Taking Metal Out Of Its Nightmare: An Interview With Enforcer Frontman Olof Wikstrand

Interview by Nathan Hernandez

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In the eyes and ears of some people, Swedish quartet Enforcer may be deemed throwback-driven with their denim-and-leather clad old-school heavy metal, but in the 12 years since their formation, they’ve brought high-class and deadly precise musicianship, to go with the kind of quality production that decorates some of the most celebrated timeless classics in hard rock and heavy metal history. But they’ve proven themselves to be far beyond mere revivalists, bringing an undeniable sense of freshness with their pristine, full-sounding albums and putting on live shows that exude captivating energy. No amount of praise is excessive when it comes to this band. Enforcer released their fourth full-length album ‘From Beyond’ via Nuclear Blast Records in 2015, and completed a highly successful North American co-headline tour with Warbringer last winter. They’re returning to the continent for a tour with Dark Tranquillity, and are gearing up to write the next album. Our writer Nathan Hernandez spoke to vocalist/guitarist Olof Wikstrand to talk all things Enforcer. Enjoy the chat below and make it a point to check out this band if you haven’t yet. Continue reading

“I’m A Perfectionist Who Isn’t Perfect”: An In-depth Interview with Devin Townsend

By Andrew Bansal

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One of the last remaining personalities of his kind, at least in the realm of heavy music, Canadian vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer Devin Townsend has donned many skins in his career and has painted sonic landscapes with varying colors and textures, whether it was with Steve Vai in the mid ’90s, Strapping Young Lad in the late ’90s and early 2000s, his solo albums, or still is with the Devin Townsend Project and other endeavors like Casualties Of Cool. Now he’s been with his DTP band mates for ten years, and is ready to release the seventh DTP album ‘Transcendence’ on September 2nd 2016 via InsideOut Music. Aside from being an endlessly creative musician and an inimitably dynamic performer, Devin Townsend has also been a great conversationalist whenever he has taken the time to talk to Metal Assault about his music over the past six years. Last Tuesday August 23rd was another enjoyable and insightful chat with him about all things DTP and more, including ‘Transcendence’, the upcoming North American tour, production styles, live shows, farting into microphones, and other subjects. Read the conversation below, get a taste of ‘Transcendence’, and if the next tour is visiting your town, mark the date in your calendar. Continue reading

Lost In Tech-Space: In Conversation With New Archspire Bassist Jared Smith

Interview by Jason Williams

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Photo by Visions In Pixels

Hailing from Vancouver, Canada, technical extreme metal quintet Archspire, their music lovingly coined ‘tech-space’, have only been a band since 2009 and have one EP and two full-length releases to their name. But with spark-igniting technical brilliance in vocals, guitar play as well as the rhythm section, they’ve caught modern extreme metal fans’ attention and are rising rapidly through the ranks. They recently concluded a short US run on their way to Denver, Colorado to record their third full-length album with Dave Otero, who has worked with the likes of Cobalt, Cephalic Carnage, Cattle Decapitation. As part of this run, they played a headline show at DiPiazzas in Long Beach, CA, and our writer Jason Williams was in attendance. He sat down with new bassist Jared Smith for a chat on all things Archspire. Enjoy it below and be on the lookout for album and tour announcements from the band in the immediate future. Continue reading

Metal Heroes In Battle: A Candid Conversation With Sabaton Frontman Joakim Brodén

By Andrew Bansal

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Swedish battle-themed power metal warriors Sabaton have been a band since 1999, perhaps longer than some people realize. After several years of continued success in Europe, they finally embarked upon North American shores in 2011, and through constant touring, have enjoyed a steady rise in their popularity in the continent ever since. They’ve consistently written songs about battles, victories, sacrifices and heroes from history, and continue to do so on their eighth studio album ‘The Last Stand’ (released August 19th 2016 via Nuclear Blast Entertainment), but focusing lyrics on ancient battles on this one. Following the release of this bombastic set of tunes, Sabaton are now getting ready for a five-week US tour as main support to Trivium. On August 25th, vocalist Joakim Brodén spoke to Metal Assault in a candid conversation about the new album, lyrics, the use of backing tracks, the fans, the band’s own festival and cruise endeavors, and the upcoming US tour. Enjoy the chat below, along with three tracks from ‘The Last Stand’. Continue reading

Doomier Than Death: Asphyx Vocalist Talks About New Album

Interview by Nathan Hernandez

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Ever since their resurrection in 2007, Dutch death-doom pioneers Asphyx have been as inspired and powerful as they’ve ever been in their three-decade history, as proven by post-reunion albums ‘Death … The Brutal Way’ (2009) and ‘Deathhammer’ (2012). Fast-forward to 2016, Asphyx have been hard at work on the follow-up effort, and are finally ready to unveil their ninth full-length studio record ‘Incoming Death’ via Century Media Records on September 30th 2016. Our writer Nathan Hernandez recently spoke to vocalist Martin van Drunen at length about the album and much more. Enjoy the in-depth conversation below and while you’re at it, listen to the crushing new Asphyx track embedded within. Continue reading

Finding The Sweet Spot: Stryper Frontman Discusses New Solo Album & More

By Andrew Bansal

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While he continues to front legendary classic metal group Stryper, who’ve been going strong for the best part of three decades, vocalist, guitarist, songwriter and producer Michael Sweet also has a well-established solo career. Sweet made his solo debut in 1992, and 24 years later, still devotes time to make his own music whenever he can find some out of his Stryper schedule. He’s ready to release his seventh full-length solo album ‘One Sided War’ on August 26th 2016 via Rat Pak Records, and along with his signature songwriting and performance, he has also included some competent guest musicians on it. Last Wednesday August 24th, Metal Assault had a detailed conversation with Michael Sweet to discuss the album, the guest players, his thoughts on melody in heavy music, his biggest metal influences, humorous lyrical themes, and much more. Enjoy the chat below, along with a taste of music from the new album. Continue reading