Simply called Self-Titled, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania-based trio Secret Cutter (guitarist Evan Morey, drummer Jared Stimpfl, and vocalist Ekim), released their 10-song slab of dirty-ass metal on February 10, 2014. Loaded with a lethal concoction of sludge, doom, grind, and more, Self-Titled has an incredibly rich sound considering this is the work of a three piece band. As such, we hit up Evan Morey to better understand how these guys conjure up their wicked, thick tones and music.
Columbus, OH-based cinematic rock band, Starset, teamed up with Razor & Tie to release their debut album, Transmissions, on June 3, 2014 and ever since, have never looked back. The 14 track recording is loaded with powerful, sweeping rock and features the hit singles "My Demons" and "Carnivore", which have been tearing up active rock radio. The group has been somewhat shrouded in mystery so, in order to get a better understanding about Transmissions, we chatted with lead singer Dustin Bates about gear; namely his Emulator-DVS (Dual View System) Touchscreen.
When he's not busy writing a sick track ("Meth Lab Zoso Sticker") for a Martin Scorsese blockbuster like The Wolf of Wall Street, guitar virtuoso Joie Calio is tearing up stages with his musical partner Phil Leavitt in the rock band 7Horse. While Calio also provides backing vocals to Leavitt, it's his fret work that truly allows him to shine. Just how does he get those crazy tones and bad-ass rhythms you ask? Dude, he has SO much gear that he'll have to tell you himself!
Birmingham, UK alternative/electro rock quartet, This Burning Age, self-released the first in a series of four EPs on April 28, 2014. Titled Supplication, the first recording features 3 unique tracks that run the gamut from driving hard rock to soft, piano-lead passages. So as to learn more about this up-and-coming band, we asked frontman Friday (vocals, guitar, synths) some questions about his gear. Check it out...
As stated on their Facebook profile, Denver/Fort Collins, Colorado-based quintet Allegaeon are a "Modern Melodic Death Metal... NOT METALCORE, DEATHCORE or any other CORE." That said, it's exactly true and nothing less or more than what you'll encounter on the band's soon-to-be-released Metal Blade Records effort, Elements Of The Infinite. Due out on June 23rd, Allegaeon are in top form with this new release, as easily evidenced by their new single, "1.618." Recently we got the opportunity to exchange emails with guitarist Mike Stancel who was kind enough to tell us about his Maxon OD808 overdrive pedal and some of the recording behind Elements Of The Infinite.
Swedish folk power metal quintet, Falconer, released their acclaimed new recording, Black Moon Rising, on June 10th, 2014 via Metal Blade Records. The new album, the band's eighth to date, contains 11 original songs led by the soaring opener and lead single, "Locust Swarm." Rather than bore you with other facts, we managed to score some time with guitarist Jimmy Hedlund who, in discussing some of his gear, helped us to better understand how the album came together.
Baltimore, Maryland death metal miscreants, Misery Index, dropped their latest slab of beefy beats dubbed, The Killing Gods, on May 23rd via Season of Mist Records. Reviews have been pouring in and praise remains high for this quartet's newest slew of tracks. Recently, we were able to email some questions to guitarist and vocalist, Mark Kloeppel, in order to get better visibility into what gear he considers to be key, and how it was used during the recording of The Killing Gods.
Call them progressive rock, experimental metal, post-metal, it doesn't really matter. What does matter; however, is that regardless of how one classifies the Keyport, NJ-based quintet, Seth Rheam (drums), Matt Lupo (guitar, vox), Greg Kuter (guitar, vox), Chris Alfano (bass, vox), and Ray Suhy (guitar) all came together to form some killer music, as perfectly evidenced by their October 29, 2013 10-song release, Redaction Artifacts. The album is a stunning display of both musicianship and songwriting, and fortunately for us, so as to better appreciate the album, Matt Lupo spent some time talking about some of his gear key.
Composed of four talented musicians - Zach Allen (vocals), Harrison Marcello (guitars), Zak Gross (bass), and Jimmi Kane (drums) - the New York-based rock group, Tempt, like their music like their women... dirty! OK, well we have NO idea how they like their women, but when it comes to their brand of rock and roll, Tempt take things back to a time when glam ruled the airwaves and everyone and their mother was headbanging to songs JUST like these! With their new single, "Under My Skin," turning heads Tempt is a band that will light up many a solid, backward party this Summer. We caught up with guitarist Harrison Marcello to learn about his key gear and how it impacted the band's new album.
Led in large by the fret board wizardry of lead guitarist Chris Green, the modern, melodic hard rock/metal band that is Rubicon Cross are currently touring in support of their latest, self-titled recording. Released on May 19, 2014, Rubicon Cross features 10 brand new songs each unique and jammed with pure rock-metal power! So as to learn more about the album, Green chatted with us in detail about some of the key gear he used while recording.
Released via Agonia Records on April 15, 2014, the 9-song skull-smasher of a disc entitled Sovereigns, is the latest and greatest from Brussels, Belgium-based black metal band, Enthroned. Loaded with jarring moments, we decided to toss some gear questions at bassist Phorgath who in turn hooked up some cool responses in order to help us all better understand the sound behind Sovereigns. Check it out.
Hailing from Chickasha, OK, the five-piece hard rock/metal band Anti-Mortem are getting all hot and bothered with the pending release of their 12 track album, New Southern. Due out on April 29th in North America via Nuclear Blast Entertainment, the new recording features some air-guitar worthy songwriting and tons of shreddable and memorable moments (see the track "100% Pure American Rage" below for an instant and obvious example). Recently we caught up with guitarist Zain Smith to talk gear and he in turn told us all about his Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier solo amp head.
Pedro "Perico" Arguello plays bass (and handles backing vocals) for the Latin American rock quartet, Prime Ministers. The band formed in 2007 and since its inception has been slowly wowing audiences and critics alike with their brand of catchy, modern rock. Enter 2014 and the group are set to break out unlike they've ever done before, thanks in large to their hot new single "Take It Back". The track comes from their sophomore full-length album, NOW, which is due out this Spring. Check out this gear review wherein Arguello talks about his 63 Precision Bass guitar.
Francesco Artusato is quite the accomplished shredder known for his work in All Shall Perish, The Francesco Artusato Project, and now, the Howard Jones-fronted metal band, Devil You Know. Together with John Sankey (drums), Ryan Wombacher (bass), and Roy Lev-Ari (guitar), the fast-growing group is set to release their debut offering, The Beauty of Destruction, in North America on April 29th via Nuclear Blast Entertainment. In an effort to learn more about the powerful sound behind this debut, we sent some gear-related questions to Artusato. Here's what he had to say.
Brandon Wootten, guitarist for the alternative rock band Framing Hanley, recently sat and chatted with me about his favorite piece of gear. The band is currently prepping for their third release, The Sum Of Who We Are, due out on April 29th - their first CD in 4 years on their new label, Imagen Records. Here is what Wootten had to say about his Hughes & Kettner amp.
Led by the twin guitar attack of shredders Rory Heikkila and Jon Liedtke, the Milwaukee, WI-based black metal band Shroud of Despondency are one heck of a pummeling powerhouse of percussive loud music. Released on February 12th of 2014, the group's new album, Tied To A Dying Animal, features 2 parts and 17 tracks, all of which come at you with a dizzying amount of either velocity or intricacy. Recently we grabbed time with the axemen to learn more about their key gear.
For the uninitiated, Ethan Brosh is a supremely-talented rock guitar wizard who has long-since mastered epic shreddery yet somehow only continues to improve. The man has already toured and recorded with rock heavyweights such as Yngwie Malmsteen, George Lynch, and Greg Howe (not to mention countless others) and on March 4th, 2014 released his new, epic solo album titled Live The Dream via Rocker Records. Recently we were able to send Brosh some of our gear questions to which he was kind enough to reply and divulge some info about his ISP Technologies Theta Preamp.
Doom metal is a fast-growing genre complete with, as with most other genres, and over-saturation of cookie-cutter bands who at the end of the day will not amount to much. Thankfully the genre is also blessed with groups which are not only loaded with talent, but also produce some truly worthwhile headbanging anthems - and yes, Below is absolutely one of these such bands. Hailing from Sweden, the quintet are signed to Metal Blade records and gearing up to release their new eight track album, Across the Dark River, on April 15th. Recently we were able to send some questions to drummer Jens Vestergren so as to better understand how this up and coming act manages to get it's oh so juicy, crispy, powerful and doomy sound.
Their new album titled Barefoot and Pregnant is out now via Arrested Youth Records and the alternative rock/punk duo of Kelly Ogden (vox, bass) and Luis Cabezas (guitar, vox) couldn't be happier. Based in Los Angeles, CA, this band has been at it for quite some time and Barefoot and Pregnant is their fifth studio release and eagrly anticipated follow-up to 2012's Self-Titled effort. So as to learn more about the intricacies of the band's sound and recording of the new album, we asked guitarist Luis Cabezas about some of his go-to gear.
The Parisian five-piece sludgecore/metal band known as Colossus of Destiny dropped their 6 track EP In Lesser Brightness on October 31st of 2013. Fittingly released on Halloween, this new album is loaded with pummeling passages and some haunting melodies; these Frenchmen sure did create a gnarly recording. But how? Well we asked guitarist Julien L. to tell us about some of the gear he used when creating In Lesser Brightness. Check it out!