Archive for March, 2010

Review by Greg Maki
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As much as I hate to say it, the first solo album by legendary guitarist Slash is a something of a disappointment. (more…)

Shinedown, from left: Eric Bass, Barry Kerch, Brent Smith and Zack Myers.

Shinedown, from left: Eric Bass, Barry Kerch, Brent Smith and Zack Myers.

Two years on the road, and no signs of slowing down. Shinedown plans to tour into early 2011 behind its 2008 release, The Sound of Madness, and why not? Each single has been a massive success, from rock radio staples “Devour” and “Sound of Madness,” to crossover hits “Second Chance” and “If You Only Knew,” and fans keep flocking to live shows wherever they play. While gearing up for a U.S. arena tour supporting Nickelback, bassist Eric Bass called in to talk to Live Metal’s Greg Maki about the upcoming tour, playing on Live Metal’s home turf and more. (more…)

Zakk Wylde of Black Label Society

Zakk Wylde of Black Label Society

Review by Greg Maki

Even though many fans may go to extraordinary lengths to meet them or see them in concert, I realize the guys (and gals) in bands are just that—guys. Talented, creative guys with incredibly cool jobs, but still just plain old average guys like you and me. Well, most of them are, that is.

From the moment Zakk Wylde steps on stage, he exudes a presence unlike anyone else. Physically, he is as imposing as it gets, with biceps the size of tree trunks, a long blonde mane, massive beard with two braids extending halfway down his chest, huge chain hanging from his waist and a leather vest adorned with the classic Black Label Society colors. Then he pounds out devastating riff after riff and shreds through solos that undoubtedly bring wide smiles to the faces of Randy Rhoads and Dimebag Darrell as they watch from god’s tavern while slamming back a few Black Tooth Grins. I’ve seen BLS live 15 times now, and I am as much in awe of Zakk as ever. The show on this night may have been the best yet. (more…)

DEP-Option-ParalysisHere’s my first candidate for a spot in the top 10 of 2010.

I’m a bit new to the party when it comes to New Jersey’s Dillinger Escape Plan, but Option Paralysis, the group’s fourth full-length, is one that can get even the most cynical metalhead to join. (more…)

Gary Holt of Exodus

Gary Holt of Exodus

Gary Holt and the Exodus thrash metal machine

As one of the founding members of the San Francisco Bay Area thrash metal band Exodus, and one of two remaining original members (the other is drummer Tom Hunting), guitarist Gary Holt has endured just about everything imaginable within a band. From numerous lineup changes, the death of former vocalist Paul Baloff, then his replacement, Steve “Zetro” Souza, leaving the band and battling three decades of musical trends, fans could argue that in 2010 Exodus is stronger than ever.

With a new album in the bag (Exhibit B: The Human Condition, due May 18) following 2007’s The Atrocity Exhibition – Exhibit A; the Shovel Headed Tour Machine (Live at Wacken and Other Assorted Atrocities) DVD and now the opening slot on Megadeth’s Rust in Peace 20th anniversary tour, Exodus is where they belong: back at the forefront of the metal scene.

Prior to the Rust in Peace tour’s stop at Rams Head Live in Baltimore, Md., on March 16, 2010, Live Metal chatted with Holt as he lounged in the back of the Exodus tour bus. Gary is a laid-back, funny guy who seems to feel no pressure from the rigors of touring and the music business. He’s doing what he’s been doing since 1980, and right now, things seembetter than ever.

Holt talks about the band’s upcoming album, the Megadeth tour and current Exodus vocalist Rob Dukes. (more…)

Chris Broderick of Megadeth

Chris Broderick of Megadeth

Megadeth’s Chris Broderick: Shredding is his business

Chris Broderick follows a long line of Megadeth guitarists, but judging from the constant praise main man Dave Mustaine bestows upon him, it seems Chris will be around for long time. With a degree in classical guitar musical performance, he began his career with the power metal band Jag Panzer and also spent time in Nevermore (who appeared on Megadeth’s 2005 Gigantour). When guitarist Glen Drover left Megadeth in 2008, Chris’ time began.

2009’s Endgame was Broderick’s recording debut with the band, and his technical thrash playing and solo trade-offs with Mustaine cover the disc from start to finish.

In March 2010, Megadeth embarked on the month-long Rust in Peace 20th anniversary tour. Fans all know who the guitarist was on that album, so how would Broderick be recieved? Does he feel the pressure from fans who clamor for Marty Friedman and the Rust in Peace lineup?

Live Metal’s Jeff and Greg Maki sat down with Broderick backstage at Rams Head Live in Baltimore, Md., prior to Megadeth’s ill-fated show that ended after just three songs on March 16, 2010. (more…)

Dakota Fanning, left, and Kristen Stewart appear in a scene from "The Runaways."

Dakota Fanning, left, and Kristen Stewart appear in a scene from “The Runaways.”

Review by Greg Maki

The Runaways tells the story of the 1970s all-girl rock band of the same name, but it is a man who looms largest over the action in the film. Dressed in garish ‘70s glam rock fashions (with makeup to boot), Michael Shannon’s Kim Fowley, manager/producer/songwriter/architect of the band, stalks and prowls through the movie, dominating the screen whenever he appears.

Emotionally abusive if not physically (though at one point he brings in kids to throw trash—and worse—at the girls for rock ‘n’ roll “boot camp”), his methods are extreme, his behavior often revolting. He’s being kind by his standards when he calls the girls “dogs.” He’s exploitative and creepy (his reaction after meeting Currie: “Jail-(expletive)-bait! Jack-(expletive)-pot!”) yet somehow exudes a bizarre charisma. In that way, Shannon, nominated for an Oscar for 2008’s Revolutionary Road, brings to mind Christopher Walken.

Though the movie is the story of lead singer Cherie Currie (Dakota Fanning), who wrote the book upon which it is based (Neon Angel: A Memoir of a Runaway), and guitarist Joan Jett (Kristen Stewart), Shannon’s overbearing presence in it is appropriate; Fowley fulfilled the same role in the lives of the real-life Runaways during their wild, albeit brief, ride in the ‘70s. (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…)

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Photos by Greg Maki (more…)

gamma-ray-to-the-metalSince they’re gearing up for a new EP, and since we didn’t review it when it came out, I figured it was time to look back on last year’s album from German power metal heroes Gamma Ray, To the Metal!

While the title is really bad (seriously, To the Metal!? Even Spinal Tap wouldn’t have come up with that one) the music therein is pure Gamma Ray.  (more…)