There were so many great albums released that it was more difficult than ever for me to work up my year-end best-of list! Who would’ve though that Anthrax, Megadeth, Metallica, and Darkthrone would all drop their greatest albums in decades? Perhaps another seal of the apocalypse breaking? I’ll let you decide that one for yourself. And as for the younger bands, there seem to be great ones crawling out of the woodwork everywhere.

So, without further ado, I present to you my favorite metal albums of 2016 from across all of the myriad subgenres. Keep in mind please, that this is exactly that… my favorite albums of the year. Yours are undoubtedly different. You probably even strongly disagree with some or all of my selections. Which is perfectly fine. Go write your own damn column!

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Metalhead’s Holiday Gift Guide 2016
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Marissa Bergen   |  
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Holiday Metalhead Gift Guide 2016

Well, friends of the metal persuasion, that time of year has rolled around again. The holiday season is upon us, time to show up on doorsteps with your electric twangers and sing songs about roasting nuts, burn down churches, and, most of all, it’s time to avoid all your repulsive metalhead friends that might have the nerve to expect a gift. But for those of you who just don’t seem to have that flare for hiding in your closet for two months straight, here are some wallet-emptying items they’re sure to find amusing.

Here’s the 2016 Metalhead’s Holiday Gift Guide…

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Massive Metal Monday: Death Angel “Hatred United / United Hate”
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Death Angel Band Photo

Bay area thrash legends Death Angel are set to return with their eighth studio album on May 27th, 2016. The Evil Divide is the follow up to 2013’s The Dream Calls for Blood and contains some of the heaviest material of the band’s nearly 35 year career.

The album’s lead single is entitled “Hatred United/United Hate” and is a scorching piece of classic thrash. The song kicks so much ass that I knew from my first listen that I just had to share it with you all ASAP! So, here it is, this week’s Massive Metal Monday track “Hatred United/United Hate.”

Check out the official video here below.

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Black Metal Friday: Vreid “I Krig” (Live)
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Vreid Band Pjoto

Vreid is the Norwegian word for “wrath,” which makes it a fitting moniker for the band of the same name. Hailing from Sogndal in Norway, Vreid was born out of the ashes of the band Windir.

In January of 2004, Windir leader Valfar (Terje Bakken) was caught in a sudden snowstorm and died of hypothermia at the age of 25. The remaining members of the band decided to carry on under a different name, but retained Windir’s brand of black and roll steeped in Norwegian folklore.

To date, Vreid has released seven records. This week’s Black Metal Friday featured song is the title track of their third album, the 2007 masterpiece I Krig. Check out this video of Vried performing “I Krig” live in 2010 from the DVD Vreid Goddammit.

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Black Metal Friday: Belphegor “In Blood, Devour This Sanctity”
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Belphegor Band Photo

This week’s edition of Black Metal Friday is a tribute to our friends Belphegor for carrying the torch of black metal in the face of religious zealotry. You see, while on tour in Russia recently, Belphegor frontman Helmuth was accosted by a fanatic from the Russian Orthodox Church who spat in his face and attempted to incite a physical confrontation. You can see the complete video of the incident here below.

Helmuth responded by returning the favor, spitting back in the lunatic’s face. However, much to the Austrian singer/guitarist’s credit, he turned and began to walk away from the attacker, taking the higher road and probably averting an international incident and possible imprisonment.

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Massive Metal Monday: Anthrax “Evil Twin”
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Anthrax Band Photo

New York’s Anthrax is considered a part of “The Big 4” of thrash metal (along with Metallica, Slayer, and Megadeth) for a very good reason. They were among the very first purveyors of the genre and even if they can’t take credit for inventing it, they have certainly had a huge hand in refining the form. Through 35 years and numerous lineup changes this quintuplet has been responsible for some of the most iconic thrash songs ever recorded.

Anthrax has recently released its eleventh album via Nuclear Blast Records. The disc is titled For All Kings and it is their strongest offering in years. It is also the first Anthrax record to include the contributions of former Shadows Fall guitarist Jonathan Donais.

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Black Metal Friday: A.H.P. (Against Human Plague) “Drowned”
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Gulnar Against Human Plague

Against Human Plague, or A.H.P. as it is more commonly referred to, is a one-man black metal project out of the hotbed of Bergen, Norway. The man behind the music is known simply as Gulnar. He began making music as A.H.P. in 2011 and released a highly sought after demo in 2012. On February 21, 2016, A.H.P.’s debut full-length album was released by the Via Nocturna label. The ten-song offering, which is simply titled Against Human Plague, veers between ethereal and foreboding ambient passages and out and out misanthropic black metal.

This week’s featured Black Metal Friday track is “Drowned,” which is the ninth track on Against Human Plague.

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Massive Metal Monday: Amon Amarth “First Kill”
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Amon Amarth Band Photo

Legendary Swedish viking metal band Amon Amarth has just released its tenth album via Metal Blade Records. The disc is called Jomsviking and it is the band’s first concept album.

Jomsviking is already being hailed as the band’s strongest effort in years. The first official single from the album is the opening track “First Kill” and it is our Massive Metal Monday selection for this week.

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