NEWS: New Divine Heresy album out July 24

Awesome. This just arrived in my inbox. Cool to see that we’ll hear something new from Divine Heresy before Dino returns to work with the new Fear Factory lineup (Dino, Burton C Bell, Byron Stroud, Gene Hoglan).

Divine Heresy new album coming soon on Roadrunner Records – July 24th 09

Dino Cazares – Guitars, Travis Neal – Vocals, Joe Payne – Bass, Tim Yeung – Drums

The creative force behind the genre-defying, legendary metal titans Fear Factory, guitarist Dino Cazares, has returned with a mind-blowing, scathing new offering that shatters the boundaries of conventionality with unrelenting intensity, precision and speed. This new offering from Cazares’ extreme metal juggernaut DIVINE HERESY also features one of the genre’s most acclaimed drummers, Tim Yeung (ex-Nile, Vital Remains), bassist Joe Payne (ex-Nile) and newcomer vocalist Travis Neal (ex-The Bereaved, Pushed). This pummeling new offering, Bringer of Plagues, redefines the meaning of aggression and takes extreme to an all new level.

Vocalist Neal has undoubtedly proved that he is the perfect fit for the role as he delivers a debut performance for the ages.

DIVINE HERESY teamed up once again with acclaimed producing team Dirty Icon (Logan Mader and Lucas Banker) who has recently produced Cavalera Conspiracy, Gojira and Five Finger Death Punch. This album undeniably upped the ante in brutality, precision and technicality as the group are more focused and tighter than ever before. Bringer of Plagues features the legendary machine gun riffs that’ll take your breath away, combined with some jaw-dropping double-bass drum insanity. After a year and a half of touring with the likes of All That Remains, Static-X, Arch Enemy, Shadows Fall and Chimaira, DIVINE HERESY have proven that they are a stellar live act and are a force to be reckoned with.

Cazares further comments: “With Neal now having a few shows under his belt, his confidence is coming across through the new material. The songwriting process has been great and the ideas are constantly flowing. Collaborating with Tim Yeung, Joe Payne and Neal, all together hashing out ideas in the practice space has been very therapeutic and enjoyable. We all have a collective desire to take our performances to the next level with this release to undoubtedly prove that we are one of the most devastating bands in the scene today.”

Cazares doesn’t accept second best. As you’d expect from the man who co-founded both Fear Factory and Brujeria, his new band isn’t about to tread well-worn primrose paths. Meet DIVINE HERESY – not so much a metal band for the modern era as crimson innovators ready to transcend time and place. You see, when you’ve already made your mark with bands like those mentioned above, there are two things you can do: “I could have carried on being successful in Latin America with Brujeria, and my other band, Asesino,” admits the guitarist. “But that wasn’t enough. I wanted to do something that would go beyond what I’ve achieved before. Something to take metal into the 21st Century.”

“I know that my fans expect something special from me,” says Cazares. “And I would never let them down. With every project that I’ve done, what’s been important is to ensure that I deliver music that doesn’t just meet people’s expectations, but goes beyond them. That’s important to me. I know that I could coast along and do well on the back of my reputation, but that would be to cheat everyone – including myself. I really do believe that with DIVINE HERESY, I’m once again setting the highest standards.

The metal/hard rock world was anxiously awaiting Cazares return since he left Fear Factory and with DIVINE HERESY’s highly acclaimed debut release, Bleed The Fifth, he quickly proved that he was the force that propelled them to the forefront of the scene in the 90’s. Cazares took his performance to a new level with

DIVINE HERESY whose brutal, unrelenting and overall refreshing sound will quickly garner legions of followers who are starving to hear something devastating and unique.

In 2009, DIVINE HERESY looks to leave their definitive mark upon the genre with their most explosive and dynamic offering yet.

“Bringer of Plagues will be released by Roadrunner in Australia on July 24th.

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REVIEW: Line 6 BackTrack

There’s nothing quite like the Line 6 BackTrack out there at the moment. Ever tried to record a guitar riff on your iPod or phone? Not always the best sound quality, huh? Well the BackTrack is a tiny recording device which you can plug in between your guitar and amp, or use the built-in microphone if you want to capture the sound of your amp or even your full band. 

The controls are quite simple. There are buttons for volume up and down, a selector for on, off, and play-only modes, standard tape transport-style buttons (forward, back and play), a Mark button for adding index points so you can easily come back to a riff, and a Play Mark/All switch so you can either play only indexed riffs or go through the whole thing. There’s a USB out for transferring the files to your computer, and in addition to guitar input and output jacks there’s a headphone jack. Notice there is no record button. The BackTrack records everything you play, so as long as you have it plugged in between your guitar and amp, you’ll capture your idea. I mean, what’s the point of a device designed to capture inspired one-off moments if you have to go out of your way to make sure it’s recording, right? Line 6’s decision to have the BackTrack record all the time is so simple and obvious that it’s kind of amazing that such a device hasn’t been around for years. This device is a godsend for me because whenever I’m noodling away in the lounge room someone says “Hey that was cool, play it again” and it’s already zoomed straight out of my mind.

The first thing I looked for when I plugged into the BackTrack was the amp modelling. This is Line 6, after all, creators of the venerable Pod. But amp modelling is nowhere to be found. If you really wanted to use it to record riffs as you noodle on the sofa, consider placing a Pocket Pod between your guitar and the BackTrack. If you record a riff you like and you don’t want to hear it back as just a clean guitar part, simply play it through your amp, and a properly-impedence-matched version will shake through your bedroom or rehearsal studio as if you were playing it yourself live.

You can hook this little puppy up to your guitar strap or even Velcro it to your pedalboard so you can record rehearsal-room inspiration, but if I was to buy one (and I think I might), I would use it for live gigs. I tend to improvise most of my solos, but occasionally, if we record a gig, I find an improvisation I like, and then learn it as the permanent solo. With the BackTrack I can have a permanent record of all my live solos, so I won’t be bound by the economic realities of which gigs we can afford to multitrack, or the technical limitations of a handheld camcorder.

This is such a cool idea that it belongs in every guitar case or gig bag, whether you’re a guitarist or bassist, and while its main use is to record guitar parts through the direct input, it can also be a very handy way of keeping a record of the full band in the jam room.

More information: Line 6.