Archive for March, 2013

John 5

John 5

Of rats and lords: An interview with John 5

As Rob Zombie’s musical partner in crime for the past eight years, an accomplished solo artist, a sought-after songwriter and, now, the composer of a full-length film score, John 5 has become one of the most prolific purveyors of rock music, long ago shedding the label of “former Marilyn Manson guitarist.” With his two latest endeavors—Rob Zombie’s new album, Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor, April 23, and the musical score of Zombie’s new film, Lords of Salem, April 19—due out soon and Zombie’s just-announced headlining stint on the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival coming up this summer, John 5 recently checked in with Live Metal’s Greg Maki. (more…)

sevendustblackoutthesunReview by Greg Maki
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Hearing 2010’s Cold Day Memory and the new 2013 release Black out the Sun kind of makes you marvel at how Sevendust was able to exist for three albums without Clint Lowery. Always an important part of the band until his departure in 2004, he has become absolutely essential since his return in 2008, as a songwriter, guitarist and, perhaps most noticeably, vocalist. Make no mistake: Lajon Witherspoon is the voice of Sevendust and still is one of the finest singers in heavy music today. But Lowery’s harmonies help those melodies pop, his occasional leads add an extra dimension, and for Black out the Sun, he’s added a monstrous, near-death-metal growl that makes the signature Sevendust sound more lethal than ever. If you’re a fan who checked out after Seasons (2003), see how “Till Death” suits you. For a complete 180, then take Lowery’s lead vocal turn on the mostly acoustic “Got a Feeling.” I can’t think of many people who can pull off those two extremes so effectively. (more…)

Joel Stroetzel of Killswitch Engage

Joel Stroetzel of Killswitch Engage

The ‘Descent’ of Killswitch Engage
Guitarist Joel Stroetzel on the band’s new album and the return of Jesse Leach

After releasing the landmark album Alive or Just Breathing in 2002 and achieving mainstream success in the years that followed, Killswitch Engage is poised to scale even greater heights with the return of its original vocalist, Jesse Leach, on its sixth album, Disarm the Descent. Less than two weeks before its release, Live Metal’s Greg Maki caught up with guitarist Joel Stroetzel to talk about the new disc, Leach’s return and more. (more…)

AaronLewis3

Live photos

Review by Greg Maki

Aaron Lewis always has had a soft side to him. Rearing its head on songs such as “Outside” and “It’s Been Awhile,” it’s a big part of what has made Staind a multiplatinum rock act and kept the band relevant after nearly 15 years on the national scene. For several years, he has spent much of Staind’s downtime touring as a solo act—just Aaron and an acoustic guitar, and sometimes a pal to help him out with a little extra guitar work—playing Staind songs, covers and some original tunes you could hear only at those shows. But that hardly prepared us for the all-out country music he has recorded and released in the past couple years, starting with the Town Line EP in 2011 and last year’s full-length album, The Road. Now touring with a full backing band, he’s embracing his “Country Boy” status, and judging from the crowd that packed Rams Head Live, a lot of fans are, too. (more…)

AaronLewis2

Photos by Greg Maki (more…)

Thy Art is Murder: "Tho Shall Hate"

Thy Art is Murder: “Tho Shall Hate”

Sydney, Australia’s Thy Art is Murder is a dead-on representation of the sound a modern-day metal band should encompass; an exciting molding of subgenres coated with death and decay, and an overall disgust for all aspects of life. All this is compacted into one brutal new album, appropriately called Hate (April 2, 2013), the band’s second full-length effort and first for Nuclear Blast Records. With influences ranging from The Black Dahlia Murder and Behemoth to hardcore, Thy Art is Murder is brutal alright–you almost have to hear it to believe it. And from Australia, you say? (more…)

As They Burn: "Lose Yourself in the Music"

As They Burn: “Lose Yourself in the Music”

Paris, France, the romantic capital of the world, would seem like an unlikely place for a burgeoning hardcore and metal scene. At least, it probably isn’t the first place you would look. But one of Victory Records’ newest signees, As They Burn, can confirm there is indeed one and they are its pride and joy. These Parisians just released their hard-hitting new album, Will, Love, Life , and are touring Europe in 2013 on the Bonecrusher Festival with  Job for a Cowboy, Beneath the Massacre and others.

According to the band, they were highly influenced by nu-metal and this is felt on Will, Love, Life with bouncing, heavy, low-end rhythms, molded with violent vocals and breakdowns. Deathcore bands like Emmure and Suicide Silence would be good starting points, but As They Burn’s sound goes a little deeper, commanding the listener’s full attention.

Live Metal’s Jeff Maki caught up with vocalist Kevin Traore, guitarist Fabio Meschini and drummer Milton Bakech to talk about how As They Burn started, the Paris metal scene and the making of Will, Love, Life.

We always talk about keeping the music alive, so here’s your chance to discover a great new band from the unlikeliest of places–read on and listen below! (more…)

Soilwork: "An Ocean Between Us"

Soilwork: “An Ocean Between Us”

As this interview approached, my anticipation grew more and more. After all, if you’ve read some of my other interviews and reviews, you probably have found out that Swedish metal bands like In Flames, Dark Tranquility, Arch Enemy and Soilwork were largely responsible for reigniting my love of metal years ago, culminating in the creation of Live Metal. Not only that, but it was these bands that helped bring American metal out of the doldrums of the ’90s, and their influence can be heard in countless bands today. So up until this point, I was surprised we hadn’t covered Soilwork much over the years.

In 2013, we’ve come full circle, as I finally had the chance to talk with Soilwork frontman Björn “Speed” Strid. And it comes at the beginning of a new era for the band. Guitarist Peter Wichers is out once again, yet the band–now with something to prove–has undertaken an ambitious challenge, releasing the first-ever double album of the melodeath subgenre, The Living Infinite, with a massive U.S. tour to follow. Below, we talk all about the new album and its inspiration, along with the undeniable impact Soilwork has had on the metal scene. (more…)