Metal For Hire has added slew of new names to its already impressive roster. Now with the addition of current and former members of Arch Enemy, Blind Guardian, Nile, and Ministry; Metal For Hire now boasts an even greater who’s who of greats to help other artists realize their dreams. This follows two impressive rounds of announcements earlier this year. MFH helps musicians hire other well-known, top-tier professional artists.
Karl Sanders of Nile, by Meg Loyal Photography
New additions to Metal For Hire:
Alex Holzwarth – (Session Drums, Etc…) Rhapsody Of Fire Christopher Amott – (Session Guitars, Etc…) Arch Enemy, Armageddon Danny Finch – (Session Vocals, Etc…) Devilment, The Dead Soul Communion Jason Netherton – (Session Vocals, Etc…) Misery Index, Dying Fetus John Jarvis – (Session Guitars, Etc…) Pig Destroyer, Agoraphobic Nosebleed Karl Sanders – (Session Guitars, Etc…) Nile, Behemoth, Morbid Angel Marton Veress – (Live/Touring Drummer, Etc…) Armageddon, Pokolgep Oliver Holzwarth – (Bass Lessons, Etc…) Rhapsody Of Fire, Blind Guardian, Tarja Turunen Paul Ryan – (Guitar Lessons, Etc…) Origin Shawn Priest – (Session Drums, Etc…) Arsis, Winds Of Plague Sin Quirin – (Session Guitars, Etc…) Ministry, American Headcharge Steve Conley – (Session Guitars, Etc…) Flotsam And Jetsam
Maybe it is due to having seen “the next big thing” come and go several times over with very few of the chosen ones having the ability, longevity or musicality to either make it or deserve it, but us metallers past our mid-teens (Ok, some way past!) are extremely suspicious about any band with even a whiff of hype about them. Roadrunner’s latest push King 810 have a whole perfume empire of propaganda behind their debut full-length Memoirs Of A Murderer. It is evident that King 810 are well on their way to becoming an established and successful name in the world of mainstream metal, but whether they deserve to succeed where others are by-passed is a whole other issue.
From the outset it is clear that the quartet, who have put Flint, Michigan well and truly on the metal map, have progressed immeasurably since 2012’s leaden and monotone EP Midwest Monsters (Independent). They have not only found their niche, a distinctive one flecked with violence and diversity, but vocalist David Gunn has found his voice with his already infamous tales of life in the poverty-striken, violence and bloodshed blocks of his home town. He says he is holding up a mirror to reflect his environment, an unwelcoming town of violence and murder, and in ‘Write About Us’, an interesting percussive poetry piece, explains the people he grew up with asked him to tell their story on the album.
Whether the urban myths of King 810 are truth, fabrication or exaggeration (probably a mixture of all three), and the Roadrunner push is “justified” or not, the band will, as most bands do, stand or fall on its songs. Image, controversy or mystique will only get you so far, and for so long, but mix those three elements, calculated or otherwise, with good songs and the doors to success open wide.
For the uninitiated, King 810 create dark, bruising nu-metal, sitting somewhere between Korn and Slipknot with a touch of American Headcharge and Hollywood Undead, creating big songs, backed up by fat guitars and slum-levelling hate-anthem choruses. Gunn’s vocals sit part way between narration and gravelled shouts, while the guitars, heavy, remain simple but weighty, like human carcasses hanging on meathooks, fattened by the excellent sonic work of producer Josh Schroeder.
It only takes a few listens for the tales of knives, guns, urban survival and murder to earworm their way in, and you can already see in the minds’ eye whole festival fields slamming and hollering to ‘Killem All’, moshing to ‘Best Night Of My Life’; a belting tune with an uptempo Hardcore vibe that strains against the leash, or pit-stomping and posturing to ‘Fat Around The Heart’, while ‘Desperate Lovers’ is pure catchy, down-tuned modern neck metal.
This isn’t a perfect album. It’s not as innovative as Korn (Immortal/Epic), it doesn’t have the songs or blow-you-the-fuck-away wildness of Slipknot (Roadrunner), has a few too many tracks (two spoken word pieces, the non-song ‘Carve My Name’ and the stock ‘War Outside’) and the running order isn’t right, as ‘Devil Don’t Cry’ is the highlight and natural showstopper yet appears two-thirds of the way through. Nor is this Neanderthal groove-metalling, more a metal Wu Tang Clan (with tip of the hat to @M1kecollins for the description) and these tracks slit the throat and pour concrete down the neck of ‘Big Truck’. This is a modern release based around a winning formula while embracing diversity. ‘Eyes’ is a delicate electronic-led track that wouldn’t be out of place on Marilyn Manson’s underrated Holy Wood (Nothing/Interscope), while ‘Devil Don’t Cry’ and ‘State of Nature’ are bare, exposed tunes stark with piano and strings leading their Dark Country take, as if Nick Cave was crooning a Johnny Cash tune. Elsewhere, the mix of thick, simple riffs and bellowed choruses works exceptionally well. These are street-anthems, made to be yelled back, whose simplicity and hooks work into the brain. Memoirs Of A Murderer is an album of quality controversial, mainstream metal.
With summer right around the corner, it’s time to get psyched for festival season. In the UK, there is no event bigger or more venerable than Download. As the feisty offspring of the legendary Monsters of Rock concerts at Castle Donnington in Donnington Park that lived in the imagination of rock and metal fans the world over for two decades, Download is as value packed as ever with bands. This years lineup shows a willingness not to be intimidated or outshine by the competition of other big festivals, the UK or elsewhere in Europe.
Held over three days, 13-15 of June at Donnington Park on five stages daily, the 2014 lineup is a bold one that promises something for everyone to enjoy. Bands of note for Friday include the much talked about headliners Avenged Sevenfold, Opeth, Anathema, Rob Zombie, Within Temptation, Black Label Society, Quicksand, Skindred, Miss May I, Huntress, Bloody Hammers as well as Bad Religion and Offspring.
Saturday blends the catchy, more mainstream fair with the best of modern underground metal. Linkin Park is playing all of their Hybrid Theory album and for fans of a certain age, that will sure bring back a few things. Among the main bands that our readers would most be interested in Killswitch Engage, Fozzy and Dying Fetus play along with Bring Me the Horizon and others. I kind of feel bad for everyone that has to follow Dying Fetus actually, so #WhyNotDyingFetus indeed. The other big band of import this day is Behemoth, who is coming of a sizzling run of shows in the UK and the USA recently. Other big bands include the reactivated American Headcharge, The Black Dahlia Murder, Orange Goblin, Monster Magnet, Battlecross, Anathema doing a special second unplugged set, Skid Row, Chevelle, and Sikth. Also for the more rock motivated Twister Sister, Status Quo and Ginger Wildhearts solo sets are are worth seeing.
On the final day Download has brought out the big guns, quite literally in Aerosmith. While their recent music is nothing to write home about, they always step up big live and play all of their hits brilliantly. Other worthy bands on Sunday include Alter Bridge, The Dillinger Escape Plan and their insane stage antics, Trivium, Volbeat, Philip Anselmo and the Illegals, Sabaton, Sepultura, Suicide Silence, Red Dragon Cartel, Avatar, Thy Art Is Murder, Kill Devil Hill, Monuments, Polar and Nick Oliveri (Kyuss, QOTSA, Dwarves) solo acoustic.