Burst speed precision guitarist and founder of percussive thrash metal innovators Onslaught, Nige Rockett gave us his views on metal, art, an in-depth analysis of his 30 year thrash metal journey, the impetus behind Onslaught, today’s music industry, and how to stay steady on the death metal path in a time of confusion.
Martin Popoff here, with what is, at 152,180 words, the fattest, heaviest, most harrowing rock biog I’ve ever done. Indeed, it’s a monster, and it’s called…
Sweating Bullets: The Deth And Rebirth Of Megadeth
Guys, back cover text below, but just a few opening words. This was going to be two separate books, but at the last minute, I just rolled a fattie.
Basically, it’s the story in detail of ever accursed Megadeth opus, featuring a ton of fresh interview footage, my usual track-by-track analysis, talk of all the tours, the hirings, the firings, the chemicals, but mostly the metal.
It’s 340 pages and more text than usual (but still lot of pictures), in my usual style, namely live shots mixed with all manner of memorabilia.
It’s a tiny bit more expensive because of increased layout and printing and costs, more postage at this weight, plus the months and months of writing that almost killed me. I actually started this thing almost two years ago and it’s got stuff from 32 of my own interviews plus the usual smattering of archival. It’s an epic, and I’m sure even the most dedicated Mega-fan will learn a bunch of stuff. Seriously, it’s the material of two standard books for sorta $4 more than one. And as the back sez:
My Darkest Hour…
Megadeth’s run of thrash classics from the mid ‘80s and up through the ‘90s continue to be celebrated in the metal community long after Dave Mustaine’s band mates have been discarded to the sands of time—save one, Dave “Jr.” Ellefson.
Along the way, there’s Mustaine’s pathology with his ex-friends in Metallica but also a helluva lot of killer metal, as the band works its way up through Peace Sells and So Far, through to the pair of superlative American metal classics, namely Rust In Peace and Countdown To Extinction.
Later came Cryptic Writings and Risk, which threatened to kill the band dead. And yet… the reconstitution of Megadeth after their demoralizing decline and then deflating dispersal at the destructive hand of its leader Dave Mustaine is a story not told ‘til now. But it is a tale worth telling for many reasons, perhaps starting with: a) its instructiveness on how to rebuild and maintain a career in metal and b) the revelations of so much good music to be discovered by metal fans the world over. Quite simply, the recent half of the Megadeth story, spanning the records The World Needs A Hero through Super Collider, includes some of the best and heaviest Megadeth music ever committed to shiny silver, with this author’s personal favourites arriving all over the Endgame album of 2009 and the Thirteen album of 2013.
Come celebrate Mustaine’s vision, track-by-track, as Martin applies his tried and tested methodology to a head-crunching canon of work that is truly as strong at the recent end of the spectrum as it is with the classics you all know and love.
Prices for Sweating Bullets including shipping:
US orders: $39.00 US funds
Int’l orders (all books go air): $48.00 Cdn. funds
Canadian orders: $42.00 Cdn. funds
PayPal happily accepted. Ask me if you’d like a PayPal invoice (please indicate what country you are in), or just do yer usual and direct funds to firstname.lastname@example.org
Sweet postage savings to be had for multiple orders (or two of pretty much anything—long story, ask me!) for overseas, or for US and Canada, any three or even four books at once.
Or mail payment (personal check in US funds, cash, or INTERNATIONAL money order), to:
P.O. Box 65208, 358 Danforth Ave.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4K 2Z2
Email me at email@example.com with any further questions, and see www.martinpopoff.com for descriptions, cover art and ordering info for my other available 30 or so books (and no, the Megadeth won’t be there for another week or so, BUT YES, THEY ARE IN MY OFFICE READY TO SHIP).
Those who pass by The Garage this evening may assume a raucous event is about to ensue due to the aesthetics of those queuing to get it, but little do they know that what is about to take place is more beautiful that brutal. With both acts on the line up hailing from Romania and an intimate venue that’s relatively rammed, there’s a quiet excitement that fills the room and despite a lack of communication from both bands, the music does the talking.
With so many different instruments and styles making up Negură Bunget, it’s no surprise that their line up of members changes more regularly than Alice Cooper’s live costumes.
This however has no impact on the tightness of their live performance and with founding member Negru still firmly intact, the band flow through a set list showcasing each of their eras.
The array of traditional, Romanian instruments have an eerie effect live, similarly to on record and each section can be heard flawlessly despite such a small space. With a large amount of their live experience showcasing tracks from albums including ‘Om’ and ‘Vîrstele pămîntului’, it certainly leaves the question of when a new album will be out, seeing as their most recent is now four years old.
Grimegod start off procedures with a darker aura to the headliners, opting for a more gothic approach to the folk-infused black metal of other fellow countrymen. The four-piece may be down a drummer tonight but a drum machine is more than enough to keep the atmosphere seeping through the airwaves of the stuffy venue.
Grimegod’s approach is not the only aspect that connects them to tonight’s headliner, as it becomes apparent some of the members are shared by both acts and with a style that lays somewhere in the mind between early Alcest and late Burzum, it’s an ideal way to warm up the crowd.
With the crowd hopelessly hypnotized by the folk-infused blackness that is seeping from the stage like a toxic gas, it’s a still and sombre atmosphere but if a pit was about to kick off, it would merely destroy the aura created by a band that we can only hope continue to bring out their soundtracks of haunted enchantment.
The best way to explore metal beyond the music is to ask the people involved some questions about their participation. Fates Warning is one of the early flagship bands of progressive metal along with Queensrÿche and Dream Theater, who were responsible for creating, developing and popularizing that genre.Fates Warning came back with an incredible album, DARKNESS IN A DIFFERENT LIGHT, an album that surprised not only the progressive metal world but also the entire metal world.Metal-Rules.com goes into further detail with JIM MATHEOS to determine their viewpoints on the new album, next steps, life, metal and ideas.
Metal-Rules.com: Hello Jim! It’s Hellias Papadopoulos from Metal-Rules.com. I am very happy for this interview and greetings from Greece! First of all, how are you doing? And where are you checking in from today?
Hello Hellias, nice to talk to you from my sofa! Hehehe! At last I am at home with family!
Metal-Rules.com: Congratulations for your latest effort DARKNESS IN A DIFFERENT LIGHT! It sits in #27 of the Metal Rules.com Top 30 list of best albums of 2013.
Great News! Thank you very much. Good to like it. I am very honored and thankful!
Metal-Rules.com: It took you many years to release an album as Fates Warning. How did that happen?
JM: After we released FWX in 2004 Ray and I decided to take some time off. I think we were all feeling a little burnt out. Mark had already decided that that would be his last record with the band and Ray and I decided it would be a good time to explore some other opportunities. We both got involved with various side projects and time just got away from us. And, although we continued to do live dates every year with FW, it took a while until we were both on the same page regarding new material, and a little longer for our schedules to lineup. We never intended for the break to be so long.
Metal-Rules.com: Why this album is more aggressive and heavier that the previous ones? Was it an intentional move or?
JM: It was intentional to a certain extent. Ray and I talked a lot about what we wanted to do (and not do) with a new record. We both agreed that a heavier, more organic, approach was a direction we’d like to explore.
Metal-Rules.com: How did it come out? After 30 years, many artists have difficulty in finding new ideas to put on the record. Have you had the same difficulty or?
JM: It’s never been easy or quick for me, and much less so now. Getting started is the hardest part. Usually, once the first couple songs are done a theme or direction starts to become apparent. After that it becomes a little more natural. A little.
FW have been playing for the past 30 years. I’m sure you had many difficulties throughout this time… What makes you always keep pushing forward?
JM: Well, the simple answer is, I don’t know how to do anything else! Beyond that, I still enjoy what I do, most of the time. Being involved in various side projects, solo albums, etc… helps keep things interesting for me.
Metal-Rules.com: In the meantime, do you have any other projects? What’s up with Arch/Matheos? Is gonna be a new record?
JM: Ray and I have both agreed to focus our attention on FW, at least for the immediate future.
Metal-Rules.com:What do you think of today’s music industry in general?
JM: I don’t have anything to say that hasn’t been said hundreds of times already, nothing profound to add. It is what it is, and my complaining about it certainly isn’t going to change anyone’s behavior. In more optimistic moods I’m grateful that I’ve been able to make a living this long doing something I enjoy, that we got in just before the door was starting to close. At this point, I don’t see how many young artists are going to have that same opportunity or even have a career that lasts more than 2-3album cycles if they’re lucky.
Metal-Rules.com:Is technology part of your life or are you still a “romantic”?
JM: I imagine it would be fairly difficult to live completely without technology. It’s a part of everyday life that you can’t avoid even if you wanted to. That said, I try not to let it rule my life
Do you know any Greek heavy metal acts? Are there any Greek metal bands that you really like or want to share the stage? Firewind, Gus G., Rotting Christ, Firewind, Suicidal Angels to name a few.
JM: I know a few of those names but, sorry to say, nothing of their music.
Metal-Rules.com: How important is it to you that people pay attention to your lyrics apart from listening to your music?
JM: I spend a lot of time on lyrics, sometimes more than on the music, so it means a lot to me when I hear that they’ve had an impact on someone. For me, as a writer, it’s important to have something to say when writing lyrics. But as a listener, I don’t think it’s completely necessary for a song to have “meaningful” lyrics to be enjoyable or even emotional.
Metal-Rules.com: And one question before we end up, if you could pick only one musician to work with that you have not collaborated with to date, who would that be and why?
JM: Very hard to pick just one, but I’ll say Phil Moog.
Metal-Rules.com: Thank you very much for your time, keep it prog!
JM: Thank you! Stay tuned with the new FW material and there are more to come…
Today, MORIBUND RECORDS announces the signing of Texas black metal cult MORBUS 666. MORBUS 666 was formed in 2009 in the Houston, Texas underground from members of Adumus and fellow MORIBUND labelmates BAHIMIRON. In the first year, they recorded their debut MLP, Mortuus Cultus, out of songs that were originally written for Adumus. Adumus was about to take a indefinite break due to Cerebus (vocals) enlisting into the armed forces, so the remaining members of the band (Vomit, Moon, and Archfiend) set out to find a temporary replacement and finish the songs that they had written. They invited Grimlord from BAHIMIRON to help them with the vocals, and with this union came the early blueprint for the band. Read the rest of this entry »
In the history of Heavy Metal not many bands can claim to be able to celebrate their breakthrough twice. ACCEPT managed this four years ago, as, with their reunion record Blood Of The Nations returning with a vengeance!
Now ACCEPT open the next chapter in their book of Heavy Metal, with the upcoming studio record Blind Rage, which will be out on August 15th.
The tracklist of the standard version, will be like this:
JUDAS PRIEST SET “MARCH OF THE DAMNED” AS LEADOFF SINGLE FROM FORTHCOMING ALBUM, ‘REDEEMER OF SOULS’
For the past few weeks, metalheads worldwide have undoubtedly been enjoying the “sneak peak” title track from Judas Priest’s forthcoming ‘Redeemer of Souls’ album. And on Monday, May 19th, the official leadoff single from the album, “March of the Damned,” will be released to rock and metal radio, and will be available for purchase via all digital sales providers. Additionally, on the same day, preorders for the full album will be made available through iTunes: http://smarturl.it/redeemerofsouls-albm
As the band themselves said about “March of the Damned,” “Our passion for heavy metal has never diminished, and this track sounds off with real conviction!” Listen to the new song:
RONNIE JAMES DIO “This Is Your Life” Tribute Compilation Album to be Released as a Double Red Color-Vinyl LP Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Ronnie James Dio With Renditions of his Greatest Songs from Rainbow, Black Sabbath, and Dio This Is Your Life Sees First Week Debut at #20 on the Billboard Top 200
Vinyl collectors, make room on your shelf – Ronnie James Dio’s This Is Your Life tribute compilation is set to be released as a special edition double red color-vinyl LP on July 8, 2014 via Rhino Records! July 8th is just two days before Ronnie’s birthday, making this release even more special to fans and collectors alike.
See below for a full listing of the tracks on each side:
1. NEON KNIGHTS – Anthrax
2. THE LAST IN LINE – Tenacious D
3. THE MOB RULES – Adrenaline Mob
4. RAINBOW IN THE DARK – Corey Taylor, Jason Christopher, Christian Martucci, Roy Mayorga, Satchel
1. STRAIGHT THROUGH THE HEART – Halestorm
2. STARSTRUCK – Motörhead with Biff Byford
3. THE TEMPLE OF THE KING – Scorpions
4. EGYPT (THE CHAINS ARE ON) – Doro
1. HOLY DIVER – Killswitch Engage
2. CATCH THE RAINBOW – Glenn Hughes, Craig Goldy, Rudy Sarzo, Scott Warren, Simon Wright
3. I – Oni Logan, Jimmy Bain, Rowan Robertson, Brian Tichy
1. MAN ON THE SILVER MOUNTAIN – Rob Halford, Doug Aldrich, Vinny Appice, Jeff Pilson, Scott Warren
2. RONNIE RISING MEDLEY (featuring “A Light In The Black,” “Tarot Woman,” “Stargazer,” “Kill The King”) – Metallica
3. THIS IS YOUR LIFE – Dio
In its first week, This Is Your Life debuted at #20 on the Billboard Top 200 charts! This Is Your Life is available now, digitally via iTunes here or physically via Amazon here.
This Is Your Life is a tribute album created to raise funds for the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund (www.diocancerfund.org), which features an all-star group of his friends and fans performing 13 of their favorite Ronnie James Dio tracks. The Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable fund dedicated to supporting cancer-prevention research, raising awareness and educating the public about the vital importance of early detection and prevention, and was co-founded by Dio’s longtime manager and wife, Wendy Dio. 100% of the monies received from this album by the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund goes directly into cancer research.
Produced by Wendy Dio, widow of Ronnie James Dio and Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund President/Founder, This Is Your Life includes contributions by such metal heavyweights as Metallica, Scorpions, Anthrax, Glenn Hughes and Rob Halford, as well as appearances by many of the musicians who performed with Dio over the years. See below for a full tracklisting, chock full of renditions by today’s most stellar classic, heavy metal and hard rock artists!
Founding KISS guitarist and 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Ace Frehley has tapped long time friend and artist Ken Kelly to create the album cover for his upcoming LP SPACE INVADER, due out July 8th. The reveal comes exclusively through Rolling Stone today. Kelly, who created the iconic cover art for two of KISS’s best selling LPS, Destroyer (1976) and Love Gun (1977), says, “It was very exciting when I was approached with the idea of doing an album cover for Ace.”
Ken Kelly is also widely known for his paintings in the sword and sorcery and heroic fantasy sub genres, most notably for the Conan the Barbarian novels. He continues, “I had spoken to Ace on a few occasions about the possibility, so I was delighted when it actually happened.”
Ace Frehley himself comments, ”I’ve been talking with Ken Kelly since 2007 about painting a CD Cover for me and it has finally happened! I couldn’t be more excited about the new Space Invader cover and the music behind it is also going to rock your world!”
With nearly 35 years between projects, KISS fans will surely be excited about this long-time duo working together again. Kelly concludes, “I am very pleased with the results and proud to play a part of Ace’s continuing successful career!”
ACE FREHLEY will release SPACE INVADER, his first new solo album in five years, via Entertainment One Music (eOne Music) on July 8th, 2014. The album will include at least nine brand new original songs as well as a cover of Steve Miller’s “The Joker.” This album is the first release under Frehley’s new universal deal on eOne Music.
Widely known as the original “Space Ace” and founding guitarist for 16 cumulative years (over 2 tenures) of the multi platinum selling rock band KISS, Frehley is demonstrably the most popular original member. In addition to having the best selling solo album career (vintage or current) among the original foursome, Frehley’s self titled Ace Frehley, released in 1978, went on to sell over one million copies, producing the only Top 40 single, “New York Groove,” from any of the legendary KISS solo albums; (peaking at #13). The massive hit was most recently featured in an episode of cult show Entourage and was also KISS’ second best selling download in 2012, besting such KISS Army anthems as “I Was Made For Lovin’ You,” “Beth” and “Calling Dr. Love” even after 36 years.
Since departing from KISS, Frehley went on to release four more solo albums and one live EP including his most recent effort, Anomaly in 2009, which debuted at #27 on the Billboard Top 200 chart and received a welcoming response among critics. “’Anomaly’ shows why many rock and metal guitarists list ‘Space Ace’ as a prime six-string influence,” said Rolling Stone.
You can catch Ace Frehley accepting his award at the 29th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction Ceremony on May 31 at 8pm on HBO.
ZIX is a female-fronted Lebanese heavy-metal band devoted to breaking metal music in the Mid-East. Formed in 2010 by composer/bassist Ziad, ZIX has been featured in a huge amount of metal-related magazines, webzines and blogs offering very high and promising reviews on their debut EP and covering its revolutionary project. ZIX is fronted by Maya on vocals with her powerful voice and ability of creating imagery with her singing moods and mocking tunes. Juan Carrizo, a guitar guru and technical master from Argentina, grabs you with dense, atmospheric melodies and well-crafted tunes that haunt you long after the song is over. Ziad shreds hard in the background like a tank, with his oriental massive sections, keeping everything tight and knit together in the manner of the great Steve Harris of Iron Maiden. And drummer Kenny Earl Rhino (Ex Manowar) brings incredible musicianship and double-bass, taking the band to a whole new level.
Steve Thompson is a 7x Grammy-winning producer-mixer-arranger-writer with 150+ diamond, platinum and gold albums. Thompson’s credits include: “Appetite for Destruction,” Guns N Roses; Anthrax (many); “And Justice for All,” Metallica; “Blackout,” hed pe; “Freak on a Leash, Follow the Leader, etc.,” KORN; “Every Six Seconds,” Saliva; Tesla (many); among many, many more. Read the rest of this entry »
Australian progressive metal quintet, Voyager, will release its fifth studio album, V, digitally worldwide on 2nd June 2014. Physical releases will be June 2nd in Aus (Bandcamp exclusive)/UK (Code 7), North America (Nightmare Records) on June 3 and June 27th (MBM) in Europe. The 13- track, 54 minute album was recorded at Templeman Audio with producer, Matt Templeman.
The band calls the release “heavy, groovy and super-catchy. This is going to be pure, polished Voyager with a modern feel”and Classic Rock stats it as : “Polished collection of heavy, heavily polished anthems”
VOYAGER’s new album ‘V’; funded by a Kickstarter campaign, proves what the band does best: heavy, super-catchy, melodic, modern and progressive. From polished heavy grooves to driving riffs and unforgettable melodies, album ‘V’ contains 13 genre-defying tracks bound to be the absolute zenith of VOYAGER’s career. With a new look and a new album, this is the right time to say “I Am Voyager”.
Montreal based death metal powerhouse KATAKLYSM, took home the award for “Metal Artist/Group or Duo of the Year” at this year’s installment of the SiriusXM Indie Awards.Some of the other artist nominated this year in that category included BLOOD CEREMONY, GORGUTS, KENmode, and VOIVOD. “We are very pleased for this great honor,” commented the band. “KATAKLYSMremains one of the hardest working bands on the planet and we won’t change who we are ever. The future looks bright and winning this award puts a big smile on our face. The fans have spoken; thank you!” Read the rest of this entry »
Polish Death Metal legends VADER have release the brand new track “Triumph of Death” here. The song comes from their upcoming blasterpiece Tibi Et Igni, which is set to be released May 30 (EUR), June 2 (UK/France) June 10 (North America) via Nuclear Blast.
Recorded at Hertz Studio in Bialystok, Poland, produced by Wojtek and Slawek Wiesławski, and featuring artwork byJoe Petagno (MOTÖRHEAD, KRISIUN), Tibi Et Igni pre-order bundles featuring an exclusive t-shirt design for North America are available from the Nuclear Blast USA Webshop.
Gilby Clarke embarks solo on a worldwide summer tour – kicking off in London, England at The Underworld. Before Clarke crosses the pond, he will deliver to all the fans a new track, which will be announced in the weeks to come.
Recently, Clarke released a new video Tijuana Jail – Originally released in 1994, Clarke updated this fan favorite with a 2014 video version that can see here: http://youtu.be/74-pGsvqnvE.