Rob's Picks of 2012 to Send TDM Off With

Another year closes and That Devil Music soon will be fading away as well. Though I’ve lost the time and desire to continue on here with TDM I’d be remiss if I didn’t send out one final push for bands and albums that stood out for me this year. I toyed with ranking them but that takes way too much effort especially since half of them aren’t even in the same genre. Therefore here is my list in no particular order of what I thought the best albums of 2012 were. Enjoy and don’t forget that this site will be archived here after the 1st of the year if you miss us.

7 Horns 7 Eyes – Throes of Absolution: I’m by no means Christian and 99.5 percent of the time am more apt to listen to blasphemous death metal then the other side. But I can be moderate in my tastes and it is funny to me how of all the death metal I listened to this year, a Christian band from Seattle ended up topping everyone. From the excellent and brutal vocals to the almost neo classical shredding to the pummeling riffs 7H7E brought a fresh take to death metal that is sorely needed. This is the bar that needed to be set for all bands regardless of their message.

Diablo Swing Orchestra – Pandora’s Pinata: Veterans of this band already knew what to expect but since was my first exposure it was even fresher to my ears. I love uniqueness to an extent and DSO brought it. Mixing jazz and swing with metal was done well and completely fun. Sweden has yet another band in their arsenal I dig.
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Devil’s Interview: The Chant


Finland’s “The Chant” are an interesting band that sound like a cross between atmospheric rock and metal-Kind of like Katatonia or A Perfect Circle. Their new album “A Healing Place” releases on August 14th in North America and August 20th in Europe. Read the interview below and check their music out afterwards.
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Katatonia Releases Dead Letters Track As a Lyric Video And Free Download.

If you’re like me and have soaked up Katatonia’s last 4 or 5 releases or so the song Dead Letters off of the upcoming release ‘Dead End Kings’ should satisfy. And if you really like the song you can download it for free at this Peaceville location. Just put in your e-mail address and you can make your friends jealous that you got a new Katatonia song so early. Here is what the band had to say about the lyric video.

We’re proud to present to you the first glimpse into the world we’ve been living in for the last half a year. Instead of giving you just a snippet of audio, we decided to give you a “lyric video” for a FULL song also showcasing some of the exquisite artwork to be found inside the album. We hope you will enjoy one of many diverse and differerent sides found on Dead End Kings by starting off with ‘Dead Letters’, one the most heavy and proggressive songs to be found on the album and certainly a new live classic. Crank it a couple (or hundred) of times and then let us know what you think!

Who’s Ready For Some New Katatonia This Fall?

That’s right, after 3 years Katatonia is following up 2009’s excellent ‘Night is the New Day’ with the followup entitled ‘Dead End Kings’. To say I’m excited for this would be an understatement. Here is the press quotes from Jonas and Anders and the track listing. Expect release on August 27th in europe and the 28th in North America via Peaceville Records.

Jonas (vocals) comments on the album title:
“DEAD END KINGS is about the corridors of our mind from where there is no return. Be a king or queen in your own right in these hallways, even at the dead end. Carry your burden with pride. That’s what we are doing, twenty years and counting. Kings, because we believe in what we are creating, in our own disturbing faith”.

Anders (Guitars):
“This album has doors revolving into many different genres of music but remain disguised within the Katatonia trademark. We have walked the fine line between attempting not to repeat ourselves but also not to distance us away from what people know and love. We’re now ready to hand over the evidence and whatever the direction this has taken is now for you to decide. We’re confident the creativity and passion on this album is something that will be echoing even beyond the dead end”.

I hope this isn’t going to be yet another departure for a band that takes a wrong turn. I’ve had enough of that this year so far and in some cases haven’t even spoken of them yet.
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Who's Ready For Some New Katatonia This Fall?

That’s right, after 3 years Katatonia is following up 2009’s excellent ‘Night is the New Day’ with the followup entitled ‘Dead End Kings’. To say I’m excited for this would be an understatement. Here is the press quotes from Jonas and Anders and the track listing. Expect release on August 27th in europe and the 28th in North America via Peaceville Records.

Jonas (vocals) comments on the album title:
“DEAD END KINGS is about the corridors of our mind from where there is no return. Be a king or queen in your own right in these hallways, even at the dead end. Carry your burden with pride. That’s what we are doing, twenty years and counting. Kings, because we believe in what we are creating, in our own disturbing faith”.

Anders (Guitars):
“This album has doors revolving into many different genres of music but remain disguised within the Katatonia trademark. We have walked the fine line between attempting not to repeat ourselves but also not to distance us away from what people know and love. We’re now ready to hand over the evidence and whatever the direction this has taken is now for you to decide. We’re confident the creativity and passion on this album is something that will be echoing even beyond the dead end”.

I hope this isn’t going to be yet another departure for a band that takes a wrong turn. I’ve had enough of that this year so far and in some cases haven’t even spoken of them yet.
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Mikael Akerfeldt Quits Bloodbath (Again)

If you’re familiar with Opeth and Katatonia then you should be familiar with the death metal tribute band Bloodbath. Bloodbath is basically an all star Swedish outfit that pays homage to classic death metal and have released 3 albums and an two E.Ps so far. Mikael Akerfeldt has appeared on most of these recording except for 2004’s Nightmares Made Flesh which was fronted by Peter Tagtgren of Hypocrisy. Mikael had left at that time to focus on Opeth which was really starting to take off globally. He returned a few years later and now it looks like he’s left again.

Can’t say I’m surprised due to recent events. Opeth released Heritage which was an homage to various prog rock bands and even the tour lacked the brutal sides of things. The anticipated collaboration with Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree called Storm Corrosion is coming and full of prog without the death. So is Mikael truly tired of the death metal? Possbily if you read into what he’s saying about his departure to Loudwire.

I’m not in Bloodbath,” says Akerfeldt. “They have a new singer, which I can’t say who it is. Bloodbath for me was never a serious project, it was just something I did for fun. We did a few songs on the last North American tour, we did two songs at the very last show because we were touring with Katatonia, so the whole Bloodbath band was there. It’s still fun you know? But I think that some of the other guys in Bloodbath want to take it to the next level, which I don’t really want to do because I’m so busy anyways.”

He continued, “It doesn’t really have to do with anything with my screaming vocals, it’s just that it’s not a progressive project for me. It’s just paying tribute to death metal and I’ve done it for such a long time. And when it stops being fun, I don’t really want to participate. We do things so rarely it’s always been fun. The shows we’ve done have been fun, but I don’t feel the need to do it.

I’m interested to see who they got to do the vocals from here on out. I’m just a bit bummed that I just start getting into Bloodbath and it’s not Mikael up front.

Baltimore Is Lucky. Opeth And Katatonia Combine to Play Bloodbath Songs.

It wasn’t quite what I had anticipated happening on the Heritage tour. You see, I was hoping that Mikael Akerfeldt would come out and do some tunes during Katatonia’s set from when he was briefly in the band. And that didn’t happen but Baltimore got a treat when both bands combined to do a couple of Bloodbath songs as the final encore on the final stop on the tour. Since I’ve been on a death metal kick of late I should probably check out this death metal supergroup myself.

Pit of Hell: Opeth With Katatonia At The Warfield 10/18/11

Attending this show was a no brainer. When word got out that Opeth and Katatonia (who have a pretty significant shared past) were touring together this was a must see. Now there were a couple of firsts for me on this event. This was my first concert at the Warfield in San Francisco and secondly this was also my first time seeing Katatonia live. I had opportunity to see them before but circumstances didn’t allow for it. So needless to say I was on it for the presale. I would have had this posted sooner but I was waiting to see if any of the pics I took were worth a shit on a borrowed camera and apparently only one was so I’m going to have borrow some materials from other people from time to time.
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Six Cities Are Going to Get a Treat Courtesy of Katatonia, Ya Lucky Bastards.

While Katatonia is traipsing around North America with their buddies in Opeth they will be headlining six stops along the way. And it was just announced today that those six stops will get an Amon Amarth style show. Let’s let Jonas Renske tell you what you lucky bastards get to have at their show.

“Yes, that’s right, folks! You might remember we pulled off the ‘Last Fair Day Gone Night’ tour in Europe earlier this spring to celebrate our 20th anniversary? Well, since the year ain’t over yet, we figured we’d give you a special treat and extend this tour by taking it across the pond. This means that all six of our headlining sideshows (on the upcoming tour with OPETH in the fall) will consist of a long double set where we’ll play you the ‘Last Fair Deal Gone Down’ album in its entirety followed by a ‘best-of’ surprise set. So we hope you come down and celebrate this anniversary with us while we still have the chance! We’ll see you there!”

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Devil Music A-Z: Katatonia

I’m not sure how I first found out about Katatonia. I think I was looking for recommendations of a similar vein of Opeth and these Swedish guys were tops on the list. And with good reason since they share a pretty long history with one another. What drew me to Katatonia and held a grip was the first video for the song ‘My Twin’ from the The Great Cold Distance album. I hadn’t heard anything like it to that point with it’s nod to alternative rock but a depressive and ambient vibe to it. So of course I had to hear more.

Now I understand that Katatonia has gone through alot of stylistic changes over the years and by now I’ve heard every studio album they have. This current incarnation is my favorite though. The early stuff with Renske on harsh vocals didn’t do anything for me because personally I don’t think he was good at it even if his voice had not been blown out. I enjoyed Akerfeldt on harsh vocals and it took a bit of getting used to with the earlier albums with Jonas trying his hand at clean vocals. From viva Emptiness to present day this band has found it’s niche though and I love it.
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