When listening through some of the releases for my top 10 of 2011, one CD that I keep gravitating back to is Worship Music from Anthrax. It is a great injustice that I have not reviewed this CD before now.
Worship Music is the first CD Anthrax has recorded with Joey Belladonna in twenty-one years. Not since 1990’s awesome Persistence of Time record has Belladonna recorded with Anthrax. I am not sure what has been missing with Anthrax, but the band has recaptured the magic with Belladonna on the microphone. Worship Music is one of the strongest Anthrax CD’s to date. From a musical standpoint, the incredible riffs of Rob Caggiano and Scott Ian, the amazing drums of Charlie Benante and killer bass riffs from Frank Bello, are amongst the best Anthrax has ever recorded. Belladonna’s range may have diminished a little over the years, but he still sounds awesome!
Anthrax has never been radio darlings, but a couple of tunes that seem tailor-made for radio play would be “Crawl”, or “In The End” (with a few minor edits for expletives). “The Devil You Know” or “Fight ‘Em ‘Til You Can’t” are two outstanding slabs of molten metal that are going to make a lot of headbangers happy (self included). I am a sucker for anything that has to do with zombies, so I absolutely loved the intro on “Fight ‘Em ‘Til You Can’t”. I can only imaging the mosh pit craziness that ensues when Anthrax plays this tune live.
If the Big 4 shows with Metallica, Megadeth & Slayer didn’t return Anthrax to the top of the metal mountain, Worship Music will certainly help them get there. Anthrax has outdone their Big 4 peers by releasing what is easily the best metal album of 2011. I highly recommend it!
Rating: Out of 10
01. Worship (Intro)
02. Earth On Hell
03. The Devil You Know
04. Fight ‘Em ‘Til You Can’t
05. I’m Alive
06. Hymn 1
07. In The End
08. The Giant
09. Hymn 2
10. Judas Priest
12. The Constant
13. Revolution Screams
Joey Belladonna – vocals
Scott Ian – rhythm guitar
Frank Bello – bass
Rob Caggiano – lead guitar
Charlie Benante – drums
Colorado thrashers Havok, have released a new video clip, “DOA” in support of their latest album, Time is Up. Check it out below!!
Any time a new album is released that causes fists to fly in the crisp night air, legs to pump at Olympic athletic speed, and rock screams to unleash in howling yowls, it has to be grand. Megadeth’s latest album Th1rt3en is exactly that. Once again, Dave Mustaine and company came to the party and showed all the other so-called metal bands how heavy metal is meant to played. It’s just one of the many reasons why Megadeth is as high in the hard rocking ranks as bands like Metallica, Iron Maiden, and WASP.
Th1rt3en is an amazing collection of blistering metal songs for those who love to bang their heads, or just feel the energy that heavy metal music brings. With bassist Dave Ellefson providing a signature classic sound to the bass lines, Megadeth has taken their music creation to the next level. Galloping bass lines dominate Thirt3en and provide a steady backdrop along with Shawn Drover’s incredible drums, keeping the rhythm section sturdy.
Overlaying the phenomenal combination of bass and drums is some stellar guitar work by both Dave Mustaine and Chris Broderick. Broderick and Mustaine not only remind us what guitar solos are, they also remind us why we love them so much. Songs like “New World Order” and “Fast Lane” feature blazing solos that scream magnificence. It would be pure pleasure to see these amazing solos performed in concert. The wizardry that Mustaine and Broderick highlight in their effective finger picking mastery is nothing short of astonishing. If every guitarist focused this much time and effort into their song crafting, the metal world would be a much better place.
What’s most interesting about Megadeth’s Th1rt3en is how the second half of the album is so much greater than the first. Upon spinning the first five songs of the record, I was worried that we had a dud on our hands. It’s not that the opening five tracks are horrible (except maybe “Guns, Drugs, & Money” – which is a bad song), but they aren’t up to the excellence that comes later. The beginning of the album had me concerned. Fortunately, Megadeth showed that they still know how to rock like no one else’s business beginning with the sixth cut of the record, “Never Dead.”
Themes of fast, muscle cars tearing down the highway, women destroying the well made niche of man, and the over-involvement of government in the daily life of citizens all run rampant throughout the record. Constructed as only the genius of Megadeth could, the band has compiled lyrics on topics that make the listener think and perhaps want to learn a little bit more about their country and their place in politics. If that wasn’t enough for the average fan, the band threw in some songs about hot babes and slick driving machines. All walks of life are covered and all parties get to go home happy.
Thirt3en is one of Megadeth’s strongest albums to date. At this stage of their career, the band could have phoned it in, released a record of re-recorded material, or decided to try some experimental path, but they didn’t. They instead decided to focus and produce an album worthy of the fans and the band’s moniker. Make no mistake about it— Th1rt3en is a lucky number if you are a Megadeth fan.
Rating: Out of 10
Notable Tracks: New World Order, Fast Lane, 13
- Sudden Death
- Public Enemy No. 1
- Whose Life (Is It Anyways?)
- We The People
- Guns, Drugs, & Money
- Never Dead
- New World Order
- Fast Lane
- Black Swan
- Millennium Of The Blind
- Deadly Nightshade
Dave Mustaine – Lead Vocals, Lead and Rhythm Guitars
Chris Broderick – Lead and Rhythm Guitars
Dave Ellefson – Bass Guitar
Shawn Drover – Drums
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is rolling out the welcome mat for fans coming to town to see iconic heavy metal bands Metallica, Anthrax, Megadeth and Slayer, “The Big 4,” all performing live right here in the Bronx on Wednesday, September 14 at Yankee Stadium.
The “Big 4″ concert also represents a homecoming for Anthrax, which features three native Bronxites among their members–Charlie Benante, Frank Bello and Rob Caggiano. Both Benante and Bello grew up in Throggs Neck, while Caggiano is a native of Pelham Parkway. In honor of the band’s return home, Borough President Diaz will officially declare September 14 as “Anthrax Day in the Bronx.”
“The Bronx may be known as the home of hip-hop and salsa, but make no mistake, our musical contributions are much more expansive. These heavy metal legends grew up right here in our borough, and I am proud to welcome Anthrax back to their Bronx home,” said Borough President Diaz.
Check out Anthrax performing their new single “The Devil You Know” on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon last night, September 7.
Anthrax will be kicking off “The Trashfest Extravaganza” tour with Testament and Death Angel in October. See below for date:
14 Orbit Room, Grand Rapids, MI
15 Congress Theatre, Chicago, IL
16 First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN
18 The Cotillion, Wichita, KS
19 Summit Music Hall, Denver, CO
22 Nokia LA Live, Los Angeles, CA
23 Warfield Theatre, San Francisco, CA
24 House of Blues, San Diego, CA
26 Sunshine Theatre, Albuquerque, NM
28 South Side Music Hall, Dallas, TX
29 Emo’s East, Austin, TX
30 Warehouse Live, Houston, TX
1 House of Blues, Orlando, FL
2 Revolution, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
4 House of Blues, Myrtle Beach, SC
5 Fillmore Charlotte, Charlotte, NC
6 The Fillmore, Silver Spring, MD
8 Northern Lights, Clifton Park, NY
10 Electric Factory, Philadelphia, PA
11 Palladium, Worcester, MA
15 Town Ballroom, Buffalo, NY
17 Stage AE, Pittsburgh, PA
19 Rave, Milwaukee, WI
Anthrax – “Worship Music” out 9.13.2011 CD/LP [pre-order on iTunes]
Italian thrash metal band have a released a new video “This is War”. This song is on the band’s new album, Apocalyptic due out July 15th!
Exodus has released a new video for their song “Downfall”. If you are a fan of thrash metal, you are going to LOVE this! This is from the new Exodus album, Exhibit B: The Human Condition that was released in May. I think this totally kicks ass! Check it out!
Back in the 80s they surely belonged to one of the most influential and also experimental bands of their genre. Let us be honest – Who does not remember a gem like 1986‘s “The Force”! After a long break of 13 years, ONSLAUGHT returned in 2005, due to the great demand of the fans and critics all over the world, with yet another stunning release entitled “Killing Peace” (2007). Now the time has come to give you thrash fans out there, what you have been waiting for. The band is recording a new record as we speak and it will see the light of day soon! This being said there is nothing more than to give this band a warm welcome here at AFM!
The band about the signing: ” WE’RE SO VERY STOKED TO BE JOINING THE ‘AFM RECORDS’ ROSTER, OUR DEAL WITH ‘CANDLELIGHT’ HAD EXPIRED AND AS ALWAYS ONSLAUGHT WERE LOOKING FOR A NEW CHALLENGE. THERE WERE SEVERAL LABELS INTERESTED IN SIGNING THE BAND, BUT ‘AFM’ SAID ALL THE RIGHT THINGS AND MADE ALL THE RIGHT MOVES SO IT WASN’T A HARD CHOICE. ALSO SEEING WHAT THE LABEL DID WITH THE LATEST ‘FEAR FACTORY’ ALBUM BACKED UP OUR DECISION. IT KINDA FEELS LIKE WHEN WE WERE SIGNED TO ‘MUSIC FOR NATIONS’ VERY PERSONAL AND VERY FRIENDLY ON EVERY LEVEL RIGHT UP TO THE LABEL OWNER… WE HAVE A REAL GOOD FEELING ABOUT THE NEW ALBUM RELEASE AND A VERY DISTINCTIVE VISION, AFM ARE RIGHT BEHIND THIS 110%, WE’RE GONNA MAKE A GREAT TEAM AND TOGETHER WE’RE GONNA DELIVER SOME KICK ASS NEW TUNES….”
NIGE ROCKETT and ONSLAUGHT
Following a successful trek through Europe last month, Bay Area thrash legends HEATHEN will perform two special west coast shows later this week alongside fellow thrash titans/kindred spirits Exod6/11/2010 Key Club – Los Angeles, CA w/ Exodus, Bonded By Blood, All Gods Kill and Tormentor [http://www.keyclub.com]
6/12/2010 Slim’s – San Francisco, CA w/ Exodus, Anvil Chorus, and Passive Aggressive
Tickets are on sale now! Don’t miss this rare thrash event!
HEATHEN continue to reap praise from the metal masses with The Evolution Of Chaos, released in the US on February 16th via Holland’s Mascot Records. The record marks HEATHEN’s first studio offering in nearly 20 years. The band’s current lineup includes David White (vocals), Lee Altus (guitar; Exodus), Kragen Lum (guitar; Prototype), Jon Torres (bass; Angelwitch) and returning members Darren Minter (drums).
“This is no nostalgia trip for nostalgia’s sake. This is a high-quality, contemporary thrash album that, had the band not had any history to speak of, would stand quite well on its own merits.” — 8/10 Decibel
“Old school thrashers certainly remember Heathen from back in the day, but their return will garner them a whole new generation of fans.” — About.com l Heavy Metal
“Despite the ever increasing ’80s reunions, reactivated line-ups and/or reissues, the number that have actually released any NEW music worthy of their back catalog can be counted on one hand, with room to spare. Add Heathen to that short list!” — Bravewords.com
HELLOWEEN – “UNARMED, BEST OF 25TH ANNIVERSARY” TAKES A METAL DETOUR!
For 25 years, this pioneering Power Metal band originating from Germany, has taken their fans along a journey of 12 studio albums. From Helloween’s legendary 1985 debut, Walls Of Jericho, to their 2007 release, Gambling With The Devil, this important, resilient, multi-talented and influential band has many a song to choose from for their Unarmed, Best Of 25th Anniversary album. One can debate for a year and a day, as to which of their favorite Helloween songs were included or ignored for this milestone album release. Regardless, Unarmed is by far and large, the most grandiose Helloween album ever to have been created.
Usually, upon my hearing the news of a new Helloween album coming up on the Metal horizon, I begin to lick my chops in anticipation of more speed, power and old school Heavy Metal from this incredible band. Well, Metal truth be told, Unarmed is quite the Metal detour for Helloween and their worldwide fan base too. These classic Helloween songs from years long past, have undergone some major changes in their arrangements! Allow me to explain further… an untold number of composers, producers and arrangers all embarked on the restructuring of these 11 Helloween classics heard on Unarmed. Try this on for Metal size – the 70 Piece Prague Philharmonics Orchestra and the London Choir also play a major role in the musical identity of Unarmed!
Certainly, these songs do sound remarkably different, only this detour did not disappoint me one bit. As an old Metal wise man once told me… “change is a good thing”. Still, this is quantum change for any Helloween fans ears to handle upon a first listen to Unarmed. It’s like shifting gears while driving a standard, it’s all about instinct – while accepting such a dramatic musical change of pace. I became instantly aware from the first note of “Dr. Stein”, that I needed to shift my Metal soul into a mellow soul. “Dr. Stein” does play out as a Classic Rock song, now. With similarities to early 1980’s E Street Band, (minus The Boss), “Dr. Stein” is a knee slapping, foot tapping good time… courtesy of the horn section that really adds to the flavor.
As Unarmed plays out, the quality and sum of the musical parts far outweigh any distractions that I may have experienced during several complete listens of Unarmed. The distractions being – where’s the Speed Metal? Hey, this used to be a Power Metal song! And… the ultimate distraction of them all… could I possibly be falling over for this Unarmed version of Helloween? Metal be thy name! Metal as my witness, I have a soft spot in my Metal heart for this Unarmed chapter of Helloween.
For those die-hard Helloween fans that may not absorb musical change with Metal ease… do not despair for you most likely will not be alone. Fans will either love or (gasp) dislike what Helloween has embarked upon here. I just so happen to be an open minded Metalhead that upholds a love for music, thus my appreciation towards such a drastic change by Helloween is not an alarming issue in my Metal world at all.
Truth be told, Helloween has showed me why I have admired them as musicians first and foremost for so many years, their musical transition on Unarmed has been presented upon my ears, with the highest of quality standards and without question… credibility. Helloween loyalists will embrace Unarmed, as for other curious fans out there… don’t be afraid, take a chance on Unarmed, it won’t ruin your Metal soul!
One last interesting note: there is a hidden track on Unarmed! The song title is – “Why”. My question is this, why is “Why” a hidden track? There is absolutely no mention of this song within the liner notes either. An Unarmed, Helloween mystery that may never be explained!
Rating: Out of 10
- Dr. Stein
- Future World
- If I Could Fly
- Where The Rain Grows
- The Keeper’s Trilogy
- Eagle Fly Free
- Perfect Gentleman
- Forever & One
- I Want Out
- Fallen To Pieces
- A Tale That Wasn’t Right
- Why (Bonus Track)
Andi Deris – Vocals
Michael Weikath – Guitar, Backing vocals
Sascha Gerstner – Guitar, Backing vocals
Markus Grosskopf – Bass, Backing vocals
Daniel Löble – Drums
When you think of Thrash Metal legends, the first bands that come to mind are usually Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Exodus and Anthrax. Old School Metal fans know… there is another extremely key player in this legendary mix of Thrash Metal originators and it is – Overkill. Going on three decades, with 15 studio albums, an EP, a covers album and 2 live albums under their legendary Thrash Metal belts, Overkill is as Metal potent as ever. Setting out to embark on their Spring North American Tour in support of their 15th studio album – “Ironbound”, original member and vocalist Bobby “The Blitz” Ellsworth cordially took the time recently to talk to Hard Rock Hideout. Here is what Bobby had to say:
HRH: What were the thoughts of Overkill going in to record Ironbound?
Bobby: There was a newer energy within the band, we came in right off the road to assemble Ironbound. The unseen hand or the x-factor was the energy we felt in the studio. It was business as usual, still we were feeling something special while recording Ironbound, this afforded us the luxury of coming together so quickly as musicians and finishing this album.
HRH: Ironbound is on the E1 Music label, are you committed to a defined number of albums with them?
Bobby: Yeah, 100 albums! (laughs)
HRH: (laughs) You know Bobby, at the rate Overkill has been going over the years, that is not far fetched!
Bobby: Two more records with E1 Music here, with Nuclear Blast for the rest of the world.
HRH: I actually feel Ironbound is one of the best Overkill albums ever.
Bobby: Thanks, that’s quite a compliment! After 15 albums and over 25 years of Overkill, we are concentrating on today and this Ironbound album and tour. The beauty of Overkill is you know what to expect, yet it is different with each album. Ironbound has teeth, energy and the x-factor, there’s turns at every angle. Ironbound is rooted in what Overkill has been doing since we first became a band and what we are doing today. This album gives you the best of both worlds.
HRH: Where can we catch Overkill on tour this Spring, any updates?
Bobby: We begin our tour on April 1st, in Philadelphia at The Trocadero and on May 1st in New York City, (Nokia Theater in Times Square), it finishes. Coming out to see us live is to really experience Overkill!
Bobby: Not necessarily, I write abstractly. “Endless War” is a little bit more personal and abstract, yet it relates across the board. One man’s cross doesn’t outweigh another man’s cross. This song can apply to what is happening in Iraq and Afghanistan and real life at home. I make comments socially and politically when I write. Ironbound screams louder in the dark, the angst and chaos is valid emotion on Ironbound. I have had over sixteen records to cleanse myself!
HRH: “The Goal Is Your Soul”, can the lyrical content here be representative of white collar crime on Wall Street?
Bobby: Not necessarily, it’s more of a comment on right wing and fanatic Christian and Muslim religions. Organized religion is dangerous, it creates an army in it’s own right. There is danger in the word organized. Organized religion is very follower based. You can also interpret it as the enemy is right here, every day with politics.
HRH: Overkill is arguably the most consistent Thrash Metal band in history, based on album releases and touring. Was an old school work ethic instilled in you at an early age?
Bobby: I think so, it’s my background as a person. DD, (bass guitarist and founding member), and I were raised as such, with a “you want then work for it” discipline. It’s the principals and values of Overkill from the very beginning that has led us here. Doing more and giving your all is the premise this band works on. We always tweak it up, year after year. Our strong work ethic, helps in getting us to go through the artistic torture of making albums for so long, being a band and touring.
HRH: Two words to throw at you, use a free style way to convey your thoughts about them please. Punk Rock.
Bobby: Unbridled energy. Punk Rock has always been the x-factor in Overkill. We started our band covering Punk Rock songs! The Dead Boys, Ramones and Sex Pistols are all influences. The Punk Rock influence is what gives Overkill that different angle that other bands don’t have.
HRH: From “Relix IV”, I love “Old School”, it has that Punk Rock sound and feel.
Bobby: It’s a great song, it’s been a live staple on our set list ever since we released Relix IV.
HRH: What peer band would Overkill take to battle with?
Bobby: There are plenty of us that are cut from the same cloth. Exodus. Overkill and Exodus hold a lot of the same principals. There’s still competition there, yet when we toured together it brought out the best in both bands on stage.
HRH: Are we experiencing a Thrash Metal revival or has Thrash Metal never gone away to begin with?
Bobby: It never went away! Overkill has been doing this straight since 1985. There is a resurgence in popularity with great young bands like Warbringer, Gamma Bomb and Bonded By Blood. Plus, Overkill is also recruiting younger fans with Ironbound in 2010.
HRH: Over the years, what moment truly defined Overkill as being resilient to outside forces?
Bobby: Overkill is special, we always have been able to put ourselves as people ahead of the band. I have known DD for thirty years, our friendship is amazing. In Overkill, “you” come first, not your writing. Overkill is a team, we are more so real about life, instead of business.
HRH: If you could have any famous musical guest on your next Overkill album, who would it be?
Bobby: I’d like to do a duet with Ronnie James Dio. That would be a lot of fun! Lemmy too, (Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead). Lemmy and I sang live together once onstage, it was a lot of fun.
HRH: “Coverkill” is a great tribute to many legendary bands and their songs. What are the chances of there ever being a Coverkill II?
Bobby: I’m not thinking in those terms now. There is a possibility, of course, that it could be done. Since Coverkill, we have covered some new and different songs, Eric Burdon and The Animals and Johnny Cash are just a couple of examples. Still, I think in terms of the day instead of the future, it’s more about the now.
HRH: “Promises” on “From The Underground And Below”, (1997 album), I really like. Is there another ballad in the future for Overkill?
Bobby: I don’t think so. This song was written due to the death of a very close friend. I was able to cleanse the soul through these lyrics. It was necessary for me to get rid of the sadness I was feeling because of this loss. It is real emotion that you hear on “Promises”, not contrived emotion. That song was not the norm for us, then again, it was not the norm for us to be in that situation to write that song either. It’s life, an opportunity to express that emotion I was feeling on a higher level. “Promises” is a testimonial to someone’s life is a way to explain it.
Bobby: They can handle alcohol! Really, the idea of alcohol is part of someone’s life at a younger age in Europe, not so in America. Shit can happen in the U.S., one hundred thousand people will create assaults in the U.S., there’s nothing like that over in Europe. I was at a festival right here in New Jersey last year, there were people arrested for assaulting a police officer! That’s pretty bad when the police start getting assaulted at Rock festivals here. The festivals in Europe are well organized, big beer sponsors are needed and Europe has them. Insurance costs for festivals can dictate why the U.S. doesn’t go for them too.
HRH: What is your favorite Overkill album and why?
Bobby: Horrorscope from ’91. It’s the first album DD and I wrote together. I can’t look at Ironbound as being my favorite because it is new, I need to let it sit with me for about a year.
HRH: One of my favorite Overkill albums too, I love “Frankenstein”.
Bobby: Yeah, that’s a good one! DD has a running joke that Frankenstein is the best song I’ve ever sung on! (laughs)
HRH Note: “Frankenstein” is an instrumental.
HRH: Throughout the years, what tour sticks in your mind the most?
Bobby: Motorhead 1988 and 2007. Growing up a Motorheadbanger, the excitement to meet and tour with a band that I looked up to was incredible. We covered their songs in cover bands and now we’re on tour with Motorhead! In Europe, on the 2007 tour with Motorhead, Lemmy asked me to sing onstage with him! That was just a positive experience! Here we were in 2007, nineteen years after the first tour together and Motorhead is just as nice a group of guys as they were when we first met them.
HRH: Is The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame useful or useless?
Bobby: Useful, I was able to carve my name into the bathroom stall wall there with my pocket knife! (laughs)
Bobby: It’s very cool. There are different things in Rock and Roll to be recognized. It’s an avant-garde answer to what music was in the 1950’s. It’s Rock and Roll history and it’s a necessity to bring forth this history to the public.
HRH: I feel Motorhead belongs in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Bobby: They will be someday.
OVERKILL – with 15 studio and a few live albums released by Overkill since their 1985 Feel The Fire debut, these Thrash Metal legends originating from New Jersey, have unleashed their newest Metal carnage among the masses… IRONBOUND. Released on February 9, 2010 on E1 Music, Ironbound could very well be Overkill’s finest album to date. Judging from the speed and thrashtastic riffage, leads and solo’s of Dave Linsk and Derek Tailer, frenetic drumming of Ron Lipnicki, empowering bass grooves from DD Verni and of course, the trademark, hardened and vicious vocals of Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth, to walk away from Ironbound feeling Thrash fulfilled is a Metal understatement. The two opening songs – “The Green And Black” and “Ironbound” are how Thrash Metal albums are supposed to begin… like decisive missile strikes and extremely Metal monumental.
“Ironbound” just sounds as if DD and “Blitz” decided to not just remind the world they are Thrash Metal originators and icons, they have also pronounced and engraved their loyalty to a genre they helped create. “The Green And Black” offers such a diverse song structure, with it’s near epic length of over 8 minutes. “Endless War” capitalizes on the combination of lyrical imagery, (a soldiers dread, suffering and anguish of dying) and blazingly brilliant, Thrash musicianship. The sinister acoustic intro to “The Goal Is Your Soul”, only accentuates the impending Thrash heaviness that is to follow. This song’s message can/may be interpreted: reap what you sow by your actions/words and knowing one can lose their soul to damnation and the dark unknown, despite life’s blessings being fulfilled or not. This is Overkill’s reality check… as only they can deliver it.
“The Head And Heart” is emblematic of what Overkill’s Thrash Metal makeup is all about. A dark lined intro that submerges your ears into the Thrash assault of heavy and fast grooves with the punctuated vocals of “Blitz” that come across with hellish and angst ridden conviction. The more times I delve my senses into Ironbound, the more I become convinced of Overkill’s allegiance to the foundation of Thrash Metal. Overkill reaches into their underground roots if you will, which is conveyed by them with dominance in their playing, energy, spirit, sound and feel of Ironbound.
Metal truth be told, this is probably the first Overkill album ever, where I have been highly enticed by deciphering the lyrics! This is not to say Overkill never possessed smart, entertaining or attention grabbing lyrics in their past albums. Ironbound just carries with it, an increased intellectual approach to it’s lyrical messages, in my Metal opinion. DD and “Blitz” seemed to turn it up a notch with their lyrics and song writing and this entire Overkill unit has obviously approached this Ironbound album with a type of new found Thrash epiphany.
Lyrical meanings aside, Ironbound is equal to or more explosive, heavy, fast and mean as any Thrash album in Overkill’s iconic catalog. If Overkill were ever be remembered as Metal martyrs, they would be for the Thrash Metal cause they have valiantly forged, with blue collar blood, sweat and muscle for over 25 years. Overkill carrying and waving the flag of Thrash Metal, spanning across decades, is not something I or countless others can ignore. This Overkill lineup has cast their finest album together, Ironbound is a new Overkill Thrash Metal classic, proving once again, this band has not abandoned the Thrash Metal cause, their fans or themselves.
Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth – Vocals
D.D. Verni – Bass, Backing Vocals
Derek “The Skull” Tailer – Rhythm Guitars, Backing Vocals
Ron Lipnicki – Drums
Dave Linsk – Lead and Rhythm Guitars
Paradox delivers the thrash & power with Riot Squad!
PARADOX, just another one of Germany’s very finest, in a long line of Metal greats. When you wish upon a Metal star, looking for that incredible combination of Thrash with a slight dose of Power Metal, all you need is Paradox… they shall deliver! Since 1987, Paradox is Old School, yet what sets this band apart from being considered stagnant is their hunger and drive for maintaining relevancy.
Gus Drax on lead guitar summons up the ferocity of what Thrash Metal was built upon, while establishing and securing melodic leads and solo’s throughout the entire Riot Squad album. Just one listen to the song Rise In Rank and the message is clear, Paradox is not a Metal band that is about to rest on their Metal laurels. Riptide is as strong a contender of Thrash excellence in 2010 as any Thrash Metal song I’ve listened to in recent months. Riptide alone is worth a dozen repeat listens!
Charly Steinhauer on lead vocals and guitar, is never the overpowering force… which is a great attribute in any Metal outfit. Charly’s vocals are melodic and laced harmoniously with hardened edges of experience. Charly Steinhauer has the Metal gift of having both Thrash and Power Metal vocals, thus the Thrash meets Power Metal reference I made earlier. Hollow Peace is a song I consider to showcase Paradox at their tightest and most momentous as a unit, it’s melodic ferocity that I hear, which is such a fine trademark of this untiring band.
Paradox has many Metal strengths, Olly Keller on bass and Roland Jahoda on drums remind me that speed is not focused entirely around the guitarists, this tandem executes precisely how a rhythm section holds everything together with mesmerizing speed of their very own.
Paradox does not just pull it off with Riot Squad, this is a Thrash Metal strike at the knees. The roots and credibility of this band’s past comes through on every song, a continuance of a Metal legacy is what Paradox has accomplished. As I see and hear it, let the underlying nuance of Power Metal in Paradox reign, it is the Thrash Metal override that catapults them onto the level of their elite peers. Paradox fans will either agree with me or they are too busy Metal rejoicing in the streets due to Riot Squad. New fans to Paradox should not just be buying and listening to only this great Paradox album… do yourself an important Metal favor and get ahold of Product Of Imagination from 1987 and Heresy from 1989, the roots, the legacy of Paradox are seeded in these must albums. Despite the lineup changes that Paradox encountered since 1987, this band has achieved what had to be their Metal goal from the very beginning… to keep the Metal real. Paradox the band and Riot Squad the album are real.
Riot Squad was released in Europe on October 16, 2009, and on January 12th, 2010 via AFM Records. For more information on Paradox, please visit the band’s myspace page.
Rating: Out of 10
01. Suburban Riot Squad
02. Hollow Peace
04. Rise In Rank
05. Evolution Reset
07. No Place To Survive
08. Dream Hero
09. Planet Terror
Charly Steinhauer – vocals/guitars
Kai Pasemann – guitars
Olly Keller – bass
Roland Jahoda – drums
I stumbled upon this trash metal band, Turbulence by accident, but immediately took a liking too them after listen to a couple of their songs on myspace.
Check out their video clip, “Weakest Link” below.
This Saturday, December 13, Bay Area thrash legends TESTAMENT will be taking over the airwaves on MTV2’s Headbangers Ball. Along with their brand-new video for “More Than Meets The Eye,” HBB will also be airing never-before-seen footage from the band’s shoot at Alcatraz in San Francisco. “More Than Meets The Eye” was produced by Kevin Custer (Kingdom of Sorrow, Beneath The Massacre).
Six TESTAMENT art pieces, performances, and videos will be intertwined with all the videos that air on Headbangers Ball, which airs Saturday night at 2AM Eastern / 1AM Central.
Chuck Billy and Eric Peterson recently commented on Headbangersblog.com about their new video: “We haven’t had a new video out for a long time, since ‘Low’ in ’94. Our new video is for ‘More Than Meets the Eye’, and it was created by Kevin Custer who’s worked with Kingdom of Sorrow and Beneath the Massacre among others. It was really fun working with Kevin. He really worked in tandem with the band’s vision and took it to the next level.
“The band went to LA and shot performance footage in front of a green screen, then Kevin turned that footage into mayhem with some “Formation of Damnation” happening in the background. We’re happy with it as our first video. We look forward to doing more videos and getting into a concept. We’re definitely pleased to have this represent us for the first one from the new record.
“The feel of the video is more about unearthing the demons within and the terror that wrath can incite. And as the song progresses, the mayhem takes over – a reflection of what is inside the band and the music we create… More Than Meets the Eye.”
Produced by Kevin J. Custer of Toaster In The Tub, “More Than Meets The Eye” adds to TESTAMENT’s scorching scene-returning campaign that has included the following highlights:
- participation on the North American Metal Masters summer tour with Judas Priest, Heaven & Hell, and Motörhead
- being showcased on MTV’s 52/52 Artist Of The Week
- debuting at 59 on the Billboard Top 200 chart for selling over 11,500 copies of The Formation Of Damnation the first week of release
- clinching the 1 slot on the FMQB and CMJ radio charts for several consecutive weeks
- winning Metal Hammer’s Golden Gods Award for “Best Album of 2008″
- album awarded 1 in Metal Maniacs’ Top 20 of 2008 Critics’ Picks list
- Most played album on metal radio for 2008 (FMQB)
Be sure to tune in this Saturday for exclusive new Testament footage!
“UNHOLY ALLIANCE TOUR, CHAPTER III” LAUNCHES ITS FIRST 2008 ASSAULT WITH METAL HAMMER SPONSORED UK DATES
BILL FEATURES SLAYER, TRIVIUM, MASTODON
The UK leg of the mighty “Unholy Alliance Tour, Chapter III” kicks off in Manchester, England on October 27. This third instalment of what has been hailed as “the heaviest, darkest tour of the year,” the “Unholy Alliance Tour, Chapter III” will feature Slayer, the undisputed kings of extreme speed/thrash metal, and two true princes of the genre, Trivium and Mastodon. An opening act will be announced shortly. While Slayer will close all of the shows, they will be co-billed with Trivium on the UK dates.
27 Manchester Apollo, Manchester, England
28 Wolverhampton Civic Birmingham, England
30 Hammersmith Apollo, London, England
31 Hammersmith Apollo, London, England
2nd CIA, Cardiff
3rd Academy, Glasgow
The Unholy Alliance tour first launched in Fall, 2004 with a European edition that featured Slipknot, Slayer, Mastodon and Hatebreed. The venture was so successful, the first North American trek, dubbed “The Unholy Alliance Tour, Chapter II: Preaching to The Perverted,” kicked off in Summer, 2006 with Slayer, Lamb of God, Children of Bodom, Mastodon, and Thine Eyes Bleed stomping and screaming its way to 30 U.S. and Canadian cities. The European run of “Unholy Alliance Tour, Chapter II” took place in Fall, 2006, featuring Slayer, In Flames, Children of Bodom, Lamb of God, and Thing Eyes Bleed.
A journalist once wrote of Slayer, “If Thomas Jefferson were alive today, he undoubtedly would be listening to Slayer.” Indeed, in the beginning, when there were no blueprints, no set paths, no boundaries or steps to follow, SLAYER assaulted the world with its new hybrid of metal and punk. Heavier, faster and darker than the rest, Slayer set the new standard which all others continue to follow. Slayer is the band that all other heavy acts are measured against, defining not only a genre but an attitude. For more than two-and-a-half decades, Slayer’s onslaught of sheer brutality has proven them to be the supreme thrash-metal band on the planet. Entire countries have banned their music, NARAS has graced them with two Grammy Awards. Slayer is currently writing material for a new album, release date to be determined.
Orlando, FL heavy metallers TRIVIUM are delighted to be co-headlining with SLAYER on the UK leg of this year’s colossal UNHOLY ALLIANCE tour. Having performed over 600 shows in the last 36 months alone, Trivium are no strangers to the stage and life on the road. Last year, the worldwide million-selling band toured extensively with Machine Head, co-headlining the impressive Black Crusade tour, as well as finding time to play shows with the legendary Iron Maiden amongst others. Since then, they have been hard at work on their next studio album for Roadrunner Records, due for release on September 29, 2008.
Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, Mastodon have been critically acclaimed by almost every publication in the US and Europe. Their Grammy nominated album, Blood Mountain, the group’s third release, isn’t just unconventional, it’s surreal, progressive and unrepentantly heavy. Mastodon combined their favorite musical styles, including thrash, doom, prog and psychedelic metal to concoct something utterly original, undeniably devastating and irrefutably entrancing. They are currently in the studio with producer Brendan O’Brien recording their follow up to “Blood Mountain.”
Mastodon will also be returning to the UK in December to take part in The Nightmare Before Christmas at All Tomorrows Parties which is curated by Faith No More / Fantomas frontman Mike Patton and legendary rockers The Melvins. 6th and 7th December – Somerset, All Tomorrows Parties.
UK Tickets available from: http://www.seeticketcom, http://www.ticketline.com, http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk, http://www.stargreen.co.uk, http://www.gigantic.com, and http://www.lastminute.com as well as all venue box offices.
Surprise! Metal Church has a new album out, it’s scary to think that a legendary band like Metal Church would release a new album and there be no press on it. I have all eight of the other Metal Church albums and found out about “This Present Wasteland” looking through the new release section of a very non-metal website. As soon as I found out when it was being released I went straight to my favorite record store, known to many as Amazon and ordered it.
Metal Church has always been a strange band for the fact that they are hard to classify. Are they thrash or power, I think the answer is a little of both, especially with Ronny Munroe as the vocalist, if you haven’t heard him sing think of him as a cross between Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden) and Biff Byford (Saxon). This is Munroe’s third album with the band and I still can’t get used to his voice, maybe I am just a die hard David Wayne (R.I.P.) fan.
The musicianship on “Wasteland” is excellent Kurdt Vanderhoof shreds as he always has and guitarist Rick Van Zandt, bassist Steve Unger, and drummer Jeff Plate round out the ’08 version and are all very tight. Jeff Plate is a monster behind the drum kit. Without a doubt the songs are there, but once again it goes back to the vocals and the fact that I just can’t get into Munroe’s vocal style.
“Breathe Again” starts everything off and probably is the best track on the album but it reminds me more of Iron Maiden than Metal Church. “Crawling To Extinction” is where Jeff Plate gets to shine but in all actuality he shines throughout the whole CD. “Deeds of a Dead Soul” kind of reminds of Metallica in the way it is almost nine minutes long but also the solo is very reminiscent of Kirk Hammett.
If you haven’t heard Metal Church before or only the three albums Ronny Munroe has sang on “This Present Wasteland” may appeal to you but if you are a fan of David Wayne or Mike Howe it may leave you wishing for a little more.
- In The Company Of Sorrow
- Perfect Crime
- Deeds Of A Dead Soul
- Meet Your Maker
- Crawling to Extinction
- War Never Won
- Mass Hysteria
- Breathe Again
Metal Church is:
Ronny Munroe – Vocals
Kurdt Vanderhoof – Guitars
Rick Van Zandt – Guitars
Steve Unger – Bass
Jeff Plate – Drums
Metal Blade Records has announced the signing of Kenosha, Wisconsin’s LAZARUS A.D.
Originally known simply as LAZARUS, the band has been pummeling audiences with their brand of modern thrash since the spring of 2005. Have no doubts that LAZARUS A.D. is a thrash band, but merely in attitude as their sound is no simple throwback to the ’80s Bay Area sound. They breathe a breath of fresh air into modern thrash with intelligent, memorable riffs, mid-tempo grooves, and high-flying solos.
In January of 2007, the band recorded “The Onslaught” with Chris Djuricic (SOIL, NOVEMBERS DOOM, MICHAEL ANGELO BATIO) at Studio One. James Murphy (ex-DEATH, TESTAMENT) handled mastering duties and is now remixing the album for its worldwide release via Metal Blade Records.
“We are extremely stoked about being a part of the Metal Blade family,” LAZARUS A.D. said in a statement. “It is a great home for us, and we know together we are going to accomplish everything we have set out to do and so much more. When the record is released, I don’t think we are gonna see home much, we plan to tour for pretty much the rest of our natural lives!”
Mike Faley of Metal Blade Records added: “With the growing number of young aggressive thrash bands rising up across America, we were struck down by the sheer brutality and innovative sound of LAZARUS A.D. We brought James Murphy onboard to mix the new album as Metal Blade gets ready to unleash the onslaught that is LAZARUS in early 2009.”
LAZARUS A.D. will open for TESTAMENT at The Rave in Milwaukee, WI this Friday, August 1.
LAZARUS A.D. is:
Dan Gapen – Lead Guitar/Vocals
Jeff Paulick – Bass/Lead Vocals
Alex Lackner – Rhythm Guitar
Ryan Shutler – Drums
For more information, visit www.myspace.com/lazarus1.
Thrash Metallers, Overkill, have a new video in support of their album, Immortalis.
Check out the video, Skull and Bones below.
Quite a few bands have mentioned Watch Tower as one of their influences. Watch Tower’s impact on progressive rock and metal can be heard on their debut record, Energetic Disassembly.
This CD is a fairly short listen, clocking in at under forty minutes, but it is definitely worth the time spent.
Not only did Energetic Disassembly launch the careers of Jason McMaster (Dangerous Toys/Broken Teeth) and Billy White., it also influenced the sound of many future progressive metal acts, including Dream Theater.
This Texas quartet’s music is best described as technical thrash. Think early Metallica style thrash with a bunch of progressive style time changes. Those of you who are familiar with Jason McMaster’s work in Dangerous Toys, have never heard him sing like this. Most of his vocals are sung at a higher, ear splitting register. His vocal approach was a lot more common by the speed metal acts of the 80’s.
The musicianship is nothing short of stellar on this disc. Not only does Billy White’s guitar work shine on this disc, but Doug Keyser’s bass work really stands out. Watch Tower’s sound may be a little on the experimental side, but fans of early 80’s thrash, will most certainly like this. If there are any downfalls with this disc, it would be with the production. The production quality is a little on the thin side, but this doesn’t hurt your listening experience.
Those wanting to hear one of the early pioneers of thrash metal music need to seek out Energetic Disassembly. This disc was out of print for quite some time, and was recently reissued by Rockadrome. It can be purchased from CD Baby.com. Check it out!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Violent Change
3. Tyrants in distress
4. Social Fears
5. Energetic Disassembly
6. Argonne Forest
7. Cimmerian Shadows
Jason McMaster / vocals
Billy White / guitar
Doug Keyser / bass
Rick Colaluca / drums
Another young San Francisco band has set out to return 80’s style thrash metal to the masses.
The band has a style that blends the early metal style of Metallica and Slayer. Yes, their work is nothing unique. It sounds like the band is heavily influenced by Metallica’s early work, and I am ok with that.
Even if the music is derivative of Hatchet’s idols, it most certainly rocks, and rocks hard. Awaiting Evil offers plenty of thrash metal punch for this 80’s thrash metal fan. Julz Ramos and Sterling Bailey are solid axe men who show an amazing amount of potential. Marcus Kirchen has a look that reminds me of Ripper Owens. His voice vascillates between a strong clean metal vocal, and a coarse growly style of singing. He isn’t a cookie monster style of singer, and for that, I am grateful. I have heard enough of those type of singers to last me a lifetime.
The nine songs on Awaiting Evil clock in just shy of 42 minutes. On this record you will hear plenty of high speed drumming, tons of guitar noodling and enough solid trash metal to give you whiplash.
Metal Blade has found an excellent new band to carry on the torch for thrash metal. To hear more songs, and find more information on the band, check out the Hatchet myspace page.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Darkening Skies
2. Frailty Of The Flesh
3. Sealed Fate
4. Frozen Hell
5. Attack Imminent
6. Morlocks Tomb
7. Storm The Gates
8. The Dead Will March
9. Awaiting Evil
Marcus (Tormentor) Kirchen- Vocals
Julz Ramos – Lead Guitars
Sterling (McFly) Bailey – Guitars
Slave – Drums
Dan (Destroyer) Voight – Bass
Death Angel has released a new CD, Killing Season, in February. The band has released a video for the song Dethroned.
If you say Sink, Death Angel’s Killing Season wont see the light of day at HRH. If you saw SWIM, it will be reviewed at this website soon.
Special thanks to Heepsy for pointing this one out to me.
Post your comments, and your decision below!!
Disturbed brought their Indestructible tour to Cincinnati, Ohio’s Bogart’s, Wednesday night.
With three platinum and two number one albums under their belt, Disturbed proves to have quite a large fanbase in the Queen City, as this show was sold out.
Disturbed has brought along two supporting acts on this bill, Art of Dying and Five Finger Death Punch.
Canada’s Art of Dying took the stage at 7:30 P.M. Their set list included the songs, Get Through This, You Don’t Know Me, Completely, and a cool cover of Alice in Chains’, Them Bones. Singer Jonny Hetherington has a pretty good rock voice, and as a whole, the entire band was pretty solid. The large crowd at Bogart’s seemed to like the band pretty well, even though most people were hearing their music for the very first time. Disturbed’s Dan Donegan is a fan of AOD, and asked the band to join this tour. They aren’t as hard as Disturbed, or Five Finger Death Punch, but they did a pretty good job warming up the crowd. Those of you who didn’t get to pick up their CD at this show, can find it at SeeofSound.com.
Five Finger Death Punch took the stage next, and proceeded to turn up the intensity in this elbow to elbow crowd. Five Finger Death Punch has a sound that wavers in and out of thrash metal and hardcore. It is aggressive, high speed, chest thumping music with a killer groove. At first I wondered how Five Finger Death Punch got on this bill. After seeing them live, I realized that they were the perfect band to open up for Disturbed. I was extremely impressed with the musicianship in this band. Zoltan Bathory and Darrell Roberts are one of the better guitar tandems in heavy metal today. They really got the crown going with their short set. No only did singer Ivan Moody electrify the crowd with his performance, but he instigated the first mosh pit of the night. His abrasive vocals take some getting used to, but it seems to work with Five Finger Death Punches’s style of metal.
Some of the tunes played by FFDP were White Knuckles, Death Before Dishonor, The Bleeding, and a cool but heavy cover of the song, Bad Company.
After Five Finger Death Punch’s powerful set, the crowd was supercharged while waiting for Disturbed to take the stage.
Disturbed took the stage about 9:30 P.M. This is the first time that I have seen Disturbed live, so I was not sure what to expect. They immediately took advantage of the electrified crowd, and continued to push us even further. David Draiman proves to be a very charismatic frontman, and is better live than on Disturbed’s studio material. Dan Donegan surprised me with his guitar wizardry. He is one hell of a player. By the time Disturbed broke into their second song, the crowd was in complete mayhem. More crowd surfing, and a second mosh pit broke out, as Disturbed blasted through their groove laden metal.
The Disturbed set included their songs (not in order), Down With the Sickness, Stupify, Stricken, Land of Confusion, Voices, The Game, Deify, as well as their latest hit, a new song off of their new album, Indestructible, called Inside the Fire.
I have been to countless live shows, but I don’t recall any over the last few years where so many people were fired up and enjoying the music, as much as this concert. During Disturbed’s set it was virtually impossible to take any pictures, as there was a massive amount of crowd surfing, fist pumping, and whole bunch of jumping taking place. Disturbed was excellent live, and will be a band I will be seeing again in the future.
Be sure to pick up a copy of their new CD, Indestructible on June 3rd.
The following are the videos taken at the show. Enjoy!
Disturbed – Land of Confusion
Disturbed – Inside the Fire (New single on Indestructible)
Fans of the band have been clamoring for new material for ages. With The Formation of Damnation, everyone will get their wish.
Testament returns with a powerful new album that should make them the new kings of Bay Area Thrash Metal. I must admit that I had low expectations for this record, which is why it BLEW ME AWAY! Testament still has every bit of the fire that made them a thrash metal favorite.
Chuck Billy has survived his batter with cancer, and with The Formation of Damnation, he sounds like he is out to conquer the world. Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson absolutely shred on this disc. I haven’t heard guitar playing this good on a metal record in a very long time.
Testament has one beast of a rhythm section with Greg Christian on bass, and Paul Bostaph on Drums. Bostaph’s rapid fire drumming is awesome. His drum sound is excellent on this record.
With some of Testament’s past releases, some songs are hit or miss, but with The Formation of Damnation, I can’t find any songs that I dislike. In fact, Testament made me remember why I love thrash metal in the first place. The songs are heavy, blood pumping, heavy metal beasts, that attack your senses with an audible fury that shakes you to your core.
Headbangers can rejoice. Testament has released one aggressive, Pit Bull of a record. 80’s style Bay Area Thrash is back! Thrash Metal fans and metalheads in general need to buy this record now! I highly recommend it.
You can preview new tracks on the Testament E-Card at this location. Metalheads around the world need to buy this record now! This is the best heavy metal record of 2008!
Rating: Out of 10
1. For The Glory Of
2. More Than Meets the Eye
3. The Evil Has Landed
4. Formation of Damnation
5. Dangers of the Faithless
6. The Persecuted Won’t Forget
8. Killing Season
11. Leave Me Forever
Chuck Billy – Vocals
Eric Peterson – Guitars
Alex Skolnick – Guitars
Greg Christian – Bass
Paul Bostaph – Drums
If you are a fan of 80’s style thrash metal, a release that you may have missed the first time around is Believer’s Sanity Obscure.
Singer Kurt Bachman sings like a growling mad Dave Mustaine, after a pack of cigarettes, and fifth of whiskey to wash them down. His vocals take some getting used to, but this will not be a problem for the many thrash metal fans out there.
I have listened to plenty of thrash metal in my time, and still do on occasion, but I never heard of Believer until only recently. What blows my mind is how technically proficient each member of this band is.
Dave Baddorf ‘s guitar riffs are off the hook on this record. Joey Daub’s pounding drum beats keeps the band in time, but assures that their will be headbanging-a-plenty.
If you are a fan of late 80’s thrash, such as early Megadeth, Metallica, Exodus and Slayer, Believer will definitely make a Believer out of you. This CD has been out of print, and was recently re-issued by Metal Mind. Without question, this CD will sell out! Don’t miss getting you copy of a CD, that deserves to be well known in thrash metal history.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Sanity Obscure
2. Wisdom’s Call
4. Idols of Ignorance
5. Stop the Madness
6. Dies Irae (Day of Wrath)
7. Dust to Dust
8. Like a Song