Periphery's Misha Mansoor Explains Why He Hates Guitar Solos

Categories: Metal Mondays

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Courtesy of Periphery
Periphery

Periphery is one of those bands that are difficult to forget. It's not because they are constantly in the mainstream, shoved in your face by way of radio play, music videos or non-stop festival headlining. Although I'm sure they wouldn't turn down any of that.

No -- you remember Periphery because of the musical prowess. The heavy yet delicate mix of poly-rhythmic patterns and climactic melodies. The unexpected tumultuous flow of the music, and variation between raw screams and soaring vocals. The members, vocalist Spencer Sotelo, guitarists Misha Mansoor, Mark Halcomb and Jake Bowen, bassist Adam "Nolly" Getgood, and drummer Matt Halpern, are actually progressive in every sense of the word.

Periphery is a djent movement pioneer, often compared to a younger, heavier Dream Theater. The members self-produce everything they do, and since the self-titled debut five years ago, have created two other albums. The third, a double concept album called Juggernaut, comes out on January 27.

Juggernaut is two whole albums worth of material released as two separate discs, one called Alpha and the other Omega.


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Incantation's John McEntee Describes the Band's "Organic" Death Metal

Categories: Metal Mondays

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Incantation

Death metal bands that have been able to permeate the metal industry up from the core of the underground scene are few between. But a band that has been able to do that consistently for a quarter of a century, and still not view their artistry as a "job," well -- that's Incantation.

The American extreme metal band, formed by John McEntee and Paul Ledney in 1989, was one of the pioneers in the New York death metal scene alongside such acts as Suffocation and Immolation. And much like the definition of its name, Incantation has been conjuring up heavy doses of unique metal over the course of nine full-length albums. And while the band has had more than 30 lineup changes over the years, it has somehow kept its ritualistic style of tempos that aptly leap from down-tuned and sludgy to rapid and suspenseful.

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Best 13 Metal Concerts in Phoenix This January

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Alaectra Busey
Westfield Massacre

The year 2014 ended with a hell of a heavy metal season, with shows like Yucca Tap Room's "Not So Silent Night" ushering in the New Year -- but unlike the insane holiday spending and the snowbird-thick traffic pace, the show calendar isn't slowing down any time soon.

I'm aware that this Metal Mondays Best Metal Shows of January is a little late, so it doesn't include killer shows like the Dead of Winter Festival this past weekend and Anti-Flag.
However, there's an abundance of shows throughout January, and that's why we compile a monthly list of the best metal and hard rock concerts happening at venues around the Valley.

There are prominent metal acts like Cattle Decapitation, Machine Head and Periphery, and a wealth of local shows, including the ever-intense HannemanFest and a "When Titans Collide" show, where some of the best metal acts in the Valley share the stage.



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The Best Metal Monday Blogs of 2014

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Metal Blade Records
The Cannibal Corpse interview didn't even make the list, 2014 was so great.

The holiday season is winding down, and we at New Times hope that you had a great 2014. As we look forward to the New Year, I wanted to recap some of the best Metal Mondays blogs of the year.

These were picked based off of social media shares, how much they got music lovers talking, as well as my own favorite interviews. Here's looking forward to a very metal 2015!

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Lil Jon, Adele, and 10 other Unlikely Heavy Metal Covers

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Screenshot from A Static Lullaby's "Toxic" video
Brittany Spears' "Toxic" is so good, even a hardcore cover doesn't suck.

Whatever your religious beliefs -- Christian, Jewish, Pagan, Athiest -- there's no avoiding the ruckus of the holiday season. For me, Christmas brings a lot of old traditions, love and charitable giving, but there's a lot of needless commercialism that's shoved down everyone's throats starting the day after Halloween.

So kick back and take a break from the stress of shopping, visiting in-laws, gift-wrapping, and terrible holiday song covers by Taylor Swift and Mariah Carey. Seriously -- not only do we have to put up with pop and hip-hop year-round, but then they invade the already-smothering lineup of carols?

Welcome to your heavy metal music break: If mainstream artists can assault your ears via every genre, you can be damn sure that heavy metal steals the thunder now and again, too.
So forget the list of heavy metal Christmas carols.

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The 2014 Gift Guide for Metalheads

Searching for the perfect gift for that music lover in your life isn't so difficult. However, trying to find the perfect gift for a metalhead is a bit more daunting. It's not that we're picky -- we just don't particularly value the commercialized side of our beloved genre. Therefore, the emerging market of heavy metal "gifts," short of albums or t-shirts, hasn't really ballooned until lately.

I've received some killer heavy metal gifts in my day -- Pantera Chucks, Zeppelin vinyl, a miniature model of Dimebag Darrell's Razorback lightning bolt guitar, Jimmy Page's memoir, spike-bedecked high heels that would make a dominatrix envious, a stripper pole courted with a handle of whiskey. Oh, and a vintage typewriter. You might not think that's very metal -- but it is badass to this heavy metal journalist.

So here's a list of gifts for the shredder or thrasher in your life, whether it's you significant other, father, sister, friend... or if you just want to scare the hell out of someone. Trust me, if you want to get that annoying chick to stop calling you, nothing says "red flag" like a documentary on satanic black metal.

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More Than 20 Metal Bands Put Differences Aside for Metal Frostover

Categories: Metal Mondays

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Bob Collins/Downstream Photography
Virulent

Rock music and annoying egos go hand-in-hand. In fact, the pairing is almost as guaranteed as headbanging and mosh pits. Groupies and tour buses. Dimebag and a Black Tooth Grin shots. Revolting disgust and the Kardashian clan.

You get the picture.

It doesn't matter whether you're a huge national act, or a local band just starting out - some musicians just feel entitled for some reason. Sure; you may be a talented musician who deserves some respect, but you gotta pay your dues and reciprocate that respect.

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11 Best Metal Concerts in Phoenix in December

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Opeth

It's that time of year where I get to say "'Tis the season to be metal."

The temperatures have finally fallen, and some of our favorite metal band's touring schedules are still in full swing. It's that time of year where we can leave those sweaty mosh pits and emerge into some crisp cool air.

The season for giving is bringing a bounty of metal shows around Metro Phoenix, thanks to an array of locals and major international legends. As such, we're on the lookout for the best upcoming shows.

That's why we compile a monthly list of the best metal and hard rock concerts happening at venues around the Valley during the month of December. There's prominent metal acts like Emmure, Devin Townsend and Opeth, charity benefit shows to help feed the hungry, and a major two-day festival featuring the top Valley metal bands. There's also three killer shows on December 5 -- so skip the whiskey so you can check out at least two.

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New Arch Enemy Singer Talks Authenticity and Being a Woman in Metal

Categories: Metal Mondays

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Century Media
Archy Enemy's new vocalist Alissa White-Gluz has big shoes to fill.

The members of Arch Enemy have always set the bar high for themselves and their genre. Then again, let's be honest: any band labeled Swedish melodic death metal provokes high expectations. It combines the strongest elements of heavy metal, like super heavy riffs and refined melodies, set in an environment where some of the most influential -- and deadly -- metal bands were founded.

After originating almost two decades as a proclaimed "super group," with members from bands like Carcass, Mercyful Fate and Eucharist, Arch Enemy brought on German vocalist Angela Gossow in 2000. In turn, Gossow quickly became known as one of the few heavy metal female vocalists that became successful off of a primary singer style of harsh growling and virulent screams. She influenced many future female heavy metal vocalists -- including her recent replacement, Canadian Alissa White-Gluz.

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12 Best Metal Concerts in Phoenix This November

Categories: Metal Mondays

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Maria Vassett
Rob Halford of Judas Priest

November brings the best of both worlds to the Valley of the Sun -- temperatures have finally fallen below 90 degrees, and some of our favorite metal band's touring schedules are still in full swing. It's that time of year where we can leave those sweaty mosh pits and emerge into some crisp cool air.

The season for giving is bringing a bounty of metal shows around Metro Phoenix, thanks to an array of locals and major international legends. As such, we're on the lookout for the best upcoming shows.

That's why we compile a monthly list of the best metal and hard rock concerts happening at venues around the Valley during the month of November. There's metal vets like Judas Priest, Slayer and Eyehategod; to Thanksgiving food drive shows and extremely heavy local bills; to a CD release show by local act Singularity. And I must say; you would think it's October with all the costumed cautionary tales scheduled, like Old Lines, Green Jelly, and Nekrogoblikon.

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