Archive for September, 2010

enslaved-axiomaWhen I saw Enslaved open for Dimmu Borgir in Towson, Md., I tweeted, “Enslaved are too good for their own good.” Let me explain.

In the early ‘90s, these Norwegians were part of the black metal scene, yet unlike most of their peers, they didn’t have Satanic lyrics or imagery. So, for a short period of time, they called themselves “Viking metal,” due to the influence of Norse mythology on their lyrics. Enslaved now somewhat regrets the Viking metal label, as they don’t want to be associated with the kind of bands playing that style today. The band survived and even prospered somewhere in between these two styles for years and, with recent albums, started evolving into a progressive black metal band. Sound like a lot to take in? (more…)

Black Label Society 'Order Of The Black'Review by Greg Maki
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Zakk Wylde will tell you the writing and recording of Order of the Black, the eighth Black Label Society studio album, was no different than that of any other record he’s done. But consider the year the man had leading up to its August 2010 release. First, he lost his longtime gig as Ozzy Osbourne’s guitarist. He had to take time off from touring—and spend some time in emergency rooms—due to blood clots in his legs, a condition that also led to him putting down the bottle. His father passed away in January. And, the happening most directly related to the new album, he built a home recording studio, affectionately known as the “Black Label Bunker.” (more…)

REVIEW: Sully Erna – ‘Avalon’

Posted: September 14, 2010 by Greg Maki in Reviews
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Sully_Erna_-_Avalon_CoverReview by Greg Maki
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It’s a good time to be a Godsmack fan. In May, the band released The Oracle, its best album in nearly a decade, and after playing a handful of dates here and there, they’re about to launch a full-scale U.S. tour with Five Finger Death Punch and Drowning Pool. We also have Avalon, the solo recording debut from frontman Sully Erna.

If you take the name of our website literally, Live Metal has no business reviewing Avalon. Though I don’t know how you would classify it, it certainly isn’t metal, or even hard rock. But why must we put labels on everything? In the case of Avalon, it seems to almost belittle its accomplishment by saying it is definitively part of this or that genre. It doesn’t matter what you call it; this is music designed to get you to do more than tap your foot or nod your head. Sully wants to move your soul. (more…)

DA-dreamLike many others, I got into the Bay Area thrash metal band Death Angel back in 1990, after seeing their videos for “Seemingly Endless Time” and “A Room with a View” on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball. Those cuts were from their most successful album to date, Act III. After this legendary thrash album, the band took a decade-long hiatus before reforming in 2001. However, the band went through lineup changes, eventually replaced its rhythm section and has managed to release two acclaimed albums in recent years, The Art of Dying (2004) and Killing Season (2008).

Now, in 2010, the trend of consistent releases continues with the excellent all-out thrasher, Relentless Retribution, an album that retains the heart and soul of Death Angel and further solidifies the band within the standing of modern thrash metal. (more…)

"Death Angel: The seemingly endless band: An interview with vocalist Mark Osegueda"

“Death Angel: The seemingly endless band: An interview with vocalist Mark Osegueda”

Like many others, I got into the Bay Area thrash metal band Death Angel all the way back in 1990, after seeing their videos for “Seemingly Endless Time” and “A Room with a View” on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball. Those cuts were from their most successful album to date, Act III. Of course, two other now-classics preceded it: The Ultra-Violence and Frolic Through the Park. But as the touring cycle for Act III was nearing its end, a bus accident left then drummer Andy Galeon unable to perform. This led to the band’s members going their separate ways and a decade-long hiatus, before they finally reformed in 2001 for a benefit concert for Testament’s Chuck Billy. The band eventually replaced its rhythm section and has managed to release two acclaimed albums in recent years, The Art of Dying (2004) and Killing Season (2008).

Now in 2010, the trend of consistent releases continues with the excellent all-out thrasher, Relentless Retribution (review), an album that retains the heart and soul of Death Angel and further solidifies the band within the standing of modern thrash metal.

Throughout Death Angel’s career, Mark Osegueda has been its voice and force. Though he usually opts for more of a clean, melodic vocal style, Relentless Retribution finds him with a meaner, aggressive style, one that fits the self-proclaimed “most aggressive Death Angel album since The Ultra-Violence.” I recently had the privilege to talk with Osegueda about Death Angel’s history, the new album and much more.

This is a band that played its first show on a bill with Megadeth in 1984, a veteran act that deserves the attention. Read on, thrash metal fans! (more…)

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Countdown to Kickoff. Photos by Greg Maki. (more…)

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Countdown to Kickoff. Photos by Greg Maki. (more…)

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Countdown to Kickoff. Photos by Greg Maki. (more…)

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Countdown to Kickoff. Photos by Greg Maki. (more…)

John 5 performs with Rob Zombie at the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Fest in Bristow, Va.

John 5 performs with Rob Zombie on Aug. 8, 2010, at the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Fest in Bristow, Va.

John 5: Killing with kindness

Most music fans know John 5 from his current gig as Rob Zombie’s guitarist or his previous stint filling the same position for Marilyn Manson. But he has worked with a seemingly endless list of musicians and is building an impressive body of work as a solo artist. The Art of Malice, his fifth album of instrumental, guitar-driven music, was released earlier this year. While winding down from Zombie’s co-headlining run on this summer’s Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival and gearing up for this fall’s Halloween Hootenanny tour with Alice Cooper and the special-edition release of Zombie’s Hellbilly Deluxe 2 album, John checked in with Live Metal’s Greg Maki. (more…)

Review by Greg Maki
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With Slipknot, the “other” band featuring vocalist Corey Taylor and guitarist Jim Root, becoming more accessible with each album, what would that mean for Stone Sour? With hits like “Bother” and “Through Glass,” it already was a commercial, radio-friendly band. On its third album, Audio Secrecy, the group has moved even further in that direction. (more…)

megadeth_rust-in-peace-liveCD review by Jeff Maki
Blu-ray review by Greg Maki
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It seems like I was just skinning this cat a few weeks ago, but here goes. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of their landmark thrash metal masterpiece, Rust in Peace, Megadeth went out on a month-long U.S. tour inearly 2010, playing the album in its entirety. The tour also marked the return of original bassist David Ellefson, who had been out of the band for nearly 10 years. Live-Metal attended the Baltimore show on March 17 (rescheduled from March 16, the date of the now infamous non-show that was stopped short due to sound problems). So for me, Rust in Peace Live works as much as a commemorative piece as a necessary addition to my Megadeth collection. The album was recorded on the last night of the tour at the Hollywood Palladium in California. (more…)