Dead Cross – DEAD CROSS

The future is canceled, and the season of the witch is nigh. Mike Patton emerges once more from the dark side of his own blood moon, bringing with him enough personae to give James McAvoy‘s 23 personalities from the movie “Split” reason for permanent exile. This moment has been a long time coming, it seems, especially once co-founding vocalist Gabe Serbian mike-dropped, both figuratively and literally. Exit Serbian, enter the higher profile—make it plural, if you desire—pedigree of Mike Patton, and DEAD CROSS‘s self-titled debut album is now a reality. Call it betrayal or call it making the most of … Continue reading

Smoke On This – REX BROWN

Four years after releasing his memoir, “101 Truth, 101 Proof: The Inside Story of Pantera”, Rex Brown takes the next step in a musical life spread both with joy and turmoil. Judging by the shackles-free mindset of his debut solo album, “Smoke On This”, Brown has his targets set way high, but he possesses the wisdom to start that journey on a new footing. Most of all, he wants his fans to know he’s more than a knuckles-down bass monster who harvested an esteemed career inside PANTERA, DOWN and KILL DEVIL HILL. Here, Brown plays guitar, bass and, check it … Continue reading

Zero Days – PRONG

Don’t you wish “Headbangers Ball” was back? Not just for the obvious reasons, if you’re a metalhead. The Gen X’ers who made The Ball their Saturday night Sabbath will confirm that what made the show so damned great, and at the same time so damned awful, was just as much about the intro and commercial-break music as it was about the videos and band interviews. S.O.D. and then PRONG helped relieve the frequent drought propagated by the Metal Light prefabs ruling The Ball’s first run. It’s been ages since we heard snippets from the “Beg to Differ” album gnawing along … Continue reading

Howling, for the Nightmare Shall Consume – INTEGRITY

This group hasn’t enjoyed success to the degree of bands like HATEBREED and CONVERGE, but without INTEGRITY‘s material, it’s arguable that those bands wouldn’t have, without INTEGRITY‘s foundational material. Members of INTEGRITY, Cleveland-based bruisers, are indeed trailblazers in the realm of metallic hardcore. Sure, acts like D.R.I. and S.O.D. predated INTEGRITY, but the more bombastic and searing elements of modern metal and hardcore hybrid acts were rooted in the music of INTEGRITY and RINGWORM. With the band’s twelfth studio album, “Howling, for the Nightmare Shall Consume”, it proves that the band is as relevant, potent and fresh sounding as ever. … Continue reading

Dimension Hatröss – VOIVOD

I’m going to ask for your indulgence and forgiveness for this review’s blatantly personal tone. If you’ve been reading my writing, you’re used to it already when it comes to VOIVOD. This is a band that has affected my core as much as much my ears since 1987 when a longtime buddy placed the cassettes for “Rrrooaarrr” and “Killing Technology” in my hands and said, “This is you all over, dude.” Goddamn, was he spot-on. I declared the group the band of the future in my college music column after seeing the group outclass its openers, SOUNDGARDEN and FAITH NO … Continue reading

Extreme Aggression – KREATOR

Everyone following KREATOR over the band’s 35-year course has their favorite album, and it’s not necessarily a unified choice. Poll 10 fans at once, you’ll probably hit upon most of the group’s 14 LPs to-date, minus the troubled experimental albums spanning from 1992’s “Renewal” through 1999’s “Endorama”. Then again, there are defensive fans of those, though you’re more wont to see people bickering about the merits of “Pleasure to Kill” over “Coma of Souls” and vice versa. What most thrash hounds can agree upon is that KREATOR‘s 1989 “Extreme Aggression” remains a genre masterpiece. Though the band, and some fans, … Continue reading

DEE SNIDER: 'I Had To Stop Headbanging… My Neck Just About Had It'

During an August 17 appearance on the “Trunk Nation” show on SiriusXM channel Volume (106), Dee Snider spoke about TWISTED SISTER‘s decision to call it quits last year after completing a farewell fortieth-anniversary tour. “Basically, the level of intensity that I performed at with TWISTED SISTER, I had to stop while I could still deliver that before I could no longer deliver that,” the singer explained. “The headbanging, the thrashing, all that energy… Where Alice [Cooper] always seemed like a crotchety old dude, and he’s crawling around the stage, that works great for a 72-year-old dude now. But what I … Continue reading

JAKE E. LEE's RED DRAGON CARTEL Is 'Trying To Stir Things Up A Little Bit' On Second Album

RED DRAGON CARTEL, the band led by former OZZY OSBOURNE and BADLANDS guitarist Jake E. Lee, recently entered Obscenic Arts studio in Dillsburg, Pennsylvania to begin recording its sophomore album for a tentative early 2018 release. Titled “Patina”, the follow-up to the group’s eponymous 2014 debut will mark RED DRAGON CARTEL‘s first release with drummer Phil Varone (SAIGON KICK, SKID ROW) and bassist Anthony Esposito. The group’s current lineup is rounded out by singer Darren James Smith. Speaking to Charvel.com, Jake stated about RED DRAGON CARTEL‘s upcoming album: “There’s gonna be a wide variety of sounds and songs on this.” … Continue reading

AVENGED SEVENFOLD Guitarist On 'The Stage': It Was Kind Of Our Punk Rock, Heavy Metal, Progressive 'Dark Side Of The Moon'

In a brand new interview with The Salt Lake Tribune, AVENGED SEVENFOLD guitarist Zacky Vengeance defended the band’s decision to evolve again with its latest album, 2016’s “The Stage”, knowing full well that it wouldn’t appeal to everyone. “It was kind of our punk rock, heavy metal, progressive ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’, if you will,” he said. “And there’s been people who’ve praised it as the greatest album that they’ve heard, and there’s been fans and people that, just truly, it’s over their heads and they don’t get it. And that’s what making music’s all about. I can’t honestly … Continue reading

TIM 'RIPPER' OWENS Would Rejoin JUDAS PRIEST 'Because Of The Friendship' With His Former Bandmates

Tim “Ripper” Owens says that he would rejoin JUDAS PRIEST if asked, but he doesn’t believe that it will ever happen. The Ohio-based singer recorded two studio albums with the British heavy metal legends — 1997’s “Jugulator” and 2001’s “Demolition” — before the band reunited with Rob Halford. Asked by Metal Temple if he would return to JUDAS PRIEST if Halford decided to retire from the band and the rest of the group wanted to carry on, Owens said (hear audio below): “Well, there’s no doubt I would, if the timing was right. It’s not gonna happen — it’s never … Continue reading