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

Doom Metal

New Music Videos from MEGADETH and GHOST B.C.

Megadeth released the music video for the single “Super Collider” today (we reviewed the entire album here). The plot revolves around two high school kids in love, and Dave Mustaine plays the girl’s angry father who does not let them be together. We see David Ellefson play a science teacher, Chris Broderick play another kid’s father, and Shawn Drover play a school janitor. “Elysian Fields High School 10th Anniversary Reunion” makes us wonder… is a “Youthanasia” anniversary tour in the works?

Ghost B.C. released the music video for “Monstrance Clock,” and we at TBOS must say it’s pretty cool. It was filmed on location at two of the band’s shows in Los Angeles and New York City. We get to see Ghost in their live element, which is where they truly shine. Plus, it’s a nice departure from the “Year Zero” video, where the band barely made an appearance.

Feel free to share your opinions below.

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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”.


BLACK SABBATH’s ’13’ Debuts at #1

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Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler posted the image above on his Facebook page, signaling that the band’s latest album, “13,” has topped the U.S. Billboard Charts.

No, not the Hard Rock or Heatseeker charts, where metal albums often reside. The Billboard Top 200.

According to Noisecreep, 155,000 copies of “13” were sold in its first week. It is the band’s first #1 album in the U.S.

“13” also topped the charts in the U.K., making it the first time in 43 years that Sabbath has a number one album in that country (the last being “Paranoid”). It is the longest time frame on record.

Metal is alive and well, ladies and gentlemen.


Album Review: BLACK SABBATH’s ’13’ (2-Disc Deluxe Edition)

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13. The number is loaded with superstition, taboo, and mystery. Its unlucky reputation has enamored metal bands since the genre’s inception.

Black Sabbath has had an arguably unlucky journey during the creation of this album. The band officially reunited with all four original members (Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward) on 11/11/11. Drummer Bill Ward left due to financial concerns. Guitarist Tony Iommi was diagnosed with lymphoma. Singer Ozzy Osbourne’s son, Jack Osbourne, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Osbourne, after being sober for approximately five years, relapsed and his marriage to Sharon Osbourne was allegedly falling apart.

Fans worried whether the metal pioneers would be able to deliver. Forums became battlefields, with one side crying out “No Bill, no Sabbath!” as the other side clutched onto their old copies of “Paranoid” and “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” for dear life, secretly hoping their heroes would not disappoint them.

So Sabbath recruited Rage Against the Machine drummer Brad Wilk to sit on Bill Ward’s stool, and they charged forward to create “13,” an instant classic that fits right at home with the rest of their Ozzy-fronted discography.

The ironically-named “End of the Beginning” starts the album off with your standard Sabbath doominess, both musically and lyrically. Like the rest of this album, it sounds like a blast from the past, with Ozzy crooning thought-provoking lyrics over Tony Iommi’s simplistic but powerful riff work and Geezer Butler’s rumbling bass. The song debuted on the season finale of “CSI” last month. It would have made a better choice for a single than “God is Dead?”, the next track on the album.

 

“God Is Dead?” is the second track and the first single released from this album. The music video was released yesterday and caused a ruckus on the Internet, with overly-religious people complaining about the song’s offensive title. Osbourne was inspired to write the song after seeing the phrase on the cover of a magazine and thinking about how many people have died in the name of religion (although he does not believe God is dead). The single clocks in at 9 minutes and sometimes seems too long, even for Sabbath. But it still has their classic sound and was given mostly positive reviews on its release.

The first thing that pops into my head when I hear the intro riff of “Loner” is “N.I.B.” I literally expect Ozzy to shout “oh yeah!” in between verses. Brad Wilk is good at channeling Bill Ward’s drumming style, knowing exactly when and what to do with his drum fills and using the toms at the precise moment.

“Zeitgeist” is 13’s “Planet Caravan”. mellow acoustic vibe, spacey phaser effects on Ozzy’s vocals, and exotic percussion. Osbourne sings about traveling on a space ship that eventually crashes. It’s like listening to a cleaner version of something left over from the “Paranoid” sessions, like if Sabbath had recorded this in 1971, but with our technology.

“Live Forever” starts off as another slow, early Sabbath-sounding song before the drums kick in with “Fairies Wear Boots”-type riffage. The lyrics still play on Sabbath’s signature “Heaven and Hell” themes, but also remind the listener of the band’s mortality. (“I don’t wanna live forever / But I don’t wanna die / I may dreaming, but whatever/ I live inside a lie.”) All the current members outlived singer Ronnie James Dio (who was part of Sabbath from: 1979-82, 1991-92, 2007). Iommi recorded the album while being treated for cancer, and Osbourne went back on drugs. It serves as a stark reminder that “13” *may* be this band’s last album (although they entertained the possibility of recording a follow-up). As I listened to this song, I thought, “Oh shit. These guys are still human,” something we often forget when we think of our heroes, musical and otherwise.

In “Damaged Soul,” Ozzy breaks out the harmonica, adding extra doom to another classic Sabbath-sounding song. Some of the lyrics rank right up there with “Hand of Doom”: “I don’t mind dying cause I’m already dead / Pray not for the living, I’ll live in your head / Dying is easy, it’s living that’s hard / I’m losing the battle between Satan and God.” Iommi nails it again, over Butler’s rumbling bass and Wilk’s spot-on drum fills. This is everything that is great about Sabbath compressed into one song.

“Dear Father” is the final track on the standard edition of the album. it is heavier than the rest of “13,” both musically and lyrically. It has strange time changes and discordant arpeggios, reminding one of Ozzy’s “Diary of a Madman” in parts. There are unexpected key and mood changes at the end. The lyrics come full-circle to the first track most people have heard from this album, “God is Dead?”: “Your molestations of the cross you defiled / A man once holy now despised and reviled… Dear Father forsaken, you knew what you were doing / In silence your violence has left me in ruin.” These should also be placed in the top tier of Ozzy-fronted Sabbath lyrics.

At this point, I’ve been listening to this album for 50 minutes. Unlike other albums, I was not constantly wondering, “how many songs are left?” or “I’m not sure if I like this or not”. I was actually sad that “13” was drawing to a close.

I blasted it on my iPhone and excitedly ran to the living room, proudly proclaiming to the rest of the household, “THIS is Sabbath!”

Then commences the second disc, with the three bonus tracks.

“Methademic” sounds like “Bark at the Moon”-era Ozzy, but with Sabbath acting as the band, if that makes any sense. It sounds newer than the other songs on the album, definitely more 1980s and than 1970s. Perhaps it is best that it was left off the standard edition of the album due to its different vibe, but it’s a good song nonetheless.

“Peace of Mind” is another classic Sabbath song, with the lyrics possibly referencing the events the band went through during the recording of this album: “I wish somebody would empty my head / I am so sorry for the things that I’ve said / This hopeless feeling that’s living inside / I’m just a lonely soul who’s trying to find some peace of mind.”

“Pariah” starts off as another slow-to-mid-tempo doomy song but has the coolest riff of the album. It is slightly more complex than the riffs on the rest of “13,” showing how the band has matured while still keeping most of the elements of their signature sound. It would have been a suitable ending to the standard release, and is another case of, “why didn’t they put it on the regular CD?”

Whether or not “13” is Sabbath’s final album, it is an instant classic. Musically, it feels like you were teleported back into the 1970s, as if they simply picked up where they left off with Ozzy–but had gotten ahold of today’s recording technology. This album shows why these men are the kings of heavy metal. An instant classic that fits nicely between “Paranoid” and “Volume 4”.

FINAL VERDICT: 9/10

Track Listing:

Disc 1
1. End of the Beginning
2. God is Dead?
3. Loner
4. Zeitgeist
5. Age of Reason
6. Live Forever
7. Damaged Soul
8. Dear Father

Disc 2
1. Methademic
2. Peace of Mind
3. Pariah


GHOST B.C., IDES OF GEMINI Live in Tucson, Ariz. – Aprl 23, 2013

Tuesday night may not be the ideal time to host a metal concert, and Tucson, Ariz., isn’t exactly known for its metal scene. But the Rialto Theater was packed with wild headbangers and stagedivers during last night’s Ghost B.C. concert.

(Ghost B.C. will hereafter be referred to as simply “Ghost”.)

Papa Emeritus alongside a Nameless Ghoul. Photo by Alec Damiano.

Ghost B.C.’s Papa Emeritus alongside a Nameless Ghoul. Photo by Alec Damiano.

The Rialto Theater was a seemingly perfect venue choice for the controversial band. With its rustic classic theater vibe and vintage red walls, the building itself matched the incense and candles burning on Ghost’s merch table.

Tucson sludge metallers Godhunter opened the show, their music a combination of death growls and doomy riffs.

Tucson metal band Godhunter performs. Photo by Alec Damiano

Tucson metal band Godhunter performs. Photo by Alec Damiano

Next up were Los Angeles doom outfit Ides of Gemini. Singer and bassist Sera Timms’ powerful voice complemented the death march-esque drums and ripping guitar perfectly.

Female-fronted doom metal band Ides of Gemini. Photo by Alec Damiano.

Female-fronted doom metal band Ides of Gemini. Photo by Alec Damiano.

Before the headliner went on, Ghost’s crew prepared a ritual where incense was lit and fog machines let out a (secular) haze filling the room.

A "secular haze" fills the room before Ghost goes on. Photo by Alec Damiano.

A “secular haze” fills the room before Ghost goes on. Photo by Alec Damiano.

The Nameless Ghouls opened with “Infestissumam” and Papa Emeritus made his grand entrance during “Per Aspera Ad Inferni”.

Ghost played an approximately 90-minute setlist with songs from both their albums, “Opus Eponymous” and “Infestissumam”. Papa Emeritus interacted with the crowd regularly, allowing crazed fans to grab his hands, which were covered by black latex gloves.

Papa Emeritus preaching to the crowd. Photo by Alec Damiano.

Papa Emeritus preaching to the crowd. Photo by Alec Damiano.

At the end of the show, a woman climbed onstage, wearing only a dress and a thong. Two young men later rushed the stage in a desperate attempt to steal the setlist. They were pulled out of the venue by security.

Ghost have always been controversial among metalheads. While some say they’re metal, others say they’re retro pop-rock. But Ghost sound far heavier live than on their albums. Audience members may not have moshed, but they certainly banged their heads and raised their fists.

The Nameless Ghouls. Photo by Alec Damiano.

The Nameless Ghouls. Photo by Alec Damiano.

Though the mysterious band may not record the heaviest music, their show was definitely metal nonetheless.