Slipknot’s masks have become an integral part of the band. They idea first started as a way to focus more on the music rather than the human beings playing it. The masks were mysterious and enticed fans about the members who were hiding behind the facade. As most of you know the members of Slipknot sometimes change their masks with each new album, sometimes slightly and sometimes all together. Corey Taylor’s mask has went through the most changes since the band formed. Corey’s mask in 1999 featured dreadlocks poking out of the top and an expressionless, ghostly face, the vocalist felt his first mask allowed the band’s music to be purer. In 2001 there was a slight edit to the mask making it more dark to relate better with the music on ‘Iowa’, In 2004 as the band released ‘Vol.3: (The Subliminal Verses)’ there was another change to Corey’s mask. The dreadlocks were gone, replaced by multicolored hair, but the stitched up, skinless face remained as Taylor battled personal demons behind the mask. He claims he was pretty much drunk the entire 3 years between the release of ‘Iowa’ and ‘Vol.3: (The Subliminal Verses)’. 4 years later the band released ‘All Hope Is Gone (2008)’ and Corey’s mask unveiled significant changes. It featured no hair at all, and had an almost entirely featureless face that appeared stitched to his skull. Eerily blank. I think it related to the scariest thing is to be plain or blank and expressionless. ‘.5 The Gray Chapter’ (2014) was immediately following the tragic loss of bassist Paul Gray, it was a dark time for the entire band as they grieved the loss of their brother. Taylor’s current and most human-like mask, it was an almost realistic two-piece human face but one that appears riddled with disease and disgust across its cheeks. In regards to the mask he stated ““People like me, Clown, Sid change our masks drastically,” “Because, for me, the mask is a representation of the person on the inside, and nobody stays the same over time.” Continue reading
*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured State*
This month’s State is Oregon!
Red Fang is a popular stoner metal band from Portland, Oregon. They’ve come a long way since forming in 2005. 2009 saw the release of their first album, ‘Red Fang’, released under Wantage Records. With a diverse mix, this was a strong first album. Giving fans a mix of sludge, metal, psych, and some death metal thrown in, it had something for every metal fan. “Good to Die” remains one of my favorites. Released in 2011 with Relapse Records, their second album, ‘Murder the Mountains‘ helped to further propel them into the spotlight. They were picked up for the 2011 Metalliance tour along with Helmet and Crowbar, as well as the Rock Star Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, opening for Godsmack, Disturbed, and Megadeath. Later in the year they were tapped to open for Mastodon for their 2011 and 2012 United States and European tours. Afterwards, they embarked on a headlining tour of Eastern Europe with Black Tusk. Really, not shabby at all! It’s very clear to see why they remain one of Portland’s most loved bands.
Valdsamt Motstand were formed in february 2010 in Karlstad, Sweden. The band has released three albums, two EP’s, and four demos. The band has a grindcore sound that also mixes other metal elements that allow them to stand out among the wide array of bands in the music scene today. Valdsamt Motstand first self released 2 demos in 2010 and another in 2011. ‘The Speedball Sessions’ was released via cassette and digitally in 2011 and then ‘Förbannelse/Revolver EP’ in 2012 both as independent releases. The band then signed Hogre Tempo Records and released their debut album on a label in 2013. They followed that up with an EP in the form of a 7″ in 2014. The band currently lists 3 full members of the band. Martin Abraham – lead vocals, David “Devan” Jansson – bass, and Micke Larsson – guitars. The band has now recorded and released ‘The Great Equalizer’ again on Hogre Tempo Records. The album is well thought out, diverse and includes some of the most thought provoking lyrics I have read in quite some time. ‘The Great Equalizer’ was recorded, mixed and produced by Valdsamt Motstand at Speedball Studios, Karlstad, Sweden in 2016. Drums on the album was performed by Micke Jörstad.
The Last Tour by Swedish power metal band Sabaton finally came to the Washington DC/Baltimore area last Monday night on the last show of their North American tour. This is a tour I have been waiting to cover for a while primary due to my obsession with military history, and history in general. And on top of that one of the supporting bands was Battle Beast and Leaves’ Eyes, possibly my favorite symphonic metal band. The last album released by Sabaton, ‘The Last Stand’, after which this tour was named, was very well received by fans and critics alike. Additionally, I had seen some phenomenal concert photographs of Sabaton clicked by some of my mentors and was raring to photograph this show. Let me dive in to the review now, you can check out the photographs at the bottom of the page. Continue reading
Grasping at the Shadow is:
Dylan Holcomb – Vocals
Daniel Avalle – Guitar
Kimberly Hovencamp – Violin
Jon Kaufman – Drums
Every now and again, a band crosses our paths that is so new, so cool and so unique that they simply must be afforded a place among the best Metal has to offer, no matter how big or how small they are. Grasping at the Shadow is just such a band. Being introduced to them by showing up early for the Cavalera brothers “Return to Roots” tour late last year (Review), I got to behold this emerging band visually and sonically right out of the gate. No hearing the killer band and then trying to make the time to see them at a convenient live performance at some later date. Nothing like full emergence right from the start. Upon finding out that a new CD was on the way, I asked the fine folks in Grasping at the Shadow for first crack at a pre-release review and they graciously agreed, recently forwarding me the new tracks for Nothing After Death, due out June 16, 2017.
A Killer’s Confession is the new band by former Mushroomhead vocalist Waylon Reavis. The band formed in September of 2016 and less than a year later the band has wrapped up recording their debut album and released it via one of the most premier labels in metal. A Killer’s Confession released ‘Unbroken’ on April 28th, 2017 (Physical copies released May 12th) through Megadeth bassist Dave Ellefson’s label EMP. The band released several singles from the album in the form of lyric videos beginning with the self titled track “A Killer’s Confession” on Nov 16, 2016 which featured a guest performance by Korn guitarist Brian “Head” Welch.. They followed that up with “L.O.L (Life of The LOST)” and “1080p”. The album was partially recorded and mixed at Kentucky’s Third Sky Studio with Reavis, and Co-Producers Thom Hazaert, Richard Easterling, and fellow A Killer’s Confession members Jon Dale, and Matt Trumpy. The band played their very first show in December and quickly went on a headlining tour the following month to start off the New Year. With Waylon leading the way this band will rise to the top. Continue reading
Southern California rock trio KYNG, have been taking over the airwaves at Sirius XM and on stages across the U.S. The Los Angeles outfit may be a small trip but their sound is huge. Members Eddie Veliz [vocals/guitar], Pepe Clarke [drums], and Tony Castaneda [bass/backup vocals]. Put their talents together and create a sound that far surpasses any genre. in 2011, the group’s debut ‘Trampled Sun’ landed shining critical acclaim for its “California Heavy” sound merging the metallic meanderings of Soundgarden and Queens of the Stone Age with the timeless scope of Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. They hit the road with everybody from The Sword and Clutch to Trivium and Megadeth—even being picked to play at Metallica’s first-ever Orion Music + More festival. The band wasted no time and immediately started working on their second full-length album and first for Razor & Tie, ‘Burn The Serum’, the trio harks back to the essence of heavy rock ‘n’ roll, forging thunderous percussion to lightning hot riffs driven by a divine vocal howl. At the same time, they keep their eyes wide open towards the future. The band then released their third studio album “Breathe In The Water”, on October 7 via Razor & Tie. Produced by Machine (Lamb Of God, Clutch), the disc was recorded at The Machine Shop Recording Studio in Austin, Texas and is the follow-up to 2014’s “Burn The Serum”. Kyng has been a large part of the festival circuit both last year and this year. They played the Louder Than Life festival in 2016, and this year thus far have played Carolina Rebellion as well as Rock On The Range. The trio paid homage to their fallen brother Chris Cornell by playing the Temple Of The Dog track “Hungerstrike”. Continue reading
Cruz Del Sur Music has inked a recording deal with Indianapolis’ SACRED LEATHER for the release of debut album ‘Ultimate Force’. With influences that are surely evident to any heavy metal purist, SACRED LEATHER’s music seems to emerge directly from the early 80s, mixing elegant and nostalgic hard rock/ proto metal with the most belligerent side of the traditional New Wave Of British Heavy Metal sound. The band 3 releases on cassette via Ritual Knife Records including a split with Kvlthammer. If you are a fan of NWOBHM then you will absolutely love this band. The recording of their debut album ‘Ultimate Force’ will start in early September for an expected February 2018 release. Continue reading
Photo By: Shimon Photo
Unleash The Archers are a Canadian heavy metal group with a classic feel from Victoria, B.C. Starting in 2007 by vocalist Brittney Slayes and drummer Scott Buchanan with guitarist Brayden Dyczkowski, and soon to be joined by Mike Selman (Guitar), Zahk Hedstrom (Bass) to round out the group. They released two albums with this lineup ‘Behold the Devastation’ (2009) & ‘Demons of the Astrowaste’ (2011), both of which were released independently. ‘Demons’ marked the departure of Mike Selman and introduced Grant Truesdell into the fold, who had previously recorded two solos for ‘Demons’ prior to joining the band. In 2012, they released a three song EP, solely on 7” vinyl, titled ‘Defy The Skies’. This release also marked the departure of original bassist Zahk Hedstrom. In 2015, Unleash The Archers was signed to Napalm Records and released ‘Time Stands Still’. This was the first album without guitarist/songwriter Brayden Dyczkowski, who left in 2013, and is said to have altered the band’s sound into a more traditional heavy metal direction with the addition of new guitarist Andrew Kingsley. In 2016 they began work on their 2nd effort under Napalm Records with their current lineup of Brittney, Scott, Grant, Andrew and introducing new bassist Nikko Whitworth. Their new album is called ‘Apex’ and will be released on June 2nd via Napalm. Continue reading
German power metal pioneers BLIND GUARDIAN have been the poster band and has been considered a seminal bands in their own heavy metal sub genre for the past 30 years. BLIND GUARDIAN recently announced that they are going to release a live album entitled, ‘Live Beyond The Spheres‘ after just two years of releasing their last studio album, ‘Beyond The Red Mirror’ in 2015. The live album will actually be a compilation of their best tracks into one show taken from 40 different concerts recorded during their European Tour in 2015, which surprisingly also happens to be the first BLIND GUARDIAN live album in almost 15 years. It promises to be an exhilarating indulgence in what could possibly turn out to be one of the best power metal live albums. The live album will contain 22 tracks, encompassing timeless hits like ‘The Bard’s Song (In The Forest)‘, ‘Valhalla‘ and ‘Mirror Mirror‘, to rather rarely performed songs like ‘And Then There Was Silence’. The record will be purchasable as a 3CD-digipak as well as a 4LP-box-set. Continue reading