January 16, 2016
Review by InfamousButcher, Photos by SheWolf
Sometimes a city chooses and band and vice versa, forming a special bond. Whenever Lamb of God (LoG) comes to Philly, it’s a big fucking deal! Philadelphia is rabid for LoG and they know it, regularly selling out venues to insane crowds. Hell, even LoG’s infamous KILLADELPHIA was recorded at my beloved Trocadero Theater! Tonight’s mayhem is at the Electric Factory and thrash veterans Anthrax are opening up. This is the first LoG show in Philly in a while and they are supporting last year’s VII STURM UND DRANG while Anthrax is getting ready to release FOR ALL KINGS next month. Sounds like a good Saturday night to me! Onto the Electric Factory!
The Electric Factory is a semi-famous venue that is really kind of a shithole. The original Electric Factory at 22nd and Arch Street (1968 – 1973) had acts like Jefferson Airplane (my uncle who’s a priest went to that!), Vanilla Fudge, Jimi Hendrix, etc. The modern version at 421 North 7th Street opened in 1994. I’ve been here many times for various acts. It is a general admission theater (capacity 2,500) with an upstairs bar that has some seating. The place tends to get oversold and tonight we were packed in like fucking sardines, luckily it wasn’t hot as balls in there for a change. Sound quality is ok, stage is spacious, pit is large, but often overfilled, and lighting is so-so. Parking sucks, we ended up a few blocks away. Place looks beat, would help if somebody took a paintbrush to it and cleaned it up a bit.
About 8:30 Anthrax took the stage and dove into an explosive version of “Fight ‘Em Till You Can’t”. Jon and Scott’s guitars were heavy with chunky riffs while Charlie and Frankie provided a thunderous backdrop. Joey’s vocals were strong at times, not at others and his mic cut out a few times. Overall, the band sounded tighter than they did when I last saw them in September with Motorhead, but Joey wasn’t as on. At this point the Anthrax set has become pretty predictable as I’ve seen them 15 times now. Only surprises in the set were new song “Evil Twin”, a real thrasher that I dug, instrumental “March of the S.O.D”, and the crushing closer “Among the Living” (best song of the set, killer riffs from Scott, FOLLOW ME OR DIE!). Rest of the set was good staples like “Caught in a Mosh” (STOMP STOMP STOMP!), “Antisocial”, (great audience participation!) and “Indians” (PPP-PREDJUDICE!). Before “Evil Twin”, Scott addressed the crowd and said they had just been in town last September with Motorhead, which started a Lemmy chant! I thought Anthrax was going to play a Motorhead song in tribute to the fallen King of Rock n Roll and Metal, but it was not to be. “In The End” featured banners of Ronnie and Dime, but nothing for Lemmy? Come on, Dime’s been dead 11 years and Ronnie almost 6, Lemmy just died less than a month ago. Just sayin’. Anthrax always puts on a good show and I do feel that they are one of the best live thrash bands around; I just need a little more variety. Maybe a headlining tour supporting FOR ALL KINGS later this year will give us just that.
You could feel the energy building. Screens on stage showed destruction, buildings collapsing (looked like the beginning of WOLFEN, if anyone knows that movie!) as the crowd began to get swept up into a frenzy. Then LoG took the stage and started cranking “Desolation” and the whole floor began to move! Randy was very animated as he shrieked and the band was tight, together, and feral. Fresh off working with Megadeth, Chris Adler laid down some sick drumming, providing the foundation for the ass kicking. LoG and the crowd clearly feed off each other’s energy, the heavier LoG played the nuttier the crowd got. “Walk With Me in Hell” was pretty fucking wild! Things were off to a killer start!
Randy addressed the crowd after “Walk” and said Philadelphia was the first city to give LoG a good response back in the day, and that’s why KILLADELPHIA was recorded here. There is definitely a mutual love and respect between LoG and Philly. Philly is a good metal town for established acts like LoG, Metallica, Slayer, Overkill, etc.
The set featured 4 new songs (“512”, “Still Echoes”, “Overlord” and “Erase This”) from VII STURM UND DRANG. “Overlord” is the first LoG song with clean vocals from Randy, it sounded fine but I’m not a fan of mixing vocal styles. Response to the new material was good. Best songs of the set included “Now You’ve Got Something to Die For” and the well known closer “Redneck”. Overall, good set.
LoG is a must see live when they come to Philly. This is as close as you’ll get to the craziness of seeing Pantera live in the 90s (I did that twice). Check them out when they come to your town.
Split Heaven has just released their brand new video for the song “Speed of the Hawk” from forthcoming album, DEATH RIDER (details here).
SPLIT HEAVEN – DEATH RIDER – Release Date: March 25th 2016
Here’s a really quick Q&A with Split Heaven’s drummer, Tomas!
Tell us about the new video – how the concept came about, where it was filmed, etc.
It was filmed in our hometown, Querétaro, at Sonic Attack studio during the recording process of the new album “Death Rider”. We had to be quick or dead because Jason had only 17 days to sing the whole album, shoot the video, make the photo session, drink beer & tequila and partying like hell haha. The concept was easy: to shoot a classic heavy metal video, raw and direct as the recording was, having fun and enjoying our life as metalheads.
Why did you choose the song “Speed of the Hawk”? Is it representative of the music on the rest of the album?
Well, Speed Of The Hawk has everything that a good heavy metal song needs, speed, a sticky chorus and twin guitars haha, so it was easy to choose it. You know, is the classic concept: party, beer, tequila, Jack Daniel’s, studio, good vinyls, good friends and playing live! The other songs on the album have more meaning and some express our non-conformity with the shit happening in our country, so it was more difficult to shoot a video, we had no time to produce something bigger.
What do you think is different about the new album (DEATH RIDER) from your previous material?
Every album is different, but honestly with Death Rider we’re back to the roots and its much more professional in every way. First of all we decided to make the things we as a band like and that is speed; second, Jason on vocals makes our music reach the top levels, we understand each other very easily. Third point is the sound, old as hell and finally the songwriting, we are all participating in the composition with the main objective in our heads: have fun and playing traditional heavy metal.
Do you plan to do any other videos from the album or is it too soon to say?
It is too soon to say, maybe a lyric video but we need to wait a little bit more.
What other plans for 2016 do you have that you’d like to let people know about?
Not too much to be honest, maybe some festivals outside Mexico and some special gigs in our country, we had to cancel two summer festivals in Germany due to economic reasons. But wait for the next year! cuz we’re hitting the road on Europe again! Fuck yeah.
2016 has barely begun and it has not been kind to our aging rockers. The latest causality is RAINBOW and DIO bassist Jimmy Bain who has reportedly has passed away at the age of 68. The news was was posted on Instagram by Diana Deville, a longtime employee of Wendy Dio’s Niji Management. More details about his death will be posted as soon as they become available.
Since 2013, Bain has been a member of LAST IN LINE, also featuring his fellow ex-DIO bandmates Vivian Campbell and Vinny Appice along with singer Andrew Freeman. LAST IN LINE performed in Miami, Florida on January 20 and was currently taking part in DEF LEPPARD’s inaugural “Hysteria On The High Seas” cruise.
20 years after their first release, ELVARON is coming back with a 5th album called ‘Ghost of a blood tie’ that will be released in April 11, 2016.
Here is the track-listing:
1. The journey within 7:38
2. Silent windows 9:03
3. A price to pay 5:39
4. From a brother to a shadow 6:57
5. No town of mine 9:01
6. Run away in fright 6:54
7. Distant shores 3:27
8. The man who wears my face 15:15
Elvaron is a modern progressive metal band evolving in a fantastic literary universe. Elvaron gathers many musical influences of prog-masters like Rush, Symphony X or Dream Theater while retaining a more aggressive US thrash-legends power like Overkill or Testament.
The new album ‘Ghost of a blood tie’ sets to music the texts of the French author of Fantasy
Melanie Fazi (Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire, Prix Masterton) written specifically for this album.
REVIEW AND PHOTOS BY ARTO LEHTINEN AND MARKO SYRJALA
Slipknot enjoys a fanatical and loyal following up here in Finland. Less than a year ago, Iowa’s masked mongers rampaged and nailed the Finnish audience in the old Ice Hall. Seeing them quite soon again was quite an unexpected and pleasant surprise. Approximately 6000 fans crawled through the frostbitten capital of Finland to witness both Suicidal Tendencies and Slipknot. Yes you did read it right – Suicidal Tendencies!
KISS Kruise is an annual festival which is held on a most luxurious cruise liner in the Caribbean. The event brings together the band’s most loyal and die-hard fans around the world. What makes this event unique, is the fact that fans can hear rarities and obscure songs that the band does not play elsewhere. The band is also very interactive with fans. Everyone has access, for example, to get a picture with the band and everyone will get signed memorabilia. The band members are involved in various activities. Paul Stanley was cooking pizza in front of people and Gene Simmons and his family were judges in belly flop contest. Tommy Thayer played guitar solos and the competitors tried to recognize the solos and Eric Singer was judging “almost famous” competition where KISS cover bands were playing against each other. The whole Kruise is about KISS, of course, but the line-up also included many other great bands and artists. This year included: Steel Panther, Lita Ford, Fozzy, Dead Daisies, and a number of smaller bands. This report is a synopsis of KISS Kruise V including the concerts and other interesting events. Read on!
EVIL DRIVE RELEASES THE LAND OF THE DEAD on January 22
Finnish melodic death metal-band EVIL DRIVE with the amazing Viktoria in front, presents ‘The Land of The Dead’! Evil Drive is founded 2013 in Kotka, Finland. The band was originally formed because the aim was to set up a band which has not previously been heard. All the musicians in the band, have a history in a number of different bands and different genres. The band has incorporated many different musical styles, leading press and fans to label them as melodic death metal with a twist of 80’s style thrash metal. But in fact Evil Drive’s sound is therefore the combination of all of its member’s musical history. Evil Drive was originally started by vocalist Viktoria Viren, her husband and guitarist Ville Wiren and drummer Juha Beck. Guitarist Niko Huusari joined bands ranks soon later with the original bassist Jussi Mäkinen who was replaced by Marko Syrjälä in June of 2014. All band members are huge metal fans and they share the same taste in music. Some common favorites are Iron Maiden, Metallica and Slayer. In November 2013, they released their self-titled debut EP, which got a lot of attention in Finnish media. At the same time they released their first official music video “Bullet”, which soon became a hit in YouTube. The band filmed video for “The Land of the Dead” in the summer of 2014 it was followed by “War” in September of 2015. In August of 2015 it was announced that Evil Drive signed a worldwide record deal with Danish label Mighty Music.
WACKEN METAL BATTLE CANADA is proud to announce this year’s 2016 battle rounds and line up of over 100 bands competing across the country in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Regina, London, Hamilton, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. This is WMBC’s fourth year showcasing Canada’s top independent metal talent to the world stage at Wacken Open Air in Wacken, Germany, which holds an attendance of over 80,000 metalheads from around the world. For the last three years that Wacken Metal Battle has been held in Canada, it has produced two world champions Vesperia (2015) and Crimson Shadows (2013) to triumph at the international Wacken Metal Battle beating out over 30 other representing countries from around the globe.
Satan’s Fall are a Finnish heavy metal band formed in early 2015 in city of Helsinki.
Band is heavily influenced by 80’s traditional heavy, speed and US power metal.
‘Seven Nights’ digital demo is available for streaming now on Bandcamp and 7″ vinyl (ltd. 333) coming out via Underground Power Records around March-April and tape (ltd. 100) via Iron on Iron Records in February.
Saxon, the legendary English heavy metal band, was founded in 1976. They are one of the pioneers of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, and during the 80’s Saxon established themselves as one of Europe’s biggest metal acts. The band is still going strong and they tour on a regular basis. They have released 21 studio albums including their newest, BATTERING RAM, which came out in October 2015. The band arrived Finland on 6th of December along with Motörhead and Girlschool. I then sat down with the band’s long-term guitarist Doug Scarratt in Helsinki and we discussed many different topics such as touring with Motörhead and the new Saxon album.
Edit: It should be noted that when this interview took place, we had no idea what was going to happen for Lemmy in just a few weeks… 😥
“Winter’s Doom is a big step up for us and a step our homeland of the frigid North directed us in. The vast emptiness and shear mammoth proportions of this landscape lend a very helpful hand in open palm smacking the creative juices right into you. In this album the songs are faster, heavier and all around more to the tune we have always been drawn to. I’m sure all who listen will agree this is our best offering to date!”
(Sanktuary bassist, Cole Hume)
Napalm Records power/melodic death metallers and 2013 International Wacken Battle winners CRIMSON SHADOWS have announced the departure of Jimi Maltais, and the addition of Blackguard’s Paul ‘Ablaze’ Zinay as the band’s new vocalist.
“With sadness, we would like to announce that Jimi Maltais and the band are parting ways. Jimi has provided the band with his crushing vocals and charisma for 10 great years but he is seeking other opportunities in his life. We would like to thank him for the awesome memories and effort he put forth with Crimson Shadows,” says the band.
Joining Crimson Shadows will be Paul Zinay of Montreal-based
melodic death /power/folk metal band BLACKGUARD. Zinay comments,
” I’m elated to be joining my brothers in Crimson Shadows and share the burdens and triumphs of the eternal mile together. I’ve loved and respected this band since they started and to be asked to join their ranks is an honor and a privilege. Cheers to new and bright future for Crimson Shadows ! “
Zinay will be joining Crimson Shadows just in time to record the band’s follow up to their acclaimed label debut,’Kings Among Men’, for a Napalm Records release in late 2016 or early 2017. “We are extremely excited to have Paul Ablaze join the ranks of Crimson Shadows. Having known Paul since early in our career as well as sharing the stage multiple times over the years, we know he is the perfect front man to lead the Crimson Warriors into battle. With his combination of intense vocals and high energy live performance this will open a new chapter for Epic Metal and dawn a new era for Crimson Shadows.”
Fans of the band can see Jimi perform his last show as front man on January 30th at Spot One in Brampton, Ontario.
NOCTURNE, Austria’s most promising Black Metal outfit, has released via french label UNLIGHT PRODUCTIONS, a division of DRAKKAR PRODUCTIONS, their slaying debut album.
In total nine abyssic hymns are featured, including a crushing cover of DE INFERNALI’s song ‘Sign Of The Dark *’ (composed by Jon Nödtveidt of DISSECTION, THE BLACK, OPHTHALAMIA, etc.) with Dan Swanö (EDGE OF SANITY, NIGHTINGALE, PAN.THY.MONIUM, etc.) on vocals.
With a total playing time of more than 54 minutes the following songs appear on this release :
Return To Chaos [7:53]
Into The Great Below [4:28]
Ama Lilith [7:12]
He Before Whom The Sky Shakes [7:34]
Son Of Darkness [5:32]
Sign Of The Dark * [5:23]
– NOCTURNE is: Essark (vox), Tenebris (battery)
– Album produced by Essark and Stefan Traunmüller
– All session strings by Stefan Traunmüller
– All strings and vocals recorded and mixed at SOUNDTEMPEL STUDIO Freilassing (Germany) by Stefan Traunmüller (GOLDEN DAWN, RAUHNACHT, etc.)
– Drums recorded at KK-Studios Salzburg (Austria), engineered by Krystian Koenig
– Album mastered at NECROMORBUS STUDIO Stockholm (Sweden) by Tore Stjerna (WATAIN, FUNERAL MIST, etc.)