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
SPECIAL EDITION DIGIPAK AND STANDARD CD AVAILABLE NOVEMBER 9th STRICTLY LIMITED COLLECTOR’S EDITION LP BOX SET DUE OUT NOVEMBER 23rd
VIRGIN STEELE’s “The Black Light Bacchanalia” will be released in four formats, three of which a standard CD, limited edition CD Digipak with a bonus CD, and digital download will be releasesd on November 9th in North America The fourth version is the strictly limited edition LP box set which will be released on November 23rd in North America. Each version will have its own unique artwork. Details on each format and the artwork can be found below.
VIRGIN STEELE mastermind David Defeis recently penned a new blog answering some fan questions about the “The Black Light Bacchanalia:
Greetings & Cheers!
I have been getting some inquiries about what the new album is all about, and I thought that it might be nice to answer them in a kind of Q & A type manner, so here we go:
One of the questions I am getting is….What does the title, “THE BLACK LIGHT BACCHANALIA” Mean?
My answer is this…Well…it is my way of saying something like “This insane Life”….It should be thought of in the same spirit as the way Dante called his Work “The Divine Comedy”. He was discussing Life in all its multifaceted craziness, and I mean something similar with the phrase, “The Black Light Bacchanalia”. I too am speaking about Life and all its attendant drama, aches, & pains, pathos, joys & sorrows. By that phrase I also mean “The Great Reversal”. Where when one culture conquers another, the deities of the conquered people become the demons of the conquerors religion. Everything is turned upside down…topsy-turvy. This is essentially what happened to Paganism & Gnosticism. The Pagans were killed off, and their worship of Bacchus/Dionysus with their bacchanalias was suppressed. But…in the glow of the Black Light things that are white are illuminated… the other colors fade into the shadows…The Pagans went underground….
Another question of late is: Is this a concept album? And if so what can you tell us about the concept?
Yes it is a concept album. It does continue the tale I began on the “Visions Of Eden” album, and brings those elements to their conclusion, with the death of Lilith (in TO CROWN THEM WITH HALOS), & also God finally lamenting all the damage he has done & the havoc he has wrought in ETERNAL REGRET. I equate Lilith with Hypatia( the ancient Pagan astronomer/philosopher of Alexandria, who was murdered by Monks) & Joan Of Arc, and & Lyzebel, (a Sumerian Queen who most people know as Jezebel), (but that name is a perversion of the original Lyzebel, which means Baal is exalted) (She too was murdered), as well as all the various Goddess figures. I continue the discussion of the death of Paganism and the eradication of the Female Goddess Principle due to the rise of the Mountain-Fire-Father God, but I go further with discussing the rise of “organized” religion and its mark upon Paganism, and the subsequent coming of the Dark Ages. However, that being said, I am really discussing today’s Dark Ages, and the rise of fundamentalism in all walks of Life, not only religion, but politics, and everywhere else. And ultimately the album is about Rebellion. Rebellion against authority, God, government, whatever…. etc….This is quite clear in songs like THE ORPHEUS TABOO.
A question for those who heard about some of our difficulties… :How did the recordings go?
ANSWER: They went very well for the most part, but we did have a few problems along the way. Due to the late summer storms we had a few electrical/technical mishaps! We lost various tracks that had to be re-recorded…I did panic at one point, as I had lost a fair amount of information that needed to be done again…Fortunately I do write everything down the old fashioned way, so I always have my notes to refer to…this helped! It was quite stressful, but it only made the album even more passionate and raw. I can somewhat laugh about it now, as I have gotten it all together…but…living through it was a bit unnerving…
Next question: What is different about this album compared to your others?
ANSWER: Using the 12 notes that are found in Western Civilization’s Music, I feel that I was able to invoke new emotions and new combinations of these notes and chords that I have not utilized before. For example tracks like TO CROWN THEM WITH HALOS & THE BLACK LIGHT BACCHANALIA (The Age That Is to Come), contain various Musical elements & moods that have never before appeared on a VIRGIN STEELE album. That kind of mutant riffing and that kind of bizarre sequence in the bridge of the latter tune are quite different for us. It is darker than before in certain areas, and also more straight ahead in others. I think there is a nice balance between the various styles we do. I think that everyone really played their collective asses off. Frank G., gives the drum performance of his Life on these tracks. There is just so much virtuosity coming out of him these days. Josh did amazing guitar solos and fat rhythms, and Edward played with tremendous passion and great energy. I think it may be among our finest recorded performances thus far. All the feeling of our summer live shows went into these recordings. Performing gigs first and then recoding right after definitely can spice up one’s studio game!
I am also really pleased with the artwork. I chose 3 separate yet related covers for each of the 3 configurations we are releasing the album in. The covers are all from around 1400 or 1500, and have to do with the Inquisition or the occult. They are wood carvings or etchings, and I have used a few more of them inside the booklets. These are “found” images that I have located among various items in my house. I have been going organic with our covers for quite a while now. For example the HOUSE OF ATREUS covers were made from a shield that hangs on a wall in my house. While I am working on the albums I look around and see if anything will leap out at me and scream “this is the sound of the album in visual form”. Again for example, with THE HOUSE OF ATREUS shield…when I looked at that it screamed to me” KINGDOM OF THE FEARLESS”…so I immediately took it down from the wall and had it photographed. The same with these 3 images for the new covers. I heard the moans of THE BLACK LIGHT BACCHANALIA when I viewed them…
The other images inside the booklet are kind of media-manipulated artworks that are part paintings and part something else. These were done by my friend Julian Ilieve, and they are great, & they too capture the Spirit residing inside the sounds. All these various components were Nobly put together by one Jens Reinhold. Jens did a Glorious job bringing all these elements together.
And the last question for the moment: We have heard that you said this album seems like a debut album. What do you mean by that?
ANSWER: I mean that it has that kind of ” we’re out to prove ourselves” fire that many debut albums have, and it is well paced and diverse yet also quite connected. It contains that kind of spontaneity and raw passion that makes it seem so fresh. It sounds like we are all very excited about what we are doing. When I first heard all the tracks back to back in one go, it reminded me of the feelings I got upon listening to the first 2 Led Zeppelin albums, or Van Halen’s debut or Queen 1. It just felt so alive and reckless, polished, yet wild. I hope that everyone will enjoy it…
BY THE HAMMER OF ZEUS!
So you call yourself a hard rock music fan? You can bang your head with the best of them, you know who invented the horns, and you love to rock and roll all night and party every day. As an expert in the field of hard rock, what 10 albums would you recommend to someone that was just starting their collection? Tough question, huh?
While this subject is up for endless debate, there are certain albums that must be a part of every hard rocker’s music collection. Whether it’s on vinyl, CD, or MP3, these are 10 essential albums that belong in every hard rock fan’s music collection.
AC/DC – Back In Black
I’ve already discussed in a previous post how I feel that Back In Black is a perfect album. From start to finish, it is one of the greatest hard rock albums of all time. With songs like Hells Bells, You Shook Me All Night Long, and Rock And Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution this is one record that any metal head can’t live without. While Angus Young blisters away on the guitar, and Brian Johnson screams his heart out on vocals, Back In Black hits the ears hard in an enjoyable way. It’s timeless, it’s classic, and it’s an absolute definite for any hard rock record collection.
Black Sabbath – Paranoid
While their debut album is an incredible one, it was the sophomore effort of Paranoid that really put Black Sabbath on the map. Filled with incredible classics like War Pigs, the title track, and Iron Man, Paranoid is the one Black Sabbath album that every metal head should own. Dark, deliberate, and oh so amazing, this is Black Sabbath at the height of their powers. Sure, Volume 4 is a fantastic record in its own right, but if I were directing a newbie on which Sabbath album to add to their upstart collection, Paranoid would win hands down.
Guns N Roses – Appetite For Destruction
Without any debate, this is possibly the best debut album ever recorded by a hard rock band. Better than Van Halen’s debut (which we will cover later in this list), better than Black Sabbath’s debut album, and better than most heavy metal records out there, Appetite For Destruction is a pure eargasmic delight. 5 young, hungry, and crazy lads banded together to record a masterpiece that went on to become one of the best selling albums of all time. There is not one rock fan out there who doesn’t know of this record and I would venture a guess that most of them own it.
Iron Maiden – The Number of the Beast
In 1982, Iron Maiden lost a singer in Paul DiAnno, but gained a rock god in Bruce Dickinson. While the band was somewhat popular before Dickinson’s foray into the group, they took over the world with him at the helm. The Number of the Beast was the album that started the takeover. Short in length (at only 8 songs), The Number of the Beast sold quality over quantity. Every song is a potential hit. Hallowed Be Thy Name, Run To The Hills and the ever popular title track, are all amazing songs. And these don’t even scratch the surface of what’s contained on the entire record. The Number of the Beast is a hard rock masterpiece.
Judas Priest – British Steel
I’m well aware of the fact that Judas Priest recorded some fine albums prior to and after British Steel. But, if you ask any rock fan to name just one Judas Priest album, this is the one they will pick. Is that because it’s the most popular? Maybe. I like to think that it is because it’s their greatest album. British Steel is a phenomenal record where Judas Priest really found their stride in the studio. With two of their best known tracks (Living After Midnight and Breaking The Law), British Steel is pure heavy metal. To paraphrase Scott Ian of Anthrax, British Steel was the first album to really define heavy metal. Those words ring true to many a metal head, myself included.
Kiss – Destroyer
Undoubtedly the best album Kiss ever recorded, Destroyer showed the world a whole new side of Kiss. Producer Bob Ezrin went into the studio with four youngsters that were still hungry to find their true sound. He left the studio with four men who had become seasoned musicians. With ageless songs like Detroit Rock City, Shout It Out Loud, and the poetic ballad, Beth, Destroyer is an amazing record. For the beginning fan, this should be the first hard rock album they purchase.
Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin IV
Arguably the best work Led Zeppelin ever recorded, Led Zeppelin IV is a hard rock record that can’t be equaled. Stairway To Heaven alone makes this a must own record. Overplayed as it is, Stairway To Heaven is still one of the greatest rock songs ever. By the time Zeppelin went to record their fourth album, they were all well seasoned veterans of the scene. Between the raunch, the rock, and the live performances, Led Zeppelin really figured out what they wanted their sound to be. The end result is one of the greatest albums of all time, Led Zeppelin IV. If you were just starting your hard rock record collection, how could you leave this one out?
Yes, you could make an argument that the first three studio albums by Metallica should start any hard rock collection. Yes, you could make an argument that Metallica (aka The Black Album) is the one album to own by Metallica. No, you wouldn’t be wrong in either of those statements. However, when starting a music collection, diversification is key (which rules out buying the first 3 albums in one shot). And while The Black Album is one of the most well known and popular Metallica album, it is not their best. That honor goes to 1986’s Master Of Puppets. The title track alone is one of the greatest songs in Metallica history and worth the price of the record. Add in amazing songs such as Welcome Home (Sanitarium) and Damage, Inc., and it’s a no brainer. Master Of Puppets is a must own for a hard rock record collection.
Motley Crue – Shout At The Devil
In 1983, Nikki Sixx was fooling around with some black magic and dark studies. This influenced his writing and the end result was Shout At The Devil. With the eerie, haunting introduction of In The Beginning, a hard rock music fan knows that something different is about to be played. Once the drums of Shout At The Devil crash in and kick start the record, this thought is confirmed. One of the hardest albums Motley Crue ever recorded, Shout At The Devil is as groundbreaking today as it was when it was first released.
Van Halen – Van Halen
Another outstanding debut album that rivals Appetite For Destruction as one of the best ever is Van Halen’s eponymous debut. Discovered by Gene Simmons of Kiss and polished by Ted Templeton in the studio, Van Halen was a raw talent that is found once in a generation. With the ax wizard Eddie Van Halen at the helm, and the over-the-top, glamorous showboater David Lee Roth as the front man, Van Halen was a band destined for greatness. Their debut album shows just how amazing they were. From the innovative (and never duplicated) Eruption, to one of the best cover songs of all time (You Really Got Me), Van Halen is a record that every teenage boy needs to hear. Amazing in every way, this is a must for any collection.
And there you have it. 10 essential albums to start any hard rock record collection. Let the debates begin!
Bad City’s debut album “WELCOME TO THE WASTELAND” was released in August. The band was hand-picked by Billy Corgan to join The Smashing Pumpkins
on their summer tour, after which they’ve been on the road supporting Slash.
Paul Stanley of KISS recently said about the band, “WELCOME TO THE WASTELAND is an absolute knockout and the best album I’ve heard in ages.
A killer, cohesive album of great rock and bombastic production that has been sorely missing. Every track is a winner and Bad City raises the bar out of most band’s reach. It’s really that good.”
Bad City has created a stir with their riff-crazy brand of old-school hard rock. Produced by Grammy Award-nominee Johnny K (Staind, Sevendust, 3 Doors Down), “WELCOME TO THE WASTELAND” is an electrifying introduction to the band’s idiosyncratic sound, riddled with glamtastic melodies, trashy hooks, and stadium-sized choruses.
Check out the video clip “Take Me For A Ride” below!