Archive for September, 2011


Review by Ryan Mavity

After their 2007 masterpiece The Blackening, one of the top metal albums of the past decade, Machine Head earned the right to be called formally “The Mighty Machine Head.” But like Brian Billick once asked after following Ray Lewis out of the tunnel, the real question is, “How do you follow that?”Well, Machine Head has figured out how to do the impossible: They followed it up with an album every bit as hard-hitting. Unto the Locust contains the same lengthy, progressive song structures as The Blackening – nothing over nine minutes though – but with a different lyrical focus. Instead of The Blackening’s more socially and politically conscious songs (“Clinching the Fists of Dissent,” “Aesthetics of Hate,” “Slanderous”), Unto the Locust focuses more on personal struggles. (more…)

Burn Halo, 2011

Burn Halo, 2011

Burn Halo rises up with second album

The self-titled Burn Halo debut, a hard rock album released in 2009, was quite the departure for frontman James Hart, who cut his teeth with the hardcore-leaning Eighteen Visions. Burn Halo album number two, Up from the Ashes, released earlier this year, is heavier, darker—more metal—and closer to Hart’s roots. The band toured relentlessly on the first album and has been doing the same in the months since the release of Up from the Ashes. Hart recently called in—literally from the road—to discuss the new album and more with’s Greg Maki. (more…)

Black Stone Cherry, 2011

Black Stone Cherry, 2011

Bringin’ the boom boom
An interview with Chris Robertson of Black Stone Cherry

For a young band, Black Stone Cherry has been together for a long time. All still in their early to mid-20s, vocalist/guitarist Chris Robertson, guitarist Ben Wells, bassist Jon Lawhon and drummer John Fred Young joined forces in June 2001, and they’ve been rocking ever since. With their third album, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, released earlier this year, and singles “White Trash Millionaire” and “Blame It on the Boom Boom” building momentum at rock radio, the band seems poised for a major breatkthrough. While on the Carnival of Madness tour with Theory of a Deadman, Alter Bridge, Adelita’s Way and Emphatic, Robertson sat down with’s Greg Maki to discuss the new album and more. (more…)

Within Temptation: "Totally 80's with Robert Westerholt"

Within Temptation: “Totally 80’s with Robert Westerholt”

Symphonic metal couldn’t have been any better than Within Temptation’s 2007 album, The Heart of Everything. As a result, the band had accomplished all it strove to do within the subgenre’s restraints. Its 2011 release, The Unforgiving, marks somewhat of a new beginning for the Dutch band, led by vocalist Sharon den Adel. The concept album tells stories of characters and tragic events that are part of a much larger tale. Accompanied by a comic series of the same name and a series of short films, fans have multiple levels and formats to work as a guide to what matters most in the end, the music.

Within Temptation has not completely abandoned its roots, but for the recording of this album, a strong ‘80s metal and new wave influence is evident, along with tracks that would fit with the vast number of songs that cover this band’s 15 year career. In their first trip to the United States since 2007, Within Temptation embarked on a six-city mini-tour, making stops in prominent cities along the East Coast. Just a few days into the tour, before we saw the band for ourselves at Rams Head Live in Baltimore, Md., guitarist Robert Westerholt (Sharon’s husband) called in to’s Jeff Maki to talk about The Unforgiving and the strong ‘80s influence on the album. And according to Robert, The Unforgiving story has only just begun. (more…)

anthrax-worship-musicSo Joey Belladonna is back as the singer for Anthrax. That’s the big news here, right?

But an important thing people seem to be forgetting is Joey actually had his first reunion with Anthrax when he rejoined and toured with the band in 2005-2006. However, Worship Music is the first Anthrax studio album featuring Belladonna since 1990’s Persistence of Time. (Wow, I was barely into high school when that came out, yet I remember playing the shit out of that CD. Or maybe it was a tape?) (more…)


Photos by Greg Maki (more…)

By Jeff Maki

View Live Photos here.

“The Unforgiving Tour” was Within Temptation’s late summer North American mini-tour, which made stops in only six cities: Toronto, Montreal, Worcester, New York, Baltimore and Philadelphia. It was the band’s first time in the United States since touring in support of The Heart of Everything in 2007. (more…)

Sepultura "Roar back" with 'Kairos'

Sepultura “Roar back” with ‘Kairos’

After interviewing former Sepultura vocalist Max Cavalera in 2009 and now the man who has been successfully carrying on the band’s legacy—guitarist Andreas Kisser—perhaps my life is complete. OK, I hope not, but in all seriousness, Sepultura was a huge part of my youth and still is to this day. Their 1989 album, Beneath the Remains, was the  first extreme metal album I ever heard, Arise (1991) was a permanent fixture in my tape deck, venting my frustrations during my teenage years, and I lost count of how many copies of Chaos A.D. (1993) I’ve had to buy from wearing it out.

And it’s not only the Max Cavalera Sepultura era I’ve been a fan of. I’ve closely followed the band since Derrick Green became vocalist in 1997, and was particularly a fan of 2006’s concept album Dante XXI.

So long story short:Getting to chat with Andreas Kisser for nearly 30 minutes was a huge deal for me. In one of our longer and more in-depth interviews on, Kisser talked with about the history of Sepultura, all the way from Bestial Devastation (1985) to their 2011 album, Kairos, which many are calling the band’s best since Chaos A.D. He defends the current formation of the band and gives his honest opinion on Max Cavalera’s post-Sepultura bands, Soulfly and Cavalera Conspiracy. (more…)


Carnival of Madness. Photos by Greg Maki. (more…)


Carnival of Madness. Photos by Greg Maki. (more…)


Carnival of Madness. Photos by Greg Maki. (more…)

"Khaos A.D." with Michael Amott of Arch Enemy

“Khaos A.D.” with Michael Amott of Arch Enemy

The name Michael Amott should be familiar to readers of As the founding member and guitarist of Sweden’s Arch Enemy, his riffs, leads and harmonies, along with Angela Gassow’s deadly vocals, has made Arch Enemy one of the top extreme metal bands in the world. During the past few years, with each new release, we’ve had the opportunity to talk with Amott about anything and everything Arch Enemy.

The band’s latest album, Khaos Legions, plays like a tribute to hardcore fans and sounds like the final chapter of a trilogy that began with Wages of Sin (2001) and continued with Anthems of Rebellion (2003). With songs like “Yesterday is Dead and Gone,” “Bloodstained Cross” and “No Gods, No Masters,” Khaos Legions delivers on every level of Arch Enemy.

Speaking of trilogies, just under two weeks before the start of the band’s North American Khaos tour,’s Jeff Maki talked with Amott for a third time, this time about the new album, upcoming tour and the chances of Arch Enemy ever “crossing over.” Plus, we had to ask about his other project, a little band called Carcass. (more…)