GREYHAWK are a band you should already know about as a metal fan. Keepers Of The Flame has some of the most anthemic and sing-a-long-able heavy metal/power metal hybrid tracks on it and was one of the better records of 2020. Hammerfall, Stratovarius or Helloween fans, for example, would eat this group up. The solos, the unison rhythmic power, the sturdy metal celebrating vocals and strong, melodic epic feel…this band gets it AND have a great name.
Today’s news concerns the band’s bassist stopping a nearly active shooter, however. The Idaho Statesman has the details HERE, but suffice to say we are glad Darin Wall is ok and was able to contain a potentially more deadly situation at The Shredder venue by confronting a sketchy dude. Wall took a bullet in the leg for his efforts and is recovering from the gunshot.
Darin, you are more valiant than the beefy sword dude on your band’s album cover!
The band’s statement is below:
And now the question must be asked…Is Eddie the biggest cultural appropriator in metal or a galaxy-wide undead magic ambassador? Seriously, we have had Egyptian Eddie, Book Of Souls Eddie, Yautja look-a-like space alien Eddie, Indian headdress Eddie and now Samurai Eddie? Relax, dude. You’re like the Lana Del Rey of metal mascots at this point. It is feeling slightly cringe.
Anyway, here comes the real review…in a time of horrible compressed five second attention span Spotify-advert ready “music” being shoved commercially into our minds and reprogramming us to forget what any non soda commercial production sounds like, it feels counterintuitive to critique an institution of heavy metal intergrity like the legendary Iron Maiden. But being a rock writer and respecting the genre history also means you have to get your hands dirty sometimes.
Senjutsu, the 17th studio album, will give you a general Iron Maiden feel and elicit a certain nostalgia. It also certainly has highlights and if you love the band you can’t help but root for them and feel a huge sense of gratitude and warmth that lends a more charitable view to the records shortcomings. But let’s get down to brass tacks. If you play the new Iron Maiden album back to back with Blaze Bayley’s “War Within Me” or “The Dream of Alan Turing” there is no question that the Blaze solo album blows it out of the water for passionate performances and a much higher energy level. Blaze also simply sounds WAY stronger than Dickinson vocally now, who has sounded winded often on the last few Maiden releases. Blaze also did a Samurai thing first, so I hear.
As much as I love Bruce and he is iconic, and as much as he hasn’t gotten as bad as some of Axl’s worst having an off night on stage reed thin dry falsetto parrot sounds or the outright gerbil swallowing, marbles and beer foam gargling internet melting trainwrecks in the case of Vince Neil, there are times even on studio tracks when Bruce sounds like he is struggling. He actually sounds better live sometimes than on the albums, IMO.
“The Writing On The Wall” was a great choice for a single, an exciting even if slower track that sounds like more classic era Maiden met with some spaghetti western adventure. It was a thrill to hear the single and gave me a lot of hope for the record. Unfortunately the album doesn’t curtail the bloat that hurt The Book Of Souls and The Final Frontier. Maiden have always been their own worst editors. I guess it is hard when you are used to huge and epic songs and have a very enabling fandom. And I love Maiden and this review already sounds way harsher than intended, so let me clarify.
As latter day metal elder Statesman, I understand that Dickinson and company might be holding it down and emphasizing long form poetic lyrical stories that stretch over vast track times. The problem is this makes for great read along with the booklet story time moments more than an invitation for repeat listening unless the music is also as in synch with the story such as on the pretty decent “When The Wild Wind Blows” from The Final Frontier. When it works as a formula, it is still epic. When it doesn’t, shit gets super meandering. And it doesn’t help that Bruce these days needs more multi-tracking to beef up the vocals and the delivery lacks as much energy often and is more anemic.
They just can’t deliver the same punch as their younger and higher energy days as often, which is not their fault. The problem is they don’t trim fat or play to their current strengths enough. “Lost In A Lost World” literally sounds like a bunch of cool yet wholly random and vaguely cheery at times Maiden riffs sort of glued together (though it does have an outro section after a pretty rockin’ solo that mixes the dynamics up and is one of the most thrilling moments on the album). It is a shame the song feels kind of disjointed because the intro of the song is an introspective, weary traveler type section that has some of the most powerful appeals to the bittersweet nature of our human condition on an album of juggled themes. But all in all it aint “Stranger In A Strange Land” (which the Brave New World album title already set a precedent for referencing, it seems) and this new song shares titles with a Moody Blues song that is pretty well loved.
4:31 of “The Time Machine” almost is a Rage Against The Machine riff, so there are some twists and turns. Ultimately the record suffers though from too much mid tempo similarity that doesn’t really crest. Track two, “Stratego” feels like it just sort of ends because it doesn’t know what else to do. While guitar solos are a highlight and the keyboards as well, the solos vary between lighting an emotional spark and feeling like a space filler, it hurts to say.
“Days Of Future Past” kicks off with some punch and swagger that reminded me of “The Eye” by King Diamond before the best riff of the album precedes Bruce’s arguably strongest performance and fullest voiced takes on the record. I kept being distracted though as an X-Men nerd comparing the lyrics to the story or movie version and also wondering why Bruce didn’t just write a song about the Silver Samurai fighting Eddie, lol. “Death Of The Celts” feels the most “important” as far as the lyrics and music having the most resonant connective tissue and the slow and moody intro is absolutely fantastic, one of the band’s best arrangements in years and a song which will absolutely entrance audiences if they play it live to a packed house.
All in all, while I am happy it is here and some of the themes and musical passages are quite cool (including a hard rock section of “The Parchment” that musically reminded me of a less interesting than “Zombie Eaters” by Faith No More), it doesn’t wind me up half as much as I hoped it would.
Heavy metal/metalcore melders Trivium have announced their tenth record. The anticipated riff fest is entitled (quite awesomely) In The Court Of The Dragon and may singlehandedly make George R.R. Martin get off his ass and finish the A Song of Ice and Fire novels. Well, maybe not. Regardless, we are stoked to get more of an idea what our band of merry men will do to follow the excellent What The Dead Men Say.
The band sound more streamlined than ever but manage to pack an admirable amount of undeniable riffing and precise musicianship into this future anthem. I was especially into Alex Bent‘s rock solid drumming on this new song “Feast Of Fire”. Check out the video below.
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One of 2021’s truest blessings is the Magnetic Eye backed Heavy Temple release Lupi Amoris, a mental and physical thrill ride we knew the groovy group had in them all along. This line-up is on fire! Now the first US tour dates in support of this magical document are here.
“We were fortunate enough to be able to put out an album during a time of much uncertainty, especially regarding live shows, so needless to say we’re excited to get back in the van”, writes frontwoman High Priestess Nighthawk. “Music, especially for us metalheads, is such a huge part of our lives. The last year and a half has been rough, to say the least, without any shows. We’ve been practicing the songs from ‘Lupi Amoris’ this whole time, and we’re ready for people to hear them the way we always intended, live and in person, even if we all have to take a few extra precautions to keep ourselves and our fans safe when we get there.”
US TOUR DATES
26 AUG 2021 Pittsburgh, PA (US) Preserving Underground
27 AUG 2021 Detroit, MI (US) Sanctuary
28 AUG 2021 Columbus, OH (US) Ace of Cups
29 AUG 2021 Harrisonburg, VA (US) The Golden Pony
30 AUG 2021 Columbia, SC (US) Art Bar
31 AUG 2021 Atlanta, GA (US) Boggs & Social
01 SEP 2021 Chattanooga, TN (US) JJ’s Bohemia
03-05 SEP 2021 Cookeville, TN (US) Muddy Roots Music Festival
Fresh off the alleged news that he may be out of Soulfly, masterful guitarist Marc Rizzo has launched Hail The Horns. Well, heck. I used to write for a magazine called Hails & Horns, so I guess I am required to like this band. U would have anyway!
The trio features Marc Rizzo on Guitar/Voc, Tony Campos on Bass/Voc and “Opus” Lawrence on Drums/Voc. I am guessing there isn’t bad blood with the Soulfly camp as Campos plays with Dino in Fear Factory these days and Dino is the one doing Soulfly’s next tour instead of Mr. Rizzo.
Anyway, here is a Kiss cover. The Melvins version is still my favorite but this is a solid take on “God Of Thunder” with some chunky and shreddy sprinkles on top! Hails, indeed.
Anyway, Marc is one of the absolutely most talented guys in rock and I wish him all the best with this project and his future. I can’t imagine Soulfly has an easy task ahead recreating his flamenco and classical influences, if they will even attempt it.Add to My Radar
So I was on the old Fartbook today when I saw a post from the band Lecherous Nocturne. Always thought they were pretty decent from what I had heard, though I was definitely a casual fan and not an expert on this group. I noticed the band had made a statement they were going to stop using Facebook. Due to censorship.
Fair game. Facebook and a lot of tech companies are VERY bad at actually moderating their platforms for homophobia, doxxing or all manner of shit. They have algorithms which can’t tell the difference between Murphy’s Law and fuckin’ Skrewdriver. I will be the first to acknowledge that. I even know someone who wrote about a type of dessert they didn’t like and caught a Facebook ban for it! Not even joking.
My own gf the psych folk artist Globelamp was a Swiftie who was doxxed by Taylor Swift fans on Twitter for “turning on her” by criticizing Taylor headlining Amazon Prime day during a worker’s strike (among other things). Oh, and for trying to get Taylor not to work with a label conglomerate – Secretly Group- and their outrage selective ladder climbing artists (cough…Skeevy Bridgers, Cherry Glazzer, Bright Eyes and many more) which help lend cred to labels that shield her “alleged” – I have to include that phrase even though I know he is a complete fucking scumbag – abuser. Instead she lost her account for blocking too many of them and for them reporting her in bad faith- with no appeal- even though she was verified. And tons of people from the ‘silence breaker’ fandom were mocking her abuse story and saying she was a liar and Taylor doesn’t know that label…which she now has collabed with like three artists and counting from for indie clout. Fuck y’all.
So suffice to say, my partner cares a lot about freedom of speech and is more wary of deplatforming than I am. I am all for it in the case of a Milo or some other fash apologist, though I also think we should have paths to redemption in society for truly apologetic people… as long as they weren’t whining on Bill Maher too many times, haha. Cuz that dude has become a fucking joke and an edgelord slob compared to his better days (Bill, not Milo. Milo has always been fash trash).
AND I fully understand all the nuances around the debate that sometimes people like Bernie or whoever will go on not the best platforms, not so much to lend them revenue or credibility, but to try to reach people who they hope they can change the minds of with info that cuts through their usual propaganda bias consumption.
But anyway, back to Facebook. So then I notice that some trucknuts in the Lecherous Nocturne comments leaves them a response: ‘Woke culture is AntiMetal. Stay Brutal.” Which I am pretty sure a band member liked.
Oh Jeez. Fucking gimme a break, dorks. Here comes some brutal truth. If ‘Woke Culture’ is killing your metal boner by pointing out we can be more inclusive and evolve and fucking not be stuck in 2nd wave black metal forever or pornogrind mutilation of women art like we just freshly popped zits on our faces and the pus got all over the severed booby drawings on our 6th grade class binder in 199-wank, maybe you actually just aged into the Cialis-bracket anyway.
I am sorry, for the 8 millionth time, that D666 fans might have to have some self-reflection these days before cheering when the singer calls people ‘pooftahs’. Fuck off.
A gay man named Rob is more metal than any of the rest of us will ever be. Literally ever.
Fact checking Donald Trump for blatant disinfo is not the same as your rights being taken away, however. And yes, I am aware that it can also lead to abuse of power if a precedent was set and suddenly someone decided to say the sky is orange and not blue and fact check me if I say it is blue, but then I would advise my confused friends to…look up.
Sorry you might get called out in 2021 if you try to have a fucking Confederate Flag on your merch or guitar, kids. That doesn’t mean their aren’t metal lefties like me who have seen Gwar sixteen times and can put their jokes into context (except for, y’know, touring with Madball during a pandemic. They must really want to end the human race after all, hahaha). What? That’s offensive? How do you propose we solve this?
I have been a hot mess many times in my life and guess what? Have worked hard to improve. Being criticized for something doesn’t mean all metal is suddenly your wimpy idea of a vegan, or something…which, it frankly should be. Nothing goes against the status quo more than NOT participating in the factory farming, chemical induced destruction of the world and celebrating a primal respect for nature.
I was reading about how comics legend Frank Miller was dropped from Thought Bubble due to participants rightfully remaining uncomfortable with his abysmal Holy Terror Islamophobic rabid dog-era. A time when he really lost the plot and caused serious harm.
I was a huge Miller fan for years and met him at a signing around when the first Sin City came out. Caroline Keene Kelley is my favorite (and the first female) Robin. What I am saying is people can do good and bad in their lives. and even get better over time or come back from bad decisions. Or make new, inclusive art. Cursed for Netflix was terrific and I am bummed it was over after one season, for example.
Anyway, this utter fucking dipshit at Bleeding Fool (wow, what an original name) wrote some clowncar piece saying how everyone against his convention appearance had pronouns in their bio. Jamison Ashley writes: “Could there be any correlation between those who virtue signal their preferred pronouns and the easily triggered, emotionally immature, adult-children who require public safe spaces?”
I am linking to it above because I actually want you all to see how fucking dumb they sound and also not be accused of “keeping them down” or being a coward, but suffice to say some of it is triggering to some, if not more so just annoying af and idiotic.
First of all, ‘virtue signal’ is a fucking alt-right seeded phrase to discredit the importance of social justice movements as trivial and disingenuous. Secondly, even Miller has said he can barely look at Holy Terror anymore and not see it as consumed by anger and that he also wasn’t thinking well during the time he attacked Occupy Wall Street. Last I checked I was AMAB and am an enby person currently GROWING FUCKING TITS and when I look under them I can still see the faded Sin City Miho tat taking up my entire ribs on the right side of my body . S/O to Devon Aoki. But GUESS WHAT?!! It is easy to admire some of Frank’s work and also to not be cool with Holy Terror, which was a toxic shitshow.
I donate monthly to Ilhan Abdullahi Omar and think she is one of the most important politicians in modern society and I can still appreciate some of Frank’s Daredevil run and also be disgusted by Holy Terror. See how that works?
Stop generalizing. You edgelord fucks hate it when people do it but then you perpetuate it with your ‘the woke mob’ bullshit. No group of people is a monolith. Most do some good and some bad, but aren’t all exactly equivalent in evil. AND in many cases you are called out for being an asshole, which is social consequences. Metal doesn’t mean no one will ever think you are a prick if you…are one?
Chances are you might not even be ‘cancelled’ forever if you genuinely aren’t just a defensive shit.
If you think metal is dead because of inclusiveness and ‘woke culture’ you clearly haven’t noticed that the best black metal lately has been indigenous or trans or includes cis women or is Zeal & Ardor. Seriously, shut the fuck up and listen to more Feminazgul.
And yes, even Gwar.
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Wow, fucking shitty week for metal. Heartbreaking news, fam. I just learned on Acey Slade’s Facebook that another great has left us for the great gig in the sky. Shit, man. This feels unreal. RIP Joey Jordison. Numb with shock.
The original drummer and a founding member of Slipknot, has died. He was 46. Nobody played like that dude and with all due respect, no one can quite replicate him.
The heavy metal artist’s family announced Jordison died in his sleep on Monday, July 26. His cause of death was not disclosed.
“We are heartbroken to share the news that Joey Jordison, prolific drummer, musician and artist passed away peacefully in his sleep on July 26th, 2021,” they wrote in a statement.
“Joey’s death has left us with empty hearts and feelings of indescribable sorrow,” Jordison’s family continued. “To those that knew Joey, understood his quick wit, his gentle personality, giant heart and his love for all things family and music.
“The family of Joey have asked that friends, fans and media understandably respect our need for privacy and peace at this incredibly difficult time. The family will hold a private funeral service and asks the media and public to respect their wishes.”
Fucking crank this now. Right fucking now. Fuck!!
— SINSAENUM (@SINSAENUM) July 28, 2021
This is hard. I'm at a loss. I met Joey on @Ozzfest when he still played in @slipknot. He was so kind. When I needed a drummer for #HouseOfSecrets I reached out & he eagerly agreed to play. He & I lost touch over the years & I regret that. So much. All the love to his ppl 😢💔 pic.twitter.com/c4Jsj8xJlz
— 👑 OTEP SHAMAYA 👑 (@otepofficial) July 28, 2021
Rest In Peace Joey Jordison. You changed the game with Slipknot. Brought the blast beat to the mainstream! Gave kids a groove like no other. Perseverance would’ve never happened had it not been for Joey & the Slipknot camp. Condolences to his family, friends & fans. Gone too soon
— Jamey Jasta (@jameyjasta) July 27, 2021
We are saddened by the news of the passing of our dear friend, Joey Jordison. From being able to share the stage with him numerous times throughout the years to Matt standing alongside him for the Roadrunner United album. He was always super gracious to all of us in Trivium. pic.twitter.com/LS8E06QT0A
— Trivium (@TriviumOfficial) July 27, 2021
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R.I.P Joey… :/
— Devin Townsend (@dvntownsend) July 27, 2021
Monday July 26th 2021 – In a show of force for the band and the loud music genre overall, Knotfest, the music and counterculture experience created by the multi-platinum sonic phenomenon Slipknot, has today announced the band’s biggest Los Angeles headline performance yet, Knotfest Los Angeles, at Banc of California Stadium on Friday November 5th. Knotfest Los Angeles will see Slipknot performing at this stadium for the first time, with a stacked line-up also including Bring Me The Horizon, Killswitch Engage, Fever 333, Code Orange and Vended, with a special guest appearance from Cherry Bombs. Check out the trailer below.
The Iron Maiden machine has gifted us with another future classic, the massive new song (and accompanying epic animated video) “The Writing On The Wall”. While I liked the band’s last few efforts, this single struck me as the most classic feeling number in awhile. No shade on The Book Of Souls or The Final Frontier intended, as both have plenty of rad moments like the galloping “Speed of Light” and larger than life, cinematic “Starblind”, to name two jams. But something about this new song just hit me like OLD Maiden. It is super easy to sing along with and has such an adventurous 80’s feel and a larger than life, grandiose video steeped in Maiden lore of (cough) Biblical proportions. I would kill for a whole record like this if the band has one more in them before the writing is, indeed, on the wall.
Bruce Dickinson conceived the video in conjunction with former Pixar executives Mark Andrews and Andrew Gordon. It was eventually produced with the London-based animation studio BlinkInk and does not fall short.Add to My Radar
The Armored Saint camp have released a video for new melodic hard rock tune “Lone Wolf”. Last October, Armored Saint released their eighth full-length, Punching The Sky, via Metal Blade Records. Today, the band has launched a new video for the album track, “Lone Wolf”.
Robert Graves comments: “With ‘Lone Wolf’, the band and I agreed right away that this was an opportunity to create a narrative driven video that would convey the song’s lyrical themes, while also creating an engaging visual experience. And so, a noir-styled heist in the heart of LA just seemed to fit the song perfectly. We decided to keep the story simple and allow the tone of the video to help convey the song’s significance. This gave us (the crew) the opportunity to create an aesthetic that intensified the song’s mood, while also getting some incredible action scenes to tell the story. Needless to say, Armored Saint fans are in for a ride. I think they’re gonna love it!”
Bassist Joey Vera adds: “Working again with director Robert Graves was incredible. Not only is this video great to watch, but underneath the storyline lies a layer of allegory, metaphor and symbolism. Kind of a first for us. John Bush’s great lyrics twist and turn into meanings not visible at first sight. It’s a view into a person’s journey through life and how they maneuver through it all and what they gain from that experience in the end. The neo-noir look Robert created in both the story and the band performances make this a great addition to the Armored Saint video catalogue.”
Vocalist John Bush adds: “Working with Robert is awesome. The guy is truly amazing. He’s gonna be a star.
This time we pushed the dialogue. It was challenging for me, but I had fun with it. For motivation, I tried to channel some of the great actors who come into the casting studio that my wife and I run.
‘Wolf’ tackles the view of people who spend a lot of time on their own. Something I spent years doing. The solitary individuals that always keep us guessing. This video is dedicated to them.”
That said, I am not sure I would trust Bush along on a heist anytime soon!
Armored Saint also have new merchandise – including a flannel long sleeve, ashtray, flask, lighter, license plate holder, and more! – available at: indiemerch.com/armoredsaintAdd to My Radar
None or Unknown
The gnarliest punk album of the year just dropped. Love Is A Lie, Filth Is Eternal from Filth Is Eternal (formerly F'd and B'd) reminds us that there was a time when Seattle bands were considered dangerous, when Mudhoney might jump on your face and half the roster of Sub Pop didn't look like even Starbucks wasn't gentrified enough for their tepid, pale faced indie rock bullshit. Filth Is Eternal plays an explosive blend of go for the throat, not a moment wasted punk n' roll married to Sonic Youth flirting dissonance and with tones ugly enough to make Fudge Tunnel blush and The Bronx seem like Captain & Tennille. Fronted by an actual snarling wild animal over some of the best riffs and beats you have ever heard. This record reminds me of a show I played in 1997 with my old band Fuse where I got wasted on unclean tapline Rolling Rocks and bottom shelf whiskey after getting a tattoo and ended up rolling on a country bar floor half nude and bleeding and smearing black grime and tattoo inky residue and blood everywhere, waking up the next day feeling kind of aroused and ready to fight literally anything but also half dead. Sirhan Sirhan is gonna get out of jail and be all stoked to enter polite society and this shit will play and it will retrigger a hypnotic trance and make dude go all Winter Soldier on some dudes. If your band doesn't bang as hard as the ending of "The Dog", just quit now.