Before embarking on the first leg of their “The Burden Of God” World Tour starting next Tuesday in Zottegem (Belgium), French heavy metal pioneers NIGHTMARE have unleashed to the world their new video clip “Sunrise In Hell”! The full length movie-clip, Gateways To The Void / Sunrise In Hell will be released later this year through AFM Records… Stay Tuned… The “Sunrise In Hell” video clip has been conducted by talented French producer Stéphane Gilbart (Nightframe Media Visions) and produced and edited by Richard Conord (richardconordfilms.com).
The main character / actor on the video is no less than the band’s new guitar player, Matt Asselberghs. This clip features also appearances of French models Sonia Zina and Lady Akasha as special guests.
NIGHTMARE tour dates:
14 /08 / 2012 – Blauwe Wolk – ZOTTEGEM (Belgium) + Meet & Greet with Crimson Glory
15 / 08 / 2012 – Rock Temple – KERKRADE (Netherlands) W/ Crimson Glory
16 / 08 / 2012 – Biebob – VOSSELAR (Belgium) + Surprises!!!!! (Headlining show)
18 / 08 / 2012 – Rockstad Festival – FALUN (Sweden)
19 / 08 / 2012 – Motocultor OA Festival – THEIX (France)
07 / 09 / 2012 – Sublime Club – TEL AVIV (Israel) (Headlining show)
14 / 12 / 2012 – La Tannerie – BOURG EN BRESSE (France) (Headlining show)
15 / 12 / 2012 – XMas Festival – VALENCIA (Spain)
Hard Rock Hideout’s Stone – Picking the “top ten list” of anything in life is not that easy. Choosing my Top Ten Albums Of 2010 proved to be more daunting than I had initially expected, with there being multiple dozens of excellent albums released this past year, spanning across each sub-genre of Metal, not to mention Hard Rock and Rock as well. I decided this year, to pick out only those ten albums that I can honestly say moved me… as a complete album of songs. I have neverlimited my ears, mind and soul to just Metal, anyone who knows me, understands this. Therefore, finding an album in my “top ten” that is not full-throttle, pedal to the Metal, shouldn’t come across as scandalous.
An album that makes my “top ten” list will move me emotionally, sending signals to my senses that either A: psyches-me-out of my Metal mind or B: makes me feel as though I’ve found a long lost friend, a friend I’ll now have for the rest of my Metal life. Of course quality musicianship, songwriting and overall production comes into play… only those three attributes will fall into place when an album is truly special to me.
Maybe you’ll enjoy, become slightly amused and or confused by my Top Ten Albums Of 2010. Either way, my intent is to showcase and appluad these albums and the bands that created them. Hopefully I peak your interest to buy an album or two from this list. These are the albums that will stand the test of my Metal time on Earth.
KATAKLYSM epitomizes the marriage of melodic and heavy… and succeeds so brilliantly in a Death Metal genre, a genre that has profoundly matured into mandatory importance in my Metal history book, many full moons ago. I’ll say this time and again, when Maurizio Iacono sings, I listen. Jean-Francois Dagenais on guitar is not just impressive, his playing is beyond that. If Death Metal needed “that band” to bridge the gap between the meat & potatoes and the progressive, then KATAKLYSM is that band. “Heaven’s Venom” is more than just another excellent Melodic Death Metal album, it is a collective “sound” and “vibe” that makes me realize that maybe “extreme” should be replaced with “pristine” when describing these ten songs.
On December 2, 2010, I posted a review on Heaven’s Venom, giving more Metal details as to why KATAKLYSM is sitting atop my tier of Metal legendary bands. Clicking the link above will take you there!
The “Classic” Krokus lineup returned in 2010 to bring their Hard Rockin’ brand back… to kick our asses! Metal be thy name, Krokus DID kick my ass with “Hoodoo” and all I can say is: “thank you sirs, may I have more?” A (gasp) fun album is “Hoodoo”, that gives a wink and a smile to the gloriously loud and colorful 80’s decade of Arena Rock and good times thrills. If the songs “Too Hot” and “Hoodoo Woman” doesn’t get your Hard Rock adrenaline flowing, then maybe you should consider living as a hermit in the forests of Maine.
On April 27, 2010, I reviewed Hoodoo and did not hold back my Hard Rockin’ affection for this timeless Hard Rockin’ band. Click on the link above to see it!
Jon Oliva is a man of music. He proves this on “Festival”, by connecting the Rock ‘N’ Roll dots, Jon Oliva has his Classic Rock influences of the Beatles and The Electric Light Orchestra coexisting with the Savatage blood that flows through his ultra-talented veins. Is “Festival” a Heavy Metal album? On the surface it is… only once you really listen to this album a few dozen times, you might very well agree with me that “Festival” is a celebration of Jon Oliva’s musical career. The dark themes and nightmarish lyrics behold a realism that I find stunning, making me hope and pray that Jon Oliva and his band will create a “Festival”… part 2.
On April 15, 2010, my review for “Festival” was posted on Hard Rock Hideout. Click on the link above to read all about it!
What Greg Hampton (founding member, lead guitarist & vocalist) created with his band The New Czars, is one of the finest blends of Rock Music styles my ears have heard in years. “Doomsday Revolution” takes a Modern Hard Rock lead, with Industrial and Funk experimentation weaved within it’s lustrous interior. Greg Hampton might very well be the “missing link” within a generation of Rock vocal legends such as Glenn Hughes, Ian Gillan, David Coverdale and yes… Robert Plant. If that sounds too good to be true, then get yourself a copy of “Doomsday Revolution” and thank Stone for serving you right.
Back on September 8, 2010, I posted a detailed album review for Doomsday Revolution. You can click the link above if you want to read all about it!
“Nightmare” is the fifth studio album from A7X and very well should be anointed as their very best. Powerful, angry and raging is “God Hates Us”, while the album opener “Nightmare” speeds on with it’s relentless up-tempo that makes me feel like I belong in the pit, carrying on like a psyched-out Metalhead from 1989. Seriously, what A7X has accomplished with “Nightmare” is nothing short of a Metal miracle, with having to cope with the loss of Jimmy “The Reverend” Sullivan. I won’t hold back calling this “Nightmare” album the “Back In Black” or “Black Album” of A7X’s catalog.
On November 9, 2010, my review for “Nightmare” was posted on Hard Rock Hideout. Check it out by clicking the link below!
What’s this? A Hard Rock three piece? A Modern Hard Rock three piece? Can these guys play? Who invited them to the party? Stone will tell you right now… KOPEK is a three piece, they are a Hard Rock band and they bought the copyright for the word relevance. By the way, KOPEK will be invited to the party and they are bringing with them a case of Hard Rock whoop ass that will have you begging “them” for more. Guitarist and vocalist Daniel Jordan brings that “it” factor to the Hard Rock table, “it” being his charisma that resonates from each and every song I hear on “White Collar Lies”. Drummer Shane Cooney and bassist Brad Kinsella round out this Hard Rockin’ trio from Dublin, Ireland, making them a band I recommend to every breathing human being on Earth.
On June 28, 2010, I presented to the world, an album review for White Collar Lies. If you want to know more about this KOPEK album that you should really buy, then click the link above… it will serve you right!
This new DANZIG album could have easily been titled: “How Glenn Danzig Got His Groove Back”. “Deth Red Sabaoth” is a return to dark form for Glenn, with each song carrying it’s worthy weight of thump and stump heaviness. Dare I say once again… Old School? These flashbacks to the Heavy Metal glory years never hurt any band and DANZIG churns out the songs that I want to hear on a long, lost, dark nights cruise through the remote countryside. “Black Candy”, Deth Red Moon” and “Ju Ju Bone” are the three songs that stand-out among, well, 11 stand-out songs. Each time I listen to “Deth Red Sabaoth” I realize wholly, that Glenn Danzig is back… and that makes Stone feel very Metal comfy.
On July 22, 2010, my review for “Deth Red Sabaoth” was posted on Hard Rock Hideout. Check it out for yourself by clicking the link above!
An Udo-less Accept is hard to “accept”… unless you listen to “Blood Of The Nations”. Mark Tornillo made me a believer from the first note he bellows on “Beat The Bastards”, while not being an Udo clone, Mark just accomplished what always came natural to him… that’s to sing like an Old School Metal warrior! With a near perfect version of the original Accept lineup grinding out 14 songs, at the culmination of my first listen to this album I wanted MORE! This is an Accept album that solidifies this band’s Heavy Metal importance and existence of both past and present. “Blood Of The Nations” also reminds all of us aging Metalheads, that Old School Heavy Metal dreams really do come true.
On September 14, 2010, I posted a very psyched-out review for this Blood Of The Nations album. Check it out if you like, by clicking the link above!
#2 (Tie) EXODUS – EXHIBIT B: THE HUMAN CONDITION
Why have I made it a “tie” between EXODUS – Exhibit B: The Human Condition and OVERKILL –Ironbound? The answer is simple… Thrash Metal albums, from these two ultra-legends, sounding this damn outstanding, has fortunately collided with an uncanny equality. Choosing between these two albums as which is best, is liking choosing between two iced mugs of Blue Moon Ale. Pick ’em. Founding members Gary Holt (guitar) and Tom Hunting (drums) are the Metal backbone to Exodus being not just pioneers of Thrash Metal, Exodus is one of this genre’s true leaders in 2010. This album is as brutal as any that Exodus has released… and these guys sound tighter than ever!
#2 (Tie) OVERKILL – IRONBOUND
As with Exodus, Overkill are pioneers of the Thrash Metal movement that has seen a resurgence of popularity that reminds me of the 80’s. “Ironbound” is full-blown and in-your-face Thrash Metal that glistens with Old School hunger and never relents with it’s crushing and force driven songs. Founding members Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth (vocals) and D.D. Verni (bass) are living proof that they can create and play Thrash Metal for 30 years and counting, with different lineups, while never losing a touch of relevance. After three decades of albums, Overkill quite possibly made their verybest with “Ironbound.”
On March 8, 2010, I reviewed “Ironbound” on Hard Rock Hideout. Click the header link above read the complete details!
#1 SCORPIONS – STING IN THE TAIL
“Sting In The Tail” radiates every quality that I yearn for in choosing a #1 album: heaviness, hardness, melodic, memorable, emotional and Old School… all wrapped up into one celebratory goodbye after spanning nearly five decades of existence. This album dominated my Metal soul like none other in 2010, even the ballads “The Good Die Young” and “The Best Is Yet To Come” made an instant impact on me… and I never wave the flag for ballads that often. Klaus Meine sounds as incredible as ever on vocals, while this entire band plays with the fire of twenty year olds. “Sting In The Tail” was not a return to the glory days of 80’s Heavy Metal, instead, this album showcases just how electrifying the Scorpions still are after so many decades. The Scorpions go out proving to me, they never lost their edge. There will never be another band like the Scorpions.
Back on April 3, 2010, I posted a detailed album review on Sting In The Tail. Click the large header below, to read about how much I really dig this Scorpions album!
LONG LIVE METAL.
THANK YOU SCORPIONS.
LONG LIVE ROCK ‘N’ ROLL.
AVENGED SEVENFOLD “Nightmare” – The Crown Jewel Of A7X
It has been a little over two months since the July 27th, 2010 release of “Nightmare” from Avenged Sevenfold. This has been more than enough time for me to listen to their fifth studio album and come to this realization… “Nightmare” is profoundly bigger and more badass than any critics out there ever expected. To listen to this new A7X album and walk away unimpressed tells me only one thing… your oozing with quality Metal envy. The #1 album chart status and sales figures alone for “Nightmare” are telling of the popularity and quality that A7X carries with their brand of Heavy Rock.
The lead single of “Nightmare” alone is as fine an example of the musical maturation that A7X has reached, in factually just a decade. With shades of Metallica influence combined within their own Metal prowess, A7X can very well know they have made the song of their lives. Just when you think “Nightmare” is going to subside, it doesn’t. This song is uncannily relentless with its psyche-you-out continuity. I can’t help but think to myself… this “Nightmare” song will make Metallica wish it was theirs. I state this as a compliment to both bands, I’m opposed to stirring up controversy. Sometimes.
Anyone still unfamiliar with this “Nightmare” album should consider themselves either a rain forest hermit or walking in their sleep while still having functioning body parts. To pick apart this album would be rather easy… if you never listened to it. That sadly, has been the morbid case in situations that are few and far between. “Nightmare” is so much more than the lead single. As is always the case with A7X, this is a total album of songs. As diverse as it is dynamic, “Nightmare” flourishes with its originality from song to song, with not a micro hint of cut and paste with this extraordinary group of musicians.
If “Danger Line” doesn’t bring your eyes to some semblance of tears, then obviously the lyrics go right over your head. “Danger Line” incorporates whistling and a piano for extra emotional affect, evaporating the immature mentality out there that A7X is NOT a screaming Metalcore band for teenage boys only. Take that, all of you liberal and over compensated mainstream Rock Music critics. “Buried Alive” relies on its melodic heaviness to carry out it’s more than memorable song structure. This is a song that plays out in two parts, one part heavy ballad and second part melt your eardrums into Heavy Metal delirium.
“So Far Away” further removes the unsubstantiated stereotype and misgivings that A7X at times have to duck away from. This song is remarkable in both its musicianship and lyrics. “So Far Away” is the bridge between A7X the Metal Band and A7X the diverse and skillful musicians that they glowingly are. “Tonight The World Dies” tantalizes with a Classic Rock sensibility that marries into the emotionally driven darkness that is this “Nightmare” album. M. Shadows vocally switches from crooning to power bellows with flawless and inherent confidence.
“God Hates Us” is undisputedly the heaviest track on “Nightmare”, exposing the full throttle and extreme side that A7X can credibly unleash through song. If “Nightmare” was built around the sound and fury of “God Hates Us”, A7X would be just another Metal Band that made a “decent” album. This song is grand and mighty in every musical aspect, only A7X doesn’t need to rely on this high level of heaviness to be as great as they are. It is songs like “Victim” that enriches this “Nightmare” album into its “necessity to own” status. A heavy ballad is “Victim” and it does not resemble anything you have ever heard in a “heavy ballad” before. This is as modernistic and emblematic of what a heavy ballad should sound like… and A7X created it.
M. Shadows sings his heart out on this entire album, with the purest and most legitimate emotion spilling over each and every syllable. Yes, hearing Dream Theater founder and former drummer Mike Portnoy on drums is evident and incredible all the same. Mike Portnoy only escalates the totality of power and drive with his rhythmic essence and elegance within these songs heard on “Nightmare”. Synyster Gates on lead guitar and Zacky Vengeance on rhythm guitar compliment one another to the point where they are a guitar brotherhood. Listening to both play together on “Nightmare” is seamless in their unison. Johnny Christ on bass is heard very clearly, playing alongside Mike Portnoy with rhythmic precision, to my ears anyways.
“Save Me” is the epic song on “Nightmare”, coming in a few seconds short of eleven minutes. If Synyster Gates intentionally wanted his guitar to sound as if it were singing, he succeeded here. This song is not going to be a dreaded epic listen, for those of you who have not heard it just yet. A7X took great care into considering song structure for “Save Me”, it plays out as a short story with ample guitar parts that focus on melody and harmony, rather than raw power leads. With a ballad formula that compensates by its overall hardness, “Save Me” never loses my attention for a second. The speed kicks in at the midway point, with multiple guitar solo’s that brandish speed, while never compromising this song’s melodic intent.
Jimmy “The Reverend” Sullivan sings on “Fiction” and is credited with the drum arrangements as well. Hearing “The Rev” sing these lyrics on “Fiction” is chilling and leaves an emotional impression on me. Not to sound cliche, yet, “The Rev” was a one of a kind drummer. A7X will never be the same band without “The Rev”, his untimely and tragic passing only reminds me to never take for granted great musicians who have brought joy to my Metal loving life… and to not take life for granted either.
“Lost It All” is the non-album track that is available on itunes as a deluxe version bonus track. This song’s dark theme and heaviness fits right into the “Nightmare” scheme of things, showcasing just how brilliant sounding A7X is, when they combine present day “hardness” with their already patented “heaviness”.
I liken “Nightmare” to be Avenged Sevenfold’s “Back In Black” album, possibly their “Black Album” of their career. It surely comes across this way to my ears and senses. A7X took a dark approach lyrically and delicately weaved some heavy emotion into an album of songs that is fittingly titled “Nightmare”. Not one song sounds forced or contrived “at the last minute” of recording. This is an album to embrace for not just its skillful musicians, this album must be embraced for its end product being the totality of “real” songs. There is nothing pre-packaged here, this is “Nightmare” and A7X can stand tall and proud in “my” Metal world.
Rating: Out of 10
- Welcome To The Family
- Danger Line
- Buried Alive
- Natural Born Killer
- So Far Away
- God Hates Us
- Tonight The World Dies
- Save Me
Avenged Sevenfold is:
M. Shadows – vocals
Synyster Gates – lead guitar, backing vocals
Zacky Vengeance – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Johnny Christ – bass
The Rev – Drum arrangements, Lead Vocals on Fiction, Drums on Nightmare’s demo
Mike Portnoy – drums, percussions
Brian Haner, Sr. – guitars on “So Far Away”
Sharlotte Gibson – backing vocals
Jessi Collins – backing vocals
David Palmer – piano, keyboards
Stevie Blacke – Strings, string arrangement
Stewart Cole – trumpet
Mike Elizondo – keyboards
The Whistler – Whistling
Avenged Sevenfold‘s current single “Nightmare” is the most played song at Media Base Active Rock for 2010. The track has achieved 34,311 spins and is expected to hold the No. 1 position for the rest of the year. The song climbed to No. 1 on the Active Rock chart in August, where it remained for three weeks. “Nightmare” has also enjoyed airplay at Mainstream and Modern Rock radio stations across the country and was the No. 1 Rock Song on iTunes in the U.S. and the U.K. in its debut week.
“Nightmare” is the title track to the band’s highly personal new album, which bowed at No. 1 on Billboard‘s album chart and also topped Billboard‘s Rock, Hard Rock, and Digital charts. Its No. 1 debut is the band’s highest first-week chart position ever.
Produced by Mike Elizondo (Dr. Dre, Eminem) and mixed by noted engineer Andy Wallace, Nightmare was in the works when the band’s beloved drummer, Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan, passed away. The Los Angeles Times has praised Nightmare‘s “elegiac power ballads,” and called it “the band’s most personal effort yet.” USA Today declared, “A7X has as broad a musical palette as any act in metal, with soaring guitar melodies and sorrowful ballads that offset growling metalcore vocals and Metallica-like jackhammer rhythms.”
Avenged Sevenfold, who recently wound up a stint co-headlining the first annual Rockstar Energy Drink UPROAR Festival with Disturbed, are currently on the road in Europe and the UK. The band will play their last show of the year on December 11th, headlining X107.5’s Holiday Havoc 2010 at The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Read what critics have been saying about Avenged Sevenfold live!
“Their set was easily one of the most impressive performances I’ve seen in a very long time.” — Seattle Post Intelligencer
“The band sounded tighter and more focused than ever.” — Arizona Republic
“Aside from the energy present in singer Shadow’s delivery, the guitar work of Avenged is top notch. Both Zacky Vengeance and Synyster Gates do some mind-bending solos, but more impressively they perfectly harmonize many of the complicated leads” — OC Weekly
Check out Avenged Sevenfold’s latest video, “Nightmare” below! Avenged Sevenfold’s new album, Nightmare, featuring Dream Theater’s Mike Portnoy on drums, will be released, and in stores tomorrow (July 27th, 2010).
“NIGHTMARE” VIDEO PREMIERES ON MTV.COM 11AM EST JULY 17TH
NIGHTMARE AVAILABLE EVERYWHERE JULY 27TH
Avenged Sevenfold have just released three new teaser trailers in anticipation of the “Nightmare” video premiere on MTV.com on July 17th at 11AM EST. The three trailers can be seen on the band’s Youtube Channel. The band will be releasing its fifth studio album, Nightmare, on July 27th and will also be teaming up with Disturbed on the Rockstar Energy Uproar Tour later this Summer.
Nightmare Deluxe iTunes pre-order URL: http://itunes.apple.com/preorder/nightmare-deluxe-version/id379461578
NIGHTMARE AVAILABLE EVERYWHERE JULY 27TH
Southern California’s Avenged Sevenfold have just unveiled the artwork for their upcoming album, Nightmare, which will be in-stores on July 27th. The band will also be releasing a special limited edition of their upcoming album on Warner Bros. Records. Nightmare was produced by Mike Elizondo (Dr. Dre, Eminem) and mixed by noted engineer Andy Wallace. Please see below for full track-listing.
Book of Nightmares includes the full Nightmare album on CD, plus an expanded booklet featuring lyric sheets from the band and exclusive artwork — all packaged in a bound book with a silver-plated “Nightmare” crest. The package also includes a limited 24” x 36” lithograph entitled “Death Bat Anatomy” featuring original artwork on textured paper embossed, as well as an instant digital download of Avenged Sevenfold’s current single “Nightmare.” Book of Nightmares is only for sale from the band’s official website, http://www.avengedsevenfold.com, where it is currently available for pre-order for $49.99.
The album’s first single and title track has enjoyed airplay at Active Rock, Mainstream, and Modern Rock radio stations across the country and was the No. 1 Rock Song on iTunes in the U.S. and the U.K. in its debut week. A lyric video of “Nightmare” that premiered via a Youtube on the band’s website received more than 275,000 plays in 24 hours and has since racked up nearly 1.7 million views.
In August, Avenged Sevenfold will set out co-headlining the first annual Rockstar Energy Drink UPROAR Festival with Disturbed. Also on the bill are Stone Sour, Halestorm, and Hell Yeah. The UPROAR tour, which will hit amphitheatres and arenas, marks the band’s first tour since the passing of beloved friend and drummer Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan. Mike Portnoy from Dream Theatre plays drums on Nightmare and will also tour with the band for UPROAR. Please visit http://www.rockstaruproar.com for details.
The track-listing for Nightmare is as follows:
2. Welcome To The Family
3. Danger Line
4. Buried Alive
5. Natural Born Killer
6. So Far Away
7. God Hates Us
9. Tonight The World Dies
11. Save Me
NIGHTMARE “INSURRECTION” – POWER METAL LEGENDS RETURN WITH A VENGEANCE!
When you think of a nightmare, it usually is the uninvited mind intruder in the middle of your sleep, maybe it’s the backup on the freeway during rush hour. Fear not fellow Metalheads, this Nightmare are the Power Metal warriors hailing from France and they reached a Heavy Metal milestone in 2009… their 30th anniversary of creating some of the best Power Metal to come out of Europe and the entire planet for that matter! To sustain the success and quality of Power Metal that Nightmare has achieved over three decades, is a legitimate Heavy Metal celebration. What better way to celebrate Nightmare’s legacy than to dive right into their September 11, 2009 release – Insurrection, on AFM Records.
Once you begin listening to Insurrection, if your like me, you’ll feel that the overwhelming waves of melodic Power Metal never sounded so glorious. “Decameron”, “Target For Revenge” and “Angels Of Glass” encompass every muscular nugget of what I crave for from Nightmare’s Power Metal attack. “Three Miles Island” is arguably the heaviest and fastest song on Insurrection, satisfying my need for Power Metal speed. Legions Of The Rising Sun does not lag far behind on the speed scale either, with guitarists Franck Milleliri and JC Jess impressing beyond my wildest Metal belief. “Eternal Winter” is a powerfully perfect song to culminate the Insurrection listening experience, with it’s anthemic chorus and slower tempo making for an emotionally driven ending. Nightmare has as formidable of a guitar duo here as any Heavy Metal band in 2010. Throughout Insurrection, the melodic licks are contagiously unreal.
Insurrection is a potent Power Metal release from 2009, one that Nightmare should beat their chests to with pride. Jo Amore on lead vocals can take a Metal bow, his range and pitch are to not just be enjoyed… revered as well. Jo Amore’s brother, David, plays the drums with precision and intensity, only magnifying the power of Insurrection to jaw dropping heights. Yves Campion on bass, keeps the rhythmic power machine on overdrive, adding more fuel to the already sweltering, Power Metal fire that is Nightmare… Insurrection.
Rating: Out of 10
Track Listing :
1. Eternal Winter
2. The Gospel Of Judas
4. Legions Of The Rising Sun
5. Three Miles Island
6. Mirrors Of Damnation
8. Target For Revenge
9. Cosa Nostra (Part I – The Light)
10. Angels Of Glass
Jo Amore – Vocals
Franck Milleliri – Guitars
JC Jess – Guitars
Yves Campion – Bass
David Amore – Drums