Archive for September, 2009

Tobias Sammet of Edguy

Tobias Sammet of Edguy

Germany’s Edguy is stronger than ever. In the past year, the band has had several new releases—a new studio album, Tinnitus Sanctus, a DVD and live album called Fucking with Fire, and a compilation of singles and past EPs simply called The Singles. If that wasn’t enough, charismatic frontman Tobias Sammet also has another band named Avantasia—sort of an ongoing rock opera. Yes, he’s been to the opera, he’s a “Superhero,” a member of the “Hellfire Club,” and most importantly, he’s now been “fucking with fire” for parts of two decades, but now is the time for Tobias Sammet and Edguy.

Edguy is currently on a North American tour supporting Tinnitus Sanctus as the touring cycle draws towards a close for the album. Sammet checked in with’s Jeff Maki while out on the road to discuss the album, the flurry of new Edguy releases, life on tour and more. (more…)

alice-in-chains-black-gives-way-to-blueReview by Greg Maki
Fourteen years after their last studio album, seven-and-a-half years after the drug-fueled death of singer Layne Staley, Alice in Chains—easily one of the best and most influential hard rock acts of the ‘90s—is back. And though there are some who will never even give themselves a chance to admit it, Black Gives Way to Blue is a stirring return. (more…)

hatebreedIs it safe to say that Hatebreed frontman Jamey Jasta is the best thing to come from MTV the last 10 years?

Granted, he was already fronting Hatebreed before then, but God knows the network hasn’t done anything near as cool as what Jasta and his band have done just with this self-titled album alone, much less Hatebreed’s prior work. Given that he’s the founder and overall face of Hatebreed, Jasta is front and center on this album and he delivers his usual punishing performance. (more…)

Five Finger Death Punch

Five Finger Death Punch

After taking the metal world (and even rock radio) by storm with its first album, The Way of the Fist (2007), Five Finger Death Punch is back for round two. War is the Answer sees the band staying true to the established Death Punch sound but also spreading its wings—the result of becoming an even tighter, more focused unit after two-plus years of touring. As they prepared for the launch of the Shock and Raw Tour—the band’s biggest headlining tour to date, with openers Shadows Fall and Otep—guitarist Zoltan Bathory, a good friend of Live Metal, checked in with Greg Maki to discuss the new album, the tour, Internet trolls and more. (more…)

EOE-shadowsI was a huge fan of Echoes Eternity’s debut album, The Forgotten Goddess. has a little history with the band, starting with the submission of their original demo to our Web site before they were signed to Nuclear Blast, and culminating with an interview with frontwoman Francine Boucher. So, needless to say, I was looking forward to As Shadows Burn. (more…)

War_is_the_Answer_Album_ArtReview by Greg Maki
“I’ll slap you so fuckin’ hard it’ll feel like you kissed a freight train.” — Ivan Moody, “War is the Answer”

The Way of the Fist, the debut album by Five Finger Death Punch, released in 2007, came at the listener like a sucker punch to the gut. Rarely do new bands come out of the gate with their sound and vision so direct, motivated and confident. A mix of American aggression and European sense of melody in the guitar attack proved to be a lethal combination, winning a legion of fans on both U.S. and European shores, selling more than 340,000 albums—an astounding number for a new metal band given the state of the music industry today—and winning Metal Hammer’s Golden God Award for best new band. (more…)

Poison the Well: "Rotting in a Hardcore World"

Poison the Well: “Rotting in a Hardcore World”

Starting as more of a traditional hardcore act, South Florida’s Poison the Well have been active since 1998. They released their debut full-length, The Opposite of December, in 1999, and it has been looked upon as classic hardcore ever since. Now 10 years, a few record labels (including a stint on a major label), more than a dozen members and session players and four albums later, the band is back with their newest release, The Tropic Rot. The album follows 2007’s Versions, a record many dubbed a “heavy spaghetti western” due to its experimental nature, twangy guitars, unique instrumentation and lyrical content.

From one listen to the full album stream (prior to release), The Tropic Rot is a more straightforward post-hardcore record, making Poison the Well a perfect fit to co-headline the 2009 U.S. summer jaunt called the 10 for $10 hardcore tour. When the third show of the tour stopped at Sonar in Baltimore, Md.,’s Jeff Maki and Ryan Mavity sat down with guitarist Ryan Primack to discuss the tour, The Tropic Rot and the band’s experimental style. (more…)

evile-infectedEvile emerged in 2007 with its debut, Enter the Grave, making a mark as a standout of the new wave of thrash metal. I deemed the album “the bastard son of Metallica and Slayer.” Infected Nations sees a massive maturation for Evile on all levels—a more formidable, focused recording, a more lethal and developed metal assault and a serious upgrade in songwriting and production. Infected Nations is more like the son of Slayer’s Seasons in the Abyss and Testament’s The New Order. (more…)

BDM-deflorateI’m not a musician, but I take great pride in having a good ear for music. I’m way into extreme metal, but The Black Dahlia Murder is a band I could never really fully get into. The frantic and chaotic musical landscape they had laid out on previous albums was almost too much to take in—music for the A.D.D. generation that makes us slightly older guys’ heads spin. I gradually started to take to them with their last release, Nocturnal. And now, more than ever, after witnessing them at the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival and conducting an entertaining interview with guitarist Brian Eschbach, I am more than willing to give them a chance. After all, it’s what all the cool metal kids are listening to these days, right? (more…)

megadeth_endgameReview by Jeff Maki
There’s a lot of different ways I could approach a Megadeth album review. I could focus on Dave Mustaine and his media rants and personal feuds with other metal bands. I could focus and compare the revolving door of band members that seems to come with each Megadeth album. Or I could compare Endgame to Metallica’s Death Magnetic like so many are going to be tempted to do. Instead, let’s focus on the consistency that is Megadeth’s music, as Endgame is hard evidence of this. As I said, with each different Megadeth era, there comes a new band backing main man Dave Mustaine. He is the only constant. It’s pretty cut and dried—Mustaine is Megadeth. (more…)

REVIEW: Ace Frehley – ‘Anomaly’

Posted: September 15, 2009 by Greg Maki in Reviews
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anomalyReview by Greg Maki
It is appropriate that less than a month before KISS releases its new album, Sonic Boom—with guitarist Tommy Thayer pictured on the cover in the familiar “Spaceman” makeup—that Ace Frehley releases his first solo studio effort in 20 years. Comparing the two is unavoidable, and Ace has set the bar high for his former bandmates. Anomaly easily surpasses his ‘80s output (which includes albums released under the name Frehley’s Comet and Ace Frehley) to become his best solo work since his 1978 album. (more…)

Review by Greg Maki
A couple years ago, Shadows Fall seemed to be on the verge of climbing to the top of the metal mountain. After a string of successful albums (including 2004’s The War Within, which makes my short list of the best metal albums of this decade) for indie label Century Media, it made the leap to Atlantic Records for Threads of Life. But for some reason—backlash from longtime fans? lack of support from the label?—the disc failed to sell, bringing the momentum the band steadily had been building throughout its career to a screeching halt. (more…)