In a brand new interview with the Cleveland Scene, Ozzy Osbourne spoke about his distaste for making music videos, especially during the '80s when MTV's popularity was on the rise and videos became an essential marketing tool for a single and album. "You think these fucking directors were making 'War And Peace'," Ozzy said. "They were only three-minute videos. "I remember when I was making the video for 'Mama, I'm Coming Home'. I went to this sky blue room and had to get a side of pork and walk across the room. I thought, 'What the fuck does this mean? [This is] going to cost 900,000 dollars.' I went and used the cameraman who did the NIRVANA video for 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'. He just did a video with me in the car. That cost about 10,000 dollars. I prefer the one I did because it was cheap and there was no elaborate fucking trickery. MTV played them both. "Sometimes I would just go, 'What are you fucking thinking?' It's only a music video. It didn't warrant spending millions of dollars." Ozzy has worked with a number of acclaimed video directors over the years, including Rob Zombie, Jonas Ã kerlund and Wayne Isham. The BLACK SABBATH singer's "Memoirs Of A Madman" CD sold 4,200 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 90 on The Billboard 200 chart. The collection serves as a career-spanning audio release, featuring 17 of Ozzy's greatest hit singles compiled in one place for the first time in his career. Released on October 7 via Epic Records/Legacy Recordings, it is available in a single CD, two-LP set and two-LP picture disc set configurations. BLACK SABBATH will release one final studio album and tour behind it in 2015, with Ozzy telling Esquire, "The record company wants us to do one more record, and we've decided to do one more tour, and at the end of the tour we just disband and I go back to doing my solo stuff."
Attendees of the Chiller Theatre expo were in for a surprise treat when some living legends took the stage on October 25 in Parsippany, New Jersey to perform their classic hits. THE RUNAWAYS' Cherie Currie and Lita Ford, Marky Ramone of the RAMONES, along with LIFE OF AGONY's Alan Robert rocked out to THE RUNAWAYS' smash "Cherry Bomb" followed up by the RAMONES' "Rock 'N' Roll High School". Fan-filmed video footage of the "Cherry Bomb" performance can be seen below. Currie and Ford reunited on stage for the first time in 37 years on October 19, 2013 at the sixth annual Malibu Music Awards at Smothers Theater at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California to perform "Cherry Bomb". In 2010, the movie "The Runaways" was released starring Kristen Stewart of "Twilight" fame as singer Joan Jett. The band formed in 1975, with Ford on lead guitar. She was 16 at the time. "The Runaways" was directed by Floria Sigismondi, who is best known for directing music videos by such artists as David Bowie, Marilyn Manson and Sheryl Crow. In an interview with Metal-Rules.com, Lita stated about the possibility of a RUNAWAYS reunion: "Well, Cherie and I talk all the time. We're all for it both of us. You know I'm friends with Vicki [Blue, bass] and I'm friends with Jackie [Fox, bass]. Of course, Sandy [West, drums], unfortunately, is not around, but Joan is the only missing link." For the first time since 1977, Joan Jett, Cherie Currie and Lita Ford were in a room together on April 23, posing for cameras backstage at the Revolver Golden Gods awards where Joan was the first female recipient of the Golden God Award. Ford last fall partnered with Currie to record a special holiday song. "Rock This Christmas Down" marked the first time Lita and Cherie recorded new music together since 1977. The single was released on iTunes on December 3, 2013.
In a brand new interview with Alternative Nation, Greek guitar virtuoso Gus G., well known in rock and metal circles for his work as Ozzy Osbourne's guitarist and as leader of his own band FIREWIND, was asked if if there are any plans for FIREWIND to write and record its eighth studio album. "Not at the moment," Gus replied. "The band is on a break and we still haven't found a singer we want to work with, so we're going to take our time and there's no rush. I'm also very busy with my solo thing right now. I'm out on the road until Christmas and then I will be doing more touring in the beginning of 2015. I think there'll be another solo record from [me] before we see another FIREWIND album." FIREWIND celebrated its 10th anniversary by releasing a live album in June 2013 via Century Media Records in Europe. Titled "Apotheosis - Live 2012", the CD contained 17 songs recorded at special anniversary shows in Greece as well as all over Europe during the band's "Few Against Many" tour in 2012. It marked FIREWIND's final release with singer Apollo Papathanasio, who decided to leave the group at the end of 2012. FIREWIND toured in 2013 in support of "Apotheosis - Live 2012", with Kelly Sundown Carpenter (ADAGIO, BEYOND TWILIGHT) handling lead vocals on the trek. FIREWIND's latest album, "Few Against Many", entered the official chart in Greece at No. 42 and in Germany at No. 90. Released in Europe on May 21, 2012 via Century Media Records and in North America on May 22 through DisManic, Inc. via eOne Distribution, the CD was mixed by Jason Suecof and Eyal Levi at Audiohammer Studios (TRIVIUM, ALL THAT REMAINS, DEATH ANGEL) in Sanford, Florida. A special expanded edition of Gus' solo album, "I Am The Fire", will be released in Europe on November 3 (digitally in North America on November 4). This limited CD + DVD digipak will feature four bonus tracks and a 62-minute bonus DVD (including the album's four official video clips so far, plus three live tracks, six guitar tutorials, as well as an EPK and track-by-track commentary).
"Unforgiven", the new video from British progressive metallers THRESHOLD, can be seen below. The song is taken from the band's latest album, "For The Journey", which came out on September 22 via Nuclear Blast. The follow-up to 2012's "March Of Progress" was produced at Thin Ice Studios in England by THRESHOLD members Karl Groom (guitars) and Richard West (keyboards) and was mastered by Mika Jussila at Finnvox in Finland. "For The Journey" marks THRESHOLD's second release with vocalist Damian Wilson since his return to the band in 2007. Damian told Prog magazine about the band's relationship and how easy it was recording the new album: "I think it's just the fact that we've become really good friends and it's the companionship in the band," he said. "We seem to care a lot about each other and we've become really close. So we thoroughly enjoy making music together." "For The Journey" track listing: 01. Watchtower On The Moon 02. Unforgiven 03. The Box 04. Turned To Dust 05. Lost In Your Memory 06. Autumn Red 07. The Mystery Show 08. Siren Sky Bonus tracks: 09. I Wish I Could (digipak, vinyl and digital versions) 10. Lost In Your Memory (acoustic version) (vinyl and digital versions) Commented West: "'For The Journey' is one of our strongest albums and one of the most enjoyable to make. I've probably heard it a thousand times during the recording process, but now that's it's over, I still can't stop listening to it!" The cover artwork was created by Polish artist Leszek Bujnowski, whom THRESHOLD found on the Internet. "He's designed some beautiful pieces and we thought this was a perfect THRESHOLD cover," stated West.
According to The Pulse Of Radio, AVENGED SEVENFOLD is taking the rest of 2014 off and will spend some of that time working on a brand new DVD. Singer M. Shadows said that the band is dealing at the moment with mixes and editing and artwork for the disc, which should come out sometime early next year. He told The Pulse Of Radio that the documentary uses the 2009 death of drummer Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan as a starting point. "The DVD will take place right before we lose Jimmy, and then it's gonna basically take you all the way through to now," he said. "So it'll be mixed in with some live performances, but there will also be a very strong story arc to what our story is and what's going on with us." Shadows told Loudwire about the DVD: "Itâs basically tracking the whole thing through our own eyes and words, because no one has really heard our side of the story. Other people have just talked about it themselves. Weâve always been pretty private about it. So now people are going to get to see visually what we went through." The singer added that the DVD will contain performances from the band's sets at key events like the Download festival, Rock In Rio, Rock On The Range and others. AVENGED SEVENFOLD will tour Southeast Asia and China in January and will tentatively start writing music for the follow-up to last year's "Hail To The King" next summer.
Florida-based extreme metalelrs HATE ETERNAL have announced the addition of drummer Chason Westmoreland to the group's ranks. The native of Las Vegas, Nevada has already laid down drum tracks for the band's forthcoming album, the title and release date of which have yet to be revealed. Westmoreland will also join the band on the upcoming tour, which is scheduled to begin in the spring. 25-year-old Chason Westmoreland has been playing drums since the tender age of five and has tour with such renowned acts as FALLUJAH, BURNING THE MASSES, ENFOLD DARKNESS and OCEANO. HATE ETERNAL founder and principal member Erik Rutan (guitar, vocals) comments on Westmoreland joining the band: "Chason is such an amazing talent and a very determined guy. He came down to try out in June and literally blew us away! We bonded instantly musically and personally, and JJ and I knew he was the right guy and drummer for HATE ETERNAL. Chason has a high motor, hits hard, plays fast and is a very diverse and dynamic player. "The drums on this album have a very primal and visceral feel to them and I think he did a tremendous job on the recording. "I cannot wait for us to get on tour and deliver the goods!" Westmoreland states on joining HATE ETERNAL and his contribution to the new album: "I am extremely honored to join HATE ETERNAL. "The new material is very challenging and has a lot going on. I put everything I had into this album and I'm very excited about the results. "I cannot wait to see what the future holds and get on the road with our new album!" Rutan and bassist/vocalist J.J. Hrubovcak are holed up in the bandleader's Mana Recording Studio (CANNIBAL CORPSE, MOUNTAIN GOATS, GOATWHORE) putting the finishing touches on the new HATE ETERNAL album, which is due in early 2015 via Season Of Mist.
According to The Pulse Of Radio, FOO FIGHTERS frontman Dave Grohl has told Studio Brussel in a new interview that a track on the band's upcoming "Sonic Highways" album and HBO series, called "Subterranean", was inspired by the end of his previous band, NIRVANA. Grohl explained that the first music he recorded under the FOO FIGHTERS banner after the death of NIRVANA frontman Kurt Cobain was done in the same studio where NIRVANA had recorded its last complete song. Grohl recalled: "I didn't want to make music any more after NIRVANA, then time went on and I thought wait a minute, music is the one thing that's going to help me start over, it's going to heal me, so that's what I have to keep doing. So I went back to that same studio, and recorded again, and my life started over again, so that becomes the theme of the episode, and that also becomes the theme of the song." That final NIRVANA song was called "You Know You're Right" and Grohl recalled the sessions. "We had some time off before a tour, and Kurt wanted to go in and demo some stuff, so I said, 'Hey, why don't we do it at this studio down the street from my house,'" he said. "And we went down there, and we had three days booked. Kurt came in the last day and we were like, 'Okay, what do you wanna do?' And Kurt said, 'Well, why don't we do that song we've been doing at soundcheck?' And so we rehearsed it, I think, once, and then recorded it. Kurt did three or four vocal takes, and that was it." The Seattle episode of the HBO documentary series on the making of the album, also called "Sonic Highways", will premiere on November 28. The "Sonic Highways" series follows the FOOs to eight different American cities, where they record a track for the album that's influenced by the local scene and musicians. The series premiered on October 17. The "Sonic Highways" album arrives on November 10.
Gear Gods has uploaded video footage of the SLAYER-inspired Scion car "Scion x Slayer Mobile Amp tC" which will make its debut at the SEMA show in Las Vegas, November 4-7, 2014. Check it out below. Frequently cited for its deep influence on other metal bands, SLAYER has a look, sound and approach all its own. The band's aggressive style carries into the tC sports coupe's exterior look and band-inspired details. Inside, the vehicle has been transformed into a multimedia machine with amps, towers of speakers, a custom mixer and a 32-inch monitor for media playback. Mike Vu of MV Designz is leading the build process. "SLAYER's fans are going to be excited when we reveal what a metal-inspired Scion tC looks like," SLAYER guitarist Kerry King said. "Working with Scion has given us another way to reach new audiences and inspire them to keep going down their own paths." "Scion x Slayer Mobile Amp tC" will join a diverse collection of modified Scions at SEMA, including three FR-S sport coupes designed by media partners as part of the 10th annual Scion Tuner Challenge. While the SEMA show is not open to the public, there will be opportunities to see the Slayer tC and Skate Tour xB at Scion events later in the year. "SEMA is the ultimate opportunity to look at Scion vehicles through a new lens," said Doug Murtha, vice president of Scion. "We're looking forward to showing fans what the members of SLAYER envisioned for the tC and encourage fans to imagine for themselves."
It's been four years since co-founding bassist and principal SLIPKNOT songwriter Paul Gray passed away. A lot of grief and reported pent-up energy has propagated the band's return, which emerges amidst the controversial replacement of drummer Joey Jordison. Departure or dismissal, that's as much a mystery as the identity of the new guy under the mask taking Jordison's place. SLIPKNOT has opted to stay mum on the issue, but the new members are believed to be drummer Jay Weinberg and bassist Alessandro "Vman" Venturella. As the world turns in the SLIPKNOT camp with new leases and new costumes, held down by its "official" members Corey Taylor, M. Shawn "Clown" Crahan, Jim Root, Mick Thomson, Chris Fehn, Sid Wilson and Craig "133" Jones. Following a prolonged grieving period, Jim Root got to work penning material for SLIPKNOT's fifth album, ".5: The Gray Chapter". The album was completed with input by the rest of the band plus Greg Fidelman (having also worked with SLAYER and METALLICA), who returns to the SLIPKNOT cause following their previous collaboration on "Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses". As might be expected, ".5: The Gray Chapter" is a largely dark, often moving listening experience. Summoning a return to their punishing roots in a number of spots, SLIPKNOT continues to evolve as songwriters, which means more melody, more clean vocals and tighter arrangements than ever before. However, as uncomfortable as their previous album "All Hope Is Gone" might've made some fans, ".5: The Gray Chapter" is a logical advancement between old and new SLIPKNOT, made unavoidably bittersweet by the band's adversities. Quirky tones from a vintage pump organ ring like twisted bagpipes, while a humming synth and xylophone chimes ring in the solemn opener "XIX". Corey Taylor wails in relative clean mode, "I've been too busy being called to disappear, I'm in no shape to be alone contrary to the shit you might hear". Not quite within his STONE SOUR range, some SLIPKNOT fans may stand leery of where ".5: The Gray Chapter" is headed from this point. Instead of immediately hitting an obvious rage fest, "Sarcastrophe" hits a slow stride with wallowing guitars and percussion on the intro, taking its time before flying off from that point. As SLIPKNOT breaks away, the riffs drape behind Corey Taylor's bellowing and the combined electro pulse and clouts from the new drummer, who exhibits a hair more grind tendencies than Joey Jordison's contributions to the band. Jordison is perhaps more precise and snap-tight, but the varying speed and crunch tempos delivered into "Sarcastrophe" allows SLIPKNOT to establish its usual madhouse-carnival feel with a few extracurricular touches. "AOV" zips into some of the thrashiest tones SLIPKNOT's yet delivered, but that breakneck velocity only applies to the intro and bridges. The band throws out slower, bopping grooves which gives Corey Taylor a chance to huff-rap the verses and ultimately hit a full-clean swoon (aided by soothing background vocals) on the melodic choruses. As SLIPKNOT's grown more progressive with each release, they roll the bones on a break-in slowdown sequence, which is quite articulate and tastefully brief. This, before sending "AOV" on a melodic sing-along to the end, which caps with rhythmic percussion and battering riffs. Whether or not you subscribe to all of the mucking about SLIPKNOT's being doing since "Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses", the band is hitting a zenith of creativity, regardless of who hangs with them for the journey. "The Devil In I" chugs out of a warbling doom line at the beginning and sets itself onto a morose but tuneful course with moody guitar chimes, dirge-loaded bass and empathetic swills from Corey Taylor. The choruses are a little too safe, but a massive and quick-stepped breakdown plus a grinding bridge thereafter keeps the song robust and hectic. "The Devil In I" dumps right into "Killpop", which threatens to come off like STONE SOUR meets NINE INCH NAILS and maintains nuances of each along its skulking path. The clattering percussion behind the dejected yet soaring choruses is great, as are the crazed tempo spikes that jerks "Killpop" toward a chaotic wrap-up and abrupt stoppage at 3:45. Lyrically dedicated to Paul Gray, "Skeptic" picks things back up with a clobbering groove and chunky riffs that should satisfy longtime followers along with "The Negative One". To some latitudes, "Skeptic" comes off like "Album of the Year"-era FAITH NO MORE with SLIPKNOT's own embellishments. "I know why Judas wept, motherfuckers!" Corey Taylor next screams into "Lech", a track that rips and skids and repeats the scheme, but that's not all you get. The back and forth drum patterns are so well-plotted you never want them stop, but inevitably they change course to slower breakdown rhythms before jacking up once more and even thrashing out in spots. "Lech" is a tricky bastard of a song, but it scorches in every spot it's designed to, which gives enough of an adrenaline charge to allow the squirming and dragging electro pulses of "Goodbye" to serve as respite. Corey Taylor's cleans swim amongst "Goodbye"'s echoing culverts, even staying largely in soar mode once the heavier masses take over the song. The double-timed rhythm assuming itself over "Goodbye" gravitates toward a terrific guitar solo and the threat of a thrash break never happens as everything stops at the song's climax. "Nomadic" mashes up the manic blitzing mindset of SLIPKNOT's early years with charged-up, harmonious choruses. It's "Wait and Bleed" for this era. Again, it's subjective to the listener if the changes to SLIPKNOT's to music are palatable, but you can't ask for a tighter stream than the band executes here, whirling out a mini-hurricane during the solo section along the way. The reckless haste of "Custer" gives way to a spoken-word passage by Taylor, but soon his rant-scats take over in-between the crushing velocity and the barking "cut me up" and "fuck me up" mantras. These serve as the song's invitation to pogo and to scream along blindly at live gigs. Corey Taylor has cited himself as one of the most hated men in metal music, which can be considered valid or self-hype, though it's guaranteed there are many listeners who will be throwing darts at his picture while spinning ".5: The Gray Chapter". SLIPKNOT is forever changed and that has less to do with the internal strife and more to do with the fact this band has grown tremendously as musicians over the years. The six-year interval between this album and "All Hope Is Gone" has sparked a ton of resourcefulness, songwriting that manages to make sense of the mainstream euphony that was a rude awakening for many fans. No matter how close to the border of AOR this album gets at-times, it's a still a SLIPKNOT album. The nerve-shattering interlude "Be Prepared For Hell", followed by the thrash, grind and turntable-scratching mayhem gusting behind "The Negative One", are proof positive. Without trying to be melodramatic, for the misfortunes SLIPKNOT's faced, ".5: The Gray Chapter" is an album that answers their own call. The slow but compelling closing number "If Rain is What You Want" serves as a final bereavement march in memory of Paul Gray, marking both an end and a beginning. It, like most of this album, is heartfelt and appropriately allayed after an extensive mourning period that unfortunately generated other casualties in Gray's wake. Let those get on board who will. The others will no doubt continue throwing darts at Corey Taylor's picture.
Probably the most anticipated metal album this year, AT THE GATES' "At War With Reality" will turn into one of 2014's genre events, and not just because it's been nineteen years coming. Cited by more bands (largely from the metalcore and melodic death sanctions) as a primary influence, the Gothenburg peers of the realm haven't lost a lick of their eminence since releasing 1995's "Slaughter of the Soul". Having said repeatedly since their reformation attempts in 2007 and 2010 that there would be no new AT THE GATES album, "At War With Reality" finally comes to fruition. For diehard fans, the wait will be damned well worth it. With one of the more unique album intros you'll ever hear, the Spanish spoken-word track "El Altar de Dios Desconocido" sets up the album's first blitzer, "Death and the Labyrinth". The latter rockets along until hitting a straightforward mid-tempo mash and cascading chords alongside Tomas Lindberg's blaring vocals. Over with at an effective 2:33, "Death and the Labyrinth" dumps into the similarly-structured title track, which is three minutes highlighted by Adrian Erlandsson's parade of batters and stomps. The guitar solo is superbly dealt between the varied tempos and even the breakdown maintains intensity since AT THE GATES keeps the track ebbing along with no pause. "The Circular Ruins" is written similarly to the point of predictability, which is really the only fault of the album. Blazing velocity in the beginning and stomping crunch modes thereafter signal a trend that's bound to repeat. However, the playing is so stinking tight and full of ornate passages AT THE GATES remind why they were there long ahead of the pack. Gothic laces open the otherwise loud "Heroes and Tombs", smothered by a steady throb over which Tomas Lindberg bellows his guts out. The riffs plowed by Anders BjÃ¶rler, Martin Larsson and Jonas BjÃ¶rler gouge into the verses, growing more ornate on the choruses, despite the bitter tones gnashing about them. Afterwards, "The Conspiracy of the Blind" stays in speed mode a while, teetering backwards to another set of marching modes. AT THE GATES does try to shake up the script a bit by letting another racing barrage manifest within the song's mid-tempo flow. What keeps "The Conspiracy of the Blind" interesting is the band's eloquent layering. If it wasn't for the overwhelming talent of these guys, the script would already be tiresome at this point. However, AT THE GATES senses this by instinct and splices the script with "Order rom Chaos", a slow, heavy number carrying thick chords on the verses and a dark melody on the choruses. "The Book of Sand (The Abomination)" veers into speed and death metal territory at times, but the expected slowdown arrives midway before peeling off once more. In both measures, the guitars carry up and down in waves, while the jerked about solo is stunning. A final transition out of a quiet bridge into a dramatic, double-hammered finale allows AT THE GATES to pour lava into their riffs. The gloomy instrumental "City of Mirrors" has loads of blaring guitar layers vying for attention overtop its melancholic melody. Expectedly, "Eater of Gods" comes snorting out from there with equal boom and upfront guitar rakes amidst the song's by-and-large thrashiness. Even the mosh rhythms on "Eater of Gods" keeps the sweat pouring and the tones pounding, that is, until another trooping transition takes the song into a different direction. The fight for dominance amongst the guitars and bass is tremendous, and each layer is worth keying in on. Point blank, AT THE GATES are the legends they are because they give their listeners so much to feast on with each song, no matter if repeat patterns become the norm on this album. AT THE GATES make mincemeat out of this album and efficiently plot most of their songs to wrap in far less time than their acolytes. The average song on "At War With Reality" clocks in between two-and-a-half and four minutes, yet all feel like far more has transcended. That's something special. Inadvertently and unfairly credited for the ascension of metalcore, AT THE GATES releases a demonstrative comeback album that's simply metal, forget the 'core-rellations.
Metalcore favorites UNEARTH are back following their 2011 album "Darkness in the Light", and what's changed in the interim are a new drummer, a few modifications and even better playing from a band that's already long been at the head of their class. In other words, UNEARTH does what they do best: bum rush, bark and barrage, but with scores of enhancements. Their new album "Watchers of Rule" is so well-executed it excuses the same ol' same ol' aspect about it. After a gorgeous, guitar-swarming intro number, "The Swarm" rips away with exactly what the title would entail: teeming guitars from Ken Susi and Buz McGrath, who play at lightning speed as the track flies in tandem. These guys slay their positions better than any surviving metalcore act out there. Current drummer Nick Pierce proves himself up to the task of providing a fast, pounding platform for Susi and McGrath to sizzle over, while John "Slo" Maggard rumbles along on bass and Trevor Phipps rages above, sounding like he still has everything to prove. Regardless of the expected breakdowns that crop up, "The Swarm" is an exciting, decorative burner that gets an equally busy successor, "Lifetime in Ruins". The shoving, breakdown-minded riffs on the latter's intro are given a steady pound to huff along to, which would've been plenty enough to chew on for this cut. UNEARTH changes signatures more than a handful of times on this track, so pay close attention. Nick Pierce's tempos shift without warning and the guitars have minds of their own, dotting with neoclassical scales in rivulets, as they do on "The Swarm". "Guards of Contagion" rides a panting hardcore groove at its base, while Trevor Phipps woofs on and sounds like he's carrying a hundred gigs of the past behind him, which is meant as a compliment. There's a sage craftiness about "Guards of Contagion", which finds more ornate scales frolicking behind the coarse riffs, all building to a harmonious chorus. "From the Tombs of Five Below", similar in theory, only with darker, digging 'core chords and even more crowding guitar layers. A blasting solo section will have UNEARTH fans screaming "Sick!" wherever they behold it. Subsequently, "Never Cease" pushes on with persevering energy, giving only a bare pause to serve up a chiming guitar solo that ushers a buzzbombed breakdown and a classy bridge before grinding hurriedly along to close. The breakdowns get more prominent spots on "Trail to Fire", which utilizes them to crawl out of the random thrash nudges. As before, it's Buz McGrath and Ken Susi who inject classical-hummed lines into the song, give a lot more to absorb in "Trail to Fire". The jumpy and lambasting "To the Ground" is one the heaviest numbers of the album, carrying even enough sustenance and energy to close the album, and yet there are still three pounding numbers left to go. Aside from the ridiculous playing on "Watchers of Rule", UNEARTH have learned the art of efficiency. Knocking out most of these songs within three to three-and-a-half minutes, "Watchers of Rule" packs tons of punches and they deliver a kayo of an album in economical time. The short time off and change behind the kit has given UNEARTH massive urgency. Still containing four-fifths of their core, UNEARTH may destroy drummers from the vigorous demand of their music, but that demand is why this band is tops of their breed. "Watchers of Rule" kills it â and how.
Hardcore icons SICK OF IT ALL are back with their first album in four years, not counting the 2011 "Non-Stop" compilation. "The Last Act of Defiance", like many of their albums, is over with as soon as it gets rolling, even at fourteen songs. God bless these guys, because they waste not a single second in this loud 'n proud effort. You can't ask for a rowdier opener than "Sound the Alarm". Built for speed for most of the way, SICK OF IT ALL plunges the accelerator and tosses out gang shouts galore behind Lou Koller's gravelly hollering. A brief slowdown stomp toward the end of "Sound the Alarm" keeps the song from exploding as the band switches between speed and slower mosh rhythms on "2061". Here Lou Koller issues an indictment aimed toward corporate gluttony plus his projection of a societal and economic collapse in the not-so-distant future. Armand Majidi's clobbering beat, Pete Koller's enormous riffs and Craig Setari's dangling bass rolls "Road Less Traveled" through a mostly moshing course as the band woofs about hardcore as lifestyle. Business as usual, suffice it to say. Subsequently, "Get Bronx" is dished as a mid-tempo, teeth knocking street anthem where Lou Koller summons SICK OF IT ALL's fans to stay hard and defy oppression, NYHC style. None of this litany is different than what's come before "The Last Act of Defiance". In fact, the recurring messages of scene sustenance, self-empowerment and righting the wrongs against the disenfranchised become subordinate after a while. The key lure to this album is hearing SICK OF IT ALL grind things out short and mostly fast. Since the late Eighties, this band has remained true to its New York hardcore roots. In 2014, it's a blast hearing SICK OF IT ALL not only continuing to give a damn, but running to the line on nearly every song. The cacophonous clatter of the 1:27 "Act Your Rage" is self-explanatory and well-pushed to the limit, even with a brief slowdown to the mayhem. "Part of History" trundles through a medium-paced stomp, but some wicked snare blasts and random tempo spikes from Armand Majidi bring extra heat to the cut. "Losing War" is a whirlpool starter with its brisk shakes following the parading intro. Craig Setari, one of the best bassists in hardcore history (along with former CRO-MAGS member Harley Flanagan), rocks this album all over the place, not only standing out on "Road Less Traveled", but "Never Back Down". The crew calls rattle everywhere on "The Last Act of Defiance", at times coming off imposing, other times like harmonious punk mantras. Both modes are evidenced on "Facing the Abyss". "Beltway Getaway" is a tuneful jam stocked with yells, croons and declarations of being up shit's creek, all in the spirit of cajoling a loud and puerile sing-along. This before SICK OF IT ALL again employs the speed and slam scheme on "Sidelined". The band waits for the closing number "DNC" to whip up the "oi" chants along with gang rumbles that collectively sound like a punker's block party. The ferocity of "The Last Act of Defiance" is its selling point. A SICK OF IT ALL follower knows what to expect from these guys and thus has a new of tunes to practice at lungs' capacity in front of dresser mirrors. This in anticipation of the live environment, where fans are expected, not merely encouraged, to pour the lyrics back at Lou Koller. SICK OF IT ALL pounds the snot out of their instruments on "Outgunned" while hollering about the world testing the mettle of their scene, despite overwhelming odds. That's the hardcore ethos broken down to its simplest memorandum. Consider yourself served once again.
For their eighth album, "Time to Die", British black-doom cultists ELECTRIC WIZARD bring drummer Mark Greening back to the studio, and apparently they fell into their own trance as this album clocks in at more than sixty-five grueling minutes. Fans will be mesmerized by ELECTRIC WIZARD's extensive tone drenching on "Time to Die", while others with less time to invest are strongly advised against it. "Time to Die" is a brutal, scalding affair that will rape your senses and defy your temperament. The montage opening "Incense for the Damned" paints a horrific picture about satanic murders and black-metal music being blamed upon drug usage, setting the listener upon a ten-minute course of winding doom and stoner measures. Jus Osborn grates about the world being screwed up without the assistance of narcotics and weed, issuing a proposition that staying high actually curbs nihilistic inclinations. His suggestion about being a modern-day Caligula if left unchecked by a calming trip bears a twisted sense of rationality, and will assuredly become an anthem for those of the spliff patrol who can hack music this dark. The buzzing, up-and-down chords from Osborn, Liz Buckingham and session bassist Count Orlof soon turn the song's prolonged marathon into a screeching stupor while Osborn utters his mantra "We wanna get high before we die." Hardly new lyrical turf for these guys, of course, but there's a heated "yearning" for vindication seldom few can honestly relate to. Only the chord structure changes as "Incense for the Damned" spills into the 7:49 drone-bombed title track. If anything, the key goes even lower as Court Orlof plants a vibrating floor for Liz Buckingham and Jus Osborn to peel off pulsating riffs, extended note tugs and ear-gauging wah. Mark Greening throws a ton of fills into what is essentially a death crawl of a song, and the offsetting mollification of the random organ splashes succumb to the overwhelming static ELECTRIC WIZARD sears them with. The 11:31 "I am Nothing" dials things back even further with singular riff divots and frigid tones, setting a long, disturbing ostinato for Jus Osborn to call his "supercoven" to arms by his litany of demise. If you're a metal music veteran, this is easy to take as part and parcel to sounds so caustic, but caveat if you're a yeoman; : "I am Nothing" has the propensity to scare the living shit out of you. By the time Mark Greening breaks up the deadening monotony of the song with a plethora of tom rolls, the guitars increase in intensity, creating a deafening static miasma even the SONIC YOUTH troupe could applaud. Now that's scary. More news, soundbytes from a 1984 "20/20" segment entitled "The Devil Worshippers" is given a subdued organ and guitar fugue on "Destroy Those Who Love God". Little else needs to be said, other than the chilling edict by a young Satanist that ends the daunting track leaves you scarred. At last, "Funeral of Your Mind" picks up the pace with a mid-tempo doom jam that keeps a stripped, menacing cadence that would've sounded perfectly at home in underground 1984. While the main melodies are BLACK SABBATH and SAINT VITUS-bred (ditto for "Lucifer's Slaves"), ELECTRIC WIZARD huffs a ton of squawking feedback and gallons of acidy guitar goo into the track. Following those seven minutes of pummeling comes the excruciating drag of the 9:05 "We Love the Dead". Once more the chunky chords plow southwards and even Count Orlof hits some inexplicably dense tinges. The inherent harmony of "We Love the Dead" would actually serve a throwback horror flick well, but there's naturally something far more sinister at work within this dirge. It's only palatable to freaks of this stuff, no matter how awesome the guitar "picks" and shreds get within the final minutes. "SadioWitch" and "Saturn Dethroned" cut the listener a break with much shorter running times and tighter, relatively faster lines. Nevertheless, when "Time to Die" is all said and done, the listener will feel shorn and naked like the ritual offering depicted inside the liner notes. Whether "Time to Die" is meant to expose the dank underbelly of Satanism or to mock outsider perceptions of it (the religion at its core is meant to celebrate to the nth self-empowerment and fulfillment versus gory sacrifice), ELECTRIC WIZARD issues a long-meted provocation that's only meant for a select few.
Almost twenty years together, Polish death-tech legends DECAPITATED take their time in delivering new product to their rabid fans. Only their sixth full-length, "Blood Mantra" is a prime example of substance versus quantity. Even with a mere eight songs on it, "Blood Mantra" accomplishes more in one sitting than some death metal bands need three albums to achieve. DECAPITATED's proficiency has always been one of their biggest assets, but on "Blood Mantra", the band reportedly went back to the explorative mindset of 2006's "Organic Hallucinosis". If anything, "Blood Mantra" captures the essence of its predecessor, then takes a huge evolutionary step forward as DECAPITATED mingles numerous theories to produce a volatile and wildly entertaining record. They make you wait for it a few rounds on "Exiled in Flesh". Waclaw "Vogg" Kieltyka's shredding guitar lines alone are heavy enough, but then DECAPITATED hits the blast button and sends the song onto a blazing path. The rest of "Exiled in Flesh" is dealt by new drummer Michal Lysejko in mostly two measures, grind and thrash, before everything fades into a droning cascade. After that, "The Blasphemous Psalm to the Dummy God Creation" flares along for 2:31, again switching between blast measures and restrained, though no less extreme thrash punches. Kieltyka's guitar and Pawel Pasek's bass on both songs swarm gracefully overtop the cataclysmic debauchery beneath them. The chuffing riffs and moshing tempo serving up "Veins" will summon pit churns and here is where DECAPITATED largely stays, sending the song into a fun dance of the damned where brushing strokes merge with down-picked spools. A decorative melody emits during a tone-drenched bridge and subsequent breakdown. For music this extreme, there's a serious verve to it all. As much as this band likes to impress by their velocity (spiking things to jackhammer speed by song's end), they doubly impress with their punctuated musicianship and tendency to rock out as they do on "Veins". This trend continues on the banged-up title track, one guaranteed to snap necks and keep the whirlpool flowing on the floor. At 5:06, there's more groove than embellishment and transition going on here (albeit, there are a few turns taken in the second half of the song), which makes the explosive thrash hurled into the final minute much more spectacular. It's savvy songwriting you just can't teach to your average death metal act. As "Nest" rolls on for 6:26, it's this dedication toward groove that keeps the song interesting. DECAPITATED stitches their sicko riffs in front of a churning guitar melody and keeps the method up longer than most bands today would. Thank God for that, because the steady crunch of the song makes the out-of-nowhere glide into a gorgeous harmony on the bridge appealing, even more so once Waclaw Kieltyka hits an equally attractive solo. As impressive as anything DECAPITATED has ever performed, this is how you effectively marry beauty and the beast in death metal. Reserving their fullest chops for the hyperactive "Instinct", DECAPITATED goes berserk instrumentally for a minute-and-a-half before pulling much of the guitars away, flirting with bare whispers behind the continuous beat pounding on the verses, then blaring them at full volume. As fast as "Instinct" goes for most of the way, every time the guitars and bass hit their strides, they smother you before the song hits a few signature volleys. At that point, the riffs march along with a slower tempo and hits a striking concord in mid-stride. The 7:38 "Blindness" again makes the listener wait with rolling, patient guitar lines and a riveting rhythm. Even when Rafal "Rasta" Piotrowski's bear vocals emerge, DECAPITATED continues the same pattern, layering things in repeat. Whenever you think this song is about to erupt in speed, it doesn't, and that's crafty showmanship. "Blindness" stays on a hypnotic lull, constantly baiting and tiding over with a guitar solo that winds along with the rest of the song. For lesser bands, this gambit wouldn't pay off, but DECAPITATED hardly loses their urgency on this cut. If anything, they give a protracted tease that still satiates. If you're expecting a blistering closing statement with the instrumental "Red Sun", forget it, but by this time, DECAPITATED has already delivered a masterful set of songs that are plenty enough to chew on. "Blood Mantra" is perhaps the most poised and gutsy album DECAPITATED's yet delivered and its courageous bends make it a turbulent but pleasurable ride.
myRockworld recently conducted an interview with guitarist Wolf Hoffmann of German/American metallers ACCEPT. You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below. Asked how it felt to see ACCEPT's new album, "Blind Rage", enter the German chart at No. 1, Wolf said: "It feels great. Who could have believed that after 35 yeas or longer in this business, finally we get a Number One. It took us mostly by surprise, to be honest, but we're very happy about it. [It was Number One] in Germany and Finland and I think it made some really good chart positions in other countries all around Europe. But what's even more important to me than the chart position is how well it was received by the fans and all the critics. That, to me, means everything, really. A chart position is a chart position; it comes and goes and it's nice. But what's the staying power of an album and what do the fans really say at the end of the day? That's what's important. And so far the reactions have been overwhelming, amazing." "Blind Rage" sold around 6,400 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The band's previous CD, 2012's "Stalingrad", opened with around 5,400 units to debut at position No. 81 on The Billboard 200 chart. The group's 2010 album, "Blood Of The Nations", registered a first-week tally of 2,900 copies to land at No. 187. "Blind Rage" was released on August 15 via Nuclear Blast. Like its two predecessors, 2010's "Blood Of The Nations" and 2012's "Stalingrad", the new effort was helmed by British producer Andy Sneap, who has previously worked with MEGADETH, EXODUS, TESTAMENT, ARCH ENEMY and KILLSWITCH ENGAGE. The cover artwork was created by Daniel Goldsworthy. The "Stampede" video was filmed on location in the high desert of California at the Devil's Punchbowl (a rock formation that looks like it's from another world) with director Greg Aronowitz ("Batman & Robin", "A.I. Artificial Intelligence", "The Lost World: Jurassic Park").
SLIPKNOT and STONE SOUR singer Corey Taylor is the latest musician to respond to KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons' recent comment that "rock is dead." Simmons told Esquire magazine last month â in an interview conducted by his son Nick â that "rock did not die of old age. It was murdered. Some brilliance, somewhere, was going to be expressed and now it won't because it's that much harder to earn a living playing and writing songs. No one will pay you to do it." Simmons went on to elaborate that as a result of file-sharing and other issues, record label support for rock music was not available like it was when KISS was coming up, concluding, "It's finally dead. Rock is finally dead." Asked to weigh in on Gene's comments, Taylor told Tina Smash of the Jacksonville, North Carolina radio station Rock 105.5: "Nothing against Gene. I understand what he was trying to say. His way of making albums and making music and getting things out there is dead. But you just kind of have to roll with the technology, you have to rise with the times, you have to learn to use those to your advantage. You can't just sit back and just kind of do album-tour-album-tour â there's so much that goes into it now." He continued: "We're such students of the game â not only of technology, but the way it's done now â that I refuse to let anybody say that and have it be taken seriously. "Are you kidding me?! Screw that, man! Rock ain't dead." Taylor added: "I [recently] said, 'Rock and metal ain't dead. They're just waiting to kill you.' And I mean that. It's an ebb and flow. It's like that probably every â what? â ten [or] fifteen years. There's an ebb. But it's definitely coming back." SLIPKNOT's long-awaited fifth studio album, ".5: The Gray Chapter", sold around 132,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 1 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD arrived in stores on October 21 via Roadrunner. The is the second No. 1 album for SLIPKNOT, whose fourth full-length effort, 2008's "All Hope Is Gone", topped the Billboard chart after an extraordinary SoundScan recount.
KILLSWITCH ENGAGE singer Jesse Leach has defended his recent cover of the MAZZY STAR song "Fade Into You" with his solo side project ALIKEN, explaining that he is simply "being an artist" and "being true to who [he is]." Leach recently shot a video for his version of the 1994 alternative rock/dream pop classic, featuring the vocalist standing on a lakeside and walking through a wooded area while singing the song. Speaking to Tina Smash of the Jacksonville, North Carolina radio station Rock 105.5 at last weekend's Knotfest in Devore, California, Leach stated about his decision to cover the MAZZY STAR track: "That's one of my favorite songs on the planet. I'm a big sucker for that '90s sort of alternative, gothyâ¦ Like COCTEAU TWINS, THE SUNDAYSâ¦ I grew up dating a punk-rock chick and she made me a mixed tape of all those groups on it, and I have a soft spot for it. [I thought it would] be fun â just to mix it up and do something different with it. You know what I mean. So [there's] more of that to come. But not just reggae. Like, I'm gonna do rock and roll, I'm do some punk stuff. I've got a MINOR THREAT cover coming out soon on a seven-inch compilation. I just don't wanna be boxed in. So my solo stuff is gonna be anything but metal, anything but aggressive." Asked if the KILLSWITCH ENGAGE fans have embraced side more experimental, melodic side, Leach said: "Some do, some don't. I get hate mail, but, likeâ¦ good. If I'm pissing somebody off, good. 'Cause I'm being an artist, I'm being true to who I am. And if you don't like it, I don't care.I donât' care. Honestly." KILLSWITCH ENGAGE's fifth studio album, "Disarm The Descent", sold around 48,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 7 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD arrived in stores on April 2, 2013 via Roadrunner Records. "Disarm The Descent" is KILLSWITCH ENGAGE's first album with Leach at the vocal helm since 2002's now-classic, genre-defining "Alive or Just Breathing".
NICKELBACK will host a special live performance and announcement event on Wednesday, November 5 at House Of Blues in West Hollywood, California. This marks the first time NICKELBACK will bring its hit-laden arena rock show to the celebrated Sunset Strip venue. The performance will also be featured on The Live Nation Channel on Yahoo Screen at 6:00 p.m. PT. Fans can join NICKELBACK in the festivities by purchasing tickets at LiveNation.com on Thursday, October 30 at 10:00 a.m. PDT. All proceeds from the sale of tickets will be donated to the International House Of Blues Foundation Action For The Arts grants programs. These programs target high-need and under-resourced communities. They connect youth who would otherwise be unable to access resources with opportunities to participate in live music experiences and the arts. Join the conversation at #NickelbackLiveOnSunset. NICKELBACK's eighth full-length album and inaugural release for Republic Records, "No Fixed Address", is due on November 18. The new set will follow up 2011's platinum-selling "Here And Now". That album included the singles "Bottoms Up" and "This Means War". NICKELBACK has sold more than 50 million records worldwide since breaking through with its 2001 album, "Silver Side Up". The band plans to hit the road in early 2015 for a lengthy world tour in support of the new record. Chad Kroeger formed NICKELBACK in 1995 in Hanna, Alberta, with his brother Mike on bass and guitarist Ryan Peake. Drummer Daniel Adair joined in 2005. The group's second major label outing and third album overall, 2001's "Silver Side Up", was its commercial breakthrough, yielding the colossal hit single "How You Remind Me". 2005's "All The Right Reasons" spent 112 consecutive weeks in the Top 30 of the Billboard album chart, selling more than eight million copies in the U.S. alone and over 15 million copies worldwide. NICKELBACK has amassed sales of more than 50 million albums worldwide, with the band's last five releases all debuting in the Top 10 of The Billboard 200 album chart. NICKELBACK has been nominated for five Grammys, three American Music Awards, 12 Juno awards and were named "Group Of The Decade" by Billboard magazine in 2009.
Swedish death metallers UNLEASHED have entered the studio to record their 12th full-length album for a spring 2015 release. UNLEASHED's last CD, "Odalheim", was released in April 2012 via Nuclear Blast Records. The effort was produced by Fredrik Folkare and recorded in at Chrome Studios in Sweden. With "Odalheim", UNLEASHED not only presented the follow-up to "As Yggdrasil Trembles" in the year 2012, but also continued telling its post-doomsday story, embedded into the Norse mythology. After the mighty world tree Yggdrasil had trembled and rung in the end of the world, Fimbul winter followed: Three years of darkness and coldness, during which Mother Nature took back what was rightfully hers. This caused the end of life as we know it. RagnarÃ¶k. But the warriors who've survived will build a new world out of the old one's ashes. Right here, the story of "Odalheim" begins. UNLEASHED's current lineup: Johnny Hedlund: Bass, Vocals Tomas MÃ¥sgard: Guitar Fredrik Folkare: Guitar Anders Schultz: Drums A two-camera fan-filmed mix of UNLEASHED's March 15 performance at this year's Hammerfest, which was held at Hafan y Mor Holiday Park, Caernarfonshire and Merionethshire, Wales, can be seen below.
On October 26, "Q N' A With Mikki And Shay" conducted an interview with Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne on the red carpet at an evening of art with Billy Morrison and Joey Feldman benefiting the Rock Against MS foundation at Village Studios in Los Angeles, California. You can watch the chat below. Ozzy's "Memoirs Of A Madman" CD sold 4,200 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 90 on The Billboard 200 chart. The collection serves as a career-spanning audio release, featuring 17 of Ozzy's greatest hit singles compiled in one place for the first time in his career. Released on October 7 via Epic Records/Legacy Recordings, it is available in a single CD, two-LP set and two-LP picture disc set configurations. BLACK SABBATH will release one final studio album and tour behind it in 2015, with Ozzy telling Esquire, "The record company wants us to do one more record, and we've decided to do one more tour, and at the end of the tour we just disband and I go back to doing my solo stuff."