What is a ringmaster? Though he's the show's most visible performer, a ringmaster charismatically showcases awe-inspiring acts while focusing the spotlight towards a myriad of characters outside of himself. In more modern eras, a ringmaster has been even known to sing and dance with his performers during the show. Devin Townsend knows this, and he plays the ringmaster perfectly throughout his new live CD/DVD 'The Retinal Circus.'
Crowd funding has quickly become a popular way for bands to pay for new albums, and Canadian rockers Protest the Hero's new disc ‘Volition’ represents the epitome of a successful crowd funding campaign. The band ended up raising an incredible $341,000 via Indiegogo. That would probably pay for one Katy Perry song to be recorded, but for a metal band’s recording budget, it’s a massive amount of dough. With those resources available, it raised the bar and increased the expectations for ‘Volition.’
Ihsahn is one of extreme metal’s most revered and complete musicians. His work with Emperor speaks for itself, but one aspect many don’t account for is Ihsahn’s age when he released those four game-changing albums. In 2001, he folded Emperor in order to focus on other projects like Peccatum. Following Peccatum’s demise, he ventured into solo territory with his first album ‘The Adversary’ in 2006. The solo outfit Ihsahn is a blend of progressive metal with some black metal elements retained. ‘Das Seelenbrechen’ is the fifth studio album from the mastermind and is by far his most expansive work to date.
Motörhead have been kicking around for nearly 40 years now, churning out albums at a feverish pace since 1977. ‘Aftershock’ marks their 21st studio album and sounds exactly how fans expect it to sound: like Motörhead. Lemmy Kilmister and company have never strayed from the path of fast-paced rock ‘n’ roll with the ethos of ‘Everything Louder Than Everything Else.’ There is no such thing as a bad Motörhead album, just ones that are better. In the case of ‘Aftershock,’ it happens to be one of the band’s best.
Halestorm have always embraced cover songs. In 2011 they released ‘ReAniMate: The CoVeRs eP.' More recently, Lzzy Hale sang ‘Close My Eyes Forever’ with David Draiman on Device’s self-titled debut and also sang Duran Duran’s ‘Come Undone’ with Adrenaline Mob on their 2012 album ‘Omerta.’ One of the best covers they have done is ‘Empire State of Mind’ from last year’s ‘The Live Room’ EP.
More than 30 years after helping spread the genre across the world, it’s amazing how many Bay Area thrash bands are still around and making new music. Metallica, Slayer, Testament, Exodus and many others are still very relevant. Death Angel are another Bay Area thrash group that’s alive and well. Their latest album is ‘The Dream Calls for Blood.’
Inviting music fans to an intimate look inside the walls of their formidable ‘Fortress,’ Alter Bridge kick off their new disc with the epic tale of ‘Cry of Achilles.’ By design, the track sets the tone for what’s to come: a collection of tracks that push new boundaries for the intrepid melodic rock act. The daring song arrangements experiment just enough to open up a whole new world of audible opportunities all while offering up enough familiarity to not exclude longtime fans. While this is no easy feat, Alter Bridge manage to find the delicate balance of quietly evolving without erasing any of the past.
It has been nine years since we last heard from Connecticut’s power-turned-progressive metallers Fates Warning. They left us with the dark and brooding ‘Fates Warning X,’ and after years of nothing new from the band, fans began to wonder if the group would ever return to the studio.
The year 2013 has proven to be a very, very busy one for Metallica. From playing sold-out shows all across the globe to just a few nights ago rocking a packed house at the intimate and legendary Apollo Theater in New York City, the legendary metal band is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon. This is most obvious in the simple fact that within the same week, they are celebrating the release of their first ever full-length feature film and its official soundtrack. 'Metallica Through The Never' is a live disc fans need to add to their 'Tallica collection as soon as possible.
The first introductory strains of the “False Awakening Suite,” which kick off Dream Theater's new self-titled album (due Sept. 24) seems to actually transport the listener into a theater. Images come to mind of the lights going down in some wildly ornate medieval house of drama, the orchestra has signaled the overture, and it is time for the massive sweep of something liberating, powerful and profound to roll forth.