I had the pleasure of being in the pit for Ghost | Facebook during their show in Phoenix on Tuesday, October 25. All photos were shot with a Samsung Galaxy S7.
For the full photoset, visit alecdamiano.com
October 27, 2016 | Categories: Church, Concerts, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Music, Photos | Tags: comerica theatre, ghost, meliora, nameless ghouls, phoenix, phoenix az, popestar, popestar tour, the nameless ghouls | Leave a comment
RICHARD CHRISTY: ‘I still have my fingers crossed that people will get to hear the last CONTROL DENIED album’
I was fortunate enough to interview legendary drummer Richard Christy for our partner website, Vita In Musica.
Christy is currently prepping for the release of the new CHARRED WALLS OF THE DAMNED album, which features Tim “Ripper” Owens (DIO DISCIPLED, ex-JUDAS PRIEST) on vocals, Jason Suecof on guitar (CAPHARNAUM), and Steve Digiorgio (TESTAMENT, DEATH, SADUS) on bass.
However, we also talked about his time in DEATH, ICED EARTH, and CONTROL DENIED.
In the interview, Christy revealed that the second CONTROL DENIED album, late DEATH mastermind Chuck Schuldiner’s final album, was nearly completed before Schuldiner‘s death in 2001. Christy mentioned some interesting aspects of recording:
I did my drums in December of the year 2000, and I’m really proud of the drums on that, because those I did in one day, and I did every track in one day. The drum sound was amazing, and I really hope that people will get to hear it one day. Chuck did his guitar parts as well, and those are incredible as well… I remember rehearsing that album, and there’s such crazy stuff on that second album. We did this one thing where it didn’t have a time signature. We slowed down just by looking at each other, and then [sped] back up. It’s one really weird riff. I remember when Chuck came up with it and Shannon shouted to me, we were all just laughing because it was so crazy-sounding and so cool.
As for a potential release, nothing is currently set in stone, but Christy is optimistic.
“I don’t have any news on it, unfortunately,” he said. “But I still have my fingers crossed that one day people will get to hear that album.”
He continued: “The thing is, we gotta make sure that it’s something that Chuck would’ve wanted people to hear and that it’s done right. So, I really hope that people get to hear it one day, cause it’s really an amazing album.”
Christy also revealed that the drums for DEATH‘s final album, The Sound of Perseverance, were recorded in 2-3 days at the most, and without a metronome.
CHARRED WALLS OF THE DAMNED‘s latest album, Creatures Watching over the Dead, will be released September 23 via Metal Blade Records.
For the full interview, click here.
September 1, 2016 | Categories: Death Metal, Heavy Metal, Interviews, Music, Music News, Power Metal, Thrash Metal | Tags: charred walls of the damned, chuck schuldiner, control denied, creatures watching over the dead, death, iced earth, jason suecof, metal blade, metal blade records, richard christy, steve digiorgio, the sound of perseverance, tim ripper owens | Leave a comment
I had the opportunity to interview symphonic metal mastermind and keyboardist Martijn Westerholt of DELAIN. We discussed the band’s upcoming album, Moonbathers, which is out August 26th via Napalm Records.
Moonbathers features Alissa White-Gluz (ARCH ENEMY, ex-THE AGONIST) as a guest vocalist on “Hands of Gold,” as well as a cover of QUEEN‘s “Scandal”.
Westerholt also discusses his time in Within Temptation, accusations of “commercialism,” and elitism in metal:
The whole ‘commercial’ argument is total bullshit, because if I want to go commercial, you can not use any guitars whatsoever, and I’m in totally the wrong genre. So, I just make what I love to make… If I want to make money, and if I want to be commercial, first of all, I wouldn’t be into music in general, because the chance that you can earn money with music is REALLY, REALLY small. And second of all, even if I want to do that, then please don’t choose metal, because you will have very limited radio airplay, and metal is not in fashion. But I happen to love metal, and I happen to love hard guitars… I actually really, really dislike–actually, despise–the whole elitism thing. Also, when bands become successful, then it’s suddenly not cool anymore, because ‘your’ band–you have to share them with other people. It’s not your band in the first place… I see the fans as my boss, as my employer, because they spend money on me and I can do this because of them, and I really am grateful for this. But this doesn’t mean they have a say in what kind of music I will make or not, because that’s something that comes from your heart… I make what I want to make.
You can listen to the entire interview at our partner website Vita In Musica.
July 18, 2016 | Categories: Heavy Metal, Interviews, Music News, Power Metal, symphonic metal | Tags: alissa white-gluz, Arch Enemy, charlotte wessels, delain, keyboards, martijn westerholt, moonbathers, Napalm Records, power metal, Queen, scandal, symphonic metal, the agonist, the miracle, within temptation | Leave a comment
I had the opportunity to interview Fernanda Lira from Nervosa for our partner website Vita In Musica. We talk about the band’s new album “Agony,” how the band has matured, and being a woman in thrash metal.
During the beginning of the band’s career, people often made up rumors about the band, only because they were women. As the band increased in popularity, the criticism died down and received more support:
“Over time, I think people kinda noticed that we’re not here to show off, you know? We’re just here playing metal because we love metal and we’re metalheads, and that’s it. They have to respect that. It doesn’t matter what our gender is, like if we’re women or men. It just matters that we’re metalheads.”
We also discussed some of her eclectic influences, ranging from Death mastermind Chuck Schuldiner, to Nuclear Assault, to Amy Winehouse, Etta James, and Beyoncé!
“I’m a singer and before I sang in Nervosa–in this raspy, growling way–I started singing in a clean way… I am always learning new techniques and everything. Because of that, I listen to a lot of divas. Like, everyone hates me because of that. My bandmates are like, ‘Awww fuck, you’re listening to Beyoncé?!’ But that’s it. I actually don’t give a fuck. Most metalheads would be like, ‘[groan] she’s not trve enough’.”
She began singing metal doing clean vocals but admits she is still a bit shy about singing clean in public. You can hear her clean vocals in “Wayfarer,” a bonus track from “Agony”.
Nervosa is currently on tour in Europe and will return to North America in the fall.
You can listen to the entire interview here.
‘Agony‘ was recently released on June 3rd via Napalm Records.
June 10, 2016 | Categories: Heavy Metal, Interviews, Music, Thrash Metal | Tags: agony, amy winehouse, beyonce, Death Metal, etta james, fernanda lira, nervosa, pitchu ferraz, prika amaral, Thrash Metal, Time of Death | Leave a comment
HANK SHERMANN: DAVE MUSTAINE Did Not Allow Performance With KING DIAMOND, Talks Potential MERCYFUL FATE Reunion, Songwriting
I was fortunate enough to interview the legendary axeman Hank Shermann (Denner/Shermann, Mercyful Fate) for our partner website Vita In Musica. We talked about the upcoming Denner/Shermann album, ‘Masters of Evil,’ a potential Mercyful Fate reunion, and playing guitar with Volbeat in 2012.
Volbeat singer Michael Poulsen had asked Shermann to play guitar during the band’s run on Gigantour in 2012. King Diamond was supposed to perform “Come to the Sabbath” with the band, but Dave Mustaine did not allow it.
“King Diamond also went to Dallas when we did the Gigantour, because he was supposed to play–we did play a Mercyful Fate song–‘Come To The Sabbath’. King Diamond was coming to the show in order to sing it. But apparently, Dave Mustaine didn’t want King to be onstage and do whatever Satanic lyrics, or whatever that was all about… So, King came to the concert and he was given the–he was told that, ‘Hey King, you’re not allowed’ from Mustaine for some reason.”
The band played the intro from “Come to the Sabbath” anyway, as King sang the lyrics from the audience.
Shermann continues, “That was pretty funny. What that was all about, I don’t have a clue. I don’t know if suddenly Mustaine had gotten into God, or you know, for whatever reason [laughs]. That was pretty bizarre you know, because back in the days, they were very good friends… Megadeth were touring with Diamond in the 80s. But there’s a lot of changes in that band. But you know, they’re good guys… and I like them and they have made some really cool records over time.”
He also revealed that he has been in talks with King Diamond over a possible Mercyful Fate reunion, though nothing has been set in stone. There is still an album left on contract with Metal Blade Records.
“Nothing has been talked about, specifics. But I mean, it would be a fascinating thought, and let’s all hope that it would happen, at least for the fans, because we owe everything to the fans, that we are still here to this day.”
Denner/Shermann will also be touring Europe and North America later this year.
For the entire interview, click here.
‘Masters of Evil‘ is due for release on June 24th via Metal Blade Records.
UPDATE (6/9/16 8:27 a.m. PST): YouTube link has been included because the Vita In Musica site is down: https://youtu.be/t5mfMqL7d5I
June 8, 2016 | Categories: Christian, Church, Heavy Metal, Interviews, Music News, Religion | Tags: Dave Mustaine, Gigantour, hank shermann, Interview, interviews, King Diamond, Megadeth, Mercyful Fate, metal blade records, michael denner, michael poulsen, shermann denner, shermann tank, vita in musica, Volbeat | Leave a comment
I recently interviewed Revocation‘s Dave Davidson for our partner site, Vita in Musica. He talks about the band’s latest album, Great is Our Sin, playing the upcoming Summer Slaughter tour, recording with Aborted, and more.
We also talked about songwriting, his musical background, influences, and his advice for aspiring musicians. He urges new bands to “try to find [their] own voice.”
“If you want to start a band or start creating music, try to get into it for–hopefully–the right reasons. Have something to say. Have this creative spark that you want to share with the world… The competition to be seen and heard is really, really, stiff… In regards to business, try to be smart with your money. Invest in the things that are smart to invest in, like good solid recording… Make sure you think carefully about your aesthetic choices, even like with your artwork. If you’re trying to be a traditional heavy metal band, try to get a logo that reflects that look. If you’re a death metal band, try to have a logo that reflects your sound. Have accompanying artwork that can also add to the music. Try to have a full aesthetic package.
For the whole interview, click here.
‘Great is Our Sin‘ is due for release on July 22nd via Metal Blade Records.
June 8, 2016 | Categories: Death Metal, Interviews, Thrash Metal | Tags: aborted, dave davidson, david davidson, great is our sin, metal blade, metal blade records, revocation, summer slaughter | Leave a comment
Gorgatron is from North Dakota but who are you guys?
Who are we?! I’ll tell you BROTHER!
We’re the cheeseburger eatin’
Riff thrashin’, hipster bashin’
Wild men without a care
Women listen to our records and strip themselves bare!
What style of heavy metal can fans expect? What has influenced your sound?
Death metal, thrash, grindcore, sludge,
It’s basically the audio equivalent of getting choke slammed off a building into a dumpster full of scorpions.
Some things that influence us are: Arnold Schwarzenegger movies, four loco, cheap tacos, Legion of doom matches, Morbid Angel before they wrote that toe tappin’ techno album.
Where was your favorite show on tour, so far?
Im gonna go with the time we were supposed to play NYC. The show got all fucked over and we had to deal with a coked up fella we dubbed “70’s Porno Dracula” and his evil henchmen. Even a shitty gig (or lack there of) can be a learning experience, and that’s what life is about kids, learning………. and death metal.
Why did you decide to tour?
Because we’re coming to your front fuckin’ door to shove heavy metal down your throat and tear you away from YouTube for a couple hours. I’M TALKING TO YOU AMERICA!
Honestly I don’t think you’re a legitimate band until you put some miles on your old shitty van, and play for some tough crowds not comprised of your girlfriends and drinking buddies. People that don’t know or care about you will let you know fairly quickly if you suck or not.
I’M TALKING CAGE MATCH BROTHER! US AGAINST THE AUDIENCE! THE TAJ MAHAL! IT’S A WAR ON THE SHORE!!!!
When can the Phoenix scene see you play live?
JUNE 10TH @ CLUB RED, BROTHER!
We’ve been preparing, day in and day out. Our ability to out-party anyone is something we boast about.
Our guitars and drums are tuned with precision,
Which is why you should make the decision,
To walk down that isle,
Style and profile,
Jesus, just come to CLUB RED JUNE 10TH and let us and a bunch of other killer bands WHOOP THAT MONKEY ASS (musically).
We can’t wait to get sweaty in the desert with all of you!
Paul Harvey Johnson
We are just regular jack offs with a similar state of mind and the same approach to enjoying our passion that is metal. We know there isn’t a lot of money to be made in our genre but that is not why we do it.
We are a death metal band first and foremost, whether it’s death/thrash or progressive death, that’s for you to decide! Some of our influences include Death, Edge of Sanity, Sadus, Voivod, Nevermore, etc.
Where was your favorite show on the tour, so far?
So far Cheyenne was our best evening. Tons of locals came out to support, the crowd was insane, we were partying with everyone in the van afterwards shootin the shit, cops even showed up. But that’s why we love DIY venues, you never know what will go down.
Why did you decide to tour?
We always said we would have a solid tour whenever we released our first full length album, the timing could not have been better for all of us.
When can the Phoenix scene see you play live?
We will be playing in Phoenix on Tuesday, April 19th at Club Red with some other amazing bands, check that shit out!
April 12, 2016 | Categories: Concerts, Death Metal, Heavy Metal, Interviews, Melodic Death Metal, Music, Music News | Tags: Death Metal, heavy metal, melodeath, Melodic Death Metal, pile of priests | Leave a comment
March 4, 2016 | Categories: Heavy Metal, Photos, Thrash Metal | Tags: concert photography, fernanda lira, heavy metal, Napalm Records, nervosa, pitchu ferraz, prika amaral, Thrash Metal | Leave a comment
The band had just finished a dynamic show at Joe’s Grotto in Phoenix, Ariz. The interview took place in the green room around 12:45 a.m., as the venue was closing. Drummer Pitchu Ferraz and guitarist Prika Amaral were also backstage, as well as a handful of fans, while the video was being filmed. Ferraz makes a brief appearance holding up some merchandise.
Fernanda and I talked about Nervosa’s upcoming second album, their current first tour of the United States, and women in metal.
Facebook: Nervosa Thrash
March 3, 2016 | Categories: Heavy Metal, Interviews, Music, Music News, Thrash Metal | Tags: brasil, brazil, fernanda lira, Interview, nervosa, phoenix az, pitchu ferraz, prika amaral, Thrash Metal, women in metal, women in music | 1 Comment
This time last year, the future of Megadeth was uncertain to the public. Guitarist Chris Broderick and drummer Shawn Drover had left the band within hours of each other in November. Bandleader, lead singer, and guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassist David Ellefson were auditioning replacements.
There were rumors of a Rust in Peace (1990) lineup reunion. It was attempted, but it didn’t happen.
Angra guitarist Kiko Loureiro and Lamb of God drummer Chris Adler were officially announced as Megadeth’s newest members in Spring 2015.
The band’s latest effort, Dystopia, was released this January. Widely acclaimed, it hit #3 on the Billboard Top 200. It beat Adele and Justin Bieber for the #1 iTunes spot in Canada and has been regarded by many as Megadeth’s finest album in decades (or at least since Endgame).
Fresh on the heels of Dystopia‘s success, Megadeth set out on the killing road with a killer set of supporting bands in tow: legendary crossover punks Suicidal Tendencies, Finnish melodeath virtuosos Children of Bodom, and emerging Colorado thrashers, Havok. I am a fan of all the bands on the bill and had seen them all previously, which made me particularly excited for this show.
Havok opened with four songs. Among those were “D.O.A.” and “Give Me Liberty… Or Give Me Death”. On my side of the pit, you couldn’t hear David Sanchez’s vocals very well, but the band put on a hell of a show, as was expected of them. Considering I had seen them play to packed smaller venues, I was surprised that more people in the crowd did not know who they were. I was also slightly disappointed that they only played four songs. But even though most of the crowd seemed unfamiliar with the band at first, Havok was given hearty applause once they finished their set.
Children of Bodom played another short set, which included songs from their newest album, I Worship Chaos (2015), and classic material like “Hate Me” and “Angels Don’t Kill.” The guitars were nearly inaudible on my side, which saddened me, because I really admire Alexi Laiho’s guitar work. The sound levels were fixed about halfway through their set. Regardless, Bodom shredded.
Up to this point, the crowd was mostly calm in my area, with a few people moshing and one girl crowdsurfing during Bodom’s set. But once Suicidal took the stage, all hell broke loose.
Suicidal Tendencies opened with a ripping version of “You Can’t Bring Me Down,” and singer Mike Muir was running and jumping all over the stage throughout their whole set. None other than Slayer’s Dave Lombardo was behind S.T.’s kit. Their dynamic seven-song set was filled with hits like “Institutionalized” and “I Saw Your Mommy”. The crowd was going wild, with plenty of people headbanging, moshing, and crowd-surfing. Even though they had small rigs (the guitarists only had half-stacks), they were the best-sounding band of the night so far, and definitely the most energetic.
Next up was the band everyone was waiting for.
Suicidal quickly tore down their equipment, and a curtain dropped, revealing the massive futuristic apparatus Megadeth would be playing in front of. It was nice surprise to see Mustaine’s guitar tech, Willie Gee, setting up. From what I knew, he had retired last year.
About twenty minutes later, the lights went down. An intro animation of Megadeth’s logo danced on the video screen as “Prince of Darkness” played in the background. Then, the band launched into “The Threat Is Real,” strutting onstage as lights flashed and smoke machines went off.
Dave Mustaine may not be the most flamboyant frontman in metal, but he strode all over the stage throughout the band’s set, bobbing his fiery mane up and down while his fingers danced all over the fretboard. His voice sounded in particularly great condition tonight. Even though the band was tuned down to D to accommodate his vocals, it gave the songs an added darkness.
David Ellefson and Kiko Loureiro also walked up and down the stage as they played, heading back to their microphones in time to sing backing vocals. Even as they sang, they smiled and interacted with the crowd, throwing us picks in between songs. To say Kiko nailed Marty Friedman’s solos would be an understatement.
Chris Adler was situated atop a massive drum riser embedded into their futuristic stage prop. I couldn’t see his face much during the actual show, but the pictures I took show him smiling.
Their setlist spanned 30 years; they played material off most of their albums from Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying? (1986) to Dystopia (2016). It was awesome to hear some deeper cuts from Rust In Peace like “Dawn Patrol” and “Poison Was The Cure,” as well as their hits like “A Tout Le Monde”.
What struck me as odd was that the Phoenix crowd did not seem to know the “Megadeth, Megadeth, aguante Megadeth” chant that Argentina had pioneered for “Symphony Of Destruction”. Not only do the Argentinian crowds chant it, but so do the crowds in other Latin countries. Fellow Latino Kiko Loureiro came to my side of the venue and saw me mouthing those words, then he smiled at me.
As the four members united at center stage to take their final bow and throw picks and wristbands into the audience, my only thought was, “Why did it have to end?”
I had seen Megadeth before. Not once, but three times, and those three shows paled in comparison to this one. It was like I had seen a different band, and in a sense, I had. All the members seemed legitimately happy to belong to the same group, and you could feel their radiance beaming from the stage.
Catch this tour if you can. You won’t regret it.
- The Threat Is Real
- Hangar 18
- Wake Up Dead
- In My Darkest Hour
- Sweating Bullets
- Dawn Patrol
- Poison Was The Cure
- Skin O’ My Teeth
- Fatal Illusion
- A Tout Le Monde
- Symphony Of Destruction
- Peace Sells
- Holy Wars…The Punishment Due
March 2, 2016 | Categories: Concerts, Heavy Metal, Melodic Death Metal, Thrash Metal | Tags: Alexi Laiho, Angra, Children of Bodom, Chris Adler, dave lombardo, Dave Mustaine, David Ellefson, David Sanchez, Dystopia, Havok, heavy metal, I worship chaos, Kiko Loureiro, Lamb of God, Megadeth, Mike Muir, Slayer, Suicidal Tendencies, Thrash Metal, Willie Gee | 1 Comment
If you are interested in contributing to The Blog of Shredding, please email alecdamiano(at)hotmail.com with a sample of your work!
This website will be undergoing a facelift within the next few weeks, and expect some great content soon!
It’s been a very long time since I’ve posted here on TBOS. A lot of things have been going on in my life, but now I am planning to post here once again.
Sunday, I had the opportunity to shoot the King Diamond/Exodus show in Tucson, Ariz. thanks to Heavy Metal Television. I am also a video DJ on that network, and you can catch me weekdays from 9 am to 1 pm Pacific Standard time.
Here are some photos from the concert, which I think was hands-down the best show of the year.
- Bonded By Blood
- Toxic Waltz
- Vlad The impaler
- Welcome Home
- Sleepless Nights
- Eye of the Witch
- A Mansion In Darkness
- The Family Ghost
- The 7th Day of July 1777
- The Possession
- Black Horsemen
November 11, 2015 | Categories: Concerts, Heavy Metal, Photos | Tags: andy larocque, concert, concert photography, exodus, heavy metal television, jack gibson, King Diamond, lee altus, matt thompson, Mercyful Fate, mike wead, not gary holt, pontus egberg, steve sousa, tom hunting, zetro sousa | Leave a comment
Check out this video by Phoenix brutal death metal band Autolysis
WARNING: contains gore
Phoenix thrash metallers Warhead are supposed to tour the East Coast early next year. But their tour van broke down and they’re raising money for a new engine.
For more information, you can view the video below.
Ladies and gentlemen, I’m proud to present my first music video ever: “For the Empire” by Ye’iitsoh!
Ye’iitsoh is a blackened thrash metal band from Phoenix. They are in the process of recording their first demo.
You can watch the following feature below.
The music video for their first single, “For the Empire,” will be released exclusively here on The Blog of Shredding later this year.
They’ll be opening for Death Angel tomorrow, Saturday Nov. 9.
November 8, 2013 | Categories: Black Metal, Heavy Metal, Interviews, Melodic Death Metal, Music, Music News, Speed Metal, Thrash Metal | Tags: black metal, for the empire, old school metal, phoenix, Thrash Metal, ye'iitsoh | Leave a comment
Check out this interview I did with California metal virtuosos Exmortus! They just signed a 3-album deal with Prosthetic Records, home of Holy Grail and Skeletonwitch. You can hear the full interview here!
Check out this interview I did with Jason Rainey from Sacred Reich! He talks about the band’s early days, SR’s reunion, and returning to Metal Blade Records. Sacred Reich plans to tour Europe and South America next year. You can hear the full interview here!
October 11, 2013 | Categories: Heavy Metal, Interviews, Speed Metal, Thrash Metal | Tags: jason rainey, metal blade records, sacred reich, surf nicaragua, the american way, Thrash Metal | Leave a comment
Controversy has surrounded Avenged Sevenfold’s latest effort since the Internet first saw guitarist Synyster Gates with short hair.
Then came the chaos surrounding the album artwork, with many claiming that the cover had ripped off Lich King’s “World Gone Dead”. Sevenfold later changed the album cover.
The single and title track, “Hail to the King” was released to mixed-to-positive reception, with many insisting that the new drummer Arin Ilejay’s work was too simplistic. But M. Shadows insisted that the straightforward drum parts were intentional, because the new record would sound like classic 80s hard rock and heavy metal.
Regardless, the metal world just had to see—rather, hear—how this new album would turn out. It was Sevenfold’s first album with a permanent drummer since Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan passed away in late 2009. Ex-Dream Theater powerhouse Mike Portnoy hit the skins on A7X’s previous work, “Nightmare,” which was a massive hit. How would they follow up?
“Shepherd of Fire” is a very powerful start to the album, possibly even better than the single and title track. The album starts off with the sound of rain and Synyster Gates’ and Zacky Vengeance’s dual guitar leads and Johnny Christ’s rumbling bass. “Shepherd” is very old school and the Iron Maiden influences are very apparent. Singer M. Shadows was correct when he said the album would have a classic hard rock/metal feel combined with the band’s signature sound.
“Hail To the King,” the first single from this album, is next. Though it has Gates’ and Vengeance’s trademark guitar runs, it lacks the power of the first track. When the single was first released, many complained that the Arin Ilejay’s drum work was too simplistic compared to The Rev’s and Mike Portnoy’s (who played on “Nightmare”). Shadows contended that the straightforward drum parts were intentional and meant to make the record sound more 80s metal influenced. After hearing the first track, this makes more sense in the context of the entire album. The production is magnificently crisp. The song can be heard below.
“Doing Time” sounds like a mixture of Black Sabbath and Guns N’ Roses with a “Paranoid”-esque riff and Shadows’ spoken intro. The octave vocal harmonies, Shadows’ nasal delivery, and shrieks are very reminiscent of “Appetite For Destruction” Axl Rose. It is a decent song but lacks panache compared to the other two songs.
Slow, beautiful guitar harmonies open “This Means War”. It then evolves into a powerful mid-tempo anthem, like a combination of two earlier Sevenfold songs, “Welcome to the Family” and “Girl I Know”. The Iron Maiden influence is also evident in this song, with soaring vocal melodies, cleaner singing, and dueling guitars. The lyrics are pretty awesome: “There’s nothing here for free – Lost who I want to be / My serpent blood can strike so cold / On any given day – I’ll take it all away / Another thought I can’t control”.
“Requiem” opens with a choir singing Gregorian chant, possibly borrowing from Ghost B.C., who Sevenfold will be touring with later this year. A fragment of this song could be heard in one of the albums previews the band released a few months back. Epic strings compliment Synyster Gate’s leads, making the song sound like a more updated version of something off of Ozzy’s “Diary of a Madman”.
The ballad “Crimson Day” opens with a clean intro, kind of reminding me of Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters”. It is more powerful and poignant than Sevenfold’s best-known ballad, “Seize the Day,” and may even appeal to country audiences. It could be a crossover hit.
“Heretic” takes us back to signature Sevenfold-sounding territory. With rawer production, it would fit right at home on “City of Evil”. This song showcases how much Shadows has progressed as a singer since then. The acoustic guitar interlude matching underneath the dual guitar riffs remind me of the middle section of Megadeth’s “Reckoning Day”, once again displaying Sevenfold’s 80s metal influences. Synsyter Gates cements his status as a guitar god with this track.
“Coming Home” also wears Iron Maiden influences on its sleeve while still retaining aspects of Sevenfold’s “City Of Evil”-era sound. We also get to hear some more complex drumming, with Ilejay’s double bass footwork.
“Planets” starts with an interesting drum beat and horns and guitars dancing from the left to right headphones and back, another example of the all the thought that went into the production of this album. The result is an apocalyptic, dissonant, half-thrash-influenced, half-prog thing. It is definitely experimental, even by Sevenfold standards (“A Little Piece of Heaven,” anyone?), and may have to grow on the listener.
“Acid Rain” opens with a piano playing a minor progression of chords. Then dreamy strings kick in, and Synyster plays a very bluesy Slash-sounding solo before Shadows starts singing. It is beautifully melodramatic, almost cabaretish—like if Electric Light Orchestra’s “Mr. Blue Sky” and Guns N’ Roses’ “November Rain” had a bastard child. Who knows if having a piano-based track close the album will be an ongoing trend for Sevenfold (“Fiction” closed their previous album, “Nightmare”). If so, it is definitely something to look forward to. The album ends with one of its most memorable songs, but the listener is still left wanting more.
Is “Hail to the King” “City Of Evil 2”? No. It’s far more diverse than that and could seem a tad too overproduced at times.
Is it better than “Nightmare”? Yes and no, depending on your individual taste. It is more experimental, which could appeal to some and turn others off.
Is this album one of the best metal albums of 2013 so far? It is a possible contender, but we’ll have to wait and see.
FINAL VERDICT: 8.5/10
- Shepherd Of Fire
- Hail To The King
- Doing Time
- This Means War
- Crimson Day
- Coming Home
- Acid Rain
August 27, 2013 | Categories: Album Reviews, Heavy Metal, Metalcore, Music, Reviews | Tags: Arin Ilejay, Avenged Sevenfold, Hail to the King, Johnny Christ, M. Shadows, Synyster Gates, Zacky Vengeance | 1 Comment
Check out this interview I did for Arizona Metal with the legendary Rachel Bolan of Skid Row!
He talks about the band’s latest EP series, “United World Rebellion,” playing bass on Stone Sour‘s “House Of Gold And Bones” albums (we reviewed Part 2 here), and several other topics.
You can hear the entire interview here. Enjoy!
Newsted, which features former Metallica, Flotsam and Jetsam, and Voivod bassist Jason Newsted and Staind guitarist Mike Mushok, will release their debut album in the U.S. August 6. But you can hear “Heavy Metal Music” in its entirety below, before it hits stores. Let us know what you think!
Avenged Sevenfold has premiered the first single from their upcoming album, “Hail to the King,” which is released August 27.
This will be their first album with drummer Arin Ilejay, who toured with the band since 2011. It is also the first that does not have any musical contributions from the late Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan.
July 15, 2013 | Categories: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Metalcore, Music, Music News | Tags: Arin Ilejay, Avenged Sevenfold, Hail to the King, Johnny Christ, M. Shadows, Synyster Gates, Zacky Vengeance | 1 Comment
Previously released samples of new Avenged Sevenfold songs can be heard below.
There has also been controversy surrounding the album artwork, drawing comparisons to Lich King’s “World Gone Dead”.