Posts Tagged ‘Howard Benson’

In-Flames_The-End-albumReview by Jeff Maki
There was a turning point in the evolution of In Flames’ sound in the early 2000s. Fans cite either 2002’s Reroute to Remain, (which featured more clean singing, melody and even a borderline country music song) or 2004’s Soundtrack to Your Escape (an industrial metal album, which, at the time, was its most commercial-sounding release to date) as the albums that “abandoned” the band’s signature melodeath sound. Come Clarity (2006), A Sense of Purpose (2008) and Sounds of a Playground Fading (2011) rode the fine line of heaviness and accessibility, and even yielded some new fan favorites along the way. Then came Siren Charms (2014,) and for many of the fans still left, this was the final nail in the coffin. I’ve been a fan of most of In Flames’ post-melodeath era albums, even Siren Charms. The album had a somber mood and explosive parts throughout. But now with In Flames’ 12th studio album, Battles, and yet more drastic changes in sound and personnel, will they be able to retain me as a fan? (more…)


James Durbin

Having performed live on TV with Zakk Wylde ,and written and recorded a song with Mick Mars, James Durbin’s rock credentials are solid, despite rising to fame on American Idol, a shown known for producing pop stars. Supporting his debut album, Memories of a Beautiful Disaster, released in November 2011, Durbin is on the road this spring opening shows for Buckcherry, Evanescence and Steel Panther, with a few headlining and festival appearances mixed in. He’s set to enter Live Metal territory May 17, when he will open for Steel Panther at Rams Head Live in Baltimore. Durbin recently called in to Live Metal’s Greg Maki to talk about his new album and more. (more…)

Art_Of_Dying_Vices_and_Virtues_Album_CoverReview by Greg Maki
Listening to Vices and Virtues, the major-label debut by Canadian rockers Art of Dying, unsettling words come to mind—predictable, calculated. The disc gets off to an innocuous enough start with “Die Trying” and “Get Through This.” The lyrics are trite and the sound is basically a lighter Chevelle with guitar solos, but it’s acceptable as background noise if nothing else. (more…)