Archive for February, 2008

hellhammerHellhammer was to extreme metal as Metallica was to thrash metal. Around the same time in the early ‘80s when Metallica’s No Life ‘Til Leather and Kill ‘Em All were about to reshape the landscape of heavy metal, Switzerland’s Hellhammer was demoing Death Fiend, Triumph of Death and Satanic Rites. These demos formed the foundation that became the legendary Celtic Frost and eventually were looked upon as important influences in extreme and black metal. (more…)

ArsonSince his Pantera days, Phil Anselmo has been a part of several, if not dozens of bands and musical projects—so much so that he has now formed his own label, Housecore Records, to release the material he’s been stockpiling. The labels’ first release comes from his latest project, Arson Anthem. This is also the first official release I know of featuring Anslemo on guitar rather than vocals. Mike Williams of Eyehategod is on the mic here. (more…)

ascensionofthewatchersReview by Greg Maki
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Fear Factory’s Burton C. Bell working on a new project with keyboardist John Bechdel (Killing Joke, Ministry, Fear Factory) under the watchful eye of Ministry’s Al Jourgensen and released on Jourgensen’s 13th Planet Records to boot—it leads to a certain expectation, one that surely does not include Simon and Garfunkel covers. Now take that expectation, banish it to the dark recesses of your mind and never think of it again. (more…)

HE-furyHate Eternal’s vocalist/guitarist Erik Rutan is becoming a well-known force in metal due to his production skills at his very own Mana Recording Studios. He has produced albums by Cannibal Corpse, Through the Eyes of the Dead, Vital Remains and a host of others in recent years. But let’s not forget that he has his own band, Hate Eternal. Rutan is a self-taught guitarist and formerly was in Morbid Angel. This is Hate Eternal’s fourth studio album and first for Metal Blade Records. (more…)

REVIEW: Ekotren – ‘Light the Fire’

Posted: February 19, 2008 by Jeffrey Maki in Reviews
Tags: , , ,

ekotrenFlorida’s Ekotren is a band riding the edge of metalcore and radio-friendly heavy rock. At first listen, a few bands come to mind, such as Killswitch Engage, As I Lay Dying and All That Remains. Ekotren’s music has a similar sound to those bands, blending clean vocals and harsh screams, though they lean more on a radio-friendly, nu-metal side, comparable to Mudvayne or Nonpoint. The band is a five-piece (including a keyboardist) and actually have been together since 2000. Over the last few years, the band has been playing to broader audiences as a result of sharing stages with Nonpoint, Saliva, Diecast and others. They have released two prior EPs, with many of those songs reappearing on Light the Fire. (more…)

Review by Greg Maki
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In the world of heavy music, a partnership between Hatebreed’s Jamey Jasta and Kirk Windstein of Crowbar/Down fame seems far from logical. Maybe that’s why it works. (more…)

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Photos by Greg Maki (more…)

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Photos by Greg Maki (more…)

Chad Gray of Hellyeah

Chad Gray of Hellyeah

HELLYEAH LIVE PHOTOS
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Review by Greg Maki
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What started as an excuse for a group of veteran rockers to have a little fun has taken on a life of its own and kept Hellyeah on the road for nearly a year. On the heels of last fall’s “Balls, Volume and Strength” tour, the band is trekking across the country on the appropriately titled “More Balls, More Volume, More Strength” tour. And they’re bringing one of the very best American metal bands with them. (more…)

avantasia-scarecrowIf Tobias Sammet’s name sounds familiar to you it’s because he is the lead vocalist and mastermind behind German power metal band Edguy. In 2001, he began the Avantasia project and released The Metal Opera 1 and 2. Avantasia means “a world beyond human imagination,” and fantasy themes are the focal point. The Metal Operas featured numerous guest musicians and vocalists including Sharon den Adel (Within Temptation), Michael Kiske (Helloween), Timo Tolkki (Stratovarius) and others. The music itself is melodic power metal but is far removed from Edguy. After five years dedicated to his full-time gig, Sammet has returned with The Scarecrow, another collection of hard rock and symphonic power metal, once again with help from some friends. (more…)

winds-of-plague-decimateSoCal’s Winds of Plague is a sextet that molds several styles of metal and hardcore. Think of them as a darker, more death metal version of Bleeding Through. This is their sophomore release and first for Century Media. Their debut, A Cold Day In Hell, was released in 2005 on Recourse Records. The band seems to have roots in hardcore, though those roots are lost within Scandinavian black metal, death metal vocals and the massive guitar harmonies. (more…)

warbringer-war-without-endCall it a revival’ call it a comeback or call it the latest trend. Call it anything you want, but it’s officially here: the New Wave of American Thrash Metal. Bands are forming, playing shows, getting signed and releasing albums left and right. The latest of this new breed of thrash is Warbringer, releasing their debut album, War Without End, on Century Media Records. (more…)