Archive for February, 2013

Brent Smith, left, and Zach Myers of Shinedown

Brent Smith, left, and Zach Myers of Shinedown

Shinedown live photos

Review by Greg Maki

One of the most enjoyable aspects of Live Metal is watching a band come from humble beginnings, work hard, and get better and better, and bigger and bigger. I started following Shinedown a few years before Live Metal’s start in early 2006. I saw them go from playing small clubs to larger clubs to supporting slots on larger tours. Over the years, they gradually moved up the bill at festivals until they headlined their own Carnival of Madness tour in 2010 and the Uproar Festival in 2012. Early in 2013, they launched their biggest undertaking to date: a full-scale U.S. headlining tour of arenas, joined by Three Days Grace and P.O.D. Actually, it had been billed as a co-headliner, but given Three Days Grace’s singer situation (more on that later), Shinedown clearly was the main attraction. (more…)

shinedown2013_3

Photos by Greg Maki (more…)

as-they-burn-will-love-lifeReview by Jeff Maki
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Paris, France, the city of fine wine and romance–and hardcore metal in the form of As They Burn, a five-piece (vocalist Kevin Traoré, guitarists Hoby Arinosy and Fabio Meschini, bassist Ronald Pastor and drummer Milton Bakech) that has been earning its chops through the city’s underground hardcore circuit (who knew?). Now comes its Victory Records debut, Will, Love, Life. (more…)

suffocation-pinnacle-of-bedlamReview by Jeff Maki
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With so many extreme metal bands arriving in the past few years, an older band like Suffocation (founded in 1988) could get lost in the vast sea of blood, guts, gore and indecipherable logos. It’s been fours years (an eternity in this day and age between albums) since they released 2009’s Blood Oath, but after taking one listen to Pinnacle of Bedlam (Feb. 19, 2013, Nuclear Blast), you would never know. The album is exactly what fans would expect of Suffocation. (more…)

Steve "Zetro" Souza: "Thrash Metal 101"

Steve “Zetro” Souza: “Thrash Metal 101”

For any late ’80s to early ’90s thrash metal fans, Steve “Zetro” Souza was the shit. As the wild-eyed, crazy-haired frontman for Bay Area legends Exodus (1986-1993), he helped propel the band to commercial success with Fabulous Disaster (1989), which featured the band’s biggest hit, “The Toxic Waltz.” Behind the album, the band found a worldwide fan base and was a regular on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball. At the time, many fans had no idea he was actually the second vocalist to front the band. He was that recognizable, both charismatic and vocally, using a high-pitched sting similar to Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth of Overkill that has become a standard in thrash.

The mid-’90s into the turn of the century wasn’t particularly prosperous for metal in the United States. When the grunge-era took over the music world, it wasn’t only the hair metal bands that became extinct–metal bands of all kinds were dropped from their labels, were forced to compromise their sound or just fell apart all together. Zetro was a causality within all of this, leaving Exodus and all but disappearing for the next decade or so.

Despite a few brief reunions with Exodus, he has been permanently out of the band for years. It wasn’t until forming Dublin Death Patrol with Testament’s Chuck Billy that he became a blip on the metal radar once again. But now after years of fans clamoring for something new, something truly thrashing out of Zetro, has he answered the call with his new band, Hatriot. With Zetro recruiting his sons, bassist Cody Souza and drummer Nicholas Souza, along with guitarists Miguel Esparza and Kosta Varvatakis, thrash metal feels complete again with that familiar voice to rage with. In February 2013, Live Metal’s Jeff Maki talked at length with Zetro about the formation of Hatriot and its debut album, Heroes of Origin. (more…)

Steve "Zetro" Souza Part II: The Day the Metal Died

Steve “Zetro” Souza Part II: The Day the Metal Died

For any late ’80s to early ’90s thrash metal fans, Steve “Zetro” Souza was the shit. As the wild-eyed, crazy-haired frontman for Bay Area legends Exodus, he helped propel the band to commercial success with Fabulous Disaster (1989), which featured the band’s biggest hit, “The Toxic Waltz.” Behind the album, the band found a worldwide fan base and was a regular on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball. In Part 1 of our interview with Zetro, we were introduced to his new band, Hatriot, that he formed with his two sons, Cody and Nick SouzaIn Part 2 of our interview, Zetro reflects back on his time in Exodus, talks about the death of metal in the ’90s and the current state of the genre. (more…)

hatriot-heroesReview by Jeff Maki
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Exodus is back–at least, the Exodus I grew up with in the late ’80s and early ’90s. And it comes in the form of ex-vocalist Steve “Zetro” Souza’s new band, Hatriot, which also features his two sons, Cody (bass) and Nick (drums), in its ranks. Despite Dublin Death Patrol (a band Zetro is in with Testament’s Chuck Billy), Zetro barely has been a blip on the metal radar since his departure from the band he helped build with Fabulous Disaster and Impact is Imminent, and its biggest hit to date, “The Toxic Waltz.” With Hatriot, Exodus fans finally get what they have been clamoring for. (more…)

adler-back-from-the-deadSteven Adler finally has lost his Appetite. Between his run in Guns N’ Roses and his own band, Adler’s Appetite, he basically has been playing the same album live for 25 years. The new band formed after a chance meeting in Hollywood between Adler and vocalist Jacob Bunton (Lynam, Mars Electric) and Adler’s Appetite guitarist Lonny Paul. The title, Back from the Dead, could have several meanings, but since Adler was never really “dead”—I least I don’t think he was—this is his way of saying that at age 47, he’s finally ready to move on and make a new name for himself. (more…)

ancient-vvisdom-deathlikeReview by Jeff Maki
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Whereas Ancient VVisdom’s last album, A Godlike Inferno, professed the worshiping of Lucifer through the band’s dark, cvlt acoustic rock and bold lyrics, 2013’s Deathlike is what the title suggests. The album’s 12 tracks explore death, from the beginning to the end and the realms beyond, all set to the band’s signature sound (more…)

Barry Kerch of Shinedown

Barry Kerch of Shinedown

With nine No. 1 singles on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock chart (including its past five) and more than 6 million albums sold, Shinedown is easily one of the most successful American hard rock acts of the past decade. Its real strength, though, is as a live band, with a stage show that has gotten bigger and bigger as it’s worked its way through small clubs, to bigger clubs, theaters, amphitheaters, arenas and stadiums. Just a few days before Shinedown’s winter/spring tour with Three Days Grace and P.O.D., drummer Barry Kerch called in to talk about that trek and more with Live Metal’s Greg Maki. (more…)