Archive for February, 2009

GF-earthNew Jersey’s God Forbid was one of many bands to emerge from the birth of U.S. metalcore, and may be one of only a handful to rise from the scene’s ashes even stronger than before. Recognizing they’d been lumped into a stagnant subgenre with an uncertain future, God Forbid has stretched its musical boundaries well beyond its hardcore roots with heavy, complicated songs, often hovering in the five- to six-minute range, chock full of surprises. There is a newfound depth to the songs–which require repeated listens for a full appreciation and understanding–that has seemingly come from out of nowhere. (more…)

Dope

Dope

In the decade since the release of itsdebut album, Felons and Revolutionaries, Dope has experienced ups and downs, seen members come and go. But the man at the controls has never wavered. Edsel Dope’s drive and vision has kept the band not only afloat, but successful. On March 10, Dope unleashes its fifth album, the aptly titled No Regrets, through E1 Music (formerly KOCH Records). The band will spend much of the spring on the road with Black Label Society and Sevendust as part of the first-ever Black Label Bash. Calling from a Chicago studio, where he is producing Dirge, the new band founded by former Soil guitarist Shaun Glass, Edsel talked with Live Metal’s Greg Maki about the new album, the tour, Zakk Wylde (whose unmistakable guitar playing appears on the new single “Addiction”), the band’s extraordinary perseverance and more. (more…)

Review by Greg Maki
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I did not read the press release accompanying Carving Desert Canyons, the second album from Scale the Summit, before popping the disc into my car stereo. All I knew was that the band was a recent signing by Prosthetic Records. So it was about halfway through the second song that I realized I was hearing something of a rarity today—an instrumental metal band. Maybe the success of Guitar Hero has created more of a place for bands like this in the public consciousness because, let me tell you, a Scale the Summit song would be one of those hard ones you have to unlock and gamers then record themselves playing to post on YouTube. (more…)

Black Label Society

Black Label Society

There is no one else like Zakk Wylde in music today. His legend began more than 20 years ago, when Ozzy Osbourne plucked him out of New Jersey to become his new guitarist. Over the course of several albums and many tours with Ozzy and while leading his own successful band, Black Label Society, Zakk has established himself as a true modern guitar hero. While gearing up for the first-ever Black Label Bash, a spring tour also featuring Sevendust, Dope, The Infinite Staircase and, on a handful dates, Cycle of Pain (the new band founded by BLS bassist John “J.D.” DeServio), Zakk checked in with Live Metal’s resident BLS Maryland/Baltimore chapter member, Greg Maki. (more…)

napalm-death_time-waitsReview by Ryan Mavity
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Of all the bands that get credit for being metal pioneers, one that flies under the radar is England’s Napalm Death. They don’t just play grind metal, they invented it with their seminal late ‘80s releases Scum and From Enslavement to Obliteration. After falling off a bit in the ‘90s, the band has had a creative rebirth in the 2000s with strong releases, such as 2005’s The Code Is Red…Long Live the Code, all of which have added new elements to the bands signature high-octane, politically-charged sound. (more…)

darkane-demonicSweden’s Darkane is a melodic thrash metal band that has been around since 1998. While they haven’t disappointed during a career of four solid thrash metal albums, they never seem to achieve their maximum potential or carve out their own niche in Sweden’s crowded metal scene. With new vocalist Jens Broman (Construcdead/The Defaced) on board forDemonic Art, will this be the album that takes Darkane to the next level? (more…)

CC-plagueA few songs into Cannibal Corpse’s Evisceration Plague I recognized one of the first coherent lyrics. Vocalist George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher barks, “Tear your face off!” Fuck yeah, now that’s what Cannibal Corpse fans want!

For a death metal band that has built a successful career on gore-drenched lyrics, censorship and controversy, Evisceration Plague lacks much of this. The album doesn’t suffer, but I found it surprising. This is a band that has been banned in certain places, had album covers censored and has been prohibited from playing songs live due to lyrical content. Could it be that I’ve just heard too many death metal bands since Cannibal Corpse’s rise to gore metal fame? Or has Cannibal Corpse finally put a tourniquet on the forever-bleeding wound? Bassist Alex Webster was quoted as saying, “We wanted death on an epic scale, as opposed to the individual, murderer-stalking-his-prey stuff we’ve done in the past—although the album still has a few of those songs.” (more…)