Chicago Open Air Spotlight: METAL CHURCH

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*Every Tuesday and Thursday from now until Chicago Open Air gets here we will be releasing an article about a band playing the festival to get you familiar with them.*

Today’s artist is METAL CHURCH.

 

There are various legendary metal bands playing this years Chicago Open Air. One of those acts have been creating head banging riffs and incredible hooks for over 3 decades. That’s right Metal Church one of the most iconic and legendary bands in heavy metal will be playing Saturday at this years Chicago Open Air Festival. Metal Church first formed in 1980 in San Francisco, California. The band has a strong traditional heavy metal sound that also included some thrash elements which became more prevalent later on in their career. It wasn’t long however before they packed up and headed north to Aberdeen, Washington the following year. During a brief time after moving they also played under the name Shrapnel. If you think about the two words “metal” and “church” its the two things a lot of people find comfort in. Those of us that are die hard metal heads consider live shows, festival grounds and hole in the wall venues to be our personal church. The bands namesake is really what metal is all about. The band has released 11 studio albums. The founding members vocalist David Wayne, guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof, drummer Kirk Arrington, bassist Duke Erickson, and guitarist Craig Wells released the bands self-titled debut album in 1984. It was first released independently through Ground Zero Records and because of how successful the album was it re-release via Elektra Records a year later. “Beyond The Black” was the opener on the album and one of the standout songs. In 1986 the band released their sophomore album ‘The Dark’. In 2005, the album was ranked number 389 in Rock Hard magazine’s book of The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time.  Continue reading

Album Review : MARZI MONTAZERI Ft. TIM “Ripper” OWENS – “THE UPRISING” [Live Videos]

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Known for his groundbreaking musicianship and energetic showmanship, Marzi Montazeri AKA “The High Priest Of Distortion” is a guitarist, producer, and songwriter from Houston, Texas. Currently the guitarist for Heavy As Texas, Marzi has been the man behind the axe for Superjoint Ritual and more recently in 2010, he rejoined with Philip Anselmo to work on Anselmo’s first solo project, Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals. In 2015, Montazeri and Washburn Parallax Guitars united to co-design his own signature electric guitar series called “The Priestess”. Montazeri’s collaborations as a guest artist include Prong, Doug Pinnick (Razr 13), Defiatory, and the Judas Priest tribute record ‘Hell Bent Forever’, also featuring the vocalist on this album, Tim “Ripper” Owens.  It was through this tribute how he came to know Mr. Owens. “A while ago I was asked to play a couple of solos on the tribute album ‘Hell Bent Forever’ and the track was, “Exciter”” recalls Marzi of first meeting Owens. “When I arrived, Tim was walking out of the vocal booth for the evening. I was blown away by his performance and personality. He’s a super cool and funny dude. So when it came to this EP where I knew I wanted a powerful metal vocalist, I just made a call to him and here we are with some original music.” Tim Owens is a Grammy-nominated American hard rock singer who first gained attention as the vocalist for Judas Priest (1996-2003) and then Iced Earth and Yngwie Malmsteen. Owens currently tours the world as a solo artist and performs as the lead singer of Charred Walls Of The Damned. Also worth noting, the movie Rockstar (featuring Mark Walhberg) was loosely based on Owens’ time in Judas Priest. In 2001, Marzi released his first solo effort ‘The Need’ and after 16 years, he has come back with what could be some of his best solo work yet with ‘The Uprising’.   Continue reading

Review: TOMBS – ‘The Grand Annihilation’ [Official Videos]

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When you mention the word metal in Brooklyn it will be likely that you will stumble upon the band Tombs. They are signed to the one and only Metal Blade Records and currently consist of 3 members. Tombs has known a lot of musicians will all different styles yet they have always stayed the great metal band with black metal like vocals. Guitarist Evan Void and drummer Charlie Schmid have both joined the band in 2014, vocalist Mike Hill on the other hand has stayed with the band since the beginning (2007). Tomorrow on the 16th of June they will release their 4th album ‘The Grand Annihilation’ which will be available for purchase worldwide. The EP ‘Winter Hours’ has created their pathway into the local Brooklyn scene where the albums ‘Fear Is The Weapon’, ‘Path Of Totality’ and ‘Savage Gold’ from 2014. Eventhough they have changed their line-up multiple times all these albums sound like the Tombs we all adore, EP ‘All Empires Fall‘ from 2016 has pointed the band in the right direction to create more awesome music. ‘The Grand Annihilation’ is all we ever wanted and more!

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State of the Art: BEYOND THE FADE [Videos]

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*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured State*

                                                            This month’s State is North Carolina!

Beyond the Fade is a band from Charlotte, North Carolina. They formed in 2006 under founder, Brandon Strickland. Current members, (Neil Jackson – vocals, Jason Tedder – guitar, Brandon Strickland, guitar), have been rocking the area and touring the country ever since. Having a heavy touring schedule, the band has seen numerous lineup changes, but the most notable was the addition of Neil Jackson on guitar and vocals in 2012. Beyond the Fade had previously played alongside his former band, so they knew it would be a good fit. In 2014 it was mutually agreed upon that Jackson would put down the guitar to become front man for the band. They’re quoted as saying they felt it would give him a stronger connection with the audience. And, it seems that it has! They’ve played with numerous national acts, including North Carolina’s Soften the Glare – fronted by bassist Ryan Martinie, as well as Skillet, Godsmack, and Motley Crew.

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State of the Art: RED FANG [Videos]

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*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.

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Review: SEETHER ‘POISON THE PARISH’

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Seether’s new album ‘Poison the Parish’ is now out! Released 5 days ago (May 12th, 2017) it’s already generating a blizzard of positive reviews from fans. Being the first album under front man Shaun Morgan’s label, Canine Riot Records, it’s a good sign not just for the album, but also for the label.

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Review: NUCLEAR OATH ‘TOXIC PLAYGROUND’

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Nuclear Oath is a heavy hitting metal band from Medicine Hat, Alberta. The 5-member group will release ‘Toxic Playground’ on June 9th, 2017. It is a follow-up to their EP ‘Ashes of the Unborn’, which was released February 26, 2016.

They’ve stated that their intention is to create an experience for the listener where everyone takes away something different from the band.

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SEETHER Release “Let You Down” Official Video.

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Seether, the South African metal band, is set to release their new album ‘Poison The Parish’ May 12th  2017. The first single and video released is “Let You Down”. This is also the first album released under front man Shaun Morgan’s label Canine Riot Records.

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[New official video] ‘HellYeah’ “Love Falls”

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As everyone in the metalverse knows by now, HellYeah is an American metal band who formed in 2006, bringing together Vinnie Paul of Pantera and Chad Gray of Mudvayne. The band has seen numerous changes over the years (including the lineup), but none more striking than the evolution of the music itself – going from what can only be described as a weird country music/metal hybrid to the band finding its way back to their original metal roots.   Continue reading

Review: LIFE OF AGONY – ‘A Place Where There’s No More Pain’ [Official Videos]

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Life Of Agony has been around for over 20 years but they still surprise to this date . They managed to keep their routs intact while changing things up big time, They are from New York and best known for their debut album ‘River Runs Red’ from 1993. This and their album ‘Ugly’ (1995) built their staircase into the hardcore scene. They toured all over the place with many great and influential bands like Metallica, Black Sabbath, Foo Fighters, Ozzy Osbourne and The Red Hot Chilli Peppers. And I have to tell you, you don’t get that spot for sitting around a table playing poker. After this incredible start they released another album in 1997 ‘Soul Searching Sun’, 2 years later the band decided to split up and all walk their own directions. After this devastating news the band managed to surprise everyone by coming back together in 2003. They finally found their love for the band again and decided to make an album, ‘Broken Valley’. This album got them right on track and showcased their intense love for the band.  After long waiting we finally got it, a new album from Life Of Agony. It’s called ‘A Place Where There’s No More Pain’ and wow what a great album it is people. They produced it themselves with a helping hand of Mat Brown. The bands label is one of the best around Napalm Records and Ted Jensen mastered it. He is well known for his work for Alice In Chains, Machine Head and Deftones so we are in for a good one.

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