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CROWN THE EMPIRE: Plenty of metalcore bands have crossover potential, but few have executed that maneuver as well as Crown the Empire. After two grandiose, story-driven albums, the Dallas, Texas quintet found itself at a crossroads. After the dust cleared, though, Crown the Empire emerged a sleeker, more aerodynamic group, as evidenced by their new album, Retrograde. Vocalist/keyboardist Andrew “Andy Leo” Velasquez and longtime drummer Brent Taddie discuss Retrograde and Crown the Empire’s evolution.

With blazing guitars and smart, pinpoint drums and bass, the Portland, Oregon quartet champions a mixture of stoner rock tone, punk energy and attitude, doom derived atmosphere, and general kick-assery. Now on its fourth album, Only Ghosts, the band has fully embraced its darker tendencies and taken its misanthropic lows to new heights. Guitarist and vocalist Bryan Giles discusses Red Fang’s latest, greatest album.

MESHUGGAH: Four years have passed since Meshuggah dropped the immense Koloss, and once again proving that they do not rest on their laurels, its successor is shot through with the band’s signature sound, yet it has a more scathing, raw feel to it that is riveting. We spoke with guitarist Mårten Hagström to learn where this came from, and how they changed things up going into the making of The Violent Sleep of Reason.

THE AGONIST is firing on all cylinders. Having introduced fans to new vocalist Vicky Psarakis with 2015’s Eye of Providence, the band proved that they had lost none of their power or creativity. Barely more than a year and a half later, The Agonist returns with Five, 13 tracks of dramatic, layered, dynamic, and towering melodic death metal. We caught up with guitarist Danny Marino for a look inside their world.

DEATH VALLEY HIGH really does possess a sound that refuses to be easily categorized or pigeonholed. Returning with CVLT [AS FVK], the quartet once again delivers the goods, taking things to an even darker place while still providing plenty for fans to dance their asses off to. We caught up with vocalist Reyka Osburn to get the inside story.

TESTAMENT is the epitome of what thrash metal should be. As one of the forerunners of the burgeoning scene in the early 80s, the Bay Area band has stood the test of time. Chuck Billy explains why he thinks Brotherhood of the Snake is Testament’s strongest album to date.

DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT: Devin Townsend has been creating heavy metal rhythms with symphonic harmonies for 25 years. On its seventh full-length album, Transcendence, he and his band absolutely nail it. In his typical odd yet jovial self, Townsend speaks about a myriad of topics.

THE BLACK MOODS: When it comes to 70s inspired hard rock, most bands wear their influences on their sleeve. But for as much as Led Zeppelin and Bad Company have had a hand in shaping Arizona’s The Black Moods, vocalist/guitarist Josh Kennedy notes that there is also a heavy 90s element on Medicine.


SHOTFIRE: The Devil Wears Prada, Albez Duz, Warbringer, Eden's Curse
LAST SHOT: Cristina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil
GIVEAWAY: Win a Red Fang Autographed Cymbal & Giant Prize Package

Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell, Anciients, Bad Seed Rising, BIffy Clyro, The Black Moods, The Brave, Candiria, Charred Walls of the Damned, Dance Gavin Dance, Darkthrone, The Devil Wears Prada, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Dirkschneider, Epica, Evergrey, Every Time I Die, Get Dead, I Prevail, Kayser, Korn, Low, Meshuggah, Pos Generator, Motorowl, Neurosis, NOFX, Of Mice & Men, Opeth, Placebo, Pseudo Future, Red Fang, Sabaton, September Mourning, Serious Black, Set It Off, Soilwork, Spirit Adrift, Stick to Your Guns, Sum 41, The Sword, Taking Back Sunday, Testament, Devin Townsend Project, Trap Them, Truckfighters, Wovenwar, and more!
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