VITRIOL Guitarist/Vocalist Kyle Rasmussen Interviewed

Death metal trio Vitriol brought their pummeling live show to Sacramento on December 19th at Holy Diver with Cattle Decapitation. The band were touring in support of their debut album To Bathe from the Throat of Cowardice (September 6th), which was released to rave reviews. Check out Aldo Guzman chatting with Kyle Rasmussen below. Continue reading

Norman Skinner of HELLSCREAM – “If a band cannot sell those tickets then honestly, they probably shouldn’t be on that bill”

HELLSCREAM, the unholy metal alliance of guitarist David Garcia & vocalist Norman Skinner are back with a vengeance with their brand-new 2nd album titled “Hate MachineContinue reading

photo credit Michael Alvarez

Ania Bogdanowicz of AMONGST THIEVES “I can thank Beavis and Butthead for getting me into metal”.

AMONGST THIEVES from Oakland, CA is known for their melodically heavy, catchy and easy to listen to sound.
Boasting the current lineup of singer Ania Bogdanowicz, bassist Scott Proctor, guitarist Kris Hartzell, and drummer Josh Davidson, AMONGST THIEVES draws from their individual experiences to create a unified rock/metal sound that commands attention. Continue reading

MaYaN – Release “Saints Don’t Die” Music Video; Dhyana Out Now!

The day has come – symphonic death metal collective MaYaN has released its epic third album Dhyana. Together with the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, the band recorded their spectacular full-length release, which reflects on conceptual themes such as self-awareness, relinquishing our ego and self-conceited tendencies to find out who we truly are.

In celebration of the new album, MaYaN have released an official music video for “Saints Don’t Die”. Watch the new clip below.

Singer Mark Jansen explains the background of the track: “‘Saints Don’t Die’ deals with wars being fought on the backs of young men and women, who are sent to battle and then suffer the consequences their entire life time, while the ‘Saints’ stay in their ivory towers, just pulling the strings.”

Exiled From Grace – “A show of strength in belief in oneself and one’s own individuality.”

Exiled From Grace are a hot, young new metal band from Sacramento, California! Their debut EP “Tragedy” is out now on iTunes, Spotify, and other digital music platforms! The band members include John Timmons (Vocals), Gerard Aguilar III (Bass), Molly Wallace (Drums), Dru Wallace (Guitar) Alex Lovato (Guitar).

How did you first get into music? Who or what turned you onto metal?

John Timmons: My dad listened to a lot of classic rock like Bruce Springsteen and the Eagles, so he would pretty much be playing one of their cassettes every time I was in his truck with them so that was sort of when the seeds were planted I guess. But it wasn’t til around middle school that I started getting into heavier music, and from that it just snowballed into metal, then Deathcore, then wanting to play and perform.

Gerard Aguilar III: I joined the school marching band in 7th grade and soon discovered bands like Black Veil Brides and Asking Alexandria.

Molly Wallace: Playing Rock Band was what originally got me into music when I was younger and going to Warped Tour is what really got me into metal.

What got you started playing music and how old were you?

John: I was 11 or 12 when I bought my first bass because the only kids I knew in a band in my town needed a bassist.

Dru Wallace: When I was 7, I used to play Guitar Hero 3 and I loved the songs on there so I started learning them on real guitar.

Alex Lovato: I saw the movie School of Rock and got a guitar the Christmas I turned 8. After that I started playing live with my dad and grandfather.

How did you become a vocalist? Are you proficient in any other instruments? Have you always been creative?

John: One of the early projects I was in had a vocalist who wanted to play bass so he asked me to hop on vocals instead. I would also say Marilyn Manson had a big influence on my desire to be a frontman. I am differing levels of proficient in just about every instrument present in this band, mainly so that I can contribute in some way to the writing process rather than just lyrics. No, I would say that I’ve grown exponentially as a musician just in the last two and a half years that I’ve been playing with G. He’s helped me grow into a much better and more capable player all around.


How did Exiled From Grace come about? Where did you develop the name? Where is it derived from?

John: I joined a project G was already apart of and we found that we clicked personally and musically, so after not long we had split with the other members and formed EFG out of that. As for the name, we were sitting in my garage spit-balling names and it was between that or an homage to an As I Lay Dying record. It really is meant to represent people who feel outcasted from society’s typical outlets of happiness and finding the courage to create their own happiness outside of society’s norms. And then subsequently, wearing that “mark” as a show of strength in belief in oneself and one’s own individuality.

What is the plan for recording new music, where, when and with who will be recording you? Will there be bonus tracks, cover songs, vinyl and cassette?

John: We’re currently finishing up the writing/demoing of our full-length with Randy Saelee, the guy who did our EP. We will be recording the official tracks with him and another engineer based out of the Bay Area. As for the rest, you’ll have to find out when we unveil the record!

Who are your original influences and who are your current inspirations and admiration’s local and or national?

Dru: Sworn In.

What makes a good Exiled From Grace song?

John: Heaviness, grooves, and aggression. Everything else is sort of whatever we’re feeling in the moment of writing it or the feel of the song based on the lyrics I have written.

Molly: Anything you can break a limb in the mosh pit to.

What kind of references or influences do you take from other mediums? Is there any particular book, or other artists that you are inspired by?

G: I watch Lords of Dogtown often and it always makes me right tuff riffs.

John: I read a lot of classic/modern literature and I often get ideas based off some of the themes or phrases prevalent in the novels.

How much time do you spend on social media a day? Which do you hate the most but can’t live without? Which do you like and why?

Alex: Don’t ask me that question.

John: More then I care to admit because I’m constantly on there promoting us. And I hate all of them.

Top 5 albums or songs released in the last 12 months?


The Agony Cycle EP – Betrayer
Eternal Nightmare – Chelsea Grin
Deathwish – Within Destruction
Come Hell – Dead Crown
World Demise – Falsifier

You’re on a desert island and only have three albums to listen to for the rest of your life, what are they and why?

John: Antichrist Superstar by Manson (best album of all time in my opinion)
Spite’s Self-Titled
Women and Children Last by Muderdolls

What does metal mean to you?

John: To me, it basically just means a community of people who all enjoy really heavy and aggressive music because they’ve all been at a point in their lives in which the music has helped them pull themselves out of whatever problem they were dealing with, and because of that there is this culture of respect around each other, like we all know we’ve all gone through similar shit and there’s a sort of familial connection that comes with that.

What does the rest of 2018 have in store for Exiled From Grace?

John: We have a show on September 15th with Alestorm and then one on the 10th of November with Goatwhore and The Casualties. And besides that, we’ll be continuing to finish up our record which should be released sometime next year.

Eric “A.K.” Knutson and Michael Gilbert of Flotsam and Jetsam “Hookers and cocaine, no it all went to recording costs and our budgets for touring.”

In the video below, Eric “A.K.” Knutson & Michael Gilbert of Flotsam and Jetsam talk metal, favorite thrash songs, new Flotsam and Jetsam music, surviving the 80’s, what lead to Michael Gilbert joining the band and more with Zoran Theodorovic @ Holy Diver in Sacramento, California June 12th, 2018

On whether they able to spend record company advance money irresponsibly? Continue reading

Jadran “Conan” Gonzalez of Exmortus “Expect your mind to be blown. To melt from all the shredding.”

Los Angeles based neo-classical shredders Exmortus, founded by guitarist and vocalist Jadran “Conan” Gonzalez, have racked up achievement after achievement. From appearing in a national TV commercial for Virgin Mobile to being played constantly on Sirius XM’s Liquid Metal, from appearing on the first Ozzfest meets Knotfest in San Bernadino to touring with heroes Children of Bodom and Marty Friedman. However it’s probably the band’s 5th album, The Sound of Steel, that Conan will be most proud of. It’s his most personal album, an album forged together after a bit of a setback but also one that given his upbringing could never have not seen the light of day.

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling Continue reading

Jason Keyser of Origin reminisces about the Albany hardcore/metal scene and hammers in the pit.

In the video below, Jason Keyser of technical death metal giants ORIGIN talks old Albany hardcore/metal scene, new technology, downside of streaming, love of Brujeria and more Aldo Guzman of CAPITAL CHAOS TV. ORIGIN hit the road this April with MORBID ANGEL. The band is touring in support of their latest album Unparalleled Universe. Remaing dates are as follows..

Continue reading

Aggressor of Aura Noir on Spelling and Gaffer Tape

A band geared towards thrash connoisseurs with active minds and mean spirits, Aura Noir stand at the fore of metal’s definitive genre in an age where the underground is utterly besodden with bands. These Norwegian thrash stalwarts don’t so much tread the line between savagery and sophistication as stomp upon it, showering dirt in the faces of lesser acts with each smoldering crater of an album. Continue reading

Gravehill Drummer Thorgrimm Interviewed!

Image may contain: 5 people, people smiling, people playing musical instruments, people on stage, night and guitar

Southern California death metal veterans Gravehill are set to return with their fourth album (first since 2014’s Death Curse) The Unchaste, the Wicked, & the Profane.

The album sees Corpse relinquishing the bass to take over on vocals, replacing long-time Gravehill growler Abominator. In addition to the switch on vocals, the band welcomes back former guitarist Bodybag Bob (ex-Exhumed) into the fold but this time he’s on bass with Eldehelm taking over on guitar. The changes result in the band’s best and most focused album to date. On The Unchaste, the Wicked, & the Profane Gravehill continues with their “no gimmicks” brand of death metal with promises only to lay waste to your speakers. Album artwork by Mark Riddick.

How did you first get in to music? Who turned you onto rock/metal?

THORGRIMM – I’d have both my older Sister and her former Husband to thank for that. Dave (ex-bro in-law) is a Hard Rock/Metal Fan and he has had a huge admiration for Black Sabbath, Van Halen, AC/DC, Rush and Led Zeppelin to name a few. Especially drummers and especially Peart and Bonham. His taste made a lasting impression on me.

Were you forced to go to church as a youth, if so, did you sing in the choir or participate in some other ways?

THORGRIMM – My family was never religious or religious minded. My Mother has always had a need for theology but didn’t find her brand of choice till I was a teenager. At that point I was a “devout” Atheist. In fact I remember questioning theology when I was 6, and learning what Atheism was from childhood friends and their family not long after.

What was the local scene like in the beginning, was there a particular band you aspired to be like, favorite local bands back then, favorite local bands now?

THORGRIMM – Growing up in SoCal, most gigs were in Los Angeles. Orange County and The Inland Empire (where I grew up) sucked. I always look back at that time with so much awe. Everything was new, had a future, was so small yet growing. In the mid to late 80s was my high school era, so locally my favorites were HELLRAZOR, DISASTER AREA, SADISTIC INTENT, RECIPIENTS OF DEATH, BLIND ASSASSIN, DEAD & BLOATED, and SINISTER FIEND. By the time the 90s rolled around and I myself had a band (MORGION) their were so so many great bands… MINDROT, PHOBIA, CARCINOGEN, EXCRUCIATING TERROR, NAUSEA, DYSTOPIA, CATALEPSY, ENTETY, RISE, etc…

The new album “The Unchaste, The Profane & The Wicked” comes out on Dark Descent Records in March, can you describe the album title, the relationship with Dark Descent Records and their input into Gravehill music and product? Were any bonus track recorded for other markets?

THORGRIMM – The title and the cover are self explanatory. We wanted to highlight the base of human debauchery. In my opinion, it’s as vile as we could think of. Mark Riddick of course is a genius artist worth noting. DARK DESCENT provides no input, we provide them with our vision and they spread it to the masses. We provided no additional music this time. Just what is released in this outing.

How has the songwriting and recording process changed from Deathcurse? Does everyone write their own parts? Where did you record the new album? Do you write specifically for an album within a time frame or collect riffs and ideas over time?

THORGRIMM – A lot changed on this album for us. We had a major line-up change. 2 major players on the last album left. CC & Abominator. I took the reigns and had a specific set of ideas on structure and riffs. Both Eldehelm (guitars) and Hell Messiah (guitars) churned out riffs until I got what I was looking for structure wise. We also had input from Bodybag (bass) as well as a song he and I wrote together in 2012′ “The Unchaste”. Corpse handled the majority of the lyrics. An old friend of mine had pro-tools and he also wrote some riffs for “The Wicked” which he and I wrote together. We used his pro-tools set up to demo and work/rework the songs till the band was happy with them. This actually cut the writing time in half, we had 90% of the album conceived in 6 months.

What brought about the split with long time vocalist Mike Abominator? You have another Exhumed member Bodybag Bob returning to Gravehill, how did this come about? Have you heard Death Revenge yet, do you think it’s Exhumed’s best work yet?

THORGRIMM – Abominator wanted to pursue what became the band RUIN. In my opinion, I think both our visions changed as well as our priorities. I really feel we are both happier in our current pursuits, but we’ll always be friends and support each others music. There was no animosity or ill-will. As far as Bodybag, he was a free agent, we wanted him back on guitar but he wanted to play bass, so Jason relinquished bass to him to concentrate on just vocals. It really wasn’t a thought out or planned option. Square Peg – Square Hole. I have heard EXHUMED’s “DEATH REVENGE”. It sounds more focused than their past albums, a very strong album imo. It’s great to hear Ross again and point in fact, I like having Bob back in GRAVEHILL. So yeah, thanks Harv!

Which song or songs on the new album are your favorites? Was the amazing artwork created specifically for the title of the new album?

THORGRIMM – My favorite track(s) are THE PROFANE and SABBATIC WHORE. Yes, the cover was specifically designed with the title, absolutely.

How familiar are you with Impiety and Divine Eve who you will be touring with in April? What can expect from Gravehill on this upcoming tour?

THORGRIMM – We toured with IMPIETY in 2011′, so am very familiar with them. In my opinion they are very pro, very easy to get along with, great band. My history with DIVINE EVE goes back to the early 90’s. I’ve been a fan/friend since I heard the “THE LAST OF THE SUNSET FADED” demo. In fact, in 1995 I played drums on what would of been the DE debut album. The band had a falling out, so Xan (guitars/vocals) enlisted me and we recorded the CRIMSON RELIC – PURGATORY’S REIGN album for Radiation Records (Nuclear Blast). All these years later DARK DESCENT is re-releasing this album and as fate would have it, DIVINE EVE recruited me to be their live drummer, so I will be playing drums for both GRAVEHILL & DIVINE EVE. So a reunion of sorts? You can expect all three bands to deliver the goods, quite literally.

If you were to do a covers album, which artists and songs would you cover?

THORGRIMM – (Forced upon GRAVEHILL to play list…)

VENOM – Cry Wolf

JUDAS PRIEST – Jawbreaker

ROSE TATTOO – All the Lessons

RAINBOW – Stargazer

SLAYER – Die By The sword

WHITESNAKE – Love Ain’t No Stranger

FASTWAY – Trick or Treat

SCORPIONS – Animal Magnetism

CELTIC FROST – Cherry Orchards



Song to be played at your funeral and 3 albums to take to your grave?

THORGRIMM – Funeral Song – “Death Will Be My Bride” by BRENDAN PERRY – Album “Eye of the Hunter”

3 Albums –


VENOM – Black Metal