Review: Metallica in Minneapolis 

It’s been a really long time since Metallica was in Minneapolis last, so the sell-out crowd at the brand new US Bank Stadium was more than ready to rock. I expected awesome crowd reception, and we delivered. 

What I didn’t expect (but should’ve), was that my ears would still be ringing the next day!

Metallica blew the lid off of that stadium, on an unusually chilly August Saturday night, and there was no better act to be the first representative of heavy metal to tear it down. 

They launched into “Creeping Death” which let the audience know they were in for a ride! Seconds later – “For Whom The Bells Tolls” which oozed every bit of menacing aroma you’d imagine. 

James Hetfield’s greatest song intro of the night was certainly before “Fuel”. He said something like, “We hope you’re having a good time, and I just wanna say – GIMME FUEL, GIMME FIRE, GIMME THAT WHICH I DESIRE!!” Yeah… the build up shook the new stadium to its core! No one expected the launch of such a powerful train of sound so soon! 

It was everything you’d expect from Metallica. As a bonus, they pulled out the hits! Check out the set list… 

1. Creeping Death

2. For Whom The Bell Tolls

3. Fuel

4. King Nothing

5. The Memory Remains

6. The Unforgiven 

7. Leper Messiah (followed by a Kirk guitar solo)

8. Welcome Home (Sanitarium) 

9. Sad But True (followed by a Rob bass solo) 

10. Wherever I May Roam

11. One

12. Master Of Puppets

13. Battery (followed by another Kirk solo)

14. Fade To Black

15. Seek & Destroy



Whiskey In The Jar

Nothing Else Matters

Enter Sandman
Needless to say, they covered every song you’d want them too. Rob even stepped out in a Vikings jersey for a bit! They truly tailored this show for the fans. 
Special shout out to Volbeat and Avenged Sevenfold who did a great job warming up the crowd!


Review: Guns N’ Roses in Pittsburgh 

Tuesday night in Pittsburgh, a visibly excited Axl Rose called out “Hello boys and girls!” just after Guns N’ Roses launched into “It’s So Easy” to kick off another amazing night for the Not In This Lifetime tour. The crowd went nuts!!

For a group of guys that haven’t played together in twenty years, they didn’t miss a beat.

photo: Jack Fordyce – Tribune Review

Wolfmother opened for Guns N’ Roses with a solid set. They mixed older and newer tunes. The big hit of the night was “Woman”.

After Wolfmother took the stage, the audience was treated to a series of Guns N’ Roses hits. Not a single one went over negatively. They were tight as ever! They even refreshed my memory of Chinese Democracy by playing a few tunes from that album. 

Here’s just a few highlights…

Questioning whether or not Axl still has it? Just listen to this…

It was awesome to see them to honor their punk roots with some Johnny Thunders and Iggy Pop! Duff McKagan and Slash both had time to shine with separate solo opportunities, as seen above. 

When Guns blasted into “November Rain” fans witnessed a melding of that and the piano ending for “Layla” that blew their minds! Not to mention a nice segue from “Civil War” to a “Voodoo Child” solo by Slash.

My eyes began to water when the opening notes of “Sweet Child O’ Mine” echoed through Heinz Field, and saw Slash, Duff and Axl play near each other like brothers. 

Not to mention, hearing “Paradise City” amongst the Pittsburgh skyline was enough to bring on more tears from any Pittsburgher.

All in all, this tour is one worth seeing. You could tell that the set list was as much fun for Guns N’ Roses as it was for the fans! 

Andrew Stockdale of Wolfmother put it best when he called opening for Guns and honor and said, “we all need this, don’t we?” 

Check out the set list here

photo: Jack Fordyce – Tribune Review

Review: Whitechapel – Mark Of The Blade

Deathcore may have begun a progressive shift in 2016, and Whitechapel seem to be carrying that torch with their latest release Mark Of The Blade.

Personally, I’m not a huge Whitechapel fan, but what grabbed my interest with Mark Of The Blade, was the announcement that Phil Bozeman was going to incorporate some clean vocals for the first time ever. You can hear them in “Bring Me Home” – and I hope to hear more in the future! We’re eased into it because their soft, almost like Maynard James Keenan’s in Tool‘s “Opiate”. You can also hear cleans in “Decennium”.

In addition to Phil showcasing his clean ability, this album shines a light on guitar men Ben Savage, Zach Householder, and Alex Wade. Do yourself a favor and show on “Brotherhood” to hear how in sync they are.

Most of Mark Of The Blade is classic Whitechapel, so don’t be totally thrown off by a sudden shift to clean vocals. Stick to tracks like “Tremors” and “Tormented” to be reassured that Whitechapel are still themselves. A consistent groove is pertinent throughout the whole album.

Mark Of The Blade can be found in stores now, and on iTunes.




Review: Gojira – Magma

One of the most anticipated metal albums of 2016 was released just a week ago.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that we’re talking about Magma from French (and now New York City residents) metal group Gojira. These guys are known for developing their own unmistakable style, and in that sense, Magma won’t sound too different for Gojira fans.

If it seems like Magma is coming from a heavier place (heavier than they’ve gone before), it is. Sadly,  Joe Duplantier and Mario Duplantier‘s mother passed away during the recording of the album, so this album comes from a rough place. You can hear it. Listen to how crushing “Silvera” or “Stranded” is especially.

The intensity of tracks like that on Magma rival Meshuggah. When you need a break from being pummeled with anger and frustration, check out “Liberation”.

Joe recently commented on the slight change in style in a conversation with Full Metal Jackie, saying….

“The fact that it’s changing, the fact that there’s less demonstration in the music. It’s not as death metal-ey, it’s a little groovier and atmospheric. I guess, the biggest risk that we take is being ourselves fully and completely.”

Joe, I can tell you, the end result of Magma was worth the risk! Check out the track list below!

1. “The Shooting Star” 5:42
2. “Silvera” 3:33
3. “The Cell” 3:18
4. “Stranded” 4:29
5. “Yellow Stone” 1:19
6. “Magma” 6:42
7. “Pray” 5:14
8. “Only Pain” 4:00
9. “Low Lands” 6:04
10. “Liberation” 3:35

Magma can be found anywhere in stores, and on with iTunes or Amazon.


Review: Scorpion Child – Acid Roulette

If you’re looking for a fusion of Rush (seriously, singer Aryn Jonathan Black sounds a little like Geddy Lee! He soars on vocals.) meets, Led Zeppelin, meets Aerosmith. You found it in the second release from Scorpion Child!

Since 2006, these Texans (“The Child” – for those who don’t know) have put out solid hard rock, and Acid Roulette is no exception to their (proven successful – at least, to my ears) formula. This is a party record (“She Sings, I Kill” and “My Woman In Black” especially), but it’s also a musicians’ record.

You can tell right away that Jon “The Charn” Rice and Alec Caballero Padron (drums and bass, respectively) work well together to create a solid, train-chugging-along rhythm section.

If you’re looking for slower jams, check out “Survives” and the title-track “Acid Roulette” – both are a little more psychedelic. Don’t forget to find a dark room and light some candles to “Séance” either! Yep, it’s what you think it is… cool, creepy vibes from that one.

You just don’t find these kind of vibes in rock that often anymore. It’s a breath of smoke-filled fresh air with a nod to the 70’s! It’s definitely worth a listen. Check out more details on the band and their sound here, and get Acid Roulette anywhere music is sold today!


Review: HELLYEAH – Unden!able

From the moment you put the latest release from HELLYEAH, Unden!able, on – you know you’re in for a ride! This album is solid work from the band. It’s a gritty, machine-churning-sounding, vicious rollercoaster ride the whole way through! Seriously, if you were riding a rollercoaster, you’d want this album as the soundtrack to the ride.

Unden!able has enough angst to perpetuate any bully. It’s almost as though Meshuggah is their backup band.

I have to applaud Chad Gray‘s vocals, they’re tight and fierce! They’re a perfect fit for Unden!able. What makes it perfect is his rap-like delivery. I can already hear him ramping up the crowd with any of these tracks on tour.

The album includes 13 tracks, some are purely musical interlude.

01. “!”
02. “X”
03. “Scratch a Lie”
04. “Be Unden!able”
05. “Human”
06. “Leap of Faith”
07. “Blood Plague”
08. “I Don’t Care Anymore”
09. “Live Or Die”
10. “Love Falls”
11. “10-34″
13. “Grave”

The crown jewel of Unden!able is a Phil Collins cover (“I Don’t Care Anymore”) that includes some previously unreleased guitar work from Dimebag Darrell.

It took three weeks to include Dime’s guitar parts for the song (they were recorded on a computer program from 2004), but this was an endeavor obviously important to Vinnie Paul. He says,

“When Kevin [Churko, producer] got the tracks isolated, he synched them up, and when we listened them it totally gave me goosebumps.

We’ve always felt like he’s been a part of this band since day one. We felt like his energy and his spirit was always with us. And for people to be able to hear him again in 2016 puts a big smile on my face.”

Unden!able is truly a treat! Check it out in stores today!


Review: Death Angel – The Evil Divide

May 27th, 2016 proved to be an awesome day for metal! Bay-area thrash meatless Death Angel were among many bands releasing new material today. Their eighth studio release, The Evil Divide, is an absolute delight!

If you’re looking for heavier, crunchier guitar riffs peppered with brutal lyrics – you found it in Death Angel‘s brand new album The Evil Divide. The best part about this album, is that no lineup changes were made within the band.

Check out “Hatred United/United Hate” – notice how stripped down the video is.

This seems to a theme for the album – a down to earth, gritty example of classic Death Angel doing what they do best. However, The Evil Divide takes a heavier turn as compared to The Dream Calls For Blood. Perhaps that’s how producer Jason Suecof likes it. It’s clear that he and Death Angel have a mutual understanding of what’s best for the sound of the band, because The Evil Divide is obviously a cohesive effort. It’s the third the time the two have worked together.

“The Moth” is a track that sets the tone for the entire rest of the album. After listening to
13267976_10153538747790759_3066892641825805021_n that song, you know Death Angel put together a loud, fast-paced, guitar heavy piece of art. Mark Osegueda does a phenomenal job vocally, soaring over the relentless guitars (thank you Rob Cavestany and Ted Aguilar!). In my opinion, “Hatred United/United Hate” is the best example of this.

I absolutely love the pure venom and angst that Mark spits during “Hell To Pay” – if you’re going through a rough time, pump that sucker into some loud speakers and you’ll feel better!

The Evil Divide is angry, loud and fierce! Definitely a must by! Check out the tracklist below, and see Death Angel on tour this year! You won’t want to miss them performing these tunes live! Death Angel always puts on an excellent live show, with the entire band involved, interacting with the crowd… and I have a feeling that touring The Evil Divide will be no different.

1. “The Moth” 4:38
2. “Cause for Alarm” 3:22
3. “Lost” 4:57
4. “Father of Lies” 5:05
5. “Hell to Pay” 3:12
6. “It Can’t Be This” 4:16
7. “Hatred United/United Hate” 5:17
8. “Breakaway” 4:01
9. “The Electric Cell” 4:38
10. “Let the Pieces Fall” 5:47


Review: Lacuna Coil – Delirium

Wow! Wow! Wow! I’ve gotta say… the latest album from Lacuna Coil, Delirium, definitely packs a punch! Released today (May 27, 2016), Delirium is truly an album of “firsts” for Lacuna Coil.

Immediately, you’ll notice that Lacuna Coil‘s sound has seemingly shifted somewhat back to its’ Karmacode days; and that’s mixed with some of their consistent influences (think Depeche Mode meets their Karmacode material). It’s like listening to someone working in a chemistry lab.

There’s plenty of reasons for that. This album marks the first time Lacuna Coil fans won’t see drummer Cristiano “Criz” Mozzati and guitarists Cristiano “Pizza”, (he retired from the band on Valentine’s Day 2014), and Marco “Maus” Biazzi. They were with the band since the beginning. Now, fans see Marco Coti Melati (Bass, Guitars, Keyboards, Production – he produced Delirium) taking a more prominent role in the band,  and are introduced to Ryan Blake Folden (Drums, Percussion).

Additionally, this created “room to play” for their guitar parts. Take a look at the list of guest guitarists that add to the sound! Super exciting stuff!

  • Diego Cavallotti: Guitar Solo on “Ultima Ratio” and additional guitars.
  • Marco Barusso: Guitar Solo on “The House of Shame”.
  • Myles Kennedy: Guitar Solo on “Downfall”.
  • Alessandro La Porta: Guitar Solo on “Claustrophobia”.
  • Mark Vollelunga: Guitar Solo and additional guitars on “Blood tears dust”.

Cristina Scabbia sings noticeably higher on this album (see “You Love Me ‘Cause I You” and “Delirium”), more so than she had on Shallow Life and Dark Adrenaline. Her, and Andrea Ferro‘s parts, are divided very equally as always.

Despite the numerous changes, there is something familiar about this version of Lacuna Coil. Perhaps it’s because they felt super comfortable while recording it. They mixed and produced this record in their home country, Italy.

It’s Depeche Mode meets older Lacuna Coil, and it’s deliciousy delirious!

1. “The House of Shame” 5:17
2. “Broken Things” 3:59
3. “Delirium” 3:16
4. “Blood, Tears, Dust” 3:55
5. “Downfall” 4:21
6. “Take Me Home” 3:45
7. “You Love Me ‘Cause I Hate You” 3:49
8. “Ghost in the Mist” 4:14
9. “My Demons” 3:56
10. “Claustrophobia” 4:07
11. “Ultima Ratio” 4:08


Review: Katatonia – The Fall Of Hearts

Strap yourself in for a more progressive Katatonia! Their latest release The Fall Of Hearts contains some serious Opeth and Enslaved vibes. It was introduced to the world on May 20th.

It’s been four years since Dead End Kings was unleashed, and fans will be able to tell that The Fall Of Hearts isn’t as heavy on the guitars as that album was. This might be due to the fact that The Fall Of Hearts contains some new blood in the band lineup. Daniel Moilanen and Roger Öjersson make their first appearance on this album. Daniel took over behind the drumkit, and you’ll notice Roger’s solos on guitar (see: “Takeover”, “Serac” and “Passer”).

While fans may notice a change in Katatonia‘s sound, rest assured that the same dramatic themes on subjects like love and obsession are still very much intact in the writing. (Example: “These are the words that you won’t find. This closure is not what you had in mind.” in “Serac”)

In other words, it’s classic Katatonia but with a more progressive tweak. If you’re going to buy the album, be sure to get the physical copy that includes the DVD!


To Valhalla: Knee High Fox

Welcome! It’s a #FreyaFriday and that means we’re sending a band “to Valhalla” and raising awareness of them.

This week, let’s talk about Knee High Fox. They are a deliciously decadent combination of alternative and electronic rock that formed in Los Angeles in 2012. They’re fronted by Chrissy Fox, and include Simon Nagel on bass, Eric Bickerstaff on guitar, and Matt Hankle on drums. 

You’ll notice a lot of horror themes in their lyrics in between hardcore solid guitar riffs and electronic beats. If Halestorm and Mindless Self Indulgence made a baby, Knee High Fox might be it.

Most recently, they released Obey the Cross (in October 2015), which includes songs like “Lolita” and “Comin’ for You” that are gaining some traction. Check them out below!


They’ve also had the pleasure of touring with Powerman 5000, and Marilyn Manson. To find out more about Knee High Fox, check them out at the links below!