Phoenix-based speed/thrash metal band Flotsam and Jetsam returned to Metal Blade Records for the release of their 11th studio album, Ugly Noise, which came out April 16 in the US. The album features the return of original members Michael Gilbert on guitar and Kelly David Smith on drums.
Based out of Tempe, Arizona, science-fiction-themed progressive thrash metal band Vektor have caught the attention of the genre's true fans. They could be called "the intelligent man's thrash band," and their sophomore album, 2011's Outer Isolation (Earache Records) supports that title.
Guardians of the good ol' classic metal sound, Toronto, Canada-based Cauldron have been going places of late. Following the April 30 North American release of their third studio album, Tomorrow's Lost via Earache/Century Media, they toured with Diamond Head and did a headline run of their own, after which they made an appearance at Metallica's Orion Music + More fest in Detroit.
Finnish melodic death metal giants Children of Bodom released their eighth studio album, Halo of Blood, June 11 via Nuclear Blast Records, and it's exactly the kind of album the fans have been waiting for.
Massachusetts-based hard rock/heavy metal band Ivadür, which got its start in 2011, released an impressive debut album earlier this year. This band’s simple goal is to play the kind of music they enjoy listening to, and their passion for all things classic is pretty clear when you listen to this album, which is — through and through — a 100 percent analog recording.
People paid good money for tickets, so expectations were high. And with these artists having been around for so many years, there was a degree of skepticism to go with all the excitement of witnessing such classic music in the glorious setting of the Greek, up on a hill in Griffith Park, providing a great view of the Hollywood Hills and LA to people in the higher seats.
There are tribute bands that perform as a full-time profession and convert it into a profitable business, even as their goal remains to pay homage to the original bands. Then there are bands that do the same thing but keep in local and underground. Southern California’s premiere Metallica tribute band, Damage Inc., falls into the latter category.
The slow, thick chorus riffs got a majority of the crowd to bang their heads. I never imagined I’d head-bang so much at a Katatonia show. Set list-wise, they had four tunes from the latest album, Dead End Kings, of which "Dead Letters" sounded particularly strong. Besides, they had a selection of songs from the Night Is The New Day album and went further back into the catalog for the other tunes.
Les Claypool, Larry LaLonde and Jay Lane started doing a run of "Primus 3D" tour dates last year, and they've extended it into another tour leg for 2013. The show promised to augment Primus’ music with 3D visuals and Surround Sound for an entire evening with no opening act. The Fox Theater in Pomona, California, played host to one such show on May 19.
Already known for his work with a multitude of bands and musicians, including Steve Vai, Talas, David Lee Roth, Mr. Big and Niacin, bass maestro Billy Sheehan recently kicked off two new projects — PSMS (Portnoy-Sheehan-MacAlpine-Sherinian) and the Winery Dogs with Mike Portnoy and Richie Kotzen.