Chicago Open Air 2017 Day Three: Ozzy Osbourne, Slayer, Lamb of God, Amon Amarth, Behemoth, & More

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We have finally arrived to the last day of Chicago Open Air. Sunday was the reason many of us made the trip for this huge three day weekend. By the time it rolled around, some fans were calling it “Death Day”.  You could definitely understand where they were coming from. There were several heavy hitters taking the stages today including Ozzy and Zakk Wylde, Slayer, Lamb of God, Amon Amarth, DevilDriver, Behemoth, and more. Lots of running back and forth would lead to a very tiring day. Luckily, it ended up being the coolest day of the weekend, which made it a bit more bearable. Continue reading to see our review on the most electric day of the festival. Continue reading

International Guitar Month: Generation Axe (Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, Zakk Wylde, Nuno Bettencourt and Tosin Abasi)

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I was fortunate enough to cover a huge number of guitar heavy hitters in one fall swoop this week: Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, Zakk Wylde, Nuno Bettencourt and Tosin Abasi; all currently on the Generation Axe Tour. Five very different guitarists that cover Heavy Rock and Blues, to Neo-Classical Metal and Experiment Progressive. One thing is for damned sure: each man is at the top of their game and love playing the highest quantity of notes in the shortest period of time possible. As Bettencourt put it so succinctly: The promoters could not figure out how to pay all of these slingers and decided to pay each per note. No doubt, these gentlemen would come out on the winning end of that deal!

I think it is safe to say that everyone came to the show to see one or two of their favorite artists. That certainly holds true for me. I have seen Steve Vai quite a few times over the years and loved every show, Zakk Wylde with Black Label Society a couple of times which, of course, is always ear-splitting and fun, Nuno Bettencourt years and years ago with Extreme, Yngwie Malmsteen once in the mid-80’s (he was one of my primary motivators), but I have never seen Tosin Abasi or Animals As Leaders live, so I was especially excited to see this 8 string wonder shred the wood off of his fretboard. When it was all said and done, favorites mean nothing because the bar for this show was off the scale. It would become nit-picking or simply a matter of a subjective style and taste. Personally, I sat in the third row, center stage (Thank you so much, Scott!) and was moved, highly entertained and awed for three and a half hours. I love it all…

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Zakk Wylde: “Book of Shadows II”

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Metal Nexus recently received a pre-release copy of “Book of Shadows II” by Zakk Wylde.  While this album is by no stretch of the imagination, Metal, it is the Zakk Wylde and after listening to it, deserves a high place on our must-have list for 2016, regardless.  Release date is set for April 8, 2016.  With no spoilers, we respectfully submit the following review of this pivotal album:

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