After Hellion played the Whisky on October 2nd, any preconceived belief that the band's golden era was set back sometime in the '80s has been dispelled. Hellion's performance that night, on its Los Angeles home turf, was spellbinding.
Cleveland metalcore heavyweights Affiance, have embarked on a CD release tour with Phinehas for their third full-length album Blackout, bringing their hard work and harder sounds to eager fans across the U.S. I was lucky enough to catch the band at California Brew Haus in Rochester, New York a few days ago where, despite a few unlucky setbacks, they still blew the roof off the place.
The heavens opened on Sunday and with torrential rain and high winds predicted to last the rest of the day, it looked like Bloodstock was in danger of ended up a bit of a wash out. Still, that didn't stop Italian thrash metallers Arthemis from having an absolute blast on the main stage. The rain lashed down on the band as they shredded through their thirty minute set but, judging by the smile plastered across the face of frontman Fabio, it looked like the Italians loved every minute of it.
Headlined by the extremely controversial Norwegian black metal heavyweights Emperor, here's what went down on day two of Bloodstock Open Air 2014.
Marking the last night of their U.S. Summer tour, Yes treated their fans by opening with the Close to the Edge album in its entirety, albeit out of sequence. This was followed by a couple of songs from the just-released Heaven & Earth album, which received a warm welcome, an unusual occurrence for new material among old favorites. The opening notes of "Roundabout" signaled the beginning of the Fragile album in its entirety as well, and the evening at the Greek Theater was topped off with two of their greatest hits, "Your Move/I've Seen All Good People" and "Owner of a Lonely Heart".
On August 4th, 2014, I had a chance to see The Kooks play Toronto's Danforth Music Hall. I haven't listened to this band since they released their album Junk of the Heart in 2011, but figured it would be a good night to get out with some old friends, have a few beers, and watch live music. Little did I know I would end up watching one of the best shows I have ever attended.
Down are an interesting choice of headliner for the first day. Yes, there is no doubting that Phil Anselmo is a heavy metal legend but, to follow the theatrics of Dimmu Borgir with a set of weed-soaked stoner anthems was always going to be a tough call. Still, Anselmo and his Down brethren pull out a stunning set for an audience who soak up every weed-stained riff of the likes of "Witch Tripper" and "Lifer" while "Hail The Leaf" sums up everything that is great about Down and proves why they were the perfect way to end a great first day at Bloodstock.
On the L.A. stop of the "Worldwide Plagues Tour", Tampa's power metal vets Iced Earth and Sweden's Sabaton, performed for a fully-packed House of Blues in Hollywood.
On the festival's South stage, by far the smallest of the three, Torrance, California's Joyce Manor and their A.D.D brand of catchy punk rock capped a day that almost exclusively featured folk music.
Stage 48 in New York City is not your average rock venue. This swanky spot is a posh nightclub, complete with color changing walls and couches along the sides that looked too nice for my metal ass to sit in. On June 12th 2014, beneath the lavish, LED lighted ceiling, the Tri State Area metal scene erupted and invaded Stage 48 led by the pure brutality of bands: Rivers of Nihil, Fit For An Autopsy, Revocation, Carnifex, Whitechapel and the mighty DevilDriver.
At the Pomona stop of the 2014 Civil Unrest Tour, three bands were keeping disco evil and rocking The Glass House. Two of the bands, Dope and Wayne Static, were an obvious pair-up with their nu-metal credentials and party sensibilities. Smile Empty Soul, with a more subdued and melodic approach to music, was not such an obvious choice.
Boston recently had the pleasure of welcoming Glasgow-hailing post-rock giants, Mogwai. Having never witnessed a band of their caliber or unique sound live, I wasn't sure what to expect. I had been to many instrumental performances before – jazz, classical, progressive – but I knew this was going to be different.
On Tuesday April 8th, Toronto's Kool Haus was swept with a wave of nostalgia with The Used and Taking Back Sunday's co-headlining tour taking the stage. The show was sold out; leaving room for only diehard fans that aged and grew with songs from both iconic bands since the early 2000s. The openers were former Underoath singer Spencer Chamberlain's new band Sleepwave and Australian five piece pop-punk band Tonight Alive. Both openers killed it.
No radio ads, no skywriters, no billboards. It all started with an e mail from a publicist that read: "This invitation is not to be posted or shared... and the location must not be revealed in any form of media or social media." On Tuesday, April 8, Aerosmith affirmed its upcoming "Let Rock Rule Tour" with Slash featuring Miles Kennedy and the Conspirators in a very rock and roll way. The venerated band from Boston played a show on Hollywood's Whisky a Go Go on the Sunset Strip.
Could party rockers Ugly Kid Joe and New Jersey scumbags Skid Row still pack a punch after all these years? Well, a sold-out crowd in Reading were left in no doubt as both bands smashed through hit-laden sets.
When Frightened Rabbit took to the stage for their mammoth 20 song set, there was no doubt as to how elite of an act the Scottish unit had become.
British metalcore kids Bury Tomorrow finish their touring cycle with a sold-out show in London before heading off for much bigger, brighter lights.
Sweden's Katatonia is a band of pleasing contradictions, one that combines differing elements into a darkly emotive blend of sound. While watching them perform at New York's Irving Plaza on September 24th, those paradoxes came to the fore, mostly to the band's advantage. Onstage it's not physically stoic (considering the act's name, that wouldn't be a surprise), but its players don't run amok like sugar-stoned toddlers, either, and singer Jonas Renkse kept his face hidden behind his curtain of long dark hair like a grieving widow, never showing his face. Despite being a progenitor of the doom genre, its set list didn't sound depressing or disturbing enough to be described as black. Its uptempo moments weren't consistent enough to be straight metal; the same goes for its progressive characteristics.
Our first port of call on the Saturday is hard rockers Heaven's Basement who are making a bit of name for themselves with their frill-free hard rock and, by the looks of the swelling numbers as they smash through the likes of "Fire Fire" from their 'Filthy Empire' album, they’re a band who will soon by muscling their way up bills like this one.
Despite last year's horrendous weather causing all sorts of problems for Download organizers and weather reports ranging from pouring rain to thirty degree heat this year, it didn't stop eighty thousand rock fans from descending on Donington Park for the annual rock extravaganza.