Photos by Greg Maki (more…)
Photos by Greg Maki (more…)
Last week, Lesser Gods teamed up with Noisey to give fans an exclusive look at Chapter 6 and photos found inside the text. Photos include Hetfield with the Scorpions and Michael Schenker, Hetfield outside the Metallica Mansion on Carlson Boulevard, and Hetfield with some friends at Kirk Hammett’s bachelor party. Check it out HERE.
From the first time I heard the thrash metal anthem “Hello from the Gutter,” off of the 1988 album Under the Influence, I was hooked on Overkill. Then came “Elimination” and “Time to Kill” and “Horrorscope,” and you get the idea. The New Jersey band formed at the same time as other bands in the United States, from coast to coast, and around the world, were creating the new, chaotic subgenre devoid of rules and against the grain of what was considered heavy metal at the time. It would come to be known as thrash metal. With a notable winged-skull mascot named “Chaly,” and releases like The Years of Decay (1989), Horrorscope (1991) and I Hear Black (1993), the band was a regular on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball, toured and became known all over the world. There’s even a strong sentiment among fans and metal purists that the “Big Four” should be expanded to include the likes of Overkill, Testament, Exodus, and others. Yes, Overkill is that important, and, in other words, they can be considered living legends. Throughout the turbulent metal scene in the ’90s, the band continued to crank out albums, and kept going strong in the 2000s.
That leads us to the present, when Overkill is about to release its 18th album. The Grinding Wheel is as heavy as it is diverse and dangerously fun. Members have come and gone, but the instantly recognizable voice of the band, Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth, remains. Blitz recently called in to say hello from the gutter, talk about the new album and Overkill’s three decades of thrash metal with Live Metal’s Jeff Maki. (more…)
So the ball may have dropped long ago on 2016, which many deemed a dreadful year for entertainment due to many high-profile celebrity deaths. While our genre has lost some legends in recent years, hard rock and metal continue to thrive. I see bands rising and carrying the torch. We have the “world’s loudest month” in the U.S. for rock festivals. Metal is the most streamed genre on Spotify. Newer bands of all types of rock and metal subgenres continue to open eyes and ears not just here, but as always, worldwide. As usual, my list came down to the albums that not only initially knocked me on my ass, but also had me coming back time and time again. It mostly comprises reliable favorites, but there are a couple new surprise entries, as well.
First, we’ll start with a few honorable mentions: (more…)
Legendary bay area thrash metal giants Testament, will launch a massive North American tour starting next April, in support of their chart topping Brotherhood Of The Snake release (read review). Joining them are legendary Brazilian death/thrashers Sepultura and genre defying stalwarts Prong.
“After 4 successful tours through Europe over the last 6 months, we are looking forward to touring across North America.” comments vocalist Chuck Billy. “We’ll have a new headlining set list with tracks from Brotherhood of the Snake, and how cool is it that we will be sharing the stage with our brothers in metal Sepultura and Prong?! See ya’ in the PIT!”
View tour dates and ticket info inside. (more…)
Fresh off the heels of our recent Testament coverage, the official video for “The Pale King” from the San Francisco Bay Area thrash metal veterans can be seen inside. The clip was directed, shot and edited by Tommy Jones (Slayer, Death Angel, Kataklysm) for Videohammer Studios. (more…)
Review by Jeff Maki
After The Gathering was released in 1999, Testament went on an extended hiatus, not returning until 2008 with The Formation of Damnation. That album and its successor, Dark Roots of Earth (2012), weren’t just comeback albums, they also saw Testament honing its strengths: Chuck Billy’s powerful, melodic vocals, Alex Skolnick’s guitar playing, songs with catchy hooks, and lyrics that were intelligent and aware. It’s Testament’s classic thrash metal style, only modernized. After years of chasing after other leading metal bands, whether it was Metallica in the late ’80s and early ’90s, or Fear Factory and Machine Head in the late ’90s, Testament finally came to the conclusion that it is a legendary band in its own right. So does Brotherhood of the Snake stand up to Testament’s recent output? (more…)
Instead of a long history of Testament, I’ll give you my version. Thanks to Headbangers Ball, Testament was part of my “Big Four” back in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Along with Metallica, Megadeth and Sepultura, Testament’s Practice What You Preach became one of my go-to cassette tapes, with tracks like “Greenhouse Effect” and “The Ballad,” both of which had music videos that were featured prominently on the cult MTV show airing at midnight every Saturday night. I went back and discovered the thrash metal masterpiece The New Order, then came Souls of Black and Low. I had a Testament concert poster proudly hanging above my bed. In summer, I wore a black tank top displaying the band’s iconic logo. Years after their release, I was still listening to those albumsreligiously. Then in the late ’90s, like many metal bands, Testament kind of lost its way, and I kind of went down a different path musically.
Now, Testament—after disbanding and reuniting in early 2005—is about to unleash its third album of the 2000s, The Brotherhood of the Snake. And if it’s anything like its previous two, The Formation of Damnation and Dark Roots of the Earth, then fans, new and old, are in for a treat. The Testament I grew up with has been back for a few years now, and there’s no end in sight.
Vocalist Chuck Billy took a few minutes of his time to give us some dirt on the new album, The Brotherhood of the Snake. (more…)
Legendary bay area thrash metal giants Testament have released the title track for their upcoming 12th album, Brotherhood Of The Snake, which will be released on October 28, 2016 via Nuclear Blast. Recently, we had the chance to chat with vocalist Chuck Billy about the new album. In the soon-to-be-posted interview, Chuck further elaborated on his recent comments that “he didn’t have fun making the album,” (read here) saying that the recording process was “something the band just maybe had to go through,” even at this stage in its career. He also described his vocal style on the album as similar to the band’s classic album, Practice What You Preach, and its previous effort, 2012’s Dark Roots of the Earth.
In support of Repentless, the band’s 12th studio album and its career-highest chart debut, Slayer will launch 2016 by pillaging and marauding its way across North America, headlining some two-dozen dates over a five-week period. With Special Guests Testament and Carcass on all dates, the tour starts on February 19 in Chicago and wraps up in Las Vegas on March 26. Confirmed dates are below. Slayer’s Fan Club pre-sale begins today at 12 NOON local time, details are at http://slatanicwehrmacht.com/ Ticket presales begin tomorrow, Friday, December 4 at 10 AM local time, and the public onsale commences Saturday, December 5 at 10AM local time. View tour dates inside! (more…)
Photos by Greg Maki (more…)
Classic American thrash metal band Testament has announced the “Dark Roots of Thrash II,” featuring bellow Bay Area-thrashers Exodus and Shattered Sun, and hitting North America for five weeks starting April 1.
Each night of the tour, Testament will perform in their entirety 1987’s The Legacy and 1988’s The New Order, in addition to select tracks from 1989’s mainstream crossover Practice What You Preach. (more…)