Coming Soon: Interview With Visigoth, Lonewolf, Psycroptic, Black Star Riders, Venom, All That Remains and much more
Coming Soon: Reviews Of The Neal Morse Band, Melechesh, Moonspell, Blind Guardian, Nightwish, Psycroptic and much more
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Friday, February 27, 2015

REVIEW: THE NEAL MORSE BAND - "The Grand Experiment"

'The Grand Experiment'… what a perfect name for this album. Neal Morse collaborates with some of the biggest talents in the progressive music realm to conjure up a mesmerizing spectacle that must be experienced by one and all, regardless of the genre they listen to. Also featuring the great Mike Portnoy on drums, Randy George on Bass, Eric Gillette on guitars and Bill Hubauer on Keyboards, this supergroup delivers one of the most uplifting albums ever in recent times. It was the first time that Neal Morse came totally unprepared to the studios in terms of material and collaborated in the truest sense of the word. The result is a 52-minute magical journey which leaves you filled with hope and positivity long after it ends.

The journey begins with “The Call”, which starts with a cappella urging you to “leave it all behind you” and to follow the call. The melodic vocal harmonies gently usher you into a peppy keyboard and drum build-up before exploding into a typical Neal Morse style of sound. It instantly creates a supremely lively ambience. Portnoy's polished drum work combined with some nice bass and guitar hooks keep things very fresh. The song is well-structured with an energetic opening followed by a slower melodic mid-section before the band gives it an intense moody twist to finally end on a happier note. “The Call” allows each member the space to get themselves heard. I was really impressed by the vocals and guitar talent of newcomer Eric Gillette throughout the album. On “Waterfall”, he complements Neal Morse really well on the vocal harmonies and stands firmly on his own on the guitars throughout the album, peppering up the tracks with some groovy hooks and melodic solos.

The title track “The Grand Experiment” amplifies the peppiness further with its fairly simple but addictive sound. Mike Portnoy sounds a bit restrained on this track, but happily supplements the catchy rhythms without getting too into the thick of things. It’s a happy track which will lift your spirits and get you all warm and fuzzy inside. Similarly, “Agenda” is another non-serious, simplistic offering which almost sounds like a pop anthem with its melodic chorus and super-catchy rhythms. I admit that it was a bit surprising for me at this point, about how the band has not really tried to think too much about technicality and kept it very melodic and simple. Well, that's before “Alive Again” kicks in and brings a nice twist to the proceedings. Considering that it’s Neal Morse's band, I was surprised not to hear something like this up till this point in the album. The track builds itself up gradually with every member laying their individual sonic elements bit by bit to create a foundation on which the track launches itself, taking the listener along its numerous twists and turns before reaching an epic climax. It then disintegrates again only to start rebuilding itself gradually to reach even a grander climax to signify the end of the journey. “Alive Again” is that track which synergizes the effort of each member in this band and truly brings this grand experiment to life. If you have heard of Neal Morse's work before, this track is not something very unexpected, but despite that fact, it's very hard not to get impressed by the exquisite offering.

Clocking at 52 minutes, the album maintains the listener's interest really well. They pace it nicely too, with a strong opener, a catchy mid-section and an epic ending.


All in all, ‘The Grand Experiment’ is not something very new from Neal Morse, but that should not come in the way of enjoying this awesome journey. Listening to this album is a positive experience and by the end of it, the album leaves you feeling happy and contented.

Recommended Tracks: “The Call”, “The Grand Experiment”, “Alive Again”


Rating: 9/10


--
Reviewed By,
Rakesh Pothengil

NEWS: STEEL PANTHER - KANYE WEST's Music Sounds Like 'Hamster Turds' And 'A Donkey Fart'

Los Angeles glam-metal jokesters STEEL PANTHER have posted a musical response to Kanye West following the rapper's unexpected appearance onstage this year's Grammy Awards, accusing him of sounding like everything from "hamster turds" to "a donkey fart." They also referenced KISS frontman Paul Stanley's comment about West, saying that "Beck should kick you in the nuts with steel-toed boots." The one-minute tune, which can be heard below, concludes with STEEL PANTHER's "Michael Starr singing: "You're friggin' hypocritical. I hope you get the cancer on your Johnson and your testicles."

West came up onstage during Grammy Awards when Beck's "Morning Phase" was announced as the surprise winner of "Album Of The Year." Although many at first assumed West was jokingly re-enacting his storming of the stage when Taylor Swift won a few years back, the hip-hop star later blasted the Grammys in a rant in which he suggested that Beck should have given his award to Beyonce.

According to The Pulse Of Radio, Beck told Us Weekly, "I was just so excited he was coming up. He deserves to be on stage as much as anybody. How many great records has he put out in the last five years, right?" As for beating out Beyonce for the award, Beck added, "I thought she was going to win. Come on, she's Beyonce!"

Thursday, February 26, 2015

REVIEW: IN THIS MOMENT - "Black Widow"

The black widow is probably one of the most popular arachnids in the world, and her legacy has been used symbolically countless times. So it is only natural to use that correlation in the case of the new In This Moment album, called ‘Black Widow’, whose imagery and sound befit the characteristics and nature of the actual spider - from the colour scheme of the album art to the dark and twisted sound of the album. This one could well be the band’s most interesting and enterprising effort yet.

Apart from signing a new deal with the huge Atlantic Records, In This Moment have created something unique here. The band employed the skills and talents of producer Kevin Churko, with whom they had previously crafted a completely new sound on 2012’s ‘Blood’. ‘Black Widow’ has carried forward and solidified those elements – the industrial sound, strong imagery, more electronic and less metal parts, and the sex appeal.

My very first impression of this album was that it is very well produced. The guitars and drums, even though having taken a back seat, sound great and fit well with the rest of the sound. The centre stage is taken by frontwoman Maria Brink and the electronic sounds. Their sound isn’t guitar-centric anymore, foregoing the ‘Daddy’s Falling Angel’ and ‘Beautiful Tragedy’ days. In fact, they have gone hog wild with the electronic sounds and samples in this album. Still, its dark vibes successfully take you back to the industrial sounds of Marilyn Manson, Celldweller and Static-X. All of these elements aren’t just gimmicks though; they have incorporated these into their sound in a legitimate manner. They still, however, possess the modern rock sound in terms of the chord progressions and melodies.

One thing you cannot ignore while listening to the album is the strong undercurrent of sex throughout. The album art, the song titles, lyrics and even the electronic and voice samples all scream it. This is obviously intentional, and makes you realise that the band is more than just the music. Brink’s lyrics are all about being an independent woman, giving the finger to haters, toxic relationships, fatal attraction and abuse. All these themes being conveyed through eroticism has been her style from the beginning, though it has now come to the forefront and become the main attraction of her work. Now putting their new style and glamour away for a while, one can safely say that sonically, it is a well-balanced record, though you have to think from a pop music perspective and not a metal one to see that.

 I half expected the album to sound all commercial and bland, but was pleasantly surprised with the intro track “The Infection”. It sounds like something you’d hear in a horror flick combined with a post-apocalyptic atmosphere, complete with electronic beats and sirens (read: industrial metal). I found it quite apt because it serves its purpose and sets the vibe for the album. The first real song “Sex Metal Barbie” shows the listener what the band is all about; not a bad song at all, considering the fact that it has hints of trap music. “Big Bad Wolf” and “Dirty Pretty” are quite catchy as well. The intro to “Dirty Pretty” definitely reminded me of Marilyn Manson, which is always a good thing. “Sexual Hallucination” - which has a great chorus - and “The Fighter” are rock ballads which give the album some much-needed breathing space. “Into The Darkness” is only dialogue and nothing else, and boy is it intense. It also kind of gets the message of the album across. The last song “Out Of Hell” is only singing and piano with Brink laying emphasis on every nuance of her haunting voice. It’s a good song, but I think the album should not have ended on such a soft note.


‘Black Widow’ does have moments when it just drags along, especially the second half. But I think that’s mostly because the first half overshadows it. I also think that they could have done without the unnecessarily long song intros - those lengthy samples got a bit annoying on the second and third listens - but I guess that’s an integral part of their sound now. All in all, ‘Black Widow’ is an ambitious effort which may not click with the band’s older fans, but I think it’s a fine album nonetheless.

Recommended Songs: “Sex Metal Barbie”, “Sick Like Me”, “Bones”


Rating: 8/10


--
Reviewed By,
Shoumitro Roy

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

INTERVIEW: MESSIAH'S KISS' Mike Tirelli On New Album - "We Hope To Inspire Everyone To Live Their Dream"

Ever since their formation back in the year 2001, Messiah's Kiss have made their mark in the German Power Metal realm as one of the most unswerving and zealous bands to have come out of the scene. After their third studio album released in 2007 titled "Dragon Heart" that lay the groundwork for their success as a well-known name in the global heavy metal community, the band is back in the business, yet again with another masterpiece album titled "Get Your Bulls Out!". The album presents 14 tracks and is their first album to be distributed worldwide by Massacre Records.

Metal Wani writer/correspondent Vaishali Jain recently had the pleasure of interviewing Messiah's Kiss vocalist Mike Tirelli. Here is the entire chat - 

Greetings from Metal Wani Mike! First off, we would like to congratulate over the successful release of your album "Get Your Bulls Out!". How are you feeling?

Thank you very much! I am feeling better than I ever did! Everything is Perfect Thank You Again!

The album has been gathering some very interesting reviews ever since its release. You must have also received loads of responses from friends and fans alike. What are some of the best responses you have received so far? 

So far we have been very fortunate to receive some great reviews overall.. What excites me the most is that the people and friends who listen to this new CD appreciate the style that MK brings to its fans.. This is more of a Hard Rock American sounding CD compared to previous releases like Dragon Heart, Metal and Prayer For The Dying. I was definitely concerned about this as well what they would think of this. But so far we've been fortunate to see that most everyone is receiving this so well, especially our previous fans too.

The album reminds me of your last studio album titled "Dragonheart" as it encapsulates the same amount of dynamism and energy. Talking in terms of the sound of the album, can you tell us how the process of recording and production came about? 

This was a lot of work to get a sound that everyone could accept. It took a long time by sending music mixes back and forth via internet of coarse, from Europe to America. Also Germany to England as well where Wayne & Jason live. But Eddy our drummer from Germany has a recording studio and studied and really learned how to get the sounds we needed to complete GET YOUR BULLS OUT! We feel we are always learning & the next recordings will be even better in which we already have started. The band being from 3 different countries still make sure that we get together & write & record together as well although we do track some things in our studios we have at home too.

According to you, which track was the most challenging to record? 

The most challenging song for me to record & sing was Murders Kill Time both versions. For some reason I was feeling this in a different way when we first started to sing it. Then Wayne our bass player had some really good ideas to go along with what I sang already.. Then it seemed to finally fit! Also No Good the Depeche Mode song.. I wasn't exactly sure how I wanted to portray this vocal.. I believe David Gahn just felt this vocal like nobody else could, that I shouldn't stray too far off his feel. Just make the music a heavy sounding groove along with the slickness of the original would be perfect.

Messiah's Kiss fans waited a good seven years for a new record to come out. Can you tell us about everything the band was up to during this period? 

Well the 7 year lay off for MK was due to health & management issues. First of all I was diagnosed with stage 3 stomach Cancer. The same cancer as Ronnie James Dio. Which took some time for me to recover & get going again! But also the guitar player George Kraft had two strokes which pretty much debilitated him completely. Remember George was the main writer on the three previous CD's. So as a band we kept moving and writing music. I was really fortunate to pretty much keep going even through major stomach surgery & treatments of Chemo Therapy. Which in the beginning made me extremely sick & was hospitalized from it. But I seemed to mottle through it with a very positive outlook! We would send music ideas back and forth to each other and would constantly be writing. Everyone else is always busy with other musical ventures as well. 

My first gig after or during my recovery was a show in Las Vegas in 2009 that lasted only 9 months called ROCK STAR.Where I was one of the singers in a show that would feature legendary rock singers. I was the voice of David Coverdale. Also one of my favorite vocalist. The band consisted of many great musicians as well. The drummer of the band was Brent Fitz who is playing with SLASH now but played with many well known acts. Like Alice Cooper. Vince Neil, Union, Theory Of A Dead Man. Just to name a few. Brett & I became good friends when I was out there in Vegas. He was an inspiration to me to keep positive & Focused through all I was going through with my battle with the Cancer! Also some other great musicians from bands like Billy Idol, Whitesnake, Chris Fraiser who played drums for WS and now with Foreigner. He would fill in when Brent couldn't do the gig that day, Steel Heart, Great White, Quit Riot, so many. Also through this time we had some management problems in which slowed us down from either signing with new management or another label.. So we needed some ample time to work these issues out as well... But the band always stayed pretty much in close contact on all issues & kept writing. Also we planned on recording & producing ourselves this time around. So we needed the time to learn the production end of it too.

I personally enjoyed listening to "Only Murderers Kill Time", "Whisper A Prayer" and "Symphony Of Sin". Can you tell us about the inspirations behind writing these as well as the rest of the songs on the album? 

Well Murders Kill Time was song where the music was written by Wayne Banks (Bass Player) in which they sent me the music first and then I would write melody & lyrics. But this song has gone through some transitions not only that we also recorded an acoustic version in a different key & whole different vibe. But Wayne had the melody to the versus & chorus that I thought was better than I had. So that's what we used as a melody. Also most of the songs were recorded & written in this fashion as well. Songs were always sent to me to write melody & lyrics to and then if any of the musicians had some ideas that I thought were good I would use them. Whisper A Prayer is just a cry out for some normalcy & peace that seems to never come to fruition through out the world! Always seems to be about religion that's been going on for 2000 years or so. That will probably never end. Also Symphony Of Sin is also on the same lines of what I said about Whisper A Prayer. But a little more in detail. That's what a lot of the songs add up to on this CD. With the exception of some songs like Rescue Me, Time To Say Goodbye, Buried Alive, Without forgiveness. But Survivor can have a couple of meanings. Starting with beating cancer I wrote this song as an inspiration to all who are faced with a life threatening disease. Whether it be cancer, heart disease, or what ever it may be. Also The title of the CD Get Your Bulls Out! We all hope can inspire everyone to live their dream & surge forward & never look back! Keep Strong!

Talking about the lyrical theme of the album, how is it similar/dissimilar to the previous Messiah's Kiss releases? 

Talking about similar lyrical themes on this Cd compared to the previous ones. There is not much similarity from this Cd from the last three. That past lyrics were more cliche Judas Priest sounding lyrics or Classic heavy Metal band sounding. This time there is more personal content like Time To Say Goodbye, Survivor, Without Forgiveness.Which we hardly had on the previous Cd's. Or maybe it's because I wrote most of the lyrics with help of Eddy & Wayne on this Cd. So I feel the lyrics are more personalized.

This is your first album with Massacre Records. How has being on their bandwagon been so far? 

So far working with Massacre records seems to be good. we will find out how sincere and what they can do to really help Messiah"s Kiss get to where we need & should be as a Rock band. But we also need to prove to them as a business partner that we are willing to get out and believe in what we are selling. By touring and working hard on putting on Great Shows for fans and new fans. This should work simultaneously. Then we will be successful together.

After all the admiration "Dragonheart" received worldwide, "Get Your Bulls Out" is seeming to follow the lead. You guys must have already started planning about the future. Is there any new material you guys are or planning to work on? 

Like I said we are always inspired and we keep writing. We already started the process of recording for the next MK CD. We should be complete with a new CD by end of year ready for release & touring.



The touring schedule looks pretty busy for the band. Can we see you guys performing down here in India anytime soon? 

If there is a Promoter that would like to have Messiahs Kiss play in India. Please contact us and we would definitely be interested in playing. But right now we don't have anything planned yet.

Thankyou so much for talking to us Mike! We wish you all the best with your future ventures. Your fans down here in India would love to hear from you! Do you have message for them? 

To all our fans in India. I would like to thank everyone that supports Messiahs Kiss & thier music, and I hope we can be an inspiration to you. I hope we can put on a concert for all of you real soon... Thank you Again! Again if there is a promoter who wants to bring MK over to India Please feel free to contact us..

NEWS: CANDLEMASS Mainman LEIF EDLING To Sit Out More Live Performances Due To 'Health Issues'

Legendary Swedish doom metallers Candlemass have released the following statement:

"We just want to tell our fans/bookers and agents that our bass player and songwriter engine Leif Edling will, unfortunately, be off stage yet a year 'cause of health issues. He is on his way to get better, so we will wave the flag high with our keyboard player Per Wiberg or Jörgen Sandström, who will do the bass work instead, while Leif is getting better."

Candlemass' current touring lineup includes three members of its classic formation: Mats "Mappe" Björkman on rhythm guitar, Lars Johansson on lead guitar and Janne Lindh on drums.

Candlemass played its first show with singer Mats Levén on June 5, 2012 at Debaser Slussen in Stockholm, Sweden.

Levén is a former member of Yngwie Malmsteen, Therion and Treat, who also plays with Candlemass bassist/mainman Leif Edling in KRUX.

Candlemass in June 2012 parted ways singer Robert Lowe. The band stated at the time that this was "a very difficult decision" to make and had "mainly to do with the quality of the live performances."

Lowe — who is still a member of Solitude Aeternus — joined Candlemass in January 2007 and sang on the band's last three studio albums: "King Of The Grey Islands" (2007), "Death Magic Doom" (2009) and "Psalms For The Dead" (2012).

Candlemass released its 11th and final album, "Psalms For The Dead", on June 8, 2012 via Napalm Records. A limited-edition seven-inch vinyl single contaning two album tracks —"Dancing In The Temple Of The Mad Queen Bee" and "The Killing Of The Sun" — preceded the full-length effort on April 13, 2012.

NEWS: Ex-TESTAMENT Bassist GREG CHRISTIAN: 'I Was Under Duress The Entire Eight And A Half Years I Was Back In The Band'

Testament's original bassist, Greg Christian, who was most recently forced out of the band last year, claims that his former bandmates "fully took advantage" of the fact that he was "shit broke and struggling" while he was a member of the group, explaining that he only continued playing with them because he needed to pay his bills.

Christian who recently joined forces with Kinnefret guitarist Artak Ozan in a new band called Trinity Fallen, writes on his Facebook page: "[I've] been reflecting a lot. A little over a year away from Testament, I see everything so much different now. There's also something about death that seems to help put other things in perspective so I think Fozz's [Bear, Dutch metal scene veteran's recent] passing may actually be 'helping' me in a way (still rather see him next time I cross the pond, though) and I'd have to say I was under duress the entire eight and a half years I was back in the band. That's how things went as far as they did."

He continued: "I came back [to Testament] with nothing, under a great deal of stress (much of it self-imposed) about trying to put up, and keep up, an appearance that was consistent with being in a band of this stature, while being shit broke and struggling. That's exhausting. And I was never able to get ahead, even a little, so I could never relax or find my 'ground.' I was always off balance, and always stressed and struggling, and they fully took advantage, knowing if I didn't just do the gigs and get that next check, I couldn't pay my bills. There was no negotiating. There was a 'fuck off, take it or we'll get someone that will, we own everything and you're not shit anyway' kind of attitude about everything and I was always so beat down by it, I just dealt with it all and went along. Not really thinking, I guess. But I never once, over that eight and a half years, felt grounded or balanced. It wasn't possible."

Christian added: "Now, a little over a year away from it all, I still have all the same financial and external struggles, except the 'putting up a front' thing. The fucking whole world knows I'm broke, so I can relax about that lol. But, seriously, that's a big stress reliever. And I'm watching the songs I've wanted to do forever materialize in an amazing way with Artak and Timmy (still one [member] needed) and I'm finally starting to find my ground. I'm starting to be able to relax and ground myself. I can see things right in front of my face that have been there all along, that I wasn't 'able to see' while in 'that' situation.

"I see life getting a lot better fairly quickly here. I have a lot of work ahead of me, but this time it's going to work out. And whatever level it ever gets to, I'm doing the music I always wanted to, and if it does okay, so will I. And so will the other guys.

"There are two things people can learn' from traumatic experiences — to be exactly the same way or to NOT be that way.

"Trinity Fallen is a band. I don't want anyone to ever feel the way I felt. About music or $. I want a happy family."

In an interview with Germany's Rock Hard magazine, Testament guitarist Eric Peterson stated about Christian's latest departure from the band: "Well, you know, I'll just say this… Greg, basically, I think, was basically struggling in his mind with what he was doing. And he just seemed very unhappy on tour, and he has a lot of different reasons; he can only describe that. But he just seemed very unhappy, and we just let him go. Like, 'OK, you're unhappy. Then go.' 'Cause it was a lot of tours where he was unhappy. That's all I can really say about that."

Speaking to 100PercentRock.com, Testament singer Chuck Billy stated about Christian's split with the group: "Well, I think Greg, he informed us that he wasn't going to be participating on the new record release and that was his last tour with us. We knew we had Australia coming up, so, of course, Steve DiGiorgio was probably one of the first ones to come to mind. He did 'The Gathering' record with us and we enjoyed that whole cycle of touring, so he was definitely, probably, our first choice. We didn't want to go through auditions and do all that. We just knew that he was here, and he could do it, and it was killer."

Asked if there was a particular reason that Greg just had enough of it, Billy replied: "Well, I think that the last tour he just wasn't getting along, and he just decided that that was going to be the last tour with us, so we just kind of said, 'Well, okay. I guess we'll have to maybe look for what's coming up in the future.' You know — there's nothing we can do."

NEWS: METALLICA's JAMES HETFIELD: 'You Wouldn't Really Like Me If You Knew What Horrible Things I've Done'

In the one-and-a-half-minute video below, Metallica frontman James Hetfield opens up about his rocky, shameful past. He says: "You wouldn't really like me if you knew my story, if you knew what horrible things I've done. I'm coming to grips with that, 'cause I have groups of people that I'm able to share all my horrible stuff with — shameful, extremely shameful, dark stuff. Some of it is things I've taken from my parents and carried it a little further. Other ones, I've been able to drops some of that. Other ones I've picked up on my own and then created… Shame's a big thing for me."

He adds: "Playing music has saved my life. Every day saves my life. When I'm able to write… write a riff, write some lyrics, stuff like that… it's the way I connect with the world. And so I think kids that do have the gift of art, writing painting, drawing, designing, metalwork, woodwork… any craft-type stuff… caring for that… caring for that."

Also available below are previously released clips of Hetfield talking about growing up with and overcoming his fear of responsibility and how that has played a part in his recovery from drug addiction; Hetfield sharing his views on what it means to be a role model and what he tells young people when they ask him for advice; and Hetfield talking about how he has been seeking validation his whole life — both from his family and the band's fans.

The Hetfield videos were produced by Road Recovery, an organization dedicated to helping young people battle addiction and other adversities, in partnership with Hooplaha.

It was during the late '90s that cracks began to show in both Metallica's public image and Hetfield's tough-guy demeanor. Always a heavy drinker, his alcohol intake reached toxic levels in 2001 just as the band was starting work on its eighth studio album.

He recalled the moment when he made the decision to get help for his problems with drugs and alcohol. "My wife threw me out of the house and I went to rehearsal, and she could not believe that I had done that, and said, 'You've got to check yourself in somewhere,' and I said, 'Nah, no way, I'm the singer for Metallica, I can't get help. I don't need help,'" he told The Pulse Of Radio. "A lot of denial. She was very adamant about me seeking the help and I went in, I think, for her and for my family."

Hetfield said that entering rehab was one of the scariest times in his life. "I was just kind of really scared," he said. "I was dropped off into this place and at that point my family was in question. Basically the family had split up, or I was no longer in the house, and it was totally one of the most scary times in my life. It was really like the earth was shaking under me, there was no stability, it felt like a constant earthquake. I had no idea what I was doing, where I was going."

Hetfield got clean and sober in 2002, returning to Metallica to record the controversial "St. Anger" album and make the documentary "Some Kind Of Monster", which chronicled his struggle as well as the band's near-breakup.






NEWS: BUMBLEFOOT To Fans: Don't Treat GUNS N' ROSES Management As Villains

Guns N' Roses guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal has asked fans not to blame the band's management for his inability to clarify his staus with the group, explaining that he is "trying to please both sides at the same time that have a different approach to things."

Thal recently revealed that he was focusing on his solo career after spending eight years playing in the Axl Rose-fronted band. Thal, however, stopped short of saying that he was no longer a member of Guns N' Roses, which has caused some fans to criticize him for not coming clean about where he stands with the group.

Thal responded to one fan via Facebook about the lack of clarity surrounding his position in Guns N' Roses. He wrote: "I can't erase a decade of history and I can't stop the media from asking what they want to ask and making up their own titles on their interviews and posts. No matter how much I ask them not to do it."

He added: "I've been honoring a request to not make any public statements about anything related to it, which continues to put me in a very awkward position that I don't want to be in. Not how I do things, repeatedly taking the bullet on this one."

Now, in a new message that was posted at the unofficial Guns N' Roses forum MyGNRForum.comThal said: "Let folks know I'm not being forced, and TB [Team Brazil, the management company that manages Guns N' Roses and Rose] doesn't need to be treated like monsters, and I ask that they not be treated like villains. It's on me, I've been trying to please both sides at the same time that have a different approach to things, and everyone loses a little in the process — that's on me, not them. I hate causing TB and the fans grief, there's just no smooth way to act on two opposing philosophies at the same time, and that's always been difficult for me."

Bumblefoot joined Guns N' Roses in early 2006 as the replacement for Buckethead. He made his live debut with the band at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City on May 12, 2006.

Thal will release his tenth CD, titled "Little Brother Is Watching", on February 24. The disc was composed, produced, recorded, mixed and mastered by Bumblefoot at his studio in New Jersey, and also features drummer Dennis Leeflang and a crowd of 100 fans stomping, chanting and singing backing vocals recorded at a listening party in New York. The album's first single and title track, "Little Brother Is Watching", is now available digitally.




NEWS: SCORPIONS' KLAUS MEINE - "The Band Was Built on Friendship and on Teamwork"

Scorpions singer Klaus Meine was recently interviewed by Mark Dean of online magazine Myglobalmind. Below are a few excerpts:

Myglobalmind: The band are into their fiftieth year and indeed how no sign of quitting. Can you try to account for the enduring popularity of the Scorpions?

Klaus: Well, I guess it is the fact that we keep coming up with strong albums and the fact that the Scorpions have always been a very powerful live band. Whenever we got out there, we deliver the goods, I guess. The fact that the last couple of years we have a whole new audience of Scorpions fans, a whole new generation of rock fans in front of the stage. It is wonderful, you know, to see that our music has become timeless. Some of the big classics have attracted a whole new audience of rock fans out there, and to play them in front of three generations, it is fantastic and very motivating.

Myglobalmind: Looking back at your life what are you most proud of?

Klaus: I think that I am not proud of anything, really, you know. It's more that I feel really thankful that for all these years. It is a privilege that we still, as a German band, can play a global stage. The philosophy of friendship in this band really paid off, because friendship and teamwork was always a very important part of the Scorpions. It feels really good that after all these years that we are still out there, and that we still have a chance to even come back to the U.K. very soon.

Myglobalmind: After such a long career, do you still have dreams, hopes and ambitions?

Klaus: Of course. I mean, the thing is we never lost the passion for what we are doing. Even after all these years, there are still some places on the map, some parts around the world where we have never been. Even after celebrating our fiftieth anniversary, it looks like now that we will go to China for the very first time in early May. That is pretty cool, since we have never been there. It feels like we are excited like we were back in the seventies [laughs] playing for the very first time in Japan. There are still places around the world that we want to go, and, of course, we are still very ambitious about it.

Myglobalmind: Viewing the band's back catalogue, do you feel that the Scorpions have ever made a bad album?

Klaus: I think in the late nineties, which was a decade which was so much dominated by alternative and grunge music and all that music revolution that took place. For all the bands that had come from a successful career out of the eighties, and being classic rock bands, it was a time where you had to fight to survive as a classic rock band. I think that the second half of the nineties and towards the end of the nineties, where we recorded "Eye To Eye" was an album where we experimented a lot. It was not very well received by our fans, but maybe it was the best mistake that we ever did. We found out how important it is to go back to the Scorpions DNA. A few years later, when we came back with "Unbreakable", I think we were right on track. Classic and hard rock came back in a big way.

Myglobalmind: What would you say is the secret of success?

Klaus: The secret of success… Like this band, when we started as young kids in Germany, we were always looking for the right chemistry as a band. As you know, we had Rudi's [Schenker, guitar] brother Michael in the band; Michael Schenker started playing with us. Then he went to UFO in England, and we had Uli Jon Roth, who joined the band throughout the seventies. We did "Tokyo Tapes" always with great guitar players. It was always a guitar-driven band, a hard rock band. Of course, we were always able to show the full spectrum of all the emotions. Of course, we became very strong writing super ballads as well. I think one of the reasons for the longevity is partly because the chemistry was always strong; the band was built on friendship and on teamwork. Like on our new single says, "we built this house on a rock."

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

REVIEW: THE DEAD - "Deathsteps To Oblivion"

Australian Sludge/Doom metal maestros The Dead are known for pushing the limits of genres by skilfully exploring possibilities across a plethora of dimensions, as evident in the 2009 release ‘Ritual Executions’. Their new record ‘Deathsteps to Oblivion’ is yet another example of the band’s remarkable originality and ability to write music that neatly surpasses the conventional boundaries of genres, with a wonderful delivery of a conglomerate of sludge, doom and death metal. ‘Deathsteps to Oblivion’ is an amalgamation of beautiful, interesting and unconventional elements of sound.

This album is a collection of songs that adequately feature brutality besides establishing a strong thought process with a slew of memorable elements. The overall sound has been paid a lot of attention to, thereby rendering it an assertive expression of a melancholic and aggressive mood! The album portrays a good deal of elegance in aspects such as noteworthy leads, rather “intimidating” riffs and remarkably dynamic and assertive basslines that provide a direction to the songs.

The album opens with the track “Maze of Fire” which showcases a unique bass tone at the forefront of all aggression, along with a strong dash of heaviness with distortions. This track reflects the band’s originality in the good deal of experimenting across the dimensions of sludge, death and the essence of industrial metal, and the incorporation of aesthetic elements like the melancholic chants at the beginning. A bass interlude and a significant guitar solo lead to the next track “Disturbing the Dead”. The riffage is strongly reminiscent of the likes of Asphyx, and the song features some amount of variety with well-executed slowdowns and comebacks. The melancholic melodies, impactful basslines and the coarse, raspy texture of the growls render the song the heaviest on the album!

The next track “The God Beyond” opens with the sound of gunfire and is an absolute assault with a screeching guitar tone, tremolo picking, shrieking vocals and a menace of blast beats leading to a sudden silence that adds to the surprise-edge of the song. “The God Beyond” establishes a beautiful narrative character with elements such as guitar and bass harmony, flowing melodies and hypnotic humming. The next song “Terminus” upholds the glory of sludge metal with a well-executed motif, impressive instrumentation and deep, evil growls besides incorporating unconventional elements like the ethnic-sounding percussions that open the track. The record ends with the title track “Deathsteps to Oblivion”, a hard-hitting track reflecting the essence of death metal, as well as some unique aspects like a marching feel.

The overall sound of the record is steady and neat despite being aggressive, thus asserting the magnificence of sludge metal. The sludgy riffs aren’t unnecessarily catchy, but are definitely memorable! The extraordinary bass tone, basslines and exotic leads add to the heap of original aspects in the album. Most of the music is neat and basic with a dash of experimenting at just the right places! The production is spectacular and puts to the forefront the dark, melancholic feel and unconventional elements like the basslines which are the driving forces at numerous places in the record besides maintaining the raw, dirty essence of the music.


‘Deathsteps to Oblivion’, in a nutshell, is an innovative delivery of a conglomerate of sludge/doom and death metal elements, and is a must-listen for doom enthusiasts!

Track Listing:

1. Maze of Fire
2. Disturbing the Dead
3. The God Beyond
4. Terminus
5. Deathsteps to Oblivion


Rating: 9/10



--
Reviewed By,
Debarati Das

NEWS: FAITH NO MORE Drummer on New Album - "We Had to Revisit Who We Were"

In a recent interview with Australia's Music Feeds, Faith No More drummer Mike Bordin explained why the band decided to make its first new album since 1997 - the upcoming 'Sol Invictus' - despite putting down claims of a reunion for years past. 

"I completely shut the door," said Bordin. "For the last few years, when people asked about a new album, I told them no. 'It'll never happen. Absolutely not. No way.' I was comfortable with saying that, too… and then it actually happened."

He continued, "Our guys have a pretty sensitive gag reflex, so to speak. They knew after a certain point that we were either going to do new stuff or stop entirely. We did maybe 75 shows on that reunion, and it became pretty clear that it felt comfortable to be playing again… and it was then we began to look at where to go from there."

"To do an album has never been by numbers for us — it's always a huge commitment and a massive process. It's not something we could have done at the start of the reunion — it wouldn't have been us. We had to revisit who we were in order to have an idea of where we were going. Now that we're all speaking the same language again, now we get to go somewhere new."

About the band's songwriting approach, Bordin stated, "It's always a grouping of very diverse influences. It's been that way for every Faith No More record. We all have a thirst for music — everyone has values in lots of different kinds of music. That's when the band really comes into its element is when that all comes together. When everything is represented… that's Faith No More to me.

"Take a song like 'The Real Thing', for instance. It's really long, it's got a super-quiet part, it's got this cinematic feel to it in the intro, there's a lot of guitar… it goes a lot of places. To me, that's what our band does at its best. We need to go everywhere."

He continued, "We can't just plow the same field every single time. That's just not us. Our guys would get bored, and it would be dishonest.

"Everything is represented on this album. You've got our singer, Mike [Patton], with his range of talents and breadth of skills. Our bass player is particularly talented at creating these atmospheres and environments with his production and arrangements. Everyone's ideas are in this record. There's enough rock, there's enough crunch, there's enough melody, there's enough darkness. All the elements are there.

"It's not just one guy and one thing when it comes to Faith No More. It never has been. It's about the value that each of us puts on music."

NEWS: MAX CAVALERA - SEPULTURA Reunion Questions Drive Him "A Little Crazy"

In a brand new interview with Revolver Magazine, Soulfly and Cavalera Conspiracy frontman Max Cavalera was asked how he manages to not punch people in the face when they ask him about a possible reunion with his old band Sepultura

"Because if I did, I'd have really bloody knuckles!" he responded. "But I understand it. It's connected to my life, my career. But it gets old, the subject. I think people should move on. On this Soulfly tour we're only doing Soulfly songs, and one of the reasons for that is to distance myself a little bit from Sepultura. But more and more, I think people are understanding. They understand why I left. And most people say to me, 'I would have done the same. I wouldn't have stayed with those guys.' So it's getting better and better. But here and there, you still get the same questions and it just drives me a little crazy."

During a December 6 interview with AndrewHaug.comMax was asked for his opinion on his brother and ex-Sepultura drummer Igor's recent statement that he "really hopes" that the group's classic lineup can reunite one day.

"I was actually kind of surprised, 'cause I thought the topic kind of died out," Max said. "I actually lost all kinds of hope for it. Honestly, today, I don't see it happening, just because of how our lives are and how those guys' [the other members of Sepultura's classic lineup] lives are; it's a pretty different world. We live in completely different worlds from those guys. And I think it's not the same. It won't be the same. The magic is gone. And I don't think a reunion would be the best thing for Sepultura. I honestly don't think it would. I kind of prefer [for] it to stay like this and leave the memory how it was."

He continued, "It was a great band [that] did great stuff. I'm proud of the records [I made with Sepultura]. And you can go to YouTube and check out all the old videos and how great it was, and kind of leave it like that. And then [we can] do other stuff — like Killer Be Killed and Cavalera Conspiracy and Soulfly — that we are plenty busy with."

"[But] I was actually surprised [by] that comment [from] Igor, because I don't really see it happening myself, unfortunately."

PREMIERE: Stream DRUDKH's New Single 'Till Foreign Ground Shall Cover Eyes' From Upcoming Album "A Furrow Cut Short"

With 'A Furrow Cut Short', DRUDKH are continuing on the course charted with their previous release 'Eternal Turn of the Wheel' (2012), where the black and bleak sound of the band's roots seemed to overshadow the progressive and lighter tone of 'Handful of Stars' (2010). This continuity is a rather rare occurrence in the history of the Ukrainians. In an ever evolving metamorphosis, DRUDKH have at times returned to their early legacy from the Nordic Black Metal inspired debut ‘Forgotten Legends’ (2003). Yet they also came back to the cinematic soundscapes of ‘Autumn Aurora’ (2004) and traditional influences that had risen on ‘The Swan Road’ (2005). The Ukrainians took more turns in their impressive career. On ‘Blood in Our Wells’ (2006), progressive elements surfaced, while after the instrumental and partly acoustic ‘Songs of Grief and Solitude’ (2006) a sharp contrast was delivered by the harshly black ‘Estrangement’ (2007). Their 2009 masterpiece ‘Microcosmos’ seemed to tie up the different strands of DRUDKH's previous works, before embarking on a quest to more outlying realms with ‘Handful of Stars’ that led to Roman Sayenko to found OLD SILVER KEY, in which he was joined by ALCEST vocalist Neige. The band's mastermind has often penned his own lyrics, but also continuously rediscovered forgotten poets of his home country. On 'A Furrow Cut Short', Roman is heavily drawing inspiration from 20th century Ukrainian poetry once more, which often deal with the bloody struggle of this old country to build a nation from foreign oppression. DRUDKH still refuse any kind of interview or promotion and demand to be understood through their music alone. This album equally represents the blood soaked sound of black despair and full hearted resistance to vile treachery and evil as well as the beauty of landscapes and culture. Listen carefully to hearts breaking.



Tracklist

1. Cursed Sons I
2. Cursed Sons II
3. To the Epoch of Unbowed Poets
4. Embers
5. Dishonour I
6. Dishonour II
7. Till Foreign Ground Shall Cover Eyes

Line-up

Roman Sayenko: guitars
Thurios: guitar, vocals
Krechet: bass
Vlad: drums, keyboards

Links:

www.facebook.com/Drudkh.Official
www.facebook.com/seasonofmistofficial 

Pre-order here:

http://shop.season-of-mist.com/predefined-search?id_list=93