Aztec Folk Metal Warriors CEMICAN: New Digital EP Out Now
'Yóok 'ol kaab Maya' ('Our Mayan Universe') now available on all streaming platforms
The Guadalajara-based Aztec folk metal group CEMICAN – hailed by Revolver as “an ancient Mexican answer to The Hu or Heilung” – were recently invited to contribute a new song to the prestigious “Singles” collection curated by Adult Swim, America's most popular basic cable television network among young adults. This track, “Yóok 'ol Kaab Maya” (“our Mayan universe”), marked the first new CEMICAN music since the release of their acclaimed third album (and M-Theory Audio debut), 2019's “In Ohtli Teoyohtica In Miquiztli” (“the mystical path of the dead”).
Today, “Yóok 'ol Kaab Maya” – praised by Brooklyn Vegan for “combining indigenous instrumentation with Headbanger's Ball-worthy riffage” – makes its debut across all digital platforms, where it can be streamed alongside another new song, the instrumental “Bolóm Octé.” To listen, visit www.smarturl.com/Cemican2020
According to the band, “Yóok 'ol kaab Maya” – which features lyrics in both Mayan and Spanish – “is based on the Mayan worldview and the integration of nature into the universe. It discusses
the construction of the Mayan empire, its sacred temples and its people. There is also talk of contact with the stars and the astral journey together with non-earthly beings – the helpers of creation – who were given the power to create, die and reincarnate, dominate eclipses and walk with the jaguar. The four elements of life are mentioned – water, fire, wind and earth as part of the mystical light."
The music of CEMICAN – whose name means “the duality of life and death” in the Aztecan language of Nahuatl (spoken by 2 million people in Central Mexico) – incorporates elements of the legends, mysticism and ideologies of ancient Mexican culture. Compared by Revolver to “Slipknot scoring Mel Gibson's 'Apocalypto,'” the group combine the modern instrumentation of a metal band with traditional pre-Hispanic instruments.
After independently releasing two albums and performing alongside some of metal's top names (Amon Amarth, Korpiklaani, Ensiferum, Eluveitie, etc.) in their native Mexico, CEMICAN experienced a breakout year in 2018. In addition to receiving regular airplay on Liquid Metal, the six-piece group was invited to perform at the Paris edition of the Download Festival and Germany's Wacken Open Air, as well as Force Fest and Hell & Heaven Fest in their home country. The band's momentum continued to build in 2019, when they performed at France's Hellfest and Mexico's Knotfest Meets Force Fest in addition to an encore appearance at Wacken. (The band was also scheduled to perform at this year's Wacken festival, believed to be the first time ever that a band was to play the storied German metal festival for three consecutive years.)
Upcoming CEMICAN live performances (all dates tentative):
7/25/20 San Luis Rio Verde, Mexico – MaddXfest
9/15/20 El Salvador – Black Metal Resurrection
10/2/20 Chihuahua, Mexico- Pistoleros
10/3/20 Juarez, Mexico – Anexo Centenario Club
10/24/20 Cajititlan Jalisco, Mexico – Metal Head Open Air
11/14/20 Monterrey, Mexico – Mexico Metal Fest
3/27/21 Chihuahua, Mexico – Pistoleros House of Shows
French Hardcore Group STINKY Stream New Album,
Announce June 18 Virtual Concert
M-Theory Audio debut 'Of Lost Things' due out this Friday
France's leading hardcore group STINKY will release their third album, “Of Lost Things,” this Friday (June 12), but today, the 11-track record – which was recently praised by the UK's Down For Life for its “monstrous anthems and full-on bangers” – can be streamed in its entirety exclusively via Germany's MoreCore.de. Take a listen HERE.
As of a few weeks ago, STINKY was looking forward to a busy summer of live performances in “Of Lost Things,” but with all tour plans on hold for the moment, the band has scheduled a virtual record release party/livestream concert in conjunction with the noted French metal festival Hellfest. The group's performance – which will take place at 8 p.m. GMT on June 18 – will be broadcast on the ARTE television network, as well as Hellfest's social media platforms and those of some of the festival's media partners. For more information click HERE.
The initial orange splatter vinyl pressing of “Of Lost Things” – which was recorded in part by Fabien Guilloteau (Hacride, The Necromancers) and features cover artwork by Emy Rojas (Clutch, Ministry, Queens of the Stone Age) – is already a collector's item thanks to an overwhelming response via the band's Bandcamp. While a limited number of copies will still be available online and at select record shops around the world starting tomorrow, the band recently launched a pre-order for a new pressing – a limited-edition orange-and-black variant that is currently available exclusively on the band's Bandcamp page.
“Of Lost Things” features 11 tracks of metallic hardcore that the UK's Midlands Metalheads Radio says “makes you feel like you can headbutt through a brick wall.” In recent weeks, the band unveiled music videos for three blistering preview tracks – “Revival Fire,” which features footage of the band performing live at last year's Hellfest; “Strangers With Familiar Faces,” which originally premiered via Germany's Visions Magazine; and “Distance,” which was unveiled via New Noise Magazine and quickly added to Spotify's New Punk Tracks playlist.
Since their formation a decade ago, STINKY has played more than 350 concerts across 15 different countries in support of their first two albums, 2015's “Against Wind and Tide” and 2017's “From Dead-End Street.” Along the way, the group has shared the stage with the likes of Sick Of It All, Terror, Walls of Jericho and Millencolin.
While the band's name might seem curious to some, STINKY's music unquestionably passes the smell test. Influenced by the likes of Comeback Kid, Bane, Miles Away and Champion, the band capably fuses melody with an affinity for violence, making the quintet a combustible mix of energy and aggression.
LET US PREY Unveil Lyric Video For Song
Featuring Late All That Remains Guitarist Oli Herbert
Dark melodic power/thrash group’s debut full-length, ‘Virtues of the Vicious,’ due July 24
“Virtues of the Vicious,” the forthcoming full-length debut by the Boston-based dark, melodic power/thrash group LET US PREY, features guest guitar solos by a number of notable shredders, including Jon Donais (Anthrax, Shadows Fall), Metal Mike Chlasciak (Halford, Testament), Jimi Bell (Autograph, House of Lords) and the late Oli “The Wizard” Herbert (All That Remains).
Herbert's contribution to the album – due July 24 via M-Theory Audio – appears on the track “The Saint of Killers,” which is now available for streaming on Spotify, Apple Music, Bandcamp and other digital platforms. A lyric video for the song – which Lopes says is based on the DC Comics series “Preacher” and films such as “The Terminator” and “Blade Runner,” and which sees LET US PREY guitarist Jesse Near, a former student of Herbert's, performing the solo – can be seen HERE.
Says Lopes, “This tune is extremely special to me for the simple fact of getting to work with brother Oli Herbert, and now – especially after the misfortune of his passing – it stands as our tribute to his memory. Our mutual love for comics, movies and metal is how we became good friends in the first place after a chance meeting at a show I was playing with a metal cover band I was in. Oli was all about jamming a shredding solo for us, as we wanted to work together and this song seemed perfect.”
Pre-orders for “Virtues of the Vicious” on CD and limited-edition blood red vinyl, including bundle options, are available HERE and our webstore. Digital pre-orders include instant downloads of “The Saint of Killers” and two other recently-previewed songs, “Halo Crown” and the album’s opening track, “Above the Vaulted Sky.”
Led by Lopes (who designed the album’s cover art and music videos) and guitarist Jon Morency, LET US PREY incorporates numerous subgenres of metal into their style while still sounding organic. The group's adventurous music sees elements of thrash, death, power and progressive metal meld seamlessly with industrial samples and symphonic keyboards. The drumming is surgically precise and blisteringly fast without sounding mechanical; the guitars mix crushing, down-tuned brutality with dense harmonies and ripping leads; and Lopes shifts effortlessly from thrash/death metal growls to soaring melodic vocals and searing Halford-esque highs with layered harmonies.
“Virtues Of The Vicious” was recorded by Nick Bellmore (Hatebreed, Toxic Holocaust, Five Finger Death Punch) and Pete Rutcho (Revocation, Havok, Bury Your Dead), with the latter also handling mixing and mastering. The album’s track listing is as follows:
- Above The Vaulted Sky
- Virtues of the Vicious (feat. Metal Mike Chlasciak)
- In Suffering
- Halo Crown (feat. Jon Donais)
- Murder Thy Maker
- The Saint of Killers (feat. Oli Herbert)
- Ghost Echoes (feat. Jimi Bell)
- The Cruel Creation of Me
- And Hell Followed With Me
LET US PREY have performed in and around the northeastern United States alongside the likes of Soilwork, Suffocation, Soulfly, Life Of Agony, Metal Church, Battle Beast, Doro and Scar Symmetry, among others.
Symphonic Metal Group GRAVESHADOW Returns With New Song ‘Gwynnbleidd’
The symphonic/gothic metal band GRAVESHADOW have released a new single, “Gwynnbleidd,” the Sacramento, California-based act’s first new music in two years. The track – which is now available for streaming on Spotify, Apple Music, Bandcamp and other digital platforms – marks the recording debut of the group’s new vocalist, Rachl Quinn, as well as new bassist Luci Rae. You can view a streaming audio video and find direct links HERE.
According to guitarist Aaron Robitsch, “’Gwynnbleidd” was inspired by the popular Netflix fantasy drama ‘The Witcher.’ I initially wrote the music for the project that Will (Walker, guitars) and I were going to form when GRAVESHADOW seemed like it was over,” he explains. “When Rachl was recruited, we felt that the song had the potential to showcase her vocals perfectly and show a strong comeback for the band. Lyrically, Rachl took inspiration from ‘The Witcher,’ continuing our trend of songs being influenced from a variety of fandoms, including ‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘World of Warcraft,’ ‘The Legend of Zelda’ and ‘Doctor Who.’”
Adds Walker, “I’m really excited about this track. I feel it showcases the next natural evolution of GRAVESHADOW’s sound, and Aaron did a fantastic job composing it. It was also the first chance we got to work with Rachl in a writing capacity, and I’m thrilled with how it turned out. I was on a huge ‘Witcher’ kick, so when Rachl wanted the lyrics to center on Geralt and Ciri’s relationship, I was on board immediately. We’ve always enjoyed weaving lyrics about our favorite stories into our music, and I think this is one that our fans are really going to enjoy. It showcases a leap forward in the guitar work, and the orchestrations are bombastic and uplifting at the same time. This is just a taste of what we’ll be releasing later this year, and I feel it’s a damn fine first sip!”
“Gwynnbleidd” is expected to appear on GRAVESHADOW's forthcoming EP, which will further showcase the potential displayed on their 2015 debut “Nocturnal Resurrection” and “Ambition's Price,” both of which saw the group deftly mix symphonic and gothic metal with elements of doom, thrash and epic progressive power metal. Additional details on the new release will follow in the coming months.
Since forming in 2013, GRAVESHADOW have earned extensive praise for mixing fantasy-based lyrics with crushing guitars, beautiful keyboard melodies, thundering bass, earth-shattering drums and powerful vocals that range from operatic highs to unearthly growls, creating a rich and dynamic musical atmosphere that is ripe for storytelling. The group has built a steady following in the Western United States in recent years through regional tours and performances alongside the likes of Sirenia, Tarja, Angra, Arkona, Children of Bodom, Apocalyptica, Marty Friedman, Death Angel, Flotsam and Jetsam and Anvil.
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/graveshadow