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Modern metalcore new comers, Feed Her to the Sharks have got new tunes underway with the release of their new album "Fortitude". The follow-up to 2013's "Savage Seas", since that release they have gone on to getting signed to Victory Records with so much more in-store especially touring! Frontman vocalist/piano/keys Andrew Vanderzalm discusses this debut release for their new label home and them wanting to tour all over!


1. How did your band form?

Andrew: After playing in a different band, Chewy and Andy got together and started writing some songs in a different direction. From there, the guys found some like minded people and thus began Feed Her To The Sharks.

2. Tell us the brief history of your band.

Andrew: As I said before, in the beginning, it was just Andy and Chewy writing some songs. After the first album was released (The Beauty of Falling) and a few tours later, the band went through a few lineup changes but for the past two and a half years the lineup has been stable but working hard.

3. What's the story behind your band's name Feed Her To The Sharks? Does the name actually have to deal with actual sharks and who is "her" refer too?

Andrew: The name actually came from the first song ever written by FHTTS. It was the opening lyrics to the song Misery which we still play live. Nothing to do with actual sharks, and “her” can refer to anything/anybody. Everyone has wanted to feed someone to some sharks at one point in their life!

4. How do you describe your sound to people who ask you what your band sounds like?

Andrew: We mix a few different styles to create FHTTS songs. The sound is first and foremost heavy, mixed with catchy, melodic grooves. A bit of electronic samples and some shredding guitars. Aggressive and musical - That’s pretty much what we are about!

5. Who are your influences and heroes (music-wise)?

Andrew: Heavy bands like Killswitch Engage, Machine Head, Bring Me The Horizon have definitely influenced us. Also bands like Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park are ones we look up to. Them and Lady Gaga, she’s awesome!

6. What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)

Andrew: A lot of the songs on Fortitude especially have a very positive theme behind them. Many are about overcoming the struggles you face in everyday life. We try to write lyrics that are very relatable to everyday people. After all, that’s who’s listening to our songs!

7. Do you write your own songs? (Discuss the songwriting process in detail.)

Andrew: Yes, we write all our own songs. When we write, we try to do it as a group. We all get together in a room and throw ideas around. Hardly any writing gets done without other people there. Sometimes, someone will come to a writing session with a riff or two, but everything else gets worked out while we are all there. It does take longer sometimes, but it also ensures we got the best and biggest range of ideas down that we can and everyone has input on the songs.

8. When did Victory Records come into the picture? Are you happy with what they have to offer?

Andrew: We first got in contact with Victory Records in late 2013. After a while of back and forth we signed with them in early 2014. Since then they have been really good to us. Definitely was the right move for us joining with these guys and they are really going to help with the future of the band!

 9. How does "Fortitude" vary from past work?

Andrew: It was the first time that all five members came together as one to write a record. So having different members writing the music definitely influenced the record. Although we wanted to keep the FHTTS sound, we mixed it up a lot with song structure, production and instrumentation compared to the previous albums.

10. Has anything happened since your previous works, that you feel will influence the mood or lyrical content, on this release?

Andrew: As the first two records were released independently we worked hard trying to push the record on our own. Now with label backing we feel we are writing for a greater audience which did, in a way, influence how and what we wrote.

11. Did the band have any definitive goals they were shooting for before the recording process began for this album?

Andrew: We really just want to tour. It’s always been our goal in this band. To play our music all over the world to many different people is really the goal of the band. So we wanted to write an album that would translate well on many different stages!

12. Are you using any new instrumentation you've never used in the recording process before?

Andrew: Not so much in regards to instruments. We still have 2 Guitars, Bass and Drums, but we did delve into different synth sounds. Lots of your typical piano and strings etc, but also moving onto modulated gates, and sweeping EQ’s through the synth for different effects.

13. Can you discuss why you choose "The World Is Yours" was a single? Will there be a video accompanying it?

Andrew: We choose that song because it really gives the listener a good idea about what the whole album is about. It’s heavy, it’s melodic, it has fast riffy sections and slower, bigger chord bits so it’s really a good song for people to hear first. No film clip for this song, but clips for others!

14. What are the expectations for this album?

Andrew: Hard to say. We just want people to hear it. If someone picks up a copy and likes it, that’s good enough for us!

15. What are your upcoming plans for this year?

Andrew: Tour, Tour, Tour!

16. Anything you'd like to add/say….

Andrew: Hope everyone enjoys the new record! We had a blast writing it!
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The Electrified collaboration of Angelspit and The Gothsicles team up to form HARDCORE PONG – an album of pounding 4bit beats with ten new tracks and remixes from top artists.

Aided by a Kickstarter video which features a shot-for-shot remake of two iconic scenes from The Matrix and War Games, The distorted duo have already funded their campaign in three days. HARDCORE PONG  now train their aimbots at more ambitious goals.

After hitting their initial goal of $2000 in 2days, with the Cyclopean stretch goal of $8000 on the horizon, HARDCORE PONG announces a US tour of cosmic dimensions! Synthetic blips & scorched out chips mutate the nation! Shows will be “live” in name only, as the concepts of time and space will be sonically compressed inward.

“We are working on some very cool live interactive ideas to massively involve the audience – so the crowd become a part of the band“, says Angelspit’s Zoog Von Rock. “Our Kickstarter takes audience participation to an insane level”, adds Brian Graupner from The Gothsicles, “from personalised ring tones (AVATARI), to inviting fans to send an abusive video messages to be spliced into a song (15 Seconds Of Flame), to writing a track based on your theme and contributing vocals and appearing in the video (U R HARDCORE)“

Check out the HARDCORE PONG Kickstarter today!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/thegothsicles/hardcore-pong
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Sepultura will be hitting the road on a 30th Anniversary tour presented by Metal Injection. Joining them will be Destruction, Arsis, Boris the Blade, The Last Ten Seconds of Life, Starkill, and MICAWBER. Check out where from the list of dates below.

TOUR DATES:

5/10 - Phoenix, AZ - Joe's Grotto
5/11 - West Hollywood, CA - The Whisky
5/12 - Sacramento, CA - Ace of Spades
5/13 - Portland, OR - Bossonova Ballroom
5/14 - Seattle, WA - Studio Seven
5/15 - Vancouver, BC - Rickshaw Theater
5/16 - Edmonton, AB - Starlite Room
5/17 - Billings, MT - Pub Station
5/19 - Winnipeg, MB - Zoo Cabaret
5/20 - Minneapolis, MN - The Amsterdam
5/21 - Madison, WI - High Noon Saloon
5/22 - Chicago, IL - Reggie’s
5/23 - Louisville, KY - Expo Five
5/24 - Kokomo, IN - Centerstage Bar & Grill
5/26 - Grand Rapids, MI - The Pyramid Scheme
5/28 - Toronto, ON - Opera House
5/29 - Montreal, QC - Club Soda
5/30 - New York, NY - Webster Hall
5/31 - Manchester, NH - Jewel Nightclub
6/01 - Baltimore, MD - Ottobar
6/02 - Norfolk, VA - The NorVa
6/03 - Jacksonville, NC - Hooligans Music Hall
6/04 - Atlanta, GA - The Masquerade
6/05 - Fort Lauderdale, FL - Culture Room
6/06 - New Orleans, LA - Publiq House
6/07 - Houston, TX - BFE Rock Club
6/08 - Fort Worth, TX - The Rail Club
6/10 - Austin, TX - Empire Garage
6/11 - McAllen, TX - Cine El Rey
6/12 - Albuquerque, NM - Sunshine Theater
6/13 - Denver, CO - Summit Music Hall
6/14 - Grand Junction, CO - Mesa Theater
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Moonspell will be hitting the road with Septicflesh and Deathstars on the Conquerors of the World III Tour. Find out where and when below.

TOUR DATES:

4/24: Mexico City, MEX @ Circo Volador
4/25: Austin, TX @ Dirty Dog
4/26 Ft. Worth, TX @ The Rail Club
4/28: Phoenix, AZ @ Joe's Grotto
4/30: Las Vegas, NV @ LVCS
5/2: Oakland, CA @ Metro Opera House
5/3: Portland, OR @ Tonic Lounge
5/4: Seattle, WA @ Studio Seven
5/5: Spokane, WA @ The Pin
5/6: Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw Theatre
5/9: Indianapolis, IN @ Emerson Theater
5/10: Kansas City, MO @ Riot Room
5/11: Chicago, IL @ Reggie's
5/12: Cleveland, OH @ The Agora
5/13: Toronto, ON @ The Opera House
5/14: Montreal, QC @ Theatre Corona
5/15: Rochester, NY @ Montage Music Hall
5/16: Worcester, MA @ The Palladium
5/17: New York, NY @ Gramercy Theater
5/18: Springfield, VA @ Empire
5/19: Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade

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Halestorm have released a new video for the song "Amen". Check it out HERE.
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Sister Sin has released a new video for the song "Desert Queen". Check it out HERE.
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Dope Stars Inc. have released a lyrical video for their song "Many Thanks". Check it out HERE.
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Trio acts are always fun to witness, only a handful who stand out above the rest, for instance horror punk rockers Calabrese make it work quite well, while another act that plays metal called High On Fire does an extensive job. Well another trio of sorts calling themselves Bite The Sharks, have broken upon the scene since forming just a year ago. They released a single "First Blood", that exploded into festival appearances, shows, touring treks, leading them to record their debut EP "Tantrum". The hit single and video off it called "S.W.Y.D. - Sleep When Your Dead", really stands out the most on this release, the other tracks do as well, having that very upbeat tone, with the lyrical context not far behind. Speaking of which, their lyrical content revolves around the world and it's issues, affecting not only them, but everyone else as well, so a lot of their material has dealt with those matters. As far as the music goes, it is as said, upbeat very much so, the instrumentals like the guitars and drums, really working at it, releasing those tones that really put the groove to the beats. While the vocals are aggressive yet raw in some cases, like songs like  "Shiny Shoes", "Rock and Roll in the Soul", and "Kill Zone", these have the vocals showcase that raw and aggressiveness, so much so that it, makes the songs that more entertaining. When it comes down to it, Bite The Shark's EP "Tantrum" is one of those releases that is a solid one hitter, showcasing some pure talent, that doesn't only come from a trio act but one that makes it work out so darn well.
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Australian epic black metal act, Mercelel have taken their symphonic black metal style to unleash their debut efforts, "Born from Chaos". The band have got plans to release more music and other surprises in-store! Elel discusses this release and plans for the new music.


1. What type of band are you?

Elel: Mercelel is a one man symphonic epic black metal band with multiple guests. Throughout the album it the album is very atmospheric but that's where my experimental touches occur. It's not good to have one sound only, it's great to have variation of different sounds so the fans don't get bored.

2. Tell us the brief history of your band.

Elel: Mercelel was formed at early 2014, while I was listening to one of my favorite bands Norther, and I thought to myself that I should start a band. I've always thought about forming a band ever since I was young, and I couldn't care less how bad my band sucked, At the end of day, you're doing what you love, and there's no-one that's going to stop you from living the dream. I met Magister of Symphonies at one of our local metal shops here in Melbourne and he told me about his past experiences with symphonic black metal bands. I thought to myself, this is perfect timing and it can't get any better than that. We switched numbers and I gave him a call asking him if would like to help me release my album for Mercelel. He was more than happy to to help out so we finally met up on multiple occasions and recorded the songs at DoomDain Studios. I want to thank him a lot, because his involvement of helping me release this album means a lot to me and I owe him a lot.

3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

Elel: The band is based out of Melbourne, Victoria in Australia. The main music scene we have is symphonic black/death metal scene but there isn't many bands sadly. Ah Yeah, there's multiple bands that I can recommend. There's Advent Sorrow, Orpheus Omega, Ne Obliviscaris, Obsidieth, Stormtide and  Lament. All these bands have the potential to carry the symphonic black/death metal scene to a different level.

4. What is the story behind the name, Mercelel, if there is one to tell?

Elel: Mercelel is the combination of the words Mercenary and Elel which means night in Arabic. Since my lyrics are mainly about war and destruction, I thought it would be pretty cool to use the word Mercenary. Then I thought to myself, I might as well add the word night, because that's very black metal. Ha. So originally I was going to go with Mercenight, but then it got to me and thought what night meant in Arabic, It was Elel, so I added the words again and I got Mercelel. The name was unique and I was happy with it  and decided to proceed with it.

5. Who are your musical influences?

Elel: I am a person who listens to all music genres. I don't hate any band nor hate any genre. My main influences have to be Tyrant (Japan), Art Inferno, Followbane, Ninnghizhidda, Ethereal Sin and Throne of Chaos. There's many more phenomenal albums that I absolutely love listening too, but these bands I can just  never get bored of.

6. What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)

Elel: They mainly cover war, destruction and chaos. To be more specific about war, I aim at the Lebanese war. The situation has been bad and still is in in Lebanon. My background is Lebanese/Turkish, but I'm born in Australia. I went and lived in Lebanon for about 7 years and  made lifetime friends. Sadly, two years ago I lost two of my mates from Lebanon who got shot innocently walking down in the neighborhood trying to protect their families from any harm or violence. They got shot because there's heat between the two suburbs. This happens all the time down there, but this is what influenced me mainly to release a black metal album. If there was a way to show your anger and sadness; it had to be through black metal. This is why I mention in my album : '' This album is dedicated to the unknown soldiers and the dead of war. May history never repeat. ''
                               
7. Do you write your own songs? (Discuss the songwriting process in detail.)

Elel: Yes I have written all the songs. Having Magister of Symphonies on my side was  a big advantage for me, he has been in previous notable symphonic black metal bands from Australia and knows what the fans want. He informed very well that choruses are very important and that there be must variation of sounds. I have a huge metal collection, I love many bands from different genres, I try my best to combine genres together into one song. It's very hard to do so, but I tried my best. If you listen to ''Born From Chaos'', you'd realize that drums are rarely listenable. I had trouble finding suitable drummer for the genre, but I couldn't find anyone. I learnt drums when I was 9 back in Lebanon but I eventually got over it and stopped it after a year since the lessons started to become very expensive with my parent's financial situation not being great. So i had to play drums with the knowledge that I've learnt almost 12 years ago. Yet again, black metal is all about blast beats, but I did not want blast beats in my music. I guess the drums was the only let down in my album.

8. You have your new release "Born From Chaos", what can people expect from it?

Elel: I want people to love the genre I play - symphonic black metal-. I wish I can take it to a whole new level. The genre is slowly dying as its main years were 1996-1999. It's only the bands who got picked up by label back then survived and made it through. With all respect to all those bands like Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth etc. they have released amazing stuff throughout the years. I have to say though that now their time is almost up, and there's many more bands climbing the ladder up to carry the genre into a better phase and I just hope Mercelel is one of those bands one day.
               
10. How does it feel to have this release under your belt?

Elel: It feels amazing, Me being a huge metal fan, now I know how it feels to be in a band. The support that I've been getting from some fans is amazing. I've made already so many new friends. It feels very good and I'm proud of myself and the rest of the crew who helped me release the album.

11. Are you signed to a label? Do you hope to get signed to one or prefer the DIY approach?

Elel: I actually am signed to a Japanese label who do not want me to announce their name at the moment as part of our contract , They are a new Japanese metal label who is releasing very rare metal albums with bonus tracks. Since this label is only set out to be for special releases only, I would still love to get into Bigger labels for the sake of the band having better promotion, only time will tell. The DIY approach is a good idea but I feel its too hard nowadays. There's many bands that never make it through and are always stuck in the underground scene because they chose too.

12. Did you guys have any leftovers from this release that will be used for future releases or have you gone forth and already written material for future purposes?

Elel: Yes, there is one more track which will be the bonus track on the official Japanese CD release that is yet to be released hopefully in next month or so. Yes I also have written future material, and we're not far form finishing the album off, it's looking very good and I can't wait till I release it too.

13. How about shows and touring, what do you have in-store?

Elel: At this stage its very hard. I have a full time job and my guest musicians are very busy with their own personal things. I am looking for live musicians at the moment, when I find a crew that's ready to do it, I hope we can go out there, play live and give what the fans want.

14. What do you guys have planned for the unforseen future?

Elel: As I mentioned before, I am currently in the process of finishing off the next album. No rush though, but this release for sure, is going to stand out. I can tell everyone now, that this album is not only symphonic black, not only that it is Epic, but It's very orchestral too in the vein of Dimmu Borgir, Hollenthon, Haggard. I am also working to get well known musicians in black metal scene as special guests in my next album. Many surprises yet to come.

15. Anything else you'd like to add or would want to say?

Elel: I want to thank all my family, friends and fans for their support, it means a lot to me. I also would like like thank you for interviewing Mercelel! I would like to tell every person who wants to form a band, do it. You have nothing to lose. Dream Big, Live Happy.

You can download the album for free from Mercelel's Bandcamp Page: https://mercelel.bandcamp.com/

Like our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mercelel/643497275777588

Follow us on twitter: https://twitter.com/Mercelel

Like us on instagram: http://websta.me/n/mercelel

Until next time, stay safe and metal. \m/
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Dreamshade have released a new video for the song "Dreamers Don't Sleep". Check it out HERE.
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Coal Chamber have released a new song called "I.O.U. Nothing". Check it out HERE.
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Sworn In have released a new song called "I Don't Really Love You". Check it out HERE.
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