Archive for March, 2007

Sanctity

Sanctity

Megadeth, Lamb of God, Arch Enemy, DragonForce, Children of Bodom, Trivium, Black Label Society. That’s a formidable list of bands. Sanctity, sprung from a vibrant music scene in Asheville, N.C., has toured with all of them without even releasing an album. Its Roadrunner Records debut, Road to Bloodshed (set to hit stores April 24), has much to live up to, and it does so in classic thrash metal style. At a recent stop at Jaxx in Springfield, Va., where the band was opening for guitar god Zakk Wylde and his mighty Black Label Society, singer/guitarist Jared MacEachern sat down with Live Metal’s Greg Maki to talk about how Trivium helped the band get its record deal, the band’s stint on last summer’s Gigantour, the impending release of Road to Bloodshed and more. (more…)

BLS032407_5

Photos by Greg Maki (more…)

Review by Greg Maki
—–
Robb Flynn is one pissed off dude. Machine Head’s music hasn’t ever been confused with being sunny, but on its sixth studio release, The Blackening, the Bay Area band takes aggression to a new level. There’s plenty to be angry about in the world today, and Flynn channels his strong emotions into his most adventurous musical journey to date. A mere eight songs clock in at a hefty 61 minutes. Two tracks top the 10-minute mark, and two more surpass nine minutes. You need to bring your A game to hold the listener’s attention over such lengthy pieces, and Machine Head does exactly that. (more…)

naglfar_harvestHarvest is the latest slab of hellish, blackened death metal from the long running Swedish band Naglfar. With the velocity and gnarly vocals of black metal, a deathly demeanor and all of its Satanic glory, Harvest is another essential release for the extreme metal masses. (more…)

Pressure_the_HingesReview by Greg Maki
—–
I don’t mean this as a knock on Haste the Day’s former frontman, Jimmy Ryan, but Pressure the Hinges, the band’s third full-length album and first with new vocalist Stephen Keech, is by far their best offering to date. Keech’s hardcore-style growl is less distinctive than Ryan’s hissing voice, but it’s much more musical and versatile, and a natural fit for a band that has largely moved away from hardcore to more of a classic metal/hard rock sound. They still throw in an occasional breakdown, but just as often they rock out on a heavy groove or guitar solo (as heard on “The Oracle). (more…)

sirenia-nineSirenia’s Nine Destinies and a Downfall is as soothing as it is heavy, combining gothic metal riffs and symphonic metal backed by choir elements. New lead vocalist Monika Pederson’s (ex-Sinphonia) sirenic and sexy voice guides the listener through a journey of emotions.

With a revolving lineup through two albums released on Napalm Records, Norway’s Sirenia is now signed to Nuclear Blast Records. The band was formed in 2000 by Tristiana guitarist/vocalist Morten Velund, and this album marks somewhat of a new direction for the band. (more…)

in-this-moment-beautiful-tragedyA buzz is circulating around SoCal’s In This Moment, mainly Maria Brink, the hot rock chick that fronts this outfit. OnBeautiful Tragedy, the band avoids the usual nuances of female fronted metal, instead opting for a guitar-based blend of metalcore and hard rock, with Brink’s multi-dimensional vocals leading the attack. (more…)

sahg-iSince being formed by members of Norwegian metal bands Gorgoroth, Manngard and Audrey Horne, a buzz has surrounded Sahg. On their debut album, Sahg I, which took an entire year to write and record, Sahg carries the torch first set ablaze by Black Sabbath (more…)

Five Finger Death Punch

Five Finger Death Punch

True metal. Any fan of the genre can rattle off bands deserving of such a label. Metallica, Slayer, Pantera, Anthrax, Iron Maiden, Megadeth—the list goes on. A common theme connects these and others that first come to mind: They all formed more than two decades ago. Bastardized by subgenres over the years, metal as a whole has lost much of what attracted the rabid fans that are its hallmark.

Enter Five Finger Death Punch, a group of metal veterans boldly carrying the same flag as the titans who came before them. The lineup: frontman Ivan Moody, whose credits include Ozzfest 2003 vets Motograter and Ghost Machine, which released its second album last fall on Corporate Punishment Records; former U.P.O. guitarist Zoltan Bathory; drummer Jeremy Spencer and guitarist Darrell Roberts, both former members of W.A.S.P.; and ex-Deadsett bassist Matt Snell. Their debut, The Way of the Fist, soonwill be unleashed upon the masses. Four songs available on the band’s MySpace page —“Ashes,” “The Bleeding,” “The Way of the Fist” and “The Devil’s Own”—showcase a sound that combines brutal heaviness with haunting melodies, metal marked by its power, musicianship and vocal versatility.

The metal community is catching on quickly. Fourteen regional fan clubs have sprung up in the United States, along with one across the pond in London. Sample comments from the 5FDP MySpace page: “Thanks for taking metal where it belongs;” “The best metal I’ve heard in … too long to remember;” and “You’re a breath of toxic fucking air for the metal world.” The band has embraced its fans on a level like few others, allowing them to select the artwork for The Way of the Fist.

As the 5FDP crew prepares for the album release and the launch of what is expected to be a massive tour, Zoltan and Jeremy introduced themselves and their band to Greg Maki of Live Metal in the following interview. (more…)

typeo-deadIn 1994, rock music was formerly introduced to the goth metal doom of Type O Negative by their breakthrough album, Bloody Kisses. The album spawned the single “Christian Woman” and the Halloween vampire anthem, “Black No. 1.” It was like nothing heard before, combining menacing doom metal with goth and pop-rock style—Black Sabbath meets the Beatles, if you will. To date, it has sold nearly a million copies in the United States. The band followed it with 1996’s October Rust, a critically acclaimed goth metal epic, while 1999’s World Coming Down and 2003’s Life Is Killing Me saw the band somewhat going through the motions after their new found success. Though they were strong efforts, both albums lacked fire or new ideas. Rumors circulated about the band’s demise, and in 2005, their official web site depicted a tombstone marked Peter Steele. Now, we finally have the appropriately titled Dead Again on their new record label, SPV. (more…)

ShadowsFall_threadsShadows Fall is well respected within the metal scene–so much so that there wasn’t even a huge backlash when the band recently made the major label jump from Century Media to Atlantic Records, though some fans had to be worried about the possibility of a sellout. Lamb of God recently went major, and it didn’t seem to water down their raw, aggressive sound; hell, Sacrament is probably Lamb of God’s best release thus far. With Threads of Life, Shadows Fall didn’t exactly sell out, though they seem to play things rather safe. (more…)

Chimaira

Chimaira

Over the course of its first three full-length albums, Chimaira developed nicely into one of the leading American metal bands, winning a slew of devoted fans in the process. But its latest release, Resurrection, is on another level, a modern metal masterpiece filled with Mark Hunter’s tortured vocals, the brutal guitar attack of Rob Arnold and Matt DeVries, stunning leads by Arnold, a thunderous rhythm section in bassist Jim LaMarca and drummer Andols Herrick (returning to the fold after leaving before the recording of the self-titled album released in 2005), and the eerie, atmospheric keyboards of Chris Spicuzza. “We have become so goddamn powerful,” Hunter chants on the title track, and the band backs up his claim every step of the way. In late February, Chimaira hit the ground running, setting out on the road on the first-ever No Fear Music Tour with metalcore giants Killswitch Engage, power metal warriors DragonForce and the Southern-flavored metal act He is Legend. On the second day of the tour’s sold-out two-night stand at the famed 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C., Greg Maki of Live Metal caught up with DeVries to chat about Resurrection, the band’s split from Roadrunner Records and more. (more…)