“It’s beyond my personal demons, and extremely honest,” says LaPlegua of the fifth Combichrist album Making Monsters. With five albums, thousands of shows, and four full months in Europe touring with Rammstein (in front of hundreds of thousands of people), Combichrist has become a purely visceral creature, driven by instinct and emotion; stripped of all pretension. Its urgency - most evident in the raw and uncompromising new album – is fueled by expressions of lust, anger, pain and hate.

Presenting a foreboding soundscape, the album kicks off with a hauntingly atmospheric instrumental “Declamation,” setting the tone for what is to follow: dark, stabbing synths; heavy, robotic beats; and swarming, buzz saw-style guitar sounds. Songs such as “Follow the Trail of Blood” (featuring Brendan Schiepatti of Bleeding Through) are baretoothed aggression; meanwhile the floor-stomping, first single “Never Surrender” proves to be aggressively catchy, with its metronome-tight rhythm through the verses, giving way to explosive choruses that is bound to pack dance floors. “Through These Eyes of Pain” takes a much subtler approach. Its echo-y vocal wash and glitchy beats conjure images like a mournful dream, exposing the man inside the monster. Though the moods displayed in Making Monsters are decidedly sinister, LaPlegua manages to portray these emotions in many different guises. Laden with hook heavy choruses, speaker-crushing beats, and LaPlegua’s trademark dark, aggressive vocals, this is an album that exudes honesty and the darkness that often comes with it.

Initially cutting his teeth in the seminal Norwegian hardcore bands Fleshfire and Lash Out, LaPlegua segued out of that scene into the electronic music world with Icon of Coil. Originally a solo project, it morphed into a full band with the additions of Sebastian Komor and Christian Lund. Not only did IOC mark LaPlegua’s first major work with electronics and dance beats, but it also granted him wider exposure beyond Norway; IOC was LaPlegua’s first project to be released in the United States.

It wasn’t until 2003 that LaPlegua founded Combichrist - the project that would soon dominate his time. A departure from IOC's futurepop sound, Combichrist took LaPlegua’s hardcore past and electronica present and merged them into a singular, mechanical music monster. Without the compromise of the band dynamic, LaPlegua, who does everything in the studio himself on Combichrist releases, was able to explore whatever avenue he desired musically. What he found was a long dark road with plenty of twists and turns. The Joy of Gunz, LaPlegua’s first release as Combichrist, was quickly followed by two EP’s: 2004’s Kiss the Blade and Sex Drogen und Industrial.

In 2005, LaPlegua was back at it again, releasing the landmark album Everybody Hates You. Defying the dreaded sophomore slump, the second Combichrist full-length featured two tracks that would become club classics—“This Shit Will Fuck You Up” and “This Is My Rifle”—and was also the project’s U.S. debut on Metropolis Records. Further benchmarks were set with the release of the 2006 EP Get Your Body Beat, the title track of which landed Combichrist its first appearance on Billboard’s Top 10 Dance Singles chart.

The years that followed brought on two more full-length albums — What the Fuck Is Wrong with You People? (2007) and Today We Are All Demons (2009) — as well as a handful of additional EPs. On top of Combichrist’s many releases, LaPlegua has also logged countless miles, globetrotting on tours of Europe, South America, Australia, the United States and points in-between.

Though Combichrist has kept him busy over the past seven years, LaPlegua has other interests that fill the rare breaks from his main musical project. The Atlanta, GA - based songwriter maintains Panzer AG, a sonic hybrid of Combichrist and Icon of Coil and even plays in a straightforward American rock 'n' roll band, Scandinavian Cock. This affinity for Americana is also displayed in his love for hotrods and motorcycles. On his MySpace page, LaPlegua states, “I’m a Norwegian grease ball, and I'm never afraid to get dirty!”

With Making Monsters, man and beast have combined, evolving beyond the demon it once was and into a greater, bigger and more malevolent force in music. This time, there’s no surrender.

Bolt your doors, seal off your windows, and turn off your radio it's a scary world out there, full of mindless zombies and equally mindless rockstars, self-righteously preaching and self-indulgently whining to the herd. But help is on the way, as Wednesday 13 stands ready to shock the rock status quo out of its brain-dead coma. Equal parts artist, horror and TV addict, and riveting frontman, Wednesday 13 refuses to be your typical messiah. I don't like anyone preaching to me that's why I've never gone to church. says Wednesday. For me, music has always been an escape from real life. Whatever problems I had, I could always go home, put on a record and just escape all of that shit. So in my own music, the only thing I'm serious about is not being serious!

Though best known for fronting the Murderdolls, Wednesday is a rock veteran who's been playing in bands since he was 15-years old. He adopted his stage moniker in 1995, naming himself after Wednesday of The Addams Family and the address, 1313 Mockingbird Lane, of The Munsters. A year later he formed his now-deceased horror-core band Frankenstein Drag Queens From Planet 13, named in the spirit of legendary B-movie director Ed Wood. The band put out four independent albums between 1996 and 2001, and played countless local shows. Frankenstein Drag Queens was Wednesday's baby, and he slaved away for his undead offspring - writing the songs, booking shows, working low-wage jobs (delivering everything from newspapers to furniture), and generally putting all his money and energy into the band.

In 2001, the 'Drag Queens independent releases and loyal underground following caught the attention of national artists, as Wednesday was asked by the (since departed) Murderdolls guitarist Tripp Eisen to join the band. Wednesday started in the bass slot, but his talent and showmanship quickly resulted in a move to the lead vocalist position. It was he and band founder Joey Jordison of Slipknot who collaborated on the writing of the band's debut album, Beyond the Valley of the Murderdolls. The Murderdolls quickly built a fiercely devoted following, through repeated world tours (including 30,000-person shows in Japan, opening slots for Iron Maiden throughout Europe, and other choice tours), and worldwide rock press acclaim and album sales followed. As 2003 came to an end, Beyond had earned silver-status in the UK, sold over 100,000 units in the U.S. alone, and garnered accolades including Kerrang!'s Readers Choice Award Best New Band and Album of 2002 and Metal Hammer's Thank God They're Not Good Charlotte award in 2003. Predictably, the success of the Murderdolls resulted in Wednesday disbanding his first band. But since the Frankenstein Drag Queens' demise, it has ironically won a worldwide cult following. Wednesday can't help but laugh: "In the beginning, the 'Drag Queens were inspired by Ed Wood. In the end, the band was like Ed Wood in that he wasn't popular until after he died either.

Murderdolls, meanwhile, was put on hold in 2003 as Jordison returned to the studio and the road with Slipknot. Wednesday returned home, immediately locked himself in his basement, and emerged with over 100 songs written. In June 2004, he began work on his first solo album, playing all but the drums himself. True to form, Wednesday has stitched together a morgue-full of influences horror films, cartoons, punk and heavy metal into a spook-tacular monster-mosh of an album, Transylvania 90210: Songs of Death, Dying and the Dead. Fans of White Zombie, Rob Zombie, AFI, Alkaline Trio the aforementioned 'Dolls, as well as metal, punk, and horror in general will find the record at once refreshing and outrageous. With his sallow complexion and raven dreadlocks, Wednesday may look like a grim goth at first glance, but the singer/guitarist is more a throwback to the days of Alice Cooper and Twisted Sister, when rock music had no more pretentious aspirations than being over-the-top, escapist fun.

The song I Walked with a Zombie, for instance, was inspired by the 1943 horror movie of the same name. It's one of the first movies that dealt with voodoo, the singer/guitarist explains. But I just went in a totally different direction the song is actually kind of a love song about a zombie.

The song Elect Death for President, meanwhile, was inspired by the TV news. I was watching CNN last year, and I was like 'You know, this is scarier than any horror movie,' Wednesday recalls. I'm not a political person, but it doesn't take a genius to realize that there are problems. So I started making up sarcastic lyrics about a campaign where Death was actually running for president. I felt kind of weird afterwards, like Did I just write a political song? Or not?'

The recording now behind him and the bloody, infectious results commited to tape, the singer/guitarist is burning to sink his fangs into the rock world's throat once again. Despite his writing and performing the record himself, Wednesday 13 is a band, which includes Wednesday on vocals/guitar, Ghastly on drums, Kid Kid on bass and Pig on guitar. Once the record was done, the band immediately hit the road, playing a 16-date club tour of the UK/Europe to warm up the new material. The tour was a great success, drawing thousands of fans and affirming Wednesday's ability to connect with fans, whatever the project.

Growing up a little blonde kid in the middle of the Bible Belt (North Carolina, where he still resides), Wednesday escaped at an early age into a world of creature features and rock gods. I'm the perfect example of what television and rock 'n' roll can do to a kid with no plans to be a doctor or fireman, says Wednesday. I still sort of live inside of a television. My songs stem from movies and things I've seen on TV. It seems natural, then, that each track on Transylvania 90210 is an episode in the outrageously shocking mini-series that Wednesday 13 created. Tune In: Wednesday 13's debut album will be your new guilty pleasure.

Harsh. Visceral. Unforgiving. The issues that are too taboo to discuss in public are this band's bread and butter. Disarming, unrelenting honesty is the main ingredient in this low-end remedy for whatever ails you. Brewing in the depths of Florida's muck since 2014, the artistic output of Prison has only gathered tenacity and edge with time. With an insatiable aim to bridge the gap between genres, boundaries serve only as walls waiting to be demolished. Above all, Prison is a no-holds-barred, unadulterated barrage of truth that will make your hairs stand on end with each and every line. Alternative metal, nü metal, noise... call it what you may, but at the end of the day, Prison is a beast all its own.

Death Valley High

Everybody experiences a rebirth at some point. It can be brutal, or it can be beautiful. It depends on how ready you are for that moment of change and evolution. Death Valley High definitely was prepared and willing. That brings us to their new album for minus HEAD Records the appropriately titled, POSITIVE EUTH. Following up their Survival Program EP released in honor of Doomsday, it's not simply a rebirth for the San Francisco quartet Reyka Osburn, Adam Bannister, Huffy Hafera and Sean Bivins though, its evolutionary implications are much larger.

"POSITIVE EUTH is the rebirth or the reawakening," affirms Reyka. "It's all about shedding dead layers and limbs, and re-animating. We've evolved in the three most important areas as musicians, songwriters, and drinkers. We survived doomsday to be positively undead."

At the same time, Death Valley High has never sounded so utterly alive. The band came together in 2010 and introduced the world to their deadly undead rock with their debut album. Previously, Reyka had sung for Northern California stalwarts Tinfed as well as Ghostride, a collaboration with Will Haven members, while Adam, Sean and Huffy boasted their own considerable experience in the local scene. Together, they hit the road for two national tours and dropped the acclaimed 2011's Doom, In Full Bloom. They scored an Independent Music Award in the category of "Best Rock Song" for "Multiply" from 2011's Doom, In Full Bloom.

In August 2012, they retreated to Fantasy Studios with engineer Jesse Hart Nichols [The Stooges, Ty Segal] to begin work on POSITIVE EUTH. They tapped into a raw energy and honed it into a sweetly sinister sound with mixing by Eric Stenman [Thrice, Deftones] and mastering courtesy of Brian Gardener [Queens of the Stone Age, Dr. Dre]. As a result, their signature style expands into even deadlier and more dynamic territory.

"The sound is heavy and built on pace. It's chewed-up, suspenseful, and anxious," Reyka goes on. "This album pulls together ideas from the first and second records, but it clearly defines us. The ideology of this album goes to extremes of what we've tried to achieve before. It's about leaving you white-knuckled."

That's the feeling that arises from the first single "How2Kill". The song slips from ominous electronic blips into a skittering verse before crashing with a swaggering, soaring rock 'n' roll refrain. "It's about killing your fears," the singer reveals. "You want to conquer that shadow in the closet. The spin of the story is that we're the four 21st Cemetery Boys to help with that conflict."

Elsewhere, the raging heavy opener "Bath Salt Party" incorporates everybody's two favorite things. He says, "It simply states that we will always return to sex and death. Biblically speaking, when we die, our bodies return to salt. Sexually speaking, our skin and sweat are salty."

Then, there's their take on a love song, "Cinema Verité." "It's a style of filmmaking where the viewer is always aware of the camera," he explains. "In the song, there are two people that have set the end of the world in motion. They're running and scared, but somehow they feel safe as long as their camera is capturing it all."

You're not going to want to turn away from POSITIVE EUTH or Death Valley High either. The camera is on them now, and it's rolling. "We want listeners to know that they don't have to feel like folk, indie, or pop music is the instant go-to. We want to bridge like-minded fans and bands to stand up for all sorts of music with teeth. We want to move from an uncategorized rock status into an uncategorized movement."

Most bands fail when attempting to combine the dark melodic undertones of metal and hardcore with sing-along choruses that get stuck in your head for days. Requiem has succeeded beyond anyone's expectations by putting out some of the catchiest rock songs in the scene today. With breathtaking vocals by Steven Juliano (former front man of Epitaph Records powerhouse group I Am Ghost) and Revolver Magazine's "Hottest Girl in Metal" Jacklyn Paulette, the combination of soaring orchestra's mixed with vicious metal guitars and bass, the group have stepped forward as visionaries in a time when most bands sound the same. Their first studio album titled, "The Unexplainable Truth", features 14 songs and is currently in stores EVERYWHERE under Cleopatra Records. Their second studio album is currently being produced by 5 time Grammy nominee Scott Rockenfieldof Queensryche.

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