Wed Oct 12 2022
6:50 PM - 11:30 PM (Doors 6:00 PM)
26 S. Chestnut Street Ventura, CA 93001
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The time has arrived for TESTAMENT to unleash new thunder to the masses and reveal their thirteenth studio album: Titans OF Creation. Just as the elements of this planet thrive within all living creatures, each musician in TESTAMENT represents a necessary component of this latest musical endeavour. Still filled with a massive and unstoppable energy since their last release, TESTAMENT has taken their style to the next level and present an album that is loyal to the roots of traditional thrash metal while still bringing alluring, brilliant, and progressive ingredients to the table. Bass is showcased, new vocals are introduced, and as expected, the guitarwork of Peterson and Skolnick is greatly complex and mesmerizing.
Eliran Kantor stepped up once again to create a new piece of artwork for the cover of this release. His classic, almost Renaissance style of painting melds beautifully with the ancient, psychological, and enlightened subject matter of the songs. Three monstrous titans stand in the place where the planets are formed. One pours molding liquid which the others hammer into human DNA, twisting and turning into the ring of a newborn planet. Each titan has the flame of a dying star burning in their chest; the origin of the atoms making up the bodies that are bubbling and boiling on the curves of the spiraling helix.
Titans OF Creation has many moods and material contained within; all of which somehow tie into a common philosophy of creation and its necessary counterpart: destruction. “Children Of The Next Level” smashes through the gates as the opening track with a flood of sound that prepares the listener for an abundance of violent thrash. Meanwhile, the lyrics rage about the outrageous philosophies of the Heaven’s Gate cult (founded in 1974).
Songs like “Dream Deceiver” carry more old school sound that will tickle the senses of any common TESTAMENT fan. The lyrics describe being trapped in a dream by an otherworldly female force who is slowly working to degrade the mind. Dreams are part of existence, but when we are asleep we are Promotional contacts: Germany, Austria, Denmark, Italy, Norway, Spain & Rest: firstname.lastname@example.org Australia: email@example.com | BeNeLux: firstname.lastname@example.org Finland: email@example.com | France: firstname.lastname@example.org Sweden: email@example.com Switzerland: Hansjuerg.Staempfli@warnermusic.com | UK: firstname.lastname@example.org USA: email@example.com I Poland: firstname.lastname@example.org entirely vulnerable; one of the many mysteries of being human. “Someone’s haunting you and won’t leave you alone; the only time they pick at you is at night when they can control the way you sleep,” describes vocalist Chuck Billy.
“Night of the Witch” features frightening and captivating vocals from Eric Peterson. Carrying a vibe far more akin to Black Metal, Peterson swoops in with a power that melds perfectly with Billy’s ground shaking, guttural growls. Taking some influence from Robert Egger’s 2015 horror masterpiece “The VVitch: A New England Folktale,” the song carries with it a magical quality that directly reflects the mood of the film. At the very end of the track, a theremin howls through the air much like witches rising towards the moon; setting the final tone. “The album has a lot about it that’s fresh to the ear,” explains Peterson.
Written by guitarist Alex Skolnick, “Symptoms” is filled with detailed with intricate guitar work that well represents the complicated and spellbinding journey that comes along with handling depression, mood swings, and a countless list of mental health frustrations. The lyrics in this song discuss a sad truth: that mental illness is more common than we all think, and than many of us are willing to acknowledge. On a lighter note, a vibrant track entitled “The Healers” swings back and forth between waves of death and thrash, heavy and melodic, light and dark. The words are spiritual, and extremely personal. They describe Billy’s own experience dealing with all natural medicine men; the elders of the earth, and how they managed to help him pinpoint and heal his past illness. “City Of Angels” comes bearing an entirely new sound for TESTAMENT. The creeping sludgieness and slow, stalking tempo, walk hand in hand with the almost unbelievably gruesome tale of the Nightstalker Richard Ramierz, all combining to form another stand-out track on the record
n 2020 the days of writing an album all together in one room are far gone, but to be able to take advantage of technology allows for TESTAMENT to go about a very similar writing process to what they always have. Basic songs are molded, structures are added by everyone in the group, instrumentals are highlighted, and finally the lyrics and vocals are created to finalize the sonic story. Facetime and human on human contact still remain crucial elements to TESTAMENT’s song writing process and at some point throughout, every member physically interacts and writes with one another. In between writing this album, the band toured relentlessly which allowed for less stress, more time in between, and greater inspiration for this album cycle. There was also plenty of anxiety-free and level-headed time for pre-production and the initial recording process with Juan Urteaga of Trident Studios. Andy Sneap was then able to tweak, mix, and master this album to his usual perfection.
TESTAMENT’s process of creation has evolved and progressed yet they’ve remained steadfast over the course of literal decades. While always managing to present the genuine aspects of thrash metal that solidify their existence, they spread into unique horizons through developing crisp and fascinating sounds.
Last year, thrash architects EXODUS celebrated 30 years since the release of their first album, thrash metal’s classic blueprint Bonded By Blood. Keeping with that tradition, EXODUS was joined by their original guitarist, Metallica’s Kirk Hammett, on their most recent release Blood In, Blood Out (2014). In its first week, Blood In, Blood Out doubled the first week sales of their most previous full-length release, in addition to securing their highest charting position ever – #38 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart, as well as #2 on the Hard Rock/Metal chart and #6 on the Independent Albums chart. Blood In, Blood Out gained a strong foothold in European countries by topping several first-week international charts, as well as landing at #6 on Canada’s Hard Music chart. Order the dual-disc Blood In, Blood Out digi-pak from http://smarturl.it/EXODUS-Blood.
Ascending from the depths, the almighty DEATH ANGEL return to offer their latest, energy fueled masterpiece: »Humanicide.« A return to the wolves alongside a survivalist pack mentality are what fuel the powerful themes erupting from these fresh metal anthems. In a modern capitalist society where selfishness reigns and communal help and survival are things of the past, DEATH ANGEL produces sounds and symbols that point out the truths of attempting to exist safely in the present day. The title itself describes a plain in which humans, after generations of violence, regression, and hate, have finally extinguished themselves into dust. The wasteland they left behind is populated only by those creatures that passionately depend on their pack for survival: the wolves. Gnashing their teeth and struggling to survive in an abandoned world, the wolves are back and galloping fiercely across the cover of the album. Adorned in the war skins of their enemies and the creatures they’ve killed together in order to survive, the powerful messages of the songs can be seen in Brent Elliott White’s fantastic piece of art.
Much like the beasts on the album cover, the writing process for DEATH ANGEL has remained airtight and continued to amplify throughout the years. The fundamental structures of the songs are created, and it’s through the ultimate feel of these vibrations that emotions and lyrics eventually begin to adhere themselves to specific sounds. The songs are then massaged and encouraged until a complete record is conceived. “I have a system as far as songwriting goes,” explains guitarist Rob Cavestany, “I’ve just sort of evolved to what works best for me these days. It starts with riffs and various ideas I’ve compiled as I feel creative here and there, lots of notes; musical, lyrical, conceptual you name it. I start it out, catch a vibe, see what I like, and just start crafting away. By the time I give skeletons of songs to Mark to work on vocals, they’re pretty close to what they’re gonna be. If I really feel strongly about something I’ll write the lyrics to the song. After creating the initial demo of a song at my home studio (Spiderville in Oakland) then I get together with Will to work on beats & grooves and record live drums. Then, record Damien who comes up with most of his own bass lines. After that is when Mark gets the ‘demo tape’ to work out lyrics. All this is part of ‘pre-production’ that I do myself before the producer even hears a note. Then we do it all over again including Ted throwing in some solos of his own. It’s an old school process of recording demos as a ‘rough draft’ and making the appropriate improvements on the actual album.” After so many decades in the game, it’s no surprise this band has crafted a songwriting technique that still requires sweat, blood, and tears, but that is entirely efficient. “Absolute trust,” says singer Mark Osegueda, “we’ve grown, and there’s a duality to our respect… we’ve become tighter than ever as writing partners, for sure. There’s a connection with us that just works.”
For the 4th album cycle in a row, DEATH ANGEL returned to their producer and friend Jason Suecof of Audiohammer Studios for the recording and mixing, along with the mastering of the legendary Ted Jensen of Sterling Sound who added the final touches and brought it all to life. Working closely with Jason throughout every step of it, the band is able to make sure that the finalizing of the music’s sound is closely intertwined with every idea that went into its genesis. “We love the sound he gets. With his style of production and our organic style of thrash... that marriage [is] visceral. He’s very contemporary, but still raw,” explains Osegueda, and “he pulls the heavy out,” Cavestany affirms.
As usual, DEATH ANGEL has maintained their throne in the universe of thrash while still managing to remain progressive in their style. They apply a wide variety of different elements to their music, always pushing to add newness to their sound. This time around they’ve included everything from acoustic bits, to guest musicians, to even (for the first time) the notes of a piano. All 10 songs flow seamlessly yet each leaves its own distinct impression. The first single and title track 'Humanicide' triumphantly represents the entirety of the album, immediately energizing the listener. Osegueda remarks: “I wanted to write something that metal fans could really grasp onto. Something dark and intense, that still makes sense. Right now I think it’s so apparent that the earth is in a sickened state.”
The track entitled 'The Pack' flows through with an uplifting mood. Its positive lyrics are a tribute to DEATH ANGEL fans everywhere. With a loyal fan club of the same name, Cavestany thought it was important to write a song not just for their fans, but for heavy metal and music lovers the worldover. “The song has a very anthemic feel, it’s a fist pumping-festival type of vibe,” Cavestany explains. DEATH ANGEL, like any artist, are a creative entity with their own particular place in the world, but one of the most momentous influences behind it all is the love and admiration they carry for their fans.
To round it all out the band reflects some of their many inspirations in songs like 'I Came For Blood.' Its thrashy, punky, rock ‘n’ roll type of vibe keeps the album’s invincible energy on path to an insanely enjoyable cycle of music. Osegueda explains: “It’s about the power of music and how the right something gives you that feel; that me against the world ideal. You have to be willing to fight for your beliefs, and take no prisoners when pursuing your dreams!”
To say ‘being busy’ is in DEATH ANGEL’s future is a grand understatement. With over three decades invested in their substantial career, the band is ripe with vigor and ready to perform their new offerings to the world. North American tours, European tours and festivals, and eventually more records are assured, with the loyalty and solidity of their pack truly unwavering. DEATH ANGEL designed »Humanicide« not just for listening pleasure but to awaken the mind and fuel positive ideals. In a world where societal pain is often times too great to stand, the most potent defense we have is to hold fast to our convictions, defend the weak, and open our minds to sensibilities that will be the true key to our survival in this era of the damned.
Wed Oct 12 2022 6:50 PM - 11:30 PM
(Doors 6:00 PM)