Archive for September, 2007

Ae-tyrantLed by the Amott brothers, Michael and Christopher, Arch Enemy started as a guitar-based project due to Michael’s (Carcass, Spiritual Beggars) high profile within the extreme metal genre. When they recruited female vocalist Angela Gossow before the Wages of Sin album, the focus shifted to her brutal vocals. Her vocals often were layered with demonic effects using the tools of the trade (nice Carcass reference, right?). Arch Enemy’s following albums, Anthems of Rebellion and Doomsday Machine, walked the line between accessible, commercial metal and extremity. With Rise of the Tyrant, the guitar domination is undeniable. Gossow takes a backseat with raw, throaty vocals. I’d go as far to say that this sounds more like the Arch Enemy fronted by their previous singer, Johan Liiva, than Gossow. (more…)

Down_IIIReview by Greg Maki
Let’s get one thing out of the way: Over the Under (also known as Down III, depending on who you ask) is no NOLA. The 1995 debut album by the New Orleans-based band featuring vocalist Philip Anselmo (Pantera), guitarists Pepper Keenan (Corrosion of Conformity) and Kirk Windstein (Crowbar), bassist Todd Strange (Crowbar)—replaced by Pantera’s Rex Brown in 2002—and drummer Jimmy Bower (Eyehategod), fueled by unforgettable songs like “Lifer,” “Stone the Crow” and “Bury Me in Smoke,” was an instant classic. It’s unfair to hold any band to that standard.

Now, on to our regularly scheduled review. (more…)



The faces are new, but in 2007, Megadeth is as strong as ever. In James Lomenzo (bass) and brothers Glen Drover (guitar) and Shawn Drover (drums), Dave Mustaine might have assembled the strongest lineup since Megadeth’s heyday. Just take a listen to their latest album, United Abominations, a focused metal assault that is the band’s best work in years. On top of that, Oct. 2, 2007 will see the release of Warchest, a box set serving as both career retrospective and rarities collection. In November, Static-X, DevilDriver, Lacuna Coil and Bring Me the Horizon will join Megadeth in Australia for the next edition of Gigantour. They are now touring the United States, with support from In This Moment and The Confession. Shawn Drover recently checked in from the road to discuss the tour, the new album and more with Live Metal’s Greg Maki. (more…)

"Sweet Emotion" with Sharon den Adel

“Sweet Emotion” with Sharon den Adel

It’s not every day that you get to interview one of metal’s leading frontwomen. And to think that has now had the chance to interview Within Temptation’s Sharon den Adel twice is simply amazing. Her beauty is unmatched and her voice is one of the most powerful and emotional in the music world. The band has had great success overseas, and now they have set their sites on America. The fans are making a strong statement, as the release of their latest album, The Heart of Everything, saw a No. 1 debut on the Billboard Heatseekers.

In May 2007, conducted its first interview with Sharon. At that time, Within Temptation was opening for Lacuna Coil on the Hottest Chicks in Metal tour and giving the headliners a run for their money every night. Now, in September  2007, Within Temptation has returned to the United States for their first headlining tour here. During the tour’s stop at the Recher Theatre in Towson Md, Jeff Maki and Jason Price sat down with the “ice queen” of Within Temptation before the show for a lengthy and insightful interview. Sharon discussed the headlining tour, the widespread appeal of Within Temptation’s music, the range of emotions she goes through onstage and gave us some early information on future releases. Read on. (more…)

suicide-silence-the-cleansingThe Cleansing is an appropriate title for the new album by Riverside, Calif., band Suicide Silence. The album is a brutal, thrashing, holocaust of an album that rampages its way through its 12 tracks. The title is also an apt description because the album dabbles in every conceivable subgenre of metal: gore, grind metal, thrash, noisecore, doom, you name it. (more…)

himsa-thunderThe name Himsa translates to “living life with the most amount of harm and evil possible,” which is a perfect description of their new album, Summon In Thunder.

Himsa’s previous release, Courting Tragedy and Disaster, was built on sheer aggression, giving the listener no time to breathe. Many critics and fans have labeled the band “metalcore” and even if that’s what you want to call them, they still are one of the fastest and most violent breeds around. Summon in Thunder builds upon Courting Tragedy by upping the ante in several areas of their sound. Lead vocalist John Pettibone’s throaty roar reminds me of Anders Friden’s (In Flames) old style of growls. Original guitarist Sami Curr has rejoined the band for this release, and his melodic playing, as well as guitarist Kirby Johnson’s, lends hints of Swedish metal such as In Flames and Dark Tranquility. The dueling guitars stand out and add a needed depth to the raw, savage sound that was lacking on the last album. (more…)

HIM-VenusDoomSo Bam Margera’s favorite sons of “love metal” are back with their new opus, Venus Doom, an album that mildly strays from HIM’s more recent pop-oriented material and pays tribute to some of the most important doom-metal bands of the early ’90s, namely Type O Negative and Paradise Lost. While saying Venus Doom is heavy may be somewhat of a stretch, it does feature elements of the band’s earlier recordings that made them a name in the first place (even before the Margera factor). A good portion of the pop sensability is noticeably absent, but the band should earn back respectability, given their stubbornness to easily create a mainstream record. (more…)

Iced-Earth-armageddonNow here’s how you do some power metal. Iced Earth doesn’t just flirt with the bombastic, larger than life trappings of the genre; they fully embrace them, revel in them and take power metal to another level.

Pretentious? Ridiculous? Whatever. Who cares, Framing Armageddon is above all things an awesome metal album. Full of big guitars, big ideas, big choruses and big vocals, Framing Armageddon, the first of two concept albums coming from the brain of Iced Earth mastermind Jon Schaffer, above all else kicks some serious ass. For evidence of that, I point to “Setian Massacre” and the album’s best track and first single, “Ten Thousand Strong.” The latter song shows off Iced Earth at their best: the galloping rhythms of drummer Brent Smedley and bassist Dennis Hayes, the fierce guitar lines of Schaffer and Troy Seelie, and most of all, the powerhouse pipes of Tim “Ripper” Owens. (more…)

hatesphere-serpentDanish thrash metallers Hatesphere had a phenomenal album with 2005’s The Sickness Within, embedding their name in the minds of thousands of metalheads worldwide. Serpent Smiles and Killer Eyes further builds on the deadly combination of thrashing Slayer riffs and sickening vocals by adding more ingredients to the metal pot, namely hints of melody and more dynamics. (more…)

Review by Greg Maki
If you’ve seen Invitro live—and many of you probably have since they’ve spent most of 2007 on the road with the likes of Sevendust, Static-X, HellYeah and the Family Values Tour—the tin-foil masks undoubtedly grabbed your attention first. But don’t stop there; Invitro has a lot to offer musically, as well. (more…)