You hope that you give the proper signals, so that people will get a sense of what you’re talking about.” – Donald Fagen

“Every time someone’s in the next room when we’re writing a song they say, ‘Don’t tell me you’re fucking writing songs in there, you’re not working, ’cause you’re fucking screaming and laughing in there.’” – Walter Becker 

“Steely Dan gargles my balls.” –Ben Stone (Seth Rogen) in Knocked Up

Late in the evening, after one too many gin and tonics, I have provoked many an argument by calling Steely Dan the best band of the ‘70s. This claim isn’t backed up by sales figures or airplay; though they remain a staple of classic rock radio, “the Dan” have never been a mainstream proposition. They only had three top ten hits (“Do It Again,” “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number,” “Hey Nineteen”), and of all their records, only Aja was certified platinum on first release. Of all the big-name ‘70s acts (Zeppelin, Floyd, Bowie, Sabbath, the Clash), Steely Dan is probably the most publicly hated. Naysayers point out that Michael McDonald sang back-up on “Peg.” They criticize the icy perfectionism of Gaucho, or the oh-so-‘70s vocals on “Dirty Work.” “Elevator music,” my girlfriend says, “I can’t get past those synthesizers.” 

Walter Becker and Donald Fagen met at Bard College in 1967. Bonding over a shared love of Dylan, jazz, and beat literature, they set out to become professional songwriters, showing up at the Brill Building to pitch early compositions like “Barrytown” and “I Mean to Shine” (the latter was eventually recorded by Barbra Streisand[!]). But the business had already changed; artists were now expected to write their own material, and besides, Becker and Fagen’s compositions were too unconventional for a pop audience. Rooted in jazz instead of blues, the songs were filled with impossible chord changes, unconventional tempos, and melodic left turns. 

The opaque lyrics were filled with cryptic references, bizarre characters, inside jokes, black comedy and bitter cynicism. But the material was catchy, and on the strength of songs like “Brooklyn,” they finally managed to land a gig with ABC records. Deciding to release the songs on their own, they assembled a band, named themselves after a dildo in William Burroughs’ “Naked Lunch,” and quickly recorded 1972’s Can’t Buy a Thrill, which went on to become a critical and commercial smash. It was followed by 1973’s jazz-rock masterpiece Countdown to Ecstasy, Becker and Fagen’s most consistent record, and surely the greatest album ever named after an orgasm (apologies to Prince’s Come). 

By 1974’s superb Pretzel Logic, Becker and Fagen had dissolved the band, relying instead on crack studio musicians that could realize their increasingly complex compositions. As the disco-and-cocaine nightmare of the late ‘70s closed in on them, Becker and Fagen’s work began to darken, focusing on character studies of criminals, drug dealers, and cuckolded husbands. The classic rock of “Reelin’ in the Years” was replaced by the perfectionist jazz-pop of Aja and the brittle sonic obsessiveness of 1980’s Gaucho. FM listeners who could sing along to “My Old School,” even if they didn’t get the joke, were now faced with “singles” like “Deacon Blues,” the chorus of which reads as follows:

I’ll learn to work the saxophone
I’ll play just what I feel
Drink Scotch whiskey all night long
And die behind the wheel
They got a name for the winners in the world
I want a name when I lose
They call Alabama the Crimson Tide
Call me Deacon Blues

This is one of the strangest lyrics ever put to wax—and it’s attached to a song that’s still played in elevators and department stores all across America. If you listen to “Deacon Blues” and only hear lite pop, the joke’s on you; with just a little close-listening, and the help of that English degree you never thought you’d use, it’s clear that “Deacon Blues” isn’t about a melancholy priest, but about a young hipster celebrating being a drunk, jazz-loving loser in an America that only cares about college football teams. And herein lies the greatness of Steely Dan: they wrote complex, mysterious songs disguised as catchy pop tunes. They’re both the most MOR and least MOR band ever. They’re accessible and subversive at the same time. If that isn’t the definition of great art, what is? 

Becker and Fagen treat songwriting like a Nabokovian game, laughing as they scatter enigmatic clues throughout their lyrics, but leaving the meanings mysterious. Here is a collection of ten of their most impenetrable songs, along with grasping attempts to parse their strange situations and dig up definitions for their more arcane references. 

1. Reelin’ in the Years

Are you reelin’ in the years
Stowin’ away the time
Are you gathering up the tears 
Have you had enough of mine?

Perhaps the most played—and least understood—song in the history of classic rock radio, “Reelin’ in the Years” belongs to that rare category of breakup song, the kiss-off (see also “Like a Rolling Stone”). The narrator addresses a former lover, suggesting that she’s chosen her current lover as a stay against old age (“your everlasting summer…fading fast”). He denies that she’s a genius, despite her claims to the contrary, calls himself a “diamond” that she couldn’t recognize, and here in the chorus, references the number of broken hearts she’s left in her wake, himself among them. There are few more bitter moments in pop music than Fagen’s sneered delivery of the chorus’ last line: “Have you had enough of mine?” 

2. The Boston Rag

Lonnie swept up the playroom
And he swallowed up all he found
It was forty-eight hours ‘til Lonnie came around

One the most opaque songs Becker and Fagen ever wrote, “The Boston Rag” refers not to a song or a newspaper, but to the old days, when the narrator’s gang of college buddies used to have fun (“back in 1965”), when his old flame was “Lady Bayside,” and their mutual friend Lonnie was “the kingpin,” before they were old and bitter. Somehow (“there was nothing I could do”), things went sour, and the song ends with the narrator pointing his “car down Seventh Avenue,” presumably leaving town, while Lonnie downs all the pharmaceuticals from their drug den, knocking himself unconscious. What’s fascinating about this song is how absolutely specific the lyrics are but how absolutely obtuse they remain. There is no Seventh Avenue in Boston – what city are they in? Does Seventh Avenue end in a highway? Or a cliff? 

3. Show Biz Kids

After closing time at the Guernsey Fair
I detect the El Supremo from the room at the top of the stairs

Absolutely baffling. A pitch-black rock vamp about self-centered L.A. movie star types with too much money and not enough sense, “Show Biz Kids” opens with these bizarre but evocative lines. According to a Google search, the Guernsey Fair is a county fair in Old Washington, Ohio held annually since 1847, but your guess is as good as mine as to why Becker and Fagen would reference this particular event. I always picture El Supremo as an obese carnival administrator, crouched behind a card table, counting the money he’s made off all the circus freaks at the fair below, but it could also be a reference to a El Supremo Dominico, a small-time Texas cigar manufacturer. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. 

4. My Old School

I remember the thirty-five sweet goodbyes
When you put me on the Wolverine up to Annandale…

The Annandale referred to herein is Annandale-On-Hudson, the upstate New York town that is home to Bard College. The Wolverine was apparently a student nickname for the passenger train that stopped near Annandale-On-Hudson on its way to Boston. The “thirty five sweet goodbyes” were given by the narrator’s unnamed girlfriend, who, by verse’s end, finds herself “with the working girls [hookers] in the county jail,” having been busted by the Annandale police for smoking dope. Rock snob lore has it that the pot bust was a real event that left Becker and Fagen hating Bard—here they even go so far as to say that they wouldn’t go back there until “California tumbles into the sea,” a cataclysmic event that the songwriters—along with anyone else who has ever spent a week in L.A.—would probably be okay with. 

5. Barrytown

I can tell by what you carry that you come from Barrytown

A small town near Annandale-On-Hudson, Barrytown is home to the Reverend Sun Myung Moon’s controversial Unification Church, famous for homophobia, arranged marriages, and the execrable journalism standards of The Washington Times, possibly the worst daily newspaper published in the lower forty-eight states. “Moonies,” as cult memberschurchgoers are known, sell (and presumably “carry”) bouquets of flowers, likely a familiar, unwelcome sight for the budding songwriters as they struggled through their bitter final days in upstate New York. 

6. Everyone’s Gone to the Movies

Kids if you want some fun
Mr. LaPage is your man…

A sordid tale. Mr. LaPage comes on to underage girls by showing them porno movies projected on eight millimeter when their parents are away. There is no sleazier come-on in the canon of western popular music than his hissed, “Soon you will be eighteen/I think you know what I mean.” This bizarre portrait of a pedophile is all the creepier—and funnier—because it is delivered alongside a pleasant mid-tempo steel drum beat. It’s the perfect soundtrack for a summer barbecue (wife and kids at picnic table, charcoal on the grill). “Come on,” Mr. LaPage says, “come on.” 

7. Kid Charlemagne

On the hill the stuff was laced with Kerosene 
But yours was kitchen clean
Everyone stopped to stare at your Technicolor motorhome

Detailing as it does the downfall of a sixties designer drug maker, the opening cut from 1976’s underrated The Royal Scam stands as a not-so-solemn epitaph for the flower-power optimism of the sixties (see also “Bodhisattva”). Becker and Fagen were east coast beatniks with nothing but contempt for west coast hippies; they must have reveled in telling the story of an acid dealer who compares himself to an 8th century French king, and ends up getting busted when his Merry Prankster-like painted bus runs out of gas. This derisive attitude toward the longhairs actually aligns Steely Dan with punk rock—but instead of stripping rock back to its down-and-dirty basics, Becker and Fagen empower rock by refining it, bringing in jazz influences, and emphasizing wit and wordplay. They’re baroque artists—the Rubens of the seventies! 

8. Black Cow

On the counter by your keys
Was a book of numbers and your remedies
One of these
Surely will screen out the sorrow
But where are you tomorrow?

By the time of 1977’s Aja Steely Dan had moved past intimate tales of pornographers, and were painting expansive, irony-laced portraits of drunks and losers, like the unnamed narrator of “Black Cow,” who in the opening verses contemplates raiding his estranged lover’s drug stash, or calling her friends to find a date, but decides against it, realizing that though “one of these” may “screen out the sorrow,” she’ll still be gone tomorrow. Simple enough—but then you wonder, what’s he doing in her house

9. Josie

Jo would you love to scrapple?
She’ll never say no
Shine up the battle apple

Celebrating the homecoming, possibly from a prison stay, of the beloved ringleader of a group of hard partiers, “Josie” lays out in detail all of the various revels that will accompany her return. None of these, its worth noting, are good clean fun, involving as the do a motorcycle race, sex on the beach, a street fight, and a gang-bang. Needless to say, the “battle apple” is not meant to be a piece of fruit, nor does “scrapple” refer to a breakfast dish. That’s all you’ll get from me. Use your imagination. 

10. Time Out of Mind

Tonight when I chase the dragon
The water will change to cherry wine
And the silver will turn to gold

A bleak source of black comedy, “Time Out of Mind” is the best song on Gaucho, an uneven record that is nevertheless a favorite of many a writer here at Stylus. Apparently, “chasing the dragon” is forties slang for smoking heroin, and the narrator of this song lives his life “smacked into a trance,” to borrow a line from Pretzel Logic’s “Parker’s Band.” This somehow makes the song both funnier and more poignant, as Becker and Fagen leave the subject to enjoy his high, repeating to himself “It’s perfection and grace / It’s the smile on my face.” Let’s see Sears play that in an elevator! 

Special thanks to the Steely Dan Dictionary and to for the lyrics.

Top Ten Obscure Steely Dan Lyrics

Written By Braddon S. Williams aka “The Concert Critic”

Live music finally returned on what would have been my father’s 87th birthday. He was an incredible musician, so the irony of this date seems to be quite appropriate. The Heartland Tour touched down at Piere’s in Ft. Wayne, IN on 7/17/21 and featured Everclear, Living Colour, Hoobastank, and Wheatus. Heartland was originally put together by Art Alexakis of Everclear in 2012 as an annual tour to feature bands from the 1990’s. This installment is the seventh overall, and the first since 2018. Wheatus came out first and delivered a fun and energized set, with the seven members of the band squeezed tightly at the very front of the stage due to all the equipment from the other bands being set up behind them. Despite the lack of stage space, the band managed to play a pretty physical show, with two drum sets taking up the center of the stage and the rest of the band situated to the right and left of them. Brendan B. Brown, the charismatic lead vocalist/guitarist and only remaining original member of Wheatus told amusing anecdotes about dressing up as Angus Young not once, but two years in a row during his adolescence as a prelude to Temporary Song that segued into a smoking cover of AC/DC’s Rock And Roll Damnation. The dual drum kits were utilized to the fullest, with the drummers switching places during one of the early highlights of a short set that was full of great moments, including the awesome Lemonade and culminating in the crowd pleasing Teenage Dirtbag. Hoobastank followed with a more traditional lineup of drums, bass, guitar, and lead vocals. Their set went over well with the crowd, who were happy to yell and scream loudly and enthusiastically when singer Doug Robb informed us we were the best audience of the tour so far. The big power ballad The Reason gave the first big singalong moment of the show and everyone boosted the energy to epic proportions leading into the finale of Crawling In The Dark. Nothing that either of the first two bands did was remotely close to the volcanic fusillade of power that Living Colour were getting ready to unleash on us. As soon as Corey Glover, Vernon Reid, Doug Wimbish, and Will Calhoun hit the stage, the energy level and the bar were set to an intensity that was impossible to deny. From the opening frenzy of Type, an absolutely astonishing 11 minute trip through a funky, metallic, gospel influenced extended reading of Open Letter (To A Landlord), a thrashy modal jazz mashup of Time’s Up, the irresistibly funky and sexy Love Rears Its Ugly Head, and the massive power of the Cult Of Personality, Living Colour’s four members displayed a flawless blending of their considerable individual mastery of their respective instruments. This cohesive blend is known as chemistry in musical terms, and it was a wonder to behold. Of course, being that this tour is the baby of Art Alexakis, his band Everclear claimed the headlining slot, but there was no possible way they were going to top Living Colour’s performance. There’s no disgrace in that, and Everclear came out swinging, delivering a solid show full of their best songs, including Everything To Everyone, a spirited Heroin Girl, my favorite Everclear song (Father Of Mine), I Will Buy You A New Life, So Much For The Afterglow, and Molly’s Lips. After the drought of live shows in the pandemic age, I think most of us would settle for nearly anything in a live show just to be in our element again. Thanks to Art Alexakis for delivering a collection of bands that still have a lot of great music to share with the world, and in particular for booking the incomparable Living Colour. Thanks also to Tommy Williams from Zombie Tom Photography for hooking me up with tickets for this fantastic return to my beloved live concerts. I feel like a giant void has been filled, and this is thankfully just the beginning!

Braddon Williams is a music journalist who resides somewhere in the universe and entertains the world with his witty repartee

Concerts Are Back!

UPDATE: On May 24, 2021, Megadeth released a statement announcing they have parted ways with Ellefson.

It appears Megadeth’s David Ellefson has deleted his Twitter account after last week giving a statement denying allegations of grooming an underage girl online.

Earlier this month, several interactions seemingly made between the Megadeth bassist and a woman via text and video call, including compromising images of Ellefson, leaked on social media. A person had come forward on Instagram detailing those exchanges, but the original messages have since been removed. In his May 10 statement, the musician admitted his involvement in “private and personal conversations” that had been made public but maintained they were “adult interactions that were taken out of context.”


Diversion Podcasts, a division of Diversion Media, has announced the launch of “Backstaged: The Devil In Metal”. Hosted by bestselling author and music journalist, Jon Wiederhorn, this 12-episode podcast offers a one-of-a-kind journey through the history and culture of heavy metal. The podcast explores elements of darkness and extremism in the music and, examines how a generation of rebellious rockers took the phrase “sex, drugs and rock n’ roll” to an entirely new level.

For the past 30 years, Wiederhorn has interviewed the biggest names in metal, and now, for the first time, listeners will be able to hear exclusive, never-before-heard audio from members of BLACK SABBATH, JUDAS PRIEST, METALLICA, DIO, PANTERA, SLAYER, LAMB OF GOD, ANTHRAX, MÖTLEY CRÜE, KISS, MEGADETH, SLIPKNOT and many more as they share outrageous, uncensored and sometimes unholy experiences from their lives in metal.

“I couldn’t be more excited about launching ‘The Devil In Metal’,” Wiederhorn says. “Everyone I’ve interviewed has been amazingly honest and revealing and there are so many great stories metal fans will love. As the saying goes, the show exposes the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat in the way it offers fans a rare backstage view of the high and lows of metal legends and others that shaped this music over the past 50 years.”

Episodes 1 and 2 are available now. Hear Jondelve into: the birth of devil metal; the artsits that celebrate the occult for shock value and those that claim to receive energy and empowerment from Satan, himself; the first artist to use the sign of the horns (it’s probably not who you think), and how the Satanic Panic of the ’80s changed music forever.

Future episodes address alternately shocking, hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking stories about heroin abuse, partying, groupies, horror, homophobia, and what makes metal sound so raw and gritty..

“Backstaged: The Devil In Metal” is a production of Diversion Podcasts with iHeartRadio. New episodes can be found each Friday on the iHeartRadio app, Apple PodcastsSpotify and wherever you find your favorite podcasts.

Wiederhorn is a seasoned music journalist, having written about rock and metal for more than 30 years. He is the author of “Raising Hell: Backstage Tales From The Lives Of Metal Legends” and the celebrated classic “Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History Of Metal” (with Katherine Turman). Wiederhorn is a former editor at Rolling Stone, a former writer for MTV Newsand the co-author of “I’m the Man: The Story Of That Guy From Anthrax” (with Scott Ian), “Ministry: The Lost Gospels According To Al Jourgensen” (with Al Jourgensen), and “My Riot: Agnostic Front, Grit, Guts & Glory” (with Roger Miret) and He has also written for Rolling Stone, SPIN, MTV, Guitar World and Revolver, among others.

“Backstaged: The Devil In Metal” is a production of Diversion Podcasts with iHeartRadio. New episodes can be found each Friday on the iHeartRadio app, Apple PodcastsSpotify and wherever you find your favorite podcasts.

Wiederhorn is a seasoned music journalist, having written about rock and metal for more than 30 years. He is the author of “Raising Hell: Backstage Tales From The Lives Of Metal Legends” and the celebrated classic “Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History Of Metal” (with Katherine Turman). Wiederhorn is a former editor at Rolling Stone, a former writer for MTV Newsand the co-author of “I’m the Man: The Story Of That Guy From Anthrax” (with Scott Ian), “Ministry: The Lost Gospels According To Al Jourgensen” (with Al Jourgensen), and “My Riot: Agnostic Front, Grit, Guts & Glory” (with Roger Miret) and He has also written for Rolling Stone, SPIN, MTV, Guitar World and Revolver, among others.

New Podcast Explores History Of Metal Feat. Rare Interviews With BLACK SABBATH, METALLICA, PANTERA, JUDAS PRIEST And More

Dee Dee Bridgewater at the 2019 Newport Jazz Festival (photo: Marek Lazarski)

Dee Dee Bridgewater, Herbie Hancock, and Abdullah Ibrahim will be among the artists taking the stage Sept. 3-6; the event’s format (in-person or virtual) is still TBD

The Detroit Jazz Festival has announced its 2021 lineup—although it has yet to finalize a format for its presentation.

Headliners in Detroit from September 3–6 will include Dee Dee Bridgewater (the festival’s 2021 artist in residence), Herbie Hancock, Kenny Barron, Abdullah Ibrahim, Anat Cohen, Sean Jones, Kenny Garrett, and Gregory Porter, among others.

The world’s largest free jazz festival takes place each Labor Day weekend in downtown Detroit. When the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic forced live music events across the United States to shut down last year, the festival carried on in a live-streamed format.

The festival will decide by July whether the 2021 edition will be virtual or in person.

The schedule is below. Visit the Detroit Jazz Festival’s website for more information.

Friday, Sept. 3

  • 2021 Artist-in-Residence Dee Dee Bridgewater and the Woodshed Network Ladies
  • Herbie Hancock

Saturday, Sept. 4

  • Matthew Whitaker Quartet
  • Kenny Barron
  • Jerry Bergonzi Quintet
  • Alicia Olatuja – “Intuition: Songs from the Minds of Women”
  • Etienne Charles – Creole Soul
  • David Binney Angeleno Quartet
  • Omar Sosa and the Havana-Detroit Jazz Project
  • Keyon Harrold presents Jazz and the Birth of Hip Hop with special guests “Elzhi,” Georgia Anne Muldrow, and Chris “Daddy” Dave
  • The Summit: The Manhattan Transfer Meets Take 6
  • Kurt Elling’s The Big Blind

Sunday, Sept. 5

  • Michael Mayo
  • Roberto Fonseca
  • Dee Dee Bridgewater/Bill Charlap Duo
  • Abdullah Ibrahim and the Detroit Jazz Festival Orchestra
  • Anat Cohen Tentet
  • Sean Jones: “DizzySpellz”
  • Kenny Garrett
  • Tribute to Dave Brubeck @100: Brubeck Brothers Quartet featuring Jerry Bergonzi, Detroit Jazz Festival Choir, and the Detroit Jazz Festival Orchestra
  • Aziza featuring Dave Holland, Chris Potter, Lionel Loueke, and Eric Harland
  • Gregory Porter

Monday, Sept. 6

  • Abdullah Ibrahim: Ekaya
  • Jimmy Green Quintet
  • Eddie Daniels and Bob James: Exploring New Worlds
  • Fly Higher: Charlie Parker @ 100
  • Dee Dee Bridgewater Female Big Band

Detroit Jazz Festival Announces 2021 Lineup

No Hope For The Lost Shares Video “Jecht” From Final Fantasy X Themed EP “The Pilgrimage”

Video Premiere via NewFuryMedia
“The Pilgrimage” Out Now!

Following the Covid related demise of their band Deadlights, Re Mayer (guitar/backing vocals/synth) and Nathanael Bohnet (bass/lead vocals) took the opportunity to reimagine their sound and image to create No Hope For The Lost. Unleashing their introductory EP entitled “The Pilgrimage” earlier this April; the duo gave fans a taste of their entirely new sound, but left it just short enough to keep hype levels high.

The EP as a whole is structured to be a listening experience from beginning to end, combining an atmosphere of melody and groove with a foundation of heavy rhythms and ferocious vocal patterns, all wrapped up in a Final Fantasy X theme that will surely please members of that fandom.

Today, the band shares their music video for EP closer “Jecht” via its premiere on NewFuryMedia HERE.

The band adds:

“Jecht is a reimagining of a song originally written by Nate on his first solo album dubbed The Painted World. The song was originally intended to be played live in the Deadlights setlist, but after spending a lot of time in the studio with it and switching off ideas with Re, the song slowly evolved into an entirely almost new track. The intro song Braska was originally the beginning of Jecht, but once the full recording was made, it was then realized that splitting the song sections across the EP made a reprising theme throughout the short duration of the record. What really makes this song are the addition of guitar leads and synths written by Re to make it sound almost entirely different than the original, as well as the use of Nate’s massive choir-like choruses and vocal production to give it the explosive and finale-esque feel it was imagined as in the studio. Rhythm guitar-wise, this song was especially used to show off Re’s use of fast palm muting, dynamics, and various squeal and scrape based noises to transition parts while still following a template that the bass recorded by Nate really helped sound crunchy and thick in the bottom end.”

“The Pilgrimage” is a high-energy EP based on groove, melody, and a massive-sounding layered production. In a world where the fine line between djent, metalcore, and progressive metal is continuously blurred, “The Pilgrimage” is a sound confident on its own that refuses to fit in while still having the formulas that make interesting and catchy music.“The Pilgrimage” is available at the following links: Bandcamp and Spotify, Apple Music here.

Lyric video “Yu Yevon”

Track Listing:
1. Braska (1:36)
2. Yu Yevon (4:26)
3. Yunalesca (1:30)
4. Jecht (4:55)
EP Length: 12:28

For more info:

“The demonic possession vocals are back for “Jecht” with a barrage of Nu-Metalcore riffs that create a dramatic and frantic pit starter. An unexpected and sumptuous solo followed by a big breakdown sequence is an absolute pleasure.” – Metal Noise

““Yunalesca” is another super-short track, but the melodies are outstanding. There is a thick heavy synth line with clean guitars and piano notes, along with some ethereal singing. It begins to pick up, and segues into “Jecht.” The angry vocals and Djent tones are back. It chugs along with some meter shifting until the chorus, where some clean vocals come in. Here is where I might recommend some backing vocals to thicken up the sound, but the song is on fire.” – Metal Temple

“The guitar work exists in a sort of djent space without being overwhelming, knowing when to take breaks and go for it. A good example of this is part three which  acts as an interlude. The instrumentation here is actually really clever with the feeling of space being very apparent. ” – Rock Out Stand Out

“”Yu Yevon” knocks everything and everyone over like a waltz from the start. Expect a kind of mix of diverse genres such as progressive metal, metalcore mixed with soundscapes, and a predilection for video games.” – Musika

No Hope For The Lost Shares Video “Jecht” From Final Fantasy X Themed EP “The Pilgrimage”

Primal Creation has released their sophomore album “News Feed, ” on April 16, 2021 as an Independent Release. They are a Modern Progresssive Thrash Metal band.

Artist: Primal Creation
Title: News Feed
Format:  CD/Digital/Vinyl
Independent Release


1 – Extremely Dangerous

2 – A Post-Truth Order

3 – Please Disperse

4 – Vial Play

5 – Antillectual Disease

6 – Follow The Reader

7 – Watch It Burn!

About the band:

Primal Creation consists of five members playing metal the way they see fit. The band found its current stable line-up in 2014 and self-released their debut full-length album “Demockracy” three years ago in 2017. This record was met with a lot of rave reviews and opened some doors for the modern thrash metal outfit.

In 2018 they were invited to open up for Skeletonwitch and played a supportshow for D.R.I. Their journey through the underground didn’t stop there, because one year later, in 2019, Primal Creation won the Belgian Wacken Metal Battle Finals and had the honour of playing the 30th edition legendary Wacken Open Air. While the band kept playing shows, they started writing music for the follow-up to Demockracy. The year 2020 was off to a terrible start; their singer broke his hip in an accident and a few months later the global pandemic happened. They digitally released the single Vial Play. This new track displayed a step towards a more progressive and twisted sound, while retaining their thrash metal roots. A keen eye for hooks, melody and authentic angry vocals complete the sound of Primal Creation.

With vocalist Koen back on his feet, Primal Creation proudly presents their sophomore record News Feed. 1 intro and 8 tracks display the evolution the band has undergone.

News Feed was recorded and mixed by Francis Snebbout at Oakwood Recording Studio, Kaprijke (BE) and mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side Music, NY (USA). The album has been released on 16-04-2021 and is available on both CD and limited vinyl. You can order their music through Bigcartel and Bandcamp.



Primal Creation is:

Clint Dusslier – drums and percussion
Ruben Dhaene – lead guitars
Cédric Uyttendaele – rhythm guitars
Ewoud Herregat – bass
Koen Mattheeuws – vocals

Band: Primal Creation

Album title: ‘News Feed’

Release date: April 16th 2021

Independent Release

Press contact: Mike de Coene at Hard Life Promotion    


Primal Creation online:

Sophomore album from Belgian modern thrashmetal-band Primal Creation out now!

ALTER BRIDGE and SLASH FEATURING MYLES KENNEDY AND THE CONSPIRATORS vocalist Myles Kennedy will embark on a “socially distanced” solo tour in June.

Confirmed dates are as follows:

June 23 – Kansas City, MO @ Uptown Theater 
June 24 – Lincoln, NE @ Bourbon Theater 
June 26 – Hoffman Estates, IL @ Now Arena (with HALESTORM) 
June 27 – Oshkosh, WI @ Ford Festival Park (with HALESTORM)

Kennedy‘s sophomore solo album, “The Ides Of March”, will be released on May 14 via Napalm Records.

During his time at home due to all touring being canceled, Myles created the framework for the song ideas that would make up “The Ides Of March”. He then called up his cohorts from his “Year Of The Tiger” debut — Uddin and Tournier — and the three musicians drove to Florida to record the album with longtime producer Michael “Elvis” Baskette.

From the slide guitar riffs of “Get Along” to the pensive blues style of closer “Worried Mind”, it is clear that Myles has crafted a formidable follow up to his debut solo album. While “Year Of The Tiger” was more of an acoustic exploration through Myles‘s mind, “The Ides Of March” finds him strapping on his electric guitar and pushing himself as a guitarist/songwriter. Tracks like “A Thousand Words”“Wake Me When It’s Over” and “Moonshot” showcase the diverse musical arrangements that have garnered Myles fans globally across all of his projects. The epic “The Ides Of March” clocks in at over seven minutes, and MylesTim and Zia showcase their musical chops on the track.

In November, Myles told Kylie Olsson about how “The Ides Of March” compares to “Year Of The Tiger”: “It dawned on me last night as I was listening [to the new album], I was, like, ‘You basically made a rock record.’ [Laughs] I don’t know if I went into it with that intention initially. And I feel like it definitely is still a continuation of the overall style that was established for the solo project on ‘Year Of The Tiger’. There’s a fair amount of acoustic instrumentation; there’s a lot of lap steel [guitar]. I love the lap steel; I just love the way you can make it weep — it’s got a very vocal quality. But then I realized there’s just a lot of guitar and a lot more solos — you know, guitar geek stuff that I enjoy.”

A month earlier, Kennedy told Terrie Carr of the Morristown, New Jersey radio station 105.5 WDHA that it was a joy to reconnect with Uddin, Tournier and Baskette for the making of the new LP.

“Oh, yeah, it was great,” he said. “It was great, because we actually drove [to the studio in Florida]. So Zia, my drummer, who, we’ve played together for the last 30 years, off and on, since we were in high school. He’s, in my opinion, one of the greatest rock and roll drummers alive; he’s so good, it’s mind-boggling. So we started driving. We left Spokane, with the gear in tow. And then we met Tim about halfway. I think we met somewhere in Tennessee, maybe. Then we after driving to Orlando, we all quarantined. Zia did his drums and then he went home, and then Tim finished up. He hung around for a little while. And then I was there for, I think, seven weeks with Elvis.”

He continued: “It’s a fun environment. We all love each other dearly. I’m serious when I say this: we’re a bunch of middle-aged children. I mean, it’s as if we’ve taken a time machine and we’re in the seventh grade. And the humor is ridiculously silly. I don’t even know how to articulate how ridiculous it gets when you put all of us in a studio together. [Laughs]”

Myles‘s tour in support of “Year Of The Tiger” featured music from the album as well as selections from Myles‘s work with ALTER BRIDGE, THE MAYFIELD FOUR and SLASH FEATURING MYLES KENNEDY AND THE CONSPIRATORS.

MYLES KENNEDY Announces June 2021 ‘Socially Distanced’ U.S. Solo Tour

Promo cover artLEACH
Brutal Records
April 2021We are happy to welcome a new artist to the Brutal Records Roster LEACH has signed a deal with the label for worldwide release the single D.O.D release April 16th, and a full album “Lovely Light of Life” May 21th, 2021

LEACH will released a brand new song and music video featuring Strid. The Soilwork / The Night Flight Orchestra mainman lent his unmistakable voice to the band’s new song, “D.O.D”, available April 16th via Brutal Records on all streaming platforms, and D.O.D  Official Music Video Feat. Bjorn Speed Strid, Premiere April 21 Worldwide

The Nordic country boasts a thriving extreme music Swedish metal onto the world with the “thrash n’ roll”  band LEACH with catchy riffs as well as the pounding drums and wailing solo.

LEACH has established a style and a sound that makes them stand out from the crowd with their own blend of thrash, hardcore, metal, punk and even a bit of traditional rock and roll, the sound is visceral and pumped full of energy just waiting to take out a wall close to you!


Lovely Light of Life

D.O.D Feat. Bjorn Speed Strid


Brutal Records Stores:

Europe & World
Plastic Head Distribution

North America & Worldwide


Promo cover artLEACH
Lovely Light of Life 
Brutal Records 
21 May 2021We are happy to welcome a new artist to the Brutal Records Roster LEACH has signed a deal with the label for worldwide release the title album “Lovely Light of Life” May 21th, 2021

The Nordic country boasts a thriving extreme music Swedish metal onto the world with the “thrash n’ roll”  band LEACH with catchy riffs as well as the pounding drums and wailing solo.

LEACH has established a style and a sound that makes them stand out from the crowd with their own blend of thrash, hardcore, metal, punk and even a bit of traditional rock and roll, the sound is visceral and pumped full of energy just waiting to take out a wall close to you!

If it’s burly, melodic, and fits together perfectly, it’s probably from Sweden. LEACH certainly are, and their warts-and-all style of thrash-n’-roll is just begging for a throwdown.

“Lovely light of Life” is their third major rodeo, and straight out the gate, a mission statement of thrash, hardcore and rock’n’roll. “Carry the stigma” knows how to get the pit started, and it’s pedal to the metal until the last track. “Sweet Blasphemy” thunders through its chugging grooves relentlessly, while “Trench Walk” is an anthemic riff-out carved from the foundation of rock itself.  

To top it off, the production is the right level of crisp and rough-n’-ready – a tip to the skills of Christian Silver at Studiomega (Arch Enemy, Kreator, Soilwork, Dragonforce).

When coming from such a rich scene as Sweden (Borås), a band cannot help but take some influence from their forefathers – in this case, the insistent energy of a Raised Fist, the rock n’ roll parts of a latter-day Entombed, and the infectious melodies of The Haunted. But it’s not all Svenska – the US gets a look in, with Hatebreed’s snarling bravado, and the thrash-fest of Exodus and Nuclear Assault.All of these influences have been distilled into a potent concoction that is instantly recognizable and wholly theirs.

LEACH are a band built for the stage – that much is clear. And with live experiences that stretches through Europe and as far as Dubai – their frantic energy has been proven. But there’s more than enough replay value in “Lovely light of Life” if a bedroom mosh is in order. Invite some friends, throw the windows up, and let the music fly.


Lovely Light of Life

D.O.D Feat. Bjorn Speed Strid


Brutal Records Stores:

Europe & World
Plastic Head

North America & Worldwide


Spotify Playlist :

Youtube Channel

LEACH released a brand new song and music video featuring Björn Strid of Soilwork / The Night Flight Orchestra mainman lent his unmistakable voice to the band’s new song, “D.O.D”, available now via Brutal Records on all streaming platforms

Pictured L-R:
Alex Giustino (Bass)
Anto Addabbo (Guitars)
Tommy Montenegro (Vocals)
Alberto Pinto (Guitars)
Francesco Inchingolo (Drums)

Reality Grey has been making their rounds through the Italian metal scene since 2004, spending many years touring Europe and playing alongside bands such as Deicide and Municipal Waste along with three well-received full-lengths under their belts. This coming May 7th, they will be adding a new album “Beneath This Crown” to their legacy.

Until they can hit the stage again, Reality Grey hopes that “Beneath This Crown” will tide over fans with its aggressive, melodic vocals and razor-sharp guitar solos. According to them, the creative process for this release has been very meticulous and nothing has been left to chance. On this offering, the music has affected the lyrics; there is a lot of anger and a bit of sadness. 

Over these last few months, in lead up to the album’s release, they have unveiled a few singles; one of those is the very melodic and complex“Multidimensional Hollow”, which features fast guitar solos and an epic finale.

Today, the band has teamed up with GearGods to showcase the shred on “Multidimensional Hollow” with a new guitar playthrough by Anto Addabbo, which can be viewed HERE.

Guitarist Anto Addabbo describes his thoughts on the track:

“When I wrote this song I was listening to a lot of sci-fi soundtracks from movies and I think it influenced how the track came together at the end, it has different feels throughout its length. Lyrically the song is about the struggle to succeed in life. Things don’t always go like you hope they will and not everyone knows how to cope with failure.”

Born in 1979, Anto Addabbo is a guitar player, songwriter, arranger, producer, and performer led into the music scene by pure passion and commitment.

Known as a vanguard of the Italian metal scene for his passionate and technical guitar technique, blending his love for the aggression of metal with the melodic phrasing of rock/fusion, Anto Addabbo is the founder of modern metal powerhouse Reality Grey, being now an endorsed artist for popular brands like Jackson Guitars, EMG Pickups, and MooerAudio.

From their debut in 2006, Reality Grey has enjoyed success as a ‘Modern Extreme Metal’ band, an assessment they both appreciate and challenge as they quest to define and pioneer their own signature sound in the metal scene.

Release after release, Reality Grey has proven to be a tight five-piece able to break the melodic death metal dogmas, producing a challenging and inviting hybrid of modern metal in its pure form: melody, brutal and complex.

Album pre-save – 

Previous Videos:
Powerblast –
Multidimensional Hollow –
Daybreakers –
The Void –
The Fury –

Track Listing:
1. Legion (Intro) (1:51)
2. Fade In Fear (4:44)
3. Kings Of Nothing (5:18)
4. Preachers Of Hatred (4:05)
5. Daybreakers (5:37)
6. Powerblast (4:09)
7. Multidimensional Hollow (4:16)
8. The Fury (4:01)
9. Dreaming (Feat. Milly Florio from End Of Skyline) (5:13)
10. Reascent (4:01)
11. Beneath This Crown (5:28)
12. Indelible Stains (3:39)
13. The Void (4:34)
Album Length: 57:03
For more info:

Reality Grey is supported by the Programmazione Puglia Sounds Record – 2020/2021 and REGIONE PUGLIA FSC 2014/2020 – Patto per la Puglia Investiamo nel vostro futuro.

Hailing from South Italy, Reality Grey stands tall in the Italian metal scene. Formed in 2004, Reality Grey began their quest to redefine melodic death metal. As a tight-knit 5 piece band, Reality Grey incorporates a modern hybrid of extreme music: melody, brutality; blending complex, yet catchy songwriting. Fearsome death growls & clean vocals give way to razor-sharp guitar riffs and fusion-oriented solos, Reality Grey set out to create something all their own.

With the release of the debut full-length album “Darkest Days Are Yet To Come” in 2006, in the heat of the melodic death metal revolution, Reality Grey managed to secure their first record deal with Razar Ice Records USA. Songs like “Reality Grey” and “Never again” racked up hundreds of thousands plays on the old MySpace allowing the band to tour, gaining popularity well beyond the Italian borders. Following up with EP “Day Zero”, Reality Grey began to push their own boundaries. Ferocious, yet melodic, with a no-holds-barred songwriting attitude. Songs like “Day Zero” and “Slavery” emerged the band’s experimental side, synths, melancholic pianos, and acoustic guitars; perfectly fused with intoxicating sonic aggression.

After years of non-stop touring alongside bands like Deicide, Unearth, Municipal Waste, Sadist, Malevolent Creation, and more, the critically acclaimed “Define Redemption” is released by Bakerteam/Scarlet Records; sending the band on their first headline tour in Japan. Reality Grey, now having been featured on worldwide publications Metal Injection, Metal Hammer UK, Metal Temple, and, released 2018’s “The Void”. Reviewed as “a complete and total aural devastation…” that “will blow your speaker out” by Metal Injection.

Reality Grey has completed work on their upcoming full-length due out May 7th 2021 (Blood Blast Distribution powered by Nuclear Blast). Looking ahead with tours and festival appearances on their sights, Reality Grey will continue to push ambitiously, earning their place among the pantheon of heavy music.

Now, having inked a worldwide deal with Extreme Management Group (EMG), the band says “We’re thrilled to announce that we have started working with Extreme Management Group! Definitely the right place for us. Big news is coming very soon. Stay tuned!” EMG said, “We are excited to be working with Reality Grey. They have some really fantastic music. We expect big things to come from this partnership.”.

“Melodic, aggressive and catchy, this track adds (Multidimensional Hollow) well placed synths and ambiance to an already well rounded sound, making it complex without being overcomplicated. The new album shows a marked evolution in the band’s sound, something that will intrigue current fans and entice new ones.” – Metal Injection

“Beneath this Crown, a creative step forward in their combination of NWOAHM from the early aughts, At the Gates-inspired metalcore and Scandinavian-flavoured melodic death metal.” – Decibel Magazine

“Reality Grey give off a viciousness and expertise hard to find in other bands. The instrumental expertise of each component is absolute, slighting touching tech-death side of acts like The Faceless but remaining ‘catchy’ in their complexity” – Metal Hammer

“It’s complete and total aural devastation with some seriously chunky moments, so it lives right up to what you’d expect a song called “The Void” to do.” – Metal Injection

“Reality Grey will serve the world of metal excellently both as an all round, no nonsense, metal act and as a brigde band for younger fans of heavy music” –

Reality Grey Guitarist Anto Addabbo Shares The Power of Shred In “Multidimensional Hollow” Playthrou