VIP packages available now!

VIP Packages for the Eugene, Portland and San Francisco Tool shows are now available on Toolarmy for members. They are $500 per person. They’re all still available at time of writing, but if your wallet can handle it don’t waste too much time. The three shows will then go on sale via Toolband tomorrow to non-members, presuming there are some left. VIP tickets for the other two shows go on sale tomorrow via Toolarmy.

Update: It appears San Francisco has now sold out!

Update 2: Packages are now up on Toolband. Only limited quantities for each show so get in fast!

Tool VIP ticket details announced

After a successful trial as part of the Australian tour last year, it appears that Tool will be continuing VIP tickets for shows in the US in this upcoming tour. Details are a little sketchy, but it appears ticket swill go on sale via Toolarmy and Toolband the day before public sales.

No price has been announced yet (I’m guessing around $300 based on the Australian prices), but this is what you get for your money:

- One (1) VIP ticket for admission to concert show
- Entry for one (1) to the VIP area in the venue
- Access for one (1) to sound check with members of Tool
- Q+A session with Adam Jones
- Exclusive merchandise pack including:

1. An exclusive Tool tour t-shirt
2. Poster
3. VIP laminate
4. Bag of goodies

Disclaimer/restriction terms will be posted in the web stores along with purchase details.

Details on the sale of these packages:

We will do a very limited number of the VIP pack pre-sale for Portland, Eugene and San Francisco on Thursday (23rd). This will be on Toolarmy.com at 10:00am PST
and then on Toolband.com at 3:00pm PST.

Then we will do another small number of VIP pack pre-sales for Spokane and Reno on Friday (24th) at 10am PST on Toolarmy.com and 3pm PST on Toolband.com.

Tool US Tour dates confirmed

Blair has confirmed some rumoured Tool tour dates via Toolband this morning, with several dates being announced as part of the latest newsletter:

Tuesday, March 4: Spokane, WA @ Spokane Arena
Thursday, March 6: Portland, OR @ MODA CENTER
Friday, March 7: Eugene, OR @ Matthew Knight Arena
Sunday, March 9: Reno, NV @ Reno Event Center
Tuesday, March 11: San Francisco, CA @ Bill Graham Civic

He also advises that it seems likely further shows will be added, and VIP packages will be available as well. Tickets go on sale January 25th. No word on how extensive this tour will be, but as I’ve mentioned before from what I’ve heard it’ll be short and largely West Coast only.

Update: Word is a couple of these shows go on sale on Friday 24th instead of Saturday 25th. Please make sure you check with the ticket provider (largely Ticketmaster I think) to avoid disappointment!

Update 2: It looks like there will be presales of VIP tickets via Toolarmy and Toolband. Details below:

PLEASE NOTE THAT SOME ON-SALE DATES HAVE ALREADY CHANGED. As of now, Portland, Eugene and San Francisco will go on-sale on FRIDAY (24th).

Spokane and Reno on-sales will REMAIN on Saturday (25th).

We will do a very limited number of the VIP pack pre-sale for Portland, Eugene and San Francisco on Thursday (23rd). This will be on Toolarmy.com at 10:00am PST
and then on Toolband.com at 3:00pm PST.

Then we will do another small number of VIP pack pre-sales for Spokane and Reno on Friday (24th) at 10am PST on Toolarmy.com and 3pm PST on Toolband.com.

Tool US dates to be added?

This morning a Oregon radio station revealed that there would be a Tool date at the Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene on the 9th of March. Another source has suggested that this is legit and that further dates (at least in California and Washington) should be announced soon. Dates will all be before the Mexican shows. No word on how extensive this tour will be, but my guess is it’ll be a short West Coast one rather than a full blown tour.

In other, presumably related news, Blair has posted on Toolband an account of some happenings on January 17 in the past and suggested that on this date he will also have some news to share. Seeing as he mentioned California I’m assuming it’s related to the tour dates:

I was abruptly reminded of the 20th anniversary of the Northridge earthquake (January 17, 1994) at 5:26 this morning when a minor quake centered about two miles west of Studio City once again rattled my bookcases. At the time of the Northridge ‘shaker’, I was VERY close to the epicenter and (hopefully) will never forget the destruction that it caused. I had planned on registering with the Writer’s Guild a screenplay that I wrote about the mystery of Berenger Sauniere and Rennes-le-Chateau that very day (because of the January 17th date), but as the fates would have it, that didn’t happen. With this morning’s little wake up call, I need to keep reminding myself that it’s currently sunny and 86 degrees here in the Valley. (Oh, in case you’re wondering, the world famous Baked Potato wasn’t damaged.) And being that it is January 17, there’s something other than southern California earthquakes that I wanted to share with you…

Fourtheye Readers Top 10 albums you may not have heard

Our 2013 Top 10 (or top 12 as it turned out) list was filled with the usual assortment of 20 year old bands that we’ve all heard before. One of the problems with running a poll like this is that it inevitably becomes a popularity contest.

However, many of us are interested into listening to something a little different, or a little newer. Below, I present the Top 10 albums that come from non-mainstream and/or new artists that you may (or may not) have heard of before.

I applied a series of rules to come up with this list, bands that are older than 15 years have been eliminated, as have any with high selling (gold or better) albums. I’ve also knocked out a number of super groups. Karnivool could claim to be part of this list, however since they did make the top 12, I’ve removed them!

With that in mind, here are the next 10 best albums from bands you may not have heard of:

Habitual Levitations – Intronaut

Memorial – Russian Circles

Altered State – Tesseract

Shaking The Habitual – The Knife

Pelagial – The Ocean

Shrine of New Generation Slaves – Riverside

Ultraviolet – Kylesa

Forever Becoming – Pelican

Sunbather – Deafheaven

Whales And Leeches – Red Fang

My Top 10 albums of 2013

Every year we hear the same old complaints from the same old people – “Year xxyy was a terrible year for albums”. 2013 was certainly an interesting year. On the surface of things, big bands like NIN, Tomahawk, QOTSA, Alice In Chains, Black Sabbath and Pearl Jam all had albums on the horizon. Mostly they were all disappointing though, with only one of those artists making my top 10. I suspect this contributed strong to some people claim 2013 was a bad one for music – had even half of those bands released great albums, I doubt there would be so many complaints.

Personally though, I thought 2013 was a good year for music. For those willing to look outside of the square and listen to bands that aren’t 20 years old, there was a lot to like.

As usual I had a hard time coming up with my top 10. I had a shortlist of 15, and while removing a couple of them was relatively easy, taking out the final 3 was really hard. It’s safe to say the honorable mentions below are all great albums well worth checking out.

In no particular order, here are my top 10 albums of 2013:

Weekend Nachos – Still
Many of you whop have followed the website for some time are well aware of my love of crusty grind and power violence, and Weekend Nacho’s have cemented themselves as a force in this genre with the new album Still. Brutal, fast, catchy and short – the way power violence should be.

Bosnian Rainbows – Bosnian Rainbows
Never been a big fan of the work of Omar Rodríguez-López, and when I heard Bosnian Rainbows was a pop album, I feared the worst. Despite that, I did take a listen, and to my surprise it was much better, and less pop than I expected. It’s a great rock record with some atmospheric moments and strong female vocals. An easy choice for my list this year.

Call of the Void – Dragged Down A Dead End Path
Call of the Void perform a style of sludge metal with elements of power violence, and their latest album Dragged Down A Dead End Path has been a regular listen for me all year. The track Bottom Feeder being a highlight for me, and one of my favorite tunes from 2013.

Kylesa – Ultraviolet
Ultraviolet is a strong album from a band that has never quite taken the next step for me. Kylesa have released some good music, but after this latest release I’m happy to put them in the great category. I’m not sure their style will appeal to everyone, but the thick guitar sound as well as some really interesting songwriting (especially on the latter half of the album) are right up my alley.

Queens of the Stone Age – …Like Clockwork
Queens of the Stone Age were on their last strike. Lullabies To Paralyze and Era Vulgaris were both pretty bland albums in my book, so I was surprised when I heard that …Like Clockwork was an album full of character and emotion. I’ve always preferred the first three harder rocking albums from the band (and still do) but Like Clockwork is a great addition to their discography.

Earthless – From The Ages
Russian Circles were one of the bands I had to eliminate from my shortlist to make a top 10. I did so because I had two instrumental albums, and decided only one of them should make the list. From The Ages is a better album – it’s more of a straight up rock album than the post-rock styling of Memorial, but in my opinion the musicianship is better, and the songwriting catchier and more upbeat. You can’t go wrong with either album though!

The Dillinger Escape Plan – One Of Us Is The Killer
Dillinger Escape Plan are good at releasing excellent albums. This one is no exception. While I felt this was a much better album than their last one, and a worthy addition to my list, I still year for something a little more from these guys. Ire Works is still their best release by a mile, and while this album hints a little more in that direction, I think they still have some finer work inside them. Will they ever find it? Who knows….

Fuzz – Fuzz
There are several bands I’d never heard of before 2013 on this list: Call of the Void, Nails and this band Fuzz. Like their name suggests, the perform fuzzy psychadelic rock that has grooved its way into my heart this year.

The National – Trouble Will Find Me
There’s probably a few of you thinking “what is a band like this doing in Hellboy’s list?” and it is a good question. I still don’t really know why I enjoy this album like I do. Mostly, I think it’s that I find the vocals and lyrics quite compelling, and well matched to the style of music. I’ve never given the National much time prior to this album, but now I’m a convert.

Nails – Abandon All Life
If I were to pick a favorite for 2013, this would most likely be it. This album is 17 minutes of unrelenting power violence which doesn’t have a weak moment. If you can handle the blast beats and vocals, this album will be in your collection for life.

Here are some honorable mentions – albums that made my shortlist but had to be culled to make 10:

Pissed Jeans – Honeys
Destruction Unit – Deep Trip
Russian Circles – Memorial
The Melvins – Tres Cabrones
Romero – Take The Potion

Maynard adds to the family?

Maynard posted a picture on Instagram today that looks suspiciously like a ultrasound, suggestion he and his wife are expecting a baby sometime in the next 6 or so months. Congratulations to both of them!

Who will be next? Justin or Danny?

Best Xmas present ever. @licoricelust @doscabezas @matmitchell @jbonne @bobbystuckey @kentcallaghan @sandreckonervineyards

Xmas 2013 Tool Newsletter released

Blair has published the 2013 Tool Xmas Newsletter this Xmas day (or Xmas Eve for you more backwards countries), and it features the usual dense prose that many of you like to complain about. At also features a few hints of things, including the possibility of further Mexican tour dates, 10,000 Days vinyl coming soon (as well as other re-releases) and promises of some really exciting news in the New Year. We’ve heard that one before Blair ;)

Merry Xmas to all Fourtheye readers!

Fourtheye Readers Top 12 albums of 2013

Our poll to collect your Top 10 albums has concluded, and I’ve finally counted all 230 votes received! As there were 3 albums tied for 10th spot, I decided this year we shall have a top 12. Voting was quite tight beyond the top 5, with only 1 vote separating the next 15 that didn’t make the cut.

Most of the albums selected were by long standing artists that we’ve all seen or heard of before. There were a wide range of albums voted on, so in the next day or so I shall present a companion list – the top 10 albums from bands you may not have heard of.

Without further ado, here is the list!

12. Palms – Palms
Featuring members of Isis and Deftones, it should come as no surprise that this new super group made Fourtheye’s top 2013 list. While the album was a little mellow for my tastes, this album appealed to a good number of you lot.

11. One Of Us Is The Killer – Dillinger Escape Plan
DEP unleashed another 40 minutes of madness upon us with yet another strong release, taking a step back from the ferocity of the last album and adding in a little more Ire Works style experimentation.

10. Earth Rocker – Clutch
Clutch slowly conquering the world with their high energy rock and great live shows. Earth Rocker may not be their finest album, but it was certainly good enough to grab a bunch of votes in this years poll.

9. Kveikur – Sigur Ros
Not really much I can say about this album, as I haven’t spent much time listening to it, but these Icelandic wizards released their “heaviest” album in a while, which has appealed to many Fourtheye readers.

8. Lightning Bolt – Pearl Jam
Pearl Jam keep on turning out album after album these days. Lightning had a couple of great tracks, in particular Sirens, but other than that didn’t do much for me. Many of you seemed to enjoy it though and it made #8 on the list.

7. Incitare – Volto!
In typical Tool fashion this album seemed to take forever to come out, but when it did listeners were impressed by the high level of musicianship all over the place.

6. Asymmetry – Karnivool
Aussie Prog Rockers have been on many Tool fans radar for some time now, and their long awaited Asymmetry album didn’t disappoint. Personally I really think they could do with a new singer, but the album did have some good tracks on it.

5. The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories) – Steven Wilson
Wilson put out another collection of old school prog rock mixed with a bit of jazz fusion. Was a little surprised to see this ranking so highly, though I enjoyed the album I didn’t realize his work was quite so popular with Tool fans.

4. 13 – Black Sabbath
The war machine keeps turning as Sabbath put out a long awaited Ozzy Osbourne album that is probably 20 years too late.

3. The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here – Alice In Chains
Alice In Chains released their second album with post-Layne singer William DuVall, and while I personally thought it was a little forgettable, it seems a decent percentage of you guys disagree! Viva la democracy!

2. Hesitation Marks – Nine Inch Nails
2013 was a busy year for 20 year old bands, and even NIN got into the act. They released an album that was considered quite poppy by many, but is liked enough by you guys that it made our top 12. In fact this album and the #1 received far more votes than anything else that reached the top 12.

1. …Like Clockwork – Queens Of The Stone Age
Queens of the Stone Age lost their way a little on their last couple of albums (in my opinion anyway) but with 2013 came Like Clockwork. Sure, it didn’t capture the energy of their earlier works, but the emotion and songwriting rang true with many of you. Over a third of you in fact, with this album being included in 32% of the top 10 lists submitted.