Archive for April, 2012

Brent Smith of Shinedown

Brent Smith of Shinedown

2012 Avalanche Tour
Live photos: Shinedown, Adelitas Way, Art of Dying

Let me start with a disclaimer: I want the bands I like to be successful. I don’t dismiss bands simply because you can hear them on the radio and they become popular. That kind of elitist, selfish attitude has no place here at Live Metal or anywhere else. BUT … I’m starting to feel like Shinedown has accumulated too many hits.

Let me elaborate. Shinedown has been a major presence on rock radio starting with its first single, “Fly from the Inside,” in 2003. All 14 of its singles have reached the top five at U.S. mainstream rock radio; its past seven have climbed all the way to No. 1. The problem: This much success can trap a band when it comes to putting together a set list. Most of the fans at the shows know the radio hits best, and when those are the people you thrive on, you have to send them home happy. So we get a full, headlining set composed of the hits, a few new songs sprinkled throughout and nothing else. Wave goodbye to the album tracks of the past, because with hits from the latest release, Amaryllis, already starting to mount, we won’t be hearing them again anytime soon. (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…)

"17 Again" with Love and Death's JR Bareis

“17 Again” with Love and Death’s JR Bareis

Do you remember when you were 17? Are you even 17 yet? I certainly remember. It was 1994, the year I graduated high school, and I became consumed completely by music while looking into the great unknown. I didn’t care—I was partying with girls, doing things I probably wasn’t supposed to be doing, and it was one of the best years of my life. But there’s no way it was anywhere near as good or memorable as JR Bareis’ 17th, who is spending the year and foreseeable future playing alongside Brian “Head” Welch, the former guitarist of Korn who recently rebranded his solo band, Love and Death. (more…)

dead-saraReview by Greg Maki
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No disrespect intended to the guys who form the rhythm section, but Dead Sara’s Emily Armstrong (vocals, guitar) and Siouxsie Medley (guitar, vocals) are one dynamic duo. Throughout the Los Angeles-based quartet’s self-titled debut, Armstrong’s epic, wailing voice drips with passion in the greatest classic rock tradition, while Medley’s guitar tone and riffs are absolutely monstrous—I’m surprised my speakers can contain them. The duo plays off each other as well as any singer/guitarist combo going today—they even harmonize, a la vintage Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, on “Lemon Scent,” one of the album’s best songs. (more…)

enthroned-obsidiumI’m not going to dive into Enthroned’s turbulent 19-year history, which seems to be the norm for a black metal band. If you’re curious, you can look it up. I had not truly listened to an album by these Belgium overlords in its entirety prior to their eighth overall release, Pentagrammaton (2010), an album I deemed “a black metal blast from the past.” Now with Obsidium, Enthroned are becoming my “go-to” for quality in black metal. (more…)

Halsetrom_Strange_CaseReview by Greg Maki
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It’s only March, but I think I might have heard the rock album of the year.

Take one listen to The Strange Case of , Halestorm’s second full-length album, and the meaning of the title—a reference to Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde—is readily apparent. While the band’s self-titled debut stayed within its hard rock comfort zone, this one is far more adventurous, almost but not quite schizophrenic at times. (more…)

Sully Erna of Godsmack

Sully Erna of Godsmack

Godsmack frontman talks Mass Chaos tour and more

After more than a decade at top of the hard rock/metal heap, Godsmack still is going strong. Its most recent release, The Oracle (2010), was another solid addition to its catalog, while its live show remains one of the best in the business. This spring will celebrate that aspect of the band, with the release of its first live album, Live and Inspired (accompanied by four newly recorded cover songs), and co-headlining the Mass Chaos tour with Staind, with support from Halestorm. Frontman Sully Erna recently participated in a teleconference with journalists to discuss the tour and more. (more…)