Archive for March, 2009

burn-haloReview by Greg Maki
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“Dirty Little Girl,” the first song and single from Burn Halo’s self-titled debut, is similar in its subject matter and approach to “Use Me,” the first song and single from Hinder’s second album, Take It to the Limit (2008). (Burn Halo: “She don’t love me, but I don’t seem to mind.” Hinder: “She’s gonna use me, but I like it.”) But while Hinder’s song sounds like something Mötley Crüe rejected back in 1987, Burn Halo’s mixes a modern, Avenged Sevenfold-type edge (A7X guitarist Synyster Gates appears on the track) with the raucous ‘80s hard rock feel. Hinder comes across tired and calculated; Burn Halo feels fresh, exciting. (more…)

ektomorf_outcastcoverIn ancient Greek civilization, Ektomorf meant an individual was tall and slender, but edgy and aggressive. From the name and artwork of their new album, Outcast, one may have the preconceived notion that these Hungarians are a death or black metal band. Not the case at all. Ektomorf’s in-your-face groove is straightforward hardcore-metal a la Roots-era Sepultura or Soulfly. (more…)

Review by Greg Maki
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I never have understood the hate so many metalheads hurl Trivium’s way. They accuse them of not playing “real” metal—whatever that is—and cast them aside into the metalcore category. What is it? Jealousy? Can they not take the fact that these four young men (all still in their early 20s) are such talented musicians and have achieved a fair amount of success while their favorite bands toil in obscurity? That’s all I can come up with. (more…)

John Allen of Charm City Devils

John Allen of Charm City Devils

Baltimore doesn’t get the recognition of other, larger cities, but a strong crop of no-nonsense, hard-working rock bands is starting to make waves on a national scale. Charm City Devils, with a sound that screams rock ;n’ roll in all the best ways, are at the forefront. A blind email from frontman John Allen caught the attention of the folks at Tenth Street Entertainment and Eleven Seven Music, where the president happens to be a musician by the name of Nikki Sixx. The Mötley Crüe leader quickly made Charm City Devils his first signing after assuming his new role at the label. Their debut album, Let’s Rock-N-Roll, is set to hit stores May 26, and they will spend the summer on tour as part of Crüe Fest 2. At a recent show in Laurel, Del., Live Metal’s Greg Maki sat down with Allen to discuss the circumstances of the band’s signing, the new album, the Baltimore music scene and more. (more…)

Burn Halo

Burn Halo

It didn’t take long for vocalist James Hart to find his way following the breakup of Eighteen Visions in early 2007. He quickly found himself writing the songs—real rock songs with catchy hooks, guitar solos and an almost nostalgic good-time vibe—that make up the debut album by his new band, Burn Halo. It has not been an easy road—Island initially signed the band, then chose not to release the record—but the band has been on tour since late 2008, and the self-titled album finally will hit stores March 31. Prior to a recent show supporting Rev Theory at the Recher Theatre in Towson, Md., Hart sat down with Live Metal’s Greg Maki to discuss Burn Halo’s inception and more. (more…)

Rev Theory

Rev Theory

With the singles “Hell Yeah” and “Light It Up,” Rev Theory is getting to know what success feels like. The band worked hard to get here, touring for two years behind its first album, the 2005 indie release Truth is Currency. With a new attitude and a new album (2008’s Light It Up) that was more than a year in the making, Rev Theory just might be on the cusp of something big. Live Metal’s Greg Maki recently caught up with guitarist Julien Jorgensen and frontman Rich Luzzi backstage at the Recher Theatre in Towson, Md., to relive some memories, talk about the new album and discuss what the future holds. (more…)

agonist-lullabiesI remember Once Only Imagined, the debut album by The Agonist, led by sexy, straight-edge vocalist, Alissa White-Gluz,, as being closer in the musical realm to Killswitch Engage than Cradle of Filth, but all has changed on the sophomore effort from these Canadians, Lullabies For the Dormant Mind. (more…)

REVIEW: Dope – ‘No Regrets’

Posted: March 10, 2009 by Greg Maki in Reviews
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Dope_No_RegretsReview by Greg Maki
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Dope’s last album, American Apathy (2005), was kind of like a greatest hits album with all new songs. It took what Dope does best and placed it front and center, mixing infectious hooks with abrasive heaviness. No Regrets, the band’s fifth album, builds on that and adds to it heightened musicianship. Frontman and band namesake Edsel Dope (the only constant in the band’s ever-changing lineup) took his time on No Regrets and it shows. It’s the best Dope album yet. (more…)

mantic-ritual

Review by Jeff Maki
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Pittsburgh, Pa.’s Mantic Ritual is yet another band that embraces the leather-and-denim-clad thrash metal bands of the early 1980s. The music is packed with headbanging riffs and blazing guitar solos evoking mops of sweaty hair swinging about. Their influences are the obvious ones—Metallica, Megadeth, Exodus and Slayer—on their debut album, Executioner. Above all, it is strikingly similar to Metallica’s debut, Kill ‘Em All. (more…)

Straight Line Stitch

Straight Line Stitch

When Skies Wash Ashore, the first major release from Straight Line Stitch, was easily one of my favorite albums of 2008. Combining brutal hardcore rhythms with great hooks and beautiful melodies, it showed “metalcore” doesn’t have to be a dirty word. The stellar work of vocalist Alexis Brown is largely responsible for lifting Straight Line Stitch above most of its contemporaries. She can sing or scream with the best of them. (I don’t mean to overlook the band, as it is their songwriting and playing that give Alexis the platform from which she shines.) Aside from two tours with DevilDriver, Straight Line Stitch has been grinding it out on the road, promoting its new album essentially on its own. This is a hard-working band that has earned everything it has achieved so far and deserves to be heard by metal fans everywhere. Speaking to Alexis recently by phone, I found her to be friendly, humble and passionate about her chosen profession as we talked about the album, touring, her indoctrination into music and more. — Greg Maki (more…)

revtheory3_1

Photos by Greg Maki (more…)

Rev Theory live photos
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Review by Greg Maki
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Rich Luzzi of Rev Theory

Rich Luzzi of Rev Theory

One of the fun parts about being involved with a Web site like Live Metal has been to watch new bands grow and develop their sound and fan bases. Three years ago, at one of the first shows I officially covered, Rev Theory (then called “Revelation Theory”) opened for Hinder at the Recher Theatre on the “Girls Gone Wild” tour. They were supporting Truth is Currency, their independently released debut album, and just starting to make their name known nationwide. (I later learned the band had earlier played its first show as a professional touring act in nearby Baltimore to a audience of five.) Several tours, including runs in both the United States and Europe with Evanescence, a second album, some heavy promotion on WWE programming and a hit single later, Rev Theory was back at the Recher—this time as the headliner. (more…)