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Mon, Feb 5, 2024
Shows: 113 Earliest: Oct 27, 2013 Latest: Sep 14, 2019
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Well, I'd like to say it was awesome but they didn't play at the venue. Not sure how/why it wasn't communicated but pretty disappointing.
Crowbar and Soulfly were good but I was there for Shattered Sun.
I wish the Q&Z Expo or Rock 94.7 would have informed everyone of the change in groups.
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Album Review: SHATTERED SUN The Evolution of Anger
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Shattered Sun light it up in new video for Burn It Down
Exclusive: Shattered Sun premiere their new video for Burn It Down - taken from upcoming album The Evolution Of Anger
Shattered Sun have released a video for their new track Burn It Down exclusively with Metal Hammer .
The single has been lifted from the Texas outfit’s upcoming album The Evolution Of Anger , which is out on July 21.
Guitarist Daniel Trejo decided to leave Shattered Sun in late 2015 prior to the band creating the album, leaving them at a loss. But his return to the lineup sparked their creativity, with Burn It Down the track that brought everything back into focus.
Frontman Marcus Leal tells Metal Hammer : “We almost burned this band into the ground internally. Between all the things we have done over the years, things finally came to the surface.
“Once Daniel came back into the fold, the first song he showed me was Burn It Down and it was a perfect reflection of what occurred within Shattered Sun.”
The band will head out on the road as part of the Vans Warped Tour from next month. Find their tour dates below.
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Shattered Sun 2017 tour dates
Jul 26: Maryland Heights Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, MO Jul 27: Bonner Springs Providence Medical Center Amphitheatre, KS Jul 28: Dallas Starplex Pavilion, TX Jul 29: San Antonio AT&T Center, TX Jul 30: Houston NRG Park, TX Aug 01: Las Cruces New Mexico State University, NM Aug 04: Mountain View Shoreline Amphitheatre, CA Aug 05: San Diego Qualcomm Stadium At Jack Murphy Field, CA Aug 06:Pomona Fairplex, CA
Hot New Band: Shattered Sun
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Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.
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Shattered Sun Premiere "Hope Within Hatred" Band Playthrough Video
Today, GuitarWorld.com presents the exclusive premiere of a new playthrough video by Shattered Sun.
The song, "Hope Within Hatred," is the title track from the band's new album, which will be released April 21 by Victory Records.
The native Texans are currently heating up crowds on the “Dark Roots of Thrash Tour II” with Testament and Exodus. You can see the tour's current dates below the video.
Shattered Sun features Marcos Leal (vocals), Daniel Trejo (guitar), Jessie Santos (guitar), Joseph Guajardo (bass), Robert Garza (drums) and Henry Garza (keys/samples).
For more about Shattered Sun, follow them on Facebook. Hope Within Hatred pre-order packages are available now at victorymerch.com. The track "Hope Within Hatred" is also available for download now at iTunes.
TESTAMENT, EXODUS and SHATTERED SUN “Dark Roots of Thrash II” Dates:
- 4/08/15 House Of Blues – Dallas, TX
- 4/10/15 Pop’s – Sauget, IL
- 4/11/15 Mojoes – Joliet, IL
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- 4/15/15 Phoenix Concert Theatre – Toronto, ON – CANADA
- 4/16/15 Rapids Theatre – Niagara Falls, NY
- 4/17/15 Starland Ballroom – Sayreville, NJ
- 4/18/15 The Palladium – Worcester, MA, New England Metal & Hardcore Festival
- 4/19/15 The Paramount – Huntington, NY
- 4/21/15 Mercury Ballroom – Louisville, KY
- 4/22/15 Cannery Ballroom – Nashville, TN
- 4/23/15 Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
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Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas , was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron , a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums . He now plays in two NYC-area bands.
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INTERVIEW WITH MARCOS LEAL AND SEBASTIAN ELIZONDO BY JEREMY SAFFER PHOTOGRAPHS BY JEREMY SAFFER
Shattered Sun has been through a lot in the past year, with the departure of two longtime members, separating from Victory Records, and narrowly missing out on opening for Metallica. As with all things, the pendulum swings back, and it swings back just as hard as the band’s new music. Now stronger than ever with Sebastian Elizondo (Darkness Divided) and Juan “PB” Hinojosa (Shaping the Legacy, ex-Upon a Burning Body) joining the fold, a refreshed sound, and a new outlook on all things, Shattered Sun is back and ready to take on the world with an album waiting in the wings to be unleashed. Like a Phoenix, Shattered Sun has re-emerged from the ashes, reignited and ready to set the world ablaze. Vocalist Marcos Leal and guitarist Sebastian Elizondo take us through the new and improved Shattered Sun and the band’s brand new song, “Shades of Melodie”
WATCH THE EXCLUSIVE “SHADES OF MELODIE” MUSIC VIDEO PREMIERE BELOW.
Robert Garza (drums ) just announced his departure from Shattered Sun. How has that affected the band? Marcos: We’re all still growing accustomed to the changes and getting used to it, but we started reassessing the band and making these changes all the way back when we first added Sebastian. As soon as Bas came into the band, I knew things were going to be on a different level. So, we had to make some changes internally to get there, and though some of the decisions were pretty tough to make, in the end we are a better band because of it.
How did the addition of Bas last year help the band move forward? Marcos: Bas is fucking amazing. He’s a great guitar player and vocalist. I’ve been following him and crushing over him since the Darkness Divide days, and to finally work with him, it felt like everything lined up in the right direction. I’m very happy to have him on board. As soon as we got into the writing process, I knew immediately that this was going to be a different outfit, a different band, a different everything, and he’s brought a lot of hope and energy to the group.
Bas: Most of the guys were together for so many years, working with the same people. The band already had a sound of its own, and to have a guy coming in from a different angle and not having the history with the band, I just had a vision for the way Marcos sings and I wanted to write songs for his voice. I think that helped change things, and it gave a new perspective to the band.
Marcos: Previously, we were known as new age thrash, integrating radio-ish vibes into thrash, and to have Bas come in and wipe the board clean was very refreshing. It felt like we could start from the ground up without any history or anything from the past holding us back or weighing us down. That was really refreshing for everybody.
What about PB, who has replaced Robert on drums? Marcos: He goes by PB, but his name is Juan Hinojosa. He’s currently in a band called Shaping the Legacy. He was a founding member of Upon a Burning Body, and he’s somebody Bas has worked with in the past. When things started coming up with Rob and the band going in a different direction, he came in and was an absolute pro. He understood where we were at and his position. Obviously, things were still a little shaky, as we were going through a member change, and not only that, the member change was someone who had been with the band for 13 years. I really thank PB for coming in and not making that a tough situation for us. He is an absolute pro, and his drumming style has really woken up the band, woken up the fire that was there previously, and it dumped a whole gallon of gasoline on it and turned it into something new. We are really excited to have him as a part of the group.
“EVERYTHING THAT WE ARE DOING FROM THE LIVE SHOW TO THE SOUND, TO THE BAND MEMBERS, TO EVERYTHING IS ALL CULMINATING TO A NEW ERA OF SHATTERED SUN.”
It seems like it’s all reinventing the band into a new era and stepping things up. Marcos: Most definitely.
Bas: The live shows are going to be more impactful. Not just because of the drums, but we’ve started integrating things that I was familiar with in my old bands, like using a click track to be consistent and adding backtracks and little things to flare up the set and change it up that are going to make it sound bigger and more impactful.
Marcos: What a lot of people don’t know is when Bas got in the band, we were very much a plug and play band, like we didn’t do click tracks and we didn’t do backtracks. We just showed up, played and practiced four times a week as a band, and didn’t really need much help from outside assistance. And to now have Bas, who was completely involved with those things, bring it to the forefront of the band, it opened up so many doors. Not only in the live show, but in the writing process. Everything that we are doing from the live show to the sound, to the band members, to everything is all culminating to a new era of Shattered Sun.
You guys are currently recording new music. Can you tell us about that? Marcos: The majority of the record is complete. When we first started writing the record, when we first got back as a band, we wanted to try out people that we’d worked with previously or someone Bas has worked with. We didn’t want to close too many doors as far as what our future was going to be with this new outfit, and once Bas brought Chris Mora into play—he sings for a band called Charcoal Tongue, he’s an amazing producer from San Antonio, he just did the new Upon a Burning Body record—we were already smitten by him just from what he’s done with his work with Darkness Divided and Charcoal Tongue. Once he came in and we saw the way Bas and Chris work together, it was a game changer for us because we no longer had to take a week to write this amazing, impactful song. We’re seeing these two guys that are like the engine, and we’re all chipping in and reworking the sound and reworking things from a cellular rate. It re-awoke feelings from when we first started and re-ignited the passion that we had, which was dying towards the end of The Evolution of Anger .
“NOW, WE FINALLY SOUND LIKE THE BAND WE ALWAYS SHOULD HAVE SOUNDED LIKE.”
How would you compare the writing process for the new material to the last record? Bas: Chris and I have been working together for so long, and the things we like to hear in music is always in sync when it comes to metal songs. We just vibe off each other really well when it comes to songwriting. That’s why I think we’re able to work so fast, and if we do have differences or if we ever have egos, we hear each other out and realize what’s better for the song really quickly. I don’t wanna make it sound like me and him did all of the work or anything. There’s stuff I wrote or he did or we both did, there’s stuff that we all co-produced on our own ideas and stuff. But as far as the songs that started from my idea, we were always able to build off of each other really fast, and PB is the type of person that I know whatever I tell him or ask him to do, he’ll nail it and do exactly what I was thinking in my head or that someone else was thinking if they were there. You’re just able to get him on the feel of the song or add something crazy or chill. Little things like that really helped a lot.
Marcos: I don’t want to throw anybody under the bus. I love everybody that we’ve worked with in all of our past, but this was the first record where both of our guitar players worked together, and that was monumental. You’ll be able to tell in the music. Previously with Shattered Sun, you would always be able to tell who wrote the song. Now, we finally sound like the band we always should have sounded like. I definitely don’t want that to come off the wrong way, but I mean it when I say it. This is a special outfit of guys, and this is a special project. I’m just really looking forward to everybody hearing it.
When can fans expect to hear the new stuff? Marcos: Our plan is to release our first single independently, called “Shades of Melodie.” We are very excited about it, and we didn’t want to wait any longer because there is a lot of behind the scenes business stuff going on that has to happen before projects can start rolling. We are currently searching for a new home right now with a record label, which we are very excited about, but we didn’t want to make the fans wait anymore. We wanted to put out a track. We aren’t operating under any rules right now, so we are, “Fuck it! Let’s put out a great song, and let’s do it for the people that have been following us since the very beginning.”
Has your sound changed from the last record to the new material you’re doing? Marcos: Absolutely, in many ways. It’s a philosophy change from top to bottom. From the way we wrote, from the way we got together, from the way we produced the music, from the way we recorded it, everything was done differently than we have ever done it before, and that definitely shows in everything that we are about to do. I’m just excited for people to see this new era of Shattered Sun.
“PARTING WAYS WITH PEOPLE YOU’VE BEEN FRIENDS WITH SINCE YOU WERE KIDS IS TOUGH, BUT THE WAY THINGS ARE NOW, IT JUST FEELS SO GOOD.”
Since you’re a father now, does that change how you approach Shattered Sun? Marcos: Yeah, it definitely fueled me in the decision to make some really radical changes to this band, and it started all the way back when I was courting Sebastian. I knew right then and there that as soon as I got him into what we were doing that everything was going to change, and it’s been a bumpy road. I’m not going to lie. Parting ways with people you’ve been friends with since you were kids is tough, but the way things are now, it just feels so good. It fueled me to look at things in the long-term rather than look at things like, “Fuck it. I don’t give a shit! Let’s get in a van and let’s fucking play till we fucking die.” Now, I gotta look at things a little bit more in the long-term, and again it goes back to the music, especially with the song “Shades of Melodie.” That song is written for her. That song is a big piece of my heart, and in the song I talk about what I would tell her and how I’ve done things to show her how to not do things. That wasn’t who I was a couple of years ago, and now that is who I am. I am very proud of that, and I’m very proud of that song.
As you mentioned, the band is searching for a record label. What didn’t work for you guys with Victory Records? Marcos: I could turn this whole interview into just talking about that. It was just a relationship that neither side could gain from anymore. In this business, you have to remind yourself—especially being a small town kid that came into this with everybody’s arm around him telling him that we were family—there is no family in this business other than the ones in your band, other than the ones you hold close. That was a hard lesson to learn, but we learned, and I think both sides are happy in the decisions that were made.
Bas: I had a band on Victory as well, and they did great for us while we were there. Everyone at the label was nice, but there were just certain things you can’t work past while being on that label.
Are you guys now clear to do whatever you want? Marcos: Yeah, at the moment we’re shopping labels with some of our new music. There was a lot of back and forth whether we wanted to wait, and I think as a band we felt like people have waited long enough. I think they deserve a great song, and that’s what we’re going to give them.
Do you have any touring plans? Marcos: We have things that are in the works right now that we plan to announce when we drop the single, and we have some other cool announcements that are going to come with the single. We’re just excited to get the ball moving. It’s been a long transition period, and it’s time to finally unleash the dogs and let us loose.
You’ve put a shirt on sale to help complete the new record. Is crowdfunding going to be your go-to option while you’re between labels? Marcos: For the moment, yes, because our goal is not substantially high. The great thing about our situation is we funded this record ourselves, and our manager, Chuck Billy, believed in this record, we believed in this record, and we’ve been funding it solely. We wanted to put out a song for people to hear, but we also wanted people to know that we are between labels right now and we’re searching for a new home to release this record. We just need a little bit of time to complete it, so that’s what we are going to do.
How have all of the situations you’ve been through the past year changed the band’s perspective? Marcos: We’re more focused on how to make, not only this record, not only our live show, but everything we do as a band more impactful and more monumental than anything that we’ve ever done in our history.
Shattered Sun has been working with metal veteran Chuck Billy of Testament. What advice is he giving you in this era of reconstructing the band? Marcos: When I first went to Chuck about this, he already knew we were in a tough spot. The beauty of having somebody like Chuck is that he has been there. He has kicked out members, he’s fired friends, and he’s been on like 30 different record labels. He’s done it all. He’s definitely there in my ear through a lot of tough times that the band has had and a lot of really great times that the band has had, things like how to tour properly and how to budget and how to order merch to how to take care of myself as a vocalist night to night. He’s always there to be that mentor to you. Once we did make the change, he needed to come to Texas to see Chris and Sebastian together. We just hit him all at once like a bunch of really excited teenagers, and he came down here to see what was up. And he wound up spending a week with us to write the record and be there while we wrote the record, and he helped contribute to the vocals. Having him come in, definitely helped me as far as vocals and the change in my vocal style. It’s amazing to have him in our corner.
Not too long ago Shattered Sun almost had the opportunity to open for Metallica through a contest. What’s your take on that whole experience? Was it worth doing? Marcos: Looking back, it was great. It opened a lot of doors for us, and showed me that the people that follow us from down here in South Texas that they’d run through a fucking brick wall for this band. So many people came together to help the band. It was amazing seeing that after the fact, but during, it was definitely a tough loss. Three thousand bands entered, and we wound up being in the final eight, then, from what I understand, placing in the top three of the contest. That was just huge. So, it was worth it. It opened up a lot of new fans and new doorways and new everything for the band, but at the time, it was tough to lose. At the end of it, I just had a breakdown. I was very upset about it, and we had worked really hard. I remember I called Chuck and I called the band and I was just like, “I’m taking two weeks off. Nobody call me.” I was just being a Debbie Downer. Chuck called me a couple days later, I finally answer, and he’s just like, “Yo, dude, you done crying or what?” And I just laughed, and that pulled my head out of the sand and made me realize what a really awesome experience it was. Getting to meet Lars Ulrich and have my moment with him and give him the first actual copy of Evolution of Anger was pretty awesome. Definitely an experience I’ll never forget.
Did Lars have any advice for you when you met him? Marcos: No, but he did know who I was. He knew me by name, which was really cool, and he took the time to take the CD, open it, go through the booklet, and listen to me talk for a second. Regardless if he kept that CD or not, just the fact that I was able to put that in his hands was definitely a memorable moment in my career.
What should your fans keep their eyes and ears open for, aside from new music? Marcos: Definitely some show dates. We plan on putting some dates out soon. We will be dropping a music video pretty soon. We have a new logo, we have a new merch store, we have new everything. Like I said, it’s a complete reinvention of the band, and we wanted to start from the ground up, so we started with the logo that has been there for many years and said we are putting that era of the band to bed and we are going to start new. We are going to drop a new music video, drop some new dates, and get Shattered Sun back to full steam ahead.
What’s been the most important part of this reinvention? Marcos: The music we have created, because going into it, when you tell everybody you’re going to break everything down and start again, that’s not a very popular resolution to things and a lot of people were upset about it. But now that I hear the songs, I know they were tough decisions that needed to be made. When I put on the music, I know that I made the right decisions and the band made the right decisions. That’s what’s important to me, that and giving the fans our absolute best effort with this third record.
EXCLUSIVE: SHATTERED SUN “Shades of Melodie” Music Video Premiere
“This song is particularly special to me given it’s about my daughter Melodie. It’s safe to say that becoming a father changes a man – it becomes your every living and dying breath to be the guide and protector to your child. I know a lot of people can relate to the message of this song and I’m excited for you all to get a taste of the new era of SHATTERED SUN !” ~ Marcos Leal
While SHATTERED SUN are in the midst of preparing for the release of their new, currently-untitled album, many aspects of recording and other requirements still need to be completed. As the band is currently working independently and without label assistance, they’ve turned to their dedicated fans to contribute to the finalization process with new album pre-orders and bundle purchases. 100% of these funds will go towards the completion and release of the album.
The pre-order and contribution campaign has been launched via GoFundMe, and can be found here: https://www.gofundme.com/shatteredsun3
The GoFundMe campaign not only includes an instant download of “Shades of Melodie” upon contribution/pre-order, but also allows fans to hear the album in full a week before its pending release date. Many more one-of-a-kind perks – including limited edition t-shirts, autographed posters and even cameos in future music videos – are available and can be found at the link above. All contributors will have their names included in the new album booklet as an additional thank you, and the band plans to release a new song once they reach their goal!
The band says about the GoFundMe campaign: “We are currently in the process of finishing our new album, as well as shopping for a new label home. We have decided not to wait – we’re ready to share our new single with all of you and introduce you to a new era of SHATTERED SUN . As we’ve prepared to release this album independently, we have exhausted all our funds – personally covering all costs on the production of this album. We ask that our amazing fans consider pre-ordering our album via our new GoFundMe campaign, which will in turn help us finish the album and bring you new music with the remaining funds raised. We are nothing without our fans behind us! Thank you!”
SHATTERED SUN is: Marcos Leal – Vocals Jessie Santos – Guitar and Vocals Sebastian “Bas” Elizondo – Guitar and Vocals Joseph Guajardo – Bass Henry Garza – Keys, Samples Juan “PB” Hinojosa – Drums
Follow SHATTERED SUN: facebook.com/ShatteredSun https://instagram.com/shatteredsun https://twitter.com/shatteredsun
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Shattered Sun, ‘The Ultimatum’ – Exclusive Lyric Video Premiere
Here's an ultimatum! You must check out Shattered Sun . The Texas six-piece upstarts are beginning to get some buzz behind them and they've teamed with Loudwire to exclusively bring you the lyric video for their new song "The Ultimatum."
The hard-hitting track (listen above) offers a blend of brutality and melody all in one heavy package. Vocalist Marcos Leal tells Loudwire,"‘The Ultimatum’ is kind of our big ‘F--- You’ to everyone who ever said we couldn't do this. No one ever expected us to go anywhere except for us. We gave ourselves the ultimatum to take the chance on following this dream or basically giving up -- giving up isn't in our blood, it's just not who we are. This song is a testament to where we are today and the long road ahead of us ... This is just the beginning."
And speaking of the song being "a testament," the band will be touring this spring with thrash veterans Testament and Exodus . The trek will keep the band on the road throughout the month of April. In addition, fans can catch them playing the New England Metal & Hardcore Festival April 18 in Worcester, Mass. and the River City Rockfest in San Antonio, Texas, on May 24. See all of their tour dates below.
Look for Shattered Sun's Hope Within Hatred album, arriving on April 21. The disc is available for purchase in a variety of options at this location .
Shattered Sun Spring 2015 Tour Dates:
4/1 – San Francisco, Calif. @ The Regency Ballroom 4/2 – W Hollywood, Calif. @ House of Blues 4/3 – Scottsdale, Ariz. @ Livewire 4/4 – Albuquerque, N.M. @ Sunshine Theater 4/6 – San Antonio, Texas @ The Aztec Theater 4/7 – Houston, Texas @ House of Blues 4/8 – Dallas, Texas @ House of Blues 4/10 – Sauget, Ill. @ Pop’s 4/11 – Joliet, Ill. @ Mojoe’s 4/12 – Detroit, Mich. @ Harpo’s 4/13 – Grand Rapids, Mich. @ The Intersection 4/15 – Toronto, Ontario @ Phoenix Concert Theatre 4/16 – Niagara Falls, N.Y. @ Rapids Theatre 4/17 – Sayreville, N.J. @ Starland Ballroom 4/18 – Worcester, Mass. @ The Palladium (New England Metal and Hardcore Festival XVII) 4/19 – Huntington, N.Y. @ The Paramount Theater 4/21 – Louisville, Ky. @ The Mercury Ballroom 4/22 – Nashville, Tenn. @ Cannery Ballroom 4/23 – Atlanta, Ga. @ The Masquerade 4/24 – Knoxville, Tenn. @ The International 4/26 – Ft Lauderdale, Fla. @ Culture Room 4/28 – Silver Spring, Md. @ The Fillmore 4/29 – Poughkeepsie, N.Y. @ The Chance 4/30 – Philadelphia, Pa. @ The Trocadero 5/2 – Cincinnati, Ohio @ Bogart’s 5/24 – San Antonio, Texas @ The AT&T Center (River City Rockfest 2015)
See Chuck Billy-Approved Texan Outfit Shattered Sun Throw Down in New "Blame" Video
2017 was a big year for Texas' Shattered Sun . The melodic metal quintet dropped its second album, The Evolution of Anger , and appeared on the Vans Warped Tour for select dates. Then at a July show in Corpus Christi in their home state, the band was joined onstage by Testament frontman and famous fan Chuck Billy (who also manages the group) for rousing renditions of the thrash veterans' "Return to Serenity" and "Into the Pit." So Shattered Sun tore into 2018 with a head full of steam, which they are taking on the road with them on their current tour with Act of Defiance (see dates below). They also directed some of that momentum into the energetic new video for standout Evolution of Anger cut "Blame."
"This song defines the mood of the new record and the center of the anger I felt writing it," singer Marcos Leal says. "In today's world everyone points the finger at each other, places the blame on each other and no one wants to be liable for their surrounding negative situations. Some people tend to hide in the shadows of cowardice, yet are the first to condemn others to the eyes of the public. This song is our message: We aren't asleep and you can't bury us all."
Shattered Sun Tour Dates (With Act of Defiance) 3/1 San Diego, CA @ Brick By Brick 3/2 Fullerton, CA @ Slidebar 3/3 Mesa, AZ @ Club Red 3/4 Las Vegas, NV @ The Dive Bar 3/6 Flagstaff, AZ @ The Green Room 3/7 El Paso, TX @ Rockhouse 3/8 San Antonio, TX @ The Rock Box 3/9 Houston, TX @ BFE Rock Club 3/10 Dallas, TX @ The Curtain Club 3/11 Oklahoma City, OK @ The Ruins Live 3/12 Kansas City, MO @ The Riot Room 3/13 St. Louis, MO @ Fubar 3/14 Westland, MI @ The Token Lounge 3/15 Joliet, IL @ The Forge 3/16 Kent , OH @ The Outpost Concert Club 3/17 Janesville, WI @ Back Bar 3/18 Omaha, NE @ Dr. Jack's Drinkery 3/20 Colorado Springs, CO @ The Black Sheep 3/21 Grand Junction, CO @ Mesa Theater 3/23 Petaluma, CA @ The Phoenix Theater
3/24 Austin, TX @ Ironwood (with Devildriver, Bury Your Dead)
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Middle East crisis — explained
The conflict between Israel and Palestinians — and other groups in the Middle East — goes back decades. These stories provide context for current developments and the history that led up to them.
A requiem for Gaza's iconic sites, destroyed in the war
Abu Bakr Bashir
What is left of Pasha's Palace amid Israel's bombardment of Gaza. Historians of Gaza say Napoleon slept there for three nights in 1799. Omar El Qattaa for NPR hide caption
What is left of Pasha's Palace amid Israel's bombardment of Gaza. Historians of Gaza say Napoleon slept there for three nights in 1799.
The stately palace where Napoleon is said to have slept for a few nights. The last remaining Turkish bath, offering full body oil scrubs. The antiques shop with its trove of dusty treasures for sale.
So many of Gaza City's gems are no more.
They withstood decades of upheaval, preserving the memory of Gaza's ancient glory as a crossroads of civilizations. Now they have now been decimated in Israel's ongoing bombardment of Gaza, the deadliest war Palestinians have ever faced, prompted by the deadliest day Israelis have ever endured, when Hamas attacked Oct 7.
"It's really heartbreaking to see all this, and to think about the city that I cherish, that I'm from, that I love, in complete ruins," says Palestinian-American author Laila El-Haddad , fighting off tears. Her parents grew up in Gaza and she used to live there. "I just can't imagine why — what the point is of destroying all these places."
The destruction of Gaza's cultural heritage sites is among the crimes South Africa has alleged in its genocide case against Israel.
We asked the Israeli military, the IDF, why it targeted these sites. It said some contained militants and tunnels.
"In response to Hamas' barbaric attacks, the IDF is operating to dismantle Hamas military and administrative capabilities," it said. It blamed "the malicious exploitation by Hamas of civilian buildings, including significant, mainly religious sites, for its own terrorist purposes."
The Israeli military did not announce the targeting of these historical heritage sites. But Israeli media has reported the demolition of contemporary statues and monuments associated with Hamas.
As Israeli troops withdrew from parts of Gaza City in recent weeks, residents ventured outside to survey the shattered landscapes. Omar El Qattaa for NPR hide caption
As Israeli troops withdrew from parts of Gaza City in recent weeks, residents ventured outside to survey the shattered landscapes.
So much has been lost in Gaza, beyond the catastrophic death toll. More than half of Gaza's buildings are estimated to have been destroyed.
But these landmarks showed another face of Gaza, different from the den of misery the world has come to know. For Palestinians, these sites were part of the tangle of threads linking their daily lives to their heritage stretching back thousands of years — an intangible connection to the past that cannot be replaced.
We toured some of those sites ourselves in 2019, and created this mini travel guide to Gaza City, documenting the historical and cultural landmarks that tourists used to visit, before Hamas took control in 2007, and an Israeli blockade, supported by Egypt, sealed Gaza off from most outside visitors.
From 2019: Here's What Tourists Might See If They Were Allowed To Visit Gaza
After nearly four months of war, every site we visited then is now destroyed, badly damaged, or inaccessible.
We could not survey this ourselves. Journalists cannot enter Gaza during the war. So NPR asked Omar El Qattaa, one of the few remaining photojournalists in Gaza City during these months of war, to document the destruction, so we could compare NPR's photos of what existed before this war began to what remains now.
We shared the images with Ayman Hassouna, an historian of archaeology who had taken us on a tour of these sites in 2019. He fled his home in Gaza City when the current war began.
"I am shocked by the photos," says Hassouna. "I cannot believe what has happened. It's like a nightmare."
Few Gazans have been able to see what has happened to the sites since the war began. Most living in Gaza City escaped to the south in the early weeks of the war. As Israeli troops withdrew from parts of Gaza City in recent weeks, residents who did not flee the city ventured outside to make sense of their new, shattered landscapes.
Omari Mosque, Gaza's most iconic historical site
The Omari Mosque was the oldest mosque in Gaza, dating back to Crusader times. Destroyed by earthquakes and conquests, and rebuilt many times over history, the mosque had a storied history.
Palestinian devotees pray on Laylat al-Qadr at the Omari mosque during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in Gaza City, on April 17, 2023. Majdi Fathi/Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images hide caption
Palestinian devotees pray on Laylat al-Qadr at the Omari mosque during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in Gaza City, on April 17, 2023.
What is left of the Omari Mosque. It was Gaza's oldest Muslim house of worship and previously a Crusader church. The Israeli army said it bombed the mosque to target militants and a tunnel shaft inside. Omar El Qattaa for NPR hide caption
What is left of the Omari Mosque. It was Gaza's oldest Muslim house of worship and previously a Crusader church. The Israeli army said it bombed the mosque to target militants and a tunnel shaft inside.
It was originally a 5th century Byzantine church that was built over a more ancient temple. It was converted into a mosque in the 7th century, then a Crusader church in the 11th century, and back to a mosque in the 13th century. The architectural elements of the Crusader church were still apparent in the modern-day mosque, and an etching of a Jewish menorah on a mosque column, believed to have been originally part of an ancient synagogue, was once documented, and was destroyed in recent decades.
Now Gaza's central mosque, with its blue-carpeted floors and stained glass windows, is unrecognizable.
The Israeli military told NPR it struck the Omari Mosque to target militants and a tunnel shaft within the building.
The Samaritan Hammam bath
The Samaritan Hammam, a traditional domed bathhouse restored in the year 1320, was originally run by members of the ancient Samaritan religion. All that remains of the Samaritan Hammam are some archways nearly buried in the building's rubble, and the sign that used to be posted outside.
A Palestinian man relaxes at the ancient Samaritan Hammam, a traditional Turkish steam bath, in Gaza City, on March 3, 2021. Mahmud Hams/AFP via Getty Images hide caption
A Palestinian man relaxes at the ancient Samaritan Hammam, a traditional Turkish steam bath, in Gaza City, on March 3, 2021.
What is left of the Samaritan Hammam. Israel's military said it bombed the ancient bathhouse, alleging militants were based there and used a network of tunnels inside. Omar El Qattaa for NPR hide caption
What is left of the Samaritan Hammam. Israel's military said it bombed the ancient bathhouse, alleging militants were based there and used a network of tunnels inside.
Ahmad Elyassi, 38, stood next to the ruins of the bathhouse where he used to bathe with friends. Pinpricks of light used to stream through colorful holes in the domed ceiling. Bath attendants would give full body oil scrubs.
"I am honestly stunned," he says. "I didn't expect they'd destroy it and level it."
The Israeli military said it struck the Samaritan Hammam with "precision munitions" to target a Hamas squad and a network of tunnels inside.
The military said it could not find information about the other landmarks on our list.
Pasha's Palace, where Napoleon is said to have stayed
The Pasha's Palace was built by a Mamluk sultan in the 13th century. A second story was added several hundred years ago during the Ottoman era. It is where Gaza historians say Napoleon spent three nights in February of 1799 during his military campaign in the region.
In contemporary Gaza, it was a museum displaying Gaza's archaeological treasures, including centuries-old ceramic jars that had carried wine and olive oil from Gaza to ports across the Mediterranean — a reminder of a time of peace and economic prosperity for Gaza, and of its seafaring heritage.
Palm trees grow in the garden of the historical Pasha's Palace in Gaza City, in 2019. Khalil Hamra/AP Images for NPR hide caption
Palm trees grow in the garden of the historical Pasha's Palace in Gaza City, in 2019.
What is left of Pasha's Palace, amid Israel's bombardment of Gaza. Omar El Qattaa for NPR hide caption
What is left of Pasha's Palace, amid Israel's bombardment of Gaza.
Now, Pasha's Palace is mostly rubble. Some outer walls and intricate archways remain standing. The current fate of the antiquities it displayed is unknown. The only item visible now is a destroyed car on a mound of dirt in front of the ruined palace.
Antiques shop, packed with treasures
Ayman Hassouna, who taught archaeology in Gaza, walks out of an antiques shop in the middle of the main market in Gaza's Old City, in 2019. Khalil Hamra/AP Images for NPR hide caption
Ayman Hassouna, who taught archaeology in Gaza, walks out of an antiques shop in the middle of the main market in Gaza's Old City, in 2019.
What is left of the antiques shop, amid Israel's bombardment of Gaza. Omar El Qattaa for NPR hide caption
What is left of the antiques shop, amid Israel's bombardment of Gaza.
The Old Town Antique Store, a stall along a once-bustling marketplace, once brimmed with old photo albums, brass hamsa pendants meant to ward off the evil eye, and rare English books.
Among the collection that once stuffed the shop: an original 1924 copy of "Crime and Criminals in Palestine" by a Jerusalem police inspector, and a 1930s telephone book featuring prominent Jewish and Palestinian families who were since scattered into exile and diaspora.
Now the antique shop has been destroyed. Old film negatives are scattered among the debris. Saleem Elrayes, the cheery English-speaking owner who ran the shop for more than 30 years, could not be reached.
Gaza's revered fish restaurant
Gaza's beachside fish restaurant, Al Salam Abu Haseira, is where we sat in 2019 at a long table, dining on grilled fish seasoned with hot pepper, parsley, onions, lemon and tomato. Its specialties were a touchstone of Gaza's seafaring tradition, including shrimp zibdiyeh , a spicy tomato stew, served in Gaza's traditional clay zibdiyeh cooking pots.
The restaurant is now damaged, as seen through its wide windows facing the Mediterranean Sea.
The sun sets over Al Salam Abu Haseira fish restaurant by the beach in Gaza City, in 2019. Khalil Hamra/Khalil Hamra/AP Images for NPR hide caption
The sun sets over Al Salam Abu Haseira fish restaurant by the beach in Gaza City, in 2019.
The fish restaurant has been damaged in the Israeli bombardment of Gaza City. Omar El Qattaa for NPR hide caption
The fish restaurant has been damaged in the Israeli bombardment of Gaza City.
A cafe in an old mansion
Beit Sitti, a chic cafe-restaurant nestled in a three-story traditional mansion, and an ode to Palestinian cultural heritage, is still standing, according to its previous owner, Gaza playwright and caricaturist Atef Salama. But it is locked and inaccessible, he says, and those who have keys have fled Gaza City and are unable to return.
Palestinians sit inside Beit Sitti, Arabic for "my grandmother's house," in Gaza's Old City on Dec. 19, 2017. The cafe is an ode to Palestinian cultural heritage. Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images hide caption
Palestinians sit inside Beit Sitti, Arabic for "my grandmother's house," in Gaza's Old City on Dec. 19, 2017. The cafe is an ode to Palestinian cultural heritage.
The archway leading to Beit Sitti as it looks now. The cafe appears to still be standing following Israeli strikes in the area. It was locked and inaccessible to survey if there was any damage. Omar El Qattaa for NPR hide caption
The archway leading to Beit Sitti as it looks now. The cafe appears to still be standing following Israeli strikes in the area. It was locked and inaccessible to survey if there was any damage.
Set around an airy courtyard with caged birds and plants climbing the walls, the cafe served a traditional Palestinian breakfast spread of jams and mini flatbreads topped with cheese and za'atar spices. On Thursday evenings, it hosted a young clientele for dinner, water pipes and live Arabic music.
A hotel and museum
An employee sits behind the reception desk of Al-Mathaf Hotel in Gaza City, in 2019. Khalil Hamra/AP Images for NPR hide caption
An employee sits behind the reception desk of Al-Mathaf Hotel in Gaza City, in 2019.
The reception area of Al-Mathaf hotel is badly damaged following Israeli bombardment. Photo taken on Feb. 3, 2024. Omar El Qattaa for NPR hide caption
The reception area of Al-Mathaf hotel is badly damaged following Israeli bombardment. Photo taken on Feb. 3, 2024.
Al-Mathaf, which means "The Museum," is a 36-room room boutique hotel with sea views. It had a resplendent reception area with a patchwork of tiles and stones salvaged from old Gazan homes. The owner's private collection of Gazan antiquities had been displayed in the foyer.
What happened to the hotel was unclear until early February, when Israeli troops had already withdrawn and it was safe for residents to approach the area.
Our photographer found the hotel severely damaged. The reception hall was littered with shattered stones and tiles. Ancient jugs were smashed. Windows were broken, walls were pockmarked and roofs were demolished. The manicured garden of palm trees and cacti outside was ravaged. An exterior wall displayed Hebrew graffiti; one soldier had sprayed a message to his brother, a Hamas captive. The hotel appears to have been set on fire.
We sent photos to Jawdat Khoudary, the hotel owner who left for Egypt.
"I am crying blood from a broken heart," he texted back. "A house can be rebuilt, a son can be born, but when history is erased, it is difficult to restore."