LA-based rock quintet Vanaprasta have built quite a niche for themselves with their intriguing musicianship and dynamic live performances, not only in the local club circuit but also through appearances at SXSW and the Sunset Strip Music Festival.
For 40 years, the team of Tipton and band co-founder KK Downing led the heavy metal brigade, introducing a twin-guitar attack to the genre, defining a sound rooted in power chords, palm muting and back-and-forth lead breaks that inspired generations of groups, from Iron Maiden to Slayer.
Here's the third and final part of my recent interview with shredder Michael Angelo Batio. This time, we discuss the time Batio auditioned for Kiss -- and the new 25th anniversary commemorative edition of his Star Licks instructional DVD.
If you love the sound of the Pro-Tooled, slickly produced metal albums that are being churned out by the dozen these days, then you'll want to skip over Christian Mistress. While the Olympia, Washington-based metal band won't be winning over any fans who thrive on auto-tune and quantized drums, they should appeal to anyone hungry for a slab of traditional-minded heavy metal with a modern twist.
Guitarist Xander Demos may not be a household name, but his playing is causing an increasing number of new fans and equipment manufacturers to take notice. Demos' combination of Shrapnel-era shred and melodic phrasing makes for a combination that appeals equally to guitarists and non-guitarists.
Biohazard's much-anticipated new album -- Reborn In Defiance -- is their first studio album since 2005's Means to An End. But more importantly, it's the first Biohazard album in 18 years to feature the original lineup of Evan Seinfeld, Billy Graziadei, Bobby Hambel and Danny Schuler. The album was recorded before an amicable parting with Seinfeld, the band's bassist and co-vocalist.
Here's part two of my recent interview with guitarist Alex Skolnick of Testament and the Alex Skolnick Trio. To read part one, which focused on Skolnick's unique journey as a jazz player, head here. When we left off, Skolnick was answering questions from readers about a variety of topics.
Punch Brothers are not a bluegrass band. While you might be fooled into thinking otherwise by their traditional instrumentation and blinding picking chops, a quick listen will prove they are a highly evolved mutation of Bill Monroe and His Bluegrass Boys. Led by mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile, the group takes influences ranging from Radiohead to Bach to Earl Scruggs and combines them into a strikingly unique brand of acoustic music.