I have had a life-long love of music, but from the first time I heard Kiss and Black Sabbath with my landlord's son in Nicholasville, KY in the mid 70's, I have been hooked on Hard Rock and Metal. While my tastes in music have done nothing but expand since then, Metal remains closest to my heart. In addition, I have played bass, still play guitar and have literally 1000's of CDs/MP3s, so my knowledge is long steeped and honest. I don't buy the whole splintered, sub-genres thing and choose to like bands and music based solely on individual merits. Obviously, this is always colored by my mood, what I need at any given point and time and what is generally pleasing to my ear. I also don't like to rip any music or band, instead having an open mind and ear for it all because I have a passion for it all. It is completely subjective and in a constant state of flux. Consider me a music "nerd" not a music "snob". As an extension of this love, I hope to share this passion with everyone here and learn from your passion as well! - Odyssey -
A few weeks ago I was invited to a show in Orlando by my friend and promoter RhondaFox with SuperfoxPromotions. Plate, MindofFury, ArmorofGod and Sacrosentplus I would finally be able to meet Rhonda? Heard Plate, been dying to cover my friend and Chilean guitar god, Ghee Yeh and the rest of MindofFury for quite a while now, seen, covered and loveArmorofGodand have the opportunity to hear Puerto Rican metalists Sacrosent, whom I was formerly unfamiliar with. Sure it is two and half hours away, but I am always down to support Florida Metalwhen I have the chance, so, hell yeah! I am there! Bought my tickets from Orlando with ArmorofGodand I was on my way.
*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured State*
This month’s state is Indiana!
Fort Wayne, IN. Not exactly the first place I think of for killer Metal, I have to admit. Been there a few times when I was going to college in Cincinnati but not exactly the bastion of music as I remember it. Well, I happened to make a detour to it on the Internet while looking for a band to cover for my StateoftheArt coverage this week. Thank goodness too, because I discovered a very heavy, melodic Power/Thrash band called Zephaniah…
First show in a while, and ohhhh, what a doozy! Gotta love supporting such a huge variety of incredible bands ranging from Rap to some of the heaviest Metalhas to offer and everything in between! Some of the best music available today remains in the underground and, invariably, right around the corner, no matter where you live. Well, June 1st at 1904 Music Hallserved as the launch point for SuckerPunch’s release of UndergroundAnthem reviewed here. Not only was I stoked to hear some bands that I have heard and loved again, but also for the bands I have not heard of. Not only are they beyond talented, but I made some new friends and hope that you will give them a shot once you read my review of the CD release party. Enough chatter. Let’s get down to it!
After taking some time off to secure a new position after being laid off, I hope to return to MetalNexus and share my continued love of music with you guys with some regularity. I have sincerely missed writing and supporting bands locally and all over the world. I would like to thank our editor, Fist, for his unfaltering support and patience during my hiatus. It has meant a lot and given me something to look forward to once the dust settled. For those looking for meaningful employment, I pray that everything works out well for you. Definitely a trying time and a soul-crusher. Horns up to all of you!
What can be said about John5 that has not been said a thousand times by ten thousand different people since his meteoric rise in the music business started way back when he moved to Los Angeles from Michigan at the ripe old age of 17? Hell, his resume reads like a veritable who’s who in a wide variety of genres, playing and writing with the likes of RudySarzo, DavidLeeRoth, PaulStanley, MarilynManson, RobHalford, RobZombie all the way to JohnWetton (Asia), Salt–N–Pepa, RickyMartin, k.d. lang, MeatLoaf, LynyrdSkynyrd and many, many others. One hot commodity, to say the least! Now, guitarist friends and I might say that it is his guitar playing that makes him stand apart from the rest of the crowd. Big surprise with influences like Malmsteen, Satch, Vai, Hendrix, Page, AlbertLee, LesPaul, ChetAtkins, PaulGilbert, Bumblefoot, JimRoot, Buckethead and EricJohnson. Others may think that it is the company that he keeps and the bands that he has played and written for that makes him great. Still others may hold the opinion that he is just plain fun to watch live. Well, I am here to tell you that all three apply to this wizard of six-string sorcery, especially having just recently been initiated into John5andTheCreatures live show at 1904MusicHall here in Jacksonville, FL.
Damn. What can be said about the legendary Anvil that has not been said a thousand times before by media outlets, long-time fans and even critics? Hell, even larger-than-life heavy hitters like Motorhead and Metallica have consistently over the years praised and respected Anvil for holding true to what makes them great and not kowtowing to outside influences to put them at the will of any record company, promoter or music outlet. These guys play for two reasons: 1). They love what they do and 2). For their fans. Anything past these two things is just icing. Since 1978, this band has been producing quality, TraditionalHeavyMetal with their distinctive thumbprint, their way 100%. Call them the biggest underground band in the world or a highly underrated and underappreciated A-Lister because it doesn’t really matter in the end. They are still going to slam into you like a runaway ice cream truck and either hurt you or (if you have my sense of humor) truly appreciate everything that they have done and continue to do. No amount of turmoil, band disruption, criticism or boundary can slow down, much less stop Anvil from putting out high-speed quality Metal and then relentlessly tour to get said killer music in your face, up close and personal (what you can expect at one of their shows can be found here). Much and continued sincere respect for Anvil!
This was one of those shows that I could not wait to get to; kind of like Christmas a few weeks late. Not only was I waiting to see a now legendary band, but also to see some friends I have not seen in quite a while, see a couple of bands I have not seen before and able to see a couple of favorite local bands that I have become friends with over time. Great being part of the local Metal scene here in Jacksonville! Some of the best people playing some of the best music available anywhere! Gotta love it! Thanks to GoBig Entertainment for making this show happen!
Wyatt “Screamin’Demon” Anderson – vocals JonLeon – bass/guitars JamesJLaRue – lead guitars and keyboards/orchestration DylanMarks – drums
As an answer to the angsty, low tuned, screamo music that has taken over since the early 2000’s, Los Angeles, CA’sWhiteWizzard was formed by bass/guitar player and songwriter JonLeon in mid-2007. Stressing the importance of superior songwriting, melody and appropriate harmonies, Jon set out to add all of the fun and good times back to HardRock and Metal that had been all but abandoned since the late 80’s and early 90’s when Metal was in its infancy and heyday. Since their inception, WhiteWizzard has released a couple of EPs, a number of singles and four, full-length CDs entitled OvertheTop (2010), FlyingTigers (2011, and one of my favorites!), TheDevil’sCut (2013) and, released Friday, January 12th, 2018 on the M-TheoryAudio label (a first for the band), InfernalOverdrive.
Any fan of Symphonic, female-fronted Metal is intimately familiar with, now legendary, Leaves’ Eyes. Over the course of the last fourteen years, the band has released a total of six albums including Lovelorn(2004), VinlandSaga(2005), Njord (2009), Meredead (2011), SymphoniesoftheNight (2013) and KingofKings in late 2015. Based on a myriad of Nordic themes such as the mystical, underwater world of the mermaid, adventures of the ancient mariner, Celtic folk songs, tales of heroic women over the course of mankind’s existence and, most recently a concept album revolving around the first king of Norway, Leaves’ Eyes has carved their epic status in stone and set a firm foundation for the entire Symphonic sub-genre of Metal. By April 2016, Finnish vocalist ElinaSiirala replaced long-standing front-woman LivKristine amid much drama and controversy. Fans from all over the world held their collective breaths as the first act of the band played out to its close. Once Elina proved herself at Hammersonic in Jakarta, Indonesia, MetalFemaleVoices, WaveGotik, Treffen, MastersofSymphonicMetal, FullMetalCruise and many other, fans breathed a sigh of relief knowing that Elina had what it takes to carry the standard. This should come as no surprise since Liv had a hand in choosing her replacement. Last year, Leaves’ Eyes ventured on their most bold world tour yet, hitting Europe, Asia, North America and South America; even being joined by one of my favorite bands, Sabaton, among many others and selling out shows throughout. Unfortunately, I have not had the pleasure of seeing Leaves’ Eyes live but are said to have “shows [that are] are spectacular events featuring breathtaking stage sets like a Viking ship or the unforgettable ‘SwordsintheStone’ monument.”
Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple and Black Country Communion) – Bass
ChadSmith (RedHotChiliPeppers) – Drums
MikeFraser(AC/DC, TheRazor’s Edge and long time Satriani collaborator since CrystalPlanet) – Producer/Engineer/Mixer
JoeSatriani certainly needs no introduction and remains one of my favorite guitarists of all time. What will be sixteen albums over the course of thirty one years, teacher of many other great guitarists (KirkHammet, AndyTimmons, SteveVai, AlexSkolnick, CharlieHunter, LarryLaLonde, KevinCadogan, RickHunolt, DavidBryson, GeoffTyson, PhilKettner, to name a few), member of supergroup Chickenfoot, undeniably one of the most influential guitarists of all time, multiple GrammyAward nominations, headliner of G3 since 1995 featuring a veritable who’s who of the greatest the guitar world has to offer and a man that just exudes passion and fun on every stage he has ever landed on are just a few meager mentions of this man’s incredible talents. I have had the pleasure of seeing Joe quite a few times over the course of his long career and he so obviously loves what he is doing now more than he ever has. He just keeps getting better and enjoying it more and more as the years wear on. Where a jaded view of the music business has tainted the passion of so many other bands I have seen lately, Satriani hits the stage with continued wide-eyed wonder. Honestly, I think Satch enjoys playing more than his fans like watching him slay his beloved Ibanez.