Hard Rock and Heavy Metal news, reviews, and interviews.

Death Metal

This Week in Metal: Moshing, Lemmy, Megadeth, and More

These past several days have been interesting ones in the metal community.

In perhaps one of the biggest recent controversies, rumors spread that moshing would be outlawed. This tweet by Oliver Sykes from Bring Me The Horizon fueled the speculation.

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Moshing was made illegal in the city of Boston in 2012, and to the best knowledge of TBOS, there hasn’t been any more recent legislation put into action. Kevin Lyman, the promoter of Warped Tour, where BMTH are performing, assured his Twitter followers that moshing has not been outlawed on the tour, but bands are not allowed to encourage it due to possible legal problems.

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Motörhead was forced to cancel three shows after singer/bassist Lemmy Kilmister suffered a hematoma. But the band released a statement proclaiming that their frontman was doing well. Motörhead will release their latest album, Aftershock, in September.

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Tickets for Iron Maiden’s upcoming London show sold out in a mere 12 minutes. The band have since added a second show. It will be their last show in the UK before they tour the States and headline Rock In Rio and other shows in South America. The band also launched an online store for their Trooper beer this week.

Megadeth 2013

Megadeth announced they will donate the proceeds from their upcoming Gigantour show in Oklahoma City will be donated to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. According to Loudwire, singer Dave Mustaine said, “Many amazing bands have come forward to aid Oklahomans since the May tornadoes came and tore apart their homes and lives. Now it’s time for Heavy Metal to give to this community!”

A 6-year-old girl wowed audiences on “America’s Got Talent” by singing an original death metal song called “Zombie Skin”. Surprisingly, the kid band (called Murp) progressed to the next level of the show.

Another metal-related video went viral this week. The Badpiper, an Australian street performer, made headlines by performing AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck,” complete with pyrotechnics.

In other news:

  • Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival (a.k.a Mayhem Fest) kicked off Saturday night in San Bernardino, Calif.
  • Andrew WK will be opening for Black Sabbath on their upcoming North American tour.
  • Avenged Sevenfold announced that their next album, “Hail to the King” will be released August 27.
  • Germany’s Wacken Open Air Festival will be the subject of a 3D documentary.
  • Full Metal Jackie now has her own iHeartRadio station.

Thus concludes TBOS’s “This Week in Metal”.

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Album Review: CHILDREN OF BODOM’s “Halo of Blood” (Deluxe Edition)

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Finnish melodeath band Children of Bodom is back with a vengeance, releasing possibly their best album in over a decade. “Halo of Blood” shows how CoB has matured musically while still maintaining their aggression and sense of humor.

“Waste of Skin” and “Halo of Blood” start off the album with an aggressive one-two punch, where the keyboards take somewhat of a backseat. Alexi Laiho screams over machine gun drums and melodic dual guitar riffs. Whereas “Waste of Skin” makes one nod and say, “Yep, this is Bodom,” “Halo of Blood” seems too busy at times with its very syncopated rhythms (possibly a drummer’s wet dream).

“Scream for Silence” takes the speed down a notch, but nicely. The keyboards are more noticeable in this song than in the previous two, which lacked a keyboard solo. Interesting lead harmonies complement intense lyrics like, “If you need to feed on pain, you might as well tap my vein.” This track is probably the most radio-friendly of the album and would have made a better single than “Transference”. It ends with a nice Slayer-esque guitar riff and people chanting “Kill! Kill!” Very Bodom indeed.

“Transference” was the choice for the first single of the album. While it still has the elements that differentiate CoB from other bands (chromatic guitar and keyboard runs, leads complementing Laiho’s vocals), it is just ok. It is probably, musically, the simplest song on the album, and that may have been a factor as to why it was chosen as the lead single.

“Bodom Blue Moon” and “The Days Are Numbered” both sound like they could have come straight off “Hatebreeder” (1999). They both possess hypnotic keyboards and are technical eargasms, with the latter possessing more neoclassical elements. Lyrics like, “Your name on my blade I won’t erase / Until I get to cut my name on your face” would make metalheads proudly nod and say, “F**k yeah” to themselves.

“Dead Man’s Hand on You” is definitely the most experimental track on the album, sounding more akin to Marilyn Manson than CoB at the beginning. Laiho doesn’t even scream on this one at the start and is accompanied by acoustic guitars and a piano. But the lyrics, about a twisted proposal to the goddess Mother Kali, showcase CoB’s sense of humor quite nicely: “I’ll be more than just a dead man’s hand on you… Love me one more time and I’ll let you kill me too.”

The last three tracks, “Damaged Beyond Repair,” “All Twisted,” and “One Bottle and a Knee Deep,” all sound like they could be on “Follow the Reaper”. “All Twisted” in particular has a “Hate Me!” vibe and similar riff work.

“Sleeping in My Car” is a Roxette cover and the bonus track on this edition of the album. (What is Children of Bodom without covering pop songs and making them metal?) It is a suitable end to “Halo of Blood,” because this album encompasses elements of CoB’s entire discography, including humorous covers. Instead of Roxette sweetly crooning, “The night is so pretty and so young,” the refrain sounds like it was uttered by a drunken vampire in Bodom’s version. The song ends with the solo from Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'”.

The “Making of” DVD (the second disc) is a nice treat. The viewer gets to see the band fooling around in the studio, but also witness just how self-deprecating these incredible musicians and their crew can be. At one point, the producer exclaims, “Finally this band has a good bass sound!”

“Halo of Blood” is a great album that will definitely please the Hate Crew. It is their best work in years.

FINAL VERDICT: 8.5/10

Track listing:
1. Waste of Skin
2. Halo of Blood
3. Scream for Silence
4. Transference
5. Bodom Blue Moon (the second coming)
6. The Days Are Numbered
7. Dead Man’s Hand on You
8. Damaged Beyond Repair
9. All Twisted
10. One Bottle and a Knee Deep
11. Sleeping in My Car (Roxette cover) (Bonus Track)


American Gangsters: Interview with Broadway Mob

Last week, TBOS conducted an interview with Broadway Mob, a death metal band from Minot, N.D. They discuss their upcoming album and the importance of supporting local music.

Here are some snippets from the talk.

The Blog of Shredding: So why did you choose the name Broadway Mob? It’s such an atypical name for a death metal band.

Tony Waswick (vocals): (laughs) I guess that’s more Tom’s story than anything.

Tom Shepherd (drums): We live in a town that had a lot to do with Prohibition in North Dakota, and Broadway Mob is a Prohibition gang from that era. And Broadway is the main street in our town, so it just seemed kind of fitting.

TBOS: Your first song is called “Blessed By Thor,” and you described it as a “jaw-dropping experience” because you hadn’t heard anything like it. Could you describe it? Like why would you say that?

Shepherd: I personally had never played anything like that.

Waswick: Yeah, I’m kind of in the same boat. There was nothing I’d been involved with before. It was kind of eye-opening to see how fast it came together with the three of us playing together for the first time. I think it was that first night (when) we really got it written, so it’s kinda eye-opening that way. And jaw-dropping, as far as the song goes, it’s different to us… It’s just awesome.

Shepherd: And Colin? Colin wrote it, so he’s gotta say something.

Colin Swanson (guitar): Actually, it changed quite a bit from how I originally had it. But it sounds a lot better than the way I envisioned it going at first.

TBOS: And you’re working on a possible debut album, am I right?

Waswick: Yeah. It’s been kind of half-a—- in the works for over a year, but now it’s just kind of down to the core of the band again. We’re kind of really buckling down on it, say, “Let’s just f—— do it.” You know, get some good songs written, get whatever we’ve got, make it as good as it possibly can be.

You can hear more of the interview below.

Thanks to the guys from the Mob for recording the videos!


Mayhem in Muncie

TBOS sat down with Zach Clifton, drummer for Indiana death metal band Nezera. He revealed their plans for their upcoming album, “Demons to Some, Angels to Others,” their single “It’s Not The Bath Salts,” and their appearance at an upcoming metal festival.

You can hear the full interview below.