Tribulation-Down-BelowEvery once in a while, it takes me a little time to discover new music and thanks to a playlist on Spotify, I discovered Swedish metallers Tribulation. The band is sort of a hybrid metal band as they mix elements of Death Metal with more traditional heavy metal, goth rock, and even psychedelic rock as well. In short, this is a very kick ass band that if you have not heard yet, you need to start getting to know them because they are about to release their fourth studio album Down Below on January 26TH via Century Media. The band unleashed a music video for the track The Lament last month and we have it for you here as this week’s Metal Video Of The Week. The video balances itself from being a part performance based to actually telling a story as well. Tribulation talked about the video saying, “We always plant strange seeds, seeds that when fully grown and ripened have taken their own often unexpected twists and turns. When working with this video we got to share that process with someone else who is also planting strange seeds. Director and producer Robert Piel approached us and wanted to make a collaboration, which was something that we gladly accepted after seeing his previous work and after seeing how well we got along and how our cinematic references really overlapped. It’s rare that you find people who have that creative spark that lacks in most of us and the discipline to fully get the job done. Robert and his entire crew had that! They all put a lot of effort and work into this and we all gladly endured the long and cold German nights. We hope you all enjoy our artistic amalgamation!” Check out the video below and follow this link to pre-order the album and to get your hands on the Lady Death EP on vinyl as well.

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coverOne of the hardest deaths to deal with in the last two years or so was the passing of the great Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead. It signified the true end of an era in the rock and metal world as one of it’s most prolific and battle tested veterans had passed away. The question moving forward from that was what were the remaining members of Motorhead going to do and we have an answer for at least one of them. Phil Campbell who was Motorhead’s guitarist from 1984 all the way to 2015 started a band with his kids and vocalist Neil Starr called Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons. The band is preparing to release their first album together entitled The Age Of Absurdity which will hit the shelves on January 26TH via Nuclear Blast. To hold fans over until then, the band has unleashed the performance based video for Welcome To Hell and fans will not be disappointed. The track is fierce and you can definitely hear the Motorhead influence in the track, but this is more guitar driven than Motorhead was. Starr talked about the album saying, “Writing and recording this album was a lot of fun. We got to record at Rockfield studios where so many great artists had been over the years, it really was inspirational. Hearing the blistering riffs that the Campbell family seem to churn out effortlessly made me ensure I pushed myself to the limits when writing the melodies and lyrics. It’s an album that I, and the rest of the band, are very proud of and can’t wait to share it with the world!” Check out the video below:

Breaking Benjamin is one of those bands that has had it’s ups and downs which included the band taking a hiatus and not seeing new music released for six years. I have to give it to the fans of this band because they waited and they made 2015’s Dark Before Dawn a huge success for the band and now the band has a brand new album entitled Ember which will be released in 2018. To keep fans satisfied until the album is officially released the band has provided us with the first single of the album in the very atmospheric track Red Cold River. While the track may be atmospheric in nature, it has some real heavy elements to it that make it a cool track to check out. Vocalist/guitarist Benjamin Burnley’s vocals on the track can go from being intense to very melodic and I loved it. The band will be going on a month long tour with Bullet For My Valentine and Avenged Sevenfold and Synyster Gates talked about it saying, “We’ve been friends with these guys for a long time. Bullet for My Valentine, we’re bros. We’ve been in the trenches with those guys. My god, the fact that both bands are still around blows my fucking mind. They’re the coolest dudes and obviously we’re super fans of the music and the genres make sense. Breaking Benjamin, talk about songwriting, I mean, some of the greatest songwriters of the modern era. And, obviously it’s a little heavier. So to bring a pretty unique package you got super heavy, then there’s us and whatever the fuck that is and then really super strong songwriting through that hard rock filter.” Check out the track below:

One of the greatest heavy metal bands of all time is none other than Birmingham, England’s own Judas Priest. Judas Priest is a band that deserves so much credit as far as the metal world is concerned and the fact that they were snubbed by the rock and roll hall of fame is ludicrous. Nonetheless, the band took all of 2017 off to ensure that they would deliver a brand new album that was co-produced by Tom Allom (his first since 1988’s Ram It Down) and Andy Sneap (his first effort) called Firepower.  Rob Halford talked about the pairing of the two saying, “Tom Allom has got this classic metal thing and Andy [Sneap] is a bit more of a ‘modern metal producer’ but his thinking is a little bit different to Tom’s. And I think to get this balance between that classic old school metal to what Andy’s world is was just a remarkable coalescence.” The first track that was unleashed off the album is the song Lightning Strike and upon first listen you can hear old school Judas Priest all over the track. The track has me excited for what Firepower will offer when it comes out March 9TH via Epic. You can pre-order the album now by going here, but for now check out the track below:

ultraspankFor the last two weeks, we have been exploring the Nu-Metal scene which was a scene that I heavily promoted on my early college radio show from 2000-01. One of the bands that I was admittedly obsessed with back in those days was the band Ultraspank which formed in 1995 after the break up of another band. On May 30, 2000, the band would release their most critically acclaimed album Progress which featured Pete Murray (Vocals and Programming), Dan Ogden (Bass), Jerry Oliviera (Guitar), Neil Godfrey (Guitar), and former Snot drummer James “Fed” Carroll. The album was produced by the great Peter Collins who had produced albums for bands such as Alice Cooper, Gary Moore, Rush, Queensrÿche, and so many more. I can’t find much online as far as the band’s chart history or how many albums the band sold, but it is considered by some critics as the best Nu-Metal album that was ever released.

51NZls8K2bL1. Push-An cool industrial like bass riff along with some drums opens up the track and launches into overdrive as soon as the chorus kicks in. I think the track is about that fear of growing old and knowing change is taking over, but you just have to push through it. 4.5/5

2. Crumble– A cool guitar riff leads us in to this track that is about someone who realizes that they are not growing as a person like their counterpart, so they need to change it. 4.5/5

3. Stuck– A ferocious track right from the get go, the song follows someone who feels like they are stuck in a situation that is going nowhere. You can hear elements that are very similar to bands like Taproot in this track. 4.5/5

4. Feed-The opening riff reminds me of Korn’s Shoots and Ladders until the song progresses forward. the song is about someone who constantly feeds you BS and pretends to be your friend, but they prey on you because he thinks you’re weak. 4.5/5

5. Smile-Bass and drums once again open the track with a mellow guitar riff that eventually follows in this track that has a huge similarity in style to Tool especially as Pete channels his inner Maynard James Keenan. 4/5

6. Click-A rockin tune that has a driving riff that will have you grooving to it especially when the chorus hits. The chorus has a flare to it that sounds like Static-X’s Push It. One of the best tracks on the album for sure. 5/5

R-11096097-1509798523-3387.jpeg7. Jackass-A hard driving rock track that slows down the tempo for the verse to the point that it’s only bass and drums with that ominous guitar riff that comes in to signal the chorus is near. This is another amazing track on the album that seems to be talking about someone who thinks they are great, but there really a…. 4.5/5

8. Crack– A track that seems to be talking about someone who is cracking under the pressures of what life brings that they are shutting themselves off to the world. 4/5

9. Invite Yourself In– A 16 second intro to the next track 4/5

10. Thanks-A track that is purely metal and in your face as it may be one of the heaviest tracks on the album for sure. 4.5/5

11. Left-A cool track that starts off heavy, but then it gets very melodic and evil sounding which is pretty cool. It has that Tool influence to it which I think is a cool touch in a track that seems to be about someone who needs to leave the place he is over guilt for something. 4.5/5

12. Where– This is one of the best and my personal favorite Ultraspank track that I played every chance I could on my radio show. It starts off with this cool acoustic side to it then a cool programmed riff comes in before the band launches into overdrive for the chorus. I just think it’s about keeping your head up because somewhere out there is a better place than this. you just have to find it. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– The track features so many sounds that would be utilized in the scene right after it’s release and you can definitely hear the similarities with bands on the scene. This was an amazing release and it’s too bad that the band would break up shortly after the release, but those things happen. Check this one out on Spotify, iTunes, and on CD if you can find it. I am going to give the album 4.5 stars out of five.

Confessions Of A Pop Performer TheaterAs I had stated in the last Cheeseball Cinema post, I had discovered that there were more 70’s British sex comedies that I had not yet explored. I am at times a completest and it is in me to finish the Adventures of and Confessions of series. For today’s Cheeseball Cinema film, we are looking at the second film in the Confessions series entitled. Confessions of a Pop Performer. The film once again follows our lovable klutz Timothy Lea (Robin Askwith) and his scheming brother in law Sidney Noggett (Anthony Booth). This time around after going to a club, Sidney decides that he is going to become a entertainment manager for a local band named Kipper: Nutter Normington (Peter Cleall), Petal (Richard Warwick), Zombie (David Auker), Eric (Maynard Williams), and Blow (Mike King). The only problem is that the drummer gets injured and Timothy is forced to step into the role, but will it go well? The film also stars Sheila White (Oliver!) as Rosie, Bob Todd (Superman III) as Mr. Barnwell, Jill Gascoine (BASEketball) as Mrs. Barnwell, Peter Jones (Chariots Of Fire) as Maxy Naus, Carol Hawkins (When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth) as Jill Brown, Maggie Wright (The Saint) as Ruth, Anita Kay (Heartland) as Sonia, Sally Harrison (And Now The Screaming Starts!) as Patsie, and the film was directed by Norman Cohen (The Blue Max). 

Confessions Of A Pop Performer Cinema SceneI am at this point a very big fan of Robin Askwith and his Timothy Lea character and all of the trouble that he gets himself into just by being a klutz. One trick that the filmmaker should have learned is that if you’re actor does not know how to play drums then you probably shouldn’t show him failing at it. There was one scene towards the end when Timmy is not behind the drum kit and yet there is drums in the song. Those were just some of the small technical issues that they should have thought about before hand. One thing that I always thought was true was how close Robin Askwith looks with Mick Jagger and one girl in the film thinks she is having sex with Mick and not Timmy Lea. That was a fun little jab at Robin that he obviously seemed OK with in the film. As per usual in a film like this, there is plenty of T&A and some 70’s bush to go with it so if you love it, this has it. In most of the films I reviewed for the series, I had always said that Askwith and Booth were the MVP’s of the film, but this time around Askwith is the lone star in a film that didn’t have as much comedy as the previous film reviewed. There’s plenty of hi-jinx, but just not a lot of laughs as expected from the series. This is a definitely a film worth checking out at least once and especially if you like the previous films. On a scale of one being close to an A-List Hollywood film and five being the cheesiest film of all time, I am going to give this one a 2.9 for a final grade.

Confessions Of A Pop Performer Collage

From Left to Right In every row: Anita Kay, Jill Gascoine, Margaret Heald, Maggie Wright, Sally Harrison, and Helli Louise