Archive for August, 2009

ChevelleSCIFICRIMESReview by Greg Maki
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Chevelle has been a quality band for a decade now, consistently putting out dark, moody, accessible hard rock along the lines of what Tool might do if they took their sound in more of pop direction. But aside from a couple songs on their breakthrough album Wonder What’s Next (2002), Chevelle’s first four records never quite grabbed me the way my favorite music does. There’s always been a coldness to their sound that keeps them at a distance from the listener, and that space only grew wider as each album came out sounding more slick and polished than the last. Album No. 5, Sci-Fi Crimes, has a looser feel, which instead of sounding rushed or sloppy, comes across as more energetic and spontaneous than anything they’ve done in the past. (more…)

God Dethroned: A Q&A with guitarist Susan Gerl.

God Dethroned: A Q&A with guitarist Susan Gerl.

The Battle of Passchendaele was one of the largest battles of World War I. It was fought for control of the village of Passchendaele near the town of Ypres in West Flanders, Belgium. Hundreds of thousands of Allied and German soldiers perished, many drowning in the thick, muddy landscape while bombarded by heavy artillery.

What does this have to do with anything? It’s the concept behind God Dethroned’s new album, Passiondale (the name that Passchendale was later changed to) and could very well be the band’s defining record. Set against a backdrop of melodic death metal, the history and story of Passiondale comes alive through God Dethroned’s violent, literal lyrics, painting vivid images of war in the listener’s mind.

Active since 1990, God Dethroned has long been a rising force in extreme metal, releasing strong albums such as Lair of the White Worm (2004) and The Toxic Touch (2006). Several lineup changes have occurred over the band’s career, but it hasn’t derailed this death metal force. Their latest addition is a girl, but she’s not to be underestimated–guitarist Susan Gerl. Live-Metal.net’s Jeff Maki had a Q&A with the new God Dethroned guitarist, in which she answers questions about females in metal, Passiondale and more. (more…)

awakendemonsReview by Greg Maki
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When you think Italy, you think history—ancient churches, museums, places where world-changing events occurred a millennium and more before the United States of America was even a concept. You think of picturesque towns and cities, places where life is relaxed, people riding scooters and saying, “Ciao.” I imagine a group of angry young men shouting, “I am your worst fucking nightmare!” wouldn’t make your mental list of things to see and do. (more…)

Municipal_Waste_-_Massive_Aggressive_coverReview by Jeff Maki
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By now fans of Municipal Waste know what they’re going to get: face-melting hardcore thrash metal, with off-the-wall humor and even some crossover appeal. Or do they? With Massive Aggressive, the Waste has managed to change without really changing at all. (more…)

Rob Halford, left, and Glenn Tipton of Judas Priest

Rob Halford, left, and Glenn Tipton of Judas Priest

Judas Priest live photos
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Review by Greg Maki

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I do not recall a summer in which I attended more big rock concerts than that of 2009. My schedule included Nine Inch Nails/Jane’s Addiction, the Stimulate This! Tour with Staind and Shinedown, the Warped Tour and the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. But the one that stands out most prominently to me was the last and, interestingly, featured—by far—the oldest band I saw during the season. Judas Priest showed why they have endured for more than 35 years and rightfully earned the moniker “Metal Gods” from their fans. (more…)

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Photos by Greg Maki (more…)

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Photos by Greg Maki. (more…)

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Photos by Greg Maki. (more…)

Hard work has paid off for John Allen and Charm City Devils. “Let’s Rock-N-Roll (Endless Road),” the first single from their debut album, Let’s Rock-N-Roll, made waves at rock radio, and they are in middle of a two-month run on the main stage of the rolling extravaganza that is Crüe Fest 2. In mid-July, on the eve of their departure for that career-altering tour, the band played a hometown show at Rams Head Live in Baltimore. Earlier in the day, Live Metal’s Greg Maki sat down with Allen to talk about Crue Fest, the pressures of playing in front of friends and family, the Baltimore Ravens and more. (more…)

Dream Theater

Dream Theater

Dream Theater has entered uncharted territory. Bands don’t get bigger as they approach their 25th anniversary. But in June, Dream Theater’s latest album, Black Clouds & Silver Linings, its 10th studio effort, debuted at No. 6 on the U.S. Billboard Top 200. The world’s leading progressive metal band continues to grow and shows no signs of slowing. When the band’s Progressive Nation 2009 tour (also featuring Zappa Plays Zappa, Bigelf, Scale the Summit and, for this show only, Queensryche) came to Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Md., Live Metal’s Greg Maki sat down backstage with drummer Mike Portnoy to discuss the band’s success, the new album, Dream Theater’s classic 1999 release, Metropolis Pt. 2: Scene from a Memory, and more. (more…)

Motograter

Motograter

Named for the bass-like instrument created by Bruce Butler and identified by its members’ trademark tribal body paint, Motograter’s stock steadily rose from its formation in 1995 until snagging a second-stage slot on Ozzfest 2003 and releasing an album the same year through Elektra Records. But by mid-2005, the band was on hiatus and members had gone their separate ways. Frontman Ivan Moody (aka Ghost in his Motograter days) went on to become the singer of Five Finger Death Punch. As of late 2008, the band is back, its new lineup featuring Butler, guitarists Nuke and Tyler, bassist Mylon, drummer Twitch and frontman Angel. They are in the midst of the nationwide Halos and Horns Tour with Darksun and have commenced work on their first album in six years. Live Metal’s Greg Maki caught up with Angel to discuss the band’s reformation, the new album and more. (more…)

accused-martha-splatterThe Accused—I thought that name sounded familiar. I apologize to all of the underground purists out there, but apparently I was only 9 years old when this band released its debut album, The Return of Martha Splatterhead (the first release from Earache Records). So this is my first real taste of the band. Underground punk metal icons or not, The Curse of Martha Splatterhead is a noisy, raw and difficult record to take in.  (more…)