Archive for April, 2009

GD-passiondaleDon’t be fooled by the tame album title. The casualties are mounting and the dead bodies are piling up on God Dethroned’s Passiondale. The album is faster and more violent than what I consider to be the band’s landmark album,The Toxic Touch (2006)Passiondale is not for the faint of heart. (more…)

Review by Greg Maki
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Make no mistake: The Devil You Know is the newest Black Sabbath album. The cover says “Heaven & Hell,” but that’s a moniker this quartet adopted probably to assuage Ozzy Osbourne’s ego more than anything else. Only half the band that practically invented heavy metal four decades ago is here, but this lineup was active in both the early 1980s and early ‘90s. The new name comes from the first Ronnie James Dio-fronted Sabbath album, released in 1980. (more…)

51kV7U0YsWLReview by Greg Maki
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Halestorm’s self-titled debut album has been a long time coming. The band formed more than a decade ago in Pennsylvania (when the members were in their early teens), signed with Atlantic Records in 2005 and spent many months on the road (with the likes of Shinedown, Seether and Flyleaf) with only One and Done, a five-song live EP, available for purchase. It gives me great pleasure now to say that the disc that has been one of my most anticipated releases of the past few years was well worth the wait. (more…)

Lacuna Coil

Lacuna Coil

Lacuna Coil’s 2002 release, Comalies, put the Italian band on the map in the U.S. metal world. Its follow-up, Karmacode, released in 2006, incorporated the American influences they picked up throughout the extensive Comalies touring cycle and continued to build the group’s worldwide fan base. Three years later, Shallow Life, album No. 5 for Lacuna Coil, takes the band in a different direction. More of a hard rock album than a metal record, Shallow Life could be the release that breaks Lacuna Coil fully into the American mainstream. A slot on the Music as a Weapon tour with headliners Disturbed and fellow main stage acts Killswitch Engage and Chimaira is a good first step. One week before the album’s release, when the tour stopped in Baltimore, Md., Live Metal’s Greg Maki sat down with guitarist Cris Migliore to discuss the writing and recording of Shallow Life, working with a hit-making producer, the current tour and more.
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Halestorm

Halestorm

Nearly four years after signing with Atlantic Records, the Pennsylvania-based rock band Halestorm is set to unleash its self-titled debut album April 28. The wait has been long for the faithful, but their patience is about to be rewarded. Those discovering the band now are in for an even bigger treat, hearing for the first time an old Halestorm favorite like “It’s Not You” and new numbers like the lead single “I Get Off” and the dynamic “Familiar Taste of Poison.” When a spring tour opening for their good friends Shinedown recently brought Halestorm to Rams Head Live in Baltimore, Live Metal’s Greg Maki sat down with the band—vocalist/guitarist Lzzy Hale, her brother/drummer Arejay Hale, guitarist Joe Hottinger and bassist Josh Smith—to discuss the new album and much more.
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Skullage_coverReview by Greg Maki
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Black Label Society’s Kings of Damnation 98-04 came out in 2005, and now, less than four years later, we have another Zakk Wylde retrospective, Skullage (rhymes with “collage”). The CD begins with two tracks from Zakk’s pre- BLS days (“Machine Gun Man” from Pride and Glory, and “Dead as Yesterday” from his Book of Shadows solo album) before getting to the Black Label meat and potatoes. The disc repeats only three songs from Kings of Damnation while hitting on the most well-known BLS selections (“Stillborn,” “Suicide Messiah,” “In This River”), as well as solid album tracks, such as the punishing “Doomsday Jesus” from The Blessed Hellride. It ends with the “Slightly Amped” acoustic performance of three songs by Zakk and guitarist Nick Catanese. (more…)

cop_coverReview by Greg Maki
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With Black Label Society being solely Zakk Wylde’s vision, it was only a matter of time before his cohorts launched their own bands on the side. First out of the gate is bassist John “J.D.” DeServio’s Cycle of Pain, which also includes J.D.’s childhood friends Joe Taylor on guitar and Gregg Locascio on vocals. (more…)

ChimairaTheInfectionReview by Greg Maki
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Chimaira’s 2007 release, Resurrection, felt like the culmination of the first part of the band’s career. It took everything they did musically and pushed it further, wrapping it all in a pummeling, punishing package. So where do you go from there? (more…)

Review by Greg Maki
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Ever since Comalies caught on with U.S. metal fans in 2004, Italy’s Lacuna Coil has seemed to be on the cusp of a major breakthrough into the American mainstream. Their 2006 release, Karmacode, shifted the goth overtones to the background in favor of a more Americanized, downtuned sound, and the pop-tinged single “Closer” exposed the band to many potential new fans via the wildly successful video game Guitar Hero. In hindsight, that song served as a harbinger of things to come, for Shallow Life finds Lacuna Coil at its most accessible, with strong vocals, pop-inflected hooks and, at times, danceable rhythms leading the way. (more…)

sirenia-13th-floorMorten Veland, the former vocalist and guitarist of Tristania, is now on his fourth album with Sirenia, The 13th Floor. And yet again, the band finds itself with a new female vocalist, this time with Spanish singer Ailyn. (more…)

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Photos by Greg Maki (more…)

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Photos by Greg Maki (more…)